Cherokee Registry

Cherokee Indians visit London 1730

 

An engraving by Isaac Basire of Seven Cherokee Delegates To London in 1730

In 1730, at Nikwasi, a Englishman, Sir Alexander Cumming convinced Cherokees to crown Moytoy of Tellico as "Emperor." Moytoy agreed to recognize King George II of Great Britain as the Cherokee protector. Seven prominent Cherokee, including Attakullakulla, traveled with Sir Alexander Cuming back to London, England. The Cherokee delegation signed the Treaty of Whitehall with the British. Moytoy's son, Amo-sgasite (Dreadful Water) attempted to succeed him as "Emperor" in 1741, but the Cherokees elected their own leader, Cunne Shote (Standing Turkey) of Chota. Read the statement by the British Crown to the visitors here.


 

Below are accounts from London papers of the time.

12 June 1730 Seven Kings or Chiefs of the Chirakee Indians, bordering upon Carolina, are come over in the Fox Man of War, Capt. Arnold, in order to pay their duty to his Majesty, and assure him of their attachment to his person and Government, &c. [Daily Journal]

20 June 1730 ’Tis remarkable that the 7 Chiefs of the Chirakee Indians, lately arrived from South Carolina, in the Fox Man of War, as mentioned in one of our former, were introduced to his Majesty, before whom they all kneeled, and were present at the Installation, and stood near the King when at dinner, being dressed in their country habits, having in their hands, one a bow, another a musquetoon, &c. [Daily Journal]

27 June 1730 On Monday last the Indian King, and the Prince, and five of the chiefs of his Court (all blacks) were introduced to his Majesty at Windsor, the King had a scarlet jacket on, but all the rest were naked, except an apron about their middles, and a horse’s tail hung down behind; their faces, shoulders, &c. were painted and spotted with red, blue, and green, &c. they had bows in their hands, and painted feathers on their heads; a dinner, viz. a leg of mutton, a shoulder, and a loin of mutton was provided at the Mermaid at Windsor for them; the King lies on a table in a blanket; but the Prince, and the chief of his Court, lie on the ground. [Weekly Journal, or The British Gazetteer]

30 July 1730 The six Indian chiefs having quarrelled, and beat one another, at their quarters, the Mermaid inn at Windsor, they have been order’d to leave the town. — The St. James’s Evening calls them Indian Kings; but this is not the first time that Kings have been confounded with their Ministers. [Grub-street Journal]

3 August 1730 On Saturday last the two Indian Kings, with 5 Indians of their attendants, came from Windsor to Mr. Arne’s, an undertaker in King street by Covent-Garden, where they had taken lodgings, being recommended there, when they set out on their voyage, by the 4 Indian Kings that came over to England in the year 1710, and lodged at the same place. [Daily Journal]

6 August 1730 We are assured, that the report of the Indian chiefs quarrelling among themselves at the Mermaid inn in Windsor, and were said to have been forbid the town, is entirely without foundation, they still continuing at the same place in a very peaceable manner, and are daily visited by a great many people, who resort from all parts adjacent. Courant. — I must own ingenuously, that I was apprised of this mistake, before the publication of our last Journal, but, having made a remark on it, was loth to lose my joke.

Yesterday the 7 Indian Princes took leave of their Majesties, and the rest of the Royal Family at Windsor, and will this day come from thence to town, where we hear they intend to stay for some time, to see all the curiosities here, before they return home. [Grub-street Journal]

15 August 1730 The Indian Chiefs lately brought over from South Carolina are now distinguished by the following names and titles, viz. King Ouka, Prince Catorgusta, General Tethtow, General Clogoitta, General Calannah, General Unnowconnowe, Capt. Owcan Nakah.
Mr. Robert Bunning, born at Spalding in Lincolnshire, is their interpreter, who hath been 14 years in their country.
The day before the Indian Chiefs left Windsor, they went to take their leave of the Court, at which time his Majesty was pleased to present them with a purse of one hundred guineas.
On Wednesday the Indian King and his retinue, in their return from the Tower, were regaled in an handsome manner by several merchants of this City trading to South Carolina, at the Carolina Coffee House in Birchin-Lane, where a great number of gentlemen resorted to see them, they being on their return home, which it is believed will be in about three weeks time; and his Majesty’s ship the Fox is now refitting at Deptford in order to receive them.
On Thursday the Indian Princes went to Tottenham-Court Fair, and were entertained with the several diversions that place afforded. (London Journal)

29 August 1730 On Thursday the ancient Society of Archers that meets weekly at the Three Tons in Lamb’s-Conduit-Fields, invited the Indian King, &c. to come and see them shoot with bows and arrows at targots [sic], when every man performed with great dexterity and judgment. The King and those of his attendants did also shoot, but they did not perform so well as was expected, it being the weapon of war used in their country; but they said that our bows and arrows differed from theirs. (London Journal)

10 September 1730 We hear that the Indian Princes were highly diverted at Mr. Fawkes’s Booth in Smithfield Sat. last; but more especially with his dexterity of hand, at which they expressed the greatest admiration and pleasure imaginable, as was plainly perceived by their gestures and countenances, as well as by the interpreter, who told Mr. Fawkes that the King and Prince declared, that they had never yet been so agreeable diverted, and desired to see it over again; but, above all, they were surprized at the calling the cards down one by one; and when the King had viewed one of the cards, and saw nothing fastened to it, he was amazed; and all of them went away with a generous acknowledgement of the pleasure they had received. [Grub-street Journal]

10 September 1730 Tuesday, Sept. 8. Yesterday the Indian King, Prince, &c. went in 2 coaches about 1 o’clock to the Plantation-office, Whitehall, where the Lords Commissioners sat, to acquaint them with some articles that had been drawn up for trading with their country. They were attended by a serjeant of the foot-guards, and a file and a half of grenadiers; and at the Plantation-office attended 2 serjeants and 2 files of grenadiers. They staid about an hour, and were shewed several things designed for them as presents, viz. several fine firelocks, with shot, powder and ball, in casks, and many other things, with which they seemed to be mighty well pleased. And on Wednesday next the articles are to be signed. — Our mercurial brethren [i.e. newspaper journalists] have used great variety of expression in relation to this Indian Monarch and his Court: they have called them The Indian King, the Prince, and Generals; &c. But our advertising Brother, The Daily Post, has been most exact; and given us the particular names of every one, in his paper of Aug. 11 which are here subjoined, as proper for all curious persons to get by heart: King Ouka, Prince Catergusta, Chief-General Tethtow, General Clogoitta, Gen. Calanah, Gen. Unnowconow, and Capt. Oucounakah. [Grub-street Journal]

12 September 1730 On Wednesday the Indian Chiefs were carried from their lodgings in King-street, Covent Garden, to the Plantation Office at Whitehall, guarded by two Files of Musqueteers: When they were brought up to the Lords Commissioners, they sang four or five songs in their country language; after which the interpreter was ordered to let them know, that they were sent for there to join in peace with King George and his people; and were desired to say, if they had any thing further to offer relating to the contract they had before entered into. Upon which, the Kings tood up and gave a large feather that he had in his hand to the Prince, who thereupon spoke to the Lords Commissioners to this effect: That they were sensible of the good usage they receiv'd since they came here, and that they would use our people always well; that they came here like worms out of the earth, naked, and that we had put fine cloaths on their backs, (pointing to the cloaths) and that they should never forget such kind dealings, but should declare the same to their countrymen; and thereupon the Prince laid the feather with a bit of skin upon the table, saying, It should be as good as the Bible to bind the contract with King George; and said also, that a father should not better love his son, than they would us: So made a peace. The Commissioners then told them they should have a copy of the contract, with the King’s Seal to it; and the Governor should entertain them; upon which the King got up and kiss’d the Commisioners, as the Prince had done before; the other Chiefs also did the same; whereupon they sung some more songs, and then returned home, after about two hours stay with the Comimissioners in making the contract. The interpreter was sworn before the Commissioners, to speak the truth after the Prince. (London Journal)

17 September 1730 On Friday last a female spectator, who went out of curiosity to see the Indian Chiefs, watched her opportunity to go off with the King’s fine sword belt; but carrying it to a pawn-broker’s, she was detected, and the belt being restored the King ordered the woman to be discharged out of custody. [Grub-street Journal]

24 September 1730 Friday night about 11, the Indian Prince walking in Covent Garden, was pick’d up by the infamous Jenny Tite, who took 2 rings off his fingers, and made off with them. — I think this Lady for the future deserves the title of the famous Jenny Tite, on account of this amour with his R. Highness, who not knowing the use of money on these occasions, might present her with these 2 rings. [Grub-street Journal]

3 October 1730 Yesterday about 8 o’clock in the morning the Indian Chiefs set out from their lodgings in King-Street, Covent-Garden, for Portsmouth, where they will go aboard his Majesty’s Ship the Fox, Capt. Arnold, which is to carry them to Carolina.

We are told that on Tuesday evening last, when the time of their departure drew near, Oukah Ulah, the Chief of them, expressed a great inclination to stay with Sir Alexander Cuming; and when Sir Alexander told him that it would not be proper, he wept, and said he should mourn always till he saw him again, and that he had not slept for three nights, but walk’d about the streets, for thinking on parting with Sir Alexander, for whose sake he had left both his wife and children: But Sir Alexander telling him, that he would be of more service to his Majesty King George and the English, by returning to his own country, he answered, That as Sir Alexander desired it, he would do as he bid him, whose memory would always be preserved among them: But after consulting among themselves, they all insisted that one of their number should stay with Sir Alexander, to teach him the language, and pitched upon Onnakannoy, who was very unwilling to go, until Sir Alexander laid his commands upon him, and then he said, that if Sir Alexander would command him to die, he would do it, and as it was his pleasure he should return with the rest, he went away chearfully. The Prince and Onnakannoy went yesterday about 7 o’clock in the morning, and took leave of Sir Alexander. [Daily Journal] [On 8 Oct. the Indian Chiefs returned to Carolina; on 18 Feb. 1731 the newspapers reported that they had safely reached Charleston, South Carolina mid-December 1730, but were delayed in returning to their homelands because of a war between the Cherokees and the Americans.]

Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook