I don’t know how I managed to go to school in the United States and never really learn much of anything about Native Americans. What I knew (or thought I knew) I learned from westerns on TV, the movies, or from the song Comanche, by Johnny Horton about the only survivor of Custer’s Last Stand. Needless to say, the way that Native Americans were portrayed in those media were not flattering to their memories. Nor were they the truth.
Over my lifetime I’ve learned that there are good people everywhere, but also that we can all be very dark and twisted. I am sure that there are good and evil people in every race. But then I began to learn more about the plight of the Native Americans and how they were treated. It was appalling.
Today we went to Echota, which was the capital of the Cherokee Nation. You may not have realized it, but at one time, they had their own Constitution (patterned after that of the US Constitution), their own Supreme Court, their own capital, their own legislative, executive and judicial branches. Then, things began to fall apart and the U.S. government forced them to leave their ancestral homelands for a place west of the Mississippi. Eventually they settled in the area of Oklahoma. The brutal forced march they endured became known as the Trail of Tears because of their sadness and sorrow at losing their lands, but even more because of the many who died en route.
This is a picture I shot today of Vann’s Store, a reconstructed building at the site of Etocha, which is about 60-70 miles north of Atlanta. There is only one original building still standing, the home of the missionary, last name of Worcester, who lived at Etocha with the Cherokee.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1971, Lt. Michael Calley was sentenced to life in prison (later reduced to 20 years) for the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai, Vietnam, that occurred in March 1968.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Duroc is the name of an American breed of hogs that have droopy ears. The name reportedly came from the name of the breeder’s horse.