© 2012 Kae Cheatham ISBN 978-0971428799 KAIOS Books
Print edition: $8.95
Set in the 1840s at the end of the Second Seminole War, On Promised Land details the great American dream of all pioneers who settled in western America. But the characters in this story are black pioneers. Black-Seminole: Tru, free-born in the Everglades and recently orphaned; his two younger siblings, Toby and Kate, and his teenage Calusa wife, Tall Deer.
The Treaty of Camp Moultrie (1823) had promised that the land south of Okeechobee would forever be for the Seminole people—a reservation. Tru and Tall Deer lived south, on the reservation land. But the Indian Removal Act in 1830, stated that all Indian people would be removed from the eastern states and settled in the uncharted West beyond the Mississippi river. The reservation land in Florida was finally negotiated away with the Treaty of Payne's Landing (1832). This treaty allowed only three years for all the Seminoles to relocate.
These stalwart, industrious folk who have been driven West are caught up in politics and expansion in Indian Territory. During the hardships at Fort Gibson, the young couple don't lose their belief for each other or their culture. They strive and survive in what we think of as the "American Way" even when they aren't recognized as Americans--or Seminoles--or free. Yet they persist.
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"There's a lot packed into this novella—a riveting tale of survival against great odds, believable characters, suspense, romance and enough action to satisfy the most jaded reader. Aside from all that there's a disturbing history of which many Americans are unaware.
In the 1840s in Florida the Seminole and blacks—free and runaway slaves who have taken refuge with them and adapted to the Indian lifestyle—are besieged by a new enemy. Americans who sought to recover lost slaves and who coveted the territory had their desire abetted by President Jackson's plan to send all native peoples west of the Mississippi. Another of the many treaties with Native Americans was discarded without thought of consequences....
"This is an engrossing and educational story I would recommend to all."--J.R. Lindermuth. Pennsylvania