10 Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears
The Cherokee had signed treaties with the United States guaranteeing their right to their land. They tried to adapt themselves to life with their white neighbors. By 1830, they had a written language and their government had a written constitution; many Cherokee practiced a European-American style of agriculture and had converted to Christianity. Nevertheless, most white Southerners wanted rid of them — and wanted their land. In 1836, the Cherokee were forcibly removed to what is now Oklahoma along what came to be known as the “Trail of Tears.” Only a tiny group remained in their ancient homeland.
In this chapter we’ll read the words of both Cherokee and whites. We’ll evaluate the changes taking place in Cherokee life, the reasons for their forced removal, and the costs of the Trail of Tears.
- 10.1The Cherokee and the Trail of Tears
- 10.2The Cherokee language and syllabary
- 10.3Andrew Jackson calls for Indian removal
- 10.4"We have unexpectedly become civilized"
- 10.5The Indian Removal Act of 1830
- 10.6Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia, 1831
- 10.7Chief John Ross protests the Treaty of New Echota
- 10.8A soldier recalls the Trail of Tears
- 10.9The legend of Tsali