Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers: Primary Documents on Events of the Period

By David A. Copeland | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Attakulakula Visits King George II, 1730: Native American-English Relations

In 1730 America's newspapers carried a series of articles from London concerning the arrival of foreign dignitaries in the British capital. The reports followed the visit of the king, princes, and generals to the sites of the capital and with the nation's political leaders, including King George II. What made the news reports unique was the fact that these leaders were not from other European countries, Africa, or Asia. From North America, specifically the colony of South Carolina, they were the leaders of the Cherokee nation.

The news accounts refer to the Cherokees as the leaders of a nation, and this element of the story is important. This delegation from the largest group of Native Americans in the British colonies of North America had not been brought to England without purpose. They were there to meet with the prime minister and king in an effort to benefit the British Empire politically and financially. As one article explained,

Sir Alexander Cummings, Bart. The Gentleman who lately arrived from South- Carolina, who brought over the Indian Chiefs from the Cherokee Nation, is now employed in drawing up a new Scheme to be laid before Sir Robert Walpole and the Board of Trade, where the Trade, Riches and Power of the British Nation, and of all his Majesty's Dominions may be increased, the Debts of the Nation paid.1

Before the Cherokees left England, they were treated to royal affairs of state, and they visited privately with King George at Windsor, where the king presented the Cherokees with a purse of money.2 In order to ensure

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