- Born: 1699
- Marriage: Unknown
Attacullaculla's name was also spelled Attakullaculla and he was knownalso as Ukwaneequa or Chuconnunta. The English translation of his name was Little Carpenter.
In 1735 he with a small group of other Cherokees, went to visit London.He was actually a rather small man, not much over 5 feet.
Most of the modern American History books contain the name of this man ashaving fought with the Americans in the American Revolution. His son,Dragging Canoe fought on the side of the British,the ChickamaguaCherokees.
Nancy and Attacullaculla were known as Peace Chiefs. During times ofPeace the Chiefs wore white. The war council was composed of additionalchiefs and only sat on the council during times of war. During times ofwarthe chiefs wore Red. Thus the color white symbolized peace and thecolor red symbolized war.[Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #2009, Dateof Import: Aug 8, 1996]
Attakullakulla, Supreme Chief of the Cherokee 1760 --1775. bd. Attakullakulla or Little Carpenter, was 'Civil' or 'White'Chief, and lived in Chota. In 1735 he was taken , along with a smallgroup of other Cherokees, to visit London. The Indians delighted theEnglish residents and had their own eyes broadly opened to theattributesand strengths of white civilization. When they returned home, the Englishtraders and officials made the most of this and over the next twentyyears carefully cultivated the Cherokees by offering to help whenever theCherokees needed it.Attakullakulla was especially responsive and in1757 he would be instrumental in persuading the Governor of SouthCarolina to construct Fort Loudon to strengthen England's control overthe area and to encourage more trade between the Cherokee and the Easterncoastal towns. In addition, the Chief invited at this time several moretraders to set up headquarters in Chota and to take Cherokee wives.
Little is known of Attakullakulla's immediate family. His wife appearsonly rarely in the documentary record. In 1758 Attakullakulla wroteLyttelton, "I deisre that you would send me a cloak for my wife," andonce he tried to exchange two prisoners for two negro slaves to helpher. In November, 1774 she accompanied him to North Carolina. InBethabara husband and wife listened to the peal of the organ. he hadheard many organs but she insited that the lid be reomved for she feareda child was trapped inside. In a letter dated 1766 she is mentioned, butnothing more. (Journalof Cherokee Studies, Vol. III, No. 1, Winter,1978 p. 27)
Attakullakulla, he was one of the few Cherokee leaders who depended notonw ords but on actions to secure a floowing. He commanded respectbeacuse of his courage and fighting ability, which he ably demontrated in1755 by netting five French prisoners in an expedition to theIllinois-Wasbash region, and by leading the unprecedented number of fivehundred warriors to a decisive victory at Taliwa over the creeks, whowere compelled to vacate nothern Georgia. (Supra, Jounal of CherokeeStudies.)
Cherokee Chief, 1760-1775
Notes on Attalullakulla from the Journal of Cherokee Studies, Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter 1978
The date of Attakullakulla's birth is not known for certain, but was probably not before 1700 nor after 1712. Attakullakulla himself recalled that he was but a youth when he visited England in 1730. The youngest of the seven (who went) was Okoonaka, the White Owl, although some English newspapers persisted in calling him Captain Owean Nakan. He was probably in his twenties and was of remarkable small stature, slender and delicate frame. Although he was the youngest of the seven, he was related to the family from which many Cherokee leaders were drawn and was thus destined for greatness if he showed the mettle to grasp the opportunity which circumstances presented to hiim. He did, and he became Attakullakulla, whose voice was infulential, and often dominate, in the councils of the Cherokee Nation for nearly 50 years.
According to one of his contemporaries, Attakullakulla was born on the Big Island of the French Broad River, later called Sevier's Island. He was a child of the Overhill Towns which lay along the banks of the Little Tennessee and Hiwassie rivers. Nothing is known of his mother except that she was a sister of Connecorte, better known as Old Hop, who was the nominal leader of the Cherokees during the 1750's. Of his father we know only that he was a chief. (Endnote #6: ".......says Attakullakulla and Connecorte were cousins but the latter told the British that Attakullalulla was his nephew.") In 1809 Major John Norton interviewed Turtle-At-Home, who claimed to be a son of Attakullakulla, who stated that his father was originally a Mishwakihha, one of the divisions of the Nipissing Indians., and had been captured as an infant and adopted by the Cherokees.) As the son of an important family, he was probably trained at an early age in the mysteries of statecraft and tribal tradition, but noting definetly is known of him until he first appears in the written records of 1730.
Notes on Attakullakulla going to England. Taken from the Journal of Cherokee Studies.
( Puncuation and capitalization as in the Journal)
1730... In the spring Sir Alexander Cuming, an adventurer with no official connection to the Crown or any colony, visited the Cherokees and on the evening of April 3, at a tribal council at Nequassie, blustered the Cherokees into doing homage to King George. Cuming then bestowed the title of "Emperor" on Moytoy of Great Tellico. Moytoy declined to go (to) England because of his wife's illness, but by some accounts, he allowed Sir Alexander to select his companions and that "from Tannassie...he took Clogittah and Oukandekah warriors."
Attakullakulla gave this account in 1755: (Cuming said)...that it would have much better effect if some of us would go along with him. But after some questions were asked about England and how far it might be to it not one of our people would consent to go....At night Mr. Wiggins the Interpreter came to the house where I was, and told me that the Warrior (Cuming)had a particular favor for me, and that if I would consent to go he would be indifferent whither any other went; and Mr. Wiggan pressed me very Much to accept of his Invitation. I was then a young man but I thought it would be right to Consider before I spoke, I told him I understood England was a great Way off. That I should be long in going there, I should be detained there a Considerable time, and would be long in returning and I did not know how I should get back. But he assured me the distance was very much magnifyed and that I might be back at the end of the Summer or at least some time in the fall,!
Upon which assurances I agreed to go; Early next morning One of our people came to me....He then told me that neither he nor any other had intended to have gone but since I was to go That I should not go alone, for that he would accompany me and that he knew of Two or three more that he could persuade to go accordingly they were spoke to and agreed making it all Six and we Immediately got ready & soon set off...
One Cherokee having joined them on the way to Charleston, the seven boarded the man-of-war Fox on May 4, 1730 and landed at Dover on June 5.
On June 18, 1730 Attakullakulla and his companions saw the King at the installation of Knights of the Garter at Windsor, where "They had severally the honor to kiss the hands of his Majesty, the Prince of Wales, the Duke &c..." They were permitted to stand near the King at his dinner, where they were described as being naked, except an apron about their middles, and a Horse's Tail hung down behind: their Faces, shoulders &c. were painted and spotted with red, blue and green etc. They had bows in their hands, and painted feathers on their Heads. They were given costumes more fitting to the setting..."rich garments laced with Gold" and it was in this finery that they sat for a group portrait commissioned by the Duke of Montagu. The likeness of Attakullakulls which resulted was the basis for a later engraving which has survived to the present. He is a small but slender young fellow, in court dress but bareheaded, holding a pebble filled gourd in one hand and a knife in the other.
After 1730 the movements and activities of Attakullakulla are for several years hidden from us, but he emerges in 1736 when the French sent emissaries to the Overhills. Then Attakullakulla helped his people resist the blandishments of the French, perhaps remembering the puissance of the British Crown which he had seen with his own eyes.
Three or four years later Attakullakulla was captured by the Ottowas, allies of the French, who took him to Canada where he was detained until 1748. His captivity was honorable, though, as he is later described as one of those " who return'd as Emissaries from Canada, where they had been carried Prisoners, and lived some years, being there made very much of." While there he talked with French priests, traders and soldiers, and was favored by an audience with the Governor of New France.
Robert Gandey, who traded with the Indians, reported to Governor James Glen of South Carolina that "bad talks" began to be heard in the Cherokee towns after Attakullakulla returned from his prolonged detention.
More Attakullakulla in England
On Sept. 9 , 1730 "Articles of Friendship and Commerce" were presented to the Cherokees for their concurrence, and on the 29th the name of Oucounacou, along with the other names, was appended to the treaty. "Tho I was the first person who had agreed to go." recalled Attakullakulla many years later, "yet as I was the youngest of the company it would not be right that I should be the Speaker, and therefore Oukayuda was appointed..." to give the oration customery on such occassions. Afterward the Cherokees retired to their quarters. When they were alone, the Cherokees demanded an exact translation of the "Articles of Friendship" from Wiggan. Upon learning their spokesman had solemnly affirmed the claim of "The Great King's right to the Country of Carolina," they immediately went into formal council. At first, the general opinion was that they should repudiate this claim by killing both Wiggan, the interpreter, and their spokesman, Oukayuda. In the end, however, they decided to leave the matter to their elders at home, feeling that since they had no authority to cede the land the articles could not be binding. This view was also expressed by the British at the treaty of Saluda in 1755.
The Gentleman’s Magazine
for March 1760
by Sylvanus Urban, Gent.
London: Printed by D. Henry, at St. John’s Gate
A brief Account of the Negotiation between Governor Lyttelton and Attakullakulla (or the Little Carpenter) Deputee of the whole Cherokee Nation, and other Headmen and Warriors of that Nation, Dec. 29, 1759.
On the 19th the Little Carpenter with five other headmen arrived in the camp; as it was late when he came, he told the governor he would give his talk next day: He said he had come with a good talk, and made no doubt but the chain which had begun to contract rust would again be brightened: Accordingly, early on the 20th he have his talk, which consisted of little more than general professions of friendship and assurances of future good behaviour; but it was observed he carefully avoided so much as mentioning the murders committed by the Indians, and made not the least offer of giving satisfaction: when he had finished he offered to withdraw; but the governor desired him by the interpreter to remain, when his excellency spoke to the following effect:
“You told me yesterday you had a good talk to make, and expected such a one from me; you know it is the will of the Great King that his people and your people should live together in friendship; and you, Attakullakulla, have said they desire not to break the chain thereof; it is a chain which our Great King holds at one end, and you at the other: you know, in order to keep that chain from contracting rust, and to hinder its being broken, it was necessary certain conditions should be made, you, Attakullakulla, well remember the time, for you were present at Westminster in the year 1730 when they were made. And as all the acts of the Great King are kept till time shall be no more, so I now have in my hand those very conditions made with you and your people; it was concluded, that if any Indian kills and Englishman, he should be delivered up to be punished as the law requires. This was the antient [sic] talk of our fathers and your fathers; and when the Great King took your nation under his protection he ordered it so for the future. This treaty has been since renewed by several of the king’s governors, from time to time, in this province. It was the mercy of the Great King that this way of restitution should be established to prevent a war which might destroy your nation: whereas, at any time, by the delivery of the guilty person the innocent might escape, and your people be suffered to live in friendship with ours.
“In the month of November 1758, six deputies from your nation came to Charles Town, to make up all differences between our people and yours. They did then engage to observe the words of the acts I now have here, and which you know are the same made by the Great King. They received a large quantity of goods as full satisfaction for any injuries they had received from the white people; and did solemnly promise to keep in strict friendship with all the Great King’s subjects. Notwithstanding which, a short time after they went from Sattiquo, under Moy Toy, and killed many of them, although no provocation had been given; thereupon I demanded satisfaction according to the words of the Great King, but they have yet given me none; but as the Great King George loves mercy better than war, I was willing to wait; but while the white people lay quietly in their houses, they came, killed and scalped them, and last of all put to death three white men in the upper nation; they also fired at a messenger from this fort who was sent to me, but the ball missed him; they drove the white people who lived in their towns to furnish them with goods, into the forts; they knowing that their people have been guilty of all these things, and many more, made me expect you would not only come down with a good talk, as you are pleased to call what you have delivered, but that you would offer satisfaction for them. I am now come here with a great number of my warriors, to take the satisfaction I have more than once demanded. Perhaps some among your people may have looked upon the white people’s putting up with such injuries to arise from apprehension of your people; but you shall now see their patience, and their long suffering was not for want of resolution: you well know our strengths in this province is three times sufficient to destroy your nation. The white people in all the provinces on the land are brothers, and linked together, and we come not alone against you because we have suffered, but the Virginians and North Carolinians are preparing to come against you, unless satisfaction be given me; and my brother the governor of Georgia also will prevent any ammunition from coming to you.
“Sometime past you sent to Virginia to offer a trade with them, and the goods were actually on their way for your, under the care of Richard Smith and two of your Indians, which I stopt, and they shall not proceed hither until I send directions for them. It is not necessary for me to say more until you make satisfaction for killing the white people.
You Attakullakulla have been in England; the power of our great king you have seen, and have been a witness of the splendor of his throne, and the multitude of his warriors: You also know it is five years and more that we have been at war with the French, who were at that time numerous over all America: you know I disdain to tell you a falsehood; and now I will inform you what success his army has had. Some of the last ships that arrived at Charlestown brought me a great deal of good news, a fleet of his ships of war have taken many of the same belonging to the French, and a messenger has arrived with an account that the great city of Quebec is reduced; as also that the great king’s warriors have taken all the forts on the great lakes, and up the river Ohio down to Fort du Quesne, and have beat down all things in their way, even as a hurricane would have done in its passage. The Indians in those parts fearing his power have made their peace with our great king; the Delawares, Shawanese, and all of them that live near Fort du Quesne, have desired to be in friendship with us; the Choctaws also beg to be received under this protection, by his beloved man Mr Atkin, upon which a great number of traders are gone into their country with all sorts of goods: If you won’t believe what I say, and imagine the French are able to supply you with the necessaries you stand in need of, it is well, but they are starving: Undone themselves, they cannot furnish a blanket or gun to the Choctaws, much less to you that are so far distant.
These things I have mentioned only to shew you the great king will not suffer his people to be destroyed without satisfaction, and to let you know the people of this province are determined now to have it; what I say to you is with a merciful intention; if I make war with you, you will suffer for your rashness, your men will be destroyed, and your women and children be carried into captivity. What few necessaries you may have now will be soon finished, and when gone you will get no more. But if you give the satisfaction I shall ask, the trade will be opened again from this province and Virginia, and all things go right. I have twice given you a list of the murderers, I will now tell you it is 24 men of your nation I demand to be delivered me to be put to death, or disposed of as I shall think fit; your people have killed more than that number of us, or as many: that number is the least I will accept of, and I give you till tomorrow morning to consider of it: I expect your answer then: you best know the Indians concerned, several gangs at different times have gone out; and I expect that the 24 Indians you will deliver up will be of those who committed the murders.:
“Attakullakulla then took his leave, but not without pretending that all the disturbances had arisen from eight of his people being confined in Virginia some time ago, which he said was done by order of Mr Atkin. He returned early next day, and had a private conference with the governor, who gave leave to Tistoe, and the old warrior of Estatoe, two of those detained in the fort, to go to their respective towns. Next day two of the murderers were delivered up, one of them named the Slave Catcher, the villain who scalped Mrs Johnson and her son, and were both immediately put in irons. Every necessary step was taken to obtain satisfaction; a general review was directed in order to march against the town of Estatoe, about twelve miles from this place; but on the 26th this Carpenter returned, when the following honourable treaty put an end to further hostile measures.
“Another of the murderers is taken and delivered up, so that the number of the hostages which are to be left at this fort, are now only 21. A white man, a trader, is taken up and in confinement; he with the murderers are to be brought to Charles-Town, guarded by the regulars and provincials, some of which are to be left to reinforce this garrison.”
Treaty of Peace and Friendship concluded by his Excellency Governor Lyttleton, with Attakullakulla, &c at Fort Prince George, Dec, 26. 1759.
Article I. there shall be a firm peace and friendship between all his majesty’s subjects of this province and the nation of Indians called the Cherokees, and the said Cherokees shall preserve peace with all his majesty’s subject.
Art. II. The articles of friendship and commerce, concluded at Whitehall on the 6th of Sept. 1730, shall be strictly observed for the time to come.
Art. III. Whereas the Cherokee Indians have, since the 19th Nov. 1758, slain divers of his majesty’s subjects of this province, and the governor having demanded satisfaction, two Cherokee Indians, who have been guilty of the said murders, have been delivered up; it is hereby agree, that 22 other Cherokee Indians, guilty of the said murders, shall, as soon as possible, be also delivered up, to be put to death, or otherwise disposed of, as the said governor and commander in chief shall direct.
Art. IV. Twenty-two Cherokee Indians shall remain as hostages for the performance of articles; and when any of the murderers shall have been delivered up, and equal number of the hostages shall be set at liberty.
Art. V. Immediately after the conclusion of this treaty, the licensed traders from this government shall have leave to return to their places of abode in the Cherokee nation, and to carry on their trade with the Cherokee Indians in the usual manner.
Art. VI. During the continuance of the present war between his majesty and the French king, if any Frenchman shall presume to come into the Cherokee nation, the Cherokees shall use their utmost endeavours to put him to death, as one of his majesty’s enemies; or, if taken alive, they shall deliver him up to the governor, or commander in chief of this province; and if any white man or Indian shall bring any messages from the French into the Cherokee nation, or hold any discourse there in favour of the French, or tending to set the English and Cherokees at variance, and interrupt the friendship established by this treaty, the Cherokees shall use their utmost endeavours to apprehend and detain him, ‘till they shall have given notice thereof to the governor, or commander in chief, and have received his directions therein.
Signed the 26th of December 1759.
William-Henry Lyttelton (L.S.)
Attakullakulla (L.S.)Kitagusta (L.S.)
Ouconnostota (L.S.)Oconoeia (L.S.)
Otassite (L.S.)Killcannehea (L.S.)
Joseph Axson, William Forster, Sworn interpreters.
But notwithstanding this treaty, so solemnly ratified, the murderers, and other disaffected Cherokees, as soon as the army left their country, rose, and committed the most barbarous out rages upon the back settlers, cutting some of them in pieces, and hanging their mangled limbs upon poles; so that the country is now in a greater consternation than ever.
Ada.gal'kala: "Leaning Wood." Ada.gal'kala was known to the English as the "Little Carpenter." In the histories, his name is most often spelled Attacullaculla. As a young man he was known as Uku Unega, and the British called him Owen Nakan. He was the father of Dragging Canoe. See Uku.unega below.
Uku.unega: White Owl (Uku or Ukah, owl + unega, white)
From Robert J. Conley's book: Cherokee Dragon, a Novel
Attacullaculla married Unknown.