CHAPTER 2

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

This chapter presents a brief outline of the economic and political climate during the eighteenth century in the Lower Little Tennessee River Valley. Its purpose is to provide significant information related to the developmental processes underlying Cherokee culture during the Colonial Period (A.D. 1746-1775). This material serves as an interpretive framework for evaluating the archaeological record. In addition to official documents, supplemental writings made by individuals traveling in the area are useful in defining archaeological expectations of what the material correlates of Cherokee culture should be. This chapter includes discussions of the Euro-Aboriginal trade system, the political events contributing to the development of the village of Tomotley, and the ethnohistoric accounts pertinent to defining the characteristics of the village as a cultural aggregate.

The European Trade System

The European demand for skins and furs created a market for a commodity that could only be supplied by North America's Indian population. Exchange systems were developed to link the Indian groups with the colonial merchants by trading them European made items for skins and pelts. The Carolina fur trade system worked as follows:

  1. London merchants would credit Charles Town merchants with capital,
  2. the colonial merchants would then credit the trader with trade goods,
  3. the trader would credit the Indian hunters with the trade items,
  4. the Indians would acquire skins and pelts during their fall and winter hunts which, in turn, would be given to the trader in payment of their debts (Rothrock 1929).
Exchange rates in 1717 for the Cherokee Lower Towns indicate that a musket could be acquired for 35 deer skins, a pistol for 20, and a yard of cloth for eight. A pair of scissors, a knife, 30 bullets, a string of beads, a piece of iron, and 12 gun flints would each cost one skin. One might expect the costs to be somewhat higher in the Overhill villages since they were further removed from Charles Town.

Because the entire system was based on credit it was highly speculative and subject to each member's ability to fulfill his commitments. If the hunt failed to produce sufficient skins and pelts the hunter would not be able to pay for the items purchased earlier that year. If the Indian Nations went to war, the length of the hunting season could be shortened and the colonies would be unable to fulfill their contractual agreements with the home merchants, and so on. As a result of this, traders became government representatives in the frontier, and were expected to inform the colonial leaders of any situations that might adversely effect the trade network. When possible, government action could then be taken to head off disruptive conflicts or conditions.

For several reasons the trade system became a social and political catalyst within the aboriginal cultures. By 1750 most Cherokee clothing was European made or made from European cloth (Corkran 1962:69). Metal tools and sheets of metal for making tools and ornaments were prized items and prefered over their earlier lithic and bone counterparts. Guns and ammunition quickly became necessities for defense and hunting. The Indians easily became dependent on the Europeans for acquisition of trade items.

Another important factor in establishing a demand for European trade items was the presence of traders in the villages. The Carolina traders lived in European style and comfort complete with smokehouses and storage buildings. They displayed various European personal ornaments and used European tools. These men represented power and prestige in most villages and were naturally emulated by the headmen and those aspiring to be headmen (Rothrock 1929 and Corkran 1962:11).

Initially the personal acquisition of trade items would reinforce an individual's prestige; later the ability to develop political action insuring the continued flow of such items would mark an individual as a competent leader. In either case the acquisition of European material items quickly became an important consideration in the development of political, social, and economic policies among the aboriginal groups in the Southeast.

Political Events

The following yearly account of the most significant political events affecting the Overhill was taken primarily from Corkran's work (1962,1970). The settlements designations of Lower, Middle, Valley, Overhill, and Out were developed by the British colonial government to distinguish alligned subgroups within the Cherokee system (Egloff 1967:3). The Lower Towns were those lying along the Keowee, Tugalo, and upper Savannah Rivers. The Middle Settlements were located north of the Lower Towns along the eastern branches of the Little Tennessee and Tuckaseegee Rivers between the Cowee and Balsam Mountains. Subsequently (ca. 1770's) the villages lying along the northeastern headwaters of the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee Rivers were referred to as the Out Towns (Egloff 1967:3). The Valley Towns (often grouped with the Middle Towns) were found along the Valley, Nantahala, and Hiwassee Rivers. The Overhill settlements were located along the lower Little Tennessee and Tellico Rivers between the Unaka and Cumberland Mountains (Gilbert 1943:178).

1730 - A treaty was made between Great Britain and the Cherokee Nation which officially made them allies and declared Great Tellico the capital of the Cherokee Nation with Moytoy its "emperor" (Uku).

1741 - After Moytoy's death his son, Ammonscossittee, was made Uku. The Raven of Hiwassee served as his guardian with Johnny and Osteneco (Judd's Friend) of Tellico and Chatuga's Old Caesar serving as chief council. Connecorte (Old Hop) was chief of Chota at this time.

1742 - Tellico agreed on behalf of the Cherokee Nation to assist South Carolina in King George's War. At this time the Creeks began attacking the Lower Cherokee towns while the Senecas, Shawnees, Ottawas, and Canadian Iroquois attacked the Overhills (Corkran 1962:17).

1745 - To end the attacks on their villages, the Overhills under Chota's direction made peace with the northern Indians and their French sponsors. The result was an end to the hostilities and the beginning of an influx of Indians from the north into Overhill towns for the purposes of trade and to raid Catawba and Creek settlements (Corkran 1962:18-19). Being aligned with a European power did not necessarily mean that one was allied with that country's allies.

1746 - The attacks by northern Indians on South Carolina's allies (Catawbas) served to weaken the colony's aboriginal political position. In an effort to stop the attacks, South Carolina persuaded Tellico to drive out the French-allied war parties. Chota, however, would not comply with the request since such an action would renew hostilities with the northern groups. Also, the presence of pro-French factions among the Overhill served to fuel anti-English sentiments. To counter this influence, George Pawley was sent to the area by Carolina. He soon learned that the Overhills would not comply with the colony's wishes until a fort could be built near Chota. Such a fort would increase the prestige of the village and diminish the influence of Tellico and Hiwassee. It would also deter any subsequent attacks from the north. Although Pawley promised a fort would be constructed, none was (Corkran 1962:19-20).

1748 - The Northern Indians continued their anti-English propaganda and moved their center of operations to the Lower Towns. The Cherokees were quickly turning away from the English. Two Carolina surveyors were captured by Senecas and held at Keowee. Carolina responded with a trade embargo which would be lifted when the offenders were surrendered and the remaining Iroquois and Shawnees were driven out. With their supplies cut off, the Lower Towns became vulnerable to Creek attacks and so they quickly complied with the terms. The Northern Indians moved back to the Overhill villages and prolonged the embargo by continuing their assaults. With the embargo still on, the Creeks began to attack the Lower Towns (Corkran 1962:20-2).

1749 - The Upper Creeks turned to Carolina to intercede and stop the northern attacks. The colony, after some difficulty, managed to reach an agreement with Chota whereby the Overhills would curtail the hostile activities of their guests without actually forcing them from their villages. To help maintain this peace the Upper Creeks were allowed to carry on trade with Carolina at Valley and Overhill towns. Meanwhile the Lower Creeks were encouraged by the French to continue their assaults on the Lower Cherokee towns. While the Overhill and Valley Cherokee were at peace with their neighbors, the Lower Towns were suffering from the neglect of Carolina. They naturally became disillusioned with the English (Corkran 1962:22-23).

1750 - Following the Creek's destruction of Echoi and Estatoe, the English made a futile attempt to stop the attacks. Senecas and Mingoes were sent by anti-English Overhills into Keowee to undermine the English and Hiwassee/Tellico influence (Corkran 1962:23-24).

1751 - Pro-French Indians swept into the area attacking English traders. Although the Cherokee leaders managed to prevent widespread bloodshed, rumors of atrocities reached Charles Town and all the traders were recalled and a full embargo was instituted. To end the embargo Tellico was ordered to surrender all aggressors, including Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter, spokesmen for the Overhills), for punishment. Chota responded by attempting to establish a French or Virginian trade network to replace Carolina's. The Overhill's encouraged the Lower Towns to move to Middle and Overhill settlements, which many did. Attakullakulla failed to persuade Virginia to send traders to the Overhills and, likewise, the French were unable to replace Carolina as a trade source. The failure of these initiatives weakened the Overhill's anti-English stance among their fellow Cherokees. Osteneco then managed to have the embargo lifted on the Valley Towns and persuaded many non-Overhill leaders to travel to Charles Town to renegotiate a trade agreement. The resulting agreement set up trade reforms, promised the Lower Towns a fort, and promised to end the Creek attacks.

1752 - Despite Carolina's promises the Creeks continued to attack the Lower and Valley Towns. By April all the Lower Towns (except Toxaway and Estatoe) were abandoned, their inhabitants fleeing to safer Middle and Overhill villages (see the Mitchel map of 1755 in Swanton 1922). Even Toxaway and Estatoe seriously considered joining the Catawbas. Hiwassee-Tellico were not able to insure the stability of the Lower Towns through Carolina promises and thus were politically weakened. In addition, Ammonscossittee failed to secure Virginian trade support after traveling to Williamsburg. South Carolina now had to deal with Chota as the village representing the Cherokees. With Carolina recognizing the supremacy of the village, the French peace (which failed to produce adequate economic relief) could now be broken by the Overhills. All northern Indians, except those having relatives in Overhill country, were forced to leave and Attakullakulla, as a sign of his allegiance to England, raided French camps along the Mississippi (Corkran 1962:35-41).

1753 - South Carolina desired to maintain Lower Town autonomy in the face of rising Overhill influence so the colony constructed Ft. Prince George near Keowee. This served to stabilize the region and many of the inhabitants returned to rebuild their villages. Despite these new English overtures, pro-French factions were still active among the Overhills. As a result the pro-English Osteneco left the now pro-French Tellico and moved to the Overhill town of Tomotley (Corkran 1962:41-52 and Evans 1976).

1754 - The French and Indian War had placed Virginia in a precarious position. Lacking sufficient numbers of Indian allies, the colony sought the aid of the Cherokees. The Overhills were reluctant to send them warriors since such actions would almost certainly result in northern reprisals against their villages. Once again anti-English sentiments developed and northern Indians advised against the Cherokee helping Virginia (Corkran 1962:50-56).

1755 - At a meeting at Saluda, South Carolina agreed to build a fort near Chota, but by the end of the year nothing was done. Governor Glen then promised to begin construction in April, 1756. In response to Virginian promises of rewards, Osteneco led a party of 100 warriors north to assist in the poorly planned Big Sandy Expedition against the Shawnee of Scioto.

1756 - A March meeting between the Virginians and Connecorte, Willinowaw, and Attakullakulla along the Broad River produced a treaty that stipulated Cherokee military support for the colony and rejection of all French emissaries in return for Virginian aid in constructing the Carolina fort. In April Major Andrew Lewis (along with the returning Osteneco) led 60 men to the Overhill villages with orders to help the Carolinians build a fort. If the Carolinians failed to arrive, he was ordered to build a small fort for the Cherokees and then return to Virginia. To date, the failure of Carolina to build the fort had greatly undermined the English position and contributed to the increase in anti-English sentiments, especially in Great Tellico. While the Virginians waited the Carolina expedition was held up at Ft. Prince George by Glen's replacement, Governor Lyttelton. Eventually the Virginians were forced to construct a small fort across the river from Chota. Not having any orders to garrison the fort, the Virginians returned to their colony in August. In late September the 180 man force under Captain Raymond Demere arrived at the Overhill village of Tomotley and set up camp one and a half miles down stream (MacDowell 1962:214). The force was welcomed by the leaders of the Overhills at a ceremony in the Tomotley townhouse. Demere was encouraged to begin construction of a fort at Tomotley since the selected site for Ft. Loudoun was considered too far away from the villages. Demere ignored their request (though he would continue to be asked to comply even after Ft. Loudoun was completed) and began construction of the fort two miles north of Tomotley (Corkran 1962:75-95 and MacDowell 1962:280).

1757 - Failure of the French to supply the anti-English faction with trade goods forced Great Tellico to come to terms with Demere and seek English trade. Because the Virginians failed to garrison their fort, the Overhills sent only 250 warriors north to aid the colony. Raymond Demere's brother, Paul, replaced him as commander of Ft. Loudoun. The newly arrived Demere had been instructed to encourage Cherokee support for Virginia. As a result Cherokee participation increased but distrust, killings, and the failure to fulfill promises of payment served to terminate Cherokee support and angered the participants (Corkran 1962:106-162).

1758 - The Cherokees, in defiance of the Virginians, reached a peace agreement with the Ohio Shawnee. The clan-related villages of Citico and Estatoe had suffered heavily from their support of Virginia and were becoming very vocal in their anti-English sentiments (Corkran 1962:163).

1759 - While Attakullakulla was in Williamsburg negotiating a trade agreement, anti-English activities exploded in the Overhill villages. Warriors from Citico took white scalps in North Carolina. The Creeks asked permission to occupy Hiwassee Old Town and Estatoe Old Town. Osteneco sided with the pro-French faction while Oconastota, knowing that the French could never supply trade items, remained loyal to England. Leading a group of headmen to Charles Town, Oconastota attempted to lessen hostilities. Upon arriving he and his companions were taken hostage and sent to Ft. Prince George where 50 of the lesser leaders were released. The remaining 28 hostages would be held until the warriors and leaders responsible for the killings were surrendered. Attakullakulla, returning from Virginia, went to Ft. Prince George and managed to get six hostages released, including Oconastota (Corkran 1962:165-190).

1760 - In February, 23 whites were killed at the Long Creeks settlements. Old Hop died and a young Standing Turkey replaced him as Uku. Attakullakulla and an angry Oconastota returned to Ft. Prince George to seek the release of the four Chota hostages. Failing this, Oconastota set up an ambush and killed Lieutenent Coytmore, holder of the hostages. This resulted in the murder of all 22 remaining hostages. Attakullakulla returned to his home at Tomotley and withdrew his family from the village so as not to be involved in a war he could not support. In March Osteneco had put Ft. Loudoun under a 96 hour siege. Oconastota waited until he was certain no French support would arrive and then, in June, placed the fort under siege again. On August 9th the garrison surrendered and on the next day, while retreating to Charles Town, they were attacked. Approximately 25 of its members were killed while the rest were taken hostage. Meanwhile, a force under Colonel Archibald Montgomery attacked the Lower Towns of Keowee, Estatoe, Qualareetchey, Conasatchee, and Toxaway. The people of the towns had retreated to the Middle settlements. Pushing on Montgomery was attacked and driven back at Tassuntee Old Town. Virginia sent a force of 900 men under Colonel William Byrd to help relieve Ft. Loudoun but bad weather slowed their advance. Attakullakulla, knowing that after the fall of Ft. Loudoun the Overhills were ready for peace, went to see Byrd and begin a peace initiative. South Carolina, however, was not ready to end the hostilities (Corkran 1962:193-236).

1761 - In June a force of 2828 officers and men under Colonel James Grant moved on the Middle Towns. After a battle near Etchoe, Grant advanced unopposed through the towns destroying houses, crops, and animals. From Cowee they launched an attack on the Out Towns along the Tuckaseegee. Most of the retreating Cherokees fled to the Overhill and Valley Villages. By July they were ready to follow Attakullakulla and end the war. A peace agreement was reached with Carolina at Ft. Prince George. The Virginians, now led by Colonel Adam Stephen, advanced toward the Overhills. He was met by Standing Turkey who, after showing him the Carolina peace agreement, succeeded in reaching a peace settlement with Virginia and negotiating the visit of Lieutenent Henry Timberlake as a sign of Virginian trust. On December 18, 1761 Attakullakulla led a delegation to sign the Carolina peace treaty. The end of the war brought increased trade with Virginia and North Carolina and less dependence on the victorious South Carolina. John Stewart (a survivor of Ft. Loudoun and friend of Attakullakulla) was made the Crown's Superintendent of Indian Affairs (Corkran 1962:244-272).

1761-1783 - Between 1761 and 1771 whites encroached upon Cherokee land. In 1775 the American Rebels sought to convince the Cherokees to remain neutral in the developing Revolution. To facilitate their compliance, Stewart was forced to flee to St. Augustine leaving behind his assistant, Alexander Cameron. Under Attakullakulla's son, Tsugunsini (Dragging Canoe, chief of Amoyeliegwa) (Brown 1938), the Cherokees planned an attack on the settlers at Watauga and on the Nolichucky. In response to this threat, a South Carolina force under Major Andrew Williamson destroyed the abandoned Lower Towns in June 1776. After this force joined with North Carolina troops under General Griffith Rutherford, the Middle and Valley Towns were destroyed. A Virginian expedition under Colonel William Christian attacked the Overhill villages. While Attakullakulla and Oconastota sued for peace, Dragging Canoe and his followers retreated south to the Chickamauga area to continue their resistance. The major result of this campaign was the depopulation of the Cherokee settlements and the division of neutral and hostile factions within the Cherokee political structure (Corkran 1970:62-67). Many Overhill settlements were never reoccupied.

The political environment of this entire period was one of fluctuating allegiances determined by the expediencies of acquiring Euro-American trade goods. Although the Cherokee's tended to prefer the French as allies, the French were never really able to supply them with sufficient materials as they could their Iroquois, Shawnee, and Creek allies. They also could not control these groups sufficiently to insure aboriginal peace. As a result the French were never more than a disruptive force in the development of Cherokee-European relationships.

The massive movements of people during these turbulent times should serve to counter views of isolated aboriginal cultural development along strictly linguistic lines, either historically or prehistorically. Northern Indians spent considerable time among the Cherokees; with both groups having relatives in the other's villages. Lower, Middle, and Valley towns were often forced to flee to the relatively safe Overhill settlements. Such a refugee situation was very common among the Eastern Indian groups during the Colonial Period (and may have occured in prehistoric times under similar pressures). The Natchez can be found among the Overhills (Bonnefoy 1916:251, Brown 1938:539), the Tuskeegee are seen as refugees living among the Creeks and Overhills (Mooney 1900:388-389), and the above account relates the presence of Shawnee among the Overhills and the desire of the Creeks to settle in abandoned Cherokee villages. The archaeological ramifications of such interactions should be considered, particularly in the analysis of any Overhill site. The possibility of coeval, non-Overhill components on Overhill sites is extremely great and can confuse our definition of Cherokee archaeological assemblages. Our success in discerning the material correlate of Overhill Culture will ultimately depend on our ability to identify mixed, contemporaneous components. To begin to address this problem requires a thorough regional perspective of the cultural similarities and differences between historic Indian groups with particular emphasis placed on the material correlates (lithics, ceramics, village structure, etc.) of the comparisons. Such information can, in part, be derived from ethno-historic documents, but ultimately it must come from regional presentations of archaeological research leading to a consolidated interpretive framework.

Ethno-Historic Documentation of Tomotley

Most direct knowledge of southeastern aboriginal cultures is derived from the writings of traders, travelers, and government representatives. Three factors affect the quality and usefulness of such documents: 1) the reason the individual was among the Indians, 2) the audience he wrote for, and 3) the degree of ethnocentrism displayed in the text (Randolf 1973). The first and second factors help determine the kinds of information that will be found in various sources since most correspondence relates to the purpose of the contact. Traders tended to report on consumer related characteristics such as the size of villages, hunting conditions, and the names of important leaders. If a government representative is interested in cementing a relationship between a group of Indians and his colony or country he primarily recorded political observations such as the identity of the headmen and how power is distributed within the society. Not all journals and letters will necessarily contain cultural information pertinent to anthropological interests. Although many individuals visited the Overhill country during the eighteenth century, relatively few recorded information useful to supplement a study such as this. Whenever such observations are made, however, they serve to clarify many archaeological observations.

The name origin and significance of "Tomotley" has been discussed by Mooney (1900) and Swanton (1922). Mooney (1900:383,534) says that Tomotley could not be translated by any of his informants and, therefore, is probably a Creek derived term related to the Tama'li village on the lower Chattahoochee River (Lower Creek). Swanton (1922:181-184), referring to Mooney's supposition, mentions the connection between the Lower Creek village of Tamatle (Tamali, Tomatola, or Tama) and two Cherokee villages of the same name located on the Valley and Little Tennessee Rivers. The Tama'li Indians appear in early seventeenth century Spanish records as a southern Georgia group. Tamatle appears on the 1733 DeCrenay map as the southernmost Creek village on the Chattahoochee River. In 1738 a Spanish census lists a "Tamaxle el viejo" as the souternmost Creek village with the northernmost being a "Tamaxle nuevo". Old Tamali appears on a 1750 French census and Taitt (1916:547,549) notes a "Tamathy people" living near Coweta on the Chattahoochee in 1772. The only meaning ever associated with the word "Tomotley" was given by Brown (1938:545) when he states it comes from the Creek Tamaha-tala meaning "hewed timber town" (i.e. log houses). Gatschet (1884:145) claims the word is Cherokee based on its occurrence in the Overhill and Valley settlements. The absence of a credible derivation suggests an extinct linguistic origin. One possible source is the Lower dialect of the Cherokee (King 1975:10). This dialect developed in the Lower Towns which are located adjacent to the Lower Creek's territory. Noting the documented interaction between adjacent groups, it might be expected that the Lower Cherokees would share many traits with their neighbors, the Creeks, that they did not share with their linguistic kin.

As noted above, Tomotley appears as a Valley and Overhill village among the Cherokee. Its earliest official recognition as a Cherokee town appears on the 1721 census of the Cherokee villages. This document shows the existence of two such villages (Fernow 1890:273). The smaller of the two (152 people) appears to be associated with the Lower Towns whereas the larger (357 people) seems to be a Valley settlement. Raymond Demere, writing from Ft. Prince George in 1756, speaks of a "Tomatly Old Town" near Keowee ("Old Town" generally implies an abandoned village) which could possibly be the site of the smaller town (MacDowell 1962:199). The Valley town appears to have been an important village. Ludovic Grant, the South Carolina trader, made it his home in the 1750's (MacDowell 1958:117).

The earliest mention of the village on the Little Tennessee appears to be a July 2, 1756 document which associates Attakullakulla with the town. In the same year, DeBrahm (1971:101) referred to the village as "little Tomathly". Corkran states (1962:50) that, in 1753, Ostenaco moved from Tellico to Tomotley but does not cite his source. If this could be verified, it would be an an indication that the village existed prior to 1756. The appearance of Tomotley in the 1750's may be related to the influx of Lower (and possibly Valley) Town refugee's seeking protection from Creek attacks. Such a village might have offered a politically safe residence for such leaders as Ostenaco and Attakullakulla. Attakullakulla, in telling Raymond Demere that his village would welcome and house his men, mentioned that most of the Overhill headmen lived there (MacDowell 1962:145-146).

In 1751 the official number of Overhill villages, as defined by the Indians, appears to be seven (Great Tellico, Chatugo, Tenissee, Chotte, Toqua, Settiquo, and Tallassee) (MacDowell 1958:86). Again in 1755 the same number of villages are referred to in the correspondences (MacDowell 1962:48). What is most interesting about this number is that it is repeated in 1756 by Connecorte in his welcoming speech to Demere (MacDowell 1962:224). After making the speech he apparently corrected himself and said there were nine villages if you count Tomotley and Chatuga. The speech had been given in the Tomotley townhouse! This event provides a unique opportunity to recognize the complex criteria by which village allegiances must have been defined. A village with a townhouse and several resident headmen, which served as the site for ceremonies welcoming the long awaited Carolina expedition sent to build them a fort, does not seem to be considered an Overhill village. Perhaps the village was excluded because the founders were not Overhill.

Documented visitors to the village include members of the Carolina expedition's advance party (MacDowell 1962:156-157,214) and the engineer, William DeBrahm (DeBrahm 1971). The entire expedition appears to have set up camp one and a half miles downstream from the village near the construction site of Ft. Loudoun (MacDowell 1962:224). In 1761 Lieutenent Henry Timberlake visited the village and includes it on his map of the Overhill country (see Figure 1.5).

The village appears on the 1773 Stuart-Purcell map (Rothrock 1929, Swanton 1922, and Cumming 1962:251). In notes made by John Sevier (Draper 1910) about his 1780 expedition to destroy the Cherokee villages, he mentions passing through the remains of the burnt village saying that it had never been reoccupied after its earlier destruction. In 1783 Martin Schneider (1928:256) notes the ruins of "Delamatne" on the Little Tennessee River which he said was destroyed during the "last war" stating that it was a "Chickamauga town". This suggests that the village was destroyed by Christian's expedition and was abandoned when its occupants moved south with Dragging Canoe.

In 1797 Louis Phillipe (1977:83), Duke of Orleans and later King of France, described in his memoirs (1977:83) his trip from the ruins of Ft. Loudoun to "Tokona" (Toqua). He noted the presence of several homes scattered along the path between these two locations but does not recognized the presence of any village ruins. Steiner and de Schweinitz, in 1799, visited an area near the location of 40MR5 and describe it as a place "where fomerly there had been an Indian village" (1928:468).

No earlier Cherokee villages are recorded in the vicinity of 40MR5, indeed, not until after 1750 do we find evidence of any Cherokee villages further downstream than Toqua (40MR6). Following the Revolution the historic accounts suggest only scattered habitations in the area between Toqua and a village called Kahite on the Tellico River (Schneider 1928:257). The Federal reservation records of 1803 list a Nettlecarrier of Tomotley and the reservation petitions of 1818 show a Sarah West registering for a section at Tomotley (Brett Riggs personal communication 1983). Neither of these individuals appear on any surveyed plats for the pre-removal reservations so it might be assumed that, although they probably lived in the area early in the nineteenth century, they never received a reservation there (Brett Riggs personal communication 1983). Summarizing this evidence we can hypothesize that Tomotley was a refugee village initially coalescing around 1752 and was composed of Lower or, possibly, Valley Town inhabitants. In 1776 it was probably destroyed by Christian's forces never to be reoccupied. If these conclusions are true then the site of Tomotley may produce different archaeological remains than those deposited at the traditional seven Overhill villages where refugee components might be less pronounced. Its short existence with no evidence of an earlier Cherokee occupation on the site potentially makes it an important site to interpret (see Chapter 5).