Among the Cherokee in Flint District in 1872

I found this article quite interesting, written by someone settled among the Cherokee in the Flint District of Indian Territory in1872.  It tells us about their lives and how they lived.  I also find it interesting that the author mentions that “thousands of the Cherokees you cannot tell from white people.”

Cherokee Flint dist

Thanks to Janine for this article from her blog post that includes information about her Cherokee ancestors.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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11 Responses to Among the Cherokee in Flint District in 1872

  1. Ron Clark says:

    Thanks for sharing. Ron


  2. David says:

    I wonder what he meant, ” ….look just like the white people.” This is the only account of pleasant treatment I have ever read.

    • Rhonda says:

      The actual quote is “Thousands of the Cherokees you cannot tell from white people.” I think he did a pretty good job expounding on that: they dress like white men, they go to church with white families, etc. Even back east the Cherokee were farmers and lived in log cabins and wood houses just as the Europeans did. To me this articles just shows that the Cherokee and White men were well assimilated in that area.

      • David says:

        It is that word, ” assimilated,” that troubles me; but maybe those white people had more gentle hearts and allowed Cherokee to be Cherokee. There is an explanation given to Israeli children that they live there because one day the Palestinians decided all on their own they didn’t like it there and moved….

  3. says:

    Very interesting. Do you have a Face Book page for this ?? Gloria

  4. David says:

    This is a preface on line to the book:
    ” The Cherokee ”
    Written by Eastern Cherokees
    a refreshing approach to sharing knowledge.
    The Cherokee Perspective is not intended to be a review of historical literature about the Qualls
    Boundary, nor is it meant to be a sociological study full of bar graphs and statistics. Compiled
    by Laurence French and Jim Hornbuckle, the book is actually the product of many writers, each of whom deals with a different aspect of Cherokee life. These authors have not researched their
    material; they have lived it. Because it was written in this way, the book may have lost something
    in academic methodology and unity, but it has also gained much in immediacy and impact. The
    editors have tried to preserve the book’s vitality by not meddling with the writers’ words too-much. If the interviews are ungrammatical, then that is the way the people involved speak. The in-
    coherence of certain dance descriptions, recipes, and folk tales is also deliberate. The old people who are the keepers of these traditions wish to share only part of their knowledge; the rest, they
    say, must remain within the tribe. This book is not intended to be a scholarly work. It is a living
    testament for future scholars to analyze.
    Zohara Boyd
    Assistant Professor of English
    Appalachian State University

    • Rain Shenandoah says:

      My great great grandmother was full cherokke l was,wondering if there is a cherokee word for flintknapping.
      Thank You
      Rain Shenandoah

  5. David says:

    I am only going to post this one page, to entice readers to learn this book, the Cherokee. On this page we see how immigrant whites learned how to live like Cherokee, a word not of the Cherokee language; how the Cherokee social formula became the blueprint for white settlers across Turtle Island; the houses,the town hall, farming, ….all Cherokee; and how archaeologists now conclude the Algonquin split off from the original Cherokee tribe. The ancestors were imitated. Even the Cherokee religion is very similar to primitive christianity, except unlike whites the Cherokee gave thanks to and revered all of nature not a central god embodied in the likeness of a white man. They had no heaven or hell. Respect the Earth and be one with the Earth forever. No supernatural deity to bow down to or fear.

    “distributed over this vast territory, ( over 40,000 square miles), five natural-
    regions emerged
    over time: the “Overhill,”
    “Lower,” “Middle,” “Valley” and “Out”towns. In turn, many of these geographical sections
    spoke theirown dialect of the Cherokee language.
    This language variation attests to the self-sufficiency of the
    Cherokee village structure.
    Like most southeastern Indian groups, the
    Cherokees maintained stable farm villages and did not move from one campsite to the
    next. The permanency of their villages was also reflected in the
    construction of their homes. Cherokees never lived in teepees or
    similar portable structures like nomidic groups of
    the Plains or
    Northern Forest. Early white explorers found the
    Cherokees living in permanent villages of log and clay (chinked) dwellings. The villages
    themselves were located on level land near rivers and other
    waterways and were usually close to forest areas.
    Each of the villages housed between 300 and 600 people.,
    with separate, private homes available for about every ten persons.
    This means that the smaller villages consisted of 30
    log homes, while the larger ones were double that size. The villages
    closely resembled those of medieval Europe with the homes
    clustered together in the village proper surrounded- by fields, gardens, pastures and
    often by a pole fence designed to protect the village perimeter.
    In fact, it is this basic village structure that many white frontier communities were based upon. Farming was very important to the Cherokees’ survival, and the permanency of
    their villages suggests a sophisticated knowledge of
    cultivation, since the former generally would not have been possible without the latter.
    Fishing and hunting supplemented their agricultural subsistence.’
    Each village had a town house, which was used for public meetings. The importance of this structure was stressed by both its size and design. It was the largest village structure and was
    often elevated on a mound so as to emphasize ts significance. It consisted of seven sides, one for each of the Cherokee clans. The town house represented the heart ofthe village, and to signify
    this, a symbolic flame was kept burning in the house throughout the year. The town house also served as the village religious center and the most important social institution within the
    aboriginal Cherokee society. It provided the binding force necessary for this otherwise highly decentralized people to stay together as a tribe. All important matters were discussed publicly
    within the town house. No one was omitted, and all adults, both males and females, could participate.
    Decisions were based upon consensus, and once agreement was eached, all ccncurred, even
    the dissenters. People grouped themselves according to clan affiliation, and not by sex, age or viewpoint.
    They sat in their respective sections with the arbiters seated in the center, close to
    the flame of vitality. Each village had two chiefs who represented
    white( domestic) and red(warrior) factions typical of southeastern
    Indians, and the

  6. Katie Foreman says:

    A lot of my Ancestors are from the Flint District. So for me, this is fascinating! 🙂

  7. Clifford Arneecher says:

    Hi, if any one out there could help me out or could point me to someone. I need to find out my last name. I have seen it written this way Ar-Nee-Cher we were show in school to wright it Arneecher all together but, I have seen my Father wright it on some paperwork ar nee cher he has passed on. I can’t seem to find out anything on like i have wrote if anyone can help please feel free to contact me. i will leave my email address below or if it doesnt make here it is so thanks in advance for any and all help.

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