Kit’s Crit: The Cherokee Nation – A History (Robert J. Conley)

The Cherokee Nation : A History by Robert J. Conley


Robert J. Conley is a member of the Cherokee Tribe who has written over seventy books.  It is therefore no surprise to find that The Cherokee Nation: A History (New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 2005) is an interesting and informative read.  This non-fiction history book is clearly written, well-organized, and offers a panoramic overview of the Cherokee people, from prehistoric times to the modern day.

The book begins by discussing various origin theories, both mythic and anthropological, and invites readers to examine the combined sources and recommended reading list at the end of the chapter.  He then traces tribal history through the Spanish invasion of 1540 – British Colonialism – the War of Independence – the Golden Age – the American Civil War – the Indian Wars – along the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma – the separation of the Eastern Band of Cherokees – and into the Twentieth Century.

Because of the vast scope of this project there is a limited amount of information about each period.  To compensate, Conley concludes each section with glossary of the terms used, and a list of suggestions for further research.  He also includes pictures and photographs of the Principal Chiefs, from 1762 onward.

For readers interested in Native American history in general -and the Cherokee in particular – this book is a great place to start your journey.

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