Cherokee Warrior Junaluska Died

A purported photograph of Chief Junaluska from the State ArchivesOn November 20, 1858, distinguished Cherokee warrior Junaluska died. Little is known of his early life. Although he was not chief, Junaluska spoke for the tribe in 1811 when he refused the Shawnee request for the Cherokee to join in fighting against the influx of settlers.

As further indication of his loyalty to the United States, Junaluska recruited 100 warriors to join the war against the Creek Indians in 1813. It is an account from this conflict that credits Junaluska for saving Andrew Jackson’s life at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.

Junaluska returned to his farm in North Carolina and lived a quiet life until Andrew Jackson, then President, called for the removal of Cherokee to Oklahoma in 1838. Junaluska survived the Trail of Tears, but later walked home to North Carolina.

The North Carolina General Assembly granted Junaluska citizenship, 337 acres of land, and $100 in recognition of his military service in 1847 . The land was at Cheoah, near what is now the town of Robbinsville, and was, ironically, part of his property prior to the Cherokee removal.

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