BELMAR, NJ — Historian Craig Uplinger will recount the Cherokee’s tragic journey along the “Trail of Tears” nearly 200 years ago during a breakfast presentation on Saturday, November 23 at the Belmar Public Library.
His free presentation will focus on the forced relocation of the tribe from their homeland east of the Mississippi River, under the Indian Removal Act passed by Congress in 1930. It required that various Indian tribes located in the southeastern United States give up their lands for federal land located west of the Mississippi.
By 1838, about 15,000 Cherokee were “escorted” west by U.S. military and state militia, resulting in the death of one of every four Cherokee along the “Trail of Tears.”
“The United States profited greatly from the land taken from the Cherokee,” said Uplinger, whose talk comes during National Native American Heritage Month. “What we lost as a nation, however, is more difficult to assess because it is measured against the great principles of justice and humanity.”
Beginning with President George Washington, he will explain the United States’ predicament of how to balance its growing frontier settlement with the harsh realities of its decision to resettle the Native American population to “Indian Territory.”
Uplinger is a teacher of American history and the U.S. Constitution at Marlboro High School. A James Madison fellow in Monmouth University, he also was selected as an Outstanding Graduate Scholar in History in 2015. He’s also a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national historical honor society.
The program will begin at 10 a.m. at the Belmar Public Library, located at 517 10th Avenue.
For more information, call the library at 732-681-0775 or visit www.belmarlibrary.org to send a message. For updates on the library’s various programs and services, visit its website or Facebook page.
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