William Holland Thomas, Principal Chief

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William Holland Thomas, Principal Chief

Birthplace: Raccoon Creek
Death: Died in NC, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Richard Thomas; Yonaguska or (Yo-nu-gv-ya-s-gi) "Drowning Bear" ᏲᏄᎬᏯᏍᎩ, Principal Chief and Temperance Calvert
Husband of Sarah Jane Burney Thomas
Father of William Holland Thomas, Jr.; James R. Thomas; Sally Love Thomas and Angeline Sherrill
Brother of Martha Young Thomas
Half brother of Tsu-nu-lv-hv-s-gi and Jennie (Che-gail-a-teh) Yo-nu-gv-ya-s-gi

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About William Holland Thomas, Principal Chief

Adopted by Chief Yonaguska Drowning Bear. Drowning Bear called him Wil-Usdi or "Little Will."


Birth parents of William Holland Thomas were Richard Thomas and Temperance Calvert. He was adopted by Chief Drowning Bear.


This document http://www.usgwarchives.org/nc/jackson/images/thomas02.htm names two sons, William H. Thomas Jr. and James R. Thomas, and two daughters, Mrs. Angeline Sherrill and Sarah Love Thomas:

Adoption of Demarius Angeline Sherrill into The Eastern Band Of Cherokee

The resolution is dated November 16, 1874. It can be found in NARA M234, roll 107, frames 130 through 141.

Now therefore; be it Resolved by the council of the Eastern Band of the Cherokees in General Council assembled, and it is hereby authorized by the authority of the same. Resolved, that Mrs. Angeline Sherrill, daughter of Wm. H. Thomas, with her children, and Wm. H. Thomas, Jr. and James R. Thomas sons and Sarah Love Thomas daughter of the said W. H. Thomas be and the same are hereby adopted as members of the Eastern Band of Cherokees and entitled to all of the priviliges, benefits and immunities as other individual members of the band the same as if they had been born of Indian parents, and that our confidence in the integrity and good faith of the said Thomas remains unshaken and that we cordially approve.

Cherokee Chief, entrepreneur, politician, Confederate Colonel

William Holland Thomas was the only white man ever to be a chief of the Cherokees.



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William Holland Thomas, Principal Chief's Timeline

February 5, 1805
Raccoon Creek
Age 52
Age 54
Age 56
May 10, 1893
Age 88