Native American Heritage Month 2015

Land grant from Cherokee land lottery, Clarke County, Georgia, 1832. Cherokee Land Lottery certificate for lot #892, consisting of 40 acres, in the 17th district, section 2 drawn by Solomon Edwards of Jennings District, Clarke County. Cecil Haralson Collection, Smyrna Public Library.
Land grant from Cherokee land lottery, Clarke County, Georgia, 1832. Cherokee Land Lottery certificate for lot #892, consisting of 40 acres, in the 17th district, section 2 drawn by Solomon Edwards of Jennings District, Clarke County. Cecil Haralson Collection, Smyrna Public Library.

On October 30th, President Obama proclaimed November as National Native American Heritage Month.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, Native American Heritage Month “is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.”

An example of those challenges took place during the early 1830s, when the Georgia legislature passed laws that nullified existing Cherokee law and government in order to take over Cherokee land and present it to white Georgia farmers through a land grant lottery system.  You can read more about the Georgia land lottery system and the Cherokee Removal in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

 

In the DLG, the Cecil Haralson Collection from the Smyrna Public Library, and the Cherokee Regional Library System Collection include examples of numerous Cherokee land grants.  The Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers collection from our partners at the Georgia Historical Society provides more information about Cherokee displacement and relocation.

 

Cherokee Indian relocation records, 1815-1837. Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers, Georgia Historical Society.
Cherokee Indian relocation records, 1815-1837.
Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers, Georgia Historical Society.

The Cherokee Indians Relocation Papers collection consists of correspondence, a power of attorney, and statements by The Rising Fawn and The Flute (or Old Turkey), two Cherokee men. The correspondence includes a letter from Joseph McMill to John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, regarding the removal of native Americans to Arkansas and to the Agency; another letter from McMinn to Calhoun nominating sites to attract merchants and giving a history of the county and its towns; a letter from John Coffee to John H. Eaton, Secretary of War, regarding the boundary line between Georgia and the Cherokee Nation and commenting on a number of people, including Chief McIntosh, as well as discussing outrageous intrusions on Native American territory and their rights on the frontier; a letter from Wilson Lumpkin written from New Echota, withdrawing his name as a candidate for Electors of President and Vice-President and stating that he cannot serve in this position while acting as Commissioner for settling claims under the Cherokee treaty; and a letter from John Ridge to General Nat. Smith, Superintendent of Internal Revenue, written from New Echota. The Rising Fawn’s statement, 1829, is regarding the boundary line between Creeks and Cherokees. The Flute’s statement delineates the line between the Creeks and Cherokees as agreed upon at the “old treaty ground” in the presence of U.S. Commissioners. The collection also includes two volumes. The first volume is a record of claims, 1836-1838, kept by Wilson Lumpkin and John Kennedy, Commissioners appointed by the President under the Cherokee Treaty. It includes 423 claims made by the Cherokee Indians of property taken from them. The second volume contains an inventory and sale of property belonging to Native Americans in Floyd County, Georgia. Also included in this collection is a Power of Attorney from James Monroe, Secretary of State, to George Graham, giving him power to receipt for dividends and interest on all stocks in the name of the President in trust for the Seneca Indians. It is signed by Monroe and bears the War Office seal.

We hope that you find these resources aid your observance of Native American Heritage Month 2015.

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American Presidents

You will find every single American president somewhere in the Digital Library of Georgia, whether it be in the newspaper archives, the Georgia Government Publications site, or the Vanishing Georgia Collection. Below we present just a few presidential items you might come across in your digital library adventures.

To the right is an image of a speech given by John Quincy Adams on May 25, 1836. The speech was given during his stint as a U.S. representative from Massachusetts after his one term as president. He is the only American president to return to Congress after serving in the highest office in the country. In the speech, he addresses a resolution to provide aid to citizens of Georgia and Alabama who were displaced by Native American “hostilities.” He states his intention to vote for the bill, but also scolds those who were responsible for inciting the violence through their cruel treatment of the Native Americans. The seven page speech is part of the Southeastern Native American Documents Collection. If you click on the image to the right, it will redirect you to the collection, where the full text of the speech is available in image and transcribed form.

To the left is an image of Calvin Coolidge’s obituary from the January 12th, 1933 issue of the Calhoun Times. As Warren Harding’s vice-president, Coolidge ascended to the presidency following Harding’s death and served in the office from 1923 to 1929. At the time of his death, Coolidge was the only living former president.  The obituary is part of the Gordon County, Georgia Obituaries collection. The obituaries in the collection were collected and pasted on index cards and have been digitized in conjunction with  the Calhoun-Gordon County Public Library. The collection is comprised of over 46,000 clippings and includes obituaries from local citizens and Georgians of national prominence, including Eugene Talmadge and Margaret Mitchell.

On the right is an image of Dwight D. Eisenhower playing golf at the Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville, Georgia, during his presidency in early 1956. Ike was an avid golfer and frequented the most prestigious golf courses in the Georgia. There is even a cabin at the Augusta National Golf Club bearing his name. The cabin was built specifically for the president to accommodate his frequent visits. The image is from the Vanishing Georgia Collection.

The political cartoon to the left depicts candidates in the 1976 presidential election as beauty pageant contestants. The candidates from left to right are George Wallace, Jimmy Carter, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Carter eventually defeated Ford in the general election and Reagan would have his chance four years later. The cartoon is from the Baldy Editorial Cartoons Collection in the Richard B. Russell Library.

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