Photo of Cherokee Conjurer, Junaluska

Proof that there is much missing from the history books!

by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner

The old man is obviously near the end of his days. Because of diabetes, he is blind and one leg has been amputated. Very strange though . . . he is wearing a Medieval alchemist’s cap with magic symbols on it . . . which was actually the cap worn by Zoroastrian maggi and haggi in the Middle East. Maggi (as in the story of the birth of Jesus) were priest-astronomers. Haggi were priests, who started fires magically and then summoned demons from the fires. Why was a Cherokee leader wearing this cap? Why would he even know that such an exotic garment from the Middle East existed?

At the time of the Trail of Tears, Junaluska (Cherokee: Tsunu’lahun’ski) [c.1775 – October 20, 1868] was leader of a band of Cherokees, who lived outside the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation in present day Haywood County, NC. However, he is best known in mainstream history books as the Cherokee warrior, who saved the life of General Andrew Jackson during the Redstick Creek War. A few weeks later, during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814, Junaluska swam across the Tallapoosa River, to push Creek canoes into the river, so they could not escape. A little later, Junaluska’s company stood on the banks of the river and shot any Redstick Creeks, who attempted to swim to safety.

Tourists are never told this, but at the onset of the Cherokee Removal in 1838, Junaluska struck a deal with the US soldiers. He offered to use his men to hunt down Cherokees, who were hiding in remote mountain coves, if in return, his band could stay in North Carolina. Soon, Junaluska was asked to capture a man the Cherokees called Tsali, plus his family, who escaped soldiers in the mountains of eastern Towns County, GA.

Approximate location of Tchali’s farmstead on Betty’s Creek near Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School – Rabun County, Georgia

This man’s real name was Tchali (Charlie) Uchee. Tchali had taken an allotment in 1817 in the Dillard Valley of Rabun County, GA. The location of his farmstead is immediately south of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School. There was a community of Uchee living there under the leadership of a woman, who the whites’ called Betty Uchee. Legally, he was a citizen of Georgia and not even a Cherokee. He should have not been molested by US soldiers, but apparently did not speak English well . . . or else the soldiers didn’t care.

After Tchali and his sons were quickly condemned to death for striking US soldiers, Junalusaka volunteered to lead the all-Cherokee firing squad that executed them as “a sign of good faith.” There are no records of ANY soldiers being killed by Cherokees during the roundup, so the sentence was just as illegal as the fact that the family had been marched away from their home. The Cherokee outdoor drama, “Unto These Hills” portrays US Army regulars executing Tchali and his sons.

Apparently, the US Army reneged on the deal, but Junaluska was able to escape somewhere in Tennessee then return to the Smoky Mountains. His band of escapees settled in what is now Graham County, NC. They were joined by other Cherokees, who had been in hiding or who had escaped. This group became known as the Snowbird Cherokee Band.


  1. A several-time-great-grandmother was from them. I know Inuit sacred-persons (shon-mans, shape-shifters) wear the witch cap, but never heard of it among the old-timers. Most witches wound up with an ax in the chest and cedar or a tuft of sod stuffed in the mouth. That ancient granny nearly did. Her decedent, Nana, never did like Dad. One of his ancestors was old-man Demon-Killer, a witch hunter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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