Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives

Microfilmed Records Pertaining to Cherokee Removal, 1836-1839

The New Echota Treaty of May 1836 fixed the time after which Cherokee Indians who refused to leave their land in Alabama and Georgia voluntarily would be removed by force. In 1838 the War Department issued orders for General Winfield Scott to removed the remaining 2,000 Cherokees to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). There is no comprehensive list of all persons involved in the movement of the Cherokee to Oklahoma (often referred to as the "Trail of Tears"). The following microfilm publications are a good place to begin an examination of the Cherokee disturbances and removal between 1836 and 1839.

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Microfilm Publication Title Microfilm Pub ID / Catalog Info Online Catalog Descriptions
Census Roll of Cherokee Indians East of the Mississippi and Index to the Roll, 1835 T496

 

Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881 M234:
M234A
M234B
M234C
M234D
M234E
View series in Online Catalog
Records of the Office of Indian Affairs Registers of Letters Received, 1824-1880 M18

 

Records of the Southern Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1832-1870 M640

 

Documents Relating to the Negotiation of Ratified and Unratified Treaties with Various Indian Tribes, 1801-1869 T494 View series in Online Catalog
Special Files of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1807-1904 M574 View series in Online Catalog
Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency in Tennessee, 1801-1835 M208

 

Military Records - Records of Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson served as the primary military staging area in the west during the Cherokee emigration. The forces in this post helped shield the Cherokees from the hostile Osage tribe during their trek to the Indian Territory, administered supplies, and dealt with rivalries among the Cherokees.

Microfilm Publication Title Microfilm Pub ID / Catalog Info Online Catalog Descriptions
Headquarters Records, Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, 1830-1857 M1466 View series in the Online Catalog
Returns From U.S. Military Posts, 1800-1916 M617:
M617A
M617B
M617C
M617D
M617E
M617F
M617G
M617H
View series in the Online Catalog

Other Military Records

Microfilm Publication Title Microfilm Pub ID / Catalog Info Online Catalog Descriptions
Correspondence of the Eastern Division Pertaining to Cherokee Removal, April-December, 1838 M1475

 

Additional resources on the National Archives web site:

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