As we examine the effects of manifest destiny on the American identity, we must also remember to pay attention to how westward expansion and the resulting idea of ‘America’ affected the country’s native inhabitants.
Since the beginning of the course we have examined the representations of the Native Americans in early American texts and literature. As we approach the end of American westward expansion and enter into the Romantic period of American literature, it is important to examine multiple perspectives surrounding the Indian Removal Act and Trail of Tears to have a richer understanding of this important event and the rhetoric surrounding it.
Below you will find a the link to our reading materials for this assignment – 11 different documents over the removal of the Native Americas of the southeast by the Indian Removal Act. The documents include:
- The Cherokee Constitution of 1827
- A first person account from a Cherokee tribesman on the success of the ‘civilizing’ project among the Cherokee
- A letter from a missionary about Cherokee religion
- Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address
- “To the Cherokee Tribe of Indians”, from Andrew Jackson
- The memorial of a delegation of the Cherokee Nation of Indians
- A petition by ladies of Steubenville, OH, against Indian removal
- A memorial and protest of the Cherokee Nation
- John Burnett’s Story of The Trail of Tears
- Letter from Chief John Ross defending the Cherokee’s right to their land
- Letter to the Cherokee’s from Major General Scott
As you read these documents, be sure to analyze the use of rhetoric and pay attention to the author’s choices in regards to diction and syntax. You will need to complete SOAPSTone Plus analysis for the documents and a series of constructed responses that cite textual evidence.