Chickamauga Cherokee

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Chickamauga Cherokee

Dragging Canoe was one of the Cherokee tribe’s most devoted chiefs. He angrily opposed the terms of the deal in which the Cherokee Nation signed away some of their valuable land to the whites and received very little in return. He broke away from the Cherokees in 1776, forming an aggressive wing of the tribe known as the Chickamauga Cherokees.

Dragging Canoe was one of the Cherokee tribe’s most devoted chiefs. He angrily opposed the terms of the deal in which the Cherokee Nation signed away some of their valuable land to the whites and received very little in return. He broke away from the Cherokees in 1776, forming an aggressive wing of the tribe known as the Chickamauga Cherokees.

The Chickamauga Cherokee, also known as the Lower Cherokee, were a band of Cherokee who supported Great Britain at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Followers of the Cherokee chief Dragging Canoe, in the winter of 1776/1777, they moved with him down the Tennessee River away from the historic Overhill Cherokee towns. In this more isolated area, they established almost a dozen new towns to gain distance from colonists’ encroachment. The frontier people often referred to the people as “Chickamaugas,” after the name of the new town on the Chickamauga River where Dragging Canoe resided. After the Cherokee moved further west and southwest five years later, they were more commonly known as the “Lower Cherokee,” after the “Five Lower Towns,” whose people originally formed the new settlement. Neither they nor other Cherokee considered them separate from the 19th-century Cherokee people.

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