Valley River Resistance
When troops arrived in the summer of 1838 to enforce Removal in Western North Carolina, several hundred Cherokees hid in the Snowbird and Hanging Dog Mountains. In the Valley River area, a small number of Cherokees who had received exemptions from Removal worked to conceal and supply the fugitives, providing food and information on the soldiers’ activities. The home of John Welch, a prosperous Cherokee farmer, was a center of this resistance. After Removal, some of the Cherokee fugitives formed a new community on Welch’s land.
Image: A Cherokee man eludes pursuing soldiers; art by Brett Riggs