This study examines the period between 1730 to 1790, which saw the Cherokee people travel the path from a sovereign people allied with the British to a dependent nation signed by treaty to the American Civilization program with US government. The author analyzes how, in between, the Cherokees fought two wars—one with the British military and one with the Continental Army. A group of Cherokee peace and military chiefs navigated the journey for the Cherokees in trying to handle both wars. Ultimately, a break-away group of young Cherokees, led by Dragging Canoe, led his Chickamauga Cherokees away from their traditional leaders and into the battlefield with the Americans. Sadly, all Cherokees paid the price for the actions of these young warriors. The Cherokees survived these ordeals and continue on as a people today just like the rivers that continue to flow through their lands.
Michael Morris is associate professor at the College of Coastal Georgia.
Chapter 1: The Anglo-Cherokee War: The Past is Prologue
Chapter 2: After the Treaty of Easton: Cherokee Diplomacy against a coming Storm
Chapter 3: Cherokee Diplomacy amid the ashes of Fort Loudoun
Chapter 4: Snowball in the Sun: Dragging Canoe and the Spirit of 1776
Chapter 5: “The Great God of Nature has not created us to be your slaves.”
Cherokee Odyssey is indispensable to understanding the forces that created and propelled Dragging Canoe’s late-eighteenth-century Cherokee revitalization movement, as well the legacy it left behind. At every turn of the page, Morris provides deep insights into Cherokee diplomacy, military history, and culture.
Cherokee Odyssey offers a carefully reconstructed and deeply insightful exploration of Cherokee history. In this long-overdue book, Morris reveals how Cherokee leaders exercised agency, repeatedly making difficult choices in an effort to negotiate with colonizers as allies, not as subjects, in an attempt to preserve the Cherokee way of life.