It is 1830. The population of U.S. citizens in Georgia was growing rapidly and pushing into the western
portions of the state. However, the Cherokee nation occupied a large area of western Georgia. Treaties
signed between the United States and the Cherokees guaranteed them the rights to this land, but settlers
had begun to move into these territories, sparking conflicts with the Cherokees that were growing violent.
The discovery of gold within the Cherokee territory in 1828 only made the situation worse. At the urging of
President Andrew Jackson, the Committee on Indian Affairs drafted a bill that would give the President
the power to order the removal of all Native Americans living east of the Mississippi River to designated
lands west of the Mississippi.
Read each of the documents below. You may want to outline each argument as you read.
After reading the documents, you are to write a two page essay explaining and analyzing the different
perspectives on Indian removal.
The Indian Removal
The removal of Indians from their lands in 1830 from Georgia and other parts where they
had great ownership of the existing land became a pressing issue to the government of the United
States. The whites who came to the American shores and were warmly accepted by the Indians
were now considering the removal of all the 75,000 Indians from the land of their fathers and
their ancestors. Even though they are offering them other lands to move in to, leaving their
homes were quite a difficult approach. The issue was discussed in the Congress, and people had
different views including the people of Cherokees being the major party in the agreement
The president of the United States saw it as a favor for the Indians after they refused to
adhere to the laws of the state and wanted to form their own independent government, so instead
of using wars it was to be a peaceful removal. The different ideas and approaches to the issue
given to it by the whites are both logical and depressing. The Red Indians had the rights to their
lands and based on the earlier treaties they signed with the United States, who agreed to be their
protector, removing them from their lands was not an act of protection. Denying someone the
right to ownership of their own lands is not a form of protection in any way. However, some
communities agreed to the idea of leaving their land seeing it as an opportunity to a peaceful
settlement of the ongoing issue.
Some members of the Congress, who were against the bill of removing the Indians, saw it
wise to leave the decision upon the Indians themselves. Contracting the movement of people
from their lands even at a cheaper cost was going to cost families as even the old and sickling
who were not able to make it to the other lands were to move. They believed in the Indians also
to as being capable of developing because they had children in school, their own workshops,
properties, churches and even the printing press for their ideas.
The reasoning of those in favor of the removal like the president, was that it was just a
favor. Some also had the perspective of the Indians fighting against the whites in the land next to
them without considering that times had quite changed. The proposition was due to some
reasons but based on previous treaties, the president and the Congress were making decisions to
their own favor and favor of their people’s comfort. Considering the Indians as humans and as
people who deserved same rights to their lands as the whites the bill should have been
The response given by the Council of Cherokee Nation suggested that they wanted to
remain in the lands of their fathers because no one would be interested in moving willingly. The
whole idea of the government threatening that they may be finally extinct and was trying to save
them seemed like a threat. This compelled them to move to the country west of the Arkansas
territory, a move that would not be quite pleasing to them. The move made by Andrew Jackson,
the president, who also considered them primitive is not the best way of resolving the undesired
occurrences, however the Indians would still be forced to move or remain in the lands they
considered theirs but under the sovereignty and laws of the state.
Jennifer Erbach. The Cherokee Removal Group A readings. Lincoln Net. Web. 6 May.