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The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced the indigenous nations

to leave Missouri and resettle in Indian Territory.

(Courtesy of Missouri Bicentennial Timeline)

“The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced the indigenous people who once inhabited land in Missouri to leave and resettle in Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas). The removal process, however, began long before U.S. President Andrew Jackson signed the 1830 removal act. It was a policy introduced by President Thomas Jefferson and was largely carried out by treaties in Missouri supervised by William Clark as superintendent of Indian affairs. About 30 years before the last removal, the Indigenous Nations in the Missouri Territory at the time of the Louisiana Purchase included Sac and Fox, Ioway, Little Osage and Great Osage, Kickapoo, Shawnee, Delaware and Quapaw.

Skirmishes and fighting ensued as the U.S. government expanded westward and other nations would be pushed from the East to Missouri. The military imprisoned the famous War Chief Black Hawk in St. Louis at the end of the Black Hawk War in 1832. The Trail of Tears, as a result of the 1930 act, forced Eastern indigenous nations to relocate to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). One of the routes traversed the southern part of Missouri, where many lives were lost crossing the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau County during the harsh winters of 1838 and 1839. An estimated 4,000 Cherokees lost their lives on the Trail of Tears from Tennessee to Oklahoma.”

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