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In the hope of avoiding removal from their much coveted homelands in the Southeast, the Cherokees began to adopt broad aspects of Anglo-American culture in the early nineteenth century. Despite their general acquiescence to government policies and their efforts to fulfill the expectations of white philanthropists, the Cherokees ultimately fared worse than less acculturated native peoples in similar circumstances. In 1838 Cherokees in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina were forced at gunpoint to leave their homes, farms, schools, and churches. Their demoralizing journey to a reservation in the Oklahoma Territory—during which thousands died or were killed—came to be known as the Trail of Tears.
The first interdisciplinary survey of Cherokee removal, this volume brings together essays by eight prominent scholars (including three of Cherokee descent) in the fields of history, geography, sociology, and law. They address such topics as Cherokee politics, class structure, and land-use patterns before the removal; Andrew Jackson's Indian policies; Cherokee population losses; the effects of removal on the few Cherokees allowed to remain in North Carolina; and the Cherokees' immediate and long-term problems following their relocation.
The most current general work on the causes and effects of the Cherokee removal, this volume is certain to stimulate the continuing debate on United States Indian policy and to encourage further study.
Posted July 5, 2001
Cherokee Removal: Before and After is a book that everyone interested in the facts of the Trail of Tears should have in his or her library as a reference. The book is well-researched and presented from a totally unbiased point of view. It is an excellent reference book. The only thing I found lacking in this tome is that it does not tell the complete story and some very important maps are missing. If one's only concern is the Removal as it pertains to the state of Georgia, then it is an outstanding compilation. However, if one's interest lies in the last land holdings of the Cherokee Nation prior to the Removal and the history of that area, which is now known as Bradley and Polk Counties, Tennessee, the researcher will find it sadly lacking. Only brief and sketchy mention is made of that area, which was also the beginning point of the Removal. The reader should bear in mind that the book was compiled and written at the University of Georgia and printed at the University of Georgia Press; so its primary concern is the Removal as it pertains to Georgia. For this reason, the title is somewhat misleading. Perhaps a better title would be 'Cherokee Removal from Georgia: Before and After.' In spite of the fact that the authors could have been more comprehensive geographically, it should be considered as an essential for any Trail of Tears reference library.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.