The Indian Removal Act of 1830 authorized the Federal government to relocate the so-called Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast to lands beyond the Mississippi River. Perhaps the fate of the Cherokees was most tragic; the Cherokees had developed a written language, became fervent Christians, and some even owned slaves. Apparently, they did everything possible to act "civilized" (or white). What they couldn't do, of course, was change the color of their skin, and that doomed them. Rozema, who has previously written extensively on Cherokee history and culture, uses a variety of primary sources, including eyewitness accounts, to recount their sad fate, climaxed by a forced march to Oklahoma during which thousands died. Missionaries write outraged letters describing the mistreatment of Cherokees by white opportunists and government officials. Ordinary soldiers charged with rousting families from their homes describe the suffering of victims. This compilation is often stunning and heartbreaking in its impact, and it is a necessary reminder of one of the most shameful episodes in our history. Jay FreemanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
Vicki Rozema is the author of Footsteps of the Cherokees: A Guide to the Eastern Homelands of the Cherokee Nation
and editor of Cherokee Voices: Early Accounts of Cherokee Life in the East
. She lives in Harrison, Tennessee.