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The Most Important Diplomat in 1700s North America was a Cherokee Woman Who Saved Washington’s Life and Introduced Dairy to Her Tribe

October 13, 2022
00:00 41:54
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A Cherokee woman named Nanyehi, which means “One Who Goes About” was born in the 1730s in modern-day Tennessee. She stood out at an early age: At 17, she led her tribe to victory against the Creeks. She eventually became the only female voting member of the Cherokee General Council. Nanyehi later married Irish trader Bryant Ward and took the anglicized name Nancy. With her access to many differet cultures, she became one of the most important diplomats in eighteen-century North America, moving among the worlds of the British, Americans, and American Indians.
Nancy Ward was the negotiator of the sale of Kentucky to the Transylvania Company by Daniel Boone, as well as savior to countless settlers and pioneers who helped form the course of American history. She advocated for peaceful coexistence with Europeans and Americans and, later in life, spoke out for Cherokee retention of tribal lands.

Today’s guest is Debra Yates, author of “Woman of Many Names.” Debra is also the seventh-great-granddaughter of Nancy, who had ties to Daniel Boone and George Washington, including having saved the latter’s life (and, it’s believed, vice versa).

We discuss how Nancy Ward innovated among the Cherokees, introducing new loom weaving techniques and chow to successfully raised cows, being the first to introduce that industry among the Cherokees

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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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