Try It

Read another passage from “Refusal of the Choctaws and Chickasaws to Cede Their Lands in Mississippi: 1826” and answer the questions that follow. As you read, consider the authors’ point of view and purpose.

portrait of Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was president of the United States from 1829-1837.

Image Source: Longacre, James Barton, 1794-1869, graveur via Wiki Commonsopens in new window

To our beloved brothers, the Commissioners of the United States:

We are sorry to hear that our talk has so much disappointed our father the President, and our brothers the commissioners. The object of the Government we cannot understand. It appears from what you say, that all the objections which we, his red children, can make, will have no weight with the policy of the General Government.

We should always like to be neighbors to our brothers the Choctaws; but, thinking it would not be to the advantage of the nation to cross the Mississippi, we are resolved to remain in our native country, where we are freed from our red enemies.

We have always looked up to our father the President for protection, as dutiful children; we have every feeling of gratitude that children can have to a father; we have always been in readiness to assist our white brothers as well as our own.

You say that the country we have is greatly too large for us. We have always taken the talks of our father the President heretofore and reduced our lands to very small bounds, not more than what will support us comfortably; we, as well as our white brothers, have a rising generation to provide for. We have abandoned the idea of hunting for a support, finding the game will not do for a support. Our father the President introduced missionaries to come amongst us to advance us to a state of civilization; we accepted them, and are making all the progress that people can; we have also been providing means for the support of the missionaries, to enable us to go on with the education of our children and to have them enlightened. Industry is spreading amongst us; population is increasing; we hope soon to arrive at that state of improvement that is so much desired by our father the President …

Our brothers the commissioners say that our father the President has directed them to say that we must sell a part of our country that we can most conveniently spare. We, your Chickasaw children, cannot see any land that we can spare, nor yet do we see the necessity of our white brothers to compel them to have it. We, your Chickasaw children, have no idea that our father the President is disposed to take any advantage of his Chickasaw children, nor our brothers the commissioners ...


– Excerpt from “Refusal of the Choctaws and Chickasaws to Cede Their Lands in Mississippi: 1826”
Source: Yale University, Avalon Law Projectopens in new window