In 1838, there were a large number of Cherokees that were against being removed from their land. The President in 1838, Martin Buren, who succeeded President Jackson, gave orders to General Winfield Scott in regards to the removal of the Cherokees. This order included removing the Cherokees by any force necessary. The main reason behind the order was due to the lands the Cherokees inhabited having gold in the landscape. The gold in the land was highly desired by the United States government.
In light of the information provided, I do not believe that the Cherokee should have been forcibly removed form their land. There were many provisions that could have taken place that would allow for a gradual movement of the Cherokees from the land. This would allow for the Cherokees to make these changes not only on their own accord, but would also give the U.S. Government the ability to mine without disturbing the Native Indians. Then, from the mining that took place on the Cherokees land, create a plan to compensate the Indians for removing them from land that was unclaimed that they established a territory on.
By General Scott forcing the Cherokees out, many suffered from starvation and diseases. Also, with the harsh climate, many of the Cherokees were exposed to external factors that they were not prepared for, causing unnecessary death. The Cherokee’s new destination was far off in unexplored lands that they otherwise had no knowledge of. All the traveling tribes had were what they were able to pack in the haste of being forced out of their home by General Scott.
In conclusion, since President Jackson, whom followed President Buren, did not want to enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court to reimburse the Cherokees. Therefore, they suffered in their time and their families suffered in the present day. It is an important lesson to learn that government rulings do not always present the best alternative for a challenge.
- Dunn, John M. The Relocation of the Native American Indian. Detroit: Lucent Books, 2006.
- McLoughing, William G. After the Trail of Tears: The Cherokee’s Struggle for Sovereignty, 1839-1890. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.