The Lost Cherokees

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THE LOST CHEROKEES

by Hugh Pendexter


A MONG the Cherokee legends is one dealing with a portion of the nation which lost itself in the West because of the sale of Cherokee lands to the whites in 1721. The story was held to be a fact by the Cherokee, who insisted that travelers returning from the Far West brought word of a tribe living at the base of the Rocky Mountains that spoke the Cherokee language and lived after the Cherokee fashion. Sequoya, who invented the Cherokee alphabet and lifted his people to a literary plane, when more than seventy years old became absorbed with the legend and at last traveled west, crossed the Mississippi and penetrated into Mexico in search of his lost people. He lost his life in the Mexican Sierras, near San Fernando, the late Summer of 1843. These legends of lost peoples are common among many tribes. The Kiowa version has it that years ago one of the chiefs quarreled over a division of game and took some of his people over the Rocky Mountains, near the British border, where somewhere they may be found, retaining the Kiowa language and customs. The Tonkawa believe a band of their people were cut off from the tribe by a tidal wave on the Texas coast and fled back to Mexico. The Tuscarora have a story of the tribe being separated by the Mississippi, the western band remaining in the plains and becoming the enemy of the eastern band.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1940, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.