Heritage Trail of Northwest Arkansas
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Trail of Tears


"The Trail of Tears"
Painting by Robert Lindneux

Robert Lindneux was a member of the Royal Society of Artists and his work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the Thomas Gilcrease Institute, the Whitney Gallery of Western American Art, the Frank Phillips Museum, the Colorado Historical Society, the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, which houses one painting and seventeen of his drawings. His most famous work, The Trail of Tears, was painted in 1942 and is on display in the Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

The term “Trail of Tears” signifies the various routes used for the forced Indian removal from 1837 to 1839. At least three of the Cherokee removal parties traveled through Northwest Arkansas on the “State Road” that ran from Springfield to Fort Smith through Fayetteville. The road followed the general route of what would later be called the Telegraph Road, entering the state just north of the Pea Ridge Park and tracking southwest toward Fayetteville. The Cherokees turned west in Fayetteville, toward their final destination of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Based on the diaries of party leaders we know some of the specific dates and camp locations of the traveling Cherokees. The Richard Taylor contingent camped at the Elk Horn Tavern site in today’s Pea Ridge Military Park on March 18, 1839. Then according to a party leader’s diary: “Traveled 15 miles to Cross Hollow , ate dinner at Homeslys, and came on 5 miles to Fitzgerald’s”. On March 21, 1839, the diary entry records “Thursday 21, cloudy and cool, passed through Fayetteville… got a mean meal at the Brick Tavern”

Hildebrand’s contingent followed closely behind the Richard Taylor group. The Hildebrand group consisted of 88 wagons, 881 horses, and 1,312 Cherokee.

More Information

Click here for the National Parks Service Trail of Tears website that includes an interactive map.

Click here for a press release from Arkansas Congressman Marion Berry regarding the Trail of Tears.




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