Very near us in the north Georgia mountains is the site of New Echota, the last capital of the Cherokee nation. It is as tranquil and peaceful a place as I’ve ever visited. It occupies a level spot, perfect for farming, surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, the quiet calm of the forest, and the serenity of a gently flowing river. Yet, when you walk the site and explore the buildings, there is an almost palpable sense of sadness. This was the last true ancestral home of the Cherokee people and the site of the beginning of the infamous Trail of Tears.