The Anglo-Cherokee Alliance, 1730–1753
This chapter discusses the beginnings of an Anglo-Cherokee Alliance, which had been established under dubious circumstances, beginning with the madcap adventure of a Scotsman, Sir Alexander Cuming, who had ventured to Indian territory hoping to secure such an economic and military alliance without royal appointment in 1729. Complicating the picture were the ongoing tensions between the British and the French, the latter of whom also had an economic stake in generating an alliance with the natives. The Cherokees were themselves at the center of a prosperous deerskin trade, albeit reaping these profits also made them dependent on British goods in exchange. For this and many other reasons the Cherokees eventually consented to an alliance with the British, linked together in a symbolic “Chain of Friendship,” even as it was forged amid cultural misunderstandings and bureaucratic machinations.
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