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for Trail of Tears (1838-1839)
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This article describes historic methods of travel and highlights three important trails in North Carolina history, including The Great Wagon Road, the Trail of Tears, and The Underground Railroad.
He was a great Cherokee chief, and refused to obey the mandates of the white people to leave Western North Carolina. It was only to save his own tribe that he finally surrendered.
William Thomas is perhaps more widely known for being the captain of the last Confederate unit to surrender at the end of the Civil War and six term state senator. However, he may be remembered just as well for his advocacy of North Carolina’s eastern Cherokee. This can be perceived in support of the Oconaluftee of Washington’s fight for exemption from removal by the government in 1835, election as chief of the eastern Cherokee in 1838, and election in 1862 as captain of a Cherokee troop whom he inspired to enlist in the Confederate army.