Cherokee History

5279 WordsJun 16, 201822 Pages
Cherokee History According to some accounts, before the coming of the Europeans, the Cherokee were forced to migrate to the southern Appalachians from the northwest after a defeat at the hands of the Iroquois and Delaware. Some Delaware traditions also support this, but the Iroquois have no memories of such a conflict. While there is probably some historical basis, it is difficult to imagine a tribe as large and powerful as the Cherokee being forced to move anywhere, although they may have lost some territory in the north to the Susquehannock, Erie, or Delaware. Considering their language differences with other Iroquian groups, the Cherokee probably have been a distinct group for a considerable period. It seems more…show more content…
Contact became continuous with the founding of the Carolina colonies. Virginian Abraham Wood tried unsuccessfully to maintain his trade monopoly with the Cherokee and sent two men, James Needham and Gabriel Arthur, to the Cherokee Overhill capital at Echota in 1673, but the following year a group of Cherokee met with rival Carolina traders along the upper Savannah River. A treaty with South Carolina followed in 1684 beginning a steady trade in deerskins and Indian slaves. Although contact was limited initially to white traders, important changes began to occur within the Cherokee as a result. Leadership shifted from priest to warrior, and warriors became hunters for profit. Increasing dependence on trade goods also drew the Cherokee to the British as allies in their wars against the French and Spanish between 1689 and 1763. Cherokee relations with their neighbors were not always friendly before contact. They raided Spanish settlements in Florida during 1673 and fought the coastal tribes of the Carolinas, but European trade and competition aggravated these rivalries and destabilized the region. By 1680 most of the tribes had gotten their first firearms, and the Cherokee had fortified their larger villages. Constant fighting with the erupted in the east followed by a growing friction with the Creek and Choctaw to the south. To the west there was a traditional hostility with the Chickasaw (also a British ally). To the north, the struggle
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