Background • Near the end of the 18th century, Georgia was home to European settlers, as well as Cherokee and Creek Indians. • Many settlers became rich growing cotton on plantations. • The settlers viewed the Native Americans in Georgia as a barrier to further exploitation of the region’s land. • The Creek and Cherokee Indians viewed settlers as intruders who were stealing their land. • The struggle between the two groups for control of the Georgia lasted from 1789-1840.
The Creek Indians- Alexander McGillivray • The son of a European settler and a Creek Indian, Alexander McGillivrayrepresented the Creek Nation throughout the Revolutionary War. • McGillivray worked to centralize power within Creek society and to protect Creek lands more effectively.
Alexander McGillivray • In 1790, the Treaty of New York was signed by George Washington. • It ceded Creek Indian lands east of the Ocmulgee River to the US government in exchange for government defense of Creek territorial rights. • The treaty created a formal relationship between the US and the Creek Nation, giving the Creek Nation authority to punish non-native trespassers in their territories. • In return, the Creeks agreed to return enslaved people who had fled and turn in Creeks who committed federal crimes. • The agreement officially recognized the leadership of McGillivray.
The Creek Indians-William McIntosh • From 1810 to 1820, another son of a European settler and a Native American led the Creek Nation. • William McIntosh helped to create a police force, establish written laws, and create a National Assembly for the Creek Nation.
Compact of 1802 • Meanwhile, settlers in Georgia tried to persuade the U.S. government to remove the Native Americans. • In the Compact of 1802, the U.S. government agreed with the state of Georgia to end Native American ownership of lands in Georgia. • In the next few years, settlers expanded into Creek Indian lands.
Andrew Jackson • In response, Creek tribes stole livestock and crops from the settlers. • In 1814, General Andrew Jackson led U.S. troops against the Creek Indians. • Eventually, the Creeks handed over 23 million acres to the settlers in defeat.
End of the Creeks in Georgia • In 1825, Georgia agents bribed McIntosh into signing away all the Creek land in Georgia. • He was later executed under the authority of the National Assembly for the Creek Nation, by the same police force he helped create. • Realizing that the Georgia government would not give in to Creek territory demands, representatives from the Creek Nation ceded all remaining land to the Georgia government. • By 1837, 20,000 Creeks were forced to move west, to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Indians-Sequoyah • The Cherokee were the quickest of the Native American tribes to take on European ways. • Urged by U.S. officials, the Cherokee abandoned their traditional way of life. • They adopted a republican government, and a Cherokee named Sequoyah created the Cherokee syllabary, a writing system that allowed the Cherokee to read, write, record laws, and publish newspapers.
The Cherokee Indians- Dahlonega Gold Rush • In 1827, John Ross became the principal chief of Cherokee. Using the syllabary, he established a written constitution for the Cherokee Nation. • Gold was discovered in 1829, in Georgia. • A flood of prospectors then began arriving in Georgia during the Dahlonega Gold Rush. • The intruding prospectors paid no attention to Cherokee land ownership. • The Dahlonega Gold Rush brought more whites into Georgia and increased the desire of the settlers for the removal of Native Americans from the region.
The Cherokees and Andrew Jackson • In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States. • A major issue of his campaign was the removal of Native Americans to Indian Territory to the west. • Two years later, Georgia representatives pushed an Indian Removal bill through congress. • The Indian removal act gave the president authority to negotiate removal treaties with Native American tribes.
Worcester v. Georgia • With the help of a handful of white missionaries, John Ross was able to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to protest the removals. • In 1831, John Marshall, chief justice of the Supreme Court, wrote in a court decision that the Cherokee were a “domestic dependent nation” of the U.S. • In a case a year, Worcester v. Georgia, the Supreme Court decided that the Cherokee were a sovereign nation, which should be allowed to rule itself.
The Cherokees and Andrew Jackson • They should also have federal protection from other states’ laws. • Georgia refused to recognize the supreme Courts ruling. • President Jackson chose not to enforce the ruling. • President Jackson continued to pressure the Cherokee to move west.
Trail of Tears • In 1835, a rebellious Cherokee group signed a removal treaty without the approval of Ross or other Cherokee leaders. • The treaty required the Cherokee to give up their land in Georgia for a piece of land in Oklahoma and money for relocation. • Ross protested the treaty to the US government, but President Martin Van Buren responded by sending troops into Indian Territory. • .
Trail of Tears • The army rounded up most of the Cherokee people and forced them to leave the state of Georgia • The force march of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia to Oklahoma in the winter of 1838 to 1839 is known as the Trail of Tears. • It is estimated that 4000 people, one-fifth of the Cherokee population at that time, died from the cold or from starvation during the long march.
Summary • Explain the events that led to the removal of Creeks and Cherokees; include the roles of Alexander McGillivray, William McIntosh, Sequoyah, John Ross, Dahlonega Gold Rush, Worcester v. Georgia, Andrew Jackson, John Marshall, and the Trail of Tears.