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Cherokees, once the largest Native American tribe in the southeast United States. The Iroquis-speaking Cherokees were decimated by smallpox and by conflicts with European settlers in the 18th century. They were deprived of their lands, and thousands of them died on a march west in 1838, an event known in Cherokee history as the “trail of tears.” Today nearly 45,000 Cherokees live in Oklahoma. Several thousand remain in N. Carolina.

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