The Journal of Jesse Smoke, a Cherokee Boy, also known as On This Long Journey, is the twelfth book in Scholastic's My Name Is America series. It was written by Joseph Bruchac and first published in June 2001. It was republished with a new title and cover art in January 2014.


"In beloved memory of Wotkogee/Louis Littlecoon Oliver and Gogisgi/Carroll Arnett, two elders whose teachings touched so many hearts."

Book description

"October 15, 1838
Rode back and forth all day to see progress of other detachments ahead and behind. Just as in our party, they find it hard to rouse the people each morning from their blankets. It sometimes takes all of the morning to get everyone upon the trail again, moving forward in a slow shuffle. People turn and look back at our mountains with tears in their eyes. Each day at least one person does not rise from their blankets and a grave must be dug by the roadside.

""On we went, on toward the darkest dawn I have ever known."
Sixteen-year-old Jesse Smoke and his family are in danger of losing everything after a small group of Cherokees signed a treaty ceding their land to the U.S. government. In exchange, the Cherokee Nation has been offered land to the west of the Mississippi as a new home, and the pressure from the government to start the relocation grows every day. All hope lies with Cherokee chief John Ross, who is in Washington, D.C., working to undo the treaty. But then one night Jesse's people are suddenly awakened, dragged from their homes, and brought at gunpoint to a stockade camp. Given almost no time to prepare, the Cherokee are told they are to start their relocation. With little choice, Jesse and his family begin the horrifying journey westward on the Trail of Tears during the unending winter months. It's a desperate and nearly impossible trip, crossing rivers and mountains while weathering brutal storms and bitter temperatures, all with inadequate supplies. As winter drags on, death takes its tolls on the Cherokee people, and Jesse isn;t sure they'll ever reach the Indian Territories. Within the pages of his journal, Jesse weaves together the incredible stories and history of his people with the tragedy of their journey as they walk the long miles toward their new lands.



Main article: List of On This Long Journey characters


Main article: Joseph Bruchac



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