Choctaw Removal -- Talimena National Scenic Byway Visitor Center, Talihina OK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 34° 45.193 W 095° 02.957
15S E 312425 N 3847588
The exhibit on the Choctaw tribe's removal along the Trail of Tears at the Talimena National Scenic Byway Visitor Center in Talihina, OK
Waymark Code: WMX7BM
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 12/07/2017
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Bernd das Brot Team
Views: 0

This area of the Talimena National Scenic Byway Visitor Center in Talihina, OK is dedicated to the history of the Choctaw National and the Choctaw people, whose sovereign tribal lands the byway is located in.

The Talimena Scenic Byway is not just about the pretty vistas and scenery. It's also a place steeped in history and, in places, tragedy.

The Trail of Tears exhibit panel reads as follows:

(Long Walk, Many Tears)

President Andrew Jackson supported forced removal and with the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek (1830), the Chahta lost the last of their lands in the East - opening the door for removal to begin.

The war Department consider the Choctaw people to be the perfect choice for the first attempt at removal. They were a large, friendly, civilized and relatively stationary group of people; they live further west than the other southeastern tribes. Forced removal began in earnest in 1831. It established a pattern of federal treatment toward the American Indian, which affected almost every Indian nation in the country from that time forward.

Chahta communities were separated -- family and friends scattered; the familiarity of a homeland left behind. The long walk claimed many lives. It stunted the growth of national pride and trampled a centuries old culture. However, it never completely subdued the Choctaws, nor totally destroy their cultural identity. Through determination and perseverance the Choctaw people survive to rebuild their lives, both in Oklahoma and in Mississippi.

[map of removal routes]
your system numerous routes were taken during the Choctaw removal. Red lines represent routes over land, which accounted for the majority of the journey; however some boats were used in various stages. Blue lines represent River travel when utilized.

In early 1831 the federal census of Choctaws living in Mississippi recorded 18,626 Choctaw men, women and children. The Department of war plan to move about one third of the tribe each year. Forced to leave their homeland in the late fall, each group faced hardships. They traveled several routes over land, sometimes boarding steamboats at the Mississippi River. Wagons and horses were in short supply, so young and old alike walked most of the 550 miles to Indian territory.

Records indicate that about 12,000 Choctaws left Mississippi. Upon arrival in Indian territory, the government could not account for nearly 4000 of them. Many perished. Some turned back to Mississippi, while others stayed and states along the way. A few even decided to try their luck with the Mexican government and headed to Texas.

The first group left their homeland in late fall of 1831, led by government hired civilians. They faced” . . . The worst (winter) ever witnessed in the area,” suffering through zero degree weather with little shelter, and few blankets, shoes or winter clothing.

Federal soldiers led the second group of Choctaws in 1832. Upon reaching the Mississippi River, they encountered an epidemic of cholera. The soldiers tried to change routes to avoid the sickness, but hadn’t planned for the change. Supplies and food quickly became scarce. Heavy rains turned the roads into huge mud holes, slowing travel to a snail’s pace.

As word of the previous trips spread among the Choctaw people, fewer than 1000 gathered for removal in 1833. The military had planned for over 3000, making conditions better for the final group. This last “official” group of Choctaws made the trip and slightly over 2 months -- as opposed to the 5 or 6 months needed for each of the first 2 removals.

“Our doom is sealed. There is no other course for us but to turn our faces to our new homes, toward the setting sun.”
Chief David Folsom to Presbyterian ministers, 1831"
Routes: Water Route

Address if available:
Talimena Scenic Byway Visitor Center
OK SH 1 at First St
Talihina , OK

Additional Information:

Marker Website: [Web Link]

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

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Benchmark Blasterz visited Choctaw Removal -- Talimena National Scenic Byway Visitor Center, Talihina OK 11/11/2017 Benchmark Blasterz visited it