Last class we discussed Indian removal from the perspective of President Andrew Jackson in his message to Congress in 1830. Today, we are going to see it from the point of view of the Indians.
Indian tribes and the new republic got off on the wrong foot:
Many Indian tribes fought on the side of the British
1790s conciliatory policy: Secretary of War under Washington said, "The Indians being the prior occupants, possess the right of the soil." Jefferson at the time agreed.
When, however, Jefferson became president in 1800, pressure on Indians to “civilize” and adopt agriculture, and sell tracts of land emerged for first time
Cherokee perspectives on Indian removal
Begin by circulating around the classroom to complete the “Document Stations” chart for the following documents:
Document A: Tecumseh Speech, winter 1811
Document B: Cherokee Census Report, 1826
Document C: Preamble of the Cherokee Constitution, July 1827
Document D: The Cherokee Phoenix, 1828
Document E: Lewis Ross, et al, Address to the People of the United States, July 1830
Review information collected in charts, pausing in the third column to gather further insights.
Possible questions for discussion
Last class you made some predictions about the Cherokee response to Indian removal. How do your findings today match up against those predictions?
Which predictions have you found confirmed?
Which have you found challenged?
When we looked at the Bill of Rights, several of you indicated that the fourth and fifth amendments were especially important. Theses amendments protect against “unreasonable . . . seizure” and assure that if “private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Are these constitutional protections relevant in this case?
After seeing both sides of the story, what policy approach might you have proposed to President Jackson in respect to the Cherokees and other Native Americans living in the southeast United States?