Credit: MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Historical Insights The Cherokee-American Wars

During the war, many abductions were reported by both sides. Among the most high-profile kidnappings was Jemima Boone’s, the daughter of pioneer Daniel Boone, who was taken by Cherokee Native Americans in 1776. Fortunately, she was later rescued. 1776, Boonesborough, Kentucky. Credit: MPI/Archive Photos/Getty Images

The Cherokee-American Wars

During the American Revolution, the Cherokee Native Americans sided with the British and began attacking American settlements along the frontier in what became known as the Cherokee-American Wars.

During the American Revolution, many Cherokee Native Americans joined the British ranks. They’d sided with the British in previous conflicts and were convinced it was their best hope for protecting their ancestral homeland from American colonists. Cherokee began attacking frontier towns starting in 1776, but were completely unprepared for the American retaliation. The skirmishes were terrifying for people on both sides, who endured the constant threat of brutal violence for nearly two decades. Along the frontier settlers attacked Cherokee villages and Cherokee attacked American settlements, kidnapping, pillaging and murdering civilians. Colonists destroyed more than 50 Cherokee towns during the summer of 1776 alone. Survivors were left with no food or shelter. Attacks continued across Cherokee country and along the Carolinas and into Georgia. As the British began losing the fight for their colonies, the Cherokee suffered. More and more colonists landed on the frontier, encroaching on Cherokee land. Bloody confrontations continued and the Native Americans lost ground. After the British surrendered in 1781, the fighting raged on. The Cherokee were ultimately left with no choice but to sign a series of treaties that pushed them off their homeland and forced them to resettle to the South to make way for the influx of Americans to the region.