Recounting Earlier ‘Tears’

Before the Trail of Tears

SHOALS – The “Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride” begins in Bridgeport, Alabama near Chattanooga on September 19 and ends in Waterloo where a festival will take place.  Waterloo is where some of the Cherokee were loaded on boats in 1838 for transporting to Indian country in Oklahoma.  Others walked trails to Oklahoma through freezing temperatures and slept on the ground. Thousands died.

The story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears is well-known, but the three other Indian tribes who lived in Alabama, the Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek also had their trail of tears story before the Cherokee.   Their’s are not well known.

Author Harry Shannon Phillips, Sr. tells more about the story in his book, Before The Trail Of Tears-The Rest of Their Story, that some history books omitted for whatever reason.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, they are not “Indians” but are native Americans who were nomads in Siberia thousands of years before they migrated to America.  

The “Rest of the Story” brings to light Andrew Jackson’s shameful 1830 Removal Act that finally doomed the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek Nations, and the Cherokee, the last to be removed.  

You may get a signed copy, by calling 256-810-4701, or online at