African-Native American Genealogy Forum
Re: The Trail of Tears Question
In Response To: The Trail of Tears Question ()
Hey Preston. I feel fortunate to have found documentary evidence that my g-g-g grandfather was on the Trail of Tears. It's a federal court affidavit from the 1870s. A Cherokee man stated his father owned a slave named Tom STILL in Georgia who was sold to another Cherokee man in IT (the timing is a little unclear because of a possible transcription error but likely in the 1850s). Cherokee owners took their slaves with them and it is inconceivable my ancestor went by another means while his owner took the Trail. The owner was the assistant conductor of a particular detachment.
Another affidavit in the file is from Tom's daughter Frances. My great grandmother Florence identifies Frances as her mother in Dawes testimony thus confirming oral history. My g-g-g grandfather used the name Thomas RAGSDALE as a free man. I first read about the affidavits in an Indian Chieftain (Vinita IT) article digitized in "Chronicling America" by the Library of Congress. The Oklahoma Historical Society found and sent copies of the actual affidavits.
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