Source:Cherokee and the Moytoy

Source Cherokee and the Moytoy
Year range 1627 - 1750
Surname Carpenter, Jeffery, Moytoy
Subject Ethnic/Cultural
Ethnicity / Culture Native American
Publication information
Type Article
Publisher Cherokee Heritage Documentation Center
Periodical / Series name Cherokee Registry - Heritage and Genealogy
Cherokee and the Moytoy. Cherokee Registry - Heritage and Genealogy. (Cherokee Heritage Documentation Center).
Cherokee Heritage Documentation Center website

Cherokee and the Moytoy - A short history lesson first

Thomas Pasmere Carpenter at 20 years old came to Jamestown, Virginia from England in 1627. Thomas was the son of Robert Carpenter (1578 – 1651) and Susan Pasmere Jeffery (1579 – 1651). He had a ten acre lease in Virginia, but it was later given to someone else because of his age, so he went to live with the Shawnee and made his home in a cave. Thomas was called "Cornplanter" by the Shawnee, derived from their sign language that matched as near as possible to the work of a carpenter. He married a Shawnee woman named "Pride" and bore a son around 1635 named Trader Carpenter, and a daughter Pasmere Carpenter, about 1637. Together with partners John Greenwood and Thomas Watts they began a thriving fur business. Trader was taught to “witch” for water with a willow stick by the Shawnee. He was later known by the Cherokee as the "water conjurer" or Ama Matai (Ama is Cherokee for water). Ama Matai eventually became pronounced as Amatoya. It was also shortened to “Moytoy”, so he is known as Moytoy I.

The clan grew quickly. Trader (Amatoya / Moytoy I) married a Shawnee named Locha in 1658. Pasmere married the grandfather of Cornstalk Hokolesqua (Shawnee) in 1660. The same year the clan was driven south by the Iroquois. They moved along the Tennessee river, starting the villages of Running Water (where Thomas died in 1675), Nickajack, Lookout Mountain, Crowtown and Chota. Chota was created as a merging place of refuge for people of all tribes, history or color. It became similar to a capital for the Cherokee nation. These villages grew to about 2000 people by 1670 when the Carpenter clan moved to Great Tellico. Here Trader (Amatoya / Motoy I) married Quatsy of the Wolf Clan in 1680. They bore a daughter Nancy in 1683.

Though Amatoya (Trader) was chief of the above mentioned villages, it was his son Moytoy II (sometimes called "Trader-Tom") who was the one who actually became a Cherokee principle chief. In 1730, Trader-Tom (Moytoy II) took over as Chief, receiving what was described as the “Crown of Tannassy”. Tanasi was where the previous Chief resided and the traditional headdress was passed on to him.

Several tribes, including the Cherokee, assisted colonists in driving out their mutual enemy, the Tuscarora, in a war that lasted from 1711-1713. However, with the Tuscarora out of the way, the tribes begin to address their grievances with the colonists -- primarily the sale of Native Americans into slavery despite agreements to discontinue this practice. The result was a war, in 1715, in which the combined tribes in the region threatened to wipe-out the South Carolina Colony.

Ultimately, the colonists were able to mass their forces and after achieving several victories the tribes began to sue for peace. Peace was made with the Cherokee who were given a large quantity of guns and ammunition in exchange for their alliance with the colony.

In 1721, a treaty was signed with South Carolina. It also established a fixed boundary between the Cherokee and the colony. Although allied with the English, the Cherokee began to favor the French who had established Fort Toulouse near present Montgomery AL. The French showed greater respect for the Indians than the British who considered them an inferior race.

To prevent a Cherokee alliance with the French, Sir Alexander Cuming visited the prominent Cherokee towns and convinced the Cherokee to select an "emperor", Chief Moytoy of Tellico, to represent the tribe in all dealings with the British. In addition, he escorted seven Cherokees to England who met with the King and swore allegiance to the crown.

A treaty was signed obligating the Cherokee to trade only with the British, return all runaway slaves, and to expel all non-English whites from their territory. In return, the Cherokee received a substantial amount of guns, ammunition, and red paint.

Although the seven Cherokee who made the trip were presented the to the king as "chiefs", only one could be considered a prominent Cherokee -- the others being young men who went for the adventure. The chiefs of the tribe declined due to their responsibilities for hunting and defense. However, one of the young men was Attacullakulla, known as "Little Carpenter", who later became a powerful and influential

According to Chief Attakullakulla's ceremonial speech to the Cherokee Nation in 1750, we traveled here from "the rising sun" before the time of the stone age man.

Amatoya's grandson (through daughter Nancy and an Algonquin named White Owl Raven who had been adopted by Trader-Tom ) was Attacullaculla, known as the "little carpenter" because of the Carpenter family name. Attacullaculla and several brothers traveled to London in 1730 with Sir Alexander Cumming to meet King George II.

The fur trading Carpenter family owned many ships. Thomas made several trips to Barbados over the years where they did banking, and even to Scotland and Ireland. On occasion he took Trader, and Trader Tom with him. This line is descended from Vicomte Guillaume de Melun le Carpentier, and that links them to the British royal family.

The links at at the original source document the genealogy of the Moytoy line.