Defending the Southern Frontier: The Cherokee War of 1759-61

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Wednesday, June 27 (7:30PM) to Saturday, June 30, 2012  (5:00pm)
Led by Dan Tortora
Based in Cherokee, NC
Tour Registration Fee: $425.00

The French and Indian War in the South had taken a back seat to more well-known events that occurred in New York and Pennsylvania. Our Defending the Southern Frontier: The Cherokee War of 1759-61 will remedy that shortcoming.

By 1760 the fate of the British colonies in North America was determined by the capture of Quebec. But in the South, the Cherokee Indians continued a war against South Carolina and British troops. The war was the result of a corrupt deerskin trade and other longstanding Cherokee grievances, a collapse in the Cherokee-British military alliance, and bungled diplomacy by South Carolina’s colonial governor. The “peace,” if you could call it that, left festering tensions on all sides which would influence the coming American Revolution. Focusing on the Middle and Overhill Cherokee villages, we will discuss the scope of the southern theater in the French and Indian War by visiting a number famous and some lesser known sites.

On our first day we will visit Fort Loudoun, near Knoxville, the southernmost British fort in North America in 1760. This reconstructed fortification houses cannon, cohorns, and artifacts original to the site. At the fort will learn about the deerskin trade and the Cherokee-Carolina economic and military alliance. In 1760 after a lengthy siege, Cherokees captured this fort, the only Indian tribe to accomplish such a feat in the French and Indian War. Next we will tour the Cherokee Overhills, visiting the sites of Chota, Tanasi, and Citico. We will discuss Cherokee life and the archaeological investigations that took place here prior to the flooding of Lake Tellico. We will stop at the “Fort Loudoun Massacre Site,” where, reminiscent of the scene at Fort William Henry in 1757, Cherokees killed and kidnapped two hundred men, women and children.

On day two we will follow the historic trading path, touring the Cherokee Middle Towns in present-day Macon County. The morning will include stops at Nequassee Mound and the Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin, North Carolina. We will also visit Cowee, the largest village in the Middle Towns. We will also visit two battlefields in Otto, North Carolina. In 1760, a Cherokee force of two thousand warriors defeated an army of British and South Carolina troops. In 1761, a larger British force under Lieutenant Colonel James Grant, with South Carolina Provincials including Francis Marion, Henry Laurens, and Andrew Pickens, defeated a smaller Cherokee force and steamrolled fifteen Cherokee villages, burning everything in sight. We will drive into northern Georgia to see additional Indian mounds and to get a feel for the Cherokee “Lower Towns,” and their history.

On our third day we will visit the Cherokee “Out Towns,” including a stop at Kittuwha in Bryson City, destroyed by the Grant expedition in 1761. We will tour the Oconaluftee Indian Village. We will also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to see the Emissaries of Peace exhibit highlighting the diplomatic tour of three Cherokee leaders, accompanied by Virginian Henry Timberlake and Thomas Sumter to England.

Tour Registration Fee: $425.00

What’s included: motor coach transportation, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of an experienced tour guide /historian. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary.  Dinner is on your own. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.

Hotel: We have arranged with the headquarters hotel for a group rate of $75.00 per night plus tax. Please call the Hampton Inn, 185 Tsalagi Road, Cherokee, NC at 828-497-3115 and ask for the America’s History group rate. This rate will be guaranteed until May 27, 2012, so please make your reservations early.

Our Tour Guides/Historians

Dr. Daniel J. Tortora teaches early American and Native American history atColbyCollege inWaterville,Maine. He recently finished his doctoral dissertation at Duke University: “Breaking the Rusted Chain: Cherokees, South Carolinians, and the War for the American Southeast, 1756-63”  Dan is an expert on the French and Indian War in the South, on colonial fortifications, eighteenth-century Native American history, and colonial South Carolina. He has led tours and has presented on eighteenth centurySouth Carolina and Cherokee history.

Dr. Bruce M. Venter, president of America’s History, LLC is an experienced French & Indian War tour leader and will accompany this tour.

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