Cherokee War-Woman

July 26, 2009

A very special Cherokee heritage site is located near the farm. ¬†Nancy Ward, the famed Beloved Woman of Chota, rests in a small hilltop cemetery overlooking the Ocoee River, where U.S. Highway 411 crosses near the ancient ford of the Warrior’s Path and the old Federal Road.

Ward, an important councillor and diplomat for the Cherokee Nation, spent her last days at a nearby inn within sight of this cemetery. During her long life (ca. 1738 – 1822), Ward witnessed profound changes in Cherokee culture, and was herself both innovator and conservator of Cherokee tradition.

Oral tradition indicates that Nancy Ward was born in the Overhill settlement of Chota around 1738, a niece of the ascendant leader Attakullakulla. She married Kingfisher (Tsula) around 1752, and bore two children before Kingfisher was killed in the 1755 battle of Taliwa against the Creeks. She was with Kingfisher when he fell, and picked up his gun to continue the fight until the Cherokees had won a decisive victory.

For her courage and tenacity, she was awarded the title of “War-Woman,” a distinction that gave her an influential voice in the Chota council.

Source: CherokeeHeritageTrails.org

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