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Indian Removal Act: Primary Documents in American History

This guide contains digital materials at the Library of Congress related to the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and its after-effects, as well as links to external websites and a selected print bibliography.

Introduction

The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the "Trail of Tears."