The Indian Removal Act was signed into law on May 28, 1830, by United States President Andrew Jackson. The law authorized the president to negotiate with southern Native American tribes for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for white settlement of their ancestral lands. The act has been referred to as a unitary act of systematic genocide, because it completely discriminated against an ethnic group, to the point of certain death of vast numbers of its population. The Act was signed by Andrew Jackson and it was strongly enforced under his administration and that of Martin Van Buren, which extended until 1841.
The Act was strongly supported by southern and northeast populations, with much resistance, however from native tribes and the Whig Party. The Cherokee worked together to stop this relocation, but were unsuccessful; they were eventually forcibly removed by the United States government in a march to the west that later became known as the Trail of Tears.
|Indian Removal Act|
|Part of Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas|
Andrew Jackson's December 1830 message to Congress, justifying the relocation of southeastern American Indian tribes allowed by the Indian Removal Act
|Location||Southeastern United States and Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma|
|Target||Forced relocation of Southern Native American tribes|
|Deaths||8,700 to 17,000|
|58,933 Amerindians and more than 4,556 Black slaves forcibly relocated|
|Perpetrators||United States government|
|Motive||Anti-indigenous racism, Georgia Gold Rush|
In the early 1800s, the United States government began a systematic effort to remove American Indian tribes from the southeast. The Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, Seminole, and original Cherokee Nations had been established as autonomous nations in the southeastern United States.
This acculturation was originally proposed by George Washington and was well under way among the Cherokee and Choctaw by the turn of the 19th century. In an effort to assimilate with American culture, Indians were encouraged to "convert to Christianity; learn to speak and read English; and adopt European-style economic practices such as the individual ownership of land and other property (including, in some instances, the ownership of African slaves)." Thomas Jefferson's policy echoed Washington's proposition: respect the Indians' rights to their homelands, and allow the Five Tribes to remain east of the Mississippi provided that they adopt behavior and cultural practices that are compatible with those of other Americans. Jefferson encouraged practicing an agriculture-based society. Andrew Jackson sought to renew a policy of political and military action for the removal of the Indians from these lands and worked toward enacting a law for Indian removal. In his 1829 State of the Union address, Jackson called for removal.
The Indian Removal Act was put in place to give to the southern states the land that Indians had settled on. The act was passed in 1830, although dialogue had been ongoing since 1802 between Georgia and the federal government concerning such an event. Ethan Davis states that "the federal government had promised Georgia that it would extinguish Indian title within the state's borders by purchase 'as soon as such purchase could be made upon reasonable terms'". As time passed, southern states began to speed up the process by posing the argument that the deal between Georgia and the federal government had no contract and that southern states could pass the law themselves. This scheme forced the national government to pass the Indian Removal Act on May 28, 1830, in which President Jackson agreed to divide the United States territory west of the Mississippi into districts for tribes to replace the land from which they were removed.
In the 1823 case of Johnson v. M'Intosh, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision stating that Indians could occupy and control lands within the United States but could not hold title to those lands. Jackson viewed the union as a federation of highly esteemed states, as was common before the American Civil War. He opposed Washington's policy of establishing treaties with Indian tribes as if they were foreign nations. Thus, the creation of Indian jurisdictions was a violation of state sovereignty under Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution. As Jackson saw it, either Indians comprised sovereign states (which violated the Constitution) or they were subject to the laws of existing states of the Union. Jackson urged Indians to assimilate and obey state laws. Further, he believed that he could only accommodate the desire for Indian self-rule in federal territories, which required resettlement west of the Mississippi River on federal lands.
The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, especially in Georgia, which was the largest state in 1802 and was involved in a jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokee. President Jackson hoped that removal would resolve the Georgia crisis. Besides the Five Civilized Tribes, additional people affected included the Wyandot, the Kickapoo, the Potowatomi, the Shawnee, and the Lenape.
The Indian Removal Act was controversial. Many Americans during this time favored its passage, but there was also significant opposition. Many Christian missionaries protested it, most notably missionary organizer Jeremiah Evarts. In Congress, New Jersey Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen and Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett spoke out against the legislation. The Removal Act passed only after bitter debate in Congress.
Jackson viewed the demise of Indian tribal nations as inevitable, pointing to the advancement of settled life and demise of tribal nations in the American northeast. He called his northern critics hypocrites, given the North's history. Indian tribes had become nearly extinct, Indian hunting grounds had been replaced with family farms, and state law had replaced tribal law. If the Indians of the south were to survive and their culture be maintained, they faced powerful historical forces that could only be postponed. He dismissed romantic portrayals of lost Indian culture as a sentimental longing for a simpler time in the past, stating that "progress requires moving forward."
Humanity has often wept over the fate of the aborigines of this country and philanthropy has long been busily employed in devising means to avert it, but its progress has never for a moment been arrested, and one by one have many powerful tribes disappeared from the earth. ... But true philanthropy reconciles the mind to these vicissitudes as it does to the extinction of one generation to make room for another. ... In the monuments and fortresses of an unknown people, spread over the extensive regions of the West, we behold the memorials of a once powerful race, which was exterminated or has disappeared to make room for the existing savage tribes. . Philanthropy could not wish to see this continent restored to the condition in which it was found by our forefathers. What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms, embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization, and religion?
According to historian H. W. Brands, Jackson sincerely believed that his population transfer was a "wise and humane policy" that would save the Indians from "utter annihilation". Brands writes that, given the "racist realities of the time, Jackson was almost certainly correct in contending that for the Cherokees to remain in Georgia risked their extinction". Jackson portrayed his paternalism and federal support as a generous act of mercy.
On April 24, 1830, the Senate passed the Indian Removal Act by a vote of 28 to 19. On May 26, 1830, the House of Representatives passed the Act by a vote of 101 to 97. On May 28, 1830, the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson.
The Removal Act paved the way for the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of American Indians from their land into the West in an event widely known as the "Trail of Tears," a forced resettlement of the Indian population. The first removal treaty signed was the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek on September 27, 1830, in which Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West. The Treaty of New Echota was signed in 1835 and resulted in the removal of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.
The Seminoles and other tribes did not leave peacefully, as they resisted the removal along with fugitive slaves. The Second Seminole War lasted from 1835 to 1842 and resulted in the government allowing them to remain in the south Florida swamplands. Only a small number remained, and around 3,000 were removed in the war.
When you move a people from one place to another, when you displace people, when you wrench people from their homelands ... wasn't that genocide? We don't make the case that there was genocide. We know there was. Yet here we are.
The bill passed 101–97, with 11 not voting
The 1830 State of the Union Address was given by the seventh United States president, Andrew Jackson on Tuesday, December 6, 1830, to both houses of the United States Congress. He said, "What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms, embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization, and religion?" He speaks of the Indian Removal Act, "With a full understanding of the subject, the Choctaw and the Chickasaw tribes have with great unanimity determined to avail themselves of the liberal offers presented by the act of Congress, and have agreed to remove beyond the Mississippi River."Antebellum South Carolina
Antebellum South Carolina is typically defined by historians as South Carolina during the period between the War of 1812, which ended in 1815, and the American Civil War, which began in 1861.
After the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, the economies of the Upcountry and the Lowcountry of the state became fairly equal in wealth. The expansion of cotton cultivation upstate led to a marked increase in the labor demand, with a concomitant rise in the slave trade. The trans-Atlantic slave trade, or international buying and selling of slaves, was outlawed by the United States in 1808. After that date there was a burgeoning domestic or internal, national slave trade in the U.S.
In 1822, free black craftsman and preacher Denmark Vesey was convicted for having masterminded a plan to overthrow Charlestonian whites. In reaction, whites established curfews for black people and forbade assembly of large numbers of blacks; the education of slaves was prohibited.
In 1828, John C. Calhoun decided that constitutionally, each state government (within their state) had more power than the federal government. Consequently, if a state deemed it necessary, it had the right to "nullify" any federal law (the Tariff of 1828 and the Tariff of 1832) within its boundaries. Calhoun resigned as Vice President, as he planned to become a South Carolina Senator to stop its run toward secession. He wanted to resolve problems which were inflaming his fellow Carolinians. Before federal forces arrived at Charleston in response to challenges of tariff laws, Calhoun and Henry Clay agreed upon a Compromise Tariff of 1833 to lower the rates over ten years. The Nullification Crisis was resolved for the time being.Battle of San Felasco Hammock
The Battle of San Felasco Hammock was a battle of the Second Seminole War fought by Florida's Seminole Indians to prevent their removal to the Arkansas Territory in accordance with the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Euro-American settlers established the town of Newnansville, Florida, around Fort Gilleland. The site upon which both Fort Gilleland and Newnansville once stood is now encompassed by the city of Alachua, Florida. The San Felasco Hammock is currently part of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park.Baw Beese
Baw Beese (c. 1790 – c. 1850) was a Potawatomi Indian chief who led a band that occupied the area of what is now Hillsdale, Michigan, United States. They had a base camp at the large lake that was later named for him by European-American settlers who took over the territory. In November 1840 the Potowatomi were forced to Indian Territory in Kansas under the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which was being enforced in the former Northwest Territory.Cherokee Nation (1794–1907)
The Cherokee Nation (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, pronounced Tsalagihi Ayeli) from 1794–1907 was a legal, autonomous, tribal government in North America recognized from 1794 to 1907. Often referred to simply as "The Nation" by its inhabitants, it should not be confused with what is known in the 21st century also as the Cherokee Nation.
It consisted of the Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ —pronounced Tsalagi or Cha-la-gee) people of the Qualla Boundary and the southeastern United States; those who relocated voluntarily from the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory (circa 1820 —known as the "Old Settlers"); those who were forced by the Federal government of the United States to relocate (through the Indian Removal Act) by way of the Trail of Tears (1830s); Cherokee Freedmen (freed slaves); as well as many descendants of the Natchez, the Delaware and the Shawnee peoples.Choctaw County, Mississippi
Choctaw County is a county located in the central part of U.S. state of Mississippi. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,547. Its northern border is the Big Black River, which flows southwest into the Mississippi south of Vicksburg. The county seat is Ackerman. The county is named after the Choctaw tribe of Native Americans, who long occupied this territory as their homeland before being forced to move west of the Mississippi River by federal troops under the Indian Removal Act of 1830.Creek mythology
Creek mythology is related to a Creek Native American tribe who are originally from the southeastern United States, also known by their original name Mvskoke (or Muskogee), the name they use to identify themselves today. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. Modern Muscogees live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Their language, Mvskoke, is a member of the Creek branch of the Muskogean language family. The Seminole are close kin to the Mvskoke and speak a Creek language as well. The Creeks were considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes. After the Creek War many of the Creeks escaped to Florida to create the Seminole.David Crockett Birthplace State Park
Not to be confused with David Crockett State Park in Lawrence County, TennesseeDavid Crockett Birthplace State Park (previously called Davy Crockett Birthplace State Historic Park]) is a state park in Greene County, Tennessee, United States. Situated along the Nolichucky River, the park consists of 105 acres (0.42 km2) centered on the traditional birthplace of legendary Tennessee frontiersman, soldier, and politician Davy Crockett (1786-1836). The park includes a replica of Crockett's birth cabin, a museum, and a large campground.
Davy Crockett grew up in the hills and river valleys of East Tennessee, where he gained a reputation for hunting and storytelling. After rising to the rank of colonel in the Lawrence County, Tennessee militia, Crockett was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821. In 1827, Crockett was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time. As a congressman, Crockett vehemently opposed many of the policies of President Andrew Jackson, most notably the Indian Removal Act. Crockett's opposition to Jackson's policies led to his defeat in the 1835 elections, prompting his angry departure to Texas shortly thereafter. In early 1836, Crockett joined the Texas Revolution and died at the Battle of the Alamo in March of the same year.
Thanks largely to 19th-century playwrights and 20th-century film makers— who often attributed to Crockett brazen acts of mythical proportion— Crockett grew to become one of the most well-known folk heroes in American history.Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᏱ ᏕᏣᏓᏂᎸᎩ, Tsalagiyi Detsadanilvgi) is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States, who are descended from the small group of 800 Cherokee who remained in the Eastern United States after the Indian Removal Act moved the other 15,000 Cherokee to the west in the 19th century. They were required to assimilate and renounce tribal Cherokee citizenship.The history of the Eastern Band closely follows that of the Qualla Boundary, a land trust made up of an area of their original territory. When they reorganized as a tribe, they had to buy back the land from the US government. The EBCI also own, hold, or maintain additional lands in the vicinity, and as far away as 100 miles (160 km) from the Qualla Boundary. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are primarily the descendants of those persons listed on the Baker Rolls of Cherokee Indians. They gained federal recognition as a tribe in the 20th century. The Qualla Boundary is not a reservations per se because the land is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes, the others being the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, both based in Oklahoma. Its headquarters is in the namesake town of Cherokee, North Carolina in the Qualla Boundary, south of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7
The Masonic Hall of Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 7 is a historic Gothic revival building on South 2nd Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee. Constructed in 1823, it is the oldest public building in Franklin. It is nationally significant as the site of negotiations leading to the Treaty of Franklin, the first Indian removal treaty agreed after passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973. It continues to serve the local Masonic lodge.Hugh Lawson White
Hugh Lawson White (October 30, 1773 – April 10, 1840) was a prominent American politician during the first third of the 19th century. After filling in several posts particularly in Tennessee's judiciary and state legislature since 1801, thereunder as a Tennessee Supreme Court justice, he was chosen to succeed former presidential candidate Andrew Jackson in the United States Senate in 1825 and became a member of the new Democratic Party, supporting Jackson's policies and his future presidential administration. However, he left the Democrats in 1836 and was a Whig candidate in that year's presidential election.An ardent strict constructionist and lifelong states' rights advocate, White was one of President Jackson's most trusted allies in Congress in the late 1820s and early 1830s. White fought against the national bank, tariffs, and the use of federal funds for internal improvements, and led efforts in the Senate to pass the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In 1833, at the height of the Nullification Crisis, White, as the Senate's president pro tempore, coordinated negotiations over the Tariff of 1833.Suspicious of the growing power of the presidency, White began to distance himself from Jackson in the mid-1830s, and realigned himself with Henry Clay and the burgeoning Whig Party. He was eventually forced out of the Senate when Jackson's allies, led by James K. Polk, gained control of the Tennessee state legislature and demanded his resignation.Indian removal
Indian removal was a forced migration in the 19th century whereby Native Americans were forced by the United States government to leave their ancestral homelands in the eastern United States to lands west of the Mississippi River, specifically to a designated Indian Territory (roughly, modern Oklahoma). The Indian Removal Act was signed by Andrew Jackson, who took a hard line on Indian removal, but it was put into effect primarily under the Martin van Buren administration.Indian removal was a consequence of actions first by European settlers to North America in the colonial period, then by the United States government and its citizens until the mid-20th century. The policy traced its direct origins to the administration of James Monroe, though it addressed conflicts between European Americans and Native Americans that had been occurring since the 17th century, and were escalating into the early 19th century as white settlers were continually pushing westward. The Indian Removal Act was the key law that forced the removal of the Indians, and was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.Jeremiah Evarts
Jeremiah F. Evarts (February 3, 1781 – May 10, 1831), also known by the pen name William Penn, was a Christian missionary, reformer, and activist for the rights of American Indians in the United States, and a leading opponent of the Indian removal policy of the United States government.John Coffee
John R. Coffee (June 2, 1772 – July 7, 1833) was an American planter and state militia general in Tennessee. He commanded troops under General Andrew Jackson during the Creek Wars (1813–14) and during the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
During his presidency, Jackson appointed Coffee as his representative, along with Secretary of War John Eaton, to negotiate treaties with Southeast American Indian tribes to accomplish removal, a policy authorized by Congressional passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Coffee negotiated the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of 1830 with the Choctaw by which they ceded their lands, and started negotiations with the Chickasaw, but they did not conclude a treaty until after his death.List of counties in Alabama
The U.S. state of Alabama has 67 counties. Each county serves as the local level of government within its borders. The land enclosed by the present state borders was joined to the United States of America gradually. Following the American Revolutionary War, West Florida was ceded to Spain by treaty while the remainder was organized primarily as the Mississippi Territory, and later the Alabama Territory. The territorial assembly established some of the earliest county divisions that have survived to the present, including the earliest county formation, that of Washington County, created on June 4, 1800. In 1814, the Treaty of Fort Jackson opened the territory to American settlers, which in turn led to a more rapid rate of county creation. Alabama was admitted to the Union as the 22nd state in 1819. The Alabama state legislature formed additional counties from former native lands as the Indian Removal Act took effect and settlers populated different areas of Alabama. In 1820, Alabama had 29 counties. By 1830 there were 36 and Native Americans still occupied large areas of land in northeast and far western Alabama. By 1840, 49 counties had been created; 52 by 1850; 65 by 1870; and the present 67 counties by 1903. Houston County was the last county created in the state, on February 9, 1903.According to 2010 U. S. Census data, the average population of Alabama's 67 counties is 71,399, with Jefferson County as the most populous (658,466), and Greene County (9,045) the least. The average land area is 756 sq mi (1,958 km2). The largest county is Baldwin (1,590 sq mi, 4,118 km2) and the smallest is Etowah (535 sq mi, 1,386 km2). The Constitution of Alabama requires that any new county in Alabama cover at least 600 square miles (1,600 km2) in area, effectively limiting the creation of new counties in the state.The Alabama Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division issues standard automobile license plates that bear a one- or two-digit number identifying the county in which the vehicle is registered. This number is given in the fourth column in the table below. The first three prefixes are reserved for the state's historically most populous counties, and thereafter proceed alphabetically. Individual license plate numbers are assigned sequentially in each licensing office. The numbers are in the format XAA1111 or XXAA111, depending on whether the prefix is one or two digits. Overflow registrations are accommodated by substituting a letter for one of the registration numbers, such that XXZ999Z is followed by XXA0A0A. Outdated Info for current plates (2014)
The Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code, used by the United States government to uniquely identify counties, is provided with each entry. The FIPS code links in the table point to U. S. Census "quick facts" pages for each county.Oconee War
The Oconee War was a military conflict in the 1780s and 1790s between European Americans and the Creek Indians known as the Oconee, who lived in an area between the Apalachee and North Oconee rivers in the state of Georgia.
The struggle arose from tensions between competing groups of people as increasing numbers of European Americans entered traditional Oconee territory. The conflict delayed the opening of the University of Georgia, planned as part of the new state's institutions. The European Americans prevailed over the Creek, and a tradition of coexistence between the groups ended. The European Americans wanted to settle the land, and they demanded the government relocate the Creek, which contributed eventually to passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, setting policy and implementation of removal of all the southeastern tribes to west of the Mississippi River. The war catalyzed Georgia voters' ratifying the United States Constitution, in order to gain federal help to fight the Creek.As a result of the war, some Creek Oconee moved across the border into northern Florida, and then further south in the state, to escape European-American encroachment. They joined other majority-Creek peoples there, and developed a new Muskogean-related tribe, the Seminole, by the late eighteenth century. Through the Seminole Wars of the nineteenth century, some of the Indians resisted all efforts by extensive United States forces to move them to reservations.Red Clay State Park
Red Clay State Historic Park is a state park located in southern Bradley County, Tennessee established in 1979. The park is also listed as an interpretive center along the Cherokee Trail of Tears. It encompasses 263 acres (1.06 km2) of land and is located just above the Tennessee-Georgia stateline.
The park was the site of the last seat of Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 by the U.S. military, which resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to emigrate West. Eleven general councils were held between 1832 and 1837.Before the site was a government council site, it was used for many different Cherokee rituals because of its famous spring named the Blue Hole Spring.
The James F. Corn Interpretive Center features exhibits about 18th and 19th century Cherokee culture, government, economy, recreation, religion and history. A series of stained glass windows depicts the forced removal of the Cherokee and subsequent Trail of Tears emigration. There is also a video about the Cherokee. Outside there is a replica of a Cherokee farmstead and a Council House.
Other nearby Cherokee points of interest are the cabin of Chief John Ross located in Rossville, Georgia and the grave site of Nancy Ward in Benton, Tennessee.Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native Americans in the United States from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west (usually west of the Mississippi River) that had been designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and many died before reaching their destinations. The forced removals included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, as well as their African slaves. The phrase "Trail of Tears" originates from a description of the removal of many Native American tribes, including the infamous Cherokee Nation relocation in 1838.Between 1830 and 1850, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee people (including mixed-race and black slaves who lived among them) were forcibly removed from their traditional lands in the Southeastern United States, and relocated farther west. Those Native Americans who were relocated were forced to march to their destinations by state and local militias. The Cherokee removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. Approximately 2,000–8,000 of the 16,543 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians
The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma (ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ or Anigiduwagi Aniyvwiya, abbreviated United Keetoowah Band or UKB) is a federally recognized tribe of Cherokee Native Americans headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. According to the UKB website, its members are mostly descendants of "Old Settlers" or "Western Cherokee," the Cherokee who migrated to present-day Arkansas and Oklahoma about 1817. Some reports estimate that Old Settlers began migrating west by 1800. This was before the forced relocation of Cherokee from the Southeast in the late 1830s under the Indian Removal Act. Although politically the UKB is not associated with the Trail of Tears, many of the membership have direct ancestors that completed the harrowing journey in 1838/1839.
Many UKB members are traditionalists and Baptists.
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