Emmet Starr.

History of the Cherokee Indians and their legends and folk lore online

. (page 1 of 73)
Online LibraryEmmet StarrHistory of the Cherokee Indians and their legends and folk lore → online text (page 1 of 73)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


••^v. ,.^^



.^^'^'



•n'^''^' '%



^^ '^-.



■■J-.. aX^'






A^^'



.s^'^



x^ - ^ •%



^ R



/■r.-i



^ HISTORY



OF THE



CHEROKEE INDIANS



AND



Their Legends and Folk Lore



EMMET STARR




Published by

THE WARDEN COMPANY

Oklahoma City, Okla.

1921



E.



77
5S«



Copyright 1922 by the Warden Co.



FEB 21 1922



PREFACE.

This humble effort is attempted for the purpose of perpetuating some
of the facts relative to the Cherokee tribe, that might otherwise be lost. The
object has been to make it as near a personal history and biography of as
many Cherokees as possible.

Without the assistance of the magnanimous, wholesoul membership of
the nation, the work would not have been possible and for that reason 1 wish
to thank each and every member, for their hearty collaboration and express
my regret that the work has not the merit with which many others might have
invested it.

Emmet Starr.
Claremore, Okla.
December 12, 1^2 I.



From Press and Bindery of the Warden Co.



Contents

Page
CHAPTER 1.

\/Origin, Religion, Ciiaracteristics 2 1

CHAPTER II.
Trouble with the Chickamaugau, Attack at Knoxville, Mussel Shoals
Massacre, Removal to Arkansas, First Printed Laws 35

CHAPTER III.
Convention of Delegates, Constitution Adopted - 55

CHAPTER IV.
Proclamation of May 28, 1828 67

CHAPTER V.
Treaty with the Cherokees, 1835 85

CHAPTER VI.
The Emigration from Georgia, Cost Detachment, Resolutions of Protest,
Political Differences, Civil War Averted 103

CHAPTER VII.

Act of Union Between the Eastern and Western Cherokees 121

CHAPTER VIII.
Treaty with the Cherokees, 1846. Schools Established. Old Settler Pay-
ments. Keetoowah Society Organized. Organization of Military
Companies. Cherokees Enter the Civil War. General Waite Sur-
renders - 137

CHAPTER IX.
Treaty with the Cherokees, 1866. Delawares Acquire Full Rights. Shaw-
nees Adopted by Cherokees. Land Sold to Osages. Officers' Sala-
ries Fixed. Land Donated to Masons. Lodges 167

CHAPTER X.

The Texas Cherokees 1820-30. Grant from Mexico. Grant from
Texas. Treaties. Expulsion 187

CHAPTER XL

/ Public School System Established. National Officials. Male and Female

Seminary. Graduates. Eleemosynary Institutions - _225

CHAPTER XII.

Missionary Activities, First Printing 247



12 HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS

CHAPTER XIII.
Officers of the Cherokee Nation, September 9, 1839, to June 30, 1908__26l

CHAPTER XIV.
Old Families and Their Genealogy 303

CHAPTER XV.
Continuation of Old Families __ — 335

CHAPTER XVI.

Continuation of Old Families 363

CHAPTER XVII.

Continuation of Old Families 374

CHAPTER XVIII.
Continuation of Old Families 399

CHAPTER XIX.
Continuation of Old Families - 419

CHAPTER XXi.
Redbird Smith. The Nig'hthawk Branch of the Keetoowah Organization.
Election of Chief Levi Gritts 477

CHAPTER XXI.
Continuation of Old Families 543




HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS




HON. ROBT. L. OWEN



14



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS




O. H. P. BREWER
Oliver Hazard Perry Brewer, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Hazard Perry and
Delilah (Vann) Brewer, was born in Canadian District on March 15, 1871. A member of
the senior class at the Male Seminary he was expelled about a couple of months before
graduation day for condemning the action of the principal of that school in unmercifully
beating one of the smaller boys. Brewer then attended Arlcansas University and gradu-
ated on December 6, 1803. He was elected Senator from Canadian District on August 5,
1901. Elected a memtier of the Cherokee National School Board and chosen as its presi-
dent in November. 1903. A democrat, he was elected delegate to the Oklahoma State
Constitutional Convention from District Number Seventy-seven on November 6, 1906.
Appointed postmaster of Muskogee in 1917.



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS




D. M. cFAULKNER



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS




(pPh.J^c:£>



(SHQU(JYAH)



CHEROKEE ALPHABET.

CHARACTERS SYSTEMATICALLY AR-
RANGED WITH THE SOUNDS



D




K


T


(0


0=


i


a




e


i





CO


V


S


©


I-


y


A


J


E


S*i


ki


ge


g'


RO


sa


g^


<*




P


J3


!<


r


Jl7


ba




he


hi


ho


bn


hv


W




(T


f


G


M


>q


la




le


li


lo


lu


Iv


r




(M


H


-b


y




ma




me


lui


mo


rau




6


t.


^1 (


h


Z


q


O


nti


nil a


ne nail ni


no


nn


nv


X




ci)


TP


tV


lS


8


qua




que


qni


quo


qau


quv


^


B


4


L


*


r


R


s


Ha


se


si


so


su


PV


L,


W


.* T>


J .T V


S


r


tia


ta


do t


di t


do


IIU


dv


6%


£


L





"H


^


p


dia


I la


tic


cle


tlo


tin


tlv


&




'V


h.


K


J


O


tH^




ise


isi


tso


t()U


tsv


G.




iSS


9


03


S


6


wa




we


wi


wn


wo


W V


oo




^


^


tl


rr


B


yi;




ye


yi


yo


yu


yv



SOUNDS REPRESENTED BY VOWELS

A as a in father, or short, ae a in rival.

E as a in hate, or short, as e in met.

I as i in pique, or short as i in pin.

O as in note, but aw approaching to aw in law.

U as 00 in moon, or sliori as u in pull.

V as u in buf, nasalized.

CONSONANT SOUNDS.
G, IS sounded bard approachioif to k; sometimen he
fore e, I, u and v, its gound is k. D has a sound be
iween the English a and i; pomeiimcs, before o, n,
and V its sound is I; wuen written before I and 8 the
same analogy prevails
All other letters as iu English.
Syllables beginning wiih g, except ga have
sometimes the power of k; syllables when
written with tl, except tIa sometimes vary to
dla.



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS



CHAPTER I
Origin, Religion, First Civilizatioyi. Early Wars

■^ OR four hundred years the question: "From whence came the In-
TT dian?" has been a recurrent problem. Four centuries of quest and
^"^ investigation have not brought the solution nearer and it's sanest an-
swer 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 in-
stantly transforme dthe 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 \vas so fresh that ii
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 Eu-
rope and America was submerged, leaving only Greenland, Iceland and a few
other elevated portions above sea level. The flora and fossil remains indicate
a previous continuity and the charts of the ocean bed show a well defined
plateau at only a comparatively shallow depth extending from Labrador to
Norway.

These seismic and climatic convulsions most prDbably very nearly de-
stroyed the cave dwellers of what had been the united continent of Euro-
merica. but on account of their peculiar hardiness a few survived to repopulate
the riven continent.

Aeons later, so late that even the historians of the early civilizations were
able to gather bits of legends concerning it, the fabled continent of Atlantis,
lying west of Spain and possibly joining southern Europe or Northern Africa
with South or Central America, sank with its mythical civilization and possibly
leaving parts of a homogenous people in America, North Africa and Eurasia.

Other people possibly came to western America from Asia and the South
Sea Islands. As the people became more numerous they commenced to
migrate. The Cherokees, with the soft accents of the underbills, which was
obviously the mother dialect, were evidently from a southern country, for the
pleasant fluent languages always come from a southern people in contradis-



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS

f thP north This tribe moved gradually to
tinction from the harsher tones o ^ ^^ ,„i„,i3, ohio, Virginia

the north and east as .s ^^■f"^^^^^^;^;^,^ showed artifactuary and thhnic
and Tennessee that have been e>cpl«red and sho ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

composition almost ■^-/'•- ,^^"f , ;;:S\norcrematory marks of this tribe
and handicraft. In each of these toe .^1 k ^^ ^^^.^^ ^^^ ^.^^^^

were found; the charred post ^^ ^^e apex or ^^^^ _^^^^^_ ^j^^^.

had been bound. The h^'-d'^"^^^^"^^^^''',;;'L t e n^ound had been added

century. , , r-i ov, r^nro-in and on the surface of the

• ,n the center of a mound ^^^ ^-h, G or^^ ^.d o ^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^

ground were found two copper plates Fh,. ten to > ^.^^.^^^ ^^_

Len inhabited ^y^i'-^^^-^tnlTnTericrYucat n and^he Levant.

signs to these are those of Central f "7''^' , , 3 t as far east as Dela-

mmmmm

that when they came to the black grass counu\

sippi. This probably has reference to the frost hue. coastland

The Cherokees came so suddenly and unexpectedly mto the coistlani
that the Senecas and many other tribes thought that they came froni the earth
and a led te,; -.cave men" or "the people that came from a hole m he
e ound ' The ancient Delawares, who called themselves "Lenm Lenape"
■The Peop e' ■ called the Cherokees, ■■Allegans." The Cherokees wer
known to the Shawnees, another Algonquin tribe as he Keeoow a . The
Shawnees called the Muskogees, "Swamp People" or "Humaskog. and this
foreign name was slightly changed and adopted by the Muskogees when they
formed their confederacy, but the Muskogees changed the word to Emmussuk,
of Medicine, referring to the "black wash" and ogee, meaning confederacy or
the confederacy of those who drank the black wash, a stringent emmenagogue
and chologague for purification purposes immediately preceding the green
corn dance and on other stated occasions. The Muskogees were probably
driven out of Mexico by the Aztecs, Toltecs or some other of the northwestern
tribal invasions of the ninth or preceding centuries. This is evidenced by the
customs and devices that were long retained by the Creeks.

The Cherokees were forced back from the vicinity of the Great Lakes
and Atlantic by assailants, led by the valorous Iroquois, until they reached the
southern Appalachian mountains, where they held all enemies at bay and ere-



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS



23



ated a neutral strip extending- north to Ohio river, nn which no tribe or war
nor dared settle with impunity.

_ When the earlv missionaries came amono- the Cherokees. they were as-
omshed at the simihiritv of the religious traditions of the Cherokees to the
b.bhcal accounts. I„ recountino- the religious views of the Cherokees thev
stated that rom tuKe immemorial the tribe had been divided in sentiment
That whde the greater part had been idolatrous, worshiping the sun, moon
.tars and other gods; a small portion denied that system and taught that there
were three benigs above, who created all things and will judge all men. That
hey fixed the time and manner of death. Their names were : U-ha-he-ta-qua
the great head of all power; A-ta-no-ti and U-squa-hu-la. These three beino-;
were said to be always unanimous in thought and action and always will be
Ihey s.t on three white seats above and are the only objects to which worship
and prayers should be directed. The Angels are their messengers and come
down to earth to attend to the affairs of men.

They claimed that Yehowa was the name of a great king. He was a
man and yet a spirit, a great and glorious being. His name was never to be
spoken in common talk. This great king commanded them to rest every sev-
enth day. They were told not to work on this day and that they should de-
vote it to talking about God\

Yehowa created the world in seven days at Nu-ta-te-qua or the first new
moon of autunm, with the fruits all ripe^^. God made the first man of red
clay and he was an Indian, and made woman of one of his ribs.''' All people
were Indians or red people before the flood. They had preachers and proph-
ets who taught the people to obey God and their parents. They warned the
people of the approaching flood, but said that the world would only be de-
stroyed by water once, and that later it would be destroyed by fire, when God
would send a shower of pitch and then a shower of tire' which would burn up
everything. They also taught that after death the good and the bad would
he separated, the good would take a path that would lead to happiness, where
It would always be light, but the bad would be urged along another path which
Hou.d lead to a deep chasm over which lay a pole with a do- at each end
liey would be urged on to this pole and the dogs, by movin- it, would throw
|hem off into the gulf of fire beneath. But if they' got over they would be
transfixed with red hot bars of iron and thus be tormented forever>

A little before the flood men grew worse and worse. At length God sent
a messenger from above to warn the people of the flood unless^hey lurred
from their wickedness. God then told a man to make a house that would
swim, take his family and some of the dit^'erent kinds of animals into it' Th-
rain commenced and continued for forty days and forty nights, while the water
at the same time gushed out of the ground, so that as" much came up as came
down from the clouds".

The house was raised upon the waters and borne away. At lenoth the
man sent out a raven, and after some time, sent a dove, which came back with
a leaf in her mouth. Soon after this the man found the house was resting
on 01 y ground on the top of a mountain. This being in the spring of the year



24 HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS

tlic lamily and all the animals left the house and the family descended to the
botton of the mountain and commenced their farming operations'.

The Cherokees detailed to the missionaries parallels to practically every
one of the stories of the Bible. They called Abraham, Aquahami; Moses was
called Wasi. These accounts were so circumstantial that many investig-ators
were led to believe that the Cherokees were of Semitic origin. But it is
palpable that they had been told these stories by Priber during his short stay
among them and that they had forgotten their origin within seventy years and
attributed it to legends that had descended from the mythical Kutani and their
primal religion. On account of the fact that the Cherokees thought that the
missionaries were bringing back to them their old religion, it was a compara-
tively easy task to convert them from a tribe of savages to a Christian nation
within the comparatively short period of thirty years. When they were con-
verted, they, at the behest of the missionaries cast aside every vestige of their
ancient customs to such an extent that not any of their mythology has ever
been preserved, even among those of the tribe that speak the Cherokee lan-
guage preferably.

On May 10, 1540, De Soto, according to the historiographer, "a gentle-
man of Elvas, '■ entered the province of Chelaque, which was most pro-
bably one of the Underbill settlements, as the use of the sound of the
letter 'i" was universal with them in preference to the letter "r" which
was occasionally used by the Overhills, notably in the word oochera in con-
tradistinction to oochela, as used by the Underbills. After traveling a north-
ward course through their country he came to Xualla, probably Qualla, an 1
then turning westward the Spaniards traversed the entire Cherokee country,
visiting Canasauga on the way.

In the decade of 1666-1676 an exploring party sent out from Appomailox
by Sir William Berkeley, Governor of Virginia, came to some abandoned fields
and settlements located on a river flowing to the westward when their Indian
guides refused to proceed, allieging that not far away dwelt a powerful tribe
that never suffered strangers who discovered their towns to return alive'.
This was in the vicinity of the Cherokees, and was thought to allude to them.

Alexander Dougherty, a Virginia trader, was the first white man to marry
a Cherokee, the date was 1690.- The Cherokees in concert with the Mus-
kogee towns of Alabama, Abekas and Conchartys were said to have been in
league to attack the French in 1708 but probably did not do so.

Two hundred and eighteen Cherokees accompanied the colonists under
Colonel Barnwell in 1712 in the subjugation of the Tuscaroras, an Iroquoian
tribe that lived adjacent to and southeast of the Cherokees. Following the
success of this expedition, the tribe then moved northward and joined the
Iroquoian confederacy on the Great Lakes. Three years later the Cherokees
joined the Yamassees, Appalachians and Creeks against the colonists, but they
were defeated and the Yamassees and Appalachian tribes were destroyed.

In January 1716 the Cherokees killed the Frenchmen de Ramsey and de
. .ongueie, the latter being a member of the illustrious de Moyne family that
founded Biloxi and New Orleans and furnished the first two governors of
Louisiana, both of whom were the paternal uncles of young de Lonsjueil. whose



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS l5

father was Governor of Canada. In reprisal for the death of his son, the Gov-
ernor induced the Iroquois to attack and burn two of the Cherolcee towns.

The estimated popuhition of the Cherokee country in 1715 was eleven
thousand, in 1735 fifteen thousand. In 173 8 the ravages of smallpox which
was a hitherto unknown disease with them, reduced their number by one half,
later reports gave their population for 1875, 10,717; ISSo, 21,920; 1890,
28,000; 1900, 32,376 and 1910, 38,300.

De Iberville established Biloxi as the capital of Louisiana in 1690, it was
moved to Mobile in 1702, which was fortified nine years later, and was finally
transferred to New Orleans in 17 18. Fort Toulouse, among the Creeks, Fort
Rosalie among the Natchez and other fortified stations among the Chickasaws
and Choctaws were established' with the consent of those tribes by the French
in 1714 or earlier, and four years later the ambitious promotions of Law
threatened to found a formidable French colony in the lower Mississippi valley.
Of all the tribes east of the great river only the Cherokees remained friendly to
the English and in order to counteract the French influence. Governor Nichol-
son of South Carolina concluded a treaty of peace and commerce with them
in 172 1 by which their boundaries were defined. This was their first treaty
with the whites.

In 1729, Sir Alexander Gumming, of England, was led, by a dream of his
wife's, to undertake a voyage to America with the object of visiting the Chero-
kees. He sailed on September I3th, arrived at Charlestown on December
5th, and on March 1 1, 1730 began his journey to the Cherokee country. At
Keowee, three hundred miles from Charlestown and which was the first im-
portant location on the road, locally called the trace from Charlestown to the
Cherokee nation, he met Ludovic Grant, a Scotch trader from Tellico, who had
lived there since 1720, had married a Cherokee woman and spoke their lang-
uage. He informed Grant that he wanted to visit the Cherokees and prevail-
ed on him to accompany him on the trip. They stopped at the residence of
Joseph Baker, a trader at Keowee and that evening attended a meeting of the
headmen at the townhouse, where the Indians met every night. Sir Alexander
made the first of his stereotyped addresses in which he stated "that he was one
of the Great King George's children but was not sent either by the Great King
or any of his Governors — that he was no public person and only came for his
own private satisfaction to see their country, and that he would drink th.;
King's health hoping that all persons would pledge him, which he accordingly
did upon his knee desiring those present to follow his example He carried
with him into the townhouse, his gun, cutlass and a pair of pistols; upon one of
the traders telling him that the Indians never came there armed and that they
did not like to see others do so, he answered, with a wild loi)k, that his inten-
tion was, "if any of the Indians had refused the King's health I would have
taken a brand from out the fire, that burns in the middle of the room and set
fire to the house. 1 would have guarded the door and put to death every one
that endeavored to make his escape, so that they might have all been con-
sumed in the flames."'

On the next morning he departed from Keowee on a trip of over one
hundred and fifty miles into the center of the nation, during- which time hj



26 HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS

never stopped for more than one night at a place. When any of the Chero-
kees met him, they would, as was their custom, sliake nanas with him, upon
which he would take down their names in a note book, saying that he had
made a "friend of him."

Sir Alexander was told of the ceremonies that were used in making a "be-
loved man," or ouka; of which there were many in the nation, the word was
ordinarily translated into English as "king" and the cap of red or yellow dyed
opossum skin was generally spoken of as a crown. When Sir Alexander ar-
rived at Neguasse he expressed a desire to see one of the crowns and upon
being shown one, requested that he be allowed to take it to England and pre-
sent it to the King. In an article in the London Daily Journal of October 8,
1730. he made claims to have been made a chief of the tribe and that he was
further allowed to name Mogtog of Tellico as their emperor. He told the In-
dians he would soon return to England and that if any of them would like to
accompany him he would take them. Seven Cherokees signified their willing-
ne.ss to go, two of whom were Attacullaculla and Oconostota. They arrived
at Charlestown on April 13, 1730 and on June 5th they landed at Dover,
England, on the English man-of-war Fox. On the 22nd they were presented
to the King. Sir Alexander laid the opossum skin "crown" at his feet and the
Indians added four scalps and eagle tail feathers to the tribute. This audience
developed the real reason of his activities which were to follow in, a degree, the
machinations of Crozat and Law in France. Among his schemes, was one
for paying off eighty millions of the national debt by settling three million
Jewish families in the Cherokee mountains to cultivate the land, and for re-
lieving the American colonies from taxation by establishing numerous banks
and a local currency, but he could find no one who would take his scheme^
seriously. In a letter from South Carolina bearing date of June 12th and pub-
lished in the Edinburgh Weekly Journal of September 16, 1830 Sir Alexander
was accused of having defrauded the settlers out of large sums of money and
other property by means of fictitious promissory notes. He did not answer
these charges and his chimera collapsed. The Indian delegation was loaded
with presents by the government and returned to Charlestown.

The Principal Chiefs of the Cherokees have been: 1736 Moytog; Atta-
cullaculla, died 1778; Oconostota, died 1785; Tassel, killed in July 1788
Hanging Neaughe, Blackfox; Pathkiller; William Hicks, was chief for only one
year, 1827; John Ross 1828 to 1866; William Potter Ross, Reverend Lewis
Downing, William Potter Ross, Reverend Ochalata, Dennis Wolf BushyheaJ,
Joel Bryan Mayes. Thomas Mitchell Buffington, Colonel Johnson Harris." Sam-
uel Hou.ston Mayes, Thomas Mitchell Buffington and William Charles Rogers.
The Principal Chiefs of the Westeren Cherokees were, consecutively: John
Bowles 1795-18 13; Takatoka 1813-1818; Tahlonteeskee, John Jolly, John
Brown and John Rogers. The latter was deposed in 1839 and his valuable
property at Grand Saline was confiscated by Chief John Ross. John Roger,
was the grandfather of William Charles Rogers, the last Chief of the Cherokees.

Governor Glenn of South Carolina concluded a treaty with the Chero-
kees on November 24, 1855 by which that colony acquired five million five



HISTORY OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS 27

hundred twent}' six thousand four hundred acres and the right to construct and
garrison three forts in the Cherokee country, and soon afterwards the Govern-
or built Fort Prince George within gunshot of Keowee and Fort Moore, onj



Online LibraryEmmet StarrHistory of the Cherokee Indians and their legends and folk lore → online text (page 1 of 73)