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Memorial from Chiefs of the Cherokee and other Warriors, signed in Chota on the Tennessee River, May 17, 1789

Cherokee chiefs, warriors, and representatives met at Chota to sign a memorial to President George Washington and Congress, “the great council of the United States.” They described the terrible sufferings of their people from hunger and war and pledged friendship and alliance with the United States. Beside their names they inscribed their individual marks.

"...to our great Joy the Great Spirit above has removed the Cloud & Permits the Sun to Shine again in friendship upon Each party. Tho’ the darkness have lasted so long that Our Country and towns have been Spoiled, our Selves become Naked, and Suffer much with Hunger."

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Memorial from Chiefs of the Cherokee and other Warriors, signed in Chota on the Tennessee River, May 17, 1789 Memorial from Chiefs of the Cherokee and other Warriors, signed in Chota on the Tennessee River, May 17, 1789

Advice and Consent

As settlers encroached upon neighboring American Indian nations, the federal government attempted to defuse conflicts by negotiating treaties with tribes. In August 1789 President George Washington appeared before the Senate for its advice on a treaty with Southern Indians. It was the first time a U.S. president sought the Senate’s advice and consent on a treaty, and the last time for 130 years that a president made such a request in person.