Long time we travel on way to new land... Womens cry...Children Cry and men cry...but they say nothing and just put heads down and keep on go towards West. Many days pass and people die very much.
Recollection of a survivor of the Trail of Tears
Federal Indian Removal Policy
After passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the United States government forced thousands of American Indians to leave their ancestral lands in the Southeast for new homes in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).
They traveled by existing roads and by river. Many groups left in the fall, hoping to avoid the disease and heat of summer travel, and instead faced treacherous winter weather. Thousands died during the ordeal - remembered today as the Trail of Tears.
Despite the hardships of the journey, the people of the five tribes of the Southeast established new lives in the West. They stand now as successful sovereign nations, proudly preserving cultural traditions, while adapting to the changes of the 21st century.
In the 1830s, the federal government forcibly removed approximately 15,000 Cherokee, 21,000 Muscogee (Creek), 9,000 Choctaw, 6,000 Chickasaw, and 4,000 Seminole from their ancestral homes in the southeastern United States.
Federal Indian removal policy aroused fierce and bitter debate. Supporters of the policy claimed it was a benevolent action to save the tribes east of the Mississippi River from being overwhelmed and lost in the onslaught of an expanding American population.
Opponents described its inhumanity and the tragic consequences it would have for American Indians. One thing was certain: removal freed millions of acres of desired Indian lands for use by white settlers.
Nearly 1,000 Cherokee died during the journey westward and up to 4,000 died as a result of the forced removal process. Remember those who traveled the Trail of Tears by walking in their footsteps.
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
The National Park Service works with partners to administer the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. By helping to preserve historic sites and trail segments, and developing areas for public use, the story of the forced removal of the Cherokee people and the American Indian tribes is remembered and told.
You can visit sites along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trial
Learn more at: www.nps.gov/trte