Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation Paperback – Sep 22 1997
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From Library Journal
One of the many ironies of U.S. government policy toward Indians in the early 1800s is that it persisted in removing to the West those who had most successfully adapted to European values. As whites encroached on Cherokee land, many Native leaders responded by educating their children, learning English, and developing plantations. Such a leader was Ridge, who had fought with Andrew Jackson against the British. As he and other Cherokee leaders grappled with the issue of moving, the land-hungry Georgia legislatiors, with the aid of Jackson, succeeded in ousting the Cherokee from their land, forcing them to make the arduous journey West on the infamous "Trail of Tears." Popular history for public libraries. Mary B. Davis, Museum of American Indian Lib., New York
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Publisher
The fascinating portrayal of the Cherokee nation, filled with Native American legend, lore, and religion -- a gripping American drama of power, politics, betrayal, and ambition.
B & W photographsSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The contrast between missionaries and full-blooded Cherokees could easily descend to hagiography or satire, but Ehle manages instead to show something of the nobility, and the blindness, on both sides of that particular conflict. Georgia legislators and frontiersmen come across a bit more negatively, but appear to have no one to blame for that but themselves. Ehle does not press the point, but there is a lot of food for thought and fruitful national soul-searching here.
author, Jesus and the Religions of Man
"The Trail of Tears" is only one of these incidents. History is loaded with them, including the government policy to almost make the American bison extinct, for the sole purpose of removing the food source of native Americans. "The Trail of Tears" deals with the "relocation" of the Cherokee people. No, it is not the definitive story. However, it is well researched, and presents one point of view. It is recommended that this work be read, but others also, to get a well-rounded view of a piece of history that more Americans should be aware of.
In Trail of Tears, John Ehle (who is, as far as I can tell, non-Native) sketches the people and events that led to the infamous Trail of Tears, the removal of the Cherokee Nation to "Indian Territory" (primarily Arkansas and Oklahoma) where they would "never" be bothered by whites again. The focus is on the "Treaty Party," consisting of Ridge, his son John Ridge, and his nephews Elias Boudinot and Stand Watie, along with Moravian, Methodist, and other missionaries sent to convert the Cherokees to Christianity and who are caught up in Cherokee/state/federal politics.
Ehle's bias is evident in the title; the "rise" of the Cherokees is the effort, not wholly embraced by the Nation, of adapting to European-American culture, language, religion, and even livelihood (e.g., Cherokee hunting is uncivilized, whereas the adoption of American farming is preferable). The story begins with some background and the birth of a Cherokee man named Ridge not too long before the American Revolutionary War. The white impact has already begun to be felt, as one of Ridge's forebears is white, and he and his family are driven into the wilds by the war.
After the war ends, the new Americans have one craving-land and more land. A gold strike in Georgia adds to the fever. The Cherokee, along with the Choctaw, Creek, and other southern tribes, are perceived as "wasting" land that their white counterparts should be entitled to. From this point on, it is clear that the Juggernaut of American expansionism and greed will displace the Native peoples. The question is only how and when.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was my first introduction to the history of the Cherokees. Unlike other reviewers, I can't judge the accuracy of the history. Read morePublished on June 1 2004 by Tin Man
This book is great if you're looking for answers to your heritage or just more interested in the Cherokee lifestyle. Read morePublished on June 10 2002 by Tasheena Desaderro
Ehle's has a unique, fast paced, style of laying out the facts. This is an intense, no holds barred look at the end of the Cherokee Nation, most of which existed in present-day... Read morePublished on Oct. 23 2000 by Randall L. Golden
This is a great book to read to learn about a part of history that is rarely talked about.This book is filled with facts but reads like a novel. Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2000
John Ehle, a native son of North Carolina, has dedicated most of his life toward using his pen to bring to life the rich history of his birthstate. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2000
This book was a big let down. Like other reviews have said, he focus almost entirely on the Ridge family and is very biased toward them. Read morePublished on Dec 21 1999
This book was a big let down. Like other reviews have said, he focus almost entirely on the Ridge family and is very biased toward them. Read morePublished on Dec 1 1999 by Brian
If you want to read a much more unbiased and factually correct version of this story, please read
Cherokee Tragedy : The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People... Read more