American Indian Removal RecordsEdit This Page

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Andrew Jackson officially established the policy of the federal government to remove the American Indians to an area beyond the Mississippi River where they would be "out of the way" of expanding settlement. Although the possibility of such a policy had been debated for some time, it was made official policy through the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Several tribes were forcibly removed from their homelands to areas deemed unwanted by non-Indian settlers moving from the East into the frontier areas of the time. The most well-known of these removals was that of the Cherokee "Trail of Tears." But there were other tribes who experienced similar situations.

In many cases, the Indians were simply rounded up by the U.S. Army and marched to their new places of residence, often with very little notice, with very little preparation, and with very little planning. 

There are some records of these removals, mostly buried within the set of records known as the General Correspondence Files of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sometimes the Army made a record of those being removed, called muster rolls after the common military term. Where those have been preserved, most are filed with these General Correspondence Files. The collection has been microfilmed by the federal government.

See also Indians of the United States and Their Records


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