List of Readings and Description of Activities
of the Workshop
DAY 1: Historical Overview of Cherokee History and the
Place of Myths in Cherokee Thought
The opening lecture will begin with Native American History and
the Cherokee Place in It.
Texts: Howard Meredith A Short History of the Native Americans
in the United States. Participants should read entire book
before first day. Concentrate on pp. 3-4, 9-13, 16-17, 20-29, 34-42,
44-47, which focus upon the Five Civilized Tribes, including Cherokee
experiences leading up to the late 19th Century.
Afternoon: The Cherokee Language and Origin Myths.
Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee. Dover Publications,
1995. (Reprint of Mooney’s 1900 Nineteenth Annual Report of
the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution: 1897-98.) “How the World Was Made,” p. 239-240.
Meredith, Howard and Virginia Sobral, editors. Cherokee Vision
of Elohi. Oklahoma City: Noksi Press, 1997. p. 33-38.
Cherokee First Fire Stories --
Mooney., p. 240-241.
Hastings Shade. Myths, Legends, and Old Sayings -- Self-published
Kathi Smith Littlejohn -- Cherokee Legends I (audio recording) and
text in Living Stories of the Cherokee, (edited by Barbara Duncan)
Gregg Howard -- audio and video recording (Rich Heape Productions)
Kilpatrick, Jack F. and Anna G. Kilpatrick. Friends of Thunder:
Folktales of the Oklahoma Cherokees. Norman OK: University
of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
p. 129-134. "A New Version of a Classic: The Origin of Corn."
This story of first man and first woman. Selu (the Lucky Hunter)
and Kanati (Corn), appear throughout Cherokee stories, ceremony,
and artistic expression.
p. 50-56. "Uk'ten Stories: The Friendship of Thunder."
Different versions illustrate nature of oral history.
p. 35-37. "Cherokee Uncle Remus: The Rabbit and the Image."
99-101. "Tseg'sgin' Stories: Falling for an Old Trick."
DAY 2: The European Thought Which Colonists Brought to
North America and to the Revolution, and Early Post-Revolutionary
Responses by the Cherokee
Morning lecture: "Religious, Philosophic, Political and Historical
Views that the Colonists Brought to the North America and to the
Revolution, and Cherokee and Native American Responses."
Exodus 1-4; 13:17-14:31; 19:1-20:21; Num 13 1-28; 33 50-56;
Locke, Second Treatise on Government, Chapter 5, Of Property,
De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (Harper Collins)
Author’s preface to mid p. 9-12, Chap 2, pp.31-36 mid; 38 mid to
Review of p. 36-38 in Elohi.
Ehle’s, The Trail of Tears, Chief Old Tassel’s reply to
demands by colonials for more lands, p. 18-19.
The Declaration of Independence.
Tecumseh in Meredith, Short History, p. 128;
Mooney, James. Myths…p. 108-114 a succinct, still accurate, summary
of the development of Sequoia’s Cherokee language syllabary, the
rise of literacy and newspapers among the Cherokee, the rise of
Boudinot and Ross, and the development of a Constitution among the
The Cherokee Constitution of 1827. http://www2.volstate.edu/cbucy/History%202030/Documents/Cherokee%20Constitution-Doc52.htm
George W. Hawkins (Choctaw), “Letter to the American People in the
Niles Weekly Register,” v. 45, 25 Feb 1832, p. 480.
De Tocqueville, Democracy, “The Present State and the Probable
Future of the Indian Tribes Inhabiting the Territory of the United
States,” p.321-340, including an abridged version of the Cherokee
petition to Congress of 1829 concerning the encroachment in Georgia
upon Cherokee land.
Afternoon: Discussion sessions.
DAY 3, The Trail of Tears
Morning Lecture: "The Trail of Tears." A History based
on the Chad Smith course taught at Dartmouth College. We examine
the documentary history of events and judicial decisions that preceded
the removal to Western lands, known as the Trail of Tears.
Texts: The legal documents preceding removal:
De Tocqueville, 1829 Cherokee petition to Congress (see above).
Selections from the Indian Removal Act of 1830, and Worcester v.
Georgia (1832), in Meredith, Short History, 85-91.
Theodore Fre[y]linghuysen, from New Jersey. Indian Removal Debate
1830; Theodore Frelinghuysen, Speech Before the Senate. Part 1.
President Andrew Jackson’s publicly and widely published letter
to the Cherokee urging their removal from their lands, April 7,
1835, in Ehle, Trail of Tears, 275-278.
Wilkins, Thurman, Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the
Decimation of a People. Chapter 11 and first part of 12: “The
Treaty of New Echota” and “Honey Creek,” pp 264-293 (29pp).
Perdue, Theda, ed. Cherokee Editor: The Writings of Elias Boudinot.
Knoxville: The University of Georgia Press, 1983, 1996, "Selections
from the Cherokee Phoenix" read p. 108-145. Includes
Boudinot’s analysis of whether “nature” or social conditions in
the United States are aiding or thwarting Cherokee attempts to adapt
their way of life to “civilization.” Also, pp 162-174.
Archival materials at the Cherokee Heritage Center. All letters
are believed to be heretofore unpublished. Post-1838 materials will
pertain to the reverberations of the Trail of Tears within the post-removal
- Letter, Lewis Ross to John M. Ross (son), November 18, 1835,
informing family of the arrest of John Ross and [John Howard]
- Letter, Lewis Ross to sons, May 23, 1836, informing family
of the ratification of the New Echota treaty.
- Letter, Lewis Ross to John M. Ross (son), March 1, 1837, regarding
vote on how to dispose treaty money.
- Letter, Lewis Ross to John, Arminita, and Robert, June 27,
1837, discussing the “fraudulent” treaty with the hopes to change
minds or get a new treaty.
- Providence Journal, March 15, 1838, John Ross letter denouncing
the treaty and insisting that he, John Ross, has no desire to
cause the extermination of the Cherokee people.
Contemporary testimony concerning the Trail of Tears removal:
From the CHC Archives:
- Essex Register, May 31, 1838, Letter to the editor from Major
Ridge and John Ridge regarding treatment of the Cherokees.
- Petition from the Cherokees to General Scott, June 11, 1838:
“This thing just ain’t right!”
- Cherokee complaint against the conduct of Benjamin F. Currey,
Superintendent of Cherokee removal.
Rozema, Vicki, Voices from the Trail of Tears. Chapters
11-13, “Until the Sickly Season Should Pass Away, July 1838,”
(letters of Chief John Ross, General Winfield Scott, and Resolution
of Cherokee Nation), “For the Comfort and Well Being of this
People, Summer 1838” (letters of John Page and list of physicians
and steps employed in camps), “The Sadness of the Heart, August
1838,” (letter from Cherokee leader William Shorey Cooley to
John Howard Payne on departure of a land detachment.)
Butrick, Daniel S. Rev., The Journal of Rev. Daniel S. Butrick,
May 19, 1838-April 1, 1839. Journal entries on the Trail
crossing into Illinois and across the Mississippi, Thursday,
December 13, 1838 to February 12, 1839.
Journal entries of those on the Trail of Tears as found in Indian
Removal (U. of OK Press, Norman, 1932, 11th printing 1989) Grant
Foreman: the Rev. Evan Jones account, originally published in
the contemporary Baptist Missionary Magazine of the
round-up of Cherokee from their homes to collections centers.
Lectures, discussions and readings will be accompanied by touring
the Trail of Tears exhibit at the Cherokee
Heritage Center. And, the Trail of Tears drama will be staged in
Day 4: Reverberations and Recovery:
Morning Lecture: "Recrimination, and Rebuilding and Recovery"
Archival Materials from the CHC on the Ridge murders post-removal
9. Lewis Ross to John M. Ross, February 9, 1841, regarding
conspiracy to kill Ross faction leaders and appointment of guards.
10. Eliza Jane Ross to [Uncle] John Ross, June 28, 1842, referring
to “outrageous Stand Watie” with a negative outlook on his followers.
The Women’s Seminary and Importance of Education to the Cherokee:
Recollections drawn from the Oklahoma Indian-Pioneer Papers (a WPA
project that collected accounts of the past in the late 1930s),
first-person narratives compiled by Maggie Culver Fry in her Cherokee
Female Seminary Years: A Cherokee National Anthology (1988),
two videotape interviews conducted by historian Brad Agnew with
seminarians about twenty-five years ago;
records and documents in the archives of the Cherokee National Historical
Society and archives and special collections department of Northeastern
State University, which include period newspapers, and correspondence,
Cherokee and U.S. government records.
Selections Devon Mihesuah's, Cultivating the Rosebuds: The Education
of Women at the Cherokee Female Seminary, 1851-1909 (1993)
Ida Tinnin, “Educational and Cultural Influences of the Cherokee
Seminary” Chronicles of Oklahoma, v 37, Sp., ’59, pp. 59-67; discusses
shaping influences upon students of the seminary.
There are few recorded "family stories" of the Trail
of Tears. However, in the 20h Century, historians began to examine
the Trail of Tears, and one source of materials – aside from extensive
written records – were tape recordings made in the 30’s and 70’s
of descendants’ of the Trail who had received stories from their
grandparents and great grandparents. Beginning in the 40’s and picking
up steam in the 70’s, artists began to portray and narrate events
of it. Quite truly, an important moment in this artistic cultural
resurgence was the establishment of the Cherokee Heritage Center
with the writing of the “Trail of Tears” drama.
Texts: Robert Conley’s novel, Mountain Windsong – a romance
set in the backdrop of the Trail of Tears.
Selected poetry from: Echoes of Our Being, ed. by Robert J. Conley,
published 1982 by Indian University Press, Bacone College, Muskogee,
OK; contains poems by Robin Coffee, Pat Moss, Julie Moss, Wilma
5th Day Contemporary Cherokee in the United States and Education
for the Nation’s Future.
Lecture and Tour: "After the Trail: Contemporary Cherokee
Joan Hill. Painter – enrolled Muscogee Nation, Cherokee descent
– Muskogee, OK. Bessie Russell. Basket weaver – Cherokee Nation
– Rose, OK. Dorothy Sullivan. Painter – Cherokee Nation – Norman,
OK. Willard Stone (1916-1985) – wood and bronze sculptor – NTA Cherokee
– Locust Grove, OK.
Afternoon Lectures and Final Discussions: Cherokee Culture and
Native American History in Liberal Arts Education