Oconostota used his role as “Great Warrior of Chota” to help shape the path of both the Cherokee nation and the new American nation.
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CHEROKEE WAR CHIEF
Oconostota (c. 1710–1783) was an active participant in a constantly changing social and political landscape of the mid-18th century. Elected as a “Great Warrior of Chota” by the Cherokee “Metropolis” town of Chota – a position akin to a warrior politician – Oconostota demonstrated his ability to navigate colonial relations on behalf of the community he represented.
INFLUENCING WESTERN RELATIONS
His influence was sought after by many powers, western and Indigenous alike.
The French recognized Oconostota's participation in the French and Indian War by bestowing the title of Captain on him in 1761. He also dealt directly with British colonial powers in the Carolinas and Virginia, including a direct correspondence to Lord Dunmore in 1775.
SHAPING A NEW NATION
He was part of a Cherokee delegation that came to Williamsburg in 1777 to discuss future relations between his nation and the newly free Commonwealth of Virginia, and possibly traveled with earlier delegations to Williamsburg.
Oconostota is one of the many tribal officials who helped shape the path of both the Cherokee nation and the new American nation.
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