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5. Masculine Heroes   

5. Masculine

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Activities: Author Activities

Cherokee Memorials - Author Questions

Back Back to Cherokee Memorials Activities
  1. Comprehension: How are the "Memorial of the Cherokee Council" and the "Memorial of the Cherokee Citizens" different from one another? Why do you think the Cherokee chose to submit multiple memorials from different groups in the tribe rather than a single memorial?

  2. Context: The Cherokee Council's memorial points out that, historically, the "phraseology, composition, etc." of treaties between the United States and the Cherokee were "always written by the Commissioners, on the part of the United States... as the Cherokees were unacquainted with letters." Given the council's awareness of this problem, what is the significance of the memorials' status as written texts? How does the Cherokees' "unlettered" history impact their written presentation of their situation?

  3. Context: What kinds of attitudes toward land and land ownership do the Cherokee memorials endorse? How do their feelings about their relationship to their land compare to nineteenth-century white writers' attitudes toward land (in works by Cooper, Clappe, or Kirkland, for example)?

  4. Exploration: How do the Cherokee memorials compare to early national documents proclaiming American sovereignty (such as the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution)? How do the Cherokee memorials exploit traditional American rhetoric of freedom and natural rights to their own ends?

  5. Exploration: How does William Apess draw upon the rhetorical strategies and language developed by the Cherokee memorialists in his "Indian's Looking-Glass for the White Man"? How do Apess's reform goals compare to the memorialists' goal of retaining possession of their homeland?

  6. Exploration: In The Return of the Native: American Indian Political Resurgence, sociologist and political scientist Stephen Cornell traces three basic stages in American Indian political resurgence. Cornell argues that while in the early contact period, Native American groups were able to maintain authority and status by playing European colonial powers off one another, in the years following the American Revolution, American Indian nations suffered a loss of land, social cohesion, and economic independence as America expanded westward. This dislocation and disempowerment was in turn followed by militant activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Where do the Cherokee memorials fit into this continuum and what resistance strategies do they use? How do their resistance strategies compare to those of the Sioux during the Ghost Dance (Unit 1), or the Costanoans during the revolt against the Franciscan missionaries (Unit 7)?

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