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"By the spring of 1839 the Cherokee Nation was reunited in the Indian Territory -- reunited physically if not politically, for grave differences and bitter factionalism remained.  At a meeting at a place known as the Illinois River campgrounds in late August that year, the headmen named three commissioners to select a site for a permanent capital for the Nation.  The three men agreed to meet at a specified time beneath the branches of a huge elm tree in a sheltered valley some 25 miles northeast of Fort Gibson.  Two of the men were at the rendezvous at the appointed time and waite4d all afternoon for the third man to arrive.  When near dusk the third man still had not come, one of the commissioners reportedly said, 'Tah-Ah-Le-Quah' -- 'Two is enough.'  Another translation of the phrase is 'This will do.'

This story, repeated endlessly down through the years, is of debatable authenticity, for the name more likely came from that of a town in the former homeland of the Cherokees in the East. Tellico (or Talikwa).  When the United States concluded a treaty with the Cherokees in 1785, one signer for the Indians was Sketaloska from the town of Tellico, while Kenkuck, another signer, was from the village of Talcoa.  It is probable that in designating their new capital, the Cherokees reached back into their past to take the name of a former town, one which would remind them of the lost homeland in the soft hills of Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Georgia."

Excerpted from the book Tahleuah, NSU, and the Cherokees by Odie B. Faulk & Billy M. Jones

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