They Passed This Way
The Trail of Tears - Water Route
After passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the United States government forced tens of thousands of American Indians to leave their ancestral lands in the southeast for new homes in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). They traveled over established land and water routes all of which led through Arkansas. Rather than risk disease and other hazards of summer travel, many groups left in the fall and faced, instead, treacherous winter weather. Thousands died during the ordeal - remembered today as the Trail of Tears.
Despite the hardships of the journey, the people of the five tribes of the Southeast established new lives in the West. They stand now as successful sovereign nations, proudly preserving cultural traditions, while adapting to the challenges of the 21st century.
Lower level of marker:
Federal Indian Removal
In the 1830s, the federal government forcibly removed approximately 16,000 Cherokee, 21,000 Muscogee (Creek), 9,000 Choctaw, 6,000 Chickasaw, and 4,000 Seminole from the southeastern United States.
Federal Indian removal policy
In 1987, to commemorate this tragic chapter in American history, the United States Congress designated the primary land and water routes of the Cherokee removal as the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
Today, the National Park Service partners with the southeastern tribes; the Trail of Tears Association and other non-government organizations; federal, state, and local agencies; and private landowners to foster the appreciation and preservation of historic sites and segments and to tell the story of forced removal of the Cherokee people and other American Indian tribes.
You can visit certified sites, segments, and interpretive facilities along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail by following the Auto Tour route. Look for the official logo along the way. For further information, see:
Erected by Arkansas Humanities Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage.
Location. 34° 31.342′ N, 90° 35.123′ W. Marker is in Helena, Arkansas, in Phillips County. Marker is on Missouri St.. Touch for map. Marker is under the pavilion at Levee Walk, below are train tracks and the Train Depot. Marker is in this post office area: Helena AR 72342, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Helena and The Trail of Tears (here, next to this marker); The Battle of Helena (a few steps from this marker); Phillips County Goes to War (within shouting distance of this marker); A Union Stronghold in Confederate Arkansas (within shouting distance of this marker); A Great Upheaval (within shouting distance of this marker); Hernando De Soto (within shouting distance of this marker); KFFA 1360 Helena (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Blues Trail: Mississippi to Helena (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
Categories. • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 28, 2012, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 607 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 28, 2012, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.