In 1830, Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law authorizing the removal of southern tribes to Indian Territory in the west. In 1838, the Trail of Tears occur when the remaining people are forcibly removed and marched a thousand plus miles on foot.George Massey, a twenty year old Cherokee, finds himself being force-marched to Indian Territory during the winter of 1838. One day he collapses and the Army escorting the Cherokee assumes he's dead. When he comes to later, he gets lost in the Kentucky woods and finds a family of Scots, the McGregor's, who take him in.The story follows George as he gets to know the family, goes to Indian Territory to find out what happened to his clan, returns and marries the McGregor daughter, Ellie. Later on, they're one of the first to travel by wagon train to California. In California, they get involved in the War with Mexico and the Gold Rush. After the Gold Rush, they return to Kentucky when news of Ellie's father's death reaches them, where they have to decide what to do next in this first novel in the "An American Journey" series.