Cherokee Nation Case Study

How did many members of the Cherokee Nation, who originally lived in parts of what are now Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama, end up living in Oklahoma? These sources allow you to further investigate this story of American Indian Removal.

In the end, most Cherokee people had to give up their homelands. The arrows shown on the map represent the removal, but not the specific routes that the Cherokee Nation took.

Be the Geographer

What does this Cherokee Removal map tell you?

  1. Where did the Cherokee Nation removal start and where did it end?
  2. Approximately how many states did the Cherokee Nation removal cross and what were they?
  3. Challenge Question
  4. About how many miles did the Cherokee people have to travel on either path they took to their new lands west of the Mississippi River?
Cherokee map

Removal of the Cherokee Nation was mandated by the Treaty of New Echota (1835), in which a small, unauthorized group of Cherokees agreed to relinquish the nation’s southeastern lands for new lands in Indian Territory. Although 15,000 Cherokees condemned the treaty, the U.S. Senate approved it by a one-vote margin.

Gene Thorp/Cartographic Concepts, Inc. © Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian.

print Cherokee map