Walking Worthily begins in the fall of 1838 along the Cumberland River. The main character, Adam Cormick, is a mountain man from Virginia who settled on a farm along the north side of the river a few miles upstream from Nashville. Adam's wife, a beautiful Cherokee woman, takes her son Jebb with her when she walks to her old village to visit her family. While at the village she gets swept-up with her family in the government's Relocation Plan and taken on the forced march to Oklahoma. The first part of this book is about Wanita, Adam's wife, and her family while on the long trail across the country. When Adam discovers his wife and baby son missing with the people of her village he follows after them trying to catch-up. He has several harrowing experiences in the primitive expanses while trying to find his wife and son Jebb.
The second part of this book is about Jebb Cormick while growing up. It begins when he is fourteen and fishing on the river. His misadventures take him and his Shawnee friend, Tom Eagle, through their boyhood years, then while Jebb is in the Civil War.
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