In the early 1970’s, Dr. Jacob Bronowski defined the “Ascent of Man” and the levels of human development. He recognized that the “Amerindian” had reached the level of civilization that the Europeans were so proud of over one thousand years before Columbus set sail for the “New World”. He wrote, “At the birth of Christ, the huntsmen were settling to agriculture in the Canyon de Chelly, and starting along the same steps in the ascent of man that had first been taken in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East.”
Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is the heart and capital of the Cherokee Nation. Last week, I talked about our visit to the museums in the downtown area. Southeast of downtown Tahlequah is the “Park Hill” area which has historically been the “cultural center” of the Cherokee Nation. It was the area where John Ross (Principal Chief of the Cherokee during relocation era) and some members of his family chose to build their homes and the area where the Cherokee Female Seminary was built. Many fine homes and prominent leaders also chose to build in the Park Hill area during the “golden era” after relocation and before the civil war.