The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831.
Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation on the route to their destinations. Many died, including 60,000 of the 130,000 relocated Cherokee, intermarried and accompanying European-Americans, and the 2,000 African-American free blacks and slaves owned by the Cherokee they took with them. European Americans and African American freedmen and slaves also participated in the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Seminole forced relocations.