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Trail of Tears Symposium Set for September 12 at TWU

The Tennessee Trail of Tears Association and Tennessee Wesleyan University will be hosting a Trail of Tears Educational Symposium on Thursday, September 12 at 6 p.m. in the Colloms Campus Center on the Tennessee Wesleyan University campus.

Guest speakers for the evening will be McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy and Cherokee nation representative Troy Wayne Poteete. Guy serves as historian of McMinn County and has published three nonfiction books on southeast Tennessee history. He will be discussing the Walker family of McMinn and Bradley Counties, focusing on Major John Walker, who fought as a Cherokee officer with Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The Walkers openly supported the removal of the Cherokee from the east. Guy will discuss the causes and effects of the assassination of Walker’s son, Jack Walker.

Troy Wayne Poteete is a resident of Webber’s Falls, Oklahoma. He is the Executive Director of the Trail of Tears Association and is a former Chief Justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court. Poteete will be exploring the motives behind the Cherokee who signed the 1835 Treaty of New Echota that led to the removal of the Cherokee from their native homelands in the east in 1838.

The event will be held on the second floor of the Colloms Center located on East College Street in downtown Athens. The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Debbie Moore, president of the Tennessee Trail of Tears at