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It was one of the darkest moments in American history. Disrespectfully uprooted from their ancestral lands, the Cherokee were herded like cattle into open stockades to await their forced westward exodus. So moved and saddened were those who witnessed the Cherokee’s unimaginable suffering that their passage is known as the “Trail of Tears.” After the horrific forced march westward, the surviving Cherokee people set to work to rebuild their lives. With perseverance and determination, they succeeded magnificently, and today the Cherokee are the second largest Indian tribe in the United States.
Today, America Remembers and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, N.C., are honored to introduce this handsomely decorated firearm in special remembrance of all those who endured the saddest period in Cherokee history, and a tribute to the spirit and proud legacy of the Cherokee.
Right side of the receiver pays tribute to two of the most revered Cherokee leaders – Principal Chief John Ross, one of the Tribe’s legendary leaders who carried the records and laws of the Cherokee Nation to the Oklahoma reservation and Stand Watie, who worked to establish the new homeland and later become a Civil War hero, the only Native American General in the Confederate Army. Also featured is a map illustrating the routes the Cherokee traveled across to Oklahoma, along with Sequoyah’s translation of the word “Cherokee.” Additionally, the Cherokee word “Yunwiya,” meaning people is featured.
The left side of the receiver features a portrait of the statesman Sequoyah, whose creation of the Cherokee alphabet led to the remarkable literacy rate of his people. His portrait is flanked by two starkly contrasting scenes in Cherokee history – an image depicting the Cherokee working in the fields they loved and a touching image of the Cherokee moving west to Oklahoma on “the trail where they cried.”
The Tribute’s lever, hammer, trigger, barrel bands, and hooded sight are polished and decorated in 24-karat gold. Hand-polished walnut stocks beautifully frame this handsome tribute to an exceptional people.
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