Great Great Grandpa Hughes (hereafter referred to as GGG Hughes) was married to Great Great Grandmother Hughes (hereafter referred to as GGGrandmother), who was a Cherokee Matriarch, and as such, a landowner, as land owning was understood by the Cherokee. The worked fields she managed would pass to her children through her line, not her husbands.
GGG Hughes worked the trading angles with the new nation of the United States of America, and had contacts with shipping companies which would either purchase and ship their product, or just charge shipping for a product with a buyer overseas. It was less risky to sell the product outright, and let the shipping companies handle the risks thereafter. Any kind of shipping disaster could take out the profit for the whole season. GGG Hughes liked feeling secure. He preferred to play the business game with guarantees, even if it meant less profits.
He and GGGrandmother made a good team. She was a hard headed farm manager with a no-nonsense attitude. She worked just as hard as those she directed, and she didn't take any flack from anyone. In her culture, her word was law. She and her sister Cherokee wise women directed the running of all the Cherokee Guild business.
Having all this responsibility sat well on GGGrandmother's shoulders, but there was a feeling of uneasiness building within her community. She knew of the Jeffersonian push that was removing her culture from the area, even if she didn't have a name for it. The ways of her people were slowly being irradicated. The warriors ways were already being overturned by the rapid advance of this new "White man's" culture. It had already been written about as early as 1789, only 40 years ago, by a Mohegan petition to a white man's assembly as, to whit:
"Yea the times have turned everything Upside down, or rather we have Chang'd the good Times, Chiefly by the help of the White People. For in times Past our Fore-Father's lived in Peace, Love and great harmony, and had everything in Great Plenty. When they Wanted meat they would just run into the Bush a little ways with their Weapons and would soon bring home good venison, Racoon, Bear, Fowl. If they Choose to have Fish, they Wo'd only go to the River or along the Sea Shore and they wou'd presently fill their cannous With Veriety of Fish, both Scaled and shell Fish, and they had abundance of Nuts, Wild Fruit, Ground Nuts and Ground Beans, and they planted but little Corn and Beans and they kept no Cattle or Horses for they needed none. And they had no Contention about their Lands, it lay in Common to them all, and they had but one large Dish and they Cou'd all eat together in Peace and Love. But alas, it is not so now, all our Fishing, Hunting and Fowling is entirely gone. And we have now begun to Work on our Land, keep Cattle, Horses and Hogs and We Build Houses and fence in Lots, and now we plainly See that one Dish and one Fire will not do any longer for us. Some few there are Stronger than others and they will keep off the poor, weak, the halt and the Blind, and Will take the Dish to themselves. Yea they will rather Call White People and Molattoes to eat With them out of our Dish, and poor Widows and Orphans Must be pushed one side and there Must Set a Crying, Starving and Die."
GGGrandmother's women's council ways had always been ignored by the new culture as though they didn't exist at all. And now here was a new requirement made by the White Man's government, telling her that if she wanted to keep her lands, she must deny her heritage and become a citizen of the U.S. Trouble was, women in the U.S. in 1833 weren't really citizens. Even the white women were property of their husbands. Only the men could vote. Why would she want to give up her ways for that? Should she become the property of her Husband? He would have a vote in their laws and she would become a citizen of the U.S., and subject to their White Man's laws and justice. She well knew that resistance to the White Man's ways always resulted in loss for her Principle People. They had resisted before, siding with the Great British Nation to keep their lands during the White Man's Revolutionary War. Her people had lost much ground as a result of that loss. There never seemed to be any end to the losses inflicted by the White Man's government on her people. They would sit down to make agreements with the People and then in a few years they would break the agreements anyway. And always, her people were blamed for atrocities and treated most brutally. She felt hemmed in by these new requirements. How could you trust anything the White Man said?
GGG Hughes knew all these things too. His contacts in the shipping companies told him there were preparations being made for soldiers to come in from the federal government to over see a "safe" conduct of the Cherokee Nation to the West. GGG Hughes urged GGGrandmother to set aside her heritage and let him be the front man for the family business. She could continue to run the day to day activities of their plantation, and he would be the voice of Citizenship for the Family.
Should she [[Urge GGGrandmother to Give Up Cherokee Status|Tell Wife to Trust Me]] [[Tell Wife to Keep Cherokee Status|Tell Wife to Defy the Westward Push]] [[Do nothing|Hope things to turn out well]]?
GGG Hughes tells his wife that bad time are coming and she should just trust him to get them through. He can take care of the family if she gives up her heritage, and they'll get to keep their lands. Their only decision then will be if she [[continue to do business her way|wife manages the plantation]] or [[do business under his leadership} husband manages the plantation]] instead. GGG Hughes knew that urging his wife to keep her Cherokee Nation Status would put the whole family in jeopardy. He understood that the White Man's government was set on taking over the Cherokee Lands in North Carolina. He also understood that his wife would not, in fact, get to become a citizen, but would instead become his Property, to be ruled by him. She would not be able to vote in the citizen elections. Only he would be a voting member of the State. He respected her Cherokee status, and understood that she played an important role in her nations structure. If she gave up her Cherokee status, her nation would lose an important portion of their lands, and all the subsequent strength that came from the management of her lands. GGG Hughes chose to help his wife maintain her status, backing her choices in keeping the official contact with the overarching Cherokee Nation.
Knowing there was going to be trouble, GGG Hughes used his contacts with the shipping companies to locate a good Northern Lawyer and a Journalist willing to publish the subsequent activities. His contacts informed him that the lawyer was good, but the cost would be exhorbitant. The journalist was willing but would need protection for getting the story out. Should he [[inform his wife of the necessary expenses|defend her property]]? or [[let it go|bad investment]]? GGG Hughes informed his wife of the expenses involved in defending her lands. She sent a check to the Northern Lawyer securing his services for the defense of their lands. She was willing to place all their profits on the line to keep her lands and rightful heritage. She also offered the Journalist a safe place to stay while writing, and courier service to get her stories to the press.
GGG Hughes allied himself with GGGrandmother and the Cherokee Nation as a whole to protest the expansionist policies of the U.S. Government and his own states takeover greed. He knew his wife and her people were perfectly capable of running the businesses the white men wanted to run and expand. He was aware of the push for industrialization and the need for expanded production facilities. He felt it was possible to make deals with enough of these business men to make it feasible for them to get what they wanted without depriving the Cherokee Nation of their rights.
He knew that he would meet some heavy resitance in his community to this idea, but felt it might be worthwhile to pursue. The choices were complicated in application, but simple in morality.
Should he follow up the expense of the lawyer and the journalist by possibly [[aggravating his community | Do additional deal making]]? or Just [[let the lawyer do his job|let the chips fall where they would]]?GGG Hughes Looked at the total cost of the defense of his wife's heritage and decided it was a bad investment after all. He prepared the family to move west instead, knowing that there wasn't any point in standing up to the advance of the white man's culture. His wife resisted the idea that a move west was inevitable and insisted on doing business as usual. Should GGG Hughes [[go along with his wife's idea| go along with the wife]] or [[Abandon the family|abandon the family]] ? GGG Hughes has some contacts through the shipping companies with concerns overseas. He contacts them with offers to cut costs if they'll protect his wife's interests in the Cherokee Nation. Companie's overseas are already beginning to run into difficulties with their own giddy multitudes. They feel certain that creating further friction with yet another group of people will turn out badly. but which group of people do they fear stirring up the most? [[Go along with the Cherokee]] or [[Go along with the New Government]] ? Besides, if the new government gets into trouble with their own native people's it might provide an opportunity for the advance of their own interests. GGG Hughes has determined to let his wife and her people fight this one out, and if it turns out well, then he'll go along with that, and if it doesn't then he's done all he can to support them, and he'll go with them where ever they have to go when it's done. He'll make whatever effort is within his grasp, including seeing all of this years profits go to put up a fight, but he's not going to make any armed resistance against anyone if the courts and government continue to push them out.
If the [[courts say they can stay|he'll stay]] but if they say [[the family must go west to the new Reservation| he'll go with them to their new home]]. GGG Hughes feels comfortable with the life he has with his wife and doesn't want to abandon her, even though she is going to run into problems soon. He stays to support her in her efforts, even going so far as to [[make arrangements for an escape route| to run away overseas]] in case things get rough. He's pretty sure he can save his family when the hammer comes down. If not he can always [[get away on his own|take a fast horse out of there]].GGG Hughes doesnt' like his family very much and really doens't like trouble. Staying with his family seems like a waste of effort. He's pretty certain he can do better somewhere else, after all. Cherokee women are too demanding, anyway.GGG Hughes takes a passive approach to living with his wife now. he's decided that it's all up to her anyway, and there's nothing he can do one way or the other. He continues to do what he's always done and hopes it all turns out ok, in spite of hearing the gossip among the shipping companies of the coming westward push of the Cherokee's off their lands. He figures it won't apply to him, since he's a white man and only just married to a Cherokee. He feels pretty certain he can just ride this out. [[He'll just continue to do business as usual]] or he could [[hedge his bets |look for greener pastures for himself]]GGG Hughes sees the trouble coming but can't be bothered to do anything about it. He's too busy enjoying the good life, and doesn't want to stir up any trouble either at home or in his community. He'll [[just lie low]] awhile and [[see which way the wind blows| go along with the winner]] GGG Hughes sees the rrouble coming and decides to look for greener pastures. He doesn't want to get caught in a fight. Plantation life is good, but there's other ways to make a living. He just had to decide whether to [[follow the wagon trains going west]] or [[catch a ship to another country]].GGG Hughes has booked passage on a ship going to England. He thinks they might go to India after that. There are great trading opportunities in that country.GGG Hughes has a fast horse and plans to use it when things get rough. He'll take of for some easier place to do business, like Boston or Baltimore. Since his wife is Cherokee, she can take care of herself, and he doesn't like his kids anyway. GGG Hughes sees that his wife has managed the plantation well all along and sees no reason to change the order of things, just because he has the rights now, and she doesn't. He'll continue to make the trade deals with the shipping companies and she can manage the plantation production and the labor problems. Since being able to keep the plantation means not being a Cherokee anymore, the family has to decide how to blend in better with the community. The other Cherokees weren't happy with his wife's decision to let go of her position with them. She was an important guild member, and she's giving that up. They are afraid she will give their trade secrets away as well. Even though they have been weakened by their travail in the long march out to the Oklahoma territory, the remaining Cherokee guild members don't want their ways usurped by the white mans business enterprises, in addition to that, the Cherokee survivors are bitter and resentful of those who didn't make the march with them.
Since they can't be Cherokees anymore, his wife is instructing the children and grandchildren to work hard at looking more like the white men and women. They must blend in, for everyone's sake. It's 1844 and it's best that way. The family starts a new mantra, "The only good indian, is a dead indian."
GGG Hughes hears of a new candidate for president who has a platform which would compensate the southern landowners for freeing their slaves. In this platform it states that if a landowner would free his slaves, he would be paid in an equal value of land out west in the Louisiana Purchase. GGG Highes doesn't see how this would solve their growing labor issues, even if he was to [[show an interested in the land out west]]. This new candidate is named Joseph Smith. GGG Hughes hears he's a religious leader as well. He isn't interested in changing his ways, and he isn't interested in any new religions either. He decides to [[pay no attention to freeing the slaves]] GGG Hughes takes on the job of managing the plantation instead of his wife, since he now has all the power of the white man's law behind him. He's not answerable to the Cherokee codes anymore. The field hands aren't used to his style of instruction and test their limits. They perform work slow-downs and other forms of sabotage in the barns and fields. GGG Hughes has his hands full with his new work load. His contacts with trading concerns aren't being kept up and he misses opportunities he used to be able to jump on. The profits from the tobacco sales go down, and the expenses keep going up.
GGG Hughes is facing a new choice; should he [[pass the responsibilty of the farming to his sons|go back to working the trade deals]] or [[keep trying to run everything himself]]. He'll lose face in the community if he gives the management back to his wife. She's busy trying to blend in and look like a Southern Plantation owner's wife anyway. She looks good with her hair all curled like that. His daughters like blending in too, except for those corsets. Darned if he can get anymore work out of them since they started wearing those things. GGG Hughes figured he'd just sit out the results of this Cherokee thing. After all, it didn't have anything to do with him. He was a white man and he could do what he wanted to do. GGGrandmother had her issues with her guild societies and her matriarchy role, but he wouldn't mind if she gave that up. He could be in charge the way he was supposed to be. They could do things according to white mans laws, which would be just fine with him. He could raise his boys to be real men this way, not a bunch of wimps taking orders from old women. When they decided to stop letting Cherokee run the show, he'd be sitting pretty with this nice plantation.
When the decision came down, things didn't go quite the way the GGG Hughes thought it would go. He hadn't bothered to follow what they were stipulating in those decrees they handed out. He had been so certain that his life wouldn't be affected by it.
So then, GGG Hughes has to take over running the plantation after his wife is marched off to the reservation. His sons were taken too, since they were halfbreeds. Seems the neighbors thought getting rid of anyone who wanted to claim inheritance of Cherokee lands was a good idea. Well, he'd show them. He owned all this now, and he wasn't Indian. He could run it himself. He'd watched his wife do this for several years now. And while he was at it, he'd take comfort where he could get it. And he had his pick of the slave women now too. His wife wasn't there to object about it. It didn't matter who the owner was. Slaves were just slaves and did what they were told to do.
GGG Hughes was all by himself in his great house, except when he took a slave girl to bed with him. He changed women frequently, as he just couldn't find one that acted like she knew what she was doing. Why is it that women are so contrary, he wondered? He was as a good looking man and he provided a roof over their heads and food in the pots. Sure, they had to raise it and cook it, but that was only natural. This was all his and they would soon learn to like working for him, or he'd know the reason why.
While sleeping quite soundly in his bed, after his tumble with the seventh slave girl to catch his eye (one who had been the wife of one of his field hands) (he could see why he liked her) his house was set on fire, more particularly, his bed was set on fire with him in it. GGG Hughes did not survive this experience, nor did the house, which burned all the way to the ground. The slaves ran away during the fire, and the land passed into the hands of several of his neighbors who all squabbled over the parts that were left.Since the Winner is the Federal Government with Troops in tow... it doesn't seem like a good idea to resist that. GGG Hughes sees the sense in leaving the plantation and following his wife to the new reservation out west. Things are bad though, since they are on foot in the dead of winter and there's a long way to go to get where they are going. The food that's being provided is rotten and not enough of that either. How's a man supposed to survive on these rations? Maybe He and his family should just [[sneak off to the mountains some night]] and not [[keep following the trail]] Since GGG Hughes decided to split from the family farming, he's going to make a clean break from everything and go out west. He's heard there's gold in California... He just has to decide which is the best way to get there. He's heard it can take five months to go overland form where he is... if he starts off in the early spring... maybe he could be there by the fall months. The family sells their belongings and buys three constoga wagons to take all out west. Their plantation was worth enough to provide good supplies and and livestock for the move west. GGG Hughes uses his overseas contacts to secure a position in India for the India East Trading Company. He and GGGrandmother sell the plantation, and for the price they get they are well set up for passage for the whole family. Some of the boys decide to stay and work carpentry, one of the girls gets married amd mopves in with her husband but the other fhildren all go to India with their parents. They want to see this place that they were named after. What a great adventure this will be. GGG Hughes is glad the foriegn companies will go with along with the Cherokee interests. He feels certain that there can be a better way to solve the industrialization dilemma. The new labor paradigm has everyone jumping. Most are wanting to increase the slave population as a means of providing cheap labor for the new factories. He isn't so sure that's the best way to go, since other countries have begun finding other ways to do it. Maybe he and his wife's plantation can provide a new model for production that will work out the manufacturing methods and labor interests. GGG Hughes cna't get the other countries to go along with the Cherokee interests, as it seems that would lesson their own chances of taking advantage of the new American markets. The overseas companies are hungrily eyeing the American market for it's potential to produce what they need at lower prices. They hope that a war breaks out, so they can jump in and take over when the country is weak enough. The fight was long and costly. In the end, several of the other Cherokee Nation plantation owners combined their efforts and more legal battles ensued, with lots of national press involved. The northern Lawyers and the Journalilsts were able to successfully portray the Cherokee as sympathetic characters, good neighbors and good business people. This tipped public opinion in their favor. The federal government backed off their previous planning and made new deals with the Cherokee for increased manufacturing methods and increased production of both cotton and tobacco. All the parties were satisfied except the slaves, who were still not freed. The Federal Government prevailed. The lawyers were not able to win over a jury decision that to many of them, seemed not in their best interests. The Cherokee Nation are ordered to move out. Since we have to leave it all behind, it doesn't matter that we spent all our profits on a failed legal defense. At least we tried. The family marches west with the soldiers pointing their rifles at us the whole time. They call GGG Hughes names and give him an even roughter treatment than they do the Cherokees, since he thought to fight the government in their defense. GGG Hughes dies along the trail and his body is laid beside it on the frozen ground as the Cherokee slowly file past on their way to the Oklahoma territory and their new reservation. They will remember the white man who fought for their cause. They will include him in the memorial they will build if any of them survive this trail of tears. GGG Hughes decides that putting up armed resistance to aFederal Government is abad idea. His neighbors disagree. They burn his house down as a traitor to their new Southern Government. He and his family run for the North to get out of the way of the new Confederate Armies being formed up. When the family gets to the north, he is immediately suspected of being a spy for the Southern Confederacy. He is given a choice, he and his son's can [[join the Union Army]] to prove they aren't spies or they can [[go to prison until the war is over]]. Mrs. Hughes is now given the additional burden of not only having to blend in to a white society, but also of having to learn a whole new type of white society. The northern women don't behave the same way as the southern women. The Party of Lincoln Wins the Presidential Election and part of Lincoln's platform was that the slaves should be freed. The southern plantation owners are in an uproar. These slaves are their labor force. How are they supposed to harvest their crops without them? They invested a lot of money in this labor. Who's going to pay them back for all that investment? GGG Hughes votes with the Secessionists to leave the union because the Federal Government has no right to tell them how to run their state. It's unconstitutional. A war ensues. Emancipation Proclamation frees the slaves. The North Wins the war and now the family has lost their lands anyway. The wife no longer has her ties to her people and the man can't run the plantation all by himself. How are they going to make a living now? What kind of work can he do by himself? [[Hire himself out |contract labor in construction]] [[Plant and strip tobacco on a much smaller plot of land |just the family members working the land]]. Sneaking off to the mountains seemed like a good idea at the time. Two of the boys are killed by the federal hunting patrols. GGG Hughes isn't shot because he looks (and is)white. GGGrandmother was with him and he was able to hide her. Three of the daughters are caught and taken back to the trail. One daughter escapes with them and one son. They make their way to the high hills and hide out, forming up later with a few other escaped Cherokee and eventually become the Eastern Band ofthe Cherokee Nation. GGG Hughes and GGGrandmother Hughes feel too defeated to resist any further. They are cold and hungry all the time and the mounted soldiers shoot anyone who tries to get away. They keep slogging on along the trail.. The food continues to be rotten and GGGrandmother becomes ill and dies. The soldiers won't let anyone stop to bury her. GGGrandmother's body lies dead beside the trail as the family and friends file past. their tears freeze on their faces. Two of the sons also die at one of the forts where they stop to rest a bit. The salt pork is rancid and gives everyone the runs. Dysentery takes it's toll. GGG Hughes is sick at heart and he sickens and dies as well. Three of the daughters and one son make it to the Oklahoma territory. One of the daughter's dies of starvation after they get there. GGG Hughes became a carpenter during the war and was employed by the New Confederate Army to build ammunition boxes and coffins when it came down to it. Now he has carpenter abilities that would help rebuild the South after all the devastation. He taught these skills to his sons who also went to work in the trade. After a while, they went into business with their own construction company. Their family specialized in restoration work.The surviving boys in the family want to try their hand at farming. GGG Hughes sees no reason to stop them, since they were alloted fifty acres of their own plantation back...Seems like the Federal Government forgot that part where if his wife gave up her Cherokee Nation status she could keep her lands. Go for it, he says. You'all can manage to plow and plant fifty acres by yourselves. Seems like a great idea, while I bring in some income with these new carpenter skills I got during the war.Join the Union Army and go back and fight your own neighbors. Serves them right anyway, since they burnt his house down. He'll show them...
First fight on the other side of the Potomac sees his first son fall and the second fight puts him GGG Hughes) in his own grave. Dysentery takes the third son. Only his second son survives to see the end of the war.GGG Hughes decides it's a bad idea to fight his old neighbors. He knows how good they are at shooting, and besides they know the territory down there, and these union guys don't. He'll take the Prison option. Until this fight is over. He figures it won't last long anyway. Sis months, tops, and he'll be back out with his boys. GGG Hughes was always good at working the trade deals. He'll let his sons figure out how to get the farm hands to work again, while he concentrates on keeping up with the trades. He can't be bothered with figuring out how to make his help happy. They are a bunch of ingrates anyway. Hasn't he always kept a roof over their heads, and food in their bellies? so it wasn't always the best food, but it was provided for them form his farm. GGG Hughes decides to keep trying to run everything himself. He's got the bit between his teeth and he's not letting go, even if it means not having any profits. He'll starve, and let everyone else starve too, before he'll admit he's not as good at this as his wife was.
Fortunately, the Civil War comes along and wipes out everything anyway. He can just blame the failure on that instead. Now all he has to do is decide what other kind of work he can do for a living. [[Carpentry]] maybe, since the south has so much rebuilding to do, or [[lumberjacking]], because you can't build houses without the trees getting cut. Carpentry is the way to go. There's lots of rebuilding to do, both in the north and in the south. GGG Hughes and his surviving sons make enough to feed the family and keep a piece of farm land even after the exorbitant taxes they have to pay on it. Lumberjacking is dangerous work. GGG Hughes gets killed by a falling tree and is buried by his surviving son and daughters. GGGrandmother moves in with one of her daughter's on a small piece of land closer to the Apalachian mountains. There's a small band of surviving Cherokees there. They don't talk to her much, because she chose to give up her nation status, but it feels like home to hear about them some. GGG Hughes remembers that Presidential candidate that was going to re-imburse the slave owners for freeing their slaves, with land out west. He wonders if that will be on the table this time. He wouldn't mind thinking about that, if it's given as an option. Maybe he could build an empire with a different sort of labor or livestock even... Maybe he could raise cattle. Wouldn't that be something? He could be a rancher in his retirement. Well... maybe not. It's 1860 already and maybe he's getting too old for stuff like that. I mean, at 60 years old taking on a whole new kind of work could be the death of him. The labor shortages created by the industrialization process were creating havoc with the field hands. They resented being bred for stock and acted like they needed to keep their babies. The northern abolitionists were stirring up trouble right and left. And he could swear that there was some kind of communication going on between the workers of the different farms, even though no one was seen to leave the plantation. They seemed to be able to coordinate slower work and know when there would be a foreman come riding through and make it look like they'd been hard at it all day. GGG Hughes didn't know how they did that, but he was sure they had a system for it, and to top it all off, there was another Presidential Candidate with abolitionist leanings running this year. 1860, and the race against Lincoln was running hot. The Southern Plantation owners were talking secession if this guy got elected. GGG Hughes didn't know which way he'd vote yet if the guy did get elected. Should he vote to [[he'll stay|stay in the Union]] or [[Leave the Union]]