The Trail Of Tears

"I fought through the War Between the States and have seen many men shot, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew."  —Georgia soldier who participated in the removal
“I fought through the War Between the States and have seen many men shot, but the Cherokee Removal was the cruelest work I ever knew.” —Georgia soldier who participated in the removal

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Most of you probably know at least a little about “The Trail of Tears”: The forced relocation of several Native tribes from their homelands to the Western U.S. in the mid-19th century.

I wanted to share two resources I discovered that really bring to life the story of the relocation of the Cherokee tribes in particular.

The first is the PBS show, “Trail of Tears.” It’s part of the excellent, 5-episode American Experience series called, “We Shall Remain.” I wrote about the series last year when it originally aired.

You can watch “The Trail of Tears” online by clicking here.

You can view all five episodes of “We Shall Remain” online by clicking here. The first episode, “After the Mayflower”, might be especially appropriate as well, during this Thanksgiving season.

The second resource is the children’s book, The Trail of Tears, by Joseph Bruchac. I recently purchased an inexpensive copy from Scholastic Book Clubs. I would say it’s upper-elementary-school-level reading. I’m going to attempt to read it aloud to my kids and see what kind of discussion we can stir up on the subject. I’m always grateful for well-written, well-illustrated books like this to share with my children.

What books, movies, or other resources have helped you understand the Native American experience better?

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