Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal Trail of Tears Memorial Ride. Photography for Smithsonian Magazine by photojournalist, editorial photographer, Kristina Krug, based in Washington DC, Chicago, Nashville, Krug Photo, portrait, photojournalism, reportage, documentary, National Public Radio, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, NPR, NYT, New York Times, Krug Photo, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Washington Post, resiliance, survival, hope, together, group, connection.
Cherokeen Nation riders, Skylar Vann (L), Trey Pritchett (Center), and Brea Anderson (R) linger under the arch of Mantle Rock to commune with ancestors who suffered and died there in December of 1838. Due to the passage of the Federal Indian Removal Act, Cherokee were forced to march nearly 1000 miles. That winter, the icy Ohio river ferry crossing in Smithland, Kentucky became impassable. Forced to seek shelter nearby for two weeks, they were unprepared for the perilous journey. The 188 foot arch was insufficient refuge to hundreds who sought protection from a harsh winter, and hundreds died.