Turkeytown (Cherokee town)

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The Native American settlement of Turkeytown (Cherokee: "Gun'-di'ga-duhun'yi"), sometimes "Turkey's Town", was named for the original founder of the settlement, the Chickamauga Cherokee chief, Little Turkey. At one point, the village stretched for approximately 25 miles along both banks of the Coosa River, and became the largest of the contemporary Cherokee towns.[1]

Turkeytown was the original site of the US military outpost of Fort Armstrong (later Fort Lovell) established in December, 1813 as ongoing protection for the area, and was originally garrisoned entirely by Cherokee soldiers.


Turkeytown was settled in 1788. The town was established by Little Turkey during the Chickamauga Wars as a refuge for him and his people from the hostilities then being engaged in between the Cherokee and the American frontiersmen.

John Ross was born to Daniel Ross, an immigrant Scots trader and his Cherokee wife, Mollie McDonald on October 3, 1790. John would later become the most eminent Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.[2]

The town was facing attack by the Red Stick Indians (a hostile faction of the Creek) during the Creek War in October 1813. Turkeytown chief, and Principal Chief of the Cherokee, Pathkiller, asked Andrew Jackson for help. Jackson responded by dispatching a detachment, led by General James White and including many Cherokee soldiers, to relieve the town.


Much of the original site of Turkeytown is now underwater, due to the impoundment of the Coosa River which formed Lake Weiss.[3] The current day community of Turkey Town in Cherokee County, Alabama is less than ten miles southwest of Centre, Alabama and near the original site of the town.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Path Killer Tombs
  2. ^ Moulton, Gary E. John Ross, Cherokee Chief. University of Georgia Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8203-2367-1, p.2.
  3. ^ Vicki Rozema, "Footsteps of the Cherokees: a Guide to the Eastern Homelands of the Cherokee Nation"; John F. Blair, pub.; Winston-Salem, NC; 1995)