Janus' Home


federal troops into the troubled region but, at the insistence of Georgia's governor that the Georgia Guard could handle the problem, withdrew them. Georgia forced other laws on the beleaguered reservation: no Cherokee could testify against a white in court, and any contract between a white man and an Indian was considered invalid unless witnessed by two whites.

Georgia created this legislation in order to "render life in their own country intolerable to the Cherokee by depriving them of all legal protection and friendly counsel, and the effect was precisely as intended."46 A disgusted Edward Everett gave an impassioned speech before the House of Representatives about the locust plague of brigand whites invading Cherokee territory:

They have but to cross the Cherokee line; they have but to choose the time and place where the eye of no white man can rest upon them, and they may burn the dwelling, waste the farm, plunder the property, assault the person, murder the children of the Cherokee subject of Georgia, and though hundreds of the tribe may be looking on, there is not one of them that can be permitted to bear witness against the spoiler.47

In a number of cases, that is exactly what happened.

In 1830, Jackson pushed through, by a slim majority, the Indian Removal Bill. The bill called for the removal, by negotiated treaty, of all southeastern Indians, including the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles and Cherokees. By May of 1832 the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws and Seminoles had all signed removal treaties with the United States Government. The Cherokees, in meeting with a Seneca delegation in 1834, stated that their Nation was a "solitary tree in an open space where all the forest trees around have been prostrated by a furious tornado-save one."48

Government opinion, evidenced by the split on the Indian Removal Bill, was divided. Democrats supported it, while Whigs were opposed. States' rights proponents supported Jackson's policies. Federalists in want of a strong central government that respected its own


46. Mooney, 112.
47. Edward Everett, "Speech in the Senate Apr 16 1830," in Mooney, 112.
48. Cherokee Delegation, Seneca Delegation, "Cherokee Delegation to Seneca Delegation, Apr 1834," in Woodward, 160.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 |28