Entries

Archaic Period
The Archaic in Tennessee is the longest defined prehistoric cultural period, spanning approximately seven thousand years. The beginning of the Archaic Period roughly coincides with the Pleistocene/Hol... Continue Reading »
Attakullakulla
Attakullakulla was a powerful eighteenth-century Overhill Cherokee leader who played a critical and decisive role in shaping diplomatic, trade, and military relationships with the British Colonial gov... Continue Reading »
Awiakta, Marilou
Marilou Awiakta, Cherokee and Appalachian poet, storyteller, and essayist, was born in Knoxville in 1936 and reared in Oak Ridge. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 1958... Continue Reading »
Blythe Ferry
Located on the Tennessee River between Meigs and Rhea Counties, Blythe Ferry dates to about 1809 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its original owner and operator was Willia... Continue Reading »
Boudinot, Elias
Elias Boudinot, Cherokee publisher and signer of the removal treaty, was born around 1802 in what is now North Georgia and given the name Buck Oo-watie Galagina, or Stag. In 1818 he went to mission sc... Continue Reading »
Brainerd Mission
Brainerd Mission was a multi-acre mission school situated on Chickamauga Creek near present-day Chattanooga. Named for eighteenth-century missionary David Brainerd, it was the largest institution of i... Continue Reading »
Cherokee Phoenix
Among the many accomplishments of the Cherokees was the publication of the first Native American newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, from 1828 to 1834. Soon after the adoption of the Cherokee Constitutio... Continue Reading »
Chickamaugas
The Chickamaugas were a diverse group of Cherokees, Creeks, dissatisfied whites, and African Americans who stymied white settlement in Tennessee for approximately nineteen years. On March 19, 1775, on... Continue Reading »
Chickasaws
The Chickasaws, a small but courageous tribe with principal towns headed by local chiefs, were located in northern Mississippi and Alabama before European contact. These Muskogean-speaking Indians sub... Continue Reading »
Choctaws
The Choctaws of West Tennessee are the only native-speaking American Indian community in Tennessee. In fact, they have retained their language to a greater extent than virtually any other Native Ameri... Continue Reading »
Chota
The Overhill Cherokee village of Chota was located in the Little Tennessee River valley of eastern Tennessee in present-day Monroe County. Chota, or Itsa'sa, is also spelled Echota and Chote. The... Continue Reading »
Chucalissa Village
Chucalissa Village is an important Mississippian Period archaeological site located within T. O. Fuller State Park in Memphis. Workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) discovered the site du... Continue Reading »
Chuqualataque
Chuqualataque, one of the lesser known Cherokee chiefs, was born into the Paint Clan as "Blue Hawk," probably in the early 1760s. This clan was the kin group of many noted Cherokee chiefs, including D... Continue Reading »
Cox Mound Gorget
The Cox Mound, or Woodpecker, gorget style is a particularly beautiful and enduring symbol of Tennessee's prehistoric inhabitants. A gorget was a pendant, or personal adornment, worn around the n... Continue Reading »
Dover Flint Quarries
The Dover Flint Quarries, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, comprise one of the most significant prehistoric quarry sites in the Southeast. Located in Stewart County, the Dov... Continue Reading »
Dragging Canoe
Dragging Canoe, Cherokee warrior and leader of the Chickamaugas, was born in one of the Overhill towns on the Tennessee River, the son of the Cherokee diplomat Attakullakulla. Historians have identifi... Continue Reading »
Duck River Temple Mounds
More than eight centuries ago a Native American town flourished atop the steep bluff overlooking the confluence of Sycamore Creek, Buffalo River, and Duck River in Humphreys County. By A.D. 1150 this ... Continue Reading »
Eva Site
Located on an ancient bank of the Tennessee River, the Eva site is a prehistoric Native American encampment named after the modern hamlet of Eva in Benton County. University of Tennessee archaeologist... Continue Reading »
Gates P. Thruston Collection of Vanderbilt University
This invaluable collection dates to 1907, when Gates P. Thruston (1835-1912) donated his collection of prehistoric Native American artifacts to Vanderbilt University. Containing about one thousand obj... Continue Reading »
Major Ridge
Major Ridge, whose Cherokee name meant "walking-the-mountain-tops," is best known as one of the men who signed the 1835 Treaty of New Echota authorizing the removal of the Cherokee Indians. Once in Ok... Continue Reading »