This year marks the 175th anniversary of this forced removal, commonly known as the Trail of Tears.
In an effort to raise visibility and awareness of this historic event, the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service worked to produce a new driving tour brochure highlighting Tennessee’s Trail of Tears sites.
Tennessee has more certified sites on the nine-state Trail of Tears National Historic Trail than any other state but it did not have a specific state guide telling residents and visitors where to follow the Trail.
“This new brochure is exactly what we’ve needed,” stated Wally Leary, president of the Tennessee Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association.
“What happened in Tennessee in 1838 on the Trail of Tears is at the forefront of the bigger story of Cherokee removal,” argues MTSU’s Dr. Carroll Van West, the Tennessee State Historian.
“This new driving tour brochure is part of the Center for Historic Preservation’s efforts to share important national stories and places with Tennesseans and the many heritage tourists who come to our state.”
Amy Kostine, Trail of Tears project historian at the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation, wrote the text and gathered images for the brochure, and staff at the National Park Service National Trails Intermountain Region worked on the design, which compliments the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Official Map and Guide.
The Center for Historic Preservation funded the initial printing of 35,000 brochures, which are available at trail sites, such as the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park, Hiwassee River Heritage Center, Audubon Acres, Red Clay State Historic Park, David Crockett State Park, Giles County Trail of Tears Memorial Park, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, and Port Royal State Historic Park.