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  • Writer's pictureLee Weaver


Updated: Oct 27, 2023

MIGRATIONS Lee’s Blog #10

I got the inspiration for this blog when I was doing ‘Famous Love Stories from Literature’ for my Valentine blog. A particular story, “Evangeline,” (described below) prompted further study of migrations, many (most?) of which might be called “forced relocations;” but I also note that not all migrations were forced by superior powers, some were the result of environmental and/or economic conditions. I don’t pretend this to be an exhaustive study of such events from time beginning nor worldwide; in fact many took place on American soil.


The stories of Israel’s times of captivity should be considered from a Biblical perspective and seen through that lens. These are histories of a chosen people who rebelled and were brought back to God’s covenant. These are only mentioned here as being representative of the seemingly-eternal existence of migrations, including ‘forced relocations’ of enslaved persons. For further study of the Israelite nation read your Bible!


In recent times no study of this subject could pretend to be serious if not started with the “forced relocation” of 12.5 million Africans, born free but forced into 600 years of slavery. Beginning late 15th century Portugal had gained mastery of the seas and reached into Africa and beyond, and reportedly began the acquisition of natives who were put into slavery. It is thought that Christopher Columbus brought such persons with him to America although it is not known if they were actually slaves.

It is reported that between 1525 and 1866 12,500,000 African natives were taken, intended for slavery; but almost 2,000,000 did not survive the horrid conditions shipboard. (Surprisingly, at least to this writer, of the 10.7 million who survived the ‘middle passage,’ only about 338,000 were brought directly to North America.) Brazil and the Caribbean islands were by far the greater importers of slaves.

(Data derived from and from Henry Louis Gates, Jr “The Root.” Also see Michael Guasco’s “Slaves and Englishmen: Human Bondage in the Early Modern Atlantic World,” University of Pennsylvania Press January 11, 2014; and David Eltis’s “The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas,” Cambridge University Press 2000. These sources raise questions concerning the ‘woke’ liberals dating slavery in America from the 1619 Jamestown slave ship disembarkation.)

LE GRANDE DERANGEMENT (Fr.; In English The ‘Great Upheaval’ or ‘Deportation’) 1755

French Acadiens (‘Acadians’ in English) were forcibly removed from Acadie (Acadia) in Nova Scotia for their refusal to swear allegiance to the English king. Most were sent to Louisiana, ca 1755. The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow epic poem “Evangeline” relates the story. (The word ‘Acadian’ has been so slurred in speech to become what we call today ‘Cajun.’)

In Nova Scotia, Evangeline was betrothed to Gabriel at the time of the deportation. Evangeline and Gabriel were put on separate ships whose journeys debarked at different locales. Evangeline (who landed in Louisiana) set out to find Gabriel, and they were reunited decades later: she was working as a nurse with Sisters of Mercy in Philadelphia and found Gabriel in the hospital, dying. He died in her arms.


Under the “Indian Removal Act” of 1830, 60,000 Native Americans of the “Five Civilized Tribes” were forcibly removed from the Southeastern US, principally Florida, and resettled on reservations in Oklahoma.

The five tribes include the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminoles. They were described as ‘civilized’ because of their early adoption of many of the white man’s ways.


Principally Navajo but also Mescalero Apache Indians were forcibly removed by the US Army from the Mesa Verde area in NE Arizona and NW New Mexico to the Bosque Redondo reservation near Fort Sumner, along the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico. Of the 10,000 Indians force-marched 300+ miles, over 200 died of starvation and exposure along the way. Another 2400 +/- died at the reservation from pneumonia, dysentery and small pox.

Under a new treaty in June 1868 the remaining members of the tribes were allowed to a greatly-reduced portion of their homelands, and began the long trek home.


The Nez Perce traditional homelands were in the Wallowa Valley of Idaho and Oregon. As is the usual history of US Indian policy US made and broke treaties in 1855 and 1863; in 1877 President Grant opened the valley to white settlement, and the Nez Perce were given 30 days in which to move to the Lapwai Reservation. The tribe tried to remove themselves to Canada and in a succession of shrewd military actions outmaneuvered ten pursuing units of the US Army until the outnumbered tribe, sick, starving and tired, finally surrendered after a 1,700 mile 108 day fighting retreat. On October 8, 1877 Chief Joseph made his noble speech, “from where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”


Krystallnacht Nov 9-10, 1938. 200 +/- synagogues destroyed, 8000+ Jewish shops sacked and looted, tens of thousands Jews removed to concentration camps. Thus began the implementation of Hitler’s “final solution” – his genocidal intent to utterly and completely annihilate the Jewish race.

The Holocaust is inarguably one of the most destructive and murderous events in the history of civilization. (1) The single most stupefying event during the Holocaust was Operation Reinhard (1942-1943), the largest single murder campaign of the Holocaust during which some 1.7 million Jews from German-occupied Poland were murdered by the Nazis. One study identifies this extreme phase of

hyperintense killing when >25% 0f the Jews killed in all six years of WW II were murdered by the Nazis in an intense 100-day surge.

Does history repeat itself? Despite the horror witnessed by the entire world, over the last 70 years genocides and mass killing events have continued to occur and they are not diminishing in frequency: consider Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Burundi, Syria, Myanmar.


The German expulsion from the Sudetenland. See WW I, Sudetenland taken from Germany and given to Czechoslovakia. The Munich pact 1938 responded to Hitler’s demands


DUST BOWL DAYS – THE AMERICAN SOUTHERN PLAINS (1930s) (Handy Dust Bowl facts from

What came to be called the “dust bowl” covered 100 square miles in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Meteorologists call it the #1 weather event of the 20th century.


exacerbated the coming economic collapse. A new immigration law in 1929 one of every two immigrants back to Mexico.

1930 The first really bad rolling dust storm was driven by 60 mph winds, following months of worsening droughts.

1932 Fourteen bad storms occurred this year; the Weather Bureau began calling them ‘dust storms.’

1932 One of every four workers were jobless.

1933 Thirty-nine dust storms. 90% of the chickens in one Texas panhandle county died from the effects of dust in the atmosphere.

1934 On May 11, a massive dust storm two miles high traveled 2000 mile to the East Coast, blotting out monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and the U S Capitol. In the dust bowl locale, there were 40 days of temperatures over 100 degrees, the high was 118.

1935 The worst dust storm occurred on April 14, 1935. News reports dubbed this date ‘Black Sunday.’ A wall of blowing sand and dust started in the Oklahoma panhandle and spread eastward. It is estimated that as much as three million tons of topsoil were blown off the Great Plains on this one day. (It has been estimated 850,000,000 tons of topsoil blew away over the southern and great plains by 1939 when regular rainfall returned to the region.)

What did this have to do with ‘Migrations?’

Following the Civil War a series of federal land acts coaxed pioneers westward by incentivizing farming in the Great Plains. The Homestead Act of 1862 provided settlers with 160 acres of public land; followed by the Kinkaid Act of 1904 and the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909. These acts led to a massive influx of new and inexperienced farmers across the Great Plains.

Regrettably this migration to the Plains took another turn following the “Dust Bowl Days.” With the topsoil blown away and in drought conditions the farmers’ livelihood was irreparably lost.

In the second half of the 30’s decade roughly 2.5 million people left the Dust Bowl states – Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. This became one of the largest migrations in American history.


The West Coast of the US, particularly California, has long experienced significant populations of Oriental emigrants; many became naturalized citizens. After Japanese forces attacked US-held Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941; Americans gave in to fears that the Japanese residents in California might well include some whose loyalty remained in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Under FDR’s Executive Order 9066, starting in February 1942 some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific Coast were forcibly relocated and incarcerated in concentration camps in the interior of western states. Approximately two-thirds of the internees were United States citizens. Internment continued to November 1945.

(PARENTHETIC COMMENTS): Is it not strange that a nation which has produced such men as George Washington, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, Teddy Roosevelt, Lewis and Clark, John Chisum, Neil Armstrong; also can be so fearful? This abject fear of the Japanese-American people in 1942, and the fear of Fauci in 2021, diminishes the stature of the American nation and her people!

My editor opines that the two fears, fear of possible foreign agents and fear of Fauci, present a non sequitur. My intent in stating the two together is to point out the irrationality of fear in the American psyche. My ‘fear of Fauci’ is an euphemism for fear of vaccines, which seems irrational when one remembers that Small pox and polio were virtually wiped out by vaccinations, and noting that all fifty states presently require certain vaccinations for public school attendance.

Copyright © 2022 Lee Weaver

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