Thursday, September 1, 2016

6 Cherokee Chiefs go to London #cherokees #genealogy #history

Six Cherokee Chiefs Visit King George 

Chief MoytoyFrom that period in which the right and title to the lands of Carolina were sold by the proprietorship and surrendered to the King and he assumed the immediate care and government of the province, the Carolineans who had long laboured under innumerable hardships and troubles from a weak proprietary establishment, at last obtained a royal government. After a model of the British Constitution was presented, the government of Carolina assumed the familiar form of three branches, viz; a Governor, a Council and an Assembly. The first object of royal concern was the establishment of peace in the colony and it was at this point that Sir Alexander Cumming was sent out to treaty a peace with the Cherokee Indians, a warlike and formidable Nation of savages. These Indians occupied the lands about the head of Savannah river, and backwards among the Apalachian mountains. The country they claimed as their hunting grounds was of immense extent; and its boundaries had never been clearly ascertained. The inhabitants of their different towns has counted more than 20,000 Indians, 6,000 of whom were warriors. As soon as Sir Alexander arrived in the colony in 1720, he made preparations to go to the distant hills and hired some Indian traders as his guides and interpreters. When he reached Keowee, the chiefs of the lower towns met him and received him with marks of great friendship and esteem. He immediately dispatched messengers to the middle, the valley, and over-hill settlements and summoned a general meeting of all their chiefs, to hold a congress with him at Nequassee. Thus, during the month of April the chief warriors of all the Cherokee towns assembled at the place appointed. After the various Indian ceremonies ended, Sir Alexander made a speech to them, acquainting them by whose authority he was sent, and representing the great power and goodness of his sovereign King George; that he had come a great way to demand of Moytoy (and all the chieftains of the nation) to acknowledge themselves as the subjects of his King. Upon which the chiefs, falling on their knees, solemnly promised fidelity and obedience, calling upon all that was terrible to fall upon them if they violated their promise. Sir Alexander then, by their unanimous consent, nominated Moytoy commander and chief of the Cherokee nation, and enjoined all the warriors of the different tribes to acknowledge him for their King. The chiefs all agreed. After which many useful presents were given to the trives, the congress ended. A crown was brought from the chief town (in Tennessee)having five eagle tails and four scalps (of their enemies). Moytoy presented the crown to Sir Alexander, requesting him, upon his arrival in Great Britain, to lay it at the feet of his Majesty, King George. But Sir Alexander proposed to Moytoy, that he should ask some of the chiefs to accompany him to England for the purpose of doing homage in person to the great King. Accordingly six of them agreed, and accompanied Sir Alexander to Charlestown, where being joined by another, they embarked for England in the Fox Man of War, and arrived at Dover in June of 1730. 

The vision of London greatly impressed the chiefs as being a great city with a large number of people. As they saw the splendour of the army and court, they were admitted into the presence of the King where they promised to continue as his Majesty's faithful and obedient subjects. A treaty was accordingly drawn up, and signed by the secretary to the Lords Commissioners of trade and plantations (one one side of the document) and by the marks of the six chiefs (on the other side). The treaty fashioned the King and the Cherokees together by a chain of friendship and ordered trade among the Indians. Britain agreed to furnish them all manner of goods and to build houses and plant corn from Charleston towards the towns of the Cherokees in the great mountains. This was the substance of the first treaty between the King and the Cherokees, every article of which was accompanied with presents of different kinds, such as cloth, guns, shot, vermilion, flints, hatchets, knives. 

Source: An Historical Account Of The Rise And Progress Of The Colonies Of South Carolina And Georgia, Volume 2 by Alexander Hewatt.

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