Trail of Tears

a series of forced relocations of several Indian nations by the U.S. government in the 1830s and 1840s, following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The tribes forcibly removed during this time were the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole. The phrase “Trail of Tears” originated from an 1838 description of the Choctaw nation removal, in which one Choctaw chief told a newspaper that the forced migration was a “trail of tears and death.”