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Waynesville in Pulaski County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

A Trail of Tragedy

 
 
A Trail of Tragedy Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
1. A Trail of Tragedy Marker
Inscription.  

"This morning word came that a Cherokee woman was dying. I hastened to her tent...She was put in the wagon which carried her family when the detachment started, but soon expired."
Rev. Daniel S. Butrick diary, March 11, 1839

During the Trail of Tears, thousands of Cherokee—young and old, rich and poor—faced disease, hunger, exhaustion, and extreme weather as they traveled hundreds of miles mostly on foot. A thousand or more Cherokee died traveling to a land they did not know.

For many Cherokee, the hardships began well before the journey. The government forcibly removed them from their homes in the spring of 1838. They suffered at the hands of white settlers, who seized their last remaining possessions and livestock as federal troops and state militias simply watched. Crowded, filthy removal camps in Tennesse and Alabama held Cherokee families until it was time to depart to the West. There, diseases such as whooping cough, measles, smallpox, typhus, and tuberculosis spread rapidly.

By the time the Cherokee departed from the removal camps, many people were weak, demoralized, and grieving

A Trail of Tragedy Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 18, 2020
2. A Trail of Tragedy Marker
Marker on left
loved ones who had not survived. To avoid the extreme heat of summer, most detachments waited until autumn to begin the trek. Then they faced torrential rains, deep mud, and eventually frigid cold.
 
Erected 2015 by National Park Service, City of Waynesville, and Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsDisastersNative Americans. In addition, it is included in the Trail of Tears series list.
 
Location. 37° 49.576′ N, 92° 12.211′ W. Marker is in Waynesville, Missouri, in Pulaski County. Marker is on Superior Road south of Old U.S. Route 66 (Business Interstate 44), on the right when traveling south. Marker is in Roy Laughlin Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Waynesville MO 65583, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Resting Place for the Weary (here, next to this marker); What is the Trail of Tears? (a few steps from this marker); Discover a Hidden History (within shouting distance of this marker); A Road Through History (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Waynesville Fort (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Frigid Crossing (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rigsby House and Standard Oil Station
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(approx. 0.2 miles away); Pulaski County (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waynesville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Trail Of Tears National Historic Trail. (Submitted on October 16, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of the Cherokee People. (Submitted on October 16, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Trail of Tears (Jack Baker talk on C-Span, 2020). (Submitted on October 16, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 52 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 16, 2020, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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Mar. 5, 2021