First Audiobook Release of Cherokees of the Smoky Mountains: A Little Band that has Stood Against the White Tide for Three Hundred Years by Horace Kephart, Narrated by his Great Granddaughter, Janice Kephart

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A new eBook and audiobook version of Cherokees of the Smoky Mountains: A Little Band that has Stood Against the White Tide for Three Hundred Years has been released. Written by Horace Kephart in the early 1900s, and brought to life in its first narration by his great granddaughter, Janice Kephart, the book is now available for purchase on Amazon (Kindle/Audible), Storytel, Scribd, Google Play, Spotify and other audiobook retailers and libraries worldwide.

Cherokees of the Smoky Mountains is a powerfully emotive history that weaves facts with strong commentary on the multitude of terrible injustices committed against the southern Appalachia Cherokees that resulted in the Trail of Tears. This audiobook gives a voice to the outrage Kephart evokes at American imperialism and racism at some of its worst.

The text relates the powerful and dramatic history of Cherokees, who for 40,000 years thrived in the difficult terrain of the Great Smoky Mountains and its surrounding regions areas of what is now Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. With a constitution and organized government, a written language and no economic debt, the Cherokees sought to live in relative peace. However, President Andrew Jackson and the state of Georgia thought differently, uprooting the Cherokees and their devoted Chief John Ross and forcing migration to Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears from 1837 to 1839, during which about one-quarter of the Cherokee population perished.

Much political tension was exacerbated by a key Supreme Court ruling by Chief Justice John Marshall that emphasized Georgian land grabbing of Cherokee lands was illegal. The audiobook relates with passion, empathy and historical accuracy the events that resulted in Cherokee forced Removal, and how one Cherokee Chief was sacrificed to retain a small piece of Cherokee land in the southwest corner of North Carolina, known today as Qualla Boundary.

Horace Kephart was a best seller in his day and author of Our Southern Highlanders, Camping and Woodcraft and Smoky Mountain Magic, and the creator of the Kephart knife. Mount Kephart, a 6,217 foot peak just northwest of Cherokee Qualla Boundary, was chosen by Kephart and designated in his lifetime. He was instrumental in the founding of the Great Smoky National Park. 

As direct lineage of Horace Kephart, Janice Kephart, a former 9/11 Commission counsel known for her terrorist travel work and multiple testimonies before Congress, as well as a spoken word artist who has worked with Grammy winners and nominees, brings both credibility and captivation to this narration for an immersive listening experience. In 2018, her Cherokee Voices: A Spoken Soundtrack by the Trail of Tears Women, based on this same text, was released with critical acclaim.

Janice Kephart added a Foreword, new Introduction, and chapter titles to help bring the story to life. In the e-book version, Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library Horace Kephart Archive was kind enough to support the project with high resolution photographs from its extensive physical collection.

“I am thrilled to be able to bring this important book to a wider audience through the medium of audiobooks and Kindle,” said Janice Kephart. “Horace Kephart’s Cherokee history helps America not forget that violent racism was brought to the Cherokees, not vice versa. This project is my small contribution to telling a nugget of American history that is often overlooked and misunderstood, while paying homage to the incredible legacy of my great grandfather.”

Janice Kephart


SOURCE Janice Kephart