Besides the Iroquois and Shawano, the Cherokee remember also the Delawares,
Tuscarora, Catawba, and Cheraw as tribes to the east or north with which they
formerly had relations.
The Cherokee call the Delawares Anakwan′ʻkĭ, in the singular Akwan′ʻkĭ, a
derivative formed according to usual Cherokee phonetic modification from
Wapanaq′kĭ, “Easterners,” the generic name which the Delawares and their
nearest kindred call themselves.
In the most ancient tradition of the Delawares the Cherokee are called Talega,
Tallige, Tallige-wi, etc. 9 In later Delaware tradition they are called Kĭtu′hwa,
and again we find the two tribes at war, for which their neighbors are held
responsible. According to the Delaware account, the Iroquois, in one of their
forays to the south, killed a Cherokee in the woods and purposely left a
Delaware war club near the body to make it appear that the work had been done
men of that tribe. The Cherokee found the body and the club, and naturally
supposing that the murder had been committed the Delawares, they suddenly
attacked the latter, the result being a long and bloody war between the two
tribes. 10 At this time, i. e., about the end of the seventeenth century, it appears
that a part at least of the Cherokee lived on the waters of the Upper Ohio, where
the Delawares made continual inroads upon them, finally driving them from the
region and seizing it for themselves about the year 1708. 11 A century ago the
Delawares used to tell how their warriors would sometimes mingle in disguise
with the Cherokee at their night dances until the opportunity came to strike a
sudden blow and be off before their enemies recovered from the surprise.



WALINI′, A CHEROKEE WOMANBureau of American Ethnology nineteenth annual report pl. xviii Photograph author,  James Mooney, 1888.

Later there seems to have been peace until war was again brought on the
action of the Shawano, who had taken refuge with the Delawares, after having
been driven from their old home on Cumberland river the Cherokee. Feeling
secure in their new alliance, the Shawano renewed their raids upon theCherokee, who retaliated pursuing them into the Delaware country, where
they killed several Delawares mistake. This inflamed the latter people,
already excited the sight of Cherokee scalps and prisoners brought back
through their country the Iroquois, and another war was the result, which
lasted until the Cherokee, tired of fighting so many enemies, voluntarily made
overtures for peace in 1768, saluting the Delawares as Grandfather, an honorary
title accorded them all the Algonquian tribes. The Delawares then
reprimanded the Shawano, as the cause of the trouble, and advised them to keep
quiet, which, as they were now left to fight their battles alone, they were glad
enough to do. At the same time the Cherokee made peace with the Iroquois, and
the long war with the northern tribes came to an end. The friendly feeling thus
established was emphasized in 1779, when the Cherokee sent a message of
condolence upon the death of the Delaware chief White-eyes. 12
The Tuscarora, formerly the ruling tribe of eastern North Carolina, are still
remembered under the name Ani′-Skălâ′lĭ, and are thus mentioned in the Feather
dance of the Cherokee, in which some of the actors are supposed to be visiting
strangers from other tribes.
As the majority of the Tuscarora fled from Carolina to the Iroquois country
about 1713, in consequence of their disastrous war with the whites, their
memory has nearly faded from the recollection of the southern Indians. From the
scanty light which history throws upon their mutual relations, the two tribes
seem to have been almost constantly at war with each other. When at one time
the Cherokee, having already made peace with some other of their neighbors,
were urged the whites to make peace also with the Tuscarora, they refused,
on the ground that, as they could not live without war, it was better to let matters
stand as they were than to make peace with the Tuscarora and be obliged
immediately to look about for new enemies with whom to fight. For some years
before the outbreak of the Tuscarora war in 1711 the Cherokee had ceased their
inroads upon this tribe, and it was therefore supposed that they were more busily
engaged with some other people west of the mountains, these being probably the
Shawano, whom they drove out of Tennessee about this time. 13 In the war of
1711–1713 the Cherokee assisted the whites against the Tuscarora. In 1731 the
Cherokee again threatened to make war upon the remnant of that tribe still
residing in North Carolina and the colonial government was compelled to
interfere. 14The Cheraw or Sara, ranging at different periods from upper South Carolina to
the southern frontier of Virginia, are also remembered under the name of Ani′-
Suwa′lĭ, or Ani′-Suwa′la, which agrees with the Spanish form Xuala of De
Soto’s chronicle, and Suala, or Sualy, of Lederer. The Cherokee remember them
as having lived east of the Blue ridge, the trail to their country leading across the
gap at the head of Swannanoa river, east from Asheville. The name of the stream
and gap is a corruption of the Cherokee Suwa′lĭ-Nûñnâ′hĭ, “Suwa′li trail.” Being
a very warlike tribe, they were finally so reduced conflicts with the colonial
governments and the Iroquois that they were obliged to incorporate with the
Catawba, among whom they still maintained their distinct language as late as
1743. 15
The Catawba are known to the Cherokee as Ani′ta′gwa, singular Ata′gwa, or
Ta′gwa, the Cherokee attempt at the name which they are most commonly
known. They were the immediate neighbors of the Cherokee on the east and
southeast, having their principal settlements on the river of their name, just
within the limits of South Carolina, and holding the leading place among all the
tribes east of the Cherokee country with the exception of the Tuscarora. On the
first settlement of South Carolina there were estimated to be about 7,000 persons
in the tribe, but their decline was rapid, and war and disease their number had
been reduced in 1775 to barely 500, including the incorporated remnants of the
Cheraw and several smaller tribes. There are now, perhaps, 100 still remaining
on a small reservation near the site of their ancient towns. Some local names in
the old Cherokee territory seem to indicate the former presence of Catawba,
although there is no tradition of any Catawba settlement within those limits.
Among such names may be mentioned Toccoa creek, in northeastern Georgia,
and Toccoa river, in north-central Georgia, both names being derived from the
Cherokee Tagwâ′hĭ, “Catawba place.” An old Cherokee personal name is
Ta′gwădihĭ′, “Catawba-killer.”
The two tribes were hereditary enemies, and the feeling between them is nearly
as bitter to-day as it was a hundred years ago. Perhaps the only case on record of
their acting together was in the war of 1711–13, when they cooperated with the
colonists against the Tuscarora. The Cherokee, according to the late Colonel
Thomas, claim to have formerly occupied all the country about the head of the
Catawba river, to below the present Morganton, until the game became scarce,
when they retired to the west of the Blue ridge, and afterward “loaned” theeastern territory to the Catawba. This agrees pretty well with a Catawba tradition
recorded in Schoolcraft, according to which the Catawba—who are incorrectly
represented as comparatively recent immigrants from the north—on arriving at
Catawba river found their progress disputed the Cherokee, who claimed
original ownership of the country. A battle was fought, with incredible loss on
both sides, but with no decisive result, although the advantage was with the
Catawba, on account of their having guns, while their opponents had only Indian
weapons. Preparations were under way to renew the fight when the Cherokee
offered to recognize the river as the boundary, allowing the Catawba to settle
anywhere to the east. The overture was accepted and an agreement was finally
made which the Catawba were to occupy the country east of that river and the
Cherokee the country west of Broad river, with the region between the two
streams to remain as neutral territory. Stone piles were heaped up on the
battlefield to commemorate the treaty, and the Broad river was henceforth called
Eswau Huppeday (Line river), the Catawba, the country eastward to Catawba
river being left unoccupied. 16 The fact that one party had guns would bring this
event within the early historic period.
The Catawba assisted the whites against the Cherokee in the war of 1760 and in
the later Revolutionary struggle. About 100 warriors, nearly the whole fighting
strength of the tribe, took part in the first-mentioned war, several being killed,
and a smaller number accompanied Williamson’s force in 1776. 17 At the battle
fought under Williamson near the present site of Franklin, North Carolina, the
Cherokee, according to the tradition related Wafford, mistook the Catawba
allies of the troops for some of their own warriors, and were fighting for some
time under this impression before they noticed that the Catawba wore deer tails
in their hair so that the whites might not make the same mistake. In this
engagement, which was one of the bloodiest Indian encounters of the
Revolution, the Cherokee claim that they had actually defeated the troops and
their Catawba allies, when their own ammunition gave out and they were
consequently forced to retire. The Cherokee leader was a noted war chief named
Tsanĭ (John).
About 1840 nearly the whole Catawba tribe moved up from South Carolina and
joined the eastern band of Cherokee, but in consequence of tribal jealousies they
remained but a short time, and afterward returned to their former home, as is
related elsewhere.Other tribal names (of doubtful authority) are Ani′-Sa′nĭ and Ani′-Sawahâ′nĭ,
belonging to people said to have lived toward the north; both names are perhaps
intended for the Shawano or Shawnee, properly Ani′-Sawănu′gĭ. The Ani′-Gilĭ′
are said to have been neighbors of the Anin′tsĭ or Natchez; the name may
possibly be a Cherokee form for Congaree.


Myths of the Cherokee, James Mooney