New Echota

Cherokee Nation, now Gordon County, Georgia, USA

Expropriated 1838 

The Disappointed Tourist: New Echota, Ellen Harvey, 2023. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

More people should know about this. Anon.

In 1825, the Cherokee National Legislature established a new capital called New Echota at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River after migrating south due to pressure from European-American settlement. They built a supreme court and a council house and established the first Indian language newspaper. Despite the US Supreme Court upholding the Cherokee’s right to their land, New Echota came under increasing pressure from the Georgia Guard in the years after the 1832 passage of the Indian Removal Act, with the result that New Echota was all but abandoned by the time a small group of Cherokees signed the New Echota Treaty ceding their lands in exchange for land west of the Mississipi. The treaty was ratified by the United Sates Senate despite the objections of the majority of the Cherokee. Cherokee were assembled in New Echota before embarking on the Infamous Trail of Tears west in which thousands died. The New Echota Historical Park was opened in 1962. It contains recreations of some of the significant buildings and historical explanations of the site, including its use by earlier indigenous cultures. This painting is of the reconstructed Supreme Court building from the park’s website.