Georgia Land Lotteries – Gold Grabbing

Georgia Cherokee lands 1830

Georgia Cherokee lands in 1830

The Georgia Land Lotteries which spanned from 1805 to 1833 were one of the largest land grabs in eastern US, certainly the largest having to do with the 5 Civilized Tribes.

In Georgia, this land belonged to the Creek and Cherokee Nations, and the Europeans wanted it.  It included gold mines.

The Cherokees did not give up their land without a fight.  In fact, they took it to the US Supreme Court, a case they won their cases, but both the state of Georgia and US President Andrew Jackson chose to ignore the court’s finding and instead forced the removal of the Cherokee, taking their lands to be divided among non-Cherokee citizens.

In an effort to keep their lands, certain Cherokees (and other interested parties)—including John Ross, Samuel Worcester and Major Ridge—took their fight against the State of Georgia to the United States Supreme Court. There were two major cases heard by the Court during the years of 1831 through 1832: Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and Worcester v. Georgia. Though the Cherokee Nation actually won the court battles, both U.S. President Andrew Jackson and the State of Georgia chose instead to ignore the Supreme Court ruling.   In a popular quotation, President Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said: “[Chief Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”.  Georgia continued its surveying and division of the Cherokee lands through the final “1832 Land and Gold Lotteries.”  President Jackson utilized the U.S. Army, forcing the “removal of the Cherokees in what we now know as the shameful “Trail of Tears,” freeing up desirable land in Georgia.

Land speculation in the lotteries was common, many lots were sold sight-unseen by the winners for other lots or for gold. Real estate agents, individual citizens and even unscrupulous lottery officials attempted to secure promising gold belt lots or valuable Cherokee plantation lots. During the 1832 Lottery alone, some 85,000 people competed for 18,309 land lots to be given away, and at least 133,000 people competed for 35,000 gold belt lots to be given away.

1832 georgia grant 1832 Georgia land grant

To read more about this land lottery system, click here.

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Cherokee, Creek. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Georgia Land Lotteries – Gold Grabbing

  1. joseph macisaac says:

    HI ROBERTA i HAVE AN OFF TOPIC TO THIS EMAIL,I HAVE A 1ST STEP MATCH WITH A DONALD GARVIN DAVIS IN WALES ENGLAND AND HIS MOST DISTANT ANCESTOR IS ISAC DAVIS POCAHONTAS NATIVE AMERICAN HOW IS THIS ,WAS ISAAC A SON OF POCAHONTAS WHEN SHE WAS TAKEN TO ENGLAND.ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED.REGARDS :JOSEPH MAC ISAAC 181124 FTDNA Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 16:10:50 +0000 To: macisaac430@hotmail.com

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