The Five Civilized Tribes in the West, 1840-1861
THE PERIOD FROM 1817 to 1840 was, broadly speaking, that of the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes to the region west of the Mississippi River. The next two decades constituted an era of pioneering in a new land. During these two decades the tribes became firmly established in their new country, adjusted their boundaries, established homes, schools, and churches, and seemed well on the way to prosperity. Then the white man's war interrupted their progress, devastated their lands, and left them once more in a chaotic condition. Obviously the period from the completion of removal to the outbreak of the War Between the States is a difficult one to explain or to understand since each of the five tribes had its own problems--problems which in some cases differed widely from those of its neighbors. Since conditions in the different parts of the Indian country varied considerably, generalizations are dangerous and are seldom more than approximately correct.
Happy as the Indians were to see the end of the long, arduous journey westward and to find themselves once more established upon lands which they could call their own, it soon became apparent that their troubles were by no means over once they had reached this new home in the West. On the contrary, they were still faced with numerous, perplexing problems and had