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The Cherokee


Please note that while we cannot do research, we hope to provide assistance, through data and links, to Native Americans with roots in South Carolina.


From the 1600's to 1800's, the Cherokee occupied the extreme northwest portion of South Carolina, roughly in the area of modern-day Oconee County. The region was earlier occupied by the Etowah (c. 1100-1350), and the Muskogeans (c.1350-1600). It is estimated that the Cherokee arrived around 1500.

Early manuscripts tell us that the Cherokee and the South Carolina colony made a treaty in 1684; that in 1690, the secretary of the colony, James Moore, ventured into the Cherokee country looking for gold; and that some Cherokee chiefs visited Charleston in 1693 demanding firearms for their wars against neighboring tribes.

The Cherokee Path

The Cherokee Path was the leading path out of Charleston going to Columbia. "The Cherokee Path" led to all of the Cherokee territories, running from Charles Towne to the colonial settlement of Ninety Six, then to Fort Prince George and the Cherokee village of Keowee. From Keowee, the principal town of the Cherokee Lower settlements, it crossed the mountains into the Middle settlements of North Carolina, then crossed the Unaka Mountains into the valley of the Little Tennessee River and the Overhill settlements. A branch of the "Cherokee Path" led to the Valley Towns, located in the area of present-day Georgia.

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