Arkansas Trail of Tears

Learn the Trail of Tears history, as you follow the Arkansas Trail of Tears, along which Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole Indians traveled in the 1830s.

The Trail of Tears History

Following the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828, long-held desires for the lands of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole Indians came to fruition with the federal Indian Removal Act of 1830. This act allowed the forcible removal of the five tribes to new lands in the Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma). All five tribes passed through Arkansas, and many of the territory's most prominent figures made substantial fortunes from removal.

In 1830, the Choctaw were the first of the five major Southeast tribes to agree to a removal treaty, emigrating in three official waves in 1831, 1832, and 1833. Fraud involved in Choctaw allotments resulted in the issuance in 1842 of so-called Choctaw Scrip, which speculators could trade to buy land in Arkansas and three other states.

Some Muscogee (Creek) bands began moving west in 1827 after the tribe was forced out of Georgia. Those emigrating after an 1832 treaty ceded Creek land in Alabama were among the most destitute and most numerous traveling through Arkansas. Most had to walk, some in chains as prisoners of war, and their journeys in 1834, 1836, and 1837 were made more miserable by the negligence of private contractors.

After agreeing to a final session in 1832, the Chickasaw Nation negotiated its own removal in 1837–38, hoping to avoid the problems suffered by earlier emigrants. A small group of Florida Indians signed a removal treaty in 1833, but most resisted emigration, sparking the so-called Second Seminole War (1835–1842), one of the most expensive in U.S. history. Cherokee leaders fought removal in the courts and in Congress, contesting Georgia laws and an unauthorized 1835 treaty. Unable to elude expulsion, the Cherokee Nation organized its own removal in 1838–39.

Hundreds of members of each of the tribes died of hardship and disease on the long trek to Indian Territory, and many more died of hardship in their new land. The removal of the southeastern tribes is memorialized as the "Trail of Tears."

ARKANSAS TRAIL OF TEARS ROUTES

Bell Route - Start at the Tennessee border follow Military Road to Marion then Hwy 64 to Ebony then Hwy 218 to Bing's Store Road cross overpass onto US 70 through Madison to Forrest City then Hwy 1 to Hwy 284 to Hwy 306 through Colt to Hunter then Hwy 39 to Brinkley then US 70 to Hwy 17 to Hwy 241 to Clarendon then US 79 to Hwy 33 to DeVall's Bluff then US 70 through Hazen, Carlisle to Lonoke then Hwy 89 to Furlow then Hwy 294 to Jacksonville then Hwy 161 to Prothro Junction then US 70 through Rose City to North Little Rock then Main Street to Pershing Boulevard to Hwy 365 through Maumelle, Mayflower to US 65 through Conway then Hwy 64 through Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins, Russellville, Clarkesville, Altus, Ozark to Alma then US 71 to Hwy 282 to Rudy then Hwy 348 to Figure Five then Hwy 59 through Natural Dam ending at Evansville.

Benge Route - Start at Pitman on the Pitman Road at the Arkansas/Missouri border to Supply then Hwy 166 then Hwy 328 through Maynard to Hwy 251 to Hwy 115 through Pocahontas to US 62 to Imboden then Hwy 115 to Smithville then Hwy 117 to Hwy 115 to Cave City:

    Two Routes follow from here:
  1. From Cave City on US 167 south through Batesville to Business Hwy 69 to Hwy 69 through Cushman to the intersection of Hwy 69 and Hwy 58 near Mt. Pleasant.
  2. From Cave City north on US 167 to Hwy 58 to the intersection of Hwy 69 and Hwy 58 near Mt. Pleasant.
  3. Follow Hwy 69 to Melbourne then Hwy 9 to County Road 12 to County Road 13 through Boswell to Creswell then County Road 1808 to Calico Rock then Hwy 56 to Pineville then Hwy 177 to Ellis then Hwy 5 to Hwy 201 to US 62 through Mountain Home, Cotter, Gassville to Flippin then Hwy 178 to Hwy 202 through Summit to US 62 to Harrison then Hwy 392 to US 62 through Alpena to US 412 to US 412 Business through Huntsville then Hwy 74 to Hwy 16 through Fayetteville then US 62 through Farmington and Prairie Grove:
    Two routes follow from here to the state line:
  1. From Prairie Grove on US 62 through Lincoln to Westville in Oklahoma.
  2. From Prairie Grove US 62 to Hwy 45 through Cane Hill to Hale Mountain Road to Vineyard Road to Hwy 59 into Evansville.
Northen Route - Start on the Old Wire Road at the Arkansas/Missouri border to US 62 to Brightwater:

    Two routes follow from here to the state line:
  1. From Brightwater on Sugar Creek Road to Hwy 72 through Bentonville, Hiwasse, Gravette to Maysville.
  2. From Brightwater on the Old Wire Road to Rogers then Arkansas Road to Oak Street to C Street to Monte Street to Old Wire Road through Cross Hollow to Springdale then Mill Road to Emma Street to US 71 Business to Johnson then Main Street to Greathouse Springs Road to Hwy 112 to Howard Nickell Road to Salem Road then Mount Comfort Road to Rupple Road to Hwy 16 into White Rock then Double Springs Road to US 62 into Farmington.
    Two Routes follow from here to the state line:
  1. From Prairie Grove on US 62 through Lincoln to Westville in Oklahoma.
  2. From Prairie Grove US 62 to Hwy 45 through Cane Hill to Hale Mountain Road to Vineyard Road to Hwy 59 into Evansville.

Seminole - Starting at the state line in Chicot County follow the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River then the Arkansas River to the state line in Crawford County.

Additional Route - Starting at Roseville on the Arkansas River follow Hwy 288 to Hwy 41 to Hwy 60 then Military Road to Hwy 96 through Lavaca to Hwy 255 (Old Military Road) to Hwy 22 through Fort Smith to the Arkansas River.

Chickasaw - Starting at West Memphis follow the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River then the Arkansas River to the state line in Crawford County.

Additional Route - Start at the Tennessee border follow Military Road to Marion then Hwy 64 to Ebony then Hwy 218 to Bing's Store Road cross overpass onto US 70 through Madison to Forrest City then Hwy 1 to Hwy 284 to Hwy 306 through Colt to Hunter then Hwy 39 to Brinkley then US 70 to Hwy 17 to Hwy 241 to Clarendon then US 79 to Hwy 33 to DeVall's Bluff then US 70 through Hazen, Carlisle to Lonoke then Hwy 89 to Furlow then Hwy 294 to Jacksonville then Hwy 161 to Prothro Junction then US 70 through Rose City to North Little Rock:

    Two Routes follow from here:
  1. From North Little Rock then Main Street to Pershing Boulevard to Hwy 365 through Maumelle, Mayflower to US 65 through Conway then Hwy 64 through Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins to Pottsville then Hwy 247 to Hwy 7 into Dardanelle then Hwy 22 through Paris to Charleston then Hwy 217 to Hwy 60 then Military Road to Hwy 96 through Lavaca to Hwy 255 (Old Military Road) to Hwy 22 through Fort Smith to the Arkansas River.
  2. From North Little Rock then Broadway Street cross the Arkansas River to West 17th Street to Wright Avenue to Hwy 5 (Colonel Glenn and Old Stagecoach Road) through Bryant to Benton then Military Road to Main Street to South Street to Hwy 229 to US 67 then Old Military Road to Rockport then Hwy 84 to Social Hill then Old Military Road to US 67 to Caddo Valley then Old Military Road to Hwy 8 then Mt Olive road to Hollywood then Hwy 26 through Murfreesboro to US 371 to Lockesburg then US 71 to De Queen then US 70 to the Arkansas border.
    1. Muscogee - Starting at West Memphis follow the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River then the Arkansas River to the state line in Crawford County.

      Additional Route - Starting at the state line in Chicot County follow the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River then the Arkansas River to the state line in Crawford County.

      Additional Route - Start at the Tennessee border follow Military Road to Marion then Hwy 64 to Ebony then Hwy 218 to Bing's Store Road cross overpass onto US 70 through Madison to Forrest City then Hwy 1 to Hwy 284 to Hwy 306 through Colt to Hunter then Hwy 39 to Brinkley then US 70 to Hwy 17 to Hwy 241 to Clarendon then US 79 to Hwy 33 to DeVall's Bluff then US 70 through Hazen, Carlisle:

        Two routes follow from here:
      1. From Carlisle on US 70 to Lonoke then Hwy 89 to Furlow then Hwy 294 to Jacksonville then Hwy 161 to Prothro Junction then US 70 through Rose City to North Little Rock then Main Street to Pershing Boulevard to Hwy 365 through Maumelle, Mayflower to US 65 through Conway then Hwy 64 through Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins, Russellville, Clarkesville, Altus, Ozark to Alma then US 71 to Hwy 282 to Rudy then Hwy 348 to Figure Five then Hwy 59 to Hwy 220 (Uniontown Highway) through Dripping Springs and Uniontown to the Arkansas border.
      2. From Carlisle on Hwy 13 to Hwy 236 to Hwy 31 to Hwy 321 to Hwy 231 to Hwy 38 to Old Austin then Hwy 319 through Ward to Funston then Hwy 107 to Vilonia then US 64 through Conway, Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins, Russellville, Clarkesville, Altus, Ozark to Alma then US 71 to Hwy 282 to Rudy then Hwy 348 to Figure Five then Hwy 59 to Hwy 220 (Uniontown Highway) through Dripping Springs and Uniontown to the Arkansas border.
      Additional Route - Start at the Arkansas Post National Memorial on Hwy 169 to Hwy 1 through Gillet then Hwy 152 to Hwy 11 through Stuttgart to US 70 through Hazen, Carlisle to Lonoke then Hwy 89 to Furlow then Hwy 294 to Jacksonville then Hwy 161 to Prothro Junction then US 70 through Rose City to North Little Rock then Main Street to Pershing Boulevard to Hwy 365 through Maumelle, Mayflower to US 65 through Conway then Hwy 64 through Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins, Russellville, Clarkesville, Altus, Ozark to Alma then US 71 to Hwy 282 to Rudy then Hwy 348 to Figure Five then Hwy 59 to Hwy 220 (Uniontown Highway) through Dripping Springs and Uniontown to the Arkansas border.

      Choctaw - Starting at West Memphis follow the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River then the Arkansas River to the state line in Crawford County.

      Additional Route - Starting at the state line in Chicot County follow the Mississippi River to the Arkansas River then the Arkansas River to the state line in Crawford County.

      Additional Route - Start at the Tennessee border follow Military Road to Marion then Hwy 64 to Ebony then Hwy 218 to Bing's Store Road cross overpass onto US 70 through Madison to Forrest City then Hwy 1 to Hwy 284 to Hwy 306 through Colt to Hunter then Hwy 39 to Brinkley then US 70 to Hwy 17 to Hwy 241 to Clarendon then US 79 to Hwy 33 to DeVall's Bluff then US 70 through Hazen, Carlisle:

      1. From Carlisle on US 70 to Lonoke then Hwy 89 to Furlow then Hwy 294 to Jacksonville then Hwy 161 to Prothro Junction then US 70 through Rose City to North Little Rock then Main Street to Pershing Boulevard to Hwy 365 through Maumelle, Mayflower to US 65 through Conway then Hwy 64 through Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins to Pottsville then Hwy 247 to Hwy 7 into Dardanelle then Hwy 22 through Paris to Charleston then Hwy 217 to Hwy 60 then Military Road to Hwy 96 through Lavaca to Hwy 255 (Old Military Road) to Hwy 22 through Fort Smith to the Arkansas River.
      2. From Carlisle on Hwy 13 to Hwy 236 to Hwy 31 to Hwy 321 to Hwy 231 to Hwy 38 to Old Austin then Hwy 319 through Ward to Funston then Hwy 107 to Vilonia then US 64 through Conway, Menifee, Plummerville, Morrilton, Atkins to Pottsville then Hwy 247 to Hwy 7 into Dardanelle then Hwy 22 through Paris to Charleston then Hwy 217 to Hwy 60 then Military Road to Hwy 96 through Lavaca to Hwy 255 (Old Military Road) to Hwy 22 through Fort Smith to the Arkansas River.
      3. From Carlisle on US 70 to Lonoke then Hwy 89 to Furlow then Hwy 294 to Jacksonville then Hwy 161 to Prothro Junction then US 70 through Rose City to North Little Rock then Broadway Street cross the Arkansas River to West 17th Street to Wright Avenue to Hwy 5 (Colonel Glenn and Old Stagecoach Road) through Bryant to Benton then Military Road to Main Street to South Street to Hwy 229 to US 67 then Old Military Road to Rockport then Hwy 84 to Social Hill then Old Military Road to US 67 to Caddo Valley then Old Military Road to Hwy 8 then Mt Olive road to Hollywood then Hwy 26 to Antoine then Hwy 29 to Hwy 301 to Hwy 195 to Hwy 371 into Blevins then Hwy 29 to Hwy 32 outside Hope to Hwy 278 to Old Washington then Hwy 32 to Hwy 73 to Saratoga then Hwy 355 to Mineral Springs then Hwy 27 to US 71 to Melrose Road to Central Road to Bruce Street to Blackhawk Street in Horatio then Hwy 41 to Hwy 380 to the Arkansas border.
      Additional Route - Starting at the Lake Chicot State Park on Hwy 144 to Lake Village then St. Marys Street to US 65 to Hwy 208 to Dermott then Main Street to Hwy 35 to US 278 through Monticello, Warren and Hampton to Camden then US 79 Business to Van Buren Street to Harrison Street to Washington Street through Camden to US 278 then Hwy 67 (3rd Street) through Hope to US 278 (Hervey Street) to Old Washington then Hwy 32 to Hwy 73 to Saratoga then Hwy 355 to Mineral Springs then Hwy 27 to US 71 to Melrose Road to Central Road to Bruce Street to Blackhawk Street in Horatio then Hwy 41 to Hwy 380 to the Arkansas border.

Museum of Native American History Fort Smith National Historic Site Rogers Historical Museum Blue Spring Heritage Center Lake Dardanelle State Park Phillips County Museum Delta Cultural Center Marlsgate Plantation Lonoke County Museum Jacksonville Military History Museum Mount Nebo State Park Old State House Museum National Cemetery MacArthur Museum of Military History Scott Plantation Settlement Confederate Cemetery Image Map Museum of Native American History Pea Ridge National Military Park Shiloh Museum of Ozark History Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park The Headquarters House Arkansas Air Museum Ozark Military Museum National Cemetery Lake Dardanelle State Park Mount Nebo State Park Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park Crowley’s Ridge State Park Overlook Park Davidsonville Historic State Park Thomas Tunstall Family Graves Jacksonport State Park Old Independence Regional Museum Bell’s Route Segment Confederate Cemetery Phillips County Museum Jacksonville Military History Museum Lonoke County Museum Marlsgate Plantation Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum Old State House Museum Arkansas Railroad Museum Grant County Museum/Heritage Village Civil War Red River Campaign State Parks National Cemetery Scott Plantation Settlement MacArthur Museum of Military History Visitors Center and Museum Oakland Cemetery Nevada County Depot Museum Historic Washington State Park White Oak Lake State Park McCollum-Chidester House Prairie Grove Campaign Pea Ridge Campaign Little Rock Campaign Attack on Pine Bluff Confederate Approaches to Helena Camden Expedition Price's Raid Cabell's Route to Fayetteville Maynard Pioneer Museum & Park Overlook Park Ozark Folk Center Old State House Museum Lonoke County Museum Davidsonville Historic State Park Historic Washington State Park Jacksonville Military History Museum Jacksonport State Park Old Independence Regional Museum Thomas Tunstall Family Graves Maynard Pioneer Museum & Park Bell’s Route Segment Confederate Cemetery Phillips County Museum Pea Ridge National Military Park Rogers Historical Museum Delta Cultural Center Lake Dardanelle State Park Mount Nebo State Park Lonoke County Museum Shiloh Museum of Ozark History Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Historical Museum Fort Smith National Historic Site North Shore Riverwalk Jacksonville Military History Museum MacArthur Museum of Military History Marlsgate Plantation Old State House Museum National Cemetery Scott Plantation Settlement Blue Spring Heritage Center National Cemetery The Headquarters House Ozark Military Museum Arkansas Air Museum Rogers Historical Museum