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Smithsonian Institution, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, 

Wdsh'uKjton, D. C, July 1, 189S. 
Sir: I have the lienor to submit my xvineteenth Annual 
Report as Director of the Bureau of American Ethnolog}'. 

The Report opens with an account of the operations of the 
Bureau during the past fiscal year and with some exposition 
of the principles pursued in the work; the remainder com- 
prises nine memoirs prepared by collaborators, which illustrate 
the methods and results of the work of the Bureau. 

It is a pleasure to express my appreciation of your constant 
aid and support in the work under my charge. ■ 
I am, with respect, your olaedient ser^•ant, 


Honorable S. P. Langlky, 

Secretari/ of f lie Siiiitl/soiiidJt Instil ntioii. 




Introduction xi 

Field research and exploration xiii 

Office research six 

AVork in ei<thetology six 

\\'( irk in technology xx 

Work in sociology _ .■ xxii 

Work in philology xxv 

Work in sophiology xx vii 

Descriptive ethnology xxviii 

Collections xxix 

Publication xxix 

Bibliography xxx 

Library xxx 

Illustrations xxx 

Property x x x i 

Financial statement x.xxiv 

Characterization of accompanying papers xxxv 

Subjects treated xxxv 

^lytbs of the Cherokee xxxvii 

Tusayan migration traditions xxxix 

Localization of Tusayan clans xli 

■Mounds in northern Honduras' xli 

Primitive numbers xi.iii 

Numeral systems of Mexico and Central America xliv 

Mayan calendar systems XLii 

The wild rice gatherers of the upper lakes Lil 

Tusayan flute and snake ceremonies _ xlv 

Estlietology, or the science of activities designed to give pleasure lv 

General considerations i,v 

Ambrosial pleasures i,ix 

Decorative pleasures lx 

Athletic pleasures i.xiii 

Games - i.x viii 



Esthetology, or the science of activities designed to give pleasure— Cont'd Page 

Fine arts - Lxx 

Music Lxx 

Rhythm - - - lxxi 

Melody - lxxi 

Harmony Lxxii 

Symphony - Lxxiii 

Graphic art - - Lxxiv 

Sculpture • Lxxi v 

Relief - - lxx v 

Perspective lxxvi 

Chiari iscuro lxxvi 

Drama lxxvii 

Dance Lxxvir 

Sacrifice i.xxviii 

Ceremony Lxxviii 

Histrionic art Lxxix 

Romance J.xxxi 

Beast fable - lxxxii 

Power myth lxxxiii 

^Necromancy L.xx.xv 

Novels Lxxxvi 

Poetry Lxxxvii 

Personification LX.xxvii 

Similitude .^. lxxxviii 

Allegory Lxxxix 

Trope xc 


Myths of the Cherokee, by James' Mooney 3-548 

Index to Part 1 549-576* 

Tusayan Migration Traditions, by Jesse Walter Fewkes 573-634 

Localization of Tusayan Clans, by Cosmos Mindeleff 635-653 

Mounds in Northern Honduras, by Thomas Gann 655-602 

Mayan Calendar Systems, by Cyrus Thomas 693-819 

Primitive Numliers, by W J McGee 821-851 

Numeral Systems of Mexico and Central America, by Cyrus Thomas 853-955 

Tusayan Flute and Snake Ceremonies, by Jesse Walter Fewkes 957-101 1 

The Wild Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes, by Albert Ernest Jenks 1013-1137 

Index to Part 2 1139-1160 


Within the kiva Frontispiece 

Myths of the Cherokee -- Tlates i-xxvin; Figures 1-3 

JNIounds in northern Honduras Plates xxix-xxxxx ; Figures 4-7 

j\Iayan calendar systema Plates x i.-xliv; Figures S-22 

Kumeral systems of Mexico and Central America Figures 23-41 

Tusayan flute and snake ceremony Plates xlv-lxv; Figures 42-46 

The wild rice gatherers of the upper lakes Plates lxvi-lxxix; Figures 47-48 





By J. W. Powell, Director 


Ethnoloofic researclies have been conducted durins' the fiscal 
year ending June 30, 1898, in accordance with the act of 
Congress making provision "for continuing reseai'ches relating 
to the American Indians, under the direction of the Smithsonian 
Institution," approved June 4, 1897. 

The work has been carried forward in accordance with a 
plan of operations submitted on June 14, 1897. The field 
operations of the Director and the collaborators have extended 
into Arizona, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Indian- Territory, Maine, 
New Brunswick, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Ontario, 
and Texas, while special agents have conducted operations in 
Alaska, Argentina, British Columbia, Califoi'nia, Chile, Green- 
land, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Washington state. The oflice 
work has included the collection of material from Indian tribes 
in Arizona, Idaho, Indian Territory, Kentucky, Minnesota, 
Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, New York, Oklahoma, 
Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Texas. The researches in 
the office have dealt with material from nearly all of the states 
and from other portions of the American continent. 

The organization of the work has grown out of a classifica- 
tion of ethnic science based on the researches of the Bureau. 


It is worthy of note that, while the science of man has 
advanced rapidly during- the last twenty years through the 
eiforts of able investigators in different countries, the advance 
has been particularly rapid in the United States. No small 
part of this advance must be ascribed to the farsighted gov- 
ernmental policy of maintaining researches among the abo- 
riginal tribes of the American continents, yet a part of the 
progress would seem to be due to the wide range in ethnic 
phenomena with which American students are favored. The 
investigator in this country may easily come in contact with 
representatives of every race and of every important strain 
of blood; at the same time he may study every important 
grade in culture, from the savagery of some of the Indian 
tribes, through the barbarism of others, up to the civilization 
and enlightenment represented by the greater part of our pop- 
ulation. Among the consequences of this favorable condi- 
tion for study have been the stimulation of observation and 
the encouragement of strictly scientific methods of research. 
Another result is found in the amassing of trustworthy data, in 
unequaled amount, for comparative study. The general result 
is expressed in extension and refinement of ethnic science, and 
to some degree in the application of ethnology to practical 

The systemization of the science resulting from considera- 
tion of its subject-matter as exhibited in the operations of the 
Bureau was set forth somewhat fully in the last report, and the 
same system is followed in the present report. The science for 
which the Bureau was organized under the act of Congress 
treats but slightly of the somatic characteristics of the native 
tribes of America; the researches extend rather over those char- 
acteristics exhibited by men in the tribal state as they are por- 
trayed in cultural elements. These elements of character arise 
in the methods pursued by the tribesmen for the purpose of 
securing pleasure, welfare, justice, expression, and opinion; 
these pursuits involve activities which are esthetic, industrial, 
governmental, linguistic, and educational, and the activities 
give rise to the sciences of esthetology, technology, sociology, 
philology, and sophiology. 



At the beginning- of the fiscal year the Director was engaged 
in an examination of certain shell mounds on the coast of 
Maine reconnoitered during the preceding season. Limited 
collections were made, and the associations were noted with care 
and compared with those characteristic of the Indians still liv- 
ing in the vicinity. The work resulted in the complete iden- 
tification of tlie mound-builders with the tribes found on the 
same coast by white men early in the settlement of this country. 

During July Mr F. W. Hodge repaired to Arizona, joining 
Dr Fewkes during the excavation of the ruins near Snowiiake, 
south of Holbrook, and later accompanymg him to Tusayan 
for the purpose of gaining further insight into the summer 
ceremonies of the Hopi Indians and additional knowledge of 
the ruins of their former villages. Leaviuo- Dr Fewkes and 
his i^arty late in August, he visited the remarkable, but little 
known, ruins on the mesas surrounding CeboUita valley, about 
35 miles south of Grant, New Mexico, making photographs of 
noteworthy features and ground plans of some of the more 
interesting structures. After spending several days in this 
work, Mr Hodge visited the pueblos of Laguna and Acoma, 
witnessing at the latter village the interesting Fiesta de San 
Estevan, and on September 3 he proceeded with his party to 
the widel}" known Mesa Encantada, some three miles from 
Acoma, the traditional home of the Indians of the jDueblo during 
prehistoric times. The precipitous height was climbed, the 
night was spent on the summit, and after carefully examining 
its entire surface Mr Hodge succeeded in finding traces of Indian 
occupancy at a remote period. He also found traces of an 
ancient pathway leading toward the summit and quantities of 
prehistoric ware in the talus, to wliicli it had evidently been 
washed from the summit of the mesa; according-l}*, he was able 
to substantiate the essential features of an Acoma tradition. 

The beginning of the year found Dr J. Walter Fewkes 
occupied in collecting aboriginal material from a prehistoric 
ruin known as Kintiel, or Pueblo Grande, located on an upper 
wash of the Colorado Clii(iuito, between Navaho station and 
Ganado, in eastern central Arizona. Situated midway 


between the Tusayan and Zuni groups of pneblos, this rain 
has for a number of years been a problem to investigators 
in this field; but the researches of Dr Fewkes show quite 
conclusively that the art remains unearthed resemble more 
closely those of Halona, Heshotauthla, and other ancient Zuni 
villages than those of the prehistoric pueblos of Tusayan. 
Excavations were conducted in the ceraetries, as well as in the 
ruin of the village, and in each an interesting collection of 
pottery and of bone and stone implements was unearthed. 

Fullv satisfied with the results at this point, Dr Fewkes 
returned to the railroad, and from Holbrook proceeded to the 
vicinity of Pinedale, near the northern border of the White 
Mountain Apache reservation, where another interesting col- 
lection of objects was made. Although the ruins from which 
they were recovered are more remote from the 2)resent Tusa- 
yan villag-es than are those of Kintiel, they are more closely 
similar in form and in symbolic decoration to ancient Tusayan 
art products than are the specimens obtained from the latter 

Excavations were next conducted in some interesting ruins 
about four miles west of Snowflake, which, like those of Pine- 
dale, were hitherto unknown to arclueologists. Researches at 
this point extended over a period of a fortnight, being con- 
ducted both in the house ruins and in the cemeteries north 
and southwest thereof. An unusuallv large collection of fictile 
ware, as well as a very interesting but smaller collection ot 
bone, stone, and shell objects, was here obtained. By the 
middle of August Dr Fewkes returned with his pai'ty to Hol- 
brook and proceeded thence to the Tusayan villages, where 
he made observations supplementarv to tliose conducted in pre- 
vious years in connection with the Snake dance and related 

During September Dr Fewkes visited that part of the upper 
Gila vallev called Pueblo Viejo, and examined certain ruins 
in that region whicli were discovered and described by Emory 
and Johnston in 1846. He conducted archaeological work in 
mounds near Solomonville and San Jose de Pueblo Viejo, and 
collected several hundred objects from these localities. These 
ruins were found to bear close architectural resemblance to 


those near Phoenix and Tempe, aiid to indicate adobe houses 
with walls supported by logs and stones, clustered about a 
central building which served for protection or for ceremonial 
purposes. Pottery and other objects from these ruins were 
found to be identical with those from near Casa Grande. It 
was discovered that the ancient people of this valley some- 
times buried their dead in their houses, but that the larger 
number were cremated. The calcined houses and ashes of the 
latter were placed in decorated jars and buried inpyral mounds. 
Remains of extensive prehistoric irrigating ditches, reservoii's, 
and terraced gardens show that the valley was extensively 
farmed in ancient times, and the large number of ruined houses 
indicate an extensive population. An instructive collection of 
pottery, beads, shells, and sacrificial objects was obtained from 
a cave in the mountains north of Pueblo Viejo. 

During- a part of liis field season Dr Fewkes had the coopera- 
tion of Mr F. W. Hodge, and during- the entire summer the 
assistance of Dr Walter Hough, of the United States National 
Museum. The researches of Dr Fewkes conducted during 
this summer were remarkably successful, both in the extent 
and value of the collections acquired and in the archaeologic 
and ethnologic data recorded. 

Toward the end of September Mr James Mooney took the 
field in New Mexico, Texas, and contiguous Mexican states, for 
the purpose of collecting, among various tribes, information 
additional to that obtained among- the Kiowa and Kiowa- 
Ajjache of Oklahoma concerning the primitive rites in which 
peyote (mqi-e jjopularly known as "mescal") is used as a nar- 
cotic and stimulant. Incidentally to this work, Mr Moonev 
made a brief visit to a series of interesting pueblo ruins, 
attributed to the neighboring Tewa Indians, on a mesa 12 
miles west of Espanola, above Santa Fe, on the Rio Grande, in 
New Mexico. These remains are of considerable local repute, 
but thus far they have not been seriously excavated. 

The Jicarilla Apache, numbering 850, on a reservation in 
northern New Mexico, were the next object of Mr Mooney's 
attention. This tribe formerly roamed over the section east of 
the mountains of New Mexico, on the headwaters of Arkansas 
and Canadian rivers, l)ut affiliated witli the Ute rather than 


witli the Plains tribes. It was found that they knew of peyote 
only through temporary association with the Mescalero a few 
years ago, when the two tribes were for a time on one reserva- 
tion. The Mescalero Apache, numbering 450, on a reservation 
in southeastern New Mexico, were next visited. Tliese 
Indians, whose popular name is derived from their use of the 
"mescal" or peyote, are regarded by the Plains tribes as mas- 
ters in all that concerns the plant; but from information 
received tlu-ough their best informants, as well as from actually 
witnessing the ceremony, Mr Mooney found the rite to be 
declining among them, largely through the difficulty of pro- 
curing the plant in their isolated condition, as it requires five 
days' journey on horseback to obtain a supply. Mr Mooney 
discovered a number of Lipan and a few Kiowa- Apache Indians 
li^•ing with the Mescalero. The Lipan were a predatory tribe 
of eastern Texas, and were almost exterminated some thirty 
years ago on account of their raiding propensities against 
both Texas and Mexico. Of the remnant a few are incorpo- 
rated with the Tonkawa, a few joined the Mescalero and 
Kiowa- Apache, while others, probably the larger number, fled 
to Santa Rosa inountains, in northern Mexico, where they still 
live. Mr Mooney obtained through the Lipan further infor- 
mation in regard to several Texan tribes, including the Karan- 
kawa and Tonkawa, of whom little has been known ; and from 
them also definite information was obtained in regard to the 
use of peyote among the Tarahumari of Mexico. 

Having completed his investigations among the tribes of 
New Mexico in the early part of December, Mr Mooney 
devoted attention to the remnants of the Piro, Tiwa, Suma, 
and Manso tribes on the Rio Grande below El Paso, in both 
Texas and Chihuahua. These Indians, now practically Mexi- 
canized, are the descendants of a large luimber of natives who 
were taken by Governor Otermin on his retreat from Santa Fe 
to El Paso, and settled at their present location during the 
Pueblo rebellion in 1680. He obtained valuable information 
in regard to the former status of these people and conducted 
also some linguistic researches, to which reference will later 
be made. 


Mr Mooney next proceeded to tlie mountain country of 
Texas, southeast of El Paso, for the purpose of locatmg- th6 
peyote, from information given by the I\Iescalero. Two or 
more varieties of the phxnt were found in this section, on both 
sides of the Rio Grande. In January Mr Mooney continued 
soutliward to the Tarahnmari country in quest of additional 
information concerning the rites and customs of that tribe of 
which pe}'Ote forms the feature. The Tarahnmari form one 
of the most populous tribes in North America, their number 
being variousl)^ estimated at from 50,000 to 80,000. They 
occupy nearly the whole mountain region of the state of 
Chihuahua. They perform a number of interesting ceremonies 
in which peyote plays an important role. Indeed, the jjlant 
is a prominent part of the medicine man's stock in trade, rather 
than something used by the tribe at lai'ge, as among the Kiowa 
and associated tribes to the northward. Several varieties of 
peyote are recognized b)^ the Taralunnari, who procure tlie 
plant chiefly about Santa Rosalia, in southeastern Chihuahua. 
Information concerning the ceremonial use of peyote by the 
neighboring Tepehuan tribes was likewise gained, and the 
southernmost limit of its use in Mexico was also determined. 

Aside from his researches in this interesting subject, Mr 
Mooney made an examination of some large burial caves near 
Aguas Calientes, about 200 miles southwest of Chihuahua city. 
Although the principal one of these caves had been excavated 
by residents, in the hope of finding buried treasure, and their 
contents thereby disturbed, Mr Mooney succeeded in recov- 
ering a well-preserved munnny with its original wrap})ings of 
matting and native cloth and the accompanying food and water 
vessels, which have been deposited in the National Museum. 
These and kindred observations throw much light on the little- 
known mortuary customs of the region. 

During August and September Dr Albert S. Gatschet was 
occupied in linguistic researches begun during the preceding 
year among the Algonquian tribes in Maine and contiguous 
parts of New Brunswick. His work resulted in the enrich- 
ment of his vocabularies, and in the preparation of numerous 

19 ETH — 01 II 


texts which are especially valuable not only as indices of lin- 
guistic structure but as records of tribal history, customs, social 
org-anization, and beliefs. 

Mr J. N. B. Hewitt spent tlie autumn in the field in northern 
New York and neighboring parts of Ontario, collecting lin- 
guistic and sociologic data required for the full comparative 
study of the Iroquoian tribes. He was also able to obtain new 
and valuable additions to the series of creation myths for wliich 
these Indians are notable, and through \\liicli their names have 
become extensively incorporated in the literature of the w^orld. 

On November 4, 1897, Mr J. B. Hatcher, of Princeton Uni- 
versity, Avho was about to sail for Argentina, was specially com- 
missioned to make collections among the Indian tribes of South 
America; and toward the end of the fiscal year he sent his first 
shipment of material, representing the natives of Patagonia, 
whose characteristics have attracted attention for centuries. 

On January 11, 189S, Mr Gerard Fowke was employed tem- 
porarily to make archfeologic surveys and excavations in an 
interesting locality in Ke.itucky. These excavations were par- 
ticular!}' successful, yielding a considerable quantity of valua- 
ble material, which has been forwarded to Washing-ton. 

Shortly before the opening of the fiscal year Dr Robert 
Stein, attached to Lieutenant R. E. Peary's Arctic expedition 
for the purpose of exploring a little-known stretch of the coast 
of western Greenland, was commissioned to make archseologic 
researches and collections. He was landed on August 10, 1897, 
and remained until September 1, when he was taken up by 
Lieutenant Peary on his return trip. During Dr Stein's stay 
on a part of the coast not now inhabited, he discovered abun- 
dant traces of ancient habitation by the Eskimo, and collected 
a quantity of somatologic and other material. 

The objective material collected during these exploitations 
has been placed in the National Museum; portions of the new 
data have been added to the archives, but the greater part are 
incorporated in memoirs now in preparation or completetl for 
publication, as is indicated in other parag-raplis. The scientific 
results of the work are summarized in the following pages. 


Work in Esthetologv 

Mr Frank Hamilton Gushing- has continued the study and. 
arrangement of his collections of aboriginal handiwork from 
western Florida, and has made progress in the praparation of 
a report on the prehistoric key-dwellers of the eastern shore 
of Gulf of Mexico. During the greater part of the year the 
collections were kept in the Museum of Archaeology of the 
University of Pennsylvania, where they were shipped on 
account of the inadequate space then afforded by the National 
Museum for unpacking and assembling; toward the end of 
the fiscal j^ear, as the capacity of the Museum was increased 
by the introduction of galleries, the greater part of the col- 
lection was brought to Washington and aiTanged in cases and 
on tables for purposes of comparison and study. In the course 
of his work Mr Cushing has made extensive comparisons 
between his specimens and those obtained by other archaeolo- 
gists from different portions of the United States, and the 
comparative studies are highly significant. The Florida col- 
lections are rendered exceptionally valuable by reason of the 
large number of specimens made from and decorated with 
animal and vegetal substances, which are ordinarily perish- 
able, though preserved in high perfection in the muck beds 
associated with the Florida Keys. Accordingly, the material 
serves better than any other collection thus far made to con- 
nect the records of the earl}^ explorers with the observations 
of later times; at the same time it serves to round out knowl- 
edge concerning the pre-Columbian handiwork of the Indians 
in all of the softer, more flexible, and more easily destructible 
substances, and, accordingly, permits comparison of designs 
wrought in a wide range of materials. 

Dr J. Walter Fewkes has continued the preparation of 
reports on his archseologic researches in Arizona and New 
Mexico. These researches were undertaken primarily for the 
purpose of enriching the collections of aboriginal art products 
in the National IMuseum. The large collections embrace a re- 
markably complete series of primitive designs and motives in 


fictile ware, including the adaptation of mythologic, animal, bird 
and feather, insect, and reptilian figures. Many of these are so 
highly conventionized that they would have been practically 
uninterpretable without the knowledge of Tusayan nwthologic 
and sociologic concepts which Dr Fewkes fortunately pos- 
sesses, and by means of which he has been enabled to make 
substantial contributions to knowledge of the development of 
artistic concepts. The results of his work are incorporated in 
two memoirs for publication, respectively, in the seventeenth 
and twentieth annual reports. 

In connection with other researches, and with administrative 
duties in the office as Ethnologist in Charge, Mr W J ^IcGee 
has made inquiries from delegations of Indians visiting Wash- 
ington concerning the symbolic use of feathers, especially in 
connection with headdi-esses. It is well known to students that 
the use of feathers, which at first sight would seem to be deco- 
rative merely, is essentially symbolic; but the meanings of the 
symbols have not been ascertained hitherto, save casually and 
among a few tribes. During the year the feather symbolism of 
the Ponka and Ojibwa tribes has been discovered and recorded 
with tolerable completeness. 

Work in Technology 

Arts and industries are correlative factors in human progress, 
and the lines of conceptual development traced through the 
study of art motives elucidate the growth of industrial devices. 
Accordingly,^ the woi'k of the collaborators in connection with 
art motives has contributed both directly and indirectly to 
aboriginal technology. During the year special attention was 
given to lines of technical develo])ment, as indicated in previ- 
ous reports, and to the acquisition of material for study and 
pi'eservation in the Museum. Especially valuable is the 
Steiner collection, from the mounds of Etowah valley, Geor- 
gia. It comprises 3,215 specimens of stone implements, earth- 
enware, and symbolic and decorative objects of copper, shell, 
and stone. The Indians of this district, builders of the great 
Etowah mound and other monuments, were peculiarly fertile 
in artistic and industrial devices. In this region the progres- 
sive tribes of the Siouan stock, the vigorous Cherokee, one or 


more of the wide-ranging Algonquiaii tribes, the little-kiiowu 
Yuchi, and some of the Muskhogean tribes came in frequent 
contact, while the influence of the arts and industries of the 
key-dwellers of Florida was constantly felt. Here, as else- 
where, ideas and ideals were stimulated by contact, whether 
peaceful or not; and the devices representing the rapidly 
growing concepts are especially sigDificant and useful in trac- 
ing the course of industrial development among the aboriginal 
tribes. Another noteworthy acquisition is the Morris collec- 
tion from Arkansas, comprising 181 pieces of pottery, together 
with a number of stone implements and other objects. The 
collection is especially A^aluable as an illustration of types of 
pottery hitherto rare or unknown. The most important acqui- 
sition of archseologic objects procured during the year is com- 
prised in the collections made by Dr J. Walter Fewkes from 
the ruins of Kintiel, Pinedale, Fourmile, Solomonville, and 
other ancient sites in eastern and southern Arizona and south- 
western New Mexico, an elaborate report on which is now 
being prepared. Like the collections obtained at Sikyatki, 
Awatobi, and other Tusayair ruins, these include fictile and 
textile products, stone, bone, and wooden implements, and 
objects of shell and stone used for personal adornment. In 
symbolic decorative features the mortuary food and water ves- 
sels, as well as many of the utensils recovered from the houses, 
are exceedingly rich. The collections have been deposited in 
the National j\luseum. 

The process of culture in all the five departments is by 
invention and acculturation. The invention is at first individ- 
ual, but when an invention is accepted and used by others it 
is accultural, and the invention of the individual may be added 
to the invention of others, so that it may be the invention of 
many men. (Objects may be used without designed modifica- 
tion, or they may be designedly modified for a purpose; the 
use of objects without designed modification, like the Seri 
stone implements, has been studied by Mr McGee, and he 
calls such unmodified implements protolithic, while the mod- 
ified stone implements he calls technolithic. The two phases 
are widely distinct, not only in type of object, but even more 
in the mental operations exemplified by the objects; for the 


protolithic objects represent undesigned adaptation and modi- 
fication, as of cobbles picked up at random, while the others 
represent designed shaping in accordance with preconceived 
ideals, as of chipped arrowpoints. The coexistence of these 
incongruous types among the Seri seemed puzzling at the 
outset, but was provisionally ascribed to the difference in 
occupation Ijetween the sexes, the women using the protolithic 
implements, and the warriors making and using the technolithic 
weapons. Further study showed that the objects of chipped 
stone imitate in every essential respect the aboriginal weapons 
of the hereditary enemies of the Seri, including the Papago 
and Yaki, and this fact, coupled with the mysticism thrown 
around the stone arrowpoints by the Seri shamans (most of 
whom are aged matrons), indicated that the idea of the tech- 
nolithic weapon was acquired through warfare. Examination 
of other characteristics of the Seri in the light of this interpre- 
tation served to explain various puzzling features and at the 
same time established the validity of the interpretation. The 
Seri have been at war with alien tinbes almost constantlj^ since 
the time of Columbus, and indeed long before, as is indicated 
by archseologic evidence. Most of their arts and industries are 
exceedingly primitive; yet here and there features imitating 
those characteristic of neighboring tribes, or even of white 
men, are found. Thus they substitute cast-off rags and fabrics 
obtained l:)y plunder for their own fabrics, wrought with great 
labor from inferior libers; since the adjacent waters have been 
navigated, they have learned to collect flotsam and use tattered 
sailcloth in lieu of pelican-skin blankets, cask staves in lieu of 
shells as paddles for their balsas, hoop iron in lieu of charred 
hardwood as arrowpoints for hunting, and iron spikes in lieu of 
bone harpoons for taking turtles; and almost without exception 
these modifications in custom have arisen without amicable 
relation, and despite — indeed, largely by reason of — deep-seated 
enmity against the alien peoples. 

Work in Sociology 

In sociology Mr McGee has observed some interesting facts 
which shed light on that form of development of institutions 
among the tribes of America which he calls piratical accultu- 


ration — spreading from one unfriendly tribe to another.' The 
Apache and Papago tribes have been bitterly iniuiieal from 
time innnemorial, the oldest creation legends of the Pa[)ago 
describing the separation of the peoples in the beginning; yet 
there is iiardlv a custom among the latter which has not 
been shaped i)artially or completely b}' the inimical tribe. 
The habitat of the Papago in the hard desert is that to which 
they have been forced b}" the predatory Apache; the indus- 
tries of the Papago are shaped by the conditions of the habitat 
and by the perpetual anticipation of attack. The traditions 
recounted by the old men are chiefly of battle against the 
Apache; even the ceremonies and beliefs are connected with 
that eternal vigilance which they have found the price of 
safety, and with the wiles and devices of the ever-present 
enemy. Perhaps the most important element in the accultu- 
ration is that connected with belief; for to the primitive mind 
the efficiency of a weapon is not mechanical but mystical (an 
expression of superphysical potency), and each enemy stri^•es 
constantly to coax or subcirn the beast-gods and potencies of 
the other; so the Papago warrior went confidently to battle 
against the Apache when protected by a charm or fetish 
including an Apache aiTowpoint taken in conflict, and felt 
assured of victory if his war club was made in imitation of 
that of the enemy and potentialized by a plume or inscrij)tiou 
appealing to the Apache deity. Even later in the scale of 
development, after the piratical acculturation has become meas- 
urably amicable; this factor remains strong, as among the clans 
of the Kwakiutl and some other tribes in which the aim of 
marriage settlement is the acquisition, not of property or kin- 
dred per se, but of deities and traditions concerning them. 

The general law of })iratical acculturation finds innumerable 
examples among the more primitive peoples of the world, and 
phases of it have been recognized in the proposition that con- 
quering tribes take the language of the conquered. Other 
phases have been perceived, e. g., in the hypothesis of primi- 
tive "marriage by capture." Various earlier students have 
noted that actual or ceremonial capture of the bride is a part 

' A preliminary announcement of this woi'k appears in the American AntVLropolo- 
gist, vol. xi, 1898, pp. 244-249. 


of iiiarriag-e amoiigr certain tribes, and have assumed that this 
was the initial form of mating among- primitive peoples; later 
researches have shown that, in the lowest of the four great cul- 
ture stages, mating is regulated by the females and their male 
consanguineal kindred, so that marriage by capture of brides 
can not occur; yet there is a step early in the stage of pater- 
nal organization in which a certain form of marriage by cap- 
ture has arisen in America, and may easily have become 
prominent on other continents. When tribes are in that unsta- 
ble condition of amity resulting in peaceful interludes between 
periods of strife — a stage characteristic of savagery and much 
of barbarism — the intertribal association frequently results in 
irregular matches between members of the alien tribes; com- 
monly such mating is punished by one or both tribes, though 
among many peoples there are special regulations under which 
the offense may be condoned — e. g., the groom may be sub- 
jected to fine, to running the gauntlet, to ostracism until chil- 
dren are born, etc. Yet while Ijotli bride and groom incur 
displeasure and even risk of life through such inatches, there 
is a chance of attendant advantage which may counterbalance 
the risk; for it frequently happens that the groom, especially 
if of tlie weaker tribe, eventually gains the amity and support 
of his wife's kinsmen, while in some cases the eldermen and 
elderwomen of one or both tribes recognize the desirability of 
a coalition which can tend only to unite the deities of both, 
and so benefit each in greater or lesser measure. Researches 
among the American aborigines have already shown that, so 
far as this continent is concerned, exogamy and endogamy are 
correlative, the former referring to the clan and the latter to 
the tribe or other group; they have also shown that the limi- 
tations of exogamy and the extension of eudogam}^ are inge- 
nious devices for promoting peace; and it is now becoming 
clear that intertinbal marriage, wliether hx mutuall}^ arranged 
elopement or by capture of the bride, may be a means of 
extending endogamy and uniting aliens, and thereby of rais- 
ing acculturation from the piratical plane to that of amicable 
interchange. The applications of the law of piratical accultura- 
tion are innumerable. In the light of the law it becomes easy 
to understand how inimical tribes are gradually brought to use 


similar weapons and implements, to adopt similar modes of 
tliinkino- and workinj)-, to worship similar deities, and thus to 
be liroug-ht from complete dissonance to potential harmony 
whensoever the exigency of primitive life may serve ; and thus 
the course of that convergent development, which is the most 
important lesson the American aborigines have given to the 
world, is made clear. Some idea may be formed, also, of the 
history of piratical acculturation. 

Work in Philology 

Dr Albert S. Gatschet has continued the preparation of a 
comparative vocabulary of Algonquian dialects, making satis- 
factory progress. The Algonquian linguistic stock was the 
most extensive of North America, both in the number of dia- 
lects and in the area occupied by the tribes using them. For 
this and other reasons the stock has been a source of much 
labor among philologists, and there has been considerable 
diversity of opinion as to its classification. One of the tasks 
undertaken b}' the Bureau early in its history was the review 
of Algonquian linguistic material for the purpose of formu- 
lating a definite and satisfactorv classification. ^lany vocabu- 
laries have been collected and compared; to aid in the deter- 
mination of affinities, grammatic material has also been 
obtained in considerable volume ; and still further to elucidate 
relations, a body of records of myths and ceremonies has been 
accumulated. The lexic, grammatic, and mythologic records 
of the Algonquian stock collected by collaborators of the 
Bureau and obtained from correspondents form several hun- 
dred manuscripts ; and it is from this voluminous material that 
the comparative vocabulary is compiled. In addition to this 
routine work on the vocabularv, Dr Gatschet has from time 
to time prepared linguistic material for use in answering 
inquiries of numerous correspondents. 

Mr J. N. B. Hewitt has continued the study of the Iroquoian 
languages during the j-ear. As has been noted in former 
reports, he has also carried forward a general study of the pro- 
noun as used in primitive tongues, with a view to the prepara- 
tion of a memoir on linguistic development. Partly as a means 


to this end, partly because of the inherent interest of the 
subject, he has luitlertaken a comparative study of the creation 
myths of the Iroquoian and some other tribes. During the 
later portion of the year the greater part of his time has been 
devoted to this study, with highly satisfactory results. 

During his operations among the Mescalero and Jicarilla 
Apache tribes of New Mexico, mainly for the purpose of gain- 
ing knowledge concerning the ceremonial use of the peyote 
among those people, as recorded in previous paragraphs, Mr 
James Mooney seized the opportunity of obtaining vocabula- 
ries for comparison with cognate dialects, together with the 
genesis myths. The Mescalero and Jicarilla dialects are prac- 
tically the same, and the cosmogony of the two tribes is also 
nearly identical, although they Avere generally at war with 
each other, the Mescalero cooperating with the Plains tribes 
while the Jicarilla were alhes of the Ute. Owing to the fact 
that the Lipan were nearly exterminated a generation ago, and 
by reason of the isolation of the surviving remnants, doubt has 
been expressed as to their true aflfinitj^; but from a vocabulary 
obtained by Mr Mooney from members of this tribe associated 
with the ]\Iescalero on their reservation, it is now known that 
they speak a well-defined Athapascan dialect. Such linguistic 
researches as the present meager knowledge of their language 
would permit were also conducted by Mr Mooney among the 
modified Tiwa and Piro Indians on the Rio Grande below El 
Paso. Returning from the field for the purpose of revising 
proofs of a memoir on the Calendar History of the Kiowa 
Indians, in course of composition as a part of the seventeenth 
annual report, Mr. Mooney remained in the office during the 
last quarter of the year, occiipied, in the intervals of proof- 
reading, by the translation and arrangement of a large collec- 
tion of Cherokee myths recorded in the original syllabary as 
well as in the English. Satisfactory progress was made in pre- 
paring the material for publication. 

During the later part of the year the researches in Indian 
sign language, which were brought to a close by the death of 
Colonel Mallery in 1894, were resumed tha'ough the collabora- 
tion of Captain, now Colonel, Hugh L. Scott, U. S. A.. Colonel 
Scott was stationed for some years on the frontier, where he 


was in constant contact with varions Indian tribes, inclnding 
the pUxins Indians, among- -whom the sion hmguag-e was highly 
developed. Pearly in his stay he became interested in the signs 
and began acquiring this interesting art of expression, and his 
studies continued until lie became proficient and able to use 
the sign language habitually in communicating with various 
tribes. His knowledge of the system is undoubtedly superior 
to that of any other white man, and his acquaintance with 
individual signs exceeds that of any Indian with whom he has 
come in contact. During the winter Captain Scott was trans- 
ferred to Washington, and through the courtesy of the Secre- 
tary of War and the Commanding Greneral of the Army he 
was authorized to take up the record and discussion of sign 
language under the direction of the Bureau. Considerable 
progress had been made in the work when it was interrupted 
by conditions connected with the war with Spain. 

Work in Sophiology 

The Director continued the development of a system of clas- 
sification designed to indicate the place of the American abo- 
rigines among the peoples of the earth. During the later part 
of the year he took up the voluminous material in the Bureau 
archives relating to aboriginal mythology. While in charge 
of the United States Geographical and Geological Survey of 
the Rocky ]\Iountain region, before the Bureau was instituted, 
the Director began the collection of myths among the Indians 
of the territories, and when the Bureau was created this mate- 
rial, in connection with a body of linguistic manuscripts obtained 
by the Smithsonian Institution, formed the original archives. 
Additional material was collected from time to time by the 
Director and by several of the collaborators, and there ai-e now 
some hundreds of manuscript records ready for study. Satis- 
factory progress has been made in the preliminary arrangement 
of the manuscripts and in the extraction and classification of 
salient features in the primitive mythology prevailing among 
all of the native tribes before the advent of the white man. 

Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson has continued the final revision 
of her manuscript for a memoir on Zuiii ceremonies, designed 
for incorporation in an early report. Most of the chapters are 


now complete, and nearly all of the illustrations are ready for 
reproduction. The Pueblo Indians well illustrate certain results 
of environment in the development of lielief and ceremony. A 
harsh environment begets profound faith. This is illustrated 
by the history of many cults. The Pueblo region was a gather- 
ing ground of primitive faiths, each fertilizing the others in 
accoi-dance with the law already set forth, and each intensified 
by hard local conditions. The nortliern tribes, who furnished 
much of the blood of the Pueblo peoples, were pressed down 
from more humid regions and brought into conflict with alien 
warrioi-s and with an arid habitat in which the specters of 
thirst and famine were ever present. The southern tribes, who 
furnished most of the culture of the Pueblos, were in part at 
least forced up toward the plateaus from the still more arid 
districts about the present national boundary into which they 
had fled as the excess of population from the more fertile dis- 
tricts of pre-Columbian Mexico. All of the peoples were 
shadowed by the dangers of drought and by the hai-d labor 
required for the maintenance of existence ; all were accustomed 
to invocations for rain; all were accustomed to ceremonies 
connected with the growth of corn; all were accustomed to 
reverence of beast-gods, and all ascribed their preservation 
from ever-present danger to their success in propitiating the 
maleficent mysteries b}' which tliey were surrounded — for 
that which is simply a hard natural condition to the advanced 
thinker is always a maleficent potency to the primitive thinker. 
All of the circinnstances were such as to develop a profoundly 
devotional cast of mind among the Pueblo peoples; and their 
myths and ceremonies became so striking as to attract the 
attention of students throughout the world, as white men came 
in contact with tliem. Mrs Stevenson's researches concerning 
the myths and ceremonies haA^e been exceptionally thorough, 
and the results now nearly ready for publication will form 
a substantial contribution to the knowledge of aboriginal 

Descriptive Ethnology 

During the year the important work of compiling a Cyclo- 
pedia of Indian Tribes of North America was continued by 


Mr F. W. Hodge, witli the assistance of Dr Cyrus Thomas, 
the former carrying forward the work in connection with other 
duties. Dr Thomas completed tlie prehminary arrangement 
of the material relating to the tribes of the Algonquian stock, 
submitting the material for editorial revision. He afterward 
took up the manuscript and literature relating to the tribes of 
the Siouan stock, and has made satisfactory progress in the 
arrangement of the material. 


A number of collections have been acquired during the year 
under the more immediate direction of the Secretarv. 8ome 
of these are noted above ; in addition there have been acquired 
(1) a collection of Jamaican antiquities by MacCormack, 
including 160 specimens of ancient stone implements, earthen- 
ware, etc., and 20 petaloid implements; (2) the Palmer collec- 
tion of 98 ethnologic specimens from Mexico; and (3) the 
Gane collection of cliif-house relics, comprising fictile ware, 
bone implements, etc., from 8an Juan valley, Utah. In addi- 
tion, the ]\Inniz collection of trephined skulls, illustrated and 
described in the sixteenth annual rejjort, was iinally transferred 
to the Museum. A considerable number of separate objects 
and minor collections obtained by exchange for reports and 
by gift has also been turned over to the Museum during the 
year; among these was a Muskwaki hand-loom obtained by 
Mr McGee for' the express purpose of filling a hiatus in the 
national collection. 


Satisfactory progress has been made by Mr Hodge in the 
revision of the proofs of the seventeenth and eighteenth annual 
reports and in the editorial work on the manuscript of tlie nine- 
teenth annual rejiort. The seventeenth repoi't was transmitted 
to the Public Printer tln-ough the Secretary of the Smithsonian 
Institution on July 6, 1897. In addition to tlie usual account 
of the ojjerations of the Bureau the seventeenth annual repoii; 
contains four memoirs, bearing the titles, The Seri Indians, 
by W J McGee; Calendar History of the Kiowa Indians, by 
James Mooney; Xavalio Houses, by Cosmos Mindelefi", and 


Arcliseological Expedition to Arizona in 1895, by J. "Walter 

The eighteenth annual report was transmitted to the Public 
Printer on March 11, 189S. It comprises, in addition to the 
report of operations for the fiscal year 1896-97, two papers 
entitled, respectively. The Eskimo about Bering Strait, by 
E W. Nelson, and Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 
by C. C. Royce. Like the seventeenth report, this will appear 
in two Aolumes. The first galley proofs were received from 
the Public Printer in the latter part of Jmie. 


As has been set fortli in a previous report, the bibliography 
of the aboriginal languages of Mexico, which was left uncom- 
pleted at the time of Mr Pilling's death, has been continued 
through the generous services of Mr George Parker WinsMp, 
librarian of the John Carter Brown library at Providence, with 
the coxu'teous permission of Mr John Nicholas Brown. The 
unusual facilities afforded by the excellent library under Mr 
Winship's care has enabled him to make marked progress with 
this work during the fiscal year; much, however, remains to 
be done ere the work will be ready for pubUcation. 


The maintenance of the library has continued under the 
supei'V'ision of Mr Hodge, and the distribution of the publica- 
tions of the Bureau has also been conducted under his direction. 
At the close of the last fiscal year, as is mentioned in the report 
coA-ering that period, the volumes in the library numbered 
7,138; to these 766 volumes have been added, making a 
total of 7,894 volumes at the close of the year. In addition 
seA'eral thousand pamphlets and scientific periodicals have 
been received. 


The preparation of the illustrations, including the photo- 
graphic work, was continued under the direction of Mr Wells 
M. Sawyer until March 17, 1898, when he resigned to accept 
another Federal appointment. From that time until the close 


of the year the jDreparation of illustrations was conducted under 
the able supervision of Mr DeLancey W. Gill, of the United 
States Geological Surve}-, through the ctturtesy of Honorable 
Charles D. Walcott, Director of that bureau. During the year 
about 75 negatives and 610 photographic prints were made 
for purposes of illustration and exchange. Tlie ^^reservation 
and catalog-uing- of the Bureau's nesratives have continued with 
the aid of Mr Henry Walther. 

• Property 

The property of the Bureau of American Ethnologv is, with 
the exception of two or three items, small in amount and value. 
By far the most important and valuable projjerty in the custody 
of the Bureau is the collection of manuscript records, represent- 
ing a considerable part of the work of the collaborators and the 
contributions of corres])ondents during the last twentv years, 
as well as the collection originally acquired from the Smith- 
sonian Institution. The greater part of the manuscripts are lin- 
guistic, and these are not in condition for publication, though 
invaluable for purposes of study and comparison. The entire 
collection, embracing more than 2,000 titles, is catalogued and 
an-anged in fireproof vaults in the offices of the Bureau. A 
strict custody is maintained, under the immediate supervision 
of the director. 

A related class of property comprises photographs of Indian 
subjects. So far as is practicable, these are represented by 
original negatives with a systematic series of prints. The 
collection comprises about 5,000 negatives, with about 3,000 
prints, including 800 prints from negatives which are not in the 
possession of the Bureau. The collection is in constant use in 
connection witli the preparation of illustrations for the reports; 
its custody is vested in tlie illustrator of the Bureau. 

Among the minor items the most important is the library, of 
7,894 volumes and over 5,000 pamphlets, with plain wooden 
cases sufficient to accommodate them. The greater part of the 
library represents the product of exchange, and in addition 
there is a fair collection of books of reference and standard 
works on ethnologic subjects obtained by purchase. The 
library is in immediate charge of Mr F. W. Hodge 


A class of property of some importauce is the accumulated 
residue of publications. The greater part of the edition of the 
reports available for distnl)ution by the Bureau is sent to ex- 
chang-es and correspondents immediately on issue, but a lim- 
ited number of copies of each edition remains for distribution 
in accordance with subsequent demands. The residue of the 
several editions not completely exhausted is kept under the 
supervision of Mr F. W. Hodge. The editions of most of the 
reports are exhausted ; the ' undistributed residue consists of 
about 4,300 volumes. 

A somewhat important class of property, though of limited 
valu6, is office furnitxire, with the requisite stationery for cur- 
rent use, as well as photographic apparatus and material. The 
aggregate value of the furniture and apparatus is less than 
$2,500. The custody and use of furniture, apparatus, station- 
ery, and other materials are regulated by a custodial system 
de^nsed for the purpose, which has been found to work satis- 

A considerable number of original engravings used for the 
illustration of reports are catalogued and arranged in cases in 
the office of the Bureau, while the original copy for illustra- 
tions is also preserved, so far as is practicalile, in charge of the 
illustrator. The stereotype plates from which the reports are 
printed are, from time to time, turned over to the Bureau by 
the Public Printer. These are stored partly in the Smithsonian 
building, partly in tlie basement of the building in which the 
office is located. 

Experience has shown that, under existing conditions, it is 
inexpedient to acquire field propertv in any considerable 
amount, since the cost of purchase and maintenance of ani- 
mals, vehicles, and camp equipage exceeds the charges for 
hire ; accordingly, there is practically no field property in the 
possession of the Bureau. 

The collaborators engaged in field operations collect ethno- 
logical material, in greater or less quantities, for purposes of 
study. All such material is transfeiTcd to the National 
Museum, and commonly its study is earned on within that 


Diirino- the last fiscal year satisfactorv iiroffress was made 
ill eiiricliing- the manuscript collections, the series of photo- 
graphs, and the collections of material objects for the Museum, 
as is indicated in other paragraplis. The aggregate expendi- 
tures for stationery and laboratory supplies were 81,900; for 
furniture, 8750, and for the purchase of necessary books of 
reference and standard works, 8850. 

The Bureau is domiciled in rented quarters, i. e., the sixth 
floor of the Adams Building, 1333-1335 F street, Washington. 
These quarters are limited, hardly meeting the requirements 
of the work. During the. winter, when office work is in active 
progi'ess, it is sometimes necessary for two or three collabo- 
rators to work in private quarters, while some of the perma- 
nent property (stereotype plates, etc.) of the Bureau is stored 
in the Smithsonian and National Museum buildings, and the 
publications are stored in and distributed from the basement 
of the building occupied by the United States Geological 
Survey; through the courtesy of the director, Honorable 
Charles D. Walcott. 

19 ETH — 01 ITI 


Appropriation liy Congress for the tiscal year ending June 30, 1898, "for 
continuing ethnological researches among the Aiiierican Indians, under 
the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, including salaries or com- 
pensation of all necessary employees, §45,000, of which sum not exceed- 
ing §1,000 may be used for rent of -Jjuilding" (sundry civil act, June 4, 
1897 ) ." $45, 000. 00 

Salaries or compensation for services $32, 330. 57 

Traveling and field expenses $2,750.71 

Drawings and illustrations 805. 30 

Office rental 999.96 

Ethnic material (specimens, etc. ) 482. 22 

Office furniture 400. 90 

Publications for lilirary 1, 972. 64 

Stationery 163. 44 

Freight 123.16 

Temporary services '1, 526. 09 

Supplies 1, 126. 23 

Reports 175.20 

Miscellaneous 312. 30 


Total disbursements 43, 168. 72 

Balance, July 1, 1898, to meet outstanding liabilities 1, 831. 28 



Subjects Treated 

Nine memoirs are appended to this report. The first of 
these is a comparative study of aboriginal mythology, illus- 
trated by the myths of the Cherokee. The author, Mr Mooney, 
has spent several years in researches among the Cherokee and 
other tribes, and has amassed a large body of information con- 
cerning their activities; and the accompanying memoir is one 
of a number in which the results are incorporated, two or three 
of these being nearly ready for publication. The second 
paper is a compilation of Tusayan migration traditions col- 
lected and interpreted by Dr Fewkes; this, too, being one 
of a number of productions by its author, others of which are 
well advanced in preparation. To it the third paper, bv Mr 
]\Iindeleff, is complementary. This author spent several years 
in researches in the Pueblo country, and his sketch of Tusayan 
migrations, with special reference to the localization of clans 
in the pueblos, represents one of the final products of his work. 
The fourth paper, treating of mounds in northern Honduras, is 
the contribution of a valued correspondent. It deals with a 
little-known reg-ion in which the arcluTeologic record is of 
exceptional interest and such as to throw much light on the 
attributes of the ancient aborigines of various Noi'th American 
districts. The fifth and seventh papers together represent the 
results of long-continued re.searches in the Bureau, conducted 
by Dr Thomas; the former relating to the highly interesting 
calendar systems of ancient Yucatan, and the latter to the 
numeral system of the Mexican and Central American tribes. 
Both are based largely on codices and other inscriptions, as 
well as on molded and sculptured glyphs, which during recent 
years have been made accessible to students through numerous 


reproductions. Tlie.sixtli paper is a general discussion of prim- 
itive numbers and of the origin of numeral systems, by Mr 
McGee, prepared partly as an introduction to the more special 
paper by Dr Thomas. The eighth paper is another product 
of the researches in the pueblo region by Dr Fewkes. It 
represents a critical study of certain important ceremonies of 
Tusayan. The last paper is a detailed account of wild rice 
and the wild rice gatherers, of the lake region, by Dr Albert 
Ernest Jenks, a special contributor to the Bureau. It sum- 
marizes the results of extended researches in literature as well 
as in the field. 

The distribution of the tribes treated iri these papers is 
sufficiently broad to afford geographic perspective and give 
opjiortunity for tracing the causes and conditions of tribal 
diversity. Three of the papers find their subjects in the pueblo 
region and three others in that central portion of the continent 
whose aboriginal culture was long the marvel of the Old ^^'orld, 
while one treats of a northern tribe, and Mr. Mooney's memoir 
deals with one of the most important tribes of the eastern 
woods. So one of the regions is typically tropical, another 
represents one of the most arid jjortions of the temperate zone, 
while the third typifies the humid lands of the same zone. 

As a whole the papers deal chiefiy , although not dispropor- 
tionately, with the sophic activities of the aborigines, i. e., 
with their myths and beliefs and the ceremonies and other cus- 
toms dependent thereon — for it is one of the lessons of ethnol- 
ogy that among primitive folk the arts and industries, laws 
and languages are in great measure sha])ed by crude faith. 
The traditions of the Cherokee and the Tusayan well illustrate 
the dominance of mythology over the lowly mind of the abo- 
rigine, the numeral and calendar systems tell a similar story, 
and the relics from Honduran mounds find significant paral- 
lels among the votive objects employed in the ceremonies of 
Tusayan; while the signs and symbols of the several districts 
are shown in the general paper to betoken significant stages in 
the development of thought among the peoples of the world. 

The time range covered by the subjects is considci-aljle. 
The Mayan calendars and tlie Honduran mounds represent 


pre-Columbian times; tlie traditions of tlie ])uebl() rcyinn run 
back into the prehistorir, l)ut come down .to the present, and 
thus bridge the ancient and the modern, while the Cherokee 
myths and Tusayan ceremonies illustrate the exceeding per- 
sistence of mytliologies still surviving centuries of contact with 
Caucasian cultm-e. The range in culture grade represented 
by the papers is also wide, stretching from the higher savag- 
ery, marked by the retention of maternal organization, up to 
that higher barbarism, or incipient feudalism, reached l;)y the 
city-building makers of the Mexican calendars. 

Myths of the Cherokee 

Since the times of earliest discovery and settlement along 
the southern Atlantic section tlie Cherokee Indians have l)een 
known as one of the largest and most noteworthy of our al^o- 
riginal tribes. I'hey formed an important factor in both Eng- 
lisli and Spauisli pioneering; the"s' alone of the more northerly 
aborigines developed a definite system of writing in tlie form 
of Sequoya's syllabary; during colonial times the southern 
settlers were compelled to reckon witli them; their presence 
exercised a potent influence on the policies of Revolution- 
ary times; they were prominent in shaping our laws relating 
to Indian affairs; they played a role of no small moment dur- 
ing the Civil war; and the portion of the tribe remaining in 
their original territory still retain aboriginal characteristics in 
remarkable degree. Yet, despite the historical importance of 
the tribe, they have, through a combination of circumstances, 
received comparatively slight cousideration of literary and his- 
torical character. 

It was largely by reason of their retention of aboriginal ideas 
and customs that the eastern Cherokee were selected for spe- 
cial investigation; and it is largely by reason of the historical 
neglect of the tribe that it seemed well to introduce the publi- 
cation of Mr Mooney's rich collections of ethnologic material 
w^ith an extended historical sketch. The primary jiurpose of 
this sketch was to bring together in a form convenient for ref- 
erence the chief events and episodes in the long-continued 
contact between Cherokee and Caucasian, and to indicate the 


chief .sources of information concerning the tribal develop- 
ment; but as tlie work })roceeded it was found desirable to 
verif)' doubtful and incomplete records by comparison with 
the tribal traditions, so that it became necessary to incorpo- 
rate the traditional history of the tribe; and at the same time 
it was found desirable to rectify certain important misappre- 
hensions, and even actual errors, connected with the people 
and the orowth of knowledge concerning them. One of the 
more important rectifications relates to the route taken by De 
Soto in his memorable journey, and this alone cost much 
research among rare original publications in Spanisli, in addi- 
tion to involving extended personal acquaintance with the 
ground. The several verifications and corrections will doubt- 
less serve to render this sketch the most trustworthy as well 
as tlie most convenient outline of Cherokee history extant. 

Although the myths recited in the memoir are those of a 
single tribe, the method of study is comparative; the Chero- 
kee tribe is treated as a sophic type, and numerous parallels 
drawn from the author's personal knowledge as well as from 
the literature of the aborigines are introduced. One of the 
ends of research among the natives of the Western Hemisphere 
is the systemization of knowledge concerning aboriginal 
beliefs and their attendant ceremonies; and Mr Mooney's 
memoir forms a step in the progress toward that end. 

Mr Mooney's collection comprises an extensive series of the 
myths and traditions of the type tribe, cosmogonic, historical, 
interpretative, and trivial; for among the Cherokee, as among 
other primitive peoples, the traditions vary widely in character 
and purpose. The collections are jjeculiarly valuable in that 
they are so complete as to indicate the genesis and develop- 
ment of the tril)al traditions. It would appear that the parent 
myth usually begins as a trivial story or fable, perhaps carry- 
ing a moral and thus introducing and fixing some precept for 
the guidance of conduct. The great majority of these fables 
drop out of the current lore within the generation in which they 
are born, but those chancing to touch the local life strongly or 
happening to glow with local genius survive and are handed 
down to later generations. The transmitted fables form a part 


of tlie lore repeated by the eldernii^n and elderwomen night 
after night to while away the long evenings by the camp fire, 
and in this way they become impressed on the )nemor\- and 
imagination of the younger associates; for under the condi- 
tions of prescriptorial life they come to take the place of learn- 
ing and literature in the growing mind of the youth. In the 
successive repetitions the weaker failles are eliminated, while 
the more vigorous are gradually combined and eventually 
strung together in an order made detinite by custom; at the 
same time they acquire sacredness with age, and some of them 
become so far esoteric tliat they may not be repeated by 
youths, or perhaps even by laymen, but they are the exclu- 
sive property of sages or shamans. Now the feble, per se, is 
seldom vigorous enough to pass unaided into the esoteric lore 
of the tribe; but when it serves to interpret some interesting 
natural phenomenon, either in its original form or in its subse- 
quent association, it is thereby fertilized, and with the com- 
bined vitality of fal)le and interpretation enjoys greatly 
increased chance of survival. Sometimes the historical ele- 
ment is also added, when the composite intellectual structure 
is still further strengthened, and niay persist until history 
blends with fancy-painted prehistory, and the story becomes a 
full-fledged cosmogonic myth. Accordinglv, the character and 
the age of myths are correlated in significant fashion. 

TusAYAN Migration Traditions 

The most pressing and at the same time the most obscure 
problems presented to the archjtologic student relate to the 
interpretation of relics. Difterent methods of solving these 
problems have been pursued by the students of various coun- 
tries; but it is held that the method employed in the Bureau 
of American Ethnology, and now pretty generally ado|)ted 
throughout the United States, is by far the most trustworthy 
of all — it is the method of interpretation in terms of the 
observed activities of cognate tribesmen still living. It is in 
pursuance of this method that Dr Fewkes has passed from a 
study of the abundant relics exhumed from ruins in the pueblo 
region to a study of the aboriginal inhabitants of neighboring 


villao'es; and his paper aftords an excellent illustration of the 
combination of prehistoric tradition and observational data 
in the interpretation of relics, and thence in the tracing of 
unwritten history. 

In every stag-e of culture there is an unexpressed basis for 
knowledge of the kind usually conveyed by tradition or liter- 
ature — a basis unstated merely because a commonplace of cur- 
rent thought. In civilization the unexpressed basis comprises 
the existence of nations and cities, the recognition of church 
and state, etc; and no student would deem it worth while to 
demonstrate the existence of these commonly accepted things — 
thev are mere matters of fact from the view-point of civiliza- 
tion. Similarly, there are accepted commonplaces in barbarism 
and in savagerv; and no barbarian or savage thinks of explain- 
ing these in any descriptive account — they are too evident from 
his point of view to require statement, or even to receive 
appreciative thought. Yet when the representative of any 
culture grade seeks to understand the habits or history per- 
taining- to any other culture grade he finds it necessary to 
acquire the point of view pertaining to that cultiire grade; and 
when he seeks to convex' liis knowledge to others of his own 
grade he finds it necessary to begin with the conmionplaces of 
the other. So, in describing the migrationsof a pueblo people, 
Dr Fewkes naturally and necessarily devotes lai-ge space to the 
distinctive social organization of their culture grade; for the 
migrations were made and are kept in mind wholly in terms of 
this organization, and would not be comprehensible either to 
the ])eople themselves or to others unless described in these 
terms. The social organization of the Tusayan people is typ- 
ical and well wortliy of statement in itself; but the application 
of clanshi}) in tracing tribal movements, and in elucidating and 
interpreting relics, gives a special significance to the clans and 
their relations. 

It has for some time been known tliat the pueblo peoples are 
highly composite; and Dr Fewkes's contribution mai'ks a note- 
worthy step toward knowledge of the antecedents of both peo- 
ples and culture. 

administrative report xli 

Localization of Tusayan Clans 

Just as Dr Fewkes found it necessary to define the Tusayan 
clans with considerable fulness in order to explain the migra- 
tions, so Mr Mindeletf found it needful to set forth the migra- 
tions of the tribe as a basis for the desci'iptioii f>f certain 
customs connected with the consaii^'uineal organization charac- 
teristic t)f primitive culture. The description is based on the 
observations of the late A. !M. Stephen, in 1883, supplemented 
by those of Mr Mindeleflf, in 1888; and the account is com- 
plemented in a useful wav hx the Fewkes records of 1899. 
Accordingly the observations of the tl<ree students at intervals 
covering nearly two decades combine in mutual corroboration, 
and at the same time serve to indicate the trend and rate of 
social change in Tusayan under the influences of modern 

The chief value of Mr Mindeleff's paper lies in its demonstra- 
tion of tlie persistence of clans from new data. It has long been 
recognized that in tribal society, comprising savagery and bar- 
barism, the clan, or gens, is the dominant social institution, the 
very foundation of society; it is accordingly quite in keeping 
with current knowledo-e to find that in the nuitations of mio-ra- 
tory life the clan outlasts the tribe, just as it outlives the indi- 
vidual and the family; yet it is of no small interest to find that 
even in the settled life of the pueblos the clan bonds vie in 
strength with those of stone and adobe, and shape, more fre- 
quently than they are shajjed by, the Ijuilding of cities. 
Accordingh' the clan quarters of Tusayan fall into line witli 
the features of "The Ancient City," as brought out by Fustel 
de Coulanges, and aft'ord parallels with certain features of 
European and Asian towns developed in connection witli 
guilds; yet special interest attaches to the Tusayan clan quar- 
ters l)y reason of the primitiveness and simplicity of the rela- 
tion between social law and inchoate municipal regulation. 

Mounds in Northern Honduras 

Accidents of settlement early in the century gave rise to the 
idea of a distinctive " mound region" in the Mississippi valley, 


and to tlie coi'i'elative idea that aboriginal nionnds and earth- 
works were confined to that region; and although the 
researches of a. quarter-century have shown that ancient 
mounds are scattered over the entire habitable portions of 
North America, the original idea is kept alive to an injurious 
extent by the early literature. The still-existing need for 
counteracting this erroneous imjiression led to the acceptance 
of Dr (lann's paper and the approval of his title. Actually 
the mounds of Honduras as described by Dr Gann are more 
nearh' analogous to those of the pueblo region aiid of Mexico 
than to those of the Mississippi valley, for most of them are 
debris heaps entombing ruined structures of stone and other 
durable material, like tlie former, rather than sites of perish- 
able houses or simple tumuli, like the latter — though some of 
the Honduran mounds partake of the character of the more 
northerly tunuili. 

The contents of the mounds as described and illustrated in 
the accompanying pages and plates are noteworthy in that 
they demonstrate the extension of a culture corresponding 
fairly with that of Mexico into a little-known region. The 
relics are especially significant as connecting links between 
dift'erent archseologic districts; the molded and painted stucco- 
work resembles that of Yucatan, the fictile figurines resemble 
those of the pueblo country, while both symbolic and indus- 
trial devices are evidently akin to those of numerous native 
tribes thi'oughout the southwestern third, at least, of North 

Mayan Calendar Systems 

No production of aboriginal American culture has attracted 
more attention among the scholars of the woi'ld than the cal- 
endar systems of Mexico, Yucatan, Peru, and certain other 
districts; and numerous, and often voluminous, publications 
have been based on these interesting productions. Several 
contributions to the subject have Ix^en issued in the reports 
and other publications of the Bureau; and, in view of the 
recent appearance of extended treatises on the subject, a i-eview 
of some of the more salient points seems timely. Sucli a 


review has been preimred by Dr Thomas, a student of aborig- 
inal calendars during many years. The discussion extends 
not only to the inscriptions of the codices, iDut to other Mayan 
records, and also to the time systems of both the Mayan and 
Nahuatlan peoples; and full use is made throughout of the 
numeral svstems tabulated and analvzed in a later [)aper. 

As is elsewhere noted, recent researches have shown that in 
primitive life the symbolism of a given stage frequently passes 
into the conventionism of the next stage; sometimes the pas- 
sage is so complete that the original symbolism may be lost, 
yet in other cases the transitional steps may l)e traced through 
researches among cognate, albeit remote, peoples. Now, it is 
significant that various germs, or germinal types, of calendric 
systems are found in different portions of North America; a 
well-known type is the "winter count" or annual record of a 
person or family among the plains tribes; another germ is 
found in the solstitial ceremonies of the pueblo peoples, which 
denote clear recognition of a seasonal turning point; and it is 
of no small interest to find that the germinal types are com- 
bined in such comprehensive calendars as those incorporated 
in the Mayan inscriptions, so that the symbolism of the north 
explains the conventionism of the south. Such solstitial cere- 
monies as those of the Pueblos are especially instructive, for 
they at once attest the fundamental importance of the svmbolic 
factors and explain the high degree of accuracy attained in the 
determination of the year — the Hopi winter ceremony, for 
example, being fixed by a simple observation on the setting 
sun behind a distant sierra, which would in itself permit a 
count of year-days, if not the recognition of the Ijissextile. 

Primitive Numbers 

Recognition of the human activities as the basis of ethnic 
classification has opened the way to a fuller comprehension of 
the characteristics and capabilities of both primitive and 
advanced peoples; and through this fuller comprehension it 
lias been made clear that the essential and distinctive attri- 
butes of mankind are fundamentally intellectual. Accord- 
ingly the tictivities are properly viewed as the reflection and 


measure of mind, conditioned by circumstances of snrround- 
ingss or environment to wliicli man adjusts himself not so much 
by biotic survival as by intelligent effort; and, concordantly, 
the sources of the activities are to be traced through the 
habitual mental operations of primitive men. It was with this 
view that Mr McGee undertook to trace the origin of counting 
devices, and through them the beginnings of numerical con- 
cepts. The data derived from various primitive peoples seem 
to indicate clearly that numerical concepts originally crystal- 
lize with exceeding slowness, at first about practical customs 
and later about sj-rnbols of ceremonial or ritualistic cliaracter; 
and that througliout the subsequent development symbol and 
function (i. e., notation and numeration) grow up together. It 
also seems clear from the data that the earliest symbols, with 
the concomitant methods of counting, antedated the custom of 
counting on the fingers; but that after the finger-count was 
adopted it aided greatly in tlie development of numeral systems 
on quinary, decimal, and vigesimal bases. It is of no small 
significance that various vestiges of primitive counting and 
number systems still survive among modern peoples, even in 
the most advanced culture. 

Mr McCxee's writing was designed to complement that of 
Dr Thomas on the numeral systems of JMexico and Central 
America; and the two papers combine to illumine in a useful 
way certain puzzling jiroblems by which the ethnologic stu- 
dent is constantly confronted. 

Numeral Systems of Mexico and Central America 

The researches of the last two decades have shown clearly 
that primitive arts arise in symbolism, develop through con- 
veutiouism, and mature in a combined realism and idealism 
far Ijeyond the grasp of primitive peoples. The researches of 
the last lustrum have shown similarly that primitive industries 
are shaped b}' symbolism and developed through convention- 
ism. Several of the accompanying papers indicate likewise 
that primitive society is shaped and established largely by 
symbolic motives, and is developed through conventional sys- 
tems of remarkable strength and ])ersistence; and Dr Thomas's 


pa{)er on numeral systems, in conjunction with Mr McGee's 
paper on primitive numbers, renders it clear that primitive 
numbers were symbolic at least in considerable measure Ijefore 
they acquired the conventional character by which they are 
distinguished throughout more advanced culture. 

The earlier steps in the development of numeral systems 
among the American aborigines are naturally obscure, since 
most, or all, of the tribes had risen to the conventional use of 
numbers before their discovery by white men; accordingly 
Dr Thomas's discussions relate mainly to the methods of com- 
pounding mimbers into systems indicated by etymologic and 
other associations. His tables and discussions well illustrate 
the closeness of the connection between the quinary and decimal 
bases and the vigesimal basis which attained so great promi- 
nence among some of tlie more southerly tribes of North 
America; they also bring out, in connection with the researches 
of McGee and Cushine-, the close relation between these regru- 
lar systems and those irregular systems in which 2 + 1,4 + 1, 
and 6 + 1 form the bases, and in which the mystical numbers 
7, 9, 13, 49, etc., play prominent roles. The tabulations are 
es)3ecially noteworthy in demonstrating the essential similarity 
of the number systems of various tribes ranging from the 
sedentary groups of the Pacific coast to the nomadic groups of 
the interior, through the settled peoples of the pueblos, and up 
to the codex-makers of Mexico and Yucatan. 

The possible applications of this study of aboriginal num- 
bers are many; one of the most important of these is found in 
connection with the calendric systems of the Mexican and 
Mayan tribes, some of which are described in another paper 
appended to this report. 

TusAYAN Flute and Snake Ceremonies 

Much attention has been devoted by the Bureau to research 
among the pueblo peoples; and no line of the research has 
been more assiduously pursued than that relating to the sophic 
activities so highly developed among the tribes of the arid pueblo 
region. The accompanying memoir l)y Dr Fewkes illustrates 
the nature and objects of the work; it presents a clear picture 


of the observances of one of the most devotional peoples 
known to students. 

While Dr P^ewkes' record is based wholly on his own recent 
observations, it is sio-nificant as an extension and corroboration 
of notes made by me many years ago, and warrants the presen- 
tation of a summary of these notes. 

In the winter of 1868-69 I was encamped on White river, 
in what was then the territory of Colorado, not far from the 
Utah line. During the time a tribe of Utes lived near our 
camp ground, and I utilized the opportunity to study their 
lano-uasre, toscether with their habits, customs, ceremonies, and 
opinions. It was during this winter that I obtained the first 
concept of the Amerind fraternity, or, as I called it at that 
time, the cult society, which is an incorporated body whose 
function it is to prevent and cure diseases, or to secure any 
good or prevent any evil which may come to man through 
any agency of nature. Thus it is tlie function of the frater- 
nity to control the weather and the seasons, to secure abundant 
fruits, to secure the rainfall upon which they depend, to secure 
abundant game, and all the other things of nature upon which 
the welfare of men are contingent. The cult society, or frater- 
nity, or phratry, or curia (for by all of these names it has been 
known), has an ecclesiastic or religious motive which distin- 
guishes it from the clan and gens which have a sociologic 

Subsequently I investigated the nature of these fraternities 
as they are developed among the tribes in southern Utah and 
northern Arizona, and in 1870 I went from Kanab, in southern 
Utah, eastward across the Colorado river to the province of 
Tusayan — tlie seven villages on the rocks — Zuni, and other 
pueblos in Arizona and New Mexico. But I especialh' lin- 
gered in Tusayan to investigate the fraternities of the Hopi 
people, who constitute six of the seven tribes of that region. 
The language of these people belongs to the Shoshonian 
stock and is somewhat closely allied to that of the Ute and 
Paiute of Colorado and Utah, whose languages I had pre- 
viously studied. I had with me a Mormon missionary, who 
had spent much time in Hopi villages; and a slight knowledge 


of the language of the people of these villages was the more 
speedilv gained, because T had previously studied other lan- 
guages of the same stock, so that although my stay here 
was onlv about two mouths, by hard labor and by the aid of 
the ^lormon missionary I obtained quite an insight into the 
nature of the Hopi fraternities. Particularh* was I imjiressed 
by one of the ceremonies at Shuuiopavi, though I witnessed 
others at different Hopi towns. I never returned to this study 
of these fraternities, though I subsequently visited these pueb- 
los; but I never forg-ot their existence nor neglected to provide 
for their investigation to the extent of such agencies as I could 

I first sent Mr Gushing to Zuni to make a study of its inter- 
esting people, and he Ijrought back a wealth of material. 

I was also the means of securing the detail of Dr Matthews 
as medical officer at Fort Defiance. Dr Matthews had studied 
at Hidatsa, and now he not only studied the language of the 
Navaho, but he also made a study of their fraternities or reli- 
gious cults, an investigation which again revealed his genius as 
an ethnologist. 

Subsequently, as Director of the Bureau of Ethnology, I 
sent Mrs Matilda Coxe Stevenson to Zuni, and then to Sia, on 
Jemez river. In both of these places she made a careful and 
elaborate stud}' of the fraternities of the people. A part of the 
material collected by her has already been published, and a 
larger part is now practically ready for the press, and in it 
all she makes a great contribution to our knowledge of tribal 

At the same time Mr J. N. B. Hewitt, who had lieen an 
assistant of Mrs Erminnie Smith, a collaborator of the Bureau 
among the Iroquois Indians, continued her work as an inde- 
pendent investigator after her death. He studied the lan- 
guage of the people under great advantages, being himself an 
Iroquois who had obtained a good knowledge of linguistics as 
an English scholar. He also has studied the fraternities of the 
Iroquois and has gained a wealth of knowledge about them. 

Mr James Mooney has given much attention to the same sub- 
ject while studving the Cherokee, and especially wliile collect- 
ing the material for his volume on the Ghost-dance religion. 


Al)out this time Mr J. (_)wen Dorsey, fii'st a missionary and 
then an assistant in the Bureau of Ethnology, studied the reh- 
gious cuhs of the Ponka Indians and other tribes related to 
them, and collected a great body of valuable material about 

I must not in this place forget to mention the brilliant work 
of Miss Alice Fletcher in this same field — the tribal fraternities 
of the Amerinds. She has already published much material on 
the subject, and is preparing a great monograph on one of the 
fraternities of Pawnee. 

Dr J. Walter Fewkes some 5^ears ago was appointed ethnol- 
ogist in the Bureau and sent among the Tusayan people espe- 
ciall)' for the purpose of studying their religious cults. From 
these expeditions he has returned with a very large body of 
material relating to the Hopi fraternities, with a deep insight 
into their characteristics, and with a wealth of illustration 
which enables him to set forth the subject in a manner which 
is simple, clear, and forceful. 

Early in the last decade Mr Gushing, Mrs Stevenson, and 
Dr Fewkes each prepared a model of an altar, with its para- 
phernalia of worship, one of which (that by Mr Gushing) was 
put on exhibition at the Ghicago Quadrennial P]xposition. 
These models are still in the United States National Museum. 
Subsequently other altars were prepared under Dr Dorsey's 
direction for the Field Golumbian Museum in Ghicago. Thus 
we already have made a fair beginning in the study and repre- 
sentation as museum models of the altars of the Pueblo tribes 
and their symbolism. 

Some of the important contributions to this svibject by Dr 
Fewkes are published with this report, and in connection with 
these I take occasion to publish the illustration which I pre- 
pared in 1870 of an altar which I saw used in a ceremony at 
Shumopovi, as the first one prepared for the Bureau of Ethnol- 
ogy I can not now give a complete account of this cere- 
mony, nor can I give a complete account of the symbolism 
represented upon the altar; I can only set forth that which I 
learned at the time. Nor can I affirm that the illustration is 
perfect. I secured much of the ])ara]3hernalia of the altar and 
brought them with me to Washington, and I also got such 


exjjlanatimis of them as I could obtain through mv imperfect 
knowledge of the language and through my interpreter, the 
Mormon missionary. Tlie artist who made the original drawing 
in colors had to depend upon the paraphernalia of tlie altar 
which I brought with me, together with my notes on their 
arrangement. The original drawing, made in oil on canvas, 
has been reproduced in color. An exact duplicate of this altar 
has not l)eeii seen by 1 )r Fewkes, but onh- something like it. 
He identifies it as an altar of the Owakiilti fraternity. When 
I jirepared the notes for the illustration I did not then under- 
stand that the fraternities, like tlie clans, gentes, tribes, and 
confederacies, have totems; for totemism is a system of insti- 
tational naming. 

A clan is an organized group of persons who reckon kinship 
through females from an ancestral mother, real or eponymous; 
it has well-defined rights and duties. 

A gens is an organized group of people having a unit of 
government and who reckon kinship through males from an 
ancestral father, real or eponymous; it has well-defined rights 
and duties. 

A tribe is a group of clans in what we call savagery, and a 
group of gentes in what we call barbarism, and the bond of 
organization is the marriage tie. 

A confederacy is a grou]) of tribes organized for purjjoses 
of offense and defense ; the bond b)'- which they are held 
together is tliat (if artificial or conventional kinship, the tril)es 
sometimes, being considered as elder and younger brothers, or 
fathers and sons, or uncles and nepliews. 

The clan and the gens represent two methods of organizing 
families into a higher or larger group, but gentile organization 
replaces clan organization. A tribe is an organization of clans 
or gentes. A confederacy is an organization of tribes. A clan 
or gens is composed of persons related by consanguinity, 
except in cases where individuals are adopted into families. 
A tribe is composed of persons related by affinity. A con- 
federacy is composed of tribes of persons who by conven- 
tion or treaty agree that the members of one tribe shall 
address the members of another by some kinship term. 

19 ETH — 01 IV 


Now, all of these governmental units, families, clans or 
gentes, tribes, and confederacies have peace within or war 
without as the fundamental motive for organization. On the 
other hand the fraternities have the control of good and evil 
as presented in nature for their fundamental motive. It is 
thus that a fraternity is a religious body with an ecclesiastic 

On the other hand fraternities are organized by constituting 
certain persons priests and by dividing the functions of the 
society among the members. The priests are called fathers 
when they are men, and mothers when they are women, and the 
laity call one an( )ther brothers and sisters. This custom is the 
same in ti'ibal society and in civilization. Sometimes the fam- 
ily terms of kinship are not only father and mother, son and 
daughter, elder brother and elder sister, younger brother and 
younger sister, but the relation of uncle and aunt, nephew 
and niece may be recognized. 

I have elsewhere described the meaning of the symbols on 
the altar here shown and will now repeat what I then said: 

The festival to which 1 :iin now to refer was continued through sev- 
eral daj's. At one time the shaman and the memljers of the .shaman- 
istic society over which he presided were gathered in a kiva, or under- 
ground asseml)ly hall, where midnight prayers were made for a))undant 
ci'ops. On this occasion the custouiarj' altar was arranged with the 
paraphernalia of worship. Among other things were wooden tablets 
on which were painted the conventional picture-writings for clouds 
and lightning, below which were the conventional signs of raindrops, 
and below the raindrops the conventional signs for growing corn. 

In order more fully to undei'stand these picture-writings we will 
mention some of the other objects placed on the altar. There were 
wooden birds, painted and placed on perches; there was an ewer of 
water about which ears of corn were placed; there was a case of 
jewels — crystals of quartz, fragments of turquoise, fragments of car- 
nelian, and small garnets; then there was a bowl of honey upon the 
holy altar. When the shaman prayed he asked that the next harvest 
might be abundant like the last: he prayed that they might haxe corn 
of man}' colors like the corn upon the altar; he prayed that th(> corn 
might be ripened so as to be hard like the jewels upon the altar; he 
prayed that the corn might be sweet like the honey upon the altar; 
he prayed that the corn might he abundant for men and birds, and that 
the birds might be glad, for the gods loved the birds represented upon 


the altar as they love men. Then he prayed that the clouds would form 
like the elouds represented upon the altar, and that the clouds would 
flash lightniui;' like the lightning on the altar, and that the clouds would 
rain showers like the showers represented on the altar, and that the 
showers would, fall upon the growing corn like the corn upon the 
altar — so that men and birds and all living things would rejoice. 

The above was written about thirty years after this scene 
was witnessed and under circuinstances where my notes and 
the iUustration were inaccessible, and I now find that I have 
fallen into a trivial error in the description. The so-called 
honey was "honeydew" held in a basket-tray. 

After examining- the painting described above Dr Fewkes 
writes : 

In seeking to identify from the painting the altar tigured by Major 
Powell, it has been necessary for me to rely on general, rather than 
special, features. In these latter particulars the painting represents an 
altar which difl'ers from any which I have studied, but there are cer- 
tain general characters which would eliminate from our consideration 
the majority of Hopi altars and refer it definitely to that of a woman's 
fraternity of basket dancers known as the Owakiilti. 

The altar of this fraternity is characterized by the relatively large 
size of the upright part composed of numerous vertical wooden slats, 
the majority of which rest on the floor, but more especially by etfigies 
of birds and butterflies mounted on pedestals surrounding a medi- 
cine bowl. Both of these features are found in the painting. 

The plate represents the interior of a kiva or sacred room devoted 
to ceremonies, the entrance being an opening in the roof. The fire- 
place is in the middle of the floor and near it are specimens of the 
straight-stem pipes, ancient types of these objects among the Hopi. 

At the left-hand or west end of the room are seen the uprights of the 
altar consisting of flat wooden slats upon which various symbols are 
depicted. The group of men in the middle of the picture are seated 
about a cubic object into the cavity of which one of their number is 
blowing tobacco smoke. This cubic object is a medicine bowl and 
the smoke is symbolic of the rain cloud. This episode occurs among 
many other rites in making the medicine by the Owakiilti and various 
other Hopi fraternities. 

The ears of corn arranged radially- from this medicine bowl are of 
different colors ; thej' represent the four world-quarters, the zenith and 
the nadir, the colors corresponding to these directions. The efiigies 
mounted on pedestals, alternating with these radially placed ears of 
corn, represent birds and butterflies. The Owakiilti altar is the only one 
known to me having similar objects with like arrangement; :i fact 


wliich ha.s been mainly relied on in the identitioation of the altar. 
Thi' same .s\-mbols are depicted on upright slats as are found on 
the two altars of this society which I have studied. They are symbols 
of iiuhtniiio- in the form of serpents, rain clouds, maize, various aquatic 
animals, and one or more cult-heroes. 

'rh(> number, form, and arrangement of these slats with symbols are 
likewise characteristic, resembling that of the Owakiilti. but differing 
from those of other Hopi altars. 

The presence of women in the kiva and the prominence on the wall 
of basket-trays or plaques likewise suggest a basket dance in which 
women participate. The paucity of clothing as shown in the painting 
is interesting, showing that formerly the Hopi women in their secret 
rites divested themselves of most of their apparel. This custom still 
survives among the male priests, to which sex, however, it is now 

There are probably five dilferent Owakiilti altars inTusayan — one at 
Orailti, one at Sichumovi, and three at the Middle mesa. If properly 
identified as an Owakiilti altar this painting represents one of the three 
latter, which would account for some diflerences between it and the 
two former, of which I have good kodak photographs. 

Conversation regarding the public exhibition which occurred at the 
time this altar was observed by Major Powell has developed the fact 
that it was a woman's basket dance, in which basket-plaques are thrown 
among the spectators, who struggle for their possession. There are 
two of these public dances, called the Lalakonti and the Owakiilti, 
which closely resemble each other. The altar of the former is too widely 
aberrant from the painting to be considered. The plate does not 
represent a Lalakonti altar and there thus remains by elimination only 
the identification indicated above. 

A peculiar and unique interest is attached to this representation, as 
it was the first painting or figure of a Hopi altar made by a white man. 
From it dates an ever increasing interest of the objective symbolLsm 
of the Hopi, and a scientific treatment of the study of their ceremo- 

The Wild Rice Ctatherers of the Upper Lakes 

Contrary to a superficial but widespread notion, the Ameri- 
can aborigines subsisted in large part on vegetal products, 
mail}' of the tribes being essentially agricultural. Even the 
nonasTricultural tribes made considerable use of wild grains, 
fruits, berries, roots, and other plant products; and these were 
often systematically prepared as comestibles either separately 
or in conjunction with meats, fish, etc. The first in impor- 
tance among aboriginal plant foods was maize, or corn, a plant 


indio-eiioiis in central Mexico but cultivated and distril)uted 
over the greater part of the American hemisphere during ])re- 
Columbian times. Prominent among the uoncnltivated plants 
was that known as wild rice (^Zizania, of two species), which 
grew extensively in the swamps and about the margins of the 
lakes left by the Pleistocene ice sheet in central North America; 
and several tribes learned to harvest, store, and utilize the 
natural crop yielded annually by this plant. Hitherto the 
knowledge concerning the use of wild rice by the aborigines 
has been vague; but in 1898 Dr Albert Ernest Jenks, an 
advanced student in the University of Wisconsin, undertook 
to systemize the knowledge by bringing together the refer- 
ences to the use of wild rice scattered through the eaidy and 
rare literature pertaining to the aborigines of this region. As 
the work progressed, his interest grew, and he instituted 
inquiries concerning the use of the plant by surviving tribes- 
men in modern times; and when the results of his work were 
brought to the attention of the Bureau, he was commissioned 
to extend his field operations into northern Wisconsin and 
Minnesota, where the wild-rice crop is still harvested annually. 
The accompanying memoir is the product of Dr Jenks's re- 
searches in the literature and in the field. 

As is shown by the descriptions and illustrations, wild rice 
gathering is a well developed industry, playing an important role 
in the ceremonial and ritualistic life of the tribesmen, as well as 
in their domestic economy, though the ritiuilistic features of 
the harvesting and preparation of the crop have so far fallen 
into desuetude as to be traceable rather through vestiges than 
through conspicuous observances. A notable feature of the 
industry is the careful forethought given to the harvesting, as 
shown by the elaborate processes and devices adopted to pro- 
tect the grain from l)irds, as well as from loss by storms, etc.; 
and this foresight, which is comparable to that of civilized 
agriculture, is broug'ht into the greater prominence b}' reason 
of the almost total neglect of seeding, or of other devices (save 
those of magical character) for the preservation of the plant 
and the maintenance of the important natural resource which 
it represents. Doubtless the unwitting processes of harvesting 


have reacted on the character and hfe-history of the plant, 
probably in such wise as to improve the quality of the grain 
and to increase the quantity of the crop; yet the unconscious 
cultivation has been no less destitute of intent and purpose 
than that of the farmer ant of the arid plains. 

Dr Jenks properly calls attention to the potential value of 
wild rice to modern peoples of advanced culture. Should this 
natural product come into the general use to which it seems 
adapted, it will add another to the many debts of Caucasian 
to Indian. 


In previous reports the five grand classes of human activities 
have been set forth as those connected with pleasures, indus- 
tries, institutions, languages, and opinions. These pentalogic 
activities give rise to five sciences, which have been designate<I 
as esthetology, technology, sociology, philology, and soplii- 
ology. In order that the natiu-e of these sciences may be 
made clearer, it becomes necessary to consider them severally; 
and I now propose to define the science of esthetology by 
showing what is included therein as the subject-matter of the 
activities is classified. It should be kept in mind that the clas- 
sification is general, and is equally applicable to primitive 
peoples like the American aborigines and to more advanced 
peoples. Therefore illustrations are drawn from higher culture 
as well as from lower. 

General Considerations 

Qualities arise out of the properties of bodies when they 
are considered in relation to human purposes. To understand 
this declaration it is necessary to consider the essentials of 
properties and qualities and carefully to note the distinction 
between them. The essentials of the properties are unity, 
extension, speed, persistence, and consciousness, which under 
relations give rise to properties that can be measured, which 
are designated as quantities. These quantities are number, 
space, motion, time, and judgment. 

Number is many in one, and the enumeration of the many 
is the measuring of the number contained in the sum, which 
is a unity. Number, therefore, is many in one. 


The second cjuaiitity is space; its essential is extension, 
bvtt many extensions give rise to relative position, and the 
positions can be measured. Hence extension and jjosition 
constitute space, and space is a quantity that can be measured. 

Speed is the essential of motion, but the same particle in 
motion traverses a path. ]\Iotion, therefore, is speed and path, 
and can be measured in terms of space. Speed and path con- 
stitute motion. Therefore time is a quantity. 

The essential of time is persistence, but the relation of time 
is change; a poi'iion of time from one change to another may 
be measured. Thus persistence and change constitute time, 
and time is a quantity. 

The essential of judgment is consciousness of self Its rela- 
tion to others is inference about others. Wlien consciousness 
is aroused l>y another, and by inference a judgment is pro- 
duced of that other, it can be measured. If I judge that there 
are eight others, I can measure that judgment by counting the 
others. The judgment is measured by comparing it with the 
fact. If I judge of a distance, I can measure this judgment 
by measuring the distance, and the judgment is measured by 
the fact. If I judge of the rate of a motion or the distance 
which a body moves, I can measure this rate or distance and 
by comparing the judgment with the fact I obtain a measm-e- 
ment of the judgment. If I judge of the lapse of time and 
then measure this lapse, the judgment may be measured by 
the fact. 

As the essentials are developed into mathematical properties 
called quantities, so again the quantities are developed by incor- 
poration into classilic properties or, simply, .properties. In this 
development number becomes class, unit}' becomes kind, and 
plurality becomes mass. The kind is constant as long as the 
body is constant, l)ut the mass is variable. 

When space becomes form, then extension becomes indi- 
viduality and mass becomes structure. The individuality is 
constant as long as the body is constant, but the structure is 

When motion becomes energy, then speed becomes inertia 
and path becomes velocity. Inertia is constant, but velocity 
is variable. 


When time beeomes causation, then persistence becomes 
state and change becomes event. The state is constant as long- 
as the body is constant; the event is variable. 

When judgment becomes conception, then consciousness be- 
comes memory and choice becomes inference. Memory is con- 
stant as long as the iDody is constant, but inference is variable. 

Quantities and properties are reciprocal. Number is the 
same thing as class. We call it inimber when we consider 
the particles of which the body is composed. We call it class 
when we consider the body which they compose. For exam- 
ple, here are ten hollow cylinders. Organize them into a body 
and they become a gas stove. By their organization a new 
kind of body is developed. Hollow cylinders become a stove, 
though the cylinders remain cylinders. In like manner space 
and form are reciprocal, motion and energy are reciprocal, 
time and causation are reciprocal, and, finalh', judgment and 
conception are reciprocal. 

Number, space, motion, time, and judgment are quantities 
that can be measured. Kind, form, energy, causation, and 
consciousness are ])roperties that can be classified. The (pian- 
tities that can be measured and the properties that can be clas- 
sified are the same things considered from different standpoints; 
that is, one is the reciprocal <>i' the others. 

There are still other relations which bodies bear to one 
another. All the bodies of the universe have relation to human 
beings, which are good or evil. These relations constitute 
another grade of relativity and are qualities. The properties 
give rise to qualities, for every pi-operty may produce a quality 
when it is considered in relation to human purposes. A num- 
ber may l^e few or man}' for a purpose. Ten cents may be 
few if we desu'e to purchase a dozen oranges, l^ut 10 cents may 
be many if we desire to purchase but two; yet the ])roperty 
remains the same. A thousand dollars may be few if we desire 
to purchase a farm, or many if we desire to purchase a coat; but 
the property remains the same. A pane of glass may be small if 
we desire to use it in an exhibition window, or It may be large 
if we desire to use it in a carriage ; but the property remains the 
same. A stone may be small If we use it in the foundation of 


a house, and it may be large if we wish to throw it as a missile; 
but the property remains the same. An hour seems a short 
time when I am thinking about a journey to California, but 
seems a long time to endure pain; yet the property remains 
the same. The fall of a spark from a passing engine seems 
but a trivial cause when I consider the soiling of my garment, 
but it seems to be an important cause when I consider it as 
igniting a forest fire; yet the property remains the same. An 
earthquake seems to produce but a slight effect when I observe 
it sini})ly as a tremor, l^ut when I consider it in the ruin of a 
city it appears to have a stupendous effect, though the property 
remains the same. I see a man sl3dy approaching a wall, and 
believe him to be a thief, and I have a judgment of evil; if I 
know that he intends to scale the wall in defense of his country 
I believe him to be patriotic and brave; thus the same act may 
be cowardly Mid vile or patriotic and brave from different 
points of view. 

Properties belong to things in themselves, but qualities exist 
in the mind as properties are viewed in relation to liuman 
designs. Qualities are relations, and the terms of the relation 
are properties on the one hand and purposes on the other. 
Now, we can not expunge either of these terms without expung- 
ing the relation. We may not overtl}' consider the terms, but 
consider only the relation as an abstraction. Then the terms 
must be implied, for there is no quality unless there is an exter- 
nal property and an internal purpose. When properties are 
considered as qualities in their relation to human purposes the 
judgments formed are judgments of good and evil. The judg- 
ments Avhich men form of good and evil give rise to a multi- 
tude of human activities which are known as the arts. Those 
activities which are put forth to secure pleasure and to avoid 
])ain are esthetic arts, and the science of the esthetic arts is 

We discover the properties of things as causes through our 
senses, and we discover the effect of these properties on our- 
selves through our feelings. One term of the relation, there- 
fore, is discovered by making intellectual judgments; the other 
term is discovered by making emotional judgments. 

administrative report lix 

Ambrosial Pleasures 

Pleasures arise as demotic arts when they are designed to 
please others — the people. A lad may play ball for his own 
pleasure; but the professional ball player plays for others, his 
own immediate purpose being- gain or welfare. This distinc- 
tion must be kept in view: Pleasures are first egoistic, but soon 
become altruistic. When they become altruistic as pleasures 
they become egoistic as industries. 

The metabolic sense is the sense of taste and .smell, these 
being varieties of one sense. While yet in the animal state, 
man learns to enjoy the ambrosial senses in ])artaking of food 
and drink and in inhaling the air laden with many particles 
given off by natural Ijodies ; liut in passing into the human state 
man invents a multiplicity of devices for making his food and 
drink and the air which he breathes pleasurable. All ambrosial 
pleasures are developed by experience, but the process of en- 
hancing pleasures has its antithesis in the evolution of pain; 
hence many pleasures and their antitheses, pains, have been 
evolved during the historic period. Without entering into a 
systematic treatment of the subject, it may be well to illustrate 
this statement as the facts are shown in individual experience 
and in the historv of peoples. 

When the uninitiated person tirst attemj^ts to use tobacco in 
any form it is unpleasant or even loathsome; but gradually by 
experience he leams to tolerate it and finally to enjoy it. If 
its use was universal with men, women, and children, it can not 
be doubted that an hereditary love of tobacco would be devel- 
oped, and thus the taste of tobacco would become innate and 
the judgment of its pleasant effects would be intuitive. Its 
extensive use seems to indicate a tendency to an hereditary 
love of tobacco used in one or another of the customary methods, 
although the period for which it has been used dates no farther 
back than the discovery of America. That which we wish to 
emphasize in this place is that the pleasure derived from the 
usage is artificial and is developed by experience, and that 
while new pleasures originate, antithetic pains arise Ijy the 
development of an appetite which, ungratitied, is pain. 


If we contemplate the use of intoxicant Ijeverag'es, like facts 
appear, foi' it is found that pleasures of the ineliriating- bever- 
age must be developed by experience, and again it is found 
that the love of these bacchanalian pleasures has a tendency 
to become hereclitarj' and to engender an appetite that j)ro- 
duces ])ain. In the case of alcoholic beverages the tendency 
to inherit the taste is more fully developed than in the case of 
tobacco, and the taste has thus certainly become intuitive. 

The love of the taste of some kinds of food of which man 
partakes, and with which he has had experience for untold 
generations, seems to be hereditary and hence intuitive. The 
pleasure derived from the sipidity of honey, sugar, and juices 
of fruits is innate from experience dating back to pi'imordial 
life, for the CNadence is at hand that all of these ambrosial 
pleasures are derived and can easily be lost. 

Pleasure may easih'be transformed into pain. The attar of 
rose is a pleasant odor intuitive from hereditar}^ experience, 
yet it is within the experience of the writer that it may become 
loathsome. Once on a time an epidemic of cholera was carry- 
ing off its victims, and he attended many men, women, and 
childi'en in the last sad office of life. It was midsummer, and 
raging heat prevailed, so rosewater was freely used until at 
last it became disgusting to him and has remained so, although 
the distaste is gradually wearing away in later years. 

Thus, when we consider that hereditary and innate pleasures 
may be transmitted into pains, and that new pleasures may be 
derived from old pains, the argument for the derivation of pain 
is in such cases made plain. Ambrosial pleasures and pains 
are artificial, and no insignificant portion of human activity is 
occupied in catering thereto. 

The nature of ambrosial pleasures and pains and the activi- 
ties which arise therefrom have been sufficiently set forth for 
the purpose of recognizing the group. 

Decorative Pleasures 

In science antithetic meanings are sometimes embraced in 
one term; thus degrees of plus or minus from a particular 
datum point are combined and tlieir sum is expressed in one 


term. This practice will he found convenient in the science of" 
psvcholog-y and in all of the sciences of human acti^■ities. I 
shall therefore sometimes speak of pleasure and pain in terms 
of pleasure, implying- the antithetic term pain. Sometimes we 
have a word which has the force of its etymologic significance 
and also of its antithesis. "Welfare" is a word of this char- 

Pleasures are teleologic; that is, they are i)ot('nt motives for 
human activities. There is a group of activities produced hy 
forms which result from pleasures. These may be denominated 
the pleasures of form from the standpoint of motive, or the arts 
of decoration from the standpoint of activities. Because there 
are pleasures of form there are activities of decoration and 
hence there are arts of decoration. 

Many activities produce objects solely to gratify the feelings 
of pleasure. Many activities are induced primaril}- by other 
motives and secondarily l)y pleasure. In the production of 
these objects, thought and labor are expended over and aliove 
the amount necessary to produce the object for utilit}- in order 
that it mav^ give pleasure, and if it does not give this additional 
pleasure it gives pain. Decorative activities are often ()f this 
character. An ornament may be designed wholly for decora- 
tion, as when jewels are worn; but a garment may have its 
chief purpose in utility, through a secondary purjiose in orna- 
mentation, and the form and color of the garment may be 
considered as having an importance almost equal to tliat 
derived from its utility. 

Man is rarely content witli utility, but he also desires pleas- 
ure from the objects which are produced through his activities. 
In both classes of endeavor the decorative arts are in\dl\ed. 
The decorative arts are arts of form. 

Ai'chitectural structures are designed primarily for a utili- 
tarian purpose, but they are decorated. Veliicles have utili- 
tarian purposes, yet many devices of decoration are used in 
their construction in order that they may be pleasing. Such 
illustrations serve to show the general nature of the decorati\e 


Primonlially form is discovered by the sense of touch; but 
with the development of vision, form is interpreted from sym- 
bols of color expressed in hue and tint. The form learned by 
vision is the foi-m which is first learned by touch, but subse- 
quently inter])reted by vision, which assumes, through the 
agency of experience, that certain arrangements of light imply 
that the object must have certain adjustment of figure. The 
light reflected from the object impinges upon the eye and 
becomes a mark or symbol of the figure as primarily learned 
by touch ; not that the particular object seen is first touched, 
but that the elements of form which it presents were first dis- 
covered by touch. Thus vision becomes a vicarious sense 
inr touch. Vision is deft, performing not only its fundamental 
function in the discernment of color, but instantaneously and 
skillfully it performes all the offices of touch in the discovery 
of form. 

Here we have abundant evidence of the derivative nature 
of the decorative pleasures. By a coui-se of experience, that 
which in infancy is unattractive, in maturer years becomes 
pleasurable: but more, that which is beautiful in childhood 
may become ugly in age. If the appeal is made to individual 
experience, all will testify to tlie derivative or evolutional 
nature of jileasures and pains. The history of decoration is 
loaded with lessons. That which is beautiful in savagery 
is unattractive or positively ugly in modern culture, while 
that which is unattractive among the lower races of man- 
kind may often appear as exquisitely beautiful in higher cul- 
ture. What we especially wish to note is that decorative 
pleasures and pains become intuitive by hereditary transmis- 
sion, and these intuitive pleasures and pains may be trans- 
formed in the individual and the race. Our judgments of 
pleasure and pain depend on the point of view from which 
properties are contenqilated. There is nothing in form itself 
to make it beautiful or ugly, but the form becomes beautiful 
or ugly through the agency of expeiience, by which' certain 
forms are found to be desirable or undesirable as the case may 
be. A constant cognition of such forms will produce a habit 
of forming judgments of beauty about them which ultimately 


become intuitive. Color becomes the symbol of form Ijecause 
color is on the surface and is indicative of surface and thus 
expresses figure; l)ut tliere is nothing in colors themselves 
which makes them either beautiful or ugly. Ever-\- color is 
beautiful when it seems appropriate; every color is ugly when 
it seems inappropriate. Particular colors seem to be particu- 
larly beautiful because we have associated them with particu- 
larly beautiful things, while the very same colors will be 
considered particularly ugly when they recall things which we 
conceive to be ugly. Form or the symbol of form is beautiful 
or ugly only when it produces in the mind that eff"ect by reason 
of the standpoint of the perceiver — that is, properties have not 
qualities in themselves, but qualities arise when we consider 
properties in relation to purposes. 

With the sense of vision, the human mind, having come to 
a knowledge of its power in transforming environment by 
minute increments, gradually so transforms it for the pleasures 
of decoration. Exercising activities in making artificial trans- 
formations, human beings develop the sense of the beautiful 
and the ugly in qualities of art and transfer them to the prop- 
erties of nature. In the evolution of decoration everywhere 
we find that it proceeds liy degree of organization — that is, by 
tlie ditferentiation and integration of its elements. This is 
beautifully illustrated in architecture, where a monotonous 
multiplication of like elements is replaced by figures of diff'er- 
entiate 1 elements. No longer is a uniform facade recognized 
as beautiful, but a variety of features in a variety of elements 
must be presented in order that a temple, a mart, an executive 
building, or a business structure may be considered as a pleas- 
ing example of architecture. Variety is now considered one 
of the essential elements of beauty. 

Athletic Pleasures 

In the esthetic arts we have to consider tlie pleasure derived 
from physical activit}^ In these arts appeal is made to the 
muscular sense. The new-liorn beast and the new-liorn babe 
inherit more activity than is demanded for bare existence. 


Sul)JLH't to the care of its elders, the hit;nit is not cnlled on for 
industrial activity, for its physical wants are supplied by 
others. While it is yet gaining its powers for utility, they are 
trained and expanded for pleasure. So the whel])s of tlie lion 
play in the jungle, the fawns of the stag are gleeful in the 
glade, and lads and lassies are merry when they join in the dance. 

A controversy has grown up in relation to those athletic 
plays which are here called s])orts, for we distinguish sports 
from another group of plays of which we are to treat hereafter 
as games. Si)orts are athletic activities, games are intellectual 
activities; sports develop from mimicry to rivalry, games 
develop from dependence on sorcery for success to dependence 
on skill for success. Now, if we understand the distinction 
between sports and games we are better prepared to under- 
stand the nature of sports themselves. Sports and games alike 
are activities, and the distinction which we draw between 
energy and activity has been set forth in the work to which 
reference has already been given; but an additional remark 
has now to be made. 

Activity is that form of force which is controlled or directed 
by the mind, while energy is a form of force which is con- 
trolled or directed by another form of force, which is also 
energy. Energy involves action and passion as well as action 
and reaction. Action and passion are phenomena of force; 
action and reaction are phenomena of causation, action being 
cause and reaction being effect. In energy two or more bodies 
external to one another impinge upon one another and produce 
changes in one another. In activity one body has its path 
directed by the internal collision of its particles; activity is 
thus inherent only in animal bodies in which metabolism is 
controlled b)' the mind in such manner that the body itself 
may change its own path. The body itself has a degree of 
freedom to move to and fro in its hierarchal path by its own 
initiative. A stone can not move from the hill to the valley 
unless it is acted on by some other external force, when both 
the external body and the stone itself will have their paths 
changed; but the animal body mav pass from ihe hill to the 
valley and back again by its own initiative. Not that it can add 


euerg'v to itself or subtract energy from itself; it can not create 
or annihilate motion, but it can direct this motion in a path at 
will; it can pursue the path of its own choice. All this has 
been set forth fully in the former work. 

All activities are controlled by motives, and the motive for 
sport is pleasure; but it is a pleasure of a particular kind — it is 
a pleasure in physical activity. Now, we must notice that it 
is the jileasure of the body whose structure and metabolism 
are inherited from its ancestors; hence it must be some kind of 
an activity consistent with the inherited structure. So far, then, 
the activity is fixed by inheritance, but within these fixed lim- 
its there is still great variety of activities from which to choose. 
What activity will the infant choose ? Manifestly it will choose 
that activity which is suggested b}' its acts of psychosis as they 
are developed immediately after Ijirth, and perhaps to some 
extent from prenatal acti^^ties which we may not here stop to 
consider. The first activities which the infant animal observes, 
if he belongs to any of the higher groups, are the activities of 
parents. Thus, the intant child makes judgments about parental 
activities, and, by the law of genesis, first strives to engage in 
the activities which it sees in the parents. Its wants for food 
being supplied, the food itself pi'oduces metabolic i)r(X'esses 
which ramify through its organs in excess of the amount neces- 
sary for digestion. With its inheritance of organization and 
superabundance of metabolic activity, it is ready to engage in 
other activities which are first taught by the j^arent as activi- 
ties of nurture, and the infant is thus led to engage in mimetic 
activities. Connate w^ith these are the activities of metabolism 
itself, the seizing, swallowing, and digestion of f(.>od; but the 
additional activities in which it engages are mimetic. Hence 
it is that a long succession of great scholars have fullv appre- 
ciated that sports depend on a superabundance of activitv. 

The plays of childhood are organized gradually to mimic 
the activities of elders. Kittens are trained by their mothers 
to play at catching mice, and puppies are trained by their 
mothers to play in minnc battle. Puppy wolves play at prowl- 
ing, and kitten panthers play at fisticufts. Kids play in racing, 
19 ETH — 01 v 


and nestling- birds play in niimie flight. This universal instinct 
for play is exhibited iu man through many years, in childhood 
on well into adult life. Athletic s])orts are universal alike in 
triltal and in national society. So sports of mimicry gradually 
develop into sports of rivalry. 

Is the pleasure of sports a property of the activity, or is it 
a (piality which depends on the point of view of the person 
ena-a"-ed as well as the looker on! It is within the experience 
of every normal human being that these pleasures grow and 
decay; but some are ephemeral and pass away in childhood, 
others pass away in youth, and still others pass away in adult 
age, while some undeveloped in childhood and scarcely de- 
veloped in youth continue and grow in old age. Appealing 
to historv, we discover that ephemeral pleasures become more 
ephemeral with advancing culture, while others become more 
intense by demotic development. The antitheses of pleas- 
ures, which are pains, pass through a like history in the indi- 
■\idual and in the race. In all this field of activital pleasures 
it is discovered that they become intuitive by inherited expe- 
rience, and that pleasures and pains alike are such from the 
point of view. We are therefore justified in affirming that 
pleasures and pains are qualities derived from natural proper- 

This may be a stumbling-block, and hence it requires more 
elaborate consideration. I refer to the pain produced in the 
body by injury, as iu cutting, tearing, concussion, compression, 
pinching, the stresses and strains produced by inflammation, 
the lesions of disease, and all the ])ains known as physical 
discomforts. Is the pain in the tooth a quality or a property I 
Is pain in the head a quality or a property? Is the pain from- 
a bullet wound a quality or a property? We have already 
seen that all other pleasures and pains are derivative in the 
indi-sidual and in the race, and appear from the point of view. 
Is this true of physical pain? 

First, we must consider whether pain is an essential or a 
relational element. 

Is pain, like pleasure, the product of judgment? Am I 
conscious of a pain, or do I infer it by an habitual judgment 
when the signs of pain appear in the body! Is the animal 


body endowed witli ])ain as an essential, or is pain also the 
child of experience ? In order that we may examine this sub- 
ject somewhat critically, it becomes necessary to rejjeat briefly 
that which has been set forth more elaborately in a former 
work. There ^ve begin with the definition of consciousness, 
iufei'ence, and verification. Consciousness is awareness of 
self, inference is awareness of the cause of the change in self, 
and verification is proof of the inference by experience. Now, 
we must especially call attention to the fact that the term con- 
sciousness is used only to signify awareness of self, and that 
it is not used to signif)- cognition. With this understanding 
we are prepared to proceed with the exposition. If we are 
conscious of i)hysical pain, instead of cognitive, then pain 
itself is an essential; but if we are onlj' cognitive of pain, it 
arises from inference and verification. 

It is a well-attested fact that a soldier receivhig a musket- 
ball wound in battle may be so occupied with other occurring 
events — so intent upon the progress of the battle — that the 
wound itself mav be unobserved and no pain for the time 
experienced. Then pain is not an essential inherent in ani- 
mate matter itself, Ijut something which arises from the point 
of view. It is within the experience of many men, perhaps 
all, that various injuries may be experienced without at once 
arising in consciousness, and that pain supervenes only on the 
cognition of the evil. 

Again, physical pain grows with the experience of the indi- 
vidual. That which was a slight pain in childhood becomes 
an intense pain in adult life. In the history of races, bestial 
and human, pain becomes greater with culture. The pains of 
lesions and bruises grow with develoj^ing culture; the pains 
of parturition increase as society becomes more I'efined, more 
highly developed in culture. From these and a multitude of 
considerations which the contemplating- mind will recall, it is 
made plain that physical pains, like all our pains, are deri- 
vative; that we have no consciousness of pain when that term 
is strictly used, but we have cognition of pain. 

We have seen how cognition becomc^s intuitive by heredi- 
tary transmission. From the earliest tribal life to the highest 


state of culture the way is long and the years are covinted by 
millions. Every animate individual in all this time has 
exjjerienced the effects of lesions and bruises, until the concept 
has been woven into the constitution of mankind by experi- 
ence, and the intuition is perfected through verified judgments. 
It is unnecessar}- for the man to pass through a complex ratio- 
cination for the purpose of discovering this variety. A trivial 
accident may befall a soldier in line of battle, which he inter- 
prets as a wound; he hears the coming of the shell from a 
piece of field artillery, it strikes the ground and scatters its 
fragments broadcast, together with chips and gravel. A bit of 
wood strikes the soldier; he interprets it as a fragment of shell, 
has the illusion of being' wounded, and feels the pain and 
expresses all the agony which a real wound may actually pro- 
duce. Animate matter is not endowed with an essential of 
physical pain, but it develops pain by cognition of effects. 

In the evolution' of sports we discover a development from 
individual and unorganized multiple activities in man}- indi- 
viduals to organized activities, in which special activities are 
assumed for special purposes, all so difierentiated and inte- 
grated as to accomplish a desired end. A hundred savages, 
men, women, and children, will join in a dance to revolve in a 
circle by uniform and rhythmic steps, and everyone moves 
like every other one. But a game of baseball is organized so 
that every player has a particular function to perform which 
differs from the functions of all the others. This law of the 
organization of sports is universal. 


We now reach the fourth group of acti vital pleasures; these 
are games played in rivalry of skill and chance. Games have 
their root in sorcery, as it is jiracticed by wildwood man. It 
seems that at first arrows or arrowheads are the pieces played — 
the pawns, knights, castles, kings, and queens of the game, or 
the cards upon which the actors are painted. In the wide 
geographical realm of tribal man many of these games are 
discovered, but they have common elements — that is, they are 
founded on universal concepts, and everywhere in this stage 


of society they are rooted in divination or the universal longing- 
of mankind to know the causes of things and how etiects may 
be controlled. In savagery men play for effects and control 
the causes, as they suppose, by necromantic figures which they 
carve or paint upon the pieces of the game. Thus, they try to 
Avin by sorcery. In later stages of culture the sorcery to a 
greater or less extent is abandoned and skill is recognized as 
the true cause, but there yet remains an element of chance. 
AVith primal man chance and sorcery are the elements of all 
games, while with civilized man chance and skill are its 

There is a secondary though potent motive in games which 
inheres in tlie desire to take advantage for individual profit. 
For this reason gaming is as universal among trilial men as 
gambling, and it is common among civilized men. 

I have witnessed these games of sorcery anTOng the aboriginal 
tribes of North America, and have seen groups of men or women 
wager their ornaments and all their personal goods, even to 
their articles of clothing, until their bodies were nude. As the 
game proceeds, the villagers gather about and comment on the 
incidents of the game, and recommend a variety of necromantic 
feats, which they suppose will In-ing luck to their friends. 
Sometimes the plav does not stop for refreshment or sleep 
until one or the other of the parties have lost all, yet will the 
play proceed with liilarity and end with a feast and a revelry 
of intoxication. I have heard that civilized men gamble with 
the same assiduity. 

Hunting and fishing are primeval industries, by which wild- 
wood men obtain no small portion of their food. To some 
extent, in civilized society, they still remain as industries. In 
fact, fishing is yet a fundamental industry. But hunting and 
fishing are now games, and the fruit of the play is called game. 
Although these activities are often called sports, in science we 
must call them games, as for success they depend on elements 
of chance and skill, and the real gamester or sportsman looks 
with some degree of contempt on the man who hunts or fishes 
for food. 

lxx bureau of american ethnology 

Fine Arts 

The fifth group of activital pleasures is that of the fine arts. 
We have alreadj^ seen that there is a group arising from a cog- 
nition of the pleasures which are derived from metabolism; a 
second group, called the arts of decoration, which arise from 
the cognition of the pleasures of form; a'third group, called the 
athletic arts or the arts of sport, which arise from the cognition 
of the pleasures of force; a fourth g'roup, called the arts of 
amusement or games, which arise from the cognition of the 
pleasures of causation. Here we have a fifth group, which we 
call psychic arts or the fine arts, and which arise from the cogni- 
tion of the pleasures of mind expressed in fine-art works. 

In order that we may adequately set forth the nature of the 
fine arts, it becomes necessary to make a fundamental classifi- 
cation of tliem. 

In a former work I set forth the vicarious nature of the 
senses of muscular effort — hearing and vision. These are the 
senses to wliich appeal is made. These arts have played an 
imj)ortant role in the evolution of mankind as demotic bodies, 
and lient-e the}' require more eUihorate treatment. 

Wlien we desire to classify the fine arts, we find well demar- 
cated groups from the standpoint of the properties of matter in 
the order in which these properties logically appear, from the 
simple to the most complex. We have, first, music; second, 
graphic art; third, drama; fourth, romance; fifth, ])oetrv. That 
this is the logical order will appear when the subject is more 
thoroughly presented. 


Music is the most funda}nental of tlie fine arts in that it 
more fully expresses the emotions than any of the others, while 
it is but a feeble method of expressing the intellections. This 
chai-acteristic is well known, and music has been called the art 
of expressing the emotions. It further appears that few per- 
sons ever learn to read the intellectual character of nnisic when 
it is made by others or even when it is made by themselves. 
I do not mean that they fail to read the staff in wliich music 
is written, but I do mean that the}" fail to read the argument 


or story of the musical composition, but rest satisfied wirli 
the emotional eftects produced. Very few persons read music 
as an intellectual art, and there are but few critics of the 
art who survey these intellectual elements. Indeed, the intel- 
lectual thread of a nmsicai composition is very slendei-, and 
much of it in the folk song- of the world is unconsciously 
developed, like the meaning of words in folk speech. It is a 
growth by minute increments found to be beautiful in ex})e- 

Bhi/tJim — Music has its germ in the dance, for it liegins with 
the effort to control the rhythm of the lilting folk. Rhythm, 
therefore, is the first structural element of music, but new ele- 
ments are added from time to time in the history of man as 
he proceeds along the way of life from wildwood time to the 
higher civilization in re])resentative time — a long time indeed. 

Melody — Passing from the hunter stage to the shepherd stage 
we find that a new element is added to music; then melody 
appears fuUv fledged. As the more complicated dancing steps 
become more pleasing than the pi'imeval monotonous step, the 
melodic chant becomes more pleasing than the simple rhythmic 
chant; that is, a rhythm of rhythms is developed which makes 
melody. So music was endowed first with rhythm and then 
with melody. 

Melodv is a pleasing succession of sounds, or notes as they 
are called in written music, having a different pitch, and we 
have to consider how such notes come to obtain that (juality 
which we call melody and which is so delightful to the hearer. 

The dance is a sport in which usually many persons sinml- 
taneously engage. In primitive dancing the time is marked 
by the voice, and the shouts of the dancers constitute a chant 
in which oftentimes they all take part, but at other times 
there is a leader and only one marks the time. As the dance 
develops from the sim^jle monotonous recognition of the same 
step to a combination of two or more differentiated steps, they 
are marked liv differences in the pitch of the voice. To fully 
understand the ultimate effect of this device, we must ajjpre- 
ciate the universality of dancing and that it continued in the 
first stage of society through tliousands of years. 


Harmony — In a succeeding stage of society, which we call 
the nioiiiivohieal stage, or the tyrant stage, when tribal society, 
was developed into national society, music made another 
advance by the introduction of a new element of pleasure. As 
these new elements appear from time to time in the course of 
human culture, it must be remembered that they do not come 
into view fully fledged, but tliat germs planted in the primor- 
dial music slowl}" develop until they become recognized as 
elements of such importance that they receive designed devel- 
opment by music makers. The new element added to music 
in this stage of culture is liarmony. Now, there existed in 
primitive nuisic the germ of harmony which, in the progress 
of the centuries, came to be considered by men of such 
importance that special efforts were made to improve that 
fully recognized element itself. When nuisic was but rhythm, 
there Avas a germ of harmonj' in it, for the waning sound 
would blend with the waxing sound, and the succession of 
sounds that l)ecome melodious also become harmonious; but 
more than this, in folk chant the voices of men and women 
differ in j)itch, and still other differences arise in the comming- 
ling of childi'en's voices. When music became melody, the 
bonds which held it to the dance were broken and melody 
was niari-ied to song as chant was married to dance, but song 
music was especially adapted to the development of harmony, 
because it became choral music; doubtless song's were sung- 
by individuals for their aimisement, and as solos for the amuse- 
ment of others, but when many join in the song we have choral 
music. Thus the blending of tones in melody becomes at 
last the blending of tones in harmony. The pleasure derived 
from harmony does not inhere in sounds themselves; sounds 
are colorless to the ear. The spoken word is but sound until 
it is informed with a meaning; so sound as sound has no power 
to create emotion until it is informed with an emotional mean- 
ing, and harmony is developed as a pleasure only l:)v long 
expei'ience. Perfect evidence of this is furnished through the 
modern and scientific investigation of folk music. Botli the 
melody and the harmony of different races differ in the inter- 
vals of j)itch exhibited in tlieir music. This is ]:)roof that all 


men may read, and it clearly teaches that the pleasm-es of music 
are derivative. 

Here let us pause for a remark about the attitude of idealism 
and materialism toward this question. Idealism atlirms that 
not only is pleasure, as a quality, created by the mind, but that 
even the properties of sound itself are created by the mind. 
Materialism atKrms that the property inheres in the sounding- 
body, and the quality also in the sounding bod}-. "\Miat we 
affirm is that the propert}- inheres in the sounding bod}-, and 
the quality in the body pleased. 

Si/mpho)i// — In modern time, or the time of representative 
goverinnent, which also may be considered as the time of 
science par excellence, svinjjhony has been added to music. 
The development of svmphonic music is dependent on the 
development of musical instruments. Musical instruments 
themselves have their germ in the hunter stage of society. A 
tree overthrown by a tempest may be crosscut into sections 
with a stone ax, reenforced l)y fire. Such a section may then 
be hollowed out with a stone adz and living coals. A vessel 
thus wrought serves many purposes. At night, when the tribe 
dances in glee, this mortar or tub for soaking skins becomes a 
drum. A wild gourd holding pebbles becomes a timljrel 
A staft' cut with notches is played upon with another and 
smaller one with rhythmic, rasping- thrum, and becomes a viol. 
A reed, or a section of bark, or the hollow bone of a bud, 
makes a flute. A tablet two fingers wide and a span in length, 
suspended from a staft" with sinew, liecomes a roarer which is 
whipped through the air — the first trumpet of primitive man. 

A group of such implements (and there are manv others in 
primitive life) constitutes the first orchestra. When science 
comes and the nature of sound itself is understood as a })rop- 
erty, musical instruments are invented and improved by the 
husbandry of mind until a great variety is developed; thus 
symphony grows from the soil of time. What, then, is sym- 
phony? It is a succession of melodies, every one of which is 
produced by a group of instruments, one of whicli may l)e the 
human voice. Now, as these instruments play in unison, one 
or another is selected to play the leading- melody, and the 


other instruments are made to play subsidiary melodies in 
harmony with the leading melody. As the melodies pass in 
succession, a new theme is chosen for the leading melody, and 
thus there is a succession of themes. 

This elementary statement seems to be necessary that we 
may properly understand the evolution of music and the 
derivative character of the pleasures which it produces; for 
symphonic music is pleasing because harmonic music is pleas- 
ing, but in a higher degree ; harmonic music is pleasing because 
melodic nmsic is pleasing, but in a higher degree; melodic 
music is pleasing because rhythmic music is pleasing, but in a 
higher degree. 

In music, as in architecture, the pleasure is developed by 
differentiating and integrating the elements — that is, by higher 
anil higher organization. 


We must now consider the natures of graphic ai't and its evo- 
lution through the four stages of culture which we have 
denominated the hunter stage, the shepherd stage, the tyrant 
stage, and the freedom stage. 

ScMlptuye — Hunter man carves images of various objects in 
wood, shell, bone, and stone; he also molds such forms in clay. 
This is the first form of graphic art as discovered in ethnol- 
ogy, which is the science of tribal culture. Now, there is a 
special motive in this stage of society urging men to excel- 
lence in primitive sculpture. Much of the time of wildwood 
men, or men of the hunter stage, is devoted to religious activ- 
ities. Dancing is always a religious activity with primitive 
men, and it is the primeval system of worship. But to this 
element another is added, that of representing to the gods 
the desires of men; for this purpose an elaborate system ot 
representation is developed. The gods worshiped are the ani- 
mals, but all things known to wikhvood men are animals. 
The celestial bodies are animals traveling in a path along the 
firmament, from east to west, where they turn again to .find 
their way underground to the east. All rocks are animals 
fixed to the earth by magic or scattered loosely upon the earth, 


because, since they are asleep, their ghosts have departed, tor 
that is the theory of sylvan life. Trees and smaller plants are 
animals tixed to the earth by necromancy. Clouds are ani- 
mals, streams are animals, seas are animals, and the clouds are 
ever descending upon the earth and migrating b}' streams to 
the sea, for every di'op of water is an animal. 

This theory of animate life is universal in tribal society. In 
this stage, when men carve in earnest, they are engaged in i)ro- 
ducing the instruments of worship. These olijects are not 
themselves worshiped in the true sense, they are only the 
emblems of worship which are displayed before the gods tliat 
they may comprehend the wishes of the worshii)ers. The 
emblems displayed upon the altar are of two kinds: First, they 
are the emblems of the gods worshiped ; and, second, they are 
emblems of the good things which the worshipers desire. Thus 
a savage altar is adorned with the images of the gods and the 
emblems of the blessings for which the savage man makes 
request. The altar is the table on which these emblems are 
displayed. The things desired may be represented by images, ^ 
as when game is asked or when fruits are besought. But there 
may be many accessory objects placed upon the holy talde, as, 
when in prayer for corn that it may ripen and become liard, the 
thought is eonveved In' fragments of crystal that lie beside It 
on the table. The crystal is an adjective that qualifies the corn. 
Savage men always believe that they have lost the language of 
the gods, and thus they eke out the meaning of their words by 
the illustrations which they assemble upon the altar. That 
prayer may be understood is the primitive motive for excellence 
in carving-. 

Belief- — The next step in the evolution of graphic art is taken 
in the shepherd stage. Wildwood men etched crude pictures 
on rocks, or scratched them on bones, ht)rns, bark of trees, and 
on the tanned skins of animals. Such etchings are mere flats; 
they always fail to express relief. In barbarism they are made 
to show a truer form, and man learns to express in painting the 
meaning of tints and hues as they are reflected from bodies. 
The motive which urges to excellence is the desire for clearer 
expression in altar symbolism. 


Perspective — In the succeeding stage a third step is taken. 
Here the emblems of the altar are painted also npon temple 
walls; but the themes of mythology are mainly the themes of 
painting, and with this same motive the master works of art 
are produced. All along the course of the history of i^aiuting, 
religious zeal is the potent motive for excellence. 

This third step consists in the acquisition of perspective, when 
objects are placed in the ])ainting in such manner as to show 
their relative position, and the three dimensions of space are 
I'ecognized in the production of the work. Now conventional 
signs are no longer needed. In the stage anterior to this, per- 
spective is conventional, as if a man should say, "I have 
painted two horses on the canvas, but this one must be con- 
sidered as far away, because it is put on the right .side of the 
picture; things on the left must be considered as near by." A 
great mauv devices for conventional perspective were invented 
by tribal men before they acquired the concept of true per- 

We must nere call attention to an important law of demotic 
evolution. Growth is made usually by minute increments. 
Rarely indeed is there a sudden outgrowth, but the increments 
of development are all made by men with a genius for the 
activity. Such a man is a leader in the arts. A nuiltitude is 
led by one, so that demotic evolution is dependent very largely 
on the few for its initiative which the many learn by imitation. 
This law is observed not only in all the esthetic arts, but it 
rules throughout the whole realm of human activities. But 
initiative through the individual becomes demotic, because the 
many steps in advance which leaders make as minute incre- 
ments of progress are consolidated throngh their adoption by 
the many. A leader must have a following or his leadership 
is in vain. 

Chiaroscuro — In the fourth stage of culture still another ele- 
ment is added to painting. This is chiaroscuro, or the delicate 
recognition in painting of the effects of light and shade in the 
several hues of the work. This is the highest characteristic of 
art as conceived by the modern jiainter. The artist may suc- 
ceed in all else, but if he fails in this it is failure indeed. It is 
the difference between the artist and the artisan. 


The intellecturtl oliaracteristics of works of grapliie art are 
more pronounced than those of musical art, while the emo- 
tional characteristics are less vividly expressed. A painting 
may be excellent, though the theme may be trivial ; but a 
great painting must have a great theme, and the picture must 
be judged by its successful presentation of the theme. 1 can 
not here stop to treat of the evolution of themes, but will 
reserve the subject for a future occasion. Here I will be 
content with the simple expression of the judgment that no 
great and enduring work of art can be wrought which lias 
not also a great theme. 

We must not fail to give attention to a branch of graphic art 
which lias taken root f(ir itself and thus become independent. 
I refer to the development of picture writings for the purpose 
of communicating the thoughts of men to other men. The 
origin of alphabets in picture writing is now an accepted con- 
clusion of science. When graphic art was not under the 
dominion of the religious motive, but was impelled by utili- 
tarian designs, it worked out a very different result, becoming 
more and more conventional, while painting itself comes to be 
more and more realistic. 


Drama constitutes the third group of fine-art activities in 
logical order. 

- Dance — Again we have to seek for prinial motives in reli- 
gion. Already we have affirmed that dancing is the primeval 
activity of pleasure. It is the first activity which has jov for 
its motive. The dance is deeply embedded in the constitution 
of aninial life. The various scientific works and essays on 
play which have been produced in modern time clearly set 
forth this doctrine, though some phases of it are yet in con- 

That the dance is a religious activity is revealed by a study 
of the lower races of mankind. Dance is a play ; not imita- 
tive, but religious play. Here the play motive and the reli- 
gious motive are differentiated, so that we can separate sport 
from drama, but religion and drama are one in their tribal 


life. Dancing is the first primeval expression of joy as praise, 
and is the fundamental element of worship. 

Sacrifice — In the second stage there is found an element of 
religion, and hence of drama, which has its l^eginning in the 
first stage, lint is fully developed only in the second. In the 
first stage, in order that men may express their wants, they 
display them either by placing the things themselves or their 
symbols upon the altar. In the second stage the objects de- 
sired are sacrificed. When a deity is worshipped, the things 
desired are poured out upon the ground as oblations, or con- 
sumed in the fire as offerings, that the ghosts of the things 
desired may be possessed by the ghostly deity. 

When human beings are buried, whether in the earth, the 
air, or the fire, the same worship is accorded them, and the sac- 
rifice made at the grave. So the second stage of drama or 
worship is sacrificial, while there yet remains the element 
of praise in the dance. We are familiar with the character- 
istics of this stage of the drama in the writings of Homer; 
however, there is a vast bodj' of literature on the subject from 
other sources. The science of ethnology reveals its nature 
and cliaracteristics in a manner which is clear and forcible. 
All the tribes which are investigated b}'' ethnologists present 
examples for consideration. 

Ceremony— TXxQ. third stage of the di-ama, which is fully 
developed in the imperial stage, also has roots, more or less 
obscure, in the earlier stages; for shamans, in instructing the 
people in mythology, devise curious and interesting methods 
to enforce their teaching by re])resenting the scenes in a more 
or less dramatic manner, in which the neophytes of the sha- 
manistic order take part, and to some extent other members of 
the tribe are assistants. 

This difference in the nature of the drama of tribal society 
and of national society must be understood. The drama is 
not designed as a language by which men may talk with the 
gods, but it is designed as a language by which men may be 
instructed. In savagery, the language by which the gods are 
addressed is sign language; in barbarism, it is gesture speech; 
in monarchy, the national god is the only true god, all others 


are devils, and this true god understands and employs the 
national language, and religious drama is a gesture speech 
designed to instruct men in divine lore. This new element 
appears in one form in the more highly developed savage 
society, in another form in barbaric society, but in tvrannic 
society it is fully fledged as ceremony. It is shown in the 
account whicli we have of the Eleusinian mysteries; it appears 
also in the dramatic jjcrformance of many nations of f^urope, 
Asia, and Africa, where the drama becomes an institution pro- 
moted and regulated by the ruler, and drama is the principal 
system of worship in the national religion, while local worship 
is restricted largeh' to triljal methods. This new element of 
worship is developed by transmuting the actual sacrifice into 
ceremonial sacrifice. No longer are hecatombs slain; no 
longer are wines poured upon the ground; no longer are 
cereals burned in the fire ; but a ceremony representing these 
things is instituted and held to be sacred, and especially effica- 
cious, while praise is not only terpsichorean as in savagery, 
not only athletic as in barbarism, but it is pageantr}-. Thus, 
in the tyrannic stage, we have ceremony. 

Toward the close of this stage religion and drama are par- 
tially divorced, so that there is a drama more or less distinct 
from religion. 

Histrionic art — We have now to consider drama as an esthetic 
art in the fourth stage of culture. This stage is brought about, 
as a revolution in society, fundamentally through the agencies 
of science ; not that there is no science anterior to this stage 
of culture, but that it has not attained that potenc}' necessary 
to the transmutation. Science is only simple knowledge, 
which is but a ^•erified inference, and in all ages men have 
known something. A few simple facts known in savagery 
become germs that develo]i and nuiltiply through the centuries, 
until science becomes a controlling element in civilization. 

The time of science is marked by events, but the time of 
science as a stage of culture may be considered as beginning 
with the discovery of the new world and the invention of print- 
ino-, together with scientific principles that had been develojjed 
up to that time. Research is born of the love of truth, and the 


truth discovered breeds more research, so the chihl liecomes 
the parent that new children may be born; and wlien these 
generations have miikiphed until they become a host, the mul- 
titude of scientitic motives extant in the world constitute a 
power over society ever more and more efhcacious in the 
regeneration of mankind. 

Heretofore we have soiight a motive for drama in religion; 
now we must seek it in the desire to truthfully express life — 
the life of man in society. The promoter of drama, as entre- 
preneur or undertaker of dramatic enterprise, may have a mo- 
tive of gain. The artist may have a motive of ambition, but 
it is soon found that these motives may be gratified to the 
highest degree only by a most deft expression of the truth ; so 
the motive for evolution is now the desire to express the truth 
in the action which is designed to represent a trait of character, 
and the artist, be he dramatic writer or actor, strives to express 
the emotions of the scene in the most vivid and truthful man- 
ner. Columbus discovered America that Jetferson might por- 
tray Rip Van Winkle. 

He who hath ears to hear, then let him hear 
Ami sage lieconie that he ma\' come a seer. 

When the chains which hold drama to religion are dirempt 
and the}' can go forth to lead a free life, both start on new 
careers. Drama becomes histrionic art indeed, and the stage 
becomes the mirror in which are reflected the causes and con- 
sequences of the deeds of life. Religion soars on wings of 
aspiration into the empyi-ean of hope — hope for a purer and 
better life which bears fruit in purer and better conduct. 

The germ of dramatic art is the dance, which in its first stage 
is religion. Of course religion must be distinguished from 
theology. Theology is a system of opinions, while religion 
is a system of woi'shijj. Religious motives become the seed of 
graphic motives and also the seed of nuisical motives. We see 
that both musical art and gra|)hic art are founded on religion. 
We shall proceed to show that the other esthetic arts are based 
on religion. 

The intellectual and emotional elements of drama are pretty 
evenly balanced in the last liistrionic stage; but if we consider 


its growth from the lieginnino- I think we sliall find a steady 
development from emotional to intellectual art. 

We have yet to note that the pleasures obtained from dra- 
matic activities are derived. There is in nature no distinct 
property on which pleasure is founded, but it is founded on 
the relati^"e element of consciousness which is inference and 
which produces judgments. All our knowledge of the pleas- 
ures of dramatic entertainment are founded on 'judgments 
and are good or evil from the point of view which we have 
attained in the progress of culture. It needs but a single 
illustration to make this fact evident: The drama of the sav- 
age, dancing about the firelight which glints the trees of the 
surrounding forest, does not constitute an entertainment for 
which the civilized man longs and which he would sedulously 
promote. That which ])rings gladness in one stage, brings con- 
tempt in another. True, the ethnologist may be delighted to 
witness the wildwood scene and even to engage in its revelry ; 
but his purpose would be not to dance for joy, but to dance 
for knowledge. 


Romance is the fine art next in logical order. The first form 
of romance is myth. We can not understand its nature with- 
out undei standing the cosmology with which it is associated. 
All tribes, savage and barbaric alike, have a cosmology based 
on a notion of seven worlds. This notion is developed through 
that phase of the evolution of language which Max Miiller has 
called a disease. Miiller's characterization, though more poetic 
than scientific, is yet a legitimate trope. In the evolution of 
language old words are used with new meanings, and often the 
old meanings fade, while the new meanings, which seem to be 
at variance with the etymological signification of the terms, 
become standard. Primitive languages absorb the entire asser- 
tion in one Avord ; their words are holophrastic. A single word 
performs the offices of all the parts of speech, for parts of 
speech are yet undifferentiated; therefore a word is a com- 
plete sentence. When words are sentence words, the phe- 
nomena which men attempt to describe witli them are ex2)ressed 

19 ETH — 01 VI 


in such terms tliat linguistic development leads to a cosmology 
of space. 

In this 7nanner primitive man is led to speak of seven elements 
of space. There are the here, the center, the midworld; the ze- 
nith, tlie above, the heaven world; the down, the lower world, 
the nadir, the hell. The apparent rising of the sun in the east 
and its apparent course to the west seem to divide the plane of 
the earth into two parts. In speaking about the east, the eastern 
direction, the eastern land gradually becomes an eastern world; 
and in speaking about the west, the western direction, the west- 
ern land, it gradually becomes the western world. Then, as men 
must still talk about the north and the south as distinct from the 
east and the west they also become worlds. Thus we have 
the cardinal worlds; these with the midworld, the zenith world, 
and the nadir world constitute the seven worlds of the cosmology 
of savagery. 

The seven worlds are univei'sal; every savage and every bar- 
baric tribe recognizes and believes in them, as they are inexora- 
bly developed as notions in the mind through the power of the 
language used to express thought al>out relations of space, 
especially as it refers to commonplace geography. Every day 
the savaoe man has to tell of his wandering or the wanderings 
of * -tilers over the surface of the earth, or to give directions to 
others how to find places and objects, so that in this use of 
holojjhrastic terms he unconsciousl}' reities the relations of 
space and makes them seven distinct worlds. In tribal life 
the notions of seven worlds are intuitive as a habit of judg- 

If a man habitually speaks of an object in terms which 
involve erroneous notions, the habit of forming the judgments 
in\ ( >l\'ed becomes intuitive. Persuade him that eating parsnips 
on Wednesday is a taboo and may lead to bad consequences, 
a constiint avoidance of this habit will lead him to habitual 
judgments of evil, and he will believe that such judgments are 
intuitive. It is thus that qualities are generated in the mind 
from the point of view of the individual. 

Beast fable — Wildwood man worships the beasts as gods. 
As we have already seen, he believes that all bodies have 


animnte life; that i^i, lie interprets the phenomena of the world 
from tlie standpoint of the belief that uU bodies, like human 
bodies, are endowed with mind and that they have motives 
and enjov pleasures and feel pains and exercise will as men 
do. The savage man interprets the environment of bodies as 
if thev were human bodies. This is what has been called 

With this view of the world savage man develops a vast 
bodv of storv lore which reveals his thougflits of tlu' nature of 
things with the causes and effects of e^'ents that constitute the 
history of life and change. This lore is myth. But more: By 
agencies which are now well recognized in science, he believes 
that every body has a dual existence, as gross body and 
atteniiated body, and that the attenuated body may enter the 
gross body or de])art from the gross body at will, and that the 
attenuated body ma}' sojourn in one gross body or another at 

The attenuated body is known in our language as ghost, 
but every jjrimitive language has a name of its own, as manitu 
in the Algonquian languages, and poJmnt in the Shoshonean 
languages, and trakatida in the Siouan languages. This ghost 
is held to be the cause of tilings. All events are caused by 
o'hosts. Everv distinct ling-ui.stic stock of the world has a 
body of myth consisting of stories related about the doings 
of human beings and mythic personages, which always assume 
that the ghosts of the other personages influence the ghosts of 
men, or that the ghosts of men influence the ghosts of other 
personages. This is the essence of barbaric myth or romance, 
for myth and romance are one in this stage of culture. 

Power nuitJi — In the second stage of myth or romance we 
discover a radical development in the personages of the storv. 
A new class of deities is found. From the same linguistic 
cause, which ■\^'e have set forth, the conspicuous phenomena of 
nature are personified as gods. The powers of the universe as 
tliey are kno^vn in that stage of society become the heroes of 
mytli. The animal gods remain, and with them the human 
beings; but all the gods of savagery are assigned minor parts, 
and the new gods constitute a su))erior order of beings. 


This stage is jiopularh- known through the writings of Max 
Miiller and others wlio have devoted muoh time to tlie study of 
Sanskrit Uterature. It is set forth in the popular accounts of 
Norse mythology and also in Germanic mythology. Again we 
find it \v(dl recorded in Homer and Hesiod. In fact, there is 
now a large body of literature gathered from various lands 
which is being carefully studied for the ])urpose of discovering 
the characteristics of this stage of myth. 

While romance is beast fable in savagery, romance is power 
myth in barbarism. To understand this transmutation we must 
see the change which is wrought in tlie concepts of worlds or 
in cosmology. It is a change which l^egins in savagery, but 
is more highly developed in barbarism. The concepts of space 
worlds control the concepts of the savage mind to such an 
extent that all of the attributes of bodies are referred to the 
worlds as properly belonging to them. Thus colors originally 
come to be classified as seven, for the act of expressing concepts 
in words is more potent than the sense of vision in controlling 
the judgment of the color of objects. 

Tlie prismatic colors, as such, are unrecognized; but hues, 
tints, shades, and even patterns are classified, and there is a 
tendency to classify them as hues. The sclieme of colors, 
perhaps, differs from tribe to tribe; of this I am not sure, but 
this I do find among some tribes: Blue is the color of the 
zenitli, and tilings ai"e said to have sky color. It is a very 
natural mistake for man to reach the conclusion tliat sky color 
is made by the sky or that it comes from the sky by the habit 
of lan"-uag-e which alreadv has been set forth. Color is thus 
reified and as.signed to a world. Darkness, or black, seem to 
prinntive man to come from below, and as darkness is reified, 
it is believed to come from the nadir world Green is held to 
lielong properly to the inid\\orld, for it is the color of plant 
bodies and is seen nowhere else. 

In tribal society the colors seem to be variously assigned to 
tlie cardinal worlds as hues, tints, shades, and patterns. In the 
cases whicli I have especially investigated, red belongs to 
the west, white to the east, yellow to the south, and gray to the 


In a similar manner, wliieli we can not stop to explain fully, 
all the attributes of Ijodies as properties or qualities are assigned 
to reg'ions by wildwood men and shepherd men. The increasing- 
knowledge of the world leads to a geographic knowledge of 
immense distances on tlie horizontal plane of the earth as it is 
then supposed to be; but the cardinal attributes still continue 
to be grouped about tlie one which seems to be the most 

A sur^-ival of this classification of attributes in world schemes 
still remains in modern time when attributes of srood are assigned 
to a world of space, as the heaven above, and attributes of evil 
are assigned to the world below — hell. 

The attributes which wei"e assigned to the cardinal worlds are 
grouped about the most conspicuous attribute, as the cardinal 
worlds are abandoned owing to an increasing knowledge of 
geograph}". Finally, they settle down into four elements; the 
cardinal worlds thus become elements — earth, air, fire, and 
water — and the bodies of the worlds are believed to be com- 
posed of these elements in varying proportions. 

In Greek and Roman classics we find much about these four 
elements; but the development of four elements out of four 
worlds belongs largely to barbarism, though perhajjs it is not 
full}" completed until the stage of monarchy is reached. 

Necromancy — In the monarchical stage of society the four 
elements — earth, air, fire, and water — play a very important 
role. It is now tlie theory that bodies are composed of these 
elements, and it is a theory that the diff'erence between bodies 
depends on the different proportions of these elements which 
they severally present. Tlie cardinal worlds thus become 
cardinal elements, and a birthmark remains when they are })ut 
in antithetic ^jairs. Earth is opposed to air, and fire is opi)osed 
to water. This stage of society is the stage of alchemy in the 
philosophy of bodies. The wondrous transmutations that 
appear in nature are explained as alchemical changes in com- 
bining or freeing the elements. The stories now invented are 
stories of necromancy in which theories of ghosts and theories 
of alchemy are compounded. This is also the sige of chivalry, 


and the stories told are tales of wars and wiles, and the heroes 
are kinj^s, warriors, wizards, dwarfs, giants, and demons. They 
often wander about the world for the jnn-pose of adventure or 
because they are engaged in wonderful enterprises. Thau- 
maturgv — not natural wonders, but invented wonders — now 
constitutes the principal theme of romance. Myth is trans- 
muted into romance. 

The three worlds remain as earth, hell, and heaven. We 
can not stop ti> catalog these medieval romances, liut they con- 
stitute an extensive literature in themselves and there is an 
extensive body of litei'ature about them. Often in the next 
stage they become the themes of poetry The Victorian bard 
has used some of these medieval themes in the Idylls of the 

Novels — It must constantly be borne in mind that romance 
in its \arious stages niay have themes to a greater or less 
extent the same throughout, but that they differ in the method 
of treatment. Beast fables may yet be told, but merely as 
fables to teach a lesson. The nature mj-ths may yet be used 
as illustrations and embellishments, and romances may 3'et be 
written with all the thaumaturgy of the Middle Ages to give 
literary amusement to people who are not supposed to believe 
in necromancy. 

With this warning we may go on to describe the romance of 
the last stage. To the world's store of romance new tales are 
added — fictitious histories in a series of events where causes 
conspire to produce effects that have an intellectual and emo- 
tional interest. In an especial manner modern tales are 
designed to teach a lesson of good and evil, and there are 
many romances that are doctrinaire in motive. 

This is the transmutation brought by science upon the char- 
acteristics of romance. Tales are no longer told to be believed, 
but are told to teach lessons. Romance is fmidamentally 
designed to give pleasure, but at the same time is made to 
teach wisdom in conduct. If the medicine is but a coated 
pill, it is refused; but if a dram of moral truth is deftly mixed , 
with a pound of delightful representation of men and things, 
the moral becomes a luxury. 



Tlie fifth in order of the fine arts is poetry. All of the 
esthetic arts ai"e activities designed to produce pleasure. This 
is their fundamental pur))os(\ Poetrv is an art i»f pleasure. 
Its fundamental purpose nuist be pleasiu-e, although it some- 
times may be a good method of presenting the truth; in fact 
it often serves this purpose in an admirable manner, Ijut its 
wisdom must be veiled whether it be intellectual or moral. 

That which makes poetry is the method of expression that 
is adopted by poetry. In music the method of expression is 
rhythmic sound and the combinations of rhytlimic sound which 
appear also in melody, harmony, and symphony. Graphic art 
is expression of form which at first gives us form as molded in 
sculpture, then form as relief, then the combination of form 
in perspective, and finally the delicate expression of forms in 
values or chiaroscuro. In drama we have an art which 
employs gesture speech as its mode of expression. Its root is 
the dance, and the first stage of the drama is terpsichorean; its 
second stage is sacrifical, its third stage is ceremonial, its fourth 
stage is histrionic. Romance is expression by fictitious history. 
It appears first as beast fable, then as power niytli, then as 
necromantic tale, and finally in the novel. 

In poetry the method of expression is metajihor. We are 
yet to see the stages through which metaphor is developed. 
Again I must remind my reader that all of these stages have 
roots in the primitive stage, that they develop l)v minute incre- 
ments, and that a characteristic of poetry is never developed 
in full panoply of action. 

Personification — Personi^cation is the germ of poetic expres- 
sion. Personification is the fundamental error in the philos- 
ophy of savagery. Tyhir called this belief animism; already 
we have set forth its nature. It arises from mental necessity 
of making judgments and comparing them with tlie inferences 
which the mind draws from sense impressions. The savage 
interprets the world of bodies in the environment from the 
concepts of human bodies. From the standpoint of psychol- 
ogy this is anthropomorphism, while from the standpoint of 


philosojjliA' it is aiiirai.siii. This animisni or anthropomorphism 
is personihcatioii from the standpoint of poetry. 

Wildwood man is of the opinion that all bodies are animate 
and that all the tribes of the lower animals, and all the tribes 
of stars, and all the tribes of clouds and streams, and all the 
tribes of plants, and all the tribes of stones are tribes composed 
of clans like his own. The philosophy of savagery is the 
essence of poetry, but before it is recognized as such it must 
undergo Avondrous development. This philosophy must first 
become a religion before it is etherealized as trope, which is the 
essence of modern poetry. 

In the earliest poetry holophrastic words are used as nouns 
or substantives with adjectives of quality in exclamatory sen- 
tences (remember the distinction between qualities and proper- 
ties) to mark tlie time of a complement of steps in the dance 
of worship. In every clan or tribe in this stage of society 
there is a leader who is the master of the dance and who regu- 
lates it with rhythmic chant in which others may take part, 
when the solo of the shaman becomes the chorus of the people. 
The exuberance of dance and the inspiration of shout unite to 
produce emotion — wildh' hilarious if it is a dance of praise, 
wildly vengeful if it is a dance of war, wildly wailing if it is a 
dance of mourning for the dead. Thus is produced an ecstasy 
of joy or hate or sorrow. 

In the exclamatory phrases of song are named the personified 
objects that are supposed to be inspired with motives like those 
of men, and hence the adjective element of the song expi'esses 
the good or evil whieli is the theme of poetry. The earliest 
poetry in this manner involves a double expression — one of 
personification and another of qualification. 

Similitude — In the second stage powers are personified as if 
they were bodies, and there is developed a new class of deities 
which are supposed to be superior to the old gods, and the old 
gods are called demons ; not yet devils, inind you, but only 
demons. Now, there are many kinds of these demons — as elves, 
fairies, nuases, sirens, and what not, while humaji beings are 
sometimes giants and pigmies. This is pertinent to the present 
exposition. Personification in this stage is the creation of 


invisible bodies out of 2)ure forces that are supposed to exist 
independent of bodies — that is, of properties that can exist in 
some invisible state like that of g-hosts. Man personities not 
onl)- bodies, but he also personifies qualities. 

In this stage (|ualification is developed into similitude. That 
which is affirmed liy the adjective element as great or small, as 
strong or weak, as beautiful or ugly, or any attribute expressed 
by a qualifying adjective, is reenforced by a poetic similitude. 
The attribute or the person acting in a specified capacity is 
always like something else, and the poetry in this stage is filled 
with elaboratel}- developed similitudes. The l)est illustrations 
of this characteristic of poetry are found in Homer, but they 
may be found in all the poetry of the upper stage of tribal 
society. Opening at random a copy of Bryant's Odyssey, on 
the first page I chance to see I find this passage: 

inv sure 
I never looked on one of mortal race, 
Woman or man, like thee, and as I gaze 
I wonder. Like to thee I saw of late, 
In Delos, a .young- palm tree growing up 
Beside Apollo's altar ; for I sailed 
To Delos, with nuich people following me, 
On a disastrous voyage. Long 1 gazed 
Upon it wonderstruck, as I am now, — 
For never from the earth so fair a tree 
Had sprung. So marvel I, and am amazed 
At thee, O lady, and in awe forbear 
To clasp thy knees. 

In this stage of poetry qualification is used as a poetic ele- 
ment as in the first; then qualities are personified as well as 
bodies, and qualification is reenforced by similitude. 

Allegory — In tlie tliird stage of society certain world attri- 
butes are explained as world elements; these are earth, air, fire, 
and w-ater, and the proportion of these elements in bodies of the 
earth gives rise to their attributes. In philosophy this is 
alchemy ; but it is only the alchemy of bodies, while the ghosts 
are psychic beings and only psychic attributes are personified. 

A gulf now exists between ghost and l)ndv. The ghost is 
spirit or essence, something which can be distilled and which 


may pervade space like an aroma, or itself be wholly spaceless 
and hence formless. It may occupy any point of time present, 
past, or future, for it is timeless; hence it is the ghost of mem- 
ory and prophecy. But the body is now gross matter — dead 
and subject to the manipulations of alchemy. With the devel- 
opment of personification and differentiation in theory between 
ghost and body there comes a development of similitude into 
something else ; this we must now set forth. 

The similitude is now elaborated into the foundation of an 
allegory upon which is erected an edifice of doctrine; or, if 
you will allow another illustration, the similitude becomes a 
warp into which a woof is woven with patterns which consti- 
tute a tapestry of doctrine. 

I know of no better way of setting forth the nature of 
allegory than by directing the attention of the reader to Spen- 
ser's Faerie Queene, in which he will find an allegory of alle- 
gories — a grand allegory made up of many adjuvant allegories. 
Six books of one allegory are composed, every one, of twelve 
allegories. The principal characters of the grand allegory are 
personified (jualities. In the first book holiness is })ersonified 
as ''St John the Red Crosse Knight;" in the second book 
temperance is jjersonified as Sir Guyon; in the third book 
chastity is jJersonified as Britomartis; in the fourth book friend- 
ship is personified in Cambel and Triamond; in the fifth book 
justice is personified in Artegall; in the sixth book courtesy is 
personified in (Jalidore; and throughout the poems many other 
(pialities of good and evil are personified. These personifica- 
tions are the heroes of a succession of necromantic tales 
relieved Ijv many wild adventures. 

The literature of romance and poetry alike which belongs 
to this stage of culture is very abundant, and I need but 
mention another instance or two to make it clear to the reader. 
Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Dante's Divine Comedy, and 
Milton's Paradise Lost are excellent examples. 

Trope — In the fourth stage of culture chemistry has sup- 
planted alchemy, medicine has supplanted sorcery, astronomy 
has supplanted astrology, and science has supplanted cosmol- 
ogy. All kinds of personifications appear, but in ii new light 


with a distinct cognition that personification is jioetic All 
kinds of personification thus become tropes, and mind itself 
is t-Iearly understood to belong only to animate beings. 
Qualification, similitude, and allegory still remain with a more 
or less clear cognition that qualities are but qualities, simili 
tudes are but similitudes, and allegories are but allegories, and 
that they are legitimate only as metaphors and constitute only 
a poetical method of expression through which the wisdom 
of science may be expressed in such manner as to impress 
it deeply upon the heart. Trope, therefore, is the last and 
greatest acquisition to poetical art. Romance is poetiy with- 
out rhythm. Poetry is romance with rhythm, but there is 
added to it a much higlier element of metaphor — the special 
method of poetic expression. 

There has grown up in the history of poetry a recognition 
of four classes of poetr}-, namely, the lyric, the epic, the 
dramatic, and the idyllic. These names pretty well express 
the characteristics of the four kinds of poetry lierein enumer- 
ated. If poetry is to he classified under these terms, they 
require both some restriction and enlargement in their limits. 
Lyric poetry is pi-etty well defined when we call it song poetry. 
Epic ])oetry is pretty well defined when we call it similitude 
poetry: but many poems which have sometimes been called 
epics are excluded. Dramatic jjoetry is not well defined as 
allegoric poetry if it is held to mean that poetry which is con- 
structed as dialogue; but it is well defined if we understand it 
as that poetry whose principal element is dramatic, for then it 
will be seen that every dramatic poem is an allegory of good 
and evil. Idyllic poetry is well characterized as poetry whose 
chief element of expression inheres in trope. Kead again the 
Idylls of the King for the ])urpose of seeing how their dra- 
matic characteristics are subordinated to tropical expression, 
and I think you will conceive that Tennyson was rio-ht in 
characterizing them as the Idylls of the King rather than as 
the Allegories of the King. 

There is a fact in history that here must be considered, in 
order that we may not obtain an erroneous opinion about the 
argument set forth in tliis essa}-. The Roman and Hellenic 


peoples expanded prematurely into a degree of culture more 
than two thousand j-ears ao-o, in classical times. The political 
institutions which they developed at that time, because they 
contained an element of hereditary rank and especially an ele- 
ment of slavery, did not furnish an enduring foundation to the 
highest culture of the age. Histtirj' now proves that many of 
the elements of culture to which classical times had attained as 
a blossom of hue arts w^ere not sufhciently rooted in a soil 
of free institutions. That classical culture miglit firml}- be 
founded, a greater liberty had yet to be given to men, and that 
there might be greater liberty tliere yet had to be greater sci- 
entilic knowledge. So the superstitions of the dark ages con- 
stituted but a cloud under which mankind labored while it laid 
the foundations of representative government. 

We need not review the history of poetry to show how its 
elements have been developed; manifestly all that is good or 
bad is derivative; all of the esthetic arts are found to be 

Pleasures and pains arise from judgments, and do not arise 
from consciousness but from inference. All of the phenomena 
of pleasure and pain arise in the mind tlnough the p(jint of 
view. They are therefore qualities and not properties. All 
matter is not endowed with mind, but all matter is endowed 
with consciousness. The relative element is choice, which 
becomes inference in the formation of judgments. There can 
be no mind mitil there are organs of mind. Until this condition 
arises in the development of animate life there is no mind, but 
when it does arise this mind makes judgments. As the judg- 
ments are inferences only, until they are verified, there is no 
cognition until there is verification, and the cognition of pleas- 
ure or pain is reached only by inference and verification. This 
is what we have intended to express by saying that pleasure 
and pain are derivative. 


19 KTH— 01 1 





I — Introductii in 11 

II — Historical skett-h of the Cherokee 14 

The traditionary period 14 

The period of Span ish exploration — 1540-? 23 

The Colonial and Revolutionary period — 1654-1 784 29 

Relations with the United States 61 

From the first treaty to the Removal— 1785-1838 01 

The Removal— 1838-1839 130 

The Arkansas band— 181 7-183S 135 

The Texas band— 1817-1900 143 

The Cherokee Nation of the AVest- 1840-1900 146 

The East Cherokee— 1838-1900 157 

III— Notes to the historical sketch 182 

IV — Stories and story-tellers _ 229 

Y— The myths - 239 

Cosmogonic myths 239 

1 . How the world was made 239 

2. The first fire 240 

3. Kana'tl and Selu : Origin c if corn and game 242 

4. Origin of disease and medicine 250 

5. The Daughter of the Sun: Origin of death 252 

6. How they brought back the Tobacco 254 

7. The journey to the sunrise ^ 255 

8. The ]\Ioan and the Thunders 256 

9. What the Stars are like 257 

10. Origin of the Pleiades and the Pine. 258 

11. The milky way 259 

12. Origin of strawVjerries 259 

13. The ( Jreat Yellow-jacket : Origin of fish and frogs 260 

14. The Deluge 261 

Quadruped myths 261 

15. The four-footed tribes 261 

16. The Rabbit goes (hick hunting 266 

17. How the Rabbit stole the Otter's coat 267 

18. Why the Possum's tail is bare ; 269 

19. How the AVildcat caught the turkeys 269 

20. How the Terrapin beat the Rabbit 270 

21. The Rabbit and the tar wolf 271 

22. Tlie Rabliit and the Possum after a wife 273 

23. The Rabbit dines the Bear 273 

24. The Rabbit escapes from the wolves 274 

25. Flint visits the Rabbit 274 

26. How the Deer got his horns 275 

27. Why the Deer's teeth are blunt 276 

28. What became of the Rabbit ."77 

29. Why the Mink smells 277 

30. AVhy the Mole lives under ground 277 



V — The myths — Continued. 

Quadrnpt'd myths — Continued. Page 

31 . The Terrapin's escape from the wolves 278 

32. Origin of the Groundhog dance: The Groundhog's head 279 

33. The migration of the animals 280 

34. The AVolf's revenge: The Wolf and the Dog 280 

Bird myths 280 

35. The bird tribes 280 

36. The liall game ijf the bird.*) and animals 286 

37. How the Turkey got his beard 287 

38. AVhy the Turkey gobbles 288 

39. How the Kingfisher got his bill 288 

40. How the Partridge got his whistle 289 

41. How the Redbird got his color 289 

42. The Pheasant beating corn: The Pheasant dance 290 

43. The race lietween the Crane and the Humming-bird 290 

44. The Owl gets married 291 

4.5. The Huhu gets married 292 

46. \Miy the Buzzard's head is bare 293 

47. The Eagle's revenge 293 

48. The Hunter and the Buzzard 294 

Snake, fish, and insect myths 294 

49. The snake tribe 294 

50. The Uktena and the Ulufisu'tl 297 

51. .Igan-Uni'tsi's search for the "Uktena 298 

52. The Red :Man and the Uktena 300 

53. The Hunter and the Uksu'hl 301 

54. The Ustu'tli 302 

55. The Uw'tsun'ta 303 

56. The Snake Boy 304 

57. The Snake :Man 304 

58. The Rattlesnake's vengeance 305 

59. The smaller reptiles, fishes, and insects 306 

60. Why the Bullfrog's head is striped 310 

61. The Bullfrog lover 310 

62. The Katydid's warning 311 

Wonder stories 311 

63. Uiitsaiyi', the Gambler 311 

64. The nest of the TliVnuwa 315 

65. The Hunter and the Tlii'nuwa 316 

66. U'tlun'ta, the Spear-finger 316 

67. Nuii'yunu'wl, the stone man 319 

68. The Hunter in the Dakwit' 320 

69. Atagil'hl, the enclianted lake 321 

70. The Bride from the south 322 

71 . The Ice Man 322 

72. The Hunter and Selu 323 

73. The miderground panthers 324 

74. The Tsundige'wl T 325 

75. Origin of the Bear: The Bear songs 325 

76. The Bear Man 327 

77. The Great Leech of Tlanusi'yl 329 

7S. The Xunne'hl and other spirit folk 330 

79. The removed townhouses 335 


V— Tlie myths — Continued. 

Wonder stories — Continued. Page 

80. The spirit defenders of Nlkwasi' 339 

81. Tsurkillu', the slant-eyed giant 337 

82. Kana'sta, the lost settlement 34I 

83. Tsuwe'nithl, a legend of Pilot liuob 343 

84. The man who married the Thunder's sister 345 

85. The haunted whirlpool 347 

86. Yahula 34^ 

87. The water cannibals 349 

Historical traditions 3gA 

88. First contact witli whites 3gQ 

89. The Iroquois wars _ 35]^ 

90. Hiadeoni, the Seneca _ 3gg 

91. The two Mohawks .."..".""'.!..".' 357 

92. Escape of the Seneca boys 359 

93. The unseen helpers 359 

94. Hatcinondon's escape from the Cherokee 362 

95. Hemp-carrier _ 3g4 

96. The Seneca peacemakers 355 

97. Origin of the Yontoiiwisas dance 365 

98. Ga'na's adventures among the Cherokee 367 

99. The Sliawano wars 37/) 

100. The raid on Tikwali'tsi 374 

101. The last Shawano invasion 374 

102. The false warriors of Chilhowee 375 

103. Cowee town 377 

104. The eastern tribes 370 

105. The southern and western tribes 382 

106. The giants from the west 39;^ 

107. The lost Cherokee 391 

108. The massacre of the Ani'-Kuta'ni 392 

109. The war medicine 393 

110. Incidents of personal heroism 394 

111. The mounds and the constant fire: The old sacred things 395 

Miscellaneous myths and legends 397 

112. The ignorant housekeeper 397 

113. The man in the stump 397 

114. Two lazy hunters ^ 397 

115. The two old men 399 

116. The star feathers 399 

117. The jMother Bear's song 4qq 

118. Bal)y song, to please the children 4O1 

119. When babies are born: The Wren and the Cricket. 401 

120. The Raven Mocker 401 

121. Herbert's spring 403 

122. Local legends of North Carolina 494 

123. Local legends of South Carolina. 41I 

124. Local legends of Tennessee 412 

125. Local legends of Georgia 415 

126. Plant lore 49A 

VI — Notes and parallels 42g 

VII — Glossary _ gng 



Pi.AiE I. In the Cherokee mountains 11 

II. Map: The Cherokee and their neifihbori* 14 

III. Ma\<: The old Cherokee country 23 

IV. Sei]Uoya (Sikwayi) 108 

V. The Cherokee alphabet 112 

VI. Talichee (TatsT) or Dutch 140 

VII. Sprinji-frog or Tooantuh (Du'stu') 142 

^'1II. Jcjhn Ross (Gu'wissuwl') ISO 

I X . Colonel W. H. Thomas (Wil-Usdi') 160 

' X. Chief N. J. Smith (Tsaliidihl') 178 

XI. Swimmer (A'yiiii'inl) 228 

XII. John Ax(Itag;ii'nuhI) 238 

XIII. Tagwitdihl' 256 

XIV. Ayasta 272 

X\'. Sawilnu'gl, a Cherokee ball player 284 

X\'I. Xik\v;"isl' mound at Franklin, Xorth Carolina 837 

XVII. Annie Ax (Sadayl) - - - 358 

XVIII. Walinr, aCherokee woman - 378 

XIX. On Oconaluftee river 405 

XX. Petroglyphs at Track-rock gap, Georgia 418 

Figure 1. Featlier wand «{ Eagle dance 282 

2. Ancient Iroquijis wampum belts 354 


Bv James Mooney 


The myths given in thi.s paper are part of a large body of material 
collected among the Cherokee, chiefly in successive field seasons from 
1887 to 1890. inclusive, and comprising more or less extensive notes, 
together with original Cherokee manuscripts, relating to the history, 
archeology, geographic nomenclature, personal names, botany, niedi- 
cine, arts, home life, religion, songs, ceremonies, and language of the 
tribe. It is intended that this material shall appear from time to 
time in a series of papers which, when finally brought together, shall 
constitute a monograph upon the Cherokee Indians. This paper may 
be considered the first of the series, all that has hitherto appeared 
being a short paper upon the sacred formulas of the tribe, published 
in the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau in 1891 and containing a 
sjaiopsis of the Cherokee medico-religious theory, with twentj'-eight 
specimens selected from a body of about six hundred ritual formulas 
written down in the Cherokee language and alphabet by former 
doctors of the tribe and constituting altogether the largest body of 
aboriginal American literature in existence. 

Although the Cherokee are probably the lai'gest and most impor- 
tant tribe in the United States, having their own national government 
and numbering at any time in their history from 20,000 to 25,000 per- 
sons, almost nothing has yet been written of their history or general 
ethnolog}', as compared with the literature of such northern tril)es as 
the Delawares, the Iroquois, or the Ojibwa. The difl'erence is due to 
historical reasons which need not be discussed here. 

It might seem at first thought that the Cherokee, with their civi- 
lized code of laws, their national press, their schools and seminaries, 
are so far advanced along the white man's road as to ofi'er but little 
inducement for ethnologic study. This is largeh^ true of those in the 
Indian Territory, with whom the enforced deportation, two generations 
ago, from accustomed scenes and surroundings did more at a single 
stroke to obliterate Indian ideas than could have been accomplished 


12 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.aks.19 

b}' fifty years of slow development. There remained behind, however, 
in the heuit of the Carolina mountains, a considerable l>ody. outnmn- 
bei'ing today such well-known western tribes as the Omaha, Pawnee, 
Comanche, and Kiowu. and it is among these, the old conservative 
Kitu'hwa elenient. that the ancient things have been preserved. Moun- 
taineers guard well the past, and in the secluded forests of Nantahala and 
Oconaluf tee, far away from the main-traveled road of modern progress, 
the Cherokee pi-iest still treasures the legends and repeats the mystic 
rituals handed down from his ancestors. There is change indeed in 
dress and outward seeming, but the heart of the Indian is still his own. 

For this and other reasons much the greater portion of the material 
herein contained has been procured among the East Cherokee living 
upon the Qualla reservation in western North Carolina and in various 
detached settlements between the reservation and the Tennessee line. 
This luis Ix'cn supplemented with information obtained in the Cherokee 
Nation in Indian Territor\', chiefly from old men and women who 
had emigrated from what is now Tennessee and Georgia, and who 
consequently had a better local knowledge of these sections, as well as 
of the history of the western Nation, than is possessed by their kindred 
in Carolina. The historical matter and the parallels are, of course, 
collated chiefly from printed sources, but the myths proper, with but 
few exceptions, are from original investigation. 

The historical sketch must be understood as distinctly a sketch, not 
a detailed narrative, for which thei-e is not space in the present paper. 
The Cherokee have made deep impress upon the history of the southern 
states, and no more has been attempted here than to give the leading 
facts in connected sequence. As the history of the Nation after the 
removal to the West and the reorganization in Indian Territory pre- 
sents 1)ut few points of ethnologic interest, it has been but briefly 
treated. On the other hand the affairs of the eastern band have been 
discussed at some length, for the reason that .so little concerning this 
remnant is to be found in print. 

One of the chief purposes of ethnologic study is to trace the 
development of human thought under varying conditions of race and 
environment, the result showing always that primitive man is e.ssen- 
tially the same in every part of the world. Witii this object in view 
a considerable space has been devoted to parallels drawn almost entirely 
from Indian tril)es of the United States and British America. For 
the southern countries there is but little trustworthy material, and to 
extend the inquirj^ to the eastern continent and the islands of the sea 
would be to invite an endless task. 

The author desires to return thanks for many favors from the 
Librarj' of Congi'ess, the Geological Survej', and the Smithsonian 
Institution, and for much courteous assistance and friendly suggestion 
from the oflicers and stafl' of the Bureau of American Ethnologv; and 

""'"•■"'"1 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 13 

to ucknowledffe his inde})tednes8 to the late Chief N. J. Smith and 
fiiiinly for services as interpreter and for kindiv hospitality durino- 
successive field seasons; to Agent H. W. Sprav and wife for unvarvino- 
kindness manifested in many helpful wavs; to Mr William Harden" 
librarian, and the Georgia State Historical Societv, for facilities in 
consulting- documents at Savannah, Georgia: to the late Col W H 
Thomas: Lieut. Col. W. W. String-field, of Waynesville; Capt. James w! 
Terrell, of Webster; Mrs A. C. Avery and Dr P. L. Murphy of :^Ior- 
ganton: Mv W. A. Fair, of Lincolnton; the late Maj. James Brvson of 
Dillsboro: Mv H. G. Trotter, of Franklin; Mr Sibbald Smith, of Chero- 
kee; Maj. B. C.Jackson, of Smithwood, Tennessee; Mr D. R Dunn 
of Cona.sauga, Tennessee; the late Col. Z. A. Zile. of Atlanta- Mr l' 
M. Greer, of Ellijay, Georgia; Mr Thomas Robinson, of Portland 
Maine; Mr Allen Ross, Mr W. T. Canup, editor of the /;/,//,/., Ar,>J 
and the officers of the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, Indian Territory; 
Dr D. T. Day, United States Geological Survey, Washington, D. C ' 
and Prof. G. M. Bowers, of the United St^ites'pish Commission for 
valuable oral information, letters, clippings, and photoo-raplis- to M-ij 
J. Adg-er Smyth, of Charleston. S. C, for docume'itary material- 
to Mr Stansbury Hagar and the late Robert Grant Hafiburton of 
Brooklyn, N. Y., for the use of valuable manuscript n(,tes upon 
Cherokee stellar legends; to .Miss A. M. Brooks for the use of valual)le 
Spanish document copies and translations entrusted to the Bureau 
of American Ethnology; to Mr James Blythe, interpreter durino- a 
great part of the time spent by the author in the field; and to various 
Cherokee and other informants mentioned in the body of the work 
from whom the material was obtained. ' 

The Tradition aky Period 

The Cherokee were the mountaineers of the South, holding the 
entire Allegheny region from the interlocking head-streams of the 
Kanawha and the Tennessee southward almost to the site of Atlanta, 
and from the Blue ridge on the east to the Cumberland range on the 
west, a territory comprising an area of about 40.000 square miles, 
now included in the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South 
Carolina, Georgia, and Alal)ama. Their principal towns were upon 
the headwaters of the Savannah, Hiwassee, and Tuckasegee, and along 
the whole length of the Little Tennessee to its junction with the main 
stream. ItsatI, or Echota, on the south bank of the Little Tennessee, a 
few miles above the mouth of Tellico river, in Tennessee, was commonly 
considered the capital of the Nation. As the advancing whites pressed 
upon them from the east and northeast the moi-e exposed towns were 
destroyed or abandoned and new settlements were formed lower down 
the Tennessee and on the upper branches of the Chattahoochee and 
the Coosa. 

As is always the case with tribal geography, there were no fixed 
boundaries, and on eveiy side the Cherokee frontiers were contested 
by rival claimants. Li Virginia, there is reason to believe, the tribe 
was held in check in early days by the Powhatan and the Monacan. 
On the east and southeast the Tuscarora and Catawba were their invet- 
erate enemies, with hardly even a momentary truce within the historic 
period; and evidence goes to show that the Sara or Cheraw were fully 
as hostile. On the south there was hereditary war with the Creeks, 
who claimed nearly the whole of upper Georgia as theirs by original 
possession, but who were being gradually pressed down toward the 
Gulf until, through the mediation of the United States, a treaty was 
finally made fixing the boundaiy between the two tribes along a line 
running about due west from the mouth of Broad river on the Savan- 
nah. Toward the west, the Chickasaw on the lower Tennessee and the 
Shawano on the Cumberland repeatedl}' turned back the tide of Chero- 
kee invasion from the rich central valleys, while the powerful Iroquois 
in the far north set up an almost unchallenged claim of paramount 
lordship from the Ottawa river of Canada southward at least to the 
Kentucky river. 












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Note -The territory of the cognate 
Troquoian tribes is indicated 
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JUIIU5 Bi£N aco i 


On the other hand, by their defeat of the Creeks and expulsion of 
the Shawano, the Cherokee made good the claim whieh they asserted 
to all the lands from upper Geoi'gia to the Ohio river, including the 
rich hunting grounds of Kentucky. Holding as they did the great 
mountain barrier between the English settlements on the coast and the 
French or Spanish garrisons along the Mississippi and the Ohio, their 
geographic position, no less than their superior number, would have 
given them the balance of power in the South but for a looseness of 
tribal organization in striking contrast to the compactness of the Iro- 
quois league, by which for more than a century the French power 
was held in check in the north. The English, indeed, found it con- 
venient to recognize certain chiefs as supreme in the tribe, but the only 
real attempt to weld the whole Cherokee Nation into a political unit 
was that made by the French agent, Priber, about 1736, which failed 
from its premature discovery by the English. We frequently find 
their kingdom divided against itself, their verj' number preventing 
unity of action, while still giving them an importance above that 
of neighboring tribes. 

The proper name by which the Cherokee call themselves (1)^ is 
Yiin'wiya', or Ani'-YuiTwiyii' in the third person, signifying "real 
people," or " principal people," a word closely related to Oiiwe-honwe, 
the name by which the cognate Iroquois know themselves. The word 
properly denotes '"Indians," as distinguished from people of other 
races, but in usage it is restricted to mean members of the Cherokee 
tribe, those of other tribes being designated as Creek, Catawba, etc., 
as the case may be. On ceremonial occasions they frec^uently speak of 
themselves as Ani'-Kitu'hwagi, or "people of Kitu'hwa," an ancient 
settlement on Tuckasegee river and apparently the original micleus of 
the tribe. Among the western Cherokee this name has been adopted 
by a secret society recruited from the full-blood element and pledged 
to resist the advances of the white man's civilization. Under the 
various forms of Cuttawa, Gattochwa, Kittuwa, etc. , as spelled by dif- 
ferent authors, it was also used by several northern Algonquian tribes 
as a synonym for Cherokee. 

Cherokee, the name by which they are commonly known, has no 
meaning in their own language, and seems to be of foreign origin. 
As used among themselves the form is Tsa'lagi' or Tsa'rilgi'. It first 
appears as Chalaque in the Portuguese narrative of I)e Soto's expedi- 
tion, published originally in 1557, while we find Cheraqui in a French 
document of 1699. and Cherokee as an English form as early, at least, as 
1708. The name has thus an authentic history- of 360 years. There 
is evidence that it is derived from the Choctaw word choluk or chiluk, 
signifying a pit or cave, and comes to us through the so-called Mobilian 
trade language, a corrupted Choctaw jargon formerly' used as the 

1 See the notes to the historical sketch. 

16 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

mediixm of coininuuication uiiioiig all the tribes of the Gulf states, as 
far north as the mouth of the Ohio (2). Within this area many of the 
tribes were commonly known under Choctaw names, even though of 
widely differing- linguistic stocks, and if such a name existed for the 
Cherokee it must undoubtedly have l)een communicated to the first 
Spanish explorers by De Soto's interpreters. This theory is borne 
out by their Iroquois (Mohawk) name, Oyata'ge'ronon', as given by 
Hewitt, signifying "inhabitants of the cave country." the Allegheny 
region being peculiarly a cave countrj', in which "rock shelters," con- 
taining numerous traces of Indian occupancy, are of frequent occur- 
rence. Their Catawba name also, Manteraii, as given by Gatschet, 
signifying "coming out of the ground," seems to contain the same 
reference. Adair's attempt to connect the name Cherokee with their 
word for tire, atsila, is an error founded upon imperfect knowledge of 
the language. 

Among other synonyms for the tribe are Rickahockan, or Recna- 
hecrian, the ancient Powhatan name, and Tallige'. or Tallige'wi, the 
ancient name used in the Walam Olum chronicle of the Lenape'. Con- 
cerning both the application and the etymology of this last name there 
has been much dispute. Ijut there seems no reasonable doubt as to the 
identity of the people. 

Linguistically the Cherokee belong to the Iroquoian stock, the 
relationship having been suspected by Barton over a century ago. and 
by Gallatin and Hale at a later period, and definitely established 1)}' 
Hewitt in 1887.' While there can now be no question of the connec- 
tion, the marked lexical and grammatical diff'ereni'es indicate that the 
separation must have occurred at a very early period. As is usually 
the case with a large tribe occupying an extensive territory, the lan- 
guage is spoken in several dialects, the principal of which may. for 
want of other names, be conveniently designated as the Eastern. Middle. 
and Western. Adair's classification into " Ayrate" (e'ladi), or low. and 
''Ottare" (d'ta/!), or mountainous, nuist be rejected as imperfect. 

The Eastern dialect, formerly often called the Lower Cherokee 
dialect, was originally spoken in all the towns upon the waters of the 
Keowee and Tugaloo, head-streams of Savannah river, in South Caro- 
lina and the adjacent portion of Georgia. Its chief peculiarity is a 
rolling /', which takes the place of the I of the other dialects. In 
this dialect the tril)al name is Tsa'ragi', which the English settlers of 
Carolina corrupted to Cherokee, while the Spaniards, advancing from 
the south, became better familiar with the other form, which they 
wrote as Chala(iue. Owing to their exposed frontier position, adjoin- 
ing the white settlements of Carolina, the Cherokee of this division 

1 Barton, Benj. S., New Views on the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America, p. xlv, passim; 
Phila., 1797; Gallatin, Albert, Synopsis of Indian Tribes, Trans. American Antiiiiiarian Society, ii, p. 
91; Cambridge. 1836; Hewitt, J. N. B., The Cherokee an Iroquoian Language, Wa-shington, 18S7 (MS 
In the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology). 


were the first to feel the shock of war in the campaigns of 1760 and 
1776. with the result that before the close of the Revolution they had 
been completely extirpated from their original territory and scattered 
as refugees among the more western towns of the tribe. The con- 
sequence was that they lost their distinctive dialect, which is now 
practically extinct. In 1888 it was spoken b}^ but one man on the 
reservation in North Carolina. 

The Middle dialect, which might properly be designated the Kituhwa 
dialect, was originally spoken in the towns on the Tuckasegee and the 
headwaters of the Little Tennessee, in the very heart of the Cherokee 
country, and is still spoken by the great majority of those now living on 
the Qualla reservation. In some of its phonetic forms it agrees with 
the Eastern dialect, but resembles the Western in having the / sound. 

The Western dialect was spoken in most of the towns of east Ten- 
nessee and upper Georgia and upon Hiwassee and Cheowa rivers in 
North Carolina. It is the softest and most musical of all the dialects 
of this musical language, having a frequent liquid / and eliding many 
of the harsher consonants found in the other forms. It is also the 
literary dialect, and is spoken by most of those now constituting the 
Cherokee Nation in the AVest. 

Scattered among the other Cherokee are individuals whose pronun- 
ciation and occasional peculiar terms for familiar objects give indica- 
tion of a fourth and perhaps a fifth dialect, which can not now be 
localized. It is possible that these differences may come from for- 
eign admixture, as of Natchez. Taskigi. or Shawano blood. There is 
some reason for believing that the people living on Nantahala river 
dift'ei-ed dialectically from their neighbors on either side (3). 

The Iroquoian stock, to which the Cherokee belong, had its chief 
home in the north, its tribes occupjnng a com'pact territorj' which 
comprised portions of Ontario, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, 
and extended down the Susquehanna and Chesapeake bay almost to the 
latitude of Washington. Another bodj', including the Tuscarora, 
Nottoway, and perhaps also the Meherrin, occupied territory in north- 
eastern North Carolina and the adjacent portion of Virginia. The 
Cherokee themselves constituted the third and southernmost body. It 
is evident that tribes of connnon stock nuist atone time have occupied 
contiguous territories, and such we rind to be the case in this instance. 
The Tuscarora and Meherrin, and presumably also the Nottoway, are 
known to have come from the north, while traditional and historical 
evidence concur in assigning to the Cherokee as their early home the 
region about the headwaters of the Ohio, inmiediatel}' to the south- 
wai-d of their kinsmen, but bitter enemies, the Iroquois. The theorj' 
which l^rings the Cherokee from northei'n Iowa and the Iroquois from 
jNIanitolta is unworthy of serious consideration. (4) 

The most ancient tradition concerning the Cherokee appears to be 

ly ETH— 01 2 

18 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.asn.19 

the Delaware tradition of the expulsion of the Talligewi from the north, 
as tirst noted by the missionary Heekewelder in 1819, and published 
more fully by Brintou in the Walam Oluui in 1885. According to 
the first account, the Delawares, advancing from the west, found their 
further pi-ogress opposed by a powerful people called Alligewi or Tal- 
ligewi, occupying the country upon a river which Heckewelder thinks 
identical with the Mississippi, but which the sequel shows was more 
probably the upper Ohio. They were said to have regularh' Ijuilt 
earthen fortifications, in which they defended themselves .so well 
that at last the Delawares were oljliged to seek the assistance of the 
"Mengwe," or Iroquois, with the residt that after a warfare extending 
over many years the Alligewi finally received a crushing defeat, the 
survivors fieeing down the river and al>andoning the country to the 
invaders, who thereupon parceled it out amongst themselves, the 
'"Mengwe" choosing the portion about the Great lakes while the Dela- 
wares took possession of that to the south and east. The missionary 
adds that the Allegheny (and Ohio) river was still called by the Dela- 
wares the Alligewi Sipu, or river of the Alligewi. This would seem 
to indicate it as the true river of the tradition. He speaks also of 
remarkable earthworks seen by him in 1789 in the neighborhood of 
Lake Erie, wliich were said V)y the Indians to have })een l)uilt Ijy the 
extirpated tribe as defensive fortifications in the course of this war. 
Near two of these, in the vicinity f)f vSandusky, he was shown mounds 
under which it was said some hundreds of the slain Talligewi were 
))uried.' As is usual in .such traditions, the Alligewi were said to have 
])een of giant stature, far exceeding their conquerors in size. 

In the Walam Olum, which is, it is asserted, a metrical translation of 
an ancient hieroglyphic bark record discovered in 1820, the main tra- 
dition is given in practically the .same way, with an appendi.x which 
follows the fortunes of the defeated tribe up to the beginning of the 
historic period, thus completing the chain of evidence. (5) 

In the Walam Olum also we find the Delawares advancing from the or northwest until thtn' come to "Fish i"iver" — the same which 
Heckewelder makes the Mississippi (6). On the other side, we are 
told, "The Talligewi possessed the East." The Delaware chief 
"desired the eastern land," and some of his people go on, but are 
killed by the Talligewi. The Delawares decide upon war and call in 
th(> help of their northern friends, the "Talamatan," i. e., the Wyan- 
dot and other allied Iroquoian tribes. A war ensues which continues 
through the terms of four successive chief s, when victory declares for the 
invaders, and " all the Talega go south." The country is then divided, 
the Talamatan taking the northern portion, while the Delawares " stay 
south of the lakes." The chi-onicle proceeds to tell how, after eleven 
more chiefs have ruled, the Nanticoke and Shawano separate from the 

1 Heckewelder, John, Indian Nations of Pennsylvania, pp. 47-49, ed. 1876. 


parent tribe and remove to the south. Six other chiefs follow in suc- 
cession until we come to the seventh, who "went to the Talega moun ■ 
tarns." By this time the Delawares have reached the ocean! Other 
chiefs succeed, after whom '"the Easterners and the Wolves"— prob- 
ably the Mahican or AVappinger and the Munsee— move off to the 
northeast. At last, after six more chiefs, "the whites came on the 
eastern sea. by which is probably meant the landing of the Dutch on 
Manhattan in 16(><» (T). We may consider this a tallv date, approxi- 
mating the beginning of the seventeenth centurv. Two more chiefs 
rule, and of the second we are told that -He fought at the south: he 
fought m the land of the Talega and Koweta," and again the fourth 
chief after the coming of the whites " went to the Talega." We Inve 
thus a traditional record of a war of conquest carried on against the 
lalligewi by four successive chiefs, and a succession of about twentv- 
hve chiefs between the final expulsion of that tribe and the appearance 
of the whites, in which interval the Nanticoke. Shawano. Mahican 
and Munsee branched off from the parent tribe of the Delawares' 
A\ itliuut venturing to entangle ourselves in the devious maze of Indian 
chronology, it is sutHcient to note that all this implies a verv long period 
of time-so long, in fact, that during it several new tribes, eac^h of 
which m tune developed a distinct dialect, branch off from the main 
Lenape' stem. It is distinctly stated that all the Talega went south 
after their hnal defeat; and from later references we find that they took 
refuge in the mountain country in the- neighborhood of the Koweta 
(the Creeks), and that Delaware war parties were still makino- raids 
upon both these tribes long after the first appearance of the whites 
_ Although at first glance it might be thought that the name Tallio-e-wi 
is but a corruption of Tsalagi. a closer study leads to the opinion that it 
IS a true Delaware word, in all probability connected with vmh>h or 
walok, signifying a cave or hole (Zeisberger). whence we find in the 
\\ alam Olum the word oligonunk rendered as "at the place of caves " 
It would thus be an exact Delaware rendering of the same name, 
people of the cave country." by which, as we have seen, the Chero- 
kee were c-ommonly known among the tribes. Whatever mav be the 
origin of the name itself, there can be no reasonable doubt as to it- 
application. "Name, location, and legends combine to identifv the 
Cherokees or Tsalaki with the Tallike; and this is as much evidence as 
we can expect to produce in such researches."' 

The Wyandot confirm the Delaware story and fix the identification of 
the expelled tribe. According to their tradition, as narrated in 1S(.2 
the ancient fortifications in the Ohio valley had been erected in the 
course of a long war between themselves and the Cherokee, which 
resulted finally in the defeat of the latter. " 
The trad itions of the^^okee, sofaras they have been preserved, 

'Brinton, D.G.,WaIam Olum, p. 231; Phila., 1885 
^Schoolcraft, H. E., Notes on the Iroquois, p. I62'; Albany, 1847. 

20 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

supplement and corroborate those of the northern tribes, thus bring-- 
ing' the story down to their final settlement upon the headwaters of 
the Tennessee in the rich valleys of the southern Alleghenies. Owing- 
to the Cherokee predilection for new gods, contrasting strongly with 
the conservatism of the Iroquois, their ritual forms and national epics 
had fallen into decay even liefore the Revolution, as we learn from 
Adair. Some vestiges of their migration legend still existed in Hay- 
wood's time, but it is now completely forgotten both in the East and 
in the West. 

According to Haywood, who wrote in 1823 on information obtained 
directly from leading members of the tribe long before the Removal, 
the Cherokee formerly had a long migration legend, wiiich was already 
lost, but which, within the memory of the mother of one informant — 
say about 1750 — was still recited by chosen orators on the occasion of 
the animal green-corn dance. This migration legend appears to have 
resembled that of the Delawares and the Creeks in beginning with 
genesis and the period of animal monsters, and thence following the 
shifting fortune of the chosen band to the historic period. The tradi- 
tion recited that they had originated in a land toward the rising siui, 
where they had lieen placed by the command of "the four councils 
sent from above." In this pristine home were great snakes and water 
monsters, for which reason it was supposed to have been near the sea- 
coast, although the assumption is not a necessary corollary, as these 
are a feature of the mythology of all the eastern tril)es. After this 
genesis period there began a slow migration, during which "towns of 
people in many nights' encampment removed," but no details are given. 
From Heckewelder it appears tiiat the expression, '"a night's encamp- 
ment," which occurs also in the Delaware migration legend, is an Indian 
figure of speech for a halt of one year at a place.' 

In anotlier place Haywood says, although apparently confusing the 
chronologic order of events: "One tradition which thej^ have amongst 
them says they came from the west and exterminated the former 
inhabitants; and then says they came fi'om the upj)er parts of the 
Ohio, where they erected the mounds on Grave creek, and that they 
removed thither from the country where Monticello (near Charlottes- 
ville, Virginia) is situated."- The first reference is to the celebrated 
mounds on the Ohio near Moundsville, below Wheeling. West Virginia; 
the other is doubtless to a noted burial mound described by Jefl'ersou 
in 1781 as then existing near his home, on the low grounds of Rivanna 
river opposite the site of an ancient Indian town. He him-<elf had 
opened it and found it to contain perhaps a thousand disjointed 
skeletons of both adults and children, the bones piled in successive 
layers, those near the top being least decayed. They showed no .signs 

^ Heckewelder. Indian Nations, p. 47, ed. 1876. 

- Haywood, John, Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, pp. ■22.'>-226; Nashville. 1823. 

^'""'"'^'''i EARLY DWELLING-PLACES 21 

of violeiu'c. hut wero ovidently the accumulation of long years from 
the neighboring Indian town. The distinguished writer" adds: "But 
on whatever occasion they may have been made, thev are of consider- 
able notoriety among the Indians: for a purtv passing, about thirty 
years ago [i. e., about 1750], through the part of the country where 
this barrow is. went through the woods directly to it without any 
instructions or eiKjuiry. and having staid about' it some time, with 
expressions which were construed to be those of sorrow, they returned 
to the high road, which they had left about half a dozen miles to pay 
this visit, and pursued their journey."' Although the tribe is not 
named, the Indians were probably Cherokee, a.s^ no other southern 
Indians were then accustomed to range in that section. As serving to 
corroborate this opinion we have the statement of a prominent Cher- 
okee chief, given to Schoolcraft in 18i6, that acccording to their tradi- 
tion his people had formerly lived at the Peaks of Otter, in Viroinia 
a noted landmark of the Blue ridge, near the point w)jere Staunton 
river breaks through the mountains.'- 

From a careful sifting of the evidence Haywf)od concludes that the 
authors of the most ancient remains in Tennessee had spread over that 
region from the south and southwest at a verv earlv period, but that 
the later occupants, the Cherokee, had entered it from the north and 
northeast in comparatively recent times, overrunnino- i,nd exterminat- 
ing the aborigines. He declares that the historicaf fact seems to be 
established that the Cherokee entered the country from Virginia, mak- 
ing temporary settlements upon New river and the upper Holston, 
until, under the continued hostile pressure from the north, they were 
again forced to remove farther to the south, fixing themselves upon the 
Little Tennessee, in what afterward became known as the middle towns. 
By a leading mixed blood of the tribe he was informed that they had 
made their first settlements within their modern home territory'upon 
Nolichucky river, and that, having lived there for a long period, they 
could gi^•e no definite account of an earlier location. '^Echota," their 
capital and peace town, " claimed to be the eldest brother in the nation," 
and the claim was generally acknowledged.^ In confirmation of the 
statement as to an early occupancy of the upper Holston region it mav 
be noted that - Watauga Old Fields," now Elizabethtown, were so called 
from the fact that when the first white settlement within the present 
state of Tennessee was begun there, so early as lT(3y, the bottom lands 
were found to contain graves and other numerous ancient remains of a 
former Indian town which tradition ascril)ed to the Cherokee, whose 
nearest settlements were then many miles to the southward. 
^While the Cherokee claimed to have built the mounds on the upper 

1 Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on Virginia, pp. 136-137; ed. Bciton, 1802. 

= Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois, p. 163, 1847. 

= Huywood, Natural and .iborigimil History of Tennessee, pi). 233, 236 209 WS 


Ohio, they yet, according to Haj^wood, expressly disclaimed the author- 
ship of the very iiuiiierou.s mounds and petroglyphs in their later home 
territory, asserting that ancient works had exhibited the same 
appearance when they themselves had first occupied the region.' This 
accords with Bartram's statement that the Cherokee, although some- 
times utilizing the mounds as sites for their own town houses, were as 
ignorant as the whites of their origin or purpose, having only a gen- 
eral tradition that their forefathers liad found them in much the same 
condition on first coming into the country.' 

Although, as has been noted, Haywood expresses the opinion that 
the invading Cherokee had overrun and exterminated the earlier 
inhabitants, he .says in another place, on halfbreed authority, that 
the newcomers found no Indians upon the waters of the Tennessee, 
with the exception of some Creeks living upon that river, near the 
mouth of the Hiwassee, the main body of that tribe being establi.shed 
upon and claiming all the streams to the southward.^ There is 
con.siderable evidence that the Creeks preceded the Cherokee, and 
within the last century they still claimed the Tennessee, or at least 
the Tennessee watershed, for their northern boundary. 

There is a dim but persistent tradition of a strange white race pre- 
ceding the Cherokee, some of the stories even going so far as to locate 
their former settlements and to identify them as the authors of the 
ancient works found in the country. The earliest reference appears 
to be that of Barton in 1797, on the statement of a gentleman whom 
he quotes as a valuable authority upon the southern tribes. "The 
Cheerake tell us, that when they arrived in the country which 
they inhabit, they found it po.ssessed by certain 'moon-eved people,' 
who could not see in the day-time. These wretches they expelled." 
He seems to consider them an albino race.* Haywood, twenty -six 
years later, says that the invading Cherokee found "white people" 
near the head of the Little Tennessee, with forts extending thence down 
the Tennessee as far as Chickamauga creek. He gives the location of 
three of these forts. The Cherokee made war against them and 
drove them to the mouth of Big Chickamauga creek, where the,y 
entered into a treaty and agreed to remove if permitted to depart in 
peace. Permission being granted, they abandoned the country. Else- 
where he speaks of this extirpated white race as having extended into 
Kentucky and probal)ly also into western Tennessee, according to the 
concurrent traditions of different tribes. He describes their houses, 
on what authority is not stated, as having been small circular structures 

1 Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Hist. Tennessee, pp. 226, 234, 1823. 
^Bartram, Wm., Travels, p. 365; reprint, London, 1792. 
s Haywood, op. cit., pp. 234-237. 
* Barton, New Views, p. xliv, 1797. 




of upright logs, covered with earth which had been dug out froui the 

Harry Smith, a halfbreed born about 1815, father of the late chief 
of the East Cherokee, informed the author that when a hoy he had 
been told by an old woman a tradition of a race of \'ery small people, 
perfectly white, who once came and lived for some time on the site of 
the ancient mound on the northern side of Hiwassee. at the mouth of 
Peachtree creek, a few miles above the present ^lurphy. North Caro- 
lina. They afterward removed to the West. Colonel Thomas, the 
white chief of the East Cherokee, born about the beginning of the 
century, had also heard a tradition of another race of people. \vho 
lived on Hiwassee, opposite the present Murphy, and warned the 
Cherokee that they must not attempt to cross over to the south side 
of the river or the great leech in the water would swallow thorn. - 
Thej^ finally went west, '"long before the whites came." The two 
stories are plainly the same, although told independently and many 
miles apart. 

The Period of Spanish Exploration — 1.540-^ 

The definite history of the Cherokee begins with the year 1.540. at 
which date we find them alread}' established, where they were always 
afterward known, in the mountains of Carolina and Georgia. The 
earliest Spanish adventurers failed to penetrate so far into the interior, 
and the first entrj' into their country was made by De Soto, advancing 
up the Savannah on his fruitless quest for gold, in May of that year. 

While at Cofitachiqui, an important Indian town on the lower 
Savaimah governed by a '"queen," the Spaniards had found hatchets 
and other objects of copper, some of which was of finer color and 
appeared to be mixed with gold, although thej' had no means of testing- 
it.^ On inquirj^ they were told that the metal had come from an interior 
mountain province called Chisca, but the countiy was represented as 
thinly peopled and the way as impassable for horses. Some time before, 
while advancing through eastern Georgia, they had heard also of a 
rich and plentiful province called Cofa, toward the northwest, and by 
the people of Cofitachiqui the}' were now told that Chiaha. the nearest 
town of Co^a province, was twelve days inland. As both men and 
animals were already nearly exhausted from hunger and hard travel, 
and the Indians either could not or would not furnish sufficient pro- 
vision for their needs, De Soto determined not to attempt the passage 
of the mountains then, but to push on at once to Coya, there to rest 
and recuperate befoi'e undertaking further exploration. In the mean- 

1 Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Hist. Tennessee, pp. 166, 234-235. 2.S7-2S9, 1823. 

= See story, " The Great Leech of TIanusi'yl, " p. 328. 

3 Garcilaso de la Vega, La Florida del Inea. pp. 129, 133-134; JIadrid, 1723. 

24 AIYTHS (IF THE CHEROKEE [eth. asn. 19 

time he hoped also to ohtiiiii more definite information concerning- the 
mines. As the chief purpose of the expedition was the discover}- of 
the mines. man\' of the officers regarded this chang'e of plan as a 
mistake, and favored staying- where they were until the new crop 
should be ripened, then to go directly into the mountains, but as the 
general was "a stern man and of few words." none ventured to oppose 
his rt>solution.' The province of Coca was the territory of the Creek 
Indians, called Ani'-Kusa by the Cherokee, from Kusa, or Coosa, their 
ancient capital, while Chiaha was identical with Chehaw, one of the 
principal Creek towns on Chattahoochee river. Cofitachi(iui may 
have been the capital of the Cchee Indians. 

Tiie outrageous condvict of the Spaniard.^ had so angered the Indian 
queen that she now refused to furnish guides and carriers, whereupon 
De Soto made her a prisoner, with the design of compelling her to act 
as guide herself, and at the same time to use her as a hostage to com- 
mand the obedience of her subjects. Instead, however, of conducting 
the Spaniards liy the direct trail tf)ward the west, she led them far 
out of their course until she finally managed to make her escape, 
leaving- them to find their way out of the mountains as best they could. 

Ueparting from Coritachiqui. they turned first toward the north, 
passing- through several towns subject to the queen, to whom, although 
a prisoner, the Indians everywhere showed great respect and obe- 
dience, furnishing- whatever assistance the Spaniards compelled her to 
demand for their own purposes. In a few days they came to ''a 
province called Chalaque,'' the territory of the Cherokee Indians, 
prt)bably upon the waters of Keowee river, the eastern head-stream 
of the Savannah. It is described as the poorest countiv for corn that 
thev had yet seen, the inhabitants subsisting on wild roots and 
herbs and on game which they killed with liows and arrows. They 
were naked, lean, and unwarlike. The country abounded in wild 
turkeys (" gallinas"). which the people gave veiw freely to the 
strangers, one town presenting- them with seven hundred. A chief 
also gave De Soto two deerskins as a great present.'' Garcilaso, writ- 
ing on the authority of an old soldier nearly fifty years afterward, 
says that the ""Chalaques" deserted their towns on the approach of 
the white men and fled to the mountains, leaving behind only old men 
and women and some who were nearly blind." Although it was too 
early foi- the new crop, the povertj^ of the people ma,y have been 
more apparent than real, due to their unwillingness to give any part 
of their stored-up provision to the unwelcome strangers. As the 
Spaniards ^vere greatly in need of corn for themselves and their 
horses, they made no stay, but hurried on. In a few daj's they arrived 

1 Gentleman of El vns. Publications of the Haklnyt Society.ix,pp.5'2, 58. 64: London, 1851. 

= Iliid., p. 60. 

SGareilaao, La Florida del Inea. \i. I:i6, ed. 17-23. 


iit Giuiqiuli. whicli is mentioned only by Ranjel. who does not specify 
whetlier it was a town or a province — i. e., a tribal territory. It was 
probably a small town. Here they were welcomed in a friendly man- 
ner, the Indians .yivint;- them a little corn and many wild turkeys, 
together with some dogs of a peculiar small species, which were lired 
for eating and did not liark.' They were also supplied with 
men to help carry the baggage. The name Guaquili has a Cherokee 
•sound and may be connected with va'cjuJi', " whippoorwill." uir<f(ji'li, 
'•foam." or f/i'Ii. "dog." 

Traveling still toward the north, they arrived a day or two later in 
the province of Xuala, in which we recognize the territory of the 
Suwali. Sara, or Cheraw Indians, in the piedmont region about the 
head of Broad river in North Carolina, (xarcilaso. who did not see it, 
represents it as a rich country, while the Elvas narrative and Biedma 
agree tiiat it was a rough. 1>roken country, thinly inhabited and jioor 
in provision. According to (xarcilaso. it was under the rule of the 
queen of Cotitachiciui. although a distinct province in itself." The 
principal town was liesicle a small rapid stream, close under a moun- 
tain. The chief received them in friendly fashion, giving them corn, 
dogs of the small breed alrt>ady mentioned, carrying l)a.skets. and bur- 
den beavers. The country roundabout showed greater indications of 
gold mines than any they had yet seen.' 

Here De Soto tui'ned to the west, crossing a very high mountain 
range, which appears to have been the Blue ridge, and descending on 
the other side to a stream iiowing in the opposite direction, wiiich 
was probably one of the upper trilnitaries of the French Broad.' 
Although it was late in May, they found it very cold in the luoun- 
tains.* After several days of such travel they arrived, about the end 
of the month, at the town of Guasili, or Guaxule. The chief and 
principal men came out some distance to welcome them, dressed in 
tine robes of skins, with feather head-dresses, after the fashion of the 
country. Before reaching this point the queen had managed to make 
her escape, together with three slaves of the Spaniards, and the last 
that was heard of her was that she was on her way l)ack to her own 
country with one of the runaways as her husband. What grieved 
De Soto most in the matter was that she took with her a small box of 
pearls, which he had intended to take from her before releasing her, 
but had left with her for the present in order ""not to discontent 
her altogether."'' 

Guaxule is described as a very large town surrounded l)y a number 
of small mountain streams which united to form the large ri^er down 
which the Spaniards proceeded after lea\ang the place." Here, as 

1 Ranjel, in Ovledo, Historia General y Natural de his Indias, i. p. 562; Madrid, 1851. 
=, La Florida del Incn,]>.137, 17_>3. *Ranjel. op. eit., i. p. 502. 
2See note S. De Soto's route. ' Elvas. Hakluy t Society, ix. p. til. 1S51. 

* Garcilaso, op. cit. , p. 189. 

26 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.akn.19 

elsewhere, the Indians received the white men with kindness and hos- 
pitality — so much so that the name of Guaxule became to the army a 
synonym for good fortune.' Among other things they gave the Span- 
iards 300 dogs for food, although, according to the Elvas narrative, 
the Indians themselves did not eat them." The principal officers of 
the expedition were lodged in the "chief's house," by whieh we are to 
understand the townhouse, which was upon a high hill with a roadway 
to the top.'' Fi'om a close study of the narrative it appears that this 
''hill" was no other than the great Nacoochee mound, in White 
county, Georgia, a few miles northwest of the present Clarkesville.' 
It was within the Cherokee territory, and the town was protiably a 
settlement of that tribe. From here De Soto sent runners ahead to 
notify the chief of Chiaha of his appi'oach, in order that sufficient corn 
might ))e ready on his arrival. 

Leaving Guaxule, thej' proceeded down the river, which we identify 
with the Chattahoochee, and in two days arrived at Canasoga, or Cana- 
sagua, a frontier town of the Cherokee. As thej' neared the town 
they were met by the Indians, liearingljaskets of '■mulberries,"' more 
probably the delicious service-berry of the southern mountains, which 
ripens in early summer, while the uuilberry matures later. 

From here they continued down the river, which grew constantly 
larger, through an uninhal)ited country which formed the disputed 
territory between the Cherokee and the Creeks. About live days after 
leaving Canasagua they were met b\^ messengers, who escorted them 
to Chiaha, the first town of the province of Cofa. De Soto had crossed 
the state of Georgia, leaving the Cherokee country behind him, and 
was now among the Lower Creeks, in the neighborhood of the present 
Columbus, Georgia.'' With his subsequent wanderings after crossing 
the Chattahoochee into Alabama and beyond we need not concern 
ourselves (8). 

While resting at Chiaha De Soto met with a chief who confirmed 
what the Spaniards had heard before concerning mines in the jjrovince 
of Chisca, saying that there was there ' ' a melting of copper " and of 
another metal of about the same color, but softer, and therefore not so 
much used.' The province was northward from Chiaha, somewhcn^ in 
upper Georgia or the adjacent pai't of Alabama or Tennessee, through 
all of which mountain I'cgion native copper is found. The other 
mineral, which the Spaniards understood to be gold, may have been 
iron pyrites, although there is some evidence that the Indians occa- 
sionally found and shaped gold nuggets." 

1 Ranjel, in Oviedo, Historia, i, p. 563, 1851. 

^Elvas, Biedma, and Ranjel all make special reference to the dogs given tliem at this place: lliey 
seem to have been of the same small breed ( " perrillos ") which Ranjel says the Indians nsed for food. 
^Garcilaso, La Florida del Inca, p. 139, 1723. **See note 8, De Soto's route. 

»See Elvas, Haliluyt Society, IX, p. 61, 1851; and Ranjel, op. cit., p. .563. 
« See note 8, De Soto's route. ' Elvas, op. cit. , p. W. 

MooNEY] PARDo's EXPEDITIONS 1566-67 27 

Aocordiiio-ly two .soldiers were sent on foot with Indian guides to 
find Chisca and learn the truth of the stories. They rejoined the army 
some time after the march had been resumed, and reported, according 
to the Elvas chronicler, that their guides had taken tlieni through a 
country so poor in corn, so rough, and over so high mountains that it 
would be impossilile for the army to follow, wherefore, as the way 
gi'ew long and lingering, they had turned back after reaching a little 
poor town where they saw nothing that was of any pi'otit. They 
brought back with them a dressed bufialo skin which the Indians there 
had given them, the first ever obtained by white men. and described in 
the quaint old chronicle as '" an ox hide as thin as a calf's skin, and the 
hair like a soft wool between the coarse and fine wool of sheep."' 

Garcilaso's glowing narrative gives a somewhat difl'ei-ent impression. 
According to this author the scouts returned full of enthusiasm for 
the fertility of the country, and reported that the mines were of a fine 
species of copper, and had indications also of gold and silver, while 
their progress from one town to another had been a contiiuial sei'ies of 
f castings and Indian hospitalities.'^ However that may have lieen, 
De Soto made no further eft'ort to reach the Cherokee mines, but con- 
tinued his course westward through the Creek countrj', having spent 
altogether a month in the mountain region. 

There is no record of any second attempt to penetiute the Cherokee 
country for twenty-six years (9). In 15<il the Spaniards took f<_)rmal 
possession of the bay of Santa Elena, now Saint Helena, near Port 
Royal, on the coast of South Carolina. The next year the French 
made an unsuccessful attempt at settlement at the same place, and in 
1566 Menendez made the Spanish occupancy sure by establishing there 
a fort which he called San Felipe.' In November of that year Captain 
Juan Pardo was sent with a party from the fort to explore the interior. 
Accompanied by the chief of " Juada'" (which fi-om Vandera's narra- 
tive we find should be " Joara," i.e., the Sara Indians already men- 
tioned in the De Soto chronicle), he proceeded as far as the territory of 
that tribe, where he built a fort, but on account of the snow in the 
mountains did not think it advisable to go farther, and returned, 
leaving a sergeant with thirty soldiers to garrison the post. Soon 
after his return he received a letter from the sergeant stating that the 
chief of Chisca — the rich mining country of which De Soto had heard — 
was very hostile to the Spaniards, a!Kl that in a recent l)attle the latter 
had killed a thousand of his Indians and burned fifty houses with 
almost no damage to themselves. Either the sergeant or his chronicler 
must have been an unconscionable liar, as it was asserted that all this 
was done with only fifteen men. Immediately afterward, according 
to the same story, the sergeant marched with twenty men about a day's 

1 Elvas, Hakluyt Society, IX, p. 66, 1851. SQareilaso, La Florida del Inea, p. 141, ed. 1723. 

'Shea, J.G.,in Winsor, Justin, Narrative and Critical History of America, ii, pp. 260,278; Boston, 1886. 

28 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

distance in the mountains against another hostile chief, whom he found 
in a strongly palisaded town, which, after a hard fight, he and his men 
stormed and burned, killing fifteen hundred Indians without losing a 
single man themselves. Under instructions from his superior officer, 
the sergeant with his small party then proceeded to explore what lay 
beyond, and. taking a road which they were told led to the territory 
of a great chief, after four days of hard marching they came to his 
town, called Chiaha (Chicha. by mistake in the manuscript transla- 
tion), the same where De Soto had rested. It is described at this time 
as palisaded and strongly fortified, with a deep river on each side, and 
defended by over three thousand fighting men. there being no women 
or children among them. It is possible that in view of their former 
experience with the Spaniards, the Indians had sent their families 
away from the town, while at the same time thej- may have summoned 
warriors from the neighboring Creek towns in order to be prepared 
for an}- emergency. However, as before, they received the white 
men with the greatest kindness, and the Spaniards continued for 
twelve days through the territories of the same tribe until they arrived 
at the principal town (Kusa?), where, })y the invitation of the chief, 
thev built a small fort and awaited the coming of Pardo, who was 
expected to follow with a larger force from Santa Elena, as he did in 
the summer of 1567, being met on his arrival with every show of 
hospitality from the Creek chiefs. This second fort was said to be one 
hundred and forty leagues distant from that in the Sara country, which 
latter was called one hundred and twenty leagues from Santa Elena.' 

In the summer of 1567. according to previous agreement. Captain 
Pardo left the fort at Santa Elena with a small detachment of troops, 
and after a week's travel, sleeping each night at a diflcrent Indian 
town, arrived at "Canos, which the Indians call Canosi, and bj' another 
name. Cofeta^que" (the Cofitachiqui of the De Soto chronicle), 
which is described as situated in a favorable location for a large city, 
fifty leagues from Santa Elena, to which the easiest road was by a 
river (the Savannah) which flowed by the town, or by another which 
they had passed ten leagues farther back. Proceeding, they passed 
Jagaya, Gueza, and Arauchi, and arrived at Otariyatiqui, or Otari, 
in which we have pei'haps the Cherokee d'tdrl or d't&li, "mountain". 
It may have been a frontier Cherokee settlement, and, according to 
the old chronicler, its chief and language ruled nuich good country. 
From here a trail went northward to Guatari. Sauxpa, and Csi, i. e., 
the Wateree. Waxhaw (or Sissipahaw i). and Fshery or Catawba. 

Leaving Otariyatiqui, they went on to Quinahaqui, and then, turn- 
ing, to the left, to Issa, where they found mines of crystal (micaO- 
They came next to Aguaquiri (the Guaquili of the De Soto chronicle), 
and then to Joara, '"near to the mountain, where Juan Pardo arrived 

1 Narrative of Pardo's expedition by Martinez, about 1568, Brooks manuscripts. 


with his sergeant on his first trip." This, as has been noted, was the 
Xuala of the De Soto chronicle, the territory of the Sara Indians, in 
the foothills of the Blue ridge, southeast from the present Asheville, 
North Carolina, ^'andera makes it one hundred leagues from Santa 
Elena, while Martinez, already quoted, makes the distance one hundred 
and twenty leagues. The difference is not important, as both state- 
ments were only estimates. From there they followed "along the 
uiountains" to Tocax (Toxawa^'?)- Cauchi (Nacoochee?), and Tanas- 
qui — apparently Cherokee towns, although the forms can not be iden- 
tified — and after resting three days at the last-named place w(Mit on 
'"to Solameco, otherwise called Chiaha." where the sergeant met them. 
The combined forces afterward went on. through Cossa (Kusa). Ta.s- 
quiqui (Taskigi). and other Creek towns, as far as Tascaluza. in the 
Alabama country, and returned thence to Santa Elena, having appar- 
ently met with a friendly reception eveiywhere along the route. 
From Cotitachiqui to Tascaluza they went over about the same road 
traversed by De Soto in io-td.' 

We come now to a great gap of nearly a century. Shea has a notice 
of a Spanish mission founded among the Cherokee in 1643 and still 
flourishing when visited l)y an English traveler ten years later.'' but as 
his information is derived entirelj- from the fraudulent work of Davies, 
and as no such mission is mentioned by Bancia in any of these years, 
we may regard the story as spurious (10). The first mission work 
in the tribe appears to ha\'e been that of Priber. almost a hundred 
years later. Long before the end of the sixteenth i^enturv. however, 
the existence of mines of gold and other metals in the Cherokee country 
was a matter of common knowledge among the Spaniards at St. Augus- 
tine and Santa Elena, and more than one expedition had been fitted out 
to explore the interior.' Numerous traces of ancient mining opera- 
tions, with remains of old shafts and fortifications, evidently of Euro- 
pean origin, show that these discoveries were followed up. although 
the policy of Spain concealed the fact from the outside world. How 
nmch permanent impression this early Spanish intercourse made 
on the Cherokee it is impossible to estimate, but it must have been 
considerable (11). 

The Colonial and Revolutionary Period — 1H5-1^1TSt1: 

It was not until Iti.Jl that the English first came into contact with 
the Cherokee, called in the records of the period Rechahecrians. a cor- 
ruption of Rickahockan. apparently the name by which they were 
known to the Powhatan tribes. In that year the Virginia colony, 
wiiich had only recently concluded a long and exterminating war with 
the Powhatan, was thrown into alarm by the news that a great bodA* of 

1 Vandera narrative, 1569. in French, B. F., Hist. Colls, of La., new series, pp. 289-292; New York, 1875. 

2 Shea, J. G., Catholic Missions, p. 72; New York, 18.55. 

3See Brooks manuscripts, in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology. 

30 MYTHS OV THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

six or seven hundred Rechahecrian Indians — by which is probably 
meant that number of warriors — from the mountains had invaded the 
lower country and established themselves at the falls of James river, 
where now is the city of Richmond. The assembly at once passed 
resolutions "'that these new come Indians be in no sort sutiered to seat 
themselves there, or any place near us, it having cost so much blood 
to expel and extirpate those perfidious and treacherous Indians which 
were there f<n'mer]y." It was therefore ordered that a force of at least 
loo white men be at once sent against them, to be joined by the war- 
riors of all the neighboring subject tribes, according to treaty o])liga- 
tion. The Pamunkey chief, with a hundred of his men, responded to 
the summons, and the combined force marched against the invaders. 
The result was a bloody battle, with disastrous outcome to the Vir- 
ginians, the Pamunkey chief with most of his men being killed, while 
the whites were forced to make such terms of peace with the liecha- 
hecrians that the assembly cashiered the commander of the expedition 
and compelled him to pay the whole cost of the treaty from his own 
e.state.' Owing to the imperfection of the Virginia records we have 
no means of knowing the causes of the sudden invasion or how long 
the invaders retained their position at the falls. In all probability it 
was only the last of a long series of otherwise unrecorded irruptions 
by the mountaineers on the moi'e peaceful dwellers in the lowlands. 
From a remark in Lederer it is probable that the Chei'okee were assisted 
also by some of the piedmont tribes hostile to the Powhatan. The 
Peaks of Otter, near which the Cherokee claim to have once lived, as 
has been already noted, are only al^out one hundred miles in a straight 
line from Richmond, while the burial mound and town site near 
Charlottesville, mentioned by Jefferson, are but half that distance. 

In 1655 a Virginia expedition sent out from the falls of James river 
(Richmond) crossed over the mountains to the large streams flowing 
into the Mississippi. No details are given and the route is uncertain, 
but whether or not they met Indians, they must have passed through 
Cherokee territory.^ 

In 1670 the German traveler, John Lederer, went from the falls of 
James river to the Catawba country in South Carolina, following for 
most of the distance the path used by the Virginia traders, who already 
had regular dealings with the southern tribes, including probably the 
Cherokee. He speaks in several places of the Rickahockan, which 
seems to be a more correct form than Rechahecrian, and his narrative 
and the accompanying map put them in the mountains of North Caro- 
lina, back of the Catawba and the Sara and southward from the head 
of Roanoke river. They were apparently on hostile terms with the 
tribes to the eastward, and while the traveler was stopping at an Indian 

' Burk. John. History of Virginia, ii, pp. 104-107: Petersljurg, 1805. 

-Ram.sey. J. G.M., Annals of Tennessee, p. 37; Charleston, 1853 (quoting Martin, North Carolina, r, 
p. 115, 1S53). 


village on Dan I'iver. a))out the present Clarksville. Virginia, a delega- 
tion of Riokahoekan, which had couie on tribal Ijusines.s, was barlui- 
rously murdered at a dance prepared on the nightof their arrival by 
their treacherous hosts. On reaching the Catawba country he heard 
of white men to the southward, and incidentally mentions that the 
neighboring mountains were called the Suala mountains by the Span- 
iards.' In the next year, 1671. a party from Virginia under Thomas 
Batts explored the northern ))ranch of lioanoke river and crossed 
over the Blue ridge to the headwaters of New river, where they found 
traces of occupancy, but no Indians. By this time all the tribes of 
this section, east of the mountains, were in possession of firearms. ' 

The first permanent settlement in South Carolina'was estab- 
lished in IfiTO. In ItilKt James Moore, secretary of the colony, made 
an exploring expedition into the mountains and reached a point at 
which, according to his Indian guides, he was within twenty miles of 
where the Spaniards were engaged in mining and smelting with Ix'l- 
lows and furnaces, but on account of some misunderstanding lie 
i-eturned without visiting the place, although he procured specimens 
of ores, whicli he sent to England for assay.' It may have lieen in the 
neighborhood of the present Lincolnton, North Carolina, where a dam 
of cut stone and other remains of former civilized occupancy ha^e 
recently been discovered (11). In this year, also, Cornelius Dougherty, 
an Irishman from Virginia, established himself as the first trader 
among the Cherokee, with whom he spent the rest f)f his life.* Some 
of hi.'^ descendants still occupy honored positions in the tribe. 

Among the manuscript archives of South Carolina there was said to 
be, some fifty years ago, a treaty or agreement made with the govern- 
ment of that colony by the Cherokee in 168-±, and signed with the 
hieroglyphics of eight chiefs of the lower towns, viz, Corani, the 
Raven (Ka'lanii); Sinnawa, the Hawk (Tla'nuwa); Nellawgitehi, Gor- 
haleke, and Owasta, all of Toxawa; and Canacaught, the great Con- 
juror, Gohoma, and Caunasaita, of Keowa. If still in exist(Mice. this 
is probably the oldest Cherokee treaty on record.' 

What seems to be the next mention of the Cherokee in the South 
Carolina records occurs in 1691. when we find an inquiry ordeied in 
regard to a report that .some of the colonists "have, without any proc- 
lamation of war, fallen upon and murdered" several of that tribe." 

In 1693 some Cherokee chiefs went to Charleston with presents for 
the governor and offers of friendship, to ask the protection of South 
Carolina against their enemies, the Esaw (Catawba), Savanna (Shawano), 

1 Lederer. John, DiscDveries. pp. 15, 26, 27, 29, 33, and map: reprint, Charleston, 1891; Mooney, Siouan 
Tribes of the East (bulletin of Bureau of Ethnology), pp. 53->4, 1894. 
" Mooney, op. cit., pp. 34-3.^. 

'Document of 1699, quoted in South Carolina Hist. Soc. Colls., i, p. 209; Charleston, 18.57. 
4 Haywood, Nat. and .\borig. Hist. Tennessee, p. 233, 1823. 
SNoted in Cherokee .-Vdvocate. Tahlequah, Indian Territory, .January 30, 184.5. 
6 Document of 1691, South Carolina Hist. Soc. Colls., i, p. 126. 

32 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

and Congaree, all of that colony, who had made war upon them and 
sold a number of their tribesmen into slavery. They wei'e told that 
their Ivin.smen could not now be recovered, hut that the English desired 
friendship with their tribe, and that the Government would see that 
there would be no future ground for such complaint.' The promise 
was apparently iH)tkept, for in 1705 we find a bitter accusation l)roug'ht 
against Governor Moore, of South Carolina, that he had granted com- 
missions to a number of persons "to set upon, assault, kill, destroy, 
and take cajjtive as many Indians as they possible [.svV] could," the 
prisoners being sold into slavery for his and their private profit. By 
this course, it was asserted, he had '"already almost utterly ruined the 
trade for skins and furs, whei'eljv we held our chief correspondence 
with England, and turned it into a trade of Indians or slave making, 
whereby the Indians to the south and west of us are ah-eady involved 
in l)lood and confusion." The arraignment concludes with a warning 
that such conditions would in all probability draw down upon the colony 
an Indian war with all its dreadful consecjuences." In view of what 
happened a few years later this reads like a prophecy. 

About the year 1700 the first guns were introduced among the Cher- 
okee, the event being fixed traditionally as having occurred in the girl- 
hood of an old woman of the tribe who died about 1775.'' In 17i).S we 
find them described as a numerous people, living in the mountains 
northwest from the Charleston settlements and having sixty towns, but 
of small importance in the Indian trade, l)eing "'but ordinary hunters 
and less warriors."' 

In the war with the Tuscarora in 1711-1713, which resulted in the 
expulsion of that tribe from North Carolina, more than a thousand 
southern Indians reenforced the South Carolina volunteers, among 
them being over two hundred Cherokee, hereditary enemies of the 
Tuscarora. Although these Indian allies did their work well in the 
actual encounters, their assistance was of doubtful advantage, as they 
helped themselves freely to whatever they wanted along the way, so 
that the settlers had reason to fear them almost as much as the hostile 
Tuscarora. After torturing a large number of their prisoners in the 
usual savage fashion, the}- returned with the remainder, ^vhom they 
afterward sold as slaves to South Carolina.' 

Having wiped out old scores with the Tuscarora, the late allies of 
the English proceeded to their own grievances, which, as we 
have seen, were sufficient^ galling. The result was a combination 

' Hewat, South Carolina and Georgia, i, p. 127, 1778. 

-Documents of 1705, in North Carolina Colonial Records, ii, p. 904; Raleigh, 1S86. 

'Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Tenu.. p. 237, 1,S23; with the iisual idea that Indians live to extreme 
oI<l age. Haywood makes her 110 years old at her death, putting back the introduction of firearms 
to 1677. 

' Letter of 1708, in Rivers, .South Carolina, p. 238, 18.t6. 

■■■ Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth .\nn. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 140, 1888; Hewat, op. cit.,p. 216 
et passina. 

MooNEY] MOORe'S expedition 1715-IH 33 

na'ainst the whites. einbruciiiL;' iill the tribes from Cape Fear to tiie 
Chattahoochee, including the Cherokee, who thus for the tirst time 
raised their hand against the English. The war opened with a terril)le 
massacre by the Yamassec; in April, 1715, followed by assaults along 
the whole frontier, until for a time it was seriously feared that the 
colony of South Carolina would be wiped out of existence. In a 
contest between savagery and civilization, however, the final result is 
inevitable. The settlers at last rallied their whole force under Gov- 
ernor Craven and administered such a crushing blow to the Yamassee 
that the remnant abandoned tlieii' country and took refuge with the 
Spaniards in Florida or among the Lower Creeks. The English then 
made short work with the smaller tribes along the coast, while those 
in the interior were soon glad to sue for peace.' 

A number of Cherokee chiefs having come down to Charleston in 
company with a trader to expi'ess their desire for peace, a force of 
several hundred white troops and a number of negroes under Colonel 
Maurice ]\Ioore went up the Savannah in the winter of 1 715-1 ti and 
made headquarters among the Lower Cherokee, where th(>y ^vere 
met by the chiefs of the Lower and some of the western towns, 
who reathrmed their desire for a lasting peace with the English, but 
refused to fight against the Yamassee, although willing to proceed 
against some other tribes. They laid the l)lame for most of the 
trouble upon the traders, who " had l)een very abuseful to them of late." 
A detachment under Colonel George Chicken, sent to the Upper 
Cherokee, penetrated to " Quoneashee" (Tlanusi'yi, on Hiwassee, 
about the present ]\Iurphy) where they found the chiefs more defiant, 
resolved to continue the war against the Creeks, with whom the Eng- 
lish were then ti'ving to make peace, and demanding large supplies of 
guns and ammunition, saying that if they made a peace with the other 
tribes thej" would have no means of getting slaves with which to buy 
ammunition for themselves. At this time thev claimed 2.37<t war- 
riors, of whom half were believed to have guns. As the strength of 
the whole Nation was much greater, this estimate may have ))een for 
the Upper and Middle Cherokee only. After "abundance of per- 
suading" by the officers, they finally '"told us they would trust us 
once again." and an arrangement was made to furnish them two hun- 
dred guns with a supply of annuunition, together with fifty white 
soldiers, to assist them against the tribes with which the English were 
still at war. In March, 1716, this force was increased by one hundred 
men. The detachment under Colonel Chicken returned by way of the 
towns on the upper part of the Little Tennessee, thus penetrating the 
heart of the Cherokee countr3\" 

iHewat, South Carolina and Georgia, i, p. 216 et passim, 1778. 

2 See Journal of Colonel (ienrge Chicken, 1715-16, with notes, in Charleston Yearbook, pp. 31^354, 

ly ETH— 01 3 


Steps were now taken to secure peace by inaugurating a satisfactory 
trade systeul. for which purpose a large c|uantity of suitable goods 
was purchased at the public expense of South Carolina, and a coi're- 
spondingly large party was equipped for the initial trip.' In 17:^1, 
in order still naore to systematize Indian affairs. Governor Nicholson 
of South Carolina invited the chiefs of the Cherokee to a conference, 
at which thirty-seven towns were represented. A treaty was made 
by which trading methods were regulated, a boundary line between 
their territory and the English settlements was agreed upon, and an 
agent was appointed to superintend their affairs. At the governor\s 
suggestion,. one chief, called Wrosetasatow [i)' was formally commis- 
sioned as supreme head of the Nation, with authority to punish all 
offenses, including murder, and to represent all Cherokee claims to 
the colonial government. Thus were the Cherokee reduced from their 
former condition of a free people, ranging where their pleasure led, to 
that of dependent vassals with bounds fixed by a colonial governor. 
The negotiations were accompanied by a cession of land, the first in 
the history of the tribe. In little more than a century thereafter they 
had signed awaj- their whole original territory.'' 

The document of 1716 already quoted puts the strength of the Chero- 
kee at that time at 2,370 warriors, but in this estimate the Lower 
Cherokee seem not to have been included. In 1715, according to a 
trade census compiled by Governor Johnson of South Carolina, the 
tribe had thirty towns, with -liOOO warriors and a total population of 
11,310.* Another census in 1721 gives them fifty-three towns with 
3,510 warriors and a total of 10.379,° while the report of the board of 
trade for the same year gives them 3,800 warriors,'* equivalent, by the 
same proportion, to nearly 12,00(1 total. Adair, a good authority on 
such matters, estimates, about the year 1735, when the country was 
better known, that they had "sixty-four towns and villages, populous 
and full of children," with more than 6,000 fighting men,' equivalent 
on the same basis of computation to between 16,000 and 17,0iiO souls. 
From what we know of them in later times, it is probable that this 
last estimate is very nearly correct. 

By this time the colonial government had become alarmed at the 
advance of the French, who had made their first permanent establish- 
ment in the Gulf states at Biloxi bay, IMississippi, in 16'.H>, and in 
1714 had built Fort Toulouse, known to the English as "'the fort at 

1 Journal of South Carolina Assembly, in Xorth Carolina Colonial Records, ii, pp. ■22.>-227, 1886. 
- For notice, see the glossary. 

sHewat, South Carolina and Georgia, i, pp. 297-298, 1778; Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth .\nn. 
Eep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 144 and map, 1888. 
■•Royce, op. cit., p. 142. 

'Document of 1724, in Fernow, Berthold, Ohio Valley in Colonial Days, pp. 273-27.3; .\lbany, 1890. 
'Report of Board of Trade, 1721, in North Carolina Colonial Records, ii, p. 422, 18SI3. 
"Adair, James, .American Indians, p. 227; Loudon, 1775. 

MooNKY] Cuming's treaty — 1730 35 

the AliilKinuis." on Coosa river, a few miles above the present ^Nloiit- 
gonierv, Alal)aina. From this central vaiitaoe point they had rapidlj^ 
extended their influence among- all the neighboring tribes until in 
1721 it was estimated that 3.100 warriors who had formerly traded 
with Carolina had l)een '"entirely debauched to the French interest," 
while L'.ood more were wavering, and only the Cherokee could still be 
considered friendly to the English.' From this time until the final 
withdrawal of the French in 1703 the explanation of our Indian wars 
is to be found in the struggle between the two nations for territorial 
and commercial supremacy, the Indian being simplv the cat's-paw of 
one or the other. For reasons of their own, the Chickasaw, whose 
territory lay within the recognized limits of Louisiana, soon became the 
uncompromising enemies of the French, and as their position enabled 
them in a measure to control the approach from the Mississippi, the 
Carolina government saw to it that they were kept well supplied with 
guns and ammunition. British traders were in all their towns, and 
on one occasion a French force, advancing against a Chickasaw 
palisaded village, found it garrisoned by Englishmen flying the British 
flag." The Cherokee, although nominally allies of the English, were 
strongly disposed to favor the French, and it required every eli'ort of 
the Carolina government to hold them to their allegiance. 

In 1730, to further fix the Cherokee in the English interest. Sir 
Alexander Cuming was dispatched on a secret mission to that ti-ibe, 
which was again smarting under grievances and almost ready to join 
with the Creeks in an alliance with the French. Proceeding to the 
ancient town of Nequassee (Nikw^asi', at the present Franklin, North 
Carolina), he so impressed the chiefs by his bold beai-ing that they 
conceded without question all his demands, submitting themselves 
and their people for the second time to the English dominion and 
designating Moytoy,' of Tellico, to act as their "emperor" and to 
represent the Nation in all transactions with the whites. Seven chiefs 
were selected to visit England, where, in the palace at Whitehall, 
thej' solemnly renewed the treaty, acknowledging the sovereignty of 
England and binding themselves to have no trade or alliance with any 
other nation, not to allow any other white people to settle among 
them, and to deliver up any fugitive slaves who might seek refuge 
with them. To confirm their words they delivered a "crown", five 
eagle-tails, and four scalps, which the^* had brought with them. In 
return thej' received the usual glittering promises of love and per- 
petual friendship, together with a substantial cjuantity of guns, ammu- 
nition, and red paint. The treatj^ being concluded in September, 

' Board ol Trade report, 1721, North Carolina Colonial Records, ii, p. 422, 1886. 
- Pickett, H. A., History of Alabama, pp. 234, 280, 288; reprint, Sheffield, 1896. 
' For notice, see the glossary. 


they took ship for Carolina, wiicre they arrived, as we are told by 
the governor, ''in good health and mightily well satistied with His 
Majesty's bounty to them."' 

In the next year some action was taken to use the Cherokee and 
Catawba to subdue the refractory remnant of the Tuscarora in North 
Canjlina, but when it was found that this was liable to bring down the 
wratii of the Iroquois upon the C'arolina settlements, more peaceable 
methods were used instead." 

In 1T3S or 1739 the smallpox, brought to Carolina by slave ships, 
broke out among the Cherokee with such terrible effect that, according 
to Adair, nearly half the tribe was swept away within a year. The 
awful mortality was due largely to the fact that as it was a new and 
strange disease to the Indians they had no proper remedies against it, 
and therefore resorted to the universal Indian panacea for "strong" 
sickness of almost any kind, viz, cold plunge baths in the running 
stream, the worst treatment that could possibly be devised. As the 
pestilence spread unchecked from town to town, despair fell upon the 
nation. The priests, believing the visitation a penalty for violation of 
the ancient ordinances, threw away their sacred paraphernalia as things 
which had lost their protecting power. Hundreds of the warriors 
committed suicide on beholding their frightful disfigurement. "Some 
shot themselves, others cut their throats, some stabbed themselves 
with knives and others with sharp-pointed canes; many threw them- 
selves with sullen madness into the fire and there slowly expired, as if 
they had been utterly divested of the native power of feeling pain."^ 
Another authoritj- estimates their loss at a thousand warriors, partly 
from smallpox and partly from rum brought in by the traders.* 

About the year 1740 a trading path for horsemen was marked out 
by the Cherokee from the new settlement of Augusta, in Georgia, to 
their towns on the headwaters of Savannah river and thence on to the 
west. This road, which went up the south side of the river, soon 
became much frequented.' Previous to this time most of the trading- 
goods had been transported on the backs of Indians. In the same 
year a party of Cherokee under the war chief Ka'lanu. "The Raven," 
took part in Oglethorpe's expedition against the Spaniards of Saint 

In 173<3 Christian Priber. said to be a Jesuit acting in the French 
interest, had come among the Cherokee, and. by the facility with which 
he learned the language and adapted himself to the native dress and 

'Hewat, South Carolina and Georgia, ii,pp.3-ll, 1779; treaty documents of 1730. Norte Carolina 
Colonial Records, m, pp. 128-133, 1886: Jenkinson. Collection of Treaties, ii. pp. SLVSIS: Drake. S.G.. 
Early History of Georgia; Cuming's Embassy; Boston, 1872; letter of Governor Johnson, December 27, 
1730, noted in South Carolina Hist. Soc. Colls,, i. p. 246, 1857. 

- Documents of 1731 and 1732. North Carolina Colonial Records, in, pp, 163,202, 34,=i, 369, 393, 1886. 

^ Adair, American Indians, pp. 232-234. 177.^. 

< Meadows (?), State of the Province of Georgia, p. 7, 1742, in Force Tracts, i, 1836. 

*Jones. C. C History of Georgia, i. p[i. :!27, ;)2.s; Bo.ston, 1883. 

MimNEv] PRIBER's work 1736-11 37 

mode of lifo. had (luickly aciiuircd a leading inliuencc aiiioni;- tlicin. 
Hi" drew up for their adoption a .scheme of government modeled after 
the European plan, witli the eapital at Great Tellieo. in Teiuiessee, 
the principal inedieine man as emperor, and himself as the emperor's 
secretary, lender this title he corresponded with the Soutli Carolina 
government until it ))egan to he feared that he would ultimately win 
over the whole tribe to the Fi'ench side. A commissioner was sent to him, but the Cherokee 7-efused to give him up, and the de})uty 
was obliged to return under safe-conduct of an escort furnished l)y 
Priber. Five years after the inauguration of his work, however, he 
was seized by .some English traders while on his way to Fort Toulouse, 
and brought as a pris(jner to Frederica, in Georgia, where he soon 
afterward died while under confinement. Although his enemies had 
represented him as a monster, inciting the Indians to the grossest 
immoralities, he proved to ))e a gentleman of polished address, exten- 
sive learning, and rare courage, as was shown later on the occasion of 
an explosion in the barracks magazine. Besides Greek, Latin, French, 
German, Spanish, and fluent English, he spoke also the Cherokee, 
and among his papers which were seized was found a manuscript 
dictionary of the language, which he had prepared for publication — 
the first, and even yet, perhaps, the most important study of the lan- 
guage ever made. Says Adair: "As he was learned and pos.sessed 
of a very sagacious penetrating judg-ment, and had every qualification 
that was requisite for his bold and diflicult enterprise, it was not to be 
doubted that, as he wrote a Cheerake dictionary, designed to be 
published at Paris, he likewise set down a great deal that would have 
been very acceptable to the curious and serviceable to the representa- 
tives of South Carolina and Georgia, which may be readily foimd in 
Frederica if the manuscripts have had the good fortune to escape the 
despoiling hands of military power." He claimed to be a .lesuit, acting 
under orders of his superior, to introduce habits of steady industry, 
civilized arts, and a regular form of government among the southern 
tribes, with a view to the ultimate founding of an independent Indian 
state. From all that can lie gathered of him, even though it comes 
from his enemies, there can be little doubt that he was a worthy 
member of that illustrious order whose name has been a synonym for 
.scholarship, devotion, and courage from the days of Jogues and Mar- 
quette down to De Smet and Mengarini.' 

Up to this time no civilizing or mission work had been undertaken 
by either of the Carolina governments among any of the tribes within 
their borders. As one writer of the period quaintly puts it, "The 
gospel spirit is not yet so gloriously arisen as to seek them more than 
theirs.'" while another in stronger terms affirms, "To the shame of 

1 Adair. American Indiana, pp. 240-243, 177.5; Stevens, W. B., History of Geor;;^ia, i. pp. Uit-UiT: Pliila., 

38 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [kth.ann.19 

the Christian iiamo, no pains have ever Ijeen taken to convert tiieni to 
Christianity; on the contrary, their morals are perverted and cor- 
rupted by the sad example they daily have of its depraved professors 
residing- in their towns." ^ Readers of Lawson and other narratives 
of the period will feel the force of the rebuke. 

Thi'oughout the eighteenth century the Cherokee were engaged in 
chronic warfare with their Indian neighliors. As these quarrels con- 
cerned the whites but little, however momentous they may have been 
to the principals, we have l)ut few details. The war with the Tusca- 
rora continued until the outbreak of the latter tribe against Carolina 
in 1711 gave opportunity to the Cherokee to cooperate in striking the 
blow which drove the Tuscarora from their ancient homes to seek 
I'efuge in the north. The Cherokee then turned their attention to the 
Shawano on the Cumberland, and with the aid of the Chickasaw finally 
expelled them from that region about the year 1715. Inroads upon 
the Catawba were probably kept up until the latter had become so far 
reduced by war and disease as to be mere dependent pensioners upon 
the whites. The former friendship with the Chickasaw was at last 
broken through the overbearing conduct of the Cherokee, and a war 
followed of which we find incidental notice in 17.57," and which termi- 
nated in a decisive victory for the Chickasaw about 1768. The bitter 
war with the Ii'oquois of the far north continued, in spite of all the 
efforts of the colonial governments, until a formal treaty of peace was 
brought about by the efi'orts of Sir AVilliam Johnson (12) in the same 

The hereditarj' war with the Creeks for possession of upper Georgia 
continued, with brief intervals of peace, or even alliance, until the 
United States finally interfered as mediator between the rival claimants. 
In 1718 we find notice of a large Cherokee war party moving against 
the Creek town of Coweta, on the lower Chattahoochee, l)ut dispersing 
on learning of the presence there of some French and Spanish officers, 
as well as some English traders, all bent on arranging an alliance with 
the Creeks. The Creeks them.selves had declared their willingness to 
be at peace with the English, while .still determined to keep the bloody 
hatchet uplifted against the Cherokee.' The most important incident 
of the struggle between the two tribes was probablj- the battle of 
Tali'wa about the year 1755.* 

By this time the weaker coast ti'ibes had become practically extinct, 
and the more powerful tribes of the interior were beginning to take 
the alarm, as they saw the restless borderers pushing every year farther 
into the Indian country. As early as 1718 Dr Thomas Walker, with a 
companj' of hunters and woodsmen from Virginia, crossed the moun- 

1 Anonj-mous writer in Carroll, Hist. Colls, of South Carolina, ii, pp. 97-98, 517, 1836. 
- Buckle, Journal, 17.57, in Rivers. South Carolina, p. 57, 1856. 

^Barein, A.G.. Ensayo Chronologiro para la Historia General lie hi Florida, pp. 335, sad. Mii<lrid, 

^ Fur more in regard to tliese intertribiil wars .vee the hi.storieal traditicins 


tain.s to the southwest, discovcriug' tuul luiniiiii;- the celebrated Cumber- 
land gap and passing on to the headwaters of Cumberland river. 
Two years later he made a second exploration and penetrated to Ken- 
tucky river, but on account of the Indian troubles no permanent 
settlement was then attempted.' This invasion of their territory 
awakened a natural resentment of the native owners, and we find 
proof also in the Virginia records that the irresponsilile borderers 
seldom let pass an opportunity to kill and plunder any stray Indian 
found in their neighborhood. 

In 1755 the Cherokee were officially reported to luunljer a. 59(1 war- 
riors, as against probably twice that number previous to the great 
smallpox epidemic sixteen years befoi-e. Their neighbors and ancient 
enemies, the Catawba, had dwindled to 24<l men.'' 

Although war was not formally declared by England until 175(5, 
hostilities in the seven year's struggle between France and England, 
commonly known in America as the " French and Indian war." l)egan 
in April, 1754, when the French seized a small post which the English 
had begun at the present site of Pittsburg, and which was afterward 
finished by the French undiu' the name of Fort Du Quesne. Strenuous 
eflorts were made by the English to secure the Cherokee to their 
interest against the French and their Indian allies, and treaties were 
negotiated l)y which they promised assistance.'' As these treaties, 
however, carried the usual cessions of territory, and stipulated for 
the building of several forts in the heart of the Cherokee country, it 
is to be feared that the Indians were not duly impressed l)y thi- disin- 
terested character of the proceeding. Their preference for the French 
was })ut thinly veiled, and onl_y immediate policy prevented them from 
throwing their whole force into the scale on that side. The reasons 
for this preference are given bj- Timberlake, the young Virginian 
officer who visited the tribe on an embassy of conciliation a few years 

I fiiimd the nation much attached to the French, wlio have the jirudence. l)y 
fauiiMar politeness — which costs but little and often does a great deal — and conform- 
ing tliemselves to their ways and temper, to conciliate the inclinations of almijst all 
the Indians they are acquainted with, while the pride of our officers often ilisgusts 
them. Nay, they did not scruple to own to me that it was the trade alone that 
induceil them to make peace with us, and not any preference to the French, whom 
they loved a great deal better. . . . The Englisli are now so nigh, and encroai-hed 
daily so far upon them, that they not only felt the bad effects of it in their hunting 
grounds, which were spoiled, but had all the reason in the world to apprehend being 
swallowed up by so potent neighbors or driven from the country inhabited by their 
fathers, in which they were born and brought up, in fine, their native soil, for which 
all men have a particular tenderness and affection. 

1 Walker, Thomas, Journal of an Exploration, etc., pp. 8, 35-37; Boston, 1888; Monette (Valley of 
the Miss, i, p. 317; New York, 1848) erroneously makes the second date 1758. 

" Letter of Governor Dobbs, 1755, in North Carolina Colonial Records, v. pp. 320, 321, 1887. 

sRamsey, Tennessee, pp. 50-52, l¥o3; Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bnr. of Eth- 
nology, p. 145, 18KS. 


He adds that only dire necessity had induced them to make peace 
with the English in 1761.' 

In accordance with the treaty stipulations Fort Prince George was 
built in 1756 adjoining the important Cherokee town of Keowee, on 
the headwaters of the Savannah, and Fort Loudon near the junction 
of Tellico river with the Little Tennessee, in the center of the 
Cherokee towns beyond the mountains." By special arrangement with 
the influential chief, Ata-kullakuUa (Ata'-gul''kalu').' Fort Dobbs was 
also built in the same year about 2n miles west of the present Salis- 
bury. North Carolina.' 

The Cherokee had agreed to furnish four hundred warriors to 
cooperate against the Frencli in the north, but before Fort Loudon 
had been completed it was very evident that they had repented of 
their promise, as their great council at Echota ordered the work 
stopjDed and the garrison on the way to turn back, plainly telling the 
officer in charge that they did not want so many white people among 
them. Ata-kullakulla, hitherto supposed to be one of the stanchest 
friendsof the English, was now one of the most determined in the oppo- 
sition. It was in evidence also that they were in constant communi- 
cation with the French. By much tact and argument their objec- 
tions were at last overcome for a time, and the}- very unwillingly set 
about raising the promised force of warriors. Major Andrew Lewis, 
who superintended the building of the fort, became convinced that 
the Cherokee were really friendly to the French, and that all their 
professions of friendship and assistance were "onh' to put a gloss on 
their knavery." The fort was finally completed, and, on his suggestion, 
was garrisoned with a strong force of two hundred men under Captaui 
Demere.'' There was strong ground for believing that some depreda- 
tions committed about this time on the heads of Catawba and Broad 
rivers, in North Carolina, were tlie joint work of Cherokee and northern 
Indians." Notwithstanding all this, a considerable body of Cherokee 
joined the British forces on the Virginia frontier.' 

Fort Du Quesne was taken by the American provincials under Wash- 
ington. November 25, 1758. Quebec was taken September 13, 1759, 
and by the final treaty of peace in 1763 the war ended with the transfer 
of Canada and the Ohio valley to the ci'own of England. Louisiana 
had already been ceded by France to Spain. 

Although France was thus eliminated from the Indian problem, the 

1 Timberlake, Henry, Mem©irs. pp. 73, 74; London, 1765. 

- Ramsey. Tennessee, p. SI, 1853; Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rept. Bur. of EthnoJogy, 
p. 145, 1888. 

3 For notice see At«'-gfll"kalfi', in the glossary. 

* Ramsey, op. cit.. p. 50. 

"Letters of Major Andrew Lewis and Governor Dinwiddie. 1756. in North Carolina Colonial Records 
V, pp. .585. 612-014, 6:^5, 637, 1887; Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 51, .52. 

Letter of Governor Dobbs, 17.56, in North Carolina Colonial Records, v, p. 6U1, 1887. 

"Dinwiddie letter. 1757. ibid., p. 765. 

MdONEY] lewis' expedition 175(i 41 

Indians themselves were not ready to accept the settlement. In the 
north the confederated trilies under Pontiac continued to war on theii- 
own account until 1765. In the South the ver\' Cherokee who had 
acted as allies of the British against Fort DuQuesne. and had volun- 
tai-ily offered to guard the frontier south of the Potomac, returned 
to rouse their tribe to resistance. 

The immediate exciting cause of the trouble was an unfortunate expe- 
dition undertaken against the hostile Shawano in February, 175G, by 
Major Andrew Lewis (the same who had built Fort Loudon) with some 
two hundred Virginia troops assisted by about one hundred Cherokee. 
After six weeks of fruitless tramping through the woods, with the 
ground covered with snow and the streams so swollen by rains tiiat 
they lost their provisions and ammunition in crossing, they were obliged 
to return to the settlements in a starving condition, having killed their 
horses on the way. The Indian contingent had from the lirst been 
disgusted at the contempt and neglect experienced from those whom 
they had come to assist. The Tuscarora and others had already gone 
home, and the Chei'okee now started to I'ctui-n on foot to their own 
country. Finding some horses running loose on the range, they 
appropi'iated them, on the theory that as they had lost their own 
animals, to say nothing of having risked their lives, in the service 
of the colonists, it was onl}^ a fair exchange. The frontiersmen 
took another view of the (juestion however, attacked the returning 
Cherokee, and killed a numlier of them, variously stated at from 
twelve to forty, including several of their prominent men. Accord- 
ing to Adair they also scalped and mutilated the bodies in the savage 
fashion to which they had become accustomed in the border wars, and 
brought the scalps into the settlements, where they were i-epresented 
as those of French Indians and sold at the regular price then estab- 
lished by law. The yt)ung warriors at once prepared to take revenge, 
but were restrained by the chiefs until satisfaction could be demanded 
in the ordinary way, according to the treaties arranged with the colonial 
goveniments. Application was made in turn to Viiginia. North 
Carolina, and South L'arolina. but without success. While the women 
were still wailing night and morning for their slain kindred, and the 
Creeks were taunting the warriors for their cowardice in thus tjuietly 
submitting to the injury, some lawless officers of Fort Prince George 
committed an unpardonable outrage at the neighboring Indian town 
while most of the men were away hunting.' The warriors could no 
longer be restrained. Soon there was news of attacks upon the liack 
settlements of Carolina, while on the other side of the mountains two 
soldiers of the Fort Ijoudon garrison were killed. War seemed at 

' Adair. American Indians. 245-246, 1775; North Carolina Colonial Records, v, p. xlviii. 1887; Uewat, 
quoted in Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 54, 1853. 


At this juncture, in Noveml)er. 1758, a part}' of influential fliief«, 
having fii>t ordered back a war party just about to set out from the 
western towns against the Carolina settlements, came down to Charles- 
ton and succeeded in arranging the difficulty upon a friendly basis. 
Theassenil)ly had officially declared peace with the Cherokee, when, in 
May of 1759, Governor Lyttleton unexpectedly came forward with a 
demand for the surrender for execution of every Indian who had killed 
a white man in the recent skirmishes, among these lieing the chiefs of 
Citico and Tellico. At the same time the commander at Fort Loudon, 
forgetful of the fact that he had but a small garrison in the midst of 
several thousands of restless savages, made a demand for twenty-four 
other chiefs whom he suspected of unfriendly action. To compel their 
suri-onder oi-ders were given to stop all trading supplies intended for 
the upper Cherokee. 

This roused the whole Nation, and a delegation representing every 
town came down to Charleston, protesting the desire of the Indiansfor 
peace and friendship, butdeclaringtheir inability to surrender their own 
chiefs. The governor replied by declaring war in November, 1759, at 
once calling out troops and sending messengers to secure the aid of all 
the surrounding tribes against the Cherokee. Tn the meantime asecond 
delegation of thirty-two of the most prominent men, led by the young 
war chief Oconostota (Agan-stata),' arrived to make a further ett'oi't 
for peace, luit the governor, refusing to listen to them, seized the 
whole pai-ty and coutined them as prisoners at Fort Prince George, in 
a room large enough for only six soldiers, while at the same time he 
set fourteen hundred troops in motion to invade the Cherokee country. 
On further representation ])y Ata-kullakulla (Ata'-gur'kalu'), the civil 
chief of the Nation and well known as a friend of the English, the gov- 
ernor released Oconostota and two others after compelling some half 
dozen of the delegation to sign a paper l)y which they pretended to 
agree for their tribe to kill or seize any Frenchmen entering their 
country, and consented to the imprisonment of the party until all the 
warriors demanded had been surrendered for execution or otherwise. 
At this stage of affairs the smallpox broke out in the Cherokee towns, 
rendering a further stay in their neighborhood unsafe, and thinking 
the whole matter now settled on his owm liasis, Lyttleton returned 
to Charleston. 

The event soon proved how little he knew of Indian temper. Ocono- 
stota at once laid siege to Fort Prince George, completely cutting oti' 
comnuuiication at a time when, as it was now winter, no help could 
well 1)6 expected from below. In February, 1760, after having kept 
the fort thus closely invested for some weeks, he sent word one day 
by an Indian woman that he wished to speak to the conuuander. Lieut- 
enant Coytmore. As the lieutenant stepped out from the stockade 

1 For notices see the glossary. 

MOONEY] MONTGOMEKy's expedition 17(50 -43 

to see Trhat was waiitod. Ooonostotii. standing on the opposite side of 
the river, swung a bridle above his head as a signal to his warriors 
concealed in the bashes, and the officer was at once shot down. The 
soldiers iaimediately l>roke into the room where the hostages w(>re 
confined, every one being a chief of prominence in the tribe, and 
butchered them to the last man. 

It was now war to the end. Led l)v Oconostota, the Cherokee 
descended upon the frontier settlements of Carolina, while the warriors 
across the mountains laid close siege to Fort Loudon. In June. iTtiO, 
a strong force of over 1,600 men, under Colonel Montgomery, started 
to reduce the Cherokee towns and relieve the l)eleaguered garrison. 
Crossing the Indian frontier, Montgomer}^ quickly drove the enemy 
from about Fort Prince George and then, rapidly advancing, surprised 
Little Keowee, killing every man of the defenders, and destroyed in 
succession every one of the Lower Cherokee towns, burning them to 
the ground, cutting down the cornfields and orchards, killing and 
taking more than a hundred of their men, and driving the whole ])opu- 
latiou into the mountains 1)efore him. His own loss was very slight. 
He then sent messengers to the Middle and Upper towns, sunmioning 
them to surrender on penalty of the like fate, but, receiving no reph', 
he led his men across the divide to the waters of the Little Tennessee 
and continued down that stream without opposition until he came in 
the vicinity of Echoee (Itse'yi), a few miles above the sacred town of 
Nikwasi', the present Franklin, North Carolina. Here the Cherokee 
had collected their full force to resist his progress, and the result was 
a desperate engagement on Jvme 27, 1760, by which Montgomery was 
compelled to retire to Fort Prince George, after losing nearly one 
hundred men in killed and wounded. The Indian loss is unknown. 

His retreat sealed the fate of Fort Loudon. The garrison, though 
hard pressed and reduced to the necessity of eating horses and dogs, 
had been enabled to hold out through the kindness of the Indian 
women, many of whom, having found sweethearts among the soldiers, 
brought them supplies of food dail_y. When threatened by the chiefs 
the women boldly replied that the soldiers were their husbands and it 
was their duty to help them, and that if any harm came to themselves 
for their devotion their English relatives would avenge them.' The 
end was only delayed, however, and on August 8, 1760, the garrison 
of about two hundred men, under Captain Demere, surrendered to 
Oconostota on promise that they should be allowed to retire unmo- 
lested with their arms and sufficient ammunition for the march, on 
condition of delivering up all the remaining warlike stores. 

The troops mai'ched out and proceeded far enough to camp for the 
night, while the Indians swarmed into the fort to see what plunder 
they might find. "By accident a discovery was made of ten bags of 

J Timberlake, Memoirs, p. G5, 1765. 


[ETH. ANN. 19 

powder and a large quantity (if liall that had been Mooretly Intried in 
the fort, to prevent their falling- into the enemy's hands" (Hewat). 
It is said also that cannon, small arms, and ammunition had been 
thrown into the river with the same intention (Haywood). Enrao-ed 
at this l)reaeh of" the capitulation the Cherokee attacked the soldiers 
next morning at daylight, killing DemerS and twenty-nine others at 
the tirst lire. The rest were taken and held as prisoners until ran- 
somed some time after. The second officer. Captain Stuart (13), for 
whom the Indians had a high regard, was claimed by Ata-kullakulla, 
who soon after took him into the woods, ostensibly on a hunting 
excursion, and conducted him for nine days through the wilderness 
until he delivered him safely into the hands of friends in Virginia. 
The chief's kindness was well ieward(>d, and it was largely through 
his influence that peace was finally brought about. 

It was now too late, and the settlements were too much exhausted, 
for another expedition, so the fall and winter were employed by the 
English in preparations for an active campaign the next year in force 
to crusli out all resistance. In June ITtil. Colonel Grant with an 
army of 2,<i()0 men, including a numlier of Chickasaw and almost 
ever}' remaining warrior of the Catawba.' set out from Fort Prince 
George. Refusing a request from Ata-kullakulla foi a friendly accom- 
modation, he crossed Rabun gap iiiid advanced rapidly down the 
Little Tennessee along the same trail taken by the expedition of the 
previous j^ear. On June 10, when within two miles of Montgomery's 
battlefield, he encountered the Cherokee, whom he defeated, although 
with considerable loss to himself, after a stubborn engagement lasting 
several hours. Having repulsed the Indians, he proceeded on his 
way, sending out detachments to the outlying settlements, luitil in 
the course of a month he had destroyed every one of the Middle 
towns, 15 in all, with all their granaries and cornfields, driven the 
inhabitants into the mountains, and "pushed the frontier seventy 
miles farther to the west." 

The Cherokee were now reduced to the greatest extremity. With 
some of their best towns in ashes, their fields and orchards wasted for 
two successive years, their anmmnition nearly exhausted, many of 
their bravest warriors dead, their people fugitives in the mountains, 
hiding in caves and living like beasts upon roots or killing their 
horses for food, with the terrible scourge of smallpox adding to the 
miseries of starvation, and withal torn by factional differences which 
had exi.sted from the very beginning of the war — it was impossible 
for even brave men to resist longer. In September Ata-kullakulla, 
who had all along done everj'thing in his jDower to stay the disaffec- 
tion, came down to Charleston, a treaty of peace was made, and the 

'Catawba reference from Milllgan, 1763, in Carroll, South Carolina Historical Collections, ii, p. 
519, 1836. 


war was ended. From an e.stiniated population of at least 5.(»Oo war- 
riors some years l)efore, the Cherokee had now been reduced to about 
2,300 men." 

In the nu'antinie a force of Virginians under Colonel Stephen had 
advanced as far as the (xreat island of the Holston -now Kinosport, 
Tennessee — where they were met by a large delegation of Cherokee, 
who sued for peace, which was concluded with them by Colonel 
Stephen on Noveni]>er 19, 1761. independently of what was being done 
in South Carolina. On the urgent request of the chief that an officer 
might visit their people for a short time to cement the new friendship, 
Lieutenant Henry Timberlake. a young Virginian who had already dis- 
tinguished himself in active service, volunteered to return with them to 
their towns, where he spent several months. He afterward conducted 
a delegation of chiefs to England, where, as they had come without 
authority from the Government, they met such an unpleasant recep- 
tion that they returned disgusted. ' 

On the conclusion of peace between England and France in lT<i3, by 
which the whole western territory was ceded to England, a great 
council was held at Augusta, which was attended l)y the chiefs and 
principal men of all the southern Indians, at which Captain John 
Stuart, superintendent for the southern tribes, together with the colo- 
nial governors of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Geor- 
gia, explained fully to the Indians the new condition oi ati'airs, and a 
treaty of mutual peace and friendship was concluded on November 10 
of that year. '' 

Under several leaders, as Walker, Wallen, Smith, and Boon, the tide 
of emigration now surged across the mountains in spite of every eti'ort 
to restrain it.* and the period between the end of the Cherokee war 
and the opening of the Revolution is principally nota])le for a number 
of treaty cessions by the Indians, each in fruitless endeavor to fix a 
permanent barrier between themselves and the advancing wave of 
white settlement. Chief among these was the famous Henderson pur- 
chase in 1775, which included the whole tract between the Kentuck}' 
and Cumbci'land rivers, embracing the greater pai-t of the present 
state of Kentucky. By these treaties the Cherokee were shorn of 
practically all their ancient territorial claims north of the present 
Tennessee line and east of the Blue ridge and the Savannah, including 
much of their best hunting range; their home settlements Ivere, how- 
ever, left still in their possession.^ 

1 Figures from Adair, American Indians, p. 227, 1775. When not otherwise noted this sketch of 
the Cherokee war of 1760-61 is comjiiled chiefly from the contemporary dispatches in the Gentleman's 
Magazine, supplemented from Hewat's Historical account of South Carolina and Georgia, 177.S; with 
additional details from Adair, American Indians; Ramsey. Tennessee; Royce. Cherokee Nation; North 
Carolina Colonial Records, v, documents and introduction; etc. 

-Timberlake, Memoirs. i». 9 et pas.sim, 176.?. 

'Stevens, Georgia, ii, pp. 26-29, 1S.59. * Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 6.5-70, 1853. 

'Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth .-inn. Kcp. Bur. of Ethnology, pp. 146-1-19, 1888. 

46 MYTHS OK THK CHEKOKEE [eth.ann.19 

As Olio consequence of the late Cherokee war. ii royal proclamation 
had been issued in 1763, with a view of checking future encroachments 
by the \\iutes, which prohibited any pri\ate land purchases from the 
Indians, or any ""ranting of warrants for lands west of the sources 
of the streams flowing into the Atlantic' In 17t!.S, on the appeal of 
the Indians themsehes, the British superintendent for the southern 
tribes, Captain John Stuart, had negotiated a treaty at Hard La])oi' 
in South Carolina by which Kanawha and Tsew rivers, along their 
whole course downward from the North Carolina line, were Kxed as 
the boundary between the Cherokee and the whites in that direction. 
In two years, however, so many l)orderers had crossed into the Indian 
country, where the^' were evidentlj^ determined to remain, that it was 
found necessary to substitute another treaty, by which the line was 
made to run due south from the mouth of the Kanawha to the Holston, 
thus cutting ofl' from the Cherokee almost the whole of their hunting 
grounds in Virginia and West Virginia. Two years later, in 1772, 
the Virginians demanded a further cession, by which everything east 
of Kentucky river was surrendered; and tinally, on March 17, 1775, 
the great Henderson purchase was consunmiated. including the whole 
tract between the Kentucky and Cuml)erla)id rivers. By this last 
cession the Cherokee were at last cut off from Ohio river and all their 
rich Kentucky hunting grounds." 

While these transactions were called treaties, they were really 
forced upon the native proprietors, who resisted each in turn and 
finally signed only under protest and on most solemn assurances that 
no further demands would be made. Even before the purchases were 
made, intruders in large numbers had settled upon each of the tracts 
in cjuestion, and they refused to withdraw across the boundaries now 
established, but remained on one pretext or another to await a new 
adjustment. This was particularly the case on AVatauga and upper 
Holston rivers in northeastern Tennessee, where the settlers, finding 
themselves still within the Indian boundary and being i-esolved to 
remain, effected a temporary lease from the Cherokee in 1772. As 
was expected and intended, the lease became a permanent occupancy, 
the nucleus settlement of the future State of Tennessee.'' 

Just before the outbreak of the Revolution, the botanist, William 
Bartram, made an extended tour of the Cherokee country, and has left 
us a plea.sant account of the hospitable character and friendly dispo- 
sition of the Indians at that time. He gives a list of forty-three towns 
then inhabited by the tribe.' 

The opening of the great Revolutionary struggle in 177t! found the 
Indian tribes almost to a man ranged on the British side against the 

iRoyce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit.,p. 149; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 71, 1853. 
^Ramsey. op.cit.,pp. 93-122; Royce, op. eit. pp. 1-16-149. 
^Ramsey, op. cit.,pp. 109-122; Royce. op. cit. p. 146 et passim. 
■1 Bartram, Travels, pp. 366-372, 1792. 


Aiiii'vicans. Theiv was good reason for this. Since the fall of 
the French power the British t;overnnient had stood to them as the 
sole representative of authority, and the guardian and jjrotector of 
their rights against constant encroachments by the American borderers. 
Licensed British traders were resident in every tribe and many had 
intermarried and raised families among them, while the l)order man 
lookinl upon the Indian only as a cuniberer of the earth. Th(> British 
superintendents. Sir William Johnson in the north and Captain John 
Stuart in th(> south, they knew as generous friends, while liardly a 
warrior of them all was without some old cause of resentment against 
their backwt)ods neighbors. They felt that the only barrier between 
themselves and national extinction was in the strength of the British 
government, and when the tinal severence came they threw th(Mr 
whole power into the British scale. The}' were encouraged in this 
resolution by presents of clothing and other goods, with promises of 
plunder from the settlements and hopes of recos^ering a portion of their 
lost territories. The British government having determined, as early 
as June, 1775, to call in the Indians against the Americans, supplies 
of hatchets, guns, and amuumition were issued to the wari'iors of all 
the tribes from the lakes to the gulf, and bounties were ofl'ered for 
American scalps brought in to the commanding otEcer at Detroit or 
Oswego.' Even the Six Nations, who had agreed in solemn treaty to 
I'emain neutral, were won over by these persuasions. In August, 1775, 
an Indian "talk" was intercepted in which the Chei'okee assured Cam- 
ei'on, the resident agent, that their warriors, enlisted in the service of 
the king, were ready at a signal to fall vxpoii the back settlements of 
Carolina and Georgia.' Circular letters were sent out to all those 
persons in the back country supposed to be of royalist sympathies, 
directing them to repair to Cameron's headquarters in the Cherokee 
country to join the Indians in the invasion of the settlements.'' 

In June, 1776, a British fleet under command of Sir Peter Parker, 
with a large naval and military force, attacked Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, both by land and sea, and simultaneously a bod}' of Cherokee, led 
by Tories in Indian disguise, came down from the mountains and ra\'aged 
the exposed frontier of South Cai'olina, killing and burning as they 
went. After a gallant defense l)_y the garrison at Charleston the British 
were repulsed, whereupon their Indian and Tory allies withdrew.* 

About the same time the warning came from Nancy Ward (11), a 
noted friendly Indian woman of great authority in the Cherokee Nation, 
that seven hundred Cherokee warriors were advancing in two divisions 
against the Watauga and Holston settlements, with the design of 

1 Ramsey, Tenne-ssee, pp. 143-1.50, 1863; Monette, Valley of the Mississippi, i, pp. 400, 401, 431, 432, and 
II, pp. 33, 34, 1840; Roosevelt, Winning nf the West, i, pp. 276-281. and ii, pp. 1-C, 1889. 

2 Ramsey, op. cit., p. 143. 

3 Quoted from Stedman. in Ramsey, op. cit., p. 162. 
* Ramsey, op. cit., p. 162. 

48 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

destroying everything as far up as New river. The Holstoii uicn 
from both sides of the Virginia line hastily collected under Captain 
Thompson and marched against the Indians, whom they met and 
defeated with signal loss after a hard-fought liattle near the Long 
island in the Holston (Kingsport, Tennessee), on August 20. The 
next day the second division of the Cherokee attacked the fort at 
Watauga, garrisoned by only forty men under Captain James Robert- 
son (15), but was repulsed without loss to the defenders, the Indians 
withdrawing on news of the result at the Long island. A Mrs. Bean 
and a boy named Moore were captured on this occasion and carried to 
one of the Cherokee towns in the neighborhood of Tellico, where the 
boj'' was burned, but the woman, after she had l)een condemned to 
death and everything was in readiness for the tragedy, was rescued by 
the interposition of Nancy AVard. Two other Cherokee detachments 
moved against the upper settlements at the same time. One of these, 
finding all the inhabitants securely shut up in forts, returned without 
doing much damage. The other ravaged the countr}" on Clinch I'iver 
almost to its head, and killed a man and wounded others at Black's 
station, now Abingdon, Virginia.' 

At the same time that one part of the Cherokee were raiding the 
Tennessee settlements others came down upon the frontiers of Caro- 
lina and Georgia. On the upper Catawlia they killed many people, liut 
the whites took refuge in the stockade stations, where they defended 
themselves until General Rutherford (16) came to their relief. In 
Georgia an attempt had been made by a small party of Americans U> 
seize Cameron, who lived in one of the Cherokee towns with his Indian 
wife, but, as was to have been expected, the Indians interfered, killing 
several of the party and capturing others, who were afterward tortured 
to death. The Cherokee of the Upper and Middle towns, with some 
Creeks and Tories of the vicinity, led by Cameron himself, at once 
began ravaging the South Carolina border, burning h()us(>s. driving off 
cattle, and killing men, women, and children without distinction, until 
the whole country was in a wild panic, the people abandoning their 
farms to seek safety in the garrisoned forts. On on(> occasion an 
attack by two hundred of the enemy, half of them being Tories, stripped 
and painted like Indians, was repulsed by the timely arrival of a body 
of Americans, who succeeded in capturing thirteen of the Tories. The 
invasion extended into Georgia, where also property was destroyed 
and the inhabitants were driven from their homes.' 

Realizing their common danger, the border states determined to 
strike such a concerted blow at the Cherokee as should render them 
passive while the struggle with England continued. In accord with 
this plan of cooperation the frontier forces were quickly mobilized and 

' Kamsey. TeniU'Ssee. pp. 15l>-lr)9. 1853. 

sRoosevelt, Winning of the West, i, pp. 293-2'J7, 1889. 


in the sumuier of 177(5 four expeditions were equipped froui Viryinia, 
North Caroliuu, South Carolina, and Georgia, to enter the Cherokee 
territory simultaneously from as many different directions. 

In August of that year the ami}' of North Carolina, 2,400 strong, 
under General Grithth Rutherford, crossed the Blue ridge at Swan- 
nanoa gap, and following the main trail almost along the present line 
of the railroad, struck the first Indian town. Stiku'yi. or Stecoee. on 
the Tuckasegee, near the present Whittier. The inhal)itants having 
fled, the soldiers burned the town, together with an unfinished town- 
house ready for the roof, cut down the standing corn, killed one or 
two straggling Indians, and then proceeded on their mission of destruc- 
tion. Every town upon Oconaluftee, Tuckasegee, and the upper 
part of Little Tennessee, and on Hiwassee to below the junction of 
Valley river — thirty -six towns in all — was destroyed in turn, the corn 
cut down or trampled under the hoofs of the stock di'iven into the 
fields for that purpose, and tlie st( )ck itself killed or carried oft'. Before 
such an overwhelming force. supi>lemented as it was by three others 
simultaneously advancing from other directions, the Cherokee made 
but poor resistance, and fled with their women and children into the 
fastnesses of the Great Suioky mountains, leaving their desolated fields 
and smoking towns behind them. As was usual in Indian wars, the 
actual number killed or taken was small, but the destruction of pro- 
perty was beyond calculation. At Sugartown (Kulsetsi'yi, east of the 
present Franklin) one detachment, sent to destroy it, was surprised, 
and escaped only through the aid of another force sent to its rescue. 
Rutherford himself, while proceeding to the destruction of the Hiwas- 
see towns, encountered the Indians drawn up to oppose his progress in 
the Waya gap of the Nantahala mountains, and one of the hardest fights 
of the campaign resulted, the soldiers losing over forty killed and 
wounded, although the Cherokee were finally repulsed (17). One of 
the Indians killed on this occasion was afterward discovered to be a 
woman, painted and armed like a warrior.' 

On September '26 the South Carolina army, 1,860 strong, under 
Colonel Andrew Williamson, and including a number of Catawba 
Indians, eflected a junction with Rutherford's forces on Hiwassee 
river, near the present Murphy, North Carolina. It had been expected 
that Williamson would join the northern army at Cowee, on the Little 
Tennessee, when they would proceed together against the western 
towns, but he had been delayed, and the work of destruction in that 
direction was already completed, so that after a short rest each army 
returned home along the route by which it had come. 

The South Carolina men had centered bv different detachments in 

'See no. 110, "Incidents of Personal Heroism." For Rutherford's expedition, see Moore, Rutherford's 
Expedition, in North Carolina University Magazine. February, 1,S8,S; Swain. Sketch of the Indian War 
in 1776, ibid,. May, 1852, reprinted in Historical Magazine, November, 1867; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 164, 
18.53; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, i, pp. 294-302, 1889, etc. 

19 ETH 01 i 


the lower Cherokee towns about the head of Savannah river, burning 
one town after another, cutting down the peach trees and ripened 
corn, and liaving an occasional brush with the Cherokee, who hung con- 
stantly upon their flanks. At the town of Seneca, near which they 
encountered Cameron with his Indians and Tories, they had destroyed 
six thousand bushels of corn, besides other food stores, after burning all 
the houses, the Indians having retreated after a stout resistance. The 
most serious encounter had taken place at Tomassee, where .several 
whites and sixteen Cherokee were killed, the latter being all scalped 
afterward. Having completed the ruin of the Lower towns, Wil- 
liamson had crossed over Rabun gap and descended into the valley of the 
Little Tennessee to cooperate with Rutherford in the destruction of the 
Middle and Valley towns. As the army advanced every house in every 
settlement met was burned — ninety houses in one settlement alone — and 
detachments were sent into the fields to destroy the corn, of which the 
smallest town was estimated to have two hundred acres, besides pota- 
toes, beans, and orchards of peach trees. The stores of dressed deer- 
skins and other valuables were carried ofl". Everything was swept clean, 
and the Indians who were not killed or taken were driven, 
refugees, into the dark of Nantahala or painfully made their 
way across to the Overhill towns in Tennessee, which were already 
menaced by another invasion from the north.' 

In July, while William.son was engaged on the the upper Savannah, 
a force of two hundred Georgians, under Colonel Samuel Jack, had 
marched in the same direction and succeeded in burning two towns on 
the heads of Chattahoochee and Tugaloo rivers, destroying the corn 
and driving off the cattle, without the loss of a man, the Cherokee 
hiiving apparent)}' fallen l)ack to concentrate for resistance in the 

The Virginia army, about two thousand strong, under Colonel 
William Christian (18). nMidezvoused in August at the Long island 
of the Holston, the regular gathering place on the Tennessee side of 
the mountains. Among them wei-e several hundred men from North 
Carolina, with all who could be spared from' the garrisons on the 
Tennessee side. Paying but little attention to small bodies of Indi- 
ans, who tried to divert attention or to delay progress by flank attacks, 
they advanced steadily, but cautiously, along the great Indian war- 
path (19) toward the crossing of the French Broad, where a strong 
force of Cherokee was reported to be in waiting to dispute their pas- 
sage. Just before reaching the river the Indians sent a Tory trader 

1 For Williamson's expedition, see Ross Journal, with Rockwell's notes, in Historical Magazine, 
October, 1S76; Swain, Sketch o£ the Indian War in 1776, in North Carolina University Magazine for 
May, 185'2. reprinted in Historical Magazine, November, 1867; Jones, Georgia, ii, p. 246 et passim, 
18S3; Ramsey, Tennessee, 163-164, IShS; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, i, pp. 296-303, 1889. 

2 Jones, op.cit.,p. 246: Ramsey, op.cit., p. 163; Roosevelt, op.cit.,p. 295. 

MOONEY] christian's expedition 1771) 51 

with rt tla<^- of truci' to discuss tcriiis. Knowing that his own .strength 
was ovei'whehiiing. Christian allowed the envoy to go through the 
whole camp and then sent him back with the message that there could 
be no terms until the Cherokee towns had been destroyed. Arriving 
at the ford, he kindled tires and made all preparations as if intending 
to camp there for several days. As soon as night fell, however, he 
secretlv drew off half his force and crossed the river lower down, to 
come upon the Indians in their rear. This was a work of great ditfi- 
culty; as the water was so deep that it came up almost to the shoulders 
of the men. while the current was so rapid that they were obliged to 
support each other four abreast to prevent being swept off their feet. 
However, they kept their guns and powder dry. On reaching the 
other side they were surprised to tind no enemy. Disheartened at the 
strength of the invasion, the Indians had fled without even a show of 
resistance. It is piobable that nearly all their men and resources had 
been drawn oft' to oppose the Carolina forces on their eastern border, 
and the few who remained felt themselves unequal to the contest. 

Advancing without opposition. Christian reached the towns on 
Little Tennessee early in November, and, tinding them deserted, pro- 
ceeded to destroy them, one after another, with their outlying fields. 
The few lingering warriors discovered were all killed. In the mean- 
tiuie messages had been sent out to the farther towns, in response to 
which several of their head men came into Christian's camp to treat 
for peace. On their agreement to surrender all the prisoners and 
captured stock in their hands and to cede to the whites all the disputed 
territory occupied by the Tennessee settlements, as soon as represent- 
atives of the whole tribe could be assembled in the spring. Christian 
consented to suspend hostilities and retire without doing further 
injury. An exception was made against Tuskegee and another town, 
which had been concerned in the burning of the boj' taken from 
"Watauga, already noted, and these two were reduced to ashes. The 
sacred "peace town." Echota (:^0). had not been molested. Most of 
the troops were disbanded on their return to the Long island, but a 
part remained and l)uilt Fort Patrick Henry, where they went into 
winter quarters.' 

From incidental notices in narratives written by some of the partici- 
pants, we obtain interesting side-lights on the merciless character of this 
old liorder warfare. In addition to the ordinary destruction of war — the 
burning of towns, the wasting of fruitful fields, and the killing of the 
defenders — we find that every Indian warrior killed was scalped, when 
opportunity permitted; women, as well as men, were shot down and 
afterward "helped to their end"; and prisoners taken were put up at 
auction as slaves when not killed on the spot. Near Tomassee a small 

iFor the Virginia-Tennessee expedition see Roosevelt, Winning of the West, i, pp. 303-305. 1889; 
Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 165-170,1853. 

52 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

piirty of Indians wa;? surrounded and entirely cut off. "Sixteen were 
found dead in the valley when the battle ended. These our men 
scalped." In a personal encounter "a stout Indian engaged a sturdy 
3'oung white man, who was a good bruiser and expert at gouging. 
After l)reaking their guns on each other they laid hold of one another, 
when the cracker had his thumbs instantly in the fellow's eyes, who 
roared and cried 'camih/' — enough, in English. "Damn you," says 
the white man, 'you can never have enough while you are alive.' He 
then threw him down, set his foot upon ins head, and scalped him 
alive; then took up one of the broken guns and knocked out his brains. 
It would have been fun if he had let the latter action alone and sent 
him home without his nightcap, to tell his countrymen how he had 
been treated." Later on some of the same detachment (Williamson's) 
seeing a woman ahead, fired on her and brought her down with two 
serious wounds, but yet able to speak. After getting what informa- 
tion she could give them, through a half-breed interpreter, "the 
informer being unable to tra\'el, some of our men favored her so far 
that they killed her there, to put her out of pain." A few days later 
"a party of Colonel Thomas's regiment. l)eing on a hunt of plundei', 
or some such thing, found an Indian scjuaw and took her prisonel-. she 
being lame, was unable to go with her friends. She was so sullen 
that she would, as an old saying is, neither lead nor drive, and by their 
account she died in their hands; but I suppose they helped her to her 
end." At this place — on the Hiwassee — they found a large town, 
having "upwards of ninety houses, and large quantities of corn,"' and 
"we encamped among the corn, where we had a great plenty of corn, 
peas, beans, potatoes, and hogs," and on the next day "we were 
ordered to assemble in companies to spread through the town to 
destroy, cut down, and burn all the vegetables belonging to our 
heathen enemies, which was no small undertaking, they being so 
plentifully supplied." Continuing to another town, "we engaged in 
our former lal>or, that is, cutting and destroying all things that might 
be of advantage to our enemies. Finding here curious buildings, 
great apple trees, and white-man-likc improvements, these we 
destroyed." ' 

"W^hile crossing over the mountains Rutherford's men approached a 
house belonging to a trader, when one of his negro slaves ran out and 
"was shot by the Reverend James Hall, the chaplain, as he ran, mis- 
taking him for an Indian."^ Soon after they captured two women 
and a bo\'. It was proposed to auction them off at once to the highest 
bidder, and when one of the officers protested that the matter should 
be left to the disposition of Congress, "the greater part swore bloodily 
that if they were not sold for slaves upon the spot they would kill and 

1 Ross Journal, in Historical Magazine, October, 1867. 

2 Swain, Sketch of the Indian War of 1776, in Historical Magazine, November, 1.S67. 


.scalp them imniodiately." The prisoners were accordinglj' sold for 
about twelve hundred dollars.' 

At the AVolf Hills .settlement, now Al)ingdon, Virginia, a party sent 
out from the fort returned with the .scalp.s of eleven warrior.s. Having 
recovered the books which their minister had left behind in his cabin, 
they held a service of prayer for their success, after which the fresh 
scalps were hung upon a pole above the gate of the fort. The liarba- 
rou.s custom of scalping to which the border men had become habitu- 
ated in the earlier wars was practiced upon every occa.sion when 
opportunity presented, at least upon the bodies of warriors, and the 
South Carolina legislature offered a bounty of .seventy -five pounds for 
every warrior'.s scalp, a higher reward, however, being offered for 
prisoners." In spite of all the bitterness which the war aroused there 
seems to be no record of any scalping of Tories or other whites by the 
Americans (21). 

The effect upon the Cherokee of this irruption of more than six 
thou.sand armed enemies into their territory was well nigh paralyzing. 
More than fiftv of their towns had been burned, their oi-chards cut 
down, their fields wasted, their cattle and horses killed or driven off, 
their stores of buckskin and other per.sonal property plundered. 
Hundreds of their people had been killed or had died of starvation 
and exposure, others were prisoners in the hand.s of the Americans, 
and some had been sold into slavery. Those who had escaped were 
fugitives in the mountains, living upon acorns, chestnuts, and wild 
game, or were refugees with the' From the Virginia line to 
the Chattahoochee the chain of destruction was complete. For the 
present at least any further resistance was hopeless, and they were 
compelled to sue for peace. 

By a treaty concluded at De Witts Corners in South Carolina on May 
20. 1777, the first ever made with the new states, the Lower Cherokee 
surrendered to the conqueror all of their remaining territory in South 
Carolina, excepting a narrow strip along the western boundary. Just 
two months later, on July 20, by treaty at the Long i.sland. as had been 
arranged by Christian in the preceding fall, the ^Middle and Upper 
Cherokee ceded everything east of the Blue ridge, together with all 
the disputed territory on the Watauga, Nolichucky, upper Holston, 
and New rivers. By this second treaty also Captain James Robertson 
was appointed agent for the Cherokee, to reside at Echota, to watch 
their movements, recover any captured property, and prevent their 
correspondence with persons unfriendly to the American cause. As 
the Federal government was not j'et in jDerfect operation these treaties 

1 Moore's narrative, in North Carolina University Magazine, February, 1888. 

■ Roosevelt. Winning of the West, i, pp. 285, 290, 303, 1889. 

3 About five hundred sought refuge with Stuart, the British Indian superintendent in Florida, 
where they were fed for some time at the expense of the British government (Jones, Georgia, ii, 
p. 216, 18S3). 

54 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

were negotiated by commissioners from the four states adjoining the 
Cherokee country, the territory thus acquired being parceled out to 
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.' 

While the Cherokee Nation had thus been compelled to a treaty of 
peace, a very consideralile portion of the tribe was irreconcilably hos- 
tile to the Americans and refused to be a party to the late cessions, 
especially on the Tennessee side. Although Ata-kullakulla sent word 
that he was ready with five hundred young warriors to fight for the 
Americans against the English or Indian enemy whenever called upon. 
Dragging-canoe (Tsi3ax-gunsi'ni), who had led the opposition against 
the Watauga settlements, declared that he would hold fast to Cameron's 
talk and continue to make war upon those who had taken his hunting 
grounds. Under his leadership some hundreds of the most warlike 
and implacable warriors of the tribe, with their families, drew out 
from the Upper and Middle towns and moved far down upon Tennes- 
see river, where they established new settlements on Chickamauga 
creek, in the neighborhood of the present Chattanooga. The locality 
appears to have been already a rendezvous for a sort of Indian ban- 
ditti, who sometimes plundered boats disabled in the rapids at this 
point while descending the river. Under the name "'Chickamaugas'' 
they soon became noted for their uncompromising and never-ceasing 
hostility. In 1782, in consequence of the destruction of their towns 
by Sevier and Campbell, the^^ abandoned this location and moved 
farther down the river, where they Imilt what were afterwards known 
as the ''five lower towns," viz, Running Water, Nickajack, Long 
Island. Crow town, and Lookout Mountain town. These were all on 
the extreme western Cherokee frontier, near where Tennessee river 
crosses the state line, the first three being within the present limits of 
Tennessee, while Lookout Mountain town and Crow town were 
respectively in the adjacent corners of Georgia and Alabama. Their 
population was recruited from Creeks, Shawano, and white Tories, until 
they were estimated at a thousand warriors. Here they remained, 
a constant thorn in the side of Tennessee, until their towns were 
destroyed in 179-i.'' 

The expatriated Lower Cherokee also removed to the farthest west- 
tern border of their tribal territory, where they might hope to be 
secure from encroachment for a time at least, and built new towns for 
themselves on the upper waters of the Coosa. Twenty years after- 

1 Royce. Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 1.50 and map, 1888: Ramsey, 
Tennessee, pp. 172-174, 18.53; Stevens, Georgia, ii, p. 144. 18.59: Roosevelt. Winning of tlie West. i.p. 
306, 1889. 

■ Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 171-177, 185-186, 610 et passim: Royce, op. cit., p. 150; Campbell letter, 1782, 
and other documents in Virginia State Papers, iii, pp. 271, 571, 599, 18.83, and iv. pp. US, 280, 1884; 
Blount letter, January 14, 1793, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, p. 431, 1832. Campbell says 
they abandoned their first location on account of the invasion from Tennessee. Governor Blount 
says they left on account of witches. 


ward Hawkin.s found the population of Willstown, in extreme western 
Georgia, entirely made up of refugees from the Savannah, and the 
children so familiar from their parents with stories of Williamson's 
invasion that they ran screaming- from the face of a white man (22).^ 

In April, 1777, the legislature of North Carolina, of which Tennes- 
see was still a part, authorized bounties of land in the new territorj^ to 
all able-bodied men who should volunteer against the remaining hostile 
Cherokee. Under this act companies of rangers were kept along the 
exposed border to cat off raiding parties of Indians and to protect the 
steady advance of the pioneers, with the result that the Tennessee set- 
tlements enjoyed a brief respite and were even able to send some assist- 
ance to their brethren in Kentucky, who were soi'ely pressed bj' the 
Shawano and other northern tribes.'^ 

The war between England and the colonics still continued, however, 
and the British government was unremitting in its effort to secure the 
active assistance of the Indians. With the Creeks raiding the Georgia 
and South Carolina frontier, and with a British agent. Colonel Brown, 
and a number of Tor}' refugees I'egularlj' domiciled at Chickamauga,' 
it was impossible for the Chei"okce long to remain quiet. In the 
spring of 1770 the warning came from Robertson, stationed at Echota, 
that three hundred warriors from Chickamauga had started against the 
back settlements of North Carolina. Without a day's delaj' the states 
of North Carolina (including Tennessee) and Virginia united to send a 
strong force of volunteers against them under command of Colonels 
Shelby and Montgomery. Descending the Holston in April in a fleet 
of canoes built for the occasion, thej' took the Chickamauga towns so 
completely b}' surprise that the few wari'iors remaining fled to the 
mountains without attempting to give battle. Several were killed, 
Chickamauga and the outlying villages were burned, twenty thousand 
liushels of corn were destroyed and large numbers of horses and cattle 
captured, together with a great quantity of goods sent b}- the British 
Governor Hamilton at Detroit for distribution to the Indians. The 
success of this expedition frustrated the execution of a project by 
Hamilton for uniting all the northern and southern Indians, to be 
assisted by British regulars, in a concerted attack along the whole 
American frontier. On learning, through runners, of the l)low that 
had lief alien them, the Chickamauga warriors gave up all idea cjf 
invading the settlements, and returned to their wasted villages.* They, 
as well as the Creeks, however, kept in constant communication with 

^ Hawkins, manuscript journal. 17%, witli (ieorgia Historical Society. 

-Ramsey. Tennessee, pp. 174-178, 1S.53. 

^Campbell letter, 17S'2, Virginia State Papers, in, p, 271, 1SS3. 

^ Ramsey, op, cit, pp. 18(3-188: Rooseyelt. Winning of the West, ii, pp. 236-238, 1889. Ramsey's state- 
ments, chiefly on Haywood's authority, of the strength of the e.xpedition, the number of warriors 
killed, etc,, are so evidently overdrawn that they are here omitted. 

56 MYTHS OV THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

the British commander in Savannah. In this year also a delegation of 
Cherokee visited the Ohio towns to otter condolences on the death of 
the noted Delaware chief, White-eyes. ^ 

In the early spring of 1780 a large company of emigrants under 
Colonel John Donelson descended the Holston and the Tennessee to 
the Ohio, whence they ascended the Cumberland, effected a junction 
with another party under Captain James Robertson, which had just 
arrived bj' a toilsome overland route, and made the tirst settlement on 
the present site of Nashville. In passing the Chickamauga towns they 
had run the gauntlet of the hostile Cherokee, who pursued them for a 
considerable distance beyond the whirlpool known as the Suck, where 
the river breaks through the moiuitain. The family of a man named 
Stuart being infected with the smallpox, his boat dropped behind, and 
all on board, twenty-eight in luunljer, were killed or taken l)y the 
Indians, their cries being distinctly heard by their friends ahead who 
were luiable to help them. Another boat having run upon the rocks, 
the three women in it, one of whom had liecome a mother the night 
before, threw the cargo into the river, and then, jumping into the 
water, succeeded in pushing the boat into the current while the hus- 
band of one of them kept the Indians at bay with his rifle. The infant 
was killed in the confusion. Three cowards attempted to escape, 
witiiout thought of their companions. One was drowned in the river; 
the other two were captured and carried to Chickamauga, where one 
was burned and the other was ransomed by a trader. The rest went 
on their way to found the capital of a new commonwealth.^ As if in 
retributive justice, the smallpox iiroke out in the Chickamauga band in 
consequence of the capture of Stuarfs family, causing the death of 
a great number.^ 

The British having reconcjuered Georgia and South Carolina and 
destroyed all resistance in the south, earlj^ in 1780 Cornwallis, with his 
subordinates, Ferguson and the merciless Tarleton, prepared to invade 
North Carolina and sweeps the country northward to Virginia. The 
Creeks under McGillivray (23), and a number of the Cherokee under 
various local chiefs, together with the Tories, at once joined his 

While the Tennessee backwoodsmen were gathered at a barbecue to 
contest for a shooting prize, a paroled prisoner brought a demand 
from Ferguson for their submission; with the threat, if they r(>fused, 
that he would cross the mountains, hang their leaders, kill every man 
found in arms and burn every settlement. Up to this time the moun- 
tain men had confined their eti'ort to holding in check the Indian 
enemy, but now, with the fate of the Revolution at stake, they felt 

1 Heckewelder, Indian Nations, p, 327, reprint of 187fi. 

sDonelson's Journal, etc., in Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 197-203, 1853; Roosevelt. Winning of the West, 
H, pp. 321-340, 1889. 
^Ibid., II, p. 337. 


that tho time for wider action had coine. They resolved not to await 
the attack, but to anticipate it. Without order or authority from 
Congress, without tents, commissary, or supplies, the Indian fighters 
of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee quickly assembled at the 
Sycamore shoals of the Watauga to the number of about one thousand 
men under Campbell of Virginia, Sevier (24) and Shelby of Tennessee, 
and McDowell of North Carolina. Crossing the mountains, they met 
Ferguson at Kings mountain in South Carolina on October 7, ITso, 
and gained the decisive victory that turned the tide of the Revolution 
in the South.' 

It is in place here to quote a description of these men in buckskin, 
white by blood and tradition, but half Indian in habit and instinct, 
who, in half a century of continuous conflict, drove back Creeks, 
Cherokee, and Shawano, and with one hand on the plow and the other 
on the rifle redeemed a wilderness and carried civilization and free 
government to the banks of the Mississippi. 

"They were led by leaders they trusted, they were wonted to Indian 
warfare, the^' were skilled as horsemen and marksmen, they knew how 
to face evei'v kind of danger, hardship, and privation. Their fringed 
and tasseled hunting shirts were girded by bead-worked belts, and the 
trappings of their horses were stained red and yellow. On their heads 
they wore caps of coon skin or mink skin, with the tails hanging- 
down, or else felt hats, in each of which was thrust a buck tail or a 
sprig of evergreen. Every man carried a small-bore rifle, a toma- 
hawk, and a scalping knife. A very few of the officers had swords, 
and there was not a bayonet nor a tent in the army.''' 

To strike the blow at Kings mountain the border men had been 
forced to leave their own homes unprotected. Even before they could 
cross the mountains on their return the news came that the Cherokee 
were again out in force for the destruction of the upper settlements, 
and their numerous small bands were killing, burning, and plundering 
in the usual Indian fasiiion. AVithout loss of time the Holston settle- 
ments of Virginia and Tennessee at once raised seven hundred mounted 
riflemen to march against the enemy, the command being assigned to 
Colonel Arthur Campbell of Virginia and Colonel John Sevier of 

Sevier started first with nearly three hundred men, going south 
along the great Indian war trail and driving small parties of the 
Cherokee before him, until he crossed the French Broad and came 
upon seventy of them on Bovds creek, not far from the present Sevier- 
ville, on December 16, 1780. Ordering his men to spread out into a 
half circle, he sent ahead some scouts, who, by an attack and feigned 
retreat, managed to draw the Indians into the trap thus prepared, 

1 Roosevelt, Winring of the West, ii, pp. 241-294, 1889; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 208-249, 1853. 
'Roosevelt, op. cit., p. 256. 

58 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.19 

with the result that they left thirteen dead and all their plunder, while 
not one of the white.s was even wounded.' 

A few daJ^s later Sevier was joined by Campbell with the remainder 
of the force. Advancing to the Little Tennessee with but slight 
resistance, they crossed three miles below Echota while the Indians 
were watching for them at the ford above. Then dividing into two 
bodies, they proceeded to destroy the towns along the river. The 
chiefs sent peace talks through Nancy Ward, the Cherokee woman 
who had so befriended the whites in 1776, but to these overtures 
Campbell returned an evasive answer until he could first destroy 
the towns on lower Hiwassee, whose warriors had been particularlj' 
hostile. Continuing southward, the troops destroj'ed these towns, 
Hiwassee and Chestuee, with all their stores of provisions, finishing 
the work on the last day of the year. The Indians had fled before 
them, keeping spies out to watch their movements. One of these, 
while giving signals from a ridge b}' beating a drum, was shot by the 
whites. The soldiers lost only one man, who was buried in an Indian 
cabin which was then burned down to conceal the trace of the inter- 
ment. The I'eturn march was begun on New Year's day. Ten prin- 
cipal towns, including Echota, the capital, had been destroyed, besides 
several smaller villages, containing in the aggregate over one thousand 
houses, and not less than iiftj' thousand bushels of corn and large stores 
of other provision. Everything not needed on the return march 
was committed to the flames or otherwise wasted. Of all the towns 
west of the mountains onh^ Talassee, and one or two about Chicka- 
mauga or on the headwaters of the Coosa, escaped. The whites had 
lost only one man killed and two wounded. Before the return a 
proclamation was sent to the Cherokee chiefs, warning them to make 
peace on penalty of a worse visitation." 

Some Cherokee who met them at F^chota. on the return march, to 
talk of peace, brought in and surrendered several white prisoners.^ 
One reason for the slight resistance made by the Indians was prob- 
ably the fact that at the very time of the invasion many of their 
warriors were a\va_y, raiding on the Upper Holston and in the neigh- 
borhood of Cumberland gap.' 

Althougli the Upper or Overhill Cherokee were thus humbled, 
those of the middle towns, on the head waters of Little Tennessee, still 
continued to send out parties against the back settlements. Sevier 

1 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, ii. pp. 298-300, 1889; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 261-264, 1853. There 
is great discrepancy in the various accounts of this fight, from the attempts of interested historians 
to magnify the size of the victory. One writer gives the Indians 1,000 warriors. Here, as elsewhere, 
Roosevelt is a more reliable guide, his statements being usually from official documents. 

- Roosevelt, op. cit., pp. 300-304: Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 2C.5-2C8; Campbell, report, January 16, 1781, in 
Virginia St^ite Papers, i, p. 436. Haywood and others after him make the expedition go as far as 
Chickamauga and Coosa river, but Campbell's report e.vpressly denies this. 

sRam.sey, op. cit., p. 266. 

'Roosevelt, op. cit,, p. 302. 


determined to make a sudden stroke upon them, and early in ]\Iareh 
of the same j'ear, ITSl, with loO picked horsemen, he started tu cross 
the Great Sraokj- mountains over trails never before attempted by 
white men. and so rough in places that it was hardly possible to lead 
horses. Falling' unexpectedly upon Tiickasegee. near the present 
Webster, North Carolina, he took the town completely 1)y surprise, 
killino- several warriors and capturing- a number of women and chil- 
dren. Two other principal towns and three smaller settlements were 
taken in the same way. with a c[uantitv of provision and about 200 
horses, the Indians being entirely off their guard and unprepared to 
make any effective resistance. Having spread destruction through 
the middle towns, with the loss to himself of only one man killed and 
another wounded, he was off' again as suddenly as he had come, moving- 
so rapidly that he was well on his homeward way before the Cherokee 
could gather for pursuit.' At the same time a smaller Tennessee expe- 
dition went out to disperse the Indians who had been making head- 
quarters in the mountains about Cumberland gap and harassing travelers 
along the road to Kentucky." Numerous indications of Indians were 
found, but none were met, although the country was scoured for a con- 
siderable distance.^ In summer the Cherokee made another incursion, 
this time upon the new settlements on the French Broad, near the present 
Newport, Tennessee. With a hundred horsemen Sevier fell suddenly 
upon their camp on Indian creek, killed a dozen warriors, and scat- 
tered the rest.* By these successive blows the Cherokee were so worn 
out and dispirited that they were forced to sue for peace, and in mid- 
summer of 1781 a treaty of peace — doubtful though it might be — was 
negotiated at the Long island of the Holston." The respite came just 
in time to allow the Tennesseeans to send a detachment against Corn- 

Although there was truce in Tennessee, there was none in the South. 
In November of this year the Cherokee made a sudden inroad upon 
the Georgia settlements, destroying everything in their way. In 
retaliation a force under General Pickens mai'ched into their country, 
destroying their towns as far as Valley river. Finding further prog- 
ress blocked bj- heavy snows and learning through a prisoner that the 
Indians, who had retired before him, were collecting to oppose him in 
the mountains, he withdrew, as he says, "through absolute necessity,"' 
having accomplished very little of the result expected. Shortly after- 
ward the Cherokee, together with some Creeks, again invaded Georgia, 

1 Campbell, letter, March 28, 1781, in Virginia State Papers, i, p. 602. 1S7.5; Martin, letter, March 31, 1781, 
ibid., p. 613; Ramsey. Tennessee, p. 268, IS.W; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, ii, pp. 305-307, 1S,S9. 

sCampbell, letter, March 28, 1781, in Virginia State Papers, i, p. 602, 187.5. 

3Ramsey, op. cit.. p. 269. 

*Ibid.; Roosevelt, op. cit.. p. 307. 

5 Ibid.: Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 267, 2(')S. The latter authority seems to make it 17.82, which is evidently 
a mistake. 

60 MYTHS OF THK rHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

but were met on Ocouee river and driven back by a detacliment of 
American troops.^ 

The Overhill Cherokee, on lower Little Tennessee, seem to have been 
trjdng in good faith to hold to the peace esta))lished at the Long 
island. Early in 1781 the government land office had been closed to 
further entries, not to be opened again until peace had been declared 
with England, but the borderers paid little attention to the law in 
such matters, and the rage for speculation in Tennessee lands grew 
stronger daily." In the fall of 1782 the chief, Old Tassel of Echota, 
on behalf of all the friendly chiefs and towns, sent a pathetic talk 
to the governors of Virginia and North Carolina, complaining that 
in spite of all their efforts to remain cjuiet the settlers were constantly 
encroaching upon them, and had built houses within a day's walk of 
the Cherokee towns. They asked that all those whites who had settled 
beyond the boundary last established should be removed.' As was 
to have been expected, this was never done. 

The Chickamauga liand, however, and those farther to the south, 
were still bent on war, being actively encouraged in that disposition 
by the British agents and refugee loyalists living among them. They 
continued to raid both north and south, and in September, 1782, 
Sevier, with 200 mounted men, again made a descent upon their towns, 
destroying several of their settlements a])out Chickamauga creek, and 
penetrating as far as the important town of Ustana'li, on the head- 
waters of Coosa river, near the present Calhoun, Georgia. This also 
he destroyed. Every warrior found was killed, together with a white 
man found in one of the towns, whose papers showed that he had been 
active in inciting the Indians to war. On the return the expedition 
halted at Echota. where new assurances were received from the 
friendly element.* In the meantime a Georgia expedition of over 400 
men, under General Pickens, had lieen ravaging the Cherokee towns 
in the same quarter, with such effect that the Cherokee were forced to 
purchase peace by a further surrender of territory on the head of 
Broad river in Georgia.'* This cession was concluded at a treaty of 
peace held with the Georgia commissioners at Augusta in the next 
year, and was conffrmed latei' by the Creeks, who claimed an interest 
in the same lands, but was never accepted by either as the voluntary 
act of their tribe as a whole." 

By the preliminary treaty of Paris, November 30, 1782, the long 
Revolutionary struggle for independence was brought to a close, and the 
Cherokee, as well as the other tribes, seeing the hopelessness of con- 

1 Stevens, Georgia, ii, pp. 282-2a5, 1859; Jones, Georgia, ii, p. 503, 1883. 

= Roosevelt, Winning of the West, ii, p. 311, 1889. 

a Old Tassel's talk, in Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 271, 1853, and in Roosevelt, op. cit.,p. 316. 

'Ramsey, op. eit., p. 272; Roosevelt, op. cit., p. 317 et passim. 

'Stevens, op. cit., pp. 411-415. 

oRoyce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 151, 1888. 


tinning the contest alone, began to sue for peace. By seven years of 
constant warfare they had l)een reduced to the lowest depth of miser}', 
almost indeed to the verge of extinction. Over and over again their 
towns had been laid in ashes and their fields wasted. Their best war- 
riors had been killed and their women and children had sickened and 
starved in the mountains. Their great war chief, Oconostota, who 
had led them to victory in 1780, was now a broken old man, and in 
this year, at Echota, formally resigned his office in favor of his son, 
The Terrapin. To complete their brimming cup of misery the small- 
pox again broke out among them in 1783.' Deprived of the assistance 
of their former white allies they wee left to their own cruel fate, 
the last feehle resistance of the mountain warriors to the advancing 
tide of settlement came to an end with the burning of Cowee town," and 
the way was left open to an arrangement. In the same year the North 
Cai'olina legislature appointed an agent for the Cherokee and made 
regulations for the government of traders among them.'' 

Relations with the United States 


Passing over several unsatisfactory and generallv abortive negotia- 
tions conducted by the various state governments in 1783-8-i, includ- 
ing the treaty of Augusta alread}' noted,* we come to the turning 
point in the history of the Cherokee, their first treaty with the new 
government of the ITnited States for peace and boundary' delimitation, 
concluded at Hopewell (25) in South Carolina on November 28, 1785. 
Nearlj^ one thousand Cherokee attended, the commissioners for the 
United States lieing Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (26). of North Caro- 
lina; General Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina; Cherokee Agent 
Joseph Martin, of Tennessee, and Colonel Lachlan Mcintosh, of 
Georgia. The instrument was signed by thirty-seven chiefs and prin- 
cipal men, representing nearl}' as man\' dift'erent towns. The negotia- 
tions occupied ten days, being complicated by a protest on the part of 
North Carolina and Georgia against the action of the government com- 
missioners in confii-ming to the Indians some lands which had already 
been appropriated as bounty lands for state troops without the consent 
of the Cherokee. On the other hand the Cherokee complained that 
3,0()() white settlers were at that moment in occupancy of unceded land 
between the Holston and the French Broad. In spite of their protest 
these intruders were allowed to remain, although the territory was 
not acquired by trea.;y until some years later. As finally arranged 
the treat}' left the Middle and Upper towns, and those in the vicinity 

1 See documents in Virginia Sthte Papers, ill, pp. 234, 398, 527, 1883. 

2 Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 280, 1853. ^ Ibid., p. 27*5. 

*See Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., yip. 1.^1, 152; Ramsey, op. cit., p. 299et passim. 

62 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

of Coosa river, undi.sturbed, while the whole country east of the Blue 
ridge, with the Watauga aid Cumberiand settlements, was given over 
to the whites. The general boundary followed the dividing ridge 
between Cumberland river and the more southern waters of the Ten- 
nessee eastward to the junction of the two forks of Holston, near the 
present Kingsport, Tennessee, thence southward to the Blue ridge 
and southwestward to a point not far from the present Atlanta, 
Georgia, thence westward to the Coosa river and northwestward to a 
creek running into Tennessee river at the western line of Alabama, 
thence northward with the Tennessee river to the beginning. The 
lands south and west of these lines were recognized as belonging to the 
Creeks and Chickasaw. Hostilities were to cease and the Cherokee 
were taken under the pi'otection of the United States. The proceed- 
ings ended with the distribution of a few presents.' 

While the Hopewell treaty defined the relations of the Cherokee to 
the general government and furnished a safe t)asis for future negotia- 
tion, it yet failed to bring conjplete peace and security. Thousands 
of intruders were still settled on Indian lands, and minor aggressions 
and reprisals were continually occurring. The Creeks and the north- 
ern tribes were still hostile and remained so for some years later, and 
their warriors, cooperating with those of the implai'able Chickamauga 
towns, continued to annoy the exposed settlements, particularly on the 
Cumberland. The British had withdrawn from the South, tnit the 
Spaniards and French, who claimed the lower Mississippi and the 
Gulf region and had their trading posts in west Tennessee, took every 
opportunity to encourage the spirit of hostilit^y to the Americans.^ 
But the spirit of the Cherokee nation was broken and the Holston 
settlements were now too surely established to he destroyed. 

The Cumberland settlements founded by Robertson and Donelson in 
the winter of 1779-80 had had but short respite. Earlj' in spring the 
Indians — Cherokee. Creeks. Chickasaw, and northern Indiiins — had 
begun a series of attacks with the design of driving these intruders 
from their lands, and thenceforth for years no man's life was safe out- 
side the stockade. The long list of settlers shot down at work or while 
hunting in the woods, of stock stolen and property destroyed, while 
of sorrowful interest to those most nearly concerned, is too tedious for 
recital here, and only leading events need be chronicled. Detailed 
notice may be found in the works of local historians. 

On the night of January 15, 1781, a band of Indians stealthily 
approached Freeland's station and had even succeeded in unfastening 

* Indian Treaties, p. Set passim, ].'*37. For a full discussion of the Hopewell treaty, from official docu- 
ments, sec Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann, Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. l-i2-l,5K, l.sw, with map; 
Treaty Journal, etc., American .State Papers; Indian AlTairs, i, pp. 3,8—14, 1,S32; also Stevens, Georgia, 
II, pp. 417-429, 18.59: Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 336. 337, 18.53: see also the map accompanying this work. 

2 Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 459-461; Agent Martin and Hopewell commissioners, ibid., pp. 318-336; 
Bledsoe and Robertson letter, ibid., p. 465; Roosevelt. Winning of the West, ii, p. 368, 1899. 


the .strongly barred o-ate when Ro))ert!son, being awake inside, heard 
the noise and sprang up just in time to rouse the garrison and ))eat otf 
the assailants, who continued to tire through the loopholes after they 
had been driven out of the fort. Only two Americans were killed, 
although the escape was a narrow one.' 

About three months later, on April '2, a large body of Cherokee 
approached the fort at Nashville (then called Nashborough, or simply 
'"the Bluff"), and by sending a decoy ahead succeeded in drawing a 
large part of the garrison into an ambush. ' It seemed that they would 
be cut off, as the Indians were between them and the fort, when those 
inside loosed the dogs, which rushed so furiously upon the Indians 
that the latter found work enough to defend themselves, and were 
finally forced to retire, carrying with them, however, five American 
scalps. - 

The attacks continued thi'oughout this and the next year to such an 
extent that it seemed at one time as if the Cumberland settlements 
must be abandoned, but in June, 17S3, commissioners from \'irginia 
and North Carolina arranged a treaty near Nashville (Nashborough) 
with chiefs of the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Creeks. Tuis treaty, 
although it did not completely stop the Indian inroads, at least greatly 
diminished them. Thereafter the Chickasaw remained friendh', and 
only the Cherokee and Creeks continued to make trouble.' 

The valley towns on Hiwassee, as well as those of Chickamauga, 
seem to have continued hostile. In 1786 a large body of their warriors, 
led bj- the mixed-blood chief, John Watts, raided the new settlements 
in the vicinit}' of the present Knoxville. Tennessee. In retaliation 
Sevier again marched his volunteers across the mountain to the vallej' 
towns and destroyed three of them, killing a number of warriors: but he 
retired on learning that the Indians were gathering to give him l)attle.* 
In the springof thisvear Agent ]\Iartin, stationed at Echota. had made 
a tour of inspection of the Cherokee towns and reported that they 
were generally friendly and anxious for peace, with the exception of 
the Chickamauga band, under Dragging-canoe, who, acting with the 
hostile Creeks and encouraged l)v the French and Spaniards, were 
making preparations to destroy the Cumberland settlements. Not- 
withstanding the friendly professions of the others, a partv sent out 
to ol)tain satisfaction for the nuirdor of four Cherokee by the Tennes- 
seeans had come back with fifteen white scalps, and sent word to Sevier 
that they wanted peace, but if the whites wanted war they would get 
it." With lawless men on both sides it is evident that peace was in 
jeopardy. In August, in consecjuence of further killing and reprisals, 
commissioners of the new "state of Franklin," as Tennessee was now 

1 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, ii, p. 353, 1.S89. 
2 Ibid., p. 3.55, 1889: Ramsey. Tennessee, pp. 452-454, 1853. 
8 Ibid., pp. 358-366. 1889. * Ibid., p. 341. 1853. 

'Martin letter of May 11, 1786, ibid., p. 342. 

64 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

called, concluded a negotiation, locally known a.s the "treaty of 
Coyatee," with the chiefs of the Overhill towns. In spite of references 
to peace, love, and brotherly friendship, it is very doubtful if the era 
of good will was in any wise hastened by the so-called treaty, as the 
Tennesseeans. who had just burned another Indian town in reprisal for 
the killing of a white man, announced, without mincing words, that 
they had been given by North Carolina — against which state. V)y the 
wav, they were then in organized rebellion — the whole country north 
of the Tennessee river as far west as the Cumberland mountain, and 
that they intended to take it "by the sword, which is the best right to 
all countries." As the whole of this country was within the limits of 
the territory solemnly guaranteed to the Cherokee by the Hopewell 
treaty only the year before, the chiefs simply replied that Congress 
had said nothing to them on the subject, and so the matter rested.' 
The theorjr of state's rights was too complicated for the Indian under- 

While this conflict between state and federal authoritj' continued, 
with the Cherokee lands as the prize, there could be no peace. In 
March, 1787, a letter from Echota, apparently written by Agent 
Martin, speaks of a recent expedition against the Cherokee towns, 
and the confusion and alarm among them in consequence of the daily 
encroachments of the "Franklinites"' or Tennesseeans, who had pro- 
ceeded to make good their promise by opening a land office for the sale 
of all the lands southward to Tennessee river, including even a part of the 
beloved town of Echota. At the same time messengers were coming 
to the Cherokee from traders in the foreign interest, telling them that 
England, France, and Spain had combined against the Americans and 
urging them with promises of guns and anununition to join in the 
war.- As a result each further advance of the Tennessee settlements, 
in detiance as it was of any recognized treaty, was stubbornly con- 
tested by the Indian owners of the land. The record of these encoun- 
ters, extending over a period of several years, is too tedious for recital. 
"Could a diagram be drawn, accurately designating ever}' spot sig- 
nalized by an Indian massacree, surprise, or depredation, or courageous 
attack, defense, pursuit, or victory l)y the whites, or station or fort 
or battlefield, or personal encounter, the whole of that section of 
country would be studded over with delineations of such incidents. 
Every spring, everj^ ford, every path, every farm, every trail, every 
house nearly, in its first settlement, was once the scene of danger, 
exposure, attack, exploit, achievement, death. "^ The end was the 
winning of Tennessee. 

In the meantime the inroads of the Creeks and their Chickamauga 

• Reports of Tennessee commissioners and replies by Cherokee chiefs, etc., 1786, In Riimsey, Tennes- 
see, pp. 343-346, 1863. 
= Martin (?) letter of March 2o, 1787, ibid., p. 3.59. 
3 Ibid., p. 370. 


allies upon the Georgia frontier and the Cumberland .settlements 
around Nashville became so threatening that measures were taken for 
a joint campaign by the combined forces of Georgia and Tennessee 
("Franklin"). The enterprise came to naught through the interfer- 
ence of the federal authorities.^ All through the year 1788 we hear 
of attacks and reprisals along the Tennessee border, although the 
agent for the Chei'okee declared in his official report that, with the 
exception of the Chickamauga band, the Indians wished to be at 
peace if the whites would let them. In March two expeditions under 
Sevier and Kennedy set out against the towns in the direction of the 
French Broad. In May several persons of a family named Kirk were 
murdered a few miles south of Knoxville. In retaliation Sevier 
raised a large party and marching against a town on Hiwassee river — - 
one of those which had been destroyed some years before and rebuilt — • 
and burned it, killing a number of the inhabitants in the river while 
they were trying to escape. He then turned, and proceeding to the 
towns on Little Tennessee burned several of them also, killing a num- 
ber of Indians. Here a small party of Indians, including Abraham 
and Tassel, two well-known friendly chiefs, was brutally massacred 
by one of the Kirks, no one interfering, after they had voluntarily 
come in on request of one of the officers. This occurred during the 
temporary absence of Sevier. Another expedition under Captain 
Fayne was drawn into an ambuscade at Citico town and lost several 
in killed and wounded. The Indians pursued the survivors almost to 
Knoxville, attacking a small station near the present Maryville by 
the way. They were driven off by Sevier and others, who in turn 
invaded the Indian settlements, crossing the mountains and penetra- 
ting as far as the valley towns on Hiwassee, hastily retiring as they 
found the Indians gathering in their front. ^ In the same summer 
another expedition was organized against the Chickamauga towns. 
The chief command was given to General Martin, who left White's 
fort, now Knoxville, with four hundred and fifty men and made a 
rapid march to the neighborhood of the present Chattanooga, where 
the main force encamped on the site of an old Indian settlement. A 
detachment sent ahead to surprise a town a few miles farther down 
the river was fired upon and driven back, and a general engagement 
took place in the narrow pass between the bluff and the river, with 
such disastrous results that three captains were killed and the men 
so badly demoralized that they refused to advance. Martin was 
compelled to turn back, after burying the dead officers in a large 
townhouse, which was then burned down to conceal the grave. ^ 

In October a large party of Cherokee and Creeks attacked Gilles- 
pie's station, south of the present Knoxville. The small garrison was 

lEamsey, Tennessee, pp. 393-399, 1853. -Ibid., pp. 417-123, l.s.53. 

^Ibid., pip. 517-519, and Brown*.s narrative, ibid., p. 515. 

19 ETH— 01 5 

66 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

overpowered after a short resistance, and twenty-eight persons, includ- 
ing several women and children, were killed. The Indians left behind 
a letter signed by four chiefs, including John Watts, expressing 
regret for what they called the accidental killing of the women and 
children, reminding the whites of their own treacherj' in killing 
Abraham and the Tassel, and detiantly concluding, "When you move 
off the land, then we will make peace." Other exposed stations were 
attacked, until at last Sevier again mustered a force, cleared the 
enemy from the frontier, and pursued the Indians as far as their 
towns on the head waters of Coosa river, in such vigoi-ous fashion that 
they were compelled to ask for terms of peace and agree to a surrender 
of prisoners, which was accomplished at Coosawatee town, in upper 
Georgia, in the following April.' 

Among the captives thus restored to their friends were Joseph 
Brown, a boy of sixteen, with his two younger sisters, who, with 
several others, had been taken at Nickajack town while descending 
the Tennessee in a flatboat nearlj- a 3'ear before. His father and the 
other men of the party, about ten in all, had been killed at the time, 
while the mother and several other children were carried to \arious 
Indian towns, some of them going to the Creeks, who had aided the 
Cherokee in the capture. Young Brown, whose short and simple 
narrative is of vivid interest, was at first condemned to death, but was 
rescued by a white man living in the town and was afterward adopted 
into the family of the chief, in spite of the warning of~ an old Indian 
woman that if allowed to live he would one day guide an army to 
destroy them. The warning was strangely prophetic, for it was 
Brown himself who guided the expedition that iinally rooted out the 
Chickamauga towns a few years later. When rescued at Coosawatee 
he was in Indian costume, with shirt, breechcloth, scalp lock, and 
holes bored in his ears. His little sister, five years old, had become 
so attached to the Indian woman who had adopted her, that she 
refused to go to her own mother and had to be pulled along by force. ^ 
The mothei- and another of the daughters, who had been taken by the 
Creeks, were afterwards ransomed by McGillivray. head chief of the 
Creek Nation, who restored them to their friends, generously refusing 
any compensation for his kindness. 

An arrangement had Ijeen made with the Chickasaw, in 1783, by 
which the}' surrendered to the Cumberland settlement their own claim 
to the lands from the Cumberland river south to the dividing ridge of 
Duck river.' It was not, however, until the treaty of Hopewell, two 
years later, that the Cherokee surrendered their claim to the same 
region, and even then the Chickamauga warriors, with their allies, the 

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 515, 519. 

■ Brown's narrative, etc., ibid., pp. 508-516. 

3 Ibid., pp. 459, 489. 


hostile Creeks and Shawano, refused to at'knowledge the cession and 
eontiiiiied their attaeks, with the avowed purpose of destroying the new 
settU'ments. Until the final running of the boundary- line, in 1T!»7, 
Spain claimed all the territorj^ west of the mountains and south of 
Cmnberland river, and her agents were accused of stirring up the 
Indians against the Americans, even to the extent of offering rewards 
for American scalps.' One of these raiding parties, which had killed 
the lirother of Captain Robertson, was tracked to Coldwater, a small 
mixed town of Cherokee and Creeks, on the south side of Tennessee 
river, about the px-esent Tuscumbia, Alabama. Robertson determined 
to destroy it, and taking a force of volunteers, with a couple of Chick- 
asaw guides, crossed the Tennessee without being discovered and 
surprised and burnt the town. The Indians, who numbered less than 
fifty men, attempted to escape to the river, but were surrounded and 
over twenty of them killed, with a loss of but one man to the Tennes- 
seeans. In the town were found also several French traders. Three 
of these, who refused to surrender, were killed, together with a white 
woman who was accidentallv shot in one of the boats. The others 
were afterward released, their large stock of trading goods having 
been taken and sold for the benefit of the troops. The affair took 
place about the end of June, 1787. Through this action, and an effort 
made by Robertson about the same time to come to an understanding 
with the Chickamauga band, there was a temporary cessation of 
hostile inroads upon the Cumberland, but long before the end of the 
year the attacks were renewed to such an extent that it was found 
necessary to keep out a force of rangers with orders to scour the 
country and kill every Indian found east of the Chickasaw boundary.'' 
The Creeks seeming now to be nearly as much concerned in these 
raids as the Cherokee, a remonstrance was addressed to McGillivray, 
their principal chief, who replied that, although the Creeks, like the 
other southern tribes, had adhered to the British interest during the 
Revolution, they had accepted proposals of friendship, but while 
negotiations were jjending six of their people had been killed in the 
affair at Coldwater, which had led to a renewal of hostile feeling. He 
promised, however, to use his best efforts to bring about peace, and 
seems to have kept his word, although the raids continued through 
this and the next 3' ear, with the usual sequel of pursuit and reprisal. 
In one of these skirmishes a company under Captain Murray followed 
some Indian raiders from near Nashville to their camp on Tennessee 
river and succeeded in killing the whole party of eleven warriors.' 
A treaty of peace was signed with the Creeks in 1790, but, owing to 
the intrigues of the Spaniards, it had little practical effect,' and not 

1 Bledsoe and Robertson letter of June 12, 1787, in Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 465, 1853. 

2 Ibid., with Robertson letter, pp. 465-476. 

3 Ibid., pp. 479-486. 

* Monette, Valley of the Mispis.sippi, i, p. 505, 1846. 

68 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

until Wayne's decisive victory over tiie confederated northern tribes 
in 1794 and the final destruction of the Nickajack towns in the same 
year did real peace came to the frontier. 

By deed of cession of February 25, 1790, Tennessee ceased to be a 
part of North Carolina and was organized under federal laws as "The 
Territory of the United States south of the Ohio river." preliminary 
to taking- full rank as a state six years later. William Blount (27) 
was appointed first territorial governor and also superintendent for the 
southern Indians, with a deputy resident with each of the four prin- 
cipal tribes.' Pensacola, Mobile, St. Louis, and other southern posts 
were still held by the Spaniards, who claimed the whole country south 
of the Cumberland, while the British garrisons had not yet been with- 
di'awn from the north. The resentment of the Indians at the occupancy 
of their reserved and guaranteed lands by the whites was sedulously 
encouraged from both quarters, and raids along the Tennessee fron- 
tier were of common occurrence. At this time, according to the 
official report of President Washington, over five hundred families of 
intruders were settled upon lands Vjelonging rightly to the Cherokee, 
in addition to those between the French Broad and the Holston.^ 
More than a year before the Secretary of War had stated that "the 
disgraceful violation of the treaty of Hopewell with the (Jherokee 
requires the serious consideration of Congress. If so direct and man- 
ifest contempt of the authority of the United States be suffered with 
impunity, it will be in vain to attempt to extend the arm of govern- 
ment to the frontiers. The Indian tribes can have no faith in such 
imbecile promises, and the lawless whites will ridicule a government 
which shall on paper only make Indian treaties and regulate Indian 
boundaries."^ To prevent any increase of the dissatisfaction, the 
general government issued a proclamation forbidding any further 
encroachment upon the Indian lands on Tennessee river; notwith- 
standing which, early in 1791, a party of men descended the river in 
boats, and, landing on an island at the Muscle shoals, near the present 
Tuscumbia. Alabama, erected a blockhouse and other defensive works. 
Immediately afterward the Cherokee chief. Glass, with about sixty 
warriors, appeared and quietly informed them that if they did not at 
once withdraw he would kill them. After some parley the intruders 
retired to their boats, when the Indians set fire to the buildings and 
reduced them to ashes.* 

■ To forestall more serious difficulty it was necessary to negotiate a 
new treaty with a view to purchasing the disputed territory. Accord- 
ingly, through the efforts of Governor Blount, a convention was held 
with the principal men of the Cherokee at White's foi't, now Knox- 

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 522, 541, 561, 1853. 

- Washington to the Senate, August 11, 1790, -American State Papers: Inoiiin .\tfairs, i, p. 83, 1832. 

3 Secretary Kno.x to President Washington, July 7, 1789, ibid., p. 53. 

* Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 550, 551. 


villc. Tennessee, in the summer of 1791. With much difficulty the 
Cherokee were finally brought to consent to a cession of a triangular 
section in Tennessee and North Carolina extending from Clinch river 
almost to the Blue ridge, and including nearly the whole of the 
French Broad and the lower Holston, with the sites of the present 
Knoxville, Greenville, and Asheville. The whole of this area, with a 
considerable territory adjacent, was already fully occupied by the 
whites. Permission was also given for a road from the eastern 
settlements to those on the Cumberland, with the free navigation of 
Tennessee river. Prisoners on both sides were to be restored and 
perpetual peace was guaranteed. In consideration of the lands sur- 
rendered the Cherokee were to receive an annuity of one thousand 
dollars with some extra goods and some assistance on the road to 
civilization. A treaty was signed by forty-one principal men of the 
tribe and was concluded July 2, 1791. It is oSicially descril)ed as being 
held -"on the bank of the Holston, near the mouth of the French 
Broad," and is commonly spoken of as the "treaty of Holston." 

The Cherokee, however, were dissatisfied with the arrangement, 
and before the end of the year a delegation of six principal chiefs 
appeared at Philadelphia, then the seat of government, without any 
previous announcement of their coming, declaring that when they had 
been summoned by Governor Blount to a conference they were not 
aware that it was to persuade them to sell lands; that they had 
resisted the proposition for days, and only yielded when compelled 
by the persistent and threatening demands of the governor; that the 
consideration was entirely too small; and that they had no faith that 
the whites would respect the new boundary, as they were in fact 
already settling beyond it. Finally, as the treaty had been signed, 
they asked that these intruders be removed. As their presentation of 
the case seemed a just one and it was desirable that they should carry 
home with them a favoi-able impression of the government's attitude 
toward them, a supplementary article was added, increasing the 
annuity to eight thousand five hundred dollars. On account of renewed 
Indian hostilities in Ohio valley and the desire of the government to 
keep the good will of the Cherokee long enough to obtain their help 
against the northern tribes, the new line was not surveyed until 1797.^ 

As illustrating Indian custom it may be noted that one of the prin- 
cipal signers of the original treaty was among the protesting delegates, 
but having in the meantime changed his name, it appears on the 
supplementary paragraph as "Iskagua, or Clear Sky, formerly 
Nenetooj'ah, or Bloodj- Fellow." - As he had been one of the prin- 

1 Indian Treaties, pp. 34-38, 1837; Secretary of War, report, January 5, 1798, in American State 
Papers, i, pp. 628-631, 1832; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 5M-.'J60, 18.53; Eoyce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth 
Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 158-170. with full discussion and map, 1888. 

2 Indian Treaties, pp. 37, 38, 1837. 

70 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

cipal raiders on the, Tennessee frontier, the new name may have been 
symbolic of his change of heart at the prospect of a return of peace. 

The treaty seems to have had little effect in preventing Indian hos- 
tilities, probably because the intruders still remained upon the Indian 
lands, and raiding still continued. The Creeks were known to be 
responsible for some of the mischief, and the hostile Chickamaugas 
were supposed to be the chief authors of the rest.' Even while the 
Cherokee delegates were negotiating the treaty in Philadelphia a boat 
which had accidentally run aground on the Muscle shoals was attacked 
by a party of Indians under the pretense of offering assistance, one 
man being killed and another severely wounded with a hatchet. '■* 

While these negotiations had been pending at Philadelphia a young 
man named Leonard D. Shaw, a student at Princeton college, had 
expressed to the Secretary of War an earnest desire for a commission 
which would enable him to accompany the returning Cherokee dele- 
gates to their southern home, there to study Indian life and charac- 
teristics. As the purpose seemed a useful one, and he appeared well 
qualified for such a work, he was accordingly commissioned as deputy 
agent to reside among the Cherokee to observe and report upon their 
movements, to aid in the annuity distributions, and to render other 
assistance to Governor Blount, superintendent for the southern tribes, 
to study their language and home life, and to collect materials for an 
Indian history. An extract from the official instructions under which 
this first United States ethnologist began his work will be of interest. 
After defining his executive duties in connection with the annuity 
distributions, the keeping of accounts and the compiling of official 
reports, Secretary Knox continues — 

A due performance of your duty will probably require the exercise of all your 
patience and fortitude and all your knowledge of the human character. The school 
will be a severe but interesting one. If you should succeed in acquiring the affections 
and a knowledge of the characters of the southern Indians, you may be at once use- 
ful to the United States and advance your own interest. 

You will endeavor to learn their languages; this is essential to your communica- 
tions. You will collect materials for a history of all the southern tribes and all 
things thereunto belonging. You will endeavor to ascertain their respective limits, 
make a vocabulary of their respective languages, teach them agriculture and such 
useful arts as you may know or can acquire. You will correspond regularly with 
Governor Blount, who is superintendent for Indian affairs, and inform him of all 
occurrences. You will also cultivate a correspondence with Brigadier-General 
McGillivray [the Creek chief], and you will also keep a journal of your proceedings 
and transmit them to the War OtRce. . . . You are to exhibit to Governor 
Blount the Cherokee book and all the writings therein, the messages to the several 
tribes of Indians, and these instructions. 

Your route will be hence to Reading; thence Harris's ferry [Harrisburg, Penn- 
sylvania] to Carlisle; to ferry on the Potomac; to Winchester; t<i Staunton; to 

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 567, 18.53. 

2 Abel deposition, April 16, 1792, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, p. 274, 1832. 


, and to Holf-t(in. I slimild hope that you would travel upward>. of twenty 

mile.'- each day, and that yon would reach Holston in about thirty days.' 

The journey, which .seemed then .so long, was to be made by wagons 
from Philadelphia to the head of navigation on Holston river, thence by 
boats to the Cherokee towns. Shaw seems to have taken up his resi- 
dence at Ustanali, which had superseded Echota as the Cherokee capital. 
We hear of him as present at a council there in June of the same year, 
with no evidence of nnfrieiidliness at his presence.- The friendly feel- 
ing was of short continuance, however, for a few months later we find 
him writing from Ustanali to Governor Blount that on account of the 
aggressive hostility of the Creeks, whose avowed intention was to kill 
every white man the}^ met, he was not safe 50 yards from the house. 
Soon afterwards the Chickamauga towns again declared war, on which 
account, together with renewed threats by the Creeks, he was advised 
by the Cherokee to leave Ustanali, which he did early in September, 
1792, proceeding to the home of General Pickens, near Seneca, South 
Carolina, escorted bj' a guard of friendlv Cherokee. In the follow- 
ing winter he was dismissed from the service on serious chai'ges, and 
his mission appears to have been a failure.' 

To prevent an alliance of the Cherokee, Creeks, and other south- 
ern Indians with the confederated ho.stile northern tribes, the govern- 
ment had endeavored to persuade the former to furnish a contingent 
of warriors to act with the army against the northern Indians, and 
special instruction had been given to Shaw to use his efforts for this 
result. Nothing, however, came of the attempt. St Clair's defeat 
turned the .scale against the United States, and in September, 1792, 
the Chickamauga towns formally declared war.* 

In November of this year the governor of Georgia ofEcialh* reported 
that a party of lawless Georgians had gone into the Cherokee Nation, 
and had there burned a town and barbarously killed three Indians, 
while about the same time two other Cherokee had been killed within 
the settlements. Fearing retaliation, he ordered out a patrol of troops 
to guard the frontier in that direction, and sent a conciliatory letter to 
the chiefs, expressing his regret for what had happened. No answer 
was returned to the message, but a few days later an entire family was 
found nuirdered — four women, three children, and a young man — all 
scalped and mangled and with arrows sticking in the bodies, while, 
according to old Indian war custom, two war clubs were^ left upon 

' Henry Knox. Secretary of War, Instructions to Leonard Shaw, temporary agent to the Cherokee 
Nation of Indians, February 17, 1792, in American State Papers; Indian Affairs, i, 247, 1832; also Knox, 
letters to Governor Blount, January 31 and February 16, 1792, ibid., pp. 245, 246. 

^Estanaula conference report, June 2G, 1792, ibid., p. 271; Deraque, deposition, September 15. 1792, 
ibid., p. 292; Pickens, letter, September 12, 1792, ibid., p. 317. 

3 See letters of Shaw. Casey, Pickens, and Blount, 1792-93, ibid., pp. 277, 278, 317, 436, 43", 440. 

■•Knox, instructions to Shaw, February 17, 1792. ibid., p. 247; Blount, letter, March 20, 1792. ibid., 
p. 263: Knox, letters, October 9, 1792, ibid., pp. 261, 262. 

72 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

the ground to .show ]iy whom the deed was done. So swift was savage 

Early in IT'Jii a messenger who had l)een sent on business for Gov- 
ernor Blount to the Chickamauga towns returned with the report that 
a party had just come in with prisoners and some fresh scalps, over 
which the chiefs and warriors of two towns were then dancing; that 
the Shawano were ui'ging the Cherokee to join them against the Ameri- 
cans: that a strong body of Creeks was on its way against the Cum- 
berland settlements, and that the Creek chief, McCxillivray, was trying 
to form a general confederacy of all the Indian tril)es against the 
whites. To understand this properly it must be remembered that at 
this time all the tribes northwest of the Ohio and as far as the heads 
of the Mississippi were 1)anded together in a grand alliance, headed 
by the warlike Shawano, for the purpose of holding the Ohio river as 
the Indian boundary against the advancing tide of white settlement. 
They had just cut to pieces one of the finest armies ever sent into the 
West, under the veteran General St •Clair (28), and it seemed for the 
moment as if the American advance would be driven back behind the 

In the emergency the Secretary of War directed Governor Blount 
to hold a conference with the chiefs of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and 
Cherokee at Nashville in June to enlist their warriors, if possible, in 
active service against the northern tribes. The conference was held 
as proposed, in August, but nothing seems to have come of it, although 
the chiefs seemed to be sincere in their assurances of friendship. 
Very few of the Choctaw or Cherokee were in attendance. At the 
annuity distribution of the Cherokee, shortly l)efore, the chiefs had 
also been profuse in declarations of their desire for peace." Notwith- 
standing all this the attacks along the Tennessee frontier continued to 
such an extent that the blockhouses were again put in order and gar- 
risoned. Soon afterwards the governor reported to the Secretary of 
War that the five lower Cherokee towns on the Tennessee (the Chicka- 
mauga), headed by John Watts, had finally declared war against the 
United States, and that from three to six hundred warriors, including 
a hundred Creeks, had started against the settlements. The militia 
was at once called out, both in eastern Tennessee and on the Cumber- 
land. On the Cumberland side it was directed that no pursuit should 
be continued bej'ond the Cherokee boundary, the ridge tietween the 
waters of Cumberland and Duck rivers. The order issued liy Colonel 
White, of Knox county, to each of his captains shows how great was 
the alarm: 

1 Governor Telfair's letters of November 14 and December 5, with inclosure, 1792, American State 
Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 332, 336, 337, 1832. 

2 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 562-663, 598, 1853. 


KxoxviLLE, Si'ptemher 11, 1792. 
Sir: You are hereby ooiuiuanilcd to repair with your com])any to Knoxville, 
equi])]ieil, to protect tlie frontiers; there is imminent danger. Bring witli you two 
days' proviaious, if possible; but you are not to delay an hour on that liead. 

I am, sir, yours, 

Ja:mes WniTE.' 

About midnig^ht on tlie HOth of September, 1792, the Indian force, 
consisting of several hundred Chickaniaugas and other Cherokee, 
Creeks, and Shawano, attacked Buchanan's station, a few miles south 
of Nashville. Although numbers of families had collected inside the 
stockade for safety, there were less than twenty able-bodied men 
among them. The approach of the enemy alarmed the cattle, by 
which the garrison had warning just in time to close the gate when 
the Indians were already within a few yards of the entrance. The 
assault was furious and determined, the Indians rushing up to the 
stockade, attempting to set lire to it, and aiming their guns through 
the port holes. One Indian succeeded in climbing upon the roof with 
a lighted torch, but was shot and fell to the ground, holding his torch 
against the logs as he drew his last breath. It was learned afterward 
that he was a half })lood, the stepson of the old white trader who had 
once rescued the l)oj' Joseph Brown at Nickajack. He was a desperate 
warrior and when only twenty -two years of age had already taken six 
white scalps. The attack was repulsed at everj' point, and the assail- 
ants finally drew oil', with considerable loss, carrying their dead and 
wounded with them, and leaving a number of hatchets, pipes, and other 
spoils upon the ground. Among the wounded was the chief John 
Watts. Not one of those in the fort was injured. It has been well 
said that the defense of Buchanan's station by such a handfid of men 
against an attacking force estimated all the way at from three to seven 
hundred Indians is a feat of bravery which has scarcely been surpassed 
in the annals of border warfare. The effect upon the Indians must 
have been thoroughly disheartening. '^ 

In the same month arrangements were made for protecting the fron- 
tier along the French Broad bj^ means of a series of garrisoned block- 
houses, with scouts to patrol regularly from one to another. North 
Carolina cooperating on her side of the line. The hostile inroads still 
continued in this section, the Creeks acting with the hostile Cherokee. 
One raiding party of Creeks having been traced toward Chilhowee 
town on Little Tennessee, the whites were about to burn that and a 
neighboring Cherokee town when Sevier interposed and prevented." 
There is no reason to suppose that the people of these towns were 
directly concerned in the depredations along the frontier at this period, 

■ Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 562-565, 1853. 

= Blount, letter, October 2, 1792, in .\merican State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, p. 294, 1832; Blount, letter, 
etc.. in Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 566, .567, .599-601: see also Brown's narrative, ibid., 511, 512; Royce, Cherokee 
Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 170, 1888. 

3 Ramsey, op.cit., 569-571. 

74 MYTHS OF THK CHEKOKEE [eth.ann.19 

the mi^;c-hiet' beini>- done l>y those further to the south, in conjunrtion 
with the Creeks. 

Toward the close of this year, 1792, Captain Samuel Handley, while 
leading a small party of men to reenforce the Cumberland settlement, 
was attacked by a mixed force of Cherokee, Creeks, and Shawano, 
near the Cral) Orchard, west of the present Kingston, Tennessee. 
Becoming separated from his men he encountered a warrior who had 
lifted his hatchet to strike when Handley seized the weapon, crying- 
out "Canaly" (for higina'lii), "friend,'' to which the Cherokee 
responded with the same word, at once lowering his arm. Handley 
was carried to Willstown. in Alabama, where he was adopted into the 
Wolf clan (29) and remained until the next spring. After having 
made use of his services in writing a peace letter to Governor Blount 
the Cherokee finally sent him home in safety to his friends under a 
protecting escort of eight warriors, without any demand for ransom. 
He afterward resided near Tellico blockhouse, near Loudon, where, 
after the wars were over, his Indian friends frequently came to visit 
and stop with him.' 

The year 1798 began with a series of attacks all along the Tennes- 
see frontier. As before, most of the depredation was by Chicka- 
maugas and Creeks, with some stray Shawano from the north. The 
Cherokee from the towns on Little Tennessee remained peaceable, but 
their temper was sorely tried hy a regrettable circumstance which 
occurred in June. While a mimber of friendly chiefs were assembled 
for a conference at Echota, on the express request of the President, 
a party of men under command of a Captain John Beard sud- 
denly attacked them, killing about fifteen Lidians, including several 
chiefs and two women, one of them being the wife of Hanging-maw 
(Ushwa'li-giita). principal chief of the Nation, who was himself 
wounded. The murderers then fled, leaving others to suffer the conse- 
quences. Two hundred warriors at once took up arms to revenge their 
loss, and onl}' the most earnest appeal from the deputy governor could 
restrain them from swift retaliation. While the chief, whose wife 
was thus murdered and himself wounded, forebore to revenge himself, 
in order not to bring war upon his people, the Secretary of War was 
obliged to report, "to my great pain, I find to punish Beard by law just 
now is out of the question." Beard was in fact arrested, but the trial 
was a farce and he was acquitted.^ 

Believing that the Cherokee Nation, with the exception of the 
Chickamaugas, was honestlv trying to preserve peace, the territorial 
government, while making provision for the safety of the exposed 
settlements, had strictly prohibited any invasion of the Indian country. 
The frontier people were of a diflerent opinion, and in spite of the 
prohibition a company of nearly two hundred mounted men under 

1 Eamsey, Tennessee, pp. 571-573, 1853. = Ibid., pp. 574-578, 1853. 


Colonels Dohertv and McFarland crossed over the mountains in the 
summer of this year and destroyed six of the middle towns, returning 
with fifteen scalps and as man}' prisoners.' 

Late in September a strong force estimated at one thousand war- 
riors — seven hundred Creeks and three hundred Cherokee — under John 
AA'atts and Doublehead, crossed the Tennessee and advanced in the 
direction of Knoxville, where the public stores were then deposited. 
In their eagerness to reach Knoxville they passed quietly by one or 
two smaller settlements until within a short distance of the town, when, 
at daybreak of the ^5th, they heard the garrison fire the sunrise gun 
and imagined that they were discovered. Differences had already 
broken out among the leaders, and without venturing to advance 
farther they contented themselves with an attack upon a small block- 
house a few miles to the west, known as Cavitts station, in which at 
the time were only three men with thirteen women and children. 
After defending themselves bravely for some time these surrendered 
on promise that they should be held for exchange, but as soon as they 
came out Doublehead's warriors fell upon them and put them all to 
death with the exception of a l)oy, who was saved by John Watts. 
This bloody deed was entirely the work of Doublehead, the other 
chiefs having done their best to prevent it.' 

A force of seven hundred men under General Sevier was at once put 
upon their track, with orders this time to push the pursuit into the 
heart of the Indian nation. Crossing Little Tennessee and Hiwassee 
they penetrated to Ustanali town, near the present Calhoun, Georgia. 
Finding it deserted, although well tilled with provision, they 
rested there a few days, the Indians in the meantime attempting 
a night attack without success. After burning the town, Sevier con- 
tinued down the river to Etowah town, near the present site of Rome. 
Here the Indians — Cherokee and Creeks — had dug intrenchmonts and 
prepared to make a stand, but, being outflanked, were defeated with 
loss and compelled to retreat. This town, with several othei's in the 
neighborhood belonging to l)()th Cherokee and Creeks, was destroyed, 
with all the provision of the Indians, including three hundred cattle, 
after which the army took up the homeward march. The Americans 
had lost but three men. This was the last military service of Sevier." 

During the absence of Sevier's force in the south the Indians made 
a sudden inroad on the French Broad, near the present Dandridge, 
killing and scalping a woman and a boy. While their friends were 
accompan\'ing the remains to a neighboring burial ground for inter- 
ment, two men who had incautioush' gone ahead were fired upon. One 

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 579. 

2Ibid., pp. 580-.5S3. 1SJ3; Smith, letter, September 27, 1793, American State Papers; Indian .\tlairs, 
I, p. 468, 1832. Ramsey gives the Indian f<irce 1.000 warriors: Smith pays that in many places they 
marched in files of 28 abreast, each file being supposed to number 40 men. 

^Ramsey, op. cit., pp. .584-588. 

76 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

of them escaped, but the other one was found killed and scalped when 
the rest of the company came up, and was buried with the first victims. 
Sevier's success brought temporary respite to the Cumberland settle- 
ments. During the earW part of the year the Indian attacks by 
small raiding parties had been so frequent and annoying that a force 
of men had been kept out on patrol service under officers who adopted 
with some success the policy of hunting- the Indians in their camping 
places in the thickets, rather than waiting for them to come into the 

In Februaiy, 1794, the Territorial assembly of Tennessee met at 
Knoxville and, among other business transacted, addressed a strong 
memorial to Congress calling for more efficient protection for the 
frontier and demanding a declaration of war against the Creeks and 
Cherokee. The memorial states that since the treaty of Holston (.luly, 
1791), these two tribes had killed in a most barbarous and inhuman 
manner more than two hundred citizens of Tennessee, of both sexes, 
had carried others into captivity, destroyed their stock, burned 
their houses, and laid waste their plantations, had robbed the citizens 
of their slaves and stolen at least two thousand horses. Special atten- 
tion was directed to the tM'o great invasions in September, 1792, and 
September, 1793, and the memorialists declare that there was scarcely 
a man of the assembly but could tell of "a dear wife or child, an aged 
parent or near relation, Ijesides friends, massacred by the hands of these 
bloodthirsty nations in their house or fields.'" 

In the meantime the raids continued and every scattered cabin was a 
target for attack. In April a party of twenty warriors surrounded 
the house of a man named Casteel on the French Broad about nine 
miles above Knoxville and massacred father, mother, arid four children 
in most brutal fashion. One child only was left alive, a girl of ten 
years, who was found scalped and bleeding from six tomahawk gashes, 
yet survived. The others were buried in one grave. The massacre 
roused such a storm of excitement that it required all the effort 
of the governor and the local officials to prevent an invasion in force 
of the Indian country. It was learned that Doublehead, of the Chicka- 
mauga towns, was trj^ing to get the support of the valley towns, which, 
however, continued to maintain an attitude of peace. The friendly 
Cherokee also declared that the Spaniards were constantly instigating 
the lower towns to hostilities, although John Watts, one of their prin- 
cipal chiefs, advocated peace.'* 

In June a boat under command of William Scott, laden with pots, 
hardware, and other property, and containing six white men, three 
women, four childi-en, and twenty negroes, left Knoxville to descend 

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 590, 602-606, 1853. 

- Haywood, Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 300-302; Knoxville, 1823. 
sibid., pp. 303-308, 1823; Ramsey, op.cit., pp,.591-594. Haywood'shistory of thisperiodis little more 
than a continuous record of killings and petty encounters. 


Tennessee river to Xutehez. As it passed the Chiclviiintmya towns it 
was tired upon from Runiung Water and Long island without damage. 
The whites returned the fire, wounding two Indians. A large party of 
Cherokee, headed by White-nian-killer (Une'ga-dihf), then started in 
pursuit of the boat, which they overtook at Muscle shoals, where they 
killed all the white people in it, made prisoners of the negroes, and 
plundered the goods. Three Indians were killed and one was wounded 
in the action.' It is said that the Indian actors in this massacre tied 
across the Mississippi into Spanish territory and became the nucleus of 
the Cherokee Nation of the West, as will be noted elsewhere. 

On June jiti, 1794, another treat}', intended to be suppleuientarj' to 
that of Holston in 1791, was negotiated at Philadelphia, being signed 
by the Secretary of War and by thirteen principal men of the Chero- 
kee. An arrangement was made for the proper marking of the 
l>oundaiy then established, and the annuity was increased to five 
thousand dollars, with a proviso that fifty dollars were to be deducted 
for every horse stolen by the Cherokee and not restored within three 

In July a man named John Ish was shot down while plowing in his 
field eighteen miles below Knoxville. B}' order of Hanging-maw, the 
friendly chief of Echota, a part}' of Cherokee took the trail and cap- 
tured the murderer, who proved to be a Creek, whom they brought 
in to the agent at Tellico blockhouse, where he was formally tried 
and hanged. When asked the usual cjuestion he said that his people 
were at war with the whites, that he had left home to kill or be killed, 
that he had killed the white man and would have escaped but for the 
Cherokee, and that there were enough of his nation to avenge his 
death. A few days later a part}- of one hundred Creek warriors 
crossed Tennessee river against the settlements. The alarm was given 
by Hanging-maw, and fifty-three Cherokee with a few federal troops 
started in pursuit. On the 10th of August they came up with the 
Creeks, killing one and woundnig another, one Cherokee being slightly 
wounded. The Creeks retreated and the victors returned to the 
Cherokee towns, where their return was announced by the death song 
and the tii'ing of guns. "The night was spent in dancing the scalp 
dance, according to the custom of warriors after a victory over their 
enemies, in which the white and red people heartily joined. The 
Upper Cherokee had now stepped too far to go back, and their pro- 
fessions of friendship were now no longer to be questioned." In the 
same month there was an engagement between a detachment of about 

'Haywood, Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 308,1S23; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 594.18.53; .see 
also memorial in Putnam, Middle Tennessee, p. .502, 18.59. Haywood calls the leader Unacala, ^^ hich 
should be Une'ga-dihl', ■■White-man-killer." Compare Haywood's statement with that of Wash- 
burn, on page 100. 

= Indian Treaties, pp. 39,40, 1837; Royee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 171, 172, 1SS8; Documents of 1797-98, .\meriean State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 628-6:51, 1832. 
The treaty is not mentioned by the Tennessee historians. 

78 MYTHS OF THE CHEKOKEE [eth.ann.19. 


forty soldier.s and a large body of Creeks near Crab Orchard, in which 
several of each were kiUed.' It i.s evident that nuich of the damage 
on both sides of the CumljerUind range was due to the Creeks. 

In the meantime Governor Blount was trying to negotiate peace 
with the whole Cherokee Nation, but with little success. The Cher- 
okee claimed to be anxious for pernjanenf peace, but said that it was 
impossible to restore the property taken by them, as it had been taken 
in war, and they had themselves been equal losers from the whites. 
The}' said also that they could not prevent the hostile Creeks from 
passing through their territory. About the end of July it was learned 
that a strong body of Creeks had started north against the settlements. : 
The nailitia was at once oi'dered out along the Tennessee frontier, and 
the friendly Cherokees offered their services, while measures were 
taken to protect their women and children fi'om the enemy. The 
Creeks advanced as far as Willstovvn, when the news came of the com- 
plete defeat of the confederated northern tribes by General Wayne 
(30), and fearing the same fate for themselves, they turned back and 
scattered to their towns. ^ 

The Tennesseeans, especially those on the Cumberland, had long ago 
come to the conclusion that peace could be brought about only through 
the destruction of the Chickamauga towns. Anticipating some action 
of this kind, which the general government did not think necessary or 
advisable, orders against any such attempt had been i.ssued bj' the 
Secretary of War to Governor Blount. The frontier people went 
about their preparations, however, and it is evident from the result 
that the local military authorities were in connivance with the under- 
taking. General llobertson was the chief organizer of the volunteers 
about Nashville, who were reenforced by a compan^^ of Kentuckians 
under Colonel Whitley. Major Ore had been sent by Governor 
Blount with a detachment of troops to protect the Cumberland settle- 
ments, and on arriving at Nashville entered as heartily into the project 
as if no counter orders had ever been issued, and was given chief com- 
mand of the expedition, which for this rea.son is commonly known as 
"■Ore's expedition." 

On September 7, 1794, the arm}' of five hundred and fifty mounted 
men left Nashville, and five days later crossed the Tennessee near the 
mouth of the Sequatchee river, their guide being the same Joseph 
Brown of whom the old Indian woman had said that he would one daj' 
bring the soldiers to destroy them. Having left their horses on the 
other side of the river, thej' moved up along the south bank just after 
daybreak of the 13th and surprised the town of Nickajack, killmg 
several warriors and taking a number of prisoners. Some who 
attempted to escape in canoes were shot in the water. The warriors 

1 Haywood, Civil and I'olitipal History of Tenne.s,see. pp. 30a-311, 1823; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. .594, 
695, 18.53. 

2 Haywood, op. oil., pp. 314-31G. Rnmsey. op. cit., p. .596. 


ill Running Water town, four miles above, heard the firing and came 
at onec to the assistance of their friends, but were driven back after 
attempting- to hold their ground, and the second town shared the fate 
of the first. More than fifty Indians had been kill(>d, a number were 
prisoners, both towns and all their contents had been desti'oyed, with 
a loss to the assailants of only three men wounded. The Breath, the 
chief of Running Water, was among those killed. Two fresh scalps 
with a large quantity of plunder from the settlements were found in 
the towns, together with a supply of ammunition said to have been 
furnished by the Spaniards.' 

Soon after the return of the expedition Robertson .sent a message to 
John Watts, the pi'incipal leader of the hostile Cherokee, threatening 
a second visitation if the Indians did not very soon surrender their 
prisoners and give assurances of peace.' The destruction of their 
towns on Tennessee and Coosa and the utter defeat of the northern 
confederates had now broken the courage of the Cherokee, and on their 
own request Governor Blount held a conference with them at Tellico 
blockhouse, November 7 and 8, 1794, at which Hanging-maw, head 
chief of the Nation, and Colonel John Watt, principal chief of the hos- 
tile towns, with about four hundred of their warrior.s, attended. The 
result was satisfactorj-; all differences were arranged on a friendly 
basis and the long Cherokee war came to an end.' 

Owing to the continued devastation of their towns during the Rev- 
olutionary struggle, a number of Cherokee, principally of the Chicka- 
mauga band, had removed across the Ohio about 178:^ and settled on 
Paint creek, a branch of the Scioto river, in the \icinity of their 
friends and allies, the Shawano. In 1787 they were reported to num- 
lier aliout seventy warriors. They took an active part in the hostili- 
ties along the Ohio frontier and were present in the great battle at the 
Maumee rapids, by which the power of the confederated northern tribes 
was effectually broken. As they had failed to attend the treaty con- 
ference held at Greenville in August, 1795, General Wayne sent them 
a special message, through their chief Long-hair, that if they refused 
to come in and make terms as the others had done they would be con- 
sidered outside the protection of the government. Upon this a part 
of them came in and promised that as soon as they could gather their 
crops the whole band would leave Ohio forever and return to their 
people in the south.' 

'Haywood, Political and Civil History of Tennessee, pp. 392-396. 1823; Ramsey, Tennessee (with 
Major Ore's report) , pp. 608-618, 1853; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau Ethnology, p. 171, 
1888; Ore, Robertson, and Blount, reports, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 632-634, 1832. 

-Ramsey, op. cit., p. 618. 

3 Tellico conference. November 7-8, 1794, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 536-538, 1832, 
Royce, op. cit., p. 173; Ramsey, op. cit., p. 596. 

♦Beaver's talk, 1784, Virginia State Papers, in, p. .571, 1883; McDowell, report, 1786, ibid., iv, p. 118, 
1884: McDowell, report. 1787, ibid., p. 286; Todd, letter, 1787, ibid., p. 277; Tellico conference, Novem- 
ber 7, 1794, .Vmerican State Papers; Indian .\ffairs, i, p. 5*38, 1832; Greenville treaty conference, August, 
1795, ibid., pp. 58'2-583. 


The Creeks were still hostile and continued their inroads upon the 
western settlements. Earl^' in January, 1795, Governor Blount held 
another conference with the Cherokee and endeavored to persuade 
them to organize a company of their young- men to patrol the frontier 
against the Creeks, but to this proposal the chiefs refused to consent.' 

In the next year it was discovered that a movement was on foot to 
take possession of cei'tain Indian lands south of the Cumberland on 
pretense of authority formerly granted by North Carolina for the 
relief of Eevolutionar}^ soldiers. As such action would almost surely 
have resulted in another Indian war, Congress interposed, on the rep- 
resentation of President Washington, with an act for the regulation of 
intercourse between citizens of the United States and the various 
Indian tribes. Its main purpose was to prevent intrusion upon lands 
to which the Indian title had not been extinguished by treaty with the 
general government, and under its provisions a number of squatters 
were ejected from the Indian country and removed across the boundary. 
The pressure of border sentiment, however, was constantly for extend- 
ing the area of white settlement and the result was an immediate agita- 
tion to procure another treaty cession.'^ 

In consequence of urgent representations from the people of Ten- 
nessee, Congress took steps in 1797 for procuring a new treaty with 
the Cherokee by which the ejected settlers might be reinstated and the 
boundaries of the new state so extended as to bring about closer com- 
munication between the eastern settlements and those on the Cumber- 
land. The Revolutionary warfare had forced the Cherokee west and 
south, and their capital and central gathering place was how Ustanali 
town, near the present Calhoun, Georgia, while Echota, their ancient 
capital and beloved peace town, was almost on the edge of the white 
settlements. The commissioners wished to have the proceedings con- 
ducted at Echota, while the Cherokee favored Ustanali. After some 
debate a choice was made of a convenient place near Tellico block- 
house, where the conference opened in July, but was brought to an 
abrupt close by the peremptory refusal of the Cherokee to sell any 
lands or to permit the return of the ejected settlers. 

The rest of the sunnner was spent in negotiation along the lines 
already proposed, and on October 3, 1798, a treaty, commonly known 
as the "first treaty of Tellico," was concluded at the same place, and 
was signed by thirty-nine chiefs on behalf of the Cherokee. By this 
treaty the Indians ceded a tract between Clinch river and the Cumt)er- 
land ridge, another along the northern bank of Little Tennessee 
extending up to Chilhowee mountain, and a third in North Carolina on 
the heads of French Broad and Pigeon rivers and including the sites 

1 Royce. Cherokee Nation. Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 173, 1888. 
2Ibid., pp. 174, 175; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 679-685, 1853. 


of the present Wsiviiesville and lIerKl(M'sonville. These cessions 
included most or ull of the lands from whieli settlers had l)eeu ejected. 
Permission was also given for laying- out the ''Cumberland road," to 
connect the east Tennessee settlements with those about Nashville. In 
consideration of the lands and rights surrendered, the Ignited States 
agreed to deliver to the Cherokee five thousand dollars in goods, and 
to increase their existing aimuity by one thousand dollars, and as usual, 
to "'continue the guarantee of the remainder of their ct)untry forever.'" 

Wayne's victor}' over the northern trilies at the battle of the Mau- 
mee rapids completely l)roke their power and compelled them to accept 
the terms of peace dictated at the treaty of Greenville in the summer 
of 1795. The immediate result was the surrender of the Ohio river 
boundary by the Indians and the withdrawal of the British garrisons 
from the interior posts, which up to this time they had contiiuied to 
hold in spite of the treaty made at the close of the Revolution. By 
the treaty made at Madrid in October. 179.5, Spain gave up all claim 
on the east side of the Mississiy^pi north of the thirty-first parallel, but 
on various pretexts the formal transfer of posts was delayed and a 
Spanish garrison continued to occupy San Fernando de Barrancas, at 
the present Memphis, Temiessee, until tlie fall of 1797, while that at 
Natchez, in Mississippi, was not surrendered until March, 1798. The 
Creeks, seeing the trend of afi'airs, had made peace at Colerain, 
(ieorgia, in June, 179(j. With the hostile European influence thus 
eliminated, at least for the time, the warlike tribes on the north and 
on the south crushed and dispirited and the Chickamauga towns wiped 
out of existence, the Cherokee realized that they uuist accept the 
situation and, after nearly twenty years of continuous warfare, laid 
aside the tomahawk to cultivate the arts of peace and civilization. 

The close of the century found them still a comi)act people (the 
westward movement having hardly yet begun) numbering probably 
about 20,000 souls. After repeated cessions of large tracts of land, to 
some of which they had but doubtful claim, they remained in recog- 
nized possession of nearly 43,000 square miles of territory, a country 
about equal in extent to Ohio, Virginia, or Tennessee. Of this'terri- 
tory about one-half was within the limits \)f Tennessee, the remainder 
being almost equally divided between Georgia and Alabama, with a 
small ai'ea in the extreme southwestern corner of North Carolina.'^ 
The old Lower towns on Savannah river had been liroken up for 
twenty years, and the whites had so far encroached upon the l-pper 
towns that the capital and council fire of the nation had been removed 
from the ancient peace town of Kchota to Ustanali, in Georgia. The 

' Indian Treaties, pp. 78-82, 1837; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 692-697, 1853; Royee, Cherokee Nation 
(with map and full discussion). Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 174-183, 1S88. 
- See table in Royce. op. cit., p. 378. 

19 ETH— 01 6 

82 MYTHS OK THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

towns on Coosa river and in Aliibania were almost all of recent estal)- 
lislmient, peopled hy refugees from the east and north. The Middle 
towns, in North Carolina, were still surrounded by Indian country. 

Firearms had l)een introduced into the tribe about one hundred 
years before, and the Cherokee had learned well their use. Such 
civilized goods as hatchets, knives, clothes, and trinkets had become 
so common before the first Cherokee war that the Indians had declared 
that they could no longer live without the traders. Horses and other 
domestic animals had been introduced early in the century, and at the 
opening of the war of ITtJO, according to Adair, the Chei'okee had "a 
prodigious number of excellent horses," and although hunger had 
compelled them to eat a great many of these during that period, they 
still had, in 1775, from two to a dozen each, and bid fair soon to have 
plenty of the best sort, as, according to the same authority, they were 
skilful jockeys and nice in their choice. Some of them had grown 
fond of cattle, and they had also an abundance of hogs and poultry, 
the Indian pork lieing esteemed better than that raised in the white 
settlements on account of the chestnut diet.^ In Sevier's expedition 
against the towns on Coosa river, in 1793, the army killed three hun- 
dred beeves at Etowah and left their carcasses rotting on the ground. 
While crossing the Cherokee country in 1796 Hawkins met an Indian 
woman on horseback driving ten very fat cattle to the settlements for 
sale. Peach trees and potatoes, as well as the native corn and beans, 
were abundant in their iields, and some had bees and honey and did a 
considerable trade in beeswax. They seem to have quickly recovered 
from the repeated ravages of war, and there was a general air of pros- 
pei'ity throughout the nation. The native arts of pottery and basket- 
making were still the principal employment of the women, and the 
warriors hunted with such success that a party of traders ])rought 
down thirty wagon loads of skins on one trip." In dress and house- 
building the Indian style was practically unchanged. 

In pursuance of a civilizing policy, the government had agreed, by 
the treaty of 1791, to furnish the Cherokee gratuitously with farming 
tools and similar assistance. This policy was continued and broadened 
to such an extent that in IsOl Hawkins reports that "in the Cherokee 
agency, the wheel, the hjom, and the plough is [sic] in pretty general 
use. farming, manufactures, and stock raising the topic of conversation 
among the men and women." At a conference held this j-ear we find 
the chiefs of the mountain towns complaining that the people of the 
more western and southwestern settlements had received nn)re than 
their share of spinning wheels and cards, and were consequenth' more 
advanced in making their own clothing as well as in farming, to which 

^ Adair, American Indians, pp. 'J30, 231,1775. 

2 See Hawkins, MS journal from South Carolina to the Creeks, 1796, in library of Georgia Historical 


the others retorted that these things had l)eeii offered to all alike at 
the same time, but wliile the lowland people had been quick to accept, 
the mountaineers had hung back. "Those who complain came in late. 
We have got the start of them, which we are determined to keep." 
The progressives, under -JohnAVatts, Doublehead, and ^^' ill, threatened 
to secede from the rest and leave those east of Chilhowee mountain to 
shift for themselves.' "We see here the germ of dissatisfaction which 
led ultimately to the emigration of the western band. Along with 
other things of civilization, negro slavery had been introduced and 
several of the leading men were now slaveholders (31). 

Much of the advance in civilization had been due to the intermar- 
riage among them of white men. chietly traders of the ante-Revolu- 
tionary period, with a few Americans from the back settlements. The 
families that have made Cherokee historj' wei-e nearly all of this mixed 
descent. The Doughertys, Galpins, and Adairs were from Ireland; the 
Rosses, Vanns, and Mclntoshes, like the McGillivrays and Graysons 
among the Creeks, were of Scottish origin; the Waffords and others 
were Americans from Carolina or Georgia, and the father of Sequoya 
was a (Pennsylvania?) German. Most of this white blood was of good 
stock, very dift'erent from the "squaw man" element of the western 
tribes. Those of the mixed blood who could afford it usually sent their 
children away to be educated, while some built schoolhouses upon 
their own grounds and brought in private teachers from the outside. 
With the beginning of the present century we find influential mixed 
bloods in almost every town, and the civilized idea dominated even the 
national councils. The Middle towns, shut in from the outside world 
by high mountains, remained a stronghold of Cherokee conservatism. 

With the exception of Priber, there seems to be no authentic record 
of any missionary worker among the Cherokee before 1800. There is, 
indeed, an incidental notice of a Presbyterian minister of North Caro- 
lina being on his way to the tribe in 17.58, but nothing seems to have 
come of it, and we find him soon after in South CJarolina and separated 
from his original jurisdiction.- The first permanent mission was estab- 
lished by the Moravians, those peaceful German immigrants whose 
teachings wei'e so well exemplified in the lives of Zeisberger and 
Heckewelder. As early as 1734, while temporarilj- settled in Georgia, 
they had striven to bring some knowledge of the Christian religion to 
the Indians immediately about Savannah, including perhaps some 
stray Cherokee. Later on they established missions among the Dela- 
wares in Ohio, where their first Cherokee convert was received in 
1773, being one who had been captured by the Delawares when a 
boy and had grown up and married in the tribe. In 1752 they had 
formed a settlement on the upper Yadkin, near the present Salem, 

1 Hawkins, Treaty Commission, 1801, manuscript Xo. 5, in library of Georgia Historical Society. 
= Foote (?) , in North Carolina Colonial Records, v, p. 1226, 1887. 

84 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE leth.ann.19 

North Carolina, where they made friencll\' acquaintance with the 
Cherokee.' In 1799, heiiring that the Cherokee de.sired teachers — or 
perhaps by direct invitation of the chiefs — two missionaries visited 
the tril)e to investigate the matter. Another visit wai made in the 
next summer, and a coiuicil was held at Tellico agency, where, after a 
debate in which the Indians showed considerable difference of opinion, 
it was decided to open a mission. Permission having been obtained 
from the government, the work was begun in April, 1801, ))y Rev. 
Abraham Steiner and Rev. Gottlieb Byhan at the residence of David 
Vann, a prominent mixed-blood chief, who lodged them in his own 
house and gave them every assistance in building the mi.ssion, which 
the}- afterward called Spring place, where now is the village of the 
same name in Murray county, northwestern Georgia. Thej' were 
also materially aided liy the agent, Colonel Return J. Meigs (32). It 
was soon seen that the Cherokee wanted civilizers for their children, 
and not new theologies, and when they found that a school could not 
at once be opened the great council at Ustanali sent orders to the 
missionaries to organize a school within six months or leave the nation. 
Through Vann's help the matter was arranged and a school was 
opened, several sons of prominent chiefs being among the pupils. 
Another Moravian mission was established bj^ Reverend J. Gambold 
at Oothcaloga, in the same county, in 1S21. Both were in flourishing 
condition when broken up, with other Cherokee missions, by the State 
of Georgia in 1834. The work was afterward renewed beyond the 

In 1804 the Reverend Gideon Blackburn, a Presbyterian minister of 
Tennessee, opened a school among the Cherokee, which continued for 
several years until abandoned for lack of funds. ^ 

Notwithstanding the promise to the Cherokee in the treaty of 1798 
that the Government would "continue the guarantee of the remain- 
der of their country forever," measures were begun almost imme- 
diately to procure another large cession of land and road privileges. 
In spite of the strenuous objection of the Cherokee, who sent a 
delegation of prominent chiefs to Washington to protest against any 
further sales, such pressure was brought to bear, chiefly through the 
efforts of the agent. Colonel Meigs, that the object of the Government 
was accomplished, and in 1804 and 1805 three treaties were negotiated 
at Tellico agency, by which the Cherokee were shorn of more than 
eight thousand square miles of their remaining territory. 

By the first of these treaties — October 24, 1804 — a purchase was 
made of a small tract in northeastern Georgia, known as the " Wafford 

1 North Carolina Colonial Records, v, p. x, 1887. 

-Reichel, E. H., Historical Sketch of the Church and Missions of the United Brethren, pp. 65-81; 
Bethlehem, Pa., 1848; Holmes, John, Sketches of the Missions of the United Brethren, pp. 124, 12.'), 
209-212: Dublin. 1818; Thompson, A. C, Moravian Missions, p. 341; New York, 1890; De Schwelnltz, 
Edmund. Life of Zeisberger, pp. 394, 663. 696; Phila., 1870. 

^Morse, American Geography, i, p. .577, 1819. 


settlement.'' upon which a party led ))V Colonel Watl'ord had located 
some years before, under the impression that it was outside the bound- 
ary established by the Hopewell treaty. In compensation the Cherokee 
were to receive an immediate payment of live thousand dollars in 
(•■oods or cash with an additional annuity of one thousand dollars. By 
the other treaties — October 2.5 and 27, 180.5 — a large tract was obtained 
in central Tennessee and Kentucky, extending between the Cumber- 
land i"ange and the western line of the Hopewell treaty, and from 
Cumberland river southwest to Duck river. One section was also 
secured at point (now Kingston, Tennessee) with the design 
of establishing there the state capital, which, however, was located at 
Nashville instead seven years later. Permission was also obtained for 
two mail roads through the Cherokee country into Georgia and Ala- 
bama. In consideration of the cessions by the two treaties the United 
States agreed to pay fifteen thousand six hundred dollars in working 
implements, goods, or cash, with an additional annuity of three thousand 
dollars. To secure the consent of some of the leading chiefs, the 
treaty commissioners resorted to the disgraceful precedent of secret 
articles, by which several valuable small tracts were reserved for 
Doublehead and ToUunteeskee, the agreement being recorded as a part 
of the treaty, but not embodied in the copy sent to the Senate for con- 
tinuation.' In consecjuence of continued abuse of his official position 
for selfish ends Doublehead was soon afterward killed in accordance 
with a decree of the chiefs of the Nation, Major Ridge being selected 
as executioner." 

By the treaty of October 25, 1805, the settlements in eastern Tennessee 
were brought into connection with those about Nashville on the Cumber- 
land, and the state at last assumed compact form. The whole southern 
portion of the state, as defined in the charter, was still Indian coun- 
tr\', and there was a strong and con.stant pressure for its opening, the 
prevailing sentiment being in favor of making Tennessee river the 
boundary between the two races. New immigrants were constantly 
crowding in from the east, and, as Royce says, "the desire to settle 
on Indian land was as potent and insatiable with the average border 
settler then as it is now." Almost within two months of the last 
treaties another one was concluded at Washington on January 7, 180fi, 
by which the Cherokee ceded their claim to a large tract between 
Duck river and the Tennessee, embracing nearly seven thousand 
square miles in Tennessee and Alabama, together with the Long island 
(Great island) in Holston river, which up to this time they had claimed 
as theirs. Thev were promised in compensation ten thousand dollars 
in five cash installments, a grist mill and cotton gin, and a life annuity 

1 Indian treaties, pp. 108, 121, 125, 1837; Royee, Clierokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnol- 
ogy, pp. 1H3 193, 1888 (map and full discussion). 
^McKeuney and Hall, Indian Tribes, II, p. 92, 1858. 

86 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann19 

of one hundred dollars for Black-fox, the aged head chief of the nation. 
The .signers of the instrument, includinsj' Doiil)lehead and Tollunteeskee, 
were accompanied to Washinoton by the same commissioners who had 
procured the previous treaty. In consequence of some misunderstand- 
ing, the boundaries of the ceded tract were still further extended in a 
supplementary treaty concluded at the Chickasaw Old Fields on the 
Tennessee, on September 11, 1807. As the country between Duck 
river and the Tennessee was claimed also by the Chickasaw, their title 
was extinguished by separate treaties.' The ostensible compensation 
for this last Cherokee cession, as shown b}' the treaty, was two thou- 
sand dollars, but it was secretly agreed l)y Agent Meigs that what he 
calls a "silent consideration" of one thousand dollars and some riHes 
should be given to the chiefs who signed it.^ 

In 1807 Colonel Elias Earle. with the consent of the Government, 
obtained a concession from the Cherokee for the establishment of iron 
works at the mouth of Chickamauga creek, on the south side of Ten- 
nessee river, to be supplied from oi'es mined in the Cherokee country. 
It was hoped that this would be a considerable step toward the civili- 
zation of the Indians, besides enabling the Government to obtain its 
supplies of manufactured iron at a cheaper rate, but after prolonged 
effort the project was finally abandoned on account of the refusal of 
the state of Tennessee to sanction the grant." In the same year, by 
arrangement with the general government, the legislature of Tennessee 
attempted to negotiate with the Cherokee for that part of their unceded 
lands lying within the state limits, but without success, owing to the 
unwillingness of the Indians to part with any more territory, and their 
special dislike for the people of Tennessee.* 

In 1810 the Cherokee national council registered a further advance 
in civilization by formally abolishing the custom of clan revenge, 
hitherto universal among the tribes. The enactment bears the signa- 
tures of Black-fox (Ina'li), principal chief, and seven others, and reads 
as follows: 

In Council, Oostinaleh, A/n-il IS, ISIO. 

1. Be it known this day, That tlie various clans or triljes which compose the Cher- 
okee nation have unanimously passed an act of oblirion for all lives for which they 
may have been indebted one to the other, and have mutually agreed that after this 
evening the aforesaid act shall become binding upon every elan or tribe thereof. 

2. The aforesaid clans or tribes have also agreed that if, in future, any life .should 
be lost without malice intended, the innocent aggressor shall not be accounted guilty ; 

1 Indian Treaties, pp. 132-136, 1837; Royce, Cheroliee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 193-197, 1888. 

= Meigs, letter, September 28, 1807, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, p. 754, 1832; Royce, 
op. cit., p. 197. 

^See treaty, December 2, 1807, and Jefferson's message, with inclo.sures, March 10, 1808, American 
State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 7.>2-754. 1832; Royce, op. cit., pp. 199-201. 

'Ibid., pp. 201,202. 


and, shoulil it. so happen that a bnithur, forgetting )iis natural affections, shoiilil 
raise his hands in anger and Ivill liis brother, he shall be ai-cdunted guilty of murder 
and suffer accordingly. 

3. If a man have a horse stolen, and overtake the thief, and should his anger be 
so great as to cause him to shed his blood, let it remain on his own conscience, but 
no satisfaction shall be requireil for his life, from his relative or clan he may have 
bel<inged to. 

By order of the seven clans. ' 

Under an agreemont with the Cherokee in 1813 a company (■(inipo.^^od 
of representatives of Tennessee, Georgia, and the Cheroi^ec nation 
was organized to hiy out a free piil)lic road from Tennessee river to 
the head of navigation on the Tiigaloo ))raneh of Savannah river, with 
provision for convenient stopping places along the line. The road 
wa.s completed within the next three years, and became the great high- 
way from the coast to the Tennes.see settlements. Beginning on the 
Tugaloo or Savannah a short distance below the entrance of Toccoa 
creek, it crossed the upper Chattahoochee, passing through Clarkes- 
ville, Nacoochee valley, the I'nicoi gap. and Hiwassee in Georgia; 
then entei-ing North Carolina it descended the Hiwassee, pa.ssing 
through Hayesville and Murphy and over the Great Smoky range into 
Tennessee, until it reached the terminus at the Cherokee capital, 
Echota, on Little Tennessee. It was officially styled the Unicoi turn- 
pike,^ but was commonly known in North Carolina as the AVachesa 
trail, from Watsi'sa or AVachesa, a prominent Indian who lived near 
the crossing-place on Beaverdam creek, below Murphy, this portion 
of the road being laid out along the old Indian trail which already 
liore that name.' 

Passing over for the present some negotiations having for their pur- 
pose the removal of the Cherokee to the AYest, we arrive at the period 
of the Creek war. 

Ever since the treaty of Greenville it had been the dream of Tecum- 
tha, the great Shawano chief (88), to weld again the confederacy of the 
northern tribes as a barrier against the further aggressions of the white 
man. His own burning eloquence was ably seconded by the subtler 
persuasion of his brother, who assumed the role of a prophet with a 
new revelation, the burden of which wiis that the Indians nuist return 
to their old Indian life if they would pi-eserve their national existence. 
The new doctrine spread among all the northern tribes and at last 
reached those of the south, where Tecum+ha himself had gone to enlist 
the warriors in the great Indian confederacy. The prophets of the 
Upper Creeks eagerly' accepted the doctrine and in a short time their 
warriors were dancing the "dance of the Indians of the lakes." In 

'In American State Papers: Indian ASaiis, ii, p. 283, 1834. 

2See contract appended to Washington treaty, 1819, Indian Treaties, pp. 269-271, 1837; Royce map, 
Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 1888. 
^Author's personal information. 

88 MYTHS (»F THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.19 

anticipation of an expected war with the United States the 
agents in Canada had been encouraging the hostile feeling toward the 
Americans by talks and presents of goods and ammunition, wiiilc the 
Spaniards also covertly fanned the flame of discontent.' At the height 
of the ferment war was declared between this country and England on 
June 28, 1812. Tecumtha, at the head of fifteen hundred warrioi's. at 
once ent;ered the British ser\ice with a commission as general, while 
the Creeks began murdering and Inxrning along the southern frontier, 
after having vainly attempted to secure the cooperation of the Cherokee. 

From the Creeks the new revelation was brought to the Cherokee, 
whose priests at once began to dream dreams and to preach a return to 
the old life as the only hope of the Indian race. A great medicine 
dance was appointed at Ustanali, the national capital, where, after the 
dance was over, the doctrine was publicly announced and explained by 
a Cherokee prophet introduced by a delegation from Coosawatee. He 
began by saying that some of the mountain towns had abused him and 
refused to receive his message, but nevertheless he must continue to 
bear testimony of his mission whatever might happen. The Cherokee 
had broken the road which had been given to their fathers at the begin- 
ning of the world. They had taken the white man's clothes and trinkets, 
they had beds and tables and mills; some even had books and cats. All 
this was liad, and because of it their gods were angry and the game 
was leaving their counti'y. If they would live and be happy us Ijefore 
they must put ofl' the white man's dress, throw away his mills and 
looms, kill their cats, put on paint and liuckskin. and be Indians again; 
otherwise swift destruction would come upon them. 

His speech appealed strongly to the people, who cried out in great 
excitement that his talk was good. Of all those present only Major 
Kidge, a principal chief, had the courage to stand up and oppose it, 
warning his hearers that such talk would inevitably lead to war with 
the United States, whii'h would end in their own destruction. The 
maddened followers of tlie prophet sprang upon Ridge and would have 
killed him but for the interpo.sition of friends. As it was, he was thrown 
down and narrowly escaped with his life, while one of his defenders 
was stabbed by his side. 

The prophet had threatened after a certain time to invok(> a terril)le 
storm, whii'h should destroy all but the true believers, who were 
exhorted to gather for safety on one of the high peaks of the Great 
Smoky mountains. In full faith they abandoned their bees, their 
orchards, their slaves, and everything that had come to them from the 
white man, and took up their toilsome march for the high mountains.' 
There they waited until the appointed day had come and passed, show- 

1 Mooney, Ghost-dance Religion, Fourteenth Ann, Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. (;70 et passim, 
1896; contemporary documents in American State Papers; Indian Affairs, i, pp. 798-^01, 846-s.^,ia32. 


iiiji- their hopes and fears ti) l)e groundless, when they sadly returned 
lo their homes and the great Indian revival among the C'her(>kee came 
lo an end.' 

Among the Creeks, where other hostile influences were at work, the 
excitement culminated in the Creek war. Several murders and outrages 
had already been committed, Init it was not until the terril>le massacre 
at Fort Minis (34). on August 3(), 1813. that the whole American nation 
was aroused. Through the influence of Ridge and other prominent 
chiefs the Cherokee had refused to join the hostile Creeks, and on the 
contrary had promised to assist the whites and the friendly towns." 
More than a yeai' before the council had sent a friendly letter to the 
Creeks warning them against taking the British side in the approach- 
ing war. while several prominent chiefs had proposed to enlist a Chero- 
kee force for the service of the United States.'' Finding that no help 
was to be expected from the Cherokee, the Creeks took occasion to kill 
a Cherokee woman near the town of Etowah, in Georgia. With the 
help of a conjurer the nmrderers wei'e trailed and overtaken and killed 
on the evening of the second day in a thicket where they had concealed 
themselves. After this there could be no alliance between the two 

At the time of the Fort Mims massacre Mcintosh (35), the chief of 
the friendly Lower Creeks, was visiting the Cherokee, among whom 
he had relatives. By order of the Cherokee council he was escorted 
home by a delegation under the leadership of Ridge. On his return 
Ridge brought with him a request from the Lower t'reeks that the 
Cherokee would join with them and the Americans in putting down 
the war. Ridge himself strongly urged the proposition, declaring 
that if the prophets were allowed to have their way the work of civil- 
ization would be destroyed. The council, however, decided not to 
interfere in the aflairs of other tribes, whereupon Ridge called for 
volunteers, with the result that so many of the warriors responded that 
tlie council reversed its decision and declared war against the Creeks.'* 
For a proper understanding of the situation it is necessary' to state that 
the hostile feeling was conflned almost entirely to the Upper Creek 
towns on the Tallapoosa, where the prophets of the new religion had 
their residence. The half-breed chief, Weatherford (36), was the 
leader of the war part}-. The Lower Creek towns on the Chattahoo- 

iSee Mooney, Ghost dance Religion. Fourteenth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 670-677, 1896; 
McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, ii, pp. 98-95, ISSS; .see also contemporary letters (1813, etc.) by 
Ha\vkins, Cornells, and ottiers in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, 1832. 

- Letters of Hawkins, Pinckney. and Cussetah King, .Tuly, 1813, American State Papers: Indian 
Atlairs, II, pp. ,S47-849, 1S3'-'. 

:' -Meigs, letter. May 8. 1S12. and Hawkins, letter. May 11, l.«2, ibid., p. 809. 

* Author's information from James D. Wafford. 

sMcKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, ii, pp. 96-97, 1858. 


chop, under Mt-Intosh, another half-breed chief, were friendly, and 
acted with the Cherokee and the Americans against their own brethren. 

It is not our purpose to give a history of the Creek war. hut only 
to note the part which the Cherokee had in it. The friendly Lower 
Creeks, under Mcintosh, with a few refugees from the Upper towns, 
operated cliietly with the army under General Floyd wliich invaded 
the southern part of the Creek country from Georgia. Some friendly 
Choctaw and Chickasaw also lent their assistance in this direction. 
The Cherokee, with some friendly Creeks of the Upper towns, acted 
with the armies imder Generals White and Jackson, which entered 
the C'reek country from the Tennessee side. While some hundreds 
of tlieir warriors were thus fighting in the field, the Cherokee at home 
were busily collecting provisions for the American troops. 

As Jackson approached from the north, about the end of October, 
1813, he was met by runners asking him to come to the aid of Path- 
killer, a Cherokee chief, who was in danger of being cut ofi' by the 
hostiles, at his village of Turkeytown, on the upper Coosa, near the 
present Center. Alabama. A fresh detachment on its way from east 
Tennessee, under General White, was ordered by Jackson to relieve 
the town, and successfully performed this work. White's force con- 
sisted of one thousand men, including four hundred Cherokee under 
Colonel Gideon Morgan and John Lowrey.' 

As the army advanced down the Coosa the Creeks retired to Tallasee- 
hatchee, on the creek of the same name, near the present Jacksonville, 
Calhoun county, Alabama. One thousand men under General Coffee, 
together with a company of Cherokee under Captain Richai'd Brown 
and some few Creeks, were sent against them. The Indian auxiliaries 
wore headdresses of white feathers and deertails. The attack was 
made at da3'break of November 3, 1813. and the town was taken after 
a desperate resistance, from which not one of the defenders escaped 
alive, the Creeks having been completely surrounded on all sides. 
Says Coffee in bis official report: 

They made all the resistance that an overpowered soldier coulil do — they fought as 
long as one existed, but their destruction was very soon completed. ( )ur men rushed 
up to the doors of the houses and in a few minutes killed the last warrior of them. 
The enemy fought with savage fury and met deatli with all its horrors, without 
shrinking or complaining — not one asked to be spared, but fought as long as tliey 
could stand or sit. 

Of such fighting stuff' did the Creeks prove themselves, against over- 
whelming luunbers, throughout the war. The ijodies of nearly two 
hundred dead warriors were counted on the field, and the general 
reiterates that ''not one of the warriors escaped." A niunber of 
women and children were taken prisoners. Nearly ever\' man of the 
Creeks had a bow with a bundle of arrows, which he used after the 

'Drake, Indians, pp. 39.5-3%, ISSO; Pickett, .\labama, p. 5.56. reprint of IS9(1. 


first fire with liis uun. 'Piio Aiiun'icun lo.s.s was only five killed and 
forty -one wounded, whieh may not include the Indian contingent.' 

White's advance guard, consisting chiefly of the four hundred other 
C'iierolvee under Moraan and Lowrey. reached Tallaseehatchee the same 
evening, only to find it alri'ady destroyed. They picked up twenty 
wounded Creeks, whom they tirouglit with them to Turkeytown.- 

The next great l)attl(> was at Talladega, on the site of the present 
town of the same nami>, in Talladega county. Alabama, on November '.t, 
1813. Jackson comuianded in person with two thousand infantry and 
cavalry. Although the Cherokee are not specifically mentioned tiiey 
were a part of the army and nuist have taken part in the engagement. 
The town itself was occupied l)y friendly Creeks, who were besieged 
by the hostiles. estimated at over one thousand warriors on the out- 
side. Here again the battle was simply a slaughter, the odds being- 
two to one, the Creek.s being also without cover, although they fought 
so desperately that at one time the militia was driven back. They 
left two hundred and ninety-nine dead bodies on the field, which, 
according to their own statement afterwards, was onh' a part of 
their total loss. The Americans lost fifteen killed and eighty-five 

A day or two later the people of Hillabee town, about the site of 
the present village of that name in Clay county, Alabama, sent mes- 
sengers to Jackson's camp to ask for peace, which that commander 
immediately granted. In the meantime, even while the peace mes- 
sengers were on their way home with the good news, an army of one 
thousand men fi'om east Tennessee under General White, who tdaimed 
to be independent of Jackson's authority, together with four hundred 
Cherokee under Colonel Gideon ^Morgan and John Lowrey. surrounded 
the town on November 18. 1813, taking it by surprise, the inhabitants 
having trusted so contidently to the success of their peace embassy 
that they had made no preparation for defense. Sixty w-arriors were 
killed and over two hundred and fifty prisoners taken, with no loss to 
the Americans, as there was practicallj^ no resistance. In White's 
official report of the affair he states that he had sent ahead a part of 
his force, together with the Cherokee under Morgan, to surround the 
town, and adds that "'Colonel Morgan and the Cherokees under his 
command ga\'e undeniable evidence that thej' merit the employ of 
their government."' Not knowing that the attack had been made 
without Jackson's sanction or knowledge, the Creeks naturally con- 

> Coffee, report, etc., in Drake, Indians, p. 396, 1880; Lossing, Field Book of the War of 1812. pp. 
7G2, 763 [n. d. (1869)].; Pickett, Alabama, p. 553, reprint of 1896. 

= Ibid., p. .556. 

3 Drake, Indians, p. 396. 1880; Pickett, op.cit., pp. 554, 555. 

< White's report, etc., in Fay and Davison, Sketches of the War, pp. 2J0, 241: Rutland, Vt., 1S15; 
Low, John, Impartial History of the War, p. 199; New York, 1815; Drake, op. cit.. p. 397; Pickett, op. 
cit., p. .557; Lossing, op. cit., p. 767. Low says White had about 1,100 mounted men, "including 
upward of 300 Cherokee Indians." Pickett gives White 400 Cherokee. 

92 MYTHi^ OP^ THE CHEROKEE [ inn. I'J 

cliided that pence overtures were of no siviiil, and tliciiccforth until 
the elose of the war there was no talk of surrender. 

On November -29, 1813, the Georgia army under General Floyd, 
consistinu' of nine hiuidred and hftv American troops and foui- hun- 
dred friendly Indians, chiefly Lower Creeks under Mcintosh, took 
and destroyed Autossee town on the Tallapoosa, west of the present 
Tusk(\i;'ee. killiny about two hundi'ed warriors and burning four hun- 
dred well-l)uilt houses. On December 23 the Creeks were asiain 
defeated by General Claiborne, assisted by some friendly Choctaws, 
at Ecanachacu or the Holy (xroiuid on Alabama river, near the present 
Benton in Lowndes county. This town and another a few mil(>s away 
were also destroyed, with a great quantity of provisions and other 
property.' It is doul)tful if utiy Cherokee were concerned in either 

Before the close of the year Jackson's force in northern Alabama 
had been so far reduced by nui*^inics and expiration of service terms 
that he had but one hundred soldiers left and was obliged to employ 
the Cherokee to garrison Fort Armstrong-, on the upper Coosa, and to 
protect his provision depot." "With the oijening- of the new year, 1S14. 
having received reinforcements from Tennessee, together with about 
two hundred friendly Creeks and sixty -five more Cherokee, he left his 
caui]) on th<' Coosa and advanced against the towns on the Tallapoosa. 
Learning, on arriving near the river, that he was wichin a few miles 
of the main body of the enemy, he halted for a reconnoissance and 
camped in order of l)attle on Emukfaw creek, on the northern bank of 
the Tallapoosa, only a 'hort distance from the famous H(jrseslK)e l)end. 
Here, on the morning of June :.'4. 1S14. he was suddenly attacked by 
the enemy with such fury that, although the troops chai'g(>d with the 
bayonet, the Creeks returned again to the tight and were at last broketi 
only by the help of the friendly Indians, who came upon them from 
the rear. As it was, Jackson was so badly crippled that he reti'eated 
to Fort Strother on the Coosa, carrying his wounded, among them (ien- 
eral Coffee, on horse-hide litters. The Creeks pursued and attacked 
him again as he was crossing Enotochopco creek on January '24. but 
after a severe tight were driven back with discharges of gi'apeshot from 
a six-pounder at close range. The army then continued its retreat to 
Fort Strother. The American loss in these two battles was al)out one 
hundred killed and wounded. The loss of the Creeks was much greater, 
but they had compelled a superior force, armed with bayonet and 
artillery, to retreat, and without the aid of the friendly Indians it is 
doubtful if Jackson could have sav(Hl his army from demoralization. 
The Creeks themselves claimed a victory and boasted afterward 
that they had "whipped Jackson and run him to the Coosa river." 

> Drake, Indians, pp. 391. 398, 1880; Pickett, Alabama, pp. .'i.57-5.W, .572-576. reiiriiil of is9i;. 
= Ibid., p. .579: Lassing, Field Book of the War of 1812, p. 773. 

Mc.uNiiv] KATTLE OK H0RSE8H0E BEND 1S14 93 

Pickett states, on what seeiiis good authority, that tlie Creeks enoaged 
did not iminber more than five hundred warriors. Jackson had proti- 
ably at least one thousand two hundred men, inchiding Indians.' 

Wliile these events were transpiring in the north. (leneral Floj'd 
again advanced from Georgia with a force of about one thousand three 
hundred Americans and four hundred friendly Indians, but was sur- 
prised on Caleebee creek, near the present Tuskegee, Ahil)aiaa, on the 
morning of Januarj^ 27, 181-t, and compelled to retreat, leaving the 
enemy in possession of the field." 

We come now to the final event of the Creek war, the terrible l)attle 
of the Horseshoe bend. Having received large reenforcements from 
Tennessee, Jackson left a garrison at Fort Strother, and, aliout the 
middle of March, descended the Coosa river to the mouth of Cedar 
creek, southeast from the present Columbiana, where he built Fort 
Williams. Leaving his stores here with a garrison to protect them, 
he began his march for the Horseshoe bend of the Tallapoosa, where 
the hostiles were reported to have collected in great force. At this 
place, known to the Creeks as Tohopki or Tohopeka, the Tallapoosa 
made a liend so as to inclose some eighty or a hundred acres in a nar- 
row peninsula opening to the north. On the lower side was an island 
in the river, and al)out a mile below "was Emukfaw creek, entering from 
the north, where Jackson had been driven back two months before 
Both locations were in the present Tallapoosa county, Alabama, within 
two miles of the present post village of Tohopeka. Across the neck of 
the peninsula the Creeks had built a sti'ong breastwork of logs, behind 
which were their houses, and behind these were a number of canoes 
moored to the liank for use if retreat became necessary. The fort was 
defended by a thousand warriors, with whom were also about three 
hundred women and children. Jackson's force numbered about two 
thousand men, including, according to his own statement, five hundred 
Cherokee. He had also two small cannon. The account of the battle, 
or rather massacre, which occurred on the morning of March 27, 1814, 
is best condensed from the official reports of the principal connnanders. 

Having arrived in the neighborhood of the fort, .lackson disposed 
his men for the attack by detailing General Coffee with the mounted 
men and nearly the whole of the Indian force to cross the river at a 
ford about three miles below and surround the bend in such manner 
♦^hat none could escape in that direction. He himself, with the rest of 
his force, advanced to the front of the breastwork and planted hiscan- 

'Fay and Davison, Sketches of the War. pp. 247-250, 1815; Pickett, Alabama, pp. .579-5S4, reprint of 
1896: Drake, Indians, pp. 398-400, 1880. Pickett says Jackson had "707 men. with 200 friendly Indians " ; 
Drake says he started with 930 men and was joined at Talladega by 200 friendly Indians; Jackson 
himself, as quoted in Fay and Davison, says that he started with 9:i0 men, cxdudhui Indians, and 
was joined at Talladega "by between 200 and 300 friendly Indians," (;5 being Cherokee, the rest 
Creeks. The inference is that he already had a number of Indians with him at the start— probably 
the Cherokee who had been doing garrison duty. 

2 Pickett, op. cit. , pp. 584-586. 

94 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

non upon a .slight rise within eighty yards of the fortification. He then 
directed a heavy cannonade upon the center of the l)reastwork, while 
the rifles and muskets kept up a galling fire upon the defenders when- 
ever they showed themselves behind the logs. The ])reastwork was 
very strongly and compactly built, fi-om five to eight feet high, with a 
double row of portholes, and so planned that no enemy could approac^i 
without being exposed to a crossfire from those on the inside. After 
about two hours of cannonading and riile fire to no great purpose, 
"Captain Russell's company of spies and a party of the Cherokee 
force, headed by their gallant chieftain. Colonel Richard Brown, and 
conducted by the brave Colonel Morgan, crossed over to the peninsula 
in canoes and set fire to a few of their buildings there situated. Thej' 
then advanced with great gallantry toward the breastwork and com- 
menced firing upon the enemy, who lay behind it. Finding that this 
force, notwithstanding the determination they displayed, was wholly 
insufficient to dislodge the enemv, and that General Coffee had secured 
the opposite banks of the river, I now determined on taking possession 
of their works by stoi'm." ' 

Coffee's official report to his commanding officer states that he had 
taken seven hundred mounted troops and about six hundred Indians, 
of whom five hundred were Cherokee and the i-est friendly Creeks, 
and had come in behind, having directed the Indians to take position 
secretly along the bank of the river to prevent the enemy crossing, as 
already noted. This was done, but with fighting going on so near at 
hand the Indians could not remain quiet. Continuing, Coffee saj-s: 

The firing of your cannon and small arms in a short time became general and 
heavy, which animated our Indians, and seeing about one hundred of the warriors 
and all the squaws and children of the enemy running about among the huts of the 
village, which was open to our view, they could no longer remain silent spectators. 
While some kept up a fire across the river to prevent the enemy's approach to the 
bank, others plunged into the water and swam the river for canoes that lay at the 
other shore in consideraV>le numbers and lirought them over, in which crafts a num- 
ber of them embarked and landed on the bend with the enemy. Colonel Gideon 
Morgan, who commanded the Cherokees, Captain Kerr, and Captain William Rus- 
sell, with a part of his company of spies, were among the first that crossed the river. 
They advanced into the village and very soon drove the enemy from the huts up 
the river bank to the fortified works from which they were fighting you. They 
pursued and continued to annoy during your whole action. This movement of my 
Indian forces left the river bank unguarded and made it necessary that I should send 
a part of my line to take possession (if the river bank.- 

According to the official report of Colonel Morgan, who commanded 
the Cherokee and who was himself severely wounded, the Cherokee 
took the places assigned them along the bank in such regular order 

' Jackson's report to Governor Blount, March 31, 1814, in Fay and Davison, Sketches of the War, 
pp. 2.i3, 2»4, 181.5. 
■ General Coffee's report to General Jackson, April 1, 1814, ibid., p. 2.57. 


tbiit lu) part was U^t't uiioiriipied, and the few fugitives who attempted 
to eseape from the fort by water "fell an easy pre}- to their ven- 
geance." Finally, seeing- that the cannonade had no more effect upon 
the breastwork than to bore holes in the logs, some of the Cherokee 
plunged into the river, and swimming over to the town brought l)!ick 
a number of canoes. A part crossed in these, under cover of the guns 
of their companions, and sheltered themselves under the l)ank while 
the canoes were sent liack for reenforcements. In this waj' they all 
crossed over and then advanced up the bank, where at once they were 
warmly assailed from every side except the rear, which they kept open 
only by hard fighting. ' 

The Creeks had been righting the Americans in their front at such 
close quarters that their bullets flattened upon the ba\-onets thrust 
through the portholes. This attack from the rear by five hundred 
Cherokee diverted theii' attention and gave opportunity to the Tennes- 
seeans, Sam Houston among them, cheering them on, to swariu over 
the breastwork. With death from che bullet, the bayonet and the 
hatchet all around them, and the smoke of their blazing homes in their 
eyes, not a warrior begged for his life. When more than half their 
number lay dead upon the ground, the rest turned and plunged into 
the river, only to find the banks on the opposite side lined with encniies 
and escape cut off' in e\'ery direction. ISays General Coffee: 

Attempts to i-ro.^s the river at all points of the bend were made liy the enemy, Imt 
not one ever escaped. Very few ever reached the l)ank: and that few was killed the 
instant they landed. From the report of my officers, as well as from my own obsei'- 
vation, I feel warranted in saying that from two hnndred and fifty to three hundred 
of the enemy was buried under water and was not numbered with the dead that 
were found. 

Some swam for the island below the bend, but here too a detach- 
ment had been posted and ■" not one ever landed. The}' were sunk l)y 
Lieutenant Bean's command ere they reached the bank."''^ 

Quoting again from Jackson — 

The enemy, although many of them fought to the last with that kind of l)ravery 
which desperation inspires, were at last entirely routed and cat to pieces. The battle 
may be said to have continued with severity for about five hours, l^ut the tiring and 
slaughter continued until it was suspended by the darkness of night. The next 
morning it was resumed and sixteen of the enemy slain who had concealed them- 
selves under the banks.' 

It was supposed that the Creeks had about a thousand warriors, 
besides their women and children. The men sent out to count the 
dead found five hundred and fifty -seven warriors lying dead within the 
inclosure, and Coffee estimates that from two hundred and fiftv to 

> Colonel Morgan's report to Governor Blount, in Fay and Davison, Sketches ol the War, pp. 25S, 
259 1815. 
^Coffee's report to Jackson, ibid., pp. '257,258. 
3. Jackson's report to Governor Blount, ibid., pp. 255,256. 


three hundred were shot in the water. How many more there m:iy 
have heen can not be known, V)ut Jackson himself states that not more 
than twenty could have escaped. There is no mention of any wounded. 
About three hundred prisoners were taken, of whom only three were 
men. The defenders of the Horseshoe had been exterminated.' 

On the other side the was 26 Americans killed and lil7 wounded, 
18 Cherokee killed and 36 wounded, 5 friendly Creeks killed and 11 
wounded. It will be noted that the loss of the Cherokee was out of 
all proportion to their numbers, their lig-hting having been hand to 
hand work without jiroteeting cover. In view of the fact that Jack- 
son had only a few weeks before been compelled to retreat before this 
same enemy, and that two hours of artillery and rifle fire had produced 
no result until the Cherokee turned the rear of the enenij' by their 
daring passage of the river, there is considerable truth in the boast of 
the Cherokee that they saved the day for Jackson at Horseshoe bend. 
In the number of men actually engaged and the immense proportion 
killed, this ranks as the greatest Indian battle in the history of the 
United States, with the possible exception of the battle of Mauvila, 
fought by the same Indians in De Soto's time. The result was decisive. 
Two weeks later Weatherford came in and surrendered, and the Creek 
war was at an end. 

As is usual where Indians have acted as auxiliaries of white troops, it 
is difficult to get an accurate statement of the number of Cherokee 
engaged in this war or to apportion the credit among the various 
leaders. Coli'ee's official report states that live hundred Cherokee 
were engaged m the last great battle, and from incidental hints it 
seems probable that others were employed elsewhere, on garrison duty 
or otherwise, at the same time. McKenney and Hall state that Ridge 
recruited eight hundred warriors for Jackson,^ and this may be near 
the truth, as the tribe had then at least six times as many fighting men. 
On account of the general looseness of Indian organization we com 
monly find the credit claimed for whichever chief may be best known 
to the chronicler. Thus, McKenney and Hall make Major Ridge the 
hero of the war, especially of the Horseshoe fight, although he is not 
mentioned in the official reports. Jackson speaks particularly of the 
Cherokee in that battle as being "headed by their gallant chieftain. 
Colonel Richard Brown, and conducted by the brave Colonel Mor- 
gan." Coffee says that Colonel Gideon Morgan "commanded the 
Cherokees," and it is Morgan who makes the official report of their 
part in the battle. In a Washington newspaper notice of the treaty 

'Jackson's report and Colonel Morgan's report, in Fay and Davison, Sketches of the War. pp. 25.5, 
256, 259. 1815. Pickett makes the loss of the white troops 32 killed and S9 wounded. The Houston 
reference is from Lossing. The battle is described also by Pickett, Alabama, pp. 588-691, reprint 
of 1896; Drake, Indians, pp. 391, 400, 18X0; McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, ii, pp. 98,99, 1868. 

^McKenney and Hall, op. cit., p. 98. 


delegation of 1816 the six signers are mentioned as Colonel [John] 
Lowrey, Major [John] AValker, Major Ridge, Captain [Richard] Taylor, 
Adjutant [John] Ross, and Kunnesee (Tsi'yu-gunsi'ni, Cheucunsene) and 
arc described as men of cultivation, nearly all of whom had served as 
oiBcers of the Cherokee forces with Jackson and distinguished themselves 
as well l)y their bravery as b}' their attachment to the United States." 
Among the East Cherokee in Carolina the only name still remembered 
is that of their old chief, Junaluska (Tsunu'lahuii'ski). who said after- 
wai'd: " If 1 had known that Jackson would drive us from our homes 
I would have killed him that day at the Horseshoe." 

The Cherokee returned to their homes to tind them despoiled and 
ravaged in their absence by disorderly white troops. Two years after- 
ward, by treaty at Washington, the Government agreed to reiml)urse 
them for the damage. Interested parties denied that they had suffered 
any damage or rendered any services, to which their agent indignantly 
replied: "It may be answered that thousands witnessed both; that in 
nearly all the battles with the Creeks the Cherokees rendered the most 
efficient .service, and at the expense of the lives of many fine men, 
whose wives and children and brothers and sisters are mourning their 

In the spring of 1816 a delegation of seven principal men, accom- 
panied by Agent Meigs, visited Washington, and the result was the 
negotiation of two treaties at that place on the same date, March 32, 
1816. By the first of these the Cherokee ceded for five thousand dollars 
their last remaining territory in South Carolina, a small strijj in the 
extreme northwestern corner, adjoining Chattooga river. By the sec- 
ond treaty a boundary was established between the lands claimed by the 
Cherokee and Creeks in northern Alal)ama. This action was made 
necessaiy in order to detei'mine the boundaries of the great tract 
which the Creeks had been compelled to surrender in punishment for 
their late uprising. The line was run from a point on Little Bear 
creek in northwestern Alabama direct to the Ten islands of the 
Coosa at old Fort Strother, southeast of the present Asheville. Gen- 
eral Jackson protested strongly against this line, on the ground that 
all the territory south of Tennessee ri\'er and west of the Coosa 
belonged to the Creeks and was a part of their cession. The Chicka- 
saw also protested against considering this tract as Cherokee terri- 
tory. The treaty also granted free and unrestricted road privileges 
throughout the Cherokee country, this concession being the result of 
years of persistent effort on the part of the Government; and an 
appropriation of twenty-five thousand five hundred dollars was made 

1 Drake, Indians, p. 401, 1880. 

2 Indian Treaties, p. 187, 1837; Meigs' letter to Secretary of War, August 19, 1816, in American State 
Papers: Indian Affairs, it, pp. 113, 114, 1834. 

I'J KTH— 01 7 

98 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

for damages su.stained by the Cherokee from the depredation.^ of the 
ti'oojj.s passing" through their countr}- during the Creek war.' 

.\t the treaty the Cherokee had re.sisted every effort to induce 
them to cede more land on either side of the Tennessee, the Cxovern- 
ment being especially desirous to extinguish their claim north of that 
river within the limits of the state of Tennessee. Failing in this, 
pre.ssure was at once begun to bring about a cession in Alabama, with 
the result that on September 14 of the same year a treaty was con- 
cluded at the Chickasaw council-house, and afterward ratified in gen- 
eral council at Turkeytown on the Coosa, by which the Cherokee 
ceded all their claims in that .state south of Tennessee river and west 
of an irregular line rimning from Chickasaw island in that stream, 
below the entrance of Flint river, to the junction of Wills creek with 
the Coosa, at the present Gadsden. For this cession, embracing an 
area of nearly three thou.sand five hundred square miles, they were to 
receive sixtv thou.sand dollars in ten annual payments, togethei' with 
five thousand dollars for the improvements abandoned. - 

We turn aside now for a time from the direct narrative to note the 
devcdopment of events which culminated in the forced expatriation of 
the Cherokee from their ancestral homes and their removal to the far 
western wilderness. 

AN'ith a few notable exceptions the relations between the French 
aTid Spanish colonists and the native tribes, after the first occupation 
of the country, had been friendly and agreeable. Under the rule of 
France or Spain there was never any Indian ])oundarv. Pioneer and 
Indian built their cabins and tilled their fields side by side, ranged 
the woods together, knelt before the same altar and frequently inter- 
married on terms of ecjuality, so far as race was concerned. The 
result is seen to-day in the mixed-blood communities of Canada, and 
in Mexico, where a nation has been built upon an Indian foundation. 
Within the area of English colonization it was otherwise. From the 
first settlement to the recent inauguration of the allotment system it 
never occurred to the man of Teutonic blood that he could have for a 
neighbor anyone not of his own stock and color. While the English 
colonists recognized the native proprietorship so far as to make trea- 
ties with the Indians, it was chiefly for the of fixing limits 
beyond which the Indian should never come after he had once parted 
with his title for a consideration of goods and triid^cts. In an early 
Virginia treaty it was even stipulated that friendly Indians crossing 
the line should suffer death. The Indian was regarded as an incum- 
brance to lie (leared ofl'. like the trees and the wolves, before white 
men could live in the country. Intermarriages were practically 

1 Indian Treaties, pp. 185-187, 1837; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 197-209, 1888. 
= Indian Treaties, pp. 199. 200, is:i7; Koyt-e, op. t-ii.. pp. 209-211. 


unknown, and the children of such union were usually compelled by 
I'ace antipathy to cast their lot with the sa\'ag'e. 

Under such circumstances the tribes viewed the advance of the 
English and their successors, the Americans, with keen distrust, and 
as early as the close of the French and Indian war we find some of 
them removing- from the neighborhood of the English settlements to 
a safer shelter in the more remote territories still held by Spain. Soon 
after the French withdrew from Fort Toulouse, in 17t)3, a part of the 
Alabama, an incorporated tribe of the Creek confederacy, left their 
villages on the Coosa, and crossing the Mississippi, where the}' halted 
for a time on its western l)ank, settled on the Sabine river under 
Spanish protection.' They were followed some years later by a part 
of the Koasati, of the same confederacy,^ the two tribes subsequently 
drifting into Texas, where they now reside. The Hichitee and others 
of the Lower Creeks moved down into Spanish Florida, where the 
Yamassee exiles from South Carolina had long before preceded them, 
the two combining to form the modern Seminole tril)e. AVhen the 
Revolution brought about a new line of division, the native tribes, 
almost without exception, joined .sides with England as against the 
Americans, with the result that about one-half the Iroquois tied to 
Canada, where they still reside upon lands granted l)v the British gov- 
eriuuent. A short time before Wayne's victory a part of the Shawano 
and Delawares, worn out by nearly twenty years of battle with the 
Americans, crossed the Mississippi and settled, V)v permission of the 
Spanish government, upon lands in the vicinity' of Cape Girardeau, in 
what is now southeastern Missouri, for which they obtained a regular 
deed from that goveriunent in 1793.'' Driven out liy the Americans 
some twenty years later, they removed to Kansas and thence to Indian 
territory, where they are now incorporated with their old friends, the 

When the first Cherokee crossed the Mississippi it is impossible to 
say, but there was probably never a time in the history of the tribe 
when their warrioi's and hunters were not accustomed to make excur- 
sions beyond the great river. According to an old tradition, the 
earliest emigration took place soon after the first treaty with Carolina, 
when a portion of the tribe, under the leadership of Yunwi-usga'se'ti, 
■'Dangerous-man," forseeing the inevitable end of yielding to the 
demands of the colonists, refused to have any relations with the white 
man, and took up their long march for the unknown West. (Jommu- 
nication was kept up with the home body until after crossing the 
Mis.sissippi, when they were lost sight of and forgotten. Long j^ears 

1 Claiborne, letter to Jefferson, November .5, 1808, American State Papers, i, p. 755, 18S2; Gatschet, 
Creek Migration Legend, i, p. 88. 1884. 

2 Hawkins, 1799. quoted in Gatschet, op. eit., p. 89. 

3 See Treaty of St Louis, 1826, and of Castor hill, 1852, in Indian Treaties, pp. 388, 539, 1837. 

100 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

afterward a rumor came from the west that they were still living near 
the base of the Rocky mountains.' In 178:^ the Cherokee, who had 
fought faithfull}^ on the British side throughout the long Revolution- 
ary struggle, applied to the Spanish governor at New Orleans for 
permission to settle on the west side of the ^Mississippi, within Spanish 
territory. Permission was granted, and it is probable that some of 
them removed to the Arkansas country, although there seems to be no 
definite record of the matter." We learn incidentally, however, that 
about this peried the hostile Cherokee, like the Shawano and other 
northern tribes, were in the habit of making friendly visits to the 
Spanish settlements in that quarter. 

According to Reverend Cephas Washburn, the pioneer misssionary 
of the western Cherokee, the first permanent Cherokee settlement 
beyond the Mississippi was the direct result of the massacre, in 1794, 
of the Scott party at Muscle shoals, on Tennessee river, by the hostile 
warriors of the Chickamauga towns, in the suimner. As told by the 
missionary, the story differs considerably from that given by Haywood 
and other Tennessee historians, narrated in another place. ^ Accoi'ding 
to Washburn, the whites were the aggressors, having first made the 
Indians drunk and then swindled them out of the annuity money with 
which they were just returning from the agency at Tellico. When 
the Indians became sober enough to demand the return of their money 
the whites attacked and killed two of them, whereupon the others 
boarded the boat and killed every white man. They spared the women 
and children, however, with their negro slaves and all their personal 
belongings, and permitted them to continue on their way, the chief 
and his party personally escorting them down Tennessee, Ohio, and 
Mississippi rivers as far as the mouth of the St. Francis, whence the 
emigrants descended in safetj^ to New Orleans, while their captors, 
under their chief, The Bowl, went up St. Francis river — then a part of 
Spanish territory — to await the outcome of the event. As soon as 
the news came to the Cherokee Nation the chiefs formally repudiated 
the action of the Bowl party and volunteered to assist in arresting 
those concerned. Bowl and his men were finally exonerated, but had 
conceived such bitterness at the conduct of their former friends, and, 
moreover, had found the soil so rich and the game so abundant where 
they were, that they refused to return to their tribe and decided to 
remain permanently in the West. Others joined them from time to 
time, attracted by the hunting prospect, until they were in sufficient 
number to obtain recognition from the Government.' 

1 See number 107, "The Lost Cherokee." 

2See letter of Governor Estevan Miro to Robertson, April 20,1783. in Roosevelt, Winning of the 
West, II, p. 407, 1889. 

•■'See pp. 76-77. 

■» Washburn, Reminiscences, pp. 76-79, 1869; see also Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fiftli Ann. Rep. Bureau 
of Ethnology, p. 204, 1888. 


While the nii.ssionarv iimy l)e pardoned for making the best show- 
ing possible for his friends, his statement contains several evident 
errors, and it is probable that Haywood's account is more correct in 
the main. As the Cherokee annuity at that time amounted to but 
fifteen hundred dollars for the whole tribe, or somewhat less than ten 
cents per head, they could hardly have had enough money from that 
source to pay such extravagant prices as sixteen dollars apiece for 
pocket mirrors, which it is alleged the boatmen obtained. Moreover, 
as the Chickamauga warriors had refused to sign any treaties and were 
notoriously hostile, they were not as yet entitled to receive payments. 
Haywood's statement that the emigrant party was first attacked while 
passing the Chickamauga towns and then pursued to the Muscle shoals 
and there massacred is probably near the truth, although it is quite 
possible that the whites may have provoked the attack in some such 
waj' as is indicated b}' the missionary. As Washburn got his account 
from one of the women of the party, living long afterward in New 
Orleans, it is certain that some at least were spared bj' the Indians, 
and it is probable that, as he states, only the men were killed. 

The Bowl emigration may not have been the first, or even the most 
important removal to the western countr}', as the period was one of 
Indian unrest. Small bands were constautlj' crossing the Mississippi 
into Spanish territory to avoid the advancing Americans, only to find 
themselves again under American jurisdiction when the whole western 
country was ceded to the United States in 1S03. The persistent land- 
hunger of the settler could not be re.strained or satisfied, and early in 
the same year President Jefl'erson suggested to Congress the desira- 
bility of removing all the tribes to the west of the Mississippi. In 
the next year, 1804, an appropriation was made for taking prelimi- 
nary steps towai'd such a result.' There were probalily l)ut few Chero- 
kee on the Arkansas at this time, as they are not mentioned in Sibley's 
list of tribes south of that river in 1805. 

In the sunnner of 1808, a Cherokee delegation being about to visit 
Washington, their agent. Colonel Meigs, was instructed bj- the Secre- 
tary of War to use every effort to obtain their consent to an exchange 
of their lands for a tract beyond the Mississippi. By this time the 
government's civilizing policy, as carried out in the annual distribution 
of farming tools, spinning wheels, and looms, had wrought a consider- 
able difference of habit and sentiment between the northern and 
southern Cherokee. Those on Little Tennessee and Hiwassee were 
genei'all}' farmers and stock raisers, producing also a limited quantity 
of cotton, which the women wove into cloth. Those farther down in 
Geoi'gia and Alaliama, the old hostile element, still preferred the 
hunting life and rejected all efl'o,rt at innovation, although the game 
had now become so scarce that it was evident a change must soon 

I Royce, Cherokee Nation, Filth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 202,203, 1888. 

102 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.I9 

come. Jealousies had arisen in consequence, and the delegates repre- 
senting the progressive element now proposed to the government that 
a line be run through the nation to separate the two parties, allowing 
those on the north to divide their lands in severalt_y and become citi- 
zens of the United States, while those on the south might continue to 
be hunters as long as the game should last. Taking advantage of this 
condition of affairs, the government authorities instructed the agent to 
submit to the conservatives a proposition for a cession of their share of 
the tribal territory in return for a tract west of the i\lississippi of suf- 
ficient area to enable them to continue the hunting life. The plan was 
appro\-ed by President Jeti'erson, and a sum was appi'opriated to pay 
the expenses of a delegation to visit and inspect the lands on Arkansas 
and White rivers, with a view to removal. The visit was made in the 
summer of 1809, and the delegates brought back such favorable report 
that a large number of Cherokee signified their intention to reuKne at 
once. As no funds were then available for their removal, the matter 
was held in abeyance for several years, during which period families 
and individuals removed to the western country at their own expense 
until, l)efore the year 1817, they numbered in all two or three 
thousand souls.' They became known as the Arkansas, or Western, 

The emigrants soon became involved in ditficulties with the native 
tribes, the Osage claiming all the lands north of Arkansas river, while 
the Quapaw claimed those on the south. Upon complaining to the 
government the emigrant Cherokee were told that they had originally 
been permitted to remove only on condition of a cession of a portion 
of their eastern territory, and that nothing could be done to protect 
them .in their new western home until such cession had been carried 
out. The body of the Cherokee Nation, however, was strongly opposed 
to any such sale and proposed that the emigrants should be compelled 
to return. After protracted negotiation a treaty was concluded at 
the Cherokee agency (now Calhoun, Tennessee) on July 8, 1817, by 
which the Cherokee Nation ceded two considerable tracts — the first in 
Georgia, lying east of the Chattahoochee, and the other in Tennessee, 
between Waldens ridge and the Little Sequatchee — as an equivalent 
for a tract to be assigned to those who had already removed, or 
intended to remove, to Arkansas. Two smaller tracts on the north 
bank of the Tennessee, in the neighborhood of the Muscle shoals, 
were also ceded. In return for these cessions the emigrant Cherokee 
were to receive a tract within the present limits of the state of Arkan- 

I Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 202-204, 1888; see also Indian 
Treaties, pp. 209-215, 1837. The preamble to the treaty of 1817 says that the delegation of 1808 had 
de,-ired a division of the tribal territory in order that the people of the Upper (northern) towns might 
"begin the establishment of fixed laws and a regular government," while those of the Lower 
(southern I towns desired to remove to the West. Nothing is said of severalty allotments or 


isas. liounded on the north and south by White river and Arkansas 
river, respectively, on the east bj' a line running between those 
sti'eaius ^ipproximately from the present Batesville to Lewisbui-g-. and 
on the west by a line to be determined later. As afterward estab- 
lished, this western line ran from the junction of the Little North 
Fork with White river to just beyond the point where the present 
western Arkansas boundary strikes Arkansas river. Provision was 
made for taking the census of the whole Cherokee nation east and 
west in order to apportion annuities and other payments properly in 
the future, and the two bands were still to be considered as forming 
one people. The United States agreed to pay for any substantial 
improvements abandoned liy those removing from the ceded lands, 
and each emigrant warrior who left no such valuable property behind 
was to be given as full compensation for his abandoned field and cabin 
a ritie and ammunition, a lilanket. and a kettle or a beaver trap. The 
government further agreed to furnish boats and provisions for the 
journey. Provision was also made that individuals residing upon 
the ceded lands might retain allotments and become citizens, if they 
so elected, the amount of the allotment to be deducted from the total 

The commissioners for the treaty were General Andrew Jackson, 
General David Meriwether, and Governor Joseph McMinn of Ten- 
nessee. On behalf of the Cherokee it was signed by thirty-one princi- 
pal men of the eastern Nation and fifteen of the western band, who 
signed b^' proxy.' 

The majority of the Cherokee were bitterly opposed to any cession 
or removal project, and before the treaty had been concluded a 
memorial signed by sixty -seven chiefs and headmen of the nation was 
presented to the commissioners, which stated that the delegates who 
had first broached the sul)ject in Washington some years before had 
acted without any authority from the nation. They declared that the 
great body of the Cherokee desired to remain in the land of their 
birth, where they were rapidly advancing in civilization, instead of 
being compelled to revert to their original savage conditions and sur- 
roundings. They therefore prayed that the matter might not be 
pressed further, but that they might be allowed to i-emain in peaceable 
possession of the land of their fathers. No attention was jiaid to the 
memorial, and the treaty was carried through and ratified. Without 
waiting for the ratification, the authorities at once took steps for the 
removal of those who desired to go to the AVest. Boats wei'e provided 
at points between Little Tennessee and Sequatchee rivers, and the 
emigrants were collected under the direction of Governor McMinn. 
Within the next year a large number had emigrated, and before the 

'Indian Treaties, pp. 209-215, 1S37; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Kep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 212-217, 1888; see also maps in Royce. 

104 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

end of ISlit the number of emigrants was said to have increased to six 
thousand. The chiefs of the nation, however, claimed that the esti- 
mate was greatly in excess of the truth.' 

"There can be no question that a very large portion, and prol)al)ly 
a majority, of the Cherokee nation residing east of the Mississippi had 
been and still continued bitterly opposed to the terms of the treaty of 
1817. They viewed with jealous and aching hearts all attempts to 
drive them from the homes of their ancestors, for they could not but 
consider the constant and urgent importunities of the federal authori- 
ties in the light of an imperative demand for the cession of more 
territory. They felt that they were, as a nation, being slowly but 
surely compressed within the contracting coils of the giant anaconda 
of civilization; yet they held to the vain hope that a spirit of justice 
and mercy would be born of their helpless condition which would 
finally prevail in their favor. Their traditions furnished them no 
guide by which to judge of the results certain to follow such a conflict 
as that in which they were engaged. This difl'erence of sentiment in 
the nation upon a subject so vital to their welfare was producti\'e of 
much bitterness and violent animosities. Those who had favored the 
emigration scheme and had been induced, either through personal 
preference or by the subsidizing influences of the government agents, 
to fa\-or the conclusion of the treaty, liecame the object of scorn and 
hatred to the remainder of the nation. They were made the subjects 
of a persecution so relentless, while they remained in the eastern 
country, that it was never forgotten, and when, in the natural course 
of events, the remainder of the nation was forced to remove to the 
Arkansas country and join the earlier emigrants, the old hatreds and 
dissensions broke out afresh, and to this day they find lodgment in 
some degree in the breasts of their descendants.'"" 

Two months after the signing of the treaty of July S, 1817, and 
three months before its ratification, a council of the nation sent a dele- 
gation to Washington to recount in detail the improper methods and 
influences which had been used to consummate it. and to ask that it l)e 
set aside and another agreement substituted. The mission was without 

In 1817 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions 
established its first station among the Cherokee at Brainerd, in Ten- 
nessee, on the west side of Chickamauga creek, two miles from the 
Georgia line. The mission took its name from a distinguished pioneer 
worker among the northern tribes (37). The government aided in the 
erection of the buildings, which included a schoolhouse, gristmill, 
and workshops, in which, besides the ordinary branches, the boys were 
taught simple mechanic arts while the girls learned the use of the 

1 Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 217-218, 1888. 

2 Ibid. , pp. 218-219. 2 Ibid. , p. 219. 


iioedlo and the spinninifwheel. There was also a large work farm. 
The niission prospered and others were established at Willstown, 
Hightower, and elsewhere b}' the same board, in which two hundred 
pupils were receiving instruction in 1S20.' Among the earliest and 
most noted workers at the Brainerd mission were Reverend D. S. But- 
trick and Reverend S. A. Worcester (38), the latter especialh' having 
done much for the mental elevation of the Cherokee, and more than once 
having suti'ered imprisonment for his zeal in defending their cause. 
Tlie missions flourished. until broken up by the state of Georgia at the 
beginning of the Removal troubles, and they were afterwards renewed 
in the western country. Mission ridge preserves the memor}^ of the 
Brainerd establishment. 

Early in 1818 a delegation of emigrant Cherokee visited Washing- 
ton for the purpose of securing a more satisfactory' determination of 
the boundaries of their new lands on the Arkansas. Measures were 
soon afterward taken for that purpose. They also asked recognition in 
the future as a separate and distinct tribe, but nothing was done in the 
matter. In order to remove, if possible, the hostile feeling between 
the emigrants and the native Osage, who regarded the former as 
intruders. Governor William Clark, superintendent of Indian atfairs 
for Missouri, arranged a conference of the chiefs of the two tribes at 
St. Louis in October of that year, at which, after protracted efl'ort, he 
succeeded in establishing friendly relations between them. Efforts 
were made about the same time, both by the emigrant Cherokee and 
by the government, to persuade the Shawano and Delawares then 
residing in Missouri, and the Oneida in New York, to join the western 
Cherokee, but nothing came of the negotiations." In 1825 a delegation 
of western Cherokee visited the Shawano in Ohio for the same purpose, 
but without success. Their object in thus inviting friendly Indians to 
join them was to strengthen themselves against the Osage and otlier 
native tribes. 

In the meantime the government, through Governor McMinn, was 
bringing strong pressure to bear upon the eastern Cherokee to compel 
their removal to the West. At a council convened by him in November, 
1818. the governor represented to the chiefs that it was now no longer 
possible to protect them from the encroachments of the surrounding 
white population: that, however the government might wish to help 
them, their lands would be taken, their stock stolen, their women cor- 
rupted, and their men made drunkards unless they removed to the 
western paradise. He ended by proposing to pa}' them one hundred 
thousand dollars for their whole territory, with the expense of removal, 
if they would go at once. Upon their prompt and indignant refusal 
he offered to double the amount, but with as little success. 

1 Morse, Geography, i, p. 577, 1819; and p. 185, 1822. 

2Royce, Cherokee Nation, Filth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnol<jgy, jip. 221-222, 1888. 

106 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth a.nn.19 

Every point of the neg'otiution hiiving failed, another was 
adopted, and a delegation was selected to visit Washington under the 
conduct of Agent Meigs. Here the effort was renewed until, wearied 
and discouraged at the persistent iniportunit}', the chiefs consented 
to a large cession, which was represented as necessary in order to com- 
pensate in area for the tract assigned to the emigrant Cherokee in 
Arlvansfts in accordance with the previous treaty. This estimate was 
based on the figures given by Governor McMinn, who reported 5,291 
Cherokee enrolled as emigrants, while the eastei'n Cherokee claimed 
that not more than 3,500 had removed and that those remaining num- 
bered 12.511:, or more than three-fourths of the whole nation. The 
governor, however, chose to consider one-half of the nation as in favor 
of removal and one-third as having alreadj' removed.' 

The treaty, concluded at Washington on February 27, 1819, recites 
that the greater part of the Cherokee nation, having expressed an 
earnest desire to remain in the East, and l)eing anxious to begin the 
necessary measures for the civilization and preservation of their nation, 
and to settle the differences arising out of the treaty of 1817, have 
offered to cede to the United States a tract of country "at least as 
extensive" as that to which the Government is entitled under the 
late treaty. The cession embraces (1) a tract in Alabama and Ten- 
nessee, Ijetween Tennessee and Flint rivers; (2) a tract in Tennessee, 
between Tennessee river and Waldons ridge; (3) a large irregular tract 
in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, embracing in Tennessee 
nearly all the remaining Chei'okce lands north of Hiwassee river, and 
in North Carolina and Georgia nearl}' everything remaining to them 
east of the Nantahala mountains and the upper western tiranch of the 
Chattahoochee; (1) six small pieces reserved by previous treaties. The 
entire cession aggregated nearh- six thousand square miles, or more 
than one-fourth of all then held by the nation. Individual reservations 
of one mile square each within the ceded area were allowed to a num- 
ber of families which decided to remain among the whites and become 
citizens rather than abandon their homes. Payment was to be made 
for all sub.stantial improvements abandoned, one-third of all tribal 
annuities were hereafter to be paid to the western band, and the treaty 
was declared to be a final adjustment of all claims and differences aris- 
ing from the treaty of 1817.^ 

Civilization had now progressed so far among the Cherokee that in 
the fall of 1820 thej' adopted a regular republican form of govern- 
ment modeled after that of the United States. Under this arrangement 
the nation was divided into eight districts, each of which was entitled 

1 Royee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 222-228, 188S. 
^Indian Treaties, pp. 265-269, 1837; Royee, op. eit., pp. 219-221 and table, p.378. 


to send four representatives to the Cherokee national legislature, 
which met at Newtown, or New Eohota, the capital, at the junction 
of Conasauga and Coosawatee livers, a few miles above the present 
Calhoun. Georgia. The legislature consisted of an upper and a 
lower house, designated, respectivel}' (in the Cherokee language), the 
national committee and national council, the members being elected 
for limited terms by the voters of each district. The principal officer 
was st_yled president of the national council; the distinguished John 
Ross was the first to hold this ofiice. There was also a clerk of the 
conmiittee and two principal mcmliers to express the will of the coun- 
cil or lower house. For each district there wei"e appointed a council 
house for meetings twice a \'ear, a judge, and a marshal. Companies 
of "light horse" were organized to assist in the execution of the laws, 
with a •• ranger " for each district to look after straj' stock. Each head 
of a family and each single man under the age of sixty was subject to 
a poll tax. Laws were passed for the collection of taxes and debts, 
for repaii's on roads, for licenses to white persons engaged in farming 
or other business in the nation, for the support of schools, for the 
regulation of the liquor traffic and the conduct of negro slaves, to pun- 
ish horse stealing and theft, to compel all marriages between white 
men and Indian women to be according to regular legal or church 
form, and to discourage polygamy. By special decree the right of 
blood revenge or capital punishment was taken from the seven clans 
and vested in the constituted authorities of the nation. It was made 
treason, punishable with death, for any individual to negotiate the sale 
of lands to the whites without the consent of the national council (39). 
White men were not allowed to vote or to hold office in the nation.' 
The system compared favorably with that of the Federal government 
or of anj' state government then existing. 

At this time there wei-e five principal missions, besides one or two 
small branch establishments in the nation, viz: Spring Place, the old- 
est, founded by the Moravians at Spring place, Georgia, in 1801; 
Oothcaloga, Georgia, founded b}' the same denomination in 1821 on 
the creek of that name, near the present Calhoun; Brainerd, Tennes- 
.see, founded l)y the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions in ISIT; "Valley-towns," North Carolina, founded by the 
Baptists in 1820, on the site of the old Natchez town on che north side 
of lliwassee river, just above Peachtree creek; Coosawatee, Georgia 
("Tensawattee," by error in the State Papers), founded also by the 
Baptists in 1821, near the mouth of the river of that name. All were 
in fiourishing condition, the Brainerd establishment especially, with 
nearlj' one hundred pupils, being obliged to turn awaj' applicants for 

1 Laws of the Cherokee Nation (several documents), 1820, American State Papers: Indian ,\tTairs, ii, 
pp. 279-283, 1834; letter quoted by McKenuey, 1825, ibid., pp. 651, 652; Drake, Indians, pp. 437, 438, ed. 1880. 


108 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

ku'k of accommodation. The superintendent reported that the children 
were apt to learn, willing to labor, and readily submissive to discipline, 
adding- that tiie Cherokee were fast advancing towai'd civilized life and 
generally manifested an ardent desire for instruction. The Valley- 
towns mission, established at the instance of Currahee Dick, a promi- 
nent local mixed-lilood chief, was in charge of the Reverend Evan 
Jones, known as the translator of the New Testament into the Cherokee 
language, his assistant being James D. Wafford, a mixed-blood pupil, 
who compiled a spelling ))ook in the same language. Reverend S. A. 
Worcester, a prolific translator and the compiler of the Cherokee 
almanac and other works, was stationed at Brainerd, removing thence 
to New Echota and afterward to the Cherokee Nation in the AVest.' 
Since 1817 the American Board had also supported at Cornwall, Con- 
necticut, an Indian school at which a number of young Cherokee were 
being educated, among them being Elias Boudinot, afterward the 
editor of the Cherokee Phoenix. 

Altout this time occurred an event which at once placed the Cherokee 
in the front rank among native tribes and was destined to have profound 
influence on their whole future history, viz., the invention of the 

The inventor, aptly called the Cadmus of his race, was a mixed- 
blood known among his own people as Sikwa'yi (Sequoya) and 
among- the whites as George Gist, or less correctly Guest or Guess. 
As is usually the case in Indian biography much uncertainty exists in 
regard to his parentage and early life. Authorities generally agree 
that his father was a white man, who drifted into the Cherokee Nation 
some years before the Revolution and formed a temporary alliance 
with a Cherokee girl of mixed blood, who thus became the mother of 
the future teacher. A writer in the Chei'okee Phanix^ in 18:^8, says 
that only his paternal grandfather was a white man." McKenney and 
Hall say that his father was a white man named Gist.^ Phillips 
asserts that his father was George Gist, an unlicensed German trader 
from Georgia, who came into the Cherokee Nation in 1768.* By a 
Kentucky family it is claimed that Sequoya's father was Nathaniel Gist, 
son of the scout who accompanied Washington on his memorable 
excursion to the Ohio. As the story goes, Nathaniel Gist was cap- 
tured by the Cherokee at Braddock's defeat (1755) and remained a 
prisoner with them for six years, during which time he became the 
father of Sequoya. On his return to civilization he married a white 
woman in Virginia, by whom he had other children, and afterward 

^List of missions and reports of missionaries, etc.. American State Papers: Indian Affairs, ii, pp. 
277-279, 459, 1834; personal information from .Tames D. Wafford concerning Vallcy-towns mission. 
For notices of Worcester, Jones, and Wafford, see Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages, 

2G. C, in Cherokee Phoenix; reprinted in Christian .\dvocate and Journal, New York, September 26, 

'McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes,:, p. 3.5, et passim, 1858. 

< Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, pp. .542-.M8, September, 1870. 




'■"" a/^J' 


(Froiii MfKuniiuy ami H!ll^^^ <■"!'>' "' tliL' original painliiifj <•!' 1S28) 


reino\-ed to Kentucky, wliei'p Se([uoya, then a Baptist preacher, fre- 
quently visited him and was always recognized by the faniil\- as his son.' 

Aside from the fact that the Cherokee acted as allies of the English 
during the war in whica Braddock\s defeat occurred, and that Seijuoya, 
so far from being a preacher, was not even a Christian, the story con- 
tains other elements of improbability and appears to be one of those 
genealogical myths built upon a chance similaritj' of name. On the 
other hand, it is certain that Sequoya was born before the date that 
Phillips allows. On his mothers side he was of good family in the 
tribe, his uncle being a chief inEchota." According to personal infor- 
mation of James Watford, who knew him well, being his second cousin, 
Sequoya was probabh' born about the year 1760, and lived as a boy 
with his mother at Tuskegee town in Tennessee, just outside of old 
Fort Loudon. It is quite possible that his white father may have been 
a soldier of the garrison, one of those lovers for whom the Cherokee 
women risked their lives during the siege.' What became of the 
father is not known, but the mother lived alone wath her son. 

The only incident of his boyhood that has come down to us is his 
presence at Echota during the visit of the Iroquois peace delegation, 
a})out the year 1770.' His earlj' years were spent amid the stormy 
alarms of the Revolution, and as he grew to manhood he devel- 
oped a considerable mechanical ingenuitj^ especially in silver work- 
ing. Like most of his tribe he was also a hunter and fur trader. 
Having nearly reached middle age before the first mission was estab- 
lished in the Nation, he never attended school and in all his life never 
learned to speak, read, or write the English language. Neither did 
he ever abandon his native religion, although from frequent visits to 
the Moravian mission he became imbued with a friendly feeling 
toward the new civilization. Of an essentially contemplative disposi- 
tion, he was led by a chance conversation in 1809 to reflect upon the 
ability of the white men to communicate thought by means of writing, 
with the result that he set about devising a similar sj'stem for his own 
people. By a hunting accident, which rendered him a cripple for life, 
he was fortunately afl'orded more leisure for study. The presence of 
his name, George Guess, appended to a treaty of 1816, indicates that 
he was already of some prominence in the Nation, even before the per- 
fection of his great invention. After years of patient and unremitting 
labor in the face of ridicule, discouragement, and repeated failure, he 
finall)^ evolved the Chei'okee syllabarj- and in 18^1 submitted it to a 
public test by the leading men of the Nation. By this time, in con- 
sequence of repeated cessions, the Cherokee had been dispossessed of 
the country about Echota, and Sequoj'a was now living at Willstown, 

1 Manuscript letters by John Mason Brown. January 17, IS, 22, and February 4, 18.S9, in archives of 
the Bureau of American Ethnology. 
'McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, i, p. ib, 18-58. 
3See page 43. * See number 89, "The Iroquois wars." 

110 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

on an upper branch of river, in Alabama. Tiie 8ylla])ary was 
soon recognized a.-< an invaluable invention for the elevation of the 
tribe, and within a few months thousands of hitherto illiterate Chero- 
kee were able to read and write their own language, teaching each 
other in the cabins and along the roadside. The next year Secjuoya 
visited the West, to introduce the new science among those who had 
emigrated to the Arkansas. In the next year. 182.3, he again visited 
tlie Arkansas and took up his permanent abode with the western band, 
never afterward returning to his eastern kinsmen. In the autumn of 
tlie same year the Cherokee national council made public acknowledg- 
ment of his merit by sending to him, through John Ross, then presi- 
dent of the national committee, a silver medal with a commemorative 
inscription in both languages.' In 1828 he visited Washington as one 
of the delegates fi'om the Arkansas band, attracting much attention, 
and the treaty made on that occasion contains a provision for the pay- 
ment to him of five hundred dollars, "for the great benefits he has 
conferred upon the Cherokee people, in the beneficial results which 
they are now experiencing from the use of the alphabet discovered by 
him. " '^ His subsequent history belongs to the West and will be treated 
in another place (40).^ 

The invention of the alphabet had an immediate and wonderful 
effect on Cherokee development. On account of the remarkable adapta- 
tion of the sj'llabary to the language, it was only necessary to learn 
the characters to be able to read at once. No schoolhouses were built 
and no teachers hired, but the whole Nation became an academy for the 
study of the system, imtil, "in the course of a few months, without 
school or expense of time or money, the Cherokee were able to read 
and write in their own language.* An active correspondence began 
to be carried on between the eastern and western divisions, and plans 
wei'e made for a national press, with a national librarj' and museum to 
be established at the capital. New Echota.^ The missionaries, who had 
at first opposed the new alphabet on the gi'ound of its Indian origin, 
now saw the advi.sability of using it to further their own work. In 
the fall of 1824 Atsi or John Arch, a young native convert, made a 
mamiscript translation of a portion of St. John's gospel, in the sylla- 
bary, this being the first Biljle translation ever given to the Cherokee. 
It was copied hundreds of times and was widelj' disseminated through 

> McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, i, p. 46, 18.5.S: Phillips, in Harper's Magazine, p. 547, September, 

2 Indian Treaties, p.42,'j, 1837. 

3 For details concerning the life and invention of Sequoya, see McKenney and Hall. Indian Tribes, 
I, 1858; Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine. September 1870- Foster, Sequoyah, 188.5. and Story 
of the Cherokee Bible, 1899, based largely on Phillips' article; G. C, Invention of the Cherokee 
Alphabet, in Cherokee Fhcenix, republished in Christian Advocate and Journal, New York, Septem- 
ber -26, 18'28: Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages, 1888. 

■•G. C, Invention of the Cherokee Alphabet, op.cit. 

5 (Unsigned) letter of David Brown, September 2. 1825, quoted in American State Papers: Indian 
Affairs, ii, p. 652, 1834. 


the Nation.' In Soptonilx^r. is-2r>, David Brown, a prominent half- 
breed preacher, who had already made some attempt at translation in 
the Roman alphabet, completed a translation of the New Testament in 
the new syllabary, the work being- handed about in manuscript, as 
there were as 3'et no types cast in the Sequoya characters." In the same 
month he forwai'ded to Thomas McKenney, chief of the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs at AVasliington, a manuscript table of the characters, 
with explanation, this lieing probal)ly its first introduction to otticial 

In lS'2~ the Cherokee council having- formally resolved to establish 
a national paper in the Cherokee language and characters, types for 
that purpose were cast in Boston, under the supervision of the noted 
missionary, Worcester, of the AmiM'ican Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, who. in December of that year contril)uted to the 
Missionary Herald five verses of Genesis in the new syllabary, this 
seeming to be its first appearance in print. Early in the next year 
the pi'ess and types arrived at New Echota, and the first number of 
the new paper, Tsa'ldgi Tsidlehisanun' hi, the Cherokee Phanix, printed 
in both languages, appeared on Fcl)ruary 21, 1828. The first printers 
were two white men, Isaac N. Harris and John F. Wheeler, with 
John Candy, a half-blood apprentice. Elias Boudinot (Galagi'na, " ' The 
Buck"), an educated Cherokee, was the editor, and Reverend S. A. 
Worcester was the guiding spirit who brought order out of chaos and set 
the work in motion. The office was a log house. The hand press and 
types, after having been shipped by water fi'om Boston, were trans- 
ported two hundred miles hy wagon from Augusta to their destination. 
The printing paper had been overlooked and had to be brought by the 
same tedious process from Knoxville. and other ecjuipments 
had to be devised and fashioned by the printers, neither oi whom 
understood a word of Cherokee, but simplj' set up the characters, as 
handed to them in inunuscri)>t by Worcester and the editor. Such was 
the beginning of journalism in the Cherokee nation. After a precari- 
ous existence of aliout six years the Phanix was suspended, owing to 
the hostile action of the Georgia authorities, who went so far as to 
throw Worcester and Wheeler into prison. Its successor, after the 
removal of the Cherokee to the West, was the Clierohee Advocate, of 
which the first numlier appeared at Tahlequah in 18-14, with AVilliam 
P. as editor. It is still continued under the auspices of the 
Nation, printed in both languages and distributed free at the expense 
of the Nation to those unable to read English — an example without 
parallel in any other goveriunent. 

In addition to numerous Bible translations, hymn books, and other 

1 Foster. Sequoyah, pp. 120, 121, 1885. - Pilling, Iroquoian Bibliograpliy, p. 21, 1888. 

'Brown letter (unsigned), in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, ii, p. 652, 1834. 

112 MYTHS OF THE CHEKOKEE [eth.anx.19 

religious worivs, there have been printed in the Cherokee hingujiL'e unci 
syllabary the Cherokee Phamlx (journal), Chet'okee Advocate (journal), 
Oherokee Messenger (periodical), Cherokee Ahi%anac (annual), Cherokee 
spelling books, arithmetics, and other schooUiooks for those unable to 
read English, several editions of the laws of the Nation, and a large 
body of tracts and minor publications. Space forbids even a mention 
of the names of the devoted workers in this connection. Besides this 
printed litei'ature the syllabary is in constant and daily use among the 
non-English-speaking element, both in Indian Territory and in North 
Carolina, for letter writing, council records, personal memoranda, etc. 
What is perhaps strangest of all in this literary evolution is the fact 
that the same invention has been seized by the priests and conjurers 
of the conservative party for the purpose of preserving to their suc- 
cessors the ancient rituals and secret knowledge of the tribe, whole 
volumes of such occult literature in manuscript having been obtained 
among them by the author.^ 

In l8iy the whole Cherokee population had been estimated at 15,000, 
one-third of them being west of the Mississippi. In 1825 a census of 
the eastern Nation showed: native Cherokee.; white men mar- 
ried into the Nation, 1-17; white women married into the Nation, 78; 
negro slaves, 1,277. There were large herds of cattle, horses, hogs, 
and sheep, with large crops of every staple, ini hiding cotton, tobacco, 
and wheat, and some cotton was exported by ))oats as far as New Or- 
leans. Apple and peach orc-hards were numerous, butter and cheese 
were in use to some extent, and both cotton and woolen cloths, espe- 
cially blankets, were manufactured. Nearly all the merchants were 
native Cherokee. Mechanical industries flourished, the Nation was out 
of debt, and the population was increasing." Estimating one-third 
beyond the Mississippi, the total number of Cherokee, exclusive of 
adopted white citizens and negro slaves, must then have been al)out 

Simultaneously with the decrees establishing a national press, the 
Cherokee Nation, in general convention of delegates held for the pur- 
pose at New Echota on July 26. 1827, adopted a national constitution, 
based on the assumption of distinct and independent nationality. John, so celebrated in connection with the history of his tribe, was 
president of the convention which framed the instrument. Charles R. 
Hicks, a Mt)ravian convert of mixed blood, and at that time the most 
influential man in the Nation, was elected principal chief, with John 

^ For extended notice of Cherokee literature and authors see numerous references in Pilling, Bibli- 
ography of the Iroquoian Languages, 1888; also Fo.ster. Sequoyah, 1885, and Story of the Cherokee 
Bible, 1899. The largest body of original Cherokee manuscript material in existence, including 
hundreds of ancient ritual formulas, was obtained by the writer among the East Cherokee, and is 
now in possession of the Bureau of American Ethnology, to be translated at some future time. 

- Brown letter (unsigned), September 2, 1826, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, ii, pp. 651, 652, 



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MOONF.V] white-path's rebellion 1828 113 

Ross as assistant fhief.' AVith a constitution and national pi'ess, a 
well-developed system of industries and home education, and a gov- 
ernment administered by educated Christian men, the Cherokee were 
now justly entitled to })e considered a civilized people. 

The idea of a civilized Indian government was not a new one. The 
first treats ever negotiated by the United States with an Indian tribe, 
in 177S, held out to the Dehnvares the hope that by a confederation of 
friendly tribes they might be able "to form a state, whereof the Dela- 
ware nation shall be the head and have a representation in Con- 
gress."- Priber, the Jesuit, had already familiarized the Cherokee 
with the forms of civilized government before the middle of the eight- 
eenth centurj'. As the gap between the conservative and progressive 
elements widened after the Revolution the idea grew, until in 1808 
representatives of both parties visited Washington to propose an 
arrangement by which those who clung to the old life might be allowed 
to remove to the western hunting grounds, while the rest should remain 
to take up civilization and •"begin the establishment of fixed laws and 
a regular government." The project received the warm encourage- 
ment of President Jefi'erson, and it was with this understanding that 
the western emigration was first otficiallv recognized a few vears later. 
Immediately upon the return of the delegates from Washington the 
Cherokee drew up their first brief written code of laws, modeled agree- 
ablj- to the friendl}' suggestions of Jefferson.^ 

By this time the rapid strides of civilization and Christianity had 
alarmed the conservative element, who saw in the new order of things 
only the evidences of apostasy and swift national deca_y. In 1828 
White-path (Niin'na-tsune'ga), an influential full-blood and councilor, 
living at Turniptown (U'lun'yi), near the present EUijay, in Gilmer 
county, Georgia, headed a rebellion against the new code of laws, with 
all that it implied. He soon had a large band of followers, known to 
the whites as "Ked-sticks," a title sometimes assumed by the more 
warlike element among the Creeks and other southern tribes. From 
the townhouse of Ellijay he preached the rejection of the new consti- 
tution, the discarding of Christianity and the white man's ways, and 
a return to the old triljal law and custom — the same doctrine that had 
more than once constituted the burden of Indian revelation in the past. 
It was now too late, however, to reverse the wheel of progress, and 
under the rule of such men as Hicks and Ross the conservative oppo- 
sition gradually melted away. White-path was deposed from his seat 

1 See Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 241, 1888; Meredith, in The Five 
Cirtlized Tribes, Extra Census Bulletin, p. 41, 1894; Morse, American Geography, i, p. 577, 1819 (for 

2 Fort Pitt treaty, September 17, 1778, Indian Treaties, p. 3. 1837. 

3 Cherokee Agency treaty, July 8, 1817, ibid., p. 209; Drake, Indians, p. 450, ed. 1880; Johnson in 
Senate Report on Territories; Cherokee Memorial, .January 18, 1831; see laws of 1808, 1810. and later, 
in American State Papers: Indian .\ffairs, ii, pp. 279-283, 1834. The volume of Cherokee laws, com- 
piled in the Cherokee language by the Nation, in 1850, begins with the year 1808. 

19 ETH— 01 8 

114 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

in council, but suhsequentlj' made .submi,ssion and was reinstated. He 
was afterward one of the detachment commanders in the Removal, but 
died while on the march.' 

In this year, also, John Ross became principal chief of the Nation, 
a position which he held until his death in 1866, thirty-eight years 
later. ^ In this long period, comprising the momentous episodes of 
the Removal and the War of the Rebellion, it may be truly said that 
his history is the history of the Nation. 

And now, just when it seemed that civilization and enlightenment 
were about to accomplish their perfect work, the Cherokee began to 
hear the first low muttering of the coming storm that was soon to 
overturn their whole governmental structure and sweep them forever 
from the land of their birth. 

By an agreement between the United States and the state of Georgia 
in 1802, the latter, for valuable consideration, had ceded to the general 
government her claims west of the present state boundary, the United 
States at the same time agreeing to extinguish, at its own expense, 
but for the benefit of the state, the Indian claims within the state 
limits, "as earl}^ as the same can be peaceably obtained on reasonable 
terms.'" In accordance with this agreement several treaties had 
alread}' been made with the Creeks and Cherokee, by which large 
tracts had been secured for Georgia at the expense of the general 
government. Notwithstanding this fact, and the terms of the proviso, 
Geoi'gia accused the government of bad faith in not taking .summary 
measures to compel the Indians at once to surrender all their remaining 
lands within the chartered state limits, coupling the complaint with a 
threat to take the matter into her own hands. In 1820 Agent Meigs had 
expressed the opinion that the Cherokee wei'e now .so far advanced that 
further government aid was unnecessary, "and that their lands should 
be allotted and the surplus sold for their benefit, they themselves to 
be invested with full rights of citizenship in the several states within 
which they resided. This suggestion had been approved by President 
Monroe, but had met the most determined opposition from the states 
concerned. Tennessee absolutely refused to recognize individual 
reservations made by previous treaties, while North Carolina and 
Georgia bought in all such reservations with money appropriated 
by Congress.* No Indian was to be allowed to live within those states 
on any pretext whatsoever. 

In the meantime, owing to persistent pressure from Georgia, 
repeated unsuccessful efforts had been made to procure from the 
Cherokee a cession of their lands within the chartered limits of the 

' Personal information from James D. Waflord. So far as is known this rebellion of the conservatives 
has never hitherto been noted in print. 

2See Resolutions of Honor, in Laws of the Cherokee Nation, pp. 137-140, 1H6.S; Meredith, in The 
Five Civilized Tribes, Extra Census Bulletin, p. 41, 1894: Appleton, Cyclopedia of American Biography. 

3 See fourth article of "Articles of agreement and cession," April 24,1802.10 American State Papers: 
class VIII, Public Lands, i, quoted also by Greeley, American Conflict, i, p. 103, 1864. 

*Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Kep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 231-233, 1888. 


state. Every effort met with a firm refusal, the Indian.s declaring 
that liaving already made eessioii after cession from a territory once 
extensive, their remaining lands were no more than were needed for 
themselves and their children, more especially as experience had 
shown that each concession would be followed by a further demand. 
They conclude: "'It is the fixed and unalterable determination of this 
nation never again to cede one foot more of land." Soon afterward 
they addressed to the President a memorial of similar tenor, to which 
Calhoun, as Secretary of AYar, returned answer that as Geoi-gia 
objected to their presence either as a tribe or as individual owners or 
citizens, they must prepare their minds for removal beyond the Mis- 

In reply, the Cherokee. l)y their delegates — John Ross, George 
Lowrey, Major Ridge, and Elijah Hicks — sent a sti'ong letter calling 
attention to the fact that by the very wording of the 18(»2 agreement 
the compact was a conditional one which could not ])e carried out 
without their own voluntary consent, and suggesting that Georgia 
might l)e satisfied from the adjoining government lands in Florida. 
Continuing, they remind the Secretary' that the Cherokee are not 
foreigners, but original inhabitants of America, inhabiting and stand- 
ing now upon the soil of their own teriitory, with limits defined b}' 
treaties with the United States, and that, confiding in the good faith 
of the government to respect its treaty stipulations, they do not hesitate 
to say that their true interest, prosperity, and happiness demand their 
permanencj" where they are and the retention of their lands. " 

A copy of this letter was sent by the Secretary to Governor Troup 
of Georgia, who returned a reply in which he blamed the missionaries 
for the refusal of the Indians, declared that the state would not permit 
them to become citizens, and that the Secretary must either assist the 
state in taking possession of the Cherokee lands, or, in resisting that 
occupancy, make war upon and shed the blood of brothers and friends. 
The Georgia delegation in Congress addressed a similar letter to Presi- 
dent jNIonroe, in which the government was censured for having 
instructed the Indians in the arts of civilized life and having thereby 
imbued them with a desire to acquire property." 

For answer the President submitted a report b}- Secretary Calhoun 
showing that since the agreement had been made with Georgia in 1802 
the government had, at its own expense, extinguished the Indian claim 
to 24,60() square miles within the limits of that state, or more than 
three-fifths of the whole Indian claim, and had paid on that and other 
accounts connected with the agreement nearly seven and a half million 

1 Cherokee correspondence. 1823 and 1824, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, ii, pp. 468-473, 
1834; Royce, Clierokee Nation, Fiftli Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 236-237, 1888. 

2 Cherokee memorial, February 11, 1824, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, ii, pp. 473, 494, 
1834; Roycc, op. eit., p. 237. 

3 Letters of Governor Troup of Georgia, February 28. 1824, and of Georgia delegates, March 10,1824, 
American State Papers; Indian Affairs, ii, pp. 475. 477, 1834: Royce, op. cit., pp. 237, 238. 

116 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

dollars, of which by far the greater part had gone to Georgia or her 
citizens. In regard to the other the report states that the 
civilizing policy was as old as the government itself, and that in per- 
forming the high duties of humanity to the Indians, it had never been 
conceived that the stipulation of the convention was contravened. In 
handing in the report the President again called attention to the con- 
ditional nature of the agreement and declared it as his opinion that the 
title of the Indians was not in the slightest degree affected by it and 
that there was no obligation on the United States to remove them by 
force. ' 

Further efforts, even to the employment of secret methods, were 
made in 1827 and 1828 to induce a cession or eiuigration, but without 
avail. On July 2(5, 1827, as already noted, the Cherokee adopted a 
constitution as a distinct and sovereign Nation. Upon this the Georgia 
legislature passed resolutions athnuing that that state "had the power 
and the right to possess herself, by any means she might choose, of 
the lands in dispute, and to extend over them her authority and laws,'' 
and recommending that this be done by the next legislature, if the 
lands were not already acquired by successful negotiation of the gen- 
eral government in the meantime. The government was warned that 
the lands l)elouged to Georgia, and she nuist and would have them. It 
was suggested, however, that the United States might be permitted to 
make a certain number of reservations to individual Indians." 

Passing over for the present some important negotiations with the 
western Cherokee, we come to the events leading to the final act in the 
drama. Up to this time the pressure had been for land oidy, Init now 
a stronger motive was added. About the year 1815 a little Cherokee 
boy playing along Chestatee river, in upper Georgia, had brought in 
to his mother a shining yellow pebble hardly larger than the end of his 
thumb. On being washed it proved to be a nugget of gold, and on 
her next trip to the settlements the woman carried it with her and sold 
it to a white man. The news spread, and although she probably con- 
cealed the knowledge of the exact spot of its origin, it was soon known 
that the golden dreams of DeSoto had been realized in the Cherokee 
country of Georgia. Within four years the whole territory east of 
the Chestatee had passed from the possession of the Cherokee. They 
still held the western bank, but the prospector was abroad in the 
mountains and it could not be for long.^ About 1828 gold was found 
on Ward's creek, a western branch of Chestatee, near the present 
Dahlonega,* and the doom of the nation was sealed (41). 

1 Monroe, message to the Senate, with Calhoun's report, March 30, 1824. American State Papers: 
Indian Affairs, ii, pp. 460, 462, 1834. 

2 Royee, Cherol;ee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Etlinolog.v, pp. 241,242, ISSS. 
^Personal information from J. D. Wafford. 

^Nitze, H. B. C. , in Twentieth Annual Report United States Geological Surve.v, part 6 (Mineral 
Resources), p. 112,1899. 


In November, 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected to succeed John 
Quincy Adams as President. He was a frontiersman and Indian hater, 
and the change l)oded no good to the Clieroliee. His position was well 
understood, and there is good ground for believing that the action at 
once taken by Georgia was at his own suggestion.' On December 20, 
1S2S, a month after his election, Georgia passed an act annexing that 
part of the Cherokee country within her chartered limits and extending 
over it her jurisdiction; all laws and customs established among the 
Cherokee were declared null and void, and no person of Indian blood 
or descent residing within the Indian country was henceforth to be 
allowed as a witness or party in any suit where a white man should be 
defendant. The act was to take eflect June 1, 1830 (42). The whole 
territory was soon after mapped out into counties and surveyed by 
state surveyors into "land lots" of 160 acres each, and '"gold lots" of 
•±0 acres, which were put up and distributed among the white citizens 
of Georgia by public lottery, each white citizen receiving a ticket. 
Every Cherokee head of a family was, indeed, allowed a reservation 
of 160 acres, but no deed was given, and his continuance depended 
solel}' on the pleasure of the legislature. Provision was made for the 
settlement of contested lottery claims among the white citizens, but 
by the most stringent enactments, in addition to the sweeping law 
which forbade anyone of Indian blood to bring suit or to testify 
against a white man, it was made impossible for the Indian owner to 
defend his right in any court or to resist the seizure of his homestead, 
or even his own dwelling house, and anj'one so resisting was made sub- 
ject to imprisonment at the discretion of a Georgia court. Other laws 
directed to the same end (luickly followed, one of which made invalid 
any contract between a white man and an Indian unless established by 
the testimony of two white witnesses — thus practically canceling all 
debts due from white men to Indians — while another obliged all white 
men residing in the Cherokee country to take a special oath of allegi- 
ance to the state of Georgia, on penalty of four j^ears' imprisonment 
in the penitentiary, this act being intended to drive out all the mis- 
sionaries, teachers, and other educators who refused to countenance 
the spoliation. About the same time the Cherokee were forbidden to 
hold councils, or to assemble for any public purpose,^ or to dig for 
gold upon their own lands. 

iSee Butler letter, quoted in Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 297, 
1888: see also Everett, speech in the House of Representatives on Jlay 31. 1838, pp. 16-17, 32-33, 1839. 

" For e."ttracts and sjTiopsesof these acts see Royce, op. cit., pp. 259-2(34; Drake, Indians, pp. 438-456, 
1880; Greeley. American Conaict. i. pp. 105, 101!. 1861; Edward Everett, speech in the House of Rep- 
resentatives, February 14, 1831 (lottery law). The gold lottery is also noted incidentally by Lanman, 
Charles, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, p. 10; New York. 1849, and by Nitze, in his report on 
the Georgia gold lields, in the Twentieth Annual Report of the United States Goological Survey, 
parte (Mineral Resources), p. 112. 1899. Theauthor has himself seen in a mountain village in Georgia 
an old book titled " The Cherokee Land and Gold Lottery," containing maps and plats covering the 
whole Cherokee country of Georgia, with each lot numbered, and descriptions of the water courses, 
soil, and supposed mineral veins. 

118 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

The purpose of this legislation was to render life in their own 
country intolerable to the Cherokee bj' depriving them of all legal 
protection and f]-iendly counsel, and the effect was precisely as 
intended. In an eloquent address upon the subject before the House 
of Representatives the distinguished Edward Everett clearly pointed 
out the encouragement which it gave to lawless men: " They have but 
to cross -the Cherokee line; they have but to choose the time and the 
place where the eye of no white man can rest upon them, and they 
may burn the dwelling, waste the farm, plunder the propeity. assault 
the person, murder the children of the Cherokee subject of Georgia, 
and though hundreds of the tribe may be looking on, there is not one 
of them that can be permitted to bear witness against the spoiler."^ 
Senator Sprague, of Maine, said of the law that it devoted the prop- 
erty of the Cherokee to the cupidity of their neighbors, leaving them 
exposed to every outrage which lawless persons could intlict, so that 
even robbery and murder might be committed with impunity at noon- 
day, if not in the presence of whites who would testify against it.^ 

The prediction was fulfilled to the letter. Bands of armed men 
invaded the Cherokee country, forcibly seizing horses and cattle, 
taking possession of houses from which they had ejected the occu- 
pants, and assaulting the owners who dared to make resistance.' In 
one instance, near the present Dahlonega, two white men, who had 
been hospitably received and entertained at supper by an educated 
Cherokee citizen of nearly pure white blood, later in the evening, 
during the temporary absence of the parents, drove out the children 
and their nurse and deliberately set iire to the house, which was 
burned to the ground with all its contents. They were pursued and 
brought to trial, but the case was dismissed by the judge on the 
ground that no Indian could testify against a white man.* Cherokee 
miners upon their own ground were arrested, fined, and imprisoned, 
and their tools and machinery destroyed, while thousands of white 
intruders were allowed to dig in the same places unmolested.'^ A 
Cherokee on trial in his own nation for killing another Indian was 
seized by the state authorities, tried and condenmed to death, although, 
not understanding English, he was unable to speak in his own defense. 
A United States court forbade the execution, but the judge who had 
conducted the trial defied the writ, went to the place of execution, and 
stood beside the sheriff' while the Indian was being hanged." 

1 Speech of May 19, 1830, Washington; printed by Gales & Seaton,1830. 

2 Speech in the Senate of the United States, April 16, 1830; Washington, Peter Force, printer, 1830. 

3 See Cherokee Memorial to Congress, January 18, 1831. 

' Personal information from Prof. Clinton Duncan, of Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, whose father's 
house was the one thus burned. 

^Cherokee Memorial to Congress January IS, 1S31. 

6 Ibid.; see also speech of Edward Everett in House of Representatives February 14, 1831; report of 
the select committee of the senate of Massachusetts upon the Georgia resolutions, Boston, 1831; Greeley, 
American Conflict, i, p. 106, 1864; Abbott, Cherokee Indians in Georgia; Atlanta Constitution, October 
27, 1889. 


Imniediutel}- on the passage of the first act the Cherokee appealed to 
President Jackson, but were told that no protection would be afforded 
them. Other efforts were then made — in 1829 — to persuade them to 
removal, or to procure another cession — this time of all their lands in 
North Carolina — but the Cherokee remained firm. The Georgia law 
was declared in force on June 3, 1830, whereupon the President 
directed that the annuity payment due the Cherokee Nation under pre- 
vious treaties should no longer be paid to their national treasurer, as 
hitherto, but distril)uted per capita by the agent. As a national fund 
it had been used for the maintenance of their schools and national 
press. As a per capita pajnncnt it amounted to forty -two cents to each 
individual. Several j'ears afterward it still remained unpaid. Fed- 
ei'al troops were also sent into the Cherokee country with orders to 
prevent all mining by either whites or Indians unless authorized by the 
state of Georgia. All these measures served onh' to render the Chero- 
kee more bitter in their determination. In September, 1830, another 
proposition was made for the removal of the tribe, but the national 
council emphatically refused to consider the subject.' 

In January. 1831, the Cherokee Nation, by John Ross as principal 
chief, brought a test suit of injunction against Georgia, in the United 
States Supreme Court. The majoi'ity of the court dismissed the suit 
on the ground that the Cherokee were not a foreign nation within the 
meaning of the Constitution, two justices dissenting from this opinion." 

Shortly afterwai'd, under the law which forbade any white man to 
reside in the Cherokee Nation without taking an oath of allegiance to 
Georgia, a number of arrests were made, including Wheeler, the 
printer of the Chet'ol'ee Pluvni.e, and the missionaries, Worcester, But- 
ler, Thompson, and Proctor, who, being there by permission of the 
agent and feeling that plain American citizenship should hold good in 
any part of the United States, refused to take the oath. Some of 
those arrested took the oath and were released, but Worcester and 
Butler, still refusing, were dressed in prison garb and put at hard 
labor among felons. Worcester had plead in his defense that he was a 
citizen of Vermont, and had entered the Cherokee country b\^ permis- 
sion of the President of the United States and approval of the Cherokee 
Nation; and that as the United States by several treaties had acknowl- 
edged the Cherokee to be a nation with a guaranteed and definite ter- 
ritory, the state had no right to interfere with him. He was sentenced 
to four years in the penitentiary. On ^Nlarch 3, 1832, the matter was 
appealed as a test case to the Supreme Court of the United States, 
which rendered a decision in favor of Worcester and the Cherokee 
Nation and ordered his release. Georgia, however, through her gov- 
ernor, had defied the summons with a threat of opposition, even to the 

1 Royce. Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 261,262, 1888. 
= Ihii3..p.262. 

120 MYTHS OF THE CHEEOKEE [eth.ann. 19 

annihilation of the Union, and now ignored tlie decision, refusing to 
release the missionary, who remained in prison until set free by the 
will of the governor nearly a year later. A remark attributed to 
President Jackson, on hearing of the result in the Supreme Court, may 
throw .some light on the whole proceeding: ■'John Marshall has made 
his decision, now let him enforce it."' 

On the 19th of July. 1832, a public fast was observed throughout 
the Cherokee Nation. In the proclamation recommending it, Chief 
Koss observ^es that "Whereas the crisis in the affairs of the Nation 
exhibits the da}' of tribulation and sorrow, and the time appears to l>e 
fast hastening when the destiny of this people must be sealed; whether 
it has been directed by the wonted depravity and wickedness of man, 
or bj' the unsearchable and mysterious will of an allwise Being, it 
equallj' becomes us, as a rational and Christian community, humblj' to 
bow in humiliation," etc.^ 

Further attempts were made to induce the Cherokee to remove to 
the West, but met the same tirm refusal as before. It was learned that 
in view of the harrassing conditions to which they were subjected the 
Cherokee were now seriously considering the project of emigrating to 
the Pacific Coast, at the mouth of the Columbia, a territory then 
claimed by England and held by the posts of the British Hudson Bay 
Company. The Secretary of War at once took steps to discourage the 
movement.' A suggestion from the Cherokee that the government 
satisfy those who had taken possession of Cherokee lands under the 
lottery drawing by giving them instead an equivalent from the unoc- 
cupied government lands was rejected bj' the President. 

In the spring of 1834 the Cherokee sul)mitted a memorial which, 
after asserting that they would never voluntarih' consent to abandon 
their homes, proposed to satisfy Georgia by ceding- to her a portion of 
their territory, they to be protected in possession of the remainder 
until the end of a definite period to be fixed by the United States, at 
the expiration of which, after disposing of their surplus lands, thej' 
should become citizens of the various states within which they resided. 
They wei-e told that their difficulties could })e remedied only In' their 
removal to the west of the Mississippi, in the meantime a removal 
treaty was being negotiated with a self-styled committee of some fif- 
teen or twenty Cherokee called together at the agency. It was carried 
through in spite of the protest of John Ross and the Cherokee Nation, 
as eml)odied in a paper said to contain the signatures of 13,000 Chero- 
kee, but failed of ratification.* 

Despairing of any help from the President, the Cherokee delega- 

1 Ro.vce, Cherokee Nation. Fifth .\nn. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 2i>i-J66. 18s8; Drake, Indians, 
pp. 454-457, 1880; Greeley, American Conflict, i, 106,1864. 
- Drake, Indians, p. 4.58, 1880. 
3 Royce, op. cit.. pp. 262-264, 272. 273. 
■ilbirl.. pp.274,275. 


tion. headed by John Ross, addressed another earnest memorial to 
Congress on May 17, 1834. Royce quotes the document at length, 
with the remark, ''Without affeeting to pass judgment on the merits 
of the controversy, the writer thinks this memorial well deserving of 
reproduction liere as evidencing the devoted and pathetic attachment 
with which the Cherokee clung to the land of their fathers, and, 
remembering the wrongs and humiliations of the past, refused to be 
convinced that justice, prosperity, and happiness awaited them beyond 
the Mississippi.'" 

In August of this year another council was held at Red Clay, south- 
eastward from Chattanooga and just within the Georgia line, where 
the question of removal was again debated in what is ofBcialh^ 
described as a tumultuous and excited meeting. One of the prin- 
cipal advocates of the emigration scheme, a prominent mixed-ldood 
named John Walker, jr., was assassinated from ambush while return- 
ing from the council to his home a few miles north of the present 
Cleveland, Tennessee. On account of his superior education and 
influential connections, his wife being a niece of former agent Return 
J. Meigs, the attair created intense excitement at the time. The 
assassination has been considered the first of the long series of political 
murders growing out of the removal agitation, but, according to the 
testimony of old Cherokee acquainted with the facts, the killing was 
due to a more personal motive." 

The Cherokee were now nearly worn out by constant battle against 
a fate from which they could see no escape. In February, 183.5, two 
rival delegations arrived in Washington, One, the national party, 
headed by John Ross, came prepared still to fight to the end for home 
and national existence. The other, headed bj- Major John Ridge, a 
prominent sulK-hief, despairing of further successful resistance, was 
prepared to negotiate for removal. Reverend J. F. Schermerhorn 
was appointed connnissioner to arrange with the Ridge party a treatj^ 
to be confirmed later by the Cherokee people in general council. On 
this basis a treaty was negotiated with the Ridge party by which the 
Cherokee were to cede their whole eastern territory and remove to 
the ^^'est in consideration of the sum of $3,250,000 with some addi- 
tional acreage in the West and a small sum for depredations com- 
mitted upon them by the whites. Finding that these negotiations were 
proceeding, the Ross partv filed a counter proposition for ^20,000,000, 
which was rejected by the Senate as excessive. The Schermerhorn 
compact with the Ridge party, with the consideration changed to 
$1,500,000, was thereupon completed and signed on jNIarch 11, 1835, 
but with the express stipulation that it should receive the approval of 

1 Royce, Cherokee Nation. Fifth Ann. Report Bureau of Ethnology, p. 276,1888. 

2 Commissioner Elbert Herring, November 2.5, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 240, 1834; author's 
personal information from Major R. C. Jackson and J. D. Wafford. 

122 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. a.\n.19 

the Cherokee nation in full council assembled before being considered 
of any binding force. This much accomplished, Mr. Scbermerhorn 
departed for the Cherokee country, armed with an address from 
President Jackson in which the great Vjeneiits of removal were set 
forth to the Cherokee. Having exhausted the summer and fall in 
fruitless effort to secure favorable action, the reverend gentleman 
notified the President, proposing either to obtain the signatures of 
the leading Cherokee by jjromising them payment for their improve- 
ments at their own valuation, if in any degree I'easonable, or to con- 
clude a treaty with a part of the Nation and compel its acceptance 
by the rest. He was promptlj^ informed by the Secretary of War, 
Lewis Cass, on behalf of the President, that the treaty, if concluded 
at all, must he procured upon fair and open terms, with no particular 
promise to any individual, high or low, to gain his aid or influence, 
and without sacrificing the interest of the whole to the cupidity of a 
few. He was also informed that, as it would probably be contrary to 
his wish, his letter would not be put on file.' 

In October, 1835, the Ridge treaty was rejected by the Cherokee 
Nation in full council at Red Clay, even its main supporters, Ridge 
himself and Elius Boudinot, going over to the majority, most unex- 
pectedly to Schermerhorn, who reports the result, piously adding, 
"but the Lord is able to overrule all things for good." During the 
session of this council notice was served on the Cherokee to meet 
commissioners at New Echota in December following for the purpose 
of negotiating a treaty. The notice was also printed in the Cherokee 
language and circulated throughout the Nation, with a statement that 
those who failed to attend would be counted as assenting to any treaty 
that might be made." 

The council had authorized the regular delegation, headed by John 
,Ross, to conclude a treaty either there or at AVashington, but, finding 
that Schermerhorn had no authority to treat on an^' other basis than 
the one rejected by the Nation, the delegates proceeded to AVashing- 
ton.^ Before their departure John Ross, who had removed to Ten- 
nessee to escape persecution in his own state, was arrested at his home 
by the Georgia guard, all his private papers and the proceedings of 
the council being take'n at the same time, and conveyed across the line 
into Georgia, where he was held for some time without charge against 
him, and at last released without apology or explanation. The poet, 
John Howard Payne, who was then stopping with Ross, engaged in 
the work of collecting historical and ethnologic material relating to the 
Cherokee, was seized at the same time, with all his letters and scien- 

i Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 278-280, 1888; Everett speech 
in House of Representatives, May 31, 1838, pp. 28,29, 1839, in which the Secretary's reply is given in 
full. » 

! Royce, op. cit., pp. 280-281. sibid., p. 281. 


titii' manuscripts. The national paper, the Cherokt^e P/ia'/ii.r, had been 
suppressed and its office plant seized by the same guard a few days 
before.^ Thus in their greatest need the Cherokee were deprived of 
the help and counsel of their teachers, their national press, and their 

Although for two months threats and inducements had been hi^ld 
out to secure a full attendance at the December conference at New 
Echota, there were present when the proceedings opened, according 
to the report of Schermerhorn himself, only from three hundred to 
five hundi'ed men, women, and children, out of a population of over 
17,000. Notwithstanding the jjaucity of attendance and the absence 
of the i^rincipal officers of the Nation, a committee was appointed to 
arrange the details of a treaty, which was finally drawn up and 
signed on December 29, 183.5.^ 

Briefly stated, by this treaty of New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee 
Nation ceded to the United States its whole remaining territory east 
of the Mississippi for the sum of five million dollars and a connnon 
joint interest in the territory already occupied b}^ the western Chero- 
kee, in what is now Indian Territory, with an additional smaller tract 
adjoining on the northeast, in what is now Kansas. Improvements 
were to be paid for, and the Indians were to be removed at the expense 
of the United States and subsisted at the expense of the Government 
for one year after their arrival in the new countrj-. The removal was 
to take place within two years from the ratification of the treaty. 

On the strong representations of the Cherokee signers, who Avould 
probably not have signed otherwise even then, it was agreed that a 
limited number of Cherokee who should desire to remain behind in 
North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, and become citizens, having 
first been adjudged ''ciualificd or calculated to become useful citizens," 
might so remain, together with a few holding individual reservations 
under former treaties. This provision was allowed by the commis- 
sioners, but was afterward struck out on the announcement liy Presi- 
dent Jackson of his determination "not to allow any preemptions or 
reservations, his desire being that the whole Cherokee people should 
remove together." 

Provision was made also for the pa3'ment of debts due by the Indians 
out of an}^ moneA'S' coming to them under the treat}" ; for the reestali- 
lishment of the missions in the West; for pensions to Cherokee 
wounded in the service of the government in the war of 1812 and the 
Creek war; for permission to establish in the new country such military 
posts and roads for the use of the United States as should be deemed 
necessary; for satisfying Osage claims in the western territory and 

iRoyce. Cherokee Nation, op. eit, (Ross arrest), p. '281; Drake, Indians (Ross, Payne, Phcenix), 
p. 459, 1880; see also Everett speech of May 31, 1838, op. cit. 
2Royee, op. cit., pp. 281,282; see also Everett speech, 1838. 

124 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE Ieth.ann.19 

for lirinoring about a friendly iinderstaiiding between the two tribes; 
and for the eummutation of all annuities and other sums due from the 
United States into a permanent national fund, the interest to be placed 
at the disposal of the ofBcers of the Cherokee Nation and by them 
disbursed, according' to tlio will of their own people, for the care of 
schools and orphans, and for general national purposes. 

The western territory assigned the Cherokee under this treaty was 
in two adjoining tracts, viz, (1) a tract of seven million acres, together 
with a ''perpetual outlet west," already assigned to the western 
Cherokee under treaty of 1833, as will hereafter be noted,* being 
identical with the present area occupied bv the Cherokee Nation in 
Indian Territory, together with the former ''Cherokee strip," with 
the exception of a two-mile strip along the northern boundary, now 
included within the limits of Kansas; (2) a smaller additional tract of 
eight hundred thousand acres, running fift}' miles north and south 
and twenty- five miles east and west, in what is now the southeastern 
corner of Kansas. For this second tract the Cherokee themselves 
were to pay the United States five hundred thousand dollars. 

The treaty of 1S33, assigning the first described tract to the western 
Cherokee, states that the United States agrees to "guaranty it to 
them forever, and that guarantee is hereby pledged." By the same 
treaty, "in addition to the seven millions of acres of land thus pro- 
vidctl for and l)(>iuided, the United States further guaranty to the 
Chei'okee nation a perpetual outlet west and a free and unmolested 
use of all the country lying west of the western boundary of said 
seven millions of acres, as far west as the sovei'eignty of the United 
States and their right of soil extend . . . and letters patent shall be 
issued b}- the United States as soon as practicable for the land hereby 
guaranteed." All this was reiterated by the present treaty, and made 
to include also the smaller (second) tract, in these words: 

Art. 3. The United States also agree that the lands above ceded by the treaty of 
February 14, 1833, including the outlet, and those ceded liy this treaty, shall all be 
included in one patent, executed to the Cherokee nation of Indians by the President 
of the United States, according to the provisions of the act of May 28, 1830. . . . 

Art. 5. The United States hereby covenant and agree that the lands ceded to the 
Cherokee nation in the foregoing article shall in no future time, without their con- 
sent, be included within the territorial limits or jurisdiction of any state or territory. 
But they shall secure to the t^herokee nation the right of their national councils to 
make and carry into effect all such laws as they may deem necessary fur the govern- 
ment and protection of the persons and property within their own country belonging 
to their people or such persons as have connected themselves with them: Provided 
always, that they shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States 
and such acts of Congress as have been or may be passed regulating trade and inter- 
course with the Indians; and also that they shall not be considered as extending to 
such citizens and army of the United States as may travel or reside in the Indian 

1 See Fort Gibson treaty, 1833, p. 1)2. 


country by permission, according to the laws and regulations established by the gov- 
ernment of the same. . . . 

Art. 6. Perpetual peace and friendship shall exist between the citizens of the 
United States and the Cherokee Indians. The United States agree to protect the 
Cherokee nation from domestic strife and foreign enemies and against intestine wars 
between the several tribes. The Cherokees shall endeavor to preserve and maintain 
the peace of the country, and not make war upon their neighbors; they shall also be 
protected against interruption and intrusion from citizens of the United States who 
may atteuii>t to settle in the country without their consent; and all such persons 
shall be removed from the same by order of the President of the United States. But 
this is not intended to prevent the residence among them of useful farmers, mechan- 
ics, and teachers for the instruction of the Indians according to treaty stipulations. 

Akticle 7. The Cherokee nation having already made great progress in civiliza- 
tion, and deeming it important that every proper and laudable inducement should 
be offered to their people to improve their condition, as well as to guard and secure 
in the most effectual manner the rights guaranteed to them in this treaty, and with 
a view to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy of the government of the United 
States toward the Indians in their removal beyond the territorial limits of the states, 
it is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a Delegate in the House of Representa- 
tives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same. 

Tho instruinciit wa.s signed b}' (Governor) William Carroll of Ten- 
nessee and (Reverend) J. F. Sohermerhorn as commissioners — the 
former, however, having been unable to attend by reason of illness — 
and by twenty Cherokee, among whom the most prominent w^ere Major 
Ridge and Elias Boudinot, former editor of the Phoenir. Neither 
John Ross nor any one of the officers of the Cherokee Nation was present 
or represented. After some changes by the Senate, it was ratified 
May 23, 1836.' 

Upon the treaty of New Echota and the treaty previously made with 
the western Cherokee at Fort Gibson in 1833, the united Cherokee 
Nation based its claim to the present territory held by the tribe in 
Indian Territory and to the Cherokee outlet, and to national self-govern- 
ment, with protection from outside intrusion. 

An official census taken in 1835 showed the whole number of Chero- 
kee in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee to be 1(5,542, 
exclusive of 1,592 negro slaves and 201 whites intermarried with 
Cherokee. The Cherokee were distributed as follows: Georgia, 8,946; 
North Carolina, 3,644; Tennessee, 2,528; Alabama, 1,424." 

Despite the efforts of Ross and the national delegates, who presented 
protests with signatures representing nearly 16,000 Cherokee, the treaty 

iSee New Echota treaty, 1835, and Fort Gibson treaty, 1833, Indian Treaties, pp. 633-«S and 561-665, 
1837; also, for full discussion of both treaties, Royce. Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Eth- 
nology, pp. 249-298. For a summary of all the measures of pressure brought to bear upon the Cher- 
okee up to the final removal see also Everett, speech in the House of Representatives, May 31, 1838; 
the chapters on " E.xpatriation of the Cherokees," Drake, Indians, 1880; and the chapter on "State 
Rights— Nullification," in Greeley, American Conflict, i, 1864. The Georgia side of the controversy is 
presented in E.J. Harden's Life of (Governor) George M. Troup, 1849. 

2 Royce. op. cit., p. 289. The Indian total is also given in the Report of the Indian Commissioner, 
p. 369, 1836. 

126 MYTHS OF THE CHEKOKEE [eth.ann.19 

had been ratified hy a majority of one vote over the necessary number, 
and preliminary steps were at once taken to carry it into execution. 
Councils were held in opposition all over the Cherokee Nation, and 
resolutions denouncing- the methods used and declaring the treaty 
absolutely null and void were drawn up and submitted to General 
Wool, in command of the troops in the Cherokee country, by whom 
they were forwarded to Washington. The President in reply expressed 
his surprise that an officer of the army should have received or trans- 
mitted a paper so disrespectful to the Executive, the Senate, and the 
American people; declared his settled determination that the treaty 
should be carried out without modification and with all consistent 
dispatch, and directed that after a copj' of the letter had been delivered 
to Ross, no further communication, hy mouth or writing, should be held 
with him concerning the treaty. It was further directed that no coun- 
cil should be permitted to assemble to discuss the treaty. Ross had 
already been informed that the President had ceased to recognize any 
existing government among the eastern Chei'okee, and that any fur- 
ther effort by him to prevent the consummation of the treaty would be 

Notwithstanding this suppression of opinion, the feeling of the 
Nation was soon made plain through other sources. Before the ratifi- 
cation of the treaty ]Major W. ]M. Davis had been appointed to enroll 
the Cherokee for removal and to appraise the value of their improve- 
ments. He soon learned the true condition of aflairs, and, although 
holding his office by the good will of President Jackson, he addressed 
to the Secretary' of War a strong letter upon the subject, from which 
the following extract is made: 

I conceive that my duty to the President, to yourself, and to my country reluc- 
tantly compels me to make a statement of facts in relation to a meeting of a small 
number of Cherokees at New Echota last December, who were met by Mr. Scher- 
merhorn and articles of a general treaty entered into between them for the whole 
Cherokee nation. . . . Sir, that paper, . . . called a treaty, is no treaty at all, 
because not sanctioned by the great body of the Cherokee and made without their 
participation or assent. I solemnly declare to you that ujion its reference to the 
Cherokee people it would be instantly rejected by nine-tenths of them, and I believe 
by nineteen-twentieths of them. There were not present at the conclusion of the 
treaty more than one hundred C"herokee voters, and not more than three hundred, 
including women and children, although the weather was everything that could be 
desired. The Indians had long been notified of fhe meeting, and blankets were 
promised to all who would come and vote for the treaty. The most cunning and 
artful means were resorted to to conceal the paucity of numbers present at the treaty. 
No enumeration of them was made by Schermerhorn. The business of making the 
treaty was transacted with a committee appointed by the Indians present, so as not 
to expose their numbers. The power of attorney under which the committee acted 
was signed only by the president and secretary of the meeting, so as not to disclose 
their weakness. . . . Mr. Sohermerhorn's apparent design was to conceal the real 
number present and to impose on the pulilic and the government upon this point. 

' Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., pp. 283, 284; Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 285, 286, 1836. 


The delegation taken to Washington liy Mr. Sehermerhorn had no more anthority 
to make a treaty than any other dozen Clierokee acciilentally picked up for the 
purpose. I now warn 3'ou and the President that if this pajier of Scliermerhorn's 
called a treaty is sent to the Senate and ratified you will liring tronlile upon the 
government and eventually destroy this [the Cherokee] Nation. The Cherokee are 
a peaceable, harmless people, but you may drive them to desperation, and this 
treaty can not be carried into effect except by the strong arm of force.' 

General Wool, who had been placed in command of the troops con- 
centrated in the Cherokee country to prevent opposition to the enforce- 
ment of the treaty, reported on February IS, 1837, that he had called 
them together and made them an address, but "it is, however, vain to 
talk to a people almost universall}' opposed to the treaty and who 
maintain that they never made such a treaty. So determined are thej^ 
in their opposition that not one of all those who were present and voted 
at the coiuicil held but a day or two since,. however poor or destitute, 
would receive either rations or clothing from the United States lest 
the}' might compromise themselves in regard to the treaty. These 
same people, as well as those in the mountains of North Carolina, 
during the summer past, preferred living upon the roots and sap of 
trees rather than receive provisions from the United States, and 
thousands, as I have been informed, had no other food for weeks. 
Many have said they will die before thej^ will leave the country." '' 

Other letters from General Wool while engaged in the work of 
disarming and overawing the Cherokee show how very disagreeable 
that duty was to him and how strongly his sympathies were with the 
Indians, who were practically' unanimous in repudiating the treaty. 
In one letter he says: 

The whole scene since I have been in this country has been nothing but a heart- 
rending one, and such a one as I would be glad to get rid of as soon as circumstances 
will permit. Because I am firm and decided, do not believe I would be unjust. If 
1 could, and I could not do them a greater kindness, I would remove every Indian 
to-morrow beyond the reach of the white men, who, like vultures, are watching, 
ready to pounce upon their prey and strip them of everything they have or expect 
from the government of the United States. Yes, sir, nineteen-twentieths, if not 
ninety-nine out of every hundred, will go penniless to the AVest.'* 

How it was to be brought about is explained in i)ait by a letter 
addressed to the President by Major Ridge himself, the principal 
signer of the treaty: 

We now come to address you on the subject of our griefs and afflictions from the 
acts of the white people. They have got our lands and now they are preparing to 
fleece us of the money accruing from the treaty. We found our plantations taken 
either in whole or in part by the Georgians — suits instituted against us for back rents 
for our own farms. These suits are commenced in the inferior courts, with the 

1 Quoted by Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., pp. 284-285; quoted also, with some verbal differences, 
by Everett, speech in House of Representatives on May 31, 1838. 

-Quoted in Royce, op. cit.. p. 2sii. 

3 Letter of General Wool, September 10, 1S36, in Everett, speech in House of Representatives, May 
31, 1838. 


evident design tliat, when we are ready to remove, to arrest our jieople, and on these 
vile claims to induce us to compromise for our own release, to travel with our families. 
Thus our funds will be filched from our people, and we shall be compelled to leave 
our country as beggars and in want. 

Even the Georgia laws, which deny us our oaths, are thrown a.side, and notwith- 
standing the cries of our people, and protestation of our innocence and peace, the 
lowest classes of the white people are flogging the Cherokees with cowhides, hick- 
ories, and clubs. We are not safe in our houses — our people are assailed by day and 
night l)y the rabble. Even justices of the peace and constables are concerned in this 
business. This liarbaroas treatment is not confined to men, but the women are 
stripped also and whipjjed without law or mercy. . . . Send regular troops to protect 
us from these lawless assaults, and to protect our people as they depart for the West. 
If it is not done, we shall carry off nothing but the scars of the lash on our backs, and 
our oppressors will get all the money. AVe talk plainly, as chiefs having property 
and life in danger, and we appeal to you for protection. . . .^ 

General Duulap, in command of the Tennessee troops called out to 
prevent the alleged contemplated Cherokee uprising, having learned 
for him.self the true situation, delivered an indignant address to his 
men in which he declared that he would never dishonor the Tenne,ssee 
arms bj- aiding to carry into execution at the point of the bayonet a 
treaty made by a lean minority against the will and authority of the 
Cherokee people. He .stated further that he had given the Cherokee 
all the protection in his power, the whites needing none.^ 

A confidential agent sent to report upon the situation M'rote in Sep- 
tember, 1837, that opposition to the treaty was unanimous and irrecon- 
cilable, the Cherokee declaring that it could not bind them 
they did not maki» it. that it was the work of a few unauthorized indi 
viduals and that the Mation was not a party to it. They had retained 
the forms of their government, although no election had been held 
since 1S30, having continued the oflicers then in charge until their gov- 
ernment could again be reestablished regularlj\ Under this arrange- 
ment John Ros.s was principal chief, with influence unbounded and 
unquestioned. "The whole Nation of eighteen thousand persons is 
with him, the few — about three hundred — who made the treaty having 
left the country, with the exception of a small number of prominent 
individuals — as Ridge, Boiidinot. and others — who remained to a.ssist 
in carrying it into execution. It is evident, therefore, that Ross and 
his party are in fact the Cherokee Nation. ... 1 believe that the mass 
of the Nation, particularly the mountain Indians, will stand or fall 
with Ross. . . ."' 

So intense was public feeling on the subject of this treat}' that it 
became to some extent a party question, the Democrats supporting 
Pi'esident Jackson while the Whigs bitterly opposed him. Among 

1 Letter of June 30, 1836, to President Jackson, in Everett, speech in the House of Representatives, 

May 31, 1838. 

2 Quoted by Everett, ibid.; also by Royce. Cherokee Nation, op. eit.,p.2S6. 

sLetterof J. M.Mason, jr., to Secretary of War, September 2.i.l837,in Everett, .speech in House of 
Representatives, May 31,1838; also quoted in extract by Royce, op. cit., pp. 286-287. 


notable leaders of the opposition were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, 
Edward Everett, Wise of Virginia, and David Crockett. The speeches 
in Congress upon the subject "were characteiized by a depth and bit- 
terness of feeling such as had never been exceeded even on the slavery 
question."' It was considered not simply an Indian question, but an 
issue between state rights on the one hand and federal jurisdiction and 
the Constitution on the other. 

In spite of threats of arrest and punishment, Ross still continued 
active effort in behalf of his people. Again, in the spring of 1S3S, two 
months before the time fixed for the removal, he presented to Con- 
gress another protest and memorial, which, like the others, was tabled 
bj' the Senate. Van Buren had now succeeded Jackson and was dis- 
posed to allow the Cherokee a longer time to prepare for emigration, 
but was met by the declaration from Governor Gilmer of Georgia that 
any delay would be a violation of the rights of that state and in oppo- 
sition to the rights of the ovurvn of the soil, and that if trouble came 
from anj' protection afforded by the government troops to the Chero- 
kee a direct collision must ensue between the authorities of the state 
and general government." 

Up to the last moment the Cherokee still believed that the treaty 
would not be consummated, and with all the pressure brought to liear 
upon them only al)out 2,000 of the 17,000 in the eastern ]^ation had 
removed at the expiration of the time fixed for their departure, May 
26, 1S38. As it was evident that the removal could only be accom- 
plished by force, General Winfield Scott was now appointed to that 
duty with instructions to start the Indians for the West at the earliest 
possible moment. For that purpose he was ordered to take command 
of the troops already in the Cherokee country, together with addi- 
tional reenforcements of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, with authority 
to call upon the govei'nors of the adjoining states for as many as 4.(»0() 
militia and volunteers. The whole force employed numbered al)out 
7,000 men — regulars, militia, and volunteers.^ The Indians had already 
been disarmed by General Wool. 

On arriving in the Cherokee country Scott established headijuarters 
at the capital, New Echota, whence, on May 10, he issued a proclama- 
tion to the Cherokee, warning them that the emigration must be com- 
menced in haste and that before another moon had passed every 
Cherokee man, woman, and child must be in motion to join his 
brethren in the far AVest, according to the determination of the Presi- 
dent, which he, the general, had come to enforce. The proclamation 
concludes: " Mj^ troops already occupy many positions . . . and 

1 Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. clt. pp. 287, 289. 
= Ibi(l., pp. 289,290. 

3 Ibid., p. 291. The statement of the total number of troops employed is from the speech of Everett 
in the House of Representatives, May 31, 1838, covering the "whole question of the treaty. 

19 ETH— 01 9 

130 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.anx.19 

thousands and thousands are approaching from every quarter to render 
i-esistance and escape alike hopeless. . . . Will you, then, by 
resistance compel us to resort to arms ... or will you by flight 
seek to hide j'ourselves in mountains and forests and thus oblige us to 
hunt you downT" — reminding them that pursuit might result in con- 
flict and bloodshed, ending in a general war.^ 

Even after this Ross endeavored, on behalf of his people, to secure 
some slight modification of the terms of the treaty, but without avail.^ 

THE REMOVAL — 1838-39 

The hi.storv of this Cherokee removal of 18.38, as gleaned by the 
author from the lips of actors in the tragedy, may well exceed in 
weight of grief and pathos any other passage in American history. 
Even the mudi-sung exile of the Acadians falls far behind it in its 
sum of death and misery. Under Scott's orders the troops were dis- 
posed at various points throughout the Cherokee country, where 
stockade forts were erected for gathering in and holding the Indians 
preparatory to removal (13). From these, squads of troops were sent 
to search out with rifle and bayonet every small cabin hidden away in 
the coves or by the sides of mountain streams, to seize and bring in as 
prisoners all the occupants, however or wherever they might be found. 
Families at dinner were startled by the sudden gleam of bayonets in 
the doorway and rose up to be di'iven with blows and oaths along the 
weary miles of trail that led to the stockade. Men were seized in 
their fields or going along the road, women were taken from their 
wheels and children from their play. In many cases, on turning for 
one last look as they crossed the ridge, they saw their homes in flames, 
tired b}^ the lawless rabble that followed on the heels of the soldiers to 
loot and pillage. So keen were these outlaws on the scent that in 
some instances they were driving ofl' the cattle and other stock of the 
Indians almost before the soldiers had fairly started their owners in 
the other direction. Systematic hunts were made by the same men 
for Indian graves, to rob them of the silver pendants and other valu- 
ables deposited with the dead. A Georgia volunteer, afterward a 
colonel in the Confederate service, said: " I fought through the civil 
war and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, 
but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew." 

To prevent escape the soldiers had been ordered to approach and 
surround each house, so far as possible, so as to come upon the occu- 
pants without warning. One old patriarch, when thus surprised, 
calmly called his children and grandchildren around him, and, kneel- 
ing down, bid them pray with him in their own language, while the 
astonished soldiers looked on in silence. Then rising he led the way into 

' Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., p. 291, - Ibid, p. 291. 


exile. A -woman, on linding the house surrounded, went to the door 
and called up the chickens to be fed for the last time, after which, 
taking her infant on her back and her two other children by the hand, 
she followed her husl)und with the soldiers. 

All were not thus submissive. One old man named Tsali, •"Charley." 
was seized with his wife, his brother, his three sons and their families. 
Exasperated at the brutality accorded his wife, who. being unable to 
travel fast, was prodded with bayonets to hasten her steps, he urged 
the other men to join with him in a dash for liberty. As he spoke in 
Cherokee the soldiers, although they heard, understood nothing until 
each warrior suddenly sprang upon the one nearest and endeavored to 
wrench his gun from him. The attack was so sudden and unexpected 
that one soldier was killed and the rest fled, while the Indians escaped 
to the mountains. Hundreds of others, some of them from the various 
stockades, managed also to escape to the mountains from time to time, 
whei'e those who did not die of starvation sulisisted on roots and wild 
berries until the hunt was over. Finding it impracticable to secure 
these fugitives. General Scott finally tendered them a proposition, 
through (Colonel) W. H. Thomas, their most trusted friend, that if 
thej' would surrender Charley and his party for punishment, the rest 
would be allowed to remain until their case could be adjusted by the 
government. On hearing of the proposition. Charley voluntarily 
came in with his sons, ofl'ering himself as a sacrifice for his people. By 
command of General Scott, Charley, his brother, and the two elder 
sons were shot near the mouth of Tuckasegee,a detachment of Chero- 
kee prisoners being compelled to do the shooting in order to impress 
upon the Indians the fact of their utter helplessness. From those 
fugitives thus permitted to remain originated the present eastern 
band of Cherokee.' 

When nearly seventeen thousand Cherokee had thus been gathered 
into the various stockades the work of removal began. Early in June 
several parties, aggregating about fi\e thousand persons, were brought 
down by the ti'oops to the old agency, on Hiwassee, at the present 
Calhoun, Tennessee, and to Ross's landing (now Chattanooga), and 
Gunter's landing (now Guntersville, Alabama), lower down on the 
Tennessee, where the}" were put upon steamers and transported down 
the Tennessee and Ohio to the farther side of the Mississippi, when 
the journey was continued by land to Indian Territorj\ This removal, 

1 The notes on the Cherokee round-up and Removal are almost entirely from author's information 
as furnished by actors in the events, both Cherokee and \vhite, among whom may be named the 
late Colonel W, H. Thomas; the late Colonel Z. A. Zilc, of Atlanta, of the Georgia volunteers; the 
late .lames Bryson, of Dillsboro, North Carolina, also a volunteer; James D. Wafford, of the western 
Cherokee Nation, who commanded one of the emigrant detachments; and old Indians, both east and 
west, who remembered the Removal and had heard the story from their parents. Charley's story is 
a matter of common note among the East Cherokee, and was heard in full detail from Colonel Thomas 
and from WasitOna ("Washington" ), Charley's youngest son, who alone was spared by General Scott 
on account of his youth. The incident is also noted, with some slight inaccuracies, in Lanman, 
Letters from the Alleghany Mountains. See p. 157. 

132 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn-.19 

in the hottest pait of the j-ear, was attended with so great siekness and 
mortality that, by resolution of the Cherokee national council, Ross 
and the other chiefs submitted to General Scott a proposition that the 
Cherokee be allowed to remove themselves in the fall, after the sickly 
season had ended. This was granted on condition that all should 
have started by the 20th of October, excepting the sick and aged who 
might not be able to move so rapidly. Accordingly, officers were 
appointed by the Cherokee council to take charge of the emigration; 
the Indians being organized into detachments averaging one thousand 
each, with two leaders in charge of each detachment, and a sufficient 
number of wagons and horses for the purpose. In this way the 
remainder, enrolled at about 13,000 (including negro slaves), started on 
the long march overland late in the fall (-±4). 

Those who thus emigrated under the management of their own 
officers assembled at Rattlesnake springs, about two miles south of 
Hiwassee river, near the present Charleston, Tennessee, where a linal 
council was held, in which it was decided to continue their old consti- 
tution and laws in their new home. Then, in October, 1838, the long 
procession of exiles was set in motion. A very few went by the river 
route; the rest, nearly all of the 13,000, went overland. Crossing to 
the north side of the Hiwassee at a ferry above Gunstocker creek, 
they proceeded down along the river, the sick, the old people, and the 
smaller children, with the blankets, cooking pots, and other belong- 
ings in wagons, the rest on foot or on horses. The number of wagons 
was G45. 

It was like the march of an army, regiment after regiment, the 
wagons in the center, the officers along the line and the horsemen on 
the flanks and at the rear. Tennessee river was crossed at Tuckers (?) 
ferry, a shoi't distance above Jollys island, at the mouth of Hiwassee. 
Thence the route lay south of Pikeville, through McMinn\ille and 
on to Nashville, where the Cumberland was crossed. Then they went 
on to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where the noted chief White-path, 
in charge of a detachment, sickened and died. His people buried 
him by the roadside, with a box over the grave and poles with stream- 
ers around it, that the others coming on behind might note the spot 
and I'emember him. Somewhere also along that march of death — for 
the exiles died l)y tens and twenties every day of the journey — the 
devoted wife of John Ross sank down, leaving him to go on with the 
bitter pain of bereavement added to heartbreak at the ruin of his 
nation. The Ohio was crossed at a ferry near the mouth of the Cum- 
bei'land, and the army passed on through southern Illinois until the 
great Mississippi was reached opposite Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It 
was now the middle of winter, with the river running full of ice, so 
that several detiichments were obliged to wait some time on the east- 
ern bank for the channel to become clear. In talking with old men 


and women at Tahlequah the author found that the lapse of over half a 
century had nf)t sutKced to wipe out the memory of the miseries of 
that halt beside the frozen rivei', with hundreds of sick and dying 
penned up in wagons or stretched upon the ground, with only a lilanket 
overhead to keep out the Jaiuiary blast. The crossing was made at 
last in two divisions, at Cape Girardeau and at Green's ferry, a short 
distance below, whence the march was on through Missoui'i to Indian 
Territory, the later detachments making a northerly circuit by Spring- 
field, because those who had gone before had killed off all the game 
along the direct route. At last their destination was reached. They 
had started in October, 1838, and it was now March, 1839, the journey 
having occupied nearly six months of the hardest part of the year.^ 

It is difScult to arrive at any accurate statement of the number of 
Cherokee who died as the result of the Removal. According to the 
official figures those who removed under the direction of Ross lost over 
1.600 on the journey." The proportionate mortality among those 
previously removed under military supervision was probablv greater, 
as it was their suli'ering that led to the proposition of the Cherokee 
national officers to take charge of the emigration. Hundreds died in 
the stockades and the waiting camps, chiefl}' by reason of the rations 
furnished, which were of flour and other provisions to which they were 
unaccustomed and which they did not know how to prepare properly. 
Hundreds of others died soon after their arrival in Indian territory, 
from sickness and exposure on the journey. Altogether it is asserted, 
probablv with reason, that over 4,000 Cherokee died as the direct 
result of the removal. 

On their arrival in Indian Territory' the emigrants at once set about 
building houses and planting crops, the government having agreed 
under the treaty to furnish them with rations for one year after arrival. 
They were welcomed by their kindred, the "Arkansas Cherokee" — 
hereafter to be known for distinction as the "Old Settlers" — who 
held the country under previous treaties in 1828 and 1833. These, 
however, being already regularly organized under a government and 
chiefs of their own, were by no means disposed to be swallowed by 
the governmental authority of the newcomers. Jealousies developed 
in which the minority or treaty party of the emigrants, headed by 
Ridge, took sides with the Old Settlers against the Ross or national 
party, which outnumbered both the others nearly three to one. 

While these differences were at their height the Nation was thrown 
into a fever of excitement by the news that Major Ridge, his son John 
Ridge, and Elias Boudinot — all leaders of the treaty partj- — had been 
killed by adherents of the national party, immediatel}' after the close 

1 Author's personal information, as before cited. 

" As quoted in Royce, Clierokee Nation. Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. -92. 18SS. the disburs- 
ing agent makes the number unaccounted for 1.428; the receiving agent, who took charge of them 
on their arrival, makes it 1.645. 

134 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

of a general council, which had adjourned after nearly two weeks of 
debate without having been able to bring about harmonious action. 
Major Ridge was waylaid and shot close to the Arkansas line, his son 
was taken from bed and cut to pieces with hatchets, while Boudinot 
was treacherously killed at his home at Park Hill. Indian territory, 
all three being killed upon the same day, June 22, 1S39. 

The agent's report to the Secretary of War, two days later, says of 
the affair: 

The murder of Boudinot was treacherous and cruel. He was assisting some 
workmen in building a new house. Three men called upon him and asked for 
medicine. He went off with them in the direction of Wooster's, the missionary, 
who keeps medicine, about three hundred yards from Boudinot's. When they got 
about half way two of the men seized Boudinot and the other stabbed him, after 
which the three cut him to pieces with their knives and tomahawks. This murder 
taking place within two miles of the residence of John Ross, his friends were appre- 
hensive it might be charged to his connivance; and at this moment I am writing 
there are six hundred armed Cherokee around the dwelling of Ross, assembled for 
his protection. The murderers of the two Ridges and Boudinot are certainly of the 
late Cherokee emigrants, and, of course, adherents of Ross, but I can not yet believe 
that Ross has encouraged the outrage. He is a man of too much good sense to em- 
broil his nation at this critical time; and besides, his character, since I have known 
him, which is now twenty-five years, has been pacific. . . . Boudinot's wife is a 
white woman, a native of New Jersey, as I understand. He has six children. The 
wife of John Ridge, jr., is a white woman, but from whence, or what family left, I 
am not informed. Boudinot was in moderate circumstances. The Ridges, both 
father and son, were rich. . . .' 

While all the evidence shows that Ross was in no way a party to the 
affair, there can be no question that the men were killed in accordance 
with the law of the Nation — three times formulated, and still in exist- 
ence — which made it treason, punishable with death, to cede away 
lands except by act of the general council of the Nation. It was for 
violating a similar law among the Creeks that the chief. Mcintosh, lost 
his life in 182.5, and a party led by Major Ridge himself had killed 
Doublebead years before on suspicion of accepting a bribe for his 
part in a treaty. 

On hearing of the death of the Ridges and Boudinot several other 
signers of the repudiated treat}', among whom were John Bell, 
Archilla Smith, and James Starr, fled for safety to the protection of 
the garrison at Fort Gibson. Boudinot's brother. Stand AVatie, 
vowed vengeance against Ross, who was urged to flee, but refused, 
declaring his entire innocence. His friends rallied to his support, 
stationing a guard around his iiouse until the first excitement had sub- 
.sided. About three weeks afterward the national council pas.sed 
decrees declaring that the men killed and their principal confederates 

' Agent Stokes to Secretary of War, June 2-), 1S39, in Report Indian Commissioner, p. 35.5. 1839; 
Royee, Clieroltce Nation, Fiftli Ann. Rep. Bureau of Etlinology, p. 293, 1888; Dralie. Inrlians. pp. 4.=)9-4G0, 
1880; author's personal information. The agent's report incorrectly makes the killings occur on 
three different days. 


hud rendered themselves outlaws by their own conduct, extending 
uninesty on cei'tain stringent conditions to their confederates, and 
declaring the slayers guiltless of nuirder and fully restored to the con- 
fidence and favor of the conununity. This was followed in August l)y 
another council decree declaring the New Echota treaty void and reas- 
serting the title of th(^ Cherokee to their old country, and three weeks 
later another decree sunnnoned the signers of the treaty to appear and 
answer for their conduc't undei- penalty of outlawry. At this point 
tlic Tnited States interfered b}' threatening to arrest Ross as acces- 
sory to the killing of the Ridges.' In the meantime the national party 
and the Old Settlers had been coming togetlK>r, and a few of the latter 
who had sided with the Ridge faction and endea\'ored to perpetuate a 
division in the Nation were denounced in a council of the Old Settlers, 
which declai-ed that "in identifying themselves with individuals 
known as the Ridge party, who liy their conduct had rendered th(>m- 
selves odious to the Cherokee people, they have acted in opposition to 
the known sentiments and feelings of that portion of this Nation known 
as Old Settlers, frequently and \ariously and publiclj'^ expressed." 
The oti'ending chiefs were at the .same time deposed from all authority. 
Among the names of over two hundred signers attached that of 
"George Guess" (Secjuoya) comes second as vice-president.'' 

On July 12, 1839. a general convention of the eastern and western 
Cherokee, held at the Illinois camp ground. Indian territory, passed 
an act of union, by which the two were declared "one body politic, 
under the style and title of the Cherokee Nation." On behalf of the 
eastern Cherokee the instrument bears the signature of John Ross, 
principal chief, George Lowrcy, president of the council, and Going- 
snake (I'nadu-na'i), speaker of the council, with thirteen othei's. For 
the western Cherokee it was signed by John Looney. acting principal 
chief, George (Sequoya), president of the council, and fifteen 
others. On September 6, 1839, a convention composed chiefiy of 
eastern Cherokee as.sembled at Tahlequah, Indian territory — then first 
oiBcially adopted as the national capital — adopted a new constitution, 
which was accepted by a convention of the Old Settlers at Fort Gib- 
son, Indian Territory, on June 26, 18-10, an act which completed the 
reunion of the Nation.^ 

THE ARKANSAS BAND — 1817-1838 

Having followed the fortunes of the main body of the Nation to 
their final destination in the West, we now turn to review briefly 

1 Royce. Cherokee Nation, op. oit., pp. 294, 295. 

-Council resolutions, August 23, 1S39, in Report Indian Commissioner, p. 387, 1.S39: Royco, op. eit., 
p. 294. 

3See "Act of Union" and " Constitution" in Constitution and Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1875; 
General Arbuckle's letter to the Secretary of War, June 28, 1840, in Report of Indian Commissioner, 
p. 46, 1840; also Royce, op. cit., pp. 294, 295. 

18fi MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.19 

the hi.story of the earlier emigrants, the Arkansas or Okl Settler 

The events leading to the first westward migration and the subse- 
quent negotiations which resulted in the assignment of a territory in 
Arkansas to the western Cherokee, by the treaty of ISIT. have been 
already noted. The great majority of those thus volunttirily remov- 
ing belonged to the conservative hunter element, who desired to rees- 
tablish in the western wilderness the old Indian life from which, 
through the influence of schools and intelligent leadership, the body 
of the Cherokee was rapidly drifting away. As the land> upon which 
the emigrants had settled l)elonged to the Osage, whose claim had not 
yet been extinguished by the United States, the lattei- objected to 
their presence, and the Cherokee were compelled to tight to maintain 
their own position, so that for the first twenty j-ears or more tlie his- 
tory of the western band is a mere petty chronicle of Osage raids and 
Cherokee retaliations, emphasized from time to time by a massacre on 
a larger scale. By the treaty of INIT the western Cherokee acquired 
title to a definite territory and official standing under Government pro- 
tection and supervision, the lands assigned them having been acquired 
bv treaty from the Osage. The great body of the Cherokee in the 
East were strongly opposed to any recognition of the western band, 
seeing in such action only the beginning of an effort looking toward 
the ultimat(> removal of the whole tribe. The Government lent sup- 
port to the scheme, however, and a steady emigration set in luitil, in 
1811), the emigrants were said to number several thousands. Unsuc- 
cessful endeavors were made to increase the number by inducing the 
Shawano and Delawares of Missouri and the Oneida of New York to 
join them.' 

In ISIS ToUunteeskee (Ata'lunti'ski). principal chief of the Arkan- 
sas Cherokee, while on a visit to old friends in the East, had become 
acquainted with one of the officers of the American Board of Commis- 
sioners for Foreign Missions, and had asked for the establishment of 
a mission among his people in the West. In response to the invitation 
the Reverend Cephas Washburn and his assistant, Reverend Alfred 
Finney, with their families, set out the next year from the old Nation, 
and after a long and exhausting journey reached the Arkansas country, 
where, in the spring of 1820, they established Dwight mission, adjoin- 
ing the agency at the mouth of Illinois creek, on the northern bank 
of the Arkansas, in what is now Pope county, Arkansas. The name 
was bestowed in remembrance of Timothy Dwight, a Yale president 
and pioneer organizer of the American Board. ToUunteeskee having 
died in the meantime was succeeded as principal chief by his brother, 
John Jolly, ^ the friend and adopted father of Samuel Houston. Jolly 

1 See ante, pp. 105-106; Nuttall, who was on the ground, gives them only 1,500. 

2 Washburn, Cephas, Reminiscences of the Indians, pp. 81, 103; Richmond, 1869. 

Moo.N-EY] TROUBLES WITH OSAGE 1817-22 137 

had removed from his old home at the mouth of Hiwassee. in Ten- 
nessee, in ISIS.' 

In the spring of 1819 Thomas Nuttall, the naturalist, ascended the 
Arkansas, and he gives an interostino- account of the western Cherokee 
as he found them at the time. In going up the stream, "both bank.s of 
the river, as we proceeded, were lined with the houses and farms of 
the Cherokee, and though their dress was a mixture of indigenous 
and European taste, yet in their houses, which are decently furnished, 
and in their farms, which were well fenced and stocked with cattle, we 
perceive a happy approach toward civilization. Their numerous fami- 
lies, also, well fed and clothed, argue a propitious progress in their 
population. Their superior industry either as hunters or farmers 
proves the value of property among them, and the}' are no longer 
strangers to avarice and the distinctions created by wealth. Some of 
them are possessed of property to the amount of many thousands of 
dollars, have houses handsomely and conveniently furnished, and their 
tables spread with our dainties and luxuries." He mentions an engage- 
ment some time before between them and the Osage, in whit-h the 
Cherokee had killed nearly one hundred of the Osage. l)esides taking 
a number of prisoners. He estimates them at about fifteen hundred, 
being about half the number estimated l)_v the eastern Nation as hav- 
ing emigrated to the West, and onlv one-fourth of the official estimate. 
A few Delawares were living with them." 

The Osage troubles continued in spite of a treaty of peace between 
the two tribes made at a ('ouncil held under the direction of Governor 
Clark at St. Louis, in October. 1818.^ Warriors from the eastern 
Cherokee were accustomed to make the long journey to the Arkansas 
to assist their western brethren, and returned with scalps and captives.' 

In the summer of 1820 a second effort for peace was made by Gov- 
ernor Miller of Arkansas territory. In reply to his talk the Osage 
complained that the Cherokee had failed to deliver their Osage cap- 
tives as stipulated in the previous agreement at St. Louis. This, it 
appears, was due in part to the fact that some of these captives had 
been carried to the eastern Cherokee, and a messenger was accordingh' 
dispatched to secure and bring them back. Another peace conference 
was held soon afterward at Fort Smith, but to very little purpose, as 
hostilities were soon resumed and continued until the United States 
activel}' interposed in the fall of 1822.^ 

In this year also Sequoya visited the western Cherokee to introduce 

1 Xuttall, Journal of Travels into the Arkansas Territory, etc., p. 129; Philadelphia, 1x21. 

-Ibid., pp. 12a-136. The battle mentioned seems to be the same noted somewhat differently by 
Washburn, Reminiscences, p. 120, 1869. 

•*Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., p. 222. 

■* Washburn, op. cit., p. 160. and personal information from J. D. Wafford. 

5 Royce. op. cit.. pp. 242, 243; Washburn, op. cit., pp. 112-122 et passim; see sketches of Tahche^ 
and Tooantuh or Spring-frog, in McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, i and ii, ISoSi. 

138 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn-.19 

to them the knowledge of his great invention, which was at once taken 
up through the intluence of Takatoka (Degata'ga), a pi'ominont chief 
who had hitheilo opposed every effort of the missionaries to intro- 
duce their own schools and religion. Tn consequence perhaps of this 
encouragement Sequo_ya removed permanently to the West in the fol- 
lowing year and became henceforth a member of the western Nation.' 

Like other Indians, the western Cherokee held a firm belief in witch- 
craft, which led to frequent tragedies of punishment or retaliation. 
In 1824 a step forward was mai'ked l)v the enactment of a law making 
it nuii-dtT to kill any one for witchcraft, and an offense punishable 
with whipping to accuse another of witclicraft.' This law may have 
been the result of the silent working of missionary intluenc(\ sup- 
ported by such enlightened men as Sequoya. 

The treaty which assigned the Arkansas lands to the western Cher- 
okee had stipulated that a census should ))e made of the eastern and 
western divisions of the Nation, separately, and an apportionment of the 
national aniuiity forthwith made on that basis. The western line of 
the Arkansas tract had also been left open, until according to another 
stipulation of the same treaty, the whole amount of land ccdinl through it 
to the United States by the Cherokee Nation in the East could be ascer- 
tained in order that an equal quantity might be included within the 
boundaries of the western tract.'' These promises had not yet been 
fulfilled, partly because of the efforts of the Government to bring 
about a larger emigration or a further cession, partlv on account of 
delay in the state surveys, and partly also because the Osage Objected 
to the running of a line which should make the Cherokee their next 
door neighbors.* With their boundaries unadjusted and their annui- 
ties withheld, distress and dissatisfai'tion overcame the western Cher- 
okee, many of whom, feeling themselves absolved from territorial 
restrictions, spread over the country on the southern side of Arkansas 
river,^ while others, under the lead of a chief named The Bowl 
(Diwa'^li), crossed Red i-iver into Texas — then a portion of Mexico — in 
a vain attempt to escape American jurisdiction.'* 

A provisional western lioundary having been run, which proved 
unsatisfactory both to the western Cherokee and to the people of 
Arkansas, an effort was made to settle the difficulty by arranging an 
exchange of the Arkansas tract for a new country west of the Arkansas 
line. So strongly opposed, however, were the western Cherokee to 
this project that their council, in 1825, passed a law, as the eastern 
Cherokee and the Creeks had already done, fixing the death penalty 

1 Washburn. Reminiscences, p. 178, 1869; see also ante p. 206, 

= Ibid, p. 138. 

3 See Treaty of 1817, Indian Treaties, 1837. 

< Royce, Cherolcee Nation, Fifth Report Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 243, 244, 1888. 

6 Ibid, p. 243. 

^Author's personal information; see p. 143. 


for anyone of the tviho who should undertake to cede or exehano-e land 
belonging to the Nation.' 

After a long series of negotiations such pressure was brought to 
bear upon a delegation which visited Washington in IS'28 that consent 
was at last obtained to an excliange of the Arkansas tract for another 
piece of seven million acres lying farther west, together with "a per- 
petual outlet west" of the tract thus assigned, as far west as the 
sovereignty of the United States might extend." The boundaries 
given for this seven-million-acre tract and the adjoining western 
outlet were modified l)y treaty at Fort Gibson five years later so as to 
be practically e(|uivalent to the present territory of the Cherokee 
Nation in Indian Territory, with the Cherokee strip recently ceded. 

The preamble of the Washington treaty of May 6, 1828, 1'ecites that 
' ' Whereas, it being the anxious desire of the Government of the United 
States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians, as well those now 
living within the limits of the tei'ritory of Arkansas as those of their 
friends and brothers who reside in states east of the Mississippi, 
and who may wish to join their brothers of the West, a pertnuiwnt 
hovte, and which shall, under the most solemn guai'antee of the United 
States, be and remain theirs forever — a home that shall never, in all 
future time, be embarrassed hy having extended around it the lines 
or placed over it the jurisdiction of a territory or state, nor be pressed 
upon by the extension in any way of any of the limits of any existing 
territory or state; and whereas the present location of the Cherokees 
in Arkansas being unfavorable to their present repose, and tending, 
as the past demonstrates, to their future degradation and misery, and 
the Cherokees being anxious to avoid such consequences,'' etc. — there- 
fore, they cede everything continued to them in 1817. 

Article 2 dehnes the l)oundaries of the new tract and the western 
outlet to be given in exchange, lying inmiediately west of the present 
Arkansas line, while the next article provides for the removal of all 
whites and others residing within the said boundaries, "so that no 
obstacles arising out of the presence of a white population, or any 
population of any othei' sort, shall exist to annoy the Cherokees, and 
also to keep all such from the west of said line in future.'' 

Other articles provide for payment for improvements left behind; 
for a cash sum of $50,000 to pay for trouble and expense of removal 
and to compensate for the inferior quality of the lands in the new 
tract; for $6,000 to pay for recovering stock which may stray away 
"in quest of the pastures from which they may be driven ;" $8,760 for 
spoliations committed by Osage and whites; $500 to George Guess 
(Sequoya) — who was himself one of the signers — in consideration of 
the beneficial results to his tribe from the alphabet invented by him; 
$20,000 in ten annual payments for education; $1,000 for a printing 

1 Eoyce, Cherokee Nation, op. eit., p. 345. = Ibid., pp. 247, 248. 

140 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

press and type to aid in the enlightenment of the people "in their own 
and our language'"; a personal indemnity for false imprisonment: and 
for the removal and reestablishmcnt of the Dwight mission. 

In article (i "it is moreover agreed by the United States, whenever 
the Cherokee may desire it, to give them a set of phiin laws, suited to 
their condition; also, when they wish to lay off their lands and own 
them individually, a surveyor shall be sent to make the surveys at the 
cost of the United States." This article was annulled in 1833 by 
request of the Cherokee. 

Article 9 provides for the Fort Gibson military reservation within 
the new tract, while article 7 binds the Cherokee to surrender and 
remove from all their lands in Arkansas within fourteen months. 

Article 8 shows that all this was intended to be only preliminary to 
the removal of the whole Cherokee Nation from the east of the Missis- 
sippi, a consummation toward which the Jackson administration and 
the state of Georgia immediately began to ))end every eflort. It is as 

Article 8. The C'herokee nation, of the Mississippi, having by this agreement 
freed themselves from the harassing and ruinous effects eimsequent upon a location 
amidst a white population, and secured to themselves and their posterity, under the 
solemn sanction of the guarantee of the United States as contained in this agreement, 
a large extent of unembarrassed country; and that their brothers yet remaining in 
the states may be induced to join them and enjoy the repose and blessings of such a 
state in the future, it is further agreed on the part of the United States that to each 
head of a Cherokee family now residing within the chartered limits of Georgia, or 
of either of the states east of the Mississippi, who may dssire to remove west, shall 
be given, on enrolling himself for emigration, a good rifle, a blanket, a kettle, and 
five pounds of tobacco; (and to each member of his family one blanket), also a just 
comjiensation for the projierty he may abandon, to be assessed by persons to be 
appointed by the President of the United States. The cost of the emigration of all 
such shall also be borne by the United States, and good and suitable ways opened 
and procured for their comfort, accommodation, and support by the way, and pro- 
visions for twelve months after their arrival at the agency; and to each person, or 
head of a family, if he take along with him four persons, shall lie paid immediately 
on his arriving at the agency and reporting himself and his family or followers as 
emigrants or iiermanent settlers, in addition to the above, prorided he mid ihi'ii shall 
have eiiiif/rali'il froiii trdhiii the cliartered liiiiitx af tlie Slate af Geni-r/ia, the sum of fifty 
dollars, and this sum in proportion to any greater or less number that may accompany 
him from witliin the aforesaid chartered limits of the State of Georgia. 

A Senate amendment, defining the limits of the western outlet, was 
afterward found to l)e impracticable in its restrictions and was can- 
celed by the treatj' made at Fort Gibson in 1833.' 

The Washington treaty was signed b}- several delegates, including 
Sequoya, four of them signing in Cherokee characters. As the laws 

iTreaty of Washington, May 6, 182S, Indian Treaties, pp. 423-428, 18.37: treaty of Port Gibson, 1833, 
ibid., pp. 561-56.5; see also for synopsis, Royce, Cheroltee Nation, Fiftli Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 229, 230, 1888. 



(From Catlin's piiintiiii,' of ls:;i ) 


of the western Cherokee made it n eapital offense to negotiate any sale 
or exchange of land excepting by authority of council, and the dele- 
gates had acted without such authority, they were so doubtful as to 
what might happen on their return that the Secretary of AVar sent 
with them a letter of explanation assuring the Cherokee that their 
representatives had acted with integrity and earnest zeal for their 
people and had done the best that could be done with regard to the 
treaty. Notwithstanding this, they found the whole tribe so strongly 
opposed to the treaty that their own lives and property were unsafe. 
The national council pronounced them guilty of fraud and deception 
and declared the treaty null and void, as having been made witiiout 
authority, and asked permission to send on a delegation authorized to 
arrange all differences.' In the meantime, however, the treaty had 
been ratitied within three weeks of its conclusion, and thus, hardly ten 
years after the}^ had cleared their tields on the Arkansas, the western 
Cherokee were forced to abandon their cabins and plantations and 
move once more into the wilderness. 

A considerable number, refusing to submit to the treaty or to trust 
longer to guarantees and promises, crossed Red river into Texas and 
joined the Cherokee colony already located there by The Bowl, under 
Mexican jurisdiction. Among those thus removing was the noted 
chief Tahchee (Tatsi') or "Dutch," who had been one of the earliest 
emigrants to the Arkansas country. After several years in Texas, 
during which he led war parties against the wilder tribes, he recrossed 
Red river and soon made himself so conspicuous in raids upon the 
Osage that a reward of live hundred dollars was offered by General 
Arbuckle for his capture. To show his defiance of the proclamation, 
he deliberately journeyed to Fort Gibson, attacked a party of Osage 
at a trading post near by, and scalped one of them within hearing of 
the drums of the fort. With ritle in one hand and the bleeding sculp 
in the other, he leaped a precipice and made his escape, although a 
bullet grazed his cheek. On promise of amne-stj- and the withdrawal 
of the reward, he afterward returned and settled, with his followers, 
on the Canadian, southwest of Fort Gibson, establishing a reputation 
among army officers as a valuable scout and guide. ^ 

By treaties made in 182G and 1827 the Creeks had ceded all their 
remaining lands in Georgia and agreed to remove to Indian Territory. 
Some of these emigrants had settled along the northern l)ank of 
the Arkansas and on Verdigris river, on lands later found to l)e 
within the limits of the territorj' assigned to the western Cherokee 
by the treaty of 1828. This led to jealousies and collisions between 

iRoyee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 248, 1888. 

= For a sketch of Tahchee. with portraits, see lIcKenney and Hall, i. pp. 251-260, 1858; Catlin. North 
American Indians, ii, pp. VZl, 122, 1844. Washburn al-so mentions the emigration to Texas consequent 
upon the treaty of 1828 (Reminiscences, p. 217, 1869). 


the two tribes, and in order to settle the diffieult_y the United States 
convened a joint council of Creeks and Cherokee at Fort Gibson, with 
the result that separate treaties were concluded with each on February 
14, 1833, detining- their respective l)ounds to the satisfaction of all 
concerned. By this arrangement the upper Verdigris was contirnied 
to the Cherokee, and the Creeks who had settled along that portion of 
the stream agreed to remove to (]reek territory immediately adjoining 
on the south.' 

By the treaty made on this occasion with the Cherokee the bound- 
aries of the tract of seven million acres granted 1)y the treaty of 18^8 
are defined so as to correspond with the present boundaries of the 
Cherokee country in Indian territory, together with a strip two miles 
wide along the northern border, which was afterward annexed to the 
state of Kansas b}' the treaty of 18<J6. A tract in the northeastern 
corner, between Neosho or Grand river and the Missouri line, was set 
apart for the use of the Seneca and several other remnants of tribes 
removed from their original territories. The western outlet estab- 
lished by the treaty of 1828 was reestablished as a western extension 
from the seven-million-acre ti'act thus bounded, being what was after- 
ward known as the Cherokee sti'ip or outlet plus the two-mile strip 
extending westward along the south line of Kansas. 

After describing the boundaries of the main residence tract, the first 
article continues: 

111 aililitiim to the seven millions of acres of land thus provided for and bounded 
the United States further guarantee to the Cherokee nation a perpetual outlet west 
and a free and unmolested use of all the country lying west of the western boundary 
of said seven millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty of the United States and 
their right of soil extend — provided, however, that if the saline or salt plain on the 
great western prairie shall fall within said limits prescribed for .said outlet the right 
is reserved to the United States to permit other tribes of red men to get salt on said 
plain in common with the Cherokees — and letters patent shall be issued by the 
United States as soon as practicable fur the lands hereby guaranteed. 

The third article cancels, at the particular request of the Cherokee, 
that article of the treaty of 1838 by which the government was to give 
to the Cherokee a set of laws and a surveyor to survej' lands for indi- 
viduals, when so desired by the Cherokee." 

Their diflerences with the Creeks having been thus adjusted, the 
Arkansas Cherokee proceeded to occupy the territory guaranteed to 
them, where thev were joined a few years later by their expatriated 
kinsmen from the east. By tacit agreement some of the Creeks who 
had settled within the Cherokee bounds were permitted to remain. 
Among these were several families of Uchee — an incorporated tribe 

1 Treaties at Fort Gibson. February 14, 1833, with Creeks and Cherokee, in Indian Treatie.s, pp. 
561-,569, 1837. 

2 Treaty of 1833, Indian Treaties, pp. .Ml-se."), 1837: Royce. Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau 
of Ethnology, pp. 249-253, 1888; see also Treaty of New Echota. 1835, ante, pp. 123-125. 



(From Mf-Kfiiiiey and HalTs I'npy nf (In- ori^'ilial pailltill;^ <if almtil Is^iU) 


of the Creek confederacy — who had fixed their residence at the spot 
where the town of Tahlequah was afterward established. They 
remained here until swept otf by sinallpox some sixty years ago. ' 

THE TEXAS BAND — 1817-1900 

As already stated, a band of western Cherokee under Chief Bowl, 
dissatisfied w'ith the delay in fulfilling- the terms of the treaty of 1S17, 
had left Arkansas and crossed Red river into Texas, then under 
Mexican jurisdiction, where the_v were joined a few years later by 
Tahchee and others of the western band who were opposed to the 
treaty of 182S. Here they united with other refugee Indians from 
the United States, forming together a loose confederacj^ known after- 
ward as "the Cherokee and their associated bands," consisting of 
Cherokee, Shawano, Delaware. Kickapoo, Quapaw, Choctaw, Biloxi, 
"lawanie'' (Heyowani, Yowani), "Unataqua"' (Nada'ko or Ana- 
darko, another Caddo subtribe). "'Tahookatookie" (?), Alaljama (a 
Creek subtribe), and "Cooshatta" (Koasa'ti, another Creek subtribe). 
The Cherokee being the largest and most important band, their chief. 
Bowl — known to the whites as Colonel Bowles — was regarded as the 
chief and principal man of them all. 

The refugees settled chiefly along Angelina, Neches, and Trinity 
rivers in eastern Texas, where Bowl endeavored to obtain a grant of 
land for their use from the Mexican government. According to the 
Texan historians they were tacitly permitted to occupy the country 
and hopes were held out that a grant would be issued, but the papers 
had not been pei'fected when the Texas revolution began." According 
to the Cherokee .statement the grant was actually issued and the Span- 
ish document inclosed in a tin box was on the person of Bowl when he 
was killed.' On complaint of st)me of the American colonists in Texas 
President Jackson issued a proclamation forbidding any Indians to 
cross the Sabine river from the United States.' 

Ill 1826-27 a dissatisfied American colony in eastern Texas, under the 
leadership of Hayden Edwards, organized what was known as the 
'"Fredonia rebellion" against the Mexican government. To secure 
the alliance of the Cherokee and their confederates the Americans 
entered into a treaty by which the Indians were guaranteed the lands 

1 Author's personal inforniation. In 1S91 the author opened two Uchee graves on the grounds of 
Cornelius Boudinot, at Tahlequah, finding with one body a number of French, Spanish, and Araori- 
can silver eoins wrapped in cloth and deposited in two packages on each side of the head. They are 
now in the National Museum at Washington. 

= Bonnell, Topographic Description o£ Texas, p. 141; Austin, 1840: Thrall, History of Texa.s. p. .58: 
New York, 1876. 

3 Author's personal information from J. D. WatTord and other old Cherokee residents and from recent 
Cherokee delegates. Bancroft agrees with Bonnell and Thrall that no grant was formally issued, 
but states that the Cherokee chief established his people in Texas " confiding in promises made to 
him, and a conditional agreement in 18'2'2 " with the Spanish governor (History of the North Mexican 
States and Texas, ii, p. 103. 1889). It is probable that the paper carried by Bowl was the later 
Houston treaty. See next page. *Thrall, op. oit,,s, p. 58. 

144 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

occupied by them, but without specitication a.s to boundaries. The 
Fredonia movement soon collapsed and nothingf tangible seems to have 
come of the negotiations.' 

In the fall of 1835 the Texan revolution began, resulting in the seces- 
sion of Texas from Mexico and her establishment as an independent 
republic until annexed later to the United States. General Samuel 
Houston, a leading member of the revolutionary body, was an old 
friend of the Cherokee, and set forth so strongl}' the claims of them 
and their confederates that an act was passed by the convention pledg- 
ing to these tribes all the lands which they had held under the Mexican 
government. In accordance with this act General Houston and John 
Forbes were appointed to hold a treaty with the Cherokee and their 
as.sociated bands. They met the chiefs, including Bowl and Big-mush 
(Gatuii'wa'li, " Hard-nuish"), of the Cherokee, at Bowl's village on Feb- 
ruary 23, 1836, and concluded a formal treaty by which the Cherokee 
and their allies received a fee simple title to all the land lying " west of 
the San Antonio road and beginning on the west at a point where the 
said road crosses the river Angelina, and running up said river until 
it reaches the mouth of the first large creek below the great Shawnee 
village, emptying into the said river from the northeast, thence run- 
ning with said creek to its main source and from thence a due north 
line to the Sabine and with .said river west. Then starting where the 
San Antonio road crosses the Angelina and with said road to where it 
crosses the Neches and thence running up the east side of said river in 
a northwest direction." The historian remarks that the description is 
somewhat vague, but is a literal transcription from the treatJ^~ The 
territory thus assigned was about equivalent to the present Cherokee 
county. Texas. 

The treaty provoked such general dis.satisfaction among the Texans 
that it was not presented to the convention for ratification. General 
Houston became President of Texas in November, 1836. but notwith- 
standing all his etiorts in behalf of the Cherokee, the treaty was 
rejected by the Texas senate in secret session on December 16. 1837.' 
Texas ha\'ing in the meantime achieved victorious independence was 
now in position to repudiate her engagements with the Indians, which 
she did, not oidy with the Cherokee, but with the Comanche and 
other wild tribes, which had been induced to remain neutral during 
the struggle on assurance oi being secured in pos.session of their 

In the meantime President Houston was unremitting in his effort to 
secure the ratification of the Cherokee treaty, but without success. 
On the other hand the Cherokee were accused of various depreda- 
tions, and it was asserted that they had entered into an agreement with 

1 Thrall, Texas, p. 46, 1879. ' Ibid., p. 143, 1840. 

- Bonnell, Texas, pp. 142, 143, 1840. 


Mexico by wbicli they were to be secured in the territory in question 
on condition of assisting to drive out the Americans.' The charge 
came rather hite in the day, and it was evident that President Houston 
put no faith in it, as he still continued his efforts in behalf of the 
Cherokee, even so far as to order the boundary line to be run, accord- 
ing to the terms of the treaty {■io)." 

In December, 1838. Houston was succeeded as President by Mirabeau 
B. Lamar, who at once announced his intention to expel every Indian 
tribe from Texas, declaring in his inaugural message that "the sword 
should mark the boundaries of the republic." At this time the Indians 
in eastern Texas, including the Cherokee and their twelve confederated 
bands and some (jthers. were estimated at 1.800 warriors, or perhaps 
8,000 persons.' 

A small force of troops sent to take possession of the salt springs in 
the Indian country at the head of the Neches was notified by Bowl 
that such action would be resisted. The Indians were then infoi'med 
that they must prepare to leave the country in the fall, l)ut that they 
would be paid for the improvements abandoned. In the meantime 
the neighboring Mexicans made an effort to free themselves from 
Texan rule and sent overtures to the Indians to make common cause 
with them. This being discovered, the crisis was precipitated, and a 
commission consisting of Genei'al Albert Sidney Johnston (secretary 
of war of the republic), Vice-President Burnet, and some other 
officials, liacked up by several regiments of troops, was sent to the 
Cherokee village on Angelina river to demand of the Indians that they 
remove at once across the Ijoi'der. The Indians refused and were 
attacked and defeated on July 15, 1839, by the Texan troops under 
command of General Douglas. They were pursued and a second 
engagement took place the next morning, resulting in the death of 
Bowl himself and his assistant chief GatuiTwa li, "Hard-mush," and the 
dispersion of the Indian forces, with a loss in the two engagements of 
about 55 killed and 80 wounded, the Texan loss being comparativelj' 
trifling. The tirst tight took place at a hill close to the main Cherokee 
village on the Angelina, where the Indians made a stand and defended 
their position well for some time. The second occurred at a ravine 
near Neches river, where they were intercepted in their retreat. Says 
Thrall, "After this fight the Indians abandoned Texas, leaving their 
fine lands in possession of the whites." * 

By these two defeats the forces of the Cherokee and their confeder- 
ates were completely broken up. A part of the Cherokee recrossed 
Red river and rejoined their kinsmen in Indian territory, bringing 
with them the blood-stained canister containing the patent for their 

1 Bonnell, Texas, pp. 143, 144. 

= Ibid., pp.l>4,14C. 

3 Thrall, Texas, pp. IIU-ICS, 187e. 

< Bonnell, op. cit.. pp. 146-1.50; Thrall, op. eit.. pp. 11.1-120. 

19 ETH— 01 10 

146 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Texas land, which Bowl had carried a))out with him since the treaty 
with Hou.ston and which he had upon his per.son when shot. It is 
still kej)t in the Nation.' Others, with the Kickapoo, Delawares, 
and Caddo, scattered in small bands along the western Texas frontier, 
where they were occasionally heard from afterward. On Christmas 
daj' of the same 3'ear a tight occurred on Cherokee creek, San Saba 
county, in which several Indians were killed and a number of women 
and children captured, including the wife and family of the dead chief 
Bowl." Those of the Cherokee who did not return to Indian territory 
gradually drifted down into Mexico, where some hundreds of them 
are now permanently and prosperously domiciled far south in the 
neighborhood of Guadalajara and Lake Chapala. communication being 
still kept up through occasional visits from their kinsmen in thr terri- 

THE CHEROKKP: nation in THE WEST — 1S40-1900 

"With the final removal of the Cherokee from their native country 
and their reunion and reorganization under new conditions in Indian 
Territory in 1840 their aboriginal period properly comes to a close 
and the rest may be dismissed in a few paragraphs as of concern rather 
to the local historian than to the ethnologist. Having traced for three 
full centuries their gradual evolution from a savage tribe to a civilized 
Christian nation, with a national constitution and national press printed 
in their own national alphabet, we can aiford to leave the rest to 
others, the principal materials being readily accessible in the Cherokee 
national archives at Tahlequah, in the tiles of the Cherokee Advocate 
and other newspapers pulilished in the Nation, and in the annual 
reports and other docuuients of the Indian office. 

For many years the hunter and warrior had been givhig place to the 
farmer and mechanic, and the forced expatriation made the change 
complete and final. Torn from their native streams and mountains, 
their council fires extinguished and their townhouses burned behind 
them, and transported bodily to a far distant counti'y where every- 
thing was new and strange, they were oliliged perforce to forego the 
old life and adjust themselves to changed surroundings. The ballplay 
was neglected and the green-corn dance proscribed, while the heroic 
tradition of former days ))ecame a fading memory or a tale to amuse a 
child. Instead of ceremonials and peace councils we hear now of rail- 
I'oad deals and contracts with cattle syndicates, and instead of the old 
warrior chiefs who had made the Cherokee name a terror — Oconostota, 
Hanging-maw, Doublehead, and Pathkiller — we rind the destinies of the 

^ Author's personal informatiou from J. D. Wafford and other old western Cherokee, and recent 
Cherokee delegates; by some this is said to have been a Mexican patent, but it is probably the one 
given by Texas. See ante. p. 143. 

= Thrall. Texas, p. 120, 1870. 

^. Author's personal information I'roiii Me.xieau and Cherokee sources. 


nation o'uided henceforth by shrewd mixed-blood politicians, bearing 
white men's names and speaking the white man's language, and fre- 
quently with hardly enough Indian blood to show itself in the features. 
The change was not instantaneous, nor is it even yet complete, for 
although the tendency is constantly away from the old things, and 
although frequent intermarriages are rapidly bleaching out the brown 
of the Indian skin, there are still several thousand full-blood Chero- 
kee — enough to constitute a large tribe if set off by themselves — who 
speak only their native language and in secret bow down to the nature- 
gods of their fathers. Here, as in other lands, the conservative 
element has taken refuge in the mountain districts, while the mixed- 
bloods and the adopted whites are chiefly on the richer low giounds 
and in the railroad towns. 

On the reorganization of the united Nation the council ground at 
Tahlequah was designated as the seat of government, and the present 
town was soon afterward laid out upon the spot, taking its name from 
the old Cherokee town of Talikwa', or Tellico, in Tennessee. The 
missions were reestablished, the Advocate was i-evived, and the work 
of civilization was again taken up, though under great difficulties, as 
continued removals and persecutions, with the awful sutiering and 
mortality of the last great emigration, had impoverished and more 
than decimated the Nation and worn out the courage even of the 
bravest. The bitterness engendered bj^ the New Echota treaty led 
to a series of murders and assassinations and other acts of outlawry, 
amounting almost to civil war between the Ross and Ridge factions, 
until the Government was at last obliged to interfere. The Old Set- 
tlers also had their grievances and complaints against the newcomers, 
so that the histor}- of the Cherokee Nation for the next twenty years 
is largely a chronicle of factional quarrels, through which civilization 
and every good work actually retrograded behind the condition of a 
generation earlier. 

Sequo3'a, who had occupied a prominent position in the atl'airs of 
the Old Settlers and assisted much in the reorganization of the Nation, 
had become seized with a desire to make linguistic investigations among 
the remote tribes, verj' probably with a view of devising a universal 
Indian alphabet. His mind dwelt also on the old tradition of a lost 
band of Cherokee living somewhere toward the western mountains. 
In 1841 and 1842, with a few Cherokee companions and with his pro- 
visions and papers loaded in an ox cart, he made several journeys into 
the West, received everywhere with kindness by even the wildest tribes. 
Disaj)pointed in his philologic results, he started out in 1843 in quest 
of the lost Cherokee, who were believed to be somewhere in northern 
Mexico, but. being now an old man and worn out by hardship, he sank 
under the efl'ort and died — alone and unattended, it is said — near the 

148 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. a.nn.19 

village of San Fernando, Mexico, in of that year. Rumors 
having come of his helpless condition, a party had been sent out from 
the Nation to bring him back, but arrived too late to find him alive. 
A pension of three hundred dollars, previously voted to him by the 
Nation, was continued to his widow — the only literary pension in the 
United States. Besides a wife he left two sons and a daughter.^ 
Sequoyah district of the Cherokee Nation was named in his honor, and 
the gi-eat trees of California {Sequoia (jigantea) also preserve his 

In 184-6 a treaty was concluded at Washington Ijy which the con- 
flicting claims of the Old Settlers and later emigrants were adjusted, 
reimbursement was promised for sums unjustly deducted from the 
five-million-dollar payment guaranteed under the treaty of 1835, and 
a general amnesty was proclaimed for all past offenses within the 
Nation.^ Final settlement of the treaty claims has not yet been made, 
and the matter is still a subject of litigation, including all the treaties 
and agi'eements up to the present date. 

In 1859 the devoted missionary Samuel Worcester, author of 
numerous translations and first organizer of the Afloocate. died at 
Park Hill mission, in the Cherokee Nation, after thirty-five years 
spent in the service of the Cherokee, having suffered chains, impris- 
onment, and exile for their sake.^ 

The breaking out of the civil war in 1861 found the Cherokee 
divided in sentiment. Being slave owners, like the other Indians 
removed from the southern states, and surrounded by southern influ- 
ences, the agents in charge being themselves southern sympathizers, 
a considerable party in each of the tribes was disposed to take active 
part with the Confederacy. The old Ridge party, headed l)y Stand 
Watie and supported by the secret secession organization known as 
the Knights of the Golden Circle, declared for the Confederacy. The 
National party, headed by John Ross and supported liy the patriotic 
organization known as the Kitoowah society — whose members were 
afterwai'd known as Pin Indians — declared for strict neutrality. At 
last, however, the pressure became too strong to be resisted, and on 
October 7, 1861, a treaty was concluded at Tahlequah, with General 
Albert Pike, commissioner for the Confederate states, by which the 
Cherokee Nation cast its lot with the Confederacy, as the Creeks, 
Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Osage, Comanche, and several smaller 
tribes had already done.* 

1 W. A. Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, September, 1870; Foster, Sequoyah, 1885; Royce, 
Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 302, 1888; letter of William P. Ross, former 
editor of Cherokee Advocate, March 11, 1889, in archives of Bureau of American Ethnology; Cherokee 
Advocate, October 19, 1844, November 2, 1844, and March 6, 1845; author's personal information. San 
Fernando seems to have been a small village in Chihuahua, but is not shown on the maps. 

2 For full discussion see Royce, op. cit., pp. '298-312. 

3 Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages (bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology), p. 174, 1888. 
■•See treaties with Cherokee, October 7, 1861, and with other tribes, in Confederate States Statutes 

at Large, 1864; Royce, op. cit., pp. 324-3'28; Greeley, American Conflict, ii, pp. 30-34, 1866; Reports of 
Indian Commissioner for Ist'iO to 1862. 


Two C'hei'okee reg'iments were raised for the Confederate .sei-viee, 
under command of Stand Watie and Colonel Drew, respectively, tlie 
former being commissioned as brigadier-general. They participated 
in several engagements, chief among them being the l)attle of Pea 
Ridge, Arlcansas, on March 7. 1862/ In the following summer the 
Union forces entered the Cherokee countr}- and sent a proposition to 
Ross, urging him to repudiate the treaty with the Confederate states, 
but the otier was indignantly declined. Shortly afterward, however, 
the men of Drew's regiment, tinding themselves unpaid and generally 
neglected Ijy their allies, went over almost in a body to the Union 
side, thus compelling Ross to make an arrangement with the Union 
commander. Colonel Weir. Leaving the Cherokee country. Ross 
retired to Philadelphia, from which he did not return until the close 
of the war.- In the meantime Indian Territory was ravaged alter- 
nateh' b}- contending factions and armed bodies, and thousands of 
loyal fugitives were obliged to take refuge in Kansas, where they 
were cared for bv the government. Among these, at the close of 1862, 
were two thousand Cherokee. In the following spring they were sent 
back to their homes under armed escort to give them an opportunity 
to put in a crop, seeds and tools being furnished for the purpose, but 
had hardly begun work when they were forced to retire Ijy the 
approach of Stand Watie and his regiment of Confederate Cherokee, 
estimated at seven hundred men. Stand Watie and his men. with the 
Confederate Creeks and others, scoured the country at will, destj-oying 
or carrying off everything belonging to the loyal Cherokee, who had 
now, to the number of nearly seven thousand, taken refuge at Fort 
Giljson. Refusing to take sides against a government which was still 
unable to protect them, they were forced to see all the prosperous 
accumulations of twenty years of industry swept off in this guerrilla 
warfare. In stock alone their losses were estimated at more than 
300,000 head.' 

"The events of the war brought to them more of desolation and 
ruin than pei'haps to any other community. Raided and sacked alter- 
nately, not only by the Confederate and Union forces, but by the vin- 
dictive ferocity and hate of their own factional divisions, their country 
became a blackened and desolate waste. Driven froui conifortaljle 
homes, exposed to want, misery, and the elements, thej' perished like 
sheep in a snow storm. Their houses, fences, and other improve- 
ments were burned, their orchards destroyed, their flocks and herds 
slaughtered or driven off, their schools broken up, their schoolhouses 
given to the flames, and their churches and public buildings sub- 
jected to a similar fate; and that entire portion of their country which 

1 In this battle the Confederates were assisted by from 4.000 to 5,000 Indians of the southern tribes, 
including the Cherokee, under command of General Albert Pike. 
- Royt-e, Cherokee Nation, Fifth .\nn. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 3-29. 330, ISS-S. 
» Ibid, p. 331. 


had hecii occupied by their settlements was distiiiguishaWe from the 
virgin prairie only b}^ the scorched and blaclvened chimneys and the 
plowed but now neglected fields."' 

After five years of desolation the Cherokee emerged from the war 
with their numbers reduced from 21,0(J0 to 14,000,' and their whole 
country in ashes. On July 19, 1866, by a treaty concluded at Tahle- 
quah. the nation was receiv'ed back into the protection of the United 
States, a general amnesty was proclaimed, and all confiscations on 
account of the war prohibited; slavery was abolished without compen- 
sation to former owners, and all negroes residing within the Nation 
were admitted to full Cherokee citizenship. By articles 15 and 16 
permission was given the United States to settle friendly Indians 
within the Cherokee home country or the Cherokee strip liy consent 
and purchase from the Nation. By article 17 the Cherokee sold the 
800,000-acre tract in Kansas secured by the treaty of 1835, together 
with a two-mile strip running along the southern border of Kansas, 
and thereafter to be included within the limits of that state, thus leav- 
ing the Cherokee country as it was before the recent cession of the 
Cherokee strip. Payment was promised for spoliations bj^ United 
States troops during the war; and $.3,000 were to l)e paid out of the 
Cherokee funds to the Reverend Evan Jones, then disabled and in 
poverty, as a reward for forty years of faithful missionary labors. 
By ai'ticle 26 "the United States guarantee to the Cherokees the quiet 
and peaceable possession of their country and protection against 
domestic feuds and insurrection as well as hostilities of other tribes. 
They shall also be protected from intrusion by all unauthorized citi- 
zens of the United States attempting to settle on their lands or reside 
in their territory."^ 

The missionary. Reverend Evan Jones, who had followed the Cher- 
okee into exile, and his son, John B. Jones, had been admitted to 
Cherokee citizenship the year before by vote of the Nation. The act 
conferring this recognition recites that "we do bear witness that they 
have done their work well."' 

John Ross, now an old man, had been unable to attend this treaty, 
being present at the time in Washington on business for his people. 
Before its ratification he died in that city on August 1, 1866, at the 
age of seventy-seven years, fifty-seven of which had been given to 
the service of his Nation. No finer panegyric was ever pronounced 
than the memorial resolution passed ])y the Cherokee Nation on learn- 
ing of his death. ^ Notwithstanding repeated attempts to subvert his 
authority, his people had remained steadfast in their fidelity to him, 

^ Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., p. 376. 

- Ibid., p. 376. A census of 1867 gives them 13,.566 (ibid., p. 351). 

^See synopsi.s and full discussion in Royce. op. cit., pp. 334-340. 

■• Act of Citizenship, November 7, 1865, Laws of the Cheroliee Nation, p. 119: St. Lonis, 1.S68. 

^See Resolutions of Honor, ibid., pp. 137-140. 



(Krum M.-Kciim-y hthI UmITs copy "f tllf oriKinul pHilililig uf iili.Mit 183S) 


and he diod. ais he had lived tor nearly forty years, the officially recog- 
nized cliief of the Nation. With repeated opportunities to enrich 
himself at the expense of his trihe. he died a poor man. His hody 
was brouiiht back and interred in the territory of the Nation. In 
remembrance of the great chief one of the nine districts of the Chero- 
kee Nation has been called by his Indian name, Cooweescoowee (41!). 

Under the provisions of the late treaty the Delawares in Kansas, to 
the number of 985, removed to Indian territory in lSt37 and became 
incorporated as citizens of the Cherokee Nation. They were followed 
in 1870 by the Shawano, chiefly also from Kansas, to the number of 
770.' These immigrants settled chiefly along the Verdigris, in the 
northwestern part of the Nation. Under the same treaty the Osage, 
Kaw. Pawnee, Ponca, Oto and Missouri, and Tonkawa wei'e afterward 
settled on the western extension known then as the Cherokee strip. 
The captive Nez Perces of Joseph's band were also temporarily located 
there, but have since been removed to the states of Washington and 

In 1870 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway, a branch of the 
Union Pacific system, was constructed through the lands of the Chero- 
kee Nation under an agi-eement i-atitied by the Government, it being 
the first railroad to enter that country." Several others have since 
been constructed or projected. 

The same year saw a Cherokee literary revival. The puldication of 
the Advocate, which had been suspended since some years before the 
war. was resumed, and by authority of the Nation John B. Jones 
began the preparation of a series of schoolbooks in the Cherokee 
language and alphabet for the benefit of those children who knew no 

In the spring of 1881 a delegation from the Cherokee Nation visited 
the East Cherokee still remaining in the mountains of North Carolina 
and extended to them a cordial and urgent invitation to remove and 
incorporate upon equal terms with the Cherokee Nation in the Indian 
territory. In consequence several parties of East Cherokee, numlier- 
ing in all 161 persons, removed during the year to the western Nation, 
the expense being paid by the Federal government. Others afterwards 
applied for assistance to remove, but as no further appropriation was 
made for the purpose nothing more was done.' In 1883 the East 
Cherokee ])rought suit for a proportionate division of the Cherokee 
funds and other interests under previous treaties," but their claim was 

' Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 3.56-358. l.s,s,s; Constitution .-ind 
Laws of the Cherokee Nation, pp. 277-284: St. Louis, 187.5. 

= Royce, op. cit., p. 3C7. 

3 Foster, Sequoyah, pp. 147, 148,1885; Pilling, Iroquoian Bibliography. 188.S, articles" Cherokee Advo- 
cate" and "John B. Jones." The.schooltaook .series seems to have ended witli the arithmetic— cause, 
as the Cherokee national superintendent of schools explained to the author, " too much white man." 

■*Commi.ssioner H.Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. Ixv, 1881, and p.l.xx, 1882; sci- ulsn p. 17.5. 

'Report of Indian Commissioner, p. Ixv, 1883. 

152 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. an-.n. 19 

finally decided adversely three years later on appeal to the Supreme 

In 1889 the Cherokee female seminary was completed at Tahlequah 
at a cost of over $60,000, supplementing- the work of the male sem- 
inary, built some years before at a cost of $90,000. The Cherokee 
Nation was now appropriating annually over $80,000 for school pur- 
poses, includino- the support of the two seminaries, an orphan asylum, 
and over one hundred primary schools, besides which there were a 
number of mission schools." 

For a number of years the pressure for the opening of Indian terri- 
tory to white settlement had been growing in strength. Thousands 
of intruders had settled , themselves upon the lands of each of the 
five civilized tribes, where they remained upon various pretexts in 
spite of urgent and repeated appeals to the government by the 
Indians for their removal. Under treaties with the five civilized 
tribes, -the right to decide citizenship or residence claims belonged to 
the tribes concerned, but the intruders had at last become so numerous 
and strong that they had formed an organization among themselves to 
pass upon their own claims, and others that might be submitted to 
them, with attorneys and ample funds to defend each claim in outside 
courts against the decision of the tribe. At the same time the Gov- 
ernment policy was steadily toward the reduction or complete breaking 
up of Indian reservations and the allotment of lands to the Indians in 
severalt}', with a view to their final citizenship, and the opening of 
the surplus lands to white settlement. As a part of the same policy 
the jurisdiction of the United States courts was gradually being 
extended over the Indian country, taking cognizance of many things 
hitherto considered l)v the Indian courts under former treaties with " 
the United States. Against all this the Cherokee and other civilized 
tribes protested, but without avail. To add to the irritation, com- 
panies of armed "boomers'' were organized for the express purpose 
of invading and seizing the Cherokee outlet and other unoccupied 
jDortions of the Indian territory — reserved by treaty J;or future Indian 
settlement — in defiance of the civil and military power of the Gov- 

We come now to what seems the beginning of the end of Indian 
autonomy. In 1889 a commission, afterward known as the Cherokee 
Commission, was appointed, under act of Congress, to "negotiate 
with the Cherokee Indians, and with all other Indians owning or 
claiming lands lying west of the ninety-sixth degree of longitude in 
the Indian territory, for the cession to the United States of all their 
title, claim, or interest of every kind or character in and to said 
lands." In August of that j^ear the commission made a proposition to 

1 Commissioner J. D. C. Atkins, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. xlv, 1886, and p. Ixxvii, 1887. 
-Agent L. 'E. Bennett, in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 93, 1890. 


Chief J. B. Mayes for the cession of all the Cherokee lands thus de- 
scribed, being that portion known as the Cherokee outlet or strip. 
The proposition was declined on the ground that the Cherokee con- 
stitution forbade its consideration.' Other tribes were approached for 
a similar purpose, and the commission was continued, with changing 
personnel from j^ear to year, until agreements for cession and the 
taking of allotments had lioen made with nearly all the wilder tril)es 
in what is now Oklahoma. 

In the meantime the Attorney-General had rendered a decision deny- 
ing the right of Indian tribes to lease their lands without permission 
of the Government. At this time the Cherokee were derivino- an 
annual income of $150,000 from the lease of grazing privileges upon 
the strip, but by a proclamation of President Harrison on February 
17. 1S90. ordering the cattlemen to vacate before the end of the year, 
this income was cut ofl" and the strip was rendei'ed practicall}' value- 
less to them.*^ The Cherokee were now forced to come to ternii, and 
a second proposition for the cession of the Cherokee strip was tinally 
accepted by the national council on January 4, 1892. "It was known 
to the Cherokees that for some time would-be settlers on the lands of 
the outlet had been encamped in the southern end of Kansas, and by 
every influence at their command had been urging the Government to 
open the country to settlement and to negotiate with the Cherokees 
afterwards, and that a bill for that purpose had been introduced in 
Congress." The consideration was nearly |8, 600,000, or about $1.25 
per acre, for something over 6,000,000 acres of land. One article of 
the agreement stipulates for "the reathrmation to the Cherokee Nation 
of the right of local self-government."^ The agreement having been 
ratified by Congress, the Cherokee strip was opened by Presidential 
proclamation on September 16, 1893.* 

The movement for the abolition of the Indian governments and the 
allotment and opening of the Indian country had now gained such force 
that by act of Congress approved March 8, 1893, the President was 
authorized to appoint a commission of three — known later as the 
Dawes Commission, from its distinguished chairman, Senator Henry 
L. Dawes of Massachusetts — to negotiate with the five civilized tribes 
of Indian territory, viz, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw. Creek, 
and Seminole, for "the extinguishment of tribal titles to any lands 
within that territory, now held by any and all of such nations and 
tribes, either bj' cession of the same or some part thereof to the Unit- 
ed States, or by the allotment and division of the same in severalty 
among the Indians of such nations or tribes respectively as may be 

1 Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 22, 1889. 

-See proclamation by President Harrison and order from Indian Commissioner in Report of Indian 
Commissioner, pp. Ixxii-lxxiii, 421-122, 1S90. The lease figures are from personal information. 
3 Commissioner T. ,T. Morgan, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 79-80, 1892. 
* Commissioner D. M. Browning, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 33-34. 1893. 

154 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

entitled to the same, or by .such other method as may be agreed upon 
. . . to enable the ultimate creation of a state or states of the 
Union, which shall embrace the land within the said Indian territory." ' 
The commission appointed arrived in the Indian territory in January, 
18iM, and at once beofan negotiations." 

At this time the noncitizen element in Indian Territory was otficially 
reported to number at least 200. 000 souls, while those having rights 
as citizens of the live civilized tribes, including full-blood and mixed- 
blood Indians, adopted whites, and negroes, numbered l)ut 7o..5<JO.^ 
Not all of the noncitizens were intruders, many being there by per- 
mis.sion of the Indian governments or on official or other legitimate 
business, but the great body of them were illegal squatters or unrecog- 
nized claimants to Indian rights, against whose presence the Indians 
themselves had never ceased to protest. A test case In-ought this year 
in the Cherokee Nation was decided by the Interior Department against 
the claimants and in favor of the Cherokee. Commenting upon threats 
made in consecjuence by the rejected claimants, the agent for the live 
tribes remarks: "It is not proliable that will e.stablish a 
court to nullify and vacate a formal decision of the Interior Depart- 
ment. ""* A year later he says of these intruders that "so long as they 
have a foothold — a residence, legal or not — in the Indian country they 
will be disturljers of peace and promoters of discord, and while they 
cry aloud, and spare not, for allotment and statehood, they are but 
.stumbling blocks and obstacles to that mutual good will and fraternal 
feeling which be cultivated and .secured before allotment is prac- 
ticable and statehood desirable."" The removal of the intruders was 
still delayed, and in 1896 the decision of citizenship claims was taken 
from the Indian government and relegated to the Dawes Commission. * 

In l.s9a the commission was increased to live members, with enlarged 
powers. In the meantime a survey of Indian Territory had been 
ordered and begun. In September the agent wrote: "The Indians 
now know that a survey of their lands is lieing made, and whether 
witli or without their consent, the survey is going on. The meaning 
of such survey is too plain to be disregarded, and it is justly con- 
sidered as the initial step, solemn and authoritative, toward the ovei-- 
throw of their present comnnmal holdings. At this writing surveying 
corps are at work in the Creek, Choctaw, and Chicka.saw Nations, and 
therefoi'e each one of these tribes has an ocular demonstration of the 
actual intent and ultimate purpose of the government of the United 

> CJuutation from act. etc.. Report of Indian Commissioner for 1894, p. 27, 1895. 

- Report of Agent D. M. Wisdom, ibid., p. 141. 

■'Ibid., and statistical table, p. n'O. 

* Report of Agent D. M. Wisdom, ibid., p. 145. 

''Agent D. M. Wisdom, in Report Indian Commissioner for 1895, p. 1.55. 1896. 

'■'Commis.sioner D. JI. Browning, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 81. 1896. 

^ Report of Agent D. M. Wisdom, Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, pp. 159, 160, 1896. 

MooxEY] CONDITION IN 1895 155 

The general prosperity and advancement of the Cherokee ^\ation at 
this time may be judged from the report of the secretary of the Cher- 
okee national hoard of education to Agent Wisdom. He reports 4.800 
children attending two seminaries, male and female, two high schools, 
and one hundred primary schools, teachers being paid from $35 to 
fSlOO per month for nine months in the j'ear. Fourteen primary 
schools were for the use of the negro citizens of the Nation, besides 
which the}' had a fine high school, kept up. like all the others, at the of the Cherokee goverment. Besides the national schools 
there were twelve mission schools helping to do splendid work for 
children of both citizens and noncitizens. Children of noncitizens 
were not allowed to attend the Cherokee national schools, but had 
their own subscription schools. The orphan asylum ranked as a high 
school, in which 150 orphans were boarded and educated, with gradu- 
ates every year. It was a large brick building of three stories, 80 by 
240 feet. The male seminary, acconmiodating 200 pupils, and the 
female seminarj-, accommodating 225 pupils, were also large brick 
structures, three stories in height and 150 by 240 feet on the ground. 
Three members, all Cherokee ])y blood, constituted a board of educa- 
tion. The secretarj' adds that the Cherokee are proud of their schools 
and educational institutions, and that no other countrv under the sun 
is so blessed with educational advantages at large.' 

At this time the Cherokee Nation numbered something over 25,000 
Indian, white, and negro citizens; the total citizen population of the 
three races in the five civilized tribes numbered about 70,000, while 
the noncitizens had increased to 250,000 and their number was being 
rapidly augmented." Realizing that the swift, inevitable end must be 
the destruction of their national governments, the Cherokee l)egan 
once more to consider the question of removal from the United States. 
The scheme is outlined in a letter written by a brother of the principal 
chief of the Cherokee Nation under date of May 31, 1895, from which 
we quote. 

After prefacing that the government of the United States seems 
determined to break up the tribal autonomy of the five civiliz(>d 
tribes and to divide their lands, thus bringing about conditions 
under which the Cherokee could not exist, he continues: 

Then for a remedy that will lead us out of it, away from it, and one that promises 
our preservation as a distinct race of people in the enjoyment of customs, social and 
political, that have been handed down to us from remote generations of the past. 
My plan is for the Cherokees to sell their entire landed possessions to the I'nited 
States, divide the proceeds thereof per capita, then such as desire to do so unite in 
the formation of an Indian colony, and with their funds jointly in Mexico 

1 Letter of A. E. Ivy, Secretary of the Board of Education, in Report of Indian Commissioner for 
1895. p. 161, 1S96. The author can add personal testimony as to the completeness of the seminary 

- Report of Agent Wisdtim, ibid., p. 162. 

156 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

or Sijuth America a body of land sufficient for all their purposes, to be forever their 
joint home. ... I believe also that for such Indians as did not desire to join 
the colony and leave the country provision should be made for them to repurchase 
their old homes, or such other lands, in the country here as they might desire, and 
the J' c'ould remain here and meet such fate as awaits them. I believe this presents 
the most feasible and equitable solution of the questions that we must decide in the 
near future, and will prove absolutely just and fair to all classes and conditions of 
our citizens. I also believe that the same could be acted upon by any or all of the 
five civilized tribes. . . . ' 

The tiiial ohapter i.s nearly written. Bj' successive enactments 
within the last ton jears the jurisdiction of the Indian courts has 
boon steadily narrowed and the authority of the Federal courts pro- 
portionately extended; the right to determine Indian citizenship has 
been taken from the Indians and vested in a Government commission; 
the lands of the five tribes have been surveyed and sectionized by 
Government surveyors; and by the sweeping provisions of the Curtis 
act of June 28, 1898. '"for the protection of the people of the Indian 
Territory." the entire control of tribal revenues is taken from the live 
Indian tribes and vested with a resident supervising inspector, the 
tribal courts are abolished, allotmenfs are made compulsory, and 
authority is given to incorporate white men's towns in the Indian 
tribes.' By this act the live civilized tribes are reduced to the 
condition of ordinary reservation tribes under government agents 
with white couununities planted in their midst. In the meantime the 
Dawes commission, continued up to the present, has by unremitting 
effort broken down the opposition of the Choctaw and Chickasaw, 
who have con.sented to allf)tment. while the Creeks and the Seminole 
are now wavering.^ The Cherokee still bold out, the Ketoowah secret 
society (47) especiallj' being strong in its resistance, and when the end 
comes it is possible that the protest will take shape in a wholesale 
emigration to Mexico. Late in 1897 the agent for the live tribes 
reports that "there seeius a determined on the part of many 
fullbloods ... to emigrate to either Mexico or South America 
and there purchase new homes for themselves and families. Such 
individiuil action luay grow to the proportion of a colony, and it is 
understood that liberal grants of land can be secured from the coun- 
tries mentioned.* Mexican agents are now (1901) among the Cherokee 
ad\'ocating the scheme, which may develop to include a large propor- 
tion of the live civilized tribes." 

By the census of 1898, the most recent taken, as reported by Agent 

1 Letter of Birtt Harris, May 31, 1895, in Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, p. 160, 1S96. 

-Synopsis of Curtis act, pp. 75-79, and Curtis act in full, p. 425 et seq.. in Report of Indian Commis- 
sioner for 1898; noted also in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. Si et seq., 1899. 

^CommissionerW. A. Jones, ibid.,pp. i, 84 et seq. (Curtis act and Dawes commission). 

^ Report of Agent D. M. Wisdom, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 141-144, 1897. 

f* Author's personal information: see also House bill No. 11G5 " for the relief of certain Indians in 
Indian Territory," etc.. Fifty-sixth Congress, first session, 1900. 


Wisdom, the Cherokee Nation numbered 3i.461 persons, as follows: 
Cherokee by blood (ineluding all degrees of admixture), 26.500; inter- 
married whites, 2,300; negro freedmen, 4,000; Delaware, 871; Shaw- 
nee. 790. The total acreage of the Nation was 5,031,351 aeres, whieh, 
if divided per capita under the provisions of the Curtis bill, after 
deducting 60,000 acres reserved for town-site and other purposes, 
would give to each Cherokee citizen 144 acres.' It must be noted 
that the official rolls include a large number of persons whose claims 
are disputed l\v the Cherokee authorities. 


It remains to speak of the eastern band of Cherokee — the remnant 
which still clings to the woods and waters of the old home country. 
As has been said, a considerable number had eluded the troops in the 
general round-up of 1838 and had tied to the fastnesses of the high 
mountains. Here they were joined by othei's who had managed to 
break through the guard at Calhoun and other collecting stations, until 
the whole number of fugitives in hiding amounted to a thousand or 
more, principally of the mountain Cherokee of Noi"th Cai'olina. the 
purest-blooded and most conservative of the Nation. About one-half 
the refugee warriors had put themselves under command of a noted 
leader named U'tsala, " Lichen, " who made his headquarters anud the 
lofty peaks at the head of Oconaluftee, from which secure hiding 
place, although reduced to extremity of suffering from starvation and 
exposure, they defied every effort to effect their capture. 

The work of running down these fugitives proved to be so difficult 
an undertaking and so well-nigh barren of result that when Charley 
and his sons made their bold stroke for freedom' General Scott eagerly 
seized the incident as an opportunity for compromise. To this end he 
engaged the services of William H. Thomas, a trader who for more 
than twenty years had been closely identitied with the mountain Cher- 
okee and possessed their full contidence, and authorized him to submit 
to U'tsala a proposition that if the latter would seize Charley and the 
others who had been concerned in the attack upon the soldiers and 
surrender them for punishment, the pursuit would be called off' and 
the fugitives allowed to stay unmolested until an effort could be made 
to secure permission from the general government for them to remain. 

Thomas accepted the commission, and taking with him one or two 
Indians made his way over secret paths to U'tsala's hiding place. He 
presented Scott's proposition and represented to the chief that by 
aiding in bringing Charley's party to punishment according to the 
rules of war he could secure respite for his sorelv pressed followers, 
with the ultimate hope that they might be allowed to remain in their 

' Report of .\gent D. M. Wisdom, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. lr<9. 1.S9S. 
2See page 131. 

158 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

own country, whereas if he rejected the utl'er the whole force of the 
yeven thousand troops which had now completed the work of j);ather- 
ing up and deporting the rest of the tribe would be set loose upon his 
own small h-Mid until the last refugee had l>een either taken or 

U'tsala turned the proposition in his mind long and seriously. His 
heart was bitter, for his wife and little son had starved to death on the 
mountain side, but he thought of the thousands who were already on 
their long mai'ch into exile and then he looked round upon his little 
band of followers. If only they might stay, even though a few must 
be sacrificed, it was better than that all should die — for they had sworn 
never to leave their country. He consented and Thomas returned to 
repoi't to (xeneral Scott. 

Now occurred a remarkable incident which shows the character of 
Thomas and the masterly influence which he already had over the 
Indians, altiiougli as yet he was hardly more than thirty years old. It 
was known that Charle}' and his party were in hiding in a cave of the 
Great Smokies, at the head of Deep creek, but it was not thought 
likely that he could be taken without bloodshed and a further delay 
whicli might prejudice the whole undertaking. Thomas determined to 
go to him and tiy to persuade him to come in and surrender. Declin- 
ing Scott's offer of an escort, he went alone to the cave, and, getting 
between the Indians and their guns as they were sitting around the 
fire near the entrance, he walked up to Charley and announced his 
message. The old man listened in silence and then said simpl}% "I 
will come in. I don't want to be hunted down by my own people." 
The}' came in voluntarily and were shot, as has been already narrated, 
one only, a mere boy, being spared on account of his youth. This 
boy, now an old man, is still living, Wasitu'na, better known to the 
whites as Washington.' 

A respite having thus been obtained for the fugitives, Thomas next 
went to Washington to endeavor to make some arrangement for their 
permanent settlement. Under the treaty of New Echota, in 1835, the 
Cherokee were entitled, besides the lump sum of five million dollars 
for the lands ceded, to an additional compensation for the improve- 
ments which they were forced to abandon and for spoliations by white 
citizens, together with a per capita allowance to cover the cost of 
removal and subsistence for one year in the new country. The twelfth 
article had also provided that such Indians as chose to remain in the 
East and become citizens there might do .so under certaui conditions, 

'Charley's story as here given is from the author'.? personal information, derived chiefly from con- 
versations with Colonel Thomas and with Wasitti'na and other old Indians. An ornate but some- 
what inaccurate account is given also in Lanman's Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, written on 
the ground ten years after the events described. The leading lacts are noted in General Scott's otiicial 


each head of a family thus reinainino- to he contirmed in a preiniiption 
right to 160 acres. In conse(|uence of the settled purpose of President 
Jackson to deport every Indian, this permission was canceled and sup- 
plementary articles substituted by which some additional compensation 
was allowed in lieu of the promised preemptions and all individual 
reservations granted under previous treaties.' Every Cherokee was 
thus made a landless alien in his original country. 

The last party of emigrant Cherokee had started for the West in 
December, 1838. Nine months afterwards the refugees still scattered 
about in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee were reported 
to number 1,046.' By persistent effort at Washington from 1836 to 
1842, including one continuous stay of three years at the capital city, 
Thomas finallv obtained governmental permission for these to remain, 
and their share of the moneys due for improvements and reservations 
confiscated was placed at his disposal, as their agent and trustee, for the 
purpose of buying lands upon which they could be permanently settled. 
Under this authority he bought for them, at various times up to the 
year 1861, a number of cohtiguous tracts of land upon Oconaluftee 
river and Soco creek, within the present Swain and Jackson counties 
of North Carolina, together with several detached tracts in the more 
western counties of the same state. The main body, upon the waters 
of Oconaluftee, which was chiefly within the limits of the cession of 
1819. came afterward to be known as the Qualla boundary, or Qualla 
reservation, taking the name from Thomas' principal trading store 
and agency headquartei's. The detached western tracts were within 
the final cession of 1835, but all alike were bought by Thomas from 
white owners. As North Carolina refused to recognize Indians as land- 
owners within the state, and persisted in this refusal until 1866,^ 
Thomas, as their authorized agent under the Government, held the 
deeds in his own name. Before it was legally possible under the state 
laws to transfer the title to the Indians, his own affairs had become 
involved and his health impaired by age and the hardships of military 
service so that his mind gave way, thus leaving the whole question of 
the Indian title a subject of litigation until its adjudication by the 
United States in 1875, supplemented by further decisions in 189-4. 

To Colonel William Holland Thomas the East Cherokee of to-day 
owe their existence as a people, and for half a century he was as inti- 
mately connected with their history as was John Ross with that of the 
main Cherokee Nation. Singularly enough, their connection with 
Cherokee affairs extended over nearly the same period, but while 
Ross participated in their national matters Thomas gave his effort to 

> See New Echota treaty, December 29, 1835, and .supplementary articles, March 1, 1836, in Indian 
Treaties, pp. 633-648, 1837: also full discussion of same treaty m Roycc. Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. 
Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 18S8. 

• Eoyce, op. cit., p. 292. ' Ibid., p. 314. 

160 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

a neglected band hardly known in the councils of the tribe. In his 
many-sided capacity he strikingly resembles another white man promi- 
nent in Cherokee history, General Sam Houston. 

Thoma.s was born in the year 1805 on Raccoon creek, about two miles 
from Waynesville in North Carolina. His father, who was related to 
President Zachai-y Taylor, came of a Welsh family which had immi- 
grated to Virginia at an early period, while on his mother's side he 
was descended from a Maryland family of Revolutionary stock. He 
was an only and posthumous child, his father having been accidentally 
drowned a short time l)efore the l)oy was born. Being unusually 
bright for his age, he was engaged when only twelve years old to 
tend an Indian trading store on Soco creek, in the present Jackson 
county, owned by Felix Walker, son of the Congressman of the same 
name who made a national reputation by "talking for Buncombe." 
The store was on the south side of the creek, about a mile above the 
now abandoned Macedonia mission, w'ithin the present reservation, and 
was a branch of a larger establishment which Walker himself kept at 
Waynesville. The trade was chieily in skins and ginseng, or "sang," 
the latter for shipment to China, where it was said to be worth its 
weight in silver. This trade was very proiitable, as the price to the 
Indians was but ten cents per pound in merchandise for the green root, 
whereas it now brings seventy-live cents in cash upon the reservation, 
the supply steadily diminishing with every year. The contract was 
for three years' service for a total compensation of one hundred dollars 
and expenses. l)ut Walker devoted so much of his attention to law 
studies that the AVaynesville store was tinally closed for debt, and at 
the end of his contract term young Thomas was obliged to accept a 
lot of second-hand law books in lieu of other payment. How well he 
made use of them is evident from his subsequent service in the state 
senate and in other official capacities. 

Soon after entering upon his duties he attracted the notice of Yon- 
aguska, or Drowning-bear (Ya'na-gun'ski, " Bear-drowning-him"), the 
acknowledged chief of all the Cherokee then living on the waters of 
Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee — the old Kituhwa country. On learning 
that the boy had neither father nor brother, the old chief formally 
adopted him as his son, and as such he was thenceforth recognized in 
the tribe under the name of Wil-Usdi', or "Littl(> Will," he l)eing of 
small stature even in mature age. From his Indian friends, particu- 
larlv a boy of the same age who was his companion in the store, he 
learned the language as well as a white man has ever learned it, so that 
in his declining years it dwelt in memory more stronglj' than his 
mother tongue. After the invention of the Cher&kee alphabet, he 
learned also to read and write the language. 

In 1819 the lands on Tuckasegee and its branches were sold by the 


(From pliolugrapli nf l.VjS kiurily loaiii'il Ijv I'iiiil. .l.-iiiirs W. Terrell) 


Indians, and Thomas's mother soon after rcmcniMl t'roiii WavMcsville to 
a farm whicli slio purchased on tlie west bank of Oc(^nalufte(\ opposite 
the mouth of Soeo, where her son went to live with lier, having now 
set up in l)usiness for himself at Qualla. Yonaguska and his immedi- 
ate conneetion continued to reside on a small reservation in the same 
neighborhood, while the rest of the Cherokee retired to the west of 
the Nantahala mountains, though still visiting and trading on Soco. 
After several shiftings Thomas finally, soon after the removsil in ISSS, 
bought a farm on the northern bank of Tuekasegee. just above the 
present town of Whittier in Swain county, and built tiiere a home- 
stead which he called Stekoa, after an Indian town destroyed by 
Rutherford which had occupied the same site. At the time of the 
removal he was the proprietor of tive trading stores in or adjoining tlie 
Cherokee country, viz, at Qualla town, near the mouth of Soco creek; 
on Scott's creek, near Webster; on Cheowa, near the present Robbins- 
ville; at the junction of Valley river and Hiwassee, now Murphy: and 
at the Cherokee agency at Calhoun (now Charleston), Tennessee. 
Besides carrying on a successful trading l)usiness he was also studying 
law and taking an active interest in local politicks. 

In his capacity as agent for the eastern Cherokee he laid off the 
lands purchased for them into tive districts or "towns," which he 
named Bird town. Paint town. Wolf town, Yellow hill, and Big cove, 
the names which they still retain, the first three being those of Chero- 
kee clans.' He also drew up for them a simple form of government, 
the execution of wiiich was in his own and Yonaguska's hands until the 
death of the latter, after which the band knew no other chief than 
Thomas until his retirement from active life. In 1S4S he was elected 
to the state senate and continued to serve in that capacity until the 
outbreak of the civil war. As state senator he inaugurated a system of 
road improvements for western North Carolina and was also the father 
of the Western North Carolina Railroad (now a part of the Southern 
system), originally projected to develop the copper mines of Ducktown, 

With his colleagues in the state senate he voted for secession in 1861, 
and at once resigned to recruit troops for the Confederacy, to which, 
until the close of the war, he gave his whole time, thought, and etlort. 
In 1862 he organized the Thomas Legion, consisting of two regiments 
of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, a company of engineers, and a field 
battery, he himself connuiinding as colonel, althougii then nearly sixty 
years of age. Four companies were made up principally of liis own 
Cherokee. The Thomas Legion operated chiefly as a frontier guard 

1 In the Cherokee language Tsiskwit'hl, " Bird place," Ani'-Wa'dihl, " Paint place," Wa'ya'hl. ■•Wolf 
jilaee," E'lawa'di, "Red earth" (now Cherokee post-ofiiee and agency), and Kalanim'yI. "Kaven 
place." There was also, for a time, a " Pretty-woman town " ( Ani'-Gila'hl?). 

Itt KTH— 01 11 

I(i2 MYTHS OF THK CHEROKEE [eth. ans.I9 

for the Confedei'acy along the iiiouiituiii ri'^n"" southwiiril from C'uin- 
berland gap. 

After the of the confiiet he returned to his hom(> at Stckoa aiul 
again took charge, iinotfieially, of the affairs of the Cherokee, whom 
he attended during the smallpox epidemic of 186*5 and assisted through 
the unsettled conditions of the reconstruction period. His own 
resources had been swept away hy the war, and all his hopes had gone 
down ^rith the lost cause. This, added to the effects of three years of 
hardship and anxiety in the field when already almost past the age 
limit, soon after brought about a physical and mental collapse, from 
which he never afterward rallied except at intervals, when for a short 
time the old spirit would flash out in all its brightness. He died in 
1893 at the advanced age of nearly ninety, retaining to the last the 
courteous manner of a gentleman by nature and training, with an 
exact memory and the clear-cut statement of a lawyer and man of 
affairs. To his work in the state senate the people of western North 
Carolina owe more than to that of any other man, while among the 
older Cherokee the name of Wil-Csdi' is still revered as that of a 
father and a great chief.' 

Yonaguska, properly Ya'iu'i-gun'ski, the adopted father of Thomas, 
is the most prominent chief in the historj' of the East Cherokee, 
although, singularly enough, his name does not occur in connection 
with an}' of the early wars or treaties. This is due partly to the fact 
that ho was a peace chief and counselor rather than a war leader, and 
in part to the fact that the isolated position of the mountain Cherokee 
kept them aloof in a great measure from the tribal councils of those 
living to the west and south. In person he was strikingly handsome, 
being six feet three inches in height and strongly l)uilt. with a faint 
tinge of red, due to a slight strain of white blood on his father's side, 
relieving the brown of his cheek. In power of oratorv he is said to 
have surpassed any other chief of his day. When the Cherokee lands 
on Tuckasegee were sold by the treaty of 1819, Yonaguska continued 
to reside on a reservation of 6-10 acres in a bend of the river a short dis- 
tance above the present Bry.son City, on the site of the ancient 
Kituhwa. He afterward moved over to Oconaluftee, and finally, after 
the Removal, gathered his people about him and settled with them on 
Soco creek on lands purchased for them by Thomas. 

I The facts concerning Colonel Thomas' -s career are derived cliiefly from tlie author's conversations 
with Thomas himself, supplemented by information from his former assistant, Capt. James W. 
Terrell, and others who knew him. together with an admirable sketch in the North Carolina Univer- 
sity Magazine for May 1899, by Jlrw. A. C. Avery, liis daughter. He is also frequently noticed, in con- 
nection with East Cherokee matters, in the annual reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs; in 
the North Carolina Confederate Roster; in Lanman's Letters from the Alleghany Mountains; and in 
Zeiglerand Grosscup's Heart of the AUeghanies. etc. Some manuscript contributions to the librany 
of the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah — now unfortunately mislaid — show his interest in 
Cherokee linguistics. 


He was a prophet and reformer as well as a chief. When :i))oiit 
.sixty years of ao-e he had a severe sickness, terminating in a trance, 
during which his people mourned him as dead. At the end of twentj'- 
four hours, however, he awoke to consciousness and announced that he 
had been to the spirit world, where he had talked with friends who 
had gone before, and with God, who had sent him back with a message 
to the Indians, promising to call him again at a later time. From 
that day until his death his words were listened to as those of one 
inspired. He had been somewhat addicted to liquor, hut now, on the 
recommendation of Thomas, not only quit drinking himself, but organ- 
ized his tribe into a temperance society. To accomplish this he called 
his people together in council, and, after clearly pointing out to them 
the serious effect of intemperance, in an eloquent speech that moved 
some of his audience to tears, he declared that God had permitted him 
to return to earth especially that he might thus warn his people and 
banish whisky from among them. He then had Thomas write out a 
pledge, which was signed first by the chief and then l>v each one of the 
council, and from that time until after his death whisky was unknown 
among the East Cherokee. 

Although frequent pressure was brought to bear to induce him and 
his people to remove to the West, he iirmly resisted every persuasion, 
declaring that the Indians were safer from aggression among their 
rocks and mountains than they could ever be in a land which the white 
man could find protitalile, and that the Cherokee could be happy only 
in the country where nature had planted him. While counseling peace 
and friendship with the white man. he held always to his Indian faith 
and was extremely suspicious of missionaries. On one occasion, after 
the tirst Bible translation into the Cherokee language and alphabet, 
some one brought a copy of Matthew from New Echota. but Yona- 
guska would not allow it to l)e read to his people until it had first been 
read to himself. After listening to one or two chapters the old chief 
dryly remarked: "AWll, it seems to be a good book — strange that the 
white people are not better, after having had it so long." 

He died, aged about eighty, in April, 1839, within a year after the 
Removal. Shortly before the end he had himself carried into the 
townhouse on Soco, of which he had supervised the building, where, 
extended on a couch, he made a last talk to his people, commend- 
ing Thomas to them as their chief and again warning them earnestly 
against ever leaving their own country. Then wrapping his blanket 
around him. he quietly lay l)uck and died. He was buried beside 
Soco, about a mile below the old iNIacedonia mission, with a rude 
mound of stones to mark the spot. He left two wives and consid- 
erable property, including an old negro slave named Cudjo, who was 
devotedlv attached to him. One of his daughters, Kata'lsta, still sur- 

164 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE (eth. anx. 19 

vives, and is the last conservator of the potter's art among the East 

Yonag'uska had succeeded in authority to Yane'gwa, "Big- bear," 
who appears to have been of considerable local prominence in his time, 
))ut whose name, even with the oldest of the band, is now but a mem- 
ory. He was among the signers of the treaties of 11'}S and 1S05, and 
by the treaty of 1819 was confirmed in a reservation of 610 acres as 
one of those living within the ceded territory who were "believed to 
be persons of industry and capable of maniiging their property with 
discretion," and who had made considerable improvements on the 
tracts reserved. This reservation, still known as the Big-bear farm, 
was on the western bank of Oconaluftee, a few miles above its uiouth, 
and appears to have been the same afterward occupied by Yonaguska.^ 

Another of the old notables among the East Cherokee was Tsunu'la- 
huii'ski, corrupted by the whites to Junaluska, a great warrior, from 
whom the ridge west of Waynesville takes its name. In earl}' life he 
was known as Giir'kala'ski.' On the outbreak of the Creek war 
in 1818 he raised a party of warriors to go down, as he boasted, "to 
exterminate the Creeks." Not meeting with complete success, he 
announced the result, according to the Cherokee custom, at the next 
dance after his return in a single word, detsini('Idhunga\ "I tried, but 
could not," given out as a cue to the song leader, who at once took it 
as the burden of his song. Thenceforth the disappointed warrior was 
known as Tsunu'lahuii'skl, ' ' One who tries, but fails. " He distinguished 
himself at the Horseshoe bend, where the action of the Cherokee 
decided the battle in favor of Jackson's army, and was often heard to 
say after the removal: "If I had known that Jackson would drive us 
from our homes, I would have killed him that day at the Horseshoe." 
He accompanied the exiles of 1838, but afterward returned to his old 
home; he was allowed to remain, and in recognition of his serv- 
ices the state legislature, by special act, in 1847 conferred upon 
him the right of citizenship and granted to him a tract of land in fee 
simple, but without power of alienation.* This reservation was in the 
Cheowa Indian settlement, near the present Robbinsville, in Graham 
county, where he died about the year 1858. His grave is still to be 
seen just outside of Robbinsville. 

1 The facts concerning Yonaguska are based on the author's personal information obtained from 
Colonel Thomas, supplemented from conversations with old Indians. The date of his death and his 
approximate age are taken from the Terrell roll. He is also noticed at length in Lanman's Letters fn mi 
the Alleghany Mountains. 1.S4S, and in Zeigler and Grosscup's Heart of the Alleghanies, LS-Si. The 
trance which, according to Thomas and Lanman, lasted about one day. is stretched by the last-named 
authors to fifteen days, with the whole 1.200 Indians marching and countermarching around the 
sleeping bcdy ! 

2 The name in the treaties occurs as Yonahequah (1798), Yohanaqua (180.5), and Yonah (1819).— 
Indian Treaties, pp. 82, 123, 268; Washington. 1837. 

' The name refers to something habitually falling from a leaning position. 
•• Act quoted in Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, p. 636, 1896. 


As illustrativo of his shrowdness it is told tliat he once traclved a 
little Indian girl to Charleston, South Carolina, where she had been 
carried by kidnappers and sold as a slave, and regained her freedom by 
proving, from expert microscopic examination, that her hair had none 
of the negro characteristics.' 

Christianity was introduced among the Kituhwa Cherokee shortly 
ln'fore the Removal through Worcester and Boudinot's translation of 
Matthew, first published at New Echota in ISiiy. In the absence of 
missionaries the book was read by the Indians from house to house. 
After the Removal a Methodist minister, Revej'end Ulrich Keener, 
began to make visits for preaching at irregular intervals, and was fol- 
lowed several j^ears later by Baptist workers.'' 

In the fall of 1889 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs reported 
that the East Cherokee had recently expressed a desire to join their 
brethren in the West, but had been deterred from so doing by the 
unsettled condition of affairs in the Territory. He states that '•they 
have a right to remain or to go," but that as the interests of others 
are involved in their decision they should decide without delay.' 

In 1840 aT)out one hundred Catawba, nearly all that were left of the 
tribe, being dissatisfied with their condition in South Carolina, moved 
up in a body and took up their residence with the Cherokee. Latent 
tribal jealousies broke out, however, and at their own request nego- 
tiations were begun in 1848, through Thomas and others, for their 
removal to Indian Territory. The effort being without result, they 
soon after began to drift tiack to their own homes, until, in 1852, there 
were only about a dozen remaining among the Cherokee. In 1890 
only one was left, an old Avoman, the widow of a Cherokee husband. 
She and her daugliter. both of whom spoke the language, were expert 
potters according to the Catawlia method, which differs markedly from 
that of the Cherokee. There are now two Catawba women, both mar- 
ried to Cherokee husbands, living with the tribe, and practicing their 
native potter's art. Wliile residing among the Cherokee, the Catawba 
acquired a reputation as doctors and leaders of the dance.* 

On August 6, 184il, a treaty was concluded at Washington with the 
representatives of the Cherokee Nation west l)v which the rights of 
the East Cherokee to a participation in the benefits of the New Echota 
ti'oaty of 188.1 were distinctly recognized, and provisi(Mi was made for 
a final adjustment of all unpaid and ^pending claims due under that 
treaty. The right claimed by the East Cherokee to participate in the 

' The facts concerning Junaluskii are from the author's information obtained from Colonel Thomas, 
Captain James Terrell, and Cherokee informants. 

-Author's information from Colonel Thomas. 

3 Commissioner Crawford, November '25, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 333. 1839. 

^ Author's information from Colonel Thomas, Captain Terrell, and Indian sources: Commissioner W. 
Medill, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 399, 1848; Commissioner Orlando Brown, Report of Indian 
Commissioner for 1S49. p. 14. ISoO. 

ln(l MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth, an.n. lii 

benefits of the New Echota treat}', although not denied hy the gov- 
ernment, had been held to be conditional upon their removal to the 

In the spring of 1S4S the author, Lanman. visited the East Chero- 
kee and has left an interesting aceount of their condition at the time, 
together with a description of their ballplays, dances, and customs 
generally, having been the guest of Colonel Thomas, of whom he 
■speaks as the guide, counselor, and friend of the Indians, as well as 
their business agent and chief, so that the connection was like that 
existing between a father and his children. He puts the number of 
Indians at about 800 Cherokee and KlO Catawba on the '"Qualla town" 
reservation — the name l)eing in use thus early — with 200 more Indians 
residing in the more westerlj^ portion of the state. Of their general 
condition he says: 

About three-fourths of the entire population ean read in tlieir own language, and, 
though the majority of them understand English, a very few can speak the language. 
They practice, to a considerable extent, the science of agriculture, and have acquired 
such a knowledge of the mechanic arts as answers them for all ordinary purposes, 
for they manufacture their own t-lothing, their own ploughs, and other farming uten- 
sils, their own axes, and even their own guns. Their women are no hmger treated as 
slaves, but as equals; the men labor in the fields and their wives are devoted entirely 
to household employments. They keep the same domestic animals that are kept by 
their white neighliors, and cultivate all the common grains of the country. They 
are probably as temperate as any other class of people on the face of the earth, 
in their business intercourse, moral in their thoughts, words, and deeds, and distin- 
guished for their faithfulness in performing the duties of religion. They are chiefly 
Methodists and Baptists, and have regularly ordained ministers, who preach to them 
on every Sabliath, and they have also almndoned manycjf their mere senseless super- 
stitions. They ha\'e their own court and try their criminals by a regular jury. 
Their judges and lawyers are chosen from among themselves. They keep in order 
the public roads leading through their settlement. By a law of the state they have 
a right to vote, but seldom exercise that right, as they dn nut like the idea of lieiug 
identified with any of the ijolitical parties. Excepting on festive days, they dress 
after the manner of the white man, but far more picturesquely-. They live in small 
log houses of their own construction, and have everything they need or desire in the 
way of food. They are, in fact, the happiest community that I have yet met with 
in this southern country. - 

Among the other notables Lanman speaks thus of JSala'li, "' Squirrel,"' 
a born mechanic of the band, who died only a few years since: 

He is quite a young man and has a remarkably thoughtful face. He is the black- 
smith of his nation, and with some assistance supplies the whole of Quallatown with 
all their axes and plows; but what is more, he has manufactured a number of very 
superior rifles and pistols, including stock, barrel, and lock, and he is also the builder 
of grist mills, which grind all the corn which his people eat. A specimen of his 
workmanship in the way of a rifle may be seen at the Patent (")fRce in Washington, 
where it was deposited by Mr. Thomas; and I believe Salola is the first Indian who 

1 Synopsis of the treaty, etc., in Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 300-313, 1888; see also ante, p. 14S. 
^Lanman. Letters from the .\lleghany M.iuiiliiiiis, pp. <j4-95, 1.S49. 


ever manufacturerl an entire gun. But when it i.« remembered that he never received 
a j)article of education in any of the mechanic arts but is entirely self-taught, his 
attainments must be considered truly remarkable.' 

On July 20. IS-iS, Congros.s approved an act for taking- a census of 
all those Cherokee who had remained in North Carolina after the 
Removal, and wiio still rt'sided east of the Mississippi, in oi-der that 
their .share of the "removal and subsistence fund" undei- the New 
Echota treaty mi^ht be set aside for them. A sum e(|uivaleiit to 
$53.33^ was at the same time appropriated for each one. or his repre- 
.sentative. to l)e availabl(> for defraying the expenses of his removal to 
the Cherokee Nation west and subsistence there for one year whenever 
he should elect so to remove. Any surplus over such expense was tc 
be paid to him in cash after his arrival in the west. The whole amoiuit 
thus expended was to be reimbursed to the Government from the gen- 
eral fund to the credit of the Cherokee Nation under the terms of the 
treaty of New Echota. In the meantime it was ordered that to each 
individual thus entitled should be paid the accrued interest on this per 
capita sum from the date of the ratification of the New Echota treaty 
(May 23. 183t>), payment of interest at the same rate to continue 
annually thereafter.' In accordance with this act a census of the Cher- 
okee then residing in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, was 
completed in the fall of 18-18 by J. C. Mullay, making the whole num- 
ber 2.133. On the basis of this enrollment several payments were 
made to them by special agents w'ithin the next ten years, one being 
a per-capita payment liy Alfred Chapman in 1851-.52 of unpaid claims 
arising under the treaty of New Echota and amounting in the aggre- 
gate to $197,534.50, the others being payments of the annual interest 
upon the " removal and subsistence fund" .set apart to their credit in 
1848. In the accomplishment of these payments two other enrollments 
were made by D. W. Siler in 1851 and by Chapman in 1852, the last 
being simply a corrected revision of the Siler roll, and neither varv- 
ing greatly from the Mullay roll. ' 

Upon the appointment of Chapman to make the per capita payment 
above mentioned, the Cherokee Nation west had filed a protest against 
the payment, upon the double groiuid that the East Cherokee had for- 
feited their right to participation, and furthermore that their census 
was believed to be enormously exaggerated. As a matter of fact the 
number first reported by Mullay was only 1,517, to which so many 

1 Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, p. 111. 

-.See act quoted in "The United States of America v. William H. Thoma.s el at.": also Royce. Cher- 
okee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 313, 18S8. In the earlier notices the terms " North 
Carolina Cherokee " and " Eastern Cherokee " are used synonymously, as the original fugitives were 
all in North Carolina. 

'See Royce, op. cit., pp. 313-314; Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. li, 
1884: Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 495, 1898; also references by Commissioner W. >ledill, 
Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 399, 1848; and Report of Indian Commissioner for 18.55, p. 255, 1856. 

168 MYTHS i>F THP: CHEROKEE (eth.ann.UI 

were subsequently added as to increase the number liv more than 600.' 
A census taken })V their agent. Colonel Thomas, in 1811. gave the 
number of East Cherokee (possibly only those in North Carolina 
intended) us l.iid." while a year later the whole number residing in 
Nortl) Carolina. Tennessee. Alabama, and (xeorgiii was officially esti- 
mated at from l.(MM) to l.-iOO.^ It is not the only time a per capita 
payment has resulted in a sudden increase of the census population. 

In isoii (Capt.) James W. Terrell was engaged by Thomas, then in 
th(> state senate, to take charge of his store at Qualla, and remained 
associated with him and in close contact with the Indians from then until 
after the close of the war. assisting, as special United States agent, in 
the disbursement of the interest payments, and afterward as a Con- 
federate officer in th(^ organization of the Indian com]ianies, holdinga 
conunission as captain of Company A. Sixty-ninth North Carolina 
Confederate infantry. Being of an investigating bent, Captain Terrell 
was led to give attention to the customs and mythology of the Cher- 
okee, and to accunudate a fund of infoi'mation on the subject seldom 
possessed l)y a white man. Me still resides at Webster, a few miles 
from the reservation, and is now seventy-one years of age. 

In ls.5,3 Congress directed the per capita payment to the East Cher- 
okee of the removal fund established for them in 184S. provided that 
Nortli Carolina should first give assurance that they would l)e allowed 
to remain permanently in that state. This assurance, however, was 
not given until 18*if!. and the money was thei'efore not distributed, 
l)ut remained in the treasury until IST.i, when it was made applicable 
to the purchase of lands and tiie quieting of titles for the benefit of 
the Indians.' 

From 185.5 until after the civil war we find no official notice of the 
East Cherokee, and our information must l)e obtained from other 
sources. It was, however, a most momentous period in their history. 
At the outbreak of the war Thomas was serving his seventh consec- 
utive term in th(^ state senate. Being an ardent Confederate sym- 
pathizer, he was elected a delegate to the convention which passed the 
secession ordinance, and inmiediately after voting in favor of that 
measure resigned from the senate in order to work for the southern 
cause. As he was already well advanced in years it is doubtful if his 
efl'ort would have gone lieyond the raising of funds and other supplies 
but for the fact that at this juncture an eti'ort was made by the Con- 
federate General Kirby Smith to enlist the East Cherokee for active 

The agent sent for this purpose was Washington Morgan, known to 
the Indians as A'gansta'ta, son of that Colonel Gideon Morgan who 

^ Royce, Cherokee Nation.op. cit.,p. 313and note. 

2 Report of the Indian Commissioner, pp. 4-VJ-4(iO, 1845. 

3 Commissiouer Crawford. Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 3, 1S42. 
* Royce, op. cit., p. 3H. 


liiul coinniundod the Cherokee :it the Horseshoe l)(>ii<l. Hy virtue of 
his Indian l)h)<)d and historic ancestry he was deinned the most fitting 
emissary for the purpose. Karly in 18(i:i he arrived amonj;' the 
Cherokee, and by appealinji' to old-time memories so aroused the war 
spirit among- them that a larue nimiber dechired themselves ready to 
follow wherevei' he led. Conceiving the question at is.sue in the war 
to he one that did not concern th(> Indians. Thomas had discouraged 
their participation in it and advised them to remain at home in quiet 
neutrality. Now, however, knowing Morgan's reputation for reckless 
daring, he became alarmed at the possible result to them of such 
leadership. Forced either to see them go from his own protection or 
to lead them himself, he chose the latter alternative and proposed to 
them to enlist in the Confederate legion which he was about to organize. 
His object, as he himself has stated, was to keep them out of danger 
so far as possible by utilizing them as scouts and home guards through 
the mountains, away from the path of the large armies. Nothing of 
this was said to the Indians, who might not have ))een satisfied with 
such an arrangement. Morgan went back alone iind the Cherokee 
enrolled under the command of their white chief. ' 

The •■ Thomas Legion," recruited in lSki'2 by William H. Thomas for 
the Confederate service and commanded by him as colonel, consisted 
originally of one infantry regiment of ten companies (Sixty-ninth 
North Carolina Infantry), one infantry battalion of six companies, one 
ca\alrv battalion of eight companies (First North Carolina Cavalry 
Battalion), one field battery (Light Battery) of 103 officers and men, 
and one company of engineers; in all about 2,800 men. The infantry 
battalion was recruited toward the close of the war to a full regiment 
of ten companies. Companies A and B of the Sixty-ninth regiment 
and two other companies of the infantry regiment recruited later 
were composed almost entirely of East Cherokee Indians, most of the 
commissioned officers being white men. The whole numlier of Chero- 
kee thus enlisted was nearly four hundred, or aV)out ev(>rv al)le-bodied 
man in the tribe." 

In accordance with Thomas's plan tlie Indians were employed chiefly 
as scouts and home guards in the mountain region along the Tennessee- 
Carolina border, where, according to the testimonj' of Colonel String- 

1 The history of the events leading to the organization of the "Thomas Legion" is chiefly from the 
author's conversations with Colonel Thomas himself, corroborated and supplemented from other 
sources. In the words of Thomas. ■■ If it had not been for the Indians I would not have been in the 

-This is believed to be a correct statement of the strength and make-up of the Thomas Legion. 
Owing to the imperfection of the records and the absence of reliable mem<iranda amtjng the surviv- 
ing otlicers. no two accounts exactly coincide. The roll given in the North Carolina C<aifederate 
Uoster. handed in by Captain Terrell, assistant quartermaster, was compiled early in the war and 
contains no notice of the engineer company or of the second infantrj' regiment, which included two 
other Indian compatiies. The information therein contained is supplemented from conversations 
and personal letters of Captain Terrell, and from letters and newspaper articles by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Stringtield of the Sixty-ninth. Another statement is given in Mrs Avery's sketch of Colonel Thomas 
in the Niu'th Carolina University Magazine for May. 1S99. 

170 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. axn. l',l 

field, ■•they did good work and service for the South." The most 
important enoagement in wliich the\^ were concerned occurred at 
Baptist gap. Tennessee, September 15, 18tW, where Lieutenant Astu'- 
gata'ga, "a splendid specimen of Indian manhood," was Itilled in a 
charge. The Indians were fui'ious at his death, and before they could 
be restrained they scalped one or two of the Federal dead. For this 
action ample apologies were afterward given by their superior offii-ers. 
The war, in fact, brought out all the latent Indian in their nature. 
Before starting to the front every man consulted an oracle stone to 
learn whether or not he might hope to return in safety. The start 
was celebrated with a grand old-time war dance at the townh()us(! on 
Soco, and the same dance was repeated at frecpient intervals there- 
after, the Indians being "painted and feathered in good old style," 
Thomas himself frequently assisting as master of ceremonies. The 
ballplay, too, was not forgotten, and on one occasion a detachment of 
Cherokee, left to guard a bridge, became so engrossed in the excite- 
ment of the game as to narrowly escape capture by a sudden dash of 
the Federals. Owing to Thomas's care for their welfare, they sutl'ered 
but slightly in actual battle, although a number died of hardship and 
disease. When the Confederates evacuated eastern Tennessee, in the 
winter of 1863-6-1, some of the white troops of the legion, with one or 
two of the Cherokee companies, were shifted to western Virginia, and 
by assignment to other regiments a few of the Cherokee were present 
at the final siege and surrender of Richmond. The main body of the 
Indians, with the rest of the Thomas Legion, crossed over into Morth 
Carolina and did service protecting the western l)order until the close 
of the war, when thej^ surrendered on parole at Waynesville, North 
Carolina, in May, 1865, all those of the command being allowed to 
keep their guns. It is claimed by their offit-ers that they were the 
last of the Confederate forces to surrender. Aljout fifty of the Cher- 
okee veterans still survive, nearly half of whom, under conduct of 
Colonel String-field, attended the Confederate reunion at Louisville, 
Kentucky, in 1900, where they attracted much attention.' 

In 1863, by resolution of February 12, the Confederate House of 
Representatives called for information as to the number and condition 
of the I^ast Cherokee, and their pending relations with the Federal 
government at the beginning of the war, with a view to continuing 
these relations under Confederate auspices. In response to this 
inquiry a repoi't was submitted l\y the Confederate commissioner of 
Indian affairs, S. S. Scott, based on information furnished by Colonel 
Thomas and Captain James W. Terrell, their former disbursing agent, 
showing that interest upon the "' removal and subsistence fund " estab- 

' Personal Information from Colonel W. H. Thomas, Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. Stringfield. Captain 
Jiimes W. Terrell. Chief N. J. Smith (first sergeant Company B) . and others, with other details from 
Moore's (Confederate I Roster of North Carolina Troops, iv: Raleigh. 1S)>2; also list of snrvivors in 
1890, by Carrington, in Eastern Band of Cherokees, Extra Bulletin of Eleventh Census, p. il. I,'i92. 


lished in 18i8 had Ijeen paid aniiuiilly up to and including' the year 

1859, at the rate of ^3.20 ])er capita, or an aggreo-ate. exclusive of 
disbursing' agent's connnission. of $4,838.40 aiuiually, based upon the 
original Mullay enumeration of 1,517. 

Upon receipt of this report it was enacted by the Confederate con- 
gress that the sum of $19,352.36 be paid the East Cherokee to cover 
the interest period of four years from May 23, 1860, to May 28, ISCA. 
In this connection the Confederate commissioner suggested that the 
payment be made in provisions, of which the Indians were then 
greatl_y in need, and which, if the payment were made in cash, they 
would be unable to purchase, on account of the general scarcity. He 
adds that, according to his information, almost every Cherokee capable 
of bearing arms was then in the Confederate service. The roll fur- 
nished by Captain Terrell is the original Muilay roll corrected to Maj', 

1860, no reference being made to the later Mullay enumeration (2,133), 
already alluded to. There is no record to show that the payment thus 
authorized was made, and as the Confederate government was then in 
hard straits it is probable that nothing further was done in the matter. 

In submitting his statement of previous payments. Colonel Thomas, 
their former agent, adds: 

As the North Carolina Cherokee^ have, like their brethren \vei<t, taken nji arms 
against the Lincoln government, it is not proljable that any further advances of 
interest will be made by that government to any portion of the Cherokee tribe. I 
also enclose a copy of the act of July 29, 1848, so far as relates to the North Carolina 
Cherokees, and a printed explanation of their rights, prepared by me in 18.51, and 
submitted to the attorney-general, and his opinion thereon, which may not be alto- 
gether uninteresting to those who feel an interest in knowing something of the 
history of the Cherokee tribe of Indians, whose destiny is so closely identified with 
that of the Southern Confederacy.' 

In a skirmish near Bryson City (then Charleston). Swain county. 
North Carolina, about a year after enlistment, a small party of 
Cherokee— perhaps a dozen in number — was captured l)y a detach- 
ment of Union troops and carried to Knoxville, where, having liecome 
dissatistied with their experience in the Confederate service, they 
were easily persuaded to go over to the Union side. Through 
the influence of their pi'incipal man, Digane'ski. several others were 
induced to desert to the Union army, making about thirty in all. As a 
part of the Third North Carolina Mounted Volunteer Infantry, they 
.served with the Union forces in the .same region until the close of the 
war, when they returned to their homes to tind their tribesmen so 
bitterly incensed against them that for some time their lives were in 
danger. Eight of these are still alive in 1900. ■' 

One of these Union Cherokee had brought back with him the small- 

^ Thomas-Terrell manuscrip't East Cherokee roll, with accompanying letters, 1864 (Bur. Am.Eth. 

=^Personal information from Colonel W.H.Thomas, Captain J.W.Terrell, Chief X.J.Smith, nnd 
others; see also Carrington, Eastern Band of Cherokees, Extra Bulletin of Eleventh Census, p. 21. 1.S92. 

17-2 MYTHS OF THE CHKROKKK (f.thaxs.19 

pox from an infected camp near Knoxville. Shortly after his return 
he became sick and soon died. As the characteristic pustules had not 
appeared, the disease seeming to work inwardly, the nature of his 
sickness was not at first suspected — smallpox having)- been an unknown 
disease among the Cherokee for nearly a century — and his funeral was 
largely attended. A week later a number of those who had l)een pres- 
ent became sick, and the disease was recognized ])y Colonel Thomas as 
smallpox in all its virulence. It spread throughout the tribe, this 
being in the early spring of lS6(i. and in spite of all the eti'orts of 
Tliomas, who brought a doctor from Tennessee to wait upon them, 
more than one hundred of the small community died in consequence. 
The fatal result was largely due to the ignorance of the Indians, who. 
finding their own remedies of no avail, used the heroic al)original 
treatment of the plunge l)ath in the river and the cold-water douche, 
which resulted in death in almost every case. Thus did the war bring 
its hai'vest of death, misery, and civil feud to the East Cherokee.' 

Shortly after this event Colonel Thomas was compelled by physical 
and mental infirmity to retire from further active participation in the 
affairs of the East Cherokee, after moi-e than half a century spent in 
intimate connection with them, during the greater portion of which 
time he had been their most trusted friend and adviser. Their att'airs 
at once became the prey of confusion and factional strife, which con- 
tinued until the United States stepped in as arbiter. 

In 1868 Congress ordered another census of the East Cherokee, to 
serve as a guide in future payments, th(> roil to include only those 
persons whose names had appeared upon the Mullay roll of 18-1:8 and 
their legal heirs and representatives. The work was completed in the 
following year Iw S. H. Sweatland. and a payment of interest then 
due under former enactment was made by him on this basis.' "In 
accordance with their earnestly expressed desire to be brought under 
the immediate charge of the government as its wards." th(> Congi'ess 
which ordered this last census directed that the Commissioner of Indian 
Aflairs should assume the same charge over the East Cherokee as over 
other tribes, but as no extra funds were made availal)le for the pur- 
pose the matter was held in abeyance.' An unratified treaty made 
this year with the Cherokee Nation west contained a stipulation that 
any Cherokee east of the Mississippi who should remove to the Chero- 
kee nation within three years should b(> entitled to full citizenship and 
privileges therein, but after that date could be admitted only by act 
of the Cherokee national council.' 

After the retirement of Thomas, in the absence of any active 

1 .\uthor's information from Colonel Thomas and others. Various informants have magnified the 
number of deaths to several hundred, but the estimate here given, obtained from Thomas, is i>roba- 
bh' more reliable. 

-Royce, Cherokee Nation. Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 314. 1888. 

■^Commissioner F. A. Walker, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 25. 1872. 

^ Royce, op. cit., p. 353. 


governmental supervision, need was felt of some central authority. 
On Deeeuiher !», 1S(3S. a oeneral council of the East Cherokee assembled 
at Cheowa. in Cxrahani county. North Carolina, took prtdiminary steps 
toward the adoption of a regular form of tribal government under 
a constitution. N. J. Smith, afterward principal chief, was clerk 
of the council. The new government was formally inaugurated on 
December 1, 1870. It provided for a first and a second chief to 
serve for a term of two years, minor officers to serve one year, and 
an annual council representing each Cherokee settlement within the 
state of North Carolina. Ka'lahu'. "All-lrones." commonly known to the 
whites as Flying-squirrel or Sawnook (Sawanu'gi). was elected chief. 
A new constitution was adopted five years later, by which the chiefs 
term of office was fixed at four years.' 

The status of the lands held by the Indians had now become a matter 
of serious concern, As has been stated, the deeds had been made out 
by Thomas in his own nauie, as the state laws at that time forbade Indian 
ownership of real estate. In consequence of his losses during the 
war and his subsequent disability, the Thomas properties, of which 
the Cherokee lands were technically a part, had become involved, so 
that the entire estate had passed into the hands of creditors, the most 
important of whom, William Johnston, had obtained sherift's deeds in 
18()9 for all of these Indian lands under three several judgments against 
Thomas, aggregating $33,887.11. To adjust the matter so as to secure 
title and possession to the Indians, Congress in 1870 authorized suit to 
be V)rought in their name for the recovery of their interest. This suit 
was begun in May, 1873, in the United States circuit court for western 
North Carolina. A ye&v later the matters in dispute were submitted 
by agreement to a board of arbitrators, whose award was confirmed by 
the court in November, 1874. 

The award finds that Thomas had purchased with Indian funds a 
tract estimated to contain .50,000 acres on Oconaluftee river and Soco 
creek, and known as the Qualla boundary, together with a number of 
individual tracts outside the boundary; that the Indians were still 
indebted to Thomas toward the purchase of the Qualla boundary 
lands for the sum of $18,250, fi"om which should be deducted $6,500 
paid by them to Johnston to release titles, with interest to date of 
award, making an aggregate of f8,-±86, together with a further sum 
of $2,478, which had been intrusted to Terrell, the business clerk and 
assistant of Thomas, and by him turned over to Thomas, as creditor of 
the Indians, under power of attorney, this latter sum. with interest to 
date of award, aggregating $2,^397.89; thus leaving a balance due from 
the Indians to Thomas or his legal creditor, Johnston, of $7,066.11. 
The award declares that on account of the questionable manner in 

'Constitution, etc., quoted in Carrington, Eastern Band of Cherokees. Extra Bulletin Eleventh 
Census, pp. lb-20, 1892; author's pers»jnal information. 


which the disputed lands had been bought in by Johnston, he should 
be allowed to hold them only as security for the ))alanee due him until 
paid, and that on the payment of the said )>alance of 17,066.11. with 
interest at 6 per cent from the date of the award, the Indians should 
be entitled to a clear conveyance from him of the legal title to all the 
lands em))raced witliin the Qualla ))oundary/ 

To enable the Indians to clear oft' this lien on their lands and for 
other purposes. Congress in 1875 directed that as much as remained 
of the ■' removal and subsistence fund" set apart for their bencht in 
1848 should be used "in perfecting the titles to the lands awarded to 
them, and to pay the costs, expenses, and liabilities attending their 
recent litigations, also to purchase and extinguish the titles of any 
white persons to lands within the general boundaries allotted to them 
by the court, and for the education, improvement, and civilization of 
their people." In accordance with this authority the unpaid balance 
and interest due Johnston, amounting to $7,242.76, was paid him in 
the same year, and shortly afterward there was purchased on behalf of 
the Indians some tifteen thousand acres additional, the Commissioner 
of Indian Affairs being constituted trustee for the Indians. For the 
better protection of the Indians the lands were made inalienable except 
by assent of the council and upon approval of the President of the 
United States. The deeds for the Qualla boundary and the 15,000 
acre purchase were executed respectively on October 9, 1876, and 
August 14, 1880.^ As the boundaries of the different purchases were 
but \-aguel_y detined, a new survey of the whole Qualla boundary and 
adjoining tracts was authorized. The work was intrusted to M. S. 
Temple, deputy United States sui'veyor, who completed it in 1876, his 
survey maps of the reservation being accepted as the official standard.^ 

The titles and boundaries having been adjusted, the Indian Office 
assumed regular supervision of East Cherokee affairs, and in June, 
1875, the first agent since the retirement of Thomas was sent out in 
the person of W. C. McCarthy. He found the Indians, according to 
his i-eport. destitute and discouraged, almost without stock or farming 
tools. There were no schools, and very few fuU-Vjloods could .speak 
English, although to their credit nearly all could read and write their 
own language, the parents teaching the children. Under his authority 
a distribution was made of stock animals, seed wheat, and farming- 
tools, and several schools were started. In the next year, however, 

1 See award of arbitrators. Riifiis Barringer. John H. Dillard, and T. Ruffin, with full statement, in 
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians against W. T. Thomas ct al. H. R. Ex. Doc. 128, .53d Cong., 2d sess., 
1894; summary in Royce. Cherokee Natiim. Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 315-318, 1888. 

2See Royce, op. cit., pp. 31.5-318; Commissioner T. J. Morgan, Report of Indian Commissioner, 
p. xxix, 1890. The final .settlement, under the laws of North Carolina, was not completed until 1894. 

^Royce, op. cit., pp. 31.5-318; Carrington, Eastern Band of Cherokees, with map of Temple survey, 
Extra Bulletin of Eleventh Census, 1892. 


the iigencv was discontinuiHl and the cdiicatioiial interests of the himd 
turnod over to the state school superintendent.' 

In the meantime Kii'lahu' had been succeeded as chief V)y Lloyd K. 
Welch (Da'si'oiya'gi), an educated mixed-l)lood of Cheowa, who served 
about five years, dying- shortly after his reelection to a second term 
(4lS). He made a good record by his work in reconciling the various 
factions which had sprung up after the withdrawal of the guiding influ: 
eiice of Thomas, and in defeating the intrigues of fraudulent white 
claimants and mischief makers. Shortly before his death the Govern- 
ment, through Special Agent John A. Sibbald. recognized his authority 
as pi'incipal t'hief, together with the constitution which had been 
adopted by the band under his au.spices in 1875. N. J. Smith (Tsa'- 
ladihi'). who had previously served as clerk of the council, was elected 
to his unexpired term and continued to serve until the fall of ISltO." 

We find no further official notice of the East Cherokee until 1S81, 
when Commissioner Price reported that they were still without agent 
or superintendent, and that so far as the Indian Office was concerned 
their affairs were in an anomalous and unsatisfactory condition, while 
factional feuds wei'c adding to the difficulties and retarding the prog- 
ress of the band. In the spring of that year a visiting delegation from 
the Cherokee Nation west had extended to them an urgent invitation 
to remove to Indian Territory and the Indian Office had encouraged 
the project, with th(> result that It:!! persons of the band removed dur- 
ing the vear to Indian Territory, the expense being borne l)y the 
Government. Others were represented as l)eing desirous to remove, 
and the Commissioner recommended an appropriation for the, 
but as Congress failed to act the matter was dropped.^ 

The neglected condition of the East Cherokee having b(H>n l)i-ought 
to the attention of those old-time friends of the Indian, the Quakers, 
through an appeal made in their behalf by members of that society 
residing in North Carolina, the Western Yearly Meeting, of Indiana, 
volunteered to undertake the work of civilization and education. On 
May 31, 18S1, representatives of the Friends entered into a contract 
with the Indians, subject to approval by the Government, to estal)Iish 
and contiinie among them for ten years an industrial school and other 
common schools, to be supported in part from the annual interest of 
the trust fund held by the Government to the credit of the East Chero- 
kee and in part by funds furnished by the Friends them.selves. Through 
the efforts of Barnaba.s C. Hobbs, of the Western Yearly Meeting, a 
yearly contract to the same effect was entered into with the Commis- 

1 Report of Agent W. C. McCarthy, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 343-344, 1875; and Report of 
Indian Commissione, pp. ll.*<-119, 1-S7ti. 

= .^uthor's personal information; .see also Carrington, Eastern Band of Cherokees; Zeigler and 
Gros.scnp, Heart of the Alleghanies. pp. 3.5-36, 1883. 

"Commissioner H. Price. Report of Indian Commis.sioner, pp. Ixiv-lxv, 1881, and Report of Indian 
Commis-sioner, pp. Ixix-lxx, 1S82; see also ante, p. 151. 


sioiier of Indian Affairs latci- in the same year, and was renewed hy 
siu'cessive conmiissioners to cover the period of ten years ending- June 
30, 1892, when the contract system was terminated and the (iovern- 
ment assumed direct control. Under the joint arrangement, with some 
aid at the outsi^t from the North Carolina Meeting, work was l)eoun 
in 1881 by Thomas Brown with several teachers sent out by the Indiana 
Friends, who established a small training school at the agency head- 
quarters at Cherokee, and several day schools in the outlying settle- 
ments. He was succeeded three years later by H. W. Spray, an expe- 
rienced educator, who, with a corps of efficient assistants and greatly 
enlarged facilities, cotitinued to do good work for the elevation of the 
Indians until the close of the contract sj^stem eight j'cars later.' After 
an interregnum, during which the schools suffered from fi-equent 
changes, he was reappointed as government agent and superintendent 
in 1898, a position which he still holds in 1901. To the work con- 
ducted under his auspices the East Cherokee owe much of what they 
have to-day of civilization and enlightenment. 

From some travelers who visited the reservation about this time we 
have a pleasant account of a trip along Soco and a day with Chief 
Smith at Yellow Hill. They describe the Indians as being so nearly 
like the whites in their manner of living that a stranger could rarely 
distinguish an Indian's cabin or little cove farm from that of a white 
man. Their principal crop was corn, which they ground for them- 
selves, and they had also an abundance of apples, peaches, and plums, 
and a few small herds of ponies and cattle. Their wants were so few 
that they had but little use for money. Their primitive costume had 
long been ot)Solete, and their dress was like that of the whites, except- 
ing that moccasins took the place of shoes, and they manufactured 
their own clothing by the aid of spinning-wheels and looms. Finely 
cut pipes and well-made baskets were also produced, and the good 
influence of the schools recently established was already manifest in 
the children." 

In 1882 the agency was reestablished and provision was made for 
taking a new census of all Cherokee east of the Mississippi, Joseph 
G. Hester being appointed to the work.' The census was submitted 
as complete in June, 188-4, and contained the names of 1,881 persons in 
North Carolina, 758 in Georgia, 213 in Tennessee, 71 in Alabama, and 
33 scattering, a total of 2,95ti.* Although this census received th(^ 
approval and certificate of the East Cherokee council, a large portion 
of the band still refuse to recognize it as authoritative, claiming that 
a large number of persons therein enrolled have no Cherokee blood. 

'See Commissioner T.J.Morgan, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 141-14.5, 1892; autlior's per- 
sonal information from B. C. Hobbs, Chief N. .1. Smith, and others. For further notice of school 
growth see also Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 42tJ-427, 1897. 

^Zeiglerand Grosseup, Heart of the Alleglianies, pp. 36-42. l.*^3. 

3 Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. lxix-l,\x, 1882, 

* Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. li-lii, 1884. 


The East Cherokee had never ceased to contend for a participation 
in the rights and privileges accruing to the western Nation under 
treaties with the Government. In 1882 a special agent had been ap- 
pointed to investigate their claims, and in the following year, under 
authority of Congress, the eastern })and of Cherokee brought suit in 
the Court of Claims against the United States and the Cherokee Nation 
west to determine its rights in the permanent annuity fund and other 
trust funds held liy the United States for the Cherokee Indians.' The 
case was decided adversely to the. eastern band, first by the Court of 
Claims in 188.5,' and finally, on appeal, by the Supreme Coui't on 
March 1, 1886. that court holding in its decision that the Cherokee in 
North Carolina had dissolved their connection with the Cherokee 
Nation and cea.sed to be a part of it when they refused to accompany 
the main body at the Removal, and that if Indians in North Carolina or 
in an}- state east of the Mississippi wished to enjoy the benefits of the 
common property of the Cherokee Nation in any form whatever they 
must be readmitted to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation and comply 
with its constitution and laws. In accordance with this decision the 
agent in the Indian territory was instructed to issue no moi'e resi- 
dence permits to claimants for Cherokee citizenship, and it was 
officially announced that all persons thereafter entering that country 
without consent of the Cherokee authorities would be treated as 
intruders.' This decision, cutting ofi' the East Cherokee from all 
hope of sharing in any of the treaty benefits enjoyed by their western 
kinsmen, was a sore disappointment to them all, especially' to Chief 
Smith, who had worked unceasingly in their behalf from the institu- 
tion of the proceedings. In view of the result, Conuuissionei- Atkins 
stronglj' recommended, as the best method of settling them in perma- 
nent homes, secure from white intru.sion and from anxiety on account 
of their uncertain tenure and legal status in North Carolina, that 
negotiations be opened through government channels for their 
readmission to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation, to l)e followed, if 
successful, by the sale of their lands in North Carolina and their 
removal to Indian Territory.' 

In order to acquire a more definite legal status, the Cherokee i-esid- 
ing in North Carolina — being practically all those of the eastern 
band having genuine Indian interests — became a coi-porate body 
under the laws of the state in 1889. The act, ratified on March 11, 
declares in its first section "That the North Carolina or Eastern 
Cherokee Indians, resident or domiciled in the counties of Jackson, 
Swain, Graham, and Cherokee, be and at the same time are hereby 

1 Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. Ixix-lxxi, 1882, also " Indian legisla- 
tion," ibid., p. 214: Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. Ixv-lxvi, 18.S3. 

2Coramis.sioner J. D. C. Atkins, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. Ixx, 1S85. 

'Same commissioner. Report of the Indian Commis-sioner, p. xlv, 1886; decision qnoted by same 
commissioner. Report of Indian Commissioner, p. Ix.wii, 1887. 

<Same commissioner. Report of the Indian Commissioner, p. li, 1886; reiterated by liim in Report 
for 18X7, T'- Ixxvii. 

I'.t F.TII— (II 12 

178 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

created and constituted a body politic and coi-porate under the name, 
style, and title of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, with all the 
rights, franchises, privileges and powers incident and belonging to 
corporations under the laws of the state of North Carolina.' 

On August 2, 1893, ex-Chief Smith died at Cherokee, in the fifty- 
seventh j'ear of his life, more than twenty of which had been given 
to the service of his people. Nimrod Jarrett Smith, known to the 
Cherokee as Tsa'ladihi', was the son of a halfbreed father by an Indian 
mother, and was born near the present Murphy, Cherokee county, 
Noi'th Carolina, on January 3, 1837. His earliest recollections were 
thus of the miseries that attended the flight of the refugees to the 
mountains during the Removal period. His mother spoke very little 
English, but his father was a man of considerable intelligence, having 
acted as interpreter and translator for Reverend Evan Jones at the old 
Valleytown mission. As the bo}- grew to manhood lie acquired a fair 
education, which, aided bj^ a commanding presence, made him a per- 
son of influence among his fellows. At twenty-five years of age he 
enlisted in the Thomas Legion as first sergeant of Company B, Sixty- 
ninth North Carolina (Confederate) Infantry, and served in that capacity 
till the close of the war. He was clerk of the council that drafted the 
first East Cherokee constitution in 1868, and on the death of Principal 
Chief Lloyd Welch in 1880 was elected to fill the unexpired term, 
continuing in otfice by successive reelections until the close of 1891, a 
period of about twelve j'ears, the longest term yet filled by an incum- 
bent. As principal chief he signed the contract under which the school 
work was inaugurated in 1881. For sevei'al years thereafter his 
duties, particularly in connection with the suit against the western 
Cherokee, required his presence much of the time at \/ashington, 
while at home his time was almost as constantly occupied in attending 
to the wants of a dependent people. Although he was entitled under 
the constitution of the band to a salary of five hundred dollars per year, 
no part of this salarj- was ever paid, because of the limited resources of 
his people, and only partial reimbursement was made to him, shoi'tly 
before his death, for expenses incurred in official visits to Washington. 
With frequent opportunities to enrich himself at the expense of his 
people, he maintained his honor and died a poor man. 

In person Chief Smith was a splendid specimen of physical man- 
hood, being six feet four inches in height and built in proportion, 
erect in figure, with flowing black hair curling down over his shoulders, 
a deep musical voice, and a kindly spirit and natural dignity that 
never failed to impress the stranger. His widow — a white woman — 
and several children survive him.^ 

1 See act in full, Report of Indian Commissioner, vol. I, pp. 680-681, 1891. 

2 From author's personal acquaintance: see also Zeigler and Grosscup. Heart of the AUeghanies, 
pp. 38-39, 1883; Agent J. L. Holmes, in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 160, 188.3; Commissioner 
T. J. Morgan, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 142, 1892; Moore, Roster of the North Carolina 
Troops, IV, 1882. 





In lS9rt the longf-standiiig litigation between the East Cheroliee 
and a number of creditors and claimants to Indian lands within and 
adjoining the Qualla boundary was finally settled by a compromise 
by which the several white tenants and claimants within the boundary 
agreed to execute a quitclaim and vacate on payment to them by the 
Indians of sums aggregating $24,552, while for another disputed 
adjoining tract of 33,000 acres the United States agreed to pay, for 
the Indians, at the rate of fl.25 per acre. The necessary Government 
approval having been obtained. Congress appropriated a sufficient 
amount for carrying into eti'ect the agreement, thus at last completing 
a perfect and unincumbered title to all the lands claimed l)y the 
Indians, with the exception of a few outlying ti-acts of comparative 
unimportance. ' 

In 1895 the Cherokee residing in North Carolina upon the reserva- 
tion and in the outlying settlements were officially repoi'ted to number 
1,479." A year later an epidemic of grippe spread through the band, 
with the result that the census of 1897 shows but 1,312,'' among those 
who died at this time being Big-witch (TskJl-e'gwa), the oldest man of 
the band, who distinct!}' remembered the Creek war, and Wadi'yahi, 
the last old woman who preserved the art of making double-walled 
baskets. In the next j'ear the population had recovered to 1,351. 
The description of the mode of living then common to most of the 
Indians will apply nearly as well to-day: ^ 

While they are industrious, these people are not progressive farmers and have 
learned nothing of modern methods. The same crops are raised continuously until 
the soil will yield no more or is washed away, when new ground is cleared or broken. 
The value of rotation and fertilizing has not yet been discovered or taught. . . . 

That these people can live at all upon the products of their small farms is due to 
the extreme simplicity of their food, dress, and manner of living. The typical 
house is of logs, is about fourteen by sixteen feet, of one room, just high enough for 
the occupants to stand erect, with perhaps a small loft for the storage of extra,s. 
The roof is of split shingles or shakes. There ia no window, the open door furnish- 
ing what light is required. At one end of the house is the fireplace, with outside 
chimney of stones or sticks chinked with clay. The furniture is simple and cheap. 
An iron pot, a bake kettle, a coffeepot and mill, small table, and a few cups, knives, 
and spoons are all that is needed. These, with one or tw'O bedsteads, homemade, a 
few pillows and quilts, with feather mattresses for winter covering, as well as for the 
iLsual i)uri>ose, constitute the principal house possessions. For outdoor work there 
is an ax, hoe, and shovel plow. A wagon or cart may be owned, but is not essen- 
tial. The outfit is inexpensive and answers every purpose. The usual food is bean 
bread, with coffee. In the fall chestnut bread is also used. Beef is seldom eaten, 
but pork is highly esteemed, and a considerable number of hogs are kept, running 
wild and untended in summer.* 

By the most recent official count, in 1900, the East Cherokee resid- 
ing in North Carolina under direct charge of the agent and included 

1 Commissioner D. M. Browning, Report of Indian Commissioner for 1894, pp. 81-82, 1895; also Agent 
T. W. Potter, ibid., p. 398. 
= Agent T. W. Potter, Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, p. 387, 1896. 
^Agent J. C. Hart, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 208, 1897. 
* Agent J. 0. Hart, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 218-219, 1898. 

180 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

within the act of incorporation number 1,376, of whom about 1,100 
are on the reservation, the rest living farther to the west, on Nanta- 
hala, Cheowa, and Hiwassee rivers. This does not include mixed- 
bloods in adjoining .states and some hundreds of unrecognized claim- 
ants. Those enumerated own approximately 100,000 acres of 
land, of which 83,000 are included within the Qualla reservation 
and a contiguous tract in Jackson and Swain counties. They receiv(^ 
no rations or annuities and are entirely self-supporting, the aniniul 
interest on their trust fund established in 181:8, which has dwindled to 
about $23,000, being applied to the payment of taxes upon their unoc- 
cupied common lands. From time to time they have made leases of 
timber, gold-washing, and grazing privileges, but without any great 
profit to themselves. By .special appropriation the govenmicnt sup- 
ports an industrial training .school at Cherokee, the agency head- 
quarters, in which 170 pupils are now being boarded, clothed, and 
educated in the practical duties of life. This school, which in its work- 
ings is a model of its kind, owes much of its usefulness and high 
standing to the efficient management of Prof. H. W. Spray (Wilsini'), 
already mentioned, who combines the duties of superintendent and 
agent for the band. His chief clerk, Mr James Blythe (Diskwa''ni, 
"Che.stnut-bread"), a Cherokee by blood, at one time filled the posi- 
tion of agent, being perhaps the only Indian who has ever served in 
such capacity. 

The exact legal status of the East Cherokee is still a matter of dis- 
pute, they being at once wards of the government, citizens of the 
United States, and (in North Carolina) a corporate body under state 
laws. They pay real estate taxes and road service, exercise the voting 
privilege,' and are amenalile to the local courts, ))ut do not pay poll 
tax or receive any pauper assistance from the counties; neither can 
. they make free contracts or alienate their lands (19). Under their 
tribal constitution they are governed by a principal and an assistant 
chief, elected for a term of four years, with an executive council 
appointed by the chief, and sixteen councilors elected by the various 
settlements for a term of two years. The annual council is held in 
October at Cherokee, on the reservation, the proceedings being in 
the Cherokee language and recorded by their clerk in the Cherokee 
alphabet, as well as in English. The ju-esent chief is Jesse Reid 
(Tse'si-Ska'tsi, "Scotch"). an intelligent mixed-blood, who fills 
the ofiice with dignity and ability. As a people they are peaceable and 
law-abiding, kind and hospitable, providing for their simple wants by 
their own industry without asking or expecting outside assistance. 
Their fields, orchards, and fish traps, with .some few domestic animals 
and occasional hunting, slipply them with food, while by the sale of 

lAt the recent eleclion ill November, 1900. they were debarred by the loeal polling officers from 
either registering or voting, and the matter is now being contested. 


ginsonc,'- and other medicinal plants o-athered in the mountains, with 
fruit and honey of their own raising, they procure what additional 
supplies thej^ need from the traders. The majority are fairly com- 
fortable, far above the condition of most Indian tribes, and but little, 
if any, behind their white neighbors. In literary al>ilit\- they may 
even be said to surpass them, as in addition to the result of nearlj' 
twenty years of school work among the younger people, nearly all the 
men and some of the women can read and write their own language. 
All wear civilized costumes, though an occasional pair of moccasins 
is seen, while the women lind means to gi-atify the racial love of 
color in the wearing of red liandanna kerchiefs in place of l)ounets. The 
older people .still cling to their ancient rites and sacred traditions, but 
the dance and the ballplay wither and the Indian day is nearly spent. 


(1) Tribal synonymy (page 15): Very few Indian tribes are known to us under 
the names by which they call themselves. One reason for this is the fact that the 
whites have usually heard of a tribe from its neighbors, speaking other languages, 
before coming upon the tribe itself. Many of the popular tribal names were origi- 
nally nicknames bestowed by neighboring tribes, frequently referring to some peculiar 
custom, and in a large number of cases would be strongly repudiated by the people 
designated by them. As a rule each tribe had a different name in every surrounding 
Indian language, besides those given by Spanish, French, Dutch, or English settlers. 

YCtn'myd' — This word is compounded from yt'mn-l. (person) and yd (real or prin- 
cipal). The assumption of superiority is much in evidence in Indian tril^al names; 
thus, the Iroquois, Delawares, and Pawnee call themselves, respectively, Onwe- 
hoiiwe, Leni-Ienape', and Tsariksi-tsa'riks, all of which may be rendered ' ' men of 
men," "men surpassing other men," or "real men." 

Kltu^hwagl — This word, which can not be analyzed, is derived from KItu'hwit, the 
name of an ancient Cherokee settlement formerly on Tuckasegee river, just above 
the present Bryson City, in Swain county, North Carolina. It is noted in 17.30 as 
one of the ".seven mother towns" of the tribe. Its inhabitants were called Ani'- 
Kltu'hwagl (people of Kituhwa), and seem to have exercised a controlling influence 
over those of all the towns on the waters of Tuckasegee and the upper part of Little 
Tennessee, the whole body being frequently classed together as Ani'-KItu'hwagl. 
The dialect of these towns held a middle place linguistically between those spoken 
to the east, on the heads of Savannah, and to the west, on Hiwassee, Cheowah, and 
the lower course of Little Tennessee. In various forms the word was adopted by 
the Delawares, Shawano, and other northern Algonquian tribes as a synonym for 
Cherokee, probably from the fact that the Kituhwa people guarded the Cherokee 
northern frontier. In the form Cuttawa it appears on the French map of Vaugondy 
in 1755. Fi'om a similarity of spelling, Schoolcraft incorrectly makes it a synonym 
for Catawba, while Brinton incorrectly asserts that it is an Algonquian term, fanci- 
fully rendered, ' ' inhabitants of the great wilderness. ' ' Among the western Cherokee 
it is now the name of a powerful secret society, which had its origin shortly before the 
War of the Rebellion. 

Cherokee — This name occurs in fully fifty different spellings. In the standard recog- 
nized form, which dates back at least to 1708, it has given name to counties in North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, within the ancient territory of the 
tribe, and to as many as twenty other geographic locations within the United States. 
In the Eastern or Lower dialect, with which the English settlers first became famil- 
iar, the form is Tsa'ragl', whence we get Cherokee. In the other dialects the form 
is Tsa'iagl'. It is evidently foreign to the tribe, as is frequently the case in tribal 
names, and in all probability is of Choctaw origin, having come up from the south 
through the medium of the Mobilian trade jargon. It will be noted that De Soto, 
whose chroniclers first use the word, in the form Chalaque, obtained his interpreters 
from the Gulf coast of Florida. Fontanedo, writing about the year 1575, mentions 
other inland tribes known to the natives of Florida imder names which seem to be 


of Choctaw origin; for instance, the Canogacole, interpreted "wicked people," the 
final part being apparently the Choctaw ytord okia or ogula, "people", which appears 
also in Pascagoula, Bayou (ioula, and Pensacola. Shetimasha, Atakapa, and probably 
Biloxi, are also Choctaw names, although the tribes themselves are of other origins. 
As the Choctaw held nuich of the Gulf coast and were the principal traders of that 
region, it was natural that explorers landing among them should adopt their names 
for the more remote tribes. 

The name seems to refer to the fact that the tribe occupied a cave country. In the 
"Choctaw Leksikon" of Allen Wright, 1880, page 87, we find chohik, a noun, signify- 
ing a hole, cavity, pit, chasm, etc., and as an adjective signifying hollow. In the man- 
uscript Choctaw dictionary of Cyrus Byington, in the library of the Bureau of 
American Ethnology, we find cliiluk, noun, a hole, cavity, hollow, pit, etc., with a 
statement that in its usual application it means a cavity or hollow, and not a hole 
through anything. As an adjective, the same form is given as signifying hollow, 
having a hole, as iti chibik, a hollow tree; aboha chiluk, an empty house; diiluk 
chukod, to enter a hole. Other noun forms given are chuhik and adiihik in the singu- 
lar and cliilukon in the plural, all signifying hole, pit, or cavity. Verbal foruis are 
chilitkikhi, to make a hole, and chilukha, to open and form a fissure. 

In agreement with the genius of the Cherokee language the root form of the tribal 
name takes nominal or verbal prefixes according to its connection with the rest of 
the sentence, and is declined, or rather conjugated, as follows: Singular — first per- 
son, Ui-Tsa'lagi, I (am) a Cherokee; second person, hi-Tsa'l&gl, thou art a Chero- 
kee; third person, a-Tsci'liu/i, he is a Cherokee. Dual — first person, dsti-Tsa'layl, 
we two are Cherokee; second person, sH-Tsa'ldgt, you two are Cherokee; third 
person, nni'-Tsa'luyl, they two are Cherokee. Plural — first person, atsi-Tm'l/iijI, 
we (several) are Cherokee; second person, hitsi-Tsa'Ug1, you (several) are Chero- 
kee; third person, ani'-Tm'lagt, they (several) are Cherokee. It will be noticed 
that the third person dual and plural are alike. 

Oyata' ge'ronon' , etc. — The Iroquois (Mohawk) form is given by Hewitt as 0-yata'- 
ge'ronofi', of which the root is yata, cave, o is the assertive prefix, ge is the locative at, 
and ronon' is the tribal suffix, equivalent to ( English ) -lies or people. The word, which 
has several dialectic forms, signifies "inhabitants of the cave country," or "cave- 
country people," rather than "people who dwell in caves," as, rendered by Schoolcraft. 
The same radix yata occurs also in the Iroquois name for the opossum, which is a 
liurrowing animal. As is well known, tlie Allegheny region is peculiarly a cave coun- 
try, the caves having been used by the Indians for burial and shelter purposes, as is 
proved by numerous remains found in them. It is probable that the Iroquois simply 
translated the name (Chalaque) current in the South, as we find is the case in the 
West, where the principal plains tribes are known imder translations of the same 
names in all the different languages. The Wyandot name for the Cherokee, 
Wataiyo-ronoii', and their Catawba name, Manteraii', both seem to refer to coming 
out of the ground, and may have been originally intended to convey the same idea 
of cave people. 

Rickahockan — This name is used by the German explorer, Lederer, in 1670, as the 
name of the people inhabiting the mcjuntains to the southwest of the Virginia settle- 
ments. On his map he puts them in the mountains on the southern hea<l streams 
of Roanoke river, in western North Carolina. He states that, according to his Indian 
informants, the Rickahockan lived beyond the mountains in a land of great waves, 
which he interpreted to mean the sea shore (!), but it is more likely that the Indians 
were trying to convey, by means of the sign language, the iilea of a succession of 
mountain ridges. The name was jirobably of Powhatan origin, and is evidently 
identical with Rechahecrian of the Virginia chronicles of aliout the same perioil, the 
)■ in the latter form being perhaps a misprint. It may be connected with Kighka- 
hauk, indicated on Smith's map of Virginia, in 1607, as the name of a town within the 

184 MYTHS OK THK CHEROKKE |kth. an.n-.19 

Powliatan territory, and still preserved in Rnckalioek, the name nf an estate cm lower 
Pamunkey river. We have tno little material of the Powhatan language to hazard 
an interpretation, but it may possibly contain the root of the word for sand, which 
appears as lekawa, nikitwa, negam, rigawa, rekiua, etc, in various eastern Algonquian 
dialects, whence Rockaway (sand), and Recgawawank (sandy place) . The Pow- 
hatan form, as given by Strachey, isracawli (sand) . Hegives also rocoylLook (otter) , 
reihcalidhcolk, hidden under a cloud, overcast, rickahone or reihcoan (a comb), and 
rickewh (to divide in halves) . 

TaUigem — As Brinton well says: ' ' No name in the Lenape' legends has given rise to 
more extensive discussion than this." On Colden's map in liis "History of the Five 
Nations," 1727, we find the "AUeghens" indicated upon Allegheny river. Heckewel- 
der, who recorded the Delaware tradition in 1819, says: "Those people, as I was told, 
called themselves Talligeu or Talligewi. Colonel John Gibson, however, a gentleman 
who has a thorough knowledge of the Indians, and speaks several of their languages, 
is of the opinion that they were not called Talligewi, but AUigewi; and it would 
seem that he is right from the traces of their name which still remain in the country, 
the Allegheny river and mountains having indubitably been named after them. The 
Delawares still call the former AUigewi Sipu (the river of the AUigewi)" — Indian 
Nations, p. 48, ed. 1876. Loskiel, writing on the authority of Zeisberger, says that 
the Delawares knew the whole country drained by the (Jliio under the name of 
AUigewinengk, meaning "the land in which they arrived from distant places," basing 
his interpretation upon an etymology compounded from UiUi or uUi, there, icku, to 
that place, and ewak, they go, with a locative final. Ettwein, another Moravian 
writer, says the Delawares called "the western country" Alligewenork, meaning a 
warpath, and called the river AUigewi Sipo. This definition would make the word 
come from palUton or allitov, to flglit, to make war, eirak, they go, and a locative, i. e., 
"they go there to fight." Trumbull, an authority on Algonquian languages, derives 
the river name from vuUk, good, best, hainie, rapid stream, and sipu, river, of which 
rendering its Iroquois name, Ohio, is nearly an equivalent. Rafinesque renders Tal- 
ligewi as "there found," from l((lii, there, and some other root, not given (Brinton, 
Walam Olum, pp. 229-2.30, 1885 ) . 

It must be noted that the names Ohio and AUigewi (or Allegheny) were not 
applied by the Indians, as with us, to different parts of the same river, but to the 
whole stream, or at the greater portion of it from its head downward. Although 
Brinton sees no necessary connection between the river name and the traditional 
trilial name, the statement of Heckewelder, generally a competent authority on Dela- 
ware matters, makes them identical. 

In the traditional tribal name, Talligewi or AUigewi, w! is an assertive verbal suf- 
fix, so that the form properly means " he is a Tallige," or "they are Tallige." This 
comes very near to Tsa'htgl', the name by which the Cherokee call themselves, and 
it may have been an early corruption of that name. In Zeisberger's Delaware dic- 
tionary, however, we find waloh or walok, signifying a cave or hole, while in the 
"Walam Olum" we have oligonunk rendered "at the place of caves," the region 
Ipeing further described as a buffalo land on a pleasant plain, where the Lenape', 
advancing seaward from a less abundant northern region, at last found food ( Walam 
Olum, i)p. 194-195). Unfortunately, like other aboriginal productions of its kind 
among the northern tribes, the Lenajie chronicle is suggestive rather than complete 
and connected. With more light it may be that seeming discrepancies would disap- 
pear and we should find at last that the Cherokee, in ancient times as in the historic 
period, were always the southern vanguard of the Iroquoian race, always ]irimarily 
a mountain people, but with their flank resting ujion the Ohio and its great tribu- 
taries, following the trend of the Blue ridge and the CJumberland as they slowly 
gave way before the pressure from the north until they were finally cut off from the 
parent stock by the wedge of Algonquian invasion, but always, whether in the north 


or in the south, keepiiiir their diMtiiictive title among the tribes as the " pe<>i)le of the 
cave country." 

As tlie Cherolcee have occupierl a prominent place in history for so long a period 
their name appears in many sj'nonynis and diverse spellings. The following are 
among the principal of these; 


TsA'L.Voi' (plural, A»}'-Ts<n'l(A(fl') . Proper form in the Middle and Western Cherokee 

Ts.\'R.\Gi'. Proper form in the Eastern or Lower Cherokee dialect. 
Ach(il(t(jue. Schoolcraft, Notes on Injquois, 1847 (incorrectly quoting Garcilaso). 
Chalakee. Nuttall, Travels, 124, 1821. 

Chalaque. Gentleman of Elvas, lo.iT; Publications of Hakluyt Society, IX, 00, 1851. 
Chakujuie.i. Barcia, Ensayo, 335, 1723. 
Charakeys. Homann heirs' map, about 1730. 
Charikees. Document of 1718, fide Rivers, South Carolina, 55, 1856. 
Charokees. Governor Johnson, 1720, fide Rivers, Early History South Carolina, 93, 

Cheelake. Barton, New Views, xliv, 1798. 
Cheerake. Adair, American Indians, 226, 1775. 
Cheerakee. Ibid., 137. 

Cheeraque's. Moore, 1704, in Carroll, Hist. Colls. South Carolina, ii, 576, 1836. 
Cheerokee. Ross (?) , 1776, in Historical Magazine, 2d series, ii, 218, 1867. 
Chel-a-ke. Long, Expedition to Rocky Mountains, ii, Ixx, 1823. 
Chelakees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, ii, 90, 1836.' 
Chelaques. Nuttall, Travels, 247, 1821. 
Chelekee. Keane, in Stanford's Compendium, 506, 1878. 
Chellokee. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, ii, 204, 1852. 
Cheloculgee. White, Statistics of Georgia, 28, 1849 (given as plural form of Creek 

Chelokees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, ii, 104, 1836. 
Cheokees. Johnson, 1772, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., viii, 314, 1857 (misprint 

for Cherokees). 
Cheraguees. Coxe, Carolina, ii, 1741. 
Cherakees. Ibid., map, 1741. 

Chnakis. Chauvignerie, 1 736, ^de Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, iii, 555, 1853. 
Cheraquees. Coxe, Carolana, 13, 1741. 
Cheraquis. Penicaut, 1699, in Margry, v, 404, 1883. 
Cherickees. Clarke, 1739, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., vi, 148, 1855. 
Cherikee. Albany conference, 1742, ibid., 218. 

Cherokee. (Tovernor Johnson, 1708, in Rivers, South Carolina, 238, 1856. 
Cherookeen. Croghan, 1760, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Colls., 4th series, i.x, 372, 1871. 
Cheroquees. Campbell, 1761, ibid., 416. 
Cherrackees. Evans, 1755, in Gregg, Old Cheraws, 15, 1867. 
Cherrokees. Treaty of 1722, fide Drake, Book of Indians, bk. 4, 32, 1848. 
Cherrykees. Weiser, 1748, fide Kauffman, Western Pennsylvania, appendix, 18, 1851. 
Chirakues. Randolph, 1699, in Rivers, South Carolina, 449, 1856. 
Clurokys. Writer about 1825, Annales de la Prop, de la Foi, ii, 384, 1841. 
Chorakis. Document of 1748, New York Doc. Col. Hist., x, 143, 1858. 
Chreokees. Pike, Travels, 173, 1811 (misprint, transposed). 
Shanaki. Gatschet, Caddo MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Caddo name). 
Shan-ncKk. Marcy, Red River, 273, 1854 (Wichita name). 
Shannaki. Gatschet, Fox MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Fox name: plural form, 

Shannakiak) . 
Shayage. Gatschet, Kaw ^MS, Bur. .\m. Ethn., 1878 (Kaw name). 

186 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.asn.19 

iSulluf/goes. Coxe, Carolana, 22, 1741. 

Tcalke. Gatschet, Tonkawa MS, Bur. .\in. Ethn., 1882 ( Tonka wa name, C?jaZ-fe). 

Tcerokiec. Gatschet, Wichita MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Wichita name, CherokMi). 

Tchataken. La Salle, 1682, in Margry, n, 197, 1877 (misprint). 

T^alakks. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, ii, 90, 1836. 

Tsallakee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847. 

Tsix-U-kee. Morgan, Ancient Society, 113, 1878. 

TscMrokesen. Wrangell, Ethn. Nachrichten, xiii, 1839 (German form). 

TsUahki. Grayson, Creek MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1885 (Creek name; plural form, 

TsQlg&l'gi or T^srttyuZ'.?!'— Mooney). 
Tzerrickey. Urlsperger, fide Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, i, 26, 1884. 
Tzulukis. Rafinesque, Am. Nations, i, 123, 1836. 

^"^''"""■•JRafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 23, 1824. 
Zulocans. ) 

Talligeu. 1 Heckewekler, 1819, Indian Nations, 48, reprint of 1876 (traditional Dela- 

lALLiGEwi. I ^yjire name; singular, TalUm' or Allicje' (see preceding explanation). 

Alligevvi. J 

Alkg. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, v, 133, 18.55. 

AUega.M. Golden, map, 1727, ^V/c Schoolcraft, ibid., iii, 525, 18-53. 

Allegem. Schoolcraft, ibid., v, 1.33, 1855. 

Alleghans. Golden, 1727, quoted in Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 147, 1847. 

AUeghanys. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 34, 1824. 

Alleghens. Golden, map, 1727, Jirfc Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 305, 1847. 

Allegwi. Squier, in Beach, Indian Miscellany, 26, 1877. 

Alii. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, v, 133, 185.5. 

Allighemji. Keane, in Stanford's Compendium, 500, 1878. 

Talagam. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 28, 1824. 

Talega. Brinton, AValani Glum, 201, 1885. 

Tallagewi). Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, ii, 36, 1852. 

Tallegwi. Rafinesque, fide Mercer, Lenape Stone, 90, 1885. 

Talligwee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847. 

Tallike. Brinton, Walam Olum, 230, 1885. 

KiTu'HWAGi (plural, Ani'-Kltu'livtagt See preceding explanation). 

CuttavM. Vaugondy, map, Partie de I'Am^rique, Septentrionale 1755. 

Gatohua. 1 

Gattochioa. \ Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, i, 28, 1884. 

Katowa (plural, Kafowagi). J 

KelmoaugnK. Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal Tennessee, 233, 1823. 

Kittuwa. Brinton, Walam Olum, 16, 1885 (Delaware name). 

Kuttoowauw. Aupaumut, 1 791,. /;V/f Brinton, ibid., 16 (Mahican name). 

OYATA'GB'HONOfS'. Hewitt, oral information (Iroquois (Mohawk) name. See preced- 
ing explanation) . 

Ojadagijchrome. Livingston, 1720, in New York Doc. Col. Kist., v, 567, 1855. 

Ondadeonwaa. Bleeker, 1701, ibid., iv, 918, 1854. 

Oyadackuchraono. Weiser, 1753, ibid., vi, 795, 1855. 

Oyadagahroenes. Letter of 1713, ibid., v, 386, 1855 (incorrectly stated to be the Flat- 
heads, i. e., either Catawbas or Choctaws) . 

Oyadage'ono. Gatschet, Seneca MS, 1882, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Seneca name) . 

O-ya-da'-go-o-no. Morgan, League of Iroquoiss, 337, 1851. 

Oyaudah. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 448, 1847 (Seneca name). 

Vwata'-yo-ro'-no. Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, 28, 1884 (Wyandot name) . 

Vyada. Ibid. (Seneca name). 

Wc-yau-diih. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 253, 1847. 

Wa-iin-yo-ru-non'\ Hewitt, Wyandot MS, 1893, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Wyandot name). 


RiCKAHocKAXs. Lederer, 1672, Discoveries, 26, reprint of 1891 (see preceding 

Rickohockans. Map, ibid. 

Rechahecriaiu. Drake, Book of Indians, book 4, 22, 1848 (from old Virginia docu- 

Recheliecrlans. Raflnesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 36, 1824. 

M.\Stek.\n'. Gatschet, Catawba MS, 1881, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Catawba name. See 
preceding explanation). 

-^ fPotier, Racines Huronnes et Grammaire, MS, 1751 (Wvandot 

ENTARIRONNON. rr,, j. . .. , TT .. • ■ ," 

„ , < names. The first, according to Hewitt, is equivalent to 

OCHIE TAHIEONNON. ,, . , . . ,,. , 

I ringe, or mountain, people ). 
T'kwe"-tah-e-u-ha-ne. Beauchamp, in Journal Am. Folklore, v, 22.5, 1892 (given as 

the Onondaga name and rendered, "people of a beautiful red color"). 
C ogacolb(?). Fontanedo, about 1575, Memoir, translated in French Hist. Colls., 

II, 257, 1875 (rendered "wicked people"). 

(2) Mobihan trade language (page 16): This trade jargon, based upon Choctaw, 
but borrowing also from all the neighboring dialects and even from the more north- 
ern Algonquian languages, was spoken and understood among all the tribes i.if the ( inlf 
states, probably as far west as ^latagorda bay and northward along both lianks of 
the Mississippi to the Algonquian frontier about the entrance of the Ohio. It was 
called Jlobilienne by the French, from Mobile, the great trading center of the Gulf 
region. Along the Mississippi it was sometimes known also as the Chickasaw trade 
language, the Chickasaw being a dialect of the Choctaw language proper. Jeffreys, 
in 1761, compares this jargon in its uses to the lingua franca of the Levant, and it 
was evidently by the aid ol this intertribal medium that De Soto's interpreter from 
Tampa bay could converse with all the tribes they met until they reached the Missis- 
sippi. Some of the names used by Fontanedo about 1575 for the tribes northward 
from Appalachee bay seem to be derived from this source, as in later times were the 
names of the other tribes of the Gulf region, without regard to linguistic affinities, 
includmg among others the, Tunica, Atakapa, and Shetimasha, representing 
as many different linguistic stocks. In his report upon the southwestern tribes in 
1805, Sibley says that the "Mobilian" was spoken in addition to their native lan- 
guages by all the Indians who had come from the east side of the Mississippi. 
Among those so using it he names the Alabama, Apalachi, Biloxi, Chactoo, Pacana, 
Pascagula, Taensa, and Tunica. Woodward, writing from Louisiana more than fiftv 
years later, says: "There is yet a language the Texas Indians call the Mobilian 
tongue, that has been the trading language of almost all the tribes that have inhab- 
ited the country. I know white men that now speak it. There is a man now living 
near me that is fifty years of age, raised in Texas, that speaks the language well. It 
is a mixture of Creek, Choctaw, Chickasay, Netches [Natchez], and Apelash [Apa- 
lachi]" — Reminiscences, 79. For further information see also Gatschet, Creek 
Migration Legend, and Sibley, Report. 

The Mobilian trade jargon was not unique of its kind. In America, as in other 
parts of the wi.irld, the common necessities of intercommunication have resulted in 
the formation of several such mongrel dialects, prevailing sometimes over wide 
areas. In some cases, also, the language of a predominant tribe serves as the com- 
mon medium for all the triljes of a particular region. In South America we find the 
lingoa geral, based upon the Tupi' language, understood for everyday purposes by 
all the tribes of the immense central region from Guiana to Paraguay, including 
almost the whole Amazon basin. On the northwest coast we find the well-known 
"Chinook jargon," which takes its name from a small tribe formerly residing at the 
mouth of the Columbia, in common use among all the tribes fmm California far up 



[ETH. ANN. 19 

into Alaska, and eastward to the great divide of the Rocky mountains. In the 
southwest the Navaho-Apaehe language is un<lerstood by nearly all the Indians of 
Arizona and New Mexico, while on the plains the Sioux language in the north and 
the Comanche in the south hold almost the same position. In addition to these we 
have also the noted ' ' sign language, ' ' a gesture system used and perfectly understood 
as a fluent means of communication among all the hunting tribes of the plains from 
the Saskatchewan to the Rio Grande. 

(3) Di.\LECTS (page 17): The linguistic affinity of the Cherokee and northern 
Iroquoian dialects, although now well established, is not usually obvious on the 
surface, but requires a analysis of words, with a knowledge of the laws of pho- 
netic changes, to make it appear. The superficial agreement is jjcrhaps most apparent 
between the Muliawk ami the Eastern (Lowei-) Cherokee dialects, as both of these 
lack the labials entirely and use r instead of /. In the short tal.>le given below the 
Iroquois words are taken, with slight changes in the alphabet used, from Hewitt's 
manuscripts, the Cherokee from those of the author: 


Cherokee (East- 






atsi'ra (atsi'la) 



awa' (ama') 










hand (arm) 










[tcArha', Tuscarora] 

tsftra (tsaid) 










Comparismi of Cherokee dialects 





( Upper) 





































martin (bird) 
















how much? 








I pick it up (long) 




my father 




my mother 




my father's father 




my mother's father 




Ontario, Canada. 

Iroquois, or Five Nations, New York. 


It will be noted that the Eastern and Middle clialects are about the same, except- 
ing for the change of / to /•, and the entire absence of tlie labial /// from the Eastern 
dialect, while the Western differs considerably from the others, particularly in the 
greater frequency of the liquid / and the softening of the guttural y, the changes tend- 
ing to render it the most musical of all the Cherokee dialects. It is also the stand- 
ard literary <lialect. In addition to these three principal dialects there are some 
peculiar forms and expressions in use by a few individuals wliich indicate the former 
existence of one or more other dialects now too far extinct to be reconstructed. As 
in most other tribes, the ceremonial forms used by the priesthood are so filled with 
archaic and figurative expressions as to be almost unintelligible to the laity. 

(4) Ikoquoiax tribes and migr.vfioxs (p. 17): The Iroquoian stock, taking its 
name from the celebrated Iroquois confederacy, consisted formerly of from fifteen 
to twenty tribe.«, speaking nearly as many different dialects, and including, among 
others, the following: 

Wyandot, or Huron. 

Tionontati, or Tobacco nation. 

.Atti wan'daron, or Neutral nation. 








Erie. Northern Ohio, etc. 

Conestoga, or Susquehanna. Southern Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

Nottowav. 1 


Tuscarora. Eastern North Carolina. 

Cherokee. Western Carolina, etc. 

Tradition and history alike point to the St. Lawrence region as the earl}' home 
of this stock. Upon this point all authorities concur. Says Hale, in his paper on 
Indian Migrations (p. 4): "The constant tradition of the Iroquois represents their 
ancestors as emigrants from the region north of the Cireat lakes, where they dwelt in 
early times with their Huron Vjrethren. This tradition is recorded with much par- 
ticularity by Cailwallader Colden, surveyor-general of New York, who in the early 
part of the last centurv composed his well known 'History of the Five Nations.' It 
is told in a somewhat different form ijy David Cusick, the Tuscarora historian, in his 
'Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations,' and it is repeated by Mr. L. H. 
Morgan in his now classical work, 'The League of the Iroquois,' for which he pro- 
cured his information diiefly among the Senecas. Finally, as we learn from the 
narrative of the Wyandot Indian, Peter Clarke, in his book entitled 'Origin and Tra- 
ditional History of the Wyandotts,' the Ijelief of the Hurons accords in this respect 
with that of the Iroquois. Both point alike to the country immediately north of the 
St. Lawrence, and especially to that portion of it lying east of Lake Ontario, as the 
early home of the Huron-Iroquois nations." Nothing is known of the traditions of 
the Conestoga or the Nottoway, but the tradition of the Tuscarora, as given l)v Cusick 
and other authorities, makes them a direct offshoot from the northern Iroquois, with 
whom they afterward reunited. The traditions of the Cherokee also, as we have 
seen, bring them from the north, thus completing the cycle. "The striking fact has 
become evident that the course of migration of the Huron-Cherokee family has been 
from the northeast to the southwest — that is, from eastern Canada, on the Lower St. 
Lawrence, to the mountains of northern Alabama." — Hale, Indian Migrations, p. 11. 

The retirement of the northern Iro(iuoian tribes from the St. Lawrence region was 

190 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

due to the hostility of their Algonquian neighbors, by whom the Hurons and their 
aUies were forced to take refuge about Georgian bay and the head of Lake Ontario, 
while the Iroquois proper retreated to central New York. In 1535 Cartier found the 
shores of the river from Quebec to Montreal occupied by an Iroquoian jieople, but on 
the settlement of the country seventy years later the same region was found in pos- 
session of Algonquian triljes. The confederation of the live Iroqiiois nations, probably 
about the year 1540, enabled them to check the Algonquian invasion and to assume 
the offensive. Linguistic and other evidence shows that the separation of the Chero- 
kee from the parent stock must have far antedated this period. 

(5) Walam Olum (p. 18): The name signifies "red score," from the Delaware 
wfihiin, "painted," more particularly "painted red," and ohim, "a score, tally- 
mark." The Walam Olum was first published in 18.36 in a work entitled "The 
American Nations," by Constantine Samuel Ratinesque, a versatile and voluminous, 
but very erratic, French scholar, who spent the latter half of his life in this comitry, 
dying in Philadelphia in 1840. He asserteil that it was a translation of a manuscript 
in the Delaware language, which was an interpretation of an ancient sacreil metrical 
legend of the Delawares, recorded in pictographs cut upon wood, obtained in 1820 by 
a medical friend of his among the Delawares then living in central Indiana. He 
says himself: "These actual olum were first obtained in 1820 as a reward for a 
medical cure, deemed a curiosity, and were unexplicable. In 1822 w-ere obtained 
from another individual the songs annexed thereto in the original language, but no 
one could be found })y me able to translate them. I had therefore to learn the 
language since, by the help of Zeisberger, Heckewelder, and a manuscript diction- 
ary, on purpose to translate them, which I only accomjilished in 1833." On account 
of the unique character of the alleged Indian record and Ratinesque's own lack of 
standing among his scientific contemporaries, but little attention was paid to the 
discovery until Brinton took up the subject a few years ago. After a critical sifting 
of the evidence from every point of view he arrived at the conclusion that the 
work is a genuine native production, although the manuscript rendering is faulty, 
partly from the white scribe's ignorance of the language and partly from the Indian 
narrator's ignorance of the meaning of the archaic forms. Brinton's edition (q. v.), 
published from Rafinesque's manuscript,- gives the legend in triplicate form — picto- 
graph, Delaware, and English translation, with notes and glossary, and a yaluable 
ethnologic intniduction by Brinton himself. 

It is not known that any of the original woodcut pictographs of the Walam Olum 
are now- in existence, although a statement of Rafinesque implies that he had seen 
them. As evidence of the truth of his statement, however, we have the fact that 
precisely similar pictographic series cut upon birch bark, each pictograph represent- 
ing a line or couplet of a sacred metrical recitation, are now known to be common 
among the Oji!>wa, Menomini, and other northern tribes. In 1762 a Delaware 
prophet recorded his visions in hieroglyphics cut upon a wooden stick, and about 
the year 1827 a Kickapoo reformer adopted the same method to propagate a new 
religion among the tribes. One of these "prayer sticks" is now in the National 
Museum, being all that remains of a large basketful delivered to a missionary in 
Indiana by a party of Kickapoo Indians in 1830 (see plate and description, pp. 065, 
697 et seq. in the author's Ghost-dance Religion, Fourteenth Annual Report of tlie 
Bureau of Ethnology). 

(6) Fish eivbr (p. 18) : Namjesi Sipu (Heckewelder, Indian Nations, 49), or Namas- 
sipi (Walam Olum, p. 198). Deceived by a slight similarity of sound, Heckewelder 
makes this river identical with the Mississippi, but as Schoolcraft shows ( Notes on 
Iroquois, p. 316) the true name of the Mississippi is simply Misi-sipi, "great river," 
and "fish river" would be a most inappropriate name for such a turbulent current, 
where only the coarser species can live. The mere fact that there can be a question 
of identity among experts familiar with Indian nomenclature would indicate that it 

MooxEY] DE SOTO's ROUTE 191 

was not one of the larger stream^i. Although Heckeweliler makes the Alligewi, as ne 
prefers to call them, flee down the Mississippi after their final defeat, the Walam 
Olum chronicle says only "all the Talega go south." It was probably a gradual 
withdrawal, rather than a sudden and concerted flight (see Hale, Indian Migra- 
tions, pp. 19-22) . 

(7) First appe.vrance of whites (p. 19): It is possible that this may refer to one 
of the earlier adventurers who coasted along the North Atlantic in the first decades 
after the discovery of America, among whom were Sebastian Cabot, in 1498; Verra- 
zano, in 1.524; and Gomez, in 152.'i. As these voyages were not followed up by per- 
manent occujiation of the country it is doubtful if they made any lasting impression 
upon Indian tradition. The author has chosen to assume, with Brinton and Eafi- 
nesque, that the Walam Oluin reference is to the settlement of the Dutch at New 
York and the English in Virginia soon after 1600. 

(8) De Soto's route (p. 26): On May 30, 15.39, Hernando de Soto, of Spain, with 
600 armed men and 21.3 horses, landed at Tampa bay. on the west coast of Florida, in 
search of gold. After more than four years of hardship and disapijointed wandering 
from Florida to the great plains of the West and back again to the Mississippi, where 
De Soto died and his body was consigned to the great river, 311 men, all that were 
left of the expedition, arrived finally at Panuco, in Mexico, on September 10, 1.543. 

For the history of this expedition, the most important ever undertaken by Spain 
within eastern United States, we have four original authorities. First is the very 
brief, but evidently truthful (Spanish) report of Biedina, an officer of the expedi- 
tion, presented to the King in 1544, immediately after the return to Spain. Next 
in order, but of first importance for detail and general appearance of reliability, is 
the narrative of an anonymous Portuguese cavalier of the expedition, commonly 
known as the Gentleman of Elvas, originally published in the Portuguese language 
in 1557. Next comes the (Spanish) narrative of Garcilaso, written, but not pub- 
lished, in 1587. ITnlike the others, the author was not an ej'ewitness of what he 
describes, but made up his account chiefly from the oi'al recollections of an old 
soldier of the expedition more than forty years after the event, this information 
being supplemented from papers written by two other soldiers of De Soto. As might 
be expected, the Garcilaso narrative, although written in flowery .style, abounds in 
exaggeration and trivial incident, and compares unfavorably with the other accounts, 
while proViably giving more of the minor happenings. The fourth original account 
is an unfinished (Spanish) report Ijy Kanjel, secretary of the expedition, written 
soon after reaching ilexico, and afterward incorporated with considerable change by 
Oviedo, in his "Historia natural y general de las Indias." As this fourth narrative 
remained unpublished until 1851 and has never been translated, it has hitherto been 
entirely overlooked by the commentators, excepting Winsor, who notes it inciden- 
tally. In general it agrees well with the Elvas narrative and throws valuable light 
upon the history of the expedition. 

The principal authorities, while preserving a general unity of narrative, differ 
greatlj' in detail, especially in estimates of numbers and distances, frequently to such 
an extent that it is useless to attempt to reconcile their different statements. In gen- 
eral the Gentleman of Elvas is most moderate in his expression, while Biedma takes 
a middle ground and Garcilaso exaggerates greatly. Thus the first named gives 
De Soto 600 men, Biedma makes the number 620, while Garcilaso says 1,000. At a 
certain stage of the journey the Portuguese Gentleman gives De Soto 700 Indians as 
escort, Biedma says 800, while Garcilaso makes it 8,000. At the battle of Mavilla the 
Elvas account gives 18 Spaniards and 2,500 Indians killed, Biedma says 20 Spaniards 
killed, without giving an estimate of the Indians, while Garcilaso has 82 Spaniards 
and over 11,000 Indians killed. In distances there is as great discrepancy. Thus 
Biedma makes the distance from Guaxule to Chiaha four days, Garcilaso has it six 
days, and Elvas seven da}S. As to the length of an average day's march we find it 

192 MYTHS OF the" CHEROKEE [eth.anx.19 

estimated all the way from "four leagues, more or less " (Garcilaso) to '' every day 
seven or eight leagues" (Elvas). In another place the Elvas chrouieler states that 
they usually made five or six leagues a day through inhaliited territories, but that in 
crossing uninhabited regions — as that between Canasagua and Chiaha, they marched 
every day as far as possible for fear of running out of provisions. One of the most 
glaring discrepancies appears in regard to the distance between Chiaha and Coste. 
Both the Portuguese writer and Garcilaso put Chiaha upon an island — a statement 
which in itself is at variance with any present conditions, — but while the former 
makes the island a fraction ovef a league in length the latter says that it was five 
leagues long. The next town was Coste, which tiarcilaso puts immediately at the 
lower end of the same island while the I'cjrtuguese Gentleman rejiresents it as seven 
days distant, although he himself has given the island the shorter length. 

Notwithstanding a deceptive appearance of exactness, especially in the Elvas and 
Ranjel narratives, which have the form of a daily journal, the conclusion is irresist- 
ible that much of the record was made after dates had been forgotten, and the 
sequence of events had become confused. Considering all the difficulties, dangers, 
and uncertainties that constantly beset the expedition, it would be too much to expect 
the regularity of a ledger, and it is more probable that the entries were made, not 
from ilay to day, but at irregular intervals as opportunity presented at the several 
resting places. The story must be interpreted in the light of our later knowledge of 
the geography and ethnology of the country traverse<l. 

Each of the three principal narratives has passed through translations and later 
editions of more or less doubtful fidelity to the original, the English edition in some 
cases being itself a translation from an earlier French or Dutch translation. English 
speaking historians of the expedition have usually drawn their material from one or 
the other of these translations, without knowledge of the original language, of the 
etymologies of the Indian names or the relations of the various triljes mentioned, or 
of the general system of Indian geographic nomenclature. One of the greatest errors 
has been the attempt to give in every case a fixed local habitation to a name which 
in some instances is not a proper name at all, and in others is merely a descriptive 
term or a duplicate name occurring at several places in the same tribal territory. 
Thus Tali is simply the Creek word tulim, town, and not a definite place name as 
represented by a mistake natural in dealing through interpreters vvith an unknown 
Indian language. Tallise and Tallimiichase are respectively "Old town" and "New 
town" in Creek, and there can be no certainty that the same names were applied to 
the same places a century later. Canasagua is a corrujition of a Cherokee name 
which occurs in at least three other places in the old Cherokee country in addition 
to the one mentioned in the narrative, and almost every old Indian local name 
was thus rejieated several times, as in the case of such common names as Short 
creek, Whitewater, Richmond, or Lexington among ourselves. The fact that only 
one name of the set has been retained on the map does not prove its identity with the 
town of the old chronicle. Again such loose terms as "a large river," "a beautiful 
valley," have been a.ssumed to mean something more definitely localized than the 
wording warrants. The most common error in translation has been the rendering 
of the Spanish "despoblado" as "desert." There are no deserts in the (/tulf states, 
and the w'ord means simply an uninhabited regio.i, usually the deliatable strip 
between two tribes. 

There have been many attempts to trace De Soto's route. As nearly every historian 
who has written of the southern states has given attention to this subject it is 
unnecessary' to enumerate them all. Of some thirty w'orks consulted by the author, 
in addition to the original narratives already mentioned, not more than two or three 
can be considered as speaking with any authority, the rest simply copying from these 
without investigation. The first attempt to locate the route definitely was made 
by Meek (Romantic Passages, etc.) in 1839 (reprinted in 18.57), his conclusions being 


based upon his general knowledge of the geography of the region. In 1851 Pickett 
tried to locate the route, chiefly, he asserts, frona Indian tradition as related by 
mixed-bloods. How much dependence can be placed upon Indian tradition a.s thus 
interpreted three centuries after the event it is unnecessary to say. Both these 
writers liave brought De Soto down the Coosa river, in which they have been 
followed without investigation by Irving, Shea and others, Vjut none of these was 
aware of the existence of a Suwali tribe or correctly acquainted with the Imlian 
nomenclature of the upper country, or of the Creek country a.s so well sunnnarized 
by Gatschet in his Creek Migration Legend. They. are also mistaken in assuming 
that only De Soto passed through the country, whereas we now know that several 
Spanish explorers and numerous French adventurers traversed the same territory, 
the latest expeditions of course being freshest in Indian memory. Jones in his 
"De Soto's March Through Georgia" simply dresses up the earlier statements in 
more literary style, sometimes changing surmises to positive assertions, without 
mentioning his authorities. Maps of the supposed route, all bringing De Soto down 
the Coosa insteail of the Chattahoochee, have been published in Irving's Conquest of 
Florida, the Hakluyt Society's edition of the Gentleman of Elva's account, and in 
Buckingham Smith's translation of the same narrative, as well as in several other 
works. For the eastern portion, with which we have to deal, all of these are prac- 
tically duplicates of one another. On several old Spanish and French maps the 
names mentioned in the narrative seem to have been set down merely to fill space, 
without much reference to the text of the chronicle. For a list and notices of prin- 
cipal writers who have touched upon this subject see the appendix to Shea's cliapter 
on "Ancient Florida" in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, ii; Bos- 
ton, 1886. We shall speak (jnly of that part of the route which lay near the Cherokee 

The first location which concerns us in the narrative is Cofitachiqui, the town 
from which De Soto set out for tlie Cherokee country. The name appears variously 
as Cofitachequi (Ranjel), Cofitachique (Biedma), Cofachiqui (Garcilaso), Cutifa- 
Chiqui (by transposition, Elvas), Cofeta(,'que (Vandera), Catafachique (Williams) 
and Cosatachiqui (misprint, Brooks MSS), and the Spaniards first heard of the 
region as Yupaha from a tribe farther to the south. The correct form appears to be 
that first given, which Gatschet, from later information than that quoted in his 
Creek Migration Legend, makes a Hitchitee word about equivalent to "Dogwood 
town," from cofi, "dogwood," cofila, "dogwood thicket," undrhikl, "house," orcol- 
lectively "town." !McCulloch puts the town upon the headwaters of the Gcmulgee; 
Williams locates it on the Chattahoochee; Gallatin on the Oconee or the Sa\anuah; 
^leek and IMonette, following him, probably in the fork of the Savannah and the 
Broad; Pickett, with Jones and others following him, at Silver bluff on the east 
(north) bank of the Savannah, in Barnwell county. South Carolina, about 25 miles by 
water below the present Augusta. It will thus be seen that at the very outset of our 
inquiry the commentators differ by a distance equal to more than half the wiilth of 
the state of Georgia. It will suffice here to say, without going into the argument, that 
the author is inclined to believe that the Indian town was on or near Silver bluff, 
which was noted for its extensive ancient remains as far back as Bartram's time 
(Travels, .313), and where the noted George Galphin established a trading post in 
1736. The original site has since been almost entirely worn away by the river. 
According to the Indians of Cofitachiqui, the town, which was on the farther (north) 
bank of the stream, was two day's journey from the sea, probably by canoe, and the 
sailors with the expedition believed the river to be the same one that entered at St. 
Helena, which was a very close guess. The Spaniards were shown here European 
articles which they were told had been obtained from white men who had entered the 
river's mouth many years before. These they conjectured tij have been the men 
with Ayllon, who had landed on that in 1520 and again in 1524. The town was 
probably the ancient capital of the Uchee Indians, who, before their absorption by 

19 ETH— 01 13 

194 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.I9 

the Creeks, held or claimed most of the territory on both banks of Savannah river 
from the C'herokee l)order to within about forty miles of Savannah and westward to 
the Ogeeehee and ('annouchee rivers (see Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, i, 17-2-1). 
The country was already on the decline in 1540 from a recent fatal epidemic, but 
was yet populous and wealthy, and was ruled by a woman chief whose authority 
extended for a considerable distance. The town was visited also by Pardo in 1.567 and 
again by Torres in 1628, when it was still a i^rincipal settlement, as rich in pearls as in 
De Soto's time (Brooks MSS, in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology). 

Somewhere in southern Georgia De Soto lieen told of a rich province called 
Coi,"i (Coosa, the Creek country) toward the northwest. At Cofitachiqui he again 
heard of it and of one of its principal towns called Chiaha (Chehaw) as being twelve 
days inland. Although on first hearing of it he had kept on in the other direction 
in order to reach Cofitachiqui, he now determined to go there, and made the 
queen a prisoner to compel her to accompany him a part of the way as guide. Co^a 
province was, though he did not know it, almost due west, and he was in haste to 
reach it in order to obtain corn, as his men and horses were almost worn out from 
hunger. It is apparent, however, that the unwilling queen, afraid of being carried 
beyond her own territories, led the Spaniards by a roundabout route in the ho])e of 
making her e.scape, as she finally did, or perhaps of leaving them to starve and die in 
the mountains, precisely the trick attempted by the Indians upon another Spanish 
adventurer, Coronado, entering the great plains from the Pacific coast in search of 
golden treasure in the same year. 

Instead therefore of recrossing the river to the westward, the Spaniards, guided 
by the captive queen, took the direction of the north ("la vuelta del norte" — 
Biedma), and, after passing through several towns subject to the queen, came in 
seven days to "the province of Chalaque" (Elvas). Elva«, Garcilaso, and Ranjel 
agree upon the sijelling, but the last named makes the distance only two days from 
Cofitachicjui. Biedma does not mention the country at all. The trifling difference 
in statement of five days in seven need not trouble us, as Biedma makes the whole 
distance from Cofitachiqui to Xuala eight days, and from Guaxule to Chiaha four days, 
where Elvas makes it, respectively, twelve and seven days. Chalaque is, of coui"se, 
Cherokee, as all writers agree, and De Soto was now probably on the waters of 
Keowee river, the eastern head stream of Savannah river, where the Lower Chero- 
kee had their towns. Finding the country bare of corn, he made no stay. 

Proceeding six days farther they came next to Guaquili, where they were kindly 
received. This name occurs only in the Ranjel narrative, the other three being 
entirely silent in regard to such a halting place. The name has a Cherokee sound 
(Wakili), but if we allow for a dialectic substitution of I for r it may be connected 
with such Catawba names as Congaree, Wateree, and Sugeree. It was probably a 
village of minor importance. 

They came next to the province of Xuala, or Xualla, as the Elvas narrative more 
often has it. In a French edition it appears as Chouala. Ranjel makes it three 
days from Guaquili or five from Chalaque. Elvas also makes it five days from 
Chalaque, while Biedma makes it eight days from Cofitachiqui, a total discrepancy 
of four days from the last-named place. Biedma describes it as a rough mountain 
country, thinly populated, but with a few Indian houses, and thinks that in these 
moimtains the great river of Espiritu Santo (the Mississippi) had its birth. Ranjel 
describes the town as situated in a plain in the vicinity of rivers and in a country 
with greater appearance of gold mines than any they had yet seen. The Portuguese 
gentleman describes it as having very little corn, and says that they reached it from 
Cofitachiqui over a hilly country. In his final chapter he states that the course 
from Cofitachiqui to this place was from south to north, thus agreeing with Biedma. 
According to Garcilaso (pp. 136-137) it was fifty leagues by the road along which the 
Spaniards had come from Cofitachiqui to the first valley of the province of Xuala, 


with but few mountains on the way, and the town itself was situated close under a 
mountain ( "a la falda de una sierra" ) beside a small but rapid stream which formed 
the boundary of the territory of Cotitachiqui in this direction. From Ranjel we 
learn that on the same day after leaving this place for the next "province" the 
Spaniards crossed a very high mountain ridge ("una sierra muy alta"). 

Without mentioning the name, Pickett (1851) refers to Xuala as "a town in the 
present Habersham county, Georgia," but gives no reason for this opinion. Rye 
and Irving, of the same date, arguing frona a slight similarity of name, think it may 
have been on the site of a former Cherokee town, Qualatchee, on the head of Chat- 
tahoochee river in Georgia. The resemblance, however, is rather farfetched, and 
moreover this same name is found on Keowee river in South Carolina. Jones 
(De Soto in Georgia, 1880) interprets Garcilaso's description to refer to " Nacoochee 
valley, Habersham coimty " — which should be White county — and the neighboring 
Mount Yonah, overlooking the fact that the same description of mountain, valley, 
and swift flowing stream might apjily equally well to any one of twenty other 
localities in this southern mountain country. 'SMth direct contradiction Garcilaso 
says that the Spaniards rested here fifteen days liecause they found provisions plenti- 
ful, while the Portuguese Gentleman says that they stopped but two days because 
they found so little corn! Ranjel makes them stop four days and says they found 
abundant provisions and assistance. 

However that may have been, there can be no question of the identity of the 
name. As the province of Chalaque is the country of the Cherokee, so the province 
of Xuala is the territory of the Suwali or Sara Indians, better known later as 
Cheraw, who lived in early times in the piedmont country about the head of Broad 
river in North Carolina, adjoining the Cherokee, who still remember them under 
the name of Ani'-Suwa'li. A principal trail to their country from the west led up 
Swannanoa river and across the gap which, for this reason, was known to the 
Cherokee as Suwa'li-nunnil, "Suwali trail," corrupted by the whites to Swannanoa. 
Lederer, who found them in the same general region in 1670, calls this gap' the 
"Suala pass" and the neighboring mountains the Sara mountains, "which," he 
says, "The Spaniards make Suala." They afterw'ard shifted to the north and 
finally returned and were incorporated with the Catawba (see Mooney, Siouan Tribes 
of the East, bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1894). 

Up to this point the Spaniards had followed a north course from Cofitachiqui 
(Biedma and Elvas), but they now turned to the west (Elvas, final chajjter). On 
the same day on which they left Xuala they crossed "a very high mountain ridge," 
and descended the next day to a wide meadow bottom (".savana"), through which 
flowed a river which they concludeil was a part of the Espiritu Santo, the JNIississippi 
(Ranjel). Biedma- speaks of crossing a mountain country and mentions the river, 
which he also says they thought to be a tributary of the Mississippi. Garcilaso 
says that this portion of their route "was through a mountain country without inhabi- 
tants ("despoblado") and the Portuguese gentleman describes it as being over "very 
rough and high ridges." In five days of such travel — for here, for a wonder, all the 
narratives agree — they came to Guaxule. This is the form given by Garcilaso and 
the Gentleman of Elvas; Biedma has Guasula, and Ranjel Guasili or Guasuli. The 
translators and commentators have given us such forms as Guachoule, Quaxule, 
Quaxulla, and Quexale. According to the Spanish method of writing Indian words 
the name was pronounced ^\'ashule or Wasuli, which has a Cherokee sijund, although 
it can not be translated. Buckingham Smith ( Narratives, p. 222 ) hints that the Span- 
iards may have changed Guasili to Guasule, because of the similarity of the latter 
form to a town name in southern Spain. Such corruptions of Indian names are of 
frequent occurrence. Garcilaso .speaks of it as a "province and town," while Biedma 
and Ranjel call it simply a town ("pueblo"). Before reaching this place the Indian 
queen had managed to make her escape. All the chroniclers tell of the kind recep- 

10*1 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

tidii \\ iiicli the Spaniard? met liere, but the only description of tlie town itself is from 
Garcilaso, who says thai it was situated in the midst of many small streams which 
came down from the mountains round about, that it consisted of three hundred 
houses, which is probably an exaggeration, though it goes to show that the village 
was of considerable size, and that the chief's house, in which the principal officers 
were lodged, was upon a high hill ("un cerro alto"), around which was a roadway 
( " paseadero" ) wide enough for six men to walk abreast. By the "chief's house" 
■we are to understand the town-house, while from various similar references in other 
parts of the narrative there can be no doubt that the " hill " upon which it stood was 
an artificial mound. In modern Spanish writing such artificial elevations are more 
often called Ioiikis, lint these early adventurers may be excused for not noting the 
distinction. Issuing from the mountains round about the town were numerous small 
streams, which united to form the river which the Spaniards henceforth followed 
from here down to Chiaha, where it was as large as the Guada!(iui\'ir at Sevilla 

Deceived by the occurrence, in the Portuguese narrative, of the name Canasagua, 
which they assumed could belong in but one place, earlier commentators have 
identified this river with the Coosa, Pickett putting Guaxule somewhere upon its 
upper waters, while Jones improves upon this by making the site "identical, or very 
nearly so, with Coosa wattee Old town, in the southeastern corner of Murray county," 
Georgia. As we shall show, however, the name in question was duplicated in several 
states, and a careful stuily of the narratives, in the light of present knowledge of the 
country, makes it evident that the river was not the Coosa, but the Chattahoochee. 

Turning our attention once more to Xuala, the most northern point reached by 
De S(jto, we have seen that this was the territory of tlie Suwala or Sara Indians, in 
the eastern foothills of the Alleghenies, about the head waters of Broad and Catawba 
rivers, in North Carolina. As the Spaniards turned here to the west they probably 
did not penetrate far beyond the present South Carolina boundary. The "very high 
mountain ridge" which they crossed inunediately after leaving the town was in all 
probability the main chain of the Blue ridge, while the river which they found after 
descending to the savanna on the other side, and flhich they guessed to be a branch 
of the Mississippi, was almost as certainly the upper part of the French Broad, the 
first stream flowing in an opposite direction from those which they had previously 
encountered. They may have struck it in the neighliorhood of Hendersonville or 
Brevard, there being two gaps, passable for ^-ehicles, in the main ridge eastward 
from the first-named town. The uninhabited mountains through which they strug- 
gled for several days on their way to Chiaha and Co?a (the Creek coimtry ) in the 
southwest were the broken ridges in which the Savannah and the Little Tennes.see 
have their sources, and if they followed an Indian trail they may have passed through 
the Rabun gap, near the present Clayton, Georgia. Guaxule, and not Xuala, as Jones 
supposes, was in Nacoochee valley, in the present White county, Gecjrgia, and the 
small streams which united to form the river down which the Spaniards proceeded 
to Chiaha were the headwaters of the Chattahoochee. The hill upon which the 
townhouse was built must have been the great Nacoochee mound, the most promi- 
nent landmark in the valley, on the east bank of Sautee creek, in White county, 
about twelve miles northwest of Clarkesville. This is the largest mound in upper 
Georgia, with the exception of the noted Etowah mound near Cartersville, and is the 
only one which can fill the requirements of the case. Jhere are but two consider- 
able mounds in western North Carolina, that at Franklin and a smaller one on Ocona- 
luftee river, on the present East Cherokee reservation, and as both of these are on 
streams flowing away from the Creek country, this fact alone would bar them from 
consideration. The only large mounds in upper Georgia are this one at Nacoochee 
and the group on the Etowah ri\'er, near Cartersville. The largest of the Etiiwah 
group is some fifty feet in height and is ascended on one side by means of a roadway 


DE SOTo's ROUTE 197 

about fifty feet wide at the base and narrowing gradually to the top. Had this been 
the mound of the narrative it is hardly possible that the chronicler would have failed 
to notice also the two other mounds of the group or the other one on the opposite 
side of the river, each of these being from twenty to twenty-five feet in height, to say 
nothing of the great ditch a quarter of a mile in length which encircles the group. 
Moreover, Cartersville is at some distance from the mountains, and the Etowah river 
at this point does not answer the description of a small rushing momitain stream. 
There is no considerable mound at Coosawatee or in any of the three counties 

The Nacoochee mound has been cleared and cultivated for many years and does 
not now show any appearance of a roadway up the side, but from its great height 
we may be reasonably sure that some such means of easy ascent existed in ancient 
times. In other respects it is the only mound in the whole upper country which 
fills the conditions. The valley is one of the most fertile spots in Georgia and 
numerous ancient remains give evidence that it was a favorite center of settlement in 
early days. At the beginning of the modern historic period it was held by the 
Cherokee, who had there a town called Nacoochee, but their claim was disputed by 
the Creeks. The Gentleman of Elvas states that Guaxule was subject to the queen 
of Cotitachiqui, but this may mean only that the people of the two towns or tribes 
were in friendly alliance. The modern name is pronounced Xagn'tsV by the Chero- 
kee, who say, however, that it is not of their language. The terminal may be the 
Creek tidghi, "small," or it may have a connection with the name of the I'chee 

From Guaxule the Spaniards advanced to Canasoga (Ranjel) or Canasagua (Elvas), 
one or two days' march from Guaxule, according to one or the other authority. 
Garcilaso and Biedma do not mention the name. As Garcilaso states that from 
Guaxule to Chiaha the march was down the bank of the same river, which we 
identify with the Chattahoochee, the town may have been in the neighborhood of 
the present Gainesville. As we have seen, however, it is unsafe to trust the estimates 
of distance. Arguing from the name. Meek infers that the town was about Cona- 
sauga river in Murray county, and that the river down which they marched to reach 
it was " no doubt the Etowah," although to reach the first named river from the 
Etowah it would be necessary to make another sharp turn to the north. From the 
same coincidence Pickett puts it on the Conasauga, "in the modern county of Hur- 
ra j', Georgia," while Jones, on the same theory, locates it "at or near the junction 
of the Connasauga and Coosawattee rivers, in originally Cass, now Gordon county." 
Here his modern geography as well as his ancient is at fault, as the original Cass 
county is now Bartow, the name having Ijeen changed in consequence of a local dis- 
like for General Cass. The whole theory of a march down the Coosa river rests 
upon this coincidence of the name. The same name however, pronounced (niiiixVgi 
by the Cherokee, was applieil by them to at least three different locations within 
their old territory, while the one mentioned in the narrative would make the fourth. 
The others were (1) on Oostanaula river, opposite the mouth of the Conasauga, where 
afterward was New Echota, in Gordon county, Georgia; (2) on Canasauga creek, in 
McMinn county, Tennessee; (3) on Tuckasegee river, about two miles above Web- 
ster, in Jackson county, North Carolina. At each of these places are remains of 
ancient settlement. It is possible that the name of Kenesaw mountain, near Mari- 
etta, in Cobb county, Georgia, may be a corruption of Gansagi, and if so, the Canasagua 
of the narrative may have been somewhere in this vicinity on the Chattahoochee. 
The meaning of the name is lost. 

On leaving Canasagua they continued down the same river which they hail fol- 
lowed from Guaxule (Garcilaso), and after traveling several days through an unin- 
habited ("despoblado") country (Elvas) arrived at Chiaha, which was subject to the 
great chief of Coga (Elvas). The name is spelled Chiaha by Eanjel and the Gentle- 

198 ■ MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE Ieth.ann.19 

man of Elvas, Chiha l)y Biedma in the Documentor, China hy a misprint in an 
English rendering, and Ychiaha by Garcilaso. It appears as Chiha on an EngHsh map 
of 1762 reproduced in Winsor, Westward Movement, page 31, 1897. Gallatin spells 
itichiaha, while Williams and Fairbanks, by misprint, make it Chiapa. According 
to both Ranjel and Elvas the army entered it on the 5th of June, although the 
former makes it four days from Canasagua, while the other makes it five. Biedma 
says it was four days from Guaxule, and, finally, Garcilaso says it was six days and 
thirty leagues from Guaxule and on the same river, which was, here at Chiaha, as 
large as theCfuadalquivir at Sevilla. As we have seen, there is a great discrepancy 
in the statements of the distance from Cofitachiqui to this point. All four authorities 
agree that. the town was on an island in the river, along which they had been 
marching for sometime (Garcilaso, Ranjel), but while the Elvas narrative makes 
the island "two crossVww shot" in length above the town and one league in length 
below it, Garcilaso calls it a "great island more than five leagues long." On both 
sides of the island the stream was very broad and easily waded (Elvas). Finding 
welcome and food for men and horses the Spaniards rested here nearly a month 
(June 5-28, Ranjel; twenty-six or twenty-seven days, Biedma; thirty days, Elvas). 
In spite of the danger from attack De Soto allowed his men to sleep under trees in 
the (.ipen air, "because it was very hot and the people should have suffered great 
extremity if it had not been so" (Elvas). This in itself is evidence that the place 
was pretty far to the south, as it was yet only the first week in June. The town was 
subject to the chief of the great province of Co^^a, farther to the west. From here 
onward they began to meet palisaded tow'iis. 

On the theory that the march was down Coosa river, every commentator hitherto 
has located Chiaha at some point upon this stream, either in Alabama or Georgia. 
Ciallatin (1836) says that it "must have been on the Coosa, probably somedistance 
below the site of New Echota." He notes a similarity of sound between Ichiaha and 
"Echoy" (Itseyl), a Cherokee town name. Williams (1837) says that it wa.s on 
Mobile (i. e., the Alabama or lower Coosa river). Meek (1839) says "there can be 
little doubt that Chiaha was situated but a short distance above the junction of the 
Coosa and Chattooga rivers," i. e., not far within the Alabama line. He notes the 
occurrence of a "Chiaha" (Chehawhaw) creek near Talladega, Alabama. In regard 
to the island upon which the town was said to have been situated he says: "There 
is no such islaml now in the Coosa. It is probable that the Spaniards either mistook 
the peninsula formed by the junction of two rivers, the Coosa and Chattooga, for an 
island, or that those two rivers were originally united so as to form an island near 
their present confluence. We have heard this latter supposition asserted by per- 
sons well acquainted with the country." — Romantic Passages, p. 222, 1857. Monette 
( 1846) puts it on Etowah branch of the Coosa, probably in Floyd county, Georgia. 
Pickett (1851 ), followed in turn by Irving, Jones, and Shea, locates it at "the site of 
the modern Rome." The "island" is interpreted to mean the space between the 
two streams above the confluence. 

Pickett, as has been stated, bases his statements chiefly or entirely upon Indian 
traditions as obtained from halfbreeds or traders. How much infijrmation can be 
gathered from such sources in regard to events that transpired three centuries before 
may be estimated by considering how much an illiterate mountaineer of the same 
region might be able to tell concerning the founding of the Georgia colony. Pickett 
himself seems to have been entirely unaware of the later Spanish expeditions of 
Pardo and De Luna through the same country, as he makes no mention of them 
in his history of Alabama, but ascribes everything to De Soto. Concerning Chiaha 
he says: 

"The most ancient Cherokee Indians, whose tradition has been handed down to 
us through old Indian traders, disagree as to the precise place [!] where De Soto 
crossed the Oostanaula to get over into the town of Chiaha— some asserting that he 

MooNEY] DE SOTO's RO¥TE 199 

passed over that river seven miles above its junction with the Etowah, and tliat 
he iiiarolied from thence down to Chiaha, wliich, all contend, lay immediately at the 
confluence of the two rivers; M'hile other ancient Indians asserted that he crossed, 
with his aruiy, immediately opposite the town. But this is not very important. 
Coupling the Indian traditions with the account by Garcellasso and that by the Por- 
tuguese eyewitness, we are inclined to believe the latter tradition that the expedition 
continued to advance down the western side of the Oostanaula until they halted in 
view of the mouth of the Etowah. De Soto, having arrived innnediately opposite 
the great town of Chiaha, now the site of Rome, crossed the Oostanaula," etc. (His- 
tory of Alabama, p. 2.3, reprint, 1896). He overlooks the fact that Chiaha w;».s not a 
Cherokee town, but belonged to the province of Co^a — i. e., the territory of the 
Creek Indians. 

A careful study of the four original narratives makes it plain that the expedition 
did not descend either the Oostanaula or the Etowah, and that consequently Chiaha 
could not have been at their junction, the present site of Rome. On the other hand 
the conclusion is irresistible that the march was down the Chattahoochee from its 
extreme head springs in the mountains, and that the Chiaha of the narrative was. 
the Lower Creek town of the same name, more commonly known as Chehaw, for- 
merly on this river in the neighliorhood of the modern city of Columbus, Georgia, 
while Coste, in the narrative the next adjacent town, was Ka,si'ta, or Cusseta, of the 
same group of villages. The falls at this point mark the geologic break line where 
the river changes from a clear, swift current to a broad, slow-moving stream of the 
lower country. Attracted by the ti.sheries and the fertile bottom lands the Lower 
Creeks established here their settlement nucleus, and here, up to the beginning of 
the present century, they had within easy distance of each other on both sides of 
the river some fifteen towns, among which were Chiaha (Chehaw), Chiahudshi 
(Little Chehaw), and Kasi'ta (Cusseta). Most of these settlements were \vithin 
what ai-e now Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties, Georgia, and Lee and Russell 
counties, Alabama (see town list and map in Gatschet, Ci'eek Migration Legend). 
Large mounds and other earthworks on lioth sides of the river in the vicinity of 
Columlius attest the imjiortance of the site in ancient days, while the general appear- 
ance indicates that at times the adjacent low grounds were submerged or cut off by 
overflows from the main stream. A principal trail crossed here from the Ocmulgee, 
passing by Tuskegee to the Upper Creek towns about the junction of the Coosa and 
Tallapoosa in Alabama. At the beginning of the present century this trail was 
known to the traders as " De Soto's trace " (Woodward, Reminiscences, p. 76). As 
the Indian towns frequently shift their position within a limited range on account 
of epidemics, freshets, <:ir impoverishment of the soil, it is not necessary to assume 
that they occupied exactly the same sites in 1540 as in 1800, but only that as a group 
they were in the' same general vicinity. Thus Kasi'ta itself was at one ]ieriod above 
the falls and at a later period some eight miles below them. Both Kasi'ta and Chiaha 
were principal towns, with several branch villages. 

The time given as occupied on the march from Canasagua to Chiaha would seem 
too little for the actual distance, but as we have seen, the chroniclers do not agree 
among themselves. We can easily believe that the Spaniards, buoyed up by the 
certainty of finding food and rest at their next halting place, made better progress 
along the smooth river trail than while blundering hel])lessly through the mountains 
at the direction of a most unwilling guide. If Canasagua was anywhere in the neigh- 
borhood of Kenesaw, in Coljb county, the time mentioned in the Elvas or Garcilaso 
narrative would proljahly have been sufficient for reaching Chiaha at the falls. The 
uninhaliited country between the two towns was the neutral groimd lietween the 
two hostile tribes, the Cherokee and the Creeks, and it is w:orth noting that Kene- 
saw mountain was made a point on the boundary line afterward established between 
the two tribes through the mediation of the United States government. 

200 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.akn. 1 

There is no large island in either the Coosa or the Chattahoochee, and we are 
forced to the conclusion that what the chronicle describes as an island was really a 
portion of the bottom land temporarily cut off by back water from a freshet. In a 
similar way "The Slue," east of Flint river in Mitchell county, may have been 
formed by a shifting of the river channel. Two months later, in Alabama, the 
Spaniards reached a river so swollen by rains that they were obliged to wait six 
days before they could cross (Elvas). Lederer, while crossing South Carolina in 
1670, found his farther progress barred by a "great lake," which he puts on his map 
as "I'shery lake," although there is no such lake in the state; Ijut the mystery is 
explained l^y Lawson, who, in going over the same ground thirty years later, found 
all tlie bottom lands under water from a great flood, the Santee in particular being 
36 feet above its normal level. As Lawson was a surveyor his figures may be con- 
sidered reliable. The "Ushery lake" of Lederer was simply an overflow of Catawba 
river. Flood water in the streams of upper Georgia and Alabama would quickly be 
carried off, but would be apt to remain for some time on the more level country 
below the falls. 

According to information supplied by Mr Thomas Robinson, an expert engineering 
authority familiar witli the lower Chattahoochee, there was formerly a large mound, 
now almost entirely washed away, on the eastern bank of the river, about nine miles 
below Columbus, while on the western or Alabama Ijank, a mile or two farther down, 
there is still to be seen another of nearly equal size. "At extreme freshets both of 
these moimds were partly submerged. To the east of the former, known as the 
Indian momid, the flood plain is a mile or two wide, and along the eastern side of 
the plain stretches a series of swamps or wooded sloughs, indicating an old river bed. 
All the plain between the present river and the sloughs is river-made land. The 
river 1 >Uiff along by the mound on the Georgia side is from twenty to thirty feet above 
the i)reseut low-water surface of the stream. About a mile aliove the mound are the 
remains of what was known as Jennies island. At ordinary stages of the ri\er no 
island is there. The eastern channel was blocked by government works some 
years ago, and the whole is filled up and now used as a cornfield. The island 
remains can be traced now, I tliink, for a length of half a mile, with a possible 
extreme width of 300 feet. . . . This whole country, on both sides of the river, 
is full of Indian lore. I have mentioned both mounds simply to indicate that this 
portion of the river was an Indian locality, and have also stated the facts about the 
remains of Jennies island in order to give a possible clew to a j>rofessional who might 
study the ground. "—Letter, April 21', 1900. 

Chialia was the first town of the " province of Cofa," the territory of the Coosa or 
Creek Indians. The next town mentioned, Coste (Elvas and Ranjel), Costehe 
(Biedma) or Acoste (Garcilaso), was Kasi'ta, or Cusseta, as it was afterward known 
to the whites. While Garcilaso puts it at the lower end of the same ishmd upon 
which Chiaha was situated, the Elvas narrative makes it seven days distant! The 
modern towns of Chehaw and Cusseta were within a few miles of each other on the 
Chattahoochee, the former being on the western or Alabama side, while Cusseta, in 
1799, was on the east or Georgia side about eight miles below the falls at Columbus, 
and in Chattahoochee county, which has given its capital the same name, Cusseta. 
From tlie general tone of the narrative it is evident that the two towns were near 
together in De Soto's time, and it may be that the Elvas chronicle confounded Kasi'ta 
with Koasati, a princijial Upper Creek town, a short distant'e below the junction of 
the Coosa and Tallapoosa. At Coste they crossed the river and continued westward 
"through many towns subject to the cacique of Co?a" (Elvas) until they came to the 
great town of Co^a itself. This was Kusa or Coosa, the ancient capital of the Upper 
Creeks. There were two towns of this name at different periods. One, described by 
Adair in 1775 as "the great and old beloved town of refuge, Koosah," was on the east 
bank of Coosa river, a few miles southwest of the present Talladega, Alabama. The 

MooNEYj DE SOTo's ROUTE ' 201 

other, known as " Old Coosa," and probabl_v of more ancient origin, was on the west 
side of Alabama river, near the present site of Montgomery (see Gatsehet, Creek 
Migration Legend). It was proljably the latter which was visited liy De Soto, and later 
on by r>e Luna, in 1559. Beyond Coca they passed through another Creek town, ap- 
parently lower down on the Alabama, the name of which is variously spelled Ytaua 
(Elvas, Force translation), Ytava (Elvas, Hakluyt Society translation), or Itaba 
(Ranjel), and which may be connected with I'tilw^', Etowah or "Hightower," the 
name of a former Cherokee settlement near the head of Etowah river in Georgia. 
The Cherokee reganl this as a foreign name, and its occurrence in upper Georgia, as 
well as in central Alabama, may help to support the tradition that the southern 
Cherokee border was formerly held by the Creeks. 

De Soto's route beyond the Cherokee country does not concern us except as it 
throws light upon his previous progress. In the seventeenth chapter the Elvas nar- 
rative summarizes that portion from the landing at Tampa bay to a point in southern 
Alabama as follows: " From the Port de Spirito Santo to Apalaehe, which is about an 
hundred leagues, the governor went from east to west; andfrom Apalaehe to Cutifa- 
chiqui, which are 430 leagues, from the southwest to the northeast; and from Cutifa- 
chiqui to Xualla, which are about 250 leagues, from the south to the north; and from 
Xualla to Tascaluca, which are 250 leagues more, an hundred and ninety of them he 
traveled from east to west, to wit, to the province of Coc;a; and the other 60, from 
Cofa to Tascaluca, from the north to the south." 

Chisca (Elvas and Ranjel), the mountainous northern region in search of which 
men were sent from Chiaha to look for copper and gold, was somewhere in the 
Cherokee country of ui>per Georgia or Alabama. The precise location is not material, 
as it is now known that native copper, in such condition as to have been easily work- 
able by the Indians, occurs throughout the whole southern Allegheny region from 
about Anniston, Alabama, into A'irginia. Notable finds of native copper have been 
made on the upper Tallapoosa, in Cleburne county, Alabama; about Ducktown, in 
Polk county, Tennessee, and in southwestern Virginia, one luigget from A'irginia 
weighing several pounds. From the appearance of ancient soapstone vessels which 
have been found in the same region there is even a possibility that the Indians had 
some knowledge of smelting, as the Spanish explorers surmised (oral information 
from Mr W. H. Weed, U. S. Geological Survey). We hear again of this "province" 
after De Soto had reached the Mississippi, and in one place Garcilaso seems to 
confound it with another province called Quizqui (Ranjel) or Quizquiz (Elvas 
and Biedma). The name has some resemblance to the Cherokee word tsiskwa, 

(9) De Lun.v .\np Rogel (p. 27): Jones, in his De Soto's j\Lirch through Georgia, 
incorrectly ascribes certain traces of ancient mining operations in the Cherokee 
country, particularly on Valley river in North Carolina, to the followers of De Luna, 
"who, in 1560 . . . came with 300 Spanish soldiers into this region, and spent 
the summer in eager and laborious search for gold." Don Tristan de Luna, with 
fifteen hundred men, landed somewhere about Mobile bay in 1559 with the design of 
establishing a permanent Spanish settlement in the interior, but owing to a succes- 
sion of unfortunate happenings the attempt was abandoned the next year. In the 
course of his wanilerings he traversed the country of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and 
Upper Creeks, as is shown by the names and other data in the narrative, but 
returned without entering the mountains or doing any digging (see Barcia, Ensayo 
Cronologico, pp. 32— il, 1723; Winsor, Xarrati\-e and Critical History, ii, pp. 257-259) . 

In 1569 the Jesuit Rogel — called Father John Roger by Shea — began mission work 
among the South Carolina trilies inland from Santa Elena (about Port Royal). 
The mission, which at first promised well, was abandoned next year, owing to the 
unwillingness of the Indians to give up their old habits and beliefs. Shea, in his 
"Catholic Missions," supposes that these Indians were probably a part of the 

202 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Cherokee, but a study of the Spanish record in Barcia (Ensayo, pp. 138-141) showa 
that Rogel penetrated only a short distance from the coast. 

(10) D.vviEs' History op the Carribby Islands (p. 29): Tlie frau(kilent cliar- 
acter of this work, which is itself an altered translation of a fictitious history by 
Roehefort, is noted by Buckingham Smith (Letter of Hernando de Soto, p. 36, 1854), 
"VVinsor (Narrative and Critical History, ii, p. 289), and Field (Indian Bibliography, 
p. 95). Says Field: "This book is an example of the most unblushing effrontery. 
The i)seudo author assumes the credit of the jjerformance, with but the faintest 
allusion to its previous existence. It is a nearly faithful translation of Rochefort's 
'IIi.''toire des Antilles.' There is, however, a gratifying retrilmtion in Davies' treat- 
ment (if Roehefort, for the work of the latter was fictitious in every part which was 
not [lurloined from authors whose knowledge furnished him with all in his treatise 
which was true." 

(11) Ancient Spanish Mines (pp. 29, 31): As 1 he existence of the precious metals 
in the southern Alleghenies was known to the Spaniards from a very early period, it 
is probable that more thorough exploration of that region will bring to light many 
evidences of their mining operation.s. In his "Antiquities of the Southern Indians," 
Jones describes a sort of subterranean village discovered in 1834 on Dukes creek, 
White county, Georgia, consisting of a row of small log cabins extending along the 
creek, but imbedded several feet below the surface of the ground, upon which large 
trees were growing, the inference being tliat tlie houses had lieen thus covered by suc- 
cessive freshets. The logs had been nott-hed and shaped apparently with sharp metal- 
lic tools. Shafts have been discovered on Valley river, North Carolina, at the bottom 
of one of which was found, in 1854, a well-preserved windlass of hewn oak timbers, 
showing traces of having once been banded with iron. Another shaft, passing through 
hard rock, showed the marks of sharp tools used in the boring. The easing and 
other timbers were still sound (Jones, pp. 48, 49). Similar ancient shafts have been 
found in other ]jlaces in upper Georgia and western North Carolina, together with 
some remarkable stone-built fortifications or corrals, notably at Fort mountain, in 
Murray county, <3ieorgia, and on Silver creek, a few miles from Rome, Georgia. 

Very recently remains of an early white settlement, traditionally ascribed to the 
Spaniards, have been reported from Lincolnton, North Carolina, on the edge of the 
ancient country of the Sara, among whom the Spaniards built a fort in 1566. The 
works include a dam of cut stone, a series of low pillars of cut stone, arranged in 
squares as though intended for foundations, a stone-walled well, a quarry from which 
the stone had been procured, a fire pit, and a series of sinks, extending along the 
stream, in which were found remains of timbers suggesting the subterranean cabins 
on Dukes creek. All these antedated the first settlement of that region, about the 
year 1750. Ancient mining indications are also reported from Kings mountain, 
about twenty miles distant ( Reinhardt ]SIS, 1900, in Bureau of American Ethnology 
archives). The Spanish miners of whom Lederer heard in 1670 and Moore in 1690 
were probalily at work in this neighborhood. 

(12) Sir William Johnson (p. 38): This great soldier, whose history is so insep- 
arably connected with that of the Six Nations, was born in the county Meath, Ireland, 
in 1715, and died at Johnstown, New York, in 1774. The younger son of an Irish 
gentleman, he left his native country in 1738 in consequence of a disappointment in 
love, and emigrated to America, where he undertook the settlement of a large tract 
of wild land belonging to his uncle, which lay along the south side of the Mohawk 
river in what was then the wilderness of New York. This brought hiiu into close 
contact with the Six Nations, particularly the Mohawks, in whom he became so much 
interested as to learn their language and in some degree to accommodate himself to 
their customs, sometimes even to the wearing of the native costume. This interest, 
together with his natural kindness and dignity, completely won the hearts of the Six 


Nations, over whom he acquired a greater influence than lias ever Ijeen exercised 
by any other white man before f)r since. He was formally adopted as a chief l;>y the 
Mohawk trilie. In 1744, being still a very young man, he was placed in charge of 
British affairs with the Six Nations, and in 1755 was regularly commissioned at 
their own urgent request as superintendent for the Six Nations and their dependent 
and allied tribes, a position which he held for the rest of his life. In 1748 he was 
also placed in command of the New York colonial forces, and two years later was 
appointed to the governor's council. At the beginning of the French and Indian war 
he was commissioned a major-general. He defeated Dieskan at the battle of Lake 
George, where he was severely wounded early in the action, l)ut refused to leave the 
field. For this service he received the thanks of Parliament, a grant of £5,000, and 
a baronetcy. He also distinguished himself at Ticonderoga and Fort Niagara, taking 
the latter after routing the French army sent to its relief. At the head of his Indian 
and colonial fr)rces he took part in other actions and expeditions, and was present at 
the surrender of Montreal. For his services throughout the war he received a grant 
of 100,000 acres of land north of the Mohawk river. Here he built "Johnson 
Hall," which still stands, near the village of Johnstown, which was laid out by him 
with stores, church, and other buildings, at his own expense. At Johnson Hall he 
lived in the style of an old country baron, dividing his attention between Indian 
affairs and the raising of blooded stock, and dispensing a princely hospitality to all 
comers. His influence alone prevented the Six Nations joining Pontiac's great con- 
federacy against the English. In 1768 he concluded the treaty of Fort Stanwix, 
which fixed the Ohio as the boundary between the northern colonies and the western 
tribes, the boundary for which the Indians afterward contended against the Ameri- 
cans until 1795. In 1739 he married a German girl of the Mohawk valley, who died 
after bearing him three children. Later in life he formed a connection with the 
sister of Brant, the Mohawk chief. He died from over-exertion at an Indian council. 
His son. Sir .John Johnson, succeeded to his title and estates, and on the breaking out 
of the Revolution espoused the British side, cirawing with him the Jlohawks and 
a great jjart of the other Six Nations, who abandoned their homes and fled with 
him to Canada (see W. L. Stone, Life of Sir William Johnson). 

( l.S) C.\PT.\ix .John Stu.\rt (p. 44) : This distinguished officer was contemporaneous 
with Sir William Johnson, and sprang from the same adventurous Keltic stock 
which has furnished so many men conspicuous in our early Indian history. Born in 
Scotland about the year 1700, he came to America in 1733, was appointed to a 
subordinate command in the British service, and soon became a favorite with the 
Indians. When Fort Loudon was taken by the Cherokee in 1760, he was second in 
command, and his rescue by Ata-kullakulla is one of the romantic episodes of that 
period. In 1763 he was appointed superintendent for the southern tribes, a position 
which he confirmed to hold until his death. In 1768 he negotiated with the Chero- 
kee the treaty of Hard Labor by which the Kanawha was fixed as the western 
boundary of Virginia, Sir William Johnson at the same time concluding a treaty with 
the northern tribes by which the boundary was continued northward along the Ohio. 
At the outbreak of the Revolution he organized the Cherokee and other southern 
tribes, with the white loyalists, the Americans, and was largely responsible 
for the Indian outrages along the southern border. He planned a general invasion 
by the southern tribes along the whole frontier, in cooperation with a British force 
to be landed in western Florida, while a British fleet should occupy the attention of 
the Americans on the coast side and the Tories should rise in the interior. On the 
discovery of the plot and the subsequent defeat of the Cherokee by the Americans, 
he fled to Florida and soon afterward sailed for England, where he died in 1779. 

(14) Nancv W.\kd (p. 47): A noted halfbreed Cherokee woman, the date and 
place of whose birth and death are alike unknown. It is said that her father was a 


British offirer named AVard and her mother a sister of Ata-kullaknila, principal 
chief of the Nation at the time of tlie first Cherokee war. She was |)rol)ably related 
to Brian Ward, an oldtime trader amon^ the Cherokee, mentioned elsewhere in con- 
nection with the battle of Tali'wft. During the Revolutionary period she resided at 
Echota, the national capital, where she held the office of "Beloved Woman," or 
"Pretty Woman," by virtue of which she was entitled to speak in councils and to 
decide the fate of captives. She distinguished herself by her constant friendship 
for the Americans, always using her best effort to bring about peace between them 
and her own people, and frequently giving timely warning of projected Indian raids, 
notably on the occasion of the great invasion of the AVatauga and Holston settle- 
ments in 1776. A Mrs Bean, captured during this incursion, was saved by her inter- 
position after having been condemned to death and already bound to the stake. In 
1780, on occasion of another Cherokee outbreak, she assisted a number of traders to 
escape, and the next year was sent by the chiefs to make peace with Sevier and 
Campbell, who were advancing against the Cherokee towns. Campbell speaks of 
her in his report aa "the famous Indian woman, Nancy Ward." Although peace 
was not then granted, her relatives, when brought in later with other prisoners, 
were treated with the consideration due in return for her good offices. She is 
described l>y Robertson, who visited her about this time, as "queenly and com- 
manding" in appearance and manner, and her house as furnished in accordance with 
her high dignity. AVhen among the Arkansas Cherokee in 1819, Xuttall was told 
that she had introduced the first cows into the Nation, and that liy her own and her 
children's influence the condition of the Cherokee had Ijeen greatly elevated. He was 
told also that her advice and counsel bordered on supreme, and that her interference 
was allowed to be decisive even in affairs of life and death. Although he speaks 
in the present tense, it is hardly probable that she was then still alive, and he does 
not claim to have met her. Her descendants are still found in the Nation. See 
Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal Tennessee; Ramsey, Tennessee; Nuttall, Travels, 
p. 130, 1821; Campbell letter, 1781, and Springstone deposition, 1781, in Virginia 
State Papers i, ;)p. 435, 436, 447, 1875; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 
(15) Gener.vl James Robertson (p. 48): This distinguished pioneer and founder 
of Nashville was born in Brunswick county, Virginia, in 1742, and died at the Chick- 
asaw agency in west Tennessee in 1814. Like most of the men prominent in the 
early history of Tennessee, he was of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father having 
removed about 1750 to western North Carolina, the boy grew up without education, 
but with a strong love for adventure, which he gratified by making exploring expe- 
ditions across the mountains. After his marriage his wife tauglit him to read and 
write. In 1771 he led a colony to the AV'atauga river and established the settlement 
which became the nucleus of the future state of Tennessee. He took a leading part 
in the organization of the AVatauga Association, the earliest organized government 
within the state, and afterward .served in Dunmore's war, taking i)art in the bloody 
battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. He participated in the earlier Revolutionary cam- 
paigns against the Cherokee, and in 1777 was appointed agent to reside at their cap- 
ital, Echota, and act as a medium in their correspondence with the state governments 
of North Carolina (including Tennessee) and A'irginia. In this capacity he gave 
timely warning of a contemplated invasion by the hostile portion of the tribe early 
in 1779. Soon after in the same year he led a preliminary exploration from AV'atauga 
to the Cumberland. He brought out a larger jiarty late in the fall, and in the spring 
of 1780 liuilt the first stockades on the site which he named Nashborough, now Nash- 
ville. Only his force of character was able to hold the infant settlement together in 
the face of hardships and Indian hostilities, but by his tact and firmness he was 
finally able to make peace with the surrounding tribes, and established the Cumber- 
land settlement upon a secure basis. The Spanish government at one time unsuc- 
cessfully attempted to engage him in a plot to cutoff the western territory from the 

wooNEY] Rutherford's route 205 

United States, but met a patriotic refusal. Having been commissioned a brijiadier- 
general in 1790, he continued to organize campaigns, resist invasions, and negotiate 
treaties until the final close of the Indian wars in Tennessee. He afterward heldtiie 
appointment of Indian commissioner to the Chickasaw and Choctaw. See Ramsey, 
Tennessee; Roosevelt, Winning of the West; Appleton's Cyclopiedia of American 

(16) General Griffith Rutherford (p. 48) : Although this Revolutionary offi- 
cer commanded the greatest expedition ever sent against the Cherokee, with such 
distinguished success that both North Carolina and Tennessee have named counties 
in his honor, little appears to Ije definitely known of his history. He was born in 
Ireland about 1731, and, emigrating to America, settled near Salisbury, North Caro- 
lina. On the opening of the Revolutionary struggle he became a member of the 
Provincial Congress and Council of Safety. In June, 1776, he was commissioned a 
brigadier-general in the American army, and a few months later led his celeljrated 
expedition against the Cherokee, as elsewhere narrated. He rendered other impor- 
tant service in the Revolution, in one battle being taken prisoner by the British and 
held by them nearly a year. He afterward served in the state senate of North Caro- 
lina, and, subsequently removing to Tennessee, was for some time a member of its 
territorial council. He died in Tennessee about 1800. 

(17) Rutherford's route (p. 49): The various North Carolina detachments 
which combined to form Rutherford's expedition against the Cherokee in the 
autunm of 1776 organized at different points about the upper Catawlia and probal:)ly 
concentrated at Davidson's fort, now Old fort, in McDowell county. Thence, 
advancing westward closely upon the line of the present Southern railroad and its 
Western North Carolina branch, the army crossed the Blue ridge over the Swanna- 
noa gap and went down the Swannanoa to its junction with the French Broad, 
crossing the latter at the Warrior ford, below the present Asheville; thence up 
Hominy creek and across the ridge to Pigeon river, crossing it a few miles below the 
junction of the East and West forks; thence to Richland creek, crossing it just above 
the present Waynesville; and over the dividing ridge between the present Haywood 
and Jack.son counties to the head of Scott's creek; thence down that creek by "a 
blind path through a very mountainous bad way," as Moore's old narrative has it, 
to its junction with the Tuckasegee river just below the present Webster; thence, 
crossing to the west (south) side of the river, the troops followed a main trail down 
the stream for a few miles until they came to the first Cherokee town, Stekoa, on 
the site of the farm formerly owned by Colonel William H. Thomas, just above the 
present railroad village of Whittier, Swain county. North Carolina. After destroying 
the town a detachment left the main body and pursued the fugitives northward on 
the other side of the river to Oconaluftee river and Soco creek, getting back afterward 
to the settlements by steering an easterly course across the mountains to Richlan(i 
creek (Moore narrative). The main army, under Rutherford, crossed the dividing 
ridge to the southward of Whittier and descended Cowee creek to the waters of Little 
Tennessee, in the present ^laeon county. After destroying the towns in this vicinity 
the army ascended Cartoogaja creek, west from the present Franklin, and crossed the 
Nantahala mountains at Waya gap — where a fight took place — to Nantahala river, 
probably at the town of the same name, about the present Jarretts station. From 
here the march was west across the mountain into the present Cherokee county and 
down Valley river to its junction with the Hiwassee, at the present Murphy. 
Authorities: Moore narrative and Wilson letter in North Carolina University Maga- 
zine, February, 1888; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 164; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, 
1, pp. 300-302; Royce, Cherokee map; personal information from Colonel AVilliam 
H. Thomas, ^Major James Bryson, whose grandfather was with Rutherford, and 
Cherokee informants. 

(18) Colonel Willh.m Christian (p. 50): Colonel William Christian, some- 

206 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

times incorrectly called Christy, was born in Berkeley county, Virfjinia, in 1732. 
Accustomed to frontier warfare almost from lioyhood, he served in the French and 
Indian war with the rank of captain, and was afterward in coninian<l of the Ten- 
nessee and North Carolina forces which participated in the great liattle of Point 
Pleasant in 1774, although he himself arrived too late for the fight. He organized 
a regiment at the opening of the Revolutionary war, and in 1776 led an expedition 
from Virginia against the Upper Cherokee and compelled them to sue for peace. 
In 1782, while upon an expedition against the Ohio tribes, he was captured and 
burned at the stake. 

(19) The gre.\t war p.\th (p. .50): This noted Indian thoroughfare from 
Virginia through Kentucky and Tennessee to the Creek country in Alabama and 
Georgia is freijuently mentioned in the early narrative of that section, and is indi- 
cated on the maps accompanying Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee and Royce's Chero- 
kee Nation, in the Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Royce's map 
shows it in more correct detail. It was the great trading and war path between the 
northern and southern tribes, and along the same path C'hristian, Sevier, and others 
of the old Indian fighters led their men to the destruction of the towns on Little 
Tennessee, Hiwassee, and southward. 

According to Ramsey (p. 88), one branch of it ran nearly on the line of the 
later stage road from Harpers ferry to Knoxville, passing the Big lick in Bote- 
tourt county, Virginia, crossing New river near old Fort Chiswell (which stood on 
the south bank of Reed creek of New river, aliout lune miles east from Wytheville, 
Virginia) crossing Holston at the Seven-mile ford, thence to the left of the stage road 
near the river to the north fork of Holston, "crossing as at present" ; thence to Big 
creek, and, crossing the Holston at Dodson's ford, to the Grassy springs near the former 
residence of Micajah Lea; thence down the Nolichucky to Long creek, up it to its 
head, and down Dumplin creek nearly to its mouth, where the path bent to the left 
and crossed French Broad near Buckinghams island. Here a branch left it and went 
up the West fork of Little Pigeon and across the mountains to the Middle towns on 
Tuckasegee and the upper Little Tennessee. The main trail continued up Boyd's 
creek to its head, and down Ellejoy creek to Little river, crossing near Henry's place; 
thence by the present Maryville to the mouth of Tellico, and, passing through the 
Cherokee towns of Tellico, Echota, and Hiwassee, down the Coosa, connecting with 
the great war path of the Creeks. Near the Wolf hills, now Abingdon, Virginia, 
another path came in from Kentucky, passing through the Cumberland gap. It wa.s 
along this latter road that the early e."iplorers entered Kentucky, and along it also 
the Shawano and other Ohio tribes often j:)enetrated to raid upon the Holston and 
New river settlements. 

On Royce's nlap the trail is indicated from Virginia southward. Starting from 
the junction of Moccasin creek with the North fork of Holston, just above the 
Tennessee state line, it crosses the latter river from the east side at its mouth or 
junction with the South fork, just below Kingsport or the Long island; then follows 
down along the west side of the Holston, crossing Big creek at its mouth, and crossing 
to the south (east) side of Holston at Dodson's cree"k; thence up along the east side of 
Dodson's creek and across Big Gap creek, following it for a short distance and con- 
tinuing southwest, just touching Nolichucky, passing up the west side of Long creek 
of that stream and down the same side of Dumplin creek, and crossing French Broad 
just below the mouth of the creek; thence up along the west side of Boyd's creek to 
its head and down the west side of Ellejoy creek to and across Little river; thence 
through the present Maryville to cross Little Tennessee at the entrance of Tellico 
river, where old Fort Loudon was built; thence turning up along the south side of 
Little Tennessee river to Echota, the ancient capital, and then southwest across 
Tellico river along the ridge between Chestua and Canasauga creeks, and crossing 
the latter near its mouth to strike Hiwassee river at the town of the same name; 


thence southwest, crossing Ocoee river near its nioutli, passing south of Cleveland, 
through the present Ooltewah and across Chickamauga creek into Georgia and 

According to Tiniberlake (Memoirs, with map, 1765), the trail crossed Little Ten- 
nessee from Echota, northward, in two places, just al)o\e and below Four-mile 
creek, the first camping place being at the junction of Ellejoy creek and Little river, 
at the old town site. It crossed Holstdu within a mile of Fort Robinson. 

According to Hutchins (Topographical Description of America, p. 24, 1778), the 
road which went through Cumberland gap was the one taken by the northern 
Indians in their incursions into the "Cuttawa" country, and went from Sandusky, 
on Lake Erie, by a direct path to the mouth of Scioto (where Portsmouth now is) 
and thence across Kentucky to the gap. 

• (20) Peace towns and towns of refi'ob (p. 51): Towns uf refuge existed among 
the Cherokee, the Creeks, and probably other Indian tribes, as well as among the 
ancient Hebrews, the institution being a merciful provision for scjftening the harsh- 
ness of the primitive law, which required a life for a life. We learn from Deuteron- 
omy that appointed three cities on the ea.-t side of Jordan "that the slayer 
might flee thither which should kill his neighbor unawares and hated him not in 
times past, and that fleeing into one of these cities he might live." It was also 
ordained that as more territory was conquered from the heathen three additional 
cities should be thus set aside as havens of refuge for those who should accidentally 
take human life, and where they should be safe until the matter could be adjusted. 
The wilful murderer, however, was not to be sheltered, but delivered up to punish- 
ment without pity (Dent, iv, 41-43, and xix, 1-11). 

Echota, the ancient Cherokee capital near the mouth of Little Tennessee, was the 
Cherokee town of refuge, commonly designated as the "white town" or "peace 
town." According to Adair, the Cherokee in his time, although extremely degen- 
erate in other things, still observed the law so strictly in this regard that even a 
wilful murderer who might succeed in making his escape to that town was safe so 
long as he remained there, although, unless the matter was compounded in the 
meantime, the friends of the slain person would seldom allow him to reach home 
alive after leaving it. He tells how a trader who had killed an Indian to protect hii 
own property took refuge in Echota, and after having been there for some months 
prepared to return to his trading store, which was but a short distance away, but was 
assured by the chiefs that he would be killed if he ventured outside the town. He 
was accordingly obliged to stay a longer time until the tears of the bereaved relatives 
had been wiped away with presents. In another place the same author tells how a 
Cherokee, having killed a trader, was pureued and attempted to take refuge in the 
town, but was driven off into the river as soon as he came in sight by the inhabit- 
ants, who feared either to have their town polluted by the shedding of blood or to 
provoke the English by giving him sanctuary (Adair, American Indians, p. 158, 1775). 
In 1768 Oconostota, speaking on behalf of the Cherokee ilelegates who had come to 
Johnson Hall to make peace with the Iroquois, said : " We come from Chotte, where the 
wise [white?] house, the house of peace is erected" (treaty record, 1768, New York 
Colonial Documents, viii, p. 42, 1857). In 1786the friendly Cherokee made "Chota" 
the watchword by which the Americans might be able to distinguish them from the 
hostile Creeks ( Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 343) . From conversation with old Cherokee it 
seems probable that in cases where no satisfaction was made by the relatives of the 
man-slayer he continued to reside close within the limits of the town until the next 
recurrence of the annual Green-corn dance, when a general amnesty was pro- 

Among the Creeks the ancient town of Kusa or Coosa, on Coosa river in Alabama, 
was a town of refuge. In Adair's time, although then almost deserted and in ruins, it 
was still a place of safety for one who had taken human life without design. Certain 

208 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.anx.i9 

towns were also known as peace towns, from their prominence in peace ceremonials 
and treaty making. Upon this Adair says: " In almost every Indian nation there 
are several peaceable iownst, which are called 'old beloved, ancient, holy, or white 
towns.' They seem to have been formerly towns of refuge, for it is not in the 
memory of their oldest people that ever human blood was shed in them, although 
they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere." — Adair, 
American Indians, 159. A closely parallel institution seems to have existed among 
the Seneca. "The Seneca nation, ever the largest, and guarding the western door 
of the ' long' house, ' which was threatened alike from the north, west, and south, 
had traditions peculiarly their own, besides those common to the other members of 
the confederacy. The stronghold or fort, Gau-stra-yea, on the mountain ridge, four 
miles east of LewLston, had a peculiar character as the residence of a virgin queen 
known as the 'Peacemaker.' When the Iroquois confederacy was first formed the 
prime factors were mutual protection and domestic peace, and this fort was designed 
to afford comfort and relieve the distress incident to war. It was a true 'city of 
refuge,' to which fugitives from battle, whatever their nationality, might flee for 
safety and find generous entertainment. Curtains of deerskin separated pursuer and 
pursued while they were being lodged and fed. At parting, the curtains were with- 
drawn, and the hostile parties, having shared the hospitality of tlie queen, could 
neither renew hostility or pursuit without the queen's consent. According to tra- 
dition, no virgin had for many generations been counted worthy to fill the place or 
possessed the genius and gifts to honor the position. In 1878 the Tonawanda band 
proposed to revive the office and conferred upon Caroline Parker the title." — Car- 
rington, in Six Nations of New York, Extra Bulletin Eleventh Census, p. 73, 1892. 

(21) Scalping by whites (p. 53) : To the student, aware how easily the civilized 
man reverts to his original savagery when brought in close contact with its condi- 
tions, it will be no surprise to learn that every barbarous practice of Indian warfare 
was quickly adopted by the white pioneer and soldier and frequently legalized and 
encouraged by local authority. Scalping, while the common, was probably 
the least savage and cruel of them all, being usually performed after the victim was 
already dead, with the primary purpose of securing a trophy of the victory. The 
tortures, mutilations, and nameless deviltries infiicted upon Indians by their white 
conquerors in the early days could hardly be paralleled even in civilized Europe, 
when burning at the stake was the punishment for holding original opinions and 
sawing into two pieces the penalty for desertion. Actual torture of Indians by legal 
sanction was rare within the English colonies, but mutilation was common and 
scalping was the rule down to the end of the war of 1812, and has been practiced 
more or less in almost every Indian war down to the latest. Captain Church, who 
commanded in King Philip's war in 1676, states that his men received thirty shil- 
lings a head for every Indian killed or taken, and Philip's head, after it was cut off, 
" went at the same price." When the chief was killed one of his hands was cut off 
and given to his Indian slayer, " to show to such gentlemen as would bestow gratui- 
ties upon him, and accordingly he got many a penny by it." His other hanil was 
chopped off and sent to Boston for exhibition, his head was sent to Plymouth and 
exposed upon a scaffold there for twenty years, while the rest of his body was 
quartered and the pieces left hanging upon four trees. Fifty years later Massachu- 
setts offered a bounty of one hundred pounds for every Indian scalp, and scalp 
hunting thus became a regular and usually a profitable business. On one occasion a 
certain Lovewell, having recruited a company of forty men for this purpose, dis- 
covered ten Indians' lying asleep by their fire and killed the whole party. After 
scalping them they stretched the scalps upon hoops and marched thus into Boston, 
•ft'liere the scalps were paraded and the bounty of one thousand pounds paid for 
them. By a few other scalps sold from time to time at the regular market rate, 
Lovewell was gradually acquiring a competency when in May, 1725, his company 


met disaster. He discovered and shot a solitary hunter, vvlio was afterward scalped 
by the chaplain of the party, hut the Indian managed to kill Lovewell before 
beinir overpowered, on which the whites withdrew, but were jiursued by the trilies- 
men of the slain hunter, with the result that but sixteen of them got home alive. 
A famous old ballad .if the time tells how 

"Our worthy Captain Lovewell among them there did die. 
They killed Lieutenant Robbins and wounded good young Frye, 
Who was our English chaplain; he many Indians slew, 
And some of them he scalped when l;>ullets round him fiew." 

When the mi.ssion village of Norridgewock was attacked by the New England men 
about the same time, women and children were made to suffer the fate of the war- 
riors. The scholarly missionary, Rasles, author of the Abnaki Dictionary, was shot 
down at the foot of the cross, where he was afterward found witli his Ixuly riddled 
with lialls, his skull crushed and scalped, his mouth and eyes filled with earth, his 
limbs broken, and all his niend)ers nmtilated — and this by white men. The border 
men of the Revolutionary period and later invariably scalped slain Indians as often 
as opportunity permitte<l, and, as has already been shown, both British and American 
officials encouraged the practice by offers of boimties and rewards, even, in the case 
of the former, when the scalps were those of white people. Our difficulties w-ith the 
Apache date from a treacherous massacre of them in 1836 by a party of American 
scalp hunters in the pay of the governor of Honora. The bounty offered was one 
ounce of golil per scalp. In 18(54 the Coloraihj militia under Colonel Chivington 
attacked a party of Cheyennes camped under the protection of the ITnited (States 
flag, and killed, mutilated, and .■<calpe<l 170 men, women, and children, bringing the 
scalps into Denver, where they were paraded in a public hall. (Jne Lieutenant 
Richmond killed and scaljjcd three women and five children. Scalps were taken by 
American troops in the ilodoc war of 1873, and there is now living in the Comanche 
tribe a woman who was scalped, though not mortally wounded, by white soldiers in 
one of the later Indian encounters in Texas, ^luthoritief!: Drake, Indians (for New- 
England wars ) ; Roosevelt, Virginia State Papers, etc. (Revolution, etc.); Bancroft, 
Pacific States (Apa<'he); Official Report on the Condition of the Indian Trilies, 
1867 (fnr Chivington episode); author's personal information. 

(22) Lower Chehokee repcgees (p. .55): "In every hut I have visited I find the 
children exceedingly alarmed at the sight of wdiite men, ami here [at Willstown] a 
little boy of eight years old was excessively alarmed and could not be kept from 
screaming out until he got out of the door, and then he ran and hid himself; but as 
soon as I can converse with them and they are informed who I am they execute any 
order I give them with eagerness. I inquired particularly of the mothers what could 
be the reason for this. They said, this town was the remains of several towns who 
[sic'] formerly resided on Tugalo and Keowee, and had been much harassed by the 
whites; that the <.>ld people remembere<l their former situation and suffering, and fre- 
c|uently spoke of them; that these tales were listened to by the children, and made an 
impression which showed itself in the manner I had observed. The women told 
me, who I saw gathering nuts, that they had sensations upon my conung to the 
camp, in the highest degree alarming to them, and when I lit from my horse, took 
them by the hand, and spoke to them, they at first could not reply, although one of 
them understood and spoke English very well." — Hawkins, manuscript journal, 
1796, in library of Georgia Historical Society. 

(23) Gexer.\l ALE.v.\xnER MiGillivr.w (p. 56): This famous Creek chieftain, 
like so many distinguished men of the southern tribes, was of mixed blood, being the 
son of a Scotch trader, I^achlan McGillivray, by a halfbreed woman of influential 
family, whose father was a French officer of Fort Toulouse. The future chief was 
born in the Creek Nation aljout 1740, and died at Pensacola, Florida, in 1793. He 

19 ETH— 01 li 

210 MYTHS OF THE CHEKOKEE [eth.ann.19 

was educated at Charleston, studying Latin in addition to the ordinary branches, ami 
after leaving school was placed by his father with a mercantile firm in Savannah. 
He remained but a short time, when he returned to the Creek country, where he soon 
began to attract attention, becoming a partner in the firm of Panton, Forbes & Leslie, 
of Pensacola, which had almost a monopoly of the Creek trade. He succeeded to 
the chieftainship on the death of his mother, w'ho came of ruling stock, but refused 
to accept the position until called to it by a formal council, when he assumed the title 
of emperor of the Creek Nation. His paternal estates having been confiscated by 
CJeorgia at the outbreak of the Revolution, he joined the British side with all his 
warriors, and continued to be a leading instigator in the border hostilities until 1790, 
when he visited New York with a large retinue and made a treaty of peace with the 
United States on behalf of his people. President AVashington's instructions to the 
treaty commissioners, in anticipation of this visit, state that he was said to pcjssess 
great abilities and an unlimited influence over the Creeks and part of the Cherokee, 
and that it was an object worthy of considerable effort to attach him warmly to the 
United States. In pursuance of this policy the Creek chiefs were entertained by 
the Tammany society, all the members being in full Indian dress, at which the vis- 
itors were much delighted and responded with an Indian dance, while McGillivray induced to resign his commission as colonel in the Spanish service for a commis- 
sion of higher grade in the service of the United States. Soon afterward, on account 
of some opposition, excited by Bowles, a renegade white man. he absented himself 
from his tribe for a time, but was soon recalled, and continued to rule over the Nation 
until his death. 

jMcGillivray appears to have had a curious mixture of Scotch shrewdness, French 
love of display, and Indian secretiveness. He fixed his residence at Little Talassee, 
on the Coosa, a few miles above the present Wetumpka, Alabama, where he liveil in 
a handsome house with extensive quarters for his negro slaves, so that his place had 
the appearance of a small town. He entertained with magnificence and traveled 
always in state, as became one who styled himself emperor. Throughout the Indian 
wars he strove, so far as possible, to prevent unnecessary cruelties, Ijeing noted for 
liis kindness to captives; and his last years were spent in an effort to bring teachers 
among his jieople. On the other hand, he conformed nuich to the Indian customs; 
and he managed his negotiations with England, Spain, and the T'nited States with 
such adi'oitness that he was able to play off one against the other, holding commis- 
sions by turn in the service of all three. Woodward, who knew of him by later 
reputation, asserts positively that McCxillivray's mother was of pure Indian blood and 
that he himself was without education, his letters having been written for him by 
Leslie, of the trading firm with which he was connected. The balance of testimony, 
however, seems to leave no doubt that he was an educated as well as an able man, 
whatever may have been his origin. Authorities: Drake, American Indians; docu- 
ments in Amei'ican State Papers, Indian Affairs, i, 1832; Pickett, Alabama, 1896; 
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Woodward, Reminiscences, p. 59 et 
passim, 1859. 

(24) Governor John Sevier (p. 57): This noted leader and statesman in the 
pioneer history of Tennessee was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, in 1745, and 
died at the Creek town of Tukabatchee, in Alabama, in 1815. His father was a French 
immigrant of good birth and education, the original name of the family being Xavier. 
The son received a good education, and being naturally remarkably handsome and 
of pohshed manner, fine courage, and generous temperament, soon acquired a remark- 
al)le influence over the rough border men with whom his lot was cast and among 
whom he was afterward affectionately known as "Chucky Jack." To the Cherokee 
he was known as Tsan-usdi', "Little John." After some service against the Indians 
on the Virginia frontier he removed to the new Watauga settlement in Tennessee, 
in 1772, and at once became prominently identified with its affairs. He took 


part in Dunmore's war in 1774 and, afterward, from the opening of the Revokition 
in 1775 until the close of the Indian wars in Tennessee — a period extending over 
nearly twenty years — was the acknowledged leader or organizer in every impor- 
tant Indian campaign along the Tennessee border. His services in this connection 
have been already noted. He also commancjed one wing of the American f(jrces 
at the battle of King's mountain in 1780, and in 1783 led a body of mountain men to 
the assistance of the patriots under Marion. At one time during the Revolution a 
Tory plot to assassinate him was revealed by the wife of the principal conspirator. 
In 1779 he had been commissioned as commander of the militia of Washington 
county. North Carolina — the nucleus of the present state of Tennessee — a position 
which he had already held by common consent. Shortly after the close of the Revo- 
lution he held for a short time the office of governor of the seceding "state i]f 
Franklin," for which he was arrested and brought to trial by the government of 
North Carolina, but made his escape, when the matter was allowed to drop. The 
question nf jurisdiction was finally settled in 1790, when North Carolina ceded the 
disputed territory to the general government. Before this Sevier had been commis- 
sioned as brigadier-general. When Tennessee was admitted as a state in 1796 he was 
elected its first (state) governor, serving three terms, or six years. In 1803 he was 
again reelected, serving three more terms. In 1811 he was elected to Congress, where 
he served two terms and was reelected to a third, but died before he could take his 
seat, having contracted a fever while on duty as a boundary commissioner among the 
Creeks, lieing then in his seventy-first year. For more than forty years he had been 
continuously in the service of his country, and no man of his state was ever more 
loved and respected. In the prime of his manhood he was reputed the handsomest 
man and the best Indian fighter in Tennessee. 

(25) Hopewell, South C.vrolina (p. 61): This place, designated in early treaties 
and also in Hawkins's manuscript journal as "Hopewell on the Keowee," was the 
plantation seat of General Andrew Pickens, who resided there from the close of the 
Revolution until his death in 1817. It was situated on the northern edge of the 
present Anderson county, on the east side of Keowee river, opposite and a short 
distance below the entrance of Little river, and about three miles from the present 
Pendleton. In sight of it, on the opposite side of Keowee, was the old Cherokee 
town of Seneca, destroyed by the Americans in 1776. Important treaties were made 
here with the Cherokee in 1785, and with the Chickasaw in 1786. 

(26) Colonel Ben.i.\min H.\wkins (p. 61): This distinguished soldier, statesman, 
and author, was born in Warren county, North Carolina, in 1754, and died at Haw- 
kinsville, Georgia, in 1816. His father. Colonel Philemon Hawkins, organized and 
commanded a regiment in the Revolutionary war, and Mas a member of the conven- 
tion that ratified the national constitution. At the outbreak of the Revolution young 
Hawkins was a student at Princeton, but offered his services to the American cause, 
and on account of his knowledge of French and other modern languages was 
appointed by Washington his staff interpreter for communicating with the French 
officers cooperating with the American army. He took part in several engagements 
and was afterward appointed commissioner for procuring war supplies abroad. After 
the close of the war he was elected to Congress, and in 1785 was appointed on the 
commission which negotiated at Hopewell the first federal treaty with the Cherokee. 
He served a second term in the House and another in the Senate, and in 1796 was 
appointed superintendent for all the Indians south of the Ohio. He thereupon 
removed to the Creek country and established himself in tlie wilderness at what is 
now Hawkinsville, Georgia, where he remained in the continuance of his office 
until his death. As Senator he signed the deed Ijy which North Carolina ceded 
Tennessee to the United States in 1790, and as Indian superintendent helped to nego- 
tiate seven different treaties with the southern tribes. He had an extensive knowl- 
edge of the customs and language of the Creeks, and his ' ' Sketch of the Creek 

212 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Country," written in 1799 and published by the Historical Society of Georgia in 
1848, remains a standard. His journal and other manuscripts are in possession of 
the same societ\-, while a manuscript Cherokee vocabulary is in possession of the 
American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. A)ifIiorities: Hawkins's manuscripts, 
with Gei)rgia Historical Society; Indian Treaties, 1837; American State Papers: 
Indian Affairs, i, 1832; ii, 183-1; Gatschet, Creek ^Migration Legend; Appleton, Cyclo- 
paedia of American Biography. 

(27) Governor AVilliam Blount (p. 68): William Blount, territorial governor of 
Tennessee, was born m North Carolina in 1744 and died at Knoxville, Tennessee, 
in 1800. He held several important offices in his native state, including two terms in 
the assembly and two others as delegate to the old congress, in which latter capacity 
he was one of the signers of the Federal constitution in 1787. Gn the organization 
of a territorial government for Tennessee in 1790, he was appointed territorial 
governor and also superintendent for the southern tribes, fixing his headquarters 
at Knoxville. In 1791 he negotiated an important treaty with the Cherokee, and 
had much to do with directing the operations against the Indians until the close 
of the Indian war. He was president of the convention which organized the state of 
Tennessee in 1796, and was elected to the national senate, but was expelled on the 
charge of having entered into a treasonable conspiracy to assist the British in con- 
quering Louisiana from Spain. A United States officer was sent to arrest him, but 
returned without executing his mission on being warned by Blount's friend.s that 
they would not allow him to be taken from the state. The impeachment jiroi'eedings 
against him were afterward dismissed on technical grounds. In the meantime the 
people of his own state had shown their confidence in him by electing him to the 
state senate, of which he was chosen president. He died at the early age of fifty- 
three, the most popular man in the state next to Sevier. His younger brother, 
Willie Blount, who had been his secretary, was afterward governor of Tennessee, 

(28) St Cl.^ir's defe.\t, 1791 (p. 72): Early in 1791 Major-General Arthur St 
Clair, a veteran officer in two wars and governor of the Northwestern Territory, was 
appointed to the chief ccimmand of the army fiperating against the (_)hio tribes. Gn 
November 4 of that year, while advancing upon the Miami villages with an army of 
1,400 men, he was surprised by an Indian force of about tlie same number under 
Little-turtle, the Miami chief, in what is now southwestern Mercer county, Ohio, 
adjoining the Indiana line. Because of the cowardly conduct of the militia he was 
totally defeated, with the loss of 632 oflicers and men killed and missing, and 263 
wounded, many of whom afterward died. The artillery was abandoned, not a horse 
being left alive to draw it off, and s(j great was the panic that the men threw away 
their arms and fled for miles, even after the pursuit had ceased. It was afterward 
learned that the Indians lost 150 killed, besides many wounded. Two years later 
General Wayne built Fort Recovery upon the same spot. The detachment sent to 
do the work found within a space of 350 yards 500 skulls, while for several miles 
along the line of pursuit the woods were strewn with skeletons and muskets. The 
two cannon lost were found in the adjacent stream. AuthorlHes: St Clair's report 
and related documents, 1791; American State Papers, Indian Affairs, i, 1832; Drake, 
Indians 570, 571, 1880; Appleton's Cyclopsedia of American Biography. 

(29) Cherokee clans, (p. 74): The Cherokee have seven clans, viz : Ani'-\Va''ya, 
Wolf; Ani'-Kawl', Deer; Ani'-Tsi'skwa, Bird; Ani'-Wa'dl, Paint; Ani'-Saha'nl; 
Ani'-Ga'tage'wl; Ani'-Gila'hi. The names of the three can not be translated 
with certainty. The Wolf elan is the largest and most important in the trilje. It 
is probable that, in accordance with the general system in other trilies, each clan 
had formerly certain hereditary duties and privileges, Init nn trace of these now 
remains. Children belong to the clan of the mother, and the law forbid<ling mar- 
riage between persons of the .same clan is still enforced among the conservative 

MooNEYi Wayne's victory 213 

full-l)lonfis. The "seven clans" are frequently mentioned in the sacred formulas, 
and even in some of the tribal laws promulgated within the century. There is evi- 
dence that originally there were fourteen, wliicli by extini-tion or alisorption have 
been reduced to seven; thus, the ancient Turtle-dove and Raven clans now constitute 
a single Bird clan. The subject will lie discussed more fully in a future Cherokee 

(30) Wayne's victory, 1794 (p. 78): After the successive failures of Harmar and 
St Clair in their efforts against the Ohio tribes the chief command was assigned, in 
1793, to Major-General Anthony Wayne, who had already distinguished himself by 
his fighting qualities during the Revolution. Having built Fort Recovery on the 
site of St Clair's defeat, he made that post his headquarters through the winter 
of 1793-94. In the summer of 1794 he advanced down the IMaumee with an army 
of 3,000 men, two-thirds of whom were regulars. On August 20 he encountered the 
confederated Indian forces near the head of the Maumee rapids at a point known as 
the Fallen Timbers and defeated them with great slaughter, the pursuit being fol- 
lowed up by the cavalry until the Indians took refuge under the guns of the 
British garrison at Fort Miami, just below the rapids. His own loss was only 33 
killed and 100 wounded, of whom 1 1 afterward died of their wounds. The loss of the 
Indians and their white auxiliaries was beliexed to be more than double this. The 
Indian force was supposed to number 2,000, while, on account of the impetuosity of 
Wayne's charge, the number of his troops actually engage<l did not exceed 900. On 
account of this defeat and the subsequent devastation of their towns and fields by 
the victoricjus army the Indians were compelled to sue for peace, which was granted 
by the treaty concluded at Greenville, Ohio, August 3, 1795, by wdiich the tribes 
represented cede<l away nearly their whole territory in Ohio. AuDiorlties: Wayne's 
report and related documents, 1794, American State Papers; Indian Affairs, i, 1832; 
Drake, Indians, 571-577, 1880 ; Greenville treaty, in Indian Treaties, 1837 ; Appleton's 
Cyclopsedia of American Biography. 

(31) First things of civilization (p. 83): We usually find tliat the first things 
adopted liy the Indian from his white neighbor are imprii\ed weapons and cutting 
tools, witli trinkets and articles of personal adornment. After a regular trade has 
been established certain traders marry Indian wives, and, taking up their jiermanent 
residence in the Indian country, engage in farming and stock raising according to 
civilized methods, thus, even without intention, constituting themselves industrial 
teachers for the tribe. 

From data furnished by Haywood, guns appear to have been first introduced 
among the Cherokee about the year 1700 or 1710, although he himself puts the date 
much earlier. Horses were probably not owned in any great number before the 
marking out of the horse-path for traders from Augusta about 1740. The Cherokee, 
however, took kindly to the animal, and before the beginning of the war of 1760 
had a "prodigious number." In spite of their great losses at that time they had so 
far recovered in 1775 that almost every man then had from two to a dozen (Adair, 
p. 231). In the border wars following the Revolution companies of hundreds of 
mounted Cherokee and Creeks sometimes invaded the settlements. The cow is 
called wa'ka by the Cherokee and niaga by the Creeks, indicating that their first 
knowledge of it came through the Spaniards. Nuttall states that it was first intro- 
duced among the Cherokee by the celebrated Jvancy Ward (Travels, p. 130). It was 
not in such favor as the horse, being \-aluable chiefly for food, of which at that time 
there was an abundant supply from the wild game. A potent reason for its avoid- 
ance was the Indian belief that the eating of the Hesh of a slow-moving animal breeds 
a corresponding sluggishness in the eater. The same argument applied even more 
strongly to the hog, and to this day a few of the old conservatives among the East 
Cherokee will have nothing to do with beef, pork, milk, or butter. Nevertheless, 
Bartram tells of a trader in the Cherokee countrv as earlv as 1775 who had a stock 

214 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

of cattle, and whose Indian wife had learned to make butter and cheese (Travels, p. 
347). In 179ii Hawkins mentions meeting two Clierokee women driving ten very 
fat cattle to market in the white settlements (manuscript journal, 1796). Bees, if 
not native, as the Indians claim, were introduced at so early a period that the 
Indians have forgotten their foreign origin. The De Soto narrative mentions the 
finding of a pot of honey in an Indian village in Georgia in 1540. The peach was 
cultivated in orchards a century before the Revolution, and one variety, known as 
early as 1700 as the Indian peach, the Indians claimed as their own, asserting that 
they had had it before the whites came to America (Lawson, Carolina, p. 182, ed. 1860) . 
Potatoes were introduced early and were so much esteemed that, according to one 
old informant, the Indians in Georgia, before the Removal, "lived on them." Coffee 
came later, and the same informant remembered when the full-bloods still consid- 
ered it poison, in spite of the efforts of the chief, Charles Hicks, to introduce it 
among them. 

Spinning wheels and looms were introduced shortly before the Revolution. 
According to the Wahnenauhi manuscript the first among the Cherokee were brought 
over from England by an Englishman named Edward Graves, who taught his 
Cherokee wife to spin and weave. The anonymous writer may have confounded 
this early civilizer with a young Englishman who was employed by Agent Hawkins 
in 1801 to make wheels and looms for the Creeks (Hawkins, 1801, in American State 
Papers: Indian Affairs, i, p. 647). Waffcird, in his bfiyhood, say about 181.5, knew an 
old man named Tsl'nawl on Young-cane creek of Nottely river, in upper Georgia, 
who was known as a wheelwright and was reputed to have made the first si)inning 
wheel and loom ever made among the mountain Cherokee, or perhaps in the Nation, 
long before Wafford's time, or "about the time the Cherokee began to drop their 
silver ornaments and go to work." In 1785 the commissioners for the Hopewell 
treaty reported that some of the Cherokee women had lately learned to spin, and many 
were very desirous of instruction in the raising, spinning, and weaving of flax, cotton, 
and wool (Hopewell Commissioners' Report, 1785, American State Papers: Indian 
Affairs, i, p. 39). In accordance with their recommendation the next treaty made with 
the tribe, in 1791, contained a provision for sujjplying the Cherokee with farming 
tools (Holston treaty, 1791, Indian Treaties, p. 36, 1837), and this civilizing policy 
was continued and broadened until, in 1801, their agent reported that at the Chero- 
kee agency the wheel, the loom, and the plow were in pretty general use, and farm- 
ing, manufacturing, and stock raising were the principal topics of conversation among 
men and women (Hawkins manuscripts. Treaty Commission of 1801). 

(32) Colonel Return J. MEicis (p. 84): Return Jonathan Meig.s was born in Mid- 
dletown, Connecticut, December 17, 1734, and died at the Cherokee agency in Ten- 
nessee, January 28, 1823. He was the first-born son of his parents, who gave him 
the somewhat peculiar name of Return .lonathan to commemorate a romantic 
incident in their own courtship, when his mother, a young Quakeress, called back 
her lover as he was mounting his horse to leave the house forever after what he 
had supposed was a final refusal. The name has been handed down through five 
generations, every one of which has produced some man distinguished in the pub- 
lic service. The subject of this sketch volunteered immediately after the open- 
ing engagement of the Revolution at Lexington, and was assigned to duty under 
Arnold, with rank of major. He accompanied Arnold in the disastrous march 
through the wilderness against Quebec, and was captured in the assault upon the 
citadel and held until exchanged the next year. In 1777 he raised a regiment and 
was promoted to the rank of colonel. For a gallant and successful attack upon the 
enemy at Sag harbor. Long island, he received a sword and a vote of thanks from 
C'ongress, and by his conduct at the head of hisregimentatStony point wonthe favor- 
able notice of Washington. After the close of the Revolution he removed to Ohio, 
where, as a memberof the territorial legislature, he drew up the earliest code of regula- 


tions for the pioneer settlers. In ISOl he was appointed agent for the Clierokee and 
took up his residence at the agency at Tellico blockhouse, opposite the mouth of Tellico 
river, in Tennessee, continuing to serve in that capacity until his death. He was 
succeeded as agent l)y Governor JIcMinn, of Tennessee. In the course of twenty-two 
years he negotiated several treaties with the Cherokee and did nnich to further the 
work of civilization among them and to defend them against unjust aggression. He 
also wrote a journal of the expedition to Quebec. His grandson of the same name 
was special agent for the Cherokee and Creeks in 1834, afterward achieving a repu- 
tation in the legal profession both in Tennesssee and in the District of Cohunbia. 
Aitlhorities: Appleton, Cycloixcdia of American Biography, 1894; Royce, Cherokee 
Nation, in Fifth Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, 1888; documents in American 
State Papers, Indian Affairs, i and ii. 

(33) TECUiMTHA (p. 87): This great chief of the Shawano and commander of the 
allied northern tribes in the British service was born near the i)resent Chillicothe, in 
western Ohio, about 1770, and fell in the battle of the Thames, in Ontario, October 
5, 1813. His name signifies a "Hying panther" — i. e., a meteor. He came of fight- 
ing stock good even in a tribe distinguished for its warlike qualities, his father and 
elder brother having been killed in l>attle with the whites. His mother is said to have 
died among the Chenjkee. Tecunitha is first heard of as taking part in an engagement 
with the Kentuckians when about twenty years old, and in a few years he had secured 
recognition as the ablest leader among the allied tribes. It is said that he took part 
in every important engagement with the Americans from the time of Harmar's defeat 
in 1790 until the battle in which he lost his life. When about thirty years of age he 
conceived the idea of uniting the tribes northwest of the Ohio, as Pontiac had united 
them before, in a great confederacy to resist the further advance of the Americans, 
taking the stand that the whole territory between the Ohio and the Mississippi 
belonged t(j all these tribes in common and that no one tribe had the riglit to sell 
any portion of it without the consent of the others. The refusal of the government 
10 admit this principle led him to take active steps to unite the tribes upon that 
basis, in which he w-as seconded by his brother, the Prophet, who supplemented 
Tecumtha's eloquence with his own claims to supernatural revelation. In the 
summer of 1810 Tecumtha held a conference with Governor Harrison at Vincennes 
to protest against a recent treaty cession, and finding after exhausting his arguments 
that the effort was fruitless, he closed the debate with the words: "The President is 
far off and may sit in his town and drink his wine, but you and I will ha\-e to fight 
it out." Both sides at once prepared for war, Tecumtha going south to enlist the 
aid of the Creek, Choctaw, and other southern tribes, while Harrison took aclvan- 
tage of his absence to force the issue by marching against the Prophet's town on the 
Tippecanoe river, where the hostile warriors from a dozen tribes had gathered. A 
battle fought before daybreak of November 6, 1811, resulted in the defeat of the 
Indians and the scattering of their forces. Tecumtha returned to find his plans 
brought to naught for the time, but the opening of the war between the United 
States and England a few months later enabled him to rally the confederated tribes 
once more to the support of the British against the Americans. As a commissioned 
brigadier-general in the British service he conmianded 2,000 warriors in the war of 
1812, distinguishing himself no less by his bravery than by his humanity in pre- 
venting outrages and protecting prisoners from massacre, at one time saving the 
lives of four hundred .American prisoners who had been taken in ambush near Fort 
Meigs and were unable to make longer resistance. He was wounded at Maguagua, 
where nearly four hundred were killed and wounded on both sides. He covered 
the British retreat after the battle of Lake Erie, and, refusing to retreat farther, 
compelled the British General Proctor to make a stand at the Thames river. Almost 
the whole force of the American attack fell on Tecumtha's division. Early in the 

216 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.a.\n.19 

engagement he was shot thiough the arm, but continued to fight desperately until 
he received a bullet in the head and fell dead, surrounded by the bodies of 120 of 
his slain warriors. The services of Tecumtha and his Indians to the British cause 
have been recognized by an English historian, who says, "Ijut for them it is proba- 
ble we should not now have a Canada." Authorities: Drake, Indians, ed. 1880; 
Appleton's C'yclopa?dia of American Biography, 1894; Eggleston, Tecumseh and the 
Shawnee Prophet. 

(34) FoHT MiMS M.\ss.\CEE, 1813 (p. 89): Fort Minis, so called from an old Indian 
trader on whose lands it was built, was a stockade fort erected in the summer of 1813 
for the protection of the settlers in what was known as the Tensaw district, and was 
situated on Tensaw lake, Alabama, one mile east of Alabama river and about forty 
miles above Mobile. It was garrisoned by about 200 volunteer troops under Major 
Daniel Beasley, with refugees from the neighboring settlement, making a total at 
the time of its destruction of 553 men, women, and children. Being carelessly 
guarded, it was surprised on the morning of August 30 by about 1,000 Creek war- 
riors led by the mi^ed-blood chief, William Weatherford, who rushed in at the 
open gate, and, after a stout but hopeless resistance by the garrison, massacred all 
within, with the exception of the few negroes and halfbreeds, whom they spared, 
and about a dozen whites who made their escape. The Indian loss is unknown, but 
was very heavy, as the fight continued at close quarters until the buildings were 
fired over the heads of the defenders. The unfortunate tragedy was due entirely to 
the carelessness of the commanding officer, who had been repeatedly warned that 
the Indians were about, and at the very moment of the attack a negro was tied up 
waiting to be flogged for reporting that he liad the day before seen a number of 
painted warriors lurking a short distance outside the stockade. Authorities: Pickett, 
Alabama, ed. 1896; Hamilton and Owen, note, p. 170, in Transactions Alabama His- 
torical Society, ii, 1898; Agent Hawkins's report, 1813, American State Papers: Indian 
Affairs, i, p. 853; Drake, Indians, ed. 1880. The figures given are those of Pickett, 
which in this instance seem most correct, while Drake's are evidently exaggerated. 

(35) Gener.^l Willum McIntosh (p. 98): This noted halfbreed chief of the 
Lower Creeks was the son of a Scotch officer in the British army by an Indian 
mother, and was born at the Creek town of Coweta in Alabama, on the lower Chat- 
tahoochee, nearly opposite the present city of Columbus, (Georgia, and killed at 
the same place by order of the Creek national e<.)uncil on April .30, 1825. Having 
sufficient education to keep up an official correspondence, he brought himself to 
public notice and came to be regarded as the principal chief of the Lower Creeks. 
In the Creek war of 1813-14 he led his warriors to the support of the Americans 
against his brethren of the Upper towns, and acted a leading part in the terrible 
slaughters at Autossee and the Horseshoe bend. In 1817 he again headed his war- 
riors on the government side against the Seminole and was commissioned as major. 
His common title of general belonged to him only by courtesy. In 1821 he was the 
principal supporter of the treaty of Indian springs, Ijy which a large tract between 
the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers was ceded. The treaty was repudiated by the 
Creek Nation as being the act of a small faction. Two other attempts were made to 
carry through the treaty, in which the interested motives of Mcintosh became so 
apparent that he was liranded as a traitor to his Nation and condemned to deat'i, 
together with his principal underlings, in accordance with a Creek law making 
death the penalty for undertaking to sell lands without the consent of the national 
council. About the same time he was publicly exposed and denounced in the 
Cherokee council for an attempt to bribe John Ross and other chiefs of the Cherokee 
in the same fashion. At daylight of April 30, 1825, a hundred or more warriors 
sent by the Creek national council surrounded his house and, after allowing the 
women and children to come out, set fire to it and shot Mcintosh and another chief 


as they tried to escape. He left three wives, cme of whom was a Cherokee. Anllinri- 
tkx: Drake, Indians, eil. 1880; Letters from Mcintosh's son and widows, 1825, in 
American State Papers: Indian Affairs, ii, pp. "tU and 768. 

(36) William Weatherford (p. 89): This leader of the hostiles in the Creek 
war was tlie son of a white father and a halfl)reed woman of Tnskegee town wliose 
father had been a Scotchman. Weatherford was born in the Creek Nation about 
1780 and died on Little river, in Monroe county, Alaljama. in 1826. He came first 
into prominence by leading the attack upon Fort !Mim.s, August .30, 1813, which 
resulted in the destruction of the fort and the massacre of over five hundred inmates. 
It is maintained, with apjiarent truth, that he did his best to prevent the excesses 
which followed the victory, ami left the scene rather than witness the atrocities 
when he fouml that he could not restrain his followers. The fact that Jackson 
alloweil him to go home unmolested after the final surrender is evidence that he 
believed Weatherford guiltless. At the battle of the Holy C^round, in the following 
December, he was defeated and narrowly escaped capture by the troops under Ofen- 
eral Claiborne. When the last hope of the Creeks had been destroyed and their 
power of resistance broken by the bloody battle of the Horseshoe bend, ilarch 27, 
1814, Weatherford voluntarily walked into General Jackson's headquarters and sur- 
rendered, creating such an impression by liis straightforward and fearless manner 
that the general, after a friendly interview, allowed him to go back alone to gather 
up liis people ]ireliminary to arranging terms of peace. After the treaty he retired 
to a plantation in ^lonroe county, where he lived in comfort and was greatly respected 
by his white neighljors until his death. As an illustration of his courage it is told how 
he once, single-handed, arrested two murderers immediately after the crime, when the 
local justice and a large crowd of liystanders were afraid to approach them. Jackson 
declared him to be as high toned and fearless as any man he had ever met. In person 
he was tall, straight, and well proportioned, with features indicating intelligence, 
bravery, and enterprise. Authorities: Pickett, Alabama, eil. 1896; Drake, Indians, 
ed. 1880; Woodward, Reminiscences, 1859. 

(37) Reverend David Braixerd (p. 104 1: The jiioneer American missionary 
from whom the noted Cherokee mission took its name was Viorn at Haddam, Con- 
necticut, April 20, 1718, and died at Northampton, Massachusetts, October 9, 1747. 
He entered Yale college in 1739, but was expelled on account of his religious opinions. 
In 1742 he was licensed as a preacher and the next year began work as missionary to 
the Mahican Indians of the village of Kaunameek, twenty miles from Stockbridge, 
Massachusetts. He persuaded them to remove to Stockbridge, where he put them 
in charge of a resident minister, after which he took up work with good result among 
the Delaware and other tribes on the Delaware and Susciuehanna rivere. In 1747 
his health failed and he was forced to retire to Northampton, where he died a 
few months later. He wrote a journal and an account of his missi(jnary labors at 
Kaunameek. His later mission work was taken up and continued by his brother. 
Aytlioritjj: Appletoii's Cyclopfedia of American Biography, 1894. 

(38) Reverend Samuel ArsTix Worcester (p. 105): This noted missionary and 
philologist, the son of a Congregational minister who was also a printer, was 
born at Worcester, Massachusetts, January 19, 1798, and died at Park Hill, in the 
Cherokee Nation west, April 20, 1859. Having removed to Vermont with his father 
while still a child, he graduated with the honors of his class at the state university 
at Burlington in 1819, and after finishing a course at the theological seminary at 
Andover was ordained to the ministry in 1825. A week later, with his newly wedded 
bride, he left Boston to begin mission work among the Cherokee, and arrived in 
October at the mission of the American board, at Brainerd, Tennessee, where he 
remained until the en<l of 1827. He then, with his wife, removed to New I'Ichota, in 
Georgia, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, where he was the principal worker in the 
establishment of the Cherokee Plia'ni.r, the first newspaper jirinted in the Cherokee 



language and alphabet. In thisi labor his inherited printer's instinct came into play, 
for he himself supervised the casting of the new types and the systematic arrangement 
of them in the case. In March, 1881, he was arrested by the Georgia authorities for 
refusing to takea special oath of allegiance to the state. He was released, but was rear- 
rested soon afterward, confined in the state penitentiary, and forced to wear jirison 
garb, until January, 1833, notwithstanding a decision by the Supreme Court of the 
United States, nearly a year before, that his imprisonment was a violation of the law 
of the land. The Cherokee Fhcemx having been suspended and the Cherokee Nation 
brought into disorder by the extension over it of the state laws, he then returned to 
Brainerd, which was beyond the limits of Georgia. In 183.5 he removed to the Indian 
Territory, whither the Arkansas Cherokee had already gone, and after short sojourns 
at Dwight and Union missions took up his final residence at Park Hill in December, 
1836. He had already set up his mission press at Union, printing both in the Chero- 
kee and the Creek languages, and on establishing himself at Park Hill he began a 
regular series of jjublications in the Cherokee language. In 1843 he states that "at 
Park Hill, besides the preaching of the gospel, a leading object of attention is the prep- 
aration and publication of books in the Cherokee language" (Letter in Report of 
Indian Commissioner, p. 3.56, 1843). The list of his Cherokee publications (first edi- 
tions) under his own name in Filling's Bibliography comprises about twenty titles, 
including the Bible, hymn books, tracts, and almanacs in addition to the Phvnix 
and large number of anonymous works. Says Pilling: "It is very probable that he 
was the translator of a number of books for wliich he is not given credit here, espe- 
cially those portions of the Scripture which are herein not assigned to any name. 
Indeed it is safe to say that during the thirty-four years of his connection with the 
Cherokee but little was done in the way of translating in which he had not a share." 
He also began a Cherokee geography and had both a grammar and a dictionary of 
the language under way when his work was interrupted by his arrest. The manu- 
scripts, with all his personal effects, afterward went down with a sinking steamer on 
the Arkansas. His daughter, Mrs A. E. W. Robertson, became a ndssionary among 
the Creeks and has published a number of works in their language. Aiillioiitien: 
Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian languages (articles Worcester, Cherokee 
Ph<Tenix, etc.), 1888; Drake, Indians, ed. 1880: Report of Indian Commissioner, 1843 
(Worcester letter). 

(39) Death penalty for selling lands (p. 107): In 1820 the Cherokee Xation 
enacted a law making it treason punishable with death to enter into any negotiation 
for the sale of tribal lands without the consent of the national council. A similar 
law was enacted by the Creeks at about the same time. It was for violating these laws 
that Mcintosh and Ridge suffered death in their respective tribes. The i>rincipal 
parts of the Cherokee law, as reenacted by the united Nation iu the West in 1842, 
appear as follows in the compilation authorized in 1866: 

"An act against sale of land, etc.: Whereas, The peace and prosperity of 
Indian nations are frecjuently sacrificed or placed in jeopardy by the unrestrained 
cupidity of their own individual citizens; and whereas, we ourselves are liable to suffer 
from the same cause, and be subjected to future removal and disturbances: There- 
fore, . . . 

"Be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall, contrary to the will 
and consent of the legislative council of this nation, in general council convened, 
enter into a treaty with any commissioner or commissioners of the United States, or 
any officer or officers instructed for the purpose, and agree to cede, exchange, or dis- 
pose in any way any part or portion of the lands belonging to or claimed by the 
Cherokees, west of the Mississippi, he or they so offending, upon conviction Viefore 
any judge of the circuit or supreme courts, shall suffer death, and any of the afore- 
said judges are authorized to call a court for the trial of any person or persons 
so transgressing. 


" Bf it further enacted, That any person ur jiersons who fhall violate, the provisions 
of the second section of tliis act, and shall resist or refuse to appear at the ]ilace 
designated for trial, or abscond, are hereby cleclared to be outlaws; and any jierson 
or persons, citizens of this nation, may kill him or them so offending at any time 
and in any manner most convenient, within the limits of this nation, and shall not 
be held accountable to the laws for the same. . . . 

" Be H further enacted, That no treaty shall be binding upon this nation whicli mliall 
not be ratified by the general council, and approved by the principal chief of the 
nation. December 2, 1842." — Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1868. 

(40) The Cherokee svll.\b.\hy (p. 110): In the various schemes of symbolic 
thought representation, from the simple pictograph of the primitive man to the fin- 
ished alphabet of the civilized nations, our own system, although not yet perfect, 
stands at the head of the list, the result of three thousand years of development by 
Egyptian, Phcenician, and Greek. Sequoya's syllabary, the unaided v.'ork of an 
uneducated Indian reared amid semisavage surroundings, stands second. 

Twelve years of his life are said to have been given to his great work. Being entirely 
without instruction and having no knowledge of the philosophy of language, being not 
even acijuainted with English, his first attempts were naturally enough in the direc- 
tion of the crude Indian pictograph. He set out to devise a symbol for each word of 
the language, and after sex'eral years of experiment, finding this an utterly hopeless 
task, he threw asiile the thousands of characters which he had carved or scratched 
upon pieces of bark, and started in anew to study the construction of the language 
itself. By attentive observation for another long period he finally discovered that 
the sounds in the words used by the ('herokee in their daily conversation and their 
public speeches could be analyzed and classified, and that the thousands of possil)Ie 
words were all formed from varying combinations of hardly more than a hundred 
distinct syllables. Having thoroughly tested his discovery until satisfied of its cor- 
rectness, he next proceeded to formulate a symbol for each syllable. For this purp(]se 
lie made use of a number of characters which he found in an old Jlnglish spelling 
book, picking out capitals,, italics, and figures, and placing them right side 
up or upside down, without any idea of their sound or significance as used in English 
(see plate v) . Having thus utilized S(.>me thirty-five ready-made cliaractei-s, ti i which 
must be added a dozen or more [iroduced by modification ot the same originals, lie 
designed from his own imagination as many more as were necessary to his purpose, 
making eighty-five in all. The complete syllabary, as first elaborated, would have 
rei|uired some one hundred and fifteen characters, but after much hard study over 
the hissing sound in its various combinations, he hit upon the expedient of repre- 
senting the sound by means of a distinct character — the exact equivalent of onr letter 
« — whenever it formed the initial of a syllable. Says Gallatin, " It wanted but one 
step more, and to have also given a distinct character to each consonant, to reduce 
the whole number to sixteen, and to have had an alphabet similar to ours. In prac- 
tice, however, and as applied to his own language, the superiority of Guess's alphabet 
is manifest, and has been fully jiroved by experience. You must indeed learn and 
remember eighty-five characters instead of twenty-five [sic}. But this once accom- 
plished, the education <if the pupil is completed; he can read and he is perfect in his 
orthography without making it the subject of a distinct study. The boy learns in a 
few weeks that which occupies two years of the time of ours." Says Phillips: " In 
my own observation Indian children will take one or two, at times several, years to 
master the English printed and written language, but in a few days can read and 
write in Cherokee. They do the latter, in fact, a,s soon as they learn to shape letters. 
As soon as they master the alphabet they have got rid of all the perplexing questions 
in orthography that puzzle the brains of our children. It is not too much to say 
that a child will learn in a month, by the same effort, as thoroughly in the language 

220 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

of Sequoyah, that which in ours crmsuuies the time of our cliildreu for at least two 
years. ' ' 

Although in theory the written Cherokee word has one letter for each syllaljle, the 
rule does not always hold good in practice, owing to the frequent elision of vowel 
sounds. Thus the word for "soul" is written with four letters as a-da-n-Ciil-ta, but 
pronounced in three syllables, adanfa. In the same way tsd-lM-i-yu-Mi ("like 
tobacco," the cardinal flower) is pronounced tsdliijiMft. There are also, as in other 
languages, a number of minute sound variations not indicated in the written word, 
so that it is necessary to have heard the language spoken in order to read with cor- 
rect pronunciation. The old Upper dialect is the standard to which the alphabet 
has been adapted. There is no provision for the /• iif the Lower or the sli of the 
Middle dialect, each speaker usually making his own dialectic change in the reading. 
The letters of a word are not connected, and there is no difference lietween the written 
and the printed character. Authorities: Gallatin, Synopsis of the Indian Tribes, in 
Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, ii, 1836; Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, Septem- 
ber, 1870; Pilling, Bibliography of Iroquoian Languages (article on Guess and plate 
of syllabary), 1888; author's personal information. 

(41) Southern gold fields (p. 116): Almost every valuable mineral and crystal 
known to the manufacturer or the lapidary is found in the southern Allegheiiies, 
although, so far as present knowledge goes, but few of these occur in paying quanti- 
ties. It is probable, however, that this estimate may change with impnived methods 
and enlarged railroad facilities. Leaving out of account the earlier operations by the 
Spanish, French, and English adventurers, of which mention has already been made, 
the first authentic account of gold finding in any of the states south of Mason and 
Dixon's line within what may be called the American period appears to be that 
given l)y .Jefferson, writing in 1781, of a lump of ore found in Virginia, which yielded 
seventeen pennyweights of gold. This was probably not the earliest, however, as 
we find doubtful references to gold discoveries in lioth C'arolinas before the Revolu- 
tion. The first mint returns of gold were made from North Carolina in 1793, and 
from South Carolina in 1829, although gold is certaiidy known to have been found in 
the latter state some years earlier. The earliest gold records for the other southern 
states are, approximately, Georgia (near Dahlonega), 1815-1820; Alabama, 1830; 
Tennessee (Coco creek, Monroe county), 1831; Maryland (Montgomery county), 
1849. Systematic tracing of gold belts southward from North Carolina began in 1829, 
and speedily resulted in the forcible eviction of the Cherokee from the gold-bearing 
region. jNIost of the precious metal was jirocured from placers or alluvial deposits 
by a simple process of digging anrl washing, ^'ery little (juart?. mining has yet been 
attempted, and that usually by the crudest methods. In fact, for a long period gold 
working was followed as a sort of side issue to farming between crop seasons. In 
North Carolina prospectors obtained permission from the owners of the land to wash 
or dig on shares, varying from one-fourth to one-half, and the proprietor was accus- 
tomed to put his slaves to work in the same way along the creek bottoms after the 
crops had been safely gathered. "The dust became a considerable medium of circu- 
lation, and miners were accustomed to carry about with them quills filled with gold, 
and a pair of small hand scales, on which they weighed out gold at regular rates; for 
instance, 3 J grains of gold was the customary equivalent of a pint of whisky." For 
a number of years, about 1830 and later, a man named Bechtler coined gold on his 
own account in North Carcjlina. and these coins, with Mexican silver, are said to have 
constituted the chief currency over a large region. A i-egular mint was established 
at Dahlonega in 1838 ami maintained for some years. From 1804 ti> 1827 all the gold 
produced in the United States came from North Carolina, although the total amounted 
to but $110,000. The discovery of the rich deposits in California checked mining 
operations in the south, and the civil war brought about an almost complete suspeii- 


sion, from whit-h there is liardly yet a revival. According to the best official esti- 
uiates the gold production of the southern Allegheny region forthe century from 1799 
to 1898, inclusive, ha^? been something over §46,000,000, distributed as follows: 

North Carolina S21 , 926, 376 

Georgia 16, 658, 630 

South Carolina 3, 961, 863 

Virginia, slightly in excess of 3, 216, 343 

Alabama, slightly in excess of 437, 927 

Tennessee, slightly in excess of 167, 405 

Maryland 47, 068 

Total, slightly in excess of 46, 415, 612 

Aulhorities: Becker, Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians, in the Sixteenth 
Annual Report United States Geological Survey, 1895; Da)', ^Mineral Resources of 
the United States, Seventeenth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, 
part 3, 1896; Nitze, Gold Mining and Metallurgy in the Southern States, in North 
Carolina Creological Survey Report, repulilished in Mineral Resources of the United 
States, Twentieth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, part 6, 1899; 
Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany ^Mountains, 1849. 

(42) Extension of Geor(;ia laws, 1830 (p. 117): "It is hereby ordained that all 
the laws of Cfeorgia are extended over the Cherokee country; that after the first day of 
June, 1830, all Indians then and at that time residing in said territory, shall be liable 
and subject to such laws and regulations as the legislature may hereafter prescribe; 
that all laws, usages, and customs made and established and enforced in the said terri- 
tory, by the said Cherokee Indians, be,' and the same are hereby, on and after the 
1st day of June, 1830, declared null and void; and no Indian, or descendant of an 
Indian, residing within the Creek or Cherokee nations of Indians, shall be deemed 
a competent witness or party to any suit in any court where a white man is a defend- 
ant." — Extract from the act passed liy the Georgia legislature on December 20, 1828, 
"to add the territory within this state and occupied by the Cherokee Indians to 
the counties of DeKalb et al., and to extend the laws of this state over the same." 
Authorifief!: Drake, Indians, p. 439, ed. 1880; Royce, Cherokee Nation of Indians, in 
Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 260, 1888. 

(43) Removal forts, 1838 (p. 130): For collecting the Cherokee preparatory to 
the Removal, the following stockade forts were built: In North Carolina, Fort Lind- 
say, on the south side of the Tennessee river at the junction of Nantahala, in Swain 
county; Fort Scott, at Aquone, farther up Nantahala river, in ^Slacon county; Fort 
Montgomery, at Robbinsville, in Cxrabam county; Fort Hembrie, at Hayesville, in 
Clay county; Fort Delaney, at Valley town, in Cherokee county; Fort Butler, at 
^lurphy, in the same county. In Georgia, Fort Scudder, on Frogtown creek, iKjrth 
of Dahlonega, in Lumpkin county; Fort Gilmer, near Ellijay, in Gilmer county; 
Fort Coosawatee, in Murray county; Fort Talking-rock, near Jasper, in Pickens 
county; Fort Buffington, near Canton, in Cherokee county. In Tennessee, Fort 
Cass, at Calhoun, on Hiwassee river, in McMinn county. In Alabama, Fort Turkey- 
town, on Coosa river, at Center, in Cherokee county. Authoriti/: Author's personal 

(44) McNaie's grave, (p. 132): Just inside the Tennessee line, where the Cona- 
sauga river bends again into Georgia, is a stone-walled grave, with a slab, on which 
is an epitaph which tells its own story of the Removal heartbreak. iSIcNair was a 
white man, prominent in the Cherokee Nation, whose wife was a daughter of the 
chief, Vann, who welcomed the Moravian missionaries and gave his own house for 
their use. The date shows that she died while the Removal was in progress, possibly 

222 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE ieth.ann.19 

while -waiting in the stockade camp. The inscription, with details, is given from 
information kindly furnished by Mr D. K. Dunn of Conasauga, Tennessee, in a 
letter dated August 16, 1890: 

"Sacred to the memory of David and Delilah A. McNair, who departed this life, the 
former on the 15th of August, 1836, and the latter on the 30th of November, 1838. 
Their children, being members of the Cherokee Nation and having to go with their 
people to the West, do leave this monument, not only to show their regard for their 
parents, but to guard their sacred ashes against the unhallowed intrusion of the white 

(45) President Sami-el Hoi'Ston, ( p. 145) : This remarkable man was born in Rock- 
bridge county, Virginia, March 2, 1793, and died at Huntsville, Texas, .Tuly 25, 1863. 
Of strangely versatile, but forceful, character, he occupies a unique position in Ameri- 
can history, combining in a wonderful degree the rough manhotid of the pioneer, 
the eccentric vanity of the Indian, the stern dignity of the soldier, tlie genius of the 
statesman, and withal the high chivalry of a knight of the olden time. His erratic 
career has been the subject of much cheap romancing, but the simple facts are of 
sufficient interest in themselves without the aid of fictitious embellishment. To the 
Cherokee, whom he loved so well, he was known as Kit'lanu, "The Raven," an old 
war title in the tribe. 

His father having died when the boy was nine years old, his widowed mother re- 
moved with him to Tennessee, opposite the territory of the Cherokee, whose boundary 
was then the Tennessee river. Here he worked on the farm, attending school at 
intervals; but, being of adventurous disposition, he left home when sixteen years old, 
and, crossing over the river," joined the Cherokee, among whom he soon became a 
great favorite, being adopted into the family of Chief Jolly, from whom the island at 
the mouth of Hiwassee takes its name. After three years of this life, during which 
time he wore the Indian dress and learned the Indian language, he returned to civili- 
zation and enlisted as a private soldier under Jackson in the Creek war. . He soon 
attracted favorable notice and was promoted to the rank of ensign. By striking 
bravery at the bloody battle of Horseshoe liend, where he scaled the breastworks with 
an arrow in his thigh and led his men into the thick of the enemy, he won the last- 
ing friendship of Jackson, who made him a lieutenant, although he was then barely 
twenty-one. He continued in the army after the war, serving for a time as subagent 
for the Cherokee at Jackson's request, until the summer of 1818, when he resigned 
on account of some criticism by Calhoun, then Secretary of War. An official investi- 
gation, held at his demand, resulted in his exoneration. 

Removing to Nashville, he began the study of law, and, being shortly afterward 
admitted to the bar, set up in practice at Lebanon. Within five years he was succes- 
sively district attorney and adjutant-general and major-general of state troops. In 
1823 he was elected to Congress, serving two terms, at the end of which, in 1827, he 
was elected governor of Tennessee by an overwhelming majority, being then thirty- 
four years of age. Shortly before this time he had fought and wounded General White 
in a duel. In January, 1829, he married a young lady residing near Nashville, but 
two months later, without a word of explanation to any outsider, he left her, resigned 
his governorship and other official dignities, and left the state forever, to rejoin his 
old friends, the Cherokee, in the West. For years the reason for this strange conduct 
was a secret, and Houston himself always refused to talk of it, but it is now under- 
stood to have been due to the fact that his wife admitted to him that she loved 
another and had only Iseen induced to marry him by the over-persuasions of her 

From Tennessee he went to Indian Territory, whither a large part of the Cher- 
okee had already removed, and once more took up his residence near Chief Jolly, 
who was now the principal chief of the western Cherokee. The great disap- 
pointment which seemed to have blighted his life at its brightest was heavy at his 


heart, and he sought forgetfuhiess in drink to such an extent that for a time his 
manhood seemed to have departed, notwitlistanding which, such was his force of 
character and his past reputation, he retained his hold upon the affections of the 
Cherokee and his standing with the officers and their families at the neighboring posts 
of Fort Smith, Fort (iibson, and Fort Coffee. In the meantime his former wife in Ten- 
nessee had olitairied a ilivorce, and Houston being thus free once more soon after 
married Talihina, the youngest daughter of a prominent mixed-blood Cherokee 
named Rogers, who resided near Fort Gibson. She was the niece of Houston's 
adopted father, Chief Jolly, and he had known her when a boy in the old Nation. 
Being a beautiful girl, and educated above her surroundings, she became a welcome 
guest wherever her husband was received. He started a trading store near Webbers 
Falls, but continued in his dissipated habits until recalled to his senses by the out- 
come of a drunken affray in which he assaulted his adopted father, the old chief, 
and was himself felled to the ground unconscious. Upon recovery from his injuries 
he made a public api.>logy for his conduct and thenceforward led a sober life. 

In 1832 he visited Washington in the interest of the western Cherokee, calling in 
Indian costume upon President Jackson, who received him with old-time friendship. 
Being accused wliile there of connection with a fraudulent Indian contract, he 
administered a severe beating to liis accuser, a member of Congress. For this he 
was fined ii500 and reprimanded by the bar of the House, but Jackson remitted the 
fine. Soon after his return to the West he removed to Texas to take part in the 
agitation just started against Mexican rule. He was a member of the convention 
which adop>ted a separate constitution for Texas in 1833, and two years later aided in 
forming a jirovisional government, and was elected connnander-in-chief to organize 
the new militia. In 1836 he was a member of the convention which declared the 
independence of Texas. At the liattle of San Jacinto in April of that year hedefeated 
with 750 men Santa Ana's army of 1,800, inflicting upon the Mexicans the terrible 
loss of 630 killed and 730 prisoners, among whom was Santa Ana himself. Houston 
received a severe wound in the engagement. In the autumn of the same year he 
was elected first president of the republic of Texas, receiving more than four-fifths 
of the votes cast. He served two years and retired at the end of his term, leaving 
the country on good terms with both Mexico and the Indian tribes, and with its 
notes at par. He was immediately elected to the Texas congress and served in that 
capacity until 1841, when he was reelected president. It was during \'ears that 
he made his steadfast tight in behalf of the Texas Cherokee, as is narrated el.-^ewhere, 
supporting their cause without wavering, at the risk of his own popularity and posi- 
tion. He frequently declared that no treaty made and carried out in good faith had 
ever been violated by Indians. His Cherokee wife having died some time before, he 
was again married in 1840, this time to a lady from Alabama, who exercised over 
him a restraining and ennobling influence through the stormy vicissitudes of his 
eventful life. In June, 1842, lie vetoed a bill making him dictator for the purpose of 
resisting a threatened invasion from Mexico. 

On December 29, 184.5, Texas was admitted to the Union, and in the following 
March Houston was elected to the Senate, where he served continuously until 1859, 
when he resigned to take his seat as governor, to which position he had just been 
elected. From 1852 to 1860 his name was three times presented before national 
presidential nominating conventions, the last time receiving 57 votes. He had taken 
issue with the. Democratic majority throughout his term in the Senate, and when 
Texas passed the secession ordinance in February, 1861, being an uncompromising 
Union man, he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and was 
accordingly deposed from the (jfiice of governor, declining the proffered aid of federal 
troops to keep him in his seat. Unwilling either to tight against the Union or to 
take sides against his friends, he held aloof from the great struggle, and remained in 
silent retirement until his death, two years later. No other man in American history 

224 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

has left such a record of continuous election to high office while steadily holding to 
his own convictitins in tlie face of strong popular opposition. Antluiritics: Ajipleton's 
Cyclopfedia of American Biography, 1.S94; Bonnell, Texas, 1840; Tlirall, Texas, 1876; 
Lossing, Field Book of the War of 1812, 1869; author's personal information; various 
periodical and newspaper articles. 

(46) Chief John Ross (p. 151); This great chief of the Cherokee, who.«e name is 
inseparable from their history, was himself but one-eighth of Indian blood and showed 
little of the Indian features, his father, Daniel Ross, having enugrated from Scotland 
before the Revolution and married a quarter-blood Cherokee woman whose father, John 
McDonald, was also from Scotland. He was born at or near the family residence at 
Rossville, tieorgia just across the line from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a boy, he 
was known among the Cherokee as Tsan-usdi', " Little John," but after ari'iving at 
manhood was called (Juwi'sguwi', the name of a rare migratory liird, of large size 
and white or grayish plumage, said to have appeared formerly at long intervals in 
the old Cherokee country. It may have been the egret or the swan. He was 
educated at Kingston, Tennessee, and began his public career when barely nineteen 
years of age. His first wife, a full-blood Cherokee woman, died in consequence of 
the hardships of the Removal while on the western march and was buried at Little 
Rock, Arkansas. Some years later he married again, this time to a Miss Stapler of 
Wilmington, Delaware, the marriage taking place in Philadelphia (aiithor's per- 
sonal information from Mr Allen Ross, son of Jolui Ross; see alsf> Meredith, 
"The Cherokees,". in the Five Civilized Tribes, Extra Bulletin Eleventh Census, 
1894.) Cooweescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation west has been named in his 
honor. The following biographic facts are taken from the panegyric in his honor, 
passed by the national council of the Cherokee, on hearing of his death, "as feebly 
expressive of the loss they have sustained." 

John Ross was born October 3, 1790, and died in the city of Washington, August 
1, 1866, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His ofHcial career began in 1809, when 
he was intrusted by Agent Return Meigs with an important mission to the Arkansas 
Cherokee. From that time until the close of his life, with the exception of two or 
three years in the earlier part, he wa,« in the cimstant service of his people, "furnish- 
ing an instance of confidence on their part and fidelity on his which has never been 
surpassed in the annals of history. " In the war of 1813-14 against the Creeks he 
was adjutant of the Cherokee regiment which cooperated with (ieneral Jackson, and 
was present at the battle of the Horseslioe, where the Cherokee, under Colonel 
Jlorgan, of Tennessee, rendered distinguished service. In 1817 he was elected a 
member of the national committee of the Cherokee council. The first duty assigned 
him was to prepare a reply to the United States commissioners who were present 
for the purpose of negotiating with the Cherokee for their lands east f>f the Mississippi, 
in firm resistance to which he was destined, a few years later, to test the power of 
truth and to attain a reputation of no ordinary character. In 1819, October 26, his 
name first appears on the statute book of the Cherokee Nation as president of the 
national conunittee, and is attached to an ordinance wliich looked to the improve- 
ment of the Cherokee people, providing for the introduction into the Nation of school- 
masters, l)lacksmiths, mechanics, and others. He continued to occupy that position 
till 1826. In 1827 he was associate chief with William Hicks, and president of the con- 
vention which adopted the constitution of that year. That constitution, it is believed, 
is the first effort at a regular government, with distinct branches and powers defined, 
ever made and carried into effect by any of the Indians of North America. From 1828 
until the removal west, he was principal chief of the eastern Cherokee, and from 
1839 to the time of his death, princii)al chief of the united Cherokee Nation. 

In regard to the long contest which culminated in the Removal, the resolutions 
declare that "The Cherokees, with John Ross at their head, alone with their 
treaties, achieved a recognition of their rights, but they were powerless to enforce 


tlieni. They were ct)mpelled to yield, but iKit until the struggle had developed the 
highest qualities of patience, fortitude, and tenacity of right and purpose on their 
part, as well as that of their chief. The same may be said of their course after their 
removal to this country, and which resulted in the reunion of the eastern and west- 
ern Cherokees as one people and in the adoption of the present constitution." 

Concerning the events of the civil war and the official attempt to depose Ross from 
his authority, they state that these occurrences, with many others in their trying 
history as a people, are confidently committed to the future page of the historian. 
"It is enough to know that the treaty negotiated at Washington in 1866 bore the 
full and just recognition of John Ross' name as principal chief of the Cherokee 

The summing up of the panegyric is a splendid tribute to a splendid manhood: 

"Blessed with a fine constitution and a vigorous mind, John Ross had the physi- 
cal ability to follow the path of duty wherever it led. No danger appalled him. 
He never faltered in supporting what he believed to be right, but clung to it with a 
steadiness of purpose which alone could have sprung from the clearest convictions 
of rectitude. He never sacrificed the interests of his nation to expediency. He 
never lost sight of the welfare of the people. For them he labored daily for a long 
life, and upon them lie bestowed his last exjiressed thoughts. A friend of law, he 
obeyed it; a friend of education, he faithfully encouraged schools tliroughont the 
country, and spent liberally his means in conferring it upon others. Given to hos- 
pitality, none ever hungered around his door. A professor of the Christian religion, 
he practiced its precepts. His works are inseparable from the history of the Cher- 
okee people for nearly half a century, while his example in the daily walks of life 
will linger in the future and whisper words of hope, temperance, and charity in the 
years of posterity." 

Resolutions were also passed for liringing his body from Washington at the expense 
of the Cherokee Nation and providing for suitalde obsequies, in order "tliat his 
remains should rest among those he so long served" (Resolutions in honf>r of John 
Ross, in Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1869). 

(47) The Ketoowah Society (j). 156): This Cherokee secret society, which has 
recently achieved some newspaper prominence by its championship of Cherokee 
autonomy, derives its name — properly Kitu'hwa, but commonly spelled Ketoowah 
in English print — from the ancient town in the old Nation which formed the nucleus of 
the most conservative element of the tribe and sometimes gave a name to the Nation 
itself (see KVti'lw<ig1, under Tribal Synonyms). A strong band of comradeship, if 
not a regular society organization, appears to have existed among the warriors and 
leading men of the various settlements of the Kituhwa district from a remote period, 
so that the name is even now used in councils as indicative of genuine Cherokee 
feeling in its highest patriotic form. When, some years ago, delegates from the 
western Nation visited the East Cherokee to invite them to join their more pros- 
perous brethren beyond the Mississippi, the speaker for the delegates expressed 
their fraternal feeling for their separated. kinsmen by saying in his opening speech, 
"We are all Kituhwa people" (Ani'-Kitu'hwagi). The Ketoowah society in the 
Cherokee Nation west was organized shortly before the civil war by John B. Jones, 
son of the missionary, Evan Jones, and an adopted citizen of the Nation, as a secret 
society for the ostensible purpose of cultivating a national feeling among the fnll- 
bloods, in opposition to the innovating tendencies of the mixed-blooil element. The 
real purpose was to counteract the infiuence of the "Blue Lodge" and other secret 
secessionist organizations among the wealthier slave-holding classes, made up cliiefly 
of mixed-bloods and whites. It extended to the Creeks, and its members in both 
triV^es rendered good service to the Union cause throughout the war. They were 
frequently known as "Pin Indians," for a reason explained below. Since the close 
of the great struggle the society has distinguished itself by its determined opposition 

19 ETH— 01 15 

226 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ass.19 

to every scheme lookiiif; tn tlie curtailnient or destruction ni Cherokee national self- 

The following account of the society was written shortly after the close of the civil 

"Those Cherokees who were loyal to tlie Union combined in a secret organization 
for self-protection, assuming the designation of the Ketoowha society, which name 
wsis soon merged in that of "Pins." The Pins were so styled because of a peculiar 
manner they adopted of wearing a pin. The symbol was discovered by their ene- 
mies, who apjilied the term in derision; but it was accepted by this loyal league, and 
has almost superseded the designation which its members first assumed. The Pin 
organization originated among the members of the Baptist congregation at Peavine, 
Going-snake district, in the Cherokee nation. In a short time the society covmted 
nearly three thousand members, and had commenced proselytizing the Creeks, 
when the rebellion, against w-hich it was arming, preventing its further extension, 
the jioor Creeks having been driven into Kansas by the rebels of the Golden Circle. 
During the war the Pins rendered services to the I'nion cause in many bloody 
encounters, as has been acknowledged by our generals. It was distinctly an anti- 
slavery organization. The slave-holding Cherokees, who constituted the wealthy 
and more intelligent class, naturally allied themselves with the South, while loyal 
Cherokees became more and more ojiposed to slavery. This was shown very clearly 
when the loyalists first met in convention, in February, 1863. They not only abol- 
ished slavery unconditionally and forever, before any slave state made a movement 
toward emancipation, but made any attempts at enslaving a grave misdemeanor. 

The secret signs of the Pins were a peculiar way of touching the hat as a salutation, 
partii-idarly when they were too far apart for recognition in other ways. They had 
a peculiar mode of taking holil of the la]>el of the coat, first drawing it away from 
the body, and then giving it a motion as though wrapping it around the heart. 
During the war a portion of them were forced into the rebellion, but quickly reljelled 
against General Cooper, who was placed over them, and -when they fought against 
that general, at Bird Creek, they wore a bit of corn-husk, split into strips, tied in 
their hair. In the night when two Pins met, and one asked the other, 'Who are 
you?' the reply or pass was, 'Tahlequah — who are you?' The response was, 'I 
am Ketoowha's son.' " — Dr D. ,T. MacGowan, Indian Secret Societies, in Historical 
Magazine, x, 1866. 

(48) F.^REWELL .\DDRESS OF Lloyi> AVelch (p. 17o) : In the sad and eventful history 
of the Cherokee their gifted leaders, frequently of white ancestry, have oftentimes 
spoken to the world with eloquent words of appeal, of protest, or of acknowledgment, 
but never more eloquently than in the last farewell of Chief Lloyd Weldi to the 
eastern band, as he felt the end draw near (leaflet, MacGowan, Chattanooga [n. d., 

" To the Cliinrman and Council oflhi' Emiern Band af ('hfrokees: 

" .My Brotliers: It becomes my imperative duty to bid you an affectionate farewell, 
and resign into your hands the trust you so generously confided to my keeping, prin- 
cipal chief of the Kasterii Band. It is with great solicitude and anxiety for your 
welfare that I am constrained to take this course. But the inexorable laws of 
nature, and the rapid decline of my health, admonish me that soon, very soon, I 
will have passed from earth, my body consigned to the tomb, my spirit to God who 
gave it, in that happy home in the beyond, where there is no sickness, no sorrow, 
no pain, no death, but one eternal joy and happiness forever more. 

"The only regret that I feel for thus lieing so soon called from among you, at the 
meridian of manhood, when hope is sweet, is the great anxiety I have to serve and 
benefit my race. For this I have studied and labored for the past ten years of my 
life, to secure to my Ijrothers eciual justice from their brothers of the west and the 
United States, and that you would no longer be hewers of wood and drawers of 


water, but assume that proud position among the civilized nations of the earth 
intended- by the Creator that we sliould occupy, and whicli in the near future you 
will take or be exterminated. When you l)ecome educated, as a natural consequence 
you will become more intelligent, sober, industrious, and prosperous. 

"It has been the aim of my life, the chief object, to serve my race faithfully, hon- 
estly, and to the best of my ability. How well I have succeeded I will leave to his- 
tory and your magnanimity to decide, trusting an all-wise and just God to guide and 
protect you in the future, as He will do all things well. We may fail when on earth 
to see the goodness and wisdom of God in removing from us our best and most use- 
ful men, but when we have crossed over on the other shore to our happy and eternal 
home in the far beyond then our eyes will be opened and we will be enabled to see 
and realize the goodness and mercy of God in thus afflicting us while here on earth, 
and will be enabled more fully to praise God, from wlioni all blessing.s come. 

"I hope that when you come to select one from among you to take the responsible 
position of principal chief of your band yon will lay aside all personal considerations 
and select one in every respect competent, without stain on his fair fame, a pure, 
noble, honest, man — one who loves God and all that is pure — with intellect .sufficient 
to know your rights, independence and nerve to defend them. Should you be thus 
fortunate in making your choice, all will be well. It has been truthfully said that 
' when the righteous rule the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule the people 
mourn. ' 

"I am satisfied that you have among you many who are fully competent of the 
task. If I was satisfieil it was your wish and for the good of my brothers I might 
mention some of them, but think it best to leave you in the hands of an all-wise God, 
who does all things right, to guide and direct you aright. 

"And now, my brothers, in taking perhaps my last farewell on earth I do pray 
God that you may so conduct yourselves while here on earth that when the last sad 
rite is performed by loved friends we may compose one unbroken family above in 
that celestial city from whose bourne no traveler has ever returned to describe the 
beauty, grandeur, and happiness of the heaven prepared for the faithful by God him- 
self lieyond the sky. And again, my brothers, permit me to bid you a fond, but 
perha]5s a last, farewell on earth, until we meet again where parting is never known 
and friends meet to part no more forever. 

"L. R. Welch, 
"Principal Chief Eastern Band Cherokee Indians. 


"Samuel W. D.wid.son. 
"B. B. Merony." 

(49) St.\tus of e.\stern b.\nd (p. 180): For some reason all authorities who have 
hitherto discussed the status of the eastern band of Cherokee seem to have been 
entirely unaware of the enactment of the supplementary articles to the treaty of New 
Echota, by which all preemption and reservation rights granted under the twelfth 
article were canceled. Thus, in the Cherokee case of ' ' The United States et al against 
D. T. Boyd et al," we find the United States circuit judge quoting the twelfth article 
in its original form as a basis for argument, while his associate judge says: "Their 
forefathers availed themselves of a provision in the treaty of New »hota and 
remained in the state of North Carolina," etc. (Report of Indian Commissioner for 
1895, pp. 633-6.35, 1896). The truth is that the treaty as ratified with its supplemen- 
tary articles canceled the residence right of every Cherokee east of the Mississippi, 
and it was not until thirty years afterwards that North Carolina finally gave assurance 
that the eastern band would be permitted to remain within her borders. 

The twelfth article of the new Echota treaty of December 29, 1835, provides for a 
pro rata apportionment to such Cherokee as desire to remain in the East, and con- 


tinues: "Such heads of Cherokee families as are desirous to reside within the states 
of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, subject to the laws of the same, and 
who are qualified or calculated to become useful citizens, shall be entitled, on the 
certificate of the commissioners, to a preemption right to one hundred and sixty 
acres of land, or one quarter section, at the minimum Congress price, so as to include 
the present buildings or impnivements of those who now reside there; and such as 
do not live there at present shall be permitted to locate within two years any lands 
not already occupied by persons entitled to jireemption privilege under this treat}'," 
etc. Article 13 defines terms with reference to individual reservations granted under 
former treaties. The preamble to the supplementary articles agreed upon on March 
1, 1836, recites that, "Whereas the President of the United States has expressed his 
determination not to allow any preemptions or reservations, his desire being that the 
whole Cherokee people should remove together and establish themselves in the 
country provided for them west of the Mississippi river (article 1) : It is therefore 
agreed that all preemption rights and reservations provided for in articles 12 and 13 
shall be, and are hereby, relinquished and declared void." The treaty, in this shape, 
was ratified on May 23, 1836 (see Indian Treaties, pp. 633-648, 1837) . 





Cherokee myths may be roughly classified as sacred myths, animal 
stories, local legends, and historical traditions. To the first class 
belong the genesis stories, dealing with the creation of the world, the 
nature of the heavenly bodies and elemental forces, the origin of life 
and death, the spirit woi'ld and the invisible beings, the ancient mon- 
sters, and the hero-gods. It is almost certain that most of the myths 
of this class are but disjointed fragments of an original complete gen- 
esis and migration legend, which is now lost. With nearly every tribe 
that has been studied we find such a sacred legend, preserved by the 
priests of the tradition, who alone are privileged to recite and explain 
it, and dealing with the origin and wanderings of the people from the 
beginning of the world to the final settlement of the tribe in its home 
territory. Among the best examples of such genesis traditions are 
those recorded in the Walam Olum of the Delawares and Matthews' 
Navaho Origin Legend. Others may be found in Cusick's History 
of the Six Nations, Gatschet's Ci"eek Migration Legend, and the 
author's Jicarilla Genesis.' The Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other plains 
tribes are known to have similar genesis myths. 

The former existence of such a national legend among the Cherokee 
is confirmed by Haywood, writing in 1823, who states on information 
obtained from a principal man in the tribe that they had once a long 
oration, then nearly forgotten, which recounted the history of their 
wanderings from the time when they had been first placed upon the- 
earth by some superior power from above. Up to about the middle 
of the last century this tradition was still recited at the annual Green- 
corn dance. ^ Unlike most Indians the Cherokee are not conservative, 
and even before the Revolution had so far lost their primitive customs 
from contact with the whites that Adair, in 1775, calls them a nest of 
apostate hornets who for more than thirty years had been fast degen- 
erating.' Whatever it maj' have Ijeen, their national legend is now lost 
forever. The secret organizations that must have existed formei'ly 
among the priesthood have also disappeared, and each man now works 
independently according to his individual gifts and knowledge. 

The sacred myths were not for every one, but only those might hear 
who obsex"ved the proper form and ceremony. When John Ax and 

1 American Anthropologist, vol. xi, July, 1898. 3 Adair, American Indians, p. 81, 1775. 

- See page 20. 


230 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

other old men were boj'S, now some eighty yeai's ago, the myth-keepers 
and priests were accustomed to meet together at night in the asi, 
or low-built log sleeping house, to recite the traditions and discuss 
their secret knowledge. At times those who desired instruction from 
an adept in the sacred lore of the tribe met him by appointment in the 
sisi, where they sat up all night talking, with only the light of a small 
tire l)urning in the middle of the tioor. At daybreak the whole party 
went down to the riuming stream, where the pupils or hearers of the 
myths stripped themselves, and were scratched upon their naked skin 
witli a bone-tooth comb in the hands of tlie priest, after which they 
waded out, facing the rising sun, and dipped seven times under the 
water, while the priest recited prayers upon the bank. This purifica- 
tory rite, observed more than a century ago by Adair, is also a part of 
the ceremonial of the ballplay, the Green-corn dance, and, in fact, 
every important ritual performance. Before beginning one of the 
stories of tlie sacred class the informant would sometimes suggest 
jokingly that the author tirst submit to ))eing scratched and "■ go to 

As a special privilege a boy was sometimes admitted to the asi on 
such occasions, to tend the tire, and thus had the opportunity to 
listen to the stories and learn something of the secret rites. In this way 
John Ax gained uuich of his knowledge, although he does not claim 
to be an adept. As he describes it, the fire intended to heat the room — 
for the nights are cold in the Cherokee mountains — was built upon the 
ground in the center of the small house, which was not high enough 
to permit a standing position, while the occupants sat in a circle around 
it. In front of the lire was placed a large flat rock, and near it a pile 
of pine knots or splints. When the tire had burned down to a bed of 
coals, the hoy lighted one or two of tlie pine knots and laid them upon 
the rock, where they l)lazed with a ])right light luitil nearly consumed, 
when others were laid upon them, and so on until daybreak. 

Sometimes the pine splints were set up crosswise, thus, XXXX, in a 
circle around the fire, with a lireak at the eastern side. They were 
then lighted from one end and burned gradually around the circle, 
fresh splints being set up behind as those in front were consumed. 
Lawson describes this identical custom as witnessed at a dance among 
the Waxhaw, on Catawlia river, in 1701: 

Now, to return to our state house, whitiier we were invited by tlie grandees. As 
soon a.s we came into it, tliey jilaeed our Englishmen near the king, it being my for- 
tune to sit next him, having his great general or war captain on my other hand. 
The house is as dark as a dungeon, and as hot as one of the Dutch stoves in Holland. 
They had made a circular tire of split canes in the middle of the house, it was one 
man's employment to add more split reeds to the one end as it consumed at the 
other, there being a small vacancy left to supply it with fuel.' 

1 Lawson, Carolina, 67-68, reprint 1860. 


To the second class T)olon«' the shorter animal myths, which have 
lost whatever sacred character thev may once have had, and are told 
now merely as humorous explanations of certain animal peculiarities. 
"NMiile the sacred myths have a constant bearing upon formulistic 
prayers and observances, it is only in rare instances that any rite or 
custom is based upon an animal myth. Moreover, the sacred myths 
are known as a rule only to the professional priests or conjurers, while 
the shorter animal stories are more or less familiar to nearlj^ every- 
one and are found in almost identical form among Cherokee, Creeks, 
and other southei'n tribes. 

The animals of the Cherokee myths, like the traditional hero-gods, 
were larger and of more perfect type than their present representa- 
tives. They had chiefs, councils, and townhouses, mingled with 
human kind upon terms of perfect equality and spoke the same 
language. In some unexplained manner they finally left this lower 
world and ascended to GaluiTlriti. the world above, where they still 
exist. The removal was not simultaneous, but each animal chose his 
own time. The animals that we know, small in size and poor in intel- 
lect, came upon the earth later, and are not the descendants of the 
mythic animals, but only weak imitations. In one or two special cases, 
however, the present creature is the descendant of a former monster. 
Trees and plants also were alive and could talk in the old days, and 
had their place in council, but do not figure prominently in the myths. 

Each animal had his appointed station and duty. Thus, the Walii'sl 
frog was the marshal and leader in the council, while the Rabbit was 
the messenger to carry all public announcements, and usually led the 
dance besides. He was also the great trickster and mischief maker, a 
character which he bears in eastern and southern Indian myth gener- 
allj', as well as in the southern negro stories. The bear figures as 
having been originally a man, with human form and nature. 

As with other tribes and countries, almost every prominent rock and 
mountain, every deep bend in the river, in the old Cherokee country 
has its accompanying legend. It may be a little story that can be 
told in a paragraph, to account for some natural feature, or it may lie 
one chapter of a myth that has its sequel in a mountain a hundred 
miles away. As is usual when a people has lived for a long time in 
the same country, nearly every important myth is localized, thus 
assuming more definite character. 

There is the usual number of anecdotes and stories of personal 
adventure, some of them irredeemably vulgar, but historical traditions 
are strangely wanting. The authentic records of unlettered peoples 
are short at best, seldom going back much farther than the memories 
of their oldest men; and although the Cherokee have been the most 
important of the southern tribes, making wars and treaties for three 
centuries with Spanish, English, French, and Americans, Iroquois, 

232 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Shawano, Catawba, and Creeks, there is little evidence of the fact in 
their traditions. This condition may be due in part to the temper of 
the Cherokee mind, which, as has been already stated, is accustomed 
to look forward to new things rather than to dwell upon the past. 
The tirst Cherokee war, with its stories of Agansta'ta and Ata-gul'kalu', 
is absolutely forgotten. Of the long Revolutionary struggle they 
have hardly a recollection, although they were constantly fighting 
throughout the whole period and for several years after, and at one 
time were brought to the verge of ruin by four concerted expeditions, 
which ravaged their country simultaneously from different directions 
and destroyed almost every one of their towns. Even the Creek war, 
in which many of their warriors took a prominent part, was already 
nearly forgotten some years ago. Beyond a few stories of encounters 
with the Shawano and Iroquois there is hardly anything that can be 
called history until well within the present century. 

With some tribes the winter season and the night are the time for 
telling stories, but to the Cherokee all times are alike. As our grand- 
mothers begin, "Once upon a time," so the Cherokee story-teller 
introduces his narrative by saying: "This is what the old men told 
me when I was a boj'." 

Not all tell the same stories, for in tribal lore, as in all other sorts 
of knowledge, we find specialists. Some common minds take note 
only of common things — little stories of the rabbit, the terrapin, and 
the others, told to point a joke or amuse a child. Others dwell upon 
the wonderful and supernatural — Tsui kalu', Tsuwe'ntlhi, and the 
Thunderers — and those sacred things to be told only with prayer 
and purification. Then, again, there are still a few old warriors who 
live in the memory of heroic days when there were wars with the 
Seneca and the Shawano, and these men are the historians of the 
tribe and the conservators of its antiquities. 

The question of the origin of myths is one which affords aliutidant 
opportunity for ingenious theories in the absence of any possibility 
of proof. Those of the Cherokee are too far broken down ever to be 
woven together again into any long-connected origin legend, such as 
we find with some tribes, although a few still exhibit a certain sequence 
which indicates that they once formed component parts of a cycle. 
From the prominence of the ra[)bit in the animal stories, as well as in 
those found among the southern negroes, an effort has been made to 
establish for them a negro origin, regardless of the fact that the rab- 
bit — the Great White Rab))it — is the hero-god. trickster, and wonder- 
worker of all the tribes east of the Mississippi from Hudson baj^ to 
the Gulf. In European folklore also the rabbit is regarded as some- 
thing uncanny and half-supernatural, and even in far-off Korea he is 
the central figure in the animal myths. Just why this should be so 
is a question that may be left to the theorist to decide. Among the 


Algonquian ti'ibes the name, wahos, seems to have been confounded 
with that of the dawn, iraban, so that the Great White Rabbit is 
really the incarnation of the eastern dawn that brings light and life and 
driv'es away the dark shadows which have held the world in chains. 
The animal itself seems to be regarded by the Indians as the fitting 
type of defenseless weakness protected and made safe by constantly 
alert vigilance, and with a disposition, moreover, for turning up at 
unexpected moments. The same characteristics would appeal as 
strongly to the primitive mind of the negro. The verj^ expression 
which Harris puts into the mouth of Uncle Remus, "In dem days 
Brer Rabbit en his fambly wuz at the head er de gang w'en enny 
racket wus en hand,"' was paraphrased in the Cherokee language by 
Suyeta in introducing his first rabbit story: " T-ii'stu vvtUga'ndtufim' 
U7ie'gutsdtu! gese'i — the Rabbit was the leader of them all in mischief." 
The expression struck the author so forcibly that the words were 
recorded as spoken. 

In regard to the contact between the two races, by which such stories 
could be borrowed from one by the other, it is not commonly known 
that in all the southern colonies Indian slaves were bought and sold and 
kept in servitude and worked in the fields side by side with negroes up 
to the time of the Revolution. Not to go back to the Spanish period, 
when such things were the order of the day, we find the Cherokee as 
early as 1693 complaining that their people were being kidnaped by 
slave hunters. Hundreds of captured Tuscarora and nearly the whole 
tribe of the Appalachee were distriliuted as slaves among the Carolina 
colonists in the early part of the eighteenth centurj', while the Natchez 
and others shared a similar fate in Louisiana, and as late at least as 
1776 Cherokee prisoners of war were still sold to the highest bidder 
for the same purpose. At one time it was charged against the gov- 
ernor of South Carolina that he was provoking a general Indian war 
bj' his encouragement of slave hunts. Furthermore, as the coast tribes 
dwindled thej' were compelled to associate and intermarry with the 
negroes until they finally lost their identity and were classed with 
that race, so that a considerable proportion of the blood of the south- 
ern negroes is unquestionablj- Indian. 

The negro, with his genius for imitation and his love for stories, 
especially of the comic variety, must undoul)tedly have abs(jrbed nuich 
from the Indian in this way, while on the other hand tiie Indian, with 
his pride of conservatism and his contempt for a subject race, would 
have taken but little from the negro, and that little could not easily 
have found its way Ijack to the free tribes. Some of these animal 
stories are common to widely separated tribes among whom there 
can be no suspicion of negro influences. Thus the famous "tar baby" 
story has variants, not onh' among the Cherokee, but also in New 

' Harris, J. C, Uncle Remus, His Songs and his Sayings, p. 29; New York, 1886. 


Mexico, Washington, and southern Alaska — wherever, in fact, the 
piiion or the pine supplies eiiouL;h gnm to be molded into a ball for 
Indian uses — while the incident of the Rabbit dining the Bear is found 
with nearly every tribe from Nova Scotia to the Pacific. The idea that 
such stories are necessarily of negro origin is due largely to the com- 
mon but mistaken notion that the Indian has no sense of humor. 

In many cases it is not necessary to assume borrowing from either 
side, the myths being such as would naturally spring up in any part of 
the world among primitive people accustomed to observe the charac- 
teristics of animals, which their religious system regarded as differing 
in no essential from human kind, save only in outward form. Thus 
in Europe and America the terrapin has been accepted as the type of 
plodding slowness, while the rabbit, with his sudden dash, or the deer 
with his ])ounding stride, is the type of speed. What more natural 
than that the story-teller should set one to race against the other, with 
the victory in favor of the patient striver against the self-confident 
boaster? Tlie idea of a hungry wolf or other beast of prey luring 
his victims by the promise of a new song or dance, during which they 
must close their eyes, is also one that would easih' occur among any 
primitive people whose chief pastime is dancing.' 

On the other hand, such a conception as that of Flint and the Rabbit 
coidd only be the outgrowth of a special cosmogonic theology, though 
now indeed broken and degraded, and it is probable that many myths 
told now only for anuisement are really worn down fragments of 
ancient saci'ed traditions. Thus the story just noted appears in a dif- 
ferent dress among the Iroquois as a part of their great creation myth. 
The Cherokee being a detached tribe of the Iroquois, we may expect to 
find among the latter, if it be not already too late, the explanation and 
more perfect statement of some things which are obscure in the Cher- 
okee myths. It must not be forgotten, however, that the Indian, like 
other men, does some things for simple amusement, and it is useless 
to look for occult meanings where none exist. 

Except as to the local traditions and a few others which are obviouslj' 
the direct outgrowth of Cherokee conditions, it is impossible to fix a 
definite starting point for the myths. It would be unwise to a.ssert 
that even the majority of them originated within the tribe. The 
Cherokee have strains of Creek, Catawba, Uchee, Natchez, Irocjuois, 
Osage, and Shawano blood, and such admixture implies contact more 
or less intimate and continued. Indians are great wanderers, and a 

1 For a presentation of the AMoan and European argument see Harris, Nights with Uncle Remus, 
intrortuction, 18.S3; and Uncle Remus, His Songs and His Sayings, introduction, 1886; Gerber, 
Uncle Remus Traced to tlie Old World, in .Tournal of American Folklore, VI, p. 23, October, 1,S93. In 
regard to tribal disseminatitin of myths see Boas, Dissemination of Tales among the Natives of North 
America, in ,Iournal of American Folklore, iv, p. 12, January, 1891: The Growth of Indian Mythologies, 
in the same journal, IX. p. 32, January 189fi; Northern Elements in the Mythology of the Navaho. in 
American Anthropologist, x, p. 11, November, 1897; introduction to Teit's Traditionsof theTliompson 
River Indians. 1898. Dr Boas has probably devoted more study to the subject than any other anthro- 
pologist, and his personal observations include tribes from the .\rctic regions to the Columbia. 

'■'oo^F.y] OEIGIN OF THE MYTHS 235 

myth crtii travel as far as a redstone pipe or a string of wampum. It 
Mas eustoinarv. as it still is to a limitpd extent in the West, for large 
parties, sometimes even a whole baud or village, to make long visits 
to other tribes, dancing, feasting, trading, and exchanging stories with 
their friends for weeks or mouths at a time, with the expectation that 
their hosts would return the visit within the next summer. Regular 
trade routes crossed the continent from east to west and from north to 
south, and when the subject has been fully investigated it will be found 
that this intertribal couunerce M^as as constant and well recognized a 
part of Indian life as is our own railroad traffic today. The very 
existence of a trade jargon or a sign language is proof of intertribal 
relations over wide areas. Their political alliances also were often 
far-reaching, for Pontiac welded into a warlike confederacy all the 
tribes from the Atlantic border to the head of the Mississippi, while 
the emissaries of the Shawano prophet carried the story of his rev- 
elations throughout the whole region from the Florida coast to the 

In view of these facts it is as useless to attempt to trace the origin 
of every myth as to claim a Cherokee authorship for them all. From 
what we know of the character of the Shawano, theii- tendency toward 
the ceremonial and the mystic, and their close relations with the 
Cherokee, it may be inferred that some of the myths originated with 
that tribe. We should naturally expect also to find close correspond- 
ence with the myths of the Creeks and other southern tribes within 
the former area of the Mobilian trade language. The localization at 
home of all the more important myths indicates a long residence in 
the country. As the majority of those here given belong to the half 
dozen counties still familiar to the East Cherokee, we may guess how 
many attached to the ancient territory of the trilje are now irrecov- 
erabh' lost. 

Contact with the white race seems to have produced very little 
impression on the tribal mythology, and not more than three or four 
stories current among the Cherokee can be assigned to a Caucasian 
source. These have not been reproduced here, for the reason that 
they are plainly European, and the author has chosen not to follow the 
example of some collectors who have assumed that e\ery tale told in an 
Indina language is necessarily an Indian story. Scores recorded in col- 
lections from the North and West are nothing more than \-ariants from 
the celebrated Hausmarchen, as told })y French trappers and \-oyageurs 
to their Indian campmates and halfbreed children. It might perhaps 
be thought that missionary inHuence would be evident in the genesis 
tradition, but such is not the case. The Bible story kills thelndian 
tradition, and there is no amalgamation. It is hardly necessary to say 
that stories of a great fish which swallows a man and of a great flood 

236 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

which destroys a people are found the world over. The supposed 
Cherokee hero-god, AVasi, described by one writer as so remarkably 
re.senibling the great Hebrew lawgiver is in fact that great teacher 
himself, Wasi being the Cherokee approximate for Moses, and the 
good missionai'v who recorded the story was simply listening to 
a chapter taken by his convert from the Cherokee testament. The 
whole primitive pantheon of the Cherokee is still preserved in their 
sacred fornuilas. 

As compared with those from some other tribes the Cherokee myths 
are clean. For picturesque imagination and wealth of detail they 
rank high, and some of the wonder stories may challenge those of 
Europe and India. The numerous parallels furnished will serve to 
indicate their relation to the general Indian .system. Unless otherwise 
noted, every myth here given has been obtained directly from the 
Indians, and in nearly every case has been verified from several 


"I know not how the truth may be, 
I tell the tale as 'twas told to me." 

First and chief in the list of story tellers comes A'yuii'ini, " Swim- 
mer,*' from whom nearly three-fourths of the whole number were 
originally obtained, together with nearly as large a proportion of the 
whole body of Cherokee material now in possession of the author. 
The collection could not have been made without his help, and now 
that he is gone it can never be duplicated. Born about 1835, shortly 
before the Removal, he grew up under the instruction of masters to be 
a priest, doctor, and keeper of tradition, so that he was recognized as 
an authority throughout the band and by such a competent outside 
judge as Colonel Thomas. He served through the war as second 
sergeant of the Cherokee Company A, Sixty-ninth North Carolina 
Confederate Infantry, Thomas Legion. He was prominent in the 
local affairs of the band, and no Green-corn dance, ballplay,. or other 
tribal function was ever considered complete without his presence and 
active assistance. A genuine aboriginal antiquarian and patriot, 
proud of his people and their ancient .system, he took delight in 
recording in his native alphabet the songs and .sacred formulas of 
priests and dancers and the names of medicinal plants and the pre- 
scriptions with which they were compounded, while his mind was a of Indian tradition. To a happ\' descriptive style he added 
a musical voice for the songs and a peculiar faculty for imitating 
the characteristic cry of bird or ))east. so that to listen to one of his 
recitals was often a pleasure in itself, even to one who understood not a 
word of the language. He spoke no English, and to the day of his death 
clung to the moccasin and turban, together with the rattle, his l)adge 
of authority. He died in March, 1899, aged about sixty-five, and was 

'"°°^'^^] STORY-TELLEES 237 

buried like a true Cherokee on the slope of a forest-clad mountain. 
Peace to his ashes and sorrow for his going, for with him perished half 
the tradition of a people. 

Next in order comes the name of Itagu'nahl, better known as John 
Ax, born about 1800 and now consequentl^y just touching the century 
mark, being the oldest man of the band. " He has a distinct recollec- 
tion of the Creek war. at which time he was about twelve years of age, 
and was already married and a father when the lands east "of Nantahala 
were sold by the treaty of 1819. Although not a professional priest 
or doctor, he was recognized, before age had dulled his faculties, as 
an authority upon all relating to tribal custom, and was an expert in 
the making of rattles, wands, and other ceremonial paraphernalia. Of 
a poetic and imaginative temperament, he cared most for the wonder 
stories, of the giant Tsurkalu', of the great Uktena or of the invisible 
spirit people, but he had also a keen appreciation of the humorous 
animal stories. He speaks no English, and with his erect spare figure 
and piercing eye is a fine specimen of the old-time Indian. Notwith- 
standing his great age he walked without other assistance than his 
stick to the last ball game, where he watched every run with the closest 
interest, and would have attended the dance the night before but for 
the interposition of friends. 

Suyeta, "The Chosen One," who preaches regularly as a Baptist 
minister to an Indian congregation, does not deal much with the Indian 
supernatural, perhaps through deference to his clerical obligations, 
but has a good memory and liking for rabbit stories and others of the 
same class. He served in the Confederate army during the war as 
fourth sergeant in Company A, of the Sixty-ninth North Carolina, 
and is now a well-preserved man of about sixty-two. He speaks no 
English, but by an ingenious system of his own has learned to use a 
concordance for verifying references in his Cherokee bible. He is 
also a first-class carpenter and mason. 

Another principal informant was Ta'gwadihi', '-Catawba-killer," of 
Cheowa, who died a few years ago, aged about seventy. He was a 
doctor and made no claim to special knowledge of myths or ceremonials, 
but was a])le to furnish several valuable stories, besides confirmatory 
evidence for a large number obtained from other sources. 

Besides these may be named, among the East Cherokee, the late 
Chief N. J. Smith; Sala'li. mentioned elsewhere, who died about 1895;'ni or Jessan, who also served in the war; Aya'sta, one of the 
principal conservatives among the women; and James and David 
Blythe, younger men of mixed blood, with an English education, but 
inheritors of a large share of Indian lore from their father, who was 
a recognized leader of cerenK)ny. 

Among informants in the western Cherokee Nation the principal was 
James D. Waflord, known to the Indians as Tsuskwanun'nawa'ta, 

238 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.asn.19 

"Worn-out-blanket," a mixed-blood speaking and writing both lan- 
guages, born in the old Cherokee Nation near the site of the pres- 
ent Clarkesville, Georgia, in 1806, and dying when about ninety 
j^ears of age at his hoaie in the eastern part of the Cherokee Nation, 
adjoining the Seneca reservation. The name figures prominentlj^ in 
the early history of North Carolina and Georgia. His grandfather, 
Colonel Watiord, was an officer in the American Revolutionary army, 
and shortly after the treaty of Hopewell, in 1785, established a colony 
known as " WaHord's settlement," in upper Georgia, on territory which 
was afterward found to be within the Indian boundary and was acquired 
by special treaty purchase in 1804. His name is appended, as witness 
for the state of Georgia, to the treaty of Holston. in 1794.' On his 
mother's side Mr Wafl'ord was of mixed Cherokee, Natchez, and white 
blood, she being a cousin of Sequoya. He was also remotely con- 
nected with Cornelius Dougherty, the first trader estal)lished among 
the Cherokee. In the course of his long life he filled man^- positions 
of trust and honor among his people. In his j'outh he attended 
the mission school at Valleytown under Reverend Evan Jones, and 
just before the adoption of the Cherokee aljihabet he finished the 
translation into phonetic Cherokee spelling of a Sunday school speller 
noted in Filling's Iroquoin Bibliography. In 1824 he was the census 
enumerator for that district of the Cherokee Nation embracing upper 
Hiwassee river, in North Carolina, with Nottely and Toccoa in the 
adjoining portion of Georgia. His fund of Cherokee geographic 
information thus acquired was found to be invaluable. He was one of 
the two commanders of the largest detachment of emigrants at the 
time of the I'emoval, and his name appears as a councilor for the western 
Nation in the Cherokee Almanac for 1846. When employed ]>y the 
author at Tahlequah in 1891 his mind was still clear and his memory 
keen. Being of practical bent, he was concerned chiefly with tribal 
history, geography, linguistics, and every-day life and custom, on all 
of which subjects his knowledge was exact and detailed, but there were 
few un^ths for which he was not able to furnish confirmatory testi- 
monj'. Despite his education he was a firm believer in the Nunne'hi, 
and several of the best legends connected with them were obtained 
from him. His death takes from the Cherokee one of the last connect- 
ing links between the present and the past. 

1 See contemporary notice in the Historical Sketch. 





CosMOGONic Myths 


The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended 
at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from 
the sky vault, which is of solid rock. When the world grows old and 
worn out. the people will die and the cords will break and let the earth 
sink down into the ocean, and all will be water again. The Indians 
are afraid of this. 

When all was water, the animals were above in Galuii'lati, beyond 
the arch; but it was very much crowded, and they were wanting more 
room. They wondered what was below the water, and at last Dayu- 
ni'si, "Beaver's Grandchild," the little Water-beetle, offered to go and 
see if it could learn. It darted in every direction over the surface of 
the water, but could find no firm place to rest. Then it dived to the 
bottom and came up with some soft mud, which began to grow and 
spread on every side until it became the island which we call the 
earth. It was afterward fastened to the sky with four cords, but no 
one remembers who did this. 

At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals were 
anxious to get down, and sent out difl'eront liirds to see if it was j'et 
dry, but they found no place to alight and came back again to Galun'- 
lati. At last it seemed to be time, and they sent out the Buzzard and 
told hini to go and make ready for them. This was the Great Buz- 
zard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all over the 
earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When he 
reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired, and his wings began 
to flap and strike the ground, and wherever thej- struck the earth 
there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was a 
mountain. When the animals above saw this, thej' were afraid that 
the whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, but the 
Cherokee country remains full of mountains to this day. 

When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was still 
dark, so they got the sun and set it in a track to go every day across 
the island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot this way, 
and Tsiska'giir. the Red Ci'awfish, had his shell scorched a bright red, 
so that his meat was spoiled; and the Cherokee do not cat it. The 


240 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

conjurers put the sun another hand-breadth higher in the air, but it was 
still too hot. They raised it another time, and another, until it was 
seven handbreadths high and just under the sk_y arch. Then it was 
right, and the}' left it so. This is why the conjurers call the highest 
place Gulkwa'gine Di'galun'latij'uiT, "the seventh height," because it is 
seven hand-breadths above the earth. Every day the sun goes along 
under this arch, and returns at night on the upper side to the starting 

There is another world under this, and it is like ours in every- 
thing — animals, plants, and people — save that the seasons are different. 
The streams that come down from the mountains are the trails by 
which we reach this underwoi'ld, and the springs at their heads are 
the doorwaj's by which we enter it, but to do this one must fast and 
go to water and have one of the underground people for a guide. We 
know that the seasons in the underworld are different from ours, 
because the water in the .springs is always warmer in winter and 
cooler in summer than the outer air. 

When the animals and plants were first made — we do not know by 
whom — they were told to watch and keep awake for seven nights, 
just as young men now fast and keep awake when they prav to their 
medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all were awake through 
the tirst night, but the next night several di'opped off' to sleep, and the 
third night others were asleep, and then others, until, on the seventh 
night, of all the animals only the owl, the panther, and one or two 
more were still awake. To these were given the power to see and to 
go about in the dark, and to make prey of the birds and animals which 
must sleep at night. Of the trees only the cedar, the pine, the spruce, 
the holly, and the laurel were awake to the end. and to them it was 
given to be always green and to be greatest for medicine, but to the 
others it was said: "Because you have not endured to the end you 
shall lose your hair every winter." 

Men came after the animals and plants. At tirst there were only a 
brother and sister until he struck her with a tish and told her to mul- 
tiply, and so it was. In seven days a child was born to her, and 
thereafter every seven days another, and they increased very fast until 
there was danger that the world could not keep them. Then it was 
made that a woman should have only one child in a year, and it has 
been so ever since. 


In the beginning there was no tire, and the world was cold, until the 
Thunders (Ani'-Hyuii'tikwala'ski), who lived up in Galuii'lati, sent their 
lightning and put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree which 
grew on an island. The animals knew it was there, because they could 
see the smoke coming out at the top, but they could not get to it on 


account of the water, so they held a couneil to decide what to do. This 
was a long time ago. 

EveiT animal that could tiy or swim was anxious to go after the fire. 
The Raven offered, and because he was so large and strong they thought 
he coukl surely do the work, so he was sent first. He flew high and 
far across the water and alighted on the sj-camore tree, but while he 
was wondering what to do next, the heat had scorched all his feathers 
black, and he was frightened and came back without the fire. The 
little Screech-owl ( Wa'Ituhn') volunteered to go, and reached the place 
safely, but while he was looking down into the hollow tree a blast of 
hot air came up and nearly burned out his eyes. He managed to fly 
home as best he could, but it was a k)ng time before he could see well, 
and his eyes are red to this day. Then the Hooting Owl ( U'gtihi') and 
the Horned Owl {TxMIt') went, but ])}' the time thej' got to the liollow 
tree the fire was burning so fiercely that the smoke nearlj- l)linded 
them, and the ashes carried up by the wind made white rings about 
their eyes. They had to come home again without tlie fire. Init with 
all their rubbing they were never able to get rid of the white rings. 

Now no more of the birds would venture, and so the little Uksu'hi 
snake, the black racer, said he wt)uld go through the water and bring- 
back some fire. He swam across to the island and crawled through 
the grass to the tree, and went in by a small hole at the bottom. The 
heat and smoke were too nuich for him, too, and after dodging al)out 
blindl}- over the hot ashes until he was almost on fire himself he man- 
aged by good luck to get out again at the same hole, but his body had 
been scorched black, and he has ever since had the hal)it of darting 
and doubling on his track as if trying to escape from close quarters. 
He came back, and the great blacksnake, Gule'gi, "The Climber," 
offered to go for fire. He swam over to the island and climbed up the 
tree on the outside, as the blacksnake alwaj^s does, but when he put 
his head down into the hole the smoke choked him so that he fell into 
the burning stump, and before he could climb out again he was as 
black as the Uksu'hi. 

Now they held another council, for still there was no fire, and the 
world was cold, but birds, snakes, and four-footed animals, all had 
some excuse for not going, because they were all afraid to venture 
near the burning sj-camore, until at last Kanane'ski Amai'yehi (the 
Water Spider) said she would go. This is not the water spider that 
looks like a mosquito, but the other one, with black down}' hair and 
red stripes on her body. She can run on top of the water or dive to 
the bottom, so there would be no trouble to get over to the island, but 
the question was. How could she bring back the fire^ "I'll manage 
that," said the Water Spider; so she spun a thread from her body and 
wove it into a fustl bowl, which she fastened on her back. Then she 
crossed over to the island and through the grass to where the fire was 

19 ETH— 01 16 

2-42 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

still burning. She put one little coal of tire into her bowl, and came 
back with it, and ever since we have had fire, and the Water Spider still 
keeps her tusti bowl. 


When I was a boy this is what the old men told me they had heard 
when they were boys. 

Long years ago, soon after the world was made, a hunter and his 
wife lived at Pilot knob with their only child, a little boy. The 
father's name was Kana'ti (The Lucky Hunter), and his wife was 
called Selu (Corn). No matter when Kana'ti went into the wood, he 
never failed to bring back a load of game, which his wife would cut 
up and prepare, washing off the blood from the meat in the river near 
the house. The little boy used to play down by the river every day, 
and one morning the old people thought they heard laughing and talk- 
ing in the bushes as though there were two children there. When the 
boy came home at night his parents asked him who had been playing 
with him all day. "He comes out of the water," .said the boj% "and 
he calls himself my elder brother. He says his mother was cruel to 
him and threw him into the river." Then they knew that the strange 
boj' had sprung from the blood of the game which Selu had washed 
off at the river's edge. 

Every day when the little boy went out to play the other would join 
him, but as he always went back again into the water the old people 
never had a chance to see him. At last one evening Kana'ti said to his 
son, "Tomori-ow. when the other boy comes to play, get him to wrestle 
with you, and when _you have your arms around him hold on to him 
and call for us." The boy promised to do as he was told, so the next 
day as soon as his playmate appeared he challenged him to a wrestling 
match. The other agreed at once, but as soon as the_y had their arms 
around each other, Kana'ti's boy began to scream for his father. The 
old folks at once came running down, and as soon as the Wild Boy saw 
them he struggled to free himself and cried out, "Let me go; you 
threw me awa}' ! " but his brother held on until the pai'ents reached the 
spot, when they seized the Wild Bov and took him home with them. 
They kept him in the house until they had tamed him, but he was 
always wild and artful in his disposition, and was the leader of his 
brother in every mischief. It was not long until the old people dis- 
covered that he had magic powers, and they called him I'mige-utasuii'hi 

Whenever Kana'ti went into the mountains he always brought back 
a fat buck or doe, or maybe a couple of turkeys. One day the Wild 
Boy said to his brother, "I wonder where our father gets all that 
game; let's follow him next time and find out." A few days afterward 
Kana'ti took a bow and some feathers in his hand and started off 

MooNEY] kana'ti and selu 243 

toward the west. The boys waited a little while and then went afti r 
him, keepino; out of sight until they saw him go into a swamp where 
there were a great many of the small reeds that hunters use to make 
arrowshafts. Then the Wild B03' changed himself into a putf of 
bird's down, which the wind took up and carried until it alighted upon 
Kana'tfs shoulder just as he entered the swamp, but Kana'ti knew 
nothing about it. Theold man cut reeds, fitted the feathers to them and 
made some arrows, and the Wild Boy — in his other shape — thought, 
"I wonder what those things are for?" When Kana'ti had his arrows 
finished he came out of the swamp and went on again. The wind l)lew 
the down from his shoulder, and it fell in the woods, when the Wild 
Boy took his right shape again and went back and told his brother 
what he had seen. Keeping out of sight of their father, they followed 
him up the mountain until he stopped at a certain place and lifted a 
large rock. At once there ran out a buck, which Kana'ti shot, and 
then lifting it upon his back he started for home again. "Oho!" 
exclaimed the boys, "he keeps all the deer shut up in that hole, and 
whenever he wants meat he just lets one out and kills it with those 
things he made in the swamp." They hurried and reached home before 
their father, who had the heavy deer to carry, and he never knew that 
they had followed. 

A few days later the boys went back to the swamp, cut some reeds, 
and made seven arrows, and then started up the mountain to where 
• their father kept the game. When they got to the place, they raised 
the rock and a deer came running out. J ust as they drew back to shoot 
it, another came out, and then another and another, until the boys got 
confused and forgot what they were about. In those days all the deer 
had their tails hanging down like other animals, but as a buck was 
running past the Wild Boy struck its tail with his arrow so that it 
pointed upward. The boys thought this good sport, and when the 
next one ran past the Wild Boy struck its tail so that it stood straight 
up, and his brother struck the next one so hard with his arrow that 
the deer's tail was almost curled over his back. The deer carries his 
tail this way ever since. The deer came running past until the last 
one had come out of the hole and escaped into the forest. Then came 
droves of raccoons, rabbits, and all the other four-footed animals — all 
but the bear, because there was no bear then. Last came great flocks 
of turkeys, pigeons, and partridges that darkened the air like a cloud 
and made such a noise with their wings that Kana'ti, sitting at home, 
heard the sound like distant thunder on the mountains and said to him- 
self, " My bad boys have got into trouble; I ouist go and see what they 
are doing." 

So he went up the mountain, and when he came to the place where 
he kept the game he found the two boys standing hj the rock, and all 
the birds and animals were gone. Kana'ti was furious, but without 

244 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

saying a word ho went clown into the cave and kicked the covers off 
four jars in one corner, when out swarmed bedbugs, fleas, lice, and 
gnats, and got all over the boj's. Thej' screamed with pain and fright 
and tried to beat off the insects, but the thousands of vermin crawled 
over them and ])it and stung them until both dropped down nearly 
dead. Kana'ti stood looking on until he thought they had l>een pun- 
ished enough, when he knocked off the vermin and made the boys a 
talk. "Now, you rascals," said he, "3'ou have always had plenty to 
eat and never had to work for it. Whenever you were hungry all I 
had to do was to come up here and get a deer or a turkey and bring it 
home for your mother to cook; but now you have let out all the ani- 
mals, and after this when you want a deer to eat you will have to hunt 
all over the woods for it, and then maybe not find one. Go home now 
to your mother, while I see if I can find something to eat for supper." 

When the boj's got home again they were very tired and hungry and 
asked their mother for something to eat. ■'There is no meat," said 
Selu, "but wait a little while and Til get you something." So she 
took a basket and started out to the storehouse. This storehouse was 
built upon poles high up from the ground, to keep it out of the reach 
of animals, and there was a ladder to climb up by, and one door, but 
no other opening. Every day when Selu got ready to cook the dinner 
she would go out to the storehouse with a basket and bring it back 
full of corn and beans. The boys had never been inside the storehouse, 
so wondered where all the corn and beans could come from, as the 
house was not a very large one; so as soon as Selu went out of the 
door the Wild Boy said to his brother, "Let's go and see what she 
does." They ran around and climl)ed up at the back of the storehouse 
and pulled out a piece of clay from between the logs, so that they 
could look in. There they saw Selu standing in the middle of the room 
with the l)asket in front of her on the floor. Leaning over the basket, 
she rubbed her stomach — .so — and the basket was half full of corn. 
Then she rubbed under her armpits — .so — and the basket was full to 
the top with beans. The boys looked at each other and said, "This 
will never do; our mother is a witch. If we eat any of that it will 
poison us. We must kill her. " 

When the boys came back into the house, she knew their thoughts 
before they spoke. ' ' So you are going to kill me 'i " said Selu. "Yes," 
said the boys, "you area witch." "Well," said their niother, "when 
3'ou have killed me, clear a large piece of ground in front of the house 
and drag my body seven times around the circle. Then drag me seven 
times over the ground inside the circle, and staj^ up all night and watch, 
and in the morning you will have plenty of corn." The boys killed 
her with their clubs, and cut off' her head and put it up on the roof of 
the house with her face turned to the west, and told her to look for her 
husband. Then thev set to work to clear the ground in front of the 

""""'"'■J KANA'TI AND SELU 245 

house, but i„,stead of ole.ring the whole piece they cleared only seven 
little .spo s. This IS why corn now grows only in a few places instead 
of over the whole world. They dragged the l.odv of Selu arou.ul the 
circle. a„.l whezvvcr her l.lood fell on the ground the corn sprang up. 
But instead ot dragging her body seven times across the oround thev 
dragged it over only twice, which is the reason the Indiaas still work 
then- crop but twice. The two brothers sat up and watched their corn 
all night, and m the morning it was full grown and ripe 

^^ hen Kana'tl came home at last, he looked around, Ixit could not see 
bebi anywhere, and asked the boys where was their mother. - She was 
a witch, and we killed her," said the boys; - there is her head up there 
on top of the house." When he saw his wife's head on the roof he 
was very angry, and said. "I won't stay with you any longer; I'am 
going to the A\ olt people." So he started off, but before he had gone 
far the W ild Boy changed himself again to a tuft of down, which fell 
on Kana tl s shoulder. When Kana'ti reached the settlement of the 
W olt people, they were holding a council in the townhouse. He went 
in and sat down with the tuft of bird's down on his shoulder, but he 
never noticed it. When the Wolf chief asked him his business he 
said: "I have two Ipad boys at home, and I want vou to go in seVen 
days from now and play Imll against them." Although Kana'ti spoTce 
a. hough he wanted them to play a game of ball, the Wolves knew 
Uiat he nicant tor them to go and kill the two boys. Thev promised to 
go. Then the bird's down blew off from Kana'ti's shoulder and the 
smoke carried it up through the hole in the roof of the townhouse 
\\ hen it came down on the ground outside, the Wild Boy took his rioht 
shape again and went home and told his brother all that he had heard 
in the townhouse. But when Kana'ti left the Wolf people, he did not 
return home, but went on farther. 

The boys then began to get ready for the Wolves, and the Wild 
Boy-the magician-told his brother what to do. Thev ran around 
the house m a wide circle until they had made a trail all around it 
excepting on the side from which the Wolves would come, where thev 
lef a small open space. Then they made four large bundles of arrows 
and placed them at four different points on the outside of the circle 
after whicli they hid themselves in the woods and waited for the 
Wolves In a day or two a whole party of Wolves came and sur- 
rounded the house to kill the boys. The Wolves did not notice the 
trail around the house, because they came in where the boys had left 
the opening, but the moment they went inside the circle the trail 
cfianged to a high brush fence and shut them in. Then the bovs on 
he mitside took their arrows and began shooting them down, and as 
the Wolves could not]ump over the fence they were all killed, excepting 
a few that escaped through the opening into a great swamp dost bv 
ihe boys ran around the swamp, and a circle of tire sprang up in their 

iJ46 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.19 

tracks and set fire to the grass and bushes and burned up nearly all 
the other Wolves. Only two or three got away, and from these have 
come all the wolves that are now in the world. 

Soon afterward-some strangers from a distance, who had heard that 
the brothers had a wonderful grain from which they made bread, came 
to ask for some, for none but Selu and her family had ever known 
corn before. Th6 boys gave them seven grains of corn, which they 
told them to plant the next night on their way home, sitting up all 
night to watch the corn, which would have seven ripe ears in the 
morning. These they were to plant the next night and watch in 
the same way, and so on every night until they reached home, when 
they would have corn enough to supply the whole people. The 
strangers lived seven days' journey away. They took the seven grains 
and watched all through the darkness until morning, when they saw 
seven tall stalks, each stalk liearing a ripened ear. They gathered the 
ears and went on their way. The next night they planted all their 
corn, and guarded it as before until daybreak, when they found an 
abundant increase. But the way was long and the sun was hot, and 
the people grew tired. On the last night before reaching home they 
fell asleep, and in the morning the corn they had planted had not even 
sprouted. They brought with them to their settlement what corn 
they had left and planted it, and with care and attention were able to 
raise a crop. But ever since the corn must be watched and tended 
through half the year, which before would grow and ripen in a night. 

As Kana'ti did not return, the boys at last concluded to go and tind 
him. The Wild Boy took a gaming wheel and rolled it toward the 
Darkening land. In a little while the wheel came rolling back, and 
the boys knew their father was not there. He rolled it to the south 
and to the north, and each time the wheel came back to him, and they 
knew their father was not there. Then he rolled it towaid the Sun- 
land, and it did not return. "Our father is there," said the Wild 
Boy, "let us go and find him." So the two brothers set ofl' toward 
the east, and after traveling a long time they came upon Kana'ti walk- 
ing along with a little dog by his side. "You bad boys," said their 
father, " have j^ou come here? " "Yes," they answered, " we always 
accomplish what we start out to do — we are men." "This dog over- 
took me four days ago," then said Kana'ti, Init the boys knew that the 
dog was the wheel which they had sent after him to find him. "Well," 
said Kana'ti, " as you have found me, we may as well travel together, 
but I shall take the lead." 

Soon they came to a swamp, and Kana'ti told them there was some- 
thing dangerous there and they must keep away from it. He went 
on ahead, but as soon as he was out of sight the Wild Boy said to 
his brother, "Come and let us see what is in the swamp." They 
went in together, and in the middle of the swamp they found a large 

'"«"*'=^J kana'ti and selu 2-17 

panther a.sleep. The Wild Boy g-ot out an arrow and shot the panther 
in the side of the head. The panther turned his head and the other 
boy shot him on that side. He turned his head away again and the 
two brothers shot togcthei—tmt, tmt, tmt! But the panther was not 
hurt by the arrows and paid no more attention to the boys. They 
oame out of the swamp and soon overtook Kana'ti, waiting'for them. 
-Did you find it?" asked Kana'ti. -Yes," said the boys, "we found 
it. but it nev.'r hurt us. We are men." Kana'ti was 'surprised, but 
said nothing-, anfl they went on again. 

After a while he turned to them and said, ''Now you must be careful. 
We are coming to a tribe called the Anada'duntaski ("Roasters." i. e., 
cannibals), and if they get you they will put you into apotandfeaston 
you." Then he went on ahead. Soon the boys came to a tree which 
had been struck by lightning, and the Wild Boy directed his brother to 
gather some of the splinters from the tree and told him what to do 
with them. In a little while they came to the settlement of the can- 
nibals, who, as soon as they saw the boys, came running out, crying, 
"Good, here are two nice fat strangers. Now we'll have a grand 
feast!" They caught the boys and dragged them into the townhouse, 
and sent word to all the people of the settlement to come to the feast. 
They made up a great fire, put water into a large pot and set it to 
boiling, and then seized the Wild Boy and put him down into it. His 
brother was not in. the least frightened and made no attempt to escape, 
but quietly knelt down and began putting the splinters into the lire,' 
as if to make it Ixirn 1)etter. When the cannibals thought the meat 
was about ready they lifted the pot from the tire, and that instant a 
blinding light filled the townhouse, and the lightning began to dart 
from one side to the other, striking down the cannibals until not one 
of them was left alive. Then the lightning went up through the smoke- 
hole, and the next moment there were the two l)oys standing outside 
the townhouse as though nothing hatl happened. " They went on and 
soon met Kana'ti, who seemed much surprised to see them, and said, 
"What! are you here again?" "O, yes, we never give up. We are 
great men!" "What did the cannibals do to you?" "We met them 
and they brought us to their townhouse. but they never hurt us." 
Kana'ti said nothing more, and they went on. 
* * « * 

He soon got out of sight of the boys, but they kept on until they 
came to the end of the world, where tiie sun comes out. The sky was 
just coming down when they got there, but they waited until it" went 
up again, and then they went through and climbed up on the other 
side. There they found Kana'ti and Selu sitting together. The old 
folk received them kindly and were glad to see them, telling them 
they might stay there a while, but then they must go to live where the 
sun goes down. The boys stayed with their parents seven days and 


then went on toward the Darkening hxnd, where they are now. We 
call them Anisga'ya Tsuiisdi' (The Little Men), and when they talk 
to each other we hear low rolling thunder in the west. 


After Kana'ti's boys had let the deer out from the cave where their 
father used to keep them, the hunters tramped about in the woods for 
a long time without finding any game, so that the people were verj^ 
hungry. At last they heard that the Thunder Boys were now living 
in the far west, beyond the sun door, and that if they were sent for 
they could bring back the game. So they sent messengers for them, 
and the boys came and sat down in the middle of the townhouse and 
began to sing. 

At the first song there was a roaring sound like a strong wind in 
the northwest, and it grew louder and nearer as the boys sang on, 
until at the seventh song a whole herd of deer, led by a large buck, 
came out from the woods. The boys had told the people to be ready 
with their bows and arrows, and when the song was ended and all the 
deer wei-e close around the townhouse, the hunters shot into them and 
killed as many as they needed before the herd coidd get back into 
the timber. 

Then the Thunder Boys went back to the Darkening land, but 
before they left they taught the people the seven songs with which to 
call up the deer. It all happened so long ago that the songs are now 
forgotten — all but two, which the hunters still sing whenever they go 
after deer. 


After the world had been brought up from under the water, "They 
then made a man and a woman and led them around the edge of the 
island. On arriving at the starting place they planted some corn, and 
then told the man and woman to go around the way they had been 
led. This the}' did, and on returning they found the corn up and 
growing nicely. They were then told to continue the circuit. Each 
trip consumed more time. At last the corn was ripe and ready for use." 
« * * * * * * 

Another story is told of how sin came into the world. A man and 
a woman reared a large family of children in comfort and plenty, with 
very little troul)le al)out providing food for them. Every morning 
the father went forth and very soon returned bringing with him a 
deer, or a turkey, or some other animal or fowl. At the same time 
the mother went out and soon returned with a large basket filled with 
ears of corn which she shelled and pounded in a mortar, thus making 
meal for l)read. 

When the children grew up, seeing with what apparent ease food 
was provided for them, they talked to each other about it. wondering 
that they never saw such things as their parents brought in. At last 

MooxEY] kana'ti and selu 249 

one propt)sed to wati-h when their parents went out and to follow 

Accordingh' next morning the plan was carried out. Those who 
followed the father saw him stop at a short distance from the cabin 
and turn over a large stone that appeared to l)e carelesslj^ leaned 
against another. On looking closely they saw an entrance to a large 
cave, and in it were many difl'erent kinds of animals and l)irds, such as 
their father had sometimes brought in for food. The man standing at 
the entrance called a deer, which was l.ying at some distance and back 
of some other animals. It rose immediately as it heard the call and 
came close up to him. He picked it up, closed the uiouth of the cave, 
and returned, not once seeming to suspect what his sons had done. 

When the old man was fairly out of sight, his sons, rejoicing how 
they had outwitted liim, left their hiding place and went to tlie cave, 
saying they would show the old folks that they, too, could bring in 
something. They moved the stone away, though it was very heavy 
and they were obliged to use all their united strength. When the cave 
was opened, the animals, instead of waiting to be picked up, all made 
a rush for the entrance, and leaping past the frightened and bewildered 
boys, scattered in all directions and disappeared in the wilderness, 
while the guilty offenders could do nothing but gaze in stupitied 
amazement as they saw them escape. Tliere were animals of all kinds, 
large and small — buffalo, deer. elk. antelope, raccoons, and squirrels; 
even catamounts and panthers, wolves and foxes, and many others, 
all fleeing together. At the same time birds of every kind were seen 
emerging from the opening, all in the same wild confusion as the quad- 
rupeds — turkeys, geese, swans, ducks, quails, eagles, hawks, and owls. 

Those who followed the mother saw her enter a small cabin, which 
they had never seen before, and close the door. The culprits found a 
small crack through which they could peer. They saw the woman 
place a basket on the ground and standing over it shake herself vigor- 
ously, jumping up and down, when lo and behold I large ears of corn 
began to fall into the basket. AVhen it was well tilled she took it up 
and. placing it on her head, came out. fastened the door, and prepared 
their breakfast as usual. When the meal had been finished in silence 
the man spoke to his children, telling them that he was aware of what 
they had done; that now he must die and they would be obliged to 
provide for themselves. He made bows and arrows for them, then 
sent them to hunt for the animals which they had turned loose. 

Then the mother told them that as they had found out her secret 
she could do nothing more for them; that she would die, and they 
must drag her })ody around over the ground; that wherever her l)ody 
was dragged corn would come up. Of this they were to make their 
bread. She told them that they must always save some for seed and 
plant every year. 

250 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 


In the old days the beasts, birds, fishes, insects, and plants could all 
talk, and they and the people lived togethei- in peace and friendship. 
But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that their settle- 
ments spread over the whole earth, and the poor animals found them- 
selves beginning- to be cramped for room. This was bad enough, but 
to make it worse Man invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears, and 
hooks, and began to slaughter the larger animals, birds, and fishes for 
their flesh or their skins, while the smaller creatures, such as the 
frogs and worms, were crushed and trodden upon without thought, out 
of pure carelessness or contempt. So the animals resolved to consult 
u]3oii measures for their common safety. 

The Bears were the first to meet in council in their townhouse under 
Kuwa'hi mountain, the "Mulberry place," and the old White Bear 
chief presided. After each in turn had complained of the way in which 
Man killed their friends, ate their flesh, and used their skins for his 
own ])urposes, it was decided to begin war at once against him. Some 
one asked whatweapons Man used to destroy them. " Bows and arrows, 
of course," cried all the Bears in chorus. "And what are they made 
of ? " was the next question. ' ' The bow of wood, and the string of our 
entrails," replied one of the Bears. It was then proposed that they 
make a bow and some arrows and see if they could not use the same 
weapons against Man himself. So one Bear got a nice piece of locust 
wood and another sacrificed himself for the good of the rest in order 
to furnish a piece of his entrails for the string. But when everything 
was ready and the first Bear stepped up to make the trial, it was found 
that in letting the arrow fly after drawing back the bow, his long claws 
caught the string and spoiled the shot. This was annoying, but some 
one suggested that they might trim his claws, which was accordingly 
done, and on a second trial it was found that the arrow went straight 
to the mark. But here the chief, the old White Bear, objected, say- 
ing it was necessai'v that they should have long claws in order to be 
able to climb trees. " One of us has already died to furnish the bow- 
string, and if we now cut off our claws we must all starve together. 
It is better to trust to the teeth and claws that nature gave us, for it is 
plain that man's weapons were not intended for us." 

No one could think of any better plan, so the old chief dismissed the 
council and the Bears dispersed to the woods and thickets without hav- 
ing concerted any wa}' to pre\-ent the increase of the huuaan race. 
Had the result of the council been otherwise, we should now be at war 
with the Bears, but as it is. the hunter does not even ask the Bear's par- 
don when he kills one. 

The Deer next held a council under their chief, the Little Deer, and 
after some talk decided to send rlieumatisni to every hunter who should 


kill one of tlw»m unless he took care to ask their pardon for the oU'ense. 
They sent notice of their decision to the nearest settlement of Indians 
and told them at the same time what to do when necessity forced them 
to kill one of the Deer tribe. Now, whenever the hunter shoots a Deer, 
the Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and can not be wounded, rinis 
quickly up to the spot and, bending over the blood-stains, asks the spirit 
of the Deer if it has heard the prayer of the hunter for pardon. If the 
reply be '' Yes," all is well, and the Little Deer goes on his wa}'; but if 
the reply be '•No," he follows on the trail of the hunter, guided by the 
drops of blood on the ground, until he arrives at his cabin in the set- 
tlement, when the Little Deer enters invisibly and strikes the hunter 
with rheumatism, so that he becomes at once a helpless cripple. No 
hunter who has regard for his health ever fails to ask pardon of the 
Deer for killing it, although some hunters who have not learned the 
prayer may try to turn aside the Little Deer from his pursuit by 
building a fire behind them in the trail. 

Next came the Fishes and Reptiles, who had their own complaints 
against Man. They held their council together and determined to 
make their victims dream of snakes twining about them in slimy folds 
and blowing foul breath in their faces, or to make them dream of 
eating raw or decajdng fish, so that they would lose appetite, sicken, 
and die. This is why people dream about snakes and fish. 

Finally the Birds, Insects, and smaller animals came together for 
the same purpose, and the Grubworm was chief of the council. It 
was decided that each in turn should give an opinion, and then they 
would vote on the question as to whether or not Man was guilty. 
Seven votes should be enough to condemn him. One after another 
denounced Man's cruelty and injustice toward the other animals and 
voted in favor of his death. The Frog spoke first, saying: "We 
must do something to check the increase of the race, or people will 
become so numerous that we shall be crowded from ofi' the earth. 
See how they have kicked me about because I'm ugly, as they say, 
until my back is covered with sores; " and here he showed the spots on 
his skin. Next came the Bird — no one remembers now which one it 
was — who condemned Man "because he burns my feet ofi','' meaning 
the way in which the hunter barbecues birds by impaling them on a 
stick set over the fire, so that their feathers and tender feet are singed 
off. Others followed in the same strain. The Ground-squirrel alone 
ventured to say a good word for Man, who seldom hurt him because 
he was so small, but this made the others so angry that they fell upon 
the Ground-squirrel and tore him with their claws, and the stripes are 
on his back to this day. 

They began then to devise and name so many new diseases, one after 
another, that had not their invention at last failed them, no one of the 
human race would have been able to survive. The Grubworm grew 

2 5 '2 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

constantly more pleased as the name of each disease was called off, until 
at last they reached the end of the list, when some one proposed to 
make menstruation sometimes fatal to women. On this he rose up in 
his place and cried: " Waddn'f [Thanks!] Fm glad some more of them 
will die, for they are getting so thick that they tread on me." The 
thought fairlv made him shake with iov, so that he fell over backward 
and could not get on his feet again, but had to wriggle off on his back, 
as the Grubworm has done ever since. 

When the Plants, who were friendh^ to ]\Ian, heard what had been 
done by the animals, they determined to defeat the latters' evil designs. 
Each Tree, Shrub, and Herb, down even to the Grasses and Mosses, 
agreed to furnish a cure for some one of the diseases named, and each 
said: "I shall appear to help Man when he calls upon me in his need." 
Thus came medicine; and the plants, every one of which has its use if 
we only knew it, furnish the remed}' to counteract the evil wrought 
by the revengeful animals. Even weeds were made for some good 
purpose, which we must find out for ourselves. When the doctor 
does not know what medicine to use for a sick man the spirit of the 
plant tells him. 


The Sun lived on the other sitle of the