First Peoples of Virginia

The Cherokee in Virginia

The Cherokee nation spread throughout a vast area of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains,covering parts of what are now seven separate states. They retianed their lands in Virginia, west of the New River, until 1763. That year, Cherokee leaders signed a trety with the Virginia house of Burgesses, abandoning claim to the land.

Some Cherokee leaders were furious about the treaty and the land cession. A group of resistance fighters including Cherokee, Creek, and Caucasian British sympathizers, fought a frontier war under Dragging Canoe. Known as the Chickamauga, they raided settlers who occupied that territory for years, until the beginning of the American Revolution.

Cherokee Lands Before 1763

This map shows lands claimed by the Cherokee in Virginia, prior to 1763.