and the Devil himself...

and the Devil himself...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Trail of Tears

Cherokee in Ceremonial Dress, 1800s
image source:

My Father's Grandmother was full Cherokee and I was very sad to discover, upon arriving in Dalton, GA en route back to the Land of the Outlaw Amish from the Lowlands, that this was where the Cherokee's Trail of Tears started. For those of you who don't know, that was the forced removal of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, among others from their homeland. At the time, Dalton didn't exist yet as a town of course, it was a trade crossroads called Cross Plains.  The Choctaw were the first to be removed, the Cherokee here in Dalton in 1838. 4,000 of the 15,000 'relocated' Cherokee died on the way to the 'Indian Territory'.

We have then President Andrew Jackson and his Indian Removal Act, (1830) to thank for the atrocity.  "To this day, many Cherokees when given a twenty dollar bill as change, will refuse it and ask for two ten dollar bills instead, as they do not wish to carry the painful memory of the past when looking at the face of Andrew Jackson who appears on the twenty dollar bill. " from Georgia Cherokees and the Rest of the Story by Robert Jenkins

The march was 1,000 miles and was undertaken, to the greater part, barefoot. They were, additionally, given used blankets from a Tennessee Hospital where smallpox had broken out. A Georgia soldier said it was the cruelest thing he'd ever seen, (Wikki).

What was a primary motivator for such inhumanity? Gold had been discovered in Georgia.

In Cherokee language it is called Nu na da ul tsun yi - "the Place Where They Cried". 

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