Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Benton in Polk County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Nancy Ward

 
 
Nancy Ward Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, August 27, 2017
1. Nancy Ward Marker
Inscription. According to legend, Nancy Ward (Nanye’hi or Na-ni) was born in the 1730s at Chota in the Overhill Towns, at a time when Cherokee society was largely traditional despite the extensive fur trade. As the child of a Cherokee woman, Nancy was by birth a member of her mother’s matrilineal clan. She lived among her mother’s kin and worked beside them in garden plots and corn fields allotted by their clan. Some accounts say her father was a Cherokee; others say a British trader or a Delaware Indian. Attakullakulla, peace chief of Chota, is said to have been her mother’s brother.

Nancy became a prominent War Woman and Beloved Woman (Ghi-ga-u). She helped respected male elders (Beloved Men) carry out ceremonies and assisted war leaders with negotiations. Among British and Americans, Nancy gained a myth-like reputation as an emissary, orator, and protector of white settlers and captives. She was known by the surname of a British trader, Bryan(t) Ward, whom she married.

After repeated destruction of Chota in the 1770s-1780s, Nancy Ward, her children, and other kin moved south of the Hiwasee River, finally settling at Amoiah, near present-day Benton. During Nancy’s last decades, she operated an inn and stockpen at Womankiller Ford, not far from this gravesite. According to a great-grandson who attended her funeral, Nancy Ward died in 1822

Nancy Ward Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, August 27, 2017
2. Nancy Ward Marker
and was buried by Cherokee custom.

On May 2, 1817, a Woman’s Council, led by the elderly Nancy Ward (or her representative), presented and signed an address to a Cherokee National Council meeting at nearby Amoiah. They demanded an end to the ceding of Cherokee lands, which by tradition belonged to Cherokee women and their children.

Caption:
Sketch of a Cherokee woman drawn circa 1838-1839 by George Catlin
From Catlin, North American Indians, 1913
 
Erected by Tennessee Dept. of Transportation; Tennessee 200, Inc.; East Tennessee Foundation; the counties of McMinn, Monroe, and Polk.
 
Location. 35° 9.867′ N, 84° 40.786′ W. Marker is near Benton, Tennessee, in Polk County. Marker is on Old Highway 411, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Nancy Ward Gravesite State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Benton TN 37307, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Nancy Ward (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Halfway House (approx. 7.1 miles away); Charleston on the Hiwassee (approx. 9.3 miles away); The Henegar House

Ah-hee-te-wáh-chee image. Click for full size.
By George Catlin, 1841
3. Ah-hee-te-wáh-chee
The image on the marker is originally by George Catlin of Ah-hee-te-wáh-chee, a Cherokee woman. Catlin described her as "... a pretty woman in civilized dress, her hair falling over her shoulder."
(approx. 9½ miles away); "Chief Jack" Walker (approx. 9.7 miles away); Joseph McMinn (approx. 10.1 miles away); Lee College (approx. 10.9 miles away); Col. Benjamin Cleveland (approx. 10.9 miles away).
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .  Nancy Ward. (Submitted on October 26, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.)
 
Categories. Colonial EraNative AmericansWomen
 
Another image of Ah-hee-te-wáh-chee, Cherokee woman image. Click for full size.
By George Catlin, 1841
4. Another image of Ah-hee-te-wáh-chee, Cherokee woman
This image courtesy of the LUNA Image and Media Repository at the University of Cincinnati.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 26, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee.   4. submitted on October 27, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement