Apr 062017
 

The state of affairs in 1828

Cherokee Principal Chief John Ross

By 1828, new states had been added and many had drawn their borders to overlap Indian territory.  Some of these states, especially Georgia, believed that state laws should apply to everyone living within their borders.   The state legislature of Georgia, enacted a series of laws which stripped the Cherokee of their rights under the laws of the state.  Indians believed that they should be exempt from state laws within their territorial boundaries.

The idea of removing Native Americans from east of the Mississippi was gaining favor in congress.

Mar 272017
 

There have been over 500 treaties made between the United States and Native Americans.  And there have been over 500 treaties broken.  Why?

In this article, I will concentrate on relations with those tribes east of the Mississippi—the “civilized tribes”—and five points in time that I think best illustrate how relations have gone from cooperative and respectful to intolerant and disrespectful.

Senate Resolution 76 (1987) reads:

The confederation of the original 13 colonies into one republic was influenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy, as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the constitution itself.

Jan 012016
 

Teaching son 002Note to readers of Native American Antiquity:  This article marks a change.  This year, the journal will change from weekly to monthly and will  present facts on the art, archaeology, astronomy, history and culture in each article.  I hope you enjoy the new format, wado (thanks), Courtney Miller.

Culture LogoFor the ancient Cherokee, this time of the year was a time for personal reflection and purification through ritual and ceremony.  It was a time of preparation for spring, repairing old tools and making new ones.  It was a time when families moved into their “asi” or winter house and listened to stories told by the elders.  The asi’s were conical clay houses partially submerged where the families could sit and sleep around the center fire to stay warm.

Sep 172015
 

Relocation RouteBy the turn of the nineteenth century, the Native American tribes known as the Five Civilized Tribes were living peacefully on their native lands.  The process of acculturation proposed by George Washington and his administration was well underway especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw.  The Cherokee had established schools and, thanks to the syllabary developed by Sequoyah, were teaching their children in both Cherokee and English.  They had a written a constitution similar to the U.S. Constitution, were successful farmers using Euro-American techniques, and the woman were employing Euro-American domestic skills.  Many Cherokee farmers owned large cotton plantations and even owned slaves like their U. S. counterparts.

Jul 302015
 

The writing was on the wall!  By the early 1800’s,  even Thomas Jefferson, who often cited the Great Law of Peace of the Iroquois Confederacy as the

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

model for the U.S. Constitution, supported Indian Removal as early as 1802.  Many Cherokees, unsettled by white encroachment, decided to move west on their own. In 1817, a group that came to be known as the “Old Settlers” voluntarily moved to land given them in Arkansas where they established a new government and a lived in peace for a while.  It was not to last.  They were eventually forced to move again to Indian Territory.

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