Today the Cherokee delegation and group tour participants left Oklahoma to mark the 250th anniversary of the “Emissaries of Peace” journey to London in 1762. Together, the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes are representing their people as ambassadors of goodwill similar to the “Emissaries of Peace” trip more than 250 years ago. The Cherokee Nation delegation consists of Jack Baker, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor; Elizabeth Bird, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians; and Phyllis Ashenfelter and B. Lynne Harlan, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. We will travel the long journey from Oklahoma and North Carolina to London and explore historic sites along the way including Plymouth, Exeter Cathedral, Wilton House, home of 18th Earl of Pembroke, 15th Earl of Montgomery, Stonehenge, Egremont House in Piccadilly Circus, Suffolk Street, the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace, Green Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Houses of Parliament, among other sites. If you’re not familiar with the Emissaries of Peace journey, here’s a brief history lesson:Long before the Revolutionary War, the Cherokee Nation was a valued trading partner and important political ally with Great Britain. That mutual bond was dissolved during the French and Indian War and led to a three-year conflict between the British and the Cherokees. In November 1761 the Treaty of Long Island resulted in peace between the two nations. That December, Junior Officer Ensign Henry Timberlake arrived at the Cherokee Nation capital, present-day Monroe County, Tennessee, and spent several months with the Cherokee people. In May 1762, the “Emissaries of Peace” led by Ostenaco and including Cherokee leaders Cunne Shote and Woyi, persuaded Timberlake to escort them to London, where they met with King George III. At the meeting, Ostenaco declared his wish for peace and loyalty to the King.
This should be a great trip! We are all very excited about what's to come for us and how we will learn about our ancestors who took this same trip 250 years ago!
More to come when we arrive in England! Lauren Jones Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Interpretive Supervisor