The Trail of Tears - Chief John Ross, Andrew Jackson, Indian Removal Act, Treaties, History, Timeline, Summary

Research Topics Presentation Tips History Essays North Carolina History Native American History Cherokee Indians

The Cherokee Trail of Tears Facts - 1838-39

  1. Andrew Jackson pushed congress to provide funds for Indian Removal during his Presidency.
  2. The Indian Removal Act was made law in 1830
  3. Andrew Jackson justified this Removal Act by saying that Native American Indians were safer in the western lands; free from harassment from white settlers and "beyond the reach of injury and oppression... that paternal care of the General Government will hereafter watch over them and protect them."
  4. Native Americans during the early 1800's had little or no rights and were subject to much violence from white settlers.
  5. The Indian Removal Act was designed to move all Native American Tribes west of the Appalachian Mountains.
  6. Georgia legislature overturned the Cherokee Indians Constitution, declaring all Cherokee laws null and void.
  7. The Cherokee Native Americans challenged the legitimacy of the state of Georgia's actions in Supreme Court and won. The Supreme Court's Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that "Indian tribes had full authority over their lands."
  8. Andrew Jackson ignored the Supreme Court's decision and went ahead with the plans for Indian Removal.
  9. Jackson assured Native Americans that removal was totally voluntary. However, state governments harassed Native Americans relentlessly.
  10. Native American Tribes first to agree to move west to Oklahoma were the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Creeks
  11. The Cherokee Indians refused.
  12. Cherokee Native American Chief John Ross led the resistance to relocate.
  13. Georgia authorities kidnapped Chief John Ross and put him in jail.
  14. Ross was released but not allowed to negotiate the treaty which ordered the Cherokee Native Americans to leave their lands by 1838.
  15. When time was up, most Cherokee Indians refused to leave their lands.
  16. Martin Van Buren was President in 1838
  17. Resistant Cherokee Native Americans were rounded up at bayonet point and forced to join the march westward by order of President Martin Van Buren.
  18. This march was known as the infamous Trail of Tears.
  19. One quarter of the 15,000 Native Americans who marched in the Trail of Tears died from exposure, disease, and exhaustion.
  20. The Trail of Tears went through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and ended in Oklahoma. See Trail of Tears Route.
  21. A few Cherokee disobeyed the Governments order and hid out in the hills between Clingman's Dome and Mont Guyot.
  22. In 1889, 56,000 acres were set aside for the Qualla Indian Reservation, populated by about 1000 people.
  23. "Under These Hills" is a play that is performed on the Cherokee Indian Reservation by Cherokee Native Americans telling the Cherokee Indians History of Trail of Tears.

Cherokee Treaties with US

  1. Cherokee Native Americans Treaty with United State 1816
  2. An act to extend the provisions, limitations, and benefits of an act entitled An act granting pensions to the survivors of the Indian wars of eighteen hundred and thirty-two to eighteen hundred and forty-two, inclusive, known as the Black Hawk war, Creek war, Cherokee disturbances, and the Seminole war,Łapproved July twenty-seventh, eighteen hundred and ninety-two.
  3. Other Native American Indian Laws and Treaties


Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, Stoff, Nation of Nations: A narrative History the American Republic, Volume 1, McGraw-Hill Companies. New York, NY. 2001. pgs. 341-