DeKalb County, AL
HistoryDeKalb County was created by the Alabama legislature on January 9, 1836, from land ceded to the Federal government by the Cherokee Nation. It was named for Major General Baron Johann de Kalb, a hero of the American Revolution. The county seat is Fort Payne, a name derived from the fort that was built during the forced removal of Indians along the Trail of Tears, as commissioned by Captain John Payne.
The Treaty of New Echota was signed in 1835, which was an agreement between the federal government and the Cherokee Nation that the Cherokees vacate their homelands east of the Mississippi. A majority of the Cherokees however opposed the signing of this treaty and therefore refused to leave.
The treaty was enforced though and President Andrew Jackson sent federal troops to transport the Indians to new lands in the west. Several groups of Cherokees departed during 1838 from Fort Payne with the last group departing on the Trail of Tears in October. DeKalb County was the one time home of the famous Cherokee Sequoyah.