"Cherokee Retracement at Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield, Arkansas" by NPS , public domain

Trail of Tears

National Historic Trail - AL,AR,GA,IL,KY,MO,NC,OK,TN

The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of approximately 60,000 Native Americans in the United States from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west of the Mississippi River that had been designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and approximately 4,000 died before reaching their destinations or shortly after from disease. The forced removals included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, as well as their African slaves.

location

maps

Official visitor map of Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Trail of Tears - Trail Map

Official visitor map of Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (NHT) in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of Natchez Trace Parkway (PKWY) in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Natchez Trace - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Natchez Trace Parkway (PKWY) in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Trail of Tears NHT https://www.nps.gov/abli/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of approximately 60,000 Native Americans in the United States from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west of the Mississippi River that had been designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and approximately 4,000 died before reaching their destinations or shortly after from disease. The forced removals included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, as well as their African slaves. Remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people, forcefully removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee to live in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. They traveled by foot, horse, wagon, or steamboat in 1838-1839. You can visit many of the sites along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail over the 2,200+ mile route that crosses 9 states. Chieftain's Museum, Rome, Georgia large white house, green lawn, two trees in front The museum tells the story of Major Ridge, the influential Ridge family including prominent son John Ridge, Cherokee history, and the Trail of Tears, as well as subsequent history of the home and region. Brown's Ferry Tavern, Chattanooga, Tennessee structure in the background with large chimney on the end; signs saying Brown's Ferry Tavern Cherokee leader John Brown, who owned 640 acres in this area, ordered the construction of Browns Ferry Tavern in 1803. In 1838, the road running past this structure was the route by which several Cherokee detachments were removed to present-day Oklahoma. Mantle Rock Preserve, Joy, Kentucky sunlight coming through trees with green leaves Thousands of Cherokee camped for weeks along the main (northern) route, near Mantle Rock, during the winter of 1838-39 as they waited for ice conditions in the Ohio River to allow a safe crossing. Cherokee Retracement at Pea Ridge National Military Park, Garfield, Arkansas dozens of people walk a section of the Trail of Tears, winter scene, trees with no leaves The Pea Ridge National Military Park encompasses 4,300 acres and features a visitor center, museum, self-guided tours, reconstructed Elkhorn Tavern, and a retracement trail along a 2.5-mile original route segment of the Trail of Tears. Grave Stone of William Adair, Stilwell, Oklahoma gravestone with words etched, green grass When the Cherokee arrived at their prescribed disbandment depot in Oklahoma, settlements sprang up nearby. There was a depot at the Adair's farm near present-day Stilwell, Oklahoma. Crabb Abbott Farm, Grantsburg, Illinois Two people walk a remnant of the Trail of Tears. Spring setting with green leafed trees. Crabb Abbott Farm has segments of the Northern Route, including the rock crossing and ford of Sugar Creek. These segments are contiguous with trail segments on the adjacent Shawnee National Forest. Webbers Falls - "really a beautiful fall" Geography impacted Indian Removal and arrival into Indian Territory. Cherokee traveling on the water route went by steamboat which usually pushed or pulled a flat boat. Waterways in the 1830s were not maintained as they are today. Learn why Webbers Falls was a landing point. Historic photograph of a steamboat on a river pushing a barge or flat boat Webbers Falls - Old Settlers, New Homeland Cherokee moved west of the Mississippi River decades before what is now known as the Trail of Tears. Early Cherokee settlers recognized the reality of white demand for land in the southeastern United States and moved west to Arkansas, only to relocate again following a coerced treaty in 1828. By the time of Cherokee removal, Indian Territory (today’s eastern Oklahoma) was a complex quilt of land patents for diverse American Indian groups removed from their homelands. Historic portrait of Chief John Jolly Webbers Falls - Last Stop for the Last Detachment Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, was the landing place for the final detachment of Cherokee into Indian Territory in 1839. The town was already settled by Cherokee who had moved much earlier than the Cherokee forcefully removed in 1838-1839 on the Trail of Tears. The site demonstrates how geography impacted Indian Removal and how the Cherokee rebuilt their nation in a new land. Historic map showing Trail of Tears sites on the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas Trail Itineraries in Arkansas Cherokee on the Trail of Tears passed through Arkansas on their way to Indian Country, today's Arkansas. This itinerary guides you along one of the routes in northwest Arkansas. Conserving the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Learn how partnerships help conserve the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. (July 2019) Trail of Tears logo next to view of tree covered valley What Happened on the Trail of Tears? In May 1838, the Cherokee removal process began. U.S. Army troops, along with various state militia, moved into the tribe’s homelands and forcibly evicted more than 16,000 Cherokee Indian people from their homelands in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia. They were first sent to so-called “round up camps,” and soon afterward to one of three emigration camps. Once there, the U.S. Army gave orders to move the Cherokee west. A brown sign indicating the trail of tears, in a forest. The Prequel: Women’s Suffrage Before 1848 Most suffrage histories begin in 1848, the year Elizabeth Cady Stanton convened a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. There, she unfurled a Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, seeking religious, educational and property rights for women – and the right to vote. While Seneca Falls remains an important marker in women’s suffrage history, in fact women had been agitating for this basic right of citizenship even before the first stirrings of the Revolution. drawing of a group of women in front of a counter Series: On Their Shoulders: The Radical Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote These articles were originally published by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) as a part of the WSCC blog, The Suff Buffs. The Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission was created by Congress to commemorate 100 years of the 19th Amendment throughout 2020 and to ensure the untold stories of women’s battle for the ballot continue to inspire Americans for the next 100 years. In collaboration with the WSCC, the NPS is the forever home of these articles Logo of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission Become a Junior Ranger for National Historic Trails Learn about the National Historic Trails and earn junior ranger badges! These activities can be completed virtually or after visiting a site along the National Historic Trails. Booklets can be submitted either electronically or by mail. Take a look and start exploring the trails today! small photos of different trail sites with junior ranger badges. Rivers, Rails & Roads: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 The Trail of Tears involved mile after mile of hard travel through miserable conditions. Yet detachments bound for Indian Territory did more than just walk. Although time-honored methods like wagons, keelboats, flatboats, and ferries played major roles, some of the technology used to transport Cherokees on the Trail of Tears was actually quite new. The image of a booklet cover with a dirt road running through a forest. Trail of Tears: Trail Transformation Check out the newly constructed trail at Blythe Ferry on the Trail of Tears NHT! The trail begins at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park and leads to the historic Blythe Ferry landing site. This was the last time many of the Cherokee would be in their native lands as they were forced west. Once the Cherokee crossed the river they were no longer on their native land. The trail is approx. 1/4 mile long and of natural surface. Thank you to our partners for making this happen! A gravel path winds through a forest. Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Spring Newsletter 2021 Read the latest Trail of Tears NHT project updates and completions from the National Trails Office of the National Park Service (NPS). National Historic Trails: Historical Routes of National Significance Wondering about National Historic Trails? Check out this infographic with basic information about the trails, their purpose, and where you can go for more information! Infographic about National Historic Trails featuring a map. Full description available at link. Trail of Tears: Fayetteville Itinerary Visit sites along the Trail of Tears in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Trail of Tears: Western Arkansas & Oklahoma Itinerary Visit sites along the Trail of Tears through Western Arkansas and Oklahoma. Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Fall Newsletter 2021 Read the Fall 2021 updates on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail from the National Trails Office, Regions 6, 7, & 8. Cave Springs and the Trail of Tears Beaver Dam, in the area known today as Cave Spring, was the site of the most prominent instance of active Cherokee resistance to unauthorized white settlement on Cherokee land. The front of an old wooden cabin, with a red front door and two windows. Mantle Rock Preserve and the Trail of Tears You can hike a portion of the Trail of Tears at The Nature Conservancy's Mantle Rock Preserve in Livingston County, Kentucky. The outdoor exhibits, featured here and available on the site, guide the retracement experience. New Madrid and the Trail of Tears The Cherokee on the water route of the Trail of Tears passed by New Madrid, Missouri, on their way to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). This information is available in exhibits, which are located on the levee in New Madrid. Keelboats: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 Between 1837 and 1839, four Cherokee detachments utilized eight keelboats for their journeys to Indian Territory Keelboats took their name from their construction— long, narrow boats built with a keel providing stability. They typically ranged from 40 to 80 feet long and 8 to 12 feet wide, and came to a point at the bow and stern When fully loaded, the average keelboat drew 2 feet of water, which made it ideal for travel in shallow waters. A historic flat bottomed wooden boat with a mast, sitting on a river at a dock. Flatboats: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 Twenty-nine flatboats were used on the Hiwassee and Tennessee rivers to assist in the transportation of four Cherokee detachments to the West between 1837 and 1839. Flatboats were built commercially as early as the late 1780s and were one of the most common vernacular wooden boats used to transport people and cargo along the major southeastern rivers in the early 19th century. Black and white image of a flat wooden boat on a river. Ferries: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 Before bridges were common, ferries played an important role in transportation as they provided conveyance over large streams and rivers. Ferry boats were most often flatboats with modifications such as sloping ramps attached to the front and back of the boat. These allowed the ferry to pull up to the bank to unload passengers and cargo directly onto the land. Black and white image of a ferry boat on a river. Introduction: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 The Trail of Tears involved mile after mile of hard travel through miserable conditions. Yet detachments bound for Indian Territory did more than just walk. Although time-honored methods like wagons, keelboats, flatboats, and ferries played major roles, some of the technology used to transport Cherokees on the Trail of Tears was actually quite new. The Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur Railroad: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 On March 7, 1837, the first of three Cherokee detachments, consisting of approximately 466 individuals, arrived in Decatur. As a crowd of spectators looked on, the following morning the Cherokee began boarding the first of two trains to take them to Tuscumbia. Unfortunately, this next leg of the journey did not go as planned. Learn more about the Tuscumbia, Courtland & Decatur Railroads that were used on the Trail of Tears. Historic railroad car. Early 19th Century Roads and Turnpikes: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 The majority of Cherokee traveled overland on foot during their forced removal to Indian Territory, with some traveling on horses and in wagons. The detachments used a network of well-known, established roads that linked major towns and settlements. Learn more about early 19th century roads and turnpikes that were used on the Trail of Tears. Highly eroded road bank sits below towering trees. Steamboats: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 From 1837 to 1839, nine different steamboats were employed to assist in the transportation of Cherokee detachments in reaching Indian Territory. These steamboats included the Knoxville, Newark, Revenue, Smelter, Little Rock, George Guess, Tecumseh, Itasca, and Victoria. Several of these steamboats were also used in the removal of the Muscogee (Creek), Chickasaw, and Seminole. A drawing of a historic steamboat. Series: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 The Trail of Tears involved mile after mile of hard travel through miserable conditions. Yet detachments bound for Indian Territory did more than just walk. Although time-honored methods like wagons, keelboats, flatboats, and ferries played major roles, some of the technology used to transport Cherokees on the Trail of Tears was actually quite new. A person walks through a large swale that sits below and alongside towering trees. Wagons, Carriages, and Carryalls: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 While the majority of Cherokee walked on the Trail of Tears due to an insufficient number of horses, oxen, and wagons, animal-powered wooden vehicles were still a constant presence on the trail and played an important role in the removal by carrying goods, the elderly, and the sick. Although vehicles helped in these roles, they required regular maintenance. Poor roads and difficult terrain, worsened by inclement weather, took a toll on the vehicles. Historic wooden, covered wagon. The Zuraw Wagon: Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 The Zuraw Wagon, located at the Foxfire Museum & Heritage Center in Rabun County, Georgia, is not a wagon type, but the name of a specific wagon used during the Cherokee removal. It is the last remaining documented wagon with ties to the Trail of Tears. Historic wooden wagon. Transportation During the Cherokee Removal 1837 - 1839 The Trail of Tears involved mile after mile of hard travel through miserable conditions. Yet detachments bound for Indian Territory did more than just walk. Although time-honored methods like wagons, keelboats, flatboats, and ferries played major roles, some of the technology used to transport Cherokees on the Trail of Tears was actually quite new. A trail through a wooded forest. Things to Do in Missouri Things to do and trip ideas in Missouri national parks. Purple flowers bloom on a grass-covered landscape under a partly cloudy sky. Things to Do in Illinois and Indiana Things to do and trip ideas in Illinois and Indiana national parks. Beach along a large lake with green grassy dunes in the background under a blue sky. Things to Do in Arkansas Things to do and trip ideas in Arkansas national parks. Front of a high school made of brown brick that rises to a high point in the middle with stairways. Series: Things to Do in Midwest National Parks There is something for everyone in the Midwest. See what makes the Great Plains great. Dip your toes in the continent's inland seas. Learn about Native American heritage and history. Paddle miles of scenic rivers and waterways. Explore the homes of former presidents. From the Civil War to Civil Rights, discover the stories that shape our journey as a nation. Steep bluff with pink sky above and yellow leaves below. The Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Program Brings BSA Scouts and National Parks Together To connect more youth to their local communities, NPS created the Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Program in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, which welcomes boys, girls, and young adults to participate. Through this program, BSA Scouts and Cub Scouts can earn award certificates and may also receive a patch. Learn more in this article. William Kai, a Cub Scout, holds up his Resource Stewardship Scout Ranger Certificate Award Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Spring Newsletter 2022 Read the Spring 2022 updates on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail from the National Trails Office, Regions 6, 7, & 8.

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