III—NOTES TO THE HISTORICAL SKETCH
(1) Tribal synonymy (page 15): Very few Indian tribes are known to us under the names 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 originally nicknames bestowed neighboring tribes, frequently referring to some peculiar custom, and in a large number of cases would be strongly repudiated the people designated them. As a rule each tribe had a different name in every surrounding Indian language, besides those given Spanish, French, Dutch, or English settlers.
Yûñ′wiyă′—This word is compounded from yûñwĭ (person) and yă (real or principal). The assumption of superiority is much in evidence in Indian tribal names; thus, the Iroquois, Delawares, and Pawnee call themselves, respectively, Oñwe-hoñwe, Leni-lenape′, and Tsariksi-tsa′riks, all of which may be rendered “men of men,” “men surpassing other men,” or “real men.”
Kĭtu′hwagĭ—This word, which can not be analyzed, is derived from Kĭtu′hwă, 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′-Kĭtu′hwagĭ (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′-Kĭtu′hwagĭ. 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 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, fancifully 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 recognized 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 familiar, the form is Tsa′răgĭ′, whence we get Cherokee. In the other dialects the form is Tsa′lăgĭ′. 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 people,” the final part being apparently the Choctaw word okla or ogula, “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 region, it was natural that explorers landing among them should adopt their names for the more remote tribes.
The name seems to refer to the fact that the tribe occupied a cave country. In the “Choctaw Leksikon” of Allen Wright, 1880, page 87, we find choluk, a noun, signifying a hole, cavity, pit, chasm, etc., and as an adjective signifying hollow. In the manuscript 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. As an adjective, the same form is given as signifying hollow, having a hole, as iti chiluk, a hollow tree; aboha chiluk, an empty house; chiluk chukoa, to enter a hole. Other noun forms given are chuluk and achiluk in the singular and chilukoa in the plural, all signifying hole, pit, or cavity. Verbal forms are chilukikbi, to make a hole, and chilukba, to open and form a fissure.
In agreement with the genius of the Cherokee language the root form of the tribal name takes nominal or verbal prefixes according to its connection with the rest of the sentence, and is declined, or rather conjugated, as follows: Singular—first person, tsi-Tsa′lăgĭ, I (am) a Cherokee; second person, hi-Tsa′lăgĭ, thou art a Cherokee; third person, a-Tsa′lăgĭ, he is a Cherokee. Dual—first person, âsti-Tsa′lăgĭ, we two are Cherokee; second person, sti-Tsa′lăgĭ, you two are Cherokee; third person, ani′-Tsa′lăgĭ, they two are Cherokee. Plural—first person, atsi-Tsa′lăgĭ, we (several) are Cherokee; second person, hitsi-Tsa′lăgĭ, you (several) are Cherokee; third person, ani′-Tsa′lăgĭ, they (several) are Cherokee. It will be noticed that the third person dual and plural are alike.
Oyataʼgeʻronoñʼ, etc.—The Iroquois (Mohawk) form is given Hewitt as O-yataʼ-geʻronoñʼ, of which the root is yataʼ, cave, o is the assertive prefix, ge is the locative at, and ronoñʼ is the tribal suffix, equivalent to (English) -ites 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 Schoolcraft. The same radix yataʼ 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 country, the caves having been used the Indians for burial and shelter purposes, as is proved 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-ronoñʼ, and their Catawba name, Mañterañ′, both seem to refer to coming out of the ground, and may have been originally intended to convey the same idea of cave people.
Rickahockan—This name is used the German explorer, Lederer, in 1670, as the name of the people inhabiting the mountains to the southwest of the Virginia settlements. 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 (!), but it is more likely that the Indians were trying to convey, 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 r in the latter form being perhaps a misprint. It may be connected with Righkahauk, indicated on Smith’s map of Virginia, in 1607, as the name of a town within the Powhatan territory, and still preserved in Rockahock, the name of an estate on lower Pamunkey river. We have too little material of the Powhatan language to hazard an interpretation, but it may possibly contain the root of the word for sand, which appears as lekawa, nikawa, negaw, rigawa, rekwa, etc., in various eastern Algonquian dialects, whence Rockaway (sand), and Recgawawank (sandy place). The Powhatan form, as given Strachey, is racawh (sand). He gives also rocoyhook (otter), reihcahahcoik, hidden under a cloud, overcast, rickahone or reihcoan (a comb), and rickewh (to divide in halves).
Talligewi—As Brinton well says: “No name in the Lenape′ legends has given rise to more extensive discussion than this.” On Colden’s map in his “History of the Five Nations,” 1727, we find the “Alleghens” indicated upon Allegheny river. Heckewelder, who recorded the Delaware tradition in 1819, says: “Those people, as I was told, called themselves Talligeu or Talligewi. Colonel John Gibson, however, a gentleman who has a thorough knowledge of the Indians, and speaks several of their languages, is of the opinion that they were not called Talligewi, but Alligewi; 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 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 alli, 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 alliton, 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 wulik, good, best, hanne, rapid stream, and sipu, river, of which rendering its Iroquois name, Ohio, is nearly an equivalent. Rafinesque renders Talligewi 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 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 Delaware matters, makes them identical.
In the traditional tribal name, Talligewi or Alligewi, wi is an assertive verbal suffix, so that the form properly means “he is a Tallige,” or “they are Tallige.” This comes very near to Tsa′lăgĭ′, the name which the Cherokee call themselves, and it may have been an early corruption of that name. In Zeisberger’s Delaware dictionary, however, we find waloh or walok, signifying a cave or hole, while in the “Walam Olum” we have oligonunk rendered “at the place of caves,” the region 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 disappear 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 tributaries, 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 the wedge of Algonquian invasion, but always, whether in the north or in the south, keeping their distinctive title among the tribes as the “people 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:
- Tsa′lăgĭ′ (plural, Ani′-Tsa′lăgĭ′). Proper form in the Middle and Western Cherokee dialects.
- Tsa′răgĭ′. Proper form in the Eastern or Lower Cherokee dialect.
- Achalaque. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 1847 (incorrectly quoting Garcilaso).
- Chalakee. Nuttall, Travels, 124, 1821.
- Chalaque. Gentleman of Elvas, 1557; Publications of Hakluyt Society, IX, 60, 1851.
- Chalaquies. Barcia, Ensayo, 335, 1723.
- Charakeys. Homann heirs’ map, about 1730.
- Charikees. Document of 1718, fide Rivers, South Carolina, 55, 1856.
- Charokees. Governor Johnson, 1720, fide Rivers, Early History South Carolina, 93, 1874.
- Cheelake. Barton, New Views, xliv, 1798.
- Cheerake. Adair, American Indians, 226, 1775.
- Cheerakee. Ibid., 137.
- Cheeraque’s. Moore, 1704, in Carroll, Hist. Colls. South Carolina, II, 576, 1836.
- Cheerokee. Ross (?), 1776, in Historical Magazine, 2d series, II, 218, 1867.
- Chel-a-ke. Long, Expedition to Rocky Mountains, II, lxx, 1823.
- Chelakees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 90, 1836.
- Chelaques. Nuttall, Travels, 247, 1821.
- Chelekee. Keane, in Stanford’s Compendium, 506, 1878.
- Chellokee. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, II, 204, 1852.
- Cheloculgee. White, Statistics of Georgia, 28, 1849 (given as plural form of Creek name).
- Chelokees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 104, 1836.
- Cheokees. Johnson, 1772, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., VIII, 314, 1857 (misprint for Cherokees).
- Cheraguees. Coxe, Carolina, II, 1741.
- Cherakees. Ibid., map, 1741.
- Cherakis. Chauvignerie, 1736, fide Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, III, 555, 1853.
- Cheraquees. Coxe, Carolana, 13, 1741.
- Cheraquis. Penicaut, 1699, in Margry, V, 404, 1883.
- Cherickees. Clarke, 1739, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., VI, 148, 1855.
- Cherikee. Albany conference, 1742, ibid., 218.
- Cherokee. 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., 416.
- Cherrackees. Evans, 1755, in Gregg, Old Cheraws, 15, 1867.
- Cherrokees. Treaty of 1722, fide Drake, Book of Indians, bk. 4, 32, 1848.
- Cherrykees. Weiser, 1748, fide Kauffman, Western Pennsylvania, appendix, 18, 1851.
- Chirakues. Randolph, 1699, in Rivers, South Carolina, 449, 1856.
- Chirokys. Writer about 1825, Annales de la Prop. de la Foi, II, 384, 1841.
- Chorakis. Document of 1748, New York Doc. Col. Hist., X, 143, 1858.
- Chreokees. Pike, Travels, 173, 1811 (misprint, transposed).
- Shanaki. Gatschet, Caddo MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Caddo name).
- Shan-nack. Marcy, Red River, 273, 1854 (Wichita name).
- Shannaki. Gatschet, Fox MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Fox name: plural form, Shannakiak).
- Shayage. Gatschet, Kaw MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1878 (Kaw name).
- Sulluggoes. Coxe, Carolana, 22, 1741.
- Tcalke. Gatschet, Tonkawa MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Tonkawa name, Chal-ke).
- Tcerokiec. Gatschet, Wichita MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Wichita name, Cherokish).
- Tchatakes. La Salle, 1682, in Margry, II, 197, 1877 (misprint).
- Tsalakies. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 90, 1836.
- Tsallakee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847.
- Tsä-ló-kee. Morgan, Ancient Society, 113, 1878.
- Tschirokesen. Wrangell, Ethn. Nachrichten, XIII, 1839 (German form).
- Tsûlahkĭ. Grayson, Creek MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1885 (Creek name; plural form, Tsălgăl′gi or Tsûlgûl′gi—Mooney).
- Tzerrickey. Urlsperger, fide Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, I, 26, 1884.
- Tzulukis. Rafinesque, Am. Nations, I, 123, 1836.
Zolucans. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 23, 1824. Zulocans.
Talligeu. Heckewelder, 1819, Indian Nations, 48, reprint of 1876 (traditional Delaware name; singular, Tallige′ or Allige′ (see preceding explanation). Talligewi. Alligewi.
- Alleg. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, V, 133, 1855.
- Allegans. Colden, map, 1727, fide Schoolcraft, ibid., III, 525, 1853.
- Allegewi. 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.
- Allegwi. Squier, in Beach, Indian Miscellany, 26, 1877.
- Alli. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, V, 133, 1855.
- Allighewis. Keane, in Stanford’s Compendium, 500, 1878.
- Talagans. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 28, 1824.
- Talega. Brinton, Walam Olum, 201, 1885.
- Tallagewy. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, II, 36, 1852.
- Tallegwi. Rafinesque, fide Mercer, Lenape Stone, 90, 1885.
- Talligwee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847.
- Tallike. Brinton, Walam Olum, 230, 1885.
- Kĭtu′hwagĭ (plural, Ani′-Kĭtu′hwagĭ. See preceding explanation).
- Cuttawa. Vaugondy, map, Partie de l’Amérique, Septentrionale 1755.
Gatohua. Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, I, 28, 1884. Gattochwa. 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).
- Oyataʼgeʻronoñʼ. Hewitt, oral information (Iroquois (Mohawk) name. See preceding explanation).
- Ojadagochroene. Livingston, 1720, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., V, 567, 1855.
- Ondadeonwas. Bleeker, 1701, ibid., IV, 918, 1854.
- Oyadackuchraono. Weiser, 1753, ibid., VI, 795, 1855.
- Oyadagahroenes. Letter of 1713, ibid., V, 386, 1855 (incorrectly stated to be the Flat-heads, i. e., either Catawbas or Choctaws).
- Oyadage′ono. Gatschet, Seneca MS, 1882, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Seneca name).
- O-ya-dä′-go-o-no. Morgan, League of Iroquois, 337, 1851.
- Oyaudah. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 448, 1847 (Seneca name).
- Uwata′-yo-ro′-no. Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, 28, 1884 (Wyandot name).
- Uyada. Ibid. (Seneca name).
- We-yau-dah. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 253, 1847.
- Wa-tai-yo-ro-noñ′’. Hewitt, Wyandot MS, 1893, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Wyandot name).
- Rickahockans. Lederer, 1672, Discoveries, 26, reprint of 1891 (see preceding explanation).
- Rickohockans. Map, ibid.
- Rechahecrians. Drake, Book of Indians, book 4, 22, 1848 (from old Virginia documents).
- Rechehecrians. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 36, 1824.
- Mâñterâñ′. Gatschet, Catawba MS, 1881, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Catawba name. See preceding explanation).
Entarironnon. Potier, Racines Huronnes et Grammaire, MS, 1751 (Wyandot names. The first, according to Hewitt, is equivalent to “ridge, or mountain, people”). Ochieʻtarironnon.
- Tʼkwen-tah-e-u-ha-ne. Beauchamp, in Journal Am. Folklore, V, 225, 1892 (given as the Onondaga name and rendered, “people of a beautiful red color”).
- Canogacole(?). Fontanedo, about 1575, Memoir, translated in French Hist. Colls., II, 257, 1875 (rendered “wicked people”).
(2) Mobilian trade language (page 16): This trade jargon, based upon Choctaw, but borrowing also from all the neighboring dialects and even from the more northern 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 banks of the Mississippi to the Algonquian frontier about the entrance of the Ohio. It was called Mobilienne the French, from Mobile, the great trading center of the Gulf region. Along the Mississippi it was sometimes known also as the Chickasaw trade language, the Chickasaw being a dialect of the Choctaw language proper. Jeffreys, in 1761, compares this jargon in its uses to the lingua franca of the Levant, and it was evidently the aid of this intertribal medium that De Soto’s interpreter from Tampa bay could converse with all the tribes they met until they reached the Mississippi. Some of the names used 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 languages all the Indians who had come from the east side of the Mississippi. Among those so using it he names the Alabama, Apalachi, Biloxi, Chactoo, Pacana, Pascagula, Taensa, and Tunica. Woodward, writing from Louisiana more than fifty years later, says: “There is yet a language the Texas Indians call the Mobilian tongue, that has been the trading language of almost all the tribes that have inhabited the country. I know white men that now speak it. There is a man now living near me that is fifty years of age, raised in Texas, that speaks the language well. It is a mixture of Creek, Choctaw, Chickasay, Netches [Natchez], and Apelash [Apalachi]”—Reminiscences, 79. For further information see also Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, and Sibley, Report.
The Mobilian trade jargon was not unique of its kind. In America, as in other parts of the world, the common necessities of intercommunication have resulted in the formation of several such mongrel dialects, prevailing, sometimes over wide areas. In some cases, also, the language of a predominant tribe serves as the common medium for all the tribes of a particular region. In South America we find the lingoa geral, based upon the Tupi′ language, understood for everyday purposes all the tribes of the immense central region from Guiana to Paraguay, including almost the whole Amazon basin. On the northwest coast we find the well-known “Chinook jargon,” which takes its name from a small tribe formerly residing at the mouth of the Columbia, in common use among all the tribes from California far up into Alaska, and eastward to the great divide of the Rocky mountains. In the southwest the Navaho-Apache language is understood nearly all the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, while on the plains the Sioux language in the north and the Comanche in the south hold almost the same position. In addition to these we have also the noted “sign language,” a gesture system used and perfectly understood as a fluent means of communication among all the hunting tribes of the plains from the Saskatchewan to the Rio Grande.
(3) Dialects (page 17): The linguistic affinity of the Cherokee and northern Iroquoian dialects, although now well established, is not usually obvious on the surface, but requires a close analysis of words, with a knowledge of the laws of phonetic 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 l. 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:
Comparison of Cherokee dialects
|I pick it up (long)
|my father’s father
|my mother’s father
It will be noted that the Eastern and Middle dialects are about the same, excepting for the change of l to r, and the entire absence of the labial m from the Eastern dialect, while the Western differs considerably from the others, particularly in the greater frequency of the liquid l and the softening of the guttural g, the changes tending to render it the most musical of all the Cherokee dialects. It is also the standard literary dialect. In addition to these three principal dialects there are some peculiar forms and expressions in use a few individuals which indicate the former existence of one or more other dialects now too far extinct to be reconstructed. As in most other tribes, the ceremonial forms used the priesthood are so filled with archaic and figurative expressions as to be almost unintelligible to the laity.
(4) Iroquoian tribes 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. Ontario, Canada. Tionontati, or Tobacco nation. Attiwan′daron, or Neutral nation. Tohotaenrat. Wenrorono.
Mohawk. Iroquois, or Five Nations, New York. Oneida. Onondaga. Cayuga. Seneca.
- Erie. Northern Ohio, etc.
- Conestoga, or Susquehanna. Southern Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Nottoway. Southern Virginia. Meherrin?.
- Tuscarora. 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 as emigrants from the region north of the Great lakes, where they dwelt in early times with their Huron brethren. This tradition is recorded with much particularity 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 David Cusick, the Tuscarora historian, in his ‘Sketches of Ancient History of the Six Nations,’ and it is repeated Mr. L. H. Morgan in his now classical work, ‘The League of the Iroquois,’ for which he procured his information chiefly among the Senecas. Finally, as we learn from the narrative of the Wyandot Indian, Peter Clarke, in his book entitled ‘Origin and Traditional 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 traditions of the Conestoga or the Nottoway, but the tradition of the Tuscarora, as given Cusick and other authorities, makes them a direct offshoot from the northern Iroquois, with whom they afterward reunited. The traditions of the Cherokee also, as we have seen, bring them from the north, thus completing the cycle. “The striking fact has become evident that the course of migration of the Huron-Cherokee family has been from the northeast to the southwest—that is, from eastern Canada, on the Lower St. Lawrence, to the mountains of northern Alabama.”—Hale, Indian Migrations, p. 11.
The retirement of the northern Iroquoian tribes from the St. Lawrence region was due to the hostility of their Algonquian neighbors, whom the Hurons and their allies were forced to take refuge about Georgian bay and the head of Lake Ontario, while the Iroquois proper retreated to central New York. In 1535 Cartier found the shores of the river from Quebec to Montreal occupied an Iroquoian people, but on the settlement of the country seventy years later the same region was found in possession of Algonquian tribes. The confederation of the five Iroquois nations, probably about the year 1540, enabled them to check the Algonquian invasion and to assume the offensive. Linguistic and other evidence shows that the separation of the Cherokee from the parent stock must have far antedated this period.
(5) Walam Olum (p. 18): The name signifies “red score,” from the Delaware walam, “painted,” more particularly “painted red,” and olum, “a score, tally-mark.” The Walam Olum was first published in 1836 in a work entitled “The American Nations,” 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 in the Delaware language, which was an interpretation of an ancient sacred metrical legend of the Delawares, recorded in pictographs cut upon wood, obtained in 1820 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 songs annexed thereto in the original language, but no one could be found me able to translate them. I had therefore to learn the language since, the help of Zeisberger, Heckewelder, and a manuscript dictionary, 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, but little attention was paid to the discovery until Brinton took up the subject a few years ago. After a critical sifting of the evidence from every point of view he arrived at the conclusion that the work is a genuine native production, although the manuscript rendering is faulty, partly from the white scribe’s ignorance of the language and partly from the Indian narrator’s ignorance of the meaning of the archaic forms. Brinton’s edition (q. v.), published from Rafinesque’s manuscript, gives the legend in triplicate form—pictograph, Delaware, and English translation, with notes and glossary, and a valuable ethnologic introduction Brinton himself.
It is not known that any of the original woodcut pictographs of the Walam Olum are now in existence, although a statement of Rafinesque implies that he had seen them. As evidence of the truth of his statement, however, we have the fact that precisely similar pictographic series cut upon birch bark, each pictograph representing 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, and about the year 1827 a Kickapoo reformer adopted the same method to propagate a new religion among the tribes. One of these “prayer sticks” is now in the National Museum, being all that remains of a large basketful delivered to a missionary in Indiana 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 river (p. 18): Namæsi Sipu (Heckewelder, Indian Nations, 49), or Namassipi (Walam Olum, p. 198). Deceived a slight similarity of sound, Heckewelder makes this river identical with the Mississippi, but as Schoolcraft shows (Notes on Iroquois, p. 316) the true name of the Mississippi is simply Misi-sipi, “great river,” and “fish river” would be a most inappropriate name for such a turbulent current, where only the coarser species can live. The mere fact that there can be a question of identity among experts familiar with Indian nomenclature would indicate that it was not one of the larger streams. Although Heckewelder makes the Alligewi, as he prefers to call them, flee down the Mississippi after their final defeat, the Walam Olum chronicle says only “all the Talega go south.” It was probably a gradual withdrawal, rather than a sudden and concerted flight (see Hale, Indian Migrations, pp. 19–22).
(7) First appearance of whites (p. 19): It is possible that this may refer to one of the earlier adventurers who coasted along the North Atlantic in the first decades after the discovery of America, among whom were Sebastian Cabot, in 1498; Verrazano, in 1524; and Gomez, in 1525. As these voyages were not followed up permanent occupation of the country it is doubtful if they made any lasting impression upon Indian tradition. The author has chosen to assume, with Brinton and Rafinesque, that the Walam Olum reference is to the settlement of the Dutch at New York and the English in Virginia soon after 1600.
(8) De Soto’s route (p. 26): On May 30, 1539, Hernando de Soto, of Spain, with 600 armed men and 213 horses, landed at Tampa bay, on the west coast of Florida, in search of gold. After more than four years 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 Pánuco, in Mexico, on September 10, 1543.
For the history of this expedition, the most important ever undertaken Spain within eastern United States, we have four original authorities. First is the very brief, but evidently truthful (Spanish) report of Biedma, an officer of the expedition, presented to the King in 1544, immediately after the return to Spain. Next in order, but of first importance for detail and general appearance of reliability, is the narrative of an anonymous Portuguese cavalier of the expedition, commonly known as the Gentleman of Elvas, originally published in the Portuguese language in 1557. Next comes the (Spanish) narrative of Garcilaso, written, but not published, in 1587. Unlike the others, the author was not an eyewitness of what he describes, but 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 two other soldiers of De Soto. As might be expected, the Garcilaso narrative, although written in flowery style, abounds in exaggeration and trivial incident, and compares unfavorably with the other accounts, while probably giving more of the minor happenings. The fourth original account is an unfinished (Spanish) report Ranjel, secretary of the expedition, written soon after reaching Mexico, and afterward incorporated with considerable change Oviedo, in his “Historia natural y general de las Indias.” As this fourth narrative remained unpublished until 1851 and has never been translated, it has hitherto been entirely overlooked the commentators, excepting Winsor, who notes it incidentally. In general it agrees well with the Elvas narrative and throws valuable light upon the history of the expedition.
The principal authorities, while preserving a general unity of narrative, differ greatly in detail, especially in estimates of numbers and distances, frequently to such an extent that it is useless to attempt to reconcile their different statements. In general the Gentleman of Elvas is most moderate in his expression, while Biedma takes a middle ground and Garcilaso exaggerates greatly. Thus the first named gives De Soto 600 men, Biedma makes the number 620, while Garcilaso says 1,000. At a certain stage of the journey the Portuguese Gentleman gives De Soto 700 Indians as escort, Biedma says 800, while Garcilaso makes it 8,000. At the battle of Mavilla the Elvas account gives 18 Spaniards and 2,500 Indians killed, Biedma says 20 Spaniards killed, without giving an estimate of the Indians, while Garcilaso has 82 Spaniards and over 11,000 Indians killed. In distances there is as great discrepancy. Thus Biedma makes the distance from Guaxule to Chiaha four days, Garcilaso has it six days, and Elvas seven days. As to the length of an average day’s march we find it estimated all the way from “four leagues, more or less” (Garcilaso) to “every day seven or eight leagues” (Elvas). In another place the Elvas chronicler states that 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 Ranjel narratives, which have the form of a daily journal, the conclusion is irresistible 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 attempt to give in every case a fixed local habitation to a name which in some instances is not a proper name at all, and in others is merely a descriptive term or a duplicate name occurring at several places in the same tribal territory. Thus Tali is simply the Creek word talua, town, and not a definite place name as represented 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 be 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 De Soto’s route. As nearly every historian who has written of the southern states has given attention to this subject it is unnecessary to enumerate them all. Of some thirty works consulted the author, in addition to the original narratives already mentioned, not more than two or three can be considered as speaking with any authority, the rest simply copying from these without investigation. The first attempt to locate the route definitely was made Meek (Romantic Passages, etc.) in 1839 (reprinted in 1857), his conclusions being based upon his general knowledge of the geography of the region. In 1851 Pickett tried to locate the route, chiefly, he asserts, from Indian tradition as related mixed-bloods. How much dependence can be placed upon Indian 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 Irving, Shea and others, but none of these was aware 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 Gatschet in his Creek Migration Legend. They are also mistaken in assuming that only De Soto passed through the country, whereas we now know that several Spanish explorers and numerous French adventurers traversed the same territory, the latest expeditions of course being freshest in Indian memory. Jones in his “De Soto’s March Through Georgia” simply dresses up the earlier statements in more literary style, sometimes changing surmises to positive assertions, without mentioning his authorities. Maps of the supposed route, all bringing De Soto down the Coosa instead of the Chattahoochee, have been published in Irving’s Conquest of Florida, the Hakluyt Society’s edition of the Gentleman of Elva’s account, and in Buckingham Smith’s translation of the same narrative, as well as in several other works. For the eastern portion, with which we have to deal, all of these are practically duplicates of one another. On several old Spanish and French maps the names mentioned in the narrative seem to have been set down merely to fill space, without much reference to the text of the chronicle. For a list and notices of principal 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, II; Boston, 1886. We shall speak only of that part of the route which lay near the Cherokee mountains.
The first location which concerns us in the narrative is Cofitachiqui, 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 ( transposition, Elvas), Cofetaçque (Vandera), Catafachique (Williams) and Cosatachiqui (misprint, Brooks MSS), and the Spaniards first heard of the region as Yupaha from a tribe farther to the south. The correct form appears to be that first given, which Gatschet, from later information than that quoted in his Creek Migration Legend, makes a Hitchitee word about equivalent to “Dogwood town,” from cofi, “dogwood,” cofita, “dogwood thicket,” and chiki, “house,” or collectively “town.” McCulloch puts the town upon the headwaters of the Ocmulgee; Williams locates it on the Chattahoochee; Gallatin on the Oconee or the Savannah; Meek and Monette, following him, probably in the fork of the Savannah and the Broad; Pickett, with Jones and others following him, at Silver bluff on the east (north) bank of the Savannah, in Barnwell county, South Carolina, about 25 miles water below the present Augusta. It will thus be seen that at the very outset of our inquiry the commentators differ a distance equal to more than half the width of the state of Georgia. It will suffice here to say, without going into the argument, that the author is inclined to believe that the Indian town was on or near Silver bluff, which was noted for its extensive ancient remains as far back as Bartram’s time (Travels, 313), and where the noted George Galphin established a trading post in 1736. The original site has since been almost entirely worn away the river. According to the Indians of Cofitachiqui, the town, which was on the farther (north) bank of the stream, was two day’s journey from the sea, probably canoe, and the sailors with the expedition believed the river to be the same one that entered at St. Helena, which was a very close guess. The Spaniards were shown here European articles which they were told had been obtained from white men who had entered the river’s mouth many years before. These they conjectured 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 Uchee Indians, who, before their absorption the Creeks, held or claimed most of the territory on both banks of Savannah river from the Cherokee border to within about forty miles of Savannah and westward to the Ogeechee and Cannouchee rivers (see Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, I, 17–24). The country was already on the decline in 1540 from a recent fatal epidemic, but was yet populous and wealthy, and was ruled a woman chief whose authority extended for a considerable distance. The town was visited also Pardo in 1567 and again Torres in 1628, when it was still a principal settlement, as rich in pearls as in De Soto’s time (Brooks MSS, in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology).
Somewhere in southern Georgia De Soto had been told of a rich province called Coça (Coosa, the Creek country) toward the northwest. At Cofitachiqui he again heard of it and of one of its principal towns called Chiaha (Chehaw) as being twelve days inland. Although on first hearing of it he had kept on in the other direction in order to reach Cofitachiqui, he now determined to go there, and made the queen a prisoner to compel her to accompany him a part of the way as guide. Coça 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 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 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 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 Cofitachiqui. Biedma does not mention the country at all. The trifling difference in statement of five days in seven need not trouble us, as Biedma makes the whole distance from Cofitachiqui to Xuala eight days, and from Guaxule to Chiaha four days, where Elvas makes it, respectively, twelve and seven days. Chalaque is, of 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 Cherokee 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 l for r it may be connected with such Catawba names as Congaree, Wateree, and Sugeree. It was probably a village of minor importance.
They came next to the province of Xuala, or Xualla, as the Elvas narrative more often has it. In a French edition it appears as Chouala. Ranjel makes it three days from Guaquili or five from Chalaque. Elvas also makes it five days from Chalaque, while Biedma makes it eight days from Cofitachiqui, a total discrepancy of four days from the last-named place. Biedma describes it as a rough mountain country, thinly populated, but with a few Indian houses, and thinks that in these mountains the great river of Espiritu Santo (the Mississippi) had its birth. Ranjel describes the town as situated in a plain in the vicinity of rivers and in a country with greater appearance of gold mines than any they had yet seen. The Portuguese gentleman describes it as having very little corn, and says that they reached it from Cofitachiqui over a hilly country. In his final chapter he states that the course from Cofitachiqui to this place was from south to north, thus agreeing with Biedma. According to Garcilaso (pp. 136–137) it was fifty leagues the road along which the Spaniards had come from Cofitachiqui to the first valley of the province of Xuala, with but few mountains on the way, and the town itself was situated close under a mountain (“a la falda de una sierra”) beside a small but rapid stream which formed the boundary of the territory of Cofitachiqui in this direction. From Ranjel we learn that on the same day after leaving this place for the next “province” the Spaniards crossed a very high mountain ridge (“una sierra muy alta”).
Without mentioning the name, Pickett (1851) refers to Xuala as “a town in the present Habersham county, Georgia,” but gives no reason for this opinion. Rye and Irving, of the same date, arguing from a slight similarity of name, think it may have been on the site of a former Cherokee town, Qualatchee, on the head of Chattahoochee river in Georgia. The resemblance, however, is rather farfetched, and moreover this same name is found on Keowee river in South Carolina. Jones (De Soto in Georgia, 1880) interprets Garcilaso’s description to refer to “Nacoochee valley, Habersham 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 plentiful, while the Portuguese Gentleman says that they stopped but two days because they found so little corn! Ranjel makes them stop four days and says they found abundant provisions and assistance.
However that may have been, there can be no question of the identity of the name. As the province of Chalaque is the country of the Cherokee, so the province of Xuala is the territory of the Suwali or Sara Indians, better known later as Cheraw, who lived in early times in the piedmont country about the head of Broad river in North Carolina, adjoining the Cherokee, who still remember them under the name of Ani′-Suwa′li. A principal trail to their country from the west led up Swannanoa river and across the gap which, for this reason, was known to the Cherokee as Suwa′li-nuñnâ, “Suwali trail,” corrupted the whites to Swannanoa. Lederer, who found them in the same general region in 1670, calls this gap the “Suala pass” and the neighboring mountains the Sara mountains, “which,” he says, “The Spaniards make Suala.” They afterward shifted to the north and finally returned and were incorporated with the Catawba (see Mooney, Siouan Tribes of the East, bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1894).
Up to this point the Spaniards had followed a north course from Cofitachiqui (Biedma and Elvas), but they now turned to the west (Elvas, final chapter). On the same day on which they left Xuala they crossed “a very high mountain ridge,” and descended the next day to a wide meadow bottom (“savana”), through which flowed a river which they concluded was a part of the Espiritu Santo, the Mississippi (Ranjel). Biedma speaks of crossing a mountain country and mentions the river, which he also says they thought to be a tributary of the Mississippi. Garcilaso says that this portion of their route was through a mountain country without inhabitants (“despoblado”) and the Portuguese gentleman describes it as being over “very rough and high ridges.” In five days of such travel—for here, for a wonder, all the narratives agree—they came to Guaxule. This is the form given Garcilaso and the Gentleman of Elvas; Biedma has Guasula, and Ranjel Guasili or Guasuli. The translators and commentators have given us such forms as Guachoule, Quaxule, Quaxulla, and Quexale. According to the Spanish method of writing Indian words the name was pronounced Washulé or Wasuli, which has a Cherokee sound, although it can not be translated. Buckingham Smith (Narratives, p. 222) hints that the Spaniards may have changed Guasili to Guasule, because of the similarity of the latter form to a town name in southern Spain. Such corruptions of Indian names are of frequent occurrence. Garcilaso speaks of it as a “province and town,” while Biedma and Ranjel call it simply a town (“pueblo”). Before reaching this place the Indian queen had managed to make her escape. All the chroniclers tell of the kind reception which the Spaniards met here, but the 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 (Garcilaso).
Deceived 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 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 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 Catawba rivers, in North Carolina. As the Spaniards turned here to the west they probably did not penetrate far beyond the present South Carolina boundary. The “very high mountain ridge” which they crossed 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 struggled for several days on their way to Chiaha and Coça (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 not 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 prominent 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 considerable mounds in western North Carolina, that at Franklin and a smaller one on Oconaluftee 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 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 three counties adjoining.
The Nacoochee mound has been cleared and cultivated for many years and does not now show any appearance of a roadway up the side, but from its great height we may be reasonably sure that some such means of easy ascent existed in ancient times. In other respects it is the only mound in the whole upper country which fills the conditions. The valley is one of the most fertile spots in Georgia and numerous ancient remains give evidence that it was a favorite center of settlement in early days. At the beginning of the modern historic period it was held the Cherokee, who had there a town called Nacoochee, but their claim was disputed 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 tribes were in friendly alliance. The modern name is pronounced Naguʻtsĭ′ the Cherokee, who say, however, that it is not of their language. The terminal may be the Creek udshi, “small,” or it may have a connection with the name of the Uchee Indians.
From Guaxule the Spaniards advanced to Canasoga (Ranjel) or Canasagua (Elvas), one or two days’ march from Guaxule, according to one or the other authority. Garcilaso and Biedma do not mention the name. As Garcilaso states that from Guaxule to Chiaha the march was down the bank of the same river, which we identify with the Chattahoochee, the town may have been in the neighborhood of the present Gainesville. As we have seen, however, it is unsafe to trust the estimates of distance. Arguing from the name, Meek infers that the town was about Conasauga river in Murray county, and that the river down which they marched to reach it was “no doubt the Etowah,” although to reach the first named river from the Etowah it would be necessary to make another sharp turn to the north. From the same coincidence Pickett puts it on the Conasauga, “in the modern county of Murray, 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 dislike 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 Gănsâ′gĭ the Cherokee, was applied them to at least three different locations within their old territory, while the one mentioned in the narrative would make the fourth. The others were (1) on Oostanaula river, opposite the mouth of the Conasauga, where afterward was New Echota, in Gordon county, Georgia; (2) on Canasauga creek, in McMinn county, Tennessee; (3) on Tuckasegee river, about two miles above Webster, 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 Marietta, in Cobb county, Georgia, may be a corruption of Gănsâ′gĭ, and if so, the Canasagua of the narrative may have been somewhere in this vicinity on the Chattahoochee. The meaning of the name is lost.
On leaving Canasagua they continued down the same river which they had followed from Guaxule (Garcilaso), and after traveling several days through an uninhabited (“despoblado”) country (Elvas) arrived at Chiaha, which was subject to the great chief of Coça (Elvas). The name is spelled Chiaha Ranjel and the Gentleman of Elvas, Chiha Biedma in the Documentos, China a misprint in an English rendering, and Ychiaha Garcilaso. It appears as Chiha on an English map of 1762 reproduced in Winsor, Westward Movement, page 31, 1897. Gallatin spells it Ichiaha, while Williams and Fairbanks, misprint, make it Chiapa. According to both Ranjel and Elvas the army entered it on the 5th of June, although the former makes it four days from Canasagua, while the other makes it five. Biedma says it was four days from Guaxule, and, finally, Garcilaso says it was six days and thirty leagues from Guaxule and on the same river, which was, here at Chiaha, as large as the Guadalquivir at Sevilla. As we have seen, there is a great discrepancy in the statements of the distance from Cofitachiqui to this point. All four authorities agree that the town was on an island in the river, along which they had been marching for 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 Coça, 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 the site of New Echota.” He notes a similarity of sound between Ichiaha and “Echoy” (Itseyĭ), 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 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 persons 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 Irving, Jones, and Shea, locates it at “the site of the modern Rome.” The “island” is interpreted to mean the space between the two streams above the confluence.
Pickett, as has been stated, bases his statements chiefly or entirely upon Indian traditions as obtained from half breeds or traders. How much information can be gathered from such sources in regard to events that transpired three centuries before may be estimated considering how much an illiterate mountaineer of the same region might be able to tell concerning the founding of the Georgia colony. Pickett himself seems to have been entirely unaware of the later Spanish expeditions of Pardo and De Luna through the same country, as he makes no mention of them in his history of Alabama, but ascribes everything to De Soto. Concerning Chiaha he says:
“The most ancient Cherokee Indians, whose tradition has been handed down to us through old Indian traders, disagree as to the precise place [!] where De Soto crossed the Oostanaula to get over into the town of Chiaha—some asserting that he passed over that river seven miles above its junction with the Etowah, and that he marched from thence down to Chiaha, which, all contend, lay immediately at the confluence of the two rivers; while other ancient Indians asserted that he crossed, with his army, immediately opposite the town. But this is not very important. Coupling the Indian traditions with the account Garcellasso and that the Portuguese eyewitness, we are inclined to believe the latter tradition that the expedition continued to advance down the western side of the Oostanaula until they halted in view of the mouth of the Etowah. De Soto, having arrived immediately opposite the great town of Chiaha, now the site of Rome, crossed the Oostanaula,” etc. (History of Alabama, p. 23, reprint, 1896). He overlooks the fact that Chiaha was not a Cherokee town, but belonged to the province of Coça—i. e., the territory of the Creek Indians.
A careful study of the four original narratives makes it plain that the expedition did not descend either the Oostanaula or the Etowah, and that consequently Chiaha could not have been at their junction, the present site of Rome. On the other hand the conclusion is irresistible that the march was down the Chattahoochee from its extreme head springs in the mountains, and that the Chiaha of the narrative was the Lower Creek town of the same name, more commonly known as Chehaw, formerly on this river in the neighborhood of the modern city of Columbus, Georgia, while Coste, in the narrative the next adjacent town, was Kasiʻta, or Cusseta, of the same group of villages. The falls at this point mark the geologic break line where the river changes from a clear, swift current to a broad, slow-moving stream of the lower country. Attracted the fisheries and the fertile bottom lands the Lower Creeks established here their settlement nucleus, and here, up to the beginning of the present century, they had within easy distance of each other on both sides of the river some fifteen towns, among which were Chiaha (Chehaw), Chiahudshi (Little Chehaw), and Kasiʻta (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 the site in ancient days, while the general appearance indicates that at times the adjacent low grounds were submerged or cut off overflows from the main stream. A principal trail crossed here from the Ocmulgee, passing Tuskegee to the Upper Creek towns about the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa in Alabama. At the beginning of the present century this trail was known to the traders as “De Soto’s trace” (Woodward, Reminiscences, p. 76). As the Indian towns frequently shift their position within a limited range on account of epidemics, freshets, or impoverishment of the soil, it is not necessary to assume that they occupied exactly the same sites in 1540 as in 1800, but only that as a group they were in the same general vicinity. Thus Kasiʻta itself was at one period above the falls and at a later period some eight miles below them. Both Kasiʻta and Chiaha were principal towns, with several branch villages.
The time given as occupied on the march from Canasagua to Chiaha would seem too little for the actual distance, but as we have seen, the chroniclers do not agree among themselves. We can easily believe that the Spaniards, buoyed up the certainty of finding food and rest at their next halting place, made better progress along the smooth river trail than while blundering helplessly through the mountains at the direction of a most unwilling guide. If Canasagua was anywhere in the neighborhood of Kenesaw, in Cobb county, the time mentioned in the Elvas or Garcilaso narrative would probably have been sufficient for reaching Chiaha at the falls. The uninhabited country between the two towns was the neutral ground between the two hostile tribes, the Cherokee and the Creeks, and it is worth noting that Kenesaw mountain was made a point on the boundary line afterward established between the two tribes through the mediation of the United States government. 
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 back water from a freshet. In a similar way “The Slue,” east of Flint river in Mitchell county, may have been formed a shifting of the river channel. Two months later, in Alabama, the Spaniards reached a river so swollen 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 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 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 considered 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 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 the mound on the Georgia side is from twenty to thirty feet above the present low-water surface of the stream. About a mile above the mound are the remains of what was known as Jennies island. At ordinary stages of the river no island is there. The eastern channel was blocked 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 Coça,” the territory of the Coosa or Creek Indians. The next town mentioned, Coste (Elvas and Ranjel), Costehe (Biedma) or Acoste (Garcilaso), was Kasiʻta, 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 Kasiʻta with Koasati, a principal Upper Creek town, a short distance below the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. At Coste they crossed the river and continued westward “through many towns subject to the cacique of Coça” (Elvas) until they came to the great town of Coça 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 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 other, known as “Old Coosa,” and probably of more ancient origin, was on the west side of Alabama river, near the present site of Montgomery (see Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend). It was probably the latter which was visited De Soto, and later on De Luna, in 1559. Beyond Coca they passed through another Creek town, apparently lower down on the Alabama, the name of which is variously spelled Ytaua (Elvas, Force translation), Ytava (Elvas, Hakluyt Society translation), or Itaba (Ranjel), and which may be connected with I′tăwă′, Etowah or “Hightower,” the name of a former Cherokee settlement near the head 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 the Creeks.
De Soto’s route beyond the Cherokee country does not concern us except as it throws light upon his previous progress. In the seventeenth chapter the Elvas narrative summarizes that portion from the landing at Tampa bay to a point in southern Alabama as follows: “From the Port de Spirito Santo to Apalache, which is about an hundred leagues, the governor went from east to west; and from Apalache to Cutifachiqui, which are 430 leagues, from the southwest to the northeast; and from Cutifachiqui to Xualla, which are about 250 leagues, from the south to the north; and from Xualla to Tascaluca, which are 250 leagues more, an hundred and ninety of them he traveled from east to west, to wit, to the province of Coça; and the other 60, from Coça 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 is now known that native copper, in such condition as to have been easily workable the Indians, occurs throughout the whole southern Allegheny region from about Anniston, Alabama, into Virginia. Notable finds of native copper have been made on the upper Tallapoosa, in Cleburne county, Alabama; about Ducktown, in Polk county, Tennessee, and in southwestern Virginia, one 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 W. H. Weed, U. S. Geological Survey). We hear again of this “province” after De Soto had reached the Mississippi, and in one place Garcilaso seems to confound it with another province called Quizqui (Ranjel) or Quizquiz (Elvas and Biedma). The name has some resemblance to the Cherokee word tsiskwa, “bird.”
(9) De Luna and Rogel (p. 27): Jones, in his De Soto’s March through Georgia, incorrectly ascribes certain traces of ancient mining operations in the Cherokee country, particularly on Valley river in North Carolina, to the followers of De Luna, “who, in 1560 … came with 300 Spanish soldiers into this region, and spent the summer in eager and laborious search for gold.” Don Tristan de Luna, with fifteen hundred men, landed somewhere about Mobile bay in 1559 with the design of establishing a permanent Spanish settlement in the interior, but owing to a succession of unfortunate happenings the attempt was abandoned the next year. In the course of his wanderings he traversed the country of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Upper Creeks, as is shown 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, II, pp. 257–259).
In 1569 the Jesuit Rogel—called Father John Roger Shea—began mission work among the South Carolina tribes inland from Santa Elena (about Port Royal). The mission, which at first promised well, was abandoned next year, owing to the unwillingness of the Indians to give up their old habits and beliefs. Shea, in his “Catholic Missions,” supposes that these Indians were probably a part of the Cherokee, but a study of the Spanish record in Barcia (Ensayo, pp. 138–141) shows that Rogel penetrated only a short distance from the coast.
(10) Davies’ History of the Carrib Islands (p. 29): The fraudulent character of this work, which is itself an altered translation of a fictitious history Rochefort, is noted Buckingham Smith (Letter of Hernando de Soto, p. 36, 1854), Winsor (Narrative and Critical History, II, p. 289), and Field (Indian Bibliography, p. 95). Says Field: “This book is an example of the most unblushing effrontery. The pseudo author assumes the credit of the performance, with but 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’ treatment 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 Spanish Mines (pp. 29, 31): 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 log cabins extending along the creek, but imbedded several feet below the surface of the ground, upon which large trees were growing, the inference being that the houses had been thus covered successive freshets. The logs had been notched and shaped apparently with sharp metallic tools. Shafts have been discovered on “Valley river, North Carolina, at the bottom of one of which was found, in 1854, a well-preserved windlass of hewn oak timbers, showing traces of having once been banded with iron. Another shaft, passing through hard rock, showed the marks of sharp tools used in the boring. The 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 North 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). 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 inseparably connected with that of the Six Nations, was born in the county Meath, Ireland, in 1715, and died at Johnstown, New York, in 1774. The younger son of an Irish gentleman, he left his native country in 1738 in consequence of a disappointment in love, and emigrated to America, where he undertook the settlement of a large tract of wild land belonging to his uncle, which lay along the south side of the Mohawk river in what was then the wilderness of New York. This brought 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 Nations, over whom he acquired a greater influence than has ever been exercised any other white man before or since. He was formally adopted as a chief the Mohawk tribe. In 1744, being still a very young man, he was placed in charge of British affairs with the Six Nations, and in 1755 was regularly commissioned at their own urgent request as superintendent for the Six Nations and their dependent and allied tribes, a position which he held for the rest of his life. In 1748 he was also placed in command of the New York colonial forces, and two years later was appointed to the governor’s council. At the beginning of the French and Indian war he was commissioned a major-general. He defeated Dieskau at the battle of Lake George, where he was severely wounded early in the action, but refused to leave the field. For this service he received the thanks of Parliament, a grant of £5,000, and a baronetcy. He also distinguished himself at Ticonderoga and Fort Niagara, taking the latter after routing the French army sent to its relief. At the head of his Indian and colonial 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 of 100,000 acres of land north of the Mohawk river. Here he built “Johnson Hall,” which still stands, near the village of Johnstown, which was laid out him with stores, church, and other buildings, at his own expense. At Johnson Hall he lived in the style of an old country baron, dividing his attention between Indian affairs and the raising of blooded stock, and dispensing a princely hospitality to all comers. His influence alone prevented the Six Nations joining Pontiac’s great confederacy against the English. In 1768 he concluded the treaty of Fort Stanwix, which fixed the Ohio as the boundary between the northern colonies and the western tribes, the boundary for which the Indians afterward contended against the Americans until 1795. In 1739 he married a German girl of the Mohawk valley, who died after bearing him three children. Later in life he formed a connection with the sister of Brant, the Mohawk chief. He died from over-exertion at an Indian council. His son, Sir John Johnson, succeeded to his title and estates, and on the breaking out of the Revolution espoused the British side, drawing with him the Mohawks and a great part of the other Six Nations, who abandoned their homes and fled with him to Canada (see W. L. Stone, Life of Sir William Johnson).
(13) Captain John Stuart (p. 44): This distinguished officer was contemporaneous with Sir William Johnson, and sprang from the same adventurous Keltic stock which has furnished so many men conspicuous in our early Indian history. Born in Scotland about the year 1700, he came to America in 1733, was appointed to a subordinate command in the British service, and soon became a favorite with the Indians. When Fort Loudon was taken the Cherokee in 1760, he was second in command, and his rescue 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 Cherokee the treaty of Hard Labor which the Kanawha was fixed as the western boundary of Virginia, Sir William Johnson at the same time concluding a treaty with the northern tribes which the boundary was continued northward along the Ohio. At the outbreak of the Revolution he organized the Cherokee and other southern tribes, with the white loyalists, against the Americans, and was largely responsible for the Indian outrages along the southern border. He planned a general invasion the southern tribes along the whole frontier, in cooperation with a British force to be landed in western Florida, while a British fleet should occupy the attention of the Americans on the coast side and the Tories should rise in the interior. On the discovery of the plot and the subsequent defeat of the Cherokee the Americans, he fled to Florida and soon afterward sailed for England, where he died in 1779.
(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 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 connection with the battle of Tali′wă. During the Revolutionary period she resided at Echota, the national capital, where she held the office of “Beloved Woman,” or “Pretty Woman,” virtue of which she was entitled to speak in councils and to decide the fate of captives. She distinguished herself her constant friendship for the Americans, always using her best effort to bring about peace between them and her own people, and frequently giving timely warning of projected Indian raids, notably on the occasion of the great invasion of the Watauga and Holston settlements in 1776. A Mrs Bean, captured during this incursion, was saved her interposition 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 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 Robertson, who visited her about this time, as “queenly and commanding” in appearance and manner, and her house as furnished in accordance with her high dignity. When among the Arkansas Cherokee in 1819, Nuttall was told that she had introduced the first cows into the Nation, and that 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 Cyclopædia 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 Chickasaw 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 making exploring expeditions across the mountains. After his marriage his wife taught him to read and 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 campaigns against the Cherokee, and in 1777 was appointed agent to reside at their capital, 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 the hostile portion of the tribe early in 1779. Soon 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 1780 built the first stockades on the site which he named Nashborough, now Nashville. Only his force of character was able to hold the infant settlement together in the face of hardships and Indian hostilities, but his tact and firmness he was finally able to make peace with the surrounding tribes, and established the Cumberland settlement upon a secure basis. The Spanish government at one time unsuccessfully attempted to engage him in a plot to cut off the western territory from the United States, but met a patriotic refusal. Having been commissioned 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 Chickasaw and Choctaw. See Ramsey, Tennessee; Roosevelt, Winning of the West; Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography.
(16) General Griffith Rutherford (p. 48): Although this Revolutionary officer 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 Carolina. On the opening of the Revolutionary struggle he became a member of the Provincial Congress and Council of Safety. In June, 1776, he was commissioned a brigadier-general in the American army, and a few months later led his celebrated expedition against the Cherokee, as elsewhere narrated. He rendered other important service in the Revolution, in one battle being taken prisoner the British and held them nearly a year. He afterward served in the state senate of North Carolina, and, subsequently removing to Tennessee, was for some time a member of its territorial council. He died in Tennessee about 1800.
(17) Rutherford’s route (p. 49): The various North Carolina detachments which combined to form Rutherford’s expedition against the Cherokee in the autumn of 1776 organized at different points about the upper Catawba and probably concentrated at Davidson’s fort, now Old fort, in McDowell county. Thence, advancing westward closely upon the line of the present Southern railroad and its Western North Carolina branch, the army crossed the Blue ridge over the Swannanoa gap and went down the Swannanoa to its junction with the French Broad, crossing the latter at the Warrior ford, below the present Asheville; thence up Hominy creek and across the ridge to Pigeon river, crossing it a few miles below the junction of the East and West forks; thence to Richland creek, crossing it just above the present Waynesville; and over the dividing ridge between the present Haywood and Jackson counties to the head of Scott’s creek; thence down that creek “a blind path through a very mountainous bad way,” as Moore’s old narrative has it, to its junction with the Tuckasegee river just below the present Webster; thence, crossing to the west (south) side of the river, the troops followed a main trail down the stream for a few miles until they came to the first Cherokee town, Stekoa, on the site of the farm formerly owned Colonel William H. Thomas, just above the present railroad village of Whittier, Swain county, North Carolina. After destroying the town a detachment left the main body and pursued the fugitives northward on the other side of the river to Oconaluftee river and Soco creek, getting back afterward to the settlements 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 the army ascended Cartoogaja creek, west from the present Franklin, and crossed the Nantahala mountains at Waya gap—where a fight took place—to Nantahala river, probably at the town of the same name, about the present Jarretts station. From here the march was west across the mountain into the present Cherokee county and down Valley river to its junction with the Hiwassee, at the present Murphy. Authorities: Moore narrative and Wilson letter in North Carolina University Magazine, February, 1888; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 164; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I, pp. 300–302; Royce, Cherokee map; personal information from Colonel William H. Thomas, Major James Bryson, whose grandfather was with Rutherford, and Cherokee informants.
(18) Colonel William Christian (p. 50): Colonel William Christian, sometimes 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 Tennessee 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 for peace. In 1782, while upon an expedition against the Ohio tribes, he was captured and burned at the stake.
(19) The great 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 indicated on the maps accompanying Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee and Royce’s Cherokee 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 stage road from Harpers ferry to Knoxville, passing the Big lick in Botetourt 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’s ford, to the Grassy springs near the former residence of Micajah Lea; thence down the Nolichucky to Long creek, up it to its head, and down Dumplin creek nearly to its mouth, where the path bent to the left and crossed French Broad near Buckinghams island. Here a branch left it and went up the West fork of Little Pigeon and across the mountains to the Middle towns on Tuckasegee and the upper Little Tennessee. The main trail continued up Boyd’s creek to its head, and down Ellejoy creek to Little river, crossing near Henry’s place; thence 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 continuing 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 mouth, passing south of Cleveland, through the present Ooltewah and across Chickamauga creek into Georgia and Alabama.
According to Timberlake (Memoirs, with map, 1765), the trail crossed Little Tennessee 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 site. It crossed Holston within a mile of Fort Robinson.
According to Hutching (Topographical Description of America, p. 24, 1778), the road which went through Cumberland gap was the one taken the northern Indians in their incursions into the “Cuttawa” country, and went from Sandusky, on Lake Erie, a direct path to the mouth of Scioto (where Portsmouth now is) and thence across Kentucky to the gap.
(20) Peace towns and towns of refuge (p. 51): Towns of refuge existed among the Cherokee, the Creeks, and probably other Indian tribes, as well as among the ancient Hebrews, the institution being a merciful provision for softening the harshness of the primitive law, which required a life for a life. We learn from Deuteronomy that Moses appointed three cities on the east side of Jordan “that the slayer might flee thither which should kill his neighbor unawares and hated him not in times past, and that fleeing into one of these cities he might live.” It was also ordained that as more territory was conquered from the heathen three additional cities should be thus set aside as havens of refuge for those who should accidentally take human life, and where they should be safe until the matter could be adjusted. The wilful murderer, however, was not to be sheltered, but delivered up to punishment without pity (Deut. IV, 41–43, and XIX, 1–11).
Echota, the ancient Cherokee capital near the mouth of Little Tennessee, was the Cherokee town of refuge, commonly designated as the “white town” or “peace town.” According to Adair, the Cherokee in his time, although extremely degenerate 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 but a short distance away, but was assured the chiefs that he would be killed if he ventured outside the town. He was accordingly obliged to stay a longer time until the tears of the bereaved relatives had been wiped away with presents. In another place the same author tells how a Cherokee, having killed a trader, was pursued and attempted to take refuge in the town, but was driven off into the river as soon as he came in sight the inhabitants, who feared either to have their town polluted the shedding of blood or to provoke the English giving him sanctuary (Adair, American Indians, p. 158, 1775). In 1768 Oconostota, speaking on behalf of the Cherokee delegates who had come to Johnson Hall to make peace with the Iroquois, said: “We come from Chotte, where the wise [white?] house, the house of peace is erected” (treaty record, 1768, New York Colonial Documents, VIII, p. 42, 1857). In 1786 the friendly Cherokee made “Chota” the watchword which the Americans might be able to distinguish them from the hostile Creeks (Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 343). From conversation with old Cherokee it seems probable that in cases where no satisfaction was made the relatives of the man-slayer he continued to reside close within the limits of the town until the next recurrence of the annual Green-corn dance, when a general amnesty was proclaimed.
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 towns were also known as peace towns, from their prominence in peace ceremonials and treaty making. Upon this Adair says: “In almost every Indian nation there are several peaceable towns, which are called ‘old beloved, ancient, holy, or white towns.’ They seem to have been formerly towns of refuge, for it is not in the memory of their oldest people that ever human blood was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and put them to death elsewhere.”—Adair, American Indians, 159. A closely parallel institution seems to have existed among the Seneca. “The Seneca nation, ever the largest, and guarding the western door of the ‘long house,’ which was threatened alike from the north, west, and south, had traditions peculiarly their own, besides those common to the other members of the confederacy. The stronghold or fort, Gau-stra-yea, on the mountain ridge, four miles east of 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 withdrawn, and the hostile parties, having shared the hospitality of the queen, could neither renew hostility or pursuit without the queen’s consent. According to tradition, 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.”—Carrington, in Six Nations of New York, Extra Bulletin Eleventh Census, p. 73, 1892.
(21) Scalping whites (p. 53): To the student, aware how easily the civilized man reverts to his original savagery when brought in close contact with its conditions, it will be no surprise to learn that every barbarous practice of Indian warfare was quickly adopted the white pioneer and soldier and frequently legalized and encouraged 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 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 legal sanction was rare within the English colonies, but mutilation was common and scalping was the rule down to the end of the war of 1812, and has been practiced more or less in almost every Indian war down to the latest. Captain Church, who commanded in King Philip’s war in 1676, states that his men received thirty shillings 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 gratuities upon him, and accordingly he got many a penny 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 Massachusetts 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, discovered ten Indians lying asleep their fire and killed the whole party. After scalping them they stretched the scalps upon hoops and marched 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 met disaster. He discovered and shot a solitary hunter, who was afterward scalped the chaplain of the party, but the Indian managed to kill Lovewell before being overpowered, on which the whites withdrew, but were pursued the tribesmen of the slain hunter, with the result that but sixteen of them got home alive. A famous old ballad of the time tells how
“Our worthy Captain Lovewell among them there did die.
They killed Lieutenant Robbins and wounded good young Frye,
Who was our English chaplain; he many Indians slew,
And some of them he scalped when bullets round him flew.”
When the mission village of Norridgewock was attacked the New England men about the same time, women and children were made to suffer the fate of the warriors. The scholarly missionary, Rasles, author of the Abnaki Dictionary, was shot down at the foot of the cross, where he was afterward found with his body riddled with balls, his skull crushed and scalped, his mouth and eyes filled with earth, his limbs broken, and all his members mutilated—and this white men. The border men of the Revolutionary period and later invariably scalped slain Indians as often as opportunity permitted, and, as has already been shown, both British and American officials encouraged the practice offers of bounties and rewards, even, in the case of the former, when the scalps were those of white people. Our difficulties with the Apache date from a treacherous massacre of them in 1836 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 1864 the Colorado militia under Colonel Chivington attacked a party of Cheyennes camped under the protection of the United States flag, and killed, mutilated, and scalped 170 men, women, and children, bringing the scalps into Denver, where they were paraded in a public hall. One Lieutenant Richmond killed and scalped three women and five children. Scalps were taken American troops in the Modoc war of 1873, and there is now living in the Comanche tribe a woman who was scalped, though not mortally wounded, 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 boy of eight years old was excessively alarmed and could not be kept from screaming out until he got out of the door, and then he ran and hid himself; but as soon as I can converse with them and they are informed who I am they execute any order I give them with eagerness. I inquired particularly of the mothers what could be the reason for this. They said, this town was the remains of several towns who [sic] formerly resided on Tugalo and Keowee, and had been much harassed the whites; that the old people remembered their former situation and suffering, and frequently spoke of them; that these tales were listened to 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 the hand, and spoke to them, they at first could not reply, although one of them understood and spoke English very well.”—Hawkins, manuscript journal, 1796, in library of Georgia Historical Society.
(23) General Alexander McGillivray (p. 56): This famous Creek chieftain, like so many distinguished men of the southern tribes, was of mixed blood, being the son of a Scotch trader, Lachlan McGillivray, a halfbreed woman of influential family, whose father was a French officer of Fort Toulouse. The future chief was born in the Creek Nation about 1740, and died at Pensacola, Florida, in 1793. He was educated at Charleston, studying Latin in addition to the ordinary branches, and after leaving school was placed his father with a mercantile firm in Savannah. He remained but a short time, when he returned to the Creek country, where he soon began to attract attention, becoming a partner in the firm of Panton, Forbes & Leslie, of Pensacola, which had almost a monopoly of the Creek trade. He succeeded to the chieftainship on the death of his mother, who came of ruling stock, but refused to accept the position until called to it a formal council, when he assumed the title of emperor of the Creek Nation. His paternal estates having been confiscated Georgia at the outbreak of the Revolution, he joined the British side with all his warriors, and continued to be a leading instigator in the border hostilities until 1790, when he visited New York with a large retinue and made a treaty of peace with the United States on behalf of his people. President 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 the Tammany society, all the members being in full Indian dress, at which the visitors were much delighted and responded with an Indian dance, while McGillivray was induced to resign his commission as colonel in the Spanish service for a commission of higher grade in the service of the United States. Soon afterward, on account of some opposition, excited Bowles, a renegade white man, he absented himself from his tribe for a time, but was soon recalled, and continued to rule over the Nation until his death.
McGillivray appears to have had a curious mixture of Scotch shrewdness, French love of display, and Indian secretiveness. He fixed his residence at Little Talassee, on the Coosa, a few miles above the present Wetumpka, Alabama, where he 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 his people. On the other hand, he conformed much to the Indian customs; and he managed his negotiations with England, Spain, and the United States with such adroitness that he was able to play off one against the other, holding commissions turn in the service of all three. Woodward, who knew of him later reputation, 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 Leslie, of the trading firm with which he was connected. The balance of testimony, however, seems to leave no doubt that he was an educated as well as an able man, whatever may have been his origin. Authorities: Drake, American Indians; documents in American State Papers, Indian Affairs, I, 1832; Pickett, Alabama, 1896; Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography; Woodward, Reminiscences, p. 59 et passim, 1859.
(24) Governor John Sevier (p. 57): This noted leader and statesman in the pioneer history of Tennessee was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, in 1745, and died at the Creek town of Tukabatchee, in Alabama, in 1815. His father was a French immigrant of good birth and education, the original name of the family being Xavier. The son received a good education, and being naturally remarkably handsome and of polished manner, fine courage, and generous temperament, soon acquired a remarkable influence over the rough border men with whom his lot was cast and among whom he was afterward affectionately known as “Chucky Jack.” To the Cherokee he was known as Tsan-usdi′, “Little John.” After some service against the Indians on the Virginia frontier he removed to the new Watauga settlement in Tennessee, in 1772, and at once became prominently identified with its affairs. He took part in Dunmore’s war in 1774 and, afterward, from the opening of the Revolution in 1775 until the close of the Indian wars in Tennessee—a period extending over nearly twenty years—was the acknowledged leader or organizer in every important Indian campaign along the Tennessee border. His services in this connection have been already noted. He also commanded one wing of the American forces at the battle of King’s mountain in 1780, and in 1783 led a body of mountain men to the assistance of the patriots under Marion. At one time during the Revolution a Tory plot to assassinate him was revealed the wife of the principal conspirator. In 1779 he had been commissioned as commander of the militia of Washington county, North Carolina—the nucleus of the present state of Tennessee—a position which he had already held common consent. Shortly after the close of the Revolution he held for a short time the office of governor of the seceding “state of Franklin,” for which he was arrested and brought to trial the government of North Carolina, but made his escape, when the matter was allowed to drop. The question of jurisdiction was finally settled in 1790, when North Carolina ceded the disputed territory to the general government. Before this Sevier had been commissioned as brigadier-general. When Tennessee was admitted as a state in 1796 he was elected its first (state) governor, serving three terms, or six years. In 1803 he was again reelected, serving three more terms. In 1811 he was elected to Congress, where he served two terms and was reelected to a third, but died before he could take his seat, having contracted a fever while on duty as a boundary commissioner among the Creeks, being then in his seventy-first year. For more than forty years he had been continuously in the service of his country, and no man of his state was ever more loved and respected. In the prime of his manhood he was reputed the handsomest man and the best Indian fighter in Tennessee.
(25) Hopewell, South 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 General Andrew Pickens, who resided there from the close of the Revolution until his death in 1817. It was situated on the northern edge of the present Anderson county, on the east side of Keowee river, opposite and a short distance below the entrance of Little river, and about three miles from the present Pendleton. In sight of it, on the opposite side of Keowee, was the old Cherokee town of Seneca, destroyed the Americans in 1776. Important treaties were made here with the Cherokee in 1785, and with the Chickasaw in 1786.
(26) Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (p. 61): This distinguished soldier, statesman, and author, was born in Warren county, North Carolina, in 1754, and died at Hawkinsville, Georgia, in 1816. His father, Colonel Philemon Hawkins, organized and commanded a regiment in the Revolutionary war, and was a member of the convention that ratified the national constitution. At the outbreak of the Revolution young Hawkins was a student at Princeton, but offered his services to the American cause, and on account of his knowledge of French and other modern languages was appointed Washington his staff interpreter for communicating with the French officers cooperating with the American army. He took part in several engagements and was afterward appointed commissioner for procuring war supplies abroad. After the close of the war he was elected to Congress, and in 1785 was appointed on the commission which negotiated at Hopewell the first federal treaty with the Cherokee. He served a second term in the House and another in the Senate, and in 1796 was appointed superintendent for all the Indians south of the Ohio. He thereupon removed to the Creek country and established himself in 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 which North Carolina ceded Tennessee to the United States in 1790, and as Indian superintendent helped to negotiate seven different treaties with the southern tribes. He had an extensive knowledge of the customs and language of the Creeks, and his “Sketch of the Creek Country,” written in 1799 and published 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; II, 1834; Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend; Appleton, Cyclopædia 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 one 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 conquering Louisiana from Spain. A United States officer was sent to arrest him, but returned without executing his mission on being warned 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 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, 1809–1815.
(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 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 Papers, Indian Affairs, I, 1832; Drake, Indians 570, 571, 1880; Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography.
(29) Cherokee clans, (p. 74): The Cherokee have seven clans, viz: Ani′-Wa′ʻya, Wolf; Ani′-Kawĭ′, Deer; Ani′-Tsi′skwa, Bird; Ani′-Wâ′dĭ, Paint; Ani′-Sahâ′nĭ; Ani′-Ga′tâge′wĭ; Ani′-Gilâ′hĭ. 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 marriage between persons of the same clan is still enforced among the conservative full-bloods. The “seven clans” are frequently mentioned in the sacred formulas, and even in some of the tribal laws promulgated within the century. There is evidence that originally there were fourteen, which 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 paper.
(30) Wayne’s victory, 1794 (p. 78): After the successive failures of Harmar and St Clair in their efforts against the Ohio tribes the chief command was assigned, in 1793, to Major-General Anthony Wayne, who had already distinguished himself his fighting qualities during the Revolution. Having built Fort Recovery on the site of St Clair’s defeat, he made that post his headquarters through the winter of 1793–94. In the summer of 1794 he advanced down the Maumee with an army of 3,000 men, two-thirds of whom were regulars. On August 20 he encountered the confederated Indian forces near the head of the Maumee rapids at a point known as the Fallen Timbers and defeated them with great slaughter, the pursuit being followed up the cavalry until the Indians took refuge under the guns of the British garrison at Fort Miami, just below the rapids. His own loss was only 33 killed and 100 wounded, of whom 11 afterward died of their wounds. The loss of the Indians and their white auxiliaries was believed to be more than double this. The Indian force was supposed to number 2,000, while, on account of the impetuosity of Wayne’s charge, the number of his troops actually engaged did not exceed 900. On account of this defeat and the subsequent devastation of their towns and fields the victorious army the Indians were compelled to sue for peace, which was granted the treaty concluded at Greenville, Ohio, August 3, 1795, which the tribes represented ceded away 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 Cyclopædia of American Biography.
(31) First things of civilization (p. 83): We usually find that the first things adopted the Indian from his white neighbor are improved weapons and cutting tools, with trinkets and articles of personal adornment. After a 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 Haywood, guns appear to have been first introduced among the Cherokee about the year 1700 or 1710, although he himself puts the date much earlier. Horses were probably not owned in any great number before the marking out of the horse-path for traders from Augusta about 1740. The Cherokee, however, took kindly to the animal, and before the beginning of the war of 1760 had a “prodigious number.” In spite of their great losses at that time they had so far recovered in 1775 that almost every man then had from two to a dozen (Adair, p. 231). In the border wars following the Revolution companies of hundreds of mounted Cherokee and Creeks sometimes invaded the settlements. The cow is called wa′ka the Cherokee and waga the Creeks, indicating that their first knowledge of it came through the Spaniards. Nuttall states that it was first introduced among the Cherokee the celebrated Nancy Ward (Travels, p. 130). It was not in such favor as the horse, being valuable chiefly for food, of which at that time there was an abundant supply from the wild game. A potent reason for its avoidance was the Indian belief that the eating of the flesh of a slow-moving animal breeds a corresponding sluggishness in the eater. The same argument applied even more strongly to the hog, and to this day a few of the old conservatives among the East Cherokee will have nothing to do with beef, pork, milk, or butter. Nevertheless, Bartram tells of a trader in the Cherokee country as early as 1775 who had a stock of cattle, and whose Indian wife had learned to make butter and cheese (Travels, p. 347). In 1796 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 1700 as the Indian peach, the Indians claimed as their own, asserting that they had had it before the whites came to America (Lawson, Carolina, p. 182, ed. 1860). Potatoes were introduced early and were so much esteemed that, according to one old informant, the Indians in Georgia, before the Removal, “lived on them.” Coffee came later, and the same informant remembered when the full-bloods still considered 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 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 Agent Hawkins in 1801 to make wheels and looms for the Creeks (Hawkins, 1801, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, I, p. 647). Wafford, in his boyhood, say about 1815, knew an old man named Tsĭ′nawĭ 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 wheel and loom ever made among the mountain Cherokee, or perhaps in the Nation, long before Wafford’s time, or “about the time the Cherokee began to drop their silver ornaments and go to work.” In 1785 the commissioners for the Hopewell treaty reported that some of the Cherokee women had lately learned to spin, and many were very desirous of instruction in the raising, spinning, and weaving of flax, cotton, and wool (Hopewell Commissioners’ Report, 1785, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, I, p. 39). In accordance with their recommendation the next treaty made with the tribe, in 1791, contained a provision for 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 Cherokee agency the wheel, the loom, and the plow were in pretty general use, and farming, manufacturing, and stock raising were the principal topics of conversation among men and women (Hawkins manuscripts, Treaty Commission of 1801).
(32) Colonel Return J. Meigs (p. 84): Return Jonathan Meigs was born in Middletown, Connecticut, December 17, 1734, and died at the Cherokee agency in Tennessee, 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 public service. The subject of this sketch volunteered immediately after the opening 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 Congress, and his conduct at the head of his regiment at Stony point won the favorable 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 regulations for the pioneer settlers. In 1801 he was appointed agent for the Cherokee and took up his residence at the agency at Tellico blockhouse, opposite the mouth of Tellico river, in Tennessee, continuing to serve in that capacity until his death. He was succeeded as agent Governor McMinn, of Tennessee. In the course of twenty-two years he negotiated several treaties with the Cherokee and did much to further the work of civilization among them and to defend them against unjust aggression. He also wrote a journal of the expedition to Quebec. His grandson of the same name was special agent for the Cherokee and Creeks in 1834, afterward achieving a reputation in the legal profession both in Tennessee and in the District of Columbia. Authorities: Appleton, Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894; Royce, Cherokee Nation, in Fifth Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, 1888; documents in American State Papers, Indian Affairs, I and II.
(33) 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 5, 1813. His name signifies a “flying panther”—i. e., a meteor. He came of fighting stock good even in a tribe distinguished for its warlike qualities, his father and elder brother having been killed in battle with the whites. His mother is said to have died among the Cherokee. Tecumtha is first heard of as taking part in an engagement with the Kentuckians when about twenty years old, and in a few years he had secured recognition as the ablest leader among the allied tribes. It is said that he took part in every important engagement with the Americans from the time of Harmar’s defeat in 1790 until the battle in which he lost his life. When about thirty years of age he conceived the idea of uniting the tribes northwest of the Ohio, as Pontiac had united them before, in a great confederacy to resist the further advance of the Americans, taking the stand that the whole territory between the Ohio and the Mississippi belonged to all these tribes in common and that no one tribe had the right to sell any portion of it without the consent of the others. The refusal of the government to admit this principle led him to take active steps to unite the tribes upon that basis, in which he was seconded his brother, the Prophet, who supplemented Tecumtha’s eloquence with his own claims to supernatural revelation. In the summer of 1810 Tecumtha held a conference with Governor Harrison at Vincennes to protest against a recent treaty cession, and finding after exhausting his arguments that the effort was fruitless, he closed the debate with the words: “The President is far off and may sit in his town and drink his wine, but you and I will have to fight it out.” Both sides at once prepared for war, Tecumtha going south to enlist the aid of the Creek, Choctaw, and other southern tribes, while Harrison took advantage of his absence to force the issue marching against the Prophet’s town on the Tippecanoe river, where the hostile warriors from a dozen tribes had gathered. A battle fought before daybreak of November 6, 1811, resulted in the defeat of the Indians and the scattering of their forces. Tecumtha returned to find his plans brought to naught for the time, but the opening of the war between the United States and England a few months later enabled him to rally the confederated tribes once more to the support of the British against the Americans. As a commissioned brigadier-general in the British service he commanded 2,000 warriors in the war of 1812, distinguishing himself no less his bravery than his humanity in preventing outrages and protecting prisoners from massacre, at one time saving the lives of four hundred American prisoners who had been taken in ambush near Fort Meigs and were unable to make longer resistance. He was wounded at Maguagua, where nearly four hundred were killed and wounded on both sides. He covered the British retreat after the battle of Lake Erie, and, refusing to retreat farther, compelled the British General Proctor to make a stand at the Thames river. Almost the whole force of the American attack fell on Tecumtha’s division. Early in the engagement he was shot through the arm, but continued to fight desperately until he received a bullet in the head and fell dead, surrounded the bodies of 120 of his slain warriors. The services of Tecumtha and his Indians to the British cause have been recognized an English historian, who says, “but for them it is probable we should not now have a Canada.” Authorities: Drake, Indians, ed. 1880; Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894; Eggleston, Tecumseh and the Shawnee Prophet.
(34) Fort Mims Massacre, 1813 (p. 89): Fort Mims, 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 about 200 volunteer troops under Major Daniel Beasley, with refugees from the neighboring settlement, making a total at the time of its destruction of 553 men, women, and children. Being carelessly guarded, it was surprised on the morning of August 30 about 1,000 Creek warriors led the mixed-blood chief, William Weatherford, who rushed in at the open gate, and, after a stout but hopeless resistance the garrison, massacred all within, with the exception of the few negroes and halfbreeds, whom they spared, and about a dozen whites who made their escape. The Indian loss is unknown, but was very heavy, as the fight continued at close quarters until the buildings were fired over the heads of the defenders. The unfortunate tragedy was due entirely to the carelessness of the commanding officer, who had been repeatedly warned that the Indians were about, and at the very moment of the attack a negro was tied up waiting to be flogged for reporting that he had the day before seen a number of painted warriors lurking a short distance outside the stockade. Authorities: Pickett, Alabama, ed. 1896; Hamilton and Owen, note, p. 170, in Transactions Alabama Historical Society, II, 1898; Agent Hawkins’s report, 1813, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, I, p. 853; Drake, Indians, ed. 1880. The figures given are those of Pickett, which in this instance seem most correct, while Drake’s are evidently exaggerated.
(35) General William McIntosh (p. 98): This noted halfbreed chief of the Lower Creeks was the son of a Scotch officer in the British army an Indian mother, and was born at the Creek town of Coweta in Alabama, on the lower Chattahoochee, nearly opposite the present city of Columbus, Georgia, and killed at the same place 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 warriors on the government side against the Seminole and was commissioned as major. His common title of general belonged to him only courtesy. In 1821 he was the principal supporter of the treaty of Indian springs, which a large tract between the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers was ceded. The treaty was repudiated 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 death, together with his principal underlings, in accordance with a Creek law making death the penalty for undertaking to sell lands without the consent of the national council. About the same time he was publicly exposed and denounced in the Cherokee council for an attempt to bribe John Ross and other chiefs of the Cherokee in the same fashion. At daylight of April 30, 1825, a hundred or more warriors sent the Creek national council surrounded his house and, after allowing the women and children to come out, set fire to it and shot McIntosh and another chief as they tried to escape. He left three wives, one of whom was a Cherokee. Authorities: Drake, Indians, ed. 1880; Letters from McIntosh’s son and widows, 1825, in American State Papers: Indian Affairs, II, pp. 764 and 768.
(36) William 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. Weatherford was born in the Creek Nation about 1780 and died on Little river, in Monroe county, Alabama, in 1826. He came first into prominence leading the attack upon Fort Mims, August 30, 1813, which resulted in the destruction of the fort and the massacre of over five hundred inmates. It is maintained, with apparent truth, that he did his best to prevent the excesses which followed the 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 narrowly escaped capture the troops under General Claiborne. When the last hope of the Creeks had been destroyed and their power of resistance broken the bloody battle of the Horseshoe bend, March 27, 1814, Weatherford voluntarily walked into General Jackson’s headquarters and surrendered, creating such an impression 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. After the treaty he retired to a plantation in Monroe county, where he lived in comfort and was greatly respected his white neighbors until his death. As an illustration of his courage it is told how he once, single-handed, arrested two murderers immediately after the crime, when the local justice and a large crowd of standers were afraid to approach them. Jackson declared him to be as high toned and fearless as any man he had ever met. In person he was tall, straight, and well proportioned, with features indicating intelligence, bravery, and enterprise. Authorities: Pickett, Alabama, 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, Connecticut, April 20, 1718, and died at Northampton, Massachusetts, October 9, 1747. He entered Yale college in 1739, but was expelled on account of his religious opinions. In 1742 he was licensed as a preacher and the next year began work as missionary to the Mahican Indians of the village of Kaunameek, twenty miles from Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He persuaded them to remove to Stockbridge, where he put them in charge of a resident minister, after which he took up work with good result among the Delaware and other tribes on the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. In 1747 his health failed and he was forced to retire to Northampton, where he died a few months later. He wrote a journal and an account of his missionary labors at Kaunameek. His later mission work was taken up and continued his brother. Authority: Appleton’s Cyclopædia 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 Park Hill, in the Cherokee Nation west, April 20, 1859. Having removed to Vermont with his father while still a child, he graduated with the honors of his class at the state university at Burlington in 1819, and after finishing a course at the theological seminary at Andover was ordained to the ministry in 1825. A week later, with his newly wedded bride, he left Boston to begin mission work among the Cherokee, and arrived in October at the mission of the American board, at Brainerd, Tennessee, where he remained until the end of 1827. He then, with his wife, removed to New Echota, in Georgia, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, where he was the principal worker in the establishment of the Cherokee Phœnix, the first newspaper printed in the Cherokee language and alphabet. In 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 the Georgia authorities for refusing to take a special oath of allegiance to the state. He was released, but was rearrested soon afterward, confined in the state penitentiary, and forced to wear prison garb, until January, 1833, notwithstanding a decision the Supreme Court of the United States, nearly a year before, that his imprisonment was a violation of the law of the land. The Cherokee Phœnix having been suspended and the Cherokee Nation brought into disorder the extension over it of the state laws, he then returned to Brainerd, which was beyond the limits of Georgia. In 1835 he removed to the Indian Territory, whither the Arkansas Cherokee had already gone, and after short sojourns at Dwight and Union missions took up his final residence at Park Hill in December, 1836. He had already set up his mission press at Union, printing both in the Cherokee and the Creek languages, and on establishing himself at Park Hill he 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 preparation and publication of books in the Cherokee language” (Letter in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 356, 1843). The list of his Cherokee publications (first editions) under his own name in Pilling’s Bibliography comprises about twenty titles, including the Bible, hymn books, tracts, and almanacs in addition to the Phœnix 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, especially those portions of the Scripture which are herein not assigned to any name. Indeed it is safe to say that during the thirty-four years of his connection with the Cherokee but little was done in the way of translating in which he had not a share.” He also began a Cherokee geography and had both a grammar and a dictionary of the language under way when his work was interrupted his arrest. The manuscripts, 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 Phœnix, etc.), 1888; Drake, Indians, ed. 1880: Report of Indian Commissioner, 1843 (Worcester letter).
(39) Death penalty for selling lands (p. 107): In 1820 the Cherokee 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 the Creeks 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 the united Nation in the West in 1842, appear as follows in the compilation authorized in 1866:
“An act against sale of land, etc.: Whereas, The peace and prosperity of Indian nations are frequently sacrificed or placed in jeopardy 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: Therefore, …
“Be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall, contrary to the will and consent of the legislative council of this nation, in general council convened, enter into a treaty with any commissioner or commissioners of the United States, or any officer or officers instructed for the purpose, and agree to cede, exchange, or dispose in any way any part or portion of the lands belonging to or claimed 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 aforesaid judges are authorized to call a court for the trial of any person or persons so transgressing. 
“Be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall violate the provisions of the second section of this act, and shall resist or refuse to appear at the place designated for trial, or abscond, are here declared to be outlaws; and any person or persons, citizens of this nation, may kill him or them so offending at any time and in any manner most convenient, within the limits of this nation, and shall not be held accountable to the laws for the same….
“Be it further enacted, That no treaty shall be binding upon this nation which shall not be ratified the general council, and approved the principal chief of the nation. December 2, 1842.”—Laws of the Cherokee Nation, 1868.
(40) The Cherokee syllabary (p. 110): In the various schemes of symbolic thought representation, from the simple pictograph of the primitive man to the finished 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 Egyptian, Phœnician, 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 having no knowledge of the philosophy of language, being not even acquainted with English, his first attempts were naturally enough in the direction of the crude Indian pictograph. He set out to devise a symbol for each word of the language, and after several years of experiment, finding this an utterly hopeless task, he threw aside the thousands of characters which he had carved or scratched upon pieces of bark, and started in anew to study the construction of the language itself. By attentive observation for another long period he finally discovered that the sounds in the words used the Cherokee in their daily conversation and their public speeches could be analyzed and classified, and that the thousands of possible words were all formed from varying combinations of hardly more than a hundred distinct syllables. Having thoroughly tested his discovery until satisfied of its correctness, 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-five ready-made characters, to which must be added a dozen or more produced modification of the same originals, he designed from his own imagination as many more as were necessary to his purpose, making eighty-five in all. The complete syllabary, as first elaborated, would have required some one hundred and fifteen characters, but after much hard study over the hissing sound in its various combinations, he hit upon the expedient of representing the sound means of a distinct character—the exact equivalent of our letter s—whenever it formed the initial of a syllable. Says Gallatin, “It wanted but one step more, and to have also given a distinct character to each consonant, to reduce the whole number to sixteen, and to have had an alphabet similar to ours. In practice, however, and as applied to his own language, the superiority of Guess’s alphabet is manifest, and has been fully proved experience. You must indeed learn and remember eighty-five characters instead of twenty-five [sic]. But this once accomplished, the education of the pupil is completed; he can read and he is perfect in his orthography without making it the subject of a distinct study. The boy learns in a few weeks that which occupies two years of the time of ours.” Says Phillips: “In my own observation Indian children will take one or two, at times several, years to master the English printed and written language, but in a few days can read and write in Cherokee. They do the latter, in fact, as soon as they learn to shape letters. As soon as they master the alphabet they have got rid of all the perplexing questions in orthography that puzzle the brains of our children. It is not too much to say that a child will learn in a month, the same effort, as thoroughly in the language of Sequoyah, that which in ours consumes the time of our children for at least two years.”
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 a-da-nûñ-ta, but pronounced in three syllables, adanta. In the same way tsâ-lûñ-i-yu-sti (“like tobacco,” the cardinal flower) is pronounced tsâliyustĭ. There are also, as in other languages, a number of minute sound variations not indicated in the written word, so that it is necessary to have heard the language spoken in order to read with correct 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. Authorities: Gallatin, Synopsis of the Indian Tribes, in Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc, II, 1836; Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper’s Magazine, September, 1870; Pilling, Bibliography of Iroquoian Languages (article on Guess and plate of syllabary), 1888; author’s personal information.
(41) Southern gold fields (p. 116): Almost every valuable mineral and crystal known to the manufacturer or the lapidary is found in the southern Alleghenies, although, so far as present knowledge goes, but few of these occur in paying quantities. It is probable, however, that this estimate may change with improved methods and enlarged railroad facilities. Leaving out of account the earlier operations 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 maybe called the American period appears to be that given Jefferson, writing in 1781, of a lump of ore found in Virginia, which yielded seventeen pennyweights of gold. This was probably not the earliest, however, as we find doubtful references to gold discoveries in both Carolinas before the Revolution. The first mint returns of gold were made from North Carolina in 1793, and from South Carolina in 1829, although gold is certainly known to have been found in the latter state some years earlier. The earliest gold records for the other southern states are, approximately, Georgia (near Dahlonega), 1815–1820; Alabama, 1830; Tennessee (Coco creek, Monroe county), 1831; Maryland (Montgomery county), 1849. Systematic tracing of gold belts southward from North Carolina began in 1829, and speedily resulted in the forcible eviction of the Cherokee from the gold-bearing region. Most of the precious metal was procured from placers or alluvial deposits a simple process of digging and washing. Very little quartz mining has yet been attempted, and that usually 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 accustomed 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 circulation, and miners were accustomed to carry about with them quills filled with gold, and a pair of small hand scales, on which they weighed out gold at regular rates; for instance, 3½ grains of gold was the customary equivalent of a pint of whisky.” For a number of years, about 1830 and later, a man named Bechtler coined gold on his own account in North 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 Dahlonega in 1838 and maintained for some years. From 1804 to 1827 all the gold produced in the United States came from North Carolina, although the total amounted to but $110,000. The discovery of the rich deposits in California checked mining operations in the south, and the civil war brought about an almost complete suspension, from which there is hardly yet a revival. According to the best official estimates the gold production of the southern Allegheny region for the century from 1799 to 1898, inclusive, has been something over $46,000,000, distributed as follows:
|Virginia, slightly in excess of
|Alabama, slightly in excess of
|Tennessee, slightly in excess of
|Total, slightly in excess of
Authorities: 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 3, 1896; Nitze, Gold Mining and Metallurgy in the Southern States, in North Carolina Geological Survey Report, republished in Mineral Resources of the United States, Twentieth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, part 6, 1899; Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, 1849.
(42) Extension of Georgia laws, 1830 (p. 117): “It is here ordained that all the laws of Georgia are extended over the Cherokee country; that after the first day of June, 1830, all Indians then and at that time residing in said territory, shall be liable and subject to such laws and regulations as the legislature may hereafter prescribe; that all laws, usages, and customs made and established and enforced in the said territory, the said Cherokee Indians, be, and the same are here, on and after the 1st day of June, 1830, declared null and void; and no Indian, or descendant of an Indian, residing within the Creek or Cherokee nations of Indians, shall be deemed a competent witness or party to any suit in any court where a white man is a defendant.”—Extract from the act passed the Georgia legislature on December 20, 1828, “to add the territory within this state and occupied the Cherokee Indians to the counties of DeKalb et al., and to extend the laws of this state over the same.” Authorities: Drake, Indians, p. 439, ed. 1880; Royce, Cherokee Nation of Indians, in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 260, 1888.
(43) Removal forts, 1838 (p. 130): For collecting the Cherokee preparatory to the Removal, the following stockade forts were built: In North Carolina, Fort Lindsay, 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 Valleytown, in Cherokee county; Fort Butler, at Murphy, in the 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 Cass, at Calhoun, on Hiwassee river, in McMinn county. In Alabama, Fort Turkeytown, on Coosa river, at Center, in Cherokee county. Authority: Author’s personal information.
(44) McNair’s grave, (p. 132): Just inside the Tennessee line, where the Conasauga 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 the Removal was in progress, possibly while waiting in the stockade camp. The inscription, with details, is given from information kindly furnished Mr D. K. Dunn of Conasauga, Tennessee, in a letter dated August 16, 1890:
“Sacred to the memory of David and Delilah A. McNair, who departed this life, the former on the 15th of August, 1836, and the latter on the 30th of November, 1838. Their children, being members of the Cherokee Nation and having to go with their people to the West, do leave this monument, not only to show their regard for their parents, but to guard their sacred ashes against the unhallowed intrusion of the white man.”
(45) President Samuel Houston, (p. 145): This remarkable man was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, March 2, 1793, and died at Huntsville, Texas, July 25, 1863. Of strangely versatile, but forceful, character, he occupies a unique position in American 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, but the simple facts are of sufficient interest in themselves without the aid of fictitious embellishment. To the Cherokee, whom he loved so well, he was known as Kâ′lanû, “The Raven,” an old war title in the tribe.
His father having died when the boy was nine years old, his widowed mother removed with him to Tennessee, opposite the territory of the Cherokee, whose boundary was then the Tennessee river. Here he worked on the farm, attending school at intervals; but, being of adventurous disposition, he left home when sixteen years old, and, crossing over the river, joined the Cherokee, among whom he soon became a great favorite, being adopted into the family of Chief Jolly, from whom the island at the mouth of Hiwassee takes its name. After three years of this life, during which time he wore the Indian dress and learned the Indian language, he returned to civilization and enlisted as a private soldier under Jackson in the Creek war. He soon attracted favorable notice and was promoted to the rank of ensign. By striking bravery at the bloody battle of Horseshoe bend, where he scaled the breastworks with an arrow in his thigh and led his men into the thick of the enemy, he won the lasting 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 Calhoun, then Secretary of War. An official investigation, held at his demand, resulted in his exoneration.
Removing to Nashville, he began the study of law, and, being shortly afterward admitted to the bar, set up in practice at Lebanon. Within five years he was successively district attorney and adjutant-general and major-general of state troops. In 1823 he was elected to Congress, serving two terms, at the end of which, in 1827, he was elected governor of Tennessee an overwhelming majority, being then thirty-four years of age. Shortly before this time he had fought and wounded General White in a duel. In January, 1829, he married a young lady residing near Nashville, but two months later, without a word of explanation to any outsider, he left her, resigned his governorship and other official dignities, and left the state forever, to rejoin his old friends, the Cherokee, in the West. For years the reason for this strange conduct was a secret, and Houston himself always refused to talk of it, but it is now understood 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 the over-persuasions of her parents.
From Tennessee he went to Indian Territory, whither a large part of the Cherokee 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 disappointment 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 manhood 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, Fort Gibson, and Fort Coffee. In the meantime his former wife in Tennessee had obtained a divorce, and Houston being thus free once more soon after married Talihina, the youngest daughter of a prominent mixed-blood Cherokee named Rogers, who resided near Fort Gibson. She was the niece of Houston’s adopted father, Chief Jolly, and he had known her when a boy in the old Nation. Being a beautiful girl, and educated above her surroundings, she became a welcome guest wherever her husband was received. He started a trading store near Webbers Falls, but continued in his dissipated habits until recalled to his senses the outcome of a drunken affray in which he assaulted his adopted father, the old chief, and was himself felled to the ground unconscious. Upon recovery from his injuries he made a public apology for his conduct and thenceforward led a sober life.
In 1832 he visited Washington in the interest of the western Cherokee, calling in Indian costume upon President Jackson, who received him with old-time friendship. Being accused while there of connection with a fraudulent Indian contract, he administered a severe beating to his accuser, a member of Congress. For this he was fined $500 and reprimanded the bar of the House, but Jackson remitted the fine. Soon after his return to the West he removed to Texas to take part in the agitation just started against Mexican rule. He was a member of the convention which 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 he defeated with 750 men Santa Ana’s army of 1,800, inflicting upon the Mexicans the terrible loss of 630 killed and 730 prisoners, among whom was Santa Ana himself. Houston received a severe wound in the engagement. In the autumn of the same year he was elected first president of the republic of Texas, receiving more than four-fifths of the votes cast. He served two years and retired at the end of his term, leaving the country on good terms with both Mexico and the Indian tribes, and with its notes at par. He was immediately elected to the Texas congress and served in that capacity until 1841, when he was reelected president. It was during these years that he made his steadfast fight in behalf of the Texas Cherokee, as is narrated elsewhere, supporting their cause without wavering, at the risk of his own popularity and position. He frequently declared that no treaty made and carried out in good faith had ever been violated Indians. His Cherokee wife having died some time before, he was again married in 1840, this time to a lady from Alabama, who exercised over him a restraining and ennobling influence through the stormy vicissitudes of his eventful life. In June, 1842, he vetoed a bill making him dictator for the purpose of resisting a threatened invasion from Mexico.
On 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 seat as governor, to which position he had just been elected. From 1852 to 1860 his name was three times presented before national presidential nominating conventions, the last time receiving 57 votes. He had taken issue with the Democratic majority throughout his term in the Senate, and when Texas passed the secession ordinance in February, 1861, being an uncompromising Union man, he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy and was accordingly deposed from the office of governor, declining the proffered aid of federal troops to keep him in his seat. Unwilling either to fight against the Union or to take sides against his friends, he held aloof from the great struggle, and remained in silent retirement until his death, two years later. No other man in American history has left such a record of continuous election to high office while steadily holding to his own convictions in the face of strong popular opposition. Authorities: Appleton’s Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894; Bonnell, Texas, 1840; Thrall, Texas, 1876; Lossing, Field Book of the War of 1812, 1869; author’s personal information; various periodical and newspaper articles.
(46) Chief John Ross (p. 151): This great chief of the Cherokee, 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 Cherokee woman whose father, John McDonald, was also from Scotland. He was born at or near the family residence at Rossville, Georgia, just across the line from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a boy, he was known among the Cherokee as Tsan-usdi′, “Little John,” but after arriving at manhood was called Guwi′sguwĭ′, the name of a rare migratory bird, of large size and white or grayish plumage, said to have appeared formerly at long intervals in the old Cherokee country. It may have been the egret or the swan. He was educated at Kingston, Tennessee, and began his public career when barely nineteen years of age. His first wife, a full-blood Cherokee woman, died in consequence of the hardships of the Removal while on the western march and was buried at Little Rock, Arkansas. Some years later he married again, this time to a Miss Stapler of Wilmington, Delaware, the marriage taking place in Philadelphia (author’s personal information from Mr Allen Ross, son of John Ross; see also Meredith, “The Cherokees,” in the Five Civilized Tribes, Extra Bulletin Eleventh Census, 1894.) Cooweescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation west has been named in his honor. The following biographic facts are taken from the panegyric in his honor, passed the national council of the Cherokee, on hearing of his death, “as feebly expressive of the loss they have sustained.”
John Ross was born October 3, 1790, and died in the city of Washington, August 1, 1866, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His official career began in 1809, when he was intrusted 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, “furnishing 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 Cherokee 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 appears on the statute book of the Cherokee Nation as president of the national committee, and is attached to an ordinance which looked to the improvement of the Cherokee people, providing for the introduction into the Nation of schoolmasters, 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 convention which adopted the constitution of that year. That constitution, it is believed, is the first effort at a regular government, with distinct branches and powers defined, ever made and carried into effect 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 western Cherokees as one people and in the adoption of the present constitution.”
Concerning the events of the civil war and the official attempt to depose Ross from his authority, they state that these occurrences, with many others in their trying history as a people, are confidently committed to the future page of the historian. “It is enough to know that the treaty negotiated at Washington in 1866 bore the full and just recognition of John Ross’ name as principal chief of the Cherokee nation.”
The summing up of the panegyric is a splendid tribute to a splendid manhood:
“Blessed with a fine constitution and a vigorous mind, John Ross had the physical ability to follow the path of duty wherever it led. No danger appalled him. He never faltered in supporting what he believed to be right, but clung to it with a steadiness of purpose which alone could have sprung from the clearest convictions of rectitude. He never sacrificed the interests of his nation to expediency. He never lost sight of the welfare of the people. For them he labored daily for a long life, and upon them 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 hospitality, 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 Cherokee people for nearly half a century, while his example in the daily walks of life will linger in the future and whisper words of hope, temperance, and charity in the years of posterity.”
Resolutions were also passed for 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. 156): This Cherokee secret society, which has recently achieved some newspaper prominence its championship of Cherokee autonomy, derives its name—properly Kĭtu′hwă, but commonly spelled Ketoowah in English print—from the ancient town in the old Nation which formed the nucleus of the most conservative element of the tribe and sometimes gave a name to the Nation itself (see Kĭtu′hwagĭ, under Tribal Synonyms). A strong band of comradeship, if not a regular society organization, appears to have existed among the warriors and leading men of the various settlements of the Kituhwa district from a remote period, so that the name is even now used in councils as indicative of genuine Cherokee feeling in its highest patriotic form. When, some years ago, delegates from the western Nation visited the East Cherokee to invite them to join their more prosperous brethren beyond the Mississippi, the speaker for the delegates expressed their fraternal feeling for their separated kinsmen saying in his opening speech, “We are all Kituhwa people” (Ani′-Kĭtu′hwagĭ). The Ketoowah society in the Cherokee Nation west was organized shortly before the civil war John B. Jones, son of the missionary, Evan Jones, and an adopted citizen of the Nation, as a secret society for the ostensible purpose of cultivating a national feeling among the full-bloods, in opposition to the innovating tendencies of the mixed-blood 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-bloods and whites. It extended to the Creeks, and its members in both tribes rendered good service to the Union cause throughout the war. They were frequently known as “Pin Indians,” for a reason explained below. Since the close of the great struggle the society has distinguished itself its determined opposition to every scheme looking to the curtailment or destruction of Cherokee national self-government.
The following account of the society was written shortly after the close of the civil war:
“Those Cherokees who were loyal to the Union combined in a secret organization for self-protection, assuming the designation of the Ketoowha society, which name was soon merged in that of “Pins.” The Pins were so styled because of a peculiar manner they adopted of wearing a pin. The symbol was discovered their enemies, who applied the term in derision; but it was accepted 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 poor Creeks having been driven into Kansas the rebels of the Golden Circle. During the war the Pins rendered services to the Union cause in many bloody encounters, as has been acknowledged 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 first met in convention, in February, 1863. They not only abolished slavery unconditionally and forever, before any slave state made a movement toward emancipation, but made any attempts at enslaving a grave misdemeanor.
The secret signs of the Pins were a peculiar way of touching the hat as a salutation, 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 Ketoowha’s son.’”—Dr D. J. MacGowan, Indian Secret Societies, in Historical Magazine, X, 1866.
(48) 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 to the world with eloquent words of appeal, of protest, or of acknowledgment, but never more eloquently than in the last farewell of Chief Lloyd Welch to the eastern band, as he felt the end draw near (leaflet, MacGowan, Chattanooga [n. d., 1880]):
“To the Chairman and Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokees:
“My Brothers: It becomes my imperative duty to bid you an affectionate farewell, and resign into your hands the trust you so generously confided to my keeping, principal chief of the Eastern Band. It is with great solicitude and anxiety for your welfare that I am constrained to take this course. But the inexorable laws of nature, and the rapid decline of my health, admonish me that soon, very soon, I will have passed from earth, my body consigned to the tomb, my spirit to God who gave it, in that happy home in the beyond, where there is no sickness, no sorrow, no pain, no death, but one eternal joy and happiness forever more.
“The only regret that I feel for thus being so soon called from among you, at the meridian of manhood, when hope is sweet, is the great anxiety I have to serve and benefit my race. For this I have studied and labored for the past ten years of my life, to secure to my brothers equal justice from their brothers of the west and the United States, and that you would no longer be hewers of wood and drawers of water, but assume that proud position among the civilized nations of the earth intended the Creator that we should occupy, and which in the near future you will take or be exterminated. When you become educated, as a natural consequence you will become more intelligent, sober, industrious, and prosperous.
“It has been the aim of my life, the chief object, to serve my race faithfully, honestly, and to the best of my ability. How well I have succeeded I will leave to history and your magnanimity to decide, trusting an all-wise and just God to guide and protect you in the future, as He will do all things well. We may fail when on earth to see the goodness and wisdom of God in removing from us our best and most useful men, but when we have crossed over on the other shore to our happy and eternal home in the far beyond then our eyes will be opened and we will be enabled to see and realize the goodness and mercy of God in thus afflicting us while here on earth, and will be enabled more fully to praise God, from 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 band you will lay aside all personal considerations and select one in every respect competent, without stain on his fair fame, a pure, noble, honest, man—one who loves God and all that is pure—with intellect sufficient to know your rights, independence and nerve to defend them. Should you be thus fortunate in making your choice, all will be well. It has been truthfully said that ‘when the righteous rule the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule the people mourn.’
“I am satisfied that you have among you many who are fully competent of the task. If I was satisfied it was your wish and for the good of my brothers I might mention some of them, but think it best to leave you in the hands of an all-wise God, who does all things right, to guide and direct you aright.
“And now, my brothers, in taking perhaps my last farewell on earth I do pray God that you may so conduct yourselves while here on earth that when the last sad rite is performed 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 God himself beyond the sky. And again, my brothers, permit me to bid you a fond, but 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 Cherokee Indians.
“Samuel W. Davidson.
“B. B. Merony.”
(49) Status of eastern band (p. 180): For some reason all authorities who have hitherto discussed the status of the eastern band of Cherokee seem to have been entirely unaware of the enactment of the supplementary articles to the treaty of New Echota, which all preemption and reservation rights granted under the twelfth article were canceled. Thus, in the Cherokee case of “The United States et al against D. T. Boyd et al,” we find the United States circuit judge quoting the twelfth article in its original form as a basis for argument, while his associate judge says: “Their forefathers availed themselves of a provision in the treaty of New Echota and remained in the state of North Carolina,” etc. (Report of Indian Commissioner for 1895, pp. 633–635, 1896). The truth is that the treaty as ratified with its supplementary articles canceled the residence right of every Cherokee east of the Mississippi, and it was not until thirty years afterwards that North Carolina finally gave assurance that the eastern band would be permitted to remain within her borders.
The twelfth article of the new Echota treaty of December 29, 1835, provides for a pro rata apportionment to such Cherokee as desire to remain in the East, and continues: “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 persons entitled to preemption privilege under this treaty,” etc. Article 13 defines terms with reference to individual reservations granted under former treaties. The preamble to the supplementary articles agreed upon on March 1, 1836, recites that, “Whereas the President of the United States has expressed his determination not to allow any preemptions or reservations, his desire being that the whole Cherokee people should remove together and establish themselves in the country provided for them west of the Mississippi river (article 1): It is therefore agreed that all preemption rights and reservations provided for in articles 12 and 13 shall be, and are here, relinquished and declared void.” The treaty, in this shape, was ratified on May 23, 1836 (see Indian Treaties, pp. 633–648, 1837).