"It is Spring. The leaves are on the trees. I am playing with my friends when white men in uniforms ride up to our home. My mother calls me. I can tell by her voice that something is wrong. [...] My mother tells me to gather my things, but the men don't allow us time to get anything. They enter our home and begin knocking over pottery and looking into everything. My mother and I are taken by several men to where their horses are and [we] are held there at gun point. The men who rode off return with my father, Elijah. They have taken his rifle and he is walking toward us.
[...] I am filled with fear, too. What is going on? I was just playing, but now my family and my friends families are gathered together and [are] told to walk at the point of a bayonet.
[...] The soldiers look weary, as though they'd rather be anywhere else but here.
They lead us to a stockade. They herd us into this pen like we are cattle. No one was given time to gather any possessions. The nights are still cold in the mountains and we do not have enough blankets to go around. [...]" ("The memories of...") [End quote]
Samuel Cloud, a 9-year-old Cherokee boy, told his experience on the Trail of Tears to his children sometime during the 19th century. A descendant of Samuel Cloud related Cloud's account from a first-person view in the above paragraphs. The 9-year-old Cherokee boy saw his mother die while on the Trail of Tears as they were being escorted to land in Oklahoma. Samuel's father died while his family and other Cherokee families were cooped up in a stockade, living in deplorable conditions, which included mud and cold temperatures.
The Cherokees Were Not a Threat to the United States