History of Cherokee Indians in the United States
In the early nineteenth century, while the United States expanded into the lower south, white settlers faced a difficulty. That colony was already home for the Indians, and most Americans thought Cherokees were getting into their way of development. Even though the land was the Indian’s way of life, Americans decided to evacuate them. When Andrew Jackson took office, he pursued the Indian removal policy. Under his administration no less than ninety four treaties were made with the Indians, but the United States began moving them westward.
Cherokee Indians, unlike the other tribes, tried a different approach rather than fighting. These Indians adopted many of the features of white civilization. They built communities with roads and schools and prosperous farms, and a brilliant Cherokee named Sequoyah developed a written alphabet, which allowed the Indians to publish newspapers and the Bible in their own language. The United States made many promises in the treaties with the Indians such that they would be left to govern themselves, and with this being said, the Cherokees resisted removal. They went to court, and John Marshall handed down a decision in favor of the Cherokee. Unfortunately, the government ignored this and forcibly moved the Indians west.
The evacuations lead to what is called the “Trail of Tears.” The name of the journey comes from a Cherokee phrase describing it, Nunna-da-ul-tsu-yi, the trial where they cried. The Cherokee were herded like cattle by the United States Army through freezing winter weather. Without adequate food, shelter, or even blankets, many Cherokee Indians died along the way. The sick, aged, and very young are the ones that suffered most. A handful of Cherokee escaped the army dragnet and hid in the Smokey Mountains for several years. They eventually emerged from hiding and were able to legally reclaim about fifty thousand of the seven million acres of Cherokee land that had been seized.
In today’s time, the Indians are treated much more differently than when the white men first came to this country. Due to the harsh treatments that their ancestors endured, what’s left of the Native Americans, actually get benefits and special treatments that are not available to the rest of the population. They have reservations that they are now allowed to own and live on, and government money is used to buy and pay for their houses. The Indians also are permitted with casinos to gain money. Also, by being of Native American decent, one can earn a full scholarship for college. They do not have to pay taxes, are granted with government assistance, and have access to free health care and clinics. Cherokee Indians are well aided and protected citizens in today’s world.
Current Demographics of the Group
The State of North Carolina has the largest Native American Indian population east of the Mississippi River. North Carolina is home to eight organized...