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The Native American Trail of Tears

            Native Americans were on this continent long before anyone of British descent. Cherokees were cruelly removed from their homeland, where they had resided for centuries. The voyage of removal is known as the Trail of Tears. The effects on the Cherokees Indians before the removal before and during the removal, and after the Trail of Tears were devastating. The Cherokee Native Americans were a distinct people. When the Cherokee spoke, they did so one at a time. After the speaker was through he or she would fall quiet, and listen to the other. "A Cherokee woman had more rights and power than European women " (Ehle 2). Cherokee women had the right to decided who she would marry. The home and children were hers. She had the right to kill her child if he or she was deformed or if she bore too many. "To obtain a divorce, she packed her husband's clothes in a bag and set it outside her door " (Ehle 3). Divorce was common with the Cherokee, many remarriages occurred. "The Cherokees were polite, except that the men, particularly the young, were easily offended and quick to react, often violently; whiskey made the men argumentative and testy " (Ehle 3). The men loved to play ball games. Ball players were subjected to harsh rules that restricted their diet before the game. If a player broke rules they would be subject to public humiliation. "The Indians "went to water " often, considering water, the sun, and fire to be three holy gifts of the Great Spirit"" (Ehle 2). The Cherokees lived off the land; it was their greatest source of survival.
             "Originally, the Cherokee Nation extended from the Ohio River south almost to present day Atlanta, Georgia, and from Virginia and the Carolinas west across Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, to the Illinois River"" (Thornton 289). The Cherokee Land shrank considerably after the Revolutionary War. Land loss and the growing of our nation lead to interactions between the US and the Cherokee.

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