Trail of Tears Alabama emerged in one of the darkest periods of American history. The cries from the cruelty are still heard. This story belongs to the American Indians.
Trail of tears Alabama is a 2,200 miles long historic trail in the southeastern part of The United State of America.
It passes through Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and the Tennessee River.
Trail of tears Alabama commemorates the removal of southern tribes. In the silence of the trail, you can hear the screams of victims of brutality.
All about Trail of Tears Alabama
1. Trail of Tears Alabama: The History
A long time ago, in the once scenic valley of Southeast United States lived people of the Cherokee tribe. At the beginning of the 1930s, 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Southeast USA.
After some years their population reduced drastically. What caused this terrible situation? What caused the emergence of Trail of Tears Alabama?
When white settlers came to Indian territory, they viewed native Americans as uncivilized people.
As many white settlers started intruding, the USA agreed to sign treaties with Cherokee Nation. They even agreed to accept it as a sovereign state.
Cherokee people were living peacefully within their territory.
- They made their own capital called ‘New Echota Georgia’.
- They had their own constitution,
- bilingual national newspaper and press,
- built their own Post offices,
- built their offices and residential places.
- Sequoyah, a Cherokee man created a written form of the Cherokee language.
Later the Federal Government passed laws and pushed them out of their homes. They walked hundreds of miles across the Mississippi River through the trail of tears Alabama.
In 1838, 6000 federal and state militia troops entered the country of Southern tribes and occupied Fort Payne. Soldiers captured them and marched them from their homes. They forced them into prison camps. Around 16,000 people were taken captive.
Many people died en route and some were buried. This three-month-long miserable journey is known as the Trail of Tears Alabama.
2. Trail Of Tears Alabama: Why were Native Americans forced to leave their homeland?
After the US signed treaties with the Cherokees, everything became better. But things took a high toll in 1829. In 1829, Andrew Jackson was elected as US President.
He believed Native Americans to be dangerous. He believed that they are established in the midst of a superior race, and they must disappear.
Later, he applied a policy of Indian Removal. It forced the Native Americans to trek hundreds of miles to Oklahoma through the trail of tears, Alabama.
He decided and started planning to seize their land. In the meantime, gold has been discovered in Georgia.
To seize their resources and land, Indians were forced to leave their homeland.
“You have bought a fair land, but you will find its settlement dark and bloody.”
-Dragging Canoe, leader of the Chickamauga.Sycamore Shoals, 1775.
3. Trail Of Tears Alabama: What was the Indian Removal Act of 1830?
Indian Removal Act forced removal of all 5 southern tribes-
to territories west of Mississippi.
Most of the citizens of the United States were against the bill. They signed hundreds of petitions against it. In the end, Cherokees lost all the political and judicial battles. Unfortunately, the bill passed with just 5 votes.
Indian Removal Act is liable for the ruthless acts of history. Innocent Native Americans had to leave the lands which were their homes for many years.
They tied the natives in chains and moved them at a gunpoint. They walked more than 1,000 miles through the trail of tears Alabama.
Many infants and old people were lost in the way. One-third of them died on the way to Oklahoma. Later the trail came to be known as the trail of tears national historic trail.
4. Trail Of Tears Alabama: Andrew Jackson stated some benefits of the act-
1. The fights between the government and federal would be solved.
2. Cherokees won’t be comfortable in the new United States.
5. Why was the Indian Removal Act wrong?
The act was not only morally wrong but constitutionally wrong as well.
1. President Jackson refused to enforce treaties and did not give land rights to Indians.
2. The Georgia legislature tried to take the land from them and give it to Georgian citizens. The Georgian government passed many laws.
They asked anyone who wasn’t a Cherokee but living among them to get permission from the Georgian state. They protested. They were beaten and arrested. The case went to the Supreme Court and Supreme Court agreed to Cherokees.
CJ Marshall said that the community people were living within their boundaries. No Georgia law could interfere in this as it was legal.
But Anthony Jackson refused to execute the decision.
3. Georgia citizens held a lottery. The winner was supposed to get Cherokee land. Winners asked them to leave their homes. When they denied, they were forcibly removed.
4. When the violence grew, a small group of Cherokees thought that the only way to be safe from the upcoming situation was to sign a Treaty of New Echota (1835).
They did it to save the nation. Little did they know that it would prove to be disastrous for them. They finally had to leave the nation due to a lack of support.
They claimed they represented the will of the Cherokee people, but they did not.
Principal Chief John Ross tried hard to fight this.
The day he went to show the signs to The Senate, it was an off day. And he never got to show the petition.
5. Cherokees who dared to mine gold in their own lands were arrested by Georgia guards.
Today, these people live in Northeastern Oklahoma, the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, and many other cities of the USA.
Cherokees are the largest tribe in the United States. A lot of Government help is given to them. They have free health care, scholarships, etc.
They are living peacefully in close-knit communities. Every year, there is a Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride to honor the Native Americans.
Present-day, Trail of tears Alabama can be visited by travelers. Due to its length, it’s difficult to complete so plan your trip accordingly.