Native American Cultural Change Under European Colonization.
Native American Cultural Change
Under European Colonization
And Native Americans influence on American culture today
Martin CJ Mongiello, a white
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Martin CJ Mongiello
When Cleveland County men butchered Cherokee homes…
When America’s Patriot heroes cleaned out Cherokee homes in Rutherford and killed families it changed
both cultures. In what ways do you believe these Indian killings were justified and how does this
influence American Indians today with attitude and behavior towards whites.
The outrage: “In 1776, during the War for Independence, an expedition led by Griffith Rutherford sought
to eliminate the Cherokee as a British ally and to punish them for attacking white settlements. In one
month, Rutherford’s men left dozens of Cherokee villages in ruins with hundreds of acres of crops
destroyed and livestock killed or seized. Residents of western North Carolina still tell multiple sides of the
The Cherokees in London: It is true that the Cherokee had made progress with high level emissaries
they had sent to the British government. They met with King George II in the 1730’s and signed treaties
with him. This is an amazing fact if you envision Cherokee onboard ship for weeks at sea. In those days,
it was unheard of. Think of Cherokee staring out at the endless water for weeks and weeks wondering
how the whites knew where they were going. Would you if I put you into a sailboat today?
The buildup to butchering Cherokees: From 1754 to 1763 the French and Indian war occurred with
George Washington fighting for the British. He did quite well in representing the King’s forces! The
major enemies of hate were the French and the many Indian tribes in America against the English.
Britain would win and the Cherokee figured it would be best to side with the master on earth. They had
suffered many outbreaks of disease as well. When the colonists continued to move west and occupy their
lands the Cherokee had had enough of broken promises and lies.
“Whole Indian nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man’s advance,”
Chief Dragging Canoe said in a now famous speech of 1775. “We had hoped that the white men would
not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains,
and have settled upon Cherokee land…”
“Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than submit to further loss of our
country? Such treaties may be all right for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my
young warriors about me. We will have our lands.”2
Scalpings, attacks on white settlements and killings by Cherokee occurred as much as aggressive whites
shot, knifed and killed Cherokees. Who is to blame first? Where the colonists still angry that the
Cherokee had sided with the French against them? It is sure they were very mindful of the costs to their
Michael Beadle, "Rutherford Trace," The Smoky Mountain News, week of August 23, 2006.
Canoe, Dragging. Live speech given at the Treaty of Sycamore Shoals, North Carolina (later the State
of Franklin now the state of Tennessee): 1775 – this reference violates the MLA format which was ordered to be used
for the point and grading system established by the Art Institute. Violations of the MLA format result in reduced grades and
lost points. However, due to the state change of name from North Carolina to Franklin to Tennessee, there is no known MLA
format to follow established, worldwide, for scholars. I respectfully submit that I have tried to do my best with this reference.
Martin CJ Mongiello
Of course, the English stated to the Patriots that the war had cost a heaping helping of money and thus
they proposed new taxes to pay off the debts. They argued they protected the colonies when the French
and their Indians wanted to bury everyone. They paid for all of the protection, the weapons and that war –
now the massive bills must be taken care of.
In Cleveland county local folks were enraged over taxes that 50% of which were paid disappeared into the
pockets of the Tax Collector! Also, some other taxes made by the English Governor were for the building
of the stupid Tryon Palace out of pretty bricks, hand tooled wood and glass. People living in these parts
(before it was Cleveland County) humbly lived in log homes and cabins. The taxation without
representation issue over the Indian attacks made the locals even angrier.
Thus when the war for Independence was announced the Cherokee were not for going against the British
like the few patriots wanted to. They thought the British to be indomitable, had previous treaties with
them and saw that they had won the previous war against a major superpower. The colonists were a puny
force. They were also sick and tired of all of the lies from whites.
Lies to the Cherokee would not end with this war. How do they think of things today, in 2010 when they
light peace pipes with twenty dollar bills? Consider the truth of Chief Junaluska saving General Andrew
Jacksons life during the later, Creek Indian war. Soon to be President Johnson promised to forever
protect them for their service to America – only to ship them off on the trail of tears to Oklahoma. An all
new trail of killing occurred with many dying on the trip. Not surprisingly, Chief Junaluska made it to
Oklahoma. He was a powerful and strong man. He then escaped and walked back to North Carolina,
alone. But, this is a story of more lies for another day.
The ink was not dry in 1776, on the Declaration of Independence - when 55 to 70 villages were scorched
and destroyed in the, “Rutherfordton Trace,” home to now Rutherford County. The nearby Catawba
Indians sided with the local patriot militia to kill off Cherokee. The arguments continue to this day of
whites dressed as Indians killing whites, Cherokee who never touched a single white and how whites
naturally retaliated against the Cherokee out of self-defense. Somewhere between what they say and what
the other says - is what really happened.
The Conclusion: Cherokee culture was massively affected and almost wiped out on earth. Cherokees
assimilated into Western culture quickly and built houses instead of living in so-called tee-pees. Native
Americans influence America today by taking casino money and building monuments and museums to
showcase the beauty of their culture and traditions of dance and more. Now the hope is to have them
travel from the reservations to share such on the road - at local festivals and in small towns. There is so
much more to their arts and gifts for the world - than casinos.
Overall, it has been proven by the American government - that the Cherokee were treated horrifically in
history and thusly has apologized and made amends towards the peace pipe. Now individual Americans
would like to say so, on a personal basis, face to face. The apology is not complete just yet.
Cannavale, Matthew C., Griffin, Patrick. Voices from Colonial America North Carolina. Washington,
D.C.: National Geographic, 2007.