Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Echota - Capital of the Cherokee Nation

Center of Cherokee Government
The Cherokee Nation’s capital, New Echota, was located in northwest Georgia. A civil government, businesses, and a printing office were operated there. In 1825 the tribal council began constructing a Council House, a Supreme Court and later the newspaper office. The world’s first Native American language newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, was published there. The newspaper was printed using the Cherokee letters created by Sequoyah. Private homes, stores, a ferry and mission station were built in the outlying area of New Echota. The town was generally quiet. However, several hundred Cherokees filled the town during Council meetings, providing an opportunity for social gatherings.

When gold was discovered on Cherokee land in 1828, the Cherokees were driven from their homes at gunpoint. Their land was stolen from them and redistributed to white settlers through a government-run lottery. The Cherokees were brutally and shamefully treated, as they were driven from their homes and forced to march over 800 miles away from their beloved homeland. Four thousand Cherokees died in the forced march known as the “Trail of Tears”.

Fred and Sherry White visited New Echota in May 2012. Considering the broken treaties and killings that occurred over this area in the past, prayer is needed. They prayed for the Cherokees and for the land stolen from the Cherokees for cleansing and revival.



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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tallulah Gorge - Waterfalls and Eagles

Tallulah Gorge viewed from
the south rimm of the canyon
Tallulah Gorge in northeast Georgia is the site of perpetual struggle. There has always been a struggle here between rushing water and immovable rocks. Native Americans struggled against invading hordes. Conservationists struggled against big corporations who wanted to harness the rushing waters. Thankfully, all was not lost for Tallulah Gorge is an incredible natural beauty.

Tallulah Gorge is widely regarded as a spectacular canyon, two miles long and 1,000 feet deep. The mighty Tallulah River cut through a quartzite rock formation over millions of years to form Tallulah Gorge. The gorge created steep cliffs and beautiful waterfalls known as Tallulah Falls. Tallulah Falls was a series of four main cataracts and several smaller rapids that dropped approximately 350 feet over the course of a mile. The tallest waterfall is Hurricane Falls at almost 100 feet.

The Cherokee Indians inhabited the land surrounding the gorge before European settlers arrived around 1820. Tallulah Gorge became a popular resort area in the late 1800s, particularly after a railroad from Atlanta to the area was built. Georgia Power Company dammed the river and constructed a large hydroelectric facility at the gorge in the early 1900s. Conservationists led by Helen Dortch Longstreet opposed construction of the dam, but their efforts to prevent construction were unsuccessful. The Tallulah Gorge State Park, which preserves part of the site, is one of the most popular state parks with thousands of visitors each year. The gorge is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including many eagles.

I, Fred White, hiked through Tallulah Gorge in April 2012. I prayed for the land and people in the area. It was a wonderful experience. I hope to return often.

One of the many eagles flying over Tallulah Gorge

George Cooke's Tallulah Falls captures three waterfalls in this 1841 painting.

North rim of the canyon reaches heights of 1000 feet above the floor

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