A map of Indian land cessions in the south during the first 'removal era.'
By 1826, the Cherokees had
surrendered most of their lands in the Carolinas and Tennessee,
holding onto their tribal capital of New Echota, in northwestern
The Creeks, in turn, had surrendered
their lands in southern Georgia and retained a homeland core in
The Seminoles were in the process of
losing territory in Florida.
The Choctaws had also ceded
most of their territory in Mississippi.
The Chickasaws, once lords of
most of Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Alabama and Mississippi,
had retreated to a small domain in northern Mississippi and
The five 'Civilized Tribes' of the
south were now left to make a last stand to preserve what little
was left of their ancestral homelands. Land hungry settlers,
state legislators, and courts, ignored the U.S. Constitution and
existing treaties, and were only to happy to force the Indians into
exile in the new Indian Territory.