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Thread: Cherokee in 1850?

  1. #1

    Cherokee in 1850?

    While I like the actual portrayal of Native Americans in a game, I can't help but think that it would be more accurate to call the territory northwest of Texas "Commanches", as the Commanche(indeed, their cavalry proved more effective in running battles than US dragoons before the introduction of repeating rifles and revolvers) proved to be a problem for the US government from 1850-1870 or so, whereas the Cherokee had already gone through the Trail of Tears and were firmly subjugated.

  2. #2
    Major Thormodr's Avatar
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    Not that I'm an expert on these matters but I think the setup for 1850 is fairly accurate actually. The Cherokee were still quite powerful when the game starts and a force to be reckoned with. Definitely not subjugated yet.
    Most of the Cherokee had been forcibly relocated to the area north of Texas and they had put aside their tribal differences and prospered during the 1850s. I think they did simplify the tribal situation somewhat as the Comanches and other lesser aboriginal tribes aren't there at all though, I will admit. Could be a game balancing issue I suppose.

    At the same time as the Trail of Tears, another group of Cherokee was being forcibly removed to Oklahoma ...from Texas. In 1807, after the Louisiana Purchase, the Spanish government was nervously watching the American expansion towards Texas and requested a number of tribes to resettle in eastern Texas as a buffer against the Americans. The first Cherokee settlement in the region was at Lost Prairie in 1819, and it received a land grant in 1822. After the successful revolt by the Texans in 1835, a treaty confirming the Cherokee title failed ratification in the Texas legislature during 1836 despite the strong support of President Sam Houston. White Texans pressed for the removal, and in July of 1839 three Texas regiments attacked the Cherokee of Chief Bowl and forced them across the Red River into Oklahoma. The irony of the Cherokee situation in Oklahoma in 1839 should not be lost. No matter what course chosen: war, accommodation, surrender, or flight; their fate had been the same.

    Of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Creek, Choctaw and Seminole received similar treatment during removal, although the Chickasaw had foreseen what was coming and prepared better. Following removal, all had major problems, but the Cherokee had the most bitter internal divisions. Gathered together for the first time in 50 years, the Cherokee in Oklahoma were ready for civil war during the spring of 1839. 6,000 Western Cherokee (Old Settlers) from Arkansas and Texas had been living there since 1828 and defending themselves from the Osage, Kiowa, Wichita, and Comanche. They had maintained their traditional government of three chiefs without written laws. Suddenly 14,000 Eastern Cherokee (New Settlers) arrived in their midst with an elaborate government, court system, and a written constitution, but the newcomers were bitterly divided between 2,000 Ridgites (Treaty Party) and 12,000 Rossites who had just lost 4,000 of their people on the Trail of Tears.

    Violence was not long in coming. On June 22, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot were murdered. Stand Watie, Boudinot's brother and Major Ridge's nephew, was the only leader of the Treaty Party to escape. The assassinations effectively silenced the Treaty Party, but the hatreds endured. This left only two contending groups: west and east. The Western Cherokee refused to accept any of the new changes, while the more numerous Eastern Cherokee considered themselves superior and would not compromise. The first meeting of these factions failed to reach agreement. At a second meeting, Ross could only obtain the signature of one western chief but proceeded anyway to organize a government. However, the majority of the western Cherokee and the Treaty Party refused to recognize it. For the next six years there was civil war over borders and jurisdiction.

    The situation became so bad that Congress proposed dividing the Cherokee into two tribes. This was incentive enough for the Cherokee to set aside their differences and unite under the Cherokee Nation, an accomplishment recognized by treaty with the United States in 1846. The wounds from removal and reunification never healed completely, but the Cherokee adjusted well enough to enjoy what they consider to have been their golden age during the 1850s. On the eve of the Civil War in 1861, the Cherokee Nation was controlled by a wealthy, mixed-blood minority which owned black slaves and favored the South. The vast majority of the Cherokee did not have slaves, lived simple lives and could have cared less about the white man's war, especially the Old Settlers. John Ross leaned towards the South, but mindful of the divisions within the Cherokee, refused the early offers by Albert Pike to join the Confederacy. When Union soldiers withdrew during the summer of 1861, the Confederate army occupied the Indian Territory. The Cherokee Nation voted to secede from the United States in August, 1861, and a formal treaty was signed at the Park Hill home of John Ross between the Cherokee Nation and the new Confederate government. Four years later, this agreement was to cost them very dearly.
    http://www.tolatsga.org/Cherokee2.html
    Last edited by Thormodr; 04-06-2011 at 18:54.

  3. #3
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    I'd like to add that this was a design decision made early on. The database (and the AI) could only handle so many independent countries, tribes, etc. So, if the team had added every major and minor Native American Tribe, it would have basically crashed the entire system (Crow, Blackfeet, Navaho, Ute, etc.). So, the team decided to condense many large tribal groups into those that were the largest, historically significant or known by the general public. So, no Commanche, but you get Apache, Sioux and Cherokee.
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  4. #4
    Oh, I don't disagree with the decision to put tribes together, but I just think the Commanche at this point were far more significant in terms of relationship with the US than the Cherokee. It would be more naming than anything else, considering most of the region described as Cherokee would be considered part of the Comancheria.

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    Major Thormodr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlburg View Post
    Oh, I don't disagree with the decision to put tribes together, but I just think the Commanche at this point were far more significant in terms of relationship with the US than the Cherokee. It would be more naming than anything else, considering most of the region described as Cherokee would be considered part of the Comancheria.
    The Commanche were certainly important and it would be nice to have them included in the game but I guess they had to draw a line somewhere. Their history is certainly fascinating and it would have been nice to model in the game.
    Their raids deep into Mexico would certainly give Mexico a thing or two to think about anyway.

    There were several reasons the Comanches and Kiowas had been angry in 1852. The first was they had recently encountered a far more terrible enemy than Texas Rangers or the American army. Their first experience with it had been smallpox (1780-81). This epidemic had been so severe that it temporarily suspended raids and caused the disappearance of some Comanche divisions. They were hit again by smallpox during the winter of 1816-17. The wave of immigration from the California gold rush first brought smallpox (1848) and then cholera (1849) to the Great Plains. These were devastating to every plains tribe, but especially the Comanches and Kiowa.
    The government census estimated a drop in the Comanches' 1849 population of 20,000 to 12,000 by 1851, and the Comanches never recovered from this loss. More smallpox struck from New Mexico during 1862 and is believed to have been equally devastating. Cholera returned in 1867. By 1870, the Comanches numbered less than 8,000 and were still dropping rapidly.
    http://www.dickshovel.com/ComancheThree.html

    Anyway, numerically they were much less than the Cherokee in the early stages of the game. Around 20,000 + for the Cherokee in 1851 and 12,000 for the Commanche.

    The Cherokee also played a significant role in the American Civil War, something the Commanche didn't do as far as I know. So, I think they probably decided in favour of the Cherokee for those reasons.

    In an ideal world, they'd have both I agree.

    Perhaps with modding, one could remove an African tribe and add the Commanche in the future I suppose.

  6. #6
    Yeah, in terms of the Civil War, I can understand keeping the Cherokee over the Commanche. In a game that includes the Republic of Texas(not this one) they would probably be more fitting, as that was a huge issue for that nascent government. It doesn't bother me that much, just a thought.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlburg View Post
    Yeah, in terms of the Civil War, I can understand keeping the Cherokee over the Commanche. In a game that includes the Republic of Texas(not this one) they would probably be more fitting, as that was a huge issue for that nascent government. It doesn't bother me that much, just a thought.
    I agree it is unfortunate. Even looking at Canada, all the native tribes aren't done perfectly either due to engine limitations.

    There are many interesting events they could have done.

    It'd be great if they could do a Texas Scenario/Mexican American War Scenario (1830-1850) actually. It'd take place before the game actually starts but you could more accurately depict the Commanche and many other native tribes that way at least. It'd be a lot of fun playing the native tribes and raiding people. :P

    It'd take a lot of work I suppose but I'd be interested in a DLC like that.

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