Heart at Blue Hole

From DeLanna Studi, Cleveland, Tennessee:

“The Blue Hole is a natural spring located in Red Clay State Historic Park. The Cherokee used this for their water supply during council meetings. My father and I were able to drink from it while retracing our ancestors’ journey along the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears.”

Red Clay was, for several years, the effective capital of the Cherokee Nation. The capital in Georgia, New Echota, was considered unsafe because of the hostility of Georgia authorities. Jacksonland recounts the moment when, in 1836, several thousand Cherokees gathered at Red Clay to hear their leaders, including their principal chief John Ross. Though U.S. Army troops were stationed nearby, Cherokees overwhelmingly approved a resolution saying that a treaty calling on them to move westward by 1838 was a “fraud” and “oppression.”

DeLanna Studi captured this reflection of the water while traveling the Trail of Tears for a film documentary.