EASTERN CHEROKEE CHIEF TSALADIHI (NIMROD J. SMITH) DIED
Born in 1837, near Murphy, North Carolina (NC), Smith’s Cherokee band stayed in the state following the Indian Removal. Nimrod was connected, through his father, to the Watie, Ridge, and Boudinot families. During the Civil War, Nimrod served as First Sergeant, B Company, Cherokee Battalion of the Confederate Army’s Legion of Cherokee Indians & Highlanders, under William Holland Thomas. In 1868, Smith served as clerk to the council that drafted the 1st Eastern Cherokee constitution. Fluent in Cherokee & English, Smith became Principal Chief in 1880. In 1881, he contracted with Indiana Quakers to establish schools for the Tribe. In 1887, Smith hosted ethnologist James Mooney’s 1st visit to the Eastern Band. Nimrod was an ardent anti-assimilationist, but was a Freemason and worked actively & successfully to incorporate the Tribe under state law. Smith retired in 1891. He died on Qualla Boundary—the Eastern Cherokee reservation established in 1876.
Sources: Theda Perdue, “Smith, Nimrod Jarrett,” NCpedia, 1994. Retrieved 1/21/2022, Smith, Nimrod Jarrett | NCpedia Wikipedia Photo: Author unknown, pre-1894. Public Domain.