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Trail of Tears. By Jaclyn Jamison. What was the Trail of Tears?. The Trail of Tears was a route the Indians had to take while being forced to relocate from the southeast to the Indian Territory, which was present day Oklahoma .

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Trail of tears

Trail of Tears

By Jaclyn Jamison


What was the trail of tears
What was the Trail of Tears?

  • The Trail of Tears was a route the Indians had to take while being forced to relocate from the southeast to the Indian Territory, which was present day Oklahoma.

  • There were many Native American tribes that were forced to move from their lands such as Cherokee, Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaw, and the Seminole.

  • The journey lasted from 1838-1839.


The trail
The Trail

  • They pathway they traveled on stretched from the southwest point of the Appalachian mountains to present day Oklahoma.

  • It was an 800 mile travel.

  • The Natives traveled about 8-12 miles a day.


Why did this occur
Why did this occur?

  • Gold was found on Cherokee land in Georgia.

  • The government took their land, business, and farms.

  • Miners swept throughout their Nation and wanted to stay because of the riches. People formed groups called Pony Clubs which were armed looters that would torment the Indians into leaving their land.

  • The Cherokee said they would not be forced out of their land, but conflict arose and the Indians sued the states for attacking their land. Congress said they were “domestic dependent nations” so they were not affected by individual state laws. However they were still considered a part of the U.S. so they had to follow federal ruling.


Indian removal act
Indian Removal Act

  • Even though the Cherokee and the new settlers signed a peace treaty, Georgia refuse to acknowledge it.

  • 1828 Georgia outlawed the Cherokee government which consisted of a bicameral legislature, a chief executive and a judicial system.

  • Soon, Georgia created a Georgia Guard to help enforced the state laws.

  • May 28, 1830 it was passed by Congress and was signed by Andrew Jackson.

  • The Cherokee nation fought removal by taking their case to Supreme Court.


Federal cases
Federal Cases

  • Cherokee Nation v. Georgia-1831. Georgia passed a law requiring people to have a license in order to enter Indian country.

  • March 1831 eleven people were arrested because they did not have a license, and nine were granted pardons if they promised to follow Georgia law.

  • Sam Worcester and Elizur Butler refused the pardon so they went to prison for 4 years.

  • Worcester v. Georgia-1832. Court ruled in favor of Cherokees and claimed Georgia law was not valid in the Cherokee Nation. However the Georgia Guard continued to torment the Cherokee people.


Cherokee phoenix
Cherokee Phoenix

  • Newspaper published by the people of the Cherokee Nation.

  • The first issue was published on February 21, 1828.

  • This was the first American Indian paper published in the United States newspaper.

  • It stopped publishing in 1834 when the federal government did not pay annuity to the Cherokee. The Georgia Guard took away the printing press mainly so it would not fall under the hands of John Ross.

  • The Cherokee developed a written language to communicate with people. This helped Americans publish the Cherokee Phoenix, because there would be a Cherokee column and a translation column.



The journey
The Journey

  • The Indians were taken by both land and sea, but both were equally brutal.

  • ¼ of about 18,000, or about 4,500 people died during the journey.

  • People died from disease, hunger, malnutrition, and harsh weather conditions.

  • They were taken without notice from their land and “herded” with little or not supplies. Sometimes people were taken away with just the clothes on their bodies.

  • The Cherokee called this journey “Nona da ut sun y.” This means “they place where they cried.” It later became the trail of tears.

  • Everyone had a reason to cry..


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