Pulling The Research Together

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!

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4 responses to “Pulling The Research Together

  1. I really am excited about your paper! I think you chose a really exciting topic. I am also doing the plains life indians and what they went thru so I will be using some of the treaties and things that the Englishmen did to hurt the Indians on many levels. It was definitely a show of mistreatment. The Englishmen pretty much just showed up and was like here you guys can live here in this small area and we are going to take over the rest. You’re welcome! haha. Its just ridiculous to think they thought they had ultimate power. When the indians tried to be nice and taught them how to make potatoes and some veggies that saved their lives! Wheww its really sad. Anyways, I think you have some great resources and I think we all have a long couple of weeks ahead! ha

  2. Glad you were able to get a lot of help. My campus’s library is very small (I have seen people’s personal libraries to be larger) and had to get my books off of loan from other campuses and some online. I looks like you have some very good sources for your topic. Good luck on your paper, it looks like we are in for a rough one this time around.

  3. I am very impressed by your sources. I think I have found five solid secondary sources, but it was not easy at all. I can tell you put some real work in on your essay not only finding your sources but it seems your starting to pull together a main Idea. I’ll be anxious to see how your rough draft and final essay draft turns out, it looks like you’ve got an awesome start!

  4. Your topic is one that I’m considering. I would probably agree with you about Andrew Jackson. But I also agree it might not be good for your thesis. Your sources seem pretty good! Gives me inspiration. Good luck!

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