Indigenous Peoples of the United States Removal Records

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indian Research Gotoarrow.png Removal Records

Andrew Jackson officially established the policy of the federal government to remove the American Indians to an area beyond the Mississippi River where they would be "out of the way" of expanding settlement. Although the possibility of such a policy had been debated for some time, it was made official policy through the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Several tribes were forcibly removed from their homelands to areas deemed unwanted by non-Indian settlers moving from the East into the frontier areas of the time. The most well-known of these removals was that of the Cherokee "Trail of Tears." But there were other tribes who experienced similar situations.

In many cases, the Indians were simply rounded up by the U.S. Army and marched to their new places of residence, often with very little notice, with very little preparation, and with very little planning. 

There are some records of these removals, mostly buried within the set of records known as the General Correspondence Files of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Sometimes the Army made a record of those being removed, called muster rolls after the common military term. Where those have been preserved, most are filed with these General Correspondence Files. The collection has been microfilmed by the federal government as Microcopy M234 and is available at the National Archives in Washington DC, at all of the Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration, and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, as well as at other locations. Some of the records, called emigration records, included in this set of microfilm are:

  • Cherokee Emigration, 1828-1854
  • Chicago Agency Emigration, 1835-1847
  • Chickasaw Agency Emigration, 1837-1850
  • Chippewa Agency Emigration, 1850-1859
  • Choctaw Agency Emigration, 1826-1859
  • Creek Agency Emigration, 1826-1849
  • Florida Superintendency Emigration, 1828-1853
  • Great Nemaha Agency Emigration, 1837-1838
  • Indiana Agency Emigration, 1833-1849
  • Mackinac Agency Emigration, 1838-1839
  • Miami Agency Emigration, 1842-1853
  • Michigan Superintendency Emigration, 1830-1848
  • Miscellaneous Emigration, 1824-1848
  • New York Agency Emigration, 1829-1851
  • Ohio Agency Emigration, 1831-1839
  • Prairie du Chien Agency Emigration, 1837-1841
  • Sac and Fox Agency Emigration, 1845-1847
  • St. Louis Superintendency Emigration, 1837-1841
  • Seminole Agency Emigration, 1827-1859
  • Western Superintendency Emigration, 1836-1842
  • Winnebago Agency Emigration, 1833-1852
  • Wyandot Agency Emigration, 1839-1851

See also Indians of the United States and Their Records