Cherokee Indians

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Cherokee Tribe: Meaning unknown, but possibly from Creek tciloki, “people of a different speech.” The middle and upper dialects substitute l for r. Also called:

  • Alligewi or Alleghanys, a people appearing in Delaware tradition who were perhaps identical with this tribe.
  • Ani’-Kǐtu’hwagǐ, own name, from one of their most important ancient settlements, and extended by Algonquian tribes to the whole.
  • Ani’-Yûn’-wiyâ’, own name, meaning “real people.”
  • Bäniatho, Arapaho name (Gatschet, MS., B. A. E.).
  • Entari ronnon, Wyandot name, meaning “mountain people.”
  • Mân-tĕrân’, Catawba name, meaning “coming out of the ground.”
  • Ochie’tari-ronnon; a Wyandot name.
  • Oyata’ ge’ronóñ, Iroquois name, meaning “inhabitants of the cave country.”
  • Shánaki, Caddo name.
  • Shánnakiak, Fox name (Gatschet, Fox MS., B. A. E.).
  • Talligewi, Delaware name (in Walam Olum), see Alligewi.
  • Tcálke, Tonkawa name.
  • Tcerokiéco, Wichita name.
  • Uwatáyo-róno, Wyandot name, meaning “cave people.”

Cherokee Connections. The Cherokee language is the most aberrant form of speech of the Iroquoian linguistic family.

Cherokee Location. From the earliest times of which we have any certain knowledge the Cherokee have occupied the highest districts at the southern end of the Appalachian chain, mainly in the States of Tennessee and North Carolina, but including also parts of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia. (See also Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.)

Cherokee Villages

There were anciently three Cherokee dialects which probably corresponded in some measure to the three groups of towns into which early traders and explorers divided the tribe. These groups, with the towns belonging to each according to the Purcell map, but following as far as possible the Handbook (Hodge, 1907,1910) orthography, are as follows:

Lower Settlements:

  • Estatoee, 2 towns:
    1. Old Estatoee on Tugaloo River below the junction of Chattooga and Tullalah Rivers, in Oconee County, South Carolina.
    2. Estatoee in the northwestern part of Pickens County, South Carolina.
  • Keowee, 2 towns:
    1. Old Keowee on Keowee River near Fort George, Oconee County, South Carolina.
    2. New Keowee on the headwaters of Twelve-mile Creek in Pickens County, South Carolina, the latter also called probably Little Keowee.
  • Kulsetsiyi, 3 towns:
    1. On Keowee River, near Fall Creek, Oconee County, South Carolina.
    2. On Sugartown or Cullasagee Creek near Franklin, Macon County, South Carolina.
    3. On Sugartown Creek, near Morganton, Fannin County, Georgia.
  • Oconee, on Seneca Creek near Walhalla, Oconee County, South Carolina.
  • Qualatchee, 2 towns:
    1. On Keowee River, South Carolina.
    2. On the headwaters of Chattahoochee River, Georgia.
  • Tomassee, 2 towns:
    1. On Tomassee Creek of Keowee River, Oconee County, South Carolina.
    2. On Little Tennessee River near the entrance of Burningtown Creek, Macon County, South Carolina.
  • Toxaway, on Toxaway Creek, a branch of Keowee River, South Carolina.
  • Tugaloo, on Tugaloo River at the junction of Toccoa Creek, Habersham County, Georgia.
  • Ustanali, several towns so called:
    1. On Keowee River below the present Fort George, Oconee County, South Carolina.
    2. Probably on the waters of Tuckasegee River in western North Carolina.
    3. Just above the junction of Coosawatee and Conasauga Rivers to form the Oostanaula River in Gordon County, Georgia.
    4. Perhaps on Eastanollee Creek of Tugaloo River, Franklin County, Georgia.
    5. Perhaps on Eastaunaula Creek flowing into Hiwassee River in McMinn County, Tennessee.
    6. Possibly another.

Middle Settlements:

  • Cowee, about the mouth of Cowee Creek of Little Tennessee River, about 10 miles below Franklin, North Carolina.
  • Coweeshee, probably between the preceding and Yunsawi.
  • Ellijay, 4 towns:
    1. On the headwaters of Keowee River, South Carolina.
    2. On Ellijay Creek of Little Tennessee River near Franklin, North Carolina.
    3. About Ellijay in Gilmer County, Georgia.
    4. On Ellejoy Creek of Little River near Marysville in Blount County, Tenn.
  • Itseyi, 3 towns:
    1. On Brasstown Creek of Tugaloo River, Oconee County, South Carolina.
    2. On Little Tennessee River near Franklin, North Carolina.
    3. On upper Brasstown Creek of Hiwassee River, Towns County, Georgia.
  • Jore, on Iola Creek, an upper branch of Little Tennessee River, North Carolina.
  • Kituhwa, on Tuckasegee River and extending from above the junction of the Oconaluftee nearly to the present Bryson City, Swain County, North Carolina.
  • Nucassee, at the present Franklin, North Carolina.
  • Stikayi, 3 towns:
    1. On Sticoa Creek, near Clayton, Rabun County, Georgia.
    2. On Tuckasegee River at the old Thomas homestead just above Whittier, Swain County, North Carolina.
    3. On Stekoa Creek of Little Tennessee River, a few miles below the junction of Nantahala, Graham County, North Carolina.
  • Tawsee, on Tugaloo River, Habersham County, Ga. Tekanitli, in upper Georgia.
  • Tessuntee, on Cowee River, south of Franklin, North Carolina.
  • Tikaleyasuni, on Burningtown Creek, an upper branch of Little Tennessee River, western North Carolina.
  • Watauga, 2 towns:
    1. On Watauga Creek, a branch of Little Tennessee River, a few miles below Franklin, North Carolina.
    2. Traditionally located at Watauga Old Fields, about Elizabethtown, on Watauga River, in Carter County, Tennessee.
  • Yunsawi, on West Buffalo Creek of Cheowa River, Graham County, North Carolina.

Over-the-Hills and Valley Settlements, or Overhill Settlements:

  • Chatuga, 3 towns:
    1. On Chattooga River, on the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia.
    2. Probably on upper Tellico River, Monroe County, Tenn.
    3. Perhaps on Chattooga River, a tributary of the Coosa, in northwest Georgia.
  • Chilhowee, on Tellico River in Monroe County, Tenn., near the North Carolina border.
  • Cotocanahut, between Natuhli and Niowe.
  • Echota, 5 towns:
    1. Great Echota, on the south side of Little Tennessee River, a short distance below Citico Creek, Monroe County, Tenn.
    2. Little Echota on Santee Creek, a head stream of the Chattahoochee west of Clarksville, Ga.
    3. New Echota, at the junction of Oostanaula and Conasauga Rivers, Gordon County, Ga.
    4. The old Macedonian Mission on Soco Creek, of the North Carolina Reservation.
    5. At the great Nacoochee mound. (See Naguchee below.)
  • Hiwassee, 2 towns:
    1. Great Hiwassee on the north bank of Hiwassee River at the present Savannah Ford, above Columbus, Polk County, Tenn.
    2. At the junction of Peachtree Creek with Hiwassee River, above Murphy, N. C., probably the Guasuli of the De Soto Chroniclers.
  • Natuhli, on Nottely River, a branch of Hiwassee River at or near the site of the present Ranger, Cherokee County, N. C.
  • Nayuhi, seems to have been the name of four towns:
    1. Probably of the Lower Settlements, on the east bank of Tugaloo River, S. C.
    2. On the upper waters of Tennessee River, apparently in North Carolina.
    3. (3 and 4) in the same general region, the last three being mentioned by Bartram (1792).
  • Sitiku, on Little Tennessee River at the entrance of Citico Creek, Monroe County, Tenn.
  • Tahlasi, on Little Tennessee River about Talassee Ford in Blount County, Tenn.
  • Tallulah, 2 towns:
    1. On the upper Tallulah River, Rabun County, Ga.
    2. On Tallulah Creek of Cheowa River in Graham County, N. C.
  • Tamahli, 2 towns:
    1. On Valley River a few miles above Murphy, about the present Tomatola, Cherokee, County, N. C.
    2. On Little Tennessee River about Tomotley Ford, a few miles above Tellico River in Monroe County, Tenn.
  • Tellico, 4 towns:
    1. Great Tellico, at Tellico Plains on Tellico River, Monroe County, Tenn.
    2. Little Tellico, on Tellico Creek of Little Tennessee River about 10 miles below Franklin, N. C.
    3. (Also called Little Tellico at times) on Valley River about 5 miles above Murphy, N. C.
    4. Tahlequah, capital of the Cherokee Nation in what is now Oklahoma.
  • Tennessee, 2 towns:
    1. On Little Tennessee River a short distance above its junction with the main stream in east Tennessee.
    2. On an extreme head branch of Tuckasegee River, above the present Webster, N. C.
  • Toquo, on Little Tennessee River about the mouth of Toco Creek, Monroe County, Tenn.
  • Tsiyahi, 3 towns:
    1. On a branch of Keowee River, near the present Cheochee, Oconee County, S. C.
    2. A modern settlement on Cheowa River about Robbinsville, N. C.
    3. A former settlement in Cades Cove, on Cover Creek, Blount County, Tenn.
  • Ustanali; according to Purcell’s map, there was a town of this name different from those already given, on the upper waters of Cheowa River, Graham County, N. C.

Besides the above, the following settlements are given by Mooney and other writers:

  • Amahyaski, location unknown.
  • Amkalali, location unknown.
  • Amohi, location unknown.
  • Anisgayayi, a traditional town on Valley River, Cherokee County, N. C.
  • Anuyi, location unknown.
  • Aquohee, perhaps at the site of Fort Scott, on Nantahala River, Macon County, N. C.
  • Atsiniyi, location unknown.
  • Aumuchee, location unknown.
  • Ayahliyi, location unknown.
  • Big Island, on Big Island, in Little Tennessee River a short distance below the mouth of Tellico River.
  • Briertown, on Nantahala River about the mouth of Briertown Creek, Macon County, N. C.
  • Broomtown, location unknown.
  • Brown’s Village, location unknown.
  • Buffalo Fish, location unknown.
  • Canuga, 2 towns:
    1. Apparently on Keowee River, S. C.
    2. A traditional town on Pigeon River probably near Waynesville, Haywood County, N. C.
  • Catatoga, on Cartoogaja Creek of Little Tennessee River above Franklin, N. C.
  • Chagee, near the mouth of Chatooga Creek of Tugaloo River at or near Fort Madison, southwest Oconee County, S. C.
  • Cheesoheha, on a branch of Savannah River in upper South Carolina.
  • Chewase, on a branch of Tennessee River in East Tennessee.
  • Chicherohe, on War Woman Creek in the northwestern part of Rabun County, Ga.
  • Chickamauga, a temporary settlement on Chickamauga Creek near Chattanooga
  • Conisca, on a branch of Tennessee River.
  • Conontoroy, an “out town.”
  • Conoross, on Conoross Creek which enters Keowee or Seneca River from the west in Anderson County, S. C.
  • Coyatee, on Little Tennessee River about 10 miles below the Tellico, about the present Coytee, Loudon County, Tenn.
  • Crayfish Town, in upper Georgia.
  • Creek Path, with Creeks and Shawnee at Gunter’s Landing, Ala.
  • Crowmocker, on Battle Creek which falls into Tennessee River below Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Crow Town, on the left bank of Tennessee River near the mouth of Raccoon Creek, Cherokee County, Ala.
  • Cuclon, an unidentified town.
  • Cusawatee, on lower Coosawatee River in Gordon County, Ga.
  • Dulastunyi, on Nottely River, Cherokee County, N. C., near the Georgia line.
  • Dustayalunyi, about the mouth of Shooting Creek, an affluent of Hiwassee River, near Hayesville, Clay County, N. C.
  • Ecochee, on a head stream of Savannah River in northwest South Carolina or northeast Georgia.
  • Elakulsi, in northern Georgia.
  • Etowah, 2 towns:
    1. On Etowah River about the present Hightower, Forsyth County, Ga.
    2. A possible settlement on Hightower Creek of Hiwassee River, Towns County, Ga.
  • Euforsee, location unknown.
  • Fightingtown, on Fightingtown Creek, near Morgantown, Fannin County, Ga.
  • Frogtown, on a creek of the same name, north of Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Ga.
  • Guhlaniyi, occupied by Cherokee and Natchez, at the junction of Brasstown Creek with Hiwassee River a short distance above Murphy, N. C.
  • Gusti, traditional, on Tennessee River near Kingston, Roane County, Tenn.
  • Halfway Town, about halfway between Sitiku and Chilhowee on Little Tennessee River about the boundary of Monroe and Loudon Counties, Tenn.
  • Hemptown, on Hemptown Creek near Morgantown, Fannin County, Ga.
  • Hickory Log, on Etowah River a short distance above Canton, Cherokee County, Ga.
  • High Tower Forks, probably one of the places called Etowah.
  • Ikatikunahita, on Long Swamp Creek about the boundary of Forsyth and Cherokee Counties, Ga.
  • Ivy Log, on Ivy Log Creek, Union County, Ga.
  • Johnstown, on the upper waters of Chattahoochee River and probably in the northern part of Hall County, Ga.
  • Kalanunyi, a district or town laid off on the Eastern Cherokee Reserve in Swain and Jackson Counties, N. C.
  • Kanastunyi, on the headwaters of French Broad River near Brevard in Transylvania County, N. C., also possibly a second on Hiwassee River.
  • Kansaki, 4 towns:
    1. On Tuckasegee River a short distance above the present Webster in Jackson County, N. C.
    2. On the lower course of Canasauga Creek in Polk County, Tenn.
    3. At the junction of Conasauga and Coosawatee Rivers, the later site of New Echota, Gordon County, Ga.
    4. Mentioned in the De Soto narratives but perhaps identical with No. 2.
  • Kanutaluhi, in northern Georgia.
  • Kawanunyi, about the present Ducktown, Polk County, Tenn.
  • Kuhlahi, in upper Georgia.
  • Kulahiyi, in northeastern Georgia near Currahee Mountain.
  • Leatherwood, at or near Leatherwood in the northern part of Franklin County, Ga.
  • Long Island, at the Long Island in Tennessee River on the Tennessee-Georgia line.
  • Lookout Mountain Town, at or near the present Trenton, Dade County, Ga.
  • Naguchee, about the junction of Soquee and Sautee Rivers in Nacoochee Valley at the head of Chattahoochee River, Habersham County, Ga.
  • Nanatlugunyi, traditional, on the site of Jonesboro, Washington County, Tenn. Nantahala (see Briertown).
  • Nickajack, on the south bank of Tennessee River in Marion County, Tenn. Nununyi, on Oconaluftee River near Cherokee, Swain County, N. C.
  • Ocoee, on Ocoee River near its junction with the Hiwassee, about Benton, Polk County, Tenn.
  • Oconaluftee, probably at the present Birdtown, on the Eastern Cherokee Reservation.
  • Ooltewah, about the present Ooltewah, on Ooltewah Creek, James County, Tenn.
  • Oothcaloga, on Oothcaloga (Ougillogy) Creek of Oostanaula River near Calhoun, Gordon County, Ga.
  • Paint Town, on lower Soco Creek, within the reservation in Jackson and Swain Counties, N. C.
  • Pine Log, on Pine Log Creek in Bartow County, Ga.
  • Quacoshatchee, in northwest Pickens County, S. C.
  • Qualla, agency of the Eastern Cherokee on a branch of Soco River, Jackson County, N. C.
  • Quanusee, location unknown.
  • Rabbit Trap, in upper Georgia.
  • Red Bank, on Etowah River, at or near Canton, Cherokee County, Ga.
  • Red Clay, on Oconaluftee River in Swain County, N. C., Eastern Cherokee Reservation.
  • Running Water, on the southeast bank of Tennessee River below Chattanooga, near the northwestern Georgia line and 4 miles above Nickajack.
  • Sanderstown, in northeastern Alabama.
  • Selikwayi, on Sallacoa Creek probably at or near the present Sallacoa, Cherokee County, Ga.
  • Seneca, on Keowee River about the mouth of Conneross Creek in Oconee County, S. C.
  • Setsi, traditional, on the south side of Valley River, about 3 miles below Valleytown, Cherokee County, N. C.
  • Skeinah, on Toccoa River, Fannin County, Ga.
  • Soquee, on Soquee River, near Clarksville, Habersham County, Ga.
  • Spikebuck Town, on Hiwassee River at or near Hayesville, Clay County, N. C.
  • Spring Place, a mission station in Murray County, Ga.
  • Standing Peach Tree, on Chattahoochee River, at the mouth of Peachtree Creek, northwest of Atlanta, Ga.
  • Sutali, on Etowah River, probably in southwestern Cherokee County, Ga.
  • Suwanee, on Chattahoochee River about the present Suwanee, Gwinnett County, Ga.
  • Tagwahi, 3 towns:
    1. On Toccoa Creek east of Clarkesville, Habersham County, Ga.
    2. On Toccoa or Ocoee River about the present Toccoa in Fannin County, Ga.
    3. Perhaps on Persimmon Creek which enters Hiwassee River some distance below Murphy, Cherokee County, N. C.
  • Takwashnaw, a Lower Cherokee town.
  • Talahi, location unknown.
  • Talaniyi, in upper Georgia.
  • Talking Rock, on Talking Rock Creek, an affluent of Coosawattee River, Ga.
  • Tasetsi, on the extreme head of Hiwassee River in Towns County, Ga.
  • Taskigi, 3 towns occupied originally by Tuskegee Indians (see Alabama) :
    1. On Little Tennessee River above the junction of the Tellico, Monroe County, Tenn.
    2. On the north bank of Tennessee River just below Chattanooga, Tenn.
    3. Perhaps on Tuskegee Creek of Little Tennessee River near Robbinsville, Graham County, N. C.
  • Tikwalitsi, on Tuckasegee River at Bryson City, Swain County, N. C.
  • Tlanusiyi, at the junction of Hiwassee and Valley Rivers on the site of Murphy, N. C.
  • Tocax, location unknown, perhaps connected with Toxaway or Toccoa.
  • Torsalla, one of the Keowee towns. Tricentee, one of the Keowee towns.
  • Tsilaluhi, on a small branch of Brasstown Creek of Hiwassee River, just within the lines of Towns County, Ga.
  • Tsiskwahi, a district or town in the Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Swain County, N. C.
  • Tsistetsiyi, on South Mouse Creek, a branch of Hiwassee River in Bradley County, Tenn.
  • Tsistuyi, on the north bank of Hiwassee River at the entrance of Chestua Creek, in Polk County, Tenn., at one time occupied by Yuchi.
  • Tsudinuntiyi, on lower Nantahala River, in Macon County, N. C.
  • Tucharechee, location unknown.
  • Tuckasegee, 2 towns:
    1. About the junction of the two forks of Tuckasegee River, above Webster, Jackson County, N. C.
    2. On a branch of Brasstown Creek of Hiwassee River, in Towns County, Ga.
  • Turkeytown, on the west bank of Coosa River opposite the present Center, Cherokee County, Ala.
  • Turniptown, on Turniptown Creek above Ellijay, Gilmer County, Ga.
  • Turtletown, in upper Georgia.
  • Tusquittah, on Tusquittee Creek near Hayesville, Clay County, N. C.
  • Two Runs, on Etowah River at the crossing of the old Indian trail between Coosa and Tugaloo Rivers, Bartow County, Ga.
  • Ustisti, one of the Lower Towns.
  • Vallevtowyn, at Valleytown on Valley River, Cherokee County, N. C.
  • Wahyahi, on upper Soco Creek on the Eastern Cherokee Reservation, Jackson County, N. C.
  • Wasasa’s Village, on Brown’s Creek, a southern affluent of Tennessee River in northern Alabama.
  • Willstown, on Wills Creek, below Fort Payne, DeKalb County, Ala.

Cherokee History

There seems to have been a Cherokee migration legend something like that of the Creeks according to which the tribe entered their historic seats from some region toward the northeast.

In 1510 De Soto seems to have passed through only one town that has a Cherokee name, but Pardo in 1566 learned of another, Tanasqui, which has a Cherokee appearance and may have given its name to Tennessee River. Continuous contact between the Cherokee and the Whites began after Virginia was settled, when traders from that colony commenced to work their way into the Appalachian Mountains. Contact became more intimate with the founding of the Carolina colonies, and a contingent of 310 Cherokee joined Moore in his attack on the Tuscarora in 1713. In 1730 Sir Alexander Curving staged a personal embassy to the Cherokee and afterward took seven of the Indians to England with him. In 1738 an enemy more serious even than White men made its first appearance in this tribe, namely smallpox, which cut down their numbers by nearly 50 percent. In 1755 the Cherokee won a great victory over the Abihka Creeks, who forthwith withdrew from the Tennessee River. Relations with the Whites were upon the whole friendly until 1759 when the Indians refused to accede to the demand of the Governor of South Carolina that a number of Indians including two leading chiefs be turned over to him for execution under the charge that they had killed a White man. He had asked also to have 24 other chiefs sent to him merely on suspicion that they entertained hostile intentions. War followed, and the Indians captured Fort Loudon, a post in the heart of their country, August 8, 1760, after having defeated an army which came to relieve it. The year following, however, the Indians were defeated on June 10, by a larger force under Col. James Grant, who laid the, greater number of the Middle Cherokee settlements in ashes, and compelled the tribe to make peace. In 1769 they are said to have suffered a severe defeat at the hands of the Chickasaw at the Chickasaw Oldfields. On the outbreak of the American Revolution they sided with the British and continued hostilities after its close down to 1794. Meanwhile parties of Cherokee had pushed down Tennessee River and formed new settlements near the present Tennessee Alabama boundary. Shortly after 1800 missionary work was begun among them, and in 1820 they adopted a regular form of government modeled on that of the United States. In the meantime large numbers of them, wearied of the encroachments of the Whites, had crossed the Mississippi and settled in the territory now included in the State of Arkansas. In 1821 Sequoya, son of a mixed-blood Cherokee woman by a White man, submitted a syllabary of his own devising to the chief men of the nation, and, on their approval, the Cherokee of all ages set about learning it with such zeal that in a few months numbers of them were able to read and write by means of it. In 1822 Sequoya went west to teach his alphabet to the Indians of the western division, and he remained among them permanently. The pressure of the Whites upon the frontiers of the Eastern Cherokee was soon increased by the discovery of gold near the present Dahlonega, Ga., and after a few years of fruitless struggle the nation bowed to the inevitable and by the treaty of New Echota, December 29, 1835, sold all of their territories not previously given up and agreed to remove to the other side of the Mississippi to lands to be set apart for them. These lands were in the northeastern part of the present Oklahoma, and thither the greater part of the tribe removed in the winter of 1838-39, suffering great hardships and losing nearly one-fourth of their number on the way. Before the main migration took place one band of Cherokee had established themselves in Texas where they obtained a grant of land from the Mexican government, but the Texas revolutionists refused to recognize this claim although it was supported by Gen. Sam Houston. In consequence, the Cherokee chief Bowl was killed in 1839, along with many of his men, and the rest were expelled from the State. At the time of the great migration, several hundred Cherokee escaped to the mountains where they lived as refugees until in 1842, through the efforts of William H. Thomas, an influential trader, they received permission to remain on lands set apart for their use in western North Carolina, the Qualla Reservation, where their descendants still reside. The early years of the reestablished Cherokee Nation west of the Mississippi were troubled by differences between the faction that had approved removal and that which had opposed it. Afterward the tribal life was entirely disrupted for a few years by the Civil War. In 1867 and 1870 the Delaware and Shawnee were admitted from Kansas and incorporated into the nation. March 3, 1906, the Cherokee government came to an end, and in time the lands were allotted in severalty, and the Cherokee people soon became citizens of the new Stat of Oklahoma.

Cherokee Population. Mooney (1928) estimates that in 1650 there was a total Cherokee population of 22,000. In 1715 a rather careful estimate, yet in all probability too low, gave a total of 11,210 (Lower Cherokee 2,100; Middle 6,350; Upper 2,760), including 4.000 warriors and distributed among 60 villages. In 1720 two estimates were made, of 10,000 and 11,500 respectively, but in 1729 the estimate jumps to 20,000, with 6,000 warriors, distributed in 64 towns. In 1755 a North Carolina estimate gives 5 divisions of the tribe and a total of 2,590 men. In 1760 we find a flat figure of 2,000; in 1761, about 3,000. Even before this time the Cherokee are supposed to have lost heavily from smallpox, intoxicants, and wars with the colonists, but at the time of their forced removal to the west in 1838 those in their old country had increased to 16,542. Those already in the west were estimated at about 6,000. The Civil War interfered with their growth but in 1885 they numbered 19,000, about 17,000 being in the west. In 1902 there were officially reported in the west 28,016 persons of Cherokee blood, including all degrees of admixture, but this includes several thousand persons repudiated by the tribal courts. The Census of 1910 returned 31,489 Cherokee, 29,610 of whom were in Oklahoma, 1,406 in North Carolina, and the rest scattered in 23 other States. In 1923 the report of the United States Indian Office gave 36,432 Cherokee “by blood” in Oklahoma, and 2,515 in North Carolina: total 38,947. In 1930, 45,238 were returned: 40,904 in Oklahoma, 1,963 in North Carolina, and the rest in more than 36 other States. In 1937 the number of eastern Cherokee was given as 3,327.

Connection in which they have become noted. The Cherokee tribe is one of the most famous in all North America:

  1. On account of its size and strength and the prominent part it played in the history of our country.
  2. From the fact that the invention of the Cherokee alphabet by Sequoya was the only case of the adoption of a system of writing without immediate White prompting in the annals of our Indians.
  3. From the perpetuation of numerous place names from Cherokee sources and of the name itself in counties in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, and places in some of these States and California, Kentucky, and Arkansas; in Colbert County, Ala.; Cherokee County, Iowa; Crawford County, Kans.; Lawrence County, Ky.; and the name of stations in Louisville, Ky.; Swain County, N. C.; Alfalfa County, Okla.; and San Saba County, Tex. There is a Cherokee City in Benton County, Ark.; Cherokee Dam at Jefferson City, Tenn.; and Cherokee Falls in Cherokee County, S. C. Several prominent Americans were descended from this tribe, including Senator Robert Owen and Will Rogers.

 



MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 28 July 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/cherokee-indians.htm - Last updated on Apr 30th, 2012

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2 Responses to “Cherokee Indians”

    1. SaraYork
      3:20 pm on December 2nd, 2013

    Hi, I would like to know more about my family. My Mother told me that my grandmother’s grandmother was Cherokee. My grandmother’s name was Sara Jeanette York. My mother was born in Demorest, GA, Habersham County in GA in 1932. I remember going to visit my mother’s family in North GA as a child. I had an uncle by the name of Julius York. If anyone has any information on how to locate my family please let me know.
    Thank you so much for any help.
    Tommie

      1. Dennis
        11:55 am on December 17th, 2013

      Hi Tommy,

      I am having problems finding your grandmother in the 1940 census. While there were no York families residing in Demorest in 1940, there were 2 York families in nearby Cornelius, however neither of them had a child identified as Sara or Jeannette. There was a Lessie or Lessia in one family of the age of your grandmother, but that is as close as I could get. Would any in your living family know Sara’s parents names?

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