Tahlequah June 6, 1861 Letters from Albert Pike to Principle Chief Of The Cherokee Nation John Ross
Forgiveness Will Set You Free
Tahlequah June 6, 1861 Letters from Albert Pike to Principle Chief Of The Cherokee Nation John Ross. These letters were left to me by my mother.
The Trail Of Tears “Nunahi-Duna-Dlo-Hilu-I” Trail Where They Cried, 16,000 Cherokee began their journey in the summer of 1838, an estimated 4,000 died from hunger, exposure, slaughter and disease this is why we must as a sovereign nation must keep our native tongue and traditions alive that our ancestors, culture and wisdom live on.
“At noon all was in readiness for moving, the teams were stretched out in a line along the road through a heavy forest, groups of persons formed about each wagon …Going Snake, an aged and respected chief whose head eighty summers had whitened, mounted on his favorite pony, passed before me in silence, followed by a number of younger men on horseback.” – William Shorey Coodey, a contractor, in a letter to a friend; August 13, 1840.
During the roundup, intimidation and acts of cruelty at the hands of the troops, along with the theft and destruction of property by local residents, further alienated the Cherokees. Finally, Chief Ross appealed to President Van Buren to permit the Cherokees to oversee their own removal. Van Buren consented, and Ross and his brother Lewis administered the effort. The Cherokees were divided into 16 detachments of about 1,000 each.
Three detachments of Cherokees, totaling about 2,800 persons, traveled by river to Indian Territory. The first of these groups left on June 6 by steamboat and barge from Ross’s Landing on the Tennessee River (present-day Chattanooga). They followed the Tennessee as it wound across northern Alabama, including a short railroad detour around the shoals between Decatur and Tuscumbia Landing. The route then headed north through central Tennessee and Kentucky to the Ohio River. The Ohio took them to the Mississippi River, which they followed to the mouth of the Arkansas River. The Arkansas led northwest to Indian Territory, and they arrived aboard a steamboat at the mouth of Sallisaw Creek near Fort Coffee on June 19, 1838. The other two groups suffered more because of a severe drought and disease (especially among the children), and they did not arrive in Indian Territory until the end of the summer.
The rest of the Principal People traveled to Indian Territory overland on existing roads. They were organized into detachments ranging in size from 700 to 1,600, with each detachment headed by a conductor and an assistant conductor appointed by John Ross. The Cherokees who had signed the treaty of New Echota were moved in a separate detachment conducted by John Bell and administered by U.S. Army Lt. Edward Deas. A physician, and perhaps a clergyman, usually accompanied each detachment. Supplies of flour and corn, and occasionally salt pork, coffee, and sugar, were obtained in advance, but were generally of poor quality. Drought and the number of people being moved reduced forage for draft animals, which often were used to haul possessions, while the people routinely walked.
The most commonly used overland route followed a northern alignment, while other detachments (notably those led by John Benge and John Bell) followed more southern routes, and some followed slight variations. The northern route started at Calhoun, Tennessee, and crossed central Tennessee, southwestern Kentucky, and southern Illinois. After crossing the Mississippi River north of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, these detachments trekked across southern Missouri and the northwest corner of Arkansas.
Road conditions, illness, and the distress of winter, particularly in southern Illinois while detachments waited to cross the ice-choked Mississippi, made death a daily occurrence. Mortality rates for the entire removal and its aftermath were substantial, totaling approximately 8,000.
Most of the land route detachments entered present-day Oklahoma near Westville and were often met by a detachment of U.S. troops from Fort Gibson on the Arkansas River. The army officially received the Cherokees, who generally went to live with those who had already arrived, or awaited land assignments while camped along the Illinois River and its tributaries east of present-day Tahlequah.
Trail of Tears Facts
Fact 01 The Trail of Tears was approximately 1000 miles
Fact 02 The Five Civilised Tribes were were forced to travel from their homelands in the Deep South to reservations in present day Oklahoma
Fact 03 The names of the Five Civilised Tribes were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, Chickasaw and Creek
Fact 04 The journeys of the Five Civilised Tribes along the Trail of Tears started in 1831
The Choctaw tribe were removed in 1831
The Seminole tribe were removed in 1832
The Creek tribe were removed in 1834
The Chickasaw tribe were removed in 1837
The Cherokee tribe were removed in 1838
Fact 05 Of the 16,000 Choctaw Indians who journeyed across the Trail of Tears between 5000 and 6,000 died en route
Fact 06 The Five Civilized Tribes were so-called because they adopted the various cultural and political features of the Europeans including farming methods, clothing, houses and many converted to Christianity.
Fact 07 Wealthy members of the Five Civilized Tribes had black slaves who worked on their cotton plantations
Fact 08 The Five Civilised Tribes had a written constitution, a judiciary system and a public school system
Fact 09 The end of the American Civil War (1861–1865) saw the fall of the tribes and the treaties of the tribes who had supported the Confederacy were broken
Fact 10 President Andrew Jackson was instrumental in the events leading up to the Trail of Tears, his policies involved the ethnic cleansing of several Indian tribes
Fact 11 Many white settlers advocated the TOTAL EXTERMINATION of the “savages.”
Fact 12 Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 which reversed the U.S. policy of respecting the rights of Native American Indians
Fact 13 The Indian Removal Act started the removal of the tribes via the Trail of Tears from their homelands in the Deep South to Indian reservations in Oklahoma.
Fact 14 The Treaty of New Echota in 1835 ceded all Cherokee land to the United States for $5.6 million
Fact 15 17,000 Cherokees were forced off their land in 1838 and had to undertake the long journey across the Trail of Tears
Fact 16 General Winfield Scott led the forced removal of the Indians to start their journey on the Trail of Tears. Their homelands were won by white settlers in a lottery.
Fact 17 U.S. soldiers did not allow the Indians to take extra clothing, food or blankets for their journey on the Trail of Tears
Fact 18 The Cherokees were organized into separate groups of about 1,000 people for the journey on the Trail of Tears
Fact 19 The Cherokees were allowed 600 wagons and carts, 5,000 horses and just over 100 oxen for their journey across the Trail of Tears
Fact 20 Not all of the Indians walked the whole of the Trail of tears. Some had horses and wagons, and some were were transported part of the way by barges
Fact 21 The Cherokee Trail of Tears led to exposure in freezing cold weather conditions with inadequate clothing. They suffered from malnutrition, starvation and disease
Fact 22 The fatal diseases that killed so many of the Native Indians included Smallpox, Malaria, Measles, Cholera and Pneumonia
Fact 23 Nearly 4000 Cherokees died on the Trail of Tears from malnutrition, exposure, slaughter and disease.
Fact 24 The Cherokee tribe refer to the Trail of Tears as ‘Nunahi-Duna-Dlo-Hilu-I’ which means “The Trail Where They Cried”
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