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I recall a starry night in Tennessee many years ago when I heard the traditional story of the Cherokee people's origins from an elder. My emotions were mixed, ranging from "Why hadn't I heard this before?" and being a bit peeved to a sublime sense of relief, resolution and gratitude. After that, my life seemed changed, more "figured out." I felt as though the ancestors had spoken to me. When I stumbled on "Red Man's Origin" in the Oklahoma Historical Society newspaper archives, I had a similar experience. It was electrifying, and I thought to myself, "Here is what has been missing all along!"
From the Inside Flap
This book Red Man's Origin was published by Panther's Lodge as part of its Cherokee Chapbooks Series in November 2011.
The Red Man's Origin presents readers with a glimpse into Cherokee Tribal History. The book focuses on an accurate and clear historical account of George Sahkiyah "Soggy" Sanders, a full-blood who spoke little English and could only read Cherokee. His significance within the Cherokee is discovered in the Red Man's Origin. The publication that drives the content of the book dates back to 1892. In a Cherokee era that was lacking recorded and documented history, the Red Man's Origin embarks on a historical journey.
Indeed the book can easily be read, which in-fact, supports the authenticity of the subject matter. As a reader I found myself reading the book multiple times and reviewing several areas to assist with my comprehension of the material. Personally each time I found or learned a new fact or clue.
The Red Man's Origin offers details that were published and recorded in history; it does not tamper or attempt to misguide history.
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When you do family history sometimes you search through mountains of papers, published and unpublished, looking for that one thing that will progress or confirm your research further back. That Eureka Moment! That Ah ha. Doing Native American, and Ancient buried History research is especially Challenging. I have felt that when I found Choctaw Captain Jeremiah Carney and his father Arthur Carney in the Catholic Church Records in The Church of Immaculate Conception in Mobile. I visited that church as a Child and was Awed by it. Finding that record and getting a copy was spine tingling and encourage further research that took me through Southeast and particularly Spanish East and West Florida Research. For Donald Panther-Yates on his quest of finding his Cherokee Ancestors came across a rare find. A published written story of the Cherokee Ancestor Origins and legends in the New World. These stories are usually handed down Orally, however, just this once a Cherokee had it sat down for posterity. And we are glad he did. While it was not written in original Cherokee it was translated to English with a translator.
“Red Man’s Origin” appeared in the Indian Chieftain, a Vinita, Oklahoma newspaper. It is the words of George Sahkiyah “Soggy” Sanders who became a Senator from Oklahoma though he spoke little English nor wrote any Cherokee. His word were translated by William Eubanks. A Picture of Soggy is in the first few pages of the Book. Donald Panther-Yates along with friends Richard Mack Bettis and Brian Wilkes transcribed the original English Text and added some very interesting notes at the end of the story. A Story that begins with the Cherokee having to leave their flooded homeland, separating clans and reuniting in the New World minus 5 of them. The Clans were reorganized into 7 Clans based on the Yohna Constellation. What’s that you ask. You haven’t heard? Read the book you will be enlightened and engaged.
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