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"Trail Of Tears The Rise And Fall Of The Cherokee Nation" By John Ehle

1457 words - 6 pages

Author John Ehle has written a book that follows the struggles of the early Cherokee people that were torn between the ways of their ancestors and the new régimes that some of their people want to follow. The Cherokee people were confused with how to adapt to their surroundings and to claim their own rights that the current government was denying to them. In the Trail of Tears, Ehle uses many different people and the historic accounts of their actions to tell the story of tragic and unfair deals made with the Cherokee people by the United States. One of the main historical figures Mr. Ehle centers upon is Major Ridge. He tells of Major Ridge's ideas and hopes that would lead his ...view middle of the document...

When Ridge reached puberty he moved to advanced instruction to become a warrior, a strong and mighty position, andthis helped to welcome him to manhood. From this point on in his life rituals and ceremonies would be very important in everything he would do. One instance was the rituals that were need in order for a Cherokee man to participate in a very important ball game. Certain things that were done were that the player could not eat certain types of foods or he could not touch a woman for the whole week before the game. Also the player's Hickory stick was very important to him and had very important handling procedures that insured that the stick would be kept pure. One rite that was associated with the ball game was the scratching rite. The players were inflicted with almost three hundred scratches made from the ends of feathers all over their bodies. The strict ritual guide lines that Ridge was made to follow when he was younger helped to prepare him for all the struggles that he was to face in the years to come.It was in this year when Ridge was seventeen that the struggle between the Cherokees and the whites came to a final confrontation. During this time Ridge proved himself as a warrior by having more scalps than his father. When he can home he courted and married Susana. It was at this point he was invited to be a spokesman at the main council meeting for his town, a certifiably honor at his age of twenty-five. He was also known as being one of the first of his people to be a successful farmer, ferry owner and tradesmen. Susana and Ridge bore two children, Nancy and John. Later on Ridge assisted Colonel Jackson in subduing the uprising of the Creeks and Seminoles, which lead to his appointment of Major in the U.S. militia. Major ridge is the person responsible for the formation of the new Cherokee Nation. He began the new nation at New Echota, which contained within it a museum, library, judicial courts, legislative buildings and its own printing press, which published the first Cherokee newspaper the Phoenix. After his involvement with this new capital city, Major Ridge was hired to be the head negotiator for the Creeks land disputes in 1825. After the election of John Ross as principle chief, he was publicly humiliated and decided to concentrate on his livelihood. His son John then took over the role as heads spokesman. Major Ridge supported his son when John stated Indian immigration was the only future for the Cherokees. He continued to support John after Major Ridge's own removal to Arkansas and until his murder, in 1839.There were many individuals and parties that were both beneficial and detrimental to the Cherokees trying to find their own way as a nation. President Thomas Jefferson, who was the phasilitator of the Louisiana Purchase. President Andrew Jackson was one of the key figures in the movement to have...

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