Research: Diary Excerpts

Please note that some articles have been transferred over from the Old Word Museum site. You may occasionally encounter broken links or outdated information in these articles.

Written By: P1umtree
Date: 2002



Here are some direct quotes from diaries written by famous people. They come from The Book of American Diaries edited by Randall M. Miller and Linda Patterson Miller and published by Avon Books.


February 13, 1844

The meat train did not arrive this evening, and I gave Godel leave to kill our little dog, (Tlamath,) which he prepared in Indian fashion; scorching off the hair, and washing the skin with soap and snow. Shortly afterwards, the sleigh arrived with a supply of horse meat; and we had tonight an extraordinary dinner–pea soup, mule, and dog.

John C. Fremont


February 19, 1836

We are all in high spirits, though we are rather short of provisions, for men who have appetites that could digest anything but oppression; but no matter, we have a prospect of soon getting our bellies full of fighting, and that is victuals and drink to a patriot any day. We had a little sort of convivial party last evening: just about a dozen of us set to work, most patriotically, to see whether we could not get rid of that curse of the land, whisky, and we made considerable progress; but my poor friend, Thimblerig, got sewed up just about as tight as the eyelet-hole in a lady’s corset, and a little tighter too, I reckon; for when he went to bed he called for a bootjack, which was brought to him, and he bent down on his hands and knees, and very gravely pulled off his hat with it, for the darned critter was so thoroughly swiped that he didn’t know his head from his heels. But this wasn’t all the folly he committed; he pulled off his coat and laid it on the bed, and then hung himself over the back of a chair. . . .Seeing the poor fellow completely used up, I carried him to bed.

Davy Crockett

June 15, 1854 Went with Miss Dora Howells to the court house to hear Mrs. Gage lecture on womens rights. She is a woman of a good deal of talent–an easy fluent, & rather impressive speaker, but a little too ornate. She uttered some truths upon the subject of female education, but her leading idea, a change of places & pursuits between men & women is an absurdity. . . . I couldn’t help asking myself, & shrinking from the question, how I would like to see mother, sister or wife make such an exhibition. It is too great a violation of my instincts of female decorum & delicacy to admit of any enjoyment. . . . If women must lecture I prefer to patronize good curtain lectures, & think them far less offensive and injurious than these public displays. Orville Browning

June 16, 1849 When the train started Brewster and I went back to the hunting ground to search for the lost pistol and blanket. Hunted for more than 3 hours in vain, then set out to overtake the train. . . . The sun was hot, the road dusty and the wind blew almost a tornado. It was impossible to keep my hat on. I had to walk bent against the wind to keep from being blown off the trail. It was hard walking, and as it was over a dreary sand waste without water, we suffered such thirst that we had to drink out of a muddy stagnant pool. We overtook the train at 1:15 p.m., encamped on a high table land above the river bottom . . . . Once at home, as the camp really seemed to be, we prepared a good drink of lemonade to quench our thirst, and regaled ourselves on a dish of pinola mush and molasses, hard bread, cold coffee and buffalo steak. The train had traveled 12 miles. Bernard J. Reid

June 20, 1849 Just before leaving the hollow and entering the valley of the North Fork, I was behind the train reading some names on trees, when a very fine looking Indian came across the hollow towards me on a dun pony. He was naked down to the waist and his long black hair was plaited in a queue behind. He was armed with bow and arrows and spear. Could talk no English. We shook hands and made signs, but to little purpose. He rode and moved with dignity and agility. Soon Francisco came up and tried to talk to him but could not except by signs. Soon leaving us he started up the precipitous bluffs, which his pony climbed like a mountain goat. Bernard J. Reid

June 22, 1842 Proceeding up the valley, objects were seen on the opposite hills, which disappeared before a glass could be brought to bear upon them. A man, who was a short distance in the rear, came spurring up in great haste, shouting Indians! Indians! He had been near enough to see and count them, according to his report, and had made out twenty-seven. I immediately halted; arms were examined and put in order; the usual preparations made; and Kit Carson, springing upon one of the hunting horses, crossed the river, and galloped off into the opposite prairies, to obtain some certain intelligence of their movements. Mounted on a fine horse, without a saddle, and scouring bareheaded over the prairies, Kit was one of the finest pictures of a horseman I have ever seen. A short time enabled him to discover that the Indian war party of twenty-seven consisted of six elk, who had been grazing curiously at our caravan as it passed by and were now scampering off at full speed. This was our first alarm, and its excitement broke agreeably on the monotony of the day. John C. Fremont

Research: Important Dates In Cherokee History

Please note that some articles have been transferred over from the Old Word Museum site. You may occasionally encounter broken links or outdated information in these articles.

Written by: Julie Farrow
Date: 2002

* 1540 – The Spanish Explorer, Hernando De Soto and his party are the first whites seen by the Cherokees.


* 1629 – The first traders from the English settlements began trading among the



* 1721 – The Cherokee Treaty with the Governor of the Carolinas is thought to be the first consession of land.


* 1785 – Treaty of Hopewell is the first treaty between the U.S. and the Cherokees.


* 1791 – Treaty of Holston signed. Includes a call for the U.S. to advance civilization of the Cherokees by giving them farm tools and technical advice.


* 1802 – Jefferson signs Georgia Compact.


* 1817 – Treaty makes exchange for land in Arkansas. Old Settlers begin voluntary migration and establish a government there. In 1828, they are forced to move into Indian territory.


* 1821 – Sequoyah’s Cherokee Syllarary completed, quickly leads to almost total

literacy among the Cherokees.


* 1822 – Cherokee’s Supreme Court established.


* 1824 – First written law of Western Cherokees.


* 1825 – New Echota, GA authorized as Cherokee capital.


* 1827 – Modern Cherokee Nation begins with Cherokee Constitution established by a convention; John Ross elected chief.


* 1828 – Cherokee Phoenix published in English and Cherokee, Andrew Jackson

elected President. Gold discovered in Georgia.


* 1828-1830 – Georgia Legislature abolishes tribal government and expands authority over Cherokee country.


* 1832 – US Supreme Court decision Worcester vs Georgia establishes tribal

sovereignty, protects Cherokees from Georgia laws. Jackson won’t enforce decision and Georgia holds lottery for Cherokee lands.


* 1835 – Treaty Party signs Treaty of New Echota, giving up title to all Cherokee lands in southeast in exchange for land in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).


* 1838-1839 – Trail of Tears. US Government’s forced removal of 17,000 Cherokees, in defiance of Supreme Court decision. More than 4,000 die from exposure and disease along the way.


* 1839 – Assassination of Treaty Party leaders, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot for breaking pact not to sign Treaty of New Echota. Factionalism

continues untol 1846. New constitution ratified at convention uniting Cherokees arriving from the east with those in the west.


* 1844 – Cherokee Supreme Court building opens; Cherokee Advocate becomes the first newspaper in Indian territory.


* 1851 – Cherokee male and female seminaries open. Female seminary is the first secondary school for girls west of the Mississippi.


* 1859 – Original Keetoowah Society orgainzed to maintain traditions and fight slavery.


* 1860 – Tension mounts between Union Cherokees and Confederate Cherokees. Civil War begins.


* 1861 – Treaty signed at Park Hill between Cherokee Nation and the Confederate

government. Cherokee Nation torn by border warfare throughout the Civil War.


* 1865-1866 – Cherokee must negotiate peace with the U.S. Government. New treaty limits tribal land rights, eliminates possibility of Cherokee State and is prelude to Dawes Commission. John Ross dies.


* 1887 – General Allotment Act passed, requires individual owership of lands once held in common by Indian tribes.


* 1889 – Unassigned lands in Indian Territory opened by white settlers known as



* 1890 – Oklahoma Territory orgainzed out of western half of Indian Territory.


* 1893 – Cherokee Outlet opened for white settlers. Dawes Commission arrives.


* 1898 – Curtis Act passed abolishing tribal courts.


* 1903 – W.C. Rogers becomes last elected chief for 69 years.


* 1905 – Land allotment begins after official roll taken of Cherokees.


* 1907 – Oklahoma statehood combines Indian and Oklahoma Territories and dissolves tribal government.


* 1917 – William C. Rogers, the last Cherokee Chief, dies.


* 1934 – Indian Reorganization Act established a landbase for tribes and legal structure for self government.


* 1948 – Chief J.B. Milam calls Cherokee Convention; beginning of model tribal government of the Cherokee Nation.


* 1949 – W.W. Bill Keeler appointed chief by President Harry Truman.


* 1957 – First Cherokee National Holiday.



* 1961 – Cherokees awarded 15 million dollars by the US claims Commission for

Cherokee Outlet Lands.


* 1963 – Cherokee National Historical Society founded. CNHS opens Ancient Village, 1967; Trail of Tears Drama, 1969, and museum, 1975.


* 1967 – Cherokee Foundation formed to purchase land on which the tribal complex now sits.


* 1970 – U.S. Supreme Court ruling confirms Cherokee Nation ownership of bed and banks of 96 mile segment of Arkansas Riverbed.


* 1971 – W.W. Keeler becomes first elected principal chief since statehood.


* 1975 – Ross O. Swimmer elected to first of three terms as principal chief. First

Cherokee Tribal Council elected. Congress passes Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.


* 1976 – Cherokee voters ratify new Constitution outlining tribal government.


* 1979 – Tribal offices moved into modern new complex South of Tahlequah.


* 1984 – First joint council meeting in 146 years between Eastern Band of Cherokees and Cherokee Nation held at Red Clay, TN. Council meetings now held



* 1987 – Wilma Mankiller makes history and draws international attention to tribe as first woman elected chief, Cherokee voters pass constitution amendment to

elect council by districts in 1991.


* 1988 – Cherokee Nation joins Eastern Band in Cherokee, NC to commemorate

beginning of The Trail of Tears.


* 1989 – The Cherokee Nation observes 150th anniversary of arrival in Indian Territory. “A New Beginning.”


* 1990 – Chief Mankiller signs the historic self-government agreement, making the

Cherokee Nation one of six tribes to participate in the self-determination project. The project, which ran for three years beginning Oct. 1, 1990, authorized the tribe to assume tribal responsibility for BIA funds which were formerly being spent on the tribe’s behalf at the agency, area and central office levels.


* 1991 – In the July tribal election the first council to be elected by districts since

statehood and Wilma Mankiller won second elected term as principal chief

with a landslide 82% of the votes cast.


* 1995 – Joe Byrd and Garland Eagle elected principal chief and deputy chief which marks the first time in nearly 200 years that full blood bilingual leaders occupy the top positions of the Cherokee Nation.

Research: Green Fireballs

Please note that some articles have been transferred over from the Old Word Museum site. You may occasionally encounter broken links or outdated information in these articles.

Written by: Lori Soard
Date: 1997

Quick Facts

Often called “ghost rockets”, brilliant fireballs would fall from the sky, only to then ascend rapidly. A lot of these were observed in the 1940s and many people believed they were actually soviet tests of captured U-2 missiles

However, history does not account for these. Missile knowledge at the time was primitive. There were many reports of crashes. Some debris was recovered. However any results of testing on debris was kept secret and pushed under the carpet.

This phenomena has also been sighted in the United States. Observers claim to have seen a shiny, oblong structure made of aluminum with a blue flame coming out of the back.