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Cfoe ILiorarp 

of tbr 

antoersitp of Jl3ott& Carolina 

Collection of ji2ontj CaroUntana 

" C37O.03 



This book must- not 
be token from the 
Library building. 

• — 





JAM ES M< >< >Xi;V 




L9 02 

Library, Univ. of 
North Carolina 





I — Introduction 11 

II — Historical sketch of the Cherokee 14 

The traditionary period 14 

The period of Spanish exploration — 1540-? 23 

The Colonial and Revolutionary period — 1654-1784 29 

Relations with the United States 61 

From the first treaty to the Removal— 1785-1S38 (il 

The Removal— 1838-1839 130 

The Arkansas band— 1817-1838 135 

The Texas hand— 1817-1900 L43 

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 

V— The myths 239 

Cosmogonic myths 239 

1. How the world was made 239 

2. The first fire 240 

3. Kana'ti and Selu: Origin of 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 Moon 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 strawl perries 259 

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

14. The Deluge 261 

Quadruped myths . . . .• 261 

15. The four-tooted tribes 261 

16. The Rabbit goes duck hunting 266 

1 7. How the Rabbit stole the Otter's coat 267 

IS. "Why the Possum's tail is bare 269 

19. How the Wildcat caught the turkeys 269 

20. How the Terrapin beat the Rabbit 270 

21. The Rabbit and the tar wolf 271 

22/ The Rabbit and the P >ssum after a wife 273 

2::. The 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 

2s. What became of the Rabbit 277 

29. Why the Mink smells 277 

30. Why the Mole lives under ground 277 


\ The rnythi — ( kmtinued. 

Quadruped myths — Continued. ra s>-' 

31 The Terrapin's escape from the wolves 278 

:;•_'. Origin of the Groundhog dance: The Groundhog's head 279 

33 The migration of the animals 280 

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

Bird myths 280 

35. The 1 »ird t ribes 280 

36. The ball game of the birds and animals 286 

37. How the Turkey got his beard 287 

38. Why the Turkey gobbles 288 

39. How the Kingfisher got his bill 288 

-10. How the Partridge got his whistle 289 

41. How the Etedbird got his color 289 

4l'. The Phi asant beating corn: The Pheasant ■lane.' 290 

4:;. The race between the ( Irane and the Humming-bird 290 

44. The Owl gets married 291 

4.".. The Huhu gets married 292 

46. Why the Buzzard's head i^ bare 29.", 

47. The Eagle's revenge 293 

4s. The Hunter and the Buzzard 294 

Snake, fish, ami insect myths 294 

49. The snake tribe 294 

50. The Uktenaand the riufisu'ti 297 

51. A.gan-Uni'tsi's search for the Uktena 298 

52. The Red Man and the Uktena 300 

53. The Hunter and the Oksu'hl 301 

54. The Tstu'tli 302 

55. The Uw'tsufi'ta 303 

56. Tl ie 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. rntsaiyi'. the Gambler , 311 

64. The nest of theTla'nuwa 315 

65. The Hunter and the Tla'nuwa 316 

66. r'tlufi'ta. the Spear-finger 316 

07. Xun'yunu'wl, the stone man 319 

68. The Hunter in the Dakwa' 320 

69. A-taga'M, the enchanted lake 321 

To. The Bride from the south 322 

71 . The Ice Man t 322 

72. The Hunter and Selu 323 

73. The underground [■anthers 32 1 

74. The Tsundige'wl 325 

75. i >rigin of the I '.ear: The Bear songs 325 

To. The Bear Man 327 

77. TheGreat Leech of Tlanusi'yl.. 329 

78. The Xunne'hi and other spirit folk 330 

70. The removed townhouses 335 

moonev.] CONTENTS 7 

V— Tlie myths— Continued. 

Wonder stories — Continued. Page 

80. The spirit defenders of Nikwasi' 336 

8 1 . TsuikaliV, the slant-eyed giant 337 

82. Kana'sta, the lust settlement 341 

83. Tsuwe'nahi, a legend of Pilot knob 843 

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

85. The haunted whirlpool 347 

sii. Yahula :;47 

87. The water cannibals 349 

Historical traditions . 350 

, ss. First contact with whites 350 

89. The Iroquois wars :;:, i 

90. Hiadeoni, the Seneca 356 

91. The two Mi .hawks 357 

92. Escape of the Seneca boys 359 

9.'!. The unseen helpers 359 

94. Hatcinondon's escape from the Cherokee 362 

95. Hemp-carrier. :;<;4 

'.hi The Seneca peacemakers 365 

97. Origin of the Yontonwisas .lance '365 

us. i ra'na's adventures among the Cherokee 367 

99. The Shawano wars 370 

100. The raid on Tikwali'tsI 374 

101. The last Shawano invasion :;74 

102. The false warriors of Chilhowee 375 

103. ( Wee town :;77 

104. The eastern tribes _ 378 

105. The southern and western tribes 382 

100. The giants from the west 391 

107. The lost Cherokee , 391 

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

109. The war medicine 393 

110. Incidents of personal heroism :;:i| 

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

Miscellaneous myths and legends 397 

Ul'. The ignorant housekeeper :i'.i7 

113. The man in the stump _ 397 

114. Two lazy hunters 397 

115. The two old men 399 

116. The star feathers 399 

117. Th,' Mother Bear's song 400 

118. Baby song, to please tin- children 401 

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

120. The Raven Mocker 401 

121. Herbert's spring 403 

1-".'. Local legends i 4' North Carolina 404 

123. Local legends of South Carolina 411 

124. Local legends- of Tennessee 412 

125. Local legends of t ieorgia 415 

1 26. Plant lore 420 

VI— Notes and parallels 42s 

VII— Glossary 506 


Plate I. In the Cherokee mountains 11 

IT. Map: The Cherokee and their neighbors 14 

III. Map: The old Cherokee country 23 

IV. Sequi .ya | Sikwayl ) ' 108 

V. The Chen ikee alphabet 112 

VI. Tahchee (Tilts!) or Dutch 140 

VII. Spring-fn ig or Ti x lantuh ( Du'stu') 142 

VIII. John Ross (Gu'wisguwl') 150 

IX. ColonelW. II. Thomas (Wil-Usdi') 160 

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

XI. Swimmer (A'yuiVini ) 22S 

XII. John Ax (ItagiYnuhl) 238 

XIII. Tagwadihl' 256 

XIV. A yasta 272 

XV. Sawanu'gl, a Cherokee l>all player 284 

XVI. NlkwasI' mound at Franklin, North Carolina 337 

X VII. Annie Ax ( Sac lay! ) 358 

XVII 1. YValini', a< Iherokee woman 378 

XIX. On Oconaluftee river 405 

XX. Petroglyphs at Track-rock gap, Georgia 4 IS 

Figure 1. Feather wand of Eagle dance 2S2 

2. Ancient Iroquois wampum 1 celts 354 



By James Mooney 


The myths given in this paper are part of a large body of material 
collected among the Cherokee, chiefly in successive field seasons from 
1887 to L890, inclusive, and comprising more or less extensive notes, 
together with original Cherokee manuscripts, relating to the history, 
archeology, geographic nomenclature, personal names, botany, medi- 
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 
synopsis of the Cherokee medico-religious theory, with twenty-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 arc probably the largest and most impor- 
tant tribe in the Tinted 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 
ethnology, as compared with the literature of such northern tribes as 
the Delawares, the Iroquois, or the Ojibwa. The difference 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 offer but little 
inducement for ethnologic study. This is largely 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 OHEBOKEE [bth.aiw.19 

by fifty years of slow development. There remained behind, however, 
in the bearl of the Carolina mountains, :i considerable body, outnum- 
bering todaj such well-known western tribes as the Omaha, Pawnee, 
Comanche, and Kiowa, and it is among these, the old conservative 

Kitn'hwa < 'lenient, that t lie ancient things have been preserved. Moun- 
taineers guard well the past, and in the secluded forests of Xantahala and 
Oconaluftee, faraway from the main-traveled road of modern progress, 
the Cherokee priest 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 has been supplemented with information obtained in the Cherokee 
Nation in Indian Territory, 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 there 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 but 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 essen- 
tially the same in every part of the world. With this object in view 
a considerable space has been devoted to parallels drawn almost entirely 
from Indian tribes of the United States and British America. For 
the southern countries there is but. little trustworthy material, and to 
extend the inquiry 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 
Library of Congress, the Geological Survey, and the Smithsonian 
Institution, and for much courteous assistance and friendly suggestion 
from the officers and stall' of the Bureau of American Ethnology; and 


tn acknowledge his indebtedness to the late Chief N. J. Smith and 
family for services as interpreter and for kindly hospitality during 
successive field seasons: to Agent H. W. Spray and wife for unvarying 
kindness manifested in many helpful ways; to Mr William Harden, 
librarian, and the Georgia State Historical Society, for facilities in 
consulting documents at Savannah, Georgia; to the late Col. W. H. 
Thomas: Lieut. Col. W. W. Stringfield, of Waynesville; ( 'apt. James W. 
Terrell, of Webster; .Mrs A. C. Avery and Dr P. L. Murphy, of Mor- 
ganton; Mr W. A. Fair, of Lincolnton; the late Maj. James Bryson, of 
Dillsboro; Mr II. G. Trotter, of Franklin: Mr Sibbald Smith, of Chero- 
kee; Maj. R.C.Jackson, of Smithwood, Tennessee; Mr D. R. Dunn, 
of Conasauga, 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 Indian Arrow, 
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 States Fish Commission, for 
valuable oral information, letters, clippings, and photographs; to Maj. 
J. Adger Smyth, of Charleston. S. C, for documentary material; 
to Mr Stansbury Hagar and the late Robert Grant Haliburton, of 
Brooklyn. N. Y., for the use of valuable manuscript notes upon 
Cherokee stellar legends; to Miss A. M. Brooks for the use of valuable 
Spanish document copies and translations entrusted to the Bureau 
of American Ethnology; to Mr James Blythe, interpreter during 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 Traditionary Period 

The Cherokee were the mountaineers of the South, holding the 
entire Allegheny region from the interlocking bead-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 Alabama. 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 hank 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 more 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 (he ease with tribal geography-, there were no fixed 
boundaries, and on every side the Cherokee frontiers were contested 
by rival claimants. In 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 boundary 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 repeatedly 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. 



uooney] TRIBAL NAMES 15 

On the other hand, by their defeat of the ("reeks and expulsion <>f 
the Shawano, the Cherokee made good the claim which they asserted 
to all the lands from upper Georgia to the Ohio river, including the 
rich hunting grounds of Kentucky. Holding as they did the great 
mountain harrier 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 1 TMtJ. which failed 
from its premature discovery by the English. We frequently find 
their kingdom divided against itself, their very 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 (l) 1 is 
Yuii'wiya'. or Ani'-Yun'wiya' in the third person, signifying •"real 
people," or " principal people." a word closely related toOnwe-hofiwe, 
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 frequently speak of 
themselves as Ani'-Kitu'hwagi, or "people of Kitu'hwa," an ancient 
settlement on Tuckasegee river and apparently the original nucleus 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'ragi'. It first 
appears as Chalaque in the Portuguese narrative of De Soto's expedi- 
tion, published originally in L557, while we rind Cheraqui in a French 
document of 1699, and Cherokee as an English form as early, at 'east, 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 gee the notes !" the historical sketch. 

16 MYTHS OE THE CHEROKEE [bth.ahh.19 

medium of coi unication among all the tribes of the < rulf states, as 

fax north as the mouth of the < >hio (2). Within iliis area many of the 
tribes were commonly known under Choctaw names, even though <>t' 
widerj differing Linguistic stocks, ami if such a name existed for the 
Cherokee it must undoubtedly have been communicated to the first 
Spanish explorers by I >e Soto's interpreters. This theory is borne 
out by their Iroquois (Mohawk) name, Oyata'geronon', as given by 
Hewitt, signifying "inhabitants of the cave country," the Allegheny 
region being peculiarly a cave country, in which "rock shelters," con- 
taining numerous traces of Indian occupancy, are of frequent occur- 
rence. Their Catawba name also. Manteran, 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 &re,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, but 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 by 
Hewitt in 1887. ] While there can now be no question of the connec- 
tion, the marked lexical and grammatical differences 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 "Aviate" (.'///<//), or low, and 
"Ottare" (d'taM), or mountainous, must 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 ami the adjacent portion of Georgia. Its chief peculiarity is a 
rolling /'. which takes the place of the / of the other dialects. In 
this dialect the tribal name is Tsa'ragi', which the English settlers of 
Carolina corrupted to Cherokee, while the Spaniards, advancing from 
the south, became better familial' with the other form, which they 
wrote as Chalaque. Owing to their exposed frontier position, adjoin- 
ing the white settlements of Carolina, the Cherokee of this division 

'Barton, Ben}. 8., New Views on the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America, p. xlv, passim; 
Phils ., I7'.i7; Qallatfn, Albert, synopsis of Indian Tribes, Trana American Antiquarian Society, n, p. 
'.il: Cambridge, 1836; Hew iit. .1. X. B., The Cherokee an Iroquoian Language, Washington, 1887 i Ms 
In the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnologj 


were the first to feel the shock of war in the campaigns of L760 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 by 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 West. 

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 
differed dialectically from their neighbors on either side (;:). 

The Iroquoian stock, to which the Cherokee belong, had its chief 
home in the north, its tribes occupying a compact territory winch 
comprised portions of Ontario, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, 
and extended down the Susquehanna and ( Jhesapeake bay almost to the 
latitude of Washington. Another body, including the Tuscarora, 
Nottoway, and perhaps also the Meherrin. occupied territory in north- 
eastern North Carolina and the adjacent portion of Virginia. The 
( 'herokee themselves constituted the third and southernmost bodj . It 
is evident that tribes of common stock must atone time have occupied 
contiguous territories, and such we find 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 
evidenee'eoncur in assigning to the Cherokee as their early home the 
region about the headwaters of the Ohio, immediately to the south- 
ward of their kinsmen, but bitter enemies, the Iroquois. The theory 
which brings the Cherokee from northern Iowa and the Iroquois from 
Manitoba is unworthy of serious consideration. (4) 

The most ancient tradition concerning the Cherokee appears to be 

iy etii— 01 2 


the Delaware tradition of the expulsion of the Talligewi from the north, 
:i- firsl noted by the missionary Heckewelder in L819, and published 
more l'ull\ by Brinton in the Walam Olum in L885. According t<> 
the firsl account, the Delawares, advancing from the west, found their 
further progress opposed by a powerful people called Alligewi or Tal- 
ligcw i. 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 wen' said to have regularly built 
earthen fortifications, in which they defended themselves so well 
that at la-t the Delawares were obliged to seek the assistance of the 
"Mengwe,"or Iroquois, with the result that aftera warfare extending 
over many years the Alligewi finally received a crushing defeat, the 
survivors fleeing down the river and abandoning the country to the 
invaders, who thereupon parceled it out amongst themselves, the 
■* Mengwe" choosing the portion a I unit the I rreal lakes while the Dela- 
wares took possession of that to the south and cast. 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 1 7^'-» in the neighborhood of 
Lake Erie, which were said by the Indians to have been built by the 
extirpated tribe as defensive fortifications in the course < if this war. 
Near two of these, in the vicinity of Sandusky, he was shown mounds 
under which it was said some hundreds of the slain Talligewi were 
buried. 1 As is usual in such traditions, the Alligewi were said to have 
been of gianl 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 L820, the main tra- 
dition is given in practically the same way. with an appendix which 
follows the fortunes of the defeated tribe up to the beginning of the 
historic period, thus completing the chain of evidence. (."■) 

In the Walam Olum also we find the Delawares advancing from the 
wesl or northwest until they come to "Fish river"'— the same which 
Heckewelder make- 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 ] pie go on. hut are 

killed by the Talligewi. The Delawares decide upon war and call in 
the 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 chiefs, 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 "-ta\ 
south of the lakes." The chronicle proceeds to tell how. after eleven 
more chiefs have ruled, the Nanticokeand Shawano separate from the 

■ Heckewelder, John, Indian Nations of Pennsylvania, pp. 17-49, oil. 1^76. 


parent tribe and remove to the south. Six other chiefs follow in suc- 
cession until we come to the seventh, who "went to theTalega moun- 
tains." By this time the Delawares have reached the ocean. Other 
chiefs succeed, after whom "the Easterners and the Wolves" prob- 
ably the Mahican or Wappinger 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 1609 (7). We may consider this a tally date, approxi- 
mating the beginning of the seventeenth century. Two more chiefs 
rule, and of the second we are told that "He fought at the south: he 
fought in the land of theTalega and Koweta," and again the fourth 
chief after the coming of the whites "went to the Talega." We have* 
thus a traditional record of a war of conquest carried on against the 
Talligewi by four successive chiefs, and a succession of about twenty- 
five chiefs between the final expulsion of that tribe and the appearance 
of the whites, in which interval the Nantieoke, Shawano. .Mahican. 
and Munsee branched oil' from the parent tribe of the Delawares. 
Without venturing to entangle ourselves in the devious maze of Indian 
chronology, it is sufficient to note that all this implies a very long period 
of timt — so long, in fact, that during it several new tribes, each of 
which in time developed a distinct dialect, branch off from the main 
Lenape' stem. It is distinctly stated that all the Talega went south 
after their final defeat: and from later references we rind that they took 
refuge in the mountain country in the neighborhood of the Koweta 
(the Creeks), and that Delaware war parties were still making raids 
upon both these tribes long after the first appearance of the whites. 

Although at first glance it might be thought that the name Tallige-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 iruhJ, or 
walok, signifying a cave or hole (Zeisberger), whence we rind in the 
Walani 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 commonly known among the tribes. Whatever may be the 
origin of the name itself, there can be no reasonable doubt as to it~ 
application. "Name, location, and legends combine to identify the 
Cherokees or Tsalaki with the Tallike: and this is as much evidence as 
we can expect to produce in such researches." 1 

The Wyandot confirm the Delaware story and fix the identification of 
the expelled tribe. According to their tradition, as narrated in 1802, 
the ancient fortifications in the Ohio valley had been erected in the 
course of a long war between themselves and tin 'Cherokee, which 
resulted finally in the defeat of the latter. ' 

The traditions of the Cherokee, so far as they have been preserved, 

'Brinton. D.G., Walani Olum, p. 231; Phila., 1885. 

2 Schoolcraft, H. E., Notes on the Iroquois, p. 162; Albany.1847. 

20 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ahij.19 

supplement and corroborate those of the northern tribes, thus bring- 
ing the storj down to their final settlement upon the headwaters of 
the Tennessee in the rich valleys of the southern Aileghenies. < >wing 
to the Cherokee predilection for new gods, contrasting strongly with 
tin conservatism of the Iroquois, their ritual forms and national epics 
had fallen into decay even before tin' Revolution, a- 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 ami 
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 alone- migration lee-end. which was already 
lost, hut which, within the memory of the mother of one informant 
say about L750 was still recited by chosen orators on the occasion of 
the annual green-corn dance. This migration lee-end appears to have 
resembled that of the Delawares and the Creeks in beginning with 
genesis ami the period of animal monsters, and thence following the 
shifting fortune of the chosen hand to the historic period. The tradi- 
tion recited that they had originated in a land toward the rising sun. 
where they had been 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 tribes. 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 that 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. 1 

In another place Haywood says, although apparently confusing the 
chronologic order of events: ■"One tradition which they have amongst 
them says they came from the west ami exterminated the former 
inhabitants; and then says they came from the upper parts of the 
Ohio, where they erected the mounds on Crave creek, and that they 
removed thither from the country where Monticello (near Charlottes- 
ville. Virginia) is situated." 8 The first reference is to the celebrated 
mounds on the ( )hio near Moundsville, below Wheeling. West Virginia; 
the other is doubtless to a noted burial mound described by Jefferson 
in 17sl as then existing near his home, on the low groundsof Kivanua 
river opposite the site of an ancient Indian town. He himself had 
opened it and found it to contain perhaps a thousand disjointed 
skeletons of hoth adults and children, the bones piled in successive 
layers, those near the to]) being least decayed. They showed no signs 

Heckewelder, Indian Nations, p. 17. ed. isti'.. 
2 Haywood, John, Natural and Aboriginal History of Tenn pp H5-226; Nashville, 1823. 


of violence, but were evidently the accumulation of long years from 
the neighboring Indian town. The distinguished writer adds: "But 
on whatever occasion they may have been made, they are of consider- 
able notoriety among the Indians: for a party passing, about thirty 
years ago [i. e., about L750], through the part of the country where 
this barrow is. went through the woods directly to it without any 
instructions or enquiry, 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." 1 Although the tribe is not 
named, the Indians were probably Cherokee, as 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 1846, that acccording to their tradi- 
tion his people had formerly lived at the Peaks of Otter, in Virginia, 
a noted landmark of the Blue ridge, near the point where Staunton 
river breaks through the mountains. 2 

From a candid sifting of the evidence Haywood concludes that the 
authors of the most ancient remains in Tennessee had spread over that 
region from the south and southwest at a very early period, hut that 
the later occupants, the Cherokee, had entered it from the north and 
northeast in comparatively recent times, overrunning and exterminat- 
ing the aborigines. He declares that the historical 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 asthe 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 the-re for a long period, they 
could give 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 may 
he noted that " Watauga* )ld Fields," now Elizabeth town, were so called 
from the fact that when the first white settlement within the present 
state of Tennessee was begun there, so early as 1769, the bottom lands 
were found to contain graves and other numerous ancient remains of a 
former Indian town which tradition ascribed 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 

i Jefferson, Thomas, Notes on Virginia, pp.136-137; ed. Boston, 1802. 

2 Schoolcraft, Notes on the Iroquois, p. 163, i s i7. 

•■> Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennesstv, w _'.;.;. j.:i,. ■_■.;■•. !-._■ .: 

22 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.asjj.19 

Ohio, the j yet, according to Haywood, expressly disclaimed the author- 
ship of the very numerous mounds and petroglyphs in their later home 
territory, asserting that these ancient works had exhibited the same 
appearance when they themselves had first occupied the region. 1 This 
accords with Bartram's statement that the Cherokee, although some- 
times utilizing the mounds as sites for their own town houses, were a- 
ignoranl as the whites of their origin or purpose, having only a gen 
era! tradition that their forefathers had found them in much the same 
condition on first coming into the country. 8 

Although, as has been noted. Haywood expresses the opinion that 
the invading Cherokee had overrun and exterminated the earlier 
inhabitants, lie 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 established 

up md claiming all the streams to the southward. 3 There is 

considerable evidence that the Creek- 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 bul persistent tradition of a strange white race pre- 
ceding the ( 'herokee. .-onie of the Molic- e\ ell 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 appeal's 
to he 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 first arrived in the country which 
they inhabit, they found it possessed by certain •moon-eyed 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, when' they 
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 

Llentucky and probably also into western Tennessee, according to the 
concurrent traditions of different tribes. He desci'ibes their houses. 
on wdiat authority is not stated, as having been small circular structures 

i Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Hist. Tennessee, pp. 226, 284, 1828. 
SBartram.Wm., Travels, p. 365; reprint, London, L792. 

••Hiiyw 1. op. Cit, pp. 23 i 

'Barton, New Views,p. sliv, 17'JT. 

mooney] THE DE SOTO EXPEDITION — 1540 '23 

of upright logs, covered with earth which had been dug out from the 
inside. 1 

Harry Smith, a halfhreed born about 1815, father of the late chief 
of the East Cherokee, informed the author that when a boy he had 
been told by an old woman a tradition of a race of very 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 Murphy, North Caro- 
lina. They afterward removed to the West. Colonel Thomas, the 
white chief of the East Cherokee, horn about the beginning of the 
century, had also heard a tradition of another race of people, who 
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 them. 2 
They 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 — 1540-1 

The definite history of the Cherokee begins with the year 1540, at 
which date we find them already 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 intf rior, 
and the first entry 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 
Savannah 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 they had no means of testing 
it. 3 On inquiry they were told that the metal had come from an interior 
mountain province called Chisca, hut the country 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 Coca, toward the northwest, and by 
the people of Cofitachiqui they were now told that Chiaha, the nearest 
town of Coca 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 Coca, there to rest 
and recuperate before undertaking further exploration. In the mean- 

i Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Hist. Tennessee, pp. 166, 234-235, 287-289, 1823. 
See story, "The Great Leech of Tlanusi'yl, " p 328. 
^Garcilasodela Vega, La Florida del Inea, pp. 129, 133-134; Madrid, 1723. 

-1 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

time he hoped :i 1 — < > to obtain inure definite information concerning the 
mines. As the chief puipose of the expedition was the discovery of 
the mines, many of the officers regarded tin- change of plan a- a 
mistake, and favored staying where they were until the ae\i crop 
should !><■ 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 resolution. 1 The province of ( loca was the territory of the ( !reek 
Indians, called Ani'-Kusa by the < Iherokee, from EZusa, or < !oosa, their 

ancienl capital, while Chiaha was identical with Chehaw, 01 f the 

principal Creek towns on Chattahoochee river. Cofitachiqui may 
have Keen the capital of the LTchee Indians. 

The outrageous conduct of the Spaniards had bo angered the Indian 
queen thai she now refused i<> furnish guides and carriers, whereupon 
l>e Sot<> 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 pf her subjects, instead, however, of ( lucting 

the Spaniards by the direct trail toward the west, she led them far 
out Hi' their course until she finally managed to make her escape, 
leaving them to find their way out of the mountain.-- as best they could. 

Departing from Cofitachiqui, they turned tirst toward the north, 
passing through several towns subject to the queen, to whom, although 
a pris r. 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 day- they came to "a 
province called Chalaque," the territory of the Cherokee Indians. 
probably upon the waters of Keowee river, the eastern head-stream 
of the Savannah. It is described as the poorest country for corn that 
they had yet seen, the inhabitants subsisting on wild root- and 
herbs and on game which they killed with bows and arrows. They 
were naked, lean, and unwarlike. The country abounded in wild 
turkeys ("gallinas"), which the people gave very freely to the 
strangers, one town presenting them with seven hundred. A chief 
also gave De Soto two deerskins a- 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 lied to the mountains, leaving behind only old men 
and women and some who were nearly blind. 3 Although it was too 
early for the new crop, the poverty of the people may 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 were greatly in need of. corn for themselves ami their 
horses, they made no stay, hut hurried on. In a few days they arrived 

Gentleman of Blvos, Publications of the Hakluyl Society, lx, pp. 52, 58, 64; London ;^">1 
p mi. 
•Garcilaso, La Florida del Enca, p. 136, ed 

moosey] THE DE SOTO EXPEDITION 1540 25 

at Guaquili, which is mentioned only by Ranjel, who does not specify 
whether 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 giving them a little corn and many wild turkeys, 
together with some dogs of a peculiar small species, which were bred 
for eating purposes and did not bark. 1 They were also supplied with 
men to help carry the baggage. The name Guaquili has a Cherokee 

sound and may be connected with wa'guli', "whipj rwill," uicd'gili, 

" f oam," or gill, "dog." 1/ 

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. Garcilaso, who did not sec it. 
represents it as a rich country, while the Elvas narrative and Biedma 
agree that it was a rough, broken country, thinly inhabited and poor 
in provision. According to Garcilaso, it was under the rule of the 
queen of Cofitachiqui, although a distinct province in itself. 2 The 
principal town was beside a small rapid stream, (lose under a moun- 
tain. The chief received them in friendly fashion. giving them corn, 
dogs of the small breed already mentioned, carrying baskets, and bur- 
den bearers. The country roundabout showed greater indication- of 
gold mines than any they had yet seen. 1 

Here De Soto turned to the west, crossing a very high mountain 
ranee, which appears to have been the Blue ridge, and descending on 
'tin' other side to a stream flowing in the opposite direction, which 
was probably one id' the upper tributaries of the French Broad. 3 
Although it was late in May, they found it very cold in the moun- 
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 back 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 
hei- altogether." 

Guaxule is described as a very large town surrounded by a number 
of small mountain streams which united to form the large river down 
which the Spaniard- proceeded after leaving the place. 6 Here, as 

'Ranjel, in Oviedo, Historia Genera] y Natural de his Indias, i. p. 562; Madrid, 1851. 
'Garcilaso, La Florida del Inca,p.l37, ITi':-;. 'Ranjel, "p. 'it., i. p. 562. 
Sei note 8, De Soto's route ■ Elvas, Hakluyt Society, ix. p. 61, 1851. 

o Garcilaso, op. cit., p. 139. 

26 KYTH8 OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

elsewhere, the Indians received the white men with kindness and hos- 
pitality -ii much so thai the nan E Guaxule became to the army a 

synonym for good fortune. 1 Among other things they gave the Span- 
iards 3 logs for f I, although, according to the Elvas narrative, 

the Indian- themselves did qoI ea< them. 8 The principal officers of 
the expedition were lodged in the "chief's house," bj which we are to 
understand the townhouse, which was upon a high hill with a roadway 
to the top. 3 From a close study of the narrative it appears that this 

"hill" was ther than the greal Nacoochee mound, in White 

county, Georgia, a few miles northwest of the present Clarkesville.' 
It was within the Cherokee territory, and the town was probably a 
settlement of thai tribe. From here De Soto senl runners ahead to 
notify the chief of ( !hiaha of his approach, in order that sufficienl corn 
might he ready mi his arrival. 

Leaving < ruaxule, they proceeded down the river, w hich we identify 
with the Chattahoochee, and in two days arrived at Canasoga, or Cana- 
sagua, a frontier town of the Cherokee. As they neared the town 
the\ were met i>\ the Indians, bearing baskets of "mulberries," 5 more 
probably the delicious service-berry of the southern mountains, which 
ripens in early summer, while the mulberry matures later. 

From here they continued down the river, which grew constantly 
larger, through an uninhabited country which formed the disputed 
territory between the Cherokee and the Creeks. About five days after 
leaving Canasagua they were met by messengers, who escorted them 
to ( 'hiaha. the first town of the province of Coca. De Soto had crossed 
the state of Georgia, leaving the Cherokee country behind him. ami 
was now an lone- the Lower ( 'reeks, in the neighborhood of the present 
Columbus, Georgia. 6 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 theproi ince 
of Chisca, saying that there was there "a melting of copper"and of 
another metal of about the same color, but softer, ami therefore not -o 
much used. 7 The province was northward from Chiaha. soinew here in 
upper Georgia or the adjacent part of Alabama or Tennessee, through 
all of which mountain region native copper is found. The other 
mineral, which the Spaniards understood to he gold, may have been 
iron pyrites, although there is some evidence that the Indians occa- 
sionally found and shaped gold nuggets.' 

i:.m |el, in i n Ledo, Hlstoria, [, p.563, 18 >1. 
'Elvas, Biedma and Ranjel all make special reference to the dogs given them al this place; they 

seem to have been of the same small breed ["perrillos' which Ranjel says the Indians used foi I. 

sGarcilaso, La Florida del tnca, p. 139, 1728. 'See note 8, De Soto's 

in-. Hakluyt Society, ix. p. 61,1861; and Ranjel.op cit.,p ••■ 

route. 'Elvas, op. cit., p.64. 

mooxev] PARDO'S EXPEDITIONS — 1566-67 27 

Accordingly two soldiers were sent on foot with Indian guides to 
find Chisca ;m<l learn the truth of the stories. They rejoined the army 

some time after the march had I n resumed, and reported according 

to the Elvas chronicler, that their guides had taken them through a 
country so poor in corn, so rough, and over so high mountains that it 
would be impossible for the army to follow, wherefore, as the way 
grew long and lingering, they had turned back after reaching a little 
poor town where the}' saw nothing that was of any profit. They 
brought back with them a dressed buffalo 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 tine wool of sheep." 1 

( rarcilaso's glowing narrative gives a somewhat different 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 tine 
species of copper, and had indications also of gold and silver, while 
their progress from one town to another had been a continual series of 
feastings and Indian hospitalities. 2 However that may have been, 
De Solo made no further effort to reach the Cherokee mines, but con- 
tinued his course westward through the Creek country, having spent 
altogether a month in the mountain region. 

There is no record of any second attempt to penetrate the Cherokee 
country for twenty-six years (!l). In 1561 the Spaniards took formal 
possession of the hay 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. 3 In November of that year Captain 
.1 uan I'ai'do was sent with a party from the fort to explore the interior. 
Accompanied by the chief of "Juada" (which from 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, hut 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, and that in a recent battle 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 

MYTH8 OF THE CHEROKEE [cth.aiih.19 

distance in the mountains against another hostile chief, whom he found 
in a Btrongly 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 Erom his superior officer, 
the sergeant with his small party then proceeded to explore what lay 

bej I. and. taking a road which the} were told led to the territory 

of a ureal chief, after lour day- of hard marching they came to his 
tow ii. called Chiaha (Chicha, by mistake in the manuscript transla- 
tion), the same where De Soto had rested. It i- 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, (lie Indian- had sent their families 
awa\ from the town, while at the same time they may have summoned 
warrior- from the neighboring Creek town- in order to be prepared 
for any emergency. However, as before, they received the white 
men with the greatest kindness, and the Spaniard- continued for 
twelve day- through the territories of the same tribe until thej arrived 
at the principal town (Kusa?), where. by the imitation of the chief, 
they huilt 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 hi- arrival with every -how ,>i 
hospitality from the Creek chief s. This second fort was said to he one 
hundred and fortj leagues distant from that in the Sara country, which 
latter was called one hundred and twenty Leagues fr Santa Ciena. 3 

In the summer of 1567, according to previous agreement, Captain 
Pardo left the fort at Santa Elena with a -mall detachment of troops, 
and after a week's travel, sleeping each night at a different Indian 
town, arrived at "Canos, which the Indian- call ( 'anosi. and by another 
name, Cofetacque" (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 tl asiest 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 perhaps the Cherokee d'tdri or d'tdli, "mountain". 
It may have been a frontier Cherokee settlement, and. according to 
the old chronicler, its chief and Language ruled much good country. 
From here a trail went northward to Cuatari. Sauxpa. and L'si. i. e., 
the Wateree, Waxhaw (or Sissipahaw 'i. and l-'nerv or Catawba. 

Leaving Otariyatiqui, they went on to Quinahaqui, and then, turn 
ing to the Left, to [ssa, where they found mines of crystal (mica;). 
Thev came nexl to Ae'uai'lliri (the Gruaquili of the De Solo chronicle). 

and then to Joara, "near to the mountain, where Juan Pardo arrived 

i Narrative of Panto's expedition by Martinez, about IS68, Uruuks manuscripts. 


with his sergeant on his first trip." This, us 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. Vandera 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 
mountains" to Tocax (Toxaway?), 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 went on 
"to Solameco, otherwise called Chiaha." where the sergeant met them. 
The combined forces afterward went on, through Cpssa (Kusa), Tas- 
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 everywhere along the route. 
From Cofitachiqui to Tascaluza they went over about the same road 
traversed by De Soto in 1540. " 

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 by an English traveler ten years later.' but as 
his information is derived entirely from the fraudulent work of Davies, 
and as no such mission is mentioned by Barcia in any of these years, 
we may regard the story as spurious (10). The first mission work 
in the tribe appears to have been that of Priber, almost a hundred 
years later. Long before the end of the sixteenth century, 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 
much permanent impression this early Spanish intercourse made 
on the Cherokee il is impossible to estimate, but it must have been 
considerable (11). , 

The Colonial and Revolutionary Period— i»>;>-L-1784 

It was not until 1654 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, 
which had only recently concluded a long and exterminating war with 
the Powhatan, was thrown into alarm by the news that a great body of 

1 Vandera narrative, 1569, in French, B. F., Hist. Colls. of La., new series pp. I'sy-^L'; New York, 1875. 
2 Shea, J. G., Catholic Missions, p. 72; New York, 1855. 

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

•"•n MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.akn.U 

six or seven hundred Rechabecrian [ndians — by which is probably 
meant thai 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 "thai these new come Indians be in no sort suffered to seal 
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 formerly." It was therefore ordered that a force of at least 
100 white men be at once senl against them, to be joined by the war- 
riors of all the neighboring subject tribes, according to treaty obliga- 
tion. The Pamunkey chief , with a hundred of his men. responded to 
the summons, and the combined force marched againsl the invaders. 
The result was a bloody battle, with disastrous outcome to the Vir- 
ginians, the Pamunkey chief with most ,,f hi- men being killed, while 
the whites were forced to make such terms of peace with the Recha- 
hecrians that the assembly cashiered the commander of the expedition 
and compelled him to pav the whole cost of the treatj from his own 
estate. 1 Owing to the imperfection of the Virginia records we have 
no means of knowing the causes >d' tin' 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 more peaceful dwellers in the lowlands. 
From a remark in Ledererit is probable that the Cherokee 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 about 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 L655 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, 
hut whether or not they met Indians, they must have passed through 
Cherokee territory. 2 

In L670 the German traveler. John Lederer, went from the falls of 
.lames 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, lie speaks in several places of the Riekahoekan, which 

seems to he a re 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 

i Burk, John, History of Virginia, n. pp 104-107; Petersburg, 1805. 

s Ramsey, J. G. M., Annals oi Tennessee, i». 87; Charleston, 1853 (quoting Man in, North euro] in a. r, 

p. 115, lv..;,. 


village on Dan river, about the present Clarksville, Virginia, a delega- 
tion of Rickahockan, which had come on tribal business, was barba- 
rously murdered at a dance prepared on the night of 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. 1 In the next year. 1671, a party from Virginia under Thomas 
Batts explored the northern branch of Roanoke river and crossed 
over the Blue ridge to the headwaters of New river, where they found 
trace- of occupancy, but do Indians. By this time all the tribes of 
this section, east of the mountains, were in possession of firearms. 2 

The first permanent English settlement in South Carolina was estab- 
lished in L670. In L690 .lames 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 bel- 
lows and furnaces, but on account of some misunderstanding he 
returned without visiting the place, although he procured specimens 
of ores, which he sent to England for assay. 3 It may have been in the 
neighborhood of the presenl Lincolnton, North Carolina, where a dam 
of cut stone and other remains of former civilized occupancy have 
recently been discovered (11). In this year. also. ( 'ornelius Dougherty', 
an Irishman from Virginia, established himself as the first trader 
among the Cherokee, with whom he spent the rest of his life.' Some 
of his 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 L684, 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 existence, 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 L691, when we find an inquiry ordered 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. 6 

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). 

'Lederer, John, Discoveries, pp. 15, 26, 27, 29, 33, and map: reprint. Charleston, 1891; Mooney, Siouan 
Tribes of the East (bulletin of Bureau of Ethnology i. pp. 53-54, 1894. 
-Mooney. op.cit., pp. 34-35. 

^Document of 1699, quoted in South Carolina Hist. Soc. Colls., i, p. 209: Charleston. 1857. 
* Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Hist. Tennessee, p. 233, 1823. 

5 Noted in Cherokee Advocate, Tahlequah, Indian Territory. January SO, 1845. 

6 Document of 1691. South Carolina Hist. Soc. Colls., I, p. 126. 



and Congaree, all of thai colony, who bad made war upon them and 
sold a number of their tribesmen into slavery. They were told that 
their kinsmen could not n<>\\ be recovered, bul that the English desired 
friendship with their tribe, and thai the Government would see that 

there would be no future ground for such complaint.' The promise 
was apparently not kept, for in L705 we find a bitter accusation brought 
against Governor Moore, of South Carolina, that he had granted com- 
missions to a number of persons "to set upon, assault, kill, destroy, 
ami take captive as many Indians as they possible [sic] 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, whereby 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 alreadj involved 
in blood 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 consequences. 2 In view of what 
happened a few years later this reads like a prophecy. 

Aliout tin' year L700the first guns were introduced among the Cher- 
okee. th<' event being fixed traditionally as having occurred in the girl- 
hood of an old woman of the tribe who died aliout L775. s In 17ns we 
rind them described as a numerous people, living in the mountains 
northwest from the Charleston settlements and havingsixty towns, hut 
of small importance in the Indian trade, being "but ordinary hunters 
and less warriors."* 

In the war with the Tuscarora in 1711-171:'.. 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 alone' 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, they returned with the remainder, whom they 
afterward sold as slaves to South Carolina.' 

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

Hewat, s.iuili Carolina and Georgia, i. p. 127, 1778, 
s Documents of 1705, in North Carolina Colonial Records, n, p. 904; Raleigh. 1886 
Haywood, Nat. and Aborig. Tenn., p. 287,1823; with the usual idea thai Indians live to 
old age, Haywood makes hei LlOyearsold at her death, patting back the introduction of Srearms 

i . m hi Rivers, South Carolina p 288, 18 6, 

Royci Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau "f Etl logj . p. L40, L888; Hewat,op. cit.,p.216 

et passim. 

> key] Mi mirk's EXPEDITION — 1715-16 33 

against the whites, embracing all the tribes from Cape Fear to the 
Chattahoochee, including the Cherokee, who thus for the first time 
raised their hand against the English. The war opened with a terrible 
massacre by the Yamassee 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 lie 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 their 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. 1 

A number of Cherokee chiefs having come down to Charleston in 
company with a trader to express their desire for peace, a force of 
several hundred white troops and a number of negroes under Colonel 
Maurice Moore went up the Savannah in the winter of 1715-16 and 
made headquarters among the Lower Cherokee, where they were 
met by the chiefs of the Lower and some of the western towns, 
who reaffirmed 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 blame for most of the 
trouble upon the traders, who "had been 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. Murphy) where they found the chiefs more defiant, 
resolved to continue the war against the ('reeks, with whom the Eng- 
lish were then trying to make peace, and demanding large supplies of 
guns and ammunition, saying that if they made a peace with the other 
tribes they would have no means of getting slaves with which to buy 
ammunition for themselves. At this time they claimed 2,370 war- 
riors, of whom half were believed to have guns. As the strength of 
the whole Nation was much greater, this estimate may have been for 
the Upper and Middle Cherokee only. After "abundance of per- 
suading" by tin- 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 ammunition, together with fifty white 
soldiers, to assist them against the tribes with which the English were, 
still at war. In March, 171(5. 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 country. ' 

iHewat, South Carolina and Georgia, i, p. 216 et passim, 177s. 

2 St*e Journal of Colonel 'irorv..' chicken. 1715-16, with notes, in Charleston Yearbook, pp 13-354 

19 ETH— 01 3 


Steps were now taken to secure peace bj inaugurating a satisfactory 
trade system, for which purpose a large quantity of suitable goods 
was purchased at the public expense of South Carolina, and a corre- 
spondingly large partj was equipped for the initial trip.' In L721, 
in order still more to systematize Indian affairs, Governor Nicholson 
of South Carolina invited the chiefs of the Cherokee t" a conference, 
al which thirty-seven towns were represented. A treat} was made 
|p\ 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 WrosetasatoM i W was formally commis- 
sioned as supreme head of the Nation, with authority to punish all 
offenses, including murder, and to represent all Cherokee claim- to 
the colonial government. Thus were the ( Jherokee reduced from their 
former condition of a free people, ranging where their pleasure led. to 
that of dependent vassals with hounds fixed by a colonial governor. 
The negotiations were accompanied l>y a cession of land, the tirst in 
the bistorj of the tribe. In little more than a century thereafter they 
had signed away their whole original territory. 3 

The document of 1 71 ti already quoted puts the strength of the ( Jhero- 
kee at that time at 2,370 warriors, hut in this estimate the Lower 
Cherokee seem not to have been included. In 171-"'. according to a 
trade census compiled by Governor Johnson of South Carolina, the 
tribe bad thirty towns, with 4,000 warriors and a total population of 
ll.i'lo.' Another census in L721 gives them fifty-three towns with 
3,510 warriors and a total of L0,379, 6 while the report of the hoard of 
trade for the same year e-ives them 3,800 warriors, 6 equivalent, by the 
same proportion, to nearly L2,000 total. Adair, a good authority on 
such matters, estimates, about the year L735, 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 
<>n the same basis of computation to between 1.6,000 and L7,000 souls. 
From what we know of them in later times, it is probable that this 
last estimate is very nearly correct. 

I>\ 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 hay. Mississippi, in L699, and in 
1711 had built Fort Toulouse, known to the English as "the fort at 

■ rolina Assembly, in North Carolina Colonial R ds, n, pp. 225-227, 

-' For liuiicr. Bee the glossan 

South Carolina i i, pp. 297-298, 1778; Royce, Cherokee Nation, in F 

.hi .ii Ethnology, p. 144 and map, 1888, 
Ro E "p. Hi., p. 1 12. 
Documenl of L724, in Fernow Berthold, Ohio Valley in Colonial liny-, pp. 278-275; Albao 

• Report of Board ot Trade, 1721, in North Carolina Colonial Rei ! 1886, 

• Adair, James, American Indians, p. JJ7. London, 177'. 

cuming's treaty — L730 35 

the Alabamas," on Coosa river, a few miles above the present Mont- 
gomery, Alabama. From this central vantage point they had rapidly 
extended their influence among all the neighboring tribes until in 
1721 it was estimated that 3,400 warriors who had formerly traded 
with Carolina had been ••entirely debauched to the French interest," 
while 2,000 more were wavering, and only the Cherokee could still be 
considered friendly to the English. 1 From this time until the final 
withdrawal of the French in IT*'.:; 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 simply the cat's-paw of 
one o]- 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. 2 The Cherokee, although nominally allies of the English, were 
strongly disposed to favor the French, and it required every effort of 
the Carolina government to hold them to their allegiance. 

In 1730, to further lix the Cherokee in the English interest, Sir 
Alexander Cuming was dispatched on a secret mission to that tribe, 
which was again smarting under grievances and almost ready to join 
witli the Creeks in an alliance with the French. Proceeding to the 
ancient town of Nequassee (Nikwasi', at the present Franklin, North 
Carolina), lie so impressed the chiefs by his bold bearing that they 
conceded without question all his demands, submitting themselves 
and their people for the second time to the English dominion and 
designating Moytoy, 3 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, 
they 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 
thein. 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 they had brought with them. In 
return they received the usual glittering promises of love and per- 
petual friendship, together with a substantial quantity of guns, ammu- 
nition, and red paint. The treaty being concluded in September, 

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

36 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ann.19 

they took ship for Carolina, where they arrived, as we are told by 
(he governor, "in good health and mightily well satisfied with His 
Majestj '- 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 
Carolina, but when it was found that this was liable t<> bring down the 
wrath of the Iroquois upon the Carolina settlements, more peaceable 
methods were used instead. ' 

In L738 or 17:;'.' the smallpox, brought to Carolina by slave ships, 
broke out among the ( Iherokee 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 Indian- 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 !»• devised. A> 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. "So 

shot themselves, others cut their throats, some stabbed themselves 
with knives and others with sharp-pointed canes: many threw them- 
sel\ es with sullen madness into the tire and there slowly expired, a- ii 
they hail been utterly divested of the native power of feeling pain." 3 
Another authority estimates their loss at a thousand warriors, partly 
from smallpox and partly from rum brought in by the traders. 1 

A 1 >■ nit the year L 740 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 L736 Christian Priber, said to be a Jesuit acting in the French 
interest, had come among the ( iherokee, and. by the facility with which 
he learned the language and adapted himself to the native dress and 

'Hewat, S Ii Carolina and Georgia, n,pp.S-ll, L779; treat; documei ' 1730, North Carolina 

Colonial Ri — Is, ru, pp. 128 L33 1886; lenkinson, Collection of Treaties, n, pp. 315-318; Drake, S.G.. 
Early History of Georgia: Cuming's Embassy; Boston, 1872; letter of Governor Johnson, Dei 
1780. noted In South Carolina Hist Soc. Colls., i p. 246, 1857. 

a of 1781 and 1732, North Carolina Col I Records, III pp.153 

\<i. ur American Indians pp. 232 234, 1775. 
• Meadows (?), State of the Province ol Georgia, p . 1742, in Force Tracts, I 1831 
I C Historj "i L-i.i i pp ! - B i L883, 

kooney] PKIBER'S WORK 1736-41 87 

mode of life, had quickly acquired a Leading influence among them. 
He drew up for their adoption a scheme of government modeled after 
the European plan, with the capital at Great Tellico, in Tennessee, 
the principal medicine man as emperor, and himself as the emperor's 
secretary. Dnder this title he corresponded with the South Carolina 
government until it began to be feared that he would ultimately win 

over the whole tribe to the French side. A commissi r was sent to 

arrest him, but the Cherokee refused to give him up. and the deputy 
was obliged to return under safe-conduct of an escort furnished by 
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 prisoner 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 grosses! 
immoralities, he proved to be 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 possessed 
of a very sagacious penetrating judgment, and had every qualification 
that was requisite for his bold and difficult 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 found in 
Frederica if the manuscripts have had the good fortune to escape the 
despoiling hands of military power." He claimed to be a Jesuit, 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 be gathered of him. even though it comes 
from hi- enemies, there can be little doubt that he was a worthy 
member of that illustrious order whose name has been a >\ nonym for 
scholarship, devotion, and courage from the days of Jogues and Mar- 
quette down to De Smet ami Mengarini. 1 

I'p 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 

can Indians, pp. 240-243, 1775; Stevens, W;B., History of Georgia, r, pp. 104-107; I'hiln., 


the Christian name, no pains have ever been taken to convert them to 
Christianity; on the contrary, their morals are perverted and cor 
rupted da 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. 

Throughout the eighteenth century the Cherokee were engaged in 
chronic warfare with their Indian neighbors. As these quarrels con- 
cerned thr whites but little, however UK mieiiti hi- they may have been 
to the principals, we have but few details. The war with the Tusca- 
rora continued until the outbreak of the latter tribe against Carolina 
in 171 1 gave opportunity to the Cherokee to cooperate in striking the 
blow which drove the Tuscarora from their ancient homes to seek 
refuge in the north. The Cherokee then turned their attention to the 
Shawano on the ( 'uniberland. and with the aid of the ( 'hiekasaw finally 
expelled theiu from that region about the year L715. 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 L757, 8 and which termi- 
nated in a decisive victory for the Chickasaw about L768. The bitter 
war with the Iroquois 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 efforts of Sir William Johnson (12) in the same 

The hereditary war with the Creeks for possession id' upper Georgia 
continued, with brief intervals of peace, or even alliance, until the 
United States finally interfered as mediator between the rival claimants. 
In L718 we find notice of a large Cherokee war party moving against 
the Creek tow n of i loweta, on the lower ( lhattahoocbee, but dispersing 
on learning of the presence there of some French and Spanish officers, 
a- well a- some English traders, all bent on arranging an alliance with 
the Creeks. The Creeks themselves had declared their willingness to 
be :it peace with the English, while still determined to keep the bloody 
hatchet uplifted against the Cherokee. 3 The most important incident 

of the Struggle between the two tribes was probably the battle of 
Tali'wa about the year 1755. ' 

By this time the weaker coast tribes 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 \ ear farther 
into the Indian country. As early as 174S Dr Thomas Walker, with a 
company of hunters and woodsmen from Virginia, crossed the moun- 

1 Anonymous writer in Carroll, Hist. Colls. of South Carolina, a, pp 97-98, 517, 
Buckle, Journal, 1757, in Rivers, South Carolina, p.57, 1856. 

i Barcia, A. G-, Ensayo Cbronologico para la Historia General rti In Florida pp. ...;.. ..i- Madrid, 
' For more mi regard to these intertribal wars see the historical traditions 


tains to the southwest, discovering and naming 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 rind 
proof also in the Virginia records that the irresponsible 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 number 2,590 war- 
riors, as against probably twice that number previous to the great 
smallpox epidemic sixteen years before. Their neighbors and ancient 
enemies, the Catawba, had dwindled to 240 men. 2 

Although war was not formally declared by England until L756, 
hostilities in tiie seven year's struggle between France and England, 
commonly known in America as the " French and Indian war." began 
in April, 1754. when the French seized a small postwhich the English 
had begun at tile present site of Pittsburg, and which was afterward 
finished by the French under the name of Fort Du Quesne. Strenuous 
efforts were made by the English to secure the Cherokee to their 
interest against the French and their Indian allies, and treaties were 
negotiated by which they promised assistance. 3 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 by tin disin- 
terested character of the proceeding. Their preference for the French 
was but thinly veiled, and only immediate policy prevented them from 
throwing their whole force into the scale on that side. The reasons 
for this preference are given by Timberlake, the young Virginian 
officer who visited the tribe on an embassy of conciliation a few years 

I found the nation much attached to the French, who have the prudence, by 
familiar politeness — which costs hut little ami often does a great deal — ami conform- 
ing themselves to their ways and temper, to conciliate the inclinations of almost all 
the Indians they are acquainted with, while the pride of our officers often disgusts 
them. Nay, they did net scruple to own to me that it was the trade alone that 
induced them to make peace with us, ami net any preference to the French, whom 
they loved a great deal better. . . . The English are now so nigh, and encroached 
daily so far upon them, that they u^t only felt the had effects of it ill their hunting 
grounds, which were spoiled, hut 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 horn ami brought up, in tine, their native soil, for which 
all men have a particular tenderness and affection. 

i Walker, Thomas, Journal of an Exploration, etc., pp. 8, 35-37; Boston, 1888; Monette 
the Me-, i. p. 317; New York. 1848 erroneously makes the second date L758. 

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

'Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 50-52 L8S Royce i herokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bur. of Eth- 
nology, ]'■ 145, i v ^s 

40 MYTH- OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.akn.1S 

He adds that only dire necessity had induced them to make peace 
with the English in I 761.' 

In accordance with the treaty stipulations Fori Prince George was 
built in L756 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. 2 By special arrangement with 
the influential chief, Ata-kullakulla (Ata'-uul'kaliV). Fort Dobbs was 
also built in the same year about -Jo mile- west of the present Salis- 
bury. North ( larolina. 4 

The Cherokee had agreed to furnish four hundred warriors to 
cooperate against the French 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 
stopped and the garrison on the wax to turn hack, plainly telling the 
officer in charge that they did not want so many white people among 
them. Ata-kullakulla, hitherto supposed to he 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 they very unwillingly set 
about raising the promised force of warriors. Major Andrew Lewi-, 
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 ■•only to put a gloss on 
their knavery." The fort was finally completed, and. on his suggestion, 
wag garrisoned with a strong force of two hundred men under Captain 
Demere\ 5 'There was strong ground for believing that some depreda- 
tions committed about this time on the heads of Catawba and Broad 
rivers, in North ( 'arolina. were the joint work id' ( 'herokee and northern 
Indians." Notwithstanding all this, a considerable body of Cherokee 
joined the British forces on the Virginia frontier. 

Fort I >u Quesne was taken by the American provincials under Wash- 
ington, November 25, 17-Vs. Quebec was taken September L3, 1759, 
and by the final treaty of peace in I 7b:! the war ended with the transfer 
of Canada and the Ohio valley to the crown of England. Louisiana 
had already been ceded by France to Spain. 

Although France was thus eliminated from the Indian problem, the 

'Timberlake, Henry, Memeirs, pp. 7:;. 74; London, 1765 
Ramsi i nm - p ■• 1853 Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rept. Bur. of Ethnology, 
p. 145, 1888. 

i ,,, notice - i \iv sul"WUn', in the jlossarj 

1 1: se] op ell . p 50. 

Letters ol Majoi Indrev Lewis and Governor Dinwiddle, 17:«;. in North Carolina Colonial Records 
v, pp i85 612-614 685,687,1887: Ramsey, op. clt., pp. 61, 52. 

s Letter of Governor Dobbs, 1756, in North Carolina Colonial Rei Is, V, p. 604, 1887 

: Dinw iddle letter, I7~>7. ibid., p 

J key] LEWIS' EXPEDITION — 175(5 41 

Indians themselves were not ready to accept the settlement. In the 
north the confederated tribes under Pontiac continued to war on their 
own account until 17<'>5. In the South the very Cherokee who had 
acted a^ allies of the British against Fort DuQuesne, and had volun- 
tarily 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, L756, by 
Major Andrew Lewi-- (the same who had built Fort Loudon) withsome 
two hundred Virginia troops assisted by about one hundred Cherokee. 
After -i\ weeks of fruitless tramping through tin' woods, with the 
ground covered with snow and the streams s,, swollen by rains that 
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 first been 
disgusted at the contempt and neglect experienced from those whom 
they had conn 1 to assist. The Tuscarora and others had already gone 
home, and the Cherokee now started to return on foot to their own 
country. Finding some horses running loose on the range, they 
appropriated 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 only a fair exchange. The frontiersmen 
took another view of the question however, attacked the returning 
Cherokee, and killed a number 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 
bi'ought the scalps into the settlements, where they were represented 
as those of French Indians and sold at the regular price then estab- 
lished by law. The young warriors at once prepared to take revenge, 
but were restrained by the chief s until satisfaction could be demanded 
in the ordinary way. according to the treaties arranged with the colonial 
governments. Application was made in turn to Virginia, North 
Carolina, and South Carolina, 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 quietly 
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. 1 The warriors could no 
longer be restrained. Soon there was news of attacks upon the back 
settlements of Carolina, while on the other side of the mountains two 
soldiers of the Fort Loudon garrison were killed. War seemed at 

1 Adair. American Indians, 245-246, 177a; North Carol inn Colonial Records, v, p. xlviii, 1887; I lew at, 
quoted in Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 54, 1853 


At ihi- juncture, in November, 1758, a party of influential chiefs, 
having first ordered back a war party ju-t aboul in set mil from the 
western towns against the Carolina settlements, came down toChai - les- 
ton and succeeded in arranging the difficulty upon a friendly basis. 
The assembly had officially declared peace with (lie < !herokee, \\ hen, in 
M;i\ of 1759, Governor Lyttleton unexpectedly came forward with a 
demand for the surrender I'm- execution of every Indian who had killed 
a white man in tin' recent skirmishes, among these being t } » « - chiefs of 
Citieo and Tellico. At the same time the commanderal Fori Loudon, 
forgetful of the fact that In' had but a -mall garrison in the midst of 
several thousands of restless savages, made a demand for twentj four 
other chiefs whom he suspected of unfriendly action. Tocompel their 
surrender orders were given to stop all trading supplies intended for 
i he upper ( Iherokee. 

This roused tin' whole Nation, and a delegation representing everj 
town came down to Charleston, protesting the de-ire of the Indian- lor 
peace and friendship, but declaring their inability to surrender their own 
chiefs. The governor replied by declaring war in November, 1759, at 
once callingout troops and sending messengers to secure the aid of all 
the surrounding tribes against the Cherokee, [n the meantime asecond 
delegation of thirty -two of the most prominent men. led by the young 
war chief Oconostota (Agan-st&ta), 1 arrived t<> make a further efforl 
for peace, Imt the governor, refusing to listen to them, seized the 
whole party and confined 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 by Ata-kullakulla (Ata'-gul''kfilu'), 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 
do/en of the delegation to sign a paper by which they pretended to 
agree lor their tribe to kill or seize any Frenchmen entering their 
countrj . and consented to the imprisonment of the parly until all the 
warriors demanded had been surrendered for execution <>r 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 own basis, Lyttleton returned 
to ( 'harleston. 

The event soon proved how little he knew of Indian temper, < Ocono- 
stota at once laid siege to Fort 1'rince George, completely cutting off 
communication at a time when, as it was now winter, no help could 
well be expected from below. In February, L 760, after having kept 
the fort thus closely invested for some weeks, he sent word one day 
by an Indian woman that he \\ ished to speak to the commander, Lieut- 
enant Coytmore. As the lieutenant stepped out from the stockade 

1 Fur notices Bee I he fi : 

i Montgomery's expedition — 1760 43 

to see what was wanted, Oconostota, standing on the opposite side of 
the river, swung a bridle above his head as a signal to his warriors 
concealed in the bushes, and the officer was at once shot down. The 
soldiers immediately broke into the room where the hostages were 
confined, every cue being a chief of prominence in the tribe, and 
butchered them to the last man. 

It was now war to the end. Led by Oconostota, the Cherokee 
descended upon the frontier settlements of ( iarolina, while the warriors 
across the mountains laid close siege to Fort London. In June, L760, 
a strong force of over L,600 men. under Colonel Montgomery, started 
to reduce the Cherokee towns and relieve the beleaguered garrison. 
Crossing the Indian frontier. Montgomery quickly drove the enemy 
from about Fort Prince George and then, rapidly advancing, surprised 
Little Keow'ee, 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 popu- 
lation into the mountains before him. His own loss was very slight. 
He then sent messengers to the .Middle and Upper towns, summoning 
them to surrender on penalty of the like fate, but, receiving no reply, 
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 Ephoee (Itse'yi), a few mile- 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 dune 27, LTtio. 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 f 1 daily. 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. 1 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 marched out and proceeded far enough to camp for the 
night, while the Indians swarmed into the fort to see what plunder 
they might hud. "By accident a discovery was made of ten bags of 

J Tunberlake, Memoirs, p. 65, 1765. 

44 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.ih 

powder and a large quantity of ball thai had been secretly buried in 
the fort, to prevent their falling into the enemy's hands" (Hewat). 
It i- said also that cannon, small arm-, and ammunition had been 
thrown into the river with the same intention (Haywood). Em-aged 
al this breach of the capitulation the Cherokee attacked the soldiers 
next morning at daylight, killing Deniere" and twenty-nine others at 
the first fire. The rest were taken ami held as pris »rs until ran- 
somed some time after. The second officer, Captain Stuart (13), for 
whom the Indian- 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 rewarded, 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 crush out all resistance. In June 1761, Colonel Grant with an 
army of 2,600 men. including a number of Chickasaw and almost 
every remaining warrior of the Catawba, 1 set out from Fort Prince 
George. Refusings request from Ata-kullakulla foi a friendly accom- 
modation, he crossed Rabun yap and advanced rapidly down the 
Little Tennessee alone- the same trail taken by the expedition of the 
previous year. 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, until in 
the course of a month he had destroyed every one of the Middle 
town-. I.', in all. with all their granaries and cornfields, driven the 
inhabitants into the mountain-, and "pushed the frontier seventy 
miles farther to the west." 
y 1 ^ 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 ammunition 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 
mi-eric- of starvation, and withal torn by factional differences which 
had existed from the very beginning of the war ii wa- impossible 
for even brave men to resist longer. In September Ata-kullakulla, 
who had all alone- done everything in his power to stay the disaffec- 
tion, came down to Charleston, a treaty of peace was made, and the 

i Catawba reference from Milligan, 171;:;, in Carroll, South Carolina Historical Collections, 11, p. 


war was ended. From an estimated population of at least 5,000 war- 
riors some years before, the Cherokee had now been reduced to about 
2,300 men. 1 

In the meantime a force of Virginians under Colonel Stephen had 
advanced as far as the Great island of the Holston -now Klingsport, 
Tennessee — where they were met by a large delegation of Cherokee, 
who sued for peace, which was concluded with them by Colonel 
Stephen on November 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 1 T • *► : ; . by 
which the whole western territory was ceded to England, a great 
council was held at Augusta, which was attended by 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 ( reor 
gia, explained fully to the Indians the new condition of affairs, and a 
treaty of mutual peace and friendship was concluded on November 10 
of that year. : 

Under several leaders, as Walker, W alien, Smith, and Boon, the tide 
of emigration now surged across the mountains in spite of every efforl 
to restrain it. 4 and the period between the end of the Cherokee war 
and the opening of the Revolution is principally notable for a number 
of treaty cessions by the Indians, each in fruitless endeavor to tix 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 Kentucky 
and Cumberland rivers, embracing the greater part 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 were, how- 
ever, left still in their possession. ' 

1 Figures from Adair, American Indians, p. 227, 177"'. When not otherwise 

the Cherokee war • <( 1760-61 is compiled chiefly from the contemporarj dispatches in the Gi rifleman's 
Magazine, supplemented from Hewat's Historical account of South Carolina and Georgia, 177s: with 
additional details from Adair. American Indians; Ramsej , Tennessei ; Royce, Cherokee Nation; North 
Carolina Colonial Records, v, documents and introduction; etc. 

-Timberlake. Memoirs, p. 9 et passim, 1765. 

'Stevens, Georgia, II, pp. 26-29, 1859, 'Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 65-70, 1853 

sRoycc Cherokei Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bur. of Ethnology, pp. 146-149, 1888. 


46 MYTHS OK THE CHEROKEI [bih.ann.19 

As ■ consequence of the late Cherokee war, a royal proclamation 

had been issued in L 763, with a view of checking future encroachments 
l>\ the whites, which prohibited any private land purchases from the 
Indians, or an} granting of warrants for lands wesl of the sources 
of the streams flowing into the Atlantic. 1 In L 768, on the appeal of 
the Indians themselves, the British superintendent for the southern 
tribes, Captain John Stuart, had negotiated a treaty at Hani Labor 
in South Carolina by which Kanawha and New rivers, along their 
whole course downward from the North Carolina line, were Sxed as 
the boundary between the Cherokee and the whites in that direction. 
In two years, however, so many borderers had crossed into the Indian 
country, where thej were evidently determined to remain, thai it was 
found necessary to substitute another treaty, by which the line was 
made to nm due south from t he mouth of the Kanawha to the Hols ton, 
thus cutting off from the Cherokee almost the whole of their hunting 
grounds in Virginia and West Virginia. Two years later, in I77l'. 
the Virginians demanded a further cession, by which everything east 
of Kentucky river was surrendered; and finally, on March 17. 177.">. 
the great Henderson purchase was consummated, including the whole 
tract between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers. By this last i/ 
cession the Cherokee were at last cut otl' from Ohio river and all their 
rich Kentucky hunting grounds. 8 

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 question, 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 Watauga and upper 
Holston rivers in northeastern Tennessee, where the settlers, finding 
themselves still within the Indian boundary and being resolved to 
remain, effected a temporary lease from (he Cherokee in 177l'. As 
was expected and intended, the lease beca a permanent occupancy, 

the nucleus settlement of the future State of Tenne — er. 

Just before the outbreak of the Revolution, the botanist. William 
Hart ram. made an extended tour of the Cherokee country, anil has left 
US a pleasant account of the hospitable character ami friendly dispo- 
sition of the Indians at that time. He gives alist of forty-three towns 
then inhabited by the tribe.' 

The opening of the great Revolutionary struggle in 1 T T * "> found the 
Indian tribes almost to a man ranged on the British side against the 

R03 •' < Iherokee Nation, op. cit., p. 1 19; Eta 
2 Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 98 122; Royce, op. cit. pp. 146-149. 
> Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 109 122; Royce,. op, cit. p. U6et pa 
< Bartram, Travels, pp 166 i" ! 1792 


Americans. There was good reason for this. Since the fall of 
the French power the British government had stood to them as the 
sole representative of authority, and the guardian and protector 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 bonier man 
looked upon the Indian only as a cumberer of the earth. The British 
superintendents, Sir William Johnson in the north and Captain John 
Stuart in the south, they knew as generous friends, while hardly a 
warrior of them all was without some old cause of resentment against 
their backwoods neighbors. They felt that the only barrier between 
themselves and national extinction was in the strength of the British 
government, and when the final severence came they threw their 
whole power into the British scale. They were encouraged in this 
resolution by presents of clothing and other Moods, with promises of 
plunder from the settlement- and hopes of recovering 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 ammunition were issued to the warriors of all 
the tribes from the lakes to the gulf, and bounties were offered for 
American scalps brought in to the commanding officer at Detroit or 
Oswego. 1 Even the Six Nations, w ho had agreed in solemn treaty to 
remain neutral, were won over by these persuasions. In August, 177">. 
an Indian "talk" was intercepted in which the Cherokee assured Cam- 
eron, the resident agent, that their warriors, enlisted in the service of 
the king, were ready at a signal to tall upon the back settlements of 
Carolina and Georgia. 2 Circular letters were sent out to all those 
persons in the back country supposed to he 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 .Tune. 1776, a British fleet under command of Sir Peter Parker, 
with a large aavaland military force, attacked Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, both by land and sea. and simultaneously a body of ( 'herokee, led 
by Tories in Indian disguise, came down from the mountains and ravaged 
the exposed frontier of South Carolina, killing and burning as they 
went. After a gallant defense by 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 114). a 
noted friendly Indian woman of "teat authority in the ( 'herokee Nation. 
that seven hundred Cherokee warriors were advancing in two divisions 
against the Watauga and Holston settlements, with the design of 

'Kin: [>p ii. L.'iu s.v.; Mi >notte, Valley of the Mississippi, I, pp. 400, 401, 431, 432, and 

II, pp. 33. 34, 1846; Roosevelt. Winning of the West, I. pp. 276-281, and II, pp. 1-6, 1889. 
op. 'it., p. 143. 
'Quoted from Stedman, in Ramsey, op. cit., \>. 162. 
* Ramsey,op. cit., p. 162. 



destroying everything as far up as New river. The Holston men 
from b'oth sides of the Virginia line hastily collected under Captain 
Thompson and marched againsl the Indians, whom they met and 
defeated with signal loss after a hard-foughl battle near the Long 
island in the rlolston (Kingsport, Tennessee), on Augusl 20. The 
nexl da\ the second division of the Cherokee attacked the fori at 
Watauga, garrisoned by only forty men under ( Japtain .lame- Robert- 
son (15), but was repulsed without loss to the defenders, the Indians 
withdrawing on news of the result ai 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, hut tin' woman, after she had been condemned to 
death and everything was in readiness for the tragedy, was rescued by 

the interpositi f Nancy Ward. 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 country on Clinch river 
almost to its head, and killed a man and wounded other- at Black's 
station, now Abingdon, Virginia. 1 

At the same time that one pari of the Cherokee were raiding the 
Tennessee settlements others came down upon the frontiers of Caro- 
lina and Georgia. On the upper Catawba they killed many people, hut 
the whites took refuge in the stockade stations, where they defended 
themselves until General Rutherford (hi) came to their relief. In 
Georgia an attempt had been made by a small party of Americans to 
seize Cameron, who lived in one of the Cherokee towns with his Indian 
\\ ife. hut. as was to have been expected, the Indians interfered, killing 
several of the party and capturing others, who were afterward tortured 
lo death. The Cherokee of the Upper and Mid. lie town-, with some 
Creeks and Tories of the vicinity, led by Cameron himself, at once 
began ravaging the South Carolina border, burning houses, driving off 
cattle, and killing men, women, and children without distinction, until 
the whole country was in a wild panic, tin 1 people abandoning their 
farms to seek safety in the garrisoned forts. On one occasion an 
at t aids 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 tin; frontier forces were quickly mobilized and 

Ramse) Tenne ■. pp L50-159 1858 

Eto aevelt, Winning of the West, I, pp. 293-297, 1889. 


in the summer of 1776 four expeditions were equipped from Virginia, 
North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to enter the Cherokee 
territory simultaneously from as many different directions. 

In August of that year the army of North Carolina, 2,400 strong, 
under General Griffith 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, Stika'yi, or Stecoee, on 
the Tuekasegee, near the present Whittier. The inhabitants 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 
twostraggling Indians, and then proceeded on their mission of destruc- 
tion. Every town upon Oconaluftee, Tuekasegee, 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 driven into the 
fields for that purpose, and the stock itself killed or carried off. Before 
such an overwhelming force, supplemented as it was by three others 
simultaneously advancing from other directions, the Cherokee made 
but poor resistance, and tied with their women and children into the 
fastnesses of the Great Smoky 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 Wayagap of the Nantahala mountains, and one of the hardest tights 
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. 1 

On September M the South Carolina army, 1,860 strong, under 
Colonel Andrew Williamson, and including a number of Catawba 
Indians, effected 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 by 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, 1888; Swain, Sketch of the Indian War 
in 1776, ibid., May, 1852, reprinted in Historical Magazine, November, 1867; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 164, 
1853; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I, pp. 294-302, 1889, etc. 

19 ETH 01 4 

50 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.anu.m 

the lower Cherokee town- about the head of Savannah river, burning 

one town after another, cutting down the peach trees and ripened 
corn, and having an occasional brush with the Cherokee, who hung con- 
stantly 141011 their flanks. At the town of Seneca, near which they 
encountered ( 'aineron witti his Indian- 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 -tout resistance. The 
most serious encounter had taken place at Tomassee, where several 
whites and sixteen ( 'hcrokec wen- killed, the latter being all scalped 
afterward. Having completed the ruin of the Lower town-. Wil- 
liamson had cros-ed over Rabun gap and descended into the valley of the 
Little Tennessee to cooperate with Rutherford in the destruction of the 
Middleand Valley town-. 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 acre-, besides pota- 
toes, beans, and orchards of peach trees. The store- of dressed deer- 
skins and other valuables were carried off. Everything was swept clean, 
and the Indians who were not killed or taken were driven, homeless 
refugees, into the dark recesses 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 -Inly, while Williamson was engaged on the the upper Savannah, 
a force of two hundred Georgians, under Colonel Samuel .lack, had 
marched in the same direction ami succeeded in burning two towns on 
the heads of ( 'hat t ahoochee and Tugaloo rivers, destroying the corn 
ami driving oil' the cattle, without the loss of a man. the Cherokee 
having apparently fallen hack to concentrate for resistance in the 
mountains. 2 

The Virginia army, about two thousand strong, under Colonel 
William Christian (18), rendezvoused in August at the Long island 
of the Ilolston. the regular gathering place on the Tennessee side of 
the mountains. Among them were several hundred men from North 
Carolina, with all who could he spared from the garrisons on the 
Tennessee side. Paying hut little attention to small bodies of Lndi 
ans, who tried to divert attention ortodelay progress by flankattacks, 
they advanced steadily, hut cautiously, along the great Indian war- 
path (19) toward the crossing id' the French Broad, where a strong 
force of ( 'hcrokec was reported to he in waiting to dispute their pas- 
sage, .lust before reaching the river the Indians sent a Tory trader 

1 For Williamson's expedition, ••<■<■ Ross Journal, with Rockwell's notes, in Historical Magazine, 
October, 1876; Swain.Sketch of the rndian War in n~u, in North Carolina University Magazine for 
May, 1852, reprinted in Historical Magazine, November, 1867; Jones, Georgia, 11, p. 246et passim, 
1883 1: unsey, Tennessee, 168 164, 1858; 1: evelt, Winning of the West, 1, pp. 296 308, 1889. 

; .i 9, op. cit., p. 246; Ramsey, op. cit., p. 163; Roosevelt, op. cit., p. 295. 

mooney] christian's expedition — 1776 51 

with a flag of truce to discuss tonus. Knowing that his own strength 
was overwhelming. 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 fires and made all preparations as if intending 
to camp there for several days. As soon as night fell, however, he 
secretly 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 diffi- 
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 find no enemy. Disheartened at the 
strength of the invasion, the Indians had fled without even a show of 
resistance. It is probable that nearly all their men and resources had 
been drawn off 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, finding 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- 
time 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 boy taken from 
Watauga, already noted, and these two were reduced to ashes. The 
sacred "peace town,'" Echota (20), had not been molested. Most of 
the troops were disbanded on their return to the Long island, but a 
part remained and built Fort Patrick Henry, where they went into 
winter quarters. 1 

From incidental notices in narratives written by some of the partici- 
pants, we obtain interesting side-lights on the merciless character of this 
old border 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 

1 For the Virginia-Tennessee expedition see Roosevelt, Winning of the West, i, pp. 308-305, 1889; 
Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 165-170,1853. 

;>'- MVTHs OF THE CHEBOKJEE [cth.anh.19 

party of Indian-, was surrounded and entirely cut <>tl'. "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 
young white man. who was a good bruiser and expert at gouging. 
After breaking their guns on each other they laid hold of one another, 
when the cracker had bis thumbs instantly in the fellow's eyes, who 
roared and cried i ccmaly'' -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 his head, and scalped him 
alive; then took up one of the broken guns and knocked out hi.- 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, hut yet able to speak. After getting what informa- 
tion she could give them, through a half-breed interpreter, ■"the 

informer being unable to travel, 8 ! 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, being on a hunt of plunder. 
or Mime such thing, found an Indian squaw and took herprisoner, -he 
being lame, was unable to go with her friends. She was so sullen 
that -he would, as an old saying is. neither lead nor drive, and by their 
account she died in their hand-; hut 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 labor, that is, cutting and destroying all things that might 
be of advantage to our enemies. Finding here curious building-. 
great apple trees, and white-man-like improvements, these we 
destroyed." ' 

While 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 .lames Hall, the chaplain, as he ran. mis- 
taking him for an Indian."' Soon after they captured two women 
and a boy. 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, lsr.7. 

"Swain, sketch ol the Indian War ..f 1776, in Historical Magazine, November, 1867. 


scalp them immediately." The prisoners were accordinglj r sold for 
about twelve hundred dollars. 1 

At the Wolf Hills settlement, now Abingdon, Virginia, a party sent 
out from the fort returned with the scalps of eleven warriors. 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 barba- 
rous custom of scalping to which the border men had become habitu- 
ated in the earlier wars was practiced upon every occasion 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 (-1). 

The effect upon the Cherokee of this irruption of more than six 
thousand armed enemies into their territory was well nigh paralyzing. 
More than fifty of their towns had been burned, their orchards cut 
down, their lields wasted, their cattle and horses killed or driven off. 
their stores of buckskin and other personal property plundered. 
Hundreds of their people had been killed or had died of starvation 
and exposure, others were prisoners in the hands 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 British.' 1 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 
•Jo. 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 island, 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 yet in perfect operation these treaties 

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

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

'About rive 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. 246, 1S83). 

54 MYTHS OF THE OHEEOKEE bth.akii.19 

were negotiated by commissioners from the four states adjoining the 
Cherokee country, the territory thus acquired being parceled oul to 
Sou tli ( iarolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. 1 

While tlif Cherokee Nation had thus been compelled to a treaty of 
peace, a very considerable 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 sen! word 
that he was readj with five hundred young warriors to fighl for the 
Americans against the English or Indian enemy whenever called upon, 
Dragging-canoe (Tsiyu-gunsi'ni), who had led the opposition against 
the Watauga settlements, declared that he would holdfast to Cameron's 
talk and continue to make war upon those who had taken his hunting 
grounds. Under his leadership some hundreds id' 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 thej 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 >oon became noted for their uncompromising and never-ceasing 
hostility. In ITs-J. in consequence of the destruction of their towns 
liv Sevier and Campbell, they abandoned this location and moved 
farther down the river, where they built 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 L794.' 

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- 

i Royce, Cherol Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, i> 160 and map, 1888; Ramsey, 

rennessee pp 172-1 ens, G gia, II, p. 144, 1859; Roosevelt, Winning of tin- West, i. i>. 

806, 1889. 

i Ramsey, "p. eit., pp. 171-177. 186-186, 610 el passim; Royce, op. ■■it., p, 160; Campbell letter, 17sj. 
mill other documents in Virginia state Papers, in. pp. J7!. 571, 699, 1888, and tv. pp n\ 286, 1884; 
Hi. unit letter, January 14, 179:;. American State Papers; Indian Iffairs, i. p. Bl, 1882. Campbell says 

thej abandoned their first location on account oi the invasion from Tenne Governor Blount 

says they left on account of witches. 


ward Hawkins 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 (i^l'). 1 

In April. 1777. the legislature of North Carolina, of which Tennes- 
see was still a part, authorized bounties of land in the new territory 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 cut 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 sorely pressed by the 
Shawano and other northern tribes. 2 

The war between England ami the colonies 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 
ami South Carolina frontier, and with a British agent, Colonel Brown, 
and a number of Tory refugees regularly domiciled at Chickamauga, 3 
it was impossible for the Cherokee lone' to remain quiet. In the 
spring of 177'.» 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 delay 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 tin 1 occasion, they took the Chickamauga towns so 
completely by surprise that the few warriors remaining fled to the 
mountains without attempting to give battle. Several were killed, 
Chickamauga and the outlying villages were burned, twenty thousand 
bushels of corn were destroyed and large numbers of horses and cattle 
captured, together with a great quantity of goods sent by 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 lie 
assisted by British regulars, in a concerted attack along the whole 
American frontier. ( )n learning, through runnel's, of the blow that 
had befallen them, the Chickamauga warriors gave up all idea of 
invading the settlements, and returned to their wasted villages. 1 They, 
as well as the Creeks, however, kept in constant communication with 

1 Hawkins, manuscript journal, 1796, with Georgia Historical Socii ty. 

2 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 174-178, 1S53. 

3 t'ampbell letter, 1782, Virginia State Papers, ill, p. 271, 1883. 

< Ramsey, op. eit, pp. 186-188; Roosevelt. Winning of the West, II, pp. 236-238, 1889. Ramsey's state- 
ments, chiefly on Haywood's authority, of the strength of the expedition, the number of warriors 
killed, etc., are so evidently overdrawn that they are here omitted. 


the British commander in Savannah. In this year also a delegation of 
Cherokee \ isited the Ohio towns to offer condolences on the death of 
the noted I Delaware chief, White ej es. 1 

In tlic early spring of L780 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 hud just 
arrived by a toilsome overland route, and made the ti i-t 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 mountain. The family of a man named 
Stuart being infected with the smallpox, his boat dropped behind, and 
all on board, twenty-eight in number, were killed or taken by the 
Indians, their cries being distinctly heard by their friends ahead who 
were unable to help them. Another boat having run upon the rocks, 
the three women in it, one of whom had become 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, 
without 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. 2 As if in 
retributive justice, the smallpox broke out in the Chickamauga band in 
consequence of the capture of Stuart's family, causing the death of 
a great number.' 

The British having reconquered Georgia and South Carolina and 
destroyed all resistance in the south, early in L780 Cornwallis, with his 
subordinates, Ferguson and the merciless Tarleton, prepared to invade 
North Carolina and sweep the country northward to Virginia. The 
Creeks under McGillivray (S\). 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 refused, 
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 effort to holding in check the Indian 
enemy, but now, with the fate of the Revolution at stake, they felt 

Bei kewelder, [ndian Nations, p. 327, reprint oi 1876. 
*Donelson's Journal, etc., in Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 197-208, L853; Roosevelt, Winning of tin- West, 
ii, pp. ::ji ::i". 1889. 
•Ibid., ii. p ;:.;7. 


that the time for wider action had come. They resolved not to await 
the attack, hut 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 
Svcamore shoals of the Watauga to the number of about one thousand 
men under Campbell of Virginia, Sexier (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. 1780, 
and gained the decisive victory that turned the tide of the Revolution 
in the South. 1 

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, they were skilled as horsemen and marksmen, they knew how 
to face every 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." 2 

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 bauds were killing, burning, and plundering 
in the usual Indian fashion. Without 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 Sexier 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 Boyds creek, not far from the present Sex in - 
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, Winning of the West, II, pp. 241-294, 1SS9; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 208-249, 1853. 
- Roosevelt, op. cit., p. 256. 

58 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ajih.19 

with the result that they lefl thirteen dead ;m<l all their plunder, while 
not nnc of the whites was even wounded. 1 

A few days later Sevier was joined by ( ampbell with 1 1 1 * - remainder 
of tin' force. Advancing to the Little Tennessee with but slight 
resistance, thej crossed three miles below Echota while the Indians 
were watching for them at the f oi'd above. Then dividing into two 
bodies, thej proceeded to destroy the town- along the river. The 
chiefs sent peace talks through Nancy Ward, the Cherokee woman 
who had so befriended the whites in 177H. but to these overtures 
Campbell returned an evasive answer until he could first destroy 
the town- on lower Hiwassee, whose warriors had been particularly 
hostile. Continuing southward, the troops destroyed these town-. 
Hiwassee and Chestuee, with all their stoic- of provisions, finishing 
the work on the last day of the year. The Indians had lied before 
them, keeping -pie- out to watch their movements. One of these, 
while giving signals from a ridge by beating a drum, was -hot by the 
white-. 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 return march was begun on New Year's day. Ten prin- 
v cipal towns, including Echota, the capital, had been destroyed, besides 
several smaller villages, containing in the aggregate over one thousand 
house-, and not less than fifty 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 only 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 chief-, warning them to make 
peace on penalty of a worse visitation." 

Some Cherokee who met them at Echota. on the return march, to 
talk of peace, brought in and surrendered several white prisoners. 1 
One rea-on 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 away, raiding on the Upper Holston and in the neigh- 
borhood of Cumberland gap.' 

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

■ Roosevelt Winning of the West, II, pp. 298-800, 1889; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 261 264 1858 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 writei gives the Indians 1,000 warriors. Bere, us elsewhere, 
Roosevelt is .-i more reliable guide, his state nts being usually from official documents. 

s Roosevelt, op. '-it., pp. 300-304; K sej op cit, pp. 265 268; Campbell, report, January 16, 1781, in 

Virginia State Papers, i, p. 486. Hayw l and others after him make (lie expedition go as fur as 

Chickamauga and C a river, but Campbell's report express!} denies this. 

Ramsey op cit . p 266 

I Roose> 'It "p. '-it.. |i.302. 

mooney] TREATY OF LONG ISLAND 1781 59 

determined to make a sudden stroke upon them, and early in March 
of the same year. 1781, with 150 picked horsemen, he started to cross 
the Great Smoky 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 Tuckasegee, near the present 
Webster, North Carolina, he took the town completely by surprise, 
killing several warriors and rapturing- a number of women and chil- 
dren. Two other principal towns and three smaller .settlements were 
taken in the same way. with a quantity 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. 1 At the same time a smaller Tennessee expe- 
dition w r ent 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, hut none were met, although the country was scoured for a con- 
siderable distance. 3 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 Sexier fell suddenly 
upon their camp on Indian creek, killed a dozen warriors, ami scat- 
tered the rest. 1 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. 5 Tin' respite came just 
in time to allow the Tennesseeaus 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 marched into their country, 
destroying their towns as far as Valley river. Finding further prog- 
ress blocked by 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 ( 'reeks, again invaded ( leorgia, 

'Campbell, letter, March 28, 1781, in Virgin in slate Papers, t, p. 602, 1875; Martin, letter, Marcb.31,1781, 
ibid., p. 613; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 268, 1853; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, II, pp. 305-307, 1889. 
^Campbell, letter, March 28, 1781, in Virginia State Papers, I, p. 602, 1S75. 

3 Ramsey, op. eit.. p. 269. 

4 Ibid.; Roosevelt, op. eit.. p. 307. 

5 Ibid.; Ramsey, op. eit., pp. 267. 268. The latter authority seems i ate it 1782, which is evidently 

a mistake. 

60 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.amh.19 

but were met on Ocoi river and driven back by a detachment of 

American troops. 1 

The Overhill Cherokee, on lower Little Tennessee, seem to have been 

trying in g I faith to bold t<> the peace established at the Long 

island. Early in 17^1 the government land office had been closed to 
further entries, no! to be opened again until peace had been declared 
with England, bul the borderers paid little attention t<> the law in 
such matters, and the rage t'<>r speculation in Tennessee land- gre^ 
stronger daily. 8 In the fall of L 782 the chief, Old Tassel of Echota, 
<in behalf of all the friendly child's and towns, sent a pathetic talk 
tn the governors of Virginia and North Carolina, complaining that 
in spite of all their efforts to remain quiet 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.' A- was 
to have been expected, tin- was never dour. 

The Chickamauga band, however, and those farther to the south. 
were still Unit 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 about 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 -loo 
men. under General Pickens, had been 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. 5 This cession was concluded at a treaty of 
peace held with the Georgia commissioners at Augusta in the next 
year, and was confirmed later by the Creeks, who claimed an interest 
in the same lands, hut was never accepted by either as the voluntary 
, act of their tribe as a whole." 

By the preliminary treaty of Paris. November 30, 17nl'. the long 
Revolutionary Si ruggle for independence was brought toa (dose, and the 

Cherokee, a- well as the other tribes, seeing the hopelessness of con- 

>Steven9, G £ia, H, pp. 282-285, 1859; Jones, Georgia, n. p. 603, 1888. 

= Roosevelt, Winning of the West, ti, \>. 811, 1889. 

• Old Tassel's iulk, in Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 271, 1858, and In Roosevelt, op. cit., p. 816. 

1 Ramsey, op. cit., p. 272; Roosevelt, op. cit., i>. :si7 el passim. 

^Stevens "i>. cit., pp. 411-415. 

tRoyce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Aim. Rep. Bureau "i Ethnology, \: 151, 1888. 


mooney] TREATY OF HOPEWELL 1785 61 

tinning the contest alone, began to sue for peace. By seven years of 
constant warfare they had been reduced to the lowest depth of misery, 
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. 1 Deprived of the assistance 
of their former white allies they wee left to their own cruel fate, 
the last feeble resistance of the mountain warriors to the advancing 
tide of settlement came to an end with the burning of ( 'owee town, 8 and 
the way was left open to an arrangement. In the same year the North 
Carolina legislature appointed an agent for the Cherokee and made 
regulations for the government of traders among them.' 

Relations with the United States 
from the first treaty to the removal — 1785-1838 

Passing over several unsatisfactory and generally abortive negotia- 
tions conducted by the various state governments in L783-84, includ- 
ing' the treaty of Augusta already noted. 4 we come to the turning- 
point in the history of the Cherokee, their first treaty with the new 
government of the United States for peace and boundary delimitation, 
concluded at Hopewell (25) in South Carolina on November 28, 17s.">. 
Nearly one thousand Cherokee attended, the commissioners for the 
United States being Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (liti). 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 nearly as many different 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 confirming 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 
3,000 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 treaty until some years later. As finally arranged 
the treaty left the Middle and Upper towns, and those in the vicinity 

1 Sec documents in Virginia State Papers, ill. pp. 234. 39S, S27. 1883. 

- Ramsey. Tennessee, p. 280, 1853. 3 Ibid., p. 271. 

*See Royce, Cherokee Nation, op.cit,, pp.151,152; Ramsey, op. cit., p.299et passim. 


of Coosa river, undisturbed, while the whole country east of the Blue 
ridge, with tin- Watauga ai 'I ( "uni Ucrhi m I settlements, was given over 
to the white-. 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 a< 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 protection of the United States. The proceed- 
ings ended with the distribution of a few presents. 1 

While the Hopewell treaty defined the relations of the Cherokee to 
the general government and furnished a safe basis for future negotia- 
tion, it yet failed to bring complete 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 implacable Chickamauga 

towns, continued to annoy the exposed settlements, particularly on the 
Cumberland. The British had withdrawn from the South, but 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 hostility to the Americans. ' 
But the spirit of the Cherokee nation was broken and the Holston 
settlements were now too surely established to be destroyed. 

The Cumberland settlements founded by Robertson and Donelson in 
the winter of 1779-80 had had but short respite. Early in spring the 
Indians Cherokee. Creeks. Chickasaw, and northern Indians had 
begun a scries 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 L5, L781, a band of Indians stealthily 
approached Freelaud's station and had even succeeded in unfastening 

1 Indian Treaties, p. 8 el passim, i- ;:. For a full discussion of the Hopewell treaty, from official docu- 
ments, see Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 1 >2 158, 1888, with map; 
Treaty Journal, etc., American State Papers; Indian AfTnirs, i, pp. 38-44, 1832; also Stevens, Georgia, 
n, pp. 117 129,1859; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 336,337, 1853; see also the map accompanying this work. 

- I',:i \ , op. 'it. it 169 H'l. Agent Martin and Hopewell commissioners, ibid., pp, 31f 

Bledsoe and Robertson letter, ibid., p. 165; Roosevelt, Winning of the West. it. p.Stts, l«w. 


the strongly barred gate when Robertson, being awake inside, heard 
the noise and sprang up just in time to rouse the garrison and beat off 
the assailants, who continued to fire through the loopholes after they 
had been driven out of the fort. Only two Americana were killed, 
although the escape was a narrow one. 1 

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 id' the garrison into an ambush. It seemed that they would 
be cut otl'. 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. 2 

The attacks continued throughout 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. 1783, commissioners from Virginia 
and North Carolina arranged a treaty near Nashville (Nashborough) 
with chiefs of the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Creeks. Tjiis treaty. 
although it did not completely stop the Indian inroads, at least greatly 
diminished them. Thereafter the Chickasaw remained friendly, and 
only the Cherokee and < 'reeks continued to make trouble. 

The valley towns on Hiwassee, as well as those of Chickamauga, 
seem to have continued hostile. In L786a large body of their warriors. 
led by the mixed-blood chief. John Watts, raided the new settlements 
in the vicinity of the, present Knoxville, Tennessee. In retaliation 
Sevier again marched his volunteers across the mountain to the valley 
towns and destroyed three of them, killing a number of warriors; but he 
retired on learning that the Indians were gathering to give him battle. 4 
In the springof this year Agent Martin, stationedat 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 ('reeks and encouraged by the French and Spaniard-, were 
making preparations to destroy the Cumberland settlements. Not- 
withstanding the friendly professions of the others, a party sent out 
to obtain satisfaction for the murder 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. 5 "With lawdess men on both sides it is evident that peace was in 
jeopardy. In August, in consequence of further killing and reprisals, 
commissioners of the new "state of Franklin." as Tennessee was now 

1 Roosevelt, Winning of the West, n, p.353, 1889. 

2 Ibid., p. :;.». 1889; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 452-454, 1853. 

3 Ibid., pp. 358-366, 1889. * Ibid., p. 341, 1853. 
"Martin k-tu-r of Miiy 11, 1786, ibid., p. 142 


called, concluded a negotiation, locally known as the "treat}' 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 bad 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, l>\ the 
way, 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 -word, 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 -aid nothing to them on the subject, and SO the matter rested. 1 
The theory of state's rights was too complicated for the Indian under- 

While this conflict between state and federal authority continued, 
with the Cherokee lands as the prize, there could lie no peace. In 

March, L787, 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 inconsequence of the daily 
encroachments of the "Franklinites" or Tennesseeans, who had pro- 
ceeded to make good their promise by opening ;i hind office for the sale 
of all the lands southward to Tennessee river, including even apart id' 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 c-uns and ammunition to join in the 
war. ' As a result each further advance of the Tennessee settlements, 
in defiance 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 he drawn, accurately designating every spot sig- 
nalized by an Indian massacree, surprise, or depredation, or courageous 
attack, defense, pursuit, or victory by the whites, or station or fort 
or battlefield, or personal encounter, the whole of that section of 
country would lie studded over with delineations of such incidents. 
Every spring, every 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."' 1 The end was the 
winning of Tennessee. 

In the meantime the inroads of the Creeks and their Chickamauga 

> Reports of Tennessee commissioners unci replies by Cherokee chiefs, etc., 1786, in Ramsey, Tennes- 
see, pp. 843 846, 1853. 
•Martin (?) letter of March 25, lTsv, ibid., i>. 869. 
• Ibid., p. 870. 


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. 1 All through the year 1788 we hear 
of attacks and reprisals along the Tennessee border, although the 
agent for the Cherokee declared in his official report that, with the 
exception of the Chickamauga band, the Indians wished to lie 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. lie 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 
Favne 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. 2 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 inarch 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 thejr 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. 3 

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

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 393-399, 1853. = Ibid., pp. 417-423, 1853. 

3 Ibid., pp. 517-519, and Brown's narrative, ibid., p. 515. 

19 ETH — 01 5 


overpowered af ter a shorl 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 lolling of the women and 
children, reminding the whites of their own treachery in killing 
Abraham and the Tassel, and defiantly 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 vigorous 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. 1 

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 fiatboat nearly a year 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 various 
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 finally 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 ami had to be pulled alone- by force. 3 
The mother 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 been made with the Chickasaw, in 1783, by 
which they surrendered to the Cumberland settlement their own claim 
to the lands from the Cumberland river south to the dividing ridge of 
Duck river. 3 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.516, 519. 

■ Brown's narrative, etc., ibid.. pp. .308-516. 

a Ibid., pp. 159, 489. 

hookey] DESTRUCTION OF COLDWATER — 1787 <'>" 

hostile Creeks and Shawano, refused to acknowledge the cession and 
continued their attacks, with the avowed purpose of destroying the new 
settlements. Until the final running of the boundary line, in 1797, 
Spain claimed all the territory west of the mountains and south of 
Cumberland river, and her agents were accused of stirring up the 
Indians against the Americans, even to the extent of offering rewards 
for American scalps. 1 One of these raiding parties, which had killed 
the brother of Captain Robertson, was tracked to Coldwater, a small 
mixed town of Cherokee and Creeks, on the south side of Tennessee 
river, about the present 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 accidentally 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 Chickaniauga 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. 2 
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 pending 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 year, 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. 1 
A treaty of peace was signed with the Creeks in 1790, but, owing to 
the intrigues of the Spaniards, it had little practical effect, 4 and not 

i Bledsoe and Robertson letter of June 12, 1787. in Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 465, 1853. 
2 Ibid., with Robertson tetter, pp. 465-476. 
a Ibid., pp. 479-486. 

4 Monette, Valley of tin- Mi^i-Mppi, i. p ■■"'• lMr;. 

68 MTTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ass.19 

until Wayne'- decisive victory over the confederated northern tribes 
in L 794 and the final destruction of the Nickajack towns in tin- same 
\ ear did real peace came to the frontier. 

I!v deed of cession of February .!•">. 17'.»n. Tennessee ceased to be a 
pari of North < larolina and was organized under federal laws as " The 
Territory of the United Mate- south of the < >hio river," preliminary 
to taking full rank as a state six year- later. William Blount (27) 
was appointed lir-t territorial governor and also superintendent for the 
southern Indian-, with a deputy resident with each of the four prin- 
cipal tribes. 1 Pensacola, Mobile, St. Louis, and other southern posts 
were -till held by the Spaniard-, who claimed the whole country south 
of the Cumberland, while the British garrisons had not yet been with- 
drawn 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 alone- 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 belonging rightly to the Cherokee. 
in addition to those between the French Broad and the Holston. 2 
More than a year before the Secretary of War had stated that "the 
disgraceful violation of the treaty of Hopewell with the Cherokee 
requires the serious consideration of Congress. If so direct and man- 
ifest contempt of the authority of the United States tie suffered with 
impunity, it will he 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." 3 To prevent any increase of the dissatisfaction, the 
general government issued a proclamation forbidding any further 
encroachment upon the Indian kinds on Tennessee river; notwith- 
standing which, early in L791, a party of men descended the river in 
boats, and. landing on an island at the Muscle shoals, near the present 
ruscumbia, Alabama, erected a blockhouse and other defensive works. 
Immediately afterward the Cherokee chitd'. Class, with about sixty 
warriors, appeared and quietly informed them that if they did notat 
once withdraw he would kill them. After some parley the intruders 
retired to their boats, when the Indians set tire 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 fort, now Knox- 

1 Ramseyj Tennessee, pp. 522, ~<M ,56] . 1853. 

» Washington to the Si nate, lugusl 11, 1790, American State Papers: Indian Airuir*. [,p.83 1832 

Knox to Presldenl Washington, July 7, 1789, ibid., p.58. 
* Ramsey, op. clt., pp. 550, 551. 

moosey] TREATY OF HOLSTON 1791 69 

ville, Tennessee, in the summer of 1791. AYith 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 officially described 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 

1 n 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 favorable 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 17'.*7.' 

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 
Nenetooyah, or Bloody Fellow.'"' As he had been one of the prin- 

i 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. 554-560, 1853; Etoyee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth 
Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 158-170. with full discussion and map, 1888. 

'- Indian Treaties, pp. 37, 38, 1837. 

Til MTTH8 OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.akn.19 

cipal raiders on the Tennessee frontier, the new name may have been 
symbolicof bis change of bear! at the prospectof a return of peace. 

The treaty seems to have bad little effect in preventing Indian hos- 
tilities, probabrj because the intruders still remained upon the Indian 
lands, and raiding still continued. The Creeks were known to be 
responsible for someof the mischief, and the hostile Chickamaugas 
were supposed to be the chief authors of the rest. 1 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 lor 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 tor 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 Tinted States ethnologist began his work will he 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 ilin- performance of your duty will probably require the exercise of all your 
patience ami fortitude ami all your knowledge of the human character. Tin- school 
will 1 ie a severe but interesting one. [f you should succeed in acquiring the affections 
and a knowledge of the characters of the southern Indians, yon may lie at once use- 
ful to the United States ami 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 fur Indian affairs, ami inform him of all 
occurrences. You will also cultivate a correspondence with Brigadier-General 
McGillivray [the Creek chief], ami you will also keep a journal of your proceedings 
and transmit them to the War Office. . . . You are to exhibit to Governor 
Blount the Cherokee hook and all the writings therein, the messages to the several 
tribes' of Indians, ami these instructions. 

Your route will he hence to Reading; thence Harris's ferry [Harrisburg, Penn- 
sylvania] to Carlisle; to ferry on the Potomac; to Winchester; to Staunton: to 

■ Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 557, is",:;. 

2 Abel deposition, April 16, 1792, American state Papers: Indian Affairs, i, p. 274, 1882. 

mooney] RENEWAL OF WAR 17112 71 

, and t<i Holston. I should hope that you would travel upwards of twenty 

mile* each day, and that you would reach Holaton 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 fiver, thence by 

boats to the Cherokee towns. Shaw seems to have taken up his resi- 
dence at Ustanali, which had superseded Echota as the ( Iherokee capital. 
We hear of him as present at a council there in June of the same year. 
with no evidence of unfriendliness 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 they met, he was not safe 50 yards front the house. 
Soon afterwards the Chickamauga towns again declared war, on which 
account, together with renewed threats by the ('recks, 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 by a guard of friendly Cherokee. In the follow- 
ing winter he was dismissed front the service on serious charges, and 
his mission appears to have been a failure. 3 

To prevent an alliance of the Cherokee, Creeks, and other south- 
ern Indians with the confederated hostile 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. 1 

In November of this year the governor of Georgia officially 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 murdered — four women, three children, and a young man — all 
scalped and mangled and witlt arrows sticking in the bodies, while, 
according to old Indian war custom, two war clubs were left upon 

1 Henry Kii.'\. 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. 217. 1832; also Knox. 
letters to Governor Blount, January ;;i ami February 16, 1792, ibid., pp. 245, 246. 

- Estanaula conference report, June 26, 1792, ibid., i>. 271; Deraque deposition, September 15, 1792, 
ibid., p. 292; Pickens, letter, September 12, 1792, ibid., p.317. 

8 See letters of Shaw, Casey, Pickens, and Blount. 1792-93, ibid., pp. .'77, 278, 317, 136, 137, 140. 

■"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, 2U2. 

72 SIXTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [kth.ami.19 

the ground to -how by whom the deed wasd -. So swift was savage 


Early in 1792 a messenger who had been sent on business for Gov- 
ernor Blount to the Chickamauga towns returned with the report thai 
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 SI ia\\ aiio were urging the Cherokee to join them against the Ameri- 
cans; that a strong body of Creeks was on it- way against the Cum- 
berland settlements, and that the ( 'reck chief. Met rillivray, was trying 
to form a general confederacy of all the Indian tribes against the 
whites. To understand this properly it must lie remembered that at 
this time all the tribes northwest of the Ohio and as far as the heads 
of the Mississippi were banded together in a grand alliance, headed 
l>\ 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 a- if the American advance would he driven hack 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 dune 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 child's seemed to lie sincere in their assurances of friendship. 
Very few of the Choctaw or Cherokee were in attendance. At the 
annuity distribution of the Cherokee, shortly before, 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 ami 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 State-, 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 
he continued beyond the Cherokee boundary, the ridge between the 
waters of Cumberland and Duck rivers. The order issued by Colonel 
White, of Knox county, to each of his captains shows how great was 
the alarm: 

■ Governor Telfair's letters of November n ami December 5, with inclosure, 1792, American State 
Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp.332, 336, 887, 1832. 

2 Rainwy, Trancm 1 , i.|..;,r,_'-.«,:;,, is:,:;. 


Knoxville, September n. 1792. 
Sir: You arc hereby commanded to repair with your company to Knoxville, 
equipped, to protect the frontiers; there is imminent danger. Bring with you two 
days' provisions, if possible; but you are not to delay an hour on that head. 

I am. sir. yours, 

James White. 1 

About midnight on the 30th of September, 1792, the Indian force, 
consisting of several hundred Chickamaugas and other Cherokee, 
("reeks, 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 wtis furious and determined, the Indians rushing up to the 
stockade, attempting to set tire 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 blood, the stepson of the old white trader who had 
once rescued the boy 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 every point, and the assail 
ants finally drew off, 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 handful 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. 2 

In the same month arrangements were made for protecting the fron- 
tier along the French Broad by 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. 3 
There is no reason to suppose that the people of these towns were 
directly concerned in the depredations along the frontier at this period, 

1 Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 662-565, ls:>:v 

2 Blount, letter. October 2, 1792, in American 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. 


the mischief I >< ■ i 1 1 <j- done by those farther to the south, in conjunction 
with the ( ireeks. 

Toward the close of this year, L792, Captain Samuel Handley, while 
leading ;i small party of men to reenforce the ( Cumberland settlement, 
was attacked by a mixed force of Cherokee, Creeks, and Shawano, 
near the Grab Orchard, west of the presenl Kingston, Tennessee. 
Becoming separated from his men he encountered a warrior who had 
lifted his hatchet to >trikc when Handley seized the weapon, crying 
out "Canaly" (for higtona'lii), "friend," to which the Cherokee 
responded with tin' same word, at oner lowering his arm. Handley 
was carried to Willstown, in Alabama, where he was adopted into the 
Wolf elan (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. 1 

The year 1T'.»H 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 by a regrettable circumstance which 
occurred in June. While a number 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 Indians, including several 
chiefs and two women, one of them being the wife of Hanging-maw 
(Ushwa'li-guta), principal chief of the Nation, who was himself 
wounded. The murderers then tied, leaving others to suffer the conse- 
quences. Two hundred warriors at once took up arms to revenge their 
loss, and only the most earnest appeal from the deputy governor could 
lest rain 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. 8 

Believing that the Cherokee Nation, with the exception of the 
Chickamaugas, was honestly 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 different opinion, and in spite of the 
prohibition a company of nearly two hundred mounted men under 

i Ramsey, Tennessee, pp.571-673, 1863. »Ibid.,pp 


Colonels Doherty 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 many prisoners.' 

Late in September a strong force estimated at one thousand war- 
riors — seven hundred Creeks and three hundred Cherokee — under John 
Watts 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 25th, they heard the garrison tire 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 boy, 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. 2 

A force of seven hundred men under General Sevier wasat 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 intrenchments and 
prepared to make a stand, but, being outflanked, were defeated with 
loss and compelled to retreat. This town, with several others in the 
neighborhood belonging to both Cherokee and Creeks, w-as 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. 3 

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 
accompanying the remains to a neighboring burial ground for "inter- 
ment, two men who had incautiously gone ahead were tired upon. One 

1 Ramsey. Tennessee, p. 579. 

2 Ibid., pp. 580-583 1853; Smith. letter, September 27, 1793, American stale Papers: Indian Affairs, 
[, p. 468, 1832, Ramsey gives tin- Indian force 1,000 warriors; smith *nys that in many places they 
marched in tiles of Js abreast, each tile being supposed to number 40 men. 

a Ramsey, up. cit., pp. 584-588. ■ 

76 MYTH- OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.akk.19 

of them escaped, but the other one was fouud killed and scalped when 
the resl of thecompany came up, and was buried with the first victims.. 
Sevier's success brought temporary respite to the Cumberland settle- 
ments. During the early 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 Indian- in their camping 
places in the thickets, rather than waiting for them to come i n t < . the 

In February, 1 T'.*4. the Territorial assembly of Tennessee met at 
Knoxvillc and. among other business transacted, addressed a strong 
memorial to Congress calling for mure efficient protection for the 
frontier and demanding a declaration of war against the Creeks and 
Cherokee. The memorial states that since the treaty of Eiolston (July, 
L791), these two tribes bad 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 two great invasion- in September, 17'.':.'. and 
September, 1793, and the memorialists declare that there was scarcely 
a man of the assembly hut could tell of "a dear wife or child, an aged 
parent or near relation, besides friends, massacred by the hands of these 
bloodthirsty nations in their house or fields." 8 

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, and 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, 
vet 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. Tt was learned that Doublehead. of the Chicka- 
mauga towns, was trying 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 tow ns to hostilities, although John Watts, one of their prin- 
cipal chiefs, advocated peace. ' 

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

I Ramsey. Tennessee, pp. 590. 602-605. 1853. 

i Haywood, civil and Political Historj of Tennessee, pp 800-802; Knoxville, 1828 
ii, mi pp 308-308,1828; Ramsey, op. cit., pp. 591 594. Haywood's history of this period Is little more 
than a continuous record of killings and petty encounters. 

mooney] CONFLICTS WITH CREEKS — 1794 ii 

Tennessee river to Natchez. As it passed the Chickamauga towns it 
was fired upon from Running Water and Long island without damage 
The whites returned the tire, wounding two Indians. A large party of 
Cherokee, headed by White-man-killer (Une'ga-dihi"). 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, an. I 
plundered the goods. Three Indians were killed and one was wounded 
in the action. 1 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 26, 1794, another treaty, intended to be supplementary 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 
boundary then established, and the annuity was increased to five 
thousand dollars, with a proviso that fifty dollars were to be deducted 
for every horse -tolen by the Cherokee and not restored within three 
months. 2 

In July a man named John Ish was shot down while plowing in his 
field eighteen miles below Knoxville. By order of Hanging-maw, the 
friendly chief of Echota, a party 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 question 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 party 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 loth of August they came up with the 
Creeks, killing one and wounding 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 tiring 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 

1 Haywood, Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 308.1823; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 594. 1853; see 
also memorial in Putnam, Middle Tennessee, p. 502, 1859. Haywi lod calls the leader Unacala, which 
should be Une'ga-dihl', " White-man-killer.* ' Compare Hayw 1's statement with that of Wash- 
burn, on page 100. 

^Indian Treaties, pp. 39,40, 1837; Royce, Cherokee Nation. Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 171, 172, 1SS8: Documents of 17'.>7-v\ American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 628-631, 1832. 
The treaty is not mentioned by the Tennessee historians. 

78 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ajhi.19 

forty soldiers and a large body of Creeks near ('rah ( >rchard, in which 
several of each were killed. 1 It is evident that much of the damage 
on hnth sides <>t' the Cumberland range was due to the Creeks. 

In the meantime Governor Blount was trying to negotiate peace 
with tin' whole Cherokee Nation, but with little success. The Cher- 
okee claimed to he anxious for permanent peace, hut said thai 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 white-. 

They 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 ('reeks had started north against the settlements. 

The militia was at once ordered out alone- the Tennessee frontier, and 
the friendly Cherokees offered their services, while measures were 
taken to protect their women and children from the enemy. The 
( 'reeks advanced as far as Willstown, 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 lone- ago 
come to the conclusion that peace could he 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 issued by 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 Robertson was the chief organizer of the volunteers 
about Nashville, who were reenforced by a company id' 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 reason is commonly known as 
■•( he's expedition." 

< )n September 7. L794, the army 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 day 
bring the soldiers to destroy them. Having left their horses on the 
other side of the river, they moved up along the south hank just after 
daybreak of the L3th and surprised the town of Nickajack, killing 
several warriors and taking a Dumber of prisoners. Some who 
attempted to escape in canoes were shot in the water. The warriors 

-.1, Civil 1 Political Historj oi Tennessee, pp 809-311, 1828; Ramsey, rennessee, pp. 594, 

-IImvu l,op.cit.,pp 314-316; Ramsey, op. eit., p, 06. 

mooney] END OB 1 CHEROKEE WAR J 79-1 79 

iii Running Water town, four miles above, heard the firing and came 
at once to the assistance of their friends, but wen 1 driven back after 
attempting to hold their ground, and the second town shared the fate 
of the first. More than fifty Indians had been killed, a number were 
prisoners, both towns and all their contents had been destroyed, 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. 1 

Soon after the return of the expedition Robertson sent a message to 
John Watts, the principal leader of the hostile Cherokee, threatening 
a second visitation if the Indians did not very soon surrender their 
prisoners and give assurances of peace. 2 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 warriors, attended. The 
result was satisfactory; all differences were arranged on a friendly 
basis and the long Cherokee war came to an end. 3 

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 1782 and settled on 
Paint creek, a branch of the Scioto river, in the vicinity of their 
friends and allies, the Shawano. In 17*7 they were reported to num- 
ber about 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 w T hole band would leave Ohio forever and return to their 
people in the south. 4 

'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 L71, 
1888; Ore, Robertson, and Blount, reports, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i, pp. 632-634, 1832 

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

Tellico lferenee, November 7-8, 1794, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, i. pp. 536-538, ls:!2, 

Royce, op. cit.. p. 173; Ramsey, op. cit, p. 596. 

'Beaver's talk. 17sl, 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, American State Papers; Indian Affairs, I, p. 538, 1832; Greenville treaty conference, August, 
1795, ibid., pp. 582-583. 

80 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.akn.19 

The Creeks were -till hostile and continued their inroads upon the 
western settlements. Early in January, 17'.i.">. Governor Blount held 
another conference with the Cherokee and endeavored t" persuade 
them i" organise a company of their young men to patrol the frontier 
against the Creeks, but to this proposal the chiefs refused to consent. 1 

In the next year it was discovered that a movement was on foot to 
take possession of certain Indian lands south of the Cumberland on 
pretense of authority formerly granted by North Carolina for the 
relief of Revolutionary 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 IT'.tT for procuring a new treaty with 
the Cherokee by which the ejected settlers might '»■ 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 ( lumber- 
land. Tin 1 Revolutionary warfare had forced the Cherokee west and 
south, and their capital and central gathering place was now 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, hut was brought to an 
abrupt (dose by the peremptory refusal of the Cherokee to sell any 
land- or to permit the return of the ejected settlers. 

The rest of the summer was spent in negotiation alone' the linos 
already proposed, and on October 2, L798, 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 
t reaty the Indians ceded a tract between ( !linch river and the Cumber- 
land ridge, another alone- the northern hank of Little Tennessee 
extending up to Chilhowee mountain, and a third in North Carolina mi 
the heads of French Broad and Pigeon rivers and including the sites 

i Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. IT:;, 1888 
s Ibid., pp. 174,175; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp ''7'.' • - 


of the present Waynesville and Hendersonville. These cessions 
included most or all of the lands from which settlers had been 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 United States 
agreed to deliver to the Cherokee five thousand dollars in goods, and 
to increase their existing annuity by one thousand dollars, and as usual, 
to •■continue the guarantee of the remainder of their country forever."' 

Wayne's victory over the northern tribes at the battle of the Mau- 
niee rapids completely broke 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 continued to 
hold in spite of the treaty made at the close of the Revolution. By 
the treaty made at Madrid in October, L795, Spain gave up all claim 
on the east side of the Mississippi 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. Tennessee, until the fall of 1797, while that at 
Natchez, in Mississippi, was not surrendered until March. 1798. The 
Creeks, seeing the trend of affairs, had made peace at Colerain. 
Georgia, in June, 179t>. 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 must 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 compact 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 4:3,000 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 of Tennessee, the remainder 
being almost equally divided between Georgia and Alabama, with a 
small area in the extreme southwestern corner of North Carolina. 2 
The old Lower towns on Savannah river had been broken up for 
twenty years, and the whites had so far encroached upon the Upper 
towns that the capital and council tire of the nation had been removed 
from the ancient peace town of Echota to Ustanali, in Georgia. The 

i Indian Treaties, pp. 78-82. 1837; Ramsey, Tennessee, pp. 692-697. ls.">:;; Royce, Cherokei 
(with map and full discussion i, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 174-lw, 1888. 
-See table in Royce, op.cit., p. 378. 

19 ETH— 01 6 

82 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ank.19 

towns on Coosa river and in Alabama were almost all of recent estab- 
lishment, peopled by refugees from the east and north. The Middle 
towns, in North Carolina, were still surrounded by Indian country. 

Firearms had been 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 trader-. Horses and other 
domestic animals had been introduced early in the century, and at the 
opening of the war of L760, according to Adair, the Cherokee had "a 
prodigious number of excellent horses." and although hunger had 
compelled them t<> 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 hoes and poultry, 
the Indian pork being esteemed better than that raised in the white 
settlements on account of the chestnut diet. 1 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 fields, 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- 
perity throughout the nation. The native arts () f pottery and basket- 
making were still the principal employment of the women, and the 
warriors hunted with such success that a party of traders brought 
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 17U1, to furnish the Cherokee gratuitously with farming 
tools and similar assistance. This policy was continued and broadened 
to such an extent that in L801 Hawkins reports that "in the Cherokee 
agency, the wheel, the loom, 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 year we find 
the chiefs of the mountain towns complaining that the people of the 
more western and southwestern settlements had received more than 
their share of spinning wheels and cards, and were consequently more 
advanced in making their own clothing as well as in farming, to which 

1 Adair, American Indians, pp.280,281, I77.Y 

2 See Hawkins, MS journal from South Carolina to tin- Creeks, 17%, in library of Georgia Historical 


the others retorted that these things had been offered to all alike at 
the same time, but while 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 John Watts, Doublehead. and Will, threatened 
to secede from the rest and leave those east of Chilhowee mountain to 
shift for themselves. 1 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, chiefly traders of the ante-Revolu- 
tionary period, with a few Americans from the back settlements. The 
families that have made Cherokee history were nearly all of this mixed 
descent. The Doughertys, Galpins. and Adairs were from Ireland: the 
Rosses, Vanns, and Macintoshes, 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 different 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 1758, but nothing seems to have 
come of it, and we find him soon after in South Carolina and separated 
from his original jurisdiction. 2 The first permanent mission was estab- 
lished by the Moravians, those peaceful German immigrants whose 
teachings were so well exemplified in the lives of Zeisberger and 
Heckewelder. As early as 1734, while temporarily 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 No. 5, m library of Georgia Historical Society. 
-Foote (?), in North Carolina Colonial Records, v. p. 1'2'J6, 1887. 


North Carolina, where 1 1 n - \ made friendly acquaintance with the 
Cherokee. 1 In L799, hearing thai the Cherokee desired teachers or 
perhaps bj direct invitation of the chiefs two missionaries visited 
the tribe to investigate the matter. Another visit wa- made in the 
next summer, and a council was held at Tellico agency, where, after a 
debate in which the Indians showed considerable difference <>t' opinion, 
it was decided tn open a mission. Permission having been obtained 
from the government, the work was begun in April. L801, by Rev. 
Abraham Steiner and Rev. Gottlieb Byhan at the residence of David 
Vann, a prominent mixed-blood chief, who lodged them in his own 
bouse and gave them every assistance in building the mission, which 

they afterward called Spring place, where now is the village of the 
same name in Murray county, northwestern Georgia. They were 
also materially aided by 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 1 pened the great council at I'stanali sent orders to the 

missi iries 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 by Reverend .1. Gambold 
at Oothcaloga, in the same county, in 1821. Roth were in flourishing 
condition when broken up. with other Cherokee missions, by the Stair 
of Georgia in 1834:. The work was afterward renewed beyond the 
Mississippi. 5 

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. 8 

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 hear, chiefly through the 
efforts of the agent, Colonel Meigs, that the object of the Government 
was accomplished, and in L804 and 1805 three treaties were negotiated 
at Tellico agency, by which the Cherokee were shorn id' 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 "Warlord 

' North Carolina Colonial R rds, v. p. \,;. 

JReichel, E. II.. Historical Sketch of the Church and Missions of the I nited Brethren, pp. 65 81; 
hem en L848; Holmes, J. ait,. Sketches ol the Missions o! the United Brethren, pp. 124, 125, 

109 i ! Dublin L818: II pson, A. ('.. Moravian Mis-ions, p. 341; New York, 1890; De Schweinitz, 

Edmund, Life ol Zeisberger, pp. 894 196 Phils . 1870. 

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

mooney] TREATY OF WASHINGTON — 18(»6 85 

settlement," upon which a party led by Colonel Wafford had located 
some years before, under the impression that it was outside the bound- 
ary established bythe Hopewell treaty. In compensation the Cherokee 
were to receive an immediate payment of live thousand dollars in 
goods or cash with an additional annuity of one thousand dollars. By 
the other treaties — October 25 and u'7. L805 — a large tract was obtained 
in central Tennessee and Kentucky, extending between the Cumber- 
land range and the western line of the Hopewell treaty, and from 
Cumberland river southwest to Duck river. One section was also 
secured at Southwest 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, orcash, 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 Tollunteeskee, the agreement being recorded as a part 
of the treaty, but not embodied in the copy sent to the Senate for con- 
firmation. 1 In consequence 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. 2 

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- 
try, and there was a strong and constant 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, 1806, 
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. They 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; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnol- 
ogy, pp. 183 193, 1888 (map and full discussion I. 
-McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, n, p. 92, 1858. 

86 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

of one hundred dollars for Black-fox, the aged head chief of the nation. 
The signers of the instrument, including Doublehead and Tollunteeskee, 
were accompanied to Washington by the same commissioners who had 
procured the previous treaty. In consequence of some misunderstand 
ing, the boundaries <>l' the ceded trad were Mill further extended in a 

supple ntary treaty concluded at the Chickasaw Old Fields on the 

Tennessee, on September 11. L807. As the country between Duck 
river and the Tennessee was claimed also by t In- Chickasaw, their title 
was extinguished by separate treaties.' The ostensible compensation 
for this lust Cherokee cession, as shown by the treaty, was two thou 
sand dollars, but it was secretly agreed by Agent Meigs that what he 
calls a "silenl consideration" of one thousand dollars and some rifles 
should be given to the chiefs who signed it. ; 

In L807 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 ores 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, hut after prolonged 
effort the project was finally abandoned on account of the refusal of 
the state of Tennessee to sanction the grant. 3 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 L810 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, April IS, 1810. 

1. Be it known this .lay, That the various clans or tribes which compose the Cher- 
okee nation have unanimously passed an act of oblivion 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 clan or tribe thereof. 

•1. Tlie 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; 

i Indian Treaties, pp. 132-136, 1837; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Kip. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 193-197, 1888. 

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

si < treaty, December ^, 1807, and Jefferson's message, with inclosures, March 10, 1808, American 
State Papers: Indian Affairs, i. pp. 752-754, 1832; Royce, op.cit., pp. 199-201. 

• Ibid., pp. 201,202. 


and. should it so happen thai a brother, forgetting his natural affections, should 
raise his hands in anger and kill his brother, he shall be accounted guilty of murder 
and suffer accordingly. 

::. If a man have a horse stolen, and overtake the thief, and sin mid his anger be 

so great as to cause him to shed his hi 1, let it remain on his ow n conscience, bul 

no satisfaction shall be required for his life, from his relative or clan he may have 
belonged to. 

Bj order of the seven clans. ' 

Under an agreement with the Cherokee in 1813a company composed 
pf representatives of Tennessee, Georgia, and the Cherokee nation 
was organized to lay out a free public road from Tennessee river to 
the head of navigation on the Tugaloo branch of Savannah river, with 
provision for convenient stopping places alone- the line. The road 
was completed within the next three years, and became the great high- 
way from the coast to the Tennessee 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 Unicoi gap. and Hiwassee in Georgia; 
then entering North Carolina it descended the Hiwassee, passing 
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 Wachesa 
trail, from Watsi'sa or Wachesa, 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 
bore that name. 3 

Passing over for the present some negotiations having for their pur- 
pose the removal of the Cherokee to the West, 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 (33), to weld again the conf ederacj' of the 
northern tribes as a harrier 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 was that the Indians must return 
to their old Indian life it' they would preserve their national existence. 
The new doctrine spread among all the northern tribes and at hist 
reached those of the south, where TecumAha 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 

iln American State Papers: Indian Affairs, n, p. 283, 1831. 

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


anticipation of an expected war with the United Stair- the British 

agents in Canada had I n encouraging the hostile feeling toward the 

Americans by talks and presents of goods and ammunition, while the 
Spaniards also covertly fanned the flame of discontent.' At the beighl 
of the ferment war was declared between thi- country and England on 
June 28, 1812. Tecumtha, :it the bead of fifteen hundred warriors, at 
once entered the British service with a commission as general, while 
the Creeks began murdering and burning along the southern frontier, 
after having vainly attempted to secure the cooperation of the ( Iherokee. 

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 rare. A greal medicine 
dance was appointed at (Jstanali, 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, hut nevertheless he must continue to 
hear testimony of his mission whatever might happen. The Cherokee 
had broken the road which had been given to their fathers at the begin- 
ningof the world. They hud taken the white man's clothes and trinkets. 
they had beds and tables and mills; some even had hooks and cats. All 
this was had, and because of it their gods were angry and the game 
was leaving their country. If they would live and be happy as before 
they must put off the white man's dress, throw away his mills and 
looms, kill their cats, put on paint and buckskin, 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 
Ridge, a principal child', had the courage to stand up and oppose it, 
warning his hearers that such talk would inevitably lead to war with 
the United States, which would end in their own destruction. The 
maddened followers of the prophet sprang upon Ridge and would have 
killed him hut for the interposition of friends. As it was. he was thrown 
down and narrowly escaped with his life, while one of his defender- 
was stabbed by his side. 

The prophet had threatened after a certain time to invoke a terrible 
storm, which should destroy all hut 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 Ami. Rep. Bim'au of Ethnology, p. 670 el passim, 
1896; contemporary documents in American State Papers: [ndian Affairs,!, pp. 798-801, 845 

moosev] BEGINNING OF CREEK WAR — 1813 89 

in<r their hopes and fears t<> be groundless, when they sadly returned 
to their homes and the great Indian revival among the Cherokee came 
in an end. 1 

Among the ('recks, where other hostile influences were at work, the 
excitement culminated in the Creek war. Several murders and outrages 
had already been committed, but it was not until the terrible massacre 
at Fort Minis (34), on August 30, L813, 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. 2 
More than a year 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 murderers were 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 Creeks 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 affairs of other tribes, whereupon Ridge called for 
volunteers, with the result that so many of the warriors responded that 
the 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 confined 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 (•".»'.). was the 
leader of the war party. The Lower Creek towns on the Clu.ttahoo- 

iSee Mooney, Ghost dance Religion, Fourteenth Aim. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 670-677, 1896; 
McKennej and Hall, Indian Tribes, II, pp. 93-95, 1858; see also contemporary letters (1813, etc.) by 

Hawkins. Cornells, and others in American state Papers: Indian Affairs, i, 1S32. 

-Letters of Hawkins, Pinckney, and Cussetah King, July, 1813, American State Papers: Indian 
Affairs, II, pp. 847-849, 1832. 

:l Meigs, letter, May s. 1812, and Hawkins, letter. May 11, 1812, ibid., p.809. 

4 Author's information from James I). Wafford. 

'MeKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, n, pi.. 96-97, IS 8 

■ Mi MYTHS OF THE CHKEOKEE [bth inn- .19 

chec, under Mcintosh, 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, but 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 chiefly with the army under Genera] Floyd which invaded 
the southern pari of the Creels country from Georgia. Some friendly 
Choctaw and Chickasaw also lenl their assistance in tin- direction. 
The Cherokee, with some friendly Creeks of the Upper towns, acted 
with tli*' armies under Generals White and .lack-on. which entered 
the Creek country from the Tennessee side. While some hundreds 
of their 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, 
L813, be wa- met by runners asking him to come to the aid of Path- 
killer, a Cherokee chief, who was in danger of being cut off by the 
hostilcs. 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. 1 

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 Richard Brown 
and some few Creeks, were sent against them. The Indian auxiliaries 
wore headdresses of white feathers and deertails. The attack was 
made at daybreak of November •"». 1813, and the town was taken after 
a desperate resistance, from which not one <ff the defenders escaped 
alive, the Creeks having been completely surrounded on all sides. 
Says Coffee in his official report: 

They made all the resistance thai an overpowered soldier could '1<> — they fought as 
long as "lie existed, but their destruction was very Boon completed. Our men rushed 
up i" the doors of the house- ami in a few minutes killed the last warrior of then). 
The enemy f ought with savage fury and met death with all its horrors, without 
shrinking or complaining — not one asked to he spared, butfought as long as they 
could stand or sit. 

< )f such fighting stuff did the Creeks prove themselves, against over 
whelming numbers, throughout the war. The bodies of nearly two 
hundred dead warriors were counted on the field, and the general 
reiterates that "not one of the warriors escaped." A number of 
women and children were taken prisoners. Nearly every man of the 
Creeks had a how with a bundle of arrows, which he used after the 

'Drake, Indians, pp. 895-396, 1880; Pickett, Alabama, p, 556, reprint "i 1896. 


first fire with his gun. The American loss was only five killed and 
forty-one wounded, which may not include the Indian contingent. 1 

White's advance guard, consisting chiefly of the four hundred other 
Cherokee under Morgan and Lowrey, reached Tallaseehatchee the same 
evening, only to find it already destroyed. They picked up twenty 
wounded Creeks, whom they brought with them to Turkeytown. 5 

The next great battle was at Talladega, on the site of the present 
town of the same name, in Talladega county. Alabama, on November 9, 
1813. Jackson commanded in person with two thousand infantry and 
cavalry. Although the Cherokee are not specifically mentioned they 
were a part of the army and must have taken part in the engagement. 
The town itself was occupied by friendly Creeks, who were besieged 
l>y 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 Creeks 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 only a part of 
their total loss. The Americans lost fifteen killed and eighty-five 
wounded. 3 

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 from east Tennessee under General White, who claimed 
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 confidently to the success of their peace embassy 
that they had made no preparation for defense. Sixty warriors were 
killed and over two hundred and fifty prisoners taken, with no loss to 
the Americans, as there was practically 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 gave undeniable evidence that they merit the employ of 
their government."' Not knowing that the attack had been made 
without Jackson's sanction or knowledge, the Creeks naturally con- 

1 Coffee, report, etc., in Drake, Indians, p. 396, 1880; Lossing, Field Book of the War of 1812, pp. 
762,763 [n. d. (1869)]; Pickett, Alabama, p. 553, reprint of 18%. 

2 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. 240. 241: Rutland, Vt., 1815; 
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 "f 300 Cherokee Indians." Pickett gives White 400 Cherokee. 


eluded thai peace overtures were of no avail, and thenceforth until 
tlir close of the war there was m> talk of surrender. 

On November 29, L813, the Georgia army under General Floyd, 
consisting of nine hundred and fifty American troops and four hun- 
dred friendly Indian-, chiefly Lower Creeks under Mcintosh, took 
and destroyed Autossee town on the Tallapoosa, west of the present 
Tuskegee. killing about two hundred warriors and burning four hun- 
dred well-buill nouses. On December .'•': the Creeks were again 
defeated by General Claiborne, assisted by some friendly Choctaws, 
at Ecanachaca or the Holy Ground on Alabama river, near the present 
Benton in Low ndes county. This town and another a few miles awav 
were also destroyed, with a great quantity of provisions and other 
property. 1 It is doubtful if any Cherokee were concerned in either 

Before the close of the year Jackson's force in northern Alabama 
had been so far reduced by mutinies and expiration of service terms 
that he had l>ut one hundred soldiers left and was obliged to employ 
the Cherokee to garrison Fort Armstrong, on the upper Coosa, ami to 
protect his provision depot.' With theopeningof the new year, L814, 
having received reinforcements from Tennessee, together with about 
two hundred friendly Creeks and sixty-five more Cherokee, he left his 
camp on the Coosa and advanced against the towns on the Tallapoosa. 
Learning, on arriving near the river, that he was within a few miles 
of the main body of the enemy, he halted for a reconnoissance and 
camped in order of Wattle on Fmukfaw creek, on the northern hank of 

the Tallaj sa, only a short distance from the famous Horseshoe bend. 

Here, on the morning of June 24, 1814, he was suddenly attacked by 
the enemy with such fury that, although the troops charged with the 
bayonet, the Creeks returned again to the fight and were at last broken 
only by the help of the friendly Indians, who came upon them from 
the rear. As it was, .lack-on was so badly crippled that he retreated 
to Fort Strother on the Coosa, carrying his wounded, among them ( ren- 
eral Coffee, on horse-hide litters. The Creeks pursued and attacked 
him again as he was crossing Enotochopco creek on January 24, hut 
after a severe fight were driven back with discharges of grapeshot from 
a six-pounder at close range. The army then continued its retreat to 
Fort Strother. The American loss in these two battles was about one 
hundred killed and wounded. The loss of the ( 'reeks was much greater, 
hut 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 saved his army from demoralization. 
The Creeks themselves claimed a victory and boasted afterward 

that they had " whipped Jackson and run him to the Coosa fiver." 

Indian! pp 191, 898, 1880; Pickett, Alabama, pi 9 92 96 reprint of 189C 

'Ibid., p. 579; Lossfng Field Book of the War of 1812, p. 77:; 

hookey] BATTLE OF HORSESHOE BEND — 1814 V)3 

Pickett states, on what seems good authority, that the Creeks engaged 
did not number more than five hundred warriors. Jackson had prob- 
ably at least one thousand two hundred men. including Indians. 1 

While these events were transpiring in the north, General Floyd 
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, Alabama, on the 
morning of January 27, 1814, and compelled to retreat, leaving the 
enemy in possession of the field. 2 

We come now to the final event of the Creek war, the terrible battle 
of the Horseshoe bend. Having received large reenforcements from 
Tennessee, Jackson left a garrison at Fort Strother, and. about the 
middle of March, descended the Coosa river to the mouth of Cedar 
creek, southeast from the present Columbiana, where he built Fori 
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 bend 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 about 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 strong breastwork of logs, behind 
which were their houses, and behind these were a number of canoes 
moored to the bank 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 •_'". 1814, 
is best condensed from the official reports of the principal commanders. 

Having arrived in the neighborhood of the fort, Jackson 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 
foi-d about three miles below and surround the bend in such manner 
that none could escape in that direction. He himself, with the restof 
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. 579-584, reprint of 
1896; Drake, Indians, pp. 398-400, 1S80. Piekett says Jackson had "767 men. with mi 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 In- started with 930 men, excluding Indians, and 
was joined at Talladega " by between 200 and 300 friendly Indians;" ' > being Cherokee the resl 
Creeks. The inference is that he already had a number of Indians with him at the start— probablj 
the Cherokee who had been doing garrison duty. 

2 Pickett, op. cit., pp. 584-586. 

9 1 MYTH8 OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ank.19 

iiuii upon a slight rise within eighty yards of the fortification, tie then 
directed a heavy cannonade upon the center of the breastwork, while 
the rifles mid muskets kept up a galling fire upon the defenders when- 
ever they showed themselves behind the logs. The breastwork was 
very strongly and compactly built, from five to eight feel high, with a 
double row of portholes, and so planned that no enemy could approach 
without being exposed to a crossfire from those on the inside. After 
about two hours of cannonading and rifle fire to no great purpose, 
"Captain Russell's company of spies and a party of the Cherokee 
tone, 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. They 
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 enemy, and that General Coffee had secured 
the opposite hanks of the river. I now determined on taking possession 
of their works by storm.'" ' 

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 rest 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 says: 

The firing of your cannon and small arms in a short time l>ecame 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 
hank, others plunged into the water ami swam the river for canoes thai lay at the 
other shore in considerable numbers and brought them over, in which crafts a num- 
ber of them embarked and landed on the bend with the enemy. Colonel Gideon 
Morgan, who < unanded the Cherokees, Captain Kerr, and Captain William Rus- 
sell, with a part of his company of spies, were a lg 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 of the river bank. 9 

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 !<• Governor Blount, March 81, 1814, in Fay and Pavison, Sketches of the War, 
pp. 253,234, 181 • 
'General Coffee's report to General Jackson, April 1,1814, Ibid., i>. 267. 


that no part was left unoccupied, and the few fugitives who attempted 
to escape from the fort by water "fell an easy prey to their ven- 
geance." Finally, seeing that the cannonade had no mure 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 back 
a number of canoes. A part crossed in these, under cover of the guns 
of their companions, and sheltered themselves under the bank while 
the canoes were sent hack for reenforcements. In this way 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 righting. 1 

The Creeks had been righting the Americans in their front at such 
close quarters that their bullets flattened upon the bayonets thrust 
through the portholes. This attack from the rear by five hundred 
Cherokee diverted their attention and gave opportunity to the Tennes- 
seeans, Sam Houston among them, cheering them on. to swarm over 
the breastwork. With death from the 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 rind the banks on the opposite side lined with enemies 
and escape cut off in every direction. Says General Coffee: 

Attempts to cross the river at all points of the bend were made by the enemy, but 
nnt .me ever escaped. Very few ever reached the bank and that lew was killed the 
instant they landed. From the report of my officers, as well as from my own obser- 
vation, I feel warranted in saying that from two hundred and fifty to three hundred 
of the enemy was buried under water and was not numbered with tin- 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. They were sunk by 
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 bravery 
which desperation inspires, were at last entirely routed and cut to pieces. The battle 
may be said to have continued with severity for about five hours, but the firing 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. 3 

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 fifty to 

•Colonel Morgan's report to Governor Blount, in Fay and Davison, Sketches of tin- War, pp. 258, 
259 1815. 
2 Coflee's report to Jackson, ibid., pp. 257,258. 
3 Jackson's report to Governor Blount, ibid., pp. 255,256. 

96 MYTH- 01 THE CHEROKEE ure.19 

three hundred were shot in the water. How many more there may 
have been can not be known, bul 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.' 

( )n the other side the loss vras 26 Americans killed and I07 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 fighting having been hand to 
hand work without protecting 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 enemy 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. Coffee's official report states that five hundred Cherokee 
were engaged in 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, 8 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 Washingtoi wspaper notice of the treaty 

> Jackson a report and Colone] Morgan's report, in Fay and Davison, Sketches ol the War, pp. 255, 
250,259, 1815. Pickett makes tin- lossoi the white troops 82 killed and 99 wounded, rhi Houston 
reference Is (rom Lossing. The battle Is described also bj Pickett, Alabama, pp.588 691, reprint 
ol 1896; Drake, in. Man-, pp. 891, 100, 1880; McKenney an.! Hall. Indian l ribes, n. pp.98,99, 1858. 

'McKenney and Hull, op, .'it., p. 98. 


delegation of 1816 the six signers arc mentioned as Colonel [John] 
Lowrey, Major [John] Walker, Major Ridge, Captain [Richard] Taylor, 
Adjutant [John] Ross, and Kunnesee (Tsi'yu-gunsi'm, Cheucunsene) and 
are described as men of cultivation, nearly all of whom had served as 
officers of the Cherokee forces w ith Jackson and distinguished themselves 
as well by their bravery as by their attachment to the United States. 1 
Among the East Cherokee in Carolina the only name still remembered 
is that of their old chief. Junaluska (Tsunu'Iahufl'ski), who said after- 
ward: "If 1 had known that Jackson would drive us from our homes 
u/' I would have killed him that day at the Horseshoe." 

The Cherokee returned to their homes to rind them despoiled and 
ravaged in their absence by disorderly white troops. Two years after- 
ward, by treaty al Washington, the Government agreed to reimburse 
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 he 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 tine men. 
whose wives and children and brothers and sisters are mourning their 
fall." 2 

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 Name date. March 22, 
1816. By the first of these the Cherokee ceded for five thousand dollars 
their last remaining territory in South Carolina, a small strip 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 Alabama. This action was made 
necessary in order to determine the boundaries of the great tract 
which the Creeks had been compelled to surrender in punishment for 
their late uprising. The li no 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- 
era] Jackson protested strongly against this line, on the ground that 
all the territory south of Tennessee river 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. 

- Indian Treaties, p. 187, 1837; Meigs' letter to Secretary of War, August 19, 1816, in American State 
Papers: Indian Affairs, n, pp. 113, 114, 1X34. 

It) ETH — 01— 7 

98 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

for damages sustained i>\ the Cherokee from the depredations of the 
troops passing through their country during the Creek war. 1 

At the lasl treaty the Cherokee had resisted r\<-\-\ efforl to induce 
them i" cede more land on either side of the Tennessee, the Govern- 
ment being especially desirous t" extinguish their claim north of thai 
river within the- limit - of the state of Tennessee. Failing in this. 
pressure was at once begun t<> bring about a cession in Alabama, with 
the result thai on September 11 of the same year a treat] 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 thai state south of Tennessee river and wesl 
of an irregular line running from Chickasaw island in thai stream, 
below the entrance of Flint river, to the junction of Wills creek with 
the Coosa, al the presenl Gadsden. For this cession, embracing an 
area of nearlj three thousand five hundred square miles, they were to 
receive sixty thousand dollars in ten annual payments, together with 
five thousand dollars t'<>r the improvements abandoned. 

We turn aside now for a time from the direel narrative to note the 
developmenl of events which culminated in the forced expatriation of 
the Cherokee from their ancestral homes and their removal to the far 
western wilderness. 

With a few notable exceptions the relations between the French 
and Spanish colonists and the native tribes, after the first occupation 
of the country, had been friendly and agreeable. Qnder the rule of 
France or Spain there was never any Indian boundary. Pioneer and 
Indian built their cabins and tilled their fields side by side, ranged 
the w Is toe-ether, knelt before the >ame altar and frequently inter- 
married on terms of equality, so far as race was concerned. The 
7-esult is seen to-day in the mixed-blood communities of Canada, and 
in Mexico, where a nation lias been built upon an Indian foundation. 
Within the area of English colonization it was otherwise. From the 
lir-t 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 tile Indians, it was chiefly for the purpose of fixing limits 

beyond which the Indian should never come after he had ;e parted 

with his title for a consideration of goods and trinkets. In an early 
Virginia treaty it was even stipulated that friendly Indians crossing 
the line should sutler death. The Indian was regarded as an incum- 
brance to be cleared oil', like the trees and tin- wolves, before white 
men could live in the country. Intermarriages were practically 

1 Indian Treaties, pp. 186 187, 1837; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 197 209, 1888 
'Indian Treaties, pp 199,200, 1887; Royce, op. cit., pp. 209-211. 


unknown, and the children of such union were usually compelled by 
race antipathy to cast their lot with the savage. 

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 io 
a safer shelter in the more remote territories still held by Spain, Soon 
after the French withdrew from Fort Toulouse, in 1763, a part of the 
Alabama, an incorporated tribe of the ('reek confederacy, left their 
villages on the Coosa, and crossing the Mississippi, where they halted 
for a time on its western bank, settled on the Sabine river under 
Spanish protection. 1 They were followed some years later by a part 
of the Koasati. of the same confederacy." the two tribe.- 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 tribe. When 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 by the British gov- 
ernment. 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, by 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 government in 1793. 3 Driven out by 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 warriors 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 tin 3 colonists, refused to have any relations with the white 
man, and took up their long march for the unknown West. Commu- 
nication was kept up with the home body until after crossing the 
Mississippi, when they were lost sight of and forgotten. Long years 

'■Claiborne, letter to Jefferson, November 5, 1808, American State Papers, i, p. 755, 1832; Gatschet, 
Creek Migration Legend, i, p. 88, 1884. 
- Hawkins, 1799. quoted in Gatschet, op. cit., p. 89. 
3 See Treaty of St Louis, 1S25, and of Castor hill, 1S52, in Indian Treaties, pp. 388, 539, 1837. 


afterward a rumor came from the west thai they were Mill livingnear 
the base of the Rocky mountains.' In 1782 the Cherokee, who bad 
fought faithfully on the British side throughout the long Revolution- 
ary struggle, applied to the Spanish governor al New Orleans for 

permission to settl > the wesl side of the Mississippi, within Spanish 

territory. Permission was granted, and it i- 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 L794, 
of the Scott party at Muscle shoals, on Tennessee river, by the hostile 
warriors of the Chickamauga towns, in the summer. As told by the 
missionary, the story differs considerably from that given by IIa\ wood 
and other Tennessee historians, narrated in another place. According 
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 wi n 

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 safety 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 tin' chiefs formally repudiated 
the action of the Howl party and volunteered to assist in arresting 

those i cerned. 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 

the] 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.' 

iSee number 107, " Hie Lost Cherokee." 

-sri- lettei of Governor Estevan Mir., to Robertson, \pril 20,1783, in Roosevelt, Winning ol the 
West, ii. p i". !•"' 
iSee pp. 76-77. 
i Washburn, Reminiscences, pp.76 79, 1869; -. • also Royce, Cherokee Nation, riiii. Ann. Rep. Bureau 

..i I ilili. .!"«>. !•. '-'Ml. isss. 

moosey] THE BOWL EMIGRATION 1794 101 

While the missionary may be 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 minors, 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 ( Ihickamauga 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 
way as is indicated by 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 by 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 country, as the period was one of 
Indian unrest. Small bands were constantly 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 1803. The persistent land- 
hunger of the settler could not be restrained or satisfied, and early in 
the same year President Jefferson 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 toward such a result. 1 There were probably but 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 summer of 1808, a Cherokee delegation being about to visit 
Washington, their agent. Colonel Meigs, was instructed by 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 
generally farmers and stock raisers, producing also a limited quantity 
of cotton, which the women wove into cloth. Those farther down in 
Georgia and Alabama, the old hostile element, still preferred the 
hunting life and rejected all effort at innovation, although the game 
had now become so scarce that it was evident a change must soon 

'Royee, Cherokee Nation, Filth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, op. 202, 203, lsss. 


come. Jealousies bad arisen in consequence, and the delegates repre- 
senting the progressive element now proposed to the government that 
a line be run through the nation I" separate the two parties, allowing 
t Ik ■-.• on the north to divide their lands in severalty and become citi- 
zens of the United States, while those on the south might continue to 
be bunters as long as the game should last. Taking advantage of this 
condition of a Hairs, the government authorities instructed the agent to 
submit t<> the conservatn es a proposition for a cession of their share of 
the tribal territory in return for a tract west of the Mississippi of suf- 
ficient area to enable them to continue the hunting life. The plan was 
approved by President Jefferson, and a sum was appropriated 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 
summerof 1809, and the delegates brought back such favorable report 
that a large number of ( Iherokee signified their intention to remoi e at 
once. A- 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, before the year 1817, they numbered in all two or three 
thousand souls. 1 They became known as the Arkansas, or Western. 


The emigrants soon became involved in difficulties 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 he 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 he 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 ami the Little Sequatchee — as an equivalent 
for a tract to he 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- 

■ Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Aim. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 202-204, 1888; see also Indian 
Treaties, pp. 209-215, 1887. The preamble to the treaty of 1817 snys thut the delegation of 1808 had 
de treda division of the tribal territory in order that the people of the Upper (northern townt might 
"begin the establishment of fixed laws and « regular government," while those of tin- Lower 
(southern) towns desired t.. remove t" the West Nothing i- said of severalty allotments >>r 

mooney] TREATY OF CHEROKEE AGENCY — 1817 103 

sas, bounded on the north and south by White river and Arkansas 
river, respectively, on the east l>y a line running between those 
.streams approximately from the present Ratesville to Lewisburg. and 
on the west by a line to lie 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 hands were still to he considered as forming 
one people. The United States agreed to pay for any substantial 
improvements abandoned by 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 rifle and ammunition, a blanket, 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 w*ere 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 by proxy. 1 

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 subject 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 lie 
pressed further, but that they might be allowed to remain in peaceable 
possession of the land of their fathers. No attention was paid 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 West. Boats were 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, 1837; Royee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 

pp. 212-217, 1888; see also maps in Royce. 

104 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

end of 1819 the number of emigrants was said to have increased to six 
thousand. "Flic chiefs of the nation, however, claimed that the esti- 
mate was greatly in excess of the truth. 1 

"There can be no question that a very large portion, and probably 
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 
18 L 7. 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 
anally 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 difference of sentiment in 
the nation upon a subject so vital to their welfare was productive 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 favor the conclusion of the treaty, became 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." 2 

Two months after the signing of the treaty of July 8, 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 be 
set aside and another agreement substituted. The mission was without 
result. 3 

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 

' Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 217-218, 1888. 
•Ibid., pp. 218-219. "Ibid., p. 219. 


needle and the spinningwheel. There was also a large work farm. 
The mission prospered and others were established at Willstown, 
Hightower, and elsewhere by the same board, in which two hundred 
pupils were receiving instruction in L820. ] Among the earliest and 
most noted workersat the Brainerd mission were Reverend I). S. But 
trick and Reverend S. A. Worcester {'■'■*<). the latter especially having 
done much for the mental elevation of the Cherokee, and more than once 
having suffered imprisonment for his zeal in defending their cause. 
The 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 memory 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 affairs 
for Missouri, arranged a conference of the chiefs of the two tribes at 
St. Louis in October of that year, at which, after protracted effort, 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- cameof the negotiations. 2 In 1825 a delegation 
of western Cherokee visited the Shawano in < )hio 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 other 
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, 
L818, 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 pay 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. 

•Morse, Geography, i, p.577, 1819; and p. 185, 1822. 

-Rc.yiT, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau ol Ethnology, pp. 221-222, 18S8, 

106 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Every point of the negotiation having failed, another course 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 importunity, 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 
Arkansas in accordance with the previous treaty. This estimate was 
based on the tigures given by Governor McMinn, who reported 5,291 
Cherokee enrolled as emigrants, while the eastern Cherokee claimed 
that not more than 3,500 had removed and that those remaining num- 
bered 12.544, 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 already removed. 1 

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 being 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, between Tennessee and Flint rivers; (2) a tract in Tennessee, 
between Tennessee river and Waldens ridge; (3) a large irregular tract 
in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, embracing in Tennessee 
nearly r all the remaining Cherokee lands north of Hiwassee river, and 
in North Carolina and Georgia nearly everything remaining to them 
east of the Nantahala mountains and the upper western branch of the 
Chattahoochee; (4) six small pieces reserved by previous treaties. The 
entire cession aggregated nearly 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 substantial improvements abandoned, one-third of all tribal 
annuities were hereafter to be paid to the western hand, and the treaty 
was declared to be a final adjustment of all claims and differences aris- 
ing from the treaty of 1817. 2 

Civilization had now progressed so far among the Cherokee that in 
the fall of 1820 they 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 Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 222-228, 1888. 
^Indian Treaties, pp. 265-269, 1S37; Royce, op. cit., pp. 219-221 and table, p. 378. 

mooney] CHEEOKEE GOVEENMENX — Missions 107 

to send lour representatives to the Cherokee national legislature, 
which met at Newtown, or New Echota, the capital, at the junction 
of Conasauga and Coosawatee rivers, a few miles above the present 
Calhoun, Georgia. The legislature consisted of an upper and a 
lower house, designated, respectively (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 styled president of the national council; the distinguished John 
Ross was the first to hold this office. There was also a clerk of the 
committee and two principal members to express the will of the coun- 
cil or lower house. For each district there were appointed a council 
house for meetings twice a year, 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 stray 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 repairs on loads, 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 \ested 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. 1 
The system compared favorably with that of the Federal government 
or of any state government then existing. 

At this time there were five principal missions, besides one or two 
small branch establishments in the nation, viz: Spring Place, the oili- 
est, founded by tin 1 Moravians at Spring place, Georgia, in 1801; 
Oothcaloga, Georgia, founded by the same denomination in 1S21 on 
the creek of that name, near the present Calhoun; Brainerd, Tennes- 
see, founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions in L817; "Valley-towns." North Carolina, founded by the 
Baptists in 1820, on the site of the old Natchez town on the north side 
of Hiwassee river, just above Peachtree creek; Coosawatee, Georgia 
("Tensawattee," by error in the State Papers), founded also by the 
Baptists in fs2L. near the mouth of the river of that name. All were 
in flourishing condition, the Brainerd establishment especially, with 
nearly one hundred pupils, being obliged to turn away applicants for 

1 Laws of theCherol Nation several documents), 1820, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, it, 

pp. 279-283, 1834; letter quoted by McKei y, 1825, ibid., pp. 651, 652; Drake, In. linn-, pp. 137, 138 i 

108 MYTHS OF THE CHEBOKEE [eth.ann.19 

lack of accommodation. The superintendent reported that the children 
were apt to learn, willing to labor, and readily submissive to discipline, 
adding- that the Cherokee were fast advancing toward civilized life and 
generally manifested an ardent desire for instruction. The Valley- 
towns mission, established at the instance of Dick, a promi- 
nent local mixed-blood 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. Watford, a mixed-blood pupil, 
who compiled a spelling book 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 West. 1 
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 Phcenix. 

About 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 Cherokee Phnni.r, in lsi's. says 
that only his paternal grandfather was a white man." McKenney and 
Hall say that his father was a white man named Gist. 3 Phillips 
asserts that his father was George Gist, an unlicensed German trader 
from Georgia, who came into the Cherokee Nation in 1708. 4 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 

1 List of missions and reports of missionaries, etc., American State Papers: Indian Affairs, n, pp. 
277-279, 159, 1834; personal information from James D. Warlord concerning Valley-towns mission. 
For notices of Worcester, Jones, and Watford, see Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroqnoian Languages, 
1888. " 

'-'<;. < '., in Cherokee Phoenix; reprinted in Christian Advocate and Journal, New York, September 26, 

;i McKenney and Hall. Indian Tribes. I, p. 35, et passim, 1858. 

* Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, pp. 542-548, September, 1870. 



l-'r McKenney and Hill copi uf Hi ginal [iiiimiiiK of IS2S) 

mooney] 8EQUOYA AM> III- ALPHABET 109 

removed to Kentucky, where Sequoya, then a Baptist preacher, fre~ 

(| in- nt ly visit ed hin i and was always recognized by the family as his son. 1 
Aside from the fact thai the Cherokee acted as allies of the English 
during the war in whim Braddock's defeat occurred, and that Sequoya, 
so far from being a preacher, was not even a Christian, the story con- 
tains other elements of improbability and appears to he one of those 

genealogical myths built upon a chance similarity of name. On the 

other hand, it is certain that Sequoya was horn before the dale that 
Phillips allows. On his mother's side he was of good family in the 
tribe, liis uncle being a chief in Echota. 2 According to personal infor- 
mation of dames Watford, who knew him well, being his second cousin, 
Sequoya was probably horn about the year L760, 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. 3 What became of the 
father is not known, but the mother lived alone with 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, 
about the year 17Ty.' His early years were spent amid the stormy 
alarms of the Revolution, and as he grew to manhood he devel- 
oped a considerable mechanical ingenuity, 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 system for his <>w n 
people. By a hunting accident, which rendered him a cripple for life, 
lie was fortunately afforded more leisure for study. The presence of 
his name. George Guess, appended to a treaty of 1816, indicates that 
he «;i- 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 
finally evolved the Cherokee syllabary and in 1821 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 Sequoya was now living at Willstown, 

■ Manuscript letters by John Mason Brown, January 17. 18, 22, and Februarj I. 1889, In archives oi 
tli- Bureau of American Ethnology 
SMcKenney and Hall. Lndian Tribes, i. p. 15, 1858. 
*See page 43. *See nunibrr s'.i. "Thu lru<iiu>is wars." 

110 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

on an upper branch of Coosa river, in Alabama. The syllabary was 
soon recognized as 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 Sequoya 
visited the West, to introduce the new science among those who had 
emigrated to the Arkansas. In the next year, 1823, he again visited 
the Arkansas and took up his permanent abode with the western band, 
never afterward returning to his eastern kinsmen. In the autumn of 
the 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. 1 In 1828 he visited AVashington as one 
of the delegates from 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. 1 ' 2 His subsequent history belongs to the West and will be treated 
in another place (40). 3 

The invention of the alphabet had an immediate and wonderful 
effect on Cherokee development. On account of the remarkable adapta- 
tion of the syllabary 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, until, "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. 4 An active correspondence began 
to be carried on between the eastern and western divisions, and plans 
were made for a national press, with a national library and museum to 
be established at the capital, New Echota. 5 The missionaries, who had 
at first opposed the new alphabet on the ground of its Indian origin, 
now saw the advisability of using it to further their own work. In 
the fall of 1821 Atsi or John Arch, a young native convert, made a 
manuscript translation of a portion of St. John's gospel, in the sylla- 
bary, this being the first Bible translation ever given to the Cherokee. 
It was copied hundreds of times and was widely disseminated through 

1 AtcKenneyand Hall, Indian Tribes, i, p. 46, 1858; Phillips, in Harper's Magazine, p. 547, September, 


- Indian Treaties, p. 425, 1837. 

:1 Fur details concerning the life and invention of Sequoya, see McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, 
1, 1858; Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, September 1870- Foster, Sequoyah, 1885, and Story 
of the Cherokee Bible, 1S99, based largely on Phillips' article; G. C, Invention of the Cherokee 
Alphabet, in Cherokee Pbcenix, republished in Christian Advocate and Journal, New York, Septem- 
ber 26, 1828: Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages, 1888. 

4 G. C, Invention of the Cherokee Alphabet, op. cit. 

6 (Unsigned) letter of David Brown, September 2, 1825, quoted in American State Papers: Indian 
Affairs, n, p. 652, 1834. 


the Nation. 1 In September, L825, David Brown, a prominent half- 
breed preacher, who had already made some attempt al translation in 
the Roman alphabet, completed a translation of the N i • w Testament in 
the new syllabary, the work being handed about in manuscript, as 
there were asyet no typescast in the Sequoya characters. 8 In the same 
month he forwarded to Thomas McKenney, chief of the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs at Washington, a manuscript table of the characters, 
with explanation, this being probably its first introduction to official 
notice. ; 

In L827 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 American Hoard of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, who. in December of that year contributed 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 press and types arrived at New Echota, and the first number of 
the new paper, Tsa'lagi Tsu'lehisanun' hi, the Cherokee Phoenix, printed 
in both languages, appeared on February 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. 
Worcesterwas 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, aftei having been shipped by water from Boston, were trans- 
ported two hundred miles by wagon from Augusta to their destination. 
The printing paper had been overlooked and had to be brought by the 
same tedious process from Knoxville. Cases and other equipments 
had to be devised and fashioned by the printers, neither of whom 
understood a word of Cherokee, but simply set up the characters, as 
handed to them in manuscript by Worcester and the editor. Such was 
the beginning of journalism in the Cherokee nation. After a precari- 
ous existence of about six years the Phoenix was suspended, owiny 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 Oheroke* Advocate, of 
which the first number appeared at Tahlequah in 1S44. with William 
P. Ross 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 government. 

In addition to numerous Bible translations, hymn books, and other 

1 Poster, Sequoyah, pp. 120, 121,1885. ! Filling, Iroquoiun Bibliography, p. 21, ls.sf<. 

'Brown letter (unsigned I, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, n. p. 652, 1S34. 


religious works, there have been printed in the Cherokee language and 
syllabary the Cheroket Phcenioo (journal), Cheroket Advocate (journal), 
Cherokei Messenger (periodical). Cheroket Almanac (annual). Cherokee 
spelling books, arithmetics, and other schoolbooks 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 literature 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. 1 

In L819 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, 13,563; white men mar- 
ried into the Nation, 117; white women married into the Nation, 73; 
negro slaves, 1,277. There were large herds of cattle, horses, hogs, 
and sheep, with large crops of every staple, including cotton, tobacco, 
and wheat, and some cotton was exported by boats as far as New Or- 
leans. Apple and peach orchards 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 nourished, 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 about 

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 
Ross, so celebrated in connection with the history of his tribe, was 
president of the convention which framed the instrument. Charles R. 
Hicks, a Moravian convert of mixed blood, and at that time the most 
influential man in the Nation, was elected principal chief, with John 

1 For extended notice of Cherokee literature and authors see numerous references in Pilling, Bibli- 
ography of the Iroquoian Languages, 1888: also Foster, 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 anions lie Ivist Cherokee, and is 
now in possession of the Bureau of American Ethnology, to be translated at some future time. 

Brown letter (unsigned), September 2, 1825, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, n, pp. 651,652, 








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hooney] WHITE-PATH'S REBELLION 1828 II ."> 

Boss as assistant chief. 1 With a constitution and national press, 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 be considered a civilized people. 

The idea of a civilized Indian government was not a new one. The 
lirst treaty ever negotiated by the United States with an Indian tribe, 
in 177s. held out to the D( da wares the hope that by a confederation id' 
friendly tribes they might he aide "to form a stale, whereof the 1 >ela- 
ware nation shall he the head and have a representation in Con- 
gress.'" Priber, the Jesuit, had already familiarized the Cherokee 
with the formsof civilized government before the middle of the eight- 
eenth century. As the cap between the conservative and progressive 
elements widened after the Revolution the idea grew, until in L808 
representatives of both parties visited Washington to propose an 
arrangement by which those who clung to the old life might he allowed 
to remove to the western hunting grounds, while the rest should remain 
to take up civilization and "begin the establishment of fixed law- and 
a regular government." The project received the warm encourage- 
ment of President Jefferson, and it was with this understanding that 
the western emigration was first officially recognized a few years later. 
Immediately upon the return of the delegates from Washington the 
Cherokee drew up their first brief written code of laws, modeled agree- 
ably to the friendly 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 7 the evidences of apostasy and swift national decay. In 1828 
"White-path (Nun'na-tsune'ga), an influential full-blood and councilor, 
living at Turniptown (U'lun'yi), near the present Ellijay, 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 "Red-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 tribal 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 

'SeeRoyee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 241, 1888; Meredith, inTheFive 
Civilized Tribes. Extra Census Bulletin, i>. 41, 1894; Morse, American Geography, i, p. 677, 1819 (for 

= 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, Januarj is. 1831; see lawsof 1808, ism. and Inter, 
in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, 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 subsequently made submission and was reinstated. He 
was afterward one of the detachment commanders in the Removal, but 
died while on the march. 1 

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 lie truly said that 
his history is the history of the Nation. 

And now. just when it seemed that civilization and enlightenment 
wcic 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 L802, 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 early as the same can be peaceably obtained on reasonable 
terms." 3 In accordance with this agreement several treaties had 
already 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, 
Georgia 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 were 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 

1 Persona] information from Jnines D. Wafford. So far as is known this rebellion of the conservatives 

lias never hitherto been noted in print. 

=See Resolutions of Honor, in Laws of the Cherokee Nation, pp. 137-140, 1868: 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, in American State Papers: 
class viu. Public Lands, i, quoted also by Greeley, American Conflict, I, p. 103, 1864. 

< Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 231-233, 1888. 

hookey] PRESSURE FOE REMOVAL — 1823 24 L15 

state. Every effort met with a firm refusal, the [ndians declaring 
that having alreadj r made cession 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 War. returned answer that as Georgia 
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, by their delegates — John Ross. George 
Lowrey, Major Ridge, and Elijah Hicks — sent a strong letter calling 
attention to the fact that by the very wording of the L802 agreement 
the compact was a conditional one which could not he carried out 
without their own voluntary consent, and suggesting that Georgia 
might be 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 territory, with limits denned by 
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 
permanency 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 Monroe, in which the government was censured for ha\ ing 
instructed the Indians in the arts of civilized life and having therebj 
imbued them with a de-ire to acquire property." 

For answer the President submitted a report by 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 24,600 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 

'Cherokee correspondence 1823 and 1824, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, n, pp. 168 it::, 
1834; Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. j 16 237, 1888. 

'Cherokee memorial, February 11. 1824, in American State Papers: Indian Lffairs, a, pp. II I 194, 
1834 Royce, op cit, p J 17 

i Letters of Governor Troup of Georgia, February 28, 1824, and of Georgia delegates, March 10,1824, 
American State Papers Indian Affairs, n. pp. 475, 177, 1834; Royce, op. cit., pp. 287, 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 criticism 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. 1 

Further efforts, even to the employment of secret methods, were 
made in 1827 and 1828 to induce a cession or emigration, but without 
avail. On July 26, 1827, as already noted, the Cherokee adopted a 
constitution as a distinct and sovereign Nation. Upon this the Georgia 
legislature passed resolutions affirming 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, 1 ' 
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 belonged to Georgia, and she must 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. 2 

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 only, but 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. 3 About 1828 gold was found 
on Ward's creek, a western branch of Chestatee, near the present 
Dahlonega. 4 and the doom of the nation was sealed (11). 

1 Monroe, message to the Senate, with Calhoun's report, March 30, 1824, American State Papers: 
Indian Affairs, II, pp. 460, 462, 1834. 

2 Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 241, 242, 1888. 
3 Personal information from J. D. Warlord. 

4 Nitze, H. B. C. , in Twentieth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, part 6 (Mineral 
Resources), p. 112,1899. 

hookey] EXTENSION OF GEORGIA LAWS —1830 117 

In November, L828, Andrew Jackson was elected to succeed John 
Quinoy Adams as President. He was a frontiersman and Indian bater, 
and the change boded no good to the ( Jherokee. His position was we'd 
understood, and there is good ground for believing thai the action at 
once taken by Georgia was at bis own suggestion. 1 On December 20, 
1828, a month after his election, Georgia passed an act annexing thai 
part of the Cherokee countrj 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 Mood 
or descent residing within the Indian country was henceforth to he 
allowed as a witness or party in any suit where a white man should be 
defendant. The act was to take effect June 1. L830 (42). The whole 
territory was soon after mapped out into counties and surveyed by 
state surveyors into •'land lots" of L60 acres each, and "gold lots" of 
40 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, hut no d 1 was given, and his continuance depended 

solely on the pleasure of the legislature. Provision was made for the 
settlement of contested lottery claims among; the white citizens, hut 
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 anyone so resisting was made sub- 
ject to imprisonment at the discretion of a Georgia court. Other laws 
directed to the same end quickly 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 
deb ts 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 years' 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, 2 or to dig for 
gold upon their own lands. 

1 See Butler letter, quoted in Etoyce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. '-".>7, 
ee also Everett, speech in the House of Representatives on May 31, 1838, pp. 16-17, 3 s-33, i " 

-For extracts and synopses of these nets sit Royce, op. clt., pp. 259-264; Drake, indians, pp. 43! i 6, 
1880; Greeley, American Conflict, i, pp. 105, 106, 1864; Edward Everett, speech in the House of Rep- 
resentatives, February 14, 1831 I lottery law). The Hold lottery is also noted incidentally by Lanman, 
Charles, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, p. 10; New York. 1849, and by Nitze, in his repO] l >n 

the Georgia gold fields, in the Twentieth annual Report of the United States Ge 

part 6 I Mineral Resources |, p. L12, 1899. The author has himseli seen in a mountain villas in Georgia 
an old book titled "The Cherokee Land and Gold Lottery," containing map' and plats covering the 
whole Cherokee country of Georgia, with each lot numbered, aid descriptions of the watercourses, 
soil, and supposed mineral veins. 

118 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.ij 

The purpose of this legislation was to render life in their own 
country intolerable to the Cherokee by depriving them of all legal 
protection and friendly 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 property, 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." 1 
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 inflict, 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. 2 

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. 3 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 fire 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. 1 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. 5 A 
Cherokee on trial in his own nation for killing another Indian was 
seized by the state authorities, tried and condemned 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, anil 
stood beside the sheriff while the Indian was being hanged. 6 

1 -I eh of May 19, 1830, Washington; printed by Gales & Seaton,1830. 

^Speech in the Senate of the United States, April 16, 1830; Washington, Peter Force, printer, 1830. 

B See Cherokee Memorial to Congress, January 18, 1831. 

* Personal information from Prof. Clinton Duncan, of Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation, whose father's 
house \\:is the one thus burned. 

^Cherokee Memorial to Congress January 18, 1831. 

c lbid.; see also speech of Edward Everett in House of Representatives February 14, 1831; report >>i 
the select committee of the senate of Massarhusettsupon t lie Georgia resolutions, Boston, 1831; Greeley, 
American Conflict, I, p. 106, 1864; Abbott, Cherokee Indians in Georgia; Atlanta Constitution. October 
27, 1889. 

koonki ARREST OF MISSIONARIES — 1831 119 

Immediately on the passage of the first ad the ( Iherokee appealed to 
President Jackson, but were told that no protection would be afforded 
tlirni. 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 :;. L830, whereupon the Presidenl 
directed that the annuity payment due the < Iherokee Nation under pre- 
vious treaties should no longer lie jiaid to their national treasurer, as 
hitherto, but distributed per capita by the agent. As a national fund 
it had been used for the maintenance of their schools and national 
press. A- a per capita payment it amounted to forty-two cents to each 
individual. Several years afterward it still remained unpaid. Fed- 
eral 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 only 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 thesubject. 1 

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 majority 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. 8 

Shortly afterward, 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 Cherokei Phmnix, 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 

an\ part of the United States, refused to take the oath. Soi if 

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 by permis- 
sion of the President of the United Statesand 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. 1 Ie was sentenced 
to four year- in the penitentiary. On March 3, 1832, the matter was 
appealed as a test ease 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 ^n 
ernor. had defied the summons with a threat of opposition, even tothe 

i erokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 261,262, 
2 Ibid., p. 262. 

120 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [etb.ann.19 

annihilation of the Union, and now ignored the 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." 1 

On the 19th of July. 1832, a public fast was observed throughout 
the Cherokee Nation. In the proclamation recommending it, Chief 
Ross observes that "Whereas the crisis in the affairs of the Nation 
exhibits the day of tribulation and sorrow, and the time appears to be 
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 by the unsearchable and mysterious will of an allwise Being, it 
equally becomes us, as a rational and Christian community, humbly to 
bow in humiliation," etc. 2 

Further attempts were made to induce the Cherokee to remove to 
the West, but met the same firm 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. 3 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 by the President. 

In the spring of 1834 the Cherokee submitted a memorial which, 
after asserting that they would never voluntarily 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 b}^ the United States, at 
the expiration of which, after disposing of their surplus lands, they 
should become citizens of the various states within which they resided. 
They were told that their difficulties could be remedied only Iry 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 embodied 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 Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bateau of Ethnology, pp. 264-2titi, 1SS8; JJrake, Indians, 
pp i.ii i .T. L880; Greeley, American Conflict, i. 106,1864. 
s Drake, Indians, p 158, 1880. 
;| Royce, up. cit., pp. 262-264, -~-. 273. 
* [bid., pp.274, 275. 


tion, headed by John Ross, addressed another earnest memorial to 
Congress on May 17. 1834. Royee quotes the document at length, 
with the remark, "Without affecting to pass judgment on the merits 
of the controversy, the writer thinks this memorial well deserving of 
reproduction here as evidencing the devoted and pathetic attachment 
wilh which the Cherokee clung to the land of their fathers, and, 
remembering the wrongs and humiliations of the past, refused to he 
convinced that justice, prosperity, and happiness awaited them beyond 
the Mississippi." ' 

In August of this year another council was held at Ued Clay, south- 
eastward from Chattanooga and just within the Georgia line, where 
the question of removal was again debated in what i- officially 
described a- a tumultuous and excited meeting. One of the prin- 
cipal advocates of the emigration scheme, a prominent mixed-blood 
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 
,1. Meigs, the affair 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, 1835, two 
rival delegations arrived in Washington, One, the national party, 
headed by John Ross, came prepared still to tight to the end for home 
and national existence. The other, headed by Major John Ridge, a 
prominent subchief, despairing of further successful resistance, was 
prepared to negotiate for removal. Reverend J. F. Schermerhorn 
was appointed commissioner to arrange with the Ridge party a treaty 
to he 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 West in consideration of the sum id' $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 negotiation- were 

proceeding, the Ross party tiled a counter proposition for $20,000, P, 

which was rejected by the Senate as excessive. The Schermerhorn 
compact with the Ridge party, with the consideration changed to 
$4,500,000, was thereupon completed and signed on March 14. Ism;,. 
hut with the express stipulation that it should receive the approval of 

•Royce.Chi tion, Fifth Ann. Report Bureau of Etl logy, p. 276, 1888. 

* Commissioner Elbert Herring, November 25, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 240, L834; author's 
personal information from Major R. C Jackson and J. D. Wafford. 


the Cherokee nation in full council assembled before being considered 
of any binding force. This much accomplished, Mr. Schermerhorn 
departed for the Cherokee country, armed with an address from 
President Jackson in which the great benefits 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 promising them payment for their improve- 
ments at their own valuation, if in any degree reasonable, or to con- 
clude a treaty with a part of the Nation and compel its acceptance 
by the rest. He was promptly informed by the Secretary of War, 
Lewis Cass, on behalf of the President, that the treaty, if concluded 
at all, must be 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 
fev^ He was also informed that, as it would probably be contrary to 
his wish, his letter would not be put on file. 1 

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 Elias Boudinot, going over to the rnajoruy, 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. 2 

The council had authorized the regular delegation, headed by John 
Ross, to conclude a treaty either there or at Washington, but, finding 
that Schermerhorn had no authority to treat on any other basis than 
the one rejected by the Nation, the delegates proceeded to Washing- 
ton. 8 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 taken 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 

= Royce, op. cit., pp. 280-281. » Ibid., p. 281. 

hooney] TKKATY OF NEW ECHOTA 1835 L23 

tific manuscripts. The national paper, the Cheroket Phamix, had been 
suppressed and its oilier plant seized by the same guard a few days 
before. 1 Thus in their greatest need the Chei'okee were deprived of 

the help and counsel of their teachers, their national press, and their 

Although for two months threats and inducements had been held 
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 hundred men. women, and children, out of a population of over 
lT.ooii. Notwithstanding the paucity of attendance and the absence 
of the principal 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, L835. s 

Briefly stated, by this treaty id' New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee 
Nation ceded to the United States its whole remaining territory cast 
of the Mississippi for the sum of five million dollars and a common 
joint interest in the territory already occupied by 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 lie 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 country. The removal was 
to take place within two years from the ratification of the treaty. 

On the strong representations of the Cherokee signers, who would 
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 "qualified 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, hut was afterward struck out on the announcement by 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 payment of debts due by the Indians 
out of any moneys coming to them under the treaty: for the reestab- 
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 he deemed 
necessary; for satisfying Osage claims in the western territory and 

iRoyce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit. (R.'ss arrest), p. 281; Drake, Indian- Ross Paj le, Phcenix), 
p. 159, 1880; Bee also Everett speech .»■" May 31, 1888, op. cit. 

-Royce, op. cit., pp. :M i m [>n .[..,■! ii is:>. 

124 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE Leth.ann.19 

for bringing about a friendly understanding between the two tribes; 
and for the commutation 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 officers of the Cherokee Nation and by them 
disbursed, according to the 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, 1 being 
identical with the present area occupied by 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 fifty 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 1833, 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- 
vided for and bounded, the United States further guaranty 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 . . . and letters patent shall be 
issued by 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. o. The United States also agree that the lands above ceded by the treaty of 
February 14, 1833, including the nutlet, and those ceded by 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, 1S30. . . . 

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 anystate or territory. 
But they shall secure to the Cherokee nation the right of their national councils to 
make ami carry into effect all such laws as they may deem necessary for the govern- 
ment ami pre itection 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 

!See Fort Gibson treaty, 1833, p. 142. 

mooned TREATY OF NEW ECHOTA — 1835 125 

country by permission, according to tl»- lu«> and regulations established by the gov- 
ernment of the same. . . . 

\ki. 6. Perpetual peace and friendship shall exist between the citizens of the 
I'niti'.l States nail the Cherokee Indians. The United stales 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 stairs who 
may attempt to settle in the country without their consent; an. 1 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. 

Ajrticle 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 tin- 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 Hou i Representa- 
tives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same. 

The instrument was signed by (Governor) "William Carroll of Ten- 
nessee and (Reverend) .1. F. Schermerhorn as commissioners— the 
former, however, having been unable to attend by reason of illness 
and by twenty Cherokee, among whom the most prominent were Major 
Ridge and Elias Boudinot, former editor of the Phoenix. 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, 1S36. 1 

Upon the treaty of New Echota and the treaty previously made with 
tlie western Cherokee at Fort Gibson in 1833, the united Cherokee 
Nation based it> 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 L835 showed the whole number of Chero- 
kee in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee to he 16,542, 
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 .4i4. 2 

Despite the efforts id' Ro~s and the national delegates, who presented 
protests with .signatures representing nearly Id.ooot 'herokee. the treaty 

■ See New Echota treaty, 1835, and Fort Gibson treaty, 1833 Indian Treaties, pp. 633-64* and »i I - 

1837; also, for full di sen-, ion of l.nlli t rallies [;. ,vee, Cherokee Nat inn. Fifth Ann. iep. I tun an , . I i h 
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 Representative-, May 31, 1838; 
the chapters on "Expatriation of the Cherokees," Drake, Indians, 1880; and tin' chapter on - 1 1 1.- 
Rights— Nullification," in Greeley, American Conflict, i, 1864. The Georgia side of the controversy is 
presented in E..t.Harden'sLifeof (Governor! George M. Troup, 1849. 

- Ri iyee. op. cit., p. 289. The Indian total is also given in the Report of the Indian Commissioner, 
p. 369, 1836. 

126 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ank.19 

had been ratified by 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 copy of the letter had been delivered 
to Ross, no further communication, by 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 Cherokee, and that any fur- 
ther effort by him to prevent the consummation of the treaty would be 
suppressed. 1 

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 affairs, 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 fur 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 upon 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 mere than one hundred Cherokee 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 the 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. Schermerhorn's apparent design was to conceal the real 
number present and to impose on the public and the government upon this point. 

■Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. eit., pp. 283,284; Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 285, 286, 1836. 

> seyJ GENERAL wniil.'s REPORTS — 1837 I "J 7 

The delegation taken to Washington by Mr. Schermerhorn had no more authority 
to make a treaty than any other dozen Cherokee accidentally picked up for the 
purpose. I no« warn you and the President thai if this paper of Schermerhorn's 
called a treaty is sent t" the Senate and ratified you «ill bring trouble upon the 
government arid eventual!) destroy this [the < Iherokee] Nat inn. The Cherokee are 
a peaceable, harmless people, bul you may drive them to desperation, and this 
treaty can not be carried into effect except bj the strong arm of force. 1 

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 L8, 1837, thai he had called 
them toe-ether and made them an address, but "'it is. however, vain to 
talk to a people almost universally opposed to the treaty and who 
maintain that they never made such a treaty. So determined are they 
in their opposition that not one of all those who were present ami voted 
at tin' council held hut a day or two since, however poor or destitute, 
would receive either rations or clothing from the United States lest 
they 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 they will leave the country." 2 

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 hern in this country has been nothing but a heart- 
rending one. and such a one as I would he 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 
I 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 expert 
from the government of the Dinted state-. Yes, sir, nineteen-twentieths, if not 
ninety-nine out of every hundred, will go penniless to the West. :l 

How it was to be brought about is explained in part 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 

i Quoted by Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. «-i r . . pp. 284-285; quoted also, with some verbal differ* 
by Everett, speech in House oi Representatives on Maj 31,1838. 
i .i in Royce, op 'it., p 286. 

» Letter of General Wool, September 10, 1836, in Everett, speeeh in Hous ol Representatives, May 
31, 1838. 

128 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ann.19 

evident design that, when we are ready to remove, to arrest our people, and on these 
vile claims to induce us to com promise for our own release, to travel with our families. 
Thus our funds will lie filched from mir people, and we shall he compelled to leave 
our country as beggars and in want. 

Even the Georgia laws, which deny us our oaths, are thrown aside, 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 by the rabble. Even justices of the peace and constables are concerned in this 
business. This barbarous treatment is not confined to men, but the women are 
stripped also and whipped 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. We talk plainly, as chiefs having property 
and life in danger, and we appeal to you for protection. . . .' 

( reneral Dunlap, in command of the Tennessee troops called out to 
prevent the alleged contemplated Cherokee uprising, having learned 
for himself the true situation, delivered an indignant address to his 
men in which he declared that he would never dishonor the Tennessee 
arms by 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. 2 

A confidential agent sent to report upon the situation wrote in Sep- 
tember, 1837, that opposition to the treaty was unanimous and irrecon- 
cilable, the Cherokee declaring that it could not bind them because 
they did not make it. that it was the work of a few unauthorized indi 
viduals and that the Nation was not a party to it. They had retained 
the forms of their government, although no election had been held 
since 1830, having continued the officers then in charge until their gov- 
ernment could again be reestablished regularly. Under this arrange- 
ment John Ross 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, Boudinot, and others — who remained to assist 
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 part} - question, the Democrats supporting 
President Jackson while the Whigs bitterly opposed him. Among 

1 Letter of .nine 30, 1836, to President Jackson, in Everett, speech in the House of Representatives, 
May 31, 1S38. 

- Quoted by Everett, ibid,; also by Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit.,p.286. 

3 Letter of J.M.Mason, jr., to Secretary of War, September 25, 1837, 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 K\ erett, Wise of Virginia, and 1 >avid ( Ii'ockett. The speeches 
in Congress upon the subject ••were characterized by a depth and bit- 
terness of feeling such as had never been exceeded even on the slavery 
question." 1 It was considered not simply an Indian question, but an 
issue between state rights on the one hand and federal jurisdiction and 
the ( institution 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 I 838, t wo 
months before the time fixed for the removal, he presented to Con- 
gress another protest and memorial, which, like the others, was tabled 
by 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 < rilmer of Georgia that 
any delay would be a violation of the rights of that state and in oppo- 
sition to the rights of tht owners of tin sot?, and that if trouble came 
from any protection afforded by the government troops to the Chero- 
kee a direct collision must ensue between the authorities of the state 
and general go^ ernment. 8 

Up to the last moment the Cherokee still believed that the treaty 
would not he consummated, and with all the pressure brought to bear 
upon them only about 2,000 of the 17,000 in the eastern Nation had 
removed at the expiration of the time fixed for their departure, May 
26, 1838. As it was evident that the removal could only he accom- 
plished by force. Genera] 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 governors of the adjoining states for as many as 4,000 
militia and volunteers. The whole force employed numbered about 
7,000 men -regulars, militia, and volunteers. 3 The Indian- had already 
been disarmed by General Wool. 

On arriving in the Cherokee country Scott established headquarters 
at the capital, New Echota, whence, on May 10, he issued a proclama- 
tion to tin* ( Iherokee, warning them that the emigration must he com- 
menced in haste and that before another moon had passed every 
Cherokee man. woman, and child must he in motion to join his 
brethren in the far West, according to the determination id' the Presi- 
dent, which he. the general, had come to enforce. The proclamation 
conclude-: •• My troops already occupy many positions . . . and 

' Royce, Cherokee Nation, up. eit. pp. 287, 289. 
- [bid., pp. 289,290. 

> Ibid., p. 291. The statement "( the total number of trooj 
in tin- House "i Representatives, May 31, 1838, covering the whole stion of the treaty. 

lit ETH— 01 9 

130 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

thousands and thousands are approaching from every quarter to render 
resistance and escape alike hopeless. . . . Will you. then, by 
resistance compel us to resort to arms . . . or will you by night 
seek to hide yourselves in mountains and forests and thus oblige us to 
hunt you down?" — reminding them that pursuit might result in con- 
flict and bloodshed, ending in a general war. 1 

Even after this Ross endeavored, on behalf of his people, to secure 
some slight modification of the terms of the treaty, but without avail. 2 

THE REMOVAL — 1838-39 

The history of this Cherokee removal of 1838, as gleaned by the 
author from the lips of actors in the tragedy, may well exceed in 
weight <if grief and pathos any other passage in American history. 
Even the much-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 (43). From these, squads of troops were sent 
to search out with rifle and bayonet every small cabin hidden away in 
the coves or by tin 1 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 driven with blows and oaths along the I 
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. 
fired by 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 off 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 

1 Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit., p. 291. = Ibid, p. 291. 


exile. A woman, on finding the house surrounded, went to the door 
and <al l>'i I 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 husband with tin' soldiers. 

All were not thus submissive. One old man named Tsall, "( lharley," 
was seized with his wife, his brother, his three sons ami 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 ami endeavored to 
wfeheE hi- gun from him. The attack was so suddenand unexpected 
that one soldier was killed and the rest fled, while the Indians escaped 
to the mountains. Hu ndreds ofothe rs^ some ofthem fr om the various 
stockadesj managed also to escape to the mountains from time to time, 
where those who did not die of starvation subsisted on foots and wild 
berries until the hunt was over. Finding it impracticable to secure 
these fugitives, General Scott finally tendered them a proposition, 
through ('( olonel) W. II. Thomas, their most trusted friend, that if 
they would surrender Charley and his party for punishment, the rest 
would he allowed to remain until their ease could lie adjusted by the 
government. On hearing of the proposition, Charley voluntarily 
came in with his sons, offering himself as a sacrifice for his people. By 
command of General Scott, Charley, his brother, and the two elder 
-oils were -hot 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 origina ted the present eastern 
band oft Iherokee.' 

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 five thousand persons, were brought 
down by the troops to the old agency, on Hiwassee, at the present 
Calhoun. Tennessee, and to Ros-"s landing (now Chattanooga), and 
Gunter's Landing (now Guntersville, Alabama), lower down on the 
Tennessee, where they 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 Territory. This removal. 

1 The notes on the Cherokee round-up and Removal are almost entirely from author's information 
asfumishedby actors in the events, both Cherokee and white, among whom may benamed the 
ne] W. It. Thomas; the late Colonel /.. A. Zile, of Atlanta, of the Georgia volunteers; the 
Bryson, of Dlllsboro, North Carolina, a ho a volunteer; James l». Wafford, of ■ 

Cherokee Nation, who commanded oi i the emigrant detachments; and old [ndians, both east and 

west, who remembered tin- Removal and had heard the story from their parents. Charley's story is 
a matter of common note among the ha-: Cherokee, and was heard in full detail from Colonel Thomas 
and from Wasituna ("Washington" , Charley's youngest -on, who alone was spared bj <■■ ■ 
on account of his youth. The incident is also noted, with some slight inaccuracies, in Lanmau, 
Letters from the Alleghany Mountains. See i> 157, 

182 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

in the hottest part of the year, was attended with so great sickness 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 ehai"ge 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 (11). 

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 final 
council was held, in which it was decided to continue their old consti- 
tution and laws in their new home. Then, in October, 1S3S, 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, 
the}' 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 fI45. 

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 short distance above Jollys island, at the mouth of Hiwassee. 
Thence the route lay south of Pikeville, through McMinnville 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 remember him. Somewhere also along that march of death — for 
the exiles died by 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- 
berland, 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 detachments were obliged to wait some time on the east- 
ern bank for the channel to become clear. In talking with old men 


and women ;it Tahlequafa tln> author found that the lapse of over half a 
century had not sufficed to wipe <>ut the memory of the miseries of 
thai hall beside the frozen river, with hundreds of sick and dying 
penned up in wagons or stretched upon the ground, with only a blanket 
overhead to keep out the January 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 Missouri to Indian 
Territory, the later detachments making a northerly circuit l>y Spring- 
field, because those who had gone before had killed oil 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 mouths of the hardest part of the year.' 

It i- difficult to arrive at any accurate statement of the number of 
Cherokee who died as the resull of the Removal. According to the 
official figures those who removed under the direction of Ross lost over 
L,600 on the journey.- The proportionate mortality among those 
previously removed under military supervision was probably greater, 
as it was their suffering 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, chiefly 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, 
probably with reason, that over 4. nun 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 crop-, 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 Is:'.::. 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 other- nearly three to one. 

While these differences were at their height the Nation was thrown 
into a feverof excitement by the news that Major Ridge, his son John 
Ridge, and Elias Boudinot all leaders of the treaty party had been 
killed by adherent- of the national party, immediately after the close 

onal information, aa before cited. 
= Asquo1 rokee Nation. Fifth Ann Rep.Bureauoi 

makesthen ber unaccounted for 1,428; the receiving agent, who t'".], chargi 

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, 1839. 

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 cui 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 ( Iherokee 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 I loss, 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 till 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 1825. and a party led by Major Ridge himself had killed 
Doublehead 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 treaty, among whom were John Bell, 
Archilla Smith, and James Starr, tied for safety to the protection of 
the garrison at Fort Gibson. Boudinot's brother, Stand Wade, 
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 house until the first excitement had sub- 
sided. About three weeks afterward the national council passed 
decrees declaring that the men killed and their principal confederates 

i Agent Stokes to Secretary of War, June 24, 1839, in Report Indian Commissioner, p. 365, 1839; 
Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 293, 1888; Drake, Indians, pp. 159-460, 
1880; author's personal information. The agent's report incorrectly makes the killings occur on 
three different days. 

mooney] REUNION OF NATION— 1839 135 

had rendered themselves outlaws by their own conduct, extending 
amnesty on certain stringent conditions to their confederates, and 
declaring the slayers guiltless of murder and fully restored to the con- 
fidence and favor of the community. This was followed in August by 
another council decree declaring the New Echota treaty void and reas- 
serting the title of the Cherokee to their old country, and three weeks 
later another decree summoned the signers of the treaty to appear and 
answer for their conduct under penalty of outlawry. At this point 
the United States interfered by threatening to arrest Ross as acces- 
sory to the killing of the Ridges. 1 In the meant i me the national part} 
and the Old Settlers hail been eon line together, and a few of the latter 
who had sided with the Ridge faction and endeavored to perpetuate a 
division in the Nation were denounced in a council of the Old Settler-., 
which declared that "in identifying themselves with those individuals 
known as the Ridge party, who by their conduct had rendered them- 
selves odious to the ( 'herokee [ pie. they have acted in opposition to 

the known sentiments and feelings of that portion of this Nation known 
as Old Settlers, frequently and variously and publicly expressed." 
The offending chief- were at the same time deposed from all authority. 
Among tlie names of over two hundred signers attached thai of 
•• ( i-eorge Guess" (Sequoya) come- second as vice-president. 8 

On July 1-. L839, 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 id' the 
eastern Cherokee the instrument bears the signature of John Ross, 
principal chief. George Lowrey, president of the council, and Going 
snake (I'nadu-na'I), speaker of the council, with thirteen others. For 
the western ('herokee it was signed by John Looney, acting principal 
chief , George Guess (Sequoya), president of the council, and fifteen 
others. On September r>. L839, a convention composed chiefry of 
eastern ('herokee assembled at Tahlequah, Indian territory -then first 
officially 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, 1840, an act which completed the 
reunion of the Nation. : 

Till: ARKANSAS BAND— 1817- L838 

Having followed the fortunes of the main body of the Nation to 
their final destination in the West, we now turn to review briefly 

i: rokee Nation, op. eit, pp. 294 

h ii- Lugusl 23, L839, in Report In. linn Commissioner, p. 387, 1839; Royce, op. 'it.. 

p j'.' i 

Ictof Union " and •' Constitution " in Constitution and Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1875; 

[etti i to the Secretai ol Wai June 28, L840, In Eti | India 

p, 16, 1-1" 

186 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

the history of the earlier emigrants, the Arkansas or Old 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 L817, have been 
already noted. The great majority of those thus voluntarily 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 lands upon which 
the emigrants had settled belonged to the Osage, whose claim had not 
yet been extinguished by the United States, the latter objected to 
their presence, and the Cherokee were compelled to fight to maintain 
their own position, so that for the first twenty years or more the 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 1*17 the western Cherokee acquired 
title to a definite territory and official standing under Government pro- 
tection and supervision, the lands assigned them Inning been acquired 
by treaty from the Osage. The great body of the Cherokee in the 
East were strongly opposed to any recognition of the western hand, 
seeing in such action only the beginning of an effort looking toward 
the ultimate removal of the whole tribe. The Government lent sup- 
port to the scheme, however, and a steady emigration set in until, in 
lM'.t. the emigrant^ were said to number several thousands. Unsuc- 
cessful endeavors were made to increase the number by inducing the 
Shawano and Delaware* of Missouri and the Oneida of New York to 
join them.' 

In L818 Tollunteeskee (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 Hoard. Tollunteeskee having 
died in the meantime was succeeded as principal chief by his brother. 
John Jolly, 8 the friend and adopted father of Samuel Houston. Jolly 

1 See ante, pp. 105-106; Nuttall. who was oil the ground, gives them only L.500. 
2 Washburn, Cephas, Reminiscences "i* the Indians, pp. 81,103; Richmond, 1869. 

moosey] TROUBLES WITH OSAGE- 1 S I7-^' 137 

had removed from bis old borne at the mouth of Hiwassee, in Ten- 
nessee, in 1 81 v . 

In the spring of L819 Tl as Nuttall, the naturalist, ascended the 

Arkansas, ami he gives an interesting accounl of the western Cherokee 
as he found theinal the time, [n going up the stream, "both banks of 
the river, as we proceeded, were lined with the houses and farms of 
the Cherokee, and though their die-- was a mixture of indigenous 
and European taste, yel 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 they are no longer 
strangers to avarice and the distinctions created by wraith. Some of 
them are possessed of property to the amount of many thousands of 
dollars, ha\ e 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 which the 
Cherokee had killed nearly one hundred of the Osage, besides taking 
a number of prisoners. He estimates them at about fifteen hundred, 
being about half the number estimated by the eastern Nation as hav- 
ing emigrated to the West, and only one-fourth of the official estimate. 
A few Delawares wen' living with them. 2 

The Osage troubles continued in spite of a treaty of peace between 
the two tribes made at a council held under the direction of < rovernor 
Clark at St. Louis, in October, L818. 3 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 L820 a second effort for peace was made by Gov- 
ernor Miller of Arkansas territory. In reply to his talk the I (sage 
complained that the Cherokee had failed to deliver their Osage cap 
fives 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 accordingly 
dispatched to secure and bring them hack. Another peace conference 
was held soon afterward at Fort Smith, hut to very little purpose, as 
hostilities were soon resumed and continued until the United States 
actively interposed in the fall of L822. 5 

In this year also Sequoya visited the western ( Jherokee to introduce 

'Nuttall, Journal ol Travels into the Arkansas Territory, etc., p. 129; Philadelphia, 1821. 

-Ibid., pp. 123-136. The battle mentioned seems t.> in- the same noted somewhat differently by 

: Reminiscent es, p. 120 
•Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. < it i>. 222 
• Washburn, >>]■- fit.. i>. 160, and personal information trom .1. D, Wafford. 

op. cit. pp. 242, 243; Washhum, op. cit., pp. 112-122 et passim; see also sk< 
and Tooantuh or Spring-frog, in McKenney and Hall, Indian Tribes, i and ii, 185S. 

138 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ass.19 

to them the knowledge of his great invention, which was at once taken 
up through the influence of Takatoka (IVgata'ga). a prominent chief 
who had hitherto opposed every effort of the missionaries to intro- 
duce their own schools and religion. In consequence perhaps of this 
encouragement Sequoya removed permanently to the West in the fol- 
lowing year and became henceforth a member of the western Nation. 1 

Like other Indians, the western ( iherokee held a firm belief in witch- 
craft, which led to frequent tragedies of punishment or retaliation. 
In L824 a step forward was marked by the enactment of a law making 
it murder to kill any one for witchcraft, and an offense punishable 
with whipping to accuse another of witchcraft. 8 This law may have 
been the result of the silent working of missionary influence, 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 be made of the eastern and 
western divisions of the Nation, separately, and an apportionment of the 
national annuity 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 ceded 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. 3 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, partly 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. 4 With their boundaries unadjusted and their annui- 
ties withheld, distress and dissatisfaction 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'di). crossed Red river into Texas — then a portion of Mexico — in 
a vain attempt to escape American jurisdiction." 

A provisional western boundary 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 L825, passed a law. as the eastern 
Cherokee and the Creeks had already done, fixing the death penalty 

1 Washburn. Reminiscences, p. 17s. lsii'.l; see also ante p. 206. 

°- Ibid, p. 138. 

»See Treaty of 1S17. Indian Treaties, 1837. 

» Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Report Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 243, 244, 1888. 

5 Ibid, p. 243. 

6 Author's personal information; see p. 143. 


for anyone of the tribe who should undertake to cede or exchange iand 
belonging to the Nation.' 

After a long series of negotiations such pi'essure was brought to 
bear upon a delegation which visited Washington in 1828 thai consent 
was al last obtained to an exchange of the Arkansas tract for another 
piece of seven million acres lying farther west, together with "a per- 
petual outlet west" of the trad thus assigned, as fat- west a- the 
sovereignty of the United States migh< extend. 4 The boundaries 
given for this seven-million-acre tract and the adjoining western 
outlet were modified by treat \ at Fort Gibson five years later so as to 
he practically equivalent 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, L828, recites that 
" Whereas, it being the anxious desire of thet rovernment of the United 

States to secure to the Cherokee nati f Indians. ;l s well those now 

living within the limits of the territory of Arkansas as those of their 
friends and brothers who reside in state- east of the Mississippi, 
and who may wish to join their brothers of the West, a permanent 
//"///-.and which shall, under the mosl solemn guarantee of the United 
States, he and remain theirs forever a home that shall never, in all 
future time, he eml larrassed by having extended around it the lines 
or placed over it the jurisdiction of a territory or state, nor he 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, 
a- the past demonstrates, to their future degradation and misery, and 
the ( 'herokees being anxious to avoid such consequences," etc. there- 
fore, they vfd>' everything confirmed to them in 1817. 

Article 2 defines the boundaries of the new tract and the western 
outlet to lie given in exchange, lying immediately 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 anj 
population of any other sort, -hall 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 he 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: 
120,000 in ten annual payments for education; $1,000 for a printing 

1 Royce, Cherokee Saturn, op cit., p. 215. - [bid. pp H7 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 reestablishment of the Dwight mission. 

In article 6 "it is moreover agreed by the United States, whenever 
the Cherokee may desire it. to give them a set of plain laws, suited to 
their condition: also, when they wish t<> 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 hinds the Cherokee to surrender and 
remove from all their lands in Arkansas within fourteeiijnonths. 

Article 8 shows that all this was intended to he 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 t<> bend every effort. It is as 

Article S. The Cherokee nation, west of tin- Mississippi, having bythis agreement 
freed themselves from the harassing and ruinous effects consequent upon a location 
amidst a white population, ami 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 he induced to join them and enjoy the repose and blessings of such a 
state in the future, it i.- further agreed mi the part of the United States that to each 
h, ul of a ( herokee fannh now reoi ling within the chartered limits cf 1 eorgi i, or 
of either of the states oast of the Mississippi, who may desire to remove west, shall 

he given, mi enrolling himself for emigration, a g 1 rifle, a blanket, a kettle, and 

five pounds of tobacco; (and to each member of his family one blanket), also a just 
compensation fur the property lie may abandon, to he assessed by persons to he 
app anted by the President .if the United states. The cost of the emigration of all 
such shall also he borne by the United states, ami good and suitable ways opened 
ami procured for their comfort, accomi latioh, and support by the way. and pro- 
visions fur 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 ho paid immediately 
on his arriving at the agency and reporting himself and his family or followers as 
emigrants or permanent settlers, in addition to the above, provided he and they shall 
have , migrated from within the chartered limits of the, of Georgia, the sum of fifty 
dollars, and this sum in proportion to any greater or less number that may accompany 
him from within the aforesaid chartered limits of the State of Georgia. 

A Senate amendment, defining the limits of the western outlet, was 
afterward found to he impracticable in its restrictions and was can- 
celed by the treaty made at Fort Gibson in is:;:;. 1 

Tin" Washington treaty was signed by several delegates, including 
Sequoya, four of them signing in Cherokee characters. As the laws 

iTreatj of Washington, May 6, 1828, Indian Treaties, pp 123-428,1837; treaty of Fort Gibson, 1-:;:;, 
ibid., pp.56] 65 see also for synopsis, Eoyce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp 229,230,1888. 



From Catlin's painting of 183-1 

t nkv] EMIGRATION TO TEXAS 1828 111 

of the western Cherokee made it a capital offense to negotiate any sale 
or exchange of land excepting l>y 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 War senl 
with them a letter of explanation assuring the Cherokee thai 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 without, 
authority, and asked permission to send on a delegation authorized to 
arrange all differences. 1 In the meantime, however, the treaty had 
been ratified within three weeks of its conclusion, and thus, hardly ten 
years after they had cleared their fields 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 five hundred dollars was ottered by General 
Arbuckle for his capture. To show his defiance of the proclamation, 
he deliberately journeyed to Fori 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 rifle in one hand and the bleeding scalp 
in the other, he leaped a precipice and made his escape, although a 
bullet grazed his cheek. On promise of amnesty and the withdrawal 
id' 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. 8 

By treaties made in L826 and L827 the Creeks had ceded all their 
remaining lands in Georgia and agreed to remove to Lndian Territory. 
Some of these emigrants had settled alone- the northern bank of 
the Arkansas and on Verdigris river, on lands later found to he 
within the limits of the territory assigned to the western Cherokee 
by the treaty of L828. This led to jealousies and collisions between 

■ Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Aim. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, !■. 248, 1888. 

2 For a sketch of Tahchee, with portraits, see McKenney and Hall, i, pp. 
American Indians ii, pp. 121,122, 1844. Washburn also mentions the emigration to Texas 
upon the treaty of 1828 i Reminiscences, p. -ii'. 1869). 

142 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

the two tribes, and in order to settle the difficulty the United States 
convened a joint council of ("recks and Cherokee at Fort Gibson, with 
the result that separate treaties were concluded with each on February 
14. 1833, defining- their respective bounds to the satisfaction of all 
concerned. By this arrangement the upper Verdigris was confirmed 
t<> the Cherokee, and the Creeks who had settled along that portion of 
the stream agreed to remove to Creek 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 by the treaty of L828 
are denned 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 ot' Kansas liy the treaty of 1866. 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 tract thus bounded, being what was after- 
ward known as the Cherokee strip 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: 

In addition 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 tree 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 <>f the United States and 
their right ef 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 staters as soon as iiractieable for 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 survey lands for indi- 
viduals, when so desired by the Cherokee. 2 

Their differences with the Creeks having been thus adjusted, the 
Arkansas Cherokee proceeded to occupy the territory guaranteed to 
them, where they 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 

i Treaties at Fort Gibson. February 14. 1833, with Creeks and Cherokee, in Indian Treaties, pp. 
56] "■'.'. 1837. 

s Treaty of 1833, Indian Treaties, pp. 561-665,1837; Etoyce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau 
of Ethnology, pp. 249-253. 1888; see also Treaty of New Eehota, 1835, ante, pp. 123-125. 



i From McKcnney and Ball's copy of the original painting ol aboul L830) 


of the Creek confederacy who had fixed their residence al the spot 
where the town of Tahlequah \\:i- aftei'ward established- They 
remained here until swept off by smallpox some sixty years ago. ' 


As already stated, a band of western Cheixikee under Chief Bowl, 
dissatisfied \\ itli the delay in fulfilling the terms of the treaty of L817, 
bad Left Arkansas and crossed Red river into Texas, then under 
Mexican jurisdiction, where the} were joined a few years later by 
Tahchee and other- of the western band who were opposed to the 
treat} of L828. Here they united with other refugee Indians from 
the United States, forming together a loose confederacy known after- 
ward as "the Cherokee and their associated bands," < sisting of 

Cherokee, Shawano, Delaware, Kickapoo, Quapaw, Choctaw, Biloxi, 
"Iawanie" (Heyowani, Yowani), "Unataqua" (Nada'ko or Ana- 
darko, another Caddo subtribe), "Tahookatookie" (?), Alabama (a 
(reek subtribe), and "Cooshatta" (Koasa'ti, another Creek subtribe). 
The Cherokee being the largest and most important band, their child'. 
Bowl — known to the whites as Colonel Bowles— was regarded as the 
chief and principal man of them all. 

The refugees settled chiefly alone- 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 hope- were held out that a grant would lie issued, hut the papers 
had not been perfected when the Texas revolution began. 2 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. 3 On complaint of some of the American colonists in Texas 
President Jackson issued a proclamation forbidding any Indian- to 
cross the Sabine river from the United States. 4 

In L826-27 a dissatisfied American colony in eastern Texas, under the 
leader-hip of Hayden Edward-, organized what was known a- 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 

■ Author's personal information. In 189] the author opened two Uehee graves on the grounds of 
Cornelius Boudinot, at Tahlequah, finding with one body a number of French, Spanish, and Imeri 
can silver coins wrapped in cloth and deposited in two packages on each sidi of the head They are 
now in the National Museum at Washington, 

- Bonnell, Topographic Description of Texas, p, ill; Austin, 1840; Thrall, History of Texas, p. 58; 
New York, 1876. 

'Author's personal information from J. D. Wafford and other old Cherokee residents and fr recenl 

Cherokee delegates. Bancroft agrees with Bonnell and Thrall that no grant was formally issued, 
but states that the Cherokee chiei established In* people in Texas " confiding in promises made to 
bim, and a conditional agreement in 1822 ' with the Spanish governor Historj "i the North Mexican 
States and Texas, u, p 103, 1889). It i> probable that the paper carried to Bowl was the later 
Houston treaty. See next page. 'Thrall, op. cit,,s, p. 58. 

144 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ass.19 

occupied by them, but without specification as to boundaries. The 
Fredonia movement .soon collapsed and nothing tangible seems to have 
come of the negotiations. 1 

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 strongly 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 
associated bands. They met the chiefs, including Bowl and Big-mush 
(( .atun'wa'll. "Hard-mush"), of the Cherokee, at Bowl's village on Feb- 
ruary 23, L836, and concluded a formal trinity 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 Nechesand 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 treaty. 2 The 
territory thus assigned was about equivalent to the present Cherokee 
county. Texas. 

The treaty provoked such general dissatisfaction 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 efforts in behalf of the Cherokee, the treaty was 
rejected by the Texas senate in secret session on December It',. 1837 
Texas having in the meantime achieved victorious independence was 
now in position to repudiate her engagements with the Indians, which 
she did. not only with the Cherokee, but with the Comanche and 
other wild tribes, wdiich had been induced to remain neutral during 
the struggle on assurance of being secured in possession 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 

i Thrall, Texas, p. 46, 1879. ; Ibid., p. 143, 1840. 

-Bunnell, Te.xiis, pp. 14J.14::. 1840. 

EXPULSION FROM l i:\.\s — 1839 1 1 5 

Mexico by which they were to be secured in the territory in question 
on condition of assisting to drive oul the Americans. 1 The cha 
runic rather late in the day. and it was evident thai Presidenl Houston 
put no faith in it, as be still continued his efforts in behalf of the 
( Iherokee, e\ en so far as to order the boundary line to be run. accord- 
ing to the terms of the treaty i to). 

In December, 1838, Houston was succeeded as Presidenl l>\ Mirabeau 
B. Lamar, who at once announced his intention to expel every Indian 
tribe from Texas, declaring in his inaugural message that "the sword 
<hould mark the boundaries of the republic." At this time the Indians 
in eastern Texas, including the ( Iherokee and their twelve confederated 
bands and some others, were estimated at L,800 warriors, or perhaps 
8,1 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 informed 
that they musl prepare to leave the country in the fall, bul thai they 
would be paid for the impi-ovements 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 prei ipitated, and a 
commission consisting of General Albert Sidney Johnston (secretary 
of war of the republic), Vice-President Burnet, and some other 
officials, backed 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 border. The Indians refused and were 
attacked and defeated on July L5, L839, 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 < iatfuYwa'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 comparatively 
trifling. The first fight took place al a hill close to the main Cherokee 
village on the Angelina, where the Indian- made a stand and defended 
their position well for some time. The second occurred at a ravine 
near Neches river, where they wire intercepted in their retreat. Says 
Thrall, "After this fight the Indians abandoned Texas, leaving their 
tine lands in possession of the w hites." ' 

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 

'Bonm-ll. Texas, pp. 1 1 :. 1 il. 
I pp. 144, 146. 

< Bonnell, op. eit., pp. 116-150; Thrall, op. 'it., pp. 118-120. 
19 ETH— 01 10 

146 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Texas land, which Row] had carried about with him since the treaty 
with Houston and which he had upon his person when shot. It is 
still kept in the Nation.' Others, with the Kickapoo, Delawares, 
and Caddo, scattered in small hands along the western Texas frontier, 
where they were occasionally heard from afterward. On Christmas 
day of the same year a fight occurred on Cherokee creek. San Saba 
count}', in which several Indians were killed and a number of women 
and children captured, including the wife and family of the dead chief 
Bowl. 2 Those of the Cherokee w T ho 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 LakeChapala, communication being 
still kept up through occasional visits from their kinsmen in the terri- 
tory. 3 


With the final removal of the Cherokee from their native country 
and their reunion and reorganization under new conditions in Indian 
Territory in L840 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 afford to leave the rest to 
others, the principal materials being readily accessible in the Cherokee 
national archives at Tahlequah, in the tiles of the Gheroket Advocate 
and other newspapers published in the Nation, and in the annual 
reports and other documents of the Indian office. 

For many years the hunter and warrior had been giving place to the 
farmer and mechanic, ami 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 country where every- 
thing was new and strange, they were obliged 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 became a fading memory or a tale to amuse a 
child. Instead of ceremonials and peace councils we hear now" of rail- 
road deals and contracts with cattle syndicates, and instead of the old 
warrior chiefs who had made the Cherokee name a terror — Oconostota, 
Hanging-maw, Poublehead. and Pathkiller — we find the destinies of the 

1 Author's personal information from .1. I'. Wafford and other old western Cherokee, and recent 
Cherokee delegates; by some this is said u> have been :i Mexican patent, lint it is probably the "ik- 
given by Texas. See ante, i>. 143. 

"Thrall, Texas, p. 120, 1876. 

3 Author's personal information from Mexican and Cherokee sources 


nation guided henceforth by shrewd mixed-blood politicians, bearing 
white men's names and speaking the white man's language, and fre 
quentlj with hardlj enough Indian blood to show itself in the features. 
The change was no< instantaneous, nor is ii even yet complete, for 
although tin- tendency is constantly away from the old things, and 
although frequent intermarriages are rapidlj blea'ching out the brown 
of the Indian skin, there are still several thousand full-blood Chero- 
kee —enough to constitute a large 1 1- i 1 >* • if set off by themselves who 
speak only their native language and in secret bow down to the nature- 
gods <>!' 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 grounds 
and in the railr I 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 Acfrvocatt was revived, and the work 
of civilization was again taken up, though under great difficulties, as 
continued removals and persecutions, with the awful suffering 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 by 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- 
tler- also had their grievances and complaints against the newcomer-. 
so that the history of the Cherokee Nation for the next twenty years 
i- largely a chronicle of factional quarrels, through which civilization 
and every good work actually retrograded behind the condition of a 
generation earlier. 

Sequoya, who had occupied a prominent position in the affairs of 

the Old Settlers and assisted much in the reorganization of the Nati 

had become seized with a desire to make linguistic investigations among 
the remote tribes, very 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 L842, with a few Cherokee companions and with hi- pro- 
visions and papers loaded in an ox cart, he made several journey- into 
the West, received everywhere with kindness by even the wildest t ribes. 
Disappointed in his philologic results, he started out in L843 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 effort and died alone and unattended, it i< said — near the 

148 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

village of San Fernando, Mexico, in August 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. 1 
Sequoyah district of the Cherokee Nation was named in his honor, and 
the great trees of California (Sequoia gigantea) also preserve his 

In L846 a treaty was concluded at Washington by 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 agreements up to the present date. 

In 1859 the devoted missionary Samuel Worcester, author of 
numerous translations and first organizer of the Advocate, 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. 3 

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 part}', headed by 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 by the patriotic 
organization known as the Kitoowah society — whose members were 
afterward known as Pin Indians — declared for strict neutrality. At 
last, however, the pressure became too strong to be resisted, and on 
October T, L'861, 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. 4 

iW. A. Phillips. Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, September, 1*70; Foster. Sequoyah, 1885; Royc.e, 
Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Hep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 302, 1888; letter of William P. Ross, former 
editor of Cherokee Advocate, March 11, 18S9, in archives of Bureau of American Ethnology; Cherokee 
Advocate, October 19, 1844, November J, 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. 

-For full discussion see Royee, op. eit., pp. 298-812. 

3 Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages i bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology), p. 17 1, 1888. 

<See treaties with Cherokee, October 7,1861,and with other Confederate States Statutes 
at Large, 1804; Royee, op. cit., pp. 324-828; Greeley, American Conflict, n, pp. 30-31. 1866; Reports of 
Indian Commissioner for i860 to 1862. 

thk u\ 11. w \i: 149 

Two Cherokee regiments were raised for the Confederate service, 

under c mand of Stand Watie and Colonel Drew, respectively, the 

former being commissioned as brigadier-general. Thej participated 
in several engagements, chief among them being the battle of Pea 
Ridge, Arkansas, on .March 7. 1m'>2.' In the following summer the 
Union forces entered the Cherokee country and senl a proposition i<> 
Ross, urging him to repudiate the treaty with the Confederate states, 
but the offer was indignantlj declined. Shortly afterward, however, 
the men of Drew's regiment, finding themselves unpaid and generally 
neglected by 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 be did not return until the close 
of the war. In the meantime Indian Territory was ravaged alter- 
nately by contending factions and armed bodies, and thousands of 
loyal fugitives were obliged to lake refuge in Kansas, where they 
were eared for by the government. Among these, at the close of 1862, 
were two thousand Cherokee. In the following spring thej were sent 

hack to their homes under an 1 escort to give them an opportunity 

to put in a crop, seeds and tools being furnished for the purpose, hut 
had hardly begun work when they were forced to retire by the 
approach of Stand Watie and his regiment of Confederate Cherokee, 
estimated at seven hundred men. Stand Watie and his men. with the 
( !onfederate ( Ireeks and others, scoured the country at will, destroying 
or carrying off everything belonging to the loyal Cherokee, who had 
now. to the number of nearly seven thousand, taken refuge at Fort 
Gibson. Refusing to lake sides againsl 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, head. 

"The events of the war brought to them more of desolation and 
ruin than perhaps to any other community. Raided and sacked alter- 
nately, not only by the Confederate and Union forces, bul I » s the vin- 
dictive ferocity and hate of their own factional divisions, their country 
became a blackened and desolate waste. Driven from comfortable 
home-, exposed to want, misery, and the element-, they perished like 
sheep in a -now storm. Their houses, fence-, and other improve- 
ments were burned, their orchard- 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 

' In this battle the Con assisted by from 4,000 to 5,000 Indians of the southern ■ 

i erokee, under command of General Albert Pike. 
- l:, >yce • in, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnolog; i 


150 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

had been occupied by their settlements was distinguishable from the 
virgin prairie only by the scorched and blackened chimneys and the 
plowed but now neglected fields." 1 

After rive years of desolation the Cherokee emerged from the war 
with their numbers reduced from 21,000 to 14,000, a and their whole 
country in ashes. On July 19, 1866, by a treaty concluded at Tahle- 
quah. the nation was received 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 L5 and 16 
permission was given tin 1 United States to settle friendly Indians 
within the Cherokee home country or the Cherokee strip by 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 by United 
States troops during the war; and $3,000 were to be 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 article 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." 3 

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 by 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, 

1 Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. cit.. p. 376. 

- 1 1 1 i < 1 . . p. 376. A census of 1867 siw~ them 13,566 I ibid., p. :'.">l I. 

»See synopsis and full discussion in Royce, op. cit.. pp. 334-340. 

* Act of Citizenship, November 7, 1865, Laws of the Cherokee Nation, p. it.'; St. Louis, 1868. 

& See Resolutions of Honor, ibid., pp. 137-140. 




j and II ill's i ..|- of il riginal painting ol aboul 183 i 


and be died, as be bad lived for nearly forty years, the official!; recog 
nixed chief of the Nation. With repeated opportunities to enrich 
himself at the expense of his tribe, he died a poor man. His bodj 
was brought back and interred in the territorj 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 I t6). 

Under the provisions of the late treaty the 1 >ela wares in Kansas, to 
the number of 985, removed t<> Indian territory in 1867 and became 
incorporated as citizens <d' the Chei-okee Nation. They were followed 
in 1870 by the Shawano, chiefly also from Kansas, to the number of 
770. 1 These immigrants settled chiefly along the Verdigris, in the 
northwestern part of the Nation. Under the same treaty the Osage, 
Kaw, Paw nee. Ponca, < )to and Missouri, and Tonkawa were afterward 
settled (in the western extension known then as the Cherokee strip. 
The captive Nez Perces of Joseph's hand werealso 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 agreement ratified 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 publication 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 
English. 3 

In the spring of L881 a delegation from the Cherokee Nation visited 
tin East Cherokee still remaining in the mountains of North Carolina 
and extended to them a cordial and urgent imitation to remove and 
incorporate upon equal terms with the Cherokee Nation in the Indian 
territory, [n consequence several parties of East Cherokee, number- 
ing in all 161 persons, removed during the year to the western Nation. 
the expense being paid by the Federal government. < >thers afterwards 
applied for assistance to remove, but as no further appropriation was 
made for the purpose nothing more was done.* iii 1883 the East 
Cherokee brought suit for a proportionate division of the Cherokee 
funds and other interests under previous treaties, 5 but their claim was 

i tee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 356-358 1888 Constitution and 

Laws of the Cherokee Nation, pp. 277-284; St. Louis, 1875. 
-Ruviv, op. ril 

'Foster, Sequoyah, pp. 1 17. 148, 1885; Pilling, Iroquoian Bibliography, 1888, articles" Chero 
eate" and "John B. Jones." Tbescl to have ended with the arithmetic— cause, 

as the Cherokee national superintendent ol irhiteman." 

-n'U'T H.Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, p.lxv,1881,and p. lxx, 1882; see also p. 175. 
» Report of Indian Commissioner, p. Ixi 

152 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. a.nn.19 

finally decided adversely three years later on appeal to the Supreme 
Court. 1 

In L889 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, including the support of the two seminaries, an orphan asylum, 
and over one hundred primary schools, besides which there were a 
number of mission schools. 2 

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 
tribe-, 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 lie 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 
severalty, 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 by 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 
portions of the Indian territory — reserved by treaty for 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 year the commission made a proposition to 

1 Commissioner J. D. C. Atkins, Report of Indian Commissioner, p.xlv, 1886, and p. lxxvii, 1887. 
'i>t L. E. Bennett, in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 93, 1S90. 


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 thai the Cherokee con 
stitution forbade its consideration. 1 Other tribes were approached for 
a similar purpose, and the commission was continued, with changing 
personnel from year to year, until agreements for cession and the 
taking of allotments had been made with nearly all the wilder tribes 
in what is now Oklahoma. 

[n the meantime the Attorney -< 1-eneral had rendered a decision deny- 
ing the right of Indian tribes to lease their kind- without permission 
of the Government. At this time the Cherokee were deriving an 
annual income of $150,000 from the lease of grazing privileges upon 
the strip, hut by a proclamation of President Harrison on February 
17. 1890, ordering the cattlemen to vacate before the end of the year. 
this income was cut oil and the strip was rendered practically value- 
less to them. 8 The Cherokee were now forced to come to terms, and 
a second proposition for the cession of the Cherokee strip was finally 
accepted by the national council on January 1. 1892. "It was known 
to the Cherokees that for some time would-be settlers on the land- 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 reaffirmation to the Cherokee Nation 
of the right of local self-government." 8 The agreement having been 
ratified by Congress, the Cherokee strip was opened h\ Presidential 
proclamation on September 16, I s '.':;.' 

The movement for the abolition of the Indian governments and the 
allotment and opening of the Indian country had now gained such force 
thai by act of Congress approved March 3, 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 land- 
within that territory, now held by any and all of such nations and 
tribe-, either by 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 Indian- of such nation- or tribes respectively as may be 

■ of Indian < knnmissioni r, p, 22, 1889 

ion by President Harrison and order from Indian C missi n in deport of Indian 

Commissioner, pp. lxxii-lxxiii, i-ji 122, 1890 rhi tease figures are from personal information. 

■ rT. J. Morgan, Report of Indian C aissioner, pp, 79 80, 1892. 

'Commissioner I). M. Browning, Report of Indian Commissionei pp 


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." 1 
The commission appointed arrived in the Indian territory in January, 
1894, and at once began negotiations. 2 

At this time the noncitizen element in Indian Territory was officially 
reported to number at least 200,000 souls, while those having rights 
as citizens of the five civilized tribes, including full-blood and mixed- 
blood Indians, adopted whites, and negroes, numbered but 70, 500. s 
Not all of the noncitizens were intruders, many being there by per- 
mission 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 brought this year 
in the ( 'herokee Nation was decided by the Interior Department against 
the claimants and in favor of the Cherokee. Commenting upon threats 
made in consequence by the rejected claimants, the agent for the five 
tribes remarks: "It is not probable that Congress will establish a 
court to nullify and vacate a formal decision of the Interior Depart- 
ment." 4 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 disturbers of peace and promoters of discord, and while they 
cry aloud, and spare not, for allotment and statehood, they arc but 
stumbling blocks and obstacles to that mutual good will and fraternal 
feeling which must 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. 6 

In 1895 the commission was increased to rive members, with enlarged 
jiowers. 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 being made, and whether 
with 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 oxer- 
throw of their present communal holdings. At this writing surveying 
corps are at work in the Creek. Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nation-, and 
therefore each one of these tribes has an ocular demonstration of the 
actual intent and ultimate purpose of the government of the United 

States." : 

1 Quotation from act. etc.. Report of Indian Commissioner lor lsil-l, p. J7, ls'.i.Y 

2 Report of Agent D.M. Wisdom, ibid., p. Ml. 
sibid., and statistical table, p. 570. 

' Report '■! Agent D. M. Wisdom, ibid., p. 1 15. 

5 Agent I>. M. Wisdom, in Report Indian Commissioner for 1S95, p. 155, 1896. 

1 Commissioner I'. M. Browning, Report <>i Indian Commissioner, p. si. 1896. 

; Report of Agent I). M. Wisdom. Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, pp. 159,160.1896. 

! by] i 1 1\ DITIOH in 1895 1 55 

The genera] prosperity and advancement of the Chei"okee Nation at 
this time may be judged from the report of the secretary of the < !her- 
okee national board of education to |A.gen1 Wisdom. He reports 1,800 
children attending two seminaries, male and female, two high schools, 
and one hundred primary schools, teachers being paid from |35 to 
$100 per month for nine months in the year. Fourteen primary 
schools were for the use of the negro citizens of the Nation, besides 
which they had a fine high school, kept up, like all the others, at the 
expense 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 o\\ n subscription schools. The orphan asylum ranked as a high 
school, in which L50 orphans were hoarded and educated, \\ ith gradu- 
ates every year. It was a large brick building of three stories. 80 by 
240 feet. The male seminary, accommodating 200 pupils, and the 
female seminary, accommodating 225 pupils, were also large brick 
structures, three stories in height and L50 by 240 feet on the ground. 
Three members, all Cherokee by blood, constituted a board of educa- 
tion. The secretary adds that the Cherokee are proud of their scl Is 

and educational institutions, and that no other country under the sun 
is so Messed with etlucat ional advantages at large. 1 

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. 2 Realizing that the swift, inevitable end must be 
the destruction of their national governments, the Cherokee began 
once more to consider the question of removal from the United States. 
Thescheme 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 State- seems 
determined to break up the tribal autonomy of the five civilized 
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 nut of it, away from it. and one that pr isea 

niir preservation as a distinct race of people in the enjoyment of customs, social ami 
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 United 

^tatcs. divide the proceeds thereof per capita, then such as desire to do so unit.' in 
ili.' formation of an Indian colony, and with their funds jointly purchase in Mexico 

iLetterol \ r . : of the Board of Education, in Report of Indian Commissioner for 

1895, p. I'll. 1896. I he authoi can add personal testimony as to tin npletenesa <>! tbi 


= Report of Agent Wisdom, ibid., p. 162. 

156 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

<>r Smith America a body of land sufficient for all their purposes; to be forever their 
joint home. ... I believe also that for such fndians 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 < it her lands in the country here as they might desire, and 
they could remain here and meet such fate as awaits them. I believe this presents ' 
the mi i-t 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. 1 also believe thai the same could be acted upon by any or all of the 
five civilized tribes. . . . l 

The final chapter is nearly written. I5y successive enactments 
within the last ten years the jurisdiction of the Indian courts has 
been 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 seetionized by 
Government surveyors: and by the sweeping provisions of the Curtis 
act of June 28, L898, "for the protection of the people of the Indian 
Territory." the entire control of tribal revenues is taken from the five 
Indian tribes and vested with a resident supervising inspector, the 
tribal courts are abolished, allotments are made compulsory, and 
authority is given to incorporate white men's towns in the Indian 
tribes. 8 By this act the five civilized tribes are reduced to the 
condition of ordinary reservation tribes under government agents 
with white communities 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 consented to allotment, while the Creeks and the Seminole 
are now wavering. 3 The Cherokee still hold out, the Ketoowah secret 
society (47) especially being strong in its resistance, and when the end 
conies 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 seems a determined purpose on the part of many 
fullbloods ... to emigrate to either Mexico or South America 
and there purchase new homes for themselves and families. Such 
individual action may 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 
advocating the scheme, which may develop to include a large propor- 
tion of the five civilized tribes. 6 

By the census of 1898, the most recent taken, as reported by Agent 

1 Letter oi Bird Harris, May 31, 1895, in Report of Indian Commissioner fur 189ft, p. 160. 1896. 

^Synopsis of Curtis act, pp. T.v-vn. and Curtis act in full, p. 425 et seq., in Report of Indian Commis- 
sioner tor 1898; noted also in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 84 et seq., 1899. 

1 Commissioner W. A. Jones, ibid., pp. i, 84 et seq. (Curtis act and Dawes commission). 

1 Report of Agent I». M. Wisdom, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 141-144, 1*97 

6 Author's personal information: see also House bill No. 1165 " for the relief of certain Indians in 
Indian Territory," etc., Fifty-sixth Congress, first session. l'.HHi. 

i nei (' I'SAI.A AND < HAKLEY L57 

Wisdom, the Cherokee Nation numbered 34,46] persons, as follows: 

Cherokee by blood (including all degrees of admixture), 26,£ : inter 

married whites, 2,300; negro Ereedmen, 1,000; Delaware, 871; >ha« 
nee, 7: mi. The total acreage of the Nation was 5,031,351 acres, which, 
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 111 acres. 1 It tnusl be noted 
that the official rolls include a large number of persons whose claims 

are disputed by the Cherokee authorities. 


It remains to speak of the eastern hand of Cherokee -the remnant 
which still dines to the woods and waters of the old home country. 
As has been said, a considerable number had eluded the troop-- in the 
general round-up of 1838 and had tied to the fastnesses of the high 
mountains. Here they were joined by others 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 North Carolina, the 
purest-blooded and mosl 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 amid 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 5 General Scott eagerly 
seized the incident as an opportunity for compromise. To this end he 
engaged the services of William 11. Thomas, a trader who for more 
than twenty years had been closely identified with the mountain Cher- 
okee and possessed their full confidence, 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 
Indian- 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 
rule- of war he could secure respite tor his sorely pressed followers, 
with the ultimate hope that they might he allowed to remain in their 

1 Report of Agent I). M. Wisdom, Report "i [ndian Commissioner, p. 159, 189S. 
ge 131. 

158 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

own country, whereas if he rejected the offer the whole force of the 
seven thousand troops which hud now completed the work of gather- 
ing up and deporting the rest of the tribe would be set loose upon his 
own small hand until the last refugee had been either taken or 


U'tsala turned the proposition in his mind long and seriously. His 
heart was hitter, 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 march into exile and then he looked round upon his little 
band of followers. If only they might stay, even though a few must 
lie sacrificed, it was better than that all should die — for they had sworn 
never to leave their country. He consented and Thomas returned to 
report to General Scott. 

Now occurred a remarkable incident which shows the character of 
Thomas and the masterly influence which he already had over the 
Indians, although as yet he was hardly more than thirty years old. It 
was known that Charley 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 hloodshed and a further delay 
which might prejudice the whole undertaking. Thomas determined to 
go to him and try to persuade him to come in and surrender. Declin- 
ing Scott's otter of an escort, he went alone to the cave, and, getting 
between the Indians and their guns as they were sitting around the 
tire near the entrance, he walked up to Charley and announced his 
message. The old man listened in silence and then said simply, "I 
will come in. I don't want to be hunted down by my own people." 
They 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. 1 

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 certain conditions. 

i Charley's story as here given is from the author's personal information, derived chiefly from con- 
versations with Colonel Thomas and with Wasitu'na and other old Indians. An ornate but some 
u hat inaccurate account is given also in Lanman's Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, written on 
the ground ten years after the events deseribed. The leading lactsare noted in General Scott's official 

PURCHASE OF Ql AM. A KI--I IM \TI<>.\- 1842 L59 

cadi head of a family thus remaining to be confirmed in a preemption 
right i" L60 acres. In consequence of the settled purpose of President 
Jackson to deport e\ cry 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. 1 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, L838. Nine months afterwards the refugees still scattered 
about in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee were reported 
to number L,046. ! By persistent effort at Washington from L836 to 
L842, including one continuous stay of three years at the capital city, 
Thomas finally 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 L861, a number of contiguous 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 
L819, came afterward to he known as the Qualla boundary, or Qualla 
reservation, taking the name from Thomas' principal trading store 
and agency headquarters. The detached western tracts were within 
the final cession of 1835, hut all alike were bought by Thomas from 
\\ hite owners. As North ( Jarolina refused to recognize Indians a- land- 
owners within the state, and persisted in this refusal until L866, 3 
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 1894. 

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 o\-er nearly the same period, hut while 
Ross participated in their national matters Thomas cave his effort to 

■ Bchota u<'. ii :• ! supplementary articles, March I. 1836, in Indian 

Treaties pp. I ilso full discussion of sami treat) in i: Sation, Fifth Ann. 

Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 1888. 

op -II ,p.292 I ibid.,p.31 i 

160 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.asn.19 


a neglected bund 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. 

Thomas was born in the year 1805 on Raccoon creek, about two miles 
from Waynesville in North Carolina. His father, who was related to 
President Zachary 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 before the boy 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, within the present reservation, and 
was a branch of a larger establishment which Walker himself kept at 
Waynesville. The trade was chiefly 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 pi'ofitable. as the price to the 
Indians was but ten cents per pound in merchandise for the green root, 
whereas it now brings seventy-five 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, but Walker devoted so much of his attention to law 
studies that the Waynesville store was finally 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-giin'ski, "Bear-drowning-him"), the 
acknowledged chief of all the, Cherokee then living on the waters of 
Tin kasegee 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 "Little Will." he being of 
small stature even in mature age. From his Indian friends, particu- 
larly a boy of the same age who was his companion in' the -tore, he 
learned the language as well as a white man has ever learned it. so that 
in his dec lining years it dwelt in memory more strongly than his 
mother tongue. After the invention of the Cherokee alphabet, he 
learned also to read and write the language,, 

In L819 the lands on Tuckasegee and its branches were sold by the 


Ft photogra 1 1858 kindly loaned by Capt. James \v. Terrell) 


Indian-, and Thomas's mother soon after removed from Waj nes^ ille to 
a farm which she purchased on the west bank of Oconaluf tee, opposite 
the month of Soco, where her son went to live with her, having now 
--ft up in business lor himself at Qualla. Ybnaguska and his immedi- 
ate connection continued to reside on a -mall 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 removal in l s ".s. 
bought a farm on the northern hank of Tuckasegee, just above the 
present town of Whittier in Swain county, and built there 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 five trading stores in or adjoining the 
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 business he was also studying 
law and taking an active interest in local politics. 

In his capacity as agent for the eastern Cherokee he laid off the. 
lands purchased for them into five districts or "towns," which he 
named Bird town. Paint town. Wolf town, Yellow hill, and Big cove, 
the name- which they -till retain, the first three beingthose of Chero- 
kee clans. 1 He also drew up for them a simple form of government, 
the execution of which was in his own and Ybnaguska's hands until the 
death of the latter, after which the hand knew no other chief than 
Thomas until his retirement from active life. In 1848 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 
-\ stem), 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 effort. 
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 commanding as colonel, although then nearly sixty 
years of age. Four companies were made up principally of his own 
Cherokee. The Thomas Legion operated chiefly as a frontier guard 

i In the Cherokee language rsiskwa'hl, --Bird place," Ani'-Wa'dihl, "Paint place, (Va'ya'hl, "Wolf 
place," E'lawa'di, "Red earth" (now Cherokee post-office and tanufi'yl "Raven 

place." There was also, for a tune, a " Pretty-woman town" Ani'-Gila'hl?). 

19 KTH— Ul 11 

162 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.19 

for the Confederacy along the mountain region southward from Cum- 
berland gap. 

After tlic close of the conflict he returned to his home at Stekoa and 
again took charge, unofficially, of the affairs of the Cherokee, whom 
lie attended during the smallpox epidemic of 1866 and assisted through 
the unsettled conditions of the reconstruction period. His own 
resources had been swept away by the war. and all his hopes had gone 
down with 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 eollapse, from 
which lie never afterward rallied except at intervals, when for a short 
time the old spirit would Hash 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. 1 

Yonaguska. properly Ya'iui-giifi'ski, the adopted father of Thomas, 
is the most prominent chief in the history of the East Cherokee, 
although, singularly enough, his name does not occur in connection 
with any of the early wars or treaties. This is due partly to the fact 
that he 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 gnat measure from the tribal councils of those 
living to the west anil south. In person he was strikingly handsome, 
being six feet three inches in height and strongly built, 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 oratory 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 640 acres in a bend of the river a short dis- 
tance above the present Bryson City, on the site of the ancient 
Kituhwa. 1 le 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. 

'The fact? concerning Colonel Thorna-- '* < :nvi t uiv .1' -rived chiefly from the 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 Mrs. A. c. Avery, his 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 Alleghanies, etc. Some manuscript contributions to the library 
of the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah— now unfortunately mislaid— show his interest in 
Cherokee linguistics. 

> sey] YONAGUSKA L63 

Ilr was a prophel and reformer as well a~ a chief. When about 
sixty years of age be had a severe sickness, terminating in a trance, 
dui'ing which his people mourned him as dead. At the end of twent} 
four hours, however, he awoke to consciousness and announced thai he 
hail been to the spirit world, where he had talked with friends who 
had gone before, and with God, who had sent him hark witli 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 our 
inspired. He had been somewhat addicted to liquor, but now. on the 
recommendation of Thomas, not only quit drinking himself. hut 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 by 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 
bis people to remove to the West, he firmly resisted every persuasion, 
declaring that the Indians were safer from aggression among their 
locks and mountains than they could ever be in a land which the while 
man could find profitable, and that the Cherokee could he happy only 
in the country w here 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 first Bible translation into the Cherokee language and alphabet, 
some one brought a copy of Matthew from New Echota, hut Yona- 
guska would not allow it to he read to his people until it had first been 
read to himself. After listening to one or two chapters the old chief 
dryly remarked: "Well, 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 Soeo. 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 hack and died. He was buried beside 
Soco. about a mile below the old Macedonia 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 
devotedly attached to him. One of his daughters. Kata'Ista. still sur- 


vives, and is the last conservator of the potter's art among the East 
Cherokee. 1 

Yonaguska had succeeded in authority to Yane'gwa, "Big-bear," 
w ho appears to have been of considerable local prominence in his time, 
but name, even with the oldest of the band, is now but a mem- 
ory. He was among the signers of the treaties of 1798 and 1805, and 
by the treaty of L819 was confirmed in a reservation of 640 acres as 
one of those living within the ceded territory who were "believed to 
be persons of industry and callable of managing 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 mouth, 
and appears to have been the same afterward occupied by Yonaguska. 2 

Another of the old notables among the East Cherokee was Tsunu'la- 
hufi'ski, corrupted by the whites to Junaluska, a great w T arrior, from 
whom the ridge west of YVayncsville takes its name. In early life he 
was known as (Ifir'kala'skiV 1 On the outbreak of the Creek war 
in 1813 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, (htxiiiu'lilhilngiji', "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'lahufi'ski, "'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. 4 This reservation was in the 
Cheowa Indian settlement, near the present Robbinsville, in Graham 
county, where he died about the year 185S. 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 ami his 
approximate age are taken from the Terrell roll. He is also noticed at length in Lanman's Letters from 
the Alleghany Mountains, 1848, and in Zeigler and Grosseup's Heart of the Alleghanies, 1883. The 
trance which, according to Thomas and Lanman, lasted about one day, is stretched by the last-named 
authors to fifteen .lays, with the whole 1,200 Indians marching and countermarching around the 
sleeping b< dy '. 

° The name in the treaties occurs as Yonahequah (1798), Yohanaqua (1805), 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 illustrative of his shrewdne&s it is t < > 1 < I thai he once tracked 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 experl microscopic examination, that her hair had none 
of the negro characteristics. 1 

Christianity was introduced among the Kituhwa Cherokee shortly 
before the Removal through Worcester and Boudinot's translation of 
Matthew, first published at New Echota in L829. In the absenceof 
missionaries the book was read by the Indians from house to house. 
After the Removal a Methodist minister. Reverend Ulrich Keener, 
began to make visits for preaching at irregular intervals, and was fol- 
lowed several years later by Baptist workers. 2 

In the fall of 1839 the C lissioner 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 " thej' 
have a right to remain or to go," hut that as the interests of others 
are involved in their decision they should decide without delay/' 

In L840 about 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 back 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 woman, the widow of a Cherokee husband. 
She and her daughter, both of whom spoke the language, were expert 
potters according to the Catawba 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. While residing among the ( Jherokee, the ( 'atawba 
acquired a reputation as doctors and leaders of the dance. 1 

On August 6, 1846, a treaty was concluded at Washington with the 
representatives of the Cherokee Nation west by which the rights of 
the East Cherokee to a participation in the benefits of the New Echota 
treaty of L835 were distinctly recognized, and provision was made for 
a final adjustment of all unpaid and pending claims due under that 
treaty. The right claimed by the Hast Cherokee to participate in the 

The facta concerning Junaluska are from the author's information obtained from i tolonel Tl m*. 

i 'aptain James Terrell, and Cherokee informants. 

- Author's information from Colonel rh as. 

'Commissioner Crawford, November25, Report <>( Indian Commission! i 

•Author's informiitic.n from Colonel Thomas, Captain Terrell, and Indian sources; Commissi rW. 

Medill, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 399, 1848; i lommissioner Orlando Broun. Report of Indian 
Commissioner for 1849, p. 14, 1850. 


benefits of the New Echota treaty, although not denied by the gov- 
ernment, had been held to be conditional upon their removal to the 
West. 1 

In the spring of L848 the author. Lanman, visited the East Chero- 
kee and has left an interesting account 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 sou Cherokee and 100 Catawba on the "Quallatown" 
reservation — the name being in use thus early — with '200 more Indians 
residing in the more westerly portion of the state. Of their general 
condition he says: 

About three-fourths of the entire population can read in their own language, ami, 
though the majority of them understand English, a very few can speak the language. 
They practice, to a considerable extent, the science of agriculture, ami have acquired 
such a knowledge of the mechanic arts as answers them for all ordinary purposes, 
for they manufacture their own clothing, their own ploughs, and other farming uten- 
sils, their own axes, and even their own guns. Their women are no longer treated as 
slaves, hut 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 neighbors, 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, honest 
in their business intercourse, moral in their thoughts, words, and deeds, anil 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 Sabbath, and they have also abandoned many of their mere senseless super- 
stitions. They have 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 do not like the idea of being 
identified with any of the political 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, ami 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 Sala'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, ami he isalso 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 Office in Washington, 
where it was deposited by Mr. Thomas; and I believe Salola is the first Indian who 

' Syllepsis of the treaty, etc., in Royee, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 
pp. 300-313,1888; see also ante, ].. lis. 
: Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, pp. 94-95, 1849. 


ever manufactured an entire gun. But when it is remembered thai he nevei 

a particle of education in any of the mechanic arts but is entirely self taught, his 

attainments must be considered truly remarkable.' 

On July 29, 1848, Congress approved an art for taking a census of 
all those Cherokee who bad remained in North Carolina after the 
Removal, and who still resided east of the Mississippi, in order that 
their share of the "removal and subsistence fund' 1 under the New 
Echota treaty might !><■ set aside for them. A sum equivalent to 
s.v:. :',:'.' «^ at the same time appropriated for each one. or his repre 
sentative, to be available for defraying the expenses of bis remoi a] 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 amount 
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, L836), 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 1848 by .1. C. Mullay, making the whole num- 
ber 2,133. On the basis of this enrollment several payments were 
made to them by special agents within the next ten years, one being 
a pet-capita payment by 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 
I 848. 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 vary- 
ing greatly from the Mullay roll. 3 

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 ground that the East Cherokee had for- 
feited their right to participation, and furthermore that their census 
was believed to lie 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. 

quoted in "The United States of America it. William II. Thomas cf al."\ also Royce, Cher- 
okee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p 313, 1888. In the earlier notices the terms ' N'orth 
Carolina Cherokee " ami ■■ Eastern Cherokee " are used synonymou ginal fugitives were 

all in North Carolina. 

'See Royce, op. ■ it-, pp. 313-314; Commissioner II- Price, Report of Ind 
1884 Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 195, 1898; also references bj Commissioner W. Medill, 
Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 399, 1848; ami Report of Indian Commissioner tor 1855, p, j i i 1856. 

168 MYTHS OF THE CHEKOKEE [eth.ann.19 

were subsequently added as to increase the number by more than 600.' 
A census taken by their agent, Colonel Thomas, in 1N41. gave the 
number of East Cherokee (possibly only those in North Carolina 
intended) as L,220, 2 while a year later the whole number residing in 
North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia was officially esti- 
mated at from to L,200. 3 It is not the only time a per capita 
payment has resulted in a sudden increase of the census population. 

In L852 (Capt.) James \V. Terrell was engaged by Thomas, then in 
the state senate, to take charge of his store at Qualla, and remained 
associated with him and inclose 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 the organization of the Indian companies, holding a 
commission 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 accumulate a fund of information on the subject seldom 
possessed by a white man. He still resides at Webster, a few miles 
from the reservation, and is now seventy -one years of age. 

In 1855 Congress directed the per capita payment to the East Cher- 
okee of the removal fund established for them in 1848, provided that 
North Carolina should first give assurance that they would be allowed 
to remain permanently in that state. This assurance, however, was 
not given until 1S66, a^nd the money was therefore not distributed, 
but remained in the treasury until 1875, when it was made applicable 
to the purchase of lands and the quieting of titles for the benefit of 
the Indians. 4 

From 1855 until after the civil war we find no official notice of the 
East Cherokee, and our information must be 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 the state senate. Being an ardent Confederate sym- 
pathizer, he was elected a delegate to the convention which passed the 
secession ordinance, and immediately after voting in favor of that 
measure resigned from the senate in order to work for the southern 
canst". As he was already well advanced in years it is doubtful if his 
effort would have gone beyond the raising of funds and other supplies 
but for the fact that at this juncture an effort 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'ganst&'ta, son of that Colonel Gideon Morgan who 

i Royce, Cherokee Nation, op. eit., p. 313 and note. 

- Report of tin- Indian Commissioner, pp. 459-460, ,1845. 

3 Commissioner Crawford, Report of Indian Co 

4 Royce, op. cit.. p. 314, 


had commanded the Cherokee at the Horseshoe bend. By virtue of 
his Indian blood and historic ancestry he was deemed the most fitting 
emissary for the purpose. Early in 1862 be arrived among the 
Cherokee, and by appealing to old-time memories so aroused the war 
spirit among them that a large number declared themselves ready to 
follow wherever he led. Conceiving the question at issue in the war 
to be one that did not concern the 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 Keen satisfied with 
such an arrangement. Morgan went back alone and the Cherokee 
enrolled under the command of their white chief. ' 

The "Thomas Legion," recruited in 1862 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 
cavalry 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 number of Chero- 
kee thus enlisted was nearly four hundred, or about every able-bodied 
man in the tribe. 8 

In accordance with Thomas's plan the Indians were employed chiefly 
as scouts and home guards in the mountain region along the Tennessee- 
Carolina border, where, according to the testimony of Colonel String- 

1 Tin- history of the events leading to the organization of the "Thomas Legion " is chiefly man the 
author's conversations with Colonel Thomas himself, corroborated and supplemented from other 
sources. In the words of Thomas, " If it had nol been for the Indians I would not have been in the 

-This is believed i" be i correct statement of the strength and make-up of tin- Thomas Legion, 
Owing !■■ i in- Imperfection of the records and the absence of reliable memoranda among the surviv- 
ing officers, no two accounts exactly coincide. The mil given in the North Carolina Confederate 
Roster, handed in by captain Terrell, assistant quartermaster, was compiled early in the war and 

- i tice "f tlu' engineer company "i "i the second Infantry regiment, which Included tun 

[ndian companies, The information therein contained is supplemented Er :onversations 

and personal letter laptain Terrell, and from letters and newspaper articles by Lieutenant Colonel 

Stringfleld of the Sixty-ninth. Another statement isgivenin Mrs Avery's sketch of Colonel n as 

in thi Sorth Carolina University Magazine for May, 1899. 

170 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ass.1S 

field, "they did good work and service for the South." The most 
important engagement in which they were concerned occurred at 
Baptist yap, Tennessee, September 15, 1862, where Lieutenant Astu'- 
gata'ga, "a splendid specimen of Indian manhood," was killed in a 
charge. The Indians were furious at his death, and before they could 
he restrained they scalped one or two of the Federal dead. For this 
action ample apologies were afterward given by their superior officers. 
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 townhouse on 
Soco, and the same dance was repeated at frequent 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 suffered 
but slightly in actual battle, although a number died of hardship and 
disease. When the Confederates evacuated eastern Tennessee, in the 
winter of 1863-64, 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 North 
Carolina and did service protecting the western border until the close 
of the war, when they 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 officers that they were the 
last of the Confederate forces to surrender. About fifty of the Cher- 
okee veterans still survive, nearly half of whom, under conduct of 
Colonel Stringfield, attended the Confederate reunion at Louisville, 
Kentucky, in 1900, where they attracted much attention. 1 

In 1863, by resolution of February lii, the Confederate House of 
Representatives called for information as to the number and condition 
of the Fast 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 report was submitted by 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- 

i Personal Information from Colonel W. H. Thomas, LieutenanW3olonel W. W. Stringfield Captain 
James W. Terrell, Chief N. J. Smith (first sergeant Company B), and others, with other details from 
Moore's (Confederate) Roster of North Carolina Troops, iv; Raleigh, 1S82: also list of survivors in 
1890, bj Carrington, in Eastern Band of Cherokees, Extra Bulletin of Eleventh Census, p. _i. 1892. 


lished in 1848 had been paid annually up to and including the year 
L859, at the rate of $3.20 per capita, or an aggregate, exclusive of 
disbursing agent's commission, of $4,838.40 annually, based upon the 
original Mullay enumeration of 1,517. 

Upon receipt of this report it was enacted by the Confederate con- 
gress thai the sum of $19,352.36 be paid the East Cherokee to cover 
the interest period of four years from Maj 23, L860, to May 23, L864. 
In this connection the Confederate commissioner suggested that the 
payment be made in provisions, of which the Indians were then 
greatly 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 .Mullay roll corrected to May. 
L860, no reference being made to the later Mullay enumeration (2,133), 
already alluded to. There i- no record to show that the payment thus 
authorized was made, and as the Confederate government was then in 
hard -traits it i> 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 Cherokeea have, like their brethren west, taken up arms 
against the Lincoln government, it is not probable that any further advances of 
interest will be made bj 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 t<. the North Carolina 
Cherokees, and a printed explanation of their rights, prepared by me in 1851, and 
submitted to the attorney-general, and his opinion thereon, which may not be alto- 
gether uninteresting to those who feed 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. 1 

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 by a detach- 
nient of Union troops and carried to Knoxville, where, having become 
dissatisfied with their experience in the Confederate service, they 
were easily persuaded to go over to the Union side. Through 
the influence of their principal man. Digane'skl, several other- 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 (dose of the 
war. when they returned to their homes to find their tribesmen so 
bitterly incensed against them that for some time their lives were in 
danger. Eight of these are -till alive in 1900. 2 

One of these Union Cherokee had brought back with him the small- 

1 Thomas-Terrell manuscript East Cherokee roll, with accompanying letters, 1864 (Bur.Am.Eth. 
archives I. 

'Personal information from Colonel VV H.Thomas, Captain J.W.Terrell, Chief S J.Smith, and 
others; see also Carrington Eastern Band of Cherokees, Extra Bulletin of Eleventh Census, p 21 1892, 

172 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ass.19 

pox from sin 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 been pres- 
ent became sick, and the disease was recognized by Colonel Thomas as 
smallpox in all its virulence. It spread throughout the tribe, this 
being in the early spring of 1866, and in spite of all the efforts of 
Thomas, 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 aboriginal 
treatment of the plunge bath in the river and the cold-water douche, 
which resulted in death in almost every case. Thus did the war bring 
its harvest of death, misery, and civil feud to the East Cherokee. 1 

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 more 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 affairs 
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, the roll to include only those 
persons whose names had appeared upon the Mullay roll of 1848 and 
their legal heirs and representatives. The work was completed in the 
following year by S. H. Sweatland, and a payment of interest then 
due under former enactment was made by him on this basis. 8 '"In 
accordance with their earnestly expressed desire to be brought under 
the immediate charge of the government as its wards." the Congress 
which ordered this last census directed that the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs should assume the same charge over the East Cherokee as over 
other tribes, but as no extra funds were made available for the pur- 
pose the matter was held in abeyance. 3 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 be 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 Author'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 proba- 
bly more reliable. 

- ■ Koyee. Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 314, 1888. 

3 Commissioner F. A. Walker, Report of Italian Commissioner, p. 25, 1872. 

'Koyee, op. eit., p. 353. 


governmental supervision, need was felt of some central authority. 
( )n December 9, L86S, a general council of the East ( !herokee assembled 
a i ( !heowa, in Graham county, North Carolina. took preliminary steps 
toward the adoption of a regular form of tribal government under 
a constitution. N. J. Smith, afterward principal chief, \\a> clerk 
of the council. The new government was formally inaugurated on 
December 1. L870. It provided for a first and a second chid' to 
serve for a term of two years, minor officers to serve one year, and 
an annual council representing each Cherokee settlement within the 
stateof North Carolina. Ka'lahu', "All-bones," 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 chief's 
term of office was tixed 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 name, 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 sheriff's deeds in 
1869 for all of these Indian lands under three several judgments against 
Thomas, aggregating $33,887. 1 1. To adjust the matter so as to secure 
title and possession to the Indians. Congress in 1870 authorized suit to 
he brought in their name for the recovery of their interest. This suit 
was begun in May. Isj:;. in the United States circuit court for western 
North Carolina. A year later the matters in dispute were submitted 
by agreement to a board of arbitrators, whose award was continued by 
the court in November. 1S74. 

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 Mill 
indebted to Thomas toward the purchase of the Qualla boundary 
lands for the sum of $18,250, from which should be deducted $6,500 
paid by them to Johnston to release titles, with interest to date of 
award, making an aggregate of $8,486, toe-ether 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 $2,697.89; 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. ls-ju, 1892; author's personal information 


which the disputed lands had been bought in by Johnston, he should 
be allowed to hold them only as security for the balance due him until 
paid, and that on the payment of the said balance of $7,066.11, 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 embraced within the Qualla boundary. 1 

To enable the Indians to clear off this lien on their lands and for 
other purposes, Congress in LsT'> directed that as much as remained 
of the •■ removal and subsistence fund" set apart for their benefit 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 $7,212.76, was paid him in 
the same year, and shortly afterward there was purchased on behalf of 
the Indians some fifteen 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.UO0 
acre purchase were executed respectively on October 9, 1876, and 
August 11, 1880. 2 As the boundaries of the different purchases were 
but vaguely defined, a new survey of the whole Qualla boundary and 
adjoining tracts was authorized. The work was intrusted to M. S. 
Temple, deputy United States surveyor, who completed it in 1876, his 
survey maps of the reservation being accepted as the official standard. 3 

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 report, destitute and discouraged, almost without stock or farming 
tools. There were no schools, and very few full-bloods 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, 

iSee award of arbitrators. Rufus Barringer, John H. Dillard, and T. Ruffln, with ftdl statement, in 
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians against W. T. Thomas et al. H. R. Ex. Doc. 128, 53d Cong., 2d sess., 
1894; summary in Royce, Cherokee Nation, Fifth Ann. Kep. Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 315-318, 1888. 

-s<e Royce, op. Cit., pp. 315-318; Commissioner T. .1. 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. 315-318; Carrington, Eastern Band of Cherokees, with map of Temple survey, 
Extra Bulletin of Eleventh Census, 1892. 


the agency was discontinued and the educational interests of i he band 
turned over to the state school superintendent. 1 

In the meantime Ka'lalnV had been succeeded as chief by Lloj'd K. 
Welch i l>a 'si giya'gl), an educated mixed-blood of Cheowa, who served 
about five years, dying shortly after his reelection to a second term 
(48). He made a good record by his work in reconciling the various 
faction- which had sprung up after the withdrawal of the guiding influ- 
ence of Thomas, and in defeating the intrigues of fraudulent while 
claimants and mischief makers. Shortly before his death the ( rovern- 
ment, through Special Agent John A. Sibbald, recognized his authority 
as principal chief, together with the constitution which had been 
adopteil by the band under his auspices in 1ST5. 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 L890. 8 

We find no further official notice of the East Cherokee until L881, 
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 were adding to the difficulties and retarding the prog- 
ress of the band. In thespringof that year a visiting delegation from 
the Cherokee Nation west had extended to them an urgent imitation 
to remove to Indian Territory and the Indian Office had encouraged 
the project, with the result that lt',1 persons of the band removed dur- 
ing the year to Indian Territory, the expense being borne by the 
Government. Others were represented as being desirous to remove, 
and the Commissioner recommended an appropriation for the purpose, 
but as Congress failed to act the matter was dropped. 3 

The neglected condition of the Cherokee having been brought 
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, L881, representatives of the Friends entered into a contract 
with the Indians, subject to approval by the Government, to establish 
and continue among them for ten years an industrial school and other 
common schools, to lie 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 themselves. Through 
the efforts of Barnabas C. Hobbs, of the Western Yearly Meeting, a 
yearly contract to the same effect was entered into with the Commis- 

! Report of Agent W. C. McCarthy, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 343-344, 1875; and Report of 
Indian Commissione, pp. 118-119, 1876. 

'Author's personal information: sue also Carrington, Eastern Band of Cherokees; Zeigler and 
Grosscup, Heart .,i the AUeghanies, pp. 35-36, 1883. 

'Commissioner H.Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. Ixiv-lxv, 1881, and Report of Indian 
Commissioner, pp. Ixix-lxx, 1882; see also ante, p. 151. 


sioner of Indian Affairs later in the same year, and was renewed by 
successive commissioners to cover the period of ten years ending June 

30, 1892, when the contract system was terminated and the Govern- 
ment assumed direct control. Under the joint arrangement, with some 
aid at the outset from the North Carolina Meeting, work was begun 
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, continued to do good work for the elevation of the 
Indians until the close of the contract system eight years later. 1 After 
an interregnum, during which the schools suffered from frequent 
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 obsolete, 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. 8 

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. 3 The census was submitted 
as complete in June, 1881, 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 2,956. ' Although this census received the 
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 [ndian Commissioner, pp. 141-14.S, 1892; author's per- 
sonal information from B. ('. Hobbs, Chief N*. .1. Smith, ami others. For further notice of school 
groM Hi see also Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. 426-427, 1897. 

2 Zeigler and Grosscup. Heart of the Alleghanies, pp. 36-42, 1883. 

•^Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. Ixix-lxx, 1882. 

* Kvport of Indian Commissioner, pp. li-lii, ls.s4. 


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 L882 a special agenf hud been ap- 
pointed to investigate their claims, and in the following year, under 
authority of Congress, the eastern hand of Cherokee brought suit in 
the ( lourt of Claims against the Tinted States and the Cherokee Nation 
west to determine its rights in the permanent annuity fund and other 
trust funds held by the United States for the Cherokee Indians. 1 The 
case was decided adversely t<> the eastern hand, first bj the Court of 
Claim- in 1885, ! and finally, on appeal, by the Supreme Court on 
March 1, lssti. that court holding in its decision that the Cherokee in 
North Carolina had dissolved their connection with the Cherokee 
Nation and ceased to he a part of it when they refused to accompany 
the main body at the Removal, and that if Indians in North Carolina or 
in any state east of the Mississippi wished to enjoy the benefits of the 
common property of the Cherokee Nation in any form whatever they 
must he 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 more resi- 
dence permits to claimants tor Cherokee citizenship, and it was 
officially announced that all persons thereafter entering that country 
without consent of the Cherokee authorities would he treated as 
intruders. 3 This decision, cutting off 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. Commissioner Atkins 
strongly recommended, as the best method of settling them in perma- 
nent home-, secure from white intrusion 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 he followed, if 
successful, by the sale of their lands in North Carolina and their 
removal to Indian Territory. 4 

In order to acquire a more definite legal status, the Cherokee resid- 
ing in North Carolina —being practically all those of the eastern 
band having genuine Indian interests — became a corporate 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, he and at the same time are hereby 

i Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. Ixix-lxxi, i lian legisla- 

tion," ibid., p. 214; Commissioner H. Price, Report of Indian Commissioner, pp. Ixv Ixvi, 1883. 

* Commissioner J. I». e. Atkins, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. l\ *. 1885. 

'Same commissioner. Ke|».n .»i the Indian Commissioner, ]>. xlv, 1886; decision quoted by same 
commissioner. Report of Indian Commissioner, p. lxxvii, l-s; 

■Same commissioner, Report "i the Indian Commissioner, p. li, 1886; reiterated by him in Report 

[9 Kin — oi 12 

17tS MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

created and constituted a body politic and corporate 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. 1 

On August 2, 1893, ex-Chief Smith died at Cherokee, in the fifty- 
seventh year 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 Murphj 1 , Cherokee county. 
North Carolina, on January 3. 1S3T. 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 hoy grew to manhood he acquired a fair 
education, which, aided by 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 186S, and on the death of Principal 
Chief Lloyd Welch in 1880 was elected to fill the unexpired term, 
continuing in office by successive reelections until the close of 1891, a 
period of about twelve years, 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 several years thereafter his 
duties, particularly in connection with the suit against the western 
Cherokee, required his presence much of the time at ATashington, 
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 salary was ever paid, because of the limited resources of 
his people, and only partial reimbursement was made to him, shortly 
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. 2 

■See act in full, Report of Indian Commissioner, vol. I, pp. 680-681, 1891. 

• From author's personal acquaintance; see also Zeigler and Grosscup, Heart of the Alleghanies, 
pp. 38-39, Issb; iVgent .1. L. Holmes, in Repiort of Indian Commissioner, p. 160, 1S85; Commissioner 
T. .1. Morgan, Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 142, 1892; Moore, Roster of the North Carolina 
Troops, iv, 1882. 




In isi»-t the long-standing litigation between the Eas< Cherokee 
and a number of creditors and claimants to Indian land-, within and 
adjoining the Qualla boundary was finally settled bj a compromise 
by which the several white tenants and claimants within the boundary 
agreed to execute a quitclaim and vacate on paymenl to them by the 
Indians of sums aggregating $24,552, while for another disputed 
adjoining tract of 33,000 acres the United Stales agreed to pay, for 
the Indian-, at the rate of $1.25 per acre. The necessarj Government 
approval having been obtained, Congress appropriated a sufficienl 
amount for carrying into effect the agreement, thus at last completing 
a perfect and unincumbered title t<> all the lands claimed by the 
Indians, with the exception of a few outlying tracts of comparative. 
unimportance. 1 

In 1895 the Cherokee residing- in North Carolina upon the reserva 
tion and in the outlying settlements were officially reported to number 
1.47'.'. ' A vear later an epidemic of grippe spread through the band, 
with the result that the census of L897 shows but 1,312, s among those 
who died at this time being Big-witch (Tskil-e'gwa), the oldest man of 
the band, who distinctly remembered the Creek war. and Wadi'yahi, 
the last old woman who preserved the art of making double-walled 
baskets. In the next year 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 ami 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 ainl 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 extras. 
The roof is of split shingles or shakes. There is no window, the open door furnish- 
ing what 1 i s_r 1 1 1 is required. At .me 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 hake kettle, a coffeepot and mill, small table, and a few cups, knives, 
and spoons arc all that is needed. These, with .me or two bedsteads, homemade, a 
few pillows and quilts, with feather mattresses for « inter covering, as well as for the 
usual purpose, constitute the principal house possessions. For outdoor work there 

is an ax, hoe, ami shovel plow. A wagon or cart may 1 wned, hut i- uol essi u- 

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. 4 

By the most recent official count, in 1900, the East Cherokee resid- 
ing in North Carolina under direct charge of the agent and included 

I ommissioner D.M. Browning, Report of Indian Commissioner for 1894, pp. 81-82, 1 >'.>">: also Agent 
T. W . Potti i. ibid . p 96 
= Agent T. W. Potter, Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, p. 887, 1896. 

: C Hart, Report of Indian Commissioner, p 208,1897 
'Agent J. C. Hart. Report of Indian Commissi r, pp. 218-219, 1898. 

180 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

within the act of incorporation number 1,376, of whom about L,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 receive 
no rations or annuities and are entirely self-supporting, the annual 
interest on their trust fund established in 1848, 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 government 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''m, 
"Chestnut-bread"), a Cherokee by blood, at one time tilled 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, 1 and are amenable to the local courts, but 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 present chief is Jesse Keid 
(Tse'si-Ska'tsi, '-Scotch Jesse"), an intelligent mixed-blood, who tills 
the office 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, supply them with food, while by the sale of 

i At the recent election in November, 1900, they were debarred by the local polling officers from 
either registering or voting, and the matter is now being contested. 


ginseng and other medicinal plants gathered in the mountains, with 
fruit and honey of their own raising, they procure what additional 
supplies they need from the traders. The majority are fairly com- 
fortable, far above the condition of most Indian tribes, and hut little, 
if any. behind their white neighbors. In literary ability they may 
even be -aid to surpass them, as in addition to the result of nearly 
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 find means to gratify the racial love of 
color in the wearing of red bandanna kerchiefs in place of bonnets. The 
older people still cling to their ancient rites and sacred traditions, hut 
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. neigh boring 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. 

YCm'uiyii' — This word is compounded from yunirl (person) and yd (real or prin- 
cipal). The assumption of superiority is much in evidence in Indian tribal names; 
thus, the Iroquois, Delawares, and Pawnee call themselves, respectively, Ofiwe- 
honwe, Leni-lenape', and Tsariksi-tsa'riks, all of which maybe rendered "men of 
men," "men surpassing other men," or "real men." 

KUu'hwagl — This word, which can not be analyzed, is derived from Kitu'hwa, 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 1730 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. From 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'lagK 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 under names which seem to be 


of Choctaw origin; For instance, the Canogacole, interpreted "wicked ] ■• •< >j ■ I. •. " ' the 
final part being apparently the ( Ihoctaw word okla or ogvla, "people", which appears 
also in Pascagoula, Bayou Goula, and Pensacola. Shetimasha, Atakapa, and probably 
Biloxi, are also Choctaw names, although the tribes themselves are of other origins. 
As the Choctaw held much of the Gulf coast and were the principal traders of that 

regi it was natural that explorers landing among them should adopt their names 

for the more remote tribes. 

The name seems t" refer to the fact that the tribe occupied a rave country. In the 
"Choctaw Leksikon " of Allen Wright, 1880, page 87, we find ckolick, a noun, signify- 
ing a hole, cavity, pit, chasm, etc., and as an adjective signifying hollow, fn the man- 
uscript Choctaw dictionary of Cyrus Byington, in the library of the Bureau of 
American Ethnology, we find chiluk, 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. A.- an adjective, the same form is given as signifying hollow, 
having a hole, as iii chiluk, a hollow tree: aboha chiluk, an empty house; chiluk 
chukoa, to enter a hole. Other noun forms given are chulukund achiluk in thesingu- 
lar and chilukoa in the plural, all signifying hole, pit, or cavity. Verbal tonus are 
chilukikbi, to make a hole, and chilukba, to open and form a fissure. 

In agreement with the genius of the Cherokee language tin- 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. tsi-Tsa'l&ffl, I (am) a Cherokee: second person, hi-Tsa'l&gl, thou art a Chero- 
kee; third person, a-lia'Ulgi, he is a Cherokee. Dual — first person, dsti-'Dsa'l&gl, 
we two are Cherokee; second person, sli-Tsa'l&gt, you two are Cherokee; third 
person, ani'-Tba'l&gi, they two are Cherokee. Plural — first person, atsi-Taa/Vigl, 
we i several i are Cherokee; second person, liiixi-Tsn'liii/i. xt m (several) are Chero- 
kee; third person, anV- Tsa/l&ffi, they (several) are Cherokee. It will be noti 1 

that the third person dual and plural are alike. 

Oyata' ge'ronon' , etc. — The [roquois (.Mohawk I form is given by Hewitt as O-yata'- 
ge'ronofi', of which the root is yala, cave, o is the assertive prefix, ge is the locative at, 
and romotV is the tribal suffix, equivalent to ( English I -to 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 
burrowing animal. As is well known, the 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 under translations of the same 
names in all the different languages. The Wyandot name for the Cherokee, 
Wataiyo-ronon', and their Catawba name, ManteraiV. both seem to refer to coming 
out of the ground, and may have been originally intended to convey the same idea 
of cave ] pie. 

Rickahockan — This name is used by the German explorer. Lederer, in 1670, as the 
name of the people inhabiting the i noun tains to the southwest of the Virginia settle- 
ments. On his map he puts them in the mountains on the southern head 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 i ! I, but it is more likely that the Indians 
were trying to convey, by means of the sign language, the idea of a succession of 
mountain ridges. The name was probably of Powhatan origin, and is evidently 
identical with Rechahecrian of the Virginia chronicles of about the same period, the 
/• in the latter form being perhaps a misprint. It may he connected with Righka- 
hauk, indicated mi Smith's map of Virginia, in 1607, as the name of a town within the 

184 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Powhatan territory, and still preserved in Rockahock, the nameot an estate on lower 
Pamunkey river. We have too little material of the Powhatan language to hazard 
an interpretation, bui it may possibly contain the root of the word for sand, which 
appears as lekawa, nikawa, negaw, rigawa, rekwa, etc, in various eastern Algonquian 
dialects, whence Rockaway (sand), and Recgawawank (sandy place) . The Pow- 
hatan form, as given by Strachey, iaracawh (sand). H e gives also rocoyhook (otter), 
reihcahahcoik, hidden under a cloud, overcast, rirhthime or reilieoun (a comb), and 
rich ii-h (to divide in halves). 

TalligevA — As Brinton well says: "No name in the Lenape' legends has given rise to 
more extensive discussion than this." On Oolden's map in his "History of the Five 
Nations," 1727, we find the "Alleghens" indicated upon Allegheny river. Heckewel- 
der, who recorded the Delaware tradition in 1819, says: "Those people, as I was told, 
calledthemselvesTalligeu or Talligewi. Colonel John Gibson, however, agentleman 
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 Alligevvi; 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 Alligewi Sipu (the river of the Alligewi)" — Indian 
Nations, p. 48, ed. 1876. Loskiel, writing on the authority of Zeisberger, says that 
the Delawares knew the whole country drained by the Ohio under the name of 
Alligewinengk, meaning "the land in which they arrived from distant places, " basing 
his interpretation upon an etymology compounded from talli or alii, 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 Alligewi Sipo. This definition would make the word 
come from palliton or attiton, to fight, to make war, ewak, they go, and a locative, i. e., 
"they go there to fight." Trumbull, an authority on Algonquian languages, derives 
the river name from v<ulik, good, best, hanne, rapid stream, and sipu, river, of which 
rendering its Iroquois name, Ohio, is nearly an equivalent. Rafinesque renders Tal- 
ligewi as "there found," from talli, there, and some other root, not given (Brinton, 
Walam Olum, pp. 229-230, 1885). 

It must be noted that the names Ohio and Alligewi (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 least the greater portion of it from its head downward. Although 
Brinton sees no necessary connection between the river name and the traditional 
tribal name, the statement of Heckewelder, generally a competent authority on Dela- 
ware matters, makes them identical. 

In the traditional tribal name, Talligewi or Alligewi, wi 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'lagi', 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 wuloh or walok, signifying a cave or hole, while in the 
"Walam Olum" we have oligonunk rendered "at the place of caves," the region 
being 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, pp. 194-195). Unfortunately, like other aboriginal productions of its kind 
among the northern tribes, the Lenape 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 primarily 
a mountain people, but with their flank resting upon the Ohio and its great tribu- 
taries, following the trend of the Blue ridge and the Cumberland 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 t lie south, keeping their distinctive title among the tribes as the "] pie of the 

cave country." 

As the Cherokee have occupied a prominent place in history for so long a period 
their name appears in many synonyms and diverse spellings. The following are 
among the principal of these: 


T~\ i u.i' (plural. Ani'-Tsa'l&gl') . Proper form in the Middle and Western Cherokee 

TSA RAGl'. Proper form in the Eastern or Lower Cherokee dialect. 

Achalaque. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 1847 (incorrectly quoting Garcilaso). 

Chalakee. Nuttall, Travels, 124, L821. 

Chalaque. Gentleman of Elvas, 1557; Publications of Hakluyt Society, IX, 60, 1851. 

/•■•■<. Barcia, Ensayo, 335, 1723. 
Charakeys. Homann heirs' map,about 17.">0. 
Charikees. Document of 1718, ./Me Rivers, South Carolina, 55, 1856. 
Charokees. Governor Johnson, 1720, fide Rivers, Early History South Carolina, 93, 

( 'heelah . Barton, New Views, xli v, 1 798. 
Ckeerake. Adair, American Indians, 226, 1775. 
Cheerakee. Ibid., 137. 

Cheerague's. Moore, 1704, in Carroll, Hist. Colls. South Carolina, n, 576, 1836. 
i 'In f'/v./.v ,-. Ross I'.'i, 1776, in Historical Magazine, 2d series, n, 218, 1867. 
Chel-a-ke. Long, Expedition to Rocky Mountains, n, lxx, 1823. 
Chetakees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, n, 90, 1836. 
Chelaques. Nuttall, Travels, 247, 1821. 
Chelekee. Keane, in Stanford's Compendium, 506, 1878. 
Chellokee. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, n, 204, 1852. 
Cheloculgee. White, Statistics of Georgia, 28, RS49 (given as plural form of Creek 

Chelokees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, n, 104, 1836. 
Cheokees. Johnson, 1772, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., vm, 314, 1857 (misprint 

for Cherokees). 
flu raguees. Coxe, Carolina, n, 1741. 
Cherakees. Ibid., map, 1741. 

Clu rnki.i. Chanvignerie, 1736, fide Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, in, 555, 1853. 
Clu raguees. Coxe, Carolana, 13, 1741. 
Cheraguis. 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. Governor Johnson, 1708, in Rivers, South Carolina, 238, 1856. 
Cherookees. Croghan, 1760, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Colls., 4th series, ix, 372, 1871. 
Cheroquees. Campbell, 1761, ibid., 41'i. 
Cherrackees. Evans, 1755, in Gregg, Old Cheraws, 15, 1867. 
Cherrokees. Treaty of 1722, fide Drake, Book of Indians, bk. 4, 32, 1848. 
( 1i, rrykees. Weiser, 1748, fide Kauffman, Western Pennsylvania, appendix, 18, 1851. 
Chirakues. Randolph, 1699, in Rivers, South Carolina, 449, 1856. 
( hirokys. Writer about 1825, Annales de la Prop, de la Foi, n, 384, 1841. 
ChoraMs. 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-nock. Matey, Red River. 273, 1854 I Wichita name). 
Shannaki. Gatschet, Fox MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Fox name: plural form, 

Shayage. Gatschet, Raw MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., Is7s i Raw name). 

\ Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 23, 1824. 
Zulocans. I 

186 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

Sulluggoes. Coxe, Carolana, 22, 1741. 

TcdUce. Gatschet, TonkawaMS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Tonkawa name, ChaUke). 

TceroUec. Gatechet, Wichita Ms, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Wichita name, Cherokiih). 

Tchatakei). La Salle, L682, in Margry, n, 1!<7, 1S77 (misprint). 

TialaHes. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., n, 90, 1836. 

Tsallakee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847. 

Tsa-16-kee. Morgan, Ancient Society, 113, 1878. 

Tschirokesen. Wrangell, Ethn. Nachrichten, xni, 1839 (German form). 

TMlahM. Grayson, Creek MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1885 (Creek name; plural form, 

Tstilgdl'gn or Tstdgtil'gi — Mooney). 
Tzerrickey. Urlsperger, fide Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, i, 26, 1884. 
Tzulukis. Rafinesque, Am. Nations, i, 123, 1836. 



' I Heekewelder, 1819, Indian Nations, 48, reprint of 1876 (traditional Dela- 

allhtEwi. > ware name . singular, Talliqe? or AUigef (see preceding explanation). 

Alligewi. ) 

Alleg. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, v, 133, 1855. 

AUegans. Colden, map, 1727, fide Schoolcraft, ibid., in, 525, 1853. 

Allegeui. Schoolcraft, ibid., v, 133, 1855. 

Alleghans. Colden, 1727, quoted in Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 147, 1847. 

Alleghanys. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 34, 1824. 

Alleghens. Colden, map, 1727, fide Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 305, 1847. 

Allegvri. Squier, in Beach, Indian Miscellany, 26, 1877. 

Alii. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, v, 133, 1855. 

Attighewis. Keane, in Stanford's Compendium, 500, 1878. 

Talagans. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 28, 1824. 

Talega. Brinton, Walam Olum, 201, 1885. 

TaVagewy. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, n, 36, 1852. 

Tallegwi. Rafinesque, fide Mercer, Lenape Stone, 90, 1885. 

TaMgwee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847. 

Tallike. Brinton, Walam Olum, 230, 1885. 

Kiti-'hwagi (plural, Ani'-JCUu'hwagl. See preceding explanation). 

< 'uttawa. Yaugondy, map, Partie de l'Amerique, Septentrionale 1755. 

Gatohua. l 

Oattochwa. \ Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, i, 28, 1884. 

Katowa (plural, Katowagi). ) 

Ketawaugas. Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal Tennessee, 233, 1823. 

Kittuwa. Brinton, Walam Olum, 16, 1885 ( Delaware name) . 

Kuttoowauw. Aupaumut, 1791, fide Brinton, ibid., 16 (Mahican name) . 

Oyata'ge'honoS'. Hewitt, oral information (Iroquois (Mohawk) name. See preced- 
ing explanation) . 

Ojadagochroene. Livingston, 1720, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., v, 567, 1855. 

<hiihide<„,irns. Bleeker, 1701, ibid., iv, 918, 1854. 

Oyadackuehramo. 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'oho. Gatechet, Seneca MS, 1882, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Seneca name). 

0-ya-da/-go-(H/io. Morgan, League of Iroquois, 337, 1851. 

Oyaudah. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 448, 1847 (Seneca name) . 

I'lrnlii'-i/o-ro'-no. Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, 28, 1884 (Wyandot name). 

Uyada. Ibid. (Seneca name). 

We-yau-dahi Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 253, 1847. 

Wu-tai-yo-ro-nofl'\ Hewitt, Wyandot .Ms. 1893, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Wyandot name). 


Rickahockans. Lederer, 1672, Discoveries, 26, rt-print of L891 (see preceding 

explanation i. 
Rickohockans. Map. ibid. 

ariam. Drake, Book of Indians, hook 4, l'l\ 1848 (from old Virginia docu- 
ments !. 

crians. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, i, 36, L824. 
M'vs i ri. \\'. Gatechet, Catawba Ms. 1881, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Catawba name. See 

preceding explanation |. 
„ rPotier, Racines Huronnea et Grammaire, MS. 17.M (Wyandot 

names. I lie first, according to Hewitt, is equivalent in 


l "ndge, or mountain, people ). 
T'kwe"-tah-e-i'-ha-nk. Beauchamp, in Journal Am. Folklore, v, 225, 1892 (given as 

the t taondaga name and rendered, " people of a beautiful red color" |. 
C '■(, viole(?). Fontanedo, about 1575, Memoir, translated in French Hist. Colls., 

ii, 2-i", 1875 (rendered "wicked people"). 

(2) Mobilian trade LANGU iGE (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 of the Gulf 
states, probably as far west as Matagorda bay and northward along both hanks of 
the Mississippi to the Algonquian frontier about the entrance of the Ohio. It was 
called Mobilienne by the French, from Mobile, the great trading center of the i fulf 
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 
wa.- evidently l>y the aid of this intertribal medium that I>e Soto's interpreter from 
Tampa hay could converse with all the tribes they met until they reached the Missis- 
sippi. Some of the names used hy 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, 
including among others the Taensa, 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 lie names the Alabama, Apalachi, Biloxi, Chactoo, Pacana, 
Pascagula, Taensa. and Tunica. Woodward, writing from Louisiana more than fifty 
years later, says: '■There is yet a language the Texas Indians call the Mobilian 
tongue, that ha.- 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, Xetches [Natchez], and Apelash [Apa- 
lachi]" — Reminiscences, 79. For further information see also Gatschet, (reek 
Migration Legend, and Sibley, Report. 

The Mobilian trade jargon was not unique of its kind. In America, as in other 
parts Of the world, the common necessities of intercommunication have resulted in 

the format] f several such mongrel dialects, prevailing sometimes over wide 

area-. In some cases, also, the language of a predominant tribe serves as the com- 
mon medium for all the tribes of a particular region. In South America we find the 
lingoa geral, based upon the Tupi' language, understood tor everyday purposes by 
all the tribes of the immense central region from Guiana to Paraguay, including 
almost the w hole Amazon basin. On the northwest coast w> find the well-known 
"Chinook jargon," which take> it- name from a -mall tribe formerly residing at the 
mouth of the Columbia, in common use among all tie- tribes iron. California far up 


[ETH. ANN. 19 

into Alaska, and eastward to the great divide of the Rocky mountains. In the 
southwest the Navaho-Apache language is understood by nearly all the Indians of 

Arizona and New Mexico, whil i 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) Dialects (page 17): The linguistic affinity of the Cherokee and northern 
lroquoian dialects, although now well established, is not usually obvious on the 
surface, but requires a close analysis of words, with a knowledge of the laws of pho- 
netic changes, to make it appear. The superficial agreement is perhaps most apparent 
between the Mohawk and the Eastern (Lower) Cherokee dialects, as both of these 
lack the labials entirely and use r instead of /. In the short table 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' (ami') 










hand (arm) 










[tcarhu - , Tuscarora] 

tsarfl (tsalu) 










Comparison of Cherokee dialects 



1 Upper) 





































martin (bird) 
















how much? 








I pick it up (long) 




my father 




my mother 




my father's father 




my mother's father 





It will be noted that the Eastern and Middle dialects arc aboul the same, except- 
ing for the change of I to r, and the entire absence of the labial m from the Eastern 

dialect, while the Western differs considerably fr the others, particularly in the 

greater frequency of the liquid J and the softening of the guttural g, the changes tend- 
ing to render it the most musical of all the Cherokee dialects. It is also the stand- 
ard literary dialect. In addition to these three principal dialects there are some 
peculiar forms and expressions in use by a few individuals which indicate the former 
existence of cue or more other dialects now too far extinct to be reconstructed. As 

in most other tribes, the ceremonial forms used by the priestl I ate so filled with 

archaic and figurative expressions as to !«■ almost unintelligible to the laity. 

(4) Iroquoian and migrations (p. 17): The Iroquoian stock, taking its 
name from the celebrated Iroquois confederacy, consisted formerly of from fifteen 
to twenty tribes, speaking nearly as many different dialects, and including, among 
others, the following: 

Wyandot, or Huron. ~\ 

Tionontati, or Tobacco nation. 

Attiwan'daron, or Neutral nation. \ Ontario, ( lanada. 



Mohawk. | 


Onondaga. > Iroquois, or Five Nations, New York. 

( layuga. 

Seneca. J 

Erie. Northern t Mhio, etc. 

Conestoga, or Susquehanna. Southern Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

Nottoway. "I 

Meherrim'.J S "»""'>'" Virginia. 

Tnscarora. Eastern North Carolina. 

Cherokee. Western Carolina, etc. 

Tradition and history alike point to the St. Lawrence region as the early 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 a- emigrants from the region north of the Oreat lakes, where they dwelt in 
early times with their Huron brethren. This tradition is recorded with much par- 
ticularity by Cadwallader Colden, surveyor-general of New York, who in the early 
part of the last century composed his well known 'History of the Five Nations.' It 
is told in a somewhat different form by David { 'tisick. the Tnscarora historian, in his 
'Sketchesof 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 chiefly among the Senecas. Finally, as we learn from the 
narrative of the Wyandot Indian, Peter Clarke, in his 1 k entitled 'Origin ami Tra- 
ditional History of the Wyandotts." the belief 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 tradition- oi 
the ( lonestoga or the Nottoway, hut the trail it inn of the Tnscarora. as given by Cusick 

and other authorities, makes them a direct offsl ( from the northern [roquois, with 

whom they afterward reunited. The traditions of the Cherokee also, as we have 

seen, bring them from the north, thus npleting 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 Iroquoian tribes from the St. Lawrence region was 

190 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [cth.ann.19 

due to the hostility of their Algonquian neighbors, by whom the Huronsand their 
allies were forced to take refuge about Georgian hay and the head of Lake Ontario, 
while the Iroquois proper retreated to central New York. In 1535 (artier found the 
shores of the river from Quebec to Montreal occupied by anlroquoian people, but on 
the settlement of the country seventy years later the same region was found in pos- 
session of Algonquian tribes. The confederation of the five Iroquois nation-, 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) Waaam Ohm (p. 18): The name signifies "red score," from the Delaware 
walam, "painted," more particularly "painted red." and <,hi,u. "a score, tally- 
mark." The Walam Olum was first published in 1836 in a work entitled "The 
American Nations." by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, a versatile and voluminous, 
but very erratic, French scholar, who spent the latter half of his life in this country, 
dying in Philadelphia in 1840. He asserted that it was a translation of a manuscript 
hi the Delaware language, which was an interpretation of an ancient sacred metrical 
legend of the Delawares, recorded in pictographa 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 were obtained 
from another individual the soul's annexed thereto in the original language, hut no 
one could be found by 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 accomplished in 1833." On account 
of the unique character of the alleged Indian record and Rafinesque's own lack of 
standing among his scientific contemporaries, hut 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 valuable 
ethnologic introduction by Brinton himself. 

It is not known that any of the original woodcut pictographs of the Walam Olum 
arc 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 Ojibwa, Menomini, and other northern tribes. In 1762 a Delaware 
prophet recorded his visions in hieroglyphics cut upon a wooden stick, ami about 
the year 1S'_>7 a Kickapoo reformer adopted the same method to propagate a w\\ 
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. 665, 
697 et seq. in the author's Ghost-dance Religion, Fourteenth Annual Report of the 
Bureau of Ethnology ). 

(6) Fish riyek (p. 18): NamsesiSipu I Heckewelder, Indian Nations, 49), or Namas- 
sipi (Walam olum, p.l9S). 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 lie 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 

DK soro's ROUTE 191 

was Qot one of the larger streams. Although Heckewelder makes the Uligewi, as ne 
prefers to call them, Bee down the Mississippi after their final defeat, the Walam 
Olum chronicle says only "all the Talega go south." It was probahly a gradual 
withdrawal, rather than a sudden and concerted flight (see Hale, Indian Migra- 
tions, pp. 19-22) . 

(7) First ippeabance of whites (p. 19): ft is possible that this may refer t ■ 

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">l'4; and Gomez, in 1525. As these voyages were not followed up by per- 
manent occupation of the country it is doubtful if they made any lasting impressii m 
upon Indian tradition. The author lias chosen to assume, with Brinton and Rati- 
nesque, that the Walam Olum reference is to the .settlement of the Dutch at New 
York and the English in Virginia sunn after 1600. 

(8) 1 > i Soto's route (p. 26): On May 30, 1539, Hernando de Soto, of Spain, with 
600 armed men and 213 horses, landed at Tampa hay, on the west coast of Florida, in 
search of gold. Alter more than four year- of hardship and disappointed 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 Pdnuco, in Mexico, on September in. 1543. 

For the history of this expedition, the most important ever undertaken by Spain 
within eastern United State.-, v.e have four original authorities. First is the 
brief, hut evidently truthful (Spanish) report of Biedma, an officer of tin' expedi- 
tion, presented to the King in 1544. immediately after the return to Spain. Next 
in order, hut 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 i lentleman of Elvas, originally published in the Portuguese language 
in 1557. Xext comes the (Spanish) narrative of Garcilaso, written, hut not pub- 
lished, in 1587. t'nlike the others, the author was not an eyewitness of what lie 
describes, hut made up his account chiefly from the oral 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. Is might 
he expected, the ( iarcilaso narrative, although written in flowery style, abounds in 
exaggeration and trivial incident, and com]. ares unfavorably with the other accounts, 
while probably giving more of the minor happenings. The fourth original account 
is an unfinished (Spanish) report by Ranjel, secretary of tin- expedition, written 
-o ,ii after reaching Mexico, and afterward incorporated with considerable change by 
Oviedo, in his "Historia natural j 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 Klvas narrative and throws valuable light 
upon the history of the expedition. 

The principal authorities, while preserving a general unity of narrative, differ 
greatly in detail, especially in estimates of numbers and distances, frequentl} to such 
an extent that it is useless to attempt to reconcile their different statements. In gen- 
eral the Gentleman of Klvas 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. Hied ma make- the number 620, while Garcilaso says 1,000. At a 
certain stage of the joumej the Portuguese Gentleman gives De Soto Tun Indian- as 
escort, Biedma say- sou, while < rarcilaso makes it 8,000 It the battle of Ma\ ilia the 
Klvas account gives is Spaniards and 2,500 Indians killed. Biedmasays 20 Spaniards 

killed, without giving an estimate of the Indians, while Garcilaso ha- 82 Spaniards 
and over 1 l.iioo Indians killed. In distances there is as great discrepancy. Thus 
Biedma makes the distance from ( luaxule to Chiaha four days, Garcilaso has it six 
days, and Elvas seven days. As to the length of an average day's march we find it 

192 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ash.19 

estimated all the way from "four leagues, more or less" (< rarcilaso | to " every day 
seven or eight leagues" (Elvas). In another place the Elvas chronicler state- thai 
they usually made five or six leagues a day through inhabited 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 over a league in length the latter says that it was five 
leagues long. The next town was Coste, which Garcilaso puts immediately at the 
lower end of the same island while the Portuguese Gentleman represents 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 
Banjel 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 day 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 traversed. 

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 tribes mentioned, or 
of the general system of Indian geographic nomenclature. One of the greatest errors 
has been the attempl to give in every case a fixed local habitation to a name which 
in some instances is not a proper name at all, ami 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 talua, town, and not a definite place name as 
represented by a mistake natural in dealing through interpreters with an unknown 
Indian language. Tallise and Tallimuchase are respectively "Old town" and "New 
town" in Creek, and there can lie no certainty that the same names were applied to 
the same places a century later. Canasagua is a corruption 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 repeated 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 assumed 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 Gulf states, 
and the word means simply an uninhabited region, usually the debatable strip 
between two tribes. 

There have been many attempts to trace lie Soto's route. As nearly every historian 
who lias written of the southern states lias given attention to this subject it is 
unnecessary to enumerate them all. ( if some thirty works consulted by tin- author, 
in addition to the original narratives already mentioned, not more than two or three 
can be considered as speaking with any authi irity, 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 1857), his conclusions being 

■■< i i DE BOTO S ROUTE 1 93 

based upon his general knowledge of the geography of the region. In is:>i Picketl 
tried to locate ttic route, chiefly, he asserts, from [ndian tradition as related by 
mixed-bloods. How much dependence can be placed upon [ndian tradition as thus 
interpreted three centuries after the event it is unnecessary to say. Both these 
writers have brought De Soto down the Coosa river, in which they have been 
followed without investigation by Irvine. Shea and others, but none of these was 
awan- of the existence of a Suwali tribe or correctly acquainted with the Indian 
nomenclature of the upper country, or of the Creek country as so well summarized 
bj Gatschet in his Creek Migration Legend. They are also mistaken in assuming 

that only De Soto passed through thi untry, whereas we now know thai several 

Spanish explorers ami 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 ( loosa instead of the ( lhattahoochee, have been published in [rving's ( ionquest of 
Florida, the Hakluyt Society's edition of the Gentleman of El va'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 arc 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 till 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 chapter 
on "Ancient Florida" in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History of America, n; Bos- 
ton, 1886. We shall speak only of that part of the route which lav near the < Iherokee 

The first location which concerns us in the narrative is: Cofitaehiqui, the town 
from which De Soto set out for the Cherokee country. The name appears variously 
as Cofitachequi (Ranjel), Cofitachique (Biedma), Cofachiqui (Garcilaso), Cutifa- 
Chiqui (by transposition, Elvas), Cofetacque (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 appeals to lie 
that first given, which Gatschet, from later information than that quoted in his 
(feck Migration Legend, makes a Hitchitee word about equivalent to "Dogwood 

town," fromco/i, "dogw 1," coftta, "dogwood thicket," zndchiki, "house," orcol- 

lectively "town." McCulloch puts the town upon the headwaters of the Ocmulgee; 

Williams locates it on the Chattah dice; Gallatin on the Oconc r the Savannah; 

Meek and Monette, following him, probably in the fork of the Savannah and the 
Broad; 1'ickett. with Jones and others following him. at Silver bluff on the east 
i north) hank of the Savannah, in Barnwell county, South Carolina, about 25 mile- 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 width of 
the stat i -of ( Jeorgia. 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 Cofitaehiqui, the town, which was on the farther i north) 

bank of the stream, was tw o day's journey from the sea, probably by canoe, and the 
sailors « ith the expedition believed tin- river to be the same one that entered al 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 to have been the men 
with Ayllon, who had landed on that coast in 1520 and again in 1524. The town was 
probably the ancient capital of the I'.hee Indians, who, before their absorption by 

!'.» F.TH- 111 13 

194 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

the Creeks, held or claimed most of the territory on both banks of Savannah river 
from the Cherokee border t" within about forty miles of Savannah ami westward to 
the* >geeeheeand Cannouchee rivers (see Gatschet, ( Ireek Migration Legend, i, 17-34). 
The country was already on the decline in 1540 from a recent fatal epidemic, but 
was yet populous ami wealthy, and was ruled by a woman chief whose authority 
extended for a considerable distance. The town was visited also by Pardoin 1567 and 
again by Torres in HiL's, w hen it was still a principal settlement, as rich in pearls as in 
De Soto's time i Brooks MSS, in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology). 

Somewhere in southern Georgia De Soto had been told of a rich province called 
Coca (Coosa, the Creek country) toward the northwest. At Cofltachiqui he again 
heard of it and of one of its principal towns called ( 'hiaha (( heliaw ) as being twelve 
da\ s inland. Although on first hearing of it lie had kept on in the other direction 
in order to reach Cofltachiqui, 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. ( 'oca 
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 hope of 
making her escape, 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). Elvas, Garcilaso, and Ranjel 
agree upon the spelling, but the last named makes the distance only two days from 
Cofltachiqui. Biedma does not mention the country at all. . The trifling difference 
in statement of live days in seven need not trouble us, as Biedma makes the whole 
distance from Cofltachiqui to Xuala eight days, and from Guaxuleto Chiaha four days, 
where Elvas makes it, respectively, twelve and seven days. Chalaque is, of course, 
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 / 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 Divas 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 live days from 
Chalaque, while Biedma makes it eight days from Cofltachiqui, 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 
mountains the great river of Fspiritu 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 
Cofltachiqui over a hilly country. In his final chapter he states that the course 
from Cofltachiqui 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 Cofltachiqui to the first valley of the province of Xuala, 

moosey] . dk SOTO'S ROUTE I ". r > 

with but few mountains on the way, ami the town itself was situated close under a 
mi mil tain ( " a la tali la de una sierra " beside a small bul rapid stream which formed 
the boundary of the territory of Cofitachiqui in this direction. From Ranjel we 
learn that on the same day after leaving this place for the nexl "province" the 
Spaniards crossed a very hi^l untain ridge ("una sierra tnuy alta" 

Without mentioning the name, Pickett > 1851 refers to Kuala as "a town in the 
present Habersham county, Georgia," but gives no reason for this opinion. Rye 
and Irving, of the same date, arguing from a slight similarity of name, think it may 
have been on the site of a fun hit 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. .1 s 

i De Soto in < reorgia, 1880) interprets ' rarcilaso's description to refer to " Sai :hee 

valley. Habersham county" 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 apply equally well to any one of twenty other 
localities in this southern mountain country. With direct contradiction Garcilaso 
says that the Spaniards rested here fifteen days because 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 maj have been, there can lie no question of tin- 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 ami across the gap which, fur this reason, was kmiwn to the 
( Jherokee as Suwa'li-nunna, " Suwali trail," corrupted by the whites to Swannanoa. 
Leilerer. who found them in the same general region in 1670, calls this gap the 
"Suala pass" ami the neighboring mountains the Sara mountains, "which," lie 
says, "The Spaniards make Simla." They afterward shifted to the mirth and 
finally returned ami were incorporated with the Catawba (see Mooney, Simian Tribes 
• if the East, bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1894). 

Up to this point the Spaniards had followed a mirth course from Cofitachiqui 
(Biedma ami Elvas), but they now turned to the west i Elvas, final chapter). On 
the same day on which they left Xnala they crossed "a very high mountain ridge," 
and descended the next day to a wide meadow bottom I "savana" I, through which 
Qowed a river which they concluded was a part of the Espiritu Santo, the Mississippi 
(Ranjel). Biedma speaks of crossing a mountain country ami mentions the river, 
which he also says they thought to he a tributary of the Mississippi. ( ianilasu 
Bays that this portion of their mute was through a mountain country without inhabi- 
tants i "desp. ihladn" i ami the I'. .it iiL'iioe gentleman describes it as being over " very 
rough ami high ridges." In live days of such travel — fur here, for a wonder, all the 
narratives agree — they ram.- to Guaxule. This is the form given by Garcilaso and 
the Gentleman of Elvas; Biedma has Guasula, and Ranjel Guasili or Guasuli. The 
translators am! commentators have given its such forms as Guachoule, Quaxule, 
Quaxulla, and Quexale. According to the Spanish method of writing Indian words 
the name was pronounced Washule' or W'asuli, which has a Cherokee sound, although 
it can not he translated. Buckingham Smith I Narratives, p. 222 I hints that the Span- 
iards may have changed (oiasili to Guasule, because of the similarity of tin- latter 
form to a town name in southern Spain. Smh corruptions of Indian name arc of 
frequent occurrence. < rarcilaso speaks of it as a " province and town," while Biedma 
ami 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- 

196 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

tion which the Spaniards met here, hut th<' only description of the town itself is from 
Garcilaso, who says that 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 lomas, but 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 Guadalquivir at Sevilla 
( ( larcilaso). 

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 Coosawattee 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 study 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 Soto, we have seen that this was the territory of the Suwala or Sara Indians, in 
the eastern foothills of the Alleghenies, about the head waters of Broad and Catawha 
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 immediately 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 which 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 neighborhood of Hendersonville or 
Brevard, there being two gaps, passable for vehicles, 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 Coca (the Creek country) in the 
southwest were the broken ridges in which the Savannah and the Little Tennessee 
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 hot Xuala, as Jones 
supposes, was in Nacoochee valley, in the present White county, Georgia, 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. There are but two consider- 
able mounds in western North Carolina, that at Franklin and a smaller one on Oeona- 
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 river, near Cartersville. The largest of the Etowah 
group is some fifty feet in height and is ascended on one side by means of a roadway 



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 mountain stream. 

There is no considerable mound at Coosawatee or in any of the thre< unties 

adj. lining. 

The Nacoochee mound has been cleared and cultivated for many years ami 
not now show any appearance of a roadway up the Bide, but from its great height 

We may he 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 
tills 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 Cofitachiqui, but this may mean only that the people of the two towns or trihes 
were in friendly alliance. The modern name is pronounced Nagutil' by the < Ihero- 
kee, who say. however, that it is not of their language. The terminal may Ik- the 
Creek udshi, "small." or it may have a connection with the name of the Tehee 

From Guaxule the Spaniards advanced toCanasoga (Ranjel) orCanasagua I Elvas I, 
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 inarched 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 Mur- 
rav. 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 been 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 G&nsd'ffl 
by the Cherokee, was applied 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 Cordon county, Georgia; (2) on Canasauga creek, m 
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, < reorgia, may be a corruption of GansagI, and if so, theCanasagua 
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 had fol- 
lowed from Cuaxule (Garcilaso I, and after traveling several days through an unin- 
habited ( "despoblado" ,) country I HI vast arrived at Chiaha. which was subject to the 
great chief of Coca (Elvasj . The name is spelled Chiaha by Ranjel and the < tenth- 

198 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE Leth.ann.19 

man of Elvas, Chiha by Biedma in the Documentos, China by a misprint in an 
English rendering, and Ychiaha byGarcilaso. It appears as Chiha on an English map 
of 17iii' reproduced in Winsor, Westward Movement, page 31, 1897. Gallatin spells 
it Ichiaha, while Williams and Fairbanks, by misprint, make it Chiapa. According 
t < < both Ranjel and Elvas the army entered it on the 5th of June, although the 
former makes it tour 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 the Guadalquivir at Sevilla. As we have seen, there is a great discrepancy 
in the statements of the distance from ( lofitachiqui to this point. All four authorities 
agree that the town was on an island in the river, along which they had been 
marchingfor some time (Garcilaso, Ranjel), but while the Elvas narrative makes 
the island "two crossbow 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 open 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 Coca, farther to the west. From here 
onward they began to meet palisaded towns. 

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. 
Gallatin (1836) says that it "must have been on the Coosa, probably some distance 
below tin- site of New Echota." He notesa similarity of sound between Ichiaha and 
"Echoy." (Itseyl), a Cherokee town name. Williams (1837) says that it was 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 island 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 continence. 

Pickett, as has been stated, bases his statements chiefly or entirely upon Indian 
traditions as obtained from halfbreeds or traders. How much information can be 
gathered from such sources in regard to events that transpired three centuries before 
may lie estimated by considering how much an illiterate mountaineer of the same 
region might lie 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 trailers, disagree as to the precise place [!] where De Soto 
crossed the Oostanaula to get over into the town of Chiaha— some asserting that he 


passed over that river seven miles above its junction with tin- Etowah, and that 
he marched from thence down t" Chiaha, which, all contend, lay immediately ;it the 
confluence of the two rivers; while other ancient Indians asserted thai lie crossed, 
with his army, immediately opposite i In- town. Bu( this is no( verj important. 
Coupling the Indian traditions with theaccounl by < larcellasso and thai by the Por- 
tuguese rvi'H itness, we are inclined to believe the hitter traditi m thai the expedition 
continued to advance down the western side of the Oostanaula until thej halted in 
view of the mouth of the Etowah. De Soto, having arrived immediately opposite 
the great town of Chiaha, uo\i the site of Rome, crossed the Oostanaula," etc. (His- 
tory of Alabama, p. 23, reprint, 1896 . He overlooks the fai I thai 1 Ihiaha was nol a 
Cherokee town, but belonged to the province of Coca — i. e., the territorj of the 
Creek [ndians. 

\ careful study of the four original narratives makes it plain that the expedition 
did ii"t descend either the ' tostanaula or the Etowah, and thai consequently < ; hiaha 
could not have been at their junction, the present site of Rome. On the othei hand 

the conclusion is irresistible that the march was down the Chattal thee 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 pommonly known as Chehaw, for- 
merly on this river in the neighborh I of the modern city of Columbus, Georgia, 

while Coste, in the narrative the next adjacent town, was Kasi'ta, "r 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 ol the 
lower country. Attracted by the fisheries and the fertile bottom lands the Lower 
Creeks established here their settlement nucleus, and here, up to the ln-ginning 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 . I hiahudshi 
(Little Chehaw), and Kasi'ta (Cusseta). Most of these settlements were within 
what are now Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties, Georgia, and Lee and Russell 
counties, Alabama (see town list and map in Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend). 
Large mounds and other earthworks on both sides of the river in the vicinity of 
Columbus attest the importance of tin- 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 I Icniulgee, 
pa — in- I iy Tuskegee to the Upper Creek towns about the junction of the Coosa and 

Talla] sa in Alabama. \t the beginning of the present century this trail was 

know n to the trailers a- " De Soto's trace " (W Iward, Reminiscences, p. 76). As 

the Indian towns frequently shift their position within a limited range on account 
of epidemics, freshets, or impoverishment of the soil, it is not neeessarj to assume 
that they occupied exactly the same sites in 1540 as in 1800, 1 mt only that as a group 
they were in the same general vicinity. Thus Kasi'ta itself was at one period above 
the falls and at a later period some eight miles belowthem. 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 no1 agree 
among themselves. We can easily believe that the Spaniards, buoyed up by the 

certainty of finding f 1 and rest at their next halting place, made better progress 

along the smooth rivertrail than while blundering helplessly through the mountains 
at the direction of a most unwilling* guide. If Canasagua was any w here in the neigh- 
borhood of Kenesaw, in Cobb county, the time mentioned in the Elvas or ( larcilaso 
narrative would probably have been sufficient for reaching < Ihiaha at the falls. The 
uninhabited country between the two towns was the neutral ground between the 

two hostile tribes, the Cherokee and the ( 'reeks, and it is worth noting that Kene 
saw mountain was made a point on the boundary line afterward established betwe< n 
the two tribes through the mediation of the United States government. 

200 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.anx. 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 "Ushery lake," although there is no such lake in the state; but the mystery is 
explained by Lawson, who, in going over the same ground thirty years later, found 
all the 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 with 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 bank, a mile or two farther down, 
there is still to be seen another of nearly equal size. "At extreme freshets both of 
these mounds were partly submerged. To the east of the former, known as the 
Indian mound, 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 bluff along by the mound on the Georgia side is from twenty to thirty feet above 
tlie present low-water surface of the stream. About a mile above the mound arc the 
remains of what was known as Jennies island. At ordinary stages of the river 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 think, 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 professional who might 
study the ground." — Letter, April 22, 1900. 

Chiaha was the first town of the " province of Coca," the territory of the Coosa or 
Creek Indians. The next town mentioned, Coste (Elvas and Ranjel), Costehe 
(Bieilma) or A coste (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 island 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 the 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 principal Upper Creek town, a short distance below the junction of 
the Coosa and Tallapoosa. At Coste they crossed the river ami continued westward 
"through many towns subject to the cacique of Coca" (Elvas) until they came to the 
great town of Coca 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 

muonf.vJ DK SOTO'S ROUTE 201 

other, known as "Old < toosa," and probablj of more ancient origin, was on the west 
side oi Alabama river, near the present site of Montgomery (see Gatschet, Creek 
Migration Legend I. It was probablj the latter \\ bich was visited bj l>o Soto, and later 
..ii by Iv Luna, in 1559. Beyond ( toca they passed through another < Ireek town, ap- 
parently lower doy n on the Alabama, the name of which is variously spelled 5 taua 
(Elvas, Force translation!. Ytava (Elvas, Hakluyt Society translation), or Ctaba 
(Ranjel), and which may be connected with ['tiwft', Etowah or " Hightower," the 
Dame of a former Cherokee settlement near the bead of Etowah river in Georgia. 
The Cherokee regard 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 ('reeks. 

1 1, 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 toapoint insouthern 
Alabama as follows: " From the Tort de Spirit.. Santo to Apalache, which is about an 
hundred leagues, the governor went from east to west; an. 1 from Apalache to ( lutifa- 
chiqui, which are 430 leagues, from the southwest to the northeast; ami from Cutifa- 
chiqui to Xualla, which are about L'">0 leagues, from the south to the north; anil from 
Xuallato Tascaluea, which are 250 leagues more, an hundred and ninety of them he 
traveled from east to west, to wit. to the province of Coca; and the other 60, from 
Coca 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 upper Georgia or Alabama. The precise location is not material, 
as it i- 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 Virginia. Notable timls of native copper have been 
maileon the upper Tallapoosa, in Cleburne county, Alabama; about Ducktown, in 
Polk county, Tennessee, and in southwestern Virginia, one. nugget from Virginia 
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 \V. II. Weed, I'. 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 Biednia). The name has some resemblance to the Cherokee word tuiskwa, 

19) I>e Lex a AXii Rooei. | p. 27 'l: Jones, in his lie Soto's March through Georgia, 
incorrectly ascribes certain traces of ancient mining operation- in the Cherokee 
country, particularly on Valley river in North Carolina, to the followers of I >e I. una, 
''who, in 1560 . . . came with 301) 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 
sioii of unfortunate happenings the attempt was abandoned the next year. In the 

course of his wanderings he traversed the country of the CI taw, 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. 32-41, 1723; Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, n, pp. 257 259) . 

In 1569 the Jesuit Rogel — called Father John Roger by shea— began mission work 
among the South Carolina tribes inland from Santa Elena I 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 Ins 
'•Catholic Mission.-," supposes that these Indians were probably a pari of the 


Cherokee, but a study of the Spanish record in Barcia (Ensayo, pp. 138—14] I shows 
thai Rogel penetrated only a short distance from the coast. 

(10) Davies' History of the Carribby Islands (p. 29): Tin- fraudulent char- 
acter of this work, which is itself an altered translation of a fictitious history by 
Rochefort, is noted by Buckingham Smith (Letter of Hernando de Soto, p. 36, 1854), 
Winsor (Narrative and Critical History, n, p. 289), and Field (Indian Bibliography, 
p. 95). Says Field: "This hook is an example of tin- most unblushing effrontery. 
The jiseuilo author assumes the credit of the performance, with hut the faintest 
allusion to its previous existence. It is a nearly faithful translation of Rochefort's 
' Histoire des Antilles.' There is, however, a gratifying retribution in Davies' treat- 
ment of Rochefort, for the work of the latter was fictitious in every part which was 
not purloined from authors whose knowledge furnished him with all in his treatise 
which was true." 

(11) Ancient Spamsit Mixes i pp. 29, 31 I: As the 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 operations. 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 loir cabins extending along the 
creek, hut imbedded several feet below the surface of the ground, upon which lame 
trees were growing, the inference being that the houses had been thus covered by suc- 
cessive freshets. The loss had been notched ami 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-] ■reserved 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 casing and 
other timbers were still sound (Jones, pp. 48, 49). Similar ancient shafts have been 
found in other places in upper Georgia and western Xorth Carolina, together with 
some remarkable stone-built fortifications or corrals, notably at Fort mountain, in 
Murray county, Georgia, 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 MS, 1900, in Bureau of American Ethnology 
archives I. The Spanish miners of whom Lederer heard in 1670 and Moore in 1690 
were probably at work in this neighborhood. 

(12) Sir William Johnson (p. 38): This great soldier, whose history is so insep- 
arably incited 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 him 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 

iioosey] sik WILLIAM JOHNSON CAPT. JOHN ST1 \i:i 203 

Nations, over whom he acquired a greater influence than has ever been exercised 
bj an) other white man hefore or since. He was formally adopted as a chief by the 
Mohawk tribe. In 17-1-1. being still a very young man, he "as placed in i 
British affairs with the six Nations, and iii 1755 was regularly commissioned at 
then 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 ii mmand of the New York colonial forces, and two years later was 

appointed to the governor's council. \t the beginning of the French and Indian war 
he was commissioned a major-general. He defeated Dieskau at the battle of Lake 
George, where he was severely wounded earl) in the art ion. bu( refused to leave the 
field. For this service he received the thanks of Parliament, a grant of £5,000, and 
a baronetcy. Healso distinguished himself at Ticonderoga and Fort Niagara, taking 
the latter after routing the French army sent to its relief. At the head of his [ndian 
and colonial forces 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 
ot 100,000 acres of land north of the Mohawk river, lien' he built "Johnson 
Hall." which still stands, near the \ illage of Johnstovi n. w hich was laid out by him 
with stores, church, and other buildings, at his own expense. \t Johnson Hall he 
lived in the style of an old country baron, dividing his attention between Indian 
affairs ami 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 colonic- and the western 
tribes, the boundary for which the Indians afterward contended against the Ameri- 
cans until 1795. In 17:i!i 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, succ led to his title and estates, and on the breaking out 

of the Revolution espoused the British side, drawing with him the Mohawks and 
a great part of the other Six Nations, who abandoned their homes and tied with 
him to Canada I see \Y. L. Stone. Life of Sir William Johnson). 

(13) Captain John Stc u;t (p. 44): This distinguished officer was itemporaneous 

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 I7nn. he came to America in 1 7.'i.".. 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 continued to hold until his death. In 1768 he negotiated with the Chero- 
kee the treaty of Hard Labor by which the Kanawha was lixed 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 Cherokeeand other southern 
trilies, with the white loyalists, against the Americans, and was largely responsible 
I'orthe Lndian outrages along the southern border. He planned a general invasion 

by the southern trilies along the whole frontier, in i Deration with a British force 

to be landed in western Florida, while a British licet should occupy the attention of 
the American- on the coast side and the T< iries should rise in the interior. I In the 
discovery of the plot and the subsequent defeat of the Cherokee by the Americans. 
he tied to Florida and soon afterward sailed for England, where he die. 1 in 1770. 

(14) Nancy Ward (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 

204 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE Teth. axn. 19 

British officer named Ward and her mother a sister of Ata-kullakulla, principal 
chief of the Nation at the time of the first Cherokee war. She was probably related 
to Brian Ward, an oldtime trader among the Cherokee, mentioned elsewhere in con- 
nection with the battle of Tali'wa. 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 th :casion of the great invasion of the Watauga and Holston settle- 
ments in 177ti. 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 as "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 by 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 liij;li dignity. When among the Arkansas Cherokee in 1819, Nuttall was told 
that she had introduced the first cows into the Nation, and that by her own and her 
children's influence the condition of the Cherokee had been 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, pp. 435, 436, 447, 1875; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 
(15) General James Robertson (p. 48): This distinguished pioneer and founder 
of Nashville was born in Brunswick county. Virginia, in 1742, and died at the ( jhick- 
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 taught him to read ami 
write. In 1771 he led a colony to the Watauga 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 Watauga Association, the earliest organized government 
within the state, and afterward served in Dunmore's war, taking part 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 Virginia. In this capacity he gave 
timely warning of a contemplated invasion by the hostile portion of the tribe early 
in 17711. Si « >n after in the same year he led a preliminary exploration from Watauga 
to the Cumberland. He brought out a larger party late in the fall, and in the spring 
of 17sil built the first stockades on the site which he named Nashborough, now Nash- 
ville. < >nly his force of character was able to hold the infant settlement together in 
the lace 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 cut off the western territory from the 

mooney] rutheeford's route 205 

United Stairs, but met a patriotic refusal. Having beei mmissioned a brigadier- 
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 held the 
appointment of Indian commissioner to the < !hickasa\* and Choctaw. See Ramsey, 
Tennessee; Roosevelt, Winning of the West; Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American 
Bii igraphy. 

iliii General Griffith Rutherford (p. 48) : Although this Revolutionary offi- 
ce] 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 be 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, I77ti, he was commissioned a 
brigadier-general in the American army, and a few months later led his celebrated 
expedition against the Cherokee, as elsewhere narrated. He rendered other impor- 
tant sen ice in the Revolution, in one battle being taken prisoner by the British and 
held by them nearly a year, lie 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. 

i 17' Rutherford's route l p. 49): The various North Carolina detachments 
which combined to form Rutherford's expedition against the Cherokee in the 
autumn of 1770 organized at different points about the upper Catawba and probably 
concentrated at Davidson's fort, now Old tort, 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 fewmiles below the 
junction of the Ea^t and West forks; thence to Richland creek, crossing it just above 

the present Waynesville; and over the dividing ridge between the present Hayw 1 

and Jackson 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 tew 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 tin' 
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 

tl ther sideof the river to Oconaluftee river and Soco creek, getting back afterward 

to the settlements by steering an easterly course across the mountains to Richland 
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 Macon county. After destroying the towns in this vicinity 
tlie army ascended Cartooyaja creek, west from the present Franklin, ami 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, 
t, pp. 300-302; Royce, Cherokee map; personal information from Colonel William 
H. Thomas, Major James Bryson, whose grandfather was with Rutherford, and 
Cherokee informant.-. 

(18) Colonel William Christian (p. 50): Colonel William Christian, some- 

206 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.ask.19 

Unit's incorrectly called Christy, was born in Berkeley county, Virginia, in 1732. 
Accustomed to frontier warfare almost from boyhood, he served in the French and 
Indian war with the rank of captain, and was afterward in command of the Ten- 
nessee and North Carolina forces which participated in the great battle 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 fur peace. 
In 1782, while upon an expedition against the Ohio tribes, he was captured and 

burned at the stake. 

( 19) The pBEAT Indian war path ( p. 50): This noted Indian thoroughfare from 
Virginia through Kentucky and Tennessee to the Creek country in Alabama and 
Georgia is frequently 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 Christian, 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 Btage 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, about nine 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'sford, to the Grassy springs near the former 
residence of Micaiah 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 was 
along this latter road that the early explorers entered Kentucky, and along it also 
the Shawano and other Ohio tribes often penetrated to raid upon the Holston and 
New river settlements. 

On Royce's map 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 creek; 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 month, passing south of Cleveland, 
through the present Ooltewah and across Chickamauga creek into Georgia and 

According to Timberlake Memoirs, with map, 1765), the trail crossed Little Ten- 
nessee from Echota, northward, in two places, just above and below Four-mile 
creek, the first camping place being at the junction of Ellejoy creek and Little river, 
at the old town sin-. It crossed Holston « ithin a mile of Fort Robinson. 

According to Hutchins (Topographical Descripti f America, p. 24, 1778), tin- 
road which went through Cumberland gap was the one taken by the northern 
[ndians in their incursions into the "< iuttawa" country, and went from Sandusky, 
on Lake Erie, by a direct path to the mouth of Scioto (where Portsmouth now is i 
and thence across Kentucky to the gap. 

(20) Peace downs ind towns oi refcoe (p. 51): Towns of refuge existed among 
the Cherokee, the Creeks, and probably other Italian tribes, as well as among the 
ancient Hebrews, the institution being a merciful provision for softening the harsh- 
ness of tin 1 primitive law, which required a life lor a life. We learn from Deuteron- 
omy that Moses appointed three cities on tin- east side of Jordan "that the slayer 
miirlit flee thither which should kill his neighbor unaware- 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 lite, and w here they should be safe until the matter could lie adjusted. 
The wilful murderer, however, was not to I ,e sheltered, hut delivered up to punish- 
ment without pity (Dent, tv, 41-4:;. and \i\, 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 his 
own property took refuge in Echota, and after having been there for some months 
prepared to return to his trading store, which was hut a short distance away, hut was 
assured by the chiefs that he would he 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 pursued ami attempted to take refuge in the 
town, hut was driven off into the river as soon as he came in sight by the inhabit- 
ants, who feared either to have their tow n polluted by the shedding of blond or to 

provoke the English bygivinghim sanctuary (Adair, American Indians, p. 158, 1775). 
In 1768 ( fconostota, speaking on behalf of the Cherokee delegates who had come to 

Johnson Hall to make peace with the [roquois, said: " We come from Cbotte, where the 
wise [white?] house, the house of peace IS erei I'd" (treaty record, 17hS, New York 

Colonial Documents, vm, p. 42, 1 sr>7 ) . In I786the friendly Cherokee made "Chota" 

the watchword by which the Americans might he able to distinguish them from the 
hostile Creeks ( Ramsey. Tennessee, p. 343). From conversati.m with old ( 'herokeeit 
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 a esty 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.ahn.19 

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 peaerithlr twrns, which are called 'old beloved, ancient, holy, or white 
towns. 1 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 smith, 
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 Lewiston, 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 the 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 most 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 inflicted 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 ami 
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 hand 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 inarched thus into Boston, 
where 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 


i net disaster, lie- discovered and vl >■ .t a solitary hunter, \\ ho was afterward scalped 

by tin- chaplain of the party, bul the Indian managed to kill Lovewell i» i 

being overpowered, on which the whites withdrew, but were pursued i>\ the tribes- 
men of the slain hunter, with the result that but sixteen of them got homi 
ius old ballad of the time tells how 

"Our worthy Captain Lovewell among them there did die. 
The) killed Lieutenant Robbins and wounded good young Frye, 
Who was our English chaplain; he many Indians slew, 
And some of them he scalped when bullets round him flew." 

When the mission village of Xorridgewock 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, anther .if the Abnaki Dictionary, was shot 
down at the foot of the cross, where he was afterward found with his body riddled 
with halls, his skull crushed and scalped, Ins mouth and eyes filled with earth, his 
limlis broken, and all his members mutilated- ami this by white men. The border 
men .if the Revolutionary period ami later invariably scalped slain Indian- as often 
as opportunity permitted, and. as has already Keen shown, both British and American 
officials encouraged the practice by offers of bounties ami rewards, even, in the ease 
of tin- former, when the seal] is were those of white people. < >ur difficulties with 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 Sonora. The bounty offered was one 
ounce of gold per scalp. In lsi>4 the Colorado militia under Colonel Chivington 
attaeked a party of Cheyennes camped under the protection of the United States 
flag, and killed, mutilated, and scalped 1 70 men, women, and children, bringing the 
scalps into Denver, when- the) were paraded in a public hall. One Lieutenant 
Richmond killed and scalped three women and live children. Scalps were taken l,\ 
American troops in the Modoc war of is":!, 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. Authorities: Drake, Indians (for New 
England wars) ; Roosevelt, Virginia State Papers, etc; (Revolution, etc. ); Bancroft, 
Pacific States (Apache); Official Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes, 
1867 (for Chivington episode); author's personal information. 

(22) Lower Cherokee refugees (p.55): " In every hut I have visited I find the 
children exceedingly alarmed at the sight of white men, and here [at Willstown] a 
little hoy of eight years old was excessively alarmed and could not he kept from 

Screaming out until he got out of the door, and then he ran and hid himself; lint as 
soon a- I ran converse with them and they are informed who I am they execute any 
order I give them with eagerness. 1 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 Tuvalu and Keowee. and had been much harassed b) the 

whites; that the old people remembered their former situation and suffering, and fre- 
quently spoke of them; that these tales wen- 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 coming 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 underst 1 and spoke English very well." — Hawkins, manuscript journal, 

1796, in library of Georgia Historical Society. 
■ I':;! General Alexander McGilljvray (p. "->< ; > : This famous (reek chieftain, 

like so many distinguished men of the southern tribes, was of mixed hi 1. being the 

son of a Scotch trader. Lachlan McGillivray, by a halfbreed woman of influential 
family, whose father was a French officer of Fort Toulouse. The future chief was 
horn in the Creek Nation about 1740, and died at Pensacola, Florida, in 1793. lie 

I'd ETH— 111 14 

210 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ans.19 

was educated at Charleston, studying Latin in addition to the ordinary branches, and 
after leaving school was placed by his father witha mercantile firm in Savannah, 
lh- 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 

tl hieftainship on the death of his mother, who 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 
Georgia at the outbreak of the Revolution, he joined the British side with all his 
warriors, and continued to bea 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 In-half of his people. President Washington's instructions to the 
treaty commissioners, in anticipation of this visit, state that he was said to possess 
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 wen- much delighted and responded with an Indian dance, while McGillivray 
was induced to resign Ins 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 wass i recalled, and continued to rule over the Nation 

until his death. 

Mc( rillivray appears to have had a curious mixture of Scotch shrewdness, French 
love of display, and Indian secretiveness. He fixed bis residence at Little Talassee, 
on the Coosa, a few miles above the present Wetumpka, Alabama, where he lived 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, being noted for 
his kindness to captives; and his last years were spent in an effort to bring teachers 
among Ins people. On the other hand, he conformed much to the Indian customs; 
and be managed his negotiations with England, Spain, and the United States with 
such adroitness that lie 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 
re] hi tat ion, asserts positively that McGillivray' 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 be 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 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, i, 1832; Pickett, Alabama, 1896; 

Appleton'a Cyclopaedia of American Biography; W Iward, Reminiscences, p. 59 et 

passim, 1859. 

(24) Govebnob John Sevier (p. 57): This noted leader and statesman in the 
pioneer history of Tennessee was horn 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 polished manner, tine courage, and generous temperament, soon acquired a remark- 
able 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 
be was known as Tsan-usdi', "Little John." After some service against the Indians 
on the Virginia frontier be removed to the new Watauga settlement in Tennessee, 
in 1 77-, and at once became prominently identified with its affairs. He took 


pari in Dunmore'a war in 1771 and, afterward, from the opening of the Revolution 
in 1775 until tin- close of the Indian wars in Tennessee a period extending over 
nearly twentj 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 c manded one wing of the American forces 

al the battle of King's mountain in 1780, and in 17s:; 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 bim was revealed by the wife of the principal conspirator. 
In I77!i he had been commissioned as commander of the militia of Washington 
county, North Carolina — the nucleus of the present stair of Tennessee -a position 
whirl i he had already held by coi n consent. Shortly after the close of the Revo- 
lution lie Ih'IiI for a short time the office of governor of the seceding "state of 
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 of jurisdiction was Snally 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 stair in L796 he was 
elected its first (state) governor, serving three terms, or six years. In 1803 he was 
again reelected, serving three more terms. In lsi l he was elected to Congress, \\ here 
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, being then in his seventy-first year. Fur more than forty years he had been 
continuously in the service of his country, and no man of his state was ever mure 
loved and respected. In the prime of his manhood he was reputed the handsomest 
man and the best Indian fighter in Tennessee. 

(25) Hopewell, Sen tii Carolina (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 I reneral Andrew Pickens, who resided there from the close of the 
Revolution until his death in 1S17. It was situated on the northern edge of the 
present Anderson county, on the east side of Keowee river, opposite and a short 
distance helots 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 liv the Americans ill 1 77H. Important treaties were made 
here with the Cherokee in 17S5, and with the Chickasaw in 1786. 

(26) Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (p. 61): This distinguished soldier, statesman, 
and author, was horn in Warren county. North Carolina, in 1754, and died al llaw- 
kinsville, Georgia, in 1816. His father. Colonel Philemon Hawkins, organized and 
commanded a regiment in the Revolutionary war, and was a member of the conven- 
tion that ratified the national constitution. At the outbreak of the Revolution young 
Hawkins was a student at Princeton, hut 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, lie thereupon 
removed to the Creek country and established himself in the 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 by which North Carolina ceded 

Tennessee to the United States in 17! HI, aid as Indian superintendent helped to nego- 
tiate seven different treaties with the southern trihos. lie ha. I an extensive know I 
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 society, while a manuscript Cherokee vocabulary is in possession of the 
American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia. Authorities: Hawkins's manuscripts, 
with Georgia Historical Society; Indian Treaties, 1837; American State Papers: 
Indian Affairs, i, 1832; n, 1884; Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend; Appleton, Cyclo- 
paedia of American Biography. 

(27) Governor William Blount (p. 68): William Blount, territorial governor of 
Tennessee, was born in 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 .me of the signers of the Federal constitution in 1787. On 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 friends that 
they would not allow him to be taken from the state. The impeachment proceedings 
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 Clair's defeat, 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 command of the army operating against the Ohio tribes. On 
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 the 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 officers 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 so 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. Authorities: St Clair's report 
and related documents, 1791; American State I'apers, Indian Affairs, i, 1832; Drake, 
Indians 570, 571, 1880; Appleton' s Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 

(29) Cherokee clans, (p. 74): The Cherokee have seven clans, viz: Ani'-Wa''ya, 
Wolf; Ani'-Kawf, Deer; Ani'-Tsi'skwa, Bird; Ani'-Wa'dl, Paint; Ani'-Saha'ni; 
Ani'-Ga'tage'wl; Ani'-Gila'hI. The names of the last three can not be translated 
with certainty. The Wolf clan is the largest and most important in the tribe. It 
is probable that, in accordance with the general system in other tribes, each clan 
had formerly certain hereditary duties and privileges, but no trace of these now 
remains. Children belong to the clan of the mother, and the law forbidding mar- 
riage between persons of the same clan is still enforced among the conservative 

koon] i w dyne's victory 2 1 3 

full-bloods. The "seven clans" are frequently mentioned in the sacred formulas, 
and even in some of the tribal laws promulgated with in the century There is evi- 
dence that originally there were fourteen, which by extinction or absorption have 
been reduced to seven; thus, the ancient Turtle-dove and Raven clans now constitute 
a single Bird clan. The subject will be discussed more fully in a future Cherokee 

30 Wayne's victory, L 794 (p. 78): Aiter tbe successive failures of Harmar and 
si Clair in their efforts against the Ohio tribes the chief command was assigned, in 
1793, t" Major-General Anthony Wayne, who had already distinguished himself by 
his fighting qualities during the Revolution. Having built Fort Recovery on the 
site "i >t Clair's defeat, he made that post his headquarters through the winter 
of 1793-94. In the summer of 1794 he advanced down the Maumee with an army 
of 3,000 men, two-thirds of whom were regulars, tin August I'd he encountered the 
confederated Indian forces near the head of the Maumee rapids at a point know n as 
the Fallen Timbers and defeated them with great slaughter, tbe 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 toss was only 33 
killed and 100 wounded, of w hom 1 1 afterward died of their wound-. The loss ofthe 
Indians and their white auxiliaries was believed to be more than double this. The 
Indian force was supposed to nn ii dier 2,000, while, on account of the impetuosity oi 
Urn ne'- charge, the number of his troops actually engaged did not exceed 900. On 
account of this defeat and the subsequent devastation of their towns and fields by 
the victorious army the Indian- were compelled to sue tor peace, which was granted 
by the treaty eon. -hided at Greenville, Ohio, August :!. 1795, by which the trihis 
represented ceded awaj nearly their whole territory in Ohio. Authorities. 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 
Cyclopaedia of American Biography. 

(31) First things of civilization (p. 83): We usually find that the first things 
adopted by the Indian from his white neighbor are improved weapons and cutting 
tools, with trinkets and articles of personal adornment. Altera regular trade has 
been established certain traders marry Indian wives, and, taking up their permanent 
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 ( Iherokee a hoi it 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 trader- 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 I Adair, 
p. 231 I. In the border war- following the Revolution companies of hundred- of 
mounted Cherokee and ('reeks sometimes invaded the settlements The cow i- 
called wa'ka by the Cherokee and maga by the ('reek.-, indicating thai their first 
knowledge of it came through the Spaniards. Xnttall states that ii was first intro- 
duce long the Cherokee by the celebrated Nancy Ward i Travels, p. 130). It was 

not ill such favor as the horse. hoiiiL' valuable chiefly for food, of which at that time 
there was an abundant supply from the wild game. \ potent reason for iis avoid- 
ance was the Indian belief thai the eating of the flesh oi a slow \ ing animal brei ds 

onding 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 
Cherokee will have nothing to do with beef, pork, milk, or butter. Nevei 
Bartram tells of a trader in the Cherokee countrj a- earb a- 1775 who had a stock 

214 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

of cattle, and whose Indian wife had learned to make butter and cheese (Travels, p. 
347). In L796 Hawkins mentions meeting two Cherokee 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 I7i«i 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 ( leorgia, 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 I si ) 1 to makewheels and looms for the ( 'reeks i Hawkins. 1801, in American State 

Papers: Indian Affairs, i. p. 647). Waff ord, in his boyh 1, say about 1815, knewan 

old man named Tsi'nawi on Young-cane creek of Nottely river, in upper Georgia, 
who was known as a wheelwright and was reputed to have made the first spinning 
w heel and loom ever made among the mountain Cherokee, or perhaps in the Nation, 
long before Watford'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 
\ Efa i is. i . p. 39) . In accordance with their recommendation the next treaty made with 
the tribe, in 1791, contained a provision for supplying 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 < !hero- 
kee agency the wheel, the loom, and the plow were in pretty general use, and fann- 
ing, manufacturing, and stock raising were the principal topics of conversation among 
men and women ( Hawkins manuscripts, Treaty Commission of 1801 ). 

(32) Colonel Return .1. Meigs ( p. 84): Return Jonathan Meigs 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 Jonathan 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 
I longress, and by his conduct at the head of hisregimentatStony point won the favor- 
able notice of Washington. After the close of the Revolution he removed to Ohio, 
where, as a member of the territorial legislature, he drew up the earliest code of regula- 

moosey] TECUM 111 \ 2 1 5 

tions tor the pioneer settlers. In 1801 he was appointed agent for the Cherokee and 

took up his resident-eat the agency al Tellico blockhouse, opposite the month ofTellico 

river, in Tennessee, continuing to serve in that capacity until his death. He was 

! as agent by Governoi VIcMinn, ol Ti nnessee. In the course of twenty two 

years he negotiated several treaties with the Cherokee and did eh 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 L834, afterward achieving a repu 
tation in the legal profession both in Tennesssee and in the District of Columbia. 
Authorities: Appleton, Cyclopsedia of American Biography, 1894; Royce, Cherokee 
Nation, in Fifth Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, 1888; documents in American 
stale Papers, Indian Affairs, i and ii. 

(33) Tecumtha (p. 87): This great chief of the Shawano and commander of the 
allied northern tribes in the British service was born near the present Chillicothe, in 
western Ohio, about 1770, and fell in the battle of the Thames, in Ontario, October 
. i - : His name signifies a " flying panther" -i. e., a meteor. He came of fight- 
ing -i. n'k g I even in a tribe distinguished for its warlike qualities, his father ami 

elder brother having been killed in battle with the whites. His mother is said to have 
died among the Cherokee. Tecumtha is firsl heard of as taking part in an engagement 
with the Kentuckians when about twenty \ ears old, and in a few years he had secured 
recognition as the ablest leader among the allied tribes. It is sai<l 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 

iceived the idea .if uniting the tribes northwest of the ( >lii> >. 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 to all these tribes in common and that no one tribe had tin- right to sell 
any portion of it without the consent of the others. The refusal of the government 
jo admit this principle led him to take active steps to unite the tribes upon that 
basis, in which he was 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 Vineennes 
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 have to light 
it out." Both sides at once prepared for war, Teeumtlia going south to enlist the 
aid of the (reek. Choctaw, and other southern tribes, while Harrison took advan- 
tage of hi- ah-eii re to (one the i — ue by marching against the Prophet's town on the 
Tippecanoe river, where the hostile warriors from a dozen trihe- had gathered. A 
battle fought before daybreak of November 6, 1811, resulted in the defeat of the 
Indian- and the scattering of their forces. Tecumtha returned to find bis 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 commanded 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 ol four hundred American prisoners who had been taken in ambush near Fort 
Meigs and were unable to make longer resistance, lb- was wounded at Maguagua, 

where nearly four hundred were killed and wounded on both sides, lie covered 
the British retreat after the battle of Lake Erie, and, refusing to retreat farther, 

compelled the British General Proctoi to make a stand at the Thames river. Al st 

the whole force of the American attack fell on Tecumtha's division. Early in the 


engagement he was shot through 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, "but for them it is proba- 
ble we should not now have a Canada." Authorities: Drake, Indians, ed. 1880; 
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1N94; Eggleston, Tecumseh and the 
Shaw nee Prophet. 

(34) Fort Minis Massacre, 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 Beaslev, 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 mixed-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 nygroes and halfbreeds, whom they spared, 
ami about a dozen whites who made their escape. The Indian loss is unknow n. hut 
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 

tl arelessness 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 had the day before seen a number of 
painted warriors lurking a short distance outside the stockade. Authorities: Pickett, 
Alabama, ed. 189G; Hamilton and Owen, note, p. 170. in Transactions Alabama His- 
torical Society, n, 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) General William 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, ami 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 council 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 :\nt\ was commissioned as major. 
His common title of general belonged to him only by courtesy. In bSL'l he was the 
principal supporter of the treaty of Indian springs, by 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 branded as a traitor to his Nation and condemned to deat", 
together with his principal underlings, in accordance with a Creek law making 
death the penalty for undertaking to sell lands without tin- consent of the national 
council. About the same time he was publicly exposed and denounced in the 
( 'herokee council for an attempt to bribe John Koss and other chiefs of the Cherokee 
in the same fashion. At daylight of April 30, 1825, a hundred or more warriors 
sen! by the Creek national council surrounded his house and, after allowing the 
women and children to come out, set tire to it and shot Mcintosh and another chief 


us thej tried to escape. I [e left three wives, one of wl i was a t Iherokee. 1 uthori- 

ties: Drake, [ndians, ed. L880; Letters from Mcintosh's son and widows, 1825, in 
American State Papers: [ndian Affairs, n, pp. 764 and 768. 

(36 \Vuii\m Weatherford p.89): This leader of the hostiles in the Creek 
war was the son of a white father and a halfbreed woman of Tuskegee town whose 
father had been a Scotchman. VVeatherford was born in the Creek Nation about 
L780and died on Little river, in Monroe county, Alabama, in 1826. He caine first 
into prominence by leading the attack upon Fort Minis, August 30, 1813, which 
resulted in the destruction of the fori and the massacre of over five hundred inmates. 
It is maintained, with apparent truth, that he <li'l his best to prevent the excesses 
which followed tin- victory, and left the scene rather than witness the atrocities 
when he found that he could not restrain his followers. The fact that Jackson 
allowed him to go home unmolested after the final surrender is evidence that he 
believed Weatherford guiltless. At the battle of the Holy Ground, in the following 
December, he was defeated and narrow l\ escaped capture by the troops under i ten- 
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, March 27, 
1814, Weatherford voluntarily walked into General Jackson's headquarters and sur- 
rendered, creating such an impression by his straightforward and fearless manner 
that the general, after a friendly interview . allowed him to go back alone to gather 
up his people preliminary to arranging terms of peace. Alter the treaty he retired 
to a i 'latitat ion in Monroe county, where he lived in comfort ami was greatly respected 
by his white neighbors until hisdeath. As an illustration of his courage it istold how 
he once, single-handed, arrested two murderers immediately after the crime, when the 
local justice and a large crowd of bystanders were afraid to approach them. Jackson 
declared him to be as high tone.] and tearless as any man lie had ever met. In person 
he was tall, straight, and well proportioned, with features indicating intelligence, 
bravery, and enterprise. Authorities: Pickett, Alabama, ed. 1896; Drake. Indians, 
ed. 1880; Woodward, Reminiscences, 1859. 

(37) Reverend David Brainerd (p. 104): The pioneer American missionary 
from whom the noted Cherokee mission took its name was born at Haddam, Con- 
necticut, April 20, 1718, and died at Northampton, Massachusetts. October 9, 17)7. 
He entered Yale college in 1739, but was expelled on account of his religious opinions. 
In 1741' 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, lie persuaded them to remove to Stockbridge, where he put them 
in chargeof a resident minister, after which he took up work with good result among 
the Delaware and other tribes on the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. In 1717 
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 missionary labors at 
Kaunameek. His later mission work was taken up and continued by his brother. 
Authority: Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1894. 

38 Reverend Samuel Austin 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 Dark Hill, in the 
Cherokee Vat ion west. April 2D. 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 seminari at 
Andover was ordained to the ministrj in 1825. A week later, withhisnewh wedded 
bride, he left Boston to begin mission work among the Cherokee, and arrived in 
October at the mission of the American hoard, at Brainerd, Tennessee, where he 
remained until the end of 1827. He then, with his wife, removed to Sew Echota,in 
i leorgia, the capital of the < Iherokee Nation, w here he was the principal worket 
establishment of tl Ph(enix, the first newspaper printed in the Chei 

218 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.anx.19 

language and alphabet. Iii this 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, 1831, he was arrested by the < leorgia authorities for 
refusing to take a special oath of allegiance t< i the state. 1 [e was released, but was rear- 
rested soon afterward, confined in the state penitentiary, and forced to wear prison 
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 tin.' land. The Cherokee Phcenix having been suspended and the Cherokee Nation 
brought into disorder by the extension over it of the state laws, lie then returned to 
Brainerd, which was beyond the limits of Georgia. In 1835 he removed to the Indian 
Territory, whither the Arkansas ( Jherokee had already gone, and after short sojourns 
at Dwight and Union missions took up his final residence at Park Hill in December, 
1S30. He had already set up his mission press at Union, printing both in the ( Siero- 
kee and the Creek languages, and on establishing himself at Park Hill lie began a 
regular series of publications 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 p rep- 
aration and publication of books in the Cherokee language" (Letter in Report of 
Indian ( lommissioner, p. 356, 1843 i. The list of his Cherokee publications Hirst edi- 
tions) under his own name in Pilling' s Bibliography comprises about twenty titles, 

including the Bible, hymn 1 ks, tracts, and almanacs in addition to the Phasnix 

and large number of anonymous works. Says Pilling: "It is very probable that he 
was the translator of a number of books for which 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 ( Iherokee 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 missionary among 
the Creeks and has published a number of works in their language. Authorities: 
Pilling, bibliography of the Iroquoian languages (articles Worcester, Cherokee 
Phienix, etc. i, 1SSS; Drake, Indians, ed. 1880: Report of Indian Commissioner, 1843 
( Worcester letter). 

i Mil) Death penalty for selling lands (p. 107): In 1820 the Cherokee Nation 
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 ( reeks at about the same time. It was for violating these laws 
that Mcintosh and Ridge suffered death in their respective tribes. The principal 
parts of the Cherokee law, as reenacted by the united Nation in the West in 1s4l'. 
appear as follows in the compilation authorized in 1800: 

"An act against sale of land, etc.: Whereas, The peace and prosperity of 
Indian nations are frequently 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, 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 fi^\t\ 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 before 
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. 


■• /;. Itfurlhei enacted, rhat am person or persons who shall violate the pj 
of the second section of this act, and shall resist or refuse to appear at the place 

designated for trial, or ahsi 1, are hereby declared to be outlaws; ami any person 

or persons, citizens of this nation, may kill him or them so offending at am time 
and in any manner most convenient, within the limits of this nation, and shall not 

be held aci itable to the laws for the same. 

i nacted, That no treaty shall be binding upon this nation which shall 
not be ratified by the general council, and approved by the principal chief of the 
nation. December2, 1842." -Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1868. 

i 11 I'n r I in i;nk t i syllabari (p. 110): lii 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, Phoenician, and Greek. Sequoya's syllabary, the unaided work 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 ha\ ing no knowledge of the philosophy of language, being not 
evi ii acquainted 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 several years oi experiment, finding this an utterly hopeless 
task, he threw aside the thousands of characters which he hail carved or scratched 

uiion pieces of bark, and started in anew to study the constructii f the language 

it-elf. By attentive observation for another long period lie finally discovered that 
the sounds in the words used by the ( Iherokee in their daily conversation and their 
public speeches could be analyzed and elassitied, and that the thousands of possible 

Is were all formed fr 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 purpose 
he made use of a number of characters which he found in an old English spelling 
book, picking out capitals, lower-case, 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 some thirty-live ready-made characters, to which 
must be added a dozen or more produced by modification of the same originals, he 

• 1 1 •> i o l 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 
required someone hundred and fifteen characters, but after much hard study over 
the hissing sound in its various combinations, be hit upon the expedient of repre- 
senting the sound by means of a distinct character the exact equivalent of our letter 
.v — whenever it formed the initial of a syllable. Says Gallatin, " It wanted bin 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 ( riie-s's alphabet 

is manifest, and has been fully proved by experience. Yon must indeed learn and 
remember eighty-five characters instead of twenty-five [sic]. But this once accom- 
plished, the education of the pupil is completed; be can read and he i> perfect in his 

orthography without making it the subject ofadistinct 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 .me or two. at time- several, j ears 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, as soon as thos learn to shape letters. 

\- 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 [kth.axn.19 

of Sequoyah, that which in ours consumes the time of our children for at least two 

Although in theory the written Cherokee word has one letter for each syllable, 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 arda-ntifi-ta,, but 
pronounced in three syllables, mlnnta. In the same way tui'i-li'in-i-yurtti ("like 
tobacco," the cardinal flower) is pronounced tsdliyusCl. There are also, as in other 
languages, a number of minutesound 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 r of the Lower or the sh 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 between the written 
and the printed character. Authoritirx: Gallatin, Synopsis of the Indian Tribes, in 
Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, n, 1836; Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, Septem- 
ber, 1870; Filling, Bibliography of Iroquoian Languages i article on Guess and plate 
of syllabary), 1888; author's personal information. 

1] Southern gold fields (p. 116): Almost every valuable mineral and crystal 
known to the manufacturer or the lapidary is found in the southern Alleghenies, 
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 improved 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 lie called the American period appears to be that 
given by Jefferson, writing in 1781, of a lump of ore found in Virginia, which yielded 
seventeen penny weights of gold. This was probably not the earliest, however, as 
we find doubtful references to gold discoveries in both Carolinas before the Revolu- 
tion. The first mint returns of gold were made from North Carolina in 17'.':;. ami 
from South Carolina in 1829, although gold is certainly known to have been found in 
tin- latter state some years earlier. The earliest gold records for the other southern 
states are. approximately, Georgia (near Dahlonega). IkI.VIsl'O; Alabama, 1830; 
Tennessee ildco creek. Monroe county), 1831; Maryland (Montgomery county), 
1849. Systematic tracingof gold belts southward from North Carolina began in 1829, 
anil speedily resulted in the forcible eviction of the Cherokee from the gold-bearing 
region. Most of the precious metal was procured from placers or alluvial deposits 
by a simple process of digging and washing. Very little quartz 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 tilled with gold, 
and a pair of small hand scales, on which they weighed out gold at regular rates; for 
instance, Si grains of gold was the customary equivalent of a pint of whisky." For 
a number of years, about 1830 ami later, a man named Bechtler coined gold on his 
own account in North Carolina, and these coins, with Mexican silver, are said to have 
constituted the chief currency over a large region. A regular mint was established 
at Dahlonegain 1838 and maintained for some years. From 1804 to 1827 all the gold 
produced in the United States came from North < 'arolina. although the total amounted 
to hut SH0,000. The discovery of the rich deposits in California checked mining 
operations in the south, and the civil war brought about an almost complete suspen- 


siim, from which then' is hardly yet a revival. According to the best official esti- 
mates the gold production of the southern Allegheny region for the century'from I7;t9 
to 1898, inclusive, has been s ething over $46,000,000, distributed as follows: 

North Carolina $21,926,376 

( ;.•. >rgia 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 17,068 

Total, slightly in excess of 46, 415,612 

Autiiorities: Becker, Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians, in the Sixteenth 
Annual Report United States Geological Survey. 1895; Day, Mineral Resources of 
the United States, Seventeenth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, 
part ■".. 1896; Nitze, Gold Mining and Metallurgy in the Southern States, in North 
Carolina Geological Survey Report, republished in Mineral Resources of the t nited 
states, Twentieth Annual Report United states Geological Survey, part 6, 1899; 
Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, 1849. 

(42) Extension of Georgia laws, L830(p.ll7): "It is hereby ordained that all 
the laws of Georgia are extended over the Cherokee cQuntry; 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 sai'l terri- 
tory, by the saiil Cherokee Indians, lie, ami the same are hereby, on ami after the 
1st day of .lime. 1830, declared null ami void; ami no Indian, or descendant of an 
Indian, residing within the ( 'reek or Cherokee nations of Indians, shall he 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 by 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 s ," 

Authorities: Drake. Indians, p. 439, ed. 1880; Royce, Cherokee Nation of Indians, in 
Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 260, 1888. 

13 Removal ports, 1838 (p.130): For collecting the Cherokee preparatory to 
the Removal, the follow ing 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 Macon county; Fort 
Montgomery, at Robbinsville, in Graham county; Fort Hembrie, at Hayesville, in 
Clay county: Fort Delaney, at Yalleytown, in Cherokee county; Fort Butler, at 
Murphy, in tin- same county. In Georgia, Fort Scudder, on Frogtown creek, north 
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 
( lass, a! ( 'alhoun. on Hiwassee river, in McMinn county. In Alabama, Fort Turkey- 
town, on Coosa river, at Center, in Cherokee county. Authority: Author's personal 

I 44 Mi Nair'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. McNair 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 tin- Removal was in progress, possibly 

222 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE leth.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 DelilahA. McNair, who departed this life, the 
former on tlir 15th of August, L836, and the latter on the 30th of November, L838. 
Their children, being members of the Cherokee Nation and having to go with their 

j ico] ili' to the West, do leave this i lument, not only to show their regard for their 

parents, but to guard their sacred ashes against the unhallowed intrusion of the white 

(45) President Samuel Houston, (p. 145) : This remarkable man was horn in Rock- 
bridge county, Virginia, March 2, 1793, and died at Huntsville, Texas, July 25, 1863. 
( if strangely versatile, but forceful, character, he occupies a unique position in Ameri- 
can history, combining in a wonderful degree the rough manhood of the pioneer, 
the eccentric vanity of the Indian, the stern dignity of the soldier, the 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, hut the simple facts are of 
sufficient interest in themselves without the aid of fictitious embellishment. To the 
Cherokee, whom he loved so well, lie was known as Ka'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; lint, 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 s i 

attracted favorable notice and was promoted to the rank of ensign. By striking 
bravery at the bloody battle of Horseshoe bend, where he scaled the breastworks with 
an arrow in bis 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 liar, 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 ( '.ingress, 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, L829, 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 ami other official dignities, and left the state forever, to rejoin his 
old friends, tin- 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 been 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 forgetfulness in drink to such an extent that for a time his 

manl I seemed to have departed, notwithstanding 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, F"rt i iibson, and Fort ( loffee. In the meantime his former w ife in Den 

nessee had obtained a divorce, and Houston being thus frei e more soon after 

married Talihina, the youngest daughter of a prominent mixed-bl I 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 w herever 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 recover} from his injuries 
he made a public apology for his < luct and thenceforward led asoberlife. 

In 1832 he visited Washington in the interest >it' the western Cherokee, calling in 
Indian costume upon President Jackson, who received him with old-time friendship. 
Being accused while there of connection with a fraudulent Indian contract, he 
administered a severe beating to his accuser, a member of Congress. For this he 
»;i- lined $500 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 oi the convention 
w hich adopted a separate constitution for Texas in 1833, and two years later aided in 
forming a provisional government, and was elected commander-in-chief to organize 
the new militia. In 1836 he was a member of the convention which declared the 
independence of Texas. At the battle of San Jacinto in April of that year hedefeated 
with 7.">n men Santa Ana's army of 1,800, inflicting upon the Mexicans the terrible 
loss oi 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 Vote- 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 
note- 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 these years that 
he made his steadfast fight in behalf of the Texas < Iherokee, as is narrated elsew here, 
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 t: 1 faith had 

ever I. ecu violated by Indians. His Cherokee w ife having died some time 1. el ore. he 
was again married in ls4o. 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, he vetoed a hill making him dictator for the purpose of 
resisting a threatened invasion from Mexico. 

(>n December 29, 1845, 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 -eat as governor, to which position he had just been 
elected. From 1852 to 1860 bis 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 office of governor, declining the proffered aid of federal 
troops to keep him in his seat. Unwilling either to fight against the Union orto 

take -ides against his friends, he held aloof from the great Struggle, and remained m 
silent retirement until his death, two years later. No other man in American history 

224 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.1W 

has left such a record of continuoua election to high office while steadily holding to 
hisown convictions in the faceof strong popular opposition. Antlmntii-s: Appleton's 
Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 1894; Bonnell, Texas, 1840; Thrall, Texas, L876; 
I.ossing. 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, whose 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 emigrated from Scotland 
before the Revolution and married a quarter-blood* Iherokee woman whose fat her, John 
McDonald, was also from Scotland. He was horn at or near the family residence at 
Rossville, Georgia just across the line from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As ahoy, he 
was known among the Cherokee as Tsan-usdi', " Little John," but after arriving at 
manhood was called Guwi'sguwi', the name of a ran- migratory bird, of large size 
and white or grayish plumage, said to have appealed 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. Ilis 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 (author's per- 
sonal information from Mr Allen Ross, son of John Ross; see also Meredith, 
"The Cherokees," in the Five Civilized Tribes, Extra Bulletin Eleventh Census, 
1S94. ) 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 .'!, 1790, and died in the city of Washington, August 
1, 1866, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His official 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 was in the constant 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 General Jackson, and 
was present at the battle of the Horseshoe, where the Cherokee, under Colonel 
Morgan, 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 Chen ikee for their lands east of 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 appeals on the statute book of the Cherokee Nation as president of the 
national committee, and is attached to an ordinance which looked to the improve- 
ment of the Cherokee people, providing for the introduction into the Nation of school- 
masters, blacksmiths, 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 madeand carried intoeffect 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, principal 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 


them. They were compelled to yield, but not 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- 
em I Iherokees as one i pie 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 thes 'currences, with many others in their trying 

historj 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 hore the 
full and just recognition of John Hoss' name as principal chief of the Cherokee 

The summing up of the [panegyric is a splendid tribute to a splendid maul I: 

" Blessed with a line constitution and a vigorous niind, John Koss 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 he right, hut 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, lie 
never lost sight of the welfare of the people. For them he labored daily for a long 
life, and upon them he bestowed his last expressed thoughts. A friend of law, he 
obeyed it: a friend of education, he faithfully encouraged schools throughout 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 i if posterity." 

Resolutions were also passed for bringing his body from Washington at the expense 
of the Cherokee Nation and providing for suitable obsequies, in order "that his 
remains should rest among those he so long served" (Resolutions in honor of John 
Ross, in Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1869). 

(47) The Ketoowah Society (p. l.MS): This Cherokee secret society, which has 
recently achieved some newspaper prominence by its championship of Cherokee 
autonomy, derives its name — properly Kitu'hwa, hut 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 i see KUu'hwatfl, 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 
feelingjn 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 kin-men by saying in his opening speech, 
"We are all Kituhwa people" (Ani'-KItu'hwagl). The Ketoowah society in the 
( In rokee Nation west was organized shortly before the civil war by John I'.. 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 full- 

bl Is. in opposition to the innovating tendencies of the mixed-bl 1 element. The 

real purpose was to counteract the influence of the "Blue Lodge" and other secret 
secessionist organizations among the wealthier slave-holding classes, made up chiefly 

of mixed-bl Is and whites. It extended to the Creeks, and its members ill both 

tribes rendered g 1 service to the Union cause throughout the war. The) were 

frequently known as "Pin Indians," for a reason explained below. Since the close 
of the great struggle tin- society has distinguished itself by its determined opposition 

I'd KTH— 01 15 

22*1 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

to every scheme looking i" the curtailment or destruction of < Sherokee national self- 

The 6 illowing account of the society was written shortly after the close of the civil 


"Those ( Sherokees who were loyal to the Union combined in a secret organization 
for self-protection, assuming the designation of the Ketoowha society, which name 

was s i 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, w ho applied 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 counted 
nearly three thousand members, and had commenced proselytizing the Creeks, 
when the rebellion, against which it was arming, preventing its further extension, 
the | mi n- ('reeks having been driven into Kansas by the rebels of the Golden Circle. 
Dining the war the Pins rendered services hi the Union 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 opposed to slavery. .This was shown very clearly 
when the loyalists lirst 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 scent signs of the Pins were a peculiar way of touching the hat as a salutation, 
particularly when they were too far apart for recognition in other ways. They had 
a peculiar mode of taking hold of the lapel 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 rebelled 
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 Kctoowha's son.'" — Dr D. J. MacGowan, Indian Secret Societies, in Historical 
Magazine, x, 1866. 

(4s i Farewell address of Lloyd Welch (p. 175): In the sad and eventful history 
of the Cherokee their gifted leaders, frequently of white ancestry, have oftentimes 
spoken tii the world with eloquent words of appeal, of protest, or of acknowledgment, 
but never more eloquently than in the last farewell of Chief Lloyd Welch to the 
eastern band, as he felt the end draw near I leaflet, MacGowan, Chattanooga [n.d., 
L880] i: 

"To the Chairman and Council of tlu Eastern Band of Cherokees: 

" My Brothers: It becomes my imperative duty to bid you an affectionate fan-well, 
and resign into your hands the trust you so generously confided to my keeping, prin- 
cipal chief of the Eastern Land. 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, ni\ 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 oid\ regret that I feel for thus being so soon called from among you, at the 

meridian of manh 1, when hope is sweet, is the great anxiety 1 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 brothers equal justice from their brothers of the west and the 
United States, and that you would no longer be hewers of w 1 and drawers of 


water, but assume thai proud position among the civilized nations of the earth 
intended by the Creator that we'should occupy, and which in the near future you 
w ill take or I"- exterminated. When you become educated, as a natural consequence 
you will become more intelligent, sober, industrious, and prosperous 

■■ 1 1 ha- been the aim of ii iv lit".-. 1 1 ir chief object, to serve my race faithfully, hon- 
estly, ami to tin- best of my ability. II"" well 1 have succeeded I will leave i" his- 
tory and your magnanimity to decide, trusting an all-wise ami just God to guide and 
protect you in the future, as lie will do all things well. We may fail w hen mi earth 
to see the goodness ami wisdom of God in removing from us our best ami mosl use- 
ful men, but when we have crossed over i ill the i it her shore to Our happy ami eternal 

Inline in the far beyond then our eyes will be opened and we will he enabled to see 
ami realize the goodness and mercy of God in thus afflicting us while here mi earth, 
ami will he enabled inure fully to praise < rod, from whom all blessings come. 

"I hope that when you come to select one from among you to take the responsible 
position of principal chief of your ha ml you will lay aside all persi ma I considerations 
and seleet one in every respect competent, without stain on his fair fame, a pure, 
mil ile, honest, man — one who loves God ami all that is pure — with intellect sufficient 
to know your rights, independence ami nerve to defend them. Should you he thus 
fortunate in making your choice, all will he well. It has been truthfully said that 
'when the righteous rule the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule the people 

■1 am satisfied that you have among you many who are fully competent of tin- 
task. If I was satisfied it was your wish ami for the good of my brothers I might 
mention some of them, hut think it best to leave you in the hands of an all-wise God, 
who does all things right, to guide ami direct you aright. 

"Ami 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 sail 
rite i- 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 beyond the sky. And again, my brothers, permit me to bid you a fond, hut 
perhaps 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 Cherokei Indians. 

" Witness: 

"Samuel W. Davidson. 
"B. E. Mkrony." 

(49) Status of eastern BAND i]>. 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 etal against 
D. T. Boyd it nl," we And 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 Echota and 
remained in the state of North Carolina." etc. (Report of Indian Commissionei lor 
1895, pp. 633-635, 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 ( 'arolina finally gave assurance 
that the eastern band would he permitted to remain within her borders. 

The twelfth article ..f 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- 

228 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eih.ann.19 

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 improvements 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 person's entitled to preemption privilege under this treaty," 
etc. Article 13 defines terms with reference to individual reservatii ins 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 world 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 Creek Migration Legend, and the 
author's Jicarilla Genesis. 1 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 la-t century this tradition was still recited at the annual Green- 
corn dance. 2 Unlike mosl 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 nesl of 
apostate hornets who for more than thirty years had been fast degen- 
erating. 3 Whatever it may have been, their national legend is now lost 
forever. The secret organizations that must have existed formerly 
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 observed the proper form and ceremony. When John Ax and 

■American Anthropologist, vol. xi. July. 1898. 3 Adair, American Indians, p. 81, ITT"'. 

2 See page 20. 


other old men were boys, now some eighty years ago. the myth-keepers 

and priests were accustomed to meet toe-ether at night in the asl. 
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 
as?, where they sat up all night talking, with only the light of a small 
tire burning in the middle of the floor. At daybreak the whole party 
went down to the running stream, where the pupils or hearers of the 
myths stripped themselves, and were scratched upon their naked skin 
with a bone-tooth comb in the hands of the 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 the sacred class the informant would sometimes suggest 
jokingly that the author first submit to being scratched and "go to 

As a special privilege a boy was sometimes admitted to the asl on 
such occasions, to tend the fire, and thus had the opportunity to 
listen to the stories and learn something of the secret rites. In this way 
John Ax gained much of his knowledge, although he does not claim 
to be an adept. As he describes it, the tire 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 tire 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 boy lighted one or two of the pine knots and laid them upon 
the rock, where they blazed with a bright light until nearly consumed, 
when others were laid upon them, and so on until daybreak. 

Sometimes the pine splints were set up crosswise, thus, >0<XX, in a 
circle around the fire, with a break 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 Catawba river, in 1701: 

Now, to return to our state house, whither we were invited by the grandees. As 
seen as we came into it, they placed 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 Are 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 Vicing a small vacancy left to supply it with fuel. 1 

i Lawson, Carolina, 67-68, reprint 1860. 


belong tlic shorter animal myths, which have 

lost whatever sacred character they may once have had, and are told 

now merely as hu rous explanations of certain animal peculiarities. 

While the >acred myths have a constant bearing upon Eormulistic 
prayers and observances, it is only in cure instances thai any rite or 
custom is based upon an animal myth. Moreover, the sacred myths 
are know n as a rule only to the professional priests or conjurers, while 
the shorter animal stories are more or less familiar to nearly every- 
one and are found in almost identical form among Cherokee, Creeks, 
and other southern 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 lefi this lower 
world and ascended to Galun'lati, the world above, where they still 
exist. The removal was not simultaneous, hut 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, hut only weak imitations. In one or two special eases. 
however, the present creature is the descendant of a former monster. 
Tree- 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 Wala'si 
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- 
ally, 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 dec]) bend in the river, in the old Cherokee country 
has its accompanying legend. It may be a little story that can he 
told in a paragraph, to account for some natural feature, or it may be 
one chapter of a myth that has its sequel in a mountain a hundred 
mile- 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, 


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 lirst Cherokee war, with its stories of Agansta'ta and Ata-gul'kalii', 
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 expeditious, 
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 Ins narrative by saying: "This is what the old men told 
me when I was a boy." 

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 — Tsul'kalu', Tsuwe'nahi, 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 abundant 
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 tind with some tribes, although a few still exhibit a certain sequence 
w r hich indicates that they once formed component parts of a cycle. 
From the prominence of the rabbit 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 Rabbit — is the hero-god, trickster, and wonder- 
worker of all the tribes east of the Mississippi from Hudson bay 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 inay be left to the theorist to decide. Among the 


Algonquian tribes the name, wabos, seems to have been confounded 
with that of the dawn, waban, so that the Great White Rabbit is 
really the incarnation of the eastern dawn that brings light and life and 
driven away the dark shadows which have held the world in chains. 
The animal itself seems to he 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 very 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," 1 was paraphrased in the Cherokee language by 
Suyeta in introducing his first rabbit story: " Tsi'stu wuliga 'ndtHtUn' 
ii,,,',iuts,itiY tj, x.'i— the Rabbit was the leader of them all in mischief." 
The expression struck the author so forcibly that the words wire 
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 Kin:] complaining that their people were being kidnaped by 
slave hunters. Hundreds of captured Tuscarora and nearly the whole 
tribe of the Appalachee were distributed as slaves among the Carolina 
colonists in the early part of the eighteenth century, 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. Atone time it was charged against the gov- 
ernor of South Carolina that he was provoking a general Indian war 
by his encouragement of slave hunts. Furthermore, as the coast tribes 
dwindled they were compelled to associate and intermarry with the 
negroes until they finally lost their identity ami were classed with 
that race, so that a considerable proportion of the blood of the south- 
ern negroes is unquestionably Indian. 

The negro, with his genius for imitation and his love for stories. 
especially of the comic variety, must undoubtedly have absorbed much 
from tlie Indian in this way. while on the other hand the 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 back 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 only among the Cherokee, but also in New 

1 Harris, J. C, Uncle Rei . p. 29; New Y<>rk, 1886. 

234 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.axn.19 

Mexico. Washington, and southern Alaska — wherever, in fact, the 
pifion or the pine supplies enough gum 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 bounding 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? The 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 easily occur among any 
primitive people whose chief pastime is dancing. 1 

On the other hand, such a conception as that of Flint and the Rabbit 
could 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 amusement are really worn down fragments of 
ancient sacred 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 he 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 obviously 
the direct outgrowth of Cherokee conditions, it is impossible to fix a 
definite starting point for the myths. It would be unwise to assert 
that even the majority of them originated within the tribe. The 
Cherokee have strains of Creek, Catawba, Uchee, Natchez, Iroquois, 
Osage, and Shawano blood, and such admixture implies contact more 
or less intimate and continued. Indians are great wanderers, and a 

1 Fur ;i presentation -if the African and European argument see Harris, Nights with Uncle Remus. 
introduction, 1883; and Uncle Remus. His Songs and His Sayings, introduction, 1886; Gerber, 
Uncle Remus Traced to the Old World, in Journal of American Folklore, vi, p. 23, October, 1893. In 
regard to tribal dissemination of myths see Boas, Dissemination of Tales among the Natives of North 
America, in Journal of American Folklore, IV, p. 12, January, 1891; TheGrowthof Indian Mythologies, 
in the same journal, IX, p. 32, January ls>.ni; Northern Elements in the Mythology of the Navaho, in 
American Anthropologist, x. p. 11. November, ls'JT; introduction to Teit's Traditions of the Thompson 
River Indians. 1898. IT Boas has probably devoted more study to the subject than any other anthro- 
pologist, and his personal observations include tribes from the Arctic regions to the Columbia. 

hooney] OBIGIH OF THE MYTHS 235 

myth can travel as far as a redstone pipe or a string of wampum. It 
was customary, as it still is i<> a limited extent in the West, for large 
parties, sometimes even a whole band or village, to make lime- visits 
to other tribes, dancing, feasting, trading, and exchanging stories w itli 
their friends for weeks or months 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 lie found 
that this intertribal commerce was 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 
trilies 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 
\\ hat we know of the character of the Shawano, their tendency toward 
the ceremonial and the mystic, and their close relations with the 
Cherokee, it may he 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 afieient territory of the tribe arc now irrecov- 
erably 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 he 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 every 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 variants from 
the celebrated Hausmarchen, as told by French trappers and voyageurs 
to their Indian campmates and halfbreed children. It might perhaps 
be thought that missionary influence would be evident in the genesis 
tradition, but such is not the case. The Bible story kills the Indian 
tradition, and there is no amalgamation. It is hardly necessary tosay 
that stories of a great fish which swallows a man and of a great Hood 

236 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

which destroys a people are found the world over. The supposed 
Cherokee hero-god, Wiisi, described by one writer as so remarkably 
resembling the great Hebrew lawgiver is in fact that great teacher 
himself, Wasi being the Cherokee approximate for Moses, and the 
good missionary who first 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 formulas. 

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'yun'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 
storehouse of Indian tradition. To a happy descriptive style he added 
a musical voice for the songs and a peculiar faculty for imitating 
the characteristic cry of bird or beast, 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 badge 
of authority. He died in March, 1S99, aged about sixty-five, and was 

moomvj STORY-TELLERS 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 <>f Itagu'nahi. better known a^ John 
A\. born about L800 and now consequently just touching the centurj 
mark, being the oldest man of the band. He has a distinct recollec- 
tion of tin' Creek war, at which time he was about twelve years of age, 
and was already married and a father when the lands east of Xantahala 
were sold by the treaty of L819. 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. ( >f 
a poetic and imaginative temperament, he cared most for the wonder 
stories, of the giant Tsul'kalu', 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 tine 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'gwadihf, "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 aide to furnish several valuable stories, besides confirmatorj 
evidence for a large number obtained from other sources. 

Besides these may be named, among the East Cherokee, the late 
Chief N. J. Smith; Sal&'ll, mentioned elsewhere, who died about L895; 
Tsesa'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 ceremony. 

Among informants in the western Cherokee Nation the principal was 
James D. Watford, known to the Indians a- Tsuskwanun'nawa'ta, 

238 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.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 
years of age at his home in the eastern part of the Cherokee Nation, 
adjoining the Seneca reservation. The name figures prominently in 
the early history of North Carolina and Georgia. His grandfather, 
Colonel Wafford, was an officer in the American Revolutionary army, 
and shortly after the treaty of Hopewell, in 17S5, established a colony 
known as " Watford's settlement," in npper Georgia, on territory which 
was afterward found to be within the Indian boundary and was acquired 
by special treaty purchase in 1801. His name is appended, as witness 
for the state of Georgia, to the treaty of Holston, in 1794. ' On his 
mother's side Mr Wafford 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 established among 
the Cherokee. In the course of his long life he tilled many positions 
of trust and honor among his people. In his youth he attended 
the mission school at Valleytown under Reverend Evan Jones, and 
just before the adoption of the Cherokee alphabet he finished the 
translation into phonetic Cherokee spelling of a Sunday school speller 
noted in Pilling' s Iroquoin Bibliography. In 1821 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 removal, and his name appears as a councilor for the western 
Nation in the Cherokee Almanac for 1846. When employed by 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 myths for which he was not able to furnish confirmatory testi- 
mony. Despite his education he was a firm believer in the Niinne'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. 




( Josmogonic 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 he water again. The Indians 
are afraid of this. 

When all was water, the animals were above in Galun'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, hut 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 Hat and very soft and wet. The animals were 
anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see if it was yet 
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 him 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 they struck the earth 
there was a valley, and where they turned up again then' was a 
mountain. When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that 
the whole world would he mountains, so they called him back, bul I lie 
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 T.siska'gili'. the Red Crawfish, had his shell scorched a bright red, 
so that his meat was spoiled; ami the Cherokee do not eat it. The 


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 sky arch. Then it was 
right, and they left it so. This is why the conjurers call the highest 
place (julkwa'gine Di'galuiYlatiyiifi', "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 underworld, and the springs at their heads are 
the doorways 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 pray to their 
medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all were awake through 
the first night, but the next night several dropped 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. 1 ' 

Men came after the animals and plants. At first there were only a \ 
brother and sister until he struck her with a fish 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 J 
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 fire, and the world was cold, until the 
Thunders (Ani'-Hyun'tikwala'ski), who lived up in Galun'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 

i my; THE FIRST BTRE 241 

account of the water, so they held a council to decide what to do. This 
was a long time ago. 

Every animal thai could fly or swim was anxious to go after the tiiv. 
The Raven offered, and because he was so large and strong they thought 
he could surely do the work, so he was sent first. He flew high and 
Ear across the water and alighted on the sycamore 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. Tin' 
little Screech-owl ( Wa'huhu') volunteered to go, and reached the place 
safely, lint while he was looking down into the hollow tree a blast of 
hot air came up and Dearly burned out his eyes. He managed to fly 
home as best he could, but it was a long time before he could see well, 
and his eyes are red to this day. Then the HootingOwl ( WgvJcu') and 
the Horned Owl (TskiW) went, but by the time they got to the hollow 
tree the tire was burning so fiercely that the smoke nearly blinded 
them, and the ashes carried up by the wind made white rings about 
their eyes. They had to come home again without the fire, but 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 would go through the water and bring 
back some tire. 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 much for him, too, and after dodging about 
blindly over the hot ashes until hi' was almost on tire 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 habit 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 tire. He swam over to the island and climbed up the 
tree on the outside, as the blacksnake always 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 tire, 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 sycamore, until at last Kanane'skI Amai'vehi (the 
Water Spider) said she would go. This is not the water spider that 
looks like a mosquito, but the other one. with black downy 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 tire; "•I'll manage 
that," said the Water Spider; so she spun a thread from her bodj and 
wove it into a tusti bowl, which she fastened on her back. Then she 
crossed over to the island and through the grass to where the tire was 

19 eth— 01 1C 

242 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

still burning. She put one little coal of fire 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 the} 7 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 boy. "and 
be calls himself my elder brother. He says his mother was cruel to 
him and threw him into the river." Then the} 7 knew that the strange 
boy 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, "Tomorrow, 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 they 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 away!" but his brother held on until the parents leached the 
spot, when they seized the Wild Boy 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'nage-utasun'ln 

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 


toward the west. The boys waited a little while and then went afti r 
him, keeping out <d' 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 Boy changed bimself into a puff of 
l>ird's down, w hich the wind took up and carried until it alighted upon 
Kana'ti's shoulder just as he entered the swamp, but Kana'ti knew 
nothing about it. Theold man «ut 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 blew 
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 hoys went back to the swamp, (ait 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 deercame running out. .lust as they drew hack 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 Roy struck its tail with his arrow so that it 
pointed upward. The boys thought this good sport, and when the 
next oik' 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 
hut the hear, because there was no bear then. Last came great flocks 
of turkeys, pigeons, and partridges that darkened the air like a (loud 
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; T must 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 by the rock, and all 
the birds and animals were g-oue. Kana'ti was furious, but without 

244 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

saving a word he went down 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 boys. They screamed with pain and fright 
and tried to beat off the insects, but the thousands of vermin crawled 
over them and bit and stung them until both dropped down nearly 
dead. Kana'ti stood looking on until he thought they had been pun- 
ished enough, when he knocked off the vermin and made the boys a 
talk. "Now, you rascals," said he, "you 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 boys 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 I'll 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 climbed 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 basket 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? " said Selu. " Yes," 
said the boys, "you are a witch." "Well," said their mother, "when 
you 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 stay 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 

i keyj kana'ti AND ski.t 245 

house, bu< instead of clearing the whole piece they cleared onlj seven 
little spots. This is why corn now grows only in a few places instead 
01 over the whole world. They dragged the body of Selu around the 
circle, and wherever her blood fell on the ground the corn sprang up. 
But instead of dragging her body seven times across the ground they 
dragged ii over onlj twice, which is the reason the Indians still work 
their crop but twice. The two brothers sat up and watched their coin 
all night, and in the morning it was full grown and ripe. 

When Kana'ti came home at last, he looked around, but could not see 
Selu 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 Wolf people." So he started off, but before, he had gone 
far the Wild Boy changed himself again to a tuft of down, which fell 
on Kana'tfs shoulder. When Kana'ti reached the settlement of the 
Wolf 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 bad boys at home, and I want you to go in seven 
days from now and play ball against them." Although Kana'ti spoke 
as though he wanted them to play a game of ball, the Wolves knew 
that he meant for them to go and kill the two boys. They promised to 
go. Then the bird's down blew off from Kana'tfs shoulder, and the 
smoke carried it up through the hole in the roof of the townhouse. 
When it came down on the ground outside, the Wild Boy took his right 
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. They ran around 
the house in a wide circle until they had made a trail all around it 
excepting on the side from which the Wolves would come, where they 
left 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 which 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 
changed to a high brush fence and shut them in. Then the boys on 
the outside took their arrows and began shooting them down, and as 
the \\ olves could not jump over the fence they were all killed, excepting 
a few that escaped through the opening into a great swamp close by. 
The boys ran around the swamp, and a circle of tire sprang up in their 

246 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.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. The 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 the}' saw 
seven tall stalks, each stalk bearing a ripened ear. They gathered the 
tars 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. The}' 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 find 
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 toward 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 off toward 
the east, and after traveling a longtime they came upon Kana'ti walk- 
ing along with a little dog by his side. "You bad hoys," said their 
father, " have you come here V "'Yes," they answered, "we always 
accomplish what we start out to do — we are men." "This clog over- 
took me four days ago," then said Kana'ti, but 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 

mooney] kana'ti and selu -J47 

panther asleep. The Wild Hoy got <>ut an arrow and shot the panther 
in the side of the head. The panther turned his head and the other 
boj shot him on that side. He turned his head away again and the 
two brothers sho( together fust, fust, tust! But the panther was nol 
hurt by the arrow- and paid no more attention to the boys. They 
came oul 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 never hurl us. We are men." Kana'ti was surprised, but 
said nothing, and they went on again. 

After a while lie turned to them and said. "Now you must lie careful. 
We are coming to a tribe called the An&da'duiitaski (" Roasters," i. e., 
cannibals), and if thej gel you they will put you into a pot and feast on 
you."' Then lie went on ahead. Soon the boys eanie to a tree which 
ha<l Keen struck by lightning, and the Wild Hoy 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 hoys, came running out, crying, 
"Good, here are two nice fat strangers. Now we'll have a grand 
feast!" They caught the hoys 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 tire, put water into a large pot and set it to 
boiling, and then seized the Wild Hoy and put him down into it. His 
brother was not in the least frightened ami made no attempt to escape, 
hut quietly knelt down and began putting the splinters into the tire, 
as if to make it burn better. When the cannibals thought the meat 
was about ready they lifted the pot from the fire, and that instant a 
blinding light rilled 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 upthrough the smoke- 
hole, and the next moment there were the two boys standing outside 
the townhouse as though nothing had 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 toj'OU?" "We nut them 
and they brought us to their townhouse. but they never hurt u-.'* 
Kana'ti said nothing more, and they went on. 

* * -x- -x * -::- * 

He soon got nut of sight of the boys, but they kept on until they 
came to the end of the world, where the sun comes out. The ski 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 tile 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 boy- stayed with their parents seven day- and 

248 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.anx.19 

then went on toward the Darkening land, where the}' are now. We 
call them Anisga'ya Tsunsdi' (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 very 
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 were close around the townhouse, the hunters shot into them and 
killed as many as they needed before the herd could get back into 
the timber. 

Then the Thunder Boys went back to the Darkening land, but 
before the}' 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 they 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. 1 ' 
* * * * * * * 

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 trouble about 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 bread. 

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 


one proposed to watch when their parents wenl out and to follow 

Accordingly nexl 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 he carelessly leaned 
against another. On looking closely they saw an entrance to a large 
cave, and in it were many different kinds of animals and birds, suchas 
their father had sometimes brought in for food. The man standing at 
the entrance called a deer, which was lying at some distance and hack 
of some other animals. It rose immediately as it heard the call and 
came close up to him. He picked it up, closed the mouth 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 him, left their hiding place and went to the 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 hut gaze in stupified 
amazement as they saw them escape. There 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- 
ruped: — 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! large ears of corn 
began to fall into the basket. When 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 Keen finished in silence 
the man spoke to hi~ 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 hail found out her secret 
she could do nothing more for them: that she would die. and they 
must drag her body around .over the ground; that wherever her body 
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 together 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 hows, 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 
upon 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 purposes, it was decided to begin war at once against him. Some 
one asked what weapons 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 the} T 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 necessary 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 waj' to prevent the increase of the human 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 rheumatism to every hunter who should 

booneyJ ORIGIN OF DI8EA8E 251 

kill one of them unless he took care to ask their pardon for the offense. 

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 lie wounded, runs 
quickly up to the -pot and. bending over the Mood -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 way; hut if 
the reply lie " 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 ami Reptiles, who had their own complaints 
against Man. They held their council toe-ether 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 decaying 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 he 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 d<> something to check the increase of the race, or people will 
become so numerous that we shall he crowded from off 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 off," 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 aide to survive. The Grubworm grew 

252 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' ! [Thanks!] I'm glad some more of them 
will die. for they are getting so thick that they tread on me." The 
thought fairly made him shake with joy, 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 friendly to Man, 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 remedy 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 side of the sky r vault, but her daughter 
lived in the middle of the sky, directly above the earth, and every day 
as the Sun was climbing along the sky arch to the west she used to 
stop at her daughter's house for dinner. 

Now, the Sun hated the people on the earth, because they could 
never look straight at her without screwing up their faces. She said 
to her brother, the Moon, "My grandchildren are ugly; they grin all 
over their faces when they look at me." But the Moon said, "I like 
my younger brothers; I think they are very handsome" — because 
they always smiled pleasantly when they saw him in the sky at night, 
for his rays were milder. 

The Sun was jealous and planned to kill all the people, so every day 
when she got near her daughter's house she sent down such sultry 
rays that there was a great fever and the people died by hundreds, 
until everyone had lost some friend and there was fear that no one 
would lie left. They went for help to the Little Men, who said the 
only way to save themselves was to kill the Sun. 

The Little Men made medicine and changed two men to snakes, the 
Spreading-adder and the Copperhead, and sent them to watch near the 
(l(Kir of the daughter of the Sun to bite the old Sun when she came 
next day. They went together and hid near the house until the Sun 
came, but when the Spreading-adder was about to spring, the bright 
light blinded him and he could only spit out yellow slime, as he does 
to this day when he tries to bite. She called him a nasty thing and 

hooney] THK DAUGHTER OF THE si N 253 

went by into the bouse, and tin' Copperhead crawled off without trying 
to do anything. 

So the people still died from the heat, and they went to the Little 
Men a second time for help. The Little Men made medicine again and 
Changed one man into the great I'ktena and another into the Rattle- 
snake and sent them to watch near the house and kill the old Sun when 
she came Eor dinner. They made the I'ktena very large, with borns 
on his head, and everyone thought he would lie sure to do the work. 
hut the Rattlesnake was so quick and eager that he got ahead and coiled 
up just outside tin' house, and when the Sun's daughter opened the 
door to look out for her mother, he sprang up and hit her and she fell 
dead in the doorway. He forgot to wait for the old Sun. hut went 
hack to the people, and the I'ktena was so very angry that he went 
hack. too. Since then we pray to the rattlesnake and do not kill him, 
because he is kind and never tries to bite if we do not disturb him. 
The Lktena grew angrier all the time and very dangerous, so that if 
he even looked at a man. that man's family would die. After a long- 
time the people held a council and decided that he was too dangerous 
to he with them, so they sent him up to Galun'lati, and he is there 
now. The Spreading-adder, the Copperhead, the Rattlesnake, and the 
Lktena were all men. 

When the Sun found her daughter dead, she went into the house 
and grieved, and the people did not die any more, but now the world 
was dark all the time, because the Sun would not come out. They 
went again to the Little Men. and these told them that if they wanted 
the Sun to come out again they must bring back her daughter from 
Tsusgina'i, the Ghost country, in Usunhi'vi, the Darkening land in 

the west. They chose seven men to go, and gave each a sourw I rod 

a hand-breadth long. The Little Men told them they must take a box 
with them, and when they got to Tsusgina'i they would find all the 
ghosts at a dance. They must stand outside the circle, and when the 
young woman passed in the dance they must strike her with the rods 
and she would fall to the ground. Then they must put her into the 
box and bring her back to her mother, but the} 7 must be very sure not 
to open the box. even a little way, until they were home again. 

They took the rods and a box and traveled seven days to the west 
until they came to the Darkening land. There were a great many 
people there, and they were having a dance just as if they were at 
home in the settlements. The young woman was in the. outside circle, 
and as she swung around to where the seven men were standing, one 
struck her with his rod and she turned her head and saw him. As she 
came around the second time another touched her with his rod. and 
then another and another, until at the seventh round she fell out of 
the ring, and they put her into the l>ox and closed the lid fast. The 
other ghosts seemed never to notice what had happe 1. 

254 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

They took up the box and .started home toward the east. In a little 
while the girl came to life again and begged to be let out of the box, 
but the}' made no answer and went on. Soon she called again and said 
she was hungry, but still they made no answer and went on. After 
another while she spoke again and called for a drink and pleaded so 
that it was very hard to listen to her, but the men who carried the box 
said nothing and still went on. When at last they were very near 
home, she called again and begged them to raise the lid just a little, 
because she was smothering. They were afraid she was really dying 
now, so they lifted the lid a little to give her air, but as they did so 
there was a fluttering sound inside and something flew past them into 
the thicket and they heard a redbird cry, " Jewish/ Jewish! hwish!" in 
the bushes. They shut clown the lid and went on again to the settle- 
ments, but when they got there and opened the box it was empty. 

So we know the Redbird is the daughter of the Sun, and if the men 
had kept the box closed, as the Little Men told them to do, they would 
have brought her home safely, and Ave could bring back our other 
friends also from the Ghost country, but now when they die we can 
never bring them back. 

The Sun had been glad when they started to the Ghost country, but 
when they came back without her daughter she grieved and cried, 
"My daughter, my daughter," and wept until her tears made a flood 
upon the earth, and the people were afraid the world would be 
drowned. They held another council, and sent their handsomest young 
men and women to amuse her so that she would stop crying. They 
danced before the Sun and sang their best songs, but for a long time 
she kept her face covered and paid no attention, until at last the 
drummer suddenly changed the song, when she lifted up her face, and 
was so pleased at the sight that she forgot her grief and smiled. 


In the beginning of the world, when people and animals were all the 
same, there was only one tobacco plant, to which they all came for 
their tobacco until the DaguTku geese stole it and carried it far away 
to the south. The people were suffering without it, and there was one 
old woman who grew so thin and weak that everybody said she would 
soon die unless she could get tobacco to keep her alive. 

Different animals offered to go for it, one after another, the larger 
ones first and then the smaller ones, but the Dagul kfi saw and killed 
every one before he could get to the plant. After the others the little 
Mole tried to reach it by going under the ground, but the DaguTku 
saw his track and killed him as he came out. 

At last the Hummingbird offered, but the others said he was entirely 
too small and might as well stay at home. He begged them to let him 
try, so they showed him a plant in a field and told him to let them see 


how he would go aboul it. The next moment lie was gone and they 
saw liim sitting <m the plant, and then in a moment he was back again, 
l>ut do one had seen him going or coming, because he was so swift. 
"This is the way I'll do," said the Hummingbird, so they let him try. 

Ilr flew off to the east, am! when he came in sight of the tobacco 
the Dagul ku were watching all about it, but they could not see him 
because he was so small and tlew so swiftly. Ilr darted down on the 
plant tea! and snatched off the top with the leaves and seeds, and 
was off again before the Dagul ku knew what had happened. Before 
he got home with the tobacco the old woman had fainted and they 
thought she was dead, but he blew the smoke into her nostrils, and 
with a cry of " Tm'lu! [Tobacco!]" she opened her eyes and was alive 


The people had tobacco in the beginning, but they had used it all, 
and there was great suffering for want of it. There was one old 
man so old that he had to be kept alive by smoking, and as his son 
did not want to see him die he decided to go himself to try and get 
some more. The tobacco country was far in the south, with high 
mountains all around it, and the passes were guarded, so that it was 
very bard to get into it. but the young man was a conjurer and was not 
afraid. He traveled southward until he came to the mountains on the 
border of the tobacco country. Then he opened his medicine bag and 
took out a hummingbird skin and put it over himself like a dress. 
Now he was a hummingbird and flew over the mountains to the tobacco 
field and pulled some of the leaves and seed and put them into his 
medicine bag. He was so small and swift that the guards, whoever 
they were, did not see him, and when he had taken as much as he could 
carry he tlew back over the mountains in the same way. Then he took 
off the hummingbird skin and put it into his medicine bag. and was a 
man again. He started home, and on his way came to a tree that had 
a hole in the trunk, like a door, near the first branches, and a very 
pretty woman was looking out from it. Hestoppedand tried toclimb 
the tree, but although he was a good climber he found that he always 
slipped back. He put on a pair of medicine moccasins from his pouch, 
and then he could climb the tree, but when he reached the first branches 
he looked up and the hole was still as far away as before. He climbed 
higher and higher, but every time he looked up the hole seemed to be 
farther than before, until at last he was tired and came down again. 
When he reached home he found his father very weak, but still alive, 
and one draw at the pipe made him strong again. The people planted 
the seed and have had tobacco ever since. 


A long time ago several young men made up their minds to find the 
place where the Sun lives and see what the Sun is like. They got 

256 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ahn.19 

ready their bows and arrows, their parched corn and extra moccasins, 
and started out toward the east. At first they met tribes they knew, 
then they came to tribes they had only heard about, and at last to 
others of which they had never heard. 

There was a tribe of root eaters and another of acorn eaters, with 
great piles of acorn shells near their houses. In one tribe they found 
a sick man dying, and were told it was the custom there when a man 
died to bury his wife in the same grave with him. They waited until 
he was dead, when thev saw his friends lower the body into a great 
pit, so deep and dark that from the top they could not see the bottom. 
Then a rope was tied around the woman's body, together with a bun- 
dle of pine knots, a lighted pine knot was put into her hand, and she 
was lowered into the pit to die there in the darkness after the last pine 
knot was burned. 

The young men traveled on until they came at last to the sunrise 
place where the sky reaches down to the ground. They found that the 
sky was an arch or vault of solid rock hung above the earth and was 
always swinging up and down, so that when it went up there was an 
open place like a door between the sky and ground, and when it swung 
back the door was shut. The Sun came out of this door from the east 
and climbed along on the inside of the arch. It had a human figure, but 
was too bright for them to see clearly and too hot to come very near. 
They waited until the Sun had come out and then tried to get through 
while the door was still open, but just as the first one was in the door- 
way the rock came down and crushed him. The other six were afraid 
to try it, and as they were now at the end of the world they turned 
around and started back again, but they had traveled so far that they 
were old men when they reached home. 


The Sun was a young woman and lived in the East, while her brother, 
the Moon, lived in the West. The girl had a lover who used to come 
every month in the dark of the moon to court her. He would come 
at night, and leave before daylight, and although she talked with him 
she could not see his face in the dark, and he would not tell her his 
name, until she was wondering all the time who it could be. At last 
she hit upon a plan to find out. so the next time he came, as they were 
sitting together in the dark of the asi, she slyly dipped her hand into 
the cinders and ashes of the fireplace and rubbed it over his face, say- 
ing. "Your face is cold; you must have suffered from the wind,'' 
and pretending to be very sorry for him, but he did not know that 
she had ashes on her hand. After a while he left her and went away 

The next night when the Moon came up in the sky his face was cov- 
ered with spots, and then his sister knew he was the one who had been 





coming to see her. He was so much ashamed to have her know it 
thai li«' kept us far away as he could at the other end of the skj all the 
night. Ever since he tries to keep a long way behind the Sun. and 
when he doc- sometimes have to conic near her in the west he makes 
himself as thin as a ribbon so thai he can hardly be seen. 

Some old people saj that the moon is a hall which was thrown up 
against the sky in a game a lone- time ago. They say that two towns 
were playing against each other, hut one of them had tin' best runners 

and had almost won the came, when the leader of tl ther side picked 

up the hall with his hand- a thine- that is not allowed in the game 
and tried to throw it to the goal, hut it struck against the solid sky 
vault and was fastened there, to remind players never to cheat. When 

the moon look- -mall and pale it is because somi has handled the 

hall unfairly, and for this reason they formerly played only at the 
time of a full moon. 

When the sun or moon i- eclipsed it is because a great frog up in 
the sky is trying to swallow it. Everybody knows this, even the 
Creek- and the other tribes, and in the olden times, eighty or a hun- 
dred year- ago, before the great medicine men were all dead, when 
ever they -aw the sun grow dark the people would come together and 
tire guns and heat the drum, ami in a little while tin- would frighten 
off the greal frog ami the sun would he all right again. 

The common people call both Sun and Moon Nundd, one being 
"Nunda that dwell- in the day" ami the other "Nunda that dwell- in 
the night," hut the priests call the Sun Su'tdlidiki', ••Six-killer." and 
the Moon Gi ' yagu'ga, though nobody knows now what this wurd means. 
or why they use these name-. Sometime- people ask the Moon not to 
let it rain or -now . 

The great Thunder ami hi- sons, the two Thunder boys, live far in 
the west above the sky vault. The lightning and the rainbow are 
their beautiful dress. The priests pray to the Thunder and call him 
the Red Man. because that is the brightest color of his dress. There 
arc other Thunder- that live lower down, in the cliffs and mountains, 
and under waterfalls, and travel on invisible bridges from one high 
peak to another where they have their town house-. The great Thun- 
ders above the sky are kind and helpful when we pray to them, hut 
these other- are always plotting mischief. One must not point at the 
rainbow, or one'- finger will swell at the lower joint. 


There are different opinion- about the -tars. Some say they are 
balls of light, othei- gaj they are human, but most people say they 
are living creature- covered with luminous fur or feathers. 

One night a hunting party camping in the mountain- noticed two 
lights like large star- moving alone- the top of a distant ridge. They 

19 eth— i'H 17 

258 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

wondered and watched until the light disappeared on the other side. 
The next night, and the next, they saw the lights again moving along 
the ridge, and after talking over the matter decided to go on the mor- 
row and try to learn the cause. In the morning they started out and 
went until they came to the ridge, where, after searching some time. 
they found two strange creatures about so large (making a circle with 
outstretched arms), with round bodies covered with tine fur or downy 
feathers, from which small heads stuck out like the heads of terrapins. 
As tlic breeze played upon these feathers showers of sparks flew out. 
The hunters carried the strange creatures back to the camp, intend- 
ing to take them home to the settlements on their return. They kept 
them several days and noticed that every night they would grow 
bright and shine like great stars, although by day they were (inly balls 
of gray fur. except when the wind stirred and made the sparks fly out. 
They kept very quiet, and no one thought of their trying to escape, 
when, on the seventh night, they suddenly rose from the ground like 
balls of fire and were soon above the tops of the trees. Higher and 
higher they went, while the wondering hunters watched, until at last 
they were only two bright points of light in the dark sky, and then 
the hunters knew that they were stars. • 


Long ago, when the world was new, there were seven boys who 
used to spend all their time down by the townhouse playing the 
gatayu'sti game, rolling a .stone wheel along the ground and sliding a 
curved stick after it to strike it. Their mothers scolded, but it did no 
good, so one day they collected some gatayu'sti stones and boiled 
them in the pot with the corn for dinner. When the boys came home 
hungry their mothers dipped out the stones and said. ■•Since you like 
the gatayu'sti better than the cornfield, take the stones now for your 

The boys were very angry, and went down to the townhouse, say- 
ing. "As our mothers treat us this way, let us go where we shall 
never trouble them any more." They began a dance — some say it 
was the Feather dance — and went round and round the townhouse, 
praying to the .spirits to help them. At last their mothers were 
afraid something was wrong and went out to look for them. They 
saw the boys still dancing around the townhouse. and as they watched 
they noticed that their feet were off the earth, and that with every 
round they rose higher and higher in the air. They ran to get their 
children, but it was too late, for they were already above the roof of 
the townhouse — all but one, whose mother managed to pull him down 
with the gatayu'sti pole, but he struck the ground with such force 
that he sank into it and the earth closed over him. 

The other six circled higher and higher until they went up to the 


sky, where we see them now as the Pleiades, which the Cherokee 
stiil call'tsutsa (The Boys). The people grieved long after them, 
but the mother whose boy had gone into the ground came every 
morning and every evening to cry over the spot until the earth was 
damp with her tears. At hist a little green shoot sprouted up and 
gre^ day by day until it became the tall tree that we call now the 
pine, and the pine is of the same nature as the stars and holds in 
itself the same bright light. 


Some people in the south hail a corn mill, in which they pounded 
thi' corn into meal, and several mornings when they came to till it they 
noticed that some of the meal had been stolen d urine- the night. They 
examined the ground anil found the tracks of a doe'. s ( > the next night 
the\ watched, and when the doe- came from the north and began to eat 
the meal out of the howl they sprang out and whipped him. lie ran 
off howling to his home in the north, with the meal dropping from his 
mouth as lie ran, and leaving behind a white trail where now weseethe 
Milky Way. which the Cherokee call to this day (ii li'-utsun'stanufi'j i. 
■• Where the doe- ran." 


When the first man was created and a mate was given to him. they 
lived together very happily for a time, hut then began to quarrel, until 
at last the woman left her husband and started oh" toward Nund&gun'ja, 
the Sun land, in the east. The man followed alone and grieving, but 
the woman kept on steadily ahead and never looked behind, until 
I'ne' lanun'hi, the great Apportioner (the Sun), took pity on him and 
asked him if he was still angry with his wife. lb' said he was not. and 
I'ne' lanun'hi then asked him if he would like to have her hack again, 
to which lie eagerly answered yes. 

So I'ne' lanun'hi caused a patch of the finest ripe huckleberries to 
spring up alone- the path in front of the woman, but she passed by 
without paying any attention to them. Farther on he put a clump of 
blackberries, but these also she refused to notice. Other fruits, one, 

two, and three, and then some trees covered with beautiful red service 

berries, were placed beside the path to tempt her. hut she still went on 
until suddenly she saw in front a patch of large ripe strawberries, the 
first ever known. She stooped to gather a few to eat. and as she picked 
them -he chanced to turn her face to the west, and at once the memory 
of her husband came hack to her and she found herself unable to go 
on. She sat down, hut the longer she waited the stronger became her 
desire for her husband, and at last she gathered a hunch of the finest 
berries and started back alone- the path to give them to him. He met 
her kindly and they went home together. 

260 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 


A long time ago the people of the old town of Kanu'ga la'yi (" Brier 
place," or Briertown), on Nantahala river, in the present Macon 
county. North Carolina, were much annoyed by a great insect called 
U'la'gu.', as large as a house, which used to come from some secret 
hiding place, and darting swiftly through the air, would snap up chil- 
dren from their play and carry them away. It was unlike any other 
insect ever known, and the people tried many times to track it to its 
home, but it was too swift to be followed. 

They killed a squirrel and tied a white string to it, so that its course 
could be followed with the eye. as bee hunters follow the flight of a 
lice to its tree. The U'la'gu' came and carried off the squirrel with 
the string hanging to it, but darted away so swiftly through the air 
that it was out of sight in a moment. They killed a turkey and put a 
longer white string to it, and the U'la'gvi' came and took the turkey, 
but was gone again before they could see in what direction it flew. 
They took a deer ham and tied a white string to it. and again the 
U'la'gu' swooped down and bore it off so swiftly that it could not be 
followed. At last they killed a yearling deer and tied a very long 
white string to it. The U'la'gu' came again and seized the deer, but 
this time the load was so heavy that it had to fly slowly and so low 
down that the string could be plainly seen. 

The hunters got together for the pursuit. They followed it along 
a ridge to the east until they came near where Franklin now is, when, 
on looking across the valley to the other side, they saw the nest of 
the U'la'gu' in a large cave in the rocks. On this they raised a great 
shout and made their way rapidly down the mountain and across to the 
cave. The nest had the entrance below with tiers of cells built up one 
above another to the roof of the cave. The great U'la'gu' was there, 
with thousands of smaller ones, that we now call yellow-jackets. The 
hunters built tires around the hole, so that the smoke filled the cave 
and smothered the great insect and multitudes of the smaller ones, 
but others which were outside the cave were not killed, and these 
escaped and increased until now the yellow- jackets, which before 
were unknown, are all over the world. The people called the cave 
Tsgagun'yi. " Where the yellow-jacket was." and the place from which 
they first saw the nest they called Atahi'ta. " Where they shouted," and 
these are their names today. 

They say also that all the fish and frogs came from a great monster 
fish and frog which did much damage until at last they were killed 
by the people, who cut them up into little pieces which were thrown 
into the water and afterward took shape as the smaller fishes and 



A longtime ago a man bad a dog, which began to go down to the 
river cxn\ . l:i \ and look at the water and howl. At last the man 
was angry and scolded the dog, which then spoke to bira and said: 
"Very soon there is going to be a great freshet and the water will 
come so high that everybody will lie drowned; hut if you will make a 
raft to gel upon when the rain comes you can lie saved, but you must 
first throw me into the water." The man did not believe it. and the 
dog said, "If you want a sign that I speak the truth, look at the hack 
of my neck." lie looked and saw that the dog's neck had the skin 
worn oil' so that the hones stuck out. 

Then lie believed the dog, and began to build a raft. Soon the rain 
came and he took his family, with plenty of provisions, and they all 
got upon it. It rained for a long time, and the water rose until the 
mountains were covered and all the people in the world were drow ned. 
Then the rain stopped and the waters went down again, until at last 
it was safe to come oil the raft. Now there was no one alive hut the 
man ami his family, but one day they heard a sound of dancing and 
shouting on the other side of the ridge. The man climbed to the top 
and looked over; everything was still, hut all along the valley he saw 
great piles of hones of the people who had been drowned, and then 
he knew that the ghosts had been dancing. 

Quadruped Myths 
15. the fourfooted tribes 

In Cherokee mythology, as in that of Indian tribes generally, there 
is no essential difference between men and animals. In the primal 
genesis period they seem to he completely undifferentiated, and we 
find all creatures alike living and working together in harmony and 
mutual helpfulness until man. by his aggressiveness and disregard for 
the rights of the others, provokes their hostility, when insects, birds, 
fishes, reptiles, and fourfooted beasts join forces against him (see 
story. ••( )rigin of Disease and Medicine""). Henceforth their lives are 
apart, but the difference is always one of decree only. The animals, 
like the people, are organized into tribes and have like them their 
chief- and townhouses, their councils and ballplays, and the same 
hereafter in the Darkening land of Qsunhi'yi. Man is still the para- 
mount power, and hunts and slaughters the others as his own necessi 
tie- compel, hut is obliged to satisfy the animal tribes in every 
instance, very much as a murder is compounded for, according to the 
Indian system, by "covering the hones of the dead" with presents for 
the bereaved relatives. 

This pardon to the hunter is made the easier through a peculiar 

262 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

doctrine of reincarnation, according to which, as explained by the 
shamans, there is assigned to every animal a definite life term which 
can not be curtailed by violent means. If it is killed before the expi- 
ration of the allotted time the death is only temporary and the body 
is immediately resurrected in its proper shape from the blood (Imps, 
and the animal continues its existence until the end of the predestined 
period, when the body is finally dissolved and the liberated spirit goes 
to join its kindred shades in tin 1 Darkening land. This idea appears 
in the story of the bear man and in the belief concerning the Little 
Deer. Death is thus but a temporary accident and the killing a mere 
minor crime. By some priests it is held that there are seven succes- 
sive reanimations before the final end. 

Certain supernatural personages, Kana'ti and Tsul'kalii' (see the 
myths), have dominion over the animals, and are therefore regarded 
as the distinctive gods of the hunter. Kana'ti at one time kept the 
game animals, as well as the pestiferous insects, shut up in a cave 
under ground, from which they were released by his undutiful sons. 
The primeval animals — the actors in the animal myths and the pred- 
ecessors of the existing species — are believed to have been much 
larger, stronger, and cleverer than their successors of the present 
day. In these myths we find the Indian explanation of certain pecu- 
liarities of form, color, or habit, and the various animals are always 
consistently represented as acting in accordance with their well-known 

First and most prominent in the animal myths is the Rabbit ( Tsisfat), 
who figures always as a trickster and deceiver, generally malicious, 
but often beaten at his own game by those whom he had intended to 
victimize. The connection of the rabbit with the dawn god and the 
relation of the Indian myths to the stories current among the southern 
negroes are discussed in another place. Ball players while in train- 
ing are forbidden to eat the flesh of the rabbit, because this animal so 
easily becomes confused in running. On the other hand, their spies 
seek opportunity to strew along the path which must be taken by 
their rivals a soup made of rabbit hamstrings, with the purpose of 
rendering them timorous in action. 

In a ball game between the birds and the fourfooted animals (see 
story) the Bat, which took sides with the birds, is said to have won the 
victory for his party by his superior dodging abilities. For this rea- 
son the wings or sometimes the stuffed skin of the bat are tied to the 
implements used in the game to insure success for the players. Accord- 
ing to the same myth the Flying Squirrel ( Tewa) also aided in securing 
the victory, and hence both these animals are still invoked by the ball 
player. The meat of the common gray squirrel (stil&'U) is forbidden 
to rheumatic patients, on account of the squirrel's habit of assuming 
a cramped position when eating. The stripes upon the back of the 


ground squirrel (kiyu' ga) are the mark of scratches made by the angry 
animals at a memorable council in which be took ii upon himself to 
say a good word for the archenemy, Man (see " ( )rigin of 1 disease and 
Medicine"). The peculiarities of the mink (sufigi) ai - e accounted for by 
another storj . 

The buffalo, the largest game animal of America, was hunted in the 
southern Alleghenj region until almost the close of the last century, 
the particular species being probably that known in th<' West as the 
wood or mountain buffalo. The name in use among the principal gulf 
tribes was practically tin- same, and can not be analyzed, viz, Cherokee, 
//I'ntst'i'; Hichitee, ya'nasi; Creek, ySna'sa; Choctaw, yaiiask. Although 
the flesh <>t' the buffalo was eaten, its skin dressed for blankets and bed 
coverings, its lone- hair woven into belts, and its horns carved into 
spoons, it is yet strangely absent from Cherokee folklore. So far as 
is known it is mentioned in hut a single one of the sacred formula-, in 
which a person under treatment for rheumatism is forbidden to eat 
the meat, touch the >kin. or use a spoon made from the horn of the 
buffalo, upon the ground of an occult connection between the habitual 
cramped attitude of a rheumatic and the natural "hump" of that 

The elk is known, probably by report, under the name of a <<■<' 
,'ijir,i. "great deer", but there is no myth or folklore in connection 
with it. 

The deer. awl', which is still common in the mountains, was the 
principal dependence of the Cherokee hunter, and is consequently 
prominent in myth, folklore, and ceremonial. One of the seven 
gentes of the tribe i- named from it (Ani'-Kawf, "Deer People'*). 
According to a myth given elsewhere, the deer won hi- horn- in a suc- 
cessful race with the rabbit. Rheumatism is usually ascribed to the 
work of revengeful deer ghosts, which the hunter has neglected to 
placate, while on the other hand the aid of the deer is invoked against 
frostbite, as its feet are believed to be immune from injuiw by frost. 
'I'iie wolf, the fox. and the opossum are also invoked for this purpose, 
and for the same reason. When the redrool {Ceanothus americanus) 
put- forth it- leaves the people say the young fawn- are then in the 
mountains. On killing a deer the hunter always .ait- out the ham- 
string from the hind quarter and throws' it away, for fear that if 
he ate it he would thereafter tire easilj in traveling. 

The powerful chief of the deer tribe i- the A wi' Usdi', or ••Little 

Deer," who is invisible to all except the greatest masters of the 
hunting secrets, and can be wounded only by the hunter who ha- sup- 
plemented years of occult study with frequent fasts and lonely vigils. 
The Little Deer keeps constant protecting watch over hi- subjects, and 
sees well to it that not one is ever killed in wantonness. When a deer 
i- -hot l>v tin' hunter the Little Deer know- it at once and i- instantly 

264 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.akk.19 

at the spot. Bending low his head he asks of the blood stains upon 
the ground if they have heard -i. e., if the hunter has asked pardon 
for the life that he has taken. If the formulistic prayer has been made, 
all i> well, because the necessary sacrifice has been atoned for; but if 
otherwise, the Little Deer tracks the hunter to his house by the blood 
drops along the trail, and. unseen and unsuspected, puts into his body 
the spirit of rheumatism that shall rack him with aches and pains from 
that time henceforth. As seen at rare intervals —perhaps once in a 
lonu' lifetime — the Little Deer is pure white and about the size of a 
.small doy, has branching antlers, and is always in company with a large 
herd of deer. Even though shot by the master hunter, he comes to life 
again, being immortal, but the fortunate huntsman who can thus 
make prize of his antlers has in them an unfailing talisman that brings 
him success in the chase forever after. The smallest portion of one 
of those horns of the Little Deer, when properly consecrated, attracts 
the deer to the hunter, and when exposed from the wrapping dazes 
them so that they forget to run and thus become an easy prey. 
Like the Ulunsu'tl stone (see number 50), it is a dangerous prize when 
not treated with proper respect, and is — or was — kept always in a secret 
place away from the house to guard against sacrilegious handling. 

Somewhat similar talismanic power attached to the down from the 
young antler of the deer when properly consecrated. So firm was 
the belief that it had influence over •"anything about a deer" that 
eighty and a hundred years ago even white traders used to bargain 
with the Indians for such charms in order to increase their store of 
deerskins by drawing the trade to themselves. The faith in the exist- 
ence of the miraculous Little Deer is almost as strong and universal 
to-day among the older Cherokee as is the belief in a future life. 

The bears (i/i'iiii'i) are transformed Cherokee of the old clan of the 
Ani'-Tsa'guhi (see story. "Origin of the Bear"). Their chief is the 
White Bear, who lives at Kuwa'hi, •"Mulberry place." one of the high 
peaks of the Great Smoky mountains, near to the enchanted lake of 
Atag&'hl (see number ti!>). to which the wounded bears go to lie cured of 
their hurts. Under Kuwa'hi and each of three other peaks in the same 
mountain region the bears have townhouses, where they congregate 
and hold dances every fall before retiring to their dens for the winter. 
Being really human, they can talk if they only would, and once a 
mother bear was heard singing to her cub in words which the hunter 
understood. There is one variety known as JcaM^-gikwLhi'ta, "long 
hams." described as a large black bear with long legs and small feet, 
which is always lean, and which the hunter does not care to shoot, pos- 
sibly on account of its leanness. It is believed that new-born cubs are 
hairless, like mice. 

The wolf ()/',/' ya) is revered as the hunter and watchdog of Kana'ti. 
and the largest yens in the tribe bears the name of Ani'-wa' ya, "Wolf 


people." The ordinary ( Iherokee w ill never kill one if he can possibly 
avoid it, but will let the animal go by unharmed, believing that the 
kindred of a slain wolf will surely revenge his death, and that the 
weapon with which the deed is done will be rendered worthless for 
further shooting until cleaned and exorcised by a medicine man. ( ler 
tain persons, however, having knowledge of the proper atonement 
rites, may kill wolves with impunity, and are hired for this purpose 
t>\ others who have suffered from raids upon their fish traps or their 
stock. Like the eagle killer (see "'The BirdTi'ibes"), the professional 
wolf killer, after killing one of these animals, addresses to it a prayer 
in which he seeks to turn aside the vengeance of the tribe by laying 
the burden of blame upon the people of some other settlement. lie 
then unscrews the barrel of his gun and inserts into it seven small sour- 
wood rods heated over the fire, and allows it to remain thus overnight 
in the running stream; in the morning the rods are taken out and the 
barrel is thoroughly dried and cleaned. 

The dog (gili'), although as much a part of Indian life among the 
Cherokee as in other tribes, hardly appears in folklore. One myth 
makes him responsible for the milky way: another represents him as 
driving the wolf from the comfortable house lire and taking the place 
for himself. He figures also in connection with the deluge. There is 
no tradition of the introduction of the horse (sd'gwdli, iromasd 1 'gwdlihu' ', 
"a pack or burden") or of the cow (wa''ka, from the Spanish, vaca). 
The hog is called sikiod, this being originally the name of the opossum, 
which somewhat resembles it in expression, and which is now distin 
guished as sikwd utse'tsti, "grinning sikwa." In the same wa\ the 
-hce p. another introduced animal, is called a "•/' unddt 'net," woolly deer"; 
the goat, dwi' alianu'l&M, "bearded deer," and the mule, " sd'gwd'li 
digu'landhi'ta, "long-eared horse." The cat, also obtained from the 
whites, is called wesd, an attempt at the English "pussy." When it 
purrs by the fireside, the children say it is counting in Cherokee, 
" ta'ladvl ', in'iu'iji. ta'ladu', nurHgt" "sixteen, four, sixteen, four." The 
elephant, which a few of the Cherokee have seen in show-, is called 
by them Je&ma'md u'tdnu, "great butterfly," from the supposed resem- 
blance of its long trunk and flapping ears to the proboscis and wines 
<>1 that insect. The anatomical peculiarities of the opossum, of both 
sexes, are the subject of much curious speculation among the Indians, 
many of whom believe that its young are produced without an) help 
from the male. It occurs in one or two of the minor myths. 

The fox (tsu''ld) is mentioned in one of the formulas, but doc- no 
appear in the tribal folklore. The black fox is known by a differenf 
name {in&'U). The odor of the skunk (dUd') is believed to keep off 
contagious diseases, and the scent bag is therefore taken out and 
hung over the doorway, a small hole being pierced in it in order that 
the content- may ooze out upon the timbers. At times, as in the 


smallpox epidemic of 1S66, the entire body of the animal was thus 
hung up, and in some eases, as :ui additional safeguard, the meat was 
rooked and eaten and the oil rubbed over the skin of the person. The 
underlying idea is that the fetid smell repels the disease spirit, and 
upon the same principle the buzzard, which is so evidently superior to 
carrion smells, is held to he powerful against the same diseases. 

The beaver (dd'yi), by reason of its well-known gnawing ability, 
against which even the hardest wood is not proof, is invoked on behalf 
of young children just getting their permanent teeth. According to 
the little formula which is familiar to nearly every mother in the tribe, 
when the loosened milk tooth is pulled out or drops out of itself, the 
child runs with it around the house, repeating four times, " Dd'yi, 
sl'nitu' (Beaver, put a new tooth into my jaw)'* after which he throws 
the tooth upon the roof of the house. 

In a characteristic song formula to prevent frostbite the traveler, 
before starting out on a cold winter morning, rubs his feet in the ashes 
of the tire and sings a song of four verses, by means of which, accord- 
ing to the Indian idea, he acquires in turn the cold-defying powers of 
the wolf, fleer, fox, and opossum, four animals whose feet, it is held, 
are never frostbitten. After each verse he imitates the cry and the 
action of the animal. The words used are archaic in form and may be 
rendered "'I become a real wolf," etc. The song runs: 

Txini'ir<i''ij(t-tj<i' (repeated four times), wa-\-a! (prolonged howl). (Imitates a 
wolf pawing the ground with Ins feet. )' -ha/ vA-ye' (repeated four times), sauh! sauh! sauh! smth.' (Imitates call and 
jumping of a deer.) 

TsiiH / -t.iii / '/ii-)jn' (repeated four times), gaih! gaih! gaih! >j<iih.' (Imitates barking 
and scratching of a fox. ) 

Txi'nl'-xVkiru-iin' (repeated four times), />■?-)-. (Imitates the cry of an opossum 
when cornered, and throws his head back as that animal does when feigning death, i 


The Rabbit was so boastful that lie would claim to do whatever he 
saw anyone else do. and so tricky that he could usually make the other 
animals believe it all. Once he pretended that he could swim in the 
water and eat fish just as the Otter did. and when the others told him 
to prove it he lixed up a plan so that the Otter himself was deceived. 

Soon afterward they met again and the Otter said, "I eat ducks some- 
times." Said the Rabbit, "Well, I eat ducks too." The Otter chal- 
lenged him to try it; so they went up along the river until they saw 
several ducks in the water and managed to get near without being 
seen. The Rabbit told the Otter to go first. The Otter never hesi- 
tated, but dived from the bank and swam under water until he reached 
the ducks, when he pulled one down without being noticed by the 
others, and came back in the same way. 

While the Otter had been under the water the Rabbit had peeled 


sonic bark from a sapling and made himself a noose. " Now ." he said, 
"Just watch me:"' and he dived in and swam a little way under the 
water until he was nearly choking and had to come up to the top to 
breathe. He went under again and came up again a little nearer to 
the ducks. He look another breath and dived under, and this time he 
came up among the ducks and threw the noose over the head of one 
and caught it. The duck struggled hard and finally spread its wings 
and flew up from the water with the Rabbit hanging on to the noose. 
It flew on and on until at last the Rabbil could not hold on any 
longer, bul had i>- let go and drop. As it happened, he fell into a tall, 
hollow sycamore stump without any hole at the bottom to gel oul 
from, and there lie stayed until he was so hungry that lie had to eat 
his own fui-. as the rabbil does ever since when he is starving. After 
several days, when he was very weak with hunger, he heard children 
playing outside around the trees. lie began to sing: 

Cm a door and l""k at me; 

I'm the prettiest thing you ever did aee. 

The children ran home and told their father, who came and began 
to cut a hole in the tree. As lie chopped away tin' Rabbit inside kepi 
singing, "Cut it larger, so you can see me better; I'm so pretty." They 
made the hole larger, and then the Rabbit told them to stand hack so 
that they could take a good look as he came out. They stood away 
hack, and the Rabbit watched his chance and jumped oul and got away. 


The animals were of different sizes and wore coats of various colors 
and patterns. Some wore lone- fur and others wore short. Some had 
rings on their tails, and some had no tails at all. Some had coat- of 
brown, others of black or yellow. They were always disputing aboul 
their good looks, so at last they agreed to hold a council to decide who 
had the finest coat. 

They had heard a great deal about the Otter, w ho lived SO far up the 
creek that he seldom came down to visit the other animals. It was -aid 
that he had the finest coat of all. but no one knew just what it was like. 
because it was a lone- time since anyone had seen him. They did not 
even know exactly where he lived — only the general direction; but 
they knew he would come to the council when the word gol out. 

Now the Rabbil wanted the verdict for himself, so when it began to 
look as if it might go to the Otter he studied up apian to cheat him out 
of it. He asked a few sly questions until he learned what trail the 
Otterwould take to gel to the council place. Then, without saying any- 
thing, he went on ahead and after four days' travel he met the Otter 

and knew him at -e by hi- beautiful coal of -oft dark-brown* fur. 

The Otter wa- glad to see him and asked him where he was eroingr. 

268 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.ij 

•■ ( )." said the Rabbit, " the animals sent me to bring you to the council; 
because you live so far away they were afraid you mightn't know the 
road.'" The Otter thanked him. and they went on together. 

They traveled all day toward the council ground, and at night the 
Rabbit selected the camping place, because the Otter wasa stranger 
in that part of the country, and cut down bushes for beds and fixed 
everything in good shape. The next morning they started on again. 
In the afternoon the Rabbit began to pick up wood and bark as they 
went along and to load it on his hack. When the Otter asked what this 
was for the Rabbit said it was that they might be warm and comfort- 
able at night. After a while, when it was near sunset, they stopped 
and made their camp. 

When supper was over the Rabbit gota stick and shaved it down to 
a paddle. The Otter wondered and asked again what that was for. 

"I have good dreams when I sleep with a paddle under my head," 
said the Rabbit. 

When the paddle was finished the Rabbit began to cut awa}' the 
bushes so as to make a clean trail down to the river. The Otter won- 
dered more and more and wanted to know what this meant. 

Said the Rabbit. "This place is called Di'tatlaski'yi [The Place Where 
it Rains Fire]. Sometimes it rains tire here, and the sky looks a little 
that way to-night. You go to sleep and 1*11 sit up and watch, and if 
the tire does come, as soon as you hear me shout, you run and jump 
into the river. Better hang your eoat on a limb over there, so it won't 
get burnt." 

The Otter did as he was told, and they both doubled up to go to sleep, 
but the Rabbit kept awake. After a while the tire burned down to red 
coals. The Rabbit called, but the Otter was fast asleep and made no 
answer. In a little while he called again, but the Otter never stirred. 
Then the Rabbit Idled the paddle with hot. coals and threw them up into 
the air and shouted, " It's raining tire! It's raining tire!" 

The hot coals fell all around the Otter and he jumped up. "To the 
water! " cried the Rabbit, and the Otter ran and jumped into the river, 
and he has lived in the water ever since. 

The Rabbit took the Otter's coat and put it on, leaving his own 
instead, and went on to the council. All the animals were there, even- 
one looking out for the Otter. At last they saw him in the distance, 
and they said one to the other, "The Otter is coming!" and sent one 
of the small animals to show him the best seat. They were all glad 
to see him and went up in turn to welcome him. but the Otter kept 
his head down, with one paw over his face. They wondered that he 
was so bashful, until the Rear came up and pulled the paw away, and 
there was the Rabbit with his split nose. He sprang up and started to 
run, when the Bear struck at him and pulled his tail off, but the Rabbit 
was too quick for them and got away. 



The Possum used to have a long, bushy tail, and was so proud of it 
that he combed it oul every morning and sang about it ai the dance. 
until tlic Rabbit, who had had no tail since the Bear pulled it out. 
became very jealous and made up his mind to play the Possum a i rick. 

There was to be a great council and a dance at which all the animals 
were to he present. It was the Rabbit's business to send out the news. 

so a- he was passing the Possum's place he stopped to ask him if he 

intended to lie there. The Possum said he Would come if hi' could 
have a special seat, "because I have such a handsome tail that I ought 
to sit where everybody can see me." The Rabbit promised to attend 
to it and to send some one besides to comb and dress the Possum's tail 
for the dance, so the Possum was very much pleased and agreed to 

Then the Rabbit went over to the Cricket, who is such an expert haii- 
cutter that the Indians call him the barber, and told him to e-,> next 
morning and dress the Possum's tail for the dance that night. I le told 
the Cricket just what to do and then went on about some other mischief. 

In the morning the Cricket went to the Possum's house ami said he 
had conic to gei him ready for the dance. So the Possum stretched 
himself out and shut his eyes while the Cricket combed out his tail and 
wrapped a red string around it to keep it smooth until night. Hut all 
this time, as he wound the string around, he was clipping oil' the hair 
close to the roots, and the Possum never knew it. 

When it was night the Possum went to the townhouse where the 
dance was to he and found the best seat ready for him. just as the Rab- 
liit had promised. When his turn came in the dance he loosened the 
string from his tail and stepped into the middle of the floor. The 
drummers began to drum and the Possum began to sine-. "See my 
beautiful tail." Everybody shouted and he danced around the circle 
and sane- again, •"See what a fine color it has." They shouted again 
and he danced around another time, singing, "See how it sweeps the 
ground." The animals shouted more loudly than ever, and the Possum 
was delighted. He danced around again and sang, "See how tine the 
fur is." Then everybody laughed so long that the Possum wondered 
what they meant. He looked around the circle of animals and they 
were all laughing- at him. Then he looked down at his beautiful tail 
and saw that there was not a hair left upon it. hut that it was as bare as 
the tail of a lizard. He was so much astonished and ashamed that he 
could not say a word, but rolled over helpless on the gi'ound and 
grinned, as the Possum does to this day when taken by surprise. 


The Wildcat once caught the Rabbit and was about to kill him. when 
the Rabbit begged for his life, saying: " I'm so -mall I would make 

270 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.i.i 

only a mouthful for you. but it' you Let me .y-o I'll show you where you 
can gel a whole drove of Turkeys."' So the Wildcat let him up and 
went with him to where the Turkeys were. 

When they came near the place the Rabbit said to the Wildcat, 
•• Now. you must do just as I say. Lie down as it you were dead and 
don't move, even if I kick you. but when I give the word jump up and 
catch the largest one there." The Wildcat agreedand stretched out as 
if dead, while tlie Rabbit gathered some rotten wood and crumbled it 
over his eyes and nose to make them look flyblown, so that the Turkeys 
would think lie had been dead some time. 

Then the Rabbit went over to the Turkeys and said, in a sociable 
way. "Here, I've found our old enemy, the Wildcat, lying dead in the 
trail. Let's have a dance over him." The Turkeys were very doubtful, 
hut finally went with him to where the Wildcat was lying in the road 
as if dead. Now, the Rabbit had a good voice and was a great dance 
leader, so he said, "I'll lead the song and you dance around him." 
The Turkeys thought that line, so the Rabbit took a stick to beat time 
and began to sing: " Gdl&gi'na hem tyak', Gdldgi'na hasuyak! (pick out 
the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler)." 

•• Why do you say that?" said the old Turkey. " O, that's all right," 
said the Rabbit, "that's just the way he does, and we sing about it." 
He started the song again and the Turkeys began to dance around the 
Wildcat. When they had gone around several times the Rabbit said, 
" Now go up and hit him, as we do in the war dance." So the Turkeys, 
thinking the Wildcat surely dead, crowded in close around him and 
the old gobbler kicked him. Then the Rabbit drummed hard and sang 
his loudest, "Pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler," and the 
Wildcat jumped up and caught the Gobbler. 


The Rabbit was a great runner, and everybody knew it. No one 
thought the Terrapin anything but a slow traveler, but he was a great 
warrior and very boastful, and the two were always disputing about 
their speed. At last they agreed to decide the matter by a race. 
They fixed the day and the starting place and arranged to run across 
four mountain ridges, and the one who came in first at the end was to 
be the winner. 

The Rabbit felt so sure of it that he said to the Terrapin, "You 
know you can't run. You can never win the race, so I'll give you the 
first ridge and then you'll have only three to cross while I go over 

The Terrapin said that would be all right, but that night wdien he 
went home to his family he sent for his Terrapin friends and told 
them he wanted their help. He said he knew he could not outrun the 
Rabbit, but he wanted to stop the Rabbit's boasting. He explained 
his plan to his friends and they agreed to help him. 


When the day came all the animals were there to see the race. The 
K;il>l)it was with them. but the Terrapin was gone ahead toward the first 
ridge, as they had arranged, and thej could hardly see him on account 
of the lone- grass. The word was given and the Rabbil started nil' with 
long jumps up the mountain, expecting I" win t he race before the Ter- 
rapin could gel down the other side. But lie fore lie got u|i the moun- 
tain he saw the Terrapin go over the ridge ahead of him. He ran on. 

and when he reached the top he looked all around. Imt could not see 
the Terrapin on account of the lone- o-rass. He kept on down the moun 
tain and began to climb the second ridge, hut when he looked up again 
there was the Terrapin just going over the top. Now he was surprised 
and made his longest jumps to catch up, but when he o-"t to the top 
there was the Terrapin away in trout going over the third ridge. The 
Rabbil was getting tired now and nearly out of breath, hut he kept on 
down the mountain and up the other ridge until he got to the top just 
in time to see the Terrapin cross the fourth ridge and thus win the race. 

The Rabbit could not make another jump. Imt fell over on the ground, 
crying ml, mi. mi, mi. as the Rabbit does ever since when he is too tired 
to run any more. The race was given to the Terrapin and all the ani- 
mal- wondered how he could win against the Rabbit, hut he kept still 
and never told. It was easy enough, however, because all the Terra 
pin's friends looked just alike, and he had simply posted one near the 
toji of each ridge to wait until the Rabbit came in sight and then climb 
over and hide in the long grass. When the Rabbit came on he could 
not find the Terrapin and so thought the Terrapin was ahead, and if he 
had met one of the other terrapins he would have thought it the same 
one because they much alike. The real Terrapin had posted 
himself on the fourth ridge, so as to come in at the end of the race 
and be ready to answer questions if the animals suspected anything. 

Because the Rabbit had to lie down and lose the race the conjurer 
now. when preparing his young men for the hall play, boils a lot of 
rabbit hamstrings into a soup, and sends some one at night to pour it 
across the path along which the other players are to come in the morn- 
ing, so that they may become tired in the same way and lose the game. 
It is not always easy to do this, because the other party is expecting 
it and has watchers ahead to prevent it. 


Once there was such a lone' spell of dry weather that there was no 
more water in the creeks and springs, and the animals held a council 
to see what to do about it. They decided to die- ; , well, and all agreed 
to help except the Rabbit, who was a lazy fellow, and said. " I don't 
need to dig for water. The dew on the grass is enough for me." The 
others did not like this, hut they went to work together and dug 
their well. 


They noticed that the Rabbit kepi sleek and lively, although it was 

still dry weather and the water was getting low in the well. They said. 
"That tricky Rabbit steals our water at night," so they made a wolf 
of pine gum and tar and set it up by the well to scar • the thief. That 
night the Rabbit came, as he had been coming every night, to drink 
enough to last him all next day. He saw the queer black thing by the 
well and said. "Who's there?" but the tar wolf said nothing. He 
came nearer, but the wolf never moved, so he grew braver and said, 
"Get out of my way or I'll strike you." Still the wolf never moved 
and the Rabbit came up and struck it with his paw, but the gum held 
his foot and it stuck fast. Now he was angry and said, "Let mo 
go or I'll kick you." Still the wolf said nothing. Then the Rabbit 
struck again with his hind foot, so hard that it was caught in the gum 
and he could not move, and there he stuck until the animals came for 
water in the morning. When they found who the thief was they had 
great sport over him for a while and then got ready to kill him, but as 
soon as he was unfastened from the tar wolf he managed to get 
away. — Wafford, 


"Once upon a time there was such a severe drought that all streams 
of water and all lakes were dried up. In this emergency the beasts 
assembled together to devise means to procure water. It was pro- 
posed by one to dig a well. All agreed to do so except the hare. She 
refused because it would soil her tiny paws. The rest, however, dug 
their well and were fortunate enough to find water. The hare begin- 
ning to sutler and thirst, and having no right to the well, was thrown 
upon her wits to procure water. She determined, as the easiest way. 
to steal from the public well. The rest of the animals, surprised to 
find that the hare was so well supplied with water, asked her where 
she got it. She replied that she arose betimes in the morning and 
gathered the dewdrops. However the wolf and the fox suspected her 
of theft and hit on the following plan to detect her: 

They made a wolf of tar and placed it near the well. On the fol- 
lowing night the hare came as usual after her supply of water. On 
seeing the tar wolf she demanded who was there. Receiving no answer 
she repeated the demand, threatening to kick the wolf if he did not 
reply. She receiving no reply kicked the wolf, and by this means 
adhered to the tar and was caught. When the fox and wolf got hold 
of her they consulted what it was best to do with her. One proposed 
cutting her head off. This the hare protested would be useless, as it 
had often been tried without hurting her. Other methods were pro- 
posed for dispatching her, all of which she said would be useless. At 
last it was proposed to let her loose to perish in a thicket. Upon this 
the hare affected great uneasiness and pleaded hard for life. Her 




enemies, however, refused to listen and she was accordingly let loose. 
As soon, however, as she was out <>l' reach of her enemies she ga\ e a 
whoop, and bounding away she exclaimed: 'This is where I live."' 
Cherokee Advocate. December is. L845. 


The Rabbit and the Possum each wanted a wife, but no one would 
marry eitherof them. They talked overthe matter and the Rabbit said. 
"Wecan't get wives here; let's go to the next settlement. I'm the 
messenger for the council, and I'll tell the people that 1 brine- an order 
that everybody must take 1 a mate at once, and then we'll be sure to get 
our wives." 

The Possum thought this a tine plan, so they started oil together to 
the next town. As tin 1 Rabbit traveled faster he got there first and 
waited outside until the people noticed him and took him into the 
townhouse. When the chief came to ask his business the Rabbit said 
he brought an important order from the council that everybody must 
get married without delay. So the chief called the people together 
and told them the message from the council. Every animal took a 
mate at once, and the Rabbit got a wife. 

The Possum traveled so slowly that he got there after all the animals 
had mated, leaving him still without a wife. The Rabbit pretended to 
feel sorry for him and said. "Never mind. I'll carry the message to 
the people in the next settlement, and you hurry on as fast as you can, 
and this time you will get your wife." 

So he went on to the next town, and the Possum followed close after 
him. But when the Rabbit got to the townhouse he sent out the word 
that, as there had been peace so long that everybody was getting lazy 
the council had ordered that there must be war at once and they must 
begin right in the townhouse. So they all began fighting, but the 
Rabbit made four great leaps and got away just as the Possum came 
in. Everybody jumped on the Possum, who had not thought of bring- 
ing his weapons on a wedding trip, and so could not defend himself. 
They had nearly beaten the life out of him when he fell over and pre- 
tended to be dead until lie saw a good chance to jump up and get away. 
The Possum never got a wife, but he remembers the lesson, and ever 
since he shuts his eyes and pretends to be dead when the hunter has 
him in a close corner. 


The Rear 'united the Rabbit to dine with him. They had beans in 
the pot. but there was no grease for them, so the Bear cut a slit i n his 
side and let the oil run out until they had enough to cook the dinner. 
The Rabbit looked surprised, and thought to himself. ••That's a handy 

l'.t ETII— 01 18 


way. I think I'll try that." When he started home he invited the 
Bear to come and take dinner with him four days later. 

When the Bear came the Babbit .said, " I have beans for dinner, too. 
Now I'll yet the grease for them." So he took a knife and drove it into 
his side, but instead of oil, a stream of blood gushed out and he fell 
over nearly dead. The Bear picked him up and had hard work to tie 
up the wound and stop the bleeding. Then he scolded him, "You 
little fool, I'm large and strong and lined with fat all over; the knife 
don't hurt me; but you're small and lean, and you can't do such 


Some Wolves once caught the Rabbit and were going to eat him 
when he asked leave to show them a new dance he was practicing. 
They knew that the Rabbit was a great song leader, and they wanted to 
learn the latest dance, so they agreed and made a ring about him 
while he got ready. He patted his feet and began to dance around in 
a circle, singing: 

Tldge'sili'in' iinli'xiii'xkhi'hS. — 
Ha' unt lil! Hi: Ha/nia I; I.' til! 

On tin- edge of the field I dance about — 
Ha'nialfl! 111! Ha'nia 111! HI! 

"Now," said the Rabbit, "when I sing 'on the edge of the field,' I 
dance that way" — and he danced over in that direction — "and when I 
sing 7;/ .'///.'" you must all stamp your feet hard." The Wolves thought 
it fine. He began another round singing the same song, and danced 
a little nearer to the field, while the Wolves all stamped their feet, 
lie sang louder and louder and danced nearer and nearer to the field 
until at the fourth song, when the Wolves were stamping as hard as 
they could and thinking only of the song, he made one jump and 
was off through the long grass. They were after him at once, but he 
ran for a hollow stump and climbed up on the inside. When the 
the Wolves got there one of them put his head inside to look up, but 
the Rabbit spit into his eye, so that he had to pull his head out again. 
The others were afraid to try, and they went away, with the Rabbit 
still in the stump. 


In the old days Tawi'skala (Flint) lived up in the mountains, and all 
the animals hated him because he had helped to kill so many of them. 
They used to get together to talk over means to put him out of the 
way, but everybody was afraid to venture near his house until the 
Rabbit, who was the boldest leader among them, offered to go after 
Flint and try to kill him. They told him where to find him, and the 
Rabbit set out and at last came to Flint's house. 


Flint was standing at his door when the Rabbit came up and said, 
sneeringly, "Siyu'f Hello! Arc you the fellow they call Flint?" 
"Yes; that's what they call me," answered Flint. " Is this where you 
live?" "Yes; this iswhere I live." All this time the Rabbit was 
looking about the place trying to study out some plan t<> take Flint off 
hi- guard, lie bad expected Flint to invite him into the house, so he 
waited a Little while hut when Flint made no move, he said, •■Well. 
my name is Rabbit; I've heard a good deal about you. so I came to 
iu\ ite you to come ami see ine." 

Flint wanted to know where the Rabbit's house was. ami he told him 
it was down in the broom-grass field near the river. So Flintpromised 
to make him a visit in a few days. "Why not come now and have 
supperwith me?" said the Rabbit, and after a little coaxing Flint 
agreed and the two started down the mountain together. 

When they came near the Rabbit's hole the Rabbit said. ••There is 
my house, hut in summer I generally stay outside here where it is 
cooler.'" So he made a fire, and they had their supper on the grass. 
When it was over, Flint stretched out to rest and the Rabbit got some 
heavy sticks and his knife and cut out a mallet and wedge. Flint 
looked up and asked what that was for. '"Oh," said the Rabhit. "I 
like to be doing something, and they may come handy." So Flint lay 
down again, and pretty soon he was sound asleep. The Rabbit spoke 
to him once or twice to make sure, but there was no answer. Then he 
came over to Flint and with one good blow of the mallet he drove the 
sharp -take into his body and ran with all his might for his own hole; 
but before he reached it there was a loud explosion, and pieces of flint 
flew all about. That is why we find flint in so many places now. One 
piece struck the Rabbit from behind and cut him just as he dived into 
his hole. He sat listening until everything seemed quiet again. Then 
he put his head out to look around, but just at that moment another 
piece fell and struck him on the lip and split it. as we -till see it. 


In the beginning the Deer had no horns, but his head was smooth 
just like a doe'-. He was a great runner and the Rabbit was a great 
jumper, and the animals were all curious to know which could go 
farther in the same time. They talked about it a good deal, and at 
last arranged a match between the two. and made a nice large pair of 
antlers for a prize to the winner. They were to start together from 
one side of a thicket and go through it, then turn and come back, and 
tin- one who came out first was to get the horns. 

On the day fixed all the animals were there, with the antlers put 
down on the ground at the edge of the thicket to mark the starting 
point. While everybody was admiring the horns the Rabbit said: " I 
don't know this part of the country; I want to take a look through 

27<) MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

the bushes where I am to run." They thought that all right, so the 
Rabbit went into the thicket, but he was gone so long that at last the 
animals suspected he must he up to one of his tricks. They sent a 
messenger to look for him, and away in the middle of the thicket he 
found the Rabbit gnawing down the hushes and pulling them away 
until he had a road cleared nearly to the other side. 

The messenger turned around quietly and came back and told the 
other animals. When the Rabbit came out at last they accused him of 
cheating, but he denied it until they went into the thicket and found 
the cleared road. They agreed that such a trickster had no right to 
enter the race at all, so they gave the horns to the Deer, who was 
admitted to be the best runner, and he has worn them ever since. 
They told the Rabbit that as he was so fond of cutting down bushes he 
might do that for a living hereafter, and so he does to this day. 


The Rabbit felt sore because the Deer had won the horns (see the 
last story), and resolved to get even. One day soon after the race he 
stretched a large grapevine across the trail and gnawed it nearly in 
two in the middle. Then he went back a piece, took a good run. and 
jumped up at the vine. He kept on running and jumping up at the 
vine until the Deer came along and asked him what he was doing? 

"Don't you see?" says the Rabbit. "I'm so strong that I can bite 
through that grapevine at one jump." 

The Deer could hardly believe this, and wanted to see it done. So 
the Rabbit ran back, made a tremendous spring, and bit through the 
vim 1 where he had gnawed it before. The Deer, when he saw that, 
said. " Well, I can do it if you can." So the Rabbit stretched a larger 
grapevine across the trail, but without gnawing it in the middle. The 
Deer ran back as he had seen the Rabbit do, made a spring, and struck 
the grapevine right in the center, but it only flew back and threw him 
over on his head. He tried again and again, until he was all bruised 
and bleeding. 

"Let me see your teeth," at last said the Rabbit. So the Deer 
show cd him his teeth, which were long like a wolf's teeth, but not very 

"No wonder you can't do it," says the Rabbit; "your teeth are too 
blunt to bite anything. Let me sharpen them for 3-011 like mine. My 
teeth are so sharp that I can cut through a stick just like a knife." 
And he showed him a black locust twig, of which rabbits gnaw the 
young shoots, which he had shaved off as well as a knife could do it, 
in regular rabbit fashion. The Deer thought that just the thing. 
So the Rabbit got a hard stone with rough edges and filed and filed 
away at the Deer's teeth until they were worn down almost to the gums. 


•■ It hurts," said the Deer; but the Rabbit said ii always hurt a little 
when they began to get sharp; so the Deer kept quiet. 

•• Now try it." at last said the Rabbit. So the Deer tried again, 
but this time he could not bite at all. 

•• Now you've paid for your horns," said the Rabbit, as he jumped 
away through the bushes. Ever since then the Deer's teeth arc so 
blunt that he can not chew anything but grass and leave-. 


The Deer was very angry at the Rabbit for filing his teeth and deter- 
mined to lie revenged, hut he kept still and pretended to be friendly until 
the Rabbit was oti his guard. Then one day. as they were going along 
together talking, he challenged the Rabbit to jump against him. Now 
the Rabbit is a great juniper, as every one knows, so he agreed at once. 
There was a small stream beside the path, as there generally is in that 
country, and the Deer said: 

"Let's see if you can jump across this branch. We'll go hack a 
piece, and then when I say h'1'1.' then both run and jump." 

•' All right." said the Rabbit. So they went hack to get a good -tart. 
and when the Deer gave the word Kfi .' they ran tor the stream, and 
the Rabbit made one jump and landed on the other side. But the Deer 
had stopped on the bank, and when the Rabbit looked hack the Deer 
had eonjured the stream so that it was a large river. The Rabbil was 
never able to get hack again and is still on the other side. The rabbit 
that we know is only a little thing that came afterwards. 


The Mink was such a great thief that at last the animals held a coun- 
cil about the matter. It was decided to burn him. so they caught the 
Mink, built a great tire, and threw him into it. As the blaze went up 
and they smelt the roasted flesh, they began to think he was punished 
enough and would probably do better in the future, so they took him 
out of the tire. But the Mink was already burned black and is black 
ever since, and whenever he is attacked or excited lie smells again like 
roasted meat. The lesson did no good, however, and he is still a- great 
a thief a- ever. 


A man was in love with a woman who disliked him and would have 
nothing to do with him. He tried every way to win her favor, hut to 
no purpose, until at last lie grew discouraged and made himself sick 
thinking over it. The Mole came along, and finding him in such low 
condition asked what was the trouble. The man told him the whole 
story, and when he had finished the Mole said: "I can help you, so 
that -lie will not only like you, but will come to VOU of her own will." 

278 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ahs.19 

So that night the Mole burrowed his way underground to where the 
girl was in bed asleep and took out her heart. He came hack by the 
same way and gave the heart to the man, who could not see it even 
when it was put into his hand. ''There," said the Mole, "swallow it, 
and she will be drawn to come to you and can not keep away." The 
man swallowed the heart, and when the girl woke up she somehow 
thought at once of him, and felt a strange desire to be with him, as 
though she must go to him at once. She wondered and could not 
understand it. because she had always disliked him before, but at last 
the feeling grew so strong that she was compelled to go herself to the 
man and tell him she loved him and wanted to be his wife. And so 
they were married, but all the magicians who had known them both 
were surprised and wondered how it had come about. When they 
found that it was the work of the Mole, whom they had always before 
thought too insignificant for their notice, they were very jealous and 
threatened to kill him, so that he hid himself under the ground and 
has never since dared to come up to the surface. 


The Possum and the Terrapin went out together to hunt persim- 
mons, and found a tree full of ripe fruit. The Possum climbed it and 
was throwing down the persimmons to the Terrapin when a wolf came 
up and began to snap at the persimmons as they fell, before the Ter- 
rapin could reach them. The Possum waited his chance, and at last 
managed to throw down a large one (some say a bone which he carried 
with him), so that it lodged in the wolfs throat as he jumped up at it 
and choked him to death. " I'll take his ears for hominy spoons," -aid 
the Terrapin, and cut off the wolf's ears and started home with them, 
leaving the Possum still eating persimmons up in the tree. After 
a while he came to a house and was invited to have some kanahdna 
gruel from the jar that is set always outside the door. He sat down 
beside the jar and dipped up the gruel with one of the wolf's ears for 
a spoon. The people noticed and wondered. When he was satisfied 
he went on, but soon came to another house and was asked to have 
some more kanahe'na. He dipped it up again with the wolf's ear and 
went on when he had enough. Soon the news went around that the 
Terrapin had killed the Wolf and was using his ears for spoons. All 
the Wolves got together and followed the Terrapin's trail until they 
came up with him and made him prisoner. Then they held a council 
to decide what to do with him, and agreed to boil him in a clay pot. 
They brought in a pot, but the Terrapin only laughed at it and said 
that if they put him into that thing he would kick it all to pieces. 
They said they would burn him in the fire, but the Terrapin laughed 
again and said he would put it out. Then they decided to throw him 
into the deepest hole in the river and drown him. The Terrapin 


begged and prayed them not to do that, but they paid no attention, and 
dragged him over to the river and threw him in. Thai was jus! what 
the Terrapin had been waiting for all the time, and he dived under the 
water and came up on the other side and got away. 

Some >a\ thai when he was thrown into the river he struck againsl 
a rock, which broke his hack in a dozen places. He sang a medicine 

I il'l'ifllij, ' iri), I ill', I, III, ' II l'l, 

I have sewed myself together, I have sewed myself together, 

and the pieces came toe-ether, hut the scars remain on his shell to this 


Seven wolves once caught a Groundhog and said. "Now we'll kill 
you ami have something good to cat." But the Groundhog- said. 
•• When we find good food we must rejoice over it, as people do in the 
Green-corn dance. I know you mean to kill me and I can't help my- 
self, but if you want to dance I'll sing for you. This is a new dance 
entirely. I'll lean up against seven trees in turn and you will dance 
out and then turn and come back, as T give the signal, and at the last 
turn you may kill me.'' 

The wolves were very hungry, but they wanted to learn the new 
dance, so they told him to go ahead. The Groundhog leaned up against 
a tree and began the song. //</' ' u-iij, ', In' . and all the wolves danced out 
in front, until he gave the signal, Yu! and began with ///';/, i,/u'„;\ 
when they turned and danced back in line. •'That's tine," said the 
Groundhog, and went over to the next tree and started thesecond song. 
The wolves danced out and then turned at the signal and danced 
hack again. "''Unit's very tine,"' said the Groundhog, and went over 
to another tree and started the third song. The wolves danced their 
lust and the Groundhog encouraged them, but at each song he took 
another tree, and each tree was a little nearer to his hole under a stump. 
At the seventh song he said. "Now, this is the last dance, and when I 
say Yu.' you will all turn and come after me, and the one who gets me 
may have me." So he began the seventh song and kept it up until 
the wolves were away out in front. Then he gave the signal, Yu! and 
made a jump for his hole. The wolves turned and were after him. but 
he reached the hole first and dived in. Just as he got inside, the fore- 
most wolf caught him by the tail and gave it such a pull that it broke 
nil. and the Groundhog's tail ha- been short ever since. 

The unpleasant smell of the Groundhog's head was given it U\ the 
other animals to punish an insulting remark made by him in council. 
The story is a vulgar one. without wit enough to make it worth 

280 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ahn.19 


In the old times when the animals used to talk and hold councils, 
and the Grubworm and Woodchuck used to marry people, there was 
once a great famine of mast in the mountains, and all the animals and 
birds which lived upon it met together and sent the Pigeon out to 
the low country to see if any food could be found there. After a 
time she came back and reported that she had found a country where 
the mast was "up to our ankles" on the ground. So they got 
together and moved down into the low country in a great army. 


Kana'ti had wolves to hunt for him, because they are good hunters 
and never fail. He once sent out two wolves at once. One went to 
the cast and did not return. The other went to the north, and when 
he returned at night and did not find his fellow he knew he must be 
in trouble and started after him. After traveling on some time 
he found his brother lying nearly dead beside a great greensnake 
(sdMkw&'yi) which had attacked him. The snake itself was too badly 
wounded to crawl away, and the angry wolf, who had magic powers, 
taking out several hairs from his own whiskers, shot them into the 
body of the snake and killed it. He then hurried back to Kana'ti, 
who sent the Terrapin after a great doctor who lived in the west to 
save the wounded wolf. The wolf went back to help his brother and 
by his magic powers he had him cured long before the doctor came 
from the west, because the Terrapin was such a slow traveler and the 
doctor had to prepare his roots before he started. 

* * * * * * * 

In the beginning, the people say, the Dog was put on the mountain 
and the Wolf beside the fire. When the winter came the Dog could 
not stand the cold, so he came down to the settlement and drove the 
Wolf from the fire. The Wolf ran to the mountains, where it suited 
him so well that he prospered and increased, until after a while he 
ventured down again and killed some animals in the settlements. The 
people got together and followed and killed him, but his brothers 
came from the mountains and took such revenge that ever since the 
people have been afraid to hurt a wolf. 

Bird Myths 
35. the bird tribes 

Winged creatures of all kinds arc classed under the generic term of 
anind' hiUdd 1 hA (flyers). Birds are called, alike in the singular and 
plural, tsi'shwa, the term being generally held to exclude the domestic 
fowls introduced by the whites. When it is necessary to make the 
distinction they are mentioned, respectively, as in&gehA (living in the 

mooney] THE EAGLE 281 

woods), and uhtnm'ta (tame). The robin is called tsiskwa'gwd, a name 
which ran nut be analyzed, while the little sparrow is called tsishod'yd 
(the real or principal bird), perhaps, in accord with a principle in 
Indian nomenclature, on of its wide distribution. .V- in other 
languages, many of the bird names are onomatopes, as 10a huhv! (the 
screech owl), u'guku' (the booting owl), wagvll' (the whippoorwill), 
Mgil (the crow), gUgtoS' (the quail), huhu (the yellow mocking bird), 
tsi' k, !',!,' (the chickadee), salsa! (the goose). The turtledove is called 
gid&'-diskanihl' (it cries for acorns), on account of the resemblance of 
its cry to the sound id' the word for acorn [guW). 'Idle meadow lark 
IS called tldhaisi' (star), on account of the appearance of its tail when 
spread out as it soars. The nuthatch (Sitta carolvnensis) is called 
tsuliefna (deaf), and is supposed to be without hearing, possibly on 
account of its fearless disregard for man's presence. Certain diseases 
are diagnosed by the doctors as due to birds, either revengeful bird 
ghosts, bird feathers about the house, or bird shadows falling upon the 
patient from overhead. 

The eagle (cwd'hUi) is the great sacred bird of the Cherokee, a- of 
nearly all our native tribes, ami figures prominently in their ceremo- 
nial ritual, especially in all things relating to war. The particular 
species prized was the golden or war eagle (Aquila chryscetus), called 
by the Cherokee the "pretty-feathered eagle." on account of its beau 
tiful tail feathers, white, tipped with black, which were in such great 
demand for decorative and ceremonial purposes that among the west 
ern tribes a single tail was often rated as equal in value to a horse. 
Among the Cherokee in the old times the killing of an eagle was an e\ cut 
which concerned the whole settlement, and could be undertaken only 
by the professional eagle killer, regularly chosen for the purpose on 
account of his knowledge of the prescribed forms and the prayers to 
be said afterwards in order to obtain pardon for the necessary sacrilege, 
and thus ward off vengeance from the tribe. It is told of one man upon 
the reservation that having deliberately killed an eagle in defiance of 
the ordinances he was constantly haunted by dreams of tierce eagles 
swooping down upon him. until the nightmare was finally exorcised 
after a lone- course of priestly treatment. In 1890 there was but one 
eagle killer remaining among the East Cherokee. It does not appear 
that the eagle was ever captured alive as among the plains tribes. 

The eagle must be killed only in the winter or late fall after the 
crops were gathered and the snakes had retired to their dens. If killed 
in the summertime a frost would come to destroy the corn, while the 
songs of the Eagle dance, when tlie feathers were brought home, 
would so anger the snakes that they would become doubly dangerous. 
Consequently the Eagle songs were never sung until after the snakes 
had gone to sleep for the winter. 

When the people of a town had decided upon an Eagle dance the 



[ETH. ANN. 19 

eagle killer was called in. frequently from a distant settlement, to 
procure the feathers for the occasion. He was paid for his services 
from offerings made later at the dance, and as the few professionals 
guarded their secrets carefully from outsiders their business was a quite 
profitable one. After some preliminary preparation the eagle killer 
sets out alone for the mountains, taking with him his gun or bow and 
arrows. Having reached the mountains, he goes through a vigil of 
prayer and fasting, possibly lasting four days, after which he hunts 
until he succeeds in killing a deer. Then, placing the body in a con- 

1 .r™i|Pr 




Fig. 1 — Feather wand of Eagle dance (made by John Ax). 

venient exposed situation upon one of the highest cliffs, he conceals 
himself near by and begins to sing in a low undertone the songs to call 
down the eagles from the sky. When the eagle alights upon the car- 
cass, which will be almost immediately if the singer understands his 
business, he shoots it, and then standing over the dead bird, he 
addresses to it a prayer in which he begs it not to seek vengeance 
upon his tribe, because it is not a Cherokee, but a Spaniard (Askwa'ni) 
that has done the deed. The selection of such a vicarious victim 
of revenge is evidence at once of the antiquity of the prayer in its 
present form and of the enduring impression which the cruelties of 
the early Spanish adventurers made upon the natives. 


The piaycr ended, be leaves the dead eagle where it fell and makes 
all haste to the settlement, where the people are anxiously expecting 
his return. On meeting the first warriors he says simply, "A -now 
bird has died." and passes on at once to his own quarters, hi- work 
being now finished. The announcement is made in this form in order 
to insure against the vengeance of any eagles that might overhear, the 
little snowbird being considered too insignificant a creature to be 

Having waited four days to allow time for the insect parasites to 
leave the body, the hunters delegated for the purpose go out to bring 
in the feathers. On arriving' at the place they strip the body of the 
large tail and wing feathers, which they wrap in a fresh deerskin 
brought with them, and then return to the settlement, leaving the 
body of the dead eagle upon the ground, together with that of the 
slain deer, the latter being intended as a sacrifice to the eagle spirits. 
On reaching the settlement, the feathers, still wrapped in the deer- 
skin. arc 1 hung up in a small, round hut built for this special purpose 
near the edge of the dance ground (detsdnHfl'li) and known as the 
place "where the feathers are kept," or feather house. Some settle- 
ments had two such feather houses, one at each end of the dance 
ground. The Eagle dance was held on the night of the same day on 
which the feathers were brought in. all the, necessary arrangements 
having been made beforehand. In the meantime, as the feathers were 
supposed to be hungry after their journey, a dish of venison and corn 
was set upon the ground below them and they were invited to eat. 
The body of a flaxbird or scarlet tanager {Piranga rubra) was also 
hung up with the feathers for the same purpose. The food thus given 
to the feathers was disposed of after the dance, a- described in another 


The eagle being regarded as a great ada'wehl, only the greatest war- 
riors and those versed in the sacred ordinances would dare to wear the 
feathers or to carry them in the dance. Should any person in the settle- 
ment dream of eagles or eagle feathers he must arrange for an Eagle 
dance, with the usual vigil and fasting, at the first opportunity; other- 
wise some one of his family will die. Should the insect parasites 
which infest the feathers of the bird in life get upon a man they will 
breed a skin disease which is sure to develop, even though it may lie 
latent for years. It is for this reason that the body of the eagle is 
allowed to remain four days upon the ground before being brought 

into the settlement. 

The raven (kd'ldnU) is occasionally seen in the mountains, but i- not 
prominent in folk belief, excepting in connection with the grewsome 
tale- of the Haven Mocker (q. v.). In former times its name was some 
times assumed as a war title. The crow, so prominent in other tribal 
mythologies, does not seem to appear in that of the Cherokee. Three 


varieties of owls are recognized, each under a different name, viz: 
tsl.ih', the dusky horned owl (£ubo virginiamus satnifgius)', u'guku', 
the barred or hooting owl {Syrniwn nebulosivm), and wa huku', the 
screech owl ( M< gascops a$io). The first of these names signifies a witch. 
the others being onomatopes. Owls and other night-crying birds are 
believed to be embodied ghosts or disguised witches, and their cry is 
dreaded as a sound of evil omen. If the eyes of a child be bathed 
with water in which one of the long wing or tail feathers of an owl 
has been soaked, the child will be able to keep awake all night. The 
feather must be found by chance, and not procured intentionally for 
the purpose. On the other hand, an application of water in which 
the feather of a blue jay, procured in the same way, has been .soaked 
will make the child an early riser. 

The buzzard (suli') is said to have had a part in shaping the earth, 
as was narrated in the genesis myth. It is reputed to be a doctor 
among birds, and is respected accordingly, although its feathers are 
never worn by ball players, for fear of becoming bald. Its own bald- 
ness is accounted for by a vulgar story. As it thrives upon carrion 
and decay, it is held to be immune from sickness, especially of a con- 
tagious character, and a small quantity of its flesh eaten, or of the 
soup used as a wash, is believed to be a sure preventive of smallpox, 
and was used for this purpose during the smallpox epidemic among 
the East Cherokee in 1866. According to the Wahnenauhi manu- 
script, it is said also that a buzzard feather placed over the cabin door 
will keep out witches. In treating gunshot wounds, the medicine is 
blown into the wound through a tube cut from a buzzard quill and 
some of the buzzard's down is afterwards laid over the spot. 

There is very little concerning hawks, excepting as regards the 
great mythic hawk, the Tla'nmvct'. The tl&'nuwti! usdi', or '"little 
tla'nuwa," is described as a bird about as large as a turkey and of a 
grayish blue color, which used to follow the flocks of wild pigeons. Hy- 
ing overhead and darting down occasionally upon a victim, which it 
struck and killed with its sharp breast and ate upon the wing, without 
alighting. It is probably the goshawk (Astur atricapUkis). 

The common swamp gallinule. locally known as mudhen or didapper 
(G-ailwadagaleata), is called diga'gwwil' (lame or crippled), on account 
of its habit of flying only for a very short distance at a time. In the 
Diga'gwani dance the performers sing the name of the bird and 
endeavor to imitate its halting movements. The dagtitfou, or white- 
fronted goose (Anser cdiifrons), appears in connection with the myth 
of the origin of tobacco. The feathers of the tskw&yi, the great white 
heron or American egret (BJeeodias egretta), are worn by ball players, 
and this bird probably the "swan" whose white wing was used as a 
peace emblem in ancient times. 

A rare bird said to have been seen occasionally upon the reservation 



mooney] THE BIRD TRIBES 285 

many years ago was called by the curious name of nHfldd-dikani' ', "it 
looks at the sun," "sun-gazer." It is described as resembling a blue 
crane, and may possibly have been 1 1 » * - Floridus cerulea, or little blue 
heron. Another infrequent visitor, which sometimes passed over the 
mountain country in company with flocks of wild geese, was the 
git'wisguwi', so called from its cry. It is described as resembling a 
large snipe with yellow leys ;m< i feet unwebbed, and is thought to 
visit Indian Territory at intervals. It is chiefly notable from the 
fact that the celebrated chief John Ross derives his Indian name, 
Gu'wisguwi', from this bird, the name being perpetuated in Coowee- 
scoowee district of the Cherokee Nation in the West. 

Another chance visitant, concerning which there is much curious 
speculation among the older men of the East Cherokee, was called 
tsun'digwuntsu' gi or tsun'digwdn'tsM, ""forked." referring to the tail. 
It appeared but once, for a short season, about forty years ago, ami 
has not been seen since. It is said to have been pale blue, with red 
in places, and nearly the size of a crow, and to have had a lone- 
forked tail like that of a fish. It preyed upon hornets, which it took 
upon the winy, and also feasted upon the larv;e in the nests. Appear 
ing unexpectedly and as suddenly disappearing, it was believed to be 
not a bird but a transformed red-horse fish {Moxostoma, Cherokee 
dligd'), a theory borne out by the red spots and the long, forked tail. It 
is even maintained that about the time those birds first appeared some 
hunters on Oconaluftee saw seven of them sitting on the limb of a tree 
and they were still shaped like a red-horse, although they already had 
wines and feathers. It was undoubtedly the scissor-tail or swallow- 
tailed flycatcher (Mihndus forficabus), which belongs properly in Texas 
and the adjacent region, but strays occasionally into the eastern states. 

On account of the red throat appendage of the turkey, somewhat 
resembling the goitrous growth known in the South as "kernels" 
(Cherokee, dideUsi), the feathers of this bird are not worn by ball 
players, neither is the neck allowed to be eaten by children or sick 
persons, under the fear that a growth of "kernels" would be the 
result. The meat of the rutted grouse, locally known as the pheasant 
[Sonasa umbettus), is tabued to a pregnant woman, because this bird 
hatches a large brood, but loses most of them before maturity. Under 
a stricter construction of the theory this meat is forbidden to a woman 
until she is past child bearing. 

The redbird, tatsu'hwd, is believed to have been originally the 
daughter of the Sun (see the story). The huhu, or yellow mocking- 
bird, occurs in several stories. It is regarded as something supernat- 
ural, possibly on account of its imitative powers, and its heart is given 
to children to make them quick to learn. 

The chickadee {Parux carol hunsis), tsilili!;'. and the tufted tit- 
mouse, {Parw bicolor), utsu''gi, or u'sttiti, are both regarded as news 

286 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. asn.19 

bringers, but the one is venerated as a truth teller while the other 
is scoffed at as a lying' messenger, for reasons which appear in the 
story of Nunyunu'wi (q. v.). When the tsikilili' perches on a branch 
near the house and chirps its song it is taken as an omen that an absent 
friend will soon be heard from or that a secret enemy is plotting mis- 
chief. Many stories are told in confirmation of this belief, among 
which may 1 le instanced that of Tom Starr, a former noted outlaw of the 
Cherokee Nation of the West, who, on one occasion, was about to walk 
unwittingly into an ambush prepared for him along a narrow trail, 
when he heard the warning note of the tsikilili', and, turning abruptly, 
ran up the side of the ridge and succeeded in escaping with his life, 
although hotly pursued by his enemies. 


Once the animals challenged the birds to a great ballplay. and the 
birds accepted. The leaders made the arrangements and fixed the 
day. and when the time came both parties met at the place for the 
ball dance, the animals on a smooth grassy bottom near the river and 
the birds in the treetops over by the ridge. The captain' of the animals 
was the Bear, who was so strong and heavy that he could pull down 
anyone who got in his way. All along the road to the ball ground 
he was tossing up great logs to show his strength and boasting of 
what he would do to the birds when the game began. The Terrapin, 
too — not the little one we have now, but the great original Terrapin — 
was with the animals. His shell was so hard that the heaviest blows 
could not hurt him, and he kept rising up on his hind legs and drop- 
ping heavily again to the ground, bragging that this was the way he 
would crush any bird that tried to take the ball from him. Then 
there was the Deer, who could outrun every other animal. Alto- 
gether it was a tine company. 

The birds had the Eagle for their captain, with the Hawk and the 
great Tla'nuwa, all swift and strong of flight, but still they were a 
little afraid of the animals. The dance was over and they were all 
pruning their feathers up in the trees and waiting for the captain to 
give the word when here came two little things hardly larger than 
field mice climbing up the tree in which sat perched the bird captain. 
At last they reached the top, and creeping along the limb to where 
the Eagle captain sat they asked to be allowed to join in the game. 
The captain looked at them, and seeing that they were four-footed, he 
asked why they did not go to the animals, where they belonged. The 
little things said that they had, but the animals had made fun of them 
and driven them off because they were so small. Then the bird cap- 
tain pitied them and wanted to take them. 

But how could they join the birds when they had no wings '. The 
Eagle, the Hawk, and the others consulted, and at last it was decided 


to make some wings for the little fellows. They tried for a lone- time 
to think of something that might do, until someone happened to 
remember the drum they had used in the dance. The head was of 
ground-hog -kin and maybe they could cut oil* a corner and make 
wine-sot' it. So they took two pieces of leather from the drumhead 
and cut them into shape for wines, and stretched them with cane 
splint- and fastened them on to the forelegs of one of the small ani- 
mal-, and in this way came Tla'mehd, the Hat. They threw tie- ball 
to him and told him to catch it. and by the way he dodged and circled 
about, keeping the hall always in the air and never letting it fall to the 
ground, the birds soon saw that he would be one of their best men. 

Now they wanted to fix the other little animal, but they had \\>rt\ 
up all their leather to make wines for the Bat, and there was no time 
to send for more. Somebody said that they might do it by stretching 
hi- skin, so two large birds took hold from opposite sides with their 
strong bills, ami by pulling at his fur for several minutes they man- 
aged to stretch the skin on each side between the fore and hind 
feet, until they had Tewa, the Flying Squirrel. To try him the bird 
captain threw up the ball, when the Flying Squirrel sprang off the 
limb after it, caught it in his teeth and carried it through the air to 
another tree nearly across the bottom. 

"When they were all ready the signal was given and thegame began, 
but almost at the first toss the Flying Squirrel caught the ball and 
carried it up a tree, from which he threw it to the birds, who kepi it 
in the air for some time until it dropped. The Bear rushed to gel it. 
but the Martin darted after it and threw it to the Bat, who was flying 
near the ground, and by his dodging and doubling kept it out of the 
way of even the Deer, until he finally threw it in between the post- and 
won the game for the birds. 

The Bear and the Terrapin, who had boasted so of what they would 
do, never got a chance even to touch the ball. For saving the ball 
when it dropped, the birds afterwards gave the Martin a gourd in 
which to build hi- nest, and he still has it. 


When the Terrapin won the race from the Rabbit (see the story) all 
the animals wondered and talked about it a great deal, because they 
had always thought the Terrapin slow, although they knew that he 
was a warrior and had many conjuring secrets beside. But the Turkey 
was not satisfied and told the others there must be some trick aboul it. 
Said he. "I know the Terrapin can't run — he can hardly crawl and 
I'm going to try him." 

So one day the Turkey met the Terrapin coming home from war 
with a fresh scalp hanging from his neck and dragging on the ground 
a- he traveled. The Turkey laughed at the sight and said: •"That 

288 MYTHS OF THE CHEKOKEE [eth.a.nn.19 

scalp don't look right on you. Your neck is too short and low down 
to wear it that way. Let me show you." 

The Terrapin agreed and gave the scalp to the Turkey, who fastened 
it around his neck. "'Now." said the Turkey. "I'll walk a little way 
and you can see how it looks." So he walked ahead a short distance 
and then turned and asked the Terrapin how he liked it, Said the, 
Terrapin, "It looks very nice; it becomes you." 

"'Now I'll fix it in a different way and let you see how 7 it looks." said 
the Turkey. So he gave the string another pull and walked ahead again. 
"O, that looks very nice." said the Terrapin. But the Turkey kept on 
walking, and when the Terrapin called to him to bring back the scalp 
he only walked faster and broke into a run. Then the Terrapin got 
out his bow and by his conjuring art shot a number of cane splints into 
the Turkey's leg to cripple him so that he could not run, which accounts 
for all the many small bones in the Turkey's leg, that are of no use 
whatever; but the Terrapin never caught the Turkey, who still wears 
the scalp from his neck. 


The Grouse used to have a tine voice and a good halloo in the ball- 
play. All the animals and birds used to play ball in those days and 
were just as proud of a loud halloo as the ball players of to-day. The 
Turkey had not a good voice, so he asked the Grouse to give him les- 
sons. The Grouse agreed to teach him, but wanted pay for his trouble, 
and the Turkey promised to give him some feathers to make himself a 
collar. That is how the Grouse got his collar of turkey feathers. They 
began the lessons and the Turkey learned very fast until the Grouse 
thought it was time to try his voice. "Now," said the Grouse. " I'll 
stand on this hollow log, and when I give the signal by tapping on it, 
you must halloo as loudly as you can." So he got upon the log ready 
to tap on it, as a Grouse does, but when he gave the signal the Turkey 
was so eager and excited that he could not raise his voice for a shout, 
but only gobbled, and ever since then he gobbles whenever he hears a 


Some old men say that the Kingfisher was meant in the beginning to 
be a water bird, but as he had not been given either web feet or a good 
bill he could not make a living. The animals held a council over it 
and decided to make him a bill like a long sharp awl for a fish-gig (fish- 
spear). So they made him a fish-gig and fastened it on in front of his 
mouth. He flew to the top of a tree, sailed out and darted down into 
the water, and came up with a fish on his gig. And he has been the 
best gigger ever since. 

Sonic others say it was this way: A Blacksnake found a Yellowham- 


iikt's nc-t in a hollow tree, ami after swallowing the young birds, 
coiled up to sleep in the nest, where the mother bird found him when 
she came home. She went for help to the Little People, who sent her 

to the Kingfisher. He ca and after flying back and forth past the 

hole a few times, made one daii at the snake and pulled him out dead. 
When they looked they found a hole in the snake's bead where the 
Kingfisher had pierced it with a slender tugcttu'/id tish. which he car 

ried in his bill like a lance. From this the Little People c bided 

that he would make a first-class gigger if he only had the righl spear, 
so they gave him his lone- hill as a reward. 


In the old days the Terrapin had a tine whistle, but the Partridge 
had none. The Terrapin was constantly going about whistling and 
showing his whistle to the other animals until the Partridge became 
jealous, so one day when they met the Partridge asked leave to try it. 
The Terrapin was afraid to risk it at first, suspecting some trick, but 
the Partridge -aid. " I'll give it back right away, and if you an' afraid 
you can stay with me while I practice." So the Terrapin let him have 
the whistle and the Partridge walked around blowing on it in tine 
fashion. •• How does it sound with rpe ?" asked the Partridge. "(). 
you do very well," --aid the Terrapin, walking alongside. "Now. how 
do you like it." said the Partridge, running ahead and whistling a little 
faster. "That's tine." answered the Terrapin, hurrying to keep up. 
" but don't run so fast." "And now, how do you like this;" called 
the Partridge, and with that he spread his wings, gave one long 
whistle, and flew to the top of a tree, leaving the poor Terrapin to look 
after him from the ground. The Terrapin never recovered his whistle, 
and from that, and the loss of his scalp, which the Turkey stole from 
him. he grew ashamed to be seen, and ever since he -.huts himself up 
in his box when anyone comes near him. 


A Raccoon passing a Wolf one day made several insulting remarks, 
until at last the Wolf became angry and turned and chased him. The 
Raccoon ran his best and managed to reach a tree by the river side 
before the Wolf came up. He climbed the tree and stretched out on 
a limb overhanging the water. When the Wolf arrived he saw the 
reflection in the water, and thinking it was the Raccoon he jumped at 
it and was nearly drowned before he could scramble out again, all wet 
and dripping. He lay down on the bank to dry and fell asleep, and 
while he was sleeping the Raccoon came down tin' tree and plastered 
his eyes with dunu'. When the Wolf awoke he found he could not 
open hi- eyes, and began to whine. Alone- came a little brown bird 
through the bushes and heard the Wolf crying and asked what was 

19 ETH— 01 19 


the matter. The Wolf told his story and said. "If you will get my 
eyes open. I will show you where to find some nice red paint to paint 
yourself." ••All right," said the brown bird; so he peeked at the 
Wolfs eyes until he got oil' all the plaster. Then the Wolf took him 
to a rock that had streaks of bright red paint running through it. and 
the little bird painted himself with it. and has ever since been a Red- 


The Pheasant once saw a woman heating corn in a wooden mortar in 
front of the house. "I can do that, too," said he, but the woman 
would not believe it, so the Pheasant went into the woods and got upon 
a hollow log and •"drummed" with his wings as a pheasant does, until 
the people in the house heard him and thought he was really beating 

* * * * * * * 

In the Pheasant dance, a part of the Green-corn dance, the instru- 
ment used is the drum, and the dancers heat the ground with their feet 
in imitation of the drumming sound made by the pheasant. They 
form two concentric circles, the men being on the inside, facing the 
women in the outer circle, each in turn advancing and retreating at the 
signal of the drummer, who sits at one side and sings the Pheasant 
songs. According to the story, there was once a winter famine among 
the birds and animals. No mast (fallen nuts) could be found in the 
woods, and they were near starvation when a Pheasant discovered a 
holly tree, loaded with red berries, of which the Pheasant is said to 
be particularly fond. He called his companion birds, and they formed 
a circle about the tree, singing, dancing, and drumming with their 
wings in token of their joy. and thus originated the Pheasant dance. 


The Hummingbird and the Crane were both in love with a pretty 
woman. She preferred the Hummingbird, who was as handsome as 
the Crane was awkward, but the Crane was so persistent that in order 
to get rid of him she finally told him he must challenge the other to 
a race and she would marry the winner. The Hummingbird was so 
swift — almost like a Hash of lightning — and the Crane so slow and 
heavy, that she felt sure the Hummingbird would win. She did not 
know the Crane could fly all night. 

They agreed to start from her house and fly around the circle of 
the world to the beginning, and the one who came in first would marry 
the woman. At the word the Hummingbird darted off like an arrow 
and was out of sight in a moment, leaving his rival to follow heavily 
behind. He flew all day. and when evening came and he stopped to 


roost for the night be was far ahead. I '> m the Crane lieu steadily ;ill 
night Long, passing the Hummingbird soon after midnighl and going 
on until he came to a creek and stopped to rest about daylight. The 
Hummingbird woke up in the morning and flew on again, thinking 
how easily he would win the race, until he reached the creek and 
there found the Crane spearing tadpoles, with his lone- bill, for break- 
fast. He was very nuieh surprised and wondered bow this could have 
happened, hut he flew swiftly by and soon left the Crane out of sight 

The ('fane finished his breakfast and started on. and when evening 
catiie he kept on as before. This time it was hardly midnight when 
he passed the Hummingbird asleep on a limb, and in the morning he 
had finished his breakfast before the other came up. The next day 
he gained a little more, and on the fourth day he was spearing tadpoles 
for dinner when the Hummingbird passed him. On the fifth and 
sixth days it was late in the afternoon before the Hummingbird came 
up. and on the morning of the seventh day the Crane was a whole 
night's travel ahead. He took his time at breakfast and then fixed 
himself up as nicely as he could at the creek and came in at the start- 
ing place where the woman lived, early in the morning. When the 
Hummingbird arrived in the afternoon he found he had lost the race, 
hut the woman declared she would never have such an ugly fellow as 
the Crane for a husband, so she stayed single. 


A widow with one daughter was always warning the girl that she 
must be sure to get a good hunter for a husband when she married. 
The young woman listened and promised to do as her mother advised. 
At last a suitor came to ask the mother for the girl, but the widow 
told him that only a good hunter could have her daughter. "1*111 just 
that kind." said the lover, and again asked her to speak for him to the 
young woman. So the mother went to the girl and told her a young 
man had come a-courting, and as he said he was a good hunter she 
advised her daughter to take him. '•Just as you say." said the girl. 
So when he came again the matter was all arranged, and he went to 
live with the girl. 

The next morning he got ready and said he would go out hunting, 
but before starting he changed his mind and said he would go fishing. 
He was gone all day and came home late at night, bringing only three 
small fish, saying that he had had no luck, but would have better suc- 
cess to-morrow. The next morning he started off again to fish and 
was gone all day. but came home at night with only two worthless 
spring lizards [duwS'gd) and the same excuse. Next day he said he 
would go hunting this time. He was gone again until night, and 

292 MYTHS OF THE CHEBOKEE [eth.akk.1S 

returned at last with only a handful <>f scraps that he had found where 
some hunters had cut up a deer. 

By this time the old woman was suspicious. So next morning when 
he started off again, as he said, to fish, she told her daughter to follow 
him secretly and see how he set to work. The girl followed through 
the woods and kept him in sight until he came down to the river, where 
she saw her husband change to a hooting owl {ugvJcu') and fly over to 
a pile of driftwood in the water and cry, " U-gu-ku! huf lm! u! «/" 
She was surprised and very angry and said to herself. "I thought 
1 hail married a man. hut my husband is only an owl." She watched 
and saw the owl look into the water for a long time and at last 
swoop down and tiring up in his (laws a handful of sand, from 
which he picked out a crawfish. Then he flew across to the bank, took 
the form of a man again, and started home with the crawfish. His 
wife hurried on ahead through the woods and got there before him. 
When he came in with the crawfish in his hand, she asked him where 
were all the fish he had caught. He said he had none, because an owl 
had frightened them all away. "I think you are the owl," said his 
wife, and drove him out of the house. The owl went into the woods 
and there he pined away with grief and love until there was no flesh 
left on any part of his body except his head. 


A widow who had an only daughter, but no son, found it very hard 
to make a living and was constantly urging upon the young woman 
that they ought to have a man in the family, who would be a good 
hunter and able to help in the field. One evening a stranger lover 
came courting to the house, and when the girl told him that she could 
marry only one who was a good worker, he declared that he was 
exactly that sort of man; so the girl talked to her mother, and on her 
advice they were married. 

The next morning the widow gave her new sondndaw a hoe and sent 
him out to the cornfield. When breakfast was ready she went to call 
him, following a sound as of some one hoeing on stony soil, but when 
she came to the spot she found only a small circle of hoed ground and 
no sign of her sondndaw. Away over in the thicket she heard a huhu 

He did not come in for dinner, either, and when he returned home 
in the evening the old woman asked him where he had been all day. 
"Hard at work," said he. "But I didn't see you when 1 came to call 
you to breakfast." " I was down in the thicket cutting sticks to mark 
off the field," said he. "But why didn't you come in to dinner??' 
" I was too busy working," said he. So the old woman was satisfied, 
and they had their supper together. 


Early next morning In- started off with his hoe over his shoulder. 
When breakfast was ready the old woman went again to call him, but 
found no sign of him, only the hoe lying there and no work done. 
And away over in the thicket a huhu was calling, " Sau-h.' sau-h! 
sau-h! ku! I<»: //".' /<».' /"'•' /"'■' chi! chi! chi.'-whew/" 

She wont back to the house, and when at last In' came home in the 
e\ ening -he asked him again what he had been doing all day. " Work- 
ing hard," said he. " But you were not there when I came after you." 
■•(). 1 just went over in the thicket a while to sec some of my kins- 
folk," said he. Then the old woman -aid. " I have lived here a long 
time and there is nothing living in the swamp but huhus. My daugh- 
ter wants u husband that can work and not a lazy huhu; so you may 
go." And she drove him from the house. 


The buzzard used to have a tine topknot, of which he was so proud 
that he refused to eat carrion, and while the other birds were pecking 
at the body of a deer or other animal which they had found he would 
strut around and say: "You may have it all. it is not good enough for 
me." They resolved to punish him. and with the help of the buffalo 
carried out a plot by which the buzzard lost not his topknot alone, but 
nearly all the other feathers on his head. He lost his pride at the 
same time, so that he is willing enough now to eat carrion for a living. 


Once a hunter in the mountains heard a noise at night like a rushing 
wind outside the cabin, and on going out he found that an eagle had 
just alighted on the drying pole and was tearing at the body of a deer 
hanging there. Without thinking of the danger, he shot the eagle. 
In the morning he took the deer and started back to the settlement, 
where he told what he had done, and the chief sent out some men to 
bring in the eagle and arrange for an Eagle dance. They brought 
back the dead eagle, everything was made ready, and that night they 
-tailed thi' dance in the townhouse. 

About midnight there was a whoop outside and a strange warrior 

came into the circle and began to recite his exploits. X ■ knew 

him, but they thought he had come from one of the farther Cherokee 
towns. He told how he had killed a' man. and at the end of the story 
he gave a hoarse yell. Hi! that startled the whole company, and one of 
the seven men with the rattle- fell over dead. He sang of another 
deed, and at the end straightened up with another loud yell. A second 

rattler fell dead, and the ] pie were so full of fear that they could 

not stir from their place-. Still he kept on. and at every pause there 
came again that terrible scream, until the last of the seven rattlers fell 
dead, and then the stranger went out into the darkness. Long after- 


ward they learned from the eagle killer that it was the brother of the 
eagle shot by the hunter. 


A hunter had been all day looking for deer in the mountains without 
success until he was completely tired out and sat down on a log to rest 
and wonder what he should do. when a buzzard — a bird which always 
has magic powers — came flying overhead and spoke to him, asking him 
what was his trouble. When the hunter had told his story the buzzard 
said there were plenty of deer on the ridges beyond if only the hunter 
were high up in the air where he could see them, and proposed that 
they exchange forms for a while, when the buzzard would go home to 
the hunter's wife while the hunter would go to look for deer. The 
hunter agreed, and the buzzard became a man and went home to the 
hunter's wife, who received him as her husband, while the hunter 
became a buzzard and new off over the mountain to locate the deer. 
After staying some time with the woman, who thought always it was 
her real husband, the buzzard excused himself, saying he must go 
again to look for game or they would have nothing to eat. He came 
to the place where he had first met the hunter, and found him already 
there, still in buzzard form, awaiting him. He asked the hunter what 
success he had had, and the hunter replied that he had found several 
deer over the ridge, as the buzzard had said. Then the buzzard 
restored the hunter to human shape, and became himself a buzzard 
again and flew away. The hunter went where he had seen the deer 
and killed several, and from that time he never returned empty-handed 
from the woods. 

Snake. Fish, and Insect Myths 

49. the snake tribe 

The generic name for snakes is m&d>&'. They are all regarded as 
anida'wehl, " supernaturals," having an intimate connection with the 
rain and thunder gods, ami possessing a certain influence over the other 
animal and plant tribes. It is said that the snakes, the deer, and the 
ginseng act as allies, so that an injury to one is avenged by all. The 
feeling toward snakes is one of mingled fear and reverence, and every 
precaution is taken to avoid killing or offending one, especially the 
rattlesnake. He who kills a snake will soon see others; and should he 
kill a second one, so many will come around him whichever way he 
may turn that he will become dazed at the sight of their glistening 
eyes and darting tongues and will go wandering about like a crazy man, 
unable to find his way out of the woods. To guard against this mis- 
fortune there are certain prayers which the initiated say in order that 
a snake may not cross their path, and on meeting the first one of the 


season the hunter huinbh begs of him, "Let us nol see each other this 
summer.''' Certain smells, as thai of the wild parsnip, and certain 
songs, as those of the Unika'wl or Townhouse dance, arc offensive to 
the snakes ami make them angry. For this reason the I'nika'u 1 dance 
is held ..nix late in the fall, after they have retired to their dens for 
the « inter. 

When one dreams of being bitten by a snake lie must he treated t li<' 
same as for an actual bite, because it is a snake ghosl thai has Kitten 
hi in; otherwise the place will swell and ulcerate in the same way, even 
though it he years afterwai'ds. For fear of offending them, even in 
speaking, it is never said that a man has been bitten byasnake, but 
onh that he has been "scratched by a brier." Most of the beliefs ami 
customs in this connection have more special reference to the rattle- 

The rattlesnake is called utsa'ndti, which may In' rendered, "he has 
a bell," alluding to the rattle. According to a myth given elsewhere, 
he was once a man. and was transformed to his present shape that lie 
mighl save the human face from extermination by the Sun. a mission 
which he accomplished successfully after others had failed. By the 
old men he is also spoken of as "the Thunder's necklace" (see the 
story of Ontsaiyi'), and to kill one is to destroy one of the most prized 
ornaments of the thunder god. In one of the formulas addressed to 
the Little Men. the sons of the Thunder, they are implored to take 
the disease snake to themselves, because "it is just what you adorn 
yourselves with." 

For obvious reasons the rattlesnake is regarded as the chief of the 
snake tribe and is feared ami respected accordingly. Few Cherokee 
will venture to kill one except under absolute necessity, and even then 
the crime must he atoned for by asking pardon of the snake ghost, 
either in person or through the mediation of a priest, according to a set 
formula. Otherwise the relatives of the dead snake will send one of 
their number to track up the offender and bite him so that he will die 
(see story. "The Rattlesnake's Vengeance "). The only thine- of which 
the rattlesnake is afraid is -aid to be the plant known a- campion, or 
""rattlesnake's master" (Silent stellata), which b used by the doctors 
to counteract the effect of the bite, and it is believed that a snake will 
lice in terror from the hunter who carries a -mall piece of the root 
about his person, ('hewed linn bark b also applied to the bite, perhaps 
from tin' supposed occult connection between the snake and the thun- 
der, as this tree is said to be immune from the lightning stroke. 

Notwithstanding the fear of the rattlesnake, his rattle-, teeth, flesh, 
and oil are greatly prized for occult or medical uses, the snakes being 
killed for this purpose by certain priests who know the necessary rites 
and formulas for obtaining pardon. This device for whipping the 
devil around the stump, ami incidentally increasing their own re\ enues, 


is a common trick of Indian medicine men. Outsiders desiring to 
acquire this secret knowledge are discouraged by beingtold that it is a 
dangerous thing to learn, for the reason that the new initiate is almost 
certain to be bitten, in order that the snakes may "try" him to know 
if he has correctly learned the formula. When a rattlesnake is killed 
the head must be cut off and buried an arm's length deep in the ground 
and the body carefully hidden away in a hollow log. If it is left ex- 
posed to the weather, the angry snakes will send such torrents of rain 
that all the streams will overflow their banks. Moreover, they will tell 
their friends, the deer, and the ginseng in the mountains, so that these 
will hide themselves and the hunters will seek them in vain. 

The tooth of a rattlesnake which has been killed by the priest with 
the proper ceremonies while the snake was lying stretched out from 
east to west is used to scarify patients preliminary to applying the 
medicine in certain ailments. Before using it the doctor holds it 
between the thumb and finger of his right hand and addresses it in a 
prayer. at the end of which the tooth "becomes alive," when it is ready 
for the operation. The explanation is that the tense, nervous grasp of 
the doctor causes his hand to twitch and the tooth to move slightly 
between his ringers. The rattles are worn on the head, and sometimes 
a portion of the flesh is eaten by ballplayers to make them more terri- 
ble to their opponents, but it is said to have the bad effect of making 
them cross to their wives. From the lower half of the body, thought 
to be the fattest portion, the oil is extracted and is in as great repute 
among the Indians for rheumatism and sore joints as among the white 
mountaineers. The doctor who prepares the oil must also eat the 
flesh of the snake. In certain seasons of epidemic a roasted (barbe- 
cued) rattlesnake was kept hanging up in the house, and every morn- 
ing the father of the family bit off a small piece andchewed it, mixing 
it then with water, which he spit upon the bodies of the others to pre- 
serve them from the contagion. It was said to be a sure cure, but apt 
to make the patients hot tempered. 

The copperhead, wd'dige-askd'U, "brown-head," although feared on 
account of its poisonous bite, is hated, instead of being regarded with 
veneration, as is the rattlesnake. It is believed to be a descendant of 
a great mythic serpent (sec number 5) and is said to have ••eyes of 
fire," on account of their intense brightness. The blacksnake is called 
ffide'gi, "the climber." Biting its body is said to be a preventive of 
toothache, and there is also a belief, perhaps derived from the whites. 
that if the body of one be hung upon a tree it will bring rain within 
three (four?) days. The small greensnake is called tsdlifotod'yl, the same 
name being also applied to a certain plant, the Eryngvum virgmianum, 
or bear grass, whose long, slender leaves bear some resemblance to a 
greensnake. As with the blacksnake. it is believed that toothache 
may be prevented and sound teeth insured as long as life lasts by 

mooney] THE SNAKE TRIBE 297 

biting the greensnake along it- body. It must bo held bv the head 
and tail, and :ill the teeth ;it once pressed down four times along the 
middle of it- body, bul without biting into the flesh or injuring the 
snake. Some informants say that the operation must be repeated 
four times upon as many snakes and that a certain food tabu must 
also be observed. The water moccasin, kanegwd'ti, is not specially 
regarded, but a very rare wood snake, said to resemble it except that 
it has blue eves, is considered to have great supernatural powers, 
in what way is not specified. The repulsive hut harmless spreading 
adder (Heterodori) is called daWcstA', "vomiter," mi account of its 
habit of spitting, and sometimes kwanddya' hH, a word of uncertain 
etymology. It was formerly a man. hut was transformed into a snake 
in order to accomplish the destruction of the Daughter of the Sun 
(see the story). For its failure on this occasion it is generally 

The Wahnenauhi manuscript mentions a legend of a greal serpent 
called on account of its color the "ground snake." To set' it was an 
omen of death to the one who saw it. and if it was seen by several per- 
sons some great tribal calamity was expected. For traditions and 
beliefs in regard to the Uktena. the Uksuhi, and other mythic ser- 
pents, see under those headings. 


Long ago — Mlahi'yit — when the Sun became angry at the people 
on earth and sent a sickness to destroy them, the Little Men changed 
a man into a monster snake, which they called Uktena, ■"The Keen 
eyed." and sent him to kill her. He failed to do the work, and the 
Rattlesnake had to lie -cut instead, which made the Uktena so jealous 
and angry that the people were afraid of him and had him taken up 
to Galunlati, to stay with the other dangerous things. 1 He left others 
behind him. though, nearly as large and dangerous as himself, and 
they hide now in deep pools in the river and about lonely passes in 
the high mountains, the places which the Cherokee call •"Where the 
Uktena stays." 

Those who know say that the Uktena is a great snake, a- large around 
a- a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright, blazing crest like 
a diamond upon its forehead, and scales glittering like sparks of fire. 
It has rings or spot.- of color along its whole length, and can not lie 
wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because 
under this spot are its heart and its life. The blazing diamond is 
called I'l '"nisi)' ti, "Transparent," and he who can win it may become 
the greatest wonder worker of the tribe, hut it is worth a man's life 
to attempt it, for whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the 
bright light that he run- toward the snake instead of trying toe-cape. 

' Sec -'I'll.. Daughter of tl 


Even to see the Ukfcena asleep is death, uot to the hunter himself, but 
to hi* family. 

Of all the daring warriors who nave started out in search of the 
Ulunsu'ti only Agan-uni'tsi ever came back successful. 1 The East 
Cherokee still keep the one which he brought. It is like a large trans- 
parent crystal, nearly the shape of a cartridge bullet, with a blood-red 
streak running through the center from top to bottom. The owner 
keeps it wrapped in a whole deerskin, inside an earthen jar hidden 
away in a secret cave in the mountains. Every seven days he feeds it 
with the blood of small game, rubbing the blood all over the crystal 
as soon as the animal has been killed. Twice a year it must have the 
blood of a deer or some other large animal. Should he forget to feed 
it at the proper time it would come out from its cave at night in a shape 
of fire and fly through the air to slake its thirst with the lifeblood of 
the conjurer or some one of his people. He may save himself from 
this danger by telling it, when he puts it away, that he will not need 
it again for a long time. It will then go quietly to sleep and feel no 
hunger until it is again brought out to be consulted. Then it must be 
fed again with blood before it is used. 

No white man must ever see it and no person but the owner will 
venture near it for fear of sudden death. Even the conjurer who 
keeps it is afraid of it. and changes its hiding place every once in a 
while so that it can not learn the way out. When he dies it will be 
buried with him. Otherwise it will come out of its cave, like a blazing 
star, to search for his grave, night after night for seven years, when, 
if still not able to find him. it will go back to sleep forever where he 
has placed it. 

Whoever owns the Ulunsu'ti is sure of success in hunting, love, rain- 
making, and every other business, but its great use is in life prophecy. 
When it is consulted for this purpose the future is seen mirrored in 
the clear crystal as a tree is reflected in the quiet stream below, and 
the conjurer knows whether the sick man will recover, whether the 
warrior will return from battle, or whether the youth will live to be 


In one of their battles with the Shawano, who are all magicians, the 
Cherokee captured a great medicine-man whose name was Agan- 
uni'tsi. "The Ground-hogs* Mother." They had tied him ready for the 
torture when he begged for his life and engaged, if spared, to find for 
them the great wonder worker, the Ulunsu'ti. Now. the Ulunsu'ti is 
like a blazing star set in the forehead of the great Uktena serpent, 
and the medicine-man who could possess it might do marvelous things, 
but everyone knew this could not be, because it was certain death to 

See tin' next story. 


inert the Uktena. They warned him of all this, but he onlj answered 
that his medicine was strong and he was not afraid. So they gave him 
his life "ii that condition and he began the search. 

The Uktena used to lie in wait in lonely places to surprise its vic- 
tims, and especially haunted the dark passes of the Great Smok} 
mountains. Knowing this, the magician went li i .-. t to a gap in the 
range on the far northern border of the Cherokee country. He 
searched and found there a monster blacksnake, larger than had ever 
been known before, but ii was not what he was looking for, and he 
laughed at it as something too small for notice. Coming southward 
tn the next gap he found there a great moccasin snake, the largest 
ever seen, but when the people wondered he said it was nothing. In 
the next gap he found a greensnake and called the people to see "the 
pretty salikwS'yi," but when they found an immense greensnake 
coiled up in the path they ran away in fear. Coming on t<> U'tawa- 
gun'ta, the Bald mountain, he found there a great diya'hali (lizard) 
basking, but, although it was large and terrible t<> look at, it was not 
what he wanted and lie paid no attention to it. Going still south to 
Walasi'vi. the Frog place, he found a great frog squatting in the gap, 
but when the people who came to see it were frightened like the 
others and ran away from the monster he mocked at them for being 
afraid of a frog and went on to the next gap. He went on to Duni- 
skwa'lgun'yi, the Gap of the Forked Antler, and to the enchanted lake 
of Ataga'hl, and at each he found monstrous reptiles, hut he said they 
were nothing. He thought the Uktena might he hiding in the deep 
water at Tlanusi'vi, the Leech place, on Hiwassee, where other strange 
things had been seen before, and going there he dived far down under 
the surface. He saw turtles and water snakes, and two immense sun- rushed at him and retreated again, hut that was all. Other 
places he tried, going always southward, and at last on Gahu'ti 
mountain he found the Uktena asleep. 

Turning without noise, he ran swiftly down the mountain side as 
far as he could go with one lone- breath, nearly to the bottom of the 
slope. There he stopped and piled up a great circle of pine tone-. 
and inside of it he dug a deep trench. Then he set tire to the cones 
and came hack again up the mountain. 

The Uktena was still asleep, and. putting an arrow to his bow, 
Agan-uni'tsi shot and sent the arrow through its heart, which was 
under the seventh -pot from the serpent's head. The great snake 
raised his head, with the diamond in front Hashing tire, and came 
straight at his enemy, but the magician, turning quickly, ran at full 
speed down the mountain, cleared the circle of tire and the trench at 
one bound, and lay down on the ground inside. 

The Uktena tried to follow, but the arrow was through his heart. 
and in another moment he rolled over in his death struggle, spitting 

300 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [bth.akn.19 

poison over all the mountain side. But the poison drops could not 
pass the circle of fire, l>ut only hissed and sputtered in the blaze, and 
the magician <>n the inside was untouched except by one small drop 
which struck upon his head as he lay close to the ground; hut he did 
not know it. The blood, too. as poisonous as the froth, poured from 
the Uktena's wound and down the slope in a dark stream, hut it ran 
into the trench and left him unharmed. The dying monster rolled 
over and over down the mountain, breaking down large trees in its 
path until it reached the bottom. Then Agan-uni'tsi called every bird 
in all the woods to come to the feast, and so many came that when they 
were done not even the bones were left. 

After seven days he went by night to the spot. The body and the 
bones of the snake were gone, all eaten by the birds, but he saw a 
bright light shining in the darkness, and going over to it he found, 
resting on a low-hanging branch, where a raven had dropped it, the 
diamond from the head of the Uktena. He wrapped it up carefully 
and took it with him. and from that time he became the greatest medi- 
cine-man in the whole tribe. 

When Agan-uni'tsi came down again to the settlement the people 
noticed a small snake hanging from his head where the single drop of 
poison from the Uktena had struck; but so long as he lived he him- 
self never knew r that it was there. 

Where the blood of the Uktena had tilled the trench a lake formed 
afterwards, and the water was black and in this water the women used 
to dye the cane splits for their baskets. 


Two brothers went hunting together, and when they came to a good 
camping place in the mountains they made a tire, and while one gath- 
ered bark to put up a shelter the other started up the creek to look for 
a deer. Soon he heard a noise on the top of the ridge as if two animals 
were fighting. He hurried through the bushes to see what it might 
be, and when he came to the spot he found a great uktena coiled 
around a man and choking him to death. The man was fighting for 
his life, and called out to the hunter: "Help me. nephew; he is your 
enemy as well as mine." The hunter took good aim, and, drawing 
the arrow to the head, sent it through the body of the uktena, so that 
the blood spouted from the hole. The snake loosed its coils with a 
snapping noise, and went tumbling down the ridge into the valley, 
tearing up the earth like a water spout as it rolled. 

The stranger stood up, and it was the Asga'va Gi'gagei, the Red 
Man of the Lightning. He said to the hunter: " You have helped me. 
and now I will reward you. and give you a medicine so that you can 
always find game." They waited until it was dark, and then went 
down the ridjje to where the dead uktena had rolled, but bv this time 

THE HUNTER ami THE ['K-r'KI 301 

the birds and insects had eaten the body and only the bones were left.. 
In one place were flashes of light coming up from the ground, and on 
digging bere, just under the surface, the Red Man found a scale of the 
uktena. Next be wen( over to a tree thai had been struck by light 
ning, and gathering a handful of splinters he made a fire and burned the 
uktena scale to a coal. He wrapped this in a piece of deerskin and 
gave it to the hunter, saying: "As long as you keep this you can 

always kill game." Then he told tin' hunter that when he went hack 

to camp he must hangup the medicine on a tree outside, because it 
was very strong and dangerous. He told him also that when he went 
into the cabin he would find his brother lying inside nearly dead mi 
account of the presence of the uktena's scale, hut he must take a small 
piece of cane, which the Red Man gave him. and scrape a little of it 
into water and give it to his brother to drink and lie would he well 
again. Then the Red Man was gone, and the hunter could not see 
where he went. He returned to camp alone, and found his brother 
very sick, but soon cured him with the medicine from the cane, and 
that day and the next, and every day after, he found game whenever 
he went for it. 


A man living down in Georgia came to visit some relatives at Hick- 
ory-log. He was a great hunter, and after resting in the house a day 
or two got ready to go into the mountains. His friends warned him 
not to go toward the north, as in that direction, near a certain large 
uprooted tree, there lived a dangerous monster uksu'hi snake. It kept 
constant watch, and whenever it could spring upon an unwary hunter it 
would coil about him and crush out his life in its folds and then drag 
the dead body down the mountain side into a deep hole in Hiwassee. 

He listened quietly to the warning, but all they said only made him 
the more anxious to see such a monster, so, without saying anything 
of his intention, he left the settlement and took his way directly up 
the mountain toward the north. Soon he came to the fallen tree and 
(limbed upon the trunk, and there, sure enough, on the other side was 
the great uksu'hi stretched out in the grass, with its head raised, but 
looking the other way. It was about so large [making a circle of a 
foot in diameter with his hands]. The frightened hunter got down 
again at once and started to run; but the snake had heard the noise and 
turned quickly and was after him. Up the ridge the hunter ran, the 
snake close behind him, then down the other side toward the river. 
With all his running the uksu'hi gained rapidly, and just as he reached 
the low ground it caught up with him and wrapped around him. pin- 
ning one arm down by his side, but leaving the other free. 

Now it gave him a terrible squeeze that almost broke his ribs, and 
then began to drag him along toward the water. With his free hand 


the hunter clutched at the bushes as they passed, l>ut the snake turned 
its head and blew its sickening breath into his face until he had to let 
go his hold. Again and again this happened, and all the time they 
were getting nearer to a deep hole in the river, when, almost at the 
last moment, a lucky thought came into the hunter's mind. 

He was sweating all over from his hard run across the mountain, 
and suddenly remembered to have heard that snakes can not bear the 
smell of perspiration. Putting his free hand into his bosom he worked 
it around under his armpit until it was covered with perspiration. 
Then withdrawing it he grasped at a bush until the snake turned its 
head, when he quickly slapped his sweaty hand on its nose. The 
uksu'hi gave one gasp almost as if it had been wounded, loosened its 
coil, and glided swiftly away through the bushes, leaving the hunter, 
bruised but not disabled, to make his way home to Hickory-log. 


There was once a great serpent called the Ustu'tli that made its haunt 
upon Cohutta mountain. It was called the Ustu'tli or "•foot" snake, 
because it did not glide like other snakes, but had feet at each end of 
its body, and moved by strides or jerks, like a great measuring worm. 
These feet were three-cornered and flat and could hold on to the ground 
like .suckers. It had no legs, but would raise itself up on its hind feet. 
with its snaky head waving high in the air until it found a good place 
lo take a fresh hold; then it would bend down and grip its front feet 
to the ground while it drew its body up from behind. It could cross 
rivers and deep ravines by throwing its head across and getting a grip 
with its front feet and then swinging its body over. Wherever its 
footprints were found there was danger. It used to bleat like a young 
fawn, and when the hunter heard a fawn bleat in the woods he never 
looked for it, but hurried away in the other direction. Up the moun- 
tain or down, nothing could escape the Ustu'tli's pursuit, but along the 
side of the ridge it could not go, because the great weight of its swing- 
ing head broke its hold on the ground when it moved sideways. 

It came to pass after a while that not a hunter about Cohutta would 
venture near the mountain for dread of the Ustu'tli. At last a man 
from one of the northern settlements came down to visit some rela- 
tives in that neighborhood. When he arrived thi'y made a feast for 
him. but had only corn and beans, and excused themselves for having 
no meat because the hunters were afraid to go into the mountains. He 
asked the reason, and when they told him he said he would go himself 
to-morrow and either bring in a deer or find the Ustu'tli. They tried 
to dissuade him from it, but as he insisted upon going they warned him 
that if he heard a fawn bleat in the thicket he must run at once and if 
the snake came after him he must not try to run down the mountain, 
but alone the side of the ridare. 

THE rMi'Ti.f 303 

In the morning he started ou1 and went directly toward the moun- 
tain. Working hi- way through the bushes :ii the base, lie suddenly 
heard a fawn Meat in front. He guessed at once that it was 1 1 1 * ■ Cstu'tlt, 
l>ut he had made up his mind to see it, so he did not turn back, but went 
straight forward, and there, sure enough, was the monster, with itsgreal 
head in the air, as high as the pine branches, looking in >-\ ery direction 
to discover a deer, or maybe a man. for breakfast. It -aw him ami 
came sit him at once, moving in jerky strides, every one the length of 
a tii',' trunk, holding its scaly head high above the bushes and bleating 
as it came. 

The hunterwas so badly frightened that he lost his wits entirely and 
started to run directly up the mountain. The great snake came after 
him. gaining half its length on him every time it took a fresh grip with 
it- fore feet, and would have caught the hunter before he reached the 
top of the ridge, but that he suddenly remembered the warning and 
changed his course to run alone- the sides of the mountain. At once 
the snake began to lose ground, for every time it raised itself up the 
weight of its body threw it out of a straight line and made it fall a little 
lower down the side of the ridge. It tried to recover itself, but now 
the hunter gained and kept on until he turned the end of the ridge and 
left the snake out of sight. Then he cautiously climbed to the topand 
looked over and saw the I'stu'tli still slowly working its way toward 
the summit. 

He went down to the base of the mountain, opened hi- lire pouch. 
and set fire to the grass and leaves. Soon the tire ran all around the 
mountain and began to climb upward. When the great snake smelled 
the smoke and saw the flames coming it forgot all about the hunter 
and turned to make all speed for a high cliff near the summit. It 
reached the rock and got upon it. but the fire followed and caught the 
dead pines about the base of the cliff until the heat made the I'stu'tH's 
scales crack. Taking a close grip of the rock with its hind feet it 
raised its body and put forth all its strength in an effort to spring 
across the wall of tire that surrounded it. but the .-moke choked it and 
its hold loosened and it fell among the blazing pine trunks and lay 
there until it wa- burned to ashes. 


At Nun'daye' li. the wildest spot on Nantahala river, in what i- now 
Macon county. North Carolina, where the overhanging cliff is highest 
and the river far below, there lived in the old time a great snake called 
the Uw'tsflfi'ta or ••bouncer." because it moved by jerks like a measur 
ing worm, with only one part of its body on the ground at a time. It 
stayed generally on the east side, where the .sun came first in the 
morning, and used to cross by reaching over from the highest point of 
the cliff until it could get a grip on the other side, when it would pull 


over the rest of its body. It was so immense that when it was thus 
stretched across its shadow darkened the whole valley below. For a 
long time the people did not know it was there, but when at last they 
found out al>out it they were afraid to live in the valley, so that it was 
deserted even while still Indian country. 


There was a boy who used to go bird hunting every day. and all the 
birds he brought home lie gave to his grandmother, who was very 
fond of him. This made the rest of the family jealous, and they 
treated him in such fashion that at last one day he told his grand- 
mother lie would leave them all, but that .she must not grieve for 
him. Next morning he refused to eat any breakfast, hut went off 
hungry to the woods and was gone all day. In the evening he 
returned, bringing with him a pair of deer horns, and went directly 
to the hothouse (asi), where his grandmother was waiting for him. 
He told the old woman he must be alone that night, so she got up and 
went into the house where the others were. 

At early daybreak she came again to the hothouse and looked in, 
and there she saw an immense uktena that filled the asi, with horns 
on its head, but still with two human legs instead of a snake tail. It 
was all that was left of her boy. He spoke to her and told her to 
leave him, and she went away again from the door. When the sun 
was well up, the uktena began slowly to crawl out, but it was full 
noon before it was all out of the asi. It made a terrible hissing noise 
as it came out, and all the people ran from it. It crawled on through 
the settlement, leaving a broad trail in the ground behind it, until it 
came to a deep bend in the river, where it plunged in and went under 
the water. 

The grandmother grieved much for her boj-, until the others of the 
family got angry and told her that as she thought so much of him she 
ought to go and stay with him. So she left them and went along the 
trail made by the uktena to the river and walked directly into the 
water and disappeared. Once after that a man fishing near the place 
saw her sitting on a large rock in the river, looking just as she had 
always looked, but as soon as she caught sight of him she jumped into 
the water and was gone. 


Two hunters, both for some reason under a tabu against the meat of 
a squirrel or turkey, had gone into the woods together. When even- 
ing came they found a good camping place and lighted a fire to prepare 
their supper. One of them had killed several squirrels during the 
day, and now got ready to broil them over the fire. His companion 
warned him that if he broke the tabu and ate squirrel meat he would 

mooney] SNAKE TALKS 305 

become a snake, but the other laughed and said that was only a con 
jurer's story. I If went <>n with his preparation, and when the squirrels 
were roasted made liis supper of them and then lay clown beside the 
fire to sleep. 

Late that night bis companion was aroused by groaning, and on 
Looking around be found the other lying on the ground rolling and 
twisting in agony, and with the lower part of his body already changed 
to the body ami tail of a large water snake. The man was still aide to 
speak and called loudly for help, hut his companion could do nothing, 
hut only sit by and try to comfort him while he watched the arms sink 
into the body and the skin take on a scaly change that mounted grad- 
ually toward the neck, until at last even the head was a serpent's head 
and the great snake crawled away from the tire and down the hank 
into the river. 


One day in the old times when we could still talk with other crea- 
tures, while some children were playing about the house, their mother 
inside heard them scream. Running out she found that a rattlesnake 
had crawled from the grass, and taking up a stick she killed it. The 
father was out hunting- in the mountains, and that evening when com- 
ing home after dark through the gap lie heard a strange wailing sound. 
Looking about he found that he had come into the midst of a whole 
company of rattlesnakes, which all had their mouths open and seemed 
to he crying. He asked them the reason of their trouble, and they 
told him that his own wife had that day killed their chief, the Yellow 
Rattlesnake, and they were just now about to send the Black Rattle- 
snake to take revenge. 

The hunter said he was very sorry, hut they told him that if he 
spoke the truth he must be ready to make satisfaction and give his 
wife as a sacrifice for the life of their chief. Not knowing what might 
happen otherwise, he consented. They then told him that the Black 
Rattlesnake would go home with him and coil up just outside the 
door in the dark. He must go inside, where he would rind his wife 
awaiting him, and ask her to get him a drink of fresh water from the 
spring. That was all. 

He went home and knew that the Black Rattlesnake was following. 
It was night when he arrived and very dark, hut he found his wife 
waiting with his supper ready. He sat down and asked for a drink of 
water. She handed him a gourd full from the jar. hut he said he 
wanted it fresh from the spring, so she took a bowl and went out of the 
door. The next moment he heard a cry, and going out he found that 
the Black Rattlesnake had bitten her and that she was already dying. 
He stayed with her until she was dead, when the Black Rattlesnake 
came out from the grass again and said his tribe was now satisfied. 
lft eth— 01 20 

306 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

He then taught the hunter a prayer song, and said. "When you meet 
any of us hereafter sing this song and we will not hurt you; but if by 
accident one of us should bite one of your people then sing this song 
over him and he will recover." And the Cherokee have kept the song 
to this day. 


There are several varieties of frogs and toads, each with a different 
name, but there is very little folklore in connection with them. The 
common green frog is called wald'si, and among the Cherokee, as among 
uneducated whites, the handling of it is thought to cause warts, which 
for this reason are called by the same name, wald'si. A solar eclipse 
is believed to be caused bj r the attempt of a great frog to swallow 
the sun, and in former times it was customary on such occasions to 
fire guns and make other loud noises to frighten away the frog. The 
smaller varieties are sometimes eaten, and on rare occasions the bull- 
frog also, but the meat is tabued to ball players while in training, for 
fear that the brittleness of the frog's bones would be imparted to 
those of the player. 

The land tortoise (tufat') is prominent in the animal myths, and is 
reputed to have been a great warrior in the old times. On account of 
the stoutness of its legs ball players rub their limbs with them before 
going into the contest. The common water turtle (sdligu'ffi), which occu- 
pies so important a place in the mythology of the northern tribes, 
is not mentioned in Cherokee myth or folklore, and the same is true 
of the soft-shelled turtle {u'lana'wa), perhaps for the reason that 
both are rare in the cold mountain streams of the Cherokee country. 

There are perhaps half a dozen varieties of lizard, each with a dif- 
ferent name. The gray road lizard, or dAy&MJA (alligator lizard. Sa I- 
oporti* viiiluhrtm), is the most common. On account of its habit of 
alternately puffing out and drawing in its throat as though sucking, 
when basking in the sun, it is invoked in the formulas for drawing 
out the poison from snake bites. If one catches the first diva/hall 
seen in the spring, and, holding it between his fingers, scratches his 
legs downward with its claws, he will see no dangerous snakes all sum- 
mer. Also, if one be caught alive at any time and rubbed over the 
head and throat of an infant, scratching the skin very slightly at the 
same time with the claws, the child will never be fretful, but will sleep 
quietly without complaining, even when sick or exposed to the rain. 
This is a somewhat risky experiment, however, as the child is liable 
thereafter to go to sleep wherever it may be laid down for a moment, 
so that the mother is in constant danger of losing it. According to 
some authorities this sleep lizard is not the diya'hali, but a larger 
variety akin to the next described. 

The gi<jd-tstilii/Il ("bloody mouth," Pleistodonl) is described as a 


very large lizard, Dearly as large as a water dog, with the throat and 
corners of the mouth red, as though from drinking blood. It is 
believed to be not a time lizard but a transformed ugUnste'U fish 
(described below) on account of the similarity of coloring and the fact 
that the fish disappears about the time the giga^tsuha''!! begins to 
come out. It is ferocious and a hard biter, and pursues other lizards. 
In dr\ weather it cries or makes a noise like a cicada, raising itself 
up as it cries. It has a habit of approaching near to where some per- 
son is sitting or standing, then halting and looking fixedly at him, and 
constantly puffing out its throat until its head assumes a bright fed 
color. It is thought then to he sucking the Mood of its victim, ami is 
dreaded and shunned accordingly. The small scorpion lizard (i*<hi, ' m) 
is sometimes called also gigd-danegi'ski, "blood taker." It is a striped 
lizard which frequents sandy beaches and resemble the diva'hali. hut is 
of a brown color. It is believed also to he sucking blood in some mys- 
terious way whenever it nods its head, and if its heart he eaten by a 
doe- that animal will he able to extract all the nutrient properties from 
food by simply looking at those who are eating. 

The small spring lizard (dv/w&'gd), which lives in springs, is supposed 
to cause rain whenever it crawls out of the spring. It is frequently 
invoked in the formulas. Another spring (?) lizard, red. with black 
spots, is called ddgan' tiV or aniganti'ski '''the rain maker." because its 
cry is said to brine- rain. The water dog (tsuwd', mud puppy, Meno- 
poma or Protonopsis) is a very large lizard, or rather salamander, 
frequenting muddy water. It is rarely eaten, from an unexplained 
belief that if one who has eaten its meat goes into the field immediately 
afterward the crop will be ruined. There are names for one or two 
other varieties of lizard as well as for the alligator (tsula'ski), but no 
folklore in connection with them. 

Although the Cherokee country abounds in swift-flowing streams 
well stocked with fish, of which the Indians make free use, there is but 
little fish lore. A number of " dream " diseases, really due to indiges- 
tion, are ascribed to revengeful fish ghosts, and the doctor usually 
tries to effect the cure by invoking some larger fish or fish-eating bird 
to drive out the ghost. 

Toeo creek, in Monroe county. Tennessee, derives its name from a 
mythic monster fish, the Dakwa', considered the father of all the fish 
tribe, which is said to have lived formerly in Little Tennessee river at 
that point (see story, "The Hunter and the Dakwa'"). A fish called 
1/,/i'n/sf, '//, ■■ having horns." which appears only in spring, is believed to 
lie transformed later into the giga-tsuha'li lizard, already mentioned. 
The fish is described as having horns or projections upon its nose and 
beautiful red spots upon its head, and as being attended or accompanied 
by many smaller red fish, all of which, including the ugunste'li, are 
accustomed to pile up small stones in the water. As the season 

308 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth. ann. ui 

advances it disappears and is believed then to have turned into a giga- 
tsuha' 11 lizard, the change beginning at the head and finishing with the 
tail. It is probably the Cam/postoma or stone roller, which is con- 
spicuous for its bright coloring in early spring, but loses its tints after 
spawning. The meat of the sluggish hog-sucker is tabued to the ball 
player, who must necessarily be active in movement. The fresh-water 
mussel is called ddgH'nd, and the same name is applied to certain pim- 
ples upon the face, on account of a fancied resemblance. The ball 
player rubs himself with an eel skin to make himself slippery and hard 
to hold. and. according to the Wahnenauhi manuscript, women 
formerly tied up their hair with the dried skin of an eel to make it 
grow long. A large red crawfish called tsiska' gili, much resembling 
a lobster, is used to scratch young children in order to give them a 
strong grip, each hand of the child being lightly scratched once with 
the pincer of the living animal. A mother whose grown son had 
been thus treated when an infant claimed that he could hold anything 
with his thumb and ringer. It is said, however, to render the child 
quarrelsome and disposed to bite. 

Of insects there is more to be said. The generic name for all sorts 
of small insects and worms is tsgdya, and according to the doctors, who 
had anticipated the microbe theory by several centuries, these tsgaya 
are to blame for nearly every human ailment not directly traceable to 
the asgina. of the larger animals or to witchcraft. The reason is plain. 
There are such myriads of them everywhere on the earth and in the 
air that mankind is constantly destroying them by wholesale, without 
mercy and almost without knowledge, and this is their method of 
taking revenge. 

Beetles are classed together under a name which signifies ''insects 
with shells." The little water-beetle or mellow-bug {Dint utes discolor) 
is called ddyuni'si, " beaver's grandmother," and according to the 
genesis tradition it brought up the. first earth from under the water. 
A certain green-headed beetle with horns ( I'limni us carnifex) is spoken 
of as the dog of the Thunder boys, and the metallic -green luster upon 
its forehead is said to have been caused by striking at the celebrated 
mythic gambler, Untsaiyi', " Brass" (see the story). The June-bug 
(Allorhina niUda), another green beetle, is tagii, but is frequently 
called by the curious name of tu'ya-di'skalaw sti'sM, "'one who keeps 
fire under the beans." Its larva is the grubworm which presided 
at the meeting held by the insects to compass the destruction of the 
human race (see the story, "Origin of Disease and Medicine"). The 
large horned beetle (Dynaste* tityux'.) is called fxixtu'na, ••crawfish,"' 
a wi', "deer," or gdldg/.'na, " buck," on account of its branching horns. 
The snapping beetle (A? at in ni-nliitiiNi) is called tfilsku'wa, '"one that 
snaps with his head." 

When the Idlu or jar-fly {Cicada avletes) begins to sing in midsum, 


mer they say: "The jar-fly has brought the beans," his song being 
taken as tin- signal that beans are ripe and that green corn is not far 
behind. When the katydid (fslMW) is heard a little later thej say, 
"Katydid bas brought the roasting-ear bread." The cricket (tdla'tH') 
is often called "the barber" (nMtasta/yelsM), on account of its habit of 
gnawing hair from furs, and when the Cherokee meet a man with his 
hair (dipped unevenly they sometimes ask playfully, "Did the cricket 
cut your hair?" (see story, "Why the Possum's Tail is Bare"). Cer- 
tain persons are said to drink tea made of crickets in order to become 
good singers. 

The mole cricket i Crri/llotalpa), so called because it tunnels in the earth 
and has hand-like (daws fitted for digging, is known to the Cherokee 
a- gtiThw&gi, a word which literally means ••seven." hut is probably 
an onomatope. It is reputed among them to he alert, hard to catch, 
and an excellent singer, who "never makes mistakes." Like the 

crawfish and the cricket, it plays an important part in preparing ) pie 

for the duties of life. Infants slow in learning to speak have their 
tongues scratched with the (daw of a guTkw&gi, the living insect being 
held in the hand during the operation, in order that they may soon 
learn to speak distinctly and he eloquent, wise, and shrewd of speech 
as they grow- older, and of such quick intelligence as to remember 
without effort anything once heard. The same desirable result may 
he accomplished with a grown person, hut with much more difficulty, 
as in that ease it is necessary to scratch the inside of the throat for 
four successive mornings, the insect being pushed down with the fin- 
gers and again withdrawn, while the regular tabus must he strictly 
observed for the same period, or the operation will he without effect. 
In some eases the insect is put into a small bowd of water overnight, 
and if —t: ill alive in the morning it is taken out and the water given to 
the patient to drink, after which the gul kwagi is set at liberty. 

Bees are kept by many of the Cherokee, in addition to the wild bees 
which are hunted in the woods. Although they are said to have 
come originally from the whites, the Cherokee have no tradition id' a 
time when they did not know them; there seems, however, to he no 
folklore connected with them. The cow-ant (MyrmicaV), a large, red. 
stinging ant. is called properly dastin't&U atatsHn'sM, " stinging ant," 
hut. on account of its hard body-case, is frequently called iv&n'yunu'wl, 
•■stone-dress." after a celebrated mythic monster. Strange as it may 
seem, there appears to he no folklore connected with either the firefly 
or the glowworm, while the spider, so prominent in other tribal 
mythologies, appears in hut a single Cherokee myth, where it brings 
hack the tire from across the water. In the formulas it is frequently 
invoked to entangle in its threads the soul of a victim whom the con- 
jurer desires to bring under his evil spells. From a fancied resem- 
blance in appearance the name for spider, led' nd net 'sh > . is applied also 

310 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE [eth.ann.19 

to ;i watch or clock. A small yellowish moth which flies about the 
fire at night is called b&n'tdwQ,, a name implying that it goes into and 
out of the tire, and when at last it flits too near and falls into the blaze 
the Cherokee say, "Tufi'tawu is going to bed." On account of its 
affinity for the fire it is invoked by the doctor in all "fire diseases," 
including sore eyes and frostbite. 


According to one version the Bullfrog was always ridiculing the 
great gambler Untsai'yi, "Brass," (see the story) until the latter at last 
got angry and dared the Bullfrog to play the gatayWsti (wheel-and- 
stick) game with him. whichever lost to be scratched on his forehead. 
Brass won, as he always did, and the yellow stripes on the Bullfrog's 
head show where the gambler's fingers scratched him. 

Another story is that the Bullfrog had a conjurer to paint his head 
with yellow stripes (brass) to make him appear more handsome to a 
pretty woman he was courting. 


A young man courted a girl, who liked him well enough, but her 
mother was so much opposed to him that she would not let him come 
near the house. At last he made a trumpet from the handle of a 
gourd and hid himself after night near the spring until the old woman 
came down for water. While she was dipping up the water he 
put the trumpet to his lips and grumbled out in a deep voice like a 

Yafldaska'gS hd.flyahu / 8k&, 

)'(in<I(iska / !/<1 liihlii<i!iii'sl:a. 
The faultfinder will die, 
The faultfinder will die. 

The woman thought it a witch bullfrog, and was so frightened that 
she dropped her dipper and ran back to the house to tell the people 
They all agreed that it was a warning to her to stop interfering with 
her daughter's aflairs, so she gave her consent, and thus the young 
man won his wife. 

There is another story of a girl who, every day when she went down 
to the spring for water, heard a voice singing, Knuu'in'i tti'tsahyesi', 
Kilim' m'l tti'tsahyesi' , "A bullfrog will marry you, A bullfrog will 
marry you." She wondered much until one day when she came down 
she saw sitting on a stone by the spring a bullfrog, which suddenly 
took the form of a young man and asked her to marry him. She 
consented and took him back with her to the house. But although he 
had the shape of a man there was a queer bullfrog look about his face, 
so that the girl's family hated him and at last persuaded her to send 
him awav. She told him and he went away, but when they next w T ent 

m.h.nky] tiSTSAIYf, THE GAMBLER 31] 

down to the spring they heard a voice: Stdtsl tHya'kusi, Stdt&l tH'ya- 
husi', '-Your daughter will die, Your daughter will die," and so it 
happened spon after. 

A.s some tell it. the lover was a tadpole, who took on human shape, 
retaining only his tadpole mouth. Toconceal it he constantly refused 
to eat with the family, but stood with his back to the tire and his lace 
screwed up, pretending that he had a toothache. At last his wife grew 
suspicious and turning him suddenly around to the firelight, exposed 
the tadpole mouth, at which they all ridiculed him so much that he 
left the house forever. 


Two hunters camping in the woods were preparing supper one night 
when a Katydid began singing near them. One of them said sneer 
ingly, " Ku! It sines and don't know that it will die before the season 
end.-." The Katydid answered: " h'1'1 .' nvwi (onomatope); O, so you 
say: but you need not boast. You will die before to-morrow night." 
The next day they were surprised by the enemy and the hunter who 
had sneered at the Katydid was killed. 

Wonder Stories 


Thunder lives in the west, or a little to the south of west, near the 
place where the sun goes down behind the water, in the old times he 
sometimes made a journey to the east, and once after he had come hack 
'from one of these journeys a child was horn in the east who. the people 
-aid. was his son. As the hoy grew up it was found that he had scrofula 
-ores all over his body. -0 one day his mother said to him. "Your father, 
Thunder, is a great doctor. He lives far in the west, hut if you can 
find him he can cure you.*'' 

So the boy set out to find his father and lie cured. He traveled long 
toward the west, asking of every one he met where Thunder lived, until 
at last they began to tell him that it was only a little way ahead. He 
went on and came to Untiguhl', on Tennessee, where lived Untsaiyi' 
■' Brass." Now UStsaij ['was a great gambler, and made his living that 
way. It was he who invented the gatayHsti game that we play with a 
stone wheel and a stick. He lived on the south side of the river, and 
everybody who came that way he challenged to play against him. The 
large Hat rock, with the line- and grooves where they used to roll the 
wheel, is still there, with the wheels themselves and the stick turned 
to stone. He won almost every time, because he was SO tricky, so thai 
he had his house filled with all kinds of tine things. Sometimes he 
would lose, and then he would bet all that he had, even to hi- own 
life, hut the winner got nothing for his trouble, for Untsaiyi' knew 
how to take on different shapes, so that he always got away. 


As soon as Untsaiyi' saw him he asked him to stop and play a while, 
but the boy said he was looking for his father. Thunder, and had no 
time to wait. ""Well.*' said Untsaiyi', "he lives in the next house; 
you can hear him grumbling over there all the time"— he meant the 
Thunder -"so we may as well have a game or two before you go on." 
Tlir boy said he had nothing to bet. "That's all right." said the 
gambler, "we'll play for your pretty spots." He said this to make 
the boy angry so that he would play, but still the boy said he must go 
first and find his father, and would come back afterwards. 

He went on, and soon the news came to Thunder that a boy was 
looking for him who claimed to be his son. Said Thunder, ''I have 
traveled in many lands and have many children. Bring him here and 
we shall soon know." So they brought in the boy, and Thunder showed 
him a seat and told him to sit down. Under the blanket on the seat 
were long, sharp thorns of the honey locust, with the points all stick- 
ing up. but when the boy sat down they did not hurt him. and then 
Thunder knew that it was his son. He asked the boy why he had come. 
"1 have sores all over my body, and my mother told me you were my 
father and a great doctor, and if I came here you would cure me." 
"Yes," said his father. "I am a great doctor, and I'll soon fix you." 

There was a large pot in the corner and he told his wife to fill it 
with water and put it over the fire. When it was boiling, he put in some 
roots, then took the boy and put him in with them. He let it boil a 
long time until one would have thought that the flesh was boiled from 
the poor boy's bones, and then told his wife to take the pot and throw 
it into the river, boy and all. She did as she was told, and threw it into 
the .water, and ever since there is an eddy there that we call Un'tiguhl', 
"Pot-in-the-water." A service tree and a calico bush grew on the 
bank above. A great cloud of steam came up and made streaks and 
blotches on their bark, and it has been so to this day. When the 
steam cleared away she looked over and saw the boy clinging to the 
roots of the service tree where they hung down into the water, but 
now his skin was all clean. She helped him up the bank, and they 
went back to the house. On the way she told him. "When we go in, 
your father will put a new dress on you. but when he opens his box 
and tells you to pick out your ornaments be sure to take them from 
the bottom. Then he will send for his other sons to play ball against 
you. There is a honey-locust tree in front of the house, and as soon 
as you begin to get tired strike at that and your father will stop the 
play, because he does not want to lose the tree." 

When they went into the house, the old man was pleased to see the 
boy looking so clean, and said. "I knew I could soon cure those spots. 
Now we must dress you." He brought out a tine suit of buckskin. 
with belt and headdress, and had the boy put them on. Then he 
opened a box and said. "Now pick out your necklace and bracelets." 

koonei rvrs.viYi'. THE GAMBLER 313 

The hoy looked, and the box was full of all kinds of snakes gliding 
over each other with their heads up. He was nut afraid, but remem- 
bered what tin' woman had told him, and plunged his hand to the bot- 
tom and drew out a greal rattlesnake and put it around his neck for a 
necklace. He put down his hand again four times and drew up four 
copperhead- and twisted them around his wrists and ankles. Then 
his father gave him a war club and said. "Now you must play a ball 
game with your two elder brothers. They live beyond here in the 
Darkening land, and [have sent for them." He said a ball game, but he 
meant that the hoy must fight for Ins life. The young men came, and 
the\ were both older and stronger than the hoy. but he was not afraid 
and fought against them. The thunder rolled and the lightning flashed 
at everj stroke, for they were the young Thunders, and the hoy him- 
self was Lightning. At last he was tired from defending himself 
alone against two. and pretended to aim a blow at the honey-locust 
tree. Then his father stopped the tight, because he was afraid the 
lightning would split the tree, and he saw that the hoy was brave and 

The hoy told his father how Untsaiyi' had dared him to play, and 
had even ottered to play for the spots on his skin. " Yes." said Thun- 
der, "he is a great gambler and makes his living that way. hut T will 
see that you win.** He brought a small cymling gourd with a hole 
bored through the neck, and tied it on the boy's wrist. Inside the gourd 
there was a string of heads, and one end hung out from a hole in the 
top, hut there was no end to the string inside. " Now,'" said his father, 
"go back the way you came, and as soon as he sees you lie will want 
to play for the heads. He is very hard to beat, but this time he will 
lose every game. When he eric- out for a drink, you will know he is 
getting discouraged, and then strike the rock with your war club and 
water will come, so that you can play on without stopping. At last 
he will bet his life, and lose. Then send at once for your brothers to 
kill him, or he will get away, he is so tricky." 

The hoy took the gourd and his war (dub and started east along the 
road by which he had come. As soon as Untsaiyi' saw him he called 
to him. and when he saw the gourd with the head string hanging out 
he wanted to play for it. The boy drew out the string, but there 
seemed to be no end to it. and he kept o.n pulling until enough had come 
out to make a circle all around the playground. "I will play one 
game for this much against your stake."" said the boy, ■'and when that 
i- over we can have another game." 

They began the game with the wheel and stick and tile hoy won. 
I Btsaiyi' did not know what to think of it. but he put up another 
-take and called for a second game. The hoy won again, and so they 
played on until noon, when Untsaiyi' bad lost nearly everything he 
had and was about discouraged. It was very hot. ami he said, " I am 

314 MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE Letii. ann. l'j 

thirsty," and wanted to stop long enough to get a drink. "No." said 
the boy. and struck the rock with his club so that water came out. and 
they had a drink. They played on until Untsaiyi' had lost all his buck- 
skins and beaded work, his eagle feathers and ornaments, and at last 
offered to bet his wife. They played and the boy won her. Then 
Untsaiyi' was desperate and offered to stake his life. "If I win I kill 
you, but if you win you may kill me." They played and the boy won. 

"Let me go and tell my wife," said Untsaiyi', "so that she will 
receive her new husband, and then you may kill me." He went into 
the house, hut it had two doors, and although the boy waited long 
Untsaiyi' did not come back. When at last he went to look for him 
he found that the gambler had gone out the back way and was nearly 
out of sight going east. 

The boy ran to his father's house and got his brothers to help him. 
They brought their dog — the Horned Green Beetle — and hurried after 
the gambler. He ran fast and was soon out of sight, and they fol- 
lowed as fast as they could. After a while they met an old woman 
making pottery and asked her if she had seen Untsaiyi' and she said 
she had not. "He came this way." said the brothers. "Then he 
must have passed in the night," said the old woman, "for I have been 
here all day." They were about to take another road when the Beetle, 
which had been circling about in the air above the old woman, made 
a dart at her and struck her on the forehead, and it rang like brass — 
untsaiyi' ! Then they knew it was Brass and sprang at him, but he 
jumped up in his right shape and was off, running so fast that he was 
soon out of sight again. The Beetle had struck so hard that some of 
the brass rubbed off, and we can see it on the beetle's forehead yet. 

They followed and came to an old man sitting by the trail, carving 
a stone pipe. They asked him if he had seen Brass pass that way and 
he said no, but again the Beetle — which could know Brass under any 
shape — struck him on the forehead so that it rang like metal, and the 
gambler jumped up in hi.s right form and was off again before they 
could hold him. He ran east until he came to the great water; then 
he ran north until he came to the edge of the world, and had to turn 
again to the west. He took every shape to throw them off the track, 
but the Green Beetle always knew him, and the brothers pressed him 
so hard that at last he could go no more and they caught him just as 
he reached the edge of 'the great water where the sun goes down. 

They tied his hands and feet with a grapevine and drove a long 
stake through his breast, and planted it far out in the deep water. 
They set two crows on the end of the pole to guard it and called 
the place K&giln'yi, "Crow place." But Brass never died, and can not 
die until the end of the world, but lies there always with his face up. 
Sometimes lie struggles under the water to get free, and sometimes 
the beavers, who are his friends, come and gnaw at the grapevine to 

■oonei THE TLA'Nl'WA 315 

release him. Then the pole shakes and the crows at the top cry /f<>.' 
Ka! Ka! and scare the beavers away. 


On the north bank of Little Tennessee river, in a bend Inlim the 
mouth of ( litico creek, in Blount county, Tennessee, is a high cliff hang- 
ing over the water, and about halfway up the lace of the rock is a cave 
with two openings. The rock projects outward above the cave, so that 
the mouth can not lie seen from above, and it seems impossible to 
reach the cave either from above or below. There are white streaks 
in the rock from the cave down to the water. The Cherokee call it 
Tla nuwa'i. "the place of the Tla'nuwa," or great mythic hawk. 

In the old time, away hack soon after the creation, a pair of Tla'nuwas 
had their nest in this cave. The streaks in the rock were made by the 
droppings from the nest. They were immense birds, larger than any 
that live now. and very strong and savage. They were forever flying 
up and .low 11 the river, and used to come into the settlements and carry 
off dogs and even young children playing near the houses. No one 
could reach the nest to kill them, and when the people tried to shoot 
them the arrows only glanced off and were seized and carried away in