Indian Relations in Texas

Chief Bowl of the Cherokees

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Chief Bowl of the Cherokees

Bowl, known in his own language as Duwali, was the principal chief of the Cherokees in Texas. Bowl had led his band from North Carolina to Missouri to Arkansas, finally ending up in East Texas about 1819. In 1822, Bowl sent Richard Fields, a Cherokee diplomat, to Mexico to try to negotiate a land title for the tribe. Though Fields was unsuccessful, Bowl continued his efforts throughout the era of Mexican rule. In February 1836, Bowl negotiated a treaty with Sam Houston in which the newly formed Republic of Texas guaranteed the Cherokees possession of their lands in East Texas.

The Texas Senate refused to ratify the treaty. Desperate, Bowl entered into an alliance of Indians and Mexicans who were conspiring to overthrow the Republic. President Mirabeau B. Lamar discovered these machinations and ordered the Cherokees out of Texas. When they resisted, Lamar ordered military action. Bowl was killed in the Battle of the Neches on July 16, 1839.

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Credit: Jenkins Company. Prints and Photographs Collection, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. #1/102-661.

Page last modified: September 20, 2011