Nancy Ward Gravesite
The gravesite of Nancy Ward is located off of Old Highway 411 in Benton, Tennessee. This historical gravesite was erected in 1822, when Nancy Ward passed away, but didn't receive historical recognition until half a decade later in 1923 .The gravesite holds flowers and gifts and contains a monument of stones as her headstone. Ward was well-respected for being a peacekeeper between the Cherokee people and the white settlers who were trying to take their land. The sight is accessible to the public and is located in the Nancy Ward Gravesite National Park just south of Benton, Tennessee.
Backstory and Context
Although there were strong tensions among Native Americans and the British Settlers, Nancy Ward worked with the American militia to prevent any of her people being killed. In 1776, Ward warned John Sevier, an American soldier, politician, and one of Tennessee’s founding fathers, of a possible attack by the Cherokee. She wanted to prevent gun violence and the killing of any Cherokee or American settlers. In 1780, she proceeded to warn the Americans again about a possible Cherokee uprising. These warnings were a general warning for both militias to prevent bled shed as well as to lead to negotiations among the Cherokee and settlers. Five years later, in 1785, Ward negotiated friendship with American politicians, soldiers, and citizens to form the Treaty of Hopewell. Although she didn’t sign the Treaty, her brother Longfellow did. Nancy Ward is also credited with introducing cattle into the Cherokee economy. Because of changes in land, environment, and politics, the Cherokee were forced to learn American homemaking skills due to the lack of food they were receiving from hunting. She knew dairy cattle would provide milk, cheese, and butter while other cattle could be killed for meat. The introduction of cattle to the Cherokee helped the tribe maintain themselves during this turbulent period.
Nancy Ward. Encyclopedia Britannica. May 11, 2018. Accessed October 01, 2018. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Nancy-Ward.
Pesantubbee, Michelene E. "Nancy Ward: American Patriot or Cherokee Nationalist?." The American Indian Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 2, 177-206. Published Spring 2014. University of Nebraska Press.