As the Cherokee withdrew from all of South Carolina except a small strip in the
extreme west as early as 1777, the memory of the old legends localized within
the state has completely faded from the tribe. There remain, however, some local
names upon which the whites who succeeded to the inheritance have built
traditions of more or less doubtful authenticity.
In Pickens and Anderson counties, in the northwest corner of the state, is a series
of creeks joining Keowee river and named, respectively in order, from above
downward, Mile, Six-mile, Twelve-mile, Eighteen-mile, Twenty-three-mile, and
Twenty-six-mile. According to the local story, they were thus christened a
young woman, in one of the early Indian wars, as she crossed each ford on a
rapid horseback flight to the lower settlements to secure help for the beleaguered
garrison of Fort Prince George. The names really date back almost to the first
establishment of the colony, and were intended to indicate roughly the distances
along the old trading path from Fort Ninety-six, on Henleys creek of Saluda
river, to Keowee, at that time the frontier town of the Cherokee Nation, the two
points being considered 96 miles apart as the trail ran. Fort Prince George was
on the east bank of Keowee river, near the entrance of Crow creek, and directly
opposite the Indian town.
C ONNEROSS : The name of a creek which enters Keowee (or Seneca) river from
the west, in Anderson county; it is a corruption of the Lower Cherokee dialectic
form, Kăwân′-urâ′sûñyĭ or Kăwân′-tsurâ′-sûñyĭ, “Where the duck fell off.”
According to the still surviving Cherokee tradition, a duck once had her nest
upon a cliff overlooking the stream in a cave with the mouth so placed that inleaving the nest she appeared to fall from the cliff into the water. There was
probably an Indian settlement of the same name:
T OXAWAY : The name of a creek and former Cherokee settlement at the extreme
head of Keowee river; it has been incorrectly rendered “Place of shedding tears,”
from daksăwa′ihû, “he is shedding tears.” The correct Cherokee form of the
name is Dûksa′ĭ or Dûkwʼsa′ĭ, a word which can not be analyzed and of which
the meaning is now lost.


Myths of the Cherokee, James Mooney