How to Use
Reading 2: Four Views of European American/American Indian Relations
The following excerpts reflect the attitudes of four people important in the conflicts between European American settlers moving west and the American Indians who had traditionally lived there.
Andrew Jackson to John McKee, 1794.1
Thomas Jefferson on the policy of "civilization,"
In 1811 Tecumseh traveled through the Southeast, attempting
to gain recruits for the Pan-Indian movement. The following is an excerpt
from his speech to the Cherokee.3
Behold what the white man has done to our people! Gone are the Pequot, the Narraganset, the Powhatan, the Tuscarora and the Coree.... We can no longer trust the white man. We gave him our tobacco and our maize. What happened? Now there is hardly land for us to grow these holy plants.
White men have built their castles where the Indians’ hunting grounds once were, and now they are coming into your mountain glens. Soon there will be no place for the Cherokee to hunt the deer and the bear. The tomahawk of the Shawnee is ready. Will the Cherokee raise the tomahawk? Will the Cherokee join their brothers the Shawnee?
Junaluska, Tochalee and Chuliwa were Cherokee chiefs. These
were their responses to Tecumseh, 1811.4
We know that they have come to stay. They are like leaves in forest, they are so many. We believe we can live in peace with them. No more do they molest our lands. Our crops grow in peace....
Tochalee and Chuliwa: After years of distress we found ourselves in the power of a generous nation.... We have prospered and increased, with the knowledge and practice of agriculture and other useful arts. Our cattle fill the forests, while wild animals disappear. Our daughters clothe us from spinning wheels and looms. Our youth have acquired knowledge of letters and figures. All we want is tranquility.
Questions for Reading 2
1. Why, according to General Jackson, did American Indians negotiate treaties?
2. Who are the "other sources" Jackson said settlers would turn to if the U.S. government did not help them fight Indians?
3. How did Thomas Jefferson think the policy of "civilization" would help European American settlement?
4. What events did Tecumseh refer to in order to get the Cherokee to join him? Why?
5. What method did Tecumseh advocate to stop European American expansion?
6. What reasons did the Creek chiefs give for not joining Tecumseh?
7. How did Jackson's and Tecumseh's view of the origins of European American/American Indian conflict compare?