Trail of Tears

Even into the 1830’s, a large amount of Native American tribes remained in their homelands.However, the “white men” did not like the claim they hand on the land and said that they viewed them as a potential threat to peace. This insecurity of the Native American people was the beginning steps to what would be one of the most heinous acts against these people.

Routes of Indian Removals in the U.S.

The federal decision to have the “Five Civilized Tribes” removed would force the members of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Chickasaw tribes out of their homeland and into what would become known as “Indian Territory”. This would result in an over 800 mile trek into what is now modern-day Oklahoma. They were forced at the hands of the army through unbearably cold and harsh winter conditions causing many to die due to disease, freezing, and starvation. Of the 15,000 Cherokees moved, 7,000 died in the process of moving.

Illustration depicting the Trail of Tears

The “Trail of Tears”, as it would come to be known, took five of the largest tribes of North America and forced them to travel a ridiculous distance in order to have their lands belong to the “white men”. Today, the Trail of Tears participants have been memorialized. Across the U.S. memorial walks and dedications are held in honor and loving memory of those who walked and died on this forced removal from their homelands. They will forever be remembered through the multiple movies, documentaries, and books made to tell the tale of the people who were forced to leave their land and all that they knew, and those who died in the process.