Oglethorpe’s brief “Some Account of the Cherokees” appeared on July 29, 1762, in the London Chronicle and the Gazeteer and London Daily Advertiser. It was there attributed to the general.1 Ettinger seems to have been the first biographer to mention it.2 It was probably elicited by the publicity that attended the visit of three Cherokee chiefs to England in the summer of 1762, and it probably responded to some of the censure of their conduct during their visit, especially their drinking and wenching.3 I reprint from the London Chronicle.
ON the back of Georgia and Carolina are three considerable nations, called the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Creeks, or Uschesees.4 The Cherokees inhabit among the mountains, from whence the river Savanna descends. These Indians are not the most warlike, nor of the larger stature;5 but are more accustomed to labour and live upon corn than to procure their sustenance by hunting. They have about 5000 warriors or hunters;6 for the Indian nations are divided into two kinds of men: Those who they call warriors, or hunters, are like the ancient gentlemen in Europe, whose single profession was arms and chace.
These Indians look upon the end of life to be living happily. For this purpose their whole customs are calculated to prevent avarice, which they say embitters life; and nothing is a severer reflection among them, than to say that a man loves his own. To prevent the rise and propagation of such a vice, they, upon the death of any Indian, burn all that belongs to the deceased,7 that there may be no temptation for the parent to hoard up a superfluity of arms and domestic conveniencies, their chief treasures, for his children. They strengthen this custom by a superstition, that it is agreeable to the souls of the deceased to burn all they leave, and that afflictions follow them who use any of their goods. They cultivate no more land than is necessary for their plentiful subsistence and hospitality to strangers. They use neither horses nor ploughs in agriculture; but instead of ploughing or digging, hoe their fields by common labour. The rest of the year they spend in hunting; and when they are injured by any other nation, as supposing one of their own nation to be killed, they send to demand satisfaction; but if this is refused, they make reprisals upon the first they can take of the nation that committed the injury. Thus their wars begin, which are very frequent, and carried on with great rage, there not being any people in the world braver, or more dextrous in the use of their arms and manner of fighting among woods and mountains, none more patient of labour, or swifter on foot.