Native Village
Youth and Education news
 Volume 1, February 2011

Failures Beget Success at Printed and Manuscript Americana Sale
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New York: Last September, Swann's Auction Gallery in New York City held a manuscript and print sale. Among the items auctioned off was an 1836 petition by the Cherokees to the U.S. government.  It pleaded that the Cherokee be spared from relocation after the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson.

Estimated at $30,000  - $40,000, the petition sold for $78,000 to an unnamed institution.

The 13 leaves, joined together in a scroll, were drafted by John Ross (1790-1866), principal chief of the tribe. He hoped to revoke an unauthorized treaty by a minority faction that agreed to the relocation. 

Ross's anguished words ("Spare our people! Spare the wreck of our prosperity!") were in vain. President Jackson's response was a rebuff.

More than 16,000 men, women, and children were forced from their homelands in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia and sent to Indian Territory (today's Oklahoma). Many, including Ross's wife, died along the way. The forced march became known as the Trail of Tears.

 The petition came from a private collector who’d had it about 30 years.

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