Red Clay State Historic Park (US)

Red Clay State Historic Park is located in southern Bradley County in Cleveland, Tennessee. The park is also listed as an interpretive center along the Cherokee Trail of Tears. It encompasses 263 acres (1.06 km2) of land and is located just above the Tennessee-Georgia stateline.

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The park was the site of the last seat of Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 by the U.S. military, which resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to emigrate West.

The James F. Corn Interpretive Center features exhibits about 18th and 19th century Cherokee culture, government, economy, recreation, religion and history.

The park's majestic landscape includes lush forested ridges that average over 200 feet above the valley floor. Red Clay State Park, while it is no longer a meeting place for the Cherokee, it remains a significant sight for its culture and beauty.

One of the leaders of the Cherokee, Principal Chief John Ross, led their fight to keep Cherokee's eastern lands, refusing the government's efforts to move his people to Oklahoma. Controversial treaties, however, resulted in the surrendering of land and their forced removal. Here, at Red Clay, the Trail of Tears really began, for it was at the Red Clay Council Grounds that the Cherokee learned that they had lost their mountains, streams, and valleys forever.


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