“A Demand of Blood: The Cherokee War of 1776” by Nadia Dean is an excellent history of the Cherokee decline during the beginning of the American Revolutionary War; it shows how unrest with the white political divisions also created divisions among the native people. This was definitely a crippling blow to the Cherokee people who had lived in harmony with the land from their aboriginal beginnings; traders had changed a lifestyle for these Indian people which could never return. With rifles, the deerskin trade flourished a few years until deer got scarce; less animals meant Cherokee people had to depend upon their entire territory to take deerskins for trade. Encroaching white settlers limited their hunting grounds which resulted in conflicts; with the white-Indian unrest, colonial armies moved in and devastated entire regions destroying Cherokee homes, crops, and taking untold numbers of human lives.
Andrew Williamson and Griffith Rutherford were colonial militia leaders that tried to annihilate the Middle, Valley, and Lower Towns of the Cherokee; in addition to killing as many Cherokee people as possible, they burned entire villages, destroyed crops, and killed all livestock that was not confiscated for their own purposes. Later when William Christian’s colonial army moved through the Overhill Towns, several of the Cherokees homes and villages were allowed to remain intact; Christian’s humanitarian move through the heart of Cherokee country allowed for a somewhat peaceful resolution. Many of the elder Cherokee leaders agreed to a new peace treaty with the colonial government; however, this 1776 war created a vast divide in the Cherokee people. Dragging Canoe and his Chickamauga followers carried on the war until Doublehead signed the Treaty of Philadelphia with President George Washington in June 1794.
Nadia Dean gives us an intimate view and highly referenced narrative of the remarkable events in our Cherokee and colonial history in “A Demand of Blood!” It is without hesitation that I highly recommend this book so everyone can have a better understanding of the bloodshed that built our Nation!
You can go to this link to order the book: http://valleyriverpress.com/bookstore.cfm
Rickey Butch Walker, Author/Historian
December 17, 2013