Friday, April 22, 2011

Trail of Tears

This morning we went on the guided nature walk with Tara, the Interpretive Ranger here at the park. We walked the Trail of Tears.

In 1829 the Memphis to Little Rock Road (Trail of Tears) was completed. It became a major route of Indian removal for Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Cherokee.

The Trail of Tears was the route taken by Indians in the late 1830s, when the federal government forcibly removed members of the Indian nations from their lands in the Southeastern United States. In being relocated to Oklahoma, families were separated, and thousands died in the migrations through Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Tara, Interpretive Ranger

Excerpts from kiosk on the Trail of Tears:

At least 21,000 Choctaw passed through Arkansas during the 1830s. They suffered greatly from the weather as they crossed Arkansas losing 7000 lives along the way.

In 1832, the Chickasaw signed the Treaty of Pontotoc ceding all lands east of the Mississippi River to the US government. The Treaty of Pontotoc was the most favorable of all the removal treaties because it allowed the Chickasaw to bring personal property with them.

Between 1836 and 1837 the US Army forced the removal of more than 20,000 Muscogee (Creeks) to Indian Territory.

The final removal treaty between the US government and the Cherokee Nation was the illegally negotiated Treaty of New Echota in 1835. The Treaty Party was a minority group without authority to negotiate for the Cherokee Nation.

Trail of Tears

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