The Trail of Tears
The Cherokee Nation was originally located over a broad territory covering much of Georgia and some of Alabama and Tennessee. Some Cherokees expressed their desire to conform to the white culture of the European settlers along the east coast. There were advantages to the Cherokees at the time to take on characteristics of the developing American culture; they had the chance to prosper economically and to assimilate into the American culture by marriage and becoming Christians and praying in the churches.
White culture offered viable options and some left behind their roots while others picked and chose which aspects of assimilation they were going to buy into. The goal of this civilization campaign was to make Native Americans as much like white Americans as possible by encouraging them convert to Christianity, learn to speak and read English, and adopt European-style economic practices such as the individual ownership of land and other property (including, in some instances in the South, African slaves). In the southeastern United States, many Choctaw (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana), Chickasaw (Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky), Seminole (Florida), Creek (Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee) and Cherokee people embraced these customs and became known as the “Five Civilized Tribes.”
John Ross who was only one eighth Cherokee by blood became the Cherokees’ principal chief, and Major Ridge was named his counselor. To a degree unique among the five major tribes in the South, the Cherokees used diplomacy and legal argument to protect their interests. Sequoyah, which whom was illiterate, was a Cherokee warrior who created a writing system. Using a phonetic system, where each sound made in speech was represented by a symbol, he created 85 letters that made Cherokee syllabary. He created the written Cherokee language which then they were able to write medicine formulas and even translate the...