Facts and Events
||Tsituna-Gus-Ke ("Wild Rose")
||Ghi'gau ("Beloved Woman")
||20 Jul 1736
||Chota, Tennessee, United StatesCity Of Refuge
||Chota, Tennesseeto Chutlow Kingfisher
||Overhill, Cherokee Nation (historic)to Bryan Ward
||Benton, Tennessee, United StatesWomankiller Ford
|Ancestral File Number
||Nancy Ward Cemetery, Benton, Polk County, Tennessee, USA
A portion of
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Nanyehi (Cherokee: ᎾᏅᏰᎯ: "One who goes about"), known in English as Nancy Ward (ca. 1738–1822 or 1824) was a Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, which means that she was allowed to sit in councils and to make decisions, along with the chiefs and other Beloved Women. She believed in peaceful coexistence with the European-Americans and helped her people as peace negotiator and ambassador. She also introduced them to farming and dairy production bringing substantial changes to the Cherokee society.. Nancy Ward, a mixed-blood Cherokee woman who lived during the eighteenth century, was the Cherokee nation's last "Beloved Woman." At a time when the Cherokee nation was frequently at battle with American troops and white settlers who had occupied their traditional lands, Ward made repeated attempts to establish peace between the various parties.
Nancy Ward was born in the Cherokee town of Chota, a member of the Wolf Clan. Her mother, whose actual name is not known, is often called Tame Doe, and was a sister of Attakullakulla. Her father was probably part Delaware, also known as the Leni Lenape. Her first husband was the Cherokee man Kingfisher. Nanye-hi and Kingfisher fought side by side at the Battle of Taliwa against the Creeks in 1755. When he was killed, she took up his rifle and led the Cherokee to victory. This was the action which, at the age of 18, gave her the title of Ghigau.
Nancy Ward first married Kingfisher, who was killed in Battle with the Creeks. They had two children, Catherine and Fivekiller. Nancy then married Bryant Ward and their child was Elizabeth Ward, the Cherokee wife of General Joseph Martin.
In the revolutionary War, Ward warned the whites of an impending attack by her cousin Dragging Canoe, an act that has made her a Patriot for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
As a Ghigau, Nancy had the power to spare captives. In 1776, following a Cherokee attack on the Fort Watauga settlement on the Watauga River (at present day Elizabethton, Tennessee), she used that power to spare a Lydia (Russell) Bean, wife of Captain William Bean, whom she took into her house and nursed back to health from injuries suffered in the battle. Mrs. Bean taught Nanye-hi how to weave, revolutionizing the Cherokee garments, which at the time were a combination of hides and cloth bought from traders. But this weaving revolution also changed the roles of women in the Cherokee society, as they took on the weaving and left men to do the planting, which had traditionally been a woman's job. Mrs. Bean also rescued two of her dairy cows from the settlement, and brought them to Nanye-hi. Nanye-hi learned to raise the cattle and to eat dairy products, which would sustain the Cherokee when hunting was bad.
The combination of weaving and raising of animals turned the Cherokee from a communal agricultural society into a society very similar to that of their European-American neighbors, with family plots and the need for ever-more labor. Thus the Cherokee began buying and selling slaves. Nanye-hi was among the first Cherokee to own black slaves.
Around the same time Sequoyah introduced the first written language for the tribe. A complete Bible was first printed in the 1830's, hence the Cherokee were considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes
Nanye-hi objected to the sale of Cherokee lands to whites, but her objections were largely ignored. In 1808 and again in 1817, the Women's Council came out in opposition to the sale of more and more land.
Nanye-hi became a sort of ambassador between the Cherokee and the whites, learning the art of diplomacy from her maternal uncle, the influential chief Attakullakulla ("Little Carpenter"). In 1781, when the Cherokee met with an American delegation led by John Sevier to discuss American settlements along the Little Pigeon River, Nanye-hi expressed surprise that there were no women negotiators among the Americans. Sevier was equally appalled that such important work should be given to a woman. Nanye-hi told him, "You know that women are always looked upon as nothing; but we are your mothers; you are our sons. Our cry is all for peace; let it continue. This peace must last forever. Let your women's son's be ours; our sons be yours. Let your women hear our words." An American observer said that her speech was very moving.
On July 5, 1807, the Moravian mission school at Spring Place, Georgia, in the Cherokee Nation, was visited by three elderly women, including a very distinguished lady who had been a widow of fifty years and almost hundred years old. She was described as "an unusually sensible person, honored and loved by both brown and white people." "This old woman, named Chiconehla, is supposed to have been in a war against an enemy nation and was wounded numerous times...Her left arm is decorated with some designs, which she said were fashionable during her youth...." Chiconehla stayed for two days, entertained by the students and discussing theology with the missionaries with the aid of translating by her distant relative, Mrs. James Vann (Margaret Scott). The circumstances of this high status woman leave little doubt that this Cherokee named Chiconehla was identical to the person known as Nancy Ward.
Near the end of her life, Nancy Ward reportedly had a vision in which she saw a "great line of our people marching on foot. Mothers with babies in their arms. Fathers with small children on their back. Grandmothers and Grandfathers with large bundles on their backs. They were marching West and the 'Unaka' (White Soldiers) were behind them. They left a trail of corpses the weak, the sick who could not survive the journey." The vision was to prove prophetic.
After her hometown of Chota was attacked and much of it destroyed by Colonel Arthur Campbell shortly after the Battle of King's Mountain, she lost her home and was taken in protective custody by U.S. officials. Granny Ward, as she was affectionately known then, opened an inn in southeastern Tennessee on the Ocoee River, at a place called Woman Killer Ford, near present-day Benton. She died in that place in 1822 (some sources say 1824). According to her son, Fivekiller, Nancy was buried in her home town of Chota.
Over the years that followed, Nancy became the subject of many tales and legends. She is reportedly mentioned in Teddy Roosevelt's Book on The West, The Virginia State Papers, The South Carolina State Papers, Mooney's Book, and The Draper Collection. A chapter of The American Daughters Of the Revolution in Tennessee has been named after her. There is also a Descendants of Nancy Ward Association in Oklahoma.
Nancy Ward was the last woman to receive the title of Beloved Woman until the late 20th century. She is not only remembered as an important figure to the Cherokee people but is also considered an early pioneer for women in American politics as she advocated for a woman's voice during a turbulent period in her tribe's history.
In 1923 the Nancy Ward chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution based in Chattanooga, placed a memorial marker next to Fivekiller's grave in Benton, Tennessee. Polk County, Tennessee, where Benton is located, is trying to raise money to create a Nancy Ward Museum.
A statue of Nancy Ward, carved by James Abraham Walker, stood in a cemetery in Grainger County, Tennessee for about 70 years before it was stolen in the early 1980's.
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee holds an annual Nancy Ward Cherokee Heritage Days celebration in her honor.
References & Footnotes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Source:Craig, Bobby E. Grant-Rogers-Bullock-Cookson-Ratliff-Craig, 3 Feb 2001, Questionable quality.
Nancy Ward (aka NANYE-HI-FIVEKILLER) Born 1738 in Chota City Of Refuge North Carolina Cherokee Nation (now Tennesee). She died at Womankiller Ford, Cherokee Nation (now Polk County, Tennesee).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Nancy Ward, in Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture, 2002, Secondary quality.
Last Beloved Woman of the Cherokees, Nancy Ward was born in 1738 at Chota and given the name Nanye-hi, which signified "One who goes about," a name taken from Nunne-hi, the legendary name of the Spirit People of Cherokee mythology.
- Smith, D. Ray. Nancy Ward Statue: Update on recent events and status of historic art sculpture. The Oak Ridger. (GateHouse Media, 22 Dec 2008), 22 Dec 2008, Primary quality.
- Nancy Ward Biography, in InfoPlease, 2007, Secondary quality.
Nanye-hi, Cherokee leader and “Beloved Woman”
- Born: c. 1738
- Birthplace: Chota, Tenn
- Died: 1824
Nanye-hi was the niece of Attakullakulla, a Cherokee chief who counseled peace with the whites, and cousin of Dragging Canoe, a celebrated Cherokee warrior. She assisted her husband, Kingfisher, in a battle against the Creek Indians in 1755. After her husband was killed in action, Nanye-hi took up his gun and urged the Cherokees on to victory. Her heroism was rewarded with the title of honor, “Beloved Woman” (Ghighua).
As Beloved Woman, she sat on the tribal council, participated in important ceremonies, and negotiated with the whites. She was one of the negotiators of the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell, the first treaty between the newly formed United States and the Cherokees. She brought innovations from the white world to the Cherokees, including textile weaving and raising cattle. She later married a white innkeeper, Brant Ward, and became known as Nancy Ward. As relations between the U.S. government and the Cherokees grew strained, she began urging her people not to sell off any further land. An 1819 treaty ceded Chota, her birthplace and home, and she was forced to move.
- Alderman, Pat. Nancy Ward - Dragging Canoe: Cherokee chieftainess and Cherokee-Chickamauga war chief. (Johnson City, Carter, Tennessee, United States: Overmountain Press, c1978), 1978, Secondary quality.
This is a documented, capsuled, contemporary story of two outstanding Cherokee personalities. Nancy Ward was a Cherokee Chieftainess and Most Honored Woman of the Cherokee Nation. Her cousin, Dragging Canoe, was Cherokee-Chickamauga War Chief.
- Nanye-Hi (Nancy Ward) - Cherokee, in Power Source Gallery, Unreliable quality.
Nancy Ward was called upon to show the depth and strength of her character as a young bride while assisting her husband during a battle against the Creeks. When he was shot and killed, Nancy picked up his gun and continued the battle, rallying the Cherokee to victory. The Cherokee paid homage to Nancy and made her a Beloved Woman, a position reserved for brave and wise women who have served the people well.
As a Beloved Woman, Nancy had full voice and full vote in all tribal councils, held the power of life and death and, with the other Beloved Women of the Council, was the final arbitrator of any and all disputes and decisions affecting the Cherokee. Her first official act as a Beloved Woman was to save the life of a white woman condemned to die.
Nancy was a devout believer in peaceful co-existence with the whites. She earned the respect of both the white government and her own people by her successful negotiations and mediations. She had been educated by Moravians who had been allowed to settle in the area, and she served as interpreter when the need arose. Nancy constantly traveled the territory diverting conflict between the European settlers and her people, and was the driving force behind many peace agreements - she was a true politician.
Nancy was instrumental in negotiating the very first treaty between the white government and the Cherokee, known as the Treaty of Hopewell, and was present at its signing. During the years, Nancy watched her work being destroyed as treaty after treaty was broken, and she became increasingly suspicious of the white government.
She began to speak out against the continuing sale of Cherokee lands to the whites, but her fears were not taken seriously. At the time the Cherokee land was forcibly seized, Nancy was able to escape the Trail of Tears by fleeing into Tennessee. She settled there and, with the white trader she had married, operated a successful inn until her death.
Nancy Ward is highly regarded by the Cherokee Nation, and many honors have been bestowed in her name. A Tennessee chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is even named for her.
--By Julia White
NOTE: There are a few discrpancies within this text compared to other sources. --BobC 17:06, 9 March 2009
- Nancy Ward, in Wild Rose: Nancy Ward and the Cherokee Nation, August 2001, Questionable quality.
Somewhat romanticized story that captures both the adventure and scope of Nancy Ward's life. Born during the 1737 smallpox epidemic that killed half of her people, Ward was given the name Nanye-hi for Nunne'hi, the legendary name of the Spirit People of the Cherokee, and seemed to be destined for something great. As an adult, she became a heroic and respected leader who was chosen by the clans as Ghigha, or Beloved Woman of the Cherokee. In that capacity she headed the Women's Council and sat on the Council of Chiefs. She later became a peace advocate who adopted the ways of the white settlers; they called her Nancy Ward when she married a white trader.
- Nancy Ward, in Nancy Ward Cherokee Tribal Leader, Questionable quality.
Author: Neenah Amaru
Text source from Uxl Biographies
- Bryan Ward, in Coats Blueprints, 21 Mar 2006, Questionable quality.
- Origins of Black slavery in Cherokee Country, in Halliburton, R. Red Over Black: Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians. (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1977), 11, 1977, Secondary quality.
"It is not known who the first Cherokee slaveowner was or even when. However, Nancy Ward, (Ghi-gu-u, "Beloved Woman of the Cherokee"), a full-blood of the Wolf clan, was one of the first women in the Nation to possess a black slave. She became the owner of a Negro as a result of the spoils of war. In the Battle of Taliwa with the Creeks in 1775, when her husband Kingfisher was killed, she retrieved his weapon and fought as a warrior. The Creeks were defeated and the spoils divided among the victors. Nancy Ward received a captured Negro and possibly became the first Cherokee female to own a black slave. She soon obtained additional slaves. In 1776 a Cherokee raiding part captured a white woman named Mrs. Bean, who taught Nancy Ward's slaves to make butter and cheese."
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Nancy Ward, in Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. 1st Families, Cherokee Nation East, Unreliable quality.
2.2 Tsistuna-gis-ke Wildrose; Nancy WARD
(a.k.a. Nanye-hi of the Wolf Clan)
(1st d/o Anakwanki Skayagustuegwo Fivekiller & Mother: Tame Doe
(Peace Chief & Prophet per [REF: #57]
b: 1738 in Chota City of Refuge
d. 30 Mar 1822-3 in War Woman or Woman Killer Ford, Amovey District, Polk Co., Tennessee
Buried: Nancy Ward Memorial, Polk County, Tennessee
- E'lan Michaels. Ancestors & Decendants of Beloved Woman/War Woman Cornblossom.
11. GHIGAU (NANCY(4) WARD) (TAME(3) DOE, CHIEF MOYTOY OF(2) TELLICO, AMATOYA1 MOYTOY) was born Bet. 1728 - 1738 in Chota, City of Refuge, and died 1822 in Womankiller Ford, Benton, TN. Notes for GHIGAU (NANCY WARD): Cherokee name was Nanye'hi. She was of the Wolf Clan.
- Nancy Ward (c.1738-c.1824), in Faragher, John Mack. The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. (New York, New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1990), Page 442, Secondary quality.
WARD, NANCY (c.1738-c.1824). A Cherokee notable, whose name was adapted from nanvehi, "one who goes about," Ward was born at Chota, near Fort Loudon, Tennessee. She was the daughter of the famous warrior Fivekiller and half-sister to Attakullakulla, who was later to become chief of the Cherokee. Also known as Tsistunagiska, "Wild Rose," she fought alongside her husband, Kingfisher, at the battle of Taliwa during the 1755 Cherokee-Creek War. For her heroism she earned the title Agigau, "Beloved Woman," of her nation. After the death of her husband, she married Bryant Ward, a white trader, and later served as intermediary between the colonists and the Cherokee.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Nancy Ward, in RootsWeb: CherokeeGene Mailing List, 22 February 2011, Questionable quality.
From: email@example.com On Behalf Of Joyce Gaston Reece
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:31 AM
Subject: [CherokeeGene] Ward
Nancy Ward's aka's
Nanye'hi -Cherokee form of Nancy
Tsistuna-gis-ke -birth name, "Wild Rose"
Ghigau -title of "Beloved Woman"
Chicouelha [?] Moravian Diary entry
War Woman of Chota
Joyce Gaston Reece
- ↑ Nancy Ward, in Bean Genealogy: Bean Notables and Anecdotes, 29 May 2003, Questionable quality.
Lydia (Russell) Bean (1726-1788), William's wife, was captured along with 13 year old Samuel Moore in July 1776 by hostile Cherokee Indians prior to an attack on the Wataugu settlement. She was intercepted as she made her way from her home on Boone's Creek to Sycamore Shoals. She was sent to the Overhill Towns and was lead to the stake. But she was saved, it is said, by Nancy Ward, "Beloved Woman" of the Cherokees, who told the Indians that they could use Mrs. Bean's instruction in the making of butter and cheese. So her life was spared and later she returned to her home.
Nancy Ward's act may have had far reaching effects. When militant Cherokees prepared to attack illegal white communities on the Watauga River, Ward disapproved of intentionally taking civilian lives. She was able to warn several of the Watauga settlements in time for them to defend themselves or flee. Lydia was sentenced to execution and was actually being tied to a stake when Ward exercised her right to spare condemned captives. She took the injured Mrs. Bean into her own home to nurse her back to health. Mrs. Bean, like most "settler women," wove her own cloth. At this time, the Cherokee were wearing a combination of traditional hide (animal skin) clothing and loomed cloth purchased from traders. Cherokee people had rough-woven hemp clothing, but it was not as comfortable as clothing made from linen, cotton, or wool. Mrs. Bean taught Ward how to set up a loom, spin thread or yarn, and weave cloth. This skill would make the Cherokee people less dependent on traders, but it also Europeanized the Cherokee in terms of gender roles. Women came to be expected to do the weaving and house chores; as men became farmers in the changing society, women became "housewives." Another aspect of Cherokee life that changed when Ward saved the life of Mrs. Bean was that of raising animals. Lydia owned dairy cattle, which she took to Ward's house. Ward learned to prepare and use dairy foods, which provided some nourishment even when hunting was bad. However, because of Ward's introduction of dairy farming to the Cherokee, they would begin to amass large herds and farms, which required even more manual labor. This would soon lead the Cherokee into using slave labor. In fact, Ward herself had been "awarded" the black slave of a felled Creek warrior after her victory at the Battle of Taliwa and thus became the first Cherokee slave owner.
- Nancy Ward, in All Things Cherokee, 2009, Questionable quality.
Nancy Ward: Beloved Woman of the Cherokee
by Christina Berry
Nanye-hi was born in 1738. She was the daughter of Tame Doe, a member of the Wolf Clan and sister to Attakullakulla. She married Kingfisher and had two children by him. Nanye-hi accompanied her husband on a raid of the Creeks during the Battle of Taliwa in 1755. Kingfisher was killed in the battle and Nanye-hi filled his place in the battle. She took his rifle and rallied the warriors to victory.
For her bravery she was bestowed with the title of Ghigua. The Ghigua, or Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, was a prestigious title given to extraordinary women by the Cherokee clans. The Ghigua headed the Council of Women and held a voting seat in the Council of Chiefs. The Ghigua was given the responsibility of prisoners and would decide their fate.
Nanye-hi, or Nancy, married a second time, this time to a white man. Bryant Ward, a trader who took up residence within the Cherokee Nation, married Nancy in the late 1750s. The two had a daughter before Bryant returned to South Carolina to live with his white family. Nancy and her daughter would often visit Bryant Ward and his family; they were always treated well.
Nancy Ward was a respected woman among the Cherokees and the white settlers. She was an outspoken supporter of peace. On at least two occasions she sent warnings to white settlements of impending Indian attacks, for fear that surprise attacks would further erode the strained relationship between the Cherokees and the settlers.
She participated in several treaty negotiations and even spoke at the Treaty of Hopewell in 1785 where she spoke about her hopes for a continued peace.
Sadly, Nancy would live to see dramatic developments which would forever change the Cherokee Nation. Numerous treaties that agreed to honor Cherokee land rights were broken. In 1819 the Hiwassee Purchases forced Nancy to abandon her home in Chota and settle further south on the Ocoee River.
Nancy's efforts for peace did help to avoid large-scale war with the white settlers, but in the end nothing could protect the Cherokee Nation from white encroachment. Nancy died in 1822 and is buried near Benton, Tennessee. Less than a decade later the Indian Removal Act was passed, and by 1838 a forced removal to Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma was taking place.
Nancy Ward was the last Ghigua. The Cherokee government changed dramatically during Nancy's lifetime and the Cherokee, once ruled by clan loyalty, were moving toward a republican form of government. There was no longer a place in their government for a Ghigua.
Artistic rendering of Nanyehi, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee
- ↑ Nancy Ward, in Find A Grave.
- Nan'yehi, later Nancy Ward, in Central Oregon Community College: Women's Studies Historical Timelines (17th & 18th Century Women), Year 1755, Questionable quality.
"Nan'yehi, later Nancy Ward (c. 1738-1824), at 18 years of age, took up her slain husband's gun and, singing a war song, led the Cherokees to victory over the Creeks at the Battle of Taliwa. Her bravery earned her the highest title of honor for a Cherokee woman, Ghighuaa ("Beloved Woman"; also translated as "Warrior Woman"), and great influence as a Cherokee tribal leader. Later, she would speak for her people with U.S. representatives and wisely counseled the tribe against land cession. She did not live to see her warnings become reality when the Cherokee were dispossessed of their eastern lands in North Carolina region and exiled to Indian Territory in 1838. Ward remains a powerful symbol for Cherokee women, revered among Oklahoma and Eastern Band Cherokees and feminist scholars."
- ↑ Map of Historic Cherokee Sites (Page 98 of Footsteps of the Cherokees
- ↑ Nancy Ward Gravesite article (Page 101 of Footsteps of the Cherokees
- ↑ Nancy Ward Gravesite article (Page 102 of Footsteps of the Cherokees
- ↑ Read more at Answers.com: Nancy Ward
- ↑ According to Cherokee by Blood, the Wolf Clan is the largest clan and the most prominent clan, providing most of the war chiefs. The wolf clan are keepers of the wolf and the only clan who could kill a wolf. The Clan color of the Ani-Wahya is Red.
- ↑ SmithDRay's Nancy Ward page
- ↑ According to the Cherokee by Blood website the Beloved Women (Ghigua) were chosen by each clan to attend the Council of Women yearly. They were chosen for their bravery in battle or outstanding qualities, and it was the highest honor they could receive. The Ghigua headed the Council of Women and held a voting seat in the Council of Chiefs. The Ghigua was given the responsibility of prisoners and would decide their fate. She also had the right to be her people's sage and guide. Another of the Beloved Woman's duties was as ambassador, or peace negotiator. Nancy Ward was the last Ghigua.
- ↑ THE MORAVIAN SPRINGPLACE MISSION TO THE CHEROKEES, Vol. I, 1805-1813 (pp. 194-196), edited and translated by Rowena McClinton, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln,NE, 2007
- ↑ Answers.com: Nancy Ward
- ↑ Col. Arthur Campbell's biography is at Tennseess GenWeb: Campbell County Tennessee History
- ↑ "The Bringing of Wonder: Mary Musgrove and Nancy Ward" page 57
- ↑ Answers.com: Nancy Ward
- ↑ Answers.com: Nancy Ward
- ↑ Nancy Ward Chapter, Tennessee Society Daughters of the American Revolution website
- ↑ Nancy Ward Museum, Benton, TN (Region: East Tennessee - Subregion: Chattanooga & Southeast) presently located in the Polk County Historical and Genealogical facility, the Nancy Ward Room has a video on her life, artifacts and Cherokee research resources. The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society currently maintains a Nancy Ward Room in their genealogy library until such a time as the museum is created.
- ↑ "Nanye-Hi (Nancy Ward) - Cherokee" By Julia White
- ↑ 
Artistic representation of Nancy Ward
Cover to the Nancy Ward
book by Annie Walker Burns
Artistic rendering of young Nanyehi during the Battle of Taliwa