The Trail of Tears

I have been watching a TV series entitled “The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen” on the History Channel.  This tells the story of the famous American heroes Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, Davy Crocket and so on.  What is illuminating is the terrible degree of ethnic cleansing, as it is now called, of American Indians (or indigenous people) that took place.  What was unfortunate was that many Indian tribes allied with the British against the American settlement and Government, and so as further wars erupted after the War of Independence was won, it was essentially seen as a fight for survival of the American nation.

The Indians were mainly small and scattered tribes and they would have really been no threat to America, but as the British were considered an effective enemy, this meant that the Americans were motivated to destroy and remove the Indian threat from the eastern US.  The Shawnee chief Tecumseh organized a multi-tribe confederation with the British against the Americans in what is now Michigan as part of the War of !812.  An American army under Gen. Harrison defeated them at the Battle of the Thames River (now in Canada) in 1813 and Tecumseh was killed, thus leading to the breakup of his confederation.   The Indians were then left leaderless and defenseless against American forces.

In the Mississippi territory an armed group of Creek Indians known as the “red sticks” in 1813 massacred ca. 500 white settlers and burnt Fort Mims.  In revenge, Andrew Jackson, with Daniel Boone as guide, led a small army mainly of Tennessee volunteers and upon finding their main camp massacred every man, woman and child.  Then he forced the Creek nation to cede millions of acres of land to the United States, that became mainly the State of Alabama.  Because of this success and his ruthless efficiency Andrew Jackson was then sent as a General to defend the Port of New Orleans against a British invasion.  With a much smaller force (4,500) he defeated the British Army  (12,000) at the Battle of New Orleans.  This propelled him into the Presidency in 1829.

One of his first acts was to introduce the “Indian Removal Act” of  1830 that was passed by Congress and resulted in the physical removal of all major Indian tribes still settled east of the Mississippi River.  This included the Creek, Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw and Seminole nations.  They were forced at gunpoint by the US Army to move west from their ancestral lands to what was then known as Indian territory (later Oklahoma), in many cases a distance of 600 miles on foot.  They were given minimal food and water.  During what became known as the “Trail of Tears” some 18,000 out of a total of ca. 50,000 indigenous Americans died or were murdered.  When I first learned of this atrocity I felt ashamed to be an American.

And yet many Americans, especially liberals, have the gall to criticize Jews and Israelis for their supposed repressive treatment of the so-called Palestinian Arabs.  The American nation is built on the massacre and murder of many nations, indigenous Americans and Blacks.  But, you can’t turn the clock back, America is a fact, and similarly Israel is equally a fact.  To those who think that Israel is illegitimate, not only is it legitimate (under international law and history), but we are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel, and we will not be removed again.