History, heritage and highlights of the numerous individuals, places and
events of the Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), and Cherokee Nation (aka Western Band or Oklahoma Cherokee).
Furthermore, this page, by ranking, is perhaps considered the best place to locate and study Cherokee Indian history.
|Cherokee Indian and Child (undated)
The Cherokee Nation is the largest
of the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast and is a people of Iroquoian lineage and migrated to the Southeast from the
Great Lakes Region. At their
height of population and power, nearly 100,000 Cherokees controlled approximately 140,000 square miles throughout eight
present-day southern states. The land offered food in abundance, materials for shelter, clothing and utensils; beauty still
vivid today, and herbs to treat every known illness until the Europeans arrived. Presently, there are three federally
recognized Cherokee tribes: Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma; Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina;
and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Oklahoma.
|Original Cherokee Territory and Land Map
|Cherokee Indians (ca. 1896)
|Cherokee Indian History. (NARA RG 75)
|Tsali (aka Charlie)
|Map showing present-day lands of the Cherokee Indians
|1835 Treaty of New Echota
Nation: A History. Description: Conley's
book, "The Cherokee Nation: A History" is an eminently readable, concise but thoughtful account of the Cherokee people
from prehistoric times to the present day. The book is formatted in such a way as to make it an ideal text for high school
and college classes. At the end of each chapter is a source list and suggestions for further reading. Also at the end of each
chapter is an unusual but helpful feature- a glossary of key terms. The book contains interesting maps, photographs and drawings,
along with a list of chiefs for the various factions of the Cherokee tribe and nation. Continued below...
In addition to being easily understood, a principal strength of the book is that the author questions
some traditional beliefs and sources about the Cherokee past without appearing to be a revisionist or an individual with an
agenda in his writing. One such example is when Conley tells the story of Alexander Cuming, an Englishman who took seven Cherokee
men with him to England in 1730. One of the Cherokee, Oukanekah, is recorded as having said to
the King of England: "We look upon the Great King George as the Sun, and as our Father, and upon ourselves as his children.
For though we are red, and you are white our hands and hearts are joined together..." Conley wonders if Oukanekah actually
said those words and points out that the only version we have of this story is the English version. There is nothing to indicate
if Oukanekah spoke in English or Cherokee, or if his words were recorded at the time they were spoken or were written down
later. Conley also points out that in Cherokee culture, the Sun was considered female, so it is curious that King George would
be looked upon as the Sun. The "redness" of Native American skin was a European perception. The Cherokee would have described
themselves as brown. But Conley does not overly dwell on these things. He continues to tell the story using the sources available.
The skill of Conley in communicating his ideas never diminishes. This book is highly recommended as a good place to start
the study of Cherokee history. It serves as excellent reference material and belongs in the library of anyone serious about
the study of Native Americans.
Viewing: The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy (2006), Starring: James Earl Jones and Wes Studi; Director: Chip Richie, Steven R. Heape.
Description: The Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy is an engaging two
hour documentary exploring one of America's darkest periods in which President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830 consequently
transported Native Americans of the Cherokee Nation to the bleak and unsupportive Oklahoma
Territory in the year 1838. Deftly presented by the talents of Wes Studi
("Last of the Mohicans" and "Dances with Wolves"), James Earl Jones, and James Garner, The Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy
also includes narrations of famed celebrities Crystal Gayle, Johnt Buttrum, Governor Douglas Wilder, and Steven R. Heape.
Cherokee Nation members which add authenticity to the production… A welcome DVD addition to personal, school, and community
library Native American history collections. The Trail Of Tears: Cherokee Legacy is strongly recommended for its informative
and tactful presentation of such a tragic and controversial historical occurrence in 19th century American history.
The Eastern Band of Cherokees, 1819-1900, by John R. Finger. Review from
University of Tennessee Press:
This volume presents the story of the Eastern Band of Cherokees during the nineteenth century. This group – the tribal
remnant in North Carolina that escaped removal in the 1830’s
– found their fortitude and resilience continually tested as they struggled with a variety of problems, including the
upheavals of the Civil War and Reconstruction, internal divisiveness, white encroachment on their lands, and a poorly defined
relationship with the state and federal governments. Yet despite such stresses and a selective adaptation in the face of social
and economic changes, the Eastern Cherokees retained a sense of tribal identity as they stood at the threshold of the twentieth
century. Continued below…
scholars, like most Cherokees, have tended to follow the Trail of Tears west with scarcely a backward glance at the more than
1,000 Indians who stayed behind in the North Carolina
mountains. In this pathbreaking book, John R. Finger combs federal, state, and local archives to tell the story of these forgotten
of Southern History
work is a significant contribution to the literature on this long-ignored group….Finger works [his] sources well and
out of them has produced a narrative that is readable and that puts the Eastern Band of Cherokees as a tribal entity into
a clear, historical perspective.”
John R. Finger
is professor of history at the University
of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Reading: Trail of Tears: The
Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Description: One of the many ironies
of U.S. government policy toward Indians
in the early 1800s is that it persisted in removing to the West those who had most successfully adapted to European values.
As whites encroached on Cherokee land, many Native leaders responded by educating their children, learning English, and developing
plantations. Such a leader was Ridge, who had fought with Andrew Jackson against the British. Continued below...
As he and other
Cherokee leaders grappled with the issue of moving, the land-hungry Georgia legislators, with the aid of Jackson, succeeded
in ousting the Cherokee from their land, forcing them to make the arduous journey West on the infamous "Trail of Tears." ...A treasured addition for the individual remotely interested in American Indian history
as well as general American history.
Recommended Reading: James
Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (768 pages). Description: This incredible volume collects the works of the early anthropologist James Mooney
who did extensive studies of the Eastern Cherokee Nation (those who remained in Appalachia) at the turn of the century. The introduction is by Mooney's biographer
and gives a nice overview of both Mooney and the Cherokee Nation, as well as notes on Mooney's sources. It then goes straight
into the first book "Myths of the Cherokee", which starts with a history of the Cherokee Nation. Continued below...
It progresses from the earliest days, through de Soto, the Indian wars,
Tecumseh, the Trail of Tears, the Civil War and ultimately to 1900. Continuing, it explores Cherokee mythology and storytellers.
This book is truly monumental in its scope and covers origin myths, animal stories, Kanati and Selu, the Nunnehi and Yunwi'Tsundi
(little people), Tlanuwa (thunderbirds), Uktena (horned water snake), interactions with other Nations and numerous other myths,
as well as local legends from various parts of the Southeast (North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, etc). There is also a section
of herbal lore. Mooney closes with a glossary of Cherokee terms (in the Latin alphabet rather than the Sequoya Syllabary)
and abundant notes. We advance to the next book, Sacred Formulaes of the Cherokee, which covers a number of magical texts
amongst the Cherokee Nation. This book does a wonderful job talking about such manuals, mentioning how they were obtained,
going into depth about the Cherokee worldview and beliefs on magic, concepts of disease, healing ceremonies, practices such
as bleeding, rubbing and bathing, Shamanism, the use of wording, explanations of the formulae and so forth. It then gives
an amazingly varied collection of Cherokee formulae, first in the original Cherokee (again, in the Latin alphabet) and then
translated into English. Everything from healing to killing witches, to medicine for stick ball games, war and warfare. Both
books include numerous photographs and illustrations of famous historical figures, Cherokee manuscripts and petroglyphs and
a map of Cherokee lands. Again, this is a truly massive book and even today is considered one of the essential writings of
Cherokee religion. Anyone with an interest in the subject, whether anthropologist, descendant of the Cherokee or just a curious
person interested in Native culture, should definitely give this book a read. I highly recommend it.
Reading: A Cherokee Encyclopedia (Hardcover).
Description: A Cherokee Encyclopedia is a quick reference guide for many of the people, places, and things connected to the
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees, as well as for the other officially recognized Cherokee groups, the Cherokee Nation and
the Eastern Band of Cherokees. Continued below...
From A Cherokee
Encyclopedia: "Crowe, Amanda: Amanda Crowe was born in 1928 in the Qualla Cherokee community in North Carolina. She was drawing
and carving at the age of 4 and selling her work at age 8. She received her MFA from the Chicago Arts Institute in 1952 and
then studied in Mexico
at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel under a John Quincy Adams fellowship. She had been away from home for 12 years when
the Cherokee Historical Association invited her back to teach art and woodcarving at the Cherokee High School. . . ."
Richard Fields was Chief of the Texas Cherokees from 1821 until his death in 1827. Assisted by Bowl and others, he spent much
time in Mexico City, first with the Spanish government and later
with the government of Mexico,
trying to acquire a clear title to their land. They also had to contend with rumors started by white Texans regarding their
intended alliances with Comanches, Tawakonis, and other Indian tribes to attack San Antonio. . . ."
About the Author:
Robert J. Conley is the author of over seventy books.
The Wordcraft Circle
of Native Writers and Storytellers named him Wordcrafter of the Year for 1997. He has won numerous Spur Awards from the Western
Writers of America and was presented with the Cherokee Medal of Honor in 2000. An enrolled member of the United Keetoowah
Band of Cherokees, Conley lives with his wife, Evelyn, in Norman, Oklahoma.
Cherokee Proud, Second Edition, by Tony Mack McClure. Description: Absolutely
the "Bible" of Cherokee Genealogy. New, 336 pages, 2nd Edition. If the information in this remarkable new book doesn't lead
a person to proof of their Cherokee roots, nothing can! “It is an A-to-Z on organizing and locating the requirements
/ qualifications for membership.” Continued below...
Are you Cherokee? Are you the individual that has always been told that you
are a Cherokee, but have no facts or records to prove it? To claim Cherokee membership means that you must prove it –
you must have the facts, so toss the doubt away, get the facts, and claim what is rightfully your heritage by blood quantum.
Now, are you ready to prove that you are a Cherokee? It’s not difficult if you take the time to locate the facts. Included
are proven resources for tracing your family genealogy, the family tree, roots, bloodline, and for researching your ancestors
to prove that you meet the blood requirements (qualifications) for Cherokee membership and tribal enrollment. Those that qualify
as “American Indians are American Indians” and are entitled to the rights and benefits of the tribe! Also includes
a proven “how to dos” written by the foremost expert in Cherokee history, genealogy and heritage. Cherokee
membership is not like joining a gym or paying dues, it’s your blood, so claim it. Are you remotely interested
in knowing that you are a “Cherokee Indian” or are you the individual that enjoys genealogy? Do you want to locate
and preserve your Native American ancestry? Finding information about ancestors for genealogy and heritage is also a lot of
fun. Moreover, you are preserving your own family history and heritage with your relatives and loved ones for generations
and generations… Take a look at exactly what is required to locate and organize and present your information to
prove that you meet the qualifications as a member of the Cherokee tribe. Cherokee Proud, by Tony McClure, is referred to as the "Bible for Cherokee
Genealogy." Cherokee Proud has also been rated a SOLID FIVE STARS by
every person that has read and rated it. To see if you meet the 'Cherokee qualification and requirement for membership',
then look no further -- purchase Cherokee Proud. Read the reviews and
see what people and organizations are saying about it.
is the very best book I have ever seen on tracing Cherokee genealogy." -- RICHARD PANGBURN, acclaimed author of Indian Blood,
Vol. I & II found in most libraries
loosens his journalistic standards for portions of this book which reach him too emotionally. Understood. Fascinating and
Among the people of this country are individuals in whose blood runs the proud heritage of a noble and resilient people whose
ways and talents rank with the finest civilizations the world has known. They are the " Tsalagi ". . . the Cherokee. This
book will help you learn if you are one of them. -- BOOK READER
of Cherokee Proud are exceptional - valuable information that can be used by so many readers and researchers who have Native
American (Cherokee) ancestry." -- DON SHADBURN, Famous Georgia historian and noted author of Unhallowed Intrusion and Cherokee
Planters of Georgia
guide is the best yet!" -- LAWTON CONSTITUTION
About the Author: Well known and acclaimed Cherokee author Dr. Tony Mack McClure,
a native of Tennessee, is a certified member of the Native American Journalists Association, Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers
and Storytellers, and Committeeman for the Tennessee Chapter of the National Trail of Tears Association. His work has appeared
in numerous magazines, over 250 newspapers, on all major television networks and many cable systems.
Recommended Viewing: 500 Nations (372 minutes). 500 Nations is an eight-part documentary
(more than 6 hours and that's not including its interactive CD-ROM filled with extra features) that explores the history of
the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times through the
period of European contact and colonization, to the end of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains Indians of North
America. 500 Nations utilizes historical texts, eyewitness accounts, pictorial
sources and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which flourished prior to contact with
Western civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations' desperate attempts to retain
their way of life against overwhelming odds. Continued below...
Mention the word "Indian," and
most will conjure up images inspired by myths and movies: teepees, headdresses, and war paint; Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Crazy
Horse, and their battles (like Little Big Horn) with the U.S. Cavalry. Those stories of the so-called "horse nations" of the
Great Plains are all here, but so is a great deal more. Using impressive computer imaging, photos, location film footage and
breathtaking cinematography, interviews with present-day Indians, books and manuscripts, museum artifacts, and more, Leustig
and his crew go back more than a millennium to present an fascinating account of Indians, including those (like the Maya and
Aztecs in Mexico and the Anasazi in the Southwest) who were here long before white men ever reached these shores.
the arrival of Europeans like Columbus, Cortez, and DeSoto that marked the beginning of the end for the Indians. Considering
the participation of host Kevin Costner, whose film Dances with Wolves was highly sympathetic to the Indians, it's no bulletin
that 500 Nations also takes a compassionate view of the multitude of calamities--from alcohol and disease to the corruption
of their culture and the depletion of their vast natural resources--visited on them by the white man in his quest for land
and money, eventually leading to such horrific events as the Trail of Tears "forced march," the massacre at Wounded Knee,
and other consequences of the effort to "relocate" Indians to the reservations where many of them still live. Along the way,
we learn about the Indians' participation in such events as the American Revolution and the War of 1812, as well as popular
legends like the first Thanksgiving (it really happened) and the rescue of Captain John Smith by Pocahontas (it probably didn't).
This page offers numerous resources to: Cherokee Indians, History
of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma Indian Territory, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Nation: North Carolina Membership Requirements,
Native Americans, Indians, Tribal Qualifications, Cherokee Tribe, and Tribes List.