to Civilization IV: Colonization
Oconostota is the leader of the Cherokee in Civilization IV: Colonization.
Lived: c. 1715 - 1783
Oconostota was born among the peaks of the Smoky Mountains in what is today Tennessee. He grew to manhood during a period of great turmoil among his people, with both the French and English bearing down upon them. Oconostota showed impressive abilities in diplomacy, and once appointed chief of the Cherokee, he managed to balance relations between his tribe and the English, French and French-allied Creek Indians.
Oconostota's aid endeared the native leader to the English. When the French and Indian War began, the English requested the aid of the Cherokee, and an alliance was struck. Yet the English questioned the dedication of their Cherokee allies, who continued to have contact with the French. Whether the Cherokee were attempting to negotiate peace or to betray the English, it mattered not. Upon his return from one such talk with the French, Oconostota was captured by the English, along with numerous other Cherokee chieftains.
This brazen violation of their treaty embittered relations between the Cherokee and the English. After Oconostota's release, a dispute between an English settler and a Cherokee native over a stock of horses resulted in the murder of a family of natives. This was the final straw for Oconostota, who began to exact his revenge, first with small raids against outlying English settlements, but soon with all-out war. Begun in 1758, the conflict known as the Cherokee War opened with great success for the Cherokees. Oconostota's warriors captured the English bastion of Fort Loudoun, expelling the English presence from the region and dealing a humiliating blow to the Europeans.
The English response was brutally effective. Red-coated soldiers massacred over a dozen villages in the hopes of forcing Oconostota to surrender. To halt the stunning English brutality, in 1761, Oconostota agreed to a peace treaty with the English. In 1762, as a symbol of mutual good faith, Oconostota and two other Cherokee chieftains visited England and the English King George III. They drew massive crowds wherever they went in England, and so pleased was King George III with Oconostota that he promised that their lands would remain untouched.
The agreement would have little effect, though, as the English colonists of the New World had no intention of following their king's instructions in this matter. Upon his return to the Americas, the chief was forced to begin his defensive efforts anew, this time as his people found themselves caught in the middle of the Revolutionary War.
Oconostota continued to strive to keep his people safe from the English and these new "Americans" but he was unable to stem the tide of white expansion. After the Cherokee capital of Chota was destroyed in 1780, Oconostota was forced into exile, living in Virginia until his death in 1783.