Trail of Tears Facts

Trail of Tears Facts
The Trail of Tears refers to the forced relocation of Native Americans following the Indian Removal Act of 1830, from southeastern regions in the United States to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Those Native Americans who chose to assimilate were allowed to stay in their current state, but those who chose to stay true to their culture and way of life were forced to leave to designated regions in the West. Along the way to their designated reserves many Native Americans died from disease, starvation and exposure.
Interesting Trail of Tears Facts:
Prior to the passing of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, many Native American tribes were thriving in the southeastern United States.
The tribes that were relocated included the Creeks, the Chickasaws, the Choctaws, the Seminoles, and the Cherokees.
The main reason for the relocation was that the Natives lived on valuable land and the whites wanted the land for growing cotton and other valuable crops.
Some of the relocation efforts were peaceful but military force was required in some instances which made it deadly for many Natives.
The Chicksaw and Choctaw tribes accepted the relocation treaties and began their march west.
The Creeks, Cherokee, and Seminole Native tribes all tried to resist the relocation.
The Creeks tried to resist but were driven through Alabama and across the Mississippi in 1836.
The Seminoles engaged in war, referred to as the Second Seminole War from 1835 until 1842. Eventually they lost their battle and following several thousand deaths, relocated to the new land west of the Mississippi River.
The Cherokees tried to resist by way of legal battle, but any decisions made in their favor were not enforced and they were forced into detention centers. Disease and starvation killed many of the Cherokee Natives. More than 15,000 Cherokee Natives were removed from their homeland by the U.S. military.
More than 100,000 Native Americans were forced to relocate because of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
It is estimated that more than 4,000 Cherokee men, women, and children died of starvation, disease, or exposure.
The Cherokee Natives refer to the forced relocation as 'Nunahi-Duna-Dlo-Hilu-I' or 'Trail where they cried'.
The trek to their designated lands west of the Mississippi River was more than 1,000 miles long. The long and treacherous journey was made by foot.
Congress passed Public Law 100-192 in 1987. This designated two Cherokee routes that were taken during their removal as National Historic Trails in the United States' National Trail System.
At the time of the forced removal the Cherokee leader was John Ross. His father was Scottish and his mother was only one-eighth Cherokee. He was a strong leader and fought hard for their rights but was not always successful. His allegiance to the Cherokees was strong, and he remained their leader once they reached their new designated lands in Oklahoma.
Andrew Jackson was the President of the United States when the plans for the 'Trail of Tears' were made, but it was Martin Van Buren who was president when it actually took place. Jackson is blamed for it to this day.


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