Documents of American Indian Removal

Documents of American Indian Removal

by Donna Martinez


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This powerful collection of documents illumines the experiences of the original people of the United States during American Indian removal, offering readers a unique standpoint from which to understand American identity and the historical processes that have shaped it.

The Indian Removal Act transformed the Native North American continent and precipitated the development of a national identity based on a narrative of vanishing American Indians. This volume is a probing look into a chapter in American history that, while difficult, cannot be ignored. Sweeping in its coverage of history, it includes deeply personal accounts of American Indian removal from which readers may discern the degree to which the new national identity of the United States was influenced by bigotry and dependence on the corporate economy.

The book is organized into six sections that collectively provide the full scope of American Indian removal policies that began with the founding of the United States. The sections trace the evolution of federal government policies; the rhetoric of Indian removal in public debates; removal experiences; ethnic cleansing through overtly racist laws; responses to removals; and the question that reigned in the aftermath: Who owned the land? The chronological organization allows readers both to approach Indian removal through the framework of ongoing injustice in the colonial system that existed for the first 150 years of the United States, from the 1770s through the 1920s, and to draw connections from this legacy to the seizures of Indian lands and resources that continue today.

• Deepens understanding of historical events by providing primary sources including archival material, removal journals, treaties, public speeches, and firsthand accounts of the responses of tribal members who faced removal and the whites who witnessed it

• Provides context for documents through introductions and chronological organization that together clarify how the land sales of confiscated Indian homelands built the economic base of the United States

• Gives readers an intimate and provocative look at the larger story of a racially and economically changing nation through tribal voices and those of their white supporters and foes

• Offers a compelling view of the struggle for a segregated non-native political and social structure in the founding of the United States

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440854194
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Series: Eyewitness to History
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Donna Martinez (Cherokee), PhD, is professor and chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is the author of five books.

Table of Contents

Evaluating and Interpreting Primary Documents ix

Historical Introduction xi

Chronology xvii

Chapter 1 Evolution of Federal Government Policies, 1778-1829 1

1 Treaty of Fort Pitt (Delaware), September 17, 1778 4

2 Secretary of War Henry Knox, Report on the Northwestern Indians, June 15, 1789 7

3 Chief Cornplanter or John Abeel, Big Tree, and Half-Town (Seneca), Letter to President Washington, December 1, 1790 9

4 President Jefferson to William Henry Harrison, February 27, 1803 15

5 Cherokee Women Petition, May 2, 1817 18

6 Treaty with the Cherokee, July 8, 1817 20

7 Statement of Menominees Concerning Treaties Ceding Lands in Wisconsin to the Indians of New York, 1824 27

8 President Monroe, Message on Indian Removal, January 27, 1825 28

9 Secretary of War John Eaton on Cherokee Removal, April 18, 1829 30

10 President Jackson on Indian Removal, April 18, 1829 34

Chapter 2 Rhetoric of Removal, 1829-1830 39

11 President Jackson on Indian Removal, December 8, 1829 41

12 Catherine Beecher, Circular; Addressed to Benevolent Ladies of the U. States, December 25, 1829 44

13 Governor Lewis Cass of Michigan Territory, Removal of the Indians, January 1830 46

14 Senator Hugh White (Tennessee), Bill from Committee on Indian Affairs, February 22, 1830 51

15 Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen (New Jersey), against Indian Removal, April 9, 1830 53

16 Indian Removal Act, May 28, 1830 58

17 Elias Boudinot (Cherokee), Editorial, Cherokee Phoenix, June 19, 1830 59

18 President Jackson to John Pitchlynn, August 5, 1830 61

Chapter 3 Removals, 1830-1836 63

19 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, Choctaw, September 27, 1830 65

20 President Jackson State of the Union Address, December 6, 1830 80

21 Commissioner of Indian Affairs Elbert Herring Describes Removal as Humane, November 8, 1831 83

22 Chief George Harkins (Choctaw), A Choctaw Farewell, February 1832 84

23 U.S. Supreme Court, Worcester v. Georgia, March 3, 1832 87

24 Treaty with the Seminole, 1833 106

25 David Crockett to Charles Schultz, December 25, 1834 108

26 President Jackson on Indian Removal, December 7, 1835 109

27 Chickasaw Chiefs, Letter to Andrew Jackson, December 24, 1835 112

28 Treaty of New Echota, December 29, 1835 117

29 Lieutenant J. T. Sprague, Removed Creeks Travel West, 1836 130

30 Lieutenant J. Van Home, Journal of a Party of Seminole Indians Removal, April 11-June 6, 1836 144

Chapter 4 Ethnic Cleansing, 1836-1844 153

31 Memorial of Protest of the Cherokee Nation, June 22, 1836 156

32 General John Wool, Cherokee Are Urged to Comply, March 22, 1837 166

33 Lieutenant Edwards Deas, Journal of Occurrences on the Route of a Party of Emigrating Creek Indians, May 25-June 5, 1837 168

34 Reverend Daniel S. Butrick, Removal Journal, May 26-July 20, 1838 173

35 Congressman Joshua Giddings, Slavery, and the Seminal War, February 9, 1841 188

36 Tonawanda Seneca Clan Mothers' Support of Chiefs' Efforts to Protest Treaty of Buffalo Creek of 1838, March 14, 1841 189

37 Coacooche (Seminole), Surrender of a Seminole Band, July 4, 1841 190

38 Tonawanda Chiefs' Advertisement Asking the Non-Indians of Western New York Not to Purchase Reservation Lands from the Ogden Land Company, Spirit of the Times, June 19, 1844 191

Chapter 5 Responses to Removal, 1854-1879 195

39 Chief Seattle's Treaty Oration, 1854 198

40 Commissioner of Indian Affairs Ely Parker (Seneca), Letter of General Ulysses Grant, January 24, 1864 201

41 Captain Soules's Letter to Major Ned Wynkoop, December 14, 1864 205

42 Lieutenant Joseph Cramer, Letter to Major Wynkoop, December 19, 1864 207

43 Palaneapope (Yankton Sioux), How the Indians Are Victimized by Government Agents and Soldiers, August 1865 208

44 Little Hill (Winnebago), The Condition of the Winnebago Indians of Nebraska, October 3, 1865 210

45 Blackfoot (Crow), Testimony about the White Man's Promises and Intentions, August 11, 1873 211

46 Chief Joseph or Hinmahtooyahlatkekt (Nez Perce), The Fate of the Nez Perces Tribe, April 1879 215

47 Hairy Bear (Ponca), The Killing of Big Snake, a Ponca Chief, October 31, 1879 228

Chapter 6 Who Owns the Land? 1891-1932 231

48 Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Sioux), Keeping Treaties, Life of Sitting Bull, 1891 234

49 D.W.C. Duncan (Cherokee), How Allotment Impoverishes the Indians: Testimony before a Senate Committee, November 1906 235

50 Gerommo (Apache), A Prisoner of War, His Own Story, 1906 236

51 Cherokee Freedmen, We Can Establish Our Rights, 1913 247

52 WPA Interview of Kate Rackleff, Daughter of Cherokee Trail of Tears Survivor Rebecca Neugin (Cherokee), Recollections of Removal, 1937 249

Bibliography 255

Index 259

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