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Trail of Tears
Transcript of Trail of Tears
Who do you think would live in a place like this?
Gold was discovered on Cherokee land in 1829
primarily lived in northwest
. This area was full of beautiful mountains and fertile
The Cherokee were a civilized people who had their own schools, alphabet, and
. A constitution is a written plan for government.
developed the Cherokee alphabet
This caused many
to trespass on their territory!
The Cherokee refused to leave their homelands in Georgia and move to the Indian Territory.
7,000 troops were sent to
remove the Cherokee
from their homes and
lead them west.......
John G. Burnett’s description of the Cherokee Removal
The removal of the Cherokee Indians from their life long homes in the year of 1838 found me a young man in the prime of life and a Private soldier in the American Army… Being acquainted with many of the Indians and able to fluently speak their language, I was sent as interpreter into the Smoky Mountain Country… I saw the helpless Cherokees arrested and dragged from their homes, and driven at the bayonet point into the stockades. And in the chill of a drizzling rain on an October morning I saw them loaded like cattle or sheep into six hundred and forty-five wagons and started toward the west….
One can never forget the sadness and solemnity of that morning…. Chief John Ross led in prayer and when the bugle sounded and the wagons started rolling many of the children rose to their feet and waved their little hands good-by to their mountain homes, knowing they were leaving them forever. Many of these helpless people did not have blankets and many of them had been driven from home barefooted. The trail of the exiles was a trail of death. They had to sleep in wagons and on the ground without fire. And I have know as many as twenty-two of them to die in one night of pneumonia due to ill treatment, cold, and exposure….
"We are aware that some persons
suppose it will be for our advantage to move beyond the Mississippi ..... Our people universally think otherwise ..... We wish to remain on the land of our fathers."
Do YOU think this was a fair trade?
Well....this is what they got --->
The land the Native Americans were given in exchange for their Native lands makes what is the current state of
The land west of the Mississippi was dry and seemed
poor for farming
. At the time, it was undesirable.
Fun Fact: The name "Oklahoma" comes from the Choctaw language and means "the red people."
Congress passed the
Indian Removal Act
President Andrew Jackson, who was a man of the frontier himself, strongly supported the settlers' demand for Native American land.
"Even the aged nearly ready to drop in the grave were traveling with heavy burdens attached to their back, sometimes on frozen ground and sometimes on muddy streets, with no covering on their feet."
-An account from Kentucky
Compare and Contrast
The Trail of Tears
As more and more white settlers began to take over Cherokee homelands, the demand for Native tribes to be removed grew stronger and stronger.
President Jackson supports a new idea for a law, titled The Indian Removal Act.
.The U.S. could pay Native tribes for their land.
The U.S. could force all Native tribes east of the Mississippi River to move west.
Created a new Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 Allowed the Following Events to Happen:
Who Were The
For 25 days in the spring of 1838, the U.S. soldiers rounded up 15,000 Cherokee people.
They were taken from their homes with little of their personal property.
The Cherokees were first put into prison camps that were filthy and had no shelter.
At these camps, the people suffered from starvation, and many died from diseases like measles, whooping cough, and dysentery.
2,000 would die in these camps before the journey west even began.
The first groups of Cherokee moved west were forced to deal with the extreme summer heat.
A shortage of water and heat exhaustion left many ill and many dead.
In the late fall and early winter of 1838, the last groups of Cherokee began their trek to the Indian Territory.
These people had to experience harsh winter winds and snow.
If they had any protection from the cold, it was nothing more than a thin blanket.
The Cherokee had to survive on a poor diet of salt pork and flour.
The food wasn't clean, so many people became ill and died.
There was little to no medical attention available. There was only 1 doctor for every 1,000 Cherokee people.
Doctors could do very little to help the suffering people.
The movement west during the winter, was stopped for weeks while they attempted to cross the frozen Mississippi River.
Hundreds die as they wait to cross.
The last group of Cherokee arrived in Indian Territory during March of 1839.
It took most groups 5 months of traveling the trail in extreme winter conditions to finally reach Indian Territory.
4,000 Cherokees died along the Trail of Tears.
That is about 1 person out of every 4 who traveled.
Most were left laying in the snow right along the trail.
The Cherokee who walked to Indian Territory referred to the journey as "The Place Where We Cried".
That journey came to be known as "The Trail of Tears".
Map the 2 Trail of Tears
routes on your map.
Label the states that the trail passes through with their abbreviation.
The Cherokee Lands of Georgia
“I fought through the U.S. Civil War and have seen many men shot, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.”
—- Georgia soldier who participated in the removal
Future generations will read and condemn the removal of the Cherokee… I wish I could forget it all, but the picture of 645 wagons lumbering over the frozen ground with their cargo of suffering humanity still lingers in my memory…
-- John G. Burnett's account of the Cherokee removal
Just discuss and share your response with your partner.
3 Accounts & Descriptions of the Cherokee Removal & The Trail of Tears
Read each of these accounts carefully!!!