The Trail of Tears – a poem

The Trail of Tears


They took all the land

When they discovered the gold.

The treaties were worthless

That had not even grown old.

They drove them away

On a great march of shame.

Thousands died on the way

Though they weren’t to blame.

All they received

For their misery and suffering

Was a measly promise –

A peace offering.


Opher 28.6.2018



How many treaties were broken? Treaties promising land as long as the grass shall grow.

How many women and children were butchered? For as Custer said – ‘Nits make fleas’.

How much land was stolen? The whole of America?

In the 1820s a bill was passed that made it policy to move the Native American Indians off their land and into reservations.

In 1838 many tribes were forcibly moved, starved and ill-treated. The Cherokees and Choctaws were two such tribes. Of the 16,543 that started out between 2000 and 8000 died on that trail of tears and death. The numbers were unclear because few records were kept – after all, they were only Indians.

It is a trail of shame.

24 thoughts on “The Trail of Tears – a poem

  1. Have you seen the movie Hostiles? Very interesting character study about one soldier who makes an about face when it comes to Native Americans. I thought it was pretty good.

      1. I’d be very surprised if you had actually seen the film as it had such a limited release abroad and certainly in the UK, and played almost nowhere and was a box office failure.
        Also, given the content of extreme violence, I doubt it’s the sort of film that you’d be spending good money on, if any of your posts are anything to go by.
        John Wayne? I see that you’re on top of the genre?

      2. You know, Mr. Hobson, if you don’t educate yourself on both sides of issues your mind stays in a little box and atrophies. Better figure out if your house is glass before you go throwing stones… I’m always so struck by how much anger comes pouring out of folks who like to troll these sites. Perhaps you should deal with that before you try debating?

      3. That i so true, Opher. I never thought about that. Which is weird since one of my favorite movies is The Searchers. Another one is The Unforgiven (from 1960) b with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn..

      4. Calensariel: What do you mean by all that? I’m a movie buff, it’s my thing and believe me that I will know if a movie was played in UK cinemas. What’s hard for you to understand about that?
        As for throwing stones in glass houses – really, it’s pretty obvious the guy’s a peacenik. What’s trolling got to do with knowing what movies played in UK?
        Get a hold of yourself and think before you speak.
        There’s armies of movie buffs like me out there.

      5. Calensariel: I think I can guide you towards some film titles that are of a somewhat higher artistic merit than anything with Burt Lancaster in it. Or John Wayne.
        John Wayne was a horrible person who lied about some of his fellow actors and made claims that they were communists so that they wouldn’t get hired and he’d get the parts. I don’t ever watch John Wayne, for he was a terribly hammy actor, real B-movie/TV movie level.
        I’ll forgive you for thinking The Unforgiven is a good film. I think a ten year old could find fault with the plot. It’s just so crumby. As for the make up and costumes, ha ha, it’s a comedy of errors!

      6. Christopher (if it is Christopher – I strongly doubt) – why this arrogant attitude? I’m not a fan of John Wayne. I watched those old films with their simplistic portrayal of cowboys and Indians but I was no fan. I studied the real life of the Plains Indians and found them fascinating. I preferred the more realistic A Man Named Horse and Soldier Blue and even the parody of Little Big Man.
        Why this cynical approach – calling people liars again?
        As a person who has been interested in Plains Indians I did go and see Hostiles. It did play at our local cinema. It was much more nuanced and showed both the best and worst of their lives. I thought that the gruesome scene of slowly cooking the man over the campfire was a realistic portrayal of their different attitude to life. It was a more realistic and less sentimental than most.
        I think you should pull your neck in and stop being so rude.

      7. Cheryl – I think this Mr Hobson is yet another thin disguise for our obnoxious Troll. The style is very clear. Take no notice of his rudeness and arrogance. He’s just out to be unpleasant and cause trouble.
        He has a nasty temper and a high opinion of himself. It’s a shame his morality and character are not more worthy.

      8. Well, Mr. H., we’re all entitled to our own opinions. You know, your constant bickering with folks on blogs does absolutely nothing to earn any kind of respect. It does reveal
        lot about your character, however. Truth is all you angry folks want to do is get into a pissin’ contest. What a waste of time your input is…

      9. I think it was that film Cheryl. You didn’t actually see it. The Comanche war party put him in a skin suspended over a fire. They come across it.

  2. Well said, Opher. It was a horrible historical reality in all of the Americas at the hands of the British, Spanish, French, Americans, Canadians… and the list goes on. The Trudeau government has taken some steps towards reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples but there is a long way to go.

    1. The very fact that all you Canadians sit there doing sfa about it is reprehensible. How can you, in this day and age stick a whole bunch of people out in a reservation of nothingness with access to nothing? You’re a nation of fascist pigs.

      1. What?? Extreme rudeness and arrogance yet again???
        What is reprehensible is that governments of all hues – British, French, Spanish, American, South American, Australian, New Zealand and more – have all practised reprehensible genocide against indigenous Indians. John is certainly not a fascist pig and neither is he responsible for the action of his government. Certainly the Canadians acted better to the indigenous population than most. Who are you to be so rude and point fingers? What the hell have you done?

    2. John – BTW – I think this alias of Hobson is yet another incarnation of the same Troll. His manner, rudeness, phrasing, arrogance and puerility are typical. Pay no heed.

      1. I forget how many silly names he’s come up with so far. I’ve taken to deleting them. I find it amusing that he spends all this time writing his obnoxious stuff when it takes me a moment to erase with the push of a button. I think he’s a bit unstable and psychotic.

    3. The western conference of the Methodist church has begun that process, too, John. As you say, it’s a long road. Not sure we’ll ever get there. I love the sign that some of the protesters here have been carrying: No one is illegal on stolen land.

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