The Cherokee people once occupied much of the mid-Atlantic territory of North America. During the American Revolution they sided with the British against encroaching settlers and were forced to live in the mountains of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
The Cherokees then peacefully traded with the white newcomers, learned their ways, became farmers and sometimes intermarried with them. Cherokee men used steel and iron axes, built homes of logs and brick and stone, produced corn, cotton, vegetables, and raised sheep, hogs, and cattle. The Cherokee women cooked in iron pots and copper kettles, spun and wool and used steel sewing needles for their family's clothing and household needs.
By 1800 the Cherokee had their own Christian churches, saw mills, blacksmith shops, grist mills, and schools. In 1821 Sequoyah developed a Cherokee alphabet representing all the sound in the Cherokee language, enabling his people to become the first Indian tribe with their own written language. By 1818 they printed books and published a newspaper, the Phoenix, in both Cherokee and English.
Influence by the white man's government in Washington, D. C., they established a capital in New Echota, Georgia and adopted a written constitution providing for an elected chief, a Supreme Court, a legislature, and a code of laws.
the Cherokees were recognized as a nation of civilized farmers when the federal government forced them to leave their lands and move west in the 1830's.