TEN SIGNIFICANT ERAS OF CHEROKEE HISTORY 1680 – 1850
The first ten of the following list of chapters are a skeletal outline of what we consider ten significant eras of Cherokee history from the beginning of the historical era (about 1680 AD) when events began to be recorded by Europeans at first contact with the Cherokee. The Anglo-European account of historical events of course is biased to their perspective and world-view while very little of the Cherokee perspective or “their side of the story” was recorded. It is with this truth in mind that our past two decades of crawling through the dark mining shafts of archives, chronicles, old maps, Anglo-history books, theses, dissertations, lawsuits, valuations, spoilations, claims, land records, surveys, testimonials, crumbling letters, diaries, journals, military records, etc, etc, etc……focused on the less regurgitated reiterations that fill our book shelves to glean nuggets of lost, forgotten and omitted materials.
Diametrically Opposing Lifestyles, Values, Economies and World Views
For example, the foreign powers, their agents, immigrants and offspring argued that the Cherokee territorial claim was an empty, unused wilderness that was up for grabs to those who would convert it into plantations, level the forests, destroy the cane, extirpate the game, and fence it off. To the Cherokee, their traditional claim was a vast, rich reserve of buffalo, elk, bear, deer, salt springs, chestnut groves, strawberry plains, and a buffer to their traditional enemies.
President James Madison stated that no man should own more land then he could use. This manifest destiny applied only to the Indian as before 1800, a handful of powerful land barons and speculators connected to the State of North Carolina accrued five million acres of lands stripped from the Cherokee.
These ten eras will take us from the absolute freedoms enjoyed by the Cherokee within the diverse ecosystems that stratified their natural empire to the forced Removal of most of their Nation to the West onto the former claims of other indigenous tribes.
It describes the expansion of the European economic system from the time it landed on this continent searching for plunder and its growth growth from 1700 until 1850. From independence to dependence, by trade, by wars, by disease, by overwhelming numbers of immigrants and their governments, by treaties and cessions, by racism, discrimination, injustice, greed and force, the Cherokees of these mountains persisted and overcame to rise like the proverbial Phoenix and in many ways above the society that wronged them in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The story of Qualla Boundary and the history of the Cherokees is nothing short of fascinating.