On September 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Trail of Tears Documentation Act” (H.R. 5335), legislation that directs the National Park Service to add routes to the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The current trail remains unmodified since its original designation in 1987 and omits several paths of forced relocation taken by the Cherokee Indians.
The bill, introduced by Representative Zach Wamp (TN) HR 5335 reveals the historical significance behind many of the undesignated landscapes, telling a sad but important story of interment, persecution, and expulsion. “The Trail of Tears” is the route taken by the Cherokee Indians in 1838-1839, when they were forced to leave their homes in the East, and sent to so-called “Indian Territory” – currently Oklahoma.