1819-38 Chief of the Cherokee
1838 Death


Chief Oolooteka was the leader of the Cherokee people who lived on Hiwassee Island, located about 10 miles southwest of Dayton, Tennessee.

After the Houston family moved to Tennessee in 1807, young Sam Houston rebelled and ran away to the island where he lived for three years. It was during this time that Houston earned the name "Co-lo-neh", or the Raven. Houston viewed Oolooteka as his "Indian Father" and the Cherokees much as a surrogate family.

Oolooteka's name translated to "He Puts the Drum Away" and was known to non-Indians as John Jolly.

The artificial pond on the ground of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum honors Houston's adoptive father.

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