Nancy Ward (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Nancy Ward was a chief of the Cherokee Nation and a staunch advocate of peace between Indians and European settlers.
Nancy Ward was born in the capital of the Cherokee Nation to an important Cherokee family. Nancy and her husband, King Fisher, fought against the Creeks in 1755 in the Taliwa battle. King Fisher was mortally wounded, and legend has it that Nancy fought so valiantly that the Cherokee declared her “Most Honored Woman”—a powerful distinction. Shortly after being widowed, Nancy married Bryant Ward, an English trader who had come to Chota. Nancy Ward is described as a strikingly beautiful woman with rose-colored skin. Because of this attribute, she was given the nickname “Wild Rose.” She had two children by each of her husbands.
In 1775, the Cherokee met with English agents at Sycamore Shoals in what is now eastern Tennessee. The issues were whether more land should be sold to the English and what role the Cherokee should play in the English-American conflict. There was disagreement among the Cherokee chiefs as to which side to favor, but they needed weapons, and selling land to the English seemed to be the only way to obtain what they needed. Nancy Ward's voice was one of peace—in opposition to her cousin, Dragging Canoe, who desired weapons to drive the settlers east across the Appalachian Mountains. In 1776, it was decided to wage war against the white people. Nancy Ward prepared the...
(The entire section is 398 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!