The stunning saga of the Cherokees, told here like never before, fills these pages with remarkable historic events and larger than life heroes and villains of America's most powerful tribe. Delve into richly described scenes of treachery and triumph, lust and love, with such unforgettable characters as Sequoyah, Sam Houston, Rich Joe Vann, Beloved Woman Nancy Ward, John RoThe stunning saga of the Cherokees, told here like never before, fills these pages with remarkable historic events and larger than life heroes and villains of America's most powerful tribe. Delve into richly described scenes of treachery and triumph, lust and love, with such unforgettable characters as Sequoyah, Sam Houston, Rich Joe Vann, Beloved Woman Nancy Ward, John Ross, Stand Watie, and the outlaw Tom Starr. Feel the desperation left by the Trail of Tears and the inter-tribal murders that followed in the wilderness of Indian Territory. See the lines of division erupt again as the Cherokees are inescapably plunged into the American Civil War. And hear, perhaps for the first time, the voices of their African captives as they rise from the carefully concealed wound that was Cherokee slavery..."There's never been anything quite like it - and there probably never will be again." - Robert J. Conley, author of Cherokee Medicine Man The novel is written by Deborah Duvall, Murv Jacob and James Murray. Duvall and Murray were born and raised in the Cherokee Nation. Jacob has had an art studio in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Cherokee capital, since 1990. Jacob moved there to study with Cecil Dick, a traditional Keetoowah/Cherokee painter, and insights he learned from him are found inside the pages of the novel. Duvall grew up within walking distance of Tahlequah, swimming the creeks in the summer and hiking the woods in the winter. Her feel for the land, the river, creeks and hills around Tahlequah is woven throughout the book. James Murray is a farrier and an expert on firearms who might well have just stepped out of the 1800’s. “You can’t understand the frontier experience unless you live it,” Murray said. “I spent eighteen months in a tent in the hills, and then lived with no electricity or water even deeper in the hills. I handle guns and horses every day.” The three came together in the summer of 2007. Jacob and Duvall had already published several books together. When he met Murray, Jacob told him an idea for a novel about the Cherokees. Murray said he wanted in and the three writers agreed on the title. “I thought I knew a lot about it at the time,” said Murray, “but the more we looked into Cherokee history, the weirder and more dramatic it became.” They soon realized that most popular historical accounts had left out some interesting facts. “We could see that the slaves of the wealthy Cherokees had never really had a voice in history books,” said Jacob. “But they did have voices and minds. And what characters, the slaves! They tell a story most readers have never imagined.” “We spent hours poring over every word,” said Duvall, “like a three-headed dog, fighting and scraping. Sometimes we’d finish a chapter, stand up and applaud. We ranted, raved and in the end we have a novel people are going to love.” Secret History of the Cherokees spans from the 1730’s until1864, well into the Civil War. It depicts the Cherokee metamorphosis from a matrilineal culture, overseen for centuries by powerful women, into a male-dominated Nation led by mixed-bloods and slave holders. The action continues in Indian Territory after the Trail of Tears, a period known as the Golden Age of the Cherokees, when mansions and plantation homes dotted the bottom land of the Illinois River. The novel takes a close-up look at the Keetoowahs – Cherokee traditionalists who fought valiantly against slavery.Much of the book was written at Jacob’s art studio in downtown Tahlequah – the same main street that Cherokees have walked for the last 150 years. “Chapter by chapter, the story grew and evolved a life of its own,” said Jacob. “I believe it is possible for a historic novel to be prophetic and even to point the way to the future.” Secret History of the Cherokees is available in paperback at Jacob Gallery, 504 N. Muskogee Ave., in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and on-line at Amazon.com., Kindle and Nook. Order signed copies at www.indianterritorypress.com....
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Secret History of the Cherokees Reviews
Excellent historical content about Cherokees: Trail of Tears, life in Tahlequah, Cherokee slave holders, and Cherokee involvement in the civil war. Written as a novel, the history came to life through the characters: Chief John Ross, Rich Joe Vann, Sam Houston, medicine man Pumpkin, and Sequoyah. Original writings of Sequoyah sprinkled throughout. Brief appearances by William Quantrill and Jesse James.A few chapters contained extreme profanity, presumably to demonstrate realism of the characters portrayed. Also, a few sexual scenes were descriptive, but, fortunately, brief. For these two reasons, I did not rate this a 5 star.
Interesting perspective on Cherokee history - especially Cherokee participation in slavery. The time shifts & narrative shifts are always a bit challenging for me as a reader, but definitely a necessary way to tell this story.