Dragging Canoe (1738 - 1792) 

Chickamaugas Chief


"Dragging Canoe" (Tsi'yu-gunsini), the son of Attakullakulla (The Little Carpenter, so named for his skill at crafting treaty language acceptable to all) and cousin of Nancy Ward occupies much of my current research time. He was a fierce warrior, pockmarked by smallpox when a young child, tall and stately in appearance, and the primary leading force in the Cherokee's resistance to white settlement on Cherokee lands. He strongly resisted the sale of Cherokee lands to whites and spoke at treaty negotiations vehemently objecting to the continued sale of Cherokee land.

At the conclusion of the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals of 1775, Dragging Canoe spoke against the sale of Cherokee land. He rose and said "Whole Indian nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delawares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness. We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Cherokee land. They wish to have that action sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Cherokees. New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Cherokees and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of Ani-Yunwiya, THE REAL PEOPLE, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Cherokees, the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will have our lands. A-WANINSKI, I have spoken."




..."Lost" Cherokee, Shawnee, Chickasaw, Creek, Yamasee, Yuchi, Meherrin, Delaware/Lenape please take note...

The Chickamauga Confederacy came very close to foiling the American Revolution, and most the descendants of its tribes, bands, and families have been in hiding ever since, in Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, and elsewhere.

"...A common cause of ethnic survival fostered a intertribal bond under the leadership of Dragging Canoe, Cameron and Black Dog. In 1748, historical records indicated that the Chickamauga (Lower Cherokee a.k.a. River Tribes) formed an alliance with the Meherrin (Conestoga) and Shawano-Delaware tribes under the Beloved Chiefs Asaquah, Conestageh and sixty others (Swanton 49:163, 164)."

Although most Chickamauga sided with the British in the revolutionary war because of American treachery, some, like the Notowega (Creek) "never sided with the colonials nor the British, and were a warrior and priestly community, who carried the sacred bundles, sustained the sacred fires, and served as the protectors of Turtle Island."




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