Political map of North America & the Caribbean 12 October 1832 (Trail of Tears): In 1830, there were still five large American Indian groups living as semi-independent nations east of the Mississippi (Five Civilized Tribes): the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. Under pressure from white settlers, US President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act, allowing the government to extinguish Indian claims in the east in return for new lands in the west (in what is now Oklahoma). Over the following years, some 60,000 Indians were transferred to this new 'Indian Territory', with as many as a quarter dying en route (Trail of Tears).