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Cherokee Indians

by William L. Anderson and Ruth Y. Wetmore, 2006
Additional research provided by John L. Bell.

Part i: Overview; Part ii: Cherokee origins and first European contact; Part iii: Disease, destruction, and the loss of Cherokee land; Part iv: Revolutionary War, Cherokee defeat and additional land cessions; Part v: Trail of Tears and the creation of the Eastern Band of Cherokees; Part vi: Federal recognition and the fight for Cherokee rights; Part vii: Modern-day Cherokee life and culture; Part viii: References and additional resources

Part i: An overview

Goingback Chiltoskey carving animal figures from wood, 1967. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.Cherokee Indians once occupied an area encompassing approximately 140,000 square miles that became parts of North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. The Cherokee thrived in North Carolina well into the late eighteenth century, but as Euro-American settlers steadily moved into and near Cherokee lands, sharp conflicts arose between Cherokees and whites and between Cherokees themselves, as leaders with competing claims to speak for the tribe secured treaties and formed other agreements with white settlers that were not acknowledged by all Cherokee people. In 1838-39, the U.S. government forcibly removed the Cherokee from their lands in North Carolina, leading them on the infamous Trail of Tears to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). A small number of Cherokee people successfully resisted removal, however, by claiming North Carolina citizenship and by maintaining the right to remain on lands they owned. These people and their descendants were recognized in 1868 by the federal government as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. In the early 2000s these Cherokee, living on the Qualla Boundary in the western part of the state, were the only Indian tribe in North Carolina fully recognized by the federal government. The tribe has more than 13,000 enrolled members.

 

 

Keep reading > Part ii: Cherokee origins and first European contact keep reading

Comments

Comment: 

My Great Grandmother (Annie Tucker was born in 1883, a black Indian), in NC. Can U find a birth certificate and address?

Comment: 

Dear Leonzo,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and asking your question.

By separate email I'm going to connect with librarians at the Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina.  They will be able to help direct you to appropriate agencies and information resources for your question.

Good luck and best wishes,

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

Dow you anything about the mohawk tribes

Comment: 

Try this article in the online Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/mohawk.

You may also wish to contact your local public library for additional resources.

Good luck in your research!

Michelle Underhill, Digital Information Management Program, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

i love the cherokee indains we go there alot.

Comment: 

I have cherokee blood and I would like to know who my Indian guide would be. I was born in October. My sister said hers' was a poppit flower, she was born in Judly.Is there such a thing by when you were born?

Comment Response:

Thank you for your inquiry about the Cherokee Indians. I have forwarded your question to References Services (http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/contact.html), and someone will be in touch with you soon about your questions. Good luck in your research.

Emily Horton, Government & Heritage Library

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Educator Resources on North Carolina American Indians

NC Humanities Council, 2009 - 2011. "Teaching about North Carolina American Indians." Online at Learn NC.

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