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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: grandmother born in vinita 1916

Marland, welcome to the Cherokee Nation. I'm praying that your desires will hold true to reality. Together, we can all rebuild and strengthen the Cherokee Nation.

There is a statement Angela made that I would like to comment on. She said:

Yes, one of the parents or grandparents of the persons on the Dawes cards will have arrived in Indian Terrtiory on the Trail of Tears.

My reply:

Only research can reveal the facts of when and how your slave ancestors came into the Cherokee Nation. Some of the Cherokees who walked the Trail of Tears brought slaves with them. However, many of the slaves toiling in the Cherokee Nation were purchased by slave traders in Louisiana and other slave market states. They then brought their human purchase into the Nation and sold them to Cherokee citizens between 1839 and 1860. The Trail of Tears happened in 1838/39.

Not all western Cherokee Indians came on the Trail of Tears either. Some came west in 1837 voluntarily just prior to the Trail, many of those were slave owners. Some full bloods came west between 1819-1835 and while mostly they were not slave owners, a few slaves were among them. Anyway, my point is that not all Cherokee Freedmen came into the Cherokee Nation on the Trail of Tears and I feel our history is too important to generalize it.

I would also suggest that you get to know the slave owning Cherokees connected to your family. My research has shown that you can learn a lot about your enslaved ancestors by studying how their masters lived. The Buffingtons are an interesting and large Cherokee family and through intermarriage and other "relationshps" you have kinsmen among the Cherokees by blood today.

Again, welcome and good luck in your search.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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