Anglo-Cherokee War summary

Published on February 8, 2013 by Carol

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A commander of Fort Patrick Henry sent Henry Timberlake
as a token of friendship after the Anglo-Cherokee War.
Timberlake later took three Cherokee to London, 1763.

At the outbreak of the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years’ War) (1754–1763), the Cherokee were allies of the British against the French. They fought in distant campaigns, such as those against the French at Fort Duquesne (at modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and the Shawnee of the Ohio Country. In 1755, a band of Cherokee 130-strong under Ostenaco (Ustanakwa) of Tamali (Tomotley), took up residence in a fortified town at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers at the behest of the Iroquois, who were fellow British allies.

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For several years, French agents from Fort Toulouse had been visiting the Overhill Cherokee, especially those on the Hiwassee and Tellico rivers. They had built some alliances. The strongest pro-French sentiment among the Cherokee came from Mankiller (Utsidihi) of Great Tellico (Talikwa); Old Caesar of Chatuga (Tsatugi); and Raven (Kalanu) of Great Hiwassee (Ayuhwasi). The Principal Chief Kanagatucko or “Stalking Turkey”, was very pro-French, as was his nephew Kunagadoga (Standing Turkey), who succeeded at his death in 1760.

The Anglo-Cherokee War was initiated in the colonies in 1758 in the midst of the Seven Years War by Moytoy (Amo-adawehi) of Citico. He was retaliating for British and colonial mistreatment of Cherokee warriors. The war lasted from 1758 to 1761.

In 1759 the chief named Big Mortar (Yayatustanage), a Muscogee, occupied with his warriors the former site of the Coosa chiefdom of the Mississippian culture. It had been long deserted since Spanish explorations in the mid-16th century. He reoccupied the site to support of his pro-French Cherokee allies in Great Tellico and Chatuga. The occupation was also a step toward an alliance with other Muscogee, Cherokee, Shawnee, Chickasaw, and Catawba warriors. His plans were the first recorded of an intertribal alliance in the South. They were a precursor of the alliances of Dragging Canoe. After the end of the French and Indian War, Big Mortar rose to be the leading chief of the Muscogee.

During the Anglo-Cherokee War, the British murdered Cherokee hostages at Fort Prince George near Keowee. In retaliation, Cherokee attacked and massacred the garrison of Fort Loudoun near Chota. Those two events brought all the Cherokee nation into the war until the fighting ended in 1761. The Cherokee were led by the chiefs Oconostota (Aganstata) of Chota (Itsati); Attakullakulla (Atagulgalu) of Tanasi; Ostenaco of Tomotley; Wauhatchie (Wayatsi) of the Lower Towns; and “Round O” of the Middle Towns.

The Cherokee made separate peace treaties with the Colony of Virginia (Treaty of Long-Island-on-the-Holston, 1761) and the Province of South Carolina (Treaty of Charlestown, 1762). Standing Turkey was deposed and replaced by Attakullakulla, who was pro-British.

John Stuart, the only officer to escape the Fort Loudoun massacre, became the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern District, out of Charlestown, South Carolina. He served as the main contact for the Cherokee with the British government. His first deputy, Alexander Cameron, lived among the Cherokee at Keowee, followed by Toqua on the Little Tennessee River. His second deputy, John McDonald, set up a base one hundred miles to the southwest on the west side of Chickamauga River, where it was crossed by the Great Indian Warpath.

During the war, the British forces under general James Grant destroyed a number of major Cherokee towns, which were never reoccupied. Kituwa was abandoned, and its former residents migrated west; they took up residence at Great Island Town on the Little Tennessee River among the Overhill Cherokee.

In the aftermath of the Seven Years War, France in defeat ceded that part of the Louisiana Territory east of the Mississippi and Canada to the British. Spain took control of Louisiana west of the Mississippi. In exchange it ceded Florida to Great Britain, which created the jurisdictions of East Florida and West Florida.

Valuing the support of Native Americans, King George III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This prohibited colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, in an effort to preserve territory for the Native Americans. Many colonials resented the interference with their drive to the vast western lands. The proclamation was a major irritant that contributed to the American Revolution.

Source: Legendsofamerica Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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