The American Indian
The American Indian: 1609 to 1865 BY KeelY1124 The Effects of the Removal on American Indian Tribes: Resistance and Removal “The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians, their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent, and in their property, rights, liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in Just and lawful wars authorized by Congress. ” Northwest Ordinance, 13 July 1787 From the time, the first colonies were settled in America, relations between the Native American Indians and white settlers ranged from respectful friends to hated enemies.
In the 1800’s, Americans admired the Indians and valued their contributions to American history and culture. These people hoped that with time the Indians could be peaceably assimilated to American society. Even the Revolution, churches and religious organizations sent missionaries among the Indians to try to convert them to Christianity. In 1787, the Society for Propagating the Gospel among Indians was founded for that purpose. The federal government Joined the effort to “civilize” native Americans that had first been undertaken by the colonies and the churches.
The American Indian Essay Example
In 1793, Congress designated $20,000, a substantial sum for the time, to provide literacy, farming, and vocational assistance to the Native Americans. The Native American or American Indians once occupied the entire entire region of the United States. They were composed of many different groups, who spoke hundreds of languages and dialects. The Indians from the Southwest used to live in large built terraced communities and their way of sustain was from the agriculture where they planted squash, pumpkins, beans and corn crops.
Trades between neighboring tribes were common, this brought in additional goods and some raw materials such as gems, ooper, seashells and soapstone. The United States recognized Indiana tribes as separate nations of people entitled to their own lands that could only be obtained from them through treaties. Due to inexorable pressures of expansion, settlement, and commerce, however, treaties and frequently reacted with violence when land promised to them forever was taken away.
For the most part, however, they directed their energies toward maintaining their tribal identity while living in the new order. By 1830, most of the territories east of the Mississippi River had become states. The Democratic Party, led by President Andrew Jackson, was committed to economic progress in the states and to settlement and development of the western frontier. These goals put the government in conflict with the more than 125,000 Native Americans who still lived east of the Mississippi. By this time, many Indians had given up nomadic hunting and had adopted a more settled way of life.
In particular, the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles tried to live in harmony with their white neighbors who called them the Five Civilized Tribes. The real conflict etween the government and the Indians was the land held by the Indians through legal treaties. White pioneers, frustrated by the lack of opportunity in the settled areas, pushed hard for new lands to purchase and farm, while states containing Indian territories resented the existence of lands within their borders over which recognized the Cherokees’ right to a substantial portion of northeastern Georgia.
The Cherokees were very successful at adapting to a new way of life, farming the land, raising cattle, growing cotton, and even owning slaves to work their plantations. Missionaries established schools and helped the Cherokees in their new lives. One Cherokee, Sequoyah, devised the Cherokee syllabic alphabet of 85 characters so that his people could write down and preserve their thoughts. With a written language, the Cherokee were able to publish their own newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix. The Cherokees established their own governing body called the Cherokee National Council.
In 1808, the Cherokee National Council developed a legal system, and in 1827 wrote a constitution enacting a system of tribal government to regulate affairs within the borders of their lands. Their government included an electoral system and a legislative, Judicial, and executive branch. One tenet of the constitution was that on their own lands the Cherokee were not subject to the laws of Georgia. Treaties with the U. S. government recognized the Cherokee Nation, but the State of Georgia objected to having an independent Indian nation within its boundaries.
Believing that the laws of Georgia should be sovereign throughout their state, Georgians passed legislation claiming Jurisdiction over the Cherokee Nation in 1828. These political actions coincided with increasing economic pressures to open this area to hite settlement and development. The Cherokee land was coveted for agricultural production at a time when the population of the state was increasing and demand for farmland was high. In addition, gold was discovered in the region and many whites were eager to mine it.
The first Indian-White encounter was very peaceful and trade was their principal interaction. Tension and disputes were sometimes resolved by force but more often by negotiation or treaties. On the other hand, the Natives were described as strong and very innocent creatures waiting for the first opportunity to be Christianized. The settlers called the Indians the “Noble Savages” because they were cooperative people but sometimes, after having a few conflicts with them, they seem to behaved like animals. The Cherokees established their own governing body called the Cherokee National Council.
In 1808, the Cherokee National Council developed a legal system, and in 1827 wrote a constitution enacting a system of tribal government to regulate affairs within the borders of their lands. Their government included an electoral system and a legislative, Judicial, and executive branch. One tenet of the constitution was that on their own lands the Cherokee were ot subject to the laws of Georgia. Treaties with the U. S. government recognized the Cherokee Nation, but the State of Georgia objected to having an independent Indian nation within its boundaries.
Believing that the laws of Georgia should be sovereign throughout their state, Georgians passed legislation claiming Jurisdiction over the Cherokee Nation in 1828. We should apprehend that the encounter with the settlers really amazed the natives, they were only used to interact with people from their own race and surroundings and all of this was like a new discovery for them as well as for the white immigrants. These political actions coincided with increasing economic pressures to open this area to white settlement and development.
The Cherokee land was coveted for agricultural production at a time when the population of the state was increasing and demand for farmland was high. In addition, gold was discovered English and the Virginia Indians was somewhat strong in a few ways. They were having marriages among them. For example, when Pocahontas married John Rolfe, many said it has a political implication to unite more settlers with the Indians to have a better relation between both groups. As for the Indians, their attitude was always riendly and full of curiosity when they saw the strange and light-skinned creatures from beyond the ocean.
The colonists only survived with the help of the Indians when they first settler in Jamestown and Plymouth. In this area, the Indians showed the colonists how to cultivate crops and gather seafood. The Indians changed their attitude from welcome to hostility when the strangers increased and encroached more and more on hunting and planting in the Natives’ grounds. For several years the Indians gave the Virginia colonists little trouble because they came to the area of settlement not often.
An imaginary line was the result from an agreement that meant that whites were prohibited from setting to the West of the “Fall Line. ” This attempt failed as the white population from Virginia grew. The Indian lands were taken up and in the 1670s; the Natives were furious and killed several hundred whites. By 1669, most of the Virginia Indians had been decimated and driven off from their lands. The colonists did not remember by the first time that the Indians provided food supplies that sustained some of the first settlements through their “Starving Times. Even though, the Native Americans were doomed in their struggles gainst the white settlers. In the end, the superiority of the U. S. government, the large number of settlers, and the destruction of the natural environment upon which the Natives depended for their survival overwhelmed the American Indians. In the face of mounting opposition to federal protection for autonomous Indian nations in Georgia and other states”opposition that threatened to become violent”president Jackson decided to move the Indians to lands west of the Mississippi River.
He felt this offered the best hope to preserve peace and protect the Indians from being scattered and destroyed. Opening new land to white settlement would also increase economic progress. Jackson insisted that the Indians receive a fair price for their lands and that the government pay all expenses of resettlement. In 1830 at the request of Jackson, a bill went before Congress authorizing moving the Indians across the Mississippi. Daniel Webster and Henry Clay opposed the Indian Removal Bill, but its most bitterly outspoken opponent was Daw Crockett.
Having served in the army under Jackson, Crockett was a Jacksonian Democrat until he and the president parted ways over treatment of the Indians. In the next Tennessee congressional election, the Democrats threw their support to another candidate, and Crockett was defeated. Disgusted with partisanship, Crockett left the arena of national politics and went to Texas, delivering, as was the custom, a resounding rendition of his farewell speech at every stop along the way. Within a year, he perished defending the Alamo.
Little recognition was given to the fact that the Indians of the east were not familiar with how to subsist in the harsh conditions of the Great Plains or that the remuneration they received for their lands would benefit them little there. In addition, many tribes harbored ancient hostilities for other tribes. The Indian Removal Act made little provision for separation of groups. Once in the territory, In the fall of 1838, the U. S. government, now under Van Buren, ordered the forcible removal of the Cherokees from Georgia to the Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
Of the 18,000 that began the 1,000-mile, 116-day trek, 4,000 perished on the way of illness, cold, starvation, and exhaustion. The U. S. Army oversaw the march and forced a continuous pace at rifle and bayonet point disregarding the terrible hardship of the travelers. For this reason, the Journey is known as the Trail of Tears. Some historians partially blame the Cherokee leaders for failing to prepare to leave during the time they were given. Regardless of who was responsible, however, the circumstances of suffering and death remain a tragic chapter in American history.
In all, between 1831 and 1839 about 46,000 Indian people were relocated across the Mississippi River. Many Indian tribes, approximately 15,000 people, were forced to walk hundreds of miles, barefoot in the middle of the winter, without proper clothing, and not enough horses and food. They traveled to unrecognized territories in what are now Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. Because of this, many of them suffered physical as well as psychological problems, in result of the struggles faced for years that took the government to carry out the Indian removal policy.
Some Indians refused to leave their ancestral lands and fought to prevent their expulsion but were banned any ways. Nevertheless, many Indian groups, already surrounded by white settlements, accepted the government decree and moved west. The Choctaws of Mississippi made the trek from 1831 through 1833, and the Creeks of Alabama in 1836. Only nominally voluntary, these migrations often turned into forced marches during which many perished. The Choctaws lost one-fourth of their people before arriving in Oklahoma, while the Creeks lost 3,500 of the 15,000 who began the journey.
They were furious by the disappointment that the U. S. government gave them the lands that contain poor soil, was isolated and suffered from extreme climates, these lands were called Reservations. This lead to several wars that steamed from the refusal of some Native Americans to accept their resettlement and the effort of the Sauk and the Fox to return to their homeland in the early 1832, the esult of this was the Black Hawk War in Illinois and Wisconsin, where most of the remaining Native Americans were killed as they tried to cross the Mississippi River into Iowa.
Sometimes, we think that the American Indians were fond of the new settlements on their lands but as we can see, they got tired of always being used by the whites for their own benefits and that they were exploiting the Indians as much as possible. The Natives got tired of always being treated like animals, and soon became enemies of the new settlers. The Sac (Sauk), and Fox tribes of Illinois and Wisconsin were also affected by the Indian Removal Act. One Sac chief signed a treaty abandoning Indian lands east of the Mississippi, and he moved the tribes to Iowa.
Chief Black Hawk, however, along with a faction from the tribes, revolted against forced removal from the land of their ancestors. In 1832, they returned to their Illinois lands and conducted a campaign of raids and ambushes. The United States Army responded and violently suppressed what the government considered an Indian insurrection. Black Hawk was captured and imprisoned in St. Louis in 1833. Among the regular army troops involved in this action was Lieutenant Jefferson Davis Thirty years later these two men would head the Confederate and Union governments during the Civil War.
The newspaper article “Seeking Land for Tribe of Girl Who Helped Lewis and Clark” written by Timothy Egan and published on October 26 of 1999 by the New York Times, really caught my attention because after the Shoshone Sacagawea lead Lewis and Clark to one of the most encounters in the discovery of new trails over the continental division, the U. S. government took away the place that they have called home for hundreds of years. In 1851, the United States government began to introduce a Concentration Policy.
This strategy would provide white settlers with the most productive lands and relocate Indians to areas north and south of white settlements. Over the next decade, Indians were evicted from their land to make way for a white society. However, the settlers were not satisfied with the Concentration Policy, and they sought to restrict Indians to even smaller areas through relocation. For example, the Sioux tribe, which had previously spread across the northern United States, was relocated to an area in Dakota Territory known as the Black Hills. Present-day Oklahoma became known as “Indian
Territory’ as additional tribes were relocated to reservations there. The federal government relocated hundreds of thousands of Indians under the guise of protecting them, when in truth the government’s primary goal was attaining the Indians’ lands. Although some battles against Indians were brutal on both sides, other conflicts were nothing but displays of dominance by U. S. troops. One such battle was the Sand Creek Massacre, which occurred in Colorado in 1864. At that time, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes inhabited the Sand Creek region after being forcibly relocated there due to the gold rush in 1861.
Miners overtook their area and pushed the tribes into a desolate locale. The approximately 400 Indians living in this area believed they had been granted immunity and protective custody by the United States government when Colonel J. M. Chivington’s troops arrived. Chivington ordered his troops to slaughter the Indian men, women, and children to flaunt their dominance over the natives. Stan Davis, the Mayor of a Rocky Mountain Valley called Salmon in Idaho, stated that ” We all believe that Sacagawea is not the most famous Indian, but also the most famous woman in America. ln 1875, president Ulysses S. Grant gave a small reservation to the Shoshone tribe because he was impressed by the Lemhi’s unique role that they have in Western history and record of cooperation with the American settlers when in the summer of the same year, the Americans were running low on food, without fresh horses and had little idea about how to find the waters that drained to the Pacific. These people have been banned from their land and they are now consider orphans in an arid land because they don’t have an specific place to point out where they originally come from.
The Lemhi Shoshone, had asked resident Bill Clinton to please carve out a small piece of Federal land in a section of the Salmon River county on the Idaho-Montana border so it can become a place where the Shoshone tribe can tell its story to the hordes of Lewis and Clark history buffs, honor their dead and try to stitch some of their past history to the present. If I think that the United States should pay better respect to the generosity and friendship of not only Sacagawea, but also to her people. The government should give the Shoshone tribe a good portion of land to thank them for all they did to help Lewis and Clark in their Journey.
On December 3 of 1999, I visited the National Museum of the American Indian. This Museum presents a new perspective of the Native American people and cultures through innovate exhibitions that emphasized the great importance of Native voices in the interpretation of Native history and their cultural achievements. Through the Museum, we can learn what Native Americans have to teach us about such things as the delicate balance between our people and nature, about their profound respect for family and their ethic of sharing and about their deep and spiritual magnificent art.
This Museum changes forever the erspective of the way the American Indians lived in this Hemisphere, to correct the many misconceptions, to end the prejudice, to stop the injustice and to demonstrate how the Indian culture has enriched the world. One of the exhibits that I really liked was called “Creation’s Journey: Master Works of The American Identity And Belief. ” This reflects the diversity, aesthetic quality, and cultural significance of the vast collections of the National Museum of the American Indian. These objects have the expressions of their everyday life and their spiritually is reflected in these works of ine art.