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October 1838 - Indian leaders have tried to negotiate with the U.S. government. Despite their efforts, President Andrew Jackson approves the removal of the Cherokee Indian tribes from their homeland west and southwest of Mecklenburg County. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act to make this forced move, called resettlement, legal. Now, federal troops force nearly 20,000 Cherokees to march hundreds of miles to Oklahoma. Thousands of the Native Americans die from disease and winter's bitter cold. Their tragic journey will be remembered as The Trail of Tears.