Western Experience: Native American Displaced Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1113 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Native Americans


The chorus of voices of people wanting to strip us of our homes seems overwhelming: land speculators, eastern settlers who fear us, and missionaries who worried that we could corrupt their neighbors (Sherfy, 2003).

Perhaps one of the most aggravating things about being relocated is the dehumanizing manner in which we have been treated. The Removal Act, which was supported by President Andrew Jackson, allowed the president to set up districts within the Indian Territory. However, in order to ease the conscience of the American people, the act was supposed to provide funds to the people who had been removed, including money for resettlement, protection in their new settlements, and care for us (Sherfy, 2003). The reality was much uglier.

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Our removal was authorized by the Treaty of New Echota, which was not never accepted by our tribal leaders or by a majority of our people, and, therefore, could hardly be characterized as an actual treaty. However, we had been experiencing escalating conflicts in Georgia. These conflicts became worse with the discovery of gold in Georgia in 1829, which led to the first Gold Rush in American history. This led to speculators encroaching on our land, and a drive to take over our lands. The state of Georgia also extended their law over our lands. While that effort was unsuccessful, it led to Georgia, along with Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama to round up a military force composed of militia, army members, and volunteers and they rounded us up in concentration camps to move us west.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Western Experience: Native American Displaced Assignment

It is impossible to describe the conditions in those camps to one who has not seen it. It was cold there and we were denied access to warm clothing. There was not enough food to feed us. Disease was rampant; we were living in much closer quarters than normal, and even the slightest illness became an epidemic. While we were confined to the concentration camp, this "army" burned our homes and destroyed and plundered our property. Then, white settlers got to enter into a lottery to "win" property that had been in Cherokee lands for generations, all while my people were starving, hungry, ill, and freezing to death. Moreover, these settlers were oftentimes aware of our circumstances, and simply did not care as we were seen as barriers to them getting our land.

In the winter of 1838, they began forcing us to march. Most of us had on little clothing. We were forced to walk, even though most of us did not have any shoes. We were given used blankets from a Tennessee hospital where small pox had broken out, making disease even more of a problem. We were not allowed into towns or villages as we traveled, then charged money to cross a river by ferry. So many of us died huddled under a shelter bluff, waiting to cross on the ferry. While we traveled, whites killed many of us, and were not only not punished for doing so, but rewarded for killing us.


Edmunds, R.D. (2006, March 14). "Native American displacement amid U.S. expansion."

Prelude to War: Manifest Destiny. Retrieved March 15, 2012 from PBS Website


Sherfly, M. (2003). "Indian removal." Dictionary of American History. Retrieved March 15,

2012 from Encyclopedia.com website: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401802044.html [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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