Saturday, September 10, 2011

Standing Turkey

Standing Turkey

       In my new book-Doublehead: Last Chickamauga Cherokee Chief, you can read about all of Doublehead's brothers and sisters.  Standing Turkey was one of Doublehead's older brothers that fought with him and the Chickamauga Confederacy.

       Standing Turkey (Gvnagadoga) was born about 1738 and died about 1785.  He was the great nephew of Old Hop and succeeded his uncle as chief of the Cherokee Nation for a brief period.  Old Hop, also known as Standing Turkey, died in August 1761 in Chota, the Overhill Towns Cherokee Capital, on the Little Tennessee River in Monroe County, Tennessee.

Standing Turkey-Doublehead's brother

       The young Standing Turkey was chief of the Cherokee Nation for only a short period in 1761.  It was the young Standing Turkey who led a four day assault on Fort Loudoun on the Little Tennessee River in 1760.  He went to Loudon with Henry Timberlake in 1762-1763 and signed the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which was an agreement with the Crown of England to allow no more white people or settlements west of the Appalachians.  In 1782 he was one of a party of the Chickamauga on a diplomatic mission to the Spanish at Fort St. Louis in Missouri to get arms and to receive permission to emigrate west from the Governor of Spanish Louisiana.

       Standing Turkey, also known as Cunne Shote or Kunagadoga, succeeded his uncle, Kanagatucko, or Old Hop, as First Beloved Man of the Cherokee upon the latter's death in 1760.  Pro-French like his uncle, he steered the Cherokee into war with the British colonies of South Carolina and Virginia in the aftermath of the murders of several Cherokee leaders held hostage at Fort Prince George at the edge of the Lower Towns of the Cherokee in what is now western South Carolina.  He held office until the end of the Anglo-Cherokee War in 1761, when he was deposed in favor of Attakullakulla. 

       He was one of three Cherokee leaders to go with Henry Timberlake to London in 1762-1763, the others being Ostenaco and Pidgeon.  In 1782, he was one of a party of Cherokee which joined the Lenape (Delaware), Shawnee, and Chickasaw in a diplomatic visit to the Spanish at Fort St. Louis in the Missouri country in seeking a new avenue of obtaining arms and other assistance in the prosecution of their ongoing conflict with the Americans in the Ohio Valley. The group of Cherokee by Standing Turkey sought and received permission to settle in Spanish Louisiana, in the region of the White River (Tanner, 1978). 

Standing Turkey, Ostenaco, and Pidgeon

       Standing Turkey, the brother of Doublehead, and members of the Chickamauga Confederacy were accompanied by factions of the Lower Cherokee, Delaware, Shawnee, and Chickasaw to seek arms and ammunition to carry on their war against white settlers encroaching on their ancestral hunting grounds and homelands.  According to the above reference in the year 1782, Doublehead’s Chickamauga Confederacy was still strong and contained factions of all the tribes even though Chickasaw Chief Piomingo had signed a peace agreement in 1781 with General James Robertson of the Cumberland settlements.  It is not sure how many rifles and the amount of ammunition, powder, and military supplies the Chickamauga Confederacy received from the Spanish.  Standing Turkey died within three years after his meeting with members of the Chickamauga and the Spanish.  The circumstances of Standing Turkey’s death are not known, but for sure he was fighting with his brother Doublehead against the Cumberland settlers.  

       If you want to read more about Doublehead and his family, be sure to sign up for your copy of my Doublehead book now.  Just let me know and I will add your name to the list.  If you have not become a member of my blog, please do so and you will automatically get all the stories I write.


  1. Can't you see the resemblance between me and Uncle Standing Turkey and me. I'm ready for the book bro!!!