Cherokee leader and “Beloved Woman”
Born: c. 1738
Birthplace: Chota, Tenn
Nanye-hi was the niece of Attakullakulla, a Cherokee chief who counseled peace with the whites, and cousin of Dragging Canoe, a celebrated Cherokee warrior. She assisted her husband, Kingfisher, in a battle against the Creek Indians in 1755. After her husband was killed in action, Nanye-hi took up his gun and urged the Cherokees on to victory. Her heroism was rewarded with the title of honor, “Beloved Woman” (Ghighua).
As Beloved Woman, she sat on the tribal council, participated in important ceremonies, and negotiated with the whites. She was one of the negotiators of the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell, the first treaty between the newly formed United States and the Cherokees. She brought innovations from the white world to the Cherokees, including textile weaving and raising cattle. She later married a white innkeeper, Brant Ward, and became known as Nancy Ward. As relations between the U.S. government and the Cherokees grew strained, she began urging her people not to sell off any further land. An 1819 treaty ceded Chota, her birthplace and home, and she was forced to move.Died: 1824