Cherokee Removal and Routes Toward more Ethical Treatment of the Past

By | November 28, 2022

An Article by the Missouri Humanities’ Archeologist

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Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

By Erin N. Whitson, M.S.

Links added by Chris Dunn

The Cherokee People Survived

Most of us have heard about Cherokee Removal (or the Trail of Tears) at some point in the past. We’ve all heard the general layout of the story…Cherokee folks did everything in their power to stay in their homelands but were ultimately unsuccessful at convincing the Federal Government that they could (and should) be left to their own devices in the lands that birthed them. Most histories continue with a [brief] focus on how harsh the trip was and how many people died (a lot) but there isn’t a lot most of us know about the process of removal itself.

This article will give glimpses at how I’ve been approaching my archaeological work on Cherokee Removal, but to get there, I’ll first provide a bit of a background on Cherokee Removal and what we know (and don’t know) about it. By the end, I hope that you’ll move forward with a better understanding of just how atrocious this event was (on par with ethnic cleansing episodes in other portions of the world at the very least), and how heroic the Cherokee were for having held together as a people throughout it all.

Before we get started, it’s also crucial to remember the Cherokee people survived. They’re ultimately the heroes of this story….Read the article here:

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