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Trail of Tears

1838-1839 Trail of Tears by Annlee Cakes



This historic event did occur and was upon the Cherokee Nation in 1838 and 1839 when they moved the entire Cherokee nation to other States and locations with no concern for the Indians they were moving.

The reason I have pondered upon sharing about this historic true event is because so many Americans know so little about it.

May you gain some historic insight today!

My Blessings to you: Annlee
I am Cherokee and Qua paw and Adopted Iowa
My Given name is: WAH-O-CHA-NI-STANDING
My Cherokee name is: Gageya (moon woman)

This sharing is about the Cherokee side of my heritage:

Even though there were Five Tribes moved in the East
And, One Tribe moved in the West.

The “Trail of Tears” was a real event that took place in the United States and is part of real history. The history books will not tell you they led the Indians on that Death March as some enjoyed taking pot shots at them and at times running them into small groups along the way and out right slaughtering them as targets.. So remember that history books do not always tell the truth? And. in this case they down out leave out the truth. Starvation was sad! Disease was the biggest killer of the Cherokee.

The Cherokee Indians were a peaceful people who learned very quickly to adopt the white mans ways. Such as farming and building homes. They even owned slaves to work the lands. They had some of the largest working farms and with many very nice buildings and barns. They learned to save the money used to buy and sell things. They learned to cultivate and raise cattle. They became prosperous and that is what led to their downfall and the “Trail of Tears”. They were one of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Their farms were so large and so productive that the whites were filled with envy and wanted the lands. Because of the lands and buildings the Cherokee were forced to leave the lands and the building right after the Census was taken. Within days of being removed many of their former farms were occupied by white “new” land owners, Of course some yellow metal also moved this along as GOLD was found on Cherokee owned lands.

In 1838 and 1839 from a directive order signed by the President: Removal was started and also implemented the Dawes Roll. Which was a census of the Nations. Many Indians refused to register, and that fact still affects the Cherokee Nation today as many were never upon the Dawes Rolls and yet the US Government today will not accept anyone to register on the current Indian Rolls unless they are connected to someone on the Dawes Rolls.. This fact, is also not known by most Americans today!

The peaceful Cherokee people took the movement to the Supreme Court and won a stay that they could not be moved off their lands. However, the President issued an Executive Order ordering them to be moved ASAP. We also note that when the President was told he would be violating the Supreme Court he responded by saying let them then protect the Indians, but my order stands and will be enforced.

In this enforcement the Cherokee Indians were forced by arms to give up all their lands and farms east of the Mississippi River. First moved to camps and then the walk.

Then by guns drawn upon them they were ordered to migrate to an area what we now know as the State of Oklahoma. It was not called at the time the Trail of Tears.

In time it was the Cherokee people who called this armed march as the “Trail of Tears,” The Cherokees faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. They watched as some died from disease. . They watched as no blankets or food was provided, and if anyone including a child tired and could not walk they were simply put down. In 1940′s we called this type of action Hitler in Action and the World hanged the Nazis for it after the War. . No white man was ever prosecuted for this act upon the Cherokee Indians. In fact, they were paid bonus monies!

Over 4000 Cherokees died or were slain during the “Trail of Tears” event that should never be forgotten. Let us remember that three trails that they were walked upon exist. Many walked one trail or the other at different times. A few went by barge for part of the way.

Many more died along the other trails also. Three major different trails existed and can be found on maps prepared to show them today. Some maps show 7 trails and many different walks such as those from Florida Indian Nations. My main reference is to the Cherokee Walk that we remember with Tear Dresses and Ribbon Shirts and were upon the three main trails. Many people do not know that for about 17 years they kept moving more Cherokee along the Trail of Tears. The last walk was around 1850 approximately. On each walk many people did die. The goal was to wipe out an entire culture from their Home Lands. In fact wipe out Five Nations.

Let me add one more thing!

In all, five tribes were effected and consisted of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Seminole and Chickasaw all who were moved under arms and died along the routes over the 17 year period of moving the Indians.

To our brothers and sisters of the other Eastern Indian Nations we remember you and yours also walked along the many Trails of Tears and we remember this in your honor.

To our brothers and sisters in the Western Indian Navajo Nation you also had “The Long Walk” and we remember this also in your honor.

The Long Walk of the Navajo:
1864 to 1866 and many died along the way by being shot by Kit Carson and his men. The Navajo suffered the most by out right gunfire.


A story by Little Hawk: (copy-protected)

Little Hawk is my very dear friend and has given us permission to share her protected story. She is an elder who still lives in the South.

Trail of Tears: A story by Little Hawk

It was cold. The wind was howling. All the leaves had fallen to the ground. The snow would soon be blowing, and the food was getting low. There was no blankets, and the children would be cold. Mothers were worried and grandmothers were old, having a hard time keeping up. But, had to press forward the braves were saddened to watch. The families driven like cattle from their homes. Their clothes were tattered and torn. They dare not balk or turn around, for death was sure to meet them head on. The babes cried from hunger. Mothers had been murdered, raped, beaten and enslaved.

Yet! Onward was pressed by the white man’s gluttonous greed for more land they did not need. Many stumbled and died. The new land was hot dusty and dry, and built on a lie. The pride of the native withered drove out by greed. The people still wait living in the swallows of earth: Nothing has changed except for the face on twenty dollars of the one who ordered the plight of a tract. That never could be understood. All because of a promise built on greed.

There is a trail I have often walked up on that is pelted with tears. I hear the babies cry. I place my hand over my heart. I feel the pain of their mothers death, and the tears streaming down the face of the brave. This was more than two hundred years. And, I still hear My People Cry………..(This is a copy protected story)

This copy protected story has been published several times by The Bear Cave System which is owned by pabear48 and Annlee Cakes. We thought it pertinent to re-publish in this sharing.
In her honor and from our respect for our friend and elder “Little Hawk” we cannot nor shall not leave her story out of a sharing we share upon “The Trail of Tears”, which is her only written story we helped her to copy-protect.

My People also made great mistakes?

My People made great mistakes in the past also. We followed the White man and became civilized as did four other Tribes. We even decided to wear clothing shirts and pants.

But, we adopted to much of the White man and bought and kept Colored slaves. Our farms became to large and prosperous. The slaves we called Freemen, but they were not free. Today, those relatives in Bloodline of the Freemen are registered members of the Tribes, but even that took a Supreme Court Order because the People rejected them even until the order was cast. So we have as much wrong to a people as did Washington and the States to the same people, until one decided where to ride on a bus, and others took seats at a counter, and fought for dignity and the right to be Free in America.

We also know how the government changes face to serve it’s own. The marches were death marches. The bullets were real. Many died!

We do not simply accept what the government states even To-Day.
I am sure many do not because of their history with the government.



My Family by Annlee

My family comes from the line of the Reverend Isaac Standlee who founded the Baptist Church in Arkansas which started in Berryville. He was the starter stone for the Baptist of the pioneer Baptists in Carroll County.

His descendant was John Standlee who married Nancy Elizabeth who was 1/2 Cherokee and 1/2 Quapaw: And they are known as the parents of Onicypherous Standlee who married Mary Stratton Bryan. However, the father of Onicypherous was the brother of John Standlee who had an affair with Mary. Deep search in history reveals the truth of things and even of heritage.

Onicypherous Standlee is listed on over a dozen Native American Indian Miller Rolls and the Dawes Roll. They had nine children. One was my great Grandpa!

Many of our family died along “The Trail of Tears”, and even today I try remembering them every time I enter the Great Circle to dance as we have for Centuries. During the walk some did have horses and a few had wagons. Disease killed many.

Following back your blood lines is not as hard as people think? I suggest working from the Dawes Rolls and then come forward in time which is easier than going backward to the Dawes Rolls.



My Native Crafting

I craft because it is my heritage.

I design Native Regalia because it reminds me to never forget our history.

The art of Tradition is a handed down sharing from generation to generation. And, decorating with pine needles or porcupine needles and cones, stones and then beads has always been in the Indian Nations. Creating from natural items and making your own dyes was a culture many still do not understand.

Lastly, I enjoy sharing from my heritage! To share is to live the Indian Way!

My family walked upon the Trail of Tears and did sign the Dawes Census.
Many did not make it.

How We Remember?

Out of this dreadful event came the remembering by the Cherokee.

We remember so it never happens again just as the the Jewish Nation remembers World War II today so that what happened may never occur again.

From this came the dress of memory: Known as the Tear Dress.

The original “Tear Dresses” were made along the walk from torn shreds of cloth they could find. Today, tear dresses can be made from triangles and squares cut from cloths and sewn together in a special style design. Some today still do not use cut out triangles and squares and then sew them together. Or they make designs using squares and triangles: But not the entire dress as was the originals created. On the Trail of Tears all the women had were their hands to rip and tear cloth from those murdered along the way, or a sharp piece of stone they found. . A piece of torn cloth the only relic of a loved one.

Today, some make them from one kind of cloth and do not make them from many types of cloth to each “Tear Dress”. To me this is like someone burning the American Flag which in both cases the ones doing so have the Right under the Constitution.

Also came the Ribbon Shirt worn to remember those of the past and the forced walk of “The Trail of Tears. These also have an original pattern that many today fail to create. Today, all tribes do wear Ribbon shirts into the Great Circle. Cherokee Warriors do it in memory!


Click the dancing Warrior to visit our Native Crafts

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 This video depicts in a great way the various tribes.

It is short but very interesting.