Cherokee Indian Chief Bowles (Duwali) and his tragic quest for land – Shannon Selin


Cherokee Indian Chief Duwali

Cherokee Indian Chief Duwali or Di’Wali, also known as John Bowles or Bowl, was born around 1756, possibly in North Carolina. He is thought to have been the son of a Scotch or Scotch-Irish trader and a Cherokee woman. It is claimed that Bowles’ father was killed by white settlers when Bowles was a boy, and that the son killed his father’s murderers in revenge when he was 14. Bowles never learned how to read or write, and could not speak English. Late in his life, he was described as being “somewhat tanned in color,” and having “neither the hair nor the eyes of an Indian. His eyes were gray, his hair was of a dirty sandy color; and his was an English head.” (1)

Early life

In 1792, John Bowles became chief of the Chickamauga tribe of Cherokees in the town of Running Water (now Whiteside), Tennessee. Two years later, Bowles was involved in a murderous altercation with some white men, known as the Muscle Shoals massacre. Bowles and his warriors fled up the St. Francis River to southeastern Missouri, where they were joined by other Cherokees. They lived in the St. Francis valley until…

Source: Shannon Selin Cherokee Indian Chief Bowles (Duwali) and his tragic quest for land – Shannon Selin

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