Say NO to a Cherokee Casino in Helen, Georgia!
Sequoyah probably never saw the Sequoyah-Cherokee Syllabary and Tsali was a Uchee, executed by a Cherokee firing squad.
Again and again, when researching the origin of fake Southeastern Native American history, once comes to a point when a Caucasian academician or novelist made up a story and it somehow became historical facts. It is very easy nowadays with the internet to fact check these myths. In most cases, they became “historical facts” after being retold in James Mooney’s, “Myths of the Cherokees” or some folklore book in the portions of Alabama or Georgia, where the Creeks last lived. Folks there is a real good reason, why Mooney’s book is called “MYTHS!”
During the past three weeks, there has reappeared a series of sarcastic comments from newcomers to the website, like what we got during the “Maya Myth-busting in the Mountains” period in 2012. I traced them all to either academicians or museums that have received grants from the Eastern Band of Cherokees. The ECB is at it again . . . trying to build a gambling casino in Helen, Georgia. Having cohabited with the Russian Mafia so long, the ECB automatically shifts to bribery and bullying, when it can’t get its way. To the over 10 million Georgians, opposed to any casino coming into their mountains, here are some historical facts that you might find interesting.
If you recall, just as I was moving here to the Nacoochee Valley, I was the victim of grossly unprofessional conduct, probably illegal, by the White County and Habersham County Sheriff’s Departments. My phone was tapped with the excuse that I was a male prostitute, drug dealer, might not pay my business license when I moved here (I have not practiced architecture since 2009!) and lord knows what else. At least three former girl friends, plus a neighborhood friend, who rode the bus with me in high school, are subscribers to POOF. I am sure at this point, they, especially Julie from Sumatra, are rolling in the floor laughing. Jo Evelyn Kelly used to call me “the Beaver” because I was such a “Boy Scout, ” She thought that I looked like the star in the popular TV series, “Leave It to Beaver.”
With the help of my good friends in the Latin American community, I have been able to trace this naughty behavior to prominent businessmen in these counties, who are heavily capitalized by laundered drug money from organized crime. The big time Gringo drug dealers are not touched by Georgia law enforcement, while the Latin Americans they recruit to do the selling, are getting stiff prison sentences. These corrupt businessmen are heavy contributors to the campaign funds of the sheriffs, district attorneys, local magistrates and judges. The local magistrates are the ones, who issue wiretapping warrants. In Georgia, any money not spent on a political campaign can be kept as personal income. One of the businessmen in Cleveland, GA is actively involved in pulling strings with local legislators to get a special bill passed, authorizing a Cherokee gambling casino in Helen. His close relatives openly brag of periodically being directed to certain slot machines at the two Cherokee casinos, where they will win $2500 or more, while nobody else at the slots is winning over a dollar or so.
Many, many Georgians were astounded that the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Tourism Division didn’t take advantage of the international publicity about the Track Rock Terrace Complex and Ocmulgee National Monument on the evening of December 21, 2012. It has become one of the most watched History Channel programs ever. A promotional campaign could have brought in millions of dollars of international tourist and outdoor recreation income to the Northeast Georgia Mountains and Macon Areas. Who are Georgia’s tourism promotion people really working for?
Turns out that the ECB paid that Chamber of Commerce $1000 that year, plus provided free perks for the Chamber of Commerce executives at the Cherokee Casino Hotel. The ECB has also been contributing to Georgia political campaigns for some time.
Cherokee Myth-Busting in the Georgia Mountains
During the past year, readership on the People of One Fire website has exploded so many of you have not read articles dating to our earlier avenues of research. So we are going to summarize three past articles on Nancy Ward, Sequoyah and Tsali. These are three real people, who are heavily emphasized in Cherokee histories and the “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama. You will be shocked at how their lives have been distorted by the fictionalized history that our children read in textbooks today.
Nancy Ward: According to all Cherokee histories and a musical, currently touring the nation, in the fall of 1754 at age 16 Nancy led 800 Cherokee warriors to a resounding victory over 2000 Creek warriors on the Etowah River and thus won all of North Georgia for the brave Cherokees. Late 20th century Georgia historians embellished the story further to make it sound like the Cherokees were good Christian Injuns waging war on the godless, bloodthirsty, heathen Creeks. Actually, it was an opposite situation. Traditional Cherokee religion is based on the conjuring of demons in fires. That is why Cherokee conjurers are called Cherokee conjurers. Creeks have always been monotheistic, but now about 90% are Christians.
There are some major problems with this myth, starting with the fact that Cherokees lost a third of their villages in the fall of 1754 to an invading army from Coweta and surrendered to the Coweta Creeks in December 1754. John Mitchell’s famous 1755 Map of North America has in bold letters, “Desserted Cherakee Settlements” across a broad swath of western North Carolina and Northeast Georgia.
There is no evidence that Nancy Ward was ever in the State of Georgia or ever fought in a battle. There was no mention anywhere about a Battle of Taliwa until four years after the famous Cherokee, Nancy Ward, died. This was determined by a team of University of Oklahoma professors in 2008, after a thorough review of Colonial Archives in Georgia and South Carolina.
If you trace back the citations in the Wikipedia article on Nancy, you discover that most the “facts” listed start when a white cousin of hers wrote a mostly fictional “dime” novel about her life, four years after she was buried. Nancy was actually born in 1761, about six years AFTER the fictional Battle of Taliwa. Her first lover, Kingfisher, a prominent Cherokee war leader, died in the Battle of Etowah Cliffs (Hightower) at Rome, GA on October 17, 1793 not in the fictional 1755 Battle of Taliwa. . . but by that time, Nancy was living with a white man. It was a catastrophic defeat for the Cherokees, which ended the last war that they ever fought against whites. Nancy, who was more Caucasian than Cherokee DID warn white settlers of a pending Chickamauga Cherokee attack and WAS one of the first slave owners in the Cherokee Nation. She promoted slavery of African Americans to other Cherokees as a means to make the Cherokees more acceptable to whites.
Sequoyah: Most of what you read about the Cherokee scholar, Sequoyah, is fictionalized history, created by whites after his death. Much of his life remains a mystery. We do know for a fact that in 1825 the Cherokee National Council presented a silver medal to George Gist that states in English that “he invented the Cherokee alphabet.” George Gist preferred to go by the name often called his mother, Sequoyah. Her real name was Wutah, which means “witch” in Gullah, Geechee and the West African languages. She was most likely the mixed blood slave-mistress of a white man, named Gist, who owned a trading post in the Cherokee village of Tuskegi. Almost all Indian traders put their African slaves or Native American “extra wives” in charge of local trading posts. Sequoyah has no meaning in Cherokee, but is the Cherokee-nization of the Creek word Sekuya, which means “slave” or “war captive.”
Someone in the late 20th century added the myth that Sequoyah fought with the Cherokee company in the Creek Redstick War. The National Park Service recently carried out an exhaustive research project to obtain all names of Cherokees, who fought in the Red Stick War for the United States so they could put up a bronze plague in their honor at Horseshoe Bend. There is no name on the list remotely resembling Gist or Sequoyah.
On the other hand, Major Ridge, a leader of the Chickamauga Cherokees, did list Sequoyah as one of the hostile Cherokees, including Charles Hicks, who fled the Etowah Cliffs battlefield with him, when they saw the rest of their army being wiped out. They took refuge with is sister in Pine Log. Sequoyah lived in the Pine Log village in northern Bartow County, GA for several years until he was certain that there would be no retribution for him being a Chickamauga Cherokee.
Much of the real history of Sequoyah can be found in the book, Cherokee Tragedy: The Ridge Family and the Decimation of a People. (1989) At some point in the early 1820s, Sequoyah and his wife were abducted by North Carolina Cherokees and tried for witchcraft. This makes his mother’s real name and heritage very significant. They were sentenced to being slowly tortured to death. The North Carolina Cherokees had nearly killed his wife, cut off Sequoyah’s ears and some fingers, plus broken his leg . . . when his good friend, John Ridge, showed up with a troop of Georgia Cherokee Lighthorse and escorted the couple back to Georgia. His wife apparently soon died thereafter. As soon as he healed, Sequoyah fled to Arkansas. The man portrayed in the famous painting of Sequoyah is another Cherokee, because he has all of his fingers and ears.
The Cherokee Syllabary used today was created in 1827 by Elias Boudinot of the Cherokee Phoenix Newspaper and the Rev. Samuel Worcester. You can see below the distinct differences in the two writing systems.
Tsali: Tsali (pronounced T’shä : lē) was a popular Creek name in the late 1700s and 1800s . . . generally given to “friendly” Creeks and Uchees by white men. It means Charlie.
I always wondered why one of the most famous Cherokee heroes had a Creek nick name and was born in the Creek village of Cussetta, but assumed someone so famous had been thoroughly researched by academicians. Another riddle to me was that fact that the official Cherokee and North Carolina versions of Tsali’s life place all the “action” in extreme western North Carolina. YET . . . the streams and mountains mentioned in their version are all in either Rabun or Towns Counties, Georgia.
Actually, Tsali was researched in 1948 and two years ago by professional historians. Their factual information had been ignored, but still is available on the internet and in libraries.
The first researcher discovered in 1948 that Tsali was living on an allotment on Betty’s Creek in Rabun County, GA with other Uchee Indians, when he was arrested by federal troops. It was an illegal arrest. That is why Charlie protested bitterly to the soldiers. He was not Cherokee and was a citizen of the State of Georgia, living on land that he owned fee simple. The soldiers had no business even being in Rabun County.
The second research, from a professor at the University of Tennessee, accessed all the military records associated with the arrest and execution of Tsali. It turns out as I already knew, most action took place on the trail between present day Dillard and Hiawassee, Georgia. The cause of Tsali’s justifiable anger was not clear. It was either that soldiers bayoneted his wife and daughters or else raped them. Whatever the case, a CHEROKEE posse’ was raised to hunt down Tsali. It was led by none other than Junaluska! Junaluska was a conjurer of demons in fires, originally from the Dillard Valley, who moved west rather than accepting an allotment. It could well be that Tsali was living on land, where Junaluska former lived. Tsali certainly would have been considered a traitor by the traditional Cherokees because he renounced membership in any Native American tribe in order to be awarded a large land allotment in 1818. He is labeled Charlie in allotment records.
After being captured by the Cherokees, Tsali was taken to US Army officers at Fort Butler, just across the stale line in Murphy, NC. Like the Roman governor, Pilate, who washed his hands of Jesus’s blood, the commanding officer gave Tsali back to the Cherokees. Tsali was executed by a Cherokee firing squad just outside Fort Butler, ostensibly for violating Cherokee law.
Now you know!
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