Well, the first thing the Anglos would want to know was how to feed themselves from what the land provided. Even though the forrest was full of game animals, they didnt just stand around waiting for somebody to shoot them. These animals had a nastsy habbit of running away when they smelled or saw a human. From the Cherokee, (in many cases from Cherokee wives, or mothers) the Anglos learned how to hunt, which is to say a tremendous piece of education. For somebody that dont already know how, its as much of an achievement as learning a new language, and it is. It is the language of the mountains and the animals that live there. All of this was new to the Scots-Irish, and they learned it in great degree from the Cherokee.
The original "Long hunters", the first whites into the Appalachians, were probably not first generation Americans. Some of them were probably of mixed race themselves. These longhunters had a great knowledge of the Native customs and also how to assimilate with them, live the Native lifestyle. They usually didnt try to change the natives, but rather just wanted to get along with them and live in the wilderness according to the rules of the natives and the mountains.
In the case of the Scots-Irish, most of them were first generation settlers. They pretty much got off the boat and headed inland. When they got to the Watauga settlements, they encountered the first Anglo setlers in this area, the Long hunters who had stayed. These men had many native wives, and from the wives of the longhunters, the Scots-Irish immigrants in that wave learned a lot from the Cherokee wives of the Longhunters, and the long hunters themselves, who might have been of mixed race themselves. The traders also had many Cherokee wives.
Here are some of the things that Cherokee taught the settlers... http://www.georgiatrailoftears.com/history.html
From the Scots-Irish settlers being used to tramping around in Ulster, to the wilds of America, some learning and modification of mannerisms had to be made. If one tramped carelessly around in the Appalachians then, he probably wouldnt live out the week. The Scots-Irish learned a lot from the Cherokee. These Cherokee forrest skills came in very useful to them, and later pioneers.
Talk in a whisper. Walk when the wind blowing will cover your foot noise, step on roots and high spots to hide your back trail, stand in the shadows, not in the sun..dont stare into a camp fire, dont get rocks hot with a winter fire (snakes). We learned how to read sign in the woods, and a million other things that the Scots-Irish learned from the Cherokee. The same things that were passed down through the generations by oral traditions, like how my grandfather taught them to me.They learned how to tan hides with the Cherokee deer brain mixture, how to use herbs for medicie. The list goes on and is endless.
It was a two way street. The culture flowed in both directions. There were Cherokee who adopted Christianity, built log cabins like the Anglos had, they turned away from thier native ways and started hunting for furs to trade with the whites, it was just too economically tempting. They hired themselves out to act as scouts and trappers to the whites, and more and more whites went and visited or lived in the Overhill towns of the Cherokee. By the 1770s, when the Scots-Irish were comming into the Watauga settlements in large numbers, the Cherokee culture was already in a state of change. Assimilation with the whites had already started, and the dillution of the Cherokee lifestyle had already began. Here is a good link... http://sandhillindianhistory.org/chapter1.pdf
By the time that the first real serious warfare broke out between the Scots-Irish and the Cherokee, it was the American revolution years. There had been violence before, in the early 1760s, but that was a little bit different. It was a frontier war, the first that I know of... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Cherokee_War
It was kind of a war within a war, during the chaos of the French-Indian war.
It wasnt until the Revolutionary war years that the really serious violence broke out. It was at exactly that time that the Scots-Irish began arriving in large numbers into the Watauga settlements. And then we see that the Cherokee culture was already in a state of change and cultural pressure. One of the Cherokee chiefs was against this and wanted to drive away the Whites. His name was Dragging Canoe. The older chiefs, like Little Carpenter were for peace with the whites.
But by this time, there were persons of mixed blood that fought on both sides of the wars. Here is an interesting note from my neck of the woods. It is the story of Nancy Ward, a Cherokee woman. I probably wouldnt be here today if not for her. She saved my direct ancestors by warning them of an attack coming which was being led by Dragging Canoe.
See the fellow mentioned in the above article, Julius Dugger? His full name was Julius Ceasar Dugger, and he was one of my direct ancestors. Here another article below on Nancy Ward.
It is interesting to note that General Joseph Martin of the American army of those times was married to the daughter of the Cherokee woman Nancy Ward. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Martin_(general
Ill stop here for now. This will get us up to about 1776. Ill take this opportunity to showcase some of the Appalachian culture to end this on a lighter side for now.
But as you can see from the earlier post, the Cherokee made our life in the mountains possible, we never would have made it without the Cherokee, and thier people such as Little Carpenter and Nancy Ward. We owe them so much.