Moytoy of Tellico, (died 1741) (Amo-adawehi in Cherokee, meaning “rainmaker”) was a prominent leader of the Cherokee in the American Southeast. He was given the title of “Emperor of the Cherokee” by Sir Alexander Cumming, a Scots-Anglo trade envoy in what was then the Province of South Carolina, and is regularly referred to as “King” in official English reports, as this was a familiar term of rank to colonists. He was from Great Tellico, an historic Cherokee town in what is now Tennessee.
In 1730 Cumming, a Scottish adventurer with ties to the colonial government of South Carolina, arranged for Moytoy to be crowned emperor over all of the Cherokee towns in a ceremony intended to appeal to Cumming’s colonial sponsors. The Cherokee was crowned in the town of Nikwasi with a headdress referred to as the “Crown of Tannassy.” Cumming arranged to take Moytoy and a group of Cherokee to England to meet King George II. Moytoy declined to go, saying that his wife was ill. Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter) volunteered to go in his place. The Cherokee laid the “Crown” at King George’s feet, along with four scalps.
According to some authorities, Moytoy’s wife was a woman named Go-sa-du-isga,. After the death of Moytoy, his son, Amouskositte, tried to succeed him as “Emperor”. However, by 1753 Conocotocko (Old Hop) of Chota in the Overhill Towns had emerged as the dominant leader in the area.
One of the seven sacred wampum belts still in the possession of the Western Cherokee has the large initials A.M. at one end. The other end has a large square feature that is often seen on wampum belts that are commemorating treaties. There is a very long white “path” connecting the two ends possibly referring to the great distance that separates the two parties. It is possible that this is the belt that is mentioned in and that commemorates the treaty between the British and Amatoya Moytoy (A.M.) in 1730 (Articles of Friendship and Commerce). The Cherokees who are in possession of the belt, however, give a very different interpretation of its meaning.
- Gearing, Fred (1962). Priests and Warriors: Social Structures for Cherokee Politics in the 18th Century.
- Brown, p. 538
- Grant, Ludovic (2008). “Historical Relation of the Facts”. The Journal of Cherokee Studies. XXVI: 64.
- Hoig, Stan (1998). The Cherokees and Their Chiefs: In the Wake of Empire. University of Arkansas Press.
Brown, John P. Old Frontiers. (Kingsport: Southern Publishers, 1938).Sources
- Haywood, W.H. The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement up to the Year 1796. (Nashville: Methodist Episcopal Publishing House, 1891).
- Litton, Gaston L. “The Principal Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation”, Chronicles of Oklahoma 15:3 (September 1937) 253-270 (retrieved August 18, 2006).
- Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee. (Nashville: Charles and Randy Elder-Booksellers, 1982).
- Ramsey, James Gettys McGregor. The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century. (Chattanooga: Judge David Campbell, 1926).
Moytoy of Tellico, "Emperor of the Cherokee" Born c. 1687 Tellico Died 1741 Residence Great Tellico Nationality Cherokee Title First Beloved Man of the Cherokee Successor Amouskositte Moytoy of Tellico (d. 1741) was from Great Tellico. Sir Alexander Cumming, a Scots-Anglo trade envoy from the Province of South Carolina, gave him the title "Emperor of the Cherokee", although he is regularly referred to as "King" in official reports. Moytoy's name in Cherokee was Amo-adawehi, or "rainmaker." In 1730 Cumming, a Scottish adventurer with ties to the colonial government of South Carolina, arranged for Moytoy to be crowned emperor over all of the Cherokee towns in a ceremony intended to appeal to Cumming's colonial sponsors. He was crowned in Nikwasi with a headdress referred to as the "Crown of Tannassy." Cumming arranged to take Moytoy and a group of Cherokee to England to meet King George II. Moytoy declined to go, saying that his wife was ill. Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter) volunteered to go in his place. The Cherokee laid the "Crown" at King George's feet, along with four scalps. According to some authorities, Moytoy's wife was a woman named Go-sa-du-isga,. After his death, his son, Amouskositte attempted to succeed him as "Emperor". However, by 1753 Kanagatucko (Old Hop) of Chota in the Overhill Towns had emerged as the dominant leader in the area. Notes ^ Gearing, Fred (1962). Priests and Warriors: Social Structures for Cherokee Politics in the 18th Century. ^ Grant, Ludovic (2008). "Historical Relation of the Facts". The Journal of Cherokee Studies XXVI: 64. ^ Brown, p. 538 ^ Hoig, Stan (1998). The Cherokees and Their Chiefs: In the Wake of Empire. University of Arkansas Press. Preceded by Wrosetasatow First Beloved Man 1730â€“1741 Succeeded by Amouskositte Sources Brown, John P. Old Frontiers. (Kingsport: Southern Publishers, 1938). Haywood, W.H. The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement up to the Year 1796. (Nashville: Methodist Episcopal Publishing House, 1891). Litton, Gaston L. "The Principal Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation", Chronicles of Oklahoma 15:3 (September 1937) 253-270 (retrieved August 18, 2006). Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee. (Nashville: Charles and Randy Elder-Booksellers, 1982). Ramsey, James Gettys McGregor. The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century. (Chattanooga: Judge David Campbell, 1926). Categories: 1687 births1760 deathsCherokee leaders ------------------------------------------------------------- Sir Alexander Cumings
Sir Alexander Cuming, 2nd Baronet (1691–1775) was a Scottish adventurer to North America; he returned to Britain with a delegation of Cherokee chiefs. He later spent many years in a debtors’ prison.
Cuming was born (according to his manuscript autobiography) in Edinburgh on 18 December 1691. He was the only son of Sir Alexander Cuming, M.P. (c.1670–1725), the first baronet of Culter, Aberdeenshire, by his first wife, Elizabeth; she was the second daughter of the second wife of Sir Alexander Swinton, a Scottish judge.
In 1714 he was called to the Scottish bar, and also held a captain’s commission in the Russian army. From his manuscripts, it seems that Cuming was induced to quit the legal profession by a pension of £300 a year being granted to him by the government at Christmas 1718, and that it was discontinued at Christmas 1721 at the instance, he suggests, of Sir Robert Walpole, who bore a grudge against his father for opposing him in parliament. It is more probable that he was found to be of a too flighty disposition to fulfil the services expected of him.
Voyage to America; the Cherokee delegation
In 1729 Cuming was led, supposedly by a dream of his wife’s, to undertake a voyage to America, with the object of visiting the Cherokee mountains on the borders of South Carolina and Virginia. Leaving England on 13 September, he arrived at Charlestown on 5 December, and on 11 March following he began his journey to the Cherokee Indian country. It was on 3 April 1730 that “by the unanimous consent of the people he was made lawgiver, commander, leader, and chief of the Cherokee nation, and witness of the power of God, at a general meeting at Nequisee, in the Cherokee mountains”. Extracts from his journal, giving an account of his transactions with the Indians and his explorations in the Cherokee mountains, were published in the London Daily Journal of 8 October 1730.
He returned to Charlestown on 13 April 1730, accompanied by seven chiefs of the Cherokee nation, including Attakullakulla, and on 5 June arrived at Dover in the man-of-war Fox; on 18 April he was allowed to present the chiefs to George II in the royal chapel at Windsor, and four days later laid his crown at the feet of the king, when the chiefs laid also their four scalps to show their superiority over their enemies, and five eagle tails as emblems of victory. The proceedings of the chiefs while in England excited great interest. Shortly before they returned to their country, an “Agreement of Peace and Friendship”, was signed with them on 29 September, in the name of the British nation, and with the approval of the Board of Trade: the Cherokees recognized Britain as a sole trading nation, in return for supplies of guns and gunpowder. This agreement was probably the means of keeping the Cherokees as firm allies of Britain in subsequent wars.
By this time some reports seriously affecting Cuming’s character had reached England. In a letter from South Carolina, bearing the date 12 June 1730, an extract from which is given in the Edinburgh Weekly Journal for 16 September, he is directly accused of having defrauded the settlers of large sums of money and other property by means of fictitious promissory notes. He does not seem to have made any answer to these charges, which, if true, would explain his subsequent ill-success and poverty. The government turned a deaf ear to all his proposals, which included schemes for paying off eighty millions of the national debt by settling three million Jewish families in the Cherokee mountains to cultivate the land, and for relieving Britain’s American colonies from taxation by establishing numerous banks and a local currency.
Being now deeply in debt, Cuming turned to alchemy, and attempted experiments on the transmutation of metals. In 1737 he was confined within the limits of the Fleet Prison, but having a rule of court. He remained there until 1765, when, on 30 December of that year, he was nominated a poor brother of the London Charterhouse by Archbishop Secker, and took up residence in the hospital on 3 January 1766. He died there nearly ten years afterwards, and was buried in the church of East Barnet on 28 August 1775. He had been elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1720, but, neglecting to pay the annual fee, was expelled in 1757.
Cuming married Amy, daughter of Lancelot Whitehall, a member of an old Shropshire family, and a commissioner in the customs for Scotland. They had a son, Alexander, born about 1737, and a daughter, Elizabeth, who predeceased him. Amy died during Cuming’s imprisonment, and was buried in East Barnet on 22 October 1743. Their son, who succeeded to the title, was a captain in the army, but became mentally ill, and died some time before 1796 in poverty, in the neighborhood of Red Lion Street, Whitechapel.
- “Cuming, Sir Alexander, second baronet”. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/6891.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Goodwin, Gordon (1888). Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 13. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 294–295.. In