Subject Area



This thesis follows the story of the forced deportation of two Native American groups, the Creeks and the Cherokees, from the state of Georgia. The Creeks were completely removed from Georgia by January of 1828, two years before Andrew Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Act, effectively commencing the removal of all Native Americans to lands west of the Mississippi River, now known as the Trail of Tears. William McIntosh, a Lower Creek chief, worked alongside his cousin, George Troup, the governor of Georgia from 1823 to 1827. McIntosh worked alongside Troup and negotiated land sale deals, known as the Treaties of Indian Springs, which aimed at entirely ridding Creek land claims in Georgia. While McIntosh gained land and wealth, Troup was able to accomplish his goal of complete Creek removal from Georgia. The Cherokees, however, were far more resistant to forced relocation, and displayed greater levels of unified leadership. Led by chief John Ross, the Cherokees resisted Georgia’s attempts at removal by taking cases to the US Supreme Court, and established a capital at New Echota and a national constitution. Despite their efforts, the Cherokees were ultimately removed from Georgia following the Treaty of New Echota in December of 1835, which gave the Cherokees two years to leave the state of Georgia, By 1838, the last of the Cherokees left the state.

This thesis employs the use of a variety of primary and secondary sources. For primary sources, my research employs a thorough comparative analysis of the two Treaties of Indian Springs, the Treaty of Washington, and the Treaty of New Echota. Additionally, several letters exchanged between McIntosh and Troup are examined, along with other primary sources written by John Ross, such as the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation. For secondary sources, this research utilizes several books, scholarly journal articles, and full-length monographs. All of these sources are taken into consideration to prove the following thesis - the difference between the ways and which the Creeks and Cherokees were removed is largely attributed to four reasons. These are the Creek’s lack of unity, indicated by the Lower Creeks’ fellowship and partial alliance with the United States, the ‘McIntosh-Troup alliance’, the leadership of John Ross of the Cherokee National Council and the legal resistance of the Cherokees.

HIS 490 Honors Thesis


Providence College

Academic Year



Spring 2024





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