Cherokee in Swain County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Trail of Tears
Because the Cherokee community of Qualla Town separated from the Cherokee Nation around 1820, the people of Qualla were not legally required to emigrate on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma in 1838. By 1837, WIlliam H. Thomas, Qualla's white patron, secured state and federal guarantees for the “Qualla Town Cherokees” right to remain in their ancient homeland.
Nevertheless, the U.S. Army threatened the people of Qualla with deportation in September 1838, when troops commanded by Lt. C.H. Larned came to Qualla in search of fugitives from the Cherokee Nation. Larned directed Yonaguska, the leader of the settlement, to assemble the community
The troops counted the Qualla Town people against an 1837 roster to determine if any fugitives were present. Larned then demanded that Yonaguska send Qualla scouts to find their own kinspeole who were hiding in the mountains, and threatened to deport the Qualla community if they did not cooperate. The conscripted Qualla scouts led the troops on wild goose chases through the Smokey Mountains, far from the hiding places of the fugitives.
After the army withdrew from western North Carolina in November 1838, hundreds of Cherokee fugitives came from their mountain hideouts and joined friends and relatives at Qualla Town, forming the nucleus of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Erected by the North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans. In addition, it is included in the Trail of Tears series list. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1838.
Location. 35° 29.07′ N, 83° 18.948′ W. Marker is in Cherokee, North Carolina, in Swain County. Marker is at the intersection of Tsali Boulevard (U.S. 441) and Drama Road, on the left when traveling north on Tsali Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee NC 28719, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this markerMuseum of the Cherokee Indian (a few steps from this marker); Deer Clan (a few steps from this marker); Sequoyah (within shouting distance of this marker); Paint Clan (within shouting distance of this marker); Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. (within shouting distance of this marker); Blue Clan (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wild Potato Clan (about 500 feet away); Wolf Clan (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cherokee.
More about this marker. Located near the sidewalk at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 23, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 501 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 23, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.