Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears

Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears

by Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer


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In 1830, a treaty was signed. In 1830, hearts broke. Tears fell on the long journey for twenty thousand. The Choctaw Nation was forced to leave their homelands to preserve their people. But they could not save them all.

For this collection of short stories, Choctaw authors from five U.S. states come together to present a part of their ancestors' journey, a way to honor those who walked the trail for their future. These stories not only capture a history and a culture, but the spirit, faith, and resilience of the Choctaw people.

From a little girl who begins her journey in a wood box to a man willing to die for the sake of honor, these extraordinary tales of the Choctaw Removal from their homelands delve into raw emotions and come out with the glimmer of hope necessary for the human soul.

Tears of sadness. Tears of joy. Touch and experience each one.

"Touch My Tears is a significant and moving addition to the record of Choctaw heritage; accessible and entertaining. This fine collection of tales is invaluable for the insights it provides into the heart of a unique Native American culture." -Brock Thoene, co-author of The Jerusalem Chronicles

"This book reflects the joining of courage and endurance that defines a great nation. I cried in many places, sometimes it seemed more than they cried for themselves." -Lisa Reed, editor of the Biskinik, the Official Publication of the Choctaw Nation

"As well as the Plains and Prairie Tribes are known for their mastery of painting and dance, the Choctaws may well go down in history for their remarkable ability to blend their rich oral and written traditions. In the tradition of Choctaw writers such as J.L. McDonald and Peter Pitchlynn in the nineteenth century, Muriel Wright and Louis Owens in the twentieth, and D.L. Birchfield and LeAnne Howe in the twenty-first, the writers in this anthology demonstrate their versatility in the language arts. No tribe has more seamlessly assimilated the English language than the Choctaws. Read these stories and marvel at their quality. They have the multiple capabilities to inspire you, to entertain you, and to educate you. Ilvppa holisso nan anoli achukma! These stories are good!" -Phillip Carroll Morgan, author of The Fork-in-the-Road Indian Poetry Store and Who Shall Gainsay Our Decision? Choctaw Literary Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century.

"Touch My Tears is a milestone of fictional and historical Choctaw storytelling that exemplifies the value of Native knowledge through literary arts. This deeply moving and significant collection will hopefully generate a paradigm shift in written expression of the Native American experience." -Keevin Lewis, Museum Programs Outreach Coordinator, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991025909
Publisher: RockHaven Partners LLC
Publication date: 12/10/2013
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 784,783
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)

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Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
GrammyGeek More than 1 year ago
In 1830 a treaty was signed and the lives of the Choctaw Nation is forever changed. Forced to move from ancestral lands, the journeys are long and difficult with many deaths, leaving a “trail of tears”. Sarah Elizabeth Sawyer as editor has brought together stories of the trail of tears in the book “Touch My Tears”. Some of the stories were handed down through the generations in families, some are from historical facts. The stories show the good and bad – the pain and anguish the Choctaw endured and the courage, honor and faith they showed through it all. The stories will also leave you with your own tears - tears for those lost along the trail of tears. I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
BethanyMarks More than 1 year ago
Both inspiring and sad, it is hard to read about the Choctaw leaving their life and generations of history in Mississippi.  Touch My Tears, edited by Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer is a collection of short stories written by many authors about injustice, hardship and strong, beautiful people who were not treated with value.   “September 27, 1830, the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed and the fate of the Choctaw Nation, sealed.”  It began a Trail of Tears leading West with so much grief and so many poignant people.  The stories of many individuals are the shafts of sunlight in the dark and cloudy sky of this period.  The editor’s work of weaving many short stories together into a beautiful tapestry showcasing the character of the Choctaw is both extremely hard to read and terribly important.  They give us the opportunity to learn from this time in history.   Too often we make heroes of the people from our own culture—our own story.  Touch My Tears gives us all a full view, with leaders and heroes on both sides.  I am grateful that prior to this journey missionaries told the Choctaw the truth about the Great Spirit and His love for all people.  Told them about His Son, the life and hope which lives with them to this day.  Morning sun came with the beginning of a new season—a new start for the Choctaw. Too both those who finished their journey on the Trail of Tears and to the many who traveled to their new land in Oklahoma: we remember.  
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
Touch My Tears is a remarkable collection of stories from oral tradition and writings about the Choctaw tribes’ journey on the Trail of Tears that began in 1831 in the southern US. Sarah Elizabeth Sawyer did an amazing work of selecting these tales and ordering them in a way that brings incredible meaning to the truths of this journey that will not be found in most school history textbooks. The illustrator, Leslie Widener, brings each story to life with her drawings. The Choctaw tribe is currently the 3rd largest federally-recognized tribe in the United States in spite of the senseless loss of life for those led by the US Army through the stark, cold winter landscape. Some could travel on horseback or in wagons, and many crossed the rivers by rafts, ferries, or steamship. Many, many more walked. Many died – the elderly, the very young or those in ill health, or those who succumbed to starvation or the diseases encountered on the way. Prior to the honor of reading this heart-rending anthology, I remembered hearing very little about the Choctaw beyond the tribe’s name. I learned how, as a farming nation, they valued their future in the seed corn taken with them. Some were ranchers as well as farmers. To my delight, I learned that they considered themselves a Christian nation. Come, see the journeys as chronicled by or about boys and girls, men and women, the animals bearing them, and even the uses of their pottery. Many families included those of Irish or Scottish descent. You will not be the same after reading of Rising Fawn, just 7 years old and on her own, Joseph, a young boy who died from dysentery. Grandmothers, uncles, mothers, fathers just like yours and mine. Wild-at-Heart, who saved life of a tiny girl, who honored commitments he made in spite of the cost. Tushpa, whose father, before he drowned, had entrusted a copy of scripture to him for the future of his people. Quotes from Touch My Tears that eloquently describe the Choctaw and this anthology include: “When asked what they want non-Choctaws to know, many Choctaws have provided a simple answer: As one tribal member put it, “We want people to know that we’re still here.” And what a testimony that is to the character and strength of the Choctaw people.” “The world needs to know about our history. We need to get our stories down so we can tell others who we are.” I highly recommend Touch my Tears for those who appreciate history and accurate accounting of a wise and brave Native American tribe who has not only survived, but eventually thrived after embarking on the Trail of Tears. I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Touch my Tears" is a collection of stories of The Removal as passed down through generations of Choctaw families and edited by Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer. The "Trail of Tears" was aptly named as the devastation of families being forcefully uprooted from the land of their families and ancestors was full of pain, sorrow, sickness, and death. These stories are poignant and devastating as they chronicle the journey of the Choctaw people from their homes to what is now known as the Choctaw Nation. I highly recommend every person read them and tell them to their children. We need to hold them close, pass them down so that our children and our children's children never forget. We need to pass them down so we remember to keep from being part of a future that repeats our history. Keep tissues close by as you open the pages of Touch My Tears and come face to face with another side of history. I received a copy of this book free through BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The stories were interesting, accessible, and gave a vivid picture of the reality of the Trail of Tears. Before reading this book, the Trail of Tears was only a historical event to me - now it's something I will never forget.  Of all the stories my favorite is "Rising Dawn and the Fire Mystery" by Marilou Awiakta because of its masterful storytelling and because it really paints a picture of the Indian way of life  and traditions. I would recommend this to a friend.
JustShawna More than 1 year ago
Touch my tears is a wonderful collection of stories that tell of the Native Americans and the "Trail of Tears." Each story is so special and touching. I had a rough start reading this book, but once I got into the stories, I had a very hard time putting it down. I do recommend it. There are many stories of courage and strength. The Native Americans are such a part of our history that are slowly being removed from our history (classes, books and tales)that books like this on the shelves of our libraries, both in school and our personal ones, would revive that part of our heritage. I received a copy of this book (ebook form) by the author for The Book Club Network in return for my honest opinion and review of this book.
PattiShene More than 1 year ago
Touch My Tears is a collection of stories told from the points of view of young, old, and even animals, about the Removal of the Choctaw people from their land in Mississippi to Oklahoma. It chronicles the hardships and losses this brave and stalwart tribe endured as they were forced to travel hundreds of miles, often on foot, to be relocated. Each story carries its own unique voice and tale of heroism in the midst of tragedy. Through the various tales, the character and culture of the Choctaw people is revealed. Even though it saddened me, there were scenes that evoked a smile as well. I enjoyed the stories and the way the authors brought out the personalities of the characters. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the not so glamorous and sometimes shameful side of American history. I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Touch My Tears is a collection of precious, tragic stories from the Trail of Tears. It opened my eyes to the travesty behind such a sad, embarrassing time of American History. Each story brings to life real families who endured horrible conditions. The stories are not easy to read and I would definitely recommend tissues. I think this should be a must read in every history class! It’s a good reminder to all of us that there are some things in history that should never be repeated. One of the things I absolutely loved about this book is a quote from Julie Cantrell, “the comment from Gary Batton, Assistant Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, who said: “Even if we have a Choctaw that’s one/one-millionth, they need to understand, that’s what makes them Choctaw.” Touch My Tears is a fantastic read and highly recommended. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears**** by Sarah Elizabeth Sawyer, editor; Marilou Awiakta, contributor; Julie Cantrell, forwarded by Touch My Tears is a collection of short stories written by Choctaw authors, sharing their ancestor's journey, the Trail of Tears of 1830's. These stories gives us some insight into what happened all those years ago; the struggles, heartache and grief of their long journey as well as their courage, strength, perseverance and faith. I have heard of The Trail of Tears, knew a little about what happened but never got to actually “see” into these Native Americans lives. Neither did I realize their faith, how spiritual they were and that they knew Jesus. I am saddened by their forced journey but enjoyed the background given for each story about the author and the families involved. Some of these families are ancestors of the authors. Woven in the story are words of the Choctaw language with a glossary in the back of the book. Even though their journey was filled with hardships, danger, grief and so much more, they held onto each other, their faith and their heritage. Starting over in a land that they did not choose was difficult at best. Many years ago I started my own family's genealogy and learned that my great-great-grandmother was of Native American heritage, but have yet to find which tribe she was from. So these stories spoke to my heart in a special way. ~~I received an e-book copy of this book from BookFunNetwork for my review~~ ~~~Posted reviews on Bookfunnetwork, DeeperShopping, Goodreads-->facebook, Amazon, Barns & Noble~~~
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
A collection of beautifully written stories that touch the heart and tell a story that is often left out of so many history books. Each story is unique and special on its own way, yet they are all nicely woven together. The stories tell of the brave Native Americans and one of the saddest moments of our nation's history- the trail of tears. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it. I'm going to be sharing these stories with my ten year old daughter. It is a part of history that I want her to know yet is hard to find. I really feel this book helps fill a gap in American history in a powerful way.  This truly is a wonderful read with beautifully woven tales of courage, strength and faith. Don't miss this one! This was given to me through The Book Club Network for my honest opinion which I have given.