Body Politic of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Created
On December 9, 1868, at a Grand Council held at Cheowa (modern day Robbinsville), the body politic of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) was created.
Nimrod Jarrett Smith, who served as Clerk of Council during these critical early gatherings, was deeply involved in Cherokee politics. At age 25, Smith enlisted with William Holland Thomas’s 69th N.C. Volunteer Infantry, also known as the “Thomas’s Legion,” and rose by 1865 to the rank of 1st Sergeant of Company B. After the Civil War, the Cherokees sought to solidify not only their land holdings, but also their very existence in the state.
On December 1, 1870, the new Cherokee government was ratified at another Grand Council in which Flying Squirrel was elected as the first Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Smith would hold that title from 1880 to 1891.
Other related resources:
- American Indian History from the N.C. Museum of Histroy
- The Cherokee Indians on NCpedia
- Native Carolinians: The Indians of North Carolina and North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, Vol. 16: Thomas’s Legion from North Carolina Historical Publications
- Resources on Native American Heritage from the State Library of North Carolina
- Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site in Mount Gilead, which interprets Native American history in North Carolina and has a variety of resources related to the Cherokee
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