Trail of Tears

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 277
  • Published : March 10, 2001
Open Document
Text Preview
Trail of Tears

Trial of Tears and the Five Civilized Tribes During the early years of 1800s, valuable gold deposits were discovered in tribal lands, which by previous cessions had been reduced to about seven million acres in northwest Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and southwest North Carolina. In 1819 Georgia appealed to the U.S. government to remove the Cherokee from Georgia lands. When the appeal failed, attempts were made to purchase the territory. Meanwhile, in 1820 the Cherokee established a governmental system modeled on that of the United States, with an elected principal chief, a senate, and a house of representatives. Because of this system, the Cherokee were included as one of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes. The other four tribes were the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and the Seminoles. In 1832 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Georgia legislation was unconstitutional; federal authorities, following Jackson's policy of Native American removal, ignored the decision. About five hundred leading Cherokee agreed in 1835 to cede the tribal territory in exchange for $5,700,000 and land in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Their action was repudiated by more than nine-tenths of the tribe, and several members of the group were later assassinated. In 1838 federal troops began forcible evicting the Cherokee. Approximately one thousand escaped to the North Carolina Mountains, purchased land, and incorporated in that state; they were the ancestors of the present-day Eastern Band. Most of the tribe, including the Western Band, was driven west about eight hundred miles in a forced march, known as the Trail of Tears. The march west included 18,000 to 20,000 people, of whom about 4000 perished...
tracking img