An Opportunity for All? Andrew Jackson and the American Indian

byPatricia Mitchell-Keita-Doe


Gentle Reader,

Many of my students were born in a different country but spent years or months living as refugees in neighboring countries "on the camp" prior to entering the United States. In their young lives they have known what it is to be the "other". During those years when civil war in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea disrupted my students' entire lives, it precluded any chance of a classroom setting for them. So they came to my class, wanting so much to get what they had heard about in Africa. America! Just the mention of that name is enough to send shivers of delight down one's spine. My husband told me that when people in Africa say they are going to Europe, nobody really gives a nod, but if you say America, wow, it's like going to heaven, except you're not dead.

America is not just a place - it's something much, much more than that. It started out as a place and then became a grand idea, a place where you could reinvent yourself. A place where you could live, and have your family, and be greater than what you could have ever hoped to be back home: a new kind of country where men would govern themselves as opposed to a monarchy. It didn't happen overnight or in a week but through being tested. And that testing came in the form of a war. That was the last time we would ever transition power violently. My immigrant students know it in their very souls because they are able to compare "here with there". It is my native born students who don't understand these things, because here, we transfer power peacefully. I believe everybody has a story, every family, a history and it's deeply layered, like an onion skin. With every layer you peel back, a new story comes to light. It's through stories that I want my students to see who and what the "other" is. I want them to understand that they too, depending on the time, have been the "other". But I need to do this in a way that grabs them and won't let go. However, I do not wish to use the experiences of the students in my own class because I don't want to inflame tensions, which may be bubbling just beneath the surface. Therefore, I need to have them study "others" outside of themselves so that they can make connections to the experiences in their own neighborhood and the larger human family.

Often we forget about the many and varied roles others have played in shaping this country which we call America or the United States. That being said, I want to examine some of these roles by looking through a "social justice" lens while studying American Indians under the United States government and Andrew Jackson. In so doing I endeavor to cause my students to look at what it means to be the "other" in spaces that are occupied by larger, more powerful groups and how some of those notions still linger in the American consciousness. Ideas are powerful, some so powerful that sometimes governments are afraid of them (1). Ideas about superiority/inferiority, class and gender played some very important roles in the settling of this country. Many of these ideas translated into iconic images, film, literature, textbooks and even common everyday language.


This brings me to a topic that is "fully loaded": Andrew Jackson and the American Indian. Indeed it is a powerful layer in American History. And it needs to be told in a way that kids can think about what happened and the ideas that drove the events. What was the role of the policies of the United States Federal Government ? What were the effects of those policies on Indian people who had to vacate their lands in order to make way for Manifest Destiny? What events shaped a young boy who would grow up to be the president that would open the West for White settlement? Were his ideas and actions radically different from other men of his time?

Andrew Jackson, from Boy to Man

Andrew Jackson was just such a man. He too was an "other, an outsider, marginalized". His family had emigrated from Ireland in 1765 prior to his birth and settled near Indians in a place called Waxhaw, then located between the two Carolinas (2). The Irish were outsiders then. Although they came from a European country, they were viewed through the racial lens that Africans were. However, over time, the Irish became White. Of course Africans could never do that, But the Irish were Papists, under the Roman Catholic Church and to all outward appearances, were unfamiliar with the American idea or concept of liberty. And, because of their allegence to their religion, were viewed as a threat to our American Democracy and its institutions. Meanwhile, immigrants from England did not face these hostilities and were easily assimilated. So Andrew's parents settled near the frontier and the War for Independence was just a little over ten years away. The Proclamation Line of 1763 had already been "drawn in the sand".

Baby Andrew, (who was named for his father who died just prior to his birth) was born in 1767. His widowed mother, becoming financially distressed, struck a bargain with one of her sisters to perform housekeeping duties in return for lodging. This was a lower stature and Andrew felt it. In those days you clearly knew if you were poor or were the "lower sort". So Andrew, living in his auntie's house never felt as if he belonged because he didn't. Andrew was always trying to prove that he was not weak (possibly due to his fatherless state) and when crossed, would work himself into a raging frenzy so much so that he would commence to "slobbering" (3). Jon Meacham in his book, American Lion, writes, "His prospects were not auspicious: here was an apparently unbalanced, excitable, insecure, and defensive boy coming of age in a culture of confrontation and violence." (4)

Young Andrew's exposure to violence wasn't on some film, but up close and personal. When he was twelve he lost his brother who was fighting the British in the Battle of Stono Ferry. The lad was just sixteen. A bit later Charleston fell to the British. On May 29, that Monday afternoon around three o'clock, approximately three hundred British troops under the command of Lt. Colonel Tarleton, first killed 113 men and then massacred 150 wounded rebels who tried to surrender, but instead were bayoneted by the British troops, with swords run through anyone who exhibited any signs of life. This happened even as they were falling to the ground asking for quarter. The year was 1780. Andrew was thirteen years old. (5)

Mrs. Jackson took Andrew with her to the church meetinghouse where the wounded, the gashed, and the dying were being cared for. Some of the men had sustained thirteen gashes. Imagine the sights, the sounds, the smell of that place. Now, Mrs. Jackson's own father had fought the British back in Ireland and suffered greatly for it. This left an indelible mark on his daughter, Andrew's mother, who often told her children of how her father suffered at the siege of Carrickfergus where he had fought the British king. Andrew attributed to his mother the image of her instilling in her sons ideas of the natural rights of man and Enlightenment political thought. She also instilled in him "his love of country and of the common man". (6)

At fourteen, both Andrew and his brother were captured by the British and suffered severe wounds from their swords. Brother Robert did not survive the gashing but Andrew did. After Andrew was nursed back from the brink of death, his mother left to care for his two sick cousins in Charleston. That was the last time Andrew Jackson ever saw his mother, and after her death he was unable to locate her grave. (7)

So we see a childhood where he was always on the outside, always living in the homes of others, had to learn to "smile through it all", and not one kind word or condolence upon his mother's death. As an adult, where others could point to receiving gifts as children, Andrew could not. Later as a young man in Charleston, after the War for Independence, he became much more refined, fell in love with "the horses" enjoyed the gaming tables, and developed a taste for fine clothes. (8)

Andrew could quote Shakespeare (among others), but often returned to his earlier biblical teachings and the influence of his mother. At one time he said that he daily read chapters of the Bible, and his writings do reveal his reliance on Scripture. He saw himself as a hero, comparing himself with David who slew Goliath and later became King David. He truly envisioned himself as a hero and would rush to prove it on the battlefield even if he had to do it with a "shot up arm", an injury he received from an altercation with Jesse Benton, the brother of Thomas Hart Benton.

Jackson had a niggling worry that Indians would plot with England and Spain to halt Westward expansion, destabilize the Union and set the new nation back before the Revolution. Therefore, the "culprits" now would be the Creeks. So upon hearing that they had attacked Fort Mims and massacred Whites under the direction of Red Eagle, Jackson rode into battle. These settlers had previously attacked Red Sticks and then run back to the Fort for protection, which was provided for them. (Davy Crockett was on the scene and later reported how they shot the Indians like dogs).

Please Dear Reader, do not think that these attacks on either side were anything but horrific. Jackson believed that what he did at Fort Mims was justified and continued to win victories "from Talladega to Horseshoe Bend" (along with twenty-three million acres of land). The defining moment was the end of the Creek War in 1814.

Still, it was not over. With Jackson being the type of man who would stalk his enemy to the death (as he once intimated he would do to Charles Dickinson who previously had made a slur against Mrs. Jackson), Andrew believed hostile Indians were lurking about, being used by the British and the Spanish. His fears were not his alone. But he was able to allay the fears of many. He was ruthless against their enemies, and kept on winning! He became a renowned figure. Even priests were thanking God for him. (9) In terms of today, he was the Celebrity Star of his time (to Whites).

Strangely though, he found and adopted a small Creek boy, whom he thought of as "savage" but nonetheless brought him home after having utterly destroyed the child's entire family during a battle, which the child witnessed! Andrew saw a bit of himself in that child harkening back to his childhood during the Revolution. That boy lived at Hermitage for fifteen years until he died of an illness in 1828.

Although Jackson was not as polished as the other presidents, he did read and was influenced by those readings. His mother wanted so much for Andrew to be a clergyman but he felt that his service to the Lord was on the battleground —not the church, but service nonetheless.(10) By the time young Andrew became the nation's seventh president, he had become an "Indian Fighter", taking part in decisive battles against the Creeks, the First Seminole War 1817-1819, against the Seminole who wouldn't return fugitive slaves, and overthrew the Spanish governor in Florida, who wouldn't intervene on behalf of the Southern slaveholders wanting their "property" returned. In that war, Jackson fought much like the Indians did; he even had some of them fighting alongside him. They were a divided bunch, Red Sticks, fought with the British, White Sticks with the Americans. Jackson burned villages, destroyed crops, captured, killed and humiliated the Seminoles.(11) Soon after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend was over, the Americans thanked their White Stick Allies by forcing them to sign a treaty handing over most of their land. And the Red Sticks? Well, now they had no land at all. They hid in the woods. Whatever was left of the Tallasee tribe headed south. They crossed the border into at that time, Spanish Florida. Three years later they again faced General Jackson in war. (12)

Not all Americans agreed with Jackson's methods. Thomas Jefferson for one didn't think he was fit for the Presidency. He, being an aristocrat himself, was worried about the regression of American society. He thought of Jackson as a man of violent passions and unsuited to be President. (13) But Jackson did win the Presidency. He was widely received by the populace at his inaugural but was unsure of how deeply they cared for him. He knew that he had to keep it simple for the ordinary voter, being careful to express his ideas clearly. He knew that his image must be one of strength, yet simple, like the common man. Democracy was still in the process of taking form and shape and the first example of such an image as that was General George Washington, who made the people feel comfortable, in capable hands. Washington's bearing was a reassuring one. (14) Now, the elegant, genteel city of Washington had a new sheriff in town; and a provincial one at that! (Three days before he took possession of the White House his beloved wife whom he had dueled Benton over her honor, passed away).

By the time he assumed office, President Jackson already had almost fifty years of contact and conflict with the indigenous people of this land. Two years after he became President, the Indian Removal Act cleared the way for sending American Indians west of the Mississippi. Now one of his first acts was to concern himself with the clashing interests of Indians versus Whites and land was the issue, land needed for the expansion of Cotton. Five tribes were holding this rich land, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw and Seminole. If you now live in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi or Tennessee you are on that land. The tribes appealed to Washington since they had treaties guaranteeing them these lands.(15) One thing is clear: Jackson absolutely believed in removing the Indians. For him, there would be no peaceful coexistence. He refused to entertain any other possibilities. His hat was in the ring with the interests of white people. After all, they were Americans. His justification? The Indians would be better off, their survival would be guaranteed or they would face being wiped out. (16) Jackson "did not believe the Indians had title to the land nor would he tolerate competing sovereignties within the nation".(17) Following is the speech he made to the Creeks to convince them that they should go. This took place in 1829.

"Friends and Brothers - By permission of the Great Spirit above, and the voice of the people, I have been made President of the United States, and now speak to you as your Father and friend, and request you to listen. Your warriors have known me long. You know I love my white and red children, and always speak with a straight, and not with a forked tongue; that I have always told you the truth. I now speak to you, as my children, in the language of truth-Listen.

Where you now are, you and my white children are too near to each other to live in harmony and peace. Your game is destroyed, and many of your people will not work and till the earth.

Beyond the great River Mississippi, where apart of your nation has gone, your Father has provided a country large enough for all of you, and he advises you to remove to it.

There your white brothers will not trouble you; they will have no claim to the land, and you can live upon it you and all your children, as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty. It will be yours forever. For the improvements in the country where you now live, and for all the stock which you cannot take with you, your Father will pay you a fair price.

Where you now live, your white brothers have always claimed the land. The land beyond the Mississippi belongs to the President and to no one else; and he will give it to you for forever".. (18)*******

This is the reply:

"Brothers! When the white man first came to these shores, the Muscogees gave him land, and kindled him afire to make him comfortable. And when the pale faces of the south [the Spanish] made war on him, their young men drew the tomahawk and protected his head from the scalping knife.

But when the white man had warmed himself before the Indian's fire, and filled himself with the Indian's hominy, he became very large. He stopped not for the mountain tops, and his feet covered the plains and the valleys. His hands grasped the eastern and western sea.

Then he became our great father. He loved his red children; but said, 'You must move a little farther, lest I should by accident tread on you. With one foot he pushed the red man over the Oconee, and with the other he trampled down the graves of his fathers.

But our great father still loved his red children, and he soon made them another talk He said much; but it all meant nothing, but 'move a little farther; you are too near me.

I have heard a great many talks from our great father, and they all began and ended the same.

Brothers! When he made us a talk on a former occasion, he said, 'Get a little farther. Go beyond the Oconee and the Ocmulgee. There is a pleasant country.' He also said, 'It will be yours forever.'

Now he says, 'The land you live on is not yours. Go beyond the Mississippi. There is game. There you may remain while the grass grows or the water runs.

Brothers! Will not our great father come there also? He loves his red children, and his tongue is not forked..".........Speckled Snake, aged 100 years. Date: 1829 (19)

Ideas of "Who Are You, Anyway ?"

But what were the driving ideas that led to all of this? And for the Indians, what were they being removed to? Let us look back to an English Playwright, William Shakespeare. Written at a time when the British were busy colonizing and decimating the Irish, the character, Caliban, who represents the "other", reflects attitudes and ideas about non British people, the people who began British North America .The description of Caliban is that he is a savage, dark and deformed - a slave. His mother is an evil witch. He accuses Prospero of trying to be his friend so that he can take his land. Images of the strange people the settlers were to meet had already been circulating in Europe. These kinds of depictions helped the British to form ideas and notions about race and superiority and project them upon those who were different from them when they arrived on these shores. Kari Erikson speaks to defining identity for whole communities (individuals) by measuring what they are not. (20) Indians were viewed and referred to as "savages" "noble savages"; their women were called "squaws"—all highly offensive terms. Please teachers, if you have "squaw" on your Word Wall, remove it.

When The British arrived in Jamestown in 1607, they were hardly prepared for life on this side of the pond. It was Indians who helped them as the new settlers were doing so poorly. They had not found the gold they came for but soon discovered that "stinky weed"-tobacco and voila! The colony survived along with its ideas: Indians were not Christian. They were not British. They were like Caliban in Shakespere's play, The Tempest. They were the not. (21)

Types of Freedom

For British, freedom was directly tied to property. In the early republic the way people perceived each other was based on being the "right" kind of person. According to Eric Foner, in the eighteenth-century it was assumed that only certain kinds of people were fully capable of enjoying the rights and benefits that freedom bestowed. The idea of Liberty rested on one general idea... the idea of self-direction or self-government. Economic independence was a prerequisite to political independence.(22) You see, only those who owned land were deemed able to control their own destiny and therefore would not suffer the influences of those who might try to "buy" their loyalties. In the eyes of British, Indians did not "own" any land and therefore were not capable of exercising the rights of freedom. They were excluded from being a part of the "certain kinds of people" category.

Since Indian people had already worked out relationships with the land and environments for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the British, (so many years that most of them have Creation Stories that tell of them having roots in those places), they must have been chuckling to themselves about the complete ineptitude of the newcomers. There are always different views and ideas of one another.

Eric Foner talks about different kinds of freedom, the freedom "to" and the freedom "from", the freedom "of"; and then there's "for" freedom as in "marching for freedom". Today, most of us take freedom in any form for granted, especially freedom to move about and go about one's daily business. For instance, my son must be careful as he operates any motor vehicle that he is not stopped for "driving while black" in his terminology, but it's "racial profiling" in legal terms. Or, the poor treatment currently experienced by the Dine People (Navaho), who can't leave the reservation and do their weekly shopping in the next town over without being repeatedly stopped and questioned as to whether or not they have been drinking – on a Saturday afternoon, just after leaving the supermarket, with bags of groceries visible in the car, because the driver is a Dine (23). I suppose this would be "driving while Indian."

We must teach students to view time periods through the lens of the times they are studying. Our ideas of today are in most cases not the ideas of yesteryear. Beginning with Columbus' arrival on these shores, Indian people across America were denied rights and self direction based on ideas of land ownership and usage. That coupled with warfare and loss of those lands proved their undoing. Was it because in the early years of our republic it was deemed that only certain kinds of people were considered capable of enjoying and exercising the rights of freedom? The "other" had at some point in time become racialized.

I posit that ideas drive behaviors/actions. Ideas of who could and could not enjoy the benefit of liberty/freedom became a way to disenfranchise those on the fringes with no political voice. And if they also had things that were wanted by others, then those things could be gotten with sometimes bribes, sometimes coercion, and sometimes, just plain trickery and deceit.

Treats and Tricks

After the War of 1812, the turning point in the history of treating with the Indians, the nation " acted from a position of assured dominance". What this meant was that the United States was operating from a position of power. Even though the Indians had previously enjoyed some power, they now had to face the fact that they were "under the protection of the federal government". (24) Due to republican principles of the United States, the Indian communities were not the recipients of crushing destruction. However, while the treaty procedures were retained, the councils became less and less a matter of sovereign nations negotiating on terms of rough equality. (25) Therefore, the federal government used the treaties as a convenient way to fulfill their constitutional duties of managing Indian affairs. (26)

Due to increasing tensions with Great Britain, which led up to the War of 1812, negotiations with the Old Northwestern tribes after the Fort Wayne Treaty in 1809 had stopped. "The next treaties grew out of the war itself." (27) Now the Wynadots, Shawnees and Delawares, among others, had been loyal to the United States. So their treaties were about cementing friendship and, if necessary, military aid to the United States. (28) The Treaty of Fort Jackson, August, 1814, granted a huge cession of their land in Alabama and Georgia and "marked the end of any immediate resistance south of Ohio". (29) Jackson himself assembled the Creeks and dictated a treaty with them over which they voiced strong objections but nonetheless were forced to sign. This treaty basically made them pay " an equivalent for all expenses incurred in prosecuting the war to its termination". They had to cede "more than twenty million acres of their land running through what is now central Alabama and southern Georgia. It also required the Creeks to abandon all communication with the British or Spanish posts and not admit as traders any persons not licensed by the United States". (30) The United States received the right to establish posts, both for trade and military purposes, roads in their lands and the right to navigate freely in all of their waters. The Indians also had to surrender any prophets and instigators of the war. What did they get in return? The U.S. guaranteed them their remaining land and provided reservations for friendly chiefs, a humanitarian move. And, if any were destitute, then they would receive a means of subsistence until new crops could suffice. (31) The Indians knew that this was a punitive move against them for the "sins of the hostiles" (32) but "Old Hickory" paid them no mind at all. "He was determined that the Indians would be crushed, that national security be assured by cessions of land along the Florida/Spanish border, and that lands be opened from Tennessee to the Gulf". (33)

Life on the Plains and Other Struggles

So where were the Indians being removed to? West of the Mississippi (and sometimes north of Texas).

The expansion of White settlement pushed the Commanches and the Kiowas up from the south and those tribes, from the Southeastern portion of the United States, Cherokees and Creeks, among others into Indian Territory south of Arkansas.

Winter on the Great Plains is brutal! There was a very good reason settlers going west didn't travel during the winter months (November-February ). "It is one of the harshest and most dangerous environments in the United States. Periods of moderate temperatures punctuated by storms with thick swirlings of snow and powerful frigid winds that sweep across the landscape and threaten even the best adapted creatures." (34) Indians who had been living in that region had long ago worked out ways of living within the environment. Even the "shaggies" (buffalo) knew when to move into little groves of trees for protection for any that got caught out there alone would freeze to death in that cold. "Every environment interacts with whatever is around it, setting limits for other life and having limits set for itself."(35)

Two groups of peoples with very different life-ways moved into and across the central plains between the 1820's and the 1860's - Indians and Whites. (36) For years the land itself had been under assault from wagons traveling along the Arkansas River, which began numbering around twenty-five to about one hundred thirty in 1820. By 1850 the numbers were about 500-600 and then by the end of the 1850's "more than eighteen hundred wagons were lumbering back and forth along the road with all the old loads, plus mining equipment, canned goods and bottled beer." (37) Those old loads consisted of items like calico groceries and a heavy scarlet colored cloth that Mexican women used to make petticoats called bayeta. Then the gold rush added in more wares such as "ammunition, whiskey, flour and hardware".(38) Keep counting. Dear Reader, we haven't added in people yet. White emigrants were part of the great overland migrations who were crowding into parts of the country on their way further west. Even though they weren't putting down roots, they were still taking a toll on the earth. The gold rush alone sent 185,000 emigrants over the trail in just four years-up from about twenty thousand the previous eight years (1841-1848). Because of this constant, crushing traffic, the grasses on the plains could not recover fast enough for the Indians' animals to graze properly. Gamma and Buffalo Grasses had long ago adapted to the weather which was so erratic by "greening out" at a later time". Shortgrass, available in May or early June, while not as dense, was highly nutritious and provided an excellent gigantic grazing pasture where the Indians could gather along with their horses all summer. (39) This was also when the Indians went on the great bison hunts. Many camps and bands would come together to perform their religious ceremonies and when that season was done, they would break into small camps and return to the stream valleys. Indians and their horses had to be fed. Their horses would number in the area of around 100,000 to 150,000.

The horse culture dictated four conditions: adequate forage, potable drinking water timber for fuel and sheltering land forms which all had one common denominator- they were found along watercourses. (40) These places were where Indians struck their winter camps. One problem was that these places were not plentiful in the millions of acres on the central plains. Secondly, guess who else was using these same sheltering places? The Overlanders. When those winter blizzards hit the region, both people and animals crowded into those sheltering places and within the groves of trees: trees that provided wood for cooking and warmth. When the winter ordeal was over, those horses that survived had to be fattened and strengthened and the Indians depended on the early spring grasses to take care of that.

So you have all of this activity happening simultaneously, with some Indians who had earlier been lured by what once had been a bountiful space into areas where other Indians had been living for generations. Then add in the Eastern bands of Indians being pushed out by removal policies and displacing and or crowding into areas with other Indians, and Whites moving into and over some of these same areas; both Indians and Whites being dependent upon, and relying on the same resources, grazing animals both belonging to settlers and Indians chewing up the land, competition for life saving areas, native grasses for forage disappearing and being unable to recover,and timber being cut for fuel. In the river woodlands in 1820 it was noted that there was "considerable wood". In1839, reports of only "occasional willows". In 1849, a traveler reports that "any tree might be looked on as a curiosity"; by the "late 1850's an emigrant wife worried in her diary that her cattle were nearly starved for grass" (41) What a disaster! If you were White and you ran out of supplies, you could get more from back east. And, if the land was too unforgiving or the climate too hard for you, you could go back home. But not if you were Indian! When the weather turned nasty Whites for the most part, weren't there.(42) They didn't know. The men who went out ahead of removal to survey the area designated for Indian removal were gone by the time those conditions set in. In fact, temperatures on the plains can drop to -61 degrees farenheit in winter and go up to 118 degrees farenheit in summer. (43)

Life on the Plains was a fight with nature to survive. In the1800's, the climate provided extreme temperatures— hail storms which are still responsible for millions of dollars of crops being destroyed; tornadoes and blizzards caused by thrusts of extremely cold polar air, were moving across the Plains and brought with them high winds, intense cold and heavy snows that lasted for several days at a time. These were the conditions the Indians had to deal with as a result of the United States policy of opening lands to Whites hungry for land and who would not wait. As soon as those lands became available, Whites poured into what had been Indian Country. The belief of Manifest Destiny, no longer an idea, was driving the engine of white progress. Then, Mother Nature dealt yet another blow. The central plains experienced terrible droughts between the years 1848 and 1862. From 1825 to 1849, rainfall was extremely abundant, even called a "monsoon" by Merlin Lawson. The Indians and Whites who witnessed this saw "greener, lusher pastures". (44) But then the overcrowding and competition for available resources was coupled with a slackening rainfall that went from modest rains to poor to "...devastating drought 1859-1861".(45) The Indian response was to head for the river regions, which in turn increased the wear and tear on those water systems.

"The Indians of the central plains had become a people in crisis...and those that had earlier been lured by such a bounteous place watched the steady disappearance of what had brought them there in the first place".(46) Many were starving and reduced to begging white travelers and freighters.(47) While enormous amounts of food and livery were being transported along the rivers, none of it was offered to the Indians and in fact was exacerbating the destruction of what they had to have. With the discovery of more gold the Indians plight became desperate. While most Indian populations were suffering devastating declines in their numbers having been battered by diseases introduced by Euro-Americans, on the Central Plains there were more Indians due to the numbers of them coming into the region. And then, in 1849, disease hit the region—hard.

As Whites were migrating, so were diseases and microbes. In The Way To The West, Elliott West describes the overland trails as "one big petri dish". After 1848 the area around the rivers was "one of the most biologically treacherous areas in North America ". (48) Once again a sort of "Columbian Exchange" took place, but this time it was: contaminated water sources, close sleeping and eating quarters with the "rot of one another's garbage, offal and excrement".(49) The Southern Cheyennes in 1849 lost almost half of their people to cholera. Their own native remedies were no match for smallpox, measles, cholera, or any of the other diseases and microbes carried in by the crowds of emigrants moving along the trails. The contagions affected anyone who didn't have a resistance to them; and the Indians didn't. (One blanket brought in from New Mexico infected first an Arkansas village, then spread out to the Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Sioux and the Arkaras).(50) These are just some of the afflictions swooping down on the health of the tribes on the plains with the final blow being a dramatic drop in their fertility, birth rates, and an increase in infant mortality rates. None of this was foreseen when the treaties were struck: these unintended consequences. Oh Dear Reader, this is but a brief summary here as the larger stories of what happened are too great for my small endeavor.

You see, Andrew Jackson had a vision of "Americans from every state and territory in the Union indissolubly bound together in a common destiny unfolding before them by expansion across the continent without direction from the federal government". (51) Jackson felt that the southern tribes were an obstacle to this end and he was determined that they would be removed —out of the way of Whites who were fulfilling their ideas of liberty and freedom by staking their claim on property (land), and being self sufficient. An earlier President, Thomas Jefferson, felt that one of the ways government could "enhance the liberty of its subjects" was to award everyone of full age fifty acres of land. (52) Jackson wanted the Indians to emigrate, hopefully, to lands outside of the boundaries of the states in the Union. He felt that they didn't own the land, they only had a possessory right to the land they lived on and therefore were subject to American sovereignty.(53) He also felt that he was securing our borders as he still perceived Indians as a threat to national security (lest they link up with any other foreign powers). He wanted to them to exchange the lands that they had been living on for eons; that held the bones of their families and ancestors; that were tied to their lives in their creation stories; for a permanent title to some other land in the trans-Mississippi West. Jackson, in my mind, was a bit like Lincoln in this respect: he had nothing personal against the Indians in his views on Indian policy. His concern was for the "nation's growth, unity, and security".(54) So here is his dillema—devise a plan where everybody wins: the government will provide for "justice to the Citizen, the interest and security of the United States, and the peace and happiness of the Indians".(55)

No Thank You Mr. President!

Not all White Americans bought into this idea. The Indians didn't either. The Cherokees were already a success story of assimilation prior to their removal: they had a written constitution modeled after the United State's Constitution, they dressed like Whites, many held slaves and adopted White concepts of property (primarily the mixed-bloods). They also wrote and read their own newspaper. Their constitution "proclaimed the Cherokees an independent nation with complete sovereignty over tribal land in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama".(56) And, the United States federal government had recognized Indian sovereignty ! In fact, the early treaties required that if you were an American citizen and you wanted to go into Creek or Cherokee Lands, you had to have a passport! Criminals had to be extradited and there were treaties for that express purpose. "Prominently figuring in Indian treaties was the cession of Indian lands which indicated their sovereignty over those lands and the United States recognition of such. Combined with the idea of separate Indian lands was the recognition of Indian autonomy within those lands".(57) The language of these treaties was very clear. For example, the United States treated with the Delaware Nation (however, gradually the term "nation" was replaced by the term "tribe"). The Cherokees thought that this sovereignty would protect them, and announced that they would use it to stop any further actions such as this in the future.

The American Board of Commissioners For Foreign Missions was at the forefront of the opposition. But they were recipients of federal funds allocated for civilizing the Indians.(58) They argued in defense of the Indians right to remain on their ancestral land on legal, moral and religious grounds. From the northern states, humanitarian groups backed them along with anti-Jackson politicians who feared that Indian removal was a move to pacify the South. Other humanitarian groups, most of them located in the North, also raised staunch opposition to this policy. To be sure there were arguments from Whites against Indian Removal.

The Cherokees themselves fought all the way to the Supreme Court in Cherokee Nation v. State of Georgia and won their case. Known as the Cherokee cases, 1831-1832, Chief Justice John Marshall stated: "Is the Cherokee nation a foreign state, in the sense in which that term is used in the constitution? The counsel for the plaintiffs, have maintained the affirmative of this proposition with great earnestness and ability. So much of the argument as was intended to prove the character of the Cherokees as a state, as a distinct political society, separated from others, capable of managing its own affairs and governing itself, has in the opinion of a majority of the judges, been completely successful. They have been uniformly treated as a state, from the settlement of our country. The numerous treaties made with them by the United States, recognize them as a people capable of maintaining the relations of peace and war, of being responsible in their political character for any violation of their engagements, or for any aggression committed on the citizens of the United States, by any individual of their community. Laws have been enacted in the spirit of these treaties. The acts of our government plainly recognize the Cherokee nation as a state, and the courts are bound by those acts."(59)

President Jackson ignored the Supreme Court ruling and went ahead with his plans. The Indians went from "adulthood to childhood, independent sovereign nations to domestic dependent nations". Clearly, this designation would preclude them from fulfilling their ideas of liberty and freedom, for they were no longer in control of their destinies. Their destinies were being determined by the states in which their land was to be found and ultimately in Washington. For example, the later Palmer treaties "included a blanket agreement to move from these reserves to other locations selected by the government should the President at any time believe it demanded by the public good and promotive of the best interest of said Indians".(60) And all the time, Whites kept moving into areas that the government had treated with the Indians.

The Choctaws were the first to go. It was supposed to have gone smoothly. But rushing to open Indian lands "almost before the ink was dry" proved disastrous for the Indians. The basic policy was to "promote removal without doing anything that would alienate the public and reduce their support while at the same time not appearing blatantly immoral". Here's how Jackson wanted this played out: do this as quickly and as cheaply as possible while still acting humanely. The emphasis was on speed and economy and that overrode adequate care for the emigrating Indians.(61) Jackson secured the passage of the Indian Removal Bill of 1830 and then invited representatives from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek and Chickasaw to Tennessee to "discuss their future".(62) The Cherokees and Creeks didn't attend because they were already seeking relief from the United States Supreme Court. All Choctaws were not against the move. Some wanted to receive personal gain if they could persuade the tribe to relocate.

The so-called "civilizing" policies were to have brought to Indians what Whites honestly believed to be the benefits of American society so that they might then be absorbed into White society. Today we call that "cultural imperialism." In his book, American Indian Policy, Ronald N. Satz argues, "Civilizing the Indians for their assimilation into American society never took precedence over pushing them outside the area of White settlement: it merely justified it."(63)

Back in 1802, the federal government had made a pact with the state of Georgia to extinguish all remaining Indian title as soon as possible in return for Georgia's cessation of its western land claims.(64) Georgia's officials charged the Federal Government with reneging on the deal. So this was the worst time for the "Cherokee Nation's declaration of absolute sovereignty within the southern states".(65) "Then too, a decade earlier Georgia had made a pact with the Cherokees which solemnly guaranteed them their existing tribal land".(66) Conflict! As late as 1798, the government had reaffirmed its promise to the Cherokees. But as the years passed and Georgia did not get what it bargained for, its political leaders decided to handle the matter themselves. Viewed by Georgia as "dependent tenants" who held their land by the doctrine of "right of occupancy", which was subordinate to the doctrine "right of discovery" that the United States had inherited from the British, Georgia, encouraged by Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion in 1823, was disgusted when then President Adams would not force the Indians to abandon their land. The Cherokee Constitution angered them more and so Dear reader, the State Legislature of Georgia, on December 20,1828 decreed that "all Indian residents would come under its jurisdiction after six months."(67) Some of the nation's best legal minds banded together to defend the Cherokees. The Cherokees even contributed funds to help promote their cause. However, Andrew Jackson ignored it and went ahead with his plans.

And Now My Friends, Your Children Please...

"Let all that is within you die!...You cannot become truly American citizens, industrious, intelligent, cultured, civilized, until the Indian in you is dead"….urgings of a school official at an Indian school graduation ceremony.(68)

One night while channel surfing, I came upon a scene where women were running with their children trying to hide them from an authority of some sort who finally caught and dragged the children from their mother's arms kicking and screaming the whole time. The mother was lamenting and banging her fists against the automobile's window screaming "They're my kids! They're my kids!", to no avail. The film was "Rabbit Proof Fence". Watching this scene I was struck by the similarity of the "civilizing" methods used in Australia, and the American idea and policy of "Kill the Indian…Save the Man". And so Dear Reader, for me as a mother and grandmother who feels compelled to pass on my own cultural heritage to my descendents, this struck a chord deep inside me. How was it possible that there was such a policy to take people's children far away and attempt to replace centuries of a people's culture with another? Today, according to article two, the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide states:

"In the present Convention genocide means any of the following acts with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial, or religious group, as such. Furthermore, Section e: "…transferring children of the group to another group". (Children under age 18). Two elements exist: intent and action. Action is often inferred from a systematic pattern of coordinated acts.(69) For the Indian Schools in the United States, please note that they were federal institutions.

After the U.S. Army forced the Sioux chiefs to cede their lands which at that time encompassed North and South Dakota and also parts of what we today call Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming, and in return gave them a reservation almost as large as only South Dakota, once again the cry, "There's GOLD in them thar hills!" was heard. In response, the government came and took back the Black Hills. The Sioux considered this land to be sacred and were understandably angry. Freeze frame. Now, a soldier comes and asks for their children. That soldier was one Captain Pratt, who arrived just as the group is making ready for the coming winter (remember those brutal winters?). Now they have to worry about the very life- blood of their tribe—their children. Pratt met with the chiefs who were against this new move. Spotted Tail spoke but was told that because they couldn't "… read and write or cannot speak the language of the country, (are uneducated) these mountains, valleys and streams have passed from you. Your ignorance against the white man's education will more and more hinder and restrain you and take from you".(70) When Pratt left, the chiefs deliberated among themselves. They finally agreed to send the children away. The strategy was to take the children of the chiefs as a way to control the tribes. Years later, many of these children would regret the loss of their heritage.

At the schools, the children were torn between American ideas of individualism and their own large extended family, including parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins who all took an active role in the Indian Education of the children. Just as American children wanted to grow up to be a doctor or lawyer, someone who was considered to be of importance, so too did Indian children have dreams and aspirations. Becoming a warrior was a key theme for young Indian males who deemed those men to be of "great influence, entitled to honor and privilege".(71) But Indian ways were under attack also from the U.S. government's encouraging of the killing of the buffalo as a way to get the Indians to stay on the reservation. Buffalo was the source of Indian wealth. They wasted nothing. They used every part of these approximately two thousand pound animals, which provided them their basic needs that we all have: food, clothing and shelter. By the time the tribes were turned into wards of the government, they were on the reservation, under the control of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, wearing white people's cast-off clothing and receiving monthly rations of fatback, coffee and hardtack.(72) Flip the script. How were Whites on those vacated lands faring?? Were they in charge of their children's education? Were the ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that the Declaration of Independence afforded to all men, working for them?

How did the children respond? Some became so homesick that they died. Some became ill and passed contagious diseases to one another exacerbated by the unsanitary living conditions in the dormitories. One group, the Spokanes, sent twenty- one children to school and sixteen of them died there. In Idaho, at the Fort Hall School, eight students out of sixty- eight died of Scarlet Fever. They succumbed quickly but thirty of the others were sent home to die. There were so many deaths that each institution had its own cemetery!(73) Many ran away. Some were never seen or heard from again by either their families or the schools. One froze to death trying to go home. His name was Pius Little Bear.(74)

What were the punishments for infractions? Lockups of children as young as seven or eight years old, some for as long as several days or even weeks for the more serious infractions; hard labor on the rockpile. And, maybe forcing your "sister to stand for hours with her nose pressed against a circle on the blackboard".(75)

The central repeated lesson in all classes, for all of the children, was that the White man's way of life was superior to all others. One student internalized this lesson in an essay in which he wrote: "The White people are civilized. They have everything and go to school too. They know how to read and write so they can read newspaper. The Yellow people they are half civilized. Some of them know how to read and write. Some of them how to half take care of themselves. The red people are big savages: they don't know nothing".(76)

Students worked long hours helping to build some of the very structures they learned in as carpenters and bricklayers. The girls were the laundresses and seamstresses for the institutions. The children also did much of the farming work. If they did not do their work they were punished. Indian girls were generally taught homemaking skills, as women's work in White society was the same for all women. These girls ended up being maids in White homes. The boys did not fare too well as they had difficulty getting work with the

skills they had learned at school fueled by Whites mistrust of Indians, and were therefore offered only the most menial jobs. Some students actually liked the work, and many enjoyed getting wages for the work they did. And, there were some real success stories such as: the two girls who grew up to be doctors, returning to the reservation which were "ghettos, isolated and poor" (77) and helping their people. Then there were the all- star athletes such as Jim Thorpe (who has a town in Pennsylvania named after him). And there was the coach who believed in his athletes. His name was Pop Warner, a White man. But sadly Dear Readers, while most returned to their families on the reservation upon graduation, some, such as Polingaysi Qoyawayma, returned home and could no longer fit in. Nothing was good enough for her anymore. She had been too indoctrinated in the White man's ways right down to sleeping and eating arrangements. She would leave and live with White missionaries.(78) For others, such as Don Talayesva, it was a complete rejection of White culture and return to native ways due to hostility and pressure from his family, who were "Blanket Indians", traditionalists. But for some, it was a way to use their education at those schools to fight for Indian rights. In fact some of them became tribal leaders (with women for the first time in leadership roles). And due to the efforts of such former students such as Charles Eastman and Zitkala-Sa, members of an Indian activist group known as the Society of American Indians (nicknamed the Red Progressives), were ultimately responsible for a landmark victory, citizenship for all American Indians through the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.

Note that the BIA had strict rules against the mistreatment of the children in their care but many schoolteachers and officials, like our President Andrew Jackson, ignored this.


This unit will serve to introduce students to the forces and policies that caused dramatic changes in the ways American Indians had lived in what is now the United States for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans and the settling of this country. By the end of this unit students will be able to:

-learn how ideas of American citizenship, freedom and liberty were applied to persons in the 18 th and 19 th centuries.

-identify ideas and notions of racial, cultural and linguistic superiority and their effects on persons and communities in the 19 th and 20 th centuries

-read, understand and analyze selected texts, Supreme Court cases and documents

-gain empathy for "others" and connect to their own communities

-learn how the United States implemented its policies concerning American Indians and their children.

-understand the economic, social , political and cultural impacts of these policies on American Indians and Whites and how these impacts helped to shape Westward Expansion.

Sample Lesson Plan Using Strategies

Day One: The Opener (Adapted from Teacher's Curriculum Institute, History Alive )

I designed this one to put the students in the shoes of the Indians being removed to the West and draws on the Habit of the Mind, Historical Empathy. Experientials are specific to the historical events being taught. This one goes like this: Divide your room in two. Arrange your chairs, or desks in four groups of five and seat five students at each grouping (20 students). Leave one space in your room for only three students in a grouping but in a larger area, enough to fit 23 students. This is the "West". Seat these three desks first. Now, go around and place enough "resources" for six students at each group. The center table or desk of the grouping would be ideal. The resources could anything to little snacks, to pencils, to crayons -your choice. Seat 23 students. Pass out the white cards in envelopes on which you have labeled, Cholera, Typhoid, and Influenza to the remaining students. Ask those students to wait quietly off to the side. After the other students settle themselves, (about five minutes), go to one group and read this to them:

"My students, you are under my care and protection and therefore know that I have your best interest at heart. In order to keep you safe and the integrity of your group intact, I want you to leave this area and move over to area "West". (Point to the desk grouping of three) I will leave you to gather your things. When I return, you should be ready." Give them one minute-ready or not! MOVE THEM! Allow them to carry their chairs and books and move West. Repeat the same for all of the groups until they are all crowded into the "West" of your classroom. Now give the remaining students some resources to "trade" and send them with the envelope to each group. THEY ARE NOT TO OPEN OR PEEK INSIDE THIS ENVELOPE. When they have completed their transactions, have them to leave their envelope on one of the desks in the group and move further "West" or go to an area that was previously vacated and have a seat (provide chairs for them). The envelopes may now be opened by the seated students. Any time you do an experiential exercise with your class, you must debrief the class when it is completed because students will have feelings that need to be shared within the class. So, ask these types of questions when completed: How did you feel when I made you move? How did you feel in such a tight space? Did you feel that I really had your best interest at heart when I made you give up the space you were in for where you are now? What do you think about the disease cards? How do you think that card placed at your table affected all in your group? Look at the areas you left. Look at where you are. Do you think these were "fair" moves? Why or Why not? This concludes day one.

Days Two - Four: Visual Discovery (three days)

Locate 5 powerful images for each of these time frames: Pre-Columbian American Indians, Indian Wars, Scenes from Andrew Jackson's Life, Indian Removal, Indian Schools, Current Life on Reservations. For examples, see Appendix B. Project each image in time order. As you do this ask students these types of questions: What do you see? What are they (is he/she) doing? What are they wearing? After you have projected and gone through all of the questions with the students you may now assign selected reading that supports the images you have just projected. This allows the students to have a frame of reference when reading the texts. As students read, have them to jot down any sentences or terms that remind them of the images you projected. For suggested texts see Appendix B

Days Five and Six: Analyze Supreme Court case Cherokee Indians v. Georgia

Have students to read a summary and opinions of this court case (or any other which suits you better). As students work in pairs ask them to read the text. For more advanced students you may want to assign the actual text. Have students to analyze the case by answering these guiding questions: Who was the plaintiff? Who was the defendant? Why was the case brought to the Supreme Court? What was the outcome of this case? How did this case affect the Cherokees?

Days Seven and Eight: ESP & C : This stands for Economic, Social, Political and Cultural Impacts. . It causes students to examine a document, person, or event and think deeply about that document's impact. You can ESP & C any document. For instance, Look at a map of routes Indians took when forced to move West. What was the economic, social, political and cultural impact of such a move on the Indian tribes shown? What was the economic, social, political and cultural impact of the opening of those vacated lands on Whites? How did this tie into their ideas freedom and liberty ? Crime Scene Investigation: CSI. This is an excellent way to get students delving into materials outside of the classroom trying to solve a mystery. Locate a person, place or event that you want the students to study and develop its "story" in brief. Excellent for review work. Put quotation marks around the "clues" which should be searchable on the web or in the text so that the students can work in pairs to "solve" this case. Following please find an example of a CSI cold case . To take the students into further research, combine the "solved case" with the ESP plus C strategy listed above.

COLD CASE FILE# 0315-1767: After completely wiping out a family, this rather stern looking gentleman picked up the only survivor, a child, and took him home. Visitors to his "white house" reported seeing this child for the next fifteen years, apparently being treated "like a son". However, this "Old Hickory" of a man continued to "move " anyone else who looked like, or sounded like" the boy as far away from his home as possible. Who is this man and why is his face on the twenty dollar bill? What is his ESP?

Days Nine and Ten: Analyze Primary Sources. "An Indian Father's Plea": This is a letter that Robert "Grizzly Bear" Lake wrote to his five years old son's teacher. As your students silently read this letter to themselves have them to "text render" it. This is a powerful way to get the "thrust" of a document. The students while reading should underline a sentence that "grabs" them, bracket a phrase that "grabs" them and circle one word that "grabs" them. When the class has finished the reading, start at one end of the room and have each student to say aloud their sentences, then their phrases and finally, their one words. When the last word is spoken the class most likely will be silent as they will be processing the information. Source available in Appendix B.

Documents 2 and 3: The Indian Removal Bill and the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. The students should use the Document Analysis Worksheet from the National Archives to work in pairs to complete these worksheets. See Appendix B for source site. When completed, students should create a "Point of View" eight-panel graphic cartoon summarizing the information they learned from these two documents. For those who complain that they can't draw, stick figures are acceptable. Be sure to tell them to have their characters speak or think in "bubbles". This can be continued as a home based assignment if you run out of class time.

Days Eleven to Thirteen: Film Days. "Geronimo" or "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." This is your choice. They are both excellent. I particularly like them because they use native peoples and portray them as real people with hearts and minds and internal struggles just like everyone else, instead of caricatures. Use the Film Document Analysis for this. When complete, show a "Cowboy and Indian" type film from the 1950's (available at any video store). Now SOAP that film. See Appendix B. Take this one step further and extend this to a home based assignment and have the students to ESP &C the Cowboy and Indian film.

Days Fourteen and Fifteen: Research. Andrew Jackson: Hero or Anti-Hero? Students should now spend these two days and homework nights researching whether or not Jackson deserves to have his image on U.S. currency (twenty dollar bills). They should come up with five reasons either for or against his heroism and three summary points for their own conclusion. They must locate visuals to support their findings and be ready to vote to remove his image from the twenty dollar bill or keep it. Teachers, you can even have the class put him on trial for ignoring the Supreme Court's ruling. There's much you can do with this piece.

Cross Curricular Day: OUTBREAK! : For those who love math and science: the students can research the microbial epidemics that took place on the Great Plains during the 1800's. The guiding questions should include what factors were present for an outbreak of disease to occur. How were Indians' immunological systems affected by this great convergence of sojourners traveling through on the way West? How was disease passed from person to person and tribe to tribe? Were the sojourners aware that they were carriers of these microbes/illnesses? Did they care? Given our rate of travel today could this be possible for an epidemic such as took place on the plains? Students should write at least one full type written page and include visuals, graphs, charts, images and quotes. This can be started in class and completed at home.

Culminating Activity: Story Quilt. The students should work on this at home. This is an alternative assessment that will allow the students free choice of what they want to depict in their quilts which can be of fabric or heavy paper. The basic elements must include two points of view of the same event either sewn on if fabric or painted on, if heavy paper (available at any arts and crafts store). They may not use any words but must "tell" the story through imagery and symbols. Have them to select one event from the unit studied that resonated with them. Allow two weeks for completion.

Appendix A: Implementing PA. State Standards

ELA#1.1.8 Learning to Read Independently.Make and support with evidence assertions about text. Make extensions to related ideas topics or information.

ELA # 1.2.8 Reading Critically in All Content Areas. Identify bias and propaganda where present.

ELA# 1.5.8 Quality of Writing: Write with a sharp, distinct focus. Establish a single point of view.

AMERICAN HISTORY # 8.1 Chronological thinking. Historical interpretation.Historical research. Historical comprehension.

AMERICAN HISTORY# 8.3 Influences of continuity and change. Documents, artifacts and historical places.

SCIENCE # S8.A.2.1.4 Make statements about an observation that provides a reasonable explanation.

This unit, written for grade eight will address the above named standards by having students read and analyze selected texts from various sources including speeches, treaties, narratives, documents and visuals in order to increase their understanding and application of the ideas and events which impacted American Indians under the Jackson administration. They will also make and draw connections to events that took place under President Jackson to themselves and the quality of life they enjoy (and those persons who today in their own communities who are disenfranchised) and to the life conditions (legacy) of American Indians today living on reservations. They will research and write summaries in order to draw conclusions. The students will identify propaganda and bias about the ways in which Indians and "Hero" have been depicted in films.

Appendix B

SOAP stands for source, occasion, audience and purpose- great tool for analyzing documents

"A Father's Plea" Letter :

Indian School (see bibliography)

A History of Us (see bibliography)

For images: and

For further research you might want to take a look at the information the National Park Service has on the Canton Insane Asylum for American Indians and the arrests of Hopi sent to Alcatraz who were imprisoned in 1895 for not sending their children to the Indian Schools

End Notes

  1. 1 Authors' own words
  2. 2 American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Jon Meacham, Random House, 2008, 8
  3. 3 ibid, 9
  4. 4 ibid, 10
  5. 5 ibid, 11
  6. 6 ibid
  7. 7 ibid, 13
  8. 8 ibid, 15
  9. 9 ibid, 33
  10. 10 ibid, 17
  11. 11 A History of Us, 3 rd ed. vol. 4, Joy Hakim, Oxford Press, 2006
  12. 12 ibid
  13. 13 p. Revolutionary Characters, What Made the Founders Different, Gordon S. Wood, Penguin Press, 2006
  14. 14 American Lion, Jon Meacham, 59
  15. 15 ibid, 91
  16. 16 ibid,54
  17. 17 ibid, 91
  18. 18 Andrew Jackson to Creek Indians, 1829
  19. 19 Speckled Snake's reply to Andrew Jackson's proposal to Creek Indians, 1829
  20. 20 A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, Ronald Takaki, Little Brown and Co. 1993, chap. one
  21. 21 ibid
  22. 22 The Story of American Freedom, Eric Foner,W.W.Norton, 1998
  23. 23 As told to author by Marilyn Dempsey, a Dine woman, July, 2011
  24. 24 American Indian Treaties, The History of a Political Anamoly, Francis Paul Prucha,University of California Press,1994, 128,129
  25. 25 ibid
  26. 26 ibid
  27. 27 ibid, 130
  28. 28 ibid
  29. 29 ibid, 131
  30. 30 ibid
  31. 31 ibid
  32. 32 ibid, 132
  33. 33 ibid
  34. 34 The Way To The West, Elliott West, University of New Mexico Press, 1995, 23
  35. 35 ibid, 14
  36. 36 ibid 15
  37. 37 The Way To The West, Elliott West, 18
  38. 38 ibid
  39. 39 ibid, 22
  40. 40 ibid, 26
  41. 41 ibid, 29
  42. 42 ibid, 17
  43. 43 ibid
  44. 44 Colorado geography, net state
  45. 45 ibid, 38
  46. 46 ibid
  47. 47 ibid, 41
  48. 48 ibid, 43
  49. 49 ibid, 87
  50. 50 ibid
  51. 51 ibid, 88
  52. 52 American Indian Policy in the Jacksonian Era, Ronald N. Satz, University of Nebraska Press,1974, 10
  53. 53 The Story of American Freedom, Eric Foner, 21
  54. 54American Indian Policy in the U.S, 10.
  55. 55 ibid, 9
  56. 56 ibid, 10
  57. 57 ibid, 3
  58. 58 American Indian Treaties, 4
  59. 59 ibid, 13
  60. 60 Cherokee Indians v Georgia
  61. 61 American Indian Treaties, 249
  62. 62 American Indian Policy, 64
  63. 63 ibid, 66
  64. 64 ibid, 2
  65. 65 ibid, 3
  66. 66 ibid
  67. 67 ibid
  68. 68 ibid
  69. 69 Indian School,Teaching the White Man's Way, Michael L. Cooper, Clarion Books, 1999, 82
  70. 70 Genocide Convention1948
  71. 71 Indian School, 3
  72. 72 ibid, 14
  73. 73 ibid, 19
  74. 74, ibid, 46
  75. 75, ibid 47
  76. 76, ibid, 49
  77. 77, ibid, 55
  78. 78 ibid, 86
  79. 79 ibid, 85


    Foner, Eric. The Story of American Freedom. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.

    This is the book that helped me to understand what was at work in the American conscious during our countries early years

    Prevent Genocide International.

    This activist group defines the conditions for the crime to exist.

    Hakim, Joy. A History of US. Revised, 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press,2006.

    Fabulous! Reads like a good bedtime story. Hakim has a great sense of humor. Wonderful for students.

    Prucha, Francis Paul. American Indian Treaties: The History of a Political Anomaly. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

    Excellent reading. Not boring. Makes what could be tedious reading very interesting.

    Wood, Gordon S.. Revolutionary characters: what made the founders different. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.

    This is where I found out what Thomas Jefferson thought about Andrew Jackson. There are more stories of interest that will delight the reader.

    Cooper, Michael L. Indian School: Teaching the White Man's Way. New York: Clarion Books, 1999.Wonderful book on the schools that the federal government set up for Indian children. Does not mince words when handling difficult material.

    Meacham, Jon. American lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. New York: Random House, 2008.

    The definitive book on Andrew Jackson. It gave me the background information I needed to understand how his life as a youngster on the eve of the Revolution shaped his later years and his ideas and decisions.

    "National Archives and Records Administration." National Archives and Records Administration.

    Contains all the federal records of the interactions between the federal government and Indians. Loaded with primary sources. Locate analysis worksheets here.

    Prucha, Francis Paul. Documents of United States Indian Policy . Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1975.

    An excellent resource book. Should be on every 8th grade teacher's desk.

    Satz, Ronald N. American Indian Policy in the Jacksonian Era. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 19741975.

    This is a wonderful book, which tells the "story" not only of the policies the U.S. developed for American Indians but gives the background and the human interaction. Definitely not a dry read!

    Takaki, Ronald T.. A Different Mirror: a History of Multicultural America. Boston:Little,Brown & Co., 1993.

    This is a valuable and interesting resource for locating people's earlier histories in an easy to read format. Helps to "connect the dots".

    West, Elliott. The Way to the West: Essays on the Central Plains. Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 1995.

    I had the pleasure of sitting in seminar with this delightful professor and was awed by his vast knowledge about what life was like on the Great Plains. His book is as interesting to read as he is to listen to.

    Williams, Yohuru R.. Teaching U.S. History Beyond the Textbook: Six Investigative Strategies Grades 5-12. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2009.

    Wow! What can I say here? These strategies turn the kids into history "detectives" and really grabs them and makes them want to go out and "solve" the case.

    Chicago formatting by

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