BIG MUSH (?–1839). Big Mush, known to early settlers also as Hard Mush and among his people as Gatunwali, was a principal diplomat or "war chief" of the Cherokee Indians. His village in Texas, established at an unknown date, was one of several Cherokee communities. In 1827, when the Cherokees backed out of the abortive Fredonian Rebellion, Big Mush succeeded Richard Fields as chief diplomat, or war chief of the Cherokees' intervillage council. The next year, 1828, he headed the diplomatic team that hosted members of Terán's expedition visiting in Texas. In February 1836 Big Mush was a signatory of the Cherokee Treaty negotiated by Sam Houston. The treaty's rejection by the Texas Senate in 1837 subsequently led Big Mush and Chief Bowl to ally with Mexican agents preparing for invasion of Texas. As a result of this action, President Mirabeau B. Lamar ordered the Cherokees to leave Texas. Refusing to acquiesce in the expulsion of their people, Big Mush, Bowl, and the Cherokee council prepared people for war. Both met death in the battle of the Neches on July 16, 1839.
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Dianna Everett, "Big Mush," accessed October 28, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbi06.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.