Western Kentucky’s role in Trail of Tears recognized: [cherokeephoenix.org] The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Indian nations to areas west of the Mississippi River following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Those who were relocated suffered from exposure, disease and starvation on the trek from their ancestral lands in Southeastern states, and more than 10,000 died.
The Cherokee removal in 1838 took the lives of more than 2,000 of 16,500 people forced to leave their homeland.
According to the Kentucky Great River Region Organization, the Benge group arrived in Columbus in mid-November 1838 and awaited transport across the Mississippi River by ferry to Belmont, Missouri. The Cherokees most likely spent several days camped around the ferry landing in the area of what is now the state park.
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