A Cherokee delegation will mark the 250th anniversary of the "Emissaries of Peace" journey to London in 1762 with a group tour from June 15th to June 23rd, led by representatives from the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Together, the three Federally-recognized Cherokee tribes are representing their people as ambassadors of goodwill, similar to the "Emissaries of Peace" trip more than 250 years ago.
The Cherokee Nation delegation consists of Jack Baker, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor; Elizabeth Bird, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians; and Phyllis Ashenfelter and B. Lynne Harlan, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Long before the Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the Cherokee Nation was a valued trading partner and important political ally with Great Britain.
That mutual bond was dissolved during the French and Indian War and led to a three-year conflict between the British and the Cherokees.
In November 1761 the Treaty of Long Island resulted in peace between the two nations.
That December, British Junior Officer Ensign Henry Timberlake arrived at the Cherokee Nation capital, present-day Monroe County, Tennessee, and spent several months with the Cherokee people.
In May 1762, the "Emissaries of Peace" led by Ostenaco and including Cherokee leaders Cunne Shote and Woyi, persuaded Timberlake to escort them to London, where they met with King George III. At the meeting, Ostenaco declared his wish for peace and loyalty to the King.
"The 'Emissaries of Peace' tour retraces the journey of British Lt. Henry Timberlake and three Cherokee chiefs in 1762 to meet King George III to cement peace between the two nations.
"With ten treaties signed over 62 years with Great Britain, from Seventeen Twenty-One to Seventeen Eighty-Three, the Cherokee Nation continues to maintain a longstanding international government-to-government relationship with this foreign ally," said Cherokee Nation historian Cathy Monholland in a press release. "This trip also unifies the three Federally-recognized Cherokee tribes in their journey to commemorate this sestercentennial event."
The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign operating government of the Cherokee people. It is a Federally-recognized tribe of more than 300,000 Cherokee citizens, with its capital located in Tahlequah. Employing more than 8,200 people, the Cherokee Nation's annual economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1.3 billion. To learn more, please visit http://www.cherokee.org.
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