An American Holocaust, The Story of the Cherokee Displacement


By Steve Inskeep

Jacksonland is an American story, a tragedy. It is about greed, white man’s destiny, struggle and death. It is a story not well known and one everyone should hear.

As the title suggests, Steve Inskeep, co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” writes about the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Yet the book is more than your traditional presidential biography.

Jacksonland is a narrative about the plight of the Native American. It is a story focused on the Cherokee Tribe and how the American government purloined Cherokee lands and removed the tribal citizens westward en masse. Jacksonland is a story of how one population was forcefully cordoned off from the American Democracy experiment.

Inskeep begins this American story with the friendship between war hero, General Andrew Jackson, and his military compatriot and Cherokee chief, John Ross. These wartime comrades soon become enemies.

After winning a contentious election for the presidency of the United States in 1829, Jackson began to implement his initiative to expel Native Americans from Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. He intended to relocate them in the western territories, grabbing their land for white settlers.

Jackson promised his compatriot John Ross, a mixed-race Cherokee politician, that the indigenous populations would receive all the benefits afforded countrymen if only the tribes adopted the “civilized ways” of white Americans.

In keeping with politics, it was a promise not kept.

The Cherokee were instead commanded to voluntarily leave their farms and communities, which had been their homes for generations. John Ross took the Cherokee’s battle to the United States Supreme Court and won!

However, President Jackson chose to ignore the court’s decision. Native Americans in Tennessee and Georgia were forcibly removed from their homes at gunpoint, crowded into internment camps before being loaded into train boxcars and barges for involuntarily transport to the undeveloped wilderness.

A missionary, who lived among the Cherokees, described them as “prisoners who had been hurled from comfortable circumstances into abject poverty.” Many were forced to walk hundreds of miles. The internment camps were death traps and thousands died there from starvation. Thousands more died during the march westward from epidemic diseases. It was America’s Holocaust.

While this tragedy contemporaneously unfolded during the time of slavery, the country was rather immune to the plight of the Native American and their relocation. There were some parallel movements to abolition movement that sought to protect the Native American, but their violent and forceful relocation does not receive the same coverage and condemnation in American history books.

Jacksonland provides an in-depth look at the oft overlooked and forgotten plight of Native Americans in the United States. If you are a history buff and concerned about the stories not told publicly, then Inskeep’s Jacksonland is for you.

Want to write for Sitting in the Stacks?

Have you dragged your friends and family into another bookstore promising them it was the last one? Do you consider your books to be your most prized possession? Are you a fan of book humor that no one else seems to get?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you are clearly passionate about all things books and should consider writing for Sitting in the Stacks.

Sitting in the Stacks is now accepting submissions for three categories: Read more

Ebooks, Free Books

ebooksMaybe not totally free books, but definitely very inexpensive books.

This week’s Friday Findings highlights the insane discounts one can find by perusing the ebook shelves. I initially learned about the practice of discounting ebooks for a limited time when I was contacted to review The House on Seventh Street. The price of Williams’ ebook was lowered to $0.99 to celebrate the release of the audiobook. That struck me as amazing!

Turns out, drastically cutting the prices of an ebook is common practice.  Read more

Murder in Paris: Aimee Leduc Investigations

ParisAimée Leduc Investigations
by Cara Black

Earlier this summer a fellow book blogger shared that she was reading Murder on the Quai (the most recent release in the series). I was instantly intrigued as I had recently finished all the books in the Tana French Dublin Murder Squad series and was aching for a new mystery. It didn’t hurt that the scene for Murder on the Quai was Paris. My interest in all things francophone was piqued.

Months later and three books down, I have become smitten with Cara Black’s mystery series. Read more

M. Judson Bookstore

M. Judson Bookstore

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 9.26.04 PMDuring a long-weekend visit to Greenville, South Carolina, I visited the M. Judson bookstore on South Main Street. Like all independent bookstores I’ve come across, M. Judson has its own personality that comes through from the moment you walk in the store.

From the cashier counter made out of repurposed books to themed shelving, M. Judson clearly prioritizes creativity. This creativity follows you through the store as you meander from the quirky children’s section marked by chalkboard paint and a row of school chairs to the geographically themed shelves denoted by various maps. Read more

The Hunt for a South Carolina Book

birthday weekendOne month later and Sitting in the Stacks reappears! My one week off turned into a month, because I became swamped with a new job, planning a move, and other projects.

I recently came back from South Carolina where I visited a super cute bookstore. Stay tuned for a Bookstores of the World post! Oh – and there should be a book review of Murder in the Marais soon, too.

What has everyone else in the book blog world been up to? What are you all reading? Read more

Girl Dating to a New Best Friend

best friendMWF Seeking BFF
by Rachel Bertsche

Reading Challenges: 20 In Your 20s

Amazon | Goodreads

Reading challenges: 20 In Your 20s

Rachel Bertsche’s memoir about her innovative approach to finding a new best friend will keep you laughing, cringing with sympathy embarrassment, and nodding along in recognition of your own thoughts put to paper.

Having moved to Chicago to be with her husband, Bertsche left her two childhood best friends in New York City. After three years of work, mild acquaintances, and loneliness, Bertsche decides to do something about her lack of a local best friend. Read more

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: