1: HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE CHEROKEE BEFORE REMOVAL
AND THE SUBSEQUENT PLACE OF REMOVAL IN THE HISTORY AND
CULTURE OF THE CHEROKEE
I Two Parts: History and Culture of the Cherokee Before
II: The “Ancient Village” at the Cherokee Heritage
Center and Pre-Contact Ways of Life
This Unit is
in two Lessons with a total of three parts. After some guiding questions,
it begins with a lecture: “Native American History and the
Cherokee Place in It: The Trail of Tears, A Reappraisal.”
Lesson I’s lecture by Ray Fogelson, University of Chicago,
was delivered twice at the opening of the “Wiping Away the
Tears at a Landmark of Cherokee and American History: Renewing Cherokee
Culture and American History through the Cherokee Heritage Center
and the Trail of Tears,” at the Cherokee Heritage Center in
2005. This was a summer seminar, of two one-week sessions, for high
school teachers and other secondary or elementary educators. We
have decided to preserve the order of the original lecture’s
parts, since the focus of the seminar (and this website) is not
simply on the isolated historical event of the Trail of Tears, but
the history and culture of the Cherokee and Colonial/Post-Colonial
American peoples leading up to the Removal, and the cultural recovery
by the Cherokee after the Removal. Removal. Lesson II is on the
“Ancient Village,” the reconstructed, pre-contact village
at the Cherokee Heritage Center. This part explores further what
Cherokee life was like prior to contact with Europeans.
reasons of teaching, viewers of this website may wish to use the
portion of Unit 1 in a different sequence than is suggested by the
Unit numbers. Unit 1, Lecture, Lesson I, part 2, on “Reappraising
Cherokee Removal” may be used in a more historically sequential
order, after Unit 4. Equally interesting and efficacious would be
the use of Unit 1, Lesson I, part 2 in conjunction with Unit 7:
Cherokee Renewal Through Literature. Similarly, viewers of this
website are encouraged, if they choose, to view the materials in
Unit 1, Lesson 1, Part 1, “History and Culture of the Cherokee
before Removal” and Lesson II “Ancient Village”
as the first unit in an historical and cultural delineation of the
Cherokee prior to the historical event of the Removal or Trail of
Tears in Unit 5: The Trail of Tears & Aftermath.
and students may wish to read and conduct assignments in the following
Unit 1: History
and Culture of the Cherokee before Removal
The “Ancient Village” at the Cherokee Heritage Center
and Pre-contact Ways of Life
Unit 2: Cherokee Story-telling Traditions
Unit 3: Religious, Philosophical, Political, and Historical Views
that the Colonists Brought to North America and to the Revolution,
and Cherokee and Other Native American Views and Responses
Unit 4: Prologue to the Trail of Tears
After Unit 4, before Unit 5, students and teachers may read Unit
1, Lesson I, Part 1: History and Culture of the Cherokee before
Removal and Unit 1, Lesson II, the Ancient Village at this point
Unit 5: The
Trail of Tears & Aftermath
With Unit 5, teachers and students may wish to read Unit 1, Lesson
2, Part 2, Reappraising Cherokee Removal.
Unit 6: The
Women and Men’s Seminary Education and Cherokee Cultural Recovery.
Unit 7: Cherokee
Renewal Through Literature
Students and teachers may read Unit 1, Lesson I, Part 2: Reappraising
Cherokee Removal with Unit 7.
Unit 8: Cherokee Art
Unit 9: The
Cherokee Heritage Center and Cultural Recovery
I, Part 1
In his opening
remarks on Cherokee Cultural History, Professor Fogelson seems to
think that the phrase, “Wiping Away the Tears,” would
have deep meaning and emotional feeling for the Cherokee. Can you
characterize the meaning and feelings, and can you identify what
the meaning and feeling would be based in?
What is the
point of the Hiawatha story according to Fogelson or Meredith (see
White Roots of Peace reading link, below)?
seems to think that the Cherokee society changed as it was encountering
Europeans. As you look over the essay, do you think you could characterize
the changes in Cherokee society before and after contact with Europeans?
In his “Reappraising
Cherokee Removal” Professor Fogelson takes great pains to
present a complex picture of the causes of Cherokee removal. There
is not just one or two factors, but many. As you read, find the
factors he thinks were causes of the removal.
seems to think that “civilizing” Indian tribes was controversial
among both whites and Indians. Can you understand what “civilizing”
seemed to mean in the 19th Century? Can you see likenesses and differences
between Indian, particularly Cherokee, views of civilizing and white
views of civilizing?
Professor Fogelson, are there peculiar Cherokee ways of dealing
with this event that seem different than analogous events in other
For all questions
you should support your arguments by interpreting evidence from
the whole of Professor Fogelson’s lecture, students should
be able to:
the possible significance of the phrase, “Wiping Away the
Tears,” for the Cherokee people of today
• Describe some of the factors of the environment, political
organization, and contact with Europeans that have shaped the evolution
of Cherokee society
• Describe the motives for Removal of the Cherokee, as well
as other Native American tribes.
• Characterize the process of “civilizing” from
both an Indian and white perspective.
• Describe the importance of memorializing a trail or space
for both Cherokee and other Americans to remember an historical
and cultural event.
American History and the Cherokee Place in It: The Trail of Tears,
The conference title we have, “Wiping Away the Tears at a
Landmark of Cherokee and American History: Renewing Cherokee Culture
and American History through the Cherokee Heritage Center and the
Trail of Tears,” is bulky and quite a mouthful, but it did
get the grant. My talk is in two parts, on Cherokee cultural history
before removal and a reappraisal of the Trail of Tears, including
cultural ramifications for the Cherokee well after the actual event.
and Culture of the Cherokee before Removal
are unquestionably related to the Cherokee, but perhaps as far back
as 3000 years they may have divided. Within this relation we first
come across the “trail of tears” locution. It is possible
that the mention of the Lost Clans in the Cherokee Elohi myths has
reference to this early relationship. (See Unit 4 and its
Link to Cherokee Vision of Elohi document for selections from
Elohi myths.) The legendary foundation of the Iroquois and Cherokee
merges into historical records. Deganawida, an Iroquois peacemaker,
spoke to Jigonhsase and, later, to Hiawatha about his vision of
a unified peaceful political organization. He spoke to Hiawatha
in part to consol him for his loss of wife and children to the cannibalistic
medicine man, Adodarhonah, an ogre with snakes in his hair. (See
to White Roots of Peace pdf, pp. 10-11; Longfellow later turned
Hiawatha into a Chippewa, but he was Iroquois.) Hiawatha engaged
in a ceremony to relieve his grief. Howard Meredith sums up fifteen
steps that the ceremony required. The first three were to: Wipe
Away the Tears, Unplug the Ears, Unstop the Throat. The last phase
includes an asking “to restore the chief by raising him up
again.” Ultimately, this is a replacement ceremony. Later
this oratory was passed on to the Five (so-called) Civilized Tribes
plus one other. It was used to mourn the loss of hereditary chiefs.
So the phrase has been used for many generations and in matters
of seriousness surrounding the continuity of tribes.
performs a transformation, a triumph over annihilation. Individuals
may have died, but the personage continues as an immortal; the “personal”
is, thus, embedded in the Iroquois speaking people. The collective
power overcomes, ultimately, the orge, but in the meantime the tribe
has converted to a new order. Enemies not killed in wars could be
similarly transformed through education and induction to the tribe
by similar ceremony.
The story of
Hiawatha and the ceremonies involving the transition between a dead
chief and the installation of a new chief, together with such phrases
as, “Wipe Away the Tears,” have an emotional impact.
We should try to understand that at a Landmark of American and Cherokee
theories of origins and internal migrations in the North American
continent. Early colonials to mid-20th Century immigrants are later
intruders to South Appalachia. Current archaeology traces immigrations
to about 1000 AD. In part, this archaelogical work has used already
existing burial mounds.
situation in this area: The environment is very diverse, Alpine
climate gradually becoming very warm, humid weather in lower valleys.
South there lies an unglaciated seabed, which is subjected to heavy
rainfall and is easily repopulated by plants after a natural disaster.
There are lots
of varieties of plants, over 130 species of trees in these Eastern
Cherokee environments. Compare this to 70 species in all of Europe.
This kind of environment implies a rich livelihood, with hunting
of a variety of game, gathering of useful plants and a wide variety
of stone-working materials. Multiple crops are possible and at one
time fishing was very important. Cherokee knowledge spread across
the interaction of these environments: e.g., three plants to asphyxiate
fish were known. The Cherokee used to gather basket loads of stunned
fish. There was cultivation of landscape, as well as controlled
use of fire to drive game, get rid of vermin, and fertilize the
There was direct
and indirect trade. Copper was retrieved out of the upper Great
Lakes region and exported south, in exchange for obsidian and conch
shells from the Gulf Coast. There was exchange of soapstone, deer
skins, and quartz crystal or mica.
vastness of the area tended to protect the Cherokee from diseases
as well as to provide protection from human invasion.
environment encouraged divergence within subgroups. Occupying middle
areas were the Keetowah band; many northern Indian tribes knew the
Cherokee as the Keetowah. The core region in Western North Carolina
faced north to the Shawnee and the Iroquois. West, in Kentucky,
Cherokee contested grounds with other tribes. The Lower Cherokee
occupied what is now northwestern South Carolina. Among mountain
or “Overhill,” “Lower” and “Valley”
groups distinctions in dialect developed. Internal differentiations
helped to shape the enculturation of various subgroups of Cherokee
and these differences are reflected in accounts of first encounters
with the English, who came from the Northeast and coast, and the
Spanish who came from the South.
who we will say more below, encountered Indian society in his expedition
coming out of Florida. There he found a much denser population with
centralized chieftanships. Whether he met a Cherokee tribe, per
se, is under reconsideration, but he did encounter clusters of independent
towns, “peoplehoods,” often of mixed linguistic settlement.
For him it was useful to have translators of different languages,
and the Cherokee, given their physical positioning, were known as
themselves were organized into villages that shared speech and ways
of life. (See Lesson II, below, on the Ancient Village.) These towns
were bound together by ties of kinship and clanship. Through these,
all over Cherokee territory a traveler could find a place to stay.
But this linguistic base and these familial and clan relationships
did not form one political tribe, recognizing super-ordination of
towns to a central government. A tribe, in the sense of one political
unit, was not, thus primordial. In the first encounter with whites,
small Indian groups met with leaders of expeditions sent by nation
became a tribe or nation through the various demands of encroaching
whites for trade, with resulting strange changes in personal fortune.
Relationships were forged primarily because of white craving for
land. The first Cherokee land cession was in 1727 in an agreement
with the colony of South Carolina. Chad Smith, elected head Chief
of the Cherokee today (and a lawyer by training), speaks of these
early relations of sellers of land as a recognition of Cherokee
sovereignty and indigenous rights to land. In 1730, a ratification
of a trade treaty takes place under unusual circumstances. Alexander
Cuming marches into a Cherokee council house, pistols drawn. He
forces an oath of allegiance to the English king, and then persuades
seven supposed chiefs to accompany him to London, where the treaty
for trade is ratified with the Board of Trade. The “chiefs”
appearance causes a sensation in London society and Attacullaculla,
a child in this group going to London, returns to become an important
leader in the Cherokee nation.
Over time, tribal
government projected the structure of the local towns. Speakers
and local councils were important, and, conversely, these sought
to embrace whole Cherokee people. In the 19th Century, tribal government
was remodeled on the U.S. federal example, but the diversity discussed
above continues to prevail, aided by interactions with whites. (See
Unit 4 for extensive elaborations
on the legal and political history indicated by the preceding two
The result is
fission and fusion at one and the same time.
Defeats of the
Cherokee by first the English and, later, the United States, led
to a decline in Cherokee political influence. To survive, the Cherokee
undertook a new course. They succumbed to religious and cultural
missionaries, but they developed an educated populace along the
agrarian lines envisioned by Jefferson. They sought out people to
teach them; whites reciprocated because farmland required less land
In this way,
the Cherokee became what was known as a “civilized”
tribe. The transformation was uneven and incomplete. It was associated,
as well, with mixed blood relations of the Cherokee with whites.
Some Cherokee lived graciously, based on either mercantile or plantation
livelihoods. The majority remained cultural conservatives in the
sense that they were products of subsistence farming, hunting and
gathering, and some craft making. This latter maintained a kind
of sacred reverence for tribal government forms.
to Protestantism. This was probably part of a trade off for acquiring
schools. Over time, the various sects became Cherokee sects through
training of Cherokee preachers and adoption of Cherokee hymns.
The notion of
“civilization” was important to this history and development.
Whatever constituted civilization, by the 19th Century literacy
was thought to be the key. Sequoyah invented the Cherokee syllabary
or writing system. The writing system enabled codification of laws,
production of financial records and publication of a Cherokee national
Gist) intended his invention to be a symbol of resistance, to demonstrate
the Cherokee as intellectual equals of whites. They were to record
their own knowledge for their own purposes. And, indeed, literacy
has played an important part in Cherokee history.
At the base
of these “civilizing” changes, the substructure of Cherokee
society began to move away from the forms of an extended family.
Technologically, the substitution of plows and the animals for pulling
them versus the traditional planting sticks made involvement in
farming a more complex and enriching enterprise.
In the sense
of these changes, the term “Civilized Tribe” to describe
the Cherokee becomes oxymoronic, because their civilization moves
the group from a tribal organization to a national one.
was an evolutionary wave, but it threatened sovereignty and identity.
Within the Cherokee, prophets arose saying that civilization violated
a divine plan and predicting that the world would end. At the very
least, prosperity produced envy in eyes of neighbors whites. This
envy of Cherokee prosperity was amplified by white’s regard
of Cherokees as terrorists.
After the colonies
declared independence, gold was discovered. Local Georgia politicians
and militia took matters into their own hands and acted in defiance
of U.S. defense of Cherokee treaty rights. The U.S. Government did
act in good faith on land cessions, whereas Georgia became impatient
about the legitimacy of their claims to land. The Cherokee situation
became part of the power struggle between the states and federal
government that was eventually to lead to the Civil War. Before
that, decisions in the Federal government led to the removal to
University of Chicago
A Short History of the Native Americans in the United States. From
Chapter 1, “Many Nations,” Section: “Iroquois
White Roots of Peace,” Malabar, FL: Kreiger Publishing Co,
2001, pp. 9-11. Narration of the Hiawatha story. [Link
to White Roots of Peace pdf.] (www.krieger-publishing.com)
1, Part 2
Reappraising Cherokee Removal
In recent years
we have witnessed an increase in, or at least a greater consciousness
of, ethnocide and ethnic cleansing, territorialism and terrorism,
of racism and genocide, of victimization and rituals of mourning
with their ambivalent qualities of saccharine sadness and bitter
anger. These phenomena seem global in scope, whether we consider
Nicaragua or Bosnia, Rwanda or Palestine, Indonesia or Iraq. Such
events and their analyses invite a reconsideration of comparable
phenomena occurring in the history of Indian-White relations in
America. Our history is riddled with such events: some are little
known – who know of the Modoc Rebellion of Captain Jack or
the Green Peach War among the Creeks? Other like Wounded Knee and
Horseshoe Bend are firmly inscribed in the popular imagination.
Today I want to reexamine the tragic history of Indian Removal in
the United States, with particular emphasis on the famous and infamous
“Trail of Tears” traversed by the Cherokees. The phrase
“Trail of Tears” only gained currency after the event
and may derive from the Cherokee retroflexive phrase “The
Trail where we cried.” It might also be objectively termed
“The Trail of Death.”
When we think
of the Trail of Tears and removal, we almost automatically fixate
on the Cherokees. However, Andrew Jackson’s Removal Act of
1830 extended well beyond the Cherokees and the four other Civilized
Tribes of the Southeast. The policy of removal encompassed almost
all Indian tribes in the Eastern United States, including such groups
as the Delawares, the Seneca-Cayugas, Wyandots, Ottawas, Miamis,
Pottawatomies, Chippewas, Menominees, and Winnebagos, all of whom
possessed land or other assets that stood in the way of American
expansion. Indeed, one can question why the literature on removal
and current Federal legislation mandating additional research on
the Trail of Tears concentrates so much on the Cherokee experience
and slights other forcibly removed Civilized Tribes – the
Choctaws, Muskogees, Chickasaws, and Seminoles – let alone
all the other groups I’ve mentioned.
designated the Trail of Tears a national historical pathway in 1987,
there were many undocumented sectors. The collaborative work of
professional scholars and dedicated members of this (Trail of Tears)
Association has filled in many of the gaps. However, we still don’t
know much about the beginning or end of the Trail. Archaeologist,
Brett Riggs (2006) has clarified the situation in Western North
Carolina by detailed excavations of individual homesteads, public
buildings, traces of wagon roads, and he has correlated these data
with written evidence from maps, census data, property lists and
evaluations of improvements. In addition, Riggs has located the
sites of many of the “forts” or detention centers where
the Cherokees were collected prior to departure West. Some of these
centers in Georgia and Alabama were closely guarded formidable stockades
whereas the ‘collection forts’ in North Carolina and
Tennessee tended to be more open and permitted more access back
and forth to the homestead and hunting grounds. Missionaries held
services for their flocks inside and outside these forts. But despite
often good intentions, conditions in the forts were squalid, rations
were spare, and the forts were vectors of disease. Many Cherokees
perished before the march commenced, and others departed for the
West in a weakened state that made them susceptible to disease.
are usually thought to terminate at Fort Gibson or Park Hill. However,
resettlement in the Indian Territory was much more complex. It can
best be understood in terms of social class and towns of origin.
Some Treaty Party émigrés had scouted out the territory
prior to Removal and shared much of the more productive bottom land
and pasturage with the Old Settlers who had previously emigrated
voluntarily. Traditionalists tried to approximate their previous
situation by moving to remote “hollows” in the Ozark
outcropping. These localities bear a superficial similarity to the
Southern Appalachian homelands, but differences in rainfall make
the two ecosystems quite divergent. When I first toured these areas
in the mid-1960s with the late Robert K. Thomas as my guide, it
was possible to guess where different groups originated from in
the East by analysis of dialect geography. This is no longer possible
because of language loss and internal and external migration. Most
of the 70 or so invisible named communities that Albert Wahrhaftig
mapped in the mid 1960s continue to exist, but today these settlements
are less isolated, less impoverished, and more visible. In short,
more research is needed on the points of origination and termination
of the Trail of Tears.
At this juncture,
I’d like to comment briefly on the commemoration of historical
landmarks. We are very much concerned these days with landmarks,
with sacred sites, and with relations between places and spaces,
as manifested in trails, pathways, roads, historic corridors, canals,
and waterways. These spatial nodes are often associated with the
passage of historical time, usually marked by centenaries. Thus,
in the 1930s, to memorialize its 400th anniversary, scholars attempted
to retrace De Soto’s lethal trail of disease and destruction
through the Southeast. John R. Swanton, eminent ethnologist of the
Smithsonian, published a learned monograph on De Soto’s route.
Historic markers were duly erected and stamps were issued to celebrate
the quadracentennial of De Soto’s journey. De Soto was elevated
into something of a national icon, even though by accounts he was
a treacherous, brutal, and greedy scoundrel. A car company already
had been named for him. Later models of the automobile were powered
by a predecessor of automatic transmission called “fluid drive”
– an ironic touch since De Soto’s personal journey ended
in a watery grave in the Mississippi. He was accompanied in death
by the slaughter of the expedition’s remaining horses, lest
they be captured by the Indians. Horses had terrorized the natives;
the course of history might have taken some slightly different turns
had horses fallen into Indian hands at this early date.
by Charles Hudson and his associates reveals serious errors in Swanton’s
proposed routes. By orchestrating linguistic, archaeologic, cartographic,
and ethnohistoric research not only was De Soto’s entourage
re-routed, but important new interpretations of Native American
societies at the time of contact were revealed. These include De
Soto’s brief, but significant, contact with the ancestors
of the Cherokees. The value of multi-disciplinary approaches demonstrated
in the De Soto debates should carry over to our interpretation of
the later Trail of Tears.
Of late, the
National Park Service has been very active in the trail industry.
(See Unit 5 and its links to the
Park Service map of the Trail of Tears: http://imgis.nps.gov/national_historic_trails.html.)
The Natchez Trace is currently being surveyed, and the Park Service
is also developing the concept of historical corridors in the Southwest
and elsewhere. In my lifetime, I have seen Route 66 change from
a primary link between Chicago and Los Angeles to become an interrupted
roadway devoted to tourist kitsch and nostalgia for the early days
of automobile travel.
The recent bicentennial
of Lewis and Clark’s journey to the Pacific and back has occasioned
national celebration. Major museum exhibits and lavish catalogues
have been devoted to the Corps of Discovery. Documentary films by
Ken Burns and the National Geographic Society have reached a wide
audience. Numerous academic symposia have been held and many have
found their way into print, along with a surge of other scholarly
and popular publications. The epic journey has been raised to the
level of a defining moment in the history of the youthful America
Republic. All this publicity disguises the fact that by 1804 the
way west had already been blazed by fur trappers and Indians, without
whose assistance the exploring party would have been doomed to failure.
One interesting facet of the Lewis and Clark media blitz is that
it stimulated Native American responses and alternative interpretations
extending from the Sioux to the Confederated Salish Tribes. These
are serious commentaries that deserve attention.
of Lewis and Clark provide a useful transition to the meaning and
politics of Removal. The idea of an American trans-Mississippi West
that could serve as dumping ground for unwanted Indians only became
a practical reality after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. It was
this territory that Lewis and Clark were commissioned to survey
in terms of its potential for the American political economy. Some
Siouan peoples refer to Lewis and Clark’s journey up the Missouri
as “the beginning of sorrows,” a phrase that has a harmonic
resonance with “the trail of tears.” Also co-incidentally
William Clark would live to play an active role in implementing
removal policies as an Indian commissioner during Jackson’s
Ideas of Indian
Removal were at least as old as the founding of the American Republic.
Both Washington and Jefferson developed plans to civilize the Indians.
They argued that the Indians either had to settle down into an agrarian
life or disappear into an a-historic wilderness. Actual Indian removal
from their homelands was not a new phenomenon. In the Southeast
many of those who had not perished from newly introduced diseases
and chronic warfare were enslaved and were removed to the West Indies
where their ethnic identities, if not their genes, were eradicated.
We are just now beginning to appreciate the extent and severity
of the Indian slave trade of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
became clearly divided as to whether Indians could successfully
make the transformation into civilized life. The very term Civilized
Tribe is problematic, if not oxymoronic, and subject to various
interpretations. Can tribes truly be considered sovereign nations?
Is Civilization a permanent transformation or a thin veneer masking
essential tribalism? During the Civil War, there were wagers as
to whether the Confederate Cherokees or Cherokees fighting for the
Union would be the first to regress to scalping. Reformers, missionaries
and political Whigs, mostly from the Northeast and Middle Atlantic
states were optimistic about the ability of Indians to progress
to the blissful state of Civilization, but Southern Jacksonian Democrats
and residents of the recently settled Midwestern territories were
Lewis Cass (1782-1866)
helped to articulate the ideology that rationalized for many the
pro-Removal position. He did so in an influential 1830 article in
the widely read North American Review. Cass claimed authority as
an expert on Indians and Indian affairs by virtue of his active
involvement with Michigan Indians in his capacity as territorial
governor and before that his earlier career as an Indian fighter.
Cass also systematically collected information on native languages
and cultures through interviews and questionnaires, many of which
were collected and collated by his assistant, Charles Trowbridge.
This research never materialized into the intended book, but the
scattered materials are a treasure trove for ethnohistorians.
Cass was convinced
that language determined the structure of thought and that Indians
were unable to distinguish the abstract from the concrete. They
maintained a hunter’s mentality and were felt to be incapable
of logical reasoning. [I should note that in this he was not so
different from other early students of Native American languages
and culture – for instance the Cherokee language was thought
to be primitive because of its proliferation of pronouns and verbal
forms, supposedly 14 forms for expressing “to wash”;
and Lewis Henry Morgan believed that generalized or classificatory
kin terms were more primitive than specific or descriptive terms.]
a universal stage theory for human social development. The Hunter
Stage was one that Europeans had long since passed through. Indians,
or more specifically Indian men, were stuck in the Hunter Stage.
This natural condition, he felt, was despoiled by the fur trade,
alcohol abuse, and accumulation of debts, all of which led to increase
in warfare and forced sale of lands. Once pacified the hunter fell
into a dismal condition of unrelenting poverty, excessive drinking,
and personal corruption. There was an undeniable need for change,
but men, because of their linguistic deficiencies were fated to
remain in an irredeemable hunting stage of development. Cass, through
his solipsistic logic, provided a moral justification for Removal
and for the necessity of surrendering land to white agriculturalists
and industrialists. Cass’s theories reverberated with contemporary
racism and denied the reality that the Indian societies in question
were mostly based upon horticulture; he also ignored the considerable
progress that the Civilized Tribes had already achieved.
a position of power as Secretary of War under Jackson from 1831
to 1836. He was instrumental in enacting treaties and land cessions
with Indians and with carrying out the provisions of the 1830 Removal
Act. Cass’s political career continued as Minister to France,
Presidential Candidate in 1844, Senator from the new state of Michigan,
and Secretary of State during the critical years from 1857 to 1860
before the Civil War. Cass was clearly a key figure in Removal politics.
the underlying motives for advocating Removal rested on a complex
interplay of factors. First of all was the insatiable American appetite
for land. Land was a key to understanding the early U.S. political
economy. Land sale provided much of the financial support for the
Federal Government, which, except for some controversial tariffs
and special taxes, became a principal source of Federal income.
Land could not only be sold but could also be bestowed directly
as payment for military service and political favor. The notion
of land as a commodity was initially quite foreign to Indian thought
– a bit like the selling of air rights in urban centers today
– but Indians were soon forced into regarding land as alienable
are sometimes required to recite grocery lists of Indian “gifts”
to the white man, especially around Thanksgiving time. However,
the unspoken greatest gift of all was land, and, ironically, it
was that gift which endowed the Federal government’s endeavor
to oppress, defeat, and remove Indians. The stereotype of the “Indian
giver” is in serious need of revision. I await a qualified
economic historian to verify my argument that sale of Indian lands
subsidized the operation of the Federal Government. Land was primarily
valued for its agricultural potential. This was particularly true
in the South where King Cotton and slave labor had become ascendant
and where tobacco had long been a money crop since the settlement
of Jamestown. But timber and mineral resources were also in play.
The discovery of gold in the north Georgia mountains in 1827 precipitated
America’s first gold rush and further funded the urgency for
dispossessing Cherokees from the region. (For a map of the shrinking
Cherokee lands between 16th and 19th Centuries, see http://www.coretexts.org/cherokeelessons/gallery.htm).
and greed, vengeance was another strong motive for Removal. Many
whites in the backcountry had suffered grievous losses during the
Indian wars. Their slain kin were often unavenged, and the settlers
lived in chronic fear of potential Indian uprisings. Indian warfare
was regarded as barbarous, if not savage, and American settlers
resented foreign powers, like the English, French, and Spanish hiring
Indian mercenaries to launch surprise raids, spring sudden ambushes,
and take scalps. Indicative of this culture of terror is the little
known fact that blood curdling Indian war cries were appropriated
by John Sevier and his frontier militia and used to help turn the
tide of battle in the decisive victory against the English at King’s
Mountain during the American Revolution. These fearful war cries
later morphed into the Rebel Yell used by Confederates during the
other Southerners also hated the fact that many Cherokees were succeeding
so well in the civilizing process by establishing impressive plantations
and taking on aristocratic airs. They attributed Cherokee success
to their privileged status vis-à-vis the Federal Government
and to the special efforts by northern philanthropists, missionaries,
and do-gooders to educate the Indians and raise their standards
of living. Jealousy was a powerful factor on the local level, and
whites coveted not only Indian soil, but also the improvements made
to the land.
must be factored in when considering White motives for Indian removal.
The threat of a Black-Indian alliance constituted a pervasive fear
throughout the White power structure of the South. Separate Indian
Nations could serve as refuge areas for escaped slaves. This accounts
for the ferocity of the three Seminole Wars, conflicts that cost
the country dearly in money, men, and prestige. However, even among
the more “civilized” tribes, where a prosperous, progressive
upper class based upon slave labor was taking shape, the less wealthy,
traditionalist tribal members embraced a more inclusive view of
Blacks and other outsiders. This was particularly true of the Muskogees
and Seminoles and, to a lesser extent, the Cherokees. The legality
of the Cherokee Chief Shoeboots fathering children with one of his
slaves became a celebrated case for the Cherokee Supreme Court and
is brilliantly analyzed in Tiya Miles’ recent prize-winning
book, Ties that Bind (University of California Press, 2005).
The State of
Georgia, where the majority of Cherokees resided, led the fight
for Indian removal. The Compact of 1802 in which Georgia ceded its
western lands to allow the formation of the states of Alabama and
Mississippi, contained an agreement that the Federal Government
would extinguish Indian claims to land within the borders of Georgia.
The Federal Government acted in good faith and thousands of acres
of Creek and Cherokee lands were acquired through treaties.
the 1820s Georgians were irritated because a sizable Cherokee population
remained within the state’s northwestern corner. The other
twelve original colonies had apparently disposed of their Indian
problems. However, the formation of a feisty, independent, sovereign
Cherokee Nation with its own written constitution, courts, and government
further aggravated the Georgians who had difficulty accepting a
separate sovereign state within their sovereign state. States had
the right to contest Federal policies through the Acts of Nullification,
as invoked in South Carolina’s opposition to Federal tariffs.
Georgia began to challenge Federal rulings by harassing the Cherokees
in a variety of questionable legal maneuvers. For the most part,
the Federal Government failed to redress these wrongs. The U.S.
Supreme Court affirmed Cherokee sovereignty in two landmark cases,
but was powerless to enforce its decisions. Georgia’s harassment
succeeded in creating dissention in the Cherokee Nation. An influential
minority faction finally succumbed to what they envisioned as the
inevitable and signed the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, agreeing to
Removal. After a spirited debate this illegitimate treaty was ratified
by Congress after a close vote.
rallied behind their chief, John Ross, and resisted removal as long
as possible and eventually the Federal troops, augmented by the
Georgia militia, enforced emigration to the West.
We are familiar
with accounts of shock at being rounded up and placed in what are
often referred to as “concentration camps,” with intended
or unintended analogy to the Nazis. Being uprooted from one’s
familiar homeland, where one’s ancestor’s bones were
buried, and being treated as criminals or animals were horrific
experiences for many Cherokees. But the homeland was now under siege,
and the very integrity of the Cherokee culture and lifeways was
threatened. For some, removal was a way to escape their desperate
situation. Advanced descriptions of the Indian Territory, while
not edenic, nevertheless promised a chance to start over and get
away from the baleful influence of encroaching Whites. One contemporary
account of a physician, reported in the Silliman Journal, states
that after examining several hundred Cherokees just prior to departure,
he was surprised to find no symptoms of mental disorder or distress.
Many Cherokees seemed reconciled to Removal and felt it was time
to move on.
we all know, the journey West was disastrous. Despite the Federal
Government’s good intentions and heavy expenditures, amounting
to almost half of the Federal budget by some accounts, the Removal
was grossly mismanaged and under-supplied. Death was a recurrent
event and make-shift trail-side burials were the rule. Most people
traveled overland in wagons and on foot; some made part of the journey
in flimsy, overcrowded, insect infested keel boats and flat boats.
The travelers were subjected to the whims of the weather –
extreme drought with some detachments; tumultuous rains and swollen
rivers with others; and fierce winter blasts for many whose trails
wound northward through Kentucky and southern Illinois. And they
* * * *
Trail of Tears, while generally recognized as a sorrowful event,
received little public attention until recently. The 1938 centennial
was marked by the establishment of a park ten miles north of Cape
Girardeau. The one hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary saw the Trail
of Tears voted into the National Historic Trails System by Congress.
In 1989 a Two Day Parade was held in Tahlequah. Several other smaller
events also transpired. Some Cherokees expressed the feeling that
the Trail of Tears was best forgotten.
In 1993 the
Trail of Tears Association was founded. Despite some anxious ambivalences,
I hereby confess to being a card-carrying member of the Illinois
chapter of this association. I subscribe to its objectives and am
pleased with its accomplishments in raising public awareness about
the place of the Trail of Tears in America history. However, I remain
a bit uneasy about whom this organization is intended to serve.
Besides the presidential presence of my friend, Jack Baker, as a
founding father and several other strategically placed Cherokees,
the overwhelming majority of our membership is non-Native. Why haven’t
more Cherokees enrolled in this worthy association? Despite its
uncomfortable whiteness of being, the association sponsors useful
activities, promotes valuable research, and disseminates knowledge
in a variety of ways. We much confront the question of who the targeted
audience is for all this earnest, well-intentioned enterprise. Whose
tears are being shed and whose are being wiped away?
What I am trying
to suggest is that, while the Removal is certainly a pivotal event
in Cherokee history, its meaning, memory, and means of memorialization
may be quite different for Cherokees as compared to non-Cherokees.
There is a tendency to liken the Cherokee Removal to the Biblical
exodus, as did sympathetic contemporary white onlookers when the
entourage passed through their towns. Or to compare the Removal
to the Holocaust suffered by Jews, Gypsies, Gays and political prisoners
under the Nazi regime. Often the comparison seems uncanny: racial
persecution, confiscation of property, forced death marches, concentration
camps, and real or intended genocide.
Here I am reminded
of an incident that occurred soon after the National Park Service’s
fine exhibitions on the Trail of Tears was installed at Cherokee
Heritage Center in Tahlequah. I recall asking a Cherokee elder,
who will remain nameless, how he liked the exhibit with its memorabilia
and its striking white alabaster-like statues forlornly heading
west. After a bit of hesitation, he answered, “Well, it was
pretty good.” I probed a bit further and asked him how he
felt about the Removal, and he replied, “We haven’t
forgotten, but we don’t like to be reminded about it all the
time.” He seems to be saying in polite Cherokee fashion, “Thanks,
but no thanks, for the memories.” Ideas of vengeance, victimhood,
and reparation are muted. I doubt whether a similar reaction could
be elicited in a Jewish holocaust museum or in a mourning procession
for a Muslim suicide bomber.
written about the Removal as a kind of non-event for many Cherokees.
It was so horrible, so traumatic, so unbelievable, so undescribable
that in some ways, psychologically, it never happened and was pushed
out of consciousness. Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s sequential model
of reactions to death seems clearly applicable here. First, there
is denial, then there is anger, next there is a stage of negotiation
with reality, this is followed by depression, and finally there
is a stage of acceptance, resignation, and, as the Cherokees might
put it, “moving on.”
I find it significant
that we have so few Cherokee personal accounts of the Removal experience;
this despite the fact that many Cherokee elite were highly educated
and that traditionalists had access to Sequoyah’s syllabary
to record these events. In contrast, we have a plenitude of first-hand
accounts by accompanying soldiers and attendant missionaries, as
well as written impressions from White witnesses as the sad procession
wearily trudged westward. I grant that many Cherokees recollections
were transmitted orally, but these memories are subject to much
distortion and the kind of secondary rationalization that we usually
apply to bad dreams.
exception to the Cherokee disinclination to reflect on events surrounding
the Removal is the story of Tsali, or Charlie. According to legend,
Tsali and his sons killed a soldier who had rounded up their family
for removal and had been abusive to Tsali’s wife. The men
hid out in the mountain fastness near Deep Creek. Tsali and his
sons surrendered to a posse of Cherokees who were then ordered to
execute their prisoners. In return the Qualla band and Euchella’s
band were allowed to escape the Removal and remain in North Carolina.
The story of Tsali’s martyrdom was fashioned by James Mooney
after interviewing Will Thomas who supposedly engineered the capture.
Mooney’s interview took place long after the fact in a mental
asylum where Thomas was a patient. The story of Tsali’s martyrdom
was repeated widely and became almost an official part of Cherokee
history. It was a central episode in the outdoor drama Unto These
Hills, as well as a regular feature in popular versions of Cherokee
history. A few scholars doubted some of the details of the Tsali
story, as did many culturally conservative Cherokees and some local
whites. The consensus now is that Tsali was an outlaw who threatened
the rights of the Cherokee bands to remain in their mountainous
homeland. Tsali has been edited out of the newest production of
Unto These Hills. And the Tsali debate is revisited in Charles Frazer’s
Thirteen Moons, a new novel destined to be a best-seller. Again
we can ask whose version of the Trail of Tears is correct, and for
whom is history written?
of Tears” is something of a misnomer for the Cherokee understanding
of the Removal. According to Cherokee scholar Steven Woods, the
Cherokee word for the Removal is dig e tsi lv ski, which means “being
forced to move, impelled.” An accentuation of the first syllable
by a shift from di to ti translates more specifically as being prodded
or driven like animals or cattle. I can confirm these connotations
for the Eastern Cherokee where the term for Removal in reservation
English is “Drive away.” Many historical narratives
that I collected would start off, “Way back when the Indians
was a wearing diapers, before the Drive away.” “Diapers”
refers to the breechclout; it also suggests nakedness,the
childhood of the race, and the era before civilization.
or more specifically the march to the West, was a liminal period,
a time-out-of-time, a space-between-places. Liminality is characterized
by inversion, reversals, indeterminacy, categorical confabulation,
as in being betwixt and between two states or conditions, of being
neither fish nor fowl, human nor animal. The Trail of Tears was
filled with nightmarish terror, ambiguity and anomaly, an unstable
movement between life and death, between humanity and animality,
and between moments of rare kindness and raw brutality. During this
ordeal social distinctions became blurred, and sharing, sympathy,
and empathy became important survival skills.
There is an
unfortunate tendency to view the Cherokees as powerless pawns in
a larger game of power politics between different European nations
and between Federalism and States Rights, the same schism that would
later erupt into Civil War. However, the Cherokees did not regard
themselves as powerless and struggled mightily to forestall Removal.
Most peoples in times of distress do not necessarily succumb to
hopelessness or despair. It seems as if many Cherokees at the time
of Removal felt that they, and they alone, were responsible for
their situation. Perhaps, the thinking goes, if they hadn’t
sold their own traditional cultural birthright for a mess of civilizational
pottage, things might have worked out differently. With respect
to traditional belief, as woven into one of the principal wampum
belts, the Cherokees had strayed from the central white path, a
trail that extended from here and now (a ye li) to up above (galv
la ti) and were wandering off into the purplish darkness. Indeed,
a renowned Cherokee chief named White Path, from the pre-Removal
town of Ellijay, urged a return to the old ways before it was too
late, only to later die on the Trail. Perhaps the most ardent advocate
for rejecting the treacherous program of progress and assimilation
was Dragging Canoe, a war chief who led armed resistance from the
Chicamaugan towns until 1796.
We have to appreciate
the cosmological significance of what an irreversible journey to
the West meant to Cherokee traditionalists. The West symbolized
death – “where the sun set down,” where the spirits
of the deceased departed this world for another, although the dead
might linger as ghosts and sometimes returned to lend their invisible
presence to ceremonial occasions among the living. The directional
color coding for the West was black. But the West was also an active
force from which tumultuous weather originated. The West challenged
and tested human endurance, as the Trail of Tears tested Cherokee
mortality rates of the Removal occurred among the traditionalists,
especially those who traveled overland in the dead of winter. They
suffered from lack of medical care, insufficient supplies, a shortage
of wagons, rotten meat and spoiled flour provided by corrupt government
contractors, two few blankets, and unsatisfactory shelter from the
inclement weather. Those who left early, including most members
of the Treaty Party, made much of the trip by boat and suffered
few deaths. The earlier detachments led by Federal troops fared
somewhat better than the later Cherokee-organized contingents conducted
by local town leaders. Boats were not a preferred mode of travel
for traditionalists, since rivers were pathways to the chaotic underworld,
an area filled with deadly monsters. Their fears about boats received
indirect confirmation when it was observed that the ill and infirm
were transferred to river boats to continue the trip westward.
was tremendous, but was borne with minimal complaint and a quiet
dignity. As mentioned previously, the dead were buried in simple
graves along the route or in nearby cemeteries without proper funerary
procedure being performed. The heroic missionaries who accompanied
the emigrants West offered the last rites where possible, but the
souls of the dead still haunted the living and sought vengeance
for their plight.
Edwardo Duran has written about wounds of the soul that are transmitted
across generation as a chronic source of affliction. The unresolved
pathos of the Trail of Tears may have left a permanent scar on the
Cherokee psyche. Some contemporary members of the Eastern Band of
Cherokees attribute the raging pandemic of diabetes to disturbances
of the bones of the deceased by insensitive archaeologists. Bones
of the dead are thought to contain a residuum of life force and
potentiality for reincarnation, like seeds planted in the soil.
* * * *
of the Trail of Tears has taken many detours. I’ve raised
some difficult questions about why the Trail of Tears continues
to wind through our minds today. In attempting to sketch something
of a moral history of the Removal, I’ve tried to bring Cherokee
voicing to the issues. However, as a cultural ventriloquist, I leave
much to be desired. Nevertheless, I believe integrity and survival
of Cherokee culture is what is at stake in discussions of the Trail
embraces continuities and discontinuities, consensus and contradictions.
As such, it is a vibrant, living entity. Principal Chief Chad Smith
recently said, the great legacy of the Cherokee Nation is as a tribal
people who “face adversity, survive, adapt, prosper and excel.”
In Oklahoma in the 1960s the elders related a prophecy on this earth
as a distinctive people. If they cease to exist as a separate people,
the Creator’s design will be destroyed, and the world will
come to an end. By being Cherokees and upholding Cherokee-ness,
the Cherokees insure that the world will continue.
in North Carolina, I encountered a similar sentiment attributed
to Walker Calhoun, an eighty-eight year old spiritual leader who
has been instrumental in reviving traditional dancing and ceremonialism
at his square ground on Raven’s Rock at the head of Big Cove.
When organizing the ground some sixteen years ago, he envisioned
his endeavor as a last chance for his followers. They had the choice
of being Cherokees or becoming just another forgotten brown race
in the South. They chose the former.
University of Chicago
By permission of the Trail of Tears Association
“Ancient Village” at the Cherokee Heritage Center and
Pre-contact Ways of Life
• As you
examine the text below on the Ancient Village at the Cherokee Heritage
Center, can you connect the discussion here to parts of Professor
Fogelson’s on the History and Culture of Cherokee Removal?
• Try to imagine an answer to this question by connecting
Fogelson’s essay and Professor Gardener’s essay, below:
Why would a Cherokee village represent “sacred space”?
If a village is sacred, then everything might be sacred in the town.
What, do you imagine, would likely be accorded special reverence?
• Can you see the political and clan distinctions that Professor
Fogelson used in organizing Cherokee society before Pre-contact
used in Professor Gardener’s essay, below?
this lesson, students will be able to
a pre-contact ancient Cherokee Village
• Relate the space of the Ancient Village to the history and
sacred practices of Cherokee culture before contact with Europeans
• Describe the political and clan distinctions used to organize
Cherokee society in Pre-contact times.
is a reconstructed village of the Cherokee people representing a
picture of village life pre-contact with European peoples. The palisade
which you view in the picture is not so much for defense as it is
intended to mark sacred space.
Among the structures
included inside the palisade were a Council House an O Si Lodge
(see OSI button, http://www.coretexts.org/cherokeelessons/osi.htm),
a Stomp Grounds surrounded by seven arbors (one for each one of
the clans) and a few houses. The houses of the other villagers were
situated near the town center.
The Cherokees were an egalitarian society, but with defined
roles for men and women. In prehistoric times, there was an
estimated population of over 30,000 Cherokee spread out over
an area of the Southern Appalachians in what are now parts
of North and South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. (For a
map of the original extent of Cherokee-settled territory around
the 16th Century, see http://www.coretexts.org/cherokeelessons/gallery.htm).
life centered around towns in 4 major areas referred to Lower,
Middle, Valley and Overhill towns.
to Ancient Village at Cherokee Heritage Center
House served as a central location where tribal members could gather
and make decisions or hold ceremonies. (See Council House button,
Generally the council house was open to men only, but there were
exceptions when women could participate. The Council House was constructed
in the round giving each member equal status in addressing the group.
The town served as a location for the Cherokee to gather in the
Council House, to dance on the Stomp Grounds and to meet other visiting
A Cherokee not
only had allegiance to his town, but also to his clan. Clan affiliation
existed between towns, and clan members could expect hospitality
or aid from other clan members when visiting other towns. Clan affiliation
was matrilineal and probably extended to the election of the Peace
Chief. War Chiefs were selected by council and were only in power
during times of war. (See Politics button, http://www.coretexts.org/cherokeelessons/politics.htm).
in the fields and were responsible for them. Women often controlled
crops their labor produced and traders would barter with the women
for their crops. Town boundaries or territorial boundaries were
not strictly defined and so affiliation by clan took on added significance.
Members of one clan were not allowed to marry within their own clan
and therefore men often traveled to other towns to find a woman
to marry. This practice strengthened ties not only between towns
but between clans. In old age, some men would move back to the village
of their birth. Also in old age, some women were allowed a greater
voice in politics and allowed to speak in the council house. (See
to Women and Deliberation pdf )
It is not easy
to generalize about Cherokee lifeways as life in each town area
could differ according to the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Often
each town's lifestyle was in response to the area in which they
lived so that those people who lived by the rivers had a different
way of life than those who lived in the mountains. Towns for the
Cherokee did not serve the same purpose as towns in a European sense:
as a seat of government, as a place of defense or a space where
a group of people could live together, but rather they were places
to gather, to hold ceremonies and to provide a locale where organized
social interaction could take place. Language and clan affiliation
were more of the glue that held Cherokee society together than a
set of laws or central government. The Cherokee would hold ceremonies
or dances to celebrate the occasion of first harvest, such as the
Green Corn Dance, or perform the Eagle Dance to cement friendships,
to make peace or to recount the deeds of courageous warriors.
contact the Cherokee were the only Native American tribe to develop
their own alphabet. The three letters in the logo used on this website
signify "calaki", the Cherokee's name for themselves.
The Cherokee also possessed a written constitution and learned how
to lobby Congress and to plead their cases in the Supreme Court.
Early travelers were impressed with the sophistication of the Cherokee
and their ability to readily adapt to changing conditions. In 1725,
a noted Cherokee, Long Warrior, stated: “they (the Cherokee)
have been brought up after another manner than their forefathers
and…they must consider that they could not live without the
efforts to adapt to the white man’s lifestyle, disease and
predation greatly depleted the Cherokee population by the time that
DeSoto contacted them around 1541 and caused a reorganization of
tribal government. The ultimate insult came in 1830 in the form
of the Removal Act authorized by President Jackson, which forced
the Cherokee to move to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, known to history
as the infamous “Trail of Tears”. All claims to land
granted by treaty to the Cherokee, even the treaty from Georgia
upheld by the Supreme Court, were ignored.
A tribute to
the resilience of the Cherokee is the fact that their culture has
survived and their population rebounded. Ancient Village is not
only a way for their children to learn the ancient lifeways, but
for all people to learn. Ruth Muskrat Bronson, author of “Indians
are People Too”, commented on the need for the Cherokee (and
all tribes) to become self-sufficient when she stated "[We
need]...to get the Indians to think and act for themselves and not
let a government, however beneficent, think for them...we must stop
trying to make Indian communities into little replicas of our own..."
Questions for Analysis:
For all questions
you should support your arguments by interpreting evidence from
Does being egalitarian mean being equal in all things? Does having
defined roles for men and women mean that you are depriving one
or the other of individual rights or does it mean that you are recognizing
abilities that are best suited for different roles?
What factors would you use to determine if one form of government
is better than another? What advantages does the Council House have
in promoting a good government?
What role does culture play in promoting self-identity and a sense
Saint Mary’s College of California
Questions for Discussion using the textual sources below to extend
show the role that oral stories and speeches played in Cherokee
life. Imagine the stories being told. Where in the Village might
that happen? Why there?
What is important
about deliberations and who talks in pre-contact Cherokee society?
What does that tell you about the way a people acts and what it
thinks? Why might these ways of thinking and acting be important
for 19th, 20th, and 21st Century Cherokee?
Questions: Connecting the Lessons Together
Fogelson’s interpretation of the Haiwatha – Adodarhonah
story in Meredith as forming the basis for replacement ceremonies
for leaders. Now turn to Steven Woods’ Unit 3 and his lecture,
Story-telling Traditions: Forming Identity, Building Community.
Woods argues that story-telling is a part of making Indian or any
group’s identity. Do you think Fogelson is speaking about
identity in speaking about the story as a basis for installing new
leaders of a tribe? What – if anything -- does the story’s
reliance on the phrase “Wipe Away the Tears” say about
the identity of a people and a leader?
Questions above, we said: “Professor Fogelson seems to think
that “civilizing” Indian tribes was controversial among
both whites and Indians. Can you understand what “civilizing”
seemed to mean in the 19th Century? Can you see likenesses and differences
between Indian, particularly Cherokee, views of civilizing and white
views of civilizing?” Look over Professor Clark’s Unit
3. Do you think that Professor Fogelson’s argument on views
of civilizing is another aspect of Professor Clark’s “dual
states above that he “believe(s that) integrity and survival
of Cherokee culture is what is at stake in discussions of the Trail
of Tears.” Yet, if you look over Robert Conley’s lecture
in Unit 7, or, perhaps, Julia Coates’ second lesson in Unit
4, you might see why it is so difficult for Cherokees and other
Americans to discuss this chapter of U.S. and Cherokee history.
After thinking about this Unit 1, Unit 4 and 7, and the materials
on education (Unit 6) and arts (Unit 8) you find on this website
or elsewhere, try this question: Why does it seem so difficult for
everyone – Cherokees and other Americans -- to speak about
and discuss the Trail of Tears, and is it ever possible for a people
to incorporate such a history and yet recover and grow as a living
culture after it?
James Mooney. “Myths of the Cherokee.” From Nineteenth
Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part
I.  “Origin of Disease and Medicine”
Cosmogonic Myths, no. 4 or also available in _________. _________.
Dover Publications, p. 250-252.[Link
to The Origin of Disease and Medicine pdf.]
Woodward, The Cherokees, pp. 40-45, on Cherokee war council deliberations
and the practices inside the Council or Town House and the role
of oratory. Also, on the role of women in decision-making in the
councils, at the time of contact with European settlers.
to Women and Deliberation pdf.]
by Oklahoma University Press: