On September 15, 1830, at Little Dancing Rabbit Creek, the Chiefs of tribes and representatives of the United States met to discuss a bill recently passed by the Congress. This day started with all the same good intentions of those today but ended with only a few Native Americans signing the treaty which allowing for the removal of all Indian peoples to the west of the Mississippi River. ( Brill, The Trail of tears: The Cherokee journey from home. )The Choctaw were told that the Americans in Washington cared little for the situation.
They wanted the Choctaw moved on their own, or by military force. The Indians were believed to be ignorant savages, but they were industrious farmers, merchants, and businessmen of all types. Some were educated people, many were Christians. They even had an organized system of government and a codified body of law.
Some of these people were not even Indians, some were strangers and orphans had been taken in over the years. These were people who did not deserve what they went through. When the Chiefs and Warriors signed the treaty, they had come to the realization that they had no option. For doing this the government officials guaranteed to the Indians the body of the treaty, safe conveyance to our new homes.
(You cannot forget that in this treaty, the Choctaw traded 10. 3 million acres of land east of the Mississippi for 10. 3 acres in Oklahoma and Arkansas that we already owned under previous treaties. ) Further, it included provisions and monetary annuities, to assist the people to make a new start. One half of the people were to depart almost immediately, the rest the next year.
On March 27, 1838, congress did not accept the request for the relief of the Cherokee. Many then saw their land and property sold before their own eyes. The “conveyances” promised turn out to be a forced march. it was said that “. .
. seven thousand soldiers swooped over the nation causing the Cherokees to suffer greatly” and also the troops were ordered “To use guns and swords if necessary to punish any Cherokee who tried to hide. ” (Brill, 43) At the point of a gun, the pace killed many of the old, exposure and bad food killed most. Spoiled beef and vegetables are poor provisions, Many walked the entire distance without shoes, barely clothed. It is told that, “Hateful soldiers prodded and kicked the old and sick on their march to the camps. Those who were too weak to keep up were left by the road without food to recover or die.
Soldiers pricked friends and family with bayonets to keep them from turning back to help” (Brill, 45). These horrid conditions are what the Indians had to deal with. The supplies that were given had been rejected by the Americans. One person complained “my feet are blistered and on my back is a read and blue backpack of fifty pounds” (Ellis). The government cannot be blamed fully, nearly all of this was done by men that were interested only in making profits.
They government’s really is just wrong for not watching over the whole deal. Many of the old and the children died on the road. At each allowed stop, the dead were buried. Hearing of this many escaped. They knew that as they signed the rolls, to be “removed,” that they were signing their own “death warrants”( Brill, 42) . They hid in places that no one would travel to look for them (i.
e. , Swamps, hills). But as this horror occurred those in charge just reported their peaceful progress. (Ellis, walking the trial: one man’s journey along the Cherokee trail of tears. )Some marching claimed to be “Black Dutch,” Spanish, Creole, or Black. These people were accepted by neither the Americans or the “papered.
” Many others who had to march fled to Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The “fertile .