Map 1830 & Treaty of New Echota
Treaty of New Echota

Read about the Treaties (Link) (offsite)
The Full Treaty in Print - (Link) (offsite)

On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, formalizing his administration's policy of sending to the West Indians living east of the Mississippi River on lands desired by whites. During the next decade, the U.S. government pursued the removal of the southeastern tribes through treaties negotiated in a manner some would call forceful.  The effort to force Cherokees from their lands in Georgia produced the Treaty of New Echota, signed by a small faction of the Cherokee Nation in 1835.

The majority of the Cherokees refused to leave their homes in Georgia and sued the state of Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court in order to prevent their removal. When Secretary of War Lewis Cass and President Jackson grew impatient with the Cherokees, they acted unilaterally by authorizing the Reverend John F. Schermerhorn to sign a treaty with a group of Cherokees who had concluded that further resistance was futile. Led by Major Ridge, his son John Ridge, and his nephews Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie, this group signed a treaty at New Echota, Georgia, on December 29, 1835. The agreement exchanged title to all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi for $5 million dollars and a large tract in Oklahoma. Despite the protests by the Cherokee National Council and John Ross, the principal chief, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota in May 1836.

After signing the New Echota treaty, Ridge and his group left for Oklahoma. Chief Ross and the majority of the tribe continued to resist, however, arguing that the treaty was invalid because it had not been properly ratified. In April 1838, Ross submitted a petition containing 15,665 signatures to Congress, requesting that the United States void the Cherokee removal treaty. In May the War Department sent General Winfield Scott to Georgia to round up the resisting tribesmen and begin their removal. This began the migration known as the Trail of Tears, during which the tribe moved west, losing one quarter of its number in the process. In June of the following year, three of the men who had signed the Treaty of New Echota—John Ridge, Elias Boudinot, and Major Ridge were killed by some Cherokees as a punishment for selling the tribe's lands in Georgia. 

Below is a map of 1830 Cherokee - this will help those researching to better understand the area of that time and how it was laid out. 

Map - 1830 - Cherokee

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