Indian Removal Era Begins 1828-1849
Cherokee Trail of Tears
The U.S. Department of War forcibly removes approximately 16,000 Cherokee to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Cherokee are rounded up by bayonet and placed in stockades. Similar to the Choctaw, the forced migration leads to death by exposure, starvation, and disease. Cherokee authorities estimate that 6,000 men, women, and children died on the Trail of Tears, a quarter of the Cherokee population. Other Cherokee escape to North Carolina, where they elude capture and forced removal. Many tribes in the Southeast, the Northeast, and the Great Plains have their own trails of tears (Nies, 1996).