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. 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.
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. 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 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 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 , 73 and which terminated in a decisive victory for the Chickasaw about 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.
The Legend of the Three Sisters
In 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.
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 Dr Thomas Walker, with a company of hunters and woodsmen from Virginia, crossed the mountains [ 39 ] 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.
In the Cherokee were officially reported to number 2, 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 men. 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.
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 In accordance with the treaty stipulations Fort Prince George was built in 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. 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.
Quebec was taken September 13, , and by the final treaty of peace in 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 [ 41 ] 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 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, , 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.
MYTHS OF THE CHEROKEE
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.
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.
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, , 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 , 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.
In The Shadow Of The Eclipse, Cherokee Legends Are Told | BPR
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, , at once calling out troops and sending messengers to secure the aid of all the surrounding tribes against the Cherokee. 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.
hostmaster.wecan-group.com/13513.php In February, , 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 [ 43 ] 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, , a strong force of over 1, 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. Here the Cherokee had collected their full force to resist his progress, and the result was a desperate engagement on June 27, , 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. 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.
It is said also that cannon, small arms, and ammunition had been thrown into the river with the same intention Haywood. 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.
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.
Little People of the Cherokee
In June , Colonel Grant with an army of 2, 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. 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 [ 45 ] war was ended. From an estimated population of at least 5, warriors some years before, the Cherokee had now been reduced to about 2, men. 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, , 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.
On the conclusion of peace between England and France in , 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.
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 , 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. As one consequence of the late Cherokee war, a royal proclamation had been issued in , 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.