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Alexander Cameron

Alexander Cameron, British Indian agent among the Cherokees, was a native of Scotland who emigrated to Georgia in the 1730s and enlisted in the British army during the Seven Years' War. In 1764 the British appointed him commissary to Chota in the Cherokee territory, and he lived among the Tennessee Cherokees for the next fifteen years. In early 1776 Cameron attempted to mediate between white settlers who had moved into disputed territory at Watauga and Nolichucky and the Cherokees, who demanded their removal. When the settlers refused to leave, the Cherokees attacked, and the settlers blamed the unrest on Cameron, accusing him of inciting the Indians.

Cameron denied that he had encouraged the Cherokee attack, but as the Revolutionary War commenced, British Indian agents sought the support of Native Americans throughout North America. John Stuart, head superintendent of Indian Affairs, died in early 1779, and in August Cameron was appointed superintendent for the Southwest in an attempt to gain Cherokee loyalty. Cameron also tried unsuccessfully to gain the support of the Creeks and Choctaws in Florida.

During his fifteen years among the Cherokees, Cameron became influential in tribal decisions and fathered three children. In 1780 an illness prevented his plans to travel through the Indian territories, and he died in Savannah in December 1781.

Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » January 01, 2010