The Cherokee were liberal in adopting people into their tribe, which is partly why they are the largest surviving tribe today. John Ross was only one-eighth Cherokee. There were blond haired and blue-eyed Cherokee. A Western Cherokee, the reclusive Sequoyah, performed one of the greatest intellectual feats of all time by creating a Cherokee alphabet. It was easy to learn and most of the tribe became literate by 1825, with a literacy rate higher than most of the world, even the USA. The Cherokee created a true nation, with a constitution, and elected John Ross as its “Principal Chief.” By 1828, they had a national weekly newspaper, published in Cherokee and English. The Cherokee were out-whiting the whites. The Cherokee were more prosperous than the neighboring whites and their groomed lands and society became the envy of the region. They even had African slaves (the Cherokee’s slaves were largely treated better than African slaves of whites, but they were still slaves). Subsequent events betrayed the racist foundation of the white invasions and exterminations of Native Americans. Gold was found in northern Georgia in 1828 and 1829, which created a gold rush on Cherokee lands as the white miners flooded in. History has rarely recorded a , as greed and desperation are their most salient characteristics, whether it was or 19th century America. The Georgia gold rush foreshadowed the gold rushes that propelled the invasion and “settlement” of whites west of the Mississippi River. With a new lure of greed, the Georgia government then began plotting the Cherokee expulsion in earnest.


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