The most heartfelt book I have ever read was “Indian Treaties written by Susan Dudley Gold.”
When the British Pilgrims landed, they declared the land as their own regardless that the Indians were already the occupants. That not being bad enough, the Europeans brought with them disease that the Indians had no immunity against. But, that did not bother them as they traded blankets to the Indians that were infested with small pox.
In all the British and the Americans signed more than 372 treaties with the Indians and before the ink dried, broke the same.
As the Americans pushed westward, the Indians were not only forced from their lands but were also forced to walk a thousand miles over rough terrain on their way to their new reservation in Oklahoma, suffering sadness and pain along the Trail of Tears causing four thousand deaths before the walk was over.
When gold was found on Indian reserves, all bets were off. The Indian was once again ignored as settlers rushed into the areas where gold was found.
Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey asked in disgust, “Is it one of the prerogatives of the white man, that he may disregard the dictates of moral principles, where an Indian shall be concerned?” (p. 73, Gold, 1997)
The Cherokees had a word for Americans: econnaunuxulgee, which meant “people-greedily-grasping-after-land” (p. 76, Gold, 1997)
The atrocities that the Americans brought upon the Indians is unforgivable. It is estimated that in 1492 from ten million to fifteen million natives lived in North America, mainly along the coasts and the fertile river valleys. and today there remains 2,397,426 according to the 2000 census.
Gold, S. (1997). Indian treaties. New York. NY: New York Twenty-First Century Books.