Trail Of Tears Painting By Robert Lindneux

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In 1831, the Choctaw became the first Nation to be removed, and their removal served as the model for all future relocations. After two wars, many Seminoles were removed in 1832. The Creek removal followed in 1834, the Chickasaw in 1837, and lastly the Cherokee in 1838. Some managed to evade the removals, however, and remained in their ancestral homelands; some Choctaw are living in Mississippi, Creek in Alabama and Florida, Cherokee in North Carolina, and Seminole in Florida. A small group of Seminole, fewer than 500, evaded forced removal; the modern Seminole Tribe of Florida is descended from these individuals. A small number of non-Native Americans who lived with the tribes, including some of African descent (including over 4,000 slaves, and others as spouses or freedmen), also accompanied the Indians on the trek westward. By 1837, 46,000 Indians from the southeastern states had been removed from their homelands, thereby opening 25 million acres (100,000 km2) for predominantly European settlement.