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Cherokee Indian, Essay Example

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Essay

Option 1: A Cherokee Indian Man and a Savannah, Georgia newspaper editor

Entry number 1: July 14, 1829         

I am Chief Nampa, the leader of my tribe here in Georgia. I have a wife, I have two sons and I have one daughter. It is 1829 and the American people want to take our land. I have started this diary to progress this trail of tears for the Native American people. If you are reading this, know that our motives were pure and we meant no harm to you or your people. We just wanted to be able to co-exist peacefully amongst this beautiful land. Andrew Jackson and his followers have been tormenting our people for years, and I worry about our future on this land. In 1825, my hope strengthened, as I watched my fellow Cherokees fight for the rights of our people- and in 1827, I was brought to tears when they proposed a written constitution that would put the tribe on an equal footing with the whites in terms of self government. I thought our family would thrive in Georgia- my wife, my sons, my daughters.

The future has turned bleak quickly and my family was tempted to migrate to Arkansas with many of our friends- but we decided we would hold tight in Georgia. I have already heard many rumors that an Indian removal act is on its way- Andrew Jackson will not be stopped. I do not know the future of my tribe, my people, my family.

Entry Number 2: July 1, 1830

The time has come. Not too long ago, the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by their president. They are going to steal our land, split up our families, destroy our history. That is why I write this. Though I do not know the future of my people or the future of my tribe, or my family. All I know is that we are being forced to leave our land. Where we will end up, I do not know, but for now we must leave Georgia. We have watched your people ignore our laws, imprison and kill or people, and now force us out of our homes. I hope that if one day my diary is discovered, the true inhumanities of the American people will be known.

Entry 42: January 24, 1837

I am Elizabeth, a newspaper editor in Savannah, Georgia. The times are changing in Georgia and across the country- my feelings on what is happening must not be jeopardize my ability to report on the events in an unbiased way, but it should be known that the way they are treating the Native American people right now is purely inhuman. I am torn as a white writer in Georgia, trying to cover the news of the day to day occurrences here, as I witness families being torn apart and forced out of their land. I want to write about what I have been seeing- the torture, the killings, the overall injustices- but I don’t want to lose my job. The country loves Andrew Jackson and supports the removal of the Indian people, I do not. I am what many would call a radical- but as a female, white newspaper editor in the south during the 1830s, I don’t feel like I can write about my true feelings regarding these events- events I have seen which have given me nightmares. The Treaty of New Echota, signed in late 1835 marked a VOLUNTARY removal of the Native Cherokee tribes that resided in the Georgia area. I have witnessed these families be forced from their homes, told to leave immediately. I fear for the future of the Indian people, especially the Cherokee tribes- I wish I had the gumption to write about it somewhere other than my journal, but for now, this is my account of Savannah, Georgia in 1837- a horrific place where tolerance is not an option and mass killings get swept under the rug, as if the Native American people never even existed.

Chief Nampa and Elizabeth may have different backgrounds, but they shared their compassion for humanity. Elizabeth, just like Chief Nampa, saw the injustices in the American government at the time- how the Indian removal act was a death sentence for the tribes in Georgia. Although Chief Nampa experienced the removal of his people from their homeland, I think a piece of Elizabeth’s heart went with him and his tribe as they paved the Trail of Tears.

 

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