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."