Walking the Trail: One Man's Journey Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears

Walking the Trail: One Man's Journey Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears

by Jerry Ellis
     
 
One fall morning Jerry Ellis donned a backpack and began a long, lonely walk: retracing the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the nine hundred miles his ancestors had walked in 1838. The trail was the agonizing path of exile the Cherokees had been forced to take when they were torn from their southeastern homeland and relocated to Indian Territory. Following in their footsteps

Overview

One fall morning Jerry Ellis donned a backpack and began a long, lonely walk: retracing the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the nine hundred miles his ancestors had walked in 1838. The trail was the agonizing path of exile the Cherokees had been forced to take when they were torn from their southeastern homeland and relocated to Indian Territory. Following in their footsteps, Ellis traveled through small southern towns, along winding roads, and amid quiet forests, encountering a memorable array of people who live along the trail today. Along the way he also came to glimpse the pain his ancestors endured and to learn about the true beauty of modern rural life and the worth of a man's character.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
Many people have heard the phrase "trail of tears" without realizing what it refers to. It is an apt description of the path of those peaceful Cherokee who were forced to leave their farms in Georgia and march on a trail of death to what is now Oklahoma. Their journey has haunted American history, moving those who hear of it to more tears. It is something that permeates the memory of all the ancestors of those who survived. Jerry Ellis, of Cherokee ancestry, wished to honor those ancestors by reversing their travels from Oklahoma to Georgia (and finally to his rural home in northern Alabama). His goal was to walk and camp the whole way, taking in the land and the people as he went. Walking the Trail is not a diary exactly, nor history (although history is scattered along the way). It is more of a meditative catharsis. It is low key, yet heartfelt. "Or is he trying to tell me something else? I've been in Tahlequah only four days, but already time and space are taking on new dimensions. I was zapped by a child practicing sorcery. I was the house guest of an anthropologist whose past girlfriend could become an owl... Definitely not short on intrigue, I push down on the Trail and Tahlequah disappears around the bend" (p. 42). For those with an interest in the subject or those who enjoy personal, intimate travel memoirs, this would be a nice choice. For public and academic libraries. Category: Travels. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1991, Univ. of Nebraska, Bison Books, 256p. map., Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Katherine E. Gillen; Libn., Luke AFB Lib., AZ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385304481
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1991
Pages:
272

Meet the Author

Jerry Ellis is the author of Bareback! One Man's Journey along the Pony Express Trail, and Marching through Georgia: My Walk with Sherman.

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