Trail of Tears

By: Brooke Pacocha

Andrew Jackson's Most Controversial Decision of His Career

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was the first major legislation that Andrew Jackson passed after he became president. It allowed him to remove all Indians east of the Mississippi river. Five Indian nations were effected. The Cherokee Tribe decided to fight in a new way. Instead of taking the war path they took the state of Georgia to court. The case made it all the way to the U.S. supreme court.

Cherokee Tribe Wins Court Ruling

John Marshall ruled in favor of the Cherokee tribe, allowing them to stay. Andrew Jackson refused to uphold the courts decision and rounded up the Cherokee's at gunpoint and removed them from their land. They were treated cruelly by the troops. They were robbed and their property was destroyed.

Interesting Side Note

Andrew Jackson's military and absolutely his own life was saved at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 thanks to Cherokee allies. Hard to believe it was the same man who signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830.

Trail of Tears

The Cherokee were loaded on boats and traveled the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers into Indian Territory. Some traveled by land on existing roads. An estimated 4,000 Cherokee died along the way from things like disease, exhaustion, exposure, and hunger. Culturally, it was remembered as " the trail where they cried." Today it is known as "the Trail of Tears."
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Remembering History

Many states have National Trail of Tears Association chapters including: Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. The trail is now a National Historic Trail. A better understanding of one of the saddest chapters in history can be seen still today with a visit to the Trail of Tears State Park in Missouri.
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My Reation

I thought that I would choose this topic because I wanted to learn more details about the Trail of Tears. It was just briefly touched on in our textbook. Mr. Bosch sparked some interest during class through the stories he told us. I thought it was really neat to discover that there is a place to visit in memory of the sad chapter in American History.