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The Trail of Tears, or the removal of the Cherokee people, is a historic event that occurred in the mid 1800s. It forced approximately 16,000 members of the Cherokee Nation and 1,000-2,000 Cherokee slaves to leave the area. These individuals were later forced to settle in different locations. Sadly, the process was not without tragedy. Today, many people still mourn their loss and continue to fight for justice. This article discusses the Trail of Tears and the lawsuits related to the removal.
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a historical event that occurred during the Cherokee removal from their homes. About 17,000 Cherokee were forced to leave their homes by forcible removal. The removal took place in six states: North Carolina, Georgia, eight states in Tennessee, and five states in Alabama. There were two major routes taken during the removal. The first detachment arrived at Salisaw Creek near Fort Coffee in June 1838 with a total population of 2,800 people. Throughout the rest of the trek, many died or were injured in the camps. Disease was rampant among the Cherokee people.
The majority of Cherokee fought removal in the courts and in Congress. However, a small group signed the 1835 treaty despite the unauthorized nature of the agreement. After the May 1838 deadline, the Georgia Guard began rounding up families for removal. After the removal began, the Cherokee Nation was asked to supervise the journey by federal authorities.
Rejection of cherokee removal treaty
Rejection of the removal treaty divided the Cherokee nation, with a small minority of people believing the Cherokees could not stop the removal and must emigrate west to survive. Leaders such as John Ross and Major Ridge led the "Treaty Party" in the opposition, but there were many more who opposed it.
In 1831, the Cherokees filed a lawsuit against Georgia and President Jackson. The suit cited an 1830 Georgia law that prohibited whites from living on Indian lands after March 31, 1831. This was an attempt by Georgia authorities to force the Cherokee to agree to the removal treaty. A small group of men eventually signed the removal treaty, but the rest of the Cherokee rejected the treaty as unconstitutional and against the wishes of the community.
After the treaty was rejected by the Cherokee General Council, Jackson appointed Reverend John F. Schermerhorn to work with the tribe and the U.S. government to reach a mutually agreeable solution. The government offered the Cherokees US$4.5 million to leave the eastern part of the United States. However, the Cherokee Nation Council refused to accept the terms and refused to leave their homes. As a result, Chief Ross began a campaign to reconcile the Cherokee Nation with the Ridge Party, sending members of the group to Washington to start new negotiations.
Relocation of mountain Cherokees
The Relocation of mountain Cherokees in the 1840s was an epochal event in American history. The Cherokees were a nomadic people who lived in the mountains of western North Carolina. When the United States government began removing them from their homelands, they asked permission to return to the land. The Cherokees agreed and a few hundred were moved to the state of North Carolina.
The Cherokees had lived in mountainous parts of the southern United States for many centuries before European or African settlers. During the eighteenth century, they were considered the most populous Indian society in the southeast. They lived on the banks of numerous rivers and forged extensive relationships with local indigenous peoples, including the Creek Indians.
Settlement of cherokee removal lawsuits
Settlement of Cherokee removal lawsuits is one of the issues being discussed in the United States today. Historically, the Cherokee Nation has been at odds with the United States government and other neighboring nations over the use of Indian land. The Cherokee Nation has sought recognition for the land they have occupied for centuries.
The Cherokee Nation has argued that the State of Georgia has no jurisdiction over its Indian land, citing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a state cannot regulate a sovereign nation. The Court also noted that Native American nations were conceived of as separate nations in early colonial America. This idea has been reflected in United States treaties and laws, which envision the Indian territory as separate from its citizens.
After the lawsuits were filed, the U.S. government agreed to settle the claims. By the end of the settlement process, more than 100 tribal lawsuits were settled. One of the most notable settlements, which was reached in 2009, involved a $3.4 billion class action lawsuit. Settlements in these types of cases often involve payments over decades. This drove the parties to the bargaining table because of the substantial litigation risk involved.
Status of cherokees after removal
After the removal of the Cherokees from their historic lands, the state of Georgia sought to end the conflict by enacting laws to strip Cherokee of their rights and evict them from Georgia. The legislature of Georgia even abolished the Cherokee constitution and confiscated their lands.
The removal process resulted in the creation of 33 military posts across the South. These included Fort Payne and Fort Morrow in Alabama, Ft. Likens in the Broomtown Valley, and Ft. Lovell at Cedar Bluffs near Turkey Town. A small group of Cherokees, including mixed-bloods and whites with Cherokee families, petitioned to become citizens of other states.
The removal process began with the 1830 discovery of gold in the Cherokee Nation. White settlers wanted to exploit the new industry, but the Cherokees were destroying valuable farm land. The Cherokees also added to the quantity of cotton, reducing the price and demand for the crop. Consequently, the settlers pursued the removal treaty.
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