CHEROKEE’S RELOCATION: ANALYSIS AND ARGUMENTS

Introduction

Cherokee Nation between years 1794 – 1907 was acknowledged as a tribal government, located in the Northern part of America.[1] The territory consisted of the Cherokee people who were the Native American tribe and spoke Cherokee during the 19th century. In 1802, the federal government sought to get rid of the Native American titles to lands in Georgia in return for the U.S federal government formal cession of parts of the Mississippi Territory.[2] As a result, in 1815, the federal government set up Cherokee Reservation near the Missouri Territory and then convinced the Cherokee people through the ‘The Removal Act’ to move to these reserves.[3] However, the Cherokee nation declined. In the light of the developments, the essay seeks to present Cherokee’s argument and what their case based on, but first, it will carry out an analysis of Ebenezer Tracy’s Text on Cherokee’s Relocation.

Analysis

The primary source is acknowledged as ‘Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts’ was written by Tracy Ebenezer Carter. It was published in 1845 by Crocker and Brewster in Boston, USA. The book’s principal topic is Jeremiah Evarts (1781-1831).[4] In a historical context, the book was published about six years after the Trail of Tears, a period that refers to the relocation of the Native Indians to the west of the Mississippi. It was also written in memory of Jeremiah F. Evarts who was a strong advocate for the need to uphold the sovereignty of the Cherokee nation. The book is published about 14 years since Evarts, F.E., was laid to rest. It was written at a period in which the American population could compare Evarts’ argument and the outcome of the relocation of the Cherokee group.

The author’s background is that of a Christian missionary. Tracy played the role of a religious leader. His role in society was almost similar to that played by Evarts. However, Evarts played an active role, as a lawyer, writer, and activist, in advocating for the rights of Indians. Tracy was likely to follow similar beliefs to those of Jeremiah Evarts. In the Cherokee relocation case, Evarts had taken the position of natural law and religion. Following Evarts’ arguments, Tracy is expected to provide a view that elaborates on natural law and a religious view on the issue. His bias is that he may personalize Evarts’ argument, considering that they follow the same religious beliefs and their social relationship. Tracy is strongly against labeling of Cherokee as “savages”, for their greatness in supporting the American commercial and education systems.[5] The labeling of Cherokee as “savages” appeared as a way of justifying their displacement from their lands. Inability to integrate with the American way of life was one of the reasons issued for relocation.

In other aspects of the text, Tracy does not appear to express strong arguments against or for, but he presents some of the issues that bear weight. For example, he suggests that Presidents Jackson and Van Buren failed to adhere to a court ruling that upheld that treaties and the laws gave Indians sovereignty over their land. He presents his view from an Indian perspective, which makes them more appealing to the reader. It is as if an Indian representative is addressing the reader. As a result, he does not seem to argue for any issue but gives the reasoning in the minds of the Cherokee. For example, they believed they had an original right to their ancestral land, which had been secured by treaties and the laws of the USA. Tracy does argue whether the argument is weak or strong, but he gives the reasons that would have prevented the Cherokee from leaving their land willingly. He gives the dangers they would have encountered by going to the other side of the Mississippi.

The text’s intended audience is the current historians and those who sympathize with the Indians about their forceful eviction from their ancestral land against treaties signed by the founding fathers. Sympathizers are the target audience because the text is written from the perspective of the Indians. It shows their assessment of the situation and their conviction that the treaties and the laws would have protected them from invasion into their land. In the case of current historians, the document’s most important message is to make them affirm what went on during the ‘Appeal of the Cherokee Nation’ and all the other relevant issues during this period, and they developed. As well, the target audience is not accurate and encompasses anyone that would like to acknowledge what went on during the time.

The central issue in the document is the relocation of the Cherokee. Other sub-issues that emerge from this relocation include the impact of this relocation to the group and reasons for the relocation.[6] The Cherokee had justified legal argument against their removal. For instance, their arguments based on both national and individual rights that justified their stay in the area. Under the justified right, the Cherokee highlighted that since that was their land, they had the right to remain in their ancestral land. Many of them got raised in that land and lived in that particular area during their lifetime.[7] As a result, the federal government had no right to force them to move away from their land to the Indiana territory since the land was ancestral.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that to foster an understanding of the text; Tracy gives an argument from the perspective of the Cherokee that justified his background as a Christian missionary. The ‘Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts’ is informative and combines diverse aspects of the Cherokee nation relocation. Moreover, it through this primary source that we get an insight into the reasons why the Cherokee Indians had refused moving away from the Mississippi area towards the Indian territory. For example, they asserted that the land was inherited and that it was their national and individual right to defend it against white incursion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Tracy, Ebenezer, 2009, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts. Charleston: BiblioBazaar.

Voorhees (fl., 1 1870, ‘Treaty with Cherokee Nation’, Adam Matthew Digital, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 July 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Voorhees (fl., 1 1870, ‘Treaty with Cherokee Nation’, Adam Matthew Digital, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 July 2016.

[2] Ibid., 127

[3] Ibid., 128

[4] Tracy, Ebenezer, 2009, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts. Charleston: BiblioBazaar.

 

[5] Tracy, Ebenezer, 2009, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts. Charleston: BiblioBazaar.

 

[6] Tracy, Ebenezer, 2009, Memoir of the Life of Jeremiah Evarts. Charleston: BiblioBazaar.

[7] Voorhees (fl., 1 1870, ‘Treaty with Cherokee Nation’, Adam Matthew Digital, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 July 2016.

 

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