Swbat evaluate whether westward expansion more helpful or harmful to the American people by analyzing a series of primary sources from the perspective of one of the groups involved in westward expansion



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7.4.32: SWBAT evaluate whether westward expansion more helpful or harmful to the American people by analyzing a series of primary sources from the perspective of one of the groups involved in westward expansion.

7th Grade American History In order to change the world, we must first understand it. AF Bushwick MS

Ms. Olsen Unit 4 – Aim 32



Name __________________________

April , 2013

Many Minds. One Mission. 2022.



http://www.dolbeare.co.uk/images/stories/target.jpg

Do Now
Describe a time that you have had a privilege that your friends or siblings did not have. How did you feel?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Now describe a time when your friends or siblings had a privilege that you did not have. How did you feel in that situation?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/photo/gallery/090610/gal-09jun10-2158/media/pho-09jun10-166928.jpg

Press Conference: Was Westward Expansion ultimately more helpful or more harmful?

My Group: ___________________________________________________________________________

Group Members: _____________________________________________________________________

In order to prepare for tomorrow’s press conference, you and your group will:


  1. Read and annotate each document for initial understanding (Round 1)

  2. Annotate documents for evidence of help/harm (Round 2)

  3. Discuss whether your group would say that they were helped or harmed by Westward Expansion, and why.

  4. Select the evidence from the document that best shows how your group was helped or harmed.



Evidence_1'>The Mormons were ultimately helped by Westward Expansion.

Evidence 1:

“our enemies Continued to Haras us in the fall of 1845 their percecution became mutch warmer even so they commenced Burning houses grain Stacks driving off cattle catching and whiping the Breatheren and some ware Killed” (Doc. 1)


Explanation 1:

The Mormons benefitted because every time they tried to live somewhere in the East, they were persecuted for their religion. Because of Westward Expansion, they could go to a place where they would not have to worry about being harassed, having their property destroyed, and being hurt or killed.

Evidence 2:

Dreadful, indeed, was the suffering of these forsaken beings…They were there because they had no homes, nor hospital, nor poor-house nor friends to offer them any. They could not satisfy the feeble cravings of their sick: they had not bread to quiet the fractious hunger cries of their children. (Doc. 2)



Explanation 2:

The Mormons suffered a lot during their journey; because people hated their religion so much, they refused to help them and let them suffer. Even though the journey was so difficult, the fact that they were willing to go through it shows how much they needed to get away from the East.

Evidence 3:
To the Mormons, however, their greatest legacy was the faith they planted so firmly in the Utah desert. From its center in Salt Lake City, the Mormon church has grown into a worldwide religion with more than 7 million members. (Doc. 3)


Explanation 3:
Because of Westward Expansion, the Mormons were able to help their faith survive so they could spread it to other people. Having Salt Lake City as a place of religious freedom allowed their religion to grow and prosper, and spread to countries all around the world.

Name: ________________________________________
Press Conference: Was Westward Expansion ultimately more helpful or more harmful?
Our group’s answer: Overall, __________________________________ were ultimately _________________________________________ as a result of Westward Expansion.


Evidence

Explanation



















Written response: Would your group say that Westward Expansion was more helpful or more harmful? Why?
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Native Americans: Western & Plains Tribes

Document 1:

Chief Washakie of the Shoshone tribe, in a speech to Governor John W. Hoyt of the Wyoming Territory, 1878

“. . . The white man, who possesses this whole vast country from sea to sea, and lives where he likes, cannot know the cramp we feel in this little spot. Every foot of what you proudly call America, not very long ago belonged to the red man. The Great Spirit [Shoshone god] gave it to us. There was room enough for all his many tribes, and all were happy in their freedom.

And so, at last, our fathers were steadily driven out, or killed, and we, their sons, but sorry remnants [pieces] of tribes once mighty, are cornered in little spots of the earth all ours of right— cornered like guilty prisoners, and watched by men with guns, who are more than anxious to kill us off.

Nor is this all. The white man’s government promised that if we, the Shoshones, would be content with the little patch allowed us, it would keep us well supplied with everything necessary to comfortable living, and would see that no white man should cross our borders for our game, or for anything that is ours. But it has not kept its word! The white man kills our game, captures our furs, and sometimes feeds his herds upon our meadows. And your great and mighty government does not protect us in our rights. It leaves us without the promised seed, without tools for cultivating the land, without implements [tools] for harvesting our crops, without breeding animals better than ours, without the food we still lack, after all we can do, without the many comforts we cannot produce, without the schools we so much need for our children. . . .”






Document 2:

Transcript of interview of John H. Smith by U.S. Congress, about a massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children in Colorado that Smith witnessed when he was working as an Indian interpreter, 1865.

Question. Were the women and children slaughtered indiscriminately [without care], or only the ones with the warriors?

Answer. Indiscriminately.

Question. Were there any acts of barbarity [unusual and terrible cruelty] committed there that you observed?

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces.

Question. How cut?

Answer. With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from infants up to warriors.

Question. Did you see it done?

Answer. Yes, sir; I saw them fall.

Question. By whom were they mutilated?

Answer. By the United States troops.



Native Americans: Southeastern Tribes


Document 3: Dale Van Every, The Disinherited: The Lost Birthright of the American Indian, 2000.

“…The Eastern Indian felt himself as much a part of the land as the rocks and trees, the animals and birds. His homeland in the East was holy ground, sacred for him as the resting place of the bones of his ancestors and the natural shrine of his religion. He conceived its waterfalls and ridges, its clouds and mists, its glens and meadows, to be inhabited by the spirits with whom he held daily communication. It was from this rain-washed land of forests, streams and lakes, to which he was held by the traditions of his forebears and his own spiritual aspirations, that he was to be driven to the arid, treeless plains of the far west, a desolate region then universally known as the Great American Desert.”






Document 4: Interview transcript with Elizabeth Watts, a Cherokee woman whose grandparents traveled on the Trail of Tears. Interview conducted April 27, 1937.

In the early 1800s, many Cherokee who lived in Georgia began building larger homes, put in larger crops and planted orchard. The Cherokee advanced by leaps and bounds. It was during this period the Cherokees adopted the Sequoyah alphabet in Georgia.

The white people used all means to get the Indians out of Georgia. Claimed they were barbarians, and they, the Cherokees, made new laws just like the ones made by Congress. John Ross was elected Chief of all the Tribes of Cherokees. Ross did all he could to get to stay there, but the Georgia white man passed laws and more laws, and law or no law, they destroyed the Indian's fences, and crops, and killed their cattle, burned their homes and made life a torment to them.

The American soldiers gathered the Cherokee up, all up, and put them in camps. They hunted them and run them down until they got all of them. Even before they were loaded in wagons, many of them got sick and died. They were all grief stricken. They lost all on earth they had. White men even robbed their dead’s graves to get their jewelry and other little trinkets.

The Cherokee saw that to stay in Georgia was impossible. They did not all come at once. First one batch and then another. The sick, old, and babies rode on the grub and household wagons. The rest rode a horse, if they had one. Most of them walked. Many of them died along the way. They buried them where they died, in unmarked graves. It was a bitter dose and lingered in the mind of Mrs. Watts Grand-parents and parents until death took them. The road they traveled, History calls the "Trail of Tears". This trail was more than tears. It was death, sorrow, hunger, exposure, and humiliation to a civilized people as were the Cherokees. Today, our greatest politicians, lawyers, doctors, and many of worthy mention are Cherokees. Holding high places, in spite of all the humiliation brought on their forefathers.

African-Americans


Document 5

"An Act," (Law passed by Texas Congress), published in Galveston Gazette, November 4, 1840

SEC. I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Texas, in Congress assembled: That from and after the passage of this act, it shall not be lawful for any free persons of color to emigrate to this Republic.

…SEC. 8. Be it further enacted, to all free persons of color who now are in this Republic, to remove out of Texas; and all those still found to be here after that time, shall be arrested and sold as slaves for life.





Document 6

Washington, D. C., April 17, 1880 before the Senate Committee Investigating African-Americans leaving the South. Benjamin Singleton (African American) was being asked questions.

*Important note: Slavery ended in 1865, with the end of the Civil War.



Question. Where were you born, Mr. Singleton?
Answer. I was born in the State of Tennessee, sir.

Q. Where do you now live?
A. In Kansas.
Q. Well, why have you been traveling between Tennessee and Kansas?
A. I have been fetching out people and letting them live in my colony [a community of people]; I believe I fetched out 7,432 people from the South.
Q. That is, they came out to Kansas under your influence?
A. Yes, sir; I was the cause of it.
Q. What was the cause of your going out to Kansas?

A. Well, my people, for the want of land -- we needed land for our children -- and their disadvantages -- that caused my heart to grieve and sorrow; pity for my race, sir -- that caused me to go to help them.


Q. Have they [the African-Americans living in Singleton’s colony] any property now?
A. Yes; When they got to the colony they didn't have fifty cents left. Now they have got in my colony -- Singleton colony -- a house, nice cabins, their milk cows, and pigs, and sheep, perhaps a span of horses, and trees before their yards, and some three or four or ten acres broken up, and all of them has got little houses that I put there. You see they could get good wages; the country was not overstocked with people; they went to work, and I never helped them as soon as I put them on the land.


White Farmers

Document 7

The Homestead Act of 1862, created by the U.S. Government to settle lands in the West

In 1862, the Homestead Act was passed and signed into law. The Homestead Act was a way to get [white] people in the east to settle in the west. The new law established a three-part homestead acquisition process: filing an application, improving the land, and filing for deed of title [title of ownership of land]. Any U.S. citizen could file an application. A person had to improve the land, usually by farming, and they will get 160 acres. For the next 5 years, the homesteader had to live on the land and improve it by building a dwelling [home] and growing crops. After 5 years, the homesteader could file for his deed of title [title of ownership of land] by submitting proof of residency and the required improvements to a local land office.





Document 8

Hettie Anderson, homesteader. Journal entry, March 16, 1889.

It surely seems as though we did a blind and foolish thing in leaving the comfort in our Flanagan home to come way out here to this desolate country to carve out our own home in the wilderness. But, oh, how hard it is to see how good can come out of all this problem. Here we are at the end of our five years we so hopefully entered upon, almost destitute [broke]. We have no clothes fit to be seen in away from this place, and our provisions are now limited to cornmeal, beans and a very little meat. We have not had but one sack of flour since last September and only one hog to kill last fall. Our wild fruit was a complete failure last year and as has been the case almost every year, my garden succumbed to the heat and dry weather. Oh, this bitter struggle with poverty! Every year the struggle to keep fed and clothed seems harder. Our indebtedness has become appalling by this time. We have even had to ask Mr. Renn for assistance several times, instead of paying something on what we owe him.

We have not made a living on this place a single year, though Newt has nearly killed himself working it. We have had to sell one thing after another to keep from actual starvation. We have been for weeks and weeks without one cent of money…



Document 9

The Joys of Homesteading.” Letters from a Woman Homesteader, Elinore Pruitt Stewart. 1913.

When I read of the hard times among the poor in the cities, I feel like urging them every one to get out and file on land… To me, homesteading is the solution of all poverty's problems, but I realize that attitude has much to do with success in any undertaking, and persons afraid of coyotes and work and loneliness had better let ranching alone. At the same time, any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of the sunset, loves growing things, and is willing to put in as much time at careful labor as she does over the washtub, will certainly succeed; will have independence, plenty to eat all the time, and a home of her own in the end.


Tejanos

Document 10:

A proclamation (written announcement) by Juan Nepomuceno Cortina to the Tejano inhabitants of the State of Texas, September 1859
The Americans have conspired with each other, to persecute and rob us [Tejanos], without any cause. They do it for no other crime on our part than that of being of Mexican origin. They assume we do not possess the great gifts of mankind that whites do.

All truce between them [Texans] and us [Tejanos] is at an end. We were told to become American ourselves, flattered by the bright and peaceful prospect of living of Americans. They acted as if Providence [God and Destiny] had so ordained to set them an example of the advantages of mankind. However, our hopes having been tricked in the most cruel manner in which disappointment can strike, there can be found no other solution to our problem than to make one effort, and at one blow destroy the obstacles to our prosperity [Americans].

Innocent persons shall not suffer - no. But, if necessary, we will lead a wandering life, awaiting our opportunity to purge society of [white] men. Our families have returned as strangers to their old country to beg to be treated fairly. Our lands, are taken as the Americans want them, without regard to what we want. We refuse to give up any more land to our enemies’ hands until they have fattened it [the land] with their own gore.



Document 11

Secondary Source. Mintz, S. (2007). Digital History. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu

Stephen Austin wanted to see Texas become “Americanized, that is, settled by a population that looks exactly like their neighbors on the East, in language, political principles, common origin, sympathy, and even interest.”

After the Texas Revolution of 1836, American migrants used terms of racial and cultural slurs to describe the native Tejanos. According to the Americans, Tejanos were the most “lazy, poor, starved set of people as ever the sun shined upon.” By depriving Tejanos of full humanity, white American settlers could justify taking away their land, depriving Tejanos of the right to vote, using violent repression, and even murdering Tejanos. Wrote one American veteran of the Texas Revolution late in life: “I thought that I could kill Mexicans as easily as I could deer and turkeys.” He apparently did so while shouting: “Remember the Alamo!”

Many Tejanos had played a critical role in winning the Texas revolution, actually fighting on the Americans’ side against Mexico. But after the revolution, they had been reduced to second-class citizenship and become “strangers in their own land.”





Women


Document 12:

From the journals of Luzena Stanley Wilson, a woman who moved to the gold mines with her husband and learned how to make money independently, 1849
It was a crowd of miners that gathered every day at my table but always at my arrival the loud voices were hushed, the swearing ceased, and respect was given to me as if I had been a queen. Any woman who spoke a kindly, sympathetic word to the lonely, homesick men, was a queen. Women were scarce in those days. I lived six months in Sacramento, California and saw only two. There was no time for visiting or gossiping; it was hard work from daylight till dark, and sometimes long after. Yes, we worked; we did things that people would say it was impossible for a woman to do.

I was determined to create my own business, something a woman couldn’t do back in the east. So I bought two boards for a table from a precious pile belonging to a man who was building the second wooden house in town. With my own hands I chopped stakes, drove them into the ground, and set up my table. I bought food to cook at a neighboring store, and when my husband came back at night he found, mid the light of the pine torches, twenty miners eating at my table. Each man as he rose put a dollar in my hand and said I might count him as a permanent customer. I called my hotel "El Dorado".





Document 9

The Joys of Homesteading.” Letters from a Woman Homesteader, Elinore Pruitt Stewart. 1913.

When I read of the hard times among the poor in the cities, I feel like urging them every one to get out and file on land… To me, homesteading is the solution of all poverty's problems, but I realize that temperament has much to do with success in any undertaking, and persons afraid of coyotes and work and loneliness had better let ranching alone. At the same time, any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of the sunset, loves growing things, and is willing to put in as much time at careful labor as she does over the washtub, will certainly succeed; will have independence, plenty to eat all the time, and a home of her own in the end.


Forty-Niners & Chinese Immigrants

Document 13

Letter from William Swain to his brother George, written from “The Diggings” in California, 1849.

“There was some talk between us of your coming to this country. For God's sake think not of it. Stay at home. Tell all whom you know that are thinking of coming that they have to sacrifice everything and face danger in all its forms, for George, thousands have laid and will lay their bones along the routes to and in this country. Tell all that "death is in the pot" if they attempt to cross the plains and hellish mountains… as for you, stay at home, for if my health stays good, I can get enough for both of us.

You may think from the tone of this letter that I am sick of my job, but not so. I have not seen the hour yet when I regretted starting for California. I have seen hard times, faced the dangers of disease and dangers of all kinds, but I count them as nothing if they enable me to provide for my family.

I am glad that I am here... But the time is past -- if it ever existed -- when fortunes could be gained just by picking them up. Gold is found in the most rocky and rough places… In such places, it requires difficult labor and hard tugging and lifting to separate the gold from the rock. But this is nothing to the risk of life run in traveling to this country. Therefore, if I was at home and knew all the circumstances, I think I should stay at home; but having passed those dangers in safety, I thank God that I am here in so favorable circumstances.”






Document 14

Robert W. Pitkin letter to his parents, Jones’ Bar, California. 1852.

"Dear Parents Brothers and sisters . . . I am now in the same place I was in last summer. I am only making small wages. A great many are hardly making enough to pay rent. There is a great difference between the times now and this time last year. I am getting tired of mining and think this winter will about finish my mining . . . The emigrants that are coming in this fall will have a hard time of it. People will learn after a while that every man that comes to California does not make a fortune. This country is fast getting filled up with Chinamen. They are coming by thousands all the time. The miners in a great many places will not let them work. There are places where violence is used against Chinamen. The miners here drove off about 200 Chinamen about two weeks ago with guns and shouting, but the Chinamen have come back about as thick as ever (I would not help drive them off, as I thought they had no right to drive them away)."




United States Government
Document 15: Andrew Jackson’s 2nd Annual Message to Congress, 1830


[The removal of the Cherokee] will place a dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savage hunters. It will relieve the whole state of Mississippi and the western part of Alabama of Indian occupancy, and enable those states to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power. It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the States; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the Government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.

What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization, and religion?




Document 16: Maps of the United States, 1800 and 1900http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/lewis_clark/exploring/1maps/map30.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dhwccqgfpe4/tkctfe7khli/aaaaaaaaaso/aq8v57lisgi/s1600/rr+transcon+route+map.jpg



Document 17: Ronald Takaki, A Different Mirror, 2008

The border dispute shrouded the real reason behind the Mexican-American War. A key U.S. objective was the annexation of California. This territory was an important source of raw material for the Market Revolution: it exported cattle hides to New England, where Irish factory laborers manufactured boots and shoes. More important, California had strategic harbors. Sperm oil from whales was a crucial fuel and machine lubricant in the growing economy, and the American whaling industry was sending its ships to the Pacific Ocean. The ports of California were needed for repairs and supplies. Policymakers also wanted to promote American trade with [Asia.] In a message to Congress, President James K. Polk explained that California’s harbors ‘would afford shelter for our navy, for our numerous whale ships, and other merchant vessels employed in the Pacific Ocean, and would in a short period become the marts of an extensive and profitable commerce with China, and other countries of the East.”






President James K. Polk, Message to Congress

The cup of forbearance [patience and friendship] has been exhausted even before the recent information from the frontier of the Rio Grande. But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil…

As war exists, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.

President James K. Polk, Message to Congress

The cup of forbearance [patience and friendship] has been exhausted even before the recent information from the frontier of the Rio Grande. But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil…

As war exists, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.

President James K. Polk, Message to Congress

The cup of forbearance [patience and friendship] has been exhausted even before the recent information from the frontier of the Rio Grande. But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil…

As war exists, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.

President James K. Polk, Message to Congress

The cup of forbearance [patience and friendship] has been exhausted even before the recent information from the frontier of the Rio Grande. But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil…

As war exists, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.




Document 18: President James K. Polk, Message to Congress, 1847

The cup of forbearance [patience and friendship] has been exhausted even before the recent information from the frontier of the Rio Grande. But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil…

As war exists, notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico herself, we are called upon by every consideration of duty and patriotism to vindicate with decision the honor, the rights, and the interests of our country.




Diary Entry of Appleton Harmon, a Mormon living in Nauvoo, Illinois, 1846:

the tide of emegration in to Nauvoo had for a time been gradualy increasing. and had caused a Spirit of Jelousey to arise in the breasts of our eneymies they feard that if they left us thus alone all men would believe on us and the Mormons would take away their place and nation. and hold the balance of power. acordingly our old enemies renewed the attact and new ones Joined in the prececution until it became quite warm… our enemies Continued to Haras us in the fall of 1845 their percecution became mutch warmer even so they commenced Burning houses grain Stacks driving off cattle catching and whiping the Breatheren and some ware Killed. the persecution became So gineral that for the Sake of peace we agreed to leave as early in the Spring of 1846 as Circumstances would admit
Mormons


Diary entry of Thomas L. Kane, a Mormon traveling to Salt Lake City, 1850:

Here, among the docks and rushes, sheltered only by the darkness, without roof between them and the sky, I came upon a crowd of several hundred human creatures, whom my movements roused from uneasy slumber upon the ground. . . . 

"Dreadful, indeed, was the suffering of these forsaken beings. Bowed and cramped by cold and sunburn, alternating as each weary day and night dragged on, they were, almost all of them, the crippled victims of disease. They were there because they had no homes, nor hospital, nor poor-house nor friends to offer them any. They could not satisfy the feeble cravings of their sick: they had not bread to quiet the fractious hunger cries of their children. Mothers and babes, daughters and grandparents, all of them alike, were bivouacked in tatters, wanting even covering to comfort those whom the sick shiver of fever was searching to the marrow.

"These were Mormons, famishing, in Lee county, Iowa, in the fourth week of the month of September, in the year of our Lord 1846. . . .

"They were, all told, not more than six hundred and forty persons who were thus lying on the river flats. But the Mormons in Nauvoo and its dependencies had been numbered the year before at over twenty thousand. Where were they? They had last been seen, carrying in mournful trains their sick and wounded, halt and blind, to disappear behind the western horizon, pursuing the phantom of another home" 






History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism, 2005. Chapter 16.7: The Mormons.

Brigham Young, the leader of the Mormons, carefully planned every detail of the trek to Utah. The pioneers he led west stopped along the way to build shelters and plant crops for those who would follow.

Even with all this planning, the journey was difficult. “We soon thought it unusual,” wrote one Mormon, “to leave a campground without burying one or more persons.”

When he arrived at Great Salt Lake, Young laid out his first settlement, Salt Lake City. By the time he died in 1877, Utah had 125,000 Mormons living in 500 settlements. To survive in this dry country, Mormons had to learn new ways to farm. They built dams, canals, and irrigation ditches to carry precious water from mountain streams to their farms in the valley. With this water, they made the desert bloom.

The Mormons were the first Americans to settle the Great Basin. They pioneered the farming methods adopted by later settlers of this dry region. They also helped settlers make their way west. Salt Lake City quickly became an important stop for settlers in need of food and supplies.

To the Mormons, however, their greatest legacy was the faith they planted so firmly in the Utah desert. From its center in Salt Lake City, the Mormon church has grown into a worldwide religion with more than 7 million members.





Appeal of the Cherokee, 1830

We are aware that some persons suppose it will be for our advantage to remove beyond the

Mississippi. We think otherwise. Our people universally think otherwise. Thinking that it would be fatal

to their interest, they have almost to a man sent their memorial to Congress, deprecating the necessity of a removal. This question was distinctly before their minds when they signed their memorial. Not an adult persons can be found , who has not an opinion on the subject; and if the people were to understand distinctly, that they could be protected against the laws of the neighboring States, there is probably not an adult person in the nation, who would think it best to remove; though possibly a few might emigrate individually. There are doubtless many who would flee to an unknown country, however beset with dangers, privations and sufferings, rather than be sentenced to spend six years in a Georgia prison for advising one of their neighbors not to betray his country. And there are others who could not think of living as outlaws in their native land, exposed to numerous vexations, and excluded from being parties or witnesses in a court of justice. It is incredible that Georgia should ever have enacted the oppressive laws to which reference is here made, unless she had supposed that something extremely terrific in its character was necessary, in order to make the Cherokee willing to remove. We are not willing to remove; and if we could be brought to this extremity, it would be, not by argument; not because our judgment was satisfied; not because our condition will be improved--but only because we cannot endure to be deprived of our national and individual rights, and subjected to a process of intolerable oppression.

We wish to remain on the land of our fathers. We have a perfect and original right to claim this,

without interruption or molestation. The treaties with us, and laws of the United States made in pursuance of treaties, guaranty our residence, and our privileges, and secure us against intruders. Our only request is, that these treaties may be fulfilled, and these laws executed.


But if we are compelled to leave our country, we see nothing but ruin before us. The country west

of the Arkansas territory is unknown to us. From what we can learn of it, we have no prepossessions in

its favor. All the inviting parts of it, as we believe, are preoccupied by various Indian nations, to which it

has been assigned. They would regard us as intruders, and look upon us with an evil eye. The far greater



part of that region is, beyond all controversy, badly supplied with wood and water; and no Indian tribe can live as agriculturalists without these articles. All our neighbors, in case of our removal, though crowded into our near vicinity, would speak a language totally different from ours, and practice different customs. The original possessors of that region are now wandering savages, lurking for prey in the neighborhood. They have always been at war, and would be easily tempted to turn their arms against peaceful emigrants. Were the country to which we are urged much better than it is represented to be, and were it free from the objections which we have made to it, still it is not the land of our birth, nor of our affections. It contains neither the scenes of our childhood, nor the graves of our fathers.”


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