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Native American History - Essay Example

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Trail of Tears Name: Course Instructor: Date Historical information can be acquired from a variety of sources; however, the content in these sources vary based on the context in which the information was written or the extent of penetration or exposure historians had in respect to the events…
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Native American History
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Native American History

Download file to see previous pages... For this essay, the period examined will be the 19th century and the event is the “Trail of Tears” which is an account of the forced eviction of members of the Cherokee native America communities from their ancestral lands in eastern America to create room for white settlers.1 Owing to the marginalization of the Native American community at the time there were few historians from the community and most of the written works emerge from white authors. However one of the most popular accounts of the trial is a narrative rendered by Michael Rutledge about his Cherokee grandfather Samuel Cloud who was nine at the time of the march, he vividly recounts how he (Samuel ) struggle to understand the atrocities that were occasioned upon his community and recounts very real and personal experience through the naive and innocent eyes of a child who suffers for a cause he does not understand. 2 He describes the way his family and neighbors were force to leave their village at gun point how some of them were not even given time to pack their belongings leaving with only the clothes on their backs. The people were led to stockades like cattle and they were forced by soldiers to remain there for several days and nights despite the freezing cold, Samuel’s father died and later on so does his mother both having succumbed to the brutal conditions. Many more people died and they were buried in shallow unmarked grave by the wayside as the march continued and Samuel recounts his bitterness and frustration which he felt as result of losing both his parents and yet he could not understand why. 3 On the road he describes the death by the hundreds and thousands of the Indians and their unceremonious burial by the roadside far from home. He could only feel a bitter hatred for the soldiers who he blamed for having put them in that situation. Notably, his is just one account and hundreds of children were orphaned and parents widowed and families broken either by death or separation by the cruel soldiers. The second account by Joan Gilbert who is not an insider nor actively involved in the lives of the Native American community also renders an account of the events of the march based on extensive research and interviews. She begins by giving a background of the events leading up to the removal such as the sale of Indian land by lottery to settlers even before they had been evicted, consequently some settlers moved in and took over Indian property. The book article discusses President Jackson and how he pursued a policy to eliminate Indians to provide more land for the speculating settlers.4 Although many American were against the decision, Jackson received little trouble as a result since he had the backing of the southern and western state that made up his biggest support base. Some of the communities tried to resist by going to back court or by violence while others cooperated and accepted the new lands. This ultimately divided the communities in the long run since the collaborators were seen as traitors and many of them were later murdered by their own people as a result of working with the state. The Cherokees from Georgia had taken the matter to the Supreme Court and judge Marshall had found in their favor declaring that the settlers had no claim to their land. However the president had ignored the injunction and proceeded to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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