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Autumn Tea Party winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' giveaway of Mercy in a Red Cloak goes to Michelle. Denise Weimer's print copy of The Witness Tree goes to Roxanne C. Janet Grunst's winner of a print copy of The Highlanders is Alison Boss. Naomi Musch's winner of an ebook copy of The Highlanders is Sally D. Angela Couch's winners for ebook copies of choice of the Hearts of War series are Linda Palmer and Judy (heyjudybat). Congratulations, all! Please private message your e-mail or mailing address to the authors.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Cherokee-American Wars

Phase Two, 1783-1794

by Denise Weimer

"The Cherokees Are Coming," Knoxville, 1793
Their marriage of convenience offers Moravian missionaries John and Clarissa Kliest enough of a challenge in my novel releasing this month, The Witness Tree. But it’s certainly not the only hardship they face. It’s 1805, and the couple join a party journeying from the quaint town of Salem, North Carolina, into Cherokee Indian Territory. John, a builder and surveyor, and Clarissa, a linguist and teacher, are to lend their expertise at a mission school for children of the Cherokee chiefs in what is now Northwest Georgia. John yearns for adventure, but the fact that those same Indians were at war with the Americans just above a short decade ago makes Clarissa more than a little nervous.

In today’s post, we’re looking at the second part of The Cherokee-American Wars, 1783-1794, that led up to my story.

After siding with the British in the American Revolution, the Cherokees relocated westward and southward to the “Five Lower Towns.” They became known as the Lower Cherokee. Encroaching settlers forced many Cherokees to sign the Treaty of Hopewell in 1785, but dissatisfaction and Spanish support led to the Cherokee War of 1786. Warriors of Chief Dragging Canoe and a large contingent of Creek Indians attacked White’s Fort near modern Knoxille, then raided along the upper Holston, Cumberland, and even into Kentucky. John Sevier sent soldiers to attack Valley Towns, ending in the Treaty of Coyatee. However, many Cherokees joined a Western Confederacy of Native Americans formed in 1786 and continued raids and campaigns.


Around 1790, a couple of years before the death of Dragging Canoe, a chief named Doublehead came to prominence, working largely independent of the Lower Cherokees. In a 1793 incident, his warriors cooked and ate their enemies. At Cavett’s Station, Tennessee, he and his warriors killed settlers, mainly women and children, who had surrendered. Chief James Vann, who later invited the Moravian missionaries to his plantation, succeeded in saving one boy from Doublehead’s ax. After that day, Vann and Doublehead became lifelong enemies, and Doublehead earned the moniker “Babykiller.”

The frontier war finally ended in 1794, after U.S. Army Regulars burned the villages of Nickajack and Running Water. The Treaty of Tellico Blockhouse was signed in November of 1794. After this time, former warriors dominated governance of the Cherokee Nation, leading it into an era of education, diplomacy, and attempted assimilation with the Americans. They even fought alongside the Americans in the Creek War, part of the War of 1812. I’ve got a story coming about that too! But if you haven’t read The Witness Tree yet, check it out at (The Witness Tree on Amazon).

Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for Smitten Historical Romance imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here:

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2 comments:

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  2. This is all important history for our country--We can be proud of individual stories but so much of it was horrible. Thanks for your dedication to researching it for your stories, Denise!

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