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Word Count: 970
On September 15 1830 at Little Dancing Rabbit Creek the Chiefs of the Choctaw Nation and representatives of the US met to discuss the impact of a bill recently passed by the Congress of the US This bill with all the same good intentions of those today who believe they know better than we how to conduct our lives allowed for the removal of all Indian peoples to the West of the Mississippi River It had been made clear to the Choctaw that the Whites in Washington cared little for our situation that either we willingly moved or by military force we would be moved We were not ignorant savages but industrious farmers merchants and businessmen of all types We were educated people many were Christians We had an organized system of government and a codified body of law Some of these people were not even Indians many strangers and orphans had been taken in over the years The Chiefs and Warriors signed the treaty realizing they had no option For doing this the government officials guaranteed in the body of the treaty safe conveyance to our new homes Do not forget for a moment that in this treaty the Choctaw traded 103 million acres of land east of the Mississippi for 103 acres in Oklahoma and Arkansas that we already owned under previous treaties Further it included provisions and monetary annuities to assist the people to make a new start One half of the people were to depart almost immediately the rest the next year After the signing of the treaty many saw their land and property sold before their own eyes The conveyances promised turn out to be a forced march At the point of a gun the pace killed many of the old exposure and bad food killed most Rotten beef and vegetables are poor provisions even for the idle Many walked the entire distance without
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