In 1838, the U.S. Army troops rounded up 15,000 Cherokee Indians and
forced them off their land in Georgia. They drove them more than 1,500 miles
westward to present-day Oklahoma. Some of the Cherokee escaped into the Smoky
Mountains and their descendents live in North Carolina. There were few wagons or
carts for the Cherokee to travel on. For months, most of the Cherokees walked day
after day. They had little food and no shelter through autumn rains and winter
storms. The terrible journey became known as "The Trail of Tears".
Why were the Cherokee driven across the country?
They were removed because settlers wanted their land
since gold was discovered in Dahlonega. In 1836,
Nation be moved west, by force if necessary. As many as
4,000 Cherokees died on the trip. In the words of one
survivor, "Long time we travel on way to new land. . . Many
days pass and people die very much. We bury close by