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Indian Removal Era


bulletDebo, Angie. And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes. New York: Gordian Press and Princeton: Princeton University Press Paperbacks, 1972.

Debo provides a revealing condemnation of the negligence of the United States in its supervision of southeastern Indians after they were moved to Oklahoma. Analysis begins with the 1890s and continues through 1940.

bulletForeman, Grant. Indian Removal: The Emigration of the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1932. Other editions/reprints: 1953 and 1972.

Foreman was an attorney for the Dawes Commission (or General Allotment Act) established in 1893 to transfer tribal lands to individual Indians, and was recognized as one of the foremost historians of Native Americans before his death in 1953. The story of each tribe—Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Cherokee—is told separately, from their removal treaties to resettlement.

bulletForeman, Grant. The Five Civilized Tribes. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934.

Foreman picks up the story again of southeastern tribes between 1834 and 1860. It provides a valuable history of the reorganization of each of the tribes in Indian Territory after removal.

bulletYoung, Mary E. Redskins, Ruffleshirts, and Rednecks: Indian Allotments in Alabama and Mississippi, 1830-1860. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961.

The Indian allotment policy of the 1830s offered unique opportunities for speculation in sale of public land. The experiences of the Choctaws, Creeks, and Chickasaws are included in this comprehensive study of land fraud, displacement of Indians by the influx of thousands of white settlers, and the machinations of "opportunists" during the Jacksonian Era.


bulletDeRosier, Arthur H. Jr. The Removal of the Choctaw Indians. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1970.

The Choctaws, who had always befriended the Americans, were selected to be the first tribal population to be removed West under treaties approved by John C. Calhoun in 1820 and Andrew Jackson in 1830. This is the story of a powerful community, one of the largest Indian nations east of the Mississippi, who negotiated with European powers from earliest contact, and were finally removed through the terms of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

bulletLafferty, R. A. Okla Hannali. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972.

This marvelous story of historical fiction, which has its basis in historical fact, captures the essence of the identity of the Choctaw people. Okla Hannali is the Choctaw word for the Six Towns, formerly in the southern district east of the Mississippi. A remarkable man of the Six Towns moved his family to Oklahoma when Choctaws began ceding their traditional homeland east of the Mississippi River in exchange for land in the west. Lafferty captures the essence of Choctaw life during this transitional period of their history.


bullet Gibson, Arrell M. The Chickasaws. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971.

The best (and at this time the only) general account of the Chickasaws. The ancient Chickasaw domain encompassed parts of four states—Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Gibson describes their origin and culture prior to the European arrival, their alliance with the British, conflict with Americans, removal, and esettlement.


bullet Green, Michael D. The Politics of Indian Removal: Creek Government and Society in Crisis. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.

Green is the foremost contemporary authority on Creek history. His detailed description of the origin of the Creek Confederacy, the reason it developed, political connections, and intrigue brings new understanding of the Creeks and their removal.

Wright, Jr. J. Leitch. Creeks & Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986.

The names "Creek" and "Seminole" were attached to a people, the Muscogulge, for the convenience of European and American governments who wanted to deal with "Nations." They lived geographically close—in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida—but were not unified under one leader. Wright explains the background of the Muscogulges and describes their culture in language readily understood. He discusses trade, relations with European powers and the American government, the Creek wars with Andrew Jackson and his pursuit of the survivors into Florida, and removal, dispersal, and survival.

bullet Robson, Lucia St. Clair. Light A Distant Fire. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989.

This historical fiction story of Seminole leader Osceola and his people engages the reader from beginning to end as the struggle for survival in the Florida Everglades unfolds.


bullet Anderson, William L., ed. Cherokee Removal: Before and After. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991.

A collection of six interesting essays by the foremost contemporary writers of Native American history offers scholarly insight on critical issues. Editor William L. Anderson briefly summarizes the major points of Cherokee history in this volume, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Trail of Tears. He includes a critically selected bibliographical essay useful for further research. Other essays provide insight into the lives of the Cherokee before, during, and after removal.

bullet Carter, Forrest. The Education of Little Tree. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1976. Historical fiction.

Advertised as a true story, Carter tells the story of a Cherokee orphan who is brought up by his grandparents during the 1930s. Reportedly, Forrest Carter is really Asa Carter, who wrote the infamous "Segregation Forever" speech for George Wallace, former governor of Alabama.

bullet Robson, Lucia St. Clair. Walk in My Soul. New York: Ballantine Books, 1985. Historical fiction.

Tiana grew up learning the magic, spells, and nature religion of the Cherokee. And in a tribe that revered women, she became the "Beloved Woman." This is her story and the story of her people. It is also the story of Sam Houston, who lived with the Cherokees and later became the father of Texas. She was Indian and he was white. Their story is an emotional journey through the turbulent and tragic removal period.