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The Settlement of the Appalachian Frontier: "The Tassel's" Speech at The Long Island of the Holston - 1777

The Settlement of the Appalachian Frontier

Sharing information, stories, and ideas for teaching students about the settlement of the Appalachian Frontier. Focusing on the little-known people and history of Southwestern Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, and Eastern Kentucky.

Location: Nickelsville, Virginia, United States

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"The Tassel's" Speech at The Long Island of the Holston - 1777

Part of a speech made by the famous Cherokee, "The Tassel" at the Long Island of the Holston stating the position of the Indians:

You say: Why do not the Indians till the ground and live as we do? May we not, with equal propriety, ask why the white people do not hunt and live as we do? You profess to think it no injustice to warn us not to kill our deer and other game from the mere love of waste; but it is very criminal in our young men if they chance to kill a cow or a hog for their sustenance when they happen to be in your lands. We wish, however, to be at peace with you, and to do as we would be done by. We do not quarrel with you for killing an occasional buffalo, bear or deer on our lands when you need one to eat; but you go much farther; your people hunt to gain a livelihood by it; they kill all our game; our young men resent the injury, and it is followed by bloodshed and war.
This is not a mere affected injury; it is a grievance which we equitably complain of, and it demands a permanent redress.

The Great God of Nature has placed us in different situations. It is true he had endowed you with many superior advantages; but he had not created us to be your slaves, We are a separate people! He had given each their lands, under distinct considerations and circumstances; he has stocked yours with cows, ours with buffalo; yours with hog, ours with bear; yours with sheep, ours with deer. He has indeed given you an advantage in this, that your cattle are tame and domestic while ours are wild, and demand not only a larger space for range but art to hunt and kill them; they are, neverthe- less, as much our property as other animals are yours, and ought not to be taken away without our consent, or for something equivalent.