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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 5, No. 2
June, 1927

Page 261

LIEUT. HENRY TIMBERLAKE’S MEMOIRS, 1756-1765, with Annotation, Introduction and Index by Samuel Cole Williams, LL.D. Johnson City, Tennessee: The Wautauga Press, 1927. pp. 198. $4.50.

This work, which relates to the Cherokee Indians of the period of the French and Indian War, was first published in London, in 1765. The author, as a youth of eighteen, had entered the Colonial military service from Virginia, as an ensign in the regiment commanded by Colonel George Washington. The Cherokees having been prompted to engage in hostilities against the frontier settlements of the-English colonies by French intrigue, were soon ready to make a new peace agreement when an English Colonial expedition invaded their country. In doing so, they asked that a white officer go to live with them, virtually as an hostage for the good faith of the Colonial authorities. The British commander, Colonel Adam Stephen, was greatly embarrassed by this unexpected request until young Ensign Timberlake volunteered to go with the Cherokees. The book, as originally published consisted of the narrative of his life among the Cherokees and of the accounts of his voyage to England as guide and conductor for a delegation of Cherokee chiefs and leaders who asked to be taken there to visit their "great father", the king (George III). His story, modestly told, is one of heroic and unselfish service which was unrequited. The book was probably written in England but its author is believed to have died before it was printed. It was subsequently translated into French and German and republished in those languages but, until the present publication, was never reprinted in English. Copies of the original work are exceedingly rare and command a high price. The book has always been regarded as an authoritative source of information concerning the life, culture, customs, rites and ceremonies of the primitive Cherokee people by ethnologists and

Page 262

historians generally. The editorial annotation is remarkably complete and illuminating. Judge Williams, the editor, who formerly sat on the bench of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, is recognized as a writer of history as well as a jurist, being the author of "History of the Lost State of Franklin," which was published in 1924. The book thus republished is being issued in a limited edition, only 300 copies being offered for sale.

J. B. T.


To the constitution of the Oklahoma State Historical Society.

Historical clubs or organizations in the various secondary schools of the state shall be encouraged and when so organized may be chartered and installed by the Oklahoma State Historical Society if the sponsor of such club or organization be a member of the Historical Society, and upon the receipt of one dollar the Historical Society shall provide such club or organization with an annual subscription to its publications.

Honorable mention shall be given, in the Chronicles of Oklahoma, of such members of junior organizations who collect, compile or reproduce stories of historical value and furnish copies of the same to the Historical Society. The merit of such compositions to be judged by such officers of the Historical Society as may be authorized by the executive board.

Guy R. Moore.

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