BY: CHRISTOPHER SUHR
The Cherokee were originally living in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the U.S., declared the Indians had to move off their land. Andrew Jackson forced the US to give up 20 million square miles of land for Indian reservations. The Cherokee were forced onto the reservations during the Westward Expansion. The Choctaw were the first to be removed from their land in 1831. The Cherokee started migrating in the 1800's along the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears was the trail that the Indians used to reach the reservations in Oklahoma. Approximately 4,000 people died from hunger or disease during their journey.
A famous chief in the Cherokee nation was John Ross. He was born in Turkey Town in Alabama on October 3, 1790. He spoke English because he attended a white man's school. He attended South West Point Academy located in Tennessee. During the War of 1812, John Ross fought with Andrew Jackson. Ross was the one who changed the Cherokee tribal government to a miniature republic. Each of the eight districts would send four representatives to the Cherokee national legislature. He dreamed the Cherokee would become a state of the U.S. named the State of the Cherokee. In Washington D.C., he fought against the Indian Removal Act. After the Indian Removal Act was passed, he led the Cherokee Indians along the Trail of Tears. He was elected chief of the united Cherokee nation after the Indians settled on the reservations. He died on August 1, 1866 in Washington D.C.
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"A Brief History of the Trail of Tears." A Brief History of the Trail of Tears. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.