Cherokee's visit London in 1762. Original caption: "The Three Cherokees came over from the head of the River Savanna to London, 1762. 1: Their Interpreter that was Poisoned. 2: Outacite or Man-killer; who Sets up the War Whoop, as, (Woach Woach ha ha hoch Waoch) with his Wampum. 3: Austenaco or King, a great Warrior who has his Calumet or Pipe, by taking a Whiff of which, is their most sacred emblem of peace. 4: Uschesees y Great Hunter, or Scalpper, as the Character of a Warrior depends on the Number of Scalps, he has them without Number. " Cherokee had visited before in 1730. Learn more about that here.
About 200 years ago the Cherokee Indians were one tribe, or "Indian Nation" that lived in the southeast part of what is now the United States. During the 1830's and 1840's, the period covered by the Indian Removal Act, many Cherokees were moved west to a territory that is now the State of Oklahoma. A number remained in the southeast and gathered in North Carolina where they purchased land and continued to live. Others went into the Appalachian Mountains to escape being moved west and many of their descendants may still live there now.
The Cherokees were once a mighty and powerful nation. At the time when the Cherokees came first in contact with the white man (DeSoto in 1540, they claimed some 135,000 square miles of territory covering parts of eight present-day states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia). By the end of the American Revolutionary War, the Cherokees had lost about half of their land in the east. Between 1785 and 1835 the Cherokee lands had shrunk to a few million acres.
By the "Treaty of New Echota" in 1835, all lands east of the Mississippi River were ceded to the Federal Government. (Of the 40 treaties executed with the Cherokees, the Federal Government chose to break each and every one.) As far back as 1782, a group of Eastern Cherokee who fought with the British in the Revolution petitioned the Spanish for permission to settle west of the Mississippi, which was granted. A group of Eastern Cherokee moved in 1794 into the St. Francis River valley in present-day southeastern Missouri. It is probable that there were already Cherokee settled in the Missouri area. Records of how many people, and when, moved "West" are limited. Due to earthquakes and flooding in Missouri, around 1812, most of the Cherokee in Missouri moved into present-day northwestern Arkansas.