The Removal of Cherokee Indians during the Trail of Tears

1. This modern photo of a road sign is taken on the National Historic Trail. This Trail was designed with the purpose of protecting historical cites and remains of routes of the Trail of Tears and also of reflecting this significant period of Native American history. The system of trails and routes also include various opportunities for outdoor activities. However, the main intention is to remind people about harsh and tough times when people were struggling during the Trail of Tears.

The Trail of Tears is associated mainly with the forced relocation of Cherokee people in 1838-1839. These people were forcibly removed from their lands to the Indian Territory located in the west of a country. The removal of native population became able to realize only with the passage of Indian Removal Act of 1830, according to which unsettled lands near Mississippi were exchanged with Indian native lands. As Cherokee people showed resistance to the new policy, they were forcibly removed from their lands. The name of this removal is symbolic, however it really brought a great deal of sufferings and tears to these people, many of whom died during this trip. The sign taken on the photo is also symbolic; it depicts a Native Indian figure who seems to struggle under a strong wind and terribly cold weather.

(A picture was taken from http://modeducation.blogspot.com/2012/05/today-in-labor-history-may-15.h tml)

2. The next image is devoted to the sufferings of Cherokee people under a bad weather during a harsh and cold winter of 1838-1839. This painting is called “Morning Tears”, which also has a symbolic element of tears, immediately associated with sufferings. During this forced march a lot of Cherokee people died, approximately 4000 of them. This tragic element of the Trail of Tears is also present on this painting – two crows are sitting in the front of the painting and are busy discovering someone`s clothes.

The general mood of the painting is caused by its subject – people who are terribly cold are forcibly moved away from their homes. Those who are not able to go on foot ride on a horse – a little child and a woman. Warm clothes, snow everywhere and strong wind illustrate those struggles. Although this painting is painted with mild and bright colors, a kindness of morning is not present here. (A picture was taken from http://www.cherokee-indian-art.com/Art_Gallery.htm)

3. This painting by Max Standley “Forced Move” is a demonstrative example of a forcible removal of Cherokee Indians from their homes. Although a legal basis for their removal was Indian Removal Act of 1830, however there were some other reasons for this. To illustrate, the Georgia Gold Rush and later election of Andrew Jackson predominated the policy of American government during the 1830s. In the late 1830s, a lot of Cherokee Indians were moved away from their lands and homes.

This painting depicts a typical scene of the forced removal. Federal troops and militia evicted ordinary Indians from their homes. According to the statistical data …
Posted by: Tawna Fifer

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