The Never-ending Trail

We whites honor the "Hermitage" 
And the man who once lived there - 
But, that leader of our Nation 
Was cruel, unjust, unfair -

He ordered the removal 
Of the Cherokee from their land 
And forced them on a trek 
That the Devil must have planned -


One thousand miles of misery - 
Of pain and suffering - 
Because greed of the white man 
Could not even wait till spring - 

We should bow our heads in shame 
Even unto this day 
About "The Trail Of Tears" 
And those who died along the way. 

It was October, eighteen thirty-eight 
When seven thousand troops in blue 
Began the story of the "Trail" 
Which, so sadly, is so true - 

Jackson ordered General Scott 
To rout the Indian from their home - 
The "Center Of The World" they loved - 
The only one they'd known - 

The Braves working in the fields 
Arrested, placed in a stockade - 
Women and children dragged from home 
In the bluecoats shameful raid - 

Some were prodded with bayonets 
When, they were deemed to move too slow 
To where the Sky was their blanket 
And the cold Earth, their pillow - 

In one home a Babe had died 
Sometime in the night before - 
And women mourning, planning burial 
Were cruelly herded out the door - 

In another, a frail Mother - 
Papoose on back and two in tow 
Was told she must leave her home 
Was told that she must go - 

She uttered a quiet prayer - 
Told the old family dog good-bye - 
Then, her broken heart gave out 
And she sank slowly down to die - 

Chief Junaluska witnessed this - 
Tears streaming down his face - 
Said if he could have known this 
It would have never taken place - 

For, at the battle of Horse Shoe 
With five hundred Warriors, his best - 
Helped Andrew Jackson win that battle 
And lay thirty-three Braves to rest - 

And the Chief drove his tomahawk 
Through a Creek Warrior's head 
Who was about to kill Jackson - 
But whose life was saved, instead - 

Chief John Ross knew this story 
And once sent Junaluska to plead - 
Thinking Jackson would listen to 
This Chief who did that deed - 

But, Jackson was cold, indifferent 
To the one he owed his life to 
Said, "The Cherokee's fate is sealed - 
There's nothing, I can do." 

Washington, D.C. had decreed 
They must be moved Westward - 
And all their pleas and protests 
To this day still go unheard. 

On November, the seventeenth 
Old Man Winter reared his head - 
And freezing cold, sleet and snow 
Littered that trail with the dead 

On one night, at least twenty-two 
Were released from their torment 
To join that Great Spirit in the Sky 
Where all good souls are sent - 

Many humane, heroic stories 
Were written 'long the way - 
A monument, for one of them - 
Still stands until this day -


It seems one noble woman 
It was Chief Ross' wife - 
Gave her blanket to a sick child 
And in so doing, gave her life -


She is buried in an unmarked grave - 
Dug shallow near the "Trail" - 
Just one more tragic ending 
In this tragic, shameful tale - 

Mother Nature showed no mercy 
Till they reached the end of the line 
When that fateful journey ended 
On March twenty-sixth, eighteen thirty-nine. 

Each mile of this infamous "Trail" 
Marks the graves of four who died - 
Four thousand poor souls in all 
Marks the shame we try to hide - 

You still can hear them crying 
Along "The Trail Of Tears" 
If you listen with your heart 
And not with just your ears. 

The Never-ending Trail was written by Del "Abe" Jones and appears in his book, "The World, War, Freedom, and More." Used with permission. To purchase the book (US9.95), or to give the author your comments, please contact him at:

Visit Abe's site to read more of his poetry

Painting by Robert Lindneux in the Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

~A Cherokee Blessing~ May the warm wishes of Heaven blow softly on your home, and The Great Spirit, bless all who enter there. May your moccasins make happy tracks in many snows, and may the Rainbow always touch your shoulder. Walk in Peace Forever
Click here to read about my grandpa