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The Trail of Tears

By Linda Tancs

Following the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, President Andrew Jackson engineered the forced relocation of the Cherokee nation east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the Mississippi.  Forced to flee their homeland with little more than the clothes on their back, the exodus across nine states, marked by disease and death, came to be known as the trail of tears.  This somber journey is commemorated in the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.  One of 19 national historic trails, it passes through the present-day states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.  A series of signs throughout the region alerts travelers to important markers such as documented original trails and historic sites or segments.

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