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The Cherokee DiasporaAn Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity$
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Gregory D Smithers

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169607

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169607.001.0001

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Removal, Reunion, and Diaspora

Removal, Reunion, and Diaspora

(p.93) Three Removal, Reunion, and Diaspora
The Cherokee Diaspora

Gregory D. Smithers

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the politics of Cherokee removal in the early nineteenth century within the larger context of Cherokee diasporic politics between the 1817 treaty—in which the Cherokees ceded 651,520 acres of land in Georgia and Tennessee to the United States government—and the opening of the 1840s, when most Cherokees settled in the trans-Mississippi West. No event changed the course of nineteenth-century Cherokee history more profoundly than the forced migration along the so-called Trail of Tears during the years 1838–1839. In preparation for the journey into the West, Cherokees were forced to huddle around military establishments such as Fort Butler in North Carolina. In both the cis-Mississippi and the trans-Mississippi West, innovative groups of Cherokee migrants reestablished political affiliations and gave new meaning to family and kinship relations. This chapter also explores the issue of Cherokee identity in relation to Cherokee diaspora.

Keywords:   politics, Cherokee, removal, forced migration, Trail of Tears, trans-Mississippi West, family, kinship, Cherokee identity, Cherokee diaspora

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