Responses to Removal
Digital History ID 675
John Ross, the principal Cherokee chief, was a leading opponent of removal.
Ever since [the whites came] we have been made to drink of the bitter cup of humiliation; treated like dogs...our country and the graves of our Fathers torn from us...through a period of upwards of 200 years, rolled back, nation upon nation [until] we find ourselves fugitives, vagrants and strangers in our own country....
The existence of the Indian nations as distinct independent communities within the limits of the United States seems to be drawing to a close.... You are aware that our Brethren, the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Creeks of the South have severally disposed of their country to the United States and that a portion of our own Tribe have also emigrated West of the Mississippi--but that the largest portion of our Nation still remain firmly upon our ancient domain....Our position there may be compared to a solitary tree in an open space, where all the forest trees around have been prostrated by a furious tornado.
Source: Ross to Senecas, Apr. 14, 1834 in Gary E. Moulton, ed., The Papers of John Ross (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1985), 1: 284-87.
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