UA Little Rock to Host April 7 Presentation on History of Trail of Tears in Arkansas

Daniel Littlefield sits among boxes of files at the UALR Sequoyah National Research Center, which will soon be home to one of the largest public collections of Alaska Native videos in the world.

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock historian will give a presentation on the history of the Trail of Tears and the Federal Indian Removal Act in Arkansas on April 7.

The presentation, “Little Rock: A Pivotal Point on the Trail of Tears,” will begin at noon April 7 at UA Little Rock Downtown, 333 President Clinton Ave., Little Rock.

Dr. Daniel Littlefield, director of the Sequoyah National Research Center at UA Little Rock, will discuss Indian removal as federal policy, its implications for Indian affairs for the next century, the origin of the term Trail of Tears, and some of the popular misconceptions about the event.

In recognition of Little Rock’s La Petite Roche Tricentennial, participants will learn more about the role that Little Rock played during the removal of the five large tribes from the Southeast United States to new lands west of Arkansas and why Little Rock’s role was so significant.

“Geography was a primary reason because Little Rock was the nexus of travel routes through the Arkansas Territory at the time,” Littlefield said. “Little Rock was also a major administrative and economic center for Indian removal west of the Mississippi.”

Littlefield said that the Trail of Tears had several surprising results for Arkansas, including early statehood, economic development in the state’s early years, the development of the slave trade in Arkansas, and the founding of some of the “first families” of Arkansas.

Participants may register to attend the event in person at ualr.at/trail or virtually at ualr.at/trailvirtual.

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