TRAIL OF TEARS HISTORY
|Trail of Tears
|1838 Trail of Tears Historical Marker
The Trail of Tears was the result of
the enforcement of the 1835 Treaty of New Echota, an agreement signed under the provisions of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which exchanged Native American land in the East for lands west of the Mississippi
River, but which was never accepted by the elected tribal leadership or a majority of the Cherokee people.
Tensions between the State of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation
were brought to a crisis by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1829, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush, the
second gold rush in U.S. history. Gold speculators began encroaching on Cherokee lands, and pressure began to mount on
the Georgia government to fulfill the promises of the Compact of 1802.
When Georgia moved to extend state laws over the Cherokee lands
in 1830, the matter went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), the Marshall court ruled that the
Cherokee Nation was not a sovereign and independent nation, and therefore refused to hear the case. However, in Worcester
v. Georgia (1832), the Court ruled that Georgia could not impose laws in Cherokee territory, since only the national government
— not state governments — had authority in Indian affairs.
|Cherokee Indian 1838 Trail of Tears Map
|Cherokee Trail of Tears Map : Cherokee Indian Removal Map
President Andrew Jackson had no desire to use the power of the national government to protect the Cherokees
from Georgia, since he was already entangled with states’ rights issues in what became known as the nullification crisis.
With the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. Congress had given Jackson authority to negotiate removal treaties, exchanging
Indian land in the East for land west of the Mississippi River. Jackson used the dispute with Georgia to put pressure on the
Cherokees to sign a removal treaty.
The treaty, which passed Congress by a single vote, was
signed into law by President Andrew Jackson, and imposed by his successor President Martin Van Buren who allowed Georgia,
Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama an armed force of 7,000 made up of militia, regular army, and volunteers under General
Winfield Scott to round up some 13,000 Cherokees into concentration camps at the U.S. Indian Agency near Cleveland, Tennessee,
before being sent to the West.
Most of the deaths occurred from disease, starvation and cold
in these camps. Their homes were burned and their property destroyed and plundered. Farms belonging to the Cherokee Indians for
generations were won by white settlers in a lottery. After the initial roundup, the U.S. military still oversaw the emigration
until they met the forced destination. Private John G. Burnett later wrote, "Future generations will read and condemn the
act and I do hope posterity will remember that private soldiers like myself, and like the four Cherokees who were forced by
General Scott to shoot an Indian Chief and his children, had to execute the orders of our superiors. We had no choice in the
|1838 Trail of Tears
|Cherokee Indian Trail of Tears
|1838 Trail of Tears Map
|1838 Cherokee Trail of Tears Map : 1838 Indian Trail of Tears Map
|1838 Trail of Tears Cherokee Indian Removal Map
|Trail of Tears Indian Forced Removal Map
I fought through the War Between the States and have seen many men shot,
but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.
—Georgia soldier who participated in the removal
"Long time we travel on way to new land. People feel bad when they leave
old nation. Women cry and make sad wails. Children cry and many men cry, and all look sad like when friends die, but they
say nothing and just put heads down and keep on go towards West. Many days pass and people die very much. We bury close by
— Survivor of the Trail of Tears and Indian Removal
The Cherokee remember the forced removal as Nunahi-Duna-Dlo-Hilu-I,
which means the Trail Where They Cried.
Recommended Viewing: The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
(2006), Starring: James Earl Jones and Wes Studi; Director: Chip Richie, Steven R. Heape. Description: The
Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy is an engaging two hour documentary exploring one of America's darkest periods in which President Andrew Jackson's Indian
Removal Act of 1830 consequently transported Native Americans of the Cherokee Nation to the bleak and unsupportive Oklahoma Territory
in the year 1838. Deftly presented by the talents of Wes Studi (The Last of the Mohicans, Dances With Wolves, Bury My Heart
at Wounded Knee, Crazy Horse, 500 Nations, Comanche Moon), James Earl Jones, and James Garner. Continued below...
The Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
also includes narrations of famed celebrities Crystal Gayle, Johnt Buttrum, Governor Douglas Wilder, and Steven R. Heape.
Includes numerous Cherokee Nation members which add authenticity to the
production… A welcome DVD addition to personal, school, and community library Native American history collections. The
Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy is strongly recommended for its informative and tactful presentation of such a tragic and
controversial historical occurrence in 19th century American history.
Recommended Viewing: We Shall Remain (PBS) (DVDs) (420 minutes). Midwest Book Review: We Shall Remain is a three-DVD thinpack set
collecting five documentaries from the acclaimed PBS history series "American Experience", about Native American leaders including
Massasoit, Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, Major Ridge, Geronimo, and Fools Crow, all who did everything they could to resist being
forcibly removed from their land and preserve their culture. Continued below...
Their strategies ranged from military action to diplomacy, spirituality,
or even legal and political means. The stories of these individual leaders span four hundred years; collectively, they give
a portrait of an oft-overlooked yet crucial side of American history, and carry the highest recommendation for public library
as well as home DVD collections. Special features include behind-the-scenes footage, a thirty-minute preview film, materials
for educators and librarians, four ReelNative films of Native Americans sharing their personal stories, and three Native Now
films about modern-day issues facing Native Americans. 7 hours. "Viewers will be amazed." "If you're keeping score, this program
ranks among the best TV documentaries ever made." and "Reminds us that true glory lies in the honest histories of people,
not the manipulated histories of governments. This is the stuff they kept from us." --Clif Garboden, The Boston Phoenix.
Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Library Journal:
One of the many ironies of U.S. government policy toward Indians in the early 1800s is that it persisted in removing to the
West those who had most successfully adapted to European values. As whites encroached on Cherokee land, many Native leaders
responded by educating their children, learning English, and developing plantations. Such a leader was Ridge, who had fought
with Andrew Jackson against the British. Continued below...
As he and other Cherokee leaders grappled with the issue of moving, the land-hungry Georgia legislators,
with the aid of Jackson, succeeded in ousting the Cherokee from their land, forcing them to make the arduous journey West
on the infamous "Trail of Tears." Mary B. Davis, Museum of American Indian Lib., New York, Copyright 1988 Reed Business
The Eastern Band of Cherokees, 1819-1900, by John R. Finger. Review from
University of Tennessee Press:
This volume presents the story of the Eastern Band of Cherokees during the nineteenth century. This group – the tribal
remnant in North Carolina that escaped removal in the 1830’s
– found their fortitude and resilience continually tested as they struggled with a variety of problems, including the
upheavals of the Civil War and Reconstruction, internal divisiveness, white encroachment on their lands, and a poorly defined
relationship with the state and federal governments. Yet despite such stresses and a selective adaptation in the face of social
and economic changes, the Eastern Cherokees retained a sense of tribal identity as they stood at the threshold of the twentieth
century. Continued below…
scholars, like most Cherokees, have tended to follow the Trail of Tears west with scarcely a backward glance at the more than
1,000 Indians who stayed behind in the North Carolina
mountains. In this pathbreaking book, John R. Finger combs federal, state, and local archives to tell the story of these forgotten
of Southern History
work is a significant contribution to the literature on this long-ignored group….Finger works [his] sources well and
out of them has produced a narrative that is readable and that puts the Eastern Band of Cherokees as a tribal entity into
a clear, historical perspective.”
John R. Finger
is professor of history at the University
of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Reading: Cherokee Proud, Second
Edition, by Tony Mack McClure. Description: Absolutely the "Bible" of Cherokee Genealogy. New, 336 pages, 2nd Edition. If
the information in this remarkable new book doesn't lead a person to proof of their Cherokee roots, nothing can! “It
is an A-to-Z on organizing and locating the requirements / qualifications for membership.” Continued below...
Are you Cherokee? Are you the individual that has always been told that you
are a Cherokee, but have no facts or records to prove it? To claim Cherokee membership means that you must prove it –
you must have the facts, so toss the doubt away, get the facts, and claim what is rightfully your heritage by blood quantum.
Now, are you ready to prove that you are a Cherokee? It’s not difficult if you take the time to locate the facts. Included
are proven resources for tracing your family genealogy, the family tree, roots, bloodline, and for researching your ancestors
to prove that you meet the blood requirements (qualifications) for Cherokee membership and tribal enrollment. Those that qualify
as “American Indians are American Indians” and are entitled to the rights and benefits of the tribe! Also includes
a proven “how to dos” written by the foremost expert in Cherokee history, genealogy and heritage. Cherokee
membership is not like joining a gym or paying dues, it’s your blood, so claim it. Are you remotely interested
in knowing that you are a “Cherokee Indian” or are you the individual that enjoys genealogy? Do you want to locate
and preserve your Native American ancestry? Finding information about ancestors for genealogy and heritage is also a lot of
fun. Moreover, you are preserving your own family history and heritage with your relatives and loved ones for generations
and generations… Take a look at exactly what is required to locate and organize and present your information to
prove that you meet the qualifications as a member of the Cherokee tribe. Cherokee Proud, by Tony McClure, is referred to as the "Bible for Cherokee
Genealogy." Cherokee Proud has also been rated a SOLID FIVE STARS by
every person that has read and rated it. To see if you meet the 'Cherokee qualification and requirement for membership',
then look no further -- purchase Cherokee Proud. Read the reviews and
see what people and organizations are saying about it.
is the very best book I have ever seen on tracing Cherokee genealogy." -- RICHARD PANGBURN, acclaimed author of Indian Blood,
Vol. I & II found in most libraries
loosens his journalistic standards for portions of this book which reach him too emotionally. Understood. Fascinating and
Among the people of this country are individuals in whose blood runs the proud heritage of a noble and resilient people whose
ways and talents rank with the finest civilizations the world has known. They are the " Tsalagi ". . . the Cherokee. This
book will help you learn if you are one of them. -- BOOK READER
of Cherokee Proud are exceptional - valuable information that can be used by so many readers and researchers who have Native
American (Cherokee) ancestry." -- DON SHADBURN, Famous Georgia historian and noted author of Unhallowed Intrusion and Cherokee
Planters of Georgia
guide is the best yet!" -- LAWTON CONSTITUTION
About the Author: Well known and acclaimed Cherokee author Dr. Tony Mack McClure,
a native of Tennessee, is a certified member of the Native American Journalists Association, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers
and Storytellers, and Committeeman for the Tennessee Chapter of the National Trail of Tears Association. His work has appeared
in numerous magazines, over 250 newspapers, on all major television networks and many cable systems.
The Thomas Legion Award Winner:
After the Trail of Tears: The Cherokees' Struggle for Sovereignty, 1839-1880. Description:
This powerful narrative traces the social, cultural, and political history of the Cherokee Nation during
the forty-year period after its members were forcibly removed from the southern Appalachians and resettled in what is now
Oklahoma. In this master work, completed just before his death, William McLoughlin not only explains how the Cherokees rebuilt
their lives and society, but also recounts their fight to govern themselves as a separate nation within the borders of the
United States. Continued below...
Long regarded by whites as one of the 'civilized tribes', the Cherokees
had their own constitution (modeled after that of the United States), elected officials, and legal system. Once re-settled,
they attempted to reestablish these institutions and continued their long struggle for self-government under their own laws—an
idea that met with bitter opposition from frontier politicians, settlers, ranchers, and business leaders. After an extremely
divisive fight within their own nation during the Civil War, Cherokees faced internal political conflicts as well as the destructive
impact of an influx of new settlers and the expansion of the railroad. McLoughlin conveys its history to the year 1880,
when the nation's fight for the right to govern itself ended in defeat at the hands of Congress.
Recommended Reading: Trail of Tears (Hardcover). Description: Insightful, rarely told history of Indian courage in the face of
White expansionism in the 19th century. Truth-telling tale of the ruthless brutality that forced the Native American population
into resettlement camps and reservations, with a look at the few white Americans who fought to help them. This is an amazing
book. Continued below...
and the author's gift of vision and words produce a magnificently readable narrative of the American Indian Removals. It is
very balanced with no point of view overlooked. Include many surprising appearances and plenty of twists which will make you
laugh out loud and break your heart. A very human book and an absolute must-read for anyone who wants to learn history through
the eyes and ears (and hearts) of those that experienced it. You won't be able to put it down.
Reading: The Cherokee Removal:
A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford
Series in History and Culture) (Paperback). Description: This book tells the compelling story of American ethnic cleansing
against the Cherokee nation through an admirable combination of primary documents and the editors' analyses. Perdue and Green
begin with a short but sophisticated history of the Cherokee from their first interaction with Europeans to their expulsion
from the East to the West; a region where Georgia, North
Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama
connect Continued below...
is directed through a variety of documents commenting on several important themes: the "civilizing" of the Cherokee (i.e.
their adoption of European culture), Georgia's leading role in pressuring the Cherokee off their land and demanding the federal
government to remove them by force, the national debate between promoters and opponents of expulsion, the debate within the
Cherokee nation, and a brief look at the deportation or forced removal. Conveyed in the voices of the Cherokee and the
framers of the debate, it allows the reader to appreciate the complexity of the situation. Pro-removal Americans even made
racist judgments of the Cherokee but cast and cloaked their arguments in humanitarian rhetoric. Pro-emigration Cherokee harshly
criticize the Cherokee leadership as corrupt and possessing a disdain for traditional Cherokee culture. American defenders
and the Cherokee leadership deploy legal and moral arguments in a futile effort to forestall American violence. “A compelling
and stirring read.”