Such important history lessons teach us, who the original people of the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” were. These were teachers, and can be teachers now, in what has degraded to, and is mostly now, the “Land of Imprisonment, Corruption and Greed”
Alexis de Tocqueville, the French philosopher, witnessed the Choctaw removals while in Memphis, Tennessee in 1831,
“ In the whole scene there was an air of ruin and destruction, something which betrayed a final and irrevocable adieu; one couldn’t watch without feeling one’s heart wrung. The Indians were tranquil, but sombre and taciturn. There was one who could speak English and of whom I asked why the Chactaws were leaving their country. “To be free,” he answered, could never get any other reason out of him. We … watch the expulsion … of one of the most celebrated and ancient American peoples. ”
—- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America[13
Even hearing these following words, spoken to the English,(Americans)in terms they could receive, is amazing. The humility and wisdom is respectful and we have to learn from it. The Colonial Invaders, like the current anti-immigrant, racist, crude, and hurtful movement of people, in North America, never had these qualities, they have to learn them. They were NOT original ideas or inventions of the Europeans, or “Founding Fathers”. Europeans were running from diseases and oppression. That is the way they knew to behave, and they are on a path to creating the same depravity today. Those are my thoughts, here is what was said by the Choctaw representative to the English(American) in 1831.
It is with considerable diffidence that I attempt to address the American people, knowing and feeling sensibly my incompetency; and believing that your highly and well improved minds would not be well entertained by the address of a Choctaw. But having determined to emigrate west of the Mississippi river this fall, I have thought proper in bidding you farewell to make a few remarks expressive of my views, and the feelings that actuate me on the subject of our removal … We as Choctaws rather chose to suffer and be free, than live under the degrading influence of laws, which our voice could not be heard in their formation.
—-George W. Harkins, George W. Harkins to the American People
The Choctaw coalesced as a people in the 17th century, and developed three distinct political and geographical divisions: eastern, western and southern, which sometimes created differing alliances with nearby European powers, who included the French, English and Spanish during the colonial era. During the American Revolution, most Choctaw supported the Thirteen Colonies’ bid for independence from the British Crown. They never went to war against the United States prior to Indian Removal.
In the 19th century, the Choctaw became known as one of the “Five Civilized Tribes” because they adopted numerous practices of their United States neighbors. The Choctaw and the United States (US) agreed to nine treaties and, by the last three, the US gained vast land cessions and deracinated most Choctaw west of the Mississippi River to Indian Territory. They were the first Native Americans forced under the Indian Removal Act. The Choctaw were exiled because the U.S. wanted to expand territory available for settlement by European Americans, to save the tribe from extinction, and to acquire their natural resources. The Choctaw negotiated the largest area and most desirable lands in Indian Territory. Their early government had three districts, each with its own chief, who together with the town chiefs sat on the National Council. They appointed a Choctaw Delegate to represent them with the US government in Washington,
George Washington Harkins (1810–1890) was an attorney and prominent chief of the Choctaw tribe during Indian removal.