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Title: Myths of the Cherokee - Extract from the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau - of American Ethnology
Author: Mooney, James
Language: English
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                         MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE


                              JAMES MOONEY

                            EXTRACT FROM THE
                        NINETEENTH ANNUAL REPORT
                                 OF THE
                      BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY

                       GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE




I--Introduction                                              11

II--Historical sketch of the Cherokee                        14

    The traditionary period                                  14
    The period of Spanish exploration--1540-?                23
    The Colonial and Revolutionary period--1654-1784         29
    Relations with the United States                         61

        From the first treaty to the Removal--1785-1838      61
        The Removal--1838-1839                              130
        The Arkansas band--1817-1838                        135
        The Texas band--1817-1900                           143
        The Cherokee Nation of the West--1840-1900          146
        The East Cherokee--1838-1900                        157

III--Notes to the historical sketch                         182

IV--Stories and story-tellers                               229

V--The myths                                                239

    Cosmogonic myths                                        239

        1. How the world was made                           239
        2. The first fire                                   240
        3. Kana'ti and Selu: Origin of corn and game        242
        4. Origin of disease and medicine                   250
        5. The Daughter of the Sun: Origin of death         252
        6. How they brought back the Tobacco                254
        7. The journey to the sunrise                       255
        8. The Moon and the Thunders                        256
        9. What the Stars are like                          257
       10. Origin of the Pleiades and the Pine              258
       11. The milky way                                    259
       12. Origin of strawberries                           259
       13. The Great Yellow-jacket: Origin of fish and
           frogs                                            260
       14. The Deluge                                       261

    Quadruped myths                                         261

       15. The four-footed tribes                           261
       16. The Rabbit goes duck hunting                     266
       17. How the Rabbit stole the Otter's coat            267
       18. Why the Possum's tail is bare                    269
       19. How the Wildcat caught the turkeys               269
       20. How the Terrapin beat the Rabbit                 270
       21. The Rabbit and the tar wolf                      271
       22. The Rabbit and the Possum after a wife           273
       23. The Rabbit dines the Bear                        273
       24. The Rabbit escapes from the wolves               274
       25. Flint visits the Rabbit                          274
       26. How the Deer got his horns                       275
       27. Why the Deer's teeth are blunt                   276
       28. What became of the Rabbit                        277
       29. Why the Mink smells                              277
       30. Why the Mole lives under ground                  277
       31. The Terrapin's escape from the wolves            278
       32. Origin of the Groundhog dance: The Groundhog's
           head                                             279
       33. The migration of the animals                     280
       34. The Wolf's revenge: The Wolf and the Dog         280

    Bird myths                                              280

       35. The bird tribes                                  280
       36. The ball game of the birds and animals           286
       37. How the Turkey got his beard                     287
       38. Why the Turkey gobbles                           288
       39. How the Kingfisher got his bill                  288
       40. How the Partridge got his whistle                289
       41. How the Redbird got his color                    289
       42. The Pheasant beating corn: The Pheasant dance    290
       43. The race between the Crane and the Humming-bird  290
       44. The Owl gets married                             291
       45. The Huhu gets married                            292
       46. Why the Buzzard's head is bare                   293
       47. The Eagle's revenge                              293
       48. The Hunter and the Buzzard                       294

    Snake, fish, and insect myths                           294

       49. The snake tribe                                  294
       50. The Uktena and the Ulûñsû'ti                     297
       51. Âgan-Uni'tsi's search for the Uktena             298
       52. The Red Man and the Uktena                       300
       53. The Hunter and the Uksu'hi                       301
       54. The Ustû'tli                                     302
       55. The Uw`tsûñ'ta                                   303
       56. The Snake Boy                                    304
       57. The Snake Man                                    304
       58. The Rattlesnake's vengeance                      305
       59. The smaller reptiles, fishes, and insects        306
       60. Why the Bullfrog's head is striped               310
       61. The Bullfrog lover                               310
       62. The Katydid's warning                            311

    Wonder stories                                          311

       63. Ûñtsaiyi', the Gambler                           311
       64. The nest of the Tla'nuwa                         315
       65. The Hunter and the Tla'nuwa                      316
       66. U`tlûñ'ta, the Spear-finger                      316
       67. Nûñ'yunu'wi, the stone man                       319
       68. The Hunter in the Dakwa'                         320
       69. Atagâ'hi, the enchanted lake                     321
       70. The Bride from the south                         322
       71. The Ice Man                                      322
       72. The Hunter and Selu                              323
       73. The underground panthers                         324
       74. The Tsundige'wi                                  325
       75. Origin of the Bear: The Bear songs               325
       76. The Bear Man                                     327
       77. The Great Leech of Tlanusi'yi                    329
       78. The Nûñne'hi and other spirit folk               330
       79. The removed townhouses                           335
       80. The spirit defenders of Nikwasi'                 336
       81. Tsul`kalû' the slant-eyed giant                  337
       82. Kana'sta, the lost settlement                    341
       83. Tsuwe'nahi, a legend of Pilot knob               343
       84. The man who married the Thunder's sister         345
       85. The haunted whirlpool                            347
       86. Yahula                                           347
       87. The water cannibals                              349

    Historical traditions                                   350

       88. First contact with whites                        350
       89. The Iroquois war                                 351
       90. Hiadeoni, the Seneca                             356
       91. The two Mohawks                                  357
       92. Escape of the Seneca boys                        359
       93. The unseen helpers                               359
       94. Hatciñondoñ's escape from the Cherokee           362
       95. Hemp-carrier                                     364
       96. The Seneca peacemakers                           365
       97. Origin of the Yontoñwisas dance                  365
       98. Ga'na's adventures among the Cherokee.           367
       99. The Shawano wars                                 370
      100. The raid on Tikwali'tsi                          374
      101. The last Shawano invasion                        374
      102. The false warriors of Chilhowee                  375
      103. Cowee town                                       377
      104. The eastern tribes                               378
      105. The southern and western tribes                  382
      106. The giants from the west                         391
      107. The lost Cherokee                                391
      108. The massacre of the Ani'-Kuta'ni                 392
      109. The war medicine                                 393
      110. Incidents of personal heroism                    394
      111. The mounds and the constant fire: The old
           sacred things                                    395

    Miscellaneous myths and legends                         397

      112. The ignorant housekeeper                         397
      113. The man in the stump                             397
      114. Two lazy hunters                                 397
      115. The two old men                                  399
      116. The star feathers                                399
      117. The Mother Bear's song                           400
      118. Baby song, to please the children.               401
      119. When babies are born: The Wren and the Cricket   401
      120. The Raven Mocker                                 401
      121. Herbert's spring                                 403
      122. Local legends of North Carolina.                 404
      123. Local legends of South Carolina                  411
      124. Local legends of Tennessee                       412
      125. Local legends of Georgia                         415
      126. Plant lore                                       420

VI--Notes and parallels                                     428

VII--Glossary                                               506



 Plate I. In the Cherokee mountains                          11
      II. Map: The Cherokee and their neighbors.             14
     III. Map: The old Cherokee country                      23
      IV. Sequoya (Sikwâyi)                                 108
       V. The Cherokee alphabet                             112
      VI. Tahchee (Tatsi) or Dutch                          140
     VII. Spring-frog or Tooantuh (Du'stu')                 142
    VIII. John Ross (Gu'wisguwi')                           150
      IX. Colonel W. H. Thomas (Wil-Usdi')                  160
       X. Chief N. J. Smith (Tsaladihi')                    178
      XI. Swimmer (A`yûñ'ini)                               228
     XII. John Ax (Itagû'nûhi)                              238
    XIII. Tagwadihi'                                        256
     XIV. Ayâsta                                            272
      XV. Sawanu'gi, a Cherokee ball player                 284
     XVI. Nikwasi' mound at Franklin, North Carolina        337
    XVII. Annie Ax (Sadayi)                                 358
   XVIII. Walini', a Cherokee woman                         378
     XIX. On Oconaluftee river                              405
      XX. Petroglyphs at Track-rock gap, Georgia            418

Figure 1. Feather wand of Eagle dance                       282
       2. Ancient Iroquois wampum belts                     354


By James Mooney


The myths given in this paper are part of a large body of material
collected among the Cherokee, chiefly in successive field seasons
from 1887 to 1890, inclusive, and comprising more or less extensive
notes, together with original Cherokee manuscripts, relating to the
history, archeology, geographic nomenclature, personal names, botany,
medicine, arts, home life, religion, songs, ceremonies, and language
of the tribe. It is intended that this material shall appear from time
to time in a series of papers which, when finally brought together,
shall constitute a monograph upon the Cherokee Indians. This paper may
be considered the first of the series, all that has hitherto appeared
being a short paper upon the sacred formulas of the tribe, published
in the Seventh Annual Report of the Bureau in 1891 and containing a
synopsis of the Cherokee medico-religious theory, with twenty-eight
specimens selected from a body of about six hundred ritual formulas
written down in the Cherokee language and alphabet by former doctors
of the tribe and constituting altogether the largest body of aboriginal
American literature in existence.

Although the Cherokee are probably the largest and most important
tribe in the United States, having their own national government and
numbering at any time in their history from 20,000 to 25,000 persons,
almost nothing has yet been written of their history or general
ethnology, as compared with the literature of such northern tribes
as the Delawares, the Iroquois, or the Ojibwa. The difference is due
to historical reasons which need not be discussed here.

It might seem at first thought that the Cherokee, with their civilized
code of laws, their national press, their schools and seminaries,
are so far advanced along the white man's road as to offer but little
inducement for ethnologic study. This is largely true of those in the
Indian Territory, with whom the enforced deportation, two generations
ago, from accustomed scenes and surroundings did more at a single
stroke to obliterate Indian ideas than could have been accomplished
by fifty years of slow development. There remained behind, however, in
the heart of the Carolina mountains, a considerable body, outnumbering
today such well-known western tribes as the Omaha, Pawnee, Comanche,
and Kiowa, and it is among these, the old conservative Kitu'hwa
element, that the ancient things have been preserved. Mountaineers
guard well the past, and in the secluded forests of Nantahala and
Oconaluftee, far away from the main-traveled road of modern progress,
the Cherokee priest still treasures the legends and repeats the mystic
rituals handed down from his ancestors. There is change indeed in dress
and outward seeming, but the heart of the Indian is still his own.

For this and other reasons much the greater portion of the material
herein contained has been procured among the East Cherokee living
upon the Qualla reservation in western North Carolina and in various
detached settlements between the reservation and the Tennessee
line. This has been supplemented with information obtained in the
Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory, chiefly from old men and women
who had emigrated from what is now Tennessee and Georgia, and who
consequently had a better local knowledge of these sections, as well
as of the history of the western Nation, than is possessed by their
kindred in Carolina. The historical matter and the parallels are, of
course, collated chiefly from printed sources, but the myths proper,
with but few exceptions, are from original investigation.

The historical sketch must be understood as distinctly a sketch,
not a detailed narrative, for which there is not space in the
present paper. The Cherokee have made deep impress upon the history
of the southern states, and no more has been attempted here than
to give the leading facts in connected sequence. As the history of
the Nation after the removal to the West and the reorganization in
Indian Territory presents but few points of ethnologic interest, it
has been but briefly treated. On the other hand the affairs of the
eastern band have been discussed at some length, for the reason that
so little concerning this remnant is to be found in print.

One of the chief purposes of ethnologic study is to trace the
development of human thought under varying conditions of race
and environment, the result showing always that primitive man is
essentially the same in every part of the world. With this object
in view a considerable space has been devoted to parallels drawn
almost entirely from Indian tribes of the United States and British
America. For the southern countries there is but little trustworthy
material, and to extend the inquiry to the eastern continent and the
islands of the sea would be to invite an endless task.

The author desires to return thanks for many favors from the Library of
Congress, the Geological Survey, and the Smithsonian Institution, and
for much courteous assistance and friendly suggestion from the officers
and staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology; and to acknowledge his
indebtedness to the late Chief N. J. Smith and family for services as
interpreter and for kind hospitality during successive field seasons;
to Agent H. W. Spray and wife for unvarying kindness manifested in many
helpful ways; to Mr William Harden, librarian, and the Georgia State
Historical Society, for facilities in consulting documents at Savannah,
Georgia; to the late Col. W. H. Thomas; Lieut. Col. W. W. Stringfield,
of Waynesville; Capt. James W. Terrell, of Webster; Mrs A. C. Avery
and Dr P. L. Murphy, of Morganton; Mr W. A. Fair, of Lincolnton;
the late Maj. James Bryson, of Dillsboro; Mr H. G. Trotter,
of Franklin; Mr Sibbald Smith, of Cherokee; Maj. R. C. Jackson,
of Smithwood, Tennessee; Mr D. R. Dunn, of Conasauga, Tennessee; the
late Col. Z. A. Zile, of Atlanta; Mr L. M. Greer, of Ellijay, Georgia;
Mr Thomas Robinson, of Portland, Maine; Mr Allen Ross, Mr W. T. Canup,
editor of the Indian Arrow, and the officers of the Cherokee Nation,
Tahlequah, Indian Territory; Dr D. T. Day, United States Geological
Survey, Washington, D. C., and Prof. G. M. Bowers, of the United
States Fish Commission, for valuable oral information, letters,
clippings, and photographs; to Maj. J. Adger Smyth, of Charleston,
S. C., for documentary material; to Mr Stansbury Hagar and the late
Robert Grant Haliburton, of Brooklyn, N. Y., for the use of valuable
manuscript notes upon Cherokee stellar legends; to Miss A. M. Brooks
for the use of valuable Spanish document copies and translations
entrusted to the Bureau of American Ethnology; to Mr James Blythe,
interpreter during a great part of the time spent by the author in
the field; and to various Cherokee and other informants mentioned in
the body of the work, from whom the material was obtained.


The Traditionary Period

The Cherokee were the mountaineers of the South, holding the entire
Allegheny region from the interlocking head-streams of the Kanawha
and the Tennessee southward almost to the site of Atlanta, and from
the Blue ridge on the east to the Cumberland range on the west, a
territory comprising an area of about 40,000 square miles, now included
in the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Georgia, and Alabama. Their principal towns were upon the headwaters of
the Savannah, Hiwassee, and Tuckasegee, and along the whole length of
the Little Tennessee to its junction with the main stream. Itsâti, or
Echota, on the south bank of the Little Tennessee, a few miles above
the mouth of Tellico river, in Tennessee, was commonly considered
the capital of the Nation. As the advancing whites pressed upon them
from the east and northeast the more exposed towns were destroyed or
abandoned and new settlements were formed lower down the Tennessee
and on the upper branches of the Chattahoochee and the Coosa.

As is always the case with tribal geography, there were no fixed
boundaries, and on every side the Cherokee frontiers were contested by
rival claimants. In Virginia, there is reason to believe, the tribe was
held in check in early days by the Powhatan and the Monacan. On the
east and southeast the Tuscarora and Catawba were their inveterate
enemies, with hardly even a momentary truce within the historic
period; and evidence goes to show that the Sara or Cheraw were fully
as hostile. On the south there was hereditary war with the Creeks,
who claimed nearly the whole of upper Georgia as theirs by original
possession, but who were being gradually pressed down toward the Gulf
until, through the mediation of the United States, a treaty was finally
made fixing the boundary between the two tribes along a line running
about due west from the mouth of Broad river on the Savannah. Toward
the west, the Chickasaw on the lower Tennessee and the Shawano on
the Cumberland repeatedly turned back the tide of Cherokee invasion
from the rich central valleys, while the powerful Iroquois in the far
north set up an almost unchallenged claim of paramount lordship from
the Ottawa river of Canada southward at least to the Kentucky river.

On the other hand, by their defeat of the Creeks and expulsion of
the Shawano, the Cherokee made good the claim which they asserted
to all the lands from upper Georgia to the Ohio river, including
the rich hunting grounds of Kentucky. Holding as they did the great
mountain barrier between the English settlements on the coast and
the French or Spanish garrisons along the Mississippi and the Ohio,
their geographic position, no less than their superior number, would
have given them the balance of power in the South but for a looseness
of tribal organization in striking contrast to the compactness of
the Iroquois league, by which for more than a century the French
power was held in check in the north. The English, indeed, found
it convenient to recognize certain chiefs as supreme in the tribe,
but the only real attempt to weld the whole Cherokee Nation into a
political unit was that made by the French agent, Priber, about 1736,
which failed from its premature discovery by the English. We frequently
find their kingdom divided against itself, their very number preventing
unity of action, while still giving them an importance above that of
neighboring tribes.

The proper name by which the Cherokee call themselves (1) [1] is
Yûñ'wiya', or Ani'-Yûñ'wiya' in the third person, signifying "real
people," or "principal people," a word closely related to Oñwe-hoñwe,
the name by which the cognate Iroquois know themselves. The word
properly denotes "Indians," as distinguished from people of other
races, but in usage it is restricted to mean members of the Cherokee
tribe, those of other tribes being designated as Creek, Catawba, etc.,
as the case may be. On ceremonial occasions they frequently speak of
themselves as Ani'-Kitu'hwagi, or "people of Kitu'hwa," an ancient
settlement on Tuckasegee river and apparently the original nucleus of
the tribe. Among the western Cherokee this name has been adopted by
a secret society recruited from the full-blood element and pledged
to resist the advances of the white man's civilization. Under the
various forms of Cuttawa, Gattochwa, Kittuwa, etc., as spelled by
different authors, it was also used by several northern Algonquian
tribes as a synonym for Cherokee.

Cherokee, the name by which they are commonly known, has no meaning
in their own language, and seems to be of foreign origin. As used
among themselves the form is Tsa'lagi' or Tsa'ragi'. It first appears
as Chalaque in the Portuguese narrative of De Soto's expedition,
published originally in 1557, while we find Cheraqui in a French
document of 1699, and Cherokee as an English form as early, at least,
as 1708. The name has thus an authentic history of 360 years. There is
evidence that it is derived from the Choctaw word choluk or chiluk,
signifying a pit or cave, and comes to us through the so-called
Mobilian trade language, a corrupted Choctaw jargon formerly used as
the medium of communication among all the tribes of the Gulf states,
as far north as the mouth of the Ohio (2). Within this area many of
the tribes were commonly known under Choctaw names, even though of
widely differing linguistic stocks, and if such a name existed for
the Cherokee it must undoubtedly have been communicated to the first
Spanish explorers by De Soto's interpreters. This theory is borne out
by their Iroquois (Mohawk) name, Oyata'ge`ronoñ', as given by Hewitt,
signifying "inhabitants of the cave country," the Allegheny region
being peculiarly a cave country, in which "rock shelters," containing
numerous traces of Indian occupancy, are of frequent occurrence. Their
Catawba name also, Mañterañ, as given by Gatschet, signifying "coming
out of the ground," seems to contain the same reference. Adair's
attempt to connect the name Cherokee with their word for fire, atsila,
is an error founded upon imperfect knowledge of the language.

Among other synonyms for the tribe are Rickahockan, or Rechahecrian,
the ancient Powhatan name, and Tallige', or Tallige'wi, the ancient
name used in the Walam Olum chronicle of the Lenape'. Concerning both
the application and the etymology of this last name there has been
much dispute, but there seems no reasonable doubt as to the identity
of the people.

Linguistically the Cherokee belong to the Iroquoian stock, the
relationship having been suspected by Barton over a century ago, and
by Gallatin and Hale at a later period, and definitely established
by Hewitt in 1887. [2] While there can now be no question of the
connection, the marked lexical and grammatical differences indicate
that the separation must have occurred at a very early period. As is
usually the case with a large tribe occupying an extensive territory,
the language is spoken in several dialects, the principal of which may,
for want of other names, be conveniently designated as the Eastern,
Middle, and Western. Adair's classification into "Ayrate" (e'ladi),
or low, and "Ottare" (â'tali), or mountainous, must be rejected
as imperfect.

The Eastern dialect, formerly often called the Lower Cherokee dialect,
was originally spoken in all the towns upon the waters of the Keowee
and Tugaloo, head-streams of Savannah river, in South Carolina and
the adjacent portion of Georgia. Its chief peculiarity is a rolling
r, which takes the place of the l of the other dialects. In this
dialect the tribal name is Tsa'ragi', which the English settlers
of Carolina corrupted to Cherokee, while the Spaniards, advancing
from the south, became better familiar with the other form, which
they wrote as Chalaque. Owing to their exposed frontier position,
adjoining the white settlements of Carolina, the Cherokee of this
division were the first to feel the shock of war in the campaigns of
1760 and 1776, with the result that before the close of the Revolution
they had been completely extirpated from their original territory and
scattered as refugees among the more western towns of the tribe. The
consequence was that they lost their distinctive dialect, which is
now practically extinct. In 1888 it was spoken by but one man on the
reservation in North Carolina.

The Middle dialect, which might properly be designated the Kituhwa
dialect, was originally spoken in the towns on the Tuckasegee and the
headwaters of the Little Tennessee, in the very heart of the Cherokee
country, and is still spoken by the great majority of those now living
on the Qualla reservation. In some of its phonetic forms it agrees with
the Eastern dialect, but resembles the Western in having the l sound.

The Western dialect was spoken in most of the towns of east Tennessee
and upper Georgia and upon Hiwassee and Cheowa rivers in North
Carolina. It is the softest and most musical of all the dialects of
this musical language, having a frequent liquid l and eliding many
of the harsher consonants found in the other forms. It is also the
literary dialect, and is spoken by most of those now constituting
the Cherokee Nation in the West.

Scattered among the other Cherokee are individuals whose pronunciation
and occasional peculiar terms for familiar objects give indication of a
fourth and perhaps a fifth dialect, which can not now be localized. It
is possible that these differences may come from foreign admixture,
as of Natchez, Taskigi, or Shawano blood. There is some reason
for believing that the people living on Nantahala river differed
dialectically from their neighbors on either side (3).

The Iroquoian stock, to which the Cherokee belong, had its chief home
in the north, its tribes occupying a compact territory which comprised
portions of Ontario, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and extended
down the Susquehanna and Chesapeake bay almost to the latitude of
Washington. Another body, including the Tuscarora, Nottoway, and
perhaps also the Meherrin, occupied territory in northeastern North
Carolina and the adjacent portion of Virginia. The Cherokee themselves
constituted the third and southernmost body. It is evident that tribes
of common stock must at one time have occupied contiguous territories,
and such we find to be the case in this instance. The Tuscarora and
Meherrin, and presumably also the Nottoway, are known to have come
from the north, while traditional and historical evidence concur
in assigning to the Cherokee as their early home the region about
the headwaters of the Ohio, immediately to the southward of their
kinsmen, but bitter enemies, the Iroquois. The theory which brings
the Cherokee from northern Iowa and the Iroquois from Manitoba is
unworthy of serious consideration. (4)

The most ancient tradition concerning the Cherokee appears to be the
Delaware tradition of the expulsion of the Talligewi from the north,
as first noted by the missionary Heckewelder in 1819, and published
more fully by Brinton in the Walam Olum in 1885. According to the
first account, the Delawares, advancing from the west, found their
further progress opposed by a powerful people called Alligewi or
Talligewi, occupying the country upon a river which Heckewelder thinks
identical with the Mississippi, but which the sequel shows was more
probably the upper Ohio. They were said to have regularly built earthen
fortifications, in which they defended themselves so well that at last
the Delawares were obliged to seek the assistance of the "Mengwe,"
or Iroquois, with the result that after a warfare extending over many
years the Alligewi finally received a crushing defeat, the survivors
fleeing down the river and abandoning the country to the invaders,
who thereupon parceled it out amongst themselves, the "Mengwe" choosing
the portion about the Great lakes while the Delawares took possession
of that to the south and east. The missionary adds that the Allegheny
(and Ohio) river was still called by the Delawares the Alligewi Sipu,
or river of the Alligewi. This would seem to indicate it as the true
river of the tradition. He speaks also of remarkable earthworks seen
by him in 1789 in the neighborhood of Lake Erie, which were said by
the Indians to have been built by the extirpated tribe as defensive
fortifications in the course of this war. Near two of these, in the
vicinity of Sandusky, he was shown mounds under which it was said
some hundreds of the slain Talligewi were buried. [3] As is usual in
such traditions, the Alligewi were said to have been of giant stature,
far exceeding their conquerors in size.

In the Walam Olum, which is, it is asserted, a metrical translation
of an ancient hieroglyphic bark record discovered in 1820, the main
tradition is given in practically the same way, with an appendix
which follows the fortunes of the defeated tribe up to the beginning
of the historic period, thus completing the chain of evidence. (5)

In the Walam Olum also we find the Delawares advancing from the
west or northwest until they come to "Fish river"--the same which
Heckewelder makes the Mississippi (6). On the other side, we are told,
"The Talligewi possessed the East." The Delaware chief "desired the
eastern land," and some of his people go on, but are killed, by the
Talligewi. The Delawares decide upon war and call in the help of their
northern friends, the "Talamatan," i. e., the Wyandot and other allied
Iroquoian tribes. A war ensues which continues through the terms of
four successive chiefs, when victory declares for the invaders, and
"all the Talega go south." The country is then divided, the Talamatan
taking the northern portion, while the Delawares "stay south of the
lakes." The chronicle proceeds to tell how, after eleven more chiefs
have ruled, the Nanticoke and Shawano separate from the parent tribe
and remove to the south. Six other chiefs follow in succession until we
come to the seventh, who "went to the Talega mountains." By this time
the Delawares have reached the ocean. Other chiefs succeed, after whom
"the Easterners and the Wolves"--probably the Mahican or Wappinger and
the Munsee--move off to the northeast. At last, after six more chiefs,
"the whites came on the eastern sea," by which is probably meant
the landing of the Dutch on Manhattan in 1609 (7). We may consider
this a tally date, approximating the beginning of the seventeenth
century. Two more chiefs rule, and of the second we are told that "He
fought at the south; he fought in the land of the Talega and Koweta,"
and again the fourth chief after the coming of the whites "went to
the Talega." We have thus a traditional record of a war of conquest
carried on against the Talligewi by four successive chiefs, and a
succession of about twenty-five chiefs between the final expulsion
of that tribe and the appearance of the whites, in which interval
the Nanticoke, Shawano, Mahican, and Munsee branched off from the
parent tribe of the Delawares. Without venturing to entangle ourselves
in the devious maze of Indian chronology, it is sufficient to note
that all this implies a very long period of time--so long, in fact,
that during it several new tribes, each of which in time developed
a distinct dialect, branch off from the main Lenape' stem. It is
distinctly stated that all the Talega went south after their final
defeat; and from later references we find that they took refuge in
the mountain country in the neighborhood of the Koweta (the Creeks),
and that Delaware war parties were still making raids upon both these
tribes long after the first appearance of the whites.

Although at first glance it might be thought that the name Tallige-wi
is but a corruption of Tsalagi, a closer study leads to the opinion
that it is a true Delaware word, in all probability connected with
waloh or walok, signifying a cave or hole (Zeisberger), whence we
find in the Walam Olum the word oligonunk rendered as "at the place
of caves." It would thus be an exact Delaware rendering of the same
name, "people of the cave country," by which, as we have seen, the
Cherokee were commonly known among the tribes. Whatever may be the
origin of the name itself, there can be no reasonable doubt as to
its application. "Name, location, and legends combine to identify the
Cherokees or Tsalaki with the Tallike; and this is as much evidence
as we can expect to produce in such researches." [4]

The Wyandot confirm the Delaware story and fix the identification
of the expelled tribe. According to their tradition, as narrated in
1802, the ancient fortifications in the Ohio valley had been erected
in the course of a long war between themselves and the Cherokee,
which resulted finally in the defeat of the latter. [5]

The traditions of the Cherokee, so far as they have been preserved,
supplement and corroborate those of the northern tribes, thus bringing
the story down to their final settlement upon the headwaters of the
Tennessee in the rich valleys of the southern Alleghenies. Owing to
the Cherokee predilection for new gods, contrasting strongly with
the conservatism of the Iroquois, their ritual forms and national
epics had fallen into decay even before the Revolution, as we learn
from Adair. Some vestiges of their migration legend still existed in
Haywood's time, but it is now completely forgotten both in the East
and in the West.

According to Haywood, who wrote in 1823 on information obtained
directly from leading members of the tribe long before the Removal,
the Cherokee formerly had a long migration legend, which was already
lost, but which, within the memory of the mother of one informant--say
about 1750--was still recited by chosen orators on the occasion of
the annual green-corn dance. This migration legend appears to have
resembled that of the Delawares and the Creeks in beginning with
genesis and the period of animal monsters, and thence following
the shifting fortune of the chosen band to the historic period. The
tradition recited that they had originated in a land toward the rising
sun, where they had been placed by the command of "the four councils
sent from above." In this pristine home were great snakes and water
monsters, for which reason it was supposed to have been near the
sea-coast, although the assumption is not a necessary corollary, as
these are a feature of the mythology of all the eastern tribes. After
this genesis period there began a slow migration, during which "towns
of people in many nights' encampment removed," but no details are
given. From Heckewelder it appears that the expression, "a night's
encampment," which occurs also in the Delaware migration legend,
is an Indian figure of speech for a halt of one year at a place. [6]

In another place Haywood says, although apparently confusing
the chronologic order of events: "One tradition which they have
amongst them says they came from the west and exterminated the
former inhabitants; and then says they came from the upper parts
of the Ohio, where they erected the mounds on Grave creek, and
that they removed thither from the country where Monticello (near
Charlottesville, Virginia) is situated." [7] The first reference
is to the celebrated mounds on the Ohio near Moundsville, below
Wheeling, West Virginia; the other is doubtless to a noted burial
mound described by Jefferson in 1781 as then existing near his home,
on the low grounds of Rivanna river opposite the site of an ancient
Indian town. He himself had opened it and found it to contain perhaps
a thousand disjointed skeletons of both adults and children, the
bones piled in successive layers, those near the top being least
decayed. They showed no signs of violence, but were evidently the
accumulation of long years from the neighboring Indian town. The
distinguished writer adds: "But on whatever occasion they may have
been made, they are of considerable notoriety among the Indians: for
a party passing, about thirty years ago [i. e., about 1750], through
the part of the country where this barrow is, went through the woods
directly to it without any instructions or enquiry, and having staid
about it some time, with expressions which were construed to be those
of sorrow, they returned to the high road, which they had left about
half a dozen miles to pay this visit, and pursued their journey." [8]
Although the tribe is not named, the Indians were probably Cherokee,
as no other southern Indians were then accustomed to range in that
section. As serving to corroborate this opinion we have the statement
of a prominent Cherokee chief, given to Schoolcraft in 1846, that
according to their tradition his people had formerly lived at the
Peaks of Otter, in Virginia, a noted landmark of the Blue ridge,
near the point where Staunton river breaks through the mountains. [9]

From a careful sifting of the evidence Haywood concludes that the
authors of the most ancient remains in Tennessee had spread over
that region from the south and southwest at a very early period,
but that the later occupants, the Cherokee, had entered it from
the north and northeast in comparatively recent times, overrunning
and exterminating the aborigines. He declares that the historical
fact seems to be established that the Cherokee entered the country
from Virginia, making temporary settlements upon New river and the
upper Holston, until, under the continued hostile pressure from
the north, they were again forced to remove farther to the south,
fixing themselves upon the Little Tennessee, in what afterward
became known as the middle towns. By a leading mixed blood of the
tribe he was informed that they had made their first settlements
within their modern home territory upon Nolichucky river, and that,
having lived there for a long period, they could give no definite
account of an earlier location. Echota, their capital and peace town,
"claimed to be the eldest brother in the nation," and the claim was
generally acknowledged. [10] In confirmation of the statement as to
an early occupancy of the upper Holston region, it may be noted that
"Watauga Old Fields," now Elizabethtown, were so called from the
fact that when the first white settlement within the present state
of Tennessee was begun there, so early as 1769, the bottom lands
were found to contain graves and other numerous ancient remains of
a former Indian town which tradition ascribed to the Cherokee, whose
nearest settlements were then many miles to the southward.

While the Cherokee claimed to have built the mounds on the upper Ohio,
they yet, according to Haywood, expressly disclaimed the authorship
of the very numerous mounds and petroglyphs in their later home
territory, asserting that these ancient works had exhibited the same
appearance when they themselves had first occupied the region. [11]
This accords with Bartram's statement that the Cherokee, although
sometimes utilizing the mounds as sites for their own town houses,
were as ignorant as the whites of their origin or purpose, having
only a general tradition that their forefathers had found them in
much the same condition on first coming into the country. [12]

Although, as has been noted, Haywood expresses the opinion that the
invading Cherokee had overrun and exterminated the earlier inhabitants,
he says in another place, on halfbreed authority, that the newcomers
found no Indians upon the waters of the Tennessee, with the exception
of some Creeks living upon that river, near the mouth of the Hiwassee,
the main body of that tribe being established upon and claiming all
the streams to the southward. [13] There is considerable evidence
that the Creeks preceded the Cherokee, and within the last century
they still claimed the Tennessee, or at least the Tennessee watershed,
for their northern boundary.

There is a dim but persistent tradition of a strange white race
preceding the Cherokee, some of the stories even going so far as to
locate their former settlements and to identify them as the authors
of the ancient works found in the country. The earliest reference
appears to be that of Barton in 1797, on the statement of a gentleman
whom he quotes as a valuable authority upon the southern tribes. "The
Cheerake tell us, that when they first arrived in the country which
they inhabit, they found it possessed by certain 'moon-eyed people,'
who could not see in the day-time. These wretches they expelled." He
seems to consider them an albino race. [14] Haywood, twenty-six
years later, says that the invading Cherokee found "white people"
near the head of the Little Tennessee, with forts extending thence
down the Tennessee as far as Chickamauga creek. He gives the location
of three of these forts. The Cherokee made war against them and drove
them to the mouth of Big Chickamauga creek, where they entered into a
treaty and agreed to remove if permitted to depart in peace. Permission
being granted, they abandoned the country. Elsewhere he speaks of this
extirpated white race as having extended into Kentucky and probably
also into western Tennessee, according to the concurrent traditions
of different tribes. He describes their houses, on what authority is
not stated, as having been small circular structures of upright logs,
covered with earth which had been dug out from the inside. [15]

Harry Smith, a halfbreed born about 1815, father of the late chief
of the East Cherokee, informed the author that when a boy he had
been told by an old woman a tradition of a race of very small
people, perfectly white, who once came and lived for some time on
the site of the ancient mound on the northern side of Hiwassee, at
the mouth of Peachtree creek, a few miles above the present Murphy,
North Carolina. They afterward removed to the West. Colonel Thomas,
the white chief of the East Cherokee, born about the beginning of
the century, had also heard a tradition of another race of people,
who lived on Hiwassee, opposite the present Murphy, and warned the
Cherokee that they must not attempt to cross over to the south side
of the river or the great leech in the water would swallow them. [16]
They finally went west, "long before the whites came." The two stories
are plainly the same, although told independently and many miles apart.

The Period of Spanish Exploration--1540-?

The definite history of the Cherokee begins with the year 1540, at
which date we find them already established, where they were always
afterward known, in the mountains of Carolina and Georgia. The earliest
Spanish adventurers failed to penetrate so far into the interior,
and the first entry into their country was made by De Soto, advancing
up the Savannah on his fruitless quest for gold, in May of that year.

While at Cofitachiqui, an important Indian town on the lower Savannah
governed by a "queen," the Spaniards had found hatchets and other
objects of copper, some of which was of finer color and appeared to
be mixed with gold, although they had no means of testing it. [17]
On inquiry they were told that the metal had come from an interior
mountain province called Chisca, but the country was represented as
thinly peopled and the way as impassable for horses. Some time before,
while advancing through eastern Georgia, they had heard also of a rich
and plentiful province called Coça, toward the northwest, and by the
people of Cofitachiqui they were now told that Chiaha, the nearest town
of Coça province, was twelve days inland. As both men and animals were
already nearly exhausted from hunger and hard travel, and the Indians
either could not or would not furnish sufficient provision for their
needs, De Soto determined not to attempt the passage of the mountains
then, but to push on at once to Coça, there to rest and recuperate
before undertaking further exploration. In the meantime he hoped
also to obtain more definite information concerning the mines. As
the chief purpose of the expedition was the discovery of the mines,
many of the officers regarded this change of plan as a mistake, and
favored staying where they were until the new crop should be ripened,
then to go directly into the mountains, but as the general was "a stern
man and of few words," none ventured to oppose his resolution. [18]
The province of Coça was the territory of the Creek Indians, called
Ani'-Kusa by the Cherokee, from Kusa, or Coosa, their ancient capital,
while Chiaha was identical with Chehaw, one of the principal Creek
towns on Chattahoochee river. Cofitachiqui may have been the capital
of the Uchee Indians.

The outrageous conduct of the Spaniards had so angered the Indian
queen that she now refused to furnish guides and carriers, whereupon
De Soto made her a prisoner, with the design of compelling her to
act as guide herself, and at the same time to use her as a hostage to
command the obedience of her subjects. Instead, however, of conducting
the Spaniards by the direct trail toward the west, she led them far
out of their course until she finally managed to make her escape,
leaving them to find their way out of the mountains as best they could.

Departing from Cofitachiqui, they turned first toward the north,
passing through several towns subject to the queen, to whom, although
a prisoner, the Indians everywhere showed great respect and obedience,
furnishing whatever assistance the Spaniards compelled her to demand
for their own purposes. In a few days they came to "a province called
Chalaque," the territory of the Cherokee Indians, probably upon the
waters of Keowee river, the eastern head-stream of the Savannah. It
is described as the poorest country for corn that they had yet seen,
the inhabitants subsisting on wild roots and herbs and on game
which they killed with bows and arrows. They were naked, lean, and
unwarlike. The country abounded in wild turkeys ("gallinas"), which
the people gave very freely to the strangers, one town presenting
them with seven hundred. A chief also gave De Soto two deerskins
as a great present. [19] Garcilaso, writing on the authority of an
old soldier nearly fifty years afterward, says that the. "Chalaques"
deserted their towns on the approach of the white men and fled to the
mountains, leaving behind only old men and women and some who were
nearly blind. [20] Although it was too early for the new crop, the
poverty of the people may have been more apparent than real, due to
their unwillingness to give any part of their stored-up provision to
the unwelcome strangers. As the Spaniards were greatly in need of corn
for themselves and their horses, they made no stay, but hurried on. In
a few days they arrived at Guaquili, which is mentioned only by Ranjel,
who does not specify whether it was a town or a province--i. e.,
a tribal territory. It was probably a small town. Here they were
welcomed in a friendly manner, the Indians giving them a little corn
and many wild turkeys, together with some dogs of a peculiar small
species, which were bred for eating purposes and did not bark. [21]
They were also supplied with men to help carry the baggage. The name
Guaquili has a Cherokee sound and may be connected with wa'guli',
"whippoorwill," uwâ'gi`li, "foam," or gi`li, "dog."

Traveling still toward the north, they arrived a day or two later in
the province of Xuala, in which we recognize the territory of the
Suwali, Sara, or Cheraw Indians, in the piedmont region about the
head of Broad river in North Carolina. Garcilaso, who did not see it,
represents it as a rich country, while the Elvas narrative and Biedma
agree that it was a rough, broken country, thinly inhabited and poor
in provision. According to Garcilaso, it was under the rule of the
queen of Cofitachiqui, although a distinct province in itself. [22]
The principal town was beside a small rapid stream, close under a
mountain. The chief received them in friendly fashion, giving them
corn, dogs of the small breed already mentioned, carrying baskets,
and burden bearers. The country roundabout showed greater indications
of gold mines than any they had yet seen.1>

Here De Soto turned to the west, crossing a very high mountain range,
which appears to have been the Blue ridge, and descending on the other
side to a stream flowing in the opposite direction, which was probably
one of the upper tributaries of the French Broad. [23] Although it
was late in May, they found it very cold in the mountains. [24] After
several days of such travel they arrived, about the end of the month,
at the town of Guasili, or Guaxule. The chief and principal men came
out some distance to welcome them, dressed in fine robes of skins,
with feather head-dresses, after the fashion of the country. Before
reaching this point the queen had managed to make her escape, together
with three slaves of the Spaniards, and the last that was heard of her
was that she was on her way back to her own country with one of the
runaways as her husband. What grieved De Soto most in the matter was
that she took with her a small box of pearls, which he had intended
to take from her before releasing her, but had left with her for the
present in order "not to discontent her altogether." [25]

Guaxule is described as a very large town surrounded by a number of
small mountain streams which united to form the large river down
which the Spaniards proceeded after leaving the place. [26] Here,
as elsewhere, the Indians received the white men with kindness
and hospitality--so much so that the name of Guaxule became to
the army a synonym for good fortune. [27] Among other things they
gave the Spaniards 300 dogs for food, although, according to the
Elvas narrative, the Indians themselves did not eat them. [28] The
principal officers of the expedition were lodged in the "chief's
house," by which we are to understand the townhouse, which was upon a
high hill with a roadway to the top. [29] From a close study of the
narrative it appears that this "hill" was no other than the great
Nacoochee mound, in White county, Georgia, a few miles northwest of
the present Clarkesville. [30] It was within the Cherokee territory,
and the town was probably a settlement of that tribe. From here De
Soto sent runners ahead to notify the chief of Chiaha of his approach,
in order that sufficient corn might be ready on his arrival.

Leaving Guaxule, they proceeded down the river, which we identify
with the Chattahoochee, and in two days arrived at Canasoga, or
Canasagua, a frontier town of the Cherokee. As they neared the town
they were met by the Indians, bearing baskets of "mulberries," [31]
more probably the delicious service-berry of the southern mountains,
which ripens in early summer, while the mulberry matures later.

From here they continued down the river, which grew constantly larger,
through an uninhabited country which formed the disputed territory
between the Cherokee and the Creeks. About five days after leaving
Canasagua they were met by messengers, who escorted them to Chiaha,
the first town of the province of Coça. De Soto had crossed the state
of Georgia, leaving the Cherokee country behind him, and was now
among the Lower Creeks, in the neighborhood of the present Columbus,
Georgia. [32] With his subsequent wanderings after crossing the
Chattahoochee into Alabama and beyond we need not concern ourselves

While resting at Chiaha De Soto met with a chief who confirmed what
the Spaniards had heard before concerning mines in the province of
Chisca, saying that there was there "a melting of copper" and of
another metal of about the same color, but softer, and therefore not
so much used. [33] The province was northward from Chiaha, somewhere
in upper Georgia or the adjacent part of Alabama or Tennessee, through
all of which mountain region native copper is found. The other mineral,
which the Spaniards understood to be gold, may have been iron pyrites,
although there is some evidence that the Indians occasionally found
and shaped gold nuggets.6

Accordingly two soldiers were sent on foot with Indian guides to find
Chisca and learn the truth of the stories. They rejoined the army some
time after the march had been resumed, and reported, according to the
Elvas chronicler, that their guides had taken them through a country
so poor in corn, so rough, and over so high mountains that it would
be impossible for the army to follow, wherefore, as the way grew long
and lingering, they had turned back after reaching a little poor town
where they saw nothing that was of any profit. They brought back with
them a dressed buffalo skin which the Indians there had given them,
the first ever obtained by white men, and described in the quaint old
chronicle as "an ox hide as thin as a calf's skin, and the hair like
a soft wool between the coarse and fine wool of sheep." [34]

Garcilaso's glowing narrative gives a somewhat different
impression. According to this author the scouts returned full of
enthusiasm for the fertility of the country, and reported that the
mines were of a fine species of copper, and had indications also of
gold and silver, while their progress from one town to another had
been a continual series of feastings and Indian hospitalities. [35]
However that may have been, De Soto made no further effort to reach
the Cherokee mines, but continued his course westward through the
Creek country, having spent altogether a month in the mountain region.

There is no record of any second attempt to penetrate the Cherokee
country for twenty-six years (9). In 1561 the Spaniards took formal
possession of the bay of Santa Elena, now Saint Helena, near Port
Royal, on the coast of South Carolina. The next year the French
made an unsuccessful attempt at settlement at the same place, and in
1566 Menendez made the Spanish occupancy sure by establishing there
a fort which he called San Felipe. [36] In November of that year
Captain Juan Pardo was sent with a party from the fort to explore the
interior. Accompanied by the chief of "Juada" (which from Vandera's
narrative we find should be "Joara," i. e., the Sara Indians already
mentioned in the De Soto chronicle), he proceeded as far as the
territory of that tribe, where he built a fort, but on account of
the snow in the mountains did not think it advisable to go farther,
and returned, leaving a sergeant with thirty soldiers to garrison the
post. Soon after his return he received a letter from the sergeant
stating that the chief of Chisca--the rich mining country of which De
Soto had heard--was very hostile to the Spaniards, and that in a recent
battle the latter had killed a thousand of his Indians and burned fifty
houses with almost no damage to themselves. Either the sergeant or his
chronicler must have been an unconscionable liar, as it was asserted
that all this was done with only fifteen men. Immediately afterward,
according to the same story, the sergeant marched with twenty men
about a day's distance in the mountains against another hostile chief,
whom he found in a strongly palisaded town, which, after a hard fight,
he and his men stormed and burned, killing fifteen hundred Indians
without losing a single man themselves. Under instructions from his
superior officer, the sergeant with his small party then proceeded to
explore what lay beyond, and, taking a road which they were told led to
the territory of a great chief, after four days of hard marching they
came to his town, called Chiaha (Chicha, by mistake in the manuscript
translation), the same where De Soto had rested. It is described at
this time as palisaded and strongly fortified, with a deep river on
each side, and defended by over three thousand fighting men, there
being no women or children among them. It is possible that in view
of their former experience with the Spaniards, the Indians had sent
their families away from the town, while at the same time they may
have summoned warriors from the neighboring Creek towns in order to
be prepared for any emergency. However, as before, they received the
white men with the greatest kindness, and the Spaniards continued
for twelve days through the territories of the same tribe until they
arrived at the principal town (Kusa?), where, by the invitation of
the chief, they built a small fort and awaited the coming of Pardo,
who was expected to follow with a larger force from Santa Elena, as he
did in the summer of 1567, being met on his arrival with every show of
hospitality from the Creek chiefs. This second fort was said to be one
hundred and forty leagues distant from that in the Sara country, which
latter was called one hundred and twenty leagues from Santa Elena. [37]

In the summer of 1567, according to previous agreement, Captain Pardo
left the fort at Santa Elena with a small detachment of troops, and
after a week's travel, sleeping each night at a different Indian town,
arrived at "Canos, which the Indians call Canosi, and by another name,
Cofetaçque" (the Cofitachiqui of the De Soto chronicle), which is
described as situated in a favorable location for a large city, fifty
leagues from Santa Elena, to which the easiest road was by a river
(the Savannah) which flowed by the town, or by another which they
had passed ten leagues farther back. Proceeding, they passed Jagaya,
Gueza, and Arauchi, and arrived at Otariyatiqui, or Otari, in which
we have perhaps the Cherokee â'tari or â'tali, "mountain". It may
have been a frontier Cherokee settlement, and, according to the old
chronicler, its chief and language ruled much good country. From here
a trail went northward to Guatari, Sauxpa, and Usi, i. e., the Wateree,
Waxhaw (or Sissipahaw?), and Ushery or Catawba.

Leaving Otariyatiqui, they went on to Quinahaqui, and then, turning
to the left, to Issa, where they found mines of crystal (mica?). They
came next to Aguaquiri (the Guaquili of the De Soto chronicle), and
then to Joara, "near to the mountain, where Juan Pardo arrived with
his sergeant on his first trip." This, as has been noted, was the
Xuala of the De Soto chronicle, the territory of the Sara Indians, in
the foothills of the Blue ridge, southeast from the present Asheville,
North Carolina. Vandera makes it one hundred leagues from Santa Elena,
while Martinez, already quoted, makes the distance one hundred and
twenty leagues. The difference is not important, as both statements
were only estimates. From there they followed "along the mountains"
to Tocax (Toxaway?), Cauchi (Nacoochee?), and Tanasqui--apparently
Cherokee towns, although the forms can not be identified--and after
resting three days at the last-named place went on "to Solameco,
otherwise called Chiaha," where the sergeant met them. The combined
forces afterward went on, through Cossa (Kusa), Tasquiqui (Taskigi),
and other Creek towns, as far as Tascaluza, in the Alabama country, and
returned thence to Santa Elena, having apparently met with a friendly
reception everywhere along the route. From Cofitachiqui to Tascaluza
they went over about the same road traversed by De Soto in 1540. [38]

We come now to a great gap of nearly a century. Shea has a notice
of a Spanish mission founded among the Cherokee in 1643 and still
flourishing when visited by an English traveler ten years later,
[39] but as his information is derived entirely from the fraudulent
work of Davies, and as no such mission is mentioned by Barcia in any
of these years, we may regard the story as spurious (10). The first
mission work in the tribe appears to have been that of Priber, almost
a hundred years later. Long before the end of the sixteenth century,
however, the existence of mines of gold and other metals in the
Cherokee country was a matter of common knowledge among the Spaniards
at St. Augustine and Santa Elena, and more than one expedition had been
fitted out to explore the interior. [40] Numerous traces of ancient
mining operations, with remains of old shafts and fortifications,
evidently of European origin, show that these discoveries were followed
up, although the policy of Spain concealed the fact from the outside
world. How much permanent impression this early Spanish intercourse
made on the Cherokee it is impossible to estimate, but it must have
been considerable (11).

The Colonial and Revolutionary Period--1654-1784

It was not until 1654 that the English first came into contact with
the Cherokee, called in the records of the period Rechahecrians,
a corruption of Rickahockan, apparently the name by which they were
known to the Powhatan tribes. In that year the Virginia colony,
which had only recently concluded a long and exterminating war with
the Powhatan, was thrown into alarm by the news that a great body of
six or seven hundred Rechahecrian Indians--by which is probably meant
that number of warriors--from the mountains had invaded the lower
country and established themselves at the falls of James river, where
now is the city of Richmond. The assembly at once passed resolutions
"that these new come Indians be in no sort suffered to seat themselves
there, or any place near us, it having cost so much blood to expel and
extirpate those perfidious and treacherous Indians which were there
formerly." It was therefore ordered that a force of at least 100 white
men be at once sent against them, to be joined by the warriors of all
the neighboring subject tribes, according to treaty obligation. The
Pamunkey chief, with a hundred of his men, responded to the summons,
and the combined force marched against the invaders. The result
was a bloody battle, with disastrous outcome to the Virginians, the
Pamunkey chief with most of his men being killed, while the whites
were forced to make such terms of peace with the Rechahecrians that
the assembly cashiered the commander of the expedition and compelled
him to pay the whole cost of the treaty from his own estate. [41]
Owing to the imperfection of the Virginia records we have no means
of knowing the causes of the sudden invasion or how long the invaders
retained their position at the falls. In all probability it was only
the last of a long series of otherwise unrecorded irruptions by the
mountaineers on the more peaceful dwellers in the lowlands. From a
remark in Lederer it is probable that the Cherokee were assisted also
by some of the piedmont tribes hostile to the Powhatan. The Peaks of
Otter, near which the Cherokee claim to have once lived, as has been
already noted, are only about one hundred miles in a straight line from
Richmond, while the burial mound and town site near Charlottesville,
mentioned by Jefferson, are but half that distance.

In 1655 a Virginia expedition sent out from the falls of James river
(Richmond) crossed over the mountains to the large streams flowing
into the Mississippi. No details are given and the route is uncertain,
but whether or not they met Indians, they must have passed through
Cherokee territory. [42]

In 1670 the German traveler, John Lederer, went from the falls of James
river to the Catawba country in South Carolina, following for most
of the distance the path used by the Virginia traders, who already
had regular dealings with the southern tribes, including probably
the Cherokee. He speaks in several places of the Rickahockan, which
seems to be a more correct form than Rechahecrian, and his narrative
and the accompanying map put them in the mountains of North Carolina,
back of the Catawba and the Sara and southward from the head of Roanoke
river. They were apparently on hostile terms with the tribes to the
eastward, and while the traveler was stopping at an Indian village
on Dan river, about the present Clarksville, Virginia, a delegation
of Rickahockan, which had come on tribal business, was barbarously
murdered at a dance prepared on the night of their arrival by their
treacherous hosts. On reaching the Catawba country he heard of white
men to the southward, and incidentally mentions that the neighboring
mountains were called the Suala mountains by the Spaniards. [43] In
the next year, 1671, a party from Virginia under Thomas Batts explored
the northern branch of Roanoke river and crossed over the Blue ridge
to the headwaters of New river, where they found traces of occupancy,
but no Indians. By this time all the tribes of this section, east of
the mountains, were in possession of firearms. [44]

The first permanent English settlement in South Carolina was
established in 1670. In 1690 James Moore, secretary of the colony,
made an exploring expedition into the mountains and reached a point at
which, according to his Indian guides, he was within twenty miles of
where the Spaniards were engaged in mining and smelting with bellows
and furnaces, but on account of some misunderstanding he returned
without visiting the place, although he procured specimens of ores,
which he sent to England for assay. [45] It may have been in the
neighborhood of the present Lincolnton, North Carolina, where a dam
of cut stone and other remains of former civilized occupancy have
recently been discovered (11). In this year, also, Cornelius Dougherty,
an Irishman from Virginia, established himself as the first trader
among the Cherokee, with whom he spent the rest of his life. [46]
Some of his descendants still occupy honored positions in the tribe.

Among the manuscript archives of South Carolina there was said to be,
some fifty years ago, a treaty or agreement made with the government of
that colony by the Cherokee in 1684, and signed with the hieroglyphics
of eight chiefs of the lower towns, viz, Corani, the Raven (Kâ'lanû);
Sinnawa, the Hawk (Tla'nuwa); Nellawgitehi, Gorhaleke, and Owasta, all
of Toxawa; and Canacaught, the great Conjuror, Gohoma, and Caunasaita,
of Keowa. If still in existence, this is probably the oldest Cherokee
treaty on record. [47]

What seems to be the next mention of the Cherokee in the South Carolina
records occurs in 1691, when we find an inquiry ordered in regard to
a report that some of the colonists "have, without any proclamation
of war, fallen upon and murdered" several of that tribe. [48]

In 1693 some Cherokee chiefs went to Charleston with presents for
the governor and offers of friendship, to ask the protection of
South Carolina against their enemies, the Esaw (Catawba), Savanna
(Shawano), and Congaree, all of that colony, who had made war upon
them and sold a number of their tribesmen into slavery. They were told
that their kinsmen could not now be recovered, but that the English
desired friendship with their tribe, and that the Government would
see that there would be no future ground for such complaint. [49]
The promise was apparently not kept, for in 1705 we find a bitter
accusation brought against Governor Moore, of South Carolina, that he
had granted commissions to a number of persons "to set upon, assault,
kill, destroy, and take captive as many Indians as they possible
[sic] could," the prisoners being sold into slavery for his and their
private profit. By this course, it was asserted, he had "already almost
utterly ruined the trade for skins and furs, whereby we held our chief
correspondence with England, and turned it into a trade of Indians
or slave making, whereby the Indians to the south and west of us are
already involved in blood and confusion." The arraignment concludes
with a warning that such conditions would in all probability draw down
upon the colony an Indian war with all its dreadful consequences. [50]
In view of what happened a few years later this reads like a prophecy.

About the year 1700 the first guns were introduced among the Cherokee,
the event being fixed traditionally as having occurred in the girlhood
of an old woman of the tribe who died about 1775. [51] In 1708 we
find them described as a numerous people, living in the mountains
northwest from the Charleston settlements and having sixty towns,
but of small importance in the Indian trade, being "but ordinary
hunters and less warriors." [52]

In the war with the Tuscarora in 1711-1713, which resulted in the
expulsion of that tribe from North Carolina, more than a thousand
southern Indians reenforced the South Carolina volunteers, among
them being over two hundred Cherokee, hereditary enemies of the
Tuscarora. Although these Indian allies did their work well in the
actual encounters, their assistance was of doubtful advantage, as
they helped themselves freely to whatever they wanted along the way,
so that the settlers had reason to fear them almost as much as the
hostile Tuscarora. After torturing a large number of their prisoners
in the usual savage fashion, they returned with the remainder, whom
they afterward sold as slaves to South Carolina. [53]

Having wiped out old scores with the Tuscarora, the late allies of
the English proceeded to discuss their own grievances, which, as we
have seen, were sufficiently galling. The result was a combination
against the whites, embracing all the tribes from Cape Fear to the
Chattahoochee, including the Cherokee, who thus for the first time
raised their hand against the English. The war opened with a terrible
massacre by the Yamassee in April, 1715, followed by assaults along
the whole frontier, until for a time it was seriously feared that
the colony of South Carolina would be wiped out of existence. In a
contest between savagery and civilization, however, the final result
is inevitable. The settlers at last rallied their whole force under
Governor Craven and administered such a crushing blow to the Yamassee
that the remnant abandoned their country and took refuge with the
Spaniards in Florida or among the Lower Creeks. The English then made
short work with the smaller tribes along the coast, while those in
the interior were soon glad to sue for peace. [54]

A number of Cherokee chiefs having come down to Charleston in
company with a trader to express their desire for peace, a force of
several hundred white troops and a number of negroes under Colonel
Maurice Moore went up the Savannah in the winter of 1715-16 and made
headquarters among the Lower Cherokee, where they were met by the
chiefs of the Lower and some of the western towns, who reaffirmed
their desire for a lasting peace with the English, but refused to
fight against the Yamassee, although willing to proceed against some
other tribes. They laid the blame for most of the trouble upon the
traders, who "had been very abuseful to them of late." A detachment
under Colonel George Chicken, sent to the Upper Cherokee, penetrated
to "Quoneashee" (Tlanusi'yi, on Hiwassee, about the present Murphy)
where they found the chiefs more defiant, resolved to continue the
war against the Creeks, with whom the English were then trying to
make peace, and demanding large supplies of guns and ammunition,
saying that if they made a peace with the other tribes they would
have no means of getting slaves with which to buy ammunition for
themselves. At this time they claimed 2,370 warriors, of whom half
were believed to have guns. As the strength of the whole Nation was
much greater, this estimate may have been for the Upper and Middle
Cherokee only. After "abundance of persuading" by the officers, they
finally "told us they would trust us once again," and an arrangement
was made to furnish them two hundred guns with a supply of ammunition,
together with fifty white soldiers, to assist them against the tribes
with which the English were still at war. In March, 1716, this force
was increased by one hundred men. The detachment under Colonel Chicken
returned by way of the towns on the upper part of the Little Tennessee,
thus penetrating the heart of the Cherokee country. [55]

Steps were now taken to secure peace by inaugurating a satisfactory
trade system, for which purpose a large quantity of suitable
goods was purchased at the public expense of South Carolina, and a
correspondingly large party was equipped for the initial trip. [56]
In 1721, in order still more to systematize Indian affairs, Governor
Nicholson of South Carolina invited the chiefs of the Cherokee to a
conference, at which thirty-seven towns were represented. A treaty
was made by which trading methods were regulated, a boundary line
between their territory and the English settlements was agreed upon,
and an agent was appointed to superintend their affairs. At the
governor's suggestion, one chief, called Wrosetasatow(?) [57] was
formally commissioned as supreme head of the Nation, with authority to
punish all offenses, including murder, and to represent all Cherokee
claims to the colonial government. Thus were the Cherokee reduced from
their former condition of a free people, ranging where their pleasure
led, to that of dependent vassals with bounds fixed by a colonial
governor. The negotiations were accompanied by a cession of land,
the first in the history of the tribe. In little more than a century
thereafter they had signed away their whole original territory. [58]

The document of 1716 already quoted puts the strength of the
Cherokee at that time at 2,370 warriors, but in this estimate the
Lower Cherokee seem not to have been included. In 1715, according to
a trade census compiled by Governor Johnson of South Carolina, the
tribe had thirty towns, with 4,000 warriors and a total population
of 11,210. [59] Another census in 1721 gives them fifty-three towns
with 3,510 warriors and a total of 10,379, [60] while the report of
the board of trade for the same year gives them 3,800 warriors, [61]
equivalent, by the same proportion, to nearly 12,000 total. Adair,
a good authority on such matters, estimates, about the year 1735,
when the country was better known, that they had "sixty-four towns
and villages, populous and full of children," with more than 6,000
fighting men, [62] equivalent on the same basis of computation to
between 16,000 and 17,000 souls. From what we know of them in later
times, it is probable that this last estimate is very nearly correct.

By this time the colonial government had become alarmed at the advance
of the French, who had made their first permanent establishment in
the Gulf states at Biloxi bay, Mississippi, in 1699, and in 1714
had built Fort Toulouse, known to the English as "the fort at the
Alabamas," on Coosa river, a few miles above the present Montgomery,
Alabama. From this central vantage point they had rapidly extended
their influence among all the neighboring tribes until in 1721 it
was estimated that 3,400 warriors who had formerly traded with
Carolina had been "entirely debauched to the French interest,"
while 2,000 more were wavering, and only the Cherokee could still
be considered friendly to the English. [63] From this time until
the final withdrawal of the French in 1763 the explanation of our
Indian wars is to be found in the struggle between the two nations
for territorial and commercial supremacy, the Indian being simply the
cat's-paw of one or the other. For reasons of their own, the Chickasaw,
whose territory lay within the recognized limits of Louisiana, soon
became the uncompromising enemies of the French, and as their position
enabled them in a measure to control the approach from the Mississippi,
the Carolina government saw to it that they were kept well supplied
with guns and ammunition. British traders were in all their towns,
and on one occasion a French force, advancing against a Chickasaw
palisaded village, found it garrisoned by Englishmen flying the British
flag. [64] The Cherokee, although nominally allies of the English,
were strongly disposed to favor the French, and it required every
effort of the Carolina government to hold them to their allegiance.

In 1730, to further fix the Cherokee in the English interest, Sir
Alexander Cuming was dispatched on a secret mission to that tribe,
which was again smarting under grievances and almost ready to join
with the Creeks in an alliance with the French. Proceeding to the
ancient town of Nequassee (Nikwasi', at the present Franklin, North
Carolina), he so impressed the chiefs by his bold bearing that they
conceded without question all his demands, submitting themselves
and their people for the second time to the English dominion and
designating Moytoy, [65] of Tellico, to act as their "emperor" and to
represent the Nation in all transactions with the whites. Seven chiefs
were selected to visit England, where, in the palace at Whitehall,
they solemnly renewed the treaty, acknowledging the sovereignty of
England and binding themselves to have no trade or alliance with any
other nation, not to allow any other white people to settle among
them, and to deliver up any fugitive slaves who might seek refuge
with them. To confirm their words they delivered a "crown", five
eagle-tails, and four scalps, which they had brought with them. In
return they received the usual glittering promises of love and
perpetual friendship, together with a substantial quantity of guns,
ammunition, and red paint. The treaty being concluded in September,
they took ship for Carolina, where they arrived, as we are told by
the governor, "in good health and mightily well satisfied with His
Majesty's bounty to them." [66]

In the next year some action was taken to use the Cherokee and Catawba
to subdue the refractory remnant of the Tuscarora in North Carolina,
but when it was found that this was liable to bring down the wrath
of the Iroquois upon the Carolina settlements, more peaceable methods
were used instead. [67]

In 1738 or 1739 the smallpox, brought to Carolina by slave ships,
broke out among the Cherokee with such terrible effect that, according
to Adair, nearly half the tribe was swept away within a year. The
awful mortality was due largely to the fact that as it was a new and
strange disease to the Indians they had no proper remedies against it,
and therefore resorted to the universal Indian panacea for "strong"
sickness of almost any kind, viz, cold plunge baths in the running
stream, the worst treatment that could possibly be devised. As the
pestilence spread unchecked from town to town, despair fell upon the
nation. The priests, believing the visitation a penalty for violation
of the ancient ordinances, threw away their sacred paraphernalia as
things which had lost their protecting power. Hundreds of the warriors
committed suicide on beholding their frightful disfigurement. "Some
shot themselves, others cut their throats, some stabbed themselves
with knives and others with sharp-pointed canes; many threw themselves
with sullen madness into the fire and there slowly expired, as if they
had been utterly divested of the native power of feeling pain." [68]
Another authority estimates their loss at a thousand warriors, partly
from smallpox and partly from rum brought in by the traders. [69]

About the year 1740 a trading path for horsemen was marked out by the
Cherokee from the new settlement of Augusta, in Georgia, to their towns
on the headwaters of Savannah river and thence on to the west. This
road, which went up the south side of the river, soon became much
frequented.4 Previous to this time most, of the trading goods had
been transported on the backs of Indians. In the same year a party
of Cherokee under the war chief Kâ'lanû. "The Raven," took part in
Oglethorpe's expedition against the Spaniards of Saint Augustine. [70]

In 1736 Christian Priber, said to be a Jesuit acting in the French
interest, had come among the Cherokee, and, by the facility with
which he learned the language and adapted himself to the native
dress and mode of life, had quickly acquired a leading influence
among them. He drew up for their adoption a scheme of government
modeled after the European plan, with the capital at Great Tellico,
in Tennessee, the principal medicine man as emperor, and himself as
the emperor's secretary. Under this title he corresponded with the
South Carolina government until it began to be feared that he would
ultimately win over the whole tribe to the French side. A commissioner
was sent to arrest him, but the Cherokee refused to give him up,
and the deputy was obliged to return under safe-conduct of an escort
furnished by Priber. Five years after the inauguration of his work,
however, he was seized by some English traders while on his way to
Fort Toulouse, and brought as a prisoner to Frederica, in Georgia,
where he soon afterward died while under confinement. Although his
enemies had represented him as a monster, inciting the Indians to
the grossest immoralities, he proved to be a gentleman of polished
address, extensive learning, and rare courage, as was shown later on
the occasion of an explosion in the barracks magazine. Besides Greek,
Latin, French, German, Spanish, and fluent English, he spoke also the
Cherokee, and among his papers which were seized was found a manuscript
dictionary of the language, which he had prepared for publication--the
first, and even yet, perhaps, the most important study of the language
ever made. Says Adair: "As he was learned and possessed of a very
sagacious penetrating judgment, and had every qualification that
was requisite for his bold and difficult enterprise, it was not to
be doubted that, as he wrote a Cheerake dictionary, designed to be
published at Paris, he likewise set down a great deal that would
have been very acceptable to the curious and serviceable to the
representatives of South Carolina and Georgia, which may be readily
found in Frederica if the manuscripts have had the good fortune to
escape the despoiling hands of military power." He claimed to be a
Jesuit, acting under orders of his superior, to introduce habits of
steady industry, civilized arts, and a regular form of government
among the southern tribes, with a view to the ultimate founding of
an independent Indian state. From all that can be gathered of him,
even though it comes from his enemies, there can be little doubt that
he was a worthy member of that illustrious order whose name has been
a synonym for scholarship, devotion, and courage from the days of
Jogues and Marquette down to De Smet and Mengarini. [71]

Up to this time no civilizing or mission work had been undertaken
by either of the Carolina governments among any of the tribes
within their borders. As one writer of the period quaintly puts
it, "The gospel spirit is not yet so gloriously arisen as to seek
them more than theirs," while another in stronger terms affirms,
"To the shame of the Christian name, no pains have ever been taken
to convert them to Christianity; on the contrary, their morals are
perverted and corrupted by the sad example they daily have of its
depraved professors residing in their towns." [72] Readers of Lawson
and other narratives of the period will feel the force of the rebuke.

Throughout the eighteenth century the Cherokee were engaged in
chronic warfare with their Indian neighbors. As these quarrels
concerned the whites but little, however momentous they may have
been to the principals, we have but few details. The war with the
Tuscarora continued until the outbreak of the latter tribe against
Carolina in 1711 gave opportunity to the Cherokee to cooperate in
striking the blow which drove the Tuscarora from their ancient homes
to seek refuge in the north. The Cherokee then turned their attention
to the Shawano on the Cumberland, and with the aid of the Chickasaw
finally expelled them from that region about the year 1715. Inroads
upon the Catawba were probably kept up until the latter had become so
far reduced by war and disease as to be mere dependent pensioners upon
the whites. The former friendship with the Chickasaw was at last broken
through the overbearing conduct of the Cherokee, and a war followed of
which we find incidental notice in 1757, [73] and which terminated in
a decisive victory for the Chickasaw about 1768. The bitter war with
the Iroquois of the far north continued, in spite of all the efforts
of the colonial governments, until a formal treaty of peace was brought
about by the efforts of Sir William Johnson (12) in the same year.

The hereditary war with the Creeks for possession of upper Georgia
continued, with brief intervals of peace, or even alliance, until
the United States finally interfered as mediator between the rival
claimants. In 1718 we find notice of a large Cherokee war party moving
against the Creek town of Coweta, on the lower Chattahoochee, but
dispersing on learning of the presence there of some French and Spanish
officers, as well as some English traders, all bent on arranging an
alliance with the Creeks. The Creeks themselves had declared their
willingness to be at peace with the English, while still determined
to keep the bloody hatchet uplifted against the Cherokee. [74] The
most important incident of the struggle between the two tribes was
probably the battle of Tali'wa about the year 1755. [75]

By this time the weaker coast tribes had become practically extinct,
and the more powerful tribes of the interior were beginning to take the
alarm, as they saw the restless borderers pushing every year farther
into the Indian country. As early as 1748 Dr Thomas Walker, with a
company of hunters and woodsmen from Virginia, crossed the mountains
to the southwest, discovering and naming the celebrated Cumberland
gap and passing on to the headwaters of Cumberland river. Two years
later he made a second exploration and penetrated to Kentucky river,
but on account of the Indian troubles no permanent settlement was then
attempted. [76] This invasion of their territory awakened a natural
resentment of the native owners, and we find proof also in the Virginia
records that the irresponsible borderers seldom let pass an opportunity
to kill and plunder any stray Indian found in their neighborhood.

In 1755 the Cherokee were officially reported to number 2,590 warriors,
as against probably twice that number previous to the great smallpox
epidemic sixteen years before. Their neighbors and ancient enemies,
the Catawba, had dwindled to 240 men. [77]

Although war was not formally declared by England until 1756,
hostilities in the seven year's struggle between France and England,
commonly known in America as the "French and Indian war," began in
April, 1754, when the French seized a small post which the English
had begun at the present site of Pittsburg, and which was afterward
finished by the French under the name of Fort Du Quesne. Strenuous
efforts were made by the English to secure the Cherokee to their
interest against the French and their Indian allies, and treaties were
negotiated by which they promised assistance. [78] As these treaties,
however, carried the usual cessions of territory, and stipulated for
the building of several forts in the heart of the Cherokee country,
it is to be feared that the Indians were not duly impressed by
the disinterested character of the proceeding. Their preference
for the French was but thinly veiled, and only immediate policy
prevented them from throwing their whole force into the scale on
that side. The reasons for this preference are given by Timberlake,
the young Virginian officer who visited the tribe on an embassy of
conciliation a few years later:

    I found the nation much attached to the French, who have the
    prudence, by familiar politeness--which costs but little and often
    does a great deal--and conforming themselves to their ways and
    temper, to conciliate the inclinations of almost all the Indians
    they are acquainted with, while the pride of our officers often
    disgusts them. Nay, they did not scruple to own to me that it
    was the trade alone that induced them to make peace with us,
    and not any preference to the French, whom they loved a great
    deal better.... The English are now so nigh, and encroached daily
    so far upon them, that they not only felt the bad effects of it
    in their hunting grounds, which were spoiled, but had all the
    reason in the world to apprehend being swallowed up by so potent
    neighbors or driven from the country inhabited by their fathers,
    in which they were born and brought up, in fine, their native soil,
    for which all men have a particular tenderness and affection.

He adds that only dire necessity had induced them to make peace with
the English in 1761. [79]

In accordance with the treaty stipulations Fort Prince George was
built in 1756 adjoining the important Cherokee town of Keowee, on
the headwaters of the Savannah, and Fort Loudon near the junction
of Tellico river with the Little Tennessee, in the center of the
Cherokee towns beyond the mountains. [80] By special arrangement
with the influential chief, Ata-kullakulla (Ata'-gûl'`kalû'), [81]
Fort Dobbs was also built in the same year about 20 miles west of
the present Salisbury, North Carolina. [82]

The Cherokee had agreed to furnish four hundred warriors to cooperate
against the French in the north, but before Fort Loudon had been
completed it was very evident that they had repented of their promise,
as their great council at Echota ordered the work stopped and the
garrison on the way to turn back, plainly telling the officer in charge
that they did not want so many white people among them. Ata-kullakulla,
hitherto supposed to be one of the stanchest friends of the English,
was now one of the most determined in the opposition. It was in
evidence also that they were in constant communication with the
French. By much tact and argument their objections were at last
overcome for a time, and they very unwillingly set about raising the
promised force of warriors. Major Andrew Lewis, who superintended the
building of the fort, became convinced that the Cherokee were really
friendly to the French, and that all their professions of friendship
and assistance were "only to put a gloss on their knavery." The fort
was finally completed, and, on his suggestion, was garrisoned with
a strong force of two hundred men under Captain Demeré. [83] There
was strong ground for believing that some depredations committed
about this time on the heads of Catawba and Broad rivers, in North
Carolina, were the joint work of Cherokee and northern Indians. [84]
Notwithstanding all this, a considerable body of Cherokee joined the
British forces on the Virginia frontier. [85]

Fort Du Quesne was taken by the American provincials under Washington,
November 25, 1758. Quebec was taken September 13, 1759, and by the
final treaty of peace in 1763 the war ended with the transfer of
Canada and the Ohio valley to the crown of England. Louisiana had
already been ceded by France to Spain.

Although France was thus eliminated from the Indian problem, the
Indians themselves were not ready to accept the settlement. In the
north the confederated tribes under Pontiac continued to war on their
own account until 1765. In the South the very Cherokee who had acted
as allies of the British against Fort Du Quesne, and had voluntarily
offered to guard the frontier south of the Potomac, returned to rouse
their tribe to resistance.

The immediate exciting cause of the trouble was an unfortunate
expedition undertaken against the hostile Shawano in February,
1756, by Major Andrew Lewis (the same who had built Fort Loudon)
with some two hundred Virginia troops assisted by about one hundred
Cherokee. After six weeks of fruitless tramping through the woods,
with the ground covered with snow and the streams so swollen by rains
that they lost their provisions and ammunition in crossing, they
were obliged to return to the settlements in a starving condition,
having killed their horses on the way. The Indian contingent had
from the first been disgusted at the contempt and neglect experienced
from those whom they had come to assist. The Tuscarora and others had
already gone home, and the Cherokee now started to return on foot to
their own country. Finding some horses running loose on the range,
they appropriated them, on the theory that as they had lost their own
animals, to say nothing of having risked their lives, in the service
of the colonists, it was only a fair exchange. The frontiersmen took
another view of the question however, attacked the returning Cherokee,
and killed a number of them, variously stated at from twelve to
forty, including several of their prominent men. According to Adair
they also scalped and mutilated the bodies in the savage fashion to
which they had become accustomed in the border wars, and brought the
scalps into the settlements, where they were represented as those
of French Indians and sold at the regular price then established by
law. The young warriors at once prepared to take revenge, but were
restrained by the chiefs until satisfaction could be demanded in the
ordinary way, according to the treaties arranged with the colonial
governments. Application was made in turn to Virginia, North Carolina,
and South Carolina, but without success. While the women were still
wailing night and morning for their slain kindred, and the Creeks were
taunting the warriors for their cowardice in thus quietly submitting
to the injury, some lawless officers of Fort Prince George committed
an unpardonable outrage at the neighboring Indian town while most
of the men were away hunting. [86] The warriors could no longer be
restrained. Soon there was news of attacks upon the back settlements
of Carolina, while on the other side of the mountains two soldiers
of the Fort Loudon garrison were killed. War seemed at hand.

At this juncture, in November, 1758, a party of influential chiefs,
having first ordered back a war party just about to set out from
the western towns against the Carolina settlements, came down to
Charleston and succeeded in arranging the difficulty upon a friendly
basis. The assembly had officially declared peace with the Cherokee,
when, in May of 1759, Governor Lyttleton unexpectedly came forward
with a demand for the surrender for execution of every Indian who
had killed a white man in the recent skirmishes, among these being
the chiefs of Citico and Tellico. At the same time the commander at
Fort Loudon, forgetful of the fact that he had but a small garrison in
the midst of several thousands of restless savages, made a demand for
twenty-four other chiefs whom he suspected of unfriendly action. To
compel their surrender orders were given to stop all trading supplies
intended for the upper Cherokee.

This roused the whole Nation, and a delegation representing every
town came down to Charleston, protesting the desire of the Indians for
peace and friendship, but declaring their inability to surrender their
own chiefs. The governor replied by declaring war in November, 1759,
at once calling out troops and sending messengers to secure the aid
of all the surrounding tribes against the Cherokee. In the meantime
a second delegation of thirty-two of the most prominent men, led by
the young war chief Oconostota, (Âgan-stâta), [87] arrived to make
a further effort for peace, but the governor, refusing to listen to
them, seized the whole party and confined them as prisoners at Fort
Prince George, in a room large enough for only six soldiers, while
at the same time he set fourteen hundred troops in motion to invade
the Cherokee country. On further representation by Ata-kullakulla
(Ata'-gûl'`kalû'), the civil chief of the Nation and well known as
a friend of the English, the governor released Oconostota and two
others after compelling some half dozen of the delegation to sign a
paper by which they pretended to agree for their tribe to kill or
seize any Frenchmen entering their country, and consented to the
imprisonment of the party until all the warriors demanded had been
surrendered for execution or otherwise. At this stage of affairs the
smallpox broke out in the Cherokee towns, rendering a further stay in
their neighborhood unsafe, and thinking the whole matter now settled
on his own basis, Lyttleton returned to Charleston.

The event soon proved how little he knew of Indian temper. Oconostota
at once laid siege to Fort Prince George, completely cutting off
communication at a time when, as it was now winter, no help could well
be expected from below. In February, 1760, after having kept the fort
thus closely invested for some weeks, he sent word one day by an Indian
woman that he wished to speak to the commander, Lieutenant Coytmore. As
the lieutenant stepped out from the stockade to see what was wanted,
Oconostota, standing on the opposite side of the river, swung a bridle
above his head as a signal to his warriors concealed in the bushes,
and the officer was at once shot down. The soldiers immediately broke
into the room where the hostages were confined, every one being a
chief of prominence in the tribe and butchered them to the last man.

It was now war to the end. Led by Oconostota, the Cherokee descended
upon the frontier settlements of Carolina, while the warriors across
the mountains laid close siege to Fort Loudon. In June, 1760, a strong
force of over 1,600 men, under Colonel Montgomery, started to reduce
the Cherokee towns and relieve the beleaguered garrison. Crossing the
Indian frontier, Montgomery quickly drove the enemy from about Fort
Prince George and then, rapidly advancing, surprised Little Keowee,
killing every man of the defenders, and destroyed in succession
every one of the Lower Cherokee towns, burning them to the ground,
cutting down the cornfields and orchards, killing and taking more
than a hundred of their men, and driving the whole population into
the mountains before him. His own loss was very slight. He then
sent messengers to the Middle and Upper towns, summoning them to
surrender on penalty of the like fate, but, receiving no reply, he
led his men across the divide to the waters of the Little Tennessee
and continued down that stream without opposition until he came in
the vicinity of Echoee (Itse'yi), a few miles above the sacred town
of Nikwasi', the present Franklin, North Carolina. Here the Cherokee
had collected their full force to resist his progress, and the result
was a desperate engagement on June 27, 1760, by which Montgomery was
compelled to retire to Fort Prince George, after losing nearly one
hundred men in killed and wounded. The Indian loss is unknown.

His retreat sealed the fate of Fort Loudon. The garrison, though hard
pressed and reduced to the necessity of eating horses and dogs, had
been enabled to hold out through the kindness of the Indian women,
many of whom, having found sweethearts among the soldiers, brought
them supplies of food daily. When threatened by the chiefs the women
boldly replied that the soldiers were their husbands and it was their
duty to help them, and that if any harm came to themselves for their
devotion their English relatives would avenge them. [88] The end was
only delayed, however, and on August 8, 1760, the garrison of about
two hundred men, under Captain Demeré, surrendered to Oconostota
on promise that they should be allowed to retire unmolested with
their arms and sufficient ammunition for the march, on condition of
delivering up all the remaining warlike stores.

The troops marched out and proceeded far enough to camp for the night,
while the Indians swarmed into the fort to see what plunder they might
find. "By accident a discovery was made of ten bags of powder and
a large quantity of ball that had been secretly buried in the fort,
to prevent their falling into the enemy's hands" (Hewat). It is said
also that cannon, small arms, and ammunition had been thrown into
the river with the same intention (Haywood). Enraged at this breach
of the capitulation the Cherokee attacked the soldiers next morning
at daylight, killing Demeré and twenty-nine others at the first
fire. The rest were taken and held as prisoners until ransomed some
time after. The second officer, Captain Stuart (13), for whom the
Indians had a high regard, was claimed by Ata-kullakulla, who soon
after took him into the woods, ostensibly on a hunting excursion,
and conducted him for nine days through the wilderness until he
delivered him safely into the hands of friends in Virginia. The
chief's kindness was well rewarded, and it was largely through his
influence that peace was finally brought about.

It was now too late, and the settlements were too much exhausted, for
another expedition, so the fall and winter were employed by the English
in preparations for an active campaign the next year in force to
crush out all resistance. In June 1761, Colonel Grant with an army of
2,600 men, including a number of Chickasaw and almost every remaining
warrior of the Catawba, [89] set out from Fort Prince George. Refusing
a request from Ata-kullakulla for a friendly accommodation, he crossed
Rabun gap and advanced rapidly down the Little Tennessee along the
same trail taken by the expedition of the previous year. On June 10,
when within two miles of Montgomery's battlefield, he encountered
the Cherokee, whom he defeated, although with considerable loss to
himself, after a stubborn engagement lasting several hours. Having
repulsed the Indians, he proceeded on his way, sending out detachments
to the outlying settlements, until in the course of a month he had
destroyed every one of the Middle towns, 15 in all, with all their
granaries and cornfields, driven the inhabitants into the mountains,
and "pushed the frontier seventy miles farther to the west."

The Cherokee were now reduced to the greatest extremity. With some of
their best towns in ashes, their fields and orchards wasted for two
successive years, their ammunition nearly exhausted, many of their
bravest warriors dead, their people fugitives in the mountains, hiding
in caves and living like beasts upon roots or killing their horses for
food, with the terrible scourge of smallpox adding to the miseries of
starvation, and withal torn by factional differences which had existed
from the very beginning of the war--it was impossible for even brave
men to resist longer. In September Ata-kullakulla who had all along
done everything in his power to stay the disaffection, came down to
Charleston, a treaty of peace was made, and the war was ended. From
an estimated population of at least 5,000 warriors some years before,
the Cherokee had now been reduced to about 2,300 men. [90]

In the meantime a force of Virginians under Colonel Stephen had
advanced as far as the Great island of the Holston--now Kingsport,
Tennessee--where they were met by a large delegation of Cherokee,
who sued for peace, which was concluded with them by Colonel Stephen
on November 19, 1761, independently of what was being done in South
Carolina. On the urgent request of the chief that an officer might
visit their people for a short time to cement the new friendship,
Lieutenant Henry Timberlake, a young Virginian who had already
distinguished himself in active service, volunteered to return with
them to their towns, where he spent several months. He afterward
conducted a delegation of chiefs to England, where, as they had come
without authority from the Government, they met such an unpleasant
reception that they returned disgusted. [91]

On the conclusion of peace between England and France in 1763,
by which the whole western territory was ceded to England, a great
council was held at Augusta, which was attended by the chiefs and
principal men of all the southern Indians, at which Captain John
Stuart, superintendent for the southern tribes, together with the
colonial governors of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and
Georgia, explained fully to the Indians the new condition of affairs,
and a treaty of mutual peace and friendship was concluded on November
10 of that year. [92]

Under several leaders, as Walker, Wallen, Smith, and Boon, the tide of
emigration now surged across the mountains in spite of every effort
to restrain it, [93] and the period between the end of the Cherokee
war and the opening of the Revolution is principally notable for a
number of treaty cessions by the Indians, each in fruitless endeavor
to fix a permanent barrier between themselves and the advancing
wave of white settlement. Chief among these was the famous Henderson
purchase in 1775, which included the whole tract between the Kentucky
and Cumberland rivers, embracing the greater part of the present state
of Kentucky. By these treaties the Cherokee were shorn of practically
all their ancient territorial claims north of the present Tennessee
line and east of the Blue ridge and the Savannah, including much
of their best hunting range; their home settlements were, however,
left still in their possession. [94]

As one consequence of the late Cherokee war, a royal proclamation
had been issued in 1763, with a view of checking future encroachments
by the whites, which prohibited any private land purchases from the
Indians, or any granting of warrants for lands west of the sources of
the streams flowing into the Atlantic. [95] In 1768, on the appeal of
the Indians themselves, the British superintendent for the southern
tribes, Captain John Stuart, had negotiated a treaty at Hard Labor
in South Carolina by which Kanawha and New rivers, along their whole
course downward from the North Carolina line, were fixed as the
boundary between the Cherokee and the whites in that direction. In
two years, however, so many borderers had crossed into the Indian
country, where they were evidently determined to remain, that it was
found necessary to substitute another treaty, by which the line was
made to run due south from the mouth of the Kanawha to the Holston,
thus cutting off from the Cherokee almost the whole of their hunting
grounds in Virginia and West Virginia. Two years later, in 1772,
the Virginians demanded a further cession, by which everything east
of Kentucky river was surrendered; and finally, on March 17, 1775,
the great Henderson purchase was consummated, including the whole
tract between the Kentucky and Cumberland rivers. By this last cession
the Cherokee were at last cut off from Ohio river and all their rich
Kentucky hunting grounds. [96]

While these transactions were called treaties, they were really
forced upon the native proprietors, who resisted each in turn and
finally signed only under protest and on most solemn assurances
that no further demands would be made. Even before the purchases
were made, intruders in large numbers had settled upon each of the
tracts in question, and they refused to withdraw across the boundaries
now established, but remained on one pretext or another to await a
new adjustment. This was particularly the case on Watauga and upper
Holston rivers in northeastern Tennessee, where the settlers, finding
themselves still within the Indian boundary and being resolved to
remain, effected a temporary lease from the Cherokee in 1772. As
was expected and intended, the lease became a permanent occupancy,
the nucleus settlement of the future State of Tennessee. [97]

Just before the outbreak of the Revolution, the botanist, William
Bartram, made an extended tour of the Cherokee country, and has
left us a pleasant account of the hospitable character and friendly
disposition of the Indians at that time. He gives a list of forty-three
towns then inhabited by the tribe. [98]

The opening of the great Revolutionary struggle in 1776 found the
Indian tribes almost to a man ranged on the British side against
the Americans. There was good reason for this. Since the fall of
the French power the British government had stood to them as the
sole representative of authority, and the guardian and protector
of their rights against constant encroachments by the American
borderers. Licensed British traders were resident in every tribe and
many had intermarried and raised families among them, while the border
man looked upon the Indian only as a cumberer of the earth. The British
superintendents, Sir William Johnson in the north and Captain John
Stuart in the south, they knew as generous friends, while hardly a
warrior of them all was without some old cause of resentment against
their backwoods neighbors. They felt that the only barrier between
themselves and national extinction was in the strength of the British
government, and when the final severence came they threw their whole
power into the British scale. They were encouraged in this resolution
by presents of clothing and other goods, with promises of plunder
from the settlements and hopes of recovering a portion of their lost
territories. The British government having determined, as early as
June, 1775, to call in the Indians against the Americans, supplies
of hatchets, guns, and ammunition were issued to the warriors of all
the tribes from the lakes to the gulf, and bounties were offered for
American scalps brought in to the commanding officer at Detroit or
Oswego. [99] Even the Six Nations, who had agreed in solemn treaty to
remain neutral, were won over by these persuasions. In August, 1775,
an Indian "talk" was intercepted in which the Cherokee assured Cameron,
the resident agent, that their warriors, enlisted in the service of
the king, were ready at a signal to fall upon the back settlements of
Carolina and Georgia. [100] Circular letters were sent out to all those
persons in the back country supposed to be of royalist sympathies,
directing them to repair to Cameron's headquarters in the Cherokee
country to join the Indians in the invasion of the settlements. [101]

In June, 1776, a British fleet under command of Sir Peter Parker, with
a large naval and military force, attacked Charleston, South Carolina,
both by land and sea, and simultaneously a body of Cherokee, led by
Tories in Indian disguise, came down from the mountains and ravaged
the exposed frontier of South Carolina, killing and burning as they
went. After a gallant defense by the garrison at Charleston the British
were repulsed, whereupon their Indian and Tory allies withdrew. [102]

About the same time the warning came from Nancy Ward (14), a noted
friendly Indian woman of great authority in the Cherokee Nation, that
seven hundred Cherokee warriors were advancing in two divisions against
the Watauga and Holston settlements, with the design of destroying
everything as far up as New river. The Holston men from both sides
of the Virginia line hastily collected under Captain Thompson and
marched against the Indians, whom they met and defeated with signal
loss after a hard-fought battle near the Long island in the Holston
(Kingsport, Tennessee), on August 20. The next day the second division
of the Cherokee attacked the fort at Watauga, garrisoned by only forty
men under Captain James Robertson (15), but was repulsed without loss
to the defenders, the Indians withdrawing on news of the result at
the Long island. A Mrs. Bean and a boy named Moore were captured
on this occasion and carried to one of the Cherokee towns in the
neighborhood of Tellico, where the boy was burned, but the woman,
after she had been condemned to death and everything was in readiness
for the tragedy, was rescued by the interposition of Nancy Ward. Two
other Cherokee detachments moved against the upper settlements at the
same time. One of these, finding all the inhabitants securely shut
up in forts, returned without doing much damage. The other ravaged
the country on Clinch river almost to its head, and killed a man and
wounded others at Black's station, now Abingdon, Virginia. [103]

At the same time that one part of the Cherokee were raiding the
Tennessee settlements others came down upon the frontiers of Carolina
and Georgia. On the upper Catawba they killed many people, but the
whites took refuge in the stockade stations, where they defended
themselves until General Rutherford (16) came to their relief. In
Georgia an attempt had been made by a small party of Americans to
seize Cameron, who lived in one of the Cherokee towns with his Indian
wife, but, as was to have been expected, the Indians interfered,
killing several of the party and capturing others, who were afterward
tortured to death. The Cherokee of the Upper and Middle towns, with
some Creeks and Tories of the vicinity, led by Cameron himself, at
once began ravaging the South Carolina border, burning houses, driving
off cattle, and killing men, women, and children without distinction,
until the whole country was in a wild panic, the people abandoning
their farms to seek safety in the garrisoned forts. On one occasion
an attack by two hundred of the enemy, half of them being Tories,
stripped and painted like Indians, was repulsed by the timely arrival
of a body of Americans, who succeeded in capturing thirteen of the
Tories. The invasion extended into Georgia, where also property was
destroyed and the inhabitants were driven from their homes. [104]

Realizing their common danger, the border states determined to strike
such a concerted blow at the Cherokee as should render them passive
while the struggle with England continued. In accord with this plan
of cooperation the frontier forces were quickly mobilized and in
the summer of 1776 four expeditions were equipped from Virginia,
North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to enter the Cherokee
territory simultaneously from as many different directions.

In August of that year the army of North Carolina, 2,400 strong,
under General Griffith Rutherford, crossed the Blue ridge at Swannanoa
gap, and following the main trail almost along the present line of
the railroad, struck the first Indian town, Stikâ'yi, or Stecoee,
on the Tuckasegee, near the present Whittier. The inhabitants having
fled, the soldiers burned the town, together with an unfinished
townhouse ready for the roof, cut down the standing corn, killed one
or two straggling Indians, and then proceeded on their mission of
destruction. Every town upon Oconaluftee, Tuckasegee, and the upper
part of Little Tennessee, and on Hiwassee to below the junction
of Valley river--thirty-six towns in all--was destroyed in turn,
the corn cut down or trampled under the hoofs of the stock driven
into the fields for that purpose, and the stock itself killed or
carried off. Before such an overwhelming force, supplemented as it
was by three others simultaneously advancing from other directions,
the Cherokee made but poor resistance, and fled with their women
and children into the fastnesses of the Great Smoky mountains,
leaving their desolated fields and smoking towns behind them. As was
usual in Indian wars, the actual number killed or taken was small,
but the destruction of property was beyond calculation. At Sugartown
(Kûlsetsi'yi, east of the present Franklin) one detachment, sent to
destroy it, was surprised, and escaped only through the aid of another
force sent to its rescue. Rutherford himself, while proceeding to the
destruction of the Hiwassee towns, encountered the Indians drawn up
to oppose his progress in the Waya gap of the Nantahala mountains,
and one of the hardest fights of the campaign resulted, the soldiers
losing over forty killed and wounded, although the Cherokee were
finally repulsed (17). One of the Indians killed on this occasion
was afterward discovered to be a woman, painted and armed like a
warrior. [105]

On September 26 the South Carolina army, 1,860 strong, under Colonel
Andrew Williamson, and including a number of Catawba Indians, effected
a junction with Rutherford's forces on Hiwassee river, near the present
Murphy, North Carolina. It had been expected that Williamson would join
the northern army at Cowee, on the Little Tennessee, when they would
proceed together against the western towns, but he had been delayed,
and the work of destruction in that direction was already completed,
so that after a short rest each army returned home along the route
by which it had come.

The South Carolina men had centered by different detachments in the
lower Cherokee towns about the head of Savannah river, burning one
town after another, cutting down the peach trees and ripened corn,
and having an occasional brush with the Cherokee, who hung constantly
upon their flanks. At the town of Seneca, near which they encountered
Cameron with his Indians and Tories, they had destroyed six thousand
bushels of corn, besides other food stores, after burning all the
houses, the Indians having retreated after a stout resistance. The
most serious encounter had taken place at Tomassee, where several
whites and sixteen Cherokee were killed, the latter being all scalped
afterward. Having completed the ruin of the Lower towns, Williamson
had crossed over Rabun gap and descended into the valley of the
Little Tennessee to cooperate with Rutherford in the destruction
of the Middle and Valley towns. As the army advanced every house
in every settlement met was burned--ninety houses in one settlement
alone--and detachments were sent into the fields to destroy the corn,
of which the smallest town was estimated to have two hundred acres,
besides potatoes, beans, and orchards of peach trees. The stores of
dressed deerskins and other valuables were carried off. Everything
was swept clean, and the Indians who were not killed or taken were
driven, homeless refugees, into the dark recesses of Nantahala or
painfully made their way across to the Overhill towns in Tennessee,
which were already menaced by another invasion from the north. [106]

In July, while Williamson was engaged on the the upper Savannah,
a force of two hundred Georgians, under Colonel Samuel Jack, had
marched in the same direction and succeeded in burning two towns on
the heads of Chattahoochee and Tugaloo rivers, destroying the corn
and driving off the cattle, without the loss of a man, the Cherokee
having apparently fallen back to concentrate for resistance in the
mountains. [107]

The Virginia army, about two thousand strong, under Colonel William
Christian (18), rendezvoused in August at the Long island of the
Holston, the regular gathering place on the Tennessee side of the
mountains. Among them were several hundred men from North Carolina,
with all who could be spared from the garrisons on the Tennessee
side. Paying but little attention to small bodies of Indians, who
tried to divert attention or to delay progress by flank attacks,
they advanced steadily, but cautiously, along the great Indian warpath
(19) toward the crossing of the French Broad, where a strong force of
Cherokee was reported to be in waiting to dispute their passage. Just
before reaching the river the Indians sent a Tory trader with a
flag of truce to discuss terms. Knowing that his own strength was
overwhelming, Christian allowed the envoy to go through the whole camp
and then sent him back with the message that there could be no terms
until the Cherokee towns had been destroyed. Arriving at the ford,
he kindled fires and made all preparations as if intending to camp
there for several days. As soon as night fell, however, he secretly
drew off half his force and crossed the river lower down, to come upon
the Indians in their rear. This was a work of great difficulty; as the
water was so deep that it came up almost to the shoulders of the men,
while the current was so rapid that they were obliged to support each
other four abreast to prevent being swept off their feet. However,
they kept their guns and powder dry. On reaching the other side they
were surprised to find no enemy. Disheartened at the strength of the
invasion, the Indians had fled without even a show of resistance. It
is probable that nearly all their men and resources had been drawn
off to oppose the Carolina forces on their eastern border, and the
few who remained felt themselves unequal to the contest.

Advancing without opposition, Christian reached the towns on Little
Tennessee early in November, and, finding them deserted, proceeded to
destroy them, one after another, with their outlying fields. The few
lingering warriors discovered were all killed. In the meantime messages
had been sent out to the farther towns, in response to which several
of their head men came into Christian's camp to treat for peace. On
their agreement to surrender all the prisoners and captured stock
in their hands and to cede to the whites all the disputed territory
occupied by the Tennessee settlements, as soon as representatives of
the whole tribe could be assembled in the spring, Christian consented
to suspend hostilities and retire without doing further injury. An
exception was made against Tuskegee and another town, which had been
concerned in the burning of the boy taken from Watauga, already noted,
and these two were reduced to ashes. The sacred "peace town," Echota
(20), had not been molested. Most of the troops were disbanded on
their return to the Long island, but a part remained and built Fort
Patrick Henry, where they went into winter quarters. [108]

From incidental notices in narratives written by some of the
participants, we obtain interesting side-lights on the merciless
character of this old border warfare. In addition to the ordinary
destruction of war--the burning of towns, the wasting of fruitful
fields, and the killing of the defenders--we find that every Indian
warrior killed was scalped, when opportunity permitted; women, as
well as men, were shot down and afterward "helped to their end";
and prisoners taken were put up at auction as slaves when not killed
on the spot. Near Tomassee a small party of Indians was surrounded
and entirely cut off. "Sixteen were found dead in the valley when
the battle ended. These our men scalped." In a personal encounter
"a stout Indian engaged a sturdy young white man, who was a good
bruiser and expert at gouging. After breaking their guns on each
other they laid hold of one another, when the cracker had his thumbs
instantly in the fellow's eyes, who roared and cried 'canaly'--enough,
in English. 'Damn you,' says the white man, 'you can never have
enough while you are alive.' He then threw him down, set his foot
upon his head, and scalped him alive; then took up one of the broken
guns and knocked out his brains. It would have been fun if he had
let the latter action alone and sent him home without his nightcap,
to tell his countrymen how he had been treated." Later on some of
the same detachment (Williamson's) seeing a woman ahead, fired on
her and brought her down with two serious wounds, but yet able to
speak. After getting what information she could give them, through a
half-breed interpreter, "the informer being unable to travel, some of
our men favored her so far that they killed her there, to put her out
of pain." A few days later "a party of Colonel Thomas's regiment,
being on a hunt of plunder, or some such thing, found an Indian
squaw and took her prisoner, she being lame, was unable to go with
her friends. She was so sullen that she would, as an old saying is,
neither lead nor drive, and by their account she died in their hands;
but I suppose they helped her to her end." At this place--on the
Hiwassee--they found a large town, having "upwards of ninety houses,
and large quantities of corn," and "we encamped among the corn, where
we had a great plenty of corn, peas, beans, potatoes, and hogs," and
on the next day "we were ordered to assemble in companies to spread
through the town to destroy, cut down, and burn all the vegetables
belonging to our heathen enemies, which was no small undertaking,
they being so plentifully supplied." Continuing to another town,
"we engaged in our former labor, that is, cutting and destroying
all things that might be of advantage to our enemies. Finding here
curious buildings, great apple trees, and white-man-like improvements,
these we destroyed." [109]

While crossing over the mountains Rutherford's men approached a
house belonging to a trader, when one of his negro slaves ran out
and "was shot by the Reverend James Hall, the chaplain, as he ran,
mistaking him for an Indian." [110] Soon after they captured two
women and a boy. It was proposed to auction them off at once to
the highest bidder, and when one of the officers protested that the
matter should be left to the disposition of Congress, "the greater
part swore bloodily that if they were not sold for slaves upon the
spot they would kill and scalp them immediately." The prisoners were
accordingly sold for about twelve hundred dollars. [111]

At the Wolf Hills settlement, now Abingdon, Virginia, a party sent
out from the fort returned with the scalps of eleven warriors. Having
recovered the books which their minister had left behind in his cabin,
they held a service of prayer for their success, after which the fresh
scalps were hung upon a pole above the gate of the fort. The barbarous
custom of scalping to which the border men had become habituated in
the earlier wars was practiced upon every occasion when opportunity
presented, at least upon the bodies of warriors, and the South Carolina
legislature offered a bounty of seventy-five pounds for every warrior's
scalp, a higher reward, however, being offered for prisoners. [112] In
spite of all the bitterness which the war aroused there seems to be no
record of any scalping of Tories or other whites by the Americans (21).

The effect upon the Cherokee of this irruption of more than
six thousand armed enemies into their territory was well nigh
paralyzing. More than fifty of their towns had been burned, their
orchards cut down, their fields wasted, their cattle and horses
killed or driven off, their stores of buckskin and other personal
property plundered. Hundreds of their people had been killed or had
died of starvation and exposure, others were prisoners in the hands
of the Americans, and some had been sold into slavery. Those who
had escaped were fugitives in the mountains, living upon acorns,
chestnuts, and wild game, or were refugees with the British. [113]
From the Virginia line to the Chattahoochee the chain of destruction
was complete. For the present at least any further resistance was
hopeless, and they were compelled to sue for peace.

By a treaty concluded at DeWitts Corners in South Carolina on May 20,
1777, the first ever made with the new states, the Lower Cherokee
surrendered to the conqueror all of their remaining territory in South
Carolina, excepting a narrow strip along the western boundary. Just
two months later, on July 20, by treaty at the Long island, as had
been arranged by Christian in the preceding fall, the Middle and Upper
Cherokee ceded everything east of the Blue ridge, together with all
the disputed territory on the Watauga, Nolichucky, upper Holston,
and New rivers. By this second treaty also Captain James Robertson
was appointed agent for the Cherokee, to reside at Echota, to watch
their movements, recover any captured property, and prevent their
correspondence with persons unfriendly to the American cause. As the
Federal government was not yet in perfect operation these treaties
were negotiated by commissioners from the four states adjoining the
Cherokee country, the territory thus acquired being parceled out to
South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. [114]

While the Cherokee Nation had thus been compelled to a treaty of peace,
a very considerable portion of the tribe was irreconcilably hostile
to the Americans and refused to be a party to the late cessions,
especially on the Tennessee side. Although Ata-kullakulla sent word
that he was ready with five hundred young warriors to fight for the
Americans against the English or Indian enemy whenever called upon,
Dragging-canoe (Tsiyu-gûnsi'ni), who had led the opposition against
the Watauga settlements, declared that he would hold fast to Cameron's
talk and continue to make war upon those who had taken his hunting
grounds. Under his leadership some hundreds of the most warlike and
implacable warriors of the tribe, with their families, drew out from
the Upper and Middle towns and moved far down upon Tennessee river,
where they established new settlements on Chickamauga creek, in the
neighborhood of the present Chattanooga. The locality appears to
have been already a rendezvous for a sort of Indian banditti, who
sometimes plundered boats disabled in the rapids at this point while
descending the river. Under the name "Chickamaugas" they soon became
noted for their uncompromising and never-ceasing hostility. In 1782, in
consequence of the destruction of their towns by Sevier and Campbell,
they abandoned this location and moved farther down the river, where
they built, what were afterwards known as the "five lower towns," viz,
Running Water, Nickajack, Long Island, Crow town, and Lookout Mountain
town. These were all on the extreme western Cherokee frontier, near
where Tennessee river crosses the state line, the first three being
within the present limits of Tennessee, while Lookout Mountain town
and Crow town were respectively in the adjacent corners of Georgia
and Alabama. Their population was recruited from Creeks, Shawano, and
white Tories, until they were estimated at a thousand warriors. Here
they remained, a constant thorn in the side of Tennessee, until their
towns were destroyed in 1794. [115]

The expatriated Lower Cherokee also removed to the farthest western
border of their tribal territory, where they might hope to be secure
from encroachment for a time at least, and built new towns for
themselves on the upper waters of the Coosa. Twenty years afterward
Hawkins found the population of Willstown, in extreme western Georgia,
entirely made up of refugees from the Savannah, and the children so
familiar from their parents with stories of Williamson's invasion
that they ran screaming from the face of a white man (22). [116]

In April, 1777, the legislature of North Carolina, of which Tennessee
was still a part, authorized bounties of land in the new territory
to all able-bodied men who should volunteer against the remaining
hostile Cherokee. Under this act companies of rangers were kept
along the exposed border to cut off raiding parties of Indians and to
protect the steady advance of the pioneers, with the result that the
Tennessee settlements enjoyed a brief respite and were even able to
send some assistance to their brethren in Kentucky, who were sorely
pressed by the Shawano and other northern tribes. [117]

The war between England and the colonies still continued, however,
and the British government was unremitting in its effort to secure the
active assistance of the Indians. With the Creeks raiding the Georgia
and South Carolina frontier, and with a British agent, Colonel Brown,
and a number of Tory refugees regularly domiciled at Chickamauga,
[118] it was impossible for the Cherokee long to remain quiet. In the
spring of 1779 the warning came from Robertson, stationed at Echota,
that three hundred warriors from Chickamauga had started against the
back-settlements of North Carolina. Without a day's delay the states
of North Carolina (including Tennessee) and Virginia united to send
a strong force of volunteers against them under command of Colonels
Shelby and Montgomery. Descending the Holston in April in a fleet of
canoes built for the occasion, they took the Chickamauga towns so
completely by surprise that the few warriors remaining fled to the
mountains without attempting to give battle. Several were killed,
Chickamauga and the outlying villages were burned, twenty thousand
bushels of corn were destroyed and large numbers of horses and cattle
captured, together with a great quantity of goods sent by the British
Governor Hamilton at Detroit for distribution to the Indians. The
success of this expedition frustrated the execution of a project by
Hamilton for uniting all the northern and southern Indians, to be
assisted by British regulars, in a concerted attack along the whole
American frontier. On learning, through runners, of the blow that had
befallen them, the Chickamauga warriors gave up all idea of invading
the settlements, and returned to their wasted villages. [119] They,
as well as the Creeks, however, kept in constant communication with
the British commander in Savannah. In this year also a delegation of
Cherokee visited the Ohio towns to offer condolences on the death of
the noted Delaware chief, White-eyes. [120]

In the early spring of 1780 a large company of emigrants under
Colonel John Donelson descended the Holston and the Tennessee to the
Ohio, whence they ascended the Cumberland, effected a junction with
another party under Captain James Robertson, which had just arrived
by a toilsome overland route, and made the first settlement on the
present site of Nashville. In passing the Chickamauga towns they
had run the gauntlet of the hostile Cherokee, who pursued them for a
considerable distance beyond the whirlpool known as the Suck, where
the river breaks through the mountain. The family of a man named
Stuart being infected with the smallpox, his boat dropped behind,
and all on board, twenty-eight in number, were killed or taken by the
Indians, their cries being distinctly heard by their friends ahead who
were unable to help them. Another boat having run upon the rocks, the
three women in it, one of whom had become a mother the night before,
threw the cargo into the river, and then, jumping into the water,
succeeded in pushing the boat into the current while the husband of
one of them kept the Indians at bay with his rifle. The infant was
killed in the confusion. Three cowards attempted to escape, without
thought of their companions. One was drowned in the river; the other
two were captured and carried to Chickamauga, where one was burned and
the other was ransomed by a trader. The rest went on their way to found
the capital of a new commonwealth. [121] As if in retributive justice,
the smallpox broke out in the Chickamauga band in consequence of the
capture of Stuart's family, causing the death of a great number. [122]

The British having reconquered Georgia and South Carolina and destroyed
all resistance in the south, early in 1780 Cornwallis, with his
subordinates, Ferguson and the merciless Tarleton, prepared to invade
North Carolina and sweep the country northward to Virginia. The Creeks
under McGillivray (23), and a number of the Cherokee under various
local chiefs, together with the Tories, at once joined his standard.

While the Tennessee backwoodsmen were gathered at a barbecue to
contest for a shooting prize, a paroled prisoner brought a demand
from Ferguson for their submission; with the threat, if they refused,
that he would cross the mountains, hang their leaders, kill every man
found in arms and burn every settlement. Up to this time the mountain
men had confined their effort to holding in check the Indian enemy,
but now, with the fate of the Revolution at stake, they felt that the
time for wider action had come. They resolved not to await the attack,
but to anticipate it. Without order or authority from Congress, without
tents, commissary, or supplies, the Indian fighters of Virginia, North
Carolina, and Tennessee quickly assembled at the Sycamore shoals of
the Watauga to the number of about one thousand men under Campbell of
Virginia, Sevier (24) and Shelby of Tennessee, and McDowell of North
Carolina. Crossing the mountains, they met Ferguson at Kings mountain
in South Carolina on October 7, 1780, and gained the decisive victory
that turned the tide of the Revolution in the South. [123]

It is in place here to quote a description of these men in buckskin,
white by blood and tradition, but half Indian in habit and instinct,
who, in half a century of continuous conflict, drove back Creeks,
Cherokee, and Shawano, and with one hand on the plow and the other
on the rifle redeemed a wilderness and carried civilization and free
government to the banks of the Mississippi.

"They were led by leaders they trusted, they were wonted to Indian
warfare, they were skilled as horsemen and marksmen, they knew how
to face every kind of danger, hardship, and privation. Their fringed
and tasseled hunting shirts were girded by bead-worked belts, and the
trappings of their horses were stained red and yellow. On their heads
they wore caps of coon skin or mink skin, with the tails hanging down,
or else felt hats, in each of which was thrust a buck tail or a sprig
of evergreen. Every man carried a small-bore rifle, a tomahawk, and
a scalping knife. A very few of the officers had swords, and there
was not a bayonet nor a tent in the army." [124]

To strike the blow at Kings mountain the border men had been forced
to leave their own homes unprotected. Even before they could cross
the mountains on their return the news came that the Cherokee were
again out in force for the destruction of the upper settlements, and
their numerous small bands were killing, burning, and plundering in the
usual Indian fashion. Without loss of time the Holston settlements of
Virginia and Tennessee at once raised seven hundred mounted riflemen
to march against the enemy, the command being assigned to Colonel
Arthur Campbell of Virginia and Colonel John Sevier of Tennessee.

Sevier started first with nearly three hundred men, going south
along the great Indian war trail and driving small parties of the
Cherokee before him, until he crossed the French Broad and came upon
seventy of them on Boyds creek, not far from the present Sevierville,
on December 16, 1780. Ordering his men to spread out into a half
circle, he sent ahead some scouts, who, by an attack and feigned
retreat, managed to draw the Indians into the trap thus prepared,
with the result that they left thirteen dead and all their plunder,
while not one of the whites was even wounded. [125]

A few days later Sevier was joined by Campbell with the remainder
of the force. Advancing to the Little Tennessee with but slight
resistance, they crossed three miles below Echota while the Indians
were watching for them at the ford above. Then dividing into two
bodies, they proceeded to destroy the towns along the river. The
chiefs sent peace talks through Nancy Ward, the Cherokee woman
who had so befriended the whites in 1776, but to these overtures
Campbell returned an evasive answer until he could first destroy
the towns on lower Hiwassee, whose warriors had been particularly
hostile. Continuing southward, the troops destroyed these towns,
Hiwassee and Chestuee, with all their stores of provisions, finishing
the work on the last day of the year. The Indians had fled before
them, keeping spies out to watch their movements. One of these,
while giving signals from a ridge by beating a drum, was shot by
the whites. The soldiers lost only one man, who was buried in an
Indian cabin which was then burned down to conceal the trace of
the interment. The return march was begun on New Year's day. Ten
principal towns, including Echota, the capital, had been destroyed,
besides several smaller villages, containing in the aggregate over
one thousand houses, and not less than fifty thousand bushels of corn
and large stores of other provision. Everything not needed on the
return march was committed to the flames or otherwise wasted. Of all
the towns west of the mountains only Talassee, and one or two about
Chickamauga or on the headwaters of the Coosa, escaped. The whites
had lost only one man killed and two wounded. Before the return a
proclamation was sent to the Cherokee chiefs, warning them to make
peace on penalty of a worse visitation. [126]

Some Cherokee who met them at Echota, on the return march, to talk
of peace, brought in and surrendered several white prisoners. [127]
One reason for the slight resistance made by the Indians was probably
the fact that at the very time of the invasion many of their warriors
were away, raiding on the Upper Holston and in the neighborhood of
Cumberland gap. [128]

Although the Upper or Overhill Cherokee were thus humbled, those of the
middle towns, on the head waters of Little Tennessee, still continued
to send out parties against the back settlements. Sevier determined to
make a sudden stroke upon them, and early in March of the same year,
1781, with 150 picked horsemen, he started to cross the Great Smoky
mountains over trails never before attempted by white men, and so
rough in places that it was hardly possible to lead horses. Falling
unexpectedly upon Tuckasegee, near the present Webster, North Carolina,
he took the town completely by surprise, killing several warriors
and capturing a number of women and children. Two other principal
towns and three smaller settlements were taken in the same way,
with a quantity of provision and about 200 horses, the Indians
being entirely off their guard and unprepared to make any effective
resistance. Having spread destruction through the middle towns,
with the loss to himself of only one man killed and another wounded,
he was off again as suddenly as he had come, moving so rapidly that
he was well on his homeward way before the Cherokee could gather for
pursuit. [129] At the same time a smaller Tennessee expedition went
out to disperse the Indians who had been making headquarters in the
mountains about Cumberland gap and harassing travelers along the road
to Kentucky. [130] Numerous indications of Indians were found, but
none were met, although the country was scoured for a considerable
distance. [131] In summer the Cherokee made another incursion, this
time upon the new settlements on the French Broad, near the present
Newport, Tennessee. With a hundred horsemen Sevier fell suddenly upon
their camp on Indian creek, killed a dozen warriors, and scattered the
rest. [132] By these successive blows the Cherokee were so worn out and
dispirited that they were forced to sue for peace, and in midsummer of
1781 a treaty of peace--doubtful though it might be--was negotiated
at the Long island of the Holston. [133] The respite came just in
time to allow the Tennesseeans to send a detachment against Cornwallis.

Although there was truce in Tennessee, there was none in the South. In
November of this year the Cherokee made a sudden inroad upon the
Georgia settlements, destroying everything in their way. In retaliation
a force under General Pickens marched into their country, destroying
their towns as far as Valley river. Finding further progress blocked by
heavy snows and learning through a prisoner that the Indians, who had
retired before him, were collecting to oppose him in the mountains, he
withdrew, as he says, "through absolute necessity," having accomplished
very little of the result expected. Shortly afterward the Cherokee,
together with some Creeks, again invaded Georgia, but were met on
Oconee river and driven back by a detachment of American troops. [134]

The Overhill Cherokee, on lower Little Tennessee, seem to have been
trying in good faith to hold to the peace established at the Long
island. Early in 1781 the government land office had been closed
to further entries, not to be opened again until peace had been
declared with England, but the borderers paid little attention to
the law in such matters, and the rage for speculation in Tennessee
lands grew stronger daily. [135] In the fall of 1782 the chief, Old
Tassel of Echota, on behalf of all the friendly chiefs and towns,
sent a pathetic talk to the governors of Virginia and North Carolina,
complaining that in spite of all their efforts to remain quiet the
settlers were constantly encroaching upon them, and had built houses
within a day's walk of the Cherokee towns. They asked that all those
whites who had settled beyond the boundary last established should
be removed. [136] As was to have been expected, this was never done.

The Chickamauga band, however, and those farther to the south, were
still bent on war, being actively encouraged in that disposition by the
British agents and refugee loyalists living among them. They continued
to raid both north and south, and in September, 1782, Sevier, with 200
mounted men, again made a descent upon their towns, destroying several
of their settlements about Chickamauga creek, and penetrating as far
as the important town of Ustana'li, on the headwaters of Coosa river,
near the present Calhoun, Georgia. This also he destroyed. Every
warrior found was killed, together with a white man found in one of
the towns, whose papers showed that he had been active in inciting
the Indians to war. On the return the expedition halted at Echota,
where new assurances were received from the friendly element. [137]
In the meantime a Georgia expedition of over 400 men, under General
Pickens, had been ravaging the Cherokee towns in the same quarter,
with such effect that the Cherokee were forced to purchase peace
by a further surrender of territory on the head of Broad river in
Georgia. [138] This cession was concluded at a treaty of peace held
with the Georgia commissioners at Augusta in the next year, and was
confirmed later by the Creeks, who claimed an interest in the same
lands, but was never accepted by either as the voluntary act of their
tribe as a whole. [139]

By the preliminary treaty of Paris, November 30, 1782, the long
Revolutionary struggle for independence was brought to a close, and
the Cherokee, as well as the other tribes, seeing the hopelessness
of continuing the contest alone, began to sue for peace. By seven
years of constant warfare they had been reduced to the lowest depth of
misery, almost indeed to the verge of extinction. Over and over again
their towns had been laid in ashes and their fields wasted. Their best
warriors had been killed and their women and children had sickened and
starved in the mountains. Their great war chief, Oconostota, who had
led them to victory in 1780, was now a broken old man, and in this
year, at Echota, formally resigned his office in favor of his son,
The Terrapin. To complete their brimming cup of misery the smallpox
again broke out among them in 1783. [140] Deprived of the assistance
of their former white allies they were left to their own cruel fate,
the last feeble resistance of the mountain warriors to the advancing
tide of settlement came to an end with the burning of Cowee town,
[141] and the way was left open to an arrangement. In the same year
the North Carolina legislature appointed an agent for the Cherokee
and made regulations for the government of traders among them. [142]

Relations with the United States


Passing over several unsatisfactory and generally abortive negotiations
conducted by the various state governments in 1783-84, including the
treaty of Augusta already noted, [143] we come to the turning point in
the history of the Cherokee, their first treaty with the new government
of the United States for peace and boundary delimitation, concluded
at Hopewell (25) in South Carolina on November 28, 1785. Nearly one
thousand Cherokee attended, the commissioners for the United States
being Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (26), of North Carolina; General Andrew
Pickens, of South Carolina; Cherokee Agent Joseph Martin, of Tennessee,
and Colonel Lachlan McIntosh, of Georgia. The instrument was signed
by thirty-seven chiefs and principal men, representing nearly as
many different towns. The negotiations occupied ten days, being
complicated by a protest on the part of North Carolina and Georgia
against the action of the government commissioners in confirming to
the Indians some lands which had already been appropriated as bounty
lands for state troops without the consent of the Cherokee. On the
other hand the Cherokee complained that 3,000 white settlers were at
that moment in occupancy of unceded land between the Holston and the
French Broad. In spite of their protest these intruders were allowed
to remain, although the territory was not acquired by treaty until
some years later. As finally arranged the treaty left the Middle and
Upper towns, and those in the vicinity of Coosa river, undisturbed,
while the whole country east of the Blue ridge, with the Watauga and
Cumberland settlements, was given over to the whites. The general
boundary followed the dividing ridge between Cumberland river and
the more southern waters of the Tennessee eastward to the junction
of the two forks of Holston, near the present Kingsport, Tennessee,
thence southward to the Blue ridge and southwestward to a point not
far from the present Atlanta, Georgia, thence westward to the Coosa
river and northwestward to a creek running into Tennessee river at the
western line of Alabama, thence northward with the Tennessee river to
the beginning. The lands south and west of these lines were recognized
as belonging to the Creeks and Chickasaw. Hostilities were to cease and
the Cherokee were taken under the protection of the United States. The
proceedings ended with the distribution of a few presents. [144]

While the Hopewell treaty defined the relations of the Cherokee to the
general government and furnished a safe basis for future negotiation,
it yet failed to bring complete peace and security. Thousands of
intruders were still settled on Indian lands, and minor aggressions
and reprisals were continually occurring. The Creeks and the northern
tribes were still hostile and remained so for some years later, and
their warriors, cooperating with those of the implacable Chickamauga
towns, continued to annoy the exposed settlements, particularly on the
Cumberland. The British had withdrawn from the South, but the Spaniards
and French, who claimed the lower Mississippi and the Gulf region
and had their trading posts in west Tennessee, took every opportunity
to encourage the spirit of hostility to the Americans. [145] But the
spirit of the Cherokee nation was broken and the Holston settlements
were now too surely established to be destroyed.

The Cumberland settlements founded by Robertson and Donelson in the
winter of 1779-80 had had but short respite. Early in spring the
Indians--Cherokee, Creeks, Chickasaw, and northern Indians--had begun
a series of attacks with the design of driving these intruders from
their lands, and thenceforth for years no man's life was safe outside
the stockade. The long list of settlers shot down at work or while
hunting in the woods, of stock stolen and property destroyed, while
of sorrowful interest to those most nearly concerned, is too tedious
for recital here, and only leading events need be chronicled. Detailed
notice may be found in the works of local historians.

On the night of January 15, 1781, a band of Indians stealthily
approached Freeland's station and had even succeeded in unfastening
the strongly barred gate when Robertson, being awake inside, heard
the noise and sprang up just in time to rouse the garrison and beat
off the assailants, who continued to fire through the loopholes after
they had been driven out of the fort. Only two Americans were killed,
although the escape was a narrow one. [146]

About three months later, on April 2, a large body of Cherokee
approached the fort at Nashville (then called Nashborough, or simply
"the Bluff"), and by sending a decoy ahead succeeded in drawing a large
part of the garrison into an ambush. It seemed that they would be cut
off, as the Indians were between them and the fort, when those inside
loosed the dogs, which rushed so furiously upon the Indians that the
latter found, work enough to defend themselves, and were finally forced
to retire, carrying with them, however, five American scalps. [147]

The attacks continued throughout this and the next year to such an
extent that it seemed at one time as if the Cumberland settlements
must be abandoned, but in June, 1783, commissioners from Virginia
and North Carolina arranged a treaty near Nashville (Nashborough)
with chiefs of the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Creeks. This treaty,
although it did not completely stop the Indian inroads, at least
greatly diminished them. Thereafter the Chickasaw remained friendly,
and only the Cherokee and Creeks continued to make trouble. [148]

The valley towns on Hiwassee, as well as those of Chickamauga, seem
to have continued hostile. In 1786 a large body of their warriors,
led by the mixed-blood chief, John Watts, raided the new settlements
in the vicinity of the present Knoxville, Tennessee. In retaliation
Sevier again marched his volunteers across the mountain to the valley
towns and destroyed three of them, killing a number of warriors;
but he retired on learning that the Indians were gathering to give
him battle. [149] In the spring of this year Agent Martin, stationed
at Echota, had made a tour of inspection of the Cherokee towns and
reported that they were generally friendly and anxious for peace,
with the exception of the Chickamauga band, under Dragging-canoe,
who, acting with the hostile Creeks and encouraged by the French
and Spaniards, were making preparations to destroy the Cumberland
settlements. Notwithstanding the friendly professions of the others,
a party sent out to obtain satisfaction for the murder of four Cherokee
by the Tennesseeans had come back with fifteen white scalps, and sent
word to Sevier that they wanted peace, but if the whites wanted war
they would get it. [150] With lawless men on both sides it is evident
that peace was in jeopardy. In August, in consequence of further
killing and reprisals, commissioners of the new "state of Franklin,"
as Tennessee was now called, concluded a negotiation, locally known
as the "treaty of Coyatee," with the chiefs of the Overhill towns. In
spite of references to peace, love, and brotherly friendship, it
is very doubtful if the era of good will was in any wise hastened
by the so-called treaty, as the Tennesseeans, who had just burned
another Indian town in reprisal for the killing of a white man,
announced, without mincing words, that they had been given by North
Carolina--against which state, by the way, they were then in organized
rebellion--the whole country north of the Tennessee river as far west
as the Cumberland mountain, and that they intended to take it "by the
sword, which is the best right to all countries." As the whole of this
country was within the limits of the territory solemnly guaranteed to
the Cherokee by the Hopewell treaty only the year before, the chiefs
simply replied that Congress had said nothing to them on the subject,
and so the matter rested. [151] The theory of state's rights was too
complicated for the Indian understanding.

While this conflict between state and federal authority continued, with
the Cherokee lands as the prize, there could be no peace. In March,
1787, a letter from Echota, apparently written by Agent Martin, speaks
of a recent expedition against the Cherokee towns, and the confusion
and alarm among them in consequence of the daily encroachments of
the "Franklinites" or Tennesseeans, who had proceeded to make good
their promise by opening a land office for the sale of all the lands
southward to Tennessee river, including even a part of the beloved town
of Echota. At the same time messengers were coming to the Cherokee from
traders in the foreign interest, telling them that England, France,
and Spain had combined against the Americans and urging them with
promises of guns and ammunition to join in the war. [152] As a result
each further advance of the Tennessee settlements, in defiance as it
was of any recognized treaty, was stubbornly contested by the Indian
owners of the land. The record of these encounters, extending over a
period of several years, is too tedious for recital. "Could a diagram
be drawn, accurately designating every spot signalized by an Indian
massacre, surprise, or depredation, or courageous attack, defense,
pursuit, or victory by the whites, or station or fort or battlefield,
or personal encounter, the whole of that section of country would
be studded over with delineations of such incidents. Every spring,
every ford, every path, every farm, every trail, every house nearly,
in its first settlement, was once the scene of danger, exposure,
attack, exploit, achievement, death." [153] The end was the winning
of Tennessee.

In the meantime the inroads of the Creeks and their Chickamauga
allies upon the Georgia frontier and the Cumberland settlements
around Nashville became so threatening that measures were taken for
a joint campaign by the combined forces of Georgia and Tennessee
("Franklin"). The enterprise came to naught through the interference
of the federal authorities. [154] All through the year 1788 we hear
of attacks and reprisals along the Tennessee border, although the
agent for the Cherokee declared in his official report that, with
the exception of the Chickamauga band, the Indians wished to be at
peace if the whites would let them. In March two expeditions under
Sevier and Kennedy set out against the towns in the direction of
the French Broad. In May several persons of a family named Kirk were
murdered a few miles south of Knoxville. In retaliation Sevier raised
a large party and marching against a town on Hiwassee river--one of
those which had been destroyed some years before and rebuilt--and
burned it, killing a number of the inhabitants in the river while
they were trying to escape. He then turned, and proceeding to the
towns on Little Tennessee burned several of them also, killing a
number of Indians. Here a small party of Indians, including Abraham
and Tassel, two well-known friendly chiefs, was brutally massacred
by one of the Kirks, no one interfering, after they had voluntarily
come in on request of one of the officers. This occurred during the
temporary absence of Sevier. Another expedition under Captain Fayne
was drawn into an ambuscade at Citico town and lost several in killed
and wounded. The Indians pursued the survivors almost to Knoxville,
attacking a small station near the present Maryville by the way. They
were driven off by Sevier and others, who in turn invaded the Indian
settlements, crossing the mountains and penetrating as far as the
valley towns on Hiwassee, hastily retiring as they found the Indians
gathering in their front. [155] In the same summer another expedition
was organized against the Chickamauga towns. The chief command was
given to General Martin, who left White's fort, now Knoxville, with
four hundred and fifty men and made a rapid march to the neighborhood
of the present Chattanooga, where the main force encamped on the site
of an old Indian settlement. A detachment sent ahead to surprise a town
a few miles farther down the river was fired upon and driven back,
and a general engagement took place in the narrow pass between the
bluff and the river, with such disastrous results that three captains
were killed and the men so badly demoralized that they refused to
advance. Martin was compelled to turn back, after burying the dead
officers in a large townhouse, which was then burned down to conceal
the grave. [156]

In October a large party of Cherokee and Creeks attacked Gillespie's
station, south of the present Knoxville. The small garrison was
overpowered after a short resistance, and twenty-eight persons,
including several women and children, were killed. The Indians
left behind a letter signed by four chiefs, including John Watts,
expressing regret for what they called the accidental killing of the
women and children, reminding the whites of their own treachery in
killing Abraham and the Tassel, and defiantly concluding, "When you
move off the land, then we will make peace." Other exposed stations
were attacked, until at last Sevier again mustered a force, cleared
the enemy from the frontier, and pursued the Indians as far as their
towns on the head waters of Coosa river, in such vigorous fashion
that they were compelled to ask for terms of peace and agree to a
surrender of prisoners, which was accomplished at Coosawatee town,
in upper Georgia, in the following April. [157]

Among the captives thus restored to their friends were Joseph Brown, a
boy of sixteen, with his two younger sisters, who, with several others,
had been taken at Nickajack town while descending the Tennessee in
a flatboat nearly a year before. His father and the other men of the
party, about ten in all, had been killed at the time, while the mother
and several other children were carried to various Indian towns,
some of them going to the Creeks, who had aided the Cherokee in the
capture. Young Brown, whose short and simple narrative is of vivid
interest, was at first condemned to death, but was rescued by a white
man living in the town and was afterward adopted into the family of
the chief, in spite of the warning of an old Indian woman that if
allowed to live he would one day guide an army to destroy them. The
warning was strangely prophetic, for it was Brown himself who guided
the expedition that finally rooted out the Chickamauga towns a few
years later. When rescued at Coosawatee he was in Indian costume,
with shirt, breechcloth, scalp lock, and holes bored in his ears. His
little sister, five years old, had become so attached to the Indian
woman who had adopted her, that she refused to go to her own mother and
had to be pulled along by force. [158] The mother and another of the
daughters, who had been taken by the Creeks, were afterwards ransomed
by McGillivray, head chief of the Creek Nation, who restored them to
their friends, generously refusing any compensation for his kindness.

An arrangement had been made with the Chickasaw, in 1783, by which
they surrendered to the Cumberland settlement their own claim to the
lands from the Cumberland river south to the dividing ridge of Duck
river. [159] It was not, however, until the treaty of Hopewell, two
years later, that the Cherokee surrendered their claim to the same
region, and even then the Chickamauga warriors, with their allies,
the hostile Creeks and Shawano, refused to acknowledge the cession
and continued their attacks, with the avowed purpose of destroying
the new settlements. Until the final running of the boundary line, in
1797, Spain claimed all the territory west of the mountains and south
of Cumberland river, and her agents were accused of stirring up the
Indians against the Americans, even to the extent of offering rewards
for American scalps. [160] One of these raiding parties, which had
killed the brother of Captain Robertson, was tracked to Coldwater, a
small mixed town of Cherokee and Creeks, on the south side of Tennessee
river, about the present Tuscumbia, Alabama. Robertson determined
to destroy it, and taking a force of volunteers, with a couple of
Chickasaw guides, crossed the Tennessee without being discovered and
surprised and burnt the town. The Indians, who numbered less than
fifty men, attempted to escape to the river, but were surrounded
and over twenty of them killed, with a loss of but one man to the
Tennesseeans. In the town were found also several French traders. Three
of these, who refused to surrender, were killed, together with a white
woman who was accidentally shot in one of the boats. The others were
afterward released, their large stock of trading goods having been
taken and sold for the benefit of the troops. The affair took place
about the end of June, 1787. Through this action, and an effort made
by Robertson about the same time to come to an understanding with the
Chickamauga band, there was a temporary cessation of hostile inroads
upon the Cumberland, but long before the end of the year the attacks
were renewed to such an extent that it was found necessary to keep
out a force of rangers with orders to scour the country and kill
every Indian found east of the Chickasaw boundary. [161]

The Creeks seeming now to be nearly as much concerned in these raids
as the Cherokee, a remonstrance was addressed to McGillivray, their
principal chief, who replied that, although the Creeks, like the
other southern tribes, had adhered to the British interest during
the Revolution, they had accepted proposals of friendship, but while
negotiations were pending six of their people had been killed in the
affair at Coldwater, which had led to a renewal of hostile feeling. He
promised, however, to use his best efforts to bring about peace, and
seems to have kept his word, although the raids continued through this
and the next year, with the usual sequel of pursuit and reprisal. In
one of these skirmishes a company under Captain Murray followed some
Indian raiders from near Nashville to their camp on Tennessee river
and succeeded in killing the whole party of eleven warriors. [162]
A treaty of peace was signed with the Creeks in 1790, but, owing
to the intrigues of the Spaniards, it had little practical effect,
[163] and not until Wayne's decisive victory over the confederated
northern tribes in 1794 and the final destruction of the Nickajack
towns in the same year did real peace came to the frontier.

By deed of cession of February 25, 1790, Tennessee ceased to be a
part of North Carolina and was organized under federal laws as "The
Territory of the United States south of the Ohio river," preliminary
to taking full rank as a state six years later. William Blount (27)
was appointed first territorial governor and also superintendent for
the southern Indians, with a deputy resident with each of the four
principal tribes. [164] Pensacola, Mobile, St. Louis, and other
southern posts were still held by the Spaniards, who claimed the
whole country south of the Cumberland, while the British garrisons
had not yet been withdrawn from the north. The resentment of the
Indians at the occupancy of their reserved and guaranteed lands by
the whites was sedulously encouraged from both quarters, and raids
along the Tennessee frontier were of common occurrence. At this time,
according to the official report of President Washington, over five
hundred families of intruders were settled upon lands belonging rightly
to the Cherokee, in addition to those between the French Broad and
the Holston. [165] More than a year before the Secretary of War had
stated that "the disgraceful violation of the treaty of Hopewell with
the Cherokee requires the serious consideration of Congress. If so
direct and manifest contempt of the authority of the United States
be suffered with impunity, it will be in vain to attempt to extend
the arm of government to the frontiers. The Indian tribes can have
no faith in such imbecile promises, and the lawless whites will
ridicule a government which shall on paper only make Indian treaties
and regulate Indian boundaries." [166] To prevent any increase of
the dissatisfaction, the general government issued a proclamation
forbidding any further encroachment upon the Indian lands on Tennessee
river; notwithstanding which, early in 1791, a party of men descended
the river in boats, and, landing on an island at the Muscle shoals,
near the present Tuscumbia, Alabama, erected a blockhouse and other
defensive works. Immediately afterward the Cherokee chief, Glass,
with about sixty warriors, appeared and quietly informed them that if
they did not at once withdraw he would kill them. After some parley
the intruders retired to their boats, when the Indians set fire to
the buildings and reduced them to ashes. [167]

To forestall more serious difficulty it was necessary to
negotiate a new treaty with a view to purchasing the disputed
territory. Accordingly, through the efforts of Governor Blount,
a convention was held with the principal men of the Cherokee at
White's fort, now Knoxville, Tennessee, in the summer of 1791. With
much difficulty the Cherokee were finally brought to consent to
a cession of a triangular section in Tennessee and North Carolina
extending from Clinch river almost to the Blue ridge, and including
nearly the whole of the French Broad and the lower Holston, with the
sites of the present Knoxville, Greenville, and Asheville. The whole
of this area, with a considerable territory adjacent, was already
fully occupied by the whites. Permission was also given for a road
from the eastern settlements to those on the Cumberland, with the
free navigation of Tennessee river. Prisoners on both sides were to
be restored and perpetual peace was guaranteed. In consideration of
the lands surrendered the Cherokee were to receive an annuity of one
thousand dollars with some extra goods and some assistance on the road
to civilization. A treaty was signed by forty-one principal men of the
tribe and was concluded July 2, 1791. It is officially described as
being held "on the bank of the Holston, near the mouth of the French
Broad," and is commonly spoken of as the "treaty of Holston."

The Cherokee, however, were dissatisfied with the arrangement,
and before the end of the year a delegation of six principal chiefs
appeared at Philadelphia, then the seat of government, without any
previous announcement of their coming, declaring that when they
had been summoned by Governor Blount to a conference they were not
aware that it was to persuade them to sell lands; that they had
resisted the proposition for days, and only yielded when compelled
by the persistent and threatening demands of the governor; that the
consideration was entirely too small; and that they had no faith
that the whites would respect the new boundary, as they were in fact
already settling beyond it. Finally, as the treaty had been signed,
they asked that these intruders be removed. As their presentation of
the case seemed a just one and it was desirable that they should carry
home with them a favorable impression of the government's attitude
toward them, a supplementary article was added, increasing the annuity
to eight thousand five hundred dollars. On account of renewed Indian
hostilities in Ohio valley and the desire of the government to keep
the good will of the Cherokee long enough to obtain their help against
the northern tribes, the new line was not surveyed until 1797. [168]

As illustrating Indian custom it may be noted that one of the principal
signers of the original treaty was among the protesting delegates,
but having in the meantime changed his name, it appears on the
supplementary paragraph as "Iskagua, or Clear Sky, formerly Nenetooyah,
or Bloody Fellow." [169] As he had been one of the principal raiders
on the Tennessee frontier, the new name may have been symbolic of
his change of heart at the prospect of a return of peace.

The treaty seems to have had little effect in preventing Indian
hostilities, probably because the intruders still remained upon the
Indian lands, and raiding still continued. The Creeks were known to
be responsible for some of the mischief, and the hostile Chickamaugas
were supposed to be the chief authors of the rest. [170] Even while the
Cherokee delegates were negotiating the treaty in Philadelphia a boat
which had accidentally run aground on the Muscle shoals was attacked
by a party of Indians under the pretense of offering assistance,
one man being killed and another severely wounded with a hatchet. [171]

While these negotiations had been pending at Philadelphia a young man
named Leonard D. Shaw, a student at Princeton college, had expressed
to the Secretary of War an earnest desire for a commission which would
enable him to accompany the returning Cherokee delegates to their
southern home, there to study Indian life and characteristics. As the
purpose seemed a useful one, and he appeared well qualified for such
a work, he was accordingly commissioned as deputy agent to reside
among the Cherokee to observe and report upon their movements, to
aid in the annuity distributions, and to render other assistance
to Governor Blount, superintendent for the southern tribes, to
study their language and home life, and to collect materials for
an Indian history. An extract from the official instructions under
which this first United States ethnologist began his work will be of
interest. After defining his executive duties in connection with the
annuity distributions, the keeping of accounts and the compiling of
official reports, Secretary Knox continues--

    A due performance of your duty will probably require the exercise
    of all your patience and fortitude and all your knowledge of the
    human character. The school will be a severe but interesting
    one. If you should succeed in acquiring the affections and a
    knowledge of the characters of the southern Indians, you may be
    at once useful to the United States and advance your own interest.

    You will endeavor to learn their languages; this is essential to
    your communications. You will collect materials for a history of
    all the southern tribes and all things thereunto belonging. You
    will endeavor to ascertain their respective limits, make a
    vocabulary of their respective languages, teach them agriculture
    and such useful arts as you may know or can acquire. You will
    correspond regularly with Governor Blount, who is superintendent
    for Indian affairs, and inform him of all occurrences. You
    will also cultivate a correspondence with Brigadier-General
    McGillivray [the Creek chief], and you will also keep a journal
    of your proceedings and transmit them to the War Office.... You
    are to exhibit to Governor Blount the Cherokee book and all the
    writings therein, the messages to the several tribes of Indians,
    and these instructions.

    Your route will be hence to Reading; thence Harris's ferry
    [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania] to Carlisle; to ---- ferry on the
    Potomac; to Winchester; to Staunton; to ----, and to Holston. I
    should hope that you would travel upwards of twenty miles each day,
    and that you would reach Holston in about thirty days. [172]

The journey, which seemed then so long, was to be made by wagons from
Philadelphia to the head of navigation on Holston river, thence by
boats to the Cherokee towns. Shaw seems to have taken up his residence
at Ustanali, which had superseded Echota as the Cherokee capital. We
hear of him as present at a council there in June of the same year,
with no evidence of unfriendliness at his presence. [173] The friendly
feeling was of short continuance, however, for a few months later we
find him writing from Ustanali to Governor Blount that on account
of the aggressive hostility of the Creeks, whose avowed intention
was to kill every white man they met, he was not safe 50 yards from
the house. Soon afterwards the Chickamauga towns again declared war,
on which account, together with renewed threats by the Creeks, he
was advised by the Cherokee to leave Ustanali, which he did early
in September, 1792, proceeding to the home of General Pickens, near
Seneca, South Carolina, escorted by a guard of friendly Cherokee. In
the following winter he was dismissed from the service on serious
charges, and his mission appears to have been a failure. [174]

To prevent an alliance of the Cherokee, Creeks, and other southern
Indians with the confederated hostile northern tribes, the government
had endeavored to persuade the former to furnish a contingent of
warriors to act with the army against the northern Indians, and
special instruction had been given to Shaw to use his efforts for
this result. Nothing, however, came of the attempt. St Clair's defeat
turned the scale against the United States, and in September, 1792,
the Chickamauga towns formally declared war. [175]

In November of this year the governor of Georgia officially reported
that a party of lawless Georgians had gone into the Cherokee Nation,
and had there burned a town and barbarously killed three Indians,
while about the same time two other Cherokee had been killed within the
settlements. Fearing retaliation, he ordered out a patrol of troops to
guard the frontier in that direction, and sent a conciliatory letter
to the chiefs, expressing his regret for what had happened. No answer
was returned to the message, but a few days later an entire family
was found murdered--four women, three children, and a young man--all
scalped and mangled and with arrows sticking in the bodies, while,
according to old Indian war custom, two war clubs were left upon
the ground to show by whom the deed was done. So swift was savage
vengeance. [176]

Early in 1792 a messenger who had been sent on business for
Governor Blount to the Chickamauga towns returned with the report
that a party had just come in with prisoners and some fresh scalps,
over which the chiefs and warriors of two towns were then dancing;
that the Shawano were urging the Cherokee to join them against the
Americans; that a strong body of Creeks was on its way against the
Cumberland settlements, and that the Creek chief, McGillivray, was
trying to form a general confederacy of all the Indian tribes against
the whites. To understand this properly it must be remembered that
at this time all the tribes northwest of the Ohio and as far as the
heads of the Mississippi were banded together in a grand alliance,
headed by the warlike Shawano, for the purpose of holding the Ohio
river as the Indian boundary against the advancing tide of white
settlement. They had just cut to pieces one of the finest armies
ever sent into the West, under the veteran General St Clair (28),
and it seemed for the moment as if the American advance would be
driven back behind the Alleghenies.

In the emergency the Secretary of War directed Governor Blount to
hold a conference with the chiefs of the Chickasaw, Choctaw, and
Cherokee at Nashville in June to enlist their warriors, if possible,
in active service against the northern tribes. The conference was
held as proposed, in August, but nothing seems to have come of it,
although the chiefs seemed to be sincere in their assurances of
friendship. Very few of the Choctaw or Cherokee were in attendance. At
the annuity distribution of the Cherokee, shortly before, the chiefs
had also been profuse in declarations of their desire for peace. [177]
Notwithstanding all this the attacks along the Tennessee frontier
continued to such an extent that the blockhouses were again put in
order and garrisoned. Soon afterwards the governor reported to the
Secretary of War that the five lower Cherokee towns on the Tennessee
(the Chickamauga), headed by John Watts, had finally declared war
against the United States, and that from three to six hundred warriors,
including a hundred Creeks, had started against the settlements. The
militia was at once called out, both in eastern Tennessee and on the
Cumberland. On the Cumberland side it was directed that no pursuit
should be continued beyond the Cherokee boundary, the ridge between
the waters of Cumberland and Duck rivers. The order issued by Colonel
White, of Knox county, to each of his captains shows how great was
the alarm:

                                          Knoxville, September 11, 1792.

    Sir: You are hereby commanded to repair with your company to
    Knoxville, equipped, to protect the frontiers; there is imminent
    danger. Bring with you two days' provisions, if possible; but
    you are not to delay an hour on that head.

        I am, sir, yours, James White. [178]

About midnight on the 30th of September, 1792, the Indian force,
consisting of several hundred Chickamaugas and other Cherokee,
Creeks, and Shawano, attacked Buchanan's station, a few miles south
of Nashville. Although numbers of families had collected inside the
stockade for safety, there were less than twenty able-bodied men
among them. The approach of the enemy alarmed the cattle, by which
the garrison had warning just in time to close the gate when the
Indians were already within a few yards of the entrance. The assault
was furious and determined, the Indians rushing up to the stockade,
attempting to set fire to it, and aiming their guns through the
port holes. One Indian succeeded in climbing upon the roof with
a lighted torch, but was shot and fell to the ground, holding his
torch against the logs as he drew his last breath. It was learned
afterward that he was a half blood, the stepson of the old white
trader who had once rescued the boy Joseph Brown at Nickajack. He
was a desperate warrior and when only twenty-two years of age had
already taken six white scalps. The attack was repulsed at every
point, and the assailants finally drew off, with considerable loss,
carrying their dead and wounded with them, and leaving a number of
hatchets, pipes, and other spoils upon the ground. Among the wounded
was the chief John Watts. Not one of those in the fort was injured. It
has been well said that the defense of Buchanan's station by such a
handful of men against an attacking force estimated all the way at
from three to seven hundred Indians is a feat of bravery which has
scarcely been surpassed in the annals of border warfare. The effect
upon the Indians must have been thoroughly disheartening. [179]

In the same month arrangements were made for protecting the frontier
along the French Broad by means of a series of garrisoned blockhouses,
with scouts to patrol regularly from one to another, North Carolina
cooperating on her side of the line. The hostile inroads still
continued in this section, the Creeks acting with the hostile
Cherokee. One raiding party of Creeks having been traced toward
Chilhowee town on Little Tennessee, the whites were about to burn
that and a neighboring Cherokee town when Sevier interposed and
prevented. [180] There is no reason to suppose that the people of
these towns were directly concerned in the depredations along the
frontier at this period, the mischief being done by those farther to
the south, in conjunction with the Creeks.

Toward the close of this year, 1792, Captain Samuel Handley, while
leading a small party of men to reenforce the Cumberland settlement,
was attacked by a mixed force of Cherokee, Creeks, and Shawano, near
the Crab Orchard, west of the present Kingston, Tennessee. Becoming
separated from his men he encountered a warrior who had lifted his
hatchet to strike when Handley seized the weapon, crying out "Canaly"
(for higina'lii), "friend," to which the Cherokee responded with the
same word, at once lowering his arm. Handley was carried to Willstown,
in Alabama, where he was adopted into the Wolf clan (29) and remained
until the next spring. After having made use of his services in
writing a peace letter to Governor Blount the Cherokee finally sent
him home in safety to his friends under a protecting escort of eight
warriors, without any demand for ransom. He afterward resided near
Tellico blockhouse, near Loudon, where, after the wars were over,
his Indian friends frequently came to visit and stop with him. [181]

The year 1793 began with a series of attacks all along the Tennessee
frontier. As before, most of the depredation was by Chickamaugas and
Creeks, with some stray Shawano from the north. The Cherokee from
the towns on Little Tennessee remained peaceable, but their temper
was sorely tried by a regrettable circumstance which occurred in
June. While a number of friendly chiefs were assembled for a conference
at Echota, on the express request of the President, a party of men
under command of a Captain John Beard suddenly attacked them, killing
about fifteen Indians, including several chiefs and two women, one of
them being the wife of Hanging-maw (Ushwâ'li-gûta), principal chief of
the Nation, who was himself wounded. The murderers then fled, leaving
others to suffer the consequences. Two hundred warriors at once took
up arms to revenge their loss, and only the most earnest appeal from
the deputy governor could restrain them from swift retaliation. While
the chief, whose wife was thus murdered and himself wounded, forebore
to revenge himself, in order not to bring war upon his people, the
Secretary of War was obliged to report, "to my great pain, I find to
punish Beard by law just now is out of the question." Beard was in
fact arrested, but the trial was a farce and he was acquitted. [182]

Believing that the Cherokee Nation, with the exception of the
Chickamaugas, was honestly trying to preserve peace, the territorial
government, while making provision for the safety of the exposed
settlements, had strictly prohibited any invasion of the Indian
country. The frontier people were of a different opinion, and in
spite of the prohibition a company of nearly two hundred mounted
men under Colonels Doherty and McFarland crossed over the mountains
in the summer of this year and destroyed six of the middle towns,
returning with fifteen scalps and as many prisoners. [183]

Late in September a strong force estimated at one thousand
warriors--seven hundred Creeks and three hundred Cherokee--under
John Watts and Doublehead, crossed the Tennessee and advanced in the
direction of Knoxville, where the public stores were then deposited. In
their eagerness to reach Knoxville they passed quietly by one or two
smaller settlements until within a short distance of the town, when,
at daybreak of the 25th, they heard the garrison fire the sunrise gun
and imagined that they were discovered. Differences had already broken
out among the leaders, and without venturing to advance farther they
contented themselves with an attack upon a small blockhouse a few miles
to the west, known as Cavitts station, in which at the time were only
three men with thirteen women and children. After defending themselves
bravely for some time these surrendered on promise that they should be
held for exchange, but as soon as they came out Doublehead's warriors
fell upon them and put them all to death with the exception of a boy,
who was saved by John Watts. This bloody deed was entirely the work
of Doublehead, the other chiefs having done their best to prevent
it. [184]

A force of seven hundred men under General Sevier was at once
put upon their track, with orders this time to push the pursuit
into the heart of the Indian nation. Crossing Little Tennessee and
Hiwassee they penetrated to Ustanali town, near the present Calhoun,
Georgia. Finding it deserted, although well filled with provision,
they rested there a few days, the Indians in the meantime attempting
a night attack without success. After burning the town, Sevier
continued down the river to Etowah town, near the present site of
Rome. Here the Indians--Cherokee and Creeks--had dug intrenchments
and prepared to make a stand, but, being outflanked, were defeated
with loss and compelled to retreat. This town, with several others in
the neighborhood belonging to both Cherokee and Creeks, was destroyed,
with all the provision of the Indians, including three hundred cattle,
after which the army took up the homeward march. The Americans had
lost but three men. This was the last military service of Sevier. [185]

During the absence of Sevier's force in the south the Indians made
a sudden inroad on the French Broad, near the present Dandridge,
killing and scalping a woman and a boy. While their friends were
accompanying the remains to a neighboring burial ground for interment,
two men who had incautiously gone ahead were fired upon. One of them
escaped, but the other one was found killed and scalped when the rest
of the company came up, and was buried with the first victims. Sevier's
success brought temporary respite to the Cumberland settlements. During
the early part of the year the Indian attacks by small raiding parties
had been so frequent and annoying that a force of men had been kept
out on patrol service under officers who adopted with some success the
policy of hunting the Indians in their camping places in the thickets,
rather than waiting for them to come into the settlements. [186]

In February, 1794, the Territorial assembly of Tennessee met at
Knoxville and, among other business transacted, addressed a strong
memorial to Congress calling for more efficient protection for the
frontier and demanding a declaration of war against the Creeks and
Cherokee. The memorial states that since the treaty of Holston (July,
1791), these two tribes had killed in a most barbarous and inhuman
manner more than two hundred citizens of Tennessee, of both sexes,
had carried others into captivity, destroyed their stock, burned their
houses, and laid waste their plantations, had robbed the citizens
of their slaves and stolen at least two thousand horses. Special
attention was directed to the two great invasions in September,
1792, and September, 1793, and the memorialists declare that there was
scarcely a man of the assembly but could tell of "a dear wife or child,
an aged parent or near relation, besides friends, massacred by the
hands of these bloodthirsty nations in their house or fields." [187]

In the meantime the raids continued and every scattered cabin was
a target for attack. In April a party of twenty warriors surrounded
the house of a man named Casteel on the French Broad about nine miles
above Knoxville and massacred father, mother, and four children in
most brutal fashion. One child only was left alive, a girl of ten
years, who was found scalped and bleeding from six tomahawk gashes,
yet survived. The others were buried in one grave. The massacre
roused such a storm of excitement that it required all the effort
of the governor and the local officials to prevent an invasion in
force of the Indian country. It was learned that Doublehead, of the
Chickamauga towns, was trying to get the support of the valley towns,
which, however, continued to maintain an attitude of peace. The
friendly Cherokee also declared that the Spaniards were constantly
instigating the lower towns to hostilities, although John Watts,
one of their principal chiefs, advocated peace. [188]

In June a boat under command of William Scott, laden with pots,
hardware, and other property, and containing six white men, three
women, four children, and twenty negroes, left Knoxville to descend
Tennessee river to Natchez. As it passed the Chickamauga towns it was
fired upon from Running Water and Long island without damage. The
whites returned the fire, wounding two Indians. A large party of
Cherokee, headed by White-man-killer (Une'ga-dihi'), then started in
pursuit of the boat, which they overtook at Muscle shoals, where they
killed all the white people in it, made prisoners of the negroes, and
plundered the goods. Three Indians were killed and one was wounded in
the action. [189] It is said that the Indian actors in this massacre
fled across the Mississippi into Spanish territory and became the
nucleus of the Cherokee Nation of the West, as will be noted elsewhere.

On June 26, 1794, another treaty, intended to be supplementary to that
of Holston in 1791, was negotiated at Philadelphia, being signed by
the Secretary of War and by thirteen principal men of the Cherokee. An
arrangement was made for the proper marking of the boundary then
established, and the annuity was increased to five thousand dollars,
with a proviso that fifty dollars were to be deducted for every horse
stolen by the Cherokee and not restored within three months. [190]

In July a man named John Ish was shot down while plowing in his field
eighteen miles below Knoxville. By order of Hanging-maw, the friendly
chief of Echota, a party of Cherokee took the trail and captured the
murderer, who proved to be a Creek, whom they brought in to the agent
at Tellico blockhouse, where he was formally tried and hanged. When
asked the usual question he said that his people were at war with
the whites, that he had left home to kill or be killed, that he had
killed the white man and would have escaped but for the Cherokee,
and that there were enough of his nation to avenge his death. A few
days later a party of one hundred Creek warriors crossed Tennessee
river against the settlements. The alarm was given by Hanging-maw, and
fifty-three Cherokee with a few federal troops started in pursuit. On
the 10th of August they came up with the Creeks, killing one and
wounding another, one Cherokee being slightly wounded. The Creeks
retreated and the victors returned to the Cherokee towns, where their
return was announced by the death song and the firing of guns. "The
night was spent in dancing the scalp dance, according to the custom
of warriors after a victory over their enemies, in which the white
and red people heartily joined. The Upper Cherokee had now stepped
too far to go back, and their professions of friendship were now no
longer to be questioned." In the same month there was an engagement
between a detachment of about forty soldiers and a large body of
Creeks near Crab Orchard, in which several of each were killed. [191]
It is evident that much of the damage on both sides of the Cumberland
range was due to the Creeks.

In the meantime Governor Blount was trying to negotiate peace with the
whole Cherokee Nation, but with little success. The Cherokee claimed
to be anxious for permanent peace, but said that it was impossible
to restore the property taken by them, as it had been taken in war,
and they had themselves been equal losers from the whites. They said
also that they could not prevent the hostile Creeks from passing
through their territory. About the end of July it was learned that a
strong body of Creeks had started north against the settlements. The
militia was at once ordered out along the Tennessee frontier, and
the friendly Cherokees offered their services, while measures were
taken to protect their women and children from the enemy. The Creeks
advanced as far as Willstown, when the news came of the complete
defeat of the confederated northern tribes by General Wayne (30), and
fearing the same fate for themselves, they turned back and scattered
to their towns. [192]

The Tennesseeans, especially those on the Cumberland, had long ago
come to the conclusion that peace could be brought about only through
the destruction of the Chickamauga towns. Anticipating some action
of this kind, which the general government did not think necessary
or advisable, orders against any such attempt had been issued
by the Secretary of War to Governor Blount. The frontier people
went about their preparations, however, and it is evident from
the result that the local military authorities were in connivance
with the undertaking. General Robertson was the chief organizer of
the volunteers about Nashville, who were reenforced by a company
of Kentuckians under Colonel Whitley. Major Ore had been sent by
Governor Blount with a detachment of troops to protect the Cumberland
settlements, and on arriving at Nashville entered as heartily into the
project as if no counter orders had ever been issued, and was given
chief command of the expedition, which for this reason is commonly
known as "Ore's expedition."

On September 7, 1794, the army of five hundred and fifty mounted men
left Nashville, and five days later crossed the Tennessee near the
mouth of the Sequatchee river, their guide being the same Joseph Brown
of whom the old Indian woman had said that he would one day bring the
soldiers to destroy them. Having left their horses on the other side
of the river, they moved up along the south bank just after daybreak of
the 13th and surprised the town of Nickajack, killing several warriors
and taking a number of prisoners. Some who attempted to escape in
canoes were shot in the water. The warriors in Running Water town,
four miles above, heard the firing and came at once to the assistance
of their friends, but were driven back after attempting to hold their
ground, and the second town shared the fate of the first. More than
fifty Indians had been killed, a number were prisoners, both towns and
all their contents had been destroyed, with a loss to the assailants
of only three men wounded. The Breath, the chief of Running Water, was
among those killed. Two fresh scalps with a large quantity of plunder
from the settlements were found in the towns, together with a supply
of ammunition said to have been furnished by the Spaniards. [193]

Soon after the return of the expedition Robertson sent a message to
John Watts, the principal leader of the hostile Cherokee, threatening
a second visitation if the Indians did not very soon surrender
their prisoners and give assurances of peace. [194] The destruction
of their towns on Tennessee and Coosa and the utter defeat of the
northern confederates had now broken the courage of the Cherokee,
and on their own request Governor Blount held a conference with them
at Tellico blockhouse, November 7 and 8, 1794, at which Hanging-maw,
head chief of the Nation, and Colonel John Watt, principal chief
of the hostile towns, with about four hundred of their warriors,
attended. The result was satisfactory; all differences were arranged
on a friendly basis and the long Cherokee war came to an end. [195]

Owing to the continued devastation of their towns during the
Revolutionary struggle, a number of Cherokee, principally of the
Chickamauga band, had removed across the Ohio about 1782 and settled
on Paint creek, a branch of the Scioto river, in the vicinity of
their friends and allies, the Shawano. In 1787 they were reported
to number about seventy warriors. They took an active part in the
hostilities along the Ohio frontier and were present in the great
battle at the Maumee rapids, by which the power of the confederated
northern tribes was effectually broken. As they had failed to attend
the treaty conference held at Greenville in August, 1795, General Wayne
sent them a special message, through their chief Long-hair, that if
they refused to come in and make terms as the others had done they
would be considered outside the protection of the government. Upon
this a part of them came in and promised that as soon as they could
gather their crops the whole band would leave Ohio forever and return
to their people in the south. [196]

The Creeks were still hostile and continued their inroads upon the
western settlements. Early in January, 1795, Governor Blount held
another conference with the Cherokee and endeavored to persuade them
to organize a company of their young men to patrol the frontier against
the Creeks, but to this proposal the chiefs refused to consent. [197]

In the next year it was discovered that a movement was on foot to
take possession of certain Indian lands south of the Cumberland
on pretense of authority formerly granted by North Carolina for
the relief of Revolutionary soldiers. As such action would almost
surely have resulted in another Indian war, Congress interposed,
on the representation of President Washington, with an act for the
regulation of intercourse between citizens of the United States and the
various Indian tribes. Its main purpose was to prevent intrusion upon
lands to which the Indian title had not been extinguished by treaty
with the general government, and under its provisions a number of
squatters were ejected from the Indian country and removed across the
boundary. The pressure of border sentiment, however, was constantly
for extending the area of white settlement and the result was an
immediate agitation to procure another treaty cession. [198]

In consequence of urgent representations from the people of
Tennessee, Congress took steps in 1797 for procuring a new treaty
with the Cherokee by which the ejected settlers might be reinstated
and the boundaries of the new state so extended as to bring about
closer communication between the eastern settlements and those on the
Cumberland. The Revolutionary warfare had forced the Cherokee west and
south, and their capital and central gathering place was now Ustanali
town, near the present Calhoun, Georgia, while Echota, their ancient
capital and beloved peace town, was almost on the edge of the white
settlements. The commissioners wished to have the proceedings conducted
at Echota, while the Cherokee favored Ustanali. After some debate a
choice was made of a convenient place near Tellico blockhouse, where
the conference opened in July, but was brought to an abrupt close by
the peremptory refusal of the Cherokee to sell any lands or to permit
the return of the ejected settlers.

The rest of the summer was spent in negotiation along the lines already
proposed, and on October 2, 1798, a treaty, commonly known as the
"first treaty of Tellico," was concluded at the same place, and was
signed by thirty-nine chiefs on behalf of the Cherokee. By this treaty
the Indians ceded a tract between Clinch river and the Cumberland
ridge, another along the northern bank of Little Tennessee extending up
to Chilhowee mountain, and a third in North Carolina on the heads of
French Broad and Pigeon rivers and including the sites of the present
Waynesville and Hendersonville. These cessions included most or all
of the lands from which settlers had been ejected. Permission was
also given for laying out the "Cumberland road," to connect the east
Tennessee settlements with those about Nashville. In consideration of
the lands and rights surrendered, the United States agreed to deliver
to the Cherokee five thousand dollars in goods, and to increase their
existing annuity by one thousand dollars, and as usual, to "continue
the guarantee of the remainder of their country forever." [199]

Wayne's victory over the northern tribes at the battle of the Maumee
rapids completely broke their power and compelled them to accept the
terms of peace dictated at the treaty of Greenville in the summer
of 1795. The immediate result was the surrender of the Ohio river
boundary by the Indians and the withdrawal of the British garrisons
from the interior posts, which up to this time they had continued to
hold in spite of the treaty made at the close of the Revolution. By the
treaty made at Madrid in October, 1795, Spain gave up all claim on the
east side of the Mississippi north of the thirty-first parallel, but on
various pretexts the formal transfer of posts was delayed and a Spanish
garrison continued to occupy San Fernando de Barrancas, at the present
Memphis, Tennessee, until the fall of 1797, while that at Natchez,
in Mississippi, was not surrendered until March, 1798. The Creeks,
seeing the trend of affairs, had made peace at Colerain, Georgia,
in June, 1796. With the hostile European influence thus eliminated,
at least for the time, the warlike tribes on the north and on the
south crushed and dispirited and the Chickamauga towns wiped out of
existence, the Cherokee realized that they must accept the situation
and, after nearly twenty years of continuous warfare, laid aside the
tomahawk to cultivate the arts of peace and civilization.

The close of the century found them still a compact people (the
westward movement having hardly yet begun) numbering probably about
20,000 souls. After repeated cessions of large tracts of land, to
some of which they had but doubtful claim, they remained in recognized
possession of nearly 43,000 square miles of territory, a country about
equal in extent to Ohio, Virginia, or Tennessee. Of this territory
about one-half was within the limits of Tennessee, the remainder being
almost equally divided between Georgia and Alabama, with a small area
in the extreme southwestern corner of North Carolina. [200] The old
Lower towns on Savannah river had been broken up for twenty years,
and the whites had so far encroached upon the Upper towns that the
capital and council fire of the nation had been removed from the
ancient peace town of Echota to Ustanali, in Georgia. The towns on
Coosa river and in Alabama were almost all of recent establishment,
peopled by refugees from the east and north. The Middle towns, in
North Carolina, were still surrounded by Indian country.

Firearms had been introduced into the tribe about one hundred years
before, and the Cherokee had learned well their use. Such civilized
goods as hatchets, knives, clothes, and trinkets had become so
common before the first Cherokee war that the Indians had declared
that they could no longer live without the traders. Horses and other
domestic animals had been introduced early in the century, and at
the opening of the war of 1760, according to Adair, the Cherokee had
"a prodigious number of excellent horses," and although hunger had
compelled them to eat a great many of these during that period, they
still had, in 1775, from two to a dozen each, and bid fair soon to
have plenty of the best sort, as, according to the same authority,
they were skilful jockeys and nice in their choice. Some of them
had grown fond of cattle, and they had also an abundance of hogs
and poultry, the Indian pork being esteemed better than that raised
in the white settlements on account of the chestnut diet. [201] In
Sevier's expedition against the towns on Coosa river, in 1793, the
army killed three hundred beeves at Etowah and left their carcasses
rotting on the ground. While crossing the Cherokee country in 1796
Hawkins met an Indian woman on horseback driving ten very fat cattle
to the settlements for sale. Peach trees and potatoes, as well as
the native corn and beans, were abundant in their fields, and some
had bees and honey and did a considerable trade in beeswax. They seem
to have quickly recovered from the repeated ravages of war, and there
was a general air of prosperity throughout the nation. The native arts
of pottery and basket-making were still the principal employment of
the women, and the warriors hunted with such success that a party of
traders brought down thirty wagon loads of skins on one trip. [202]
In dress and house-building the Indian style was practically unchanged.

In pursuance of a civilizing policy, the government had agreed, by the
treaty of 1791, to furnish the Cherokee gratuitously with farming tools
and similar assistance. This policy was continued and broadened to such
an extent that in 1801 Hawkins reports that "in the Cherokee agency,
the wheel, the loom, and the plough is [sic] in pretty general use,
farming, manufactures, and stock raising the topic of conversation
among the men and women." At a conference held this year we find
the chiefs of the mountain towns complaining that the people of the
more western and southwestern settlements had received more than
their share of spinning wheels and cards, and were consequently more
advanced in making their own clothing as well as in farming, to which
the others retorted that these things had been offered to all alike at
the same time, but while the lowland people had been quick to accept,
the mountaineers had hung back. "Those who complain came in late. We
have got the start of them, which we are determined to keep." The
progressives, under John Watts, Doublehead, and Will, threatened to
secede from the rest and leave those east of Chilhowee mountain to
shift for themselves. [203] We see here the germ of dissatisfaction
which led ultimately to the emigration of the western band. Along
with other things of civilization, negro slavery had been introduced
and several of the leading men were now slaveholders (31).

Much of the advance in civilization had been due to the intermarriage
among them of white men, chiefly traders of the ante-Revolutionary
period, with a few Americans from the back settlements. The families
that have made Cherokee history were nearly all of this mixed
descent. The Doughertys, Galpins, and Adairs were from Ireland; the
Rosses, Vanns, and McIntoshes, like the McGillivrays and Graysons
among the Creeks, were of Scottish origin; the Waffords and others
were Americans from Carolina or Georgia, and the father of Sequoya
was a (Pennsylvania?) German. Most of this white blood was of good
stock, very different from the "squaw man" element of the western
tribes. Those of the mixed blood who could afford it usually sent their
children away to be educated, while some built schoolhouses upon their
own grounds and brought in private teachers from the outside. With the
beginning of the present century we find influential mixed bloods in
almost every town, and the civilized idea dominated even the national
councils. The Middle towns, shut in from the outside world by high
mountains, remained a stronghold of Cherokee conservatism.

With the exception of Priber, there seems to be no authentic record of
any missionary worker among the Cherokee before 1800. There is, indeed,
an incidental notice of a Presbyterian minister of North Carolina
being on his way to the tribe in 1758, but nothing seems to have come
of it, and we find him soon after in South Carolina and separated
from his original jurisdiction. [204] The first permanent mission was
established by the Moravians, those peaceful German immigrants whose
teachings were so well exemplified in the lives of Zeisberger and
Heckewelder. As early as 1734, while temporarily settled in Georgia,
they had striven to bring some knowledge of the Christian religion to
the Indians immediately about Savannah, including perhaps some stray
Cherokee. Later on they established missions among the Delawares in
Ohio, where their first Cherokee convert was received in 1773, being
one who had been captured by the Delawares when a boy and had grown
up and married in the tribe. In 1752 they had formed a settlement
on the upper Yadkin, near the present Salem, North Carolina, where
they made friendly acquaintance with the Cherokee. [205] In 1799,
hearing that the Cherokee desired teachers--or perhaps by direct
invitation of the chiefs--two missionaries visited the tribe to
investigate the matter. Another visit was made in the next summer,
and a council was held at Tellico agency, where, after a debate in
which the Indians showed considerable difference of opinion, it was
decided to open a mission. Permission having been obtained from the
government, the work was begun in April, 1801, by Rev. Abraham Steiner
and Rev. Gottlieb Byhan at the residence of David Vann, a prominent
mixed-blood chief, who lodged them in his own house and gave them every
assistance in building the mission, which they afterward called Spring
place, where now is the village of the same name in Murray county,
northwestern Georgia. They were also materially aided by the agent,
Colonel Return J. Meigs (32). It was soon seen that the Cherokee
wanted civilizers for their children, and not new theologies, and
when they found that a school could not at once be opened the great
council at Ustanali sent orders to the missionaries to organize a
school within six months or leave the nation. Through Vann's help
the matter was arranged and a school was opened, several sons of
prominent chiefs being among the pupils. Another Moravian mission
was established by Reverend J. Gambold at Oothcaloga, in the same
county, in 1821. Both were in flourishing condition when broken up,
with other Cherokee missions, by the State of Georgia in 1834. The
work was afterward renewed beyond the Mississippi. [206]

In 1804 the Reverend Gideon Blackburn, a Presbyterian minister of
Tennessee, opened a school among the Cherokee, which continued for
several years until abandoned for lack of funds. [207]

Notwithstanding the promise to the Cherokee in the treaty of 1798
that the Government would "continue the guarantee of the remainder
of their country forever," measures were begun almost immediately to
procure another large cession of land and road privileges. In spite
of the strenuous objection of the Cherokee, who sent a delegation of
prominent chiefs to Washington to protest against any further sales,
such pressure was brought to bear, chiefly through the efforts of
the agent, Colonel Meigs, that the object of the Government was
accomplished, and in 1804 and 1805 three treaties were negotiated at
Tellico agency, by which the Cherokee were shorn of more than eight
thousand square miles of their remaining territory.

By the first of these treaties--October 24, 1804--a purchase
was made of a small tract in northeastern Georgia, known as the
"Wafford settlement," upon which a party led by Colonel Wafford had
located some years before, under the impression that it was outside
the boundary established by the Hopewell treaty. In compensation
the Cherokee were to receive an immediate payment of five thousand
dollars in goods or cash with an additional annuity of one thousand
dollars. By the other treaties--October 25 and 27, 1805--a large tract
was obtained in central Tennessee and Kentucky, extending between
the Cumberland range and the western line of the Hopewell treaty,
and from Cumberland river southwest to Duck river. One section was
also secured at Southwest point (now Kingston, Tennessee) with the
design of establishing there the state capital, which, however, was
located at Nashville instead seven years later. Permission was also
obtained for two mail roads through the Cherokee country into Georgia
and Alabama. In consideration of the cessions by the two treaties
the United States agreed to pay fifteen thousand six hundred dollars
in working implements, goods, or cash, with an additional annuity
of three thousand dollars. To secure the consent of some of the
leading chiefs, the treaty commissioners resorted to the disgraceful
precedent of secret articles, by which several valuable small tracts
were reserved for Doublehead and Tollunteeskee, the agreement being
recorded as a part of the treaty, but not embodied in the copy sent
to the Senate for confirmation. [208] In consequence of continued
abuse of his official position for selfish ends Doublehead was soon
afterward killed in accordance with a decree of the chiefs of the
Nation, Major Ridge being selected as executioner. [209]

By the treaty of October 25, 1805, the settlements in eastern
Tennessee were brought into connection with those about Nashville
on the Cumberland, and the state at last assumed compact form. The
whole southern portion of the state, as defined in the charter, was
still Indian country, and there was a strong and constant pressure
for its opening, the prevailing sentiment being in favor of making
Tennessee river the boundary between the two races. New immigrants
were constantly crowding in from the east, and, as Royce says,
"the desire to settle on Indian land was as potent and insatiable
with the average border settler then as it is now." Almost within two
months of the last treaties another one was concluded at Washington on
January 7, 1806, by which the Cherokee ceded their claim to a large
tract between Duck river and the Tennessee, embracing nearly seven
thousand square miles in Tennessee and Alabama, together with the
Long island (Great island) in Holston river, which up to this time
they had claimed as theirs. They were promised in compensation ten
thousand dollars in five cash installments, a grist mill and cotton
gin, and a life annuity of one hundred dollars for Black-fox, the aged
head chief of the nation. The signers of the instrument, including
Doublehead and Tollunteeskee, were accompanied to Washington by the
same commissioners who had procured the previous treaty. In consequence
of some misunderstanding, the boundaries of the ceded tract were still
further extended in a supplementary treaty concluded at the Chickasaw
Old Fields on the Tennessee, on September 11, 1807. As the country
between Duck river and the Tennessee was claimed also by the Chickasaw,
their title was extinguished by separate treaties. [210] The ostensible
compensation for this last Cherokee cession, as shown by the treaty,
was two thousand dollars, but it was secretly agreed by Agent Meigs
that what he calls a "silent consideration" of one thousand dollars
and some rifles should be given to the chiefs who signed it. [211]

In 1807 Colonel Elias Earle, with the consent of the Government,
obtained a concession from the Cherokee for the establishment of iron
works at the mouth of Chickamauga creek, on the south side of Tennessee
river, to be supplied from ores mined in the Cherokee country. It was
hoped that this would be a considerable step toward the civilization
of the Indians, besides enabling the Government to obtain its supplies
of manufactured iron at a cheaper rate, but after prolonged effort
the project was finally abandoned on account of the refusal of the
state of Tennessee to sanction the grant. [212] In the same year, by
arrangement with the general government, the legislature of Tennessee
attempted to negotiate with the Cherokee for that part of their unceded
lands lying within the state limits, but without success, owing to
the unwillingness of the Indians to part with any more territory,
and their special dislike for the people of Tennessee. [213]

In 1810 the Cherokee national council registered a further advance
in civilization by formally abolishing the custom of clan revenge,
hitherto universal among the tribes. The enactment bears the signatures
of Black-fox (Ina'li), principal chief, and seven others, and reads
as follows:

    In Council, Oostinaleh, April 18, 1810.

    1. Be it known this day, That the various clans or tribes which
    compose the Cherokee nation have unanimously passed an act of
    oblivion for all lives for which they may have been indebted one
    to the other, and have mutually agreed that after this evening
    the aforesaid act shall become binding upon every clan or tribe

    2. The aforesaid clans or tribes have also agreed that if, in
    future, any life should be lost without malice intended, the
    innocent aggressor shall not be accounted guilty; and, should
    it so happen that a brother, forgetting his natural affections,
    should raise his hands in anger and kill his brother, he shall
    be accounted guilty of murder and suffer accordingly.

    3. If a man have a horse stolen, and overtake the thief, and should
    his anger be so great as to cause him to shed his blood, let it
    remain on his own conscience, but no satisfaction shall be required
    for his life, from his relative or clan he may have belonged to.

    By order of the seven clans. [214]

Under an agreement with the Cherokee in 1813 a company composed
of representatives of Tennessee, Georgia, and the Cherokee nation
was organized to lay out a free public road from Tennessee river to
the head of navigation on the Tugaloo branch of Savannah river, with
provision for convenient stopping places along the line. The road was
completed within the next three years, and became the great highway
from the coast to the Tennessee settlements. Beginning on the Tugaloo
or Savannah a short distance below the entrance of Toccoa creek,
it crossed the upper Chattahoochee, passing through Clarkesville,
Nacoochee valley, the Unicoi gap, and Hiwassee in Georgia; then
entering North Carolina it descended the Hiwassee, passing through
Hayesville and Murphy and over the Great Smoky range into Tennessee,
until it reached the terminus at the Cherokee capital, Echota,
on Little Tennessee. It was officially styled the Unicoi turnpike,
[215] but was commonly known in North Carolina as the Wachesa trail,
from Watsi'sa or Wachesa, a prominent Indian who lived near the
crossing-place on Beaverdam creek, below Murphy, this portion of the
road being laid out along the old Indian trail which already bore
that name. [216]

Passing over for the present some negotiations having for their
purpose the removal of the Cherokee to the West, we arrive at the
period of the Creek war.

Ever since the treaty of Greenville it had been the dream of Tecumtha,
the great Shawano chief (33), to weld again the confederacy of the
northern tribes as a barrier against the further aggressions of
the white man. His own burning eloquence was ably seconded by the
subtler persuasion of his brother, who assumed the role of a prophet
with a new revelation, the burden of which was that the Indians must
return to their old Indian life if they would preserve their national
existence. The new doctrine spread among all the northern tribes and
at last reached those of the south, where Tecumtha himself had gone
to enlist the warriors in the great Indian confederacy. The prophets
of the Upper Creeks eagerly accepted the doctrine and in a short time
their warriors were dancing the "dance of the Indians of the lakes." In
anticipation of an expected war with the United States the British
agents in Canada had been encouraging the hostile feeling toward the
Americans by talks and presents of goods and ammunition, while the
Spaniards also covertly fanned the flame of discontent. [217] At the
height of the ferment war was declared between this country and England
on June 28, 1812. Tecumtha, at the head of fifteen hundred warriors,
at once entered the British service with a commission as general,
while the Creeks began murdering and burning along the southern
frontier, after having vainly attempted to secure the cooperation of
the Cherokee.

From the Creeks the new revelation was brought to the Cherokee, whose
priests at once began to dream dreams and to preach a return to the
old life as the only hope of the Indian race. A great medicine dance
was appointed at Ustanali, the national capital, where, after the
dance was over, the doctrine was publicly announced and explained by
a Cherokee prophet introduced by a delegation from Coosawatee. He
began by saying that some of the mountain towns had abused him and
refused to receive his message, but nevertheless he must continue to
bear testimony of his mission whatever might happen. The Cherokee had
broken the road which had been given to their fathers at the beginning
of the world. They had taken the white man's clothes and trinkets,
they had beds and tables and mills; some even had books and cats. All
this was bad, and because of it their gods were angry and the game was
leaving their country. If they would live and be happy as before they
must put off the white man's dress, throw away his mills and looms,
kill their cats, put on paint and buckskin, and be Indians again;
otherwise swift destruction would come upon them.

His speech appealed strongly to the people, who cried out in great
excitement that his talk was good. Of all those present only Major
Ridge, a principal chief, had the courage to stand up and oppose it,
warning his hearers that such talk would inevitably lead to war with
the United States, which would end in their own destruction. The
maddened followers of the prophet sprang upon Ridge and would have
killed him but for the interposition of friends. As it was, he was
thrown down and narrowly escaped with his life, while one of his
defenders was stabbed by his side.

The prophet had threatened after a certain time to invoke a
terrible storm, which should destroy all but the true believers,
who were exhorted to gather for safety on one of the high peaks of
the Great Smoky mountains. In full faith they abandoned their bees,
their orchards, their slaves, and everything that had come to them
from the white man, and took up their toilsome march for the high
mountains. There they waited until the appointed day had come and
passed, showing their hopes and fears to be groundless, when they
sadly returned to their homes and the great Indian revival among the
Cherokee came to an end. [218]

Among the Creeks, where other hostile influences were at work, the
excitement culminated in the Creek war. Several murders and outrages
had already been committed, but it was not until the terrible massacre
at Fort Mims (34), on August 30, 1813, that the whole American nation
was aroused. Through the influence of Ridge and other prominent
chiefs the Cherokee had refused to join the hostile Creeks, and
on the contrary had promised to assist the whites and the friendly
towns. [219] More than a year before the council had sent a friendly
letter to the Creeks warning them against taking the British side in
the approaching war, while several prominent chiefs had proposed to
enlist a Cherokee force for the service of the United States. [220]
Finding that no help, was to be expected from the Cherokee, the Creeks
took occasion to kill a Cherokee woman near the town of Etowah, in
Georgia. With the help of a conjurer the murderers were trailed and
overtaken and killed on the evening of the second day in a thicket
where they had concealed themselves. After this there could be no
alliance between the two tribes. [221]

At the time of the Fort Mims massacre McIntosh (35), the chief of
the friendly Lower Creeks, was visiting the Cherokee, among whom he
had relatives. By order of the Cherokee council he was escorted home
by a delegation under the leadership of Ridge. On his return Ridge
brought with him a request from the Lower Creeks that the Cherokee
would join with them and the Americans in putting down the war. Ridge
himself strongly urged the proposition, declaring that if the prophets
were allowed to have their way the work of civilization would be
destroyed. The council, however, decided not to interfere in the
affairs of other tribes, whereupon Ridge called for volunteers, with
the result that so many of the warriors responded that the council
reversed its decision and declared war against the Creeks. [222]
For a proper understanding of the situation it is necessary to state
that the hostile feeling was confined almost entirely to the Upper
Creek towns on the Tallapoosa, where the prophets of the new religion
had their residence. The half-breed chief, Weatherford (36), was the
leader of the war party. The Lower Creek towns on the Chattahoochee,
under McIntosh, another half-breed chief, were friendly, and acted
with the Cherokee and the Americans against their own brethren.

It is not our purpose to give a history of the Creek war, but only to
note the part which the Cherokee had in it. The friendly Lower Creeks,
under McIntosh, with a few refugees from the Upper towns, operated
chiefly with the army under General Floyd which invaded the southern
part of the Creek country from Georgia. Some friendly Choctaw and
Chickasaw also lent their assistance in this direction. The Cherokee,
with some friendly Creeks of the Upper towns, acted with the armies
under Generals White and Jackson, which entered the Creek country from
the Tennessee side. While some hundreds of their warriors were thus
fighting in the field, the Cherokee at home were busily collecting
provisions for the American troops.

As Jackson approached from the north, about the end of October, 1813,
he was met by runners asking him to come to the aid of Pathkiller,
a Cherokee chief, who was in danger of being cut off by the hostiles,
at his village of Turkeytown, on the upper Coosa, near the present
Center, Alabama. A fresh detachment on its way from east Tennessee,
under General White, was ordered by Jackson to relieve the town,
and successfully performed this work. White's force consisted of one
thousand men, including four hundred Cherokee under Colonel Gideon
Morgan and John Lowrey. [223]

As the army advanced down the Coosa the Creeks retired to
Tallaseehatchee, on the creek of the same name, near the present
Jacksonville, Calhoun county, Alabama. One thousand men under General
Coffee, together with a company of Cherokee under Captain Richard Brown
and some few Creeks, were sent against them. The Indian auxiliaries
wore headdresses of white feathers and deertails. The attack was
made at daybreak of November 3, 1813, and the town was taken after
a desperate resistance, from which not one of the defenders escaped
alive, the Creeks having been completely surrounded on all sides. Says
Coffee in his official report:

    They made all the resistance that an overpowered soldier could
    do--they fought as long as one existed, but their destruction
    was very soon completed. Our men rushed up to the doors of the
    houses and in a few minutes killed the last warrior of them. The
    enemy fought with savage fury and met death with all its horrors,
    without shrinking or complaining--not one asked to be spared,
    but fought as long as they could stand or sit.

Of such fighting stuff did the Creeks prove themselves, against
overwhelming numbers, throughout the war. The bodies of nearly two
hundred dead warriors were counted on the field, and the general
reiterates that "not one of the warriors escaped." A number of women
and children were taken prisoners. Nearly every man of the Creeks had
a bow with a bundle of arrows, which he used after the first fire with
his gun. The American loss was only five killed and forty-one wounded,
which may not include the Indian contingent. [224]

White's advance guard, consisting chiefly of the four hundred other
Cherokee under Morgan and Lowrey, reached Tallaseehatchee the same
evening, only to find it already destroyed. They picked up twenty
wounded Creeks, whom they brought with them to Turkeytown. [225]

The next great battle was at Talladega, on the site of the present
town of the same name, in Talladega county, Alabama, on November 9,
1813. Jackson commanded in person with two thousand infantry and
cavalry. Although the Cherokee are not specifically mentioned they
were a part of the army and must have taken part in the engagement. The
town itself was occupied by friendly Creeks, who were besieged by the
hostiles, estimated at over one thousand warriors on the outside. Here
again the battle was simply a slaughter, the odds being two to one, the
Creeks being also without cover, although they fought so desperately
that at one time the militia was driven back. They left two hundred
and ninety-nine dead bodies on the field, which, according to their
own statement afterwards, was only a part of their total loss. The
Americans lost fifteen killed and eighty-five wounded. [226]

A day or two later the people of Hillabee town, about the site of the
present village of that name in Clay county, Alabama, sent messengers
to Jackson's camp to ask for peace, which that commander immediately
granted. In the meantime, even while the peace messengers were on
their way home with the good news, an army of one thousand men from
east Tennessee under General White, who claimed to be independent
of Jackson's authority, together with four hundred Cherokee under
Colonel Gideon Morgan and John Lowrey, surrounded the town on November
18, 1813, taking it by surprise, the inhabitants having trusted so
confidently to the success of their peace embassy that they had made
no preparation for defense. Sixty warriors were killed and over two
hundred and fifty prisoners taken, with no loss to the Americans, as
there was practically no resistance. In White's official report of the
affair he states that he had sent ahead a part of his force, together
with the Cherokee under Morgan, to surround the town, and adds that
"Colonel Morgan and the Cherokees under his command gave undeniable
evidence that they merit the employ of their government." [227] Not
knowing that the attack had been made without Jackson's sanction or
knowledge, the Creeks naturally concluded that peace overtures were
of no avail, and thenceforth until the close of the war there was no
talk of surrender.

On November 29, 1813, the Georgia army under General Floyd, consisting
of nine hundred and fifty American troops and four hundred friendly
Indians, chiefly Lower Creeks under McIntosh, took and destroyed
Autossee town on the Tallapoosa, west of the present Tuskegee,
killing about two hundred warriors and burning four hundred well-built
houses. On December 23 the Creeks were again defeated by General
Claiborne, assisted by some friendly Choctaws, at Ecanachaca or the
Holy Ground on Alabama river, near the present Benton in Lowndes
county. This town and another a few miles away were also destroyed,
with a great quantity of provisions and other property. [228] It is
doubtful if any Cherokee were concerned in either action.

Before the close of the year Jackson's force in northern Alabama
had been so far reduced by mutinies and expiration of service terms
that he had but one hundred soldiers left and was obliged to employ
the Cherokee to garrison Fort Armstrong, on the upper Coosa, and to
protect his provision depot. [229] With the opening of the new year,
1814, having received reinforcements from Tennessee, together with
about two hundred friendly Creeks and sixty-five more Cherokee,
he left his camp on the Coosa and advanced against the towns on the
Tallapoosa. Learning, on arriving near the river, that he was within a
few miles of the main body of the enemy, he halted for a reconnoissance
and camped in order of battle on Emukfaw creek, on the northern bank
of the Tallapoosa, only a short distance from the famous Horseshoe
bend. Here, on the morning of June 24, 1814, he was suddenly attacked
by the enemy with such fury that, although the troops charged with the
bayonet, the Creeks returned again to the fight and were at last broken
only by the help of the friendly Indians, who came upon them from the
rear. As it was, Jackson was so badly crippled that he retreated to
Fort Strother on the Coosa, carrying his wounded, among them General
Coffee, on horse-hide litters. The Creeks pursued and attacked him
again as he was crossing Enotochopco creek on January 24, but after
a severe fight were driven back with discharges of grapeshot from a
six-pounder at close range. The army then continued its retreat to Fort
Strother. The American loss in these two battles was about one hundred
killed and wounded. The loss of the Creeks was much greater, but they
had compelled a superior force, armed with bayonet and artillery, to
retreat, and without the aid of the friendly Indians it is doubtful
if Jackson could have saved his army from demoralization. The Creeks
themselves claimed a victory and boasted afterward that they had
"whipped Jackson and run him to the Coosa river." Pickett states,
on what seems good authority, that the Creeks engaged did not number
more than five hundred warriors. Jackson had probably at least one
thousand two hundred men, including Indians. [230]

While these events were transpiring in the north, General Floyd again
advanced from Georgia with a force of about one thousand three hundred
Americans and four hundred friendly Indians, but was surprised on
Caleebee creek, near the present Tuskegee, Alabama, on the morning
of January 27, 1814, and compelled to retreat, leaving the enemy in
possession of the field. [231]

We come now to the final event of the Creek war, the terrible battle
of the Horseshoe bend. Having received large reenforcements from
Tennessee, Jackson left a garrison at Fort Strother, and, about the
middle of March, descended the Coosa river to the mouth of Cedar
creek, southeast from the present Columbiana, where he built Fort
Williams. Leaving his stores here with a garrison to protect them,
he began his march for the Horseshoe bend of the Tallapoosa, where the
hostiles were reported to have collected in great force. At this place,
known to the Creeks as Tohopki or Tohopeka, the Tallapoosa made a bend
so as to inclose some eighty or a hundred acres in a narrow peninsula
opening to the north. On the lower side was an island in the river,
and about a mile below was Emukfaw creek, entering from the north,
where Jackson had been driven back two months before. Both locations
were in the present Tallapoosa county, Alabama, within two miles of
the present post village of Tohopeka. Across the neck of the peninsula
the Creeks had built a strong breastwork of logs, behind which were
their houses, and behind these were a number of canoes moored to the
bank for use if retreat became necessary. The fort was defended by a
thousand warriors, with whom were also about three hundred women and
children. Jackson's force numbered about two thousand men, including,
according to his own statement, five hundred Cherokee. He had also
two small cannon. The account of the battle, or rather massacre,
which occurred on the morning of March 27, 1814, is best condensed
from the official reports of the principal commanders.

Having arrived in the neighborhood of the fort, Jackson disposed his
men for the attack by detailing General Coffee with the mounted men
and nearly the whole of the Indian force to cross the river at a ford
about three miles below and surround the bend in such manner that none
could escape in that direction. He himself, with the rest of his force,
advanced to the front of the breastwork and planted his cannon upon a
slight rise within eighty yards of the fortification. He then directed
a heavy cannonade upon the center of the breastwork, while the rifles
and muskets kept up a galling fire upon the defenders whenever they
showed themselves behind the logs. The breastwork was very strongly
and compactly built, from five to eight feet high, with a double row
of portholes, and so planned that no enemy could approach without being
exposed to a crossfire from those on the inside. After about two hours
of cannonading and rifle fire to no great purpose, "Captain Russell's
company of spies and a party of the Cherokee force, headed by their
gallant chieftain, Colonel Richard Brown, and conducted by the brave
Colonel Morgan, crossed over to the peninsula in canoes and set fire
to a few of their buildings there situated. They then advanced with
great gallantry toward the breastwork and commenced firing upon the
enemy, who lay behind it. Finding that this force, notwithstanding
the determination they displayed, was wholly insufficient to dislodge
the enemy, and that General Coffee had secured the opposite banks of
the river, I now determined on taking possession of their works by
storm." [232]

Coffee's official report to his commanding officer states that he had
taken seven hundred mounted troops and about six hundred Indians,
of whom five hundred were Cherokee and the rest friendly Creeks,
and had come in behind, having directed the Indians to take position
secretly along the bank of the river to prevent the enemy crossing,
as already noted. This was done, but with fighting going on so near
at hand the Indians could not remain quiet. Continuing, Coffee says:

    The firing of your cannon and small arms in a short time became
    general and heavy, which animated our Indians, and seeing about
    one hundred of the warriors and all the squaws and children of the
    enemy running about among the huts of the village, which was open
    to our view, they could no longer remain silent spectators. While
    some kept up a fire across the river to prevent the enemy's
    approach to the bank, others plunged into the water and swam
    the river for canoes that lay at the other shore in considerable
    numbers and brought them over, in which crafts a number of them
    embarked and landed on the bend with the enemy. Colonel Gideon
    Morgan, who commanded the Cherokees, Captain Kerr, and Captain
    William Russell, with a part of his company of spies, were among
    the first that crossed the river. They advanced into the village
    and very soon drove the enemy from the huts up the river bank
    to the fortified works from which they were fighting you. They
    pursued and continued to annoy during your whole action. This
    movement of my Indian forces left the river bank unguarded and
    made it necessary that I should send a part of my line to take
    possession of the river bank. [233]

According to the official report of Colonel Morgan, who commanded
the Cherokee and who was himself severely wounded, the Cherokee took
the places assigned them along the bank in such regular order that no
part was left unoccupied, and the few fugitives who attempted to escape
from the fort by water "fell an easy prey to their vengeance." Finally,
seeing that the cannonade had no more effect upon the breastwork than
to bore holes in the logs, some of the Cherokee plunged into the river,
and swimming over to the town brought back a number of canoes. A
part crossed in these, under cover of the guns of their companions,
and sheltered themselves under the bank while the canoes were sent back
for reenforcements. In this way they all crossed over and then advanced
up the bank, where at once they were warmly assailed from every side
except the rear, which they kept open only by hard fighting. [234]

The Creeks had been fighting the Americans in their front at such
close quarters that their bullets flattened upon the bayonets
thrust through the portholes. This attack from the rear by five
hundred Cherokee diverted their attention and gave opportunity to the
Tennesseeans, Sam Houston among them, cheering them on, to swarm over
the breastwork. With death from the bullet, the bayonet and the hatchet
all around them, and the smoke of their blazing homes in their eyes,
not a warrior begged for his life. When more than half their number
lay dead upon the ground, the rest turned and plunged into the river,
only to find the banks on the opposite side lined with enemies and
escape cut off in every direction. Says General Coffee:

    Attempts to cross the river at all points of the bend were made
    by the enemy, but not one ever escaped. Very few ever reached
    the bank and that few was killed the instant they landed. From
    the report of my officers, as well as from my own observation,
    I feel warranted in saying that from two hundred and fifty to
    three hundred of the enemy was buried under water and was not
    numbered with the dead that were found.

Some swam for the island below the bend, but here too a detachment
had been posted and "not one ever landed. They were sunk by Lieutenant
Bean's command ere they reached the bank." [235]

Quoting again from Jackson--

    The enemy, although many of them fought to the last with that
    kind of bravery which desperation inspires, were at last entirely
    routed and cut to pieces. The battle may be said to have continued
    with severity for about five hours, but the firing and slaughter
    continued until it was suspended by the darkness of night. The
    next morning it was resumed and sixteen of the enemy slain who
    had concealed themselves under the banks. [236]

It was supposed that the Creeks had about a thousand warriors,
besides their women and children. The men sent out to count the dead
found five hundred and fifty-seven warriors lying dead within the
inclosure, and Coffee estimates that from two hundred and fifty to
three hundred were shot in the water. How many more there may have
been can not be known, but Jackson himself states that not more than
twenty could have escaped. There is no mention of any wounded. About
three hundred prisoners were taken, of whom only three were men. The
defenders of the Horseshoe had been exterminated. [237]

On the other side the loss was 26 Americans killed and 107 wounded,
18 Cherokee killed and 36 wounded, 5 friendly Creeks killed and 11
wounded. It will be noted that the loss of the Cherokee was out of
all proportion to their numbers, their fighting having been hand to
hand work without protecting cover. In view of the fact that Jackson
had only a few weeks before been compelled to retreat before this same
enemy, and that two hours of artillery and rifle fire had produced no
result until the Cherokee turned the rear of the enemy by their daring
passage of the river, there is considerable truth in the boast of the
Cherokee that they saved the day for Jackson at Horseshoe bend. In
the number of men actually engaged and the immense proportion killed,
this ranks as the greatest Indian battle in the history of the United
States, with the possible exception of the battle of Mauvila, fought
by the same Indians in De Soto's time. The result was decisive. Two
weeks later Weatherford came in and surrendered, and the Creek war
was at an end.

As is usual where Indians have acted as auxiliaries of white troops,
it is difficult to get an accurate statement of the number of Cherokee
engaged in this war or to apportion the credit among the various
leaders. Coffee's official report states that five hundred Cherokee
were engaged in the last great battle, and from incidental hints
it seems probable that others were employed elsewhere, on garrison
duty or otherwise, at the same time. McKenney and Hall state that
Ridge recruited eight hundred warriors for Jackson, [238] and this
may be near the truth, as the tribe had then at least six times as
many fighting men. On account of the general looseness of Indian
organization we commonly find the credit claimed for whichever chief
may be best known to the chronicler. Thus, McKenney and Hall make
Major Ridge the hero of the war, especially of the Horseshoe fight,
although he is not mentioned in the official reports. Jackson speaks
particularly of the Cherokee in that battle as being "headed by their
gallant chieftain, Colonel Richard Brown, and conducted by the brave
Colonel Morgan." Coffee says that Colonel Gideon Morgan "commanded
the Cherokees," and it is Morgan who makes the official report of
their part in the battle. In a Washington newspaper notice of the
treaty delegation of 1816 the six signers are mentioned as Colonel
[John] Lowrey, Major [John] Walker, Major Ridge, Captain [Richard]
Taylor, Adjutant [John] Ross, and Kunnesee (Tsi'yu-gûnsi'ni,
Cheucunsene) and are described as men of cultivation, nearly all
of whom had served as officers of the Cherokee forces with Jackson
and distinguished themselves as well by their bravery as by their
attachment to the United States. [239] Among the East Cherokee in
Carolina the only name still remembered is that of their old chief,
Junaluska (Tsunu'lahuñ'ski), who said afterward: "If I had known that
Jackson would drive us from our homes I would have killed him that
day at the Horseshoe."

The Cherokee returned to their homes to find them despoiled and ravaged
in their absence by disorderly white troops. Two years afterward, by
treaty at Washington, the Government agreed to reimburse them for the
damage. Interested parties denied that they had suffered any damage
or rendered any services, to which their agent indignantly replied:
"It may be answered that thousands witnessed both; that in nearly all
the battles with the Creeks the Cherokees rendered the most efficient
service, and at the expense of the lives of many fine men, whose wives
and children and brothers and sisters are mourning their fall." [240]

In the spring of 1816 a delegation of seven principal men, accompanied
by Agent Meigs, visited Washington, and the result was the negotiation
of two treaties at that place on the same date, March 22, 1816. By the
first of these the Cherokee ceded for five thousand dollars their last
remaining territory in South Carolina, a small strip in the extreme
northwestern corner, adjoining Chattooga river. By the second treaty a
boundary was established between the lands claimed by the Cherokee and
Creeks in northern Alabama. This action was made necessary in order
to determine the boundaries of the great tract which the Creeks had
been compelled to surrender in punishment for their late uprising. The
line was run from a point on Little Bear creek in northwestern Alabama
direct to the Ten islands of the Coosa at old Fort Strother, southeast
of the present Asheville. General Jackson protested strongly against
this line, on the ground that all the territory south of Tennessee
river and west of the Coosa belonged to the Creeks and was a part
of their cession. The Chickasaw also protested against considering
this tract as Cherokee territory. The treaty also granted free and
unrestricted road privileges throughout the Cherokee country, this
concession being the result of years of persistent effort on the part
of the Government; and an appropriation of twenty-five thousand five
hundred dollars was made for damages sustained by the Cherokee from
the depredations of the troops passing through their country during
the Creek war. [241]

At the last treaty the Cherokee had resisted every effort to induce
them to cede more land on either side of the Tennessee, the Government
being especially desirous to extinguish their claim north of that
river within the limits of the state of Tennessee. Failing in this,
pressure was at once begun to bring about a cession in Alabama,
with the result that on September 14 of the same year a treaty was
concluded at the Chickasaw council-house, and afterward ratified in
general council at Turkeytown on the Coosa, by which the Cherokee
ceded all their claims in that state south of Tennessee river and west
of an irregular line running from Chickasaw island in that stream,
below the entrance of Flint river, to the junction of Wills creek
with the Coosa, at the present Gadsden. For this cession, embracing
an area of nearly three thousand five hundred square miles, they were
to receive sixty thousand dollars in ten annual payments, together
with five thousand dollars for the improvements abandoned. [242]

We turn aside now for a time from the direct narrative to note the
development of events which culminated in the forced expatriation of
the Cherokee from their ancestral homes and their removal to the far
western wilderness.

With a few notable exceptions the relations between the French and
Spanish colonists and the native tribes, after the first occupation of
the country, had been friendly and agreeable. Under the rule of France
or Spain there was never any Indian boundary. Pioneer and Indian built
their cabins and tilled their fields side by side, ranged the woods
together, knelt before the same altar and frequently intermarried on
terms of equality, so far as race was concerned. The result is seen
to-day in the mixed-blood communities of Canada, and in Mexico,
where a nation has been built upon an Indian foundation. Within
the area of English colonization it was otherwise. From the first
settlement to the recent inauguration of the allotment system it
never occurred to the man of Teutonic blood that he could have for
a neighbor anyone not of his own stock and color. While the English
colonists recognized the native proprietorship so far as to make
treaties with the Indians, it was chiefly for the purpose of fixing
limits beyond which the Indian should never come after he had once
parted with his title for a consideration of goods and trinkets. In
an early Virginia treaty it was even stipulated that friendly Indians
crossing the line should suffer death. The Indian was regarded as an
incumbrance to be cleared off, like the trees and the wolves, before
white men could live in the country. Intermarriages were practically
unknown, and the children of such union were usually compelled by
race antipathy to cast their lot with the savage.

Under such circumstances the tribes viewed the advance of the English
and their successors, the Americans, with keen distrust, and as early
as the close of the French and Indian war we find some of them removing
from the neighborhood of the English settlements to a safer shelter
in the more remote territories still held by Spain. Soon after the
French withdrew from Fort Toulouse, in 1763, a part of the Alabama,
an incorporated tribe of the Creek confederacy, left their villages
on the Coosa, and crossing the Mississippi, where they halted for a
time on its western bank, settled on the Sabine river under Spanish
protection. [243] They were followed some years later by a part of the
Koasati, of the same confederacy, [244] the two tribes subsequently
drifting into Texas, where they now reside. The Hichitee and others of
the Lower Creeks moved down into Spanish Florida, where the Yamassee
exiles from South Carolina had long before preceded them, the two
combining to form the modern Seminole tribe. When the Revolution
brought about a new line of division, the native tribes, almost without
exception, joined sides with England as against the Americans, with
the result that about one-half the Iroquois fled to Canada, where they
still reside upon lands granted by the British government. A short
time before Wayne's victory a part of the Shawano and Delawares, worn
out by nearly twenty years of battle with the Americans, crossed the
Mississippi and settled, by permission of the Spanish government, upon
lands in the vicinity of Cape Girardeau, in what is now southeastern
Missouri, for which they obtained a regular deed from that government
in 1793. [245] Driven out by the Americans some twenty years later,
they removed to Kansas and thence to Indian territory, where they
are now incorporated with their old friends, the Cherokee.

When the first Cherokee crossed the Mississippi it is impossible
to say, but there was probably never a time in the history of the
tribe when their warriors and hunters were not accustomed to make
excursions beyond the great river. According to an old tradition,
the earliest emigration took place soon after the first treaty with
Carolina, when a portion of the tribe, under the leadership of
Yûñwi-usga'se`ti, "Dangerous-man," foreseeing the inevitable end
of yielding to the demands of the colonists, refused to have any
relations with the white man, and took up their long march for the
unknown West. Communication was kept up with the home body until
after crossing the Mississippi, when they were lost sight of and
forgotten. Long years afterward a rumor came from the west that
they were still living near the base of the Rocky mountains. [246]
In 1782 the Cherokee, who had fought faithfully on the British side
throughout the long Revolutionary struggle, applied to the Spanish
governor at New Orleans for permission to settle on the west side of
the Mississippi, within Spanish territory. Permission was granted,
and it is probable that some of them removed to the Arkansas country,
although there seems to be no definite record of the matter. [247]
We learn incidentally, however, that about this period the hostile
Cherokee, like the Shawano and other northern tribes, were in the habit
of making friendly visits to the Spanish settlements in that quarter.

According to Reverend Cephas Washburn, the pioneer missionary of the
western Cherokee, the first permanent Cherokee settlement beyond
the Mississippi was the direct result of the massacre, in 1794,
of the Scott party at Muscle shoals, on Tennessee river, by the
hostile warriors of the Chickamauga towns, in the summer. As told
by the missionary, the story differs considerably from that given
by Haywood and other Tennessee historians, narrated in another
place. [248] According to Washburn, the whites were the aggressors,
having first made the Indians drunk and then swindled them out of the
annuity money with which they were just returning from the agency at
Tellico. When the Indians became sober enough to demand the return of
their money the whites attacked and killed two of them, whereupon the
others boarded the boat and killed every white man. They spared the
women and children, however, with their negro slaves and all their
personal belongings, and permitted them to continue on their way, the
chief and his party personally escorting them down Tennessee, Ohio,
and Mississippi rivers as far as the mouth of the St. Francis, whence
the emigrants descended in safety to New Orleans, while their captors,
under their chief, The Bowl, went up St. Francis river--then a part
of Spanish territory--to await the outcome of the event. As soon as
the news came to the Cherokee Nation the chiefs formally repudiated
the action of the Bowl party and volunteered to assist in arresting
those concerned. Bowl and his men were finally exonerated, but had
conceived such bitterness at the conduct of their former friends, and,
moreover, had found the soil so rich and the game so abundant where
they were, that they refused to return to their tribe and decided to
remain permanently in the West. Others joined them from time to time,
attracted by the hunting prospect, until they were in sufficient
number to obtain recognition from the Government. [249]

While the missionary may be pardoned for making the best showing
possible for his friends, his statement contains several evident
errors, and it is probable that Haywood's account is more correct
in the main. As the Cherokee annuity at that time amounted to but
fifteen hundred dollars for the whole tribe, or somewhat less than
ten cents per head, they could hardly have had enough money from that
source to pay such extravagant prices as sixteen dollars apiece for
pocket-mirrors, which it is alleged the boatmen obtained. Moreover,
as the Chickamauga warriors had refused to sign any treaties and
were notoriously hostile, they were not as yet entitled to receive
payments. Haywood's statement that the emigrant party was first
attacked while passing the Chickamauga towns and then pursued to
the Muscle shoals and there massacred is probably near the truth,
although it is quite possible that the whites may have provoked
the attack in some such way as is indicated by the missionary. As
Washburn got his account from one of the women of the party, living
long afterward in New Orleans, it is certain that some at least were
spared by the Indians, and it is probable that, as he states, only
the men were killed.

The Bowl emigration may not have been the first, or even the
most important removal to the western country, as the period was
one of Indian unrest. Small bands were constantly crossing the
Mississippi into Spanish territory to avoid the advancing Americans,
only to find themselves again under American jurisdiction when the
whole western country was ceded to the United States in 1803. The
persistent land-hunger of the settler could not be restrained or
satisfied, and early in the same year President Jefferson suggested
to Congress the desirability of removing all the tribes to the west
of the Mississippi. In the next year, 1804, an appropriation was made
for taking preliminary steps toward such a result. [250] There were
probably but few Cherokee on the Arkansas at this time, as they are
not mentioned in Sibley's list of tribes south of that river in 1805.

In the summer of 1808, a Cherokee delegation being about to visit
Washington, their agent, Colonel Meigs, was instructed by the
Secretary of War to use every effort to obtain their consent to
an exchange of their lands for a tract beyond the Mississippi. By
this time the government's civilizing policy, as carried out in the
annual distribution of farming tools, spinning wheels, and looms,
had wrought a considerable difference of habit and sentiment between
the northern and southern Cherokee. Those on Little Tennessee and
Hiwassee were generally farmers and stock raisers, producing also a
limited quantity of cotton, which the women wove into cloth. Those
farther down in Georgia and Alabama, the old hostile element, still
preferred the hunting life and rejected all effort at innovation,
although the game had now become so scarce that it was evident a
change must soon come. Jealousies had arisen in consequence, and the
delegates representing the progressive element now proposed to the
government that a line be run through the nation to separate the
two parties, allowing those on the north to divide their lands in
severalty and become citizens of the United States, while those on
the south might continue to be hunters as long as the game should
last. Taking advantage of this condition of affairs, the government
authorities instructed the agent to submit to the conservatives a
proposition for a cession of their share of the tribal territory
in return for a tract west of the Mississippi of sufficient area to
enable them to continue the hunting life. The plan was approved by
President Jefferson, and a sum was appropriated to pay the expenses
of a delegation to visit and inspect the lands on Arkansas and White
rivers, with a view to removal. The visit was made in the summer
of 1809, and the delegates brought back such favorable report that
a large number of Cherokee signified their intention to remove at
once. As no funds were then available for their removal, the matter
was held in abeyance for several years, during which period families
and individuals removed to the western country at their own expense
until, before the year 1817, they numbered in all two or three thousand
souls. [251] They became known as the Arkansas, or Western, Cherokee.

The emigrants soon became involved in difficulties with the native
tribes, the Osage claiming all the lands north of Arkansas river,
while the Quapaw claimed those on the south. Upon complaining to the
government the emigrant Cherokee were told that they had originally
been permitted to remove only on condition of a cession of a portion
of their eastern territory, and that nothing could be done to protect
them in their new western home until such cession had been carried
out. The body of the Cherokee Nation, however, was strongly opposed
to any such sale and proposed that the emigrants should be compelled
to return. After protracted negotiation a treaty was concluded at the
Cherokee agency (now Calhoun, Tennessee) on July 8, 1817, by which the
Cherokee Nation ceded two considerable tracts--the first in Georgia,
lying east of the Chattahoochee, and the other in Tennessee, between
Waldens ridge and the Little Sequatchee--as an equivalent for a tract
to be assigned to those who had already removed, or intended to remove,
to Arkansas. Two smaller tracts on the north bank of the Tennessee,
in the neighborhood of the Muscle shoals, were also ceded. In return
for these cessions the emigrant Cherokee were to receive a tract
within the present limits of the state of Arkansas, bounded on the
north and south by White river and Arkansas river, respectively, on
the east by a line running between those streams approximately from
the present Batesville to Lewisburg, and on the west by a line to
be determined later. As afterward established, this western line ran
from the junction of the Little North Fork with White river to just
beyond the point where the present western Arkansas boundary strikes
Arkansas river. Provision was made for taking the census of the whole
Cherokee nation east and west in order to apportion annuities and
other payments properly in the future, and the two bands were still
to be considered as forming one people. The United States agreed to
pay for any substantial improvements abandoned by those removing
from the ceded lands, and each emigrant warrior who left no such
valuable property behind was to be given as full compensation for
his abandoned field and cabin a rifle and ammunition, a blanket, and
a kettle or a beaver trap. The government further agreed to furnish
boats and provisions for the journey. Provision was also made that
individuals residing upon the ceded lands might retain allotments and
become citizens, if they so elected, the amount of the allotment to
be deducted from the total cession.

The commissioners for the treaty were General Andrew Jackson, General
David Meriwether, and Governor Joseph McMinn of Tennessee. On behalf of
the Cherokee it was signed by thirty-one principal men of the eastern
Nation and fifteen of the western band, who signed by proxy. [252]

The majority of the Cherokee were bitterly opposed to any cession or
removal project, and before the treaty had been concluded a memorial
signed by sixty-seven chiefs and headmen of the nation was presented
to the commissioners, which stated that the delegates who had first
broached the subject in Washington some years before had acted without
any authority from the nation. They declared that the great body of
the Cherokee desired to remain in the land of their birth, where they
were rapidly advancing in civilization, instead of being compelled to
revert to their original savage conditions and surroundings. They
therefore prayed that the matter might not be pressed further,
but that they might be allowed to remain in peaceable possession of
the land of their fathers. No attention was paid to the memorial,
and the treaty was carried through and ratified. Without waiting for
the ratification, the authorities at once took steps for the removal
of those who desired to go to the West. Boats were provided at points
between Little Tennessee and Sequatchee rivers, and the emigrants were
collected under the direction of Governor McMinn. Within the next
year a large number had emigrated, and before the end of 1819 the
number of emigrants was said to have increased to six thousand. The
chiefs of the nation, however, claimed that the estimate was greatly
in excess of the truth. [253]

"There can be no question that a very large portion, and probably a
majority, of the Cherokee nation residing east of the Mississippi had
been and still continued bitterly opposed to the terms of the treaty of
1817. They viewed with jealous and aching hearts all attempts to drive
them from the homes of their ancestors, for they could not but consider
the constant and urgent importunities of the federal authorities in the
light of an imperative demand for the cession of more territory. They
felt that they were, as a nation, being slowly but surely compressed
within the contracting coils of the giant anaconda of civilization;
yet they held to the vain hope that a spirit of justice and mercy
would be born of their helpless condition which would finally
prevail in their favor. Their traditions furnished them no guide
by which to judge of the results certain to follow such a conflict
as that in which they were engaged. This difference of sentiment in
the nation upon a subject so vital to their welfare was productive
of much bitterness and violent animosities. Those who had favored
the emigration scheme and had been induced, either through personal
preference or by the subsidizing influences of the government agents,
to favor the conclusion of the treaty, became the object of scorn and
hatred to the remainder of the nation. They were made the subjects
of a persecution so relentless, while they remained in the eastern
country, that it was never forgotten, and when, in the natural course
of events, the remainder of the nation was forced to remove to the
Arkansas country and join the earlier emigrants, the old hatreds and
dissensions broke out afresh, and to this day they find lodgment in
some degree in the breasts of their descendants." [254]

Two months after the signing of the treaty of July 8, 1817, and
three months before its ratification, a council of the nation sent
a delegation to Washington to recount in detail the improper methods
and influences which had been used to consummate it, and to ask that
it be set aside and another agreement substituted. The mission was
without result. [255]

In 1817 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
established its first station among the Cherokee at Brainerd, in
Tennessee, on the west side of Chickamauga creek, two miles from
the Georgia line. The mission took its name from a distinguished
pioneer worker among the northern tribes (37). The government aided
in the erection of the buildings, which included a schoolhouse,
gristmill, and workshops, in which, besides the ordinary branches,
the boys were taught simple mechanic arts while the girls learned the
use of the needle and the spinningwheel. There was also a large work
farm. The mission prospered and others were established at Willstown,
Hightower, and elsewhere by the same board, in which two hundred pupils
were receiving instruction in 1820. [256] Among the earliest and most
noted workers at the Brainerd mission were Reverend D. S. Buttrick and
Reverend S. A. Worcester (38), the latter especially having done much
for the mental elevation of the Cherokee, and more than once having
suffered imprisonment for his zeal in defending their cause. The
missions flourished until broken up by the state of Georgia at the
beginning of the Removal troubles, and they were afterwards renewed
in the western country. Mission ridge preserves the memory of the
Brainerd establishment.

Early in 1818 a delegation of emigrant Cherokee visited Washington
for the purpose of securing a more satisfactory determination of
the boundaries of their new lands on the Arkansas. Measures were
soon afterward taken for that purpose. They also asked recognition
in the future as a separate and distinct tribe, but nothing was done
in the matter. In order to remove, if possible, the hostile feeling
between the emigrants and the native Osage, who regarded the former
as intruders, Governor William Clark, superintendent of Indian affairs
for Missouri, arranged a conference of the chiefs of the two tribes at
St. Louis in October of that year, at which, after protracted effort,
he succeeded in establishing friendly relations between them. Efforts
were made about the same time, both by the emigrant Cherokee and by
the government, to persuade the Shawano and Delawares then residing in
Missouri, and the Oneida in New York, to join the western Cherokee,
but nothing came of the negotiations. [257] In 1825 a delegation of
western Cherokee visited the Shawano in Ohio for the same purpose,
but without success. Their object in thus inviting friendly Indians
to join them was to strengthen themselves against the Osage and other
native tribes.

In the meantime the government, through Governor McMinn, was bringing
strong pressure to bear upon the eastern Cherokee to compel their
removal to the West. At a council convened by him in November, 1818,
the governor represented to the chiefs that it was now no longer
possible to protect them from the encroachments of the surrounding
white population; that, however the government might wish to help them,
their lands would be taken, their stock stolen, their women corrupted,
and their men made drunkards unless they removed to the western
paradise. He ended by proposing to pay them one hundred thousand
dollars for their whole territory, with the expense of removal, if
they would go at once. Upon their prompt and indignant refusal he
offered to double the amount, but with as little success.

Every point of the negotiation having failed, another course was
adopted, and a delegation was selected to visit Washington under the
conduct of Agent Meigs. Here the effort was renewed until, wearied
and discouraged at the persistent importunity, the chiefs consented
to a large cession, which was represented as necessary in order to
compensate in area for the tract assigned to the emigrant Cherokee in
Arkansas in accordance with the previous treaty. This estimate was
based on the figures given by Governor McMinn, who reported 5,291
Cherokee enrolled as emigrants, while the eastern Cherokee claimed
that not more than 3,500 had removed and that those remaining numbered
12,544, or more than three-fourths of the whole nation. The governor,
however, chose to consider one-half of the nation as in favor of
removal and one-third as having already removed. [258]

The treaty, concluded at Washington on February 27, 1819, recites
that the greater part of the Cherokee nation, having expressed an
earnest desire to remain in the East, and being anxious to begin
the necessary measures for the civilization and preservation of
their nation, and to settle the differences arising out of the
treaty of 1817, have offered to cede to the United States a tract
of country "at least as extensive" as that to which the Government
is entitled under the late treaty. The cession embraces (1) a tract
in Alabama and Tennessee, between Tennessee and Flint rivers; (2)
a tract in Tennessee, between Tennessee river and Waldens ridge; (3)
a large irregular tract in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia,
embracing in Tennessee nearly all the remaining Cherokee lands
north of Hiwassee river, and in North Carolina and Georgia nearly
everything remaining to them east of the Nantahala mountains and
the upper western branch of the Chattahoochee; (4) six small pieces
reserved by previous treaties. The entire cession aggregated nearly
six thousand square miles, or more than one-fourth of all then held
by the nation. Individual reservations of one mile square each within
the ceded area were allowed to a number of families which decided
to remain among the whites and become citizens rather than abandon
their homes. Payment was to be made for all substantial improvements
abandoned, one-third of all tribal annuities were hereafter to be
paid to the western band, and the treaty was declared to be a final
adjustment of all claims and differences arising from the treaty of
1817. [259]

Civilization had now progressed so far among the Cherokee that in
the fall of 1820 they adopted a regular republican form of government
modeled after that of the United States. Under this arrangement the
nation was divided into eight districts, each of which was entitled
to send four representatives to the Cherokee national legislature,
which met at Newtown, or New Echota, the capital, at the junction of
Conasauga and Coosawatee rivers, a few miles above the present Calhoun,
Georgia. The legislature consisted of an upper and a lower house,
designated, respectively (in the Cherokee language), the national
committee and national council, the members being elected for limited
terms by the voters of each district. The principal officer was styled
president of the national council; the distinguished John Ross was
the first to hold this office. There was also a clerk of the committee
and two principal members to express the will of the council or lower
house. For each district there were appointed a council house for
meetings twice a year, a judge, and a marshal. Companies of "light
horse" were organized to assist in the execution of the laws, with a
"ranger" for each district to look after stray stock. Each head of
a family and each single man under the age of sixty was subject to
a poll tax. Laws were passed for the collection of taxes and debts,
for repairs on roads, for licenses to white persons engaged in farming
or other business in the nation, for the support of schools, for the
regulation of the liquor traffic and the conduct of negro slaves,
to punish horse stealing and theft, to compel all marriages between
white men and Indian women to be according to regular legal or church
form, and to discourage polygamy. By special decree the right of blood
revenge or capital punishment was taken from the seven clans and vested
in the constituted authorities of the nation. It was made treason,
punishable with death, for any individual to negotiate the sale
of lands to the whites without the consent of the national council
(39). White men were not allowed to vote or to hold office in the
nation. [260] The system compared favorably with that of the Federal
government or of any state government then existing.

At this time there were five principal missions, besides one or two
small branch establishments in the nation, viz: Spring Place, the
oldest, founded by the Moravians at Spring place, Georgia, in 1801;
Oothcaloga, Georgia, founded by the same denomination in 1821 on the
creek of that name, near the present Calhoun; Brainerd, Tennessee,
founded by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
in 1817; "Valley-towns," North Carolina, founded by the Baptists in
1820, on the site of the old Natchez town on the north side of Hiwassee
river, just above Peachtree creek; Coosawatee, Georgia ("Tensawattee,"
by error in the State Papers), founded also by the Baptists in 1821,
near the mouth of the river of that name. All were in flourishing
condition, the Brainerd establishment especially, with nearly one
hundred pupils, being obliged to turn away applicants for lack of
accommodation. The superintendent reported that the children were apt
to learn, willing to labor, and readily submissive to discipline,
adding that the Cherokee were fast advancing toward civilized life
and generally manifested an ardent desire for instruction. The
Valley-towns mission, established at the instance of Currahee Dick,
a prominent local mixed-blood chief, was in charge of the Reverend
Evan Jones, known as the translator of the New Testament into the
Cherokee language, his assistant being James D. Wafford, a mixed-blood
pupil, who compiled a spelling book in the same language. Reverend
S. A. Worcester, a prolific translator and the compiler of the Cherokee
almanac and other works, was stationed at Brainerd, removing thence to
New Echota and afterward to the Cherokee Nation in the West. [261]
Since 1817 the American Board had also supported at Cornwall,
Connecticut, an Indian school at which a number of young Cherokee
were being educated, among them being Elias Boudinot, afterward the
editor of the Cherokee Phoenix.

About this time occurred an event which at once placed the Cherokee in
the front rank among native tribes and was destined to have profound
influence on their whole future history, viz., the invention of
the alphabet.

The inventor, aptly called the Cadmus of his race, was a mixed-blood
known among his own people as Sikwâ'yi (Sequoya) and among the whites
as George Gist, or less correctly Guest or Guess. As is usually the
case in Indian biography much uncertainty exists in regard to his
parentage and early life. Authorities generally agree that his father
was a white man, who drifted into the Cherokee Nation some years before
the Revolution and formed a temporary alliance with a Cherokee girl
of mixed blood, who thus became the mother of the future teacher. A
writer in the Cherokee Phoenix, in 1828, says that only his paternal
grandfather was a white man. [262] McKenney and Hall say that his
father was a white man named Gist. [263] Phillips asserts that his
father was George Gist, an unlicensed German trader from Georgia,
who came into the Cherokee Nation in 1768. [264] By a Kentucky family
it is claimed that Sequoya's father was Nathaniel Gist, son of the
scout who accompanied Washington on his memorable excursion to the
Ohio. As the story goes, Nathaniel Gist was captured by the Cherokee
at Braddock's defeat (1755) and remained a prisoner with them for
six years, during which time he became the father of Sequoya. On
his return to civilization he married a white woman in Virginia,
by whom he had other children, and afterward removed to Kentucky,
where Sequoya, then a Baptist preacher, frequently visited him and
was always recognized by the family as his son. [265]

Aside from the fact that the Cherokee acted as allies of the English
during the war in which Braddock's defeat occurred, and that Sequoya,
so far from being a preacher, was not even a Christian, the story
contains other elements of improbability and appears to be one of
those genealogical myths built upon a chance similarity of name. On
the other hand, it is certain that Sequoya was born before the date
that Phillips allows. On his mother's side he was of good family in the
tribe, his uncle being a chief in Echota. [266] According to personal
information of James Wafford, who knew him well, being his second
cousin, Sequoya was probably born about the year 1760, and lived as
a boy with his mother at Tuskegee town in Tennessee, just outside
of old Fort Loudon. It is quite possible that his white father may
have been a soldier of the garrison, one of those lovers for whom the
Cherokee women risked their lives during the siege. [267] What became
of the father is not known, but the mother lived alone with her son.

The only incident of his boyhood that has come down to us is his
presence at Echota during the visit of the Iroquois peace delegation,
about the year 1770. [268] His early years were spent amid the stormy
alarms of the Revolution, and as he grew to manhood he developed a
considerable mechanical ingenuity, especially in silver working. Like
most of his tribe he was also a hunter and fur trader. Having nearly
reached middle age before the first mission was established in the
Nation, he never attended school and in all his life never learned
to speak, read, or write the English language. Neither did he ever
abandon his native religion, although from frequent visits to the
Moravian mission he became imbued with a friendly feeling toward the
new civilization. Of an essentially contemplative disposition, he
was led by a chance conversation in 1809 to reflect upon the ability
of the white men to communicate thought by means of writing, with
the result that he set about devising a similar system for his own
people. By a hunting accident, which rendered him a cripple for life,
he was fortunately afforded more leisure for study. The presence of his
name, George Guess, appended to a treaty of 1816, indicates that he was
already of some prominence in the Nation, even before the perfection
of his great invention. After years of patient and unremitting
labor in the face of ridicule, discouragement, and repeated failure,
he finally evolved the Cherokee syllabary and in 1821 submitted it
to a public test by the leading men of the Nation. By this time, in
consequence of repeated cessions, the Cherokee had been dispossessed
of the country about Echota, and Sequoya was now living at Willstown,
on an upper branch of Coosa river, in Alabama. The syllabary was soon
recognized as an invaluable invention for the elevation of the tribe,
and within a few months thousands of hitherto illiterate Cherokee were
able to read and write their own language, teaching each other in the
cabins and along the roadside. The next year Sequoya visited the West,
to introduce the new science among those who had emigrated to the
Arkansas. In the next year, 1823, he again visited the Arkansas and
took up his permanent abode with the western band, never afterward
returning to his eastern kinsmen. In the autumn of the same year
the Cherokee national council made public acknowledgment of his
merit by sending to him, through John Ross, then president of the
national committee, a silver medal with a commemorative inscription
in both languages. [269] In 1828 he visited Washington as one of the
delegates from the Arkansas band, attracting much attention, and the
treaty made on that occasion contains a provision for the payment to
him of five hundred dollars, "for the great benefits he has conferred
upon the Cherokee people, in the beneficial results which they are now
experiencing from the use of the alphabet discovered by him." [270]
His subsequent history belongs to the West and will be treated in
another place (40). [271]

The invention of the alphabet had an immediate and wonderful effect
on Cherokee development. On account of the remarkable adaptation
of the syllabary to the language, it was only necessary to learn
the characters to be able to read at once. No schoolhouses were
built and no teachers hired, but the whole Nation became an academy
for the study of the system, until, "in the course of a few months,
without school or expense of time or money, the Cherokee were able to
read and write in their own language. [272] An active correspondence
began to be carried on between the eastern and western divisions,
and plans were made for a national press, with a national library
and museum to be established at the capital, New Echota. [273]
The missionaries, who had at first opposed the new alphabet on the
ground of its Indian origin, now saw the advisability of using it
to further their own work. In the fall of 1824 Atsi or John Arch,
a young native convert, made a manuscript translation of a portion
of St. John's gospel, in the syllabary, this being the first Bible
translation ever given to the Cherokee. It was copied hundreds
of times and was widely disseminated through the Nation. [274] In
September, 1825, David Brown, a prominent half-breed preacher, who
had already made some attempt at translation in the Roman alphabet,
completed a translation of the New Testament in the new syllabary,
the work being handed about in manuscript, as there were as yet no
types cast in the Sequoya characters. [275] In the same month he
forwarded to Thomas McKenney, chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
at Washington, a manuscript table of the characters, with explanation,
this being probably its first introduction to official notice. [276]

In 1827 the Cherokee council having formally resolved to establish
a national paper in the Cherokee language and characters, types
for that purpose were cast in Boston, under the supervision of the
noted missionary, Worcester, of the American Board of Commissioners
for Foreign Missions, who, in December of that year contributed to
the Missionary Herald five verses of Genesis in the new syllabary,
this seeming to be its first appearance in print. Early in the next
year the press and types arrived at New Echota, and the first number
of the new paper, Tsa'lagi Tsu'lehisanuñ'hi, the Cherokee Phoenix,
printed in both languages, appeared on February 21, 1828. The first
printers were two white men, Isaac N. Harris and John F. Wheeler,
with John Candy, a half-blood apprentice. Elias Boudinot (Galagi'na,
"The Buck"), an educated Cherokee, was the editor, and Reverend
S. A. Worcester was the guiding spirit who brought order out of chaos
and set the work in motion. The office was a log house. The hand
press and types, after having been shipped by water from Boston,
were transported two hundred miles by wagon from Augusta to their
destination. The printing paper had been overlooked and had to be
brought by the same tedious process from Knoxville. Cases and other
equipments had to be devised and fashioned by the printers, neither of
whom understood a word of Cherokee, but simply set up the characters,
as handed to them in manuscript by Worcester and the editor. Such was
the beginning of journalism in the Cherokee nation. After a precarious
existence of about six years the Phoenix was suspended, owing to the
hostile action of the Georgia authorities, who went so far as to throw
Worcester and Wheeler into prison. Its successor, after the removal
of the Cherokee to the West, was the Cherokee Advocate, of which
the first number appeared at Tahlequah in 1844, with William P. Ross
as editor. It is still continued under the auspices of the Nation,
printed in both languages and distributed free at the expense of the
Nation to those unable to read English--an example without parallel
in any other government.

In addition to numerous Bible translations, hymn books, and other
religious works, there have been printed in the Cherokee language and
syllabary the Cherokee Phoenix (journal), Cherokee Advocate (journal),
Cherokee Messenger (periodical), Cherokee Almanac (annual), Cherokee
spelling books, arithmetics, and other schoolbooks for those unable to
read English, several editions of the laws of the Nation, and a large
body of tracts and minor publications. Space forbids even a mention
of the names of the devoted workers in this connection. Besides this
printed literature the syllabary is in constant and daily use among the
non-English-speaking element, both in Indian Territory and in North
Carolina, for letter writing, council records, personal memoranda,
etc. What is perhaps strangest of all in this literary evolution is
the fact that the same invention has been seized by the priests and
conjurers of the conservative party for the purpose of preserving
to their successors the ancient rituals and secret knowledge of the
tribe, whole volumes of such occult literature in manuscript having
been obtained among them by the author. [277]

In 1819 the whole Cherokee population had been estimated at 15,000,
one-third of them being west of the Mississippi. In 1825 a census
of the eastern Nation showed: native Cherokee, 13,563; white men
married into the Nation, 147; white women married into the Nation,
73; negro slaves, 1,277. There were large herds of cattle, horses,
hogs, and sheep, with large crops of every staple, including cotton,
tobacco, and wheat, and some cotton was exported by boats as far as New
Orleans. Apple and peach orchards were numerous, butter and cheese were
in use to some extent, and both cotton and woolen cloths, especially
blankets, were manufactured. Nearly all the merchants were native
Cherokee. Mechanical industries flourished, the Nation was out of debt,
and the population was increasing. [278] Estimating one-third beyond
the Mississippi, the total number of Cherokee, exclusive of adopted
white citizens and negro slaves, must then have been about 20,000.

Simultaneously with the decrees establishing a national press,
the Cherokee Nation, in general convention of delegates held for
the purpose at New Echota on July 26, 1827, adopted a national
constitution, based on the assumption of distinct and independent
nationality. John Ross, so celebrated in connection with the history
of his tribe, was president of the convention which framed the
instrument. Charles R. Hicks, a Moravian convert of mixed blood, and at
that time the most influential man in the Nation, was elected principal
chief, with John Ross as assistant chief. [279] With a constitution
and national press, a well-developed system of industries and home
education, and a government administered by educated Christian men, the
Cherokee were now justly entitled to be considered a civilized people.

The idea of a civilized Indian government was not a new one. The first
treaty ever negotiated by the United States with an Indian tribe,
in 1778, held out to the Delawares the hope that by a confederation
of friendly tribes they might be able "to form a state, whereof
the Delaware nation shall be the head and have a representation in
Congress." [280] Priber, the Jesuit, had already familiarized the
Cherokee with the forms of civilized government before the middle
of the eighteenth century. As the gap between the conservative and
progressive elements widened after the Revolution the idea grew,
until in 1808 representatives of both parties visited Washington to
propose an arrangement by which those who clung to the old life might
be allowed to remove to the western hunting grounds, while the rest
should remain to take up civilization and "begin the establishment
of fixed laws and a regular government." The project received the
warm encouragement of President Jefferson, and it was with this
understanding that the western emigration was first officially
recognized a few years later. Immediately upon the return of the
delegates from Washington the Cherokee drew up their first brief
written code of laws, modeled agreeably to the friendly suggestions
of Jefferson. [281]

By this time the rapid strides of civilization and Christianity had
alarmed the conservative element, who saw in the new order of things
only the evidences of apostasy and swift national decay. In 1828
White-path (Nûñ'nâ-tsune'ga), an influential full-blood and councilor,
living at Turniptown (U`lûñ'yi), near the present Ellijay, in Gilmer
county, Georgia, headed a rebellion against the new code of laws,
with all that it implied. He soon had a large band of followers, known
to the whites as "Red-sticks," a title sometimes assumed by the more
warlike element among the Creeks and other southern tribes. From the
townhouse of Ellijay he preached the rejection of the new constitution,
the discarding of Christianity and the white man's ways, and a return
to the old tribal law and custom--the same doctrine that had more than
once constituted the burden of Indian revelation in the past. It was
now too late, however, to reverse the wheel of progress, and under
the rule of such men as Hicks and Ross the conservative opposition
gradually melted away. White-path was deposed from his seat in council,
but subsequently made submission and was reinstated. He was afterward
one of the detachment commanders in the Removal, but died while on
the march. [282]

In this year, also, John Ross became principal chief of the Nation,
a position which he held until his death in 1866, thirty-eight years
later. [283] In this long period, comprising the momentous episodes
of the Removal and the War of the Rebellion, it may be truly said
that his history is the history of the Nation.

And now, just when it seemed that civilization and enlightenment
were about to accomplish their perfect work, the Cherokee began to
hear the first low muttering of the coming storm that was soon to
overturn their whole governmental structure and sweep them forever
from the land of their birth.

By an agreement between the United States and the state of Georgia
in 1802, the latter, for valuable consideration, had ceded to the
general government her claims west of the present state boundary,
the United States at the same time agreeing to extinguish, at its own
expense, but for the benefit of the state, the Indian claims within
the state limits, "as early as the same can be peaceably obtained on
reasonable terms." [284] In accordance with this agreement several
treaties had already been made with the Creeks and Cherokee, by
which large tracts had been secured for Georgia at the expense of
the general government. Notwithstanding this fact, and the terms
of the proviso, Georgia accused the government of bad faith in not
taking summary measures to compel the Indians at once to surrender
all their remaining lands within the chartered state limits, coupling
the complaint with a threat to take the matter into her own hands. In
1820 Agent Meigs had expressed the opinion that the Cherokee were now
so far advanced that further government aid was unnecessary, and that
their lands should be allotted and the surplus sold for their benefit,
they themselves to be invested with full rights of citizenship in
the several states within which they resided. This suggestion had
been approved by President Monroe, but had met the most determined
opposition from the states concerned. Tennessee absolutely refused
to recognize individual reservations made by previous treaties, while
North Carolina and Georgia bought in all such reservations with money
appropriated by Congress. [285] No Indian was to be allowed to live
within those states on any pretext whatsoever.

In the meantime, owing to persistent pressure from Georgia, repeated
unsuccessful efforts had been made to procure from the Cherokee a
cession of their lands within the chartered limits of the state. Every
effort met with a firm refusal, the Indians declaring that having
already made cession after cession from a territory once extensive,
their remaining lands were no more than were needed for themselves
and their children, more especially as experience had shown that
each concession would be followed by a further demand. They conclude:
"It is the fixed and unalterable determination of this nation never
again to cede one foot more of land." Soon afterward they addressed
to the President a memorial of similar tenor, to which Calhoun, as
Secretary of War, returned answer that as Georgia objected to their
presence either as a tribe or as individual owners or citizens,
they must prepare their minds for removal beyond the Mississippi. [286]

In reply, the Cherokee, by their delegates--John Ross, George Lowrey,
Major Ridge, and Elijah Hicks--sent a strong letter calling attention
to the fact that by the very wording of the 1802 agreement the
compact was a conditional one which could not be carried out without
their own voluntary consent, and suggesting that Georgia might be
satisfied from the adjoining government lands in Florida. Continuing,
they remind the Secretary that the Cherokee are not foreigners, but
original inhabitants of America, inhabiting and standing now upon
the soil of their own territory, with limits defined by treaties
with the United States, and that, confiding in the good faith of the
government to respect its treaty stipulations, they do not hesitate
to say that their true interest, prosperity, and happiness demand
their permanency where they are and the retention of their lands. [287]

A copy of this letter was sent by the Secretary to Governor Troup of
Georgia, who returned a reply in which he blamed the missionaries
for the refusal of the Indians, declared that the state would not
permit them to become citizens, and that the Secretary must either
assist the state in taking possession of the Cherokee lands, or, in
resisting that occupancy, make war upon and shed the blood of brothers
and friends. The Georgia delegation in Congress addressed a similar
letter to President Monroe, in which the government was censured for
having instructed the Indians in the arts of civilized life and having
thereby imbued them with a desire to acquire property. [288]

For answer the President submitted a report by Secretary Calhoun
showing that since the agreement had been made with Georgia in 1802
the government had, at its own expense, extinguished the Indian claim
to 24,600 square miles within the limits of that state, or more
than three-fifths of the whole Indian claim, and had paid on that
and other accounts connected with the agreement nearly seven and a
half million dollars, of which by far the greater part had gone to
Georgia or her citizens. In regard to the other criticism the report
states that the civilizing policy was as old as the government itself,
and that in performing the high duties of humanity to the Indians,
it had never been conceived that the stipulation of the convention
was contravened. In handing in the report the President again called
attention to the conditional nature of the agreement and declared it
as his opinion that the title of the Indians was not in the slightest
degree affected by it and that there was no obligation on the United
States to remove them by force. [289]

Further efforts, even to the employment of secret methods, were made in
1827 and 1828 to induce a cession or emigration, but without avail. On
July 26, 1827, as already noted, the Cherokee adopted a constitution
as a distinct and sovereign Nation. Upon this the Georgia legislature
passed resolutions affirming that that state "had the power and
the right to possess herself, by any means she might choose, of the
lands in dispute, and to extend over them her authority and laws,"
and recommending that this be done by the next legislature, if the
lands were not already acquired by successful negotiation of the
general government in the meantime. The government was warned that
the lands belonged to Georgia, and she must and would have them. It
was suggested, however, that the United States might be permitted to
make a certain number of reservations to individual Indians. [290]

Passing over for the present some important negotiations with the
western Cherokee, we come to the events leading to the final act in
the drama. Up to this time the pressure had been for land only, but
now a stronger motive was added. About the year 1815 a little Cherokee
boy playing along Chestatee river, in upper Georgia, had brought in to
his mother a shining yellow pebble hardly larger than the end of his
thumb. On being washed it proved to be a nugget of gold, and on her
next trip to the settlements the woman carried it with her and sold it
to a white man. The news spread, and although she probably concealed
the knowledge of the exact spot of its origin, it was soon known that
the golden dreams of De Soto had been realized in the Cherokee country
of Georgia. Within four years the whole territory east of the Chestatee
had passed from the possession of the Cherokee. They still held the
western bank, but the prospector was abroad in the mountains and it
could not be for long. [291] About 1828 gold was found on Ward's
creek, a western branch of Chestatee, near the present Dahlonega,
[292] and the doom of the nation was sealed (41).

In November, 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected to succeed John Quincy
Adams as President. He was a frontiersman and Indian hater, and the
change boded no good to the Cherokee. His position was well understood,
and there is good ground for believing that the action at once taken
by Georgia was at his own suggestion. [293] On December 20, 1828, a
month after his election, Georgia passed an act annexing that part of
the Cherokee country within her chartered limits and extending over it
her jurisdiction; all laws and customs established among the Cherokee
were declared null and void, and no person of Indian blood or descent
residing within the Indian country was henceforth to be allowed as a
witness or party in any suit where a white man should be defendant. The
act was to take effect June 1, 1830 (42). The whole territory was soon
after mapped out into counties and surveyed by state surveyors into
"land lots" of 160 acres each, and "gold lots" of 40 acres, which were
put up and distributed among the white citizens of Georgia by public
lottery, each white citizen receiving a ticket. Every Cherokee head
of a family was, indeed, allowed a reservation of 160 acres, but no
deed was given, and his continuance depended solely on the pleasure of
the legislature. Provision was made for the settlement of contested
lottery claims among the white citizens, but by the most stringent
enactments, in addition to the sweeping law which forbade anyone of
Indian blood to bring suit or to testify against a white man, it was
made impossible for the Indian owner to defend his right in any court
or to resist the seizure of his homestead, or even his own dwelling
house, and anyone so resisting was made subject to imprisonment at
the discretion of a Georgia court. Other laws directed to the same
end quickly followed, one of which made invalid any contract between
a white man and an Indian unless established by the testimony of two
white witnesses--thus practically canceling all debts due from white
men to Indians--while another obliged all white men residing in the
Cherokee country to take a special oath of allegiance to the state of
Georgia, on penalty of four years' imprisonment in the penitentiary,
this act being intended to drive out all the missionaries, teachers,
and other educators who refused to countenance the spoliation. About
the same time the Cherokee were forbidden to hold councils, or to
assemble for any public purpose, [294] or to dig for gold upon their
own lands.

The purpose of this legislation was to render life in their own country
intolerable to the Cherokee by depriving them of all legal protection
and friendly counsel, and the effect was precisely as intended. In an
eloquent address upon the subject before the House of Representatives
the distinguished Edward Everett clearly pointed out the encouragement
which it gave to lawless men: "They have but to cross the Cherokee
line; they have but to choose the time and the place where the eye of
no white man can rest upon them, and they may burn the dwelling, waste
the farm, plunder the property, assault the person, murder the children
of the Cherokee subject of Georgia, and though hundreds of the tribe
may be looking on, there is not one of them that can be permitted to
bear witness against the spoiler." [295] Senator Sprague, of Maine,
said of the law that it devoted the property of the Cherokee to the
cupidity of their neighbors, leaving them exposed to every outrage
which lawless persons could inflict, so that even robbery and murder
might be committed with impunity at noonday, if not in the presence
of whites who would testify against it. [296]

The prediction was fulfilled to the letter. Bands of armed men
invaded the Cherokee country, forcibly seizing horses and cattle,
taking possession of houses from which they had ejected the occupants,
and assaulting the owners who dared to make resistance. [297] In one
instance, near the present Dahlonega, two white men, who had been
hospitably received and entertained at supper by an educated Cherokee
citizen of nearly pure white blood, later in the evening, during the
temporary absence of the parents, drove out the children and their
nurse and deliberately set fire to the house, which was burned to the
ground with all its contents. They were pursued and brought to trial,
but the case was dismissed by the judge on the ground that no Indian
could testify against a white man. [298] Cherokee miners upon their
own ground were arrested, fined, and imprisoned, and their tools
and machinery destroyed, while thousands of white intruders were
allowed to dig in the same places unmolested. [299] A Cherokee on
trial in his own nation for killing another Indian was seized by
the state authorities, tried and condemned to death, although, not
understanding English, he was unable to speak in his own defense. A
United States court forbade the execution, but the judge who had
conducted the trial defied the writ, went to the place of execution,
and stood beside the sheriff while the Indian was being hanged. [300]

Immediately on the passage of the first act the Cherokee appealed to
President Jackson, but were told that no protection would be afforded
them. Other efforts were then made--in 1829--to persuade them to
removal, or to procure another cession--this time of all their lands
in North Carolina--but the Cherokee remained firm. The Georgia law was
declared in force on June 3, 1830, whereupon the President directed
that the annuity payment due the Cherokee Nation under previous
treaties should no longer be paid to their national treasurer, as
hitherto, but distributed per capita by the agent. As a national fund
it had been used for the maintenance of their schools and national
press. As a per capita payment it amounted to forty-two cents to each
individual. Several years afterward it still remained unpaid. Federal
troops were also sent into the Cherokee country with orders to
prevent all mining by either whites or Indians unless authorized by
the state of Georgia. All these measures served only to render the
Cherokee more bitter in their determination. In September, 1830,
another proposition was made for the removal of the tribe, but the
national council emphatically refused to consider the subject. [301]

In January, 1831, the Cherokee Nation, by John Ross as principal chief,
brought a test suit of injunction against Georgia, in the United States
Supreme Court. The majority of the court dismissed the suit on the
ground that the Cherokee were not a foreign nation within the meaning
of the Constitution, two justices dissenting from this opinion. [302]

Shortly afterward, under the law which forbade any white man to reside
in the Cherokee Nation without taking an oath of allegiance to Georgia,
a number of arrests were made, including Wheeler, the printer of the
Cherokee Phoenix, and the missionaries, Worcester, Butler, Thompson,
and Proctor, who, being there by permission of the agent and feeling
that plain American citizenship should hold good in any part of the
United States, refused to take the oath. Some of those arrested
took the oath and were released, but Worcester and Butler, still
refusing, were dressed in prison garb and put at hard labor among
felons. Worcester had plead in his defense that he was a citizen of
Vermont, and had entered the Cherokee country by permission of the
President of the United States and approval of the Cherokee Nation;
and that as the United States by several treaties had acknowledged
the Cherokee to be a nation with a guaranteed and definite territory,
the state had no right to interfere with him. He was sentenced to four
years in the penitentiary. On March 3, 1832, the matter was appealed as
a test case to the Supreme Court of the United States, which rendered a
decision in favor of Worcester and the Cherokee Nation and ordered his
release. Georgia, however, through her governor, had defied the summons
with a threat of opposition, even to the annihilation of the Union,
and now ignored the decision, refusing to release the missionary,
who remained in prison until set free by the will of the governor
nearly a year later. A remark attributed to President Jackson, on
hearing of the result in the Supreme Court, may throw some light on
the whole proceeding: "John Marshall has made his decision, now let
him enforce it." [303]

On the 19th of July, 1832, a public fast was observed throughout
the Cherokee Nation. In the proclamation recommending it, Chief
Ross observes that "Whereas the crisis in the affairs of the Nation
exhibits the day of tribulation and sorrow, and the time appears to
be fast hastening when the destiny of this people must be sealed;
whether it has been directed by the wonted depravity and wickedness of
man, or by the unsearchable and mysterious will of an allwise Being,
it equally becomes us, as a rational and Christian community, humbly
to bow in humiliation," etc. [304]

Further attempts were made to induce the Cherokee to remove to the
West, but met the same firm refusal as before. It was learned that
in view of the harrassing conditions to which they were subjected the
Cherokee were now seriously considering the project of emigrating to
the Pacific Coast, at the mouth of the Columbia, a territory then
claimed by England and held by the posts of the British Hudson Bay
Company. The Secretary of War at once took steps to discourage the
movement. [305] A suggestion from the Cherokee that the government
satisfy those who had taken possession of Cherokee lands under
the lottery drawing by giving them instead an equivalent from the
unoccupied government lands was rejected by the President.

In the spring of 1834 the Cherokee submitted a memorial which, after
asserting that they would never voluntarily consent to abandon their
homes, proposed to satisfy Georgia by ceding to her a portion of
their territory, they to be protected in possession of the remainder
until the end of a definite period to be fixed by the United States,
at the expiration of which, after disposing of their surplus lands,
they should become citizens of the various states within which they
resided. They were told that their difficulties could be remedied
only by their removal to the west of the Mississippi. In the meantime
a removal treaty was being negotiated with a self-styled committee of
some fifteen or twenty Cherokee called together at the agency. It was
carried through in spite of the protest of John Ross and the Cherokee
Nation, as embodied in a paper said to contain the signatures of
13,000 Cherokee, but failed of ratification. [306]

Despairing of any help from the President, the Cherokee delegation,
headed by John Ross, addressed another earnest memorial to Congress
on May 17, 1834. Royce quotes the document at length, with the remark,
"Without affecting to pass judgment on the merits of the controversy,
the writer thinks this memorial well deserving of reproduction here as
evidencing the devoted and pathetic attachment with which the Cherokee
clung to the land of their fathers, and, remembering the wrongs
and humiliations of the past, refused to be convinced that justice,
prosperity, and happiness awaited them beyond the Mississippi." [307]

In August of this year another council was held at Red Clay,
south-eastward from Chattanooga and just within the Georgia line,
where the question of removal was again debated in what is officially
described as a tumultuous and excited meeting. One of the principal
advocates of the emigration scheme, a prominent mixed-blood named
John Walker, jr., was assassinated from ambush while returning from
the council to his home a few miles north of the present Cleveland,
Tennessee. On account of his superior education and influential
connections, his wife being a niece of former agent Return J. Meigs,
the affair created intense excitement at the time. The assassination
has been considered the first of the long series of political murders
growing out of the removal agitation, but, according to the testimony
of old Cherokee acquainted with the facts, the killing was due to a
more personal motive. [308]

The Cherokee were now nearly worn out by constant battle against
a fate from which they could see no escape. In February, 1835, two
rival delegations arrived in Washington. One, the national party,
headed by John Ross, came prepared still to fight to the end for
home and national existence. The other, headed by Major John Ridge,
a prominent subchief, despairing of further successful resistance,
was prepared to negotiate for removal. Reverend J. F. Schermerhorn
was appointed commissioner to arrange with the Ridge party a treaty
to be confirmed later by the Cherokee people in general council. On
this basis a treaty was negotiated with the Ridge party by which the
Cherokee were to cede their whole eastern territory and remove to the
West in consideration of the sum of $3,250,000 with some additional
acreage in the West and a small sum for depredations committed upon
them by the whites. Finding that these negotiations were proceeding,
the Ross party filed a counter proposition for $20,000,000, which
was rejected by the Senate as excessive. The Schermerhorn compact
with the Ridge party, with the consideration changed to $4,500,000,
was thereupon completed and signed on March 14, 1835, but with
the express stipulation that it should receive the approval of the
Cherokee nation in full council assembled before being considered of
any binding force. This much accomplished, Mr. Schermerhorn departed
for the Cherokee country, armed with an address from President
Jackson in which the great benefits of removal were set forth to the
Cherokee. Having exhausted the summer and fall in fruitless effort to
secure favorable action, the reverend gentleman notified the President,
proposing either to obtain the signatures of the leading Cherokee by
promising them payment for their improvements at their own valuation,
if in any degree reasonable, or to conclude a treaty with a part of the
Nation and compel its acceptance by the rest. He was promptly informed
by the Secretary of War, Lewis Cass, on behalf of the President, that
the treaty, if concluded at all, must be procured upon fair and open
terms, with no particular promise to any individual, high or low,
to gain his aid or influence, and without sacrificing the interest
of the whole to the cupidity of a few. He was also informed that,
as it would probably be contrary to his wish, his letter would not
be put on file. [309]

In October, 1835, the Ridge treaty was rejected by the Cherokee Nation
in full council at Red Clay, even its main supporters, Ridge himself
and Elias Boudinot, going over to the majority, most unexpectedly
to Schermerhorn, who reports the result, piously adding, "but the
Lord is able to overrule all things for good." During the session of
this council notice was served on the Cherokee to meet commissioners
at New Echota in December following for the purpose of negotiating
a treaty. The notice was also printed in the Cherokee language and
circulated throughout the Nation, with a statement that those who
failed to attend would be counted as assenting to any treaty that
might be made. [310]

The council had authorized the regular delegation, headed by John Ross,
to conclude a treaty either there or at Washington, but, finding that
Schermerhorn had no authority to treat on any other basis than the one
rejected by the Nation, the delegates proceeded to Washington. [311]
Before their departure John Ross, who had removed to Tennessee to
escape persecution in his own state, was arrested at his home by
the Georgia guard, all his private papers and the proceedings of the
council being taken at the same time, and conveyed across the line
into Georgia, where he was held for some time without charge against
him, and at last released without apology or explanation. The poet,
John Howard Payne, who was then stopping with Ross, engaged in the
work of collecting historical and ethnologic material relating to
the Cherokee, was seized at the same time, with all his letters and
scientific manuscripts. The national paper, the Cherokee Phoenix,
had been suppressed and its office plant seized by the same guard a
few days before. [312] Thus in their greatest need the Cherokee were
deprived of the help and counsel of their teachers, their national
press, and their chief.

Although for two months threats and inducements had been held
out to secure a full attendance at the December conference at New
Echota, there were present when the proceedings opened, according
to the report of Schermerhorn himself, only from three hundred to
five hundred men, women, and children, out of a population of over
17,000. Notwithstanding the paucity of attendance and the absence
of the principal officers of the Nation, a committee was appointed
to arrange the details of a treaty, which was finally drawn up and
signed on December 29, 1835. [313]

Briefly stated, by this treaty of New Echota, Georgia, the Cherokee
Nation ceded to the United States its whole remaining territory east of
the Mississippi for the sum of five million dollars and a common joint
interest in the territory already occupied by the western Cherokee,
in what is now Indian Territory, with an additional smaller tract
adjoining on the northeast, in what is now Kansas. Improvements were
to be paid for, and the Indians were to be removed at the expense of
the United States and subsisted at the expense of the Government for
one year after their arrival in the new country. The removal was to
take place within two years from the ratification of the treaty.

On the strong representations of the Cherokee signers, who would
probably not have signed otherwise even then, it was agreed that a
limited number of Cherokee who should desire to remain behind in North
Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, and become citizens, having first
been adjudged "qualified or calculated to become useful citizens,"
might so remain, together with a few holding individual reservations
under former treaties. This provision was allowed by the commissioners,
but was afterward struck out on the announcement by President Jackson
of his determination "not to allow any preemptions or reservations, his
desire being that the whole Cherokee people should remove together."

Provision was made also for the payment of debts due by the Indians out
of any moneys coming to them under the treaty; for the reestablishment
of the missions in the West; for pensions to Cherokee wounded in the
service of the government in the war of 1812 and the Creek war; for
permission to establish in the new country such military posts and
roads for the use of the United States as should be deemed necessary;
for satisfying Osage claims in the western territory and for bringing
about a friendly understanding between the two tribes; and for the
commutation of all annuities and other sums due from the United
States into a permanent national fund, the interest to be placed
at the disposal of the officers of the Cherokee Nation and by them
disbursed, according to the will of their own people, for the care
of schools and orphans, and for general national purposes.

The western territory assigned the Cherokee under this treaty was
in two adjoining tracts, viz, (1) a tract of seven million acres,
together with a "perpetual outlet west," already assigned to the
western Cherokee under treaty of 1833, as will hereafter be noted,
[314] being identical with the present area occupied by the Cherokee
Nation in Indian Territory, together with the former "Cherokee strip,"
with the exception of a two-mile strip along the northern boundary,
now included within the limits of Kansas; (2) a smaller additional
tract of eight hundred thousand acres, running fifty miles north
and south and twenty-five miles east and west, in what is now the
southeastern corner of Kansas. For this second tract the Cherokee
themselves were to pay the United States five hundred thousand dollars.

The treaty of 1833, assigning the first described tract to the western
Cherokee, states that the United States agrees to "guaranty it to them
forever, and that guarantee is hereby pledged." By the same treaty,
"in addition to the seven millions of acres of land thus provided
for and bounded, the United States further guaranty to the Cherokee
nation a perpetual outlet west and a free and unmolested use of
all the country lying west of the western boundary of said seven
millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty of the United
States and their right of soil extend ... and letters patent shall
be issued by the United States as soon as practicable for the land
hereby guaranteed." All this was reiterated by the present treaty,
and made to include also the smaller (second) tract, in these words:

    Art. 3. The United States also agree that the lands above ceded by
    the treaty of February 14, 1833, including the outlet, and those
    ceded by this treaty, shall all be included in one patent, executed
    to the Cherokee nation of Indians by the President of the United
    States, according to the provisions of the act of May 28, 1830....

    Art. 5. The United States hereby covenant and agree that the
    lands ceded to the Cherokee nation in the foregoing article shall
    in no future time, without their consent, be included within the
    territorial limits or jurisdiction of any state or territory. But
    they shall secure to the Cherokee nation the right of their
    national councils to make and carry into effect all such laws as
    they may deem necessary for the government and protection of the
    persons and property within their own country belonging to their
    people or such persons as have connected themselves with them:
    Provided always, that they shall not be inconsistent with the
    Constitution of the United States and such acts of Congress as have
    been or may be passed regulating trade and intercourse with the
    Indians; and also that they shall not be considered as extending
    to such citizens and army of the United States as may travel or
    reside in the Indian country by permission, according to the laws
    and regulations established by the government of the same....

    Art. 6. Perpetual peace and friendship shall exist between the
    citizens of the United States and the Cherokee Indians. The United
    States agree to protect the Cherokee nation from domestic strife
    and foreign enemies and against intestine wars between the several
    tribes. The Cherokees shall endeavor to preserve and maintain
    the peace of the country, and not make war upon their neighbors;
    they shall also be protected against interruption and intrusion
    from citizens of the United States who may attempt to settle in
    the country without their consent; and all such persons shall
    be removed from the same by order of the President of the United
    States. But this is not intended to prevent the residence among
    them of useful farmers, mechanics, and teachers for the instruction
    of the Indians according to treaty stipulations.

    Article 7. The Cherokee nation having already made great progress
    in civilization, and deeming it important that every proper and
    laudable inducement should be offered to their people to improve
    their condition, as well as to guard and secure in the most
    effectual manner the rights guaranteed to them in this treaty,
    and with a view to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy
    of the government of the United States toward the Indians in
    their removal beyond the territorial limits of the states, it
    is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a Delegate in the
    House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress
    shall make provision for the same.

The instrument was signed by (Governor) William Carroll of Tennessee
and (Reverend) J. F. Schermerhorn as commissioners--the former,
however, having been unable to attend by reason of illness--and
by twenty Cherokee, among whom the most prominent were Major Ridge
and Elias Boudinot, former editor of the Phoenix. Neither John Ross
nor any one of the officers of the Cherokee Nation was present or
represented. After some changes by the Senate, it was ratified May 23,
1836. [315]

Upon the treaty of New Echota and the treaty previously made with the
western Cherokee at Fort Gibson in 1833, the united Cherokee Nation
based its claim to the present territory held by the tribe in Indian
Territory and to the Cherokee outlet, and to national self-government,
with protection from outside intrusion.

An official census taken in 1835 showed the whole number of Cherokee
in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee to be 16,542,
exclusive of 1,592 negro slaves and 201 whites intermarried with
Cherokee. The Cherokee were distributed as follows: Georgia, 8,946;
North Carolina, 3,644; Tennessee, 2,528; Alabama, 1,424. [316]

Despite the efforts of Ross and the national delegates, who presented
protests with signatures representing nearly 16,000 Cherokee, the
treaty had been ratified by a majority of one vote over the necessary
number, and preliminary steps were at once taken to carry it into
execution. Councils were held in opposition all over the Cherokee
Nation, and resolutions denouncing the methods used and declaring
the treaty absolutely null and void were drawn up and submitted to
General Wool, in command of the troops in the Cherokee country, by whom
they were forwarded to Washington. The President in reply expressed
his surprise that an officer of the army should have received or
transmitted a paper so disrespectful to the Executive, the Senate,
and the American people; declared his settled determination that
the treaty should be carried out without modification and with all
consistent dispatch, and directed that after a copy of the letter
had been delivered to Ross, no further communication, by mouth or
writing, should be held with him concerning the treaty. It was further
directed that no council should be permitted to assemble to discuss the
treaty. Ross had already been informed that the President had ceased
to recognize any existing government among the eastern Cherokee,
and that any further effort by him to prevent the consummation of
the treaty would be suppressed. [317]

Notwithstanding this suppression of opinion, the feeling of the Nation
was soon made plain through other sources. Before the ratification of
the treaty Major W. M. Davis had been appointed to enroll the Cherokee
for removal and to appraise the value of their improvements. He soon
learned the true condition of affairs, and, although holding his
office by the good will of President Jackson, he addressed to the
Secretary of War a strong letter upon the subject, from which the
following extract is made:

    I conceive that my duty to the President, to yourself, and to
    my country reluctantly compels me to make a statement of facts
    in relation to a meeting of a small number of Cherokees at
    New Echota last December, who were met by Mr. Schermerhorn and
    articles of a general treaty entered into between them for the
    whole Cherokee nation.... Sir, that paper, ... called a treaty,
    is no treaty at all, because not sanctioned by the great body of
    the Cherokee and made without their participation or assent. I
    solemnly declare to you that upon its reference to the Cherokee
    people it would be instantly rejected by nine-tenths of them,
    and I believe by nineteen-twentieths of them. There were not
    present at the conclusion of the treaty more than one hundred
    Cherokee voters, and not more than three hundred, including women
    and children, although the weather was everything that could
    be desired. The Indians had long been notified of the meeting,
    and blankets were promised to all who would come and vote for
    the treaty. The most cunning and artful means were resorted
    to to conceal the paucity of numbers present at the treaty. No
    enumeration of them was made by Schermerhorn. The business of
    making the treaty was transacted with a committee appointed by the
    Indians present, so as not to expose their numbers. The power of
    attorney under which the committee acted was signed only by the
    president and secretary of the meeting, so as not to disclose
    their weakness.... Mr. Schermerhorn's apparent design was to
    conceal the real number present and to impose on the public and the
    government upon this point. The delegation taken to Washington by
    Mr. Schermerhorn had no more authority to make a treaty than any
    other dozen Cherokee accidentally picked up for the purpose. I now
    warn you and the President that if this paper of Schermerhorn's
    called a treaty is sent to the Senate and ratified you will bring
    trouble upon the government and eventually destroy this [the
    Cherokee] Nation. The Cherokee are a peaceable, harmless people,
    but you may drive them to desperation, and this treaty can not
    be carried into effect except by the strong arm of force. [318]

General Wool, who had been placed in command of the troops concentrated
in the Cherokee country to prevent opposition to the enforcement of
the treaty, reported on February 18, 1837, that he had called them
together and made them an address, but "it is, however, vain to talk
to a people almost universally opposed to the treaty and who maintain
that they never made such a treaty. So determined are they in their
opposition that not one of all those who were present and voted at
the council held but a day or two since, however poor or destitute,
would receive either rations or clothing from the United States lest
they might compromise themselves in regard to the treaty. These same
people, as well as those in the mountains of North Carolina, during
the summer past, preferred living upon the roots and sap of trees
rather than receive provisions from the United States, and thousands,
as I have been informed, had no other food for weeks. Many have said
they will die before they will leave the country." [319]

Other letters from General Wool while engaged in the work of disarming
and overawing the Cherokee show how very disagreeable that duty was
to him and how strongly his sympathies were with the Indians, who were
practically unanimous in repudiating the treaty. In one letter he says:

    The whole scene since I have been in this country has been nothing
    but a heart-rending one, and such a one as I would be glad to get
    rid of as soon as circumstances will permit. Because I am firm
    and decided, do not believe I would be unjust. If I could, and I
    could not do them a greater kindness, I would remove every Indian
    to-morrow beyond the reach of the white men, who, like vultures,
    are watching, ready to pounce upon their prey and strip them of
    everything they have or expect from the government of the United
    States. Yes, sir, nineteen-twentieths, if not ninety-nine out of
    every hundred, will go penniless to the West. [320]

How it was to be brought about is explained in part by a letter
addressed to the President by Major Ridge himself, the principal
signer of the treaty:

    We now come to address you on the subject of our griefs and
    afflictions from the acts of the white people. They have got
    our lands and now they are preparing to fleece us of the money
    accruing from the treaty. We found our plantations taken either
    in whole or in part by the Georgians--suits instituted against us
    for back rents for our own farms. These suits are commenced in
    the inferior courts, with the evident design that, when we are
    ready to remove, to arrest our people, and on these vile claims
    to induce us to compromise for our own release, to travel with
    our families. Thus our funds will be filched from our people, and
    we shall be compelled to leave our country as beggars and in want.

Even the Georgia laws, which deny us our oaths, are thrown aside,
and notwithstanding the cries of our people, and protestation of
our innocence and peace, the lowest classes of the white people are
flogging the Cherokees with cowhides, hickories, and clubs. We are
not safe in our houses--our people are assailed by day and night by
the rabble. Even justices of the peace and constables are concerned
in this business. This barbarous treatment is not confined to men, but
the women are stripped also and whipped without law or mercy.... Send
regular troops to protect us from these lawless assaults, and to
protect our people as they depart for the West. If it is not done,
we shall carry off nothing but the scars of the lash on our backs,
and our oppressors will get all the money. We talk plainly, as
chiefs having property and life in danger, and we appeal to you for
protection.... [321]

General Dunlap, in command of the Tennessee troops called out to
prevent the alleged contemplated Cherokee uprising, having learned
for himself the true situation, delivered an indignant address to his
men in which he declared that he would never dishonor the Tennessee
arms by aiding to carry into execution at the point of the bayonet
a treaty made by a lean minority against the will and authority of
the Cherokee people. He stated further that he had given the Cherokee
all the protection in his power, the whites needing none. [322]

A confidential agent sent to report upon the situation wrote in
September, 1837, that opposition to the treaty was unanimous and
irreconcilable, the Cherokee declaring that it could not bind
them because they did not make it, that it was the work of a few
unauthorized individuals and that the Nation was not a party to
it. They had retained the forms of their government, although no
election had been held since 1830, having continued the officers
then in charge until their government could again be reestablished
regularly. Under this arrangement John Ross was principal chief, with
influence unbounded and unquestioned. "The whole Nation of eighteen
thousand persons is with him, the few--about three hundred--who
made the treaty having left the country, with the exception of
a small number of prominent individuals--as Ridge, Boudinot, and
others--who remained to assist in carrying it into execution. It is
evident, therefore, that Ross and his party are in fact the Cherokee
Nation.... I believe that the mass of the Nation, particularly the
mountain Indians, will stand or fall with Ross...." [323]

So intense was public feeling on the subject of this treaty that it
became to some extent a party question, the Democrats supporting
President Jackson while the Whigs bitterly opposed him. Among
notable leaders of the opposition were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster,
Edward Everett, Wise of Virginia, and David Crockett. The speeches
in Congress upon the subject "were characterized by a depth and
bitterness of feeling such as had never been exceeded even on the
slavery question." [324] It was considered not simply an Indian
question, but an issue between state rights on the one hand and
federal jurisdiction and the Constitution on the other.

In spite of threats of arrest and punishment, Ross still continued
active effort in behalf of his people. Again, in the spring of 1838,
two months before the time fixed for the removal, he presented
to Congress another protest and memorial, which, like the others,
was tabled by the Senate. Van Buren had now succeeded Jackson and
was disposed to allow the Cherokee a longer time to prepare for
emigration, but was met by the declaration from Governor Gilmer of
Georgia that any delay would be a violation of the rights of that
state and in opposition to the rights of the owners of the soil, and
that if trouble came from any protection afforded by the government
troops to the Cherokee a direct collision must ensue between the
authorities of the state and general government. [325]

Up to the last moment the Cherokee still believed that the treaty
would not be consummated, and with all the pressure brought to bear
upon them only about 2,000 of the 17,000 in the eastern Nation had
removed at the expiration of the time fixed for their departure,
May 26, 1838. As it was evident that the removal could only be
accomplished by force, General Winfield Scott was now appointed to
that duty with instructions to start the Indians for the West at
the earliest possible moment. For that purpose he was ordered to
take command of the troops already in the Cherokee country, together
with additional reenforcements of infantry, cavalry, and artillery,
with authority to call upon the governors of the adjoining states for
as many as 4,000 militia and volunteers. The whole force employed
numbered about 7,000 men--regulars, militia, and volunteers. [326]
The Indians had already been disarmed by General Wool.

On arriving in the Cherokee country Scott established headquarters at
the capital, New Echota, whence, on May 10, he issued a proclamation
to the Cherokee, warning them that the emigration must be commenced
in haste and that before another moon had passed every Cherokee man,
woman, and child must be in motion to join his brethren in the far
West, according to the determination of the President, which he, the
general, had come to enforce. The proclamation concludes: "My troops
already occupy many positions ... and thousands and thousands are
approaching from every quarter to render resistance and escape alike
hopeless.... Will you, then, by resistance compel us to resort to arms
... or will you by flight seek to hide yourselves in mountains and
forests and thus oblige us to hunt you down?"--reminding them that
pursuit might result in conflict and bloodshed, ending in a general
war. [327]

Even after this Ross endeavored, on behalf of his people, to secure
some slight modification of the terms of the treaty, but without
avail. [328]

THE REMOVAL--1838-39

The history of this Cherokee removal of 1838, as gleaned by the author
from the lips of actors in the tragedy, may well exceed in weight
of grief and pathos any other passage in American history. Even the
much-sung exile of the Acadians falls far behind it in its sum of
death and misery. Under Scott's orders the troops were disposed at
various points throughout the Cherokee country, where stockade forts
were erected for gathering in and holding the Indians preparatory to
removal (43). From these, squads of troops were sent to search out
with rifle and bayonet every small cabin hidden away in the coves or
by the sides of mountain streams, to seize and bring in as prisoners
all the occupants, however or wherever they might be found. Families
at dinner were startled by the sudden gleam of bayonets in the doorway
and rose up to be driven with blows and oaths along the weary miles
of trail that led to the stockade. Men were seized in their fields or
going along the road, women were taken from their wheels and children
from their play. In many cases, on turning for one last look as they
crossed the ridge, they saw their homes in flames, fired by the
lawless rabble that followed on the heels of the soldiers to loot
and pillage. So keen were these outlaws on the scent that in some
instances they were driving off the cattle and other stock of the
Indians almost before the soldiers had fairly started their owners in
the other direction. Systematic hunts were made by the same men for
Indian graves, to rob them of the silver pendants and other valuables
deposited with the dead. A Georgia volunteer, afterward a colonel in
the Confederate service, said: "I fought through the civil war and
have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the
Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew."

To prevent escape the soldiers had been ordered to approach and
surround each house, so far as possible, so as to come upon the
occupants without warning. One old patriarch, when thus surprised,
calmly called his children and grandchildren around him, and,
kneeling down, bid them pray with him in their own language, while the
astonished soldiers looked on in silence. Then rising he led the way
into exile. A woman, on finding the house surrounded, went to the door
and called up the chickens to be fed for the last time, after which,
taking her infant on her back and her two other children by the hand,
she followed her husband with the soldiers.

All were not thus submissive. One old man named Tsali, "Charley,"
was seized with his wife, his brother, his three sons and their
families. Exasperated at the brutality accorded his wife, who,
being unable to travel fast, was prodded with bayonets to hasten
her steps, he urged the other men to join with him in a dash for
liberty. As he spoke in Cherokee the soldiers, although they heard,
understood nothing until each warrior suddenly sprang upon the one
nearest and endeavored to wrench his gun from him. The attack was so
sudden and unexpected that one soldier was killed and the rest fled,
while the Indians escaped to the mountains. Hundreds of others,
some of them from the various stockades, managed also to escape
to the mountains from time to time, where those who did not die of
starvation subsisted on roots and wild berries until the hunt was
over. Finding it impracticable to secure these fugitives, General Scott
finally tendered them a proposition, through (Colonel) W. H. Thomas,
their most trusted friend, that if they would surrender Charley and
his party for punishment, the rest would be allowed to remain until
their case could be adjusted by the government. On hearing of the
proposition, Charley voluntarily came in with his sons, offering
himself as a sacrifice for his people. By command of General Scott,
Charley, his brother, and the two elder sons were shot near the mouth
of Tuckasegee, a detachment of Cherokee prisoners being compelled
to do the shooting in order to impress upon the Indians the fact
of their utter helplessness. From those fugitives thus permitted to
remain originated the present eastern band of Cherokee. [329]

When nearly seventeen thousand Cherokee had thus been gathered
into the various stockades the work of removal began. Early in
June several parties, aggregating about five thousand persons, were
brought down by the troops to the old agency, on Hiwassee, at the
present Calhoun, Tennessee, and to Ross's landing (now Chattanooga),
and Gunter's landing (now Guntersville, Alabama), lower down on the
Tennessee, where they were put upon steamers and transported down
the Tennessee and Ohio to the farther side of the Mississippi, when
the journey was continued by land to Indian Territory. This removal,
in the hottest part of the year, was attended with so great sickness
and mortality that, by resolution of the Cherokee national council,
Ross and the other chiefs submitted to General Scott a proposition
that the Cherokee be allowed to remove themselves in the fall,
after the sickly season had ended. This was granted on condition
that all should have started by the 20th of October, excepting the
sick and aged who might not be able to move so rapidly. Accordingly,
officers were appointed by the Cherokee council to take charge of the
emigration; the Indians being organized into detachments averaging
one thousand each, with two leaders in charge of each detachment,
and a sufficient number of wagons and horses for the purpose. In this
way the remainder, enrolled at about 13,000 (including negro slaves),
started on the long march overland late in the fall (44).

Those who thus emigrated under the management of their own officers
assembled at Rattlesnake springs, about two miles south of Hiwassee
river, near the present Charleston, Tennessee, where a final council
was held, in which it was decided to continue their old constitution
and laws in their new home. Then, in October, 1838, the long procession
of exiles was set in motion. A very few went by the river route;
the rest, nearly all of the 13,000, went overland. Crossing to the
north side of the Hiwassee at a ferry above Gunstocker creek, they
proceeded down along the river, the sick, the old people, and the
smaller children, with the blankets, cooking pots, and other belongings
in wagons, the rest on foot or on horses. The number of wagons was 645.

It was like the march of an army, regiment after regiment, the
wagons in the center, the officers along the line and the horsemen on
the flanks and at the rear. Tennessee river was crossed at Tuckers
(?) ferry, a short distance above Jollys island, at the mouth of
Hiwassee. Thence the route lay south of Pikeville, through McMinnville
and on to Nashville, where the Cumberland was crossed. Then they
went on to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, where the noted chief White-path,
in charge of a detachment, sickened and died. His people buried him
by the roadside, with a box over the grave and poles with streamers
around it, that the others coming on behind might note the spot and
remember him. Somewhere also along that march of death--for the exiles
died by tens and twenties every day of the journey--the devoted wife
of John Ross sank down, leaving him to go on with the bitter pain of
bereavement added to heartbreak at the ruin of his nation. The Ohio
was crossed at a ferry near the mouth of the Cumberland, and the army
passed on through southern Illinois until the great Mississippi was
reached opposite Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It was now the middle
of winter, with the river running full of ice, so that several
detachments were obliged to wait some time on the eastern bank for
the channel to become clear. In talking with old men and women at
Tahlequah the author found that the lapse of over half a century
had not sufficed to wipe out the memory of the miseries of that halt
beside the frozen river, with hundreds of sick and dying penned up
in wagons or stretched upon the ground, with only a blanket overhead
to keep out the January blast. The crossing was made at last in two
divisions, at Cape Girardeau and at Green's ferry, a short distance
below, whence the march was on through Missouri to Indian Territory,
the later detachments making a northerly circuit by Springfield,
because those who had gone before had killed off all the game along the
direct route. At last their destination was reached. They had started
in October, 1838, and it was now March, 1839, the journey having
occupied nearly six months of the hardest part of the year. [330]

It is difficult to arrive at any accurate statement of the number
of Cherokee who died as the result of the Removal. According to the
official figures those who removed under the direction of Ross lost
over 1,600 on the journey. [331] The proportionate mortality among
those previously removed under military supervision was probably
greater, as it was their suffering that led to the proposition of the
Cherokee national officers to take charge of the emigration. Hundreds
died in the stockades and the waiting camps, chiefly by reason of the
rations furnished, which were of flour and other provisions to which
they were unaccustomed and which they did not know how to prepare
properly. Hundreds of others died soon after their arrival in Indian
territory, from sickness and exposure on the journey. Altogether it
is asserted, probably with reason, that over 4,000 Cherokee died as
the direct result of the removal.

On their arrival in Indian Territory the emigrants at once set
about building houses and planting crops, the government having
agreed under the treaty to furnish them with rations for one
year after arrival. They were welcomed by their kindred, the
"Arkansas Cherokee"--hereafter to be known for distinction as the
"Old Settlers"--who held the country under previous treaties in 1828
and 1833. These, however, being already regularly organized under a
government and chiefs of their own, were by no means disposed to be
swallowed by the governmental authority of the newcomers. Jealousies
developed in which the minority or treaty party of the emigrants,
headed by Ridge, took sides with the Old Settlers against the Ross or
national party, which outnumbered both the others nearly three to one.

While these differences were at their height the Nation was thrown
into a fever of excitement by the news that Major Ridge, his son John
Ridge, and Elias Boudinot--all leaders of the treaty party--had been
killed by adherents of the national party, immediately after the
close of a general council, which had adjourned after nearly two
weeks of debate without having been able to bring about harmonious
action. Major Ridge was waylaid and shot close to the Arkansas line,
his son was taken from bed and cut to pieces with hatchets, while
Boudinot was treacherously killed at his home at Park Hill, Indian
territory, all three being killed upon the same day, June 22, 1839.

The agent's report to the Secretary of War, two days later, says of
the affair:

    The murder of Boudinot was treacherous and cruel. He was assisting
    some workmen in building a new house. Three men called upon him
    and asked for medicine. He went off with them in the direction
    of Wooster's, the missionary, who keeps medicine, about three
    hundred yards from Boudinot's. When they got about half way
    two of the men seized Boudinot and the other stabbed him,
    after which the three cut him to pieces with their knives and
    tomahawks. This murder taking place within two miles of the
    residence of John Ross, his friends were apprehensive it might
    be charged to his connivance; and at this moment I am writing
    there are six hundred armed Cherokee around the dwelling of Ross,
    assembled for his protection. The murderers of the two Ridges
    and Boudinot are certainly of the late Cherokee emigrants, and,
    of course, adherents of Ross, but I can not yet believe that
    Ross has encouraged the outrage. He is a man of too much good
    sense to embroil his nation at this critical time; and besides,
    his character, since I have known him, which is now twenty-five
    years, has been pacific.... Boudinot's wife is a white woman, a
    native of New Jersey, as I understand. He has six children. The
    wife of John Ridge, jr., is a white woman, but from whence, or
    what family left, I am not informed. Boudinot was in moderate
    circumstances. The Ridges, both father and son, were rich.... [332]

While all the evidence shows that Ross was in no way a party to the
affair, there can be no question that the men were killed in accordance
with the law of the Nation--three times formulated, and still in
existence--which made it treason, punishable with death, to cede away
lands except by act of the general council of the Nation. It was for
violating a similar law among the Creeks that the chief, McIntosh,
lost his life in 1825, and a party led by Major Ridge himself had
killed Doublehead years before on suspicion of accepting a bribe for
his part in a treaty.

On hearing of the death of the Ridges and Boudinot several other
signers of the repudiated treaty, among whom were John Bell,
Archilla Smith, and James Starr, fled for safety to the protection
of the garrison at Fort Gibson. Boudinot's brother, Stand Watie,
vowed vengeance against Ross, who was urged to flee, but refused,
declaring his entire innocence. His friends rallied to his support,
stationing a guard around his house until the first excitement had
subsided. About three weeks afterward the national council passed
decrees declaring that the men killed and their principal confederates
had rendered themselves outlaws by their own conduct, extending
amnesty on certain stringent conditions to their confederates, and
declaring the slayers guiltless of murder and fully restored to the
confidence and favor of the community. This was followed in August
by another council decree declaring the New Echota treaty void and
reasserting the title of the Cherokee to their old country, and
three weeks later another decree summoned the signers of the treaty
to appear and answer for their conduct under penalty of outlawry. At
this point the United States interfered by threatening to arrest Ross
as accessory to the killing of the Ridges. [333] In the meantime the
national party and the Old Settlers had been coming together, and a
few of the latter who had sided with the Ridge faction and endeavored
to perpetuate a division in the Nation were denounced in a council of
the Old Settlers, which declared that "in identifying themselves with
those individuals known as the Ridge party, who by their conduct had
rendered themselves odious to the Cherokee people, they have acted in
opposition to the known sentiments and feelings of that portion of this
Nation known as Old Settlers, frequently and variously and publicly
expressed." The offending chiefs were at the same time deposed from
all authority. Among the names of over two hundred signers attached
that of "George Guess" (Sequoya) comes second as vice-president. [334]

On July 12, 1839, a general convention of the eastern and western
Cherokee, held at the Illinois camp ground, Indian territory, passed
an act of union, by which the two were declared "one body politic,
under the style and title of the Cherokee Nation." On behalf of
the eastern Cherokee the instrument bears the signature of John
Ross, principal chief, George Lowrey, president of the council,
and Going-snake (I'nadû-na'i), speaker of the council, with thirteen
others. For the western Cherokee it was signed by John Looney, acting
principal chief, George Guess (Sequoya), president of the council, and
fifteen others. On September 6, 1839, a convention composed chiefly of
eastern Cherokee assembled at Tahlequah, Indian territory--then first
officially adopted as the national capital--adopted a new constitution,
which was accepted by a convention of the Old Settlers at Fort Gibson,
Indian Territory, on June 26, 1840, an act which completed the reunion
of the Nation. [335]


Having followed the fortunes of the main body of the Nation to their
final destination in the West, we now turn to review briefly the
history of the earlier emigrants, the Arkansas or Old Settler Cherokee.

The events leading to the first westward migration and the subsequent
negotiations which resulted in the assignment of a territory in
Arkansas to the western Cherokee, by the treaty of 1817, have been
already noted. The great majority of those thus voluntarily removing
belonged to the conservative hunter element, who desired to reestablish
in the western wilderness the old Indian life from which, through
the influence of schools and intelligent leadership, the body of
the Cherokee was rapidly drifting away. As the lands upon which the
emigrants had settled belonged to the Osage, whose claim had not yet
been extinguished by the United States, the latter objected to their
presence, and the Cherokee were compelled to fight to maintain their
own position, so that for the first twenty years or more the history of
the western band is a mere petty chronicle of Osage raids and Cherokee
retaliations, emphasized from time to time by a massacre on a larger
scale. By the treaty of 1817 the western Cherokee acquired title to a
definite territory and official standing under Government protection
and supervision, the lands assigned them having been acquired by
treaty from the Osage. The great body of the Cherokee in the East
were strongly opposed to any recognition of the western band, seeing
in such action only the beginning of an effort looking toward the
ultimate removal of the whole tribe. The Government lent support to
the scheme, however, and a steady emigration set in until, in 1819,
the emigrants were said to number several thousands. Unsuccessful
endeavors were made to increase the number by inducing the Shawano and
Delawares of Missouri and the Oneida of New York to join them. [336]

In 1818 Tollunteeskee (Ata'lûñti'ski), principal chief of the
Arkansas Cherokee, while on a visit to old friends in the East,
had become acquainted with one of the officers of the American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and had asked for the
establishment of a mission among his people in the West. In response to
the invitation the Reverend Cephas Washburn and his assistant, Reverend
Alfred Finney, with their families, set out the next year from the old
Nation, and after a long and exhausting journey reached the Arkansas
country, where, in the spring of 1820, they established Dwight mission,
adjoining the agency at the mouth of Illinois creek, on the northern
bank of the Arkansas, in what is now Pope county, Arkansas. The name
was bestowed in remembrance of Timothy Dwight, a Yale president and
pioneer organizer of the American Board. Tollunteeskee having died in
the meantime was succeeded as principal chief by his brother, John
Jolly, [337] the friend and adopted father of Samuel Houston. Jolly
had removed from his old home at the mouth of Hiwassee, in Tennessee,
in 1818. [338]

In the spring of 1819 Thomas Nuttall, the naturalist, ascended the
Arkansas, and he gives an interesting account of the western Cherokee
as he found them at the time. In going up the stream, "both banks of
the river, as we proceeded, were lined with the houses and farms of
the Cherokee, and though their dress was a mixture of indigenous and
European taste, yet in their houses, which are decently furnished,
and in their farms, which were well fenced and stocked with cattle,
we perceive a happy approach toward civilization. Their numerous
families, also, well fed and clothed, argue a propitious progress in
their population. Their superior industry either as hunters or farmers
proves the value of property among them, and they are no longer
strangers to avarice and the distinctions created by wealth. Some
of them are possessed of property to the amount of many thousands
of dollars, have houses handsomely and conveniently furnished, and
their tables spread with our dainties and luxuries." He mentions an
engagement some time before between them and the Osage, in which the
Cherokee had killed nearly one hundred of the Osage, besides taking
a number of prisoners. He estimates them at about fifteen hundred,
being about half the number estimated by the eastern Nation as having
emigrated to the West, and only one-fourth of the official estimate. A
few Delawares were living with them. [339]

The Osage troubles continued in spite of a treaty of peace between
the two tribes made at a council held under the direction of Governor
Clark at St. Louis, in October, 1818. [340] Warriors from the eastern
Cherokee were accustomed to make the long journey to the Arkansas
to assist their western brethren, and returned with scalps and
captives. [341]

In the summer of 1820 a second effort for peace was made by Governor
Miller of Arkansas territory. In reply to his talk the Osage complained
that the Cherokee had failed to deliver their Osage captives as
stipulated in the previous agreement at St. Louis. This, it appears,
was due in part to the fact that some of these captives had been
carried to the eastern Cherokee, and a messenger was accordingly
dispatched to secure and bring them back. Another peace conference
was held soon afterward at Fort Smith, but to very little purpose,
as hostilities were soon resumed and continued until the United States
actively interposed in the fall of 1822. [342]

In this year also Sequoya visited the western Cherokee to introduce to
them the knowledge of his great invention, which was at once taken up
through the influence of Takatoka (Degatâ'ga), a prominent chief who
had hitherto opposed every effort of the missionaries to introduce
their own schools and religion. In consequence perhaps of this
encouragement Sequoya removed permanently to the West in the following
year and became henceforth a member of the western Nation. [343]

Like other Indians, the western Cherokee held a firm belief
in witchcraft, which led to frequent tragedies of punishment or
retaliation. In 1824 a step forward was marked by the enactment of a
law making it murder to kill any one for witchcraft, and an offense
punishable with whipping to accuse another of witchcraft. [344] This
law may have been the result of the silent working of missionary
influence, supported by such enlightened men as Sequoya.

The treaty which assigned the Arkansas lands to the western Cherokee
had stipulated that a census should be made of the eastern and western
divisions of the Nation, separately, and an apportionment of the
national annuity forthwith made on that basis. The western line of
the Arkansas tract had also been left open, until according to another
stipulation of the same treaty, the whole amount of land ceded through
it to the United States by the Cherokee Nation in the East could be
ascertained in order that an equal quantity might be included within
the boundaries of the western tract. [345] These promises had not
yet been fulfilled, partly because of the efforts of the Government
to bring about a larger emigration or a further cession, partly on
account of delay in the state surveys, and partly also because the
Osage objected to the running of a line which should make the Cherokee
their next door neighbors. [346] With their boundaries unadjusted
and their annuities withheld, distress and dissatisfaction overcame
the western Cherokee, many of whom, feeling themselves absolved from
territorial restrictions, spread over the country on the southern side
of Arkansas river, [347] while others, under the lead of a chief named
The Bowl (Diwa'`li), crossed Red river into Texas--then a portion of
Mexico--in a vain attempt to escape American jurisdiction. [348]

A provisional western boundary having been run, which proved
unsatisfactory both to the western Cherokee and to the people of
Arkansas, an effort was made to settle the difficulty by arranging an
exchange of the Arkansas tract for a new country west of the Arkansas
line. So strongly opposed, however, were the western Cherokee to this
project that their council, in 1825, passed a law, as the eastern
Cherokee and the Creeks had already done, fixing the death penalty
for anyone of the tribe who should undertake to cede or exchange land
belonging to the Nation. [349]

After a long series of negotiations such pressure was brought to bear
upon a delegation which visited Washington in 1828 that consent was
at last obtained to an exchange of the Arkansas tract for another
piece of seven million acres lying farther west, together with "a
perpetual outlet west" of the tract thus assigned, as far west as the
sovereignty of the United States might extend. [350] The boundaries
given for this seven-million-acre tract and the adjoining western
outlet were modified by treaty at Fort Gibson five years later so as
to be practically equivalent to the present territory of the Cherokee
Nation in Indian Territory, with the Cherokee strip recently ceded.

The preamble of the Washington treaty of May 6, 1828, recites that
"Whereas, it being the anxious desire of the Government of the
United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians, as well
those now living within the limits of the territory of Arkansas as
those of their friends and brothers who reside in states east of the
Mississippi, and who may wish to join their brothers of the West,
a permanent home, and which shall, under the most solemn guarantee
of the United States, be and remain theirs forever--a home that shall
never, in all future time, be embarrassed by having extended around it
the lines or placed over it the jurisdiction of a territory or state,
nor be pressed upon by the extension in any way of any of the limits
of any existing territory or state; and whereas the present location
of the Cherokees in Arkansas being unfavorable to their present repose,
and tending, as the past demonstrates, to their future degradation and
misery, and the Cherokees being anxious to avoid such consequences,"
etc.--therefore, they cede everything confirmed to them in 1817.

Article 2 defines the boundaries of the new tract and the western
outlet to be given in exchange, lying immediately west of the present
Arkansas line, while the next article provides for the removal of
all whites and others residing within the said boundaries, "so that
no obstacles arising out of the presence of a white population, or
any population of any other sort, shall exist to annoy the Cherokees,
and also to keep all such from the west of said line in future."

Other articles provide for payment for improvements left behind;
for a cash sum of $50,000 to pay for trouble and expense of removal
and to compensate for the inferior quality of the lands in the new
tract; for $6,000 to pay for recovering stock which may stray away
"in quest of the pastures from which they may be driven;" $8,760
for spoliations committed by Osage and whites; $500 to George Guess
(Sequoya)--who was himself one of the signers--in consideration of the
beneficial results to his tribe from the alphabet invented by him;
$20,000 in ten annual payments for education; $1,000 for a printing
press and type to aid in the enlightenment of the people "in their
own and our language"; a personal indemnity for false imprisonment;
and for the removal and reestablishment of the Dwight mission.

In article 6 "it is moreover agreed by the United States, whenever
the Cherokee may desire it, to give them a set of plain laws, suited
to their condition; also, when they wish to lay off their lands and
own them individually, a surveyor shall be sent to make the surveys
at the cost of the United States." This article was annulled in 1833
by request of the Cherokee.

Article 9 provides for the Fort Gibson military reservation within
the new tract, while article 7 binds the Cherokee to surrender and
remove from all their lands in Arkansas within fourteen months.

Article 8 shows that all this was intended to be only preliminary
to the removal of the whole Cherokee Nation from the east of the
Mississippi, a consummation toward which the Jackson administration
and the state of Georgia immediately began to bend every effort. It
is as follows:

    Article 8. The Cherokee nation, west of the Mississippi, having
    by this agreement freed themselves from the harassing and ruinous
    effects consequent upon a location amidst a white population,
    and secured to themselves and their posterity, under the solemn
    sanction of the guarantee of the United States as contained in
    this agreement, a large extent of unembarrassed country; and that
    their brothers yet remaining in the states may be induced to join
    them and enjoy the repose and blessings of such a state in the
    future, it is further agreed on the part of the United States
    that to each head of a Cherokee family now residing within the
    chartered limits of Georgia, or of either of the states east of
    the Mississippi, who may desire to remove west, shall be given,
    on enrolling himself for emigration, a good rifle, a blanket,
    a kettle, and five pounds of tobacco; (and to each member of his
    family one blanket), also a just compensation for the property
    he may abandon, to be assessed by persons to be appointed by the
    President of the United States. The cost of the emigration of
    all such shall also be borne by the United States, and good and
    suitable ways opened and procured for their comfort, accommodation,
    and support by the way, and provisions for twelve months after
    their arrival at the agency; and to each person, or head of a
    family, if he take along with him four persons, shall be paid
    immediately on his arriving at the agency and reporting himself
    and his family or followers as emigrants or permanent settlers, in
    addition to the above, provided he and they shall have emigrated
    from within the chartered limits of the State of Georgia, the
    sum of fifty dollars, and this sum in proportion to any greater
    or less number that may accompany him from within the aforesaid
    chartered limits of the State of Georgia.

A Senate amendment, defining the limits of the western outlet,
was afterward found to be impracticable in its restrictions and was
canceled by the treaty made at Fort Gibson in 1833. [351]

The Washington treaty was signed by several delegates, including
Sequoya, four of them signing in Cherokee characters. As the laws
of the western Cherokee made it a capital offense to negotiate any
sale or exchange of land excepting by authority of council, and the
delegates had acted without such authority, they were so doubtful
as to what might happen on their return that the Secretary of War
sent with them a letter of explanation assuring the Cherokee that
their representatives had acted with integrity and earnest zeal for
their people and had done the best that could be done with regard
to the treaty. Notwithstanding this, they found the whole tribe so
strongly opposed to the treaty that their own lives and property
were unsafe. The national council pronounced them guilty of fraud
and deception and declared the treaty null and void, as having been
made without authority, and asked permission to send on a delegation
authorized to arrange all differences. [352] In the meantime, however,
the treaty had been ratified within three weeks of its conclusion,
and thus, hardly ten years after they had cleared their fields on the
Arkansas, the western Cherokee were forced to abandon their cabins
and plantations and move once more into the wilderness.

A considerable number, refusing to submit to the treaty or to trust
longer to guarantees and promises, crossed Red river into Texas and
joined the Cherokee colony already located there by The Bowl, under
Mexican jurisdiction. Among those thus removing was the noted chief
Tahchee (Tatsi) or "Dutch," who had been one of the earliest emigrants
to the Arkansas country. After several years in Texas, during which
he led war parties against the wilder tribes, he recrossed Red river
and soon made himself so conspicuous in raids upon the Osage that a
reward of five hundred dollars was offered by General Arbuckle for
his capture. To show his defiance of the proclamation, he deliberately
journeyed to Fort Gibson, attacked a party of Osage at a trading post
near by, and scalped one of them within hearing of the drums of the
fort. With rifle in one hand and the bleeding scalp in the other,
he leaped a precipice and made his escape, although a bullet grazed
his cheek. On promise of amnesty and the withdrawal of the reward, he
afterward returned and settled, with his followers, on the Canadian,
southwest of Fort Gibson, establishing a reputation among army officers
as a valuable scout and guide. [353]

By treaties made in 1826 and 1827 the Creeks had ceded all
their remaining lands in Georgia and agreed to remove to Indian
Territory. Some of these emigrants had settled along the northern bank
of the Arkansas and on Verdigris river, on lands later found to be
within the limits of the territory assigned to the western Cherokee by
the treaty of 1828. This led to jealousies and collisions between the
two tribes, and in order to settle the difficulty the United States
convened a joint council of Creeks and Cherokee at Fort Gibson, with
the result that separate treaties were concluded with each on February
14, 1833, defining their respective bounds to the satisfaction of all
concerned. By this arrangement the upper Verdigris was confirmed to
the Cherokee, and the Creeks who had settled along that portion of
the stream agreed to remove to Creek territory immediately adjoining
on the south. [354]

By the treaty made on this occasion with the Cherokee the boundaries
of the tract of seven million acres granted by the treaty of 1828
are defined so as to correspond with the present boundaries of the
Cherokee country in Indian territory, together with a strip two miles
wide along the northern border, which was afterward annexed to the
state of Kansas by the treaty of 1866. A tract in the northeastern
corner, between Neosho or Grand river and the Missouri line, was
set apart for the use of the Seneca and several other remnants of
tribes removed from their original territories. The western outlet
established by the treaty of 1828 was reestablished as a western
extension from the seven-million-acre tract thus bounded, being what
was afterward known as the Cherokee strip or outlet plus the two-mile
strip extending westward along the south line of Kansas.

After describing the boundaries of the main residence tract, the
first article continues:

    In addition to the seven millions of acres of land thus provided
    for and bounded the United States further guarantee to the Cherokee
    nation a perpetual outlet west and a free and unmolested use of
    all the country lying west of the western boundary of said seven
    millions of acres, as far west as the sovereignty of the United
    States and their right of soil extend--provided, however, that
    if the saline or salt plain on the great western prairie shall
    fall within said limits prescribed for said outlet the right
    is reserved to the United States to permit other tribes of red
    men to get salt on said plain in common with the Cherokees--and
    letters patent shall be issued by the United States as soon as
    practicable for the lands hereby guaranteed.

The third article cancels, at the particular request of the Cherokee,
that article of the treaty of 1828 by which the government was to
give to the Cherokee a set of laws and a surveyor to survey lands
for individuals, when so desired by the Cherokee. [355]

Their differences with the Creeks having been thus adjusted, the
Arkansas Cherokee proceeded to occupy the territory guaranteed to
them, where they were joined a few years later by their expatriated
kinsmen from the east. By tacit agreement some of the Creeks who had
settled within the Cherokee bounds were permitted to remain. Among
these were several families of Uchee--an incorporated tribe of the
Creek confederacy--who had fixed their residence at the spot where
the town of Tahlequah was afterward established. They remained here
until swept off by smallpox some sixty years ago. [356]

THE TEXAS BAND--1817-1900

As already stated, a band of western Cherokee under Chief Bowl,
dissatisfied with the delay in fulfilling the terms of the treaty of
1817, had left Arkansas and crossed Red river into Texas, then under
Mexican jurisdiction, where they were joined a few years later by
Tahchee and others of the western band who were opposed to the treaty
of 1828. Here they united with other refugee Indians from the United
States, forming together a loose confederacy known afterward as "the
Cherokee and their associated bands," consisting of Cherokee, Shawano,
Delaware, Kickapoo, Quapaw, Choctaw, Biloxi, "Iawanie" (Heyowani,
Yowani), "Unataqua" (Nada'ko or Anadarko, another Caddo subtribe),
"Tahookatookie" (?), Alabama (a Creek subtribe), and "Cooshatta"
(Koasa'ti, another Creek subtribe). The Cherokee being the largest and
most important band, their chief, Bowl--known to the whites as Colonel
Bowles--was regarded as the chief and principal man of them all.

The refugees settled chiefly along Angelina, Neches, and Trinity
rivers in eastern Texas, where Bowl endeavored to obtain a grant of
land for their use from the Mexican government. According to the Texan
historians they were tacitly permitted to occupy the country and hopes
were held out that a grant would be issued, but the papers had not
been perfected when the Texas revolution began. [357] According to
the Cherokee statement the grant was actually issued and the Spanish
document inclosed in a tin box was on the person of Bowl when he
was killed. [358] On complaint of some of the American colonists in
Texas President Jackson issued a proclamation forbidding any Indians
to cross the Sabine river from the United States. [359]

In 1826-27 a dissatisfied American colony in eastern Texas, under
the leadership of Hayden Edwards, organized what was known as the
"Fredonia rebellion" against the Mexican government. To secure the
alliance of the Cherokee and their confederates the Americans entered
into a treaty by which the Indians were guaranteed the lands occupied
by them, but without specification as to boundaries. The Fredonia
movement soon collapsed and nothing tangible seems to have come of
the negotiations. [360]

In the fall of 1835 the Texan revolution began, resulting in the
secession of Texas from Mexico and her establishment as an independent
republic until annexed later to the United States. General Samuel
Houston, a leading member of the revolutionary body, was an old friend
of the Cherokee, and set forth so strongly the claims of them and
their confederates that an act was passed by the convention pledging
to these tribes all the lands which they had held under the Mexican
government. In accordance with this act General Houston and John Forbes
were appointed to hold a treaty with the Cherokee and their associated
bands. They met the chiefs, including Bowl and Big-mush (Gatûñ'wa`li,
"Hard-mush"), of the Cherokee, at Bowl's village on February 23,
1836, and concluded a formal treaty by which the Cherokee and their
allies received a fee simple title to all the land lying "west of
the San Antonio road and beginning on the west at a point where
the said road crosses the river Angelina, and running up said river
until it reaches the mouth of the first large creek below the great
Shawnee village, emptying into the said river from the northeast,
thence running with said creek to its main source and from thence a
due north line to the Sabine and with said river west. Then starting
where the San Antonio road crosses the Angelina and with said road
to where it crosses the Neches and thence running up the east side of
said river in a northwest direction." The historian remarks that the
description is somewhat vague, but is a literal transcription from
the treaty. [361] The territory thus assigned was about equivalent
to the present Cherokee county, Texas.

The treaty provoked such general dissatisfaction among the Texans that
it was not presented to the convention for ratification. General
Houston became President of Texas in November, 1836, but
notwithstanding all his efforts in behalf of the Cherokee, the treaty
was rejected by the Texas senate in secret session on December
16, 1837. [362] Texas having in the meantime achieved victorious
independence was now in position to repudiate her engagements with
the Indians, which she did, not only with the Cherokee, but with
the Comanche and other wild tribes, which had been induced to remain
neutral during the struggle on assurance of being secured in possession
of their lands.

In the meantime President Houston was unremitting in his effort to
secure the ratification of the Cherokee treaty, but without success. On
the other hand the Cherokee were accused of various depredations,
and it was asserted that they had entered into an agreement with
Mexico by which they were to be secured in the territory in question
on condition of assisting to drive out the Americans. [363] The charge
came rather late in the day, and it was evident that President Houston
put no faith in it, as he still continued his efforts in behalf of
the Cherokee, even so far as to order the boundary line to be run,
according to the terms of the treaty (45). [364]

In December, 1838, Houston was succeeded as President by Mirabeau
B. Lamar, who at once announced his intention to expel every Indian
tribe from Texas, declaring in his inaugural message that "the sword
should mark the boundaries of the republic." At this time the Indians
in eastern Texas, including the Cherokee and their twelve confederated
bands and some others, were estimated at 1,800 warriors, or perhaps
8,000 persons. [365]

A small force of troops sent to take possession of the salt springs in
the Indian country at the head of the Neches was notified by Bowl that
such action would be resisted. The Indians were then informed that they
must prepare to leave the country in the fall, but that they would be
paid for the improvements abandoned. In the meantime the neighboring
Mexicans made an effort to free themselves from Texan rule and sent
overtures to the Indians to make common cause with them. This being
discovered, the crisis was precipitated, and a commission consisting
of General Albert Sidney Johnston (secretary of war of the republic),
Vice-President Burnet, and some other officials, backed up by several
regiments of troops, was sent to the Cherokee village on Angelina
river to demand of the Indians that they remove at once across the
border. The Indians refused and were attacked and defeated on July 15,
1839, by the Texan troops under command of General Douglas. They were
pursued and a second engagement took place the next morning, resulting
in the death of Bowl himself and his assistant chief Gatûñ'wa`li,
"Hard-mush," and the dispersion of the Indian forces, with a loss in
the two engagements of about 55 killed and 80 wounded, the Texan loss
being comparatively trifling. The first fight took place at a hill
close to the main Cherokee village on the Angelina, where the Indians
made a stand and defended their position well for some time. The second
occurred at a ravine near Neches river, where they were intercepted
in their retreat. Says Thrall, "After this fight the Indians abandoned
Texas, leaving their fine lands in possession of the whites." [366]

By these two defeats the forces of the Cherokee and their confederates
were completely broken up. A part of the Cherokee recrossed Red river
and rejoined their kinsmen in Indian territory, bringing with them
the blood-stained canister containing the patent for their Texas
land, which Bowl had carried about with him since the treaty with
Houston and which he had upon his person when shot. It is still
kept in the Nation. [367] Others, with the Kickapoo, Delawares, and
Caddo, scattered in small bands along the western Texas frontier,
where they were occasionally heard from afterward. On Christmas
day of the same year a fight occurred on Cherokee creek, San Saba
county, in which several Indians were killed and a number of women
and children captured, including the wife and family of the dead
chief Bowl. [368] Those of the Cherokee who did not return to Indian
territory gradually drifted down into Mexico, where some hundreds of
them are now permanently and prosperously domiciled far south in the
neighborhood of Guadalajara and Lake Chapala, communication being
still kept up through occasional visits from their kinsmen in the
territory. [369]


With the final removal of the Cherokee from their native country
and their reunion and reorganization under new conditions in Indian
Territory in 1840 their aboriginal period properly comes to a close
and the rest may be dismissed in a few paragraphs as of concern rather
to the local historian than to the ethnologist. Having traced for
three full centuries their gradual evolution from a savage tribe to a
civilized Christian nation, with a national constitution and national
press printed in their own national alphabet, we can afford to leave
the rest to others, the principal materials being readily accessible
in the Cherokee national archives at Tahlequah, in the files of
the Cherokee Advocate and other newspapers published in the Nation,
and in the annual reports and other documents of the Indian office.

For many years the hunter and warrior had been giving place to the
farmer and mechanic, and the forced expatriation made the change
complete and final. Torn from their native streams and mountains,
their council fires extinguished and their townhouses burned behind
them, and transported bodily to a far distant country where everything
was new and strange, they were obliged perforce to forego the old
life and adjust themselves to changed surroundings. The ballplay
was neglected and the green-corn dance proscribed, while the heroic
tradition of former days became a fading memory or a tale to amuse
a child. Instead of ceremonials and peace councils we hear now of
railroad deals and contracts with cattle syndicates, and instead of the
old warrior chiefs who had made the Cherokee name a terror--Oconostota,
Hanging-maw, Doublehead, and Pathkiller--we find the destinies of the
nation guided henceforth by shrewd mixed-blood politicians, bearing
white men's names and speaking the white man's language, and frequently
with hardly enough Indian blood to show itself in the features.

The change was not instantaneous, nor is it even yet complete,
for although the tendency is constantly away from the old things,
and although frequent intermarriages are rapidly bleaching out
the brown of the Indian skin, there are still several thousand
full-blood Cherokee--enough to constitute a large tribe if set off by
themselves--who speak only their native language and in secret bow
down to the nature-gods of their fathers. Here, as in other lands,
the conservative element has taken refuge in the mountain districts,
while the mixed-bloods and the adopted whites are chiefly on the
richer low grounds and in the railroad towns.

On the reorganization of the united Nation the council ground at
Tahlequah was designated as the seat of government, and the present
town was soon afterward laid out upon the spot, taking its name from
the old Cherokee town of Talikwa', or Tellico, in Tennessee. The
missions were reestablished, the Advocate was revived, and the work
of civilization was again taken up, though under great difficulties,
as continued removals and persecutions, with the awful suffering
and mortality of the last great emigration, had impoverished and
more than decimated the Nation and worn out the courage even of the
bravest. The bitterness engendered by the New Echota treaty led to
a series of murders and assassinations and other acts of outlawry,
amounting almost to civil war between the Ross and Ridge factions,
until the Government was at last obliged to interfere. The Old Settlers
also had their grievances and complaints against the newcomers, so
that the history of the Cherokee Nation for the next twenty years is
largely a chronicle of factional quarrels, through which civilization
and every good work actually retrograded behind the condition of a
generation earlier.

Sequoya, who had occupied a prominent position in the affairs of the
Old Settlers and assisted much in the reorganization of the Nation, had
become seized with a desire to make linguistic investigations among the
remote tribes, very probably with a view of devising a universal Indian
alphabet. His mind dwelt also on the old tradition of a lost band of
Cherokee living somewhere toward the western mountains. In 1841 and
1842, with a few Cherokee companions and with his provisions and papers
loaded in an ox cart, he made several journeys into the West, received
everywhere with kindness by even the wildest tribes. Disappointed
in his philologic results, he started out in 1843 in quest of the
lost Cherokee, who were believed to be somewhere in northern Mexico,
but, being now an old man and worn out by hardship, he sank under the
effort and died--alone and unattended, it is said--near the village
of San Fernando, Mexico, in August of that year. Rumors having come
of his helpless condition, a party had been sent out from the Nation
to bring him back, but arrived too late to find him alive. A pension
of three hundred dollars, previously voted to him by the Nation,
was continued to his widow--the only literary pension in the United
States. Besides a wife he left two sons and a daughter. [370] Sequoyah
district of the Cherokee Nation was named in his honor, and the great
trees of California (Sequoia gigantea) also preserve his memory.

In 1846 a treaty was concluded at Washington by which the conflicting
claims of the Old Settlers and later emigrants were adjusted,
reimbursement was promised for sums unjustly deducted from the
five-million-dollar payment guaranteed under the treaty of 1835,
and a general amnesty was proclaimed for all past offenses within the
Nation. [371] Final settlement of the treaty claims has not yet been
made, and the matter is still a subject of litigation, including all
the treaties and agreements up to the present date.

In 1859 the devoted missionary Samuel Worcester, author of numerous
translations and first organizer of the Advocate, died at Park Hill
mission, in the Cherokee Nation, after thirty-five years spent in
the service of the Cherokee, having suffered chains, imprisonment,
and exile for their sake. [372]

The breaking out of the civil war in 1861 found the Cherokee divided
in sentiment. Being slave owners, like the other Indians removed
from the southern states, and surrounded by southern influences, the
agents in charge being themselves southern sympathizers, a considerable
party in each of the tribes was disposed to take active part with the
Confederacy. The old Ridge party, headed by Stand Watie and supported
by the secret secession organization known as the Knights of the
Golden Circle, declared for the Confederacy. The National party,
headed by John Ross and supported by the patriotic organization
known as the Kitoowah society--whose members were afterward known
as Pin Indians--declared for strict neutrality. At last, however,
the pressure became too strong to be resisted, and on October 7,
1861, a treaty was concluded at Tahlequah, with General Albert Pike,
commissioner for the Confederate states, by which the Cherokee Nation
cast its lot with the Confederacy, as the Creeks, Choctaw, Chickasaw,
Seminole, Osage, Comanche, and several smaller tribes had already
done. [373]

Two Cherokee regiments were raised for the Confederate service,
under command of Stand Watie and Colonel Drew, respectively, the
former being commissioned as brigadier-general. They participated in
several engagements, chief among them being the battle of Pea Ridge,
Arkansas, on March 7, 1862. [374] In the following summer the Union
forces entered the Cherokee country and sent a proposition to Ross,
urging him to repudiate the treaty with the Confederate states,
but the offer was indignantly declined. Shortly afterward, however,
the men of Drew's regiment, finding themselves unpaid and generally
neglected by their allies, went over almost in a body to the Union
side, thus compelling Ross to make an arrangement with the Union
commander, Colonel Weir. Leaving the Cherokee country, Ross retired
to Philadelphia, from which he did not return until the close of the
war. [375] In the meantime Indian Territory was ravaged alternately by
contending factions and armed bodies, and thousands of loyal fugitives
were obliged to take refuge in Kansas, where they were cared for by
the government. Among these, at the close of 1862, were two thousand
Cherokee. In the following spring they were sent back to their homes
under armed escort to give them an opportunity to put in a crop,
seeds and tools being furnished for the purpose, but had hardly begun
work when they were forced to retire by the approach of Stand Watie
and his regiment of Confederate Cherokee, estimated at seven hundred
men. Stand Watie and his men, with the Confederate Creeks and others,
scoured the country at will, destroying or carrying off everything
belonging to the loyal Cherokee, who had now, to the number of nearly
seven thousand, taken refuge at Fort Gibson. Refusing to take sides
against a government which was still unable to protect them, they
were forced to see all the prosperous accumulations of twenty years
of industry swept off in this guerrilla warfare. In stock alone their
losses were estimated at more than 300,000 head. [376]

"The events of the war brought to them more of desolation and ruin
than perhaps to any other community. Raided and sacked alternately,
not only by the Confederate and Union forces, but by the vindictive
ferocity and hate of their own factional divisions, their country
became a blackened and desolate waste. Driven from comfortable homes,
exposed to want, misery, and the elements, they perished like sheep in
a snow storm. Their houses, fences, and other improvements were burned,
their orchards destroyed, their flocks and herds slaughtered or driven
off, their schools broken up, their schoolhouses given to the flames,
and their churches and public buildings subjected to a similar fate;
and that entire portion of their country which had been occupied by
their settlements was distinguishable from the virgin prairie only by
the scorched and blackened chimneys and the plowed but now neglected
fields." [377]

After five years of desolation the Cherokee emerged from the war
with their numbers reduced from 21,000 to 14,000, [378] and their
whole country in ashes. On July 19, 1866, by a treaty concluded at
Tahlequah, the nation was received back into the protection of the
United States, a general amnesty was proclaimed, and all confiscations
on account of the war prohibited; slavery was abolished without
compensation to former owners, and all negroes residing within the
Nation were admitted to full Cherokee citizenship. By articles 15 and
16 permission was given the United States to settle friendly Indians
within the Cherokee home country or the Cherokee strip by consent
and purchase from the Nation. By article 17 the Cherokee sold the
800,000-acre tract in Kansas secured by the treaty of 1835, together
with a two-mile strip running along the southern border of Kansas,
and thereafter to be included within the limits of that state, thus
leaving the Cherokee country as it was before the recent cession of the
Cherokee strip. Payment was promised for spoliations by United States
troops during the war; and $3,000 were to be paid out of the Cherokee
funds to the Reverend Evan Jones, then disabled and in poverty, as a
reward for forty years of faithful missionary labors. By article 26
"the United States guarantee to the Cherokees the quiet and peaceable
possession of their country and protection against domestic feuds
and insurrection as well as hostilities of other tribes. They shall
also be protected from intrusion by all unauthorized citizens of the
United States attempting to settle on their lands or reside in their
territory." [379]

The missionary, Reverend Evan Jones, who had followed the Cherokee
into exile, and his son, John B. Jones, had been admitted to Cherokee
citizenship the year before by vote of the Nation. The act conferring
this recognition recites that "we do bear witness that they have done
their work well." [380]

John Ross, now an old man, had been unable to attend this treaty, being
present at the time in Washington on business for his people. Before
its ratification he died in that city on August 1, 1866, at the age
of seventy-seven years, fifty-seven of which had been given to the
service of his Nation. No finer panegyric was ever pronounced than
the memorial resolution passed by the Cherokee Nation on learning
of his death. [381] Notwithstanding repeated attempts to subvert his
authority, his people had remained steadfast in their fidelity to him,
and he died, as he had lived for nearly forty years, the officially
recognized chief of the Nation. With repeated opportunities to enrich
himself at the expense of his tribe, he died a poor man. His body
was brought back and interred in the territory of the Nation. In
remembrance of the great chief one of the nine districts of the
Cherokee Nation has been called by his Indian name, Cooweescoowee (46).

Under the provisions of the late treaty the Delawares in Kansas,
to the number of 985, removed to Indian territory in 1867 and became
incorporated as citizens of the Cherokee Nation. They were followed
in 1870 by the Shawano, chiefly also from Kansas, to the number of
770. [382] These immigrants settled chiefly along the Verdigris, in the
northwestern part of the Nation. Under the same treaty the Osage, Kaw,
Pawnee, Ponca, Oto and Missouri, and Tonkawa were afterward settled on
the western extension known then as the Cherokee strip. The captive
Nez Percés of Joseph's band were also temporarily located there,
but have since been removed to the states of Washington and Idaho.

In 1870 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railway, a branch of the Union
Pacific system, was constructed through the lands of the Cherokee
Nation under an agreement ratified by the Government, it being the
first railroad to enter that country. [383] Several others have since
been constructed or projected.

The same year saw a Cherokee literary revival. The publication of the
Advocate, which had been suspended since some years before the war,
was resumed, and by authority of the Nation John B. Jones began the
preparation of a series of schoolbooks in the Cherokee language and
alphabet for the benefit of those children who knew no English. [384]

In the spring of 1881 a delegation from the Cherokee Nation visited
the East Cherokee still remaining in the mountains of North Carolina
and extended to them a cordial and urgent invitation to remove and
incorporate upon equal terms with the Cherokee Nation in the Indian
territory. In consequence several parties of East Cherokee, numbering
in all 161 persons, removed during the year to the western Nation,
the expense being paid by the Federal government. Others afterwards
applied for assistance to remove, but as no further appropriation was
made for the purpose nothing more was done. [385] In 1883 the East
Cherokee brought suit for a proportionate division of the Cherokee
funds and other interests under previous treaties, [386] but their
claim was finally decided adversely three years later on appeal to
the Supreme Court. [387]

In 1889 the Cherokee female seminary was completed at Tahlequah at a
cost of over $60,000, supplementing the work of the male seminary,
built some years before at a cost of $90,000. The Cherokee Nation
was now appropriating annually over $80,000 for school purposes,
including the support of the two seminaries, an orphan asylum, and
over one hundred primary schools, besides which there were a number
of mission schools. [388]

For a number of years the pressure for the opening of Indian territory
to white settlement had been growing in strength. Thousands of
intruders had settled themselves upon the lands of each of the five
civilized tribes, where they remained upon various pretexts in spite
of urgent and repeated appeals to the government by the Indians
for their removal. Under treaties with the five civilized tribes,
the right to decide citizenship or residence claims belonged to the
tribes concerned, but the intruders had at last become so numerous and
strong that they had formed an organization among themselves to pass
upon their own claims, and others that might be submitted to them,
with attorneys and ample funds to defend each claim in outside courts
against the decision of the tribe. At the same time the Government
policy was steadily toward the reduction or complete breaking up
of Indian reservations and the allotment of lands to the Indians in
severalty, with a view to their final citizenship, and the opening of
the surplus lands to white settlement. As a part of the same policy
the jurisdiction of the United States courts was gradually being
extended over the Indian country, taking cognizance of many things
hitherto considered by the Indian courts under former treaties with the
United States. Against all this the Cherokee and other civilized tribes
protested, but without avail. To add to the irritation, companies of
armed "boomers" were organized for the express purpose of invading
and seizing the Cherokee outlet and other unoccupied portions of the
Indian territory--reserved by treaty for future Indian settlement--in
defiance of the civil and military power of the Government.

We come now to what seems the beginning of the end of Indian
autonomy. In 1889 a commission, afterward known as the Cherokee
Commission, was appointed, under act of Congress, to "negotiate with
the Cherokee Indians, and with all other Indians owning or claiming
lands lying west of the ninety-sixth degree of longitude in the
Indian territory, for the cession to the United States of all their
title, claim, or interest of every kind or character in and to said
lands." In August of that year the commission made a proposition
to Chief J. B. Mayes for the cession of all the Cherokee lands
thus described, being that portion known as the Cherokee outlet or
strip. The proposition was declined on the ground that the Cherokee
constitution forbade its consideration. [389] Other tribes were
approached for a similar purpose, and the commission was continued,
with changing personnel from year to year, until agreements for
cession and the taking of allotments had been made with nearly all
the wilder tribes in what is now Oklahoma.

In the meantime the Attorney-General had rendered a decision denying
the right of Indian tribes to lease their lands without permission
of the Government. At this time the Cherokee were deriving an annual
income of $150,000 from the lease of grazing privileges upon the strip,
but by a proclamation of President Harrison on February 17, 1890,
ordering the cattlemen to vacate before the end of the year, this
income was cut off and the strip was rendered practically valueless
to them. [390] The Cherokee were now forced to come to terms, and a
second proposition for the cession of the Cherokee strip was finally
accepted by the national council on January 4, 1892. "It was known to
the Cherokees that for some time would-be settlers on the lands of
the outlet had been encamped in the southern end of Kansas, and by
every influence at their command had been urging the Government to
open the country to settlement and to negotiate with the Cherokees
afterwards, and that a bill for that purpose had been introduced in
Congress." The consideration was nearly $8,600,000, or about $1.25
per acre, for something over 6,000,000 acres of land. One article
of the agreement stipulates for "the reaffirmation to the Cherokee
Nation of the right of local self-government." [391] The agreement
having been ratified by Congress, the Cherokee strip was opened by
Presidential proclamation on September 16, 1893. [392]

The movement for the abolition of the Indian governments and the
allotment and opening of the Indian country had now gained such force
that by act of Congress approved March 3, 1893, the President was
authorized to appoint a commission of three--known later as the Dawes
Commission, from its distinguished chairman, Senator Henry L. Dawes
of Massachusetts--to negotiate with the five civilized tribes of
Indian territory, viz, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and
Seminole, for "the extinguishment of tribal titles to any lands within
that territory, now held by any and all of such nations and tribes,
either by cession of the same or some part thereof to the United
States, or by the allotment and division of the same in severalty
among the Indians of such nations or tribes respectively as may be
entitled to the same, or by such other method as may be agreed upon
... to enable the ultimate creation of a state or states of the Union,
which shall embrace the land within the said Indian territory." [393]
The commission appointed arrived in the Indian territory in January,
1894, and at once began negotiations. [394]

At this time the noncitizen element in Indian Territory was
officially reported to number at least 200,000 souls, while those
having rights as citizens of the five civilized tribes, including
full-blood and mixed-blood Indians, adopted whites, and negroes,
numbered but 70,500. [395] Not all of the noncitizens were intruders,
many being there by permission of the Indian governments or on
official or other legitimate business, but the great body of them
were illegal squatters or unrecognized claimants to Indian rights,
against whose presence the Indians themselves had never ceased to
protest. A test case brought this year in the Cherokee Nation was
decided by the Interior Department against the claimants and in favor
of the Cherokee. Commenting upon threats made in consequence by the
rejected claimants, the agent for the five tribes remarks: "It is not
probable that Congress will establish a court to nullify and vacate
a formal decision of the Interior Department." [396] A year later
he says of these intruders that "so long as they have a foothold--a
residence, legal or not--in the Indian country they will be disturbers
of peace and promoters of discord, and while they cry aloud, and spare
not, for allotment and statehood, they are but stumbling blocks and
obstacles to that mutual good will and fraternal feeling which must be
cultivated and secured before allotment is practicable and statehood
desirable." [397] The removal of the intruders was still delayed,
and in 1896 the decision of citizenship claims was taken from the
Indian government and relegated to the Dawes Commission. [398]

In 1895 the commission was increased to five members, with enlarged
powers. In the meantime a survey of Indian Territory had been ordered
and begun. In September the agent wrote: "The Indians now know that
a survey of their lands is being made, and whether with or without
their consent, the survey is going on. The meaning of such survey
is too plain to be disregarded, and it is justly considered as the
initial step, solemn and authoritative, toward the overthrow of their
present communal holdings. At this writing surveying corps are at work
in the Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nations, and therefore each one
of these tribes has an ocular demonstration of the actual intent and
ultimate purpose of the government of the United States." [399]

The general prosperity and advancement of the Cherokee Nation at
this time may be judged from the report of the secretary of the
Cherokee national board of education to Agent Wisdom. He reports 4,800
children attending two seminaries, male and female, two high schools,
and one hundred primary schools, teachers being paid from $35 to $100
per month for nine months in the year. Fourteen primary schools were
for the use of the negro citizens of the Nation, besides which they
had a fine high school, kept up, like all the others, at the expense
of the Cherokee government. Besides the national schools there were
twelve mission schools helping to do splendid work for children of both
citizens and noncitizens. Children of noncitizens were not allowed to
attend the Cherokee national schools, but had their own subscription
schools. The orphan asylum ranked as a high school, in which 150
orphans were boarded and educated, with graduates every year. It
was a large brick building of three stories, 80 by 240 feet. The
male seminary, accommodating 200 pupils, and the female seminary,
accommodating 225 pupils, were also large brick structures, three
stories in height and 150 by 240 feet on the ground. Three members,
all Cherokee by blood, constituted a board of education. The secretary
adds that the Cherokee are proud of their schools and educational
institutions, and that no other country under the sun is so blessed
with educational advantages at large. [400]

At this time the Cherokee Nation numbered something over 25,000 Indian,
white, and negro citizens; the total citizen population of the three
races in the five civilized tribes numbered about 70,000, while the
noncitizens had increased to 250,000 and their number was being rapidly
augmented. [401] Realizing that the swift, inevitable end must be the
destruction of their national governments, the Cherokee began once more
to consider the question of removal from the United States. The scheme
is outlined in a letter written by a brother of the principal chief
of the Cherokee Nation under date of May 31, 1895, from which we quote.

After prefacing that the government of the United States seems
determined to break up the tribal autonomy of the five civilized
tribes and to divide their lands, thus bringing about conditions
under which the Cherokee could not exist, he continues:

    Then for a remedy that will lead us out of it, away from it, and
    one that promises our preservation as a distinct race of people
    in the enjoyment of customs, social and political, that have been
    handed down to us from remote generations of the past. My plan is
    for the Cherokees to sell their entire landed possessions to the
    United States, divide the proceeds thereof per capita, then such
    as desire to do so unite in the formation of an Indian colony,
    and with their funds jointly purchase in Mexico or South America
    a body of land sufficient for all their purposes, to be forever
    their joint home.... I believe also that for such Indians as did
    not desire to join the colony and leave the country provision
    should be made for them to repurchase their old homes, or such
    other lands in the country here as they might desire, and they
    could remain here and meet such fate as awaits them. I believe
    this presents the most feasible and equitable solution of the
    questions that we must decide in the near future, and will prove
    absolutely just and fair to all classes and conditions of our
    citizens. I also believe that the same could be acted upon by
    any or all of the five civilized tribes.... [402]

The final chapter is nearly written. By successive enactments
within the last ten years the jurisdiction of the Indian courts
has been steadily narrowed and the authority of the Federal courts
proportionately extended; the right to determine Indian citizenship
has been taken from the Indians and vested in a Government commission;
the lands of the five tribes have been surveyed and sectionized by
Government surveyors; and by the sweeping provisions of the Curtis
act of June 28, 1898, "for the protection of the people of the Indian
Territory," the entire control of tribal revenues is taken from the
five Indian tribes and vested with a resident supervising inspector,
the tribal courts are abolished, allotments are made compulsory, and
authority is given to incorporate white men's towns in the Indian
tribes. [403] By this act the five civilized tribes are reduced to
the condition of ordinary reservation tribes under government agents
with white communities planted in their midst. In the meantime the
Dawes commission, continued up to the present, has by unremitting
effort broken down the opposition of the Choctaw and Chickasaw, who
have consented to allotment, while the Creeks and the Seminole are
now wavering. [404] The Cherokee still hold out, the Ketoowah secret
society (47) especially being strong in its resistance, and when
the end comes it is possible that the protest will take shape in a
wholesale emigration to Mexico. Late in 1897 the agent for the five
tribes reports that "there seems a determined purpose on the part of
many fullbloods ... to emigrate to either Mexico or South America
and there purchase new homes for themselves and families. Such
individual action may grow to the proportion of a colony, and it
is understood that liberal grants of land can be secured from the
countries mentioned. [405] Mexican agents are now (1901) among the
Cherokee advocating the scheme, which may develop to include a large
proportion of the five civilized tribes. [406]

By the census of 1898, the most recent taken, as reported by Agent
Wisdom, the Cherokee Nation numbered 34,461 persons, as follows:
Cherokee by blood (including all degrees of admixture), 26,500;
intermarried whites, 2,300; negro freedmen, 4,000; Delaware, 871;
Shawnee, 790. The total acreage of the Nation was 5,031,351 acres,
which, if divided per capita under the provisions of the Curtis bill,
after deducting 60,000 acres reserved for town-site and other purposes,
would give to each Cherokee citizen 144 acres. [407] It must be noted
that the official rolls include a large number of persons whose claims
are disputed by the Cherokee authorities.


It remains to speak of the eastern band of Cherokee--the remnant which
still clings to the woods and waters of the old home country. As
has been said, a considerable number had eluded the troops in the
general round-up of 1838 and had fled to the fastnesses of the high
mountains. Here they were joined by others who had managed to break
through the guard at Calhoun and other collecting stations, until
the whole number of fugitives in hiding amounted to a thousand or
more, principally of the mountain Cherokee of North Carolina, the
purest-blooded and most conservative of the Nation. About one-half
the refugee warriors had put themselves under command of a noted
leader named U'tsala, "Lichen," who made his headquarters amid the
lofty peaks at the head of Oconaluftee, from which secure hiding
place, although reduced to extremity of suffering from starvation
and exposure, they defied every effort to effect their capture.

The work of running down these fugitives proved to be so difficult
an undertaking and so well-nigh barren of result that when Charley
and his sons made their bold stroke for freedom [408] General Scott
eagerly seized the incident as an opportunity for compromise. To this
end he engaged the services of William H. Thomas, a trader who for
more than twenty years had been closely identified with the mountain
Cherokee and possessed their full confidence, and authorized him to
submit to U'tsala a proposition that if the latter would seize Charley
and the others who had been concerned in the attack upon the soldiers
and surrender them for punishment, the pursuit would be called off and
the fugitives allowed to stay unmolested until an effort could be made
to secure permission from the general government for them to remain.

Thomas accepted the commission, and taking with him one or two
Indians made his way over secret paths to U'tsala's hiding place. He
presented Scott's proposition and represented to the chief that by
aiding in bringing Charley's party to punishment according to the
rules of war he could secure respite for his sorely pressed followers,
with the ultimate hope that they might be allowed to remain in their
own country, whereas if he rejected the offer the whole force of the
seven thousand troops which had now completed the work of gathering
up and deporting the rest of the tribe would be set loose upon his
own small band until the last refugee had been either taken or killed.

U'tsala turned the proposition in his mind long and seriously. His
heart was bitter, for his wife and little son had starved to death on
the mountain side, but he thought of the thousands who were already on
their long march into exile and then he looked round upon his little
band of followers. If only they might stay, even though a few must
be sacrificed, it was better than that all should die--for they had
sworn never to leave their country. He consented and Thomas returned
to report to General Scott.

Now occurred a remarkable incident which shows the character of Thomas
and the masterly influence which he already had over the Indians,
although as yet he was hardly more than thirty years old. It was
known that Charley and his party were in hiding in a cave of the Great
Smokies, at the head of Deep creek, but it was not thought likely that
he could be taken without bloodshed and a further delay which might
prejudice the whole undertaking. Thomas determined to go to him and
try to persuade him to come in and surrender. Declining Scott's offer
of an escort, he went alone to the cave, and, getting between the
Indians and their guns as they were sitting around the fire near the
entrance, he walked up to Charley and announced his message. The old
man listened in silence and then said simply, "I will come in. I don't
want to be hunted down by my own people." They came in voluntarily and
were shot, as has been already narrated, one only, a mere boy, being
spared on account of his youth. This boy, now an old man, is still
living, Wasitû'na, better known to the whites as Washington. [409]

A respite having thus been obtained for the fugitives, Thomas next went
to Washington to endeavor to make some arrangement for their permanent
settlement. Under the treaty of New Echota, in 1835, the Cherokee
were entitled, besides the lump sum of five million dollars for the
lands ceded, to an additional compensation for the improvements which
they were forced to abandon and for spoliations by white citizens,
together with a per capita allowance to cover the cost of removal and
subsistence for one year in the new country. The twelfth article had
also provided that such Indians as chose to remain in the East and
become citizens there might do so under certain conditions, each head
of a family thus remaining to be confirmed in a preemption right to
160 acres. In consequence of the settled purpose of President Jackson
to deport every Indian, this permission was canceled and supplementary
articles substituted by which some additional compensation was allowed
in lieu of the promised preemptions and all individual reservations
granted under previous treaties. [410] Every Cherokee was thus made
a landless alien in his original country.

The last party of emigrant Cherokee had started for the West in
December, 1838. Nine months afterwards the refugees still scattered
about in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee were reported
to number 1,046. [411] By persistent effort at Washington from 1836 to
1842, including one continuous stay of three years at the capital city,
Thomas finally obtained governmental permission for these to remain,
and their share of the moneys due for improvements and reservations
confiscated was placed at his disposal, as their agent and trustee,
for the purpose of buying lands upon which they could be permanently
settled. Under this authority he bought for them, at various times
up to the year 1861, a number of contiguous tracts of land upon
Oconaluftee river and Soco creek, within the present Swain and Jackson
counties of North Carolina, together with several detached tracts in
the more western counties of the same state. The main body, upon the
waters of Oconaluftee, which was chiefly within the limits of the
cession of 1819, came afterward to be known as the Qualla boundary,
or Qualla reservation, taking the name from Thomas' principal trading
store and agency headquarters. The detached western tracts were
within the final cession of 1835, but all alike were bought by Thomas
from white owners. As North Carolina refused to recognize Indians as
landowners within the state, and persisted in this refusal until 1866,
[412] Thomas, as their authorized agent under the Government, held the
deeds in his own name. Before it was legally possible under the state
laws to transfer the title to the Indians, his own affairs had become
involved and his health impaired by age and the hardships of military
service so that his mind gave way, thus leaving the whole question
of the Indian title a subject of litigation until its adjudication by
the United States in 1875, supplemented by further decisions in 1894.

To Colonel William Holland Thomas the East Cherokee of to-day
owe their existence as a people, and for half a century he was as
intimately connected with their history as was John Ross with that of
the main Cherokee Nation. Singularly enough, their connection with
Cherokee affairs extended over nearly the same period, but while
Ross participated in their national matters Thomas gave his effort
to a neglected band hardly known in the councils of the tribe. In
his many-sided capacity he strikingly resembles another white man
prominent in Cherokee history, General Sam Houston.

Thomas was born in the year 1805 on Raccoon creek, about two miles
from Waynesville in North Carolina. His father, who was related to
President Zachary Taylor, came of a Welsh family which had immigrated
to Virginia at an early period, while on his mother's side he was
descended from a Maryland family of Revolutionary stock. He was
an only and posthumous child, his father having been accidentally
drowned a short time before the boy was born. Being unusually bright
for his age, he was engaged when only twelve years old to tend an
Indian trading store on Soco creek, in the present Jackson county,
owned by Felix Walker, son of the Congressman of the same name who
made a national reputation by "talking for Buncombe." The store
was on the south side of the creek, about a mile above the now
abandoned Macedonia mission, within the present reservation, and
was a branch of a larger establishment which Walker himself kept at
Waynesville. The trade was chiefly in skins and ginseng, or "sang,"
the latter for shipment to China, where it was said to be worth its
weight in silver. This trade was very profitable, as the price to the
Indians was but ten cents per pound in merchandise for the green root,
whereas it now brings seventy-five cents in cash upon the reservation,
the supply steadily diminishing with every year. The contract was
for three years' service for a total compensation of one hundred
dollars and expenses, but Walker devoted so much of his attention to
law studies that the Waynesville store was finally closed for debt,
and at the end of his contract term young Thomas was obliged to accept
a lot of second-hand law books in lieu of other payment. How well he
made use of them is evident from his subsequent service in the state
senate and in other official capacities.

Soon after entering upon his duties he attracted the notice of
Yonaguska, or Drowning-bear (Yâ'na-gûñ'ski, "Bear-drowning-him"),
the acknowledged chief of all the Cherokee then living on the waters
of Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee--the old Kituhwa country. On learning
that the boy had neither father nor brother, the old chief formally
adopted him as his son, and as such he was thenceforth recognized
in the tribe under the name of Wil-Usdi', or "Little Will," he
being of small stature even in mature age. From his Indian friends,
particularly a boy of the same age who was his companion in the store,
he learned the language as well as a white man has ever learned it,
so that in his declining years it dwelt in memory more strongly than
his mother tongue. After the invention of the Cherokee alphabet,
he learned also to read and write the language.

In 1819 the lands on Tuckasegee and its branches were sold by the
Indians, and Thomas's mother soon after removed from Waynesville
to a farm which she purchased on the west bank of Oconaluftee,
opposite the mouth of Soco, where her son went to live with her,
having now set up in business for himself at Qualla. Yonaguska and
his immediate connection continued to reside on a small reservation
in the same neighborhood, while the rest of the Cherokee retired
to the west of the Nantahala mountains, though still visiting
and trading on Soco. After several shiftings Thomas finally, soon
after the removal in 1838, bought a farm on the northern bank of
Tuckasegee, just above the present town of Whittier in Swain county,
and built there a homestead which he called Stekoa, after an Indian
town destroyed by Rutherford which had occupied the same site. At the
time of the removal he was the proprietor of five trading stores in or
adjoining the Cherokee country, viz, at Qualla town, near the mouth
of Soco creek; on Scott's creek, near Webster; on Cheowa, near the
present Robbinsville; at the junction of Valley river and Hiwassee,
now Murphy; and at the Cherokee agency at Calhoun (now Charleston),
Tennessee. Besides carrying on a successful trading business he was
also studying law and taking an active interest in local politics.

In his capacity as agent for the eastern Cherokee he laid off the
lands purchased for them into five districts or "towns," which he
named Bird town, Paint town, Wolf town, Yellow hill, and Big cove, the
names which they still retain, the first three being those of Cherokee
clans. [413] He also drew up for them a simple form of government,
the execution of which was in his own and Yonaguska's hands until
the death of the latter, after which the band knew no other chief
than Thomas until his retirement from active life. In 1848 he was
elected to the state senate and continued to serve in that capacity
until the outbreak of the civil war. As state senator he inaugurated
a system of road improvements for western North Carolina and was also
the father of the Western North Carolina Railroad (now a part of the
Southern system), originally projected to develop the copper mines
of Ducktown, Tennessee.

With his colleagues in the state senate he voted for secession in
1861, and at once resigned to recruit troops for the Confederacy, to
which, until the close of the war, he gave his whole time, thought,
and effort. In 1862 he organized the Thomas Legion, consisting of two
regiments of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, a company of engineers,
and a field battery, he himself commanding as colonel, although then
nearly sixty years of age. Four companies were made up principally of
his own Cherokee. The Thomas Legion operated chiefly as a frontier
guard for the Confederacy along the mountain region southward from
Cumberland gap.

After the close of the conflict he returned to his home at Stekoa
and again took charge, unofficially, of the affairs of the Cherokee,
whom he attended during the smallpox epidemic of 1866 and assisted
through the unsettled conditions of the reconstruction period. His own
resources had been swept away by the war, and all his hopes had gone
down with the lost cause. This, added to the effects of three years
of hardship and anxiety in the field when already almost past the
age limit, soon after brought about a physical and mental collapse,
from which he never afterward rallied except at intervals, when for a
short time the old spirit would flash out in all its brightness. He
died in 1893 at the advanced age of nearly ninety, retaining to the
last the courteous manner of a gentleman by nature and training,
with an exact memory and the clear-cut statement of a lawyer and man
of affairs. To his work in the state senate the people of western
North Carolina owe more than to that of any other man, while among
the older Cherokee the name of Wil-Usdi' is still revered as that of
a father and a great chief. [414]

Yonaguska, properly Yâ'nû-gûñ'ski, the adopted father of Thomas,
is the most prominent chief in the history of the East Cherokee,
although, singularly enough, his name does not occur in connection
with any of the early wars or treaties. This is due partly to the fact
that he was a peace chief and counselor rather than a war leader,
and in part to the fact that the isolated position of the mountain
Cherokee kept them aloof in a great measure from the tribal councils
of those living to the west and south. In person he was strikingly
handsome, being six feet three inches in height and strongly built,
with a faint tinge of red, due to a slight strain of white blood
on his father's side, relieving the brown of his cheek. In power of
oratory he is said to have surpassed any other chief of his day. When
the Cherokee lands on Tuckasegee were sold by the treaty of 1819,
Yonaguska continued to reside on a reservation of 640 acres in a bend
of the river a short distance above the present Bryson City, on the
site of the ancient Kituhwa. He afterward moved over to Oconaluftee,
and finally, after the Removal, gathered his people about him and
settled with them on Soco creek on lands purchased for them by Thomas.

He was a prophet and reformer as well as a chief. When about sixty
years of age he had a severe sickness, terminating in a trance, during
which his people mourned him as dead. At the end of twenty-four hours,
however, he awoke to consciousness and announced that he had been to
the spirit world, where he had talked with friends who had gone before,
and with God, who had sent him back with a message to the Indians,
promising to call him again at a later time. From that day until his
death his words were listened to as those of one inspired. He had
been somewhat addicted to liquor, but now, on the recommendation of
Thomas, not only quit drinking himself, but organized his tribe into
a temperance society. To accomplish this he called his people together
in council, and, after clearly pointing out to them the serious effect
of intemperance, in an eloquent speech that moved some of his audience
to tears, he declared that God had permitted him to return to earth
especially that he might thus warn his people and banish whisky from
among them. He then had Thomas write out a pledge, which was signed
first by the chief and then by each one of the council, and from that
time until after his death whisky was unknown among the East Cherokee.

Although frequent pressure was brought to bear to induce him and his
people to remove to the West, he firmly resisted every persuasion,
declaring that the Indians were safer from aggression among their
rocks and mountains than they could ever be in a land which the white
man could find profitable, and that the Cherokee could be happy only
in the country where nature had planted him. While counseling peace
and friendship with the white man, he held always to his Indian faith
and was extremely suspicious of missionaries. On one occasion, after
the first Bible translation into the Cherokee language and alphabet,
some one brought a copy of Matthew from New Echota, but Yonaguska
would not allow it to be read to his people until it had first been
read to himself. After listening to one or two chapters the old chief
dryly remarked: "Well, it seems to be a good book--strange that the
white people are not better, after having had it so long."

He died, aged about eighty, in April, 1839, within a year after
the Removal. Shortly before the end he had himself carried into the
townhouse on Soco, of which he had supervised the building, where,
extended on a couch, he made a last talk to his people, commending
Thomas to them as their chief and again warning them earnestly
against ever leaving their own country. Then wrapping his blanket
around him, he quietly lay back and died. He was buried beside Soco,
about a mile below the old Macedonia mission, with a rude mound of
stones to mark the spot. He left two wives and considerable property,
including an old negro slave named Cudjo, who was devotedly attached
to him. One of his daughters, Katâ'lsta, still survives, and is the
last conservator of the potter's art among the East Cherokee. [415]

Yonaguska had succeeded in authority to Yane'gwa, "Big-bear," who
appears to have been of considerable local prominence in his time,
but whose name, even with the oldest of the band, is now but a
memory. He was among the signers of the treaties of 1798 and 1805,
and by the treaty of 1819 was confirmed in a reservation of 640 acres
as one of those living within the ceded territory who were "believed
to be persons of industry and capable of managing their property with
discretion," and who had made considerable improvements on the tracts
reserved. This reservation, still known as the Big-bear farm, was
on the western bank of Oconaluftee, a few miles above its mouth, and
appears to have been the same afterward occupied by Yonaguska. [416]

Another of the old notables among the East Cherokee was
Tsunu'lahûñ'ski, corrupted by the whites to Junaluska, a great warrior,
from whom the ridge west of Waynesville takes its name. In early life
he was known as Gûl'`kala'ski. [417] On the outbreak of the Creek
war in 1813 he raised a party of warriors to go down, as he boasted,
"to exterminate the Creeks." Not meeting with complete success,
he announced the result, according to the Cherokee custom, at the
next dance after his return in a single word, detsinu'lahûñgû',
"I tried, but could not," given out as a cue to the song leader,
who at once took it as the burden of his song. Thenceforth the
disappointed warrior was known as Tsunu'lahûñ'ski, "One who tries,
but fails." He distinguished himself at the Horseshoe bend, where
the action of the Cherokee decided the battle in favor of Jackson's
army, and was often heard to say after the removal: "If I had known
that Jackson would drive us from our homes, I would have killed him
that day at the Horseshoe." He accompanied the exiles of 1838, but
afterward returned to his old home; he was allowed to remain, and in
recognition of his services the state legislature, by special act,
in 1847 conferred upon him the right of citizenship and granted to him
a tract of land in fee simple, but without power of alienation. [418]
This reservation was in the Cheowa Indian settlement, near the present
Robbinsville, in Graham county, where he died about the year 1858. His
grave is still to be seen just outside of Robbinsville.

As illustrative of his shrewdness it is told that he once tracked a
little Indian girl to Charleston, South Carolina, where she had been
carried by kidnappers and sold as a slave, and regained her freedom
by proving, from expert microscopic examination, that her hair had
none of the negro characteristics. [419]

Christianity was introduced among the Kituhwa Cherokee shortly before
the Removal through Worcester and Boudinot's translation of Matthew,
first published at New Echota in 1829. In the absence of missionaries
the book was read by the Indians from house to house. After the
Removal a Methodist minister, Reverend Ulrich Keener, began to make
visits for preaching at irregular intervals, and was followed several
years later by Baptist workers. [420]

In the fall of 1839 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs reported that
the East Cherokee had recently expressed a desire to join their
brethren in the West, but had been deterred from so doing by the
unsettled condition of affairs in the Territory. He states that "they
have a right to remain or to go," but that as the interests of others
are involved in their decision they should decide without delay. [421]

In 1840 about one hundred Catawba, nearly all that were left of the
tribe, being dissatisfied with their condition in South Carolina, moved
up in a body and took up their residence with the Cherokee. Latent
tribal jealousies broke out, however, and at their own request
negotiations were begun in 1848, through Thomas and others, for their
removal to Indian Territory. The effort being without result, they
soon after began to drift back to their own homes, until, in 1852,
there were only about a dozen remaining among the Cherokee. In 1890
only one was left, an old woman, the widow of a Cherokee husband. She
and her daughter, both of whom spoke the language, were expert potters
according to the Catawba method, which differs markedly from that
of the Cherokee. There are now two Catawba women, both married to
Cherokee husbands, living with the tribe, and practicing their native
potter's art. While residing among the Cherokee, the Catawba acquired
a reputation as doctors and leaders of the dance. [422]

On August 6, 1846, a treaty was concluded at Washington with the
representatives of the Cherokee Nation west by which the rights of the
East Cherokee to a participation in the benefits of the New Echota
treaty of 1835 were distinctly recognized, and provision was made
for a final adjustment of all unpaid and pending claims due under
that treaty. The right claimed by the East Cherokee to participate
in the benefits of the New Echota treaty, although not denied by the
government, had been held to be conditional upon their removal to
the West. [423]

In the spring of 1848 the author, Lanman, visited the East Cherokee
and has left an interesting account of their condition at the time,
together with a description of their ballplays, dances, and customs
generally, having been the guest of Colonel Thomas, of whom he
speaks as the guide, counselor, and friend of the Indians, as well
as their business agent and chief, so that the connection was like
that existing between a father and his children. He puts the number
of Indians at about 800 Cherokee and 100 Catawba on the "Qualla town"
reservation--the name being in use thus early--with 200 more Indians
residing in the more westerly portion of the state. Of their general
condition he says:

    About three-fourths of the entire population can read in their own
    language, and, though the majority of them understand English, a
    very few can speak the language. They practice, to a considerable
    extent, the science of agriculture, and have acquired such a
    knowledge of the mechanic arts as answers them for all ordinary
    purposes, for they manufacture their own clothing, their own
    ploughs, and other farming utensils, their own axes, and even
    their own guns. Their women are no longer treated as slaves, but
    as equals; the men labor in the fields and their wives are devoted
    entirely to household employments. They keep the same domestic
    animals that are kept by their white neighbors, and cultivate all
    the common grains of the country. They are probably as temperate
    as any other class of people on the face of the earth, honest
    in their business intercourse, moral in their thoughts, words,
    and deeds, and distinguished for their faithfulness in performing
    the duties of religion. They are chiefly Methodists and Baptists,
    and have regularly ordained ministers, who preach to them on every
    Sabbath, and they have also abandoned many of their mere senseless
    superstitions. They have their own court and try their criminals
    by a regular jury. Their judges and lawyers are chosen from among
    themselves. They keep in order the public roads leading through
    their settlement. By a law of the state they have a right to vote,
    but seldom exercise that right, as they do not like the idea of
    being identified with any of the political parties. Excepting
    on festive days, they dress after the manner of the white man,
    but far more picturesquely. They live in small log houses of
    their own construction, and have everything they need or desire
    in the way of food. They are, in fact, the happiest community
    that I have yet met with in this southern country. [424]

Among the other notables Lanman speaks thus of Salâ'li, "Squirrel,"
a born mechanic of the band, who died only a few years since:

    He is quite a young man and has a remarkably thoughtful face. He
    is the blacksmith of his nation, and with some assistance supplies
    the whole of Qualla town with all their axes and plows; but what
    is more, he has manufactured a number of very superior rifles and
    pistols, including stock, barrel, and lock, and he is also the
    builder of grist mills, which grind all the corn which his people
    eat. A specimen of his workmanship in the way of a rifle may be
    seen at the Patent Office in Washington, where it was deposited
    by Mr. Thomas; and I believe Salola is the first Indian who ever
    manufactured an entire gun. But when it is remembered that he never
    received a particle of education in any of the mechanic arts but
    is entirely self-taught, his attainments must be considered truly
    remarkable. [425]

On July 29, 1848, Congress approved an act for taking a census of all
those Cherokee who had remained in North Carolina after the Removal,
and who still resided east of the Mississippi, in order that their
share of the "removal and subsistence fund" under the New Echota
treaty might be set aside for them. A sum equivalent to $53.33-1/3 was
at the same time appropriated for each one, or his representative,
to be available for defraying the expenses of his removal to the
Cherokee Nation west and subsistence there for one year whenever
he should elect so to remove. Any surplus over such expense was
to be paid to him in cash after his arrival in the west. The whole
amount thus expended was to be reimbursed to the Government from the
general fund to the credit of the Cherokee Nation under the terms
of the treaty of New Echota. In the meantime it was ordered that to
each individual thus entitled should be paid the accrued interest
on this per capita sum from the date of the ratification of the New
Echota treaty (May 23, 1836), payment of interest at the same rate
to continue annually thereafter. [426] In accordance with this act a
census of the Cherokee then residing in North Carolina, Tennessee, and
Georgia, was completed in the fall of 1848 by J. C. Mullay, making the
whole number 2,133. On the basis of this enrollment several payments
were made to them by special agents within the next ten years, one
being a per-capita payment by Alfred Chapman in 1851-52 of unpaid
claims arising under the treaty of New Echota and amounting in the
aggregate to $197,534.50, the others being payments of the annual
interest upon the "removal and subsistence fund" set apart to their
credit in 1848. In the accomplishment of these payments two other
enrollments were made by D. W. Siler in 1851 and by Chapman in 1852,
the last being simply a corrected revision of the Siler roll, and
neither varying greatly from the Mullay roll. [427]

Upon the appointment of Chapman to make the per capita payment above
mentioned, the Cherokee Nation west had filed a protest against the
payment, upon the double ground that the East Cherokee had forfeited
their right to participation, and furthermore that their census
was believed to be enormously exaggerated. As a matter of fact the
number first reported by Mullay was only 1,517, to which so many were
subsequently added as to increase the number by more than 600. [428]
A census taken by their agent, Colonel Thomas, in 1841, gave the number
of East Cherokee (possibly only those in North Carolina intended) as
1,220, [429] while a year later the whole number residing in North
Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia was officially estimated
at from 1,000 to 1,200. [430] It is not the only time a per capita
payment has resulted in a sudden increase of the census population.

In 1852 (Capt.) James W. Terrell was engaged by Thomas, then in the
state senate, to take charge of his store at Qualla, and remained
associated with him and in close contact with the Indians from then
until after the close of the war, assisting, as special United States
agent, in the disbursement of the interest payments, and afterward as
a Confederate officer in the organization of the Indian companies,
holding a commission as captain of Company A, Sixty-ninth North
Carolina Confederate infantry. Being of an investigating bent, Captain
Terrell was led to give attention to the customs and mythology of
the Cherokee, and to accumulate a fund of information on the subject
seldom possessed by a white man. He still resides at Webster, a few
miles from the reservation, and is now seventy-one years of age.

In 1855 Congress directed the per capita payment to the East Cherokee
of the removal fund established for them in 1848, provided that North
Carolina should first give assurance that they would be allowed to
remain permanently in that state. This assurance, however, was not
given until 1866, and the money was therefore not distributed, but
remained in the treasury until 1875, when it was made applicable to
the purchase of lands and the quieting of titles for the benefit of
the Indians. [431]

From 1855 until after the civil war we find no official notice of
the East Cherokee, and our information must be obtained from other
sources. It was, however, a most momentous period in their history. At
the outbreak of the war Thomas was serving his seventh consecutive
term in the state senate. Being an ardent Confederate sympathizer, he
was elected a delegate to the convention which passed the secession
ordinance, and immediately after voting in favor of that measure
resigned from the senate in order to work for the southern cause. As
he was already well advanced in years it is doubtful if his effort
would have gone beyond the raising of funds and other supplies but for
the fact that at this juncture an effort was made by the Confederate
General Kirby Smith to enlist the East Cherokee for active service.

The agent sent for this purpose was Washington Morgan, known to the
Indians as Â'ganstâ'ta, son of that Colonel Gideon Morgan who had
commanded the Cherokee at the Horseshoe bend. By virtue of his Indian
blood and historic ancestry he was deemed the most fitting emissary
for the purpose. Early in 1862 he arrived among the Cherokee, and by
appealing to old-time memories so aroused the war spirit among them
that a large number declared themselves ready to follow wherever he
led. Conceiving the question at issue in the war to be one that did not
concern the Indians, Thomas had discouraged their participation in it
and advised them to remain at home in quiet neutrality. Now, however,
knowing Morgan's reputation for reckless daring, he became alarmed at
the possible result to them of such leadership. Forced either to see
them go from his own protection or to lead them himself, he chose the
latter alternative and proposed to them to enlist in the Confederate
legion which he was about to organize. His object, as he himself has
stated, was to keep them out of danger so far as possible by utilizing
them as scouts and home guards through the mountains, away from the
path of the large armies. Nothing of this was said to the Indians,
who might not have been satisfied with such an arrangement. Morgan
went back alone and the Cherokee enrolled under the command of their
white chief. [432]

The "Thomas Legion," recruited in 1862 by William H. Thomas for
the Confederate service and commanded by him as colonel, consisted
originally of one infantry regiment of ten companies (Sixty-ninth
North Carolina Infantry), one infantry battalion of six companies,
one cavalry battalion of eight companies (First North Carolina Cavalry
Battalion), one field battery (Light Battery) of 103 officers and men,
and one company of engineers; in all about 2,800 men. The infantry
battalion was recruited toward the close of the war to a full regiment
of ten companies. Companies A and B of the Sixty-ninth regiment
and two other companies of the infantry regiment recruited later
were composed almost entirely of East Cherokee Indians, most of the
commissioned officers being white men. The whole number of Cherokee
thus enlisted was nearly four hundred, or about every able-bodied
man in the tribe. [433]

In accordance with Thomas's plan the Indians were employed
chiefly as scouts and home guards in the mountain region along the
Tennessee-Carolina border, where, according to the testimony of Colonel
Stringfield, "they did good work and service for the South." The most
important engagement in which they were concerned occurred at Baptist
gap, Tennessee, September 15, 1862, where Lieutenant Astu'gatâ'ga,
"a splendid specimen of Indian manhood," was killed in a charge. The
Indians were furious at his death, and before they could be restrained
they scalped one or two of the Federal dead. For this action ample
apologies were afterward given by their superior officers. The war,
in fact, brought out all the latent Indian in their nature. Before
starting to the front every man consulted an oracle stone to learn
whether or not he might hope to return in safety. The start was
celebrated with a grand old-time war dance at the townhouse on Soco,
and the same dance was repeated at frequent intervals thereafter,
the Indians being "painted and feathered in good old style," Thomas
himself frequently assisting as master of ceremonies. The ballplay,
too, was not forgotten, and on one occasion a detachment of Cherokee,
left to guard a bridge, became so engrossed in the excitement of
the game as to narrowly escape capture by a sudden dash of the
Federals. Owing to Thomas's care for their welfare, they suffered
but slightly in actual battle, although a number died of hardship
and disease. When the Confederates evacuated eastern Tennessee,
in the winter of 1863-64, some of the white troops of the legion,
with one or two of the Cherokee companies, were shifted to western
Virginia, and by assignment to other regiments a few of the Cherokee
were present at the final siege and surrender of Richmond. The main
body of the Indians, with the rest of the Thomas Legion, crossed over
into North Carolina and did service protecting the western border until
the close of the war, when they surrendered on parole at Waynesville,
North Carolina, in May, 1865, all those of the command being allowed
to keep their guns. It is claimed by their officers that they were
the last of the Confederate forces to surrender. About fifty of the
Cherokee veterans still survive, nearly half of whom, under conduct of
Colonel Stringfield, attended the Confederate reunion at Louisville,
Kentucky, in 1900, where they attracted much attention. [434]

In 1863, by resolution of February 12, the Confederate House of
Representatives called for information as to the number and condition
of the East Cherokee, and their pending relations with the Federal
government at the beginning of the war, with a view to continuing
these relations under Confederate auspices. In response to this
inquiry a report was submitted by the Confederate commissioner
of Indian affairs, S. S. Scott, based on information furnished by
Colonel Thomas and Captain James W. Terrell, their former disbursing
agent, showing that interest upon the "removal and subsistence fund"
established in 1848 had been paid annually up to and including
the year 1859, at the rate of $3.20 per capita, or an aggregate,
exclusive of disbursing agent's commission, of $4,838.40 annually,
based upon the original Mullay enumeration of 1,517.

Upon receipt of this report it was enacted by the Confederate congress
that the sum of $19,352.36 be paid the East Cherokee to cover the
interest period of four years from May 23, 1860, to May 23, 1864. In
this connection the Confederate commissioner suggested that the payment
be made in provisions, of which the Indians were then greatly in need,
and which, if the payment were made in cash, they would be unable to
purchase, on account of the general scarcity. He adds that, according
to his information, almost every Cherokee capable of bearing arms was
then in the Confederate service. The roll furnished by Captain Terrell
is the original Mullay roll corrected to May, 1860, no reference
being made to the later Mullay enumeration (2,133), already alluded
to. There is no record to show that the payment thus authorized was
made, and as the Confederate government was then in hard straits it
is probable that nothing further was done in the matter.

In submitting his statement of previous payments, Colonel Thomas,
their former agent, adds:

    As the North Carolina Cherokees have, like their brethren west,
    taken up arms against the Lincoln government, it is not probable
    that any further advances of interest will be made by that
    government to any portion of the Cherokee tribe. I also enclose a
    copy of the act of July 29, 1848, so far as relates to the North
    Carolina Cherokees, and a printed explanation of their rights,
    prepared by me in 1851, and submitted to the attorney-general,
    and his opinion thereon, which may not be altogether uninteresting
    to those who feel an interest in knowing something of the history
    of the Cherokee tribe of Indians, whose destiny is so closely
    identified with that of the Southern Confederacy. [435]

In a skirmish near Bryson City (then Charleston), Swain county,
North Carolina, about a year after enlistment, a small party of
Cherokee--perhaps a dozen in number--was captured by a detachment
of Union troops and carried to Knoxville, where, having become
dissatisfied with their experience in the Confederate service, they
were easily persuaded to go over to the Union side. Through the
influence of their principal man, Digane'ski, several others were
induced to desert to the Union army, making about thirty in all. As
a part of the Third North Carolina Mounted Volunteer Infantry, they
served with the Union forces in the same region until the close of
the war, when they returned to their homes to find their tribesmen
so bitterly incensed against them that for some time their lives were
in danger. Eight of these are still alive in 1900. [436]

One of these Union Cherokee had brought back with him the smallpox from
an infected camp near Knoxville. Shortly after his return he became
sick and soon died. As the characteristic pustules had not appeared,
the disease seeming to work inwardly, the nature of his sickness
was not at first suspected--smallpox having been an unknown disease
among the Cherokee for nearly a century--and his funeral was largely
attended. A week later a number of those who had been present became
sick, and the disease was recognized by Colonel Thomas as smallpox
in all its virulence. It spread throughout the tribe, this being in
the early spring of 1866, and in spite of all the efforts of Thomas,
who brought a doctor from Tennessee to wait upon them, more than one
hundred of the small community died in consequence. The fatal result
was largely due to the ignorance of the Indians, who, finding their
own remedies of no avail, used the heroic aboriginal treatment of the
plunge bath in the river and the cold-water douche, which resulted
in death in almost every case. Thus did the war bring its harvest of
death, misery, and civil feud to the East Cherokee. [437]

Shortly after this event Colonel Thomas was compelled by physical
and mental infirmity to retire from further active participation
in the affairs of the East Cherokee, after more than half a century
spent in intimate connection with them, during the greater portion of
which time he had been their most trusted friend and adviser. Their
affairs at once became the prey of confusion and factional strife,
which continued until the United States stepped in as arbiter.

In 1868 Congress ordered another census of the East Cherokee, to serve
as a guide in future payments, the roll to include only those persons
whose names had appeared upon the Mullay roll of 1848 and their legal
heirs and representatives. The work was completed in the following year
by S. H. Sweatland, and a payment of interest then due under former
enactment was made by him on this basis. [438] "In accordance with
their earnestly expressed desire to be brought under the immediate
charge of the government as its wards," the Congress which ordered
this last census directed that the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
should assume the same charge over the East Cherokee as over other
tribes, but as no extra funds were made available for the purpose
the matter was held in abeyance. [439] An unratified treaty made this
year with the Cherokee Nation west contained a stipulation that any
Cherokee east of the Mississippi who should remove to the Cherokee
nation within three years should be entitled to full citizenship and
privileges therein, but after that date could be admitted only by
act of the Cherokee national council. [440]

After the retirement of Thomas, in the absence of any active
governmental supervision, need was felt of some central authority. On
December 9, 1868, a general council of the East Cherokee assembled
at Cheowa, in Graham county, North Carolina, took preliminary steps
toward the adoption of a regular form of tribal government under a
constitution. N. J. Smith, afterward principal chief, was clerk of
the council. The new government was formally inaugurated on December
1, 1870. It provided for a first and a second chief to serve for a
term of two years, minor officers to serve one year, and an annual
council representing each Cherokee settlement within the state of
North Carolina. Kâ'lahû', "All-bones," commonly known to the whites
as Flying-squirrel or Sawnook (Sawanu'gi), was elected chief. A new
constitution was adopted five years later, by which the chief's term
of office was fixed at four years. [441]

The status of the lands held by the Indians had now become a matter
of serious concern, As has been stated, the deeds had been made out by
Thomas in his own name, as the state laws at that time forbade Indian
ownership of real estate. In consequence of his losses during the war
and his subsequent disability, the Thomas properties, of which the
Cherokee lands were technically a part, had become involved, so that
the entire estate had passed into the hands of creditors, the most
important of whom, William Johnston, had obtained sheriff's deeds
in 1869 for all of these Indian lands under three several judgments
against Thomas, aggregating $33,887.11. To adjust the matter so
as to secure title and possession to the Indians, Congress in 1870
authorized suit to be brought in their name for the recovery of their
interest. This suit was begun in May, 1873, in the United States
circuit court for western North Carolina. A year later the matters
in dispute were submitted by agreement to a board of arbitrators,
whose award was confirmed by the court in November, 1874.

The award finds that Thomas had purchased with Indian funds a tract
estimated to contain 50,000 acres on Oconaluftee river and Soco
creek, and known as the Qualla boundary, together with a number of
individual tracts outside the boundary; that the Indians were still
indebted to Thomas toward the purchase of the Qualla boundary lands
for the sum of $18,250, from which should be deducted $6,500 paid by
them to Johnston to release titles, with interest to date of award,
making an aggregate of $8,486, together with a further sum of $2,478,
which had been intrusted to Terrell, the business clerk and assistant
of Thomas, and by him turned over to Thomas, as creditor of the
Indians, under power of attorney, this latter sum, with interest
to date of award, aggregating $2,697.89; thus leaving a balance
due from the Indians to Thomas or his legal creditor, Johnston, of
$7,066.11. The award declares that on account of the questionable
manner in which the disputed lands had been bought in by Johnston,
he should be allowed to hold them only as security for the balance
due him until paid, and that on the payment of the said balance of
$7,066.11, with interest at 6 per cent from the date of the award,
the Indians should be entitled to a clear conveyance from him of the
legal title to all the lands embraced within the Qualla boundary. [442]

To enable the Indians to clear off this lien on their lands and for
other purposes, Congress in 1875 directed that as much as remained
of the "removal and subsistence fund" set apart for their benefit in
1848 should be used "in perfecting the titles to the lands awarded to
them, and to pay the costs, expenses, and liabilities attending their
recent litigations, also to purchase and extinguish the titles of any
white persons to lands within the general boundaries allotted to them
by the court, and for the education, improvement, and civilization
of their people." In accordance with this authority the unpaid
balance and interest due Johnston, amounting to $7,242.76, was paid
him in the same year, and shortly afterward there was purchased
on behalf of the Indians some fifteen thousand acres additional,
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs being constituted trustee for the
Indians. For the better protection of the Indians the lands were made
inalienable except by assent of the council and upon approval of the
President of the United States. The deeds for the Qualla boundary
and the 15,000 acre purchase were executed respectively on October 9,
1876, and August 14, 1880. [443] As the boundaries of the different
purchases were but vaguely defined, a new survey of the whole Qualla
boundary and adjoining tracts was authorized. The work was intrusted
to M. S. Temple, deputy United States surveyor, who completed it
in 1876, his survey maps of the reservation being accepted as the
official standard. [444]

The titles and boundaries having been adjusted, the Indian Office
assumed regular supervision of East Cherokee affairs, and in June,
1875, the first agent since the retirement of Thomas was sent out in
the person of W. C. McCarthy. He found the Indians, according to his
report, destitute and discouraged, almost without stock or farming
tools. There were no schools, and very few full-bloods could speak
English, although to their credit nearly all could read and write
their own language, the parents teaching the children. Under his
authority a distribution was made of stock animals, seed wheat, and
farming tools, and several schools were started. In the next year,
however, the agency was discontinued and the educational interests
of the band turned over to the state school superintendent. [445]

In the meantime Kâ'lahû' had been succeeded as chief by Lloyd R. Welch
(Da'si`giya'gi), an educated mixed-blood of Cheowa, who served about
five years, dying shortly after his reelection to a second term
(48). He made a good record by his work in reconciling the various
factions which had sprung up after the withdrawal of the guiding
influence of Thomas, and in defeating the intrigues of fraudulent
white claimants and mischief makers. Shortly before his death the
Government, through Special Agent John A. Sibbald, recognized his
authority as principal chief, together with the constitution which
had been adopted by the band under his auspices in 1875. N. J. Smith
(Tsa'ladihi'), who had previously served as clerk of the council,
was elected to his unexpired term and continued to serve until the
fall of 1890. [446]

We find no further official notice of the East Cherokee until 1881,
when Commissioner Price reported that they were still without agent
or superintendent, and that so far as the Indian Office was concerned
their affairs were in an anomalous and unsatisfactory condition,
while factional feuds were adding to the difficulties and retarding the
progress of the band. In the spring of that year a visiting delegation
from the Cherokee Nation west had extended to them an urgent invitation
to remove to Indian Territory and the Indian Office had encouraged
the project, with the result that 161 persons of the band removed
during the year to Indian Territory, the expense being borne by the
Government. Others were represented as being desirous to remove,
and the Commissioner recommended an appropriation for the purpose,
but as Congress failed to act the matter was dropped. [447]

The neglected condition of the East Cherokee having been brought to
the attention of those old-time friends of the Indian, the Quakers,
through an appeal made in their behalf by members of that society
residing in North Carolina, the Western Yearly Meeting, of Indiana,
volunteered to undertake the work of civilization and education. On
May 31, 1881, representatives of the Friends entered into a contract
with the Indians, subject to approval by the Government, to establish
and continue among them for ten years an industrial school and other
common schools, to be supported in part from the annual interest of the
trust fund held by the Government to the credit of the East Cherokee
and in part by funds furnished by the Friends themselves. Through the
efforts of Barnabas C. Hobbs, of the Western Yearly Meeting, a yearly
contract to the same effect was entered into with the Commissioner of
Indian Affairs later in the same year, and was renewed by successive
commissioners to cover the period of ten years ending June 30, 1892,
when the contract system was terminated and the Government assumed
direct control. Under the joint arrangement, with some aid at the
outset from the North Carolina Meeting, work was begun in 1881 by
Thomas Brown with several teachers sent out by the Indiana Friends,
who established a small training school at the agency headquarters at
Cherokee, and several day schools in the outlying settlements. He
was succeeded three years later by H. W. Spray, an experienced
educator, who, with a corps of efficient assistants and greatly
enlarged facilities, continued to do good work for the elevation
of the Indians until the close of the contract system eight years
later. [448] After an interregnum, during which the schools suffered
from frequent changes, he was reappointed as government agent and
superintendent in 1898, a position which he still holds in 1901. To
the work conducted under his auspices the East Cherokee owe much of
what they have to-day of civilization and enlightenment.

From some travelers who visited the reservation about this time we
have a pleasant account of a trip along Soco and a day with Chief
Smith at Yellow Hill. They describe the Indians as being so nearly
like the whites in their manner of living that a stranger could
rarely distinguish an Indian's cabin or little cove farm from that
of a white man. Their principal crop was corn, which they ground
for themselves, and they had also an abundance of apples, peaches,
and plums, and a few small herds of ponies and cattle. Their wants
were so few that they had but little use for money. Their primitive
costume had long been obsolete, and their dress was like that of
the whites, excepting that moccasins took the place of shoes, and
they manufactured their own clothing by the aid of spinning-wheels
and looms. Finely cut pipes and well-made baskets were also produced,
and the good influence of the schools recently established was already
manifest in the children. [449]

In 1882 the agency was reestablished and provision was made for
taking a new census of all Cherokee east of the Mississippi, Joseph
G. Hester being appointed to the work. [450] The census was submitted
as complete in June, 1884, and contained the names of 1,881 persons in
North Carolina, 758 in Georgia, 213 in Tennessee, 71 in Alabama, and 33
scattering, a total of 2,956. [451] Although this census received the
approval and certificate of the East Cherokee council, a large portion
of the band still refuse to recognize it as authoritative, claiming
that a large number of persons therein enrolled have no Cherokee blood.

The East Cherokee had never ceased to contend for a participation in
the rights and privileges accruing to the western Nation under treaties
with the Government. In 1882 a special agent had been appointed to
investigate their claims, and in the following year, under authority
of Congress, the eastern band of Cherokee brought suit in the Court
of Claims against the United States and the Cherokee Nation west to
determine its rights in the permanent annuity fund and other trust
funds held by the United States for the Cherokee Indians. [452] The
case was decided adversely to the eastern band, first by the Court of
Claims in 1885, [453] and finally, on appeal, by the Supreme Court on
March 1, 1886, that court holding in its decision that the Cherokee
in North Carolina had dissolved their connection with the Cherokee
Nation and ceased to be a part of it when they refused to accompany
the main body at the Removal, and that if Indians in North Carolina
or in any state east of the Mississippi wished to enjoy the benefits
of the common property of the Cherokee Nation in any form whatever
they must be readmitted to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation and
comply with its constitution and laws. In accordance with this
decision the agent in the Indian territory was instructed to issue
no more residence permits to claimants for Cherokee citizenship, and
it was officially announced that all persons thereafter entering that
country without consent of the Cherokee authorities would be treated
as intruders. [454] This decision, cutting off the East Cherokee from
all hope of sharing in any of the treaty benefits enjoyed by their
western kinsmen, was a sore disappointment to them all, especially
to Chief Smith, who had worked unceasingly in their behalf from the
institution of the proceedings. In view of the result, Commissioner
Atkins strongly recommended, as the best method of settling them
in permanent homes, secure from white intrusion and from anxiety on
account of their uncertain tenure and legal status in North Carolina,
that negotiations be opened through government channels for their
readmission to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation, to be followed,
if successful, by the sale of their lands in North Carolina and their
removal to Indian Territory. [455]

In order to acquire a more definite legal status, the Cherokee residing
in North Carolina--being practically all those of the eastern band
having genuine Indian interests--became a corporate body under the laws
of the state in 1889. The act, ratified on March 11, declares in its
first section "That the North Carolina or Eastern Cherokee Indians,
resident or domiciled in the counties of Jackson, Swain, Graham, and
Cherokee, be and at the same time are hereby created and constituted
a body politic and corporate under the name, style, and title of the
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, with all the rights, franchises,
privileges and powers incident and belonging to corporations under
the laws of the state of North Carolina. [456]

On August 2, 1893, ex-Chief Smith died at Cherokee, in the
fifty-seventh year of his life, more than twenty of which had been
given to the service of his people. Nimrod Jarrett Smith, known to
the Cherokee as Tsa'ladihi', was the son of a half breed father by an
Indian mother, and was born near the present Murphy, Cherokee county,
North Carolina, on January 3, 1837. His earliest recollections were
thus of the miseries that attended the flight of the refugees to the
mountains during the Removal period. His mother spoke very little
English, but his father was a man of considerable intelligence, having
acted as interpreter and translator for Reverend Evan Jones at the
old Valleytown mission. As the boy grew to manhood he acquired a fair
education, which, aided by a commanding presence, made him a person of
influence among his fellows. At twenty-five years of age he enlisted
in the Thomas Legion as first sergeant of Company B, Sixty-ninth North
Carolina (Confederate) Infantry, and served in that capacity till the
close of the war. He was clerk of the council that drafted the first
East Cherokee constitution in 1868, and on the death of Principal Chief
Lloyd Welch in 1880 was elected to fill the unexpired term, continuing
in office by successive reelections until the close of 1891, a period
of about twelve years, the longest term yet filled by an incumbent. As
principal chief he signed the contract under which the school work
was inaugurated in 1881. For several years thereafter his duties,
particularly in connection with the suit against the western Cherokee,
required his presence much of the time at Washington, while at home his
time was almost as constantly occupied in attending to the wants of a
dependent people. Although he was entitled under the constitution of
the band to a salary of five hundred dollars per year, no part of this
salary was ever paid, because of the limited resources of his people,
and only partial reimbursement was made to him, shortly before his
death, for expenses incurred in official visits to Washington. With
frequent opportunities to enrich himself at the expense of his people,
he maintained his honor and died a poor man.

In person Chief Smith was a splendid specimen of physical manhood,
being six feet four inches in height and built in proportion, erect
in figure, with flowing black hair curling down over his shoulders,
a deep musical voice, and a kindly spirit and natural dignity that
never failed to impress the stranger. His widow--a white woman--and
several children survive him. [457]

In 1894 the long-standing litigation between the East Cherokee and a
number of creditors and claimants to Indian lands within and adjoining
the Qualla boundary was finally settled by a compromise by which the
several white tenants and claimants within the boundary agreed to
execute a quitclaim and vacate on payment to them by the Indians of
sums aggregating $24,552, while for another disputed adjoining tract
of 33,000 acres the United States agreed to pay, for the Indians, at
the rate of $1.25 per acre. The necessary Government approval having
been obtained, Congress appropriated a sufficient amount for carrying
into effect the agreement, thus at last completing a perfect and
unincumbered title to all the lands claimed by the Indians, with the
exception of a few outlying tracts of comparative unimportance. [458]

In 1895 the Cherokee residing in North Carolina upon the reservation
and in the outlying settlements were officially reported to number
1,479. [459] A year later an epidemic of grippe spread through the
band, with the result that the census of 1897 shows but 1,312, [460]
among those who died at this time being Big-witch (Tskil-e'gwa),
the oldest man of the band, who distinctly remembered the Creek war,
and Wadi'yahi, the last old woman who preserved the art of making
double-walled baskets. In the next year the population had recovered
to 1,351. The description of the mode of living then common to most
of the Indians will apply nearly as well to-day:

    While they are industrious, these people are not progressive
    farmers and have learned nothing of modern methods. The same crops
    are raised continuously until the soil will yield no more or is
    washed away, when new ground is cleared or broken. The value of
    rotation and fertilizing has not yet been discovered or taught....

    That these people can live at all upon the products of their small
    farms is due to the extreme simplicity of their food, dress, and
    manner of living. The typical house is of logs, is about fourteen
    by sixteen feet, of one room, just high enough for the occupants
    to stand erect, with perhaps a small loft for the storage of
    extras. The roof is of split shingles or shakes. There is no
    window, the open door furnishing what light is required. At one
    end of the house is the fireplace, with outside chimney of stones
    or sticks chinked with clay. The furniture is simple and cheap. An
    iron pot, a bake kettle, a coffeepot and mill, small table, and a
    few cups, knives, and spoons are all that is needed. These, with
    one or two bedsteads, homemade, a few pillows and quilts, with
    feather mattresses for winter covering, as well as for the usual
    purpose, constitute the principal house possessions. For outdoor
    work there is an ax, hoe, and shovel plow. A wagon or cart may be
    owned, but is not essential. The outfit is inexpensive and answers
    every purpose. The usual food is bean bread, with coffee. In the
    fall chestnut bread is also used. Beef is seldom eaten, but pork
    is highly esteemed, and a considerable number of hogs are kept,
    running wild and untended in summer. [461]

By the most recent official count, in 1900, the East Cherokee residing
in North Carolina under direct charge of the agent and included within
the act of incorporation number 1,376, of whom about 1,100 are on
the reservation, the rest living farther to the west, on Nantahala,
Cheowa, and Hiwassee rivers. This does not include mixed-bloods in
adjoining states and some hundreds of unrecognized claimants. Those
enumerated own approximately 100,000 acres of land, of which 83,000
are included within the Qualla reservation and a contiguous tract in
Jackson and Swain counties. They receive no rations or annuities and
are entirely self-supporting, the annual interest on their trust
fund established in 1848, which has dwindled to about $23,000,
being applied to the payment of taxes upon their unoccupied common
lands. From time to time they have made leases of timber, gold-washing,
and grazing privileges, but without any great profit to themselves. By
special appropriation the government supports an industrial training
school at Cherokee, the agency headquarters, in which 170 pupils are
now being boarded, clothed, and educated in the practical duties of
life. This school, which in its workings is a model of its kind, owes
much of its usefulness and high standing to the efficient management
of Prof. H. W. Spray (Wilsini'), already mentioned, who combines the
duties of superintendent and agent for the band. His chief clerk,
Mr James Blythe (Diskwa'`ni, "Chestnut-bread"), a Cherokee by blood,
at one time filled the position of agent, being perhaps the only
Indian who has ever served in such capacity.

The exact legal status of the East Cherokee is still a matter of
dispute, they being at once wards of the government, citizens of the
United States, and (in North Carolina) a corporate body under state
laws. They pay real estate taxes and road service, exercise the voting
privilege, [462] and are amenable to the local courts, but do not pay
poll tax or receive any pauper assistance from the counties; neither
can they make free contracts or alienate their lands (49). Under their
tribal constitution they are governed by a principal and an assistant
chief, elected for a term of four years, with an executive council
appointed by the chief, and sixteen councilors elected by the various
settlements for a term of two years. The annual council is held in
October at Cherokee, on the reservation, the proceedings being in the
Cherokee language and recorded by their clerk in the Cherokee alphabet,
as well as in English. The present chief is Jesse Reid (Tse'si-Ska'tsi,
"Scotch Jesse"), an intelligent mixed-blood, who fills the office with
dignity and ability. As a people they are peaceable and law-abiding,
kind and hospitable, providing for their simple wants by their own
industry without asking or expecting outside assistance. Their fields,
orchards, and fish traps, with some few domestic animals and occasional
hunting, supply them with food, while by the sale of ginseng and
other medicinal plants gathered in the mountains, with fruit and
honey of their own raising, they procure what additional supplies
they need from the traders. The majority are fairly comfortable, far
above the condition of most Indian tribes, and but little, if any,
behind their white neighbors. In literary ability they may even be
said to surpass them, as in addition to the result of nearly twenty
years of school work among the younger people, nearly all the men
and some of the women can read and write their own language. All wear
civilized costumes, though an occasional pair of moccasins is seen,
while the women find means to gratify the racial love of color in
the wearing of red bandanna kerchiefs in place of bonnets. The older
people still cling to their ancient rites and sacred traditions, but
the dance and the ballplay wither and the Indian day is nearly spent.


(1) Tribal synonymy (page 15): Very few Indian tribes are known to us
under the names by which they call themselves. One reason for this
is the fact that the whites have usually heard of a tribe from its
neighbors, speaking other languages, before coming upon the tribe
itself. Many of the popular tribal names were originally nicknames
bestowed by neighboring tribes, frequently referring to some peculiar
custom, and in a large number of cases would be strongly repudiated by
the people designated by them. As a rule each tribe had a different
name in every surrounding Indian language, besides those given by
Spanish, French, Dutch, or English settlers.

Yûñ'wiya'--This word is compounded from yûñwi (person) and ya
(real or principal). The assumption of superiority is much in
evidence in Indian tribal names; thus, the Iroquois, Delawares,
and Pawnee call themselves, respectively, Oñwe-hoñwe, Leni-lenape',
and Tsariksi-tsa'riks, all of which may be rendered "men of men,"
"men surpassing other men," or "real men."

Kitu'hwagi--This word, which can not be analyzed, is derived from
Kitu'hwa, the name of an ancient Cherokee settlement formerly on
Tuckasegee river, just above the present Bryson City, in Swain county,
North Carolina. It is noted in 1730 as one of the "seven mother towns"
of the tribe. Its inhabitants were called Ani'-Kitu'hwagi (people of
Kituhwa), and seem to have exercised a controlling influence over
those of all the towns on the waters of Tuckasegee and the upper
part of Little Tennessee, the whole body being frequently classed
together as Ani'-Kitu'hwagi. The dialect of these towns held a middle
place linguistically between those spoken to the east, on the heads
of Savannah, and to the west, on Hiwassee, Cheowah, and the lower
course of Little Tennessee. In various forms the word was adopted
by the Delawares, Shawano, and other northern Algonquian tribes as a
synonym for Cherokee, probably from the fact that the Kituhwa people
guarded the Cherokee northern frontier. In the form Cuttawa it appears
on the French map of Vaugondy in 1755. From a similarity of spelling,
Schoolcraft incorrectly makes it a synonym for Catawba, while Brinton
incorrectly asserts that it is an Algonquian term, fancifully rendered,
"inhabitants of the great wilderness." Among the western Cherokee it
is now the name of a powerful secret society, which had its origin
shortly before the War of the Rebellion.

Cherokee--This name occurs in fully fifty different spellings. In the
standard recognized form, which dates back at least to 1708, it has
given name to counties in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,
and Alabama, within the ancient territory of the tribe, and to as many
as twenty other geographic locations within the United States. In
the Eastern or Lower dialect, with which the English settlers first
became familiar, the form is Tsa'ragi', whence we get Cherokee. In
the other dialects the form is Tsa'lagi'. It is evidently foreign
to the tribe, as is frequently the case in tribal names, and in
all probability is of Choctaw origin, having come up from the south
through the medium of the Mobilian trade jargon. It will be noted that
De Soto, whose chroniclers first use the word, in the form Chalaque,
obtained his interpreters from the Gulf coast of Florida. Fontanedo,
writing about the year 1575, mentions other inland tribes known to
the natives of Florida under names which seem to be of Choctaw origin;
for instance, the Canogacole, interpreted "wicked people," the final
part being apparently the Choctaw word okla or ogula, "people", which
appears also in Pascagoula, Bayou Goula, and Pensacola. Shetimasha,
Atakapa, and probably Biloxi, are also Choctaw names, although the
tribes themselves are of other origins. As the Choctaw held much of
the Gulf coast and were the principal traders of that region, it was
natural that explorers landing among them should adopt their names
for the more remote tribes.

The name seems to refer to the fact that the tribe occupied a cave
country. In the "Choctaw Leksikon" of Allen Wright, 1880, page 87,
we find choluk, a noun, signifying a hole, cavity, pit, chasm,
etc., and as an adjective signifying hollow. In the manuscript
Choctaw dictionary of Cyrus Byington, in the library of the Bureau
of American Ethnology, we find chiluk, noun, a hole, cavity, hollow,
pit, etc., with a statement that in its usual application it means a
cavity or hollow, and not a hole through anything. As an adjective,
the same form is given as signifying hollow, having a hole, as iti
chiluk, a hollow tree; aboha chiluk, an empty house; chiluk chukoa,
to enter a hole. Other noun forms given are chuluk and achiluk in
the singular and chilukoa in the plural, all signifying hole, pit,
or cavity. Verbal forms are chilukikbi, to make a hole, and chilukba,
to open and form a fissure.

In agreement with the genius of the Cherokee language the root form
of the tribal name takes nominal or verbal prefixes according to
its connection with the rest of the sentence, and is declined, or
rather conjugated, as follows: Singular--first person, tsi-Tsa'lagi,
I (am) a Cherokee; second person, hi-Tsa'lagi, thou art a Cherokee;
third person, a-Tsa'lagi, he is a Cherokee. Dual--first person,
âsti-Tsa'lagi, we two are Cherokee; second person, sti-Tsa'lagi,
you two are Cherokee; third person, ani'-Tsa'lagi, they two are
Cherokee. Plural--first person, atsi-Tsa'lagi, we (several) are
Cherokee; second person, hitsi-Tsa'lagi, you (several) are Cherokee;
third person, ani'-Tsa'lagi, they (several) are Cherokee. It will be
noticed that the third person dual and plural are alike.

Oyata'ge`ronoñ', etc.--The Iroquois (Mohawk) form is given by Hewitt
as O-yata'-ge`ronoñ', of which the root is yata', cave, o is the
assertive prefix, ge is the locative at, and ronoñ' is the tribal
suffix, equivalent to (English) -ites or people. The word, which has
several dialectic forms, signifies "inhabitants of the cave country,"
or "cave-country people," rather than "people who dwell in caves,"
as rendered by Schoolcraft. The same radix yata' occurs also in the
Iroquois name for the opossum, which is a burrowing animal. As is well
known, the Allegheny region is peculiarly a cave country, the caves
having been used by the Indians for burial and shelter purposes, as
is proved by numerous remains found in them. It is probable that the
Iroquois simply translated the name (Chalaque) current in the South,
as we find is the case in the West, where the principal plains tribes
are known under translations of the same names in all the different
languages. The Wyandot name for the Cherokee, Wataiyo-ronoñ', and
their Catawba name, Mañterañ', both seem to refer to coming out of
the ground, and may have been originally intended to convey the same
idea of cave people.

Rickahockan--This name is used by the German explorer, Lederer,
in 1670, as the name of the people inhabiting the mountains to the
southwest of the Virginia settlements. On his map he puts them in the
mountains on the southern head streams of Roanoke river, in western
North Carolina. He states that, according to his Indian informants,
the Rickahockan lived beyond the mountains in a land of great waves,
which he interpreted to mean the sea shore (!), but it is more likely
that the Indians were trying to convey, by means of the sign language,
the idea of a succession of mountain ridges. The name was probably
of Powhatan origin, and is evidently identical with Rechahecrian of
the Virginia chronicles of about the same period, the r in the latter
form being perhaps a misprint. It may be connected with Righkahauk,
indicated on Smith's map of Virginia, in 1607, as the name of a town
within the Powhatan territory, and still preserved in Rockahock,
the name of an estate on lower Pamunkey river. We have too little
material of the Powhatan language to hazard an interpretation,
but it may possibly contain the root of the word for sand, which
appears as lekawa, nikawa, negaw, rigawa, rekwa, etc., in various
eastern Algonquian dialects, whence Rockaway (sand), and Recgawawank
(sandy place). The Powhatan form, as given by Strachey, is racawh
(sand). He gives also rocoyhook (otter), reihcahahcoik, hidden under
a cloud, overcast, rickahone or reihcoan (a comb), and rickewh (to
divide in halves).

Talligewi--As Brinton well says: "No name in the Lenape' legends has
given rise to more extensive discussion than this." On Colden's map
in his "History of the Five Nations," 1727, we find the "Alleghens"
indicated upon Allegheny river. Heckewelder, who recorded the
Delaware tradition in 1819, says: "Those people, as I was told,
called themselves Talligeu or Talligewi. Colonel John Gibson, however,
a gentleman who has a thorough knowledge of the Indians, and speaks
several of their languages, is of the opinion that they were not
called Talligewi, but Alligewi; and it would seem that he is right
from the traces of their name which still remain in the country,
the Allegheny river and mountains having indubitably been named
after them. The Delawares still call the former Alligewi Sipu (the
river of the Alligewi)"--Indian Nations, p. 48, ed. 1876. Loskiel,
writing on the authority of Zeisberger, says that the Delawares knew
the whole country drained by the Ohio under the name of Alligewinengk,
meaning "the land in which they arrived from distant places," basing
his interpretation upon an etymology compounded from talli or alli,
there, icku, to that place, and ewak, they go, with a locative
final. Ettwein, another Moravian writer, says the Delawares called
"the western country" Alligewenork, meaning a warpath, and called
the river Alligewi Sipo. This definition would make the word come
from palliton or alliton, to fight, to make war, ewak, they go, and a
locative, i. e., "they go there to fight." Trumbull, an authority on
Algonquian languages, derives the river name from wulik, good, best,
hanne, rapid stream, and sipu, river, of which rendering its Iroquois
name, Ohio, is nearly an equivalent. Rafinesque renders Talligewi as
"there found," from talli, there, and some other root, not given
(Brinton, Walam Olum, pp. 229-230, 1885).

It must be noted that the names Ohio and Alligewi (or Allegheny) were
not applied by the Indians, as with us, to different parts of the same
river, but to the whole stream, or at least the greater portion of it
from its head downward. Although Brinton sees no necessary connection
between the river name and the traditional tribal name, the statement
of Heckewelder, generally a competent authority on Delaware matters,
makes them identical.

In the traditional tribal name, Talligewi or Alligewi, wi is an
assertive verbal suffix, so that the form properly means "he is a
Tallige," or "they are Tallige." This comes very near to Tsa'lagi',
the name by which the Cherokee call themselves, and it may have
been an early corruption of that name. In Zeisberger's Delaware
dictionary, however, we find waloh or walok, signifying a cave or
hole, while in the "Walam Olum" we have oligonunk rendered "at the
place of caves," the region being further described as a buffalo
land on a pleasant plain, where the Lenape', advancing seaward from
a less abundant northern region, at last found food (Walam Olum,
pp. 194-195). Unfortunately, like other aboriginal productions of its
kind among the northern tribes, the Lenape chronicle is suggestive
rather than complete and connected. With more light it may be that
seeming discrepancies would disappear and we should find at last
that the Cherokee, in ancient times as in the historic period, were
always the southern vanguard of the Iroquoian race, always primarily
a mountain people, but with their flank resting upon the Ohio and
its great tributaries, following the trend of the Blue ridge and
the Cumberland as they slowly gave way before the pressure from the
north until they were finally cut off from the parent stock by the
wedge of Algonquian invasion, but always, whether in the north or in
the south, keeping their distinctive title among the tribes as the
"people of the cave country."

As the Cherokee have occupied a prominent place in history for so long
a period their name appears in many synonyms and diverse spellings. The
following are among the principal of these:


Tsa'lagi' (plural, Ani'-Tsa'lagi'). Proper form in the Middle and
Western Cherokee dialects.
Tsa'ragi'. Proper form in the Eastern or Lower Cherokee dialect.
Achalaque. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 1847 (incorrectly quoting
Chalakee. Nuttall, Travels, 124, 1821.
Chalaque. Gentleman of Elvas, 1557; Publications of Hakluyt Society,
IX, 60, 1851.
Chalaquies. Barcia, Ensayo, 335, 1723.
Charakeys. Homann heirs' map, about 1730.
Charikees. Document of 1718, fide Rivers, South Carolina, 55, 1856.
Charokees. Governor Johnson, 1720, fide Rivers, Early History South
Carolina, 93, 1874.
Cheelake. Barton, New Views, xliv, 1798.
Cheerake. Adair, American Indians, 226, 1775.
Cheerakee. Ibid., 137.
Cheeraque's. Moore, 1704, in Carroll, Hist. Colls. South Carolina,
II, 576, 1836.
Cheerokee. Ross (?), 1776, in Historical Magazine, 2d series, II,
218, 1867.
Chel-a-ke. Long, Expedition to Rocky Mountains, II, lxx, 1823.
Chelakees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 90, 1836.
Chelaques. Nuttall, Travels, 247, 1821.
Chelekee. Keane, in Stanford's Compendium, 506, 1878.
Chellokee. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, II, 204, 1852.
Cheloculgee. White, Statistics of Georgia, 28, 1849 (given as plural
form of Creek name).
Chelokees. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 104, 1836.
Cheokees. Johnson, 1772, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., VIII, 314, 1857
(misprint for Cherokees).
Cheraguees. Coxe, Carolina, II, 1741.
Cherakees. Ibid., map, 1741.
Cherakis. Chauvignerie, 1736, fide Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, III,
555, 1853.
Cheraquees. Coxe, Carolana, 13, 1741.
Cheraquis. Penicaut, 1699, in Margry, V, 404, 1883.
Cherickees. Clarke, 1739, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., VI, 148, 1855.
Cherikee. Albany conference, 1742, ibid., 218.
Cherokee. Governor Johnson, 1708, in Rivers, South Carolina, 238, 1856.
Cherookees. Croghan, 1760, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Colls., 4th series,
IX, 372, 1871.
Cheroquees. Campbell, 1761, ibid., 416.
Cherrackees. Evans, 1755, in Gregg, Old Cheraws, 15, 1867.
Cherrokees. Treaty of 1722, fide Drake, Book of Indians, bk. 4,
32, 1848.
Cherrykees. Weiser, 1748, fide Kauffman, Western Pennsylvania,
appendix, 18, 1851.
Chirakues. Randolph, 1699, in Rivers, South Carolina, 449, 1856.
Chirokys. Writer about 1825, Annales de la Prop. de la Foi, II,
384, 1841.
Chorakis. Document of 1748, New York Doc. Col. Hist., X, 143, 1858.
Chreokees. Pike, Travels, 173, 1811 (misprint, transposed).
Shanaki. Gatschet, Caddo MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Caddo name).
Shan-nack. Marcy, Red River, 273, 1854 (Wichita name).
Shannaki. Gatschet, Fox MS, Bureau Am. Ethn., 1882 (Fox name: plural
form, Shannakiak).
Shayage. Gatschet, Kaw MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1878 (Kaw name).
Sulluggoes. Coxe, Carolana, 22, 1741.
Tcalke. Gatschet, Tonkawa MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Tonkawa name,
Tcerokiec. Gatschet, Wichita MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1882 (Wichita name,
Tchatakes. La Salle, 1682, in Margry, II, 197, 1877 (misprint).
Tsalakies. Gallatin, Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 90, 1836.
Tsallakee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847.
Tsä-ló-kee. Morgan, Ancient Society, 113, 1878.
Tschirokesen. Wrangell, Ethn. Nachrichten, XIII, 1839 (German form).
Tsûlahki. Grayson, Creek MS, Bur. Am. Ethn., 1885 (Creek name; plural
form, Tsalgal'gi or Tsûlgûl'gi--Mooney).
Tzerrickey. Urlsperger, fide Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, I,
26, 1884.
Tzulukis. Rafinesque, Am. Nations, I, 123, 1836.
Zolucans.      Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 23, 1824.
Talligeu.       Heckewelder, 1819, Indian Nations, 48, reprint of 1876
Talligewi.      (traditional Delaware name; singular, Tallige' or
Alligewi.       Allige' (see preceding explanation).
Alleg. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, V, 133, 1855.
Allegans. Colden, map, 1727, fide Schoolcraft, ibid., III, 525, 1853.
Allegewi. Schoolcraft, ibid., V, 133, 1855.
Alleghans. Colden, 1727, quoted in Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois,
147, 1847.
Alleghanys. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 34, 1824.
Alleghens. Colden, map, 1727, fide Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois,
305, 1847.
Allegwi. Squier, in Beach, Indian Miscellany, 26, 1877.
Alli. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, V, 133, 1855.
Allighewis. Keane, in Stanford's Compendium, 500, 1878.
Talagans. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 28, 1824.
Talega. Brinton, Walam Olum, 201, 1885.
Tallagewy. Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, II, 36, 1852.
Tallegwi. Rafinesque, fide Mercer, Lenape Stone, 90, 1885.
Talligwee. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 310, 1847.
Tallike. Brinton, Walam Olum, 230, 1885.
Kitu'hwagi (plural, Ani'-Kitu'hwagi. See preceding explanation).
Cuttawa. Vaugondy, map, Partie de l'Amérique, Septentrionale 1755.
Gatohua.                      Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, I,
Gattochwa.                    28, 1884.
Katowa (plural, Katowagi).
Ketawaugas. Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal Tennessee, 233, 1823.
Kittuwa. Brinton, Walam Olum, 16, 1885 (Delaware name).
Kuttoowauw. Aupaumut, 1791, fide Brinton, ibid., 16 (Mahican name).
Oyata'ge`ronoñ'. Hewitt, oral information (Iroquois (Mohawk) name. See
preceding explanation).
Ojadagochroene. Livingston, 1720, in New York Doc. Col. Hist., V,
567, 1855.
Ondadeonwas. Bleeker, 1701, ibid., IV, 918, 1854.
Oyadackuchraono. Weiser, 1753, ibid., VI, 795, 1855.
Oyadagahroenes. Letter of 1713, ibid., V, 386, 1855 (incorrectly
stated to be the Flat-heads, i. e., either Catawbas or Choctaws).
Oyadage'ono. Gatschet, Seneca MS, 1882, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Seneca name).
O-ya-dä'-go-o-no. Morgan, League of Iroquois, 337, 1851.
Oyaudah. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 448, 1847 (Seneca name).
Uwata'-yo-ro'-no. Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, 28, 1884 (Wyandot
Uyada. Ibid. (Seneca name).
We-yau-dah. Schoolcraft, Notes on Iroquois, 253, 1847.
Wa-tai-yo-ro-noñ''. Hewitt, Wyandot MS, 1893, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Wyandot
Rickahockans. Lederer, 1672, Discoveries, 26, reprint of 1891 (see
preceding explanation).
Rickohockans. Map, ibid.
Rechahecrians. Drake, Book of Indians, book 4, 22, 1848 (from old
Virginia documents).
Rechehecrians. Rafinesque, in Marshall, Kentucky, I, 36, 1824.
Mâñterâñ'. Gatschet, Catawba MS, 1881, Bur. Am. Ethn. (Catawba
name. See preceding explanation).
Entarironnon.          Potier, Racines Huronnes et Grammaire, MS, 1751
Ochie`tarironnon.      (Wyandot names. The first, according to Hewitt,
                       is equivalent to "ridge, or mountain, people").
T'kwen-tah-e-u-ha-ne. Beauchamp, in Journal Am. Folklore, V, 225,
1892 (given as the Onondaga name and rendered, "people of a beautiful
red color").
Canogacole(?). Fontanedo, about 1575, Memoir, translated in French
Hist. Colls., II, 257, 1875 (rendered "wicked people").

(2) Mobilian trade language (page 16): This trade jargon, based upon
Choctaw, but borrowing also from all the neighboring dialects and even
from the more northern Algonquian languages, was spoken and understood
among all the tribes of the Gulf states, probably as far west as
Matagorda bay and northward along both banks of the Mississippi to
the Algonquian frontier about the entrance of the Ohio. It was called
Mobilienne by the French, from Mobile, the great trading center of
the Gulf region. Along the Mississippi it was sometimes known also as
the Chickasaw trade language, the Chickasaw being a dialect of the
Choctaw language proper. Jeffreys, in 1761, compares this jargon in
its uses to the lingua franca of the Levant, and it was evidently by
the aid of this intertribal medium that De Soto's interpreter from
Tampa bay could converse with all the tribes they met until they
reached the Mississippi. Some of the names used by Fontanedo about
1575 for the tribes northward from Appalachee bay seem to be derived
from this source, as in later times were the names of the other
tribes of the Gulf region, without regard to linguistic affinities,
including among others the Taensa, Tunica, Atakapa, and Shetimasha,
representing as many different linguistic stocks. In his report upon
the southwestern tribes in 1805, Sibley says that the "Mobilian" was
spoken in addition to their native languages by all the Indians who
had come from the east side of the Mississippi. Among those so using
it he names the Alabama, Apalachi, Biloxi, Chactoo, Pacana, Pascagula,
Taensa, and Tunica. Woodward, writing from Louisiana more than fifty
years later, says: "There is yet a language the Texas Indians call
the Mobilian tongue, that has been the trading language of almost
all the tribes that have inhabited the country. I know white men
that now speak it. There is a man now living near me that is fifty
years of age, raised in Texas, that speaks the language well. It is a
mixture of Creek, Choctaw, Chickasay, Netches [Natchez], and Apelash
[Apalachi]"--Reminiscences, 79. For further information see also
Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, and Sibley, Report.

The Mobilian trade jargon was not unique of its kind. In America, as in
other parts of the world, the common necessities of intercommunication
have resulted in the formation of several such mongrel dialects,
prevailing, sometimes over wide areas. In some cases, also, the
language of a predominant tribe serves as the common medium for
all the tribes of a particular region. In South America we find the
lingoa geral, based upon the Tupi' language, understood for everyday
purposes by all the tribes of the immense central region from Guiana
to Paraguay, including almost the whole Amazon basin. On the northwest
coast we find the well-known "Chinook jargon," which takes its name
from a small tribe formerly residing at the mouth of the Columbia,
in common use among all the tribes from California far up into
Alaska, and eastward to the great divide of the Rocky mountains. In
the southwest the Navaho-Apache language is understood by nearly
all the Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, while on the plains the
Sioux language in the north and the Comanche in the south hold almost
the same position. In addition to these we have also the noted "sign
language," a gesture system used and perfectly understood as a fluent
means of communication among all the hunting tribes of the plains
from the Saskatchewan to the Rio Grande.

(3) Dialects (page 17): The linguistic affinity of the Cherokee and
northern Iroquoian dialects, although now well established, is not
usually obvious on the surface, but requires a close analysis of
words, with a knowledge of the laws of phonetic changes, to make it
appear. The superficial agreement is perhaps most apparent between the
Mohawk and the Eastern (Lower) Cherokee dialects, as both of these lack
the labials entirely and use r instead of l. In the short table given
below the Iroquois words are taken, with slight changes in the alphabet
used, from Hewitt's manuscripts, the Cherokee from those of the author:

                      Mohawk                 Cherokee (Eastern)

         person       oñgwe'                 yûñwi
         fire         otsi'ra'               atsi'ra (atsi'la)
         water        aweñ'                  awa' (ama')
         stone        oneñya'                nûñyû'
         arrow        ka'noñ'                kûni'
         pipe         kanoñnaweñ'            kanûñ'nawû
         hand (arm)   owe'ya'                uwâ'yi
         milk         uneñ'ta'               unûñ'ti
         five         wisk                   hiski
         tobacco      [tcarhû', Tuscarora]   tsârû (tsâlû)
         fish         otcoñ'ta'              û'tsûti'
         ghost        o'skeñna'              asgi'na
         snake        eñnatûñ                i'nadû'

Comparison of Cherokee dialects

                        Eastern (Lower)   Middle       Western (Upper)
  fire                  atsi'ra           atsi'la      atsi'la
  water                 awa'              ama'         ama'
  dog                   gi'ri'            gi'li'       gi'li'
  hair                  gitsû'            gitsû'       gitlû'
  hawk                  tsa'nuwa'         tsa'nuwa'    tla'nuwa'
  leech                 tsanu'si'         tsanu'si'    tlanu'si'
  bat                   tsa'weha'         tsa'meha'    tla'meha'
  panther               tsûñtû'tsi        tsûñtû'tsi   tlûñtû'tsi
  jay                   tsay'kû'          tsay'kû'     tlay'kû'
  martin (bird)         tsutsû'           tsutsû'      tlutlû'
  war-club              atasû'            atasû'       atasi'
  heart                 unahu'            unahu'       unahwi'
  where?                ga'tsû            ga'tsû       ha'tlû
  how much?             hûñgû'            hûñgû'       hila'gû
  key                   stugi'sti         stugi'sti    stui'sti
  I pick it up (long)   tsinigi'û         tsinigi'û    tsine'û
  my father             agidâ'ta          agidâ'ta     edâ'ta
  my mother             a'gitsi'          a'gitsi'     etsi'
  my father's father    agini'si          agini'si     eni'si
  my mother's father    agidu'tu          agidu'tu     edu'tu

It will be noted that the Eastern and Middle dialects are about the
same, excepting for the change of l to r, and the entire absence
of the labial m from the Eastern dialect, while the Western differs
considerably from the others, particularly in the greater frequency
of the liquid l and the softening of the guttural g, the changes
tending to render it the most musical of all the Cherokee dialects. It
is also the standard literary dialect. In addition to these three
principal dialects there are some peculiar forms and expressions in
use by a few individuals which indicate the former existence of one
or more other dialects now too far extinct to be reconstructed. As in
most other tribes, the ceremonial forms used by the priesthood are
so filled with archaic and figurative expressions as to be almost
unintelligible to the laity.

(4) Iroquoian tribes and migrations (p. 17): The Iroquoian stock,
taking its name from the celebrated Iroquois confederacy, consisted
formerly of from fifteen to twenty tribes, speaking nearly as many
different dialects, and including, among others, the following:

    Wyandot, or Huron.                | Ontario, Canada.
    Tionontati, or Tobacco nation.    |
    Attiwan'daron, or Neutral nation. |
    Tohotaenrat.                      |
    Wenrorono.                        |

    Mohawk.   | Iroquois, or Five Nations, New York.
    Oneida.   |
    Onondaga. |
    Cayuga.   |
    Seneca.   |

    Erie. Northern Ohio, etc.

    Conestoga, or Susquehanna. Southern Pennsylvania and Maryland.

    Nottoway.  | Southern Virginia.
    Meherrin?. |

    Tuscarora. Eastern North Carolina.

    Cherokee. Western Carolina, etc.

Tradition and history alike point to the St. Lawrence region as the
early home of this stock. Upon this point all authorities concur. Says
Hale, in his paper on Indian Migrations (p. 4): "The constant tradition
of the Iroquois represents their ancestors as emigrants from the region
north of the Great lakes, where they dwelt in early times with their
Huron brethren. This tradition is recorded with much particularity
by Cadwallader Colden, surveyor-general of New York, who in the early
part of the last century composed his well known 'History of the Five
Nations.' It is told in a somewhat different form by David Cusick,
the Tuscarora historian, in his 'Sketches of Ancient History of
the Six Nations,' and it is repeated by Mr. L. H. Morgan in his now
classical work, 'The League of the Iroquois,' for which he procured his
information chiefly among the Senecas. Finally, as we learn from the
narrative of the Wyandot Indian, Peter Clarke, in his book entitled
'Origin and Traditional History of the Wyandotts,' the belief of
the Hurons accords in this respect with that of the Iroquois. Both
point alike to the country immediately north of the St. Lawrence,
and especially to that portion of it lying east of Lake Ontario, as
the early home of the Huron-Iroquois nations." Nothing is known of
the traditions of the Conestoga or the Nottoway, but the tradition of
the Tuscarora, as given by Cusick and other authorities, makes them a
direct offshoot from the northern Iroquois, with whom they afterward
reunited. The traditions of the Cherokee also, as we have seen, bring
them from the north, thus completing the cycle. "The striking fact
has become evident that the course of migration of the Huron-Cherokee
family has been from the northeast to the southwest--that is, from
eastern Canada, on the Lower St. Lawrence, to the mountains of northern
Alabama."--Hale, Indian Migrations, p. 11.

The retirement of the northern Iroquoian tribes from the St. Lawrence
region was due to the hostility of their Algonquian neighbors, by whom
the Hurons and their allies were forced to take refuge about Georgian
bay and the head of Lake Ontario, while the Iroquois proper retreated
to central New York. In 1535 Cartier found the shores of the river
from Quebec to Montreal occupied by an Iroquoian people, but on the
settlement of the country seventy years later the same region was
found in possession of Algonquian tribes. The confederation of the
five Iroquois nations, probably about the year 1540, enabled them to
check the Algonquian invasion and to assume the offensive. Linguistic
and other evidence shows that the separation of the Cherokee from
the parent stock must have far antedated this period.

(5) Walam Olum (p. 18): The name signifies "red score," from the
Delaware walam, "painted," more particularly "painted red," and olum,
"a score, tally-mark." The Walam Olum was first published in 1836 in a
work entitled "The American Nations," by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque,
a versatile and voluminous, but very erratic, French scholar, who spent
the latter half of his life in this country, dying in Philadelphia in
1840. He asserted that it was a translation of a manuscript in the
Delaware language, which was an interpretation of an ancient sacred
metrical legend of the Delawares, recorded in pictographs cut upon
wood, obtained in 1820 by a medical friend of his among the Delawares
then living in central Indiana. He says himself: "These actual olum
were first obtained in 1820 as a reward for a medical cure, deemed a
curiosity, and were unexplicable. In 1822 were obtained from another
individual the songs annexed thereto in the original language, but
no one could be found by me able to translate them. I had therefore
to learn the language since, by the help of Zeisberger, Heckewelder,
and a manuscript dictionary, on purpose to translate them, which I
only accomplished in 1833." On account of the unique character of
the alleged Indian record and Rafinesque's own lack of standing among
his scientific contemporaries, but little attention was paid to the
discovery until Brinton took up the subject a few years ago. After a
critical sifting of the evidence from every point of view he arrived at
the conclusion that the work is a genuine native production, although
the manuscript rendering is faulty, partly from the white scribe's
ignorance of the language and partly from the Indian narrator's
ignorance of the meaning of the archaic forms. Brinton's edition
(q. v.), published from Rafinesque's manuscript, gives the legend
in triplicate form--pictograph, Delaware, and English translation,
with notes and glossary, and a valuable ethnologic introduction by
Brinton himself.

It is not known that any of the original woodcut pictographs
of the Walam Olum are now in existence, although a statement of
Rafinesque implies that he had seen them. As evidence of the truth
of his statement, however, we have the fact that precisely similar
pictographic series cut upon birch bark, each pictograph representing
a line or couplet of a sacred metrical recitation, are now known to
be common among the Ojibwa, Menomini, and other northern tribes. In
1762 a Delaware prophet recorded his visions in hieroglyphics cut upon
a wooden stick, and about the year 1827 a Kickapoo reformer adopted
the same method to propagate a new religion among the tribes. One of
these "prayer sticks" is now in the National Museum, being all that
remains of a large basketful delivered to a missionary in Indiana
by a party of Kickapoo Indians in 1830 (see plate and description,
pp. 665, 697 et seq. in the author's Ghost-dance Religion, Fourteenth
Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology).

(6) Fish river (p. 18): Namæsi Sipu (Heckewelder, Indian Nations, 49),
or Namassipi (Walam Olum, p. 198). Deceived by a slight similarity of
sound, Heckewelder makes this river identical with the Mississippi,
but as Schoolcraft shows (Notes on Iroquois, p. 316) the true name of
the Mississippi is simply Misi-sipi, "great river," and "fish river"
would be a most inappropriate name for such a turbulent current, where
only the coarser species can live. The mere fact that there can be a
question of identity among experts familiar with Indian nomenclature
would indicate that it was not one of the larger streams. Although
Heckewelder makes the Alligewi, as he prefers to call them, flee down
the Mississippi after their final defeat, the Walam Olum chronicle says
only "all the Talega go south." It was probably a gradual withdrawal,
rather than a sudden and concerted flight (see Hale, Indian Migrations,
pp. 19-22).

(7) First appearance of whites (p. 19): It is possible that this may
refer to one of the earlier adventurers who coasted along the North
Atlantic in the first decades after the discovery of America, among
whom were Sebastian Cabot, in 1498; Verrazano, in 1524; and Gomez, in
1525. As these voyages were not followed up by permanent occupation
of the country it is doubtful if they made any lasting impression
upon Indian tradition. The author has chosen to assume, with Brinton
and Rafinesque, that the Walam Olum reference is to the settlement
of the Dutch at New York and the English in Virginia soon after 1600.

(8) De Soto's route (p. 26): On May 30, 1539, Hernando de Soto,
of Spain, with 600 armed men and 213 horses, landed at Tampa bay,
on the west coast of Florida, in search of gold. After more than
four years of hardship and disappointed wandering from Florida to the
great plains of the West and back again to the Mississippi, where De
Soto died and his body was consigned to the great river, 311 men,
all that were left of the expedition, arrived finally at Pánuco,
in Mexico, on September 10, 1543.

For the history of this expedition, the most important ever
undertaken by Spain within eastern United States, we have four original
authorities. First is the very brief, but evidently truthful (Spanish)
report of Biedma, an officer of the expedition, presented to the King
in 1544, immediately after the return to Spain. Next in order, but of
first importance for detail and general appearance of reliability, is
the narrative of an anonymous Portuguese cavalier of the expedition,
commonly known as the Gentleman of Elvas, originally published in
the Portuguese language in 1557. Next comes the (Spanish) narrative
of Garcilaso, written, but not published, in 1587. Unlike the others,
the author was not an eyewitness of what he describes, but made up his
account chiefly from the oral recollections of an old soldier of the
expedition more than forty years after the event, this information
being supplemented from papers written by two other soldiers of De
Soto. As might be expected, the Garcilaso narrative, although written
in flowery style, abounds in exaggeration and trivial incident, and
compares unfavorably with the other accounts, while probably giving
more of the minor happenings. The fourth original account is an
unfinished (Spanish) report by Ranjel, secretary of the expedition,
written soon after reaching Mexico, and afterward incorporated with
considerable change by Oviedo, in his "Historia natural y general de
las Indias." As this fourth narrative remained unpublished until 1851
and has never been translated, it has hitherto been entirely overlooked
by the commentators, excepting Winsor, who notes it incidentally. In
general it agrees well with the Elvas narrative and throws valuable
light upon the history of the expedition.

The principal authorities, while preserving a general unity of
narrative, differ greatly in detail, especially in estimates of
numbers and distances, frequently to such an extent that it is useless
to attempt to reconcile their different statements. In general the
Gentleman of Elvas is most moderate in his expression, while Biedma
takes a middle ground and Garcilaso exaggerates greatly. Thus the
first named gives De Soto 600 men, Biedma makes the number 620,
while Garcilaso says 1,000. At a certain stage of the journey the
Portuguese Gentleman gives De Soto 700 Indians as escort, Biedma
says 800, while Garcilaso makes it 8,000. At the battle of Mavilla
the Elvas account gives 18 Spaniards and 2,500 Indians killed,
Biedma says 20 Spaniards killed, without giving an estimate of the
Indians, while Garcilaso has 82 Spaniards and over 11,000 Indians
killed. In distances there is as great discrepancy. Thus Biedma
makes the distance from Guaxule to Chiaha four days, Garcilaso has
it six days, and Elvas seven days. As to the length of an average
day's march we find it estimated all the way from "four leagues,
more or less" (Garcilaso) to "every day seven or eight leagues"
(Elvas). In another place the Elvas chronicler states that they
usually made five or six leagues a day through inhabited territories,
but that in crossing uninhabited regions--as that between Canasagua and
Chiaha, they marched every day as far as possible for fear of running
out of provisions. One of the most glaring discrepancies appears in
regard to the distance between Chiaha and Coste. Both the Portuguese
writer and Garcilaso put Chiaha upon an island--a statement which
in itself is at variance with any present conditions,--but while
the former makes the island a fraction over a league in length the
latter says that it was five leagues long. The next town was Coste,
which Garcilaso puts immediately at the lower end of the same island
while the Portuguese Gentleman represents it as seven days distant,
although he himself has given the island the shorter length.

Notwithstanding a deceptive appearance of exactness, especially in
the Elvas and Ranjel narratives, which have the form of a daily
journal, the conclusion is irresistible that much of the record
was made after dates had been forgotten, and the sequence of events
had become confused. Considering all the difficulties, dangers, and
uncertainties that constantly beset the expedition, it would be too
much to expect the regularity of a ledger, and it is more probable
that the entries were made, not from day to day, but at irregular
intervals as opportunity presented at the several resting places. The
story must be interpreted in the light of our later knowledge of the
geography and ethnology of the country traversed.

Each of the three principal narratives has passed through translations
and later editions of more or less doubtful fidelity to the original,
the English edition in some cases being itself a translation from
an earlier French or Dutch translation. English speaking historians
of the expedition have usually drawn their material from one or
the other of these translations, without knowledge of the original
language, of the etymologies of the Indian names or the relations
of the various tribes mentioned, or of the general system of Indian
geographic nomenclature. One of the greatest errors has been the
attempt to give in every case a fixed local habitation to a name
which in some instances is not a proper name at all, and in others is
merely a descriptive term or a duplicate name occurring at several
places in the same tribal territory. Thus Tali is simply the Creek
word talua, town, and not a definite place name as represented by
a mistake natural in dealing through interpreters with an unknown
Indian language. Tallise and Tallimuchase are respectively "Old town"
and "New town" in Creek, and there can be no certainty that the same
names were applied to the same places a century later. Canasagua is
a corruption of a Cherokee name which occurs in at least three other
places in the old Cherokee country in addition to the one mentioned in
the narrative, and almost every old Indian local name was thus repeated
several times, as in the case of such common names as Short creek,
Whitewater, Richmond, or Lexington among ourselves. The fact that only
one name of the set has been retained on the map does not prove its
identity with the town of the old chronicle. Again such loose terms
as "a large river," "a beautiful valley," have been assumed to mean
something more definitely localized than the wording warrants. The
most common error in translation has been the rendering of the Spanish
"despoblado" as "desert." There are no deserts in the Gulf states,
and the word means simply an uninhabited region, usually the debatable
strip between two tribes.

There have been many attempts to trace De Soto's route. As nearly every
historian who has written of the southern states has given attention to
this subject it is unnecessary to enumerate them all. Of some thirty
works consulted by the author, in addition to the original narratives
already mentioned, not more than two or three can be considered as
speaking with any authority, the rest simply copying from these without
investigation. The first attempt to locate the route definitely was
made by Meek (Romantic Passages, etc.) in 1839 (reprinted in 1857),
his conclusions being based upon his general knowledge of the geography
of the region. In 1851 Pickett tried to locate the route, chiefly, he
asserts, from Indian tradition as related by mixed-bloods. How much
dependence can be placed upon Indian tradition as thus interpreted
three centuries after the event it is unnecessary to say. Both these
writers have brought De Soto down the Coosa river, in which they
have been followed without investigation by Irving, Shea and others,
but none of these was aware of the existence of a Suwali tribe,
or correctly acquainted with the Indian nomenclature of the upper
country, or of the Creek country as so well summarized by Gatschet in
his Creek Migration Legend. They are also mistaken in assuming that
only De Soto passed through the country, whereas we now know that
several Spanish explorers and numerous French adventurers traversed
the same territory, the latest expeditions of course being freshest
in Indian memory. Jones in his "De Soto's March Through Georgia"
simply dresses up the earlier statements in more literary style,
sometimes changing surmises to positive assertions, without mentioning
his authorities. Maps of the supposed route, all bringing De Soto down
the Coosa instead of the Chattahoochee, have been published in Irving's
Conquest of Florida, the Hakluyt Society's edition of the Gentleman
of Elva's account, and in Buckingham Smith's translation of the same
narrative, as well as in several other works. For the eastern portion,
with which we have to deal, all of these are practically duplicates of
one another. On several old Spanish and French maps the names mentioned
in the narrative seem to have been set down merely to fill space,
without much reference to the text of the chronicle. For a list and
notices of principal writers who have touched upon this subject see the
appendix to Shea's chapter on "Ancient Florida" in Winsor's Narrative
and Critical History of America, II; Boston, 1886. We shall speak
only of that part of the route which lay near the Cherokee mountains.

The first location which concerns us in the narrative is Cofitachiqui,
the town from which De Soto set out for the Cherokee country. The
name appears variously as Cofitachequi (Ranjel), Cofitachique
(Biedma), Cofachiqui (Garcilaso), Cutifa-Chiqui (by transposition,
Elvas), Cofetaçque (Vandera), Catafachique (Williams) and Cosatachiqui
(misprint, Brooks MSS), and the Spaniards first heard of the region as
Yupaha from a tribe farther to the south. The correct form appears to
be that first given, which Gatschet, from later information than that
quoted in his Creek Migration Legend, makes a Hitchitee word about
equivalent to "Dogwood town," from cofi, "dogwood," cofita, "dogwood
thicket," and chiki, "house," or collectively "town." McCulloch puts
the town upon the headwaters of the Ocmulgee; Williams locates it on
the Chattahoochee; Gallatin on the Oconee or the Savannah; Meek and
Monette, following him, probably in the fork of the Savannah and the
Broad; Pickett, with Jones and others following him, at Silver bluff
on the east (north) bank of the Savannah, in Barnwell county, South
Carolina, about 25 miles by water below the present Augusta. It will
thus be seen that at the very outset of our inquiry the commentators
differ by a distance equal to more than half the width of the state of
Georgia. It will suffice here to say, without going into the argument,
that the author is inclined to believe that the Indian town was on or
near Silver bluff, which was noted for its extensive ancient remains as
far back as Bartram's time (Travels, 313), and where the noted George
Galphin established a trading post in 1736. The original site has
since been almost entirely worn away by the river. According to the
Indians of Cofitachiqui, the town, which was on the farther (north)
bank of the stream, was two day's journey from the sea, probably by
canoe, and the sailors with the expedition believed the river to be the
same one that entered at St. Helena, which was a very close guess. The
Spaniards were shown here European articles which they were told had
been obtained from white men who had entered the river's mouth many
years before. These they conjectured to have been the men with Ayllon,
who had landed on that coast in 1520 and again in 1524. The town was
probably the ancient capital of the Uchee Indians, who, before their
absorption by the Creeks, held or claimed most of the territory on
both banks of Savannah river from the Cherokee border to within about
forty miles of Savannah and westward to the Ogeechee and Cannouchee
rivers (see Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend, I, 17-24). The country
was already on the decline in 1540 from a recent fatal epidemic,
but was yet populous and wealthy, and was ruled by a woman chief
whose authority extended for a considerable distance. The town was
visited also by Pardo in 1567 and again by Torres in 1628, when it was
still a principal settlement, as rich in pearls as in De Soto's time
(Brooks MSS, in the archives of the Bureau of American Ethnology).

Somewhere in southern Georgia De Soto had been told of a rich province
called Coça (Coosa, the Creek country) toward the northwest. At
Cofitachiqui he again heard of it and of one of its principal towns
called Chiaha (Chehaw) as being twelve days inland. Although on
first hearing of it he had kept on in the other direction in order
to reach Cofitachiqui, he now determined to go there, and made the
queen a prisoner to compel her to accompany him a part of the way
as guide. Coça province was, though he did not know it, almost due
west, and he was in haste to reach it in order to obtain corn, as
his men and horses were almost worn out from hunger. It is apparent,
however, that the unwilling queen, afraid of being carried beyond her
own territories, led the Spaniards by a roundabout route in the hope
of making her escape, as she finally did, or perhaps of leaving them
to starve and die in the mountains, precisely the trick attempted by
the Indians upon another Spanish adventurer, Coronado, entering the
great plains from the Pacific coast in search of golden treasure in
the same year.

Instead therefore of recrossing the river to the westward, the
Spaniards, guided by the captive queen, took the direction of the north
("la vuelta del norte"--Biedma), and, after passing through several
towns subject to the queen, came in seven days to "the province
of Chalaque" (Elvas). Elvas, Garcilaso, and Ranjel agree upon the
spelling, but the last named makes the distance only two days from
Cofitachiqui. Biedma does not mention the country at all. The trifling
difference in statement of five days in seven need not trouble us,
as Biedma makes the whole distance from Cofitachiqui to Xuala eight
days, and from Guaxule to Chiaha four days, where Elvas makes it,
respectively, twelve and seven days. Chalaque is, of course, Cherokee,
as all writers agree, and De Soto was now probably on the waters of
Keowee river, the eastern head stream of Savannah river, where the
Lower Cherokee had their towns. Finding the country bare of corn,
he made no stay.

Proceeding six days farther they came next to Guaquili, where they
were kindly received. This name occurs only in the Ranjel narrative,
the other three being entirely silent in regard to such a halting
place. The name has a Cherokee sound (Wakili), but if we allow for
a dialectic substitution of l for r it may be connected with such
Catawba names as Congaree, Wateree, and Sugeree. It was probably a
village of minor importance.

They came next to the province of Xuala, or Xualla, as the Elvas
narrative more often has it. In a French edition it appears as
Chouala. Ranjel makes it three days from Guaquili or five from
Chalaque. Elvas also makes it five days from Chalaque, while Biedma
makes it eight days from Cofitachiqui, a total discrepancy of four
days from the last-named place. Biedma describes it as a rough
mountain country, thinly populated, but with a few Indian houses,
and thinks that in these mountains the great river of Espiritu Santo
(the Mississippi) had its birth. Ranjel describes the town as situated
in a plain in the vicinity of rivers and in a country with greater
appearance of gold mines than any they had yet seen. The Portuguese
gentleman describes it as having very little corn, and says that
they reached it from Cofitachiqui over a hilly country. In his
final chapter he states that the course from Cofitachiqui to this
place was from south to north, thus agreeing with Biedma. According
to Garcilaso (pp. 136-137) it was fifty leagues by the road along
which the Spaniards had come from Cofitachiqui to the first valley
of the province of Xuala, with but few mountains on the way, and the
town itself was situated close under a mountain ("a la falda de una
sierra") beside a small but rapid stream which formed the boundary
of the territory of Cofitachiqui in this direction. From Ranjel we
learn that on the same day after leaving this place for the next
"province" the Spaniards crossed a very high mountain ridge ("una
sierra muy alta").

Without mentioning the name, Pickett (1851) refers to Xuala as "a
town in the present Habersham county, Georgia," but gives no reason
for this opinion. Rye and Irving, of the same date, arguing from a
slight similarity of name, think it may have been on the site of a
former Cherokee town, Qualatchee, on the head of Chattahoochee river in
Georgia. The resemblance, however, is rather farfetched, and moreover
this same name is found on Keowee river in South Carolina. Jones (De
Soto in Georgia, 1880) interprets Garcilaso's description to refer to
"Nacoochee valley, Habersham county"--which should be White county--and
the neighboring Mount Yonah, overlooking the fact that the same
description of mountain, valley, and swift flowing stream might apply
equally well to any one of twenty other localities in this southern
mountain country. With direct contradiction Garcilaso says that the
Spaniards rested here fifteen days because they found provisions
plentiful, while the Portuguese Gentleman says that they stopped but
two days because they found so little corn! Ranjel makes them stop
four days and says they found abundant provisions and assistance.

However that may have been, there can be no question of the identity
of the name. As the province of Chalaque is the country of the
Cherokee, so the province of Xuala is the territory of the Suwali
or Sara Indians, better known later as Cheraw, who lived in early
times in the piedmont country about the head of Broad river in North
Carolina, adjoining the Cherokee, who still remember them under
the name of Ani'-Suwa'li. A principal trail to their country from
the west led up Swannanoa river and across the gap which, for this
reason, was known to the Cherokee as Suwa'li-nuñnâ, "Suwali trail,"
corrupted by the whites to Swannanoa. Lederer, who found them in
the same general region in 1670, calls this gap the "Suala pass"
and the neighboring mountains the Sara mountains, "which," he says,
"The Spaniards make Suala." They afterward shifted to the north and
finally returned and were incorporated with the Catawba (see Mooney,
Siouan Tribes of the East, bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1894).

Up to this point the Spaniards had followed a north course from
Cofitachiqui (Biedma and Elvas), but they now turned to the west
(Elvas, final chapter). On the same day on which they left Xuala they
crossed "a very high mountain ridge," and descended the next day to
a wide meadow bottom ("savana"), through which flowed a river which
they concluded was a part of the Espiritu Santo, the Mississippi
(Ranjel). Biedma speaks of crossing a mountain country and mentions
the river, which he also says they thought to be a tributary of the
Mississippi. Garcilaso says that this portion of their route was
through a mountain country without inhabitants ("despoblado") and
the Portuguese gentleman describes it as being over "very rough and
high ridges." In five days of such travel--for here, for a wonder,
all the narratives agree--they came to Guaxule. This is the form
given by Garcilaso and the Gentleman of Elvas; Biedma has Guasula,
and Ranjel Guasili or Guasuli. The translators and commentators
have given us such forms as Guachoule, Quaxule, Quaxulla, and
Quexale. According to the Spanish method of writing Indian words the
name was pronounced Washulé or Wasuli, which has a Cherokee sound,
although it can not be translated. Buckingham Smith (Narratives,
p. 222) hints that the Spaniards may have changed Guasili to Guasule,
because of the similarity of the latter form to a town name in
southern Spain. Such corruptions of Indian names are of frequent
occurrence. Garcilaso speaks of it as a "province and town," while
Biedma and Ranjel call it simply a town ("pueblo"). Before reaching
this place the Indian queen had managed to make her escape. All the
chroniclers tell of the kind reception which the Spaniards met here,
but the only description of the town itself is from Garcilaso, who
says that it was situated in the midst of many small streams which
came down from the mountains round about, that it consisted of three
hundred houses, which is probably an exaggeration, though it goes to
show that the village was of considerable size, and that the chief's
house, in which the principal officers were lodged, was upon a high
hill ("un cerro alto"), around which was a roadway ("paseadero") wide
enough for six men to walk abreast. By the "chief's house" we are to
understand the town-house, while from various similar references in
other parts of the narrative there can be no doubt that the "hill"
upon which it stood was an artificial mound. In modern Spanish writing
such artificial elevations are more often called lomas, but these early
adventurers may be excused for not noting the distinction. Issuing
from the mountains round about the town were numerous small streams,
which united to form the river which the Spaniards henceforth followed
from here down to Chiaha, where it was as large as the Guadalquivir
at Sevilla (Garcilaso).

Deceived by the occurrence, in the Portuguese narrative, of the
name Canasagua, which they assumed could belong in but one place,
earlier commentators have identified this river with the Coosa,
Pickett putting Guaxule somewhere upon its upper waters, while Jones
improves upon this by making the site "identical, or very nearly
so, with Coosawattee Old town, in the southeastern corner of Murray
county," Georgia. As we shall show, however, the name in question was
duplicated in several states, and a careful study of the narratives,
in the light of present knowledge of the country, makes it evident
that the river was not the Coosa, but the Chattahoochee.

Turning our attention once more to Xuala, the most northern point
reached by De Soto, we have seen that this was the territory
of the Suwala or Sara Indians, in the eastern foothills of the
Alleghenies, about the head waters of Broad and Catawba rivers, in
North Carolina. As the Spaniards turned here to the west they probably
did not penetrate far beyond the present South Carolina boundary. The
"very high mountain ridge" which they crossed immediately after
leaving the town was in all probability the main chain of the Blue
ridge, while the river which they found after descending to the
savanna on the other side, and which they guessed to be a branch
of the Mississippi, was almost as certainly the upper part of the
French Broad, the first stream flowing in an opposite direction
from those which they had previously encountered. They may have
struck it in the neighborhood of Hendersonville or Brevard, there
being two gaps, passable for vehicles, in the main ridge eastward
from the first-named town. The uninhabited mountains through which
they struggled for several days on their way to Chiaha and Coça (the
Creek country) in the southwest were the broken ridges in which the
Savannah and the Little Tennessee have their sources, and if they
followed an Indian trail they may have passed through the Rabun gap,
near the present Clayton, Georgia. Guaxule, and not Xuala, as Jones
supposes, was in Nacoochee valley, in the present White county,
Georgia, and the small streams which united to form the river down
which the Spaniards proceeded to Chiaha were the headwaters of the
Chattahoochee. The hill upon which the townhouse was built must have
been the great Nacoochee mound, the most prominent landmark in the
valley, on the east bank of Sautee creek, in White county, about
twelve miles northwest of Clarkesville. This is the largest mound
in upper Georgia, with the exception of the noted Etowah mound near
Cartersville, and is the only one which can fill the requirements
of the case. There are but two considerable mounds in western North
Carolina, that at Franklin and a smaller one on Oconaluftee river,
on the present East Cherokee reservation, and as both of these are on
streams flowing away from the Creek country, this fact alone would
bar them from consideration. The only large mounds in upper Georgia
are this one at Nacoochee and the group on the Etowah river, near
Cartersville. The largest of the Etowah group is some fifty feet
in height and is ascended on one side by means of a roadway about
fifty feet wide at the base and narrowing gradually to the top. Had
this been the mound of the narrative it is hardly possible that the
chronicler would have failed to notice also the two other mounds of
the group or the other one on the opposite side of the river, each of
these being from twenty to twenty-five feet in height, to say nothing
of the great ditch a quarter of a mile in length which encircles the
group. Moreover, Cartersville is at some distance from the mountains,
and the Etowah river at this point does not answer the description
of a small rushing mountain stream. There is no considerable mound
at Coosawatee or in any of the three counties adjoining.

The Nacoochee mound has been cleared and cultivated for many years
and does not now show any appearance of a roadway up the side, but
from its great height we may be reasonably sure that some such means
of easy ascent existed in ancient times. In other respects it is the
only mound in the whole upper country which fills the conditions. The
valley is one of the most fertile spots in Georgia and numerous ancient
remains give evidence that it was a favorite center of settlement
in early days. At the beginning of the modern historic period it was
held by the Cherokee, who had there a town called Nacoochee, but their
claim was disputed by the Creeks. The Gentleman of Elvas states that
Guaxule was subject to the queen of Cofitachiqui, but this may mean
only that the people of the two towns or tribes were in friendly
alliance. The modern name is pronounced Nagu`tsi' by the Cherokee,
who say, however, that it is not of their language. The terminal may
be the Creek udshi, "small," or it may have a connection with the
name of the Uchee Indians.

From Guaxule the Spaniards advanced to Canasoga (Ranjel) or Canasagua
(Elvas), one or two days' march from Guaxule, according to one
or the other authority. Garcilaso and Biedma do not mention the
name. As Garcilaso states that from Guaxule to Chiaha the march
was down the bank of the same river, which we identify with the
Chattahoochee, the town may have been in the neighborhood of the
present Gainesville. As we have seen, however, it is unsafe to trust
the estimates of distance. Arguing from the name, Meek infers that
the town was about Conasauga river in Murray county, and that the
river down which they marched to reach it was "no doubt the Etowah,"
although to reach the first named river from the Etowah it would
be necessary to make another sharp turn to the north. From the same
coincidence Pickett puts it on the Conasauga, "in the modern county
of Murray, Georgia," while Jones, on the same theory, locates it
"at or near the junction of the Connasauga and Coosawattee rivers,
in originally Cass, now Gordon county." Here his modern geography
as well as his ancient is at fault, as the original Cass county is
now Bartow, the name having been changed in consequence of a local
dislike for General Cass. The whole theory of a march down the Coosa
river rests upon this coincidence of the name. The same name however,
pronounced Gansâ'gi by the Cherokee, was applied by them to at least
three different locations within their old territory, while the one
mentioned in the narrative would make the fourth. The others were
(1) on Oostanaula river, opposite the mouth of the Conasauga, where
afterward was New Echota, in Gordon county, Georgia; (2) on Canasauga
creek, in McMinn county, Tennessee; (3) on Tuckasegee river, about
two miles above Webster, in Jackson county, North Carolina. At each
of these places are remains of ancient settlement. It is possible
that the name of Kenesaw mountain, near Marietta, in Cobb county,
Georgia, may be a corruption of Gansâ'gi, and if so, the Canasagua
of the narrative may have been somewhere in this vicinity on the
Chattahoochee. The meaning of the name is lost.

On leaving Canasagua they continued down the same river which they
had followed from Guaxule (Garcilaso), and after traveling several
days through an uninhabited ("despoblado") country (Elvas) arrived
at Chiaha, which was subject to the great chief of Coça (Elvas). The
name is spelled Chiaha by Ranjel and the Gentleman of Elvas, Chiha by
Biedma in the Documentos, China by a misprint in an English rendering,
and Ychiaha by Garcilaso. It appears as Chiha on an English map of
1762 reproduced in Winsor, Westward Movement, page 31, 1897. Gallatin
spells it Ichiaha, while Williams and Fairbanks, by misprint, make
it Chiapa. According to both Ranjel and Elvas the army entered it
on the 5th of June, although the former makes it four days from
Canasagua, while the other makes it five. Biedma says it was four
days from Guaxule, and, finally, Garcilaso says it was six days and
thirty leagues from Guaxule and on the same river, which was, here
at Chiaha, as large as the Guadalquivir at Sevilla. As we have seen,
there is a great discrepancy in the statements of the distance from
Cofitachiqui to this point. All four authorities agree that the town
was on an island in the river, along which they had been marching
for some time (Garcilaso, Ranjel), but while the Elvas narrative
makes the island "two crossbow shot" in length above the town and
one league in length below it, Garcilaso calls it a "great island
more than five leagues long." On both sides of the island the stream
was very broad and easily waded (Elvas). Finding welcome and food
for men and horses the Spaniards rested here nearly a month (June
5-28, Ranjel; twenty-six or twenty-seven days, Biedma; thirty days,
Elvas). In spite of the danger from attack De Soto allowed his men to
sleep under trees in the open air, "because it was very hot and the
people should have suffered great extremity if it had not been so"
(Elvas). This in itself is evidence that the place was pretty far to
the south, as it was yet only the first week in June. The town was
subject to the chief of the great province of Coça, farther to the
west. From here onward they began to meet palisaded towns.

On the theory that the march was down Coosa river, every commentator
hitherto has located Chiaha at some point upon this stream, either
in Alabama or Georgia. Gallatin (1836) says that it "must have
been on the Coosa, probably some distance below the site of New
Echota." He notes a similarity of sound between Ichiaha and "Echoy"
(Itseyi), a Cherokee town name. Williams (1837) says that it was on
Mobile (i. e., the Alabama or lower Coosa river). Meek (1839) says
"there can be little doubt that Chiaha was situated but a short
distance above the junction of the Coosa and Chattooga rivers,"
i. e., not far within the Alabama line. He notes the occurrence of a
"Chiaha" (Chehawhaw) creek near Talladega, Alabama. In regard to the
island upon which the town was said to have been situated he says:
"There is no such island now in the Coosa. It is probable that the
Spaniards either mistook the peninsula formed by the junction of
two rivers, the Coosa and Chattooga, for an island, or that those
two rivers were originally united so as to form an island near their
present confluence. We have heard this latter supposition asserted
by persons well acquainted with the country."--Romantic Passages,
p. 222, 1857. Monette (1846) puts it on Etowah branch of the Coosa,
probably in Floyd county, Georgia. Pickett (1851), followed in turn
by Irving, Jones, and Shea, locates it at "the site of the modern
Rome." The "island" is interpreted to mean the space between the two
streams above the confluence.

Pickett, as has been stated, bases his statements chiefly or entirely
upon Indian traditions as obtained from half breeds or traders. How
much information can be gathered from such sources in regard to events
that transpired three centuries before may be estimated by considering
how much an illiterate mountaineer of the same region might be able to
tell concerning the founding of the Georgia colony. Pickett himself
seems to have been entirely unaware of the later Spanish expeditions
of Pardo and De Luna through the same country, as he makes no mention
of them in his history of Alabama, but ascribes everything to De
Soto. Concerning Chiaha he says:

"The most ancient Cherokee Indians, whose tradition has been handed
down to us through old Indian traders, disagree as to the precise
place [!] where De Soto crossed the Oostanaula to get over into the
town of Chiaha--some asserting that he passed over that river seven
miles above its junction with the Etowah, and that he marched from
thence down to Chiaha, which, all contend, lay immediately at the
confluence of the two rivers; while other ancient Indians asserted
that he crossed, with his army, immediately opposite the town. But
this is not very important. Coupling the Indian traditions with
the account by Garcellasso and that by the Portuguese eyewitness,
we are inclined to believe the latter tradition that the expedition
continued to advance down the western side of the Oostanaula until they
halted in view of the mouth of the Etowah. De Soto, having arrived
immediately opposite the great town of Chiaha, now the site of Rome,
crossed the Oostanaula," etc. (History of Alabama, p. 23, reprint,
1896). He overlooks the fact that Chiaha was not a Cherokee town,
but belonged to the province of Coça--i. e., the territory of the
Creek Indians.

A careful study of the four original narratives makes it plain that
the expedition did not descend either the Oostanaula or the Etowah,
and that consequently Chiaha could not have been at their junction, the
present site of Rome. On the other hand the conclusion is irresistible
that the march was down the Chattahoochee from its extreme head springs
in the mountains, and that the Chiaha of the narrative was the Lower
Creek town of the same name, more commonly known as Chehaw, formerly
on this river in the neighborhood of the modern city of Columbus,
Georgia, while Coste, in the narrative the next adjacent town,
was Kasi`ta, or Cusseta, of the same group of villages. The falls
at this point mark the geologic break line where the river changes
from a clear, swift current to a broad, slow-moving stream of the
lower country. Attracted by the fisheries and the fertile bottom
lands the Lower Creeks established here their settlement nucleus,
and here, up to the beginning of the present century, they had within
easy distance of each other on both sides of the river some fifteen
towns, among which were Chiaha (Chehaw), Chiahudshi (Little Chehaw),
and Kasi`ta (Cusseta). Most of these settlements were within what
are now Muscogee and Chattahoochee counties, Georgia, and Lee and
Russell counties, Alabama (see town list and map in Gatschet, Creek
Migration Legend). Large mounds and other earthworks on both sides of
the river in the vicinity of Columbus attest the importance of the site
in ancient days, while the general appearance indicates that at times
the adjacent low grounds were submerged or cut off by overflows from
the main stream. A principal trail crossed here from the Ocmulgee,
passing by Tuskegee to the Upper Creek towns about the junction of
the Coosa and Tallapoosa in Alabama. At the beginning of the present
century this trail was known to the traders as "De Soto's trace"
(Woodward, Reminiscences, p. 76). As the Indian towns frequently
shift their position within a limited range on account of epidemics,
freshets, or impoverishment of the soil, it is not necessary to assume
that they occupied exactly the same sites in 1540 as in 1800, but only
that as a group they were in the same general vicinity. Thus Kasi`ta
itself was at one period above the falls and at a later period some
eight miles below them. Both Kasi`ta and Chiaha were principal towns,
with several branch villages.

The time given as occupied on the march from Canasagua to Chiaha
would seem too little for the actual distance, but as we have seen,
the chroniclers do not agree among themselves. We can easily believe
that the Spaniards, buoyed up by the certainty of finding food and rest
at their next halting place, made better progress along the smooth
river trail than while blundering helplessly through the mountains
at the direction of a most unwilling guide. If Canasagua was anywhere
in the neighborhood of Kenesaw, in Cobb county, the time mentioned in
the Elvas or Garcilaso narrative would probably have been sufficient
for reaching Chiaha at the falls. The uninhabited country between the
two towns was the neutral ground between the two hostile tribes, the
Cherokee and the Creeks, and it is worth noting that Kenesaw mountain
was made a point on the boundary line afterward established between
the two tribes through the mediation of the United States government.

There is no large island in either the Coosa or the Chattahoochee,
and we are forced to the conclusion that what the chronicle describes
as an island was really a portion of the bottom land temporarily cut
off by back water from a freshet. In a similar way "The Slue," east
of Flint river in Mitchell county, may have been formed by a shifting
of the river channel. Two months later, in Alabama, the Spaniards
reached a river so swollen by rains that they were obliged to wait
six days before they could cross (Elvas). Lederer, while crossing
South Carolina in 1670, found his farther progress barred by a "great
lake," which he puts on his map as "Ushery lake," although there is
no such lake in the state; but the mystery is explained by Lawson,
who, in going over the same ground thirty years later, found all the
bottom lands under water from a great flood, the Santee in particular
being 36 feet above its normal level. As Lawson was a surveyor his
figures may be considered reliable. The "Ushery lake" of Lederer was
simply an overflow of Catawba river. Flood water in the streams of
upper Georgia and Alabama would quickly be carried off, but would be
apt to remain for some time on the more level country below the falls.

According to information supplied by Mr Thomas Robinson, an expert
engineering authority familiar with the lower Chattahoochee, there
was formerly a large mound, now almost entirely washed away, on the
eastern bank of the river, about nine miles below Columbus, while
on the western or Alabama bank, a mile or two farther down, there is
still to be seen another of nearly equal size. "At extreme freshets
both of these mounds were partly submerged. To the east of the former,
known as the Indian mound, the flood plain is a mile or two wide,
and along the eastern side of the plain stretches a series of swamps
or wooded sloughs, indicating an old river bed. All the plain between
the present river and the sloughs is river-made land. The river bluff
along by the mound on the Georgia side is from twenty to thirty feet
above the present low-water surface of the stream. About a mile above
the mound are the remains of what was known as Jennies island. At
ordinary stages of the river no island is there. The eastern channel
was blocked by government works some years ago, and the whole is filled
up and now used as a cornfield. The island remains can be traced now,
I think, for a length of half a mile, with a possible extreme width
of 300 feet.... This whole country, on both sides of the river, is
full of Indian lore. I have mentioned both mounds simply to indicate
that this portion of the river was an Indian locality, and have also
stated the facts about the remains of Jennies island in order to give
a possible clew to a professional who might study the ground."--Letter,
April 22, 1900.

Chiaha was the first town of the "province of Coça," the territory
of the Coosa or Creek Indians. The next town mentioned, Coste (Elvas
and Ranjel), Costehe (Biedma) or Acoste (Garcilaso), was Kasi`ta,
or Cusseta, as it was afterward known to the whites. While Garcilaso
puts it at the lower end of the same island upon which Chiaha was
situated, the Elvas narrative makes it seven days distant! The modern
towns of Chehaw and Cusseta were within a few miles of each other on
the Chattahoochee, the former being on the western or Alabama side,
while Cusseta, in 1799, was on the east or Georgia side about eight
miles below the falls at Columbus, and in Chattahoochee county, which
has given its capital the same name, Cusseta. From the general tone
of the narrative it is evident that the two towns were near together
in De Soto's time, and it may be that the Elvas chronicle confounded
Kasi`ta with Koasati, a principal Upper Creek town, a short distance
below the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. At Coste they crossed
the river and continued westward "through many towns subject to the
cacique of Coça" (Elvas) until they came to the great town of Coça
itself. This was Kusa or Coosa, the ancient capital of the Upper
Creeks. There were two towns of this name at different periods. One,
described by Adair in 1775 as "the great and old beloved town of
refuge, Koosah," was on the east bank of Coosa river, a few miles
southwest of the present Talladega, Alabama. The other, known as
"Old Coosa," and probably of more ancient origin, was on the west
side of Alabama river, near the present site of Montgomery (see
Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend). It was probably the latter which
was visited by De Soto, and later on by De Luna, in 1559. Beyond
Coca they passed through another Creek town, apparently lower down
on the Alabama, the name of which is variously spelled Ytaua (Elvas,
Force translation), Ytava (Elvas, Hakluyt Society translation), or
Itaba (Ranjel), and which may be connected with I'tawa', Etowah or
"Hightower," the name of a former Cherokee settlement near the head of
Etowah river in Georgia. The Cherokee regard this as a foreign name,
and its occurrence in upper Georgia, as well as in central Alabama,
may help to support the tradition that the southern Cherokee border
was formerly held by the Creeks.

De Soto's route beyond the Cherokee country does not concern us except
as it throws light upon his previous progress. In the seventeenth
chapter the Elvas narrative summarizes that portion from the landing
at Tampa bay to a point in southern Alabama as follows: "From the Port
de Spirito Santo to Apalache, which is about an hundred leagues, the
governor went from east to west; and from Apalache to Cutifachiqui,
which are 430 leagues, from the southwest to the northeast; and from
Cutifachiqui to Xualla, which are about 250 leagues, from the south to
the north; and from Xualla to Tascaluca, which are 250 leagues more,
an hundred and ninety of them he traveled from east to west, to wit,
to the province of Coça; and the other 60, from Coça to Tascaluca,
from the north to the south."

Chisca (Elvas and Ranjel), the mountainous northern region in search
of which men were sent from Chiaha to look for copper and gold, was
somewhere in the Cherokee country of upper Georgia or Alabama. The
precise location is not material, as it is now known that native
copper, in such condition as to have been easily workable by the
Indians, occurs throughout the whole southern Allegheny region from
about Anniston, Alabama, into Virginia. Notable finds of native copper
have been made on the upper Tallapoosa, in Cleburne county, Alabama;
about Ducktown, in Polk county, Tennessee, and in southwestern
Virginia, one nugget from Virginia weighing several pounds. From
the appearance of ancient soapstone vessels which have been found
in the same region there is even a possibility that the Indians had
some knowledge of smelting, as the Spanish explorers surmised (oral
information from Mr W. H. Weed, U. S. Geological Survey). We hear
again of this "province" after De Soto had reached the Mississippi,
and in one place Garcilaso seems to confound it with another province
called Quizqui (Ranjel) or Quizquiz (Elvas and Biedma). The name has
some resemblance to the Cherokee word tsiskwa, "bird."

(9) De Luna and Rogel (p. 27): Jones, in his De Soto's March
through Georgia, incorrectly ascribes certain traces of ancient
mining operations in the Cherokee country, particularly on Valley
river in North Carolina, to the followers of De Luna, "who, in 1560
... came with 300 Spanish soldiers into this region, and spent the
summer in eager and laborious search for gold." Don Tristan de Luna,
with fifteen hundred men, landed somewhere about Mobile bay in 1559
with the design of establishing a permanent Spanish settlement in
the interior, but owing to a succession of unfortunate happenings the
attempt was abandoned the next year. In the course of his wanderings
he traversed the country of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Upper Creeks,
as is shown by the names and other data in the narrative, but returned
without entering the mountains or doing any digging (see Barcia,
Ensayo Cronologico, pp. 32-41, 1723; Winsor, Narrative and Critical
History, II, pp. 257-259).

In 1569 the Jesuit Rogel--called Father John Roger by Shea--began
mission work among the South Carolina tribes inland from Santa Elena
(about Port Royal). The mission, which at first promised well, was
abandoned next year, owing to the unwillingness of the Indians to give
up their old habits and beliefs. Shea, in his "Catholic Missions,"
supposes that these Indians were probably a part of the Cherokee,
but a study of the Spanish record in Barcia (Ensayo, pp. 138-141)
shows that Rogel penetrated only a short distance from the coast.

(10) Davies' History of the Carribby Islands (p. 29): The fraudulent
character of this work, which is itself an altered translation of a
fictitious history by Rochefort, is noted by Buckingham Smith (Letter
of Hernando de Soto, p. 36, 1854), Winsor (Narrative and Critical
History, II, p. 289), and Field (Indian Bibliography, p. 95). Says
Field: "This book is an example of the most unblushing effrontery. The
pseudo author assumes the credit of the performance, with but
the faintest allusion to its previous existence. It is a nearly
faithful translation of Rochefort's 'Histoire des Antilles.' There is,
however, a gratifying retribution in Davies' treatment of Rochefort,
for the work of the latter was fictitious in every part which was not
purloined from authors whose knowledge furnished him with all in his
treatise which was true."

(11) Ancient Spanish Mines (pp. 29, 31): As the existence of the
precious metals in the southern Alleghenies was known to the Spaniards
from a very early period, it is probable that more thorough exploration
of that region will bring to light many evidences of their mining
operations. In his "Antiquities of the Southern Indians," Jones
describes a sort of subterranean village discovered in 1834 on Dukes
creek, White county, Georgia, consisting of a row of small log cabins
extending along the creek, but imbedded several feet below the surface
of the ground, upon which large trees were growing, the inference being
that the houses had been thus covered by successive freshets. The
logs had been notched and shaped apparently with sharp metallic
tools. Shafts have been discovered on "Valley river, North Carolina,
at the bottom of one of which was found, in 1854, a well-preserved
windlass of hewn oak timbers, showing traces of having once been banded
with iron. Another shaft, passing through hard rock, showed the marks
of sharp tools used in the boring. The casing and other timbers were
still sound (Jones, pp. 48, 49). Similar ancient shafts have been
found in other places in upper Georgia and western North Carolina,
together with some remarkable stone-built fortifications or corrals,
notably at Fort mountain, in Murray county, Georgia, and on Silver
creek, a few miles from Rome, Georgia.

Very recently remains of an early white settlement, traditionally
ascribed to the Spaniards, have been reported from Lincolnton, North
Carolina, on the edge of the ancient country of the Sara, among whom
the Spaniards built a fort in 1566. The works include a dam of cut
stone, a series of low pillars of cut stone, arranged in squares
as though intended for foundations, a stone-walled well, a quarry
from which the stone had been procured, a fire pit, and a series
of sinks, extending along the stream, in which were found remains
of timbers suggesting the subterranean cabins on Dukes creek. All
these antedated the first settlement of that region, about the year
1750. Ancient mining indications are also reported from Kings mountain,
about twenty miles distant (Reinhardt MS, 1900, in Bureau of American
Ethnology archives). The Spanish miners of whom Lederer heard in 1670
and Moore in 1690 were probably at work in this neighborhood.

(12) Sir William Johnson (p. 38): This great soldier, whose history
is so inseparably connected with that of the Six Nations, was born
in the county Meath, Ireland, in 1715, and died at Johnstown, New
York, in 1774. The younger son of an Irish gentleman, he left his
native country in 1738 in consequence of a disappointment in love,
and emigrated to America, where he undertook the settlement of a
large tract of wild land belonging to his uncle, which lay along the
south side of the Mohawk river in what was then the wilderness of
New York. This brought him into close contact with the Six Nations,
particularly the Mohawks, in whom he became so much interested as to
learn their language and in some degree to accommodate himself to their
customs, sometimes even to the wearing of the native costume. This
interest, together with his natural kindness and dignity, completely
won the hearts of the Six Nations, over whom he acquired a greater
influence than has ever been exercised by any other white man before
or since. He was formally adopted as a chief by the Mohawk tribe. In
1744, being still a very young man, he was placed in charge of British
affairs with the Six Nations, and in 1755 was regularly commissioned
at their own urgent request as superintendent for the Six Nations
and their dependent and allied tribes, a position which he held for
the rest of his life. In 1748 he was also placed in command of the
New York colonial forces, and two years later was appointed to the
governor's council. At the beginning of the French and Indian war he
was commissioned a major-general. He defeated Dieskau at the battle
of Lake George, where he was severely wounded early in the action,
but refused to leave the field. For this service he received the
thanks of Parliament, a grant of £5,000, and a baronetcy. He also
distinguished himself at Ticonderoga and Fort Niagara, taking the
latter after routing the French army sent to its relief. At the head
of his Indian and colonial forces he took part in other actions and
expeditions, and was present at the surrender of Montreal. For his
services throughout the war he received a grant of 100,000 acres of
land north of the Mohawk river. Here he built "Johnson Hall," which
still stands, near the village of Johnstown, which was laid out by
him with stores, church, and other buildings, at his own expense. At
Johnson Hall he lived in the style of an old country baron, dividing
his attention between Indian affairs and the raising of blooded stock,
and dispensing a princely hospitality to all comers. His influence
alone prevented the Six Nations joining Pontiac's great confederacy
against the English. In 1768 he concluded the treaty of Fort Stanwix,
which fixed the Ohio as the boundary between the northern colonies
and the western tribes, the boundary for which the Indians afterward
contended against the Americans until 1795. In 1739 he married a
German girl of the Mohawk valley, who died after bearing him three
children. Later in life he formed a connection with the sister of
Brant, the Mohawk chief. He died from over-exertion at an Indian
council. His son, Sir John Johnson, succeeded to his title and estates,
and on the breaking out of the Revolution espoused the British side,
drawing with him the Mohawks and a great part of the other Six Nations,
who abandoned their homes and fled with him to Canada (see W. L. Stone,
Life of Sir William Johnson).

(13) Captain John Stuart (p. 44): This distinguished officer was
contemporaneous with Sir William Johnson, and sprang from the same
adventurous Keltic stock which has furnished so many men conspicuous
in our early Indian history. Born in Scotland about the year 1700, he
came to America in 1733, was appointed to a subordinate command in the
British service, and soon became a favorite with the Indians. When Fort
Loudon was taken by the Cherokee in 1760, he was second in command,
and his rescue by Ata-kullakulla is one of the romantic episodes of
that period. In 1763 he was appointed superintendent for the southern
tribes, a position which he continued to hold until his death. In 1768
he negotiated with the Cherokee the treaty of Hard Labor by which the
Kanawha was fixed as the western boundary of Virginia, Sir William
Johnson at the same time concluding a treaty with the northern tribes
by which the boundary was continued northward along the Ohio. At
the outbreak of the Revolution he organized the Cherokee and other
southern tribes, with the white loyalists, against the Americans, and
was largely responsible for the Indian outrages along the southern
border. He planned a general invasion by the southern tribes along
the whole frontier, in cooperation with a British force to be landed
in western Florida, while a British fleet should occupy the attention
of the Americans on the coast side and the Tories should rise in the
interior. On the discovery of the plot and the subsequent defeat of
the Cherokee by the Americans, he fled to Florida and soon afterward
sailed for England, where he died in 1779.

(14) Nancy Ward (p. 47): A noted halfbreed Cherokee woman, the date
and place of whose birth and death are alike unknown. It is said that
her father was a British officer named Ward and her mother a sister of
Ata-kullakulla, principal chief of the Nation at the time of the first
Cherokee war. She was probably related to Brian Ward, an oldtime trader
among the Cherokee, mentioned elsewhere in connection with the battle
of Tali'wa. During the Revolutionary period she resided at Echota,
the national capital, where she held the office of "Beloved Woman,"
or "Pretty Woman," by virtue of which she was entitled to speak in
councils and to decide the fate of captives. She distinguished herself
by her constant friendship for the Americans, always using her best
effort to bring about peace between them and her own people, and
frequently giving timely warning of projected Indian raids, notably
on the occasion of the great invasion of the Watauga and Holston
settlements in 1776. A Mrs Bean, captured during this incursion, was
saved by her interposition after having been condemned to death and
already bound to the stake. In 1780, on occasion of another Cherokee
outbreak, she assisted a number of traders to escape, and the next
year was sent by the chiefs to make peace with Sevier and Campbell,
who were advancing against the Cherokee towns. Campbell speaks of
her in his report as "the famous Indian woman, Nancy Ward." Although
peace was not then granted, her relatives, when brought in later with
other prisoners, were treated with the consideration due in return
for her good offices. She is described by Robertson, who visited her
about this time, as "queenly and commanding" in appearance and manner,
and her house as furnished in accordance with her high dignity. When
among the Arkansas Cherokee in 1819, Nuttall was told that she had
introduced the first cows into the Nation, and that by her own and her
children's influence the condition of the Cherokee had been greatly
elevated. He was told also that her advice and counsel bordered on
supreme, and that her interference was allowed to be decisive even
in affairs of life and death. Although he speaks in the present
tense, it is hardly probable that she was then still alive, and he
does not claim to have met her. Her descendants are still found in
the Nation. See Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal Tennessee; Ramsey,
Tennessee; Nuttall, Travels, p. 130, 1821; Campbell letter, 1781,
and Springstone deposition, 1781, in Virginia State Papers I, pp. 435,
436, 447, 1875; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography.

(15) General James Robertson (p. 48): This distinguished pioneer and
founder of Nashville was born in Brunswick county, Virginia, in 1742,
and died at the Chickasaw agency in west Tennessee in 1814. Like
most of the men prominent in the early history of Tennessee, he was
of Scotch-Irish ancestry. His father having removed about 1750 to
western North Carolina, the boy grew up without education, but with
a strong love for adventure, which he gratified by making exploring
expeditions across the mountains. After his marriage his wife taught
him to read and write. In 1771 he led a colony to the Watauga river
and established the settlement which became the nucleus of the future
state of Tennessee. He took a leading part in the organization of
the Watauga Association, the earliest organized government within
the state, and afterward served in Dunmore's war, taking part in the
bloody battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. He participated in the earlier
Revolutionary campaigns against the Cherokee, and in 1777 was appointed
agent to reside at their capital, Echota, and act as a medium in their
correspondence with the state governments of North Carolina (including
Tennessee) and Virginia. In this capacity he gave timely warning of
a contemplated invasion by the hostile portion of the tribe early in
1779. Soon after in the same year he led a preliminary exploration
from Watauga to the Cumberland. He brought out a larger party late
in the fall, and in the spring of 1780 built the first stockades on
the site which he named Nashborough, now Nashville. Only his force of
character was able to hold the infant settlement together in the face
of hardships and Indian hostilities, but by his tact and firmness
he was finally able to make peace with the surrounding tribes, and
established the Cumberland settlement upon a secure basis. The Spanish
government at one time unsuccessfully attempted to engage him in a
plot to cut off the western territory from the United States, but met
a patriotic refusal. Having been commissioned a brigadier-general
in 1790, he continued to organize campaigns, resist invasions,
and negotiate treaties until the final close of the Indian wars in
Tennessee. He afterward held the appointment of Indian commissioner
to the Chickasaw and Choctaw. See Ramsey, Tennessee; Roosevelt,
Winning of the West; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography.

(16) General Griffith Rutherford (p. 48): Although this Revolutionary
officer commanded the greatest expedition ever sent against the
Cherokee, with such distinguished success that both North Carolina
and Tennessee have named counties in his honor, little appears to
be definitely known of his history. He was born in Ireland about
1731, and, emigrating to America, settled near Salisbury, North
Carolina. On the opening of the Revolutionary struggle he became a
member of the Provincial Congress and Council of Safety. In June, 1776,
he was commissioned a brigadier-general in the American army, and a
few months later led his celebrated expedition against the Cherokee,
as elsewhere narrated. He rendered other important service in the
Revolution, in one battle being taken prisoner by the British and held
by them nearly a year. He afterward served in the state senate of North
Carolina, and, subsequently removing to Tennessee, was for some time
a member of its territorial council. He died in Tennessee about 1800.

(17) Rutherford's route (p. 49): The various North Carolina detachments
which combined to form Rutherford's expedition against the Cherokee
in the autumn of 1776 organized at different points about the upper
Catawba and probably concentrated at Davidson's fort, now Old fort, in
McDowell county. Thence, advancing westward closely upon the line of
the present Southern railroad and its Western North Carolina branch,
the army crossed the Blue ridge over the Swannanoa gap and went down
the Swannanoa to its junction with the French Broad, crossing the
latter at the Warrior ford, below the present Asheville; thence up
Hominy creek and across the ridge to Pigeon river, crossing it a few
miles below the junction of the East and West forks; thence to Richland
creek, crossing it just above the present Waynesville; and over the
dividing ridge between the present Haywood and Jackson counties to
the head of Scott's creek; thence down that creek by "a blind path
through a very mountainous bad way," as Moore's old narrative has
it, to its junction with the Tuckasegee river just below the present
Webster; thence, crossing to the west (south) side of the river, the
troops followed a main trail down the stream for a few miles until
they came to the first Cherokee town, Stekoa, on the site of the farm
formerly owned by Colonel William H. Thomas, just above the present
railroad village of Whittier, Swain county, North Carolina. After
destroying the town a detachment left the main body and pursued the
fugitives northward on the other side of the river to Oconaluftee
river and Soco creek, getting back afterward to the settlements by
steering an easterly course across the mountains to Richland creek
(Moore narrative). The main army, under Rutherford, crossed the
dividing ridge to the southward of Whittier and descended Cowee creek
to the waters of Little Tennessee, in the present Macon county. After
destroying the towns in this vicinity the army ascended Cartoogaja
creek, west from the present Franklin, and crossed the Nantahala
mountains at Waya gap--where a fight took place--to Nantahala river,
probably at the town of the same name, about the present Jarretts
station. From here the march was west across the mountain into the
present Cherokee county and down Valley river to its junction with
the Hiwassee, at the present Murphy. Authorities: Moore narrative
and Wilson letter in North Carolina University Magazine, February,
1888; Ramsey, Tennessee, p. 164; Roosevelt, Winning of the West, I,
pp. 300-302; Royce, Cherokee map; personal information from Colonel
William H. Thomas, Major James Bryson, whose grandfather was with
Rutherford, and Cherokee informants.

(18) Colonel William Christian (p. 50): Colonel William Christian,
sometimes incorrectly called Christy, was born in Berkeley county,
Virginia, in 1732. Accustomed to frontier warfare almost from boyhood,
he served in the French and Indian war with the rank of captain, and
was afterward in command of the Tennessee and North Carolina forces
which participated in the great battle of Point Pleasant in 1774,
although he himself arrived too late for the fight. He organized a
regiment at the opening of the Revolutionary war, and in 1776 led
an expedition from Virginia against the Upper Cherokee and compelled
them to sue for peace. In 1782, while upon an expedition against the
Ohio tribes, he was captured and burned at the stake.

(19) The great Indian war path (p. 50): This noted Indian thoroughfare
from Virginia through Kentucky and Tennessee to the Creek country in
Alabama and Georgia is frequently mentioned in the early narrative
of that section, and is indicated on the maps accompanying Ramsey's
Annals of Tennessee and Royce's Cherokee Nation, in the Fifth Annual
Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Royce's map shows it in more
correct detail. It was the great trading and war path between the
northern and southern tribes, and along the same path Christian,
Sevier, and others of the old Indian fighters led their men to the
destruction of the towns on Little Tennessee, Hiwassee, and southward.

According to Ramsey (p. 88), one branch of it ran nearly on the line of
the later stage road from Harpers ferry to Knoxville, passing the Big
lick in Botetourt county, Virginia, crossing New river near old Fort
Chiswell (which stood on the south bank of Reed creek of New river,
about nine miles east from Wytheville, Virginia) crossing Holston at
the Seven-mile ford, thence to the left of the stage road near the
river to the north fork of Holston, "crossing as at present"; thence to
Big creek, and, crossing the Holston at Dodson's ford, to the Grassy
springs near the former residence of Micajah Lea; thence down the
Nolichucky to Long creek, up it to its head, and down Dumplin creek
nearly to its mouth, where the path bent to the left and crossed French
Broad near Buckinghams island. Here a branch left it and went up the
West fork of Little Pigeon and across the mountains to the Middle towns
on Tuckasegee and the upper Little Tennessee. The main trail continued
up Boyd's creek to its head, and down Ellejoy creek to Little river,
crossing near Henry's place; thence by the present Maryville to the
mouth of Tellico, and, passing through the Cherokee towns of Tellico,
Echota, and Hiwassee, down the Coosa, connecting with the great war
path of the Creeks. Near the Wolf hills, now Abingdon, Virginia,
another path came in from Kentucky, passing through the Cumberland
gap. It was along this latter road that the early explorers entered
Kentucky, and along it also the Shawano and other Ohio tribes often
penetrated to raid upon the Holston and New river settlements.

On Royce's map the trail is indicated from Virginia southward. Starting
from the junction of Moccasin creek with the North fork of Holston,
just above the Tennessee state line, it crosses the latter river from
the east side at its mouth or junction with the South fork, just below
Kingsport or the Long island; then follows down along the west side
of the Holston, crossing Big creek at its mouth, and crossing to the
south (east) side of Holston at Dodson's creek; thence up along the
east side of Dodson's creek and across Big Gap creek, following it for
a short distance and continuing southwest, just touching Nolichucky,
passing up the west side of Long creek of that stream and down the
same side of Dumplin creek, and crossing French Broad just below the
mouth of the creek; thence up along the west side of Boyd's creek to
its head and down the west side of Ellejoy creek to and across Little
river; thence through the present Maryville to cross Little Tennessee
at the entrance of Tellico river, where old Fort Loudon was built;
thence turning up along the south side of Little Tennessee river to
Echota, the ancient capital, and then southwest across Tellico river
along the ridge between Chestua and Canasauga creeks, and crossing
the latter near its mouth to strike Hiwassee river at the town of
the same name; thence southwest, crossing Ocoee river near its mouth,
passing south of Cleveland, through the present Ooltewah and across
Chickamauga creek into Georgia and Alabama.

According to Timberlake (Memoirs, with map, 1765), the trail crossed
Little Tennessee from Echota, northward, in two places, just above and
below Four-mile creek, the first camping place being at the junction
of Ellejoy creek and Little river, at the old town site. It crossed
Holston within a mile of Fort Robinson.

According to Hutching (Topographical Description of America, p. 24,
1778), the road which went through Cumberland gap was the one taken by
the northern Indians in their incursions into the "Cuttawa" country,
and went from Sandusky, on Lake Erie, by a direct path to the mouth of
Scioto (where Portsmouth now is) and thence across Kentucky to the gap.

(20) Peace towns and towns of refuge (p. 51): Towns of refuge existed
among the Cherokee, the Creeks, and probably other Indian tribes, as
well as among the ancient Hebrews, the institution being a merciful
provision for softening the harshness of the primitive law, which
required a life for a life. We learn from Deuteronomy that Moses
appointed three cities on the east side of Jordan "that the slayer
might flee thither which should kill his neighbor unawares and hated
him not in times past, and that fleeing into one of these cities he
might live." It was also ordained that as more territory was conquered
from the heathen three additional cities should be thus set aside as
havens of refuge for those who should accidentally take human life,
and where they should be safe until the matter could be adjusted. The
wilful murderer, however, was not to be sheltered, but delivered up
to punishment without pity (Deut. IV, 41-43, and XIX, 1-11).

Echota, the ancient Cherokee capital near the mouth of Little
Tennessee, was the Cherokee town of refuge, commonly designated as the
"white town" or "peace town." According to Adair, the Cherokee in his
time, although extremely degenerate in other things, still observed
the law so strictly in this regard that even a wilful murderer who
might succeed in making his escape to that town was safe so long
as he remained there, although, unless the matter was compounded in
the meantime, the friends of the slain person would seldom allow him
to reach home alive after leaving it. He tells how a trader who had
killed an Indian to protect his own property took refuge in Echota,
and after having been there for some months prepared to return to
his trading store, which was but a short distance away, but was
assured by the chiefs that he would be killed if he ventured outside
the town. He was accordingly obliged to stay a longer time until the
tears of the bereaved relatives had been wiped away with presents. In
another place the same author tells how a Cherokee, having killed a
trader, was pursued and attempted to take refuge in the town, but
was driven off into the river as soon as he came in sight by the
inhabitants, who feared either to have their town polluted by the
shedding of blood or to provoke the English by giving him sanctuary
(Adair, American Indians, p. 158, 1775). In 1768 Oconostota, speaking
on behalf of the Cherokee delegates who had come to Johnson Hall to
make peace with the Iroquois, said: "We come from Chotte, where the
wise [white?] house, the house of peace is erected" (treaty record,
1768, New York Colonial Documents, VIII, p. 42, 1857). In 1786 the
friendly Cherokee made "Chota" the watchword by which the Americans
might be able to distinguish them from the hostile Creeks (Ramsey,
Tennessee, p. 343). From conversation with old Cherokee it seems
probable that in cases where no satisfaction was made by the relatives
of the man-slayer he continued to reside close within the limits of
the town until the next recurrence of the annual Green-corn dance,
when a general amnesty was proclaimed.

Among the Creeks the ancient town of Kusa or Coosa, on Coosa river in
Alabama, was a town of refuge. In Adair's time, although then almost
deserted and in ruins, it was still a place of safety for one who
had taken human life without design. Certain towns were also known
as peace towns, from their prominence in peace ceremonials and treaty
making. Upon this Adair says: "In almost every Indian nation there are
several peaceable towns, which are called 'old beloved, ancient, holy,
or white towns.' They seem to have been formerly towns of refuge, for
it is not in the memory of their oldest people that ever human blood
was shed in them, although they often force persons from thence and
put them to death elsewhere."--Adair, American Indians, 159. A closely
parallel institution seems to have existed among the Seneca. "The
Seneca nation, ever the largest, and guarding the western door of
the 'long house,' which was threatened alike from the north, west,
and south, had traditions peculiarly their own, besides those common
to the other members of the confederacy. The stronghold or fort,
Gau-stra-yea, on the mountain ridge, four miles east of Lewiston,
had a peculiar character as the residence of a virgin queen known as
the 'Peacemaker.' When the Iroquois confederacy was first formed the
prime factors were mutual protection and domestic peace, and this fort
was designed to afford comfort and relieve the distress incident to
war. It was a true 'city of refuge,' to which fugitives from battle,
whatever their nationality, might flee for safety and find generous
entertainment. Curtains of deerskin separated pursuer and pursued
while they were being lodged and fed. At parting, the curtains were
withdrawn, and the hostile parties, having shared the hospitality
of the queen, could neither renew hostility or pursuit without the
queen's consent. According to tradition, no virgin had for many
generations been counted worthy to fill the place or possessed the
genius and gifts to honor the position. In 1878 the Tonawanda band
proposed to revive the office and conferred upon Caroline Parker
the title."--Carrington, in Six Nations of New York, Extra Bulletin
Eleventh Census, p. 73, 1892.

(21) Scalping by whites (p. 53): To the student, aware how easily the
civilized man reverts to his original savagery when brought in close
contact with its conditions, it will be no surprise to learn that
every barbarous practice of Indian warfare was quickly adopted by the
white pioneer and soldier and frequently legalized and encouraged by
local authority. Scalping, while the most common, was probably the
least savage and cruel of them all, being usually performed after
the victim was already dead, with the primary purpose of securing
a trophy of the victory. The tortures, mutilations, and nameless
deviltries inflicted upon Indians by their white conquerors in the
early days could hardly be paralleled even in civilized Europe, when
burning at the stake was the punishment for holding original opinions
and sawing into two pieces the penalty for desertion. Actual torture
of Indians by legal sanction was rare within the English colonies,
but mutilation was common and scalping was the rule down to the end
of the war of 1812, and has been practiced more or less in almost
every Indian war down to the latest. Captain Church, who commanded
in King Philip's war in 1676, states that his men received thirty
shillings a head for every Indian killed or taken, and Philip's head,
after it was cut off, "went at the same price." When the chief was
killed one of his hands was cut off and given to his Indian slayer,
"to show to such gentlemen as would bestow gratuities upon him, and
accordingly he got many a penny by it." His other hand was chopped off
and sent to Boston for exhibition, his head was sent to Plymouth and
exposed upon a scaffold there for twenty years, while the rest of his
body was quartered and the pieces left hanging upon four trees. Fifty
years later Massachusetts offered a bounty of one hundred pounds for
every Indian scalp, and scalp hunting thus became a regular and usually
a profitable business. On one occasion a certain Lovewell, having
recruited a company of forty men for this purpose, discovered ten
Indians lying asleep by their fire and killed the whole party. After
scalping them they stretched the scalps upon hoops and marched thus
into Boston, where the scalps were paraded and the bounty of one
thousand pounds paid for them. By a few other scalps sold from time
to time at the regular market rate, Lovewell was gradually acquiring a
competency when in May, 1725, his company met disaster. He discovered
and shot a solitary hunter, who was afterward scalped by the chaplain
of the party, but the Indian managed to kill Lovewell before being
overpowered, on which the whites withdrew, but were pursued by the
tribesmen of the slain hunter, with the result that but sixteen of
them got home alive. A famous old ballad of the time tells how

    "Our worthy Captain Lovewell among them there did die.
    They killed Lieutenant Robbins and wounded good young Frye,
    Who was our English chaplain; he many Indians slew,
    And some of them he scalped when bullets round him flew."

When the mission village of Norridgewock was attacked by the New
England men about the same time, women and children were made to
suffer the fate of the warriors. The scholarly missionary, Rasles,
author of the Abnaki Dictionary, was shot down at the foot of the
cross, where he was afterward found with his body riddled with balls,
his skull crushed and scalped, his mouth and eyes filled with earth,
his limbs broken, and all his members mutilated--and this by white
men. The border men of the Revolutionary period and later invariably
scalped slain Indians as often as opportunity permitted, and, as has
already been shown, both British and American officials encouraged the
practice by offers of bounties and rewards, even, in the case of the
former, when the scalps were those of white people. Our difficulties
with the Apache date from a treacherous massacre of them in 1836
by a party of American scalp hunters in the pay of the governor of
Sonora. The bounty offered was one ounce of gold per scalp. In 1864
the Colorado militia under Colonel Chivington attacked a party of
Cheyennes camped under the protection of the United States flag,
and killed, mutilated, and scalped 170 men, women, and children,
bringing the scalps into Denver, where they were paraded in a public
hall. One Lieutenant Richmond killed and scalped three women and
five children. Scalps were taken by American troops in the Modoc
war of 1873, and there is now living in the Comanche tribe a woman
who was scalped, though not mortally wounded, by white soldiers in
one of the later Indian encounters in Texas. Authorities: Drake,
Indians (for New England wars); Roosevelt, Virginia State Papers,
etc. (Revolution, etc.); Bancroft, Pacific States (Apache); Official
Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes, 1867 (for Chivington
episode); author's personal information.

(22) Lower Cherokee refugees (p. 55): "In every hut I have visited I
find the children exceedingly alarmed at the sight of white men, and
here [at Willstown] a little boy of eight years old was excessively
alarmed and could not be kept from screaming out until he got out
of the door, and then he ran and hid himself; but as soon as I can
converse with them and they are informed who I am they execute any
order I give them with eagerness. I inquired particularly of the
mothers what could be the reason for this. They said, this town was
the remains of several towns who [sic] formerly resided on Tugalo and
Keowee, and had been much harassed by the whites; that the old people
remembered their former situation and suffering, and frequently spoke
of them; that these tales were listened to by the children, and made
an impression which showed itself in the manner I had observed. The
women told me, who I saw gathering nuts, that they had sensations
upon my coming to the camp, in the highest degree alarming to them,
and when I lit from my horse, took them by the hand, and spoke to
them, they at first could not reply, although one of them understood
and spoke English very well."--Hawkins, manuscript journal, 1796,
in library of Georgia Historical Society.

(23) General Alexander McGillivray (p. 56): This famous Creek
chieftain, like so many distinguished men of the southern tribes, was
of mixed blood, being the son of a Scotch trader, Lachlan McGillivray,
by a halfbreed woman of influential family, whose father was a French
officer of Fort Toulouse. The future chief was born in the Creek Nation
about 1740, and died at Pensacola, Florida, in 1793. He was educated
at Charleston, studying Latin in addition to the ordinary branches,
and after leaving school was placed by his father with a mercantile
firm in Savannah. He remained but a short time, when he returned to
the Creek country, where he soon began to attract attention, becoming
a partner in the firm of Panton, Forbes & Leslie, of Pensacola,
which had almost a monopoly of the Creek trade. He succeeded to the
chieftainship on the death of his mother, who came of ruling stock,
but refused to accept the position until called to it by a formal
council, when he assumed the title of emperor of the Creek Nation. His
paternal estates having been confiscated by Georgia at the outbreak of
the Revolution, he joined the British side with all his warriors, and
continued to be a leading instigator in the border hostilities until
1790, when he visited New York with a large retinue and made a treaty
of peace with the United States on behalf of his people. President
Washington's instructions to the treaty commissioners, in anticipation
of this visit, state that he was said to possess great abilities
and an unlimited influence over the Creeks and part of the Cherokee,
and that it was an object worthy of considerable effort to attach him
warmly to the United States. In pursuance of this policy the Creek
chiefs were entertained by the Tammany society, all the members being
in full Indian dress, at which the visitors were much delighted and
responded with an Indian dance, while McGillivray was induced to resign
his commission as colonel in the Spanish service for a commission of
higher grade in the service of the United States. Soon afterward, on
account of some opposition, excited by Bowles, a renegade white man,
he absented himself from his tribe for a time, but was soon recalled,
and continued to rule over the Nation until his death.

McGillivray appears to have had a curious mixture of Scotch shrewdness,
French love of display, and Indian secretiveness. He fixed his
residence at Little Talassee, on the Coosa, a few miles above the
present Wetumpka, Alabama, where he lived in a handsome house with
extensive quarters for his negro slaves, so that his place had
the appearance of a small town. He entertained with magnificence
and traveled always in state, as became one who styled himself
emperor. Throughout the Indian wars he strove, so far as possible,
to prevent unnecessary cruelties, being noted for his kindness
to captives; and his last years were spent in an effort to bring
teachers among his people. On the other hand, he conformed much to
the Indian customs; and he managed his negotiations with England,
Spain, and the United States with such adroitness that he was able
to play off one against the other, holding commissions by turn in the
service of all three. Woodward, who knew of him by later reputation,
asserts positively that McGillivray's mother was of pure Indian
blood and that he himself was without education, his letters having
been written for him by Leslie, of the trading firm with which he
was connected. The balance of testimony, however, seems to leave
no doubt that he was an educated as well as an able man, whatever
may have been his origin. Authorities: Drake, American Indians;
documents in American State Papers, Indian Affairs, I, 1832; Pickett,
Alabama, 1896; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography; Woodward,
Reminiscences, p. 59 et passim, 1859.

(24) Governor John Sevier (p. 57): This noted leader and statesman
in the pioneer history of Tennessee was born in Rockingham county,
Virginia, in 1745, and died at the Creek town of Tukabatchee, in
Alabama, in 1815. His father was a French immigrant of good birth
and education, the original name of the family being Xavier. The son
received a good education, and being naturally remarkably handsome
and of polished manner, fine courage, and generous temperament,
soon acquired a remarkable influence over the rough border men with
whom his lot was cast and among whom he was afterward affectionately
known as "Chucky Jack." To the Cherokee he was known as Tsan-usdi',
"Little John." After some service against the Indians on the Virginia
frontier he removed to the new Watauga settlement in Tennessee, in
1772, and at once became prominently identified with its affairs. He
took part in Dunmore's war in 1774 and, afterward, from the opening
of the Revolution in 1775 until the close of the Indian wars in
Tennessee--a period extending over nearly twenty years--was the
acknowledged leader or organizer in every important Indian campaign
along the Tennessee border. His services in this connection have been
already noted. He also commanded one wing of the American forces
at the battle of King's mountain in 1780, and in 1783 led a body
of mountain men to the assistance of the patriots under Marion. At
one time during the Revolution a Tory plot to assassinate him was
revealed by the wife of the principal conspirator. In 1779 he had been
commissioned as commander of the militia of Washington county, North
Carolina--the nucleus of the present state of Tennessee--a position
which he had already held by common consent. Shortly after the close of
the Revolution he held for a short time the office of governor of the
seceding "state of Franklin," for which he was arrested and brought
to trial by the government of North Carolina, but made his escape,
when the matter was allowed to drop. The question of jurisdiction
was finally settled in 1790, when North Carolina ceded the disputed
territory to the general government. Before this Sevier had been
commissioned as brigadier-general. When Tennessee was admitted as a
state in 1796 he was elected its first (state) governor, serving three
terms, or six years. In 1803 he was again reelected, serving three more
terms. In 1811 he was elected to Congress, where he served two terms
and was reelected to a third, but died before he could take his seat,
having contracted a fever while on duty as a boundary commissioner
among the Creeks, being then in his seventy-first year. For more than
forty years he had been continuously in the service of his country,
and no man of his state was ever more loved and respected. In the
prime of his manhood he was reputed the handsomest man and the best
Indian fighter in Tennessee.

(25) Hopewell, South Carolina (p. 61): This place, designated in
early treaties and also in Hawkins's manuscript journal as "Hopewell
on the Keowee," was the plantation seat of General Andrew Pickens,
who resided there from the close of the Revolution until his death
in 1817. It was situated on the northern edge of the present Anderson
county, on the east side of Keowee river, opposite and a short distance
below the entrance of Little river, and about three miles from the
present Pendleton. In sight of it, on the opposite side of Keowee,
was the old Cherokee town of Seneca, destroyed by the Americans in
1776. Important treaties were made here with the Cherokee in 1785,
and with the Chickasaw in 1786.

(26) Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (p. 61): This distinguished soldier,
statesman, and author, was born in Warren county, North Carolina,
in 1754, and died at Hawkinsville, Georgia, in 1816. His father,
Colonel Philemon Hawkins, organized and commanded a regiment in the
Revolutionary war, and was a member of the convention that ratified
the national constitution. At the outbreak of the Revolution young
Hawkins was a student at Princeton, but offered his services to the
American cause, and on account of his knowledge of French and other
modern languages was appointed by Washington his staff interpreter for
communicating with the French officers cooperating with the American
army. He took part in several engagements and was afterward appointed
commissioner for procuring war supplies abroad. After the close
of the war he was elected to Congress, and in 1785 was appointed
on the commission which negotiated at Hopewell the first federal
treaty with the Cherokee. He served a second term in the House and
another in the Senate, and in 1796 was appointed superintendent for
all the Indians south of the Ohio. He thereupon removed to the Creek
country and established himself in the wilderness at what is now
Hawkinsville, Georgia, where he remained in the continuance of his
office until his death. As Senator he signed the deed by which North
Carolina ceded Tennessee to the United States in 1790, and as Indian
superintendent helped to negotiate seven different treaties with
the southern tribes. He had an extensive knowledge of the customs
and language of the Creeks, and his "Sketch of the Creek Country,"
written in 1799 and published by the Historical Society of Georgia
in 1848, remains a standard. His journal and other manuscripts
are in possession of the same society, while a manuscript Cherokee
vocabulary is in possession of the American Philosophical Society
in Philadelphia. Authorities: Hawkins's manuscripts, with Georgia
Historical Society; Indian Treaties, 1837; American State Papers:
Indian Affairs, I, 1832; II, 1834; Gatschet, Creek Migration Legend;
Appleton, Cyclopædia of American Biography.

(27) Governor William Blount (p. 68): William Blount, territorial
governor of Tennessee, was born in North Carolina in 1744 and died
at Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1800. He held several important offices
in his native state, including two terms in the assembly and two
others as delegate to the old congress, in which latter capacity
he was one of the signers of the Federal constitution in 1787. On
the organization of a territorial government for Tennessee in 1790,
he was appointed territorial governor and also superintendent for
the southern tribes, fixing his headquarters at Knoxville. In 1791
he negotiated an important treaty with the Cherokee, and had much
to do with directing the operations against the Indians until the
close of the Indian war. He was president of the convention which
organized the state of Tennessee in 1796, and was elected to the
national senate, but was expelled on the charge of having entered
into a treasonable conspiracy to assist the British in conquering
Louisiana from Spain. A United States officer was sent to arrest
him, but returned without executing his mission on being warned by
Blount's friends that they would not allow him to be taken from the
state. The impeachment proceedings against him were afterward dismissed
on technical grounds. In the meantime the people of his own state had
shown their confidence in him by electing him to the state senate, of
which he was chosen president. He died at the early age of fifty-three,
the most popular man in the state next to Sevier. His younger brother,
Willie Blount, who had been his secretary, was afterward governor of
Tennessee, 1809-1815.

(28) St Clair's defeat, 1791 (p. 72): Early in 1791 Major-General
Arthur St Clair, a veteran officer in two wars and governor of the
Northwestern Territory, was appointed to the chief command of the
army operating against the Ohio tribes. On November 4 of that year,
while advancing upon the Miami villages with an army of 1,400 men,
he was surprised by an Indian force of about the same number under
Little-turtle, the Miami chief, in what is now southwestern Mercer
county, Ohio, adjoining the Indiana line. Because of the cowardly
conduct of the militia he was totally defeated, with the loss of
632 officers and men killed and missing, and 263 wounded, many of
whom afterward died. The artillery was abandoned, not a horse being
left alive to draw it off, and so great was the panic that the men
threw away their arms and fled for miles, even after the pursuit had
ceased. It was afterward learned that the Indians lost 150 killed,
besides many wounded. Two years later General Wayne built Fort Recovery
upon the same spot. The detachment sent to do the work found within
a space of 350 yards 500 skulls, while for several miles along the
line of pursuit the woods were strewn with skeletons and muskets. The
two cannon lost were found in the adjacent stream. Authorities: St
Clair's report and related documents, 1791; American State Papers,
Indian Affairs, I, 1832; Drake, Indians 570, 571, 1880; Appleton's
Cyclopædia of American Biography.

(29) Cherokee clans, (p. 74): The Cherokee have seven clans, viz:
Ani'-Wa'`ya, Wolf; Ani'-Kawi', Deer; Ani'-Tsi'skwa, Bird; Ani'-Wâ'di,
Paint; Ani'-Sahâ'ni; Ani'-Ga'tâge'wi; Ani'-Gilâ'hi. The names of the
last three can not be translated with certainty. The Wolf clan is
the largest and most important in the tribe. It is probable that,
in accordance with the general system in other tribes, each clan
had formerly certain hereditary duties and privileges, but no trace
of these now remains. Children belong to the clan of the mother,
and the law forbidding marriage between persons of the same clan is
still enforced among the conservative full-bloods. The "seven clans"
are frequently mentioned in the sacred formulas, and even in some of
the tribal laws promulgated within the century. There is evidence that
originally there were fourteen, which by extinction or absorption have
been reduced to seven; thus, the ancient Turtle-dove and Raven clans
now constitute a single Bird clan. The subject will be discussed more
fully in a future Cherokee paper.

(30) Wayne's victory, 1794 (p. 78): After the successive failures
of Harmar and St Clair in their efforts against the Ohio tribes the
chief command was assigned, in 1793, to Major-General Anthony Wayne,
who had already distinguished himself by his fighting qualities during
the Revolution. Having built Fort Recovery on the site of St Clair's
defeat, he made that post his headquarters through the winter of
1793-94. In the summer of 1794 he advanced down the Maumee with an
army of 3,000 men, two-thirds of whom were regulars. On August 20 he
encountered the confederated Indian forces near the head of the Maumee
rapids at a point known as the Fallen Timbers and defeated them with
great slaughter, the pursuit being followed up by the cavalry until
the Indians took refuge under the guns of the British garrison at
Fort Miami, just below the rapids. His own loss was only 33 killed
and 100 wounded, of whom 11 afterward died of their wounds. The loss
of the Indians and their white auxiliaries was believed to be more
than double this. The Indian force was supposed to number 2,000,
while, on account of the impetuosity of Wayne's charge, the number
of his troops actually engaged did not exceed 900. On account of this
defeat and the subsequent devastation of their towns and fields by the
victorious army the Indians were compelled to sue for peace, which
was granted by the treaty concluded at Greenville, Ohio, August 3,
1795, by which the tribes represented ceded away nearly their whole
territory in Ohio. Authorities: Wayne's report and related documents,
1794, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, I, 1832; Drake, Indians,
571-577, 1880; Greenville treaty, in Indian Treaties, 1837; Appleton's
Cyclopædia of American Biography.

(31) First things of civilization (p. 83): We usually find that
the first things adopted by the Indian from his white neighbor are
improved weapons and cutting tools, with trinkets and articles of
personal adornment. After a regular trade has been established certain
traders marry Indian wives, and, taking up their permanent residence
in the Indian country, engage in farming and stock raising according
to civilized methods, thus, even without intention, constituting
themselves industrial teachers for the tribe.

From data furnished by Haywood, guns appear to have been first
introduced among the Cherokee about the year 1700 or 1710, although
he himself puts the date much earlier. Horses were probably not owned
in any great number before the marking out of the horse-path for
traders from Augusta about 1740. The Cherokee, however, took kindly
to the animal, and before the beginning of the war of 1760 had a
"prodigious number." In spite of their great losses at that time they
had so far recovered in 1775 that almost every man then had from two
to a dozen (Adair, p. 231). In the border wars following the Revolution
companies of hundreds of mounted Cherokee and Creeks sometimes invaded
the settlements. The cow is called wa'ka by the Cherokee and waga by
the Creeks, indicating that their first knowledge of it came through
the Spaniards. Nuttall states that it was first introduced among the
Cherokee by the celebrated Nancy Ward (Travels, p. 130). It was not
in such favor as the horse, being valuable chiefly for food, of which
at that time there was an abundant supply from the wild game. A potent
reason for its avoidance was the Indian belief that the eating of the
flesh of a slow-moving animal breeds a corresponding sluggishness in
the eater. The same argument applied even more strongly to the hog,
and to this day a few of the old conservatives among the East Cherokee
will have nothing to do with beef, pork, milk, or butter. Nevertheless,
Bartram tells of a trader in the Cherokee country as early as 1775
who had a stock of cattle, and whose Indian wife had learned to
make butter and cheese (Travels, p. 347). In 1796 Hawkins mentions
meeting two Cherokee women driving ten very fat cattle to market in
the white settlements (manuscript journal, 1796). Bees, if not native,
as the Indians claim, were introduced at so early a period that the
Indians have forgotten their foreign origin. The De Soto narrative
mentions the finding of a pot of honey in an Indian village in Georgia
in 1540. The peach was cultivated in orchards a century before the
Revolution, and one variety, known as early as 1700 as the Indian
peach, the Indians claimed as their own, asserting that they had
had it before the whites came to America (Lawson, Carolina, p. 182,
ed. 1860). Potatoes were introduced early and were so much esteemed
that, according to one old informant, the Indians in Georgia, before
the Removal, "lived on them." Coffee came later, and the same informant
remembered when the full-bloods still considered it poison, in spite
of the efforts of the chief, Charles Hicks, to introduce it among them.

Spinning wheels and looms were introduced shortly before the
Revolution. According to the Wahnenauhi manuscript the first among
the Cherokee were brought over from England by an Englishman named
Edward Graves, who taught his Cherokee wife to spin and weave. The
anonymous writer may have confounded this early civilizer with a young
Englishman who was employed by Agent Hawkins in 1801 to make wheels
and looms for the Creeks (Hawkins, 1801, in American State Papers:
Indian Affairs, I, p. 647). Wafford, in his boyhood, say about 1815,
knew an old man named Tsi'nawi on Young-cane creek of Nottely river, in
upper Georgia, who was known as a wheelwright and was reputed to have
made the first spinning wheel and loom ever made among the mountain
Cherokee, or perhaps in the Nation, long before Wafford's time, or
"about the time the Cherokee began to drop their silver ornaments
and go to work." In 1785 the commissioners for the Hopewell treaty
reported that some of the Cherokee women had lately learned to spin,
and many were very desirous of instruction in the raising, spinning,
and weaving of flax, cotton, and wool (Hopewell Commissioners'
Report, 1785, American State Papers: Indian Affairs, I, p. 39). In
accordance with their recommendation the next treaty made with the
tribe, in 1791, contained a provision for supplying the Cherokee with
farming tools (Holston treaty, 1791, Indian Treaties, p. 36, 1837),
and this civilizing policy was continued and broadened until, in 1801,
their agent reported that at the Cherokee agency the wheel, the loom,
and the plow were in pretty general use, and farming, manufacturing,
and stock raising were the principal topics of conversation among
men and women (Hawkins manuscripts, Treaty Commission of 1801).

(32) Colonel Return J. Meigs (p. 84): Return Jonathan Meigs was born
in Middletown, Connecticut, December 17, 1734, and died at the Cherokee
agency in Tennessee, January 28, 1823. He was the first-born son of his
parents, who gave him the somewhat peculiar name of Return Jonathan
to commemorate a romantic incident in their own courtship, when his
mother, a young Quakeress, called back her lover as he was mounting
his horse to leave the house forever after what he had supposed was a
final refusal. The name has been handed down through five generations,
every one of which has produced some man distinguished in the public
service. The subject of this sketch volunteered immediately after the
opening engagement of the Revolution at Lexington, and was assigned
to duty under Arnold, with rank of major. He accompanied Arnold in
the disastrous march through the wilderness against Quebec, and was
captured in the assault upon the citadel and held until exchanged
the next year. In 1777 he raised a regiment and was promoted to the
rank of colonel. For a gallant and successful attack upon the enemy
at Sag harbor, Long island, he received a sword and a vote of thanks
from Congress, and by his conduct at the head of his regiment at Stony
point won the favorable notice of Washington. After the close of the
Revolution he removed to Ohio, where, as a member of the territorial
legislature, he drew up the earliest code of regulations for the
pioneer settlers. In 1801 he was appointed agent for the Cherokee
and took up his residence at the agency at Tellico blockhouse,
opposite the mouth of Tellico river, in Tennessee, continuing to
serve in that capacity until his death. He was succeeded as agent by
Governor McMinn, of Tennessee. In the course of twenty-two years he
negotiated several treaties with the Cherokee and did much to further
the work of civilization among them and to defend them against unjust
aggression. He also wrote a journal of the expedition to Quebec. His
grandson of the same name was special agent for the Cherokee and Creeks
in 1834, afterward achieving a reputation in the legal profession both
in Tennessee and in the District of Columbia. Authorities: Appleton,
Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894; Royce, Cherokee Nation, in
Fifth Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, 1888; documents in American
State Papers, Indian Affairs, I and II.

(33) Tecumtha (p. 87): This great chief of the Shawano and commander
of the allied northern tribes in the British service was born near
the present Chillicothe, in western Ohio, about 1770, and fell in the
battle of the Thames, in Ontario, October 5, 1813. His name signifies
a "flying panther"--i. e., a meteor. He came of fighting stock good
even in a tribe distinguished for its warlike qualities, his father
and elder brother having been killed in battle with the whites. His
mother is said to have died among the Cherokee. Tecumtha is first
heard of as taking part in an engagement with the Kentuckians when
about twenty years old, and in a few years he had secured recognition
as the ablest leader among the allied tribes. It is said that he
took part in every important engagement with the Americans from the
time of Harmar's defeat in 1790 until the battle in which he lost his
life. When about thirty years of age he conceived the idea of uniting
the tribes northwest of the Ohio, as Pontiac had united them before,
in a great confederacy to resist the further advance of the Americans,
taking the stand that the whole territory between the Ohio and the
Mississippi belonged to all these tribes in common and that no one
tribe had the right to sell any portion of it without the consent
of the others. The refusal of the government to admit this principle
led him to take active steps to unite the tribes upon that basis, in
which he was seconded by his brother, the Prophet, who supplemented
Tecumtha's eloquence with his own claims to supernatural revelation. In
the summer of 1810 Tecumtha held a conference with Governor Harrison
at Vincennes to protest against a recent treaty cession, and finding
after exhausting his arguments that the effort was fruitless, he
closed the debate with the words: "The President is far off and
may sit in his town and drink his wine, but you and I will have to
fight it out." Both sides at once prepared for war, Tecumtha going
south to enlist the aid of the Creek, Choctaw, and other southern
tribes, while Harrison took advantage of his absence to force the
issue by marching against the Prophet's town on the Tippecanoe river,
where the hostile warriors from a dozen tribes had gathered. A battle
fought before daybreak of November 6, 1811, resulted in the defeat of
the Indians and the scattering of their forces. Tecumtha returned to
find his plans brought to naught for the time, but the opening of the
war between the United States and England a few months later enabled
him to rally the confederated tribes once more to the support of the
British against the Americans. As a commissioned brigadier-general in
the British service he commanded 2,000 warriors in the war of 1812,
distinguishing himself no less by his bravery than by his humanity in
preventing outrages and protecting prisoners from massacre, at one time
saving the lives of four hundred American prisoners who had been taken
in ambush near Fort Meigs and were unable to make longer resistance. He
was wounded at Maguagua, where nearly four hundred were killed and
wounded on both sides. He covered the British retreat after the battle
of Lake Erie, and, refusing to retreat farther, compelled the British
General Proctor to make a stand at the Thames river. Almost the whole
force of the American attack fell on Tecumtha's division. Early in
the engagement he was shot through the arm, but continued to fight
desperately until he received a bullet in the head and fell dead,
surrounded by the bodies of 120 of his slain warriors. The services
of Tecumtha and his Indians to the British cause have been recognized
by an English historian, who says, "but for them it is probable we
should not now have a Canada." Authorities: Drake, Indians, ed. 1880;
Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894; Eggleston, Tecumseh
and the Shawnee Prophet.

(34) Fort Mims Massacre, 1813 (p. 89): Fort Mims, so called from an
old Indian trader on whose lands it was built, was a stockade fort
erected in the summer of 1813 for the protection of the settlers in
what was known as the Tensaw district, and was situated on Tensaw
lake, Alabama, one mile east of Alabama river and about forty miles
above Mobile. It was garrisoned by about 200 volunteer troops under
Major Daniel Beasley, with refugees from the neighboring settlement,
making a total at the time of its destruction of 553 men, women, and
children. Being carelessly guarded, it was surprised on the morning of
August 30 by about 1,000 Creek warriors led by the mixed-blood chief,
William Weatherford, who rushed in at the open gate, and, after a stout
but hopeless resistance by the garrison, massacred all within, with
the exception of the few negroes and halfbreeds, whom they spared, and
about a dozen whites who made their escape. The Indian loss is unknown,
but was very heavy, as the fight continued at close quarters until the
buildings were fired over the heads of the defenders. The unfortunate
tragedy was due entirely to the carelessness of the commanding officer,
who had been repeatedly warned that the Indians were about, and at the
very moment of the attack a negro was tied up waiting to be flogged for
reporting that he had the day before seen a number of painted warriors
lurking a short distance outside the stockade. Authorities: Pickett,
Alabama, ed. 1896; Hamilton and Owen, note, p. 170, in Transactions
Alabama Historical Society, II, 1898; Agent Hawkins's report, 1813,
American State Papers: Indian Affairs, I, p. 853; Drake, Indians,
ed. 1880. The figures given are those of Pickett, which in this
instance seem most correct, while Drake's are evidently exaggerated.

(35) General William McIntosh (p. 98): This noted halfbreed chief
of the Lower Creeks was the son of a Scotch officer in the British
army by an Indian mother, and was born at the Creek town of Coweta
in Alabama, on the lower Chattahoochee, nearly opposite the present
city of Columbus, Georgia, and killed at the same place by order
of the Creek national council on April 30, 1825. Having sufficient
education to keep up an official correspondence, he brought himself
to public notice and came to be regarded as the principal chief of
the Lower Creeks. In the Creek war of 1813-14 he led his warriors to
the support of the Americans against his brethren of the Upper towns,
and acted a leading part in the terrible slaughters at Autossee and the
Horseshoe bend. In 1817 he again headed his warriors on the government
side against the Seminole and was commissioned as major. His common
title of general belonged to him only by courtesy. In 1821 he was
the principal supporter of the treaty of Indian springs, by which a
large tract between the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers was ceded. The
treaty was repudiated by the Creek Nation as being the act of a small
faction. Two other attempts were made to carry through the treaty,
in which the interested motives of McIntosh became so apparent that
he was branded as a traitor to his Nation and condemned to death,
together with his principal underlings, in accordance with a Creek
law making death the penalty for undertaking to sell lands without the
consent of the national council. About the same time he was publicly
exposed and denounced in the Cherokee council for an attempt to bribe
John Ross and other chiefs of the Cherokee in the same fashion. At
daylight of April 30, 1825, a hundred or more warriors sent by the
Creek national council surrounded his house and, after allowing the
women and children to come out, set fire to it and shot McIntosh
and another chief as they tried to escape. He left three wives,
one of whom was a Cherokee. Authorities: Drake, Indians, ed. 1880;
Letters from McIntosh's son and widows, 1825, in American State Papers:
Indian Affairs, II, pp. 764 and 768.

(36) William Weatherford (p. 89): This leader of the hostiles in
the Creek war was the son of a white father and a halfbreed woman
of Tuskegee town whose father had been a Scotchman. Weatherford
was born in the Creek Nation about 1780 and died on Little river,
in Monroe county, Alabama, in 1826. He came first into prominence by
leading the attack upon Fort Mims, August 30, 1813, which resulted
in the destruction of the fort and the massacre of over five hundred
inmates. It is maintained, with apparent truth, that he did his
best to prevent the excesses which followed the victory, and left
the scene rather than witness the atrocities when he found that he
could not restrain his followers. The fact that Jackson allowed him
to go home unmolested after the final surrender is evidence that he
believed Weatherford guiltless. At the battle of the Holy Ground,
in the following December, he was defeated and narrowly escaped
capture by the troops under General Claiborne. When the last hope
of the Creeks had been destroyed and their power of resistance
broken by the bloody battle of the Horseshoe bend, March 27, 1814,
Weatherford voluntarily walked into General Jackson's headquarters
and surrendered, creating such an impression by his straightforward
and fearless manner that the general, after a friendly interview,
allowed him to go back alone to gather up his people preliminary to
arranging terms of peace. After the treaty he retired to a plantation
in Monroe county, where he lived in comfort and was greatly respected
by his white neighbors until his death. As an illustration of his
courage it is told how he once, single-handed, arrested two murderers
immediately after the crime, when the local justice and a large crowd
of bystanders were afraid to approach them. Jackson declared him to
be as high toned and fearless as any man he had ever met. In person
he was tall, straight, and well proportioned, with features indicating
intelligence, bravery, and enterprise. Authorities: Pickett, Alabama,
ed. 1896; Drake, Indians, ed. 1880; Woodward, Reminiscences, 1859.

(37) Reverend David Brainerd (p. 104): The pioneer American missionary
from whom the noted Cherokee mission took its name was born at Haddam,
Connecticut, April 20, 1718, and died at Northampton, Massachusetts,
October 9, 1747. He entered Yale college in 1739, but was expelled
on account of his religious opinions. In 1742 he was licensed as a
preacher and the next year began work as missionary to the Mahican
Indians of the village of Kaunameek, twenty miles from Stockbridge,
Massachusetts. He persuaded them to remove to Stockbridge, where
he put them in charge of a resident minister, after which he took
up work with good result among the Delaware and other tribes on
the Delaware and Susquehanna rivers. In 1747 his health failed and
he was forced to retire to Northampton, where he died a few months
later. He wrote a journal and an account of his missionary labors at
Kaunameek. His later mission work was taken up and continued by his
brother. Authority: Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894.

(38) Reverend Samuel Austin Worcester (p. 105): This noted missionary
and philologist, the son of a Congregational minister who was
also a printer, was born at Worcester, Massachusetts, January 19,
1798, and died at Park Hill, in the Cherokee Nation west, April 20,
1859. Having removed to Vermont with his father while still a child,
he graduated with the honors of his class at the state university at
Burlington in 1819, and after finishing a course at the theological
seminary at Andover was ordained to the ministry in 1825. A week
later, with his newly wedded bride, he left Boston to begin mission
work among the Cherokee, and arrived in October at the mission of
the American board, at Brainerd, Tennessee, where he remained until
the end of 1827. He then, with his wife, removed to New Echota,
in Georgia, the capital of the Cherokee Nation, where he was the
principal worker in the establishment of the Cherokee Phoenix, the
first newspaper printed in the Cherokee language and alphabet. In
this labor his inherited printer's instinct came into play, for he
himself supervised the casting of the new types and the systematic
arrangement of them in the case. In March, 1831, he was arrested by the
Georgia authorities for refusing to take a special oath of allegiance
to the state. He was released, but was rearrested soon afterward,
confined in the state penitentiary, and forced to wear prison garb,
until January, 1833, notwithstanding a decision by the Supreme Court
of the United States, nearly a year before, that his imprisonment
was a violation of the law of the land. The Cherokee Phoenix having
been suspended and the Cherokee Nation brought into disorder by the
extension over it of the state laws, he then returned to Brainerd,
which was beyond the limits of Georgia. In 1835 he removed to the
Indian Territory, whither the Arkansas Cherokee had already gone, and
after short sojourns at Dwight and Union missions took up his final
residence at Park Hill in December, 1836. He had already set up his
mission press at Union, printing both in the Cherokee and the Creek
languages, and on establishing himself at Park Hill he began a regular
series of publications in the Cherokee language. In 1843 he states
that "at Park Hill, besides the preaching of the gospel, a leading
object of attention is the preparation and publication of books in the
Cherokee language" (Letter in Report of Indian Commissioner, p. 356,
1843). The list of his Cherokee publications (first editions) under
his own name in Pilling's Bibliography comprises about twenty titles,
including the Bible, hymn books, tracts, and almanacs in addition
to the Phoenix and large number of anonymous works. Says Pilling:
"It is very probable that he was the translator of a number of books
for which he is not given credit here, especially those portions of
the Scripture which are herein not assigned to any name. Indeed it
is safe to say that during the thirty-four years of his connection
with the Cherokee but little was done in the way of translating in
which he had not a share." He also began a Cherokee geography and
had both a grammar and a dictionary of the language under way when
his work was interrupted by his arrest. The manuscripts, with all
his personal effects, afterward went down with a sinking steamer
on the Arkansas. His daughter, Mrs A. E. W. Robertson, became a
missionary among the Creeks and has published a number of works in
their language. Authorities: Pilling, Bibliography of the Iroquoian
languages (articles Worcester, Cherokee Phoenix, etc.), 1888; Drake,
Indians, ed. 1880: Report of Indian Commissioner, 1843 (Worcester

(39) Death penalty for selling lands (p. 107): In 1820 the Cherokee
Nation enacted a law making it treason punishable with death to enter
into any negotiation for the sale of tribal lands without the consent
of the national council. A similar law was enacted by the Creeks at
about the same time. It was for violating these laws that McIntosh
and Ridge suffered death in their respective tribes. The principal
parts of the Cherokee law, as reenacted by the united Nation in the
West in 1842, appear as follows in the compilation authorized in 1866:

"An act against sale of land, etc.: Whereas, The peace and prosperity
of Indian nations are frequently sacrificed or placed in jeopardy
by the unrestrained cupidity of their own individual citizens;
and whereas, we ourselves are liable to suffer from the same cause,
and be subjected to future removal and disturbances: Therefore, ...

"Be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall, contrary
to the will and consent of the legislative council of this nation, in
general council convened, enter into a treaty with any commissioner
or commissioners of the United States, or any officer or officers
instructed for the purpose, and agree to cede, exchange, or dispose
in any way any part or portion of the lands belonging to or claimed
by the Cherokees, west of the Mississippi, he or they so offending,
upon conviction before any judge of the circuit or supreme courts,
shall suffer death, and any of the aforesaid judges are authorized to
call a court for the trial of any person or persons so transgressing.

"Be it further enacted, That any person or persons who shall violate
the provisions of the second section of this act, and shall resist or
refuse to appear at the place designated for trial, or abscond, are
hereby declared to be outlaws; and any person or persons, citizens
of this nation, may kill him or them so offending at any time and
in any manner most convenient, within the limits of this nation,
and shall not be held accountable to the laws for the same....

"Be it further enacted, That no treaty shall be binding upon this
nation which shall not be ratified by the general council, and approved
by the principal chief of the nation. December 2, 1842."--Laws of
the Cherokee Nation, 1868.

(40) The Cherokee syllabary (p. 110): In the various schemes of
symbolic thought representation, from the simple pictograph of the
primitive man to the finished alphabet of the civilized nations,
our own system, although not yet perfect, stands at the head of the
list, the result of three thousand years of development by Egyptian,
Phoenician, and Greek. Sequoya's syllabary, the unaided work of an
uneducated Indian reared amid semisavage surroundings, stands second.

Twelve years of his life are said to have been given to his great
work. Being entirely without instruction and having no knowledge of
the philosophy of language, being not even acquainted with English,
his first attempts were naturally enough in the direction of the crude
Indian pictograph. He set out to devise a symbol for each word of
the language, and after several years of experiment, finding this an
utterly hopeless task, he threw aside the thousands of characters which
he had carved or scratched upon pieces of bark, and started in anew to
study the construction of the language itself. By attentive observation
for another long period he finally discovered that the sounds in the
words used by the Cherokee in their daily conversation and their public
speeches could be analyzed and classified, and that the thousands of
possible words were all formed from varying combinations of hardly
more than a hundred distinct syllables. Having thoroughly tested his
discovery until satisfied of its correctness, he next proceeded to
formulate a symbol for each syllable. For this purpose he made use of
a number of characters which he found in an old English spelling book,
picking out capitals, lower-case, italics, and figures, and placing
them right side up or upside down, without any idea of their sound or
significance as used in English (see plate v). Having thus utilized
some thirty-five ready-made characters, to which must be added a dozen
or more produced by modification of the same originals, he designed
from his own imagination as many more as were necessary to his purpose,
making eighty-five in all. The complete syllabary, as first elaborated,
would have required some one hundred and fifteen characters, but after
much hard study over the hissing sound in its various combinations,
he hit upon the expedient of representing the sound by means of a
distinct character--the exact equivalent of our letter s--whenever
it formed the initial of a syllable. Says Gallatin, "It wanted but
one step more, and to have also given a distinct character to each
consonant, to reduce the whole number to sixteen, and to have had an
alphabet similar to ours. In practice, however, and as applied to
his own language, the superiority of Guess's alphabet is manifest,
and has been fully proved by experience. You must indeed learn and
remember eighty-five characters instead of twenty-five [sic]. But
this once accomplished, the education of the pupil is completed;
he can read and he is perfect in his orthography without making
it the subject of a distinct study. The boy learns in a few weeks
that which occupies two years of the time of ours." Says Phillips:
"In my own observation Indian children will take one or two, at times
several, years to master the English printed and written language,
but in a few days can read and write in Cherokee. They do the latter,
in fact, as soon as they learn to shape letters. As soon as they
master the alphabet they have got rid of all the perplexing questions
in orthography that puzzle the brains of our children. It is not too
much to say that a child will learn in a month, by the same effort,
as thoroughly in the language of Sequoyah, that which in ours consumes
the time of our children for at least two years."

Although in theory the written Cherokee word has one letter for
each syllable, the rule does not always hold good in practice,
owing to the frequent elision of vowel sounds. Thus the word for
"soul" is written with four letters as a-da-nûñ-ta, but pronounced
in three syllables, adanta. In the same way tsâ-lûñ-i-yu-sti ("like
tobacco," the cardinal flower) is pronounced tsâliyusti. There are
also, as in other languages, a number of minute sound variations not
indicated in the written word, so that it is necessary to have heard
the language spoken in order to read with correct pronunciation. The
old Upper dialect is the standard to which the alphabet has been
adapted. There is no provision for the r of the Lower or the sh of the
Middle dialect, each speaker usually making his own dialectic change in
the reading. The letters of a word are not connected, and there is no
difference between the written and the printed character. Authorities:
Gallatin, Synopsis of the Indian Tribes, in Trans. Am. Antiq. Soc,
II, 1836; Phillips, Sequoyah, in Harper's Magazine, September, 1870;
Pilling, Bibliography of Iroquoian Languages (article on Guess and
plate of syllabary), 1888; author's personal information.

(41) Southern gold fields (p. 116): Almost every valuable mineral
and crystal known to the manufacturer or the lapidary is found in
the southern Alleghenies, although, so far as present knowledge goes,
but few of these occur in paying quantities. It is probable, however,
that this estimate may change with improved methods and enlarged
railroad facilities. Leaving out of account the earlier operations
by the Spanish, French, and English adventurers, of which mention has
already been made, the first authentic account of gold finding in any
of the states south of Mason and Dixon's line within what maybe called
the American period appears to be that given by Jefferson, writing
in 1781, of a lump of ore found in Virginia, which yielded seventeen
pennyweights of gold. This was probably not the earliest, however,
as we find doubtful references to gold discoveries in both Carolinas
before the Revolution. The first mint returns of gold were made from
North Carolina in 1793, and from South Carolina in 1829, although gold
is certainly known to have been found in the latter state some years
earlier. The earliest gold records for the other southern states are,
approximately, Georgia (near Dahlonega), 1815-1820; Alabama, 1830;
Tennessee (Coco creek, Monroe county), 1831; Maryland (Montgomery
county), 1849. Systematic tracing of gold belts southward from
North Carolina began in 1829, and speedily resulted in the forcible
eviction of the Cherokee from the gold-bearing region. Most of the
precious metal was procured from placers or alluvial deposits by
a simple process of digging and washing. Very little quartz mining
has yet been attempted, and that usually by the crudest methods. In
fact, for a long period gold working was followed as a sort of side
issue to farming between crop seasons. In North Carolina prospectors
obtained permission from the owners of the land to wash or dig on
shares, varying from one-fourth to one-half, and the proprietor was
accustomed to put his slaves to work in the same way along the creek
bottoms after the crops had been safely gathered. "The dust became
a considerable medium of circulation, and miners were accustomed
to carry about with them quills filled with gold, and a pair of
small hand scales, on which they weighed out gold at regular rates;
for instance, 3-1/2 grains of gold was the customary equivalent of a
pint of whisky." For a number of years, about 1830 and later, a man
named Bechtler coined gold on his own account in North Carolina, and
these coins, with Mexican silver, are said to have constituted the
chief currency over a large region. A regular mint was established
at Dahlonega in 1838 and maintained for some years. From 1804 to 1827
all the gold produced in the United States came from North Carolina,
although the total amounted to but $110,000. The discovery of the
rich deposits in California checked mining operations in the south,
and the civil war brought about an almost complete suspension, from
which there is hardly yet a revival. According to the best official
estimates the gold production of the southern Allegheny region for
the century from 1799 to 1898, inclusive, has been something over
$46,000,000, distributed as follows:

            North Carolina                     $21,926,376
            Georgia                             16,658,630
            South Carolina                       3,961,863
            Virginia, slightly in excess of      3,216,343
            Alabama, slightly in excess of         437,927
            Tennessee, slightly in excess of       167,405
            Maryland                                47,068
            Total, slightly in excess of        46,415,612

Authorities: Becker, Gold Fields of the Southern Appalachians, in the
Sixteenth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, 1895; Day,
Mineral Resources of the United States, Seventeenth Annual Report
United States Geological Survey, part 3, 1896; Nitze, Gold Mining
and Metallurgy in the Southern States, in North Carolina Geological
Survey Report, republished in Mineral Resources of the United States,
Twentieth Annual Report United States Geological Survey, part 6,
1899; Lanman, Letters from the Alleghany Mountains, 1849.

(42) Extension of Georgia laws, 1830 (p. 117): "It is hereby ordained
that all the laws of Georgia are extended over the Cherokee country;
that after the first day of June, 1830, all Indians then and at that
time residing in said territory, shall be liable and subject to such
laws and regulations as the legislature may hereafter prescribe;
that all laws, usages, and customs made and established and enforced
in the said territory, by the said Cherokee Indians, be, and the same
are hereby, on and after the 1st day of June, 1830, declared null and
void; and no Indian, or descendant of an Indian, residing within the
Creek or Cherokee nations of Indians, shall be deemed a competent
witness or party to any suit in any court where a white man is a
defendant."--Extract from the act passed by the Georgia legislature
on December 20, 1828, "to add the territory within this state and
occupied by the Cherokee Indians to the counties of DeKalb et al.,
and to extend the laws of this state over the same." Authorities:
Drake, Indians, p. 439, ed. 1880; Royce, Cherokee Nation of Indians,
in Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. 260, 1888.

(43) Removal forts, 1838 (p. 130): For collecting the Cherokee
preparatory to the Removal, the following stockade forts were built:
In North Carolina, Fort Lindsay, on the south side of the Tennessee
river at the junction of Nantahala, in Swain county; Fort Scott, at
Aquone, farther up Nantahala river, in Macon county; Fort Montgomery,
at Robbinsville, in Graham county; Fort Hembrie, at Hayesville, in
Clay county; Fort Delaney, at Valleytown, in Cherokee county; Fort
Butler, at Murphy, in the same county. In Georgia, Fort Scudder, on
Frogtown creek, north of Dahlonega, in Lumpkin county; Fort Gilmer,
near Ellijay, in Gilmer county; Fort Coosawatee, in Murray county;
Fort Talking-rock, near Jasper, in Pickens county; Fort Buffington,
near Canton, in Cherokee county. In Tennessee, Fort Cass, at Calhoun,
on Hiwassee river, in McMinn county. In Alabama, Fort Turkeytown,
on Coosa river, at Center, in Cherokee county. Authority: Author's
personal information.

(44) McNair's grave, (p. 132): Just inside the Tennessee line, where
the Conasauga river bends again into Georgia, is a stone-walled grave,
with a slab, on which is an epitaph which tells its own story of the
Removal heartbreak. McNair was a white man, prominent in the Cherokee
Nation, whose wife was a daughter of the chief, Vann, who welcomed
the Moravian missionaries and gave his own house for their use. The
date shows that she died while the Removal was in progress, possibly
while waiting in the stockade camp. The inscription, with details, is
given from information kindly furnished by Mr D. K. Dunn of Conasauga,
Tennessee, in a letter dated August 16, 1890:

"Sacred to the memory of David and Delilah A. McNair, who departed this
life, the former on the 15th of August, 1836, and the latter on the
30th of November, 1838. Their children, being members of the Cherokee
Nation and having to go with their people to the West, do leave this
monument, not only to show their regard for their parents, but to guard
their sacred ashes against the unhallowed intrusion of the white man."

(45) President Samuel Houston, (p. 145): This remarkable man was born
in Rockbridge county, Virginia, March 2, 1793, and died at Huntsville,
Texas, July 25, 1863. Of strangely versatile, but forceful, character,
he occupies a unique position in American history, combining in
a wonderful degree the rough manhood of the pioneer, the eccentric
vanity of the Indian, the stern dignity of the soldier, the genius of
the statesman, and withal the high chivalry of a knight of the olden
time. His erratic career has been the subject of much cheap romancing,
but the simple facts are of sufficient interest in themselves without
the aid of fictitious embellishment. To the Cherokee, whom he loved
so well, he was known as Kâ'lanû, "The Raven," an old war title in
the tribe.

His father having died when the boy was nine years old, his widowed
mother removed with him to Tennessee, opposite the territory of the
Cherokee, whose boundary was then the Tennessee river. Here he worked
on the farm, attending school at intervals; but, being of adventurous
disposition, he left home when sixteen years old, and, crossing over
the river, joined the Cherokee, among whom he soon became a great
favorite, being adopted into the family of Chief Jolly, from whom the
island at the mouth of Hiwassee takes its name. After three years of
this life, during which time he wore the Indian dress and learned the
Indian language, he returned to civilization and enlisted as a private
soldier under Jackson in the Creek war. He soon attracted favorable
notice and was promoted to the rank of ensign. By striking bravery at
the bloody battle of Horseshoe bend, where he scaled the breastworks
with an arrow in his thigh and led his men into the thick of the enemy,
he won the lasting friendship of Jackson, who made him a lieutenant,
although he was then barely twenty-one. He continued in the army after
the war, serving for a time as subagent for the Cherokee at Jackson's
request, until the summer of 1818, when he resigned on account of some
criticism by Calhoun, then Secretary of War. An official investigation,
held at his demand, resulted in his exoneration.

Removing to Nashville, he began the study of law, and, being shortly
afterward admitted to the bar, set up in practice at Lebanon. Within
five years he was successively district attorney and adjutant-general
and major-general of state troops. In 1823 he was elected to
Congress, serving two terms, at the end of which, in 1827, he was
elected governor of Tennessee by an overwhelming majority, being then
thirty-four years of age. Shortly before this time he had fought and
wounded General White in a duel. In January, 1829, he married a young
lady residing near Nashville, but two months later, without a word of
explanation to any outsider, he left her, resigned his governorship
and other official dignities, and left the state forever, to rejoin
his old friends, the Cherokee, in the West. For years the reason for
this strange conduct was a secret, and Houston himself always refused
to talk of it, but it is now understood to have been due to the fact
that his wife admitted to him that she loved another and had only
been induced to marry him by the over-persuasions of her parents.

From Tennessee he went to Indian Territory, whither a large part of
the Cherokee had already removed, and once more took up his residence
near Chief Jolly, who was now the principal chief of the western
Cherokee. The great disappointment which seemed to have blighted
his life at its brightest was heavy at his heart, and he sought
forgetfulness in drink to such an extent that for a time his manhood
seemed to have departed, notwithstanding which, such was his force
of character and his past reputation, he retained his hold upon the
affections of the Cherokee and his standing with the officers and
their families at the neighboring posts of Fort Smith, Fort Gibson,
and Fort Coffee. In the meantime his former wife in Tennessee had
obtained a divorce, and Houston being thus free once more soon after
married Talihina, the youngest daughter of a prominent mixed-blood
Cherokee named Rogers, who resided near Fort Gibson. She was the niece
of Houston's adopted father, Chief Jolly, and he had known her when
a boy in the old Nation. Being a beautiful girl, and educated above
her surroundings, she became a welcome guest wherever her husband was
received. He started a trading store near Webbers Falls, but continued
in his dissipated habits until recalled to his senses by the outcome
of a drunken affray in which he assaulted his adopted father, the
old chief, and was himself felled to the ground unconscious. Upon
recovery from his injuries he made a public apology for his conduct
and thenceforward led a sober life.

In 1832 he visited Washington in the interest of the western Cherokee,
calling in Indian costume upon President Jackson, who received him
with old-time friendship. Being accused while there of connection
with a fraudulent Indian contract, he administered a severe beating
to his accuser, a member of Congress. For this he was fined $500
and reprimanded by the bar of the House, but Jackson remitted the
fine. Soon after his return to the West he removed to Texas to take
part in the agitation just started against Mexican rule. He was a
member of the convention which adopted a separate constitution for
Texas in 1833, and two years later aided in forming a provisional
government, and was elected commander-in-chief to organize the new
militia. In 1836 he was a member of the convention which declared the
independence of Texas. At the battle of San Jacinto in April of that
year he defeated with 750 men Santa Ana's army of 1,800, inflicting
upon the Mexicans the terrible loss of 630 killed and 730 prisoners,
among whom was Santa Ana himself. Houston received a severe wound in
the engagement. In the autumn of the same year he was elected first
president of the republic of Texas, receiving more than four-fifths
of the votes cast. He served two years and retired at the end of
his term, leaving the country on good terms with both Mexico and the
Indian tribes, and with its notes at par. He was immediately elected
to the Texas congress and served in that capacity until 1841, when
he was reelected president. It was during these years that he made
his steadfast fight in behalf of the Texas Cherokee, as is narrated
elsewhere, supporting their cause without wavering, at the risk of his
own popularity and position. He frequently declared that no treaty made
and carried out in good faith had ever been violated by Indians. His
Cherokee wife having died some time before, he was again married
in 1840, this time to a lady from Alabama, who exercised over him a
restraining and ennobling influence through the stormy vicissitudes of
his eventful life. In June, 1842, he vetoed a bill making him dictator
for the purpose of resisting a threatened invasion from Mexico.

On December 29, 1845, Texas was admitted to the Union, and in the
following March Houston was elected to the Senate, where he served
continuously until 1859, when he resigned to take his seat as governor,
to which position he had just been elected. From 1852 to 1860 his name
was three times presented before national presidential nominating
conventions, the last time receiving 57 votes. He had taken issue
with the Democratic majority throughout his term in the Senate, and
when Texas passed the secession ordinance in February, 1861, being an
uncompromising Union man, he refused to take the oath of allegiance
to the Confederacy and was accordingly deposed from the office of
governor, declining the proffered aid of federal troops to keep him
in his seat. Unwilling either to fight against the Union or to take
sides against his friends, he held aloof from the great struggle, and
remained in silent retirement until his death, two years later. No
other man in American history has left such a record of continuous
election to high office while steadily holding to his own convictions
in the face of strong popular opposition. Authorities: Appleton's
Cyclopædia of American Biography, 1894; Bonnell, Texas, 1840; Thrall,
Texas, 1876; Lossing, Field Book of the War of 1812, 1869; author's
personal information; various periodical and newspaper articles.

(46) Chief John Ross (p. 151): This great chief of the Cherokee, whose
name is inseparable from their history, was himself but one-eighth
of Indian blood and showed little of the Indian features, his father,
Daniel Ross, having emigrated from Scotland before the Revolution and
married a quarter-blood Cherokee woman whose father, John McDonald,
was also from Scotland. He was born at or near the family residence
at Rossville, Georgia, just across the line from Chattanooga,
Tennessee. As a boy, he was known among the Cherokee as Tsan-usdi',
"Little John," but after arriving at manhood was called Guwi'sguwi',
the name of a rare migratory bird, of large size and white or grayish
plumage, said to have appeared formerly at long intervals in the old
Cherokee country. It may have been the egret or the swan. He was
educated at Kingston, Tennessee, and began his public career when
barely nineteen years of age. His first wife, a full-blood Cherokee
woman, died in consequence of the hardships of the Removal while on
the western march and was buried at Little Rock, Arkansas. Some years
later he married again, this time to a Miss Stapler of Wilmington,
Delaware, the marriage taking place in Philadelphia (author's personal
information from Mr Allen Ross, son of John Ross; see also Meredith,
"The Cherokees," in the Five Civilized Tribes, Extra Bulletin Eleventh
Census, 1894.) Cooweescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation west has
been named in his honor. The following biographic facts are taken
from the panegyric in his honor, passed by the national council of
the Cherokee, on hearing of his death, "as feebly expressive of the
loss they have sustained."

John Ross was born October 3, 1790, and died in the city of Washington,
August 1, 1866, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His official
career began in 1809, when he was intrusted by Agent Return Meigs
with an important mission to the Arkansas Cherokee. From that time
until the close of his life, with the exception of two or three years
in the earlier part, he was in the constant service of his people,
"furnishing an instance of confidence on their part and fidelity on his
which has never been surpassed in the annals of history." In the war
of 1813-14 against the Creeks he was adjutant of the Cherokee regiment
which cooperated with General Jackson, and was present at the battle of
the Horseshoe, where the Cherokee, under Colonel Morgan, of Tennessee,
rendered distinguished service. In 1817 he was elected a member of the
national committee of the Cherokee council. The first duty assigned
him was to prepare a reply to the United States commissioners who were
present for the purpose of negotiating with the Cherokee for their
lands east of the Mississippi, in firm resistance to which he was
destined, a few years later, to test the power of truth and to attain
a reputation of no ordinary character. In 1819, October 26, his name
first appears on the statute book of the Cherokee Nation as president
of the national committee, and is attached to an ordinance which
looked to the improvement of the Cherokee people, providing for the
introduction into the Nation of schoolmasters, blacksmiths, mechanics,
and others. He continued to occupy that position till 1826. In 1827 he
was associate chief with William Hicks, and president of the convention
which adopted the constitution of that year. That constitution, it is
believed, is the first effort at a regular government, with distinct
branches and powers defined, ever made and carried into effect by any
of the Indians of North America. From 1828 until the removal west,
he was principal chief of the eastern Cherokee, and from 1839 to the
time of his death, principal chief of the united Cherokee Nation.

In regard to the long contest which culminated in the Removal, the
resolutions declare that "The Cherokees, with John Ross at their head,
alone with their treaties, achieved a recognition of their rights,
but they were powerless to enforce them. They were compelled to yield,
but not until the struggle had developed the highest qualities of
patience, fortitude, and tenacity of right and purpose on their part,
as well as that of their chief. The same may be said of their course
after their removal to this country, and which resulted in the reunion
of the eastern and western Cherokees as one people and in the adoption
of the present constitution."

Concerning the events of the civil war and the official attempt to
depose Ross from his authority, they state that these occurrences,
with many others in their trying history as a people, are confidently
committed to the future page of the historian. "It is enough to
know that the treaty negotiated at Washington in 1866 bore the full
and just recognition of John Ross' name as principal chief of the
Cherokee nation."

The summing up of the panegyric is a splendid tribute to a splendid

"Blessed with a fine constitution and a vigorous mind, John Ross had
the physical ability to follow the path of duty wherever it led. No
danger appalled him. He never faltered in supporting what he believed
to be right, but clung to it with a steadiness of purpose which alone
could have sprung from the clearest convictions of rectitude. He never
sacrificed the interests of his nation to expediency. He never lost
sight of the welfare of the people. For them he labored daily for a
long life, and upon them he bestowed his last expressed thoughts. A
friend of law, he obeyed it; a friend of education, he faithfully
encouraged schools throughout the country, and spent liberally his
means in conferring it upon others. Given to hospitality, none ever
hungered around his door. A professor of the Christian religion, he
practiced its precepts. His works are inseparable from the history of
the Cherokee people for nearly half a century, while his example in
the daily walks of life will linger in the future and whisper words
of hope, temperance, and charity in the years of posterity."

Resolutions were also passed for bringing his body from Washington
at the expense of the Cherokee Nation and providing for suitable
obsequies, in order "that his remains should rest among those he
so long served" (Resolutions in honor of John Ross, in Laws of the
Cherokee Nation, 1869).

(47) The Ketoowah Society (p. 156): This Cherokee secret society, which
has recently achieved some newspaper prominence by its championship of
Cherokee autonomy, derives its name--properly Kitu'hwa, but commonly
spelled Ketoowah in English print--from the ancient town in the old
Nation which formed the nucleus of the most conservative element
of the tribe and sometimes gave a name to the Nation itself (see
Kitu'hwagi, under Tribal Synonyms). A strong band of comradeship,
if not a regular society organization, appears to have existed
among the warriors and leading men of the various settlements of
the Kituhwa district from a remote period, so that the name is even
now used in councils as indicative of genuine Cherokee feeling in
its highest patriotic form. When, some years ago, delegates from
the western Nation visited the East Cherokee to invite them to join
their more prosperous brethren beyond the Mississippi, the speaker for
the delegates expressed their fraternal feeling for their separated
kinsmen by saying in his opening speech, "We are all Kituhwa people"
(Ani'-Kitu'hwagi). The Ketoowah society in the Cherokee Nation west
was organized shortly before the civil war by John B. Jones, son of
the missionary, Evan Jones, and an adopted citizen of the Nation,
as a secret society for the ostensible purpose of cultivating
a national feeling among the full-bloods, in opposition to the
innovating tendencies of the mixed-blood element. The real purpose
was to counteract the influence of the "Blue Lodge" and other secret
secessionist organizations among the wealthier slave-holding classes,
made up chiefly of mixed-bloods and whites. It extended to the Creeks,
and its members in both tribes rendered good service to the Union
cause throughout the war. They were frequently known as "Pin Indians,"
for a reason explained below. Since the close of the great struggle
the society has distinguished itself by its determined opposition to
every scheme looking to the curtailment or destruction of Cherokee
national self-government.

The following account of the society was written shortly after the
close of the civil war:

"Those Cherokees who were loyal to the Union combined in a secret
organization for self-protection, assuming the designation of the
Ketoowha society, which name was soon merged in that of "Pins." The
Pins were so styled because of a peculiar manner they adopted of
wearing a pin. The symbol was discovered by their enemies, who
applied the term in derision; but it was accepted by this loyal
league, and has almost superseded the designation which its members
first assumed. The Pin organization originated among the members
of the Baptist congregation at Peavine, Going-snake district, in
the Cherokee nation. In a short time the society counted nearly
three thousand members, and had commenced proselytizing the Creeks,
when the rebellion, against which it was arming, preventing its
further extension, the poor Creeks having been driven into Kansas by
the rebels of the Golden Circle. During the war the Pins rendered
services to the Union cause in many bloody encounters, as has been
acknowledged by our generals. It was distinctly an anti-slavery
organization. The slave-holding Cherokees, who constituted the wealthy
and more intelligent class, naturally allied themselves with the South,
while loyal Cherokees became more and more opposed to slavery. This
was shown very clearly when the loyalists first met in convention,
in February, 1863. They not only abolished slavery unconditionally and
forever, before any slave state made a movement toward emancipation,
but made any attempts at enslaving a grave misdemeanor.

The secret signs of the Pins were a peculiar way of touching the hat as
a salutation, particularly when they were too far apart for recognition
in other ways. They had a peculiar mode of taking hold of the lapel
of the coat, first drawing it away from the body, and then giving it a
motion as though wrapping it around the heart. During the war a portion
of them were forced into the rebellion, but quickly rebelled against
General Cooper, who was placed over them, and when they fought against
that general, at Bird Creek, they wore a bit of corn-husk, split into
strips, tied in their hair. In the night when two Pins met, and one
asked the other, 'Who are you?' the reply or pass was, 'Tahlequah--who
are you?' The response was, 'I am Ketoowha's son.'"--Dr D. J. MacGowan,
Indian Secret Societies, in Historical Magazine, X, 1866.

(48) Farewell address of Lloyd Welch (p. 175): In the sad and eventful
history of the Cherokee their gifted leaders, frequently of white
ancestry, have oftentimes spoken to the world with eloquent words of
appeal, of protest, or of acknowledgment, but never more eloquently
than in the last farewell of Chief Lloyd Welch to the eastern band,
as he felt the end draw near (leaflet, MacGowan, Chattanooga [n. d.,

    "To the Chairman and Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokees:

    "My Brothers: It becomes my imperative duty to bid you an
    affectionate farewell, and resign into your hands the trust
    you so generously confided to my keeping, principal chief of
    the Eastern Band. It is with great solicitude and anxiety for
    your welfare that I am constrained to take this course. But the
    inexorable laws of nature, and the rapid decline of my health,
    admonish me that soon, very soon, I will have passed from earth, my
    body consigned to the tomb, my spirit to God who gave it, in that
    happy home in the beyond, where there is no sickness, no sorrow,
    no pain, no death, but one eternal joy and happiness forever more.

    "The only regret that I feel for thus being so soon called from
    among you, at the meridian of manhood, when hope is sweet, is
    the great anxiety I have to serve and benefit my race. For this
    I have studied and labored for the past ten years of my life,
    to secure to my brothers equal justice from their brothers of
    the west and the United States, and that you would no longer
    be hewers of wood and drawers of water, but assume that proud
    position among the civilized nations of the earth intended by
    the Creator that we should occupy, and which in the near future
    you will take or be exterminated. When you become educated, as
    a natural consequence you will become more intelligent, sober,
    industrious, and prosperous.

    "It has been the aim of my life, the chief object, to serve my
    race faithfully, honestly, and to the best of my ability. How well
    I have succeeded I will leave to history and your magnanimity to
    decide, trusting an all-wise and just God to guide and protect
    you in the future, as He will do all things well. We may fail
    when on earth to see the goodness and wisdom of God in removing
    from us our best and most useful men, but when we have crossed
    over on the other shore to our happy and eternal home in the far
    beyond then our eyes will be opened and we will be enabled to see
    and realize the goodness and mercy of God in thus afflicting us
    while here on earth, and will be enabled more fully to praise God,
    from whom all blessings come.

    "I hope that when you come to select one from among you to take
    the responsible position of principal chief of your band you will
    lay aside all personal considerations and select one in every
    respect competent, without stain on his fair fame, a pure, noble,
    honest, man--one who loves God and all that is pure--with intellect
    sufficient to know your rights, independence and nerve to defend
    them. Should you be thus fortunate in making your choice, all will
    be well. It has been truthfully said that 'when the righteous rule
    the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule the people mourn.'

    "I am satisfied that you have among you many who are fully
    competent of the task. If I was satisfied it was your wish
    and for the good of my brothers I might mention some of them,
    but think it best to leave you in the hands of an all-wise God,
    who does all things right, to guide and direct you aright.

    "And now, my brothers, in taking perhaps my last farewell on earth
    I do pray God that you may so conduct yourselves while here on
    earth that when the last sad rite is performed by loved friends
    we may compose one unbroken family above in that celestial city
    from whose bourne no traveler has ever returned to describe the
    beauty, grandeur, and happiness of the heaven prepared for the
    faithful by God himself beyond the sky. And again, my brothers,
    permit me to bid you a fond, but perhaps a last, farewell on earth,
    until we meet again where parting is never known and friends meet
    to part no more forever.

    "L. R. Welch,

    "Principal Chief Eastern Band Cherokee Indians.


    "Samuel W. Davidson.

    "B. B. Merony."

(49) Status of eastern band (p. 180): For some reason all authorities
who have hitherto discussed the status of the eastern band of
Cherokee seem to have been entirely unaware of the enactment of the
supplementary articles to the treaty of New Echota, by which all
preemption and reservation rights granted under the twelfth article
were canceled. Thus, in the Cherokee case of "The United States
et al against D. T. Boyd et al," we find the United States circuit
judge quoting the twelfth article in its original form as a basis for
argument, while his associate judge says: "Their forefathers availed
themselves of a provision in the treaty of New Echota and remained
in the state of North Carolina," etc. (Report of Indian Commissioner
for 1895, pp. 633-635, 1896). The truth is that the treaty as ratified
with its supplementary articles canceled the residence right of every
Cherokee east of the Mississippi, and it was not until thirty years
afterwards that North Carolina finally gave assurance that the eastern
band would be permitted to remain within her borders.

The twelfth article of the new Echota treaty of December 29, 1835,
provides for a pro rata apportionment to such Cherokee as desire to
remain in the East, and continues: "Such heads of Cherokee families
as are desirous to reside within the states of North Carolina,
Tennessee, and Alabama, subject to the laws of the same, and who are
qualified or calculated to become useful citizens, shall be entitled,
on the certificate of the commissioners, to a preemption right to
one hundred and sixty acres of land, or one quarter section, at the
minimum Congress price, so as to include the present buildings or
improvements of those who now reside there; and such as do not live
there at present shall be permitted to locate within two years any
lands not already occupied by persons entitled to preemption privilege
under this treaty," etc. Article 13 defines terms with reference to
individual reservations granted under former treaties. The preamble
to the supplementary articles agreed upon on March 1, 1836, recites
that, "Whereas the President of the United States has expressed
his determination not to allow any preemptions or reservations, his
desire being that the whole Cherokee people should remove together
and establish themselves in the country provided for them west of
the Mississippi river (article 1): It is therefore agreed that all
preemption rights and reservations provided for in articles 12 and 13
shall be, and are hereby, relinquished and declared void." The treaty,
in this shape, was ratified on May 23, 1836 (see Indian Treaties,
pp. 633-648, 1837).


Cherokee myths may be roughly classified as sacred myths, animal
stories, local legends, and historical traditions. To the first
class belong the genesis stories, dealing with the creation of the
world, the nature of the heavenly bodies and elemental forces, the
origin of life and death, the spirit world and the invisible beings,
the ancient monsters, and the hero-gods. It is almost certain that
most of the myths of this class are but disjointed fragments of an
original complete genesis and migration legend, which is now lost. With
nearly every tribe that has been studied we find such a sacred legend,
preserved by the priests of the tradition, who alone are privileged to
recite and explain it, and dealing with the origin and wanderings of
the people from the beginning of the world to the final settlement
of the tribe in its home territory. Among the best examples of
such genesis traditions are those recorded in the Walam Olum of the
Delawares and Matthews' Navaho Origin Legend. Others may be found in
Cusick's History of the Six Nations, Gatschet's Creek Migration Legend,
and the author's Jicarilla Genesis. [463] The Cheyenne, Arapaho,
and other plains tribes are known to have similar genesis myths.

The former existence of such a national legend among the Cherokee
is confirmed by Haywood, writing in 1823, who states on information
obtained from a principal man in the tribe that they had once a long
oration, then nearly forgotten, which recounted the history of their
wanderings from the time when they had been first placed upon the earth
by some superior power from above. Up to about the middle of the last
century this tradition was still recited at the annual Green-corn
dance. [464] Unlike most Indians the Cherokee are not conservative,
and even before the Revolution had so far lost their primitive customs
from contact with the whites that Adair, in 1775, calls them a nest
of apostate hornets who for more than thirty years had been fast
degenerating. [465] Whatever it may have been, their national legend
is now lost forever. The secret organizations that must have existed
formerly among the priesthood have also disappeared, and each man now
works independently according to his individual gifts and knowledge.

The sacred myths were not for every one, but only those might hear who
observed the proper form and ceremony. When John Ax and other old men
were boys, now some eighty years ago, the myth-keepers and priests
were accustomed to meet together at night in the âsi, or low-built
log sleeping house, to recite the traditions and discuss their secret
knowledge. At times those who desired instruction from an adept in
the sacred lore of the tribe met him by appointment in the âsi, where
they sat up all night talking, with only the light of a small fire
burning in the middle of the floor. At daybreak the whole party went
down to the running stream, where the pupils or hearers of the myths
stripped themselves, and were scratched upon their naked skin with
a bone-tooth comb in the hands of the priest, after which they waded
out, facing the rising sun, and dipped seven times under the water,
while the priest recited prayers upon the bank. This purificatory
rite, observed more than a century ago by Adair, is also a part of the
ceremonial of the ballplay, the Green-corn dance, and, in fact, every
important ritual performance. Before beginning one of the stories of
the sacred class the informant would sometimes suggest jokingly that
the author first submit to being scratched and "go to water."

As a special privilege a boy was sometimes admitted to the âsi on such
occasions, to tend the fire, and thus had the opportunity to listen to
the stories and learn something of the secret rites. In this way John
Ax gained much of his knowledge, although he does not claim to be an
adept. As he describes it, the fire intended to heat the room--for the
nights are cold in the Cherokee mountains--was built upon the ground
in the center of the small house, which was not high enough to permit
a standing position, while the occupants sat in a circle around it. In
front of the fire was placed a large flat rock, and near it a pile of
pine knots or splints. When the fire had burned down to a bed of coals,
the boy lighted one or two of the pine knots and laid them upon the
rock, where they blazed with a bright light until nearly consumed,
when others were laid upon them, and so on until daybreak.

Sometimes the pine splints were set up crosswise, thus, ××××, in a
circle around the fire, with a break at the eastern side. They were
then lighted from one end and burned gradually around the circle, fresh
splints being set up behind as those in front were consumed. Lawson
describes this identical custom as witnessed at a dance among the
Waxhaw, on Catawba river, in 1701:

    Now, to return to our state house, whither we were invited
    by the grandees. As soon as we came into it, they placed our
    Englishmen near the king, it being my fortune to sit next him,
    having his great general or war captain on my other hand. The
    house is as dark as a dungeon, and as hot as one of the Dutch
    stoves in Holland. They had made a circular fire of split canes
    in the middle of the house, it was one man's employment to add
    more split reeds to the one end as it consumed at the other,
    there being a small vacancy left to supply it with fuel. [466]

To the second class belong the shorter animal myths, which have lost
whatever sacred character they may once have had, and are told now
merely as humorous explanations of certain animal peculiarities. While
the sacred myths have a constant bearing upon formulistic prayers and
observances, it is only in rare instances that any rite or custom
is based upon an animal myth. Moreover, the sacred myths are known
as a rule only to the professional priests or conjurers, while the
shorter animal stories are more or less familiar to nearly everyone
and are found in almost identical form among Cherokee, Creeks, and
other southern tribes.

The animals of the Cherokee myths, like the traditional
hero-gods, were larger and of more perfect type than their present
representatives. They had chiefs, councils, and townhouses, mingled
with human kind upon terms of perfect equality and spoke the same
language. In some unexplained manner they finally left this lower
world and ascended to Galûñ'lati, the world above, where they still
exist. The removal was not simultaneous, but each animal chose
his own time. The animals that we know, small in size and poor in
intellect, came upon the earth later, and are not the descendants of
the mythic animals, but only weak imitations. In one or two special
cases, however, the present creature is the descendant of a former
monster. Trees and plants also were alive and could talk in the old
days, and had their place in council, but do not figure prominently
in the myths.

Each animal had his appointed station and duty. Thus, the Walâ'si
frog was the marshal and leader in the council, while the Rabbit was
the messenger to carry all public announcements, and usually led the
dance besides. He was also the great trickster and mischief maker, a
character which he bears in eastern and southern Indian myth generally,
as well as in the southern negro stories. The bear figures as having
been originally a man, with human form and nature.

As with other tribes and countries, almost every prominent rock and
mountain, every deep bend in the river, in the old Cherokee country
has its accompanying legend. It may be a little story that can be
told in a paragraph, to account for some natural feature, or it
may be one chapter of a myth that has its sequel in a mountain a
hundred miles away. As is usual when a people has lived for a long
time in the same country, nearly every important myth is localized,
thus assuming more definite character.

There is the usual number of anecdotes and stories of personal
adventure, some of them irredeemably vulgar, but historical traditions
are strangely wanting. The authentic records of unlettered peoples
are short at best, seldom going back much farther than the memories
of their oldest men; and although the Cherokee have been the most
important of the southern tribes, making wars and treaties for three
centuries with Spanish, English, French, and Americans, Iroquois,
Shawano, Catawba, and Creeks, there is little evidence of the fact in
their traditions. This condition may be due in part to the temper of
the Cherokee mind, which, as has been already stated, is accustomed
to look forward to new things rather than to dwell upon the past. The
first Cherokee war, with its stories of Âganstâ'ta and Ata-gûl'kalû',
is absolutely forgotten. Of the long Revolutionary struggle they
have hardly a recollection, although they were constantly fighting
throughout the whole period and for several years after, and at one
time were brought to the verge of ruin by four concerted expeditions,
which ravaged their country simultaneously from different directions
and destroyed almost every one of their towns. Even the Creek war,
in which many of their warriors took a prominent part, was already
nearly forgotten some years ago. Beyond a few stories of encounters
with the Shawano and Iroquois there is hardly anything that can be
called history until well within the present century.

With some tribes the winter season and the night are the time for
telling stories, but to the Cherokee all times are alike. As our
grandmothers begin, "Once upon a time," so the Cherokee story-teller
introduces his narrative by saying: "This is what the old men told
me when I was a boy."

Not all tell the same stories, for in tribal lore, as in all other
sorts of knowledge, we find specialists. Some common minds take note
only of common things--little stories of the rabbit, the terrapin,
and the others, told to point a joke or amuse a child. Others dwell
upon the wonderful and supernatural--Tsul`kalû', Tsuwe'nahi, and
the Thunderers--and those sacred things to be told only with prayer
and purification. Then, again, there are still a few old warriors
who live in the memory of heroic days when there were wars with the
Seneca and the Shawano, and these men are the historians of the tribe
and the conservators of its antiquities.

The question of the origin of myths is one which affords abundant
opportunity for ingenious theories in the absence of any possibility
of proof. Those of the Cherokee are too far broken down ever to be
woven together again into any long-connected origin legend, such as
we find with some tribes, although a few still exhibit a certain
sequence which indicates that they once formed component parts of
a cycle. From the prominence of the rabbit in the animal stories,
as well as in those found among the southern negroes, an effort has
been made to establish for them a negro origin, regardless of the fact
that the rabbit--the Great White Rabbit--is the hero-god, trickster,
and wonder-worker of all the tribes east of the Mississippi from Hudson
bay to the Gulf. In European folklore also the rabbit is regarded as
something uncanny and half-supernatural, and even in far-off Korea
he is the central figure in the animal myths. Just why this should
be so is a question that may be left to the theorist to decide. Among
the Algonquian tribes the name, wabos, seems to have been confounded
with that of the dawn, waban, so that the Great White Rabbit is really
the incarnation of the eastern dawn that brings light and life and
drives away the dark shadows which have held the world in chains. The
animal itself seems to be regarded by the Indians as the fitting
type of defenseless weakness protected and made safe by constantly
alert vigilance, and with a disposition, moreover, for turning up at
unexpected moments. The same characteristics would appeal as strongly
to the primitive mind of the negro. The very expression which Harris
puts into the mouth of Uncle Remus, "In dem days Brer Rabbit en his
fambly wuz at the head er de gang w'en enny racket wus en hand," [467]
was paraphrased in the Cherokee language by Suyeta in introducing his
first rabbit story: "Tsi'stu wuliga'natûtûñ' une'gutsatû' gese'i--the
Rabbit was the leader of them all in mischief." The expression struck
the author so forcibly that the words were recorded as spoken.

In regard to the contact between the two races, by which such stories
could be borrowed from one by the other, it is not commonly known
that in all the southern colonies Indian slaves were bought and
sold and kept in servitude and worked in the fields side by side
with negroes up to the time of the Revolution. Not to go back to the
Spanish period, when such things were the order of the day, we find
the Cherokee as early as 1693 complaining that their people were being
kidnaped by slave hunters. Hundreds of captured Tuscarora and nearly
the whole tribe of the Appalachee were distributed as slaves among
the Carolina colonists in the early part of the eighteenth century,
while the Natchez and others shared a similar fate in Louisiana,
and as late at least as 1776 Cherokee prisoners of war were still
sold to the highest bidder for the same purpose. At one time it was
charged against the governor of South Carolina that he was provoking a
general Indian war by his encouragement of slave hunts. Furthermore,
as the coast tribes dwindled they were compelled to associate and
intermarry with the negroes until they finally lost their identity
and were classed with that race, so that a considerable proportion
of the blood of the southern negroes is unquestionably Indian.

The negro, with his genius for imitation and his love for stories,
especially of the comic variety, must undoubtedly have absorbed much
from the Indian in this way, while on the other hand the Indian,
with his pride of conservatism and his contempt for a subject race,
would have taken but little from the negro, and that little could
not easily have found its way back to the free tribes. Some of these
animal stories are common to widely separated tribes among whom there
can be no suspicion of negro influences. Thus the famous "tar baby"
story has variants, not only among the Cherokee, but also in New
Mexico, Washington, and southern Alaska--wherever, in fact, the piñon
or the pine supplies enough gum to be molded into a ball for Indian
uses--while the incident of the Rabbit dining the Bear is found with
nearly every tribe from Nova Scotia to the Pacific. The idea that
such stories are necessarily of negro origin is due largely to the
common but mistaken notion that the Indian has no sense of humor.

In many cases it is not necessary to assume borrowing from either
side, the myths being such as would naturally spring up in any
part of the world among primitive people accustomed to observe the
characteristics of animals, which their religious system regarded
as differing in no essential from human kind, save only in outward
form. Thus in Europe and America the terrapin has been accepted as
the type of plodding slowness, while the rabbit, with his sudden dash,
or the deer with his bounding stride, is the type of speed. What more
natural than that the story-teller should set one to race against the
other, with the victory in favor of the patient striver against the
self-confident boaster? The idea of a hungry wolf or other beast of
prey luring his victims by the promise of a new song or dance, during
which they must close their eyes, is also one that would easily occur
among any primitive people whose chief pastime is dancing. [468]

On the other hand, such a conception as that of Flint and the Rabbit
could only be the outgrowth of a special cosmogonic theology, though
now indeed broken and degraded, and it is probable that many myths
told now only for amusement are really worn down fragments of ancient
sacred traditions. Thus the story just noted appears in a different
dress among the Iroquois as a part of their great creation myth. The
Cherokee being a detached tribe of the Iroquois, we may expect to
find among the latter, if it be not already too late, the explanation
and more perfect statement of some things which are obscure in the
Cherokee myths. It must not be forgotten, however, that the Indian,
like other men, does some things for simple amusement, and it is
useless to look for occult meanings where none exist.

Except as to the local traditions and a few others which are obviously
the direct outgrowth of Cherokee conditions, it is impossible to
fix a definite starting point for the myths. It would be unwise to
assert that even the majority of them originated within the tribe. The
Cherokee have strains of Creek, Catawba, Uchee, Natchez, Iroquois,
Osage, and Shawano blood, and such admixture implies contact more
or less intimate and continued. Indians are great wanderers, and a
myth can travel as far as a redstone pipe or a string of wampum. It
was customary, as it still is to a limited extent in the West, for
large parties, sometimes even a whole band or village, to make long
visits to other tribes, dancing, feasting, trading, and exchanging
stories with their friends for weeks or months at a time, with the
expectation that their hosts would return the visit within the next
summer. Regular trade routes crossed the continent from east to
west and from north to south, and when the subject has been fully
investigated it will be found that this intertribal commerce was as
constant and well recognized a part of Indian life as is our own
railroad traffic today. The very existence of a trade jargon or a
sign language is proof of intertribal relations over wide areas. Their
political alliances also were often far-reaching, for Pontiac welded
into a warlike confederacy all the tribes from the Atlantic border
to the head of the Mississippi, while the emissaries of the Shawano
prophet carried the story of his revelations throughout the whole
region from the Florida coast to the Saskatchewan.

In view of these facts it is as useless to attempt to trace the origin
of every myth as to claim a Cherokee authorship for them all. From
what we know of the character of the Shawano, their tendency toward
the ceremonial and the mystic, and their close relations with the
Cherokee, it may be inferred that some of the myths originated
with that tribe. We should naturally expect also to find close
correspondence with the myths of the Creeks and other southern
tribes within the former area of the Mobilian trade language. The
localization at home of all the more important myths indicates a long
residence in the country. As the majority of those here given belong
to the half dozen counties still familiar to the East Cherokee, we
may guess how many attached to the ancient territory of the tribe
are now irrecoverably lost.

Contact with the white race seems to have produced very little
impression on the tribal mythology, and not more than three or four
stories current among the Cherokee can be assigned to a Caucasian
source. These have not been reproduced here, for the reason that they
are plainly European, and the author has chosen not to follow the
example of some collectors who have assumed that every tale told in
an Indian language is necessarily an Indian story. Scores recorded in
collections from the North and West are nothing more than variants from
the celebrated Hausmärchen, as told by French trappers and voyageurs
to their Indian campmates and halfbreed children. It might perhaps
be thought that missionary influence would be evident in the genesis
tradition, but such is not the case. The Bible story kills the Indian
tradition, and there is no amalgamation. It is hardly necessary to say
that stories of a great fish which swallows a man and of a great flood
which destroys a people are found the world over. The supposed Cherokee
hero-god, Wâsi, described by one writer as so remarkably resembling
the great Hebrew lawgiver is in fact that great teacher himself, Wâsi
being the Cherokee approximate for Moses, and the good missionary who
first recorded the story was simply listening to a chapter taken by
his convert from the Cherokee testament. The whole primitive pantheon
of the Cherokee is still preserved in their sacred formulas.

As compared with those from some other tribes the Cherokee myths are
clean. For picturesque imagination and wealth of detail they rank
high, and some of the wonder stories may challenge those of Europe
and India. The numerous parallels furnished will serve to indicate
their relation to the general Indian system. Unless otherwise noted,
every myth here given has been obtained directly from the Indians,
and in nearly every case has been verified from several sources.

            "I know not how the truth may be,
            I tell the tale as 'twas told to me."

First and chief in the list of story tellers comes A`yûñ'ini,
"Swimmer," from whom nearly three-fourths of the whole number were
originally obtained, together with nearly as large a proportion of the
whole body of Cherokee material now in possession of the author. The
collection could not have been made without his help, and now that he
is gone it can never be duplicated. Born about 1835, shortly before
the Removal, he grew up under the instruction of masters to be a
priest, doctor, and keeper of tradition, so that he was recognized as
an authority throughout the band and by such a competent outside judge
as Colonel Thomas. He served through the war as second sergeant of the
Cherokee Company A, Sixty-ninth North Carolina Confederate Infantry,
Thomas Legion. He was prominent in the local affairs of the band,
and no Green-corn dance, ballplay, or other tribal function was ever
considered complete without his presence and active assistance. A
genuine aboriginal antiquarian and patriot, proud of his people and
their ancient system, he took delight in recording in his native
alphabet the songs and sacred formulas of priests and dancers and the
names of medicinal plants and the prescriptions with which they were
compounded, while his mind was a storehouse of Indian tradition. To
a happy descriptive style he added a musical voice for the songs and
a peculiar faculty for imitating the characteristic cry of bird or
beast, so that to listen to one of his recitals was often a pleasure
in itself, even to one who understood not a word of the language. He
spoke no English, and to the day of his death clung to the moccasin and
turban, together with the rattle, his badge of authority. He died in
March, 1899, aged about sixty-five, and was buried like a true Cherokee
on the slope of a forest-clad mountain. Peace to his ashes and sorrow
for his going, for with him perished half the tradition of a people.

Next in order comes the name of Itagû'nahi, better known as John Ax,
born about 1800 and now consequently just touching the century mark,
being the oldest man of the band. He has a distinct recollection of
the Creek war, at which time he was about twelve years of age, and
was already married and a father when the lands east of Nantahala
were sold by the treaty of 1819. Although not a professional priest
or doctor, he was recognized, before age had dulled his faculties, as
an authority upon all relating to tribal custom, and was an expert in
the making of rattles, wands, and other ceremonial paraphernalia. Of
a poetic and imaginative temperament, he cared most for the wonder
stories, of the giant Tsul`kalû', of the great Uktena or of the
invisible spirit people, but he had also a keen appreciation of the
humorous animal stories. He speaks no English, and with his erect
spare figure and piercing eye is a fine specimen of the old-time
Indian. Notwithstanding his great age he walked without other
assistance than his stick to the last ball game, where he watched
every run with the closest interest, and would have attended the
dance the night before but for the interposition of friends.

Suyeta, "The Chosen One," who preaches regularly as a Baptist
minister to an Indian congregation, does not deal much with the Indian
supernatural, perhaps through deference to his clerical obligations,
but has a good memory and liking for rabbit stories and others of
the same class. He served in the Confederate army during the war as
fourth sergeant in Company A, of the Sixty-ninth North Carolina,
and is now a well-preserved man of about sixty-two. He speaks no
English, but by an ingenious system of his own has learned to use
a concordance for verifying references in his Cherokee bible. He is
also a first-class carpenter and mason.

Another principal informant was Ta'gwadihi', "Catawba-killer," of
Cheowa, who died a few years ago, aged about seventy. He was a doctor
and made no claim to special knowledge of myths or ceremonials, but
was able to furnish several valuable stories, besides confirmatory
evidence for a large number obtained from other sources.

Besides these may be named, among the East Cherokee, the late Chief
N. J. Smith; Salâ'li, mentioned elsewhere, who died about 1895;
Tsesa'ni or Jessan, who also served in the war; Ayâ'sta, one of the
principal conservatives among the women; and James and David Blythe,
younger men of mixed blood, with an English education, but inheritors
of a large share of Indian lore from their father, who was a recognized
leader of ceremony.

Among informants in the western Cherokee Nation the principal was
James D. Wafford, known to the Indians as Tsuskwanûñ'nawa'ta,
"Worn-out-blanket," a mixed-blood speaking and writing both
languages, born in the old Cherokee Nation near the site of the
present Clarkesville, Georgia, in 1806, and dying when about ninety
years of age at his home in the eastern part of the Cherokee Nation,
adjoining the Seneca reservation. The name figures prominently in
the early history of North Carolina and Georgia. His grandfather,
Colonel Wafford, was an officer in the American Revolutionary army,
and shortly after the treaty of Hopewell, in 1785, established a colony
known as "Wafford's settlement," in upper Georgia, on territory which
was afterward found to be within the Indian boundary and was acquired
by special treaty purchase in 1804. His name is appended, as witness
for the state of Georgia, to the treaty of Holston, in 1794. [469]
On his mother's side Mr Wafford was of mixed Cherokee, Natchez,
and white blood, she being a cousin of Sequoya. He was also remotely
connected with Cornelius Dougherty, the first trader established among
the Cherokee. In the course of his long life he filled many positions
of trust and honor among his people. In his youth he attended the
mission school at Valleytown under Reverend Evan Jones, and just before
the adoption of the Cherokee alphabet he finished the translation
into phonetic Cherokee spelling of a Sunday school speller noted in
Pilling's Iroquoian Bibliography. In 1824 he was the census enumerator
for that district of the Cherokee Nation embracing upper Hiwassee
river, in North Carolina, with Nottely and Toccoa in the adjoining
portion of Georgia. His fund of Cherokee geographic information thus
acquired was found to be invaluable. He was one of the two commanders
of the largest detachment of emigrants at the time of the removal, and
his name appears as a councilor for the western Nation in the Cherokee
Almanac for 1846. When employed by the author at Tahlequah in 1891 his
mind was still clear and his memory keen. Being of practical bent, he
was concerned chiefly with tribal history, geography, linguistics, and
every-day life and custom, on all of which subjects his knowledge was
exact and detailed, but there were few myths for which he was not able
to furnish confirmatory testimony. Despite his education he was a firm
believer in the Nûñne'hi, and several of the best legends connected
with them were obtained from him. His death takes from the Cherokee
one of the last connecting links between the present and the past.


Cosmogonic Myths


The earth is a great island floating in a sea of water, and suspended
at each of the four cardinal points by a cord hanging down from the
sky vault, which is of solid rock. When the world grows old and worn
out, the people will die and the cords will break and let the earth
sink down into the ocean, and all will be water again. The Indians
are afraid of this.

When all was water, the animals were above in Galûñ'lati, beyond
the arch; but it was very much crowded, and they were wanting more
room. They wondered what was below the water, and at last Dâyuni'si,
"Beaver's Grandchild," the little Water-beetle, offered to go and
see if it could learn. It darted in every direction over the surface
of the water, but could find no firm place to rest. Then it dived
to the bottom and came up with some soft mud, which began to grow
and spread on every side until it became the island which we call
the earth. It was afterward fastened to the sky with four cords,
but no one remembers who did this.

At first the earth was flat and very soft and wet. The animals
were anxious to get down, and sent out different birds to see if it
was yet dry, but they found no place to alight and came back again
to Galûñ'lati. At last it seemed to be time, and they sent out the
Buzzard and told him to go and make ready for them. This was the Great
Buzzard, the father of all the buzzards we see now. He flew all over
the earth, low down near the ground, and it was still soft. When
he reached the Cherokee country, he was very tired, and his wings
began to flap and strike the ground, and wherever they struck the
earth there was a valley, and where they turned up again there was
a mountain. When the animals above saw this, they were afraid that
the whole world would be mountains, so they called him back, but the
Cherokee country remains full of mountains to this day.

When the earth was dry and the animals came down, it was still dark,
so they got the sun and set it in a track to go every day across the
island from east to west, just overhead. It was too hot this way, and
Tsiska'gili', the Red Crawfish, had his shell scorched a bright red,
so that his meat was spoiled; and the Cherokee do not eat it. The
conjurers put the sun another hand-breadth higher in the air, but it
was still too hot. They raised it another time, and another, until
it was seven handbreadths high and just under the sky arch. Then it
was right, and they left it so. This is why the conjurers call the
highest place Gûlkwâ'gine Di'galûñ'latiyûñ', "the seventh height,"
because it is seven hand-breadths above the earth. Every day the sun
goes along under this arch, and returns at night on the upper side
to the starting place.

There is another world under this, and it is like ours in
everything--animals, plants, and people--save that the seasons are
different. The streams that come down from the mountains are the
trails by which we reach this underworld, and the springs at their
heads are the doorways by which we enter it, but to do this one must
fast and go to water and have one of the underground people for a
guide. We know that the seasons in the underworld are different from
ours, because the water in the springs is always warmer in winter
and cooler in summer than the outer air.

When the animals and plants were first made--we do not know by
whom--they were told to watch and keep awake for seven nights,
just as young men now fast and keep awake when they pray to their
medicine. They tried to do this, and nearly all were awake through
the first night, but the next night several dropped off to sleep,
and the third night others were asleep, and then others, until,
on the seventh night, of all the animals only the owl, the panther,
and one or two more were still awake. To these were given the power
to see and to go about in the dark, and to make prey of the birds
and animals which must sleep at night. Of the trees only the cedar,
the pine, the spruce, the holly, and the laurel were awake to the
end, and to them it was given to be always green and to be greatest
for medicine, but to the others it was said: "Because you have not
endured to the end you shall lose your hair every winter."

Men came after the animals and plants. At first there were only a
brother and sister until he struck her with a fish and told her to
multiply, and so it was. In seven days a child was born to her, and
thereafter every seven days another, and they increased very fast
until there was danger that the world could not keep them. Then it
was made that a woman should have only one child in a year, and it
has been so ever since.


In the beginning there was no fire, and the world was cold, until
the Thunders (Ani'-Hyûñ'tikwalâ'ski), who lived up in Galûñ'lati,
sent their lightning and put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore
tree which grew on an island. The animals knew it was there, because
they could see the smoke coming out at the top, but they could not
get to it on account of the water, so they held a council to decide
what to do. This was a long time ago.

Every animal that could fly or swim was anxious to go after the
fire. The Raven offered, and because he was so large and strong they
thought he could surely do the work, so he was sent first. He flew
high and far across the water and alighted on the sycamore tree,
but while he was wondering what to do next, the heat had scorched all
his feathers black, and he was frightened and came back without the
fire. The little Screech-owl (Wa'huhu') volunteered to go, and reached
the place safely, but while he was looking down into the hollow tree
a blast of hot air came up and nearly burned out his eyes. He managed
to fly home as best he could, but it was a long time before he could
see well, and his eyes are red to this day. Then the Hooting Owl
(U'guku') and the Horned Owl (Tskili') went, but by the time they got
to the hollow tree the fire was burning so fiercely that the smoke
nearly blinded them, and the ashes carried up by the wind made white
rings about their eyes. They had to come home again without the fire,
but with all their rubbing they were never able to get rid of the
white rings.

Now no more of the birds would venture, and so the little Uksu'hi
snake, the black racer, said he would go through the water and bring
back some fire. He swam across to the island and crawled through the
grass to the tree, and went in by a small hole at the bottom. The
heat and smoke were too much for him, too, and after dodging about
blindly over the hot ashes until he was almost on fire himself he
managed by good luck to get out again at the same hole, but his
body had been scorched black, and he has ever since had the habit
of darting and doubling on his track as if trying to escape from
close quarters. He came back, and the great blacksnake, Gûle'gi,
"The Climber," offered to go for fire. He swam over to the island and
climbed up the tree on the outside, as the blacksnake always does,
but when he put his head down into the hole the smoke choked him so
that he fell into the burning stump, and before he could climb out
again he was as black as the Uksu'hi.

Now they held another council, for still there was no fire, and the
world was cold, but birds, snakes, and four-footed animals, all had
some excuse for not going, because they were all afraid to venture
near the burning sycamore, until at last Kanane'ski Amai'yehi (the
Water Spider) said she would go. This is not the water spider that
looks like a mosquito, but the other one, with black downy hair and
red stripes on her body. She can run on top of the water or dive to
the bottom, so there would be no trouble to get over to the island,
but the question was, How could she bring back the fire? "I'll manage
that," said the Water Spider; so she spun a thread from her body and
wove it into a tusti bowl, which she fastened on her back. Then she
crossed over to the island and through the grass to where the fire
was still burning. She put one little coal of fire into her bowl,
and came back with it, and ever since we have had fire, and the Water
Spider still keeps her tusti bowl.


When I was a boy this is what the old men told me they had heard when
they were boys.

Long years ago, soon after the world was made, a hunter and his wife
lived at Pilot knob with their only child, a little boy. The father's
name was Kana'ti (The Lucky Hunter), and his wife was called Selu
(Corn). No matter when Kana'ti went into the wood, he never failed to
bring back a load of game, which his wife would cut up and prepare,
washing off the blood from the meat in the river near the house. The
little boy used to play down by the river every day, and one morning
the old people thought they heard laughing and talking in the bushes
as though there were two children there. When the boy came home at
night his parents asked him who had been playing with him all day. "He
comes out of the water," said the boy, "and he calls himself my elder
brother. He says his mother was cruel to him and threw him into the
river." Then they knew that the strange boy had sprung from the blood
of the game which Selu had washed off at the river's edge.

Every day when the little boy went out to play the other would join
him, but as he always went back again into the water the old people
never had a chance to see him. At last one evening Kana'ti said
to his son, "Tomorrow, when the other boy comes to play, get him
to wrestle with you, and when you have your arms around him hold
on to him and call for us." The boy promised to do as he was told,
so the next day as soon as his playmate appeared he challenged him
to a wrestling match. The other agreed at once, but as soon as they
had their arms around each other, Kana'ti's boy began to scream for
his father. The old folks at once came running down, and as soon as
the Wild Boy saw them he struggled to free himself and cried out,
"Let me go; you threw me away!" but his brother held on until the
parents reached the spot, when they seized the Wild Boy and took him
home with them. They kept him in the house until they had tamed him,
but he was always wild and artful in his disposition, and was the
leader of his brother in every mischief. It was not long until the
old people discovered that he had magic powers, and they called him
I'nage-utasûñ'hi (He-who-grew-up-wild).

Whenever Kana'ti went into the mountains he always brought back a fat
buck or doe, or maybe a couple of turkeys. One day the Wild Boy said
to his brother, "I wonder where our father gets all that game; let's
follow him next time and find out." A few days afterward Kana'ti took a
bow and some feathers in his hand and started off toward the west. The
boys waited a little while and then went after him, keeping out of
sight until they saw him go into a swamp where there were a great
many of the small reeds that hunters use to make arrowshafts. Then
the Wild Boy changed himself into a puff of bird's down, which the
wind took up and carried until it alighted upon Kana'ti's shoulder
just as he entered the swamp, but Kana'ti knew nothing about it. The
old man cut reeds, fitted the feathers to them and made some arrows,
and the Wild Boy--in his other shape--thought, "I wonder what those
things are for?" When Kana'ti had his arrows finished he came out of
the swamp and went on again. The wind blew the down from his shoulder,
and it fell in the woods, when the Wild Boy took his right shape
again and went back and told his brother what he had seen. Keeping
out of sight of their father, they followed him up the mountain
until he stopped at a certain place and lifted a large rock. At
once there ran out a buck, which Kana'ti shot, and then lifting it
upon his back he started for home again. "Oho!" exclaimed the boys,
"he keeps all the deer shut up in that hole, and whenever he wants
meat he just lets one out and kills it with those things he made in
the swamp." They hurried and reached home before their father, who
had the heavy deer to carry, and he never knew that they had followed.

A few days later the boys went back to the swamp, cut some reeds, and
made seven arrows, and then started up the mountain to where their
father kept the game. When they got to the place, they raised the
rock and a deer came running out. Just as they drew back to shoot it,
another came out, and then another and another, until the boys got
confused and forgot what they were about. In those days all the deer
had their tails hanging down like other animals, but as a buck was
running past the Wild Boy struck its tail with his arrow so that it
pointed upward. The boys thought this good sport, and when the next
one ran past the Wild Boy struck its tail so that it stood straight
up, and his brother struck the next one so hard with his arrow that
the deer's tail was almost curled over his back. The deer carries his
tail this way ever since. The deer came running past until the last one
had come out of the hole and escaped into the forest. Then came droves
of raccoons, rabbits, and all the other four-footed animals--all but
the bear, because there was no bear then. Last came great flocks of
turkeys, pigeons, and partridges that darkened the air like a cloud
and made such a noise with their wings that Kana'ti, sitting at home,
heard the sound like distant thunder on the mountains and said to
himself, "My bad boys have got into trouble; I must go and see what
they are doing."

So he went up the mountain, and when he came to the place where he
kept the game he found the two boys standing by the rock, and all the
birds and animals were gone. Kana'ti was furious, but without saying
a word he went down into the cave and kicked the covers off four jars
in one corner, when out swarmed bedbugs, fleas, lice, and gnats, and
got all over the boys. They screamed with pain and fright and tried to
beat off the insects, but the thousands of vermin crawled over them
and bit and stung them until both dropped down nearly dead. Kana'ti
stood looking on until he thought they had been punished enough, when
he knocked off the vermin and made the boys a talk. "Now, you rascals,"
said he, "you have always had plenty to eat and never had to work for
it. Whenever you were hungry all I had to do was to come up here and
get a deer or a turkey and bring it home for your mother to cook;
but now you have let out all the animals, and after this when you
want a deer to eat you will have to hunt all over the woods for it,
and then maybe not find one. Go home now to your mother, while I see
if I can find something to eat for supper."

When the boys got home again they were very tired and hungry and asked
their mother for something to eat. "There is no meat," said Selu,
"but wait a little while and I'll get you something." So she took a
basket and started out to the storehouse. This storehouse was built
upon poles high up from the ground, to keep it out of the reach of
animals, and there was a ladder to climb up by, and one door, but no
other opening. Every day when Selu got ready to cook the dinner she
would go out to the storehouse with a basket and bring it back full
of corn and beans. The boys had never been inside the storehouse,
so wondered where all the corn and beans could come from, as the
house was not a very large one; so as soon as Selu went out of the
door the Wild Boy said to his brother, "Let's go and see what she
does." They ran around and climbed up at the back of the storehouse
and pulled out a piece of clay from between the logs, so that they
could look in. There they saw Selu standing in the middle of the
room with the basket in front of her on the floor. Leaning over the
basket, she rubbed her stomach--so--and the basket was half full
of corn. Then she rubbed under her armpits--so--and the basket was
full to the top with beans. The boys looked at each other and said,
"This will never do; our mother is a witch. If we eat any of that it
will poison us. We must kill her."

When the boys came back into the house, she knew their thoughts before
they spoke. "So you are going to kill me?" said Selu. "Yes," said the
boys, "you are a witch." "Well," said their mother, "when you have
killed me, clear a large piece of ground in front of the house and
drag my body seven times around the circle. Then drag me seven times
over the ground inside the circle, and stay up all night and watch,
and in the morning you will have plenty of corn." The boys killed her
with their clubs, and cut off her head and put it up on the roof of
the house with her face turned to the west, and told her to look for
her husband. Then they set to work to clear the ground in front of
the house, but instead of clearing the whole piece they cleared only
seven little spots. This is why corn now grows only in a few places
instead of over the whole world. They dragged the body of Selu around
the circle, and wherever her blood fell on the ground the corn sprang
up. But instead of dragging her body seven times across the ground
they dragged it over only twice, which is the reason the Indians still
work their crop but twice. The two brothers sat up and watched their
corn all night, and in the morning it was full grown and ripe.

When Kana'ti came home at last, he looked around, but could not see
Selu anywhere, and asked the boys where was their mother. "She was
a witch, and we killed her," said the boys; "there is her head up
there on top of the house." When he saw his wife's head on the roof,
he was very angry, and said, "I won't stay with you any longer; I am
going to the Wolf people." So he started off, but before he had gone
far the Wild Boy changed himself again to a tuft of down, which fell
on Kana'ti's shoulder. When Kana'ti reached the settlement of the
Wolf people, they were holding a council in the townhouse. He went
in and sat down with the tuft of bird's down on his shoulder, but he
never noticed it. When the Wolf chief asked him his business, he said:
"I have two bad boys at home, and I want you to go in seven days from
now and play ball against them." Although Kana'ti spoke as though he
wanted them to play a game of ball, the Wolves knew that he meant for
them to go and kill the two boys. They promised to go. Then the bird's
down blew off from Kana'ti's shoulder, and the smoke carried it up
through the hole in the roof of the townhouse. When it came down on
the ground outside, the Wild Boy took his right shape again and went
home and told his brother all that he had heard in the townhouse. But
when Kana'ti left the Wolf people he did not return home, but went
on farther.

The boys then began to get ready for the Wolves, and the Wild Boy--the
magician--told his brother what to do. They ran around the house in
a wide circle until they had made a trail all around it excepting on
the side from which the Wolves would come, where they left a small
open space. Then they made four large bundles of arrows and placed
them at four different points on the outside of the circle, after
which they hid themselves in the woods and waited for the Wolves. In
a day or two a whole party of Wolves came and surrounded the house to
kill the boys. The Wolves did not notice the trail around the house,
because they came in where the boys had left the opening, but the
moment they went inside the circle the trail changed to a high brush
fence and shut them in. Then the boys on the outside took their arrows
and began shooting them down, and as the Wolves could not jump over the
fence they were all killed, excepting a few that escaped through the
opening into a great swamp close by. The boys ran around the swamp,
and a circle of fire sprang up in their tracks and set fire to the
grass and bushes and burned up nearly all the other Wolves. Only two
or three got away, and from these have come all the wolves that are
now in the world.

Soon afterward some strangers from a distance, who had heard that
the brothers had a wonderful grain from which they made bread, came
to ask for some, for none but Selu and her family had ever known corn
before. The boys gave them seven grains of corn, which they told them
to plant the next night on their way home, sitting up all night to
watch the corn, which would have seven ripe ears in the morning. These
they were to plant the next night and watch in the same way, and so
on every night until they reached home, when they would have corn
enough to supply the whole people. The strangers lived seven days'
journey away. They took the seven grains and watched all through
the darkness until morning, when they saw seven tall stalks, each
stalk bearing a ripened ear. They gathered the ears and went on their
way. The next night they planted all their corn, and guarded it as
before until daybreak, when they found an abundant increase. But the
way was long and the sun was hot, and the people grew tired. On the
last night before reaching home they fell asleep, and in the morning
the corn they had planted had not even sprouted. They brought with
them to their settlement what corn they had left and planted it,
and with care and attention were able to raise a crop. But ever
since the corn must be watched and tended through half the year,
which before would grow and ripen in a night.

As Kana'ti did not return, the boys at last concluded to go and
find him. The Wild Boy took a gaming wheel and rolled it toward the
Darkening land. In a little while the wheel came rolling back, and
the boys knew their father was not there. He rolled it to the south
and to the north, and each time the wheel came back to him, and they
knew their father was not there. Then he rolled it toward the Sunland,
and it did not return. "Our father is there," said the Wild Boy,
"let us go and find him." So the two brothers set off toward the east,
and after traveling a long time they came upon Kana'ti walking along
with a little dog by his side. "You bad boys," said their father,
"have you come here?" "Yes," they answered, "we always accomplish what
we start out to do--we are men." "This dog overtook me four days ago,"
then said Kana'ti, but the boys knew that the dog was the wheel which
they had sent after him to find him. "Well," said Kana'ti, "as you have
found me, we may as well travel together, but I shall take the lead."

Soon they came to a swamp, and Kana'ti told them there was something
dangerous there and they must keep away from it. He went on ahead,
but as soon as he was out of sight the Wild Boy said to his brother,
"Come and let us see what is in the swamp." They went in together, and
in the middle of the swamp they found a large panther asleep. The Wild
Boy got out an arrow and shot the panther in the side of the head. The
panther turned his head and the other boy shot him on that side. He
turned his head away again and the two brothers shot together--tust,
tust, tust! But the panther was not hurt by the arrows and paid no more
attention to the boys. They came out of the swamp and soon overtook
Kana'ti, waiting for them. "Did you find it?" asked Kana'ti. "Yes,"
said the boys, "we found it, but it never hurt us. We are men." Kana'ti
was surprised, but said nothing, and they went on again.

After a while he turned to them and said, "Now you must be careful. We
are coming to a tribe called the Anada'dûñtaski ("Roasters," i. e.,
cannibals), and if they get you they will put you into a pot and feast
on you." Then he went on ahead. Soon the boys came to a tree which
had been struck by lightning, and the Wild Boy directed his brother to
gather some of the splinters from the tree and told him what to do with
them. In a little while they came to the settlement of the cannibals,
who, as soon as they saw the boys, came running out, crying, "Good,
here are two nice fat strangers. Now we'll have a grand feast!" They
caught the boys and dragged them into the townhouse, and sent word
to all the people of the settlement to come to the feast. They made
up a great fire, put water into a large pot and set it to boiling,
and then seized the Wild Boy and put him down into it. His brother
was not in the least frightened and made no attempt to escape, but
quietly knelt down and began putting the splinters into the fire,
as if to make it burn better. When the cannibals thought the meat
was about ready they lifted the pot from the fire, and that instant
a blinding light filled the townhouse, and the lightning began to
dart from one side to the other, striking down the cannibals until
not one of them was left alive. Then the lightning went up through
the smoke-hole, and the next moment there were the two boys standing
outside the townhouse as though nothing had happened. They went on and
soon met Kana'ti, who seemed much surprised to see them, and said,
"What! are you here again?" "O, yes, we never give up. We are great
men!" "What did the cannibals do to you?" "We met them and they brought
us to their townhouse, but they never hurt us." Kana'ti said nothing
more, and they went on.

He soon got out of sight of the boys, but they kept on until they
came to the end of the world, where the sun comes out. The sky was
just coming down when they got there, but they waited until it went
up again, and then they went through and climbed up on the other
side. There they found Kana'ti and Selu sitting together. The old
folk received them kindly and were glad to see them, telling them
they might stay there a while, but then they must go to live where
the sun goes down. The boys stayed with their parents seven days and
then went on toward the Darkening land, where they are now. We call
them Anisga'ya Tsunsdi' (The Little Men), and when they talk to each
other we hear low rolling thunder in the west.

After Kana'ti's boys had let the deer out from the cave where their
father used to keep them, the hunters tramped about in the woods for
a long time without finding any game, so that the people were very
hungry. At last they heard that the Thunder Boys were now living in
the far west, beyond the sun door, and that if they were sent for
they could bring back the game. So they sent messengers for them,
and the boys came and sat down in the middle of the townhouse and
began to sing.

At the first song there was a roaring sound like a strong wind in
the northwest, and it grew louder and nearer as the boys sang on,
until at the seventh song a whole herd of deer, led by a large buck,
came out from the woods. The boys had told the people to be ready with
their bows and arrows, and when the song was ended and all the deer
were close around the townhouse, the hunters shot into them and killed
as many as they needed before the herd could get back into the timber.

Then the Thunder Boys went back to the Darkening land, but before they
left they taught the people the seven songs with which to call up the
deer. It all happened so long ago that the songs are now forgotten--all
but two, which the hunters still sing whenever they go after deer.


After the world had been brought up from under the water, "They then
made a man and a woman and led them around the edge of the island. On
arriving at the starting place they planted some corn, and then told
the man and woman to go around the way they had been led. This they
did, and on returning they found the corn up and growing nicely. They
were then told to continue the circuit. Each trip consumed more
time. At last the corn was ripe and ready for use."

Another story is told of how sin came into the world. A man and a
woman reared a large family of children in comfort and plenty, with
very little trouble about providing food for them. Every morning the
father went forth and very soon returned bringing with him a deer,
or a turkey, or some other animal or fowl. At the same time the mother
went out and soon returned with a large basket filled with ears of corn
which she shelled and pounded in a mortar, thus making meal for bread.

When the children grew up, seeing with what apparent ease food was
provided for them, they talked to each other about it, wondering that
they never saw such things as their parents brought in. At last one
proposed to watch when their parents went out and to follow them.

Accordingly next morning the plan was carried out. Those who followed
the father saw him stop at a short distance from the cabin and turn
over a large stone that appeared to be carelessly leaned against
another. On looking closely they saw an entrance to a large cave,
and in it were many different kinds of animals and birds, such as
their father had sometimes brought in for food. The man standing at
the entrance called a deer, which was lying at some distance and back
of some other animals. It rose immediately as it heard the call and
came close up to him. He picked it up, closed the mouth of the cave,
and returned, not once seeming to suspect what his sons had done.

When the old man was fairly out of sight, his sons, rejoicing how
they had outwitted him, left their hiding place and went to the cave,
saying they would show the old folks that they, too, could bring in
something. They moved the stone away, though it was very heavy and
they were obliged to use all their united strength. When the cave
was opened, the animals, instead of waiting to be picked up, all
made a rush for the entrance, and leaping past the frightened and
bewildered boys, scattered in all directions and disappeared in the
wilderness, while the guilty offenders could do nothing but gaze in
stupefied amazement as they saw them escape. There were animals of
all kinds, large and small--buffalo, deer, elk, antelope, raccoons,
and squirrels; even catamounts and panthers, wolves and foxes,
and many others, all fleeing together. At the same time birds of
every kind were seen emerging from the opening, all in the same wild
confusion as the quadrupeds--turkeys, geese, swans, ducks, quails,
eagles, hawks, and owls.

Those who followed the mother saw her enter a small cabin, which
they had never seen before, and close the door. The culprits found a
small crack through which they could peer. They saw the woman place
a basket on the ground and standing over it shake herself vigorously,
jumping up and down, when lo and behold! large ears of corn began to
fall into the basket. When it was well filled she took it up and,
placing it on her head, came out, fastened the door, and prepared
their breakfast as usual. When the meal had been finished in silence
the man spoke to his children, telling them that he was aware of
what they had done; that now he must die and they would be obliged
to provide for themselves. He made bows and arrows for them, then
sent them to hunt for the animals which they had turned loose.

Then the mother told them that as they had found out her secret she
could do nothing more for them; that she would die, and they must drag
her body around over the ground; that wherever her body was dragged
corn would come up. Of this they were to make their bread. She told
them that they must always save some for seed and plant every year.


In the old days the beasts, birds, fishes, insects, and plants
could all talk, and they and the people lived together in peace and
friendship. But as time went on the people increased so rapidly that
their settlements spread over the whole earth, and the poor animals
found themselves beginning to be cramped for room. This was bad enough,
but to make it worse Man invented bows, knives, blowguns, spears,
and hooks, and began to slaughter the larger animals, birds, and
fishes for their flesh or their skins, while the smaller creatures,
such as the frogs and worms, were crushed and trodden upon without
thought, out of pure carelessness or contempt. So the animals resolved
to consult upon measures for their common safety.

The Bears were the first to meet in council in their townhouse under
Kuwâ'hi mountain, the "Mulberry place," and the old White Bear chief
presided. After each in turn had complained of the way in which Man
killed their friends, ate their flesh, and used their skins for his
own purposes, it was decided to begin war at once against him. Some
one asked what weapons Man used to destroy them. "Bows and arrows,
of course," cried all the Bears in chorus. "And what are they made
of?" was the next question. "The bow of wood, and the string of our
entrails," replied one of the Bears. It was then proposed that they
make a bow and some arrows and see if they could not use the same
weapons against Man himself. So one Bear got a nice piece of locust
wood and another sacrificed himself for the good of the rest in order
to furnish a piece of his entrails for the string. But when everything
was ready and the first Bear stepped up to make the trial, it was
found that in letting the arrow fly after drawing back the bow, his
long claws caught the string and spoiled the shot. This was annoying,
but some one suggested that they might trim his claws, which was
accordingly done, and on a second trial it was found that the arrow
went straight to the mark. But here the chief, the old White Bear,
objected, saying it was necessary that they should have long claws in
order to be able to climb trees. "One of us has already died to furnish
the bow-string, and if we now cut off our claws we must all starve
together. It is better to trust to the teeth and claws that nature
gave us, for it is plain that man's weapons were not intended for us."

No one could think of any better plan, so the old chief dismissed
the council and the Bears dispersed to the woods and thickets without
having concerted any way to prevent the increase of the human race. Had
the result of the council been otherwise, we should now be at war
with the Bears, but as it is, the hunter does not even ask the Bear's
pardon when he kills one.

The Deer next held a council under their chief, the Little Deer,
and after some talk decided to send rheumatism to every hunter who
should kill one of them unless he took care to ask their pardon
for the offense. They sent notice of their decision to the nearest
settlement of Indians and told them at the same time what to do when
necessity forced them to kill one of the Deer tribe. Now, whenever the
hunter shoots a Deer, the Little Deer, who is swift as the wind and
can not be wounded, runs quickly up to the spot and, bending over the
blood-stains, asks the spirit of the Deer if it has heard the prayer
of the hunter for pardon. If the reply be "Yes," all is well, and the
Little Deer goes on his way; but if the reply be "No," he follows on
the trail of the hunter, guided by the drops of blood on the ground,
until he arrives at his cabin in the settlement, when the Little Deer
enters invisibly and strikes the hunter with rheumatism, so that he
becomes at once a helpless cripple. No hunter who has regard for his
health ever fails to ask pardon of the Deer for killing it, although
some hunters who have not learned the prayer may try to turn aside
the Little Deer from his pursuit by building a fire behind them in
the trail.

Next came the Fishes and Reptiles, who had their own complaints
against Man. They held their council together and determined to make
their victims dream of snakes twining about them in slimy folds and
blowing foul breath in their faces, or to make them dream of eating
raw or decaying fish, so that they would lose appetite, sicken,
and die. This is why people dream about snakes and fish.

Finally the Birds, Insects, and smaller animals came together for
the same purpose, and the Grubworm was chief of the council. It was
decided that each in turn should give an opinion, and then they would
vote on the question as to whether or not Man was guilty. Seven votes
should be enough to condemn him. One after another denounced Man's
cruelty and injustice toward the other animals and voted in favor
of his death. The Frog spoke first, saying: "We must do something
to check the increase of the race, or people will become so numerous
that we shall be crowded from off the earth. See how they have kicked
me about because I'm ugly, as they say, until my back is covered
with sores;" and here he showed the spots on his skin. Next came
the Bird--no one remembers now which one it was--who condemned Man
"because he burns my feet off," meaning the way in which the hunter
barbecues birds by impaling them on a stick set over the fire, so
that their feathers and tender feet are singed off. Others followed
in the same strain. The Ground-squirrel alone ventured to say a good
word for Man, who seldom hurt him because he was so small, but this
made the others so angry that they fell upon the Ground-squirrel and
tore him with their claws, and the stripes are on his back to this day.

They began then to devise and name so many new diseases, one after
another, that had not their invention at last failed them, no one
of the human race would have been able to survive. The Grubworm grew
constantly more pleased as the name of each disease was called off,
until at last they reached the end of the list, when some one proposed
to make menstruation sometimes fatal to women. On this he rose up in
his place and cried: "Wadâñ'! [Thanks!] I'm glad some more of them
will die, for they are getting so thick that they tread on me." The
thought fairly made him shake with joy, so that he fell over backward
and could not get on his feet again, but had to wriggle off on his
back, as the Grubworm has done ever since.

When the Plants, who were friendly to Man, heard what had been done by
the animals, they determined to defeat the latters' evil designs. Each
Tree, Shrub, and Herb, down even to the Grasses and Mosses, agreed
to furnish a cure for some one of the diseases named, and each said:
"I shall appear to help Man when he calls upon me in his need." Thus
came medicine; and the plants, every one of which has its use if we
only knew it, furnish the remedy to counteract the evil wrought by
the revengeful animals. Even weeds were made for some good purpose,
which we must find out for ourselves. When the doctor does not know
what medicine to use for a sick man the spirit of the plant tells him.


The Sun lived on the other side of the sky vault, but her daughter
lived in the middle of the sky, directly above the earth, and every
day as the Sun was climbing along the sky arch to the west she used
to stop at her daughter's house for dinner.

Now, the Sun hated the people on the earth, because they could
never look straight at her without screwing up their faces. She
said to her brother, the Moon, "My grandchildren are ugly; they
grin all over their faces when they look at me." But the Moon said,
"I like my younger brothers; I think they are very handsome"--because
they always smiled pleasantly when they saw him in the sky at night,
for his rays were milder.

The Sun was jealous and planned to kill all the people, so every
day when she got near her daughter's house she sent down such sultry
rays that there was a great fever and the people died by hundreds,
until everyone had lost some friend and there was fear that no one
would be left. They went for help to the Little Men, who said the
only way to save themselves was to kill the Sun.

The Little Men made medicine and changed two men to snakes, the
Spreading-adder and the Copperhead, and sent them to watch near the
door of the daughter of the Sun to bite the old Sun when she came next
day. They went together and hid near the house until the Sun came,
but when the Spreading-adder was about to spring, the bright light
blinded him and he could only spit out yellow slime, as he does to
this day when he tries to bite. She called him a nasty thing and went
by into the house, and the Copperhead crawled off without trying to
do anything.

So the people still died from the heat, and they went to the Little Men
a second time for help. The Little Men made medicine again and changed
one man into the great Uktena and another into the Rattlesnake and sent
them to watch near the house and kill the old Sun when she came for
dinner. They made the Uktena very large, with horns on his head, and
everyone thought he would be sure to do the work, but the Rattlesnake
was so quick and eager that he got ahead and coiled up just outside the
house, and when the Sun's daughter opened the door to look out for her
mother, he sprang up and bit her and she fell dead in the doorway. He
forgot to wait for the old Sun, but went back to the people, and the
Uktena was so very angry that he went back, too. Since then we pray
to the rattlesnake and do not kill him, because he is kind and never
tries to bite if we do not disturb him. The Uktena grew angrier all
the time and very dangerous, so that if he even looked at a man, that
man's family would die. After a long time the people held a council
and decided that he was too dangerous to be with them, so they sent
him up to Galûñ'lati, and he is there now. The Spreading-adder,
the Copperhead, the Rattlesnake, and the Uktena were all men.

When the Sun found her daughter dead, she went into the house and
grieved, and the people did not die any more, but now the world was
dark all the time, because the Sun would not come out. They went again
to the Little Men, and these told them that if they wanted the Sun
to come out again they must bring back her daughter from Tsûsginâ'i,
the Ghost country, in Usûñhi'yi, the Darkening land in the west. They
chose seven men to go, and gave each a sourwood rod a hand-breadth
long. The Little Men told them they must take a box with them,
and when they got to Tsûsginâ'i they would find all the ghosts at a
dance. They must stand outside the circle, and when the young woman
passed in the dance they must strike her with the rods and she would
fall to the ground. Then they must put her into the box and bring her
back to her mother, but they must be very sure not to open the box,
even a little way, until they were home again.

They took the rods and a box and traveled seven days to the west
until they came to the Darkening land. There were a great many people
there, and they were having a dance just as if they were at home in
the settlements. The young woman was in the outside circle, and as
she swung around to where the seven men were standing, one struck her
with his rod and she turned her head and saw him. As she came around
the second time another touched her with his rod, and then another
and another, until at the seventh round she fell out of the ring,
and they put her into the box and closed the lid fast. The other
ghosts seemed never to notice what had happened.

They took up the box and started home toward the east. In a little
while the girl came to life again and begged to be let out of the
box, but they made no answer and went on. Soon she called again and
said she was hungry, but still they made no answer and went on. After
another while she spoke again and called for a drink and pleaded so
that it was very hard to listen to her, but the men who carried the
box said nothing and still went on. When at last they were very near
home, she called again and begged them to raise the lid just a little,
because she was smothering. They were afraid she was really dying now,
so they lifted the lid a little to give her air, but as they did so
there was a fluttering sound inside and something flew past them into
the thicket and they heard a redbird cry, "kwish! kwish! kwish!" in the
bushes. They shut down the lid and went on again to the settlements,
but when they got there and opened the box it was empty.

So we know the Redbird is the daughter of the Sun, and if the men had
kept the box closed, as the Little Men told them to do, they would
have brought her home safely, and we could bring back our other
friends also from the Ghost country, but now when they die we can
never bring them back.

The Sun had been glad when they started to the Ghost country, but
when they came back without her daughter she grieved and cried, "My
daughter, my daughter," and wept until her tears made a flood upon the
earth, and the people were afraid the world would be drowned. They
held another council, and sent their handsomest young men and women
to amuse her so that she would stop crying. They danced before the
Sun and sang their best songs, but for a long time she kept her face
covered and paid no attention, until at last the drummer suddenly
changed the song, when she lifted up her face, and was so pleased at
the sight that she forgot her grief and smiled.


In the beginning of the world, when people and animals were all the
same, there was only one tobacco plant, to which they all came for
their tobacco until the Dagûl`kû geese stole it and carried it far
away to the south. The people were suffering without it, and there
was one old woman who grew so thin and weak that everybody said she
would soon die unless she could get tobacco to keep her alive.

Different animals offered to go for it, one after another, the
larger ones first and then the smaller ones, but the Dagûl`kû saw
and killed every one before he could get to the plant. After the
others the little Mole tried to reach it by going under the ground,
but the Dagûl`kû saw his track and killed him as he came out.

At last the Hummingbird offered, but the others said he was entirely
too small and might as well stay at home. He begged them to let him
try, so they showed him a plant in a field and told him to let them
see how he would go about it. The next moment he was gone and they
saw him sitting on the plant, and then in a moment he was back again,
but no one had seen him going or coming, because he was so swift. "This
is the way I'll do," said the Hummingbird, so they let him try.

He flew off to the east, and when he came in sight of the tobacco
the Dagûl`kû were watching all about it, but they could not see him
because he was so small and flew so swiftly. He darted down on the
plant--tsa!--and snatched off the top with the leaves and seeds, and
was off again before the Dagûl`kû knew what had happened. Before he got
home with the tobacco the old woman had fainted and they thought she
was dead, but he blew the smoke into her nostrils, and with a cry of
"Tsâ'lû! [Tobacco!]" she opened her eyes and was alive again.


The people had tobacco in the beginning, but they had used it all, and
there was great suffering for want of it. There was one old man so old
that he had to be kept alive by smoking, and as his son did not want
to see him die he decided to go himself to try and get some more. The
tobacco country was far in the south, with high mountains all around
it, and the passes were guarded, so that it was very hard to get into
it, but the young man was a conjurer and was not afraid. He traveled
southward until he came to the mountains on the border of the tobacco
country. Then he opened his medicine bag and took out a hummingbird
skin and put it over himself like a dress. Now he was a hummingbird
and flew over the mountains to the tobacco field and pulled some of
the leaves and seed and put them into his medicine bag. He was so
small and swift that the guards, whoever they were, did not see him,
and when he had taken as much as he could carry he flew back over the
mountains in the same way. Then he took off the hummingbird skin and
put it into his medicine bag, and was a man again. He started home,
and on his way came to a tree that had a hole in the trunk, like a
door, near the first branches, and a very pretty woman was looking
out from it. He stopped and tried to climb the tree, but although he
was a good climber he found that he always slipped back. He put on
a pair of medicine moccasins from his pouch, and then he could climb
the tree, but when he reached the first branches he looked up and the
hole was still as far away as before. He climbed higher and higher,
but every time he looked up the hole seemed to be farther than before,
until at last he was tired and came down again. When he reached home
he found his father very weak, but still alive, and one draw at the
pipe made him strong again. The people planted the seed and have had
tobacco ever since.


A long time ago several young men made up their minds to find the
place where the Sun lives and see what the Sun is like. They got
ready their bows and arrows, their parched corn and extra moccasins,
and started out toward the east. At first they met tribes they knew,
then they came to tribes they had only heard about, and at last to
others of which they had never heard.

There was a tribe of root eaters and another of acorn eaters, with
great piles of acorn shells near their houses. In one tribe they
found a sick man dying, and were told it was the custom there when
a man died to bury his wife in the same grave with him. They waited
until he was dead, when they saw his friends lower the body into a
great pit, so deep and dark that from the top they could not see the
bottom. Then a rope was tied around the woman's body, together with
a bundle of pine knots, a lighted pine knot was put into her hand,
and she was lowered into the pit to die there in the darkness after
the last pine knot was burned.

The young men traveled on until they came at last to the sunrise
place where the sky reaches down to the ground. They found that the
sky was an arch or vault of solid rock hung above the earth and was
always swinging up and down, so that when it went up there was an
open place like a door between the sky and ground, and when it swung
back the door was shut. The Sun came out of this door from the east
and climbed along on the inside of the arch. It had a human figure,
but was too bright for them to see clearly and too hot to come very
near. They waited until the Sun had come out and then tried to get
through while the door was still open, but just as the first one was
in the doorway the rock came down and crushed him. The other six were
afraid to try it, and as they were now at the end of the world they
turned around and started back again, but they had traveled so far
that they were old men when they reached home.


The Sun was a young woman and lived in the East, while her brother,
the Moon, lived in the West. The girl had a lover who used to come
every month in the dark of the moon to court her. He would come at
night, and leave before daylight, and although she talked with him
she could not see his face in the dark, and he would not tell her his
name, until she was wondering all the time who it could be. At last
she hit upon a plan to find out, so the next time he came, as they were
sitting together in the dark of the âsi, she slyly dipped her hand into
the cinders and ashes of the fireplace and rubbed it over his face,
saying, "Your face is cold; you must have suffered from the wind,"
and pretending to be very sorry for him, but he did not know that she
had ashes on her hand. After a while he left her and went away again.

The next night when the Moon came up in the sky his face was covered
with spots, and then his sister knew he was the one who had been
coming to see her. He was so much ashamed to have her know it that
he kept as far away as he could at the other end of the sky all the
night. Ever since he tries to keep a long way behind the Sun, and
when he does sometimes have to come near her in the west he makes
himself as thin as a ribbon so that he can hardly be seen.

Some old people say that the moon is a ball which was thrown up
against the sky in a game a long time ago. They say that two towns were
playing against each other, but one of them had the best runners and
had almost won the game, when the leader of the other side picked up
the ball with his hand--a thing that is not allowed in the game--and
tried to throw it to the goal, but it struck against the solid sky
vault and was fastened there, to remind players never to cheat. When
the moon looks small and pale it is because some one has handled the
ball unfairly, and for this reason they formerly played only at the
time of a full moon.

When the sun or moon is eclipsed it is because a great frog up in the
sky is trying to swallow it. Everybody knows this, even the Creeks
and the other tribes, and in the olden times, eighty or a hundred
years ago, before the great medicine men were all dead, whenever they
saw the sun grow dark the people would come together and fire guns
and beat the drum, and in a little while this would frighten off the
great frog and the sun would be all right again.

The common people call both Sun and Moon Nûñda, one being "Nûñda that
dwells in the day" and the other "Nûñda that dwells in the night,"
but the priests call the Sun Su'talidihi', "Six-killer," and the
Moon Ge'`yagu'ga, though nobody knows now what this word means, or
why they use these names. Sometimes people ask the Moon not to let
it rain or snow.

The great Thunder and his sons, the two Thunder boys, live far in the
west above the sky vault. The lightning and the rainbow are their
beautiful dress. The priests pray to the Thunder and call him the
Red Man, because that is the brightest color of his dress. There are
other Thunders that live lower down, in the cliffs and mountains,
and under waterfalls, and travel on invisible bridges from one high
peak to another where they have their town houses. The great Thunders
above the sky are kind and helpful when we pray to them, but these
others are always plotting mischief. One must not point at the rainbow,
or one's finger will swell at the lower joint.


There are different opinions about the stars. Some say they are balls
of light, others say they are human, but most people say they are
living creatures covered with luminous fur or feathers.

One night a hunting party camping in the mountains noticed two lights
like large stars moving along the top of a distant ridge. They wondered
and watched until the light disappeared on the other side. The next
night, and the next, they saw the lights again moving along the ridge,
and after talking over the matter decided to go on the morrow and try
to learn the cause. In the morning they started out and went until they
came to the ridge, where, after searching some time, they found two
strange creatures about so large (making a circle with outstretched
arms), with round bodies covered with fine fur or downy feathers,
from which small heads stuck out like the heads of terrapins. As the
breeze played upon these feathers showers of sparks flew out.

The hunters carried the strange creatures back to the camp, intending
to take them home to the settlements on their return. They kept them
several days and noticed that every night they would grow bright and
shine like great stars, although by day they were only balls of gray
fur, except when the wind stirred and made the sparks fly out. They
kept very quiet, and no one thought of their trying to escape, when,
on the seventh night, they suddenly rose from the ground like balls
of fire and were soon above the tops of the trees. Higher and higher
they went, while the wondering hunters watched, until at last they
were only two bright points of light in the dark sky, and then the
hunters knew that they were stars.


Long ago, when the world was new, there were seven boys who used to
spend all their time down by the townhouse playing the gatayû'sti game,
rolling a stone wheel along the ground and sliding a curved stick
after it to strike it. Their mothers scolded, but it did no good,
so one day they collected some gatayû'sti stones and boiled them in
the pot with the corn for dinner. When the boys came home hungry their
mothers dipped out the stones and said, "Since you like the gatayû'sti
better than the cornfield, take the stones now for your dinner."

The boys were very angry, and went down to the townhouse, saying,
"As our mothers treat us this way, let us go where we shall never
trouble them any more." They began a dance--some say it was the Feather
dance--and went round and round the townhouse, praying to the spirits
to help them. At last their mothers were afraid something was wrong
and went out to look for them. They saw the boys still dancing around
the townhouse, and as they watched they noticed that their feet were
off the earth, and that with every round they rose higher and higher
in the air. They ran to get their children, but it was too late,
for they were already above the roof of the townhouse--all but one,
whose mother managed to pull him down with the gatayû'sti pole,
but he struck the ground with such force that he sank into it and
the earth closed over him.

The other six circled higher and higher until they went up to the sky,
where we see them now as the Pleiades, which the Cherokee still call
Ani'tsutsa (The Boys). The people grieved long after them, but the
mother whose boy had gone into the ground came every morning and
every evening to cry over the spot until the earth was damp with
her tears. At last a little green shoot sprouted up and grew day by
day until it became the tall tree that we call now the pine, and the
pine is of the same nature as the stars and holds in itself the same
bright light.


Some people in the south had a corn mill, in which they pounded the
corn into meal, and several mornings when they came to fill it they
noticed that some of the meal had been stolen during the night. They
examined the ground and found the tracks of a dog, so the next night
they watched, and when the dog came from the north and began to eat
the meal out of the bowl they sprang out and whipped him. He ran off
howling to his home in the north, with the meal dropping from his
mouth as he ran, and leaving behind a white trail where now we see the
Milky Way, which the Cherokee call to this day Gi`li'-utsûñ'stanûñ'yi,
"Where the dog ran."


When the first man was created and a mate was given to him, they lived
together very happily for a time, but then began to quarrel, until at
last the woman left her husband and started off toward Nûñdâgûñ'yi,
the Sun land, in the east. The man followed alone and grieving,
but the woman kept on steadily ahead and never looked behind, until
Une'`lanûñ'hi, the great Apportioner (the Sun), took pity on him and
asked him if he was still angry with his wife. He said he was not,
and Une'`lanûñ'hi then asked him if he would like to have her back
again, to which he eagerly answered yes.

So Une'`lanûñ'hi caused a patch of the finest ripe huckleberries to
spring up along the path in front of the woman, but she passed by
without paying any attention to them. Farther on he put a clump of
blackberries, but these also she refused to notice. Other fruits,
one, two, and three, and then some trees covered with beautiful red
service berries, were placed beside the path to tempt her, but she
still went on until suddenly she saw in front a patch of large ripe
strawberries, the first ever known. She stooped to gather a few to
eat, and as she picked them she chanced to turn her face to the west,
and at once the memory of her husband came back to her and she found
herself unable to go on. She sat down, but the longer she waited the
stronger became her desire for her husband, and at last she gathered
a bunch of the finest berries and started back along the path to give
them to him. He met her kindly and they went home together.


A long time ago the people of the old town of Kanu'ga`lâ'yi ("Brier
place," or Briertown), on Nantahala river, in the present Macon county,
North Carolina, were much annoyed by a great insect called U'la`gû',
as large as a house, which used to come from some secret hiding place,
and darting swiftly through the air, would snap up children from their
play and carry them away. It was unlike any other insect ever known,
and the people tried many times to track it to its home, but it was
too swift to be followed.

They killed a squirrel and tied a white string to it, so that its
course could be followed with the eye, as bee hunters follow the flight
of a bee to its tree. The U'la`gû' came and carried off the squirrel
with the string hanging to it, but darted away so swiftly through the
air that it was out of sight in a moment. They killed a turkey and
put a longer white string to it, and the U'la`gû' came and took the
turkey, but was gone again before they could see in what direction it
flew. They took a deer ham and tied a white string to it, and again
the U'la`gû' swooped down and bore it off so swiftly that it could
not be followed. At last they killed a yearling deer and tied a very
long white string to it. The U'la`gû' came again and seized the deer,
but this time the load was so heavy that it had to fly slowly and so
low down that the string could be plainly seen.

The hunters got together for the pursuit. They followed it along a
ridge to the east until they came near where Franklin now is, when,
on looking across the valley to the other side, they saw the nest of
the U'la`gû' in a large cave in the rocks. On this they raised a great
shout and made their way rapidly down the mountain and across to the
cave. The nest had the entrance below with tiers of cells built up one
above another to the roof of the cave. The great U'la`gû' was there,
with thousands of smaller ones, that we now call yellow-jackets. The
hunters built fires around the hole, so that the smoke filled the cave
and smothered the great insect and multitudes of the smaller ones,
but others which were outside the cave were not killed, and these
escaped and increased until now the yellow-jackets, which before were
unknown, are all over the world. The people called the cave Tsgâgûñ'yi,
"Where the yellow-jacket was," and the place from which they first
saw the nest they called A`tahi'ta, "Where they shouted," and these
are their names today.

They say also that all the fish and frogs came from a great monster
fish and frog which did much damage until at last they were killed by
the people, who cut them up into little pieces which were thrown into
the water and afterward took shape as the smaller fishes and frogs.


A long time ago a man had a dog, which began to go down to the river
every day and look at the water and howl. At last the man was angry
and scolded the dog, which then spoke to him and said: "Very soon
there is going to be a great freshet and the water will come so high
that everybody will be drowned; but if you will make a raft to get
upon when the rain comes you can be saved, but you must first throw
me into the water." The man did not believe it, and the dog said,
"If you want a sign that I speak the truth, look at the back of my
neck." He looked and saw that the dog's neck had the skin worn off
so that the bones stuck out.

Then he believed the dog, and began to build a raft. Soon the rain
came and he took his family, with plenty of provisions, and they
all got upon it. It rained for a long time, and the water rose
until the mountains were covered and all the people in the world
were drowned. Then the rain stopped and the waters went down again,
until at last it was safe to come off the raft. Now there was no one
alive but the man and his family, but one day they heard a sound of
dancing and shouting on the other side of the ridge. The man climbed
to the top and looked over; everything was still, but all along the
valley he saw great piles of bones of the people who had been drowned,
and then he knew that the ghosts had been dancing.

Quadruped Myths


In Cherokee mythology, as in that of Indian tribes generally, there
is no essential difference between men and animals. In the primal
genesis period they seem to be completely undifferentiated, and we
find all creatures alike living and working together in harmony and
mutual helpfulness until man, by his aggressiveness and disregard for
the rights of the others, provokes their hostility, when insects,
birds, fishes, reptiles, and fourfooted beasts join forces against
him (see story, "Origin of Disease and Medicine"). Henceforth their
lives are apart, but the difference is always one of degree only. The
animals, like the people, are organized into tribes and have like
them their chiefs and townhouses, their councils and ballplays,
and the same hereafter in the Darkening land of Usûñhi'yi. Man is
still the paramount power, and hunts and slaughters the others as
his own necessities compel, but is obliged to satisfy the animal
tribes in every instance, very much as a murder is compounded for,
according to the Indian system, by "covering the bones of the dead"
with presents for the bereaved relatives.

This pardon to the hunter is made the easier through a peculiar
doctrine of reincarnation, according to which, as explained by the
shamans, there is assigned to every animal a definite life term
which can not be curtailed by violent means. If it is killed before
the expiration of the allotted time the death is only temporary and
the body is immediately resurrected in its proper shape from the
blood drops, and the animal continues its existence until the end
of the predestined period, when the body is finally dissolved and
the liberated spirit goes to join its kindred shades in the Darkening
land. This idea appears in the story of the bear man and in the belief
concerning the Little Deer. Death is thus but a temporary accident
and the killing a mere minor crime. By some priests it is held that
there are seven successive reanimations before the final end.

Certain supernatural personages, Kana'ti and Tsul`kalû' (see the
myths), have dominion over the animals, and are therefore regarded
as the distinctive gods of the hunter. Kana'ti at one time kept
the game animals, as well as the pestiferous insects, shut up in a
cave under ground, from which they were released by his undutiful
sons. The primeval animals--the actors in the animal myths and the
predecessors of the existing species--are believed to have been
much larger, stronger, and cleverer than their successors of the
present day. In these myths we find the Indian explanation of certain
peculiarities of form, color, or habit, and the various animals are
always consistently represented as acting in accordance with their
well-known characteristics.

First and most prominent in the animal myths is the Rabbit (Tsistu),
who figures always as a trickster and deceiver, generally malicious,
but often beaten at his own game by those whom he had intended
to victimize. The connection of the rabbit with the dawn god and
the relation of the Indian myths to the stories current among the
southern negroes are discussed in another place. Ball players while
in training are forbidden to eat the flesh of the rabbit, because
this animal so easily becomes confused in running. On the other hand,
their spies seek opportunity to strew along the path which must be
taken by their rivals a soup made of rabbit hamstrings, with the
purpose Of rendering them timorous in action.

In a ball game between the birds and the fourfooted animals (see
story) the Bat, which took sides with the birds, is said to have won
the victory for his party by his superior dodging abilities. For
this reason the wings or sometimes the stuffed skin of the bat
are tied to the implements used in the game to insure success for
the players. According to the same myth the Flying Squirrel (Tewa)
also aided in securing the victory, and hence both these animals
are still invoked by the ball player. The meat of the common gray
squirrel (salâ'li) is forbidden to rheumatic patients, on account of
the squirrel's habit of assuming a cramped position when eating. The
stripes upon the back of the ground squirrel (kiyu'`ga) are the mark
of scratches made by the angry animals at a memorable council in
which he took it upon himself to say a good word for the archenemy,
Man (see "Origin of Disease and Medicine"). The peculiarities of the
mink (sûñgi) are accounted for by another story.

The buffalo, the largest game animal of America, was hunted in the
southern Allegheny region until almost the close of the last century,
the particular species being probably that known in the West as
the wood or mountain buffalo. The name in use among the principal
gulf tribes was practically the same, and can not be analyzed,
viz, Cherokee, yûñsû'; Hichitee, ya'nasi; Creek, yena'sa; Choctaw,
yanash. Although the flesh of the buffalo was eaten, its skin dressed
for blankets and bed coverings, its long hair woven into belts, and
its horns carved into spoons, it is yet strangely absent from Cherokee
folklore. So far as is known it is mentioned in but a single one of
the sacred formulas, in which a person under treatment for rheumatism
is forbidden to eat the meat, touch the skin, or use a spoon made
from the horn of the buffalo, upon the ground of an occult connection
between the habitual cramped attitude of a rheumatic and the natural
"hump" of that animal.

The elk is known, probably by report, under the name of a`wi' e'gwa,
"great deer", but there is no myth or folklore in connection with it.

The deer, a`wi', which is still common in the mountains, was the
principal dependence of the Cherokee hunter, and is consequently
prominent in myth, folklore, and ceremonial. One of the seven gentes of
the tribe is named from it (Ani'-Kawi', "Deer People"). According to a
myth given elsewhere, the deer won his horns in a successful race with
the rabbit. Rheumatism is usually ascribed to the work of revengeful
deer ghosts, which the hunter has neglected to placate, while on
the other hand the aid of the deer is invoked against frostbite,
as its feet are believed to be immune from injury by frost. The
wolf, the fox, and the opossum are also invoked for this purpose,
and for the same reason. When the redroot (Ceanothus americanus)
puts forth its leaves the people say the young fawns are then in the
mountains. On killing a deer the hunter always cuts out the hamstring
from the hind quarter and throws it away, for fear that if he ate it
he would thereafter tire easily in traveling.

The powerful chief of the deer tribe is the A[`]wi' Usdi', or
"Little Deer," who is invisible to all except the greatest masters
of the hunting secrets, and can be wounded only by the hunter who
has supplemented years of occult study with frequent fasts and
lonely vigils. The Little Deer keeps constant protecting watch over
his subjects, and sees well to it that not one is ever killed in
wantonness. When a deer is shot by the hunter the Little Deer knows
it at once and is instantly at the spot. Bending low his head he
asks of the blood stains upon the ground if they have heard--i. e.,
if the hunter has asked pardon for the life that he has taken. If the
formulistic prayer has been made, all is well, because the necessary
sacrifice has been atoned for; but if otherwise, the Little Deer tracks
the hunter to his house by the blood drops along the trail, and, unseen
and unsuspected, puts into his body the spirit of rheumatism that shall
rack him with aches and pains from that time henceforth. As seen at
rare intervals--perhaps once in a long lifetime--the Little Deer is
pure white and about the size of a small dog, has branching antlers,
and is always in company with a large herd of deer. Even though shot
by the master-hunter, he comes to life again, being immortal, but the
fortunate huntsman who can thus make prize of his antlers has in them
an unfailing talisman that brings him success in the chase forever
after. The smallest portion of one of those horns of the Little Deer,
when properly consecrated, attracts the deer to the hunter, and when
exposed from the wrapping dazes them so that they forget to run and
thus become an easy prey. Like the Ulûñsû'ti stone (see number 50),
it is a dangerous prize when not treated with proper respect, and
is--or was--kept always in a secret place away from the house to
guard against sacrilegious handling.

Somewhat similar talismanic power attached to the down from the young
antler of the deer when properly consecrated. So firm was the belief
that it had influence over "anything about a deer" that eighty and a
hundred years ago even white traders used to bargain with the Indians
for such charms in order to increase their store of deerskins by
drawing the trade to themselves. The faith in the existence of the
miraculous Little Deer is almost as strong and universal to-day among
the older Cherokee as is the belief in a future life.

The bears (yânû) are transformed Cherokee of the old clan of the
Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi (see story, "Origin of the Bear"). Their chief is
the White Bear, who lives at Kuwâ'hi, "Mulberry place," one of the
high peaks of the Great Smoky mountains, near to the enchanted lake
of Atagâ'hi (see number 69), to which the wounded bears go to be
cured of their hurts. Under Kuwâ'hi and each of three other peaks
in the same mountain region the bears have townhouses, where they
congregate and hold dances every fall before retiring to their dens
for the winter. Being really human, they can talk if they only would,
and once a mother bear was heard singing to her cub in words which the
hunter understood. There is one variety known as kalâs'-gûnahi'ta,
"long hams," described as a large black bear with long legs and
small feet, which is always lean, and which the hunter does not care
to shoot, possibly on account of its leanness. It is believed that
new-born cubs are hairless, like mice.

The wolf (wa'`ya) is revered as the hunter and watchdog of Kana'ti,
and the largest gens in the tribe bears the name of Ani'-wa'`ya,
"Wolf people." The ordinary Cherokee will never kill one if he can
possibly avoid it, but will let the animal go by unharmed, believing
that the kindred of a slain wolf will surely revenge his death,
and that the weapon with which the deed is done will be rendered
worthless for further shooting until cleaned and exorcised by a
medicine man. Certain persons, however, having knowledge of the proper
atonement rites, may kill wolves with impunity, and are hired for
this purpose by others who have suffered from raids upon their fish
traps or their stock. Like the eagle killer (see "The Bird Tribes"),
the professional wolf killer, after killing one of these animals,
addresses to it a prayer in which he seeks to turn aside the vengeance
of the tribe by laying the burden of blame upon the people of some
other settlement. He then unscrews the barrel of his gun and inserts
into it seven small sourwood rods heated over the fire, and allows
it to remain thus overnight in the running stream; in the morning
the rods are taken out and the barrel is thoroughly dried and cleaned.

The dog (gi`li'), although as much a part of Indian life among the
Cherokee as in other tribes, hardly appears in folklore. One myth makes
him responsible for the milky way; another represents him as driving
the wolf from the comfortable house fire and taking the place for
himself. He figures also in connection with the deluge. There is no
tradition of the introduction of the horse (sâ'gwali, asâ'gwalihû',
"a pack or burden") or of the cow (wa'`ka, from the Spanish,
vaca). The hog is called sikwa, this being originally the name of
the opossum, which somewhat resembles it in expression, and which is
now distinguished as sikwa utse'tsti, "grinning sikwa." In the same
way the sheep, another introduced animal, is called a`wi' unade'na,
"woolly deer"; the goat, a`wi' ahanu'lahi, "bearded deer," and the
mule, sâ'gwa'li digû'lanahi'ta, "long-eared horse." The cat, also
obtained from the whites, is called wesa, an attempt at the English
"pussy." When it purrs by the fireside, the children say it is counting
in Cherokee, "ta'ladu', nûñ'gi, ta'ladu', nûñ'gi," "sixteen, four,
sixteen, four." The elephant, which a few of the Cherokee have seen
in shows, is called by them kama'ma u'tanû, "great butterfly," from
the supposed resemblance of its long trunk and flapping ears to the
proboscis and wings of that insect. The anatomical peculiarities
of the opossum, of both sexes, are the subject of much curious
speculation among the Indians, many of whom believe that its young
are produced without any help from the male. It occurs in one or two
of the minor myths.

The fox (tsu'`la) is mentioned in one of the formulas, but does not
appear in the tribal folklore. The black fox is known by a different
name (inâ'li). The odor of the skunk (dila') is believed to keep off
contagious diseases, and the scent bag is therefore taken out and hung
over the doorway, a small hole being pierced in it in order that the
contents may ooze out upon the timbers. At times, as in the smallpox
epidemic of 1866, the entire body of the animal was thus hung up,
and in some cases, as an additional safeguard, the meat was cooked and
eaten and the oil rubbed over the skin of the person. The underlying
idea is that the fetid smell repels the disease spirit, and upon the
same principle the buzzard, which is so evidently superior to carrion
smells, is held to be powerful against the same diseases.

The beaver (dâ'yi), by reason of its well-known gnawing ability,
against which even the hardest wood is not proof, is invoked on behalf
of young children just getting their permanent teeth. According to the
little formula which is familiar to nearly every mother in the tribe,
when the loosened milk tooth is pulled out or drops out of itself,
the child runs with it around the house, repeating four times, "Dâ'yi,
skinta' (Beaver, put a new tooth into my jaw)" after which he throws
the tooth upon the roof of the house.

In a characteristic song formula to prevent frostbite the traveler,
before starting out on a cold winter morning, rubs his feet in the
ashes of the fire and sings a song of four verses, by means of which,
according to the Indian idea, he acquires in turn the cold-defying
powers of the wolf, deer, fox, and opossum, four animals whose feet,
it is held, are never frostbitten. After each verse he imitates the
cry and the action of the animal. The words used are archaic in form
and may be rendered "I become a real wolf," etc. The song runs:

    Tsûñ'wa'`ya-ya' (repeated four times), wa + a! (prolonged
    howl). (Imitates a wolf pawing the ground with his feet.)
    Tsûñ'-ka'wi-ye' (repeated four times),
    sauh! sauh! sauh! sauh! (Imitates call and jumping of a deer.)
    Tsûñ'-tsu'`la-ya' (repeated four times),
    gaih! gaih! gaih! gaih! (Imitates barking and scratching of a fox.)
    Tsûñ'-si'kwa-ya' (repeated four times), ki +. (Imitates the cry of
    an opossum when cornered, and throws his head back as that animal
    does when feigning death.)


The Rabbit was so boastful that he would claim to do whatever he saw
anyone else do, and so tricky that he could usually make the other
animals believe it all. Once he pretended that he could swim in the
water and eat fish just as the Otter did, and when the others told him
to prove it he fixed up a plan so that the Otter himself was deceived.

Soon afterward they met again and the Otter said, "I eat ducks
sometimes." Said the Rabbit, "Well, I eat ducks too." The Otter
challenged him to try it; so they went up along the river until they
saw several ducks in the water and managed to get near without being
seen. The Rabbit told the Otter to go first. The Otter never hesitated,
but dived from the bank and swam under water until he reached the
ducks, when he pulled one down without being noticed by the others,
and came back in the same way.

While the Otter had been under the water the Rabbit had peeled
some bark from a sapling and made himself a noose. "Now," he said,
"Just watch me;" and he dived in and swam a little way under the
water until he was nearly choking and had to come up to the top to
breathe. He went under again and came up again a little nearer to
the ducks. He took another breath and dived under, and this time he
came up among the ducks and threw the noose over the head of one and
caught it. The duck struggled hard and finally spread its wings and
flew up from the water with the Rabbit hanging on to the noose.

It flew on and on until at last the Rabbit could not hold on any
longer, but had to let go and drop. As it happened, he fell into a
tall, hollow sycamore stump without any hole at the bottom to get out
from, and there he stayed until he was so hungry that he had to eat
his own fur, as the rabbit does ever since when he is starving. After
several days, when he was very weak with hunger, he heard children
playing outside around the trees. He began to sing:

        Cut a door and look at me;
        I'm the prettiest thing you ever did see.

The children ran home and told their father, who came and began to cut
a hole in the tree. As he chopped away the Rabbit inside kept singing,
"Cut it larger, so you can see me better; I'm so pretty." They made
the hole larger, and then the Rabbit told them to stand back so that
they could take a good look as he came out. They stood away back,
and the Rabbit watched his chance and jumped out and got away.


The animals were of different sizes and wore coats of various colors
and patterns. Some wore long fur and others wore short. Some had rings
on their tails, and some had no tails at all. Some had coats of brown,
others of black or yellow. They were always disputing about their
good looks, so at last they agreed to hold a council to decide who
had the finest coat.

They had heard a great deal about the Otter, who lived so far up the
creek that he seldom came down to visit the other animals. It was said
that he had the finest coat of all, but no one knew just what it was
like, because it was a long time since anyone had seen him. They did
not even know exactly where he lived--only the general direction;
but they knew he would come to the council when the word got out.

Now the Rabbit wanted the verdict for himself, so when it began to look
as if it might go to the Otter he studied up a plan to cheat him out of
it. He asked a few sly questions until he learned what trail the Otter
would take to get to the council place. Then, without saying anything,
he went on ahead and after four days' travel he met the Otter and
knew him at once by his beautiful coat of soft dark-brown fur. The
Otter was glad to see him and asked him where he was going. "O,"
said the Rabbit, "the animals sent me to bring you to the council;
because you live so far away they were afraid you mightn't know the
road." The Otter thanked him, and they went on together.

They traveled all day toward the council ground, and at night the
Rabbit selected the camping place, because the Otter was a stranger
in that part of the country, and cut down bushes for beds and fixed
everything in good shape. The next morning they started on again. In
the afternoon the Rabbit began to pick up wood and bark as they went
along and to load it on his back. When the Otter asked what this was
for the Rabbit said it was that they might be warm and comfortable
at night. After a while, when it was near sunset, they stopped and
made their camp.

When supper was over the Rabbit got a stick and shaved it down to a
paddle. The Otter wondered and asked again what that was for.

"I have good dreams when I sleep with a paddle under my head," said
the Rabbit.

When the paddle was finished the Rabbit began to cut away the bushes
so as to make a clean trail down to the river. The Otter wondered
more and more and wanted to know what this meant.

Said the Rabbit, "This place is called Di'tatlâski'yi [The Place
Where it Rains Fire]. Sometimes it rains fire here, and the sky
looks a little that way to-night. You go to sleep and I'll sit up
and watch, and if the fire does come, as soon as you hear me shout,
you run and jump into the river. Better hang your coat on a limb over
there, so it won't get burnt."

The Otter did as he was told, and they both doubled up to go to sleep,
but the Rabbit kept awake. After a while the fire burned down to red
coals. The Rabbit called, but the Otter was fast asleep and made
no answer. In a little while he called again, but the Otter never
stirred. Then the Rabbit filled the paddle with hot coals and threw
them up into the air and shouted, "It's raining fire! It's raining

The hot coals fell all around the Otter and he jumped up. "To the
water!" cried the Rabbit, and the Otter ran and jumped into the river,
and he has lived in the water ever since.

The Rabbit took the Otter's coat and put it on, leaving his own
instead, and went on to the council. All the animals were there, every
one looking out for the Otter. At last they saw him in the distance,
and they said one to the other, "The Otter is coming!" and sent one
of the small animals to show him the best seat. They were all glad to
see him and went up in turn to welcome him, but the Otter kept his
head down, with one paw over his face. They wondered that he was so
bashful, until the Bear came up and pulled the paw away, and there
was the Rabbit with his split nose. He sprang up and started to run,
when the Bear struck at him and pulled his tail off, but the Rabbit
was too quick for them and got away.


The Possum used to have a long, bushy tail, and was so proud of it
that he combed it out every morning and sang about it at the dance,
until the Rabbit, who had had no tail since the Bear pulled it out,
became very jealous and made up his mind to play the Possum a trick.

There was to be a great council and a dance at which all the animals
were to be present. It was the Rabbit's business to send out the news,
so as he was passing the Possum's place he stopped to ask him if he
intended to be there. The Possum said he would come if he could have
a special seat, "because I have such a handsome tail that I ought to
sit where everybody can see me." The Rabbit promised to attend to it
and to send some one besides to comb and dress the Possum's tail for
the dance, so the Possum was very much pleased and agreed to come.

Then the Rabbit went over to the Cricket, who is such an expert hair
cutter that the Indians call him the barber, and told him to go next
morning and dress the Possum's tail for the dance that night. He told
the Cricket just what to do and then went on about some other mischief.

In the morning the Cricket went to the Possum's house and said he
had come to get him ready for the dance. So the Possum stretched
himself out and shut his eyes while the Cricket combed out his tail
and wrapped a red string around it to keep it smooth until night. But
all this time, as he wound the string around, he was clipping off
the hair close to the roots, and the Possum never knew it.

When it was night the Possum went to the townhouse where the dance
was to be and found the best seat ready for him, just as the Rabbit
had promised. When his turn came in the dance he loosened the
string from his tail and stepped into the middle of the floor. The
drummers began to drum and the Possum began to sing, "See my
beautiful tail." Everybody shouted and he danced around the circle
and sang again, "See what a fine color it has." They shouted again
and he danced around another time, singing, "See how it sweeps the
ground." The animals shouted more loudly than ever, and the Possum
was delighted. He danced around again and sang, "See how fine the
fur is." Then everybody laughed so long that the Possum wondered what
they meant. He looked around the circle of animals and they were all
laughing at him. Then he looked down at his beautiful tail and saw
that there was not a hair left upon it, but that it was as bare as the
tail of a lizard. He was so much astonished and ashamed that he could
not say a word, but rolled over helpless on the ground and grinned,
as the Possum does to this day when taken by surprise.


The Wildcat once caught the Rabbit and was about to kill him, when
the Rabbit begged for his life, saying: "I'm so small I would make
only a mouthful for you, but if you let me go I'll show you where you
can get a whole drove of Turkeys." So the Wildcat let him up and went
with him to where the Turkeys were.

When they came near the place the Rabbit said to the Wildcat, "Now,
you must do just as I say. Lie down as if you were dead and don't move,
even if I kick you, but when I give the word jump up and catch the
largest one there." The Wildcat agreed and stretched out as if dead,
while the Rabbit gathered some rotten wood and crumbled it over his
eyes and nose to make them look flyblown, so that the Turkeys would
think he had been dead some time.

Then the Rabbit went over to the Turkeys and said, in a sociable
way, "Here, I've found our old enemy, the Wildcat, lying dead in the
trail. Let's have a dance over him." The Turkeys were very doubtful,
but finally went with him to where the Wildcat was lying in the
road as if dead. Now, the Rabbit had a good voice and was a great
dance leader, so he said, "I'll lead the song and you dance around
him." The Turkeys thought that fine, so the Rabbit took a stick to
beat time and began to sing: "Galagi'na hasuyak', Galagi'na hasuyak'
(pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler)."

"Why do you say that?" said the old Turkey. "O, that's all right,"
said the Rabbit, "that's just the way he does, and we sing about
it." He started the song again and the Turkeys began to dance around
the Wildcat. When they had gone around several times the Rabbit said,
"Now go up and hit him, as we do in the war dance." So the Turkeys,
thinking the Wildcat surely dead, crowded in close around him and
the old gobbler kicked him. Then the Rabbit drummed hard and sang
his loudest, "Pick out the Gobbler, pick out the Gobbler," and the
Wildcat jumped up and caught the Gobbler.


The Rabbit was a great runner, and everybody knew it. No one thought
the Terrapin anything but a slow traveler, but he was a great warrior
and very boastful, and the two were always disputing about their
speed. At last they agreed to decide the matter by a race. They fixed
the day and the starting place and arranged to run across four mountain
ridges, and the one who came in first at the end was to be the winner.

The Rabbit felt so sure of it that he said to the Terrapin, "You know
you can't run. You can never win the race, so I'll give you the first
ridge and then you'll have only three to cross while I go over four."

The Terrapin said that would be all right, but that night when he went
home to his family he sent for his Terrapin friends and told them he
wanted their help. He said he knew he could not outrun the Rabbit,
but he wanted to stop the Rabbit's boasting. He explained his plan
to his friends and they agreed to help him.

When the day came all the animals were there to see the race. The
Rabbit was with them, but the Terrapin was gone ahead toward the
first ridge, as they had arranged, and they could hardly see him on
account of the long grass. The word was given and the Rabbit started
off with long jumps up the mountain, expecting to win the race before
the Terrapin could get down the other side. But before he got up the
mountain he saw the Terrapin go over the ridge ahead of him. He ran on,
and when he reached the top he looked all around, but could not see
the Terrapin on account of the long grass. He kept on down the mountain
and began to climb the second ridge, but when he looked up again there
was the Terrapin just going over the top. Now he was surprised and
made his longest jumps to catch up, but when he got to the top there
was the Terrapin away in front going over the third ridge. The Rabbit
was getting tired now and nearly out of breath, but he kept on down
the mountain and up the other ridge until he got to the top just in
time to see the Terrapin cross the fourth ridge and thus win the race.

The Rabbit could not make another jump, but fell over on the ground,
crying mi, mi, mi, mi, as the Rabbit does ever since when he is too
tired to run any more. The race was given to the Terrapin and all the
animals wondered how he could win against the Rabbit, but he kept still
and never told. It was easy enough, however, because all the Terrapin's
friends looked just alike, and he had simply posted one near the top
of each ridge to wait until the Rabbit came in sight and then climb
over and hide in the long grass. When the Rabbit came on he could not
find the Terrapin and so thought the Terrapin was ahead, and if he
had met one of the other terrapins he would have thought it the same
one because they looked so much alike. The real Terrapin had posted
himself on the fourth ridge, so as to come in at the end of the race
and be ready to answer questions if the animals suspected anything.

Because the Rabbit had to lie down and lose the race the conjurer now,
when preparing his young men for the ball play, boils a lot of rabbit
hamstrings into a soup, and sends some one at night to pour it across
the path along which the other players are to come in the morning,
so that they may become tired in the same way and lose the game. It
is not always easy to do this, because the other party is expecting
it and has watchers ahead to prevent it.


Once there was such a long spell of dry weather that there was no more
water in the creeks and springs, and the animals held a council to
see what to do about it. They decided to dig a well, and all agreed to
help except the Rabbit, who was a lazy fellow, and said, "I don't need
to dig for water. The dew on the grass is enough for me." The others
did not like this, but they went to work together and dug their well.

They noticed that the Rabbit kept sleek and lively, although it was
still dry weather and the water was getting low in the well. They said,
"That tricky Rabbit steals our water at night," so they made a wolf of
pine gum and tar and set it up by the well to scare the thief. That
night the Rabbit came, as he had been coming every night, to drink
enough to last him all next day. He saw the queer black thing by
the well and said, "Who's there?" but the tar wolf said nothing. He
came nearer, but the wolf never moved, so he grew braver and said,
"Get out of my way or I'll strike you." Still the wolf never moved
and the Rabbit came up and struck it with his paw, but the gum held
his foot and it stuck fast. Now he was angry and said, "Let me go or
I'll kick you." Still the wolf said nothing. Then the Rabbit struck
again with his hind foot, so hard that it was caught in the gum and he
could not move, and there he stuck until the animals came for water in
the morning. When they found who the thief was they had great sport
over him for a while and then got ready to kill him, but as soon as
he was unfastened from the tar wolf he managed to get away.--Wafford.


"Once upon a time there was such a severe drought that all streams
of water and all lakes were dried up. In this emergency the beasts
assembled together to devise means to procure water. It was proposed by
one to dig a well. All agreed to do so except the hare. She refused
because it would soil her tiny paws. The rest, however, dug their
well and were fortunate enough to find water. The hare beginning
to suffer and thirst, and having no right to the well, was thrown
upon her wits to procure water. She determined, as the easiest way,
to steal from the public well. The rest of the animals, surprised to
find that the hare was so well supplied with water, asked her where
she got it. She replied that she arose betimes in the morning and
gathered the dewdrops. However the wolf and the fox suspected her of
theft and hit on the following plan to detect her:

They made a wolf of tar and placed it near the well. On the following
night the hare came as usual after her supply of water. On seeing
the tar wolf she demanded who was there. Receiving no answer she
repeated the demand, threatening to kick the wolf if he did not
reply. She receiving no reply kicked the wolf, and by this means
adhered to the tar and was caught. When the fox and wolf got hold
of her they consulted what it was best to do with her. One proposed
cutting her head off. This the hare protested would be useless, as it
had often been tried without hurting her. Other methods were proposed
for dispatching her, all of which she said would be useless. At last
it was proposed to let her loose to perish in a thicket. Upon this the
hare affected great uneasiness and pleaded hard for life. Her enemies,
however, refused to listen and she was accordingly let loose. As soon,
however, as she was out of reach of her enemies she gave a whoop,
and bounding away she exclaimed: 'This is where I live.'"--Cherokee
Advocate, December 18, 1845.


The Rabbit and the Possum each wanted a wife, but no one would marry
either of them. They talked over the matter and the Rabbit said,
"We can't get wives here; let's go to the next settlement. I'm the
messenger for the council, and I'll tell the people that I bring an
order that everybody must take a mate at once, and then we'll be sure
to get our wives."

The Possum thought this a fine plan, so they started off together to
the next town. As the Rabbit traveled faster he got there first and
waited outside until the people noticed him and took him into the
townhouse. When the chief came to ask his business the Rabbit said
he brought an important order from the council that everybody must
get married without delay. So the chief called the people together
and told them the message from the council. Every animal took a mate
at once, and the Rabbit got a wife.

The Possum traveled so slowly that he got there after all the animals
had mated, leaving him still without a wife. The Rabbit pretended to
feel sorry for him and said, "Never mind, I'll carry the message to
the people in the next settlement, and you hurry on as fast as you can,
and this time you will get your wife."

So he went on to the next town, and the Possum followed close after
him. But when the Rabbit got to the townhouse he sent out the word
that, as there had been peace so long that everybody was getting lazy
the council had ordered that there must be war at once and they must
begin right in the townhouse. So they all began fighting, but the
Rabbit made four great leaps and got away just as the Possum came
in. Everybody jumped on the Possum, who had not thought of bringing
his weapons on a wedding trip, and so could not defend himself. They
had nearly beaten the life out of him when he fell over and pretended
to be dead until he saw a good chance to jump up and get away. The
Possum never got a wife, but he remembers the lesson, and ever since
he shuts his eyes and pretends to be dead when the hunter has him in
a close corner.


The Bear invited the Rabbit to dine with him. They had beans in
the pot, but there was no grease for them, so the Bear cut a slit
in his side and let the oil run out until they had enough to cook
the dinner. The Rabbit looked surprised, and thought to himself,
"That's a handy way. I think I'll try that." When he started home he
invited the Bear to come and take dinner with him four days later.

When the Bear came the Rabbit said, "I have beans for dinner, too. Now
I'll get the grease for them." So he took a knife and drove it into his
side, but instead of oil, a stream of blood gushed out and he fell over
nearly dead. The Bear picked him up and had hard work to tie up the
wound and stop the bleeding. Then he scolded him, "You little fool,
I'm large and strong and lined with fat all over; the knife don't
hurt me; but you're small and lean, and you can't do such things."


Some Wolves once caught the Rabbit and were going to eat him when he
asked leave to show them a new dance he was practicing. They knew that
the Rabbit was a great song leader, and they wanted to learn the latest
dance, so they agreed and made a ring about him while he got ready. He
patted his feet and began to dance around in a circle, singing:

        Tlâge'sitûñ' gali'sgi'sidâ'ha--
        Ha'nia lil! lil! Ha'nia lil! lil!

        On the edge of the field I dance about--
        Ha'nia lil! lil! Ha'nia lil! lil!

"Now," said the Rabbit, "when I sing 'on the edge of the field,' I
dance that way"--and he danced over in that direction--"and when I sing
'lil! lil!' you must all stamp your feet hard." The Wolves thought it
fine. He began another round singing the same song, and danced a little
nearer to the field, while the Wolves all stamped their feet. He sang
louder and louder and danced nearer and nearer to the field until at
the fourth song, when the Wolves were stamping as hard as they could
and thinking only of the song, he made one jump and was off through
the long grass. They were after him at once, but he ran for a hollow
stump and climbed up on the inside. When the the Wolves got there
one of them put his head inside to look up, but the Rabbit spit into
his eye, so that he had to pull his head out again. The others were
afraid to try, and they went away, with the Rabbit still in the stump.


In the old days Tawi'skala (Flint) lived up in the mountains, and
all the animals hated him because he had helped to kill so many of
them. They used to get together to talk over means to put him out of
the way, but everybody was afraid to venture near his house until
the Rabbit, who was the boldest leader among them, offered to go
after Flint and try to kill him. They told him where to find him,
and the Rabbit set out and at last came to Flint's house.

Flint was standing at his door when the Rabbit came up and said,
sneeringly, "Siyu'! Hello! Are you the fellow they call Flint?" "Yes;
that's what they call me," answered Flint. "Is this where you
live?" "Yes; this is where I live." All this time the Rabbit was
looking about the place trying to study out some plan to take Flint
off his guard. He had expected Flint to invite him into the house,
so he waited a little while, but when Flint made no move, he said,
"Well, my name is Rabbit; I've heard a good deal about you, so I came
to invite you to come and see me."

Flint wanted to know where the Rabbit's house was, and he told him it
was down in the broom-grass field near the river. So Flint promised
to make him a visit in a few days. "Why not come now and have supper
with me?" said the Rabbit, and after a little coaxing Flint agreed
and the two started down the mountain together.

When they came near the Rabbit's hole the Rabbit said, "There
is my house, but in summer I generally stay outside here where
it is cooler." So he made a fire, and they had their supper on the
grass. When it was over, Flint stretched out to rest and the Rabbit got
some heavy sticks and his knife and cut out a mallet and wedge. Flint
looked up and asked what that was for. "Oh," said the Rabbit, "I
like to be doing something, and they may come handy." So Flint lay
down again, and pretty soon he was sound asleep. The Rabbit spoke to
him once or twice to make sure, but there was no answer. Then he came
over to Flint and with one good blow of the mallet he drove the sharp
stake into his body and ran with all his might for his own hole; but
before he reached it there was a loud explosion, and pieces of flint
flew all about. That is why we find flint in so many places now. One
piece struck the Rabbit from behind and cut him just as he dived into
his hole. He sat listening until everything seemed quiet again. Then
he put his head out to look around, but just at that moment another
piece fell and struck him on the lip and split it, as we still see it.


In the beginning the Deer had no horns, but his head was smooth just
like a doe's. He was a great runner and the Rabbit was a great jumper,
and the animals were all curious to know which could go farther in
the same time. They talked about it a good deal, and at last arranged
a match between the two, and made a nice large pair of antlers for a
prize to the winner. They were to start together from one side of a
thicket and go through it, then turn and come back, and the one who
came out first was to get the horns.

On the day fixed all the animals were there, with the antlers put
down on the ground at the edge of the thicket to mark the starting
point. While everybody was admiring the horns the Rabbit said: "I
don't know this part of the country; I want to take a look through
the bushes where I am to run." They thought that all right, so the
Rabbit went into the thicket, but he was gone so long that at last
the animals suspected he must be up to one of his tricks. They sent
a messenger to look for him, and away in the middle of the thicket
he found the Rabbit gnawing down the bushes and pulling them away
until he had a road cleared nearly to the other side.

The messenger turned around quietly and came back and told the
other animals. When the Rabbit came out at last they accused him of
cheating, but he denied it until they went into the thicket and found
the cleared road. They agreed that such a trickster had no right to
enter the race at all, so they gave the horns to the Deer, who was
admitted to be the best runner, and he has worn them ever since. They
told the Rabbit that as he was so fond of cutting down bushes he
might do that for a living hereafter, and so he does to this day.


The Rabbit felt sore because the Deer had won the horns (see the
last story), and resolved to get even. One day soon after the race
he stretched a large grapevine across the trail and gnawed it nearly
in two in the middle. Then he went back a piece, took a good run,
and jumped up at the vine. He kept on running and jumping up at the
vine until the Deer came along and asked him what he was doing?

"Don't you see?" says the Rabbit. "I'm so strong that I can bite
through that grapevine at one jump."

The Deer could hardly believe this, and wanted to see it done. So the
Rabbit ran back, made a tremendous spring, and bit through the vine
where he had gnawed it before. The Deer, when he saw that, said,
"Well, I can do it if you can." So the Rabbit stretched a larger
grapevine across the trail, but without gnawing it in the middle. The
Deer ran back as he had seen the Rabbit do, made a spring, and struck
the grapevine right in the center, but it only flew back and threw
him over on his head. He tried again and again, until he was all
bruised and bleeding.

"Let me see your teeth," at last said the Rabbit. So the Deer showed
him his teeth, which were long like a wolf's teeth, but not very sharp.

"No wonder you can't do it," says the Rabbit; "your teeth are too blunt
to bite anything. Let me sharpen them for you like mine. My teeth
are so sharp that I can cut through a stick just like a knife." And
he showed him a black locust twig, of which rabbits gnaw the young
shoots, which he had shaved off as well as a knife could do it, in
regular rabbit fashion. The Deer thought that just the thing. So the
Rabbit got a hard stone with rough edges and filed and filed away at
the Deer's teeth until they were worn down almost to the gums.

"It hurts," said the Deer; but the Rabbit said it always hurt a little
when they began to get sharp; so the Deer kept quiet.

"Now try it," at last said the Rabbit. So the Deer tried again,
but this time he could not bite at all.

"Now you've paid for your horns," said the Rabbit, as he jumped away
through the bushes. Ever since then the Deer's teeth are so blunt
that he can not chew anything but grass and leaves.


The Deer was very angry at the Rabbit for filing his teeth and
determined to be revenged, but he kept still and pretended to be
friendly until the Rabbit was off his guard. Then one day, as they
were going along together talking, he challenged the Rabbit to jump
against him. Now the Rabbit is a great jumper, as every one knows,
so he agreed at once. There was a small stream beside the path,
as there generally is in that country, and the Deer said:

"Let's see if you can jump across this branch. We'll go back a piece,
and then when I say Kû! then both run and jump."

"All right," said the Rabbit. So they went back to get a good start,
and when the Deer gave the word Kû! they ran for the stream, and the
Rabbit made one jump and landed on the other side. But the Deer had
stopped on the bank, and when the Rabbit looked back the Deer had
conjured the stream so that it was a large river. The Rabbit was
never able to get back again and is still on the other side. The
rabbit that we know is only a little thing that came afterwards.


The Mink was such a great thief that at last the animals held a council
about the matter. It was decided to burn him, so they caught the Mink,
built a great fire, and threw him into it. As the blaze went up and
they smelt the roasted flesh, they began to think he was punished
enough and would probably do better in the future, so they took him
out of the fire. But the Mink was already burned black and is black
ever since, and whenever he is attacked or excited he smells again
like roasted meat. The lesson did no good, however, and he is still
as great a thief as ever.


A man was in love with a woman who disliked him and would have nothing
to do with him. He tried every way to win her favor, but to no purpose,
until at last he grew discouraged and made himself sick thinking over
it. The Mole came along, and finding him in such low condition asked
what was the trouble. The man told him the whole story, and when he
had finished the Mole said: "I can help you, so that she will not
only like you, but will come to you of her own will." So that night
the Mole burrowed his way underground to where the girl was in bed
asleep and took out her heart. He came back by the same way and gave
the heart to the man, who could not see it even when it was put into
his hand. "There," said the Mole, "swallow it, and she will be drawn
to come to you and can not keep away." The man swallowed the heart,
and when the girl woke up she somehow thought at once of him, and
felt a strange desire to be with him, as though she must go to him at
once. She wondered and could not understand it, because she had always
disliked him before, but at last the feeling grew so strong that she
was compelled to go herself to the man and tell him she loved him and
wanted to be his wife. And so they were married, but all the magicians
who had known them both were surprised and wondered how it had come
about. When they found that it was the work of the Mole, whom they
had always before thought too insignificant for their notice, they
were very jealous and threatened to kill him, so that he hid himself
under the ground and has never since dared to come up to the surface.


The Possum and the Terrapin went out together to hunt persimmons,
and found a tree full of ripe fruit. The Possum climbed it and was
throwing down the persimmons to the Terrapin when a wolf came up and
began to snap at the persimmons as they fell, before the Terrapin
could reach them. The Possum waited his chance, and at last managed to
throw down a large one (some say a bone which he carried with him),
so that it lodged in the wolf's throat as he jumped up at it and
choked him to death. "I'll take his ears for hominy spoons," said the
Terrapin, and cut off the wolf's ears and started home with them,
leaving the Possum still eating persimmons up in the tree. After
a while he came to a house and was invited to have some kanahe'na
gruel from the jar that is set always outside the door. He sat down
beside the jar and dipped up the gruel with one of the wolf's ears
for a spoon. The people noticed and wondered. When he was satisfied
he went on, but soon came to another house and was asked to have some
more kanahe'na. He dipped it up again with the wolf's ear and went
on when he had enough. Soon the news went around that the Terrapin
had killed the Wolf and was using his ears for spoons. All the Wolves
got together and followed the Terrapin's trail until they came up with
him and made him prisoner. Then they held a council to decide what to
do with him, and agreed to boil him in a clay pot. They brought in a
pot, but the Terrapin only laughed at it and said that if they put
him into that thing he would kick it all to pieces. They said they
would burn him in the fire, but the Terrapin laughed again and said
he would put it out. Then they decided to throw him into the deepest
hole in the river and drown him. The Terrapin begged and prayed them
not to do that, but they paid no attention, and dragged him over to
the river and threw him in. That was just what the Terrapin had been
waiting for all the time, and he dived under the water and came up
on the other side and got away.

Some say that when he was thrown into the river he struck against a
rock, which broke his back in a dozen places. He sang a medicine song:

    Gû'daye'wû, Gû'daye'wû,
    I have sewed myself together, I have sewed myself together,

and the pieces came together, but the scars remain on his shell to
this day.


Seven wolves once caught a Groundhog and said, "Now we'll kill you and
have something good to eat." But the Groundhog said, "When we find good
food we must rejoice over it, as people do in the Green-corn dance. I
know you mean to kill me and I can't help myself, but if you want to
dance I'll sing for you. This is a new dance entirely. I'll lean up
against seven trees in turn and you will dance out and then turn and
come back, as I give the signal, and at the last turn you may kill me."

The wolves were very hungry, but they wanted to learn the new dance,
so they told him to go ahead. The Groundhog leaned up against a
tree and began the song, Ha'wiye'ehi', and all the wolves danced out
in front, until he gave the signal, Yu! and began with Hi'yagu'we,
when they turned and danced back in line. "That's fine," said the
Groundhog, and went over to the next tree and started the second
song. The wolves danced out and then turned at the signal and danced
back again. "That's very fine," said the Groundhog, and went over
to another tree and started the third song. The wolves danced their
best and the Groundhog encouraged them, but at each song he took
another tree, and each tree was a little nearer to his hole under
a stump. At the seventh song he said, "Now, this is the last dance,
and when I say Yu! you will all turn and come after me, and the one
who gets me may have me." So he began the seventh song and kept it
up until the wolves were away out in front. Then he gave the signal,
Yu! and made a jump for his hole. The wolves turned and were after him,
but he reached the hole first and dived in. Just as he got inside,
the foremost wolf caught him by the tail and gave it such a pull that
it broke off, and the Groundhog's tail has been short ever since.

The unpleasant smell of the Groundhog's head was given it by the other
animals to punish an insulting remark made by him in council. The
story is a vulgar one, without wit enough to make it worth recording.


In the old times when the animals used to talk and hold councils,
and the Grubworm and Woodchuck used to marry people, there was once a
great famine of mast in the mountains, and all the animals and birds
which lived upon it met together and sent the Pigeon out to the low
country to see if any food could be found there. After a time she
came back and reported that she had found a country where the mast was
"up to our ankles" on the ground. So they got together and moved down
into the low country in a great army.


Kana'ti had wolves to hunt for him, because they are good hunters
and never fail. He once sent out two wolves at once. One went to the
east and did not return. The other went to the north, and when he
returned at night and did not find his fellow he knew he must be in
trouble and started after him. After traveling on some time he found
his brother lying nearly dead beside a great greensnake (salikwâ'yi)
which had attacked him. The snake itself was too badly wounded to
crawl away, and the angry wolf, who had magic powers, taking out
several hairs from his own whiskers, shot them into the body of
the snake and killed it. He then hurried back to Kana'ti, who sent
the Terrapin after a great doctor who lived in the west to save the
wounded wolf. The wolf went back to help his brother and by his magic
powers he had him cured long before the doctor came from the west,
because the Terrapin was such a slow traveler and the doctor had to
prepare his roots before he started.

In the beginning, the people say, the Dog was put on the mountain
and the Wolf beside the fire. When the winter came the Dog could not
stand the cold, so he came down to the settlement and drove the Wolf
from the fire. The Wolf ran to the mountains, where it suited him so
well that he prospered and increased, until after a while he ventured
down again and killed some animals in the settlements. The people got
together and followed and killed him, but his brothers came from the
mountains and took such revenge that ever since the people have been
afraid to hurt a wolf.

Bird Myths


Winged creatures of all kinds are classed under the generic term of
aninâ'hilidâ'hi (flyers). Birds are called, alike in the singular
and plural, tsi'skwa, the term being generally held to exclude the
domestic fowls introduced by the whites. When it is necessary to
make the distinction they are mentioned, respectively, as inagehi
(living in the woods), and uluñni'ta (tame). The robin is called
tsiskwa'gwa, a name which can not be analyzed, while the little
sparrow is called tsiskwâ'ya (the real or principal bird), perhaps,
in accord with a principle in Indian nomenclature, on account of its
wide distribution. As in other languages, many of the bird names are
onomatopes, as wa`huhu' (the screech owl), u'guku' (the hooting owl),
waguli' (the whippoorwill), kâgû (the crow), gugwe' (the quail),
huhu (the yellow mocking-bird), tsi'kilili' (the chickadee), sa'sa'
(the goose). The turtledove is called gule'-diska`nihi' (it cries
for acorns), on account of the resemblance of its cry to the sound
of the word for acorn (gule'). The meadow lark is called nakwisi'
(star), on account of the appearance of its tail when spread out
as it soars. The nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) is called tsulie'na
(deaf), and is supposed to be without hearing, possibly on account
of its fearless disregard for man's presence. Certain diseases are
diagnosed by the doctors as due to birds, either revengeful bird
ghosts, bird feathers about the house, or bird shadows falling upon
the patient from overhead.

The eagle (awâ'hili) is the great sacred bird of the Cherokee, as
of nearly all our native tribes, and figures prominently in their
ceremonial ritual, especially in all things relating to war. The
particular species prized was the golden or war eagle (Aquila
chrysætus), called by the Cherokee the "pretty-feathered eagle,"
on account of its beautiful tail feathers, white, tipped with black,
which were in such great demand for decorative and ceremonial purposes
that among the western tribes a single tail was often rated as equal in
value to a horse. Among the Cherokee in the old times the killing of
an eagle was an event which concerned the whole settlement, and could
be undertaken only by the professional eagle killer, regularly chosen
for the purpose on account of his knowledge of the prescribed forms
and the prayers to be said afterwards in order to obtain pardon for the
necessary sacrilege, and thus ward off vengeance from the tribe. It is
told of one man upon the reservation that having deliberately killed
an eagle in defiance of the ordinances he was constantly haunted by
dreams of fierce eagles swooping down upon him, until the nightmare was
finally exorcised after a long course of priestly treatment. In 1890
there was but one eagle killer remaining among the East Cherokee. It
does not appear that the eagle was ever captured alive as among the
plains tribes.

The eagle must be killed only in the winter or late fall after the
crops were gathered and the snakes had retired to their dens. If killed
in the summertime a frost would come to destroy the corn, while the
songs of the Eagle dance, when the feathers were brought home, would so
anger the snakes that they would become doubly dangerous. Consequently
the Eagle songs were never sung until after the snakes had gone to
sleep for the winter.

When the people of a town had decided upon an Eagle dance the eagle
killer was called in, frequently from a distant settlement, to
procure the feathers for the occasion. He was paid for his services
from offerings made later at the dance, and as the few professionals
guarded their secrets carefully from outsiders their business was a
quite profitable one. After some preliminary preparation the eagle
killer sets out alone for the mountains, taking with him his gun
or bow and arrows. Having reached the mountains, he goes through a
vigil of prayer and fasting, possibly lasting four days, after which
he hunts until he succeeds in killing a deer. Then, placing the body
in a convenient exposed situation upon one of the highest cliffs, he
conceals himself near by and begins to sing in a low undertone the
songs to call down the eagles from the sky. When the eagle alights
upon the carcass, which will be almost immediately if the singer
understands his business, he shoots it, and then standing over the
dead bird, he addresses to it a prayer in which he begs it not to
seek vengeance upon his tribe, because it is not a Cherokee, but a
Spaniard (Askwa'ni) that has done the deed. The selection of such a
vicarious victim of revenge is evidence at once of the antiquity of
the prayer in its present form and of the enduring impression which
the cruelties of the early Spanish adventurers made upon the natives.

The prayer ended, he leaves the dead eagle where it fell and makes all
haste to the settlement, where the people are anxiously expecting his
return. On meeting the first warriors he says simply, "A snowbird has
died," and passes on at once to his own quarters, his work being now
finished. The announcement is made in this form in order to insure
against the vengeance of any eagles that might overhear, the little
snowbird being considered too insignificant a creature to be dreaded.

Having waited four days to allow time for the insect parasites to
leave the body, the hunters delegated for the purpose go out to bring
in the feathers. On arriving at the place they strip the body of the
large tail and wing feathers, which they wrap in a fresh deerskin
brought with them, and then return to the settlement, leaving the
body of the dead eagle upon the ground, together with that of the
slain deer, the latter being intended as a sacrifice to the eagle
spirits. On reaching the settlement, the feathers, still wrapped in
the deerskin, are hung up in a small, round hut built for this special
purpose near the edge of the dance ground (detsanûñ'li) and known
as the place "where the feathers are kept," or feather house. Some
settlements had two such feather houses, one at each end of the dance
ground. The Eagle dance was held on the night of the same day on which
the feathers were brought in, all the necessary arrangements having
been made beforehand. In the meantime, as the feathers were supposed
to be hungry after their journey, a dish of venison and corn was set
upon the ground below them and they were invited to eat. The body of
a flaxbird or scarlet tanager (Piranga rubra) was also hung up with
the feathers for the same purpose. The food thus given to the feathers
was disposed of after the dance, as described in another place.

The eagle being regarded as a great ada'wehi, only the greatest
warriors and those versed in the sacred ordinances would dare to
wear the feathers or to carry them in the dance. Should any person
in the settlement dream of eagles or eagle feathers he must arrange
for an Eagle dance, with the usual vigil and fasting, at the first
opportunity; otherwise some one of his family will die. Should the
insect parasites which infest the feathers of the bird in life get
upon a man they will breed a skin disease which is sure to develop,
even though it may be latent for years. It is for this reason that
the body of the eagle is allowed to remain four days upon the ground
before being brought into the settlement.

The raven (kâ'lanû) is occasionally seen in the mountains, but is
not prominent in folk belief, excepting in connection with the
grewsome tales of the Raven Mocker (q. v.). In former times its
name was sometimes assumed as a war title. The crow, so prominent
in other tribal mythologies, does not seem to appear in that of
the Cherokee. Three varieties of owls are recognized, each under a
different name, viz: tskili', the dusky horned owl (Bubo virginianus
saturatus); u'guku', the barred or hooting owl (Syrnium nebulosum),
and wa`huhu', the screech owl (Megascops asio). The first of these
names signifies a witch, the others being onomatopes. Owls and other
night-crying birds are believed to be embodied ghosts or disguised
witches, and their cry is dreaded as a sound of evil omen. If the
eyes of a child be bathed with water in which one of the long wing
or tail feathers of an owl has been soaked, the child will be able
to keep awake all night. The feather must be found by chance, and
not procured intentionally for the purpose. On the other hand, an
application of water in which the feather of a blue jay, procured in
the same way, has been soaked will make the child an early riser.

The buzzard (suli') is said to have had a part in shaping the earth,
as was narrated in the genesis myth. It is reputed to be a doctor among
birds, and is respected accordingly, although its feathers are never
worn by ball players, for fear of becoming bald. Its own baldness is
accounted for by a vulgar story. As it thrives upon carrion and decay,
it is held to be immune from sickness, especially of a contagious
character, and a small quantity of its flesh eaten, or of the soup
used as a wash, is believed to be a sure preventive of smallpox,
and was used for this purpose during the smallpox epidemic among
the East Cherokee in 1866. According to the Wahnenauhi manuscript,
it is said also that a buzzard feather placed over the cabin door
will keep out witches. In treating gunshot wounds, the medicine is
blown into the wound through a tube cut from a buzzard quill and some
of the buzzard's down is afterwards laid over the spot.

There is very little concerning hawks, excepting as regards the
great mythic hawk, the Tla'nuwa'. The tla'nuwa' usdi', or "little
tla'nuwa," is described as a bird about as large as a turkey and of a
grayish blue color, which used to follow the flocks of wild pigeons,
flying overhead and darting down occasionally upon a victim, which
it struck and killed with its sharp breast and ate upon the wing,
without alighting. It is probably the goshawk (Astur atricapillus).

The common swamp gallinule, locally known as mudhen or didapper
(Gallinula galeata), is called diga'gwani' (lame or crippled), on
account of its habit of flying only for a very short distance at a
time. In the Diga'gwani' dance the performers sing the name of the
bird and endeavor to imitate its halting movements. The dagûl'kû,
or white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons), appears in connection with
the myth of the origin of tobacco. The feathers of the tskwâyi, the
great white heron or American egret (Herodias egretta), are worn by
ball players, and this bird probably the "swan" whose white wing was
used as a peace emblem in ancient times.

A rare bird said to have been seen occasionally upon the reservation
many years ago was called by the curious name of nûñda-dikani',
"it looks at the sun," "sun-gazer." It is described as resembling a
blue crane, and may possibly have been the Floridus cerulea, or little
blue heron. Another infrequent visitor, which sometimes passed over
the mountain country in company with flocks of wild geese, was the
gu'wisguwi', so called from its cry. It is described as resembling
a large snipe, with yellow legs and feet unwebbed, and is thought
to visit Indian Territory at intervals. It is chiefly notable from
the fact that the celebrated chief John Ross derives his Indian
name, Gu'wisguwi', from this bird, the name being perpetuated in
Cooweescoowee district of the Cherokee Nation in the West.

Another chance visitant, concerning which there is much curious
speculation among the older men of the East Cherokee, was called
tsun'digwûntsu'`gi or tsun'digwûn'tski, "forked," referring to the
tail. It appeared but once, for a short season, about forty years
ago, and has not been seen since. It is said to have been pale blue,
with red in places, and nearly the size of a crow, and to have had
a long forked tail like that of a fish. It preyed upon hornets,
which it took upon the wing, and also feasted upon the larvæ in the
nests. Appearing unexpectedly and as suddenly disappearing, it was
believed to be not a bird but a transformed red-horse fish (Moxostoma,
Cherokee âliga'), a theory borne out by the red spots and the long,
forked tail. It is even maintained that about the time those birds
first appeared some hunters on Oconaluftee saw seven of them sitting
on the limb of a tree and they were still shaped like a red-horse,
although they already had wings and feathers. It was undoubtedly
the scissor-tail or swallow-tailed flycatcher (Milvulus forficatus),
which belongs properly in Texas and the adjacent region, but strays
occasionally into the eastern states.

On account of the red throat appendage of the turkey, somewhat
resembling the goitrous growth known in the South as "kernels"
(Cherokee, dule'tsi), the feathers of this bird are not worn by
ball players, neither is the neck allowed to be eaten by children or
sick persons, under the fear that a growth of "kernels" would be the
result. The meat of the ruffed grouse, locally known as the pheasant
(Bonasa umbellus), is tabued to a pregnant woman, because this bird
hatches a large brood, but loses most of them before maturity. Under
a stricter construction of the theory this meat is forbidden to a
woman until she is past child bearing.

The redbird, tatsu'hwa, is believed to have been originally the
daughter of the Sun (see the story). The huhu, or yellow mocking-bird,
occurs in several stories. It is regarded as something supernatural,
possibly on account of its imitative powers, and its heart is given
to children to make them quick to learn.

The chickadee (Parus carolinensis), tsikilili', and the tufted
titmouse, (Parus bicolor), utsu'`gi, or u'stûti, are both regarded as
news bringers, but the one is venerated as a truth teller while the
other is scoffed at as a lying messenger, for reasons which appear
in the story of Nûñyunu'wi (q. v.). When the tsikilili' perches
on a branch near the house and chirps its song it is taken as an
omen that an absent friend will soon be heard from or that a secret
enemy is plotting mischief. Many stories are told in confirmation of
this belief, among which may be instanced that of Tom Starr, a former
noted outlaw of the Cherokee Nation of the West, who, on one occasion,
was about to walk unwittingly into an ambush prepared for him along
a narrow trail, when he heard the warning note of the tsikilili',
and, turning abruptly, ran up the side of the ridge and succeeded in
escaping with his life, although hotly pursued by his enemies.


Once the animals challenged the birds to a great ballplay, and the
birds accepted. The leaders made the arrangements and fixed the day,
and when the time came both parties met at the place for the ball
dance, the animals on a smooth grassy bottom near the river and the
birds in the treetops over by the ridge. The captain of the animals
was the Bear, who was so strong and heavy that he could pull down
anyone who got in his way. All along the road to the ball ground he
was tossing up great logs to show his strength and boasting of what
he would do to the birds when the game began. The Terrapin, too--not
the little one we have now, but the great original Terrapin--was with
the animals. His shell was so hard that the heaviest blows could not
hurt him, and he kept rising up on his hind legs and dropping heavily
again to the ground, bragging that this was the way he would crush any
bird that tried to take the ball from him. Then there was the Deer,
who could outrun every other animal. Altogether it was a fine company.

The birds had the Eagle for their captain, with the Hawk and the great
Tla'nuwa, all swift and strong of flight, but still they were a little
afraid of the animals. The dance was over and they were all pruning
their feathers up in the trees and waiting for the captain to give
the word when here came two little things hardly larger than field
mice climbing up the tree in which sat perched the bird captain. At
last they reached the top, and creeping along the limb to where the
Eagle captain sat they asked to be allowed to join in the game. The
captain looked at them, and seeing that they were four-footed, he
asked why they did not go to the animals, where they belonged. The
little things said that they had, but the animals had made fun of
them and driven them off because they were so small. Then the bird
captain pitied them and wanted to take them.

But how could they join the birds when they had no wings? The Eagle,
the Hawk, and the others consulted, and at last it was decided to make
some wings for the little fellows. They tried for a long time to think
of something that might do, until someone happened to remember the
drum they had used in the dance. The head was of ground-hog skin and
maybe they could cut off a corner and make wings of it. So they took
two pieces of leather from the drumhead and cut them into shape for
wings, and stretched them with cane splints and fastened them on to the
forelegs of one of the small animals, and in this way came Tla'meha,
the Bat. They threw the ball to him and told him to catch it, and by
the way he dodged and circled about, keeping the ball always in the
air and never letting it fall to the ground, the birds soon saw that
he would be one of their best men.

Now they wanted to fix the other little animal, but they had used up
all their leather to make wings for the Bat, and there was no time to
send for more. Somebody said that they might do it by stretching his
skin, so two large birds took hold from opposite sides with their
strong bills, and by pulling at his fur for several minutes they
managed to stretch the skin on each side between the fore and hind
feet, until they had Tewa, the Flying Squirrel. To try him the bird
captain threw up the ball, when the Flying Squirrel sprang off the
limb after it, caught it in his teeth and carried it through the air
to another tree nearly across the bottom.

When they were all ready the signal was given and the game began,
but almost at the first toss the Flying Squirrel caught the ball and
carried it up a tree, from which he threw it to the birds, who kept
it in the air for some time until it dropped. The Bear rushed to get
it, but the Martin darted after it and threw it to the Bat, who was
flying near the ground, and by his dodging and doubling kept it out
of the way of even the Deer, until he finally threw it in between
the posts and won the game for the birds.

The Bear and the Terrapin, who had boasted so of what they would do,
never got a chance even to touch the ball. For saving the ball when
it dropped, the birds afterwards gave the Martin a gourd in which to
build his nest, and he still has it.


When the Terrapin won the race from the Rabbit (see the story) all
the animals wondered and talked about it a great deal, because they
had always thought the Terrapin slow, although they knew that he
was a warrior and had many conjuring secrets beside. But the Turkey
was not satisfied and told the others there must be some trick about
it. Said he, "I know the Terrapin can't run--he can hardly crawl--and
I'm going to try him."

So one day the Turkey met the Terrapin coming home from war with
a fresh scalp hanging from his neck and dragging on the ground as
he traveled. The Turkey laughed at the sight and said: "That scalp
don't look right on you. Your neck is too short and low down to wear
it that way. Let me show you."

The Terrapin agreed and gave the scalp to the Turkey, who fastened
it around his neck. "Now," said the Turkey, "I'll walk a little way
and you can see how it looks." So he walked ahead a short distance and
then turned and asked the Terrapin how he liked it. Said the Terrapin,
"It looks very nice; it becomes you."

"Now I'll fix it in a different way and let you see how it looks,"
said the Turkey. So he gave the string another pull and walked
ahead again. "O, that looks very nice," said the Terrapin. But the
Turkey kept on walking, and when the Terrapin called to him to bring
back the scalp he only walked faster and broke into a run. Then the
Terrapin got out his bow and by his conjuring art shot a number of
cane splints into the Turkey's leg to cripple him so that he could not
run, which accounts for all the many small bones in the Turkey's leg,
that are of no use whatever; but the Terrapin never caught the Turkey,
who still wears the scalp from his neck.


The Grouse used to have a fine voice and a good halloo in the
ballplay. All the animals and birds used to play ball in those
days and were just as proud of a loud halloo as the ball players
of to-day. The Turkey had not a good voice, so he asked the Grouse
to give him lessons. The Grouse agreed to teach him, but wanted pay
for his trouble, and the Turkey promised to give him some feathers
to make himself a collar. That is how the Grouse got his collar of
turkey feathers. They began the lessons and the Turkey learned very
fast until the Grouse thought it was time to try his voice. "Now,"
said the Grouse, "I'll stand on this hollow log, and when I give the
signal by tapping on it, you must halloo as loudly as you can." So
he got upon the log ready to tap on it, as a Grouse does, but when
he gave the signal the Turkey was so eager and excited that he could
not raise his voice for a shout, but only gobbled, and ever since
then he gobbles whenever he hears a noise.


Some old men say that the Kingfisher was meant in the beginning to be
a water bird, but as he had not been given either web feet or a good
bill he could not make a living. The animals held a council over it
and decided to make him a bill like a long sharp awl for a fish-gig
(fish-spear). So they made him a fish-gig and fastened it on in front
of his mouth. He flew to the top of a tree, sailed out and darted
down into the water, and came up with a fish on his gig. And he has
been the best gigger ever since.

Some others say it was this way: A Blacksnake found a Yellowhammer's
nest in a hollow tree, and after swallowing the young birds, coiled up
to sleep in the nest, where the mother bird found him when she came
home. She went for help to the Little People, who sent her to the
Kingfisher. He came, and after flying back and forth past the hole a
few times, made one dart at the snake and pulled him out dead. When
they looked they found a hole in the snake's head where the Kingfisher
had pierced it with a slender tugalû'na fish, which he carried in
his bill like a lance. From this the Little People concluded that
he would make a first-class gigger if he only had the right spear,
so they gave him his long bill as a reward.


In the old days the Terrapin had a fine whistle, but the Partridge had
none. The Terrapin was constantly going about whistling and showing
his whistle to the other animals until the Partridge became jealous,
so one day when they met the Partridge asked leave to try it. The
Terrapin was afraid to risk it at first, suspecting some trick, but
the Partridge said, "I'll give it back right away, and if you are
afraid you can stay with me while I practice." So the Terrapin let
him have the whistle and the Partridge walked around blowing on it in
fine fashion. "How does it sound with me?" asked the Partridge. "O,
you do very well," said the Terrapin, walking alongside. "Now, how do
you like it," said the Partridge, running ahead and whistling a little
faster. "That's fine," answered the Terrapin, hurrying to keep up,
"but don't run so fast." "And now, how do you like this?" called the
Partridge, and with that he spread his wings, gave one long whistle,
and flew to the top of a tree, leaving the poor Terrapin to look
after him from the ground. The Terrapin never recovered his whistle,
and from that, and the loss of his scalp, which the Turkey stole from
him, he grew ashamed to be seen, and ever since he shuts himself up
in his box when anyone comes near him.


A Raccoon passing a Wolf one day made several insulting remarks, until
at last the Wolf became angry and turned and chased him. The Raccoon
ran his best and managed to reach a tree by the river side before
the Wolf came up. He climbed the tree and stretched out on a limb
overhanging the water. When the Wolf arrived he saw the reflection
in the water, and thinking it was the Raccoon he jumped at it and
was nearly drowned before he could scramble out again, all wet and
dripping. He lay down on the bank to dry and fell asleep, and while
he was sleeping the Raccoon came down the tree and plastered his eyes
with dung. When the Wolf awoke he found he could not open his eyes,
and began to whine. Along came a little brown bird through the bushes
and heard the Wolf crying and asked what was the matter. The Wolf
told his story and said, "If you will get my eyes open, I will show
you where to find some nice red paint to paint yourself." "All right,"
said the brown bird; so he pecked at the Wolf's eyes until he got off
all the plaster. Then the Wolf took him to a rock that had streaks
of bright red paint running through it, and the little bird painted
himself with it, and has ever since been a Redbird.


The Pheasant once saw a woman beating corn in a wooden mortar in front
of the house. "I can do that, too," said he, but the woman would not
believe it, so the Pheasant went into the woods and got upon a hollow
log and "drummed" with his wings as a pheasant does, until the people
in the house heard him and thought he was really beating corn.

In the Pheasant dance, a part of the Green-corn dance, the instrument
used is the drum, and the dancers beat the ground with their feet in
imitation of the drumming sound made by the pheasant. They form two
concentric circles, the men being on the inside, facing the women
in the outer circle, each in turn advancing and retreating at the
signal of the drummer, who sits at one side and sings the Pheasant
songs. According to the story, there was once a winter famine among
the birds and animals. No mast (fallen nuts) could be found in the
woods, and they were near starvation when a Pheasant discovered a
holly tree, loaded with red berries, of which the Pheasant is said to
be particularly fond. He called his companion birds, and they formed
a circle about the tree, singing, dancing, and drumming with their
wings in token of their joy, and thus originated the Pheasant dance.


The Hummingbird and the Crane were both in love with a pretty
woman. She preferred the Hummingbird, who was as handsome as the Crane
was awkward, but the Crane was so persistent that in order to get rid
of him she finally told him he must challenge the other to a race and
she would marry the winner. The Hummingbird was so swift--almost like
a flash of lightning--and the Crane so slow and heavy, that she felt
sure the Hummingbird would win. She did not know the Crane could fly
all night.

They agreed to start from her house and fly around the circle of the
world to the beginning, and the one who came in first would marry the
woman. At the word the Hummingbird darted off like an arrow and was out
of sight in a moment, leaving his rival to follow heavily behind. He
flew all day, and when evening came and he stopped to roost for the
night he was far ahead. But the Crane flew steadily all night long,
passing the Hummingbird soon after midnight and going on until he
came to a creek and stopped to rest about daylight. The Hummingbird
woke up in the morning and flew on again, thinking how easily he
would win the race, until he reached the creek and there found the
Crane spearing tadpoles, with his long bill, for breakfast. He was
very much surprised and wondered how this could have happened, but
he flew swiftly by and soon left the Crane out of sight again.

The Crane finished his breakfast and started on, and when evening came
he kept on as before. This time it was hardly midnight when he passed
the Hummingbird asleep on a limb, and in the morning he had finished
his breakfast before the other came up. The next day he gained a little
more, and on the fourth day he was spearing tadpoles for dinner when
the Hummingbird passed him. On the fifth and sixth days it was late
in the afternoon before the Hummingbird came up, and on the morning
of the seventh day the Crane was a whole night's travel ahead. He took
his time at breakfast and then fixed himself up as nicely as he could
at the creek and came in at the starting place where the woman lived,
early in the morning. When the Hummingbird arrived in the afternoon he
found he had lost the race, but the woman declared she would never have
such an ugly fellow as the Crane for a husband, so she stayed single.


A widow with one daughter was always warning the girl that she must be
sure to get a good hunter for a husband when she married. The young
woman listened and promised to do as her mother advised. At last a
suitor came to ask the mother for the girl, but the widow told him
that only a good hunter could have her daughter. "I'm just that kind,"
said the lover, and again asked her to speak for him to the young
woman. So the mother went to the girl and told her a young man had
come a-courting, and as he said he was a good hunter she advised her
daughter to take him. "Just as you say," said the girl. So when he came
again the matter was all arranged, and he went to live with the girl.

The next morning he got ready and said he would go out hunting, but
before starting he changed his mind and said he would go fishing. He
was gone all day and came home late at night, bringing only three small
fish, saying that he had had no luck, but would have better success
to-morrow. The next morning he started off again to fish and was gone
all day, but came home at night with only two worthless spring lizards
(duwe'ga) and the same excuse. Next day he said he would go hunting
this time. He was gone again until night, and returned at last with
only a handful of scraps that he had found where some hunters had
cut up a deer.

By this time the old woman was suspicious. So next morning when he
started off again, as he said, to fish, she told her daughter to follow
him secretly and see how he set to work. The girl followed through
the woods and kept him in sight until he came down to the river, where
she saw her husband change to a hooting owl (uguku') and fly over to a
pile of driftwood in the water and cry, "U-gu-ku! hu! hu! u! u!" She
was surprised and very angry and said to herself, "I thought I had
married a man, but my husband is only an owl." She watched and saw
the owl look into the water for a long time and at last swoop down
and bring up in his claws a handful of sand, from which he picked out
a crawfish. Then he flew across to the bank, took the form of a man
again, and started home with the crawfish. His wife hurried on ahead
through the woods and got there before him. When he came in with the
crawfish in his hand, she asked him where were all the fish he had
caught. He said he had none, because an owl had frightened them all
away. "I think you are the owl," said his wife, and drove him out of
the house. The owl went into the woods and there he pined away with
grief and love until there was no flesh left on any part of his body
except his head.


A widow who had an only a daughter, but no son, found it very hard to
make a living and was constantly urging upon the young woman that they
ought to have a man in the family, who would be a good hunter and able
to help in the field. One evening a stranger lover came courting to the
house, and when the girl told him that she could marry only one who
was a good worker, he declared that he was exactly that sort of man;
so the girl talked to her mother, and on her advice they were married.

The next morning the widow gave her new son-in-law a hoe and sent
him out to the cornfield. When breakfast was ready she went to call
him, following a sound as of some one hoeing on stony soil, but when
she came to the spot she found only a small circle of hoed ground
and no sign of her son-in-law. Away over in the thicket she heard a
huhu calling.

He did not come in for dinner, either, and when he returned home in
the evening the old woman asked him where he had been all day. "Hard
at work," said he. "But I didn't see you when I came to call you to
breakfast." "I was down in the thicket cutting sticks to mark off
the field," said he. "But why didn't you come in to dinner?" "I was
too busy working," said he. So the old woman was satisfied, and they
had their supper together.

Early next morning he started off with his hoe over his
shoulder. When breakfast was ready the old woman went again to
call him, but found no sign of him, only the hoe lying there and
no work done. And away over in the thicket a huhu was calling,
"Sau-h! sau-h! sau-h! hu! hu! hu! hu! hu! hu! chi! chi! chi!--whew!"

She went back to the house, and when at last he came home in the
evening she asked him again what he had been doing all day. "Working
hard," said he. "But you were not there when I came after you." "O,
I just went over in the thicket a while to see some of my kinsfolk,"
said he. Then the old woman said, "I have lived here a long time and
there is nothing living in the swamp but huhus. My daughter wants a
husband that can work and not a lazy huhu; so you may go." And she
drove him from the house.


The buzzard used to have a fine topknot, of which he was so proud that
he refused to eat carrion, and while the other birds were pecking
at the body of a deer or other animal which they had found he would
strut around and say: "You may have it all, it is not good enough for
me." They resolved to punish him, and with the help of the buffalo
carried out a plot by which the buzzard lost not his topknot alone,
but nearly all the other feathers on his head. He lost his pride at
the same time, so that he is willing enough now to eat carrion for
a living.


Once a hunter in the mountains heard a noise at night like a rushing
wind outside the cabin, and on going out he found that an eagle had
just alighted on the drying pole and was tearing at the body of a deer
hanging there. Without thinking of the danger, he shot the eagle. In
the morning he took the deer and started back to the settlement,
where he told what he had done, and the chief sent out some men to
bring in the eagle and arrange for an Eagle dance. They brought back
the dead eagle, everything was made ready, and that night they started
the dance in the townhouse.

About midnight there was a whoop outside and a strange warrior came
into the circle and began to recite his exploits. No one knew him, but
they thought he had come from one of the farther Cherokee towns. He
told how he had killed a man, and at the end of the story he gave
a hoarse yell, Hi! that startled the whole company, and one of the
seven men with the rattles fell over dead. He sang of another deed,
and at the end straightened up with another loud yell. A second
rattler fell dead, and the people were so full of fear that they
could not stir from their places. Still he kept on, and at every
pause there came again that terrible scream, until the last of the
seven rattlers fell dead, and then the stranger went out into the
darkness. Long afterward they learned from the eagle killer that it
was the brother of the eagle shot by the hunter.


A hunter had been all day looking for deer in the mountains without
success until he was completely tired out and sat down on a log to
rest and wonder what he should do, when a buzzard--a bird which
always has magic powers--came flying overhead and spoke to him,
asking him what was his trouble. When the hunter had told his story
the buzzard said there were plenty of deer on the ridges beyond if
only the hunter were high up in the air where he could see them,
and proposed that they exchange forms for a while, when the buzzard
would go home to the hunter's wife while the hunter would go to look
for deer. The hunter agreed, and the buzzard became a man and went
home to the hunter's wife, who received him as her husband, while the
hunter became a buzzard and flew off over the mountain to locate the
deer. After staying some time with the woman, who thought always it
was her real husband, the buzzard excused himself, saying he must go
again to look for game or they would have nothing to eat. He came to
the place where he had first met the hunter, and found him already
there, still in buzzard form, awaiting him. He asked the hunter what
success he had had, and the hunter replied that he had found several
deer over the ridge, as the buzzard had said. Then the buzzard restored
the hunter to human shape, and became himself a buzzard again and flew
away. The hunter went where he had seen the deer and killed several,
and from that time he never returned empty-handed from the woods.

Snake, Fish, and Insect Myths


The generic name for snakes is inadû'. They are all regarded as
anida'wehi, "supernaturals," having an intimate connection with the
rain and thunder gods, and possessing a certain influence over the
other animal and plant tribes. It is said that the snakes, the deer,
and the ginseng act as allies, so that an injury to one is avenged by
all. The feeling toward snakes is one of mingled fear and reverence,
and every precaution is taken to avoid killing or offending one,
especially the rattlesnake. He who kills a snake will soon see
others; and should he kill a second one, so many will come around
him whichever way he may turn that he will become dazed at the sight
of their glistening eyes and darting tongues and will go wandering
about like a crazy man, unable to find his way out of the woods. To
guard against this misfortune there are certain prayers which the
initiated say in order that a snake may not cross their path, and on
meeting the first one of the season the hunter humbly begs of him,
"Let us not see each other this summer." Certain smells, as that
of the wild parsnip, and certain songs, as those of the Unika'wi or
Townhouse dance, are offensive to the snakes and make them angry. For
this reason the Unika'wi dance is held only late in the fall, after
they have retired to their dens for the winter.

When one dreams of being bitten by a snake he must be treated the
same as for an actual bite, because it is a snake ghost that has
bitten him; otherwise the place will swell and ulcerate in the same
way, even though it be years afterwards. For fear of offending them,
even in speaking, it is never said that a man has been bitten by a
snake, but only that he has been "scratched by a brier." Most of the
beliefs and customs in this connection have more special reference
to the rattlesnake.

The rattlesnake is called utsa'nati, which may be rendered, "he has a
bell," alluding to the rattle. According to a myth given elsewhere,
he was once a man, and was transformed to his present shape that he
might save the human race from extermination by the Sun, a mission
which he accomplished successfully after others had failed. By the
old men he is also spoken of as "the Thunder's necklace" (see the
story of Ûñtsaiyi'), and to kill one is to destroy one of the most
prized ornaments of the thunder god. In one of the formulas addressed
to the Little Men, the sons of the Thunder, they are implored to take
the disease snake to themselves, because "it is just what you adorn
yourselves with."

For obvious reasons the rattlesnake is regarded as the chief of the
snake tribe and is feared and respected accordingly. Few Cherokee
will venture to kill one except under absolute necessity, and even
then the crime must be atoned for by asking pardon of the snake ghost,
either in person or through the mediation of a priest, according to a
set formula. Otherwise the relatives of the dead snake will send one of
their number to track up the offender and bite him so that he will die
(see story, "The Rattlesnake's Vengeance"). The only thing of which
the rattlesnake is afraid is said to be the plant known as campion, or
"rattlesnake's master" (Silene stellata), which is used by the doctors
to counteract the effect of the bite, and it is believed that a snake
will flee in terror from the hunter who carries a small piece of the
root about his person. Chewed linn bark is also applied to the bite,
perhaps from the supposed occult connection between the snake and the
thunder, as this tree is said to be immune from the lightning stroke.

Notwithstanding the fear of the rattlesnake, his rattles, teeth, flesh,
and oil are greatly prized for occult or medical uses, the snakes being
killed for this purpose by certain priests who know the necessary rites
and formulas for obtaining pardon. This device for whipping the devil
around the stump, and incidentally increasing their own revenues, is a
common trick of Indian medicine men. Outsiders desiring to acquire this
secret knowledge are discouraged by being told that it is a dangerous
thing to learn, for the reason that the new initiate is almost certain
to be bitten, in order that the snakes may "try" him to know if he has
correctly learned the formula. When a rattlesnake is killed the head
must be cut off and buried an arm's length deep in the ground and the
body carefully hidden away in a hollow log. If it is left exposed to
the weather, the angry snakes will send such torrents of rain that
all the streams will overflow their banks. Moreover, they will tell
their friends, the deer, and the ginseng in the mountains, so that
these will hide themselves and the hunters will seek them in vain.

The tooth of a rattlesnake which has been killed by the priest with
the proper ceremonies while the snake was lying stretched out from
east to west is used to scarify patients preliminary to applying the
medicine in certain ailments. Before using it the doctor holds it
between the thumb and finger of his right hand and addresses it in
a prayer, at the end of which the tooth "becomes alive," when it is
ready for the operation. The explanation is that the tense, nervous
grasp of the doctor causes his hand to twitch and the tooth to move
slightly between his fingers. The rattles are worn on the head, and
sometimes a portion of the flesh is eaten by ball players to make them
more terrible to their opponents, but it is said to have the bad effect
of making them cross to their wives. From the lower half of the body,
thought to be the fattest portion, the oil is extracted and is in as
great repute among the Indians for rheumatism and sore joints as among
the white mountaineers. The doctor who prepares the oil must also
eat the flesh of the snake. In certain seasons of epidemic a roasted
(barbecued) rattlesnake was kept hanging up in the house, and every
morning the father of the family bit off a small piece and chewed it,
mixing it then with water, which he spit upon the bodies of the others
to preserve them from the contagion. It was said to be a sure cure,
but apt to make the patients hot tempered.

The copperhead, wâ'dige-askâ'li, "brown-head," although feared on
account of its poisonous bite, is hated, instead of being regarded with
veneration, as is the rattlesnake. It is believed to be a descendant
of a great mythic serpent (see number 5) and is said to have "eyes of
fire," on account of their intense brightness. The blacksnake is called
gûle'gi, "the climber." Biting its body is said to be a preventive of
toothache, and there is also a belief, perhaps derived from the whites,
that if the body of one be hung upon a tree it will bring rain within
three (four?) days. The small greensnake is called salikwâ'yi, the same
name being also applied to a certain plant, the Eryngium virginianum,
or bear grass, whose long, slender leaves bear some resemblance to a
greensnake. As with the blacksnake, it is believed that toothache may
be prevented and sound teeth insured as long as life lasts by biting
the greensnake along its body. It must be held by the head and tail,
and all the teeth at once pressed down four times along the middle of
its body, but without biting into the flesh or injuring the snake. Some
informants say that the operation must be repeated four times upon as
many snakes and that a certain food tabu must also be observed. The
water moccasin, kanegwâ'ti, is not specially regarded, but a very
rare wood snake, said to resemble it except that it has blue eyes,
is considered to have great supernatural powers, in what way is not
specified. The repulsive but harmless spreading adder (Heterodon) is
called daliksta', "vomiter," on account of its habit of spitting, and
sometimes kwandaya'hû, a word of uncertain etymology. It was formerly
a man, but was transformed into a snake in order to accomplish the
destruction of the Daughter of the Sun (see the story). For its
failure on this occasion it is generally despised.

The Wahnenauhi manuscript mentions a legend of a great serpent called
on account of its color the "ground snake." To see it was an omen of
death to the one who saw it, and if it was seen by several persons
some great tribal calamity was expected. For traditions and beliefs
in regard to the Uktena, the Uksuhi, and other mythic serpents,
see under those headings.


Long ago--hilahi'yu--when the Sun became angry at the people on earth
and sent a sickness to destroy them, the Little Men changed a man into
a monster snake, which they called Uktena, "The Keen-eyed," and sent
him to kill her. He failed to do the work, and the Rattlesnake had
to be sent instead, which made the Uktena so jealous and angry that
the people were afraid of him and had him taken up to Galûñ'lati,
to stay with the other dangerous things. [470] He left others behind
him, though, nearly as large and dangerous as himself, and they hide
now in deep pools in the river and about lonely passes in the high
mountains, the places which the Cherokee call "Where the Uktena stays."

Those who know say that the Uktena is a great snake, as large around
as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright, blazing crest
like a diamond upon its forehead, and scales glittering like sparks
of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length,
and can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from
the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life. The
blazing diamond is called Ulûñsû'ti, "Transparent," and he who can
win it may become the greatest wonder worker of the tribe, but it is
worth a man's life to attempt it, for whoever is seen by the Uktena
is so dazed by the bright light that he runs toward the snake instead
of trying to escape. Even to see the Uktena asleep is death, not to
the hunter himself, but to his family.

Of all the daring warriors who have started out in search of the
Ulûñsû'ti only Âgan-uni'tsi ever came back successful. [471] The
East Cherokee still keep the one which he brought. It is like a large
transparent crystal, nearly the shape of a cartridge bullet, with a
blood-red streak running through the center from top to bottom. The
owner keeps it wrapped in a whole deerskin, inside an earthen jar
hidden away in a secret cave in the mountains. Every seven days he
feeds it with the blood of small game, rubbing the blood all over the
crystal as soon as the animal has been killed. Twice a year it must
have the blood of a deer or some other large animal. Should he forget
to feed it at the proper time it would come out from its cave at night
in a shape of fire and fly through the air to slake its thirst with
the lifeblood of the conjurer or some one of his people. He may save
himself from this danger by telling it, when he puts it away, that
he will not need it again for a long time. It will then go quietly
to sleep and feel no hunger until it is again brought out to be
consulted. Then it must be fed again with blood before it is used.

No white man must ever see it and no person but the owner will venture
near it for fear of sudden death. Even the conjurer who keeps it is
afraid of it, and changes its hiding place every once in a while so
that it can not learn the way out. When he dies it will be buried with
him. Otherwise it will come out of its cave, like a blazing star,
to search for his grave, night after night for seven years, when,
if still not able to find him, it will go back to sleep forever where
he has placed it.

Whoever owns the Ulûñsû'ti is sure of success in hunting, love,
rain-making, and every other business, but its great use is in life
prophecy. When it is consulted for this purpose the future is seen
mirrored in the clear crystal as a tree is reflected in the quiet
stream below, and the conjurer knows whether the sick man will recover,
whether the warrior will return from battle, or whether the youth
will live to be old.


In one of their battles with the Shawano, who are all magicians, the
Cherokee captured a great medicine-man whose name was Âgan-uni'tsi,
"The Ground-hogs' Mother." They had tied him ready for the torture
when he begged for his life and engaged, if spared, to find for
them the great wonder worker, the Ulûñsû'ti. Now, the Ulûñsû'ti is
like a blazing star set in the forehead of the great Uktena serpent,
and the medicine-man who could possess it might do marvelous things,
but everyone knew this could not be, because it was certain death to
meet the Uktena. They warned him of all this, but he only answered
that his medicine was strong and he was not afraid. So they gave him
his life on that condition and he began the search.

The Uktena used to lie in wait in lonely places to surprise its
victims, and especially haunted the dark passes of the Great Smoky
mountains. Knowing this, the magician went first to a gap in the range
on the far northern border of the Cherokee country. He searched and
found there a monster blacksnake, larger than had ever been known
before, but it was not what he was looking for, and he laughed at it
as something too small for notice. Coming southward to the next gap he
found there a great moccasin snake, the largest ever seen, but when
the people wondered he said it was nothing. In the next gap he found
a greensnake and called the people to see "the pretty salikwâ'yi,"
but when they found an immense greensnake coiled up in the path they
ran away in fear. Coming on to U'tawagûn'ta, the Bald mountain, he
found there a great diya'hali (lizard) basking, but, although it was
large and terrible to look at, it was not what he wanted and he paid
no attention to it. Going still south to Walâsi'yi, the Frog place,
he found a great frog squatting in the gap, but when the people who
came to see it were frightened like the others and ran away from the
monster he mocked at them for being afraid of a frog and went on to the
next gap. He went on to Duniskwa`lgûñ'yi, the Gap of the Forked Antler,
and to the enchanted lake of Atagâ'hi, and at each he found monstrous
reptiles, but he said they were nothing. He thought the Uktena might be
hiding in the deep water at Tlanusi'yi, the Leech place, on Hiwassee,
where other strange things had been seen before, and going there he
dived far down under the surface. He saw turtles and water snakes,
and two immense sun-perches rushed at him and retreated again, but
that was all. Other places he tried, going always southward, and at
last on Gahû'ti mountain he found the Uktena asleep.

Turning without noise, he ran swiftly down the mountain side as far
as he could go with one long breath, nearly to the bottom of the
slope. There he stopped and piled up a great circle of pine cones,
and inside of it he dug a deep trench. Then he set fire to the cones
and came back again up the mountain.

The Uktena was still asleep, and, putting an arrow to his bow,
Âgan-uni'tsi shot and sent the arrow through its heart, which was under
the seventh spot from the serpent's head. The great snake raised his
head, with the diamond in front flashing fire, and came straight at
his enemy, but the magician, turning quickly, ran at full speed down
the mountain, cleared the circle of fire and the trench at one bound,
and lay down on the ground inside.

The Uktena tried to follow, but the arrow was through his heart,
and in another moment he rolled over in his death struggle, spitting
poison over all the mountain side. But the poison drops could not
pass the circle of fire, but only hissed and sputtered in the blaze,
and the magician on the inside was untouched except by one small
drop which struck upon his head as he lay close to the ground;
but he did not know it. The blood, too, as poisonous as the froth,
poured from the Uktena's wound and down the slope in a dark stream,
but it ran into the trench and left him unharmed. The dying monster
rolled over and over down the mountain, breaking down large trees
in its path until it reached the bottom. Then Âgan-uni'tsi called
every bird in all the woods to come to the feast, and so many came
that when they were done not even the bones were left.

After seven days he went by night to the spot. The body and the bones
of the snake were gone, all eaten by the birds, but he saw a bright
light shining in the darkness, and going over to it he found, resting
on a low-hanging branch, where a raven had dropped it, the diamond
from the head of the Uktena. He wrapped it up carefully and took it
with him, and from that time he became the greatest medicine-man in
the whole tribe.

When Âgan-uni'tsi came down again to the settlement the people noticed
a small snake hanging from his head where the single drop of poison
from the Uktena had struck; but so long as he lived he himself never
knew that it was there.

Where the blood of the Uktena had filled the trench a lake formed
afterwards, and the water was black and in this water the women used
to dye the cane splits for their baskets.


Two brothers went hunting together, and when they came to a good
camping place in the mountains they made a fire, and while one gathered
bark to put up a shelter the other started up the creek to look for a
deer. Soon he heard a noise on the top of the ridge as if two animals
were fighting. He hurried through the bushes to see what it might be,
and when he came to the spot he found a great uktena coiled around
a man and choking him to death. The man was fighting for his life,
and called out to the hunter: "Help me, nephew; he is your enemy as
well as mine." The hunter took good aim, and, drawing the arrow to
the head, sent it through the body of the uktena, so that the blood
spouted from the hole. The snake loosed its coils with a snapping
noise, and went tumbling down the ridge into the valley, tearing up
the earth like a water spout as it rolled.

The stranger stood up, and it was the Asga'ya Gi'gagei, the Red
Man of the Lightning. He said to the hunter: "You have helped me,
and now I will reward you, and give you a medicine so that you can
always find game." They waited until it was dark, and then went down
the ridge to where the dead uktena had rolled, but by this time
the birds and insects had eaten the body and only the bones were
left. In one place were flashes of light coming up from the ground,
and on digging here, just under the surface, the Red Man found a scale
of the uktena. Next he went over to a tree that had been struck by
lightning, and gathering a handful of splinters he made a fire and
burned the uktena scale to a coal. He wrapped this in a piece of
deerskin and gave it to the hunter, saying: "As long as you keep this
you can always kill game." Then he told the hunter that when he went
back to camp he must hang up the medicine on a tree outside, because
it was very strong and dangerous. He told him also that when he went
into the cabin he would find his brother lying inside nearly dead on
account of the presence of the uktena's scale, but he must take a small
piece of cane, which the Red Man gave him, and scrape a little of it
into water and give it to his brother to drink and he would be well
again. Then the Red Man was gone, and the hunter could not see where
he went. He returned to camp alone, and found his brother very sick,
but soon cured him with the medicine from the cane, and that day and
the next, and every day after, he found game whenever he went for it.


A man living down in Georgia came to visit some relatives at
Hickory-log. He was a great hunter, and after resting in the house a
day or two got ready to go into the mountains. His friends warned him
not to go toward the north, as in that direction, near a certain large
uprooted tree, there lived a dangerous monster uksu'hi snake. It kept
constant watch, and whenever it could spring upon an unwary hunter
it would coil about him and crush out his life in its folds and then
drag the dead body down the mountain side into a deep hole in Hiwassee.

He listened quietly to the warning, but all they said only made him
the more anxious to see such a monster, so, without saying anything
of his intention, he left the settlement and took his way directly
up the mountain toward the north. Soon he came to the fallen tree and
climbed upon the trunk, and there, sure enough, on the other side was
the great uksu'hi stretched out in the grass, with its head raised,
but looking the other way. It was about so large [making a circle
of a foot in diameter with his hands]. The frightened hunter got
down again at once and started to run; but the snake had heard the
noise and turned quickly and was after him. Up the ridge the hunter
ran, the snake close behind him, then down the other side toward the
river. With all his running the uksu'hi gained rapidly, and just as he
reached the low ground it caught up with him and wrapped around him,
pinning one arm down by his side, but leaving the other free.

Now it gave him a terrible squeeze that almost broke his ribs, and
then began to drag him along toward the water. With his free hand the
hunter clutched at the bushes as they passed, but the snake turned
its head and blew its sickening breath into his face until he had to
let go his hold. Again and again this happened, and all the time they
were getting nearer to a deep hole in the river, when, almost at the
last moment, a lucky thought came into the hunter's mind.

He was sweating all over from his hard run across the mountain, and
suddenly remembered to have heard that snakes can not bear the smell
of perspiration. Putting his free hand into his bosom he worked it
around under his armpit until it was covered with perspiration. Then
withdrawing it he grasped at a bush until the snake turned its head,
when he quickly slapped his sweaty hand on its nose. The uksu'hi
gave one gasp almost as if it had been wounded, loosened its coil,
and glided swiftly away through the bushes, leaving the hunter,
bruised but not disabled, to make his way home to Hickory-log.


There was once a great serpent called the Ustû'tli that made its haunt
upon Cohutta mountain. It was called the Ustû'tli or "foot" snake,
because it did not glide like other snakes, but had feet at each end
of its body, and moved by strides or jerks, like a great measuring
worm. These feet were three-cornered and flat and could hold on to
the ground like suckers. It had no legs, but would raise itself up
on its hind feet, with its snaky head waving high in the air until
it found a good place to take a fresh hold; then it would bend down
and grip its front feet to the ground while it drew its body up from
behind. It could cross rivers and deep ravines by throwing its head
across and getting a grip with its front feet and then swinging its
body over. Wherever its footprints were found there was danger. It
used to bleat like a young fawn, and when the hunter heard a fawn
bleat in the woods he never looked for it, but hurried away in the
other direction. Up the mountain or down, nothing could escape the
Ustû'tli's pursuit, but along the side of the ridge it could not go,
because the great weight of its swinging head broke its hold on the
ground when it moved sideways.

It came to pass after a while that not a hunter about Cohutta would
venture near the mountain for dread of the Ustû'tli. At last a man
from one of the northern settlements came down to visit some relatives
in that neighborhood. When he arrived they made a feast for him,
but had only corn and beans, and excused themselves for having no
meat because the hunters were afraid to go into the mountains. He
asked the reason, and when they told him he said he would go himself
to-morrow and either bring in a deer or find the Ustû'tli. They tried
to dissuade him from it, but as he insisted upon going they warned him
that if he heard a fawn bleat in the thicket he must run at once and
if the snake came after him he must not try to run down the mountain,
but along the side of the ridge.

In the morning he started out and went directly toward the
mountain. Working his way through the bushes at the base, he
suddenly heard a fawn bleat in front. He guessed at once that it
was the Ustû'tli, but he had made up his mind to see it, so he did
not turn back, but went straight forward, and there, sure enough,
was the monster, with its great head in the air, as high as the pine
branches, looking in every direction to discover a deer, or maybe a
man, for breakfast. It saw him and came at him at once, moving in
jerky strides, every one the length of a tree trunk, holding its
scaly head high above the bushes and bleating as it came.

The hunter was so badly frightened that he lost his wits entirely and
started to run directly up the mountain. The great snake came after
him, gaining half its length on him every time it took a fresh grip
with its fore feet, and would have caught the hunter before he reached
the top of the ridge, but that he suddenly remembered the warning and
changed his course to run along the sides of the mountain. At once
the snake began to lose ground, for every time it raised itself up the
weight of its body threw it out of a straight line and made it fall a
little lower down the side of the ridge. It tried to recover itself,
but now the hunter gained and kept on until he turned the end of the
ridge and left the snake out of sight. Then he cautiously climbed
to the top and looked over and saw the Ustû'tli still slowly working
its way toward the summit.

He went down to the base of the mountain, opened his fire pouch,
and set fire to the grass and leaves. Soon the fire ran all around
the mountain and began to climb upward. When the great snake smelled
the smoke and saw the flames coming it forgot all about the hunter
and turned to make all speed for a high cliff near the summit. It
reached the rock and got upon it, but the fire followed and caught
the dead pines about the base of the cliff until the heat made the
Ustû'tli's scales crack. Taking a close grip of the rock with its
hind feet it raised its body and put forth all its strength in an
effort to spring across the wall of fire that surrounded it, but the
smoke choked it and its hold loosened and it fell among the blazing
pine trunks and lay there until it was burned to ashes.


At Nûñ'daye'`li, the wildest spot on Nantahala river, in what is now
Macon county, North Carolina, where the overhanging cliff is highest
and the river far below, there lived in the old time a great snake
called the Uw'tsûñ'ta or "bouncer," because it moved by jerks like
a measuring worm, with only one part of its body on the ground at
a time. It stayed generally on the east side, where the sun came
first in the morning, and used to cross by reaching over from the
highest point of the cliff until it could get a grip on the other
side, when it would pull over the rest of its body. It was so immense
that when it was thus stretched across its shadow darkened the whole
valley below. For a long time the people did not know it was there,
but when at last they found out about it they were afraid to live in
the valley, so that it was deserted even while still Indian country.


There was a boy who used to go bird hunting every day, and all the
birds he brought home he gave to his grandmother, who was very fond
of him. This made the rest of the family jealous, and they treated
him in such fashion that at last one day he told his grandmother
he would leave them all, but that she must not grieve for him. Next
morning he refused to eat any breakfast, but went off hungry to the
woods and was gone all day. In the evening he returned, bringing with
him a pair of deer horns, and went directly to the hothouse (âsi),
where his grandmother was waiting for him. He told the old woman he
must be alone that night, so she got up and went into the house where
the others were.

At early daybreak she came again to the hothouse and looked in, and
there she saw an immense uktena that filled the âsi, with horns on its
head, but still with two human legs instead of a snake tail. It was all
that was left of her boy. He spoke to her and told her to leave him,
and she went away again from the door. When the sun was well up, the
uktena began slowly to crawl out, but it was full noon before it was
all out of the âsi. It made a terrible hissing noise as it came out,
and all the people ran from it. It crawled on through the settlement,
leaving a broad trail in the ground behind it, until it came to a
deep bend in the river, where it plunged in and went under the water.

The grandmother grieved much for her boy, until the others of the
family got angry and told her that as she thought -so much of him
she ought to go and stay with him. So she left them and went along
the trail made by the uktena to the river and walked directly into
the water and disappeared. Once after that a man fishing near the
place saw her sitting on a large rock in the river, looking just as
she had always looked, but as soon as she caught sight of him she
jumped into the water and was gone.


Two hunters, both for some reason under a tabu against the meat of a
squirrel or turkey, had gone into the woods together. When evening
came they found a good camping place and lighted a fire to prepare
their supper. One of them had killed several squirrels during the day,
and now got ready to broil them over the fire. His companion warned
him that if he broke the tabu and ate squirrel meat he would become
a snake, but the other laughed and said that was only a conjurer's
story. He went on with his preparation, and when the squirrels were
roasted made his supper of them and then lay down beside the fire
to sleep.

Late that night his companion was aroused by groaning, and on looking
around he found the other lying on the ground rolling and twisting in
agony, and with the lower part of his body already changed to the body
and tail of a large water snake. The man was still able to speak and
called loudly for help, but his companion could do nothing, but only
sit by and try to comfort him while he watched the arms sink into
the body and the skin take on a scaly change that mounted gradually
toward the neck, until at last even the head was a serpent's head
and the great snake crawled away from the fire and down the bank into
the river.


One day in the old times when we could still talk with other creatures,
while some children were playing about the house, their mother inside
heard them scream. Running out she found that a rattlesnake had
crawled from the grass, and taking up a stick she killed it. The
father was out hunting in the mountains, and that evening when
coming home after dark through the gap he heard a strange wailing
sound. Looking about he found that he had come into the midst of
a whole company of rattlesnakes, which all had their mouths open
and seemed to be crying. He asked them the reason of their trouble,
and they told him that his own wife had that day killed their chief,
the Yellow Rattlesnake, and they were just now about to send the
Black Rattlesnake to take revenge.

The hunter said he was very sorry, but they told him that if he
spoke the truth he must be ready to make satisfaction and give his
wife as a sacrifice for the life of their chief. Not knowing what
might happen otherwise, he consented. They then told him that the
Black Rattlesnake would go home with him and coil up just outside
the door in the dark. He must go inside, where he would find his wife
awaiting him, and ask her to get him a drink of fresh water from the
spring. That was all.

He went home and knew that the Black Rattlesnake was following. It
was night when he arrived and very dark, but he found his wife waiting
with his supper ready. He sat down and asked for a drink of water. She
handed him a gourd full from the jar, but he said he wanted it fresh
from the spring, so she took a bowl and went out of the door. The
next moment he heard a cry, and going out he found that the Black
Rattlesnake had bitten her and that she was already dying. He stayed
with her until she was dead, when the Black Rattlesnake came out
from the grass again and said his tribe was now satisfied. He then
taught the hunter a prayer song, and said, "When you meet any of us
hereafter sing this song and we will not hurt you; but if by accident
one of us should bite one of your people then sing this song over him
and he will recover." And the Cherokee have kept the song to this day.


There are several varieties of frogs and toads, each with a different
name, but there is very little folklore in connection with them. The
common green frog is called walâ'si, and among the Cherokee, as among
uneducated whites, the handling of it is thought to cause warts,
which for this reason are called by the same name, walâ'si. A solar
eclipse is believed to be caused by the attempt of a great frog
to swallow the sun, and in former times it was customary on such
occasions to fire guns and make other loud noises to frighten away
the frog. The smaller varieties are sometimes eaten, and on rare
occasions the bullfrog also, but the meat is tabued to ball players
while in training, for fear that the brittleness of the frog's bones
would be imparted to those of the player.

The land tortoise (tûksi') is prominent in the animal myths, and is
reputed to have been a great warrior in the old times. On account of
the stoutness of its legs ball players rub their limbs with them before
going into the contest. The common water turtle (saligu'gi), which
occupies so important a place in the mythology of the northern tribes,
is not mentioned in Cherokee myth or folklore, and the same is true
of the soft-shelled turtle (u`lana'wa), perhaps for the reason that
both are rare in the cold mountain streams of the Cherokee country.

There are perhaps half a dozen varieties of lizard, each with a
different name. The gray road lizard, or diyâ'hali (alligator lizard,
Sceloporus undulatus), is the most common. On account of its habit of
alternately puffing out and drawing in its throat as though sucking,
when basking in the sun, it is invoked in the formulas for drawing
out the poison from snake bites. If one catches the first diyâ'hali
seen in the spring, and, holding it between his fingers, scratches
his legs downward with its claws, he will see no dangerous snakes
all summer. Also, if one be caught alive at any time and rubbed
over the head and throat of an infant, scratching the skin very
slightly at the same time with the claws, the child will never be
fretful, but will sleep quietly without complaining, even when sick
or exposed to the rain. This is a somewhat risky experiment, however,
as the child is liable thereafter to go to sleep wherever it may be
laid down for a moment, so that the mother is in constant danger of
losing it. According to some authorities this sleep lizard is not
the diyâ'hali, but a larger variety akin to the next described.

The giga-tsuha'`li ("bloody mouth," Pleistodon?) is described as a
very large lizard, nearly as large as a water dog, with the throat
and corners of the mouth red, as though from drinking blood. It is
believed to be not a true lizard but a transformed ugûñste'li fish
(described below) on account of the similarity of coloring and the
fact that the fish disappears about the time the giga-tsuha'`li
begins to come out. It is ferocious and a hard biter, and pursues
other lizards. In dry weather it cries or makes a noise like a cicada,
raising itself up as it cries. It has a habit of approaching near to
where some person is sitting or standing, then halting and looking
fixedly at him, and constantly puffing out its throat until its head
assumes a bright red color. It is thought then to be sucking the
blood of its victim, and is dreaded and shunned accordingly. The small
scorpion lizard (tsâne'ni) is sometimes called also giga-danegi'ski,
"blood taker." It is a striped lizard which frequents sandy beaches
and resemble the diyâ'hali, but is of a brown color. It is believed
also to be sucking blood in some mysterious way whenever it nods its
head, and if its heart be eaten by a dog that animal will be able to
extract all the nutrient properties from food by simply looking at
these who are eating.

The small spring lizard (duwe'`ga), which lives in springs, is
supposed to cause rain whenever it crawls out of the spring. It
is frequently invoked in the formulas. Another spring (?) lizard,
red, with black spots, is called dagan'`tû' or aniganti'ski "the
rain maker," because its cry is said to bring rain. The water dog
(tsuwa', mud puppy, Menopoma or Protonopsis) is a very large lizard,
or rather salamander, frequenting muddy water. It is rarely eaten,
from an unexplained belief that if one who has eaten its meat goes
into the field immediately afterward the crop will be ruined. There
are names for one or two other varieties of lizard as well as for
the alligator (tsula'ski), but no folklore in connection with them.

Although the Cherokee country abounds in swift-flowing streams well
stocked with fish, of which the Indians make free use, there is
but little fish lore. A number of "dream" diseases, really due to
indigestion, are ascribed to revengeful fish ghosts, and the doctor
usually tries to effect the cure by invoking some larger fish or
fish-eating bird to drive out the ghost.

Toco creek, in Monroe county, Tennessee, derives its name from a
mythic monster fish, the Dakwa', considered the father of all the
fish tribe, which is said to have lived formerly in Little Tennessee
river at that point (see story, "The Hunter and the Dakwa'"). A fish
called ugûñste'li, "having horns," which appears only in spring,
is believed to be transformed later into the giga-tsuha'li lizard,
already mentioned. The fish is described as having horns or projections
upon its nose and beautiful red spots upon its head, and as being
attended or accompanied by many smaller red fish, all of which,
including the ugûñste'li, are accustomed to pile up small stones in
the water. As the season advances it disappears and is believed then
to have turned into a giga-tsuha'li lizard, the change beginning at
the head and finishing with the tail. It is probably the Campostoma
or stone roller, which is conspicuous for its bright coloring in
early spring, but loses its tints after spawning. The meat of the
sluggish hog-sucker is tabued to the ball player, who must necessarily
be active in movement. The fresh-water mussel is called dagû'na,
and the same name is applied to certain pimples upon the face, on
account of a fancied resemblance. The ball player rubs himself with
an eel skin to make himself slippery and hard to hold, and, according
to the Wahnenauhi manuscript, women formerly tied up their hair with
the dried skin of an eel to make it grow long. A large red crawfish
called tsiska'gili, much resembling a lobster, is used to scratch young
children in order to give them a strong grip, each hand of the child
being lightly scratched once with the pincer of the living animal. A
mother whose grown son had been thus treated when an infant claimed
that he could hold anything with his thumb and finger. It is said,
however, to render the child quarrelsome and disposed to bite.

Of insects there is more to be said. The generic name for all sorts of
small insects and worms is tsgâya, and according to the doctors, who
had anticipated the microbe theory by several centuries, these tsgâya
are to blame for nearly every human ailment not directly traceable
to the asgina of the larger animals or to witchcraft. The reason is
plain. There are such myriads of them everywhere on the earth and
in the air that mankind is constantly destroying them by wholesale,
without mercy and almost without knowledge, and this is their method
of taking revenge.

Beetles are classed together under a name which signifies "insects with
shells." The little water-beetle or mellow-bug (Dineutes discolor)
is called dâyuni'si, "beaver's grandmother," and according to the
genesis tradition it brought up the first earth from under the water. A
certain green-headed beetle with horns (Phanæus carnifex) is spoken of
as the dog of the Thunder boys, and the metallic-green luster upon its
forehead is said to have been caused by striking at the celebrated
mythic gambler, Ûñtsaiyi', "Brass" (see the story). The June-bug
(Allorhina nitida), another green beetle, is tagû, but is frequently
called by the curious name of tu'ya-di'skalaw`sti'ski, "one who keeps
fire under the beans." Its larva is the grubworm which presided at the
meeting held by the insects to compass the destruction of the human
race (see the story, "Origin of Disease and Medicine"). The large
horned beetle (Dynastes tityus?) is called tsistû'na, "crawfish,"
a`wi', "deer," or galagi'na, "buck," on account of its branching
horns. The snapping beetle (Alaus oculatus?) is called tûlsku'wa,
"one that snaps with his head."

When the lâlû or jar-fly (Cicada auletes) begins to sing in midsummer
they say: "The jar-fly has brought the beans," his song being taken
as the signal that beans are ripe and that green corn is not far
behind. When the katydid (tsikiki') is heard a little later they say,
"Katydid has brought the roasting-ear bread." The cricket (tala'tu')
is often called "the barber" (ditastaye'ski), on account of its habit
of gnawing hair from furs, and when the Cherokee meet a man with his
hair clipped unevenly they sometimes ask playfully, "Did the cricket
cut your hair?" (see story, "Why the Possum's Tail is Bare"). Certain
persons are said to drink tea made of crickets in order to become
good singers.

The mole cricket (Gryllotalpa), so called because it tunnels in the
earth and has hand-like claws fitted for digging, is known to the
Cherokee as gûl`kwâgi, a word which literally means "seven," but is
probably an onomatope. It is reputed among them to be alert, hard
to catch, and an excellent singer, who "never makes mistakes." Like
the crawfish and the cricket, it plays an important part in preparing
people for the duties of life. Infants slow in learning to speak have
their tongues scratched with the claw of a gûl`kwâgi, the living
insect being held in the hand during the operation, in order that
they may soon learn to speak distinctly and be eloquent, wise, and
shrewd of speech as they grow older, and of such quick intelligence
as to remember without effort anything once heard. The same desirable
result may be accomplished with a grown person, but with much more
difficulty, as in that case it is necessary to scratch the inside
of the throat for four successive mornings, the insect being pushed
down with the fingers and again withdrawn, while the regular tabus
must be strictly observed for the same period, or the operation will
be without effect. In some cases the insect is put into a small bowl
of water overnight, and if still alive in the morning it is taken
out and the water given to the patient to drink, after which the
gûl`kwâgi is set at liberty.

Bees are kept by many of the Cherokee, in addition to the wild bees
which are hunted in the woods. Although they are said to have come
originally from the whites, the Cherokee have no tradition of a time
when they did not know them; there seems, however, to be no folklore
connected with them. The cow-ant (Myrmica?), a large, red, stinging
ant, is called properly dasûñ'tali atatsûñ'ski, "stinging ant," but,
on account of its hard body-case, is frequently called nûñ'yunu'wi,
"stone-dress," after a celebrated mythic monster. Strange as it may
seem, there appears to be no folklore connected with either the
firefly or the glowworm, while the spider, so prominent in other
tribal mythologies, appears in but a single Cherokee myth, where it
brings back the fire from across the water. In the formulas it is
frequently invoked to entangle in its threads the soul of a victim
whom the conjurer desires to bring under his evil spells. From a
fancied resemblance in appearance the name for spider, ka'nane'ski,
is applied also to a watch or clock. A small yellowish moth which
flies about the fire at night is called tûñ'tawû, a name implying
that it goes into and out of the fire, and when at last it flits too
near and falls into the blaze the Cherokee say, "Tûñ'tawû is going
to bed." On account of its affinity for the fire it is invoked by
the doctor in all "fire diseases," including sore eyes and frostbite.


According to one version the Bullfrog was always ridiculing the
great gambler Ûñtsai'yi, "Brass," (see the story) until the latter
at last got angry and dared the Bullfrog to play the gatayû'sti
(wheel-and-stick) game with him, whichever lost to be scratched on
his forehead. Brass won, as he always did, and the yellow stripes on
the Bullfrog's head show where the gambler's fingers scratched him.

Another story is that the Bullfrog had a conjurer to paint his head
with yellow stripes (brass) to make him appear more handsome to a
pretty woman he was courting.


A young man courted a girl, who liked him well enough, but her mother
was so much opposed to him that she would not let him come near the
house. At last he made a trumpet from the handle of a gourd and hid
himself after night near the spring until the old woman came down
for water. While she was dipping up the water he put the trumpet to
his lips and grumbled out in a deep voice like a bullfrog's:

            Yañdaska'ga hûñyahu'ska,
            Yañdaska'ga hûñyahu'ska.

            The faultfinder will die,
            The faultfinder will die.

The woman thought it a witch bullfrog, and was so frightened that she
dropped her dipper and ran back to the house to tell the people They
all agreed that it was a warning to her to stop interfering with her
daughter's affairs, so she gave her consent, and thus the young man
won his wife.

There is another story of a girl who, every day when she went down to
the spring for water, heard a voice singing, Kûnu'nu tû'tsahyesi',
Kûnu'nu tû'tsahyesi', "A bullfrog will marry you, A bullfrog will
marry you." She wondered much until one day when she came down she
saw sitting on a stone by the spring a bullfrog, which suddenly took
the form of a young man and asked her to marry him. She consented and
took him back with her to the house. But although he had the shape of a
man there was a queer bullfrog look about his face, so that the girl's
family hated him and at last persuaded her to send him away. She told
him and he went away, but when they next went down to the spring they
heard a voice: Ste'tsi tûya'husi, Ste'tsi tûyahusi', "Your daughter
will die, Your daughter will die," and so it happened soon after.

As some tell it, the lover was a tadpole, who took on human shape,
retaining only his tadpole mouth. To conceal it he constantly refused
to eat with the family, but stood with his back to the fire and his
face screwed up, pretending that he had a toothache. At last his wife
grew suspicious and turning him suddenly around to the firelight,
exposed the tadpole mouth, at which they all ridiculed him so much
that he left the house forever.


Two hunters camping in the woods were preparing supper one night
when a Katydid began singing near them. One of them said sneeringly,
"Kû! It sings and don't know that it will die before the season
ends." The Katydid answered: "Kû! niwi (onomatope); O, so you say;
but you need not boast. You will die before to-morrow night." The
next day they were surprised by the enemy and the hunter who had
sneered at the Katydid was killed.

Wonder Stories


Thunder lives in the west, or a little to the south of west, near
the place where the sun goes down behind the water. In the old times
he sometimes made a journey to the east, and once after he had come
back from one of these journeys a child was born in the east who, the
people said, was his son. As the boy grew up it was found that he had
scrofula sores all over his body, so one day his mother said to him,
"Your father, Thunder, is a great doctor. He lives far in the west,
but if you can find him he can cure you."

So the boy set out to find his father and be cured. He traveled long
toward the west, asking of every one he met where Thunder lived, until
at last they began to tell him that it was only a little way ahead. He
went on and came to Ûñtiguhi', on Tennessee, where lived Ûñtsaiyi'
"Brass." Now Ûñtsaiyi' was a great gambler, and made his living that
way. It was he who invented the gatayûsti game that we play with
a stone wheel and a stick. He lived on the south side of the river,
and everybody who came that way he challenged to play against him. The
large flat rock, with the lines and grooves where they used to roll
the wheel, is still there, with the wheels themselves and the stick
turned to stone. He won almost every time, because he was so tricky, so
that he had his house filled with all kinds of fine things. Sometimes
he would lose, and then he would bet all that he had, even to his
own life, but the winner got nothing for his trouble, for Ûñtsaiyi'
knew how to take on different shapes, so that he always got away.

As soon as Ûñtsaiyi' saw him he asked him to stop and play a while,
but the boy said he was looking for his father, Thunder, and had no
time to wait. "Well," said Ûñtsaiyi', "he lives in the next house;
you can hear him grumbling over there all the time"--he meant the
Thunder--"so we may as well have a game or two before you go on." The
boy said he had nothing to bet. "That's all right," said the gambler,
"we'll play for your pretty spots." He said this to make the boy
angry so that he would play, but still the boy said he must go first
and find his father, and would come back afterwards.

He went on, and soon the news came to Thunder that a boy was looking
for him who claimed to be his son. Said Thunder, "I have traveled in
many lands and have many children. Bring him here and we shall soon
know." So they brought in the boy, and Thunder showed him a seat
and told him to sit down. Under the blanket on the seat were long,
sharp thorns of the honey locust, with the points all sticking up,
but when the boy sat down they did not hurt him, and then Thunder knew
that it was his son. He asked the boy why he had come. "I have sores
all over my body, and my mother told me you were my father and a great
doctor, and if I came here you would cure me." "Yes," said his father,
"I am a great doctor, and I'll soon fix you."

There was a large pot in the corner and he told his wife to fill it
with water and put it over the fire. When it was boiling, he put in
some roots, then took the boy and put him in with them. He let it boil
a long time until one would have thought that the flesh was boiled
from the poor boy's bones, and then told his wife to take the pot
and throw it into the river, boy and all. She did as she was told,
and threw it into the water, and ever since there is an eddy there
that we call Ûñ'tiguhi', "Pot-in-the-water." A service tree and a
calico bush grew on the bank above. A great cloud of steam came up
and made streaks and blotches on their bark, and it has been so to
this day. When the steam cleared away she looked over and saw the
boy clinging to the roots of the service tree where they hung down
into the water, but now his skin was all clean. She helped him up
the bank, and they went back to the house. On the way she told him,
"When we go in, your father will put a new dress on you, but when he
opens his box and tells you to pick out your ornaments be sure to
take them from the bottom. Then he will send for his other sons to
play ball against you. There is a honey-locust tree in front of the
house, and as soon as you begin to get tired strike at that and your
father will stop the play, because he does not want to lose the tree."

When they went into the house, the old man was pleased to see the boy
looking so clean, and said, "I knew I could soon cure those spots. Now
we must dress you." He brought out a fine suit of buckskin, with belt
and headdress, and had the boy put them on. Then he opened a box and
said, "Now pick out your necklace and bracelets." The boy looked,
and the box was full of all kinds of snakes gliding over each other
with their heads up. He was not afraid, but remembered what the
woman had told him, and plunged his hand to the bottom and drew out
a great rattlesnake and put it around his neck for a necklace. He
put down his hand again four times and drew up four copperheads and
twisted them around his wrists and ankles. Then his father gave him
a war club and said, "Now you must play a ball game with your two
elder brothers. They live beyond here in the Darkening land, and
I have sent for them." He said a ball game, but he meant that the
boy must fight for his life. The young men came, and they were both
older and stronger than the boy, but he was not afraid and fought
against them. The thunder rolled and the lightning flashed at every
stroke, for they were the young Thunders, and the boy himself was
Lightning. At last he was tired from defending himself alone against
two, and pretended to aim a blow at the honey-locust tree. Then his
father stopped the fight, because he was afraid the lightning would
split the tree, and he saw that the boy was brave and strong.

The boy told his father how Ûñtsaiyi' had dared him to play, and had
even offered to play for the spots on his skin. "Yes," said Thunder,
"he is a great gambler and makes his living that way, but I will see
that you win." He brought a small cymling gourd with a hole bored
through the neck, and tied it on the boy's wrist. Inside the gourd
there was a string of beads, and one end hung out from a hole in the
top, but there was no end to the string inside. "Now," said his father,
"go back the way you came, and as soon as he sees you he will want to
play for the beads. He is very hard to beat, but this time he will
lose every game. When he cries out for a drink, you will know he is
getting discouraged, and then strike the rock with your war club and
water will come, so that you can play on without stopping. At last
he will bet his life, and lose. Then send at once for your brothers
to kill him, or he will get away, he is so tricky."

The boy took the gourd and his war club and started east along the road
by which he had come. As soon as Ûñtsaiyi' saw him he called to him,
and when he saw the gourd with the bead string hanging out he wanted
to play for it. The boy drew out the string, but there seemed to be
no end to it, and he kept on pulling until enough had come out to
make a circle all around the playground. "I will play one game for
this much against your stake," said the boy, "and when that is over
we can have another game."

They began the game with the wheel and stick and the boy won. Ûñtsaiyi'
did not know what to think of it, but he put up another stake and
called for a second game. The boy won again, and so they played on
until noon, when Ûñtsaiyi' had lost nearly everything he had and was
about discouraged. It was very hot, and he said, "I am thirsty," and
wanted to stop long enough to get a drink. "No," said the boy, and
struck the rock with his club so that water came out, and they had a
drink. They played on until Ûñtsaiyi' had lost all his buckskins and
beaded work, his eagle feathers and ornaments, and at last offered
to bet his wife. They played and the boy won her. Then Ûñtsaiyi'
was desperate and offered to stake his life. "If I win I kill you,
but if you win you may kill me." They played and the boy won.

"Let me go and tell my wife," said Ûñtsaiyi', "so that she will receive
her new husband, and then you may kill me." He went into the house,
but it had two doors, and although the boy waited long Ûñtsaiyi' did
not come back. When at last he went to look for him he found that
the gambler had gone out the back way and was nearly out of sight
going east.

The boy ran to his father's house and got his brothers to help
him. They brought their dog--the Horned Green Beetle--and hurried
after the gambler. He ran fast and was soon out of sight, and
they followed as fast as they could. After a while they met an old
woman making pottery and asked her if she had seen Ûñtsaiyi' and
she said she had not. "He came this way," said the brothers. "Then
he must have passed in the night," said the old woman, "for I have
been here all day." They were about to take another road when the
Beetle, which had been circling about in the air above the old woman,
made a dart at her and struck her on the forehead, and it rang like
brass--ûñtsaiyi'! Then they knew it was Brass and sprang at him, but
he jumped up in his right shape and was off, running so fast that he
was soon out of sight again. The Beetle had struck so hard that some of
the brass rubbed off, and we can see it on the beetle's forehead yet.

They followed and came to an old man sitting by the trail, carving
a stone pipe. They asked him if he had seen Brass pass that way and
he said no, but again the Beetle--which could know Brass under any
shape--struck him on the forehead so that it rang like metal, and the
gambler jumped up in his right form and was off again before they
could hold him. He ran east until he came to the great water; then
he ran north until he came to the edge of the world, and had to turn
again to the west. He took every shape to throw them off the track,
but the Green Beetle always knew him, and the brothers pressed him
so hard that at last he could go no more and they caught him just as
he reached the edge of the great water where the sun goes down.

They tied his hands and feet with a grapevine and drove a long stake
through his breast, and planted it far out in the deep water. They
set two crows on the end of the pole to guard it and called the place
Kâgûñ'yi, "Crow place." But Brass never died, and can not die until the
end of the world, but lies there always with his face up. Sometimes he
struggles under the water to get free, and sometimes the beavers, who
are his friends, come and gnaw at the grapevine to release him. Then
the pole shakes and the crows at the top cry Ka! Ka! Ka! and scare
the beavers away.


On the north bank of Little Tennessee river, in a bend below the mouth
of Citico creek, in Blount county, Tennessee, is a high cliff hanging
over the water, and about halfway up the face of the rock is a cave
with two openings. The rock projects outward above the cave, so that
the mouth can not be seen from above, and it seems impossible to reach
the cave either from above or below. There are white streaks in the
rock from the cave down to the water. The Cherokee call it Tla'nuwâ'i,
"the place of the Tla'nuwa," or great mythic hawk.

In the old time, away back soon after the creation, a pair of Tla'nuwas
had their nest in this cave. The streaks in the rock were made by the
droppings from the nest. They were immense birds, larger than any that
live now, and very strong and savage. They were forever flying up and
down the river, and used to come into the settlements and carry off
dogs and even young children playing near the houses. No one could
reach the nest to kill them, and when the people tried to shoot them
the arrows only glanced off and were seized and carried away in the
talons of the Tla'nuwas.

At last the people went to a great medicine man, who promised to help
them. Some were afraid that if he failed to kill the Tla'nuwas they
would take revenge on the people, but the medicine man said he could
fix that. He made a long rope of linn bark, just as the Cherokee still
do, with loops in it for his feet, and had the people let him down
from the top of the cliff at a time when he knew that the old birds
were away. When he came opposite the mouth of the cave he still could
not reach it, because the rock above hung over, so he swung himself
backward and forward several times until the rope swung near enough for
him to pull himself into the cave with a hooked stick that he carried,
which he managed to fasten in some bushes growing at the entrance. In
the nest he found four young ones, and on the floor of the cave were
the bones of all sorts of animals that had been carried there by the
hawks. He pulled the young ones out of the nest and threw them over
the cliff into the deep water below, where a great Uktena serpent that
lived there finished them. Just then he saw the two old ones coming,
and had hardly time to climb up again to the top of the rock before
they reached the nest.

When they found the nest empty they were furious, and circled round
and round in the air until they saw the snake put up its head from
the water. Then they darted straight downward, and while one seized
the snake in his talons and flew far up in the sky with it, his mate
struck at it and bit off piece after piece until nothing was left. They
were so high up that when the pieces fell they made holes in the
rock, which are still to be seen there, at the place which we call
"Where the Tla'nuwa cut it up," opposite the mouth of Citico. Then
the two Tla'nuwas circled up and up until they went out of sight,
and they have never been seen since.


A hunter out in the woods one day saw a Tla'nuwa overhead and tried to
hide from it, but the great bird had already seen him, and sweeping
down struck its claws into his hunting pack and carried him far up
into the air. As it flew, the Tla'nuwa, which was a mother bird,
spoke and told the hunter that he need not be afraid, as she would
not hurt him, but only wanted him to stay for a while with her
young ones to guard them until they were old enough to leave the
nest. At last they alighted at the mouth of a cave in the face of a
steep cliff. Inside the water was dripping from the roof, and at the
farther end was a nest of sticks in which were two young birds. The
old Tla'nuwa set the hunter down and then flew away, returning soon
with a fresh-killed deer, which it tore in pieces, giving the first
piece to the hunter and then feeding the two young hawks.

The hunter stayed in the cave many days until the young birds were
nearly grown, and every day the old mother hawk would fly away from
the nest and return in the evening with a deer or a bear, of which she
always gave the first piece to the hunter. He grew very anxious to see
his home again, but the Tla'nuwa kept telling him not to be uneasy,
but to wait a little while longer. At last he made up his mind to
escape from the cave and finally studied out a plan. The next morning,
after the old bird had gone, he dragged one of the young birds to the
mouth of the cave and tied himself to one of its legs with a strap from
his hunting pack. Then with the flat side of his tomahawk he struck it
several times in the head until it was dazed and helpless, and pushed
the bird and himself together off the shelf of rock into the air.

They fell far, far down toward the earth, but the air from below held
up the bird's wings, so that it was almost as if they were flying. As
the Tla'nuwa revived it tried to fly upward toward the nest, but
the hunter struck it again with his hatchet until it was dazed and
dropped again. At last they came down in the top of a poplar tree,
when the hunter untied the strap from the leg of the young bird and
let it fly away, first pulling out a feather from its wing. He climbed
down from the tree and went to his home in the settlement, but when
he looked in his pack for the feather he found a stone instead.


Long, long ago--hilahi'yu--there dwelt in the mountains a terrible
ogress, a woman monster, whose food was human livers. She could
take on any shape or appearance to suit her purpose, but in her
right form she looked very much like an old woman, excepting that
her whole body was covered with a skin as hard as a rock that no
weapon could wound or penetrate, and that on her right hand she had
a long, stony forefinger of bone, like an awl or spearhead, with
which she stabbed everyone to whom she could get near enough. On
account of this fact she was called U`tlûñ'ta, "Spear-finger," and
on account of her stony skin she was sometimes called Nûñ'yunu'wi,
"Stone-dress." There was another stone-clothed monster that killed
people, but that is a different story.

Spear-finger had such powers over stone that she could easily lift
and carry immense rocks, and could cement them together by merely
striking one against another. To get over the rough country more
easily she undertook to build a great rock bridge through the air from
Nûñyû'-tlu`gûñ'yi, the "Tree rock," on Hiwassee, over to Sanigilâ'gi
(Whiteside mountain), on the Blue ridge, and had it well started
from the top of the "Tree rock" when the lightning struck it and
scattered the fragments along the whole ridge, where the pieces can
still be seen by those who go there. She used to range all over the
mountains about the heads of the streams and in the dark passes of
Nantahala, always hungry and looking for victims. Her favorite haunt
on the Tennessee side was about the gap on the trail where Chilhowee
mountain comes down to the river.

Sometimes an old woman would approach along the trail where the
children were picking strawberries or playing near the village, and
would say to them coaxingly, "Come, my grandchildren, come to your
granny and let granny dress your hair." When some little girl ran
up and laid her head in the old woman's lap to be petted and combed
the old witch would gently run her fingers through the child's hair
until it went to sleep, when she would stab the little one through the
heart or back of the neck with the long awl finger, which she had kept
hidden under her robe. Then she would take out the liver and eat it.

She would enter a house by taking the appearance of one of the
family who happened to have gone out for a short time, and would
watch her chance to stab some one with her long finger and take out
his liver. She could stab him without being noticed, and often the
victim did not even know it himself at the time--for it left no wound
and caused no pain--but went on about his own affairs, until all at
once he felt weak and began gradually to pine away, and was always
sure to die, because Spear-finger had taken his liver.

When the Cherokee went out in the fall, according to their custom, to
burn the leaves off from the mountains in order to get the chestnuts
on the ground, they were never safe, for the old witch was always on
the lookout, and as soon as she saw the smoke rise she knew there
were Indians there and sneaked up to try to surprise one alone. So
as well as they could they tried to keep together, and were very
cautious of allowing any stranger to approach the camp. But if one
went down to the spring for a drink they never knew but it might be
the liver eater that came back and sat with them.

Sometimes she took her proper form, and once or twice, when far out
from the settlements, a solitary hunter had seen an old woman, with
a queer-looking hand, going through the woods singing low to herself:

            Uwe'la nátsikû'. Su' sa' sai'.
            Liver, I eat it. Su' sa' sai'.

It was rather a pretty song, but it chilled his blood, for he knew
it was the liver eater, and he hurried away, silently, before she
might see him.

At last a great council was held to devise some means to get rid of
U'tlûñ'ta before she should destroy everybody. The people came from
all around, and after much talk it was decided that the best way would
be to trap her in a pitfall where all the warriors could attack her at
once. So they dug a deep pitfall across the trail and covered it over
with earth and grass as if the ground had never been disturbed. Then
they kindled a large fire of brush near the trail and hid themselves
in the laurels, because they knew she would come as soon as she saw
the smoke.

Sure enough they soon saw an old woman coming along the trail. She
looked like an old woman whom they knew well in the village,
and although several of the wiser men wanted to shoot at her, the
others interfered, because they did not want to hurt one of their
own people. The old woman came slowly along the trail, with one hand
under her blanket, until she stepped upon the pitfall and tumbled
through the brush top into the deep hole below. Then, at once, she
showed her true nature, and instead of the feeble old woman there was
the terrible U'tlûñ'ta with her stony skin, and her sharp awl finger
reaching out in every direction for some one to stab.

The hunters rushed out from the thicket and surrounded the pit, but
shoot as true and as often as they could, their arrows struck the
stony mail of the witch only to be broken and fall useless at her
feet, while she taunted them and tried to climb out of the pit to
get at them. They kept out of her way, but were only wasting their
arrows when a small bird, Utsu'`gi, the titmouse, perched on a tree
overhead and began to sing "un, un, un." They thought it was saying
u'nahu', heart, meaning that they should aim at the heart of the
stone witch. They directed their arrows where the heart should be,
but the arrows only glanced off with the flint heads broken.

Then they caught the Utsu'`gi and cut off its tongue, so that ever
since its tongue is short and everybody knows it is a liar. When the
hunters let it go it flew straight up into the sky until it was out
of sight and never came back again. The titmouse that we know now is
only an image of the other.

They kept up the fight without result until another bird, little
Tsi'kilili', the chickadee, flew down from a tree and alighted upon
the witch's right hand. The warriors took this as a sign that they must
aim there, and they were right, for her heart was on the inside of her
hand, which she kept doubled into a fist, this same awl hand with which
she had stabbed so many people. Now she was frightened in earnest,
and began to rush furiously at them with her long awl finger and to
jump about in the pit to dodge the arrows, until at last a lucky arrow
struck just where the awl joined her wrist and she fell down dead.

Ever since the tsi'kilili' is known as a truth teller, and when a man
is away on a journey, if this bird comes and perches near the house
and chirps its song, his friends know he will soon be safe home.


This is what the old men told me when I was a boy.

Once when all the people of the settlement were out in the mountains
on a great hunt one man who had gone on ahead climbed to the top of
a high ridge and found a large river on the other side. While he was
looking across he saw an old man walking about on the opposite ridge,
with a cane that seemed to be made of some bright, shining rock. The
hunter watched and saw that every little while the old man would point
his cane in a certain direction, then draw it back and smell the end
of it. At last he pointed it in the direction of the hunting camp on
the other side of the mountain, and this time when he drew back the
staff he sniffed it several times as if it smelled very good, and then
started along the ridge straight for the camp. He moved very slowly,
with the help of the cane, until he reached the end of the ridge,
when he threw the cane out into the air and it became a bridge of
shining rock stretching across the river. After he had crossed over
upon the bridge it became a cane again, and the old man picked it up
and started over the mountain toward the camp.

The hunter was frightened, and felt sure that it meant mischief, so he
hurried on down the mountain and took the shortest trail back to the
camp to get there before the old man. When he got there and told his
story the medicine-man said the old man was a wicked cannibal monster
called Nûñ'yunu'wi, "Dressed in Stone," who lived in that part of the
country, and was always going about the mountains looking for some
hunter to kill and eat. It was very hard to escape from him, because
his stick guided him like a dog, and it was nearly as hard to kill him,
because his whole body was covered with a skin of solid rock. If he
came he would kill and eat them all, and there was only one way to
save themselves. He could not bear to look upon a menstrual woman,
and if they could find seven menstrual women to stand in the path as
he came along the sight would kill him.

So they asked among all the women, and found seven who were sick in
that way, and with one of them it had just begun. By the order of the
medicine-man they stripped themselves and stood along the path where
the old man would come. Soon they heard Nûñ'yunu'wi coming through
the woods, feeling his way with his stone cane. He came along the
trail to where the first woman was standing, and as soon as he saw her
he started and cried out: "Yu! my grandchild; you are in a very bad
state!" He hurried past her, but in a moment he met the next woman,
and cried out again: "Yu! my child; you are in a terrible way," and
hurried past her, but now he was vomiting blood. He hurried on and
met the third and the fourth and the fifth woman, but with each one
that he saw his step grew weaker until when he came to the last one,
with whom the sickness had just begun, the blood poured from his
mouth and he fell down on the trail.

Then the medicine-man drove seven sourwood stakes through his body and
pinned him to the ground, and when night came they piled great logs
over him and set fire to them, and all the people gathered around to
see. Nûñ'yunu'wi was a great ada'wehi and knew many secrets, and now
as the fire came close to him he began to talk, and told them the
medicine for all kinds of sickness. At midnight he began to sing,
and sang the hunting songs for calling up the bear and the deer and
all the animals of the woods and mountains. As the blaze grew hotter
his voice sank low and lower, until at last when daylight came,
the logs were a heap of white ashes and the voice was still.

Then the medicine-man told them to rake off the ashes, and where the
body had lain they found only a large lump of red wâ'di paint and a
magic u'lûñsû'ti stone. He kept the stone for himself, and calling
the people around him he painted them, on face and breast, with the
red wâ'di, and whatever each person prayed for while the painting
was being done--whether for hunting success, for working skill,
or for a long life--that gift was his.


In the old days there was a great fish called the Dakwa', which lived
in Tennessee river where Toco creek comes in at Dakwâ'i, the "Dakwa'
place," above the mouth of Tellico, and which was so large that it
could easily swallow a man. Once a canoe filled with warriors was
crossing over from the town to the other side of the river, when the
Dakwa' suddenly rose up under the boat and threw them all into the
air. As they came down it swallowed one with a single snap of its jaws
and dived with him to the bottom of the river. As soon as the hunter
came to his senses he found that he had not been hurt, but it was so
hot and close inside the Dakwa' that he was nearly smothered. As he
groped around in the dark his hand struck a lot of mussel shells which
the fish had swallowed, and taking one of these for a knife he began
to cut his way out, until soon the fish grew uneasy at the scraping
inside his stomach and came up to the top of the water for air. He
kept on cutting until the fish was in such pain that it swam this way
and that across the stream and thrashed the water into foam with its
tail. Finally the hole was so large that he could look out and saw that
the Dakwa' was now resting in shallow water near the shore. Reaching
up he climbed out from the side of the fish, moving very carefully so
that the Dakwa' would not know it, and then waded to shore and got
back to the settlement, but the juices in the stomach of the great
fish had scalded all the hair from his head and he was bald ever after.


A boy was sent on an errand by his father, and not wishing to go
he ran away to the river. After playing in the sand for a short
time some boys of his acquaintance came by in a canoe and invited
him to join them. Glad of the opportunity to get away he went with
them, but had no sooner got in than the canoe began to tip and rock
most unaccountably. The boys became very much frightened, and in
the confusion the bad boy fell into the water and was immediately
swallowed by a large fish. After lying in its stomach for some time
he became very hungry, and on looking around he saw the fish's liver
hanging over his head. Thinking it dried meat, he tried to cut off
a piece with a mussel shell he had been playing with and still held
in his hand. The operation sickened the fish and it vomited the boy.


Westward from the headwaters of Oconaluftee river, in the wildest
depths of the Great Smoky mountains, which form the line between
North Carolina and Tennessee, is the enchanted lake of Atagâ'hi, "Gall
place." Although all the Cherokee know that it is there, no one has
ever seen it, for the way is so difficult that only the animals know
how to reach it. Should a stray hunter come near the place he would
know of it by the whirring sound of the thousands of wild ducks flying
about the lake, but on reaching the spot he would find only a dry flat,
without bird or animal or blade of grass, unless he had first sharpened
his spiritual vision by prayer and fasting and an all-night vigil.

Because it is not seen, some people think the lake has dried up
long ago, but this is not true. To one who had kept watch and fast
through the night it would appear at daybreak as a wide-extending
but shallow sheet of purple water, fed by springs spouting from the
high cliffs around. In the water are all kinds of fish and reptiles,
and swimming upon the surface or flying overhead are great flocks
of ducks and pigeons, while all about the shores are bear tracks
crossing in every direction. It is the medicine lake of the birds
and animals, and whenever a bear is wounded by the hunters he makes
his way through the woods to this lake and plunges into the water,
and when he comes out upon the other side his wounds are healed. For
this reason the animals keep the lake invisible to the hunter.


The North went traveling, and after going far and meeting many
different tribes he finally fell in love with the daughter of the
South and wanted to marry her. The girl was willing, but her parents
objected and said, "Ever since you came the weather has been cold,
and if you stay here we may all freeze to death." The North pleaded
hard, and said that if they would let him have their daughter he would
take her back to his own country, so at last they consented. They
were married and he took his bride to his own country, and when she
arrived there she found the people all living in ice houses.

The next day, when the sun rose, the houses began to leak, and as it
climbed higher they began to melt, and it grew warmer and warmer,
until finally the people came to the young husband and told him he
must send his wife home again, or the weather would get so warm that
the whole settlement would be melted. He loved his wife and so held
out as long as he could, but as the sun grew hotter the people were
more urgent, and at last he had to send her home to her parents.

The people said that as she had been born in the South, and nourished
all her life upon food that grew in the same climate, her whole nature
was warm and unfit for the North.


Once when the people were burning the woods in the fall the blaze
set fire to a poplar tree, which continued to burn until the fire
went down into the roots and burned a great hole in the ground. It
burned and burned, and the hole grew constantly larger, until the
people became frightened and were afraid it would burn the whole
world. They tried to put out the fire, but it had gone too deep,
and they did not know what to do.

At last some one said there was a man living in a house of ice far
in the north who could put out the fire, so messengers were sent, and
after traveling a long distance they came to the ice house and found
the Ice Man at home. He was a little fellow with long hair hanging
down to the ground in two plaits. The messengers told him their errand
and he at once said, "O yes, I can help you," and began to unplait his
hair. When it was all unbraided he took it up in one hand and struck
it once across his other hand, and the messengers felt a wind blow
against their cheeks. A second time he struck his hair across his
hand, and a light rain began to fall. The third time he struck his
hair across his open hand there was sleet mixed with the raindrops,
and when he struck the fourth time great hailstones fell upon the
ground, as if they had come out from the ends of his hair. "Go back
now," said the Ice Man, "and I shall be there to-morrow." So the
messengers returned to their people, whom they found still gathered
helplessly about the great burning pit.

The next day while they were all watching about the fire there came a
wind from the north, and they were afraid, for they knew that it came
from the Ice Man. But the wind only made the fire blaze up higher. Then
a light rain began to fall, but the drops seemed only to make the
fire hotter. Then the shower turned to a heavy rain, with sleet and
hail that killed the blaze and made clouds of smoke and steam rise
from the red coals. The people fled to their homes for shelter, and
the storm rose to a whirlwind that drove the rain into every burning
crevice and piled great hailstones over the embers, until the fire
was dead and even the smoke ceased. When at last it was all over and
the people returned they found a lake where the burning pit had been,
and from below the water came a sound as of embers still crackling.


A hunter had been tramping over the mountains all day long without
finding any game and when the sun went down, he built a fire in a
hollow stump, swallowed a few mouthfuls of corn gruel and lay down to
sleep, tired out and completely discouraged. About the middle of the
night he dreamed and seemed to hear the sound of beautiful singing,
which continued until near daybreak and then appeared to die away
into the upper air.

All next day he hunted with the same poor success, and at night made
his lonely camp again in the woods. He slept and the strange dream
came to him again, but so vividly that it seemed to him like an actual
happening. Rousing himself before daylight, he still heard the song,
and feeling sure now that it was real, he went in the direction of
the sound and found that it came from a single green stalk of corn
(selu). The plant spoke to him, and told him to cut off some of
its roots and take them to his home in the settlement, and the next
morning to chew them and "go to water" before anyone else was awake,
and then to go out again into the woods, and he would kill many deer
and from that time on would always be successful in the hunt. The corn
plant continued to talk, teaching him hunting secrets and telling
him always to be generous with the game he took, until it was noon
and the sun was high, when it suddenly took the form of a woman and
rose gracefully into the air and was gone from sight, leaving the
hunter alone in the woods.

He returned home and told his story, and all the people knew that he
had seen Selu, the wife of Kana'ti. He did as the spirit had directed,
and from that time was noted as the most successful of all the hunters
in the settlement.


A hunter was in the woods one day in winter when suddenly he saw a
panther coming toward him and at once prepared to defend himself. The
panther continued to approach, and the hunter was just about to shoot
when the animal spoke, and at once it seemed to the man as if there was
no difference between them, and they were both of the same nature. The
panther asked him where he was going, and the man said that he was
looking for a deer. "Well," said the panther, "we are getting ready
for a Green-corn dance, and there are seven of us out after a buck,
so we may as well hunt together."

The hunter agreed and they went on together. They started up one deer
and another, but the panther made no sign, and said only, "Those are
too small; we want something better." So the hunter did not shoot,
and they went on. They started up another deer, a larger one, and
the panther sprang upon it and tore its throat, and finally killed it
after a hard struggle. The hunter got out his knife to skin it, but
the panther said the skin was too much torn to be used and they must
try again. They started up another large deer, and this the panther
killed without trouble, and then, wrapping his tail around it, threw it
across his back. "Now, come to our townhouse," he said to the hunter.

The panther led the way, carrying the captured deer upon his back,
up a little stream branch until they came to the head spring, when
it seemed as if a door opened in the side of the hill and they went
in. Now the hunter found himself in front of a large townhouse, with
the finest detsanûñ'li he had ever seen, and the trees around were
green, and the air was warm, as in summer. There was a great company
there getting ready for the dance, and they were all panthers, but
somehow it all seemed natural to the hunter. After a while the others
who had been out came in with the deer they had taken, and the dance
began. The hunter danced several rounds, and then said it was growing
late and he must be getting home. So the panthers opened the door and
he went out, and at once found himself alone in the woods again, and
it was winter and very cold, with snow on the ground and on all the
trees. When he reached the settlement he found a party just starting
out to search for him. They asked him where he had been so long,
and he told them the story, and then he found that he had been in
the panther townhouse several days instead of only a very short time,
as he had thought.

He died within seven days after his return, because he had already
begun to take on the panther nature, and so could not live again with
men. If he had stayed with the panthers he would have lived.


Once some young men of the Cherokee set out to see what was in the
world and traveled south until they came to a tribe of little people
called Tsundige'wi, with very queer shaped bodies, hardly tall enough
to reach up to a man's knee, who had no houses, but lived in nests
scooped in the sand and covered over with dried grass. The little
fellows were so weak and puny that they could not fight at all, and
were in constant terror from the wild geese and other birds that used
to come in great flocks from the south to make war upon them.

Just at the time that the travelers got there they found the little
men in great fear, because there was a strong wind blowing from the
south and it blew white feathers and down along the sand, so that the
Tsundige'wi knew their enemies were coming not far behind. The Cherokee
asked them why they did not defend themselves, but they said they
could not, because they did not know how. There was no time to make
bows and arrows, but the travelers told them to take sticks for clubs,
and showed them where to strike the birds on the necks to kill them.

The wind blew for several days, and at last the birds came, so many
that they were like a great cloud in the air, and alighted on the
sands. The little men ran to their nests, and the birds followed and
stuck in their long bills to pull them out and eat them. This time,
though, the Tsundige'wi had their clubs, and they struck the birds
on the neck, as the Cherokee had shown them, and killed so many that
at last the others were glad to spread their wings and fly away again
to the south.

The little men thanked the Cherokee for their help and gave them the
best they had until the travelers went on to see the other tribes. They
heard afterwards that the birds came again several times, but that
the Tsundige'wi always drove them off with their clubs, until a flock
of sandhill cranes came. They were so tall that the little men could
not reach up to strike them on the neck, and so at last the cranes
killed them all.


Long ago there was a Cherokee clan called the Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, and
in one family of this clan was a boy who used to leave home and be
gone all day in the mountains. After a while he went oftener and
stayed longer, until at last he would not eat in the house at all,
but started off at daybreak and did not come back until night. His
parents scolded, but that did no good, and the boy still went every
day until they noticed that long brown hair was beginning to grow
out all over his body. Then they wondered and asked him why it was
that he wanted to be so much in the woods that he would not even eat
at home. Said the boy, "I find plenty to eat there, and it is better
than the corn and beans we have in the settlements, and pretty soon
I am going into the woods to stay all the time." His parents were
worried and begged him not to leave them, but he said, "It is better
there than here, and you see I am beginning to be different already,
so that I can not live here any longer. If you will come with me,
there is plenty for all of us and you will never have to work for it;
but if you want to come you must first fast seven days."

The father and mother talked it over and then told the headmen of the
clan. They held a council about the matter and after everything had
been said they decided: "Here we must work hard and have not always
enough. There he says there is always plenty without work. We will go
with him." So they fasted seven days, and on the seventh morning all
the Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi left the settlement and started for the mountains
as the boy led the way.

When the people of the other towns heard of it they were very sorry
and sent their headmen to persuade the Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi to stay at
home and not go into the woods to live. The messengers found them
already on the way, and were surprised to notice that their bodies
were beginning to be covered with hair like that of animals, because
for seven days they had not taken human food and their nature was
changing. The Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi would not come back, but said, "We are
going where there is always plenty to eat. Hereafter we shall be
called yânû (bears), and when you yourselves are hungry come into the
woods and call us and we shall come to give you our own flesh. You
need not be afraid to kill us, for we shall live always." Then they
taught the messengers the songs with which to call them, and the bear
hunters have these songs still. When they had finished the songs the
Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi started on again and the messengers turned back to the
settlements, but after going a little way they looked back and saw
a drove of bears going into the woods.

First Bear Song

He-e! Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, akwandu'li e'lanti' ginûn'ti,
      Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, akwandu'li e'lanti' ginûn'ti--Yû!

He-e! The Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, the Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, I want to lay them low
on the ground,
      The Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, the Ani'-Tsâ'gûhi, I want to lay them low
      on the ground--Yû!

The bear hunter starts out each morning fasting and does not eat
until near evening. He sings this song as he leaves camp, and again
the next morning, but never twice the same day.

Second Bear Song

This song also is sung by the bear hunter, in order to attract the
bears, while on his way from the camp to the place where he expects
to hunt during the day. The melody is simple and plaintive.

He-e! Hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa',
    Tsistuyi' nehandu'yanû', Tsistuyi' nehandu'yanû'--Yoho-o!
He-e! Hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa',
    Kuwâhi' nehandu'yanû', Kuwâhi' nehandu'yanû'--Yoho-o!
He-e! Hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa',
    Uyâhye' nehandu'yanû', Uyâhye' nehandu'yanû'--Yoho-o!
He-e! Hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa', hayuya'haniwa',
    Gâtegwâ' nehandu'yanû', Gâtegwâ' nehandu'yanû'--Yoho-o!
    (Recited) Ûle-`nû' asehi' tadeyâ'statakûhi' gûñ'nage astû' tsiki'.

He! Hayuya'haniwa' (four times),
    In Tsistu'yi you were conceived (two times)--Yoho!
He! Hayuya'haniwa' (four times),
    In Kuwâ'hi you were conceived (two times)--Yoho!
He! Hayuya'haniwa' (four times),
    In Uyâ'hye you were conceived (two times)--Yoho!
He! Hayuya'haniwa' (four times),
    In Gâte'gwâ you were conceived (two times)--Yoho!
And now surely we and the good black things, the best of all, shall
see each other.


A man went hunting in the mountains and came across a black bear,
which he wounded with an arrow. The bear turned and started to run the
other way, and the hunter followed, shooting one arrow after another
into it without bringing it down. Now, this was a medicine bear,
and could talk or read the thoughts of people without their saying a
word. At last he stopped and pulled the arrows out of his side and gave
them to the man, saying, "It is of no use for you to shoot at me, for
you can not kill me. Come to my house and let us live together." The
hunter thought to himself, "He may kill me;" but the bear read his
thoughts and said, "No, I won't hurt you." The man thought again,
"How can I get anything to eat?" but the bear knew his thoughts,
and said, "There shall be plenty." So the hunter went with the bear.

They went on together until they came to a hole in the side of the
mountain, and the bear said, "This is not where I live, but there is
going to be a council here and we will see what they do." They went
in, and the hole widened as they went, until they came to a large
cave like a townhouse. It was full of bears--old bears, young bears,
and cubs, white bears, black bears, and brown bears--and a large
white bear was the chief. They sat down in a corner, but soon the
bears scented the hunter and began to ask, "What is it that smells
bad?" The chief said, "Don't talk so; it is only a stranger come to
see us. Let him alone." Food was getting scarce in the mountains,
and the council was to decide what to do about it. They had sent out
messengers all over, and while they were talking two bears came in
and reported that they had found a country in the low grounds where
there were so many chestnuts and acorns that mast was knee deep. Then
they were all pleased, and got ready for a dance, and the dance leader
was the one the Indians call Kalâs'-gûnahi'ta, "Long Hams," a great
black bear that is always lean. After the dance the bears noticed
the hunter's bow and arrows, and one said, "This is what men use to
kill us. Let us see if we can manage them, and may be we can fight
man with his own weapons." So they took the bow and arrows from the
hunter to try them. They fitted the arrow and drew back the string,
but when they let go it caught in their long claws and the arrows
dropped to the ground. They saw that they could not use the bow and
arrows and gave them back to the man. When the dance and the council
were over, they began to go home, excepting the White Bear chief,
who lived there, and at last the hunter and the bear went out together.

They went on until they came to another hole in the side of the
mountain, when the bear said, "This is where I live," and they went
in. By this time the hunter was very hungry and was wondering how he
could get something to eat. The other knew his thoughts, and sitting up
on his hind legs he rubbed his stomach with his forepaws--so--and at
once he had both paws full of chestnuts and gave them to the man. He
rubbed his stomach again--so--and had his paws full of huckleberries,
and gave them to the man. He rubbed again--so--and gave the man both
paws full of blackberries. He rubbed again--so--and had his paws full
of acorns, but the man said that he could not eat them, and that he
had enough already.

The hunter lived in the cave with the bear all winter, until long
hair like that of a bear began to grow all over his body and he began
to act like a bear; but he still walked like a man. One day in early
spring the bear said to him, "Your people down in the settlement are
getting ready for a grand hunt in these mountains, and they will come
to this cave and kill me and take these clothes from me"--he meant
his skin--"but they will not hurt you and will take you home with
them." The bear knew what the people were doing down in the settlement
just as he always knew what the man was thinking about. Some days
passed and the bear said again, "This is the day when the Topknots
will come to kill me, but the Split-noses will come first and find
us. When they have killed me they will drag me outside the cave and
take off my clothes and cut me in pieces. You must cover the blood
with leaves, and when they are taking you away look back after you
have gone a piece and you will see something."

Soon they heard the hunters coming up the mountain, and then the dogs
found the cave and began to bark. The hunters came and looked inside
and saw the bear and killed him with their arrows. Then they dragged
him outside the cave and skinned the body and cut it in quarters to
carry home. The dogs kept on barking until the hunters thought there
must be another bear in the cave. They looked in again and saw the man
away at the farther end. At first they thought it was another bear on
account of his long hair, but they soon saw it was the hunter who had
been lost the year before, so they went in and brought him out. Then
each hunter took a load of the bear meat and they started home again,
bringing the man and the skin with them. Before they left the man
piled leaves over the spot where they had cut up the bear, and when
they had gone a little way he looked behind and saw the bear rise up
out of the leaves, shake himself, and go back into the woods.

When they came near the settlement the man told the hunters that he
must be shut up where no one could see him, without anything to eat
or drink for seven days and nights, until the bear nature had left
him and he became like a man again. So they shut him up alone in a
house and tried to keep very still about it, but the news got out and
his wife heard of it. She came for her husband, but the people would
not let her near him; but she came every day and begged so hard that
at last after four or five days they let her have him. She took him
home with her, but in a short time he died, because he still had a
bear's nature and could not live like a man. If they had kept him
shut up and fasting until the end of the seven days he would have
become a man again and would have lived.


The spot where Valley river joins Hiwassee, at Murphy, in North
Carolina, is known among the Cherokees as Tlanusi'yi, "The Leech
place," and this is the story they tell of it:

Just above the junction is a deep hole in Valley river, and above it
is a ledge of rock running across the stream, over which people used
to go as on a bridge. On the south side the trail ascended a high bank,
from which they could look down into the water. One day some men going
along the trail saw a great red object, full as large as a house,
lying on the rock ledge in the middle of the stream below them. As
they stood wondering what it could be they saw it unroll--and then
they knew it was alive--and stretch itself out along the rock until it
looked like a great leech with red and white stripes along its body. It
rolled up into a ball and again stretched out at full length, and at
last crawled down the rock and was out of sight in the deep water. The
water began to boil and foam, and a great column of white spray was
thrown high in the air and came down like a waterspout upon the very
spot where the men had been standing, and would have swept them all
into the water but that they saw it in time and ran from the place.

More than one person was carried down in this way, and their friends
would find the body afterwards lying upon the bank with the ears and
nose eaten off, until at last the people were afraid to go across the
ledge any more, on account of the great leech, or even to go along
that part of the trail. But there was one young fellow who laughed at
the whole story, and said that he was not afraid of anything in Valley
river, as he would show them. So one day he painted his face and put
on his finest buckskin and started off toward the river, while all
the people followed at a distance to see what might happen. Down the
trail he went and out upon the ledge of rock, singing in high spirits:

                Tlanu'si gane'ga digi'gage
                I'll tie red leech skins
                On my legs for garters.

But before he was half way across the water began to boil into white
foam and a great wave rose and swept over the rock and carried him
down, and he was never seen again.

Just before the Removal, sixty years ago, two women went out upon the
ledge to fish. Their friends warned them of the danger, but one woman
who had her baby on her back said, "There are fish there and I'm going
to have some; I'm tired of this fat meat." She laid the child down on
the rock and was preparing the line when the water suddenly rose and
swept over the ledge, and would have carried off the child but that
the mother ran in time to save it. The great leech is still there in
the deep hole, because when people look down they see something alive
moving about on the bottom, and although they can not distinguish its
shape on account of the ripples on the water, yet they know it is the
leech. Some say there is an underground waterway across to Nottely
river, not far above the mouth, where the river bends over toward
Murphy, and sometimes the leech goes over there and makes the water
boil as it used to at the rock ledge. They call this spot on Nottely
"The Leech place" also.


The Nûñne'hi or immortals, the "people who live anywhere," were a race
of spirit people who lived in the highlands of the old Cherokee country
and had a great many townhouses, especially in the bald mountains, the
high peaks on which no timber ever grows. They had large townhouses
in Pilot knob and under the old Nikwasi' mound in North Carolina,
and another under Blood mountain, at the head of Nottely river, in
Georgia. They were invisible excepting when they wanted to be seen,
and then they looked and spoke just like other Indians. They were
very fond of music and dancing, and hunters in the mountains would
often hear the dance songs and the drum beating in some invisible
townhouse, but when they went toward the sound it would shift about
and they would hear it behind them or away in some other direction,
so that they could never find the place where the dance was. They were
a friendly people, too, and often brought lost wanderers to their
townhouses under the mountains and cared for them there until they
were rested and then guided them back to their homes. More than once,
also, when the Cherokee were hard pressed by the enemy, the Nûñne'hi
warriors have come out, as they did at old Nikwasi', and have saved
them from defeat. Some people have thought that they are the same
as the Yûñwi Tsunsdi', the "Little People"; but these are fairies,
no larger in size than children.

There was a man in Nottely town who had been with the Nûñne'hi when
he was a boy, and he told Wafford all about it. He was a truthful,
hard-headed man, and Wafford had heard the story so often from other
people that he asked this man to tell it. It was in this way:

When he was about 10 or 12 years old he was playing one day near the
river, shooting at a mark with his bow and arrows, until he became
tired, and started to build a fish trap in the water. While he was
piling up the stones in two long walls a man came and stood on the bank
and asked him what he was doing. The boy told him, and the man said,
"Well, that's pretty hard work and you ought to rest a while. Come
and take a walk up the river." The boy said, "No"; that he was going
home to dinner soon. "Come right up to my house," said the stranger,
"and I'll give you a good dinner there and bring you home again
in the morning." So the boy went with him up the river until they
came to a house, when they went in, and the man's wife and the other
people there were very glad to see him, and gave him a fine dinner,
and were very kind to him. While they were eating a man that the boy
knew very well came in and spoke to him, so that he felt quite at home.

After dinner he played with the other children and slept there that
night, and in the morning, after breakfast, the man got ready to take
him home. They went down a path that had a cornfield on one side and a
peach orchard fenced in on the other, until they came to another trail,
and the man said, "Go along this trail across that ridge and you will
come to the river road that will bring you straight to your home, and
now I'll go back to the house." So the man went back to the house and
the boy went on along the trail, but when he had gone a little way he
looked back, and there was no cornfield or orchard or fence or house;
nothing but trees on the mountain side.

He thought it very queer, but somehow he was not frightened, and went
on until he came to the river trail in sight of his home. There were a
great many people standing about talking, and when they saw him they
ran toward him shouting, "Here he is! He is not drowned or killed in
the mountains!" They told him they had been hunting him ever since
yesterday noon, and asked him where he had been. "A man took me over
to his house just across the ridge, and I had a fine dinner and a
good time with the children," said the boy, "I thought Udsi'skala
here"--that was the name of the man he had seen at dinner--"would
tell you where I was." But Udsi'skala said, "I haven't seen you. I
was out all day in my canoe hunting you. It was one of the Nûñne'hi
that made himself look like me." Then his mother said, "You say you
had dinner there?" "Yes, and I had plenty, too," said the boy; but his
mother answered, "There is no house there--only trees and rocks--but
we hear a drum sometimes in the big bald above. The people you saw
were the Nûñne'hi."

Once four Nûñne'hi women came to a dance at Nottely town, and danced
half the night with the young men there, and nobody knew that they were
Nûñne'hi, but thought them visitors from another settlement. About
midnight they left to go home, and some men who had come out from
the townhouse to cool off watched to see which way they went. They
saw the women go down the trail to the river ford, but just as they
came to the water they disappeared, although it was a plain trail,
with no place where they could hide. Then the watchers knew they
were Nûñne'hi women. Several men saw this happen, and one of them was
Wafford's father-in-law, who was known for an honest man. At another
time a man named Burnt-tobacco was crossing over the ridge from Nottely
to Hemptown in Georgia and heard a drum and the songs of dancers in
the hills on one side of the trail. He rode over to see who could be
dancing in such a place, but when he reached the spot the drum and the
songs were behind him, and he was so frightened that he hurried back
to the trail and rode all the way to Hemptown as hard as he could to
tell the story. He was a truthful man, and they believed what he said.

There must have been a good many of the Nûñne'hi living in that
neighborhood, because the drumming was often heard in the high balds
almost up to the time of the Removal.

On a small upper branch of Nottely, running nearly due north from Blood
mountain, there was also a hole, like a small well or chimney, in the
ground, from which there came up a warm vapor that heated all the air
around. People said that this was because the Nûñne'hi had a townhouse
and a fire under the mountain. Sometimes in cold weather hunters would
stop there to warm themselves, but they were afraid to stay long. This
was more than sixty years ago, but the hole is probably there yet.

Close to the old trading path from South Carolina up to the Cherokee
Nation, somewhere near the head of Tugaloo, there was formerly
a noted circular depression about the size of a townhouse, and
waist deep. Inside it was always clean as though swept by unknown
hands. Passing traders would throw logs and rocks into it, but would
always, on their return, find them thrown far out from the hole. The
Indians said it was a Nûñne'hi townhouse, and never liked to go near
the place or even to talk about it, until at last some logs thrown in
by the traders were allowed to remain there, and then they concluded
that the Nûñne'hi, annoyed by the persecution of the white men,
had abandoned their townhouse forever.

There is another race of spirits, the Yûñwi Tsunsdi', or "Little
People," who live in rock caves on the mountain side. They are
little fellows, hardly reaching up to a man's knee, but well shaped
and handsome, with long hair falling almost to the ground. They
are great wonder workers and are very fond of music, spending half
their time drumming and dancing. They are helpful and kind-hearted,
and often when people have been lost in the mountains, especially
children who have strayed away from their parents, the Yûñwi Tsunsdi'
have found them and taken care of them and brought them back to their
homes. Sometimes their drum is heard in lonely places in the mountains,
but it is not safe to follow it, because the Little People do not like
to be disturbed at home, and they throw a spell over the stranger so
that he is bewildered and loses his way, and even if he does at last
get back to the settlement he is like one dazed ever after. Sometimes,
also, they come near a house at night and the people inside hear them
talking, but they must not go out, and in the morning they find the
corn gathered or the field cleared as if a whole force of men had
been at work. If anyone should go out to watch, he would die. When
a hunter finds anything in the woods, such as a knife or a trinket,
he must say, "Little People, I want to take this," because it may
belong to them, and if he does not ask their permission they will
throw stones at him as he goes home.

Once a hunter in winter found tracks in the snow like the tracks
of little children. He wondered how they could have come there and
followed them until they led him to a cave, which was full of Little
People, young and old, men, women, and children. They brought him
in and were kind to him, and he was with them some time; but when
he left they warned him that he must not tell or he would die. He
went back to the settlement and his friends were all anxious to
know where he had been. For a long time he refused to say, until at
last he could not hold out any longer, but told the story, and in a
few days he died. Only a few years ago two hunters from Raventown,
going behind the high fall near the head of Oconaluftee on the East
Cherokee reservation, found there a cave with fresh footprints of
the Little People all over the floor.

During the smallpox among the East Cherokee just after the war one
sick man wandered off, and his friends searched, but could not find
him. After several weeks he came back and said that the Little People
had found him and taken him to one of their caves and tended him
until he was cured.

About twenty-five years ago a man named Tsantawû' was lost in the
mountains on the head of Oconaluftee. It was winter time and very
cold and his friends thought he must be dead, but after sixteen days
he came back and said that the Little People had found him and taken
him to their cave, where he had been well treated, and given plenty of
everything to eat except bread. This was in large loaves, but when he
took them in his hand to eat they seemed to shrink into small cakes
so light and crumbly that though he might eat all day he would not
be satisfied. After he was well rested they had brought him a part
of the way home until they came to a small creek, about knee deep,
when they told him to wade across to reach the main trail on the other
side. He waded across and turned to look back, but the Little People
were gone and the creek was a deep river. When he reached home his
legs were frozen to the knees and he lived only a few days.

Once the Yûñwi Tsunsdi' had been very kind to the people of a certain
settlement, helping them at night with their work and taking good
care of any lost children, until something happened to offend them
and they made up their minds to leave the neighborhood. Those who were
watching at the time saw the whole company of Little People come down
to the ford of the river and cross over and disappear into the mouth
of a large cave on the other side. They were never heard of near the
settlement again.

There are other fairies, the Yûñwi Amai'yine'hi, or Water-dwellers,
who live in the water, and fishermen pray to them for help. Other
friendly spirits live in people's houses, although no one can see them,
and so long as they are there to protect the house no witch can come
near to do mischief.

Tsawa'si and Tsaga'si are the names of two small fairies, who are
mischievous enough, but yet often help the hunter who prays to
them. Tsawa'si, or Tsawa'si Usdi'ga (Little Tsawa'si), is a tiny
fellow, very handsome, with long hair falling down to his feet, who
lives in grassy patches on the hillsides and has great power over the
game. To the deer hunter who prays to him he gives skill to slip up
on the deer through the long grass without being seen. Tsaga'si is
another of the spirits invoked by the hunter and is very helpful,
but when someone trips and falls, we know that it is Tsaga'si who
has caused it. There are several other of these fairies with names,
all good-natured, but more or less tricky.

Then there is De'tsata. De'tsata was once a boy who ran away to
the woods to avoid a scratching and tries to keep himself invisible
ever since. He is a handsome little fellow and spends his whole time
hunting birds with blowgun and arrow. He has a great many children who
are all just like him and have the same name. When a flock of birds
flies up suddenly as if frightened it is because De'tsata is chasing
them. He is mischievous and sometimes hides an arrow from the bird
hunter, who may have shot it off into a perfectly clear space, but
looks and looks without finding it. Then the hunter says, "De'tsata,
you have my arrow, and if you don't give it up I'll scratch you,"
and when he looks again he finds it.

There is one spirit that goes about at night with a light. The Cherokee
call it Atsil'-dihye'gi, "The Fire-carrier," and they are all afraid
of it, because they think it dangerous, although they do not know much
about it. They do not even know exactly what it looks like, because
they are afraid to stop when they see it. It may be a witch instead
of a spirit. Wafford's mother saw the "Fire-carrier" once when she
was a young woman, as she was coming home at night from a trading
post in South Carolina. It seemed to be following her from behind,
and she was frightened and whipped up her horse until she got away
from it and never saw it again.


Long ago, long before the Cherokee were driven from their homes
in 1838, the people on Valley river and Hiwassee heard voices of
invisible spirits in the air calling and warning them of wars and
misfortunes which the future held in store, and inviting them to
come and live with the Nûñne'hi, the Immortals, in their homes under
the mountains and under the waters. For days the voices hung in the
air, and the people listened until they heard the spirits say, "If
you would live with us, gather everyone in your townhouses and fast
there for seven days, and no one must raise a shout or a warwhoop in
all that time. Do this and we shall come and you will see us and we
shall take you to live with us."

The people were afraid of the evils that were to come, and they
knew that the Immortals of the mountains and the waters were happy
forever, so they counciled in their townhouses and decided to go
with them. Those of Anisgayâ'yi town came all together into their
townhouse and prayed and fasted for six days. On the seventh day
there was a sound from the distant mountains, and it came nearer and
grew louder until a roar of thunder was all about the townhouse and
they felt the ground shake under them. Now they were frightened,
and despite the warning some of them screamed out. The Nûñne'hi,
who had already lifted up the townhouse with its mound to carry
it away, were startled by the cry and let a part of it fall to the
earth, where now we see the mound of Se'tsi. They steadied themselves
again and bore the rest of the townhouse, with all the people in it,
to the top of Tsuda'ye`lûñ'yi (Lone peak), near the head of Cheowa,
where we can still see it, changed long ago to solid rock, but the
people are invisible and immortal.

The people of another town, on Hiwassee, at the place which we call
now Du'stiya`lûñ'yi, where Shooting creek comes in, also prayed and
fasted, and at the end of seven days the Nûñne'hi came and took them
away down under the water. They are there now, and on a warm summer
day, when the wind ripples the surface, those who listen well can
hear them talking below. When the Cherokee drag the river for fish
the fish-drag always stops and catches there, although the water is
deep, and the people know it is being held by their lost kinsmen,
who do not want to be forgotten.

When the Cherokee were forcibly removed to the West one of the greatest
regrets of those along Hiwassee and Valley rivers was that they were
compelled to leave behind forever their relatives who had gone to
the Nûñne'hi.

In Tennessee river, near Kingston, 18 miles below Loudon, Tennessee,
is a place which the Cherokee call Gusti', where there once was a
settlement long ago, but one night while the people were gathered
in the townhouse for a dance the bank caved in and carried them all
down into the river. Boatmen passing the spot in their canoes see the
round dome of the townhouse--now turned to stone--in the water below
them and sometimes hear the sound of the drum and dance coming up,
and they never fail to throw food into the water in return for being
allowed to cross in safety.


Long ago a powerful unknown tribe invaded the country from the
southeast, killing people and destroying settlements wherever they
went. No leader could stand against them, and in a little while
they had wasted all the lower settlements and advanced into the
mountains. The warriors of the old town of Nikwasi', on the head
of Little Tennessee, gathered their wives and children into the
townhouse and kept scouts constantly on the lookout for the presence
of danger. One morning just before daybreak the spies saw the enemy
approaching and at once gave the alarm. The Nikwasi' men seized
their arms and rushed out to meet the attack, but after a long,
hard fight they found themselves overpowered and began to retreat,
when suddenly a stranger stood among them and shouted to the chief to
call off his men and he himself would drive back the enemy. From the
dress and language of the stranger the Nikwasi' people thought him a
chief who had come with reinforcements from the Overhill settlements
in Tennessee. They fell back along the trail, and as they came near
the townhouse they saw a great company of warriors coming out from
the side of the mound as through an open doorway. Then they knew that
their friends were the Nûñne'hi, the Immortals, although no one had
ever heard before that they lived under Nikwasi' mound.

The Nûñne'hi poured out by hundreds, armed and painted for the fight,
and the most curious thing about it all was that they became invisible
as soon as they were fairly outside of the settlement, so that although
the enemy saw the glancing arrow or the rushing tomahawk, and felt
the stroke, he could not see who sent it. Before such invisible foes
the invaders soon had to retreat, going first south along the ridge
to where joins the main ridge which separates the French Broad from
the Tuckasegee, and then turning with it to the northeast. As they
retreated they tried to shield themselves behind rocks and trees,
but the Nûñne'hi arrows went around the rocks and killed them from
the other side, and they could find no hiding place. All along the
ridge they fell, until when they reached the head of Tuckasegee not
more than half a dozen were left alive, and in despair they sat down
and cried out for mercy. Ever since then the Cherokee have called the
place Dayûlsûñ'yi, "Where they cried." Then the Nûñne'hi chief told
them they had deserved their punishment for attacking a peaceful tribe,
and he spared their lives and told them to go home and take the news
to their people. This was the Indian custom, always to spare a few
to carry back the news of defeat. They went home toward the north
and the Nûñne'hi went back to the mound.

And they are still there, because, in the last war, when a strong
party of Federal troops came to surprise a handful of Confederates
posted there they saw so many soldiers guarding the town that they
were afraid and went away without making an attack.

There is another story, that once while all the warriors of a certain
town were off on a hunt, or at a dance in another settlement, one
old man was chopping wood on the side of the ridge when suddenly
a party of the enemy came upon him--Shawano, Seneca, or some other
tribe. Throwing his hatchet at the nearest one, he turned and ran for
the house to get his gun and make the best defense that he might. On
coming out at once with the gun he was surprised to find a large
body of strange warriors driving back the enemy. It was no time for
questions, and taking his place with the others, they fought hard
until the enemy was pressed back up the creek and finally broke and
retreated across the mountain. When it was over and there was time
to breathe again, the old man turned to thank his new friends, but
found that he was alone--they had disappeared as though the mountain
had swallowed them. Then he knew that they were the Nûñne'hi, who
had come to help their friends, the Cherokee.


A long time ago a widow lived with her one daughter at the old town of
Kanuga on Pigeon river. The girl was of age to marry, and her mother
used to talk with her a good deal, and tell her she must be sure to
take no one but a good hunter for a husband, so that they would have
some one to take care of them and would always have plenty of meat in
the house. The girl said such a man was hard to find, but her mother
advised her not to be in a hurry, and to wait until the right one came.

Now the mother slept in the house while the girl slept outside in the
âsi. One dark night a stranger came to the âsi wanting to court the
girl, but she told him her mother would let her marry no one but a
good hunter. "Well," said the stranger, "I am a great hunter," so she
let him come in, and he stayed all night. Just before day he said he
must go back now to his own place, but that he had brought some meat
for her mother, and she would find it outside. Then he went away and
the girl had not seen him. When day came she went out and found there
a deer, which she brought into the house to her mother, and told her
it was a present from her new sweetheart. Her mother was pleased,
and they had deersteaks for breakfast.

He came again the next night, but again went away before daylight,
and this time he left two deer outside. The mother was more pleased
this time, but said to her daughter, "I wish your sweetheart would
bring us some wood." Now wherever he might be, the stranger knew
their thoughts, so when he came the next time he said to the girl,
"Tell your mother I have brought the wood"; and when she looked out
in the morning there were several great trees lying in front of the
door, roots and branches and all. The old woman was angry, and said,
"He might have brought us some wood that we could use instead of whole
trees that we can't split, to litter up the road with brush." The
hunter knew what she said, and the next time he came he brought
nothing, and when they looked out in the morning the trees were
gone and there was no wood at all, so the old woman had to go after
some herself.

Almost every night he came to see the girl, and each time he brought a
deer or some other game, but still he always left before daylight. At
last her mother said to her, "Your husband always leaves before
daylight. Why don't he wait? I want to see what kind of a son-in-law
I have." When the girl told this to her husband he said he could not
let the old woman see him, because the sight would frighten her. "She
wants to see you, anyhow," said the girl, and began to cry, until at
last he had to consent, but warned her that her mother must not say
that he looked frightful (usga'se`ti'yu).

The next morning he did not leave so early, but stayed in the âsi,
and when it was daylight the girl went out and told her mother. The
old woman came and looked in, and there she saw a great giant, with
long slanting eyes (tsul`kalû'), lying doubled up on the floor,
with his head against the rafters in the left-hand corner at the
back, and his toes scraping the roof in the right-hand corner by
the door. She gave only one look and ran back to the house, crying,
Usga'se`ti'yu! Usga'se`ti'yu!

Tsul`kalû' was terribly angry. He untwisted himself and came out of
the âsi, and said good-bye to the girl, telling her that he would
never let her mother see him again, but would go back to his own
country. Then he went off in the direction of Tsunegûñ'yi.

Soon after he left the girl had her monthly period. There was a very
great flow of blood, and the mother threw it all into the river. One
night after the girl had gone to bed in the âsi her husband came
again to the door and said to her, "It seems you are alone," and
asked where was the child. She said there had been none. Then he asked
where was the blood, and she said that her mother had thrown it into
the river. She told just where the place was, and he went there and
found a small worm in the water. He took it up and carried it back
to the âsi, and as he walked it took form and began to grow, until,
when he reached the âsi, it was a baby girl that he was carrying. He
gave it to his wife and said, "Your mother does not like me and abuses
our child, so come and let us go to my home." The girl wanted to be
with her husband, so, after telling her mother good-bye, she took up
the child and they went off together to Tsunegûñ'yi.

Now, the girl had an older brother, who lived with his own wife in
another settlement, and when he heard that his sister was married he
came to pay a visit to her and her new husband, but when he arrived
at Kanuga his mother told him his sister had taken her child and gone
away with her husband, nobody knew where. He was sorry to see his
mother so lonely, so he said he would go after his sister and try to
find her and bring her back. It was easy to follow the footprints of
the giant, and the young man went along the trail until he came to
a place where they had rested, and there were tracks on the ground
where a child had been lying and other marks as if a baby had been
born there. He went on along the trail and came to another place where
they had rested, and there were tracks of a baby crawling about and
another lying on the ground. He went on and came to where they had
rested again, and there were tracks of a child walking and another
crawling about. He went on until he came where they had rested again,
and there were tracks of one child running and another walking. Still
he followed the trail along the stream into the mountains, and came
to the place where they had rested again, and this time there were
footprints of two children running all about, and the footprints can
still be seen in the rock at that place.

Twice again he found where they had rested, and then the trail led up
the slope of Tsunegûñ'yi, and he heard the sound of a drum and voices,
as if people were dancing inside the mountain. Soon he came to a cave
like a doorway in the side of the mountain, but the rock was so steep
and smooth that he could not climb up to it, but could only just look
over the edge and see the heads and shoulders of a great many people
dancing inside. He saw his sister dancing among them and called to
her to come out. She turned when she heard his voice, and as soon
as the drumming stopped for a while she came out to him, finding no
trouble to climb down the rock, and leading her two little children
by the hand. She was very glad to meet her brother and talked with
him a long time, but did not ask him to come inside, and at last he
went away without having seen her husband.

Several other times her brother came to the mountain, but always his
sister met him outside, and he could never see her husband. After four
years had passed she came one day to her mother's house and said her
husband had been hunting in the woods near by, and they were getting
ready to start home to-morrow, and if her mother and brother would
come early in the morning they could see her husband. If they came
too late for that, she said, they would find plenty of meat to take
home. She went back into the woods, and the mother ran to tell her
son. They came to the place early the next morning, but Tsul`kalû'
and his family were already gone. On the drying poles they found the
bodies of freshly killed deer hanging, as the girl had promised, and
there were so many that they went back and told all their friends to
come for them, and there were enough for the whole settlement.

Still the brother wanted to see his sister and her husband, so he
went again to the mountain, and she came out to meet him. He asked
to see her husband, and this time she told him to come inside with
her. They went in as through a doorway, and inside he found it like a
great townhouse. They seemed to be alone, but his sister called aloud,
"He wants to see you," and from the air came a voice, "You can not
see me until you put on a new dress, and then you can see me." "I am
willing," said the young man, speaking to the unseen spirit, and from
the air came the voice again, "Go back, then, and tell your people
that to see me they must go into the townhouse and fast seven days,
and in all that time they must not come out from the townhouse or
raise the war whoop, and on the seventh day I shall come with new
dresses for you to put on so that you can all see me."

The young man went back to Kanuga and told the people. They all
wanted to see Tsul`kalû', who owned all the game in the mountains,
so they went into the townhouse and began the fast. They fasted the
first day and the second and every day until the seventh--all but
one man from another settlement, who slipped out every night when
it was dark to get something to eat and slipped in again when no
one was watching. On the morning of the seventh day the sun was just
coming up in the east when they heard a great noise like the thunder
of rocks rolling down the side of Tsunegûñ'yi. They were frightened
and drew near together in the townhouse, and no one whispered. Nearer
and louder came the sound until it grew into an awful roar, and every
one trembled and held his breath--all but one man, the stranger from
the other settlement, who lost his senses from fear and ran out of
the townhouse and shouted the war cry.

At once the roar stopped and for some time there was silence. Then
they heard it again, but as if it were going farther away, and then
farther and farther, until at last it died away in the direction of
Tsunegûñ'yi, and then all was still again. The people came out from
the townhouse, but there was silence, and they could see nothing but
what had been seven days before.

Still the brother was not disheartened, but came again to see his
sister, and she brought him into the mountain. He asked why Tsul`kâlû'
had not brought the new dresses, as he had promised, and the voice
from the air said, "I came with them, but you did not obey my word,
but broke the fast and raised the war cry." The young man answered,
"It was not done by our people, but by a stranger. If you will come
again, we will surely do as you say." But the voice answered, "Now
you can never see me." Then the young man could not say any more,
and he went back to Kanuga.


Long ago, while people still lived in the old town of Kana'sta, on
the French Broad, two strangers, who looked in no way different from
other Cherokee, came into the settlement one day and made their way
into the chief's house. After the first greetings were over the chief
asked them from what town they had come, thinking them from one of
the western settlements, but they said, "We are of your people and
our town is close at hand, but you have never seen it. Here you have
wars and sickness, with enemies on every side, and after a while a
stronger enemy will come to take your country from you. We are always
happy, and we have come to invite you to live with us in our town
over there," and they pointed toward Tsuwa`tel'da (Pilot knob). "We
do not live forever, and do not always find game when we go for
it, for the game belongs to Tsul`kalû', who lives in Tsunegûñ'yi,
but we have peace always and need not think of danger. We go now,
but if your people will live with us let them fast seven days, and
we shall come then to take them." Then they went away toward the west.

The chief called his people together into the townhouse and they
held a council over the matter and decided at last to go with the
strangers. They got all their property ready for moving, and then
went again into the townhouse and began their fast. They fasted six
days, and on the morning of the seventh, before yet the sun was high,
they saw a great company coming along the trail from the west, led
by the two men who had stopped with the chief. They seemed just like
Cherokee from another settlement, and after a friendly meeting they
took up a part of the goods to be carried, and the two parties started
back together for Tsuwa`tel'da. There was one man from another town
visiting at Kana'sta, and he went along with the rest.

When they came to the mountain, the two guides led the way into a cave,
which opened out like a great door in the side of the rock. Inside they
found an open country and a town, with houses ranged in two long rows
from east to west. The mountain people lived in the houses on the south
side, and they had made ready the other houses for the new comers,
but even after all the people of Kana'sta, with their children and
belongings, had moved in, there were still a large number of houses
waiting ready for the next who might come. The mountain people told
them that there was another town, of a different people, above them
in the same mountain, and still farther above, at the very top,
lived the Ani'-Hyûñtikwalâ'ski (the Thunders).

Now all the people of Kana'sta were settled in their new homes, but the
man who had only been visiting with them wanted to go back to his own
friends. Some of the mountain people wanted to prevent this, but the
chief said, "No; let him go if he will, and when he tells his friends
they may want to come, too. There is plenty of room for all." Then he
said to the man, "Go back and tell your friends that if they want to
come and live with us and be always happy, there is a place here ready
and waiting for them. Others of us live in Datsu'nalâsgûñ'yi and in
the high mountains all around, and if they would rather go to any of
them it is all the same. We see you wherever you go and are with you
in all your dances, but you can not see us unless you fast. If you
want to see us, fast four days, and we will come and talk with you;
and then if you want to live with us, fast again seven days, and we
will come and take you." Then the chief led the man through the cave
to the outside of the mountain and left him there, but when the man
looked back he saw no cave, but only the solid rock.

The people of the lost settlement were never seen again, and they
are still living in Tsuwa`tel'da. Strange things happen there, so
that the Cherokee know the mountain is haunted and do not like to go
near it. Only a few years ago a party of hunters camped there, and as
they sat around their fire at supper time they talked of the story
and made rough jokes about the people of old Kana'sta. That night
they were aroused from sleep by a noise as of stones thrown at them
from among the trees, but when they searched they could find nobody,
and were so frightened that they gathered up their guns and pouches
and left the place.


In the old town of Kanuga, on Pigeon river, there was a lazy fellow
named Tsuwe'nahi, who lived from house to house among his relatives
and never brought home any game, although he used to spend nearly
all his time in the woods. At last his friends got very tired of
keeping him, so he told them to get some parched corn ready for him
and he would go and bring back a deer or else would never trouble
them again. They filled his pouch with parched corn, enough for a
long trip, and he started off for the mountains. Day after day passed
until they thought they had really seen the last of him, but before
the month was half gone he was back again at Kanuga, with no deer,
but with a wonderful story to tell.

He said that he had hardly turned away from the trail to go up
the ridge when he met a stranger, who asked him where he was
going. Tsuwe'nahi answered that his friends in the settlement had
driven him out because he was no good hunter, and that if he did not
find a deer this time he would never go back again. "Why not come with
me?" said the stranger, "my town is not far from here, and you have
relatives there." Tsuwe'nahi was very glad of the chance, because he
was ashamed to go back to his own town; so he went with the stranger,
who took him to Tsuwa`tel'da (Pilot knob). They came to a cave,
and the other said, "Let us go in here;" but the cave ran clear to
the heart of the mountain, and when they were inside the hunter found
there an open country like a wide bottom land, with a great settlement
and hundreds of people. They were all glad to see him, and brought
him to their chief, who took him into his own house and showed him
a seat near the fire. Tsuwe'nahi sat down, but he felt it move under
him, and when he looked again he saw that it was a turtle, with its
head sticking out from the shell. He jumped up, but the chief said,
"It won't hurt you; it only wants to see who you are." So he sat down
very carefully, and the turtle drew in its head again. They brought
food, of the same kind that he had been accustomed to at home, and
when he had eaten the chief took him through the settlement until he
had seen all the houses and talked with most of the people. When he
had seen everything and had rested some days, he was anxious to get
back to his home, so the chief himself brought him to the mouth of
the cave and showed him the trail that led down to the river. Then he
said, "You are going back to the settlement, but you will never be
satisfied there any more. Whenever you want to come to us, you know
the way." The chief left him, and Tsuwe'nahi went down the mountain
and along the river until he came to Kanuga.

He told his story, but no one believed it and the people only laughed
at him. After that he would go away very often and be gone for several
days at a time, and when he came back to the settlement he would say
he had been with the mountain people. At last one man said he believed
the story and would go with him to see. They went off together to the
woods, where they made a camp, and then Tsuwe'nahi went on ahead,
saying he would be back soon. The other waited for him, doing a
little hunting near the camp, and two nights afterwards Tsuwe'nahi
was back again. He seemed to be alone, but was talking as he came,
and the other hunter heard girls' voices, although he could see no
one. When he came up to the fire he said, "I have two friends with me,
and they say there is to be a dance in their town in two nights, and
if you want to go they will come for you." The hunter agreed at once,
and Tsuwe'nahi called out, as if to some one close by, "He says he will
go." Then he said, "Our sisters have come for some venison." The hunter
had killed a deer and had the meat drying over the fire, so he said,
"What kind do they want?" The voices answered, "Our mother told us to
ask for some of the ribs," but still he could see nothing. He took
down some rib pieces and gave them to Tsuwe'nahi, who took them and
said, "In two days we shall come again for you." Then he started off,
and the other heard the voices going through the woods until all was
still again.

In two days Tsuwe'nahi came, and this time he had two girls with
him. As they stood near the fire the hunter noticed that their feet
were short and round, almost like dogs' paws, but as soon as they saw
him looking they sat down so that he could not see their feet. After
supper the whole party left the camp and went up along the creek to
Tsuwa`tel'da. They went in through the cave door until they got to
the farther end and could see houses beyond, when all at once the
hunter's legs felt as if they were dead and he staggered and fell to
the ground. The others lifted him up, but still he could not stand,
until the medicine-man brought some "old tobacco" and rubbed it on
his legs and made him smell it until he sneezed. Then he was able to
stand again and went in with the others. He could not stand at first,
because he had not prepared himself by fasting before he started.

The dance had not yet begun and Tsuwe'nahi took the hunter into
the townhouse and showed him a seat near the fire, but it had long
thorns of honey locust sticking out from it and he was afraid to sit
down. Tsuwe'nahi told him not to be afraid, so he sat down and found
that the thorns were as soft as down feathers. Now the drummer came
in and the dancers, and the dance began. One man followed at the end
of the line, crying Kû! Kû! all the time, but not dancing. The hunter
wondered, and they told him, "This man was lost in the mountains and
had been calling all through the woods for his friends until his,
voice failed and he was only able to pant Kû! Kû! and then we found
him and took him in."

When it was over Tsuwe'nahi and the hunter went back to the
settlement. At the next dance in Kanuga they told all they had seen at
Tsuwa`tel'da, what a large town was there and how kind everybody was,
and this time--because there were two of them--the people believed
it. Now others wanted to go, but Tsuwe'nahi told them they must first
fast seven days, while he went ahead to prepare everything, and then he
would come and bring them. He went away and the others fasted, until
at the end of seven days he came for them and they went with him to
Tsuwa`tel'da, and their friends in the settlement never saw them again.


In the old times the people used to dance often and all night. Once
there was a dance at the old town of Sâkwi'yi, on the head of
Chattahoochee, and after it was well started two young women with
beautiful long hair came in, but no one knew who they were or whence
they had come. They danced with one partner and another, and in the
morning slipped away before anyone knew that they were gone; but a
young warrior had fallen in love with one of the sisters on account of
her beautiful hair, and after the manner of the Cherokee had already
asked her through an old man if she would marry him and let him live
with her. To this the young woman had replied that her brother at home
must first be consulted, and they promised to return for the next dance
seven days later with an answer, but in the meantime if the young man
really loved her he must prove his constancy by a rigid fast until
then. The eager lover readily agreed and impatiently counted the days.

In seven nights there was another dance. The young warrior was on hand
early, and later in the evening the two sisters appeared as suddenly as
before. They told him their brother was willing, and after the dance
they would conduct the young man to their home, but warned him that
if he told anyone where he went or what he saw he would surely die.

He danced with them again and about daylight the three came away just
before the dance closed, so as to avoid being followed, and started off
together. The women led the way along a trail through the woods, which
the young man had never noticed before, until they came to a small
creek, where, without hesitating, they stepped into the water. The
young man paused in surprise on the bank and thought to himself,
"They are walking in the water; I don't want to do that." The women
knew his thoughts just as though he had spoken and turned and said
to him, "This is not water; this is the road to our house." He still
hesitated, but they urged him on until he stepped into the water and
found it was only soft grass that made a fine level trail.

They went on until the trail came to a large stream which he knew
for Tallulah river. The women plunged boldly in, but again the
warrior hesitated on the bank, thinking to himself, "That water is
very deep and will drown me; I can't go on." They knew his thoughts
and turned and said, "This is no water, but the main trail that goes
past our house, which is now close by." He stepped in, and instead
of water there was tall waving grass that closed above his head as
he followed them.

They went only a short distance and came to a rock cave close under
Ugûñ'yi (Tallulah falls). The women entered, while the warrior
stopped at the mouth; but they said, "This is our house; come in and
our brother will soon be home; he is coming now." They heard low
thunder in the distance. He went inside and stood up close to the
entrance. Then the women took off their long hair and hung it up on
a rock, and both their heads were as smooth as a pumpkin. The man
thought, "It is not hair at all," and he was more frightened than ever.

The younger woman, the one he was about to marry, then sat down and
told him to take a seat beside her. He looked, and it was a large
turtle, which raised itself up and stretched out its claws as if angry
at being disturbed. The young man said it was a turtle, and refused
to sit down, but the woman insisted that it was a seat. Then there
was a louder roll of thunder and the woman said, "Now our brother is
nearly home." While they urged and he still refused to come nearer
or sit down, suddenly there was a great thunder clap just behind him,
and turning quickly he saw a man standing in the doorway of the cave.

"This is my brother," said the woman, and he came in and sat down
upon the turtle, which again rose up and stretched out its claws. The
young warrior still refused to come in. The brother then said that he
was just about to start to a council, and invited the young man to go
with him. The hunter said he was willing to go if only he had a horse;
so the young woman was told to bring one. She went out and soon came
back leading a great uktena snake, that curled and twisted along the
whole length of the cave. Some people say this was a white uktena
and that the brother himself rode a red one. The hunter was terribly
frightened, and said "That is a snake; I can't ride that." The others
insisted that it was no snake, but their riding-horse. The brother grew
impatient and said to the woman, "He may like it better if you bring
him a saddle, and some bracelets for his wrists and arms." So they
went out again and brought in a saddle and some arm bands, and the
saddle was another turtle, which they fastened on the uktena's back,
and the bracelets were living slimy snakes, which they got ready to
twist around the hunter's wrists.

He was almost dead with fear, and said, "What kind of horrible place
is this? I can never stay here to live with snakes and creeping
things." The brother got very angry and called him a coward, and then
it was as if lightening flashed from his eyes and struck the young man,
and a terrible crash of thunder stretched him senseless.

When at last he came to himself again he was standing with his feet
in the water and both hands grasping a laurel bush that grew out from
the bank, and there was no trace of the cave or the Thunder People,
but he was alone in the forest. He made his way out and finally reached
his own settlement, but found then that he had been gone so very long
that all the people had thought him dead, although to him it seemed
only the day after the dance. His friends questioned him closely, and,
forgetting the warning, he told the story; but in seven days he died,
for no one can come back from the underworld and tell it and live.


At the mouth of Suck creek, on the Tennessee, about 8 miles below
Chattanooga, is a series of dangerous whirlpools, known as "The
Suck," and noted among the Cherokee as the place where Ûñtsaiyi',
the gambler, lived long ago (see the story). They call it Ûñ'tiguhi',
"Pot-in-the-water," on account of the appearance of the surging,
tumbling water, suggesting a boiling pot. They assert that in the old
times the whirlpools were intermittent in character, and the canoemen
attempting to pass the spot used to hug the bank, keeping constantly
on the alert for signs of a coming eruption, and when they saw the
water begin to revolve more rapidly would stop and wait until it
became quiet again before attempting to proceed.

It happened once that two men, going down the river in a canoe,
as they came near this place saw the water circling rapidly ahead of
them. They pulled up to the bank to wait until it became smooth again,
but the whirlpool seemed to approach with wider and wider circles,
until they were drawn into the vortex. They were thrown out of the
canoe and carried down under the water, where one man was seized by
a great fish and was never seen again. The other was taken round and
round down to the very lowest center of the whirlpool, when another
circle caught him and bore him outward and upward until he was finally
thrown up again to the surface and floated out into the shallow water,
whence he made his escape to shore. He told afterwards that when he
reached the narrowest circle of the maelstrom the water seemed to
open below him and he could look down as through the roof beams of
a house, and there on the bottom of the river he had seen a great
company of people, who looked up and beckoned to him to join them,
but as they put up their hands to seize him the swift current caught
him and took him out of their reach.


Yahoola creek, which flows by Dahlonega, in Lumpkin county, Georgia,
is called Yahulâ'i (Yahula place) by the Cherokees, and this is the
story of the name:

Years ago, long before the Revolution, Yahula was a prosperous stock
trader among the Cherokee, and the tinkling of the bells hung around
the necks of his ponies could be heard on every mountain trail. Once
there was a great hunt and all the warriors were out, but when it
was over and they were ready to return to the settlement Yahula was
not with them. They waited and searched, but he could not be found,
and at last they went back without him, and his friends grieved for
him as for one dead. Some time after his people were surprised and
delighted to have him walk in among them and sit down as they were
at supper in the evening. To their questions he told them that he had
been lost in the mountains, and that the Nûñne'hi, the Immortals, had
found him and brought him to their town, where he had been kept ever
since, with the kindest care and treatment, until the longing to see
his old friends had brought him back. To the invitation of his friends
to join them at supper he said that it was now too late--he had tasted
the fairy food and could never again eat with human kind, and for the
same reason he could not stay with his family, but must go back to
the Nûñne'hi. His wife and children and brother begged him to stay,
but he said that he could not; it was either life with the Immortals
or death with his own people--and after some further talk he rose to
go. They saw him as he sat talking to them and as he stood up, but the
moment he stepped out the doorway he vanished as if he had never been.

After that he came back often to visit his people. They would see him
first as he entered the house, and while he sat and talked he was his
old self in every way, but the instant he stepped across the threshold
he was gone, though a hundred eyes might be watching. He came often,
but at last their entreaties grew so urgent that the Nûñne'hi must
have been offended, and he came no more. On the mountain at the head
of the creek, about 10 miles above the present Dahlonega, is a small
square inclosure of uncut stone, without roof or entrance. Here it was
said that he lived, so the Cherokee called it Yahulâ'i and called the
stream by the same name. Often at night a belated traveler coming along
the trail by the creek would hear the voice of Yahula singing certain
favorite old songs that he used to like to sing as he drove his pack
of horses across the mountain, the sound of a voice urging them on,
and the crack of a whip and the tinkling of bells went with the song,
but neither driver nor horses could be seen, although the sounds
passed close by. The songs and the bells were heard only at night.

There was one man who had been his friend, who sang the same songs for
a time after Yahula had disappeared, but he died suddenly, and then
the Cherokee were afraid to sing these songs any more until it was
so long since anyone had heard the sounds on the mountain that they
thought Yahula must be gone away, perhaps to the West, where others
of the tribe had already gone. It is so long ago now that even the
stone house may have been destroyed by this time, but more than one
old man's father saw it and heard the songs and the bells a hundred
years ago. When the Cherokee went from Georgia to Indian Territory
in 1838 some of them said, "Maybe Yahula has gone there and we shall
hear him," but they have never heard him again.


Besides the friendly Nûñne'hi of the streams and mountains there is a
race of cannibal spirits, who stay at the bottom of the deep rivers
and live upon human flesh, especially that of little children. They
come out just after daybreak and go about unseen from house to house
until they find some one still asleep, when they shoot him with their
invisible arrows and carry the dead body down under the water to
feast upon it. That no one may know what has happened they leave in
place of the body a shade or image of the dead man or little child,
that wakes up and talks and goes about just as he did, but there is
no life in it, and in seven days it withers and dies, and the people
bury it and think they are burying their dead friend. It was a long
time before the people found out about this, but now they always
try to be awake at daylight and wake up the children, telling them
"The hunters are among you."

This is the way they first knew about the water cannibals: There was
a man in Tikwali'tsi town who became sick and grew worse until the
doctors said he could not live, and then his friends went away from
the house and left him alone to die. They were not so kind to each
other in the old times as they are now, because they were afraid of
the witches that came to torment dying people.

He was alone several days, not able to rise from his bed, when one
morning an old woman came in at the door. She looked just like the
other women of the settlement, but he did not know her. She came over
to the bed and said, "You are very sick and your friends seem to have
left you. Come with me and I will make you well." The man was so
near death that he could not move, but now her words made him feel
stronger at once, and he asked her where she wanted him to go. "We
live close by; come with me and I will show you," said the woman,
so he got up from his bed and she led the way down to the water. When
she came to the water she stepped in and he followed, and there was
a road under the water, and another country there just like that above.

They went on until they came to a settlement with a great many houses,
and women going about their work and children playing. They met a party
of hunters coming in from a hunt, but instead of deer or bear quarters
hanging from their shoulders they carried the bodies of dead men and
children, and several of the bodies the man knew for those of his
own friends in Tikwali'tsi. They came to a house and the woman said
"This is where I live," and took him in and fixed a bed for him and
made him comfortable.

By this time he was very hungry, but the woman knew his thoughts and
said, "We must get him something to eat." She took one of the bodies
that the hunters had just brought in and cut off a slice to roast. The
man was terribly frightened, but she read his thoughts again and said,
"I see you can not eat our food." Then she turned away from him and
held her hands before her stomach--so--and when she turned around again
she had them full of bread and beans such as he used to have at home.

So it was every day, until soon he was well and strong again. Then
she told him he might go home now, but he must be sure not to speak to
anyone for seven days, and if any of his friends should question him
he must make signs as if his throat were sore and keep silent. She
went with him along the same trail to the water's edge, and the
water closed over her and he went back alone to Tikwali'tsi. When he
came there his friends were surprised, because they thought he had
wandered off and died in the woods. They asked him where he had been,
but he only pointed to his throat and said nothing, so they thought
he was not yet well and let him alone until the seven days were past,
when he began to talk again and told the whole story.

Historical Traditions


There are a few stories concerning the first contact of the Cherokee
with whites and negroes. They are very modern and have little value
as myths, but throw some light upon the Indian estimate of the
different races.

One story relates how the first whites came from the east and tried to
enter into friendly relations, but the Indians would have nothing to
do with them for a long time. At last the whites left a jug of whisky
and a dipper near a spring frequented by the Indians. The Indians came
along, tasted the liquor, which they had never known before, and liked
it so well that they ended by all getting comfortably drunk. While they
were in this happy frame of mind some white men came up, and this time
the Indians shook hands with them and they have been friends after
a fashion ever since. This may possibly be a Cherokee adaptation of
the story of Hudson's first landing on the island of Manhattan.

At the creation an ulûñsû'ti was given to the white man, and a piece
of silver to the Indian. But the white man despised the stone and
threw it away, while the Indian did the same with the silver. In going
about the white man afterward found the silver piece and put it into
his pocket and has prized it ever since. The Indian, in like manner,
found the ulûñsû'ti where the white man had thrown it. He picked it
up and has kept it since as his talisman, as money is the talismanic
power of the white man. This story is quite general and is probably
older than others of its class.

When Sequoya, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, was trying to
introduce it among his people, about 1822, some of them opposed it
upon the ground that Indians had no business with reading. They said
that when the Indian and the white man were created, the Indian,
being the elder, was given a book, while the white man received a
bow and arrows. Each was instructed to take good care of his gift
and make the best use of it, but the Indian was so neglectful of his
book that the white man soon stole it from him, leaving the bow in its
place, so that books and reading now belong of right to the white man,
while the Indian ought to be satisfied to hunt for a living.--Cherokee
Advocate, October 26, 1844.

The negro made the first locomotive for a toy and put it on a wooden
track and was having great fun with it when a white man came along,
watched until he saw how to run it, and then killed the negro and
took the locomotive for himself. This, also, although plainly of very
recent origin, was heard from several informants.


Long wars were waged between the Cherokee and their remote northern
relatives, the Iroquois, with both of whom the recollection, now
nearly faded, was a vivid tradition fifty years ago. The (Seneca)
Iroquois know the Cherokee as Oyada'ge`oñnoñ, a name rather freely
rendered "cave people." The latter call the Iroquois, or rather
their largest and most aggressive tribe, the Seneca, Nûndawe'gi,
Ani'-Nûn-dawe'gi, or Ani'-Se'nika, the first forms being derived from
Nûndawa'ga or Nûndawa'-ono, "people of the great hills," the name by
which the Seneca know themselves. According to authorities quoted by
Schoolcraft, the Seneca claim to have at one time had a settlement,
from which they were afterward driven, at Seneca, South Carolina,
known in history as one of the principal towns of the Lower Cherokee.

The league of the Iroquois was probably founded about the middle of
the sixteenth century. Before 1680 they had conquered or exterminated
all the tribes upon their immediate borders and had turned their arms
against the more distant Illinois, Catawba, and Cherokee. According
to Iroquois tradition, the Cherokee were the aggressors, having
attacked and plundered a Seneca hunting party somewhere in the west,
while in another story they are represented as having violated a peace
treaty by the murder of the Iroquois delegates. Whatever the cause,
the war was taken up by all the tribes of the league.

From the Iroquois country to the Cherokee frontier was considered a
five days' journey for a rapidly traveling war party. As the distance
was too great for large expeditions, the war consisted chiefly of a
series of individual exploits, a single Cherokee often going hundreds
of miles to strike a blow, which was sure to be promptly retaliated
by the warriors from the north, the great object of every Iroquois
boy being to go against the Cherokee as soon as he was old enough
to take the war path. Captives were made on both sides, and probably
in about equal numbers, the two parties being too evenly matched for
either to gain any permanent advantage, and a compromise