Brian Hicks’s Toward the Setting Sun chronicles one of the most significant but least explored periods in American history, recounting the littleknown story of the first white man to champion the voiceless Native American cause.

Toward the Setting Sun

John Ross, the Cherokees, and the Trail of Tears

“In this powerful and engaging new book, Brian Hicks tells the compelling story of Chief John Ross and the tragedy of the Cherokee Nation. By focusing on the Ross family, Hicks brings narrative energy and original insight to a grim and important chapter of American life.”
—Jon Meacham

“A vigorous account of the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their southern homelands. . .[Hicks] takes a measured view of Ross’s opponents and allies alike, shedding new light on the career of other eminent figures such as the newspaperman and Confederate general Stand Watie. A welcome addition to Cherokee history.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“By focusing on the people behind the tragedy of the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears, Brian Hicks makes us see how individual men and women shaped the complex course of history. Written with sympathy and verve, Toward the Setting Sun is an important book that is also a pleasure to read.” —Nathaniel Philbrick, author of The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the National Book Award-winning In the Heart of the Sea

“With careful probing and quiet eloquence, Brian Hicks shows us the moral complexities of a leader struggling to make sense of his shrinking world. You feel the fate of John Ross and the Cherokees, a great people whose only crime was living in the path of a ravenous, covetous empire.”
—Hampton Sides,
author of
Blood and Thunder

“Brian Hicks tells a compelling story about a determined Cherokee leader who was forced to make hard choices absent any good options in a rapidly changing land. Toward the Setting Sun is an honest, provocative examination of tragic betrayal and the limits of power for the Native American.”
—Scott Zesch, author of The Captured:
A True Story of Abduction by Indians
on the Texas Frontier

Old Line Road

According to local legend, this is the site where Major Ridge was assassinated in June 1839. The creek is along the path of the old Line Road on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border