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Eastern Cherokee Enumeration, 1890

The enumeration for the census of 1890 of the Eastern Band of Cherokees of North Carolina was made by the regular enumerators for the state of North Carolina. The United States Indian agent, James Blythe, a Cherokee (Dis-qua-ni, Chestnut Bread), furnishes the following data collected during personal visitations: The total number of Cherokees is 1,520: males, 774; females, 746. All wear citizens’ clothing. 365 over the age of 20 and 300 under the age of 20 can read, and 180 under the age of 20 can write English. This latter fact is attributable to the efficient school system. 620 Indians can use English enough for ordinary intercourse. The number of children of school age is given as 403, and there are school accommodations for 275. There are 5 schoolhouses owned by the Indians, valued at $600. They also own and occupy 256 one-story log or blockhouses. Eastern Cherokee Health 1 case of chronic paralysis and 2 of pneumonia are reported. 3 deaf and dumb, 2 blind, and 2 idiotic persons are also mentioned. The number of children under the age of 1 year is given as 38, but the number and causes of death must be supplied from the regular enumeration. Eastern Cherokee and White Intruders Agent Blythe, who has had the special co-operation of the United States authorities in investigating violations of the laws relating to the lands of the Indians, reports 56 white families as unlawfully upon the tract, occupying and farming 6,000 acres, most of it good land. Eastern Cherokee Land About 20,000 acres of land are classed as arable or tillable and 30,000 acres as...

Eastern Cherokee Schools

Eastern Cherokee Training School and Mt. Noble, from Spray Ridge and US Indian Agency The training school for the Eastern Band of Cherokees is also a boarding school, with 4: white teachers. It has had 84 boarders, the average daily attendance being 80, and 24 day scholars. The full details of the operation of this school are given elsewhere. The total cost in maintaining this school for 1890 was $11,264.47, expended as follows: for salaries of teachers and employees, $3,350; all other expenses, $7,914.47. The entire expense is paid by the United States from a special appropriation for the Eastern Cherokee training school, The buildings occupied, 11 in number, and also a barn, are owned jointly by the United States and the Cherokees, The school, while a government school, is under the charge of members of the Society of Friends, and its establishment and maintenance by the United States is in the nature of a gratuity. The school statistics of the 3 Cherokee schools for the year 1800 are as follows: Statistics Of Cherokee Indian Schools The school buildings are all owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokees, and the expenses of the schools are paid with the interest from the Eastern Band of Cherokees’ education fund, held in the treasury of the United...

Eastern Band of Cherokee Industries

The main occupation of the Eastern Band of Cherokees of North Carolina is that of farming. The acreage is very limited in each tract, but crops more than sufficient for home necessities are generally realized. Seed sowing is mainly done by hand, because the use of machinery is impracticable on their hillside farms. Hand sowing is also practiced among the white people upon adjoining lands, and the growing crops indicate very sparse and unequal spread of the seed. The mountain soil and occasional sand levels need a fertilizer in order to replace the waste of annual tillage, but the steep declivities, where patience has secured a good planting, are often swept by storm torrents, so that fertilizers retain only a slight hold. It is impossible to visit the different sections without the conviction that the people of both sexes, children included, are domestic and industrious. With the exception of blacksmithing, some cobbling, and plain harness work, mechanical trades have few followers. The men are expert with the ax, however, hewing out thick planks for wagon beds, and the timber of the blockhouses is well shaped and well fitted. Ingenuity and skill are exhibited in pottery, but as a business it has ceased to be profitable. Plain ironwork is done by a few, and Sololah makes a good knife, with well-tempered blades, Davis Welch, a wagon maker, runs his forge bellows by convenient water power. Wooden spoons, both beautiful and useful, are made from the laurel, and there are those who can manufacture “ancient relies” as well as white men, and can at short notice produce the “genuine old furniture...

Eastern Band of Cherokee, Religion and Morals

The superstitions and religious extravaganzas of ancient times have almost disappeared. Lingering fancies as to witches and witchcraft crop out from time to time among these Indians, but in no more unreasonable forms than among their neighbors. The church organizations are in a languishing condition. While the people as a whole are Christian in theory and no pagan element remains, the early mission enterprises among the Cherokees have not advanced with the intelligence and physical prosperity of the people. Both Baptists and Methodists early occupied the field, and with marked success. At present the old church buildings, indicated on the map, and one adjoining the agency, all equally dilapidated, are uninviting and of no value in bad weather. Schoolhouses are used both for public worship and Sunday-school gatherings, as the population is neither numerous nor rich enough to erect and sustain independent churches. The erection by the government of a suitable building near the agency for public meetings and use upon the Sabbath by the different denominations in turn would meet the demand and prove a great benefit to the people. The Cherokees would contribute the lumber and labor necessary for its erection. Religious denominational jealousies and proselytism have had their part in this apparent religious declension, and the Indians are no less susceptible to such influences than white people. At present the rules adopted for the management of the common or district schools by Superintendent W. H. Spray, of the Cherokee training school, who has charge of all the schools as well, are decidedly in the direction of religious and moral progress throughout the territory. No teacher is...

Eastern Band of Cherokee, Schools

There are at present among the Eastern Band of Cherokees 3 schools of a common-school grade in addition to the Cherokee training school, initiated by all eminent christian scholar, Barnabas Hobbs, of Indiana, a member of the Society of Friends. There was also a grammar school in. Graham county, but it was abandoned because the children were few and scattered and several of them attended the training school. Big Cove school is 10 miles northeast from the agency, on Ravens fork of the Ocona Lufta River. It has 2 teachers, both males, and is sustained at a cost of $819,84. There are accommodations for 60 pupils. The largest attendance during the year was 54, of whom 28 were males and 26 females, all between the ages of 6 and 18 years. The average age was 9.019; the average attendance for 1 year was 26.429; the highest average attendance for 1 month, that of January, was 36. Birdtown school is 2.11 miles southwest from the agency, with 1 male teacher and accommodations for 30 pupils, and the whole number, viz, 13 males and 17 females, all between the ages of 6 and 18, attended, their average age being 11.118. The average attendance during 7 months was 16.429, and the highest average attendance any one month that of December was 30, the full number. Schega Wella missed but 2 days in 2 years. Macedonia school, on Seco creek, above the old mission house, already mentioned in connection with the topographical outline of the Qualla boundary, is supported by the interest, payable annually, from an educational fund held in trust by the...
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