The Cherokees who remained in North Carolina survived the War Between the States. Some of them fought on the Confederate side. After the war, their old friend and advocate Will Thomas was seriously ill and in debt. What would happened to all of the Cherokee who were registered in his name? The land had been divided into districcts or towns following the pattern of the Cherokee settlement. But the towns had no official voice or government. In 1868 representatives from each of the towns met to form their own association and constitution. Thus, The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians officially came into being in 1870.
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