I would suppose that a large number of Americans are familiar with the term "Trail of Tears," but I'm suspicious that their familiarity with what it refers to is often very sketchy. The story of the forced removal-on foot-of the Cherokee from their homelands in the Eastern US to reservations a thousand miles away in Oklahoma "Indian Territory" in the early 1800s seldom merited more than a sentence or two-if that-in basic grade school or high school American history books until recent times. Even my college-level American history classes in the late 1960s, designed to prepare future history teachers, totally neglected the topic. The Native American civil rights movement of the 1970s brought a bit of notoriety to the saga, including a few documentary books and a TV documentary, but those faded from view shortly after. This Meet MythAmerica series is dedicated to providing an in-depth look at the circumstances and events that led up to this shameful chapter in America's story, along with an overview of what the trek was like. And it concludes with an examination of the lessons that should be learned from both the event-and the way it was ignored for almost a century and a half in the standard American Narrative passed on to America's youth.
This entry in the Trail of Tears series continues the description of the attempts by the Cherokee to align their way of life with the expectations of the governmental leaders in Washington, in order to "qualify" for inclusion in the growing American Dream. It concludes with the failure of their efforts and an introduction to the plans of the Indian Removal Act.
This entry in the Trail of Tears series chronicles the efforts-and the failure-of both the Cherokee and their allies among the White Man to change the mind of the leaders of the US Government regarding the Indian Removal Act.
This entry in the Trail of Tears series begins the description of the cruel round up of the Cherokee families who were to be evicted from their homeland…men, women, children, infants, the elderly. About 13,000 eventually were confined to stockades awaiting their departure.
This entry in the Trail of Tears series completes the description of the hellish journey the Cherokee were forced to endure. Also discussed are the pathetically meager efforts in recent decades to provide some sort of appropriate memorial to the saga.
This concluding entry in the Trail of Tears series examines some poignant passages from the Bible that are applicable to the circumstances of the saga. It is intended to prod those Americans who may adamantly hold to the theory that, until very recently, America has always been a "Christian" nation, its government guided by "Christian" principles, its people proud to be God's "example to the world" of "a nation whose God is the Lord"… to match up their theory with some historical reality.