Are you Ready To Ride? The Trail of Tears Is Here

by Lynn McMillen
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The 2012 Trail of Tears Remembrance Ride will start in Chattanooga, TN, and follow scenic highway41/72 around Lookout Mt. to Jasper, TN. In Jasper, the ride will leave the Drane Hood route and followHighway 41 to Monteagle, TN. This route is one of the most scenic and historic routes in the state. Asthe ride comes off Monteagle Mt., it will pass through Cowan, TN and on to Winchester TN. We will take highway 64 at Winchester, which is the Bell Removal route. This route went from Calhoun, TN to Memphis, TN. We will remain on the Bell route to Fayetteville, TN where we will stop for lunch, gas, and restrooms. Official Trail of Tears Remembrance merchandise will be available during our stop at Fayetteville. We will depart at 11:30 or 12:00 C.S.T. (Note: West bound off bypass from Lincoln County Junior High School to US 64 will be “motorcycles only).
Upon departure, we will follow highway 64 to Pulaski, TN, the only point at which 2 land removal routes
cross; the Benge and Bell routes. This is a historical point on the Trail of Tears. We will continue on
highway 64 to Lawrenceburg, where the Trail of Tears was routed through downtown. Lawrenceburg
holds a Trail of Tears reenactment each year in November. From Lawrenceburg we will head south on
highway 43 to Florence, AL and the end of the main ride at McFarland Park.
The last stop for Saturday’s official ride is McFarland Park in Florence, AL, we will arrive at approximately
2:30 p.m. CST. RIDE SAFE.

There is no registration fee. The ride will be police escorted and riders will be required to obey all law
enforcement orders. Riders need to remember that helmets are required; they need to keep up with the
pack and always stay in the right lane.
The Official TOT Kickoff Party will be held on Friday, September 14, 2012 at Thunder Creek Harley
Davidson on Lee Highway. The party will feature live entertainment, vendors, lots of great food and cold
beverages. Visit or call 423.892.4888 for more information.

At the finish in Florence, AL, there will be plenty of fun to welcome all riders. The two day
festivities (Sept. 14, & 15) – Native American & Motorcycle vendors, a Pow Wow, storytellers,
beadwork activities, exhibition dancing and great food will be open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. All area schools
are invited on Friday afternoon for a day of education in Native American Culture.
On Sunday Sept. 16 the “Extended Ride” will continue on to Wewoka, Oklahoma. This will complete visits
to the Nations of the five civilized tribes. Please visit our website for information and details.

For more information visit or call toll free 1.877.TOT.TRIP (868-8747)






Indian Removal Act of 1830 called for the voluntary
or forcible removal of all Indians from the eastern United
States to the state of Oklahoma. May of 1838 marked the
deadline for voluntary native removal, many people agreed
to move, however many refused. The military was prepared
to use force and did so under the command of General Winfield
Scott. General Scott ordered the round-up and removal
of over 17,000 Cherokees who refused to leave. So began
the Cherokee “Trail of Tears,” one of the darkest episodes in
relations between the United States and Native Americans.
The process was swift and brutal. Detachments of soldiers
arrived at every Cherokee house and drove men, women,
and children out of their homes with only the clothes
on their backs. They were forced into encampments while
awaiting removal. The first group was taken by boat across
Alabama after leaving Ross’s landing. Great hardship and
death became part of their journey. Food and supplies were
limited and disease was rampant. Because of so much hardship,
all remaining were carried on different routes. As many
as 4,000 deaths occurred because of this forced removal of
civilized Native Americans from their rightful homes.
The Creeks were from Alabama and Georgia. They gave
up millions of acres of land and homes. Many were put into
chains and taken to Oklahoma. Over 14,000 were removed,
with over 3,500 dying. They traveled thru the Tuscumbia
area and camped near Spring Park.
The Chickasaw were people from Alabama, Tennessee,
and Kentucky. They also suffered the same indignation.
The Choctaw were from Alabama and Mississippi. Over
14,000 were sent to Oklahoma, however approx. 5,000
remained in Mississippi and lower Alabama.
During the Seminole removal from Florida, a group split
and entered into the swamps. There they fought the U. S. for
7 years, and were never conquered.
Join us as we honor those from the past who traveled
this Trail of Tears. Let us learn from this mistake, accept
each other as we are, and walk together in peace

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