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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Sequoyah County Times Article on Freedmen

AC, your points are well taken and true. I am so tired of the Cherokee Nation trying to reach some kind of moral highmark in this controversy by claiming that the Freedmen were forced upon us. Poor pitiful little Indians with no ability to withstand the will of the all powerful United States. This is just outright false. The Cherokees did not reject out of hand, citizenship for the Freedmen. It was a negotiated point starting from an absolute NO to appease the southern delegation to "tell us what to do with them and that is what we will do." The Cherokees were more concerned about stopping railroads from passing through the CN. They were successful in this and showed their astuteness in negotiating the Treaty. One of the Delegates to Washington during the negotiations was William Potter Ross, who later became Principal Chief. He was a Princeton educated man and he was good at negotiating. Let's get real. A nation, the Cherokee Nation, had taken up arms against the United States in an effort to defend slavery. We lost and had to sign a treaty to keep our britches. Does anyone hold that Japan should not have been forced to disarm after World War II simply because the treaty was "forced" upon them? Does anyone argue that Germany had to do the same after the same war? When you are on the losing end of a conflict where you tried to run with the big boys, you pay a big boy price. If the Freedmen were forced upon the Cherokee Nation, so WHAT!! We held them as slaves, used their labor to enrich ourselves and build our Nation. We abused their families by selling them apart and raped their women, producing many mixed Cherokee/black slaves held in bondage by their own fathers. There is no moral highmark to reach in claiming the Freedmen were forced upon us. We bought and paid for them as human chattel. When the immorality of that behavior brought our Nation to the brink of ruin, the moral highmark we reached was granting them citizenship, building them schools and electing them to public office prior to 1902. The Cherokees have hit an all-time low in this most recent act of racism and civil rights violations.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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