Benjamin Cooper bears witness, from his early days in Denver City as a child, through his adult life as an Army officer, to his government's relationship with a tribe he comes to know well. As the years unfold, he is unsettled recognizing the Cheyenne people's strong connection to this land and their relationship with the Creator. The country's Manifest Destiny, he realizes, is colliding with another manifest destiny taking shape in the tribe being decimated. This insight draws him closer to the old man chief of the Cheyenne Tribe, known outside the tribe as Dull Knife and known to his people as Morning Star. Against all odds, he becomes driven to try to protect the old man and his family from further hardship. Separated by overwhelming differences, standing much of his life with the forces responsible for the tribe's devastating losses, he is faced with a last order. He is to stop the Cheyenne Exodus, the tribe's desperate effort by a remnant of three hundred men, women and children to return, from Indian Territory, to their homeland against the full force of the United States military power.
"Morning Star: Let Us Make A New Way, Richard DeSirey’s masterful debut work of historical fiction, introduces us to a new American hero. Professor Howard Zinn spoke of the importance of fashioning a people’s history of the United States. This book, which centers on Morning Star, a Cheyenne Chief known for his wisdom, diplomacy, and, above all, embrace of Native tradition and culture, aligns with that vision.
Morning Star is historical fiction, not fantasy. It is the product of painstaking research and interviews, vetted by the descendants of Morning Star for fidelity to the truth of his life and legacy. The author’s empathy and passion shine through in this gripping, profound tale of a Cheyenne Chief with a King-like penchant for fierce nonviolence in the face of yawning injustice.
– Hannibal B. Johnson, Esq. Author, Attorney & Consultant
"Morning Star is a compelling story about a tragic, misunderstood, and largely forgotten moment in American history. It is obvious that the Cheyenne people trust Richard Desirey and appreciate his effort to bring justice and compassion to their beloved leader and to help keep his memory alive. He is to be commended for this obvious labor of love. Even today it is difficult to read about all the atrocities the Cheyenne people suffered as a result of our nation’s so-called Manifest Destiny or, more appropriately, Manifest Greed. Although supposedly a “fictional” account as told through a non-Indian observer and story teller, it was an inspired way to bring this seminal story to life. Those who are aware of what actually occurred during the horrendous events described here will know that Morning Star is history, a history that the Cheyenne people have kept their treasured secret for more than a century."
– Herman J. Viola, Curator Emeritus, National Museum of the American Indian