HCC Cherokee Removal through

HIST 1376: Lab/Discussion Sections

Week 14 Assignment: Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears

Monday Nov 22/Wednesday Nov 24- depending on your scheduled lab.

Assignment (Activity 1 and Activity 2) is due by 5:00 pm on your Lab day – submit to the Turnitin Link. Lab meetings this week are asynchronous (we will not meet F2F) because of Thanksgiving. This is an individual assignment. You are NOT to work with or discuss your answers with others.

LATE Submissions are NOT graded unless approved by Professor Hopkins. Excused Absences must be approved before missing class or as soon as is reasonably possible after missing class.

Learning Objectives for this Week’s Discussion Sections:

– Demonstrate comprehension of the skills we have been practicing throughout the semester:

o Identify the author and audience of the primary source

o Explain the purpose of the primary source

o Recognize the difference between primary and secondary sources

o Analyze and describe the explicit messages within the primary source o Determine the implicit messages of the source after a more careful

reading

o Evaluate the reliability of primary source evidence

– Explain the relationship between different primary sources

– Recognize different points of view in the primary sources

– Combine primary sources to tell a story

– Support interpretations with the primary source evidence

– Evaluate the efficacy of documentary films

Lab Assignment This lab assignment includes a documentary from PBS American Experience and is also adapted from resources available on the Digital Public Library of America website. The below background information is directly from the DPLA website.1

By the 1820s, the Cherokee Nation had seen much of their ancestral lands (in what is now the southeastern U.S.) disappear, through treaties with colonial governments and the United States government. Hoping to avoid cultural destruction, several Cherokee leaders—including John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and John Ridge, the Speaker of the Cherokee Council—led their people into a period of reform called the

1 Nancy Schurr, Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears (2017). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/cherokee-removal-and-the-trail-of-tears. (Accessed August 1, 2021.)

“Cherokee Renaissance.” By 1830 the Cherokee Nation had adopted a written language and forged a constitution modeled on that of the United States, complete with a chief executive, a representative government, and courts enforcing Cherokee laws. Many Cherokee had converted to Protestant Christianity, lived in nuclear family homes, and farmed the land—sometimes with the labor of enslaved African Americans.

This same period saw the rise among U.S. citizens of “Manifest Destiny,” a belief that white Americans were God’s chosen people, selected by Him to spread the United States from the East to the West Coast, “sea to shining sea.” Andrew Jackson, a military hero famous for conflicts with indigenous peoples, was elected President in 1828, largely on his pledge to move Indigenous Nations westward to allow the advance of white civilization. Emboldened by Jackson’s stance, state legislators in Georgia passed laws that abolished the Cherokee government, invalidated Cherokee laws, and created a lottery system by which white Georgians could legally take Cherokee homes and land. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, allocating funds to forcibly remove Native Americans from the Southeast to lands west of the Mississippi River.

Cherokee leaders could not agree how to respond. In 1835, government negotiators took advantage of their factionalism and persuaded a small group, led by John Ridge and his father Major Ridge, to sign the Treaty of New Echota—which ordered the Cherokee to remove themselves from their homes and relocate to land west of the Mississippi River. The story of the Cherokee’s removal is better known in American history, especially as The Trail of Tears. But Cherokees were not the only indigenous group removed from the American Southeast. Thousands of indigenous peoples— Chickasaws, Creeks, Choctaws, and Seminoles—suffered through their own forced relocation from the southeast, while thousands in the Great Lakes region were also pushed out of their homelands during the 1810s-1840s time period. American Nationalism indeed was white nationalism as the U.S. Government supported and sponsored “Indian” Removal to open up land for white Americans: free-labor whites in the north and slave-owning and non-slave-owning whites in the south.

Activity 1: Cherokee Removal through Documentary

Before diving into the four primary sources over a complex topic, you will first need to watch a documentary on the Cherokee Indian Removal so you have some historical context and understanding of this time period and relevant events. The documentary, “We Shall Remain: Trail of Tears (Episode 3)” is from the PBS series, American Experience (airs weekly on your local PBS station, channel 8). This documentary is about 70 minutes and you access it through UH Libraries. You may need to enter your student/cougarnet login information.

Access the documentary here (free) through UH Libraries (try both if one doesn’t work for you): https://video-alexanderstreet-com.ezproxy.lib.uh.edu/watch/we-shall-remain-trail-of- tears?context=channel:american-experience

https://login.ezproxy.lib.uh.edu/login?qurl=https://video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/we- shall-remain-trail-of-tears

Answer the below questions as you view the documentary:

We Shall Remain- Trail of Tears

Activity 1: Answer the following questions about the documentary

Key Figures:

The Ridge= Major Ridge

John Ridge

Elias Boudinot

The Ridge Faction is also The Treaty Party John Ross

Worchester v. Georgia (pronounced “Wooster”)- 1832 Supreme Court decision

Telling an historical experience relies on evidence. What types of evidence are used in the documentary? Explain some of the pros and cons of these different types of evidence.

What type of evidence do you find the most compelling? Explain why?

How did the concept of land ownership differ for Cherokee and white settlers?

What was the principle issue in the Worcester v Georgia Supreme Court case? How did the Court respond? How did Georgia respond? How did President Jackson respond?

What caused the split between Chief John Ross and the Ridges? Why did the Ridge Faction (Treaty Party) go forward with negotiations in the Treaty of New Echota, 1835?

After the U.S. Congress ratified the Treaty of New Echota, why did only 2,000 Cherokee participate in the removal while another 16,000 remained in their homeland?

Whose side would you have supported- Ross or Ridge? Explain your position. Was there an alternative to Removal?

Activity 2 on Next Page-

Activity 2: Cherokee Removal through Primary Sources

After watching the documentary, you will better understand the primary source documents for Activity 2. The following primary sources can help us better understand how indigenous life and culture changed as a result of contact with Europeans and living in close proximity to Americans. Click the links to view the sources and transcript (click “show full description” for transcript, where available). Submit your answers to the questions for each source (as well as the documentary questions/answers) to Turnitin link before 5:00 pm on your lab day. Please provide a full paragraph (with complete sentences) for each source.2

Source 1: Andrew Jackson

– A letter from President Andrew Jackson to the Cherokee Nation (this is typed, so there is no transcript)

Answer the following questions over this source:

– What is the author’s point of view and purpose?

– Who is the audience?

– What is the explicit message of the source?

– Is this a source in support of, or opposition to, Removal? What words or ideas in

the source lead you to this conclusion?

– What were the main arguments made by the U.S. representative to articulate

their position? Were these arguments compelling? Why or why not?

Source 2: John Ross

– An excerpt from the “Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation.”

Answer the following questions over this source:

– What is the author’s point of view and purpose?

– Who is the audience?

– What is the explicit message of the source?

– Is this a source in support of, or opposition to, Removal? What words or ideas in

the source lead you to this conclusion?

– What arguments did Cherokee people make to articulate their position? Were

these arguments compelling? Why or why not?

Source 3: Cherokee Census Information

2 Nancy Schurr, Cherokee Removal and the Trail of Tears (2017). Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, https://dp.la/primary-source-sets/cherokee-removal-and-the-trail-of-tears. (Accessed August 1, 2021.)

– The compilation of population and personal property statistics.

Answer the following question over this source:

– What do the population and property statistics tell us about Cherokee life in the period prior to their removal?

Source 4: Brigadier General Wool

– The message from Brigadier General John E. Wool

Answer the following questions over this source:

– What is the author’s point of view and purpose?

– Who is the audience?

– What is the explicit message of the source?

– How does this sources help us better understand what Cherokees experienced

on their forced removal journey? What words or phrases stick out to you?

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