Wow, what a wonderful site! You put a great deal of time and effort into it, didn't you?
I know a little about the Trail of Tears; what I learned about it was from an historical novel called "Walk in My Soul" and from Wilma Mankiller's autobiography. "Walk in My Soul" was a fictionalized account of the life of Tiana Rogers.
I just don't know how anyone survived that forced march; it was really grueling. There are definitely things that happen that make you wonder how people can be so very, very cruel to other people.
You mention in your site that the Cherokee literacy rate rivaled the whites' literacy rate. Actually, I had read that there was a time when the Cherokee literacy rate was higher than that of their white contemporaries. I stumbled upon author John Rollin Ridge of the well-know Cherokee Ridge family. Having grown up in California, the Gold Rush era and Joaquin Murietta have long been interest of mine. It was John Rollin Ridge, who was in California at the time of the Juaquin Murietta bru-ha-ha, who wrote a fictionalized account of the life and times of Joaquin to illustrate the treatment of non-whites by whites.
In the material I read about John Rollin Ridge, it was brought out that his uncle, Elias Boudinot, was the publilsher of the Cherokee Phoenix and at the time of John's birth in the early 1820s, the Cherokee literacy rate was actually higher than of their contemporary whites in Georgia.
John Rollin Ridge's book about Joaquin was a huge best seller at the time - this was in the mid 1800s - and it was his fictionalization of Joaquin that was the basis for "Zorro." So, you can see how this Cherokee had a lasting effect on "mainstream" America for over 100 years. I remember when I was a kid in the mid to late 50s, the "Zorro" episodes on the Micky Mouse Club TV show were very popular. And not too long ago, there was a movie about Zorro with Anthony Banderas (sp?).
Zorro and what he represents still cuts a dashing and romantic figure - in addition to cutting the "Z that stands for Zorro" in the seat of the pants of offenders with his sword. Oh, how we kids loved that!
But, I'm getting off topic now.