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Biographical Description

Ama-edohi (died 1741) was chief of Great Tellico, or Telliquah, a Cherokee town that was situated in present-day Eastern Tennessee. In 1730, Sir Alexander Cuming, an unoffical envoy for King George II, visited Great Tellico and declared Ama-edohi, also known as "Moytoy of Tellico," Emperor of the Cherokee. While British officials regarded him as an emperor over the Cherokee Nation, it is doubtful that the Cherokee people themselves regarded Ama-edohi as such. Still, he held an important role in the community as something akin to a trade commissioner and strengthened trade relationships between his people and the English colonists. In 1741 Ama-edohi went to battle with South Carolina colonists against their enemies and was killed. By 1755 Concotocko of Chota, or "Old Hop" as he was sometimes referred by the British, had replaced Ama-edohi as "emperor."

Governor Arthur Dobbs's belief that Ama-edohi was still a Cherokee leader fourteen years after his death demonstrates not only Ama-edohi's important legacy, but also the value that the British government placed on the "emperor" role even though the Cherokee people did not tend to agree. Moreover, it demonstrates that Dobbs, like many colonial officials of his time, did not have enough information or did not care to learn about the true complexity of the governmental structures of various nations of American Indians during this period.

For more information and links to resources, please see our editorial statement on American Indian terminology.

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