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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    Passing moral judgment on how people acted or behaved hundreds of years ago can be a risky undertaking. I do NOT want to get into a political discussion here, which is frowned upon, but the simple fact remains that in the 1830's, most American did not live in cities. They lived on farms, in many cases out in the middle of nowhere, and on the far frontiers, the threat from Indian attacks was very real. In some places, it was constant. It's all well and good for us to be smug about this subject today and tut-tut about Jackson and the Cherokee removals, but the plain and simple truth is that in the 1830's, the overwhelming number of Americans felt that this action was not only proper and deserved, but was long overdue. To them, Jackson was a hero.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    This is a good post, and worth remembering.

    But it's also worth remembering that many of the Cherokee that were displaced near the southern end of the AT were not "on the war path" but rather successful farmers themselves-- having adapted rather well to the changes that they faced. They paid a price for the stereotype that Jack makes note of-- a sterotype that was used to further very ignoble and selfish ends.

    Its also worth remembering that while many of his contemporaries supported the Cherokee Removal, the Supreme court did not. There is a cautionary tale that remains valid today, I think.

    What better place to think of these things, than the places they happened.
    Thank you Rick. I also said something to the same effect but using language that was deemed unsuitable hence it was deleted.

    The Cherokee as whole were not removed as Jack grossly mistakenly implies because they were raiding farms in the middle of nowhere.

    I'm on the same page with Jack 90% of the time. I thought he missed the fairness mark with his post. It came from a much biased perspective. It gets back to who's historical perspective, often biased, and language one is going to heed. I'd like a larger perspective encompassing different viewpoints examining different sides before reaching judgments.

    BTW Jack, moral judgments are made on people's past behavior 50, 150, 1000 or more yrs ago with regularity. You're playing a one sided game when you don't bring into question your side or your perspective passes moral judgement yet calls foul when moral judgement is passed on you. Uhh, Andrew Jackson was definitely passing moral judgment on the Indian so were some others who could gain from it through conquest. This is passing a whole lot of moral judgment: "What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic studded with cities, towns and prosperous farms, embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization, and religion?" Andrew Jackson in 1829.

    No less alarming it is coming from the then President of the United States.

    Here's why this is important. It relates to what history can be learned when a hike is approached embracing more than hiking. One of the greatest opportunities to embrace history on a hike is the AT. GREAT trail for historical lessons.

  2. #102
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    Dogwood: Please take a minute and re-read my post. Exactly NOWHERE did I accuse the Cherokees of raids, crimes, atrocities, etc. What I said was that in America of the 1830's, we were a rural people, and for thousands of folks, in all sorts of places, the threat from Indians was very real indeed. For the typical rural American, even if the threat where he happened to live was minimal, he would certainly know of places where it was not; perhaps he came from a place or grew up in a place where the threat was real. And all Americans back then were avid readers of newspapers, and then as now, sensationalism and violence sold papers. In short, because the Indian threat was perceived (often correctly) as very real indeed, there was very little sympathy for them when it came to stern government action against them. And as to Jackson "definitely passing moral judgment" on the Indian, remember that he spent many of his early years fighting them, and he did indeed witness the result of raids, he saw the aftermath of atrocities, etc. It is only natural that in later years, his heart was going to be hardened towards all Indians, and unfortunately, this came to include the Cherokee people as well. Jackson all his life also carried a saber scar on his forehead delivered by a British officer during the Revolution; for the rest of his life, he didn't have much use for the British anymore than he did for Indians. Our early years all too often color our perceptions and biases for the rest of our lives and it was true for Jackson as it is for anyone else.

  3. #103
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    That Jackson was a product of his time is worth keeping in mind, but such an axiomatic observation misses the special brutality and motivation for the Indian Relocation I think.

    On a thru hike, you can let your mind wander and think of both the land over which you pass and the people who populated it before you walked and camped on it.

    In northwesten Georgia, that land was particulary productive for the native people that lived there, and allowed many to build successful farms and homes in the Colonial tradition. They thrived on that land.

    And then that land produced gold, and the flames of prejujudice were fanned for simple greed and other reasons historians can debate, and the Cherokee were force on their bleak and barren reservation.

    One thing great about a thru hike is thinking about what happened on he land you are walking -- in the same way you can do so on the battlefields of Gettysburg. The difference on the AT in Georgia is that there are no visitor centers around audio tours and signs to remind you of what happened there.

    Still worth doing, I think.

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    That Jackson was a product of his time is worth keeping in mind, but such an axiomatic observation misses the special brutality and motivation for the Indian Relocation I think.

    On a thru hike, you can let your mind wander and think of both the land over which you pass and the people who populated it before you walked and camped on it.

    In northwesten Georgia, that land was particulary productive for the native people that lived there, and allowed many to build successful farms and homes in the Colonial tradition. They thrived on that land.

    And then that land produced gold, and the flames of prejujudice were fanned for simple greed and other reasons historians can debate, and the Cherokee were force on their bleak and barren reservation.

    One thing great about a thru hike is thinking about what happened on he land you are walking -- in the same way you can do so on the battlefields of Gettysburg. The difference on the AT in Georgia is that there are no visitor centers around audio tours and signs to remind you of what happened there.

    Still worth doing, I think.
    I do agree that the trail of tears was a bad move and a sad part of our history.

    I just hate to see how people get so worked up over these things (not including you) and distort history and people's culture through their faulty prejudices. This is also why we see so many negative posts about the southern portions of the Appalachians. Good article on that and it does contain the term Appalachian Mountains, so I think it's applicable here

    And I think you're absolutely correct in this: "One thing great about a thru hike is thinking about what happened on the land you are walking ..."

    I think people are too focused on looking for heroes and villains instead of trying to understand our history. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...rc=nl_opinions

  5. #105

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    Rickb hits the real reason for Cherokee removal: The discovery of gold by the Georgia settlers. Then the good old Georgia boys demanded ownership of Indian land because they wanted the gold. Jackson went along with the plan.

    Gold fever induced thousands of European immigrants (illegal immigrants?) to steal Indian land all across the continent---just study Custer and the Black Hills gold rush on Sioux land in 1874, except in that case the Indians actually fought back and killed Custer and his boys.

    And no better example of gold fever-induced genocide can be given than the aforementioned California Indian holocaust of 1846-48.

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    I do agree that the trail of tears was a bad move and a sad part of our history.

    I just hate to see how people get so worked up over these things (not including you) and distort history and people's culture through their faulty prejudices. This is also why we see so many negative posts about the southern portions of the Appalachians. Good article on that and it does contain the term Appalachian Mountains, so I think it's applicable here

    And I think you're absolutely correct in this: "One thing great about a thru hike is thinking about what happened on the land you are walking ..."

    I think people are too focused on looking for heroes and villains instead of trying to understand our history. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...rc=nl_opinions
    Jim Webb who wrote the Post article is a hero of mine as he's a USMC Vietnam vet but he has a skewered opinion of Andrew Jackson. He needs to sit down and talk with some real Indians for a change and get their opinions on the matter, especially Cherokee elders. THEN we'll talk.

  7. #107

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    Gold was a major factor, but the foundation for the trail of tears was already formed by President Jefferson, before the discovery of gold. Jefferson supported the relocation...

    I don't want to derail this thread, so I'll just post a few links...

    http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/368

    http://westgatehouse.com/art263.html

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/jefferso...ive-americans/

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Jim Webb who wrote the Post article is a hero of mine as he's a USMC Vietnam vet but he has a skewered opinion of Andrew Jackson. He needs to sit down and talk with some real Indians for a change and get their opinions on the matter, especially Cherokee elders. THEN we'll talk.
    I'll bow out now, because I don't want to see any more deletions of posts. Hopefully more people read about history without their personal biases....It really is fascinating....

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    Gold was a major factor, but the foundation for the trail of tears was already formed by President Jefferson, before the discovery of gold. Jefferson supported the relocation...

    I don't want to derail this thread, so I'll just post a few links...

    http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/368

    http://westgatehouse.com/art263.html

    http://www.earlyamerica.com/jefferso...ive-americans/
    Good links. I can sum them up with a quote from the last one:

    Thus, the Native Americans must change, become Europeanized, or become extinct. Even out of office Jefferson held this view. In his plan for the University of Virginia, he devised a scheme to “civilize” the Native American.

    Problem is, many if not most Indians then and now do not want to become Europeanized, or what they call "Whitemanized." Read Dennis Banks. Read Russell Means. Read Dee Brown. Study the life of Anna Mae Aquash. Especially read Vine Deloria jr. Study Oren Lyons.

    Carlisle Indian School was founded in 1879 by Capt Richard Pratt and it's purpose was to take Indian children away from their parents and "Americanize" them. His best quote is known by all Native Americans---

    "Kill the Indian, and Save the Man."

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucherm View Post
    How does it fit the timeline? Indentured servitude was more or less over in North America in the first half of the 19th century, and the largest wave of Irish immigration began with the Famine in the 1840s.
    While it is true that the largest wave of Irish immigration began with the famine, many of the first Irish came to Virginia in the early colonial period as convict laborers.

    From: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/...olonial_Period

    "Convict laborers could be purchased for a lower price than indentured white or enslaved African laborers, and because they already existed outside society's rules, they could be more easily exploited."

    And from: https://sites.google.com/site/britis.../home/object-3

    "After the English Civil war, Irish prisoners were sent to Virginia under charges of treason (Shaw 24). In this case, criminals were sent to Virginia not because of their actual crime, but because they were considered enemies of the state."

  11. #111

    Default Vine Deloria, Jr.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post

    Especially read Vine Deloria jr.
    TW- Thanks for the reminder that I need to dig out my Deloria volumes and re-read "God Is Red" and "Custer Died For Your Sins".

    I wonder if you were introduced to Vine Deloria, Jr by the same superb instructor which shined the light for me--Professor Ruble of the Appalachian State University Department of Philosophy and Religion? Ruble canned the regular text for the sophomore level "Philosophy of Religion" course I took in 1975 and had us buy "God Is Red", then proceeded on a semester-long compare-contrast of Native American religion and Judeo-Christian religion. It was, and he was, a terrific experience.

    AO
    ASU Class of 1978

  12. #112

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    You can always compare and contrast different religions, but in the end they're all just religions.

  13. #113
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    Not going to touch that topic.

  14. #114

    Default No arguement there, but the point was.........

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    You can always compare and contrast different religions, but in the end they're all just religions.
    ......that the Native American experience, particularly in the Plains and the West, is well described by the work of a few writers in particular. Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005) was one of the best. Tipi Walter mentioned Deloria, in the context of the thread, as a source of perspective from Native Americans' viewpoint. I was at Appalachian State when TW was, and I wondered if he'd first been turned on to Deloria by the same ASU professor who had first introduced me to his work. Dr Raymond Ruble even lived "up the same creek", generally speaking, as I did (Rocky Creek, off of Winkler Creek, the headwaters of which were my back yard, and TW had some friends residing in a tipi right off of Russ Cornett Rd near Harvard Ayers' land, between my location and Professor Ruble's creek.

    AO

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