Bollinger County Trail of Tears Archive

Collection, BCL-TOT


The Trail of Tears, that was a tragic part of our nation’s history, came through our region. All 13 detachments came through our county before it was Bollinger County. The short version is that the northern route was the Jackson to Farmington road passing through Sedgewickville, the Hildebrand route was the Jackson to Fredericktown road passing through Patton and the Benge detachment followed the Jackson to Greenville route passing through modern day Marble Hill. The documents and narrative that follow will paint the picture that the Cherokee in 1838 and 1839 saw as they travelled our roads.

Our premise as we approached this project was that the trails which comprised the Trail of Tears through our county would follow the paths that the first pioneers established. Often the pioneers used tribal trails of the Osage, Cherokee and Shawnee and expanded them to accommodate wagons. The first pioneers settled this area over 30 years before the Trail of Tears passed their way. They expanded native trails, created familial connecting roads and started the first roads of commerce. The first postal roads in the area also follow our projected paths. These postal roads gave way to Military trails that were used during the Civil War and after the War became foundations for the State and Federal Highway systems.

This is an archive of the Trail of Tears, featuring collections pertaining to the Hildebrand, Benge, and Northern Routes that went through Bollinger County. This archive features documentation pertaining to these three routes and the related witness sites and structures in the area.

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