Nancy Ward 1
- Born: 1738, Chota, City Of Refuge 1
- Marriage (1): Kingfisher about 1753 in Chota
- Marriage (2): Bryan Ward on 18 Sep 1756
- Died: 1822, Womankiller Ford, Benton, Tennesee at age 84 1
- Buried: Abt 1822, Benton, Polk, TN 1
Ancestral File Number: 79.
fie was from the Overhills The son of Nancy Ward and Kingfisher. Also called
Five killer. Born about 1753. He lived on Wilson Hill at Ocoee (Uwagahi).
He was from the Overhills. Born: 1710, Died 1781. Also called Attakullakulla
(Leaning Wood) Chugnonanto Tommy, Chukenanta Warrior, Little Cornplanter,
Ookanaka (White Owl) of Natchey Creek, and Truconita. He was the Peace Chief
of the Cherokee Nation. Served the English interest and was a medal chief.
Went to England in 1730. He may have been a Nipissing Indian, according to
statements made b his son, Turtle at home. He was the nephew of Movtoy and
Old Hop, and the uncle of Nancy Ward. Dragging Canoe, Badger, and White Owl
were his sons. Born about 1710 in either Canada or the Big Island of the
French Broad River in Tennese. During his life, he lived in Natchey Creek,
Tenase, Tornatley, and Toqua of the, Overhills. He was a member of the Wolf
He was from the Overhills, 1755. Cherokee name, Chutloh.
Nan-ye-he GHI-GA-U was born about 1738 in Chota, Cherokee Nation East (now ,Monroe, TN). She died in 1822 in Womakiller Ford, Cherokee Nation East (now ,Polk, TN). She was buried in 1822 in Nancy Ward's Grave, Benton, Polk, TN. She was a full blood Cherokee Indian.
[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #2009, Date of Import: Aug 8, 1996]
Nancy Ward b. About 1738, d. 1822 She was a Full blood of the WolfClan, born in Chota, the City of Refuge and Capitol of the CherokeeNation. Great grandfather was Moytoyof Tellico Supreme Chief 1730 --1760. Moytoy's second daughter, born about 1663 and her husband, The "Raven" of Chotawere Nancy's grandparents. Nancy holds a position of great significancein Cherokee history. In 1738, Tame Do (the sister of Attakullakulla) andher husband, thought to be a Delaware Indian brave or Chief ( who died earlyin her life) gave birth to a daughter named Nancy, who in time became thelast true Ghi Ga U or Beloved Woman of the Cherokees, and in who in herviews regarding Cherokee and white relationships was an ally of LittleCarpenter (Attakullakulla). In the early 1750's, she married the noted war leader,Kingfisher of the Deer Clan, and was at his side when in 1755 he waskilled by Creek warriors at thebattle of Taliwa. She immediately pickedup his weapons and rallied the Cherokee warriors to overwhelming victory.Her first tangible reward was a black slave who had been left behind bythe retreating Creeks, and legend has it that this was the beginning ofblack slavery among the Cherokees. Back at Chota, she was chosen to fillthe vacant position of a Beloved Woman. It was believed that the SupremeBeings often spoke to the people through the beloved women, and theywere given absolute power in the question of what to do with prisonerstaken in war, a power exclusive to Ghi Ga U. Nancy did not hesitate touse the power. She was also head of the influential woman's council thatconsisted of a representative from each clan, and shesat as a votingmember of the council of chiefs. In the late 1750's, about 1759, shemarried an already wed white trader named Bryant Ward, who before 1760left her and returned to his white wife and children in South Carolina.In 1772, an Englishdiplomat named Robertson visited Nancy's home atChota, which he described as being furnished in a barbaric splendor thatbefitted her high rank. She was then thirty - five years old and hepictured her as "queenly and commanding"(Mooney -Myths of the Cherokeepg. 204 ) In June 1776, Dragging Canoe, Abraham and Raven ,Cherokee War Chiefs,with 250 warriors each, at the instigation of the British, planned toattack Western settlements Ghi Ga u warned the settlers of the impendingattacks,then on July 20, 1776, Abraham, marching to attack Watauga inEast Tennessee , captured Mrs. William Bean, mother of the first whitechild born in Tennessee. When the war party returned to Cherokee Country,Mrs. Bean was condemned to be burned atthe stake. She was conducted tothe top of a mound that stood in the center of Tuskeegee, which waslocated just above the mouth of the Tellico or Little Tennessee River.Bound at the stake, faggots piled around, torch about to be applied, GhiGa uappeared , cut the thongs and took the captive to her home, whereMrs. Bean taught her how to keep house and make butter. As soon as it wassafe, Ghi Ga u sent her brother, Tuskeegeeteehee, or Longfellow ofChistatoa andher son Hiskyteehee, or Fivekiller sometimes calledLittlefellow, to escort Mrs. Bean to her husband. Numerous settlementshad been made on Cherokee land, in direct violation of royal decree fromEngland. When the Revolutionary War broke out, the Cherokees again sidedwiththe English. In 1776, the Cherokees prepared to attacksimultaneously the frontier settlements of Virginia, the Carolinas, andGeorgia. The responsibility assigned to 700 warriors from chota was tostrike the settlers who lived in the Watuga area.As much for theCherokees' sake as for that of the settlers, Nancy Ward helped IsaacThomas, William Fawling and another white man to escape from Chota towarn the Watugans in time to build fortifications. This act establishedNancy's reputation as a friend of the settlers. When in October 1776Colonel William Christian led nearly 2,000 troops in a devastating raid,out of respect for Nancy Ward he spared Chota, while most of the otherCherokee towns were ravaged.In 1780, at a time when most of the Wataugamen were away from home and engaged in the King's Mountain campaign, atthe same time, the frontier rear guards became short on rations and NancyWard agreed to supply beef and had some cattle driven in, the Cherokeesagain prepared to attack the settlements in the Watauga area. Nancy Wardwarned the whites a second time, but when the soldiers returned fromKing's Mountain and learned of the threat, they were enraged, and set outto teach the Cherokees a lesson they wouldnever forget. Despite NancyWard's pleas for mercy and friendship, Chota was destroyed along withother towns, and for a short time she and her family were placed inprotective custody. When they were released, they returned to helprebuild the town, and on July 20, 1781, she was the featured speaker forthe Cherokees when the reeling people reluctantly accepted a peace treatywith the Wataugans. When the Treaty of Hopewell was made in SouthCarolina in 1785, she offered another dramatic plea for continued peacebetween the Indians and the whites. Once the unhappy war years were endedshe lived in Chota, where although it was no longer the capitol of thenation, it was still a city of refuge, and from all over the nation shetook into her home orphaned and homeless waifs, including mixed breeds.Nancy Ward died in 1822,(see below) a truly remarkable woman who learneda permanent place of honor in Cherokee and white history"( The CherokeePeople pp. 193 - 194) Ghi Ga u conducted an inn at the Womankiller ford of the Ocowee Riverfor many years and became quite wealthy; her property consisted of livestock,slaves and money. Travelers called her "Granny Ward" because of her ageand that she was the widow of Bryant WardNancy grew too old to meet withcouncil and other chiefs, she sent her servant to take her walking stick,her badge of authority, to her appointed seat in the council building toassure that her spirit was there, most notably the council at Amoah, May6, 1817, the renunciation of her delegated rights and in favor of thefirst Constitutional Enactment of the Cherokees. Nancy Ward died at herhome at the Womankiller ford, in the spring of 1822. Her grave site, adesignated state park, is located on a knoll next to U. S. Highway 411,just South of Benton, Tennessee, Buried beside her son, Fivekiller, aveteran of the War of 1812, and her brother Longfellow. Her grave siteoverlooks the site where Nancy ran her inn, where the old Unicoy Pikecrossed the Ocoee River.( the Pike was the main road from Knoxville intoNorthern Georgia and was a popular resting place for travelers)
NOTE: Tuskeegee is the town name of one of the original 8 subdivisions ofthe Cuesta peace town of theCoosas, primal mother tribe of the Muskogees(Creeks) Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. The suffix " tee hee "means killer, therefore, Ghi Ga u 's brother was " Tuskeegeekiller, knownto the English by the descriptive name of Longfellow, because of hisstature. Hisky is Cherokee for the number 5. The Chattanooga, Tennessee Nancy Ward Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a brass plaque on Nancy's grave in 1926. ThePolk County and State centennial Commission honored Nancy as an AmericanPatriot by placing a plaque near her grave that reads:
" THE WILD ROSE OF THE CHEROKEE"
Nancy ward, Princess and prophetess of the Cherokee Nation, Pocohontasof Tennessee, constant friend of the American Pioneer, had as her mainobjective, promoting peace between the Cherokees and the Pioneers. In1776 she warned the settlers on the Watauga holst Rivers of the impendingattack by the Cherokees. She also saved Mrs. William Bean from beingburned at the stake.During the Indian outbreak of 1780, she helped manyprisoners escape and often supplied starved prisoners with food. She wasqueenly and commanding in appearance and manner, tall, erect, andbeautiful with an imperious and kindly air........."
Onthe Reservation Roll 1817. Nancy's Cherokee name was Nanye'hi; Nancy Ward may have been half Delwareor full blood Cherokee. Her Grandfather was Moytoy of tellico SupremeChief 1730-1760. Some say it was his second daughter married to "Raven"of Chota who were Nancy's grandparents. "Raven" was a Cherokee Titlebestowed upon a brave warrior. Longefellow her brother carried the namefor awhile and so did her son, FiveKiller. At any rate Tame Do was hermother and the sister of Attakullakulla (The Little Carpenter, so namedbecause he was so good at putting treaties together between theCherokee's and Whites), Tame Doe is thought to have married a DelawareIndian Chief but much uncertainty surrounds this. The whites believe shewas married to an Englishman. Whether Nancy was 1/2 white, Delaware orfull blood Cherokee is uncertain. Emmett Starr claims her be full bloodCherokee. Dragging Canoe was the Son of Attakullakulla and Nancy's firstcousin. Attakullakulla has other sons, Little Owl, Beaver etc. DraggingCanoe fought on the side of the English during the Revolutionary War.Nancy however, helped the Americans and as such is an American Patriot.A Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in ChattanoogaTenn. is named after her. She married first Kingfisher of the Deer Clan,she was of the Wolf Clan. Cherokees could not marry within their clans.Kingfisher was killed at the battle of Taliwa, while fighting theCreeks. Long story short- this battle made her the "Beloved Woman" ofthe Cherokee Nation. There is a tramendous amount of informationavaiable about Nancy. She is in Who's Who in Colonial America and Who'sWho in American Women.
The Ridge is related to Nancy Ward also Sequoia, who discovered theCherokee Language. Also Elias Boidnot(spelling ?) first editor of theCherlokee Advocate.
Introduction: Women and Removal
During the 18th century, the impact of war and trade (traditionally men’s fields) had diminished Cherokee women’s political influence, and the adoption of Anglo-American institutions did so further. Still, as pressure for removal increased in the early 19th century, Cherokee women spoke out against it. Nevertheless, in the removal crisis of 1817—1819, Cherokee women made themselves heard on two occasions. In 1817 and 1818, women’s councils presented petitions to the National Council, which was composed solely of men. Nancy Ward seems to have inspired and led these women’s councils. Ward was a War Woman, a title traditionally awarded to women who distinguished themselves while accompanying war parties to cook food, carry water, and perform other gender-specific tasks. Ward had rallied the warriors after her husband’s death in battle in 1755. She subsequently aided the patriot cause during the American Revolution and addressed the Hopewell treaty conference in 1785. Now the elderly Ward and other women turned their attention to land cession and removal. The impact of their petitions is difficult to determine. The Cherokees ceded land in 1817 and 1819, but they did not accept individual allotments, which the women had opposed, and after 1819 they ceded no more land until 1835.
How did the women refer to themselves in their petitions to the National Council? Do you think that a tradition of matrilineal kinship may have led the women to describe themselves in such terms? How did women feel about ceding land and moving west of the Mississippi? What reasons did they give for their position? How did they envision the Cherokee future? What did they think motivated the men who supported land cession and removal? Can you find an argument for Cherokee sovereignty in the first petition that supporters of the Cherokee cause later used?
In the second petition, the women also addressed the issue of allotment, that is, dividing Cherokee land into separate tracts and assigning (or allotting) those tracts to individuals. This would have been a dramatic departure from the Cherokee practice of holding land in common, which permitted any citizen to use unoccupied land but prevented an individual from selling the land he or she held. The federal government saw the allotment of land as a means to bypass Indian governments and enable either the United States or its citizens to purchase land from individual owners. Allotment became a feature of the removal treaties of the Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks and proved to be a disaster. Did the women support allotment? Can you think of any personal reasons that might have prompted them to oppose allotment?
Cherokee Women Resist Removal[i]
Petitions of the Women’s Councils, 1817, 1818
May 2, 1817
The Cherokee ladys now being present at the meeting of the chiefs and warriors in council have thought it their duty as mothers to address their beloved chiefs and warriors now assembled.
Our beloved children and head men of the Cherokee Nation, we address you warriors in council. We have raised all of you on the land which we now have, which God gave us to inhabit and raise provisions. We know that our country has once been extensive, but by repeated sales [it] has become circumscribed to a small track, and [we] never have thought it our duty to interfere in the disposition of it till now. If a father or mother was to sell all their lands which they had to depend on, which their children had to raise their living on, which would be indeed bad & to be removed to another country. We do not wish to go to an unknown country [to] which we have understood some of our children wish to go over the Mississippi, but this act of our children would be like destroying your mothers.
Your mothers, your sisters ask and beg of you not to part with any more of our land. We say ours. You are our descendants; take pity on our request. But keep it for our growing children, for it was the good will of our creator to place us here, and you know our father, the great president, will not allow his white children to take our country away. Only keep your hands off of paper talks for it’s our own country. For [if] it was not, they would not ask you to put your hands to paper, for it would be impossible to remove us all. For as soon as one child is raised, we have others in our arms, for such is our situation & will consider our circumstance.
Therefore, children, don’t part with any more of our lands but continue on it & enlarge your farms. Cultivate and raise corn & cotton and your mothers and sisters will make clothing for you which our father the president has recommended to us all. We don’t charge any body for selling any lands, but we have heard such intentions of our children. But your talks become true at last; it was our desire to forwarn you all not to part with our lands.
Nancy Ward to her children: Warriors to take pity and listen to the talks of your sisters. Although Jam very old yet cannot but pity the situation in which you will here of their minds. I have great many grand children which [I] wish them to do well on our land.
June 30, 1818.
We have called a meeting among ourselves to consult on the different points now before the council, relating to our national affairs. We have heard with painful feelings that the bounds of the land we now possess are to be drawn into very narrow limits. The land was given to us by the Great Spirit above as our common right, to raise our children upon, & to make support for our rising generations. We therefore humbly petition our beloved children, the head men & warriors, to hold out to the last in support of our common rights, as the Cherokee nation have been the first settlers of this land; we therefore claim the right of the soil.
We well remember that our country was formerly very extensive, but by repeated sales it has become circumscribed to the very narrow limits we have at present. Our Father the President advised us to become farmers, to manufacture our own clothes, & to have our children instructed. To this advice we have attended in every thing as far as we were able. Now the thought of being compelled to remove the other side of the Mississippi is dreadful to us, because it appears to us that we, by this removal, shall be brought to a savage state again, for we have, by the endeavor of our Father the President, become too much enlightened to throw aside the privileges of a civilized life.
We therefore unanimously join in our meeting to hold our country in common as hitherto.
Some of our children have become Christians. We have missionary schools among us. We have hard the gospel in our nation. We have become civilized & enlightened, & are in hopes that in a few years our nation will be prepared for instruction in other branches of sciences & arts, which are both useful & necessary in civilized society.
There are some white men among us who have been raised in this country from their youth, are connected with us by marriage, & have considerable families, who are very active in encouraging the emigration of our nation. These ought to be our truest friends but prove our worst enemies. They seem to be only concerned how to increase their riches, but do not care what becomes of our Nation, nor even of their own wives and children.
October 17, 1821 [1831?]
To the Committee and Council,
We the females, residing in Salecluoree and Pine Log, believing that the present difficulties and embarrassments under which this nation is placed demands a full expression of the mind of every individual, on the subject of emigrating to Arkansas, would take upon ourselves to address you. Although it is not common for our sex to take part in public measures, we nevertheless feel justified in expressing our sentiments on any subject where our interest is as much at stake as any other part of the community.
We believe the present plan of the General Government to effect our removal West of the Mississippi, and thus obtain our lands for the use of the State of Georgia, to be highly oppressive, cruel and unjust. And we sincerely hope there is no consideration which can induce our citizens to forsake the land of our fathers of which they have been in possession from time immemorial, and thus compel us, against our will, to undergo the toils and difficulties of removing with our helpless families hundreds of miles to unhealthy and unproductive country. We hope therefore the Committee and Council will take into deep consideration our deplorable situation, and do everything in their power to avert such a state of things. And we trust by a prudent course their transactions with the General Government will enlist in our behalf the sympathies of the good people of the United States.
[i] First petition located in Presidential Papers Microfilm: Andrew Jackson (Washington, D.C., 1961, series 1, reel 22). The second petition was enclosed in a letter from American Board missionaries to their headquarters in Boston. In it include in the Papers f the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Houghton Library, Harvard University. The third petition is from 1831, not 1821. The letter was written in October and published in the Cherokee Phoenix on November 12, 1831. For more information about Cherokee women, see Theda Perdue, “Cherokee Women and the Trail of Tears,” Journal of Women’s History 1 (1989): 14 – 30.
Nancy married Kingfisher about 1753 in Chota. (Kingfisher was born about 1720 in Cne,1 died about 1755 in Taliwa, Canton, GA Or Cne 1 and was buried about 1755 in Cne 1.)
Nancy next married Bryan Ward, son of Benjamin Ward and Atkins, on 18 Sep 1756. (Bryan Ward was born about 1730 in Ireland, christened in Trader and died on 15 Aug 1815 in Franklin County GA.)