Discovering the real Chief Charles Hicks . . . No wonder I am pulling my hair out!

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner

I have had it! I am turning off my computer and going outside to mow the lawn before the tornadoes roar over Georgia tonight. Yesterday and this morning I have been plodding through a legion of Cherokee histories and Cherokee genealogies. When you follow the trails of references cited by academicians, they all are based on undocumented speculations by dime novel authors, amateur historians and delusional wannabes, who want to be descended from a famous Cherokee chief or princess in Chota. None of the above are the slightest aware that Chota was really named Chote (it’s on the maps) and that Chote is an Itza Maya word for a related people in Tabasco State, Mexico, who were the progenitors of the Olmec Civilization.

The Oklahoma and Tennessee authors of these articles don’t know diddlysquat about Georgia’s and Alabama’s geography. They seem to think that any point north of the Florida Line was the CNE (Cherokee Nation East). In addition, they will say that Nancy Ward was either Charles Hicks’ mother or wife. If Nancy Ward was his mother, they will have Charles’ oldest brother born when Nancy was five years old. Various Hicks Family Genealogies have different names for Charles Hicks siblings and his children, in order to prove they are descended from him. Yes, these people are crazy as loons!

Specifically, I am trying to create an accurate biography for Charles Renatus Hicks . . . the man who almost single-handedly brought about the remarkable Cherokee Renaissance in the early 1800’s. For unknown reason, Cherokee-owned and Cherokee-themed state museums barely mention him, if at all. One must dive into the online genealogies and obscure academic papers to get any information.

Here is one example and I am out of here

One reasonably solid starting point is the repeated statement: “Charles Renatus Hicks was born on December 23, 1767 in the village of Tamale (Broomtown) on the Hiwassee River in Georgia, Cherokee Nation East. His father, Nathaniel, operated a trading post near the village of Tamale.” There are some problems with even this simple statement.

  • Tamale was a Creek Tribal Town, with a Mesoamerican name. It was originally on the Altamaha River in southeast Georgia and called Tama by the Spanish.
  • Until 1785, all of the Georgia portion of the Hiwassee River was in the territory of the Creek Confederacy.
  • The Cherokee Nation did not exist until 1821. Prior to that it was a traditional tribal government.

Broom was the last name of Charles Hicks main squeeze (he kept several other women as secondary wives and concubines). Nancy Broom’s father was “Cherokee” Chief Dutch Tauchee Broom “Old Tassel” Corntassel. The chief was at least one half Dutch or Dutch Jewish. I looked him up.

The internet references, such as Wikipedia, stated that Chief Broom was born in the town of Tamale, Cherokee Nation East, in 1800 in present-day Worth County, Georgia. Wait a minute. Worth County is in Southwest Georgia on the Flint River. That was never anywhere near the Cherokee lands.

Apparently, when the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson stole the Itsate (Hitchiti) Creek lands in southwest Georgia to make room for cotton plantations and the Christian institution of slavery, the Tamale village, where Chief Broom was born, moved north to the Georgia Mountains, where several other bands of Itsate Creeks lived. In 1785, they found themselves in Cherokee territory, but elected to stay put and throw their lot with the Cherokees, rather than moving to Florida to join the Seminoles.

The mother of Charles Hicks had a German father. If we look at the credible information and a map, it becomes obvious that Charles Hicks was one-half Scottish, one-fourth German and at most, one-fourth Itsate Creek. He had no ethnic Cherokee ancestry. That is a very different version of the past than what you will read in orthodox history books . . . even if they do mention the name of Charles Hicks.

Now you know! I’m outa here!

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