Jerry Ellis

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Jerry Ellis - Walking The Trail

Host Alison Lebovitz visits Fort Payne, Alabama to talk with Pulitzer Prize nominated author Jerry Ellis. Often referred to as a "professional pilgrim", Jerry has made his living trekking across the country and writing about his experiences on the road. Most notably, he was the first person in modern history to walk in reverse the 900 mile Cherokee Trail of Tears. Find out how his quest for spiritual fulfillment made a significant impact on the legacy of his Cherokee ancestors.

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One fall morning Jerry Ellis donned a backpack and began a long, lonely walk: retracing the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the nine hundred miles his ancestors had walked in 1838. The trail was the agonizing path of exile the Cherokees had been forced to take when they were torn from their southeastern homeland and relocated to Indian Territory. Following in their footsteps, Ellis traveled through small southern towns, along winding roads, and amid quiet forests, encountering a memorable array of people who live along the trail today. Along the way he also came to glimpse the pain his ancestors endured and to learn about the true beauty of modern rural life and the worth of a man's character.

Dee Brown, author of the infamous book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Library Edition)Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, wrote this about Walking the Trail: "Reading Jerry Ellis's account of his modern-day trek along the old Cherokee Trail of Tears is better than receiving a series of letters from a perceptive, generous-hearted and imaginative traveler." Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, quoted in Reader's Digest and on display in the National Teachers Hall of Fame, the book is out in paperback and newly on Kindle. Take a FREE peek at Amazon.

Harrison4.jpgJim Harrison, author of Legends of the FallLegends of the Fall, the movie starring Brad Pitt, wrote this: "Walking the Trail is a wonderful book which should be read by anyone interested in our history or Native Americans or very good writing." Out in paperback and on Kindle. You can download FREE Kindle reader to your computer in a flash.

Jerry Ellis, Cherokee, was born and raised in Fort Payne Alabama, where Sequoyah lived while completing his invention of the Cherokee alphabet. Ellis was the first person in the modern world to walk the 900 mile route of the Cherokee Trail of Tears. His resulting book, Walking the Trail, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He has lectured about his historic journey and the Trail of Tears in Asia, Europe, Africa and at universities through out the USA. He has written for The New York Times and had four books published by Random House. His author website is:


Jerry Ellis' Cherokee great grandmother 1860 on tintype and the Kindle edition of Walking the Trail, also out in paper and hardback.


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