Park Hill in Cherokee County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
Trail of Tears
The United States Government, unable to conclude an agreement with the duly authorized leaders of the Cherokee Nation, signed a treaty with a minority faction willing to cede the last remaining portion of the original Cherokee homeland on December 29, 1835. Despite the protests of the overwhelming majority of Cherokee people, the fraudulent "Treaty of New Echota" was ratified by the U.S. Senate by only a single vote on May 23, 1836. The Cherokees were given two years from that date to remove to the Indian Territory. When the time had expired only 2,000 of the nearly 17,000 in the east had departed their ancestral homeland.
In May, 1838 General Winfield Scott and 7,000 federal and state troops arrived in the Cherokee Nation to enforce the removal. Cherokee families were forced from comfortable homes into 31 stockades and open military stations scattered throughout the Cherokee Nation in southeast Tennessee, western North Carolina, northwest Georgia, and northeast Alabama. From the stockades the Cherokee were sent to the principal emigrating depots near Ross's Landing at Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fort Cass, near Calhoun, Tennessee, and a camp eight miles south of Fort Payne, Alabama.
The remainder of the Cherokees began their trek west in the fall of 1838 in 13 detachments. After enduring an extremely severe winter, they arrived in the West in the late winter and early spring of 1839. It has been estimated that between 2,000 and 4,000 of the 16,000 Cherokees died as a direct result of the forced removal.
The true story of the forced removal for the Cherokee people is one of survival. In spite of their hardships, they adapted and rebuilt their homes and government. Only 12 years after removal, the Cherokee Female Seminary opened on these grounds as the first institution of higher learning for females west of the Mississippi River.
Erected by Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Committee.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Trail of Tears marker series.
Location. 35° 52.017′ N, 94° 57.333′ W. Marker is in Park Hill, Oklahoma, in Cherokee County. Marker can be reached from South Keeler Drive 0.3 miles south of East Willis Road (County Route D0790), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the entrance to the Cherokee Heritage Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 21192 South Keeler Drive, Park Hill OK 74451, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Park Hill Press (approx. 1.2 miles away); Riley's Chapel (approx. 1.2 miles away); Park Hill (approx. 1.2 miles away); Manard (approx. 9.6 miles away).
Also see . . . Cherokee Heritage Center. (Submitted on October 13, 2014.)
Categories. • Education • Native Americans • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 12, 2014, by Michael Manning of Woodlawn, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 369 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 12, 2014, by Michael Manning of Woodlawn, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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