Moytoy of Tellico

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Moytoy of Tellico, "Emperor of the Cherokee"
Born c. 1687
Died 1741
Residence Great Tellico
Nationality Cherokee
Title First Beloved Man of the Cherokee
Successor Amouskositte

Moytoy of Tellico, (d. 1741)[1] (Amo-adawehi in Cherokee, meaning "rainmaker.")[2] was a prominent leader of the Cherokee in the American Southeast. He was given the title of "Emperor of the Cherokee" by Sir Alexander Cumming, a Scots-Anglo trade envoy in what was then the Province of South Carolina, and is regularly referred to as "King" in official English reports, as this was a familiar term of rank to colonists.[3] He was from Great Tellico, an historic Cherokee town in what is now Tennessee.

In 1730 Cumming, a Scottish adventurer with ties to the colonial government of South Carolina, arranged for Moytoy to be crowned emperor over all of the Cherokee towns in a ceremony intended to appeal to Cumming's colonial sponsors. The Cherokee was crowned in the town of Nikwasi with a headdress referred to as the "Crown of Tannassy." Cumming arranged to take Moytoy and a group of Cherokee to England to meet King George II. Moytoy declined to go, saying that his wife was ill. Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter) volunteered to go in his place. The Cherokee laid the "Crown" at King George's feet, along with four scalps.

According to some authorities, Moytoy's wife was a woman named Go-sa-du-isga,. After the death of Moytoy, his son, Amouskositte, tried to succeed him as "Emperor". However, by 1753 Kanagatucko (Old Hop) of Chota in the Overhill Towns had emerged as the dominant leader in the area.[4]


  1. ^ Gearing, Fred (1962). Priests and Warriors: Social Structures for Cherokee Politics in the 18th Century. 
  2. ^ Brown, p. 538
  3. ^ Grant, Ludovic (2008). "Historical Relation of the Facts". The Journal of Cherokee Studies. XXVI: 64. 
  4. ^ Hoig, Stan (1998). The Cherokees and Their Chiefs: In the Wake of Empire. University of Arkansas Press. 
Preceded by
First Beloved Man
Succeeded by


  • Brown, John P. Old Frontiers. (Kingsport: Southern Publishers, 1938).
  • Haywood, W.H. The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement up to the Year 1796. (Nashville: Methodist Episcopal Publishing House, 1891).
  • Litton, Gaston L. "The Principal Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation", Chronicles of Oklahoma 15:3 (September 1937) 253-270 (retrieved August 18, 2006).
  • Mooney, James. Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee. (Nashville: Charles and Randy Elder-Booksellers, 1982).
  • Ramsey, James Gettys McGregor. The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century. (Chattanooga: Judge David Campbell, 1926).