Trail of tears : the rise and fall of the Cherokee nation

by John Ehle

Paper Book, 1988


A sixth-generation North Carolinian, highly-acclaimed author John Ehle grew up on former Cherokee hunting grounds. His experience as an accomplished novelist, combined with his extensive, meticulous research, culminates in this moving tragedy rich with historical detail. The Cherokee are a proud, ancient civilization. For hundreds of years they believed themselves to be the "Principle People" residing at the center of the earth. But by the 18th century, some of their leaders believed it was necessary to adapt to European ways in order to survive. Those chiefs sealed the fate of their tribes in 1875 when they signed a treaty relinquishing their land east of the Mississippi in return for promises of wealth and better land. The U.S. government used the treaty to justify the eviction of the Cherokee nation in an exodus that the Cherokee will forever remember as the "trail where they cried." The heroism and nobility of the Cherokee shine through this intricate story of American politics, ambition, and greed. B & W photographs… (more)



Call number



New York : Anchor Books, 1989, c1988.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Muscogulus
This entertaining historical novel has sowed confusion among readers with a sincere interest in Cherokee history. That's because the author has dotted his text with footnotes, and the publisher has labeled it "American history" rather than (what it is) historical fiction. Dear reader, do us all a
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favor. Don't cite this book in your blog posts, much less your formal research on Cherokee history. If John Ehle's notes lead you to read what he read, then great. But Trail of Tears is not a history book. It's a work of fiction.
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LibraryThing member claidheamdanns
This book gave me a new perspective on the Indian removals.

Though not Indian myself, I grew up on an Indian reservation. We moved there when I was 3 years old. So, I grew up with a love for and sympathy for the Indian people.

Through reading this book, I was again struck with how evilly the
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Indians were treated by our ancestors, but I also received insight into how evil, stubborn and foolish some of their own leaders were. They could have made the best out of a bad situation for their people, but refused to.

All-in-all, though, I wish there was a way to go back and do right by these original inhabitants of America.
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Original publication date



0385239548 / 9780385239547
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