Cherokee Legends of White Race of Mound Builders

Cherokee Legends of White Race of Mound Builders





Smithsonian Institutes 19th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1878
Myths of the Cherokee

       There is a dim but persistent tradition of a strange white race preceding the Cherokee, some of the stories even going so far as to locate their former settlements and to identify them as the authors of the ancient works found in the country. The earliest reference appears to be that of Barton in 1797, on the statement of a gentleman whom he quotes as a valuable authority up [on the southern tribes. "The Cherokee tell us, that when they first arrived in the country, which they inhabit, they found it possessed by certain 'moon-eyed people', who could not see in the daytime. These wretches they expelled." He seems to consider them an albino race. Haywood, twenty-six years later, says that the invading Cherokee found 'white people' near the head of the little Tennessee, with forts extending thence down the Tennessee as far as Chickamauga Creek. He gives the location of three of these forts. The Cherokee made war against them and drove them to the mouth of the Big Chickamauga Creek, whence they entered into a treaty and agreed to remove if permitted to depart in peace. Permission being granted, they abandoned the country. Elsewhere he speaks of this extirpated white race as having extended into Kentucky and probably also into, western Tennessee, according to the concurrent traditions of different tribes.