By Kevin Hillstrom
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Extra resources for American Indian Removal and the Trail to Wounded Knee (Defining Moments)
34 Chapter Three Standing in the Way of Westward Expansion 5 The greatest object of their lives seems to be to acquire possessions—to be rich. They desire to possess the whole world. — Mysterious Medicine, Lakota, 1860s F or much of the first half of the nineteenth century, white settlers and politicians saw the Great Plains of North America as unattractive “Indian Country” unsuitable for farming or other development. They regarded the region as more of an obstacle than anything else—a hurdle that had to be crossed to reach booming mining and agricultural regions in California, Oregon, and the Rocky Mountains.
The treaty stipulations with many of them are altogether inappropriate. They seem to have been made in total ignorance of their numbers and disposition, and in utter disregard of their wants.
Ross and other Cherokee leaders charged that the treaty was invalid. S. government proposal had already been rejected by the Cherokee National Council. The Jackson administration ignored these protests. S. authorities treated it as a completely legitimate agreement. Ross responded to these developments with a mixture of outrage and mourning, but the federal government ignored his entreaties (see “Cherokee Chief John Ross Denounces Indian Removal Policies,” p. 166). On May 26, 1838, federal troops moved to enforce the Treaty of New Echota.
American Indian Removal and the Trail to Wounded Knee (Defining Moments) by Kevin Hillstrom