||Attakullakulla Cherokee was a Native American member of the Cherokee tribe.|
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Attakullakulla, or the Little Carpenter, was one of the most important Cherokee chiefs of the 18th century. He was probably born between 1700 and 1710 on the Big Island of the French Broad River (later known as Sevier’s Island) and was a member of the Wolf (Ani-wa-ya) Clan.
One son said that his father was adopted as an infant, but this is not supported by any other account.
His mother was apparently a sister of the chief known as “Old Hop” and his father was probably also a chief. In a late-in-life speech, Old Hop was recorded as saying "It is true that Willenawah and the Little Carpenter are my nephews..."  Willenawah and Killaque were either his brothers or his cousins. Attakullakulla was also recorded as the uncle of Nancy Ward. [Note that exact relationships are uncertain since ‘uncle’ could mean either the mother’s biological brother or simply an older man of her clan.] 
His wife’s name is unknown, but there are several historical references to her. She accompanied him to North Carolina in 1774, where the couple listened to an organ in a church. Attakullakulla was familiar with the instrument, but his wife insisted on seeing the workings as she feared a person was captive inside it.
Attakullakulla had four known sons, Dragging Canoe, Little Owl, The Badger, and Turtle-at-home. Dragging Canoe also became a famous chief. The [possibly apochryphal] story is told that Attakullalulla’s young son asked to accompany his father on a raid. Attakullakulla told the boy he was too young but that when he was strong enough to carry a canoe with the other men he could come with them. Not long after the war party set out, the boy was seen to be following them, dragging a canoe, and thus he received his adult name.
In 1730 as a young man known then as “Oukah naco” or Little Owl, Attakullakulla was one of seven Cherokee men who went to London with Sir Alexander Cuming. We have some idea what he looked like because artist Joshua Reynolds made engravings showing the group. Attakullakulla and the other men signed a “Treaty of Peace and Friendship” with the English while in London. They returned home in October, 1730. Several years after his return home he was taken captive by Ottawa Indians, supporters of the French, and remained with them for several years After his release and return to the Nation he became more influential and by 1755 was accepted as the main spokesman for the Cherokee.
Attakullakulla was known for his diplomatic skills (some suggest that he was called “Little Carpenter” for his ability to forge agreements), negotiating with the British, the various colonial governments, other Indian nations, and the Americans. He befriended John Stuart who became the British Indian Agent for the south, adopting him as a brother and saving his life after the defeat of Fort Loudon in 1760. In 1768 he travelled to Fort Stanwix, New York to help negotiate a peace with the northern tribes. In addition to the London treaty of 1730 he was a signer of many treaties including Hard Labour (1768), Lochaber (1770), Sycamore Shoals (1775), and Long Island (1777). With the exception of one brief period during the American Revolution, Attakullakulla supported the British his entire life.
During the Revolutionary War, Attakullakulla was one of a party of elder Cherokee leaders who ceded lands to Virginia, contrary to the wishes of younger warriors. Attakullakulla's son, Dragging Canoe, the Chickamauga Cherokee leader during the Cherokee-American wars, split with his father during this time. The last record of Attakullakulla is a letter written in 1778 by him pledging support to the British. The actual date and place of his death are unrecorded.  He was succeeded as First Beloved Man by Oconostota.
Notes from the family genealogy files of Philip Lee Smith:
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