Trail of Tears
The New Echota Treaty of 1835 relinquished Cherokee Indian claims
to lands east of the Mississippi River. The majority of the
people considered the treaty fraudulent and refused to leave
homelands in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee.
7,000 Federal and State troops were ordered into the Cherokee
Nation to forcibly evict the Indians. On May 26, 1838, the
began. Over 15,000 Cherokees were forced from their homes at
gunpoint and imprisoned in stockades until removal to the west
take place. 2,700 left by boat in June 1838, but, due to many
deaths and sickness, removal was suspended until cooler weather.
of the remaining 13,000 Cherokees left by wagon, horseback or on
foot during October and November, 1838, on an 800 mile route
through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas.
arrived in what is now eastern Oklahoma during January, February,
and March 1839. Disease, exposure, and starvation may have
as many as 4,000 Cherokee lives during the course of the capture,
imprisonment, and removal. The ordeal has become known as the
Trail of Tears.