What Date Did the Trail of Tears Begin?


Quick Answer

The Trail of Tears began in the summer of 1838, when General Winfield Scott, on orders from President Martin Van Buren, forcibly escorted approximately 15,000 Cherokee from their lands east of the Mississippi to Oklahoma. The Cherokee named this journey the "Trail of Tears."

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Full Answer

Over 7,000 troops oversaw the expulsion of the Cherokee from Georgia. During the journey, approximately 4,000 Cherokee died due to hunger, disease and physical exhaustion. This final migration west was the conclusion of Indian removal policies begun by President Andrew Jackson. The federal government assured the Cherokee their new home would never be taken away; however by 1907, all their territory was gone when Oklahoma became a state.

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