Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Cherokee Nation

The Cherokees called themselves the Ani-Yun' wiya meaning leading or principal people. The original Cherokees lived early times in Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The Cherokee seal (above) was designed to embrace the early government structure, and the eternal endurance of the Cherokee Indians. It was adopted by Act of the Cherokee National Council, and approved in 1871. The seven-pointed star symbolizes: (1). the seven age old clans of the Cherokee: (2). the seven characters of Sequoyah’s syllabary, meaning "Cherokee Nation." (The Cherokee characters are phonetically pronounced "Tsa-la-gi-hi A-yi-li") .. The wreath of oak leaves symbolizes the sacred fire which, from time immemorial, the Cherokees kept burning in their land. Oak was the wood traditionally burned, different species of oak having ever been indigenous to Cherokee country, both in North Carolina and Georgia as well as in the Indian Territory to which the Cherokees removed in the early 1800's...The margin wording proclaims the authority of the seal in both the English and the Cherokee languages, and records the date (1839) of the adoption of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation West...This seal was imprinted on all documents until the dissolution of the Cherokee Nation at Oklahoma Statehood


Interpretation of the device in this seal is found in Cherokee folklore and history. Ritual songs in certain ancient tribal ceremonials and songs made reference to seven clans, the legendary
beginnings of the Cherokee Nation whose country early in the historic period took in a wide area now included in the present eastern parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, the western parts of
Virginia and the Carolinas, as well as extending over into what are now northern sections of Georgia and Alabama. A sacred fire was kept burning in the "Town House" at a central part of the old nation, logs of the live oak, a hardwood timber in the region, laid end to end to keep the fire going. The oak was thus a symbol of strength and everlasting life in connection with the sacred fire. The seven-pointed star centering the device of the Cherokee Seal represents
the seven ancient clans in tribal lore.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Catherine Kingfisher

Catherine Kingfisher 1752 - 1817 My 5G Grandmother (Nancy4 Ward, Tame Doe3 Raven, Anaway2 Nancy Moytoy, Amatoya1 Moytoy)

The most extensive Harlan family history states that Ellis Harlan married “Catherine Kingfisher, daughter of Kingfisher, a famous Chief, and Chigau”. Chigau is better known as Nancy Ward, from her marriage to a second husband Bryan Ward. This is the same Nancy Ward who was a friend to the whites, and aided the escape of Ezekiel Buffington from Cherokee upper town.

Catherine was the widow of John Walker at the time of her marriage to Ellis Harlan in Tennessee. Probably at the Inn operated by her mother at Woman Killer Ford on the Ocowee River.

Catherine "Ka Ti" KINGFISHER

"HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS", Dr. Emmet Starr, Hoffman Printing Co., Muskogee, 1984

She was a full blood Cherokee. She married Ellis Harlan a white man.

Sequoyah George Gist

Sequoyah George Gist 1767 - 1843 My 5G 3rd Cousin (Wurteh4, Chief3 Great Eagle, Chief Pigeon2 of Tellico, Amatoya1 Moytoy)
Sequoyah, named in English George Gist or Guess, was a Cherokee silversmith who in 1821 completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible. This was the first time in recorded history that a member of an illiterate people independently created an effective writing system.[3] After seeing its worth, the Cherokee Nation rapidly began to use his syllabary and officially adopted it in 1825.

Early life

Sequoyah's heroic status has led to several competing accounts of his life that are speculative, contradictory, or fabricated.[4] James Mooney, a prominent anthropologist and historian of the Cherokee people, quoted a cousin as saying that as a little boy, Sequoyah spent his early years with his mother in the village of Tuskegee. Estimates of his birth year ranged from 1760-1776. His name is believed to come from the Cherokee word siqua meaning 'hog'. This is either a reference to a childhood deformity or a later injury that left Sequoyah disabled.

His mother Wut-teh was known to be Cherokee, belonging to the Paint Clan. Mooney stated that she was the niece of a Cherokee chief. Sources differ as to the identity of Sequoyah's father. Mooney and others suggested that he was possibly a fur trader, who would have been a man of some social status and financial backing.[5] Grant Foreman identified him as Nathaniel Gist, a commissioned officer with the Continental Army associated with George Washington.[6][7] In one Cherokee source, his father is said to be a half-blood and his grandfather a white man.[8]
Sequoyah first married Sally, with whom he had four children. After her death, he married Utiyu, with whom he had three children. At some point before 1809, Sequoyah moved to Willstown, Cherokee Nation, in present-day northeast Alabama. There he established his trade as a silversmith.[9]

As a silversmith, Sequoyah dealt regularly with whites who had settled in the area. The Native Americans were impressed by their writing, referring to their correspondence as "talking leaves." Around 1819, Sequoyah began work to create a system of writing for the Cherokee language. At first he sought to create a character for each word in the language. He spent a year on this effort, leaving his fields unplanted, so that his friends and neighbors thought he had lost his mind.[8][10] Sequoyah did not succeed until he gave up trying to represent entire words and instead developed a symbol for each syllable in the language. After approximately a month, he had a system of 86 characters, some of which were Roman letters that he obtained from a spelling book.[8]

Unable to find people willing to learn the syllabary, he taught it to his daughter Ayokeh, and then traveled to present-day Arkansas where some Cherokee had settled. When he tried to convince the local leaders of the syllabary's usefulness, they doubted him, believing that the symbols were merely ad hoc reminders. Sequoyah asked each of them to say a word, which he wrote down, and then called his daughter in to read the words back. This demonstration convinced the leaders to let him teach the syllabary to a few more people. This took several months, during which it was rumored that he might be using the students for sorcery. After completing the lessons, he was further tested by writing a dictated letter to each student, and reading a dictated response. This test convinced the Arkansas Cherokee that he had created a practical writing system.[10]

When Sequoyah returned east, he brought a sealed envelope containing a written speech from one of the Arkansas Cherokee leaders. By reading this speech, he convinced the eastern Cherokee also to learn the system, after which it spread rapidly. In 1825 the Cherokee Nation officially adopted the writing system. From 1828 to 1834 writers and editors used Sequoyah's syllabary to print the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper of the Cherokee Nation with text in English and Cherokee.[11]

Life in Arkansas and further west
After the acceptance of his syllabary by the nation in 1825, Sequoyah walked to the new Cherokee territory in Arkansas. There he set up a blacksmith shop and a salt works. He continued to teach the syllabary to anyone who came to him. In 1828, Sequoyah journeyed to Washington, D.C. as part of a delegation to negotiate a treaty for land in Oklahoma.
His trip brought him into contact with representatives of other Native American tribes from around the nation. With these meetings he decided to create a syllabary for universal use among Native American tribes. With this in mind, Sequoyah began to journey to areas of present-day Arizona and New Mexico seeking tribes there.

In addition, Sequoyah dreamed of seeing the splintered Cherokee Nation reunited. Between 1843 and 1845, he died during a trip to Mexico seeking Cherokees who had moved there. His burial location is unknown.

Sequoyah's Cabin, a frontier cabin which he lived in during 1829-1844, is located in Oklahoma. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Nancy Ward

Nancy Ward 1738 - 1822 My 6 g Grandmother (Tame Doe3Raven, Anaway2 Moytoy, Amatoya1Moytoy)

Nancy Ward from the Cherokee Registry First Light on Line

Nanyehi Nancy Ward "The Ghi Ga U"

She was a Full blood of the Wolf Clan, born in Chota, the City of Refuge and Capitol of the Cherokee Nation. Her Great grandfather was Moytoy of Tellico Supreme Chief 1730 --1760. Moytoy's second daughter, born about 1663 and her husband, The "Raven" of Chotawere Nancy's grandparents.

Nancy holds a position of great significancein Cherokee history.
In 1738, Tame Do (the sister of Attakullakulla) and her husband, thought to be a Delaware Indian brave or Chief ( who died early in her life) gave birth to a daughter named Nancy, who in time became the last true Ghi Ga U or Beloved Woman of the Cherokees, and in who, in her views regarding Cherokee and white relationships, was an ally of Little Carpenter (Attakullakulla).

In the early 1750's, she married the noted war leader, Kingfisher of the Deer Clan, and was at his side when in 1755 he was killed by Creek warriors at the battle of Taliwa. She immediately picked up his weapons and rallied the Cherokee warriors to overwhelming victory. Back at Chota, she was chosen to fill the vacant position of a Beloved Woman. It was believed that the Supreme Beings often spoke to the people through the beloved women, and they were given absolute power in the question of what to do with prisoners taken in war, a power exclusive to Ghi Ga U. Nancy did not hesitate to use the power. She was also head of the influential woman's council that consisted of a representative from each clan, and she sat as a voting member of the council of chiefs.

In the late 1750's, about 1759, she married an already wed white trader named Bryant Ward, who before 1760 left her and returned to his white wife and children in South Carolina. In 1772, an English diplomat named Robertson visited Nancy's home at Chota, which he described as being furnished in a barbaric splendor that befitted her high rank. She was then thirty - five years old and he pictured her as "queenly and commanding"(Mooney -Myths of the Cherokeepg. 204 )

In June 1776, Dragging Canoe, Abraham and Raven , Cherokee War Chiefs, with 250 warriors each, at the instigation of the British, planned to attack Western settlements. Ghi Ga u warned the settlers of the impending attacks, then on July 20, 1776, Abraham, marching to attack Watauga in East Tennessee, captured Mrs. William Bean, mother of the first white child born in Tennessee. When the war party returned to Cherokee Country, Mrs. Bean was condemned to be burned at the stake. She was conducted to the top of a mound that stood in the center of Tuskeegee, which was located just above the mouth of the Tellico or Little Tennessee River. Bound at the stake, faggots piled around, torch about to be applied, GhiGau appeared , cut the thongs and took the captive to her home, where Mrs. Bean taught her how to keep house and make butter. As soon as it was safe, Ghi Ga u sent her brother, Tuskeegeeteehee, or Longfellow of Chistatoa and her son Hiskyteehee, or Fivekiller sometimes called Littlefellow, to escort Mrs. Bean to her husband. Numerous settlements had been made on Cherokee land, in direct violation of royal decree from England.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, the Cherokees again sided with the English. In 1776, the Cherokees prepared to attack simultaneously the frontier settlements of Virginia, the Carolinas, andGeorgia. The responsibility assigned to 700 warriors from chota was to strike the settlers who lived in the Watuga area. As much for theCherokees' sake as for that of the settlers, Nancy Ward helped IsaacThomas, William Fawling and another white man to escape from Chota to warn the Watugans in time to build fortifications. This act established Nancy's reputation as a friend of the settlers. When in October 1776 Colonel William Christian led nearly 2,000 troops in a devastating raid,out of respect for Nancy Ward he spared Chota, while most of the other Cherokee towns were ravaged. In 1780, at a time when most of the Wataugamen were away from home and engaged in the King's Mountain campaign, at the same time, the frontier rear guards became short on rations and NancyWard agreed to supply beef and had some cattle driven in, the Cherokees again prepared to attack the settlements in the Watauga area. Nancy Ward warned the whites a second time, but when the soldiers returned from King's Mountain and learned of the threat, they were enraged, and set out to teach the Cherokees a lesson they would never forget. Despite NancyWard's pleas for mercy and friendship, Chota was destroyed along withother towns, and for a short time she and her family were placed in protective custody. When they were released, they returned to help rebuild the town, and on July 20, 1781, she was the featured speaker for the Cherokees when the reeling people reluctantly accepted a peace treaty with the Wataugans.

When the Treaty of Hopewell was made in South Carolina in 1785, she offered another dramatic plea for continued peace between the Indians and the whites. Once the unhappy war years were ended she lived in Chota, where although it was no longer the capitol of the nation, it was still a city of refuge, and from all over the nation she took into her home orphaned and homeless waifs, including mixed breeds.

Nancy Ward died in 1822, a truly remarkable woman who learned a permanent place of honor in Cherokee and white history"( The CherokeePeople pp. 193 - 194) Ghi Ga u conducted an inn at the Womankiller ford of the Ocowee River for many years and became quite wealthy; her property consisted of livestock, slaves and money. Travelers called her "Granny Ward" because of her age and that she was the widow of Bryant Ward Nancy grew too old to meet with council and other chiefs, she sent her servant to take her walking stick, her badge of authority, to her appointed seat in the council building to assure that her spirit was there, most notably the council at Amoah, May 6, 1817, the renunciation of her delegated rights and in favor of the first Constitutional Enactment of the Cherokees. Nancy Ward died at her home at the Womankiller ford, in the spring of 1822. Her grave site, a designated state park, is located on a knoll next to U. S. Highway 411, just South of Benton, Tennessee. Buried beside her son, Fivekiller, a veteran of the War of 1812, and her brother Longfellow. Her grave site overlooks the site where Nancy ran her inn, where the old Unicoy Pikecrossed the Ocoee River.( the Pike was the main road from Knoxville intoNorthern Georgia and was a popular resting place for travelers)
Speech 1817
What follows was perhaps not a speech, but rather a written document which was not found in the Amovey Council memorandum. Dated May 2nd, 1817, it was found in the Andrew Jackson Papers, Book 29, No. 17, Volume 1, pages 6452-3:

The Cherokee ladys now being present at the meeting of the Chiefs and warriors in council have thought it their duty as mothers to address their beloved chiefs and warriors now assembled.
Our beloved children and head men of the Cherokee nation we address you warriors now assembled.

Our beloved children and head men of the Cherokee nation we address you warriors in council we have raised all of you on the land which we now have, which God gave us to inhabit and raise provisions we know that our country has once been extensive but by repeated sales has become circumscribed to a small tract and never have thought it our duty to interfere in the disposition of it till now, if a father or mother was to sell all their lands which they had to depend on which their children had to raise their living on which would be indeed bad and to be removed to another country we do not wish to go to an unknown country which we have understood would be like destroying your mothers. Your mothers your sisters ask and beg of you not to part with any more of our lands, we say ours you are descendants and take pity on our request, but keep it for our growing children for it was the good will of our creator to place us here and you know our father the great president will not allow his white children to take our country away only keep you hands off of paper talks for it is our own country for if it was not they would not ask you to put your hands to paper for it would be impossible to remove us all for as soon as one child is raised we have others in our arms for such is our situation and will consider our circumstance.

Therefore children don't part with any more of our lands but continue on it and enlarge your farms and cultivate and raise corn and cotton and we your mothers and sisters will make clothing for you which our father the president has recommended to us all we don't charge anybody for selling any lands, but we have heard such intentions of our children but your talks become true at least and it was our desire to forewarn you all not to part with our lands.
Nancy Wart to her children Warriors take pity and listen to the talks of your sisters, although I am very old yet cannot but pity the situation in which you will hear of their minds, I have great many grand children which I wish them to do well on our land.
Newspaper Article

The Cherokee Beloved Woman; Wild Rose of the Cherokee; Pocahontas of the West; War Woman; Prophetess; Granny Ward, these are a few of the names and titles given to Nancy Ward, the most powerful and influential woman in the Cherokee Nation during recorded history. She ruled over the powerful Council of Women and had a voting seat in the Council of Chiefs. During her lifetime the Cherokee moved from a matriarchal, clan-type of government to a republic much like our own.

She was born in 1738 at Chota and was loved and respected by the settlers as well as the Cherokees. She had absolute power over prisoners and on numerous occasions saved the lives of white people. On at least two occasions during the Revolutionary War period she sent warnings to John Sevier at the Watauga settlements of planned Indian attacks, thus giving them time to prepare a defense or counter-offensive.

She participated in the Treaty of July 20, 1781, and the Treaty at Hopewell, November 28, 1785, as a principal speaker. She alluded to her never ending desire to seek peace for her people and to hold on to as much of their land as possible. After the Hiwassee Purchase of 1819, she left Chota and settled on the Ocoee River near Benton, Tennessee. She operated an inn at Woman Killer Ford on the Federal Road until her death in 1822. She is buried on a hill nearby. In 1923 a monument was placed on her grave by a Chattanooga Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Chief Chuqualataque Doublehead

Chief Chuqualataque Doublehead 1744 - 1807 My 6g Grand Second Cousin Once Removed

Doublehead's Legacy

Perhaps the most interesting of the Cherokee chiefs in the Tennessee Basin of Alabama was Chief Doublehead or Talo Tiske meaning “two heads.” Chief Doublehead established a town on the Tennessee River at the head of Muscle Shoals in 1790. This village sat at the mouth of Blue Water Creek in Lauderdale County.

Muscle Shoals had always been an area of dispute between Chickasaws and Cherokees, though it was known as “Chickasaw Hunting Grounds.” When Doubleheads occupation of Muscle Shoals came into question, Chief George Colbert of the Chickasaws confirmed that Doublehead was at Muscle Shoals by his permission. This new agreement seems less unusual considering that Colbert had married two of Doublehead’s daughters.

Doublehead’s brother was Chief Old Tassel, one of the Cherokees most well-known and beloved chiefs. When he was murdered with the aid of the white mayor James Hubbert, Doublehead went on the rampage, attacking white settlers throughout the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee. This six year warpath from 1788 to 1794 is well chronicled, and though it was no doubt exaggerated by the afflicted, the chiefs terrible “atrocities” certainly add up to a significant sum. He was even accused of encouraging his warriors to cannibalism of the dead during this escapade.

At the end of his warpath, Doublehead met with President George Washington at the nation’s capital, and he returned a changed man. Though he began to mimic the ways of the whites and built a large cabin, he continued to defend the Cherokees land rights in various treaties until his death. This change of heart was characteristic of the Cherokees during this time, many of whom adopted the manners and customs of the whites. He even went as far as forming the Doublehead Company that leased 1,000 acres to more than 50 white settlers between the Elk River and Cypress Creek.

Doublehead was murdered in a savagely interesting tale chronicled by the famous Indian canoe fighter, Sam Dale. On a trip to a ball game on the Hiwasee River, Doublehead engaged in a series of arguments with two Cherokee warriors and a white Indian trader.

Served under Chief Dragging Canoe

Chief Doublehead was a bloodthirsty Chief who served under Chief Dragging Canoe. He commanded the expedition against Knoxville in 1793.It is said that he traveled to Tennessee near now Athens, Tennessee in 1807 to attend a stick ball game and while there he bragged about having sold Cherokee Lands for a lot of money even though It was a death sentence to do so. He was attacked in the MCIntosh Tavern by Major Ridge,James Vann and Alexander Saunders, where he was wounded and fled to the home of James Black a missionary, where he died. It is said he was a brother to Old Tassel. He was a full blood Chickamauga Cherokee Warrior, as well as Tahlonteeskee, his Brother-in-law.


In the summer of 1807, the Cherokees had a great ball play on the Hiwassee River. This was their national sport, and attracted immense crowds. On this occasion there were more than a thousand Indians present, besides the officers from Hiwassee Fort, and numerous traders attracted by the prospect of selling their merchandise.

The central figure among the Cherokees was the famous Chief Doublehead. Gen. Sam Dale, of Mississippi, then a Georgian Indian trader, who is authority for the following account of his death, knew Doublehead and called upon him. Sam, you are a mighty liar, was his greeting. When Dale demanded why he thus insulted him in public, a smile illuminated his grim face as he replied, You have never kept your promise to come and see me. You know you have lied. He then produced a bottle of whiskey, and invited Dale and the officers present to drink with him. When they had emptied the bottle, he rejected Dale's offer to replenish it, saying, When I am in the white man's country, I will drink your liquor, but here you must drink with Doublehead.

After the game was over a chief named Bone-polisher approached Doublehead and denounced him as a traitor for selling the land of his people. The stolid chief remaining tranquil and silent, Bone-polisher became still more angry, accompanying his abuse with menacing gestures. Then Doublehead spoke, quietly and without agitation: Go away. You have said enough. Leave me, or I shall kill you. Bone-polisher rushed at him with his tomahawk, which Doublehead received on his left arm, and drawing his pistol, shot him through the heart.

Some time after night, Doublehead, who had been drinking, came in to Hiwassee Ferry, and entered McIntosh's tavern. Among those whom he encountered there was a chief named Ridge, afterwards Major Ridge, a half-breed called Alex. Saunders, and John Rodgers, an old white man who had long resided in the nation. Rodgers began to revile him, much after the manner of Bone-polisher. Doublehead proudly rebuked him: You live by sufferance among us. I have never seen you in council nor on the war-path. You have no place among the chiefs. Be silent and interfere no more with me. The old man still persisted, and Doublehead attempted to shoot him, but his pistol, not having been charged, missed fire. The light was then extinguished, and at the same instant a pistol shot was fired. When the light was rekindled, Ridge, Saunders, and Rodgers had all disappeared, and Doublehead lay motionless on his face. The ball had shattered his lower jaw and lodged in the nape of his neck.

His friends now set out with him for the garrison, but fearing they would be overtaken, turned aside, and concealed him in the loft of Schoolmaster Black's house. Two warriors of the Bone-polisher clan traced Doublehead by his blood to his hiding place. At the same time Ridge and Saunders came galloping up, shouting the war whoop. Sam Dale and Col. James Brown, of Georgia, followed them. The wounded chief was lying on the floor, his jaw and arm terribly lacerated. Ridge and Saunders each leveled his pistol, but both missed fire. Doublehead sprang upon Ridge and would have overpowered him had not Saunders discharged his pistol and shot him through the hips. Saunders then made a rush on Doublehead with his tomahawk, but the dying chief wrenched it from him, and again leaped upon Ridge. Saunders seized another tomahawk and drove it into his brain. When he fell another Indian crushed his head with a spade. It is interesting to note that, after the tribe had been removed to the west, Major Ridge was himself executed in the same manner, for a like offense.

The murder of Chief Doublehead August 9, 1807

Cherokee Chief Doublehead is executed by The Ridge, James Vann and Alexander Saunders
It marked the end of an era in the Cherokee Nation and the rise of the republic.

Doublehead had grown powerful by giving Cherokee land to the government through the liberal bribes of Indian Agent Return J. Miegs. The tribal council had made it a crime punishable by death to cede Cherokee land to anyone. Doublehead continued to allow settlers into Cherokee land, and traded holdings with the United States.

Ridge, Vann and Sauders, possibly with the approval of the Cherokee Council, sought Doublehead. The first attempt to kill Doublehead ended when Vann, who was to perform the task, was too drunk. Other attempts followed, but finally Ridge succeeded.
Ironically, Ridge would receive the same punishment for signing the Treaty of New Echota in 1835

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hanging Maw

Chief Hanging Maw 1710 -1794 My 7 g Second Cousin by Marriage Once Removed. (Amatoya1Moytoy, White2 Owl Raven, Betsy3 Raven)

Scolacutta,Uskaw'lil-gutaU-s-quo-li=Abdomen/Stomach, Ga-dv-di=Hang
Principal Chief Between 1780 - 1792 - Source Emmet Starr
Full Blooded Cherokee
Hanging Maw fought with President Washington in the Franch and Indian War. Old Frontiers, John P Brown, pg 388

Following the death of Old Tassel, those Cherokee towns inclined toward peace had separated roughly into two groups. Hanging Maw had been selected as Principal Chief to succeed the Tassel, but the lower towns east of Lookout Mt. Coosawatie, Elijay, Ustinali, and Etowah recognized Little Turkey as their head man. Old Frontiers, John P Brown, pg 309.

Attended March 1775, Henderson's Treaty, Sycamore Shoals
Source: Cherokee Registry

Hanging Maw, or Uskwa'li-gu'ta in Cherokee, was the leading chief of the Overhill Cherokee from 1788 to 1794. He became chief following the death of Old Tassel, during the troubled period following the destruction of the traditional capital at Chota. His wife, Betsy, was the sister of Attakullakulla. Although he claimed the title by right of being the chief headman of the Overhill Towns, the rest of the nation had chosen Little Turkey as their First Beloved Man when they moved the seat of the council to Ustanali on the Conasauga River following the murder of Old Tassel.

He did take part in the Chickamauga wars, and in February 1786 along a wilderness creek in Middle Tennessee approximately twenty miles southeast of Lafayette, he led a party of sixty men in a skirmish with John and Ephraim Peyton, Squire Grant, and two other white men. Outnumbered, the white men successfully fled the area, but lost their horses, game, and surveying instruments to the band of Cherokees. The stream at the site of the skirmish became known as "Defeated Creek."

In 1793, a diplomatic party from the Lower Cherokee (as the division of Cherokee still at war with the U.S.A. were by then called) was attacked on its way to Knoxville, Tennessee, at the time capital of the Southwest Territory by colonial militia, who pursued them all the way to Chota on the Little Tennessee River, by then a former shadow of itself and no longer the seat of the Nation, that now being Ustanali, near the modern Calhoun, Georgia. When the militia couldn't find the fleeing diplomatic party, they attacked the people of the town, wounding Hanging Maw and killing Betsy.

The response of the Cherokee was an invasion of the Holston River settlements with the largest force of Indians ever seen, over one thousand warriors from both the Cherokee and the Upper Muskogee, under the chief of the Lower Cherokee, John Watts. Though its results were less than successful since bitter division among the Cherokee over the murders of a family at a small fortified settlement known as Cavett's Station after they'd been given safe passage by Watts, it is still notable for the size of the force that took to the field.

Litton, Gaston L. "The Principal Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation", Chronicles of Oklahoma 15:3 (September 1937) 253-270 (retrieved August 18, 2006).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beloved Woman Cornblossom

The "portrait" is of one of Cornblossom's granddaughters who is the spitting image of Cornblossom. The picture was taken about 1860 or has been in his family's possession since 1860")

Cornblossom Chuqualatgue Doublehead 1760 - 1810
My 5 g third cousin ((Chief Chuqualatague4 Doublehead, chief Great3 Eagle, Chief Moytoy2of Tellico, Amatoya1 Moytoy)


The Cherokee wedding was held at and around Doubleheads cave (Wayne County). The ceremony was tribal. It is said in true memories and stories handed down through my generations of ancestors that the country side was in its late spring beauty. Wild Tree and field flowers were still in full bloom, especially the wild mountain Laurel> The "Beloved Woman", then young Cornblossmo, was said to have charmed everyone with her beauty as her blood ancestor, War Woman, She who carries the sun" (for her people) had done during the French and Indian War. Blossom of the Corn (cornblossom) was said to have worn specially made wedding clothes, highly decorated beaded sandals, and a special jewelled traditonal Chickamaugan head piece made by the Clan Mothers, over her left ear was said to be a beautiful ornamental wing of a bluebird. It was said that Cornblossom carried many blossom's and wild roses that perfumed the air with sweetness, and also an ear of special Clan Field Corn. This special ear of corn from the field of her Cherokee people clan symbolized the 1st woman who was called Selu in Cherokee. Jacob Troxell brought and carried the finest of meat partly symbolizing his care of the 1st man who was called Kanati in cherokee. The 1st man and woman on this world can be found in the stories of the Cherokee of the "Story of the Cornmaiden". Cornblossom walked with a great Thrunderbolt War Chief and Chickamaugan Principal Chief Dragging Canoe. Dragging Canoe was said to have led Cornblossom to the center front of Doublehead's cave (hines Cave, at Mill Springs, Monitcello Kentucky). This special cave was the burial chambers of the ancients and diplomatic party headquarters of the northern provisonal capital of the Chickamaugan Cherokee Nation. "Big Jake" Jacob Troxell was accompanied by the famous Cherokee Thunderbolt Peace Chief, Hanging Maw from another direction. Some say Cherokee War Chief Doublehead performed the marriage himself but according to the Cherokee Custom this was not allowed. Some highly believe that Dick Justice performed this marriage.

The Great Cherokee Children's Massacre Ywahoo Falls Kentucky 1810
On Friday, August 10th 1810, the Great Cherokee Children Massacre took place at Ywahoo Falls in southeast Kentucky. The Cherokee village leaders of the Cumberland Plateau territory from Knoxville Tennessee to the Cumberland River in Kentucky was led by the northern provisional Thunderbolt District Chief Beloved Woman - War Woman "Cornblossom", the highly honored daughter of the famous Thunderbolt War Chief Doublehead.

Several months before this date, War Woman Cornblossom was preparing the people in all the Cherokee villages of southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee to bring all their children to the sacred Ywahoo Falls area of refuge and safety. Once all the Cherokee children were gathered they were to make a journey to Reverend Gideon Blackburns Presbertearian Indian School at Sequatchie Valley outside of Chattanooga Tennessee in order to save the children of the Cherokee Nation remaining in Kentucky and northern Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau. This area of Sequatchie Valley was very near to Lookout Mountain at Chattanooga, the once long held Chickamauga National capital of the Thunderbolts. The arrangements to save the Cherokee children thru Gideon Blackburns white protection Christian Indian Schools had been made earlier by Cornblossoms father War Chief Doublehead, who had also several years earlier been assassinated by non-traditionalist of the southern Cherokee Nation of the Carolinas and far eastern Tennessee.

A huge large gathering area underneath Ywahoo Falls itself was to be the center meeting place for these women and children to gather and wait, then all the children of all ages would go as one group southward to the school to safety from the many Indian fighters gathering in the neighboring counties of Wayne and Pulaski in Kentucky. These Indian fighters were led by an old Franklinite militiaman from Tennessee named Hiram "Big Tooth" Gregory who came from Sullivan County Tennessee at the settlement of Franklin and had fought many Franklinite campaigns under John Seveir to eliminate all the traditional Thunderbolt Cherokee totally and without mercy. Big Tooth Gregory, sanctioned by the United States government, war department, and governor of the territory, carried on the ill famous Indian hating battle cry of John Seveir that "nits make lice". Orders were understood by these Cherokee haters that nits (baby lice) would grow up to be adults and especially targeted in all the campaigns of John Seveirs Franklinites were the Cherokee women, pregnant women, and children of all ages. John Seveir, Big Tooth Gregory, and all the rest of the Franklinites philosophy was that if they could destroy the children of the Cherokee, there would be no Cherokee and no Cherokee Nation to contend with in their expansion of white settlements, the white churches, and the claiming of territory for the United States. Orders were issued to the Franklinites to split open the belly of any pregnant Cherokee woman, remove the baby inside her, and slice it as well. To the Franklinites, the Cherokee baby inside the mother was the nit that would eventually make lice.

Runners brought word to Standing Fern at the falls that her husband War Chief Peter Troxell and Cornblossom were on their way to Ywahoo Falls with the last of the children. Traveling with Cornblossom and War Chief Peter Troxell were Chief Red Bird of the Cumberland Falls area and their children, the youngest children of Cornblossom, and all the children of War Chief Peter Troxell.

When they arrived at Ywahoo Falls the journey southward would begin. But before Cornblossom, Red Bird, War Chief Peter Troxell, and the children with them arrived, the old Franklinite "Indian fighter" by the name of Hiram "Big Tooth" Gregory had heard of the planned trip several days prior and headed immediately for the falls area to kill them all with all he could muster to kill the Cherokee. Breaking the 1807 peace treaty between War Chief Peter Troxell and the Governor of Kentucky, Big Tooth Gregorys band of Indian fighters crossed into Cherokee territory and came in two directions, one group from Wayne County, the other from neighboring Pulaski county in southeast Kentucky. The Indian fighters on horseback joined together at what is now called Flat Rock Kentucky and headed into the Ywahoo Falls area with fiery hatred. Big Tooth Gregory and his Indian fighters could not allow these children (nits) to escape. Being only 1 good accessible way in by land and 1 way in by water, Gregorys band of Indian fighters chose the quick way by land, sending a few side skirmishers by way to block anyone trying to escape.

Before they reached the falls, at todays entrance to Ywahoo Falls, the Indian fighters encountered a front Cherokee guard consisting of "Big Jake" Jacob Troxell (husband to Cornblossom), a few longhunters friendly to the Cherokee mainly thru intermarriage and some remaining Thunderbolt warriors, all who were guarding the entrance to the falls. This occurred shortly after midnight in the early morning hours of darkness before the rising of the sun. This will be the night morning of screams. This will be the last day of many children. From this massacre, Jacob Troxell (husband to Cornblossom), the Great Warrior, and all the front guards killed, War Woman Standing Fern (wife to War Chief Peter Troxell) and her elite Thunderbolt warriors all killed defending the children below the falls, War Chief Peter Troxell killed in the last fight, and over 100 women and children waiting to go south to safety in a children journey to a Christian mission school, all lay dead, massacred, raped, tortured, and scalped, by these "Indian fighters".

It was said that "Bones and Blood ran so deep underneath Ywahoo Falls that the murdered dead were all put there together in a heap to be their grave". The place of innocence and the Ancient Ones now became a place of death of the innocent. The Falls ran red that day of darkness, Friday, August 10, 1810. This massacre ended all power of the mighty Chickamaugan Thunderbolt Cherokee people in Kentucky to Knoxville Tennessee. These people of southeast Kentucky and northern Tennessee held out unto death. And as it is often said "Today was a good day to die" for "We are not conquered.”

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Trail of Tears
It is from a painting by Robert Lindneux, which depicts the forcible removal
of some thirteen thousand Cherokee alone from their homes in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama by United States Troops, acting on the orders of President Andrew Jackson. The soldiers organized them like cattle into bands of one thousand men, women and children; then the soldiers marched them overland to their new homes in the Indian Territory federal reservations during the winter of 1838-1839. Plagued by disease and lack of food, more than 4,000 died along the way.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dragging Canoe 1738 - 1792

Son of Chief Attakulkulla and Nannie Ollie - My 6th g Grand Cousin Once Removed

Tsiyugunsini "Dragging Canoe"
From the Cherokee Registry
As a 12-14 year old boy he was told he couldn't go with the war party unless he could drag the fully loaded war log canoe on land into the water. His enthusiasm and endeavors earned him the name Tsi'ui-Gunsin'ni "Dragging Canoe". This was circa 1750 when his father Atakullakulla led war parties against the French & their Native allies, including Shawnee, in the Ohio Valley.
From Wikipedia

Tsiyugunsini, "He is dragging his canoe", known to whites as Dragging Canoe, (c. 1738 – March 1, 1792) was an American Indian war leader who led a dissident band of Cherokee (joined by Upper Muskogee, Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Indians from other tribes/nations, along with British Loyalists, French and Spanish agents, renegade whites from the colonies, and runaway slaves), against the United States in the American Revolutionary War and a decade afterwards, a series of conflicts known as the Chickamauga wars, becoming the pre-eminent war leader among the Indian of the Southeast of his time. He served as principal chief of the Chickamauga, or Lower, Cherokee from 1777 until his death in 1792, upon which he was succeeded by John Watts.

Son of Attakullakulla ("Little Carpenter" in English), who was part Shawnee and part Nipissing, and a mother who was a Natchez living in a town of refugees from that tribes who had settled among the Overhill Towns on the Little Tennessee River, he contracted smallpox at a young age, which left his face pock-marked. According to Cherokee legend, his name is derived from an incident in his early childhood in which he attempted to prove his readiness to go on the warpath by hauling a canoe, the attempt resulting in him only being able to drag it.

Dragging Canoe did later get his chance to take part in war, initially against the Shawnee and Muskogee (later his two closest allies), but he gained his first real taste in the Anglo-Cherokee War (1759-1761), along with prior forays into the Ohio country as well. In the aftermath of this war, he became one of the most vocal opponents of encroachment by settlers from the British colonies onto Indian, especially Cherokee, land. Eventually he became chief of Great Island Town (Amoyeli Egwa in Cherokee, written Mialaquo by the British) on the Little Tennessee River.

When the Cherokee opted to join in the fighting of the American Revolution on the side of the British, Dragging Canoe was at the head of one of the major attacks. After his father and Oconostota refused to continue further after the wholesale destruction of the Cherokee Middle (Hill), Valley, and Lower Towns, Dragging Canoe led a band of the Overhill Cherokee out of the towns to the area surrounding Chickamauga River (South Chickamauga Creek) in the Chattanooga area, where they established eleven towns in 1777, including the one later referred to as "Old Chickamauga Town" across river from place where the British commissary John McDonald had set up shop, doing so on the advice of Alexander Cameron, the British agent to the Cherokee. From this location, frontiersmen gave his group the name the Chickamauga Cherokee, and later called them the Lower Cherokee.

After the Chickamauga towns were destroyed a second time in 1782, Dragging Canoe's band moved down the Tennessee River to the "Five Lower Towns" area below the obstructions of the Tennessee River Gorge: Running Water (now Whiteside), Nickajack (near the cave of the same name), Long Island (on the Tennessee River), Crow Town (at the mouth of Crow Creek), and Lookout Mountain Town (at the site of the current Trenton, Georgia). From Running Water, Dragging Canoe led attacks on white settlements all over the American Southeast, especially against the colonial settlements on the Holston, Watauga, and Nolichucky Rivers in East Tennessee, and the Cumberland River settlements in Middle Tennessee (after 1780), sometimes raiding into Kentucky and Virginia as well. His brothers Little Owl, The Badger, and Turtle-at-Home are known to have taken part in his wars as well.

Dragging Canoe died March 1, 1792, from exhaustion or an apparent heart attack after dancing all night celebrating the recent conclusion of alliance with the Muskogee and the Choctaw, despite a failed similar mission to the Chickasaw, from whence he had just returned, plus a recent victory by a Chickamauga war band on the Cumberland River settlements. He is considered by many to be the most significant Native Americans leader of the Southeast, and provided a significant role model for the younger Tecumseh, who was a member of a band of Shawnee living with the Chickamauga/Lower Cherokee and taking part in their wars.

Chief Dragging Canoe - Another Article

For seventeen years, Dragging Canoe led a war trail against settlements in Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas. The militia of these states retaliated by destroying Indian crops and more than 50 Cherokee towns. The old chiefs wanted peace, but Dragging Canoe wanted to continue the fight. He and his followers built new settlements in Georgia and became known as the Chicamaugans. This die-hard band of Chicamaugans conducted guerrilla raids, leaving a trail of scalps, murdered victims, and ruined crops. In 1777 Dragging Canoe killed a man named David Crockett, his wife and several of his children. Two of David's sons, Joseph and James, were taken prisoner and kept for 17 years. Another son, John, married and had nine children. The fifth of these was named Davey Crockett, after his murdered grandfather. This is the Davey Crockett who fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the Creek War of 1813, became a U.S. Senator, and later died a hero at the Alamo.

A Speech Given by Dragging Canoe

- Chief Dragging Canoe, Chickamauga Tsalagi (Cherokee) 1775

"Whole Indian Nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delawares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness. We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Tsalagi (Cherokee) land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Tsalagi (Cherokees). New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Tsalagi (Cherokees) and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the Ani Yvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Tsalagi (Cherokees), the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will hold our land."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Chief Attakullakulla "Little Carpenter" 1708 - 1777

Son of Anawaya Moytoy and White Owl Raven - My 7g Grand Uncle

Attacullaculla of Chota-Tenase, Principal Chief of the Cherokee, (ca. 1708–ca. 1777), also known as Little Carpenter, was a leading chief of the Cherokee Indians from 1761 to around 1775. He was known to the British as the "Prince of Chote-Tenase", or Prince of Chota, because his grandfather, Moytoy of Chota, had been the chief of the capital city, Chota-Tanasi. His name is also spelled Attakullakulla. His son was Dragging Canoe.

According to James Mooney, his Cherokee name was "Ata'-gul-kalu", which could be translated "leaning wood", from "ata" meaning "wood", and "gulkalu", a verb that implies something long and unsupported, leaning against some other object. His name "Little Carpenter" came from a maternal ancestor, Thomas Pasmere Carpenter, and Englishman of Norman descent.

Family tradition maintains that he was born on Seivers Island (near Chota) around 1708 to Nancy Moytoy (eldest daughter of Moytoy I b. 1683) and her husband Moytoy IV. Moytoy IV was an Algonquin named White Owl Raven Carpenter (also called Raven of Chota) who had been adopted by Moytoy II (Trader Tom Carpenter). He married Nionne Ollie, who was the daughter of his cousin Oconostota (the marriage was permissible because they were of different clans; he was Wolf Clan and she was Paint Clan). Among their children were Dragging Canoe and Dutsi, through whom Major Ridge and David Watie were grandchildren of Attacullaculla.

He was a member of the Cherokee delegation that traveled to England in 1730. In 1736, he rejected the advances of the French, who sent emissaries to the Overhill Cherokees. Three or four years later, he was captured by the Ottawa, allies of the French, who held him captive in Canada until 1748. Upon his return, he became one of the Cherokees' leading diplomats and an adviser to the Beloved Man of Chota.

In May 1759, following a series of attacks by settlers and Cherokees against each other, Attacullaculla joined a delegation that went to Charleston to try to negotiate with South Carolina authorities. Governor William Henry Lyttleton seized the delegates as hostages until the Cherokees responsible for killing white settlers were surrendered. Having raised an expeditionary force, Lyttleton set out for Fort Prince George with the hostages in tow and arrived with 1700 men on December 9, 1759. Though freed soon after, Attacullaculla returned to Fort Prince George to negotiate for peace, but his efforts were thwarted by the more hawkish Oconostota. The Cherokees gave up two individuals and negotiated the release of a few hostages including Oconostota, who soon after lured Lt. Richard Coytmore out of the fort, waving a bridle over his head, and incited Cherokee warriors hiding in the woods to fire upon and kill Coytmore; white soldiers inside the fort then proceeded to murder all the Cherokees inside, and hostilities continued between the Cherokees and Anglo-Americans.
He was actually a rather small man, not much over 5 feet. Most of the modern American History books contain the name of this man as having fought with the Americans in the American Revolution. His son, Dragging Canoe fought on the side of the British, the Chickamagua Cherokees.

His death is believed to have occurred either in 1775 or 1777, after which he was succeeded by his cousin, Oconostota (who was also his father-in-law). Attacullaculla did not use the European title "Emperor of the Cherokees" that his uncles had.

White Owl Raven 1680 - 1741

Husband of Anawaya Nancy Moytoy and my 8g Grandfather

White Owl Raven was an Algonguin Infant when captured, He was adopted by the Cherokee Tribe and was raised by Woman Nancy,and was of another clan,could have been Paint Clan, which allowed him to marry Nancy Moytoy of the Wolf Clan,as People of the same clan are forbidden to marry by Cherokee Law. Later he was adopted by a man called Trader Tom Watts.,who was the friend and business partner of Thomas Pasmere Carpenter, He married Nanye Hi Nancy Moytoy II, This story by Old Frontiers, by John Brown and by Emmett Starr's history of the Cherokee.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nancy Moytoy of the Wolf Clan (born ca. 1683)

Daughter of Amatoy Moytoy 1683 - 1741 My 8g Grandmother
Nancy Moytoy of the Wolf Clan (born ca. 1683) was a member of the Cherokee/Shawnee Moytoy-Carpenter dynasty. She was the eldest daughter of the Cherokee chief Moytoy I of Chota and the mother of Attacullaculla. She was the wife of Moytoy III (Savannah Tom Carpenter), who was Attacullaculla's father, and later to his adopted brother Moytoy IV (Raven of Chota Carpenter). Her mother was Quatsy of Tellico, of the Wolf Clan.

Nancy Moytoy was the daughter of Chief Amatoya Moytoy I, she married White Owl Raven who was a captive Algonquin,and who was adopted into the clan, and raised by another Cherokee Woman named Nancy.

Children of Nancy Moytoy and White Owl Raven:

1. Chief Attakullakulla-born 1708 in Seivers Island,Tn and died May 1777,In Natchestown, NC which is now Tennessee.
2. Killaneca the Buck-born 1712,Tellico,TN- 1761, Cherokee, TN
3. Killaque Raven- born 1714-Tellico,TN- died 1757-TN
4. Tame Doe Raven, born 1716,Cherokee Nation,TN died 1760,Cherokee, TN
5. Betsy Owl Raven, born 1730,Cherokee Nation,TN died May 1777, Alabama

Chief Kanagatooga "Old Hop" "Standing Turkey" Moytoy

My 8g Grand Uncle, The Son of Amatoy Moytoy

Kanagatoga, Fire King of Chota. He was also known as Canacayghte, Canoreortuker, Connecorte, Emperor of Chota, Standing Turkey and Uku of Chota. He removed the English appointed rulership over the Cherokee nation, and brought all four settlement areas under Chota in 1753-1754.

Moew people were dying of disease introduced by immigrants than by any other cause, and half the population was decimated by diseases such as smallpox and measles...This was during the time when England was colonizing Virginia and Carolina commonwealths, in competition with the French, and before the colonies separated from England.

The British called him "Old Hop" because he limped. Old Hop had been crippled when a youth on the warpath."

Old Hop was advanced in age when he was chosen as Moytoy's successor. There are numerous references in the correspondence of the time indicating him as an old man. Governor Lyttleton wrote him in 1756: 'As I hear you are old and unable to walk to Charles Town, though I very much wish for it, I cannot expect to see you.'"

He had a slave or adopted son named FRENCH JOHN. He was from the Overhills, 1753-1757. He served as the chief agent of the French from Fort Toulouse (Alabama) to Chota.

Uncle to Attakullakulla "Little Carpenter" who he used as a Peace Chief and spokesman.

Doublehead was his brother (a chief who served under Dragging Canoe with John Watts, commanded the expedition against Knoxville in 1793 and was killed by Major Ridge)

Old Hop died shortly before the end of the Cherokee-English war of 1760-1761. Little Carpenter announced his death to the council as noted in "Old Frontiers", page 115: "Our Headman, Old Hop, is gone to sleep, and the Standing Turkey is come into his room, but he has little to say, being just come to the government. The other chiefs present will remember how strongly Old Hop recommended to the nation to live in peace and friendship with the white people." (Note: The Standing Turkey referred to in this paragraph is the nephew of Old Hop.)

From Old Frontiers, pg 46: "Old Hop had a nephew, also named Standing Turkey, an active warrior who at his uncle's death served a short time as his successor. It was the younger Standing Turkey who conducted a four day assault upon Fort Loudoun in 1760, and who signed the articles of capitulation of the stronghold."

In old Cherokee culture there were generally three leaders in each town/village. The Red Chief was the "War Chief," he dealt with war, and was in charge of trading and other outside contact. The White Chief was the "Peace Chief," he led during peace time and controlled civil affairs. There was also a High Priest or conjuror. A good example is the old city of Echota. This town was headed by Attakullakulla (white chief), Oconostota (red chief), and Old Hop (high priest).

Old Hop in his talk to Demere, gave his unusual evidence of patriotism. He said: "I am now old and lie upon a bad bearskin. My life is not more than an inch long, and I know not when a bullet may cut it short. I want my brothers Captains Demere and Stuart to remember that the Great Warrior, Oconostota, and his brother [Amo-Scossite?], are the only two men in the nation that ought to be thought of after my death. "It is true that Willenawah and the Little Carpenter are my nephews, but I do not know how they would behave. If I had not remembered what I owe to a country I love, and had in mind to behave like a father, I would recommend my two sons, but I know them to be incapable, and biased by every lie that comes. I do not know how they will turn out, but I do know the others, for drunk or sober, they always admonish the Indians to love the white people."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Indian Info Tidbits

Matriarchal Society

The Cherokees had a matriarchal society whereby descent was traced strictly through the mother's side of the family. A person belonged to his mother's clan and the most important and powerful man in a child's life was not his father, but the mother's brothers. The maternal uncles had responsibility for discipline of the child and taught him about hunting and warfare. The women owned the dwellings and were in control of all the property.

Clan affiliation was inherited through the mother's line and marriage within a clan was strictly forbidden. The household was the basic unit of the Cherokee social organization and a newly married couple usually lived with the wife's family.

What type of clothing did the Cherokee used to wear?

The Cherokee wore clothing made from animal skins before the Europeans introduced cloth to the tribe. Even into the 1800's the men wore the leggings made of deer hide in order to protect their legs from thorns and underbrush.

The introduction of the turban indirectly came from the Muslim people. When a Cherokee delegation went to visit the Royal Family of England, the men were thought to be very frightening with their tattooed heads and bodies. It was decided to cover their upper bodies with the English smoking jacket, which became our hunting jacket and cover their heads with a shorter version of the turban of the Muslim house servants of the Royal Family. These introduced styles were well received among the men of the Five Civilized Tribes and continue to be a part of our cultural dress styles.

Chief Moytoy of Tellico 1687 - 1741 My 8g Grand Uncle

Great Tellico was a Cherokee town at the site of present-day Tellico Plains, Tennessee, where the Tellico River emerges from the Appalachian Mountains. Great Tellico was one of the largest Cherokee towns in the region.

The Warrior Path— a branch of the Great Indian Warpath— passed through Great Tellico, linking it to Chota in the north and Great Hiwassee in the south, via Conasauga Creek.

The Trading Path became the main route of trade between the British and the Cherokee during the 18th century.

Chief Moytoy My 8g Grand Uncle
Full blood Cherokee-Wolf Clan -Chief from 1730-1760 - Son of Amatoya Moytoy

Moytoy of Tellico was a Cherokee leader from Great Tellico, recognized by British colonial authorities as the "Emperor of the Cherokee"; the Cherokee themselves used the title "First Beloved Man". His name is derived from Amo-adawehi, "rainmaker," although it is unclear whether this was his personal name or a title he held.

In 1730 Sir Alexander Cuming, a Scottish adventurer with no particular authority, arranged for Moytoy to be crowned emperor over all of the Cherokee towns. He was crowned in Nikwasi with a headdress Cuming called the "Crown of Tannassy."

Cuming arranged to take Moytoy and a group of Cherokee to England to meet King George. Moytoy declined to go, saying that his wife was ill. Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter) volunteered to go in his place. The "Crown" was laid at King George's feet along with four scalps.

On his death the British recognized his 13 year old son Amouskositte as Emperor. He had little real authority among the elder-dominated Cherokee, and by 1753 Kanagatucko (Old Hop) of Chota had emerged as the leader.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chasing Indians

Some Cherokee Background:

The Cherokee are a people native to North America, who, at the time of European contact in the sixteenth century, inhabited what is now the Eastern and Southeastern United States. Most were forcibly moved westward to the Ozark Plateau in the 1830s. They are one of the tribes referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, they are the largest of the 563 federally recognized Native American tribes in the United States.

The Cherokee refer to themselves as Tsa-la-gi ( pronounced "Zah la gee" or "Tsa lah gee" in the eastern Giduwa dialect or pronouced "ja-la-gee" in western dialect) or A-ni-yv-wi-ya (pronounced "ah knee yuh wee yaw" (western) or "Ah nee yuhn wi yah" (Eastern dialect), literal translation: "Principal People.

The English first had contact with the Cherokee in 1654.By the late seventeenth century, traders from both Virginia and South Carolina were making regular journeys to Cherokee lands, but few wrote about their experiences

The trade was mainly deerskins, raw material for the booming European leather industry, in exchange for European technology "trade goods" such as iron and steel tools (kettles, knives, etc), firearms, gunpowder, and ammunition. In 1705, these traders complained that their business had been lost and replaced by Indian slave trade instigated by Governor Moore of South Carolina. Moore had commissioned people to "set upon, assault, kill, destroy, and take captive as many Indians as possible". These captives would be sold and the profits split with the Governor. Although selling alcohol to Indians was made illegal by colonial governments at an early date, rum, and later whiskey, were a common item of trade.

The Cherokee people never lived in tipis. The Plains Indians lived in these, as they were able to be moved when following herds and hunting. The Cherokee people historically lived in houses made of mud and clay with roofs of brush and river cane. In the winter time, they lived in even smaller clay and mud houses which included the construction of the roof, as well, in order to keep warm. By the late 1700’s, many Cherokees were living in log cabins while some even lived in clapboard houses like their non-Indian counterparts.

The Cherokee Nation is a 7,000 square mile jurisdictional area located in all of eight counties and portions of six counties in Northeastern Oklahoma. It is not a reservation. As a federally recognized Indian tribe, the Cherokee Nation has both the opportunity and the sovereign right to exercise control and development over tribal assets which include 66,000 acres of land as well as 96 miles of the Arkansas Riverbed.

Cherokee Clan Names - English Clan Name
Ani-Wa-ya -Wolf Clan
Ani-Wa-di -Paint Clan
Ani-Ka-wi - Deer Clan
Ani-Tsi-s'qua - Bird Clan
Ani-Ga-ta-ge-wi - generally "Blind Savannah" but more likely "Wild Potato"
Ani-Gi-la-hi - Long Hair Clan
Ani-Sa-ha-ni - Blue Clan
Sources: Cherokee Registry and Wikipedia

A Indian Trail From Amatoya Moytoy to My Mother

Amatoya Moytoy 1640 - 1730 Founder of a Family of Chiefs

My 9g-Grandfather
Amatoya Moytoy of Chota (pronounced mah-tie) was a Cherokee town chief of the early eighteenth century in the area of present-day Tennessee. He held a prominent position among the Cherokee, and held the hereditary title Ama Matai (From the French matai and Cherokee ama--water), which meant "Water Conjurer."

His father was a European, Thomas Pasmere Carpenter, who was descended from the noble Anglo-Norman family of Vicomte Guillaume de Melun le Carpentier. Thus, Moytoy's European lineage can be traced to the Frankish Duke Ansegisel of Metz Meroving, Peppin II, and Charles Martel. This ancestry also makes the Cherokee Moytoys cousins to the Carpenter Earl of Tyrconnell, and thus related to the current British royal family.

The Carpenter family of Devonshire & Plymouth England were small sailing ship owners, many of which were leased out to the East India Trading Company, an affiliation dating to the formation of that company December 31, 1600. Documented ownership of fifteen different ships owned by the Carpenter family, those of which were involved with moving furs between the Gulf Ports & Glasgow, or Dublin, and trade goods for North America. These ships usually made stops both directions at Barbados where the family had banking connections set up. These ships were small and fast, often able to make the crossing from Scotland and Ireland in less than thirty days. They were shallow draft ships, capable of handling shallow water ports with ease. The first documented trip made by Thomas Pasmere Carpenter occurred April 1640, sailing from Maryland to Barbados aboard the Hopewell, and returning on the Crispian in September 1640. He made another trip in March 1659 departing Charleston South Carolina aboard the Barbados Merchant, returning on the Concord in August 1659.

Twenty year old Thomas Pasmere Carpenter came to Jamestown, Virginia from England in 1627, living in a cave near the Shawnee. Thomas was called "Cornplanter" by the Shawnee, derived from their sign language that matched as near as possible to the work of a carpenter. He married a Shawnee woman named "Pride" and bore a son around 1635 named Trader Carpenter.

Amatoya was taught by his father to “witch” for water with a willow stick. He had become so adept at water witching that the Cherokee called him "water conjurer" or Ama Matai (Ama is Cherokee for water). Ama Matai eventually became pronounced as Amatoya. It was later shortened to “Moytoy”, so he is known as Moytoy I. He ruled the town of Chota sometime between the beginning of the eighteenth century and 1730.

In 1680, Amatoya married Quatsie of Tellico. Many of their descendants went on to become prominent leaders, founding a family that effectively ruled the Cherokee for a century.

Notable members include:
Moytoy I, Chief of Chota; born around 1640 and probably died in 1730; was leading chief at the time of his death
Moytoy II, Emperor of the Cherokees and Chief of Great Tellico; son of Moytoy I; born around 1687; leading chief from 1730 to 1760
Moytoy III
Moytoy IV, Raven of Chota
Kanagatucko, Old Hop; leading chief from 1760-1761.
Attacullaculla, Prince of Chota-Tanasi; born around 1708, died around 1777; leading chief from 1761 to around 1775
Oconostota, Warrior of Chota and Beloved Man of the Cherokee; born ca. 1710 and died in 1783; was war chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1775 to 1780
Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee and granddaughter of Moytoy I
Major Ridge, grandson of Oconostota and of Attacullaculla
General Stand Watie, great-grandson of Oconostota and of Attacullaculla

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Norman James - The Little Shack on the Prairie - Part 4


The availability of potable water was a continual problem for us. There was a shallow, hand-dug well just across the creek that ran behind the barn, but the well and creek were connected, so the water was unclean. We used that water for laundry and bathing, but we carried water from a deep well for drinking and cooking. There was a drilled well with a windmill pump at Clyde Brown’s place, about three-quarters of a mile away. There we filled our drinking-water jug, a large brown clay jug covered with a thick blanket of burlap. The burlap was kept damp to cool the jug by evaporation. There is something about such a jug, with the dank odor of wet burlap, that makes the water taste better and quench the thirst better than any other source, or so it seemed to me.

Later on, Clyde put a powered pump on the well at the old Garrett James place, which he owned, and built a well-house over it. From that time we carried our drinking water from there, since it was a little closer. This water had a very strong sulphur (hydrogen sulphide) taste and odor, and took some getting used to. Later, when I drank water anywhere else, it seemed weak and tasteless! Since Dad was gone much of the time, Mother was left with the job of walking after water. We boys did help out when we got older.

After rural ice delivery began, we used an old baby buggy to carry a 25-pound cake of ice from the road (the ice truck stopped at Granddad’s place) to our house, a distance of about one-third mile. During those times that we had a car, ice was carried from town. A 25-pound block of ice cradles nicely in the back bumper of a Model A Ford.

Mother used a wash tub for an ice box. She wrapped the ice, along with the food to be cooled, in a quilt and set it in the tub. The ice had to last a week, for that's how often the ice truck came. The tub sat in the floor near the back door. A special treat that we enjoyed in the summer was "milkshake", made from milk, sugar, vanilla, and some ice, shaken together in a quart fruit jar. Cool and tasty!

Dad dug a well just behind the house. He hoped to find good water so we wouldn't have to walk so far to get water. He started with a shovel and dug away the topsoil and subsoil. A few feet down he hit the solid limestone that underlies that area. He used a sledge hammer and a drill to bore holes in the rock, then blasted it loose with dynamite. When the well was eight or ten feet deep water began to seep in, so Dad quit digging. When the well had filled with water, a few drowned earthworms were found floating in it, so Dad pronounced the water unfit to drink. We were all disappointed, as this meant that we would have to continue carrying drinking water. However, water for laundry would be close at hand, for up to this time it had been carried from the well across the creek. Sometime later Dad put a pitcher pump on the well, so we no longer had to draw water with a bucket on a rope.

As did all farm women in those days, Mother hand-washed our clothes and hung them on a line to dry. Water was heated on the kitchen stove and carried out to the washtub, which sat on a stand behind the house.

The clothesline ran from the corner of the barn to a persimmon tree about fifty feet away. One windy day the nail holding the line to the barn pulled out, dumping a full load of wet clothes and sheets on the dusty ground. Mother had to gather them up and wash them again.

We usually kept a cow, and so had plenty of milk for drinking, cooking, and making butter and cheese. We had no churn; we made butter by shaking the cream in a fruit jar until the butter formed. Mother made cottage cheese from clabbered milk by first putting it into a cloth sugar sack and hanging it on the clothesline to drip. When it was fairly dry she added salt, pepper, a little sugar, and chopped onion tops. Nobody makes it that good anymore.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Norman James - The Little Shack on the Prairie - Part 3


The little creek that flowed through “our” place, close behind the barn, was the focus of much of our activity. In the spring we would fish in it for perch. In summer we would wade and swim in it, or paddle about on it using washtubs for boats. We floated toy boats in it. We caught crawdads. When the flow ceased in the heat
of summer, we would seine the pools of standing water. In our nets we found many interesting life forms that inhabited the muddy creek bottom. When the creek was completely dry, we ran the length of it in games of Cowboys and Indians. In winter it would sometimes have ice of sufficient thickness to support our weight for
play. We had no skates, of course, but we could run and slide on the ice. I fell down a lot.

For all it meant to us as a place for fun, our creek was not without hazards. Snapping turtles lurked there, and, though none of us was ever bitten, they constituted an unknown threat beneath the murky water. Cotton-mouth water moccasins were sometimes seen, although they never seemed enough of a danger to inhibit our play. There may have been copperheads, too, since they are usually found near streams, but I never saw one as long as we lived there.

There was a sandy spot on the creek bank north of our house where the digging was easy, and redworms that were nearly a foot long and as big as a pencil could be dug up there. Near this spot there was a large elm tree that shaded a bend in the stream. We called it “The Big Tree”. This was at the widest and deepest spot on the
creek as it crossed our property, and where we did most of our fishing.

These were the years of the Great Depression, the worst depression (so far, but hold your breath) in our nation’s history. The economic depression was made even worse for the farmers of this area by several years of severe drought, and by invasions of grasshoppers.

Record-breaking temperatures marked the summers of the mid-1930’s. Dust from the great dust bowl of the panhandle appeared in the western sky as a light-brown haze. It seemed to me that summer was just an interminable series of blazing hot days. We grasped at any sign of rain, no matter how slight: a large, dark cloud was watched hopefully; the cry of the raincrow was occasionally heard with hope, but the raincrow lied.

Whirlwinds, which are miniature tornados, were frequent. We made a game of trying to get inside one before it dissipated. An amazing sight is a whirlwind going through a dry cornfield. The long leaves are carried high into the air.

One particular night Dad was unable to sleep because of the heat. He got up, found a gunny sack and cut it open so it formed a single sheet of burlap. He then wet it and hung it outside the south window, which was beside the bed where he and Mother slept. The idea was that the evaporation of water would cool the breeze coming through the window. It did not work, unfortunately, because there wasn’t enough breeze to penetrate the wet burlap.

There were many stories of the damage that grasshoppers inflicted on crops, and other stories, possibly exaggerated, of how, after the crops were consumed, the hungry insects would eat fence posts and hoe handles. I do recall seeing stalks of corn and other plants covered with grasshoppers. One year Mother raised about a dozen turkeys for food, and as long as the turkeys lasted, they kept the grasshopper population in check on our place.

Sometime during the 30’s a dirigible balloon airship came over, perhaps 200 or 300 feet above us. It loomed large in the sky, and we were very much in awe at the size of it. As it moved from west to east, Terrence tried to run and keep up with it. I shouted at him to come back, and cried, as I was afraid it would fall on him.

Grandmother James had a neighbor named Meta Leary. She was a shy, quiet German girl, who sometimes came to visit Grandma. She hardly said anything while she was there, but Grandma was certainly up to filling in for her. My brother Gobel, when he was about 5 years old, was visiting Grandma at the same time Meta was there. Gobel's stomach suddenly rumbled loudly. He turned to Meta and said, seriously, "That's gas. It'll be coming out pretty soon." This sent Meta into a fit of laughter.

Dad didn’t work all the time, so there wasn’t always money for groceries. In those days it was common practice for poor folk to buy groceries on credit, and pay up when a crop was harvested or, in our case, when Dad came home from a pipeline job with a pocketful of money. We bought all our groceries at the White and Harper grocery store. At one time our grocery bill had reached $600, which was more than two year’s pay on WPA wages. I don’t know how much Dad made on pipeline jobs, but since he had to live in hotels and eat at restaurants, I doubt that he brought home enough at the end of each job to pay off the accrued debt. However, things were always much better, almost like a celebration, right after his return.

In the spring, we took advantage of the variety of edible wild plants that grew on our place. We gathered “greens”, the leaves of various plants such as poke, dock, and lamb’s-quarter. These were mixed together and prepared in the same way as spinach. We gathered blackberries (as well as chiggers) every summer, and wild
plums. All these things were eaten fresh, of course, but Mother also canned some for winter use. Once in a while we would eat a rabbit or other wild game that Dad or someone had shot.

Our neighbor, Clyde Brown, had a flock of sheep. When it came time to crop the lambs’ tails, he got Dad to help him. Dad brought the tails home for Mother to cook for our supper. I don’t remember whether they tasted good or bad, but it was meat. It was much like eating very long, thin chicken necks.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Norman James - The Little Shack on the Prairie - Part 2

The Little Shack

At some time in the early thirties Mother decided to improve the house by papering the walls. This would look better than bare boards, and would help keep out the wind. Unable to afford wallpaper, she obtained a large quantity of old newspapers and used them to paper over the walls and ceilings. Some of the papers were the Denver Post. There was a rotogravure section with the story about the astronomer Lowell who had studied the moon with a powerful telescope and had seen cities, roads, and people living there. There were pictures based on his descriptions. I remember that the people on the moon were hairy and had wings. Mother didn't use this section on the walls. On the ceiling right over my bed was a Van Dyke cigar advertisement. I will never forget the bearded face that I gazed at every night before falling asleep.

There was a small, tin-roofed barn behind the house. The east half was divided into a small granary and a larger hay storage area. The west half, a lean-to, was divided into two spaces for animals. One room had a long manger. The barn was a good place to play on rainy days.

Behind the barn was a small manure pile. The soil around this was rich and soft, and loaded with earthworms. It was a good place to find fishbait.


At first, we had only two kerosene lamps, but after we boys started to school, in 1932, the folks decided we should have a better light to study by. They went to a store in Miami to buy the lamp, and learned that they could get a dollar or two trade-in for a kerosene lamp. They found one in a nearby second-hand store for twenty-five cents, and traded it in on the new lamp.

After being accustomed to the dim, yellow light of the kerosene lamp (we called it a “coal-oil” lamp), the brightness of the gasoline lamp was dazzling. I believe it was at least five times as bright as the old lamp. The hiss took some getting used to, though. Hardly anyone else that we knew had gasoline appliances, and many people expressed fear of our use of the explosive fuel in the house. I don’t think we ever had a hazardous mishap with any of these things, but they required more maintenance.

About the same time that we got a gasoline lamp, my grandparents James got an Alladin lamp. This was a kerosene lamp with a mantle that was heated by the flame on a circular wick. It had a tall, glass chimney to create the draft necessary to make the mantle white hot. This lamp put out as much light as a gasoline lamp, and with less noise, but with a lot more heat.

In winter the heating stove might be either in the front room or in the kitchen. Dad was too poor to buy a good stove. We had more than one “King Heater”, a cheap, sheet-metal stove made to last one season. Dad once made a stove from an old 55-gallon steel drum and the cast-iron parts of another old stove. It, too, probably lasted only one or two winters. Dad cut trees along the creek for fuel. I “helped” him some when I was older, holding one end of the big cross-cut saw as we cut the trees into firewood. My interest was held, in part, by looking for familiar shapes in the section of the dark heartwood, much as one sees castles in the clouds.

Although bathing was more frequent in summer, it was but a weekly ordeal in winter. A laundry tub was placed by the heating stove, and water was heated in the tea kettle on the stove. The boiling water was poured into the tub, then cold water was added. A couple of inches of water in the tub was enough for a child’s bath. Mother would scrub us vigorously and wash our hair, to the tune of much yelling and complaining.

Dad once built a rabbit trap, hoping to put some meat on the table. I don't remember how the trap was made,but he did catch one rabbit. He declared that it was too old to use as food. That was probably the only time the trap was used.

On another occasion he made a sling-shot to kill a rabbit. It was a very large nut (for a bolt) on the end of a strong cord. I followed him as he carried this weapon out into the pasture. Soon he saw a rabbit crouching in a clump of grass. He whirled the device like a sling, and released it, but the nut missed the rabbit, which then left in a hurry. Dad never tried his invention again.

I don't remember that we ever went hungry, but Mother said that one winter when Dad was away on a pipeline job, the only food she had in the house was flour. For six weeks we lived on bread and gravy.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Norman James

I began researching my James genealogy in 1962, when many of the family who were born in the 1800s were still living. I interviewed many of the "old folks", who told me stories of life in the pioneer days. How fortunate that I started so early!

Norman wrote that in his biography for this blog. I immediately asked him if I could interview him. He sent me a magical treasure chest in the guise of a PDF file. And I only hope there is much more to come.

Norman James - The Little Shack on the Praire

A pen-and-ink drawing of the shack we lived in, which I did many years ago, working from measured dimensions. My mother used the drawing as the basis for a painting of the place, shown above.
I wouldn't take a million dollars for the experience of growing up when and where I did, but I really would prefer not to repeat it.
The Little Shack on the Prairie

Although it contained only the barest necessities, our house was quite crowded. Its overall dimensions were sixteen by twenty feet. The exterior walls were of vertical boards nailed to the framework, covered with black tar-paper held down by thin wood strips. There was no wallboard on the inside. When we moved in, there was nothing whatever on the walls...just bare, weathered boards and exposed 2x4’s.

The “front room”, on the east, was the living room and bedroom. Against the north wall was the double bed in which we three children slept. I slept on the outside, since I was the oldest and had priority. Gobel had breathing problems, so he slept on the inside, next to the window. Even in cold weather, the window was raised slightly and Gobel’s nose was close to the opening. Dad and Mother slept on a wire cot that was placed against the south wall of the room. It was really too narrow for two, but they were young. The sides were folded down during the day, making a couch for sitting. There were also the piano, the sewing machine and a chest of drawers in this room.

We didn’t have many clothes, so we didn’t need much storage space. Four of the five drawers of the chest contained clothes. The top drawer, which we always called “the top drawer”, was the repository for important papers, medicines, and odds and ends. Dad had made this chest from parts of another chest of some sort, while he was working at the lumber yard in town. It was not a thing of beauty, but was the only thing I know of that Dad ever built.

There was a closet in the northwest corner, which Mother had made from three orange crates stacked on end, and a broom handle for a rod. A curtain, made from an old sheet, covered the front of the closet. The rod was less than three feet long, yet it sufficed for all the hanging clothes we had. The bottom three sections of the orange crate stack were allotted to us boys for toy storage.

The narrow lean-to addition across the west side was the kitchen/dining area. The ceiling at the west wall was too low for Dad to stand up there. The roof was rather flat, and often leaked. During most rains we had to place buckets and pans under the drips. After the rains Dad would get out the can of tar and repair the roof. Once, he brought home a big chunk of road tar to melt for repairing roof leaks. We kids would cut off pieces to chew.

At the south end of the west room there was a table with four chairs plus a high chair. There was a tall cabinet against the east wall for miscellaneous storage. Mother’s trunk, in which she kept all her treasures such as certificates and old letters, sat on the floor under the west window. The kitchen cabinet, in the northeast corner, was a rectangular table with about three shelves above it for the dishes. A white cotton curtain covered the front of the shelves.

Between the cabinet and the door between the two rooms was the shelf that held the water bucket and the wash pan. We all drank out of a long-handled dipper that stayed in the bucket. We dipped water from the bucket and poured it into the wash pan when we wanted to wash up.
Under the shelf was the “slop bucket”, into which we emptied the washpan and where we threw table scraps. When we were raising a hog, the contents of the slop bucket were part of its diet. The gasoline-fueled cookstove, with an oven and three burners, was angled across the northwest corner of the room. Mother ironed with a Coleman gasoline iron.

The kitchen floor was not very smooth. I once ran across the room barefoot and skidded my feet on the floor. A large splinter went through the calloused ball of my foot, out of the skin and back in at the heel. They had me soak my foot in kerosene, a common remedy used in those days to prevent infection.