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Indian Wars of Carolina – Previous to the Revolution

When the English settled in South Carolina, it was found that the State was inhabited by about twenty different tribes of Indians. The whites made gradual encroachments without meeting with any opposition from the Indians, until the latter saw that if these advances were continued, they would be completely driven from their country. A struggle was immediately begun, in which the colonists suffered so much from the number and fury of their enemies that a price was fixed upon every Indian who should be brought captive to Charleston, from whence they were sold into slavery for the West Indies. The hostility of the southern Indians was instigated by the Spaniards, who supplied them with arms and ammunition. In the year 1702, Governor Moore marched into the country of the Appalachian Indians, took a great number of prisoners, and compelled the remainder to submit to the supremacy of the English government. A more important contest occurred in 1712. The Tuscaroras, and other powerful tribes, whose country extended from Cape Fear River to the peninsula of Florida, united in a league, the object of which was, to wage a war of extermination against the whites. Every part of the design was laid with secrecy and ingenuity. They fortified their principal village, in order to shelter their women and children, and there the warriors met and matured their scheme. When the favorable moment arrived, they scattered in small bands, and entering the houses of the planters, demanded something to eat. They then murmured at the provisions set before them, and pretending to be angry, they immediately began to murder men, women, and...

Native Americans in the Revolutionary War

At the commencement of the American struggle for independence, the Native Americans in the Revolutionary War stood in a peculiar position. Their friendship became a matter of importance to both parties. To secure this, the English took particular care, and had many advantages, of which the colonists were deprived. The expulsion of the French from Canada had given the Indians a high opinion of the valor and power of British forces. They also had the means of supplying the wants of the Indians by presents of articles, which could only be obtained from Europe, and which the American Congress had prohibited the colonists from importing. They had still another and a more important advantage. Since the peace of 1763 nearly all the transactions of the English with the Indians had been conducted by agents who were attached to the home government, and who, of course, secured the Indians as far as possible, to the interest of that government, when the colonies rebelled. Cherokee Indians and the Revolutionary War In the meantime, the Americans were not unmindful of their interests in this quarter. They appointed commissioners to explain the nature of the struggle, and to gain their good will by treaties and presents. Congress, also resolved to distribute goods to the amount of two thousand dollars among them; but the wise resolution was never executed. In almost every period of the war, the Indians took part with the English. South Carolina was one of the first states that felt the force of British influence. All intercourse with the Creeks and Cherokees, the tribes nearest the frontier settlements of that state,...

Early Indian Wars in Florida

Previous to the permanent establishment of the English in North America, the French and Spaniards made many attempts to get possession of various parts of the country. The coasts were carefully explored, and colonies planted, but they were soon given up as expensive, and involving too much hardship and danger. The first expedition to the coast of Florida was made in 1512, by Juan Ponce de Leon, renowned for his courage and warlike abilities. Ponce de Leon, becoming governor of Porto Rico (Puerto Rico), and hearing from the Indians that there existed a beautiful and fertile country to the northward, containing the waters of perpetual youth, resolved to attempt its conquest. He sailed from Porto Rico with three ships, and finally, reached the continent at about eight degrees thirty minutes, north latitude. Landing on Palm Sunday, Ponce de Leon gave the country the name of Florida. He explored the coast from north to south, and had several engagements with the Indians; and though he failed to obtain the youth and treasures that he sought, he returned to Porto Rico, crowned with the luster of making a great discovery. The report of the achievements of Cortez in Mexico, again kindled the ambition of Ponce de Leon; and he set out in 1521, with two of his own ships, to make a settlement in Florida. But the Indians advanced against him; most of his men were killed, and himself so badly wounded, that he died a few days after his return to Cuba. Another expedition, under Vasquez de Ayllon, attempted to form a settlement, in 1524. The Indians on the coast...

Will the Real Sequoya Please Stand Up?

Will the Real Sequoya Please Stand Up? The preponderance of biographical information online and published in manuscripts concerning Sequoyah conflicts. Author Richard Thornton jovially delves into the conflicting information and tries to establish the true identity of this man called the “inventor of the Cherokee Alphabet.”

Mysterious Cherokee Raiders

The Early History of Jackson County, GA describes a Cherokee tribe in the region northeast of present day Metropolitan Atlanta, known as the Bohurons.1 The book, created from the writings of a self-educated civic leader in the mid-1800s, contains many Bohuron personal names. None of them are Native American words.2 They are Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French and Dutch names. The name of the tribe means “Nobility” or “Nobles” in Arabic. The name of the chief’s horse, “Al Buraq” means “Lightning” in Arabic and was the name of the horse that took Mohammed to heaven from Jerusalem. In 1770 the Bohurons were in territory controlled by the Creek Confederacy. They were defeated by their long time enemies the Talasee Creeks. Remember from an earlier section that the Talasee Creeks were the inhabitants of the Little Tennessee River until forced out by Cherokee invaders. The Talasees were looking for revenge. However, the Bohurons had made enemies elsewhere. Apparently, they raided Native American villages and frontier farmsteads on horseback. The real Cherokees were probably blamed on many occasions for their foul deeds.   Predatory mixed-blood bands, such as the Bohurons may have been the Chichimec raiders described by Spanish missionaries on the coast of Georgia. In his 1664 book, Charles de Rochefort described a wandering Native people that preyed on other Native peoples.At the time, Apalache was the name used to describe the original Creek Confederacy. The capital of the Apalache was in the Georgia Mountains. He wrote: “The Apalache’s have a long continuance of peace; however they think it prudence to stand always upon their guard, and they have always Sentinels at...

Old Indian Trails of Pike’s Peak

The principal Indian trail into the mountains from the plains to the northeast of Pike’s Peak came in by way of the Garden Ranch, through what used to be known as Templeton’s Gap. It crossed Monument Creek about a mile above Colorado Springs, then followed up a ridge to the Mesa; then it went southwest over the Mesa and across Camp Creek, passing just south of the Garden of the Gods; from there it came down to the Fountain, about a mile west of Colorado City, and there joined another trail that came from the southeast up the east side of Fountain Creek. The latter trail followed the east side of the Fountain from the Arkansas River, and crossed Monument Creek just below the present Artificial Ice Plant in Colorado Springs, from which point it ran along the north side of the Fountain to a point just west of Colorado City, where it crossed to the south side, then up the south side of the creek to the Manitou Springs. From this place it went up Ruxton Creek for a few hundred yards, then crossed over to the west side, then up the creek to a point just below the Colorado Midland Railway bridge; thence westward up a long ravine to its head; then in the same direction near the heads of the ravines running into the Fountain and from a quarter to a half of a mile south of that creek for two miles or more. The trail finally came down to the Fountain again just below Cascade Canon and from there led up the Fountain to its...

Cherokee Proposals for Cession of their Land

DECEMBER, 11, 1820 My DEAR WHITE BROTHER: I understand by our messengers that your are resolved to do any thing for us respecting our petition, and, if it is the case, I want you to do every thing that is in your power for us. PATH KILLER, The King of the Cherokee Nation.   CREEK PATH TOWN, Jan. 3d, 1821 Address of the Chiefs and Warriors of Creek Path Town, in the Cherokee nation, to Major General Andrew Jackson. DEAR SIR: Having learned by our messenger, George Fields, your friendly disposition towards us, your having told him to inform us that you would use your influence to see justice done to us with respect to the land we now live on, we address you with full confidence that you will not see us wronged out of what we consider our just right by any, persons whatever. Unhappily, differences exist between us and the upper part of the nation–they claim the right of depriving us of our lands when they think fit to do so; they allow us no voice in the national councils, and, in fact, treat us, in a manner, as intruders. We now appeal to you to use your influence to have us reinstated in the enjoyments and privileges we formerly possessed as a part of our nation, and to put it out of the power of the upper part of the nation to dispose of our lands against our consent. Owing to indisposition, the Path Killer is not with us while writing this, but has sent us, by a trusman, what he wishes inserted in this...

The Cherokee Nation

It has been seen that De Soto passed over a portion of the country of these Indians in the territory which embraces Northern Georgia. The name Cherokee is derived from Chera, fire; and the Prophets of this nation were called Cherataghe, men of divine fire. The first that we hear of the Cherokees, after the Spanish invasion, is their connection with the early British settlers of Virginia. A powerful and extensive nation, they even had settlements upon the Appomattox River, and were allied by blood with the Powhattan tribe. The Virginians drove them from that place, and they retreated to the head of the Holston River. Here, making temporary settlements, the Northern Indians compelled them to retire to the Little Tennessee River, where they established themselves permanently. About the same time, a large branch of the Cherokees came from the territory of South Carolina, near Charleston, and formed towns upon the main Tennessee, extending as far as the Muscle Shoals. They found all that region unoccupied, except upon the Cumberland, where resided a roving band of Shawnees. But the whole country bore evidence of once having sustained a large Indian population. Such is the origin of the first Cherokee settlements upon the main Tennessee, but the great body of the nation appears to have occupied Northern Georgia and Northwestern Carolina as far back as the earliest discoveries can trace them. But very little was known of these natives until the English formed colonies in the two Carolinas. They are first mentioned when some of their Chiefs complained that the Savannas and Congerees attacked their extreme eastern settlements, captured their people...

Exploit of Hi-a-de-o-ni

The following incident in the verbal annals of Iroquois hardihood and heroism, was related to me by the intelligent Seneca Tetoyoah, (William Jones of Cattaraugus) along with other reminiscences of the ancient Cherokee wars. The Iroquois thought life was well lost, if they could gain glory by it. HI-A-DE-O-NI, said he, was the father of the late chief Young King. He was a Seneca warrior, a man of great prowess, dexterity, and swiftness of foot, and had established his reputation for courage and skill, on many occasions. He resolved, while the Senecas were still living on the Genesee River, to make an incursion alone into the country of the Cherokees. He plumed himself with the idea, that he could distinguish himself in this daring adventure, and he prepared for it, according to the custom of warriors. They never encumber themselves with baggage. He took nothing but his arms, and the meal of a little parched and pounded corn.1 The forest gave him his meat. HI-A-DE-O-NI reached the confines of the Cherokee country in safety and alone. He waited for evening before he entered the precincts of a village. He found the people engaged in a dance. He watched his opportunity, and when one of the dancers went out from the ring into the bushes, he dispatched him with his hatchet. In this way he killed two men that night, in the skirts of the woods, without exciting alarm, and took their scalps and retreated. It was late when he came to a lodge, standing remote from the rest, on his course homeward. Watching here, he saw a young man come out,...
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