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

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“Richly detailed and well-researched, this heartbreaking history unfolds like a political thriller with a deeply human side.”—Publishers Weekly

Toward the Setting Sun chronicles one of the most significant but least explored periods in American history, recounting the unknown story of the first white man to champion the voiceless Native American cause.

Son of a Scottish trader and a quarter-Cherokee woman, John Ross was educated in white schools. It was not until he was twenty-two, when he fought alongside “his people” against the Creek Indians, a neighboring rebel tribe, that he knew the Cherokees’ fate would be his. Cherokee chief for forty years, he would guide the tribe through, its most turbulent period.

As increasing numbers of whites settled illegally on the Cherokee Nation’s native land, including Ross’s beloved home at Head of Coosa, the chief remained steadfast in his refusal to sign a treaty agreeing to removal. When a group of renegade Cherokees betrayed him and negotiated an agreement with Jackson’s men behind Ross’s back, he was forced to give way and begin the journey west.

In one of America’s great tragedies, thousands of Cherokees died during the tribe’s migration on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.

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