March 08, 2008

Cherokees buried gold under trees

Duluth's Native American history showcased at museumOnce it was discovered there was extensive gold in the area-–a vein made its way down from Dahlonega to here--gold fever started in the north Georgia hills. President Andrew Jackson decided he wanted the gold and began rounding up the Cherokee to drive them out, Morgan said.

In 1838 these once native settlers to the land set out on what became known as the Trail of Tears, one of the bloodiest events in America's short history. All Cherokee were forced to go to the western United States, losing more than 4,000 along the way.

"They had always marked trees as a way of communication, but they were now being used to hide the gold," said Morgan. "They hoped they could one day get the more than $50 million in raw gold that was buried. The Cherokee never knew when they would be forced to leave–-there was only enough time to grab some clothes and maybe a few other things."

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