Collection: History of the Cherokee Indians

The Texas Cherokee 1820-1830

By the year of 1812, about one-fourth of the Cherokee Nation east had emigrated to the Arkansas territory between the Arkansas and White Rivers. John Bowles, a chief, and a large number from Running Water Town, on the Mussel Shoals of the Tennessee, had left in the year 1874 and emigrated to the St. Francis River country in southeast Missouri. During the winter of 1811-12 this branch moved to the Arkansas Territory, where they were domiciled until a survey of the Cherokee Nation, Arkansas was made by the United States Government in 181Q in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of 1817. Bowles’ village was located between Shoal and Petit Jean Creeks, on the south side of Arkansas River, outside of the stipulated Cherokee Territory, on account of this fact and in compliance with the wishes of his followers to locate in Spanish territory, he, with sixty families, migrated in the winter of 1819-20 to territory that was claimed to have been promised them by the representatives of the Dominion of Spain, on Sabine River and ex-tending from the Angelina to the Trinity Rivers in the Province of Texas. Settlement was made north of Nacogdoches, then an expanse of waste and ruin, the result of warfare waged between the American and Spanish forces of Long and Perez. The climatic conditions auguring favorable to the pursuits of agriculture, stock-raising...

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The Emigration From Georgia

Under the provisions of the treaty of 1835 and the congressional acts to carry it into effect the Cherokee Nation was entitled to $6,537,634. By the treaty $600,000 were set aside from this amount to defray the expenses of removal. The detachments were placed under the following conductors: No Conductor Started Arrived west ┬áDays on road 1 Hair Conrad August 28, 1838 January 17, 1838 143 2 Elijah Hicks Sept. 1, 1838 January 4, 1839 126 3 Rev. Jesse Bushyhead Sept. 3, 1838 February 27, 1839 178 4 John Bengi Sept. 28, 1838 January 11, 1839 106 5 Situwakee Sept. 7, 1838 February 2, 1839 140 6 Captain Old Field Sept. 24, 1838 February 23, 1839 153 7 Moses Daniel Sept. 20, 1838 March 2, 1839 164 8 Choowalooka Sept. 14, 1838 March 1, 1839 162 9 James Brown Sept. 10, 1838 March 5, 1839 177 10 George Hicks Sept. 7, 1838 March 14, 1839 189 11 Richard Taylor Sept. 20, 1838 March 24, 1839 186 12 Peter Hildebrand Oct. 23, 1838 March 25, 1839 1544 13 John Drew Dec. 5, 1838 March 18, 1839 1042 The number of emigrants turned over to each conductor was kept by Captain Page of the United States army and Captain Stephenson of the United States army made the official report of those that were mustered out in the west. No. Page’s Stephenson’s...

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Cherokee Public School System Established

Prior to 1842 the educational interests of the Cherokees was in the hands of the missionaries of the Moravian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational and Baptist Churches. The United Brethren or Moravians commenced their missionary’ work among the Cherokees at Spring Place in Georgia in l801. The American Board of Foreign Mission, maintained by the Presbyterian and Congregational churches entered the field at Brainard in 18I7. The Baptists commenced their labors in the western part of North Carolina, during the same year but soon allowed their work to lapse until 1820 in which year Valley Town Mission was founded. In 1824 the Methodists established their first mission in the Cherokee country. Some of the Cherokees most probably attended schools in neighboring provinces and states prior to 1800. Notably, Charles Hicks, a half breed, who as early as 1808 was known to have had a splendid education.” The idea of public and higher schools for the Cherokees was advocated and provided for by the treaty of 1835″. The Cherokee negotiators in this treaty were: John Ridge, Elias Boudinot, John West, Archilla Smith, Samuel W. Bell, William A. Davis and Ezekial West. Section six, article nine of the Cherokee constitution of 18 59 is as follows: “Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education, shall forever be...

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Proclamation May 28, 1828

May 6, 1828. 7 Stat. 311. Proclamation, May 28, 1828. Articles of a Convention, concluded at the City of Washington this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-eight, between James Barbour, Secretary of War, being especially authorized there for by the President of the United States, and the undersigned, Chiefs and Head Men of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, West of the Mississippi, they being duly authorized and empowered by their Nation. Object of the Treaty. Whereas, it being the anxious desire of the Government of the United States to secure to the Cherokee nation of Indians, as well as those now living within the limits of the Territory of Arkansas, as those of their friends and brothers who reside in Stales East of the Mississippi, and who may wish to join their brothers of the West, a permanent home, and which shall, under the most solemn guarantee of the United States, be, and remain, theirs forever – a home that shall never, in all future time, be embarrassed by having extended around it lines, or placed over it the jurisdiction of a Territory or State, nor be pressed upon by the extension, in any way, of any of the limits of any existing Territory or State; and. Whereas, the present location of the Cherokees in Arkansas being unfavorable to...

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Constitution Of The Cherokee Nation

The elected delegates met and formed the following constitution: Constitution Of The Cherokee Nation Formed by a Convention of Delegates From the Several Districts, at New Echota, July 1827 We, the Representatives of the people of the Cherokee Nation, in Convention assembled, in order to establish justice, ensure tranquility, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty; acknowledging with humility and gratitude the goodness of the sovereign Ruler of the Universe, in offering us an opportunity so favorable to the design, and imploring His aid and direction in its accomplishment, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Government of the Cherokee Nation. Article 1. – Sec. 1. – The boundaries of this Nation, embracing the lands solemnly guaranteed and reserved forever to the Cherokee Nation by the Treaties concluded with the United States, are as follows, and shall forever hereafter remain unalterably the same, to-wit: Beginning on the north bank of Tennessee River at the upper part of the Chickasaw old field, thence along the main channel of said river, including all the islands therein, to the mouth of the Hiwassee River, thence up the main channel of said river, including islands, to the first hill which closes in on said river about two miles above Hiwassee Old Town, thence along the ridge which divides the waters of the Hiwassee and...

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Cherokee Origin and Religion

For four hundred years the question: “From whence came the Indian?” has been a recurrent problem. Four centuries of quest and investigation have not brought the solution nearer and it’s sanest answer of today is conjecture. Every person, who has made an extended study of Indians either as a tribe or as a race, has naturally evolved some idea of their possible origin and this is very often based on tribal migration legends. At some ancient period, so remote that even legend does not note it, the earth most probably came so ear the sphere of influence of some other planet, that it momentarily swung out of its solar trend, causing a cataclysm that instantly transformed the zones so suddenly that the giant mammoths were frozen as they stood, to be later incased in great masses of ice and preserved so well that as it melted away from their bodies the flesh was so fresh that it was eaten by dogs and other animals. The immense glaciers were left in the temperate and possibly the torrid zones. .4s to whether any land was raised at that time there is a question, but there is very little doubt that much of the land connecting northern Europe and America was submerged, leaving only Greenland, Iceland and a few other elevated portions above sea level. The flora and fossil remains indicate a...

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Act of Union Between The Eastern and Western Cherokees

The following act of union between the eastern and western Cherokees was signed on August 12, 1839. Whereas our Fathers have existed, as a separate and distinct Nation, in the possession and exercise of the essential and appropriate attributes of sovereignty from a period extending into antiquity, beyond the records and memory of man: And Whereas these attributes, with the rights and franchises which they involve, remain still in full force and virtue, as do also the national and social relations of the Cherokee people to each other and to the body politic, excepting in those particulars which have grown out of the provisions of the treaties of 1817 and 1819 between the United States and the Cherokee Nation, under which a portion of our people removed to this country and be-came a separate community: But the force of the circumstances having recently compelled the body of the Eastern Cherokees to remove to this country, thus bringing together again the two branches of the ancient Cherokee family, it has become essential to the general welfare that a union should be formed, and a system of government matured, adapted to their present condition, and providing equally for the protection of each individual in the enjoyment of all his rights: Therefore we, the people composing the Eastern and Western Cherokee Nation, in National Convention assembled, by virtue of our original and...

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History of the Cherokee Indians

Originally published in 1921, History of the Cherokee Indians, a reference originally created “for the purpose of perpetuating some of the facts relative to the Cherokee tribe, that might otherwise be lost,” in the words of author Emmet Starr. The result is a straightforward history of the Cherokee tribe with especial attention upon the 1800’s, an assortment of primary source writings, and thoroughly extensive genealogies of old Cherokee families. Genealogists and anyone tracing Cherokee ancestry are sure to find History of the Cherokee Indians especially illuminating; other readers curious about a more general history of the tribe will also find a wealth of insightful information about the Cherokee’s conflicts with other tribes, adoption of its constitution, emigrations, treaties, and much more. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this solid historical and genealogical accounting.

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Missionary Activities. First Printing

When the missionaries commenced work among the Cherokees at the beginning of the nineteenth century they found a condition awaiting them that was never presented to the Christian workers by a heathen people. Within less than three quarters of a century before, Christian Priber, ex-Jesuit had identified himself with this tribe, became one of them, learned their language, related to them the biblical stories, which the tribesmen had retained and remembered in infinite detail, although they had entirely forgotten Priber and the source of the stories. The sturdy Scotch and English countryman had also insidiously imbued the people with many of their ideas and notions. Then the missionary came telling the self same Bible stories that the Cherokees had but recently derived from Priber, but in forgetting him they attributed them to an origin from their old religion that had legendarily been destroyed by the Ku-ta-ni. Upon an attempt to tell the story of Abraham, the missionary was almost invariably stopped by Cherokee auditors, who then told the story in, to the missionary, astonishing precision, even giving the personal names with remarkable correctness. The recently revived New England idea of the evangelization of the non Christians furnished a fresh impetus and many zealous workers to many fields that had been dormant, and the missionaries were entirely oblivious of the principal impelling causes of their advantage among this tribe but...

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Officers of the Cherokee Nation

Officers of the Cherokee Nation, September 9, 1839 to June 30, 1908. The anomaly of a fully constitutional government with all of the concomitant expenses of executive, legislative, judicial and educational departments; being in existence for fifty-nine years, self-sustaining, without direct personal taxes, would seem at first thought, Utopian and impossible. But this was the condition presented by the Cherokee Nation from September 6, 1839 to July 1, 1898. A contented and satisfied communal government in which personal land titles were nonexistent; livestock, had free range, universally attended free schools with free text books, were the center of each annuities of the tribe was to be paid; two-thirds to the Cherokees living east Education was a shibboleth, extreme poverty unknown and individual efforts were often crowned with affluence. The permanent funds for the maintenance of the Cherokee Nation was derived from the sale of portions of their tribal lands and had its inception in a provision of an indemnatory article in the United States Cherokee treaty of October 24, 1804, which provided an annuity to the Cherokee Nation ,of three thousand dollars. According to the sixth article of the treaty of February 27, 1819 the annuities oft he tribe was to be paid; two-thirds to the Cherokees living east of the Mississippi River and one third to those that had emigrated to Arkansas and were known as Western Cherokees,...

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Trouble with the Chicamaugas

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...

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Treasurers of the Cherokee Nation

The office of treasurer was provided for by article four, section twenty one of the constitution, as follows: “The treasurer of the Cherokee Nation shall be chosen by a joint vote of both branches of the National Council for the term of four years.” The annual salary was fixed on October 4, 1839 at five hundred dollars. David Vann 1839, 1843, 1847 and 1851; Lewis Ross 1855 and 1859: Springfrog 1867, he died and Clement Neeley Vann was elected in November 1870; Dennis Wolf Bushyhead 1871 and 1875; De Witt Clinton Lipe November 11, 1879; Henry Chambers 1883; Robert Bruce Ross January 19, 1888; Colonel Johnson Harris, November 6, 1891, he was elected Principal Chief on December 23, 1891 and Ezekial Eugene Starr was elected as his successor on the same day; DeWitt Clinton Lipe November 14, 1895; Joseph Martin LaHay, November 17, 1800 Dr. Jesse Crary Bushyhead...

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Supreme Court of the Cherokee Nation

The powers and prerogatives of the judiciary of the Cherokee Nation is given in the thirteen sections of article five of the constitution and “The Judges of the supreme court shall each be allowed three dollars per day, while in service in holding court.” 1839. John Martin, Chief Justice, Reverend Jesse Bushyhead and four other unknown associates. Elected by Constitutional convention. 1844. Rev. Jesse Bushyhead, Chief Justice, vice John Martin, died October 17, 1840, and Judge Bushyhead died July 17, 1844. George Hicks elected Chief Justice October 11, 1844 vice Bushyhead. Associated Justices. Thomas Pegg, Moses Parris and David Carter, the latter resigned and John Thompson Adair was elected. Rev. Stephen Foreman elected October 11, 1844. 1847. David McNair Foreman elected Chief Justice October 3. 1847. Associate Justices: Joseph Vann, James Sanders, John Thorne, Nichols Hyars McNair and John Thompson Adair. 1851. David Carter, Chief Justice. Associate justices: Lewis W. Hilldebrand, Riley Keys, Rev. Isaac Sanders, Clement Vann McNair and John Thompson Adair. 1855. Richard Fields, Chief Justice. Associates: Riley Keys, Jesse Russell and Nicholas Byars McNair. 1857. Riley Keys, Chief Justice. Associate Justices: David Carter, John Thompson Adair, Jesse Russell, Thomas Pegg and Louis W. Hildebrand. 1876. John Thompson Adair, Chief Justice. Associate Justices: J. A. Johnson and George Washington Scraper. 1869. John Porum Davis, Chief Justice. Associate Justices: Thomas Teehee and Thomas B. Wolf. 1872. Riley Keys,...

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Sheriffs of the Cherokee Nation

Sheriffs of Canadian District 1841 and 1843. James Mackey; James Ore 1845; Josiah Reese 1847; John Shepherd Vann 1849; James Starr 1851; Nelson Riley 1853; Joseph M. Reese 1855; John Porum Davis 1857; Charles Drew 1859; Unknown 1861; Charles Drew 1867; John Q. Hayes 1869 and 1871; Stand Watie Gray’ 1873; Thomas Jefferson Bean 1875 and 1877, he was suspended and Henry Clay Lowrey was appointed April 16, 18 79; McCoy Smith, 1879, William Mosley West 1881; Stand Watie Gray 1883, he was suspended and William Vann, appointed June 20, 1884; William Vann 1885, 1887, 1889 and 1891; John Calhoun West 1803; Robert Emmett West 1895 and Thomas Graves 1907. Sheriffs of Cooweescoowee District John W. T. Spencer 1855; John Lucien Brown 1857; Daniel Ross Hicks 1859; Unknown IS6I; John Gunter Schrimsher 1867; John W. T. Spencer 1869 and 1871, he was suspended for attempting to destroy election returns and John M. Smith was appointed December 2, 1872; William McCracken 1871 and 1875; John Gunter Scrimsher 1877; Jesse Cochran 1879; Samuel Houston Mayes 1881; Jesse Cochran 1883; William Edward Sanders 1885 and 1887; Edward Alexander Adair 1889; William Edward Sanders 1891; James Tandy Musgrove 1893, he was killed June 3, 1895 and Joel Bryan Cornelius Ward was appointed; Joel Bryan Cornelius Ward 1895 and 1897. Sheriffs of Delaware District Jesse Cochran 1841 and 1843; Choo-wa-chu-kuh 1845; Charles Landrum 1847...

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Senators of the Cherokee Nation

Senators from the Canadian District 1841. Captain William Dutch- and the other one unknown. 1843. Captain William Dutch and Joseph Tally. Both resigned. 1844. John Shepherd and Nelson Riley, vice Dutch and Talley, resigned. 1845. James Mackey and William Shorey Coody. The latter was elected President of the Senate. 1847. Captain William Dutch and William Shorey Coody. The latter died April 16, 1849. 1849. Josiah Reese and Lightningbug Bowles. 1851. David Boggs and Nelson Riley. 1853. David Boggs and Teesee Guess. 1855. John Drew and Lightningbug Bowles. 1857. John Drew and William Doublehead. 1859. Joseph Abalom Scales and Daniel Coody. The latter died. Oliver H. P. Brewer, vice Daniel Coody, deceased. 1861. Not known. 1867. John Brewer and John Porum Davis. 1869. James Madison Bell and Johnson Foreman. 1871. Richard Fields and Johnson Foreman. The latter died June 28, 1872. 1872. August 22, Levi Toney elected, vice Johnson Foreman, deceased. 1873. Richard Fields and John Porum Davis. 1875. Stephen Hildebrand and John Porum Davis. The latter was elected President of the Senate. 1877. Joseph Martin Lynch and Calvin Jones Hanks. The latter was killed May 15, 1879. 1879. Pleasant Napoleon Blackstone and John Porum Davis. The latter was elected President of the Senate and died during this term of office. 1881. Pleasant Napoleon Blackstone and Colonel Harris. 1883. Abraham Woodall and Colonel Johnson Harris. The latter was elected President...

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