Seventeen thousand Cherokee started west on the Trail of Tears in
1938. One in four died from
exhaustion, freezing weather or intense heat (due to the time of year), and
diseases before it was over. That
was more than one-fourth of the Cherokee nation. More than 3,000 Cherokee died
on the Trail of Tears, 16,000 died in stockades or prisons, and about
the same amount on the Trail itself.