Myths of The Cherokee PDF In English

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Myths of The Cherokee By James Mooney Book PDF Free Download

The Traditionary Period

The Cherokee were the mountaineers of the South, holding the entire Allegheny region from the interlocking head-streams of the Kanawha and Tennessee southward almost to the site of Atlanta.

And from the Blue Ridge on the east to the Cumberland range on the west, a territory comprising an area of about 40,000 square miles, now included in the states of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.

Their principal towns were upon the headwaters of the Savannah, Hiwassee, and Tuckasegee, and along the whole length of Little Tennessee to its junction with the mainstream.

Itsâtĭ, or Echota, on the south bank of Little Tennessee, a few miles above the mouth of Tellico River, in Tennessee, was commonly considered the capital of the Nation.

As the advancing whites pressed upon them from the east and northeast the more exposed towns were destroyed or abandoned and new settlements were formed lower down Tennessee and on the upper branches of the Chattahoochee and the Coosa.

As is always the case with tribal geography, there were no fixed boundaries, and on every side, the Cherokee frontiers were contested by rival claimants.

In Virginia, there is reason to believe, the tribe was held in check in the early days by the Powhatan and the Monacan.

On the east and southeast, the Tuscarora and Catawba were their inveterate enemies, with hardly even a momentary truce within the historic period; and evidence goes to show that the Sara or Cheraw was full as hostile.

In the south, there was hereditary war with the Creeks, who claimed nearly the whole of upper Georgia as theirs by original possession.

But who was being gradually pressed down toward the Gulf until, through the mediation of the United States, a treaty was finally made fixing the boundary between the two tribes along a line running about due west from the mouth of Broad River on the Savannah?

Toward the west, the Chickasaw on the lower Tennessee and the Shawano on the Cumberland repeatedly turned back the tide of Cherokee invasion from the rich central valleys.

While the powerful Iroquois in the far north set up an almost unchallenged claim of paramount lordship from the Ottawa river of Canada southward at least to the Kentucky River.

On the other hand, by their defeat of the Creeks and expulsion of the Shawano, the Cherokee made good the claim which they asserted to all the lands from upper Georgia to the Ohio River, including the rich hunting grounds of Kentucky.

Holding as they did the great mountain barrier between the English settlements on the coast and the French or Spanish garrisons along the Mississippi and Ohio.

Their geographic position, no less than their superior number, would have given them the balance of power in the South but for a looseness of tribal organization in striking contrast to the compactness of the Iroquois League.

For more than a century the French power was held in check in the north.

The English, indeed, found it convenient to recognize certain chiefs as supreme in the tribe.

But the only real attempt to weld the whole Cherokee Nation into a political unit was that made by the French agent, Priber, about 1736, which failed from its premature discovery by the English.

We frequently find their kingdom divided against itself, their very number preventing unity of action, while still giving them importance above that of neighboring tribes.

AuthorJames Mooney
Language English
No. of Pages628

Myths of The Cherokee PDF Free Download

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