Is your surname Black Fox?

Research the Black Fox family

Chief Black Fox's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


E-no-li Black Fox ('Inali), Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1801 to 1811

Also Known As: "Enoli", "Inali;enola/black;fox; Enola"
Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: Ustanali, Tennessee, Cherokee Territory
Death: August 1811 (61-69)
Kentucky, USA
Immediate Family:

Husband of Ollie Mollie Attakullakulla, Paint Clan; Sister of Gi-Go-Ne-Li (daughter of Ulutsa); Elizabeth Ah Ne Wa Kee "Dolly" Blackfox; Grand "Chippewa" Priber and Melba?
Father of Nancy Nunhyi Cooper; Rachel Cline; Elizabeth Looney; Sarah Ann Swift Running Deer Baucom; Mother of Looney Daughter Chippewa and 2 others

Occupation: the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation 1801-1811
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Chief Black Fox

Black Fox (Circa 1745-1811) was born about 1746 in the Cherokee village of Ustanali, in the Lower Towns area (found today in northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and their adjoining areas of southeastern Tennessee). He was also known as Enoli or Inali.

Parents: Black Fox (b. 1720) and Daughter Attakullakulla (Melba?).


  1. Sister of Gi-Go-Ne-Li, daughter of U-Lu-Tse. She was born Abt. 1740 and was the sister of Dragging Canoe.

The Fox name

Black Fox in Cherokee (Inola, Enoli) designates the medium-sized fur-bearing animal known as the fisher, a type of martin; also a very secretive catlike animal that lives in caves. The red or gray fox is called "chula."


His name was carried on by the Black Fox who signed the treaty of 1828 and emigrated west. Some descendants who remained in the East apparently shortened the name to Black. Mary Ann Black the wife of William Davis, another chief, may also have been a daughter of Black Fox. A sister married John Looney of the family that established the Looney Tavern, near where Black Fox was eventually entombed. Chief John Looney was thus a nephew of Black Fox (in the female line) and regarded Black Fox as the head of his family. There are rumors that a Black Fox changed his name to Henry White and moved from Alabama to Ohio. Black Fox's hunting camp was on the Stones River near Murphreesboro, Tenn. and is mentioned on a map of 1783.


Named principal chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1801. He ascended to the office upon the death of his predecessor, Chief Little Turkey. During his tenure, Black Fox signed several treaties with the United States government on behalf of the Cherokee Nation, giving away its rights to huge amounts of traditional foraging areas.

Brief Biography

Black Fox is listed as a lieutenant of Chief Dragging Canoe, 1788-1790. He signed the Holston Treaty, July 2, 1791(but not the stipulation of February 7, 1792) and delivered the funeral oration for his brother-in-law Dragging Canoe. Black Fox was chief of the lower town of Ustanali and became principal chief of the Cherokee after the death of Little Turkey in 1802. Black Fox signed the October 20, 1803 agreement for opening a road through the Cherokee Nation as "Principal Chief." He signed the Oct. 27, 1805, Jan. 7, 1806 and Sept. 11, 1807 treaties. On March 3, 1807, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives enacted a statute at large giving "the Cherokee chief, called Black Fox" a life annuity of $100. He sided with Chief Doublehead during the rebellion of 1806-1810 and was deposed for it, with Pathkiller taking his place. On April 18, 1810, he and others signed an act of the Cherokee Nation abolishing clan revenge. After this he was reinstated as principal chief. He last received his $100 stipend by proxy on July 11, 1810; the agent Return J. Meigs referred to him as "Black Fox Cherokee King." Younger chiefs forged his name to certain treaties and acts. He died in 1811 and was buried in an ancient tomb on the boundary between Cherokee and Creek lands in Blount Co., Ala.

Black Fox Crossing

There is a historical Black Fox Crossing over the Clinch River between Claibourne and Grainger Co., Tenn., now covered by Lake Norris. Several places bear the name Black Fox in Bradley Co., Tenn. A Black Fox Camp Springs is noted near Dilton and Murfreesboro in Rutherford Co.; it was the edge of the Cumberland Settlement in 1793. A story is told about Black Fox in Notable Southern Families. It is said he formerly hunted and camped at the magnificent spring on Stones River not far from Murfreesboro. "Once he was pursued to this place, and rather than be caught be the soldiers, sprang into the water and disappeared from sight. The soldiers believed him to be lost, but by an underground channel, he came to surface again at Murfree's Spring, two and one-half miles below. This Black Fox camp has often been mentioned in the history of Tennessee, its unusually large spring being a land mark."

Chief Black Fox's Tomb

At the time Blount was settling, we must recollect that the Cherokee Indians were the lords of all that portion of country lying between Wills Creek and the Chattahoochee river.... Some years after [1820], the northeast boundary of Blount was extended to Cherokee and Creek Indians, then residing in Brown's and Gunter'sValleys....

Most of the first settlers of Blount as well as those of the adjoining counties, believed that lead mines existed inBlount and Jefferson counties, and that the Indians knew their location and obtained lead from them. Perhaps, this general belief originated from the following circumstance, which occurred in 1810:

An old Cherokee Chief, named Black Fox, died in the north of our county, and was buried in an old mound; and in digging his grave, the Indians found some pieces of lead ore.This trivial discovery was magnified and circulated in Madison Count, and many intelligent persons in the county believed a lead mine really existed, at, or near the grave of the old Chief. This opinion became so strong, that Alexander Gilbreath, who then resided in Huntsville, was induced to visit the grave of Black Fox. His search there, proving unsuccessful.... Mr. George Fields, at that time fifty or sixty years old, informed him that the Indians knew of no lead mines nearer than those of Missouri and Illinois, and gave it as his opinion, that the lead found in the grave of Black Fox, had been brought from one of those States. John Gunter, (another old inhabitant of the valley, who had been brought up among the Chickasaws,and spent all his life with the Indians,) gave the same opinion, as to the pieces of lead which had been found in different parts of the county, viz: that they had been brought by the Indians from the northern mines. These two persons informed Mr. Gilbreath, that as far back as Indian memory extended, it was the custom of the Creeks to cross the Tennessee river near Deposit, (Baird's Bluff) and make long hunting expeditions, annually to the north, bringing with them, on their return, lead ore. - That the settling of Tennessee by the whites was a great obstacle in their way to the mines - particularly to those of Rock river. - That the Indians had then, in order to reach the mines, to bear lower down the Tennessee river, and that as the whites of Tennessee continued to extend their settlements westward, the difficulties in the way of the Creeks to the mines, were continually increasing. To this account, it may be added, that a company of Creeks, on a returning expedition of the above kind, murdered two or three white families, which led to the Indian war of 1812, at the close of which, they were finally barred from the mines by treaty.

Although it cannot be doubted, that the Indians brought lead ore into Blount from distant mines, yet this fact does not account for the pieces which have been found in the mounds....The mounds above spoken of, are heaps of earth in the form of pyramids. They are supposed to mark the burial places of the Chiefs. Some of them are very old, having upon their tops, growing trees of very large size. These mounds are to be found in thirteen different places in our county. Two or three of them are generally grouped together, or within a half mile of each other. In Murphree'sValley, there is one group consisting of three mounds, from four to seven in height. In the trough of the Locust Fork, there are five distinct groups. - In Blountsville Valley, (and near Blountsville) there is one; and in Brown's Valley one. North-west of the Mulberry Fork, there are four groups. These mounds are invariably in the valleys, on, or near the best bodies of land. This fact proves pretty clearly that the Indian settlements were in the valleys. Some knowledge of agriculture, may have led them to settle there, or it may have been the greater abundance of game and water found in such places. About these mounds, great quantities of flint spikes are found, which some persons believe were used as arrow-heads, but they seem unfit for such a purpose. The efficiency of the arrow, depends in a great degree upon its velocity; and arrows of sufficient strength to give great velocity to these spikes, would be so heavy, that all the power of the archer would fail to give them the force requisite to enter the vitals of a large animal. If we consider them as knives, there would be many uses for them: - such as skinning animals, severing the carcass, scaling fish, and cutting or sawing vegetable substances. Some of these spikes are six inches long, and weigh nearly a pound.

These placed on poles would be similar to the Mexican lance, and would be very useful against dangerous animals....Besides the mounds mentioned above, we find in different places in our county, heaps of stones, which are supposed to be graves of Indians. In many other places, numerous pieces of broken pottery are found; and near the junction of the Little Warrior and Locust Fork, we have the remains of an old fortification, (enclosing about half an acre) three sides of which are yet plainly to be seen.

On the tops of some of the hills, large quantities of muscle and periwinkle shells are found. As these are fresh water shell-fish, it is probable they were brought by the ancient inhabitants from the neighboring rivers and creeks, and their nourishing matter extracted for food. Most of our numerous shoals, also bear marks of having been at one time, filled with fish traps. These facts seem to indicate, either a dense population, or that a famine had at some period visited the inhabitants.

It has been stated on a previous page, that the settlement of Blount might be considered as complete with the close of the year 1818. The settlement at that date, however,did not include the portion, since known as Brown's Valley. It is difficult to determine accurately, when that portion of our county was first settled by the whites. The Cherokee Indians, held a kind of possession of it until 1838, or '39. Besides the Cherokees, there was a colony of two hundred refugee Creeks settled there, and governed by John Shannon, a half-blood Creek. The Indians called him John Ogee. This colony of Creeks was brought there for protection, soon after the Creek war commenced, by Col. Richard Brown, (a Cherokee Chief who resided in the valley,) and remained there until the removal of the Cherokees, with whom they emigrated.

In 1818, Col. Brown went to Washington City for the avowed purpose of selling to the whites, or ceding by treaty, all that portion of country. He advised the Indians to hold themselves in readiness to leave the country on his return. They accordingly assembled at Gunter's Landing, for the purpose of emigrating; but the death of Col. Brown shortly afterwards, (who died at Rogersville, in Hawkins County, Tennessee,) prevented, for many years, the ratification of the treaty, and consequently the removal of the Indians. As soon, however, as it was known that the Indians had collected together with a view to emigrating, the restless whites thronged into the country which they had abandoned, and obtained such hold, that they could never be entirely driven out. Brown's Valley at this time, showed a motley population of Cherokees, Creeks, and whites. The United States troops cut down the growing crops of the whites, and burned their houses; but with all this severity, they were unable to clear the valley of their presence. This portion of territory gave great trouble to the citizens of old Blount, as it prevented the ordinary execution of the laws in many instances...It continued to annoy the people of our county until the year 1832, when the Legislature extended the laws of the State over it. (Powell)


The Black Fox Trail

The first inhabitants of the Middle Tennessee areas use two major forms of transportation. The first form was overland travel. Indians utilized animal paths and made their own trails between hunting grounds and home. Many of these trails become modern day roads and highways. The Natchez Trace, the Cumberland Trace, the BLACK FOX TRAIL, and the Great South Trail were a few of the trails used by emigrants who settled in the Middle Tennessee area (Meyer, William E., Indian Trails of the Southwest (Blue and Gray Presses, Nashville, TN) pp. 99-116).

From White Co. Tenn. history: Black Fox was a Cherokee chief of the first rank The first settlers called one of the principal trails in the county, Black Fox Trail Fox's hunting camp was located on Lost Creek

The chief had his nation cede 7,000 square miles of land to the government The government granted an annuity for life of $ 100.00 to Black Fox.

According to Ernest Cline, Chief Black Fox gave a wampum belt to Return Meigs, the Indian agent, as a token of his faith in selling the U.S. Muscle Shoals, with its iron ore deposits. (Wilson)



  1. An Account of Some Creek, Cherokee and Earlier Inhabitants of Blount County, in: George Powell, "A Description and History of Blount County," Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society at the Annual Meeting in the City of Tuscaloosa, July 9 and 10, 1855 (Tuscaloosa: published under the direction of the executive committee, 1855) 60-64.
  2. Wilson, Susan Douglas. Transportation in Early Middle Tennessee. Middle Tennessee Genealogy Vol. Vll. No. 4. Spring 1994, pp. 148-152


Black Fox (Cherokee chief)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (November 2012)

Black Fox (c. 1746-1811) (also known as Enoli[1] or 'Inali[2]) was a brother-in-law of Dragging Canoe. He was a signatory of the Holston Treaty (2 July 1791). Black Fox was chief of Ustanali town and was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation from 1801 to 1811.

He was the leading negotiator for the Cherokee with the United States federal government during his term of office. Black Fox was noted for relinquishing nearly 7,000 square miles (18,000 km2) of land in what is today Tennessee and Alabama, under the treaty of January 7, 1806, for which he was given a lifetime annuity of $100.[2] A controversial leader, he was deposed for a period, only to later be reinstated as Principal Chief, in a compromise between two regional factions of Cherokees. Black Fox initiated the tribal law putting an end to the Cherokee blood law tradition of clan revenge for infractions by individuals.

Principal chief

Black Fox was a leader of the Cherokee from the native village of Ustanali, in the Lower Towns area (it was located in what today is northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and their adjoining areas of southeastern Tennessee). He is associated historically with the group known as the Chickamauga, but these were fully Cherokee, not a separate people or band. They fought with colonial settlers in the Holston area.

In 1801 Black Fox was named by the council of chiefs of the Lower and Upper Towns to succeed Little Turkey as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.[3] The majority of Cherokee lived in the Lower Towns; they were more isolated from European-American contact and tended to be more conservative, maintaining traditional practices and language.

In 1807, Doublehead, who was then speaker of the National Council, signed a treaty without the authority of the council, ceding all Cherokee land west and north of the Tennessee River. A separate arrangement reserved certain parcels of land for use by Doublehead and his relatives. Black Fox confirmed Doublehead's treaty after Return J. Meigs, the United States Indian Agent promised that Black Fox would receive $1,000 in cash and a regular annuity thereafter.[3]

During his tenure, Black Fox signed several treaties with the United States government on behalf of the Cherokee Nation. He ceded large amounts of land that had served as traditional foraging areas.[citation needed]


In 1808, he and The Glass (Tagwadihi), another leading chief of the Lower Towns chief, were deposed by the "young chiefs". These were men mostly from the Upper Towns, led by James Vann and Major Ridge. The driving force of this revolt was due largely to the peoples' resentment of the National Council's domination by older leaders of the Lower Towns, as well as disagreement over the many recent land cessions. The men of the Upper Towns were multiracial in ancestry; in addition, their communities were more closely engaged by trade and other links with those of the American settlers, whose frontier had begun to encroach on Cherokee territory. The Upper Town chiefs wanted to acknowledge changes and work more closely with the Americans.


In 1810, Black Fox and The Glass were both reinstated in a compromise agreement between these two competing factions. This led to an end of the councils of the Lower Towns meeting alternately in Willstown (near Fort Payne, Alabama) and Turkeytown (near present day Centre, Alabama), which were presided over by The Glass.

As the leading member of the National Council, Black Fox signed the law to end the Cherokee tradition of clan revenge. The following year, upon his death, he was succeeded by Chief Pathkiller.


Black Fox's early hunting camp was located on Lost Creek, in White County, Tennessee. The first European-American settlers in the middle district of Tennessee called one of the principal trails in the county "Black Fox Trail".

They named a large group of springs at what is now Murfreesboro, Tennessee "Black Fox Springs". The community of Black Fox in modern Bradley County, Tennessee and its elementary school are named for him. Local historians say he had lived in the area but they are unsure of the dates.

The historical Black Fox Crossing ford of the Clinch River between Claiborne and Grainger counties is now covered by the impounded waters of Norris Lake in Tennessee.

The community of Inola, Oklahoma was named for him; his Cherokee name was Enoli. The town was designated as the site of Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant, but community opposition forced the Public Service Company of Oklahoma to cancel its plans.[1]

Preceded by Little Turkey Principal Chief of the Cherokee 1801–1811 Succeeded by Pathkiller


  1. ^ a b O'Dell, Larry. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Inola." Retrieved February 28, 2013.[1]
  2. ^ a b Donald B. Ricky (2000). Encyclopedia of Mississippi Indians: Tribes, Natives, Treaties of the Southeastern Woodlands Area. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 44. ISBN 978-0-403-09778-4. Retrieved 15 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b Brown, John P. "Eastern Cherokee Chiefs." In Chronicles of Oklahoma Vol. 16, No. 1. March 1938. Retrieved February 28, 2013.[2]
  4. Brown, John P. "Eastern Cherokee chiefs", Chronicles of Oklahoma 16:1 (March 1938) 3-35 (retrieved August 18, 2006).
  5. McLoughlin, William G. Cherokee Renascence in the New Republic. [sic] (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).


view all 14

Chief Black Fox's Timeline

Ustanali, Tennessee, Cherokee Territory
Age 14
Cherokee Territory
Age 14
Tahlequah, OK, USA
Age 14
Cherokee, United States
Age 29
North Carolina
August 1811
Age 65
Kentucky, USA
Cherokee Territory