The Trail of Tears: Background information when reading Thirteen Moons

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Thirteen Moons

by Charles Frazier

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier X
Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2006, 432 pages

    Jun 2007, 422 pages


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The Trail of Tears

This article relates to Thirteen Moons

Print Review

In the early 1800s, the US felt threatened by England and Spain, who held land in the western part of the North American continent (See map: Oregon Country was British owned, while Mexico was obviously Spanish). Meanwhile, American settlers on the East Coast clamored for more land. So Jefferson proposed the creation of a buffer zone down the middle of the country, to be populated by Eastern American Indians - allowing for US expansion West, and presumably designed to slow down European expansion East.

In his 1829 inaugural address, President Andrew Jackson set a policy to relocate eastern Indians which was endorsed in 1830 when Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. Between 1830 and 1850 American Indians living between Michigan, Louisiana and Florida were moved west of the Mississippi either by treaties (often signed through coercion) or by forcible removal by the army. The Trail of Tears refers to the forcible removal of the Cherokee Nation between 1838 and 1839 during which it is estimated that about 4,000 people (1/5th of the entire Nation) died.

Interesting Links:
The official site of the Eastern band of the Cherokee Indians.
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.

Filed under People, Eras & Events

This "beyond the book article" relates to Thirteen Moons. It originally ran in October 2006 and has been updated for the June 2007 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

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