The Cherokee Removal is a brief history with documents by Theda Perdue and Michael Green. In 1838-1839 the US troops expelled the Cherokee Indians from their ancestral homeland in the Southeast and removed them to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. The removal of the Cherokees was a product of the demand for land during the growth of cotton agriculture in the Southeast, the discovery of gold on the Cherokees land, and the racial prejudice that many white southerners had toward the Indians.
The Cherokees had lived in the interior southeast, for hundreds of years in the nineteenth century. But in the early eighteenth century setters from the European ancestry started moving into the Cherokees territory. From then on the colonial governments in the area began demanding that the Cherokees give up their territory. By the end of the Revolutionary War, the Cherokees had surrendered more than half of their original territory to the state and federal government.
In the late 1780’s the US began urging the Cherokees to stop hunting and their traditional ways of life and to instead learn about how to live, farm, and worship like Christian Americans. Despite everything the white people in Georgia and other southern states that abutted the Cherokee Nation refused to accept the Cherokee people as social equals and urged their political representatives to take the Cherokees land. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 gave Thomas Jefferson the chance to relocate the eastern tribes beyond the Mississippi River.
The War of 1812, with help from General Andrew Jackson help the United States to end what he called the “absurdity” of negotiating with the Indians tribes. From that point forward the Georgia politicians increasingly raised the pressure on the federal government to fulfill the Compact of 1802. In the agreement the federal government had to extinguish the Indian land title and remove the...