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tv   Mary Stockwell on The Other Trail of Tears  CSPAN  May 31, 2015 7:30am-8:01am EDT

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of the earth. they have we created that with the sky looked like the all of a sudden it came back to me and i realized where my interest in weapons of mass destruction it come from, nevermind the fact we are systematically lied to about what would effects of radiation. i think part of the reasons i wanted to write about this was i knew a lot about, a lot of what we are being told was not right. so hence some of my early papers of the progressive were very skeptical of national security justifications for some of the weapons we were developing, neutron bomb, things like that. >> you can watch this and other programs online that booktv.org.
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>> good morning and welcome to the sixth annual gaithersburg book festival. my name is holly smith.book gaithersburg is a wonderful city supports the arts in the mideast were pleased to bring you a this ing y event thanks in part aou response in amplitude pics when you see them please say hi. a few quick announcements. you get any devices complacent silence of them before our author began speaking. sile if you are tweeting today please use the hashtag -- we need your als feedback. they are paper surveys at the back of the templateoed surveys online via our global at. please vote out of thatne volunteers know what you think that if we do you will enter to win every i bet. ented mary stockwell be signing booksipad. ma and you after presentation and they are for sale in the after politics and prose can.entatio speaking of which even thoughn, a this is a free event anndd tab wele for wanthe to keep that light it does help if you purchase a box. want it occurred to publish his
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dissent offers to its support politics and prose and supported even. if you have thcse means in june showed you, please consider buying a book or today about the terrific offer your about to me. mary stockwell earned her ph.d stowell in recognition of the university of toledo, my hometown, and wasand was his history professor and department departm chair at lord university.versity. she's currently and erhardt foundation fellow at the the university michigan which is researching her next book on anthony weiner.on mayor is the author these two books that are used by childrenat throughout the united states including the by chi ohio adventure and a journey throughin main. winner of a gold lamp award for best book from the association of educational publishers. today she'll be talking about her latest book, "the other trail of tears: the removal of the ohio indians." please join me in welcoming author mary stockwell. [applause] >> oh, thank you. thank you so much for inviting me to gaithersburg. it's very beautiful here.
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it's an honor to be at this festival. thank you, everybody in this hot tent today, for being here. and thank you to c-span for covering the gaithersburg festival. it's so wonderful. i have to say i'm glad you mentioned the fact that i am a teach or, at least i was a teacher. there was one name, if i said it to my student ises, it would cause a near riot in the room, and that name was andrew jackson. if i said andrew jackson to a room full of undergraduates, the waves of hatred that would come back at me, it was overwhelming. and nothing i could say about andrew jackson would change it. nothing. if i said he's the hero of new orleans, if he -- if i would say he took on the corrupt bank, why if he was here today he'd be on his white horse down on wall street occupying it. isn't there something good i can say on andrew jackson, they would say absolutely not. i would ask why this all-consuming hatred of andrew jackson. they'd always say doc the trail of tears.
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the trail of tears. andrew jackson sent the cherokee west and for that reason, we despise him and nothing you can say is going to change our minds. great way to start a class in early national u.s. history of the 19th century. what's tragic about this is that i finally learned there's something about this story that has seared itself into our collective imagination. most people who know american history know about the trail of tears, and they know jackson sent the cherokee west. to me, it's tragic because it's way bigger story than that. it goes back in time all the way to the war of 1812. it goes back in space to where i'm from, where we're from, the old ohio country. all that land north of the ohio river. and it goes through so many other tribes. not just the cherokee, tribes we know in our colonial history, and then becomes of the delaware and the seneca and the shaw knee and the ottawa. what happens to them? they go down the other trail of tears. and there's an awful lot of
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responsibility to pass around for this not just to andrew jackson. i found that when i was writing this story is, if i had to start with one name to start the story of the other trail of tears i would not start with ann crew jackson -- andrew jackson, i would start with tecumseh, the great shaw knee warrior who came up with this plan to unite all the tribes and then to give them a homeland of their own in ohio indiana, illinois, in the great midwest the old ohio country. and his plan was rather simple and rather terrible. he said i'm going to pick a day and i'm going to alert all my warriors and they're going to rise up, and they're going to murder every american man woman and child and all their livestock west of the ap lay sans. and the americans will be so terrified after that attack, they're going to run for their lives back across the appalachian mountains, and the ohio country, all that beautiful land out to the mississippi river, will be ours forever. he's a very admirable figure.
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i've got to tell you all my students love tecumseh. i love tecum so but if he had won, i'd be pouring drinks in dublin right now. he would have won the great midwest. he comes close to winning it, but william henry harrison discovers what he's up to and defeats his warriors at a place called tip a canoe in 1811. that doesn't stop tecumseh. he goes forward, and the war of 1812 breaks occupant, and the war of 1812 in the west is an indian war. and tecumseh and the british join together, and they're going to win the old ohio country as an indian state, and they're going to defeat the united states and dismember it on behalf of the indians. he almost wins. he comes very, very close to winning. but he's stopped in battle after battle and the british are stopped, and he dies. but even after his death the british go to dependent in belgium -- ghent in belgium to
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write a treaty and they try with all their might to do something nice for the indians who have fought for them for so many generations and gotten nothing out of it. and they tell the americans we will not sign the treaty unless you give an indian country to all the indians in the united states. the ohio country has got to become an indian nation. you can imagine what our negotiators are saying. john quincy adams is one of the negotiators, absolutely not. absolutely not. they will not relent, and they tell the british no, we'll sign nothing like that. the british finally say, all right, we won't have an indian state, but they add a very important article in the treaty of ghent. it's called article ix. and in this article they say there's going to be peace forever between the americans, between the indians and between us the british. and then they put a year in. we are going to go back to 1811. we are going to go back to that
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year, and we're going the act as if we never were at war, we were always at peace. and when henry clay saw the document he exploded. he's one of the negotiators, and he says they mean to take us back before tip a canoe, back before tecumseh rose up and back before this war started, and john quincy adams was just as mad. and they told president madison, don't sign this awful treaty. it's a testament to what the indians wanted, that separate country. and james madison who you'll be hearing about today if you say senate james michener tent, little james madison had almost seen his country dismembered in the war of 1812. he took the treaty of ghent and it was like getting a reprieve on his way to be executed. he said this is a tremendous document. our country is secure. yes, let's have peace with the indians out west, and let's forget that a we ever fought on the western -- that we ever fought on the western frontier. so what he and his secretary of
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state did a man by the name of james monroe was to send negotiators out to meet all of tecumseh's tribes. everybody who had fought with tecumseh, they were told to either come meet william clark or william henry harrison in 1815 and write treaties of peace. and they did it. treaty after treaty tribe after tribe peace after peace we're going to live in peace forever from 1815 onward. i have to ask you a question. was there peace on the western frontier of the united states from 1815 onward? what would hollywood have done if there were no indian wars on the western frontier? they would have had to find another topic. in 1815 so many americans wanted to go out to this black soil of ohio and the far west that it was like a dam breaking. nobody had gone west for so long. they were afraid of tecumseh and indians and war. and now an explosion of people going west. and british people who came here
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said my god people are walking through ohio 24 hours a day. because in 1815 land meant what education means today it's the way up. you've got to get land. and land is very cheap, and this is a great opportunity. i'm going to ask you a question. i promise there's no quiz later, but just think about this. imagine you're president of the united states and you have just promised the indians you're going to have total peace. but you represent these people who just elected you, and they want that land. what would you do if you had to set policy for the far western countries? you see, i get to ask the questions which is really great and i don't have to answer these impossible questions. but i just want you to think about that. because that's the position that james monroe was in when he's elected president. and james monroe is facing this disaster on western frontier so this is what he does. he says i'm coming up with a new indian policy.
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i agree with what we've been doing can. the indians own the land. we will buy it from them. we'll give them yearly annuities. so i'm going to do something different can. i'm going to let them stay on the country they sell. and i'm going to put them on reserves. i'm going to use the land ordnance of 1785, and i'm going to draw township squares around them. i'll give them one square mile, six square miles twelve square miles, they can stay in ohio in the old country. they have to do something else. they have to become exactly like us. overnight, they must become commercial farmers. overnight they must dress like us walk like us, act like us, send their children to school. it sounds terrible, doesn't it? we're much more sensitive to diversity now. but this is what monroe said is. i'm doing this for the indians so is that when the americans rush up to the edges of those reserves the indians will look so much like them, they won't destroy them, but just blend in,
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and there'll be peace forever on the frontier. sound good? is this going to work? no? i'm getting nos from the back. [laughter] monroe picks ohio as the place where he's going to implement this policy. and he tells all the indians to come to a place called the foot of the rapids. under shadow of a fort where harrison and tecumseh fought many battles. and this treaty at the foot of the rapids is laid in front of them, and they're told you'll get these reserves, you've got to change, but at least you'll be allowed to stay here and we'll be at peace. this is a skeptical group. would you sign that document? no? what would you do? think about it. what are the options that are left open for you? it's a crushing thing to study because you get a sense of how trapped these great tribes are. they're trapped in space. because they've got these township lines now drawn around them.
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there's no boundary lines anymore between them and us. they're trapped on these little pieces of ground. but they're trapped also in time because the u.s. has set a clock. you have got to transform. you have got to be us overnight because we're coming your way. again, what would you do? i found something amazing. the tribes who are still in ohio don't agree on what to do. the great delaware nation, who has been pushed all the way from the atlantic. they say we'll keep one little reserve in ohio, one mile by one mile square but the rest of us are leaving. we have had it with the americans. we will exchange our land -- it's 18 21 -- we'll exchange a our land in indiana primarily and we're going to arkansas. because guess what? we don't want to turn into little carbon copies of you. we want to be delaware forever. we will hunt, we will be warriors we'll farm, and you can't tell us what to do. and they leave on their own
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trail of tears. and when they get to arkansas, it's a terrible trip but they say at least we're ourselves. not swept up into whatever it is you want us to be. the seneca this great western door of the iroquois confederation they get a 40,000-acre reserve near what is now sandusky, ohio and they say we will become the greatest farmers, we will have the greatest orchards. our property will be the envy of every settler who comes near us, but don't send us priests or ministers, don't send us lawyers don't send us politicians. we will remain iroquois in our heart and our souls. second way to handle this. shah knee are tecumseh's tribe and they say we're going to be the best farmers we'll have orchards, livestock, we'll even let quakers come and teach our children how to add, multiply, subtract. we'll look like you, we'll act
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like you we just don't want your religion. we don't trust you. outside of the quakers, we haven't met a christian who actually practices their faith. the ottawa who are living up along a river in the place called the black swamp they simply say nobody would want to live in the black swamp. we both are from the black swamp. people did want to live there. but the ottawa think we can just stay here forever and hunt and be ourselves. we don't have to change. and another tribe gets the prize. they get a place called the grand reserve. it's 12 miles by 12 miles square in the blackest flattest soil not just in ohio, but in the world, and they say we'll do anything you ask. we will have farms, we will have orchards we'll have beautiful homesteads we'll divide our land up, and we'll own it individually and you can send us missionaries. they converted to the methodist faith. we will become so much like you when you get up to the edge of this reserve, our grand reserve,
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we'll blend together as one people. i just gave you five options. what would you do now? would you have taken any one of those options and said is, yes the great experiment's being run, the united states is giving us a chance. let's try and see if we can make it. when i study this story and when i discovered this i said if only these people had been given more time. this seems to be workable. at least you've got a lot of choices ahead of you. but a drum beat of opposition begins. who do you think would oppose it more settlers or indians? settlers? i would say settlers. that's what i would have said when i -- and i said that when i went into this project. i said bet all those greedy americans just like me want all that land. no. no. the indians questioned it. many shawnee rose up and said this is horrible. is this why we followed tecumseh so we could turn into
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little americans? for men especially these proud warriors to say can -- to be told, oh you're going to give up that daring life, and now you're going to get behind an iron plow and you're going to follow the oxen, and you're going to be a farmer. no. many of the shawnee said, we're leaving. a man by the name of colonel lewis took people to arkansas. the prophet was still alive. he took people to kansas. we don't want any part of this. the seneca nation, who had that beautiful reserve where they were the best farmers in the world, said we cannot stand americans anymore. no matter what we do, you bring disease and drunkenness and violence, and you will not rest until you have every speck of territory. and they start writing to the president, send us west. send us west. send us west. amazing. amazing. petition after petition. you can imagine my surprise down in the basement of the archives where historians hang out in the
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microfilm room e reading these we -- these petitions of the seneca send us west. it's -- you're going to get their wish eventually. some frontier officials also begin to say -- people like william clark of lewis and clark fame and louis cass who's the superintendent of indian affairs, they begin to say maybe indians and god himself are not meant to be little farmers. maybe they are meant to be wild hunters and warriors. and they start telling the presidents of the united states to send these people west. i asked you before what you'd do if you were president in 1815. we're now about ten years down the road. what would you do if you're president in 1825 and you've got all these people, many of them indians demanding that you be sent that they be sent west? how would you maintain peace out on the frontier? james monroe at the end of his presidency says, i give up, go
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west. and he favors indian removal. john quincy adams is the next president, and he gets into office saying i'm going to send them west. it's hopeless. there is a collision of people on this frontier, and the indians are suffering. the voices are louder to save us and send us west than keep us here. he would have done it if not for the fact that a man by the name of james barber was appointed as the secretary of war, a name i never heard in all my studies. and james barber said why must we do one thing or other? why as americans is it always stay or go? today, tomorrow, fix things. he said why don't we go to all these individual bands and indians and ask them what do you want to do? want to stay in we'll help you. want to go, we'll help you. want some interim thing? we'll help you. nobody listens to james barber. because in 1828 andrew jackson, the man so hated by my students, is elected president.
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and he doesn't come up with indian removal on his own. it's like he's tipping the balance in favor of it. and jackson runs for office saying i will remove the indians. i'll take everybody in the east, and they will be sent west. and i'm doing it because they don't own the land, we own the land. and all those settlers who voted for me because they want economic opportunity, i'm giving them tens of millions of acres of indian land. and i don't want little indian states and nations rising up in the united states of america. you want to stay on this side of the mississippi river? you have to be like us immediately. you want to retain any identity? you've got to go. and he wins the day. the indian removal act passes. but my lord in heaven, what a debate rose up not just in congress but throughout the united states. ten minutes, i can do this. [laughter] i can't believe i saw that sign with my very bad eyes.
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i used to do this to my students, and i would say i can do this in one minute. i swear to god they had stopwatches to see if i could actually stop talking. [laughter] indian removal is a fact. i can say that ohio fought indian removal. our senators voted against it. our representatives voted against it. ladies from steubenville wrote these glorious petitions saying stop it, stop it, stop it. but it was too late. it was too late. the balance had been tipped. i'm going to leave you with just a few final stories. i wish i could talk about what the actual removal was. that's the second half of my book "the other trail of tears." but let me tell you the order the tribes left and an image of their leaving that stays with me. kind of haunts me to this day. the seneca leave in 1831, and when they get out to the west they tell william clark what do we do with all our, the stuff that we brought from ohio?
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and clark says, you know, what could children of a forest and wild hunters be carrying all the way from ohio? he goes, go down along the mississippi river. there should be a warehouse. put your stuff there. and then the seneca go to the west of the city. later that day clark goes to the warehouse, and he looks up, he can't believe it. the seneca have their stuff piled to the ceiling in crates. and he starts to open the crates, and he goes, it's plows. it's spades. it's hoes. these are farmers. then he reaches in and he grabs a bunch of peach pits, and he says my god they had orchards. they were everything that we wanted them to be, why are we pushing them west? why did i recommend that they be pushed west? but it was too late. shawnee leave in 1832, tecumseh's tribe. they go to kansas. and they tell andrew jackson, who wants them to go by water and save money, we are going by
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land, and we are taking our horses with us. take that, andrew jackson. what do you suppose jackson did? it was the one time in jackson's life where he changed his mind. he's told the shawnee they may go west on their own they may go west on horseback. he caved to the shawnee. 1837 1839 the ottawa leave. the one eye items thing you hear -- eye witness thing you hear all the time is when they were boarding on ships the sound of moaning and wailing and crying was heard they said, for miles. they were primarily children. when you look at the hundreds of ottawas who leave, the vast majority of them, many are under 10, under 20, under 25. it's children being sent west. the last group goes in 1843. they fight -- they fought it better than anybody and finally they gave up, and they left. they planned their own removal. not one government agent sent
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them west. they sent their own people west. they picked the land, and they left with a warning. here's warning they give. you sent us to kansas, where are you people living right now? missouri. what do you think's going to happen within another ten years? slave holders and slaves and people wanting free labor are going to be running over kansas. we'll be pushed out but you'll be in the midst of a civil war. and they warned the united states and that's exactly what happened. i have to say just in conclusion um, this story, again, right away it started to haunt people in ohio, especially the settlers, the pioneers the first and second generation who saw this happen. and they were very troubled by it. the indians took it much better. there was an indian chief by name of squire gray eyes, and squire gray eyes was a chief
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and when he was leaving and all the settlers around him were crying, he said why are you crying? aren't we christians? is this the the end of our existence? isn't our true home up in paradise? maybe it comforted them for a little bit with. i think that was a dig. i think it was -- you don't just get into paradise without being judged. don't worry, they'll be waiting for you guys on the other side. but they were haunted, and they felt very terrible about this. and if you go read frontier newspapers and county histories all the way up to i'd say about the beginning of the 20th century it's the children and grandchildren of the pioneers who are haunted by this and feel bad about this and look back with nostalgia. and i'm convinced it's because as those indians went west, it was people like my ancestors who filled in the country. somebody's losing something and somebody's gaining something. my ancestors came from ireland.
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they had nothing. i had poor catholic poor catholic and jewish ancestors coming from poland. i had a group come from the tiny little town in bohemia coming looking for land. they came to ohio, and then they followed the shawnee, and they went west and got indian land in kansas. it haunts us to this day because i'm convinced it's not just a story about the past, it's a story about what it's like to live in these huge democracies where we all want to fulfill our dream cans but we seem to -- our dreams, but we seem to only fulfill them at the expense of somebody else, and however do we live side by side with each other, not ruining somebody else's life? ..
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it troubles me to this day. what makes american history so challenging to write is not know the fact that stores that's only people have been forgotten even when all the threats of the past drawn out against the past of time are woven together, tragedy remains. that's something of a group of people like the delaware, seneca, shawnee and wyandotte gives rise to the triumph ofpeopleik another like the millions of farmers townspeople come immigrants, city dwellers who felt that the land in ohio lefte were behind by the tribes. we have figured out a way for all americans to live side-by-side person personal dreams for a better future that never at the expense of someonetribe. else's life. we will be all left wondering will if the consequences of the immense tragedy we bring to lifere of one another will ever bes c resolved in time for eternity?gedies thanks.anothewill [applause]
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>> no time for questions? no?oh my goodness. i just want to say, hello to kansas to a c-span is depending on i'm coming to the kansas book festival on september 12. i've never been there but i'm excited to see what the people went so i look forward to seeing you. thank you, all of you. [applause] >> is there a nonfiction author or book you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail to booktv@c-span.org tweet us that booktv. post on our while facebook.com/booktv. >> up next on booktv andrew burstein history professor at louisiana state university looks at how throughout the course of history the political left and right have alluded to thomas jefferson to promote their effective political agenda.
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[applause] >> good evening. as you can guess i'm not an impartial observer when it comes to andrew burstein. we are both early american historians. as mentioned we have co-authored madison and jefferson which is published by random house proposal right brca pieces for salon.com and we are real historians. we are professors at lsu. we have documents. we know things. and andy also is on the advisory board of the papers of thomas jefferson at princeton. he has written numerous books on early american political culture, but his new book is different. this book is about the many ways in our contemporary society
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although we start with fdr but it's about the curious, humorous and at times pathetic ways that modern politicians and public figures atop to manipulate thomas jefferson. and they can claim him as you will see for whatever ideological position that they want to embrace your we have the subtitle of the book how thomas jefferson became an fdr liberal a reagan republican, and a tea party fanatic it all the while being dead. [laughter] thank you. [applause] >> thank you steve and books and books and thank you to that lovely young lady. so. we forget the language of american democracy? ..

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