Research is a lesson in itself. Learning the quirks of the various databases, shelf diving at the library (as my son calls it) , and working with the wonderful lady at the reference desk. A shout out to Nancy Mollett at the Downtown LRC, she has been a patient and guiding soul!
My topic is on the Indian Removal Act of 1830. You won’t find many books relating souly to the subject. The Indian Removal Act was only a part of a very big picture. My research materials are coming mainly in the form of scholarly journals. Though I am still doing research and have another list of books to review before I start to formulate my thesis and persuasive stance.
So here is what I have thus far:
No Idle Past: Uses of History in The 1830 Indian Removal Debates by Jason Meyers – This article focuses on how the debaters of the Bill twisted events presented to congress in favor of or against the bill, each side having their own agenda. This article looks at the individuals who presented their case and what their interests were in the bill. It also takes a look at the standing points for the Whigs and the Democrats and the hsitory of previous Acts dealing with trade and land purchase with the various tribes in the east.
An Administrative Trail of Tears: Indian Removal by Ethan Davis – This article deals with the administrative system that facilitated the removal of the Choctaws, one of the five tribes that were part of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Judical review was non-existent and the control of the removal was left to external law, being statues passed by Congress and treaties between the United States and the tribes concerned. The article creates a picture of the many relationships the various adminstrations and the tragic outcome.
Abuse of Power: Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act of 1830 by Alfred A Cave – This article gives the nitty-gritty on President Andrew Jackson and his blatant abuse of power where the Indians were concerned. It depicts his personal reasons why he would violate congressional legislation which authorized removal of the tribes. The article review s the various discrepencies in the laws and the administrations actions. It looks at how the Act itself neither authorized nor forced relocation of the five tribes and the Jackson’s administration abuse of presidental power.
Removal of the Indians (October 1830) by Jeremiah Evarts and Caleb Cushing – This article is actually written my an opposer of the Indian Removal Act. Jeremiah Evarts was a lawyer and philanthropist who devoted much of his life to religious efforts. In his article he reviews the congressional debates and the ethical view point on what the Act would infringe. Caleb Cushing also contributed the demographics of the various tribes and the actual indian census. He also provides his view points in regard to the debates and the ramifications of the Act passing.
Philanthropy Betrayed: Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Origins of Federal Indian Removal Policy by Christian B. Keller – This article takes into account the origins of the Federal Removal Act and the position of Thomas Jefferson regarding the removal policy. The article delves into Jefferson’s position of “civilizing” the tribes and bringing them into the white mans world. Though Jefferson was well before the Indian Removal Act of 1830, his position regarding the removal played an important role in the development of opinion and the basis for the act itself. It also sheds light on the true position Jefferson held in regards to the removal of the tribes.
There you have it, five solid resources to begin with. As for the stance I will take, that is yet to be decided. Right now I only have one opinion and it isn’t a very nice one regarding Andrew Jackson. I don’t think it would be a proper stance for the thesis! In all, I am learning about our history and that is always a good thing.
Onward fellow writers!