Cherokee Phoenix


Published December, 3, 1831

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The Editor respectfully informs his readers that he is about leaving this place on a journey connected with the interest of the Cherokee Nation. He will be absent several months.- In the meantime the paper will be continued as usual.



NOV. 24, 1831


For publication, if you think proper, I send you a list of the names of the principal chiefs of the Cherokee Nation, given by and from the memory of Noonday, an aged man. You will discover the dates of the times when each flourished are not given and which is impossible to obtain from any man 'on the mortal side of existence.' But in regard to some of these, a biographical sketch, highly interesting, may be written, by consulting our ancient men, who are still left to us as living monuments of other days; and historical books, written by Americans and English. From various causes, of the last, we may not expect the whole truth or impartiality, but sufficient matter of fact can be gleaned, by tracing impressions made on their minds, from the eloquence and warlike deeds of our rude and savage, but in many respects, noble and lofty minded ancestors. To those who have the leisure may I recommend to write the life of Occunstota, whose chivalry is still cherished by our people, and who has been to this Nation, what Kosiusko has been to the also much oppressed Poland.

All of the chiefs mentioned in this list were seen by Noonday, except the first, who flourished before his recollection, but was well known to fame when he arrived at the age of discretion. His name was Etukkungsta.

Occunstota succeeded this chief, and had for his vice chief, Sahwanooka, who administered the government as principal, when the first chief became very old; notwithstanding the old chief was exceedingly beloved, honored and well obeyed to the day of his death.

Under the administrations of these two chiefs flourished the great war ' civil chief called Ataculculla or Wood-leaning-up, who is noticed in some of the British writers.

Eknngyeahdahhee,or the Firstkiller succeeded Sahwanooka,- to him succeeded the famous chief.-

Kungnitla, or the Little Turkey, whose benignant influence at last achieved the establishment of durable treaties of peace with the United States. To this chief was addressed a friendly letter, written on vellum, and to which was attached a golden chain as an emblem of the purity of the faith of the United States, by Dearborn, Secretary of War, acting under the special instruction of the President. After his death.

Enolee, or The Badger, became the chief. In his time the people of the Nation became divided into parties, the civil and the vagrant, or as they are now well known by the designation of 'the lovers of the land,' and 'the Arkansas Emigration' parties. Little was this chief qualified to tranquilize the discordant elements then rising into flame, or to oppose the malign influence of the United States, officers, who blew the coal of contention, to enable themselves as friendly mediators to effect treaties, in which the contending parties ceded large tracts of land by compromise, and which enured to the advantage of the United States. The patriotic party, claiming themselves to be the representatives of forty and some odd towns deposed this chief, under the charge of bias to the Arkansas party 'c. but in a subsequent Council of the nation he was reinstated to the dignity of the office, but from the wound inflicted upon his reputation, he never recovered to the day of his death. The commenced the administration of

Nungnaheeahdahhee or the Pathkiller, supported by Charles R. Hicks who become(sic) the assistant principal chief, and other powerful chiefs, distinguished for their firmness, resolution, eloquence and wisdom, who effectually counteracted the tide of emigration opened by General Jackson, in the treaty of 1817, and closed the breach, by the last treaty of 1819, concluded with J. C. Calhoun then Secretary of War. The spirit of civilization infused itself in all the acts of the Nation, which now established a written code of laws in conformity with the advice and written instructions of President Jefferson to the Cherokee Nation. The Great Council was then divided into distinct bodies, with power to negative each others' acts, and whose concurrence became necessary to the passage of any law. A Constitution was also recommenced by these chiefs, which was made by a convention, the members of which were elected by the people. Previous to the operation of this Constitution, and one year before the change was effected, it pleased the Great Spirit to call these good men from the stage of human existence. To fill this vacancy, thus occasioned, for one year, devolved upon the members of the Council who held their seats, under the ancient and immemorial usage; who appointed by ballot, William Hicks, Sen. brother of the late Charles R. Hicks, to be Principal chief, and John Ross, President of the Committee at that period, to be the assistant principal chief. At the expiration of the term for which these chiefs were appointed, the members of the General Council, elected under the new Constitution, chose by ballot John Ross ' George Lowrey Sen. Principal and assistant Principal chiefs, for four years, whose term of service will terminate in October, 1832.