Cherokee Indian Chiefs
Boudinot, Elias (native name Gala-gi'na, 'male deer or turkey'). A Cherokee Indian, educated in the foreign mission school at Cornwell, Conn., founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which he entered with two other Cherokee youths in 1818 at the instance of the philanthropist whose name he was allowed to adopt. In 1827 the Cherokee council formally resolved to establish a national paper, and the following year the Cherokee Phoenix appeared under Boudinot's editorship. After a precarious existence of 6 years, however, the paper was discontinued, and not resumed until after the removal of the Cherokee to Indian Teritory, when its place was finally taken by the Cherokee Advocate, established in 1844. In 1833 Boudinot wrote "Poor Sarah; or, the Indian Woman," in Cherokee characters, published at New Echota by the United Brethren's Missionary Society, another edition of which was printed at Park Hill in 1843; and from 1823 to the time of his death he was joint translator with Rev. S. A. Worcester of a number of the Gospels, some of which passed through several editions. Boudinot joined an insignificant minority of his people in support of the Ridge treaty and the subsequent treaty of New Echota, by the terms of which the Cherokee Nation surrendered its lands and removed to Indian Ter. This attitude made him so unpopular that on June 22, 1839, he was set upon and murdered, although not with the knowledge or connivance of the tribal officers. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 1900; Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian Languages, Bull. B. A. E., 1888.
Bowl, The (a translation of his native name, Diwa'â€˜li), also called Col. Bowles. A noted Cherokee chief and leader of one of the first bands to establish themselves permanently on the west side of the Mississippi. At the head of some hostile Cherokee from the Chickamauga towns he massacred all of the male members of a party of emigrants at Muscle shoals in Tennessee River in 1794, after which he retired up St. Francis River on the w. side of the Mississippi, and, his act being disowned by the Cherokee council, who offered to assist in his arrest, he remained in that region until after the cession of Louisiana Territory to the United States. About 1824 so much dissatisfaction was caused by delay in adjusting the boundaries of the territory of the Western Cherokee in Arkansas and the withholding of their annuities that a party headed by Bowl crossed Sabine River into Texas, where they were joined by bodies of refugees from a number of other eastern tribes and began negotiations with the Mexican government for a tract of land on Angelina, Neches, and Trinity rivers, but were interrupted by the outbreak of the Texan war for independence in 1835. Houston, who had long been a friend of the Cherokee, entered into a treaty to assign them certain lands along Angelina River, but it was rejected by the Texas senate in 1837, and Houston's successor, Lamar, declared his intention to drive all the Indians from Texas. On the plea that they were entering into a conspiracy with the Mexican inhabitants, a commission, supported by several regiments of troops, was sent to the Cherokee town on Angelina River to demand that they remove at once across the border. On their refusal they were attacked, July 15-16, 1839, and defeated in two engagements, Bowl and his assistant chief, Hard-mush, being among the many killed. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 1900.
Big-mush. A noted western Cherokee, known to the whites also as Hard-mush and among his people as GatiÃ»Ã±'wa`li ('bread made into balls or lumps'), killed by the Texans in 1839-Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19thRep. B. A. E., 1900.
Black Fox (InÃ¢li). A principal chief of the Cherokee who, under the treaty of Jan. 7, 1806, by which the Cherokee ceded nearly 7,000 sq. m. of their lands in Tennessee and Alabama, was given a life annuity of $100.
He was then an old man. In 1810, as a member of the national council of his tribe, he signed an enactment formally abolishing the custom of clan revenge hitherto universal among the tribes, thus taking an important step toward civilization.-Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 87, 1900.
Dragging-canoe (translation of his Indian name, TsÃyu-gÃ»nsÃnÃ known also as Cheucunsene and Kunnese). A prominent leader of those Cherokee who were hostile to the Americans during the Revolutionary war. He moved with his party to the site of Chickamauga, where he continued to harass the Tennessee settlements until 1782, when the Chickamauga towns were broken up. His people then moved farther down the river and established the "five lower towns," but these also were destroyed in 1794. In accounts of the Creek war Dragging-canoe is mentioned as one of the prominent Cherokee chiefs in alliance with Jackson, and a participant in the last great encounter at Horseshoe Bend
Foreman, Stephen. A Cherokee who became an active coworker with the Presbyterian missionaries among his people. He received an elementary education at the mission school at Candy's Creek, w of Cleveland, Tenn., and after pursuing some preparatory studies under Rev. S. A. Worcester at New Echota, Ga., spent a year at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and another at Princeton, N. J., in the study of theology. He was licensed to preach by the Union Presbytery of Tennessee about Oct. 1, 1833. Foreman is said to have preached with animation and fluency in the Cherokee language. With Mr Worcester he translated the Psalms and a large part of Isaiah into the Cherokee language. Pilling, Bibliog. Iroq. Lang., Bull. B. A. E., 1888.
Going Snake (I'nadÃ»-na'i. signifying that a person is 'going along in company with a snake'). A Cherokee chief, prominent about 1825. Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E.522, 1900.
Hanging-maw (UskwÃ¡'liÂgÃ»'ta, 'his stomach hangs down'). A prominent Cherokee chief of the Revolutionary period. Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 543, 1900.
Jolly, John. A Cherokee chief, noted as the adopted father of Gen. Samuel Houston, and later chief of the Arkansas band of Cherokee. His native name was AhÃºludÃ©gi, He throws away the drum. His early life was spent in Tennessee, near the mouth of the Hiwassee, where an island still preserves his name, and it was here that Houston came to live with him, remaining 3 years and acquiring a life long friendship for his adopted people. In 1818 Jolly removed to the other side of the Mississippi and joined the Arkansas band, whose chief he became a few years later on the death of Tollunteeskee. Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 507, 1900.
Junaluska (corruption of TsunÃºlahÃ»Ã±ski, 'he tries repeatedly, but fails'). A former noted chief of the East Cherokee in North Carolina. In the Creek war of 1813-14 he led a detachment of warriors to the support of Gen. Jackson, and did good service at the bloody battle of the Horseshoe Bend. Having boasted on setting out that he would exterminate the Creeks, he was obliged to confess on his return that some of that tribe were still alive, whence the name jokingly bestowed upon him by his friends. He went west with his people in the removal of 1838, but returned to North Carolina, and as a special recognition of his past services was given citizenship rights and a tract of land at Cheowa, near the present Robbinsville, Graham co., N. C., where he died in 1858. See Mooney,Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E.,97, 164-5, 1900.
Little Carpenter, Attakullaculla (Ata'-gÃ»l`kalÃ»', from ata' wood,' gÃ»l'kalÃ»' a verb implying that something long is leaning, without sufficient support, against some other object; hence 'Leaningwood.'-Mooney).
A noted Cherokee chief, born about 1700, known to the whites as Little Carpenter (Little Cornplanter, by mistake, in Haywood). The first notice of him is as one of the delegation taken to England by Sir Alexander Cumming in 1730. It is stated that he was made second in authority under Oconostota in 1738. He was present at the conference with Gov. Glenn, of South Carolina, in July, 1753, where he was the chief speaker in behalf of the Indians, but asserted that he had not supreme authority, the consent of Oconostota, the war chief, being necessary for final action.
Through his influence a treaty of peace was arranged with Gov. Glenn in 1755, by which a large cession of territory was made to the King of England; and it was also through his instrumentality that Ft Dobbs was built, in the year following, about 20 miles, west of the present Salisbury, N. C. When Ft Loudon, on Little Tennessee River, Tenn., was captured by the Indians in 1760, and most of the garrison and refugees were massacred, Capt. Stuart, who had escaped the tomahawk, was escorted safely to Virginia by Attakullaculla, who purchased him from his Indian captor, giving to the latter, as ransom, his rifle, clothes, and everything he had with him. It was again through the influence of Attakullaculla that the treaty of Charleston was signed i n 1761, and that Stuart, after peace had been restored, was received by the Cherokee as the British agent for the southern tribes; yet notwithstanding his friendship for Stuart, who remained a steadfast loyalist in the Revolution, and the fact that a large majority of the Cherokee espoused the British cause, Attakullaculla raised a force of 500 native warriors which he offered to the Americans. He is described by William Bartram (Travels, 482, 1792), who visited him in 1776, as "a man ofremarkably small stature, slender and of a delicate frame, the only instance I saw in the nation, but he is a man of superior abilities." Although he had become sedate, dignified, and somewhat taciturn in mature years, Logan (Hist. Upper So. Car., 1, 490, 515, 1859) says that in his younger days he was fond of the bottle and often inebriate. The date of his death has not been recorded, but it was probably about 1780. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 1900.
Moytoy. A Cherokee chief of Tellico, Tenn., who became the so-called "emperor" of the seven chief Cherokee towns. Sir Alexander Cuming, desirous of enlisting the Cherokee in the British interest, decided to place in control a chief of his own selection. Moytoy was chosen, the Indians were induced to accept him, giving him the title of emperor; and, to carry out the program, all the Indians, including their new sovereign, pledged themselves on bended knees to be the faithful subjects of King George. On the next day, April 4, 1730, "the crown was brought front Great Tennessee, which, with five eagle-tails and four scalps of their enemies, Moytoy presented to Sir Alexander, empowering him to lay the same at His Majesty's feet." Nevertheless, Moytoy afterward became a bitter enemy of the whites, several of whom he killed without provocation at Sitico, Tenn. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., pt. 1, 1900.
Cherokee Indian Chiefs and Leaders
Yonaguska (properly 'The bear drowns him,' whence his common name 'Drowning-bear'). The adopted father of Col. William H. Thomas, and the most prominent chief in the history of the East Cherokee, although, singularly enough, his name does not occur in connection with any of the early warsor treaties. This is due partly to the fact that he was a peace chief and counselor rather than a war leader, and in part to the fact that the isolated position of the mountain Cherokee kept them aloof, in a great measure, from the tribal councils of those living to the west and south.
In person he was strikingly handsome, being 6 ft 3 in. in height and strongly built, with a faint tinge of red, due to a slight strain of white blood on his father's side, relieving the brown of his chicks. In power of oratory he is said to have surpassed any other chief of his day. When the Cherokee lands on Tuckasegee River were sold by the treaty of 1819, Yonaguska continued to reside on a reservation of 640 acres in a bend of the river a short distance above the present Bryson City, North Carolina, on the site of the ancient Kituhwa. He afterward moved over to Oconaluftee, and finally, after the removal, gathered his people about him and settled with them on Soco Creek on lands purchased for them by Thomas. He was a prophet and reformer as well as a chief. When about 60 years of age he had a severe illness, terminating in a trance, during which his people mourned him as dead. At the end of 24 hours, however, he awoke to consciousness and announced that he had been to the spirit world, where he had talked with friends who had gone before, and with God, who had sent him back with a message to the Indians, promising to call him again at a later time. From that day until his death his words were listened to as those of one inspired. He had been somewhat addicted to liquor, but now, on the recommendation of Thomas, not only stopped drinking himself, but organized his tribe into a temperance society. To accomplish this he called his people together in council, and, after clearly pointing out to them the serious effect of intemperance, in an eloquent speech that moved some of his audience to tears, he declared that God had permitted him to return to earth especially that he might thus warn his people and banish whisky from among them. He then had Thomas write out a pledge, which was signed first by the chief and then by each one of the council, and from that time until after his death whisky was unknown among the East Cherokee. Although frequent pressure was brought to bear to induce him and his people to remove to the west, he firmly resisted every persuasion, declaring that the Indians were safer from aggression among their rocks and mountains than they could ever be in a land which the white man could find profitable, and that the Cherokee could be happy only in the country where nature had planted him. While counseling peace and friendship with the white man, he held always to his Indian faith and was extremely suspicious of missionaries. On one occasion, after the first Bible translation into the Cherokee language and alphabet, some one brought a copy of Matthew from New Echota, but Yonaguska would not allow it to he read to his people until it had first been read to himself. After listening to one or two chapters the old chief dryly remarked: "Well, it seems to be a good bookâ€”strange that the white people are not better, after having had it so long." He died, aged about 80, in Apr. 1839, within a year after the removal. Shortly before the end he had himself carried into the townhouse on Soco Creek, of which he had supervised the building, where, extended on a couch, he made a last talk to his people, commending Thomas to them as their chief and again warning them earnestly against ever leaving their own country. Then wrapping his blanket around him, he quietly lay back and died. He was buried beside Soco, about a mile below the old Macedonia mission, with a rude mound of stones to mark the spot. He left two wives and considerable property, including an old Negro slave named Cudjo, who was devotedly attached to him. One of his daughters, Katalsta, still (1909) survives, and is the last conservator of the potter's art among the East Cherokee.
Ross, John. Chief of the Cherokee; Born in Rossville, Ga., Oct. 3, 1790; died in Washington, D. C., Aug. 1, 1866. He was the son of an immigrant from Scotland by a Cherokee wife who was herself three-quarters white. His boyhood name of Tsan-usdi, â€˜Little John,' was exchanged when he reached man's estate for that of Guwisguwi, or Cooweescoowee, by which was known a large white bird of uncommon occurrence, perhaps the egret or the swan. He went to school in Kingston, Tenn. In 1809 he was sent on a mission to the Cherokee in Arkansas by the Indian agent, and thence forward till the close of his life he remained in the public service of his nation.
At the battle of the Horseshoe, and in other operations of the Cherokee contingent against the Creeks in 1813-14, he was adjutant of the Cherokee regiment. He was chosen a member of the national committee of the Cherokee Council in 1817, and drafted the reply to the U. S. commissioners who were sent to negotiate the exchange of the Cherokee lands for others west of the Mississippi. In the contest against the removal his talents found play and recognition. As president of the national committee from 1819 till 1826 he was instrumental in the introduction of school and mechanical training, and led in the development of the civilized autonomous government embodied in the republican constitution adopted in 1827.
He was associate chief with William Hicks in that year, and president of the Cherokee constitutional convention. From 1828 till the removal to Indian Territory in 1839 he was principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, and headed the various national delegations that visited Washington to defend the right of the Cherokee to their national territory. After the arrival in Indian Territory, he was chosen chief of the united Cherokee Nation, and held that office until his death, although during the dissensions caused by the Civil War the Federal authorities temporarily deposed him. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 19th Rep. B. A. E., 122, 150, 224, 225, 1900.
Inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, born in the Cherokee town of Taskigi, Tenn., about 1760; died near San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, in Aug. 1843. He was the son of a white man and a Cherokee woman of mixed blood, daughter of a chief in Echota. Besides his native name of Sikwayi, or Sequoya, he was known as George Gist, otherwise spelled Guest or Guess, the patronymic of his father, generally believed to have been a German trader. He has also been claimed as the son of Nathaniel Gist of Revolutionary note.
Sequoya grew up in the tribe, quite unacquainted with English or civilized arts, becoming a hunter and trader in furs. He was also a craftsman in silverwork, an ingenious natural mechanic, and his inventive powers had scope for development in consequence of an accident that befell him in hunting and rendered him a cripple for life. The importance of the arts of writing and printing as instruments and weapons of civilization began to impress him in 1809, and he studied, undismayed by the discouragement and ridicule of his fellows, to elaborate a system of writing suitable to the Cherokee language.
In 1821 he submitted his syllabary to the chief men of the nation, and on their approval the Cherokee of all ages set about to learn it with such zeal that after a few months thousands were able to read and write their language. Sequoya, in 1822, visited Arkansas to introduce writing in the Western division of the Cherokee, among whom he took up his permanent abode in 1823. Parts of the Bible were printed in Cherokee in 1824, and in 1828 The Cherokee Phoenix, a weekly newspaper in Cherokee and English, began to appear.
Sequoya was sent to Washington in 1828 as an envoy of the Arkansas band, in whose affairs he bore a conspicuous part, and when the Eastern Cherokee joined the old settlers in the west his influence and counsel were potent in the organization of the reunited nation in Indian Territory. When, in his declining years, he withdrew from active political life, speculative ideals once again possessed his mind. He visited tribes of various stocks in a fruitless search for the elements of a common speech and grammar. He sought also to trace a lost band of the Cherokee that, according to tradition, had crossed the Mississippi before the Revolution and wandered to some mountains in the west, and while pursuing this quest in the Mexican sierras he met his death. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 19th Rep., B. A. E., 108 et seq., 147, 148, 1900, and the authorities therein cited. More on Sequoyah.
Biography of Sequoyah or George Guess
Lowrey, George. A cousin of a href="sequoyah.htm">Sequoya and second chief of the Eastern Cherokee under John Ross, commonly known as Mayor Lowrey. His native name was Ag1 It ('He is rising'), possibly a contraction of an old personal name, Agin'agi`ll (.'Rising-fawn'). He joined Ross in steadily opposing all attempts to force his people to move from their eastern lands, and later, after this had been accomplished, he was chief of council of the Eastern Cherokee at the meeting held in 1839 to fuse the eastern and western divisions into the present Cherokee Nation. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 115, 135, 1900.
Lowrey, John, A Cherokee chief, commonly known as Colonel Lowrey. He commanded, the friendly Cherokee who helped Gen. Andrew Jackson in the war against the Creeks in 1813-14, and with Col. Gideon Morgan and 400 Cherokee surrounded and captured the town of Hillabi, Ala., Nov. 18, 1813. The two were conspicuous also in the battle of Horseshoe Bend, Mar. 27, 1814, for which they were commended. Lowrey was one of the signers of the treaties made at Washington, June 7, 1806, and Mar. 22, 1816. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, in 19th Rep. B. A. E., 90, 1900.
Cherokee Indian Tribe
A powerful detached tribe of the Iroquoian family, formerly holding the whole mountain region of the south Alleghenies, in southwest Virginia, western North Carolina and South Carolina, north Georgia, east Tennessee, and northeast Alabama, and claiming even to the Ohio River.
The tribal name is a corruption of Tsálagi or Tsáragi, the name by which they commonly called themselves, and which may be derived from the Choctaw chiluk-ki 'cave people', in allusion to the numerous caves in their mountain country. They sometimes also call themselves Ani'-Yûñ'-wiyd', 'real people,' or Ani'-Kitu'hwagi, 'people of Kituhwa', one of their most important ancient settlements. Their northern kinsmen, theIroquois, called them Oyata`ge‘ronoñ', 'inhabitants of the cave country' (Hewitt), and the Delawares and connected tribes called them Kittuwa, from the settlement already noted. They seem to be identical with the Rickohockans, who invaded central Virginia in 1658, and with the ancient Talligewi, of Delaware tradition, who were represented to have been driven southward from the upper Ohio River region by the combined forces of the Iroquois and Delawares.
The language has three principal dialects:
Elati, or Lower, spoken on the heads of Savannah River, in South Carolina and Georgia;
Middle, spoken chiefly on the waters of Tuckasegee River, in western North Carolina, and now the prevailing dialect on the East Cherokee reservation;
A'tuli, Mountain or Upper, spoken throughout most of upper Georgia, east Tennessee, and extreme western North Carolina. The lower dialect was the only one which had the r sound, and is now extinct. The upper dialect is that which has been exclusively used in the native literature of the tribe.
Traditional, linguistic, and archeological evidence shows that the Cherokee originated in the north, but they were found in possession of the south Allegheny region when first encountered by De Soto in 1540. Their relations with the Carolina colonies began 150 years later. In 1736 the Jesuit (?) Priber started the first mission among them, and attempted to organize their government on a civilized basis. In 1759, under the leadership of A'ganstâ'ta (Oconostota), they began war with the English of Carolina. In the Revolution they took sides against the Americans, and continued the struggle almost without interval until 1794. During this period parties of the Cherokee pushed down Tennessee River and formed new settlements at Chickamauga and other points about the Tennessee-Alabama line. Shortly after 1800, missionary and educational work was established among theme, and in 1820 they adopted a regular form of government modeled on that of the United States. In the meantime large numbers of the more conservative Cherokee, wearied by the encroachments of the whites, had crossed the Mississippi and made new homes in the wilderness in what is now Arkansas. A year or two later Sequoya (q. v.), a mixed-blood, invented the alphabet, which at once raised them to the rank of a literary people.
At the height of their prosperity gold was discovered near the present Dahlonega, Ga., within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, and at once a powerful agitation was begun for the removal of the Indians. After years of hopeless struggle under the leadership of their great chief, John Ross, they were compelled to submit to the inevitable, and by the treaty of New Echota, Dec. 29, 1835, the Cherokee sold their entire remaining territory and agreed to remove beyond the Mississippi to a country there to be set apart for them-the present (1890) Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory. The removal was accomplished in the winter of 1838-39, after considerable hardship and the loss of nearly one-fourth of their number, the unwilling Indians being driven out by military force and making the long journey on foot. On reaching their destination they reorganized their national government, with their capital at Tahlequah, admitting to equal privileges the earlier emigrants, known as "old settlers." A part of the Arkansas Cherokee had previously gone down into Texas, where they had obtained a grant of land in the east part of the state from the Mexican government. The later Texan revolutionists refused to recognize their rights, and in spite of the efforts of Gen. Sam Houston, who defended the Indian claim, a conflict was precipitated, resulting, in 1839, in the killing of the Cherokee chief, Bowl, with a large number of his men, by the Texan troops, and the expulsion of the Cherokee from Texas.
When the main body of the tribe was removed to the west, several hundred fugitives escaped to the mountains, where they lived as refugees for a time, until, in 1842, through the efforts of William H. Thomas, an influential trader, they received permission to remain on lands set apart for their use in western North Carolina.
They constitute the present eastern band of Cherokee, residing chiefly on the Qualla reservation in Swain and Jackson counties, with several outlying settlements.
The Cherokee in the Cherokee Nation were for years divided into two hostile factions, those who had favored and those who had opposed the treaty of removal. Hardly had these differences they been adjusted when the civil war burst upon them. Being slave owners and surrounded by southern influences, a large part of each of the Five Civilized Tribes of the territory enlisted in the service of the Confederacy, while others adhered to the National Government. The territory of the Cherokee was overrun in turn by both armies, and the close of the war found them prostrated. By treaty in 1866 they were readmitted to the protection of the United States, but obliged to liberate their Negro slaves and admit them to equal citizenship. In 1867 and 1870 the Delawares and Shawnee, respectively, numbering together about 1,750, were admitted from Kansas and incorporated with the Nation. In 1889 Cherokee Commission was created for the purpose of abolishing the tribal governments and opening the territories to white settlement, with the result that after 15 years of negotiation an agreement was made by which the government of the Cherokee Nation came to a final end Mar. 3, 1906: the Indian lands were divided, and the Cherokee Indians, native adopted, became citizens of the United States.
The Cherokee have 7 clans, viz:
The names of the last 3 cannot be translated with certainty. There is evidence that there were anciently 14, which by extinction or absorption have been reduced to their present number. The Wolf clan is the largest and most important. The "seven clans" are frequently mentioned in the ritual prayers and even in the printed laws of the tribe. They seem to have had a connection with the "seven mother towns" of the Cherokee, described by Cuming in 1730 as having each a chief, whose office was hereditary in the female line.
The Cherokee are probably about as numerous now (1905) as at any period in their history. With the exception of an estimate in 1730, which placed them at about 20,000, most of those up to a recent period gave them 12,000 or 14,000, and in 1758 they were computed at only 7,500. The majority of the earlier estimates are probably too low, as the Cherokee occupied so extensive a territory that only a part of them came in contact with the whites. In 1708 Gov. Johnson estimated them at 60 villages and "at least 500 men" (Rivers, So. Car., 238, 1856). In 1715 they were officially reported to number 11,210 (Upper, 2,760; Middle, 6,350; Lower, 2,100), including 4,000 warriors, and living in 60 villages (Upper, 19; Middle, 30; Lower, 11). In 1720 were estimated to have been reduced to about 10,000, and again in the same year reported at about 11,500, including about 3,800 warriors (Gov. Johnson's Rep. in Rivers, op. cit., 93, 94, 103, 1874). In 1729 they were estimated at 20,000, with at least 6,000 warriors and 64 towns and villages (Stevens, Hist. Ga., r, 48, 1847).
They are said to have lost 1,000 warriors in 1739 from smallpox and rum, and they suffered a steady decrease during their wars with the whites, extending from 1760 until after the close of the Revolution. Those in their original homes had again increased to 16,542 at the time of their forced removal to the west in 1838, but lost nearly one-fourth on the journey, 311 perishing in a steamboat accident on the Mississippi. Those already in the west, before the removal, were estimated at about 6,000. The civil war in 1861-65 again checked their progress, but they recovered from its effects in a remarkably short time, and in 1885 numbered about 19,000, of whom about 17,000 were in Indian Territory, together with about 6,000 adopted whites, Negroes, Delawares, and Shawnee, while the remaining 2,000 were still in their ancient homes in the east.
Of this eastern band, 1,376 were on Qualla reservation, in Swain and Jackson Counties, N. C.; about 300 are on Cheowah River, in Graham County, N. C., while the remainder, all of mixed blood, are scattered over east Tennessee, north Georgia, and Alabama. The eastern band lost about 300 by smallpox at the close of the civil war. In 1902 there were officially reported 28,016 persons of Cherokee blood, including all degrees of admixture, in the Cherokee Nation in the Territory, but this includes several thousand individuals formerly repudiated by the tribal courts.
There were also living in the nation about 3,000 adopted Negro freedmen, more than 2,000 adopted whites, and about 1700 adopted Delaware, Shawnee, and other Indians. The tribe has a larger proportion of white admixture than any other of the Five Civilized Tribes. See Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 19th Rep. B. A. E., 1902; Royce, Cherokee Nation, 5th Rep. B. A. E., 1887
Biographies of the Cherokee Indians
Whatever may be their origins in antiquity, the Cherokees are generally thought to be a Southeastern tribe, with roots in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, among other states, though many Cherokees are identified today with Oklahoma, to which they had been forcibly removed by treaty in the 1830s, or with the lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokees in western North Carolina. The largest of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes, which also included Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles, the Cherokees were the first tribe to have a written language, and by 1820 they had even adopted a form of government resembling that of the United States.
It is a lesser known fact that there was considerably more intermarriage between Cherokees and Whites than any other tribe, so they have a genealogical significance far out of proportion to their historical numbers. There is also a great deal of genealogical data on the Cherokees, mostly in the form of census records and enrollment records. All of which is to point out the abundance of sources available to Emmet Starr when he came to pen his classic History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folklore.
Not to diminish Mr. Starr's contribution in writing about the early Cherokees, their constitution, treaties with the federal government, land transactions, school system, migration and resettlement, committees, councils, and officials, religion, language, and culture, and a host of other topics upon which he writes eloquently, but his stated purpose in writing the History was "to make it as near a personal history and biography of as many Cherokees as possible." And in fact more than half the book is devoted to genealogies and biographies, of which there are several hundred. The biographies in particular, each averaging a paragraph or more, are noteworthy for their focus on the genealogical events of birth, marriage, and death over a period of several generations, naming thousands of related individuals in a classic roll-call of family members.
The references appearing in parenthesis at the beginning of each paragraph following the name refers to the connection among the foregoing old families.