Historic Markers Across Tennessee

1838 Cherokee Removal & Trail of Tears

Marker ID:  
Location: on River Street, Chattanooga, TN
County: Hamilton
Coordinates: N 35° 3.6    W 085° 18.55
  35.06    -85.30916666
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


In May 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota by the margin of a single vote and set in motion the forcible removal of the Cherokee nation to the west. In 1838, the U.S. Government removed more than 16,000 Cherokee and other tribes from their homeland in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Georgia, and sent them to the territory known today as Oklahoma.

On June 6, the first party of approximately 800 Cherokees left Ross’s Landing aboard a 100-ton steamboat and six flatboats on the journey to the west. A second group of 875 Cherokees left the landing on June 13th aboard six flatboats. A third contingent of 1,070 Cherokees was sent overland by wagons on June 17th. It is believed the overland route crossed the lower portion of what is now Renaissance Park and then traveled Moccasin Bend to Brown’s Ferry where they crossed the river again into Lookout Valley. There were numerous other groups leaving from other sites and taking different routes during the remainder of 1838.

Today, the meandering bands of paths through the forest at Renaissance Park commemorate this historic event. Located directly across the river is Ross’s Landing, the Passage celebrates Native American heritage an honors their contributions to this community.