Trail of Tears — Land Route
After passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the United States government forced tens of thousands of American Indians to leave their ancestral lands in the Southeast for new homes in Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). They traveled over established land and water routes, all of which led through Arkansas. Rather than risk disease and other hazards of summer travel, many groups left in the fall and faced, instead, treacherous winter weather. Thousands died during the ordeal — remembered today as the Trail of Tears.
Despite the hardships of the journey, the people of the five tribes of the Southeast established new lives in the West. They stand now as successful sovereign nations, proudly preserving cultural traditions, while adapting to the challenges of the 21st century.