Trail of Tears 1838

Cherokee forced to march to new home in Oklahoma

The Story

in 1836 the federal government drove the Creeks from their homeland for the last time. 15,000 Creeks left the area, but only 11,500 Creeks arrived at the destination. The Cherokees knew they were next, though could not decide how to react. Some wanted to buy the Americans off with money and other compromises. The came to a decision to make a treaty, the Treaty of Echota, which traded all Cherokee owned land east of the Mississippi for $5 million. It was a done deal between them, even if it meant that some Cherokee felt overruled because the negotiators did not acknowledge the tribal government. By 1838, 16,000 Cherokee were escorted by 7,000 Americans to the march to Oklahoma which was over 1,200 miles long. 16,000 Cherokee Indians were on the journey, but more than 5,000 died from disease, exposure, and hunger.

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