Back to “Driving Through Time”

“Parkway Route Meets Dispute.” Raleigh News and Observer. July22, 1939. North Carolina Collection. Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Accessed September 27, 2017.

Just as a side note, in looking for a new source to explore, I was surprised when the National Park Service offered up Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway as the source to go to for historical maps and documents (which is where I found the source for this blog post). I guess I didn’t quite realize that this website was so influential. I foresee it playing a big role in our research!

I had originally planned to look at a different type of source besides newspapers (since that’s all I’ve done so far), but then I located the PERFECT source to include on my timeline to discuss the dispute over routing the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Eastern Band of Cherokee Reservation. I already have an article on my timeline discussing surveying the land through the Reservation, but I wasn’t going to keep it unless I could find additional sources that would illustrate why there was issues between the government and the Cherokee on the topic of the BRP. I found exactly what I desired in “Parkway Route Meets Dispute: Specific Route Slated to Be Written Into Bill to Acquire Cherokee Land.”

The bill that was proposed was would apparently allow the government to route the Parkway through any part of the Reservation and would give the Cherokee next to no compensation for their land. F.B. Bauer, Vice Chief for the Eastern Band of Cherokee, strongly opposed this measure, calling it another attempt by the government to take Indian land and not pay for it. Bauer also called the plan an invasion of the individual rights of tribal members.” R.G. Browning, state engineer, refused to support any proposal leading the BRP around the Reservation on account that it would add too much money to the costs.

I found this article particularly interesting. There was (and still is) a lot of positive media about the Parkway, but it is important to remember that the construction/routing of the Parkway was not always met without resistance. In this instance, the Cherokee—who have already suffered at the hands of the government—had every reason to believe that this deal with the government would not be beneficial to the Tribe.

In the end the Parkway did not cut through the Reservation. Rather, the entrance to the BRP is located right outside Cherokee. It seems as though this article is was written towards the beginning of this dispute, so I look forward to digging into this a little more to see how the story played out.

One thought on “Back to “Driving Through Time”

  1. Very good find Kristen — I seem to remember an internal dispute among the Cherokee themselves over this matter. Are you imagining a Media Analysis angle now, i.e., public perceptions for example? This is only a question and not a suggestion for a direction. Back to the dispute over the route — so here you might say you have found resistance to a migratory path?

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