I witnessed the the execution of the most brutal order in the history of American warfare. I saw the helpless Cherokees arrested and dragged from their homes, and driven at the bayonet point into the stockades. And in the chill of a drizzling rain on an October morning I saw them loaded like cattle or sheep into six hundred and forty-five wagons and headed for the West.Read also the eyewitness account by Lucy Ames Butler, whose husband was a missionary with the Cherokee. He was later an instructor at the Cherokee Female Seminary in Tallequah, Okla. Now known as Northeastern State University, it is the oldest college in Oklahoma and one of the first institutions of higher education established west of the Mississippi River.
At the same time as the Trail of Tears, the Potawatami Indians of northern Indiana were removed by the U.S. Army to what is now Kansas. Be sure to read a letter from Father Benjamin Marie Petit, the Indians' parish priest, describing the march; and a diary kept by Jesse C. Douglas, enrolling agent under Gen. John Tipton, who conducted the forced removal. Follow the links to find out what the newspapers in Springfield and Quincy had to say about the march. (The Sangamo Journal, which is one of the papers you will read, is where the "Journal" in the State Journal-Register's name comes from, by the way.) The documents were compiled by "Mr. Foley" (whose first name I was unable to find), a middle school teacher in Urbana.