Early Cherokee Native American Indian History 1500's
Ancient American Indian Civilizations
The Spanish (Hernando de Soto and an army of 1000 men) journeyed from
Florida (around today's Panama City) up through the area around modern
day Columbia, South Carolina, westward to Cherokee land near Union, SC.
through Spartanburg, SC and northward towards western North Carolina.
- The Spaniards explored the Asheville North Carolina area in the
early 1500's searching for gold.
- Hernando de Soto made contact with the Cherokee Indians of the
North Carolina area at Tryon, North Carolina or Xuala in the
Cherokee language, Saluda in English and means the bushy place. This
area appears to be "bushy" when viewed from the mountains above
Tryon because the area is covered with a very bushy scrub oak
instead of the usual tall trees of the mountains..
- The Cherokee Indians of Tryon gave de Soto and his men
- Hernando de Soto did not stay over 2 days in Tryon.
- Next, Hernando de Soto and his army went to Gauxuile or
- A public walk existed all around the perimeter of Asheville.
Cherokee Native American Tribes met in Asheville to race. Jua
Gauxule in Cherokee means "The Place where they Race"
- From Asheville, the Spaniards went to an aok grove alongside a
river which was the Pigeon River at Canton.
- The next day, the Spaniards passed through Canasoga (In the
Cherokee language means "against the slopes" or Bethel Church and
stayed the night in a broad flat valley (Hazelwood west of
- The Spaniards crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains and stayed the
night next to a swamp (above Sylvia)
- From here, the Spaniards went to an area just below today's
Cherokee Indian Reservation.
- The next day, the Spaniards camped near Bryson City.
- Then the Spaniards crossed the little Tennessee River where it
intersects the Tuskasegee River.
- Then the Spaniards entered Chiaha located on an Island in the
Little Tennessee River.
- From here they journeyed westward towards the Mississippi River
through Arkansas. They crossed the Mississippi twice, where Hernando
de Soto died from fever.
- Very few of the Spaniards survived this exploration trip.
Reference: Ho, Cynthia, Sawin, Sheryl, Spellman, W.M., The
Asheville Reader: The Medieval and Renaissance World, Pegasus Press,
Asheville, NC, 1998. pgs.395 -396.