Cherokee – American wars: Treaty of Dumplin Creek

Published on September 14, 2014 by Carol

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State of Franklin

Towards an Indian alliance
Sponsored by the Spanish, Running Water Town hosted a grand council of western nations and tribes in the summer of 1785 to formulate a strategy for resisting encroachment by settlers from the new United States. Beside the Chickamauga Towns Cherokee, the Upper Muscogee and the Choctaw attended from the South while representatives from the Shawnee, Lenape, Mingo, Miami, Illinois, Wyandot, Ottawa, Mohawk, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Odawa, Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Wabash Confederacy, and, of course, the Iroquois League, came from the North, plus a few others.

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The same parties met again under sponsorship of the British at Detroit in the fall of 1785. The parties at these two councils agreed among themselves and with their sponsors to deal with the Americans as a unit rather than being picked off piece. This laid the groundwork for the confederacy formally established the next year.

Muscogee council at Tuckabatchee
In spring 1785, McGillivray had convened a council of war at the dominant Upper Muscogee town of Tuckabatchee about recent incursions of Georgian settlers into the Oconee territory. The council, attended by most of the nations and tribes of the soon-to-be Western Confederacy, decided to go on the warpath against the trespassers, starting with the recent settlements along the Oconee River. McGillivray had already secured support from the Spanish in New Orleans. This began the Oconee War, which lasted from May 1785 until September 1794.

Free Republic of Franklin
In May 1785, the settlements of Upper East Tennessee, then comprising four counties of western North Carolina, petitioned the Congress of the Confederation to be recognized as the “State of Franklin”. Even though their petition failed to receive the two-thirds votes necessary to qualify, they proceeded to organize what amounted to a secessionist government, holding their first “state” assembly in December 1785. One of their chief motives was to retain the foothold they had recently gained in the Cumberland Basin. The Cumberland settlements were included in the government, but being separated by a wide stretch of hostile Cherokee territory were almost completely autonomous.

Treaty of Dumplin Creek
One of the first acts of the new State of Franklin was to negotiate with the Overhill Towns the Treaty of Dumplin Creek, signed on 10 June 1985, which ceded the “territory south of the French Broad and Holston Rivers and west of the Big Pigeon River and east of the ridge dividing Little River from the Tennessee River” to the State of Franklin.

Source: warpaths2peacepipes Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
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