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.
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.
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Cherokee experiences cultural exchange in England
The Cherokee Nation citizen arrived in London on May 22 to work as a liaison and intern. He assisted with the “Emissaries of Peace” tour organized by Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism and guided delegations from the CN, United Keetoowah Band and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians when they arrived on June 15 to tour England.
The “Emissaries of Peace” tour retraced the journey of British Lt. Henry Timberlake and three Cherokee chiefs in 1762 to meet King George III to cement peace between the two nations.
“Everywhere I went I was welcomed with hospitality and kindness,” Still said. “I was fortunate to be able to travel much of the southern country and was surprised to see all the country and woods that they have. It is probably one of the most beautiful places I have had the honor of experiencing in my life.”
Still said his initial plan was to act as a tour guide for the Cherokee delegation. Eventually he took on the role of an ambassador by dressing in traditional Cherokee clothing, introducing the delegation in Cherokee and singing songs in Cherokee for English hosts.
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