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The Trail of Tears in Bradley County

The Trail of Tears is one of the most tragic, upsetting, yet significant chapters in
American history. The forced Removal of Native Americans from their traditional
homes to lands distant in the west was a denial of our faith in justice, property rights, and
democratic governance. In fact, the assault on valued principles represented by the
Removal and then the Trail of Tears led generations of Americans to ignore that past in
a vain hope that people would forget about these events.
The Cherokee and other affected Native American nations did not forget nor did
a determined group of Bradley County citizens ignore the importance of the sites that
still silently mark the Removal and the Trail of Tears. In the past year, they have jointly
worked to make the significance of the Trail of greater concern to their neighbors, their
communities, their local officials, and now the nation. Bradley County residents decided
this story needed to be told. In their words, “The designation and interpretation of the
sites and trails associated with the Cherokee Removal have and will continue to enhance
the public understanding of American history. It is important that we examine history
objectively and in proper perspective, ever mindful of the past in order not to be
condemned to repeat them.

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