Trail of Tears across Missouri

Overview

As settlers moved beyond the eastern seaboard during the early nineteenth century, the government forced thousands of American Indians from their ancestral lands. The Cherokees, the largest and most important tribe in the Southeast, fought exile with a combination of passive resistance and national publicity for their plight. Because they had successfully resisted the government's efforts to move them from their homeland, their removal was particularly brutal when it finally came. The Trail of Tears across ...

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Overview

As settlers moved beyond the eastern seaboard during the early nineteenth century, the government forced thousands of American Indians from their ancestral lands. The Cherokees, the largest and most important tribe in the Southeast, fought exile with a combination of passive resistance and national publicity for their plight. Because they had successfully resisted the government's efforts to move them from their homeland, their removal was particularly brutal when it finally came. The Trail of Tears across Missouri is a moving account of the 1837-1838 removal of the Cherokees from the southeastern United States to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

After providing an overview of the Cherokees' life in the Southeast and of the events leading up to their exile, Joan Gilbert traces the mass exodus state by state from Tennessee to Arkansas. Successive chapters highlight the experiences and the hardships endured by those forced to travel with inadequate supplies of food, clothing, and transportation. It is estimated that four thousand Cherokees, nearly a quarter of the tribe, died.

In bringing the grim realities of the forced march to life, Gilbert draws from such primary sources as letters, newspaper stories, and the writings of missionaries, guides, and doctors who accompanied them. She focuses on the Cherokees' experiences as they passed through Missouri, using the journals of Dr. W. I. I. Morrow and guide B. B. Cannon.

In addition to chronicling the removal of the Cherokees, Gilbert also brings the story up to date by describing how the nation lives today and how the Trail of Tears has been commemorated.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"When . . . no alternative remained to them as a nation but death or removal, they seemed not to hesitate saying It is death anyhow. We may as well die here.'. . . They cling to the graves of their fathers and say, Let us die with them . . . if we leave . . . these hills and vales, this mountain air, we shall sicken and die.'"--Sophia Sawyer, missionary and teacher of the Cherokees

Library Journal
In a new series written on a fifth-grade level that aims to attract new adult readers, freelance writer Gilbert retells the tragic story of the removal of the Cherokees from their established homes in the southeastern United States to the Indian Territory that is now Oklahoma. The Indian Removal Bill was narrowly passed in Congress in 1830 during Andrew Jackson's presidency. The enforced exodus in 1837-38 that resulted was a tragic moment in our country's history, during which about one-quarter of the Cherokees died en route. The work is readable and interesting, with a style that is not juvenile. This title would be an excellent addition to both school and public libraries with an interest in Native American or Midwest cultural history.-Dorothy Lilly, Grosse Pointe North H.S. Lib., Mich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826210630
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1996
  • Series: Missouri Heritage Readers Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 1,389,549
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

A resident of Hallsville, Missouri, Joan Gilbert is the author of two novels and more than six hundred articles, twenty for which she received first-place literary awards.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Cherokee Home in the East 5
2 Countdown to Removal 17
3 Forced Removal Begins 27
4 The Trail of Tears 37
5 Crossing Missouri 56
6 Arkansas and Beyond 76
7 Founding a New Home 85
8 Preserving Cherokee History 92
9 Commemorating the Trail of Tears 102
Missouri Sites on the Trail of Tears 109
For More Reading 111
For More Information 115
Index 117
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