Early 20th Century, the Rise of Tourism and the Fight for Suffrage

John Witthoft, "Observations on Social Changes Among the Eastern Cherokees"
After removal the Cherokees were subsistence farmers, with problems of alcohol brought in from the white communities and then by indigenous moonshiners, poor housing, inadequate health standards, and in general, lived in proverty. This continued for the most part until in the 1950s when the establishment of the Cherokee Tribal Community Services began to improve housing and provide other services. Although the economic base, which was fundamental in determining cultural and social changes, was threatened by “upper-class forces of exploitation” and “attitudes of great expectations and of dependency,” still Cherokees have survived the interaction of these two forces in the past.
-John Witthoft, "Observations on Social Change Among the Eastern Cherokees," in The Cherokee Indian Nation, Ed. Duane King, (University of Tennessee Press: Knoxville, TN, 1979), 202-222.

John Finger, "Conscription, Citizenship, and 'Civilization': World War I and the Eastern Band of Cherokees."
Living in the remote mountains of North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokees expressed little interest in the outside world, but the BIA and Office of Indian Affairs used World War I to help draw them into the violent realities of the 20th Century. Before American involvement in 1917, American Indians were still not US citizens, although it had always been US policy to promote assimilation into the mainstream of society. Eastern Cherokees were conscripted in the war either agreeably or under protest and by their involvement in the war became more familiar with the modern world and accelerated their assimilation.
-John Finger, "Conscription, Citizenship, and 'Civilization': World War I and the Eastern Band of Cherokees," North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. LXIII, No. 3, (July, 1986), 283-308. Reprinted with permission from the North Carolina Historical Review. For subscriptions and back issues, please write to 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh, NC 27611.

Linda Culpepper, "Mountain Politics: What Happens if the Wrong Party Wins?"
By the mid-1880s, Cherokees, when allowed, voted Republican. In the 1920 Jackson County elections, 79 Cherokees (42 women, 37 men) voted and Democratic Jackson County swung Republican. The vote was immediately challenged and eventually it was decided that Cherokees were not citizens and therefore not allowed to vote. This perhaps is the first time votes were thrown out simply because they were for the wrong party.
-Linda Culpepper, "Mountain Politics: What Happens if the Wrong Party Wins?" Journal of Cherokee Studies, Vol. XVI, 1991, 40-74.

Joe Jennings Report (1946)
Letter from the Superintendent of the Eastern Cherokee Indian Agency to the FBI protesting that Cherokees were not permitted to vote in Swain and Jackson Counties.
-Report, July 31, 1946, Joe Jennings Collection, Series IV, Box 54, Folder 11, East Tennessee State University, Archives of Appalachia.

Joe Jennings Report (1954)
Letter from the Superintendent of the Eastern Cherokee Indian Agency on the list of improvements the Cherokee drew up in 1945. They have achieved the unquestioned right to vote, established the first Indian owned or operated hotel (Boundary Tree Motor Court), increased membership in Qualla Arts and Crafts by more than 2 ½ times and Cherokees involved in tobacco farming had gone from 2 to 89 individuals. Other areas discussed are the outdoor drama “Unto these Hills,” and the Cherokee Historical Association.
-Eastern Cherokee Indians Recent Progress, 1954, Joe Jennings Collection, Series III, Box 11, Folder 8, East Tennessee State University-Archives of Appalachia.

Betty J. Duggan, "Tourism, Cultural Authenticity, and the Native Crafts Cooperative: the Eastern Cherokee Experience"
After dealing very briefly with the history of trade among the Cherokees and the emergence of tourism, Duggan focuses on one of the tourist attractions that is economically profitable, yet culturally informed—the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, the oldest and most successful Native American crafts cooperative in the United States. First describing events which led to its formation, the author sees the Co-op as similar to the gadugi. The Co-op is “another way in which co-operative behavior is traditionally used to accomplish community and tribal goals among Cherokees.” Its economic success is based in part on the reinforcement of the modern Cherokee identity.
-Betty J. Duggan, "Tourism, Cultural Authenticity, and the Native Crafts Cooperative: the Eastern Cherokee Experience," in Tourism and Culture: An Applied Perspective, Ed Erve Chambers, (SUNY Press: New York, 1997), 31-57.

 

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