• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

Grounds Stop VII

 
Trail of Tears Overlook of the Arkansas River

NPS Photo

Trail of Tears Overlook
N 35° 23.265’
W 94° 25.997’

Under the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. government exchanged tribal lands in the east belonging to Choctaws, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Muscogee (Creeks), and Seminoles for land west of the Mississippi River. The subsequent treaties, many of them illegal, forced removal and horrendous Indian suffering. This removal process left a bitter legacy remembered today as the Trail of Tears. The primary reason for this removal was the insatiable desire of the U.S. citizens for Indian lands. During 1830-1842 each of the Five Tribes traveled various land and water routes to Indian Territory. Groups from each tribe traveled the Arkansas River, stopped at Fort Smith and received supplies before reaching their destinations.
 
Stop VII
 
 
 

Did You Know?

foundation remains of first fort overlooking Arkansas River

The U.S. Army selected a spot overlooking the confluence of the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers for the site of a fort. Soldiers from the Rifle Regiment arrived in 1817 and named the site Fort Smith after their commanding officer, Thomas A. Smith.