Not long before my grandfather died, he made a point of telling me about some of our Cherokee bloodlines. His father was full blooded Cherokee, and his mother was white, which of course, makes him half Cherokee.
He told me about the Trail Of Tears - the forced removal of the Cherokee from their homelands in parts of the south in 1836 - 1839. Thousands of Cherokee died along the trail, as they were moved to the Indian Nations. Their properties were stolen by decree, and those who refused to cooperate were placed in jail or beaten into submission.
I found myself on the way to Chatsworth Georgia recently, and noted with some surprise that I was on highway marked in memory of the Trail Of Tears. It was along one of the routes used. It seemed so long ago, and so far away when my grandfather spoke of it. But here was a reminder, and it made me think of that long ago conversation with my grandfather.
trail of tears highway marker
Below is a clip from the Clint Eastwood movie "The Outlaw Josie Wales" where Chief Dan George portrays Lone Wadie, a Cherokee who was forced to move to the Indian Nations. Half way in he speaks of the Trail Of Tears.
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