Cherokee Tenacity and White Advocates

After the Cherokee-American War that began with the declaration of Dragging Canoe in 1775 and ended with his death in 1794, the power and authority of the Cherokee to resist the relentless expansion of settlers (the customers) driven by land speculators (the sellers) and government bounty lands to soldiers who were employed by the military to conquer the Indians, vaporized. 

The twenty years of war was instigated by land speculators operating as illegal free agent/land brokers and questionable legally-competing land speculators who were either members of State General Assemblies or in bed with those who were. Land was the new gold of the English conquistadors who proceeded like a speeding freight train under the battle cry “By Right of Conquest!”

The dominant migration routes that crossed the mountains into modern Haywood, Jackson, Swain and Macon Counties was from eastern North Carolina through modern Asheville and Waynesville. The last barrier to the Oconaluftee, Tuckasegee and Little Tennessee River Cherokee towns was Balsam Mountain through two ancient travelways: the gap at the head of Scotts and Richland Creeks; and Soco Gap at the head of Soco and Jonathan’s Creeks. 

The pattern of expansion was to establish a new county, seat of government, and be one of the first to get the most valuable land.  Then, the next chunk of Cherokee land adjoining the new county westward was declared by the State Assembly and the process repeated. The movers and shakers became wealthier with every new investment.