Cherokee Indian site photographs

Cherokee Indian site photographs

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: Cherokee Indian site photographs
Dates: [circa 1930-1939]
Quantity: 0.2 Linear feet (79 items in 1 half box)
Abstract:The collection consists of photographs, ca. 1930s, of sites frequented by the Cherokee Indians in Georgia before their forced removal in the 1830s. Sites represented include Brainerd Mission and Cemetery, Etowa Mounds, New Echota, Spring Place, and Talking Rock.
Coll. Number: ms1431

Biographical/Historical Note

"Etowah Indian Mounds is a 54-acre (220,000 m2) archaeological site in Bartow County, Georgia south of Cartersville, in the United States. Built and occupied in three phases, from 1000–1550 CE, the prehistoric site is located on the north shore of the Etowah River. Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site is a designated National Historic Landmark, managed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. It is the most intact Mississippian culture site in the Southeastern United States.

Late 20th century studies showed the mounds were built and occupied by prehistoric indigenous peoples of the Mississippian culture of eastern North America. They were ancestors of the historic Muskogean language-speaking Muscogee (Creek) people of the area.[4] Etowah is a Muskogee word derived from italwa meaning "town". The federally recognized Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Poarch Band of Creek Indians consider Etalwa to be their most important ancestral town.

In the 19th century, the mounds were mistakenly believed to be built by the Cherokee, who occupied the region; however, the Iroquian-speaking tribe did not reach this part of Georgia until the late 18th century and could not have built the mounds."

Source: Etowah Indian Mounds. Wikipedia.

"The Brainerd Mission Cemetery is located six and a quarter miles northeast of Chattanooga on the Brainerd road. This cemetery is one of the oldest in Hamilton County. Most of the people buried here were missionary workers among the Cherokee Indians. The oldest marked grave is 1821, but the cemetery was started in 1817. There are sixty graves that have tombstones but there is no writing on them...[I]n 1817, Brainerd Mission was founded among the Cherokee Indians by teh American Board of Foreign Missions. It closed in 1853 when the Cherokees were removed from their ancestral domain to the west. This mission received support from the government and was visited in 1819 by President Monroe."


"In 1801, at the invitation of Cherokee leaders, the Salem Moravians established Spring Place Mission in northwest Georgia, near Chatsworth. As a nonacquisitive people, they held the longest tenure of any missionary society in the Cherokee Nation before Cherokee displacement in 1838. Their most notable missionaries were Brother John Gambold, a minister and hat maker by profession, and Sister Anna Rosina Gambold, a botanist and former headmistress of the Bethlehem Female Seminary. They served the Spring Place Mission from 1805 to 1821, the year Anna Rosina died.

Spring Place, a site along the Federal Road connecting Augusta with Nashville, Tennessee, was a center for hospitality (a feature of the Cherokee ethic also), and Moravians welcomed visitors from all parts of the Cherokee Nation and the United States. For the Cherokee youth to receive the full benefit of the mission's educational goal, most of them roomed and boarded at Spring Place. The mission housed some 114 Cherokee children from 1804 to 1833, when Georgia citizens forced its closing.

During those vibrant years some of its students were the offspring of Cherokee leaders, who believed that the best way for the Cherokees to preserve their independent homeland was to create an educated elite who could lead the efforts of the Cherokee Nation to resist the persistent encroachment on their lands and resources. David Watie's two sons, Buck and Stand Watie, and Major Ridge's son, John Ridge, were well served by Moravian education, as they became leaders of the Cherokees in the 1820s after attending Cornwall, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) school for higher learning in Connecticut.

John Ridge also lent his expertise in English to the Creeks as secretary, writing talks for Chief Opothle Yoholo, and as a representative of Cherokee interests in Washington. Buck, who changed his name to Elias Boudinot, became editor of the Nation's bilingual newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. Both men maintained close ties to the Moravian missionaries.

The Moravians also influenced Cherokees in spiritual matters. By 1830 the Moravians had converted some forty persons, including Second Principal Chief Charles Hicks and his niece Margaret Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries Chief Vann House Ann Scott Vann Crutchfield, the widow of the infamous James Vann of Diamond Hill Plantation, located north of the mission.

The success of the Spring Place Mission led to the founding of the Oothcaloga Mission, about thirty miles to the south in the vicinity of present-day Calhoun. John Gambold served there from 1822 until his death in 1827. That same year Henry Gottlieb Clauder went to Oothcaloga and stayed until the 1830s, when the Moravians turned the enterprise over to Indian assistants.

Generally, the accomplishments of the Moravians lay in the fact that their missions not only opened their doors to all visitors, including African slaves from nearby Cherokee plantations, but also functioned as model farms for European agricultural techniques. Particularly, the Spring Place Mission served as an exemplar for other missionary enterprises to emulate. "

Source: Indian Missions. New Georgia Encyclopedia

"In 1825, the Cherokee national legislature established a capital called New Echota at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River. During its short history, New Echota was the site of the first Indian language newspaper office, a court case which carried to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of the earliest experiments in national self government by an Indian tribe, the signing of a treaty which relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River, and the assembly of Indians for removal west on the infamous Trail of Tears."



Arranged by subject.

Index Terms

Brainerd Mission and Cemetery (Ga.)
Cherokee Indians--Georgia.
Etowa Mounds (Ga.)
Indians of North America--Georgia.
New Echota (Ga.)
Spring Place (Ga.)
Talking Rock (Ga.)

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cherokee Indian site photographs. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11340A1-7Brainerd Mission & Cemetary
2340 B1-4Etowa Mounds
3340 C1-4 D1-15Mountain Scenery
4340 E1-5 F1-7 G1-4 H1-2 I1-4 J1-2New Echota
5340 K1-12 L1-5Spring Place
6340 M1-10Talking Rock