Discovering and Connecting the Dots and Lines that led to the Cherokee Removal and “Trail of Tears” : Part One

An Adventure and Shipwreck

How many of you have planned a simple adventure; perhaps a short hike, a visit to a historic site, an afternoon ride, or a day at the lake?

Some people just head out; others may throw some snacks in their pocket; and others may take a camera, a map, or other items they think necessary. Typically, the bigger the adventure, the more preparation is needed.

In our last blog, we offered some “Words of Wisdom”. One of those was, “Let your most prized possessions be only those things that will survive a shipwreck.”

So, what does this have to do with the “Trail of Tears” and history and adventures, you ask?

Very good question!

In fact, what does that saying even mean?

Well, picture this.  You find yourself washed up on a strange, deserted beach, in a strange land, with nothing but the clothes on your back; no cell phone, no friends, “no nothing”; what skills or abilities would you have to help you understand things, deal with the situation, and survive?

That is sort of what happened when we began our six-year adventure into the examination and research of different aspects and sites of the Cherokee Removal. We found that, while much has been written about the Removal and Trail of Tears, there was comparatively little original, or primary source, information documented and available.

A writer or historian’s opinions, feelings, or conjecture about a subject can be interesting, thought-provoking, or heart-felt but are they accurate, based on primary sources.

Primary sources are things that were written or recorded at the time, by people who were there and involved. These would be eye-witness or contemporary accounts and records of that specific time and place.

When we dove into the waters of the Removal, we washed ashore and found little or nothing to lead us to the answers of our questions.

As an example:

Of the twenty-five, or so, forts and posts set up and occupied by the militia and soldiers involved in the Removal, the locations of all but one or two have been completely LOST!  How can you lose a fort!  How can you lose TWENTY-THREE forts?  How can there be no records?

Forts were not the only things lost and we’ll explore many of the other things, together, in the days to come.

A New Beginning

We found that we had to come up with a different way to research this topic. We needed something that would help us uncover clues and point us where to look for the next clue, and then help us relate all these clues to “the big picture”.

We developed what we call, the Dautzenlein.  It’s pronounced, “Dots-n-line”

The “Dautzenlein” is simply a new tool for making sense of things and will be explained in our next postings.

The Adventure Ahead

The series of upcoming posts will explore previously known connections and relationships of people and events that led to the forced removal and relocation of Cherokee Native Americans in 1838, as well as some dramatic, newly recovered connections! This 1838 event is often called ”the Removal” or “The Trail of Tears”.

The Removal is an incredibly complicated and complex subject that includes some heart-wrenching and tragic consequences. If a person can gain a fuller understanding of what happened and what elements combined to cause it, they can learn many lessons. If, as they say, “History repeats itself”; then this is one “lesson” that everyone should know about!

We will present new tools, skills, and information, to enable the reader to be able to “connect the dots” of history for themselves. These new tools and skills can be used in all areas of study or life.

Ultimately, no one can teach us anything unless we agree to learn it. It’s a two-sided thing. The best educators will enthusiastically invite a student to look at something and then assist the student to learn more about it. We must adventure into the unknown and discover things for ourselves if we truly want to understand them. When complex topics and issues overwhelm our abilities to understand them, we tend to lose interest or give up. We are all capable of understanding things. We just need to avoid getting overwhelmed by the initial confusions.

Washing up on strange shores can be confusing and overwhelming. The Dautzenlein tool can immediately begin to sort out the chaos.

Keeping in mind that our readers vary from young to old, students to professors; we will start out with very simple points, observations, and data. Then we will build to increasingly more advanced elements. This way, everyone can come along on the adventure!

Surprisingly,  the most simple idea can also be the most profound.

Our next posts will begin to address all this and more. We’ll even explore one Dautzenlein that led us to the possible site of one of those lost forts.

Stay Tuned!

 

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