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Author Topic: Question for history buffs!  (Read 3199 times)

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Question for history buffs!
« on: November 11, 2012, 06:12:06 PM »
I am writing a short story (and expanding it for nano, if I get the short story done) about a Choctaw family (my tribe) who were on the Trail of Tears.  Do any of you history buffs have an interest in this, who can help fill in some details of the Trail of Tears for me?  I am a huge history buff myself, and getting more interested in Native American history, particularly of my own tribe, but I don't know a whole lot about it.

I am also finding it hard to find specific information.  Any tips on where I could find some?  I bought a book called Indian Removal, by Grant Foreman, at the Choctaw nation headquarters and looked on their website, but I was hoping for more accounts of the experience.  Also, I am looking for traditional Choctaw names for my characters.

Any help would be appreciated!  I want this to be as accurate as possible.


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Re: Question for history buffs!
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2012, 06:34:08 PM »
Part of the Trail ran through Arkansas; here's the National Park site on it:

There is a Cherokee woman buried there (she was the wife of a Little Rock man), but that's the wrong tribe :).   There's good ol' Wikipedia to begin with:

It's a tragic story :(.  But very moving to find your roots.


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Re: Question for history buffs!
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 06:51:44 PM »
Thanks, guihong.  I will look at those links.  It is a very tragic story.  But fascinating from the perspective of someone who loves both history and genealogy.  Also the fact, that if it had not happened, I would not have been born.  My ancestors would not have met. 

My tribe were the first ones to be removed.  They were removed in three waves, 1831, 1832, and 1833.  Over 2000 Choctaws died in the first wave alone.  I know the Cherokees had a particularly hard time as well.

So sad, tragic, and fascinating all at the same time!  I have been enjoying learning more about my own heritage.  It would be sad if it was completely lost.  My family has a rich history and heritage, we just need to learn more about it.


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Re: Question for history buffs!
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 08:14:52 PM »
Here are a bunch of books on the trail of tears:
Most of them are preview-only, but there's usually enough of a preview for you to get a good idea of what was going on.

Also, check on Netflix and see if there are any documentaries. As I'm sure you know, look to see if Ken Burns has done one.


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Re: Question for history buffs!
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 08:31:19 PM »
What you need, katiescarlett, are some primary sources. 

If you go to the library and find a book about the Trail of Tears, check the bibliography in the back for books/sources that sound promising.  Then take the book to the circulation desk, or where ever you need to go, and request some of the sources from the back of the book through library interloan.  The most that we ever need to pay is $1, so hopefully you wouldn't have to pay much either.

When you get your interloan books check the bibliographies in the backs for even more obscure, but fascinating writings.  Once you have some actual names you may be able to find information online, too.  If you keep following the threads back to original sources, either through library interloan or the web you will find some amazing materials. 

It was a terrible, evil thing that our government did.  I remember getting some materials on this when I had to teach that period of history.  It would be good for you to put even more light on this -  we should never forget what happened to these people.

After reading about the suffering caused by the Indian Removal Act I decided that Andrew Jackson was not entirely the hero that many think he was.  Davy Crockett was strongly opposed to this, though.  His opposition to the law ruined his political career, and he left Washington and went to Texas.........


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Re: Question for history buffs!
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 09:22:41 PM »
Family history is a quilt of hope and tragedy.

Here is a Choctaw nation page about the Trail of Tears:

Here is a brief history with some book references:

Here is a link to the national organization to honor the Trail of Tears:

My ancestors did not walk this trail, but my heart is with those who did.