Cherokee History

History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees by James Mooney -- Detailed, thorough history of the tribe plus traditional stories and religious practices.

Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation by John Ehle -- Ehle's style with an excellent, unbiased history of the tribe leading up to the forced removal.

Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People by Thurman Wilkins -- An excellent work on the Ridge faction of the Cherokee Nation from 1790-1840. This is a "must read" for those interested in the events leading to the Trail of Tears and the assassination of the Treaty Party leaders.

John Ross: Cherokee Chief by Gary E. Moulton -- The life of the most famous Cherokee Chief who served from 1828 to his death in 1866.

Old Frontiers: The Story of the Cherokee Indians from Earliest Times to the Date of Their Removal to the West, 1838 by John P. Brown -- An excellent and thorough history of the Cherokees in the 1700's and early 1800's. Emphasis is on the Chickamauga faction and their raids and warfare with the ever encroaching white settlers. (If you find it, buy it - may be out of print).

The Cherokees by Grace Steele Woodward

Cherokee Removal: Before and After edited by Wm. L. Anderson -- A collection of essays by noted authors on topics relating to conditions before, during, and after the Trail of Tears.

The Cherokees and Christianity, 1794-1870: Essays on Acculturation and Cultural Persistence by William G. McLoughlin

After the Trail of Tears: The Cherokee Struggle for Sovereignty 1839-1880 by William G. McLoughlin -- Discusses efforts of the Cherokee Nation to maintain independence with the complications of internal factionalism.

Redbird Smith and the Nighthawk Keetoowahs by Janey B. Hendrix -- A straight forward account of the Nighthawk Keetoowahs, led by Redbird Smith, and their opposition to the allotment of Cherokee land before Oklahoma statehood. Intended to provide unbiased viewpoints of those for and against allotment.

Fire and the Spirits: Cherokee Law from Clan to Court by Rennard Strickland -- Traces the evolution of Cherokee Law from tribal or clan law to a more Euro-American form.

And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes by Angie Debo -- This book documents the "orgy of exploitation", graft, and corruption that followed allotment and Oklahoma statehood. "Within a generation the Indians were almost stripped of their holdings, and were rescued from starvation only through public charity."

The Texas Cherokees: A People Between Two Fires, 1819-1840 by Dianna Everett -- The history of a group of Cherokees which left the Western Cherokees and settled in Mexican Texas. They were eventually forced from Texas in a bloody battle with the Texas Army and moved to the southern border of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory.

Mankiller: A Chief and Her People by Wilma Mankiller with Michael Wallis -- Aspects of Cherokee culture and history are interweaved with the story of Mankiller's life.

The Last Cherokee Warriors by Phillip W. Steele -- Actually two separate histories: Part 1 is the story of Ezekiel Proctor, the only "individual" the U.S. Government ever made a treaty with; Part 2 is the story of Ned Christie, an influential Keetoowah branded as an outlaw by the U.S. Government.

The Cherokee Crown of Tannassy by William O. Steele -- "A slightly [very] embellished account of events and designs and adventures as reported by Sir Alexander Cuming in his brief Journal, which appeared in the Historical Register of London for 1731." Cuming ventured into the Cherokee Nation in 1730 with the aid of Ludovic Grant and convinced seven young Cherokees (including future chief, Attakullakulla, the "Little Carpenter") to visit England and King George II.

The Cherokee People: The Story of the Cherokees from Earliest Origins to Contemporary Times by Thomas E. Mails -- Covers Cherokee society, religion, traditions, tribal organization, etc. Lots of illustrations.

Copyright 1996 Ken Martin