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About Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee
Nancy Prophetess Na-ni Ghi-Ga-U aka Nancy Ward Nanye-hi ("One Who Goes About") Ward (Ani'-Wa'ya = Wolf Clan (Nanye'hi)) Click to view Nancy Prophetess Na-ni Ghi-Ga-U aka Nancy Ward Nanye-hi ("One Who Goes About") Ward (Ani'-Wa'ya = Wolf Clan (Nanye'hi)) in the family tree View timeline for this person's branch of the family tree
Nancy Prophetess was born in 1728 in Chota, City of Refuge, Cherokee Nation, Tennessee. Nancy Prophetess' father was Francis FiveKiller Hi-s-ki-ti-hi Skayagustuegwo Ward (part Deleware) I and her mother was Tame Doe Carpenter (Ani'-Wa'ya = Wolf Clan). Her paternal grandparents are Sir Francis Ward and <Unknown>; her maternal grandparents were Chief Amahetai MoyToy MA'TAYI' Pigeon of Tellico "Trader Tom" Carpenter (Ani'-Wa'ya = Wolf Clan (Quatsy)) II and Nancy Aganunitsi Shawnee (Ani'-Ga'tage'wi=Kituah or Wild Potato (Gu-u-li-si)). She had a brother named Longfellow Ward. She was the older of the two children. She died at the age of 94 in 1822 in Womankiller Ford, Benton TN.
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Record:
Service: NORTH CAROLINA Rank: PATRIOTIC SERVICE
Birth: (CIRCA) 1735 CHOTA CHEROKEE NATION NORTH CAROLINA
Death: 1822 AMOVEY DIST CHEROKEE NATION EAST TENNESSEE
Service Source: STARR, HIST OF THE CHEROKEE INDIANS, P 469; CAL OF VA STATE PAPERS, VOL 1, P 435, 447
Service Description: 1) WARNED AMERICANS OF ATTACK & 2) SUPPLIED THEM WITH MILK & BEEF
Residence: 1) City: ECHOTA - District: CHEROKEE NATION - State: NORTH CAROLINA
Spouse: 1) X KINGFISHER 2) BRYAN WARD
Nanye-hi was born in 1738. She was the daughter of Tame Doe, a member of the Wolf Clan and sister to Attakullakulla. She married Kingfisher and had two children by him. Nanye-hi accompanied her husband on a raid of the Creeks during the Battle of Taliwa in 1755. Kingfisher was killed in the battle and Nanye-hi filled his place in the battle. She took his rifle and rallied the warriors to victory.
For her bravery she was bestowed with the title of Ghigua. The Ghigua, or Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, was a prestigious title given to extraordinary women by the Cherokee clans. The Ghigua headed the Council of Women and held a voting seat in the Council of Chiefs. The Ghigua was given the responsibility of prisoners and would decide their fate.
Nanye-hi, or Nancy, married a second time, this time to a white man. Bryant Ward, a trader who took up residence within the Cherokee Nation, married Nancy in the late 1750s. The two had a daughter before Bryant returned to South Carolina to live with his white family. Nancy and her daughter would often visit Bryant Ward and his family; they were always treated well. They were not officially divorced, but it is safe to say their marriage ended in 1760.
Nancy Ward was a respected woman among the Cherokees and the white settlers. She was an outspoken supporter of peace. On at least two occasions she sent warnings to white settlements of impending Indian attacks, for fear that surprise attacks would further erode the strained relationship between the Cherokees and the settlers.
She participated in several treaty negotiations and even spoke at the Treaty of Hopewell in 1785 where she spoke about her hopes for a continued peace.
Sadly, Nancy would live to see dramatic developments which would forever change the Cherokee Nation. Numerous treaties that agreed to honor Cherokee land rights were broken. In 1819 the Hiwassee Purchases forced Nancy to abandon her home in Chota and settle further south on the Ocoee River.
Nancy's efforts for peace did help to avoid large-scale war with the white settlers, but in the end nothing could protect the Cherokee Nation from white encroachment. Nancy died in 1822 and is buried near Benton, Tennessee. Less than a decade later the Indian Removal Act was passed, and by 1838 a forced removal to Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma was taking place.
Nancy Ward was the last Ghigua. The Cherokee government changed dramatically during Nancy's lifetime and the Cherokee, once ruled by clan loyalty, were moving toward a republican form of government. There was no longer a place in their government for a Ghigua.
A noted halfbreed Cherokee woman, the date and place of whose birth and death are alike unknown. It is said that her father was a British officer named Ward and her mother a sister of Ata-kullakulla, principal chief of the Nation at the time of the first Cherokee war. She was probably related to Brian Ward, an oldtime trader among the Cherokee, mentioned elsewhere in connection with the battle of Tali'wa.
During the Revolutionary period she resided at Echota, the national capital, where she held the office of "Beloved Woman," or "Pretty Woman," by virtue of which she was entitled to speak in councils and to decide the fate of captives. She distinguished herself by her constant friendship for the Americans, always using her best effort to bring about peace between them and her own people, and frequently giving timely warning of projected Indian raids, notably on the occasion of the great invasion of the Watauga and Holston settlements in 1776. A Mrs Bean, captured during this incursion, was saved by her interposition after having been condemned to death and already bound to the stake.
In 1780, on occasion of another Cherokee outbreak, she as sisted a number of traders to escape, and the next year was sent by the chiefs to make peace with Sevier andCampbell, who were advancing against the Cherokee towns. Campbell speaks of her in his report as "the famous Indian woman, Nancy Ward." Although peace
was not then granted, her relatives, when brought in later with other prisoners, were treated with the consideration due in return for her good offices.
She is described by Robertson, who visited her about this time, as "queenly and commanding" in appearance and manner, and her house as furnished in accordance with her high dignity.
When among the Arkansas Cherokee in 1819, Nuttall was told that she had introduced the first cows into the Nation, and that by her own and her children's influence the condition of the Cherokee had been greatly elevated. He was told also that her advice and counsel bordered on supreme, and that her interference was allowed to be decisive even in affairs of life and death. Although he speaks in the present tense, it is hardly probable that she was then still alive, and he does not claim to have met her. Her descendants are still found in the Nation.
See Haywood, Natural and Aboriginal Tennessee;
Nuttall, Travels, p. 130, 1821;
Campbell letter, 1781, and Springstone deposition, 1781, in Virginia
State Papers i, pp. 435, 436, 447, 1875;
Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography.
The Cherokee People, by Thomas E. MAILS - Page 193, Writes:
Nancy WARD holds a postion of great significance in Cherokee history, and must be mentioned here. In 1738, Tame Doe, the sister of Attakullakulla, gave birth to a daughter named Nancy, who in time became the last true "Beloved Woman" of the Cherokees, and who in her views regarding Cherokee and white relationships was an ally of Little Carpenter.
In the early 1750s, she married the noted war leader, Kingfisher of the Deer Clan, and was at his side when in 1755 he was killed by Creek warriors at the battle of Taliwa. She immediately picked up his weapons and rallied the Cherokee warriors to overwhelming victory.
Her first tangible reward was a black slave who had been left behind by the retreating Creeks, and legend has it that this was the beginning of black slavery among the Cherokees.
Back at Chota, she was chosen to fill the vacant position of a "Beloved Woman". It was believed that the Supreme Beings often spoke to the people through the beloved women, and they were given absolute power in the question of what to do with prisoners taken in war.
Nancy did not hesitate to use the power. She was also head of the influential woman's council that consisted of a representative from each clan, and she sat as a voting member of the council of chiefs.
In the late 1750s, she married an already wed white trader named Bryant Ward, who before 1760 left her and returned to his white wife and children in South Carolina.
In 1772, an English diplomat named Robertson visited Nancy's home at Chota, which he described as being furnished in a barbaric splendor that befitted her high rank. She was then thirty-five years old, and he pictured her as "queenly and commanding."3
Tennessee Cousins, by Worth S. RAY - Page 203, Writes:
In 1775 the Indians had a plan to attack the settlement on the "Watauga", Nancy WARD, [a37yrs], who was nearly allied to some of the principal Chiefs, obtained knowledge of the plan, and without delay communicated it to Isaac THOMAS "a trader" her friend and a true' American.
He immediatley set out to worn them of the dandanger, which he opportunely did, and proceeded without delay, to the Committee of Safety in Virginia.
He was accompanied by William FALLIN (or FEWLIN) as far as the "Holston" settlement.
Tennessee Cousins, by Worth S. RAY - Page 510, Writes:
Nancy WARD, the "Pocahontis" of those days, and friend of the white people, lived at "Woman-Killer Ford" on the OCOEE, in present Polk or Bradley County, TN. where she is buried, and has a marker at her tomb. It is one of the land-marks of the section.
Nanye-hi (ᎾᏅᏰᎯ: "One who goes about"), known in English as Nancy Ward (c. 1738–1822 or 1824) was a ghigau, or beloved woman of the Cherokee nation, which meant that she was allowed to sit in councils and to make decisions, along with the other Beloved Women, on pardons. She believed in peaceful coexistence with white people.
* 1 Beloved Woman
* 2 Changes to Cherokee society
* 3 Later life
* 4 Death, burial and remembrance
* 5 References
* 6 External links
* 7 Further reading
 Beloved Woman
Nancy Ward was born in the Cherokee town of Chota, a member of the Wolf Clan. Her mother, whose actual name is not known, is often called Tame Doe, and was a sister of Attakullakulla. Her father was probably part Delaware, also known as the Leni Lenape. Her first husband was the Cherokee man Kingfisher. Nanye-hi and Kingfisher fought side by side at the Battle of Taliwa against the Creeks in 1755. When he was killed, she took up his rifle and led the Cherokee to victory. This was the action which, at the age of 18, gave her the title of Ghigau.
Nancy Ward first married Kingfisher, who was killed in Battle with the Creeks. They had two children, Catherine and Fivekiller. Nancy then married Bryant Ward, a South Carolina colonist and Indian trader, and their child was Elizabeth Ward, the Cherokee wife of General Joseph Martin.
In the revolutionary War, Ward warned the whites of an impending attack by Dragging Canoe, an act that has made her a Patriot for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
 Changes to Cherokee society
As a Ghigau, Nancy had the power to spare captives. In 1776, following a Cherokee attack on the Fort Watauga settlement on the Watauga River (at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee), she used that power to spare a Mrs. William (Lydia Russell) Bean, whom she took into her house and nursed back to health from injuries suffered in the battle. Mrs. Bean taught Nanye-hi how to weave, revolutionizing the Cherokee garments, which at the time were a combination of hides and cloth bought from traders. But this weaving revolution also changed the roles of women in the Cherokee society, as they took on the weaving and left men to do the planting, which had traditionally been a woman's job.
Mrs. Bean also rescued two of her dairy cows from the settlement, and brought them to Nanye-hi. Nanye-hi learned to raise the cattle and to eat dairy products, which would sustain the Cherokee when hunting was bad.
The combination of weaving and raising of animals turned the Cherokee from a communal agricultural society into a society very similar to that of their European-American neighbors, with family plots and the need for ever-more labor. Thus the Cherokee began buying and selling slaves. Nanye-hi was among the first Cherokee to own black slaves.
Around the same time Sequoyah introduced the first written language for the tribe. A complete Bible was first printed in the 1830's, hence the Cherokee were considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes
 Later life
Nanye-hi objected to the sale of Cherokee lands to whites, but her objections were largely ignored. In 1808 and again in 1817, the Women's Council came out in opposition to the sale of more and more land.
Nanye-hi became a sort of ambassador between the Cherokee and the whites, learning the art of diplomacy from her maternal uncle, the influential chief Attakullakulla ("Little Carpenter"). In 1781, when the Cherokee met with an American delegation led by John Sevier to discuss American settlements along the Little Pigeon River, Nanye-hi expressed surprise that there were no women negotiators among the Americans. Sevier was equally appalled that such important work should be given to a woman. Nanye-hi told him, "You know that women are always looked upon as nothing; but we are your mothers; you are our sons. Our cry is all for peace; let it continue. This peace must last forever. Let your women's son's be ours; our sons be yours. Let your women hear our words." An American observer said that her speech was very moving.
On July 5, 1807, the Moravian mission school at Spring Place, Georgia, in the Cherokee Nation, was visited by three elderly women, including a very distinguished lady who had been a widow of fifty years and almost hundred years old. She was described as "an unusually sensible person, honored and loved by both brown and white people." "This old woman, named Chiconehla, is supposed to have been in a war against an enemy nation and was wounded numerous times...Her left arm is decorated with some designs, which she said were fashionable during her youth...." Chiconehla stayed for two days, entertained by the students and discussing theology with the missionaries with the aid of translating by her distant relative, Mrs. James Vann (Margaret Scott). The circumstances of this high status woman leave little doubt that this Cherokee named Chiconehla was identical to the person known as Nancy Ward.
 Death, burial and remembrance
Memorial to Nancy Ward, located near Benton, TN.
According to her son, Fivekiller, Nancy was buried in her home town of Chota. In 1923 the Nancy Ward chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, based in Chattanooga, placed a memorial marker next to Fivekiller's grave in Benton, Tennessee. Polk County, Tennessee, where Benton is located, is trying to raise money to create a Nancy Ward Museum. The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society currently maintains a Nancy Ward Room in their genealogy library until such a time as the museum is created.
Ward was the last woman to receive the title of Beloved Woman until the late 20th century.
A statue of Nancy Ward, carved by James Abraham Walker, stood in a cemetery in Grainger County, Tennessee for about 70 years before it was stolen in the early 1980's.
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee holds an annual Nancy Ward Cherokee Heritage Days celebration in her honor.
Nancy Ward is not only remembered as an important figure to the Cherokee people but is also considered an early pioneer for women in American politics as she advocated for a woman's voice during a turbulent period in her tribe's history.
Nancy Ward was a well known historical figure from the Cherokee tribe born into the Wolf Clan around 1738 at Chota, near Fort Loudon, Tennessee. She was born around the time of a smallpox epidemic that caused the deaths of approximately half of the Cherokee population living at that time.
Her father was Fivekiller, a Cherokee-Delaware man, and her mother was Tame Deer (sometimes recorded as Tame Doe, known popularly as Catherine), the sister of Attakullakulla (also spelled Attacullaculla, or Little Carpenter in English). Her cousin, Dragging Canoe (Tsi'yu-gunsini) became a famous Chickamaugas Chief.
Nancy Ward first married Kingfisher, a Cherokee of the Deer clan, and they had two children, Catherine, and Fivekiller. After he was killed at the Battle of Taliwa, she later married Briant (Bryant) Ward, an English trader, and they had another daughter named Elizabeth, who was often called Betsy or Betty.
Ward was already married to a white woman when he wed Nancy, and later returned to his European wife. He also had a previous son by his white wife, who later came looking for him while he was still living with the Cherokee, and John (Jack) Ward ended up staying himself, taking a Cherokee wife of his own. Many of their decendants later became prominent in the Cherokee tribe.
Nancy Ward's early Cherokee name, Nanye-hi, "One Who Goes About," comes from the name of the mythological Spirit People of the Cherokee. As a young woman, she had the nickname Tsistunagiska, meaning "Wild Rose." After the Battle of Taliwa in 1755, where she battled alongside the male warriors, she was given the Cherokee honorary title of Ghighau, "Beloved Woman." This Cherokee title, by tradition, gave her a lifetime voice in the tribal councils of chiefs, as well as the power to pardon condemned captives, which she did on several occasions. She was also sometimes known as Agigaue (Agi-ga-u-e), meaning "War Woman."
Nancy Ward is credited with bringing the first cows to the Cherokee people, and being the only Cherokee woman allowed to speak at treaty negotiations.
Beloved Woman (Ghigau) of the Cherokees
Also known as "Ghi-Ga-U Nancy Fivekiller"
She was born in Chota Cherokee Nation East (now, Monroe, Tn.) to Tame Doe. (This information from members.aol.com/bbbenge/nancyward.html)
Birth: 1738 Death: 1822
Cherokee Beloved Woman. Born Nanye'hi, which roughly translates to "One who goes about," in the Cherokee settlement of Chota , Tennessee, she was the daughter of Tame Doe of the Wolf Clan. She married for the first time in her teens, a warrior called Kingfisher. By the time she was eighteen they had two children; Ka-ti and Hi-s-ki-ti-hi. In 1755 at the battle of Taliwa against the Creek, she fought by her husband's side. When he was killed, she took up his musket and rallied the Cherokee warriors to victory. Because of her bravery in battle, Nanye'hi was named Ghi-ga-u, or Beloved Woman of the Cherokee which granted her the right to head the Women's Council and sit on the Council of Chiefs. She was also awarded the authority to grant pardon. Within four years she married Bryant Ward, an English trader, and took the English name Nancy. They had one daughter. In 1780 she wielded the right of the Beloved Woman and spared white captive Lydia Bean from death. Bean stayed with her savior for some time, introducing her to the arts of weaving and the making butter and cheese. After Bean was repatriated, Ward brought dairy cattle to the Cherokee and introduced dairying to her people. She spoke eloquently at the 1781 Little Pigeon River treaty negotiations and again at the Treaty of Hopewell negotiations in 1785. With the changes in Cherokee government and American expansion after the Hiwassee Purchase of 1819, Ward left Chota and settled on the Ocoee River near present-day Benton where she operated an inn on the Federal Road until her death. A Tennessee chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named for her. Vonore, Tennessee holds an annual Nancy Ward Cherokee Heritage Days celebration in her honor. (bio by: Iola)
- Tame Doe
- Kingfisher (____ - 1755)*,
- Bryan Ward (1720 - 1815)*
- Elizabeth Ward Martin*
- Ka-ti Kingfisher Harlan (1752 - ____)*
- Hi-s-gi-di-hi Kingfisher (1755 - 1825)*
Phoebe's father may have been named Dutchi or Doochee. Phoebe's father may have been named Five Killer Goochee or Gough. Sources say that Phoebe's mother was Tame Doe, the mother of Nancy Ward.
- The source at mundia is sketchy and may be wrong and so Phoebe's parents may not be right here.**
Ann Crews parents were Hardy Crews and Phoebe Doochie/Goochie. Many publications for Hardy and phoebe, Hardy from Ireland was a land surveyor. As a record account goes: he chose a beautiful dark-haired Cherokee maiden, named Phoebe Doochie/Goochie. Phoebe is full blooded Cherokee Indian, of what is now the Smoky mountains area and Cherokee Indian reservation.(This was prior to the building of the fort(Prior to dawes roles)). Early to mid 1700's.
Reports indicate: Cherokee recognize Hardy/Phoebe of pure blood of having both land and rights. Joseph who married their daughter Ann Crews, she would be 1/2 blood Cherokee, which was entitled to NO land, but given all other Cherokee rights.
Nancy Ward From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Nancy Ward Nanye'hi (Cherokee: ᎾᏅᏰᎯ: "One who goes about") Beloved Woman of the Cherokee leader Personal details Born ca. 1738 Chota, Monroe County, Tennessee Died 1822 Near Benton, Tennessee Spouse(s) "Tsu-la" or Kingfisher; Bryant Ward Children Catherine Ka-Ti Kingfisher, and Fivekiller and Betsy Ward Parents Mother, the sister of Attakullakulla Nanyehi (Cherokee: ᎾᏅᏰᎯ: "One who goes about"), known in English as Nancy Ward (ca. 1738–1822 or 1824) was a Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, which means that she was allowed to sit in councils and to make decisions, along with the chiefs and other Beloved Women. She believed in peaceful coexistence with the European-Americans and helped her people as peace negotiator and ambassador. She also introduced them to farming and dairy production bringing substantial changes to the Cherokee society.
Contents [hide] 1 Beloved woman 2 Changes to Cherokee society 3 Revolutionary War 4 Status of women 5 Death, burial, and remembrance 6 The Trail of Tears 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links Beloved woman Nanyehi was born around 1738 in the Cherokee capital, Chota (Cherokee: “City of Refuge”) in what today is known as Monroe County, Tennessee. Her mother, the sister of Attakullakulla was a member of the Wolf Clan. Though her mother is often referred to as "Tame Doe", the name is from a fictional story by E. Sterling King  and has no other historical source. James Mooney writes "it is said her (Nancy's) father was a British officer named Ward". However, according to Nanyehi's descendant John Walker "Jack" Hildebrand, her father was a member of the Delaware tribe.
About 1751 she married the Cherokee "Tsu-la" or Kingfisher, who according to Emmett Starr was a member of the Deer Clan. Starr writes that in the Battle of Taliwa against the Creeks Nancy lay behind a log in order to chew his bullets so that the resulting jagged edges might create more damage. Kingfisher was killed, and Nancy picked up his rifle and continued the fight leading her people to victory.
Afterwards, at the age of 18 she was awarded with the title of “Ghigau”, making her a member of the tribal council of chiefs. She was also named the leader of the Women’s Council of Clan Representatives and took over the role of ambassador and negotiator for her people.
She remarried to Bryant Ward with whom she had a daughter, Betsy, who later became the wife of General Joseph Martin. Bryant Ward was already married to a woman of European descent who lived in South Carolina. He returned to live with his first wife, but maintained relations with Nanye'hi.
Changes to Cherokee society In the beginnings of the 1760s the Cherokees had entered an alliance with the American colonists who were fighting the French and Indian War. In exchange for their assistance the European-Americans promised to protect them against the Creeks and Choctaws. This led to the building of military stations and frontier posts in Cherokee land and with them, settlers came into the nation. After an incident in West Virginia where frontiersmen killed a group of Cherokees, who were returning from the conquering of Fort Duquesne helping the British, the Natives killed more than 20 settlers in order to get revenge. A two year lasting conflict began in which the Cherokees captured Fort Loudin defeating the British forces.
As a Ghigau, Nancy had the power to spare captives and in 1776, following a Cherokee attack on the Fort Watauga settlement on the Watauga River (at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee), she used that power to spare a Mrs. William (Lydia Russell) Bean, whom she took into her house and nursed back to health from injuries suffered in the battle. Mrs. Bean taught Nanyehi a new loom weaving technique, revolutionizing the Cherokee garments, which at the time were a combination of hides, handwoven vegetal fiber cloth, and cloth bought from traders. This weaving revolution also changed the roles of women in the Cherokee society, as they took on the weaving and left men to do the planting, which had traditionally been a woman's job.
Mrs. Bean also rescued two of her dairy cows from the settlement, and brought them to Nanyehi, who learned to raise the cattle and to eat dairy products, which would sustain the Cherokee when hunting was bad.
On June 12, 1793, a delegation had gathered at Hanging Maugh's preparing to proceed to Philadelphia in compliance with an invitation from the President. The delegation was attacked without warning by a company of whites led by Captain John Beard, and Nancy's daughter Elizabeth was killed. Captain Beard was tried before a court martial but was acquitted.
Emmet Starr writes that Nancy was a successful cattle raiser and is said to have been the first to introduce that industry among the Cherokees. The combination of loom weaving and dairy farming helped transform Cherokee society from a communal agricultural society into a society very similar to that of their European-American neighbors, with family plots and the need for ever-more labor. Thus some Cherokee adopted the practice of chattel slavery. Nanyehi was among the first Cherokee to own African-American slaves.
After a truce, Carolina Rangers and Royal Scots joined the British light infantry invading Cherokee territory burning crops and towns. The Cherokees surrendered giving up a large portion of their lands.
Revolutionary War The Cherokees had to face multiple issues during the Revolutionary War. On one hand, they were helping the British on the other, they were arguing about whether to use force to expel the settler on their land or not. Ward’s cousin, Dragging Canoe, wanted to ally with the British against the settlers but the Cherokees’ Beloved Woman was trying to support them. In May 1775, a group of Delaware, Mohawk and Shawnee emissaries formed a delegation which headed south to support the British who were trying to gain the help of the Cherokees and other tribes. In July of the same year, Dragging Canoe led the Chickamauga Cherokee band in attacks against the European-American settlements and forts located in the Appalachians and other isolated areas of the region. State militias retaliated destroying Native villages and crops and forced the tribe to give up more of their land by 1777.
In July 1776, Ward, who was aiming for a peaceful resolution, warned a group of white settlers living near the Holston River and on the Virginia border about an imminent attack of her people.
The British supported Dragging Canoe’s war against the settlers supplying weapons but in 1778, 700 soldiers under Colonel Evan Shelby attacked his territory and limited the Cherokee resistance to a minor conflict.
In 1780, Ward continued warning American soldiers of attacks trying to prevent retaliations against her people. According to Harold Felton she even sent food in form of cattle to the starving militia. Her efforts couldn’t prevent another invasion of the Cherokee territory by the North Carolina militia, who destroyed more villages demanding further land cessions. Ward and her family were captured in the battle but they were eventually released and returned to Chota.
One year later, in July, the Beloved Woman negotiated a peace treaty between her people and the Americans. After the treaty the Americans were able to send troops to support George Washington’s army against the British General Cornwallis in the American Revolution.
Ward continued promoting alliance and mutual friendship between the Cherokees and the colonists, as she showed during the negotiation of the Treaty of Hopewell (1785). She led the Cherokee in the implementation of farming and dairy production. Later on she advised her people not to sell land to the settlers but failed in the attempt.
Nanyehi objected to the sale of Cherokee lands to whites, but her objections were largely ignored. In 1808 and again in 1817, the Women's Council came out in opposition to the sale of more and more land. Since she was too sick to attend the Cherokee council in 1817 in which it was discussed whether to move west or not. She sent a letter writing: “…don’t part with any more of our lands but continue on it and enlarge your farms and cultivate and raise corn and cotton and we, your mothers and sisters, will make clothing for you… It was our desire to forewarn you all not to part with our lands," but despite her efforts in 1819 the lands north of the Hiwassee River were sold, forcing her to move.
Status of women Nanyehi became a de facto ambassador between the Cherokee and the whites. She learned the art of diplomacy from her maternal uncle, the influential chief Attakullakulla ("Little Carpenter"). In 1781, when the Cherokee met with an American delegation led by John Sevier to discuss American settlements along the Little Pigeon River, Nancy expressed surprise that there were no women negotiators among the Americans. Sevier was equally appalled that such important work should be given to a woman. Nancy told him, "You know that women are always looked upon as nothing; but we are your mothers; you are our sons. Our cry is all for peace; let it continue. This peace must last forever. Let your women's sons be ours; our sons be yours. Let your women hear our words." An American observer said that her speech was very moving.
On July 5, 1807, the Moravian mission school at Spring Place, Georgia, in the Cherokee Nation, was visited by three elderly women, including a very distinguished lady who had been a widow of fifty years and almost one hundred years old. She was described as "an unusually sensible person, honored and loved by both brown and white people." "This old woman, named Chiconehla, is supposed to have been in a war against an enemy nation and was wounded numerous times...Her left arm is decorated with some designs, which she said were fashionable during her youth...." Chiconehla stayed for two days, entertained by the students and discussing theology with the missionaries with the aid of translating by her distant relative, Mrs. James Vann (Margaret Scott). The circumstances of this high status woman leave little doubt that this Cherokee named Chiconehla was identical to the person known as Nancy Ward.
Death, burial, and remembrance
Memorial to Nancy Ward, located near Benton, Tennessee. Nancy Ward opened an inn in southeastern Tennessee on Womankiller Ford of what was then called the Ocowee River (present day Ocoee River). Her son cared for her during her last years. She died in 1822, or possibly 1824, before the Cherokee were removed from their remaining lands during the Trail of Tears. She and her son Fivekiller are buried at the top of a hill not far from the site of the inn, which is south of present-day Benton, Tennessee. In 1923 the Nancy Ward chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, based in Chattanooga, placed a memorial marker at the grave sites near Benton, Tennessee. The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society currently maintains a Nancy Ward Room in their genealogy library until such a time as the museum is created. Polk County, Tennessee where Benton is located, is trying to raise money to create a Nancy Ward Museum.
After her death she was mentioned in many stories. Theodore Roosevelt mentions her in The Winning of the West (1905). She is also mentioned in the Calendar of Virginia State Papers, The South Carolina State Papers, James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, and the Draper Collection. A chapter of the The American Daughters Of the Revolution in Tennessee carries her name.
Ward was the last woman to receive the title of Beloved Woman until the 1980s, when Maggie Wachacha was given the title.
A statue of Nancy Ward, carved by James Abraham Walker around 1906, was sold in 1912 and stood in a cemetery in Grainger County, Tennessee for about 70 years before it was stolen in the early 1980s. The East Tennessee Historical Society is seeking the return of the statue to Tennessee.
Nancy Ward is not only remembered as an important figure to the Cherokee people but is also considered an early pioneer for women in American politics as she advocated for a woman's voice during a turbulent period in her tribe's history.
The Trail of Tears According to the web-site RootsWeb, Ward wrote to the President of the United States asking for help "Our people would have more hoes, plows, seed, cotton carding and looms for weaving. They would learn your way of cultivation. If you would send these things we will put them to good use." In her last years Ward repeatedly had a vision showing a "great line of our people marching on foot. Mothers with babies in their arms. Fathers with small children on their back. Grandmothers and Grandfathers with large bundles on their backs. They were marching West and the 'Unaka' (White Soldiers) were behind them. They left a trail of corpses the weak, the sick who could not survive the journey." After she died, President Andrew Jackson supported the State of Georgia's efforts to evict the Cherokee from their tribal lands and make it available for white settlers. The militia invaded Chota and destroyed the printing press used by the tribe to print their newspaper. When the Native Americans were rounded-up and forced into exile, only a few Cherokees managed to escape and find refuge in the mountains of North Carolina. In 1838,Cherokees were forced to relocate to land west of the Mississippi river. They traveled in several large groups primarily on foot, without proper clothing and provisions, approximately 800 miles. More than 4,000 Cherokees died as a result of President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act of 1830, now referred to as the Trail of Tears or the "Nunna-da-ult-sun-yi".
Nancy Ward Facts image: http://cf.ydcdn.net/22.214.171.124/images/dictionaries/biography.jpg
Nancy Ward (1738-1822), a mixed-blood Cherokee woman who lived during the eighteenth century, was the Cherokee nation's last "Beloved Woman." At a time that the Cherokee nation was frequently at battle with American troops and white settlers who had occupied their traditional lands, Ward made repeated attempts to establish peace between the various parties.
Early Life Nancy Ward is believed to have been born around 1738 in the Cherokee village of Chota, in what is today Monroe County, Tennessee. Chota, the Cherokee capital, was known as a "City of Refuge," meaning that it was a place where those in distress could seek asylum.
When Ward was growing up, Cherokee lands were bordered by the Ohio River in the north and the Tennessee River in the south. They extended to the headwaters of the Coosa, the Chattahoochee, the Savannah, the Saluda, and the Tugaloo Rivers. Today the traditional Cherokee lands correspond to the area where the states of Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina come together, at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
As a child Nancy Ward was known as "Tsituna-Gus-Ke" (Wild Rose). Her mother, Tame Doe, was a member of the Wolf clan and the sister of Attakullacull (another source says she was the sister of Oconostota), a Cherokee chief. Although there is separate tradition that Ward's father was a member of a Delaware tribe, most sources seem to agree that she was the daughter of Francis Ward, the son of Sir Francis Ward of Ireland. According to some sources, Francis Ward married Tame Doe after settling in the Tyger River area of present-day Spartanburg County, South Carolina. There is also a tradition that Francis Ward was eventually banished from the Cherokee nation. According to Harold W. Felton, writing in Nancy Ward, Cherokee, Ward learned both the Cherokee and English languages from her mother.
Early in her life, Ward is said to have had a vision of spirits helping her find her way home after she had become lost. After that time she became known as "Nanye'hi," which means "One who is with the Spirit People." She subsequently married a Cherokee warrior by the name of Kingfisher, a member of the Deer Clan. Felton says they had two children, a boy named Fivekiller and a girl named Catharine.
Tribal Warfare In the early 1760s, the Cherokee nation was committed to helping the American colonists in the French and Indian War in exchange for protection for their families from hostile Creeks and Choctaws. But, colonial assistance also brought interference with Cherokee affairs in the form of frontier posts and military garrisons. The frontier posts were soon accompanied by settlers hungry for Cherokee land.
An incident in West Virginia in which some Virginia frontiersmen robbed and killed a group of Cherokees on their way back from helping the British take Fort Duquesne resulted in the revenge killing of more than 20 settlers by the Native Americans. This was the beginning of a conflict that would last more than two years, in which the Cherokees, under Chief Oconostota, defeated the British forces and captured Fort Loudon.
Following a truce, an army of Carolina Rangers, British light infantry, Royal Scots, and Native American troops ravaged Cherokee territory, burning crops and towns. War weary and hungry, the insurgent Cherokees agreed to give up large portions of their eastern lands.
Beloved Woman In an intertribal conflict known as the Battle of Taliwa, which took place in 1775, the Creeks fought the Cherokees. According to Felton, Ward assisted her warrior husband during the battle by "chewing his bullets." After her husband was mortally wounded, Ward reportedly took up his rifle and joined the fight. In recognition of her valor, the Cherokee Nation gave her the name "Ghihau," meaning Beloved Woman or Mother. The title made Ward a member of the tribal council of chiefs.
Still in her teens, the widowed mother of two children was also made the leader of the Women's Council of Clan Representatives. As a member of the tribal council of chiefs, she served as a peace negotiator and ambassador for the Cherokee people. Ward achieved a reputation as an un-flinching advocate of human rights and peace.
Revolutionary War During the Revolutionary War, the Cherokees were divided on the issues of helping the British and whether force should be used to expel American settlers on Cherokee land. Nancy's cousin, Dragging Canoe, the son of Attakullaculla, wanted to side with the British against the white settlers. Ward, however, spoke up in favor of supporting the American settlers.
In May 1775, a delegation of Shawnee, Delaware, and Mohawk emissaries traveled south to help the British win the support of the Cherokees and other tribes. That July, the Chickamauga Cherokee band of the Tennessee River Valley led by Dragging Canoe began attacking white settlements and forts in the Appalachians and in isolated areas of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. In retaliation, state militias destroyed Cherokee villages and crops. By 1777, the militias would force the Cherokee to give up some of their land.
In July 1776, Ward warned white settlers on the Holston River and on the Virginia border that the Cherokees were planning an attack. Later, she saved the life of a captured white woman who was about to be executed. The white woman's husband was William Bean, reportedly a friend of Daniel Boone and a captain in the colonial militia. Ward and Mrs. Bean developed a friendship during the time that Mrs. Bean remained with the Cherokees, and Ward learned about dairy farming from her. Apparently out of gratitude, Ward's village was spared from being razed when the frontier militia made its way through Cherokee lands.
Meanwhile, Dragging Canoe and his band continued to attack American settlements with arms supplied by the British. Finally, in 1778, Colonel Evan Shelby and 600 men invaded Dragging Canoe's territory. The result was that Cherokee resistance from that point forward was limited to minor conflict.
In 1780, Ward provided American soldiers with advanced warning of a another Cherokee attack, and tried to prevent retribution against the Cherokees by the whites. According to Felton, Ward even arranged to have a herd of her own cattle sent to the hungry militia. Nevertheless, the North Carolina militia would again invade Cherokee territory, destroying villages and demanding further land cessions. In the ensuing battle, which Ward had tried in vain to stop, she and her family were captured by the Americans; she was eventually released and allowed to return to her home in Chota.
In July 1781, Ward helped negotiate a peace treaty between the Cherokees and the Americans. The signing of the treaty freed the Americans to move a detachment of troops to fight with George Washington's army against the British General Cornwallis in the final battle of the American Revolution.
During the negotiation of the Treaty of Hopewell (1785), Ward attempted to promote mutual friendship between the whites and the Cherokees. She argued for the adoption of farming and dairy production by the Cherokees and became the first Cherokee dairy farmer. Much later, she urged her tribe not to sell tribal land to the whites, but she failed to exert influence on this score. When the Cherokee council met in 1817 to discuss the idea of moving west, Ward, too ill to attend, sent a letter in which she wrote, "[D]on't part with any more of our lands but continue on it and enlarge your farms and cultivate and raise corn and cotton and we, your mothers and sisters, will make clothing for you… . It was our desire to forewarn you all not to part with our lands," according to Felton. The tribal lands north of the Hiwassee River were sold in 1819, however, obliging Ward to relocate.
Opened an Inn After the death of her husband Kingfisher, Ward had married her cousin Bryant Ward. Bryant Ward was the nephew of Francis Ward, Nancy's father. The couple had a son, Little Fellow, and a daughter, Elizabeth, before Bryant Ward left the area.
As indicated by documentation on the RootsWeb web-site, Ward is said to have once written to the President of the United States, saying: "Our people would have more hoes, plows, seed, cotton carding and looms for weaving. They would learn your way of cultivation. If you would send these things we will put them to good use." The president reportedly agreed to help and sent government agents to help the Cherokees.
Ward later opened an inn in southeastern Tennessee on the Ocoee River, at a place called Woman Killer Ford, near present-day Benton. She died in that place in 1822 (some sources say 1824). Over the years that followed, she became the subject of many tales and legends. She is reportedly mentioned in Teddy Roosevelt's Book on The West, The Virginia State Papers, The South Carolina State Papers, Mooney's Book, and The Draper Collection. A chapter of The American Daughters Of the Revolution in Tennessee has been named after her. There is also a Descendants of Nancy Ward Association in Oklahoma.
Near the end of her life, Nancy Ward reportedly had a vision in which she saw a "great line of our people marching on foot. Mothers with babies in their arms. Fathers with small children on their back. Grandmothers and Grandfathers with large bundles on their backs. They were marching West and the 'Unaka' (White Soldiers) were behind them. They left a trail of corpses the weak, the sick who could not survive the journey." The vision was to prove prophetic.
The Trail of Tears In the years following Ward's death, the state of Georgia, with the support of President Andrew Jackson, began taking Cherokee lands for extremely low compensation and promises of land in the west. Cherokee property was also taken by greedy settlers. Using the Cherokees' resistance as an excuse, the Georgia militia moved in to Chota and destroyed the printing press used there in the publication of the tribe's newspaper.
Although a few Cherokees managed to escape the ensuing round-up of Native Americans by taking refuge in the mountains of North Carolina (where some of their descendants still live today), most of the members of the Cherokee nation were destined to enforced exile. Beginning in the spring of 1838, the dispossessed Native Americans were made to travel through rain and mud, and then snow and ice, to lands west of the Mississippi. About 4,000 Cherokees died during the 800-mile exodus that would eventually become known among them as the "Nunna-da-ult-sun-yi" (The Trail of Tears).
Books Felton, Harold W., Nancy Ward, Cherokee, Dodd, Mead &Company, 1975.
Waldman, Carl, Atlas of the North American Indian, Facts on File, 1985.
Online Bataille, Gretchen M., ed., Native American Women: A Biographical Dictionary, Garland Publishing, 1993, http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/whm2002/ward.html (January 2003).
RootsWeb.com, http://www.rootsweb.com/~scsparta/spb_scot.htm. See also RootsWeb Archives, http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/OK-RECORDS/2000-10/0971600639 (January 2003).
Encyclopedia of World Biography. Copyright 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Read more at http://biography.yourdictionary.com/nancy-ward#BiBywWJSezUHqAAF.99
A Patriot of the American Revolution for NORTH CAROLINA. DAR Ancestor # A120623
Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee's Timeline
Chota, City of Refuge, Tennessee, United States
Old Cherokee Nation
North Carolina, United States
Taliwa, near present-day Canton, Georgia, USA
Spartanburg, SC, USA
September 18, 1757
Cherokee Nation East (TN)
Chota, Cherokee Nation, Tennessee