Review on the Native Americans’ History

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2021/02/26
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From 1492, up until the late 19th century European settlers were determined have American Indian land for theirs to keep. In an effort for the natives to cooperate with American culture, they were regularly encouraged to convert to Christianity, or learn to speak English, and sometimes even adopt European practices such as ownership of African slaves. The idea of the Removal Act was accepted by the settlers in the south, President Jackson was hopeful that the removal of the tribes would resolve the situation in Georgia, that was referred to as the “Indian problem.” President Andrew Jackson had fought and defeated the Muscogee Creek Indians in The Creek War of 1814 during his time in the military, he had also led the Indian Removal Campaign, which led to the helping of negotiating 11 treaties that sought to remove Native American Indians from their lands. (“Research Guides: Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents In American History: Introduction”) To achieve the displacement of the Native Americans President Jackson had encouraged Congress to adopt the idea of the Removal Act. If passed, the Indian Removal Act would install a process in which the President could grant land west of the Mississippi River to the Indian tribes that consented to giving up their homelands. One of the primary reasons for this law was the riches that were believed to have lie deep within native land. White settlers and miners were particularly in favor of this law that was to be passed, when the law required the government to negotiate removal treaties fairly, and peacefully, it did not permit coercing, or forcing native nations into giving up their land. The idea of the Indian Removal Act was adopted by Congress, and passed into law on May 28th, 1830. Once it came time for the negotiation of the native land, President Jackson, followed by his governemnt began to forcfully take the land from the natives, pushing them out of their home land.

When the removal and forceful taking had begun, the Choctaw people were the first to be affected by this act..The removal treaty signed was deemed the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, a treaty that directs the Choctaws in Mississippi to vacate their land payment and land in the west. Treaties such as this one, were aimed to decrease the tension between white Americans who were flowing into Indian territories for trade. (“Treaty Of Dancing Rabbit Creek”) The Choctaw people went without without any food, supplies, or help from the government, thousands died among relocation. As the removal continued, the Cherokee people was the next nation that was forced to move, some Cherokee’s stayed and fought, but others took in favor of the paymen of goods and land. As many as 4,000 of the 16,000 Cherokee people perished among their journey to new land. Then, in 1835 the U.S. Government drove the Creek (Muscogee Creek) Natives from their land. Over 3,500 of the 15,000 Creek Natives who set out for Oklahoma did not survive the trip. (“Milestones: 1830–1860 – Office Of The Historian”) The government then tried to push the Seminole people from their land, After learning that they did not intend to leave Florida, he informed the Seminoles that President Jackson had authorized him to remove them by force if necessary, which led to more tyranny with the native people. The Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Muscogee Creeks were the main tribes affected by this law, though additional tribes were affected by this law. The Wyandot, the Kickapoo, the Potawatomi, the Shawnee, and the Lenape tribe were tribes that faced harship due to the passing of this act, and the American Indian discrimination that followed it. The relocation of these Native American tribes was known as the “Trail of Tears,” this term refers to the suffering of those who experienced the relocation. The trail of relocation were several routes with only one main water route. It is estimated that some 15,000 Native Americans died during the relocation journey. (“Indian Removal”)

On December 28, 1835, Major Francis Dade was leading over 100 soldiers from Fort Brooke to Fort King. Some 180 Seminoles and their partners trapped the troops Only three soldiers survived the attack. Private Edward Decourcey was later seen by a single Seminole Indian on horseback and was killed. The Dade Massacre was a loss for the United States Army, the massacre marked the beginning of the Second Seminole War. (“Dade Massacre In December Of 1835”) This then escalated tensions to the start of the Second Seminole War, which lasted until 1842. Then, war broke out between the Seminole people and U.S. government forces in 1835, Osceola was as a leader among the Seminoles and was eager to oppose resettlement. In October of 1836, General Thomas Jesup was set out to Florida, in an attempt to take command of the crusade. After his unveiling attempt, of trying to flee large groups of Seminole warriors through the wilderness, Jesup changed his approach and began looking for and destroying Seminole farms and villages. (“Second Seminole War | Background, Battles, & Outcome”) This was a strategy that soon would change the course of the war. In December 1837, Colonel Zachary Taylor drove nearly 1,000 men against a hidden Seminole camp at Lake Okeechobee. During the battle, the outnumbered Seminoles endured substantial misfortunes but were forced to withdraw. Not long after the fight, Colonel Taylor was then moved to the position of Brigadier General, which is a rank of officer in the British army, above the colonel and below major general. In May of 1838, he later assumed the command of the operation in Florida. from Major General Thomas S. Jesup. In the summer of 1837, U.S. Powers caught Seminole Leader Osceola under false treaty agreement. January 30, 1838 Osceola passes in Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. In 1842 at the end of the Second Seminole War, 4,420 Seminoles had surrendered and been sent west to Indian Territory. (“The Second Seminole War (1835-1842)”)

Soon after the start of the 1835 Second Seminole War, in 1836 the Creek natives fought in what is now known as the Creek War of 1836. Though most of the Creek natives had been forced to Indian Territory, those that remained rebelled when the state moved to abolish tribal governments and extend state laws over the Creeks. The Second Creek War was a contention between the U.S., Alabama and Georgia militias, as well as a group from the Creek Nation looking for change for long-standing injustices in Alabama. The Creek War started in Alabama, when a group of Creek natives attacked neaby non-negotiating settlers. (“Creek War Of 1836 And The Trail Of Tears”) In hopes to keep the lower Chattahoochee River, a group of 300 Creek warriors scouted the riverside town of Roanoke, Georgia, which now lies beneath Walter F. George Reservoir. These Creeks, lived primarily in towns along the Chattahoochee River. (“Creek Indians,” 2002) The Creek people confronted a government that wouldn’t implement the terms of the 1832 Treaty of Cusseta. Moreover, an ever increasing number of white pioneers were defrauding them out of their property. During the Creek War in Alabama, Opothleyahola, a Creek chief was commissioned as a Colonel by the U.S. government, and led 1,500 of his warriors against a group of rebellious Creeks who had allied themselves with the Seminole in fighting the white occupation. During conflict, Pres. Andrew Jackson passed a policy for the forced removal of the remaining Creek Natives.

From 1855-1858 the Third Seminole War erupted, under Chief Billy Bowlegs. The Seminole people stood their final battle against the U.S. in the Florida Everglades. This war the result of American encroachment on Seminole lands, the Seminole people who were living in the Florida Everglades at this time were refugees who had avoided removal to Oklahoma. The war started when Bowlegs retaliated against a crew of land surveyors who had looted his camp. Three years later, many of the Seminole accepted the government’s terms of surrender when the U.S. had adopted a policy of removing Indians to territory west of the Mississippi River. By the mid-1850s, more than 3,000 Seminole had been deported. (“Third Seminole War”) However, some Seminole remained in Florida, after a series of conflicts and battles, the final fight came in 1857 when the Seminoles camp was burned by the army. In addition, the soldiers took large quantities of the Seminoles food and farm supply. In 1858, the Americans met with Seminole leader Billy Bowlegs to discuss an end to the Third Seminole War. The Americans offered the Seminoles $1,000 to each of the Seminole leaders, $500 to each warrior, and $100 to each woman and child. Approximately $7,500 total. (“The Third Seminole War,” 2010) The money was to be paid when the Seminole boarded the ship at Egmont Key to leave the state, the Seminole held council and agreed to accept the offer. Nearly 200 Seminole remained in Florida after Billy Bowlegs and his tribe had been removed to Indian Territory. The remaining Seminole withdrew from all willing contact with the american people and existed for the next twenty years in relative isolation.

When the Native Americans’ history had started thousands of years ago, their encounter started with one person. A man who was determined to find a direct route from Europe to Asia, Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the Native people in the Americas. Christopher Columbus had reached the Caribbean in 1492, historians estimated that there were nearly 10 million indigenous tribes living in U.S. domain. By the year 1900, the number of Indigenous peoples had decreased to under 300,000. (“Atrocities Against Native Americans – United To End Genocide”) From Columbus’s arrival to America in 1492 up until today, Native American tribes have been oppressed throughout history. In the 1800’s, the Native American peoples’ land was divided, and they were forced onto reservations by the Removal Act of 1830. Native Americans have been labeled “hostile” or “savage,” and have massacred by the Union Army. Many reservations and “Indian Territory” was taken over as well, by land-hungry settlers, and today, many of the major tribes that once flourished over all of North America are sparse. Firstly, it is imperative for individuals to be educated on misbeliefs and understand that the United States is/was built on stolen land. (“Understanding The Systematic Oppression Of Native Americans”) Despite treaties, Native Americans were subject to continuous removal and extermination policies. Some modern day issues for Native Americans, such as education, are rarely addressed. From a study done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics native american rates of violent victimization are higher than any other race in the U.S. .This is a broad construct including domestic violence, cybercrime, sexual assault, and even parenting. From 1992-1996 the all violent victimizations rate was 120, this rate is per 1,000 person above age 12. (“American Indian and Crime”).

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