A followup to a post from last year, about Reinhardt’s village of Waleska, Georgia. I snapped this photo just now, of the city seal emblazoned on the door of an official truck.
Presumably this is the “Cherokee Princess” of blessed memory, and the city’s alleged namesake. According to the 1889 article in the Weekly Constitution, however, “Walesca” was a man, and a friend of Lewis Reinhardt’s, whom Reinhardt convinced to head out to Oklahoma during Cherokee removal in the 1830s.
I wrote last year that it would likely be difficult to pin down the real origin of the town’s name. At the time I thought it really didn’t matter all that much, but now I’m not so sure. The “princess” legend adds a certain “romantic” cast to the whole sordid enterprise of Indian removal, whereas the “Reinhardt’s friend” version really highlights the betrayal.