The Cherokee Trail Of Tears, A Tale of Treason and Terror

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Cherokee Woman (Sunshower Shots/ Adobe Stock)

The Cherokee Trail Of Tears, A Tale of Treason and Terror

The United States of America has left a rich, storied, history in the wake of an almost 300-year journey from Independence to world prominence. Much of it is a proud history, consisting of stories about aiding downtrodden countries, creating economic juggernauts, inventing some incredible things, building magnificent structures, and forging individual freedom.  But there are dark and enduring stains on that account, some of them formed when political and economic success came about due to the deliberate use of slave laborers who worked agricultural land stolen from America’s original inhabitants, sometimes in direct refutation of laws decreed by both its founding documents and existing government. Despite its soaring rhetoric, America was not always the “home of the brave and the land of the free.”

Southeastern US and Indian territories, including Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw (1806) (Public Domain)

Southeastern US and Indian territories, including Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw (1806) (Public Domain)

On Indian Removal

One of those stains, almost always treated lightly by history books, concerned two acts of Congress. One was called On Indian Removal, passed in 1830. The other was labeled A Permanent Habitation for the American Indians, passed in 1835. Together, they provided political justification for the removal of the Cherokee people from the Southeast, along with the Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations, as well as many black farmers, both slave and free.


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