Trail of Tears
Overview
 
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 nations from southeastern parts of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole
Seminole
The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

, Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

, and Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 nations, among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 Nation in 1831.
Encyclopedia
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 nations from southeastern parts of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of the Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole
Seminole
The Seminole are a Native American people originally of Florida, who now reside primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The Seminole nation emerged in a process of ethnogenesis out of groups of Native Americans, most significantly Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama, who settled in Florida in...

, Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

, and Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 nations, among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw
Choctaw
The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from the Southeastern United States...

 Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation en route to their destinations. Many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee.

In 1831, the Cherokee, Chickasaw
Chickasaw
The Chickasaw are Native American people originally from the region that would become the Southeastern United States...

, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes
Five Civilized Tribes
The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists' customs and had generally good...

) were living as autonomous nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

s in what would be called the American Deep South
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

. The process of cultural transformation (proposed by George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 and Henry Knox
Henry Knox
Henry Knox was a military officer of the Continental Army and later the United States Army, and also served as the first United States Secretary of War....

) was gaining momentum, especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw. Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 continued and renewed the political and military effort for the removal of the Native Americans from these lands with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw, the Seminole were removed in 1832, the Creek in 1834, then the Chickasaw in 1837, and finally the Cherokee in 1838. After removal, some Native Americans remained in their ancient homelands - the Choctaw are found in Mississippi, the Seminole in Florida, the Creek in Alabama, and the Cherokee in North Carolina. A limited number of non-native Americans (including African-Americans - usually as slaves) also accompanied the Native American nations on the trek westward. By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans from these southeastern states had been removed from their homelands thereby opening 25 million acres (101,171.5 km²) for predominantly white settlement.

The fixed boundaries of these autonomous tribal nations, comprising large areas of the United States, were subject to continual cession
Cession
The act of Cession, or to cede, is the assignment of property to another entity. In international law it commonly refers to land transferred by treaty...

 and annexation prior to 1830, in part due to pressure from squatters and the threat of military force in the newly declared U.S. territories -- federally administered regions whose boundaries supervened upon the Native treaty claims. As these territories became U.S. states, state governments sought to dissolve the boundaries of the Indian nations within their borders, which were independent of state jurisdiction, and to expropriate the land therein. These pressures were magnified by U.S. population growth and the expansion of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 in the South.

Legal background

The territorial boundaries claimed as sovereign and controlled by the Native American nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

s living in what was then known as the Indian Territories -- the portion of the early United States east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 not yet claimed or allotted to individual settlers, prior to the establishment of the territory that was to become Oklahoma
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 -- were fixed and determined by national treaties
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

 with the United States Federal government under terms recognizing these entities as dependent
Dependent territory
A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State, and remains politically outside of the controlling state's integral area....

 but internally sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, or autonomous nations under the sole jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 of the Federal government.

While retaining their tribal governance, which included a constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 or official council in tribes such as the Iroquois and Cherokee, many portions of the southeastern Native American nations had become partially or completely economically integrated
Economic integration
Economic integration refers to trade unification between different states by the partial or full abolishing of customs tariffs on trade taking place within the borders of each state...

 into the economy of the region. This included the plantation economy in states such as Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and the possession of slaves. These slaves were also forcibly relocated during the process of removal. A similar process had occurred earlier in the territories controlled by the Confederacy of the Six Nations in what is now upstate New York
Upstate New York
Upstate New York is the region of the U.S. state of New York that is located north of the core of the New York metropolitan area.-Definition:There is no clear or official boundary between Upstate New York and Downstate New York...

 prior to the British invasion and subsequent U.S. annexation
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 of the Iroquois nation.

Under the history of U.S. treaty law, the territorial boundaries claimed by Federally recognized tribes received the same status under which the Southeastern tribal claims were recognized; until the following establishment of reservations
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 of land, determined by the Federal government, which were ceded to the remaining tribes by de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

treaty, in a process that often entailed forced relocation
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

. The establishment of the Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 and the dissolution of Indian territories east of the Mississippi anticipated the establishment of the U.S. Indian reservation
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 system, which was subsequently imposed on remaining Indian lands.

The statutory argument for Native American sovereignty persisted until the Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

 ruled in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, , was a United States Supreme Court case. The Cherokee Nation sought a federal injunction against laws passed by the state of Georgia depriving them of rights within its boundaries, but the Supreme Court did not hear the case on its merits...

(1831), that (e.g.) the Cherokees were not a sovereign and independent nation, and therefore not entitled to a hearing before the court. However, in Worcester v. Georgia
Worcester v. Georgia
Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. 515 , was a case in which the United States Supreme Court vacated the conviction of Samuel Worcester and held that the Georgia criminal statute that prohibited non-Indians from being present on Indian lands without a license from the state was unconstitutional.The...

(1832), the court re-established limited internal sovereignty under the sole jurisdiction of the Federal government, in a ruling that both opposed the subsequent forced relocation and set the basis for modern U.S. case law.

While the latter ruling was famously defied by Jackson, the actions of the Jackson administration were not isolated because state and federal officials had violated treaties without consequence, often attributed to military exigency
Military law
Military justice is the body of laws and procedures governing members of the armed forces. Many states have separate and distinct bodies of law that govern the conduct of members of their armed forces. Some states use special judicial and other arrangements to enforce those laws, while others use...

, as the members of individual Native American nations were not automatically United States citizens and were rarely given standing in any U.S. court.

Compounding this was the fact that while citizenship tests existed for Native Americans living in newly annexed areas before and after forced relocation, individual U.S. states did not recognize tribal land claims, only individual title
Title (property)
Title is a legal term for a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or an equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. It may also refer to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership...

 under State law, and distinguished between the rights of white and non-white citizens, who often had limited standing in court; and Indian removal
Indian Removal
Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

 was carried out under U.S. military jurisdiction, often by state militias. As a result, individual Native Americans who could prove U.S. citizenship were nevertheless displaced from newly annexed areas. The military actions and subsequent treaties enacted by the Jackson and Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 administrations pursuant to the 1830 law are widely considered to have directly caused the expulsion or death of a substantial part of the Native Americans then living in the southeastern United States.

Choctaw voluntary removal

The Choctaw nation was in what are now the U.S. states of Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, and Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. After a series of treaties starting in 1801, the Choctaw nation was reduced to 11000000 acres (44,515.5 km²). The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was a treaty signed on September 27, 1830 between the Choctaw and the United States Government. This was the first removal treaty carried into effect under the Indian Removal Act...

 ceded the remaining country to the United States and was ratified in early 1831. The removals were only agreed to after a provision in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek allowed some Choctaw to remain. George W. Harkins
George W. Harkins
George W. Harkins was an attorney and prominent chief of the Choctaw tribe during the Indian removals. Elected as principal chief after the national council deposed his maternal uncle, Greenwood LeFlore, in 1834 Harkins was elected judge of the Red River District in Indian Territory...

 would write to the citizens of the United States before the removals were to commence:
Secretary of War Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass was an American military officer and politician. During his long political career, Cass served as a governor of the Michigan Territory, an American ambassador, a U.S. Senator representing Michigan, and co-founder as well as first Masonic Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan...

 appointed George Gaines
George Strother Gaines
George Strother Gaines was a leader in the Mississippi Territory and in both states formed from it, Mississippi and Alabama. He was a longtime trader among the Choctaws, and was trusted by them...

 to manage the removals. Gaines decided to remove Choctaws in three phases starting in 1831 and ending in 1833. The first was to begin on November 1, 1831 with groups meeting at Memphis and Vicksburg. A harsh winter would batter the emigrants with flash floods, sleet, and snow. Initially the Choctaws were to be transported by wagon but floods halted them. With food running out, the residents of Vicksburg and Memphis were concerned. Five steamboats (the Walter Scott, the Brandywine, the Reindeer, the Talma, and the Cleopatra) would ferry Choctaws to their river-based destinations. The Memphis group traveled up the Arkansas for about 60 miles (96.6 km) to Arkansas Post. There the temperature stayed below freezing for almost a week with the rivers clogged with ice, so there would be no travel for weeks. Food rationing consisted of a handful of boiled corn, one turnip, and two cups of heated water per day. Forty government wagons were sent to Arkansas Post to transport them to Little Rock. When they reached Little Rock, Choctaw chief (thought to be Thomas Harkins or Nitikechi) quoted to the Arkansas Gazette that the removal was a "trail of tears and death." The Vicksburg group was led by an incompetent guide and was lost in the Lake Providence swamps.

Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution . In both of these works, he explored the effects of the rising equality of social conditions on the individual and the state in...

, the French philosopher, witnessed the Choctaw removals while in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 in 1831,
Nearly 17,000 Choctaws made the move to what would be called Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 and then later Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

. About 2,500–6,000 died along the trail of tears. Approximately 5,000–6,000 Choctaws remained in Mississippi in 1831 after the initial removal efforts. The Choctaws who chose to remain in newly formed Mississippi were subject to legal conflict, harassment, and intimidation. The Choctaws "have had our habitations torn down and burned, our fences destroyed, cattle turned into our fields and we ourselves have been scourged, manacled, fettered and otherwise personally abused, until by such treatment some of our best men have died." The Choctaws in Mississippi were later reformed as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is one of three federally recognized tribes of Choctaw Indians. On April 20, 1945, the tribe organized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Also in 1945 the Choctaw Indian Reservation was created in Neshoba and surrounding counties...

 and the removed Choctaws became the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a semi-autonomous Native American homeland comprising twelve tribal districts. The Choctaw Nation maintains a special relationship with both the United States and Oklahoma governments...

.

Seminole resistance

The U.S. acquired Florida from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 via the Adams-Onís Treaty
Adams-Onís Treaty
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty or the Purchase of Florida, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that gave Florida to the U.S. and set out a boundary between the U.S. and New Spain . It settled a standing border dispute between the two...

 and took possession in 1821. In 1832 the Seminoles were called to a meeting at Payne's Landing on the Ocklawaha River
Ocklawaha River
The Ocklawaha River flows north from central Florida until it joins the St. Johns River near Palatka. Its name is a corruption of ak-lowahe, Creek for "muddy"....

. The treaty negotiated called for the Seminoles to move west, if the land were found to be suitable. They were to be settled on the Creek reservation and become part of the Creek tribe, who considered them deserters; some of the Seminoles had been derived from Creek bands but also from other tribes. Those among the tribe who once were members of Creek bands did not wish to move west to where they were certain that they would meet death for leaving the main band of Creek Indians. The delegation of seven chiefs who were to inspect the new reservation did not leave Florida until October 1832. After touring the area for several months and conferring with the Creeks who had already settled there, the seven chiefs signed a statement on March 28, 1833 that the new land was acceptable. Upon their return to Florida, however, most of the chiefs renounced the statement, claiming that they had not signed it, or that they had been forced to sign it, and in any case, that they did not have the power to decide for all the tribes and bands that resided on the reservation. The villages in the area of the Apalachicola River were more easily persuaded, however, and went west in 1834. On December 28, 1835 a group of Seminoles and blacks ambushed a U.S. Army company marching from Fort Brooke in Tampa to Fort King in Ocala. Out of 110 army troops only 3 survived, this came to be known as the Dade Massacre
Dade Massacre
The "Dade Massacre" was an 1835 defeat for the United States Army that started the Second Seminole War, which lasted until 1842.On December 23, 1835, two U.S. companies of 110 troops under Major Francis L. Dade departed from Fort Brooke , heading up the King Highway on a resupply and reinforce...

.
As the realization that the Seminoles would resist relocation sank in, Florida began preparing for war. The St. Augustine Militia asked the War Department
United States Department of War
The United States Department of War, also called the War Department , was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army...

 for the loan of 500 muskets. Five hundred volunteers were mobilized under Brig. Gen. Richard K. Call
Richard K. Call
Richard Keith Call was the third and fifth territorial governor of Florida.Named after his uncle, a Revolutionary War hero, he was born in Pittsfield, Prince George County, Virginia. In 1813 he left school to take part in the Creek War. He came favorably to the attention of General Andrew Jackson,...

. Indian war parties raided farms and settlements, and families fled to forts, large towns, or out of the territory altogether. A war party led by Osceola
Osceola
Osceola, also known as Billy Powell , became an influential leader with the Seminole in Florida. He was of Creek, Scots-Irish and English parentage, and had migrated to Florida with his mother after the defeat of the Creek in 1814.Osceola led a small band of warriors in the Seminole resistance...

 captured a Florida militia supply train, killing eight of its guards and wounding six others. Most of the goods taken were recovered by the militia in another fight a few days later. Sugar plantations along the Atlantic coast south of St. Augustine were destroyed, with many of the slaves on the plantations joining the Seminoles.

Other warchiefs such as Halleck Tustenuggee
Halleck Tustenuggee
Halleck Tustenuggee was a 19th century Seminole warchief. He fought against the United States government in the Second Seminole War and for the government in the American Civil War.Tustenuggee, translated as "Warrior" or "Grand Chief of War," was a common surname for Seminole warchiefs...

, Jumper, and Black Seminoles
Black Seminoles
The Black Seminoles is a term used by modern historians for the descendants of free blacks and some runaway slaves , mostly Gullahs who escaped from coastal South Carolina and Georgia rice plantations into the Spanish Florida wilderness beginning as early as the late 17th century...

 Abraham and John Horse continued the Seminole resistance against the army. The war ended, after a full decade of fighting, in 1842. The U.S. government is estimated to have spent about $20,000,000 on the war, at the time an astronomical sum, and equal to $ today. Many Indians were forcibly exiled to Creek lands west of the Mississippi; others retreated into the Everglades. In the end, the government gave up trying to subjugate the Seminole in their Everglades redoubts and left fewer than 100 Seminoles in peace. However, other scholars state that at least several hundred Seminoles remained in the Everglades after the Seminole Wars.

As a result of the Seminole Wars, the surviving Seminole band of the Everglades claims to be the only Federally recognized tribe which never relinquished sovereignty or signed a peace treaty with the United States.

Creek dissolution

After the War of 1812, some Muscogee leaders such as William McIntosh signed treaties that ceded more land to Georgia. The 1814 signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson
Treaty of Fort Jackson
The Treaty of Fort Jackson was signed on August 9, 1814 at Fort Jackson near Wetumpka, Alabama following the defeat of the Red Stick resistance by United States allied forces at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. It occurred on the banks of the Tallapoosa River near the present city of Alexander City,...

 signaled the end for the Creek Nation and for all Indians in the South. Friendly Creek leaders, like Selocta and Big Warrior, addressed Sharp Knife (the Indian nickname for Andrew Jackson) and reminded him that they keep the peace. Nevertheless, Jackson retorted that they did not "cut (Tecumseh's
Tecumseh
Tecumseh was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812...

) throat" when they had the chance, so they must now cede Creek lands. Jackson also ignored Article 9 of the Treaty of Ghent
Treaty of Ghent
The Treaty of Ghent , signed on 24 December 1814, in Ghent , was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

 that restored sovereignty to Indians and their nations.
Eventually, the Creek Confederacy enacted a law that made further land cessions a capital offense. Nevertheless, on February 12, 1825, McIntosh and other chiefs signed the Treaty of Indian Springs
Treaty of Indian Springs
There are two Treaties of Indian Springs with the Creek Indians. The first treaty was signed January 8, 1821. In it, the Lower Creek ceded land to the state of Georgia in return for cash payments totaling $200,000 over a period of 14 years...

, which gave up most of the remaining Creek lands in Georgia. After the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, McIntosh was assassinated on May 13, 1825, by Creeks led by Menawa.

The Creek National Council, led by Opothle Yohola
Opothleyahola
Opothleyahola, also spelled Opothle Yohola, Opothleyoholo, Hu-pui-hilth Yahola, and Hopoeitheyohola, was a Muscogee Creek Indian chief, noted as a brilliant orator. He was a speaker of the Upper Creek Council. He led Creek forces against the United States government during the first two Seminole...

, protested to the United States that the Treaty of Indian Springs was fraudulent. President John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

 was sympathetic, and eventually the treaty was nullified in a new agreement, the Treaty of Washington (1826)
Treaty of Washington (1826)
The 1826 Treaty of Washington was a settlement between the United States government and the Creek National Council of Native Americans, led by their spokesman Opothleyahola. The Creeks ceded much of their land in the State of Georgia to the Federal government....

. Writes historian R. Douglas Hurt: "The Creeks had accomplished what no Indian nation had ever done or would do again — achieve the annulment of a ratified treaty." However, Governor Troup of Georgia ignored the new treaty and began to forcibly remove the Indians under the terms of the earlier treaty. At first, President Adams attempted to intervene with federal troops, but Troup called out the militia, and Adams, fearful of a civil war, conceded. As he explained to his intimates, "The Indians are not worth going to war over."

Although the Creeks had been forced from Georgia, with many Lower Creeks moving to the Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

, there were still about 20,000 Upper Creeks living in Alabama. However, the state moved to abolish tribal governments and extend state laws over the Creeks. Opothle Yohola appealed to the administration of President Andrew Jackson for protection from Alabama; when none was forthcoming, the Treaty of Cusseta
Treaty of Cusseta
The Treaty of Cusseta was a treaty between the government of the United States and the Creek Nation signed March 24, 1832. The treaty ceded all Creek claims east of the Mississippi River to the United States.-Origins:...

 was signed on March 24, 1832, which divided up Creek lands into individual allotments. Creeks could either sell their allotments and received funds to remove to the west, or stay in Alabama and submit to state laws. Land speculators and squatters began to defraud Creeks out of their allotments, and violence broke out, leading to the so-called "Creek War of 1836
Creek War of 1836
The Creek War of 1836 was a conflict fought between the Muscogee Creek people and non-Native land speculators and squatters in Alabama in 1836....

". Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

 Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass
Lewis Cass was an American military officer and politician. During his long political career, Cass served as a governor of the Michigan Territory, an American ambassador, a U.S. Senator representing Michigan, and co-founder as well as first Masonic Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan...

 dispatched General Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott
Winfield Scott was a United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852....

 to end the violence by forcibly removing the Creeks to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.

Chickasaw monetary removal

Unlike other tribes who exchanged land grants, the Chickasaw received financial compensation from the United States for their lands east of the Mississippi River. In 1836, the Chickasaws had reached an agreement that purchased land from the previously removed Choctaws after a bitter five-year debate. They paid the Choctaws $530,000 (equal to $ today) for the western most part Choctaw land. The first group of Chickasaws moved in 1837 was led by John M. Millard. The Chickasaws gathered at Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 on July 4, 1837, with all of their assets—belongings, livestock, and slaves. Once across the Mississippi River, they followed routes previously established by Choctaws and Creeks. Once in Indian Territory
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, the Chickasaws merged with the Choctaw nation. After several decades of mistrust, they regained nationhood.

Cherokee forced relocation

In 1838, the Cherokee people were forcibly removed from their lands in the Southeastern United States to the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States
Western United States
.The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 4,000 Cherokees. In the Cherokee language
Cherokee language
Cherokee is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people which uses a unique syllabary writing system. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language that remains spoken. Cherokee is a polysynthetic language.-North American etymology:...

, the event is called Nu na da ul tsun yi—“the Place Where They Cried”. The Cherokee Trail of Tears resulted from the enforcement of the Treaty of New Echota
Treaty of New Echota
The Treaty of New Echota was a treaty signed on December 29, 1835, in New Echota, Georgia by officials of the United States government and representatives of a minority Cherokee political faction, known as the Treaty Party...

, an agreement signed under the provisions of the Indian Removal Act
Indian Removal Act
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, where states were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the Five Civilized Tribes. In particular, Georgia, the largest state at that time, was involved in...

 of 1830, which exchanged Native American land in the East for lands west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, but which was never accepted by the elected tribal leadership or a majority of the Cherokee people.

Tensions between Georgia and the Cherokee Nation were brought to a crisis by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia
Dahlonega, Georgia
Dahlonega is a city in Lumpkin County, Georgia, United States, and is its county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,242....

, in 1829, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush
Georgia Gold Rush
The Georgia Gold Rush was the second significant gold rush in the United States. It started in 1828 in the present day Lumpkin County near county seat Dahlonega, and soon spread through the North Georgia mountains, following the Georgia Gold Belt. By the early 1840s, gold became harder to find...

, the first gold rush
Gold rush
A gold rush is a period of feverish migration of workers to an area that has had a dramatic discovery of gold. Major gold rushes took place in the 19th century in Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and the United States, while smaller gold rushes took place elsewhere.In the 19th and early...

 in U.S. history. Hopeful gold speculators began trespassing on Cherokee lands, and pressure began to mount on the Georgia government to fulfill the promises of the Compact of 1802
Compact of 1802
The Compact of 1802 was a compact made by U.S. president Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the state of Georgia. In it, the United States paid Georgia 1.25 million U.S. dollars for its central and western lands , and promised that the U.S...

.

When Georgia moved to extend state laws over the Cherokee lands in 1830, the matter went to the U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

. In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, , was a United States Supreme Court case. The Cherokee Nation sought a federal injunction against laws passed by the state of Georgia depriving them of rights within its boundaries, but the Supreme Court did not hear the case on its merits...

(1831), the Marshall court
John Marshall
John Marshall was the Chief Justice of the United States whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law and made the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches...

 ruled that the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation (19th century)
The Cherokee Nation of the 19th century —an historic entity —was a legal, autonomous, tribal government in North America existing from 1794–1906. Often referred to simply as The Nation by its inhabitants, it should not be confused with what is known today as the "modern" Cherokee Nation...

 was not a sovereign and independent nation, and therefore refused to hear the case. However, in Worcester v. Georgia
Worcester v. Georgia
Worcester v. Georgia, 31 U.S. 515 , was a case in which the United States Supreme Court vacated the conviction of Samuel Worcester and held that the Georgia criminal statute that prohibited non-Indians from being present on Indian lands without a license from the state was unconstitutional.The...

(1832), the Court ruled that Georgia could not impose laws in Cherokee territory, since only the national government — not state governments — had authority in Indian affairs.

Jackson had no desire to use the power of the national government to protect the Cherokees from Georgia, since he was already entangled with states’ rights
States' rights
States' rights in U.S. politics refers to political powers reserved for the U.S. state governments rather than the federal government. It is often considered a loaded term because of its use in opposition to federally mandated racial desegregation...

 issues in what became known as the nullification crisis
Nullification Crisis
The Nullification Crisis was a sectional crisis during the presidency of Andrew Jackson created by South Carolina's 1832 Ordinance of Nullification. This ordinance declared by the power of the State that the federal Tariff of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within...

. With the Indian Removal Act
Indian Removal Act
The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, where states were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the Five Civilized Tribes. In particular, Georgia, the largest state at that time, was involved in...

 of 1830, the U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 had given Jackson authority to negotiate removal treaties, exchanging Indian land in the East for land west of the Mississippi River. Jackson used the dispute with Georgia to put pressure on the Cherokees to sign a removal treaty.

Nevertheless, the treaty, passed by Congress by a single vote, and signed into law by President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

, was imposed by his successor President Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 who allowed Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, and Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 an armed force of 7,000 made up of militia, regular army, and volunteers under General Winfield Scott to round up about 13,000 Cherokees into concentration camps at the U.S. Indian Agency near Cleveland, Tennessee before being sent to the West. Most of the deaths occurred from disease
Infectious disease
Infectious diseases, also known as communicable diseases, contagious diseases or transmissible diseases comprise clinically evident illness resulting from the infection, presence and growth of pathogenic biological agents in an individual host organism...

, starvation and cold in these camps. Their homes were burned and their property destroyed and plundered. Farms belonging to the Cherokees for generations were won by white settlers in a lottery. After the initial roundup, the U.S. military still oversaw the emigration until they met the forced destination. Private John G. Burnett later wrote, "Future generations will read and condemn the act and I do hope posterity will remember that private soldiers like myself, and like the four Cherokees who were forced by General Scott to shoot an Indian Chief and his children, had to execute the orders of our superiors. We had no choice in the matter."

In the winter of 1838 the Cherokee began the thousand-mile march with scant clothing and most on foot without shoes or moccasins. The march began in Red Clay, Tennessee
Red Clay State Park
Red Clay State Historic Park is located in southern Bradley County in Cleveland, Tennessee. The park is also listed as an interpretive center along the Cherokee Trail of Tears...

, the location of the last Eastern capital of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee were given used blankets from a hospital in Tennessee where an epidemic of small pox had broken out. Because of the diseases, the Indians were not allowed to go into any towns or villages along the way; many times this meant traveling much farther to go around them. After crossing Tennessee and Kentucky, they arrived in Southern Illinois at Golconda
Golconda, Illinois
Golconda is a city in, and the county seat of, Pope County, located along the Ohio River. The population was 726 at the 2000 census. The entire city has been designated a state Historic District.-Geography:Golconda is located at ....

 about the 3rd of December 1838. Here the starving Indians were charged a dollar a head (equal to $ today) to cross the river on "Berry's Ferry" which typically charged twelve cents, equal to $ today. They were not allowed passage until the ferry had serviced all others wishing to cross and were forced to take shelter under "Mantle Rock," a shelter bluff on the Kentucky side, until "Berry had nothing better to do". Many died huddled together at Mantle Rock waiting to cross. Several Cherokee were murdered by locals. The killers filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Government through the courthouse in Vienna
Vienna, Illinois
Vienna is a city in Johnson County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,434 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Johnson County, and the site of two well-known state penitentiaries. Heron Pond - Little Black Slough Nature Preserve, a National Natural Landmark, is nearby. The...

, suing the government for $35 a head (equal to $ today) to bury the murdered Cherokee.

On December 26, Martin Davis, Commissary Agent for Moses Daniel's detachment, wrote:
"There is the coldest weather in Illinois I ever experienced anywhere. The streams are all frozen over something like 8 inches (20.3 cm) or 12 inches (30.5 cm) inches thick. We are compelled to cut through the ice to get water for ourselves and animals. It snows here every two or three days at the fartherest. We are now camped in Mississippi swamp 4 miles (6.4 km) from the river, and there is no possible chance of crossing the river for the numerous quantity of ice that comes floating down the river every day. We have only traveled 65 miles (104.6 km) on the last month, including the time spent at this place, which has been about three weeks. It is unknown when we shall cross the river...."

Removed Cherokees initially settled near Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Tahlequah is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It was founded as a capital of the original Cherokee Nation in 1838 to welcome those Cherokee forced west on the Trail of Tears. The city's population was 15,753 at the 2010 census. It...

. When signing the Treaty of New Echota Major Ridge had said "I have signed my death warrant." Now the resulting political turmoil led to the executions of Major Ridge
Major Ridge
Major Ridge, The Ridge was a Cherokee Indian member of the tribal council, a lawmaker, and a leader. He was a veteran of the Chickamauga Wars, the Creek War, and the First Seminole War.Along with Charles R...

, John Ridge
John Ridge
John Ridge, born Skah-tle-loh-skee , was from a prominent family of the Cherokee Nation, then located in present-day Georgia. He married Sarah Bird Northup, of a New England family, whom he had met while studying at the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut...

, and Elias Boudinot
Elias Boudinot (Cherokee)
Elias Boudinot , was a member of an important Cherokee family in present-day Georgia. They believed that rapid acculturation was critical to Cherokee survival. In 1828 Boudinot became the editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, which was published in Cherokee and English...

; of the leaders of the Treaty Party, only Stand Watie
Stand Watie
Stand Watie , also known as Standhope Uwatie, Degataga , meaning “stand firm”), and Isaac S. Watie, was a leader of the Cherokee Nation and a brigadier general of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War...

 escaped death. The population of the Cherokee Nation eventually rebounded, and today the Cherokees are the largest American Indian group in the United States.

There were some exceptions to removal. Perhaps 100 Cherokees evaded the U.S. soldiers and lived off the land in Georgia and other states. Those Cherokees who lived on private, individually owned lands (rather than communally owned tribal land) were not subject to removal. In North Carolina, about 400 Cherokees, known as the Oconaluftee Cherokee, lived on land in the Great Smoky Mountains
Great Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range rising along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, and form part of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. The range is sometimes called the Smoky Mountains or the...

 owned by a white man named William Holland Thomas
William Holland Thomas
William Holland Thomas was Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and an officer in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War....

 (who had been adopted by Cherokees as a boy), and were thus not subject to removal. Added to this were some 200 Cherokee from the Nantahala area allowed to stay in the Qualla Boundary
Qualla Boundary
The Qualla Boundary is the territory where the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians reside in western North Carolina.-Location:...

 after assisting the U.S. Army in hunting down and capturing the family of the old prophet, Tsali. (Tsali faced a firing squad.) These North Carolina Cherokees became the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians , is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States of America, who are descended from Cherokee who remained in the Eastern United States while others moved, or were forced to relocate, to the west in the 19th century. The history of the...

.


Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

In 1987, about 2200 miles of trails were authorized by Federal law to mark the removal of seventeen detachments of the Cherokee people. Called the "Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
National Historic Trail
National Historic Trail is a designation for a protected area in the United States containing historic trails and surrounding areas. They are part of the National Trails System....

," it traverses portions of nine states and includes land and water routes.

Terminology of forced relocation

The latter forced relocations have sometimes been referred to as a "death march
Death march
A death march is a forced march of prisoners of war or other captives or deportees. Those marching must walk over long distances for an extremely long period of time and are not supplied with food or water...

", in particular with reference to the Cherokee march across the Midwest in 1838, which occurred on a predominantly land route. However the use of this term is heavily disputed, because a death march is typically defined as a forced march in which the captors show either depraved indifference to the lives of the persons during the course of the march, or actively attempt to reduce their numbers, e.g., by the execution of stragglers or those who attempt to leave the march. However, missionaries traveled along with the march as humanitarian observers, and documented the resulting conditions, as did the Native leaders themselves. It was latterly described as an act of genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 by Alfred Cave in 2003.

Tribesmen who had means initially conducted their own removal. Contingents that were led by conductors from the U.S. Army included those led by Edward Deas, who was claimed to be a sympathizer for the Cherokee plight. The largest death toll from the Cherokee forced relocation comes from the period after the May 23, 1838 deadline. This was at the point when the remaining Cherokee were rounded into camps and pressed into oversized detachments, often over 700 in size (larger than Little Rock or Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 at that time). Communicable diseases spread quickly through these closely quartered groups, killing many. These contingents were among the last to move, but following the same routes the others had taken; the areas they were going through had been depleted of supplies due to the vast numbers that had gone before them. The marchers were subject to extortion and violence along the route. In addition, these final contingents were forced to set out during the hottest and coldest months of the year, killing many. Exposure to the elements, disease and starvation, harassment by local frontiersmen, and insufficient rations similarly killed up to one-third of the Choctaw and other nations on the march.

It has also been claimed by descendants of the survivors that the term "Trail of Tears" referred to the tears of those who witnessed the suffering of the marchers, and that the Native Americans themselves marched in silence.

There exists some debate among historians and the affected tribes as to whether the term "Trail of Tears" should be used to refer to the entire history of forced relocations from the United States east of the Mississippi into Indian Territory
Indian Territory
The Indian Territory, also known as the Indian Territories and the Indian Country, was land set aside within the United States for the settlement of American Indians...

 (as was the stated U.S. policy), or to the Five Tribes
Five Civilized Tribes
The Five Civilized Tribes were the five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—that were considered civilized by Anglo-European settlers during the colonial and early federal period because they adopted many of the colonists' customs and had generally good...

 described above, to the route of the land march specifically, or to specific marches in which the remaining holdouts from each area were rounded up.

See also

  • Indian removal
    Indian Removal
    Indian removal was a nineteenth century policy of the government of the United States to relocate Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the river...

  • Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

    , the modern term for the forced relocation of a people
  • Hopkinsville, Kentucky
    Hopkinsville, Kentucky
    Hopkinsville is a city in Christian County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 31,577 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Christian County.- History :...

  • Population transfer
    Population transfer
    Population transfer is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion...

  • Timeline of Cherokee removal
    Timeline of Cherokee removal
    This is a timeline of events leading up to and extending away from the Treaty of New Echota from the time of first contact to the treaty of reunion after the American Civil War.-1540–1775:...



Documents


Documentary

  • The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
    The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
    The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy is a 2006 documentary by director Chip Richie. It presents the history of the forcible removal and relocation of Cherokee people from southeastern states of the United States to territories west of the Mississippi River, particularly to the Indian Territory in...

    (2006) - directed by Chip Richie; narrated by James Earl Jones
    James Earl Jones
    James Earl Jones is an American actor. He is well-known for his distinctive bass voice and for his portrayal of characters of substance, gravitas and leadership...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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