May 28, 1830

Map showing the Cherokee Trail of Tears and other forced relocation marches.
The Indian Removal Act led to the Cherokee Trail of Tears and other forced relocation marches.

The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands which is today‚Äôs southeastern United States. This act led to the infamous Cherokee Trail of Tears. Other tribes that were moved include the Choctaw, Seminoles, Creek, and Chickasaw. 

The Trail of Tears, painting by Robert Lindneux, 1942
Trail of Tears, painting by Robert Lindneux, 1942

Read more about the Indian Removal Act at Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.

The full text of the Indian Removal Act is available on the Library of Congress’ website.

View Teaching Resources from the National Museum of the American Indian.

View the NPR story Indian Territory: Tracing the Path to Oklahoma.

Map and painting credit: National Library of Medicine

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