A Burden for Truth & Redemption
Back in April, I joined some of the Saturday night Worship & Prayer times that Uptown Worship Nights had at the cross-streets of Trade and Tryon. While I was out there, I looked over at the four pillars and at Polk Park and I remembered our team coming out to pray about our city’s founding at these cross-roads. These streets were once the major Indian trading paths in our region. In those moments, I became burdened to find out more about how our state had dealt with the Indian nations that once thrived here.
Andrew Jackson, A Native Son of the Carolinas, & The Trail of Tears
In particular, I was led to find out more about Andrew Jackson, our 7th President, who is claimed as a native son by both North & South Carolina. I started doing some research and found out that it was Andrew Jackson who as a senator fought for the Indian Removal Act; and as President, in 1830, he signed the bill into law. My heart was grieved as I knew that many Cherokee had died during this forced removal, now known as the Trail of Tears. (My family’s lineage includes Cherokee kin.) The Indian nations affected included Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. It is reported that about 1 in 4 died along the trail.
This “trail” could be found through several states and encompassed not just land but water as some were transported by boat. The Indian Removal Act was supposed to be about negotiation for what really was an unfair trade, trading these nations’ prime land east of the Mississippi for land west of the Mississippi; however, the “negotiation” ended up with President Jackson sending the U.S. Army in 1838-1839 to force them out at gun point.
Andrew Jackson in Nashville
Even on vacation in Nashville in July, Andrew Jackson came up. While at lunch, a friend mentioned how the place where Andrew Jackson signed one of the treaties tied to the Indian Removal Act was nearby. I immediately asked if we could stop by there so that I could pray repentance on behalf of the Carolinas.
Museum of the Waxhaws – A Memorial to Andrew Jackson
So as a part of our county mandate for Union County, we added going to the Museum of the Waxhaws before our August Worship & Prayer Gathering in Waxhaw as it was a memorial to Andrew Jackson. In preparation for this outing, we found out how the five major Indian nations involved, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole, were called the “civilized tribes” as they had integrated peacefully. Many had missionaries living amongst them and quite a few were Christian. I further found out that the Cherokee had fought the Indian Removal Act in court and had actually won their case in the Supreme Court.
O Lord, Hear Our Prayer! Please Heal Our Land!
Lord, our hearts are heavy, we cry out in repentance for the land that was stolen and the lives that were lost, for broken covenants and the shedding of innocent blood, for pride, greed, lying, arrogance and unlawful force. We humble ourselves and turn from these wicked ways. And Father, on behalf of my family, I offer up forgiveness for those who hurt those in my lineage. O Lord, have mercy on us all, pour out your spirit. and please heal our land!