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14.000 x 11.000 x 1.000 inches
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Red Clay Tennessee
Painting - Oil On Canvas
This 11�X14� oil on canvas was painted from photographs I took at the Red Clay Historic Park in East Tennessee.
The events that made Red Clay famous happened between 1832 and 1838.� Red Clay served as the seat of Cherokee government from 1832 until the forced removal of the Cherokee in 1838.� It was the site of 11 general councils, national affairs attended by up to 5,000 people.� Those years were filled with frustrating efforts to insure the future of the Cherokee.� One of the leaders of the Cherokee, Principal Chief John Ross, led their fight to keep Cherokee's eastern lands, refusing the government's efforts to move his people to Oklahoma.� Controversial treaties, however, resulted in the surrendering of land and their forced removal. � Here, at Red Clay, the Trail of Tears really began, for it was at the Red Clay Council Grounds that the Cherokee learned that they had lost their mountains, streams, and valleys forever.�
By 1832, the State of Georgia had stripped the Cherokee of their political sovereignty and had prevented Cherokees from meeting together.� They were prohibited from holding council meetings in Georgia for any reason other than to treaty away their land.� As a result, the Cherokee capital was moved from New Echota, Georgia to Red Clay, Tennessee.
In spite of the social and political advancement made by the Cherokee, Red Clay proved to be the Cherokee's last refuge-their capital in exile-before being moved westward from their homeland in the southeastern United States.
Today, Red Clay State Historical Park is a certified interpretive site on the Trail of Tears.
July 8th, 2013
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