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as a sovereign power, and their eloquent arguments are as persuasive today as they were to white supporters then. While removal is an extremely complex issue, and economic considerations did have some influence upon statesmen such as John Ridge, all sides (within the Cherokee) appear to have been motivated by what they thought were the best interests of the Nation.

The statement, then, of the Cherokee delegation to the Senecas in 1834 becomes a more insightful summation of the entire period, as the Cherokees compared their Nation to a "solitary tree in an open space where all the forest trees around have been prostrated by a furious tornado-save one." This tree itself would eventually be prostrated also, both by assimilation and removal, resulting in one of the greatest tragedies, and greatest injustices, of American history. The repercussions of this history continue, and continue to be both perpetrated and fought, today.


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