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Historic Map: The Cherokee Nation in 1810

Historic Map:  The Cherokee Nation in 1810

There are a series of maps of the Southern Highlands, beginning in 1785, however, this 1810 map by Sturges has the highest resolution and shows all the Cherokee villages and hamlets, no matter how small they were.   None of the maps between 1738 and 1838 mention an Indian village named  either Taliwa or Long Swamp Creek.   This Sturges map does label Long Swamp Creek.  Below is a detail of the map, in which you can see Long Swamp Creek slightly left and above the center.

1810-Cherokee-LongSwamp

There was another bit of surprising information obtained from examining the historic maps.  None of the Cherokee villages in the eastern and southern part of the nation had Cherokee names!  They were either Creek or English words.  Note the village on the right of the map above and the center of the map below.   In this map, it is called Chota.  In later maps it is called Frog Town.   Chota is the Creek word for frog.    The most common  Cherokee word for frog is walasi.

Also note the word Noccassee on the right above and the center below.   That is the Anglicization of the Creek word for bear.  This is quite strange, but what I found was that in the 1840s, after the Cherokees were gone from Georgia, white settlers or mapmakers?  changed Mount Noccassee to the Cherokee word for bear, Yonah.  Chota Gap or Frogtown Gap was also changed to its Cherokee name of Walasi-yi .    What has become obvious is that most of the “Native American History” kids are exposed in public classrooms was created by white settlers after the Indians were gone.

1810-Sturges-Nocose

 

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

32 Comments

    • The book you cited was published in 2007. Virtually, none of the author’s (John Goff) translations of Native American words are accurate. He merely replicated folklore.

      The paragraph mixes accounts of people crossing Long Swamp Creek with Colonel Paulus Willit’s journey through new Cherokee Nation in 1790 on his way to convince the Creeks from prosecuting a war against the State of Georgia. The Creeks had just found out that they had been swindled by Georgia in 1786. They signed a treaty giving away some land in NE journey, but Georgia turned around and gave the Cherokees all of NW Georgia. Willit passed two recently established Creek villages, Hontawekee and Neweconahiti on the Etowah River, who thought they had just moved from ceded lands into Creek territory. They had to move farther south, the next year when they found out that even the Etowah River was now in the Cherokee Nation. Their presence on the Etowah River was so brief that their names never appeared on any maps of the Cherokee Nation, but do appear on maps of the Creek Nation later on.

      Reply
  1. ashlilin.al@gmail.com'

    Fun fact.. A carved statue of the “famous Nacy Ward” was to be placed on her grave, but the carver found himself needing money, and so he sold in to a family member. It was placed atop the grave of his deceased European daughter in Arnwine cemetery, Grainger County Tn.. The statue is a great mystery here today, many have wondered why a statue of a clearly native woman would be in a all white family cemetery, it was stolen a while back and never relocated.. White folks are crazy, don’t worry, im predominantly caucasian, I can say that 🙂

    Reply
    • I am pretty sure that Nancy Ward was at least half Caucasian herself. Apparently, she was in some battle somewhere, but the only tribe that the Cherokees were fighting in 1755 were the Shawnees . . . who certainly couldn’t have mustered an army of 2,000 warriors anywhere. The Shawnee villages were small and scattered all over the place.

      Reply
      • ashlilin.al@gmail.com'

        Well, Nacy Ward is famous around here for warning the white folks of a coming Cherokee attack on fort watauga.. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s what I was taught… In fact the statue of her mentioned watauga. There are photos of the statue and engraving on Google images.

        Reply
      • debrasbuddy@yahoo.com'

        She was…she chose the side of her white lover over the Cherokee…

        Reply
    • That map was based on the assumption that the ruins found on Long Swamp Creek were from the Colonial Period and Cherokee and was published 50 years after all the Indians were gone. As I mentioned in an earlier article, early white settlers saw ruins on Long Swamp Creek and thought that they were a Cherokee village. You can see on an actual map from when the Cherokees were there, that the main road in the Cherokee Nation crossed Long Swamp Creek, but there was no village.

      Reply
  2. sqdncertrucker@windstream.net'

    It is not surprising that any particular village is not on a particular map. If you haven’t noticed, very few Cherokee, Shawnee or creek towns were permanent settlements. I can think of several other examples. the one closest to where I live is “Testatee.”

    Reply
    • Testatee is actually an Itsate Creek word. Anytime you see a te or tee on the end, that’s the Itza Maya suffix for people. Testa were a remnant tribe from South Carolina.

      Reply
    • Testatee is actually an Itsate Creek word. Anytime you see a te or tee on the end, that’s the Itza Maya suffix for people. Testa were a remnant tribe from South Carolina.

      Reply
    • All Hawkins says is that there was the remains of a some sort of village near Long Swamp Creek on the west side of the Etowah River. Actually those mounds belonged to a large town. Its archaeological site number is 9CK1 and it was excavated by the famous archaeologist Arthur Kelly. He found no Cherokee or Historic Period artifacts there. This means that there was no town there in the 1700s, either Historic Period Creek or Cherokee.

      Read what Luke Tate says in The History of Pickens County. The Tates were one of the original white families in Pickens County and settled on Long Swamp Creek. They founded the Georgia Marble Company. Tate said that early settlers saw the ruins of mounds and assumed that it was a Cherokee village. They called that village site Long Swamp Creek, but Tate had found no evidence that there was ever a Cherokee village there.

      Reply
      • janjonesbarker@gmail.com'

        Richard,
        Interesting approach to the question about the Cherokees and the settlement at Long Swamp Creek. There is a two volume set of books on Georgia History published in 1816 which clearly documents a settlement at the mouth of Long Swamp Creek which was headed by Colonel Thomas Waters. He had collected negroes, horses and other plunder. We are talking about several hundred men who were British loyalists. They would be at Long Swamp and the area surrounding the settlement until General Pickens was approached by several chiefs who suggested a treaty. On the 17th, two hundred warriors with 12 chiefs and the 300 or so of Pickens men met at Long Swamp.
        While this is not a town in the sense we think of today, it most definitely speaks of many people in one place, Long Swamp, at the same time.
        Just an added note, I am Cherokee and a direct descendant of Nancy Ward. Perhaps you did not know that her son-in-law was Brig. General Joseph Martin and that information on her and her family is documented in many military records. Your speculation on her degree of blood is just that, speculation. A true historian deals with facts and not speculations. Wado

        Reply
        • Andrew Pickens’ memoirs specifically states that he met with the 12 chiefs at Salacoa on November 3, 1783. None of the villages mentioned among the Elati were Cherokee words. You must be quoting from someone, who didn’t go to the primary sources and does not know the three Creek languages.

          I live across the street from one of Colonel Waters descendants. Sour Mush brought 50 members of his band with him. It was really a camp, occupied from 1777 to 1781. It was located 2 1/2 miles upstream on Long Swamp Creek near the present day town of Nelson. That is why the skeletons of the executed Tories were found in Nelson.

          Two famous archaeologists, Robert Wauchope and Arthur Kelly, excavated the main location that many whites and semi-Cherokees in Georgia call “the ancient Cherokee town of Long Swamp Creek.” In 2006, the southwestern end of the town was excavated by archaeologists, employed by the GDOT. No 18th or 19th century artifacts have ever been found there. It was neither an 18th century Creek town nor a Cherokee village.

          With the average federally-recognized Cherokee in Oklahoma having 0-1% Native American DNA, yet twice the Middle Eastern and North African DNA of a practicing American Jew, it is a very valid question to speculate, who Nancy Ward’s ancestors really were. Most of the principal chiefs of the Cherokees prior to the American Revolution, were born in another tribe. After the Revolution, the Cherokee Nation was dominated by men who varied from 3/4th to 15/16th Caucasian.

          We Creeks were content to let 1/640th Cherokee descendants play with their genealogies, until the Eastern Band of Cherokees and their occult sidekicks in Georgia began altering Wikipedia articles about Georgia counties to remove references to Creeks and Uchees, stealing other peoples’ cultural symbols, claiming our town sites, interfering with our archaeological research, ordering museums to remove references to the Creek Indians and trying to re-write the histories of other states in order to make them compatible with their delusions . . . well, generally being Grade A assholes. Then any fraudulent statement of Cherokee history anywhere became fair game.

          Reply
    • During the nine years I lived in Pickens County, I met quite a few people, who claimed to be Cherokee. They all had Semitic features, not Native American. There is a big difference in the shape of our skulsl and feet, plus the proportions of our bodies. All of the Native Americans in POOF will tell you that we have fits trying to get clothes and shoes that fit us properly. I have given up finding comfortable leather shoes. My feet are so different than Caucasians and Africans that the only way I can be comfortable is wearing canvas and leather hiking shoes, which mold to my feet. Football helmets never fit me properly because my skull was so different. On archaeological sites, I can instantly tell a Muskogean skeleton from a Caucasian, African or Cherokee skeleton. African and Cherokee skulls are often very similar. However, if one is looking at a Cherokee skeleton from the 1800s, it resembles more a Caucasian skeleton.

      Reply
      • janjonesbarker@gmail.com'

        Are you claiming to be Cherokee?

        Reply
        • Heavens no. I am an officer of the Koweta Creek Tribe and also a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe.

          Reply
  3. kwhite1917@gmail.com'

    Ok so this is an 1810, map of Georgia, but you are saying the Cherokee didn’t live in Georgia before 1800? Or when do you think they started to live in Georgia?

    Reply
  4. kwhite1917@gmail.com'

    For your information Mr. Thornton I am 1/8 Cherokee documented and my ancestor’s are on all the Cherokee Rolls the most famous is Rebecca Neugin who is my GGGgrandmother. So get your facts straight, I am neither a Jew, Middle Eastern nor North African, per my brother’s DNA. So you need to get off your fake high horse and fake tribes you belong to and stop cutting down the Cherokee and quite telling different stories about how you grew up in different articles.

    Reply
  5. janjonesbarker@gmail.com'

    Thank goodness you don’t claim to be Cherokee and simply one of those made up groups. Genetics isn’t a strong point in your education either it seems. Like Kathy I can document easily my Cherokee heritage to the 1750’s with “real” historical records and not building blocks of “what if’s”.

    Reply
  6. ashlilin.al@gmail.com'

    I’m happy for those who know for certain who your ancestors where.. However, for me, Richards articles opened my mind to the fact I couldn’t be certain. I had a DNA test of my mother’s line, and found that even with my grandmother being “certain” of her bloodline, she was misinformed. I got more Asian, African, and European blood from her, very very little Native American. I’m not saying that’s the case for everyone, but it is for some people who have been sadly misinformed. It doesn’t take a genius to realize there where different people at different times in this land, the tools are different, that makes them or the people that made them no less unique. Those stories should be told, the truth should be told. The questions that are raised by the creek languages being used as place names should motivate Cherokees to find out what they or their ancestors may have been misinformed about, because its a mystery that deserves to be told, studied with a open mind, everyone’s ancestors deserve that.

    Reply
  7. csmoke@webound.com'

    an interesting book, ‘Genealogy of “Old and New Cherokee Indian Families” by George Morrison Bell, Sr.’ copyright 1972 Library Congress #78-189676 .
    In his self published book, Bell says he is a direct descendent of Nancy Ward (GHI-GA-U). Her first husband (KINGFISHER) was killed in battle (no children??). Her second husband, Bryan Ward (a white man), had a son John Ward (deceased mother was white woman). John (white man) married Catherine McDaniel (half breed Cherokee woman) and is the ancestor of the numerous Ward families among the Cherokees.
    Bryan Ward lived only few yrs. after marriage to GHI-GA-U. Bryan Ward and GHI-GA-U had one daughter Elizabeth who married first (military) Joseph Martin and second……Hughes a trader.
    Bell pulled much of his info from Henry Starr book, History of the Cherokees (and would/or not be tainted stories…), but looks like blood line of Nancy Ward diluted immediately with her second marriage (Bryan white man) and (non blood related white step son) John Ward.
    These are comments of George Bell about his Nancy Ward genealogy, .. just seems Nancy’s “direct” descendents would be few.

    Reply
  8. nomad1392@hotmail.com'

    Yes if you know your direct American Native genology your are truly blessed. I am from a old family, Grandparents born in the late 1800`s. We were originally from the Carolina`s, back to the late 1600`s. We have no direct American Native connection, eather on my mother`s side or my father`s side. There family`s didnot want a native connection, due to the fact that the Native`s at that time were looked upon as

    Reply
  9. nomad1392@hotmail.com'

    Sorry about the partial post

    Yes if you know your direct American Native genology your are truly blessed. I am from a old family, Grandparents born in the late 1800`s. We were originally from the Carolina`s, back to the late 1600`s. We have no direct American Native connection, eather on my mother`s side or my father`s side. There family`s didnot want a native connection, due to the fact that the Native`s at that time were looked upon as Black or person`s of color and we lived in the south.

    This come`s to me, I look more Native than alot of people who claim a direct linage to Native`s on the rolls. Long almost black full head of hair, dark complexion, I still cannot grow sideburns or a decent beard, even the build of my body is more like a Native than the Scotch and Irish ancestor`s my family calim to have decended from. It`s almost funny nether my mother or my father`s side`s of the family claim were I got my looks.

    I have been told countless time`s by diffrent people that I look like one of their Cherokee ancestor`s .If your, ancestor`s like mine, for what ever reason wanted to pass for white, the records would show them as white, and you would not find them on any of the Roll`s.

    So if you have a direct connection the you are truly blessed to know your heritage.
    REPLY

    Reply
    • ashlilin.al@gmail.com'

      Agreed, my father was told to lie, to never tell anyone he had a native ancestor, his family lived through the removal in Eastern Tennessee, his fifth great grandmother was said to be Native, born in Tn 1815 and unmarried with two kids by 1835. I got my surname from her. ” Linzy” .. But that’s all the info I’ll probably ever have. She wasn’t listed in any census untill 1860 after she married, and then as white, Italian my dad laughed. We all have black hair, tan easy, hazel eyes no blue, but I am predominantly European… Blood tells all..

      Reply
  10. mark@markmcgouirk.com'

    It’s worth closely reading the passage Kathy linked to from Hawkins Collected Works. It’s somewhat confusing to me that he mentions the remains of some Indian settlement but then 2 miles further down, mentions the “town of this name”. Is it the same town? Regardless, Hawkins indeed attributes the name to the town remains Richard FWIW. ” … cross the Etowwah running to the left, 120 feet wide, continue down the river W. by S. over steep poor hills for 5 miles and cross a creek 15 feet wide, the bottoms rich with cane. On the west side bordering on the river is the remains of some Indian settlement. Continue 2 miles down the river and cross Looccunna heat (Long Swamp), a creek 35 feet wide, turn down the creek and thro’ the remains of the town of this name, there were some peach trees, cotton stalks and corn …”

    Reply
  11. mark@markmcgouirk.com'

    And lucky ole Ben wouldn’t have had to see non-native Chinese privet growing everywhere in those muddy creek bottoms! It’s nasty and invasive. I’m sure plenty of Mvskokes said that about my ancestors though! 😉

    Reply
  12. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    It is important to point out that after Ostenaco (Cherokee) visited London in 1763 and met King George II he returned to the U.S. and sent letters to an Irish woman named Lucy Ward who was a “Lady in Waiting” to the Queen of England. She ended up moving to the U.S. and married Ostenaco. Lucy Ward’s and her brother were relatives of Nancy Ward’s white husband (can’t recall off my head how – perhaps cousins). Nancy Ward wasn’t fully Cherokee. This is a fact. Her mother was a sister of Ada’gal’kala (Attakullakulla) who himself was Nipissing by birth and adopted by Moytoy or Tellico. That means either Nanyehi’s mother was Nipissing or she was merely an “adopted” sister of Ada the same way Tsiyu Gansini (Dragging Canoe) has been called an adopted “son” of Ada. Tsiyu was Natchez by birth. Claiming Nancy Ward was actually Native American requires as much speculation as claiming she was half white. The fact is there is zero evidence either way. What can be known is she was a traitor who repeatedly warned white people of Dragging Canoe’s attacks. So if she wasn’t white she was an apple.

    Reply
  13. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    Unless Nanyehi was a member of the Moytoy family and then that’s a whole different story as all of the Moytoys were descendants of a white man named Thomas Passmere Carpenter who was himself the son of a John Carpenter. This is why Attakullakulla was actually called “Little Carpenter” by whites. John Carpenter in the 1620’s owned a fleet of 16 ships and banked in Barbados. He leased his ships to the India Trading Company and his son Thomas moved from London to Jamestown in 1627 at the age of 20 where ge married a daughter of Opechanacanough (uncle of Matoaka) to establish peace between Opechanacanough and the British (the Powhatans were at war with them after Pocahontas and Wahunsenacawh died. Thomas then moved with his Indian wife to the mountains and presumably that is when the Chouraqui (Cherokee in French) and Cha Raccia (Cherokee in Hebrew) began forming. The Cherokee has no history anywhere prior to the 1620’s. Unless there is some archealogical evidence somewhere I’ve never heard anything about.

    Reply
  14. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    My personal pet peeve is when liars attack others who are telling the truth and call them liars and others believe the real liars and demonize those telling the truth. My people call those people witches. Or simply devils. You can always spot them because they flee from the truth. Shine light on the shadow walkers and they disappear.

    Reply
  15. contact@jonathanrex.com'

    Correction, the father of Thomas Carpenter was Robert Carpenter, not John. The Carpenters were related to the Nobility in England and France and descended from William “le Carpenter” of Melun. The only reason the King of France (before he became the King) wanted to visit the Cherokee and stayed with them was because all of the European nobles knew what other families of the European nobility were doing. When they weren’t at war they intermarried. The name Amatoya Moytoy comes from Ama (Tsalagi) and Matai (French). It meant Water Master or “To Master Water”. Any other explanation of the name’s meaning is a fiction. Amadohi meant “Water Traveller” or “To go by water” if I’m not mistsken. The only reason Sir Alexander Cumming went to the Cherokee from Scotland was because he was sent on an unofficial mission to bring 7 Moytoy Delegates back to King George. Moytoy was named Emperor because he was the son grandson of Thomas Carpenter (Moytoy’s father was a Trader Tom Carpenter Jr.) who created the Cherokee by merging various different villages together. Today Cherokee swear they never had a nobility but this is nonsense. The various Clans already existed prior to the Cherokee but were merged into the Cherokee as a tribe. The “Nation” of Cherokee didn’t begin to take form until the mid 1700’s. When Moytoy of Tellico died his son was given a royal procession in Charles Town, South Carolina attended by over a thousand Cherokee by two separate accounts. He was carried on a litter. All of the Moytoys were called Princes by the British and French and the hundreds of Moytoy daughters were viewed as and treated as princesses by whites. Most of them married prominant white men from the British and French and this is why so many white people have the “Great-Grandmother Princess” story. With the American Revolution that all fell apart. The Americans weren’t about to recognize Cherokee nobility while rejecting their own back in Europe. The 1800’s brought missionaries, Christianity, a manufactured Sequoyah myth, a Newspaper and other forms of American assimilation. Why would a Native people choose to name their Newspaper after a Phoenix (an Egyptian Myth about a bird that builds itself a nest and is set aflame to be reborn out of its ashes)? The Cherokee from that moment forward had their entire history written and edited for them. There are real NDNs among the Cherokee but there are a whole lotta fakes.

    Reply

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