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Assimilation was an effort by the United States to transform Native American culture to European-American culture between the years of 1790—1920.   George Washington and Henry Knox were first to propose, Indian American context, the cultural transformation of Native Americans.  They formulated a policy to encourage the “civilizing “ process. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the government outlawed the practice of traditional religious ceremonies.  It established boarding schools which children were required to attend,  In these schools they were forced to speak English, study standard subjects, attend church, and leave tribal traditions behind.

601-Assimilation

In 1907 “Oklahoma Territory” and “Indian Territory” became the state of “Oklahoma” marked on statehood day with a ceremonial wedding of a Cowboy and Indian.

602-Statehood, 1907

1823 when Texas was still part of Mexico, there were serious problems with raids by Indians. Under Mexican law, Austin was authorized to form a militia to ward off Indian raids, capture criminals and patrol against intruders. In May, while Austin was in Mexico City, his lieutenant, Moses Morrison, used this authority to assemble a company of men to protect the Texas coast from Indians.  The term "Texas Ranger" did not appear officially in a piece of legislation until 1874.

603-Tales Of The Texas Rangers

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon and horseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi, into the sitting sun and the “Nightland”, were your spirit went after death. Over four thousand men, women, and children made that fateful journey.

604-Trail To The Nightland

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon andhorseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi.  Over four thousand men, women, and children died on that fateful journey.  The silent graves stretching from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains to their new territory in the West, mark what has come to be known to the Cherokee as the TRAIL OF TEARS.

605-Under A Winter Moon

A French Agent and his guide wait for the dark of the moon to meet with other woodland Indians and to carry out raids into the English settlements during the French and Indian War, 1754 — 1763. The conflict is known by several names. In British America, wars were often named after the sitting British monarch, such as King William's War or Queen Anne's War. Because there had already been a King George's War in the 1740s, British colonists named the second war in King George's reign after their opponents, and thus it became known as the French and Indian War. This traditional name remains standard in the United States, although it obscures the fact that American Indians fought on both sides of the conflict.

606-Waiting For The Dark Of The Moon

Over four thousand men, women, and children died on that fateful journey.  The silent graves stretching from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains to their new territory in the West, mark what has come to be known to the Cherokee as the TRAIL OF TEARS.

607-Where Angels Fear To Tread

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon and horseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi.   Over four thousand men, women, and children made that fateful journey.

608-We Will Not Forget

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon andhorseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi.  Over four thousand men, women, and children died on that fateful journey.  The silent graves stretching from the foothills of the Smoky Mountains to their new territory in the West, mark what has come to be known to the Cherokee as the TRAIL OF TEARS.

609-Cries No More

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon and horseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee “Trail Walkers” began their forced exile across the Mississippi . Over four thousand men, women, and children made that fateful journey.

610-Trail Walkers

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon and horseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi.   Over four thousand men, women, and children made that fateful journey.

611-We Will Not Forget - Trials and Tribulations

In 1835, the most infamous of the treaties was negotiated at New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee capital.  By riverboat, wagon and horseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi.   Over four thousand men, women, and children made that fateful journey.

612-Flight To A Distant Wilderness

Dragging Canoe was a great Cherokee War Chief of the 1700’s.  He defide the U.S. for over 50 years . . . and he predicted the Trail of Tears.  “We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains.  Finely the whole country, which the Cherokees and their fathers have so long occupied; will be demanded, and the remnant of the Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness.”

613-Cherokee War Chief

A self-portrait, with drawing pen in hand, rendered in color surrounding an original black and white illustration showing my ancestors on a snowy forced exile across the Mississippi, know to the Cherokees as The Trail Of Tears.

614-Drawing On My Relations

Cherokees!  The President of the United States has sent me, with a powerful army, to cause you, in obedience to the Treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people who are already established in prosperity, on the other side of the Mississippi.  Unhappily, the two years which were allowed for the purpose, you have suffered to pass away without following, and without making any preparation to follow, and now, or by the time that this solemn address shall reach your distant settlements, the emigration must be commenced in haste, but, I hope, without disorder.  I have no power, by granting a farther delay, to correct the error that you have committed.  The full moon of May is already on the wane, and before another shall have passed away, every Cherokee man, woman and child, in those States, must be in motion to join their brethren in the far West. General Winfield Scott

615-Forced Removal

EAGLE:  The Eagle is know as the “Chief of all birds” to most Indians.  Like the ancients, the Indian regards the Eagle as an emblem of strength and courage.  They hold the bird in great awe, in man instances are superstitious about it, and in other instances worship it. EAGLE DANCER:  The Eagle Dancer imitates the eagle, a sacred and powerful spirit, with graceful soaring and sweeping arm and body movements, telling the sotry of the bird’s flight, capture and death.  The dancer portrays the wounded and dying eagle with downward quivering and fluttering actions; then lies motioless at the end of the dance.

616-Gathering Of Eagles

Steve Foreman, (the Great Uncle of Cherokee Artist Ron Mitchell), worked as a missionary among his people during the turmoil of the removal period when the Cherokees were uprooted from their lands and forced to migrate west.  In 1838 he was briefly imprisoned over the removal issue, and in 1839 he led the last group to Indian Territory. After organizing the Cherokee Nation’s school system he became its first superintendent.  In 1844 he was elected to the Supreme Court of the Cherokee and was tribal executive councilor from 1847 to 1855.  Steve worked as a missionary in Texas during the Civil War.  Returning to Indian Territory after the war, he started “The Church in the Woods”, and continued his religious activities until his death in 1881.

617-Last To Leave

The natives who roamed the wild, rolling plains of North America fitted themselves to the earth and sky as a glove shapes itself to the hand.  They were a people of grand, natural extremes, perfectly united with their domain.

618-Legends Of The Plains

A widow with one daughter was always warning her that she must get a good hunter for a husband.  When a young man had come a-courting and claimed he was a good hunter, they got married. When the young man, day after day, spent all day hunting and only brought back  small fish and a handful of scraps, the girl grew suspicious and followed him through the woods until he came to the river, where he changed into a hooting owl.When he returned home she said, “I thought I had married a man, but my husband is only a owl.”  She drove him out of the house.  The owl went into the woods and there he pined away with grief and love until there was no flesh left on any part of hid body except his head.

619-The Owl Gets Married

 

 

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All reproduction rights reserved by artist - Ron Mitchell
2016 - Designed by John G Matthews in cooperation with Ron Mitchell