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Toward the Setting Sun: John Ross, the Cherokees, and the Trail of Tears

Toward the Setting Sun: John Ross, the Cherokees, and the Trail of Tears

Toward the Setting Sun: John Ross, the Cherokees, and the Trail of Tears

By Brian Hicks
Atlantic Monthly Press
416 pages
$26

“Hicks revisits U.S. treachery and deceit toward Native Americans in his study of John Ross, the Cherokee chief who for 20 years led his people in defense of their lands. As the population of the fledgling U.S. grew, so too did pressure on the Cherokees to quit their land. Foremost among the advocates of Cherokee removal was Andrew Jackson, who used every power at his command–including eventually the power of the presidency–to see Cherokee land settled by whites. Against this formidable foe stood an unlikely champion, trading post owner John Ross. Only a fraction Cherokee, Ross nevertheless felt a powerful connection to the people and their cause, journeying repeatedly to Washington to plead their case and gain some sort of protection from the depredations of settlers and overzealous politicians. Ultimately defeated, he turned to doing what he could to ease the brutality of the long, bitter, and–for many thousands of Cherokee–fatal march on foot into the West along what came to be called the Trail of Tears. Richly detailed and well-researched, the heartbreaking history unfolds like a political thriller with a deeply human side.”

Publishers Weekly

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