Manataka American Indian Council

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by Takatoka




During a war between the white man and American Indians between 1790 and 1803, in what would become the state of Kentucky, a band of Overhill Cherokee warriors of the Red Paint clan captured a group of white soldiers and brought them to their Chief  Pathkiller. 

One of the captives was a young soldier by the name of Moore.  (His name may not have been Robert Alec Moore.)  Chief Pathkiller stood the white soldiers in front of the tribal council who sentenced young Moore to be bound and burned at the stake the following day.  That evening the warriors celebrated their victory by dancing and drinking the white man's whiskey until at last every warrior was in a deep sleep.

Chief Pathkillers' pretty young daughter, who was attracted to the handsome Moore, put together a plan to free Moore.   Seeing the exhausted warriors were not an immediate threat, she led a pony from the camp, silently loading the pony's back with a few supplies.  Then, she quietly slipped up to the prisoners, cut the bonds of Moore, gave him moccasins for his feet and together they slipped out of camp. 

Retrieving the pony, they began their perilous journey.  Traveling by night and hiding in daylight they cautiously made their way deep into the wilderness.  Chief Pathkiller was furious.  He and a large war party set off in pursuit.   The warriors were often seen riding over a mountain ridge while Pathkiller's daughter and Moore were concealed below another ridge.  The angry Chief and his men often came close to where his daughter and Moore were hiding.

The two fugitives survived by eating berries and herbs and whatever other raw food they found.  Building a campfire was not possible.  Then bad weather came with a fury.  Snow blanketed the forest and for many days they were afraid to move out of hiding for fear of leaving tracks in the snow. In desperation and near starvation, they killed their pony for food.

As the weather finally cleared after several days, the two set out again.  After several weeks, they finally reached the safety of a white settlement. 

Pathkiller's daughter gave up her Indian identity and married Moore.  Nancy Ann "Polly" Pathkiller-Moore and Robert A./Alec Moore had eight children.  Polly Pathkiller Moore died in Tennessee.   Her husband preceded her in death. 


The story above is probably not a factual account, but the characters are real and are discussed in following paragraphs.


Pathkiller died in 1827 in Hamilton County, Tennessee.  He is buried near the Tennessee and Georgia state line on the Donald C Garrett farm in Centre, Alabama.   An historical monument of Chief Pathkiller stands at the corner of the two states.  

The children of
Nancy Ann "Polly" Pathkiller and Robert Moore were:
    Andrew Moore, 1804 - 1890, Lawrenceburg, Missouri
    Alec (Jack) Moore
    Lucinda Moore
    Samuel A. Moore, 1805 - 1856, Knox County, Tennessee
    Nancy Moore
    Rachel Tabith Moore, March 4,1814 TN. (D) March 10,1887 Camden County, Missouri Cemetery / Decaturville Cemetery.  Her was husband John Calvin. 
    Polly Moore (Hollngsworth)
    Martha Moore

    William (Bill) Moore, White County, TN


Information from Ace Murray:

The Children of Chief Pathkiller and Peggy (woman of the Red Paint Clan of The Overhill Cherokee, NC.)

Chief Nunnaa hi-Diha Pathkiller B. abt 1764

Nancy Ann (Polly)

U’ga’lo’gv “Leaf” “Nellie”

Quatee (Elizabeth)

Charwahvooca “Peggy”

Jennie / Jenny

You’choo’howee’yuh “Bear Meat”

The daughter of Stand Watie, who signed the Treaty of New Echota, married Charles Moore Woodall.  Woodall was the son of Ellen (Aisley) Moore Woodall who appears on the Old Settler's Payment Roll.  Ellen was the daughter of Charles (Shooter) Moore who also signed the Treaty of New Echota with Stand Watie.  Charles Moore, whose Cherokee name meant Shooter, may have been related to the English clan of  Robert A.(?) Moore.  (One objection to the assertion that Robert A. Moore was related to Charles Moore has been received from a descendant.  No proof of the objection was provided.)

About the time of the Removals, many Cherokee and other indigenous people denied their Indian blood quantum. A white trustee was often assigned to take charge of a person and all his/her property if one was more than 1/4 Indian blood.   The Cherokee clan of Nancy Ann "Polly" Pathkiller were fortunate they did not lose their lives to white greed because they were connected to whites (Robert A./ Alec Moore) by marriage.  They were unfortunate as they were forced to leave their farms before finally resting in Arkansas as Black Dutch.

The Chief Pathkiller and Colonel Pathkiller Connection

Documents supplied by Ace Murray, a descendent of Pathkiller proves Chief Pathkiller of the Cherokee Nation and Colonel Pathkiller of the Cherokee Nation is the same person.  Chief Pathkiller was married at least twice.  His first wife was Peggy, a woman from the Red Paint Clan of the Cherokee Nation.  Ace Murray submitted two documents to Harvey Moore of Missouri, that show the Chief and Colonel were the same man.  (Below is a Power of Attorney dated October 5, 1816, bearing the "X" of Chief Pathkiller.)   Another very interesting signature appears on the Power of Attorney document below.  The unique

mark of Dragging Canoe's wife, U’ga’lo’gv “Leaf” “Nellie”, daughter of Chief Pathkiller, is beside her father's X and is surrounded by a leaf drawing.



Power of Attorney document, October 5, 1816,  bearing the "X" of Chief Pathkiller. Dragging Canoe's wife, U’ga’lo’gv “Leaf” “Nellie”, daughter of Chief Pathkiller, is beside her father's X and is surrounded by a leaf drawing.



Here is what Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia has to say about Chief Pathkiller:


"Pathkiller, (1749 to January 1827), was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, fought in the Revolutionary War for Britain and in the wars against American frontiersmen from 1783 through 1794. Pathkiller, a "fullblood," unacculturated Cherokee, became principal chief in 1811 and was the last individual from a conservative background to hold that office. Although Pathkiller remained principal chief through 1827, authority in the Cherokee Nation, after 1813, shifted to Charles Hicks.... Pathkiller was the mentor to John Ross, identifying the young Cherokee of Scotch-Irish descent as the future leader of the Cherokee people. Pathkiller is not buried in New Echota Cemetery in New Echota, Georgia."


The memorial headstone at New Echota is not the place of his actual burial, but gives the date of "Col. Pathkiller". It is now supposed that Chief Pathkiller and Colonel Pathkiller are one and the same person.  There remains some doubt about the exact date of death.


"The Cherokee Minute Docket of the 4th Commission, Pages 72, 168, 246, 269 and 445" lists information and names of the lawyers who represented "PathKiller's heirs to Reservation #165". On page 445, decree 715 it list the heir as "Sarah Pathkiller, the daughter of Pathkiller, who is now married to James T. Gardenhire".


"Pathkiller was head of the tribe in name only. Men like the aging Charles Hicks and John Ross were the real power-brokers, and they were united in their stand to create a Cherokee Nation."


Chief Pathkiller had a daughter by the name of Nancy Ann "Polly" Pathkiller who is rumored to have run-off with a white solider by the name of Robert A. / Alec Moore. Both Colonel Pathkiller and Chief Pathkiller lived at St Clair, AL. 


There remains some confusion about two different burial locations.  The actual burial site of Chief Pathkiller is on the Donald C Garrett farm in Centre, Alabama near the banks of the Acoosa River where Pathkiller' operated a ferry.  According to Harvey Moore of Missouri, "...the grave is just before the bridge over the river off to the left near a fence at the Garrett Cemetery.  However, there is a memorial tomb located at the New Echota Cemetery that has been incorrectly identified as the grave site.  



The memorial headstone site of Chief Pathkiller at New Echota Cemetery is not his burial site. Pathkiller was a mentor to Chief John Ross, identifying the young Cherokee of Scotch-Irish descent as the future leader of the Cherokee people.

A book entitled, "History of Hamilton Co. TN, Vol. 1, page 44" by Zella Armstrong" says that Chief Pathkiller was Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation on January 8, 1827 when he died.  Assistant Chief Broom, born 1796, was secretary of the Council in 1818 and treasurer succeeded Pathkiller on January 8, 1827.   In the History of St. Clair, Alabama, page 30" states, "Chief Pathkiller died January 8, 1827".   It says that Chief Pathkiller was Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation on January 8, 1827 when he died.  Assistant Chief Broom, born 1796, was secretary of the Council in 1818 and treasurer succeeded Pathkiller on January 8, 1827.  


Chief Pathkiller is presumed to have been married to a full-blood Cherokee woman named Peggy. In the "Records of St. Clair County, Alabama, page 18", it says, "Peggy Pathkiller's settlement of estate, Oct. 31, 1833 was paid to her heirs: $455 to daughter Nancy, $375 to Nelly, $450 to Crying Snake. To Quata and George Cammell, $1,200; to Eustace $300, to Jenny $1188.60; to Qualocoo and Beaver Tail $100 and to Charqahyooca and Richard Rarliff $300."  


A monument of Chief Pathkiller stands today at the intersection of the Georgia and Tennessee state lines at Calhune, Georgia.


Harvey L. Moore of Missouri is related to Ailsey Pathkiller and her marriages to William Gardenhire and Taylor Eldridge.  Moore has done a considerable amount of research of Chief Pathkiller for the past 18 years beginning in 1991.   


Another amateur genealogist, Cleo Cater, sent Harvey Moore of Missouri a posting of Kathy Roberson's ancestry.  Kathy Roberson is also related to Ailsey Pathkiller and her marriages to William Gardenhire and Taylor Eldridge.  U'ga'lo'gv "Leaf" also known as Nellie Pathkiller married Dragging Canoe.  She is the daughter of either Chief Pathkiller.



Harvey Moore of Missouri inspects the grave site of Chief Pathkiller on the Donald C Garrett farm in Centre, Al, near the banks of the Acoosa River where Pathkiller operated a ferry.

According to Kathy Roberson, "...I visited the Pathkiller burial site at New Echota in Calhoun, GA and then went on to view the library files.  I found it odd that burial site of "Col. Pathkiller" was once quoted in a local 1930 Chattanooga, TN newspaper as being the tomb of an "unknown Indian". However, to make it more confusing, the records at New Echota says in the 1920s the Calhoun Woman's League erected the headstone monument for "Col. Pathkiller" at the [present day] tomb site, so why in 1930 is he suddenly "unknown?" 


"The headstone of the monument broke at one point and noted an order form from the 1980's form for a new headstone.  The original, broken stone is now in storage at New Echota," said Roberson.


The memorial tomb located at New Echota was identified by a newspaper article in the possession of the caretakers at New Echota as the tomb of an "unknown Indian."  Roberson says the caretakers do not know for certain the identity of the person in the tomb and it has not been x-rayed.


Harvey Moore says the actual birth year of Pathkiller is 1742 and his death came on January 8, 1827.  "The dates on both the Tomb at New Echota and the headstone at Garrett Cemetery are incorrect."  There is solid cross-referenced documented evidence to prove Pathkiller's birth year and death date.  


The inscription on the headstone (shown below) reads 'Last of the Cherokee Kings'  and the same phrase is also written on an abstract of "Subsistence of Officers of a Demi Brigade of Cherokee Warriors attached to the Southern Army in the War of 1812"   General Andrew Jackson ordered the mustering of the Cherokee Warriors and Pathkiller served as a Colonel, second in command under Colonel Gideon Morgan, Jr. in service against hostile Creek Indians for six months from October 7, 1813 to April 11, 1814.  The abstract says "Col. Pathkiller is King of the Cherokees".   Colonel Pathkiller was paid $450 for his services. And $74.80 for his horses.



Chief Pathkiller grave site 1764-1828

Off to the left near a fence

Garrett Cemetery

Garrett Bridge at the Acoosa River


Near the site of the present day Garrett Bridge is the old Blair Ferry site that was purchased by Pathkiller.  A court battle between Blair and Pathkiller ensued for a time.   An image of Pathkiller's storehouse at the ferry site and a Pathkiller memorial at Blairsville is in the possession of Kathy Roberson.  Another ferry in Tennessee was operated for a time by Pathkiller's son.


"The Treaties with the Cherokee, dated 1816-1819, is signed by Pathkiller a Pathkiller, Jr. [See Ratified Treaty of 1819.] There is no other mention of him after that date. Could this have been Col. Pathkiller and later Chief Pathkiller or is it the latter with Archilla who would have been very young at that time?," asks Moore.  Kathy Roberson also asks if Chief Pathkiller and Colonel Pathkiller the same person?


Some records indicate the birth dates for Chief Pathkiller and Colonel Pathkiller are twenty plus years apart, but the death dates are but a single year apart.


"I have done a good bit of document gathering on Chief Pathkiller and found nothing so far that might disprove my current theory that Colonel Pathkiller (1742-1827) may have been the father of Chief Pathkiller (1764-1828, aka Pathfinder," says Roberson.


If my theory is correct, Chief Pathkiller and Peggy had at least 7 children (Chief Nunnaâ hi-Dihiâ, Nancy Ann "Polly", U'ga'lo'gv "Leaf" "Nellie", Quatee [Eliza?], Charwahyooca "Peggy", Jennie/Jenny, and You'choo'howee'yuh "Bear Meat").  Together, Colonel Pathkiller and Sookey had at least three children: Ailsey, son Archilla, and Sarah.  I believe all were Red Paint Clan of the Overhill Cherokee.   Again, this is only my theory and nothing etched in stone.  I gladly welcome any comments with factual evidence to disprove the theory," said Kathy Roberson.



The son of Chief Pathkiller was Chief Nunna Hi-Diha Pathkiller, Jr.  He married Susan "Sookie" Martin.  She was not the second wife of Chief Pathkiller, Sr. as rumored.  He and Susan "Sookie" Martin, a white woman, had three children:  Archilda, Alcey, and Sarah. Chief Nunnaa Hi-Diha Path killer (Jr.) died in 1841 near Old Fort Wayne, Arkansas, located 27 miles west of Bentonville, Arkansas, that is now in Delaware County, Oklahoma.   


Evidence Regarding Chief Pathkiller's Land and Ferry

Harvey Moore's notes on the documents listed above:


Unmentioned son

Legal Document of Jane and Willie Blair Vs The Pathkiller and Gardenhire, March 27, 1838 


"...Blair sent for PathKiller & he came there & moved into the house with Cavas & lived there a short time this was in the spring of 1819. Carmichal quit the premises because his case said he was not have it if any Indian resided in it. PathKiller after remaining with Cavas his Tenant for some time built a little camp & then cabin on the reserve & lived there & continued there until removed by the sheriff after the land sales- he had a little old boat he ferried some his wife some & Nicholas his son some- PathKiller like other Indians..."  


There is no mention anywhere else about a son named Nicholas.


Year of Death of Chief Nunna Hi-Diha Pathkiller, Jr.

Depositions of John Rogers and James Cary of the Cherokee Nation West, July 3, 1844


"...This day personally appeared before me John D. Clark, a Justice of the Peace of said County John Rodgers and James Cary, Big Drawn, Cherokee Citizens of the Cherokee Nation West, and being duly Sworn say they were well acquainted with PathKiller a Cherokee and his family at the dates of the Cherokee treaties of 1817 & 1819- He was then the head of a Cherokee family having a wife and children by her- He then and for many years afterwards resided on the south side of Tennessee river at a place since called Blairs Ferry in the state of Tennessee and on the Territory ceded by the Cherokee Treaties of ,17 and, 19 and then had a ferry at that place - He departed this life in 1841, leaving Arch, or Archilaws, or Archibald PathKiller and Alsy Eldridge his only Children, by his said wife long since deceased, and his heirs at law..."


Chief Nunna Hi-Diha Pathkiller, Jr‘s Wife’s Real Name


"...said PathKiller resided on at the date of the treaty. At that time as well as at the time his reservation was surveyed he was the head of a family consisting of his wife by the name of Susan. They had but one child a small girl by the name of Sarah or Sally who is at present the wife of James T Gardenhire and resides in the state of Tennessee having with their family become citizens of that state. The said Susan wife of PathKiller died at Thomas Foremans to whom she had applied for medical aid in the year (1833) eighteen thirty three..."



It is generally believed the father of Chief (Colonel) Pathkiller was Chief Kanagagota, Standing Turkey.




Chief of Turkey Town

USA Colonel in the War Against the Creeks

Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation,

1808-1810, 1811/1817 - 1827


Turkey Town - Gun'-di'ga-duhun'yi - "turkey settlement", the largest of all Cherokee settlements, named for the original chief of the settlement, Turkey or Little Turkey, principal chief, 1788 - 1804.


US fort built during the Creek War (1813-1814), first called Fort Armstrong, then Fort Lovell, later used as a concentration camp ("stockade") in the final racial cleansing of the South of all Native Americans in 1838 euphemistically called "The Removal".

"During the Creek War, Pathkiller was chief of Turkeytown and principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. In October 1813, Turkeytown was in danger of being attacked by the Red Sticks, a hostile faction of the Creek Indians. Pathkiller sent runners to Andrew Jackson's army in the north with a plea for help. Jackson responded by ordering a detachment led by General James White, which included many Cherokee soldiers, to relieve the town.


By December 12 of that year, General John Cocke and the combined Cherokee and Tennessee forces had built Fort Armstrong on the Coosa River near the site of the Turkeytown settlement.


At first, the fort was garrisoned by Cherokees, but the new commander, Colonel Gideon Morgan, had to decommission the Indians because theirs terms of service as Tennessee volunteers had expired." p 353 [the Battle of Horseshoe Bend occurred on 27 March 27 1814.]

"The Turkeytown Ceremonial Grounds are located north of Gadsden [NE Alabama], at the site of the original Cherokee settlement of Turkeytown. Located at the site is a well dating from 1810 or 1811, when Turkeytown was the largest of all Cherokee settlements. At that time, the village stretched for twenty to thirty miles along both banks of the Coosa River.

Pathkiller was chief of Turkeytown and a principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. When Pathkiller died in 1827, John Ridge, son of Major Ridge, served as executor of Pathkiller's estate, which included a ferry on the Alabama Road at the Coosa River in Turkeytown. Ridge bought the ferry from the Pathkiller heirs, as well as property on either side of the river. The property included one hundred acres of cleared land, most of which was bottom land, a peach and apple orchard, a large house, and several outbuildings including slave quarters.


Much of Turkeytown and Pathkiller's estate are now underwater. Pathkiller's grave is reportedly located at the Garrett Cemetery on a high bluff overlooking the Coosa River.  However, a headstone with Pathkiller's name on it has also been placed at the cemetery at New Echota, Georgia. The Turkeytown Ceremonial Grounds opened August 1993. ..." p 354-355  -


Vicki Rozema, Footsteps of the Cherokees: a guide to the Eastern homelands of the Cherokee Nation (John F. Blair: Winston-Salem NC 1995)

Pathkiller, Chief, 46, 48, 325, 353, 355


"Frequent references by missionaries to Path Killer as "The King" indicate a profane tendency on the part of some Indians to regard the Principal Chief as a tribal rather than a republican leader.


An interesting picture of Cherokee Council sessions during the early years of the republic was given by the missionary Ard Hoyt on the occasion of his visit to the seat of Cherokee government in October, 1818:



On entering I observed the King [Path Killer] seated on a rug, at one end of the room, having his back supported by a roll of blankets. He is a venerable looking man, 73 years old; his hair nearly white. At his right hand, on one end of the same rug or mat, sat brother Hicks. The chiefs were seated in chairs, in a semicircle, each facing the king. Behind the chiefs a number of the common people were standing listening to a conversation, in which the king and chiefs were engaged.


Presumably Path Killer represented conservatism in a day of rising liberalism. It seems likely that more and more of the progressive younger men, usually mixed-breeds, came to dominate Committee and Council sessions. The rise of Charles Hicks, John Ross, and George Lowrey offers good examples of this development.  - Henry T. Malone, Cherokees of the Old South (University of Georgia Press: Athens 1956) pp 82-84 ]


[ " King Pathkiller, Supreme Chief of the Cherokee Indians. " - famous visitors at Brainer Mission ]



(Source of the above article is unknown -- submitted by Harvey Moore)