Alabama played a much larger role in the removal of the Cherokee Indians from their homelands in the southeast than was previously thought. At least eight companies of heavily armed troops, including regular United States army soldiers, and Alabama and Tennessee volunteers, poured into Northeast Alabama to carry out the removal of the Cherokees, and some Creeks, as called for by terms of the Treaty of New Echota. At least nine posts were constructed or temporarily manned by the troops in present-day Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Marshall, and Jackson Counties to house supplies, billet troops, and hold the Indians in confinement before they departed for their new homes in the west in early October of 1838.
Most of this land, along with a large portion of southwestern Georgia was one of the last regions to be systematically taken away from the Cherokee Nation by the U.S. government throughout the 1800's culminating in the Trail of Tears. Much of what is now present day Cherokee, Etowah and DeKalb counties was a thriving Cherokee community all the way up to the 1820's. Trading villages like Turkeytown, Willstown, and Creektown which have now been washed away by the hands of time, or in the case of Turkeytown, the waters of Weiss Lake. Very little trace is left now of the Cherokee and their culture here in Alabama, making it all the more important to preserve and pass on the history found here.
This Trail of Tears Teachers Workbook helps students and teachers experience the Trail of Tears through curriculum and hands-on based learning.