- Easier - The "Trail
of Tears" was a forced removal of at least twenty
thousand Cherokee Indians. The exact number of
Cherokees is not known. In 1838, the US government
moved them from their homelands in the mountain
valleys of Appalachian Georgia and the Carolinas to
western Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
Cherokee call this trail Nunna-da-ul-tsun-yi, meaning
"The Place Where They Cried." Traveling through bad
weather and without proper clothing, at least 4,000
Cherokee died on the trail.
- Harder - At the
beginning of the Nineteenth century, the Cherokee
Nation occupied and held land titles in the
Appalachian valleys of Georgia and the Carolinas. At
the same time, white immigrant communities were
encroaching and voicing increasing resentment of the
Cherokee property holds. Pressure increased when a
gold strike occurred in northern Georgia. Many whites
decided that it was time for the Indians to leave
their farms, homes, and lands. In 1817, a Cherokee
group called "Old Settlers" moved to western lands
given them in Arkansas. There they reestablished their
native government and a peaceful way of life. However,
this Old Settler group was later moved on to Indian
- In 1802, Thomas Jefferson indicated his support
for removal of Indians to western territories.
Following President James Monroe's recommendation in
his final address to Congress, President Andrew
Jackson signed the 1830 Indian Removal Act. Opposition
protests came from Senators Daniel Webster and Henry
Clay and others. Reverend Samuel Worcester, a
missionary to the Cherokees, challenged in court
Georgia's attempt to abolish Indian claims to land
titles. The Worcester vs. Georgia (1832) case went to
the Supreme Court and argued the constitutionality of
the Removal Act. Worcester won this court battle and
Cherokee's rights of land ownership were upheld;
however, Jackson and the US Government continued
efforts for their removal.
- In 1835 the Treaty of New Echota was signed by a
"Treaty Party" of about 100 Cherokees. In this
agreement, Cherokees gave up all claim to lands east
of the Mississippi River in exchange for land in the
Indian Territory and the future promise of money,
livestock, tools, and other provisional support. This
treaty signing and the subsequent removal led to
bitter factionalism within the Cherokee Nation and the
eventual deaths of many of the Treaty Party leaders.
Regardless of the opposition and disagreements of the
Cherokee, Georgia and the US Government's viewpoint
prevailed and the New Echota treaty was used to
justify their removal. In the summer of 1838, the US
Army began enforcement of the Removal Act. Cherokees
were rounded up and temporarily held in stockades.
3,000 Cherokees were loaded onto boats to travel the
Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi Rivers, and on to the
Arkansas into Indian Territory. Over 14,000 other
Cherokee remained in the prison camps until the winter
of 1838-39. Then they were marched 1,200 miles through
Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas
to their new home. The Cherokee endured torrential
rains and other inclement weather conditions,
inadequate food and water, and lacked proper clothing.
It is estimated that at least 4,000 died of
starvation, exposure, and disease.
History of The Trail of Tears from Cherokee
- This site provides a summary of the history of the
"Trail of Tears."
- Related Websites:
- 2) Americans Push West - The Trail of Tears
- 3) Choctaw Trail of Tears by C. Watson http://www.thebicyclingguitarist.net/studies/trailoftears.htm
- 4) Indian Removal 1814 - 1858 from PBS
- 5) John G. Burnetts Story of the Removal of
the Cherokees from Cherokee Messenger
- 6) Quotations from The Trail Where They Cried
- 7) Samuel's Memory from History of the
- 8) Trail of Tears http://www.boisestate.edu/history/ncasner/hy210/tears.htm
- 9) Trail of Tears from PBS's The West
- 10) Trail of Tears by J. Hickinbotham (Rabid
Wolf), member of the Choctaw Nation of
- Oklahoma http://www.peaknet.net/~aardvark/thetrail.html
- 11) Trail of Tears http://www.choctawnation.com/history/trail_of_tears.htm
- 12) Trail of Tears from History of Southern
- 13) Trail of Tears from Study World
- 14) Trail Where They Cried http://www.powersource.com/cocinc/history/trail.htm
Trail of Tears: 1838-1839 by D. Farrow
- This comprehensive website contains varied
informaton on the "Trail of Tears."
of Tears from North Georgia
- Here you find a summary of events in Georgia that
led up to the 1838 removal of the Cherokee.
- Related Websites:
- 2) Chieftains Trail... from The Blue Ridge
- 3) Trail of Tears by R. Golden from Our Georgia
History of the Trail of Tears from Cherokee
- This site provides a historical summary of the
removal of the Cherokee people.
- Other Related Sites at Cherokee
- 2) John Burnett's Story of the Trail of Tears
- 3) Legend of the Cherokee Rose
- 4) Legend of the Corn Bead http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/LiteraturePage.asp?ID=18
- 5) Letter to the Cherokee from Major General Scott
- 6) Memorial of the Cherokee http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/HistoryPage.asp?ID=48
- 7) Ralph Waldo Emerson's Letter. . .
- 8) Removal Act of 1830 http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/HistoryPage.asp?ID=50
- 9) Treaty of New Echota http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/HistoryPage.asp?ID=52
- After visiting several of the
websites, complete one or more of the
- Plan An Auto Trip Along the Trail
of Tears Route. Plan the complete trip
including time needed, activities, planned
stops, meals, lodging, and other expenses.
Detail your travel plans in a spreadsheet
presentation. Include visuals where
appropriate. You might find some helpful
information at Trail
Of Tears National Historic Trail from
National Park Service and Driving
the Trail of Tears: Cherokee in Exile
by T.V. Ress at GORP.
- Prepare Indian Frybread. Follow
the procedures found at Frybread
from Shadow Wolf to prepare this
staple of Powwows and symbol of
intertribal Indian unity.
- Complete A Trail of Tears
WebQuest. Adapt or follow the
procedures found at the following webQuest
- Trail of Tears (Grade 8) by L. Lowry
and K. Kennedy
- Create a Trail of Tears Travel
Brochure. You have been hired by a
tourism organization to prepare a new
travel brochure that promotes retracing
the route of the Trail of Tears. Decide
what major travel attractions and
historical locations should be featured.
Create a mockup of the travel
- Create A Trail of Tears
Journal. Imagine what it would be like
to have your family uprooted, removed from
your southestern farm, placed in a
stockade, and then forced to travel 800
miles to Oklahoma Territory. The climate
and lands were very different. How would
you live there? Create a journal
describing your feelings and
- Write A Trail of Tears Poem.
You can find a lot of online information
about writing poetry at Poetry
for Kids from eduScapes
- Websites By Kids For Kids
the Trail of Tears: The Cherokee in Oklahoma
1838-1870 by S.A. Tuddenham from
- The Concord Review
- This paper was written for a high school history
class in 1996-97.
of Tears from Father Ryan High
- This project was created by high school students
- More Websites
of the "Cherokee Trail of Tears" with Reference to
"Princess Otahki" by E.
- Mulligan, published by St. Louis
- This website features an interview, conducted at a
dedication ceremony, of a monument to one of those
lost on the "Trail Of Tears."
Images 1800-1838 from History of the
- This site houses a collection of portraits, sites,
and a painting connected to the "Trail of Tears."
- Other Image Sites:
- 2) Trail of Tears (Includes map)
- 3) Trail of Tears (Maps & painting)
Winfield Scott's Address to the Cherokee Nation (May
- From the Cherokee Agency, Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott
delivered an ultimatum to the Cherokees remaining in
northern Georgia -- they had to go west, and they had
to go now.
- Other Related Documents:
- 2) Cherokee Indian Removal Debate: U.S. Senate,
April 15-17, 1830
- 3) Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 1831
- 4) Gen. Winfield Scott's Order to U.S. Troops
Assigned to the Cherokee Removal
- 5) Letter from Chief John Ross, "To the Senate and
House of Representatives"
- 6) Trail of Tears Poster http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/trailpst.htm
- 7) Treaty of New Echota December 29, 1835
- 8) U.S.-Cherokee Treaties Related to Georgia
- 9) Worcester v. Georgia (1832) http://www.cviog.uga.edu/Projects/gainfo/worcester.htm
of Tears Association: North Carolina
- In the spring and summer of 1838, more than 15,000
Cherokee Indians were removed by the U.S. Army from
their ancestral homeland in North Carolina, Georgia,
Tennessee and Alabama. In 1987, Congress passed Public
Law 100-192, designating two of the routes taken by
the Cherokee people in their removal as a National
Historic Trail within the National Trails
System. The Trail of Tears National Historic
Trail is administered by the National Park
of Tears: Lawrence County Arkansas
- This site contains a few articles on the "Trail of
- Websites For Teachers
Nation and the Trail of Tears (Grades 7-8) by
D. Scott & M. Low, Cherokee Cultural
Society, and T. Driskell from
- Students learn about the Cherokee Indians, a major
tribe of Southwest America and one of the so-called,
"five civilized tribes". They study why these Native
Americans were forced to leave the land of their
forefathers and march what is known as the "Trail of
Removal Act (Grades 9-12) from The Gilder
Lehrman Institute of American History
- Students act as journalists reporting on the
Indian Removal Act. They visit designated web sites
and write factual articles about the
of Jesse Smoke by R.F. Abrahamson from
- This disscussion guide is for a book written by
Joseph Bruchac. The Journal of Jesse Smoke: A
Cherokee Boy tells the tragic story of what it was
like to be part of the Cherokee Removal a plan by the
United States government to forcibly move Native
Americans from their homes in the eastern US west to
Missouri and Oklahoma.
to the Trail of Tears: Worcester v. Georgia
from SSEC Publications
- The momentum of the westward movement and the
popular support for Indian resettlement pitted white
against Indian, states rights against the
federal government, and the Supreme Court against the
administration of President Andrew Jackson. These
issues came together in the Worcester case, which
affirmed the sovereignty of the Cherokee nation but
was not enforced.
of Tears (Grades 6-9) from Power to
- Students create interview questions for President
Andrew Jackson to find out what his plans were for the
removal of the Cherokee Indians, which eventually led
to the "Trail of Tears."
of Tears by M. Goodston from
- This lesson has students read and analyze a poem
about the "Trail of Tears" then suggests that they try
writing a poem themselves.
of Tears by K. Cline (Grades 6-8) from
Lesson Plans Page
- Here are several good ideas for a unit on the
"Trail of Tears."
- Similar Website:
- 2) How the West was Lost: The Trail of Tears from
Discovery Communications, Inc.
on Which They Wept (Grade 5) from
Montgomery County Public Schools
- This lesson unit incorporates the reading of
The Trail on Which They Wept, The Story of a
Cherokee Girl by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler with
pictures by S. S. Burrus (Silver Burdett Press,
Morristown, NJ, 1992).
- Created by