In 1830, a treaty was signed. In 1830, hearts broke. Tears fell on the long journey for twenty thousand. The Choctaw Nation was forced to leave their homelands to preserve their people. But they could not save them all.
For this collection of short stories, Choctaw authors from five U.S. states come together to present a part of their ancestors’ journey, a way to honor those who walked the trail for their future. These stories not only capture a history and a culture, but the spirit, faith, and resilience of the Choctaw people.
"This book is a milestone of fictional and historical Choctaw storytelling that exemplifies the value of Native knowledge through literary arts."
--Keevin Lewis, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian
"A strong representation of the Choctaw Nation and Native people as a whole, Touch My Tears presents a time period fading in American history. You did not learn these things in school. But you can now."
--Susan Feller, president of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums
"This book reflects the joining of courage and endurance that defines a great nation. I cried in many places, sometimes it seemed more than they cried for themselves."
--Lisa Reed, editor of the Biskinik, Official Publication of the Choctaw Nation
I'm so glad you've joined me on this journey. You'll hear from me occasionally with updates on our travels in Indian country, and about new releases.
Touch My Tears was a project I headed up with nine other Choctaw authors in an effort to preserve Choctaw Removal stories. I sincerely hope you enjoy the stories, and take a piece of our history into your own heart.
Chahta sia hoke,
Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer
Looking for more historical fiction based on true events? Check out my Choctaw Tribune series on Amazon:
Who would show up for their own execution?
It’s 1892, Indian Territory. A war is brewing in the Choctaw Nation as two political parties fight out issues of old and new ways. Caught in the middle is eighteen-year-old Ruth Ann, a Choctaw who doesn’t want to see her family killed.
In a small but booming pre-statehood town, her mixed blood family owns a controversial newspaper, the Choctaw Tribune. Ruth Ann wants to help spread the word about critical issues but there is danger for a female reporter on all fronts—socially, politically, even physically.
But what is truly worth dying for? This quest leads Ruth Ann and her brother Matthew, the stubborn editor of the fledgling Choctaw Tribune, to old Choctaw ways at the farm of a condemned murderer. It also brings them to head on clashes with leading townsmen who want their reports silenced no matter what.
More killings are ahead. Who will survive to know the truth? Will truth survive?
“Someone’s going to be king in this territory. No reason it can’t be me. It sure won’t be you.”
Someone is tearing at the fabric of the Choctaw Nation while political turmoil, assassinations, and feuds threaten the sovereignty of the tribe, which stands under the U.S. government’s scrutiny.
When heated words turn to hot lead, Ruth Ann Teller—a mixed-blood Choctaw—fears losing her brother, who won’t settle for anything but the truth. Matthew is determined to use his newspaper, the Choctaw Tribune, to uncover the scheme behind Mayor Thaddeus Warren’s claim to the townsite of Dickens. Matthew is willing to risk his newspaper—and his life—to uncover a traitor among their people.
But when Ruth Ann tries to help, she causes more harm than good—especially after the mayor brings in Lance Fuller, a schoolteacher from New York, to provide a rare educational opportunity for white children. How does this charming yet aloof young man fit into the mayor’s scheme?
When attacks against the newspaper strike and bullets fly, a trip to the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 is the key to saving the Choctaw Tribune and Matthew’s investigation. But Ruth Ann must find the courage to face a journey to the White City—without her brother.