On the 28th of May 1830, the president at the time, Andrew Jackson, signed into effect a now controversial law. This law was the Indian Removal Act which allowed the removal of Native Americans from their homes to lands west of the Mississippi River. One tribe who was forcefully removed from their homes was the Choctaw Indian peoples of Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama. When the United States government made them leave their homes, they had to give up almost 11 million acres of land.
It was decided that it would be easiest to move the Choctaws in groups of 3 with the first attempt starting on November 1st 1831(Greenwood, 1). The Choctaw Indians were moved from their homes to the plains of modern day Oklahoma but this trip was so harsh that it was later coined the Trail of Tears. They had two weeks to prepare for the journey to come, so many gathered their crops, gathered their belongings, and sell their property so they would be able to get to the ferry points on the 1st (Greenwood, 4). They were told not to bring their livestock because they would be provided with livestock once they got to the promised, Choctaw Nation in the West (Greenwood, 4).
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One plan was if the Indians wanted, they could walk and they would be provided with ten dollars’ worth of gold, a brand new rifle, and three months’ worth of rifle ammunition and gun powder(Greenwood, 5).. Also, along the way, they would have a guide and would be provided with food (Greenwood, 5). Approximately 300 of them saw this plan as a great idea, but the weather became unbearable (Greenwood, 5). The plan for everyone else was to be moved by wagon from the Memphis area to their destination (Greenwood, 2). This didn’t go as planned. A horrific rain storm came in when they planned to leave (Greenwood, 7). Instead, the people in charge of being sure everyone left decided that they should move by steamboat (Greenwood,
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