This page is divided into several sections. You may scroll down to experience each one in turn or you may click on the site index links to go directly to the section that interests you most:

Site Index


 Newsweek's Influencial Women in Politics - Nancy Ward!
 Introduction to Nancy Ward
 Nancy Ward Grave Site
 Nancy Ward Museum Fund - link removed 6-2-11 by request of project manager
 Nancy Ward Musical by Becky Hobbs
 Nancy Ward Statue
 Book by Annie Walker Burns - edited by Matt Ward now available
 Online Study Course Featuring Nancy Ward
 Published Article on Nancy Ward
 Nancy Ward Related Links
 Sign my Guestbook...THANK YOU!"
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There is a new tribute to Nancy Ward musical being created by Becky Hobbs (a fifth generation grand daughter of nancy Ward).

Here is an excerpt from an interview of Becky Hobbs by Danny Perry (Danny Peary writes about pop culture and sports on He has published nineteen books and is the writer/researcher for the national television sports interview program, "Tim McCarver Show." Although he lives in New York City, he was born in West Virginia and raised in South Carolina and always has loved country music.). To read the full interview go to: The Best of Becky Hobbs - by Danny Perry

DP: Perhaps the most beautiful song you ever wrote is “Pale Moon.” Talk about your Native-American heritage and your ongoing “Nancy Ward Project” to honor your ancestor.

BH: Thanks. “Pale Moon” is one of my favorites, too. Nancy Ward (this is her English name) was my fifth great-grandmother. She was born of the Wolf Clan in approximately 1738 in Chota (one of the "mother towns" of the Cherokee Nation), which is now in the southeastern Tennessee area. It is said, on the day she was born, a white wolf roamed the horizon. White was the color for peace.

When she was around sixteen years of age, she went to battle with her husband, Kingfisher, against the Creeks. Her job was to chew the bullets, to make them more deadly. When Kingfisher was killed and fell to the ground, Nancy arose to take his place and led the Cherokee to victory. She was then given the title Ghigau, or "Beloved Woman" of the Nation. After earning this honor, she dared to stand where no woman had stood before--in the center of the white man's council meeting, protesting war and promoting peace between the Cherokee and other tribes, the colonists and the settlers. She is credited with introducing dairy products and beef to the Cherokee.

She wore a shawl of white swan feathers and was given the power to save a life. With the wave of a swan's wing, she spared the life of Lydia Bean, a white woman at the stake. She saved countless Cherokee and white lives when she warned settlers of impending attacks.

On the day she died in 1822, witnesses saw a white light rise up from her body. It took the form of a wolf and then of a swan. It fluttered about and flew off in the direction of her beloved town of Chota.

I wrote “Let There Be Peace” in honor of Nancy and it is the theme song of the Association of Descendants of Nancy Ward. I have started writing and recording a tribute album to Nancy Ward. That’s the “Nancy Ward Project” and both “Pale Moon” and “Let there Be Peace” are part of it.

Visit with me

Becky and her friends, Patricia and Sunny, dropped by to see me after their visit to Kingsport. It was a pleasure getting to meet her and her friends. We spoke of the musical and Becky gave me a CD of the music to accompany the musical and agreed to share the script with me. I am so pleased to be able to help with this most deserving tribute to Nancy Ward. I am convinced it will be a great hit and will succeed beyond Becky's wildest dreams.

Here is the press release:

Becky Hobbs, 5th-great granddaughter of Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Cherokee, recently visited Long Island on the Holston River in Kingsport, Tennessee, where Nancy Ward gave her famous speech in 1781. The Americans present included Col. William Christian and John Sevier, who were perplexed that the Cherokee would let a woman speak for them. In her speech, Nancy said, “You Americans look at women as though we are nothing. But we are your mothers; you are our sons. Our cry is all for peace. Let it continue. This peace must last forever. Let your mother’s sons be ours, our sons be yours. Let your women hear our words.”

Hobbs was in Kingsport to play a concert, and also to speak about her upcoming musical, based on the life of Nancy Ward, NANYEHI-BELOVED WOMAN OF THE CHEROKEE. Becky, a Bartlesville, Oklahoma native and Cherokee Nation Citizen, has written songs for Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Emmylou Harris, Alabama (including the evergreen “Angels Among Us”), Helen Reddy, Shirley Bassey and others. As a recording artist, she has had over 25 chart records, including “Jones on the Jukebox,” and has performed in over 40 countries. Hobbs has written/co-written 16 songs for the musical and co-wrote the script with playwright/director Nick Sweet. The musical will be workshopped at NSU in Tahlequah this summer. The premier date/venue has not yet been determined.

Hobbs lives in Nashville with her husband, music producer/guitarist Duane Sciacqua.

Here is the link to Becky's web page: Becky Hobbs web page

MUST SEE!!!!Newsweek.MSNBC article featuring Nancy Ward
Click on the above LINK to see a MODERN reference to Nancy Ward as a key figure in a NEWSWEEK feature article on "INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN POLITICS". Select "JOURNEY INTO THE PAST" and find Nancy Ward as the first woman on the Timeline!!! NEWSWEEK.MSNBC used this web site to contact me for information and to obtain the photograph used in the feature. All of you who have promoted this site and especially those of you who are descendents of Nancy Ward should be proud of this modern day coverage and high recognition for her place in history! ENJOY!!!

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Nancy Ward Statue - Please be patient as the photos on this page may take a while to load. There is a lot of information both published and unpublished on this page.  Consider scrolling down to the text and coming back to the pictures.  The text will cause you to want to see this statue which was placed on a white woman's grave and remained there for approximately 70 years before being stolen.


photograph copyright of David Ray Smith, for use contact Ray at Request permission to use photograph of Nancy Ward Statue

The Cherokee Beloved Woman; Wild Rose of the Cherokee; Pocahontas of the West; War Woman; Prophetess; Granny Ward, these are a few of the names and titles given to Nancy Ward, the most powerful and influential woman in the Cherokee Nation during recorded history. She ruled over the powerful Council of Women and had a voting seat in the Council of Chiefs. During her lifetime the Cherokee moved from a matriarchal, clan-type of government to a republic much like our own.

She was born in 1738 at Chota and was loved and respected by the settlers as well as the Cherokees. She had absolute power over prisoners and on numerous occasions saved the lives of white people. On at least two occasions during the Revolutionary War period she sent warnings to John Sevier at the Watauga settlements of planned Indian attacks, thus giving them time to prepare a defense or counter-offensive.

She participated in the Treaty of July 20, 1781, and the Treaty at Hopewell, November 28, 1785, as a principal speaker. She alluded to her never ending desire to seek peace for her people and to hold on to as much of their land as possible. After the Hiwassee Purchase of 1819, she left Chota and settled on the Ocoee River near Benton, Tennessee. She operated an inn at Woman Killer Ford on the Federal Road until her death in 1822. She is buried on a hill nearby. In 1923 a monument was placed on her grave by a Chattanooga Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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(NOTE: If you want to read a fuller treatment of the History of Nancy Ward, the last segment of this web page contains the complete article published in the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture in 1998. )

Click here to go directly to the published Nancy Ward Article

Nancy Ward Grave Site
near Benton, TN

Nancy Ward's Grave: Located near Benton, TN this grave was unmarked until 1923 when the Chattanooga chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected this stone pyramid and installed a fence to protect the gravesite.

Nancy Ward's Grave: Located near Benton, TN, this grave was unmarked until 1923 when the Chattanooga chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolugion erected this stone pyramid and installed a fence to protect the gravesite. It has been further enhanced in recent years to add a ramp and a state marker and is a Tennessee State Historical Site.

This marker is on the pyramid of stones marking her grave.

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NOTICE: Information about the Nancy Ward Museum Project has been removed as requested by the project manager

CORRECTION OF INFORMATION POSTED HERE IN THE PAST: Marian Presswood, Polk County Historian and President of the Nancy Ward - Cherokee Heritage Foundation recently revisited this page and informed me that the plans for widening Highway 411 DO NOT POSE ANY THREAT TO the Nancy Ward gravesite. Acquisitions have almost been completed for land that swings far away from her gravesite. This is good news and I am proud to correct the previous mistaken information.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION about Polk County plans and activites related to Nancy Ward: The Polk County Historical and Genealogical Society has acquired a small native stone home for a genealogy library and a special room has been set aside as an interim Nancy Ward museum until such time as the Nancy Ward Museum can be built. All nine volumes of the Enrollment books - Cherokee by Blood and other genealogy research materials are available for research into the rich Cherokee heritage.

The Nancy Ward room of the genealogy library is located just one block east of the courthouse in Benton, TN at the corner of Commerce and Poplar Street and is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Their phone number is: (423) 388-1005.

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE NANCY WARD GRAVE SITE: The Tennessee State Parks staff who are the caretakers of the gravesite recently worked with DAR and planted some native wildflowers at the gravesite (this will be an ongoing project of planting). Also the State of Tennessee just completed some work there doing fence replacement and some repair work to the grave marker.

The Cherokee District DAR, which has thirteen chapters, and the SAR, with three chapters in the area, have planted over 30 native Tennessee trees, including the special trees the Cherokee use in all their ceremonial fires. Only Tennessee native plants, shrubs and trees are being used at the site. There are two work days a year at the site planting and maintaining the site. Something new also is that Long Fellow's grave has a stone with his name and notes that he is the brother of Nancy Ward. This had to be proven to the State before his relationship could be added. Alexander Keith DAR member’s family donated the stone.

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Another very good source of information about the Nancy Ward Grave Site is: Charlotte's Nancy Ward Grave Site Page

Nancy Ward Statue: Said to have been made just after 1900 by a descendent of Nancy Ward but was placed on a white woman's grave for approximately 70 years - before being stolen

Statue of Nancy Ward placed on a white woman's grave in Arnwine Cemetery near Liberty Hill, TN

Photograph copyright of David Ray Smith, for use contact Ray at Request permission to use photograph of Nancy Ward Statue

The following more recent history relates in a unique way to Nancy Ward:

In upper East Tennessee just after the turn of the 20th century James Abraham Walker, a part-time tombstone sculptor and possibly a descendant of Nancy's daughter, Catherine, was moved by the legend to produce a quaint statue. The statue was made from gray granite (Bear Creek stone). It was approximately five feet high and represented Nancy Ward, holding in her right arm a lamb and in her left hand a plaque with the words "Nancy Ward, Watauga, 1776", referring to the first occasion on which she helped the pioneers by warning them of impending attack by Dragging Canoe, her cousin and the Cherokee who most effectively resisted the white settlement of Cherokee land. Walker intended this work of folk art as a gift to be placed on her grave, but financial reversals in 1912 caused him to sell it to his brother Elbert (Ebb) Walker, who taking advantage of the $15.00 bargain price, placed it as a monument at the head of his deceased daughter's grave.

The statue was photographed in the Arnwine Cemetery overlooking the Clinch River, near Liberty Hill in Grainger County, Tennessee, by David Ray Smith in August, 1975. This photograph was used to highlight the Nancy Ward section in the Tennessee Blue Books published in the late 1970's. In May or June 1983 the statue was stolen from the grave, according to families living near the cemetery. It was seen being taken away in a gray car with a portion of the statue protruding out the rear of the trunk. They have no idea what could have happened to it beyond that last sighting.

The families living in the Liberty Hill community near the Arnwine Cemetery have been asked about the statue and tell some very fond stories of that grave marker. It was a source of much community pride and they are quite upset that it has been stolen. For many years the youngsters were told to "be careful going to that graveyard because that Indian woman is there." When the statue was first placed on the grave it had small red stones (rubies?) in the holes that made the pupils of the eyes. Those were removed by someone very soon after the statue was placed on the Maggie Farmer's grave. Several of the young children would break matches and place the match heads in the holes that made the pupils of her eyes.

A story that is told about the statue is that adults would tell the children that if they went to the graveyard they should go up right in front of that Indian statue and ask here "What are your doing here?" and that she would "say nothing"... meaning she would be silent, not that she would speak, but this was said so as to be understood by the children that the statue would speak saying "nothing" in answer to their question. The older folks living near the cemetery still get a big laugh out of the way the children would go right up to that statue and say "What are you doing here?" and then wait for it to speak back to them. It was a community's way of being humorous with the children and taking pride in the statue of an Indian woman in their cemetery.

The community is quite upset that someone finally stole the statue from the cemetery. For years they feared someone would take and sell it. They sure do want it to be returned. There is some speculation that it might turn up on Nancy's grave near Benton, Tennessee, however, this has not yet been the case. It would surely be a shame if the statue were to be destroyed. Maybe, just maybe, it will turn up again.

I have only recently come into the possession of a large volume of letters written regarding the Statue of Nancy Ward. These letters begin October 8, 1949 when Burton Jones received a letter from Mary Hardin McGown (Mrs. L. W.). She recounted to him the story told her by D. S. Hamilton that the statue was “floated down the Clinch River, lost when the boat sank and found by a farmer who used it for a marker on his wife’s grave.”

Jones eventually made contact with Charles Hurst of Washburn, TN near the Arnwine Cemetery and got agreement to haul the statue out to the road with intentions to truck it to Benton, TN and place it on Nancy Ward’s grave. However, before arrangements could be concluded, Jones got a letter from a lawyer stating that Mrs. Bertha Fridenmaker of Ashland, KY had retained his services and he advised Jones “Unless you can show title to said monument you are advised not to remove the same.”

It seems Bertha Fridenmaker was the daughter of the white woman buried in the Arnwine Cemetery. Evidently someway she had learned of Jones’ attempt to remove the statue and came to visit the cemetery the first of March 1950. She spoke with Charles Hurst while there and Hurst wrote a letter to Jones explaining what had happened. Efforts to remove the statue stopped and Jones wrote a letter to Fridenmaker on March 11, 1950.

On February 23, 1979, a letter was sent from Mike Dahl to Mr. Charles Simpson (grandson of Maggie Farmer) requesting the Nancy Ward statue be donated to the burial site of Nancy Ward that was being developed into a State Historic Park. Dahl also sent a letter to Roy Lillard the same day including the Simpson letter.

On September 28, 1979. Harry Williamson sent a letter to Walter L. Criley, Director of the Tennessee Department of Conservation, Division of Planning and Development stating that Mike Dahl had obtained a loan agreement regarding the statue (this proved to be premature - DRS).

On December 11, 1979 Mike Dahl sent a letter to Walter Criley attaching a letter of appraisal from Pete Lapagleia of The Tennessee State Museum placing the value of the statue at $800 -$1,000. He also included a letter to Mike Dahl from Mrs. Frank (Arla) Alexander stating that her mother-in-law, Mrs. Bertha Fridenmaker, had agreed to accept $1,000 for the statue.

On May 28, 1980 Walter Criley sent a letter to Mike Dahl stating that he should inform Mrs. Frank Alexander that the state would be unable to purchase the statue. I now know that later in 1980 the Polk County Historical Society attempted to purchase the statue for $1,000 and was successful in making the deal (the check still exists - uncashed!). When Mike Dahl, who now lives in Knoxville, TN, went to pick up the statue, he found it had been stolen from the grave. He reported this theft and a police report was issued.

I made contact with Mrs. Frank Alexander (through her son). She was 89 years old and recalled the interchange of information between the state of Tennessee and her mother in law, Bertha Fridenmaker. I also located a descendent of the Walker family who has information regarding James Abraham Walker, the sculptor.

A reporter for a local Grainger County newspaper wrote an article about the statue. I wrote a story in The Oak Ridger telling the history of the stolen statue. A reporter in Chattanooga also wrote about the story as Polk County Historical Society had attempted to purchase the statue to go on Nancy Ward's grave near Benton. However, Bertha Fridenmaker had required, as a stipulation of the sale, that the statue be placed in a secure location inside out of the weather.

Recent information I have obtained has shed light on the theft. I have an eyewitness to the first purchase of the stolen property and can trace later transactions as well.

While my earlier research indicated the statue may have been seen in the trunk of a car, I have since been contacted by the son of the person who actually removed the statue from the grave in 1980. He tells of bringing a boat by water to pick up the statue from the edge of the lake (it was actually hidden underwater to keep it from being observed). The statue was loaded in the boat and taken by water to a dock where the boat and statue were placed on a boat trailer and taken to Middlesboro, KY. There it stayed hidden as the person taking it from the grave was afraid of being caught with stolen property.

I can now trace the statue from its removal from the Maggie Farmer grave in the Arnwine Cemetary to its present location and can identify all the hands it has passed through.

Since I have been researching this story, I have learned that Bertha Fridenmaker once came back to the area specifically to reclaim the statue and have it placed back on her mother's grave. I believe this was well before the attempts by the state of Tennessee to purchase it or the Polk County Historical Society's efforts. I have also learned that Bertha was the person who was greatly attached to the statue and who convinced her father to purchase it for her mother's grave marker. Her grandson is now attempting to reclaim the statue yet again! He recalls how attached she was to the statue and feels the need to assure the statue's return.

A permenant home for the statue is identified by the descendent of Maggie Farmer. He desires that the statue be brought back to Tennessee because of its tremendous historical heritage with respect to Nancy Ward. It is intended to be placed in the East Tennessee History Center at Knoxville, TN.

More information will be published when the status of the statue changes.

If you wish to contact me about the statue, please e-mail me at: Click here to send E-mail information on stolen statue

David Ray Smith - updated:7/26/07

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Information to revise the above account of the statue was provided me by a person who saw this web page. This person visited the Arnwine Cemetery in 1994 after traveling 900 miles from Oklahoma to bring a Nancy Ward descendent to view the statue and to visit Nancy's grave near Benton, TN. The person providing me the information had actually interviewed the daughter of the artist who made the statue and after visiting the cemetery and finding the statue gone, published an article describing the disappointment of the missing statue. The fact that gray granite (Bear Creek stone) was the material used to make the statue, the animal in the arm being confirmed as a lamb, the purchase price of $15.00, the identity of the person purchasing the statue and that he was Walker's brother were all new facts for me. What a delightful surprise to find someone who had such information!

The Tennessee Department of Conservation provided copies of the letters written in 1949-1951 and 1979-1980 that shed additional light on the statue. One letter contained the following description of what happened when the statue was placed on the grave in the Arnwine Cemetery.

Frank Shumate of Lone Mountain, Tennessee wrote Burton Jones February 3, 1951 giving the following details about the statue:

"A neighbor of mine, who is also my farm laborer - Lee Arnwine, age about 62, was living in the community near the Arnwine Cemetery at the time the monumnet was put up. He told me the following story:

'Elbert Walker lived in Kentucky. His daughter, Maggie Walker married Ben Farmer and lived near the Arnwine Cemetery until her death. Then she was buried in that cemetery. Sometime later Elbert Walker shipped a monument crated until it was not visible, from Middlesboro, Kentucky by train. Lee Arnwine, who at that time was a farmer laborer for the Farmers, hauled it in a wagon from the depot at Lone Mountain, Tennessee, to Ben Farmer's father's farm. There it was put in the granary and remained there about one year. Ben Farmer would not agree to have the stone put to his wife's grave during this time. Then Elbert Walker, father of the deceased Mrs. Farmer, persuaded Ben Farmer to let the stone be put up. Lee Arnwine again hauled it in a wagon to the cemetery and Elbert Walker erected it."

David Ray Smith - updated: 1/30/05

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Book by Annie Walker Burns - edited by Matt Ward now available:

Nancy Ward: Military and Genealogical Records of the Famous Indian Woman of Tennessee Nancy Ward (Nanye-hi…[One Who Goes About] c. 1738-1824) was the most famous of Cherokee women. She held the title of Ghigau or Beloved Woman. This entitled her to sit on council meetings with the chiefs and to commute the sentence of any prisoner. She “married” a white trader named Bryant Ward with whom she had a daughter, Elizabeth, who later married the British General Joseph Martin. Many descendants in the Cherokee nation spring from this union. Bryant Ward had a son from his previous union with a white wife. This son, John (Jack), came looking for his father among the Cherokee and ended up living with them and marrying another Cherokee woman who bore him children who also became prominent in the Cherokee Nation. This book, written in 1957 by Annie Walker Burns, originally was done in mimeograph with only about 100 copies ever printed. The book documents many of the legends of Nancy Ward and also corrects some misconceptions about her. Her descendants are traced in some detail. Stories are quoted from other sources contemporary with the individuals mentioned. The new edition, edited by Henry Matthew Ward, was retyped to correct many typographical errors and difficult to read syntax. At the same time, he added many footnotes to explain where places mentioned in the book were actually located and the significance of certain individuals appearing in the original book. It was also done to make the book more widely accessible. The new edition is 6 x 9 soft cover with 294 pages and contains an index of all names mentioned in the book (approximately 1750). The retail price is $16.95. (+$3.00 shipping)

Contact information:

Matt Ward
1019 E. Main St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Click here to e-mail Matt

The book is also available through Park Bench Publishing at and

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Nancy Ward (1738 - 1822) Last Beloved Woman of the Cherokee

My research on Nancy Ward is documented in two publications: An Encyclopedia of East Tennessee, published in 1981 and The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, published in 1998. Following is the text of the article published in 1998.

WARD, NANCY (1738-1822), last Beloved Woman of the Cherokees, was born in 1738 at Chota and given the name Nanye-hi which signified "One who goes about," a name taken from Nunne-hi, the legendary name of the Spirit People of Cherokee mythology. Her birth came near the outbreak of a smallpox epidemic that resulted in the deaths of approximately one-half of the Cherokees. The identity of her father is not known, but the Cherokees practiced a matrilineal tradition, and Nanye-hi's mother was Tame Doe, of the Wolf Clan, a sister of Attakullakulla, civil chief of the Cherokee nation.

In her adult years, observers described Nanye-hi as queenly and commanding in appearance and manner and as a winsome and resourceful woman. By age 17 she had two children, Five Killer and Catherine. Her husband was killed in a raid on the Creeks during the 1755 Battle of Taliwa, where she fought by her husband's side, chewing the lead bullets for his rifle to make them more deadly. When he fell in battle, she sprang up from behind a log and rallied the Cherokee warriors to fight harder. Taking up a rifle, she led a charge that unnerved the Creeks and brought victory to the Cherokees.

Because of her valor, the clans chose her as Ghighau, "Beloved Woman" of the Cherokees. In this powerful position, her words carried much weight in the tribal government because the Cherokees believed that the Great Spirit frequently spoke through the Beloved Woman. As Beloved Woman, Nanye-hi headed the Women's Council and sat on the Council of Chiefs. She had complete power over prisoners. Sometimes known as Agi-ga-u-e or "War Woman," she prepared the warriors' Black Drink, a sacred ritual preparatory to war.

Bryant Ward, an English trader who had fought in the French and Indian War, took up residence with the Cherokees and married Nancy in the late 1750s. Ward had a wife, but since Cherokees did not consider marriage a life-long institution, the arrangement apparently presented few problems. Ward and her English husband lived in Chota for a time and became the parents of a daughter, Elizabeth (Betsy). Eventually Bryant Ward moved back to South Carolina, where he lived the remainder of his life with his white wife and family. Nancy Ward and Betsy visited his home on many occasions, where they were welcomed and treated with respect.

Nancy Ward also became respected and well known by settlers moving across the mountains into the Cherokee territory. James Robertson visited her home. John Sevier owed much of his military success to her: on at least two occasions, she sent Isaac Thomas to warn Sevier of impending Indian attacks. She once stopped the warriors of Toqua from burning Lydia Bean at the stake. Ward kept Bean, the wife of Tennessee's first permanent settler, at her home for a time before allowing her to return to Watauga. Ward made good use of the white woman's enforced stay and learned the art of making butter and cheese. Subsequently, Ward bought cattle and introduced dairying to the Cherokees.

Ward exerted considerable influence over the affairs of both the Cherokees and the white settlers and participated actively in treaty negotiations. In July 1781 she spoke powerfully at the negotiations held on the Long Island of the Holston River following settler attacks on Cherokee towns. Oconastota designated Kaiyah-tahee (Old Tassel) to represent the Council of Chiefs in the meeting with John Sevier and the other treaty commissioners. After Old Tassel finished his persuasive talk, Ward called for a lasting peace on behalf of both white and Indian women. This unparalleled act of permitting a woman to speak in the negotiating council took the commissioners aback. In their response, Colonel William Christian acknowledged the emotional effect her plea had on the men and praised her humanity, promising to respect the peace if the Cherokees likewise remained peaceful. Ward's speech may have influenced the negotiators in a more fundamental way because the resulting treaty was one of the few where settlers made no demand for Cherokee land. Before the meeting, the commissioners had intended to seek all land north of the Little Tennessee River. Nevertheless, the earlier destruction of Cherokee towns and the tribe's winter food supply left many Indians facing hunger. As a result of the desperate circumstances, Ward and the very old Oconastota spent the winter in the home of Joseph Martin, Indian Agent to the Cherokees and husband of Ward's daughter Betsy.

Again at the Treaty of Hopewell in 1785, Ward made a dramatic plea for continued peace. At the close of the ceremonies, she invited the commissioners to smoke her pipe of peace and friendship. Wistfully hoping to bear more children to people the Cherokee nation, Ward looked to the protection of Congress to prevent future disturbances and expressed the hope that the "chain of friendship will never more be broken."1 Although the commissioners promised that all settlers would leave Cherokee lands within six months and even gave the Indians the right to punish recalcitrant homesteaders, whites ignored the treaty, forcing the Cherokees to make addional land cessions.

During the 1790's Ward came to be known as Granny Ward because she took in and provided for a number of children. At the same time, she observed enormous changes taking place within the Cherokee nation, as the Indians adopted the commercial agricultural lifestyle of the nearby settlers and pressed for a republican form of government. Unlike the old system of clan and tribal loyalty, the new Cherokee government provided no place for a "Beloved Woman."

The Hiwassee Purchase of 1819 forced Ward to abandon Chota. She moved south and settled on the Ocoee River near present-day Benton. There she operated an inn on the Federal Road until her death in 1822. Her grave is located on a nearby hill beside the graves of her son Five Killer and her brother Long Fellow (The Raven). A monument was erected on her grave in 1923 by the Nancy Ward Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

David Ray Smith, Oak Ridge


(1) James Mooney, Myths of the Cherokees (1900), 490.

Suggested Reading:

Pat Alderman, Nancy Ward, Cherokee Chieftainess (1978); Ben H. McClary, "Nancy Ward: The Last Beloved Woman of the Cherokees," Tennessee Historical Quarterly 21 (1962): 352-364

The above article is printed here with the permission of the Tennessee Historical Society who published the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. They request that any duplication or use of this material in any form be accompanied by written acknowledgement of the copyright source document as the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Thank you for complying with this requirement. Ray Smith

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MUST SEE!!!!Newsweek.MSNBC article featuring Nancy Ward
Click on the above LINK to see a MODERN reference to Nancy Ward as a key figure in a NEWSWEEK feature article on "INFLUENTIAL WOMEN IN POLITICS". Select "JOURNEY INTO THE PAST" and find Nancy Ward as the first woman on the Timeline!!! NEWSWEEK.MSNBC used this web site to contact me for information and to obtain the photograph used in the feature. All of you who have promoted this site and especially those of you who are descendents of Nancy Ward should be proud of this modern day coverage and high recognition for her place in history! ENJOY!!!

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The Role of Women in North Carolina History: An On-Line Workshop

This on-line workshop combines high-quality historical information with interactive Web-based technology, allowing you to earn continuting education credits at your own pace, on your time. Learn how to integrate North Carolina women's history into your social studies curriculum by utilizing the workshop's text, graphics, and Web site links and by interacting with other participants and museum staff via a bulletin board and chat room.

Location: Your own home or school
Cost: $15.00

For more information go to the North Carolina Museum of History web site:

Education Services - Teachers' Workshops: If you are searching for innovative and stimulating staff development experiences, look no further! We have an exciting selection of workshops that combine historical content with innovative classroom applications. For more information, call (919) 715-0200, ext. 304, or e-mail your request to North Carolina Museum of History. Teachers' Workshop "The Role of Women in North Carolina" includes a segment on Nancy Ward. Since its founding in 1902, the North Carolina Museum of History has been an exciting place to explore North Carolina history. Museum staff and volunteers are dedicated to encouraging visitors to discover the past; to reflect on their own lives and their place in history; and to preserve state, regional, and local history for future generations.

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My List of Nancy Ward Links

SmithDRay's Home Page: Who and What is SmithDRay's? Links to all other SmithDRay's pages
Larry Ward's Nancy Ward descendents page:A page of numerous links to other resources plus a great listing of Nancy Ward descendents
The association of the Descendents of Nancy Ward: A page created by David Hampton, President of the Nancy Ward Society
Keys Kousins: Community of Nancy Ward descendents of the Keys family
Cherokee History and Culture Native American history page with lots of great links
Dragging Canoe, Cherokee War Chief: A brief historical sketch of Dragging Canoe's life. He was Nancy's cousin.

For a special treat, check out the beautiful poetry by Katherine "Hair Dark" who is a direct descendent of Dragging Canoe

She has written a special tribute to Dragging Canoe that can be seen at the following link:

Katherine(Hair Dark)'s Dragging Canoe Page

A truly excellent poem in honor of Dragging Canoe written by a direct descendent of the great Cherokee Chiefain.

Links to other SmithDRay Pages:

SmithDRay's Home Page: Who and What is SmithDRay and links to ALL other SmithDRay pages

NEW Section of Pages! Check for updates often...

SmithDRay's INSPIRE Pages!

SmithDRay's Baby Laugh Page
Experience the JOY of sound and the importance of Kids!

SmithDRay's Sunset Page
Experience a Sunset to Raise your Spirits!

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Promotional page for America's Promise to Youth

SmithDRay's Listen Page
Lesson in practical listening to increase understanding

SmithDRay's Beachcomber Page
Wisdom and encouragement to show LOVE through ACTIONS!

SmithDRay's God's Billboards Page
Billboards with simple but strong messages signed - God! They will cause you to think about your relationship with God.

SmithDRay's Flowers and Nature Pages

SmithDRay's Dutch Iris Page
The beauty of Iris and encouragement to ENJOY LIFE!

SmithDRay's Flame Azalea and Dogwood Page
One of the most beautiful scenic views from Gregory's Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains and a Dogwood bloom with thoughts about the BEAUTY OF NATURE.

Additional SmithDRay's Humor Pages

SmithDRay EYES OF FUN Page
Eyes that follow your cursor everywhereThey WATCH YOUR EVERY MOVE

SmithDRay's Optical Illusions Page
Seven Optical Illusions for your viewing pleasure

SmithDRay's SMILEY Pages

SmithDRay's Smiley Page
Smiley page made for sharing with friends to make them SMILE

SmithDRay's 2nd Smiley Page
Smiley page made especially for sharing with children and Grannys to make them SMILE

SmithDRay's Holiday Pages

SmithDRay's 4th of July Page
A holiday page made for sharing with friends and family

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