Indian Removal – Term Paper

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 served as the final step in the actualization of large scale movement of Cherokee tribe from their ancestral land to the settlement West of Mississippi River. While the English Christian Missionaries were opposed to this proposal, the Five Cherokee tribes living in the South were contented by it. As exemplified by Elias Boudinot’s letter to a Cherokee Chief John Ross, Indian Removal was a blessing in disguise, given that there was high moral and economic deprivation in the ancestral Indian settlements. In the letter, Boudinot expressed concern about the rising level of moral decadence: “see the progress that vice and immorality have already made”, and opined that “Removal, then, is the only remedy – the only practicable remedy”. 

Although both the Indian and the United State government were pro-removal, I detest this removal because of its myriad economic and social implications. The journey to the west was flanked by incessant outbreaks of cholera that killed many Indian children and adults. Supply of food, clothing and medicine was in short supply and the Indians faced the full wrath of cold and hunger. Families were broken up as people were moved in phases. The migrants were escorted by harsh US army who were mandated to ensure that nobody retreated to the East. Indians dubbed the journey “the place where they cried” due to the sorrow that accompanied them. Economically, Indians were livestock keepers and farmers, although the US government thought of them as savage hunters and gatherers. This negative stereotyping was unfair, since it motivated the Congress in passing the Indian Removal act. Indians left behind their livestock as they teetered into desolation and poverty.