Oblivion's Altar: A Novel of Courage
New American Library
, 2002 - Fiction
- 376 pages
Spans six decades-from 1776 to 1839-in addressing the plight of Ridge, a great Cherokee chieftain. Ridge was originally called Kah-nung-da-tla-geh, the Man Who Walks the Mountaintops. He was born in Georgia, where the Cherokee were known as the Civilized Tribes because they adapted easily to the white man's customs of dress, language and farming, with a parallel government and their own constitution. Ridge, a warrior and chief, is also a rich Cherokee farmer who believes in the strength of the treaties and the words of Pres. Andrew Jackson. What he does not understand is that the treaties are merely paper and that Jackson will not raise a finger to help the Indians in a vicious land dispute with the states. Ridge encourages education as a means to beat the whites at their own game. His son becomes a lawyer and represents the Cherokees in court. Even when the Cherokees win the court cases, however, the government ignores the law and the Cherokees are driven from their lands by force, following the Trail of Tears westward.