Memorial of the Cherokees

Memorial of the Cherokees/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_036imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Memorial of the Cherokees/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_036imgtile2.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Memorial of the Cherokees/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_036imgtile3.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Memorial of the Cherokees/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_036imgtile4.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Memorial of the Cherokees/tiles/non-collection/p/pm_036imgtile5.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

Description

The Cherokee Nation, protesting the state of Georgia’s attempt to extend its authority over their lands, wrote this memorial in 1829. Written in both English and Cherokee, it is a plaintive appeal to remain on their ancestral lands: “[W]e have never ceded nor forfeited the occupancy of the soil and the sovereignty over it, we do solemnly protest against being forced to leave it, either by direct or indirect measures. To the land of which we are now in possession, we are attached—it is our fathers’ gift—it contains their ashes—it is the land of our nativity, and the land of our intellectual birth.” On February 8, 1830, Speaker Andrew Stevenson postponed the discussion of the issue by tabling this memorial and a number of other memorials sent by members of the Cherokee Nation.

On May 26, 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. Two days later, President Andrew Jackson signed it into law, which precipitated the forced relocation of the Cherokee to lands west of the Mississippi River in 1838. This tragic relocation process of the Cherokee and other Native American tribes became known as the Trail of Tears.

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