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Old Cherokee Towns

5th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology
J. W. Powell, Director
The Cherokee Nation of Indians by Charles C. Royce
Excerpt, pp. 142-’44
Government Printing Office, 1887

[Click Here to See the List in Alphabetical Order.]

It is perhaps impossible to give a complete list of the old Cherokee towns and their locations; but in 1755 the authorities of South Carolina, in remodeling the old and prescribing new regulations for the for the government of the Indian trade, divided the whole Cherokee into six hunting districts, viz:
1. Over Hill Towns.-Great Tellico, Chatugee, Tennessee, Chote, Toqua, Sittiqo, and Talassee.
2. Valley Towns.-Euforsee, Comastee, Little Telliquo, Cotocanahuy, Nayowee, Tomatly, and Chewohe.
3. Middle Towns.-Joree, Watoge, Nuckasee.
4. Keowee Towns.-Keowee, Tricentee, Echoee, Torsee, Cowee, Torsalla, Coweeshee, and Elejoy.
5. Out Towns.-Tucharechee, Kittowa, Conontoroy, Steecoy, Oustanale, and Tuckasegee.
6. Lower Towns.-Tomassee, Oustestee, Cheowie, Estatoie, Tosawa, Keowee, and Oustanalla.
About twenty years later, Bartram,1 who traversed the country, gives the names of forty-three Cherokee towns and villages then existing and inhabited as follows:

Where situated.
 1. Echoe On the Tanase east of Jore Mountains.
 2. Nucasse    "     "
 3. Whatoga    "     "
 4. Cowe    "     "
 5. Ticoloosa Inland, on the branches of the Tanase.
 6. Jore    "     "
 7. Conisca    "     "
 8. Nowe    "     "
 9. Tomothle On the Tanase over the Jore Mountains.
10. Noewe    "     "
11. Tellico    "     "
12. Clennuse    "     "
13. Ocunnolufte    "     "
14. Chewe    "     "
15. Quanuse    "     "
16. Tellowe    "     "
17. Tellico Inland towns on the branches of the Tanase and other waters over Jore Mountains.
18. Chatuga    "     "
19. Hiwasse    "     "
20. Chewase    "     "
21. Nuanha    "     "
22. Tallase Overhill towns on the Tanase or Cherokee River.
23. Chelowe    "     "
24. Sette    "     "
25. Chote, great    "     "
26. Joco    "     "
27. Tahasse    "     "
28. Tamahle    "     "
29. Tuskege    "     "
30. -- -- Big Island    "     "
31. Nilaque    "     "
32. Niowe    "     "
33. Sinica Lower towns east of the mountains on the Savanna or Keowe River.
34. Keowe    "     "
35. Kulsage    "     "
36. Tugilo Lower towns east of the mountains on Tugilo River.
37. Estotowe    "     "
38. Qualatche Lower towns on the Flint River.
39. Chote    "     "
40. Estotowe, great Towns on the waters of other rivers.
41. Allagae    "     "
42. Jore    "     "
43. Naeoche    "     "

Mouzon’s map of 1771 gives the names of the several Lower Cherokee towns not already mentioned. Among these may be enumerated, on the Tugalco River and its branches, Turruraw, Nayowee, Tetohe, Chagee, Tussee, Chicherohe, Echay, and Takwashnaw; on the Keowee, New Keowee, and Quacoretche; and on the Seneca, Acounee.
In subsequent years, through frequent and long continued conflicts with the ever advancing white settlements and the successive treaties whereby the Cherokees gradually yeild portions of their domain, the location and names of their towns were continually changed until the final removal of the nation west of the Mississippi.2
1. [William] Bartram’s Travels in North America from 1773 to 1778, p. 371
2. From a distribution roll of the Cherokee annuities paid in the year 1799 it appears that there were then 51 Cherokee towns, designated as follows: Oostinawley, Creek Path, Aumoia, Nickojack, Running Water, Ellijay, Cabben, High Tower, Pine Log, High Tower Forks, Tocoah, Coosaway, Shoemeck, Aumuchee, Tulloolah, Willstown, Achohee, Cuclon, Duck-town, Ailigulsha, Highwassee, Tennessee, Lookout Mountain, Noyohee, Tusquittee, Coosa, Nantiyallee, Saukee, Kenyukee, Red Bank, Nukeza, Cowpens, Telassee, Buffalo Town, Little Tellico, Rabbit Trap, Notley, Turnip Mountain, Sallicoah, Kautika, Tausitu, Watoga, Cowee, Chillhoway, Chestnee, Turkey Town, Toquah, Chota, Big Tellico, and Tusskegee.


Old Cherokee Town Names
In Alphabetical Order

These town names apparently take two forms. First is the transliteration, where the Cherokee word is spelled phonically. An example is “Cotocanahuy.” We can pronounce the word, we can not see the meaning of it (unless you speak Cherokee, of course). The other form is the translation. A town name such as “Rabbit Trap” may be a direct translation from the Cherokee.
Achohee; Acounee; Ailigulsha; Allagae; Aumoia; Aumuchee.

-- -- Big Island; Big Tellico; Buffalo Town.

Cabben; Chagee; Chatuga; Chatugee; Chelowe; Cheowie; Chestnee; Chewase; Chewe; Chewohe; Chicherohe; Chillhoway; Chota, Chote; Chote, great; Clennuse; Comastee; Conisca; Conontoroy; Coosa; Coosaway; Cotocanahuy; Cowe; Cowee; Coweeshee; Cowpens; Creek Path; Cuclon.


Echay; Echoee; Echoe; Elejoy; Ellijay; Estatoie; Estotowe; Euforsee.

Great Tellico.

High Tower; High Tower Forks; Highwassee, Hiwasse.

Joco; Jore; Joree.

Kautika; Kenyukee, Keowe; Keowee; Kittowa; Kulsage.

Little Tellico; Little Telliquo; Lookout Mountain.

Naeoche; Nantiyallee, Nayowee; New Keowee; Nickojack; Nilaque; Niowe; Noewe; Notley; Nowe; Noyohee; Nuanha; Nucasse; Nuckasee; Nukeza.

Ocunnolufte; Oostinawley; Oustanale; Oustanalla; Oustestee.

Pine Log.

Quacoretche; Qualatche; Quanuse.

Rabbit Trap; Red Bank; Running Water.

Sallicoah; Saukee; Seneca; Sette; Shoemeck; Sinica; Sittiqo; Steecoy.

Tahasse; Takwashnaw; Tallase; Talassee; Tamahle; Tausitu; Telassee; Tellico; Tellowe; Tennessee; Tetohe; Ticoloosa; Tocoah; Tomassee; Tomatly; Tomothle; Toqua; Toquah, Torsee; Torsalla; Tosawa; Tricentee; Tucharechee; Tuckasegee; Tugilo; Tulloolah; Turkey Town, Turnip Mountain; Turruraw; Tuskege; Tusquittee; Tussee; Tusskegee.

Watoga, Watoge; Whatoga; Willstown.

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