The Cherokee are the largest tribe in the United States. They have also suffered some of the greatest losses in history of the United States. At one time, "Cherokee country" stretched from the Piedmont of South Carolina into the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. In 1670, it is estimated the Cherokee population was around 50,000. During the 1700s, disease brought by European settlers killed nearly half the population.
In 1838, the Indian Removal Act forced many Cherokee in South Carolina to leave their tribal lands. Along with other tribes from the Southeast, the Cherokee had to walk the Trail of Tears to reservations in Oklahoma. Many lives were lost along the way.