Trail of Tears
by Julia Coates
January 2014, 235pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38448-6
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38449-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The events of the Trail of Tears set the stage for U.S. government–American Indian relations for the next century.

This book covers a critical event in U.S. history: the period of Indian removal and resistance from 1817 to 1839, documenting the Cherokee experience as well as Jacksonian policy and Native-U.S. relations.

This book provides an outstanding resource that introduces readers to Indian removal and resistance, and supports high school curricula as well as the National Standards for U.S. History (Era 4: Expansion and Reform). Focusing specifically on the Trail of Tears and the experiences of the Cherokee Nation while also covering earlier events and the aftermath of removal, the clearly written, topical chapters follow the events as they unfolded in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as the New England region and Washington, DC.

Written by a tribal council representative of the Cherokee Nation, this book offers the most current perspectives, incorporating key issues of assimilation, sovereignty, and Cherokee resistance and resilience throughout. The text also addresses important topics that predate removal in the 19th century, such as the first treaty between the Cherokees and Great Britain in 1721, the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, proclamation of Cherokee nationality in the 1791 Treaty of Holston, and the U.S. Constitution.


  • Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, the volume provides current, informed perspectives on the Cherokee experience
  • Provides biographical sketches that introduce the reader to the key players on all sides of the event
  • Explains how intensified contact with Europeans through trading relationships and developing technological dependency changed Cherokee society and created a new "global economy"
  • Supplies primary document excerpts that offer additional insight and perspective on historical events, incorporating legislation, petitions, newspaper articles, court decisions, letters, and treaties
  • Examines a key curricular topic for high school and undergraduate student researchers—Indian removal and resistance in the 1800s
  • Includes portraits of important figures, such as Major Ridge, John Ridge, and John Ross as well as maps of Cherokee territory in the southeast and routes of the Trail of Tears
Julia Coates, PhD, is senior writer and oral history interviewer in American Indian studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Coates is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and serves on its Tribal Council. She received her doctorate in American studies from the University of New Mexico, and has been assistant professor of Native American studies at the University of California, Davis, and a visiting professor at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.
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