The Cherokee in the 19th century made great progress in developing a national government and improving their economic well-being. They maintained generally peaceful relations with the Americans although they fought for the British in the revolution. Thereafter the bulk of the Cherokee settled in the Chickamauga Valley and prospered under their chief John Ross. The town that became modern-day Chattanooga was begun there about 1815 as a trading post called Ross’ Landing. In 1820 the nation formed itself into a republic, adopting a constitution modeled on the Constitution of the United States. In the 1820s the Cherokee became literate in their own language when they adopted the 85-character syllabary invented by a Cherokee scholar, Sequoyah or George Guess. The syllabary was used to print a weekly newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix and Indian Advocate, which was begun in 1828. In the early 19th century there were many prosperous, privately owned Cherokee plantations, and some Cherokee owned slaves to work their plantations.
In 1828 gold was discovered in the Cherokee territory, and pressure from whites increased to remove the nation from its traditional lands. In 1835, under threat of federal force, the Cherokee, in a fraudulent treaty signed by only a small minority of them, relinquished their claim to what remained of their lands in Tennessee. In 1838 they were removed from the state by federal troops into Arkansas Territory in a forced march, on which thousands of them died, and which for that reason was later called the Trail of Tears. About 1,000 escaped to the east and found refuge in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. "Tennessee" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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