Trouble with the Chicamaugas

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records
John Ross
John Ross
From an old painting

Trouble with the Chicamaugas, Attack at Knoxville. Mussel Shoals Massacre, Removal to Arkansas, First Printed Laws.

The first treaty between the United States and the Cherokees was made at Hopewell on the Keowee River on November 28, 1875, between “Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin and Lachlan McIntosh, Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States and the Headmen and Warriors of all the Cherokees.” The Commissioners were among the most distinguished men of the southern part of the republic. Pickens and McIntosh had been brigadier generals of militia in the revolution; Martin and Hawkins had held honorable positions both in military and civil life. Both parties agreed to restore all prisoners. The Cherokees acknowledged the exclusive protection and authority of the United States. Boundary lines were to be definitely marked, peace declared and the Cherokees should have a right to a delegate to Congress.

The belligerency of the Chicamaugas was practically unimpeded, although Dragging Canoe died at Running Water on about the first of March l 792 and was succeeded as town chief by John Bowles, an auburn haired, blue eyed, half blood Scotch Cherokee aged about thirty-two years. Tassel, head chief of the Cherokees and a well known friend of the whites, with his son and two others was invited to the headquarters of Mayor James Hubbert in 1 788. They came unarmed, under a flag of truce and promise of protection although they were not at war. As soon as they were within his lines, Hubbert had them conveyed to a vacant house and placing a tomahawk in the hands of a young man whose parents had been killed by a marauding band of Cherokees, told him to kill all of the visiting Cherokees, which he did while the Mayor stood guard at the door. This is the only instance of a head chief of the Cherokees being killed, either while in office or later, excepting the murder of Richard Fields, the Texas Cherokee Chief. Tassel was the uncle of John Watts, Tahlonteeskee and Unakateehee. Scolacutta or Hanging Maugh succeeded Tassel as head chief of the Cherokees.

A treaty was made by Governor William Blount and the Cherokees on Holston River on July 2, 1791. It was practically a reiteration of the treaty of 1785, but granted the Cherokees an annuity of one thousand dollars, and on February 1 7, of the next year a supplementary treaty was made at Philadelphia increasing the annuity to fifteen hundred dollars. This was raised to five thousand per annum on June 26, 1 794.

While Dragging Canoe was succeeded by John Bowles as town chief of Running Water, his succession to the leadership of the Chicamaugas passed by an election by that band to John Watts in the latter part of March 1 792 and two months later, on Sunday, May 21st, the Chicamaugas met Governor Blount at Coyateehee in the nation, where elaborate plans had been made by them to receive and honor him. A ball play was held the following day and was succeeded by a council in which Watts and the Cherokees again pledged fealty to the United States. Watts promised that he would visit Governor
Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 36

Blount, ten days later, stay a few days with him and then accompany him on a mission to the Choctaws and Chickasaws.

On the day after the departure of the Governor, Watts went to Toquo, where a courier delivered a letter to Watts, from William Panton, a wealthy Scotch merchant at Pensacola, where he had fled from Georgia after his property in that province had been confiscated and destroyed because he was a Tory. The letter invited Watts and such other friends as he cared to bring, especially Tahlonteeskee, to visit him and the Spanish Governor O’Neal at his establishment at Pensacola, where they would be given many presents.

Taking letters of introduction from John McDonald of Chicamauga, late-Assistant British Superintendent of Indian Affairs; Watts, Tahlonteeskee and a son of the late Dragging Canoe set out for Pensacola. On arriving there they were flattered and shown every attention, then were reminded of the perfidious death of Tassel. They were assured of the fact that neither English nor Spaniards ever coveted their hunting grounds but that the settlers were continually encroaching upon them. They were given pack loads of arms, ammunition and presents and told they might have as much ammunition and arms as they needed to get satisfaction for the death of their kinsman, Tassel.

On their return to the nation Watts issued a call to the Chicamaugas to meet at his residence at Wills Valley on the following green corn dance date, which was in August. On their assembling. Watts laid before them the proposition of Panton, and while this was bitterly opposed by Bloody Fellow, it gained almost unanimous approval. The war party started out three days later against the Cumberland settlements, but hearing that Unakateehee had arrived at the mouth of Lookout Creek, with a load of whiskey, they had it brought to Willston where they drank and feasted for several days and were delayed some ten days longer, debating modes and plans of attack. Tahlonteeskee went forward to reconnoiter the Kentucky and Cumberland roads, but only encountered some travelers, killing one of them. Middlestriker of Willstown with fifty-five warriors prepared an ambush near Crab Orchard on the Walton road, where on September 23, 1792 he attacked Captain Samuel Handley, who was captured by Arthur Coody and later liberated.

General James Robertson, commander of the Tennessee troops, dispatched on September 25th, Clayton and Jonathan Gee, two of his most trusted spies to locate the Cherokees, but they were met by George Fields and John Walker on a like errand for Watts, and killed. Fields as a captain and Walker, a major of the Cherokee auxiliaries rendered good account of themselves with the Americans under General Andrew Jackson at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 18 14.

Watts command of about one hundred and sixty seven Cherokees, thirty Shawnees from Running Water under Shawnee Warrior and eighty three Creeks under Talotiskee of Broken Arrow got near enough to Buchanan’s Station to hear the lowing of the cows on the evening of the thirtieth of September, where it became necessary to have another conference, as Talotiskee and Doublehead wished to attack that station, which was small and Watts had planned to attack Nashville, which was only four miles further and was the largest station in this vicinity. The adherents of the former proposition were

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 37

successful and the attack was made near midnight. After a fierce melee of several hours it became apparent that General Robertson was approaching from Nashville and the Indians withdrew. Kiachatalee of Nickajack, Shaw-nee Warrior of Running Water and Talotiskee of Broken Arrow were killed and seven Cherokees were wounded, three of whom later died from the effects of their wounds. John Watts and Unakateehee were among those wounded, hut both survived. No casualties occurred to those in the blockhouse.

On June 12, 1793, a delegation had gathered at Hanging Maugh’s preparing to proceed to Philadelphia in compliance with an invitation from the President transmitted to them by Governor Blount, the Governor had already gone ahead, on the seventh of the month to make preparations for their coming and had delegated John McKee to accompany them. Watts, Doublehead and several other prominent Cherokees were some who had come to see the delegates off. Without warning, a company of whites under Captain John Beard, who had been hunting the slayers of Thomas Gillum and his son James, appeared at Maugh’s residence and began firing promiscuously, killing about twelve and wounding many others, including Hanging Maugh, his wife and daughter and Elizabeth, the daughter of Nancy Ward. Upon the repeated requests of the Cherokees, Captain Beard was tried before a court martial but was acquitted.

Finding that the protection that had been promised them by treaties was of no effect, the Cherokees again commenced to prepare for retaliation and the settlers for defense. Knoxville had a garrison of forty men. General Sevier with a force of four hundred mounted was at Ish’s Station, across the river from Knoxville, Campbell’s Station, fifteen miles west of Knoxville, one of the strongest posts on the border was well guarded and Cavitt’s Station, half way between Knoxville and Campbell’s Station contained people, three of whom were gun men. John Watts with one thousand warriors crossed Tennessee River below the mouth of Holston on the evening of September 24, 1793 and marched all night intending to surprise Knoxville at daylight but on account of the bickering of Doublehead and others who wished to attack instead of avoid the small stations on the way they arrived near Cavitt’s Station at the time that Watts had planned to reach Knoxville. An assault was made on that Station. Alexander Cavitt was killed and five Indians were killed or wounded. A parley was then held in which the people of the Statior surrendered on the promise of protection, but they were brutally murdered by the intractable Doublehead. The Indians, knowing that their plans were known, then recrossed the Tennessee.

General Sevier with about seven hundred men pursued the hostiles, who were both Creeks and Cherokees and came up with them at the mouth of Etowah River on October 17, 1793 where after a spirited engagement of only a few minutes in which less than ten men were killed, the Indians abandoned the field. After this skirmish the middle towns were at peace with the settlers although daring leaders of the Chicamaugas, either single or with small bands kept up desultory depredations until Major James Ore destroyed Nickajack and Running Water on September 13, 1794 and put an end to the Cherokee war.

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 38

In June 1794 some emigrants who were on their way down Tennessee River to the western settlements were attacked at Mussel Shoals. John Bowles and all of his men were killed. “After this bloody tragedy, which is known as the Mussel Shoals Massacre, the whole party of Cherokees went aboard the boats, descended the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi to the Mouth of the St. Francis River. There they placed all the white women and children in one boat, granted to each of the married ladies a female servant, put on board an ample stock of provisions and four strong and able black men and let them descend the Mississippi to New Orleans, the place of their destination. With one of these ladies I afterward became acquainted. At her residence I have frequently domiciled when visiting New Orleans, and found her, though a widow, truly a mother in Israel. She was to New Orleans what Mrs. Isabella Graham was to New York. It was from her lips that I received the foregoing particulars. She often spoke of the kindness and courtesy with which she and all the white ladies and children were treated by Bowl and his party.

But to return to my narrative, after the departure of the boat for New Orleans, the Bowl and his party ran the other boats, with their contents of goods, servants, etc., a few miles up the St. Francis River to await the issue of the affair. They feared that their conduct at the Mussel Shoals would be regarded by our government as a violation of the treaty of amity, and as a renewal of hostility. As soon as the massacre of Mussel Shoals was known to the Cherokees in their towns they convened a general council, and in a memorial to the United States government, declared that they had no part in the tragedy; that they wished to be at peace with the United States and that they would do all in their power to aid the United States in bringing them to justice. They sent for Bowl and his party to return and submit to a trial for taking the lives of white citizens of the United States. When this whole matter was investigated by the government of the United States the Cherokees were fully justified and the property confiscated and declared by treaty to belong justly to the perpetrators of the Mussel Shoals Massacre.”

The Cherokees had been settling in the St. Francis country for at least forty years, as Lieutenant Governor Couzat reported to Governor Amazoga on December 10, 1775 that the Cherokees had driven the miners away from Mine La Motte, fifteen leagues from St. Genevieve.’

“The course pursued by the Cherokee council toward the refugees tended to alienate their minds from their people in the home of their fathers, and made them less reluctant to remain in their new homes west of the Mississippi Added to this, the abundance of game, the fertility of the soil and the blandness of the climate, soon made them prefer their homes here to those where they had resided in the east. Other parties who crossed the Mississippi for the purpose of hunting and trapping, when they saw the prosperity of the original refugees, joined them.

Louisiana was delivered to the United States government at St. Louis on March 10, 1804 and all of that portion lying north of the thirty-fifth parallel was constituted, on March 8, 1805, the Territory of Louisiana.

During the month of December 18 11, the great siesmatic disturbances of the St. Francis River country, in which the Cherokees were located, caused

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 39

much of this territory to be submerged; while subterranean rumbling and roaring continued for many years. Fearing that this country was under the ban of the Great Spirit, the Cherokees moved en masse to a new location between the Arkansas and White Rivers.1

On June 4, 1812 the Congress of the United States created the Territory of Missouri and on the succeeding thirty first day of December, the County of Arkansas, Territory of Missouri, was created, embracing practically the present state of Arkansas, and during the following year Lawrence County was constituted from that portion of Arkansas County lying north of the mouth of Little Red River. Thus it will be seen that the Cherokee settlement was successively within the Spanish province of Louisiana, Territory of Louisiana, Territory of Missouri and the Counties of Arkansas and Lawrence, Territory of Missouri. During all of which time they had been settlers without warrant of title to their habitations and it was not until the ratification of the United States Cherokee treaty of July 8, 1817, that they were confirmed in their rights to their homes.

In 18 13 a considerable accession was made to their number by voluntary emigration from the old nation and they became so numerous that the United States sent Samuel Treat to be their agent in the St. Francis country and he accompanied them to their new location between the Arkansas and White Rivers; he was succeeded in 18 13 by William L. Lovely. 9

The rights of the Western Cherokees to their lands in Arkansas was con-firmed by the treaty of 1817, at Turkeytown in which the government agreed to give the Arkansas Cherokees as much land “acre for acre” between the Arkansas and White Rivers as they would cede of their domain in the east, besides paying the emigrants that might thereafter move, for their improvements, transport them to their new homes, subsist them for twelve months after their arrival, besides other perquisites and valuable considerations. The result of this treaty was a considerable emigration from the east to the west in the years 1818 and 1810. From that time until their union by the treaty of 1835, which was not effected, in fact, until 1830, the Arkansas Cherokees were estimated at one-third of the whole tribe.

In the opening of 1819 Thomas Nuttall, the naturalist, ascended the Arkansas River, and gave the following of the Western Cherokees, as he found them: “Both banks of the river as we proceeded were lined with the houses and fences of the Cherokee, and although their dress was a mixture of indigenous and European taste, yet in their homes, which were decently furnished, and in their farms, which were well fenced and stocked, we perceived 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 are spread with our dainties and luxuries.”

The capital of the Cherokee Nation West from 1813 to 1824 was at Takatoka’s village; from 1824 to 1828 it was at Piney, on Piney Creek; from

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 40

1828 to 1838 at Tahlonteeskee on the south side and near the mouth of the Illinois River and for a short time in 1839 at Takatoka or Double Springs on Fourteen Mile Creek.

By the provisions of a treaty between the United States and the Osage Indians on June 2nd, 1825, the latter ceded to the United Sates all of their land lying ” east of a line to be drawn from the head sources of the Kansas River southwardly through Rock Saline.” This was afterwards marked as the hundredth meridian, thus becoming automatically the western boundary line of Arkansas.

It being the policy of the United States to settle all of the Indians that were located within the organized States and Territories in the extreme western uncharted lands of the government and the Cherokees wishing to escape the oppression and inconvenience of being located in a small narrow reservation where they were continually hampered and disturbed, they exchanged their lands in the Territory of Arkansas for a like amount lying west of the old line of Arkansas. In accordance with this treaty the Western Cherokees moved to their new territory in 1828-29.

Bowles’ village was between Shoal and Petit Jean Creeks, on the south side of the Arkansas River, and consequently not within the territory ceded to the Cherokees by the treaty of 1817. On account of this fact and also to gratify a general wish of his townsmen to locate within Spanish territory, where they thought they would find such pleasant surroundings as they had encountered in the vicinity of New Madrid in southeast Missouri, but they did not stop to remember that while that had been Spanish territory, that their neighbors and officers had been Frenchmen. But nevertheless the sixty families of Bowles’ town moved to and located in Texas in the winter of 1819-20. They were shortly afterwards joined by Richard Fields (Grant 11 12 33 24) a man of striking personality, of considerable intelligence and although he spoke the English language fluently and preferably, he was not able to sign his name. From the time that he joined them until his death, he was untiring in his efforts to obtain a title for the Cherokees, to the land on which they re-sided. A title to these lands were obtained from the Republic of Texas, by treaty on February 23, 1836. They were driven from this land on July 16. 1839 by the entire army of the Republic of Texas, commanded by Brigadier General Kelsey H. Douglas, who was accompanied by Vice and Acting Governor David G. Burnett. Secretary of War Albert Sidney Johnson and Adjutant General Hugh McLeod, thus making the Republic responsible for their acts.

Three plats of land, each a mile square were set aside by the provisions of article two of the treaty of Tellico, of October 25, 1805, ostensibly for government purposes, but in reality, as shown by a second article of the treaty for Doublehead and Tahlonteeskee as a bribe for their support in making the treaty. Tahlonteeskee disposed of his two allotments and joined the Cherokees in Arkansas, where he became principal chief. Doublehead stayed in the Eastern Cherokee Nation where he dared the scorn of his neighbors, in the summer of 1807, a great ball play was held on Hiwassee River, attended by more than a thousand Cherokees, after the close of the game, a chief named Bonepolisher upbraided Doublehead for his perfidy and Doublehead drew his

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 41

revolver and killed him. During’ the evening, Doublehead who had been drinking entered a tavern where he encountered John Rogers, (Grant 11 l2 23) Ridge (Ridge 11 l2) and Alexander Sanders (Sanders 11 22). Rogers commenced to berate him for his crime. Doublehead said to him: “You are a white man and live by sufferance among us, hush and let me alone or I will kill you.” Doublehead snapped his pistol at him, some one extinguished the light, a shot was tired and when the lamp was relighted Doublehead was lying on the floor with a large wound in his lower jaw. Doublehead was then taken to a neighbor’s loft but was found and killed by Sanders, who was accompanied by Ridge.1

The progress of a people is best exemplified by their efforts to establish equal rights for all of their people and their printed laws are the best index to their advancement. The first printed law of the Cherokees was:

Laws Of The Cherokee Nation

Resolved by the Chiefs and Warriors in a National Council assembled. That it shall be, and is hereby authorized, for the regulating parties to be organized to consist of six men in each company; one Captain, one Lieutenant and four privates, to continue in service for the term of one year, whose duties it shall be to suppress horse stealing and robbery of other property within their respective bounds, who shall be paid out of the National annuity, at the rates of fifty dollars to each Captain, forty to each Lieutenant, and thirty dollars to each of the privates; and to give their protection to children as heirs to their father’s property, and to the widow’s share whom he may have had children by or cohabited with, as his wife, at the time of his decease, and in case a father shall leave or will any property to a child at the time of his decease, which he may have had by another woman, then, his present wife shall be en-titled to receive any such property as may be left by him or them, when substantiated by two or one disinterested witnesses.

Be it resolved by the Council aforesaid. When any person or persons which may or shall be charged with stealing a horse, and upon conviction by one or two witnesses, he, she, or they, shall be punished with one hundred stripes on the bare back, and the punishment to be in proportion for stealing property of less value; and should the accused person or persons raise up with arms in his or their hands, as guns, axes, spears and knives, in opposition to the regulating company, or should they kill him or them, the blood of him or them shall not be required of any of the persons belonging- to the regulators from the clan the person so killed belonged to.

Accepted. –
BLACK FOX, Principal Chief,
PATHKILLER. Sec’d.
TOOCHALAR.


CHAS. HICKS, Sec’y to Council.
Brooms Town, 11th Sept. 1808.

Be it known. That this day, 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

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 42

agreed that after this evening the aforesaid act shall become binding upon every clan or tribe; and 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.

Be it known, also. That should it happen that brother, forgetting his natural affection, should raise his hand in anger and kill his brother, he shall be accounted guilty of murder and suffer accordingly, and if a man has a horse stolen, and overtakes the thief, and should his anger be so great as to cause him to kill him, let his blood remain on his own conscience, but no satisfaction shall be demanded for his life from his relatives or the clan he may belong to. By order of the seven clans.

TURTLE AT HOME,

Speaker of the Council.
Approved-
BLACK FOX, Principal Chief,
PATH KILLER, Sec’d.
TOOCHALER.


In the war between the United States and the Creeks in 1814 a large body of Cherokees volunteered to assist the army led by Generals Andrew Jackson and John Coffie. Among the officers were Colonel John Lowry, Major George Lowry, Major Ridge, Major John Walker, Captain George Fields, Captain Alexander Sanders, Captain John Rogers, Adjutant John Ross and private Charles Reese. In the crucial battle of Horse Shoe Bend in which the Creeks were strongly barricaded behind cypress log ramparts and were holding their own against the frontal attacks, a detachment of Cherokees came up on the opposite side of the river, Charles Reese swam across and towed a canoe to his associates, the canoe load of warriors crossed the stream and each one got a canoe. In this manner the Cherokee landed in the back part of the bend, attacked the Creeks from the rear. In attempting to repel this assault the Creeks so weakened their front that a breach was made nearly annihilating the belligerent Creek forces. From that day Andrew Jackson became increasingly popular. Historians carefully refrain from giving the Cherokees mention or credit for a part in this combat and Reese’s family received a silver mounted rifle as acknowledgement for his actions, three years after his death.

An act of the Cherokee Council that served as a substitute for a constitution was as follows:

Whereas, fifty-four towns and villages have convened in order to deliberate and consider on the situation of our Nation, in the disposition of our common property of lands, without the unanimous consent of the members of Council, and in order to obviate the evil consequences resulting in such course, we have unanimously adopted the following form for the future government of our Nation.

ART. 1st It is unanimously agreed that there shall be thirteen members elected as a Standing Committee for the term of two years, at the end of which term they shall be either re-elected or others; and in consequence of the death

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 43

or resignation of any of said Committee, our head Chiefs shall elect another to fill the vacancy.

ART. 2d. The affairs of the Cherokee Nation shall be committed to the care of the Standing Committee; hut the acts of this body shall not be binding on the Nation in our common property and without the unanimous consent of the members and Chiefs of the Council, which they shall present for their acceptance or dissent.

ART. 3d. The authority and claim of our common property shall cease with the person or persons who shall think proper to remove themselves without the Cherokee Nation.

ART. 4th. The improvements and labors of our people by the mother’s side shall be inviolate during the time of their occupancy.

ART. 5th. This Committee shall settle with the Agency for our annual stipend, and report their proceedings to the members and Chiefs in Council, but the friendly communications between our head Chiefs and the Agency shall remain free and open.

ART. 6th. The above articles for our government, may be amended at our electoral term, and the Committee is hereby required to be governed by the above articles, and the Chief and Warriors in Council, unanimously pledge themselves to observe strictly the contents of the above articles. – Whereunto we have set our hands and seals at Amoah, this 6th day of May one thousand eight hundred and seventeen.

Approved in Council, on the day and date above written.

EHNAUTAUNAUEH,
Speaker of the Council

Approved of the within government by the head Chief,
PATHKILLER.


A. McCoy, Sec’y to the Council.
CHAS’ HICKS.

Unanimously agreed, That schoolmasters, blacksmiths, millers, salt petre and gun powder manufacturers, ferrymen and turnpike keepers, and mechanics are hereby privileged to reside in the Cherokee Nation under the following conditions, viz:

Their employers procuring a permit from the National Committee and Council for them and becoming responsible for their good conduct and behavior, and subject to removal for misdemeanor; and further agree, that blacksmiths, millers, ferrymen and turnpike keepers, are privileged to improve, and cultivate twelve acres of ground for the support of themselves and families, should they please to do so.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. Nat’l. Com.
A. McCOY, Cl’k. Nat’l. Com.


In Committee, New Town, Oct. 26th, 1810.

On July 8, 1817, a treaty was made with the United States, the main feature of which was the exchange of land east of the Mississippi for land in Arkansas, so that the Western Cherokees might have title to their homes. On February 27, 1919 another treaty was made confirming the treaty of 1817

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 44

and providing for the basis of the Cherokee National school fund. The Eastern Cherokee Nation was divided into eight districts by:

New Town, Cherokee Nation, October 20th. 1820.

Resolved by the National Committee and Council, That the Cherokee Nation shall be laid off into eight districts, and that a council house shall be established in each district for the purpose of holding councils to administer justice in all causes and complaints that may be brought forward for trial, and one circuit judge, to have jurisdiction over two districts, to associate with the district judges in determining all causes agreeable to the National laws, and the marshals to execute the decisions of the judges in their respective districts, and the District Councils to be held in the spring and fall seasons, and one company of lighthorse to accompany each circuit judge on his official duties, in his respective districts, and to execute such punishment on thieves as the Judges and Council shall decide, agreeably to law, and it shall be the duty of the marshals to collect all debts, and shall be entitled to eight per cent for the same; and the Nation to defray the expenses of each District Council, and in case of opposition to the marshals in execution of their duty, they shall be justifiable in protecting their persons from injury in the same manner as is provided for the National lighthorse by law.

By order of the National Committee.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com.
Approved- PATH KILLER (X) his mark.
CHAS. R. HICKS.


A. McCOY, Clerk, and the undated act

Resolved by the National Committee and Council, That the Cherokee Nation be organized and laid off in Districts, and to be bounded as follows:

1st. The first District shall be called by the name of Chickamaugee, and be bounded as follows: beginning at the mouth of Aumuchee creek, on Oostennallah River, thence north in a straight course to a spring branch between the Island and Rackoon village, thence a straight course over the Look-out Mountain, where the heads of Will’s and Lookout creeks opposes against each other on the Blue Ridge, thence a straight course to the main source of Rackoon creek, and down the same into the Tennessee river, and up said river to the mouth of Ooletiwah creek, and up said creek to take the most southeastern fork, thence a southern course to the mouth of Sugar Creek, into the Cannasawgee River, and down the said river to its confluence with the Oostcnallah River, and down the same to the place of beginning.

2d. The second District shall be called by the name of Challoogee, and be bounded as follows; beginning on the mouth of Rackoon creek, in the Tennessee River, and down the said river to the boundary line, commonly called Coffee’s line, and along said line where it strikes Will’s Creek, and down the said creek to its confluence with the Coosa river, and thence embracing the boundary line between the Cherokees and Creeks, run by Wm. McIntosh and other Cherokee Commissioners by their respective Nations, running south eastwardly to its intersection with Chinubee’s trace, and along said trace leading

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 45

eastwardly by Avery Vann’s place, including his plantation, and thence on said trace to where it crosses the Etowah River to its confluence with Oostannallah River, and up said river to the mouth of Aumuchee creek, and to be bounded by the first District.

3d. The third District shall be called by the name of Coosawatee, and bounded as follows: beginning- at the widow Fool’s ferry, on Ooostannallan River, where the Alabama road crosses it, along said wagon road eastwardly leading towards Etowah town to a large creek above Thomas Pettit’s plantation, near to the Sixes, and said creek, northeastward, to its source; thence a straight course to the head of Talloney Creek, up which the Federal road leads, thence a straight course to the Red Bank creek, near Cartikee village; thence a straight course to the head source of Potatoe Mine creek; thence a straight course to the most southern head source of Cannasawagee river; thence a northwestern course to Cannasawgee River, to strike opposite the mouth of Sugar Creek, into the Cannasawgee River, and to be bounded by the first and second Districts.

4th. The fourth District shall be called by the name of Amoah and be the third District strikes the said source; thence eastwardly a straight course bounded as follows: beginning at the head source of Cannasawgee river, where to Spring Town, above Hiwassee Old Town; thence to the boundary line run by Col Houston, where it crosses Sloan creek; – thence westward along said line to the Hiwassee river; – thence down said river into the Tennessee river, and down the same to the mouth of Oolatiwah Creek, and to be bounded by the first and third Districts.

5th. The fifth District shall be called by the name of Hickory Log, and shall be bounded as follows: beginning at the head of Potatoe Mine Creek, on the Blue Ridge to where Cheewostoyeh path crosses said ridge, and along said path to the head branch of Frog Town creek, and down the same to its confluence with Tahsantee; thence down Chestotee River; thence down the same into the Chattahoochee river; and down the same to the shallow wagon ford on the said river; above the standing Peach Tree; thence westward along said wagon road leading to ________ Town to where it crosses Little River, a fork of the Etowah River, and down the same to its confluence with Etowah River, and down the same in a direct course to a large Creek, and up said creek to where the road crosses it to the opposite side, and to be bounded by the third District.

6th. The sixth District shall be called by the name of Etowah, and be bounded as follows: beginning on the Chattahoochee River, at the shallow wagon ford on said river, and down the same to the Buzzard Roost, where the Creek and Cherokee boundary line intersects the said river; thence along said boundary line westward, to where it intersects Chinubees trace, and to be bounded by the fifth and third districts, leaving Thomas Pettit’s family in Etowah District.

7th. The seventh District shall be called by the name of Tahquohee, and be bounded as follows: beginning where Col. Houston’s boundary line crosses Slare’s creek, thence along said boundary line south-eastwardly, to the Unicoy turnpike road, and along said road to where it crosses the Hiwaseo River, in the Valley Towns; thence a straight course to head source of Coosa

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 46

creek, on the Blue Ridge above Cheewostoyeh, and along said Ridge eastwardly, where the Unicoy turnpike road crosses it and thence a direct course to the head source of Persimon creek; thence down the same to the confluence of Tahsantee, and with the Frog Town creek; and to be bounded by the third, the fourth and fifth Districts.

8th. The eighth District shall be called by the name of Aquohee, and be bounded as follows: beginning where the seventh District intersects the Blue Ridge, where the Unicoy turnpike road crosses the same; thence eastwardly along said ridge to the Standing Man, to Col. Houston’s boundary line, thence along said line to the confluence of Nauleyalee, and Little Tennessee river; thence down the same to Tallassee village, thence along said boundary line westwardly, to where it intersects the Unicoy turnpike road; and to be bounded by the Seventh District; and that each District shall hold their respective Councils or Courts, on the following days:

The first Mondays in May and September, for Chicamaugee District; and on the

First Mondays in May and September for Coosewatee District; and the Second Mondays in May and September, for Amoah District; and on the First Mondays in May and September, for Hickory Log District; and the Second Mondays in May and September, for Etowah District, and on the First Mondays in May and September for Aquohee District; and on the Second Mondays in May and September, for Tauquohee District; and each of the Councils or Courts shall sit five days for the transaction of business at each term.

By order of the Committee and Council.

CHAS. R. HICHS, The above act was passed before October 25, 1820, as other acts relating to the officers of the several districts were passed on that and subsequent dates. Gambling and drinking were restricted by


New Town, Cherokee Nation, November 8th, 1822.

Whereas, the great variety of vices emanating from dissipation, particularly from intoxication and gaming at cards, which are so prevalent at all public places, the National Committee and Council, seeking the true interest and happiness of their people, have maturely taken this growing evil into their serious consideration, and being fully convinced that no nation of people can prosper and flourish, or become magnanimous in character, the basis of whose laws are not found upon virtue and justice; therefore, to suppress, as much as possible, those demoralizing habits which were introduced by foreign agency,

Resolved by the National Committee, That any person or persons, what so ever, who shall bring ardent spirits within three miles of the General Council House, or to any of the court houses within the several Districts during the general Council, or the sitting of the courts, and dispose of the same so as to intoxicate any person or persons whatsoever, the person or persons so offending, shall forfeit his or their whiskey, the same to be destroyed; and be it further

Resolved, That gaming at cards is hereby strictly forbidden, and that any person or persons whomsoever, who shall game at cards in the Cherokee

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 47

Nation, such person or persons, so offending, shall forfeit and pay a fine of twenty-five dollars, and further, any person or persons whatsoever, who may or shall be found playing- cards at any house or camp, or in the woods within three miles of the general Council House, or any of the court houses of the several Districts during the session of the General Council, or setting of the District Courts, such person or persons, so offending, shall forfeit and pay a fine of fifty dollars each for every such offense, and that any person or persons whatsoever, who shall bring into the Cherokee Nation and dispose of playing cards, such person or persons, being convicted before any of the Judges, Marshals, or light horse, shall pay a fine of twenty-five dollars for every pack or cards so sold; and it shall be the duty of the several Judges, Marshals and light horse companies, to take cognizance of such offenses and to enforce the above resolution ; and

And be it further resolved. That all fines collected from persons violating the above resolution, the money so collected shall be paid into the national treasury. To take effect and be in full force from and after the first day of January next.

By order of the National Committee.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com. Approved-
PATH KILLER (X) his mark.
A. McCOY, Clerk of Com.
ELIJAH HICKS, clerk of Coun’l.

Miscegenation was penalized by:


New Town, Cherokee Nation. November 11th, 1824

Resolved by the National Committee and Council, That intermarriages between negro slaves and Indians, or white, shall not be lawful, and any person or persons, permitting and approbating his, her or their negro slaves, to inter-marry with Indians or whites, he or she or they, so offending shall pay a tine of fifty dollars, one half for the benefit of the Cherokee Nation; and

Be if further resolved, That any male Indian or white man marrying a negro woman slave, he or they shall be punished with fifty-nine stripes on the bare back, and any Indian or white woman, marrying a Negro man slave, shall be punished with twenty-five stripes on her or their bare back.

By order of the National Committee.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com. Approved –
PATH KILLER ‘X his mark.
A. McCOY, Clerk of Com.
ELIJAH HICKS, clerk of Coun’l.


New Town, Cherokee Nation, November 11th, 1824

Resolved by the National Committee and Council, That it shall not be lawful for negro slaves to possess property in horses, cattle or hogs, and that those slaves now possessing property of that description, be required to dispose of the same in twelve months from this date, under the penalty of confiscation.

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 48

and any property so confiscated, shall be sold for the benefit of the Cherokee Nation.

By order of the National Committee.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com.
Approved-
PATH KILLER (X) his mark.
A. McCOY, clerk of Com.


Another step towards a constitution was:

For the better security of the common property of the Cherokee Nation, and for the protection of the rights and privileges of the Cherokee people, We, the undersigned members of the Committee and Council, in legislative Council convened, have established, and by these presents do hereby declare, the following articles as a fixed and irrevocable principle, by which the Cherokee Nation shall be governed. These articles may be amended or modified, by a concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the Committee and Council in legislative Council convened; viz:

ART 1st. The lands within the sovereign limits of the Cherokee nation, as defined by treaties, are, and shall be, the common property of the Nation. The improvements made thereon and in the possession of the citizens of the Nation, are the exclusive and indefeasible property of the citizens respectively who made, or may rightfully be in possession of them.

ART. 2d. The annuities arising from treaties with the U. States, and the revenue arising out of tax laws, shall be funded in the National Treasury, and be the public property of the Nation.

ART. 3d. The legislative Council of the Nation shall alone possess the legal power to manage and dispose of, in any manner by law, the public property of the Nation, Provided, nothing shall be construed in this article, so as to extend that right and power to dispossess or divest the citizens of the Nation of their just rights to the houses, farms and other improvements in their possession.

ART. 4th. The Principal Chiefs of the Nation shall in no wise hold any treaties, or dispose of public property in any manner, without the express authority of the legislative Council in Session.

ART. 5th. The members of Committee and Council, during the recess of the legislative Council, shall possess no authority or power to convene Councils in their respective districts, or to act officially on any matters, excepting expressly authorized or delegated by the legislative Council in session.

ART. 6th. The citizens of the Nation, possessing exclusive and indefeasible rights to their respective improvements, as expressed in the first article, shall possess no right or power to dispose of their improvements to citizens of the United States, under such penalties, as may be prescribed by law in such cases.

ART 7th. The several courts of justice in the Nation shall have no cognizance of any case transpiring previous to the organization of courts by law, and which case may have been acted upon by the chiefs in council, under the then existing custom and usage of the Nation, excepting there may be an ex-press law embracing the case.

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 49

ART 8th. The two Principal Chiefs of the Nation, shall not, jointly or Separately, have the power of arresting the judgment of either of the courts or of the legal acts of the National Committee and Council, but that the judiciary of the Nation shall be independent and their decisions final and conclusive, Provided, always, That they act in conformity to the foregoing principles or articles, and the acknowledged laws of the Nation.

Done in Legislative Council, at New Town, this l5th day of June, 1825.
JNO. ROSS. Pres’t. N. Com.
MAJOR RIDGE, Speaker of Council,
Approved – PATH KILLER (X) his mark.


New Echota was established as the capital by the four following acts:

New Town, Cherokee Nation, November 12th 1825.

Resolved by the National Committee and Council, That one hundred town lots, of one acre square, be laid off on the Oostenallah River, commencing below the mouth of the creek, nearly opposite the mouth of Caunausauga River. The public square to embrace two acres of ground, which town shall be known and called Echota; there shall be a main street of sixty feet and the other streets shall be fifty feet wide.

Be it further resolved. That the lots, when laid off, be sold to the highest bidder. The purchasers right shall merely be occupancy, and transferable only to lawful citizens of the Cherokee Nation, and the proceeds arising from the sales of the lots shall be appropriated for the benefit of the public buildings in said town; and

Be it further resolved. That three commissioners be appointed to super intend the laying off the aforesaid lots, marking and numbering the same, and to act as chain carrier, and a surveyor to be employed to run off the lots and streets according to the plan prescribed. The lots to be commenced running off on the second Monday in February next, and all the ground lying within the following bounds, not embraced by the lots, shall remain vacant as commons for the convenience of the town; viz: beginning at the mouth of Caunausauga, and up said creek to the mouth of the dry branch to the point of the ridges, and thence in a circle round along said ridges, by the place occupied by Crying Wolf, thence to the river.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com.
MAJOR RIDGE, Speaker.
Approved – PATH KILLER, (X) his mark.
CH. R. HICKS.

A. McCOY, clerk of Com.
E. BOUDINOTT, Clerk N. Council.


New Town, Cherokee Nation, November 12th. 1825

Judge Martin, George Saunders and Waller S. Adair, are elected commissioners to superintend the laying off the lots in the town of Echota.

By order. JNO. ROSS, Pres’t N. Com.
A. McCOY, clerk of Com.

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 50


Echota, Cherokee Nation, November 12th. 1825.

The subject of improvements made, and now occupied by individuals, on the public ground selected for the jurisdiction of the town of Echota, have been taken up by the National Committee. The question arising- is, whether the Nation is bound to pay for any such improvements made by individuals since the site has been selected by the Nation for the establishment of a town as the seat of government. The decision of the Committee on this question is, that the Nation is not bound to make compensation for any such improvements, but in order to extend indulgence toward Alex. McCoy and E. Hicks, who are now within said bounds, and are in possession of dwelling houses of some value, it is hereby agreed and

Resolved by the National Committee and Council, That should the dwelling houses of the aforesaid McCoy and Hicks fall with lots which are to be laid off, they shall have the preference of occupancy to said lots. Provided they pay for the same at the rate which any other lot of equal value and advantageously situated may sell for; it is further agreed and admitted, that the improvement lately occupied by War Club, and the one now in the possession of Crying Wolf shall be paid for at the public expense; agreeably to the valuation made by W. Hicks, Geo. Saunders and Jos. Crutchfield.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com.
MAJOR RIDGE, Speaker.
Approved- PATH KILLER (X) his mark.
CH. R. HICKS.
A. McCOY, clerk Com.
E. BOUDINOTT, Clerk N. Council.


Echota, Cherokee Nation, November 14th, 1825.

Alexander McCoy is hereby authorized and permitted to cultivate and raise a crop the ensuing year, in the field lying on the river below the ferry, and also the one lately owned by the War Club, on the river below the mouth ot the spring branch, which improvements belong to the public, and lie within the town of Echota; Provided, said McCoy does not suffer the stakes to be re-moved which are to separate the town lots, to be laid off in said fields, and that said McCoy surrender possession of those fields to the public on or before the second Monday in October next.

JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com.
MAJOR RIDGE, Speaker.
Approved- PATH KILLER (X) his mark.
CH. R. HICKS.
A. McCOY, clerk Com.
E. BOUDINOTT, clerk Coun’l.

Provisions were made for the selection of delegates for a constitutional convention by:

Whereas, the General Council of the Cherokee Nation, now in session. having taken into consideration the subject of adopting a constitution for the future Government of said Nation, and after mature deliberation, it is deemed expedient that a Convention be called, and in order that the wishes of the people

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 51

of the several Districts may be fairly represented on this all important subject,

It is hereby resolved by the National Committee and Council, That the persons hereinafter named be, and they are hereby nominated and recommended to the people of their respective districts as candidates to run an election for seals in the Convention; and three out of the ten in each District who shall get the highest number of votes shall be elected; and for the convenience of the people in giving their votes, three precincts in each District are selected, and superintendents and clerks to the election are chosen; and no person but a free male citizen who is full grown shall be entitled to a vote; and each voter shall be entitled to vote for three of the candidates herein nominated in their respective Districts, and no vote by proxy shall be admitted; and that all the votes shall be given in viva voce; and in case of death, sickness or other incident which may occur to prevent all or any of the superintendents from attending at the several precincts to which they are chosen, the people of the respective precincts shall make a selection to fill such vacancies. And in case of similar incident occurring to any of the members elect, the person receiving the next highest number of votes shall supply the vacancy.

In Chicamauga District, John Ross, Richard Taylor, John Baldridge, Jas Brown, Sleeping Rabbit, John Benge, Nathaniel Hicks, Sicketowee, Jas. Starr and Daniel McCoy, are nominated and recommended as candidates; and the election in the first precinct shall be held at or near Hick’s mill, and Charles R. Hicks, and Archibald Fields, are chosen superintendents, and Leonard Hicks, clerk. The election in the second precinct shall be held at or near Hunter Langley’s in Lookout Valley, and James Lowrey and Robert Vann are chosen superintendents, and John Candy, clerk. The election in the third precinct shall be held in the Court House, and Joseph Coodey and William S. Coodey, are chosen superintendents and Robert Fields, Clerk.

In Chattanooga District, George Lowrey, Samuel Gunter, Andrew Ross, David Vann, David Brown, Spirit, The Bark, Salecooke, Edward Gunter and John Brown, are nominated and recommended as candidates; and the election in the first precinct in this District shall be held at or near Edward Gunter': school house in Creek Path valley, and Alexander Gilhreath and Dempsey Fields are chosen superintendents, and John Gunter, clerk. The election in the second precinct shall be held at or near Laugh at Mush’s house, in Wills valley, and William Chamberlin and Martin McIntosh are chosen superintendents and George Lowrey, Jr., clerk. The election in the third precinct shall De held at the courthouse, and Charles Vann and James McIntosh are chosen superintendents, and Thomas Wilson, clerk.

In Coosawaytee District, John Martin, W. S. Adair, Elias Boudinott, Joseph Vann, John Ridge, William Hicks, Elijah Hicks, John Saunders, Kelechulah and Alex McCoy, are nominated and recommended as candidates. The election in the first precinct in this District shall be held at or near William Hick’s house on Ooukillokee creek, and Edward Adair and G. W. Adair are chosen superintendents and Stand Watie, clerk. The election in the second

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 52

precinct shall be held at Elechaye, and George Saunders and Robert Saunders, are chosen superintendents, and James Saunders, clerk. The election in the third precinct shall be held at the courthouse, and George Harlin and William Thompson are chosen superintendents, and Jos. M. Lynch, clerk

In Amohee District, The Hair, Lewis Ross, Thos. Foreman, John Walker, Jr., Going Snake, George Fields, James Bigbey, Deer-in-water, John McIntosh, and Thomas Fields are nominated and recommended as candidates. The election in the first precinct in this District shall be held at or near Kalsowee’s house at Long Savannah, and Wm. Blythe and John Fields, are chosen superintendents and Ezekiel Fields, clerk. The election in the second precinct shall be held at or near Bridge Maker’s house, at Ahmohee Town, and Ezekiel Starr and Michael Helterbrand, are chosen superintendents, and James M’Nair, clerk. The election in the third precinct shall be held at the courthouse, and David M’Nair and James M ‘Daniel, are chosen superintendents and T. W. Ross, clerk.

In Hickory Log District, James Daniel, George Still, Woman Killer, Robert Rogers, Moses Harris, John Duncan, Moses Downing, George Ward, Tahquoh, and Sam Downing, are nominated and recommended as candidates. The election in the first precinct in this District, shall be held at or near George Welch’s house, at the Cross Roads, and A. Hutson and E. Duncan, are chosen superintendents, and Joshua Buffington, Clerk. The election in the second precinct shall be held at or near Big Savannah, and John Downing and E. M’Laughlin, are chosen superintendents, and John Daniel, clerk. The election in the third precinct shall be held at the courthouse, and John Wright and Ellis Harlin, are chosen superintendents, and Moses Daniel, clerk.

In Hightower District, George M. Waters, Joseph Vann, Alexander Saunders, John Beamer, Walking Stick. Richard Rowe, The Feather, Old Field. Te-nah-la-wee-stah, and Thomas Pettit, are nominated and recommended as candidates. The election in the first precinct in this District shall be held at or near the Old Turkey’s house, and Tahchi-see and John Harris, are chosen superintendents, and John Sanders, clerk. The election in the third precinct shall be held at the courthouse and Charles Moore and W. Thompson, are chosen superintendents, and Joseph Phillips, clerk

In Tahquohee District, Chuwalookee, George Owen, Too-nah-na-lah, Wm. Bowlin, Chips, Ooclen-not-tah. Soo-wa-keee, Sour John, The Tough, and Charles, are nominated and recommended as candidates. The election in the first precinct in this District shall be held at or near Nahtahyalee, and A. M. Daniel and Metoy, are chosen superintendents, and Thomas, clerk. The election in the second precinct shall be held at or near The Spirit’s house, and Benjamin Timson and Edward Timson, are chosen superintendents, and J. D. Wofford, clerk.

In Aquohee District, Sitewake, Bald Town George, Richard Walker, John Timson, Allbone, Robin, (Judge Walker’s son-in-law) Ahtoheeskee, Kunsenee, Samuel Ward, and Kalkalloskee, are nominated and recommended as candidates. The election in the first precinct in this District, shall be held at or near Tasquittee, and Thompson and Dick Downing, are chosen superintendents, and William Reid, clerk. The election in the second precinct shall be held at or near Samuel Ward’s house, and Isaac Tucker and John Bighead,

Trouble with the Chicamaugas
Page 53

are chosen superintendents, and David England, clerk. The election at the third precinct shall be held at the court house, and Whirlwind and Bear Conjurer, are chosen superintendents, and Rev. E. Jones, clerk.

Be it further resolved, That the election at the several places herein selected for each District, shall be held on the Saturday previous to the commencement of the Courts for May Term next, and a return of all the votes given shall be made to the superintendents of the election at the court house on the Monday following, being the first day of court, with a certificate of the polls, signed by the superintendents and clerks, and after all the votes being collected and rendered in, the three candidates having the highest number of votes shall be duly elected, and the superintendents and clerks at the court house, shall give to each of the members elected a certificate. And in case there shall be an equal number of votes between any of the third candidates, the members of the Convention shall give them the casting vote, and that the superintendents shall, before entering upon their duties, take an oath for the faithful performance of their trusts: and that the members so elected shall, on the 4th day of July next, meet at Echota and form a convention, and proceed to adopt a Constitution for the Government of the Cherokee Nation.

Be it further resolved, That the principles which shall be established in the Constitution, to be adopted by the Convention, shall not in any degree go to destroy the rights and liberties of the free citizens of this Nation, nor to effect or impair the fundamental principles and laws, by which the Nation is now governed, and that the General Council to be convened in the fall of 1827 shall be held under the present existing authorities; Provided nevertheless, that nothing shall be so construed in this last clause so as to invalidate or prevent the Constitution, adopted by the Convention, from going into effect after the aforesaid next General Council.

New Echota, l3th October, 1826.
JNO. ROSS, Pres’t. N. Com.
MAJOR RIDGE, Speaker.
Approved- PATH KILLER (X) his mark.



MLA Source Citation:

Starr, Emmett. History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: The Warden Company. 1921 AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 19 December 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/trouble-with-the-chicamaugas.htm - Last updated on Aug 12th, 2012


Categories: ,
Topics:

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!