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City Lights Bookstore posted events
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Doris Anne Beaulieu posted a video

Model A's ( Poem )

Model A’s ( Poem ) Vintage cars that are so old Classic beauties with stories told Some with Rumble seats in tow Owners of these want to show Antiques from l...
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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Seven new books, Oct. 2014, leading with McCrumb's latest

Sharyn McCrumb’s new book tour; and other productionsby Rob Neufeld Nora Bonesteel’s Christmas Past by Sharyn McCrumb (Abingdon Press hardcover, Oct. 7, 2014, 160 pages, $18.99)            I didn’t receive a review copy, but I can say McCrumb is always a delight and a deliverance.  McCrumb’s new holiday…See More
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Jerald Pope posted an event

Black Mountain Authors Get Hungry at Monte Visa Hotel

October 16, 2014 from 6pm to 7pm
The Third Thursday reading this month will feature stories and poems about food. As you might imagine, a whole hungry cadre of writers stepped up to the plate to read. The feast will take place at the Monte Vista Hotel this Thursday, which also just happens to be Fried Chicken day at the Hotel. Yum! Here’s what’s on the menu: Jeff Hutchins moved to Black Mountain in 2008. In his prior life, Jeff helped develop the technology of closed captioning, which is used to make television programming…See More
Oct 15
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Cherokee pottery survey Oct 17

Cherokee Museum Presents Cherokee Pottery on International Archaeology Dayfrom press release            The Museum of the Cherokee Indian will present “Cherokee Pottery: Three Thousand Years of Cherokee Science and Art” on Friday October 17 at 2 pm.  This talk is part of International Archaeology Day, sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America.  It is open to the public free of charge, and is suitable for all ages.             “We are glad to be participating in International…See More
Oct 14
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Conversation with George Ella Lyon

Getting deep with east Kentucky author George Ella Lyonby Rob Neufeld             George Ella Lyon is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction, and plays for all ages; and has emerged from her east Kentucky upbringing with many things to tell the world about Appalachian virtues, including neighborliness, woodland spirit,…See More
Oct 14
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Oct 14
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A Look at Climate Change and Mass Extinction at City Lights Bookstore

October 17, 2014 from 6:30pm to 8pm
Charles Dayton and Sara Evans will visit City Lights Bookstore on Friday, October 17th at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion on climate change and mass extinction. Evans will review The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, a book about the increase in mass extinctions and the impending ecological collapse caused by man’s disharmony with the natural world. Dayton will speak and present slides about the impact of climate change on the ocean’s ecology, which is also discussed in The Sixth…See More
Oct 11
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Book discussions in WNC, October 2014

WNC BOOK DISCUSSION CALENDAR, OCTOBER 2014Wednesday, October 1AUTISM BOOK CLUB: The Autism Book Club discusses “Mozart and the Whale” by Jerry and Mary Newport at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 1 p.m. Call 254-6734.MALAPROP’S BOOKCLUB: The Malaprop’s Bookclub, hosted by Jay Jacoby, discusses “Winesburg,…See More
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James D. Loy posted a blog post

"Loy's Loonies," a new series of zany books

Hi folks:     I am pleased to announce the publication of the second book in my series "Loy's Loonies."  This one is entitled Uncle Moe and the Martha's Vineyard Frackers and here's the cover blurb.     Moe Thibault is a lovable octogenarian who sometimes thinks he’s Jacques Clouseau and who’s convinced he once had an identical twin. While living out his widower’s retirement in upstate New York, Moe is sent an obituary from Martha’s Vineyard with a photo of his apparent Doppelganger, a man…See More
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Juniper Bends and Topside Press present: Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads at The Crow & Quill

October 8, 2014 from 8pm to 10pm
This fall the best new transgender fiction is going on a road trip! Topside Press authors Casey Plett (author of A Safe Girl To Love) and Sybil Lamb (author of I’ve Got A Time Bomb) will be crisscrossing Canada and the United-States. Asheville is hosting these Topside authors with the help of Juniper Bends Reading Series, and The Crow & Quill. Join us on Wednesday, October 8th at 8 pm to hear the work of these two …See More
Sep 29
Randolph Wilson replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Place-names salute us in a revised gazetteer
"I was born on Bill's Creek...the son of Roland and Jeanette Frady Wilson. I spent my first 18 years on the old Frady farm on Bill's Creek. We lived with my Grandfather and Grandmother....Dewey Frady and Diza Hall Frady. I remember…"
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City Lights Bookstore posted events
Sep 27
Sue Diehl posted an event

Rose Senehi with Montreat College Friends of the Library at Bell Library at Montreat College

November 2, 2014 from 3pm to 5pm
Rose Senehi, author of Dancing on Rocks, will discuss her most recent novel in the Blue Ridge Mountain series on Sunday afternoon, November 2, 2014 at 3:00 p.m in Montreat College Bell Library.  Public is invited. Refreshments will be served.See More
Sep 25

Alexander Cameron, the Cherokee, and the generation before the Revolution

Alexander Cameron, British agent, stuck by the Cherokee

by Rob Neufeld

 

            “I have been threatened hear by Severals of the Cracking Traders for taking a halfwitted pack horseman into Custody,” Alexander Cameron, British agent to the Cherokee, reported on Feb. 3, 1765.

            He was talking about the white settlers who crossed boundaries to con or steal goods and land from Indians around his headquarters in Toqua (the Cherokee town now under Tellico Lake in Tennessee).

            The term “cracker,” applied by the British and Cherokee to a criminal class of bandits in the colonies, had just become popular.  It referred to the hustlers’ “use of whips with a piece of buckskin at the end”; or, to their boasting; or to their way of eating corn, various early dictionaries ascribed.

            In any case, the British government feared that the outlaws would mess up their friendly relations with the Cherokee, whom they needed to maintain good trade and regional security. 

            After the French and Indian War, John Stuart, British Superintendent of the Southern District of the British Indian Department, tapped Cameron as his chief agent.  It was a residential job. 

            “This Gentleman,” Stuart wrote British Commander-in-Chief Gen. Thomas Gage about Cameron, “was some years upon Command at Fort Prince George where he acquired considerable influence among the Indians.”

            Cameron had quite a balancing act to perform on a daily basis.  One time, while he was in his cabin, sick with fever, yet providing lodging to white fur traders, a party of Cherokees forced their way in, demanding retribution for the killing of some of their people on a Virginia outing.

            “I was,” Cameron wrote George Price, commander at Fort Prince George, “very loath to get out of my bed, but the Dread of Their Tomahawks obliged me to rise” and prevent the executions.  “Some of the Traders had Blows & Knocks but were obliged to put up with them.”

            Cameron and Price were together at the fort in 1766 when Kittagusta, Cherokee chief, appealed to the need for peace and justice within his community during negotiations regarding a new boundary with the British.

            “We might claim the land a great way beyond where we propose to Run the Line,” Kittagusta said, “but chuse much Rather to part with it than have any disputes concerning it; & that we are a poor People dependant upon the Woods for our Support, & without the means of redressing ourselves but by Violence which we do not choose to exercise against our Brothers.” 

 

Cherokee wife

 

            When Cameron had first arrived in Cherokee country, he married a Cherokee woman, whom he called “Molly.”  The Cherokee called Cameron, “Scotchie.”

            Molly and Scotchie had three children, the first a son, George, in 1762.  When George was six, the Cherokee offered him a tract of land in western South Carolina about twelve square miles in size.

            “Our beloved brother, Mr. Cameron, has got a son by a Cherokee woman,” Oconostota, a Cherokee Beloved Man, explained.  “We are desirous that he may educate the boy like the white people…that he may resemble both white and red, and live among us when his father is dead.”

            It was part of a strategy.  In Kentucky, the Cherokee people had just agreed to a revised border to bargain for a more strictly enforced line, for the Virginians were overrunning boundaries with force and deception.  The Creek and Cherokee distinguished between the small farmers who had arrived in the mountains first and the developers and land-grabbers who came later.

            If treaties didn’t work, maybe large buffer zones owned by mixed blood British heirs would.

            In Georgia, the 1773 Treaty of Augusta ceded two million acres of Cherokee and Creek territory to the British to relieve a large debt incurred when a diminishing fur trade couldn’t pay for necessary weapons and ammunition.  With the British supplying competing Indian nations, each was dependent on the British to keep up in hunting and military superiority.

 

Tragic fates

 

            Tribes were torn.  One Creek warrior killed another, blamed a white settler, and then slaughtered that man’s household as payback. 

            Cherokee headmen went to Cameron to show him the white and red beads Creeks had brought them as signs of their desire for an alliance in war against white settlers.  The headmen discarded the red beads.

            As the Revolutionary War approached, Overmountain Men in the Watauga settlement forged a letter to show that John Stuart had written Cameron to instigate a Cherokee insurrection against colonists.  Cameron became a hunted man, and he joined with the Cherokee war chief, Dragging Canoe, in a unwavering campaign against American rebels.

            Cameron died in his Savannah home on Dec. 27, 1781, after resigning his British post, and after a long illness.  His son George had already returned to England, never to return.

 

SOURCES

The primary sources used for this article were:

 

A just-published book: Dark and Bloody Ground: The American Revolution along the Southern Frontier (Westholme Publishing hardcover and e-book, Nov. 15, 2012, 336 pages)

 

“Alexander Cameron, British Agent among the Cherokee, 1764-1781” by  John L. Nichols, The South Carolina Historical Magazine, Apr., 1996

 

The Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians through the Revolutionary Era by Tom Hatley (Oxford U. Pr., 1995)

 

Native American History archives in the Clements Library at the University of Michigan (online)

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