Looks like Vero Beach, FL unti
I rec'd this email. Does anyone in the forum have any more info about this?
Thank you for sharing your poetry with me. I plan to pass them on to
I hope my alerting you to the following won't in any way diminish the
sentiments expressed in your first poem. But being a historian, I think it's
important to let folks know that the John Burnett letter is now considered a
fraud. Friends I know who have actively researched the trail of tears as
well as many of those who participated in it, especially on the white side,
discovered the letter was a fraud because Burnett was mustered out of the
army before the removal. I have not personally researched the Burnett
letter, just passing on (I hope correctly because my memory isn't as good as
it used to be) what friends who have done the research have told me. A lot
of what he wrote was true, but the story of Ross's wife dying because she
gave a blanket to a sick child most likely is not. I believe it was
Burnett's son who supposedly wrote the letter and he probably gathered
information from news reports, etc. to get some of the facts, but Quatie
Ross, John Ross, and his family traveled in luxury aboard a steamboat Ross
bought for $10,000. John and Quatie would have had the best rooms available.
The boat also carried many feeble and invalid who could not travel with the
rest of the group. It is possible that Quatie caught her illness from a sick
person on the boat, but nobody knows for sure, and definitely not Burnett.
Yes, Quatie died enroute, and the authenticity of the grave that has been
identified as hers is in doubt. It is very tragic that she died on the trail
of tears and it is still safe to say we don't know for sure where she is
buried. But Burnett's letter and the story of Quatie dying because she gave
her last blanket to a sick child just aren't. The Burnett letter, believed
to be written by a white son wanting to gain financially from his father's
service in the military, is just one last sad case of white people wanting
to profit from the tragedy of the Cherokee removal.
Thanks again for sharing and keep on writing,
Del "Abe" Jones