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Archive for November 26th, 2012

In truth, our cause is your own; it is the cause of liberty and of justice; it is based upon your own principles, which we have learned from yourselves; for we have gloried to count your [George] Washington and your [Thomas] Jefferson our great teachers; we have read their communications to us with veneration; we have practised their precepts with success.  And the result is manifest.  The wildness of the forest has given place to comfortable dwellings and cultivated fields, stocked with the various domestic animals.  Mental culture, industrious habits, and domestic enjoyments, have succeeded the rudeness of the savage state.
We have learned your religion also.  We have read your Sacred books. Hundreds of our people have embraced their doctrines, practised the virtues they teach, cherished the hopes they awaken, …we speak to the representatives of a Christian country; the friends of justice; the patrons of the oppressed.  And our hopes revive, and our prospects brighten, as we indulge the thought.  On your sentence, our fate is suspended; prosperity or desolation depends on your word.  To you, therefore, we look!  Before your august assembly we present ourselves, in the attitude of deprecation, and of entreaty.  On your kindness, on your humanity, on your compassion, on your benevolence, we rest our hopes.
—  John Ross,
From: “Letter from John Ross, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, in Answer to Inquires from a Friend Regarding the Cherokee Affairs with the United States (Washington, D.C., 1836)”
[This quote is from a letter which Chief John Ross wrote to the U.S. Congress disputing a “treaty” which allowed the U.S. Army to forcibly displace the Cherokee nation from Georgia to Oklahoma.  This trek has come to be known as: “The Trail of Tears“.  Although the above portion of the letter was taken from my journal, a more complete transcript can be found here and you can find lots more information about history at History Matters.
I believe I originally read the quote in the book, “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee“, where the quote was described as: “Cherokee Memorial to the United States Congress, December 29, 1835”.
It is estimated that 4,000 of the 15,000 Cherokee died en route from Georgia to Oklahoma.   The Cherokee were only one of the five Indian nations forcibly relocated.  —  KMAB]
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