The Other Trail Of Tears – The Removal Of The Ohio Tribes

The Other Trail Of Tears
388 Pages
Westholme Publishing
ISBN 978-1-59416-210-7

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was the culmination of the United States’ policy to force native populations to relocate west of the Mississippi River. The most well-known episode in the eviction of American Indians in the East was the notorious "Trail of Tears" along which Southeastern Indians were driven from their homes in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to reservations in present-day Oklahoma. But the struggle in the South was part of a wider story that reaches back across time to the closing months of the War of 1812, back through many states – most notably Ohio – and into the lives of so many tribes, including the Delaware, Seneca, Shawnee, Ottawa, and Wyandot (Huron). They, too, were forced to depart from their homes in the old Ohio Country to Kansas and Oklahoma on the Great Plains.

The Other Trails Of Tears, by award-winning historian Mary Stockwell, tells the story of this region’s historic tribes as they struggled to maintain their independence and identity following the death of Tecumseh and the unraveling of his tribal confederacy in 1813. At the peace negotiations in Ghent in 1814, meant to end the War of 1812, the British tried but were unable to secure a permanent homeland for the tribes in Ohio. Their failure set the stage for further treaties between the tribes and the United States which placed the Indians on small reserves within their once vast holdings in the Ohio Country. Here the Indians debated whether to conform to the ways of the settlers who surrounded them or fight to maintain their traditions untouched by the Americans who seemed on the brink of overwhelming them.

While the tribes often disagreed with one another and among themselves, they attempted to move toward the best possible future for their people against the relentless press of settlers all around them and the even surer press of time itself. The debate went on for three decades – among Indians and Americans alike – until all the tribes were finally forced across the Mississippi with the last one, the Wyandot, leaving in 1843.

The book chronicles the history of the Ohio Indians and their interactions with settlers, missionaries, and government agents in the years leading up to their official removal, and sheds light into the process which divided both Indians and Americans. There were just as many Indians who favored removal as there were Americans who opposed it. Through it all, Ohio’s native tribes were forced to come to terms with the fast pace of change on America’s western frontier which in the end led to the loss of their traditional homelands. Looking back, it may seem inevitable that this happened but it never seemed that way when looking into the future.

Mary Stockwell

About Mary Stockwell (Toledo, Ohio Author)

Mary Stockwell

Mary Stockwell is a writer who has lived most of her life near the reserves carved out for the Ohio tribes after the War of 1812. She got her love of history from her father who was proud of his Irish descent and who took his children along the remnants of 19th century canals in northwest Ohio reminding them that their ancestors came into this country to build them and for the freedom and opportunity that America promised. She got her love of storytelling from her mother who was an actress, director, acting teacher, and prize winning poet.

After completing her Ph.D. in American history at the University of Toledo, where she was the last student of W. Eugene Hollon, the noted historian of the American West, she worked as a writer at Detroit Edison’s Fermi II Nuclear Power Plant. The experience taught her how people make decisions in the real world. These insights helped her become a better writer.

In 1996, she was hired as the American History Professor at Lourdes University, and in 2001, she became the Chair of its Department of History, Political Science, and Geography. She won the Faculty Excellence Award for her superior teaching three times at Lourdes University and was nominated by her institution for national teaching awards. She said goodbye to her teaching and administrative career in 2012 to become a full-time writer and to accept the Earhart Foundation Fellowship at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan.

Mary Stockwell is the author of history books used by young people throughout the United States including The Ohio Adventure, A Journey Through Maine, and Massachusetts, Our Home, the 2005 winner of the Golden Lamp Award from the Association of Educational Publishers for Best Book. She is also the author of Woodrow Wilson: The Last Romantic In The First Men (America’s Presidents Series) for Nova Press and The American Story: Perspectives and Encounters to 1865 for Bridgepoint Education.

Her essays on George Washington, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt have appeared in major scholarly studies of these presidents. She has written for the website of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. One of her latest articles, Most Loyal but Forgotten Son: Anthony Wayne and George Washington, appeared in Sons of the Father: Washington and his Protégés for the University of Virginia Press in 2013.

She just completed Unlikely General: "Mad" Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America for the Yale University Press and is currently working on Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses Grant and the Native Americans for the Southern Illinois University Press.

Dr. Stockwell is an excellent public speaker with an informative and engaging style of expression. She is a frequent lecturer at history events in the United States and Canada.