Cherokee County, North Carolina

Brief Background

Cherokee County, located in the southern Appalachian mountains, is the westernmost county in North Carolina. The county, ironically named for the area Cherokee people, was formed in 1839 (from the western part of Macon County)as a part of and result of the 1830 Indian Removal Act. This act found its best expressions in the forced removal of the Cherokee from nearby northeast Georgia in 1838 (which facilitated the 1838 Georgia Gold Rush in that same area), and the forced removal of the Cherokee people from western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. The removal of the Cherokee, as well as the Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole peoples, to west of the Mississippi River is referred to as the Trail of Tears (See Cherokee Gallery, below, for map).

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