Protest Against the Trail of Tears: A Letter by Ralph Waldo Emerson
In 1838, poet, essayist, and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a letter to President Martin Van Buren protesting the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from its land in Georgia to modern-day Oklahoma. In this extended excerpt from his letter, read by Professor Amy Sturgis Lenoir-Rhyne University, Emerson demonstrates that people at the time were aware that the Trail of Tears was a grave injustice. Emerson's was only one of many voices protesting the government's treatment of the Cherokee people, but these protests fell on deaf ears. The Trail of Tears remains a blemish on U.S. History.