"The Cherokee judicial system consisted of one supreme court, four circuit courts, and eight district courts.  Cases could be appealed up through the system."


"The Cherokee Supreme Court was created in 1822 to hear cases appealed from lower courts.  It met annually at New Echota beginning in October 1823.  This building is a reconstruction of the Supreme Courthouse built at New Echota In 1829.  The first floor served as the courtroom.  The elevated bench provided seating for the three judges while the other six benches provided seating for spectators and those involved in the proceedings.  The Cherokee Supreme Court heard 246 cases from 1823 - 1835. Most were civil cases, the most common being disputes over debts.  Criminal cases were usually settled in the lower courts.  The Cherokee Nation had no prison system; those convicted of a crime were hanged, whipped, or fined. No documentation of the use of the second floor has been established.  But, it is known the building was used for both church and school when court was not in session.  Presbyterian missionary, Sophia Sawyer, taught school at New Echota from 1830 - 1835." 

A sign out front adds, "the court clerk maintained an office inside. In all three cases, the second floor could have been utilized." 

I did not take a lot of pictures at the Supreme Courthouse, nor did I record any additional information.  Here are a few of the other images I shot (from the 2000 and 2005 visits). 

"Follow the trail to your next stop to the left and rear of this building," a "Common Cherokee Cabin."