Saturday, October 23, 2010

1830's Trails

Never could keep 'em straight: the Trail of Tears and the Santa Fe Trail. In all honesty, I'm not sure that I ever realized they were separate places.

They both were east-west trails in the US.
They weren't that far apart, and both trails overlapped some of the same longitudinal lines.
The stories of both trails involved Indians and soldiers.
They occurred at the same time.
And obviously, they both contain the word "trail."

We're reading a history book that covers world events during Abraham Lincoln's lifetime. (By the way, I've learned more about Napolean in the last month than I ever learned in school.) Also, Andrew and I are working through some lectures on American wars, and right now we're on the events that led up to the Mexican War. So, in the same week, we stumbled upon both trails.

Now, maybe you learned more history than I learned. Or maybe you can keep straight titles that have the same word in them. But if you too are a Bear of Very Little Brain, here are the differences:

The Santa Fe Trail was a little further north, and began & ended further west than the Trail of Tears.

But more importantly, people went back and forth on the Santa Fe Trail; it was a trade route. The Trail of Tears was a one-time trail, from east to west, from the Cherokee homeland into exile.

I think now I'll be able to keep them straight.


  1. Have you read The Tree in the Trail, by Holling? I assume so, but I thought I'd mention it.

  2. I think the older kids read it. Right now, a copy from the library is lying on the coffee table, waiting to be read.