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Trail of Tears
For other uses, see Trail of Tears (disambiguation).
The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native American peoples from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west (usually west of the Mississippi River) that had been designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and many died before reaching their destinations. The forced removals included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, and Ho-Chunk/Winnebago nations. The phrase “Trail of Tears” originates from a description of the removal of many Native American tribes, including the infamous Cherokee Nation relocation in 1838.123