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“C” is for Cherokee Path

“C” is for Cherokee Path. The Cherokee Path was one of the most important trade networks of early Carolina, connecting Charleston with the Cherokee Indians of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Following the Yamassee War, traders moved northward through Saluda Old Town and Ninety Six to the Dividing Path on the Savannah River. Here a trail to the west led to Cherokee villages along the Tugaloo River and to the Creeks, but the more traveled northern path alongside the Chattooga and Little Tennessee Rivers accessed the Cherokee lower, middle and upper settlements. These settlements produced quality deer hides, pelts, baskets, and chestnuts. Fort Prince George was built at Keowee in 1753 to protect the trade. Originally only a trail hundreds of miles long, the Cherokee Path was gradually improved and horses replaced Indian bearers.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.