Wasington decides that assimilation of American Indians is the best policy. He feels this can be accomplished in 50 years, and specifically targets the Cherokee because they show many traits whites see as promising, ordering Henry Dearborn to begin introduction of technology in the form of spinning wheels and carding machines. Government funded spinning wheels arrive in 1792 along with cotton and seed just before the hunting season. The Cherokee males are surprised by the cloth their wives weave. Among those most impressed with the work is the warrior Ridge when he returns to his home at Pine Log.
The next year, with their own cotton, the Cherokee women
weave cloth in six months that is worth more than the pelts the Cherokee
men gather in the same
amount of time. Ridge begins to see how the technology can help. Two other
men live in Pine Log who, along with Ridge, heavily influence the coming renaissance.
Charles Hicks, crippled by a painful hip, impresses Ridge because Hicks spends
money on books. James Vann, who impresses Ridge because he stands up to a higher
chief named Doublehead, also lives there. Together they form the "Cherokee Triumvirate," young
chiefs who would change the Cherokee Nation.
With the defeat of the Chickamauga in 1794, early signs
of nationalism begin to form among the Cherokee, spurred in part by the Indian
agent Dinsmoor. Over
the next 12 years the Cherokee establish a rudimentary set of laws by which
to govern and begin a loose-knit national police force called the "Lighthorse
To the east encroachment troubles the Cherokee. The Wafford Tract in northeast Georgia is sold to whites in 1804, with James Vann acting as agent. A year later the Treaty of Tellico is signed by many of the older chiefs. This includes a provision for a road from Nashville to Savannah following an old Indian trading path. Improvements began on the Federal Highway two years earlier. By 1805 the Georgia Turnpike is complete, crossing the Georgia border south of present day Brainerd, Tennessee, moving south to Ringgold, then almost due southeast. It crosses the Chattahoochee in an area that still today is known as Vann's Ferry. Cherokee, mostly of mixed-blood, along with countrymen, whites who choose to live with the Native Americans, run most of the money-making business on the road.
To ensure the road is approved, the federal government
bribes some of the chiefs with "inducements," money and other valuable commodities.
One chief who profits handsomely is Doublehead. Vann, Hicks and Ridge and
this policy because the Cherokee as a group are cheated.
In Europe The Reformation changed the interrelation of cultures. Alliances to noblemen evolved into rudimentary national alliances prior to 1500. After Martin Luther, society tended to break along religious lines, Catholic vs. the enemy of the day. For example, in France the Catholics battled the Huguenots. In Germany, the Catholics battled the Lutherans. This period is referred to as the Thirty Years War. Between 1806 and 1810 Cherokee society and allegiances undergo a remarkably similar change in a period referred to as The Revolt of the Young Chiefs.
The man who represents the United States to the Cherokee
Nation, and will until 1823, is Return J. Miegs. A Revolutionary War veteran,
he acts as advisor,
assistant and emissary to the Cherokees. Selected after Washington's term the
obedient Miegs follows various President's orders, convinced that Washington's
original idea of integration into the United States is "unworkable". By the
start of the Revolt of the Young Chiefs the United States policy evolves from
one of acculturation to one supporting removal. Miegs has no problem adapting
to the new policies, and much to the consternation of the Young Chiefs, actively
pursues negotiations with chiefs he knows he can bribe. The Young Chiefs openly
revolt against Miegs and the older chiefs. Initially limited, support for this
In a series of complex internal changes the Upper Towns and Lower Towns merge, with some members of the Lower Towns moving west to Arkansas, at the government's behest. These changes include the murder of Doublehead by the Cherokee Triumvirate, and the murder of James Vann. A brief religious revival, combined with the immense New Madrid earthquake, set the stage for a dramatic cultural shift.