"We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country that the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth...it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood... we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear."
~Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief on the Trail of Tears, August 4, 1838
"Many proposals have been made to us to adopt your laws, your religion, your manners and your customs. We would be better pleased with beholding the good effects of these doctrines in your own practices, than with hearing you talk about them".
~Old Tassel, Chief of the Tsalagi (Cherokee)
"Whole Indian Nations have melted away like snowballs in the sun before the white man's advance. They leave scarcely a name of our people except those wrongly recorded by their destroyers. Where are the Delewares? They have been reduced to a mere shadow of their former greatness.
We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Tsalagi (Cherokee) land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Tsalagi (Cherokees). New cessions will be asked.
Finally the whole country, which the Tsalagi (Cherokees) and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of the Ani Yvwiya, The Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Tsalagi (Cherokees), the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed.
Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than to submit to further loss of our country? Such treaties may be alright for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will hold our land."
"God Invented baloney so some people could be full of it."
"Money may talk, but it still hasn't learned to speak Cherokee."
~Jay Red Eagle (Cherokee)
"I believe it is in the power of the Indians unassisted, but united and determined, to hold their country. We cannot expect to do this without serious losses and many privations, but we possess the spirit of our fathers, and are resolved never to be enslaved by an inferior race, and trodden under the feet of an ignorant and insolent foe, we, the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, and Tsalagi (Cherokees), never can be conquered..."
~Confederate General Stand Waitie, Tsalagi (Cherokee)
"By peace our condition has been improved in the pursuit of civilized life."
~John Ross, Principal Chief
"You say: Why do not the Indians till the ground and live as we do? May we not ask, why do the white people do not hunt and live as we do? The Great God of Heaven has given each their lands... he has stocked yours with hog, ours with bear; yours with sheep, ours with deer. he has indeed given you an advantage, in 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."
-Corn Tassel, Cherokee, 1785
"The Great Spirit is displeased with you for accepting the ways of the white people. You can see for yourselves, your hunting is gone and you are planting the corn of the white men...You yourselves can see that the white people are entirely different beings from us; we are made from Red Clay."
-Tsali, Cherokee Medicine Man.
"I have a little boy...If he is not dead, tell him the last words of his father were that he must never go beyond the Father of Waters, but die in the land of his birth. It is sweet to die in one's native land and be buried by the margins of one's native stream."
- Tsali, Cherokee Medicine Man awating execution, 1838.
Tsi'yu-gunsini - Dragging Canoe, Chickamaugas Chief Tsi'yu-gunsini was a war leader who led a dissident band of young Cherokees against the United States in the American Revolutionary War. Dragging Canoe is considered by many to be the most significant leader of the Southeast, and provided a significant role model for the younger Tecumseh, who was a member of a band of Shawnee living with the Chickamaugas and taking part in their wars.