TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- "Cherokee Patriot Day" on Aug. 19 will celebrate the life of Ned Christie while raising money for the cemetery where he is buried.
Organizer and Christie family member Roy Hamilton said the event would begin at 6 p.m. in the Cherokee Nation Community Room, located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokees. Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase a gate, sign and bench at the cemetery where Christie is buried in rural Adair County in the Wauhillau Community.
"Nations celebrate their legendary patriots, honor their memory and the enduring love they had for their Nation. The Cherokee Nation has such a patriot in Ned Christie," Hamilton said.
Christie was born Dec. 14, 1852, at Wauhillau in the Goingsnake District. He was the son of Trail of Tears survivors Watt and Lydia (Thrower) Christie.
He was a blacksmith and gunsmith. He was also a Cherokee marble player and fiddle player. Elected to the Cherokee National Council in 1885, he was known for being a strong advocate for tribal sovereignty.
Hamilton said "the best Indian Tacos around" made by Denise Rabbit will be available during "Cherokee Patriot Day" along with arts and crafts and free cake. A silent auction is also planned.
The "Early Morning High Band" of Locust Grove will give a special performance during the evening. Hamilton said the band covers multiple genres of music and features Raychelle Wilson, lead vocalist; Chris Taylor, bass and vocals; Curly Rogers, harmonica, Mark Kuykendall, guitarist (a direct descendant of Ned Christie); and Kyler Kelch on drums.
According to CN historical documents, Christie is considered a patriot not only because of his service to the CN as Cherokee senator but also because of his stand against the U.S. government.
While Christie was in Tahlequah for council business in May 1887, U.S. Deputy Marshal Dan Maples was murdered near the present location of Northeastern State University. Christie, who was in the vicinity of the murder the night of May 4, 1887, was accused of the murder.
He adamantly denied he murdered Maples and asked the U.S. Federal Court in nearby Fort Smith, Ark., to allow him time to prove his innocence. Federal Judge Isaac Parker denied the request. Fearing a trial before a white jury in a U. S. court, Christie began his standoff with federal authorities.
For five years he escaped capture by lawmen. On Nov. 3, 1892, U.S. Marshals surrounded a fort Christie had constructed near Wauhillau but he refused to surrender. When the fortress was finally penetrated, Christie ran out shooting and was gunned down.
Years after Christie's death an eyewitness, Dick Humphrey, identified Tahlequah resident Bub Trainor as being the shooter of Maples.
For more information about "Cherokee Patriot Day" call Hamilton at 918-718-0367, visit www.cherokeeculture.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.