Timeline of Eastern Cherokee History

Hauling Freight from Dillsboro to Franklin past Nikwasi Mound

A Timeline of Significant Events Impacting Cherokee History

                                    Beginning about 1500


June 24 – First recorded Spanish expedition reaches the Carolina coast, near Winyah Bay.


First French ship reaches Carolina coast


August, first Spanish attempt at a settlement, San Miguel de Gualdape, near Winyah Bay. Colony fails.


Hernando DeSoto believed to have reached Carolina lowcountry on trek north from Florida


Spanish establishment of Saint Augustine in Florida, the earliest known European settlement.


Voyage of Sir Francis Drake into the South Sea and then to the whole globe


Roanoke colony, first English settlement in the New World, explored in 1584; colonized expedition in 1585, encountered hostile Native Americans and return; Sir Walter Raleigh organizes second expedition led by Captain John White with 121 colonists land on Roanoke Island July, 1587. Aug 18th, first white child born in America. 1589, White returns to England for supplies, his return delayed by war with Spain. Returns 1590-91, no trace of colonists. Only clue: Croatan on tree. Believed they were absorbed into friendly Croatan tribe.


Spanish colony of New Mexico



French establish Acadia in Canada

Founding of first settlement at Jamestown, Va.


Jamestown, England’s first permanent settlement led by Captain John Smith and founded by the chartered Virginia Company.


French found Quebec


Immigration to New England begins with migration of Pilgrims who establish Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts


Dutch settlers begin the colony of New Netherlands as outpost of Dutch West India Company in New York


Virginia Company charter revoked and the Crown founds the Virginia Colony


Dutch found colony of New Amsterdam in NYC


English Puritans with a charter and mission to set up a Puritan commonwealth establish a settlement on the Mass Bay. Nearly 20,000 arrive within the next decade, part of the Great Migration.


Great Migration – Massachusetts’s population sky rockets with migration of 21,000 immigrants to New England, a third of which are British. Founding of Boston


Founding of Middle Plantation in VA, later becomes Williamsburg


Swedes establish colony of New Sweden in Delaware.


First settlements near Albemarle Sound, in what today is North Carolina, by frontiersmen from VA


First Jewish immigrants to America arrive in New Amsterdam as refugees from Dutch colony in South America Sephardic Jews forced out of Spain by Spanish Inquisition


Dutch absorb New Sweden


End of a significant migration to the Puritan Mass Bay colony.


Shawnees occupy the later Gunter’s Landing/Browns Creek crossing area. Early 1700s French maps show Chevanoe’s living here.


Charles II, are repayment for political support against the forces of Cromwell, grants 8 generals, the Lords Proprietors, title to Carolina. Charter is later amended to include the Albemarle Sound settlements.

South Carolina, part of the original Province of Carolina, was founded in 1663 when King Charles II gave the land to eight noble men known as the Lords Proprietors. At the time, the province included both North Carolina and South Carolina. North and South Carolina became separate royal colonies in 1729.

April, Abraham Wood’s party explores the eastern perimeter of the Appalachians and visits Tomahittans, believed to be Cherokees. The Tomahittans routinely put white and black people to death as they were murdered and enslaved by the Spaniards in search of gold and silver. The Spaniards were operating mines in the area. The British interest was to find a very short passage across the mountains to the Indian Ocean.


Dutch lose all their NA colonies to the British


Capt. Robert Sanford explores and names the Ashley River. On June 23 takes formal possession of Carolina for England and the Proprietors.


John Lederer journeys from Virginia’s James River settlement through North Carolinas Piedmont. He sees and names the Apalataen Mountains.

April – Charles Town is founded as the capital city of Carolina, across the Ashley River from its current site on the main peninsula. (See 1674)

Hudson’s Bay Company chartered by England to control the fur trade in a vast portion of Canada. Forts and trading posts were established. The French attacked these posts as they competed for the fur trade from adjacent New France.


Royal African Company inaugurated to supply slaves to the British colonies of the Caribbean. Britain abolished slavery in 1807.

Charles Town: 30 houses and 200-300 settlers.


A new colony and future Charles Town is founded under Henry Woodward. The British colony began at the mouth of Ashley River. They establish trade with the Westoe Indians on Savannah River. Woodward finds from the Westoes that they are at continual war with the Chorakae Indians 8 days to the west. The Westoe’s become the middleman in future Cherokee trade for dressed deer skins and young Indian Slaves. The British traded to the Westoes who traded with the Cherokees. The Ocaneechi tribe who lived between the Virginia Colony and the Cherokees would be the middle men for the Virginia trade.[1]   Rewrite this….


First Germans arrive on the Concord and settle in PA


Cherokees are annually fighting the Shawnees and by 1721 force them out of the area.


Intercourse between the’ Cherokees and the government of South Carolina was begun in 1693 when twenty Cherokee chiefs visited Charleston to ask assistance against the Catawba and the Congarees. A profitable trade with the Cherokees was begun about the same time. (Col Chicken Journal)


Company of Scotland chartered for a settlement in isthmus of Panama.



Population of the NA colonies: 250,000

Charles Town has grown into a major trading center; plantations appear inland along the rivers. A 1704 map shows Charles Town as a walled city, a fort.


Parliament of Great Britain formed by Act of Union that combined parliaments of Scotland and England. The Parliament of England went way back to 1600s, and limited the power of the monarchy.


All Indian trade of the colony passed under government regulation



Before  1710, Alexander Long is trading with the Cherokees and serves as an interpreter for colonists and Indians.


Alexander Long and Eleazer Wiggin operate a trading post at Chestowe, a Yuchi town in NE Ga. Alex Long is partially scalped by a mad Yuchi who didn’t pay his credit.


Cherokees fight in alliance with Yamasee, Catawba and British against the Tuscarora in Second Tuscarora War.  This war begins an English-Cherokee relationship that spans until the Revolutionary War despite the disruption of 1759-1761.


Alexander Long persuades the Overhill Cherokee to attack Chestowe. All Yuchi warriors are killed and women and children taken captive.


May, 1714, Long and Wiggen are brought before the Board of Commissioners of Indian Trade. Indian witnesses including Partridge tell the Board that Long said the Governor of SC ordered the Yuchi’s killed and that the Cherokees would get slaves and pay off their debts of credit to Long and Wiggens. Long got 1 woman and 5 children for payment. The Board orders Long to return the Yuchis and that he face prosecution. He flees to avoid prosecution and lives 10 years with the Cherokees until he is pardoned in 1724 and returns to Charles Town.

Alexander Long is living with the Cherokees

From 1698 until 1714,  848,363 deerskins were shipped to Great Britain.


January –   Cherokee Conjurer is a leader and receives presents from Charles Town, who wants the Cherokees to fight the Creek and Yamasees.

September –   William Guy to Secretary – Greatest Indian nation within the English trade circle is the Cherokee. Guy hopes to win them over for the English.

November –   Parish of St. James, near Goose Creek, SC. Dr. Francis LeJau to Wm. Taylor, Secretary. The powerful Cherokees made peace and held some wild ceremonies. Exchanging clothes and smoking the same pipe is a Cherokee token of reconciliation and friendship. Eight chiefs and 120 other Indians present for the ceremonies.

December –   Charles Town. Rev. Gideon Johnson to the Secretary. Johnson persuaded the Cherokee emperor to entrust Johnson with his eldest son. He did so willingly because the emperor saw how well the Yamasee youth fared. Johnson hopes his superiors will approve his schemes for converting the Yamasee and other neighboring Indians. 500 Cherokees have joined the expedition that will end the Indian war in two months.

Dec 31 –   William Tredwell Bull to Secretary of SPG. Cherokees, a power Indian nation 300 miles away, are the most numerous nation within the English trade circle. The Yamassees tried to persuade the Cherokees to kill their traders, but they would not. About 200 prominent Cherokee warriors arrive to renew the peace.


Colonel Chicken became prominent in Indian affairs in 1715, when, at the crisis of the war with the Yamasees, he, at the head of the Goose Creek militia, inflicted on those Indians a decisive defeat at “The Ponds.” He was a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners in 1721-1723 and was sole Indian Commissioner in 1724-1731.


Fort Moore, on the east bank of the Savannah about six miles below the present site of Augusta, Georgia, was erected for the protection of Cherokee trade. By a treaty with the Cherokees which was made that year it was agreed that both parties should carry their goods for trade to Fort Moore, the immediate consequence of which was that the Government established a pack-horse route from Charleston to that place and that the Cherokees cut a trail from their country thither along the east bank of the Savannah, a trail which was subsequently widened for the pack-horse train. (Col Chicken)


Jan. 29 – Cherokees request Traders to reside in Cowee [Middle] and Tennessee Towns [Overhills]

Tuesday, July 10, 1716

Met according to Adjournment.

PRESENT: Ralph Izard, Esq., Col. Jno. Barnwell, and Charles Hill,     Esq.

Col. Moore on being asked what Agreement he made with the Conjuror, and after what Method the Trade should be carried on, informed the Board, that the Conjuror agreed that for the Present, what Goods should be supplyed between this and the Fall, his People should fetch them from Savno Town, and likewise bring their skins without any Promise from him of sending pack Horses, amongst them, or being paid for it.  It was also agreed by Col. Moore, that in the Fall there should be a Garrison and trading House erected at Congarees, that the Conjuror promised as soon as Notice was given him of white Men being come up thither, he would send Eighty Indians to assist them in erecting the Buildings;. . .      

Wherefore having taken into Consideration, the Necssity they are in at present, as Want of Powder and Ammunition for their Defence, and going to Warr, we came to the following Resolution, of sending them by the said Indians, five hundred Weight of Powder, five hundred Weight of Ball, twenty Peeces of Strouds, Value three hundred Pounds. 

Having also taken into Consideration, the further carrying on the Trade by Way of Savano Town;

It is resolved to send up, as soon as pack Horses can be procured, to the said Savano Town, a sortable Cargo to the Value of two thousand Pounds.

It’s likewise resolved that twelve pack Horses and their Furniture be forthwith provided, to carry up the above said Goods, and likewise bring down the Skins. . . .

The Board having further considered for Persons proper to take care and dispose of these Goods, have made Choice of Col. Theoph. Hastings, to transact the Affairs amongst the Cherikees; and their being a Necessity for two more Persons to be imployed under him,

Ordered that John Sharp and Saml. Muckleroy, be said Persons.

They likewise make Choice of Maj. Willm. Blakeway for the Factory at Savano Town, to dispose and transact the Affairs there, and

Ordered that Capt. Charleworth Glover, to be Assistant under the said Blackway.

South Carolina Board of Trade issues a trade schedule

Goods                                Buckskins

A Gun                               30

A Duffeild Blanket            14

A Yard Half Thicks           3

A Yard Strouds                  7

A Hatchet                          2

A Narrow Hoe                   2

A Broad Hoe                     4

50 Bullets                          1

A Butcher’s Knife              1

A Pair Cizars                     1

Three Strings Beads           1

Eighteen Flints                   1

An Ax                                4

A Pistol                              20

A Cutlash                           8

A Shirt                               4

A Steel                               1

A Calico Petticoat              12

A Red Girdle                     2

A Laced Hatt                     8

A Clasp Knife                    1

A Yard Cadis                     1

Rum, mixed with 1/3 Water; per bottle          1

Salt, Gunpower, Kettles,  Looking Glasses …….

[1] See EBOOK Early History of the Creek Indians, John Reed Swanton