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Published under the Authority of 

The Tennessee Historical Society 






Founded 1849 
Incorporated 1875 



V ice-Presidents 

Recording Secretary 

Assistant Recording Secretary 

Corresponding Secretary 

Treasurer and Financial Agent 

Committee on Publication 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman 


Business Manager 

Stahlman Building 
Nashville, Tennessee 


NUMBER 1 MARCH, 1918. 


Goodpasture 3 

CISIONS, Charles C. Trabu* 50 

thews 69 


Sketches of Notable Men, by Samuel H. Laughlin 73 


NUMBER 2 JUNE, 1918. 


ING OF HISTORY, St. George L. Sioussat 95 

Albert V. Goodpasture 106 


Review of S. G. Heiskell's Book, W. E. Beard 146 





PORTRAIT OF JUDGE FRIEND, A. V. Goodpasture 155 

GEORGE WILSON, J. T. McGill 157 

Albert V. Poodpasture 161 



VENTION, St. George L. Swussat 215 


Albert V. Goodpasture (Concluded) 252 


NOVEMBER 12 AND DECEMBER 10, 1919 .291 









Recording Secretary, 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 

Corresponding Secretary, 

Treasurer and Financial Agent, 


"I* give and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society 
the sum of dollars." 





Goodpasture 3 

CISIONS, Charles C. Trabue 50 

thews 69 


Sketches of Notable Men, by Samuel H. Laughlin 73 


Committee on Publications 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman. 


Business Manager 


Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the 
statements or the opinions of contributors. 


Vol.4 MARCH, 1918 No. 1 

SOUTHWEST, 1730-1807. 

(Copyright, 1918, Albert V. Goodpasture.) 


The Cherokees adhere to the English; some of their 
warriors killed by the Virginians; they take satisfac- 
tion in the Carolinas; Governor Lyttleton declares war 
against them; their peace envoys are imprisoned, and 
subsequently massacred; Colonel Montgomery's cam- 
paign against their Middle towns. 1730-1760. 

The Cherokee Indians first became known to the white man 
in 1540, when the daring Spanish adventurer, Fernando De 
Soto, entered their country in his fruitless search for gold. 
They were the mountaineers of the south, and held all the 
Alleghany region from southwest Virginia to northern Geor- 
gia, their principal towns being on the headwaters of the 
Savannah, Hiwassee, and Tuckasegee, and upon the whole 
course of the Little Tennessee River, grouped in three main 
settlements, known as the Lower towns, the Middle or Valley 
towns, and the Overhill towns. Their hunting ground, whose 
boundaries were vague and shadowy, and in many places con- 
tested, may be said, in a general way, to have embraced all the 
extensive domain encircled by the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, 
including the blue grass regions of Kentucky and Tennessee 
which the Indians called the "dark and bloody ground.'' 1 

Their men were large, tall, and robust ; in complexion some- 
what lighter than the men of the neighboring tribes; while 
some of their young women were nearly as fair and blooming 
as European maidens. Their dispositions and manners were 
grave and steady; their deportment dignified and circumspect. 
In conversation they were rather slow and reserved, yet frank 

'Myths of the Cherokee. By James Mooney, p. 14. 


and cheerful; in council, secret, deliberate, and determined. 
Like all true mountaineers, they stood ready to sacrifice every 
pleasure and gratification, even life itself, to the defense of 
their homes and hunting grounds. 2 

Early in the struggle between France and England for com- 
mercial and territorial supremacy in America, the French con- 
ceived the scheme of detaching the Indians from England by 
means of a strong cordon of military posts, extending through 
the Ohio and Mississippi valleys from Canada to Louisiana. 
In 1714 they built Fort Toulouse, on the Coosa River, a few 
miles above the present Montgomery, Alabama. From this 
southern stronghold they rapidly extended their influence 
among the neighboring tribes until it was estimated that three 
thousand four hundred warriors, who had formerly traded 
with Carolina, had gone over to France, 4 two thousand were 
wavering, and only the Cherokees could be considered friendly 
to the English. 3 

To check this growing influence of the French, Governor 
Nicholson, of South Carolina, held a treaty of peace and com- 
merce with the Cherokees in 1721. Afterwards the Royal gov- 
ernment took the matter up with a view of drawing them into 
a closer alliance. For this purpose Sir Alexander Gumming 
was sent to the Cherokee N!ation in the spring of 1730, and met 
the chiefs of all their towns in the council house at Nequassee, 
on the Little Tennessee River, near the present town of Frank- 
lin, North Carolina. He so impressed them by his bold bearing 
and haughty address that they readily consented to all his 
wishes, acknowledging themselves, on bended knee, to be the 
dutiful subjects of King George. He nominated Moytoy, of 
Tellico, to be their emperor, a piece of trumpery invented by 
Governor Nicholson nine years before, which was wholly with- 
out effect, as the Cherokee Nation made no pretense to a regu- 
lar government until nearly one hundred years later. 4 How- 
ever, it was agreed to, and they repaired to their capital, Ten- 
nessee, a few miles above the mouth of Tellico, on the Little 
Tennessee River, where a symbol, make of five eagle tails and 
four scalps of their enemies, which Sir Alexander called the 
crown of the nation, was brought forth, and he was requested 
to lay it at the feet of his sovereign on his return. 5 

'Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and 
West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the 
Muscogulgees or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Choc- 
taws. By William Bartram, pp. 482-3. 

3 Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee, p. 35. 

'Opinions of the Judges of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. The 
State vs. James Foreman, Nashville, 1835, pp. 34-5. 

"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 46-7; Drake's Indians of 
North America, 15th edition, pp. 366-7. 


The mention by Sir Alexander Cumming of "Tennessee" as 
the ancient capital of the Cherokees, is the first time the name 
occurs in history; from it, and not from any fancied resem- 
blance to a "big spoon," the Tennessee River and the State of 
Tennessee derive their name. 6 

Seven chiefs accompanied Sir Alexander on his return to 
England, and there again entered into a formal treaty of 
friendship, alliance, and commerce with the English. Among 
these chiefs were two young men who deserve to rank among 
the greatest leaders of their race; they were Attakullakulla, 7 
known to the whites as Little Carpenter, and Oconostota, whom 
the whites called the Great Warrior. The brilliancy, wealth, 
and power of the English Court made a powerful impression 
upon them. Attakullakulla perceived with appalling force the 
defenselessness of his own people as against such an adver- 
sary. It became the ruling purpose of his life, chimerical as 
it was, to keep his nation at peace with the English. Profiting 
by his friendly disposition, the authorities of South Carolina 
took up Attakullakulla, and magnified his authority, in order 
to break the power and influence of Oconostota. 8 For fifty 
years he stood out between the contending races, a sublime and, 
often, a solitary figure, ever pleading, conciliating, pacifying. 
He was the grandest and most amiable leader developed by his 
race; and I doubt whether a nobler character, of any race, 
could have been found on the border. 

Though he came of a race of large men, Attakullakulla 
was remarkably small, and of slender and delicate frame; but 
he was endowed with superior abilities. 9 He did little to dis- 
tinguish himself in war, but his policy and address were such 
as to win for him the confidence and admiration of his people. 
He was the leading diplomat of his nation, and conducted 
some of the most delicate missions with singular tact and 

Oconostota, on the contrary, was a daring and resourceful 
general, whose achievements won for him the title of the 
"Great Warrior." It is said that in all his expeditions his 
measures were so prudently taken that he never lost a man. 10 
Under his leadership the Cherokees reached their highest mar- 
tial glory. Less diplomatic than Attakullakulla, he was more 
bold and aggressive, and, at first, hoped by forcible resistance 
to stay the flood of immigration that was threatening to over- 

6 Ramsey, p. 47, note. 

7 Hewat's Historical Account of South Carolina and Georgia, Vol. 
2, p. 221. 

8 Adair's American Indians, p. 81. 

"Bartram's Travels, p. 482. 
10 Timber lake's Memoirs, p. 72. 


whelm his country. I know not which course was the wiser; 
neither could do more than retard the progress of the whites. 
The inexorable decree had gone forth that the Indian should 
perish, as the mound builder before him had perished. 

Although the seven years' struggle between France and 
England, known in America as the French and Indian War, 
was not formally declared until 1756, hostilities actually be- 
gan in April, 1754, when the French seized the English post 
at Pittsburg, which they afterwards completed under the name 
of Fort Duquesne. To" make sure of the co-operation of their 
Cherokee allies at this juncture, the English determined to 
profit by the example of the French, and build forts among 
them. With this view, Governor Glen, of South Carolina, met 
Attakullakulla on the treaty ground in 1755, and obtained 
permission to build two forts in the Cherokee country. 11 

Soon after this cession Governor Glen built Fort Prince 
George, on the headwaters of the Savannah Kiver, three hun- 
dred miles above Charleston, and within gun-shot of the In- 
dian town of Keowee, in the lower settlement. In 1756 the 
Earl of Loudoun was appointed commander-in-chief of the 
army throughout the British provinces in America, and the 
same year he despatched Major Andrew Lewis to build the 
second fort authorized by the Cherokee treaty. Major Lewis 
located it just above the mouth of Tellico, on the south side 
of the Little Tennessee Kiver, in the midst of the Overhill 
towns, within five miles of Chota, at that time the capital of 
the Cherokee Nation, and nearly one hundred and fifty miles 
in advance of any white settlement. 12 A British historian 13 
asserts that the establishment of these forts was the result of 
a deep laid scheme on the part of the Cherokees, persisted in 
with unexampled policy for many years, for the purpose of 
gaining hostages from the English; which, he says, they had 
the sagacity to perceive would be the effect of small garrisons 
located in the midst of populous Indian towns, hundreds of 
miles removed from their base of supplies, and their hope of 
succor. While this clearly was not contemplated by the In- 
dians, these forts offered them inviting objects of attack when 
they became involved in war with their former allies. 

The Overhill towns, scattered along the grassy valleys and 
sunny slopes that skirt the southern bank of the Little Ten- 
nessee, were the remotest and most important of the Cherokee 
settlements. Lieutenant Henry Timberlake, a young Virginia 
soldier, who spent the winter of 1761-2 with the Overhill In- 

"Ramsey, p. 50. 
"Ramsey, p. 51. 

"History of the Revolt of the American Colonies. By George 
Chalmers. Vol. 2, pp. 363-4, 366. 


dians, has left an account of his residence among them, with 
a map of their country, 14 in which he gives the name and loca- 
tion of each of their towns, with the number of warriors it 
was able to send out. Beginning on the west and proceeding 
up the south bank of the Little Tennessee Kiver, we find 
Mialaquo, 24 warriors, at the Great Island, just below the 
mouth of Tellico, and Tuskegee, 55 warriors, under the very 
wall of Fort Loudon ; these were the towns of Attakullakulla. 
Tomotley, 91 warriors, under Outacite (Judge Friend) and 
Toquo, 82 warriors, under Willinawaw, appear at short in- 
tervals up the river. Then comes Tennessee, 21 warriors, and 
Chota, 175 warriors, under Oconostota, described as king and 
governor. Still higher up were Citico, in the shadow of Chil- 
howee Mountain, 204 warriors, under Cheulah ; then Chilhowee, 
opposite the mouth of Abraham's Creek, 110 warriors, and 
Tallasee, in the extreme east, with 47 warriors, whose chiefs 
we are now unable to identify. 

Attakullakulla-, in his negotiations with Governor Glen, 
had not dreamed of a fort that would command their beloved 
town of Chota, the capital and pride of the nation, their only 
city of refuge. When he perceived the strength and perma- 
nent character of the fortress, the great council at Chota, un- 
der his leadership, ordered the work to stop, and the garrison, 
then on its way, to turn back. But it was too late. The fort 
was completed, and garrisoned by two hundred British regu- 
lars, with twelve pieces of artillery. It was named for the 
Earl of Loudoun, and apart from its melancholy history, is 
remarkable as being the first Anglo-American structure erected 
in Tennessee. 

For a time everything seemed auspicious for the garrison 
of Fort Loudon. The old chiefs earnestly desired peace, and 
courted friendly relations with the whites. Many of their 
women found husbands among the soldiers of the garrison. 15 
They invited artisans to their towns, and a number of fami- 
lies settled in the neighborhood of the fortress. It looked 
then like a permanent settlement was being effected at Fort 

Braddock's defeat had occurred in the year 1755. That 
crushing disaster was attributed to the Indian allies of the 

14 The Memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake (who accompanied the 
three Cherokee Indians to England in the year 1762), containing 
whatever he observed remarkable, or worthy of public notice, during 
his travels to and from that nation; wherein the country, govern- 
ment, genius and customs of the inhabitants are authentically de- 
scribed. Also the principal occurrences during their residence in Lon- 
don. Illustrated with an accurate map of their Overhill settlements, 
etc., London. MDCCLXV. 

'Timberlake's Memoirs, p. 65. 


French. To withstand the French Indians, it became important 
to enlist the warlike Cherokees on the side of the English; 
Washington, who had been made comniander-in-chief of the 
Virginia forces, thought their presence indispensably necessary. 
Accordingly, in November, 1755, Colonels William Byrd and 
Peter Randolph were appointed commissioners to treat with 
them, and soon afterwards set out for their towns. 16 

Not long before this Major Andrew Lewis had led a com- 
pany of Cherokees against the Shawnee Indians, who were 
allies of the French. After his failure to reach Shawnee Town, 
the object of his expedition, Washington expressed a desire 
that the Indians might be persuaded to proceed as far as Fort 
Cumberland, for "without Indians," he says, "we will be un- 
able to cope with the cruel foes of our country." 17 In this, 
however, he was disappointed, as an event now happened which 
came near converting them into open and dangerous enemies. 

While the Indians who had served with Major Lewis were 
returning to the Cherokee towns, a back settler in Augusta 
County entertained a party of them, and when they had taken 
their leave some of his friends, whom he had placed in am- 
bush for that purpose, fired upon and killed several of them. 
Those who escaped arrived in their towns just as Colonels 
Byrd and Randolph were on the point of concluding their 
treaty. Great excitement ensued, and but for the devotion of 
Silouee, and the wisdom and tact of Attakullakulla, the treaty 
would not only have been defeated, but the commissioners 
themselves would have been murdered. 

Attakullakulla hastened to apprise the commissioners of 
their danger, warning them to keep within their tent, and on 
no account to appear abroad. But it seems that a number of 
warriors were about to fall upon the commissioners in their 
own tent, when Silouee threw himself between them and 
Colonel Byrd, exclaiming: "This man is my friend. Before 
you get at him you must kill me," whereupon they desisted, 
and consented to leave their fate to the deliberations of the 
council. 18 In addressing the council Attakullakulla expressed 
the indignation they all felt at the treachery of the Virginians, 
and declared he would have full satisfaction for the blood of 
his countrymen. "Let us not, however," he added, "violate 
our faith, or the laws of hospitality, by imbruing our hands 
in the blood of those who are now in our power; they came to 
cement a perpetual alliance with us. Let us carry them back 
to their own settlements ; conduct them safely to their confines ; 

"Sparks' Writings of Washington, Vol. 2, p. 114. 
'"Sparks' Writings of Washington, Vol. 2, p. 135. 
18 Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, p. 99. 


and theo take up the hatchet, and endeavor to exterminate 
the whole race of them." 19 

The council adopted his advice, and the commissioners, be- 
ing assured of their safety, appear to have made pecuniary 
satisfaction for the murder of the Indian warriors, and suc- 
cessfully concluded a treaty of friendship and alliance with 
the Cherokees. Their accounts were audited July 20, 1756, 
when it was found they had expended the large sum of 1319, 
15s.8d. sterling, besides what the governor had paid out of funds 
in his hands; one of the important items being for "soothing 
the Indians." 20 

Following the treaty concluded by Byrd and Randolph, 
many warriors rallied to the British standard, under such 
famous old chiefs as Attakullakulla (Little Carpenter), Outa- 
cite (Judge Friend), Scollacutta (Hanging Maw), Ooskuah 
(Abraham), and Savanukeh (The Raven), and rendered valu- 
able services in defending the extensive frontiers of Virginia, 
and also in the expedition against Fort Duquesne. They en- 
tered heartily into the cause of the Virginians, but the Indian 
affairs of the army, which were under the control of Edmund 
Atkin, Indian agent, were so badly managed that, instead of 
receiving the encouragement their services and bravery mer- 
ited, they were met by what they considered injustice, neglect, 
and contempt. At one time ten of them were imprisoned on 
suspicion of being spies in the French interest ; another party, 
after having undergone the perils and privations of their long 
march, went to war in their destitute condition, behaved nobly 
and rendered valuable service to the colony, but on returning 
with their trophies of honor, found neither agent nor inter- 
preter to reward or. thank them; nor any one who could tell 
them why they were thus neglected. But for the interven- 
tion and kind treatment of Washington, they must have re- 
turned to their nation fired with just resentment, if not at 
open war, against their allies. 21 

Fort Duquesne fell November 25, 1758. General Forbes, 
who commanded the English, was a trained soldier, accus- 
tomed to the strict discipline of the regular army; but he did 
not understand the Indian, nor appreciate his irregular mode 
of warfare, and was exceedingly impatient with his Cherokee 

"Burnaby's Travels Through North America, Ed. 1904, pp. 193-195. 
The writer gives his account on the authority of one of the gentle- 
men engaged in the embassy; but he is in error in supposing that 
the Cherokee war began at that time; it did not commence until 
1760. The accounts of the origin of this war are so confused and 
contradictory that it is impossible to reconcile their statements, and 
sometimes difficult to reach a satisfactory conclusion from them. 

^Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 252. 

^Sparks' Writings of Washington, Vol. 2, pp. 245, 260-61, 269, 270. 


auxiliaries. Moreover, he was then a sick man, fretful and 
peevish. He died the succeeding March. His Indian allies, 
whom Washington thought so indispensable, soon began to 
leave the army and return to their towns. Most of them had 
gone, and the few left were on the point of leaving, when 
Attakullakulla arrived at his camp with about sixty good war- 
riors. While General Forbes declared him to be "as consum- 
mate a dog as any of them," exceeding all of them in his 
avaricious demands, he thought it bad policy, after laying out 
so many thousand pounds, to lose him and all the rest for a 
few hundred more. 22 

So he indulged what he terms their extravagant and ava- 
ricious demands, but in such an ungracious and impolitic man- 
ner that they left the army some ten days before the fall of 
Fort Duquesne, and set out for their own country. As soon 
as he was made acquainted with their "villianous desertion," 
November 19, 1758, he ordered Colonel Byrd instantly to 
despatch an express to the commanding officer at Kaystown, 
and, in case Attakullakulla had already passed Kaystown, to 
the commandants at Winchester, Fort Cumberland, and Fort 
London, requiring them to relieve the Indians of their guns 
and ammunition, and also of the horses that had been fur- 
nished them. They would have been peremptorily stripped of 
their blankets, shirts and silver truck, had it been deemed of 
sufficient consequence. This they were to do peaceably if they 
could, but were authorized to use force if necessary. Being 
disarmed and dismounted, they were to be accompanied by a 
sufficient escort to prevent their doing mischief to the frontier 
inhabitants. 23 

But not all the care of the escort who accompanied them 
was sufficient to prevent the Cherokees from picking up a few 
horses running loose on the range, as they passed through 
the back settlements of Virginia. It is a pity the offense could 
not have been overlooked, in view of the great service they had 
rendered the colony, and especially its back settlers. But the 
rough frontiersmen, regarding all Indians as their natural ene- 
mies, pursued their offending allies and killed a number of 
them, variously estimated at from twelve to forty. 

When tidings of this harsh and unfriendly conduct reached 
the Cherokee Nation, their young men were fired with resent- 
ment, and burned for revenge, but their old chiefs dissuaded 
them from taking up the hatchet until satisfaction had first 
been demanded of the colonies, in accordance with their treaty 

"Forbes to Peters, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Bi- 
ography, Vol. 33, p. 93. 

23 Forbes to Byrd, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Bi- 
ography, Vol. 33, pp. 95-6. 


stipulations. Thereupon they sought satisfaction of Virginia, 
then of North Carolina, and afterwards of South Carolina, but 
in vain. Having failed to obtain any redress under their trea- 
ties, they determined to take satisfaction for the blood of their 
relations according to their own customs. To this end the 
old chiefs sent out a company of youn'g warriors, instructed 
to bring in as many white scalps as would equal the number 
of their murdered relations. The ambitious young leaders 
separated into small parties, and without limiting themselves 
as to number, killed as many of the white people as were so 
unfortunate as to fall into their hands. Two soldiers of the 
garrison of Fort Loudon, who chanced to be out hunting were 
among the victims! 24 the white people living in the neigh- 
borhood were driven into the fort, and the garrison itself was 
so threatened that no one was allowed to leave its walls. 

When the commander of Fort Prince George informed Gov- 
ernor Lyttleton of these acts of hostility, he ordered the militia 
of the province to rendezvous at Congarees, and resolved to 
march to the Cherokee country, and pursue such measures as 
would bring them to terms. Hitherto the Cherokee depreda- 
tions were considered as so many murders, and not as acts of 
war. Twenty-four Indians had been charged with murdering 
white people ; but they claimed only to have taken satisfaction 
for the blood shed by the Virginians. The Cherokees were 
really friends of the English, and did not desire war. As 
soon as they heard of Governor Lyttleton's warlike prepara- 
tions, thirty-two of their chiefs, headed by Oconostota, head 
man of the nation, set out for Charleston to settle all differ- 
ences and prevent war. Governor Lyttleton made them a 
haughty speech, declaring that he would make his demands 
known only when he had reached their country, and if they 
were not granted would ta;ke satisfaction by force of arms. 
He assured them, however, as they had come as friends to 
treat of peace, that they should go home in safety, and not 
a hair of their heads should be touched. At the same time he 
told them that they must follow his troops or he would not 
be responsible for their safety. The proud chiefs were amazed 
and indignant; Oconostota immediately arose to reply, but 
Governor Lyttleton, against the advice of Lieutenant-Governor 
Bull, stopped him, refusing to hear either a defense of his na- 
tion or overtures of peace. The chiefs controlled their rage 
and quietly marched with the army to Congarees, .where some 
fourteen hundred troops were assembled. When the army left 
Congarees, the envoys were unexpectedly made prisoners, and 
a captain's guard was mounted over them to prevent their 

2t Adair's American Indians, pp. 246-7. 


escape. In this manner they were marched to Fort Prince 
George, where they were shut up in a hut scarcely sufficient 
for the accommodation of half a dozen soldiers. 

As Governor Lyttleton's army was ill armed and undis- 
ciplined, as well as discontented and mutinous, he dared not 
proceed further into the Indian country; he had already sent 
for Attakullakulla, who was recognized as a firm friend of 
the English: Indeed, he was so determined in his opposition 
to the war that his young men compared him in derision to an 
old woman. He came in at once, bringing with him a French 
prisoner as an earnest of his loyalty to the English. The 
governor made him a long speech, demanding that the twenty- 
four Indians who had killed white people should be given up, 
to be put to death or otherwise disposed of as he might think 
proper. Attakullakulla promised to do all that he could to 
persuade his countrymen to give the satisfaction demanded; 
yet he frankly told the governor it could not be done, as the 
chiefs and no coercive authority over their warriors. He then 
requested that some of the imprisoned chiefs might be liber- 
ated, to aid him in restoring tranquility; when Oconostota, 
and, apparently, seven other chiefs were released, as only twen- 
ty-four were retained as hostages. The next day two Indians 
were delivered up, in exchange for two of the hostages and 
were immediately put in irons, which so alarmed the other 
Cherokees in the neighborhood that they fled to the woods. 
Attakullakulla, seeing no hope of peace, determined to retire 
to his home and there await the issue ; but as soon as Governor 
Lyttleton was informed of his departure, he sent for him, and 
on his return a formal treaty was entered into, by which it 
was agreed that the twenty-two imprisoned chiefs should re- 
main as hostages until a like number of Indian murderers 
were delivered to the English. This treaty was signed Decem- 
ber 26, 1759, by Attakullakulla, Oconostota, Otassite, Kita- 
guste, Oconeoca, and Killconnokea. 25 

Governor Lyttleton then marched back to Charleston, where 
he was received as a returning conqueror. But Oconostota 
still hovered around Fort Prince George with a large number 
of warriors. The Cherokees were unacquainted with the char- 
acter and meaning of hostages; to them it conveyed the idea of 
slaves, whose lives were at the mercy of their captors. 26 Ocon- 
ostota, therefore, determined to surprise the fort and liberate 
them. February 16, 1760, having concealed a party of war- 
riors in a dark thicket near at hand, he sent a request that 
the commanding officer come out and speak with him on busi- 
ness of importance. Captain Coytmore, accompanied by Lieu- 

"'Drake's Indians of North America, p. 375. 
^Adair's American Indians, p. 252. 


tenant Dogharty, Ensign Bell, and their interpreter, Foster, 
appeared on the bank of the Savannah River. On the oppo- 
site bank Oconostota stood, with a bridle in his hand. He 
told the captain he was going to Charleston to effect the re- 
lease of the hostages, and desired that a white man might 
accompany him; and, as the distance was great, he would go 
and try to catch a horse. Captain Coytmore promised him a 
guard, and hoped he would succeed in catching a horse. Ocon- 
ostota then turned and swung his bridle thrice over his head, 
at which signal a volley of some thirty shots was fired at the 
officers. All were wounded, Captain Coytmore receiving a 
shot in the left breast from which he died two or three days 

The Indians then stormed the fort; the prisoners on the 
inside sounding the war-whoop, and shouting to their coun- 
trymen to fight like strong-hearted warriors, and they would 
soon carry it. 27 The garrison attempted to put the hostages 
in irons. A soldier who seized one of them for that purpose 
was stabbed and killed; and in the scuffle that followed two 
or three more were wounded and driven out of the hut. Thus 
had the prisoners repelled their assailants for the moment, 
but the fort was too strong to be taken by the primitive arts 
known to their friends on the outside, and when they were 
repulsed, the garrison fell upon the helpless hostages, and these 
twenty-two of the Cherokee peace envoys were massacred in 
the most shocking manner. More than thirty years afterwards 
Doublehead referred to it as one of three occasions on which 
their envoys had been treacherously murdered. 

This horrible affair inflamed the hearts of the Cherokees 
beyond all control. Their warriors everywhere dug up the 
hatchet, and, chanting the weird war-song, rushed down upon 
the unprotected and defenseless families on the frontiers of 
the Carolinas, where men, women, and children, without dis- 
tinction, fell victims to their merciless fury. The back set- 
tlers appealed to their governor, who had so lately posed as 
a conquering hero, but the presence of smallpox, then a deso- 
lating plague, made it impossible to assemble the militia. In 
this extremity an express was hastened to General Amherst, 
commander-in-chief of the British forces in America, who or- 
dered a detachment of twelve hundred men, under the com- 
mand of Colonel Montgomery? afterwards Earl Eglinton, to 
embark from New York to Charleston, with instructions to 
strike a sudden blow for the relief of the Carolinas and re- 
turn to Albany, as the reduction of Canada was the great 
object then in view. In the meantime Governor Lyttleton was 

27 Adair's American Indians, p. 250. 


succeeded by Lieutenant Governor Bull, a man of much sound- 
er judgment and discretion. 

Colonel Montgomery reached Charleston towards the end 
of April, 1760 ; rendezvoused at Congarees ; and being joined by 
the colonial militia and many gentlemen who volunteered for 
the campaign, he marched against the Lower towns. On his 
way to Port Prince George, which was still being invested by 
the Indians, he destroyed a number of towns, killed some sixty 
Indians, and took about forty prisoners ; but their warriors 
had generally retired to the mountains. 

Having arrived at Fort Prince George, Edmond Atkin, 28 
the agent for Indian affairs under whom they had served in 
Virginia, despatched two Indian chiefs to the Middle towns, to 
inform them that, as the former friends and allies of the Eng- 
lish, and especially on account of the many good services of 
Attakullakulla, 29 Governor Bull was ready to grant them terms 
of peace; at the same time assuring 1 them, if they did not come 
in, all their towns would be ravaged and destroyed. But these 
overtures came too late ; Governor Lyttleton had contemptuous- 
ly thrown away the only opportunity offered by the present 
crisis to restore friendly relations with the Cherokees. 

Finding the Indians implacable, Colonel Montgomery de- 
termined to carry the war into their Middle towns. June 27, 
1760, he advanced to within five miles of Etchoe, the nearest 
town of the Middle settlements. There he found a muddy 
river with steep clay banks, running through a low valley so 
thickly covered with bushes that the soldiers could scarcely 
see three yards before them. A more advantageous position 
for ambushing and attacking an enemy, after the manner of 
Indian warfare, could hardly have been chosen. Captain Mor- 
rison was ordered to advance with his company of rangers and 
scour this dark thicket. Scarcely had they entered it when the 
Indians raised the war-whoop, sprang from their hiding places, 
and opened fire upon them, killing the captain and wounding 
a number of his men. The light infantry and grenadiers gal- 
lantly came to the support of the rangers, and charged upon 
the Indians with great courage. The action now became gen- 
eral and obstinate. Colonel Montgomery ordered the Royal 
Scots to make a flanking movement and place themselves be- 
tween the Indians and the rising ground on the right. At 
length the Indians gave way, and falling in with the Royal 
Scots, suffered considerably before they reached a neighbor- 
ing hill, after which they declined to be drawn into a further 

^Hewat's Historical Account of the Colonies of South Carolina 
and Georgia, Vol. 2, p. 231. 

^Trumbull's General History of the United States of America, 
Vol. 1, p. 435. 


engagement. The English lost an officer and twenty men killed, 
and about eighty men wounded. The Indians are supposed to 
have lost about forty men. 

The army then pushed forward to Etchoe, but the Indians 
had deserted the town, taking with them their most valuable 
effects. Colonel Montgomery destroyed the deserted town. His 
pickets, however, were attacked with great fury, and he was 
much annoyed by volleys from the neighboring hills. Though 
he had won the field and been able to advance to Etchoe, his 
victory was little better than a defeat, as he found it abso- 
lutely necessary to retreat, though Fort London was then 
blockaded. 30 Having destroyed all his surplus supplies to ob- 
tain horses for his wounded, he reached Fort Prince George 
in safety, though the Indians hovered around and annoyed him 
to the utmost of their power. Soon afterwards he embarked 
for New York, in pursuance of his instructions, but he left the 
frontiers in a more desperate position than that in which he 
found them. 31 

^Chalmers' History of the Revolt of the American Colonies, Vol. 
2, p. 375. 

31 In this account of the first Cherokee war I have followed, in the 
main, Alexander Hewat's "An Historical Account of the Rise and 
Progress of the Colonies of South Carolina and! Georgia." In two 
volumes. London, 1779. 



The Cherokees besiege Fort London; it capitulates 
and its garrison is massacred; Attalmllakulla ransoms 
and liberates Captain John Stuart; Colonel Grant 
invades and destroys the Middle towns; the Indians 
yield and peace is restored. 1760-1761. 

While Oconostota was opposing Colonel Montgomery's in- 
vasion of the Middle towns, Willinawaw was laying siege to 
Fort Loudon, in the Overhill towns. All communication with 
Fort Prince George, the point from which they drew their sup- 
plies, being cut off, the garrison was soon reduced to the neces- 
sity of eating the flesh of their lean horses and dogs. Many 
of the soldiers had Indian wives who, notwithstanding Willi- 
nawaw's threat to kill any who should assist the enemy, daily 
supplied them with such food as they could procure. This they 
did openly, and Willinawaw dared not put his threat into exe- 
cution, because they told him their relations would make 
his life atone for theirs. 32 With the assistance of these devoted 
wives, the garrison was enabled to hold out until the beginning 
of August. The officers endeavored to encourage the men with 
hopes of relief. 

They had sent runners to Virginia and South Carolina, im- 
ploring immediate succor, and stating that it was impossible 
for them to hold out above twenty days longer. The Virginia 
Assembly at once voted a considerable force for their relief, but 
as the troops levied were to rendezvous at Fort Robinson, on 
the Holston, two hundred miles distant from Williamsburg, 
and afterwards to march two hundred miles further, through 
an unexplored and trackless wilderness, the garrison might 
as effectually have been succored from the moon. 33 

As for South Carolina, the last hope of rescue vanished 
with the retreat of Colonel Montgomery. Blockaded night 
and day by the Indians, their provisions being exhausted, and 
their hope of rescue having failed, the men threatened to leave 
the fort and die at once by the tomahawk, rather than perish 
slowly by famine. 

In this extremity a council of war was held, and all the 
officers being of opinion that it was impossible to hold out 
longer, it was agreed to surrender the fort to the Cherokees 
on the best terms that could be obtained. With this view 
Captain John Stuart, the second officer in command, a man 

32 Timberlake's Memoirs, pp. 65-6. 

^Burnaby's Travels Through North America. Ed. 1904, p. 56, 


of unusual shrewdness and address, who was well acquainted 
with the Indian life and character, and had many friends 
among them, was authorized to enter into negotiations for the 
surrender of the fort. He went to Chota, and held a confer- 
ence with Oconostota, which resulted in an agreement upon 
the following articles of capitulation: 

That the garrison of Fort Loudon march out with their arms and 
drums, each soldier having as much powder and ball as their officers 
shall think necessary for their march, and all the baggage they may 
choose to carry; that the garrison be permitted to march to Virginia, 
or Fort Prince George, as the commanding officer may think proper, 
unmolested; and that a number of Indians be appointed to escort 
them, and hunt for provisions during their march; that such soldiers 
as are lame or by sickness disabled from marching, be received into 
the Indian towns, and kindly used until they recover, and then be 
allowed to return to Fort Prince George; that the Indians do pro- 
vide for the garrison as many horses as they conveniently can for 
their march, agreeing with the officers and soldiers for payment; that 
the fort, great guns, powder, ball, and spare arms, be delivered to 
the Indians without- fraud or further delay, on the day appointed for 
the march of the troops. 34 

These articles were signed by Paul Demere, on the part of 
the garrison, and by Oconostota and Cunigacatgoae, in behalf 
of the Indians. 35 

On the 7th of August, 1760, the garrison delivered up the 
fort, and marched out with their arms and drums, escorted by 
Oconostota and Judge Friend, with a number of their follow- 
ers. Judge Friend was a chief of great influence, who had 
an interesting career. His Indian name was Outacite. He 
was one of the imprisoned chiefs who was liberated along with 
Oconostota, by Governor Lyttleton, and signed the treaty of 
Fort Prince George. The first day the garrison moved fifteen 
miles in the direction of Fort Prince George, and encamped 
on Tellico Plains. That night the Indians deserted them, and 
their officers, fearing treachery, placed a strict guard around 
the camp. Next morning about daybreak a picket came run- 
ning in, and reported that he had seen a large number of In- 
dians, armed, and painted in the most frightful manner, creep- 
ing among the bushes, endeavoring to surround the camp. 
Scarcely had the officers time to order their men to stand to 
their guns, when the Indians raised a terrific yell, which struck 
panic into the hearts of the enfeebled and dispirited soldiers; 
and at the same time poured a heavy fire in upon them from 
all directions. Captain Demere, with three of his officers and 
about twenty-six men, fell at the first onset. Some fled to the 
woods, where they were hunted down and carried prisoners 

S4 Hewat's Historical Account of the Colonies of South Carolina 
and Georgia, Vol. 2, pp. 237-8. 

""Drake's Indians of North America, 15th Ed., p. 377. 


to the Middle towns. Captain Stuart and those who remained 
with him, were seized, pinioned, and carried back to Fort 
London. The discovery that the garrison had, in bad faith, 
concealed a large part of their military stores before evacuat- 
ing the fort, has been assigned as the cause of this massacre; 36 
but the manifest purpose of the Indians was to take satisfac- 
tion for the massacre of their peace envoys, at Fort Prince 
George, which Ocouostota and Judge Friend had barely es- 
caped. 37 

The story of Captain Stuart's escape is one of the most 
delightful romances of Indian warfare. As soon as Attakulla- 
kulla heard that he had survived the massacre and had been 
made a prisoner, he hastened to the fort, and purchased him 
from his captor, giving all he had, including his rifle and 
clothes, by way of ransom. He then took his prisoner to Cap- 
tain Demere's house, which he had taken possession of on the 
surrender of Fort London, and there kept him as a member of 
his family. 

In the meantime Oconostota, intoxicated by the successful 
termination of the siege of Fort London, and inspired by the 
possession of its great guns, which he expected his prisoners 
to man, resolved again to undertake the reduction of Fort 
Prince George. To this end Captain Stuart was brought be- 
fore the great council at Chota, and informed that he would 
be expected to take charge of the men selected to manage the 
great guns, and to write such letters as they should dictate; 
at the same time reminded of the great obligation he owed 
them for sparing his life. Captain Stuart was so alarmed at 
this information that he resolved to make his escape or perish 
in the attempt. He told Attakullakulla how uneasy he was 
at the thought of being compelled to bear arms against his 
countrymen; acknowledged that he had been a brother to him 
in the past; and begged him to help him out of his present 
perilous position. The old warrior took him by the hand and 
told him he was his friend ; that he had already given one 
proof of his regard, and intended to give another as soon as 
his brother should return. 

Attakullakulla now claimed Captain Stuart as his personal 
prisoner. As soon as his brother returned he gave it out that 
he was going on a few days' hunt, and would take his prisoner 
with him to eat venison, of which he had long been deprived. 
Accordingly they departed, taking the direction of the Long- 
Island of Holstou. After traveling nine days and nights 
through the dreary wilderness they fell in with a party of three 
hundred men, who had been despatched by Colonel Byrd to 

36 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 60. 
S7 Hewat, Vol. 2, p. 243. 


reconnoitre in the direction of Fort London. On the four- 
teenth day they reached Fort Robinson. Here Captain Stuart 
was delivered to his friends, and Attakullakulla, loaded with 
presents and provisions, went back to his people, to exert his 
influence for the protection of the unhappy prisoners, and for 
the final restoration of peace. 

At the conclusion of the war Attakullakulla. asked the gov- 
ernor of South Carolina to appoint his friend, Captain Stuart, 
to reside among the Indians; assuring him that, if he should 
be appointed, the province would suffer no further molestation 
from them. The assembly likewise tendered Captain Stuart 
a vote of thanks, together with a reward of 1,500, for his 
heroic defense of Fort Loudon, and recommended him to the 
governor as a man worthy of preference in the service of the 
province. When, therefore, the Royal government found it 
expedient that the southern district should have a super- 
intendent of Indian affairs, with powers similar to those 
exercised by Sir William Johnson, in the northern district, 
the appointment was given to Captain John Stuart, 38 who dis- 
charged the duties of the office with distinguished ability and 
fidelity until the beginning of the Revolutionary War. 

The escape of Captain Stuart, and the good offices of Atta- 
kullakulla, prevented the investment of Fort Prince George, 
which was immediately warned of its danger, and victualed 
with ten weeks' provisions ; while the fury of the Indians was 
somewhat appeased by the distribution of goods of a consid- 
erable value, by way of ransom for the survivors of F*ort 
Loudon. But their warriors were still in an ugly mood, and 
the province, being apprehensive that the apparent calm would 
soon be broken by a new eruption, Governor Bull again ap- 
plied to General Amherst for assistance. As he had completed 
the conquest of Canada, he could now spare an adequate force 
for the subjugation of the Cherokees, who were then the only 
people disturbing the peace of America. 39 

Colonel Montgomery, who conducted the former expedition, 
having returned to England, the command of the Highlanders 
devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel James Grant, who was or- 
dered to return with them to the relief of the Carolinas. He 
arrived at Charleston in January, 1761, and went into winter 
quarters, until the opening of spring should permit him to lake 
the field. After being joined by the provincial militia and the 
Chickasaw and Choctaw allies, his army numbered about twen- 
ty-six hundred men. 

On May 27, 1761, Colonel Grant arrived at Fort Prince 

38 Hewat, Vol. 2, p. 276. 

38 Sparks' Writings of Washington, Vol. 2, p. 336. 


George. Here he was met by Attakullakulla, who made an 
earnest plea in behalf of his people. He said he had always 
been and would continue to be the firm friend of the English ; 
though he had been called an old woman by the mad young 
men of his nation, who delighted in war. The outrages of his 
countrymen covered him with shame, and filled his heart with 
grief; yet he would gladly interpose in their behalf in order 
to bring about peace. Often he had endeavored to get his 
people to bury the hatchet; and again and again he en- 
treated Colonel Grant to proceed no further until he had made 
one more effort to persuade them to consult their safety and 
agree to terms of peace. 

Colonel Grant, however, declined to give him any assur- 
ances, and on the 7th day of June, moved out of Fort Prince 
George, carrying with him provisions for a thirty days' cam- 
paign. He marched rapidly towards the Middle towns, which 
could be reached only by the gap in the mountains, where 
Colonel Montgomery had been engaged the year before. At this 
point the men were ordered to load their guns and prepare for 
action. Lieutenant Francis Marion, afterwards so distin- 
guished in the Revolutionary War, was sent forward with 
thirty men to explore the pass. Scarcely had he entered the 
gloomy defile when a sheet of fire blazed forth from behind 
the rocks and trees all around him. Twenty-one of his men 
fell at the first discharge; the remainder were barely able to 
effect their- retreat to the main body. 40 The action then be- 
came general. 

The Indians had Colonel Grant's army between a hill, which 
was occupied by their main force, and a river, on the opposite 
bank of which a large party maintained a brisk fire. They 
were repeatedly driven from the heights, but only to return 
with redoubled ardor; while the low grounds were disputed 
with determined obstinacy. No sooner did Colonel Grant gain 
an advantage in one quarter, than the Indians appeared in 
another. While his attention was occupied in driving them 
from their lurking place on the river side, his rear was at- 
tacked, and so vigorous an effort made to capture his supplies 
that he was obliged to order a party back for the relief of the 
rear guard. The battle raged from eight o'clock until eleven in 
the morning, when the Cherokees gave way. They were pur- 
sued for some time, random shots continuing until two o'clock 
in the afternoon, when the Indians disappeared. The loss of 
Colonel Grant's army was between fifty and sixty men, killed 
and wounded; and that of the Indians was probably not 

*Horry and Weems' Life of Francis Marion, pp. 22-3. 


Though the victory was far from decisive, Colonel Grant 
followed it up with a punishment which, while cruel and heart- 
less, was thoroughly effective; and it furnished a precedent by 
which the subsequent Indian fighters of the Old Southwest 
did not fail to profit. He burned every town in the Middle 
settlements, destroyed their storehouses and ravaged their 
fields, leaving them absolutely without food or shelter. Being 
reduced to the greatest misery, they abandoned all thought 
of war, and sought refuge for their old men, their women and 
children, among their more fortunate brothers west of the 
mountains. This ruthless ruin touched the generous heart of 
Marion, who thus describes it, in a letter to a friend : 

We arrived at the Indian towns in the montji of July. As the 
lands were rich and the season had been favorable, the corn was 
bending under the double weight of lusty roasting ears and pods of 
clustering beans. The furrows seemed to rejoice under their precious 
loads the fields stood thick with bread. We encamped the first night 
in the woods, near the fields, where the whole army feasted on the 
young corn, which, with fat venison, made a most delicious treat. 

The next morning we proceeded, by order of Colonel Grant, to 
burn down the Indian cabins. Some of our men seemed to enjoy this 
cruel work, laughing very heartily at the curling flames, as they 
mounted, loud crackling over the tops of the huts. But to me it ap- 
peared a shocking sight. Poor creatures! thought I, we surely need 
not grudge you such miserable 1 habitations. But when we came ac- 
cording to orders, to cut down the fields of corn, I could scarcely 
refrain from tears. For who could see the stalks that stood, so 
stately with broad green leaves and gaily tasseled shocks, filled with 
sweet milky fluid and flour, the staff of life; who, I say, without 
grief, could see these sacred plants sinking under our swords with 
all their precious load, to wither and rot untasted in their mourning 

This work of destruction occupied Colonel Grant the bet- 
ter part of a month. A few days after his return to Fort 
Prince George, Attakullakulla, attended by several chiefs, 
again appeared at his camp, and sued for peace. Colonel Grant 
drew up a treaty, to all of which Attakullakulla agreed, ex- 
cept the following article: "That four Cherokee Indians be 
delivered up to Colonel Grant at Fort Prince George, to be put 
to death in front of his camp ; or four green scalps to be brought 
to him in the space of twelve nights." 42 This he said he had 
no power to concede, and Colonel Grant consented that he 
might go to Charleston and see whether Governor Bull would 
yield this demand. 

Governor Bull met him, September, 1761, at Ashley's Ferry, 
and addressed him, in a friendly spirit, as follows : 

Attakullakulla, I am glad to see you, and as I have always heard 
of your good behavior, that you have been a good friend to the Eng- 

41 Horry and Weems' Life of Marion, pp. 24-5. 
"Hewat, Vol. 2., p. 252. 


lish, I take you by the hand, and not only you but all those with you 
also, as a pledge of their security whilst under my protection. Colonel 
Grant acquaints me that you have applied for peace; now that you 
have come, I have met you with my beloved men, to hear what you 
have to say, and my ears are open for that purpose. 43 

Then a fire was kindled, the pipe of peace was lighted, and 
for some time smoked in silence, when Attakullakulla arose 
and made this pathetic appeal for his people: 

When I came to Keowee, Colonel Grant sent me to you. You are 
on the water side, and are in the light. We are in darkness ; but hope 
all will be clear. I have been constantly going about doing good; 
and though I am tired, yet I am come to see what cani be done for 
my people, who are in great distress. As to what has happened, I 
believe it has been order by our Father above. We are of a differ- 
ent color from the white people. They are superior to us. But one 
God is father to us all, and we hope what is past will be forgotten. 
God Almighty made all people. There is not a day but that some are 
coming into, and others going out of the world. The great king told 
me the path should never be crooked, but open for every one to pass. 
As we all live in one land, I hope that we shall all live as one people. 44 

This conference resulted in an agreement that put an end 
to the war, a<nd ushered in a long era of peace. 

About the same time that Colonel Grant set out on his 
campaign against the Middle towns, Colonel William Byrd 
marched from Virginia against the Overhill towns. Colonel 
Byrd left the regiment at Stalnaker's, and the command de- 
volved upon Lieutenant Colonel Stephen, who advanced as far 
as the Long Island of H'olston. Here he halted and began the 
erection of a fort. While he was still engaged in this work, 
about the middle of November, 1761, Oconostota, accompanied 
by four hundred of his people, came in to ask for terms of 
peace, which were concluded on the 19th of November, 1761. 

From the execution of this treaty the colonies were at 
peace with the whole of the Cherokee nation, but in the mean- 
time Fort Loudon had been permanently abandoned, and the 
settlement of Tennessee delayed for ten years. 

Little more remains to be told of the two famous old chiefs 
who were the central figures in this war ; the one as a warrior, 
and the other as a peacemaker. For the next fifteen years 
their talks were white, and their people kept the path straight. 
They prevented Cameron from removing the Watauga settlers 
in 1772; and when the British persuaded their young warriors 
to dig up the hatchet in 1776, they still counseled peace. Both 
signed the treaty of Holston in 1777, and from that time held 
the Americans firmly by the hand. They, with Willinawaw. 
were appointed by the nation to wait upon the governor of 
North Carolina, for the purpose of inducing him to open trade 

43 Hewat, Vol. 2, p. 252. 
"Hewat, Vol. 2, p. 253. 


with the Cherokees, and thereby counteract the influence of 
Cameron, who refused to trade with them as long as they 
were at peace with the Americans. 45 Attakullakulla must 
have died soon afterwards, as this is the last time his name is 
mentioned in the records. 

Oconostota lived a few more stormy years. Chota, which 
had been spared by Christian in 1776, was destroyed by Camp- 
bell and Sevier during the last days of 1780, and Oconostota 
was compelled to flee to the mountains, where he established 
a temporary residence, 46 though he afterwards returned to his 
beloved town. In the fall of 1781, the British agent in Georgia 
nominated the Raven as principal chief in opposition to Oconos- 
tota, and gave him a medal as a token of his authority. 47 After 
this revolt of the war party, Oconostota undertook to resign 
his position in favor of his son, Tuckasee, a friendly chief, 
and asked Colonel Martin to assist at the ceremony of his 
installation, in the name of Virginia. 48 Although Oconostota 
claimed the consent of the whole nation, Tuckasee was never 
received as its principal chief, that hoinor having fallen to 
another friendly chief, called the Tassel. 

Oconostota died in the spring of 1785, and his influence 
was greatly missed by the American agent. 49 His death as 
well as the death of Attakullakulla, was spoken of at the 
treaty of Hopewell, in 1785, as an event well known to the 
whites as well as the Indians. 50 

"James Robertson to Governor Caswell, October 17, 1777. State 
Records of North Carolina, Vol. 11, p. 654. 

"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 602. 

"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, pp. 446-7. 

"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 234. 

* 9 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 54. The story 
that he was still alive in 1809, a victim of strong drink, as repeated 
in Thwaites and Kellogg's Dunmore's War, pp. 38-9, is, of course, 
apocryphal, as he had then been dead nearly a quarter of a century. 

"'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 42. 



The Cherokees join the British at the beginning of 
the Revolution; prepare to invade the frontiers of 
North Carolina and Virginia; Nancy Ward gives time- 
ly warning to the settlers; battle of Long Island 
Flats and siege of Fort Watauga. 1776. 

The close of the Cherokee War in 1761 was followed in 
1763 by the Treaty of Paris, by which France ceded the whole 
of the western country to England. The French, entertain- 
ing little desire for the lands of the Indians, had aroused their 
jealousy by pointing out the encroachments of the English, 
who, they asserted, intended to dispossess them of the whole 
country. To allay this feeling, King George III issued his 
famous proclamation of October 7, 1763. This was an epoch- 
making document, and may be fairly called the Magna Carta 
of the North American Indians. It was the first instrument 
to assign them territorial limits, and to guarantee their right 
to the hunting grounds set apart to them. It defines the In- 
dian boundary to be the watershed dividing the waters of the 
Atlanta from those flowing to the westward; and makes the 
first distinct general prohibition against British subjects pur- 
chasing lands from the Indians, or settling within their hunt- 
ing grounds. 51 

To enforce obedience to this proclamation, and preserve 
friendly relations with the Indians of the South, Captain John 
Stuart, as we have seen, was appointed superintendent of In- 
dian Affairs for the Southern district. Born in Scotland about 
the year 1700, he emigrated to America in 1733, received a 
subordinate command in the British service, and distinguished 
himself at the siege of Fort Loudon. Upright and faithful 
dealings with the Cherokees made him a general favorite with 
them, and gave him an unbounded influence as superintendent 
of Indian affairs. 52 

The year 1772 found a handful of adventurous pioneers 
located on the historic banks of the Watauga River, in East 
Tennessee. They had settled there under the belief that they 
were within the territorial limits of Virginia, whose back coun- 
try had been opened to settlement under the treaty of Fort 

51 The State vs. James Foreman, Nashville, 1836, pp. 23-4. Opinion 
by Chief Justice Catron. See also the Laws of the United States, 
Resolutions of Congress under the Confederation, Treaties, Procla- 
mations, and other Documents having Operation and Respect to the 
Public Lands, etc., Washington, 1817, p. 28, where the proclamation 
may be found in full. 

D2 Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee, p. 203. 


Stanwix, in 1768. But a survey made at this time by Colonel 
Anthony Bledsoe disclosed the fact that they were on the 
Cherokee hunting ground, beyond the jurisdiction of both Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina. When this became apparent, Alex- 
ander Cameron, Indian agent resident among the Cherokees, 
ordered them to move off. This was a supreme crisis in the 
affairs of the settlement. It was finally solved by the friendly 
Cherokee chiefs expressing the wish that they might be per- 
mitted to remain, on condition that they would not encroach 
beyond the land they then had. The Watauga settlers being 
prohibited by the King's proclamation from purchasing their 
lands from the Indians, availed themselves of the friendly dis- 
position of their chiefs, and leased them for a term of ten 
years. Three years later, when Henderson and Company made 
their famous Transylvania purchase at Sycamore Shoals, the 
Watauga and Nolichucky settlers followed their example, and 
bought their lands in fee simple. 53 Their deeds were signed 
by Oconostota, Attakullakulla, Tennesy Warrior, and Willi- 

When the Revolutionary War came, the British govern- 
ment determined to employ the Indians against the southern 
and western frontiers. The organization of the southern tribes 
was intrusted to Superintendent Stuart. Their general plan, 
which was only partially successful, was to land an army in 
west Florida, march them through the country of the Creeks 
and Chickasaws, who were each to furnish five hundred war- 
riors; and thence to Chota, the capital of the Cherokee na- 
tion. Being reinforced by the Cherokees, they were to invade 
the whole of the southern frontier, while the attention of the 
colonies was diverted by formidable naval and military demon- 
strations on the sea coast. Circular letters outlining the plan, 
intended for the information of the Tories who were expected 
to repair to the royal standards, were issued May 9, and 
reached the Watauga settlement May 18, 1776. 54 

The Cherokees, when the plan was first submitted to them, 
were not prepared to take sides in the contest. A civil war 
was unknown to their nation, and they could hardly believe 
that the British government would make war against a part 
of its own people. Moreover, they had been at peace with the 
Americans since their treaty with Governor Bull, had no new 
complaint against them, and were living heedless, happy lives 
in their own towns. From the summit of almost any hill in 
the Tennessee mountains one might have beheld a; vast ex- 
panse of green meadows and strawberry fields, the meandering 

53 Garrett and Goodpasture's History of Tennessee, pp. 34-6. 
"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 147-8, 161. 


river gliding through them, saluting in its turnings and swell- 
ings, green, turfy knolls, embellished with parterres of bloom- 
ing flowers and ripening fruit. There the young warriors 
stalked the flocks of wild turkeys strolling through the meads, 
and chased the herds of deer prancing and bounding over the 
hills ; and there the young maidens gathered the rich, fragrant 
strawberries, and in a gay and frolicsome humor, chased their 
companions and stained their lips and cheeks with the red, 
ripe fruit; or, reclining on the banks of the beautiful moun- 
tain stream, their fair forms half concealed in the shadow of 
the blooming and fragrant bowers of magnolia, azalea, per- 
fumed calycanthus, and sweet yellow jessamin, listlessly toyed 
in its cool, fleeting waters. 55 

But they had been accustomed to look on King George III 
as their great father. Attakullakulla and Oconostota, now 
old and infirm, but still honored and revered, had in their young 
manhood seen the splendor of his grandfather's court, and 
witnessed the strength and resources of the British nation; 
while Judge Friend had only three years before been received 
at the throne of the great King himself. For more than twelve 
years Captain Stuart had been the trusted friend and father 
of the whole tribe, but more especially of Attakullakulla, who 
had rescued him after the fall of Fort Loudon, and solicited his 
appointment to the high office he then held. Alexander Came- 
ron, resident agent among the Cherokees, had married an In- 
dian wife, and lived in regal style on an estate called Lochaber, 
named for the famous seat of the Camerons in the highlands 
of Invernesshire, Scotland, near the old Indian town of Keowee ; 
had been their earnest champion, possessed their entire con- 
fidence, and had a large influence over them. These considera- 
tions, together with promises of clothing, booty, and the res- 
toration of their hunting grounds to what may be called their 
charter limits, enabled the English to win most of the head- 
men over to their interest. 

The campaign was 1 planned with the utmost secrecy. Wil- 
liam Bartram, the eminent American naturalist, left Superin- 
tendent Stuart at Charleston, April 22, 1776; was with Came- 
ron at Lochaber on the fifteenth of May; later, dined with 
the chief of Watauga at his mountain home; and towards the 
end of the month met Attakullakulla on the border of the 
Overhill settlements. The Watauga chief inquired about 
Stuart, and Attakullakulla announced that he was then on 
his way to Charleston to see him, but none of them gave any 
intimation of the perilous operations that were being planned 

^Bartram's Travels, pp. 354-5. 


against the back settlements, though Stuart's circular letter 
had already reached Watauga. 50 

It was agreed that North Carolina and Virginia, South 
Carolina and Georgia, should be attacked simultaneously; the 
Over-hill towns were to fall upon the back settlements of North 
Carolina and Virginia; the Middle towns were to invade the 
outlying districts of South Carolina; and the Lower towns 
were to strike the frontiers of Georgia. We are concerned 
only with the movements of the Overkill towns, which mus- 
tered about seven hundred warriors. They were to move in 
three divisions; one was to march against the Holston settle- 
ments, another was 1 to strike Watauga, and the third was to 
scour Carter's valley. The first division fell to the command 
of Dragging Canoe (Cheucunsene), of Mialaquo, 57 who has 
been called a savage Napoleon; 58 the second was entrusted 
to Abraham (Ooskuah), of Chilhowee, a half-breed chief who 
had fought with Washington on the frontiers of Virginia; 59 
and the third was" under the Raven (Savanukeh), of Chota, 
who had served in the same campaign, but with little credit, 
having been detected in undertaking to palm off two white 
scalps brought from his own country, for trophies of an un- 
successful scout against the French. 60 

At this time there lived in Chota a famous Indian woman 
named Nancy Ward. She held the office of Beloved Woman, 
which not only gave her the right to speak in council, but 
conferred such great power that she might, by the wave of a 
swan's wing, deliver a prisoner condemned by the council, 
though already tied to the stake. 61 She was of queenly and 
commanding presence and manners, and her house was fur- 
nished in a style suitable to her high dignity. Her father is 
said to have been a British officer, and her mother a sister of 
Attakullakulla. 62 Her daughter, Betsy, was the Indian wife 
of General Joseph Martin. She had a son, Little Fellow, and 
a brother, Long Fellow (Tuskegetchee), who were influential 
chiefs. 63 The latter boasted that he commanded seven towns, 
while thirteen others listened to his talks; and though he had 

^Bartram's Travels, pp. 362-4. 

"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 435. 

5S Phelan's History of Tennessee, p. 43. 

'"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 342. 

"Sparks' Writings of Washington, Vol. 2, p. 284. 

61 Timberlake's Memoirs, p. 71. 

62 Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee, pp. 203-4. 

63 General Joseph Martin and the War of the Revolution in the 
West. By Prof. Stephen B. Weeks, p. 423 ; Publications of the South- 
ern History Association, Vol. 4, p. 458. 


once loved war and lived at Chickarnauga, at the request of 
his nephew, General Martin, he had moved to Chestua, midway 
between Chota and Chickamauga, where he stood like a wall 
between bad people and his brothers, the Virginians. 6 * Like 
her distinguished uncle, Nancy Ward was a consistent advo- 
cate of peace, and constant in her good offices to both races. 
She gave timely warning and assistance to the traders when 
the young warriors dug up the hatchet in 1781 ; 65 and deliv- 
ered condemned prisoners from the stake, as we shall see. 
When Campbell's army was straitened for provisions, she 
had cattle driven in and furnished them with beef. 66 She was 
a successful cattle raiser, and is said to have been the first to 
introduce that industry among the Cherokees, 67 who, though 
they had numerous breeds of horses and hogs, were entirely 
without cattle and sheep, as late as 1762. 68 Afterwards she in- 
terceded with the victorious Americans for her unhappy peo- 
ple. 69 She intervened with conspicuous success in private dis- 
putes between the frontiersmen and the Indians. 70 Haywood 
has justly called her another Pocahontas. 

When Nancy Ward found that her people had fallen in with 
the plans of Stuart and Cameron, she communicated the in- 
telligence to a trader named Isaac Thomas, and provided him 
with the means of setting out as an express to warn the back 
settlers of their danger. Thomas was a man of character and 
a true American, who has left distinguished descendants in 
the state of Louisiana. Accompanied by a man named William 
Faulen, he lost no time in conveying the alarming intelligence 
to the people on the Watauga and Holston. His services were 
afterwards recognized and rewarded by the state of Virginia. 

The information conveyed by Thomas produced great con- 
sternation on the border. Couriers were despatched in every 
direction. They had not had an Indian war since the settle- 
ment was begun, some seven years before. There was not a 
fort or blockhouse from Wolf Hills westward. But prepara- 
tions for defense now became nervously active; the people 
rushed together in every neighborhood and hurriedly con- 
structed forts and stockades. For our purpose it is necessary 
to mention only Eaton's Station and Fort Watauga. 

"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 307. 
''Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 458. 
66 Weeks' General Joseph Martin, p. 431. 

67 Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee, p. 213, citing NuttalFs Travels, 
p. 130. 

68 Timberlake's Memoirs, p. 47. 

69 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 435. 

70 Ramsey, p. 273. 


Eaton's Station was six miles from the Long Island of Hol- 
ston, on the road leading to Wolf Hills. It had been built in 
advance of the settlement, and was garrisoned by a small body 
of men, who fortified it on the alarm of the approaching In- 
dians. Here five small companies, aggregating one hundred 
and seventy men, raised in the Holston settlements, and com- 
manded by their senior captain, James Thompson, collected 
for the purpose of opposing Dragging Canoe, who was under- 
stood to be advancing with his detachment of the Indian 

July 19, 1776, Captain Thompson's scouts came in and re- 
ported a great number of Indians making for the settlements. 
A council of war determined that it would be best to move 
forward and meet them, engaging them wherever found, as 
they might otherwise pass the fort, break into small parties, 
and massacre the women and children in its rear. On the 
20th they marched about six miles to the low, marshy ground, 
called the Flats, that lay along the north bank of the Holston, 
opposite the Long Island. There the scouts encountered and 
repulsed a small party of Indians. The ground being unfavor- 
able for pursuit, a council of officers determined that it would 
be best to retire to the fort ; but before they had gone more than 
a mile, they were attacked in the rear by a force not inferior to 
their own. The Indians engaged them in the open, and fought 
with great fury, making vigorous! but ineffectual efforts to sur- 
round them. The battle lasted only a few minutes, when the 
Indians retired, leaving thirteen dead on the field, besides the 
dead and wounded they were able to carry off. None of the 
whites were killed, and only four of them were seriously 
wounded. 71 

The next day, July 21, at sunrise the Indians under Abra- 
ham assaulted Fort Watauga, on the Watauga River. This 
fort was defended by 'Captain James Robertson and Lieuten- 
ant John Sevier, with a garrison of forty men. The Indians 
were repulsed with considerable loss, which could not be defi- 
nitely ascertained. It was here that Lieutenant Sevier re- 
ceived to his arms, as she fled from the Indians, Miss Catherine 
Sherrill, who subsequently became his wife, and is affectionate- 
ly known as Bonny Kate. 72 The investment continued with 
more or less rigor for twenty days, when the Indians finally 
withdrew. 73 

"Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 62 ; Ramsey's Annals of Ten- 
nessee, p. 154, where the official report of the battle may be found; 
Phelan's History of Tennessee, p. 43. 

"Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, p. 52. 

"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 156-7. 


The party led by the Raven struck across the country to 
Carter's Valley, but finding the inhabitants shut up in forts, 
and being intimidated by news of the defeat of Dragging 
Canoe, and the repulse of Abraham, abandoned the enterprise 
and returned to their towns. 74 

A fourth division, or more probably, the first division, after 
its defeat at Long Island Flats, divided into small parties and 
swept up the valley of the Clinch from the remotest settle- 
ment to the Seven Mile Ford, in Virginia. One of these par- 
ties made a sudden descent on the Wolf Hills settlement, and 
attacked the Reverend Charles Cummin'gs, a militant Pres- 
byterian preacher, noted for his habit of riding to his ap- 
pointments with his rifle on his shoulder, which he deposited 
on the pulpit before commencing the services of the day. He 
had four companions with him at the time, and was on the 
way to his field. At the first fire William Creswell, one of the 
heroes of Long Island Flats, was killed, and two others were 
wounded. But with his remaining companion, and the trusty 
rifle, which he carried to the field as well as to the pulpit, he 
held his own with the Indians until relieved by the men from 
the fort. 75 

Upon the whole, the Indian invasion was a failure, owing 
to the timely warning of Nancy Ward, and the concentration 
of the inhabitants in forts built in consequence of the informa- 
tion she conveyed. If the well-guarded secret of the Indian 
campaign had not been disclosed, and they had been permitted 
to steal upon the defenseless backwoodsmen, who, in fancied 
security, had remained scattered over the extensive frontiers, 
every soul of them would probably have been swept from the 
borders of Tennessee. As it was, only slight injury was in- 
flicted on the whites ; two or three were killed, a few more 
wounded, and two were taken prisoners. On the other hand, 
its consequences were fatal to the Indians. The whites having 
felt their strength no longer feared them; and the Over-hill 
towns, which had never yet been invaded, were soon to feel 
their avenging arm. 

The two prisoners mentioned who were taken during the 
siege of Fort Watauga were Mrs. William Bean, mother of the 
first white child born in Tennessee, and a boy named Samuel 
Moore. They were carried to one of the Overhill towns, called 
Tuskegee, situated just above the mouth of Tellico, on the 
Little Tennessee River, in what is now Monroe County, Tennes- 
see. There they were condemned to be burned at the stake. 
Mrs. Bean was bound, taken to the top of a mound, and was 

74 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 159. 
"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 160. 


about to be burned, when Nancy Ward interposed and pro- 
nounced her pardon. 76 Moore was not so fortunate; he was ac- 
tually tortured to death by burning. 77 The Tassel afterwards 
asserted, no doubt truthfully, that he was the only white person 
ever burned by the Indians in Tennessee. 78 

"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 157. 
"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee^ p. 158. 
7s Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 306. 



Colonel Christian marches an army against the 
Overhill towns, and dictates terms of peace; treaty of 
Long Island; Dragging Canoe's party refuse to treaty 
and secede from the old towns; rise of the Chicka- 
maugas. 1776-1782. 

The Cherokee invasion of 1776 aroused the neighboring 
states to extraordinary exertions. They determined to strike 
the Indians such a blow as would deter them from again lis- 
tening to the talks of the British. By a concerted movement, 
four expeditions were speedily organized to enter their coun- 
try simultaneously, from as many different directions. North 
Carolina sent twenty-four hundred men under General Griffith 
Rutherford, who laid waste their country upon the Oconaluf- 
tee and Tuckasegee, and on the headwaters of the Little Ten- 
nessee and Hiwassee; the South Carolina men, eighteen hun- 
dred and sixty strong, carried frightful destruction to their 
towns and settlements on the Savannah; while two hundred 
Georgians, under Colonel Samuel Jack, devastated their towns 
on the head of the Chattahoochee and Tugaloo. 

The Virginia forces, including those from the Tennessee 
settlements, numbered about two thousand men, and were 
commanded by Colonel William Christian, an officer of great 
humanity, as well as courage and address. They marched 
against the Overhill towns, which they took without resis- 
tance, the Indians being daunted by their overwhelming num- 
bers. Pursuing the same policy followed by the other com- 
manders, Colonel Christian destroyed many of their towns, 
but with diplomatic discrimination, he spared those like Chota, 
which had been disposed to peace, his purpose being to con- 
vince the Indians that he warred only with enemies. 

The Cherokee country was desolated from the Virginia line 
to the Chattahoochee. Their loss of life and property was ap- 
palling. More than fifty of their towns had been burned, their 
orchards cut down, their fields wasted, their cattle and horses 
killed or driven off, and their personal property plundered. 
Hundreds of their people had been killed, or died of hunger 
and exposure. Those who escaped were fugitives in the moun- 
tains, living on nuts and wild game, or were refugees with 
Superintendent Stuart, who had fled to Florida. 79 

Under these circumstances the Cherokees were compelled 
to sue for peace. Two separate treaties were made. The first 
was concluded with South Carolina and Georgia, at Dewitt's 

79 Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee, p. 51. 


Corner, May 20, 1777, and ceded all their lands in South Caro- 
lina and eastward of the Unaka Mountains. 80 After Colonel 
Christian had destroyed the Overhill towns, he invited their 
chiefs to come in and treat for peace. Six or seven of them 
appeared. The terms imposed upon them were the surrender 
of all prisoners, and the cession of the disputed territory occu- 
pied by the Tennessee settlements, as soon as representatives 
of the whole tribe could be assembled in the spring. 81 In ac- 
cordance with this agreement the treaty with Virginia and 
North Carolina was held at Long Island of Holston, July 20, 
1777, and was signed by twenty of their principal chiefs. 82 

At the conference Colonel Christian regretted the absence 
of Judge Friend, Dragging Canoe, Lying Fish, and Young 
Tassel ; and Captain James Robertson, who was appointed tem- 
porary agent at Chota, was instructed to discover their dis- 
position toward the treaty, and whether there was any danger 
of a renewal of hostilities by one or more of them. 83 These 
were influential chiefs and their disaffection was ominous to 
the settlers. 

Judge Friend was a picturesque character. The Indians 
called him Outacite, which means the "Man-killer," on account 
of his martial exploits, 84 while his English name of Judge 
Friend (corrupted from Judd's Friend) was given him for sav- 
ing a man named Judd from the fury of his countrymen. 85 He 
fought with Washington against the French and Indians on 
the frontiers of Virginia; and on his return took a leading 
part in the war against the Carolinas. He was imprisoned 
and liberated with Ocouostota by Governor Lyttletou, and 
with him received the surrender of the garrison of Fort Loudon. 

After the treaty with Colonel Stephen in November, 1761, 
Henry Timberlake was sent to the Overhill towns. On his ar- 
rival at Tomotley, he was received and entertained by Judge 
Friend, who gave him a general invitation to his house while 
he remained in their towns. The following March, Timber- 
lake conducted him, and a large party of Indians, to Wil- 
liamsburg. A few days before he was to return home, Mr. 
Harrocks invited him to sup with him at the college, where, 
among other curiosities, he showed him the picture of His 

The Cherokee Nation of Indians, by Charles C. Royce, Fifth 
Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, p. 150. 

"Myths of the Cherokee, p. 51. 

8a The whole treaty, and a report of the proceedings during the 
negotiations, may be found in the appendix to Haywood's Civil and 
Political History of Tennessee (2nd Ed.), pp. 501-14. 

83 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 506, 512. 

84 Miller's History of Great Britain, p. 35. 

58 Timberlake's Memoirs, p. 72. 



Majesty King George. The chief viewed it long and atten- 
tively ; then turning to Timberlake, said : "Long have I wished 
to see the king my father; this is his resemblance, but I am 
determined to see himself; I am now near the sea, and never 
will depart from it till I have obtained my desire." He made 
his wish known to the governor next day, who, though he at 
first refused, finally consented, and Judge Friend set off for 
England, accompanied by Timberlake and two Cherokee war- 
riors. 80 

His presence in England created a great furor; thousands 
of people called to see him, whom he would receive only after 
going through the elaborate ceremonies of the toilet, which 
sometimes required as much as four hours. He had his boxes 
of oil and ochre, his fat and his perfumes, which were quite 
indispensable to his appearance in public. Among his callers 
was the poet Goldsmith, w r ho waited three hours before he could 
gain admittance. 87 In the course of his visit he presented 
the chief with a present, who, in the ecstasy of his gratitude, 
gave him an embrace that left his face well bedaubed with oil 
and red ochre. 88 Afterwards he was presented to the king, 
who received him with great affability, and directed that he 
and his companions should be entertained at his expense. They 
carried home with them many presents of such things as they 

Judge Friend had refused to participate in the treaty with 
Henderson and Company in 1775, as he was now holding aloof 
from the treaty of Long Island. But being now seventy-five 
years of age, he was too old to take the field, and though he 
withdrew from the friendly towns, and joined the new settle- 
ment at Chickamauga, the settlers had little reason to fear 
his active hostility. 

The Young Tassel, who, as we shall see, afterwards made 
a noise in the world under the name of John Watts, was both 
a good-natured and a diplomatic young fellow, and, while he 
abandoned the old towns and moved further down the river, 
he did not then attach himself to the Chickamauga faction. 
Of Lying Fish we have no information. 

But Dragging Canoe (Cheucunsene), the stout-hearted 
young chief of Mialaquo, or Big Island town, who had com- 
manded the most important division of the Indian forces in 
their late irruption, and had suffered defeat at the decisive bat- 
tle of Long Island Flats, still declared he would hold fast to 
Cameron's talks, and refused to make any sort of terms with 

""Timberlake's Memoirs, p. 112. 

"Goldsmith's Animated Nature (Phil., 1823), Vol. 1, pp. 351-2. 

^Irving's Life of Goldsmith, Ch. 13. 


the Americans ; 89 and had already been fighting with Captain 
James Robertson, on the Watauga. He seceded from the Na- 
tion's councils; drew 5 off a large number of the most daring 
and enterprising young warriors of the Overhill towns; was 
joined by some of the refugees who fled across the mountain 
before the merciless devastation of Rutherford and William- 
son; moved down the Tennessee River to Chickamauga Creek, 
a few miles above Chattanooga, and founded the notorious- 
band called Chickamaugas. 

More has been said of this remarkable chief, and less is 
known of his personal history, than of any other Indian of 
his time. One historian says he was killed in the beginning 
of his career, at the battle of Long Island Flats, in 1776; 90 
another thinks he was killed at the battle of Boyd's Creek, in 
1780 ; 91 while a third says he served with Jackson in the Creek 
War, and participated in the last great encounter at Horse- 
shoe Bend. 92 Even a contemporarj^, well informed on Indian 
affairs, thinks he died soon after his removal to Chicka- 
mauga. 93 All are equally in error; he died in his own town, 
Running Water, in the spring of 1792. No doubt this want 
of information is due to the fact that he was always at war 
with the Americans, dealt with them at arm's length, and in 
the sixteen years following the first Cherokee invasion, never 
once met them on the treaty ground. 

At this time he was about twenty-four years old; in person 
large and powerful, with coarse, irregular features. He was 
the implacable enemy, not of the white man, for he was the 
devoted and faithful friend of the English, but of the Ameri- 
cans, who were the despoilers of his country. Ambitious of 
great achievements, he had a mind capable of bold resolutions. 
He was brave, daring, and magnanimous. 94 On one occasion 
he is said to have shot a warrior dead on the spot, for insult- 
ing a white woman, though she was the warrior's own pris- 
oner. 95 

Dragging Canoe was the son of Ookoonekah, or W T hite Owl, 

89 Ramsey, pp. 172-3. 

^Phelan's History of Tennessee, p. 43. 

91 Gilmore's Rear Guard of the Revolution, p. 281. 

02 Handbook of American Indians, North of Mexico. Edited by 
Frederick Webb Hodge, pp. 399-400. 

^Colonel William Martin, in the Publications of the Southern His- 
tory Association, Vol. 4, pp. 454-6. 

^Weeks' Joseph Martin, p. 462; William Martin, in the Publica- 
tions of the Southern History Association, Vol. 4, p. 454. Both of these 
accounts are on the authority of William Martin, but they cannot be 
wholly reconciled. 

^Publications of the Southern History Association, Vol. 4, p. 455. 


a prominent Overliill chief, and a signer of the treaty of Hol- 
ston. He first became conspicuous in the public affairs of his 
nation at the famous Transylvania treaty at Sycamore Shoals, 
on the Watauga River, in 1775, the only treaty with the Amer- 
icans he is known to have attended. Haywood has given the 
outline of a great speech delivered by a Cherokee orator, "said 
to have been Oconostota," in opposition to this treaty; 96 but, 
so far as I have been able to find, Dragging Canoe was the 
only chief who publicly opposed the cession in open confer- 
ence. On the second day of the treaty, when Henderson named 
the boundaries of his proposed purchase, Dragging Canoe be- 
came indignant at his pretentious, and withdrew in a passion 
from the conference. He was immediately followed by the 
other Indians, and the meeting was broken up for the day. 97 
Afterwards he warned Henderson that it was "bloody ground," 
and would be "dark" and difficult to settle. 98 Some have 
thought this was the origin of the significant appellation "dark 
and bloody ground." 99 

After the great grant had been agreed to, Henderson asked 
the Indians to sell him the land between them and his pur- 
chase, for a path by which emigrants might reach Kentucky 
without passing over their hunting ground ; hence known as 
the Path Deed. Dragging Canoe then arose, stamped his foot 
against the ground imperiously, waved his hand in the direc- 
tion of Kentucky, and said, "We give you all this." 100 Colonel 
Charles Robertson, who was present on behalf of the Watauga 
Association, was alarmed lest this description should be taken 
to include the lands his Association had leased. 101 But it 
.seems clear to me that Dragging Canoe meant only to express 
his contempt for Carter's Valley as compared to Kentucky; 
,as if he had said: "We give you our great hunting ground; 
there is no game between Watauga and Cumberland Gap; 
when you have that you have all." He did not sign the deeds, 
though he suffered them to be executed by the old chiefs on 
behalf of the whole nation. 

The Chickamauga towns prospered. A general tribal move- 
ment to the west, made necessary by the encroachments of the 
white settlements east of the mountains, had already set in. 
Refugees from the Savannah towns were building new homes 

"'Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 58-9. 
^Deposition of James Robertson, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 
Vol. 1, p. 286; Deposition of Charles Robertson, same, p. 291. 
''Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 283. 
"Smith's History of Kentucky, p. 52. 
100 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, pp. 284, 292. 

101 Deposition of Charles Robertson, Calendar of Virginia State 
Papers, Vol. 1, p. 292. 


upon the Coosa. Many of those driven out from the headwaters 
of the Little Tennessee and Hiwassee joined themselves to the 
Chickamaugas. They held fast to the talks of the English and 
continued in open hostility to the Americans. Chickamauga be- 
came the rallying point for the British interest in the South- 
west. Colonel Brown, the successor of Superintendent Stuart, 
and his deputy, John McDonald, were regularly quartered 
there. 102 They had also gotten in communication with the 
British Governor, Henry Hamilton, at Detroit, and promised 
a contingent of warriors to assist him in the reduction of the 
northwestern frontiers. 

In the summer of 1778, Colonel George Rogers Clark made 
his famous campaign against Kaskaskia, on the Mississippi 
River, which being taken and conciliated, Cahokia, near the 
present East St. Louis, and Vincennes, on the Wabash, also 
hoisted the American flag, and accepted American comman 
dants appointed by Colonel Clark. News of Clark's success 
greatly irritated Governor Hamilton, and he determined not 
only to drive Clark from the Mississippi Valley, but to deliver 
a blow to the northwestern frontiers that would prevent a 
repetition of his bold exploits. In October he moved, with a 
considerable force, against Fort Vincennes, and its garrison, 
which contained only two Americans, surrendered, December 
17, 1778. Instead of pushing on at once and taking Kaskaskia, 
as he might have done, Governor Hamilton remained at Vin- 
cennes, and spent the winter planning a great spring campaign, 
in which he would first destroy Colonel Clark, and then, turn- 
ing southward, would sweep through Kentucky, driving back 
every American settlement west of the Alleghanies. 103 To ac- 
complish this bold project he expected the assistance of five- 
hundred Cherokees, Chickasaws, and other Indians, who were 
to rendezvous at the mouth of the Tennessee River. He caused 
the British agent to collect a supply of stores and goods at 
Chickamauga to the value of one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand dollars, for distribution at their meeting. 

Before the spring had arrived, however, Colonel Clark, after 
one of the most arduous and difficult marches on record, re- 
took Fort Vincennes, February 25, 1779, and sent Governor 
Hamilton a prisoner to Virginia, The spring campaign in the 
northwest having now failed, the Chickamaugas determined 
to invade the frontiers on Hols ton. Warning of their purpose 

102 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 271; American 
State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 327, 532. 

"'Colonel Clark to the Governor of Virginia, Jefferson's Corre- 
spondence. By Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Vol. 1, p. 451; Thwaite's 
How George Rogers Clark Won the Northwest, pp. 41-2. 


was conveyed to the settlements by Captain James Eobertson 
from the friendly town of Chota, where he was stationed as 
the first American agent to the Cherokees, and the border 
counties of Virginia and North Carolina at once raised a 
force of three hundred and fifty volunteers under Colonel 
Evan Shelby, of King's Meadows. They were joined by a 
regiment of one hundred and fifty twelve-months men under 
Colonel John Montgomery, which had just been enlisted for 
the reinforcement of Colonel Clark, and embarked on the 
Holston River, April 10, 1779. They descended the river in 
pirogues and canoes built for the occasion, and took the In- 
dians so completely by surprise that the few warriors not out 
on the war path, fled to the mountains without making the 
slightest resistance. 

Colonel Shelby, following the now well established and 
most approved method of Indian warfare, burned the town of 
Chickamauga and ten villages around it, destroyed twenty 
thousand bushels of corn, which had probably been collected 
there to forward the expeditions which were to have been 
launched at the council they were to hold with Governor Ham- 
ilton at the mouth of the Tennessee, and other provisions, and 
carried off their cattle, horses and peltries, together with the 
British stores, which sold for one hundred and twenty-five 
thousand dollars. 104 Their warriors, on learning through run- 
ners of the destruction of their towns, abandoned their cam- 
paign against the frontiers, and returned to their desolated 
homes. 105 

The temporary tranquility that followed the destruction 
of the Chickamauga towns gave the patriots of Watauga and 
Holston an opportunity to win glory for their country and 
laurels for themselves by their unprecedented victory over the 
British at the battle of King's Mountain. But their tempo- 
rary absence from the border likewise afforded the Chicka- 
rnaugas an opportunity to form a coalition with the Overhill 
towns for a second general invasion of the frontier settle- 
ments. 106 This was frustrated by the promptness with which 
the border militia took the field and carried the war into the 
Indian country. Colonel John Sevier, without a day's rest 
after his return from King's Mountain, was the first in the 
field, with about three hundred men from Washington County, 
N. C. On the sixteenth of December, 1780, he fell in with a 
large party of Indians, and won the brilliant victory of Boyd's 
Creek the battle in which Gilmore erroneously supposes that 

"'Jefferson's Correspondence, Vol. 1, p. 163. 

103 Ramsey, pp. 186-8; Mooney, p. 55. 

""Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 271. 


Dragging Canoe was killed. He was probably not present, as 
the Indians engaged were mostly from Chota. Colonel Sevier 
then retired to the Big Island of French Broad, to await rein- 

On the 22d he was joined by Colonel Arthur Camp- 
bell, of Washington County, Va., and Major Joseph Mar- 
tin, of Sullivan County, N. C., with some four hundred men. 
The united forces marched, first against the Overhill towns, and 
then to those on the Hiwassee, where many of the Chicka- 
maugas had taken refuge after the destruction of their towns 
by Colonels Shelby and Montgomery, but they nowhere encoun- 
tered any further resistance. They did not penetrate as far 
south as Chickamauga. After destroying the Indian towns 
and property in the usual fashion, they began their home- 
ward march on the first day of January, 1781. 10T 

In the summer of 1781 a treaty of peace was concluded 
with the Overhill towns, but the Chickamaugas were still in- 
flexible, and instead of suing for peace, were winning over to 
the war party new allies in the Cherokee towns on the Coosa, 
and among the neighboring Creeks. 108 They were a constant 
menace to the peace and safety of the frontiers, and in Septem- 
ber, 1782, Colonel Sevier again invaded their country. Passing 
by the friendly towns on the Little Tennessee, he devastated the 
Indian settlements from the Hiwassee to the Coosa River, 
without meeting a foe in the field. 109 This was the third time 
in three years that their country had been overrun. 

These annual incursions which laid waste their country, 
and destroyed the meager stores provided for their subsistence, 
became intolerable to the Chickamaugas. They could not have 
lived they would have died of starvation, if such conditions 
had continued. The whites hoped it would result in a general 
peace, but the genius of the indomitable Dragging Canoe found 
another solution of their difficulties. 

The passage of the Tennessee River through the Cumber- 
land Mountain range at Chattanooga is one of the most unique 
achievements of nature. In its rapid descent it has cut deep 
through the solid stone, leaving towering cliffs and precipices 
on either shore, in some places scarcely leaving room for a 
path between them and the impetuous current of the river. 
The prospect from Lookout Mountain is almost incredible, 
reaching, it is said, the territory of seven states. The favorite 

107 Arthur Campbell's Report, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 
Vol. 1, pp. 135-7; Ramsey, pp. 261-8; James Sevier, American His- 
torical Magazine, Vol. 6, pp. 41-2. 

108 Ramsey, p. 271. 

109 Ramsey, pp. 272-3 ; American Historical Magazine, Vol. 6, p. 43. 


view is called the Point, a projecting angle of the cliff, al- 
most directly above the river, which affords a commanding 
"Lookout" from which the mountain received its name. Con- 
fined within its narrow banks, the rapidly descending stream 
rushes with fretful turbulence over immense boulders and 
masses of rock, creating a succession of cataracts and vortices, 
making it extremely difficult of navigation. Along its wild and 
romantic shores are coves and gorges running back into the 
mountains, forming inaccessible retreats. At a point about 
thirty-six miles below Chattanooga, Nickajack Cave, an im- 
mense cavern, some thirty yards wide, with a maximum height 
of fifteen feet, opens its main entrance on the river. 110 

Among these impregnable fastnesses Dragging Canoe found 
an asylum for his people; here he built the five Lower towns 
of the Chickamaugas Running Water, Nickajack, and Long 
Island towns, in Tennessee, and Crow and Lookout Mountain 
towns, in Alabama and Georgia, respectively. In addition to 
the security offered by their positions, it gave them the ad- 
vantage of being near the Indian path, where the hunting and 
war parties of the Creeks of the south, and the Shawnees of the 
north, crossed the Tennessee River. Their strength was aug- 
mented from the Creeks, Shawnees, and white Tories, until they 
numbered a thousand warriors, and became the most formida- 
ble part of their nation. It has been said that they abandoned 
Chickamauga Creek on account of witches, 111 but I agree with 
Colonel Arthur Campbell, 112 that the real cause was the raids 
of the Watauga and Holstou militia. 

""Ramsey, pp. 183-4. 

"'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 431. 

"'Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 271. 



Captain Robertson plants a Colony on Cumber- 
land; voyage of Colonel Donelson from Fort Patrick 
Henry to the French Salt Lick; the Chickasaws invade 
the infant settlements; massacre of the refugees from, 
Renfroe's at Battle Creek; assault on Freeland's Sta- 
tion; restoration of peace, and Chickasaw treaty at 
Nashville; Piomingo and the Colberts. 1780-1783. 

The magnificent country that Henderson and Company 
bought from the Cherokee Indians in 1775, and which they 
called Transylvania, included within its boundaries the beau- 
tiful valley of the Cumberland in Tennessee. The pioneers of 
Cumberland, being widely separated from the nearest station 
then being planted by Henderson and Company in Kentucky, 
and still more distantly removed from their parent settle- 
ments on the Watauga and Nolichucky, had a career uncon- 
nected with either of them, and made a history distinct from 
them both. At the treaty of Sycamore Shoals, Dragging 
Canoe, afterwards the founder and head chief of the Chicka- 
mauga towns, warned Colonel Henderson that the land he was 
getting was bloody ground, and would be dark and difficult 
to settle. This prophecy was mercilessly fulfilled, both in 
Kentucky and on the Cumberland; and the principal agent 
in working its fulfillment in the latter district was Dragging 
Canoe himself, though the settlement was surrounded by hos- 
tile Indians on every side. 

Captain James Robertson, who had been present at the 
treaty of Sycamore Shoals, believing the Indian title to the 
land on the Cumberland had been extinguished by the deed to 
Henderson and Company (as in fact it proved to be, though 
the purchase did not inure to the benefit of the enterprising 
promoters, who were, however, liberally compensated for their 
trouble and expense by the States of North Carolina and Vir- 
ginia), in 1779 conducted a small party to that region, and 
grew a crop of corn for the sustenance of the colony he pur- 
posed to conduct there the succeeding year. In the fall he 
returned to Watauga, after having visited Kentucky for the 
purpose of securing cabin rights, and collected a considerable 
company who were to form the beginning of his new settle- 
ment. The men were to go through with Captain Robertson 
by land, and the women and children \vere to follow by water, 
for which purpose a flotilla of numerous small crafts of every 
description, from the canoe to the flatboat, was collected at 
Fort Patrick Henry, on the Holston, and put under the com- 
mand of Colonel John Donelson. Captain Robertson and his 


party reached their destination without accident, in a season 
distinguished as the "cold winter," drove their cattle and 
horses across the Cumberland on the ice, and arrived at the 
Bluff on the first day of January, 1780. 

Colonel Donelson kept a charming diary of his voyage, to 
which we are indebted for the history of this daring and 
perilous adventure. 113 In the spring of 1779, Colonels Shelby 
and Montgomery had destroyed the Chickamauga towns. 
Taken completely by surprise, their warriors swarmed like a 
nest of hornets, and finally settled again amid the ashes of 
their old homes at the mouth of Chickamauga Creek, still un- 
conquered, and thirsting for vengeance. Under the temporary 
quiet produced by this invasion, Colonel Donelson sailed from 
Fort Patrick Henry on December 22, 1779. He reached Chick- 
amauga March 7, 1780, and found the upper town evacuated. 
The next day he came to a village that was inhabited, and 
would have suffered serious damage but for the warning of a 
half-breed called Archy Coody. Proceeding down the river, 
he soon came to a third town; here young Payne, on board 
Captain John Blackmore's boat, was killed by Indians con- 
cealed on the shore. Thomas Stuart and his family, to the 
number of twenty-eight souls, had embarked with the com- 
pany, but smallpox having broken out among them, by agree- 
ment they kept in the rear of the other boats, being notified 
each night, by the sound of a horn, when they should go into 
encampment. The Indians discovering Stuart's helpless situa- 
tion as he passed this town, intercepted his boats and killed 
or captured his entire party, whose cries were distinctly heard 
by some of the boats in advance. More than two years after- 
wards William Springston, a trader, brought a son of Mr. 
Stuart, a little fellow about ten years of age, to Long Island 
and delivered him to Colonel Martin, the Indian agent. 114 He 
is the only one of the party who is known to have been spared. 

Among the boats in Colonel Donelson's flotilla was that of 
Jonathan Jennings, containing himself and wife, a daughter, 
Mrs. Ephraim Peyton, whose husband had gone through by 
land with Captain Robertson, a son nearly grown, and another 
young man, besides a negro man and woman. While on the 
way from Chickamauga to Lookout Mountain, Mrs. Peyton 

113 Journal of a Voyage, intended by God's permission, in the good 
boat Adventure, from Fort Patrick Henry, on the Holston River, to 
the French Salt Springs on the Cumberland River, kept by John 
Donelson. The original manuscript is preserved in the archives of 
the Tennessee Historical Society. It is published in full in Putnam's 
History of Middle Tennessee, p. 69, and in Ramsey's Annals of Ten- 
nessee, p. 197. 

""Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 243. 


was delivered of a child, in consequence of which her father's 
boat fell slightly behind the others. The next day the flotilla 
passed through the dangerous narrows, where the river cuts 
through the mountain. The Indians, who had followed them 
down the south bank of the river, now lined the bluffs over- 
looking them, from which they kept up a constant fire upon 
their boats. All went well, however, until John Cotton's canoe 
capsized and lost its cargo. The company, pitying his dis- 
tress, landed on the north bank of the river and undertook to 
assist him in the recovery of his goods, when, to their aston- 
ishment, the Indians opened fire from the cliffs above them. 
They retreated to their boats and immediately moved off, the 
Indians continuing to fire until they were out of range. Four 
of the party were slightly wounded, among them Miss Nancy 
Gower, daughter of Abel Gower, Sr. The crew of her father's 
boat being thrown into disorder, she took the helm and 
steered the boat, exposed to the fire of the enemy. While en- 
gaged in this work an Indian bullet pierced the upper part 
of her thigh, but she uttered no cry or word of complaint, and 
It was only after the danger was over that her mother dis- 
covered she was wounded by the blood flowing through her 
clothing. She recovered from her wound, and subsequently 
married Anderson Lucas. 115 

As Colonel Donelson moved out into the placid waters be- 
yond the narrows, he saw Jennings' boat run on a rock that 
projected from the northern shore immediately at the "whirl," 
but being unable to render him any assistance, he continued 
his course and left them to their fate. The Indians were at 
once attracted by this accident, and centered their fire on 
Jennings' boat, piercing it in numberless places, and sending 
many bullets through the clothing of the party, especially those 
of Mrs. Jennings. Jennings ordered all his goods to be thrown 
overboard to lighten his boat, while he returned the fire of the 
Indians. Before they had completed their work, the two boys 
and the negro man became panic-stricken and deserted the 
boat. Jennings now had no other support than that of his 
heroic wife and a negro woman, Mrs. Peyton and her infant be- 
ing both a care and an impediment. After they had finished un- 
loading the boat, Mrs. Jennings jumped into the water and 
shoved it off. When the boat was loosened from the rock it 
started so suddenly that Mrs. Jennings came near being left 
in the river, a victim of her own intrepidity. Mrs. Peyton's 
child was killed in the hurry and confusion consequent on such 
a disaster; and she was herself frequently exposed to wet and 
cold, but neither health nor courage failed her. Two days 

U5 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 102. 


later at four o'clock in the morning, while Colonel Donel- 
son's company were gathered around their camp fires, they 
heard from up the river the pathetic cry, "Help poor Jen- 
nings!" His family was in a most wretched condition, but 
they were taken up and distributed among the other boats, 
and so continued their journey. 

Donelson's flotilla was not again molested by the Indians 
until they reached the Mussel Shoals, where a predatory band 
of Cherokees and Creeks had formed a settlement. They had 
selected the place, apparently, as a strategic point from which 
they could fall upon such parties of immigrants as might, un- 
happily, -be stranded in the dangerous rapids of the shoals; 
though they subsequently traded with French adventurers from 
the Illinois, and robbed American immigrants on the Cumber- 
land. At the upper end of the shoals the boats were fired 
upon, without injury; two days later, a short distance below 
them, they were less fortunate. Some boats coming too near 
the shore were fired upon and five of their people were wound- 
ed, but not dangerously. That night they camped near the 
mouth of a creek. Having kindled fires, they prepared for 
rest, and one negro had actually gone to sleep, when the in- 
cessant barking of the dogs so alarmed the company that they 
beat a hasty retreat to their boats, fell down the river about 
a mile, and camped on the opposite shore. Next morning a 
canoe which had been sent over to the first camp, found the 
negro, who had been overlooked in the hurried retreat, still 
asleep by the fire. 

These were the last Indians encountered on their voyage. 
Having descended the Tennessee to its mouth, they rowed 
laboriously up the Ohio and Cumberland. On the 12th of 
April, 1780, they came to a little river running in on the 
north side, called Red River, up which Moses Renfroe and his 
company intended to settle. Here they took their leave of 
Colonel Douelson, and, ascending Red River to the mouth of 
Person's Creek, nea? the present village of Port Royal, they 
landed and commenced the settlement known as Renfroe's, or 
Red River Station, about forty miles northwest of Nashville. 
Donelson and the main company continued on to the Big Salt 
Lick, where they arrived April 24, 1780. 

The immigrants settled in numerous stations scattered 
along the valley of the Cumberland. The central and most im- 
portant of these was the Bluff, at Nashville; then came Eaton's, 
on the east side of the river, near Lock A ; Freeland's, in north 
Nashville; Mausker's, at Goodlettsville; Asher's, near Galla- 
tin; Douelson's, at Clover Bottom, on Stone's River; Union, 
about six miles above Nashville; and Renfroe's, which has al- 
ready been mentioned. There were probably not above one 


hundred men in all the settlement at this time; there were 
less than two hundred in the year 1783. Colonel Donelson's 
experience proved that they were threatened by hostile bands 
of Indians on at least two sides: The Chickamaugas, on the 
east, who wished to exterminate the whites; and the maraud- 
ing Cherokees and Creeks of the Mussel Shoals, on the south, 
who desired to plunder them. They had already been dis- 
turbed by the Delawares, of the north, a party of whom camped 
on a branch of Mill Creek, since called Indian Creek, in Janu- 
ary, 1780; and in July or August of that year killed poor 
Jonathan Jennings. 1]G But they came in contact with the 
settlers by accident, and did them comparatively small dam- 

To complete the circle of their enemies, an event happened 
this year that brought upon the young colony a dangerous 
invasion from the Indians of the west. The Chickasaws, who 
lived upon the east bank of the Mississippi, about the present 
city of Memphis, were the undisputed proprietors of all the 
lands lying between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. 
As early as June, 1778, Governor Jefferson had instructed 
Colonel George Rogers Clark to establish a military post near 
the mouth of the Ohio. Just at that time, however, he was 
engaged in his marvelous campaign in the Northwest, which 
resulted in the capture of Governor Hamilton at Vincenues, 
February 25, 1779. In March Colonel Clark reached the con- 
clusion that the only method of maintaining American au- 
thority in the Illinois, was to evacuate their present posts, and 
center their whole force at, or near, the mouth of the Ohio; 
which would still be ineffective unless a considerable number 
of families could be settled around the fort, for the purpose 
of drawing reinforcements and victualing the garrison. 117 
Soon afterwards he took two hundred men from the Falls of 
the Ohio, and proceeding down the river, built Fort Jefferson, 
and established a settlement at the Iron Banks, about five 
miles below the mouth of the Ohio, and within the hunting 
grounds of the Chickasaw Indians. 118 As soon as the Chicka- 
saws learned that this fort had been erected, and a number of 
families settled about it, without their consent, they took up 
arms to defend their hunting ground. 119 They not only laid 
siege to Fort Jefferson, and destroyed the settlement around 
it, but they invaded the frontiers of Kentucky, and even pene- 
trated as far as the infant settlements on the Cumberland. 

116 Haywood, p. 125. 

'"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, pp. 338-9. 

118 Collin's History of Kentucky, p. 39. 

"'Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 284. 


Renfroe's Station, as we have seen, was the most western 
station on the Cumberland, being some forty miles northwest 
of the Bluff. In June or July, 1780, a party of Chickasaws 
killed Nathan Turpin and another man at Renfroe's, which so 
alarmed the stationers that they resolved to abandon the set- 
tlement, and take refuge at Freeland's; and, that they might 
not be impeded in their flight, they concealed some of the least 
portable of their property about the station before they de- 
parted. Isaac Renfroe left some iron, which afterwards be- 
came the subject of litigation before the Committee of Cum- 
berland, and enough of it was awarded to David Rounsevall 
to satisfy his debt of 31, l'2s., and costs. 120 This is mentioned 
to show how much they valued the few supplies they were 
able to bring with them to the settlement. Having traveled 
as far as they could through the forests and canebrakes, over 
a very broken country, they halted for the night. Most of the 
party continued their journey the next day, and reached their 
destination in safety; the others, finding they had been thus 
far unmolested, reproached themselves for having left their 
property in their hasty flight, and, upon consultation, deter- 
mined to return to the abandoned station for it. They imme- 
diately retraced their steps, cautiously approached their de- 
serted cabins, and by daybreak had collected up their property 
and resumed their march.' On the way they picked up their 
families, and at night all camped together about two miles 
north of Sycamore Creek, beside a branch since called Battle 
Creek. Next morning Joseph Renfroe went to the spring for 
water. While he was stooping to drink the Indians fired upon 
him from ambush, killing him instantly They then rushed 
upon the camp and massacred the whole party eleven or 
twelve persons with the exception of Mrs. Jones, who made 
her escape. By following the trail of the first party this lone 
and frightened woman made her way to Eaton's Station. Her 
clothing was torn into shreds as she hurried through the 
bushes and cane for a distance of nearly twenty miles. The 
stationers promptly visited the scene of slaughter, and buried 
the dead; but the Indians had made off with the horses and 
such other property as they cared for, and destroyed what 
they did not take. The ground was white with the feathers 
of the beds they had ripped up to get the ticks. 121 

After this massacre by the Chickasaws, and similar ravages 
by the Chickamaugas, presently to be noticed, all the stations 

120 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 7, p. 135. 

121 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 109-110; Haywood's 
History of Tennessee, p. 127; Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 


on the Cumberland were abandoned except the Bluff, Eaton's 
and Freeland's. At this juncture Colonel Robertson found it 
necessary to make a journey to Kentucky for the threefold 
purpose of concerting measures for the defense of the Cum- 
berland; finding means to conciliate the Chickasaws, and pro- 
curing a supply of ammunition for the stationers. He re- 
turned to the Bluff on the llth day of January, 1781. 125 

The same day a small party of Indians had appeared in the 
neighborhood. While David Hood was passing from Freeland's 
to the Bluff, they fired upon him from ambush near the Sulphur 
Spring. He was pierced by three balls, and seeing no means of 
escape, fell upon his face and simulated death. The Indians 
rushed on him, and one of them, twisting his fingers in his 
hair, began to scalp him. His knife being very dull the scalp 
did not yield readily; he took a new hold, and sawed away 
until he could pull it off. Hood stood this painful operation 
without a groan or other sign of life. After scalping him, he 
stamped upon him to dislocate his neck, and left him for dead. 
He lay perfectly quiet until the Indians disappeared, when 
he cautiously peeped out and found himself quite alone. He 
then arose, weak and bloody from his many wounds, and 
slowly wended his way towards the Bluff. When he reached 
the top of the bank he was amazed to find the whole party of 
Indians in front of him, grinning and laughing at his bloody 
figure and bewildering predicament. He turned and trotted 
back as fast as his waning strength would carry him, when 
they again fired upon him, wounding him slightly in two 
places. They did not pursue him, but his strength failed, and 
he crept into the brushwood, and fainted from loss of blood. 
He lay in this condition until the men from the fort who had 
heard the firing, found him, brought him in, and laid him in 
an outhouse, thinking him dead or in a dying condition. 123 
That night the Chickasaws assaulted Freeland's Station, the 
old swivel at the Bluff sounded the tocsin of alarm, its men 
marched to the relief of their friends, and poor Hood was, 
for the time, forgotten in his outhouse. 

Colonel Robertson had reached the Bluff in the evening, 
and learning that his family was at Freeland's, he proceeded 

1Z3 Dr. Felix Robertson, Nashville Journal of Medicine and Sur- 
gery, Vol. 8 (1855), quoted in Eve's Remarkable Surgical Cases; 
give this date as January 15th, but Dr. Robertson, who associated the 
date with that of his own birth, is more probably correct. 

Haywood and our other historians following him, give this date 
January 15th, but Dr. Robertson, who associated the date with that 
of his own birth, is more probably correct. 

12S Dr. Felix Robertson, Nashville Journal of Medicine and Sur- 
gery, Vol. 8 (1855) ; John Rains, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 
266; Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 156-8; Haywood, pp. 
133-4; Ramsey, pp. 455-6. 


to that station, where he joined them late in the night. His 
wife had that day borne him a son, the first male child born in 
the city of Nashville. That child was the eminent Dr. Felix 
Robertson, long an intelligent and influential citizen of Ten- 
nessee. After Colonel Robertson had exchanged greetings with 
his family, and satisfied the eager questions of his friends, all 
retired for the night. About the hour of midnight the alert 
ear of Colonel Robertson heard a movement at the gate that 
aroused his suspicion. He raised himself up, seized his rifle, 
and gave the alarm, "Indians!" 

A large party of Chickasaws, having found means to un- 
fasten the gate, were now entering the stockade. In an in- 
stant every man in the fort eleven in number was in mo- 
tion. Major Robert Lucas, who occupied a house that was 
untenable because the cracks between the logs had not yet 
been chinked and daubed, rushed out into the open, and was 
shot down, mortally wounded. A negro man of Colonel Rob- 
ertson's, who was in the house with Major Lucas, was also 
killed. These were the only fatalities, though the death of 
Major Lucas alone was a serious loss to the colony. He had 
been a leading pioneer on the Watauga, as he was on the Cum- 
berland. He was a party to the treaty of Sycamore Shoals, 
and in connection with Colonel John Carter, had received from 
the Cherokees a deed to a part of Carter's Valley. On his 
removal to Cumberland, he was elected major in the first 
military organization of the district. 

Hundreds of shots Jiad been fired into the houses; and so 
great was the uproar from the firing, and the whooping and 
yelling of the Indians, that the stationers at Eaton's and the 
Bluffs were aroused, and the sound of the small cannon at 
the latter place gave notice that relief was at hand. The In- 
dians then withdrew. They had lost one killed, whose body 
was found, and the traces of blood indicated that others had 
been wounded. 124 

Early next morning Colonel Robertson returned to the 
Bluff, and with his fatherly oversight of his people, went out 
to see Hood, who was still in the outhouse. Finding him 
alive, he inquired how he was. "Not dead yet," he replied, "and 
I believe I would get well if I had half a chance." Colonel 
Robertson told him he should have a whole chance; and pro- 
ceeded himself to dress his wounds. His treatment of the 
scalp wound was curious. On the Holston he had seen many 
persons who had been scalped, and there learned from a trav- 
eling French surgeon how to treat them. He took a pegging 

124 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 223-4; Haywood, p. 
131; Ramsey, p. 451. 


awl and perforated thickly the whole naked space. This was 
done that granulation might spring up through the awl holes, 
and gradually spreading, unite and form a covering to the 
denuded skull before it should die and exfoliate, and thus ex- 
pose the brain. This operation became so common that there 
were persons in every station who could perform it. 125 In 
1796 there were some twenty persons still living on the Cum- 
berland who had lost their scalps. 126 Hood recovered and lived 
to a ripe old age. 


(To be continued.) 

123 Dr. Felix Robertson, Nashville Journal of Medicine and Sur- 
gery, Vol. 8 (1855). 

""American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 26. 






While the general history of slavery in the Southern states 
is pretty well understood, a more accurate knowledge of it, in 
some of its aspects, can be gotten from viewing it in the con- 
crete, observing the progress and application of the legislation 
affecting it, and considering the contemporary utterances of 
those who were among the leaders in forming and in express- 
ing public sentiment. This article deals only with the subject 
of the voluntary emancipation of slaves in Tennessee, as re- 
flected in the legislation and judicial decisions of that state. 

There was a good deal in slavery that was harsh and harden- 
ing, but it was not altogether so, and the growing sentiment 
was toward voluntary emancipation. While much could be 
said in favor of emancipation, there was also leaving out of 
consideration the money loss to the owners much to be said 
against it, for it meant the admission to citizenship of a servile 
race which was without the education or the means or the 
moral qualities to fit them for that status ; and "free negroes" 
were often found to be a demoralizing influence in slave com- 
munities an influence that became more and more dangerous 
as the activities of the abolitionists increased. 

At common law 1 there were no restrictions upon the right 
of a master to free his slaves at pleasure, 1 but in 1777 it was 
enacted in North Carolina that slaves could be freed only with 
the consent of the county court and for meritorious services, 2 
which act continued in force during the first few r years of Ten- 
nessee's existence as a state, and always thereafter it was rec- 
ognized that the state had an interest in the emancipation of 
slaves and that its consent was, therefore, necessary. 

"Degraded by their color and condition in life," says Judge 
Catron, "the free negroes are a very dangerous and most ob- 
jectionable population where slaves are numerous; therefore, 
no slave can be safely freed but with the assent of the govern- 
ment where the manumission takes place. . . . It is an 
act of sovereignty, just as much as naturalizing the foreign 
subject. The highest act of sovereignty a government can per- 
form is to adopt a new member, with all the privileges and 

^Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 127, 157 (1834). 
2 Acts, N. C., 1777, ch. 6. 


duties of citizenship. To permit an individual to do this at 
pleasure would be wholly inadmissible." 3 

The act of 1777 operated harshly by reason of the require- 
ment of ''meritorious services," which often forbade the eman- 
cipation of children while permitting that of their parents,* 
and in 1801 this injustice was removed, and it was provided 
that the county court should have the right to free slaves upon 
petition of their owners, provided the court "should be of 
opinion that acceding to the same would be consistent with 
the interest and policy of the state" 5 ; but the act went on to 
declare that the petitioner must enter into bond "to reimburse 
such damages as the county may sustain in consequence of such 
slave or slaves becoming chargeable," and the policy of exact- 
ing a bond to indemnify the county 'against the former slaves 
becoming a public charge was thereafter adhered to up until 
the adoption, in 1831, of the new policy of exclusion. 

The procedure usually followed under this act was for the 
master, who wished to free his slave, to file the petition and 
give the bond, or for the executor to do this, for in most cases 
slaves were freed by will, so as not to be effective until the 
master's death ; and it was held that, if the executor failed or 
refused to take the necessary steps to effect the emancipation, 
a court of chancery would compel him to. 6 

However, any difficulty on account of a recalcitrant ex- 
ecutor was removed in 1829 when the chancery court was given 
the same power to emancipate that the county court had there- 
tofore exercised, 7 the act providing that, if the executor or 
administrator failed or refused to file the prescribed petition 
in the county court, the slaves themselves might "file a bill in 
equity by their next friend, and, upon its being made satis- 
factorily to appear to the court that said slave or slaves ought 
of right to be set free, it shall be so ordered by the court." 8 
In a very elaborate consideration of the question it was held 
that the provisions of this act were available to slaves who 
had been given their freedom prior to its passage, and that a 
later legislative attempt to deprive them of its benefits 9 was. 
unconstitutional. 10 

^Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 126-127 (1834). 

4 Ibid., 127. 

"Acts 1801, ch. 27. 

6 Hinklin vs. Hamilton, 3 Hum., 569 (1842) ; Howard vs. demons, 
5 Hum., 367 (1844). 

7 Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 128 (1834) ; Isaac vs. Me- 
Gill, 9 Hum., 616 (1848); Lewis vs. Daniel, 10 Hum., 305 (1849). 

8 Acts 1829, ch. 29, sec. 1. 

9 Acts 1831, ch. 101, sec. 1. 

"Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 157-166 (1834). 


It has been seen that two things were requisite to effect a 
legal emancipation, namely, the consent of the master or owner, 
and the consent of the state given through the courts there- 
unto by law appointed. These two acts of 1801 and 1829 were 
highly favorable to emancipation, that is to say, they were 
designed to encourage the freeing of slaves and to furnish a 
simple and sure method of procuring the state's formal con- 
sent; and equal liberality was shown by the courts in their 
effort and inclination to extract from some source the neces- 
sary consent of the master. An acknowledged or witnessed 
instrument was not required, nor any writing at all, nor even 
an explicit oral declaration, but it was sufficient if the court 
could infer from the acts and conduct of the master a pur- 
pose or intention that the slave should be freed. 11 

It was of the highest importance to the slave to be able to 
show his master's consent to his emancipation, even though it 
appeared that there had been insufficient steps, or no steps 
at all, to procure the state's consent; for the courts held that 
there existed in such cases a kind of twilight zone of freedom, 
in which the slave, while not legally free, enjoyed what they 
termed "an imperfect right to freedom," so that he was, as 
between him and his master, or those claiming under his mas- 
ter, discharged from all duty of service. Thus Judge McKin- 
ney said that "the legal character and condition of the slave 
is changed" by his master's consent, even without that of the 
state; "his relations to his former master and to the commu- 
nity are likewise changed. By the act of the master imparting 
to him an imperfect right to freedom, he ceases to be in the 
state and condition of slavery ; ceases to have an owner or mas- 
ter within the meaning of the law." 12 And a few years later- 
Judge Turley said that "a devise of freedom is a substantive 
thing, whether it be recognized by the state or not, and no one 
but the state can interfere in relation thereto." 13 "There al- 
ways has been," said Judge Nicholson, "an intermediate state 
between absolute slavery and absolute freedom recognized by 
our courts, in which intermediate state the inchoate legal 
right to freedom, and the vested equitable right to its benefits, 
have been regarded as substantive things, capable of being 
enforced and consummated in courts of equity." 14 

u Hope vs. Johnson, 2 Yerg., 123 (1826) ; Greenlow vs. Rawlings, 
3 Hum., 90 (1842); Lewis vs. Simonton, 8 Hum., 185 (1847); Isaac 
vs. McGill, 9 Hum., 616 (1848) ; James vs. State, 9 Hum., 308 (1848) ; 
Abram vs. Johnson, I Head, 120 (1858) ; Isaac vs. Famsworth, 3 
Head, 275 (1859); McCloud vs. Chiles, 1 Cold., 248 (1860). 

"Lewis vs. Simonton, 8 Hum., 185 (1847). 

Lewis vs. Daniel, 10 Hum., 305 (1849). 

"Young vs. Cavitt, 7 Heisk., 30 (1871). And see also Boone vs. 
Lancaster, 1 Sneed, 578 (1854) ; Bedford vs. Williams, 5 Cold., 202 
(1867) ; and Jamison vs. McCoy, 5 Heisk., 108 (1871). 


This recognition of an inchoate or imperfect right to free- 
dom was usually invoked, and successfully, for the purpose of 
defeating the claims of next of kin 15 or the attempts of cred- 
itors to levy on the slaves; 16 and it is in such cases especially 
that we find striking illustrations of the court's manifest de- 
sire to discover a purpose on the part of the master to free 
the slaves, which alone, even in the absence of a legal emanci- 
pation, was sufficient to defeat such claims. 

To illustrate : Elias, having been legally emancipated, mar- 
ried Tenor with the consent of her master, Bead, who permitted 
Tenor to live with Elias; and, Read, having died without mak- 
ing any disposition of Tenor, his administrator offered her 
and her child for sale, and Elias, with the acquiescence of 
Read's next of kin, was permitted to buy them in for $10,. 
whereas they were worth as slaves from |600 to $700. Elias- 
neglected to take the necessary steps to emancipate them, and 
thereafter a judgment creditor of Elias levied on Tenor and 
her child, and Elias then filed a bill to enjoin the levy and to 
establish their freedom. Judge Reese said that the court wa 
of opinion that "both Read and his heirs purposed the emanci- 
pation and freedom of the woman and child . . . ant! 
therefore clothed Elias with the mere form of a legal title, to 
the end that he might be able at any time to emancipate; ac- 
companying this transfer of the mere legal title was a trust 
in favor of the freedom of the wife and children, arising neces- 
sarily from the very nature of the whole transaction." "But," 
he went on to say, "they trusted, and not rashly, it seems, to 
the heart of the husband 'and father, as being at least equiva- 
lent to the deed of another. If he, stifling the voice of nature, 
and severing the paternal tie, had been such a barbarian and 
monster as to have meditated a sale of them for his pecuniary 
advantage, upon the strength of his mere legal title, is there a 
chancery court in Christendom, having jurisdiction over such 
a trust, which would not have promptly interposed, at their 
instance, and enjoined him from perpetrating against them so 
flagrant a wrong? And will not such a court interpose in a 
case little short in its enormity of that supposed, where a 
creditor of Elias seeks to produce the same result by an exe- 
cution sale at law? Certainly it should. That much we have 
power, and it is our duty, to do." 17 

David vs. Bridgman, 2 Yerg., 557 (1831) ; Fisher's Negroes vs. 
Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 127 (1834) ; McCullough vs. Moore, 9 Yerg., 305 
(1835); Howard vs. Clemmons, 5 Hum., 367 (1844); Isaac vs. Mc~ 
Gill, 9 Hum., 616 (1848). 

"Elias vs. Smith, 6 Hum., 33 (1845) ; Porter vs. Blakemore, 2 
Cold., 556 (1865). 

vs. Smith, 6 Hum., 33 (1?45). 


Another case was this: George, having purchased his own 
freedom, had then by his industry and economy purchased his 
wife, by whom he had had six children during the bondage of 
the mother, which children, being born of a slave mother, were 
slaves. George emancipated his wife, and they were legally 
married and were prosperous, and their efforts were directed 
towards the purchase and emancipation of their children. One 
after another of the older children were purchased and set 
free, but complainants, who were the younger children, were 
not thus acquired, although their master had expressed his 
purpose to permit the father to purchase them whenever he 
could. In this situation the master died insolvent, and com- 
plainants were sold and bid in by their father for $1,050, be- 
ing much less than their real value; but they were not legally 
emancipated. In course of time their father became oppressed 
with debts and had to borrow money, and eventually died in- 
solvent, and complainants were levied on by his creditors; 
and thereupon they filed a bill to establish their freedom, 
claiming that there was an agreement between their father 
and their late master that he was to purchase them in order 
to set them free. The court again adopted the theory of an 
implied trust, and accordingly held that complainants were 
purchased by their father for the purpose of giving them their 
freedom, and that they never became assets of his estate so as 
to be subject to the claims of his creditors. 18 

The foregoing cases have been referred to because of their 
humanitarian interest, but there are very many other cases 
that illustrate the strong inclination of the court to resolve 
all doubts in favor of freedom or of quasi freedom. 19 Thus 
very often emancipation proceedings in the county court were 
defective and invalid, but the courts always held that the mere 
institution of such proceedings by the master was a sufficient 
indication of his consent to give the slave at least an inchoate 
right to freedom and to release him from servitude. 20 

While, as we have seen, the mere consent of the master put 
an end to the condition of slavery, it did not discharge the 
master from responsibility for the misconduct of the slave. 
Thus, where a slave v who had been freed by his master but 
not legally emancipated, had been indicted under a statute for- 
bidding a "free person of color" to sell spirituous liquors, the 

^Porter vs. Blakemore, 2 Cold., 556 (1865). 

H arris vs. Clarissa, 6 Yerg., 227 (1834) ; Levina vs. Du field's 
Exr's., Meigs, 118 (1838) ; Isaac vs. McGdll, 9 Hum., 616 (1848). 

'*>McCuHough vs. Moore, 9 Yerg., 305 (1835); Stewart vs. Miller, 
Meigs, 174 (1838) ; Hinklin vs. Hamilton, 3 Hum., 569 (1842) ; Hart- 
sell vs. George, 3 Hum., 255 (1842) ; Abram vs. Johnson, 1 Head, 120 


court quashed the indictment, saying that "the master, by 
failing to petition the county court and give bond according to 
law, remains liable to all the penalties of the law as though 
he had never consented to his freedom." "Until that is done,'* 
the court continued, "the master may be indicted for permit- 
ting him to act as a freeman, and is liable to all the other 
consequences that would have existed if he had not consented 
to the defendant's freedom." 21 

Where one considered that he was illegally held in slavery, 
the practice w&s for him to institute a suit for trespass and 
false imprisonment, 22 or sometimes for assault and battery, 23 
against the person so holding him, in which suit the defendant 
set up that plaintiff was his slave, so that that issue was di- 
rectly presented. While, as a general rule, slaves, being mere 
chattels so that they, their services and their property be- 
longed to their masters 24 could neither sue nor be sued, there 
was from the -beginning a recognized exception in favor of their 
right to sue for their freedom or for property interests con- 
nected therewith 25 ; and, in order to protect plaintiffs during 
the pendency of such suits, the court was given legislative 
authority to have them taken and kept in custody by the 
sheriff, 26 an act which it was held later on did not deprive 
the chancery court of its inherent right and power to render 
even more efficient protection. 27 

"But," says Judge Green, "we are met with the objection 
that none but free persons have a right to sue, and that the 
persons of color in this case are still slaves. A slave is not in 
the condition of a horse or an ox. His liberty is restrained, it 
is true, and his owner controls his actions and claims his serv- 
ices. But he is made after the image of the Creator. He has 
mental capacities, and an immortal principle in his nature that 
constitute him equal to his owjner but for the accidental posi- 
tion in which fortune has placed him. The owner has acquired 
conventional rights to him, but the laws under which he is held 
as a slave have not and cannot extinguish his high-born na- 
ture nor deprive him of many rights which are inherent in man. 

21 James vs. State, 9 Hum., 308 (1848). 

"Vaughan vs. Phebe, M. & Y., 4 (1827) ; Harris vs. Clarissa, 6 
Yerg., 227 (1834) ; Blackmore vs. Negro Phill, 7 Yerg., 452 (1835). 

^Matilda vs. Crenshaiv, 4 Yerg., 299 (1833) ; Stewart vs. Miller, 
Meigs, 174 (1838). 

^University vs. Cambrelins, 6 Yerg., 79 (1834) ; Jenkins vs. Brown, 
6 Hum., 299 (1845). 

*Ford vs. Ford, 7 Hum., 91 (1846) ; John vs. Tate, 7 Hum., 388 
(1846) ; Stephenson vs. Harrison, 3 Head, 728 (1859). 

26 Acts 1817, ch. 103. 

"Sylvia vs. Covey, 4 Yerg., 297 (1833). 


Thus, while he is a slave, he can make a contract for his free- 
dom, which our laws recognize, and he can take a bequest of his 
freedom, and by the same will he can take personal or real 
estate.' 728 

Doubtless very many slaves wfere emancipated under the 
acts of 1801 and 1829, and the practice of emancipating, es- 
pecially by last will, was becoming more and more frequent. 
But likewise the activities of the anti-slavery agitators were, 
in the latter years, becoming more and more objectionable, so 
that, in the course of time, the large and growing body of 
free negroes in the state came to be regarded as so dangerous 
to its welfare as to require preventive legislation. 

Accordingly, in 1831, a law was passed forbidding "any 
free person of color (whether he be born free, or emancipated 
agreeably to the lawls in force and use, either now, or at any 
other time, in any state within the United States or elsewhere), 
to remove himself to this state to reside therein, and remain 
therein twenty days/ 729 and likewise forbidding the emancipa- 
tion of any slave "except on the express condition that such 
slave or slaves shall be immediately removed from this state," 
and requiring a bond in an amount equal to the value of the 
slave to guarantee the performance of this condition. 30 

"This policy," according to Chief Justice Nicholson, "was 
based upon the belief that the peace of the state would be 
endangered by an increase of the number of free colored per- 
sons" ; 31 and, going deeper into the cause of this change, Judge 
Nelson, with manifest bitterness, remarked: "Before the un- 
just, unwarrantable, unconstitutional and impertinent inter- 
ference of enthusiasts and intermeddlers in other states with 
this domestic relation rendered it necessary for the state to 
guard against the effect of their incendiary publications, and 
to tighten the bonds of slavery by defensive legislation against 
persistent and untiring efforts to produce insurrection, the uni- 
form course of decision in this state was shaped with a view 
to ameliorate the condition of the slave, and to protect him 
against the tyranny or cruelty of the master and all other per- 
sons." 32 

In one of the first cases to deal with this statute, Chief 
Justice Catron said: "All the slaveholding states, it is be- 
lieved, as well as many of the non-slaveholding, like ourselves 
have adopted the policy of exclusion. The consequence is the 

vs. Ford, 1 Hum., 91. 
""Acts 1831, ch. 102, sec 1. 

30 Acts 1831, ch. 102, sec. 2. 

31 [ Jamison vs. McCoy, 5 Heisk., 108 (1871). 
^-Andrews vs. Page, 3 Heisk., 660 (1871). 


freed negro cannot find a home that promises even safety in 
the United States, and assuredly none that promises com- 
fort." 33 He said that it was unjust to impose free negroes 011 
other states that did not want them, and he accordingly or- 
dered that the slaves whom the court was then emancipating 
be exported to Africa. 

In the same case Judge Catron depicts the status of a free 
negro in the following vivid language: "The slave who re- 
ceives the protection and care of a tolerable master holds a 
condition here superior to the negro who is freed from domes- 
tic slavery. He is a reproach and a by-word with the slave 
himself, who taunts his fellow-slave by telling him 'he is as 
worthless as a free negro/ The consequence is inevitable. The 
free black man lives amongst us without motive and without 
hope. He seeks no avocation, is surrounded with necessities, 
is sunk in degradation; crime can sink him no deeper, and he 
commits it, of course. This is not only true of the free negro 
residing in the slaveholding states of this Union. . . . 
Nothing can be more untrue than that the free negro is more 
respectable as a member of society in the non-slaveholding 
than the slaveholding states. In each he is a degraded out- 
cast, and his fancied freedom a delusion. With us the slave 
ranks him in character and comfort, nor is there a fair motive 
to absolve him from the duties incident to domestic slavery 
if he is to continue amongst us. Generally, and almost uni- 
versally, society suffers and the negro suffers by manumis- 
sion." 34 

Chancellor Reese afterward a distinguished member of 
the Supreme Court had decided this case below, and in the 
course of his opinion he used the following strong language: 
"When permitted to indulge my feelings and opinions as an 
individual, I find them in strong and direct hostility to all 
schemes for emancipating slaves, under existing circumstances, 
in the bosom of our community." 05 

A "free person of color" from another state came into this 
state and remained more than twenty days, in defiance of this 
act of 1831, and was indicted and convicted; and, on appeal, 
it was earnestly urged in his behalf that the act was uncon- 
stitutional upon the ground that he was entitled, under the 
Federal Constitution, to all of the privileges and immunities 
of citizens of this state. But the Supreme Court had no diffi- 
culty in holding otherwise. 36 "Free negroes, by whatever ap- 

Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 130 (1834). 
"Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 130 (1834). 
M Ibid., p. 139. 
State vs. Claiborne, Meigs, 331. 


pellation we call them," said Judge Green, "were never in any 
of the states entitled to all the privileges and immunities of 
citizens, and consequently were not intended to be included 
when this word was used in the Constitution. . . . How 
can it be said that he enjoys all the privileges of citizens when 
he is scarcely allowed a single right in common with the mass 
of the citizens of the state?" And the court went on to say 
that a free negro was not a "freeman" within the meaning 
either of the Constitution of Tennessee or of Magna Carta. 

The requirement of the act of 1831 that all slaves thereafter 
emancipated should forthwith be sent out of the state was a 
severe one, and efforts were accordingly made to alleviate its 
hardships, first in 1833, by exempting from its provisions those 
who had contracted for their freedom before its passage, 37 and 
second, in 1842, by giving the county court the power, upon ap- 
plication being made to it, to permit emancipated slaves to 
remain in the state "if the court is satisfied that the person 
making the application is of good character and ought to be 
permitted to reside in the county." 38 

In its construction of these two statutes the court gave ad- 
ditional evidence of its merciful regard for those who had been 
unfortunate enough to be in a condition of slavery. The va- 
lidity of certain emancipation proceedings, had in 1837, was 
questioned because of the failure to give the required bond that 
the slave should leave the state, and the court thereupon held 
that, while the record was silent on the subject, it must have 
been made to appear to the county court, in the emancipation 
proceedings, that the slave had contracted for his freedom 
prior to the passage of the act of 1831, so as to bring himself 
within the saving clause of the act of 1833. 39 Again, a slave 
mother who had been emancipated applied to the county court 
for permission, under the act of 1842, to remain in the state 
so that she might be with her children, who were still in slav- 
ery. The county court declined to grant the permission, and 
the supreme court, while holding that this was "a political 
rather than a judicial power," so that its exercise was not re- 
viewable, went on to say that "in acceding to the prayer of the 
petition the liberal and humane views of the legislature would 
have been better effectuated by the county court"; and then 
added, suggestively, that petitioner was at liberty to renew her 
application to the same court at any time or present it to any 
other county court in the state. 40 

37 Acts 1833, ch. 81, sees. 1 and 2. 

38 Acts 1842, ch. 191, sec. 1. 

^Greenlow vs. Rawlings, 3 Hum., 90 (1842). 

*The case of F. Gray, 9 Hum., 513 (1848). 


There was a slave named Phill, and his master wished to 
free him and some other slaves, and accordingly had them 
carried to Illinois and emancipated ; and they, desiring still to 
serve their aged master, and believing that their liberty would 
not thereby be jeopardized, returned to Tennessee, and, after 
their former master's death, were claimed as slaves by his dis- 
tributees upon the ground that the course that had been pur- 
sued was a mere device to evade the exclusion laws of Ten- 
nessee. But Judge Peck said that the court did not think 
there had been any scheme to evade the laws, and further that, 
if there was any such design, the result would not be to make 
them slaves again, since, "once freed in Illinois, the return 
to Tennessee does not replace them in the condition of slaves." 41 

In 1849 the authority given the county court to permit 
emancipated slaves to remain in the state was withdrawn, so 
as to reinstate the strict exclusion policy of the act of 1831. 42 
Commenting on these changes in the law Judge Caruthers 
said : "It is a vexed and perplexing question, upon which pub- 
lic opinion, acting upon the representatives of the people, has 
been subject to much vibration between sympathy and hu- 
manity for the slave and the safety and well-being of society. 
Hence the frequent changes in our legislation on the subject." 43 

But the problem of what to do with the freed negroes was 
not solved, for, while it was certain that neither Tennessee nor 
any of the Southern states wanted them, it had come to be 
made just as clear that none of the states in which slavery was 
forbidden wanted them. 44 

In 1852 it was provided that the county court should ap- 
point trustees for slaves who had been freed by their masters, 
but to whose freedom the state had not given its consent, and 
that the trustees should hire out these slaves and apply the 
proceeds to their support; 45 but this act Was very promptly 
repealed in 1854, and the state then promulgated its final 
policy, that all emancipated slaves excepting those who, be- 
fore its passage, had been legally emancipated and had ac- 
quired the right to reside in the state "shall be transported 
to the western coast of Africa," and that, if means are lack- 
ing for this purpose, they "shall be hired out by the clerk of 
the court until a sufficient fund is raised, which he shall turn 

"Blackmore vs. Negro Phill, 7 Yerg., 452 (1835). 

"Acts 1849, ch. 107. 

4s Bridgewater vs. Pride, I Sneed, 197 (1853). 

"Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 130 (1834) ; Nancy vs 
Wright, 9 Hum., 597 (1848) ; Bridgewater vs. Pride, I Sneed 19& 
(1853) ; Boone vs. Lancaster, 1 Sneed, 578 (1854). 

43 Acts 1852, ch. 300. 


into the state treasury, and the governor shall arrange for the 
transportation of the slaves." 46 "We regard this," said Judge 
Caruthers, "as the most wise and judicious plan which has 
been yet devised, and, with some amendments, it should be- 
come the settled policy of the state." 47 

In 1833 the state had directed the payment "to the Treas- 
urer of the Colonization Society for the use of said Society 
1 10 for each free black person that said treasurer of said So- 
ciety shall certify to said treasurer of Tennessee has been re- 
moved by said Society . . . from the state of Tennessee 
to the coast of Africa" ; 48 and occasional mention by the courts 
of the American Colonization Society which had "formed a 
colony of free blacks at Liberia on the coast of Africa" shows 
that this act of 1852 undoubtedly referred to that colony. 49 

Where a master, ignoring these exclusion laws, had be- 
queathed to his slaves their freedom "provided, however, and 
upon condition that said slaves mentioned shall be permitted 
by law to remain in the state of Tennessee," Judge Turley 
said that, if the condition was regarded, it would defeat the 
gift, and that, since the controlling intent of the testator was 
manifestly that the slaves should have their freedom, this should 
be given effect and the condition treated as a nullity. 50 But 
a few years later the court was considering another will which 
gave certain slaves their freedom if "they can be emancipated 
according to the laws of Tennessee and remain in Tennessee 
as free persons of color, or, wthen emancipated here, if they 
can be removed to the State of Illinois and live there," etc.; 
and Judge Caruthers said that "this is not a case where there 
is a general predominating intent to emancipate, . . . but 
the intent is made to depend entirely upon the annexed condi- 
tion," and he therefore held that, since the slaves, if freed, 
could not legally remain in Tennessee, and were forbidden by 
Illinois to remove to that state, the bequest must fail. 31 

Two maiden sisters living in Sumner County made their 
wills in almost identical language in 1858, directing that, upon 
the death of the survivor, their slaves should be set free and 
transported to the Republic of Liberia, and giving their prop- 
erty to these slaves "upon their embarkation from the United 
States." The property was claimed by their next of kin upon 

48 Acts 1854, ch. 50. 

"Boone vs. Lancaster, I Sneed, 584 (1854). 

48 Acts of 1833, ch. 64. 

"Fisher's Negroes vs. Dabbs, 6 Yerg., 130 (1834) ; Isaac vs. Mc- 
Gill, 9 Hum., 616 (1848). 

M Lewis vs. Daniel, 10 Hum., 305 (1849). 
"Bridgewater vs. Pride, 1 Sneed, 195 (1853). 


the ground that the bequests were conditional upon the slaves 
being transported to the western coast of Africa, which had 
not been done. But Special Judge John C. Gaut said that the 
controlling purpose was to free the slaves and to give them 
the property, and that the direction to transport them to Af- 
rica was only because that was thought necessary at the time 
in order to effect their emancipation, and that, since their re- 
moval was now no longer necessary (this was in 1865), their 
right to the property could not be defeated on this account. 52 

A slave could lawfully contract for his freedom, and the 
courts were vigilant in protecting the rights of the slave thus 
acquired. A case in point is that of Isaac, whose master be- 
queathed him to his (the testator's) widow for life with re- 
mainder to his children equally, but with the right given the 
widow "to rent out or sell my tract of land, hire or sell my two 
negro boys," etc. The testator, perhaps astutely, but vainly, 
declared his further will to be that "no court nor power of 
law, either of county or state, shall have anything to do with 
my estate." The widow proposed to Isaac that, if he would 
procure some one to advance f 300, she would give him his free- 
dom, and he then made a contract with Michael George that, 
if the latter would advance the money, he (Isaac) would work 
for him for eight years; and the widow, in pursuance of this 
agreement, executed a bill of sale to George with a verbal un- 
derstanding that, at the end of the term, he would emancipate 
Isaac. Shortly before the end of the term the widow, in dis- 
regard of this agreement, understock to sell Isaac to a man 
named McCampbell, and made him a bill of sale, and there- 
upon McCainpbell paid George |100 for the balance of the 
term, and took Isaac, and Isaac then brought suit to establish 
his freedom. "It would be as useless as disagreeable," said 
Judge Caruthers, "to comment upon the picture of depravity 
and the perversion of truth among near relations and specula- 
tors which the record in this case exhibits. It is revolting to 
see to what an extent some men will go against the rights of 
the weak, in the eager pursuit of gain. We prefer not to de- 
velop the deformity of this case by an analysis of the proof, 
but simply to state our conclusions as to the facts." It was 
held that, while the widow was given a life estate, neverthe- 
less the unqualified power of disposition vested in her made 
her title absolute, so that she had the right to contract for 
Isaac's freedom, and the contract entered into constituted 
George, in effect, a trustee of Isaac with the duty to free him 
at the end of the term, a trust that he could neither violate nor 

5 -Banks vs. Banks, 2 Cold., 547 (1865). 


surrender. Isaac was accordingly awarded his freedom, but 
was ordered to be deported to Liberia. 53 

There were instances where slaves who had purchased or 
been given their freedom preferred, either in order that they 
might work out the redemption of their wives and children, or 
because they had acquired a little property, or because of their 
natural aversion to being sent away in exile from the only 
home they had known, to sacrifice something of their freedom 
in order to avoid removal or deportation. The transfer of the 
slave to another in trust to be freed was, Chief Justice Nichol- 
son said, "a common mode by which the rigid laws against in- 
creasing the number of free persons of color in the state by 
emancipation was evaded." 5 * 

Thus, Caesar had purchased his freedom from his master, 
and had leased some property and built a house on it, and had 
then purchased his wife with a view of freeing her; and, as 
he was remaining in the state, he was afraid that, after his 
master's death, he would be returned to slavery, so that, to 
avoid this danger, he had his master to make a bill of sale of 
him to a friend of the master. A man named McCoy won 
Caesar's confidence, and succeeded in having the guardianship 
transferred to him, and removed with Caesar and his family 
to a different part of the county, and finally began to treat 
Caesar as a slave, so that Caesar ran away to his old master ; 
but the matter was smoothed over, and McCoy assured him 
that he could return and get his wife and property. When he 
did return for this purpose, he and his wife were seized by 
McCoy and sold to a Mr. Jamison in Mississippi; and when, 
later on, they told Mr. Jamison of the wrong that had been 
done to them, and he ascertained that their story was true, 
he set them free. Nevertheless they continued to live with 
him, and removed with him to Arkansas ; and some years later 
Caesar and his wife died. Mr. Jamison then took out letters 
of administration on Caesar's estate in Dyer County, Tennes- 
see, and brought suit against McCoy to recover the value of 
Caesar's property. The court said that McCoy was liable, and 
that Caesar ceased to be a slave from the moment he purchased 
his freedom, even though he had not, for the lack of the state's 
consent, become a freeman, and that, while the state had the 
right to object, no one else could exercise any dominion over 
him or his property. In this connection the court said: "It 
matters not that he was remaining in the state in opposition 
to the then policy of the state. His imperfect right to freedom 

Isaac vs. Famsworth, 3 Head, 277 (1859). 

54 Jamison vs. McCoy, 5 Heisk., 110 (1871) ; Lewis vs. Simonton, 
8 Hum., 185 (1847). 


was not thereby affected. So long as the state did not object, 
his right to remain and to exercise all the privileges which 
attached to his new situation and condition could be inter- 
fered with by no one. 55 He was master of his own time and of 
his own conduct. He could labor and receive the reward there- 
for. He could not sue and be sued, but he could hold and 
possess the fruits of his industrious earnings, and none could 
question his title thereto." 56 

For the purpose, perhaps, of legalizing such evasions of 
the law as we have just referred to, it was enacted in 1860 that 
all negroes "who have been set free by their former owners, 
by deed, will or otherwise, and who have not been emancipated, 
shall have the privilege of going into voluntary slavery under 
the laws now in force in this state, and, if said negro or negroes 
shall choose to go into slavery, the county court shall not 
hire them out as now required by law." 57 It Will be recalled 
that the act of 1854 had directed that emancipated slaves 
should be hired out by the clerk in order to provide means for 
their deportation. There is one reported case wherein a slave, 
Susan, was given her freedom, but elected to go into voluntary 
servitude under the terms of this act. The executor then un- 
dertook to claim her on the ground that the act was invalid, 
but the court said that, inasmuch as general emancipation 
by act of government had intervened, it was not necessary to 
determine that question. 58 

The constitution of 1834 had declared that "the General 
Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipa- 
tion of slaves without the consent of their owner or owners." 59 
In the fall of 1864 there was a call for a convention of Union 
men to be held in Nashville on December 10th, but "the pres- 
ence of the rebel army around Nashville prevented the conven- 
tion from assembling," and the convention was postponed until 
January 8, 1865. The convention accordingly met on January 
Oth, and recommended that the above quoted constitutional 
provision be abrogated, and that there be substituted there- 
for a provision declaring that slavery was forever abolished 
and that the legislature should make no law recognizing the 
right of property in man. These constitutional changes were 
submitted to a popular vote of Union men on February 22, 
1865, as a result of which Andrew Johnson, commissioned by 
the Secretary of War to be Military Governor of Tennessee, an- 

55 See also Lee vs. Cone, 4 Cold., 392 (1867). 
"Jamison vs. McCoy, 5 Heisk., 121 (1871). 
"Acts 1859-60, ch. 128. 

^Nelson vs. Smithpeter, 2 Cold., 13 (1867). 
59 Art. II, Sec. 31. 


nounced to the people that the amendments had been adopted, 
and that "the shackles have been formally stricken from the 
limbs of more than 275,000 slaves in the state." 60 

It was this constitutional amendment, and not Mr. Lin- 
coln's Emancipation Proclamation, that forever put an end 
to slavery in Tennessee. 61 "The Emancipation Proclamation 
issued by Mr. Lincoln on the first day of January, 1863," said 
Judge Nelson, "had no effect in this state, because Tennessee 
was not one of the states embraced in it, as was held in Ghol- 
son v. Blackman, 4 Cold., 586, 587. That case might also have 
rested upon the broader and firmer ground that the President 
of the United States had no constitutional authority to issue 
the proclamation, and that it was issued in direct violation 
of the Constitution of the United States, which was then uni- 
versally understood as legalizing slavery in the states where it 
existed, as well as of the joint resolution adopted by Congress 
on the 25th day of July, 1861, which disavowed all purpose of 
interfering with the rights or established institutions of the 
states in rebellion." 62 The judge intimated some doubt of the 
validity of the constitutional amendment, but said that it was 
not' necessary to determine that question, "as the existence of 
slavery in this state was annihilated beyond all doubt or ques- 
tion by the Constitution of 1870, which was freely and volun- 
tarily adopted by the people." 

Governor Brownlow, in his first message, spoke of the fact 
that, by the census of 1860, there were in the state about 275,- 
000 slaves of an average value of |886.40, from which it would 
appear that the property loss to Tennessee through govern- 
mental emancipation was approximately $250,000,000. 63 It is 
interesting to observe that the governor, while characterizing 
slavery as "the monster institution which has embroiled the 
government for half a century, and culminated in the most 
wicked, uncalled for, and bloody war known to the history of 
the civilized world," seemed to regard the freed slaves as a 
quite undesirable population, stating that it was for the legis- 
lature to determine "to what extent this state shall be over- 
run with the emancipated slaves of other states," and that he, 
personally, was "the advocate of providing for them a sepa- 
rate and appropriate amount of territory and settle them down 
permanently as a nation of freedmen." 64 

60 Acts 1865, pp. ii-xiii. 

^Taylor vs. Mayhew,, 11 Heisk., 596 (1872) ; Gholson vs. Black- 
man, 4 Cold., 580 (1867). 

62 Andrews vs. Page, 3 Heisk., 653 (1871). 
63 Acts 1865, p. 8. 
"Ibid., pp. 3, 5. 


This review clearly shows the strong inclination and 
effort of the courts of Tennessee in concrete cases to interpret 
both the law and the facts in the interest of the liberty, where- 
ever possible, and always of the amelioration, of the slave. 
Many other evidences of this inclination might be adduced, but 
there is space for only a few. 

It is well settled that the status of a child follows that of 
the mother, so that a child born of a slave mother is a slave. 65 
Clarissa was bequeathed her freedom when she should arrive 
at the age of twenty-five, and thereafter she had three chil- 
dren before she reached that age, and the question was whether 
these children were free or were slaves. The court said that, 
in determining this question, it should ! be borne in mind that 
the claim was "one involving human liberty, and that the tes- 
tator's intention must be favorably interpreted to this end"; 
and, in order to e.ffect this result, the court held that Clarissa 
took a "vested and undoubted right to freedom by the will," 
subject only to the condition that she give her personal serv- 
ices until she reached the age of twenty-five. 68 

Another similar case was that of Jennie, who was given 
her freedom to take effect "at or upon the happening of the 
death of petitioner or wife or the survivor of them," and be- 
fore that time arrived she had a child, George, who was taken 
by a son of her master a*nd sold; but the court, nevertheless, 
awarded him his freedom, declaring that the legal effect of 
what had been done was "an act of emancipation in praesenti, 
to be enjoyed, however, on the part of the slave in the future. 
. . . The act was consummate. The concession of freedom 
on the part of the owner and assent on the part of the public 
were final and complete." 67 

Interesting questions arose where slaves were given their 
freedom by will, and it turned out that the estate was in- 
solvent; but the court found a way, nevertheless, to preserve 
to them their liberty. In a case of this kind the lower court 
had held that the slaves were primarily assets of testator, and 
that, since his estate was insolvent, they must forfeit the free- 
dom that was bequeathed to them and be sold to satisfy the 
debts of the estate; but Judge Green said that they were "lega- 
tees of their own freedom," which was just as much a specific 
legacy as money or tangible property, and that the -only conse- 
quence of the insolvency was that they must contribute, just 
as legatees of personal property would be bound in such case 

^Edwards vs. McConnell, Cooke, 303 (1813); Porter vs. Blake- 
more, 2 Cold., 556 (1865). 

"Harris vs. Clarissa, 6 Yerg., 227 (1834). 
"Hartsell vs. George, 3 Hum., 259 (1842). 


' to contribute, and that, "should they fail to raise the money to 
discharge said debts, they will be placed in the hands of a re- 
ceiver and hired out until the debts shall be paid, at which 
time they will be entitled to the enjoyment of their freedom 
according to the will." 08 

In another soinewihat similar case the testator had directed 
that his negroes should be held by his executors in trust until 
the year 1853, and that they should then be asked whether they 
were willing to go to Liberia, and those who were willing 
should be freed on that date, and those who were not should be 
sold, $20 for each negro going to Africa to be paid to the Amer- 
ican Colonization Society, provided it would transport them. 
The executors Went into court to have the will construed, and, 
under the orders of the court, hired out the negroes until 
January 1, 1861, and paid out a part of the proceeds on debts 
of the estate and the distributive share of the widow, leaving 
a fund on hand of $3,100 in 1867. The negroes then asked 
to be made parties to the suit and claimed this fund as being 
the proceeds of their labor; and the court said that they were 
entitled to their freedom from January 1, 1854, and that the 
fund on hand belonged, therefore, to them. Then the question 
arose of whether it was proper to apply their earnings to the 
satisfaction of other legacies, which otherwise must fail for 
lack of funds, and the court said that it was not proper to do 
this, since "the bequest of freedom to these slaves was specific, 
and the slaves did not constitute the primary fund for the 
payment of debts as between them and other legatees, either 
general or specific." "The bequest of freedom," said Judge 
Andrews, "is of a higher nature than a pecuniary legacy, and 
in the absence of any indication of the testator's intention to 
that effect, will not abate in order to satisfy such a legacy, 
or be compelled to contribute if it is absorbed by the debts of 
the estate. If there be two legatees of personal property, the 
one may easily and consistently with its nature contribute 
to the exoneration of the other from a common burden; but 
where the bequest to a man is of his personal liberty, the 
legacy can be made to contribute only by selling the legatee, 
or continuing him in slavery until he shall work out the re- 
quired contribution." 69 

Phebe sued a man named Vaughn "in an action of tres- 
pass and false imprisonment," and Vaughn pleaded that Phebe 
was a slave and his property. The case was heard by a court 
and jury, and judgment rendered "that the plaintiff recover 
against the defendant her freedom and her damages." Phebe 

*Harry vs. Green, 9 Hum., 185 (1848). 
^Armstrong vs. Pearre, 7 Cold., 178 (1869). 


had undertaken to establish her freedom by evidence that she 
was reputed to be of Indian descent, and that her mother, 
Beck, was reputed to be of Indian descent, and that her mother 
and grandmother had claimed to be, and were reputed to be, 
free; and, while it had long been settled that pedigree might 
be proven by reputation, the question of whether the right to 
freedom could be proven in that way was a novel and inter- 
esting one. 70 

"How is an individual in this country, who is unfortunate 
enough to have a woolly head and a colored skin, to prove 
that he is free?" said Judge Crabb, in holding this evidence 
admissible. "Not being white nor copper-colored, nor having 
straight hair and a prominent nose, the presumption is that, 
he is a slave. Contrary to the general rule, he who is charged 
with having trespassed upon his person pleads an affirmative 
plea, and yet need not prove it. He says, in justification of his 
trespass, that the plaintiff is a slave, and yet on that plaintiff 
is devolved the onus probandi to show himself a free man. 
How is he to show it? He may, perhaps, procure testimony 
that he or some ancestor was for some time in the enjoyment 
of freedom; that he has acted as a freeman; that he has been 
received as a freeman in society ; and very soon will find him- 
self under the necessity, increasing in proportion to the dis- 
tance he has to travel into time past for want of other evi- 
dence, to use hearsay, that he or his ancestor was commonly 
called a freeman or commonly reputed a freeman, or, in other 
words, evidence of common reputation. And why should he 
not? Is it a concern of so little moment that the law in its 
benignity ought to refuse it those aids for its support and 
protection that have been so exuberantly extended in analogous 
cases? Is it of less importance than the right of digging stone 
upon the waste of the lord of a manor? (Moorwood vs. Wood, 
14 East., 327.) Or the right of the lord to take coals from 
under the lands of those holding under him? (Barnes vs. 
Wamson, 1 Maul, and Sel., 77.) Or a right to have a sheep- 
walk over a piece of land? (3 Starkie's Ev., 1209.) Or a 
right of way over a piece of land? (Bui. N. P., 295.) Or to 
a modus by which sixpence an acre should be paid in lieu of 
small tithes? (Harwood vs. Sims, Wright's Ex. Rep., 112.) 
These are a few of the many cases." 

And, in reply to the suggestion that evidence of hearsay 
or reputation was admissible only to prove rights or fran- 
chises of a public character, the court said: "We put it to 
the candid and the enlightened whether the right to freedom 
has not in this respect very much the advantage over many 

n Vaughan vs. Phebe, M. & Y., 4 (1827). 


of those rights where such evidence is every day received in 
the English courts. Indeed, it is no light matter to be a free- 
man in these United States. Freedom in this country is not 
a mere name a cheat with which the few gull the many. It 
is something substantial. It embraces within its comprehen- 
sive grasp all the useful rights of man; and it makes itself 
manifest by many privileges, immunities, external public acts. 
It is not confined in its operations to privacy, or to the domestic 
circle. It walks abroad in its operations transfers its pos- 
sessor, even if he be black, or mulatto, or copper-colored, from 
the kitchen and the cotton-field to the courthouse and the elec- 
tion ground; makes him talk of Magna Carta and the Con- 
stitution; in some states renders him a politician, brings him 
acquainted with the leading citizens, busies him in the politi- 
cal canvass for office, takes him to the ballot box; and, above 
all, secures to him the enviable and inestimable privilege of 
trial by jury." 

It is already impossible to look back and visualize truly 
the institution of slavery as it existed in the Southern states. 
It was suited to the times in which it originated and flourished, 
when every large plantation constituted a kind of patriarchal 
community, whose proprietors exercised a dominant influence 
on the life of the state. Tlie institution has passed away, 
never to return, and, while for many reasons this is not to be 
regretted, nevertheless it is just as well to be reminded that 
the natural trend of public opinion was toward amelioration, 
and that this was persisted in in the face of the most harm- 
ful and ill-considered anti-slavery agitation, and was fostered 
and helped by the lawmakers and the courts, and that, there- 
fore, there is linked in the retrospect with the type, so well 
known, of the faithful and affectionate slave the equally be- 
nevolent types of the sympathetic and merciful master and of 
the compassionate and protecting court. 




Please permit me a few words in reply to the article under 
the above caption in your number of December, 1917, just 
called to my attention. 

While no man has the right to object to or to protest the 
facts of history, neither has any man the right to pervert those 
facts, nor unjustly to characterize them according to his own 
whim or fancy, and thereby to detract from the good name and 
fame of men, who in their day and generation served the State 
and its people faithfully and well, with singular disinterested- 
ness, sacrifice and devotion. 

"The dead, but sceptered sovereigns, who still rule our spirits from 
their urns." 

Let us make this matter entirely clear; no one objects to 
authentic records and ancient documents being brought to light 
and published, even though they may contain little or nothing 
that is new. But what every honest man must emphatically ob- 
ject to, and reprobate as most unjust, unfair, uncalled for and 
altogether reprehensible, is for any private individual to add his 
own disparaging characterization to those documents, especial- 
ly when that characterization is wholly at variance with the 
record itself, and any just interpretation thereof. 


"A combination of men for an evil purpose; an agreement 
between two or more persons to commit some crime in concert, 
as treason, sedition or insurrection ; an agreement for the pur- 
pose of wrongfully prejudicing another, or to injure public 
trade, to aft'ect public health, to insult public justice, etc.; a 
plot." Webster. 

"Conspiracy. A combination of persons for an evil purpose; 
an agreement between two or more persons to commit in con- 
cert something reprehensible, injurious, or illegal ; particularly 
a combination to commit treason, or excite sedition or insur- 
rection; a plot; concerted treason." Century Dictionary. 

"Treason against the United States shall consist only in 
levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giv- 
ing them aid and comfort." Constitution of the United States, 
Article III, Section 3. 

Now with these authoritative definitions before us, can it 
be truthfully said that the pioneers, Sevier, Robertson, Bled- 


soe, and Daniel Smith, were guilty of the crime of conspiracy ? 

Who were these men? 

Sevier was the first Governor of Tennessee. James Robert- 
son was a General in the United States Army, commissioned 
by Washington while serving as first President of the United 
States. Bledsoe was a leading pioneer of the State, a man of 
distinction and importance in his day, while Daniel Smith was 
a United States Senator, one of the first to represent Ten- 
nessee in the Congress. As for Dr. White, he was the ancestor 
of the present Chief Justice of the United States. 

Such men ought not to be lightly, much less unjustly and 
wantonly, accused of crimes, for if their reputations may be 
thus assailed, then no man's reputation is safe, neither that of 
the living nor that of the dead. These men have lain in hon- 
ored graves for more than a century, and since they cannot 
defend themselves when thus wrongfully attacked, it is our 
sacred duty to defend for them, on their own accounts as well 
as on account of their descendants, also to protect the fair 
name of the State of Tennessee, that they did so much to found 
and defend with their arms and their blood. 

A few dates will help not a little to set this matter in a 
clear and unmistakable light. 

October 19, 1781, the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown 
ended the Revolutionary War. 

By the treaty of peace England acknowledged North Caro- 
lina, as well as each of the other original thirteen States, to 
be severally independent, sovereign States. 

They were then so loosely joined together by the Articles 
of Confederation of 1777-8 that no one then disputed what was 
expressly stated in Article II, that each State was an inde- 
pendent sovereign, and its inhabitants were its citizens and 
owed allegiance in the last analysis to it alone and acknowledg- 
ing no other sovereign. 

In practice the Articles of Confederation failed to give 
satisfaction. Under them the government of the United States 
was so feeble as to be little better than no government at all, 
and the country was rapidly drifting towards disintegration 
and anarchy. 

Thereupon Virginia, taking the lead, a constitutional con- 
vention was called to form a more perfect Union and frame a 
better constitution. 

Washington presided and the Constitution of the United 
States was drafted. 

It provided that when nine States should ratify it, then 
it should go into effect between the States so ratifying. 



It was so ratified, and went into effect in the spring of 

But the new Constitution was not to the liking of North 
Carolina, nor of Khode Island. On August 1, 1788, North Caro- 
lina rejected the Constitution, and did not recede from this 
stand and join the Union until November 21, 1789, some time 
after the new government had been organized. Rhode Island 
did not join until 1790. 

None of the letters brought forward and quoted as proof 
of this so-called conspiracy were written after North Caro- 
lina joined the Union, November 21, 1789, and before that 
joinder the citizens of North Carolina owed no allegiance to 
the new United States government, therefore they were at 
perfect liberty to form an alliance with Spain, or even to give 
their allegiance to Spain, provided only, they got the consent 
of North Carolina; and it is plain from the face of the article 
now being replied to that they did everything openly and above 
board, and never contemplated moving one decisive step in 
this business without such an act first passed by North Caro- 
lina ,as would enable them rightfully and legally so to do, and 
since this is so, how can it be said that they were criminal 
conspirators, plotting treason? On the contrary, they were 
free men, proposing to exercise the right of self-determination 
in a perfectly just and legal way. If there were a conspiracy, 
then the State, of North Carolina was particeps criminis when 
it passed an act naming the new district in Middle Tennessee 
Miro, after the Spanish Governor at New Orleans. 

North Carolina had never shown any but the slightest in- 
terest in the welfare of these western settlers who had crossed 
the mountains to make homes for themselves in the wilderness. 
The older part of the State did not wish to stand the taxation 
necessary to care for and build up the newer part, and North 
Carolina would probably have been glad to get rid of the west 
ern settlements on any terms. Neither she, nor the United 
States, had ever supplied them with so much as powder and 
ball to defend themselves against the Indians, while the In- 
dians were supplied by both Spain and England. As to the 
United States, they cared so little for these people that they 
offered at one time to trade away to a foreign nation for twen- 
ty-five years the right of these westerners to navigate the Mis- 
sissippi River in order to further by the trade the codfish in- 
dustry of New England. The navigation of the Mississippi 
was to the pioneers a vital matter, since it furnished the only 
means of transportation to the only possible market for their 


"You take my house when you do take the prop 
That doth sustain my house; you take my life 
When you do take the nueans whereby I live." 

Being a strong and hardy race, accustomed to rely upon 
self-help, finding themselves abandoned in the distant forests 
far to the west of the mountains, and left to shift for them- 
selves by both the United States and North Carolina, they 
naturally looked about them to see what arrangements they 
might make for the protection of their property, their own 
lives and those of their wives and children. But it is noth- 
ing less than a reckless abuse of language to characterize them 
as conspirators. 

A deputation once called upon Lincoln with some request 
which he thought did not sufficiently discriminate between the 
names and the substance of things. The President asked, How 
many legs a sheep would have if you called its tail a leg. 
"Five," was the prompt reply. "No," said Lincoln, "calling his 
tail a leg would not make it one." Your contributor in your 
number of last December owes an apology to the State of Ten- 
nessee and to its pioneers. 





In Volume II, No. 1 (March, 1916), of the TENNESSEE HISTORICAL 
MAGAZINE, were published some diaries of Samuel H. Laughlin, with 
introduction by St. George L. Sioussat. It will be remembered that 
Laughlin was for a time the editor of the Democratic paper, the Nash- 
ville Union; that he was the close friend of Jackson, Grundy, Carroll, 
Polk and other Democratic leaders, a member of the Tennessee Senate 
of 1841-42, and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 

Recently another diary kept by him has been found, which con- 
tains interesting sketches of Felix Grundy, James K. Polk and Judge 
John Catron. The intimate account of the intellectual habits of 
Grundy, the facts of the early life of Judge Catron, hitherto little 
known, and the description of Polk as a schoolboy will help the 
reader materially to visualize these great leaders of that era. Laugh- 
lin's estimate of Catron is not very friendly, although they were of 
the same party; but this diary was written when Catron was but 
in the early part of a service of nearly thirty years as an associate 
justice of the United States Supreme Court. He was noted for the 
force and vigor of his opinions and for his knowledge of the land 
laws of the Southern States. J. H. D. 


In 1839-40, at the instance, and on petition of Uriah York, Wm. 
Armstrong as surveyor, and three or four hundred citizens living on 
Caney Fork of Cumberland, Rocky River, Cane Creek, etc., I pro- 
cured the new county of Van Buren to be established, and, as there 
were then a majority of democratic members in both branches of the 
Assembly, I had the honor of giving the name of Mr. Van Buren 
to it; and the seat of justice, Spencer, was named by Mr. Samuel 
Turney, a Senator from White County. In 1843-4 on petition of large 
numbers of citizens living on the head of Elk River, Hickory Creek, 
Cumberland Mountain and Collins River, I assisted zealously in the 
State Senate, in getting Grundy County established, and by my 
pertinacious perseverence, got it named after my old valued friend, 
Felix Grundy, who had died in November, 1840, while holding the 
appointment of Senator in Congress, which I had aided in bestowing 
upon him in' the winter of 1840, and in inducing to resign the office 
of Attorney General of the U. S., which he then held under an ap- 
pointment from President Van Buren. In May, 1840, as a member 
of the Baltimore Convention, he had aided powerfully, by his wise 
counsels and eloquence, in producing harmony in that body, result- 
ing in the unanimous nomination of Mr. Van Buren for re-election 
to the presidency, and unanimous agreement to nominate no democratic 
candidate for the vice-presidency. This was done to produce har- 
mony. Col. Johnson desired a re-nomination in Tennessee in the 
Assembly. In 1839 I had introduced and the democracy had carried 
a legislative nomination of Mr. Van Buren and Col. James K. Polk 
for these high offices. When the convention was about to meet, to 
prevent all collision of claims, Col. Polk had magnanimously with- 
drawn his name but these matters are all noted in the diaries, and 


form only a digression and brief repetition here. One word in regard 
to Mr. Grundy, I proceed with this introduction. In the recess of 
Congress in 1840, he labored incessantly in public discussion and 
speeches, in favor of Mr. Van Buren's re-election. He returned home 
from Washington in the spring and early summer, after Congress 
adjourned, through Virginia and East Tennessee, by way of Abing- 
don, Knoxville, McMinnville, etc., to Nashville, accompanied by Har- 
vey M. Watterson, Hopkins L. Turney, they being representatives in 
Congress. He made speeches to the people (Messrs. Turney and 
Watterson doing the same) at nearly every town and place of public 
note on the whole route. At McMinnville, my county town, my resi- 
dence being at Hickory Hill, one mile distant from it, these gentle- 
men, Mr. Grundy leading, all made speeches to a very large and at- 
tentive assembly of people, including many ladies. This was in the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Mr. Grundy, although indisposed, 
laboring under an inveterate derangement of the bowels, made one 
of the happiest efforts I ever heard him make. I had been in the 
habit of hearing Mr. Grundy at the bar, and in the Assembly, and 
before the people, and then more recently in Congress from the fall 
of 1815, when I removed from McMinnville to Murfreesboro, for the 
purpose of concluding my studies, and engaging in the practice of 
law. After I came to the bar, and had been elected Attorney- 
General, at the very outset of my professional career, in 1817 I was 
thrown into constant professional and social intercourse with him. 
He honored me thus early with his confidence and friendship, and it 
continued without abatement in fact, greatly increased on both our 
parts up to the day of his death. Hie was a really great man. He 
never was a hard student as far as reading books was concerned, but 
he read men he understood men at first sight, as if by intuition, bet- 
ter than any man I have ever known. He was in another sense an in- 
tense student. He was more in the habit of what jyir. Wirt, in the 
"British Spy," denominates, "close and solid thinking," than was 
known generally, even to his most intimate friends. In the progress 
of trials of great causes in court, especially criminal cases, his habit 
was to take but very few brief notes of leading facts and points. 
When the court would adjourn over to the next day, Mr. Grundy was 
always among the first to leave the court room and retire to his lodg- 
ings, and from that moment until after tea or supper, he mingled 
with every person about him in all manner of cheerful conversation, 
telling anecdotes, which he did inimitably, and in hearing and join- 
ing in the heartiest laughs at those told by others. He always seemed 
to have forgotten the cause in hand, even if it were one of life and 
death. But after this relaxation, and eating temperately, he imme- 
diately retired to his room. He generally preferred to have some 
friend with him in his room at all times. On such occasions, I have 
no doubt, I have spent a hundred nights in his room, rooming together, 
during the fifteen or sixteen years we attended courts from our re- 
spective homes together. If the weather were cold, he always, if the 
beds were large, preferred sleeping together. After going to his 
roomj, unless some indispensable consultation prevented, he was al- 
ways the first to propose going to bed, and he always had the un- 
usual and extraordinary power, by abstracting his thoughts, of going 
to sleep in two or three minutes after the time came when he chose 
to sleep. Going to bed and to sleep thus early, and always sleeping 
soundly, he usually awoke about one o'clock in the morning. It was 
then and nofl till then, that he commenced the intense and profound 
study and preparation of his case, and arranged in his own mind all 
the heads of the speech he had to make the next day, or before the 
case closed. If the trial lasted three or four days, as many impor- 


tant cases, civil as well as criminal, often did, this nightly task of 
study and preparation was regularly taken up every night; but al- 
ways with more care and system the! night before he had to deliver 
his argument. Even in Chancery cases, after the reading of all 
papers and records, and notes taken of dates, facts, leading points 
fixed and concluded by proofs and depositions, he made the same 
nocturnal preparation. Even the splendid sentences and occasional 
poetical or classical quotations by which he embellished his speeches 
before juries, were thus prepared, perfectly committed to memory 
and nothing committed to his memory was ever lost or forgotten and 
the order and connection in which he would introduce them were all 
thus arranged and prepared. To me, for many years, he made no 
secret of his art. To those who heard him in court, and saw him 
scarcely ever looking at or taking a note, unless it were in the con- 
clusion of a speech, when he would occasionally turn over and look 
at his notes, put of abundant caution, for fear the warmth of debate 
had caused him to overlook some fact or authority, I say to the look- 
ers-on all this appeared perfectly extempore, when in fact it was 
the effect of cautious, and careful preparation. Such, however, was 
the exuberance of his splendid imagination and the excellence of his 
niempry, that upon thousands of occasions, upon incidental points, 
arising off hand, and altogether extempore, he made many of his 
most masterly speeches, both of eloquence and argument. Scarcely 
any man ever lived who needed the discipline and preparation to which 
he schooled himself less than he did. But he felt it to be a duty to 
his client, to his cause, and to himself, less by a more careless method 
he might perchance omit some argument, or some ground which would 
be beneficial to his cause. In all cases when the proofs were all 
submitted, he saw at once, with perfect intuition, the very point 
or the several points always few, however upon which the cause 
must turn. To fortify and maintain these, throwing all extraneous 
matters to the winds, was his method. Hence, generally, his speeches 
were not labored or very long never apparently too long or too short. 
The great contracting faculty of his mfind was his profound and 
clear judgment. He was embued with a greater share always ready 
and always at hand of common sense than any man I ever was ac- 
quainted with. The man nearest to him in this respect whom I have 
known, is his favorite pupil and friend, James K. Polk, the present 
President of the United States. 

Mr. Grundy by his labors in the public cause of democracy, in 
which he believed the best interests of his country were at hazard, 
during the presidential canvass of 1840 his traveling to distant 
places, over-fatiguing himself and neglecting the constant disor- 
dered state of his stomach and bowels caused the disease to become 
so permanently seated that he was compelled at length to retire to 
his own house and shortly to be confined to his own room. He was 
still cheerful, apprehending no immediate danger, although he suf- 
fered much, and had become considerably emaciated and enfeebled. 
He still took a lively interest in the pending contest, and all his re- 
grets were occasioned by the madness, folly, ribaldry and infatuation 
of the Whigs and people misled by them, under their "false profes- 
sions and promises, and their ridiculous emblems of coons, canoes on 
dry land, and other absurdities. He continued, however, to grow 
weaker and weaker and worse and worse until his kind physicians, 
Drs. Samuel Hogg and Felix Robertson two of his oldest and best 
friends despaired of his life. He was surrounded by a most affec- 
tionate family and his excellent wife the beloved wife of his youth 

and they were unremitting in ministering to all his comfort. At last, 
it was foreseen that he must die. He was in his perfect mind and 


believed so himself. One of his physicians, while he pressed his 
hand, and with eyes suffused with tears and a choked voice, whis- 
pered kindly to him, that they had concluded it to be their duty to 
tell him as a Christian man, that he could not live much longer. He 
returned the pressure of the hand, and said calmly, "The Lord's will, 
not mine, be done." These were nearly the last words he uttered. 

After his death, in the winter of 1843-44, at the request of Mrs. 
Grundy, Mr. John M. Bass, his son-in-law, consulted me, and put into 
my hands various drafts of inscriptions to be put on a monument 
which they had bespoke in Philadelphia, and which was nearly com- 
pleted, except the inscriptions. One was by Mr. Silas Wright, now 
Governor of New York, with whom Mr. G. had served long in the 
Senate of the United States, and the other intended for a different 
side of the monument, or rather cenotaph, by Mr. Bass himself. I 
made copies of both at Hickory Hill, adding some points in the public 
life of Mr. Grundy, which I obtained from Marshall's and Butler's 
histories of Kentucky, which had escaped the recollection of Mr. 
Wright and Mr. Bass. With these additions the inscription may be 
seen on the monument at the public burial ground near Nashville, 
where Mr. Grundy's remains repose. 


In the summer of 1812, while living in McMinnville and before 
I commenced reading law regularly, I became acquainted with the 
Hon. John Catron, now an associate judge of the United States. He 
was then engaged with a brother or kinsman as partner in buying 
beef cattle for the eastern market, for the Zimmerman kinsmen of 
his. They had all lived at one time in Wythe County, Va. They lived 
before this in Pennsylvania, were Dutch and called Catherine as the 
family remaining in Pennsylvania are still called. The judge adopted 
the spelling of Catron and I think induced his father and family to 
do likewise. The old men of the family could scarcely speak English, 
and perhaps could never read nor write it. The way I came to know 
the judge was this: One afternoon in 1812 he came to our store in 
McMinnville, having known Mr. Buchanan when he was associated 
with John M. Moore in Kentucky. When Catron called Mr. Buchanan 
was not in, and Catron told me he was then buying and driving cat- 
tle. We had at that time in the store a fine copy of some book 
Blair's Lectures on Rhetoric, I think and the Judge wished to buy 
it on credit, said he would be passing and pay for it soon. Being 
a decent looking young man (but exceedingly uncouth) I trusted him 
for it, and he did call and pay for it as he promised. He was then 
exceedingly illiterate and Mr. Buchanan, who had a good knowledge 
of books and of Mr. Catron, laughed heartily at his purchase. He 
afterward, perhaps in the fall of the same year, came from Ken- 
tucky, where he had just been living, to Sparta, and commenced read- 
ing law, and history and geography in the office of Gen. Gibbs in 
White County. About the season he came there he had charge of a 
racing horse belonging to his father called Agricola, and many are 
the stories told by way of characteristic anecdotes of his means of 
showing off and proving the fine qualities of his horse. Harvey H. 
Brown, from Perry, formerly of the Tennessee Senate, and Adam 
Huntsman, a lawyer at this time living in McMinnville, who, later 
defeated Davy Crockett for Congress from the Western District, and 
others who witnessed these displays, used to repeat them with much 
effect, and greatly to Mr. Catron's annoyance, after he came to the 
bar and to the bench. 

After Mr. Catron came to the bar, on the resignation of Isaac 


Thomas he obtained the appointment of Attorney-General for prose- 
cuting state cases in the White and Warren County Circuit, then 
called the 3rd Circuit. After practicing law for a while in the 3rd 
district he removed to Nashville about the time Gen. Gibbs died. 
He assumed great consequence at the bar and because he affected 
professional learning and had no capacity for public speaking hav- 
ing never delivered an argument before a jury or court that deserved 
the name of speech he acquired among the people the name of a man 
of deep learning. The dignity he assumed coupled with the wise, 
mysterious knowing manner and avoiding all social intercourse with 
common people, added to his reputation for knowledge, he became 
even more dignified and distant in his manner after his removal to 
Nashville. He continued to make and save money. After a year or 
so he married Matilda, daughter of John Childress, who had long 
been United States Marshal for the district of West Tennessee. From 
this and a previous mercantile association he realized a considerable 
estate. About the year 1821, on a change of the judicial system of 
the State as related to the Supreme Court, he came to Murfreesboro 
where the Assembly sat from 1810 to 1825, and was elected. When 
he first mentioned his pretensions both Mr. Felix Grundy and Mr. 
Andrew Buchanan, "who were members at the time (one a represen- 
tative from Davidson and the other from Warren), treated his claims 
as a matter of jest. In a few days it became pretty clear he would 
be elected. It was during this canvass that Harvey H. Brown, then 
a member, told the story that ten years before when he (Brown) 
was a peddler with a horseman's pack, and Catron a groom to the 
race horse Agricola, who would have thought they would meet again 
as they had at Murfreesboro, one a State Senator, and the other a 
candidate for a judgeship on the bench of the Supreme Court? After 
his election he continued on the bench, having become Chief Justice 
under the system adopted under the old constitution of 1796, until 
he went out of office under the constitution of 1834, ratified in 1835, 
by vote of the people in the spring, and under which the newly or- 
ganized and apportioned legislature met in October, 1835, to adopt 
a judicial system, and fill all the offices vacated by the new constitu- 
tion, of which the chief justiceship was one. He had taken sides 
against Judge White's nomination for the Presidency in 1835, and was 
otherwise unpopular and could not be re-elected. In 1836 he became 
a warm friend of Mr. Van Buren in the presidential election, wrote 
many articles, same signed, "Kinderkook" all rewritten by me, and 

Eublished in the Union. In this way he scribbled and electioneered 
imself into the nomination for an associate judgeship on the bench 
of the Supreme Court, on an increase of the- number of circuits and 
judges, by which he and John McKinley came to the bench. He was 
nominated by Mr. Van Buren, and since his election has assumed 
great and vast dignity. Although profoundly aristocratic in all his 
habits and bearing as all men raised to wealth and station by con- 
currence of accidents have ever been and always will be yet he still 
professes to belong to the Democratic party and was in favor of Mr. 
Van Buren's election in 1840, and of Mr. Folk's in 1844. 


When I went to reside at Murfreesboro, Col. Wm. Mitchell, who 
was principal land surveyor of the Mountain District with office at 
McMinnville, and who had been distinguished in the Creek War and 
at the siege of New Orleans in 1814-15 as a major of volunteers, also 
lived in town and kept tavern at the old Jetton house on the east 
side of the public square. Mr. Joel Childress, a merchant, owned 


and lived in the frame portion of the tavern-house on the west side 
of the square, now owned and kept by Capt. Geo. Sublett. Mr. Chil- 
dress was a highly respectable njan and the father of Mrs. Sarah 
Polk, wife of the president. A sister of Mrs. Polk was Mrs. Susan 
Rucker, wife of Dr. W. R. Rucker of Murfreesboro. Capt. Childress's 
widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Childress, now lives in Murfreesboro. She 
was a sister of Col. Whitsett, once of Sumner County, Tenn., where 
Mr. C. married her. About December, 1815, was the first time I 
ever saw President Polk. He was then a very young man, little older 
than myself, and was a student at Bradley Academy, an institution 
which had been removed from near Col. Rucker to Murfreesboro, and 
was under the care of the late Samjuel P. Black, an excellent and 
learned man. The old academy house was a spacious log building and 
stood near where the brick Presbyterian church now stands. About 
the date mentioned Mr. Black had an examination of his pupils which 
concluded with the enacting of portions of plays and the delivery of 
orations. In attending this examination called exhibition I was re- 
markably struck with young Mr. Polk. He was small for his age 
like myself not arrived at his full growth and his hair was much 
fairer and of lighter growth than it was afterward. He had fine 
eyes, was neat in appearance, and boarded I think at old Capt. 
Lytle's. He showed the finest capacity for public speaking I had 
ever heard in a youth. In one of these plays I remember well he 
enacted the part of "Jerry Sneak" in the "Mayor of Garnet" in which 
he showed infinite humor. I remember after leaving the examination 
to have told Col. Mitchell with whom then I boarded and Capt. Samuel 
Wilson, that he was much the most promising young man in the 
school, and that if he lived he would rise to distinction. I became 
acquainted with him soon afterward before he went home to his 
father's house in Maury County, and that acquaintance has ripened 
into a friendship which has lasted ever since. Shortly after this 
he went to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and afterward graduated 
with the highest honor from this school. 


It is with great regret that the TENNESSEE HISTORICAL MAGAZINE 
has lost the services of its editor, Professor St. George L. Sioussat, 
who in 1917 left the chair of History at Vanderbilt University and 
became the professor of American History at Brown University, 
Providence, Rhode Island. As a labor of love he brought out the 
first three volumes of this magazine, not only doing the editorial 
work but also contributing many valuable papers to its pages. His 
work has been done according to the very best standards. While yet 
a young man he has become distinguished as scholar, teacher and 
editor. A native of Maryland, he spent about a decade in Tennessee, 
as professor of history, first at the University of the South and 
then at Vanderbilt University. By careful research he became re- 
markably familiar with the history of Tennessee. The members of 
the Tennessee Historical Society greatly miss the genial and stimu- 
lating association which they enjoyed with him. Until a worthy suc- 
cessor to Professor Sioussat as editor can be obtained, this magazine 
will be conducted by the Committee on Publications, but this com- 
mittee is assured of his continued interest, and of his willingness to 
make further contributions to the magazine. The Society will ever be 
grateful for his very valuable services, always so cheerfully and effi- 
ciently rendered. 

Beginning with this issue, this magazine will publish in four in- 
stallments, "Indian Wars and Warriors of the Old Southwest," by 
permission of its author, Mr. Albert V. Goodpasture, of Montgomery 
County, Tennessee. Probably no one has so comprehensively given 
as in this manuscript the dramatic elements of this rich subject and 
set forth its relation to the development of the white man's civiliza- 
tion. It is earnestly hoped that it can later be published in book 
form. The generosity of Mr. Goodpasture in allowing it to be first 
published in this magazine is here acknowledged with very deep appre- 
ciation. It recalls, too, the long, devoted services rendered by him as 
Secretary of the Tennessee Historical Society and editor and pub- 

The committee having in charge the publication of this magazine 
begs its readers to realize that under the present conditions of war, 
this work is attended with many difficulties, but it assures them of 
continued publication and invokes their co-operation. The members 
of the Society are not overlooking their obligations to it, and its' 
work will go on with the least possible interference. 






Vice-Presidents , 




Recording Secretary, 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 

Corresponding Secretary, 

Treasurer and Financial Agent, 


"Tgive and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society 
the sum of dollars." 




ING OF HISTORY, St. George L. Sioussat 95 

Albert V. Goodpasture 106 


Review of S. G. Heiskell's Book, W. E. Beard 146 


Committee on Publications 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman. 


Business Manager 


Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the 
statements or the opinions of contributors. 


Vol.4 JUNE, 1918 No. 2 


The decade 1840-1850 was pre-eminently an era of railroad 
building in the South. During this period a conscious, if not 
altogether successful, effort was made by the South Atlantic 
cities, Charleston and Savannah, to revive their prosperity by 
tapping the upper Mississippi trade with railroads to Memphis, 
Nashville and Vicksburg. 1 But a rival scarcely recognized 
the Northern railroads built during this period directly into 
the old Northwest, and by 1849 it was fairly evident that the 
trade of the Northwest would be deflected not to Charleston 
but to New York. With the conclusion of the Mexican War 
in 1848, with its acquisition of Pacific territory, the South saw 
its way to transfer the commercial struggle from the valley to 
the Pacific. The struggle now became one for the Pacific trade, 
and the weapon a continental railroad from the valley to the 
Pacific. Both North and South wanted the railroad, but they 
were entirely unable to agree on its route. 

The first definite project for a Pacific railroad had come 
in 1845 from Asa Whitney, a merchant of New York, who had 
lived for several years in China and was ambitious to exploit 
her trade. In 1845 and succeeding years he petitioned Con- 
gress for a land grant to aid him in constructing a railroad 
from Lake Michigan to the mouth of the Columbia. He kept 
up also a constant agitation before the state legislatures and 
chambers of commerce, and for three years his plan attained 
great notoriety in the newspapers over the land. When the 
treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo brought the Mexican war to a 
formal conclusion, the South, which had beforetime acquiesced 
in Whitney's scheme, began to plan for a more southern route. 
There were various routes suggested, beginning at Natchez, 
Vicksburg and Memphis, but the favorite plan was for a rail- 
road from Memphis to Monterey. This plan, was popularized 

"'Southern Railroads and Western Trade" in Mississippi Valley 
Historical Review for March, 1917. 


if not originated, by Lieutenant Matthew F. Maury, and was 
quite generally known as the Maury plan. With the coming of 
1849, St. Louis became a contender for terminal honors and in 
February of that year Senator Benton introduced into Con- 
gress a bill for a railroad from St. Louis to San Francisco, with 
branches to the mouth of the Columbia. 

It remains to notice the attitude of New Orleans and Chi- 
cago to these plans. New Orleans, unable to see any possible 
commercial advantage for herself in the Memphis plan any 
more than in any of the others, steadfastly withheld her sup- 
port and advocated instead a railroad across the isthmus of 
Tehuantepec or Panama. The commercial fortunes of Chicago 
were bound up with the political aspirations of Stephen A. 
Douglas. He had what he termed a "compromise plan" for a 
railroad from Council Bluffs to the Pacific through South Pass. 
He had been advocating this as early as 1845. 

For some time the arguments and recriminations of the 
advocates of these different routes went on through newspapers 
and speeches and memorials to Congress until finally in 1849 
the West bethought itself of its old weapon used at Memphis 
in 1845 and at Chicago in 1847. The spring of 1849 saw two 
cities, St. Louis and Memphis, preparing to hold general rail- 
road conventions for the purpose of advancing their respective 

The initiative in the calling of a convention to consider the 
question of the Pacific railroad was taken in 1849 by Arkan- 
sas; it will be remembered that the Memphis convention of 
1845 also had its origin in Arkansas. In 1845 the primary mo- 
tive actuating this State was the completing of her military 
road from Memphis to Little Bock; in 1849 the prospect of 
obtaining the Pacific railroad through her land impelled her 
to action. January 6, 1849, the citizens of Pulaski County, 
members of the State legislature and others organized them- 
selves into a convention at Little Rock to consider the ques- 
tion of the Pacific railroad. This convention, among other 
things, adopted a resolution for a general convention to be 
held at Memphis, July 4, to deliberate on the same question. 
Two days later the Arkansas legislature passed formal resolu- 
tions to the same purpose, and the movement for the Memphis 
convention was under way. 2 

The press of Tennessee and Arkansas echoed the resolutions 
of the Arkansas legislature. In a short time March 30, 1849 
the mayor of Memphis called a mass meeting to take action. 
This meeting resulted in the appointment of the usual com- 

2 Arkansas Democrat, January 12, 1849. 


mittees of correspondence and of arrangements. 3 The com- 
mittee of correspondence in the latter part of April issued the 
call for the convention by a "Circular to the Citizens of the 
United States." 4 The circular declared that the question of 
reaching the riches of California was now engaging the atten- 
tion of all the people. A railroad thither was not visionary. 
It would be fraught with benefit to all, and would be spe- 
cially useful in opening up the trade with Asia. Of all the 
prospective routes for the railroad, that from Memphis was 
the best one for reasons of distance, topography and climate. 
The railroad must start from a point below the mouth of the 
Ohio, since most of the West was above it. The St. Louis route 
would mean that the trade of the lower Mississippi must come 
up stream and this would necessitate the use of steamboats in- 
stead of flatboats. 

This "circular" was sent out to the press for publication 
and was thus distributed widely over the country. As in the 
case of the conventions of 1845 and of 1847, invitations were 
sent out to the prominent leaders of both parties urging their 
attendance. The invitation to Calhoun drew from him a most 
remarkable reply. In a letter written from Fort Hill May 26, 
he pleaded a previous engagement as his reason for not attend- 
ing. The object of the convention was an important one, but 
before deciding on the termini of the railroad, the route plan 
and cost should be settled ; a survey would be required for this. 
Moreover, the connections to be made with the Eastern roads 
were to be taken into consideration; the good of the entire 
Union was to be considered. Yet, as Calhoun closed his letter, 
there was little use for the South to build into the West if the 
Southern people were to be shut out of the western territory. 5 
The shadow of the coming slavery dispute lay heavily over Cal- 
houn's spirit ; already he was brooding over his speech of next 
March. Railroads and internal improvements meant little to 
the dying statesman; his whole thought was given to safe- 
guarding the rights of his "poor South." The letter of Calhoun 
was widely published in the southern and western papers, and 
excited great comment much of it adverse. Before the writ- 
ing of this letter it was the general expectation that Calhoun 
would preside over the convention of 1849 as he had over that 
of 1845. 8 The Arkansas Democrat criticized Calhoun for in- 
jecting the slavery issue into the railroad question'. It called 
him a "politician with favorite theories" who had one eye on 

3 Ibid., May 18, 1849. 
^Charleston Mercury, May 22, 1849. 
''Arkansas Democrat, June 22, 1849. 
'Western Eagle, June 8, 1849. 


the presidency. 7 The New Orleans Commercial Bulletin ap- 
proved of the letter of refusal, but printed the slavery portion 
without comment. 8 The Richmond Whiff said that Calhoun's 
attitude toward the Pacific railroad was like the action of the 
tribesman in interior Russia who when greatly insulted by an- 
other goes and hangs himself before his door for revenge. 9 
The Memphis Eagle asserted that there were not twenty sane 
men who approved Calhoun's course. He was a "South Caro- 
lina nullifier the great Impracticable" and had a "gloomy and 
erratic mind. 10 A letter from "One of the People" to the 
St. Louis Reveille defended Calhoun, saying rather pointedly 
that he was not the only politician trying to connect the Pacific 
railroad with the presidency. 11 

Meanwhile, the delegates were being selected. The Governor 
of South Carolina appointed over one hundred; the Governor 
of Florida appointed sixty ; the Governor of Georgia appointed 
one hundred; the delegates from Arkansas were selected at 
county mass meetings; the larger cities of the South and West 
sent special delegations. 12 But in 1849, as in 1845, Memphis 
seemed destined to ill luck in getting her convention assembled. 
In the summer of 1849 the cholera appeared in the West and 
swept the valley like a flame. Not a city escaped it. From 
Galena to New Orleans men died like cattle falling in the 
streets and prostrated in their homes. The West had never 
experienced such an affliction. Hospitals failed the people and 
at the last even the cemeteries. No relief could be had from 
medical art and the plague raged unchecked until it literally 
wore itself out. In the midst of such conditions, men gave no 
thoughts to internal improvements or railroad terminals. On 
June 5 the committee on arrangements changed the date of 
holding the convention, postponing it from July 4 to October 
16. 13 The same committee at once sent out a circular to the 
newspapers announcing the change of date and the reason for 
it. 14 The Reveille the next week suggested that the date had 
been changed because it did not suit Calhoun's convenience to 
be present in July, and voiced the suspicion that the whole 
scheme for a convention had been concocted by him for fur- 

7 Issue of June 22, 1849. 

Issue of June 12, 1849. 

"Quoted in the St. Louis Weekly Revielle, July 30, 1849. 

"Quoted in the St. Louis Weekly Reveille, June 23, 1849. 

"Issue of July 7, 1849. 

^Arkansas Democrat, May 21, June 13 and July 13, 1849. 

"Ibid., June 15, 1849. 

"Charleston Courier, June 16, 1849. 


thering his personal ambitions. 15 The Memphis Eagle, however, 
pointed out that the convention had been changed without any 
reference to Calhoun and before he had been heard from. 16 On 
the 19th of June the committee on arrangements again changed 
the date of the convention from October 16 to October 23 in 
order to avoid a conflict with the convention to be held at St. 
Louis on the former date. 17 

During July and August, while the cholera raged in the 
valley, the convention movement languished. On September 1, 
however, the committee on invitations sent out another circular 
through the press saying that the danger from cholera was now 
past, and renewing the invitation to the convention. 18 From 
this time until the meeting of the convention the press of the 
South and West gave much attention to the subject. The New 
Orleans Crescent urged that the Louisiana delegation selected 
for Memphis should also attend the St. Louis meeting so as 
to get a comparison of views. The Mobile Herald opposed the 
convention and wanted a railroad from the mouth of the Ohio 
westward. 19 The Reveille urged that St. Louis and Memphis 
compromise or else Whitney would win over them both. The 
railroads of South Carolina and Georgia announced free pas- 
sage for the delegates to and from both conventions. 20 Whitney 
prepared to attend the Memphis convention. 

St. Louis appointed delegates to the Memphis convention 
and Memphis returned the courtesy. The papers of Charleston 
urged that the South be well represented at Memphis in order 
to extend the Southern railroads west. 21 Nashville selected a 
delegation charged with the same purpose. The sentiment of 
New Orleans ranged from passive resignation to open hostility. 
A delegation was chosen to attend the Memphis convention, but 
it was instructed by a mass meeting October 5 to work for the 
Tehuantepec route and at a meeting of the delegation a few 
days previous a resolution was offered that the Tehuantepec 
route be brought to the notice of the convention. 22 Before leav- 
ing for Memphis the delegation met and voted down a resolu- 
tion offered by DeBow to support any measure for a Pacific 
railroad via El Paso and the Gila River, no matter what the 

15 Issue of June 12, 1849. 

"Issue of June 16, 1849. 

"Arkansas Democrat, July 27, 1849. 

American Railroad Journal, 22:615. 

"New Orleans Commercial Bulletin, October 2, 1849. 

"'Charleston Mercury, September 14, 1849. 

^Charleston Courier, October 9, 1849. 

^-Commercial Bulletin, October 2 and 6, 1849. 


eastern terminal should be. 23 And so in the midst of conflict- 
ing interests the convention of 1849, like that of 1845, assem- 
bled for its deliberations. 

At 11:30 o'clock on the morning of October 23, 1849 the 
delegates assembled in the Exchange building at Memphis and 
were called to order by Dr. Fearn of Alabama. 24 On motion, 
Col. Absalom Fowler, of Arkansas, took the chair, after which 
a prayer was offered by the Eight Keverend Bishop Otey. The 
usual routine of organization was followed; a secretary with 
two assistants was appointed and a committee selected of one 
from each State to select permanent officers. A recess of fifteen 
minutes afforded time for the different delegations to select 
their respective members and with this business achieved the 
convention rested from its labors and adjourned until 4 p.m. 
The delegation were to hand in a list of their members during 
the time of adjournment. 

Upon coming together in the afternoon Lieutenant Maury 
was named as president of the convention. Maury's part in ad- 
vocating the Pacific road has already been mentioned. He had 
been present at the St. Louis convention now just ended and 
had acted as one of the vice-presidents of that gathering. Upon 
taking the chair he made a short speech of some twenty minutes 
duration. He gave the reasons why a railroad to the Pacific 
was necessary and asserted that even if the road should not 
prove profitable, still it was needed for military reasons. He 
had examined fifty railroads, he said, and had come to the 
conclusion that heavy articles could never be carried over a 
Pacific road because of the heavy freight rates. Cotton, sugar, 
tobacco, etc., could be transported for three cents a mile. He 
thought that the Isthmus road should be built at once. The 
conclusion of his speech was an eloquent plea for harmony. 25 
Maury's speech came as a surprise to most of the delegates 
and was much criticized for its approval of the Tehuantepec 
route. That subject had not been included in the call of the 
convention, but Maury's speech and the advocacy of the Louis- 
iana delegation kept it from now on prominently before the 
convention. The convention closed the first day by naming 
fourteen vice-presidents and nine secretaries and forming a 
Rules committee of one from each State. 

When the lists of delegates were handed in, there proved 

Arkansas Democrat, October 12, 1849: Memphis Appeal, October 
6, 1849. 

^Minutes and Proceedings of the Memphis Convention (Memphis, 
1850). The details of the convention are taken from the minutes 
unless other reference is cited. 

^Charleston Courier, October 29, 1849; Arkansas Democrat, No- 
vember 16, 1849 ; Minutes and Proceedings. 


to be 392 members present. 26 Of these 221 came from the two 
states of Tennessee and Mississippi, and the remainder were 
distributed among thirteen states. Of the Southern states only 
Florida and North Carolina were unrepresented. Illinois had 
two, Pennsylvania five, Massachusetts two and New York one. 
None of Virginia's three delegates were residents of Virginia. 
A fair percentage of the delegates had been accredited to the 
St. Louis convention as well as to that of Memphis. There is 
hardly a doubt that many of the delegates were not delegates 
at all, but only visitors in Memphis or transient residents. In 
number the convention fell below that of 1845 nor was there an 
equality in the character of the delegations. Maury was by 
all odds the best known man. Loughborough, of Missouri; 
Clay, of Alabama; Hall, of Illinois; De Bow, of Louisiana, 
and Trezevant, who served as a representative of Virginia were 
all well known men in various walks of life, but the list cannot 
well be increased. Whitney was present as a visitor and was 
invited to a seat in the convention. Jefferson Davis looked 
in at the closing hours and was warmly greeted. But a stu- 
dent of the convention cannot rid himself of the feeling that 
the South had failed to send her best men. No doubt the com- 
ing political storm was distracting the attention, and perhaps 
there was some feeling gaining ground that, after all, rail- 
roads were not likely to be prodigiously advanced by conven- 
tions. At any rate the papers took no such stock of this meet- 
ing as of that in 1845. The reports were brief and stereotyped ; 
even the Memphis papers went to little trouble in reporting 
the meetings, and a reading of the papers in this connection 
adds little to the account given in the Minutes. 

eYt the proceedings of the convention were far from being 
uninteresting. On the morning of the second day, the rules 
committee reported a resolution which was adopted, that the 
rules of the House of Representativs should prevail except in 
case of a division; at such times each state should have one 
vote. A resolutions committee was formed by each state select- 
ing two of its members to serve thereon. So far the business 
had been only that of the necessary routine. A spice of variety 
was injected when the convention invited Whitney to take a 
seat as the guest of the convention. A member at once moved 
that a like invitation be extended to all ladies within 100 miles ; 
this was promptly amended to 3,000 miles and adopted. With 
the convention in this hilarious mood, the committee sent 
from the St. Louis convention asked leave to make a report. 27 

26 The Arkansas Democrat, November 2, 1849, gives a list of 372. 

27 For an account of the St. Louis Convention see the Missouri 

Historical Review for July, 1918. The convention closed its work by 


The report asserted that St. Louis had held her convention 
free from party and sectionalism; it had been a national un- 
dertaking. In its final resolution St. Louis showed its desire 
for harmony and cooperation with Memphis. "We have had 
sad experience at St. Louis," said the committee, "of the folly 
and danger of awakening discussions which in their nature 
must be productive of strifes and divisions." The report was 
laid on the table. 

With the report of this committee the dormant jealousies 
of the different factions made their appearance. From this 
time on little trace was to be seen of the high good humor 
with which the convention began its work ; St. Louis, Memphis 
and New Orleans set to work resolutely and acrimoniously to 
sway the convention. Benton, Calhoun and Douglas all had 
formulated plans, said the New York Herald; "all candidates," 
it added with a criminal attempt at punning, "have plans for 
the railroad and must define his route or be routed." Anthony, 
of Arkansas, criticized Maury's opening speech for bringing 
before the convention irrelevant schemes ; Arkansas in propos- 
ing the convention had supposed its attention would be limited 
to plans for a railroad through Arkansas. Maury replied and 
the discussion grew heated. Then began the offering of a wild 
medley of resolutions from every section of the house. Five 
of these, at least, may be termed resolutions of compromise. 
Larue, of Louisiana, wanted the territory between the Mis- 
sissippi and the Pacific surveyed by the United States for a 
military road, and contracts to be made in the meantime for 
carrying the mails across the Isthmus by railroad or canal. 
Another member of the Louisiana delegation, De Bow, asked 
for a committee of seven to memorialize Congress on the sub- 
ject of a Pacific railroad. Col. E. Topp offered four resolutions 
declaring it the duty of the United States at an early date to 
build a railroad from the Mississippi to the Pacific with branch 
lines to the Lakes and the Gulf the best route to be determined 
by a survey. Campbell, of Arkansas, thought that in view of 
the constitutional doubts that had been displayed at St. Louis, 
an amendment should be made to the United States Constitu- 
tion authorizing the proposed railroad, and that land should 
be granted to the states to aid them in their internal improve- 
ments. Loughborough offered the resolutions that had been 
adopted by the St. Louis convention. 

The two resolutions offered on this day for the purpose of 
binding the convention to a specific route both came from Texas 

adopting a resolution for a Pacific railroad to start outside the limits 
of the States, but to have branch lines to Chicago, St. Louis and 


delegates. One was that the route should be from the mouth 
of the Ohio through northern Texas and El Paso to San Diego, 
and if necessary a further purchase of land from Mexico should 
be made for the < right of way. From Watkins, of Arkansas, 
came a resolution that brought the day's confusion to a climax. 
It was to the effect that the building of the Pacific railroad by 
the United States was constitutional and that Congress had 
legal power to undertake it. All the other resolutions had been 
referred as a matter of course to the committee on resolutions, 
but this last called for a different action; a determined effort 
was made to lay it on the table and as a division was necessary 
an adjournment was taken till 4 p.m. to enable the delegation 
to consult. Upon re-assembling the resolution was tabled 10 
to 4. This was the only business attempted in the afternoon 
and the convention adjourned in confusion. The proceedings 
of the entire day had been marked by laxness and informality. 
As usual the undercurrents had been most important and of 
these, perhaps the attention given to the Tehuantepec route 
was the most significant of all. Maury's opening speech, with 
the proselyting efforts of the Louisiana delegation, had in- 
troduced a bone of contention into the deliberations. 28 

It can hardly be said that the third day of the convention 
was an improvement on the second. Maury was ill as, indeed, 
he might well be and Senator Clay presided. The time was 
mostly taken up by fierce wrangling on the part of Borland, of 
Arkansas, Bowlin, of Missouri, and Woodward, of South Caro- 
lina. The beginuinig of the dispute was two resolutions offered 
by Borland that the United States Army should make a sur- 
vey in order to find the best route, and that the best naval 
station on the Pacific coast should be determined by a hydro- 
graphical survey. In explanation, Borland said that everyone 
was ignorant about the routes to the Pacific; even the Senate 
committee on public lands had not had enough information to 
justify it in committing the United States to any certain route. 
He asked for a vote on his resolutions. Walker, of Louisiana, 
at once undertook to reply, saying that Louisiana favored all 
routes, but thought that the public mind should give attention 
to the Tehuantepec route as the most practical project at pres- 
ent. Borland rejoined that he did not suppose the convention 
had met for the purpose of furthering an alien route. Wood- 
ward injected further acrimony into the debate by offering 
resolutions for the Memphis-San Diego route and supporting 
them in a speech filled with sarcastic reference to the other 
plans. He was frankly local, he said, and did not have any 
great opinion of "national" projects. An allusion to Walker's 

2S Arkansas Democrat, November 2, 1849. 


use of metaphors brought from that gentleman the retort that 
he considered his metaphors as good as the wooden wit of some 
other people. Bowlin took occasion too deplore localism in 
considering a question so great. He declared that St. Louis 
was holding out an olive branch to the other sections by the 
action of her convention; she has specially taken Memphis un- 
der her wing. These unfortunate expressions brought Walker 
again to his feet with the reply that St. Louis was not so much 
offering an olive branch to Memphis as a railroad branch, and 
a motion was at once made that Memphis take St. Louis under 
her wings in return for her favor to Memphis. 29 A Mississippi 
delegate, with the obvious intention of oiling the troubled 
waters, moved that Congress be memorialized only for surveys 
of possible routes, but the convention contented itself with re- 
ferring all resolutions to the committee, except that of DeBow 
offered the day before. This is adopted and then adjourned 
it may be supposed, thankfully until the next day at ten. 

On the fourth day the convention resumed its sittings with 
Clay again in the chair. The day opened with a speech by Hall 
of Illinois denouncing Whitney's scheme for a railroad and, 
without announcing a plan of his own, pleading for harmony. 30 
The convention, being impartially hostile to both men, in- 
vited Whitney to reply in the afternoon. The committee on 
resolutions now presented its report. This report embraced 
nine resolutions setting forth that it was the duty of the na- 
tional government to provide for a Pacific railroad, that for this 
purpose surveys should be made and then the route chosen 
which appeared the best that being the best road which was 
easiest of access, best for national defense, most central, con- 
venient and cheap. From this trunk line, branches should be 
built by donations of the public domain, making connections 
with all state roads. Military posts should be established in 
the West to facilitate surveying and construction. 

To these six resolutions of a general nature were added four 
more of a very specific meaning. The Isthmus railroad and 
canal movement should be encouraged by giving to companies, 
formed for such purposes, contracts for mails, etc. Public 
lands within the limits of any state should be granted to such 
state as an aid to it in making internal improvements. And, 
finally, the convention recommended to the United States 
that the railroad should be built by a route from San Diego 
via the Gila River, El Paso, the northeastern boundary of 

29 For a lively account of this debate see the Memphis Appeal of 
October 27, 1849. 

^Hall had been the most active promoter of the River and Harbor 
Convention held in Chicago in, July, 1847, and, had then taken occa- 
sion to denounce Whitney. 


Texas between 32 and 33 degree, and reach the Mississippi be- 
tween the Red and the Ohio. 

This surprising and contradictory set of resolutions had 
been wrought out by the committee with much effort and de- 
bate. 31 The question of the Tehauntepec road, brought up in 
Maury's opening speech and strongly advocated by the Louis- 
iana delegation, had occasioned much trouble ; finally it was de- 
cided to formulate two kinds of resolutions general and spe- 
cial. A sub-committee was formed for the former task and 
the first six resolutions resulted from their labors. All these 
were drafted with the design of agreeing with the action of the 
St. Louis convention. The grestest debate came on the special 
resolutions forming the last part of the report. Some of these 
had been passed with the greatest reluctance and, if we may 
trust a St. Louis account, the most important of all the Gila 
route actually by a mistake owing to a misreading by the 
secretary. It is -unnecessary to say that the final resolution 
undid anything that had been accomplished for harmony by 
the preceding ones. 

Whatever may have been the heartburnings of the commit- 
tee, the convention showed little hesitation in adopting the re- 
port "with tremendous applause." A resolute effort was made 
to defeat the Gila resolution by Bowlin, Kirkwood of Arkansas, 
and Woodward. The first named gentleman demanded the yeas 
and nays. The vote when taken showed 10 to 4 for the resolu- 
tion. Kirkwood and Woodward objected rather to the phrase- 
ology of the resolution than to the subject matter. 

In such manner did the Memphis convention reject the 
"olive branch" extended it by the St. Louis convention. There 
was to be no amalgamation of Southern interests with those 
of the North. If St. Louis and the border states chose to dally 
with the North, they need not expect sympathy from the lower 
South. The South would even go its own path. Yet nothing 
is clearer than the fact that the sectionalism of the South as 
displayed at the convention was a commercial sectionalism 
alone; the most minute search will find in it little of any other 
spirit than that of commercial rivalry with the North. The time 
was to come, however, in the next decade when the South was 
to deem its railroad extension as of no more worth than the 
expansion of slavery. When that time came in 1854 there was 
effected between the Northwest and the South what may fairly 
be called a concession by the South to the Northwest of the 
Pacific railroad in return for the concession to the South of 

"There were eight members of this committee, and among them 
DeBow and Maury. For inner workings of this committee see the 
Reveille, November 19, 1849. 


the expansion of slave territory. But in 1849, at least, the 
mutual concession was yet unthought of. 

The uncompromising spirit of the South at this time was 
still further shown by the action of the convention in rejecting 
the invitation of St. Louis to meet with her in convention at 
Philadelphia next spring. On the night of the 25th the con- 
vention held its last session. 32 Its business was finished and 
the only purpose of the meeting was speech-making. Whitney 
came first with an interesting, though familiar, talk on the 
relation of Asiatic commerce to the need of a Pacific railroad. 
He illustrated his speech with maps, but declared that he was 
advocating no special route. He did, however, oppose the Gila 
route on account of the distance involved and asserted that 
such a route would be at a disadvantage compared to the rela- 
tively short way around the Cape of Good Hope. Forsby, of 
Louisiana, spoke briefly in vindication of Whitney, and Wood- 
ward also made an address. In the closing minutes it was dis- 
covered that Jefferson Davis was in the house. He was called 
on for a speech but declined ; he was weary, he said and travel 
worn. An imaginative recorder might see in his appearance 
at the close of the convention a significant portent of the rise 
and predominance of other issues than railroads at the South. 

In due time there was prepared a Memorial to Congress and 
an Address to the People of the United States. The Memorial 
recited and explained the ten resolutions adopted by the con- 
vention, pointing out specially that, although it advocated the 
use of public lands for railroad construction, it was careful not 
to specify the method. The address set forth that a Pacific 
railroad was necessitated by the increasing population of the 
West consequent on the acquisition of Oregon and the territory 
of Mexico. The convention had recommended three things 
a Pacific railroad, an Isthmus canal or railroad, and a military 
road along the Mexican frontier. It adverted to the Asiatic 
commerce, and declared the nation equal to the task of securing 
it. The reasons for the Gila route were set forth in detail. The 
Isthmus road was to be a private one. Alabama, South Caro- 
lina, Georgia and Louisiana and Mississippi were in favor of 
it. Kepresentative Stanton of Tennessee made himself sponsor 
for the Memorial and on the 25th of February, 1850, introduced 
it into the House of Representatives. Objection was made to 
its reference and the Memorial never came up for consideration ; 
even when Stanton asked leave to withdraw it, as he did on the 
fourteenth of March, permission was not given him and it re- 
mained unnoticed by a body that was bent on considering things 
more exciting in their nature than Pacific railroads. 


* 2 Memphis Appeal, October 30, 1849. 


How to make more efficient the teaching of our boys and girls is a 
matter which has constantly the thoughtful consideration of those 
who have at heart the welfare of our future citizens. The solution 
of the problem is always progressive. New subjects make their de- 
mand for admission to the curriculum, new readjustments and reor- 
ganizations of the course of study and of administrative methods are 
tried out, the better preparation of teachers is sought. In recent 
years vast progress has been made in many ways, and more advance 
is in sight. In school buildings, particularly, has there been a won- 
derful improvement. With regard to the needs of some subjects there 
has been a clear realization of the importance of equipment as well 
as buildings; but as to others, and particularly as to history, the 
tendency has been to continue old methods, with a sacrifice of effi- 
ciency. It is the purpose of the writer of the following pages to 
offer some reasons for the necessity of a proper material equipment 
if we would secure the best results from the teaching of history, 
and to make some -suggestions as to the steps which may be taken 
to secure and organize such resources. 

We shall discuss briefly the following topics: (1) What is history, 
and why should we teach it? (2) The need of equipment for teaching 
history. (3) The kinds of equipment needed and how these are to 
be obtained. 

I. What Is History, and Why Should We Teach It? 

We may answer this question as follows: History is the literary 
expression of our knowledge of the past life of the human race. 
This knowledge leads directly up to the present structure of society. 
The study of all present institutions has as one of its foundations 
the historical point of view. 

But how do we get this knowledge? We do not see the facts of 
history around us, for they are past. We cannot actually bring to 
life again Socrates, Queen Elizabeth, the Battle of King's Mountain, 
or even the Battle of the Marne. We cannot put such persons or such 
events under the microscope or into a test tube. Neither can we 
deduce them from pure reason by processes like those of logic or 
mathematics. There is only one way that what has happened in the 
past comes into the knowledge of later generations, and that is through 
records. Every historical book, whether it be a history of the world 
in one volume, or a great detailed study of a limited period in several 
volumes, depends ultimately on the survival from the past of the 
records of that past. Without these there can be no history. 

The writing of history, then, is a process by which we can pass 
from dead records to living thought, and recreate in our minds what 
happened long ago. This process has its own rules and method, just 
as chemistry and physics have their own laws. The rules may not 
be the same as those of the natural sciences, but they are just as 

We now begin to see the answer to the second part of our ques- 
tion: Why should we teach history? We should teach history, first 
for the same reason that we teach literature and science, because 
history, like these subjects, is an important part of human knowl- 


edge. We should teach history because of its content, because of 
the information that) it. 'gives. There is no subject more humanizing 
than history, which deals with humanity. How modern states, mod- 
ern civilizations, modern religions all came to be what they are; 
does not that inquiry bear directly on our life today? The wider our 
view of life, the wider will be our view of history. Not only the 
fate of kings and the waging of wars, but also the great social con- 
cepts of the present, with their ever-widening interests, must be in 
the pages of our text-books. History in mediaeval times might be a 
subject for lords and ladies and monks; now it is more and more a 
study for the common man. 

But the amount of historical information, viewed merely as in- 
formation, that the high school student can store up in his memory 
and carry away with him is small; memory is a frail gift with most 
of us. The study of history, however, also helps to train thought. 
It is not necessary to claim that this study will develop some one 
faculty and other subjects some other faculties of the mind; but it 
is right to urge that the method peculiar to history has its place in 
education just as much as the method peculiar to mathematics and 
the method peculiar to the natural sciences. This is why history 
teaching which is limited to the use of a textbook fails) to give the 
best results. Such teaching lays excessive stress on the power of 
memory to the exclusion of other mental activities. 

Let us be perfectly clear on this point. We are in no way sug- 
gesting that high school boys and girla should write history, or they 
should discover new truths. We do not ask our boys and girls to 
write chemistry, or to discover new truths in physics. Yet today 
no one proposes that children should study chemistry or physics out 
of the textbook only. On the contrary, we send them to the labora- 
tory. Why do we do this? 

II. The Need of Equipment for Teaching History. 

We send them to the laboratory because we insist that they shall 
know something of the method of the science which they are study- 
ing; that they shall gain the scientific point of view; that 'they may 
try to think scientifically. So with history. We insist, first, upon 
the use of a good textbook. We urge the use of the memory and 
the accumulation of facts carefully organized the more the better. 
But the difference between the old and the new teaching of history 
is this, that the new teaching demands something more. It demands 
an equipment which shall serve its peculiar purpose as the laboratory 
serves the purposes of the teacher of the natural sciences, and 
teachers who shall use this equipment to develop reasoning powers 
in addition to the development of memory and the inculcating of 

Most of the good textbooks of today presuppose, indeed, the 
existence or the acquisition of such equipment, and are arranged with 
a view to the advantage to be derived from the use of it. But expe- 
rience shows that the advice offered in the textbook, and the assump- 
tion that the advice will be followed are alike unheeded. There are 
so many suggestions offered, so many books listed, so much expense 
apparently involved, that the history teacher and, more especially, 
the administrative officers, discouraged with the prospect, give up the 
attempt to introduce new methods, take the line of least resistance, 
and fall back on the old method of textbook and recitation. 


III. The Kinds of Equipment Needed, and How These 
May Be Obtained. 

To show clearly and definitely what is meant by "equipment," and 
how a beginning may be made at very small cost, and to indicate 
the minimum that should be expected of even the less favored high 
schools will be the purpose of the pages that follow. The equipment 
will consist of books, maps and charts, and illustrative material in 
the shape of pictures, etc.; but the chief necessity is that of books. 
It will be best to consider this equipment under several heads. 


A. On the Course of Study. 

For many years the course of study laid down for the work in 
history has included four distinct fields of work, to each of which a 
full year course should be devoted. These fields are those of An- 
cient History to about 800 A.D., Mediaeval and Modern History of 
Europe, English History, and American History. But the increasing 
number of studies included in the work of the high school has ren- 
dered it increasingly difficult to find place for all these courses. They 
are not offered in all schools, and where they are offered, it is not 
required that students shall proceed through all four in regular suc- 
cession, as was intended in the four-year plan. Thus schemes have 
been considered for shortening the work, especially in the History of 
Europe and England. 

To become fully acquainted with this evolution of the high school 
course in history, every high school teacher of the subject should 
be provided with the following two small and inexpensive books: 

Report of the Committee of Seven on the Teaching of History in 
Schools, Macmillan, $0.50. 

Report of the Committee of Five on tJie Teaching of History in 
Schools, Macmillan, $0.25. 

Both of these refer to high school work. 

But in later years the whole idea of the three or four-year course 
has become the subject of an active debate, and suggestions for a 
thorough reconstruction of the work have been proposed. Conspic- 
uous among these is the "Report of the Committee on Social Studies 
of the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education of 
the National Educational Association." This report, issued in No- 
vember, 1916, by the United States Bureau of Education as Bulletin 
No. 28, 1916, may be obtained from that Bureau, or from the Super- 
intendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington. 

B. Current Discussions. The History Teacher's Magazine. 

Only a few schools have made radical experiments in the recon- 
struction of the course. In most schools the older plan will no doubt 
be followed for some time to come, while the subject is being thrashed 
out in the meetings of teachers' associations and of history students. 

The ambitious teacher will endeavor to follow this discussion. A 
means of doing so, no matter how far one may bei from the centers 
of experiment and debate, is afforded by a publication which should 
be available to every high-school teacher of history. 

This is the History Teacher's Magazine, published in Phila- 
delphia by the McKinley Publishing Company. Eight numbers are 
published monthly in the course of each school year. The subscrip- 
tion price is $2.00. A special arrangement is made by the publishers 



by which members of associations of history teachers may receive 
the magazine for $1.00. 

This periodical, which was for some time subsidized by the 
American Historical Association and is the organ of the New England 
History Teachers' Association and other such associations, contains 
articles upon various phases of the teaching of history, written by 
experts in the several fields. Great emphasis is laid upon methods, 
type tudies in this or that field of history are given, the reader is 
directed to the new books as they come out, and finds in the magazine 
critical estimates of such new books. There are also items of gen- 
eral interest to teachers, such as accounts of the meetings of asso- 
ciations, discussions of the teaching of history, etc. Helpful syllabi 
are published from time to time, and occasionally illustrations of value 
for actual use in the class room are given. 

C. Works on Methods of Teaching. 

But besides keeping abreast of the current discussions, every 
teacher feels the need of a more permanent, systematic body of princi- 
ples ; a book which shall in more continuous and logical manner atf ord 
the teacher insight and inspiration. Such a work is Johnson, H., 
The Teaching of History, Macmillan, $1.40. 

Among older works may be selected: Bourne, H. E., The Teach- 
ing of History and Civics, Longmans, $1.62; McMurry, C. A., Special 
Method in History, Macmillan, $0.75. 

In addition, a wide study of the different textbooks in any given 
field, of the suggestions made by the author, and of the reviews of 
such new books as they appear, will be of great service. As a rule, 
publishers are glad to send such texts for examination. 

A. Collateral Reading; The School Library. 

The first necessary adjunct to the textbook and recitation is the 
use of collateral reading. Properly developed, this exercise is of the 
greatest value. It not only adds to the information contained in the 
text, but stimulates a comparison of facts and views, breaking down 
the idea unfortunately too prevalent in the mind of tthe pupil, that 
his textbook contains all that is meant by "History." The collateral 
reading gives opportunity for individual work on the part of the 
pupils, and for the fuller study of topics of great importance. 

In order to make clear just what results are expected from the 
use of collateral reading, the American Historical Association has re- 
cently appointed a new committee, with instructions to draw up, after 
conference with teachers' associations all over the country a definition 
of the topics specially to be emphasized in connection with collateral 
reading. For the progress of this discussion, and the reports of this 
and other committees, teachers will find the best guide in the History 
Teacher's Magazine. 

Through misunderstanding or mismanagement, however, the good 
results are often missed. It should be a fixed principle to be observed 
in such work, that unless it can be in some way satisfactorily tested, 
it is of little avail. To this end we urge upon the school authorities 
that they should provide an ample number of duplicate copies of a 
few well chosen works rather than a larger number of scattered 
books which only one student can use at a time. 

It follows that the practice pursued by some schools of relying on 
the city library is a delusion, unless the city library is willing to pur- 



chase duplicates. The city library is excellent for the teacher, and 
is invaluable for the pupils, as supplementing the school library, but 
it cannot be a substitute for the latter. 

We now submit a list of books for collateral reading in each of the 
four fields in the course of study in History. We call attention to 
the fact that for one copy of each of the books in each of these lists 
the total cost, per list, need not exceed ten or eleven dollars. Schools 
which offer all four fields of history could provide all four sets for 
about forty dollars. 

In a well managed school library, it should be possible for each 
copy of a book to serve from six to ten students. A class in history 
numbering sixty needs from six to ten duplicates. If classes run to 
this number in all four fields, the cost of the reference library will 
run from $240.00 to $400.00. (This is making no allowance for re- 
ductions in the price of the books.) Few schools, however, will have 
large classes in all the fields of history, and not all schools will have 
to provide at once for all four fields. Moreover, it must be remem- 
bered that these books will be useful for several years, so that the 
first cost should be distributed over the period of the life of the 
books. If a good start is once made, very moderate expenditures 
each year will add rapidly to the school library, which will come to be 
a matter of pride to both teachers and students. 

An excellent guide to a wide selection of books on history for use 
in schools, compiled through the cooperation of experts familiar with 
the needs of schools, is Andrews, Gambrill, and Tall, A Bibliography 
of History for Schools, Longmans, $0.68. 

B. References for Collateral Reading. 


Myers, J. L., The Dawn of History, Home University Library, 
Holt, $0.50. 

Bury, J. B., History of Greece to the Death of Alexander, Mac- 
millan, $1.90. 

Grant, A. J., Greece in the Age of Pericles, Scribners, $1.00. 

Mahaffy, Alexander's Empire, Putnams, $1.50. 

Gulick, C. B., Life of the Ancient Greeks, Appleton, $1.40. 

Whipley, C. H., A Companion to Greek Study, Cambridge Univer- 
sity Press. 

Abbott, F. F., A Short History of Rome, Scott, Foresman & Co. . 

Pelham, Outlines of Roman History, Putnams, $1.75. 

How and Leigh, History of Rome to the Death of Caesar, Long- 
mans, $2.00. 

Schuckburgh, History of Rome to the Battle of Actium, Ferrero 
and Barbagallo, A Short History of Rome, Putnam, $1.90. 

Jones, H. S., Companion to Roman History, Oxford, Clarendon 

Sandys, J. E., A Companion to Latin Studies, Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press. 

Fowler, Social Life in the Age of Cicero, Macmillan, $1.50. 

Emerton, E., Introduction to the History of the Middle Ages, Ginn, 



Munro, D. C., History of the Middle Ages, Appleton, $0.90. 

Davis, H. W. C., Medieval Europe, Home University Library, Holt, 

Symonds, J. A., Short History of the Italian Renaissance, Holt, 

Walker, W., The Reformation, Scribner, $1.25. 

Robinson, J. H., and Beard, C. A., Development of Modern Europe, 
2 vols., Ginn., $3.00. 

Fisher, H., Napoleon, Home University Library, Holt, $0.50. 

Ogg, F. A., Social Progress in Contemporary Europe, Macmillan, 

Thorndyke, L., The History of Mediaeval Europe. 

Hayes, C. J. H., Political and Social History of Modern Europe, 
Macmillan, 2 vols., $4.25. 

Hazen, C. D., Modern European History, Holt, $1.75. 


General histories in one volume. Select one or more. 

Gardiner, S. R., Student's History of England, Longmans, $3.00. 

Green, J. R., Short History of the English People, American Book 
Co., $1.20. 

Andrews, C. M., History of England, Allyn and Bacon, $1.50. 

Cross, A. L., History of England and Greater Britain, Macmillan, 

Government and Constitution. 

Montague, Elements of English Constitutional History, Longmans, 

Moran, The Theory and Practice of the English Government, Long- 
mans, $1.20. 

Economic History. 

Cheyney, Social and Industrial History of England, Macmillan, 


The "Riverside History of the United States," W. E. Dodd, ed., 
(Becker, C. L., Beginnings of the American People; Johnson, A., 
Union and Democracy; Dodd, W. E., Expansion and Conflict; Pax- 
Son, F. L., The New Nation. Houghton Mifflin Company, $2, each 
volume. In all, $8.00. 

Bassett, J. S., A Short History of the United States, Macmillan, 

Epochs Series (Thwaites, R. G., The Colonies; Hart, A. B. Forma- 
tion of the Union; Wilson, W., Division and Reunion), Longmans, 
each volume, $1.25, in all $3.75. 

Fish, C. R., The Development of American Nationality (begins 
with the year 1783) ; American Book Co., $2.25. 

Andrews, C. M., The Colonial Period; Smith, T. C., The War Be- 
tween England and America. 

MacDonald, W., From Jefferson to Lincoln; Paxton, F. L., The 
Civil War; Haworth, P. L., Reconstruction and Union; Home Univer- 
sity Library, Holt, each $0.50, in all $2.50. 


Beard, C. A., American Government and Politics, Macmillan, $2.10. 

James and Sanford, Government in State and Nation, Scribner, 

Ashley, R. L., American Government, Macmillan, $1.00. 

Bogart, J. L., The Economic History of the United States, Long- 
mans, $1.75. 

Coman, K., Industrial History of the United States, Macmillan, 

Brigham, A. P., Geographic Influences in American History, Ginn, 

Semple, E. C., American History and Its Geographic Conditions. 

C. Historical Geography. 

Geography has been well called one of the "eyes" of history. Every 
textbook emphasizes the importance of the study of geography, but 
this is not enough. The student must himself understand how maps 
are made, and how maps can be made to express the relation of geogra- 
phy to history. 


A part of the permanent equipment of the history class-room 
should consist of well selected wall maps. Unfortunately much of 
this type of equipment is expensive. However, a beginning may be 
made at little expense. From the Public Land Office, Department of 
the Interior, Washington, D. C., may be secured for one dollar, a Wall 
Map of the United States and its Possessions. From various pub- 
lishers, e.g., from the Rand-McNally Company or the A. J. Nystrom 
Company, both of Chicago, schools may obtain catalogues of maps 
of all countries which have been constructed specifically with reference 
to the teaching of history. Schools should provide a wall map for 
each of the continents illustrating the physical features, and another 
group indicating modern political boundaries. 

Of particular importance, also, are the Blackboard Outline Wall 
Maps now available. These may be used both by teacher and by 
pupils to show changes in boundaries, physical features, routes of com- 
merce, political sectionalism, etc. 


More expensive than the single wall map, but economical in that 
they take the place of many wall maps, are the series of historical 
map charts for the use of schools and colleges. 


Of varied serviceableness, and, fortunately, of much less expense, 
is the Historical Atlas. This contains not one, but many maps, 
and shows changes in historical geography from period to period. 

There are excellent atlases for particular countries, such as: 

Gardiner, S. R. Student's Atlas of English History, Longmans, 

MacCoun, T., Historical Geography of the United States, Silver, 
Burdett & Co., $0.90. 

Dow, E. W., Historical Atlas (Europe), Holt, $1.50. 

But a single volume covering all four fields of history is, for that 
reason, the most useful: 

Shepherd, W. R., Historical Atlas, Holt, $2.50. 

..This, like the works for collateral reading, must be provided in a 
sufficient number of duplicate copies. 



To secure the results at which we are aiming, outline maps, to be 
filled in by the pupils, are indispensable. There are several series of 
these, all inexpensive. Samples will be sent on request by the follow- 
ing publishers. 

McKinley Publishing Company, Philadelphia, Pa. 

A. J. Nystrom & Co., Chicago. 

Atkinson, Mentzer & Co., Boston, New York, Chicago, Dallas. 

Historical Publishing Co., Topeka, Kansas. 

American Book Co., New York, Cincinnati, Chicago. 

It is recommended to schools with limited resources to introduce 
first Shepherd's Atlas and such outline maps, and then, as opportunity 
permits, the more expensive wall maps. 

A word of warning as to the use of map-work is in order. With- 
out care on the part of the teacher such work tends to become mechani- 
cal, and pupils, especially those skilled in the use of the pencil, may 
blindly copy maps without thoroughly studying what they are trying 
to represent. It is easy for a careful teacher to meet this tendency 
with the proper corrective tests. 

D. Source Books. 

Next to collateral reading in modern books, the teacher of history 
should develop work in the sources, or contemporary records. We 
repeat here the statement made above that we do not expect high- 
school students to discover new facts or to engage in research. We 
use source material, first, that every student may know something of 
the way in which the materials for history have been preserved. A 
photograph of the Acropolis or of the Coliseum gives the student 
something that a written description of these monuments of ancient 
art cannot give. Similarly a reading of the text of the Declaration 
of Independence adds a great deal to some modern writer's summary 
of that document. Important laws, letters of great men, diaries, 
contemporary newspapers, of all these and many other kinds of ma- 
terials the source-books give samples. Secondly, such selections re- 
flect the spirit or atmosphere of the time which they represent. They 
show how men differed from one another in the same age or period, 
and how the men of one age differed in their thought and feelings 
from the men of another age. A contemporary account of the New 
England Witchcraft, a contemporary narrative of Western pioneers, 
these help to make the past real to our students, and that is, surely, 
one of the chief objects of our teaching. We submit a very limited 
list of source-books representing a minimum equipment, which, like 
the works for collateral reading, should be provided in a sufficient 
number of duplicate copies. A good discussion of the use of such 
material will be found in the work by Professor A. B. Hart included 
in our list. 

The use of one such book, to be in the hands of each individual 
student should be required in the high school courses. 

Munro, D. C., Source Book of Roman History, Heath. 

Davis, W. S., Readings in Ancient History, Allyn & Bacon, 2 vols.: 
1, Greece and East; 2, Rome and West, each $1.00. 

Homer's Iliad, trans., Lang Leaf and Myers, Macmillan, $0.80. 

The Odyssey, trans., Butcher and Lang, Macmillan, $0.75. 

Plutarch's Lives, trans., Clough, Everyman's Library, Dutton, 3 
vols., each $0.75. 


Church, E. J., Trial and Death of Socrates (from Plato), Mac- 
millan, $1.00. 

Robinson, J. H., Readings in European History, abridged edition, 
Ginn, $1.50. 

Cheyney, Readings in English History, Ginn, $1.60. 

Kendall, Source Book of English History, Macmillan, $0.80. 

MacDonald, W., Documentary Source Book of American History, 
Macmillan, $1.75. 

Hart, A. B., Sourch Book of American History, Macmillan, $0.60. 

E. The Printed Syllabus or Topical Outline. 

As a means of coordinating and combining the different parts of 
the work in history, the syllabus or topical outline plays an important 
part. The outline is not an end in itself, but a tool to help the student 
follow some order in his work. It is not necessary to be bound slav- 
ishly to the outline. Teachers may add here or reconstruct there. 

Again, the outline, if prepared by a competent person or committee 
is of help in indicating the amount of time that should be devoted to 
the different parts of the subject. Another service rendered by a 
syllabus is the way -in which it may point to the collateral reading 
or to the elaboration of special topics. 

A Syllabus of History for Schools, Heath and Company, $1.30 
covers all four fields, and has helpful suggestions for the teacher. 
For each one of the four fields the topical outline proper may be had 
separately, in paper covers, for 15 cents. 

Botsford, G. W., A Syllabus of Roman History, Macmillan. 

Other publishers' topical lists, etc., are noted, as they appear, in 
the History Teacher's Magazine; and, as stated above, many such 
outlines are contributed to the magazine itself, and constitute one of 
its most valuable features. 

For the fields of ancient history and American history, see also 
the McKinley Illustrated History Topics, mentioned below under "Pub- 
lications Combining Several Methods." 

F. Notebooks and Written Work. 

"Writing," according to Lord Bacon, "maketh an exact man." To 
the oral work, which will always remain the basis of school work in 
history, should be added the work in the notebook, the written theme, 
and the written quiz or test. In these effort should be made to train 
in exactness and in clearness of expression. The notebook, especially, 
should constitute a real exercise of great value. 

It is not expected that high-school students shall be given lecture 
courses ; but surely in the high school the pupil should be taught how 
to follow attentively the spoken word. New points brought out either 
by the teacher or by the fellow-student should be preserved in notes. 
Dictation is not advised, unless in the case of some important phrases 
or sentences in a law or a speech, where the exact words are to be 

In connection with the collateral reading, the student should be 
taught to summarize or digest intelligently the readings which are 
assigned, and such exercise should then be made the basis of oral 
and written tests. 

Loose-leaved notebooks should be employed, and the work should 
be kept from becoming mechanical by constant watchfulness on the 
part of the teacher. 


G. Illustrative Materials. 

It is beyond the power of most schools to provide a real historical 
museum. The teacher is urged, however, to see that the history 
class room shall suggest to the eye as well as to the ear the meaning 
of historical materials. In addition to the maps, much can be done 
in a very inexpensive manner with pictures. Teachers are urged to 
send for catalogues of the following publishers. Many others might 
be listed. 

The Perry Picture Co., Boston. 

Miss M. L. Moses, 19 Putnam Street, West Newton, Mass. (Pic- 
tures arranged by a committee of the New England History Teacher's 

A. W. Elson Co., 146 Oliver Street, Boston. 

. In large schools excellent use may be made of the stereopticon lan- 
tern. For historical slides consult the History Teacher's Magazine, 
advertising columns. 


Several firms offer publications which combine some of the exer- 
cise suggested above, for example, maps and notes, or maps and 

Worthy of especial mention are the Illustrated History Topics of 
the McKmley Publishing Company, Philadelphia. These combine (a) 
outlines; (b) outline maps; (c) source materials; (d) historical illus- 
trations; (e) references for collateral reading. Thus far provision 
has been made only for ancient history and American history. Every 
teacher should examine these History Topics. The publishers will 
gladly send samples. 


The course of the Great War of 1914, especially since the entrance 
of the United States into the conflict, has brought a new problem to 
the history teacher. Nothing has done more to stimulate interest 
in history; and to acquaint American boys and girls with the nature 
and origin of the struggle in which we are now engaged rests as a 
duty of the deepest seriousness upon those who have in charge the 
administration of our educational institutions. But how shall this be 

It will certainly be a mistaken policy to substitute organized courses 
in the seudy o:fl the war for the regular history courses. In the first 
place the subject is a very complex one, and demands special prepara- 
tion on the part of the teacher. Secondly, while the activities of war- 
fare on land and sea of necessity have the first place in our attention, 
we must remember that the war is fought that peace and righteousness 
may prevail, and we must be looking ahead to the reestablishment of 
the social order when peace comes. The causes of the war go far 
back in time ; the course of civilization, many phases of which are now 
obscured for the moment, goes back still farther, and it is as needful 
as ever to lay a broad historical foundation. In the third place there 
are as yet few textbooks dealing with the war that are adapted to 
young readers. 

For these reasons it will be well to go slow in making changes in 
the curriculum. Additional time should be found for special treat- 
ment of the war. The news of current events will furnish constantly 
fresh starting points for the stimulation of historical interest. The 



whole flavor or point of view of the work will be affected by the mighty 
conflict of nations. But the war will be best taught and studied in 
its proper relation to the development of history as a whole. 

There can be no question, however, that the teacher will be called 
on to prepare himself or herself to meet new demands for leadership 
in thought. The teacher must be ready to use the war and the prob- 
lems which it has raised as a means of stimulating interest in history, 
to give talks upon the war in all its phases, and to answer questions 
on the part of the students and of the community generally. 

These new demands have received the thoughtful consideration of 
many writers and students, both in the field of history and in many 
allied subjects. The History Teacher's Magazine, to which so many 
references have already been made, has devoted, during the last year, 
particular attention to this matter, with most excellent results. Spe- 
cial articles have appeared, and others will be published in the future, 
directed to just this matter of helping school teachers to interpret the 
war in the best possible way. Particular mention must be made of 
Collected Materials for the Study of the Great War, compiled by 
Albert E. McKinley and issued by the publishers of the History Teach- 
er's Magazine, the McKinley Publishing Company of Philadelphia. 
This includes an elaborate Topical Outline of the War, by Samuel B. 
Harding; a Syllabus for a Course of Study upon the Preliminaries 
of the Present Conflict, by H. L. Hoskins; excellent maps for the 
study of the war with comments, by S. B. Harding and W. E. Lingle- 
bach; a Bibliography of Publications in English relating to the World 
War; and extensive selections from President Wilson's War Addresses, 
Statutes of the United States relating to the State of War; and Execu- 
tive Proclamations and Orders. Published at the low cost of 65 cents, 
this volume would seem to be a nearly indispensable guide to the study 
and teaching of the war. 


SOUTHWEST, 1730-1807. 

(Copyright, 1918, Albert V. Goodpasture.) 

CHAPTER V. Continued. 

The assault on Freeland's Station was the last engagement 
the settlers had with the Chickasaws, though the latter, before 
they retired, united with a party of Cherokees and did much 
damage to the stock and plantations on the Cumberland. Our 
historians say that Colonel Robertson made peace with them in 
1782, but I do not find any evidence of such a treaty. Peace 
was restored by the removal of the original cause of irritation. 
The Chickasaws, as has been stated, resented the appropria- 
tion of their hunting grounds without their consent. Upon 
the erection of Fort Jefferson they at once put themselves in 
communication with the British at Pensacola. November 23, 
1780, Major General John Campbell, commanding his Majesty's 
forces in the province of West Florida, appointed James Col- 
bert, leader and conductor of such volunteer inhabitants, and 
Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and other Indians as should 
join him, for the purpose of annoying, distressing, attacking, 
and repelling the King's enemies. 127 Colbert conducted the 
siege of Fort Jefferson. At the end of five or six days the 
garrison was reduced to the utmost extremity, when they were 
fortunately relieved by Colonel Clark; 128 the post, however, 
which had been inconsiderately established, was evacuated and 

About the last of August, 1782, Simon Burney and two 
Chickasaw warriors, under a flag of truce, delivered to Colonel 
Logan, of Lincoln County, Kentucky, a talk signed by Poy- 
mace Tankaw, Mingo Homaw, Tuskon Patapo, and Piomingo, 
in which they expressed their desire for peace. They admitted 
they had done mischief in Kentucky, as well as on the Cum- 
berland, but alleged that the building of Fort Jefferson on 
their hunting ground, without their consent, made it neces- 
sary to take up arms to defend what they deemed their natural 
right; but that the cause being then in some measure removed, 
they desired to be again at peace with the American States. 
On the receipt of this talk, Colonel John Donelson, who had 
gone to Kentucky after the breaking up of his station on the 
Cumberland, wrote the Governor of Virginia, urging the ap- 

127 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 391. 
128 Collin's History of Kentucky, p. 40. 
permanently abandoned June 8, 1781. 12{ 

129 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 2, p. 313. 


pointinent of commissioners to negotiate a treaty with them, 
and suggesting the French Lick, on the Cumberland River, as 
the place most agreeable to the Chickasaws for a meeting. 130 

Acting upon this information and advice, Governor Har- 
rison appointed Colonels John Donelson, Joseph Martin, and 
Isaac Shelby commissioners to treat with the Southern In- 
dians. The intermediary between the Governor, the Commis- 
sioners, and the Chickasaws was Major John Reid. Major 
Reid visited the Governor at Richmond; delivered Donelson's 
commission to him at New London ; carried additional instruc- 
tions to Martin at the Great Island of Holston; called upon 
Shelby in Kentucky, and arrived at the French Lick on Cum- 
berland, on his way to the Chickasaws, May 2, 1783. Colonel 
Robertson opposed the assembling of the Chickasaws in the 
Cumberland settlements, and refused to allow Major Reid to 
proceed further until he had called a meeting of the Commit- 
tee. 131 The committee at first agreed with Colonel Robertson, 
but upon Major Reid's pressing the necessity of the matter, 
they reached the conclusion set forth in their minutes, as fol- 

June 3, 1783. Major John Reid moved the Committee of Cum- 
berland relative to the assembling of the southern tribes of Indians 
at the French Lick on Cumberland, for holding- a treaty with the 
Commissioners appointed by the State of Virginia; when the Com- 
mittee, considering how difficult it will be for the handful of people, 
reduced to poverty and distress by a continued scene of Indian bar- 
barity, to furnish any large bodv of Indians with provisions; and 
how prejudicial it may be to our infant settlement, should they not 
be furnished with provisions, or otherwise dissatisfied with the terms 
of the treaty; on which consideration the Committee refer it to the 
unanimous suffrages of the people of this settlement, whether the 
treaty shall be held here with their consent or no, and that the suf- 
frages of the several stations be delivered to the Clerk of Committee 
on Thursday evening, the fifth instant. Result: 
Freeland's Station, no treaty here-, 32. 
Heatonburg, no treaty here, 1; treaty here, 54. 
Nashborough, no treaty here, 26; treaty here, 30. 
No treaty here, 59; treaty here, 84. 

The other stations of Gasper Mansker's and Maulding's failing to 
return their votes. 13 * 

It being agreed that the treaty should be held at the French 
Lick on Cumberland, it was arranged that the conferences 
should take place at the large Sulphur Spring, on the Char- 
lotte Road, where General Robertson afterwards resided. The 
time named by the Chickasaws was the full moon in October. 
The Indians arrived on time, and were ten days in advance of 

""Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 282, 284. 
"'Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 562-4. 
i:2 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 7, pp. 131-2. 


Commissioners Donelson and Martin. Shelby did not attend, 
on account of one of his brothers having recently been killed 
by the Indians in Kentucky. 133 The treaty was finally con- 
cluded November 12, 1783. 134 By the terms of the treaty the 
Chickasaws ceded a large body of land on the south side of 
Cumberland Kiver, which they afterwards confirmed at the 
treaty of Hopewell in 1785. 

In addition to the cession of land, which was important, 
the Cumberland settlers won the warm friendship of the 
Chickasaws, which was never afterwards interrupted, and 
which proved of the greatest value to the settlement. No other 
man ever had their confidence quite so completely as General 
Robertson. His last public service was in their nation, where 
he died, September 1, 1814. On the other hand, their leader, 
Piomingo, also called the Mountain Leader, wfts well known 
and universally respected on the Cumberland. John Robinson 
borrowed his name as a pseudonym, under which he wrote a 
volume of essays, of considerable merit, contrasting the usages 
of civilized man with those of the savage, first published in 
1810. 135 An unfortunate confusion of the life of Piomingo 
with that of General William Colbert, by the great Indian 
biographer, Samuel G. Drake, has almost obliterated his per- 
sonality from our histories. Drake says, "from the circum- 
stance that the name Piomingo is not signed to any of the 
treaties after that of Colbert appears, induces the belief that 
he is the same person, and that, from his attachment to the 
whites, he took one of their names." 136 He then proceeds to 
commingle the acts of the two chiefs as though they were one 
and the same person. It now becomes necessary, therefore, to 
tell who General Colbert was. 

The Colbert family was for many years the most powerful 
family in the Chickasaw Nation, and, in common with the rest 
of the tribe, was uniformly friendly to the United States. It 
was founded by James Colbert, a Scotchman, who married a 
Chickasaw woman and adopted the Indian life. He was the 
same who bore the English commission and conducted the siege 
of Fort Jefferson. Then for some years he conducted extensive 

133 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 533. 

13 *Haywood and Ramsey do not undertake to give the date of this 
treaty. Putnam (History of Middle Tennessee, p. 196) says it was 
held in the month of June, 1783; but Major Reid, in his report to 
Governor Harrison, gives the exact date, as stated in the text. Calen- 
dar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 562-4. 

13r 'The Savage. By Piomingo, a Headsman, and Warrior of the Mus- 
cogulgee Nation. Philadelphia, 1810. 

""Drake's Indians of North America, 15th Ed., p. 401. 


piratical operations against the Spanish on the Mississippi 
River, which gave them great annoyance, and caused much 
uneasiness on the Cumberland. June 3, 1783, the committee 
of Cumberland resolved to send two men to the Illinois, with 
letters to be transmitted to the Spanish Governor, denying any 
connection or sympathy with Colbert's proceedings. 137 Sus- 
picion was especially directed against Colonel John Mont- 
gomery, who had seen service in the Illinois, and the Governor 
of North Carolina issued a proclamation charging him with 
aiding and abetting Colbert. The county court of Davidson 
County, at its first session, in 1784, placed Colonel Montgom- 
ery under bond to appear at the next term of the court and 
answer said charges. 138 But before the next term of the court 
the governor's proclamation had been withdrawn, and the pro- 
ceedings were dismissed as of course. 139 When Colonel Rob- 
ertson, having located two negroes, one taken at Mattattock 
and the other on" the Arkansas, offered to assist in their re- 
covery if the owners could be found, Monsieur Cruzat replied 
that Colbert and his people, scattered in several bands, were 
carrying on war by robbery and pillage everywhere, and con- 
sisted of so large a number of persons that it was impossible 
to procure the necessary proofs. 140 

This James Colbert had four sons, William, George, Levi, 
and James. General William Colbert, who succeeded Pio- 
mingo as the principal chief of the Nation, distinguished him- 
self as the friend of the United States. He served under Gen- 
eral Wayne against the Indians of the Northwest, and in 1794 
made war on the Creeks to avenge their depredations in the 
Cumberland settlements. When the Creek war broke out in 
1813, he hastened to join the third regiment of United States 
infantry for service against the old enemies of the Chickasaws. 
He served five months in the regular infantry, when he returned 
to his Nation and raised an independent force, which he led 
against the hostile Creeks, whom he pursued from Pensacola 
almost to Apalachicola, killing many, and bringing eighty-five 
prisoners back to Montgomery. In June, 1816, he headed a 
Chickasaw delegation to Washington, and in the treaty that 
followed, he is styled Major General, and is granted an annuity 
of .$100 during life. Later, he supported the emigration prin- 
ciple, and, to give to it the weight of his example, he went him- 

137 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 7, p. 134. 
138 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, p. 211. 
138 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 7, p. 318. 
"'American Historical Magazine, Vol. 7, pp. 75-6. 


self to Arkansas in 1836, with the Ilidge party, and died there 
in November, 1839. 141 

Colonel George Colbert, who was hardly less prominent 
than his brother William, owned and lived at the celebrated 
ferry on the Tennessee River which still bears his name. He 
had two wives, both daughters of the bloody Cherokee chief, 
Doublehead. He possessed a strong mind and a dictatorial 
spirit. Levi Colbert, on the contrary, is said to have been 
mild, amiable, liberal, and generous. He lived on Bear Creek, 
in Colbert County, Alabama, which was so named to perpetu- 
ate the memory of himself and his brother George, and was the 
principal chief of the Nation at the time of their removal to the 
west. The youngest of the four brothers was Major James 
Colbert, at one time interpreter for the nation, who also lived 
in Alabama, some forty miles south of Levi and George. 142 
They were all constant and active friends of the United States. 

William Colbert was the friend and follower, as well as the 
successor, of Piomingo. The following incident will illustrate 
their relations. In the fall of 1792 Piomiugo, with a company 
of Chickasaws, went to Philadelphia after goods for their tribe, 
who were to meet him at Mussel Shoals on his return. Being 
delayed beyond the appointed time, the Chickasaws feared that 
some accident had happened to him. Their foreboding was 
strengthened by a report circulated by the Creeks, that the 
Cherokees had killed him and all his party. This report so 
exasperated them that William and George Colbert collected 
a party of Chickasaws on either side of the Tennessee, for the 
purpose of cutting off six canoes of Cherokees, who were mov- 
ing down the river, but Levi Colbert and some others prevailed 
on them to desist until their information could be confirmed. 
Shortly after these canoes went by another appeared, loaded 
with corn, and having on board one man, two women, and 
two children. William Colbert hailed them, and ordered them 
to come ashore. They disregarded his order and kept on their 
way, which he construed into a confession of guilt, and gave 
chase. The canoe paddled to the shore, the man landed and hid 
himself in the bushes, and the others continued down the 
river, but were soon overhauled and brought back. William 
Colbert found the man, tomahawked and scalped him. 143 

Piomingo was the great war chief of the Chickasaws before 
William Colbert had won his spurs. He proposed peace to 
Kentucky and Cumberland in 1782 ; he fought with the Ameri- 

141 Drake's Indians of North America, pp. 401, 689. 
142 Brewer's Alabama, p. 189; Rev. Jacob Young, quoted in Mc- 
Ferrin's History of Methodism in Tennessee, Vol. 2, p. 95. 
"'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 539-540. 


cans under St. Clair; Dragging Canoe spent the last effort of 
his life vainly trying to induce Piomingo to join the confed- 
eracy of southern Indians against the United States, while 
they were engaged in a momentous struggle with the Indians 
of the Northwest; when the Spaniards of Louisiana made large 
offers to the Chickasaws if they would forsake the Americans 
in 1793, Piomingo treated the offer with contempt. He was a 
true and good man, had great natural ability, and possessed in 
a high degree the fundamental elements of statesmanship. 144 
He merits a high place among the great chiefs of his Nation, 
and deserves to be remembered by the Americans for his un- 
faltering devotion to their cause, after the treaty of French 
Lick on the Cumberland, November 12, 1783. 

Mohn Carr's Narrative, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 198. 


The Chickamaugas liarass Cumberland; surprise 
the harvesters at Clover Bottom; outlying stations 
abandoned, and inhabitants concentrated at the Bluff, 
Freeland's, and Eaton's; large force of Indians invade 
the settlement; battle of the Bluff. 1780-1781. 

During the Chickasaw invasion of the Cumberland extend- 
ing from the summer of 1780 until the beginning of the year 
1781, the Chickamaugas were not idle. The destruction of 
their towns, and the capture of the British goods stored in 
them, by Colonels Shelby and Montgomery in 1779, made it 
impracticable for them to join the British forces in the North- 
west, had not the capture of Governor Hamilton already ren- 
dered abortive his daring scheme against the western fron- 
tiers. These events restricted the operation of the Chicka- 
maugas to the nearby settlements on the Holston and Cumber- 
land. Fortunately for the Cumberland, their first organized 
movement was against the Holston ; had it been against them 
it would have proven disastrous to their infant settlement. 
As it was, they were greatly harassed and weakened by a 
constant and destructive guerrilla warfare. Between thirty 
and forty of their small company were killed by the Indians 
Chickamaugas, Creeks, Chickasaws, and Delawares during the 
year 1780. Before the end of the year every outlying station 
in the district was abandoned, the Bluff, Eaton's, and Free- 
land's alone holding out. 

In the spring John Millikin was killed on Richland Creek, 
and Joseph Hay in Sulphur Bottom. These were the first men 
killed on the Cumberland. From that time the settlers were 
picked off here and there, their horses stolen, and their cattle 
killed or mutilated, by skulking bands of Indians, who es- 
caped without difficulty through the thick canebrakes and tan- 
gled undergrowth that surrounded their small clearings. Larg- 
er parties were less difficult to punish. In the summer Colonel 
Robertson, with a company of nineteen men, pursued a con- 
siderable party of Cherokees who had been depredating in the 
neighborhood of Freeland's Station, and overtook them on Duck 
River about forty miles south of the Bluff. Robertson's men 
charged and fired upon the Indians, several of whom were 
killed or wounded, and the remainder fled, abandoning their 
stolen property to the whites, who returned in triumph without 
the loss of a man. This was the first pursuit made by the set- 

Among the pioneers who settled a plantation and planted 
a crop in the spring of 1780 wasi Colonel John Donelson, the 


distinguished commander of the flotilla that had just success- 
fully completed the extraordinary voyage from Fort Patrick 
Henry to the French Salt Lick. He selected a splendid tract 
of land on the west bank of Stone's Biver, not far from the 
Hermitage. It contained a broad and beautiful river bottom, 
to which the rich upland gently descended. Both bottom and 
upland were covered with cane and timber, except a few open 
spots in the bottom, which were carpeted with a luxuriant 
growth of white clover. The place has since been known as 
Clover Bottom, and was once awarded a premium as the best 
farm in Tennessee. Here Colonel Donelson erected a half- 
faced camp for his family and servants, known as Stone's 
Biver, or Donelson's Station. Having planted his corn in the 
bottom on the west side of the river, he planted a small patch 
of cotton on the east side, where the situation and soil seemed 
better adapted to its growth. 

Colonel Donelson knew the Indians had killed a number 
of settlers lower down the Cumberland; that they had broken 
up Benf roe's Station ; but as they had not yet appeared in his 
neighborhood he hoped to escape their depredations. Soon 
after the Benfroe massacre, however, Colonel Henderson's 
negro, Jim, and a young mam who had been left in charge of 
Henderson's half-faced camp near Clover Bottom, were killed. 
Being unprepared to defend his position against an attack from 
the Indians, which now appeared imminent, Donelson aban- 
doned his station and retired with his family to Mansker's 
Station. His crop, in the meantime, came to maturity without 
serious injury, either from the floods, the Indians, or the wild 

In November, 1780, he prepared to gather his crop. It was 
recognized as a dangerous enterprise, on account of the in- 
creasing number of Indian depredations committed in the set- 
tlement. In addition to his own force, therefore, he engaged 
a company from the Bluff to assist him, on shares. They were 
to take their boat at the Bluff and ascend the Cumberland to 
the mouth of Stone's Biver, where they would meet the Donel- 
son party, who were to drop down the Cumberland from the 
mouth of Mansker's Creek. Colonel Donelson's boat was in 
charge of his son, Captain John Donelson, and contained a 
horse, intended for use in hauling corn to the boat, and also in 
towing the boat up the river when loaded. The boat from the 
Bluff was commanded by Captain Abel Gower, who was a 
leader in the famous voyage to the Cumberland, and father 
of the heroic girl, Nancy Gower, who was wounded by the In- 
dians at Lookout Mountain. His crew consisted of seven or 
eight men, black and white. The two parties, having reached 



Clover Bottom, as agreed, they fastened their boats to the bank 
near the present turnpike bridge and commenced pulling corn, 
which they conveyed to the boats in bags and baskets, and 
also on a one-horse "slide," wihich was the only carriage then 
known on the Cumberland. 

They were thus engaged for several days, and it was ob- 
served that on each night, and especially on the last night, 
their dogs kept up a furious barking, which suggested Indians 
to them, but they tried to explain the excitement of the dogs 
on other grounds, and manifested their anxiety only by has- 
tening the completion of their work. Early on the last morn- 
ing Captain Donelson pushed! his boat across to the east side 
of the river, and commenced gathering cotton. This, he 
thought, would cause but a short delay, and he expected the 
other boat to join in the picking and share the cotton with him. 
also. But when Captain Gower's party had finished their 
breakfast they launched their boat out into the stream and 
began its descent. Donelson hailed them from the bank and 
desired them to come over arid help him. Gower replied that 
it was getting late, and as he wished to reach the Bluff before 
night they would have to move on. Donelson remonstrated, but 
determined to finish gathering his cotton before he returned. 

While they were yet parleying Captain Gower's boat reached 
the narrow channel between a small island and the west bank. 
In the meantime a large party of Chickamaugas had concealed 
themselves on the west bank opposite this island, and as Cap- 
tain Gower's boat passed them, they poured a destructive fire 
down upon him. Four or five of his party were killed at the 
first fire; the others jumped overboard into the shallow water. 
A white man and a negro escaped into the woods, and ulti- 
mately found their way back to the Bluff. Jack Civil, a free 
negro, being slightly wounded, surrendered and was carried 
to the Chickamauga towms, where he was so well satisfied that 
he remained with them and adopted their life. Among the 
killed were Captain Abel Gower and his son, Abel Gower, Jr., 
and James Randolph Robertson, the eldest son of Colonel 
James Robertson, a youth of much promise. Their boat drifted 
safely down the river, and was recovered with the dead still 
on board, and undisturbed except by the hungry dogs that had 
escaped the Indian fusillade. 

Captain Donelson witnessed the attack from the opposite 
shore, ran down to his boat and secured his rifle, fired across 
the river at the Indians, then hastened to join his own party. 
They had fled into the cane when the firing and yelling of the 
Indians began, and were collected together with some diffi- 
culty. It being necessary for the party to separate to pre- 


vent leaving a trail that the Indians might follow, they hastily 
agreed upon the direction to be taken in order to meet the next 
day upon the banks of the Cumberland, some miles above the 
mouth of Stone's River. Robert Cartwright, an elderly gen- 
tleman who had come to the Cumberland with Colonel Donel- 
son, was given the horse to ride, without Which it would have 
been difficult for him to make his escape. 

At sunset they collected under a large hickory tree that 
had fallen to the ground, and spent the night concealed in its 
thick foliage, but were too cold to sleep, as they dared not 
make a fire. Next morning, after a number of fruitless efforts 
to construct a raft on which they might cross the river so as 
to reach Mansker's Station, which was on the north side of 
the Cumberland, Somerset, Colonel Donelson's body servant, 
volunteered to swim the river, with the aid of the horse, and 
ride to the station for assistance. He reached the settlement 
without accident, Tind soon returned bringing relief to the dis, 
tressed harvesters. 145 

This attack by a considerable party of Chickamaugas caused 
consternation among the settlers. A short time before, Man- 
sker's Station had been alarmed by the depredations of a 
small band of Creeks. William Neelly, an early hunter and 
companion of Mansker's, had undertaken the manufacture of 
salt at Neelly's Lick, and was assisted by several of the sta- 
tioners from Mansker's. His daughter went with him to care 
for the domestic affairs of the camp. One day, after a suc- 
cessful hunt, Neelly brought in a deer, and, being tired, laid 
down to rest. His daughter was busy preparing supper for 
her father and the men who would be in soon from the Lick. 
Suddenly she heard the crack of a rifle near the camp, her 
father raised himself up, groaned and fell back dead. The In- 
dians then seized her and carried her captive to the distant 
Creek Nation. She remained in captivity several years, but 
was finally exchanged, and married reputably in Kentucky. 

When the men returned from the Lick to the camp and 
found the father dead and the daughter missing, they fled to- 
Mansker's Station, under cover of the night, and caused great 
excitement and distress by their sad tidings. 146 It seemed that 
death was lurking everywhere, and was ready to embrace the 

145 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 624-8; 119-20; Hay- 
wood's History of Tennessee, p. 128; Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee* 
p. 450. 

"'Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 117-118. 


whole settlement. 147 Under these circumstances Mansker's, the 
last of the outlying stations, was abandoned. Colonel Donel- 
son withdrew with his family to Davis' Station, in Kentucky. 
Colonel Mansker reluctantly moved to one of the stronger cen- 
traj stations, probably Eaton's. After every one else had left 
the station, David Gowen and Patrick Quigley, two young men 
who, evidently, thought they could take care of themselves, re- 
mained another night. Before morning they were killed in 
their beds, being shot through the port holes. 

Inventories of three representative citizens who were 
killed in this first year of their occupation of the Cumberland 
are still preserved, and are curious as showing with what 
feeble means this little band of adventures conquered the 
wilderness. James Harrod was a man of wealth, David Gowen 
was in good circumstances, and Patrick Quigley was sustained 
only by the bright visions of young manhood. Harrod had, 
besides his cattle, corn, and money, a set of plow lines, share 
and clevis, two axes, a mattock, half-inch auger, two fish gigs, 
two pots, nine plates and a dish, three pounds of iron, two 
hoes, a hammer, gimlet, pegging awl, pair of horse flumes, 
three pairs of pot hooks, fifteen spoons, a razor, three forks, 
two knives, two basins, a pair of wool combs, an old rifle gun, 
a tomahawk, two testaments, a Bible, bed tick, four blankets, 
a pepper box, snuff box, pair of scissors, smoothing iron, two 
bottles, and a jug. Gowen had some cattle, a bell of about 4s 
value, weeding hoe, buckskin, pair of shoe buckles, handker- 
chief, and a rifle gun, shot bag and knife. Patrick Quigley's 
only assets were a rifle gun and coarse linen shirt. 148 

At the beginning of the year 1781, the entire population of 
the Cumberland district was concentrated in three central 
stations, not above two miles apart; Eaton's being on the north 
side, of the river, the Bluff and Freeland's on the south. The 
loss the settlement had suffered by the retirement of the many 
families to Kentucky and the Illinois, was in a large measure 
compensated by the concentration of those who remained in 
these central forts. They were now subjected to their severest 
trial. The Chickasaw invasion that culminated in the attack 

W7 The pioneers became so accustomed with such tragedies that the 
violent death seemed the natural death. About 1791 a very stout, 
athletic emigrant went down the river in a keelboat, and after a 
tedious trip, returned very low with what was called a slow fever, 
and in a few days after reaching home, died. Dtr. Robertson was 
then a boy of ten or eleven years of age. He had never seen nor heard 
of a stout, powerful-looking man dying without having received any 
bodily violence, and a dozen butcheries by the Indians would not 
have shocked him like the death of this man did. Dr. Felix Robert- 
son, Southern Medical Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 153-4 (May, 1853). 

148 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 7, pp. 257-261. 


on Freelaud's Station, January 11, 1781, was followed some 
three months later by a much more dangerous invasion by the 
Ohickamaugas. While the pioneers of Holston were fighting 
the British at King's Mountain, the Chickamauga Indians, in- 
stigated and assisted by the British agents among them, had 
organized a general Cherokee invasion of the Holston settle- 
ments. By prompt and energetic action, Colonels Sevier, 
Campbell, and Martin drove them back, and punished them 
by the destruction of the Overhill towns, on the Little Ten- 
nessee, and also the Valley towns, on the Hiwassee River, 
where it was supposed most of the Chickamaugas had taken 
refuge after the destruction of their towns by Colonels Shelby 
and Montgomery. They seemed to have considered the Chicka- 
mauga towns as abandoned or of little consequence, and did 
not visit them. They completed their work of destruction 
January 1, 1781. The Overhill and Valley towns sued for 
peace. Chickamauga, the hotbed of British influence, and the 
implacable enemy of the Americans, only turned its arms 
against the weaker settlements on the Cumberland. 

The strongest of the three Cumberland stations that still 
held out was the Bluff, the home of Colonel Robertson. It was 
erected on the bluff at the foot of the present Church Street, 
in Nashville, and enclosed a fine spring, whose sparkling waters 
dashed down the precipice into the river. The fort was a log 
building two stories high, with port holes and a lookout sta- 
tion. Near this were grouped the cabins of the pioneers, and 
the whole was enclosed by a palisade. On the west side of 
the palisade was a large gateway, with a lookout for a sentinel. 
The rocky land to the south and southwest was thickly covered 
with cedar, with a dense undergrowth of privet in the south- 
west; where the soil was deeper, the ancient forest trees were 
of majestic growth, and the canebrakes in the rich bottoms 
rose from ten to twenty feet in height. 149 

It was against the Bluff that the Chickamauga campaign 
of 1781 was directed. Its result would decide the fate of the 
settlement. The Bluff in their hands, Freeland's and Eaton's 
could no longer resist their victorious warriors, and the last 
white man would be swept from the Cumberland. I have no 
authority for the statement, because we have no record of their 
movements at this period, but I do not doubt that the Chicka- 
mauga braves were commanded by Dragging Canoe, the head 
chief of their tribe. The campaign was boldly conceived, the 
battle was brilliantly planned, and the attack was sustained 
with spirit and courage. Nothing but the good fortune of the 
whites saved the station from destruction. 

""Clayton's History of Davidson County, p. 24. 


The invading army set out for the Cumberland with the 
first advent of spring, and arrived at the Bluff April 1, 1781. 
That night they disposed their warriors for the morrow's en- 
gagement, without the garrison having discovered or sus- 
pected the presence of so formidable an enemy. The Bluff had 
been in a state of semi-siege by guerrillas and spies, since the 
assault on Freeland's Station. The stationers dared leave the 
stockade only at the peril of their lives. One day Mrs. Dun- 
ham, a refugee from her husband's abandoned station at Belle 
Meade, sent her little daughter three or four hundred yards 
from the enclosure for an armful of chips; hearing her cries, 
the mother ran to her assistance, and was shot down. Before 
the men from the fort could reach the scene, the Indians had 
scalped the little girl, and disappeared. Both mother and 
daughter recovered. About the last of March Colonel Samuel 
Barton rode down to Wilson's Spring Branch in search of cat- 
tle; he was fired upon and wounded in the left wrist. He 
made his escape, but was unable to take part in the approach- 
ing battle. On the very night their army arrived James Meni- 
fee, the sentinel, discovered and fired at an Indian prowling 
about the palisade. Such galling atrocities by an illusive foe 
irritated the garrison to the verge of madness. 

On the morning of April 2, 1781, three warriors approached 
the stockade at the Bluff, fired and retreated out of range. 
As they reloaded their guns, they waved defiance to the men in 
the fort. The garrison gladly accepted their challenge. A 
party of about twenty men, probably led by Colonel Robert- 
son, mounted their horses, and riding out of the stockade gate, 
dashed down after the foe, who retreated in a southwestern 
direction. When they reached Wilson's Spring Branch the}' 
encountered a body of Indians who made a stand. The wings 
of the Indian line, concealed in the bed of the branch and 
among the thick bushes on its banks, fired upon the horsemen 
as they dismounted to give battle. Their fire was returned 
with alacrity, and the battle was on in earnest. As it pro- 
ceeded the firing and yelling stampeded the horses, w^hich fled 
up the hill in the direction of the fort. 

In the meantime a large detachment of the Indian forces 
concealed on the hillside to the westward, emerged from their 
covert and intervened between the sallying party and the 
fort. Having thus cut off the retreat of its defenders, they 
expected to assault and enter the defenceless fortress. But at 
this moment the panic-stricken horses dashed through their 
lines, and their discipline was not strong enough to resist 
their inordinate desire for horses. A gap was opened in their 
ranks as the nearest warriors rushed heedlessly after the 
flying horses. The confusion and excitement of the chase was 


observed from the fort, when Mrs. Robertson, it is said, ob- 
serving the fury of the dogs, which had imbibed all the fierce 
hatred their masters entertained for the Indians, opened the 
gate and turned the pack loose on the already broken and 
confused ranks of the enemy. They made straight for the 
Indians, and attacked them with great ferocity and courage. 
The fierce onset of the dogs increased the confusion in the 
order of the enemy, as they were forced to turn in their own 

While this tragi-comedy was in progress on the upland, 
the sortie was being repulsed by overwhelming numbers in 
the bottom. Already Peter Gill, Alexander Buchanan, George 
Kennedy, Zachariah White, and James Leiper lay dead on 
the field, and James Menifee and Joseph Moonshaw were dis- 
abled by wounds. Seeing a chance to pass through the breach 
made by the horses and dogs in the Indian line that intervened 
between them and the fort, the whites determined to retreat; 
and taking their wounded with them, started on a run, hotly 
pursued by the enemy. After they had passed the Indian line 
and approached the fort, Isaac Lucas was shot and fell with 
a broken thigh, but his comrades could not step to assist him. 
He hastily primed his gun which he had charged as he ran, 
and shot dead the foremost of his pursuers. A daring Indian 
overtook Edward Swanson within twenty yards of the gate, 
anel struck him on the shoulder, causing him to drop his gun. 
Swanson turned and seized the gun of his antagonist, but the 
Indian wrenched it from him, and knocked him to his knees. 
Before he could pursue his advantage further, the elder John 
Buchanan reached the fort, and seeing Swanson's danger fired, 
and killed his antagonist. The Indians, seeing that the whites 
had reached the stockade, and were maintaining a brisk fire 
from its gate, halted before they reached Lucas, who had crept 
within range of their guns. He and Swanson were both 
brought into the fort. The Indians then withdrew. They reap- 
peared at night, but a single discharge from the old swivel, 
loaded with broken stone and scraps of iron, and an answering 
boom from the small piece at Eaton's dispersed them, and 
they abandoned the conflict; though the garrison, reinforced 
by a relief party from Eaton's, kept watch until daylight next 
morning. 150 

The Battle of the Bluff ended the most formidable invasion 
ever undertaken against the Cumberland. The settlers were 
so distressed and disheartened from the fall of 1780 to the 
beginning of the year 1783, that many of them moved away, 

130 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 129-132; Haywood's 
History of Tennessee, p. 131; Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 


and there was constant talk of a general exodus from the 
country; and it was largely due to the courage and firmness 
of Colonel Robertson that the Cumberland was not abandoned. 
But these troubles gradually disappeared as the events of the 
years 1782 and 1783 unfolded themselves. In the fall of 1782 
General Sevier invaded and destroyed the Chickamauga towns, 
and Dragging Canoe and his followers abandoned their old 
settlement on Chickamauga Creek, and moved some forty or 
fifty miles lower down the Tennessee River, w T here they built 
the Five Lower Towns. This migration was sufficient to oc- 
cupy their immediate attention. In the meantime the pre- 
liminary treaty of peace between Great Britain and the United 
States was signed at Paris, November 30, 1782, and caused the 
British agents to withdraw their active support from the 
Indians. Moreover, the acknowledgment of American Inde- 
pendence reestablished confidence in the settlement, and many 
of the original immigrants returned, while new adventurers 
daily added to their strength. The settlers were greatly de- 
lighted that Florida, the depot from which Great Britain had 
supplied the munitions of war to their Indian enemies, was 
transferred to Spain, the ally of France, and therefore, in a 
sense their ally, whose policy, they hoped, would be friendly 
to the United States. In October, 1783, the state of Virginia 
met the Chickasaws and Chickamaugas on the treaty ground 
at the French Lick on Cumberland. The Creeks did not attend. 
In addition to the Chickasaw treaty, already referred to, some 
sort of treaty was concluded with the Chickamaugas, 151 and the 
settlers on Cumberland felt that for once they were at peace 
with their Indian neighbors. 

151 Colonel Donelson to Governor Harrison, and Colonels Donelson 
and Martin to Governor Harrison, Calendar of Virginia State Papers, 
Vol. 3, p. 548. 


Indian settlement at Coldwater, near Mussel 
Shoals; French traders incite tliem to war against 
Cumberland; tragic death of James Hall at Bled- 
soe's Lick; Mark Robertson killed near Nashville; 
Colonel Robertson leads an expedition against Cold- 
water and destroys the town. 1787. 

When Colonel Donelson and his company drifted down the 
Tennessee River in 1780, they encountered hostile Indians at 
both ends of the Mussel Shoals, and at the lower end had five 
of their party wounded. The Indian villages were on the south 
side of the river, and contained only a few rude huts, in- 
habited by refractory people who refused to be governed by 
the laws and customs of their nation. 152 They were iirst at- 
tracted to this locality by the prospect of plundering the hap- 
less emigrant who might be stranded in descending the -Dan- 
gerous rapids of the shoals ; and while they constituted a men- 
ace to the navigation of the Tennessee River, they were too 
far removed, and too insignificant in numbers to cause the 
slightest uneasiness on the Cumberland. For some years the 
prisoners did not give them a thought; and it was only by 
accident that they discovered in them a dangerous enemy. 

The year 1783 witnessed a rapid growth in the Cumber- 
land settlements, and the following year they were recognized 
by the state of North Carolina, and erected into the County 
of Davidson, of which the Bluff, under the name of Nashville, 
became the capital. At the same time a trade was opened 
with the Mussel Shoals Indians by a party of French adven- 
turers from the Wabash, and their settlement also began to 
assume an unwonted importance. They established a new town 
of considerable consequence, called Coldwater, some miles 
lower down the river, at the mouth of Coldwater Creek, that 
takes its rise in the bold stream that gushes from beneath 
a bluff of limestone, at the present town of Tuscumbia, Ala- 
bama. So well did they guard the secret of its existence that 
Coldwater was not discovered until 1787, though it mustered a 
force of fifty-four men, made up of thirty-five Cherokees, ten 
Creeks, and nine Frenchmen. 

As long as Monsieur Veiz conducted the trade, the Indians 
did not molest the Cumberland settlers, but in i-784 or 1785 
the business fell into other hands, who encouraged the Indians 
to make war on the whites, and furnished them with means 
of doing so. They also supplied goods and ammunition to 

'"Robertson Correspondence, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 
1, p. 83. 


the Indians at Chickamauga, and even as high up as Citico. 158 
They induced the Creeks to settle at Coldwater, by furnish- 
ing them arms and ammunition to make war on the Cumber- 
land. 154 They wrote the Cherokee towns that the English, 
French, and Spanish had actually joined to make war on 
America; that the Americans had stopped their trade with 
Detroit by seizing several of their boats on the Mississippi; 
and while they would not, in future, be able to furnish them 
with anything but guns, knives, tomahawks, and ammunition, 
these they should have in plenty. 155 Thus encouraged the Cold- 
water Indians became extremely troublesome to the pioneers, 
not only stealing their horses, but killing their men, women, 
and children. 156 

Being ignorant of the existence of Coldwater town, Colonel 
Robertson attributed the sufferings of his people to the depre- 
dations of the Chickamaugas, and raised a body of men and 
* marched nearly to their towns, but wishing to avoid open 
war with them, he contented himself with this demonstration, 
and returned. He left them, however, an offer of peace, in 
consequence of which they sent a commission, composed of 
the Little Owl and some other chiefs, to Nashville, under a 
flag of truce, to hold a conference with him. In the mean- 
time hostilities continued as before. Several men were killed 
near Nashville while the conference was in session; one at 
Colonel Robertson's house, in the presence of the commis- 
sioners. 157 Colonel Robertson thought the Chickamaugas were 
the guilty parties; the Chickamaugas charged the mischief 
to the Creeks; really it was the work of the Coldwater war- 
riors, as we shall presently see. A number of people were also 
killed about the same time in Sumner County. 

Sumner, the second county established in Middle Tennes- 
see, was erected in 1786. Among its first magistrates was 
Major William Hall, a man of high character and wide in- 
fluence, who immigrated to Cumberland in 1785, and settled 
at Bledsoe's Lick. He was at once accorded a leading part in 
the affairs of his community. When, therefore, the Chicka- 
mauga conference met, Colonel Robertson summoned Major 
Hall to Nashville to take part in its deliberations. 

A few weeks before the conference a party of Indians had 
stolen some horses from Morgan's Station, and were pursued 

153 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 177. 
154 Martin, Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 342. 
155 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 360. 

156 Robertson's Correspondence, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 
1, p. 79. 

157 Robertson's Report, Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 470. 


and overtaken by the whites, who killed one of their number, 
and recovered all the stolen horses. As the Indians had stolen 
all of Major Hall's horses, twelve or fifteen in number, the 
preceding year, it is probable that he took a lively interest 
in this affair. But however that may be, on the third day of 
June, 1787, while he was absent attending the conference at 
Nashville, a party of fifteen Indians formed an ambuscade 
between his house and that of his neighbor, Gibson, about a 
quarter of a mile distant. Ten of them hid behind some logs 
on the roadside, and five in a, tree top at the entrance of the 
pasture, some fifty yards beyond. 

While they were thus secreted, Major Hall's two little boys, 
William and James, went up to the pasture for their horses. 
They passed the ten Indians unmolested. William was in 
advance, and as he turned to speak to his brother, he saw the 
Indians rise up behind them, with guns and tomahawks in 
their hands, and commence hemming them in. Their situation 
looked so hopeless to William that he thought only of sur- 
render. But at this moment his brother James, who was in 
the rear, turned around facing the enemy, when two war- 
riors sank their tomahawks into his brain. Seeing the fate 
that awaited him should he surrender, William instantly de- 
termined to make a race for his life. In dodging the ten In- 
dians who were surrounding him, he ran upon the five who 
were concealed in the tree top. He passed so close to them 
that some of them raised their tomahawks to strike him down. 
Escaping these, he dashed into the canebrake, closely pur- 
sued by two of their number. 

He 'was an athletic backwoods boy of thirteen, and being 
unencumbered, was able to make better time through the 
dense cane than his pursuers, burdened as they were with 
their guns and tomahawks. Presently a grape vine caught 
him under the chin and threw him backwards to the ground; 
but quickly recovering himself he dashed onward at the limit 
of his speed. He now approached the point of a ridge near 
his father's house, where he would have to leave the canebrake. 
One of his pursuers was encircling the hillside, where the 
cane was thinnest, making for the same point. Fortunately for 
the boy a large tree had fallen across the Indian's way, crush- 
ing arid tangling the cane until it became impenetrable. To 
this impediment William probably owed his life. . Before his 
pursuers could circle the top of the fallen tree, he was safely 
in the lead, though they chased him to within a hundred yards 
of his father's house. 

Half a dozen young men, with their sweethearts, had just 
arrived at Major Hall's when William returned. Being armed, 
they at once jumped off their horses, and ran with him to the 


scene of the tragedy. They found James' body and brought it 
to the house; the Indians had scalped him, and fled. Word 
was immediately carried to Bledsoe's Station, and Major 
James Lynn, with five men, started in pursuit of the Indians. 
Instead of following their trail, which might have led him into 
an ambuscade, Major Lynn took a parallel trace that inter- 
sected their path at Goose Creek, at which point he discovered 
and fired upon the Indians, wounding two of their number, 
when they beat a precipitate retreat, leaving their knapsacks 
and tomahawks behind. James Hall's scalp was found tied to 
a pack, and one of the tomahawks was still red with his 
blood. 158 

The boy, William Hall, of the foregoing narrative, after 
many other thrilling adventures, some of which will be men- 
tioned hereafter, became Governor of the State of Tennessee. 

While these events were transpiring on the Cumberland, 
a couple of young Chickasaw warriors were out hunting on the 
Tennessee. In their peregrinations they unexpectedly came 
upon the town of Coldwater, where they were received in a 
friendly manner, and spent the night. While there they 
learned that the Coldwater Indians, encouraged by the French 
traders, who supplied them w r ith arms and ammunition, were 
stealing horses and killing white people on the Cumberland 
at every opportunity. When they returned to the Chickasaw 
Bluffs, they informed Piomingo of their discoveries, and that 
friendly chief immediately despatched them to Colonel Rob- 
ertson, at Nashville, and advised him to break up the town 
of Coldwater without delay. 159 Colonel Robertson was par- 
ticularly incensed at the unfriendly conduct of the French 
traders, and on June 12, 1787, he and Colonel Bledsoe jointly 
wrote Governor Caswell, of North Carolina, expressing the 
wish that they might be removed from the Tennessee, and 
asking his advice in the matter. 160 

On the next day, the Indians killed Mark Robertson, the 
younger brother of Colonel Robertson, near the latter's home. 
This brought on the crisis. Without waiting for Governor 
Caswell's reply, after taking the advice of the civil and mili- 
tary officers of the county, he determined to pursue the enemy 
to their own country and destroy their town. For this purpose 
he raised a force of one hundred and thirty men, under Colonels 
Robert Hays and Jahies Ford, and assuming the chief com- 
mand, immediately took the trail of the Indians who had 

"'Narrative of General William Hall, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 
1, pp. 232, 233. 

""Letter of John Carr, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 198. 
160 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 465. 


killed Mark Robertson. At the same time he sent fifty men, 
under command of Captain David Hay, around by water to 
the mouth of Duck River, 161 in order to prevent the French 
traders, who had instigated the Indian hostilities, from escap- 
ing down the river. 162 

As there was no one of the settlers who had ever pene- 
trated through the forest as far south as the Tennessee River, 
Colonel Robertson employed the two Chickasaw messengers as 
guides. They followed a circuitous route, by the mouth of 
Harpeth, up Turnbull Creek to its head, down Lick Creek, and 
on to Duck River at the Chickasaw trace. From Duck River 
they ascended Swan Creek to its head, and thence to Blue 
Water Creek, that empties into the Tennessee River about a 
mile and a half above the lower end of the Mussel Shoals. 
Leaving Blue Water Creek to their left, they hurried on until 
they could hear the roaring of the falls, when they halted and 
sent forward spies. About midnight the spies returned, re- 
porting that the river was still ten miles away. In the morn- 
ing the whole force moved forward, and reached the lower 
end of the shoals at twelve o'clock. 

Though they concealed themselves in the woods until night, 
some Indians discovered and fired upon their back pickets, and 
alarmed a small Cherokee town across the river, which was 
immediately evacuated. Scouts were now sent down to the 
river to reconnoitre. Hid in the cane where they could ob- 
serve the opposite shore, they saw some Indians cautiously ap- 
proach the river, stooping and dodging from tree to tree, ap- 
parently looking for Colonel Robertson's troops. They then 
waded out to an island near the south bank, took an old canoe 
and paddled out to the middle of the stream. Seeing nothing 
suspicious, they appeared to be reassured, stopped their canoe, 
and leaping into the river, swam and disported themselves In 
the water; after which they took their canoe again, and re- 
turned as they had come. In the meantime Captain Rains 
was despatched, witli fifteen men, on a well beaten path up 
the river, with orders to take an Indian alive if possible. About 
sunset he was recalled by Colonel Robertson, without having 
discovered any sign of Indian life. 

The whole force was now assembled on the river bank, 
under orders to cross the stream before morning. The scouts 
who had watched in the cane during the afternoon, now swam 
the river, and after inspecting the Indian huts, .which they 
found still deserted, they crossed over to the island where the 
Indians had left their canoe, and unfastening it rowed back 
to the north bank. Forty men now boarded the canoe and 

"'Robertson's Report, Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 470. 
182 Letter of John Carr, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 198. 


started across, but being old and leaky, it began to sink, and 
swimmers had to carry it back to the shore. By the use of 
lin bark they finally rendered her seaworthy, and made the 
crossing successfully. As soon as the canoe waK landed, the 
remainder of the troops plunged into the river with their 
horses, and swam over ; but the obstacles they had encountered 
delayed their passage until daylight. 

After a short time spent in the Indian huts, they took a 
plain path leading in a western direction, and following it 
briskly for eighteen miles reached Coldwater Creek. The 
town was on the west side of the creek, about three hundred 
yards from the river. The Indians were expecting the inva- 
sion, and after three days counseling had unanimously agreed 
to fight Colonel Robertson if he crossed the Tennessee, but 
for some reason their spies failed to discover his approach. 163 
Although the path up the west bank of the creek was only 
wide enough to admit a single horseman, the troops crossed 
it at a charge. A detachment under Captain Rains had been 
sent down the east bank of the creek to cut off the enemy's 
retreat. When the troops appeared on the west bank of the 
creek, the Indians, taken completely by surprise, made a dash 
for their boats in the river at the mouth of the creek. To 
avoid their pursuers on the west, some of the Indians crossed 
over to the east side of the creek, where they received a deadly 
fire from Captain Rains' scouts. Many Indians were killed in 
their boats, and three Frenchmen and a Frenchwoman who 
gained the boats along with them, and refused to surrender, 
suffered the same fate. In all about twenty Indians were 
killed, and several others were wounded. Among the killed 
were six Creeks, one of them a chief of some consequence. 164 
The whites did not lose a man. 

Colonel Robertson took the goods of the French traders, 
consisting of tafia, sugar, coffee, cloths, blankets, handker- 
chiefs, beads, paints, knives, tomahawks, tobacco, powder, and 
lead, and such like articles, and had them packed in three or 
four captured boats, which were put in charge of Jonathan 
Denton. Benjamin Drake, and John and Moses Eskridge. He 
then burned the town, and bivouacked on the east side of the 
creek. Next morning, after burying the white people who had 
been killed in the action, he gave each of the Chickasaw guides 
a horse and gun, and as many blankets and clothes as they 
could carry, and dismissed them, well pleased with their treat- 
ment. The prisoners, consisting of six Frenchmen, a child, 
and an Indian squaw, were put aboard the boats in which the 
goods were stored. The boats were now directed to proceed 

1G3 Robertson's Report, Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 470. 
1M McGillivray, Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 246. 


down the river to a suitable crossing place, and there await 
the troops. The next day the troops found a satisfactory 
crossing place, afterwards widely known as Colbert's Ferry. 
With the assistance of the boats, they crossed the river with- 
out accident. Here the prisoners, after having their trunks and 
wearing apparel restored to them, and being furnished with 
a canoe, and given a portion of the sugar and coffee, were 
released, and took their departure up the river. The horsemen 
then moved northward until they reached the Chickasaw Trace, 
which they followed to Duck River. From that point they 
returned to Nashville by the same route they had gone out, 
the expedition having consumed nineteen days. 

The boats proceeded down the river, and after a few days 
met five Frenchmen with two trading boats laden with goods. 
The French traders, supposing they were meeting their re- 
turning countrymen, fired their guns in salutation. Before they 
could reload the Cumberland boatmen, having their guns 
charged and ready, for action, pulled alongside them and cap- 
tured boats and crews. After carrying their prisoners up the 
Cumberland River nearly to Nashville, they gave them their 
choice, either to continue on to the settlement and stand trial 
for what they had done, or to go home at once without their 
goods. They chose the latter, and taking a canoe returned 
down the river, leaving their boats and cargoes behind. The 
goods captured in the expedition were brought to Eaton's Sta- 
tion and sold, and the proceeds divided among the troops. 

The detachment of fifty men sent around by the river did 
not fare so well. They proceeded without interruption to the 
mouth of Duck River, but their movements were observed by 
the Indians, who arranged a cunningly devised ambuscade, 
into which they were unfortunately drawn. When they 
reached the mouth of Duck River, they found a canoe fastened 
to its bank. Captain Moses Shelby, commanding one of the 
boats, steered in to the shore to examine the canoe, when a 
large party of Indians arose from the thicket on the bank, and 
poured a destructive fire into his boat, killing Josiah Renfroe, 
and wounding John Topp, Hugh Rogan, Edward Hogan, and 
five others. This sudden and deadly fusillade threw the crew 
into confusion, and it was with difficulty they succeeded in 
pulling out into the Tennessee River before the Indians could 
reload. After this serious disaster they returned to Nash- 
ville, in order that their wounded might receive proper medi- 
cal and surgical attention. 165 

165 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 230-235; Ramsey's Annals 
of Tennessee, pp. 465-473; Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pp. 
257-267; Letter of John Carr, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, pp. 198- 
199; Robertson's Correspondence, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 
1, pp. 79-80, 


Intrigues of the Spanish; their alliance with the 
Creeks and Chickamaugas ; the Creeks open a series of 
guerrilla campaigns against Cumberland; brilliant de- 
fence ~by spies and scouts; exploits of Captains Shan- 
non, Rains, and Williams; Major Hall's family at- 
tacked from ambush; death of Colonel Anthony Bled- 
soe. 1784-1789. 

The firm conviction that began to fasten itself upon the 
people of Cumberland about the time of the Coldwater expedi- 
tion, that the Spaniards wiere responsible for the bitter hos- 
tility of the Creeks, needs some explanation. That tribe never 
owned nor claimed any land on Cumberland; and its people 
had never invaded their towns nor done them injury, except 
in purely defensive warfare. This much was admitted by Gen- 
eral McGillivray: 

I will not deny that my nation has waged war against your coun- 
try for several years past, and that we had no motive of revenge for it, 
nor did it proceed from any sense of injuries sustained from your 
people; but, being warmly attached to the British, under their influ- 
ence our operations were directed by them against you, in common 
with other Americans. After the general peace had taken place you 
sent us a talk, proposing terms of peace, by Samuel Martin, which 
I then accepted and advised my people to agree to, and which should 
have been finally concluded in the ensuing summer and fall. Judg- 
ing that your people were sincere in their professions, I was much 
surprised to find that while this affair was pending they attacked the 
French traders at Mussel Shoals, and killed six of our Nation who 
were there trafficking for silverware. These men belonged to differ- 
ent towns, and had connections of the first consequence in the Nation. 
Such an unprovoked outrage raised a most violent clamor, and gave 
rise to the expedition against Cumberland which soon took place. 166 

This explanation of the great Indian diplomatist contained 
only a half-truth. The habit of fighting the American pioneers 
undoubtedly had a great influence. For that reason the people 
of Cumberland hailed with joy the transfer of Florida from 
Great Britain to Spain, who had acted with America in the 
Revolution. Not only the Creeks, but the Cherokees, and 
Chickasaws, had all, at some time during the war, allied them- 
selves with the British, and made war on the southwestern 
frontiers. It was hoped that the withdrawal from Florida of 
the British agents, to whom the Indians had looked for arms, 
ammunition and supplies, would bring with it a cessation of 
Indian hostilities. For a time it seemed to have had that ten- 
dency, but the development of the Spanish policy finally re- 

166 Alexander McGillivray to Robertson and Bledsoe, April 4, 1788, 
Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 246-7. 


suited in such new Indian depredations as made the Spanish 
more detested on the frontiers than the British had ever been. 

Spain feared the spread of American institutions and 
American ideas, and employed every means within her power 
to prevent the American pioneer from coming in contact with 
her new possessions. In the peace negotiations at Paris in 
1782, she secured the cooperation of France in an effort to 
limit the western boundary of the United States to the Alle- 
ghany Mountains, and convert the entire western country into 
an Indian reservation, to be divided into three parts, with 
that north of the Ohio River under the protection of Eng- 
land; that between the Ohio and Cumberland, including a 
narrow strip west of the Carolinas and Georgia, under the 
protection of the United States; and that south of Cumber- 
land under the protection of Spain. By this arrangement a 
complete barrier would have been interposed between the 
United States and West Florida. This scheme was defeated 
only by the firmness of the United States and the compliance 
of Great Britain. 167 

Having failed to circumscribe the American possessions in 
the Treaty of Paris, Spain now sought to accomplish her pur- 
pose by a series of intrigues, intended, first, to break up our 
western settlements, and when that failed, to cause them to 
withdraw from the American Union. The instruments made 
use of in these intrigues were the southern Indians and the 
Mississippi River. Though the eighth article of the definitive 
treaty of Paris expressly declared that the navigation of the 
Mississippi River, from its source to its mouth, should remain 
forever open and free to the subjects of Great Britain and the 
citizens of the United States, Spain immediately closed it 
against American commerce. Her purpose was to discourage 
emigrants from settling on our western waters, by denying 
the natural and only outlet for their products, and at the same 
time, by alluring promises, to entice them to settle on the 
Spanish domain. Finally, she made a determined effort to 
induce our western settlements to secede from the United 
States, and form governments of their own under the protec- 
tion of his Catholic Majesty, still using the free navigation of 
the Mississippi River as her chief inducement. 

In support of these projects, Spain, who had succeeded in 
monopolizing the trade of the southern Indians, used her in- 
fluence over them to intimidate, if not to destroy, tHe Cumber- 
land settlement, to which she asserted some sort of shadowy 
claim. 168 

188 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 523. 

167 Garrett and Goodpasture's History of Tennessee, p. 101. 


On the first day of January, 1784, Alexander McGillivray, 
the most intelligent and influential chief among the Creeks, 
wrote Arthur O'Neal, the Spanish governor of Pensacola, pro- 
posing a treaty of alliance and commerce with the Spaniards. 
With singular penetration he perceived the Spanish dread of 
American influence, and played upon this, weakness by point- 
ing out to Governor O'Neal that a good many citizens of the 
United States had abandoned their homes and marched to- 
wards the west, in order to unite with a number of disbanded 
soldiers on the Mississippi River, where they proposed to es- 
tablish what they called the "Western Independence." If they 
once formed settlements on the Mississippi it would require 
much time, trouble and expense to dislodge them. Moreover, the 
Americans on the south were endeavoring to enlist the feelings 
of the Indians in their behalf, and if successful, the Indians 
would themselves become dangerous neighbors to the Spaniards 
of Mobile and Pensacola. The remedy he suggested for these 
perils was that his Nation be granted as many commercial ad- 
vantages and other privileges as could be bestowed upon 
them. 169 

In pursuance of this suggestion the Spaniards held a con- 
gress with the Creeks and Chickamaugas at Pensacola, May 
30, 1784. This congress was opened with great pomp and cere- 
mony, by Governor Estevan Miro, Intendant Nevarro, and 
Governor O'Neal, and rich gifts, medals, and other decora- 
tions were showered upon the Indian chiefs. A treaty of al- 
liance and commerce was then signed, and McGillivray was 
appointed commissary-general, with a monthly salary of not 
less than fifty dollars. 

The same ceremony was gone through with at Mobile on 
the 22nd of June, when the Spanish officers met the Chicka- 
saws, Alabamas and Choctaws, and the same treaty was signed. 
We have no further interest in this latter treaty than to note 
the fact that the Chickasaws, under the leadership of Piomingo, 
refused to join the Spaniards, and faithfully observed the 
treaty they had recently made with the Americans at the 
French Lick on Cumberland. 170 

The treaty of Pensacola, however, vitally affected the peo- 
ple of the Cumberland. It was accepted not only by the 
Creeks, but by the Chickamaugas, who seem to have been in- 
fluenced more by the Creeks than by the old towns of their 
own nation. The treaty, as well as the proceedings attending 
it, were portentous of danger to the Cumberland settlers. 

168 Gayarre's History of Louisiana, Vol. 3, pp. 157-160. 
170 Bell and Douglass to Robertson, Calendar of Virginia State 
Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 607-608. 


All its stipulations applicable to a state of war, and the pro- 
visions for granting the Indians other lands, in case they were 
dispossessed by the enemies of Spain, looked forward to a 
contest with some neighboring people. 171 In fact, the gov- 
ernor openly told the Indians, on the treaty ground, that the 
Spaniards expected in a short time to be at war with the 
Americans, and that they would call upon them as their allies 
to assist them. 172 

In December, 1787, the representatives from Davidson and 
Sumner counties, in a memorial to the General Assembly of 
North Carolina, openly charged that the Indians were ren- 
dered more hostile through the influence of Spain; and from 
that time it was not doubted that the Spaniards were the 
authors of the Creek violence against the Cumberland settle- 
ments. 173 

After the Coldwater expedition Cumberland enjoyed a short 
respite from Indian hostilities. The Cherokees, whose Lowfer 
towns were not more distant than Coldwater from the Cum- 
berland settlements, and whose Upper towns were separated 
only by the width of the Little Tennessee River from the ad- 
vancing frontiers of Franklin, were awed into temporary tran- 
quillity. Moreover, they soon became involved in war with 
the people of Franklin, which diverted their attention for the 
time from the people of Cumberland. But the Creeks were too 
far removed from the settlements to fear an invasion from the 
whites; and as the complete success of Robertson's bold irrup- 
tion into the Indian country had piqued their pride, they soon 
collected a number of small scalping parties and commenced 
a series of bloody guerrilla campaigns against his country. 

In December, 1786, Colonel Robertson, then a member of 
the North Carolina legislature, procured the passage of an 
act authorizing the enlistment of a battalion of three hundred 
men, to be stationed in Davidson County for the protection of 
its inhabitants, and for cutting a road from the Clinch River 
to Nashville. This battalion was placed under the command 
of Major Nathaniel Evans, and reached the Cumberland in 
successive detachments during the following year. They were 
divided into small squads and stationed at such points on the 
frontiers as the emergencies seemed to require, stronger guards 
being furnished to the more exposed places. 

The arrival of Major Evans's battalion enabled Colonel 
Robertson to employ the local militia as spies and scouts ; and 

171 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 221. 

172 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, pp. 602, 607-609. 

J73 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 241-243. 


with these he made the most brilliant and effective defense of 
the settlement that had yet been witnessed on the Cumberland. 
At that time the cane and weeds grew so luxuriantly in all 
parts of the country as to afford the Indians perfect cover, un- 
der which they might steal upon the field or cabin of the pio- 
neer and take him off with comparative safety; yet no con- 
siderable party of Indians could pass through their tangled 
mazes so lightly that they would not leave a trace which an 
experienced scout, like Rains, Castleman, or Shannon, could 
follow without difficulty or doubt. Colonel Robertson or- 
dered his scouts to range the woods in the direction of the 
Tennessee River, looking for Indian signs, and wherever a 
scalping party appeared in the settlement to follow them until 
they were overtaken and dispersed. 

The first party discovered was led by a brave and powerful 
warrior called Big Foot. Captain Shannon, with a small 
company, at once gave pursuit, and overtook the Indians on 
the banks of the Tennessee River. Part of the Indians were 
in camp eating, While Big Foot and the others were some dis- 
tance away preparing to cross the river. When the scouts dis- 
covered the Indians in camp they fired upon them, then charged 
and engaged them in a hand-to-hand conflict. Big Foot and his 
companions rushed to the support of their comrades. The 
struggle was fierce and doubtful. Castleman succeeded in 
killing his antagonist, but Big Foot, proving more than a 
match for Luke Anderson, wrenched his gun from his hands, 
but at that moment a shot from William Pillow's gun laid 
Big Foot low, and saved Anderson's life. Victory now de- 
clared in favor of the whites; Big Foot and five of his war- 
riors having been killed, the others raised the yell and dis- 
appeared in the bushes. 174 

In September, 1787, Captains Rains and Shannon were or- 
dered to range the country in the direction of Duck and Elk 
rivers. Captain Shannon's company, being in advance, passed 
near a recently abandoned Indian camp without discovering 
it; but when Captain Rains came up he saw a large number 
of buzzards flying 1 around, and from his trained habits of ob- 
servation he surmised that they must have been attracted by 
some carcass left by an Indian hunting party. He encamped 
near by and found, as he had suspected, the remains of a deer 
recently killed. Next morning he struck the Indians' trail, 
and before night one of the spies discovered and fired upon 
one of the warriors. The scouts dashed forward at the re- 
port of the gun. Rains saw and pursued an Indian who was 
running up a ridge. When he got in range he ordered him 

174 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 237; Putnam's History of 
Middle Tennessee, pp. 269-270. 


to stop. The Indian turned for an instant, then renewed his 
flight, when Rains fired, Wounding him in the hand. Reuben 
Parks and Beverly Kidley now joined in the chase. The In- 
dian fired at Ridley, but the ball passed oyer his head; they 
then closed in on him, knocked him down, and Ridley finally 
despatched him with his knife. John Rains, Jr., and Robert 
Evans outran and captured an Indian boy about nineteen years 
of age, who was, a year or two later, released and permitted 
to return to his nation. 173 

Many such scouting companies were sent out from time to 
time, to range the woods in all directions where Indians were 
likely to pass, and although they did not always overtake or 
intercept a scalping party, the Creeks soon became aware that 
the paths they traveled to Nashville were constantly traversed 
by armed bodies of brave and experienced Indian fighters, and 
that their irruptions could be made only at the imminent risk 
of death or captivity. This feeling greatly reduced both the 
number and importance of the Indian depredations in David- 
son County. 

But the Indians could not be wholly repressed. During; 
the years 1787, 1788 and 1789 they killed many settlers in 
Davidson County, among them a son of Colonel Robertson f 
and took a number of prisoners to the Creek Nation. In the 
latter part of June, 1789, they came to Colonel Robertson's 
Station in the daytime, and attacked him and his hands while 
working in the field. The laborers retreated, and Colonel 
Robertson was shot through the foot as he ran towards the 
station. Captain Sampson Williams was ordered to raise a 
company and pursue the enemy. He assembled his men at 
Colonel Robertson's and, getting on the track of the party, fol- 
lowed them to Duck River Ridge, when he found they were 
outtraveling him. He now dismounted twenty men and, put- 
ting himself at their head, made forced marches, following 
the Indians' trail. Among these twenty men was Andrew 
Jackson, afterwards President of the United States, who, about 
twenty-four years later, in a single campaign, settled all scores, 
new and old with the Creek Nation. 

About night the party came in view of the Indian camp, 
which was situated on the opposite side of Duck River. Mak- 
ing a detour of a mile and a half up the river, they crossed it 
in the night, and marched cautiously back, down the south 
side; but finding the cane so dense they could not discern the 
Indian camp, they lay on their arms all night. In the morn- 
ing, after advancing fifty yards, Captain Williams discovered 
the enemy about one hundred yards in front of him. He im- 

175 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 240; Narrative of John 
Rains, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, pp. 265-266. 


mediately ordered a charge and, firing at a distance of sixty 
yards, killed one and wounded five or six. The others es- 
caped across the river, carrying their wounded with them, 
but leaving sixteen guns, nineteen shot pouches, and all their 
baggage, which fell into the hands of Captain Williams. The 
Indians did not fire a shot. 176 

The new County of Sumner, being populous and more 
exposed than Davidson, suffered greater loss from the excur- 
sions of the Creeks. Among the first victims was Major Wil- 
liam Hall, the tragic death of whose son, James, has already 
been mentioned. After the Coldwater expedition, Major Hall 
and his neighbors, Gibson and Harrison, took counsel whether 
they should venture to spend the summer on their farms or 
remove their families to Bledsoe's Station for protection. As 
a result they agreed to remain, and hired two young men to 
guard their premises and give them timely warning of the 
approach of the enemy. For two months all was quiet; but 
on the 2nd day of August, 1787, the spies came in and notified 
Major Hall that a party of at least thirty Indians was in the 
neighborhood, and advised him to pack up and move to the 
station at once. 

The morning had not far advanced when they started with 
the first load. The v.ehicle used, still the only kind known on 
the Cumberland, was a sled, drawn by two horses, and in 
charge of William Hall, Jr., who had so marvelously escaped 
from the Indians two months before. A sister, going forward 
to arrange the things as they were delivered, accompanied the 
sled, on horseback, and the caravan was guarded by an elder 
brother, Kichard, and a young man named Hickerson. At De- 
feated Creek, about half a mile from the house. William's 
horses suddenly became frightened, he thought, from scenting 
Indians. But Kichard insisted on going forward, which they 
did, making four trips during the day. The last load, with 
which they took the remaining members of the family, white 
and black, got on the road late in the afternoon. William 
was still driving, with his little brother, John, behind him on 
one of the horses, and his little sister, Prudence, in the sled. 
Mrs. Hall, mounted on a fiery steed, kept close to her little 
ones. Richard Hall and Hickerson went in advance, and 
Major Hall, his son-in-law, Charles Morgan, Hugh Rogan, and 
two other men brought up the rear. 

Presently, as the little cavalcade moved forward, Richard's 
dog became violently alarmed on approaching the top of a 
large ash tree that had fallen in the road. They halted for a 
moment, and Richard stepped toward the tree top, when a 
volley was fired at him from among the leaves. He wheeled 

176 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 256-7. 


and, running back into the woods, fell dead. The Indians, 
finding themselves discovered, now rose and, yelling like 
demons, charged upon the party. Hickerson, with more courage 
than discretion, took his stand in the open road, and his gun 
missing fire, he attempted to use William Hall's gun, but before 
he could discharge it he received six or seven Indian bullets 
and, staggering back a short distance, expired. 

In the meantime William jumped off his horse and, taking 
John and Prudence, carried them back to the rear of the men, 
who were advancing on the Indians. Mrs. Hall's large and 
spirited horse became quite ungovernable and, dashing through 
the entire line of Indians, while she held on by the mane, car- 
ried her in safety to the fort, about a mile distant. Major- 
Hall and Morgan undertook to hold the Indians in check until 
the other members of the party could scatter through the 
woods. Morgan was shot through the body, but succeeded in 
making his escape. Major Hall, still holding his ground, fired 
his heavy rifle, after which he turned and ran about fifty yards, 
when he fell, pierced with thirteen balls. The Indians scalped 
him and fled, not stopping to take anything but his gun and 
shot pouch, though the sled had been dashed against a tree 
and overturned at the first alarm, and its contents were scat- 
tered on the ground. 

William had directed his little brother and sister to run 
back to the house, while he, secreting himself behind a tree on 
the hillside, waited the result of the fight. When he heard 
the discharge of his father's heavy rifle, followed by the savage 
yells of the Indians, he knew all was lost, and started for the 
fort. When John and Prudence reached the house the bark- 
ing of the excited dogs caused them to turn and run back 
to the scene of the battle. Here John found Rogan's hat, 
which he picked up and, coming to the overturned sled, Pru- 
dence took up a small pail of butter, and the two walked heed- 
lessly on the road towards the fort, and were soon met by the 
men sent out to Major Hall's relief. 177 

The commanding officers of Davidson and Sumner counties 
at this time were Colonel James Robertson and Anthony Bled- 
soe. These two distinguished pioneers were made the especial 
objects of Creek vengeance. They were both attacked almost 
simultaneously at their widely-separated homes. I have al- 
ready mentioned the wounding of Colonel Robertson. Colonel 
Bledsoe had settled Greenfield Station, but the danger from 
Indians became so great that he moved to the stronger fort 
at Bledsoe's Station, which was the home of his brother, Colonel 
Isaac Bledsoe. 

177 Narrative of General William Hall, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 
1, pp. 333-4. 


Bledsoe's Station was rectangular in form, enclosing a num- 
ber of cabins, which were connected by strong palisades, the 
cabins themselves forming part of the enclosure. On its front 
line there was a double log cabin, with a hall between, a type 
quite common in pioneer days. The only opening to the sta- 
tion was through this hallway. The rooms on one side of the 
hall were occupied by Colonel Isaac Bledsoe, and those on the 
opposite side constituted the temporary residence of Colonel 
Anthony Bledsoe. The Indians had attacked this station in 
1788, and wounded George Hamilton, the schoolmaster, but 
the courage of Hugh Rogan, who fired an old musket among 
them through the breach they had made in the window, and 
the quick wit of Donahoe, in another part of the stockade, 
who extinguished his fire with a bucket of water, after the 
Indians had fired in amongst his children as they lay upon the 
floor, caused them to abandon the attack, deeming the place 
too strong to be taken by assault. 

A little more than a year later, on the 20th of July, 1789, 
they again visited Bledsoe's Station. The Nashville road ran 
along the front of the double log cabin in which the two Bled- 
soes lived, and a lane came down at right angles to it, the 
mouth of the lane being about thirty yards from the house. 
In the corners of the fence at the mouth of the lane a party of 
Indians concealed themselves and watched, in the bright moon- 
light, the entrance to the fort. About midnight a party of 
their confederates mounted their horses and galloped down the 
Nashville road passing the fort, without opening their mouths 
or checking their speed. Hearing the startling clatter of their 
horses' feet, Colonel Anthony Bledsoe and Campbell, his serv- 
ant, jumped out of bed and stepped into the passage to see 
what was the matter, when the Indians concealed in the fence 
corners shot them both down. Colonel Bledsoe died the next 
morning and Campbell the day following. 178 

In September, 1789, President Washington appointed a 
commission to treat with the Creek Nation and, upon the fail- 
ure of their mission, he sent a secret emissary in the person 
of Colonel Marinusl Willett to the Creeks for the purpose of 
inducing McGillivray to bring a delegation of chiefs to New 
York to treat with the President. In this he was successful, 
and in August, 1790, the President concluded a treaty of peace 
with McGillivray, which, while it was intended primarily for 
the benefit of the Georgians, for a time restored a measure 
of peace to the settlers on the Cumberland. 179 

""Narrative of General William Hall, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 
1, p. 335. 

178 Pickett's History of Alabama, Vol. 2, pp. 97-111. 


The Dumplin Settlement; the Tassel's efforts to 
preserve peace; encroachment on the Cherokee hunt- 
ing ground; Major Humbert's vendetta against the In- 
dians; slaughter of the Kirk family; murder of the 
Tassel. 1781-1788. 

Let us return now to the Holston. 

After the treaty of 1777, the Overhill Cherokees preserved 
the peace, under great difficulties, for three years. It was in 
the midst of the Revolutionary War, and the British emissaries 
were constantly exerting themselves to foment trouble. Came- 
ron refused to furnish the Indians with goods as long as they 
were at peace with the Americans. The towns appointed a 
committee of their old chiefs 'to ask aid from the governor of 
North Carolina. James Robertson, the agent among them, was 
of opinion that if the state would supply them with goods noth- 
ing but peace would ensue. 180 The governor, however, did 
nothing; and in the meantime the Chickamaugas went to the 
support of the British, and in 1780 induced the Overhill towns 
to join them in a second invasion of the settlements, while 
the frontier militia were away fighting the British at King's 
Mountain. As we have seen, by the opportune return of Colo- 
nel Sevier, and the prompt action of the border authorities, 
the settlements were saved, the Indian forces were defeated, 
and their towns destroyed. They again sued for peace, which 
was concluded at a treaty held at Long Island in the sum- 
mer of 1781. This treaty was never broken by open war, 
though there were repeated murders and depredations com- 
mitted on both sides. 

The tract of country adjoining the Overhill towns on the 
north, and extending back from the Little Tennessee to the 
French Broad River, is known in our public records as the 
territory south-of-the-French-Broad-and - Holston - rivers - and- 
west-of-the-Big-Pigeon-River. Its history would have made a 
shorter name famous. Had it been called Dumplin, after the 
creek on which the treaty was held which gave its inhabitants 
the first color of title to the lands on which they lived, it 
would have gone down in song and story along with Watauga 
and Cumberland, the other two original independent govern- 
ments in Tennessee. It was settled under the most extraor- 
dinary circumstances, in defiance of the rights of the Indians, 
whose hunting ground it was, and in violation of the treaties 
both of the state of North Carolina and the United States. 

""State Records of North Carolina, Vol. 11, p. 654. 


Its settlers had the sympathy and support of the state of 
Franklin, but when that government fell, and all support was 
withdrawn from them, they boldly erected for themselves an 
independent government in the midst of the Cherokee reserva- 
tion. The history of American colonization does not exhibit 
a more daring, determined, heroic, and, alas! lawless struggle 
for the possession of a country than that waged by the pioneers 
of Dumplin. 

Could a diagram be drawn, accurately designating every 
spot signalized by an Indian massacre, surprise or depreda- 
tion, or courageous attack, defense, pursuit, or victory by the 
whites, or station, or fort, or battlefield, or personal encoun- 
ter, the whole of that section of country would be studded over 
by delineations of such incidents. Every spring, every ford, 
every path, every farm, every trail, every house, nearly, in its 
first settlement, was once the scene of danger, exposure, at- 
tack, exploit, achievement, death. 181 

On the other hand, the Indians who opposed these aggres- 
sive, masterful backwoodsmen appeal not less strongly to our 
sympathy. Their Overhill towns on the south bank of the 
Little Tennessee River served as a kind of breakwater to re- 
tard the restless tide of immigration pouring into their hunt- 
ing grounds. Not only their physical distress, which was 
certainly not more tolerable than the sufferings of the settlers, 
but their feeling of utter helplessness in the presence of great 
wrongs; the impotent chafing of their proud spirits as they 
saw their hunting grounds diminish, and the wild game grow 
scarcer, rendered their position pathetic in the extreme. 

On account of his advanced age Oconostota made the Old 
Tassel (Koatohee) and the Old Raven (Savanukeh) speakers 
for him in the treaty of Long Island in 1777. From that time 
they were looked upon as the leading men of their Nation. 
Governor Caswell wrote to the Raven as the "head man of 
the Cherokee Nation" in 1778. But after the war of 1780 he 
went over to the British party and undertook to supplant the 
old chief who had put him forward in the councils of his Na- 
tion. He went to Georgia in 1781, and the British agent nomi- 
nated him as principal chief in place of Oconostota, and gave 
him a medal as the symbol of his authority. He returned, de- 
claring that he was done with the Big Knife, and would listen 
only to his father over the great waters. 182 But the peace party 
was now all powerful in the Overhill towns, and the defec- 
tion of the Raven only strengthened the position of the Tassel, 
who was their real leader. The following year, 1782, Oconos- 

181 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 370. 

182 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, pp. 446-7. 


tota resigned his nominal leadership in favor of his son, Tuck- 
asee, 183 and when the governor of Virginia sent the Tassel a 
medal, with the consent of the nation, he gave it to Tuckasee 
at Hightower. 184 Still the Tassel was recognized by the whites 
and by his own people as the head of the Cherokee Nation. 185 

Of the Tassel's antecedents and personality nothing is 
known ; but his speeches and letters show him to have been 
a man of more than ordinary intelligence. His family was one 
of the most powerful in the Nation. Among his nephews, John 
Watts and Tallotiskee became famous, and TJnacata was not 
unknown, while his great-nephews, the Bench and the Tail, 
made themselves felt and feared on all the border from south- 
west Virginia to the Cumberland and Kentucky. 

The wars of 1776 and 1780 convinced the Tassel of his in- 
ability to maintain his position by forced of arms, and he de- 
termined for the future to hold fast to the peace talks, and 
rely upon the white men's sense of justice to maintain his 
treaty boundaries and remove the trespassers from his hunt- 
ing grounds. In 1782 he sent talks to the governors of Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina, begging them to have pity on his 
poor, distressed people, and do them justice. "Your people 
from Nollichucky," he says, "are daily pushing us out of our 
land. We have no place to hunt on. Your people have built 
houses within one day's walk of our towns," 186 

In 1783 the state of North Carolina undertook by legisla- 
tive enactment to open for settlement all the Cherokee hunt- 
ing grounds lying north and west of the French Broad and 
Tennessee rivers. Notwithstanding the opening of this im- 
mense territory, the frontiersmen continued to push their set- 
tlements south of the French Broad, into the small district I 
have denominated Dumplin, which was still reserved to the 
Indians. The Tassel complains that his young men are afraid 
to go out hunting on account of the white men ranging the 
woods and marking trees. 187 Colonel Martin, writing in 1784, 
says they have actually settled, or at least built houses within 
two miles of the beloved town of Chota. 188 

In the meantime the daring young! state of Franklin arose 
and, being wholly in sympathy with the frontiersmen, there 
was no longer any restraint put upon their aggressions. One 

183 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 3, p. 234. 
184 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 176. 
185 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 341. 
188 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 276. 
187 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 304. 

188 Weeks' General Joseph Martin and the War of the Revolution 
in the West, p. 444. 


of its first legislative acts provided for the holding of a treaty 
with the Cherokees at Dumplin Creek. The treaty was held 
May 31, 1785, though the Tassel and other principal chiefs 
of the Nation refused to attend. 189 Under this treaty the In- 
dian line was moved far down towards their towns, and lo- 
cated on the ridge dividing the waters of Little River from 
those of the Little Tennessee. 190 

Following this treaty the Tassel wrote the governor of 
North Carolina that the white people had built houses in sight 
of his towns. A little later in the same year he, told the United 
States commissioners, at the treaty of Hopewell: "If Con- 
gress had not interposed I and my people must have moved. 
They have even marked the land on the bank of the river near 
the town where I live." 191 

In less than a year the frontiers had passed the line estab- 
lished by the treaty of Dumplin, and the Franklin authorities 
then determined to have all the Indian lands lying north of the 
Little Tennessee Kiver. This purpose they announced to the 
chiefs of the Overhill towns in what is called the treaty of 
Coyatee. It seems that two young men had been murdered on 
the 20th day of July by two or three young fellows who had 
been hired by an old warrior from Chickamauga to take satis- 
faction for his two sons who had been killed by the white 
people in the spring. 192 Thereupon Colonels Alexander Outlaw 
and William Cocke, at the head of two hundred and fifty mi- 
litiamen, marched to Chota Ford, and sent for the head men 
of the towns. 193 When the Tassel and Scollacutta appeared 
they charged them with breaking through all their talks and 
murdering the young men. The Tassel denied that it was his 
people who had spilt the blood and spoilt the talk. He said 
the men who did the murder were bad men and no warriors, 
who lived in Coyatee, at the mouth of Holston, about twenty 
miles below Chota. 

Upon this disclosure, Colonels Outlaw and Cocke inarched 
their forces to Coyatee, killed two of the "very Indians that 
did the murder," destroyed the town house, burned the bad 
men's homes, and destroyed their proportionate part of the 
village corn. They then renewed their conference with the 
Tassel and Scollacutta, begun at Chota Ford. After the gen- 
eral charge of breaking all the good talks in "Kentucky, Cum- 

18B Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 319; Weeks' Joseph Martin, 
p. 444. 

m Ram,sey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 299. 
191 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 41. 
192 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 164. 
193 Ramsey's' Annals of Tennessee, p. 343. 


berland, and here at home," they charged them specifically, 
and very unjustly, with the murder of Colonels Donelson 194 
and Christian. 195 "My brother, William Christian/ 7 the Tas- 
sel replied, "took care of everybody, and was a good man ; he 
is dead and gone. It was not me nor my people that killed 
him. They told lies on me. He was killed going the other 
way, over th6 river." 

Colonels Outlaw and Cocke then delivered the following 
ultimatum to the Indians : "We now tell you plainly that our 
great counsellors have sold us the land on the north side of the 
Tennessee (Little Tennessee) to the Cumberland Mountain, 
and we intend to settle and live on it, and 'if you kill any of 
our people for settling there, we shall destroy the town that 
does the mischief." There was no foundation in fact for the 
claim that they had, bought the land; the Tassel told them he 
had never heard of it, though he had talked with the great 
men from Congress last fall at the treaty of Hopewell. But 
as he was powerless to prevent their taking possession of it, 
he hoped they should live friends together on it, and keep their 
young men at peace. 196 Such was the treaty of Coyatee! 

By the following spring a land office had been opened for 
all the land north of the Little Tennessee, and the frontiers- 
men were actually settling on the banks of that stream. 197 
Thus we find the pioneer settlers and the Overhill Cherokees 
lined up, face to face, with nothing but the thread of the Lit- 
tle Tennessee River as a barrier between them. 

While the Tassel was engaged in these peaceable negotia- 
tions, the remoter towns of the Cherokees committed frequent 
acts of hostility against the frontiers, for which they were 
punished by the settlers. In 1782 Colonel Sevier marched 
against the Lower towns and destroyed everything from Bull 
town, on Chickamauga Creek, to Estanaula, on the Coosa 
River. In 1783 Major Fine destroyed Cowee, on the head- 
waters of the Little Tennessee. In 1786 Governor Sevier, of 
Franklin, crossed the Unaka Mountain and destroyed the Val- 
ley towns, on the Hiwassee River. None of these campaigns, 
it will be observed, were directed against the Overhill towns, 
nor were any of the Indian depredations approved by the 
Tassel ; on the contrary, he tried to dissuade the Chickamaugas 
from such acts until he found it was of no use, when he ad- 

194 Colonel John Donelson was killed on Barren River, in Kentucky, 
in 1785, but it is not known who killed him. 

195 Colonel William Christian was killed while pursuing- a party of 
Indians on the north side of the Ohio River, in April, 1786. 

196 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 344-346. 

19T Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 359-360. 


vised Ageut Martin of the condition of affairs, and turned the 
matter over to him. 

In the meantime, after a restless, active and stormy career 
of four years, the state of Franklin collapsed, an order was 
out for the arrest of Governor Sevier, and he was a fugitive 
on the frontiers, no longer pretending to any office, civil or 
military. He had with him Major James Hubbert, late an 
officer in the Franklin militia, and a small body of mounted 
riflemen. From Houston's Station he despatched the follow- 
ing circular letter to the border settlers: 

Major Houston's Station, 8th of July, 1788. 

To the inhabitants in general: Yesterday we crossed the Tennes- 
see with a small party of men, and destroyed a town called Toquo. 
On our return we discovered large trails of Indians making their way 
towards this place. We are of the opinion their numbers could not 
be less than five hundred. We beg leave to recommend that every 
station, will be on their guard; that also, every good man that can be 
spared will voluntarily turn out and repair to this place, with the 
utmost expedition, in order to tarry a few days in the neighborhood 
and repel the enemy, if possible. We intend waiting at this place 
some days with the few men now with us, as we cannot reconcile it to 
our own feelings, to leave a people who appear to be in such great dis- 
tress. j *yj|j 

John Sevier. 

James Hubbert. 

N. B. It will be necessary for those who! will be so grateful as to 
come to the assistance of this place, to furnish themselves with a few 
days' provisions, as the inhabitants of this fort are greatly distressed 
with Indian. 

J. S. 

J. H. 198 

Now, Major Hubbert was the most inveterate enemy of the 
Indians to be found on all the border. His parents and all 
their family are said to have been killed by the Shawnees in 
Virginia, and he had sworn vengeance against the whole In- 
dian race. He killed more Cherokees than any other man in 
the back country, seeking every opportunity to slay them, as 
well in times of peace as in times of war. 199 

On one occasion he came near involving the settlement in 
a fresh Indian war. He and a companion were shooting at a 
mark with two Indians. During the shooting one of the In- 
dians were killed ; the other fled to the Nation. It was believed 
that Hubbert had killed the Indian designedly, and that his 
people would take satisfaction for his death. The settlers, 
therefore, assembled near the mouth of Dumplin Creek and, 
through a half-breed, sought a friendly conference with the 

188 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 419. 
189 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 301. 


Indians. In response to the invitation six or eight warriors 
came in. Hubbert and a band of associates waylaid them on 
the other side of the river but, having missed them, followed 
on to Gist's, where the conference was being held. Fearing 
more trouble from Hubbert, the settlers kept the Indians in 
their center. Presently Hubbert, desiring to stampede them, 
found an opportunity to whisper to one of them to run, that 
the white men intended to kill them. His ruse was detected 
and defeated by Captain James White, who told them to re- 
main and he would protect them. Thus reassured, they re- 
mained and the difficulty was satisfactorily adjusted. 200 

Later, in 1784, he killed a noted half-breed Indian warrior 
named Butler, in a private encounter, of which we have only 
his own account. Ramsey 201 says the Indian killed was the 
chief Untoola, or Gun Rod, of Citico; but it could not have 
been Untoola, as he was still alive in 1785, and signed the 
treaty of Hopewell. However, the affair created great ex- 
citement on the border. The Indians believed Hubbert had 
murdered Butler, and complained to the governor of North 
Carolina, who ordered his arrest and trial. But the governor 
of Franklin openly justified his conduct, 202 and the people of 
his county expressed their confidence in him by electing him 
to represent them in the Franklin legislature. 203 So the mat- 
ter passed off without a legal investigation. 

In time of war he hunted the Indians down like a very 
sleuth. One instance is related where, smelling a trail, he took 
a scouting party of ten men with him and, following a small 
path, surprised a party of seven or eight Indians in a house. 
He killed five of them, took one* little fellow prisoner, and re- 
joined his command. 204 

Such was the character of the implacable Indian fighter, 
who, attaching 1 himself to the waning fortunes of his old com- 
mander, Governor Sevier, now appeared with him on the bor- 
der, and joined him in warning the frontiers of an impending 
Indian invasion. 

Alarmed by the warning of Sevier and Hubbert, many fami- 
lies in the more exposed districts removed for safety to the 
neighboring forts. But the frontiersmen were so inured to 
the perils and dangers of border life that they had almost lost 
the sense of fear. Moreover, being such close neighbors to the 

200 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 274. 
*" Annals of Tennessee, p. 301. 
202 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 315. 
^Weeks' Joseph Martin, p. 445. 
^Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 199. 


Indians, they had grown familiar with them and knew many 
of them by name, such, for instance, as Slim Tom, or Chil 
howee, who was known as far north as the settlement around 
Knoxville. From these friendly Indians they apprehended 
little danger, though they had, in a measure, been .put upon 
their guard as to Slim Tom. The preceding spring a party 
of Indians had attacked the house of Joseph Hinds, killed 
and scalped his son, and carried off a number of horses. They 
were pursued and, being surprised in their camp, fled into the 
canebrake, leaving most of their property behind. One of the 
guns captured was identified by James Robertson, whose 
watchful eye nothing seems to have escaped, as the property 
of Slim Tom's son, which he had seen the fall before in Chil- 
howee. 205 

So it happened that some of the families were slow in avail- 
ing themselves of the protection of the forts. One of these was 
the family of a man named Kirk, who lived on Little River. 
His household numbered thirteen when all were present. One 
day, in the absence of the father and his son, John, Slim Tom 
came to the house and asked for something to eat. The family 
knew him, allowed him to come in, and fed him. Having taken 
advantage of their hospitality to discover who were present, 
and their means of defense, he finished his meal and withdrew. 
Soon afterwards he returned from the woods with a party of 
Indians, fell upon the defenseless family, massacred the whole 
of them, and left their dead bodies in the yard. 206 

Following this massacre the wildest excitement swept the 
settlements. The Tassel remained closely at his home, while 
Abraham, of Chilhowee, declared publicly that if his people 
went to war he would remain at his own house and never quit 
it. Sevier and Hubbert assembled several hundred militiamen 
at Hunter's Station, on Nine Mile Creek, and dashed off to 
Hiwassee River, where they killed many warriors, took some 
prisoners, burned their towns, and returned to Hunter's. The 
next day they swept up the Little Tennessee, burned Tallassee 
and some other towns, killed many Indians, and returned. 

On their return from Tallassee the troops marched down 
the south bank of the Little Tennessee River. When they had 
gotten opposite Chilhowee, on the north of the river, they 
halted. Governor Sevier was absent, and Major Hubbert was 
left in command. He sent for Abraham and his son to come 
over the river to him, at the same time raising a flag of truce, 
that they might be assured of their safety. They came with- 
out hesitation. He then directed them to bring the Tassel and 

^'Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, pp. 428-9. 
208 Haywoo<Ts History of Tennessee, p. 194. 



his son, 207 that he might hold a talk with them. When they 
came he put them all in a house and surrounded it with his 
men. He then put a tomahawk in the hand of John Kirk, the 
son of him whose family had been massacred, and led him into 
the house. There, under a flag of truce, between four walls, 
while the soldiers on guard watched the carnage, his com- 
manding officer standing by his side, the boy buried his toma- 
hawk in the head of the nearest Indian, who fell dead at his 
feet. The others, recognizing the fate intended for them, with 
the stoic courage that enables the Indian warrior to face even 
a harsher death without quailing, inclined their heads for- 
ward, cast their eyes upon the ground, and one after another 
received the fatal blow. 208 

Three years later, in 1791, Hubbert led a party of sixteen 
men, who conducted Zachariah Cox down the Tennessee River 
for the purpose of taking possession of the land granted to the 
Tennessee Company at Mussel Shoals. They built a blockhouse 
and stockade on an island at the Shoals, but the Glass came 
down from Running Water with sixty warriors and ordered 
them off. They were therefore forced to abandon their works, 
which were at once reduced to ashes. The chief, Richard Jus- 
tice, says Hubbert and his party were then completely in the 
power of the Glass, who might have killed them, but instead 
of doing so, he lifted them up, as it were, and told them to 
depart in peace. 209 

(To be continued.) 

307 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 56. 
208 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 194-5. 

209 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 263-4; Ram- 
sey, pp. 550, 551. 



"Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History" is the 
latest contribution to the historical literature of this State. 
The book, which has just appeared, is the work of S. G. Heiskell, 
of Knoxville, a well-known representative of a family promi- 
nent for generations in Tennessee. It is lately from the press 
of the Ambrose Printing Company, of Nashville, and contains 
nearly seven hundred pages, with many illustrations of an ap- 
propriate character. The book is issued in a limited edition, 
and the price is $3.00, or $3.10 by mail. 

"This book," says Mr. Heiskell in his preface, "had its 
origin in the belief that only a one-sided view of the life and 
character of Andrew Jackson has been given generally by 
those who have written about him, and that injustice has been 
done to Sam Houston and John Sevier, in that neither of them 
has been accorded as high a place in history as their achieve- 
ments merit. All three were closely connected with the early 
history of Tennessee, and Jackson and Sevier passed their lives 
in the State. Houston lived for years in the State, became 
District Attorney General, member of Congress and governor, 
and w|ent to Texas, became its liberator and died there. They 
were all great men, with great qualities and accomplished 
great achievements. 

"The writers on Jackson always portray the bold, aggres- 
sive side of the man, his iron will, his fearlessness of danger, 
his nerves that were never shaken no matter what the circum- 
stances. . . . But there was another side that we rarely 
read about. Jackson wias one of the tenderest and most af- 
fectionate men that ever lived, and with a strong, romantic 
strain in his make-up that made him a high-bred, knightly gen- 
tleman always in his contact with women and children, and 
persons in poverty and distress." 

Mr. HeiskelFs book, as might be expected from this outline 
of the preface, is highly eulogistic of Tennessee's heroic figures. 
Scarcely less could be expected from the pen of a Tennessean, 
for the early history of Tennessee is an epic of fortitude and 
courage unsurpassed in the annals of this continent. Of the 
lives of thesd heroic pioneers, Mr. Heiskell has written with 
a vigorous and keenly sympathetic pen. Throughout the book 
he demonstrates that he has been a close and intelligent stu- 
dent of the events of other days, but has been as well a pains- 
taking follower of incidents transpiring in more recent times 


in the commonwealth. This latter labor has enabled him to 
bring down the story of the notables of whom he writes to the 
present time. For example, one of the most interesting chap- 
ters in the section devoted to John Sevier has to do with the 
removal of the remains of Tennessee's foremost Indian fighter 
and first governor from an Alabama cotton field, where they 
had reposed for three-quarters of a century, and their reinter- 
ment in the soil which he had helped to win from the wilder- 
ness. In the case of Jackson, the record is brought down to 
that famous visit of Roosevelt to the Hermitage in 1907, the 
most notable public event that has transpired at the famous 
mansion since the body of the greatest of Tennesseans was 
laid at rest in the garden. 

In the preservation of these latter-day incidents connected 
with his heroes, Mr. Heiskell has rendered a very distinct 
service to the cause of Tennessee history, but this is only one 
of many points on which the work merits abundant praise, 
for viewed from the standpoint of the possible usefulness to 
the general reader, a more worth-while book with this State as 
the subject has not appeared in years. The book might have 
been more aptly named; "Andrew Jackson and Other Tennes- 
see Heroes." This would possibly give a better description of 
the contents, for besides Jackson there are in it accounts, more 
or less full, of General James White, the founder of Knoxville; 
William Blount, the territorial governor; the Donelsons, the 
Seviers, the Shelbys, Sam Houston, President and Mrs. Polk, 
the Winchesters, Judge John Overton, General John Coffee, 
Major William B. Lewis, of Fairfield, and various others. In 
the case of several of these something of the family history of 
the individual is given, and sometimes the connection is traced 
through succeeding generations. This is notably true as re- 
gards John Sevier's family. It is safe to say that nowhere 
else is there to be found so complete a chronicle of that family. 
The JSlount, White, Shelby, and Donelson families are treated 
in much the same way, though, less extendedly. In this con- 
nection Nashville people will be especially interested to find 
a chapter in the Jackson data devoted to Mrs. Rachel Jackson 
Lawrence, the "Little Rachel" of the General's declining years. 
It is in General Jackson's devotion to his adopted son and the 
latter's wife, and to their children that the author presents 
the tenderer side of "Old Hickory," there being embodied in 
the book numerous letters showing the sentiments entertained 
by the latter for the members of his household. 

The book contains among other things interesting accounts 
of the founding of Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville, that 
bearing on Knoxville, the author's home, as might be expected, 

148 W. E. BEARD 

being of unusual interest. The preservation of the Hermitage, 
of whose board of trustees Mr. Heiskell is president, has a 
place in the volume, as has a lengthy account of the Jackson 
papers, from which the General hoped to have an adequate 
biography written. 

Mr. Heiskell is one of the most active members of the bar 
in his section of the State ; he was recently mayor of Knoxville, 
and has been for years a prominent figure in the politics of 
Tennessee, all of which signifies a busy life. That. he should 
have taken time to execute so laborious a task as writing a 
volume of history is a matter of more than passing notice. It 
should mean the dawning of a new era in Tennessee history 
the awakening of a constructive interest in the story of the 
State and those who made it great that will find expression in 
the careful preservation of every detail of the records of the 
one and the proper commemoration of the deeds of the other. 



On June 26, 1918, near Campbell's Station, Knox County, there 
was dedicated the monument erected by the State of Tennessee to its 
second governor, Archibald Roane. The following account of the 
ceremonies is copied from the Knoxville Journal and Tribune: 

"Three thousand people, representing practically every county in 
East Tennessee, attended the unveiling of the recently erected monu- 
ment to Archibald Roane, second governor of Tennessee, at Pleasant 
Forest Cemetery, near Campbell's, Wednesday. The occasion was 
featured by impressive patriotic ceremonies and the firing of a gov- 
ernor's salute of seventeen guns, for which purpose a three and one. 
half-inch cannon had been secured from the Tennessee Military 
Institute at Sweetwater. 

"After lying for ninety-nine years in an unmarked grave, the pio- 
neer soldier, statesman and jurist was honored as few Tennesseans 
have been honored. 

"Among the distinguished guests were Judge Archibald T. Roane, 
of Grenada, Miss.,' and Judge William A. Roane, of Houston, Miss., 
grandsons of the late chief executive of Tennessee, both of whom de- 
livered touching addresses, thanking the people of Tennessee for the 
splendid tribute paid their ancestor. 

"Erection of the monument was made possible by an appropria- 
tion of $500 by the last General Assembly, the measure being sponsored 
by Senator John C. Houk, of Knox County, and members of the local 
delegation in the lower house. 

"Speakers on the program included Gov. Tom C. Rye, Judge Ed- 
ward T. Sanford, of the United States District Court; Gen. W. T. 
Kennerly, United States District Attorney; Senator J. Parks Worley, 
of Bluff City; James F. Littleton, attorney, of Kingston, and former 
Mayor S. G. Heiskell, of Knoxville, tne latter presenting a painting 
of Governor Roane by Lloyd Branson and one of the old Roane home 
by James W. Wallace to the Campbell's community, in trust for 
Farragut high school. 

"Senator Houk was permanent chairman of the assembly, while 
Senator Thomas F. Ingram, of Kingston, was chairman during the 
Roane County proceedings, and Professor Adams Phillips, principal 
of Farragut high school, directed the unveiling proper. Nathan D. 
White, of The Journal and Tribune staff, and Curtis G. Gentry, of the 
Sentinel staff, were permanent secretaries. 


"The weather was ideal Wednesday, but as a number of the speak- 
ers on the program were late in reaching the cemetery, the proceed- 
ings were not opened until 11 o'clock, one hour later than scheduled. 
G. M. Smith, chairman of the Campbell's committee, which has been 
in charge of arrangements, called the assembly to order and after a 
brief talk introduced Mayor John E. McMillan, of Knoxville. Mayor 
McMillan reviewed the efforts of Senator Houk to secure an appro- 
priation for the Roane monument, referring also to the unsuccessful 
efforts of Frank L. West and John A. Duncan, as members of one 
general assembly, to obtain the appropriation. 

"Senator Houk was then presented as permanent chairman for 
the occasion. He spoke only a few words, saying that he once heard 


the late Thoma3 B. Reed, speaker of the national House of Represen- 
tatives, declare that a speaker was not made to speak but to preside. 

" 'A chairman is not made to talk but to preside,' said Senator 
Houk. He then called on Rev. S. G. Wells, who offered an invocation. 

"Governor Rye was the first speaker, reading an address on the 
inspiration of the occasion. 

"The governor declared that he felt honored in being asked to 
speak on such an occasion. 


"That part of the address referring directly to Governor Roane 
is as follows: 

" 'He drew sustenance from the period of Benjamin Franklin, 
whose scientific and philosophical writings were awakening the world, 
and I have no doubt inspired his Irish heart. Being an educated man 
he was at one time a teacher and had for a pupil no less a personage 
than Hugh Lawspn White, a United States senator from this state 
and later a candidate for President of the United States. Being a 
godly man, he was at one time a ruling elder of the Presbyterian 
church standing just over the way, and methinks the drippings from 
this sanctuary are sweeter and the incense arising from that holy 
place today is sweeter and holier by reason of the ministrations of 
his spirit while in the flesh. Let us think so and, while we do not 
know, let us imagine his redeemed spirit gazing from the battle- 
ments of heaven approvingly at these efforts, which are not so much 
to honor him as to do credit to ourselves by writing upon his monu- 
ment which we erect today an epitaph of truth, speaking of personal 
and civic virtues that will be an inspiration to the passing genera- 

"Crouch's military band rendered a number of patriotic airs during 
the ceremonies, while patriotic songs were sung by Robert DeArmond 
and Mrs. Bertha Walburn. 


"Judge Sanford delivered an address, giving a historical sketch 
of the life and public service of Governor Roane. He told of the pio- 
neer statesman's career as a soldier, jurist and governor, and of his 
casting the deciding vote that made Andrew Jackson major general 
of militia. 

"This action of Governor Roane gave the nation General Jackson, 
the soldier and later President, Judge Sanford declared, although it 
resulted in the subsequent defeat of Governor Roane for a second 
term by John Sevier, who had lost the major-generalship to Jackson. 

"Judge Sanford spoke of the political contest between Roane and 
Sevier, in which the popularity of the latter overcame the then gov- 
ernor. However, after General Jackson had won honor and distinc- 
tion as a soldier, the people of Tennessee realized the service ren- 
dered the State and nation by Roane in casting the deciding vote for 
the hero of New Orleans and would have again elected him governor 
had he desired it, said Judge Sanford. 

"The speaker also referred to Roane's service in the Constitutional 
convention of 1796, when he seconded a motion to insert a section for- 
bidding any man who denied the existence of a Supreme Being or 
a state of future reward and punishment holding civil office in Ten- 


" 'Archibald Roane was a scholar, soldier, statesman and judge,' 
declared Judge Sanfprd, 'and he died as he had lived at peace with 
his fellowmen and with God.' 


"In opening the Roane County proceedings, Senator Ingram called 
on W. E. McElwee, of Rockwood, a member of the Roane County 
Court, who read a historical sketch of the county which bears the 
name of the State's second governor. 

"Attorney James F. Littleton delivered a stirring patriotic ad- 
dress on 'Our Duty Over Here and Over There.' 

"At no time during the day was the applause more enthusiastic 
than during the brief address of Mr. Littleton, and the crowd repeat- 
edly cheered the speakers throughout the proceedings. 

"At the conclusion of Mr. Littleton's address, Senator Houk read 
a telegram from Gen. Harvey Hannah, of the State Railroad Com- 
mission, in which he expressed regret that he could not be present 
and fill the place assigned to him on the program because of the 
death of a relative. Senator Houk then introduced Miss Mary B. 
Temple, of the Bonny Kate Chapter, D. A. R., who spoke of the work 
of her organization in erecting monuments and otherwise honoring 
soldiers of the Revolution. 

"Following the address of Miss Temple, the crowd assembled at 
the grave of Governor Roane, where the unveiling proceedings were 
in charge of Prof. Adams Phillips, of Farragut high school. 


"Master William Roane, great-great-grandson and youngest known 
descendant of Governor Roane, pulled the unveiling cord and a cheer 
broke from the assembled crowd as the covering fell away and the 
huge granite marker became visible. 

"The inscription on the monument is as follows: 

"ARCHIBALD ROANE, 1759-1819. 

"Revolutionary Soldier at Surrender of Cornwallis Member of Ten- 
nessee Constitutional Convention, 1796 Superior Judge. 1796 
Supreme Judge, 1819 Governor, 1801-1803. 
Erected by State of Tennessee, 1918. 

"Photographs were made of the descendants of Governor Roane 
at the grave, both before and after the unveiling proceedings. 


"Following the unveiling and the firing of the governor's salute 
of seventeen guns, which was directed by Col. D. C. Chapman, com- 
manding the Fifth Tennessee Regiment, and Major E. S. Benton, com- 
mandant at the University of Tennessee, the thousands present as- 
sembled around the baskets and enjoyed an excellent dinner. 

"During the last fifteen minutes of the dinner hour Esquire Frank 
Murphy and other oldtime fiddlers entertained the crowd. 

"Immediately after dinner the crowd reassembled in the grove at 
the rear of the church, where a large stand had been erected for the 
speakers and seats placed for the people. 

"District Attorney W. T. Kennerly, representing the Tennessee 
Society, Sons of the Revolution, delivered the first address of the 


afternoon program. Mr. Kennerly spoke of the history of the Roane 
family and declared members of that family had become leaders in 
all states where they have settled. He also referred to the work of 
the Sons of the Revolution. 


"Senator Houk announced that Mayor Jesse M. Littleton, of Chat- 
tanooga, who had been on the program to introduce the descendants 
of Governor Roane, could not be present and that Hugh M. Tate, of 
Knoxville, would take Mr. Littleton's place. 

"Mr. Tate delivered a brief but beautiful address, in which he 
praised the late Governor Roane and his accomplishments and dis- 
cussed the great war raging in Europe. 

"After he had concluded, Mr. Tate presented Judge Archibald T. 
Roane, who spoke briefly but with great feeling. He said that the 
great tribute to his grandfather, Governor Roane, had filled his heart 
with such emotion as he had never known before, and that his grati- 
tude could never be expressed in words. 

"Judge William A. Roane was also presented and spoke briefly. 
He said that hei had never attended an event that touched him as the 
unveiling had. Judge Roane illustrated his remarks with a few jokes, 
keeping the crowd laughing almost constantly. 

"He called attention to the fact that seven descendants of Gov- 
ernor Roane were in the military service of the nation and predicted 
that the American soldiers would soon come marching home victorious, 
having made the world safe for democracy. 


"Announcing that Senator Albert E. Hill, of Nashville, who, with 
Senator J. Parks Worley, aided materially in securing the appropria- 
tion for the monument in the last senate, was unable to be present, 
Senator Houk introduced Senator Worley. 

"Senator Worley spoke briefly, declaring that it had been a pleas- 
ure to work with Senator Houk in the past General Assembly and to 
vote with him for the Roane monument appropriation. 

"Former Mayor S. G. Heiskell was the last speaker, presenting 
the paintings by Lloyd Branson and James W. Wallace. He first re- 
ferred to the picture of the Roane home as painted by Mr. Wallace, 
who drew from his childhood memories of the old place. Mr. Heiskell 
paid a glowing tribute to Mr. Wallace's ability with the brush, de- 
spite the fact that he is afflicted. 

"Regarding the painting of Governor Roane by Mr. Branson, Mr. 
Heiskell declared that Mr. Branson's work had attracted attention 
in the large art centers of the country and that he was an artist of 
national reputation. 

"Benediction by Rev. J. Y. Bowman closed the exercises. 


"During the exercises messages from former President Roosevelt, 
Senator Hiram Johnson, of California, and other national figures, in 
which they commended the spirit of the occasion and expressed regret 
that they could not be present, had been read by Senator Houk. 

"Conservative estimates placed the crowd at 3.000 people, while 
many of those present declared that 3,500 would be nearer correct. 
Seven hundred and three automobiles were parked in the field oppo- 
site the cemetery during the day, and it is estimated that more than 
1,000 cars were on the grounds at one time or another during the 
progress of the ceremonies." 










Recording Secretary, 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 

Corresponding Secretary, 

Treasurer and Financial Agent, 


"I 'give and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society 
the sum of. _ dollars." 




PORTRAIT OF JUDGE FRIEND, A. V. Goodpasturc 155 

GEORGE WILSON, J. T. McGill 157 

Albert V. Goodpasture 161 


Committee on Publications 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman. 


Business Manager 


Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the 
statements or the opinions of contributors. 


Vol. 4 SEPTEMBER, 1918 No. 3 


AZINE, at pages 33 and 34, 1 gave a short sketch of the Chero- 
kee chief, Judge Friend. Since then I have been able to secure 
a portrait of him. He is remarkable as being the only Chero- 
kee chief of his age of whom an authentic likeness exists. In 
offering this portrait for reproduction in THE TENNESSEE HIS- 
TORICAL MAGAZINE, I desire to tell how it came to be taken 
and preserved. 

Judge Friend is known by three or four names. Ostenaco, 
or Austenaco, was the name his parents gave him. He ac- 
quired the name of Judd's Friend, corrupted into Judge 
Friend, from his humanity in saving a man of that name from 
the fury of his countrymen. On the other hand, he received 
his name of Outacite, meaning "man-killer," from his martial 

He was ambitious, for distinction and power, and Henry 
Timberlake, who accompanied him to England, and whose 
coveted commission as lieutenant depended largely upon the 
impression he should make, was interested in magnifying his 
greatness and importance. Timberlake says he was the rival 
of the celebrated chief, Attakullakulla, between whom the 
Overhill towns were divided into two factions; and declares 
he was superior in influence to the warlike Oconostota. Atta- 
kullakulla, he says, had done little in war to commend him, 
but had often distinguished himself by his policy and negotia- 
tions at home, which, he considered, the greatest steps to power. 
Oconostota, though surnamed the "Great Warrior" was not 
his equal. Judge Friend reached his great power by uniting 
in his character both war and policy. 

But there was one point on which Judge Friend felt him- 
self inferior to Attakullakulla and Oconostota they had both 
been to England and met the great Father face to face. Tim- 
berlake does not point this out, but a writer in the Royal Maga- 
zine, July, 1762, does. He says : 


"Outacite (Judge Friend), who is now in England, is not the 
King of the Cherokees, but only one of their principal warriors. . . 
There is at this time no King of the Cherokees; and for sometime 
their affairs have been principally under the direction of Attakulla- 
kulla, commonly called the Little Carpenter, who was over here in 
1730, and has been ever since treated with particular respect by the 
court, and considered as the principal and most sagacious person 
of the Cherokees. A jealousy of this particular honor paid to Atta- 
kullakulla has prompted Outacite to come to England, imagining that 
the Little Carpenter owes all his power and influence to his having 
visited King George. Outacite, in order to conceal his project of 
coming to England from the Little Carpenter, did not come through 
Carolina, which was his nearest way, but traveled through Virginia, 
and there embarked." 

The presence of Judge Friend and his two warriors in Lon- 
don produced the greatest excitement. Thousands of people 
thronged to see them; and the impecunious Timberlake could 
hardly resist the temptation to exhibit them for profit. Their 
visit was recorded in grave histories ; Goldsmith utilized it in 
his Animated Nature; and an unknown artist drew him from 
life for the Koyal Magazine, in which it appeared, with "Some 
account of the Indians now in England," July, 1762. 

Judge Friend and his companions are described as: 

"Men of a middling stature, seem to have no hair on their heads, 
and wear a kind of skullcap adorned with feathers; their faces and 
necks are besmeared with a coarse sort of paint, of a brick-dust 
color, which renders it impossible to know their complexion, they 
have a loose mantle of scarlet cloth thrown over their bodies, and 
wear a kind of loose coat. Their necks are streaked with blue paint, 
something resembling veins in a fine skin. There seems to be a mix- 
ture of majesty and moroseness in their countenances. . . . 

The chief, whose portrait we have given, is called Outacite, or 
man-killer; and notwithstanding the ignorance in which he and the 
rest of that and other Indian nations are involved, shows a sense of 
ture honor, and great generosity of mind." 

They were introduced to his Majesty and ordered to be pro- 
vided for at his expense. Afterwards they were conducted to 
the most eminent places in and about the city. They visited 
the court, Tower, St. Paul, the Mansion House, the Temple, 
Vauxhall Gardens, and other places of entertainment, the 
dock at Deptford, the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, and the 
dock and magazine at Woolwich. They Were carried to Wool- 
wich in the Admiralty barge, and the only expression of aston- 
ishment drawn from them was at the number of ships and ves- 
vels which they saw on their passage down the river. 

They reached London June 18, and departed on their return 
voyage August 9, 1762. A. V. GOODPASTURE. 


Who was George Wilson? Almost any one can tell you 
about George Wilson. But the various accounts will not agree. 
There are and have been George Wilsons of so many kinds, 
and living at so many different places, that it is well in the 
beginning to establish the identity of the subject of this sketch. 
This is the George Wilson that gave the name to George Wil- 
son's Spring and George Wilson's Spring Branch, 1 of Nash- 
ville, Tennessee. 

In the early days of Nashville the small village on the 
bluff was bounded on the north and west by the Sulphur 
Spring Branch, and on the south by George Wilson's Spring 
Branch. The latter now enters the Cumberland River through 
a large sewer near the Tennessee Central Station. Its source 
is a large spring now concealed under a house at the north- 
east corner of Seventh Avenue and Peabody streets, on the 
fifth block south of Broadway. 

George Wilson's place contained about five acres, bounded 
on the west by Spruce Street (now Eighth Avenue), on the 
south by South Union (now Lea Avenue), on the east by 
High Street (now Sixth Avenue), and on the north by the 
Academy line. His residence was probably on Spruce Street 
where the African S. S. Union building now stands. 

Originally, the valley of George Wilson's Spring Branch 
was heavily wooded and thick with cane. Prom the Battle 
of the Bluff the Indians fled through this valley, chased from 
the front by the pioneers and their dogs. 

In George Wilson's time the large spring supplied water 
for Wilson's tannery, the tannery of Peter Bass lower down 
on the Branch, and other factories. Then, and for many 
years afterwards, it furnished cool, wholesome drinking water 
for the residents of that vicinity. 

At the present time even the course of the Branch is con- 
cealed beneath the streets, the buildings, and the accumulated 
rubbish of Black Bottom; and the George Wilson place and 
adjoining grounds are coursed by streets and alleys lined with 
numerous houses and densely populated. But the ever flow- 
ing waters of George Wilson's Spring are quaffed by a greater 

This branch up to about 1830 was universally designated "Tan-Yard 
Branch," receiving its name from the fact that a number of tan-yards 
were located on it. At a very early date Willie Barrow had a tan- 
yard very near the spring. He became involved in debt, mortgaged 
the spring property to James Condon, who transferred same to George 
Wilson, and after Barrow's death his widow made fee simple title to 
Wilson, viz: Jan. 23, 1826. (Davidson County Deed Book, "R," p. 99.) 

158 T. T. MCGILL. 

community, for a brewing company has purchased the spring, 
blasted out the rock for a new outlet near the old, and pumps 
the water to a large factory for the manufacture of carbo- 
nated waters and other refreshing drinks. 

But the tanning of leather was not George Wilson's voca- 
tion. It simply served to utilize in an industrial way his 
surplus capital and surplus spring water and, at the same 
time, to give him something to do during his declining years 
after he had retired from the active duties of his life work. His 
life work was that of an editor and publisher. 

On the death of George Koustone, the pioneer printer of the 
State, in 1804, George Wilson succeeded him as the editor 
and publisher of the Knoxwlle Gazette,, 2 said to have been the 
first newspaper published west of the Allegheny Mountains. 
He enlarged the paper from three to five columns and changed 
the name to Wilson's Knoxville Gazette. He moved his office 
to Nashville in 1818 3 and established The Nashville Gazette, 
the first issue of which was published May 26, 1819. In June, 
1827, Allen A. Hall and John Fitzgerald purchased the prop- 
erty and changed the name of the paper to The Republican 
and State Gazette. 4 

A contemporary speaking of Wilson's work as an editor 
says: "In politics he was a Democrat of the Jeffersonian 
School and maintained his position with much ability; and, 
if he did not stand among the first political writers, he ex- 
pressed himself with much fluency, often with energy, and his 
language was remarkably free from that low abuse of his po- 
litical opponent to which so many of his contemporaries were 

George Wilson was an ardent supporter of Andrew Jack- 
son and enjoyed his friendship, too. One of his descendants 
has preserved an original note from General Jackson, which 
reads as follows: "Gen'l. Jackson's compliments to Col. 
George Wilson, and requests the pleasure of his company to 
dinner on Monday the 13 inst. A Jackson, Hermitage, 10th 
of May, 1832." 

I do not know why he was called "Colonel." 

When Lyman C. Draper was collecting material for his 
book, "King's Mountain and Its Heroes," he came to Nash- 

2 Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, p. 630. 

3 Possibly went from Knoxville to St. Louis. A Davidson County 
land record is as follows: "Sept. 3rd, 1811, George Wilson of St. 
Louis, Louisiana Territory, gives power of attorney to Peter Bass to 
sell 5,000 acres of land in Western District, Tenn." (Deed Book "I," 
p. 217.) 

4 Crew's History of Nashville, p. 343. 


ville, in 1844, and visited George Wilson. In this book he 
quotes, in a number of places, from "Manuscript Notes made 
from conversation with Colonel George Wilson of Nashville, 
who derived his information chiefly from his father-in-law 
(Brother-in-law), Alexander Greer, who was one of Sevier's 
men at the Battle of King's Mountain and took part in the 
expeditions to Brown's Creek and Musgrove's Mill. 5 

George Wilson was a Mason. He was one of the commit- 
tee that, in 1813, framed the original constitution of the Grand 
Lodge of the State, and he was the first Deputy Grand Master 
under the Grand Mastership of Thomas Claiborne, the first 
Grand Master. He served as Deputy Grand Master in 1813, 
1814, and again in 1822 and 1823. He was Senior Warden in 
1819, 1820, and 1821. His appointment as Deputy Grand Mas- 
ter in 1822 was by Andrew Jackson, who was Grand Master 
that year. In 1840 he was elected Grand Master. His por- 
trait as M. W. Grand Master 1 in the State Grand Lodge build- 
ing, Nashville, Tennessee. It shows a fine, handsome face, with 
regular features, of a man apparently about forty years of 
age. He was, however, sixty-two years of age in 1840. I do 
not know who was the painter of the portrait. But it is an 
interesting incident in this connection that in 1827 6 George 
Wilson conveyed by deed one hundred acres of land in David- 
son County, reserving the timber to John W. Jarvis, of 

county, Virginia, in consideration of one portrait picture, 
valued at f , etc., delivered by said Jarvis. 7 Whose por- 
trait was this? 

George Wilson was born in the District of Columbia, on 
the Virginia side of the Potomac. While yet a young man he 
removed to Knoxville, Tennessee. He married December 31, 
1799, Margery Johnson Greer, of Watauga. She died in 

1812. One of the children of this marriage, George Alexander 
Wilson, became "a distinguished officer in the Florida War 
and afterwards was a Whig member of the Legislature." He 
married his second wife, Matilda George Greer, December 6, 

1813. She was a niece of his first wife, and daughter of An- 
drew Greer, Jr., of Wilson County, Tennessee. She died in 
Nashville August 31, 1822. One of the daughters, Matilda 
George, married John King Edmundson. She died in Nash- 

'Draper's "King's Mountain," p. 230. 

"Davidson County, Deed Book, "R," p. 585. 

Mohii Wesley Jarvis was born in England in 1780; came to Phila- 
delphia, Pa., in 1785, His portraits were executed chiefly in New 
York and Southern cities. They include Com. Isaac Hull, Com. Thomas 
McDonough, Gov. DeWitt Clinton, John Randolph, Bishop Benjamin 
Moore and Fitz-Greene Halleck. (Appleton's Cyc. Biog.) 

160 J. T. MCGILL. 

ville in 1837. Another daughter, Sarah Greer, married John 
Williamson Butler. She died in Pittsburgh in 1896. These 
two daughters erected a monument to their father in the Old 
Nashville Cemetery, on which is the inscription "To the 
memory of Colonel George Wilson. Born September 28, 1778. 
Died November 8, 1848." J. T. McGiLL. 

SOUTHWEST, 1730-1807. 

(Copyright, 1918, Albert V. Goodpasture.) 


The capture of James Browns ~boat at Nickajack; 
the massacre of the men on hoard; and the captivity of 
his wife and little children. 1788-1789. 

After the Chickamaugas removed to their new towns, they 
continued to menace the frontiers, particularly those of the 
Cumberland and Kentucky; they captured boats going down 
the Tennessee River ; they even terrorized the settlements east 
of the Cumberland Mountains; in fact, most of the Indian 
depredations committed were laid at the door of the Chicka- 
maugas. Their treacherous seizure of James Brown's boat, 
May 9, 1788, the barberous massacre of the eight men on board, 
the separation of his wife and her five little children, and their 
long captivity among the Chickamaugas and Creeks, will be 
the subject of this chapter. 

James Brown, of Guilford County, North Carolina, was 
somewhat past the meridian of life at the beginning of the year 
1788. His wife, Jane Gillespie, had bourne him sixteen chil- 
dren, nine of whom were still living. He was in moderate 
circumstances, and had held honorable offices in his county. 
Having been a revolutionary soldier in the continental line 
of North Carolina, he received for his services a certificate, 
payable in the western lands of that state. When the land 
office was opened at Hillsboro, in 1783, he resolved to make 
adequate provision for his numerous children, by locating his 
military warrant in the rich settlement on the Cumberland 
River, about which glowing accounts had come back to the 
east. Taking with him two of his older sons, William and 
Daniel G., he explored the Cumberland valley, and entered a 
large body of land beyond the settlements, on Dtack River, near 
the present town of Columbia. He secured a tract at the mouth 
of White's Creek, on the Cumberland River, a few miles below 
Nashville, for his present settlement, and leaving William and 
Daniel to build a cabin and open a small field for cultivation, 
he returned to North Carolina for his family. 

Choosing the river as the least dangerous and most agree- 
able route, especially for the women and children, in the winter 
of 1787, he built a boat, near the Long Island of Holston, from 
which point Colonel Donelson had launched his famous flotilla; 
and to make it secure against any possible attack from the 


Indians, lie protected it with an armor of oak plank, two 
inches thick, perforated at suitable intervals with port holes, 
and mounted a small cannon upon its stern. About the first 
of May, 1788, having taken on board a quantity of goods such 
as would be useful in his new home on the Cumberland, and 
also some suitable for traffic among the Indians, he loosed his 
boat from its mooring and launched it on its long and dan- 
gerous voj^age. His party consisted of himself, his wife, his 
sons, James and John, who were grown; Joseph, a lad of 
fifteen, and George, who was only nine; his three daughters, 
Jane, aged ten ; Elizabeth, seven, and Polly, four. Besides these 
members of his immediate family, there were also five young 
men, J. Bays, John Flood, John Gentry, William Gentry and 
John Griffin, and a negro woman. 

They passed Chickamauga Creek about daybreak on Friday, 
May 9, 1788, and reached Tuskegee, a small town on the north 
bank of the river, just below Chattanooga, a little after sun- 
rise. Here Coteatoy, a chief of Tuskegee, and three other 
warriors, came abroad. They were treated kindly and appeared 
entirely friendly, but as soon as they left the boat, they started 
runners to Running Water and Mckajack, for the purpose of 
intercepting it before it passed those towns. 

John Vann, a half-breed who spoke English, with four 
canoes, carrying about forty warriors, paddled out midstream 
and met Brown's boat just above the town of Nickajack. They 
were apparently unarmed, and were flying a white flag, but in 
reality they had their guns and tomahawks covered with blan- 
kets in the bottoms of their canoes. When they approached, 
Brown said too many were coming at one time, wheeled his 
boat to bring his cannon into action, and had a match ready 
to touch it off. Vann pleaded for friendship in the name of the 
late treaty of Hopewell, alleging that he only wanted to find 
out where they were going, and to trade with them if they had 
anything to trade, and Brown, who was loath to precipitate 
open hostilities, which would endanger the little colony to 
which he was bound, listened to his friendly talk and suffered 
his canoes to approach. 

By this strategem Vanii succeeded in getting his party 
aboard Brown's boat. Immediately seven or eight other canoes, 
hitherto concealed among the rank cane in the submerged bot- 
toms of the swollen river, bore down upon him. Vann's party 
appeared friendly until the other canoes came up, when they 
began taking goods from the boat and transferring them to 
their canoes. Brown asked Vann for protection, but was told 
that he must await the return of the Breath, the head man of 
Nickajack, who was from home, but would return that night, 


and would make the marauders give up everything. Moreover, 
he promised to furnish him a guide on the morrow, to pilot his 
boat over the dangerous rapids of the Mussel Shoals. In the 
meantime the boat was completely gutted, and headed for the 
mouth of Nickajack Creek. 

While the boat was being scuttled, a brutal Indian seized 
Joseph Brown by the arm and pulled him violently to one side. 
His father, observing the movement, caught hold of the Indian 
and forbade him to touch his littlei boy. Th6 Indian released 
Joseph and directed his treacherous eyes to his father. As soon 
as Brown had turned his back upon him, the Indian drew an 
old sword he had in some way possessed himself of, and struck 
him on the neck, nearly severing his head from his body. He 
immediately fell, or was thrown, overboard, and Joseph, who 
had not seen the fatal blow, ran forward to the bow of the 
boat and told his-brothers their father had been drowned. Hav- 
ing seized the goods in the boat, the Indians now began to 
appropriate the prisoners. 

A party of Creeks, who chanced to be in Mckajack at the 
time, took Mrs. Brown, her youngest son, George, and her 
three little girls, into their canoes, and while the Chickamaugas 
were deliberating on the fate of the men, hurriedly departed 
for their distant towns on the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers. 
Next morning, however, the Chickamaugas, feeling that the 
Creeks had taken more than their just share of the spoils, 
pursued and forced them to deliver up Jane and Polly, whom 
they brought back to Nickajack. 

Before Brown's boat was landed, Kiachatalee, of Mckajack, 
asked Joseph Brown to get into his canoe and go with him, 
but the boy, not dreaming that he was a prisoner, refused to do 
so. But after they had come ashore, Kiachatalee took his step- 
father, Tom Tunbridge, to Joseph. Tunbridge, who could speak 
English, asked the lad to spend the night at his house, about 
a mile east of town on the Running Water road, and after 
obtaining the permission of his older brothers, he consented 
to do so. 

Co tea toy, of Tuskegee, the author of the mischief, arrived 
on the scene in time to take the negro woman as his part of 
the booty, and putting her on board a canoe, sent her up the 
river to his town. 

The captives being all carried away, the seven young men 
only were left in the village. At first they were told of a cer- 
tain house up town in which they could spend the night. After- 
wards they were directed to a better one in the lower end of the 
town, and a young Indian was sent to pilot them to it. About 
two o'clock in the afternoon they took a boat and were drop- 


ping down the creek to the house assigned them, when a party 
of Indians, who had concealed themselves among the cane and 
stumps that still covered the banks of the creek, picked three 
of them off with their rifles. The others then abandoned the 
boat, but the Indians, armed with knives, tomahawks and guns, 
pursued and killed them all, one after another. 

To return to the prisoners. Kiachatalee, the captor of 
Joseph Brown, was the son of a Cherokee warrior and Polly 
Mallett, a French woman who had been reared among the In- 
dians. When he was six years old, she married Tom Tunbridge, 
an Irish deserter from the British army, who had taken up his 
residence among the Cherokees before the Revolution, and had 
now lived with her for sixteen years. He was an athletic young 
fellow of twenty-two, about six feet high, of bold and chivalrous 
bearing and of reckless courage. He was overseer of his town, 
leader in the ball play and dances, had already killed six white 
men, and was fast rising in importance among his people. 

As Tom Tunbridge hurried Joseph Brown away from the 
town, they could hear the firing of guns on the banks of Nick- 
ajack Creek. A few minutes after they had reached home, 
Coteatoy's mother, a big, fat, old squaw, came rushing up to 
the house, the sweat pouring from her face, and upbraided Tun- 
bridge in an angry manner for not killing his prisoner. She 
said all the rest had been killed ; that he was large enough to 
eee everything, would soon be a man, and would then pilot 
an army there and cut them all off. She added, that Coteatoy 
would be on in a few minutes, and she knew he would kill him. 
Tunbridge arose, and in an uneasy manner stood in the door, 
looking down the road leading to Mckajack. Suddenly Cotea- 
toy, who came through the canebrake, and not by the road, ap- 
peared at the corner of the cabin, and asked him if there was 
not a white man in the house. When answered that there 
was a "bit" of a white boy there, he said he knew how big he 
was, and that he must be killed. Tuubridge protested that it 
was not right to kill women and children. Coteatoy persist- 
ing, Tunbridge told him the boy was Kiachatalee's prisoner, and 
must not be killed. At this Coteatoy became furious, and Tun- 
bridge, finding further resistance both useless and dangerous, 
stepped back out of the door and said, ''Take him along." 

Coteatoy entered the cabin, his knife in one hand, and his 
tomahawk in the other. Mrs. Tunbridge begged him not to 
kill the boy in her house. Yielding to her supplication, he took 
hold of the boy and jerked him out of the house. There young 
Brown discovered eight or ten of Coteatoy's followers, armed 
with guns, knives and tomahawks, and carrying sticks from 
which were suspended two scalps, one of which he recognized 


as that of one of his brothers. His heart now failed him, and 
he besought Tunbridge to beg half an hour of life for him, that 
he might try to pray, but the old man told him it was not 
worth while. As they were stripping his clothes from him, 
in order that they might not get bloody, Mrs. Tunbridge again 
pleaded with them not to kill him there, nor on the road to her 
spring. They finally agreed to take him to Running Water, 
about four miles off, and there have a frolic knocking him over. 

After they had started to Running Water, it occurred to 
Coteatoy that he might be doing a bad business, as he had 
himself taken a valuable negro woman, whose life might there- 
by be endangered. At this thought he halted his men and told 
them it would not do to kill the boy, because if they did, 
Kiachatalee was a warrior, and all the Indians in the nation 
could not keep him from putting his negro woman to death. 
When this halt was made the unhappy prisoner, who could not 
understand a word the Indians said, fell on his knees to pray, 
thinking they had stopped to kill him; but after he had been 
in the attitude of prayer five or ten minutes, he looked up, and 
behold! their grim faces were wreathed in smiles. He arose 
and his heart leaped with joy as he realized the new turn of 
affairs. Then Cotea toy's vindictive old mother said she would 
have a lock of his hair, anyhow; and after she had sawed it 
off with her dull knife, she gave him a vicious kick in the 
side, which amused the party very much. Coteatoy then called 
Tunbridge to him, and told him to take Brown back to the 
cabin; that he loved him, but would not make friends with him 
then, but would be back in three moons, and if he lived until 
that time, he would then make friends with him. 

Many years afterwards, when Joseph Brown was a colonel 
under General Jackson in the Creek War of 1813-14, he learned 
from some of the Cherokees, who were then our allies, that 
Coteatoy was still alive, residing in one of the numerous islands 
in the Tennessee River, and had in his possession the descend- 
ants of the negro woman he had taken from the Browns. Armed 
with an order from General Jackson to have the slaves valued, 
he took a guard and, proceeding to the island, demanded that 
Coteatoy 's negroes should be sent over to Fort Hampton in pur- 
suance of General Jackson's order. Next morning he gathered 
up the negroes, and, accompanied by Coteatoy, his wife, and 
some of his friends, started for the fort. When they reached 
the river, Colonel Brown and his men took the negroes and 
Coteatoy's wife behind them on their horses, and carried them 
across, but Coteatoy and his friends walked some distance up 
the river to cross on a raft. On reaching the fort, he directed 
his men to carry the negroes on to Ditto's Landing, while he 


stopped with Coteatoy's wife to await the arrival of the In- 
dians. In the meantime he gave Colonel Williams a history 
of the case, and asked what course he should pursue, now that 
he had the negroes in his possession. "Take them home with 
you," said the colonel, "and if you have not men enough, I will 
give you more." 

When Coteatoy and his followers arrived, Colonel Brown 
told him he had sent the negroes off, but was willing that the 
commissioners should proceed to value them. At this, Coteatoy 
became enraged, but after Colonel Brown had repeated his 
story in the presence of the garrison, as well as the Indians, 
and concluded it with the declaration that for his crime he 
ought to die, Coteatoy hung his head and answered, "It is true; 
do with me as you please." But when he found that it was not 
Colonel Brown's purpose to kill him, he assumed a bolder 
front, and threatened to sue him in the Federal court. It was 
finally agreed, however, that Coteatoy should be allowed to 
keep a certain young negro fellow, and Colonel Brown carried 
the others home with him to Tennessee. 

Vann's statement that the Breath was absent from Mcka- 
jack on the day of the massacre, was tme; he had gone to a 
little town about fifteen miles distant. On his return, he ex- 
pressed his displeasure at the conduct of his people. He was 
a man of good sense, and a kindly disposition, and claimed 
that he had never stained his knife in the blood of a white 
man. Some years later he. gave strong proof of his friendship 
for the United States by escorting the boats carrying goods for 
the Chickasaw and Choctaw treaty at Nashville in 1792, from 
Tuskegee to Nickajack, declaring that if they should be at- 
tacked at Eunning Water by the Shawnees Warrior and his 
party, as there was great reason to expect, he would assist in 
their defence. 210 And afterwards, when Watts invaded Cumber- 
land, he withdrew from his town on account of his opposition 
to the war. 211 

On Saturday, May 10, Kiachatalee and his mother went in 
to see Breath about their prisoner, and were directed to bring 
the boy to see him the next day. On Sunday, Mrs. Tunbridge 
took him to the Breath, who shook hands with him, and then 
explained to him. that, according* to their customs, no one was 
bound to protect an alien ; but that a family would avenge the 
death of an adopted son as sacredly as if he had been born 
to them. He therefore advised that he make an Indian of him- 
self, agreed to take him into his own family, which was one 
of the strongest in the nation, and told Joseph to call him 

210 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 291. 
211 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 278. 


uncle and Kiachatalee brother. Accordingly, he had his long 
hair shaved off, except a scalp lock, exchanged his pantoloons 
for a breach clout and leggins, and assumed his position as a 
member of Tom Tunbridges' family. 

Brown lived in the Tunbridge family for nearly a year, 
engaged in the ordinary domestic employments of the Indians, 
such as carrying water and wood, hoeing corn, and looking 
after the horses. He was kindly treated by his captors, and 
was allowed the priceless privilege of occasionally seeing his 
little sisters, Jane and Polly, of whose treatment he had little 
reason to complain. They were finally exchanged, April 25, 
1789, under the following circumstances: After Watts had 
taken Gillespie's Station, in satisfaction for the death of his 
uncle, the Tassel, General Sevier followed him to the banks 
of the Coosa River, taking twenty-nine women and children 
prisoners, among them a daughter of the Little Turkey, prin- 
cipal chief of the" Lower towns. The Indians then proposed an 
exchange of prisoners, and General Sevier demanded, not only 
the prisoners taken at Gillespie's, but all the white prisoners 
in their towns, especially naming those taken in Brown's boat. 
The Little Turkey, being unable to move him from his position, 
agreed to his terms, in order to recover possession of his own 

Accordingly, Joseph and little Polly were brought into 
Nickajack. The squaw who had Polly seemed to think as much 
of her as if she had been her own child, and the little tot fully 
reciprocated her affection. When Joseph told her he was going 
to take her to her own mother, she ran to her Indian mother 
and clasped her arms around her neck, and her brother had 
to take her away by force when he started to Running Water. 
Jane, who was held in another town about thirty miles away, 
had not been brought in, and when they were about to leave 
Running Water, Joseph refused to go without the presence of 
both his sisters. A young warrior was immediately started for 
Jane, but returned two days later with the statement that her 
owner would not let her go without pay. The Bench happened 
to be sitting by, his sword hanging on the wall and his horse 
hitched to a tree in the yard. He arose, took his sword and 
horse, and said, "I will bring her, or his head." The next 
morning he brought her in, and the party left for Coosawatee, 
where the prisoners were exchanged, and returned to the resi- 
dence of their uncle, Joseph Brown, in Pendleton County, South 

We have already seen that Mrs. Brown and four of her 
children were hurried off by their Creek captors, as soon as the 
boat was landed, and that Jane and Polly were retaken by 


the Chickamaugas, and returned to Nickajack. George and 
Elizabeth continued on with their mother. Foot-sore, weary 
and almost heartbroken, she was carried to a Creek town on 
the Coosa River, while her little children were torn from her 
arms and taken off to other towns. Near the town in which 
Mrs. Brown was confined lived Benjamin Durant and his beau- 
tiful, dark-eyed wife, Sophia, sister of General Alexander Mc- 
Gillivray. She was as energetic and commanding as her dis- 
tinguished brother, and shared with him the most humane sen- 
timents. 212 Having her attention drawn to Mrs. Brown, she 
interested herself in her behalf, and not only advised her to 
fly to her brother for protection, but furnished her the means 
of reaching his house at Little Tallase. Accepting her generous 
offer, Mrs. Brown, with some difficulty, made her way to the 
home of General McGillivray, who gave her a cordial and kind- 
ly welcome; and, later, ransomed her from her captor, and 
kept her at his house, as a member of his family, for more than 
a year. 

By her industry, intelligence and dignity, Mrs. Brown won 
the confidence and respect of her Indian friends, and the active 
interest of General McGillivray. On his first opportunity he 
ransomed little Elizabeth from her captor and restored her to 
her mother. At the same time he brought her intelligence of 
her son George, whom he would also have ransomed, but his 
master was not willing to part with him on any terms. In 
November, 1789, General McGillivray went to Rock Landing, 
Georgia, on public business. He carried Mrs. Brown and her 
daughter with him, and delivered them to her son, William, 
who had gone there seeking information of her. Liberated after 
a captivity of eighteen months, she spent a short time with 
relatives in South Carolina, after which she returned to her 
old friends at Guilford Court House, North Carolina. 

At Guilford Court House an affecting scene occurred. Gen- 
eral McGillivray was on his way to New York, where he was to 
hold a treaty with President Washington, and reached that 
place in June, 1790. When Mrs. Brown heard of his arrival, 
she rushed through the large assembly at the courthouse, and 
with a flood of tears, almost overpowered him with expressions 
of admiration for his character and gratitude for his generous 
conduct to herself and children. 213 Her brother, Colonel Gilles- 
pie, offered to pay him any sum he might think proper to name, 
as a ransom for Mrs. Brown and her daughter, but the noble 
chief, who was always generous to the distressed, whom he fed, 
sheltered and protected for humanity's sake, refused any com- 

212 Pickett's History of Alabama, Vol. 2, pp. 126-7. 
2ia Pickett's History of Alabama, Vol. 2, p. 107. 


pensation whatever, declaring that to receive pay would deprive 
him of both the honor and pleasure such manifestations of affec- 
tion afforded him. A't the same time he assured Mrs. Brown 
that he would not fail to use his best efforts for the liberation 
of her son. 

It was more than eight years before George Brown was re- 
stored to his people. General Pickens received him from Super- 
intendent Seagrove, and delivered him to his uncle, Joseph 
Brown, of Pendleton County, South Carolina, in September, 
1796. 214 He was then a fine boy, had learned to read, and was 
beginning to write, thanks to the care and thoughtfulness of 
Mr. Seagrove, who had kept him in school while he was under 
his cliarge. 215 

2u Pickens to Robertson, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, 
p. 336. 

215 The facts narrated in this chapter are taken, mainly, from 
three separate accounts, all on the authority of Colonel Joseph 
Brown. 1 A narrative by Colonel Joseph Brown, furnished by 
General Zollicoffer to the historian, Ramsey, and published in his 
History of Tennessee, pp. 509-515; 2 Colonel Brown's narrative, 
dictated to William Wales, and published in the Southwestern 
Monthly, Vol. 1, pp. 11-16, and 72-78; 3 A very excellent sketch 
of Jane Brown, written by Milton A. Haynes, principally from notes 
and memoranda furnished by Colonel Brown, and published in Mrs. 
Elizabeth F. Ellet's Pioneer Women of the West, pp. 79-106. 




General Martin invades the Chickamauga towns; 
last days of Dragging Canoe; John Watts takes satis- 
faction for the death of his uncle, the Tassel; William 
Blount appointed Governor of the Southwestern Ter- 
ritory; treaties of Hoist on and Philadelphia. 1788- 
1792. ' 

After the capture of Brown's boat, the massacre of its men 
and the captivity of its women and children, by the Chicka- 
maugas, the Tassel, head chief of the nation, admitted his ina- 
bility to restrain them, and advised General Martin, the Chero- 
kee agent, to go against their country and burn their towns, 
so they would have to return to the nation and submit to 
control. 216 With the consent of the Governor of North Carolina, 
he determined to make the campaign. He raised a force of 
about five hundred men, in the four counties of North Carolina, 
and rendezvoused at White's Fort, in the summer of 1788. 
Thence they made a rapid march to the neighborhood of Look- 
out Mountain, which they reached late one afternoon, and 
camped on the site of an old Indian settlement. General Mar- 
tin sent forward a detachment of fifty men under Colonel 
Dbherty, to take charge of the pass between the mountain and 
the river, and hold it until morning; but the Indians, who were 
on the "Lookout," discovered his movements, fired upon his 
party, and drove them back. Early the next morning his spies 
were fired upon and one of them wounded. The whole force 
then moved to the foot of the mountain, tied their horses, and 
prepared for a general attack. From the nature of the ground 
they could not march in regular order, but had to zigzag, mostly 
single file, among the obstructing stones. The Indians were 
concealed behind rocks and trees, and when they came in range, 
poured down on them a sudden and destructive fire. Many 
were killed, including Captains Hardin, Fuller and Gibson. 
Great confusion ensued ; the men fled to the foot of the moun- 
tain, and some of them even ran off to the encampment. Gen- 
eral Martin was unable to rally his men, who declared it would 
be another Blue Lick affair if they went beyond the pass. After 
burying their dead in an old Indian council house, they burned 
it over them to conceal their graves, and marched back to the 
settlements. 2 " 

This was the last expedition undertaken against the Chicka- 

216 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 48. 

217 Ramsey, p. 517; Weeks' Joseph Martin, pp. 463-4; William Mar- 
tin, Proceedings of the Southern History Association, Vol. 4, pp. 



maugas during the life of Dragging Canoe. He lived nearly 
four years longer, but little is known of his personal move- 
ments during that time. He has left no talks, for he had no 
intercourse with the Americans, and we get only glimpses of 
him, now and then, as he is incidentally mentioned in our public 
records. He continued his friendly relations with the English, 
and was well known at Detroit. His brother, the White Owl's 
Son, boasted of the valuable presents he had received from the 
British at Detroit, in the winter of 1791-2, for himself and 
the Dragging Canoe, namely: a pair of small and a pair of 
large arm bands for each; three gorgets for his brother and 
four for himself; a pair of scarlet boots and flaps, bound with 
ribbon, for each; four match coats, a blanket, and two shirts, 
for each : and powder and lead as much as he wanted, for him- 
self and the three Cherokees who were with him. He had con- 
siderable intercourse with the Shawnees, and sympathized 
with them in their struggle against the United States. His 
brother and some of his warriors fought with them at the 
bloody battle known as St. Clair's defeat. On the other hand, 
Piomingo, or the Mountain Leader, the famous Chickasaw 
chief, was the friend and ally of the United States, though he 
did not reach General St. Clair in time to participate in that 
fatal engagement. 

After St. Clair's defeat the Shawnees sent an urgent invita- 
tion to the Southern Indians to join them in their war against 
the United States. General McGillivray, the great Creek chief, 
favored such a confederacy, and for the purpose of bringing the 
Mountain Leader and his party into the measure, he caused the 
Dragging Canoe to be despatched to the Chickasaw nation. 218 
Immediately after his return from this mission, about the 
1st of March, 1792, he departed this life, in his town of 
Running Water. 21 * 

At the great Cherokee council, held at their beloved town 
of Estanaula, June 26-30, 1792, the Black Fox pronounced the 
following eulogiuin on Dragging Canoe : "The Dragging Canoe 
has left the world. He was a man of consequence in his coun- 
try. He was a friend both to his own and the white people. 
But his brother is still in place, and I mention now in public, 
that I intend presenting him with his deceased brother's medal ; 
for he promises fair to possess sentiments similar to those of 
his brother, both with regard to the red and white. It is men- 
tioned here publicly, that both whites and reds may know it, 
and pay attention to him." 25 

^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 264. 
219 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 265. 
220 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 271. 


John Watts (Kunoskeskie) was the son of a white man of 
the same name, who resided among the Cherokees, and some- 
times acted as interpreter for the nation ; notably at the treaty 
of Lochaber in 1770, in consequence of which the settlement 
of Tennessee was begun. His mother was a sister of the 
Tassel, who was the head of the nation at the time of his 
assassination. He was himself sometimes called Corn Tassel ; 221 
and it was he who, with Dragging Canoe and Judge Friend, 
refused to take part in the treaty of Long Island in 1777, and 
abandoned the Overhill towns rather than submit to the Ameri- 
cans. He did not, however, join himself to the implacable 
Chickamaugas; and was not for some years distinguished as 
a warrior. 

The first glimpse we have of him is in the capacity of a 
diplomat. When Campbell and Sevier invaded the Indian 
country in 1780, Watts, and a chief called Noonday, afterwards 
killed by rangers near Craig's Station, 222 met them at Tellico 
and proposed terms of peace. Ramsey says it was granted to 
Tellico and the adjacent villages, 223 but Campbell, in his official 
report, expressly states that Tellico was burned." 4 Campbell 
probably refers to Watts, however, when he speaks of a chief 
of Coyatee who seemed to him to be the only man of honor 
among the chiefs, and in w r hose favor he would willingly have 
discriminated had it been in his power. Two years later, when 
Sevier marched against the Chickamaugas, he held a confer- 
ence with the friendly chiefs, at Citico, and engaged Watts to 
accompany the expedition for the purpose of effecting, by 
friendly negotiations, an arrangement for peace with the whole 
nation. 225 

In July, 1788, as we have seen, the Tassel was treacherously 
murdered under a flag of truce. The whole nation was shocked 
and maddened by that horrible crime. Their young warriors 
once more dug up the hatchet. Watts had a double incentive 
for putting himself at their head. In the first place he was 
deeply affected by his uncle's death ; so much so, that when he 
spoke of it three years afterwards, at the treaty of Holstou, he 
was so overcome that he could not proceed, and had to request 
the Bloody Fellow to finish the business. 236 Moreover, the law 
of his nation imposed upon every member of a family the duty 
of taking satisfaction for an injury inflicted upon another mem- 

221 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 48. 

222 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 450. 

223 Annals of Tennessee, p. 265. 

224 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 1, p. 436. 

225 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 272. 

""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 204. 


ber of it. 22T But he was never content to put himself at the head 
of a small predatory band, like his nephew, the Bench. He 
had the capacity to lead large bodies of men, and in his wars 
we always find him at the head of a formidable army. At this 
crisis he invaded the border at the head of some two or three 
hundred warriors. 

In the meantime General Martin was making earnest efforts 
to pacify the Indians. He followed Scollacutta (Hanging 
Maw), who had succeeded the Tassel as head of the nation, 
to Seneca. Scollacutta, a friend of peace, as the Tassel had 
been, agreed to put a stop to the war, and for that purpose sent 
runners to Watts. 228 Before they reached him, however, name- 
ly, a little after sunrise on the 15th of October, 1788, he ap- 
peared before Gillespie's Station, on Little River, and demanded 
its surrender. There were only a few men in the fort, but 
they refused to surrender, and made a gallant defense until 
the Indians stormed the fort, rushing over the roofs of the 
cabins which formed part of the enclosure, when they were 
compelled to yield. It is not known how many were killed in 
the action, but there were twenty-eight prisoners taken; none 
of the prisoners were killed or mistreated, but all were soon 
afterwards exchanged for Indian prisoners taken by General 
Sevier. 229 

When Scollacutta's runners reached Watts, he consented to 
withdraw, considering that he had already sufficiently avenged 
the death of his uncle. 230 Before retiring, however, Watts, the 
Bloody Fellow, Categiskey and the Glass had left a talk at Gil- 
lespie's, dated October 15, 1788, and addressed to Sevier and 
Martin, in which they apologized for having killed women and 
children in the battle; charged the whites with beginning the 
war by beguiling their head man (the Tassel), who was the 
friend of the white man, and wanted to keep peace; declared 
they were on their own land, and when the whites moved off 
they would make peace; and gave them thirty days to march 
off. 231 

On the 24th of November, the head men and warriors of the 
Cherokee nation held a council at Estanaula, which was now 
their beloved town, and declared for peace. 283 The main induce 

"'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 325. 

""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 46-47. 

229 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 518; American State Papers, 
Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 47; Haywood's Civil and Political History 
of Tennessee, p. 202, 

230 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 291. 

231 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 517. 

-^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 45-6. 


ment for this resolution was a proclamation of Congress, dated 
September 1, 17S8, forbidding intrusions on the Cherokee hunt- 
ing ground, and ordering all those who had settled there esti- 
mated at several thousand to depart without loss of time. 23 ' 
While this proclamation served to quiet the Indians, it failed 
to remove the trespassers from their lands; and finally, the 
Indians were prevailed upon to make an additional cession, at 
the treaty of Holston. 

The western counties of North Carolina had now become 
the Southwest Territory, with William Blount as its governor. 
Blount was of an old English family, being descended from the 
Le Blounts who came over to England with William the Con- 
queror. His father, Jacob Blount, of Blount Hall, Pitt County, 
North Carolina, owned a considerable estate, and took an active 
and somewhat prominent part in public affairs. William, the 
eldest of his thirteen children, was born in Bertie County, 
North Carolina, March 26, 1749, and was educated in a manner 
commensurate with the ample estate and high position of his 

At an early age he began to take an interest in public mat- 
ters, and at once allied himself with the Western people. As 
a member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1783, 
he won the warm friendship of James Robertson, the founder 
and representative of the new settlements on the Cumberland, 
by his lively interest in their welfare, and the valuable assist- 
ance his talents and experience in parliamentary bodies enabled 
him to render these representatives. The same session of the 
legislature opened the Indian lands to appropriation and set- 
tlement by right of conquest, but their action was ignored by 
the United States two years later in the treaty of Hope well. 
At this time Blount first became officially connected with In- 
dian aff airs ; he appeared at the treaty of Hopewell as the agent 
of North Carolina, and entered a formal protest against it, on 
the ground that it violated the rights of his state, inasmuch as 
it assigned to the Indians territory which had already been ap- 
propriated by the legislature of North Carolina to the discharge 
of the bounty land claims of the officers and soldiers who had 
served in the Continental line during the Revolution. He was 
a member of the Continental Congress when this treaty came 
up for consideration, and stoutly resisted its ratification. His 
championship of the frontiersmen made him many friends in 
the western district of North Carolina. 

He was a member of the convention that framed the con- 
stitution of the United States, over which George Washington 
presided; and was a member of the convention of North Caro- 

233 Royce's Cherokee Nation of Indians, p. 160. 


lina that ratified that instrument. At the same time he con- 
tinued to cultivate his western friends. In 1787 he assisted 
James Robertson and David Hays, representatives from David- 
son County, in framing a memorial to the General Assembly, 
looking to the free navigation of the Mississippi River, and 
the cession of North Carolina's western lands to the United 
States. As a member of the State Senate he advocated and the 
Legislature passed the second act of cession in December, 1789, 
and the deed of cession was accepted by the United States, 
April "2, 1790. 

The Southwest Territory was erected May 26, 1790, with 
the same privileges, benefits and advantages enjoyed by the 
people of the Northwest Territory, and with a similar govern- 
ment. There were a number of applicants for the position of 
Governor of the new Territory. The propriety of appointing a 
citizen of the State which had made the cession was obvious; 
and Blount's influence in causing the cession to be made, his 
popularity with the people of the Territory, and President 
Washington's personal knowledge of his patriotism, integrity 
and ability, were sufficient to turn the scales in his favor. He 
was appointed Governor of the Southwest Territory, June 8, 
1790. In addition to his appointment as Governor, he was also 
made Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Dis- 

This latter office was both delicate and difficult, requiring 
much alertness, tact and diplomacy, qualities for which Blount 
was distinguished, as well as for his fine address, courtly man- 
ners and commanding presence. To his voluminous correspond- 
ence and able state papers we are indebted for most of our 
knowledge of Cherokee affairs during this period, and also for 
many keen observations on their character and customs, as well 
as some strong historical presentations of their relations with 
the whites. 

After organizing the Territorial government in the various 
counties and districts, Governor Blount turned his attention to 
Indian affairs. The boundary line prescribed in the treaty of 
Hopewell had never given satisfaction either to the Indians 
or the whites. Its violation by the latter called forth the 
vigorous proclamation of Congress in 1788, already mentioned. 
When the United States took jurisdiction of the country, Presi- 
dent Washington declared it his purpose to carry into faithful 
execution the treaty of Hopewell, "unless it should "be thought 
proper to attempt to arrange a new boundary with the Chero- 
kees, embracing the settlements ,and compensating the Chero- 
kees for the cession they should make." 25 1 The senate authorized 

23t Royce's Cherokee Nation of Indians, p. 161. 


the new treaty, and instructions were issued to Governor 
Blount, August 11, 1790, for that purpose. 

In pursuance of his instructions, Governor Blount convened 
the Indians at White's Fort, where Knoxville was afterwards 
laid out. The treaty was held at the mouth of the creek that 
flows at the foot of Main and Cumberland Streets, and empties 
into the river at the end of Crozier (now Central) Street, and 
was concluded July 2, 1791. So successful was Governor 
Blount in his negotiations, that his treaty was not only ratified 
by the Senate, but the Secretary of War, advising him of that 
fact, tendered him the thanks of the President of the United 
States for the able manner in which he had conducted the 
treaty, and for the zeal he had uniformly evinced to promote the 
interest of the United States, in endeavoring to fix peace on the 
basis of justice and humanity. 235 

The treaty of Holston does not, however, appear to have 
been quite as satisfactory to the Indians as it was to the gov- 
ernment. Watts and the Bloody Fellow had been appointed by 
their nation to be their principal speakers at the treaty, though, 
as has been mentioned, the death of his uncle still bore oppres- 
sively upon Watts. The only thing immediately connected with 
the negotiations to which it is necessary to draw attention, is 
the fact that the Chickamaugas, whom Watts was soon after- 
wards called upon to lead, being still hostile to the United 
States, were not represented in it, and did not participate in 
the distribution of goods which the government presented to 
the Indians in liberal quantities at its conclusion. The annuity 
provided in this treaty, which was the first annuity ever granted 
to the Cherokees, was one thousand dollars. 

After discussing the matter among themselves the Indians 
became dissatisfied with the amount of the annuity, and on the 
28th of December, 1791, the government at Philadelphia was 
surprised by the visit of a delegation of Cherokee chiefs headed 
by the Bloody Fellow, who demanded additional compensation 
for the land they had ceded by the treaty of Holston ; and in the 
negotiations that followed, the annuity was increased from one 
thousand dollars to fifteen hundred dollars. In addition, the 
name of the Bloody Fellow was changed from "Nonetoo- 
yah, or Bloody Fellow," to "Eskaqua, or Clear Sky," and 
he was given the title of .General; 236 the first, and perhaps 
the only member of his tribe who bore so exalted a mili- 
tary title prior to the civil war. 

235 William Blount and the Old Southwest Territory, by A. V. Good- 
pasture, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 8, pp. 1-7. 
236 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 268. 



Shawnees Warrior and his party join the Greeks in 
their war on Cumberland; captivity of Alice Thomp- 
son, and Mrs. Caffrey and her son, by the Creeks; 
Shawnees Warrior takes Zeigler's Station, and carries 
its women and children into captivity; battle between 
Ensign Snoddy and Shawnees Warrior. 1791-1792. 

It has been noted that the Chiekamaugas did not join the 
Creeks in their incursions of 1787-1789; the reason is appar- 
ent from what has already been related. Their attention at 
that time was wholly absorbed in another direction. Early in 
the summer of 1788, General Joseph Martin had marched a 
formidable party from Holston against the Chickamauga 
towns ; primarily, to punish them for the murder of the Brown 
family, as their rkh laden boat passed the town of Nickajack, 
on its way down the Tennessee to Cumberland; and though 
he was disasterously defeated, his army was not destroyed. 
While the Chiekamaugas were still uncertain what his next 
move might be, the Old Tassel, head chief of the nation, was 
treacherously murdered, and a cry of vengeance arose from 
every wigwam from the Tennessee to the Coosa. Many of their 
young warriors rushed to the relief of their spirit-broken broth- 
ers of the Upper towns. This was no time, therefore, to court 
an invasion from the daring men of Cumberland, who had once 
already crsosed the Big Eiver and destroyed a hostile town. 

Soon, however, the Cherokee council at Estanaula declared 
for peace, and the treaty of Holston was concluded. The 
Chiekamaugas did not subscribe to the treaty of Holston, but 
from other considerations refrained from making war on the 
Cumberland until the summer of 1792. Dragging Canoe as we 
have seen, had his eyes turned to the northwest, where Lit- 
tle Turtle was engaged in a momentous struggle with Gen- 
eral St. Clair. His brother was with the Indians when they 
destroyed the American army, November 4, 1791. St. Clair's 
defeat enthused the hostile Chiekamaugas and inspired them 
with ambitious hopes. Dragging Canoe promoted with all his 
energy the formation of a confederacy of Southern Indians to 
co-operate with the Indians of the northwest in driving back 
the entire western frontiers of the United States'. He went 
to the Chickasaw Bluffs on a fruitless effort to engage Piomin- 
go in the enterprise. But Dragging Canoe died, and John 
Watts, a friendly chief, was chosen to succeed him, and he in- 
duced his people, to take the United States by the hand in 
peace and friendship. But there were still a few bad young 


men, as the old chiefs called them, who rejected every over- 
ture of peace; notable among these was the Shawnees War- 
rior, chief of a band of about thirty Shawnees who had set- 
tled at Kunning Water. In the summer of 1792, the Shawnees 
Warrior, the Little Owl, and such restless young warriors as 
they "had gathered around them, turned their arms against the 
settlers on the Cumberland. 

In the meantime, McGillivray's treaty with President Wash- 
ington in 1790, proved immensely unpopular with the Creek 
nation. The ambitious adventurer, William Augustus Bowles, 
denounced McGillivray as a traitor for selling the hunting 
ground of his people, and for a time, drove him into retire- 
ment. He declared that neither the Americans nor the Span- 
iards had any right to control the Indians, and held out the 
hope that, through the English, their lands might be restored 
to the original boundaries described in the proclamation of 
King George in 1763. Under his influence they repudiated 
the treaty of 1790, and the first days of 1791 saw Creek scalp- 
ing parties again on the path to Cumberland. 

The Bloody Fellow being once asked w r hether he was pres- 
ent on a certain occasion, dipped his finger in the stream by 
which he stood, and withdrawing) it, asked what tale the water 
told. The impression had disappeared, and no ripple remained 
to mark the place of the disturbance. So it was with the 
scalping parties who skulked through Mero District, as the 
Cumberland settlements were then called, during the years 
1791 and 1792. They fell upon their victims suddenly, dis- 
patched them hastily, and made off precipitately; if pursued 
they generally dispersed, so their trail could not be followed, 
their identity was lost, and their crimes were charged generally 
to the Indians. Such tragedies, while they were impending 
over the settlements, were appalling, and when they occurred 
were terrible, but they were marked with too much similarity 
of detail to make their repetition desirable. Sometimes, how- 
ever after killing the defenders of the family, they carried the 
surviving women and children into captivity; and in such in- 
stances we may follow the invaders to their towns, and get a 
glimpse of the disposition and conduct of the captors, as well 
as the suffering and distress of the captives. Such a case was 
that of Miss Alice Thompson, and Mrs. Caffrey and her son : 

James Thompson, an old man of ample means and good 
repute, with his wife and two charming daughters just bloom- 
ing into womanhood, lived in a chinked and daubed log cabin, 
about four miles south of Nashville. There also lived with 
him, perhaps for protection against the Indians, Peter Caff- 


rey, with his wife and only child, a little boy about two years 
of" age. It was the 25th of February, 1792, the weather was 
cold and the ground was covered with snow. As evening ap- 
proached Caffrey sallied forth to feed and care for the stock; 
and Thompson went to the woodpile to chop and bring in 
firewood for the night. A bright, glowing wood fire was the 
one luxury every pioneer could afford, and they indulged it 
without stint. So Thompson chopped his firewood, and car- 
ried it by great armfulls and threw it over the yard fence near 
the door. 

While he was thus engaged a party of Creek Indians, who 
were awaiting this opportunity, fired upon him from ambush. 
Though severely wounded, he succeeded in getting into the 
house and barring the door. The Indians then pulled out the 
chinking and shot between the logs at the defenseless family. 
Poor Caffrey was powerless to relieve them. After they had 
killed Thompson and his wife, and wounded his younger 
daughter, they broke down the door and took the two Misses 
Thompson, Mrs. Caffrey and her little boy, captive. The 
younger Miss Thompson was so badly hurt that she could not 
keep up with the party, and after they had gone some distance, 
they scalped her and left her on the wayside. Though she 
lay all night, in the snow, she was still alive when the neighbors 
found her next morning, and survived, though unconscious, 
until carried to a house, when the poor girl expired. 237 

The Indians made straight for the Creek nation with Miss 
Alice Thompson, Mrs. Caffrey and her little boy. A few days 
later some gentlemen met with them on the path that leads 
from the Cherokees to the Creeks. They dared not ask the 
women their names, nor offer them a horse to relieve their 
fatigue, which they would gladly have done, lest they should 
offend their captors and render their unhappy condition still 
more precarious. One of the women complained that she was 
tired of walking, to which her captor replied that he would get 
briars and scratch her thighs, and that would make her walk 
fast. 238 

The captives were carried to Kialigee, a Creek town on the 
Talapoosa River. Here John Riley, a good natured Irish 
trader, offered to ransom them at the price of a negro each, 
but the Indians indignantly refused, saying they did not bring 
them there to let them go back to the Virginians;' that they 

23T Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 343; 
American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 263; Narrative 
of John Carr r Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 1, p. 212. 

238 Blount to McGillivray, American State Papers, Indian Affairs. 
Vol. 1, pp. 269-270. 


brought them to punish, by making them work. They put the 
two women in the field; but Miss Alice Thompson cried, and 
even the obdurate heart of a savage was not proof against the 
tears of handsome young woman, so they put her back in 
the house again to pound meal. The little boy was taken from 
his mother and carried to another town, where he was com- 
mitted to the care of Mrs., Williams, who had for some years 
been a prisoner with the Creeks. 239 

Miss Thompson's tears seem also to have touched the heart 
of the generous Riley, for she did not remain long at Kiali- 
gee before he struck! a) separate bargain for her freedom, pay- 
ing a ransom of eight hundred weight of dressed deer skins, 
valued at two hundred and /sixty-six dollars. From that time 
she was shown every consideration, and made as comfortable 
as circumstances would permit. Mrs. Caifrey, on the contrary, 
remained a slave to her captors, hoeing corn and pounding 
meal for them; and was frequently punished by having her 
back and limbs scratched with gar teeth, the marks of which 
she still bore when delivered up. 240 

Mrs. Caffrey and Miss Thompson were brought in to the 
American agency at Kock Landing early in May, 1794, after 
a captivity of more than two years, bat did not reach the seat 
of government at Knoxville until about the first of the fol- 
lowing October. Even then they were under the painful ne- 
cessity of leaving Mrs. Caffrey's little boy still in the hands 
of the Creeks. 241 In the meantime the little fellow became 
quite an Indian in his feelings, and, after he had been in the 
nation five years, it was with difficulty that old Abram Mor- 
decai could separate him from his Indian playmates, to carry 
him to Superintendent Seagrove. That gentleman sent him 
to Governor Blount, and he finally reached his mother's 
arms. 242 

After their return from captivity, Miss Alice Thompson 
married Edward Collinsworth, and became the mother of an 
influential family. Her oldest son, James Collinsworth, was 
distinguished at the bar of Tennessee ajid also Texas, in which 
latter state he died. 243 

239 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 274. 

240 This probably was not intended as punishment. Colonel Joseph 
Brown, who was for nearly a year a prisoner among the Chicka- 
maugas, says they performed this operation twice a year, both on 
themselves and on their prisoners. They called it "scratching to 
keep them healthy." Colonel Brown's Narrative, Southwestern 
Monthly, Vol. 1, p. 72. 

241 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 634. 

242 Pickett's History of Alabama, Vol. 2, p. 134. 

243 Abram Mason, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, p. 90. 


The Creeks had been harrowing the Cumberland settlements 
since the beginning of 1791. In the summer of 1792, they were 
joined by a small band of Chickamaugas, from the Running 
Water town, led by the Shawnees Warrior, an implacable 
young Shawnee chief, who, with about thirty followers from 
his own tribe, had some years before taken his residence at 
Running Water; and by the Cherokee chief Little Owl, possi- 
bly the same called the White Owl's Son; if so, he was a 
brother of Dragging Canoe. This party was known to be 
hostile to the Americans. After the conference at Coyatee, 
they mobbed and injured Captain Charley, one of their chiefs, 
on account of his friendship to the United States ; and because 
of their hostility Governor Blount found it necessary to have a 
guard of friendly Indians to escort, through Running Water, 
the boats conveying goods for the Chickasaw and Choctaw 
conference at Nashville. 244 

June 26, 1792, the Shawuees Warrior and the Little Owl, 
with their followers, including a small party of Creeks, ap- 
peared in the neighborhood of Zeigler's Station, about two 
miles from Bledsoe's Lick, in Sumner County. Zeigler's Sta- 
tion had been settled in 1790 or 1791 by Jacob Zeigler, and 
was at this time occupied by his own family, and also by the 
family of Joseph Wilson, a brother-in-law of Colonel James 
White, the founder of Knoxville. On the morning of this fatal 
day, Michael Shaver, while working in the field near the sta- 
tion, was fired upon and killed by the Indians. The alairn 
was given, and the neighbors formed a party to recover the 
body and bring it into the fort. The Indians, lying patiently 
in ambush, surprised the rescuing party with a volley that 
wounded Gabriel Black, Thomas Keefe, and Joel Eccles, and 
drove them back to the protection of the palisades. After fir- 
ing a few shots at the fort the Indians retired, and towards 
night the garrison went out and brought in Shaver's body, 
without molestation. Fancying that the enemy had now aban- 
doned the contest, and that the fort was free from further as- 
sault, the neighbors, except young Archie Wilson, who vol- 
unteered to spend the night at the station, returned to their 

About bedtime the Indians returned and made a furious 
assault, which the feeble garrison successfully resisted, un- 
til the enemy succeeded in setting fire to the fort. Then all 
knew that the end had come. Mrs. Wilson begged her hus- 
band to take* their son, a boy of twelve, and run the gauntlet 
for their lives; she hoped herself and daughters might be 

'"American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p.291. 


spared. He did so, and although wounded, succeeded in gain- 
ing the dark woods, under whose cover he made his escape. 
Archie Wilson, forced from the burning building, faced the 
enemy in the open, and fought with desperate courage until 
a stroke from the breech of an Indian gun brought him to the 
earth. Mrs. Zeigler, with her baby in, her arms, fled out into 
the darkness of the night, stifling the cries of her child by 
thrusting her handkerchief into its mouth; and so saved her- 
self and child from the perils? of captivity. The Indians now 
entered the fort and pillaged it of everything they could car- 
ry away. Jacob Zeigler was killed in his house, and his body 
was consumed by the flames that enveloped it. Two negroes 
were also killed. 

Mrs. Wilson and six children, the three daughters of Jacob 
Zeigler, Mollie Jones, and a negro, were taken prisoners. The 
three Zeigler girls fell into the hands of the Shawnees War- 
rior, Zacheus Wilson was taken by the Little Owl, and the 
other prisoners, except Sarah Wilson, were all carried to Run- 
ning Water, but their particular captors have not been identi- 
fied. Through the influence of Colonel White, the prisoners at 
Running Water, were soon afterwards ransomed by their par- 
ents and friends for the sum of fifty-eights dollars each. Sarah 
Wilson was captured by the Creeks, and carried to their na- 
tion, where she remained so many years that she had almost 
forgotten the habits of civilized society when she was finally 
liberated. 245 

After burning and sacking Zeigler's Station, the Indians 
crossed the Cumberland River, passed up Barton's Creek, and 
established a depot two or three miles below the present town 
of Lebanon. Here they left twenty-one bundles of plunder, 
carefully packed and hun'g in the branches of the trees, and 
covered with bark to protect them from the weather. They 
were short of horses, and established this depot until a party 
could return to the settlement and take a sufficient number 
to transport their booty. In the meantime, however, it was 
retaken by the whites, and when the recruiting party returned 
empty handed to- their comrades, who were awaiting them on 
Duck River, their loss was made the occasion of a fierce quar- 
rel, in which knives and tomahawks were flourished. 

The scarcity of horses also made it necessary for the pris- 
oners to follow their captors on foot; and incidentally re- 
vealed a touching act of kindness on the part of the Indians. 
Until they passed the vicinity of Lebanon, the whites could 
see the tracks of eight little barefoot children at every muddy 

""'Narrative of John Carr, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 76; 
American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 276, 330. 


place in their path. Then they found numerous scraps of 
dressed deer skin, scattered around the ashes of a deserted 
camp fire. The grim warriors had kindled a fire to light their 
pipes, and under the soothing spell of the circling smoke, had 
busied themselves in making eights pairs of little moccasins. 
At the next muddy place the whites were rejoiced to find the 
prints of the little moccasins that protected the feet of the 
captive children. 240 

Though the United States was nominally at peace both with 
the Creeks and Cherokees, these freebooting parties had grown 
to such formidable proportions as to endanger every exposed 
settlement in the district. The people were thoroughly aroused 
to their danger. Those who could, moved to the stations for 
protection. No man went into his field, without another, his 
trusty rifle at port, standing sentinel while he worked; and 
if he went to the spring for water, another guarded him while 
he drank. 

Governor Blount arrived in Nashville about the middle of 
July, to attend the Chickasaw conference, and immediately 
called out a force of three hundred militiamen, under the com- 
mand of Major Anthony Sharp, of Sumner County, for the 
protection of the frontiers. They were divided into squads, 
and stationed in forts and blockhouses, from which they 
ranged the woods as occasion required. 

Some months after the fall of Zeigler's Station, Ensign 
William Snoddy, the commander of one of these posts, was 
ordered to range up Caney Fork, River, where, it was under- 
stood, Shawnees Warrior and his party had again made their 
appearance. Snoddy's force consisted of thirty-four mounted 
men, among whom was James Gwin, General Jackson's chief 
chaplain at New Orleans, and father of United States Sena- 
tor, William M. Gwin, of California, Near the Horseshoe 
Bend of Caney Fork they discovered and took possession of a 
large Indian encampment. From the plunder, ammunition, 
implements of war, and other evidences furnished by the camp, 
Ensign Snoddy estimated the Indian party to consist of fifty 
or sixty warriors. 

Having discovered an armed Indian warrior sauntering 
near the camp, who made off into the canebrake on their ap- 
proach, Ensign Snoddy foresaw that there would be fighting 
before he left the neighborhood. It being then near sunset, he 
determined to go into camp for the night, and crossing the 
river, selected a high bluff, among the ruins of an ancient 
stone wall. The encampment was arranged in the form of a 
semi-circle, the points resting against the bluff, and enclosed 

""Narrative of John Carr, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 77. 


the baggage and horses of the company. The night proved to 
be dark and rainy. Sentinels were posted, and the men lay 
down on their arms/ but they were not permitted to sleep. 
It was not long before the Indians could be heard collecting 
their forces. The howl of the wolf on the bluff was answered 
back from the canebrake by the scream of the panther; and 
the barking of the fox on the river bank called forth the hoot- 
ing of the owl from the black forest. Such weird and ominous 
signals, as the Indians collected their warriors in the dark- 
ness, and reconnoitered the position of the whites, continued 
throughout the night. 

A little before day a terrific yell, supposed to have been 
uttered by the Shawnees Warrior, was the final signal of the 
enemy. This was followed by a dismal silence, even more 
frightful than the uncanny howling of the angry savages. The 
men had their nerves wrought to the highest pitch; three or 
four of them bolted. The Indians now crept up to within forty 
steps of the line, and were first discovered by the snapping of 
their guns and the yell of the war whoop that encircled the 
camp. The priming of their guns had become damp, and lit- 
tle damage resulted. The whites, on the contrary, had care- 
fully protected their priming, and now yelling in their turn, 
discharged a shower of rifle balls among the Indians. Day- 
light now appeared, and the Indians, advancing to within 
twenty-five steps of the line, concentrated their attack upon 
the center, where a desperate contest ensued. 

Latimer and Scoby, two fine fellows, were killed on the 
field, and William Eeid and Andrew Steele fell dangerously 
wounded. James Madell, a cool and skillful marksman, pro- 
tected by a tree behind which he had taken cover, still held 
his post. Presently he discovered a chief lying on the ground 
loading his gun ; he rammed two balls in his own gun, and re- 
served his fire until the chief should rise. When the chief 
raised his head above the grass, he received two balls from 
Madell's rifle, and dropped dead upon his arms. The war- 
whoop then ceased, and the Indians undertaking to remove 
their dead from the field, a fierce struggle raged over the body 
of the fallen chief. It was ended by H. Shodder, a Dutch- 
man, armed with a large British rifle, which he charged with 
seven rifle balls and fired in the midst of the enemy, who aban- 
doned the body of their chief and fled, carrying off their oth- 
er dead. They lost thirteen dead or mortally wounded, while 
the loss of the whites was two dead and three wounded. 247 

247 James Gwin, McFerrin's History of Methodism in Tennessee, 
Vol. 1, pp. 430-436; Narrative of John Carr, Southwestern Monthly, 
Vol. 2, p. 78. 



John Watts elected principal chief of tlie Chicka- 
waugas; the conference at Coyatee; the Cherokee ball 
play; Spanish intrigues; the council at Willstoum; 
declaration of war; Colonel Watts invades Cumber- 
land; assault on Buchanan's Station. 1792. 

The Dragging Canoe died in the midst of his effort to in- 
duce the Southern tribes to unite with the Shawnees in a gen- 
eral war upon the American frontiers. Immediately after his 
death the Chickamaugas despatched runners to Chota, for the 
purpose of inducing John Watts, then reckoned a reliable 
friend of the United States, to come to Running Water and 
take Dragging Canoe's place as their principal chief. After 
some hesitation on account of their hostility to the United 
States, he accepted" the invitation, and set out for the Chick- 
amauga towns on the 13th of March, 1792 ; 248 a circumstance 
which gave 'great satisfaction to Governor Blount, as Watts 
had recently spent several days with him at Knoxville, had 
been the recipient of several valuable presents, and expressed 
the strongest friendship for the Unitd States, as well as great 
personal attachment for the Governor. 249 He believed, there- 
fore, that Watts' influence would soften, if not altogether 
change the conduct of the Chickamauga towns. 250 Nor was he 
mistaken in this opinion. Before two moons had passed the 
Chickamaugas, for the first time in their history, agreed ta 
take the United States by the hand, and promised to meet 
Governor Blount at Coyatee on the 21st of May, when the 
first annual distribution of goods was to be made under the 
treaty of Holston. 

Watts determined to make the Coyatee conference a memor- 
able event in the Cherokee annals. He prepared a house for 
the reception of Governor Blount, and high above it hoisted 
the flag of the United States. The Breath, of Nickajack, Rich- 
ard Justice, of Lookout Mountain, Charley, of Running Wa- 
ter, and the other chiefs and warriors of the Chickamauga 
towns reached Coyatee on Saturday, the 19th; they marched 
in, painted black and sprinkled over with flour, to denote that 
they had been at war, but were now for peace. 251 They were 
conducted to the standard of the United States by General 

248 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 265. 
249 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 291. 
^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 290. 
251 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 61-2; American State 
Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 269. 



Eskaqua, who had just lately returned from Philadelphia and 
whom I shall hereafter call by his old name of Bloody Fellow, 
John Watts, Kittageska, and other chiefs; Captain John Chis- 
holm and Leonard Shaw walked side by side with Bloody 
Fellow and Watts, to the great delight of all. Volleys were 
fired by the Chickamaugas in honor of the flag, and were re- 
turned by the warriors of the Upper towns. 252 

Governor Blount was to arrive on Sunday. At the request 
of the Indians he notified them of his approach, and when he 
had come within half a mile of the grounds, he was met by a 
well dressed young warrior on horseback, who requested him 
to halt until he should be notified of their readiness to re- 
ceive him. In a short time he was invited to proceed. The 
Indians, some two thousand in number, were arranged in two 
lines, about three hundred yards in length. When the Gov- 
ernor entered between the lines, they commenced firing a sa- 
lute in the manner of a feu de joie, and kept it up until he was 
received by Watts, the Bloody Fellow, and other chiefs, un- 
der the national flag, amid shouts of gladness from the whole 
assemblage. 253 

Monday should have been devoted to business, but on that 
day there was a great ball play, which was the national sport 
of the Cherokees. The game is played with a small ball of 
dressed deerskin, stuffed with punk, hair, moss, or soft dry 
roots, and two rackets, similar to those used in tennis. Two 
goals are set up at a distance of several hundred yards from 
each other, and the object of the players is to drive the ball 
through the goal of their opponents by means of the rackets, 
without touching it with the hand. 254 

Each team consists of twelve players, and an equal num- 
ber of substitutes, and has twelve referees, six at each goal. 
One of the most daring and expert of the players some ath- 
letic young fellow like Kiaehatalee is made captain of each 
team. The ball is placed in the center of the field, and the 
players, except the captains, take their places about twenty 
yards out in their opponent's ground. The two captains stop 
with the ball at the center of the field. 

One of the captains now lifts the ball with his racket, and 
tosses it up thirty or forty feet. When it descend each cap- 
tain leaps high in the air, and their rackets strike furiously 
together, as each tries to reach the ball and throw it in the 
direction of his opponent's goal. If they are evenly matched 

'American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 62. 

American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 267-8. 

Hand Book of American Indians, Vol. 1, p. 127. 


they may contend until they are exhausted before they are able 
to move the ball; but sometimes one catches it in its descent, 
and hurls it with great velocity in the direction of the goal. 
It is rare, however, that one of his opponents in the field does 
not catch it with his racket and send it as far back towards 
the opposite goal. In this waydt may be sent back and forth 
many times; or, if the interference is good, it may fly off at 
right angles to the goal line. Occasionally all the players will 
contend en masse for the ball, while the bewildered spectator 
wonders where it is. 

There is no time for breathing from the time the ball is 
pitched off until it is pushed through one of the goals, unless 
a recess is called by the referees, when the players who have 
not been doubled up, are fatigued to the point of exhaustion. 
While no player is allowed to strike, scatch, or bruise his op- 
ponent, he may double him up, which is done by lifting him 
by the feet and pressing his head and shoulders against the 
ground until he is so disabled in the back that he has to be 
carried off the field. The players enter the game dressed in 
a belt and flap, but they generally emerge from it with only 
the belt. 255 

The betting on this occasion ran high, even chiefs staking 
the clothes they wore, down to their flaps. The Bloody Fel- 
low's side lost. In the evening he made the leading players 
of the opposition drunk, and while he, personally, shared their 
condition, he managed to keep his best players sober. As a 
result of this diplomacy, on Tuesday he recovered all his losses, 
and was ready to enter upon the public business Wednesday. 258 

The distribution of goods was made by the Indians them- 
selves. The Chickamaugas received the greater part, on the 
ground that they had not shared in those distributed at the 
treaty of Holston, which they did not attend. Hanging Maw 
gave notice that the national council would meet at Estanaula 
on June 23rd, to hear the report of Bloody Fellow, and would 
then give an answer to Governor Blount's talk. 

When Governor Blount was about to leave Coyatee for his 
home, Watts assured him he would be with him in ten nights, 
in Knoxville, where he would spend several days, and would 
then arrange to meet him and accompany him through the 
wilderness to Nashville, where the governor had invited him 
to be present at a. conference he was to hold with the Chicka- 
saws and Choctaws, on August 7, 1792. But Governor Blount 

255 Sketch of Charlotte Robertson, Ellet's Pioneer Women of the 
West, pp. 69-71. 

256 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 267. 


was only a few hours out of Coyatee when Watts received 
a, runner from William Panton, of Pensacola, inviting him to 
a conference at that place. 257 

William Panton was a Scotchman who emigrated to 
Charleston before the Revolution, and became a wealthy mer- 
chant, acquiring large estates in South Carolina and Geor- 
gia, which were confiscated at an early period of the war. 
He then established himself upon the St. Mary's, and owned an 
extensive trading house in Pensacola when the Spanish took 
it in 1781. He soon formed al commercial treaty with Spain, 
which, while it enriched him, greatly strengthened the Florida 
government with the Indian tribes. It was he who introduced 
Alexander McGillivray to the Spanish authorities; and he 
continued the friend, confidant, and to some extent, the com- 
mercial partner of that great chief until the latter's death, 
February 17, 1793. 258 

Panton wrote Watts from the house of John McDonald, 
who, as deputy under the British Superintendent, Colonel 
Brown, the successor of Stuart, had formerly resided with the 
Cherokees at Chickamauga, and the letter was forwarded to 
him by an Indian runner. He invited Watts and Bloody Fel- 
low, in the name of Don Arthur Oneal, commandant of Pen- 
sacola (Governor Oneal, he was called), to come down to Pen- 
sacola with ten pack horses; that he would give them all the 
arms and ammunition they wanted; and that Panton himself 
would supply them with goods. 

Upon receipt of this letter Watts went to McDonald's 
house, and received; from McDonald a letter highly commend- 
ing him and his cousin, Talotiskee, to Governor Oneal. It was 
known to McDonald, and to Panton, that Watts and Talotis- 
kee were nephews of the Old Tassel, and it was for that reason, 
probably^ they were approached by the Spaniards. Armed 
with McDonald's letter, Watts, Talotiskee, and Young Drag- 
ging Canoe, 259 son of the most inveterate enemy the United 
States ever had among the Cherokees, with their ten pack 
horses, set out for Pensacola. The honors and presents the 
government had showered upon Bloody Fellow were too great, 
and too recent, to allow him to take the Spanish by the hand ; 
but he accompanied Watts and his friends as far as the Coosa 

257 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 291. 

2: ' s Pickett's History of Alabama, Vol. 2, pp. 61-2. 

259 He is doubtless the same who served under General Jackson 
in the Creek War, and subsequently visited Washington with a dele- 
gation of his countrymen, under his Indian; name of Kunnessee. 
Niles' Weekly Register, Vol. 11, p. 16. 


River, and cast a longing eye in the direction of Pensacola. 260 

The great council met at Estanaula June 23rd-30th, but 
neither the Bloody Fellow nor Watts attended; the former 
claimed the sickness of some distant relative as an excuse, 
while the latter pleaded mercantile business in Pensacola. 261 

At Pensacola, Governor Oneal treated Watts with the great- 
est consideration; ,he loaded him with presents, and conferred 
on him the title of Colonel; 282 in fact, he won him completely 
over to the Spanish interest. As for Talotiskee, he had not 
left the town before he had painted himself black, raised the 
war-whoop, and declared himself for war against the United 
States. On his return, the latter part of August, Watts des- 
patched the White OwPs Son, a brother of Dragging Canoe, to 
summon the chiefs to a council at Willstown, where he pro- 
posed to explain what had occurred at Pensacola. 

Willstown is about thirty miles from Running Water, late- 
ly the residence of Dragging Canoe. When Watts succeeded 
him as head of the Chickamaugas, he fixed his residence at 
Willstown, where the Bloody Fellow also lived. From that 
time Governor Blount numbered it among the Chickamauga 
towns. 263 

At the day appointed the Cherokees assembled from all 
parts of the nation to hear Watts' report, and to attend the 
green corn dance, which took place at the same time. In the 
council Watts delivered an elaborate address : Governor Oneal, 
he said, had received him with open arms; assured him the 
Spaniards never wanted a back country ; wherever they landed 
they sat down; the Americana first take your land, and then 
treat with you, giving you little or nothing for it; the king, 
his master, had sent powder, lead, and arms, in plenty for the 
four southern nations; that this was the time for them to 
join quickly in war against the United States, while they 
were engaged in war with the northern tribes; if they did 
not, as soon as the United States conquered the northern tribes, 
they would be upon them and cut them off. 264 The young fel- 
lows, Watts continued, were always wanting war; the time 
had come when they could try themselves. There are enough 
of them ; but if there were not they have friends enough among 
the Creeks and Choctaws, and their old brothers, the Span- 
iards, to back them. 

260 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 288-9. 
'"American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 270. 
202 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 331. 
263 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 278. 
264 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 328. 


The Bloody Fellow made a manly and courageous effort 
to prevent a declaration of war. Do) not go to war, he said; 
it is a bad step you are taking. Look at that flag; do you see 
the stars on it? They are not towns, they are nations. There 
are thirteen of them. They are people who are very strong, 
and are the same as one man. Talotiskee, whom the council 
at Estanaula had made a chief in the place of his uncle, the 
Tassel, declared that he too had been to Pensacola, and would 
hold fast to the talk of Governor Oneal. 

The Bloody Fellow, holding his silver medal in his hand, 
and drawing attention to his coat with silver epaulets, and 
his scarlet match coat, with broad silver lace, asked, "When 
was the day that you ; went to your old brother (Stuart) and 
brought back the like of this?" Thereupon Watts took his 
medal off and threw it on the ground. 

While the Bloody Fellow was still on the floor, the White 
Owl's Son, who had also been made a chief, in the place of his 
brother, the Dragging Canoe, arose and said : "My father was 
a man, a^nd I am as good a man as he was. To war* I will 
go, and spill blood in spite of what you say." Whereupon 
Watts took him/by the hand, saying: "You are a man. I like 
your talk. To war we will go together." The Bloody Fellow 
still standing, the Shawnees Warrior said : "With these hands 
I have taken the lives of three hundred men, and now the time 
has come when I shall take the lives of three hundred more; 
then I will be satisfied and sit down in peace. I will now drink 
my fill of blood." Bloody Fellow: "If you will go to war you 
must go; I will not." 

So they decided on war, and stripping to their flaps, they 
painted themselves black, and danced the war dance around 
the United States flag. They kept up the dance all night ; but 
when they commenced to fire on the flag Bloody Fellow stopped 
them, threatening to kill some of them if they did not desist. 

On the third day the whole party repaired to Lookout Moun- 
tain town, intending to set out next morning for Cumberland. 
Here they received information that the White-Man Killer 
was at the mouth of Lookout Creek, some fifteen miles distant, 
where he had just arrived from Knoxville with a quantity of 
whiskey. The whiskey was sent for, the whole party got drunk, 
and their departure was delayed several days. Then they 
were delayed ten days longer by a ruse of a half-breed named 
Findleston, and a Frenchman named Deratte, who pretended 
that they had been ordered to the Cumberland by the Spanish 
authorities to find out how the settlement could be most suc- 
cessfully invaded. It wasi well up in September, therefore, be- 



fore the Indians, consisting of a large number of Cherokees 
and Creeks, and the fewiShawnees who lived at Eunning Wa- 
ter, of which one company was mounted, got started on their 
campaign. 265 

Governor Blount, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for 
the South, had his agents in the Cherokee nation, and received 
prompt information of these hostile demonstrations. By Sep- 
tember 12th he knew that the Chickamauga towns had de- 
clared war against the United States, and were about to march 
against the frontiers; he thereupon ordered General Robert- 
son, the ranking officer on the Cumberland, to put his brigade 
in condition to repel the invasion, should it be intended against 
the district of Mere. 266 Moreover, he despatched Captain Sam- 
uel Handly, of Blount County, a brave and experienced of- 
ficer, with forty-two men of his company, across the mountain 
into Mero District, for the defence of the frontiers of Cumber- 

Watts anticipated these measures on the part of Governor 
Blount, and, notwithstanding the wild and chaotic character 
of the Indian council, opposed them with a well-matured plan- 
of campaign, as successful as it was cunning. He induced the 
Bloody Fellow and the Glass, chiefs who opposed the war, to 
write Governor Blount such letters as were calculated to throw 
him off his guard. They alleged that General Robertson had 
said to Coteatoy, during the conference with the Chickasaws 
and Choctaws, at Nashville, that the first blood that should 
be spilt in his settlement, he would come and sweep it clean 
with their blood. This, they said, had caused their young 
warriors to assemble together, and resolve to meet him, or go 
to the settlement and do mischief, but that, with the aid of 
Watts and some other head men, they had sent them to their 
different homes to mind their hunting. 267 

Having forwarded these letters, which they hoped would 
prevent Governor Blount from sending any troops to the re- 
lief of the Cumberland, the Indians hastened to take posses- 
sion of the main roads leading to Mero District, for the 
purpose of intercepting any force that might, nevertheless, 
be ordered across the mountain. Watts' cousin, Talotiskee, 
was despatched with a considerable party, to waylay the Ken- 
tucky and Cumberland Roads, and the Middle Striker, of 
Willstown, with fifty-six warriors, was sent to watch the Wal- 
ton Road. Talotiskee's, party accomplished nothing of impor- 

263 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 289-290. 

!fl8 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 71-2. 

267 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 69-71, 78. 


tance. After having intercepted a party of travelers on the 
Kentucky Koad and killing one of their number, he crossed 
over to the Cumberland Koad, where he learned, with bitter 
tears of disappointment and rage, the result of Watts' assault 
on Buchanan's Station. 268 

The expedition under Middle Striker, on the other hand, 
achieved a most important victory. He marched rapidly north- 
ward along the Cumberland Mountains until he reached the 
Walton Road, in the neighborhood of Crab Orchard, where he 
concealed his party in a favorable position to command the 
road. In the meantime Captain Handly and his troop had 
entered the Wilderness at Southwest Point, and following the 
Walton Koad west, reached Crab Orchard November 23, 1792,, 
seven days before the assault on Buchanan's Station. As they 
marched carelessly along the ivy bordered way near the foot 
of Spencer's Hill, they were startled by an unexpected vol- 
ley from Middle Striker's warriors, who were concealed in the 
bushes by the roadside. A panic seized them, and they fled 
without striking a blow. Colonel Joseph Brown excuses them 
on the ground that it had been raining, and their guns would 
not fire. Not one of them reached Mero District. Three 
were left dead on the field, and the remainder, except their 
captain, found their way back to Southwest Point. Captain 
Handly made a heroic but futile effort to rally his men. In 
the confusion Leiper was unhorsed a short distance from the 
enemy. Captain Handly, seeing his perilous situation at- 
tempted to rescue him. In doing so, his own horse was shot 
from under him, and bein^ quickly surrounded by a crowd 
of warriors, he fought them hand to hand with his sword. 
Finally, he jumped behind a tree, and there encountered 
Archer Coody, a half-breed who had acted as interpreter and 
could speak English, to whom he surrendered. Coody pro- 
tected him with the greatest difficulty; he received numerous 
strokes from the side of the tomahawk, escaped a dangerous 
thrust from his own sword in the hands of an enemy, and was 
barely saved from the shot of an Indian gun, before he could 
be brought to the presence of Middle Striker. He afterwards 
gave Coody credit for having saved his life. 269 

Captain Handly was carried in rigid captivity to Wills- 
town, where he was! made to run the gauntlet, and was other- 
wise roughly treated until the sixth day of December. In the 
meantime a council was assembled to determine his fate, which 
hung in the balance for three days, but on the third day of 

268 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 329. 
""Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 1, p. 76. 


its sitting the council determined that his life should be spared, 
after which he ceased to be treated as a prisoner, and received 
the consideration of a brother. This happy conclusion was 
probably the result of Colonel Watts' desire for peace, as he 
at once employed Captain Handly to write for him a peace 
talk to Governor Blount. On the twenty-fourth of January, 
he was escorted back to Knoxville with great ceremony by 
Middle Striker, Coody, and ten other wariors, and delivered 
up without price. 270 

Governor Blount received the letters of Bloody Fellow and 
the Glass on September 13th. He was completely deceived, 
and on the 14th again wrote General Robertson, declaring he 
had suffered dreadful apprehension for him; congratulating 
him on the happy change of affairs; and ordering him to dis- 
charge his brigade. 271 

But the crafty talks of the Bloody Fellow and the Glass 
did not deceive General Kobertson; the pretended spies, Fin- 
dleston and Deratte, had already informed him that such let- 
ters were to be written, for the double purpose of enabling 
Watts to surprise the Cumberland settlements, and at the 
same time insure the tranquility of his country during his 
absence. He advised Governor Blount of the information he 
had received, and decided to keep his troops in service, ready 
to march at a moment's warning, until the second of Octo- 
ber. 272 He sent out spies to range the head waters of Stone's 
and Harpeth Rivers, and concentrated his troops within the 
settlements. On the 25th his spies returned without having 
made any important discoveries. Then other spies were des- 
patched; Clayton and Gee being ordered to reconnoitre the 
country in the neighborhood of the present town of Murfrees- 

Watts also sent out his spies. In this service he employed 
John Walker and George Fields, two young half-breeds who 
had been reared among the white people, and spoke the Eng- 
lish language. They had been present at the treaty of Hol- 
ston; everybody knew them and had the utmost confidence in 
them. Walker was quite a stripling, and apparently the most 

270 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 434; -Ramsey's 
Annals of Tennessee, pp. 571-3. There is a romantic account of Cap- 
tain Handly in the Tennessee Historical Society, said to have been 
written by General Rodgers, and published in the American His- 
torical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 86-90, but it is too inaccurate to be 
of much historical value. 

271 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 76-7. 

'"American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 77-8. 


innocent and good natured fellow in the world. 273 Fields after- 
wards served with Jackson in the Creek War, and was des- 
perately wounded at the battle of Talladega. 37 * The spies of 
the two belligerents met in some fallen timber at Taylor's 
Trace, on the ridge between Duck River and Mill Creek, when 
the Indians decoyed Clayton and Gee into a trap, killed and 
scalped them. 

A little after dark on the evening of September 30th, the In- 
dian army approached Buchanan's Station. It now consisted 
of two hundred and eighty warriors one hundred and ninety- 
seven Cherokees and eighty-three Creeks. 275 The Shawnees, 
who lived at Running Water, were numbered with the Chero- 
kees. The whole was under the command of Colonel John 
Watts; the Creek division was commanded by Talotiskee, of 
the Broken Arrow, the great friend of Bowles. 276 He is not to 
be confounded with Talotiskee, the cousin of Watts, who was 
not with the invading army. The Shawnees contingent was 
led by the Shawnees Warrior; and the cavalry was in charge 
of John Taylor. 

When the Indians had reached a point from which they 
could hear the lowing of the cows at Buchanan's Station, 
they halted for consultation. A warm altercation followed, 
between Colonel Watts and the Creek chief, Talotiskee, as to 
the point of attack. Watts desired to fall at once upon Nash- 
ville, the most important point in the settlement ; but Talotis- 
kee insisted on destroying Buchanan's Station, four miles 
south of Nashville, on their way. They lost much time in this 
controversy. Such division of counsel is a rock on which 
large parties of Indians have generally split, especially when 
consisting of more than one nation. 277 Still I cannot help be- 
lieving that, while Watts had the address to raise an army, 
he lacked the force of character necessary to command obe- 
dience at the crucial moment. He showed the same weakness 
in his campaign against Knoxville, in 1793. Finally, near mid- 
night, Colonel Watts consented to make the attack on Buch- 
anan's Station. 

This fort contained sundry families who had gone there for 
protection, and was defended by fifteen gun-men. The ap- 
proach of the Indians was disclosed by the running of the cat- 
tle, and they were discovered and fired upon by John McRory, 

273 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 331. 
^Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 141. 
275 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 80. 
2Te American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 329. 
277 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 294. 


when within ten yards of the gate. They returned the fire, 
and kept up a constant and heavy discharge for an hour. 
Thirty balls passed through a single porthole of the "over- 
jutting/ 7 and lodged in the roof, within the circumference of 
a hat. The women in the fort, under the leadership of Mrs. 
Sally Buchanan, rendered valuable aid to its defenders; they 
moulded bullets, distributed ammunition, loaded guns, and, 
on pressing Occasions, fired them upon the enemy. 

The Indians were never more than ten yards from the 
blockhouse and large numbers gathered around the lower 
walls in an attempt to fire it. Finally, Kiachatalee, of Mck- 
ajack, a daring young chief whose talents and courage were 
much admired by Colonel Joseph Brown, who was once a 
captive in his town, ascended the roof with a torch, but was 
shot down ; falling to the ground he attempted to fire the bot- 
tom logs, literally blowing the flames with his last breath. 278 
The Creek chief, Talotiskee, of the Broken Arrow, and the re- 
doubtable Shawnees Warrior, of Running Water, were also 
killed; Colonel Watts fell, pierced through both thighs with a 
rifle ball, and was carried off on a horse-stretcher. Unacata, 
or the White-Man Killer, was dangerously, and Dragging Ca- 
noe's brother, called the White Owl's Son, mortally wounded. 
Besides these, four other warriors were wounded, two or three 
of whom afterwards died. 279 Towards morning the report of 
the swivel at Nashville, signaled that General Robertson was 
starting for the relief of the distressed garrison, and the In- 
dians withdrew. There were no casualties on the side of the 

""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 294. 
'""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 331. 



Creek invasion of Cumberland; death of Colonel 
Isaac Bledsoe; attack on Greenfield Station; Jacob 
and Joseph Castleman ambushed and killed; Abra- 
ham Castleman takes revenge; captivity of Elizabeth 
Baker. 1793. 

After Watts' disastrous defeat at Buchanan's Station, there 
was a temporary lull in hostilities on the Cumberland. The 
chief restraining influence on the Indians was the fear that 
General Sevier would sweep down through their country and 
destroy their towns and property. But peace negotiations 
with the Cherokees having been opened, and making satisfac- 
tory progress, Governor Blount dismissed the whole of Gen- 
eral Sevier's brigade, except a company of infantry and a 
small troop of cavalry, which were stationed at Southwest 
Point. The effect of this order was immediately felt upon the 
Cumberland. From the middle of January till the first of 
April there was hardly a week passed that was not signalized 
by the murder of some one of its inhabitants. 

March 28, 1793, Governor Blount, having received infor- 
mation that the Upper Creeks and Chickamaugas would in- 
vade Mero District on the full moon, which would be about 
the 25th of April, authorized General Robertson to order into 
service for thirty days a full company of eighty mounted in- 
fantry, to explore the wloods within the limits of fifty miles 
from the settlements; and, if the continuance of danger made 
their further service necessary, to retain them not exceeding 
two months, with authority to pursue the enemy as far as 
the Tennessee Eiver. 280 At the same time he promised to or- 
der out a company from Hamilton District, that should pass 
Southwest Point on April 18th, and scour the country from 
the headwaters of Caney Fork to Nashville. This latter com- 
pany, consisting of one hundred and twenty-five, officers and 
men, was accordingly embodied and put under the command 
of Major Hugh Beard, of Knox County, but did not march 
from Southwest Point until April 29th. They were instructed 
to consider all Indians found on the waters of Cumberland 
River as Creeks and enemies, and to treat them as such, un- 
less the contrary appeared. 281 

These defensive measures, while indispensable to the set- 
tlements, were not sufficient to prevent the large numbers of 

280 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, pp. 355-7. 
281 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 456. 


Creeks who were daily taking the war path to the Cumber- 
land, from the perpetration of much mischief upon its inhabi- 
tants. Two of these war parties, one numbering about thirty 
and the other about forty-five warriors, 282 made the Bledsoe 
settlement in Sumner County, a section that had already suf 
fered much at the hands of the Creeks, the especial object of 
their attack. On the 9th of April, 1793, the smaller party killed 
and scalped Colonel Isaac Bledsoe, one of the earliest ex- 
plorers and settlers upon the Cumberland, in a field near his 
own station, where his brother, Colonel Anthony Bledsoe, had 
been killed some five years previously. An imposing granite 
monument now marks the spot where these brave pioneers sleep, 
side by side, near the ruins of the old fort where they fell. 28;! 

The larger of the two war parties mentioned (possibly 
both of them combined) made an attack on Greenfield Station, 
April 28, 1793. .Greenfield was about two and a half miles 
north of Bledsoe's Station, and was settled by Colonel An- 
thony Bledsoe, but at this time was in the possession of Na- 
thaniel Parker, who had married his widow. The engagement 
has been graphically described by Governor William Hall. 
He had been acting as a spy, but his term of service having 
expired, he went over to strengthen the garrison at Green- 
field Station, which was not well manned. In the afternoon 
of the 27th he walked out to the field where Abraham, Prince, 
and another negro were plowing corn, under the protection of 
a sentry named John Jarvis. On one side of the field was a 
dark canebrake, whose green cane reached a height of fifteen 
feet ; and not far off, on the side of a wheat field, was a nursery 
of young fruit trees, close set and in full leaf, making a dense 
thicket. He found Jarvis, surrounded by a pack of dogs, 
leaning against the fence next the canebrake. As he followed 
the plows across the field, talking with Abraham, a brave, 
active, and intelligent mulatto, he observed the dogs leap the 
fence in great excitement, and soon afterwards return, their 
hair erect, barking and growling in the most angry manner. 
He at once stopped the plows, and telling Jarvis that In- 
dians were lurking near, ordered the men to the fort. 

The night passed off without further disturbance. Next 
morning a herd of half wild cattle came charging up to the 
fort, nearly running over the women who were milking. Mrs. 
Clendening, a daughter of Colonel Bledsoe, called Jarvis back, 

- S2 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 454. 

2S3 This monument was erected by the descendants of the two Colo- 
nels Bledsoe, through the patriotic endeavor of Major J. G. Cisco, 
in whose excellent book, entitled "Historic Sumner County, Tennes- 
see," may be found a full account of the Bledsoos. 


and told him the cattle were alarmed by Indians. But Jarvis, 
a brave and impulsive Irishman, laughed at her fears, com- 
plained of having been stopped from work the evening be 
fore, and declared he was going on, come what might. Mrs. 
Clendening then ran into the house and told her mother, Mrs. 
Parker, of the danger the men were in, and the two women 
aroused the men in the fort. 

In the meantime, Jarvis and the negroes had reached the 
field, but before they had harnessed their horses to the plows 
Abraham discovered that the fence by the canebrake was lined 
with Indians just in the act of rising. Giving the alarm, 
they all sprang to their horses, and dashed across the field 
towards the lane leading to the fort. The Indians fired a 
tremendous volley at them as they retreated, and followed 
in hot pursuit. 

The little garrison heard the firing before they could get 
out of the fort. William Hall and William Wilson were the 
first on the scene. They were at once attacked by a second 
party of Indians who were trying to cut Jarvis off from the 
fort, and determined to drive them back. While they made 
the fence between them and the Indians, the latter reached 
another fence about eighty yards distant, across a small 
meadow. As Hall and Wilson took cover in the corners of 
the primitive worm fence, a volley from the Indian rifles 
whistled past their heads, scattering splinters in all direc- 
tions. Reserving their fire, they jumped over the fence and 
charged upon the enemy, whose guns were now empty, and the 
latter retreated up the hill towards the nursery. Turning the 
corner of the wheat field in which the Indians were, they fol- 
lowed on, the fence still between them, until they reached the 
nursery. At this point a third party of Indians lay in ambush. 
When they rose up Hall and Wilson instantly determined 
that the only chance for their lives lay in a bold charge, and 
as they made it the Indian bullets rattled around them in 
great numbers, but as they still reserved their fire, the Indians 
fled as the others had done. 

William Neely, who, like Hall, had lost a father and broth- 
er by the Indians, and James Hays, now left the fort and 
ran down to the assistance of Hall and Wilson. Three In- 
dians, detached from the other parties, undertook to cut them 
off, and having their whole attention absorbed in that direc- 
tion, did not see Hall and Wilson until they had almost 
reached the fence by Which they stood, when they dropped to 
the ground in the wheat, which was then about knee high, 
Hall brought his riflle to bear on one of them, who, seeing 
his danger, sprang to his feet and ran. At about ten steps 


Hall fired and the Indian fell. Wilson shot another, and the 
third escaped. 

All this time the first party of Indians were pursuing 
Jarvis and the negroes, who, having reached the mouth of the 
lane, abandoned their horses and stopped to exchange shots 
with the enemy. Jarvis fell at the first fire, but Abraham, 
more fortunate, killed his man and ran for the stockade. A 
big Indian chased him almost to the fort, when he fired at 
him, then stopped and deliberately reloaded his gun. The 
rescuing party had now returned to the lane, and Neely 
snapped his gun two or three times at the big Indian, but the 
flint being turned it did not fire. The second party of In- 
dians now returned, and the big Indian joining them, reck- 
lessly mounted the fence to take a survey of the field. Neely 
again drew a bead on him, and this time shot him through 
the arm pits, and h.e fell dead from the fence. 

While a large number of Indians were gathered around 
the body of Jarvis, scalping and hacking it, Hall proposed to his 
friends that they fire a platoon into the crowd. Before they 
could place their guns in position a party of Indians fired 
upon them from the rear. This was followed by a second 
volley, which took a lock of hair from Hall's head. The whites 
then dashed past this party, who were trying to get between 
them and the fort, and as they ran down the lane they found 
the body of Prince, who had been killed while trying to reach 
the station. Hall stopped and turned him over to see who it 
was, and, renewing his flight, all reached the fort in safety, 
amid a shower of shot. They had killed four Indians, and 
had lost Jarvis and Prince; and all the horses had fallen 
into the hands of the Indians. 284 

The firing was heard for miles around, and during the day 
a number of parties came to the relief of the fort. A few of 
them, Joseph Desha, afterwards Governor of Kentucky, and 
William Hall, being among the number, insisted on giving im- 
mediate pursuit, but they were wisely overruled by Major 
George Winchester; for it was afterwards discovered that the 
Indians lay in ambush all day in order to surprise their pur- 
suers. Having failed in this stratagem, the Indians aban- 
doned the settlement. Major Beard's company, on their way 
to Cumberland, encountered them as they were returning from 
their expedition, and killed one of their warriors and wounded 
another. 285 

284 Narrative of General William Hall, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 
2, pp. 11-14. 

2S5 Daniel Smith, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 92. 


While Major Beard was marching through the Cumber- 
land, and until the local horse had been discharged from the 
service, about the middle of June, the settlers enjoyed a meas- 
ure of peace; but after the latter date depredations from small 
bands of Creeks became distressingly frequent. 286 

Captain Hays, and, afterwards, young McEwen, having been 
killed at Hays' Station, on Stone's Kiver, Ensign John Davis 
and a squad of men were sent out to protect the; fort. On the 
last day of June, 1793, Ensign Davis and four of his men 
went down to the lick to gather strawberries. While so en- 
gaged two of the men heard some one whistle. The ensign 
suggested that it might have been a bird, but they affirmed 
that it was a human whistle. More from prudence than alarm 
they mounted their horses and, with trailed arms, rode back 
to the fort, meeting no interruption on the way. 

That night, as the men were grazing their horses near the 
fort, the dogs gave an alarm, and they hastily returned to the 
stockade. Just before day next morning the cattle in the yard 
outside the palisades stampeded and ran off into the forest. 
When it became light enough to see the guard went out and 
found fresh signs where the Indians had crossed the spring 
branch close to the fort. 

It had been the habit of Ensign Davis to furnish a guard 
for the stationers while in the field cutting oats for ttyeir 
horses; but on this morning, in view of the unusual hazard, 
he refused their application, and urged them not to go out. 
But notwithstanding his advice, and the many evidences of 
danger which he pointed out, four or five of the Castlemans, 
over whom he had no control, persisted in going. Near the 
corner of the oat patch, about two hundred yards from the 
fort, they were fired upon by a party of about a dozen In- 
dians, judging from the reports of their guns. Jacob was 
killed, Joseph was mortally wounded, while a bullet in the 
breast brought their father, Hans, to the earth. Joseph, pale 
and bleeding, made his way back to the fort, and the others 
defended the old man from the Indians until the guard from 
the fort came to his rescue. Joseph Castleman died about 
sunset the same day, and the two brothers were buried out- 
side the fort, alongside the still fresh graves of Hays and 
McEwen. 287 

286 James Robertson, American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 
1, p. 465. 

""Narrative of John Davis, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 1, pp. 
213-214. It is uncertain which, and how many, of the Castlemans 
were present. Mr. Davis, speaking many years afterwards, mentions 
John, Sr., Joseph, and David. General Robertson, in reporting the 


Abraham Castleman, a kinsman of the unfortunate family 
just mentioned, was a soldier, but of that turbulent, insub- 
bordinate class often found on the frontiers. The Indians 
called him "The Fool Warrior," and General Robertson de- 
scribed him as a "disorderly person." About the last day of 
August, 1793, Abraham Castleman raised a party of fourteen 
volunteers to take satisfaction for the death of his kinsmen. 
They took the Indian path leading to the Tennessee River, 
and followed it to the Creek Crossing Place, a little below 
Nickajack, but found no Indians on the north side of the 
river. Scouting parties being strictly forbidden by the gov- 
ernment to pursue the enemy across the Tennessee River, all 
of his followers turned back at the Creek Crossing Place ex- 
cept Zachariah Maclin, John Camp, Eli Hammond, Ezekiel 
Caruthers, and Frederick Stull. Castleman and his five com- 
panions now dressed and painted themselves in the Indian 
fashion, crossed the' river, and took the path leading to Wills- 
town. The road was plain, and numerous trees along it were 
marked with the figures of scalps and such warlike signs. On 
the 15th of August, 1793, after they had traveled about ten 
miles, they discovered a party of forty or more Creek warriors, 
evidently on their way to Cumberland. They wore their war 
paint, and were without squaws or horses. They were sitting 
at breakfast when the whites appeared, and, mistaking them 
for friends, displayed no alarm at their approach. They con- 
tinued eating until the whites, advancing to within about 
thirty yards of them, suddenly raised their guns and fired. 
Six Indians, including a son and three other kinsmen of the 
White Lieutenant, one of the first chiefs of the Creek Nation, 
fell dead upon the spot. 288 As soon as they had discharged 
their pieces the whites fled, separating into two parties. The 
shock was sudden and unexpected, and produced the greatest 
excitement and confusion among the Indians, which enabled 
the whites to make their escape, though one of them was 
slightly wounded, and another had four bullet holes through 
his shirt. They all returned safely to Nashville, August 21, 
1793. 28V) 

affair, says Jacob, William, and Joseph were killed, and Hans wound- 
ed. (American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 466.) David 
Wilson, in a contemporary letter, says Jacob was killed and Joseph 
wounded. (American Historical Magazine, Vol. 2, p. 94.) Mrs. Sallie 
Smith, in a letter to her husband, General Daniel Smith, says two 
of the young Castlemans were killed and old Honnis wounded. 
(American Historical Magazine, Vol. 5, p. 293.) 

:8S American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 472; Hay- 
wood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 387. 

2W James Robertson, American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 
1, p. 467; Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 384. 


While Castleman was turning back the Creek party, headed 
by the White Lieutenant's son, Captain Isaacs, chief of the 
Coosawdas, with a small party, was distressing the country 
below Clarksville, in Tennessee County. On the day of Castle- 
man's return he killed the widow Baker and most of her nu- 
merous family. Two of her children are said to have es- 
caped. 290 One, Miss Elizabeth Baker, was taken prisoner and 
carried into captivity. As soon as she arrived at Coosawda, 
Captain Isaacs and his party hung the scalps of her dear ones 
on the council house, and danced the scalp dance around them 
with shouts of exultation and delight. But she did not long 
have to witness such scenes of humiliation and sorrow; she 
found a friend in Charles Weatherford, who lived across the 
river. He ransomed her, and placed her in charge of his wife, 
Sehoy, the half sister of General McGillivray, and the mother 
of the celebrated William Weatherford, the leader of the 
Indians in the Creek War of 1813-14. Here she was well 
treated, and finally reached her friends in the settlement, 291 

280 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 468. 
^Pickett's History of Alabama, Vol. 2, pp. 134-5. 



The Clierokee chiefs invited to visit the President; 
they assemble at Hanging Maw's; Captain John Beard 
assaults his town; Colonel Watts marcJies against 
Knoxwlle, and takes Cavett's Station; massacre of 
its inJiabitants ; General Sevier pursues the Indians; 
battle of Etoivah. 1793. 

Governor Blount wrote General Robertson, October 17, 
1792, "Buchanan's Station has made a glorious beginning to 
the war"; but as the event proved it had put a sudden end 
to the open and avowed war. There were some fiery spirits 
among the Chickamaugas as well as the Creeks, who, burning 
for revenge, still haunted the Cumberland, but their principal 
chiefs disavowed their acts, and expressed their unwillingness 
to renew the struggle. As for Watts, the bland and playful 
view he took of the matter was absolutely childlike. He was 
calm and good-natured as usual; talked jocularly of his cam- 
paign, and his wound; told how the people of Mckajack had 
sent a runner to him, to know whether his wound did not still 
hurt him; and when answered in the negative, replied taunt- 
ingly that they did not expect it would be well so soon. 292 

When Governor Blount's dispatches reached Philadelphia 
the Federal government at once took steps to restore peace. 
On February 8, 1793, the Secretary of War wrote him that 
the President was highly desirous that John Watts, the Little 
Turkey, and as many other of the real chiefs of the Cherokees 
as he might deem proper to form a true representation of 
the tribe, should visit Philadelphia, promising them abundant 
supplies of such articles as they might require, both for them- 
selves and for their nation. 203 

On the same day this order was issued, but, of course, be- 
fore its receipt, Governor Blount despatched John McKee, a 
particular friend of Watts, to the Chickamauga towns, in or- 
der that he might be with Watts, and exert his influence in the 
interest of peace. 204 When he arrived at Chattooga, about 
twenty miles from Willstown, he halted, under the advice of 
friends, and sent for Watts. Watts met him with manifesta- 
tions of the warmest friendship, inquired about the welfare 
of Governor Blount, and spoke pleasantly of the war, and the 
unsuccessful efforts that had been made to induce him to 
renew it. McKee had provided himself with a few gallons 

^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 445. 
293 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 429. 
891 American State Papers. Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 435. 


of rum, and plied him with it, hoping by that means to acquire 
information from him, but all he got for his pains was the 
conviction that neither war nor the solicitations of his enemies 
had lessened Watts' friendship for him. On leaving he ac- 
cepted McKee's invitation to meet him at Spring Hill on 
March 8th. 

Watts did not appear at the time appointed, nor did he 
ever appear, though McKee waited until the 16th, and then 
sent a messenger to him. He told the messenger that he could 
not come on account of a great ball play, though McKee wan 
afterwards informed that the ball play was not to have taken 
place before the 26th. Some days later John Walker, the in- 
nocent looking spy of the Buchanan's Station expedition, in- 
formed him that it was not the ball play that detained Watts, 
but a quarrel between him and Talotiskee on account of Watts' 
visit to him at Chattooga. 205 Watts was so insulted that he 
determined to leave Willstown, and actually packed up and 
had gone fourteen miles, when the young warriors sent and 
persuaded him back. 296 

Though McKee got nothing definite or satisfactory from 
his mission, he had hardly returned when Watts himself ap- 
peared on the border, and sent word to Governor Blount that 
he was at the Hanging Maw's, and wished to visit him at 
Knoxville, if he could do so with safety; but if he could not, 
he would be glad to meet him elsewhere. Governor Blount 
met Watts, the Hanging Maw, Doublehead, and other chiefs 297 
at Henry's Station, on April 5th, and spent the day in eating, 
drinking and jocular conversation, of which Watts was very 
fond. He was friendly and good-natured, and impressed the 
Governor as "unquestionably the most leading character of 
his nation." 298 The next day Governor Blount made known 
to Watts the wish of the President that he and the other 
chiefs visit Philadelphia. He replied that in twenty-one nights 
(April 27th) they would have a full council at Running Water, 
and would then let him know what conclusion they had 
reached. 299 

The council did not meet at Running Water as expected, 
but on the 24th of May, Bob McLemore, a warrior of Watts' 
party, arrived at the Hanging Maw's with a message from 
Watts, that the council at Willstown, with the Shawnee am- 

-""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 445^6. 
^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 452. 
297 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 452. 
^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 443. 
388 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 447. 


bassadors, had broken up, and that all was straight; he would 
be up in five nights, with Talotiskee, the Bloody Fellow, and 
other chiefs, and would give the particulars. He neither wrote 
nor sent the particulars of the proceedings at Willstown, for 
fear of some mistake. 300 

June 3rd following, McKee informed Governor Blount that 
Doublehead, the Otter Lifter, and ten or twelve other chiefs 
from the Chickamauga towns had arrived at the Hanging 
Maw's, and that Watts was expected that day. They had 
come at the request of Governor Blount, and, having expressed 
the most pacific disposition, were expected to proceed to 
Philadelphia in company with McKee, whom Governor Blount 
had employed for that purpose, and authorized to provide 
for their wants by the way. 301 

Having everything arranged to his satisfaction, Governor 
Blount himself departed for Philadelphia June 7th, leaving 
Secretary Daniel Smith in charge as acting Governor of the 

Hanging Maw, or Scollacutta, the head chief of the Chero- 
kee Nation, at whose house the envoys from the Chickamauga 
towns were assembling, was one of their old chiefs; he was 
already a great man when John Watts was a child, 302 he 
knew Washington when they were both young men and war- 
riors; 303 and got to be known as the Great Warrior of his 
nation. 304 But he had long been a friend of peace. As far 
back as 1780, when his towns joined the Chickamaugas in an 
invasion of the frontiers, he threatened to leave them and take 
up his residence with the whites ; 305 and in turn, the victorious 
Americans protected his house and property from plunder, 
even when Chota, the white city, was not spared. When the 
Old Tassel became principal chief of the Cherokees, Hanging 
Maw was his associate, and assisted him to preserve peace dur- 
ing the stormy days of the Franklin government. When the 
Tassel fell the Hanging Maw became his successor. At one 
time the Creeks fomented so much trouble on the frontiers 
that he removed to Willstown, but there they called him Vir- 
ginian, and stole his horse, so he returned to Chota, deter- 
mined to stand his ground. 306 Governor Blount declares, at 

800 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 455. ' 
801 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 457-459; 
Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 6, pp. 409, 410, 418. 
802 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, p. 367. 
308 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 459. 
""Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 250. 
""Weeks' General Joseph Martin, p. 432. 
"'American Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, p. 9.3. 


this time, that "If there is a friendly Indian in the Cherokee 
Nation, to the United States, it is the Maw, and he is a very 
great beloved man." 307 

During the month of May there were several small parties 
of Indians committing depredations in the settlements around 
Knoxville. On the 25th one of these parties killed Thomas 
Gillum and his son James, in the Raccoon Valley, near Clinch 
River. Governor Blount ordered Captain John Beard, with 
fifty mounted infantry, to give immediate pursuit, his pur- 
pose being to punish the offenders, to deter like parties of In- 
dians in the settlement from committing depredations, and to 
pacify the white people on the frontiers. 308 Excitement in the 
neighborhood was at such a tension that only a favorable 
opportunity was necessary to cause it to burst out in the most 
terrible retaliation against the Indians. This opportunity was 
found in the order given to Captain Beard. 

In following the party of Indians who had killed the Gil- 
lums Captain Beard claimed that the trail led to the town 
of Hanging Maw, where the envoys from the Chickamauga 
towns were gathered, at the invitation of Governor Blount. 
Though he had been ordered not to cross the Tennessee River, 
about daylight on the morning of June 12th, 1793, he crossed 
over to the south bank of that stream, and made an assault 
on the Hanging Maw's town. He killed Scantee, Fool Charley, 
or Captain Charley, and eight or ten others, among whom was 
William Rosebury, a white man who had an Indian wife and 
a small family, and Betty, the daughter of Kittigeskee. 
Among the wounded were the Hanging Maw, his wife and 
daughter, and Betty, the daughter of Nancy Ward, who, it 
will be remembered, was the Indian wife of General Joseph 

Major Robert King, an agent of the government, who had 
formed a connection with Hanging Maw's daughter, was in 
the house when it was attacked, and only saved his life by 
jumping out of the window; an incident that shows some de- 
gree of advancement in their dwelling houses. James Ore 
and Daniel Carmichael, also government agents, were fired 
upon as they made their escape. 

By hard pleading the white men induced Captain Beard to 
spare the rest of the Hanging Maw's family, and not to burn 
his house. 300 It was reported at the time that Doublehead 

7 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 436. 


""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 455. 

^'Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 6, pp. 409-10; Ramsey's 
Annals of Tennessee, p. 577. 


and the Hanging Maw's wife were! both killed, the latter while 
pleading for forbearance, and professing 1 her invariable friend- 
ship for the white people. But it turned out that neither of 
them was killed; the Hanging Maw's wife received a wound 
from which she recovered; and four years afterward her hus- 
band, having died in the meantime, she applied to the govern- 
ment for a pension as his widow, alleging this affair as a 
ground for her claim. 310 

It was felt that this shocking assault would inevitably 
bring on a general war, and Secretary Smith immediately 
wrote to Hanging Maw, Doublehead, and Watts, pleading with 
them not to be rash, but to go on to see their great father, 
the President, as he had requested, and assuring them that he 
would give them satisfaction if they forbore to take it them-- 

The Indians demanded that they be given immediate satis 
faction by the arrest and punishment of Captain Beard's 
party. Doublehead was furious. "I am still among my people, 
living in gores of blood," he wrote. "We have? lost nine of our 
people that we must have satisfaction for. This is the third 
time we have been served so. I shall not go from this place 
until I get a full answer from you." Hanging Maw answered 
sarcastically that, while Governor Blount was in place noth- 
ing happened. "Surely they are making fun of you." "If 
you are left in the place of the Governor, you ought to take 
satisfaction yourself." "I think you are afraid of these bad 
men." And to President Washington he wrote that he need 
not look for them to go to Philadelphia at that time. 311 John 
Watts answered not a word. 

Secretary Smith caused Captain Beard to be arrested and 
tried before a court martial, but public sentiment was too 
strong to be resisted, and he was acquitted; and Secretary 
Smith confessed, to his great pain, that he found it out of the 
question to punish Beard by law at that time. 

Finding the authorities thus powerless to punish the of- 
fenders, the patience of the Cherokees gave way, and the latter 
part of August brought unmistakable evidence of Indian hos- 
tility. The settlements were put in a posture of defense. Gen- 
eral Sevier was posted at Ish's Station, across the river from 
Knoxville, with l f our hundred mounted infantry. There were 
forty men at Knoxville, and a respectable force at Campbell's 
Station, about fifteen miles west of Knoxville, which was one 
of the strongest forts on the border. 

""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 621. 
311 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 460. 


On the evening of September 24, 1793, John Watts, at the 
head of a large body of Indians, estimated at a thousand war- 
riors or more, composed of Cherokees and Creeks, crossed the 
Tennessee River below the mouth of Holston, and marched 
all night in the direction of Knoxville. They avoided Camp- 
bell's Station, passed within three miles of Ish's, and daylight 
found them in sight of Cavett's Station, eight miles west of 

When intelligence of the approaching Indians reached 
Knoxville, its men, under the leadership of Colonel James 
White, determined to meet them on the ridge, a mile and a 
quarter west of the town, rather than await them in the block- 
house. Among the brave men who shouldered their rifles and 
marched out to meet the enemy was the Reverend Samuel Car- 
rick, whose wife lay dead in his house, and her body was left 
to be committed to the grave by female hands. 312 Colonel 
White skillfully planned his defense, carefully pjlaced his 
men in ambush, and patiently awaited the enemy, but they 
never came. 

Colonel Watts had with him somle of the most intractable 
chiefs of the nation, particularly Doublehead. I have already 
mentioned the difficulty of controlling large bodies of In- 
dians, and expressed the opinion that Watts did not have the 
force of character ,to compel obedience to his will. On this 
occasion the chiefs disputed the question, whether they should 
press on to Knoxville at once, or stop and destroy every cabin 
on their way. Doublehead favored the latter. Then the 
question arose whether they should massacre all the inhabi- 
tants of Knoxville, or only the men. Doublehead insisted on 
the former. The altercation between Doublehead and Vann 
was long and heated. Vann had a little boy, a captive, riding 
behind him. Doublehead became so infuriated that he killed 
Vann's little boy. The result was that, after a march, which 
for celerity and silence was quite remarkable, they found 
themselves eight miles from Knoxville at daylight, the hour 
at which their attack on that town was to have been made. 

But they were in sight of Cavett's Station, a blockhouse in 
which Alexander Cavett and his family of thirteen people re- 
sided, only three of whom were gun-men. They abandoned 
Knoxville and assaulted Cavett's. The three men made a brave 
resistance. Alexander Cavett, the father, died with bullets 
in his mouth, which he had placed there to facilitate loading. 
Five Indians fell, dead or wounded, before their rifles. This 
checked the assailants and brought on a parley. The Bench, 

312 Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, Vol. 3, p. 434. 


Watts' nephew, who spoke English, agreed with the besieged 
that if they would surrender their lives should be spared, and 
that they should be exchanged for a like number of Indian 
prisoners. These terms were accepted and the little garrison 
surrendered. As soon as they left the blockhouse Doubleheaa 
and his party fell upon them and put them all to death in the 
most barbarous manner, except Alexander Cavett, Jr., who 
was saved by the interposition of Colonel Watts, though he 
was afterwards killed in the Creek towns. It is but just to 
add that the Bench, who arranged the terms of capitulation, 
pleaded, though in vain, for the lives of the captives. 

The house was then plundered and burned, and the Indians 
disappeared. 313 General Sevier, who then lay at Ish's with 
four hundred men, was ordered out by Secretary Smith, to 
pursue the Indians. Being reinforced until his whole army 
numbered about seven hundred men, General Sevier took the 
field and marched rapidly southward until October 14, 1793, 
when he reached the beloved town of Estanaula. The town was 
deserted, but as it contained abundant provisions, General 
Sevier halted here and rested his men. The Indians undertook 
to surprise his camp at night, but their attack was unsuccess- 
ful. From some Cherokee prisoners taken at Estanaula it 
was learned that the main body of the enemy, composed of 
Cherokees and Creeks, had passed that place a few days pre- 
viously, and were making for a town at the mouth of the 
Etowah River. After refreshing his troops, General Sevier 
followed the enemy, reaching the confluence of the Oostanaula 
and Etowah rivers on the evening of the 17th. 

The Creeks and a number of the Cherokees had entrenched 
themselves on the opposite bank of the Etowah, to obstruct its 
passage. A happy mistake on the part of the guides, Cary and 
Findleston, saved the day for the whites. They carried Colonel 
Kelly's forces half a mile below the ford, where he and a few 
others immediately swam the river. The Indians, discovering 
this movement, abandoned their entrenchments and rushed 
down the river to oppose Colonel Kelly. Captain Evans, dis- 
covering the error, wheeled, and, straining his horse's back 
to the ford, dashed into the river. The Indians at the ford, 
who were under the command of the King Fisher, a Cherokee 
chief of the first consequence, saw their mistake, and return- 
ing received Captain Evans' company furiously at the rising 
of the bank. The engagement was hot and spirited. The King 
Fisher made a daring sally within a few yards of Hugh Lawson 

'"Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, pp. 330-332; Ramsey's Annals of 
Tennessee, pp. 580-581. 


White, afterwards the distinguished jurist and statesman. 
He and some of his comrades discharged their rifles, the King 
Fisher fell, and his warriors abandoned the field. The whites 
lost three men in this engagement. 31 * 

This campaign ended the war, and closed the military 
careers of both Colonel Watts and General Sevier. 

'"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 584-589; American State 
Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 469. 


The following, historical statement has been sent to us with 
the appended inquiry: 

During the Revolutionary War, about 1777, Major James John- 
son was killed by Tories while bathing in the Clinch River in Hawkins 
County, Tenn. His wife was ill in bed with a young baby and saw 
through the window the killing of her husband. Later, after her hus- 
band's death, she married Thomas Murrill of Hawkins County. A 
greatgrandson of this Major Johnson was named Ichabod Mitchell 
(b. Sept. 27, 1822; d. Jan. 18, 1917, at Combstown, Tenn.). Two 
of the Johnson family, Martin and William, married Sallie and Tisha 

It is particularly desired, if possible, to ascertain the exact date 
and location of this tragedy. Tradition says that Major Johnson had 
gone home on a furlough and had resigned or was about to resign 
his commission at the time of his death. 

Perhaps members of our society in the eastern part of the 
State can find for us the desired data. 

The September number of the Indiana Magazine of History 
will be found unusually interesting to students of Civil War 
history, giving most valuable data and interesting history of 
certain secret political societies in the North during the Civil 
War period, viz: 

The Knights of the Golden Circle, Knights and Sons of 
Liberty, the Northwest Confederacy of 1864, Treason Trials 
in Indiana and The Camp Douglass Conspiracy. 

A valuable contribution to Tennessee history in the early 
French and Indian period of which wfe know so little, is to be 
found in the June number of the Mississippi Historical Review 
for 1916, by Verner W. Crane, entitled "The Tennessee River 
as the Road to Carolina," a study of early exploration and fur 

Our readers who have been following the interesting con- 
tinued story of the Southern Indians will be appreciative of 
the additional article printed in this number by Mr. Goodpas- 
ture with its reproduction of the rare picture of Judge Friend. 

Those interested in De Soto literature will find 'helpful ar- 
ticles in Americana for July, "De Soto's Route in Arkansas," 
and in Vol. II of Centenary Series of the Publications of the 
Mississippi Historical Society, "Did De Soto Discover the 
Mississippi River in Tunica County, Mississippi?" (two chap- 
ters), by Duubar Rowland, and "De Soto at Chickasaw Bluffs," 
by J. P. Young. 






V ice-Presidents, 




Recording Secretary, 

Assistant Recording Secretary, 

Corresponding Secretary, 

Treasurer and Financial Agent, 


"I]give and bequeath to The Tennessee Historical Society 
the sum of dollars" 




VENTION, St. George L. Sioussat 215 


Albert V. Goodpasture (Concluded) 252 


Committee on Publications 

JOHN H. DEWITT, Chairman. 


Business Manager 


Stahlman Building, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Neither the Society nor the Editor assumes responsibility for the 
statements or the opinions of contributors. 



Vol. 4 DECEMBER, 1918 No. 4 


Upon the expiration of the long drawn-out congressional 
clay of March 3, 1849, James K. Polk, the retiring president 
of the United States, spent Sunday, March 4, as quietly as 
possible. Having attended the First Presbyterian church, he 
parted affectionately with those in whose midst he had wor- 
shiped during the four years of his presidency. The following 
day, after the ceremonies of the inauguration of President 
Taylor had been concluded, Polk, accompanied by a consid- 
erable party, departed from Washington to travel, by a cir- 
cuitous route, to his home in Tennessee. On April 2 he reached 
.Nashville and found there a great concourse of people assem- 
bled to greet him. Though exhausted by his journey and not 
yet recovered from an illness which had attacked him some 
days before, he was obliged to drive with Aaron V. Brown, 1 
his long time associate and political friend, to the public 
square, to hear a speech and to make one. The next day he 
rode with Mrs. Polk to inspect a new house which he intended 
to be his future residence. Later in the same week he visited 
Columbia, to see his aged mother. On the sixteenth the party 
returned to Nashville, spending the night at the house of Aaron 
V. Brown. After chronicling other visits and matters of minor 
importance, the diary, so carefully kept by Polk, closes with 
an entry for June 2, 1849. Two weeks later Polk had passed 

1 Representative from Tennessee in the twenty-sixth, twenty-sev- 
enth, and twenty-eighth congresses: elected governor of Tennessee in 
1845, and defeated for reelection in 1847 by Neil S. Brown. He is said 
to have been responsible for the democratic platform of 1852. -In 1857 
he was appointed postmaster general by Buchanan, and died in office. 
He was a facile speaker and writer, and some of his productions were 
gathered together in a volume entitled Speeches, congressional and 
political, and other writings of Ex-Governor Aaron V. Brown of Ten- 
nessee . . . (Nashville, 1854). 

[* Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Dec., 1915, by permis- 


away, having been granted no time to enjoy the "library of 
books" which he had found pleasure in arranging in the new 
house. 2 

When the diarist had completed his notes for the last days 
of his presidential term, he did not undertake further entries 
of a political nature. No word of comment is found upon the 
course of the new administration in Washington, or upon the 
political campaign for which the parties in Tennessee were 
preparing, though both matters must have recalled to Polk 
the experiences which he had met in his long political career. 
As in his own case four years before, the presidential appoint- 
ments to executive office were the subject of criticism, both 
from the opposition party and from the friends of the ad- 
ministration. The whigs confined their misgivings to private 
correspondence: the democratic complaints filled the news- 
papers. 3 In this year the people were to elect a governor, 
members of the assembly, and representatives in congress. In 
April, according to the custom of Tennessee, were held the 
party conventions ; in August followed the election ; in October 
the assembly met; in November members of congress departed 
for Washington. Between May and August the candidates 
engaged in joint debate in every section of the state "from 
Carter to Shelby," to the peril of their health, but to the 
delight of the crowds who preferred to hear political topics 
discussed in a duel between orators rather than to read politi- 
cal essays in the newspapers. In this year the whigs sought 
to re-elect Neil S. Brown, who in 1847 had wrested the gov- 
ernorship from Folk's friend, Aaron V. Brown. To understand 

2 J. K. Polk, The diary of James K. Polk, during his presidency 1845 
to 1849, edited by M. M. Quaife (Chicago, 1910), 4: 372 et seq. 

3 "The appointments that have been made in Tennessee have not 
given satisfaction." William B. Campbell to David Campbell of Vir- 
ginia, May 14, 1849. Manuscript belonging to Mr. Lemuel R. Camp- 
bell of Nashville. This is one of a large number of letters written by 
William B. Campbell, one of the most prominent of the whigs in Ten- 
nessee, to his uncle, Governor David Campbell of Virginia. For the 
use of this correspondence I am under obligation to Mr. L. R. Camp- 

On the democratic side, besides the newspapers of that party, 
passim, there is an interesting comparison by Cave Johnson of the 
appointments made by the new administration with those of his own 
making as postmaster general under Polk, in letters written by John- 
son, on his return to his home in Clarksville, Tennessee, to James 
Buchanan, June 17 and August 12, 1849. These letters are taken from 
a large number written by Johnson to Buchanan which are among the 
Buchanan manuscripts in the possession of the Pennsylvania Histori- 
cal Society which has kindly consented to their use. The collection 
will hereafter be cited as Johnson-Buchanan letters. Cave Johnson, it 
should be stated, was a devoted adherent of Buchanan and sought to 
bring about his nomination for the presidency. 


the principles at issue in the campaign it is necessary briefly 
to review the situation of public affairs when Polk surrendered 
his control of the national government to the whigs. 

The sectional controversy over the boundaries and the 
organization of the territory acquired from Mexico by the 
treaty of Gaudalupe Hidalgo, and particularly the problem 
of the admission or the exclusion of slave property from this 
territory, overshadowed all other political issues. The failure 
alike of Folk's plan of extending the Missouri compromise 
line to the Pacific, of the so-called Clayton compromise, and 
of the ''Walker Amendment," which met its death in the clos- 
ing hours of the thirtieth congress, left the territories in the 
hands of the executive except that congress did extend to 
California the revenue laws of the United States. But before 
the adjournment of congress there had developed under the 
leadership of Calhouu that movement which was regarded in 
such a sinister light- by those devoted to the union, and by 
none more than by Polk, who inherited and cherished the tra- 
ditions of Andrew, Jackson. The proceedings of Calhoun and 
his associates were published at length in the Nashville pa- 
pers and were accompanied with widely varying comments. 
The whig journal took up the favorite diversion of its party: 
that of denouncing the northern, free soil element in the dem- 
ocratic party 4 . The Nashville Union, the leading mouthpiece 
of the democratic organization, defended the northern demo- 
crats and denounced the course of John Bell, the whig senator 
from Tennessee, who, with Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, 
had turned his back, the Union charged, upon the South. 5 
It was, as one would expect, the policy of the democratic party 
to undertake to defend the rights of the South. 

When the democratic state convention met upon April 19, 
the choice of the delegates, by a great majority, fell upon 
William Trousdale of Sumner county, a man of military rep- 
utation who was soon affectionately named "the veteran of 
three wars." 6 The platform voiced approval of the policies 
of the outgoing democratic administration of Polk, and con- 
tinued with very positive statements that the federal govern- 
ment possessed no rightful control over the institution of 

4 Nashville True Whig, May 17, 1849. 

5 Nashville Union, February 14, 1849. 

8 Nashville Union, April 20, 1849, et seq. As candidates for the 
governorship several of the younger political leaders were named in 
the newspapers, one of the most prominent being Gideon J. Pillow, a 
brother-in-law of Aaron V. Brown. Pillow, however, soon withdrew 
his name. Cave Johnson, of Clarksville, and F. P. Stanton and L. H. 
Coe, of the western district, were also mentioned. The last two were 
inclined to the extreme southern point of view. 


slavery such as to impair the rights of the slaveholders; that 
all the territories were the common property of the states, 
and the enactment by congress of any law preventing citizens 
from emigrating with their property constituted a violation 
of state rights; that there would be no difficulty in choosing 
between ''the only alternatives that will then remain, of ab- 
ject submission to aggression and outrage on the one hand, 
or on the other by the adoption at all hazards and to the last 
extremity of such measures as will vindicate our constitu- 
tional rights;' 7 and concluded by declaring that in the event 
of the passage of the Wilmot proviso, or any law abolishing 
slavery or the slave trade from the District of Columbia, 
"we are ready heart and soul with a united front" to join 
Virginia and the other southern states in such measures as 
might be proper "whether through a Southern convention or 
otherwise." 7 

As the canvass proceeded Cave Johnson wrote to Buch- 
anan that Trousdale's chances were good. Besides the old 
questions of the bank, tariff, etc., the main reliance of the 
democrats for success was on the Wilmot proviso. "General 
T. takes the Virginia resolutions and [is] for resisting in 
every manner to the last extremity and insists that this is 
the best if not the only mode of preserving the Union. I do 
not like his position, but it is possible that he may secure 
Calhoun Whigs enough to carry the election in the Western 
District." 8 August 12, after the election, Johnson again wrote 
to Buchanan, attributing the success of the democrats 
to the superior aggressiveness of Trousdale, to resentment 
at the whig appointments, to the disaffection of part of 
the whigs under the influence of E. H. Foster, who was 
jealous of Senator Bell, and to the agitation of the emancipa- 
tion question in Kentucky, and the position of the administra- 
tion on the Wilmot proviso. "Cass's doctrine," he continued, 
"of the non-interference by Congress with slavery is the uni- 
versal doctrine here, but I have found none unwilling to sub- 
scribe to yours the Missouri Compromise." 9 

With the close of the summer elections, there was a no- 
ticeable quiescence in the agitation of national politics in 

7 Nashville Union, April 20, 1849. It was soon revealed by the 
whig papers that more strenuous measures had been recommended in 
a resolution which had been prepared by Coe of Memphis, which had 
been withdrawn before it was formally presented. The Union ex- 
plained that these resolutions had not suggested secession, and that 
only cessation of commercial intercourse with the North had been 
proposed. Ibid., May 2, 1849. 

8 Johnson-Buchanan letters, June 17, 1849. 

9 Johnson-Buchanan letters, August 12, 1849. 


the Tennessee papers, and matters of internal improvement 
and other state affairs took a more prominent place. But 
soon the assembling of the legislature reawoke interest in 
politics, and the message of the retiring governor, Neil to. 
Brown, and that of the incoming governor, William Trous- 
dale, again emphasized the different points of view of the 
two parties. About the same time appeared notices of Miss- 
issippi's call for a southern convention to be held at Nash- 
ville. The comment of the Whig, now called the True Whig, 
as to this, was "we trust the Southern states will be fully 
represented as well for embodying in definite form the real 
sentiment of the South as for adopting such measures as may 
be best calculated to bring about unity and concert of action, 
and in defense of her rights and interests upon this vitally 
interesting and exciting question." 10 A yet more prominent 
whig organ, the Republican Banner, and Nashville Whig, while 
it expressed the hope that the convention might prove to be 
unnecessary, nevertheless also promised it a welcome to Nash- 
ville. 1 - 1 October 14, Cave, Johnson wrote at length to Buch- 
anan, telling of a visit to Nashville where he had called 
upon Mrs. Polk, whose mansion was still draped in mourning, 
and where he had found the assembly in session. He reported 
that the party organization was torn by sectionalism and 
personal feuds, the chief of which was that between the dem- 
ocratic senator, Hopkins L. Turney, and A. O. P. Nicholson, 
the principal supporter of the interests of General Cass. The 
legislature was "tied," and "the Whig party in more con- 
fusion than we are." 12 It happened that the democrats, while 
successful as to the lower house, had failed to elect a majority 
of the state senate. Consequently, when late in the session, 
joint resolutions upon the state of the union were adopted 
these, as might be expected of measures which had passed the 
whig senate and democratic house, were double-barrelled in 
character. They upheld the sacredness of the constitution and 

10 Nashville True Whig, October 16, 1849. 

11 Republican Banner and Nashville Whig, October 15, 1849. 

12 Johnson-Buchanan letters, October 14, 1849. "The Cass move- 
ment in this state at the last election was made to head off Pres. P. 
They feared, notwithstanding his positive declaration, that he might 
be taken up a second time in Baltimore and therefore sent a majority 
which was secretly dissatisfied with the dispensation of the patronage 
here. This was felt as unkind by him and by his leading confidential 
friends in this state, and Mr. N. is on that account not acceptable to 
them, and they will wish me to be the new Senator. I will not get into 
the fight, and may be enabled therefore to settle it, but I do not see 
how." Nicholson had been a candidate in 1845 for election as senator. 
He charged that Turney had secured the election by a deal with the 
whigs. As to the controversy that ensued, see Polk, Diary, 1: 112- 


prayed for the perpetuity of the union. The patriotic people 
of the state of Tennessee, it was declared, would stand by 
and defend the union "at all hazards and to the last ex- 
tremity;" and the only method by which the union could be 
preserved in its original purity so as to secure to the several 
states their constitutional rights was by "resisting, at all 
hazards and to the last extremity, any and all attempts to 
violate the spirit of its provisions." 13 But a resolution which 
failed to pass was one introduced in the house, by which 
the governor was requested to appoint delegates to a south- 
ern convention. In the senate, however, the whig committee 
on resolutions reported that it was no part of their duty to 
aid in organizing a southern convention or any other conven- 
tion. If such a meeting were desired by the people, it be- 
longed to them in their primary assembles to call it, and not 
to the general assembly or to the executive. A democratic 
effort to pass a resolution requesting the people of the state 
to adopt this course was defeated by a vote of eleven to 
nine. 14 It was doubtless this activity of the democratic house 
which extracted from Cave Johnson the letter to Buchanan 
of which the following is a part: 

"I begin to fear that there is a settled determination with 
the extreme men of both the great political parties to dissolve 
the Union and it will require much prudence and wisdom 
among the moderate men [to] resist successfully their nefari- 
ous projects. I have been shocked of late to hear cool cal- 
culation entered into to show the great advantages which the 
South and South West would obtain by the establishment 
of a Southern Confederacy and securing free trade with Eng- 
land. Cities would spring up as if by magic in 1 the Gulf, rail- 
roads and the great Mississippi could give us the control of 
the interior whilst free trade would secure us the trade of 
all nations. The wealth of the East would be poured into 
our laps over the Isthmus. We should soon surpass in splen- 
dor and wealth the fabulous accounts of the East whilst the 
North would be ruined by the destruction of the manufac- 
tures and commerce and be left to enjoy their bleak and 
barren hills and to repent at leisure their injustice to the 
South. I lose all patience and self-control when I hear such 
things and be not surprised if you should hear even me with 
my fifty or sixty negroes denounced for favoring the aboli- 
tionists because I will not yield to the mad projects of dis- 
union that are now so freely talked of. No man feels more 

13 " Joint resolution, No. 13," in Acts and resolutions of the Tennes- 
see general assembly, 1849-1850. Passed February 11, 1850. 
"Senate journal, 1849-1850, pp. 758-767. 


abhorrence at the conduct and course of the abolitionists than 
I do. I will resist quarrel and fight them if necessary but I 
shall not dissolve the Union or sit with any party that shall 
attempt it directly or indirectly [?]. I do not censure less 
the conduct of the extreme Southern men than that of the 
abolitionists and shall be ready to meet their nefarious pro- 
jects as those of the former. The proposed convention at 
Nashville alarms me and the mode proposed of electing dele- 
gates. They are to be selected by the Governor or the pres- 
ent legislators passing over the people for a very obvious 
reason. It would not suit their purposes to have these ques- 
tion publicly discussed. High places are now filled by trick 
contrivances with men who would have been repudiated by 
the people if their designs had been understood and who will 
be scorned and rejected so soon as they are understood. I 
have been disgusted by the conduct of a few Southern Demo- 
crats in the defeat of Forney evidently designed to widen the 
breach if practicable between Northern and Southern Demo- 
crats. The greatest act of folly committed by the Democratic 
party for many years was in permitting Mr, C. to come back 
to it. We should have kept him at arms length and treated 
him as a nullifier. From the moment he learned that Gen. 
J. was in favor of Van Buren he has been making issues at 
which he is a great adept between the North and the South 
for the purpose of destroying Van Buren in the one or the 
other section and I suppose will never be content until he 
either rules or ruins. I think that he has now more power 
than that at any former period. I mean with the politicians 
because I think he has but little with the masses. You have 
no doubt noticed its progress in the Senate and House as well 
as the means by which it has been acquired. Unluckily since 
the death of Jackson and Polk we have none in the South with 
influence and courage enough to oppose it. Our legislature 
it is understood will sanction the convention and support 
or authorize the appointment by the Gov of delegates and 
pass strong resolutions not less strong than of Va." 15 

The story of the expansion of the movement for the de- 
fense of southern rights from the congressional meetings in 
Washington to the project of a convention of the southern 
states has been made clear in more than one scholarly treat- 
ment, and it is here necessary only to give the briefest out- 
line of this evolution. 16 The connection of Calhoun with the 

15 Johnson-Buchanan letters, January 20, 1850. 

16 Besides the more or less unsatisfactory accounts in the general 
histories of Von Hoist, Schouler, McMaster, Rhodes, and Garrison, 
and such older works as, e.g., J. P. Hodgson, The cradle of the confed- 
eracy . . . (Mobile, 1876), the student of this period may consult the 


movement in Mississippi is well established, though Foote 
of Mississippi professed that in the beginning he was ignorant 
of the correspondence which Calhoun was carrying on with 
men in Mississippi. 17 But the practical beginnings came from 
Mississippi, and in the course of the convention's session the 
honor of originating it was claimed by that state. 18 A con- 
vention held May 7 in Jackson, thinking itself to represent 
but a small part of the state, advised the assembling of an- 
other convention in October. After very great activity on the 
part of the politicians this convention met, passed resolutions 
upon the territorial questions, and included therein a call 
for a convention of the southern states. While democrats and 
whigs in Mississippi united in the movement, the democrats 
had taken the responsibility and the leadership, and the suc- 
cess of the democratic party in the elections in Mississippi 
was held to demonstrate the approval of the people of Miss- 
issippi and was a matter of encouragement to the southern 
partisans in other states. The action of Mississippi was fol- 
lowed in some sort by most of the southern states. There 
was, however, great diversity in the method of choosing dele- 
gates, and there was great difference in the spirit with which 
the elections were carried out. In some states the wish to 
refer the matter to the people led to the representation of 
only certain districts. 19 

With the opening of the year 1850, as news was received 
of action with regard to the proposed convention on the part 
of one or another of the southern states, the editor of the 
Union of Nashville, as well as those of other democratic 
papers in the state, had begun to agitate more actively the 
participation of Tennessee in the movement. In one of the 
earliest of the editorials on this subject, which appeared Jan- 
altogether excellent monograph of Cleo Hearon, "Mississippi and the 
compromise of 1850," Mississippi Historical Society, Publications, 14: 
ch. 6, and the Justin Winsor prize essay by A. C. Cole, The whig party 
in the South (Washington, 1913), ch. 5, 6. A remarkable deficiency 
in the latter work, however, is the omission of any adequate discussion 
of the course of John Bell in the session of 1849-1850. 

1T D. T. Herndon, "The Nashville convention of 1850," in Alabama 
Historical Society, Transactions, 1904, v. 5 : 204-209. 

18 Nashville Daily American, June 13, 1850, remarks of Governor 
Matthews of Mississippi. 

19 Herndon, "The Nashville convention of 1850," in Alabama His- 
torical Society, Transactions, 1904, v. 5: 212-216. For the selection 
of Nashville as the meeting place I have found no definite explanation 
afforded by contemporary evidence. Sufficient reasons doubtless were 

(1) the influence of the great party gatherings in Nashville in 1840 
and 1844; (2) the importance of Tennessee as a border-state; and 

(3) the convenient geographical situation of Nashville. 


uary 9, the Union, noting the introduction into the Tennessee 
legislature of a resolution looking to the appointment of dele- 
gates, and adverting to the action of Georgia, had maintained 
that the convention was not a party movement; but, as we 
have seen from the course of the matter in the legislature, 
this rionpartisan attitude was not to be preserved. 20 The whig 
newspapers, with the exception, first, of the Enquirer of Mem- 
phis and later of the Trenton Banner, were soon unanimous 
in opposition to the meeting of the convention in Nashville. 
The Republican Banner and Nashville Whig from January on 
continued to rebuke the plotters of disunion. 21 The Republican 
Banner and Nashville Whig was the organ of John Bell, upon 
whom again the editor of the Union launched strenuous criti- 
cism for his antisouthern course. A selfish politician, he had 
gained all that he could from Tennessee, and now in his whole 
senatorial course he looked to the North for countenance and 
support.-' 2 The Union did not fail to point out the more sym- 
pathetic attitude of the Banner in the preceding October, when 
that paper had welcomed the meeting of the convention. The 
change in view was ascribed to the appointment of the for- 
mer governor, Neil S. Brown, as minister to Kussia, by which 
&tep the administration had purchased the support of the 
Tennessee whigs. 23 The Banner retorted that it was now ob- 
viously the purpose of the convention to foment disunion and 
secession, which purpose had not then been made manifest. 
Nothing was then heard, said the Banner, of a southern re- 
public with a capital at Asheville. 24 The Union ridiculed the 
idea of a southern republic, 25 denied any purpose of secession 
as attaching to the convention, and claimed that every demo- 
cratic newspaper in the state was for the convention, and 
that so good a whig paper as the Memphis Enquirer candidly 
acknowledged the desirability of it. 28 Memphis was willing 
to have the convention if Nashville was not. Iri February the 
Union argued somewhat as follows: Whatever measures of 
compromise might be adopted would not be passed before the 
end of the session. The convention meeting in June would voice 
a southern protest against northern aggression. As to the 
expected aggressive laws, their unconstitutionality might pos- 
sibly be made more manifest, and the hand of oppression be 
stayed by the demonstration. If such laws were passed, the 

20 Nashville Union, January 9, 1850. 

21 Republican Banner and Nashville Whig, January 28, 1850, et seq. 

22 Nashville Union, March 13, 1850. 

23 Ibid., February 16, 1850. 

2t Republican Banner and Nashville Whig, February 19, 1850. 
2 ' J Ibid., March 11, 1850; Nashville Union, February 20-24, 1850. 

224 ST. GEORGE 1 -SAT. 

meeting of the convention might lead to a repeal. The meas- 
ures to which the Union referred were declared to be. ti- 
the proposal to deprive the South of the advantage of the 
"federal ratio" of five Negroes counting as three white men ; 
secondly, the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, 
the navy yards, and other possessions of the United States; 
third interference with the interstate transportation of shn 
and. fourth, the Wilmot proviso.^ 7 The real fear of the whigs,, 
said the democratic editor, concerned not a dissolution of the 
union, but the dissolution of the whig party by a successful 
settlement of the slavery question, upon the continued agita- 
tion of which the whig organization must depend for its very 
existence. Whig opposition to the convention was only a 
scheme to prevent a settlement.** 

On April 13, as a part of its agitation to the end that 
Tennessee should be represented in the convention, the Union 
issued a call for a meeting to be held the first Monday in May 
to elect delegates from Davidson county, in which Nashville 
is situated. This call appealed to voters irrespective of party, 
but was limited to --friends of the convention." Among the 
signatures attached to the notice was that of Andrew Jack- 
son's nephew, A. J. Donelson. who had just returned from 
his service as minister to the German government at Frank- 
fort, having been recalled by the new whig administration. 2 * 
A couple of days later ex-Governor Aaron V. Brown published 
in the Union a letter strongly pleading for the convention. 5 * 
The gathering on the first Monday in May turned out not to 
be without its amusing features. A. J. Donelson was chosen 
president, obviously with the purpose of off-setting the use of 
Andrew Jackson's name in hostility to the convention. The 
"friends of the Convention" endeavored to railroad through 
the meeting resolutions looking to the election of representa- 
tives for Davidson county, but the debate revealed that the 
whigs were present in large numbers, and. notwithstanding 
Donelson's oratory on behalf of the convention, a resolution 
of an exactly opposite tenor was adopted. This was a decided 
damper to the "friends of the convention." but not utterly 
discouraged these remained in the room when the meeting 
adjourned and organized again with Douelson in the chair,. 

"NaskvUk Union, February 21, 1850. 

m AML, February 24, 26, 1850. 

*/*&, April 13, 1850. A misunderstanding of this participation 
of A. J. Donelson in the call for the county meeting in May may 
account for the statement of J. Phelan, History of Tennessee (Boston, 
1889), 434, to the effect that the southern convention was originally 
ca'/.ed a: Por.elson's suggestion. 

"Nashville Union, April 15, 1850. 


and finally a list of twenty-nine delegates was presented and 
these were elected to represent Davidson county.* 1 These pro- 
ceedings were naturally a source of great glee to the whig 
newspapers, which of course trumpeted abroad the rejection 
of the convention by the community in whose midst it was 
to assemble. The proper interpretation of the incident is. how- 
ever. somewhat different. The whigs were resolved to make 
the convention a party matter. In the Nashville district they 
outnumbered the democrats, and they were able to limit the 
report of the convention to the minority party and thus to 
stop any claim of the democrats that there was a general pop- 
ular demand for the convention. 

Even before the Davidson county meeting, to which we 
have referred, and throughout the week that followed, the 
-:apers are full of accounts of similar gatherings in other 
Bounties. The accounts of these in the whig and democratic 
papers, respectively, are so partisan that their statements must 
be taken with caution. It seems fair to conclude that, with 
certain exceptions, the lines of party were drawn in about 
the. same way as in Nashville, the democrats generally favoring 
and the whigs generally opposing the election of delegates. 

Leaving for the present the action of the local communi- 
ties during the interval before the assembling of the southern 
convention, let us pass for a moment to the halls of congress, 
where the matter of the proposed convention at Nashville ap- 
pears to have excited rather more interest than most of the 
historians of the period have indicated. It will be well first 
to consider the course of those who were directly responsible 
for the interests of Tennessee and particularly her two sena- 
tors, John Bell and Hopkins L. Turney. the former a whig, 
the latter a democrat. 

In the first session of the thirty-first congress, when the 
compromise resolutions of Henry Clay had been introduced, 
and while Foote was struggling to effect the appointment of 
a committee of thirteen. John Bell, 32 on February 38, K 
submitted a compromise scheme of his own. The principal 
feature of this plan was the focusing of attention upon Texas 
rather than upon California. Recalling the terms of the pro- 
- :is of the joint resolution for the annexation of Texas, 
which looked to the formation of new states out of Texas. 

Union, May 7, 1850; Republican Banner and Nashville 
WKg, May 7, 1850. 

= There is no adequate biography of John Bell. A thoughtful 
sketch is J. W. Caldwell, "John Bell of Tennessee," in American his- 
torical rerietc. 4: 652-664. Caldwell, however, says nothing of Bell's 
activity in 1849-1850, except that he was a member of the committee 




he proposed that that part of Texas lying south of the thirty- 
fourth degree of north latitude and west of the Trinity river 
should be separated and admitted now to the union as a slave 
state. Next Texas, in return for five or six million dollars, 
should cede to the United States the territory claimed by the 
state west of the Colorado river, extending northward to forty- 
two degrees, together with all unappropriated domain north 
of thirty-four degrees. This territory should then be divided 
and the part west of the Colorado and south of the thirty- 
fourth parallel should be admitted, when of sufficient popu- 
lation, as a slave state while the remainder, except such part 
as lay east of the Rio Grande and south of thirty-four de- 
grees, should be incorporated with the territory of New Mexico, 
to be governed in a "manner suitable to the condition of the 
people of the country," but without any resolution as to slav- 
ery. This plan, he urged, would meet the objections of the 
extreme antislavery people to the expansion of slavery ter- 
ritory, because really Texas would surrender "2^ degrees'* 
of slave territory to be thereafter free territory; and it would 
solve the Texas-New Mexico boundary controversy. There 
should be no objection to leaving New Mexico without re- 
striction as to slavery; as slavery would never find a lodgment 
there. The region west of New Mexico and east of the pro- 
posed state of California should likewise continue in a ter- 
ritorial condition without restrictions as to slavery; and the 
president's plan for the admission of California with the con- 
stitution adopted by the people of that region should be ac- 
cepted. He included no suggestions as to the fugitive slave 
bill, the abolition of slavery, and the slave trade in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. These questions he believed would be ad- 
justed if once the problem of the new acquisitions was solved/ 13 
To Bell's resolutions of February 28 Calhoun, in his speech 

33 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 436-439. These reso- 
lutions Alexander H. Stephens described as "setting forth in substance 
what was then considered a modified form of the executive policy for 
a proper adjustment." (A constitutional view of the late ivar between 
the states [Philadelphia, 1870], 2: 205.) Bell's speech and resolutions 
were reprinted March 12 in the Republican Banner and Nashville 
Whig, which cited the Washington correspondent of the Charleston 
[S. C.] Courier, as saying: "I learn that Mr. Bell's propositions for a 
compromise are preferred to those of Mr. Clay by the Southern mem- 
bers. From the best sources, I am informed that Mr. Bell's project 
was a subject of consultation and that it is as favorable to the South 
as any measure that is likely to pass. The South would prefer the 
Missouri compromise line to any other project that has been named, 
but it cannot pass. The whole question, it is said, will be settled in a 
fortnight, or not for three months. The Texians will give their hearty 
assent to Mr. Bell's plan." Compare with this Cave Johnson to 
Buchanan, post, note 63. 


of March 4, appears to have made no reference. But Webster, 
in the famous seventh of March speech, included a consider- 
able discussion of Bell's proposal as to Texas. He believed 
that this further recognition of the stipulation with Texas 
weakened the original compact, and he did not agree that, 
when a state was to be divided, the rule for admission from 
a territorial position the rule establishing a minimum popu- 
lation of sixty thousand must necessarily be followed. But 
in his earnest declaration, which so grieved the abolitionists, 
that the resolution for annexation was a binding contract, and 
that the country was pledged to the admission of new slave 
states if Texas so decided, he gave a strong moral support 
to this idea of Bell's. 34 This fact explains a statement made 
March 22 by Toonibs in a letter written from Washington and 
addressed to Linton Stephens. "The settlement will probably 
be in the main on the basis of Bell's proposition as backed 
by Webster. We will take that with a clause putting the rights 
of property of American citizens under American laws and I 
think we have some chance to get it." 35 

Foote moved that Bell's resolutions be referred to his 
proposed committee. 30 On March 27 Bell's resolutions were 
made the special order, 37 and for several days following the 
Globe uses the caption, "Mr. Bell's resolutions." 38 Webster, 
objecting to the reference to a committee and urging that the 
senate proceed at once to the question of California, coupled 
Bell's proposals with those of Douglas, Benton, and Clay. 30 
Shields urged that if Texas were to be divided, the initiative 
must come from the people of that state. Bentou was unwill- 
ing to confuse the Texas question with that of California. 40 
On April 19 Bell was elected one of the committee of thir- 
teen. 41 When the committee made its report on May 8 the 
majority declared against Bell's proposals, maintaining, as 
Shields had argued, the propriety of leaving the division of 
Texas to the initiative of its inhabitants. 42 

In direct opposition to the course of Bell was that of Tur- 

"Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 417. 

85 U. B. Phillips, The correspondence of Robert Toombs, Alexander 
H. Stephens, and Howell Cobb (American Historical Association, An- 
nual report, 1911, v. 2 Washington, 1913), 188. 

36 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 496, 508. 

37 Ibid., 611. 

38 Ibid., 617, 633, 640, 646, 656, 704, 721. 

39 Ibid., 640. 

40 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 657. 
" Ibid., 780. 

K Ibid., 944 et seq. 


ney. Of the feud between Turney and Nicholson we have al- 
ready spoken. Turney had definitely identified himself with 
the southern movement in congress and, together with Stanton, 
a representative from the western district, had signed the 
southern address. Continuing to associate himself with the 
radicals, he appeared in May as chairman of a meeting called 
to consider the establishment in Washington of another news- 
paper which should be especially devoted to the interests of 
the South. 43 He professed devotion to the union, but to the 
extent of his capacity, which was not the greatest, he worked 
with the extremists. The occasion was atforded him to tell 
where he stood when one of the Washington newspapers cited 
the Nashville Union as opposing the proposed convention. He 
seized this opportunity to assert, on the contrary, the confi- 
dence of the democrats therein. 44 On the other hand John 
Bell was, as to this matter, very characteristically noncom- 
mittal. Emphasizing the excited state of opinion in the South, 
he stated: "At the same time, I must say, that in the State 
of which I am a public servant here, I have given no coun- 
tenance no encouragement at least to some of the extreme 
measures proposed in the South. I have not countenanced 
the assembling of the Southern Convention among my friends 
in Tennessee. I have, on the other hand, rather encouraged 
the reposing of a liberal confidence in the North for the set- 
tling, not only of this, but of all other great questions of na- 
tional and domestic policy, upon an equitable and liberal 
basis, as the best mode of repressing any hostile sentiments 
on the part of the North against the institutions of the South, 
or of the South against the North, on any ground whatever. 
If, therefore, any good should result from the proposed South- 
ern Convention and I trust that good may result from it; 
if it is held I shall not be entitled to any credit for it; and 
if, on the other hand, evil should spring from it, though I 
may be a sufferer with every other citizen of the Union, I shall 
not be responsible for it." 45 

More serious than this evasion by the leader of the whig 
party was the statement made by Andrew Ewing, the demo- 
cratic representative* in congress from the Nashville district, 
which was usually a whig stronghold. 4 " Ewing said, in reply to 
the remarks of Webster, Stanley of North Carolina, and others 

43 Nashville Union, May 21, 1850. 

44 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 417. 
43 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 438. 

46 The explanation of Swing's success in a district usually whig is 
found in the large whig connection of his family, part of which he 
carried with him. 


who had prophesied that the convention would fare ill at the 
hands of the people of Nashville: "It is due to the truth that 
I should say, that in iny opinion a majority of the people 
of Nashville deem the convention unwise and inopportune; 
but it is equally true that they deeply sympathize in the feel- 
ing of hazard and alarm that has driven their southern breth- 
ren to the adoption of this ulterior remedy; and under no 
circumstances would they treat with rudeness and indecorum 
a reputable body of their fellow-citizens, who had assembled 
at our city for the discussion of such grave and solemn in- 
terests." 47 The whig papers of course seized hold upon this, 
and the meeting of May, described above, seemed to bear out 
Ewing-s admission that the people of Nashville were opposed 
to the convention. 

The report of Clay's committee of thirteen was submitted 
to the Senate on May 8, and about a week later began to be 
discussed in the Tennessee newspapers. 48 The Union at once 
took up with enthusiasm the plan of the report in opposition 
to the presidential plan, which, it will be remembered, Bell 
was supposed to support. "It is time," said the Union, "to 
take sides. We take the side of the Compromise bill." 49 The 
Union complained that the whig newspapers were silent while 
waiting for instructions from Washington. Very shortly af- 
terwards, the whig papers came out for the compromise also. 
But it is very interesting to analyze the different motives 
which actuated the whig and democratic journals. The whig 
editors made it their business to continue to attack the con- 
vention and to uphold the compromise plan as against the 
alleged disunion movement. The Republican Banner and Nash- 
ville Whig, changing somewhat its line of argument, now al- 
leged that the "conventionists" were basing their scheme 
on the idea that if the compromise measures were adopted, 
the democrats might claim the credit of having compelled their 
passage, through the convening of this body. The True Whig 
devoted able editorials to demonstrating that there was not 
any essential difference between the president's ideas and those 
of Clay's committee 50 a point of view hardly borne out by 

47 Ibid., ap., 452. 

4S Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Register, May 14, 

43 Nashville Union, May 24, 1850. 

"The Desperate Fix of the Conventionists." Republican Banner 
and Nashville Whig, May 25, 1850. "The Administration and the 
Compromise." Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Regis- 
ter, May 31, 1850 (v. 2, no. 9), pp. 131-132, 135. In the same number 
under the heading, "Signs of the times," the True Whig presented 
some very interesting suggestions. It asserted, first that the southern 


the remarks either of Bell or of Clay in the senate. Thus each 
party declared for the compromise plan, and each interpreted 
in it its partisan sense. 

On May 22 the removal of the remains of President Polk 
to a vault at his home place in Nashville was the occasion 
for patriotic ceremonies and an oration by Bishop Otey. 51 
There now began a series of meetings throughout the counties 
in Tennessee in favor of the compromise report, and one of 
these was scheduled to meet at Nashville June 1, just two days 
before the time of assembling of the southern convention. 52 
This meeting was held as appointed, and was addressed by 
E. H. Poster, the peer of Bell in the estimation of the whigs. 
Nicholson and Brown were called for, but neither appeared, 53 
nor was the editor of the Union present. 54 

These gentlemen were doubtless busy with the preparation 
for the southern convention. Already for some days the dele- 
gates had been arriving. 55 A subcommittee of the Tennessee 
delegates, it was announced, would be constantly in attend- 
ance at the Union office on Cherry street near the postoffice. 
Delegates were invited to register here or to send their names. 56 

From the several .newspapers one may pick up not a few 
bits of detail regarding the meeting of the convention. As 

"ultraists" were fast abandoning the old position of nonintervention 
and were now demanding of congress a positive guarantee of the con- 
stitutional right to introduce slavery into the territories, a procedure 
which nullified their former arguments, for if it were constitutional 
to legislate slavery into the territories, it would also be constitutional 
to legislate it out: secondly, that the demand of the ultrasouthern 
senators for the extension of the line of 36 30' to which it was known 
that the North would not accede was prompted by a desire for the 
dissolution of the union as an "alternative" : thirdly, that there was a 
noticeable identity in personnel between the southern advocates of the 
Nashville convention and the promoters of the expedition of General 
Lopez for the conquest of Cuba. This, said the True Whig, was "like 
casting a firebrand into the magazine," and "we have a right to infer 
that the refusal to admit Cuba as an independent Southern state into 
the Union ... is another 'alternative,' vaguely hinted at by Mr. Cal- 
houn in his letter to Colonel Tarpley to which 'disunion' would be 
preferred by the extreme Southern factionists." The Lopez expedi- 
tion, it will be remembered, had just taken place in the last of 
May, 1850. 

81 Nashville Daily Gazette, May 23, 1850. 

52 Nashville Daily Gazette, May 29, 1850. 

53 Ibid., June 2, 1850. 

M Nashville Union, June 2, 1850. 

55 Nashville Daily Gazette, May 30, 1850. Among the earliest were 
some from South Carolina, who thus had an opportunity to ascertain 
the sentiments of Tennessee. 

56 Nashville Union, May 30, 31, 1850. 


early as February the Gazette had jocosely remarked that 
the meeting of the convention would be a good thing for the 
hotel keepers. ' 4 Our landlords will feed and lodge the dele- 
gates well, notwithstanding they may deem them on a fool's 
errand, and destined to become as odious as the notorious 
Hartford Convention men." 57 The descent upon the little city 
of Nashville of nearly one hundred and seventy-five delegates, 
together with many others attracted by curiosity, must in- 
deed have enlivened the town. In the evenings the delegates 
might be afforded amusement by the performance of the Swiss 
bell-ringers, while a Mrs. Fogg, on account of the thinness 
of her audience, postponed to a more favorable evening her 
"Ballad Entertainment." 58 It was noticed that the proceed- 
ings of the southern convention were telegraphed in full to 
many of the western and northern papers. 59 T. A. Foster, the 
traveling agent of the Democratic Review, was in the city. 60 
The Union, before the convention was a day old, had added 
to its list two hundred new subscribers. At the first session 
which met in the Odd Fellows' hall it was discovered that 
that place was too small for the number of delegates. The 
trustees of McKendree church then kindly offered the use of 
that building,* 1 and there the subsequent days' sessions were 
held. At the adjournment of the convention the delegates from 
South Carolina thoughtfully presented to the church a new 
carpet to take the place of the one which had been injured by 
the coming and going of the delegates. 62 

A particularly bright reporter of the scenes of the conven- 
tion was a young woman who, assuming the name Kate Conyu- 
ham, described herself as "a Yankee girl." Residing with a 
"colonel" who lived at "Overtoil Park," a three hours' ride 
from Nashville, she experienced a "start of innate horror" 
at the suggestion of her host that they should visit Nashville 
and the convention, for she supposed that like its predecessor 
fit Hartford it would meet behind closed doors. She describes 
the impression made upon her by the churches at Nashville, 
and the half-finished capitol, and proceeds to give her irn- 
j-ressiou of the convention as she beheld it assembled in Mc- 
Keudree church. On the floor only ladies were admitted, ex- 
cept of course the members: the galleries were packed with 
"lookers-on and lookers-down." On the floor in the front part 

57 Nashville Daily Gazette, February 13, 1850. 
&s Nashville Centre-State American, June 8, 1850. 

59 Nashville Daily Gazette, June 13, 1850. 

60 Nashville Union, June 2, 1850. 
01 Nashville Union, June 4, 1850. 

62 Centre-State American, June 15, 1850. 



of the church the delegation of each state was seated by itself. 
The front pews on either side of the broad aisle, in front of 
the president, were assigned to South Carolina and Mississippi, 
respectively. On the right of Mississippi was Virginia, occu- 
pying two pews. On the left of Carolina was Florida, and 
in the rear Alabama, while the Georgians sat behind the Miss- 
issippians. The Tennessee delegates, among whom was General 
Pillow in a white military vest, and Major W. H. Polk, the 
late president's brother, occupied the side pews on the left 
of the pulpit. In front of the pulpit was a carpeted platform 
within the chancel railing, on which were placed a dozen little 
green tables for the editors and reporters. 

In the chair was Judge Sharkey, "a dignified, Andrew 
Jackson looking man." Speaking when her party entered, was 
Hammond of South Carolina of a "conservative, pale, intel- 
lectual aspect, with a high forehead, white and polished as 
marble." The South Carolina delegation was the most talented 
with the exception, possibly, of that of Mississippi. After a 
brief description of Rhett and Barnwell, she speaks of Cheves 
as "a hale, white-headed old gentleman, with a fine port-wine 
tint to his florid cheek." The most eloquent was Pickens who 
had a "face like one of the old Roman emperors which I have 
seen on a coin, Neva [sic], I think," and whose oratory was 
''worthy of the Forum." This young lady of the North was 
impressed with the conservatism of the South Carolina dele- 
gation. The most ultra were the Virginians. Among them was 
Beverly Tucker, the half-brother of John Randolph, entering 
upon his dotage, and sometimes forgetful that ladies were 
present. The most able and patriotic was Gordon. Among the 
others who impressed this visitor were McRea of Mississippi, 
a young man who was a "man of work by display of talents 
for debate." The oratory of Colquitt of Georgia was of the 
athletic kind. Among the Tennesseans William H. Polk was 
"bearded like an Ottoman chief." But chief in fascination 
for Miss Conynham was General Pillow who lived "in elegant 
and opulent retirement, not far south of Nashville," and would 
probably be the next governor. She deprecated the foolish 
stories about him in the newspapers. 

Despite her prejudices, this young lady was deeply im- 
pressed with the dignity and solemnity of the gathering. At 
first the citizens were opposed to the convention, she reports, 
but day by day as its sessions advanced it grew in favor. The 
galleries, the people sovereign, thundered applause and the 
]adies smiled approbation. This applause was impartial, for 
with fickleness the galleries applauded both suggestions of 
nonintercourse with the North and sentiments of devotion 
to the defense of the union. The convention had contributed 


much to the social life of Nashville, and brilliant dinner par- 
ties were the order of the day. A "Whig jurist" opposed to 
the convention politically, nevertheless was entertaining the 

The suggestions of a second session were regarded by mod- 
erate men as an imprudent challenge and one perilous to be 
taken up. What the result and influence of the action of the 
convention might be "is not," said Miss Conyuham, "for a 
female pen to say, but I believe firmly that it will have a 
tendency to consolidate the Union." In conclusion she urged 
that the convention should command the respect of the North. 63 

The formal proceedings of the convention, which was in 

63 "More needles from my needle book," by Miss Kate Conynham, 
written for the Model American Courier, "Needle Number 17," re- 
printed in the Nashville Union, July 24, 1850, at the request of 'a 

Another interested -visitor to the convention was Cave Johnson, 
who, in a long letter to Buchanan, has recorded his impressions of the 
gathering. This additional independent account is highly valuable in 
corroboration of the other sources for the history of the convention. 
The main body of the letter follows : 

"I have seen the elephant and suppose that you will be somewhat 
interested in the little I learned. I declined being a member of the con- 
vention as you were informd in my last. I apprehend great danger 
to the Democracy of Tennessee, and to give a counter direction to pub- 
lic opinion here from what I supposed would be the action of the 
convention procured a public meeting in our town over which I pre- 
sided and made a speech in favor of the Compromise bill reported from 
the Comm of 13. Many others followed, Whigs and Democrats. It 
resulted in a unanimous vote in favor of them. Meetings have been 
since held in many other counties with like unanimity and it seems 
probable that the State will follow with great unanimity. This was 
ten days before the convention met. I was prevailed upon by some of 
our friends to go to the convention to meet the 1 Tennessee delegates 
to consult for ourselves what was best to be done. I spent two days. 
The convention you will see is composed of men from the other states 
who had been old nullifiers and of young men who had been most 
devoted to the chief of that sect. I found there Gen. Gordon and 
Goode, and W. Newton from Virginia, and Beverly Tucker, the author 
of the Partisan Leader, Pickens and Rhett, Hammond and Cheves 
from So C., the latter very old and said to be intemperate and of 
course useless except his name, Colquitt and McDonald from Ga., 
Fitzpatrick, Chapman and Campbell from Ala., Sharkey, and Clayton 
and Gov Matthews from Miss., Pearson of Fla., Roane of Arkansas, 
and Gen. Henderson from Texas. These seemed the most prominent. 
From a good deal of conversation with some of them I concluded they 
were less restive and factious than I supposed. They expect to make 
36.30 their ultimatum. Our Tennessee men were apprehensive that 
the real design of some of them was to defeat the bill now pending by 
opposing to it the Missouri Compromise which they believed in its 
turn would be defeated and the question left for agitation. This 
seemed likely to be the point of difference between Tenn and the other 
states when I left there. A. V. Brown and Nicholson were appointed on 
the part of Tennessee on the Comm to prepare resolutions. Brown 


session from June 3 to June 12, inclusive, are to be found 
in the official publication issued by authority of the conven- 
tion itself, and in; the very full accounts which appeared in 
some of the Nashville newspapers. 64 At the first session, held 
on Monday afternoon, June 3, the convention was called 

will struggle for retaining the Compromise bill with a change of the 
boundaries to 36 30' and produce union. Nicholson whose opinion I 
had not had an opportunity to ascertain precisely I think will go for 
the Compromise lest any new measure should take a feather out of 
the cap of Cass and defeat its settlement. The Tennesseans would 
all have preferred 36 30', but for the reason assigned. Rumors were 
afloat that you had agreed with 15 Southern Senators to bring force 
enough from the North to carry 36 30' and that you had published a 
letter wh was most anxiously expected [by] every mail. I could not 
trace the origin of the report but expressed the opinion that you wd 
not publish any letter or say and do anything that could be construed 
into an effort to defeat the aforesaid bill but your opinion had been 
long known in favor of 36-30, had made a speech, etc. From the little 
I could learn the class of politicians there from the South would under 
no circumstances take Gen C and it was difficult to learn whose 
claim they wd most favor. Gov McDonald spoke freely in your behalf 
Many others favorably without expressing a preference. It is under- 
stood here that Bell would probably favor if not defend the course of 
Gen T . Strong apprehensions are expressed that he would go for 
36-30 as a means of defeating the bill, hence a great anxiety was felt 
to give him no excuse for voting agt Clay's bill. I think the Tennes- 
seans will withdraw or enter a protest agt the policy proposed by the 
Southern States and stake themselves on the Compromise, which is 
exceedingly popular with both parties here. [I] cd not remain longer. 
Most of the ultra Southern men here are unconquerably prejudiced agt 
Cass. I think are disposed to favor Woodbury. I thought if they 
had favored you they wd have talked more freely with me. There 
were many speculations as to the effect of the compromise if passed. 
Some said that the next presidential [?] wd between Cass and Clay. 
If not passed the North would take up Taylor and that Clay wd be 
run by the Compromisers-. If 36-30 shd be insisted that you wd 

?robably be the nominee agt Taylor. Taylor has no friends here now. 
suppose we shall have the resolutions in a day or two when the 
debate will commence but I think there is no fighting ground between 
the Compromise Bill and 36-30. I could not adhere to my resolutions 
of having nothing to do with politics when such questions were before 
the people. Tho my sign board is up as a lawyer I am more generally 
regarded as a politician. My movements now are I find attributed by 
the Whigs to a desire to supercede Turney and they promise help if 
the Democrats succeed in the next election while the friends of Gen 
Harris are alarmed lest I should seek his place. Both alike mistakes 
but one thing is certain, I receive more political visits than profes- 
sional calls as yet." Johnson-Buchanan letters, June 6. "Have you 
seen the elephant?" was a popular slang phrase of the day. 

M The southern convention in Nashville has been made the subject 
of two special articles, as follows: (1) Herndon, "The Nashville con- 
vention of 1850," in Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society 
for 1904, pp. 203-237. Herndon's account of the first session, how- 
ever, is based almost exclusively on the reports in the Republican Ban- 
ner and Nashville Whig of Nashville, and that of the second session 
upon the material in the Nashville American. (2) F. Newberry, "The 


to order by Aaron V. Brown of Tennessee. Judge W. L. Shar- 
key of Mississippi was chosen permanent president, and Gov- 
ernor McDonald of Georgia, vice-president. E. G. Eastman, 
editor of the Nashville Union, and W. F. Cooper were appoint- 
ed secretaries. After some very warm speeches, among which 
that of Pickens of South Carolina attracted special notice, the 
convention decided to vote by delegations, and that each state 
should have one vote. On the second day, upon motion of 
Governor Brown, it was resolved to raise a committee of two 
members from each state to which should be referred all prop- 
ositions submitted for the consideration of the convention. 
Of this committee each delegation was to choose two members 
except in the case of Texas which had only one delegate. 
For Tennessee the two members chosen were Brown and Nich- 
olson. The convention then proceeded to hear the several reso- 
lutions introduced by its members, which turned out to be a 
lengthy proceeding, .extending over several sessions. These 

Nashville convention and southern sentiment of 1850," in the South 
Atlantic quarterly, 11: no. 3 (July, 1912). The latter author appears 
to be unaware of the former's work. The article has merit, but is less 
satisfactory than that of Herndon. 

The principal original source for the convention is the official jour- 
nal published for each session. The titles are as follows: For the 
first session, Resolutions and address, adopted by the Southern conven- 
tion, held at Nashville, Tennessee, June 3d to 12th, inclusive, in the 
year 1850; published by order of the convention (Nashville, Tenn.: 
Harvey M. Watterson, Printer, 1850). As cited in a bibliographical 
note by Miss A. R. Hasse ("The southern convention of 1850," in 
Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 14: no. 4 [April, 1910], p. 
239), the title varies slightly, including after "address" the words 
"and journal of proceedings of the southern convention," in lieu of 
those given above and omitting 'and" after the first word. A copy in 
the Harvard University library, cited in H. V. Ames, State documents 
on federal relations (Philadelphia, 1906), appears to agree in title 
with that cited by Miss Hasse. The copy used by the writer, belong- 
ing to Mr. L. R. Campbell, lacks pages 49-64, inclusive. For the sec- 
ond session, Journal of proceedings of the southern convention, at its 
adjourned session, held at Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 11, 1850, and subse- 
quent days (Nashville, Tenn.: Eastman & Boyers, Printers, American 
Office, 1850). 

Miss Hasse gives a valuable note as to the printing of the proceed- 
ings and speeches in various eastern newspapers. To this may be 
added the following note upon the newspapers of Nashville : 

The democratic newspapers were (1) the Daily Union, E. G. East- 
man, editor. For some time prior to September, 1849, the publisher 
was J. G. Shepherd, but in that month he disposed of his interests to 
Harvey M. Watterson, a former representative in congress. Eastman 
continued as editor until July, 1850, when he was dismissed by Wat- 
terson who then assumed the editorship himself. This action, as is 
made clear in the text of this paper, was due to a divergence in the 
political opinions of Watterson and Eastman. The Union considered 
itself the organ of the democratic party in Tennessee. It will be noted 


resolutions were referred without debate to the committee. 
The first to be presented were those of Judge Campbell of Ala- 
bama ; others were presented by Erwiii of Alabama, Dawson of 
Georgia, McEea of Mississippi, Benning of Georgia, Tucker of 
Virginia, Pearson of Florida, McClelland of Florida, Polk 
of Tennessee, Coleman and Buford of Alabama, Wilkinson of 
Mississippi, Henderson of Texas, Goode of Virginia, and 
Fouche of Georgia. Some of the resolutions were in long 
series, some were limited to a single proposal. Some were con- 
servative, but the larger part were aggressive in tone. 

By Saturday, the eighth, the committee of resolutions of 
which Gordon of Virginia had been made chairman, was ready 
to report, and submitted to the convention a long series of res- 
olutions and an address. The resolutions are seen, upon com- 
parison, to be based upon the first resolutions submitted, those 
of Judge Campbell. The address was later declared to be the 
work of Robert Barn well Ehett, who, however, had been con- 
spicuously silent during the convention. Both resolutions 

that Eastman was one of the secretaries of the Nashville convention. 
As one would expect then, the accounts of the convention in the Union 
are very full. This is especially important for the speeches. 

(2) The Daily Centre-State American prior to October, 1849, was 
owned in partnership by Thompson and Hutton. At that time Thomp- 
son disposed of his interests to Hutton, and Thomas Boyers, of the 
Gallatin Tenth Legion, became editor. In August, 1850, Hutton re- 
tired, and Eastman, who had left the employ of the Union, bought an 
interest in the American. Henceforth their names appear as E. G. 
Eastman, Thomas Boyers, editors and publishers. The accounts of 
the first session in the American are thinner than those in the Union. 
But as to* the second session the reverse is true. In this one sees the 
influence of Eastman. Shortly after the commencement of Eastman's 
connection with the American, the words "Centre- State" were dropped 
and "Nashville" substituted. 

The whig papers were (1) the Republican Banner and Nashville 
Whig. W. F. Bang and company, proprietors ; William Wales, editor. 
In the early part of 1849 the Nashville Whig was edited by A. A. Hall 
and published by B. R. McKennie. Hall accepted appointment from 
President Taylor and transferred the subscription and good will of the 
Whig to the Republican Banner, which then assumed the title given 
above. This newspaper was devoted to the interests of John Bell, and 
undertook to represent the whig party as the Union did the demo- 
cratic. The accounts of the proceedings and the debates of the con- 
vention were full, at least for the first session, though the editor was 
bitterly in opposition. 

(2) On the action of Hall, to which reference is made above, 
McKennie associated with himself A. M. Rosborough, formerly editor 
of the Columbia Observer, and E. P. McGinty, who had conducted the 
Clarksville Chronicle. Under their editorship, with McKennie as pub- 
lisher, was instituted the Nashville True Whig. Besides the regular 
daily form a weekly edition was published under the title Nashville 
True Whig and Weekly Commercial Register. This paper also gives 
a full account of the proceedings and debates of the convention, and 


and address were read by Campbell, and then, together with 
the minority report signed by Nicholson and Brown of the Ten- 
nessee delegation, William M. Murphy of Alabama, Arthur J. 
Forman of Florida, and Sam C. Roane of Arkansas, were or- 
dered to be printed. To the committee were referred other 
resolutions recently introduced. 

Monday, June 10, Pillow presented some amendments to the 
address, but by a parliamentary tour de force, the resolutions 
were first forced to a vote. They were adopted. Later, on the 
vote by states, the address amended meanwhile as proposed 
by Pillow was unanimously adopted : but upon a call of the 
roll of individual delegates several of the Alabama group, with 
Gholson of Virginia, recorded their names as against the adop- 
tion of the address. Sharkey did likewise, but later, upon the 
solicitation of friends, withdrew his vote, though he did not 
change it to the affirmative. 

After resolutions" in regard to the interests of Texas had 
been adopted, Mr. Dawson, a young delegate from Georgia, 
pressing resolutions as to the establishment of a southern 
party and of a southern press at Washington city, insinuated 
that the convention might be charged with political purposes. 
"It had been suspected and whispered that a little infant pres- 
ident was quickening in some portions of the Address that had 
been adopted. He called on the convention to disavow it." 
The resolutions, were, however, laid upon the table. After 
passing various resolutions of thanks, and after brief valedic- 

like the Republican Banner and Nashville Whig was hostile to the 

(3) The Daily Gazette, city! of Nashville, Wm. Hy. Smith, editor, 
A. Nelson and company, publishers, a smaller and cheaper paper, in 
July, 1850, was transferred, the business department to J. L. Haynes 
and company, and the editorship to John L. Marling. This newspaper 
did not attempt to give full reports of the meetings of the convention, 
but contented itself with summaries. These, however, are often help- 
ful as contmporary interpretations of the actions of the convention. 

In Ames, State documents on federal relations (pp. 263-269), will 
be found reprinted all the June resolutions with the exception of those 
relating to Texas. M. W. Cluskey, The political text-book or encyclo- 
pedia (Washington, 1857) gives the first thirteen of the June resolu- 
tions, but not the address (pp. 532-533) ; the November resolutions 
(pp. 533-535); and the Tennessee* resolutions (pp. 535-536). Hern- 
don's article (see above) is particularly well documented,, including 
lists of the delegates (taken, however, from the newspapers and not 
from the official journals), the resolutions of the first session, in part, 
and extensive excerpts from the address, and the resolutions of the 
second session. 


lories from the president and the vice-president, the convention 
adjourned sine die. 65 

While sentiment in Tennessee was well nigh universal in 
favor of the compromise, the assembling of the convention made 
a deep impression. Of course the most outspoken approval of 
the convention was that of the Union. The work of the conven- 
tion, as that paper summed it up, had prepared the way for the 
removal of difficulties and for the development of a sentiment 
of unity. The effect on the community, said the editor, has 
been noticeable. Now there was heard none of the fierce de- 
nunciation that had marked the early period before the con- 
vention met. 66 The Centre-State American, with enthusiasm, 
said that the phantom of treason had not intruded on 
its deliberations. 67 

With even greater interest one turns to the opinion of the 
whig newspapers. The Gazette admired "the propriety, dig- 
nity, forbearance and moderation" which characterized the de- 
liberations of the convention. "It were well for the northern 
representatives in Congress to take warning." 68 "It is but 
just to remark," said the True Whig and Weekly Commercial 
Register, "that the Convention embodied a large amount of 
talent and intelligence; its deliberations were orderly and de- 
corous; its discussions were conducted with ability and cour- 
tesy, and the delegates separated with as much harmony and 
good feeling as usually characterizes bodies of similar organ- 
ization." 69 But while thus paying respect to the sobriety of 
the convention and refusing to underrate it, both this jour- 
nal and the equally influential Republican Banner and Nash- 
ville Whig denounced the doctrines which the convention had 
adopted as its own in the address. The charge of "Nullifica- 
tion" for some time filled the columns of the True Whig. 

The whigs criticised with especial bitterness the course 
of the Tennessee delegation. The members from Tennessee 
had indeed softened the address, but why had they not voted 

65 In the course of the vigorous debate which marked the last two 
days of the convention there were made several speeches interesting 
and important for the historical student. Among these were Colquitt 
and Tucker on thel extreme side, those of Hunter and Wilkinson, of 
conciliatory tone, and, especially, the running debate between Sharkey 
and Hammond. 

66 Nashville Union, June 14, 1850. 

67 Centre-State American, June 15, 1850. 

68 Nashville Daily Gazette, June 14, 1850. 

69 Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Register, June 14, 

70 Ibid., June 21, 28, July 5, 1850. 



against it as the open dissentients had done?" 1 To the writer 
the explanation seems clear. In insisting upon the line of 
thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes and denouncing the plan 
of the senate committee, the convention was but following the 
leadership of the ultrasouthern group in Washington from 
which it had taken its real beginning. The Tennessee leaders, 
while thoroughly conscious that public opinion in their state 
was very different from that in South Carolina and the lower 
South, nevertheless were very much affected by the southern 
influence in the convention. In a speech delivered in the house 
of representatives August 9, 1850, 72 C. H. Williams, one of the 
whig members from Tennessee, gave the following interesting 
explanation of whnt had happened: 

"This celebrated Nashville convention in the fullness of 
time met. The representatives of Tennessee, as I am credibly 
informed, having seen a letter from a member of the conven- 
tion, were in favor- unanimously of the Compromise bill of 
the Senate. Yet, before they adjourned, they were unani- 
mously for the Missouri Compromise line. How was this radi- 
cal change and sudden revolution effected? Let plain facts 
attest. Some of the representatives from Tennessee were tele- 
graphed by members in this Hall, and were informed that 
if the convention would agree upon the Senate compromise 
bill then before the Senate, that there was every prospect that 
it would be passed by the Senate of the United States. The 
same representatives in the convention were informed that 
if the convention agreed upon the Missouri compromise line, 
it could not and would not pass the Congress of the United 
States. With a full knowledge that its passage was hopeless, 
the Nashville convention, with great unanimity, agreed upon 
that line of adjustment, regardless of the fact that the demo- 
cratic party, no longer ago than last Congress, repudiated and 
denounced that line of adjustment as unconstitutional and 
unjust. Why this political sumerset [sic] ? The Hon. Robert 
B. Rhett teils you in his Charleston speech. He says that in 
five days the Tennessee delegation wheeled into line. What 
line? The disunion line. How? By rejecting the Senate com- 
promise bill and agreeing to the Missouri compromise line 
that they knew to be impracticable." 

Rhett's speech, to which Williams made reference, had 
been delivered in Charleston very shortly after his return from 
Nashville, and had been as much more radical than the ad- 

71 Nashville Daily Gazette, June 14, 1850. 

72 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, ap., 1052. This pas- 
sage is cited by Herman E. von Hoist, Constitutional and political 
history of the United States (Chicago, 1879-1892), 3: 353, n. 2. 


dress as that was more radical than the resolutions. Of the 
convention Rhett had said: <k lts effect was in nothing more 
remarkable than in the change of opinion and feeling it ap- 
parently produced on the people of Nashville and the Ten- 
nessee delegation. . . . The toast of Governor Brown, at 
a dinner given by General Pillow and himself to the delegates 
of the Convention, declaring that in five days the Tennessee 
delegation were brought into line, shows how previous mis- 
trust had been changed into confidence." 73 So much was made 
of this unguarded statement of Ehett's that Brown thought 
it worth while to make a formal explanation. His alleged 
statement was very speciously converted into a mere dinner 
jest which had had reference only to the arrangement of the 
Tables at which the guests were seated. 7 * Brown communi- 
cated to the newspapers a letter in defense of the convention 
and the Tennessee delegation, which like most of his produc- 
tions, was rather rhetorical. 75 A more impressive document 
was the letter of Nicholson which appeared in the Union. 
From his experience in the convention Nicholson declared 
that there had been a general agreement on conservatism and 
that the convention had steadily looked toward harmonizing, 
the South. It was a pioneer in a grand movement for the 
preservation of southern rights. It had given a quietus, he 
believed, to the idea of secession. He had yielded a reluctant 
assent to the proposal of the line of thirty-six degrees and 
thirty minutes which to him involved congressional interven- 
tion on one side of the line and not on the other. He thought 
it a mistake for southern men violently to attack the com- 
promise as reported, which was as much southern as northern 
in origin. 76 

Meanwhile early in July, after the adjournment of the 
Nashville convention, and just before the illness of President 
Taylor, Bell made in the senate a very long speech, which 
occupied in the delivery parts of three days. 77 At this time 
he strangely repudiated his own plan of February, which, 
he said, was made up of propositions submitted by others; 
yet he spent some time replying to the criticisms made of it. 

73 Nashville Union, July 3, 1850 ; Nashville True Whig and Weekly 
Commercial Register, July 5, 1850 ; Republican Banner and Nashville 
Whig, July 27, 1850. 

''Nashville Union, July 11, 1850. 

Ibid., July 1, 1850; Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial 
Register, July 5, 1850. 

76 Nashville Union, June 23, 1850. Nicholson's argument was ably 
criticised in the Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Regis- 
ter, June 28, 1850. 

77 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, ap., 1088-1106. 


He now undertook to defend the plan of President Taylor 
and involved himself in a running debate with Clay, who, he 
intimated, in hi* insistence upon the plan of the committee, 
was exercising a '"moral despotism." The basis of this attack 
was Clay's speech of May 21 in which he defended, as he 
claimed/the bill of the committee against the administration. 
The issue between the president and Clay, Bell said, presented 
the old question whether Mahomet would go to the mountain, 
or the mountain should come to Mahomet. He did not under- 
take to say which was Mahomet or which the mountain. 
Clay retorted that he only wanted the mountain to let him 

As the debate progressed, Foote accused Bell of incon- 
sistency in abandoning his own suggestions. "But in regard 
to those resolutions of his," Foote said, "upon which the 
great plan of adjustment is principally, based, I must con- 
fess that whilst I recognized him as decidedly a public bene- 
factor in proposing them, for which I have always consid 
ered him entitled to peculiar gratitude, yet it seems he has 
been merely contriving to lead myself and others into a mis- 
take, and has induced us to accord a respect and favor to 
his own resolutions, which he is himself willing to show was 
misplaced." Bell replied that the committee of thirteen, with 
Foote and his friends, deserted him and cut off the only one 
of his resolutions that he had particularly at heart. Foote 
urged that Bell's course, if he really intended to support the 
compromise would weaken the support to it in the South. 
Bell disclaimed any such purpose, and modestly depreciated 
the extent of his own influence outside of his own state. After 
a long running comment on each of the measures contained 
IP the compromise, he asserted that he would support any 
plan "which holds out the remotest prospect of restoring peace 
and harmony to the country." "And whatever doubts," he 
continued, "I may entertain of the efficacy of the one now 
presented for the decision of the Senate, I expect to give it 
iny vote, unless I shall see that some other more acceptable 
meastire is more likely to find favor with Congress." 

The point which we have indicated was reached by Bell 
towards the conclusion of his remarks upon the second day. 
For the remainder of this day and upon the next Bell's speech 
became an eloquent, thoughtful, and conservative discourse 
upon the history of the past of the United States and upon 
the larger aspect of the questions which were then agitating 
the public mind. Nowhere is found a better expression of 
bis attitude towards the political issues of the United States. 
.But of the first part of his speech the New- York Herald said 


that it was "a sweeping round and round the Omnibus, very 
seldom coming within hailing distance of the driver," and 
called it "dreadfully metaphysical, abstruse, and dull." 78 Late 
in September, after the adoption of the compromise meas- 
ures and the adjournment of congress, Bell had republished 
in the Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Register 
his remarks of July 5 and 6, prefacing them with a letter rath- 
er pessimistic in tone. The crisis, he said, was not passed. He 
complained bitterly of the use of money under the disguise 
of the federal patronage "to operate as a standing premium 
to successful factions." He urged the sons of Tennessee to 
cultivate a spirit of harmony as the state would inevitably 
play a large part in the decisions of the future. 79 This, of 
course, was after the death of Taylor, an event which must 
have been a severe blow to Bell. The part which Bell might 
have played had the president lived affords ground for in- 
teresting speculation. 

In contrast with Bell's somewhat uncertain course, Tur- 
ney consistently threw in his lot with Davis of Mississippi 
and his coworkers. These carried out the ideas of the south- 
ern convention, endeavoring, first, so to amend the Texas and 
the California measures as to render them satisfactory to the 
South, and, failing in this, to defeat the compromise. Ac- 
cording to a document said to have been found by federal 
soldiers in 1863, in Winchester, Tennessee, the home of Sen- 
ator Turney, an agreement was signed on August 2, 1850, by 
ten southern senators to "avail ourselves of any and every 
means which a majority of those signing this paper may de- 
termine to prevent the admission of California as a state un- 
less the southern boundary be reduced to 36 30' . . ." 
The first name upon the list is that of H. L. Turney. Upon 
the reverse of the document is a record of a vote taken by 
these ten senators on the question of resisting "by all Par- 
liamentary means" the passage of the bill, which was lost 
upon a tie. Turney voted aye, with Davis, Soule, Morton, and 
Yulee. 80 Despite all their opposition the bill was passed by 
the senate August 13. Hunter of Virginia then presented a 

78 Cited in Nashville Union, July 16, 1850. 

79 Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Register, Septem- 
ber 27, 1850. 

80 "Fifth annual report of the historical manuscripts commission,'* 
ap. 1, in American Historical Association, Annual report, 1900 (Wash- 
ington, 1901), 1: 602-603. Cited in R. G. Thwaites, Descriptive list of 
manuscript collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin 
(Madison, 1906), 146; and (not quite accurately) by Miss Cleo Hearon 
in "Mississippi and the compromise of 1850," in Mississippi Historical 
Society, Publications, 14: 139, n., 140, n. 


protest on behalf of this same group, on which, also, Turner's 
name appears. 81 The news of the passage of the compromise 
measures was received in Nashville with the booming of can- 
non, and an enthusiastic meeting was held which passed reso- 
lutions of thanks to those of the senators and representatives 
of Tennessee who had supported those measures. The exclu- 
sion of Turney by such words was deliberate. 82 

Very shortly after the adjournment of the June session 
of the convention, E. G. Eastman, the editor of the Union, 
had been dismissed by the owner Watterson, and later had 
become editor of the American. 83 The latter newspaper at 
once took on a stronger southern tone. It was. the only Nash- 
ville paper to defend Turney and the only one to dissent from 
the chorus of approval of the compromise. Yet even the Amer- 
ican, so late as October, declared that a second session of 
the southern convention "could not now do any good." 84 When, 
therefore, the southern intransigents determined that the ac- 
tion of congress did justify a second session, the convention, 
shorn of numbers and strength, reassembled on November 11, 
in an atmosphere distinctly hostile. 

The meetings, which lasted through seven days, were held 
in the Christian church ; and the procedure was much the same 
as before. The most vivid incident was, perhaps, the fiery 
speech of the aged Cheves, who urged immediate secession. 85 
While the South Carolinians were in control, the general lead- 
ership was placed in the hands of C. C. Clay of Alabama. Less 
than sixty delegates attended, and only the South Carolina 

81 Congressional globe, 31 congress, 1 session, 1578. 

82 Nashville True Whig and Weekly Commercial Register, Septem- 
ber 27, 1850. Turney voted for the fugitive slave law and the Utah 
bill, and against the Texas boundary bill, the California bill, and the 
bill for the abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia. 
Bell, on the other hand, voted for the Texas, the California, and the 
fugitive slave bill, and against the Utah bill. On the New Mexico 
and the District of Columbia bill he cast no vote. Of the Tennessee 
delegates in the house of representatives the whig members supported 
the compromise measures, except the District of Columbia bill, for 
which only M. P. Gentry gave a favorable vote. On this and on the 
Texas and New Mexico bills, the Utah bill, and the fugitive slave bill, 
the democrats joined with the whigs, unless an individual refrained 
from voting at all. The only real division of sentiment appeared in 
the case of the California bill. Here the votes were seven to four. 
All the negative votes were democratic; on the affirmative side were 
all the whig names, and those of these democrats: G. W. Jones, 
Ewing, and Andrew Johnson. Cluskey, Political text-book, 107-109. 

83 Nashville Union, July 22, 1850. 

84 Centre-State American, October 15, 1850. 

&3 Nashville Daily American, November 16, 1850. Miss Hasse (see 
ante, note 64) was unable to find this speech in the eastern papers. 


and the Tennessee delegations were to any extent composed 
of the same men as in the June session. 80 The explanation is 
found, of course, in the withdrawal of the conservatives from 
other states, such, for example, as Judge Sharkey. Instead of a 
hundred, Tennessee now had but fourteen representatives and 
most of these were the politicians around Nashville. Among 
them w^ere Brown, Pillow, Nicholson, and Donelsou. These 
now attempted to stem the tide of radicalism in the convention 
by the preparation and introduction of the "Tennessee Reso- 
lutions, 7 ' 87 which were much more moderate than those adopted 
by the convention. On the last day, as their efforts had re- 
ceived unfavorable consideration in the committee on resolu- 
tions, they tried to get a hearing in the convention, but were 
stopped by the application of the previous question. Brown 
und Nicholson both wished to speak, but were willing to forego 
this as the delegates wished to adjourn. Donelson, however, 
moved a reconsideration of the vote and, despite adverse rul- 
ing from the chair, tried to hold the floor, with some disorder 

88 For the official journal and the accounts in the Nashville papers 
see ante, note 64. 

87 On November 11 the Tennessee delegates held a meeting and 
Brown and Nicholson were appointed to draw up resolutions. Brown 
undertook the task and next morning some verbal amendments were 
made by Nicholson. At another meeting of the Tennessee delegation 
the resolutions were reported by Nicholson but read by Governor Brown 
as they were in his handwriting. After some further amendments, all 
in the direction of compromise, the resolutions were adopted and 
ordered to be reported by General Pillow, chairman of the Tennessee 
delegation. These resolutions stated that the compromise measures 
fell short of justice to the South, yet to give proof of loyalty to the 
union Tennessee would accept them. This determination, however, 
was predicated on the express condition that the North should do her 
part. Also it was to be distinctly understood that the compromise 
measures embraced all the actions in regard to slavery to be taken by 
the North, and that no attempt would be made to alter southern repre- 
sentation, to abolish slavery, to prevent the transportation of slaves 
from one slave-holding state to another by their lawful owners nor on 
antislavery grounds, to prevent the admission of any new states. 

The resolutions further stated that if the North failed to observe 
its promises and continued to harass the South, the South should boy- 
cott the North commercially, not as a matter of revenge but as a 
means of self-defense until means of redress should be obtained. This 
idea of commercial reprisal was a favorite one with Governor Brown. 
The last resolution recommended that, if congress should violate any 
of the conditions laid down, the legislature of each southern state 
should call a convention which should send delegates to meet "at such 
time and place as may be agreed on, with full power and authority to 
do anything and everything which the peace, safety and honor of the 
South may demand." 

These propositions of Tennessee were much in contrast with those 
adopted by the convention, which stated that all the evils anticipated 
by the South and which occasioned this convention to assemble had 


and applause from the galleries. 88 The refusal to hear Don- 
elson was resented by many, while only the American consid- 
ered his action and the noise of the crowd discourteous to 
the convention. 89 From the whig newspapers, of course, the 
cries of condemnation for the resolutions of the convention 
were unanimous : but the Union was no less denunciatory. 
The convention was "admitted to have been a complete fail- 
ure," 90 and the readers of the paper were edified by the re- 
printing of the strongest paragraphs in General Jackson's 
proclamation of 1832. 91 

When the undelivered speeches of Brown and of Nich- 
olson were published, 92 it was evident that there was a serious 

been realized by the failure to extend the Missouri compromise to the 
Pacific ocean, and by the provisions of the compromise. The conven- 
tion recommended that all parties in the slave-holding: states should 
refuse to go into any national convention for the purpose of nominat- 
ing candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency of the United 
States, until the South's constitutional rights had been secured. It 
was recommended further that there should be held a convention of 
slave-holding states with full power and authority to act either for 
restoring the constitutional rights of the South or provide for future 
safety and independence. 

The Tennessee resolutions appear in the official Journal of pro- 
ceedings, 17-18; the resolutions adopted by the convention ibid., 31-34. 
Both are to be found in Cluskey, Political text-book (see ante, note 
64). The account of the action of the Tennessee delegation is taken 
from a note appended to an edition of the speech of Aaron V. Brown. 
See post, note 92. 

Cole (The whig party in the South, 181) says "the Union victory 
in Georgia must have had a dampening influence on the second session 
of the Nashville Convention." The election in Georgia was held No- 
vember 3. It would be improbable, in view of the poor telegraphic 
communication in the South outside of the largest towns, that news 
of the results of this election should reach Nashville in little over a 
week. As a matter of fact, the whig newspapers, which would have 
rejoiced to flaunt the outcome in Georgia in the face of the convention, 
have nothing to say of it until long after the adjournment of the con- 
vention. The principles of the "Georgia Platform," on the other hand, 
may be profitably compared with those of the Tennessee resolutions. 

83 Nashville Union, November 19, 1850. 

"Nashville Daily American, November 19, 1850. 

"Nashville Union, November 20, 1850. 

91 November 23, a very large union meeting was held in the hall of 
the house of representatives. The chief speaker was A. J. Donelson, 
who in the course of his remarks told an interesting story of the grief 
with which General Jackson broke with his former friends Hayne and 
Hammond, in 1832. Nashville Union, November 25, 26, 1850. 

92 That of Nicholson in the Union, November 30, 1850; that of 
Brown in the American, in his! Speeches (see ante, note 1), and in 
pamphlet form, Speech of Ex-Gov. Aaron V. Brown, in the second 
session of the southern convention, on the resolutions reported Satur- 
day, 15th Nov., 1850; published in pursuance of a declaration made 


difference between the two inen. !)3 This was kept alive in the 
two democratic newspapers the Union following Nicholson 
and the American representing Brown. The results were seri- 
ous; in fact it is to this breach, in large part, that the loss 
of the democratic party in Tennessee, in the elections of 1851 
and 1852, is to be ascribed. 94 When Tennessee was redeemed 
for the democracy, it was not the work of Brown, but of a 
man of very different type, the east Tennessee leader, Andrew 
Johnson. 95 , , 

A study of the relation of Tennessee to the events of 1849- 
1850 shows, then, that the "Southern movement" became, in 
Tennessee, a party matter, and that the great body of whigs 
were consistently opposed to it. John Bell, the party leader, 
v-alous of Clay, tried to support President Taylor against the 
plans of the Kentucky compromiser: but Taylor's death left 
him without a position, and he fell in with the senate's meas- 
ures. Among the democrats, there was at one and the same 
time a devotion to the union, inherited from the days of Jack- 
son, and a distinct prosouthern spirit. In the first session 
of the Nashville convention, the democratic leaders were in 
part swept off their feet by the southern current; and they, 
too, were left in a peculiar position, when, having resolved 
to insist on the line of the Missouri compromise, they were 
forced to accept a compromise which entirely disregarded that 
line. In the case of the second session of the convention, the 

to the convention, after the previous question had been called, that 
Gov. B. would do so (Nashville, Tenn.: Eastman and Boyers, Printers, 
American Office, 1850), pp. 1-12. Paged continuously with this are 
the Tennessee resolutions and a "Note" as to their origin (pp. 13-16). 

83 Brown continued to defend the South Carolinians. The American 
said (November 20, 1850) : "Would it not be well for some of those 
who now find time for nothing else than abuse for South Carolina and 
Georgia to remember) who it was, when Tennessee found it impossible 
to raise money to build the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, 
stepped forward and took a third of the stock?" This suggests a 
topic which limits of space do not allow us to consider in this paper. 
A little later the Union referred to Brown as standing with one leg 
in Tennessee and one leg in South Carolina, and humorously urged 
thei ex-governor to "haul in that South Carolina leg before it is too 
late." Nashville Union, November 27, 1850. 

M The widening breach between Brown and Nicholson was regret- 
fully reported to Buchanan by Cave Johnson. (Johnson-Buchanan 
letters, November 10, December 13, 1850.) In November, 1853, John- 
son wrote: "We have lost the state the last two elections by the rival- 
ry between A. V. B. and A. O. P. N., and for want of union and har- 
mony in their movements." (Ibid., November 20, 1853.) In 1851 
Turney lost his seat in the senate. 

85 See a paper by the present writer: "Tennessee and national 
political parties, 1850-1860," in American Historical Association, An- 
nual report, 1914. 



chief result was the development of a factional fight between 
Brown and Nicholson, disastrous for the democratic party. 
Beyond these conclusions it is not wise, perhaps, to go: for 
this paper deals primarily with the history of Tennessee. But 
it is hardly possible, if one examines the materials which have 
been the basis for this paper, to avoid the impression that 
the Nashville convention was really more important than it 
has been thought to be, and that the death of General Taylor 
was an event of greater significance than has sometimes been 
lealized. Certainly the history of the compromise of 1850 is 
btill worthy of investigation. 



James Christian was born in Meigs County, Tenn., Janu- 
ary 7, 1819. His birthplace, a farm situated upon the head- 
waters of the Tennessee Kiver, had been the site of an ex- 
tensive pre-historic Indian village, and within its boundaries 
was included a mound group, arid the burial place of the 
aforesaid prehistoric peoples. 

James, or Uncle Jimmie as he was afterwards known to 
us, grew to manhood upon this place, helped his father con- 
vert and build up, from a primeval wilderness, a typical 
East Tennessee home. It was in the order of events that 
in clearing up this land and in its subsequent plowings and 
stirring of the soil the evidence of its earlier and former 
occupation should appear. 

As the plow guided by Jimmie year after year delved 
deeper and deeper across and over the knolls and second 
bottoms of the Tennessee objects of earthware, stone, bone 
and shell were turned into the furrow, and when the plow 
reached the depth at which it disturbed the skeletal remains 
of the Indian Mound Builders, when the plow became fasten- 
ed and clogged in the stone-walled burial cists, and the re- 
mains exposed to view within the rudely constructed 
sarcophagus, with evidences of the sentiment (or call it 
what you may) which caused to be placed with the enterments 
specimens of their handiwork and articles in use during the 
life of these primitive people, then Jimmie became interested. 
He noted with utmost care the freshly upturned earth in the 
furrows, carefully preserving such articles as showed human 
workmanship. In time this interest developed into a passion. 
All the time that could be spared by his arduous duties upon 
the farm was put into digging and exploring. The ancient 
cemetery upon the place was completely gone over. The 
smaller mounds were after a fashion explored by him, by dig- 
ging holes and trenches. 

When James was twenty years of age he possessed quite 
a collection, and which he increased year by year, by research 
and neighbors gifts. Often had he related to the writer of his 
tramps through the counties of Meigs, Ehea, Koane and 
Loudon, all traversed by the waters of the Tennessee, receiv- 
ing as gifts such articles of Indian workmanship picked up 
by the people in that then sparsely settled region. It was in 
this section that the finest and best examples of the chunky 
or discoidal stone is found more finer and larger examples 

*From The Archaeological Bulletin, Dec., 1918. 


of these beautiful objects have been found there than else- 
where in the United States. Mr. Christian took great pride 
in his collection of these objects, of which he had a great many 
noteworthy examples, not only from the Tennessee region, 
but from other localities. (The entire lot some two hundred 
or more, which came to me by purchase recently, is incompar- 
able, each a gem and far better than any collection in this 
country, public or private. The largest specimen, a beauteous 
pink quartz, measures 10 inches in diameter; three are a 
fraction over 8 inches, and a large number measure over 4 
to 6 inches.) 

At the close of the Civil War, during the late 60's, Mr. 
Christian emigrated to Southern Illinois, selected a home site 
upon the banks of Kaskaskia Kiver, better known as the Okaw. 
Here, again, fortune favored him, not only in the selection 
of a fertile tract of land upon which he prospered as a farmer, 
but also in that in previous times the locality had been a 
favorite haunt of prehistoric peoples. Close by were Indian 
mounds, and upon the bluffs of the Okaw were burial places. 
The bottom lands of the Mississippi Kiver, immediately south 
and west, were filled with tumili and mounds of the Mound 

Uncle Jimmie brought his Tennessee collection with him 
to Illinois. His early collecting had been in a region famous 
for fine and extraordinary discoidal stones, pipes and shell 
objects; Southern Illinois gave him the opportunity to add 
to his collection the most extraordinary flint objects and 
pottery. The interest continued, his collection grew year 
after year in ever increasing proportion, until a special place 
or store room was built for its display a relic house ad- 
jacent to the dwelling. 

I became acquainted with Uncle Jimmie in the early 
80's, was a frequent visitor and guest at his house until his 
death in 1889. It was during these latter years that ground 
was broken for the erection of an Illinois States institution 
at the mouth of the Okaw River. This work necessitated the 
removal and leveling of the loess bluffs overlooking both the 
Okaw and Mississippi Rivers, a commanding site that had 
been chosen by the early Indians for a burial place. Major 
Salter, in charge of this institution work for the Sta.te of Illi- 
nois, became much interested in the material brought to light 
by the work, extended every courtesy to Mr. Christian, permit- 
ting his almost daily presence and affording him every facility 
to preserve and furnished assistance in labor to explore thor- 
oughly what necessity made imperative to destroy. This 
ancient cemeterv was the chosen one of the peoples who built 


the mounds and earthworks in the bottom lands north and 
south of and along the Kaskaskia and west of the Mississippi 
Rivers. Much valuable and many extraordinary objects were 
saved and added to Mr. Christian's collection, who at this time 
although feeble and not able to be very active owing to the 
infirmatives of age, was to the last an interested, ardent stu- 

Just previous to the above work, Mr. Christian discovered 
an ancient burial ground Lithium Creek, which flows through 
Perry and St. Genevieve Counties, Missouri. The headwaters 
of this stream was formed by the Lithia Springs medicinal 
waters of value. A sanitarium was built here by Missourians 
many years since, and its waters are still used and shipped 
from the spring. The Indians formerly made use of these 
waters and those who died were buried nearby. The springs 
were a resting and halting place for the primitive workers 
traveling back and forth to and from the flint quarries upon 
Mill Creek in Union County, Illinois ; since a number of work- 
shops, whereto unfinished blocks of flint from Mill Creek were 
carried and the process of manufacture or chipping was com- 
pleted. Several caches of finished and unfinished flints were 
discovered here, the most noteworthy being a deposit of some 
80 superb flint spades, each completely finished and everyone 
of the finest workmanship, none of which was less than 14 
inches in length, all seemingly made by the same master-hand 
and cached in the store-house for future need. 

Mr. Christian carefully preserved this, as well as other 
finds, and I became the fortunate owner of more than 50 of 
these extraordinary flints, each one separately wrapped in 
copies of a Chester, 111., weekly newspaper dated in the 80's. 

James Christian was a contemporary worker with col- 
lectors Win. McAdams of Jersey ville; Dr. J. J. R. Patrick of 
Belleville and Charles Helber of Cairo, 111.; Charles Jones 
of Nashville, Tenn.; H. H. Hill of Cincinnati, Ohio; Charles 
Artes of Evansville; Prof. John Collett of Indianapolis; Jose- 
phus Collett (a brother of the professor) of Terre Haute, Ind., 
and others, all of whom left large accumulations of prehis- 
toric material. Not the least interesting was the correspon- 
dence of these collectors letters, photographs, clippings, etc., 
which came to me with the acquisition of the Christian collec- 

The writer was married in the adjoining county of South- 
ern Illinois wherein his old friend lived. Uncle Jimmie at- 
tended. His gift of friendship and appreciation were two 
cherished "Indian relics" which had often been admired, and 
may be said coveted. 


Mr. Christian died in 1889. His family kept intact, until 
just recently, the wonderful collection of discoidal stones, 
sculptured pipes of the upper Tennessee country, and the large 
flint spades, notched hoes and other flints peculiar to the 
Central Mississippi Valley, forming what is known to be the 
best collection extant. Certain it is that no museum or private 
collection can compare in number, size, beauty or material, 
symmetry and workmanship. I have obligated myself to have 
this collection placed as Uncle Jimmie wished it to be placed. 
His wishes will be fulfilled. WILLIAM SEEVER. 

St. Louis, Mo. 

SOUTHWEST, 1730-1807. 

(Copyright, 1918, Albert V. Goodpasture.) 


Bushwhacking on the Holston; Lesley and the 
Creeks; Hanging Maw helps the whites; trial and exe- 
cution of 0~bonypohego ; raids of the Chickamaugas; 
exploits of the Bench; capture and rescue of the Liv- 
ingstons. 1792-1794. 

In the preceding chapters relating to the Holston settle- 
ments we have considered mainly the greater leaders and larger 
movements of the Cherokees; but the most intolerable solici- 
tude and suffering of the pioneers was caused by the sudden 
forays of small parties of Indians, who prowled the woods 
with stealthy step, appearing and vanishing like frightful 
phantoms. They skulked in the neighborhood of the lone cabin, 
and ambushed the men going to and from their work ; or, wait- 
ing patiently until they were out of earshot, fell upon their 
defenseless womien and children. The first legislative assem- 
bly of the Southwest Territory, which assembled at Knoxville 
in February, 1794, in a memorial to Congress, declared that, 
since the treaty of Holston in 1791, the Indians had killed, in 
the most barbarous manner, more than two hundred citizens 
of the Territory, without regard to age or sex, and carried 
others into captivity and slavery ; robbed them of their stoves ; 
destroyed their cattle and hogs ; burned their houses and grain ; 
and laid waste their plantations. 315 This enumeration, of 
course, included the depredations committed on the Cumber- 
land, which, on account of its proximity to the Chickamaugas 
and Creeks, was at this period the chief sufferer. 

There were no depredations committed on the frontiers 
of the Holston settlement from the treaty of 1791 until the fall 
of 1792. 316 At that time, it will be remembered, the Spanish 
incited the Chickamaugas and Creeks to declare war against 
the United States, which was followed by the invasion of Cum- 
berland and the unsuccessful attack on Buchanan's Station. 
The Upper towns, as the Overhills were now called, still held 
the United States by the hand, and were recognized by Gover- 
nor Blount as a friendly tribe. Some offenses, however, were 
committed by what the old chiefs called "their bad young 

815 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 314. 

376 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 325-6. 


men," whom they had no power to restrain, often in retaliation 
for like offenses committed by lawless white men, hardly less 
amenable to control. Hanging Maw's friendship for the United 
States was not questioned, yet in the spring of 1793 his next 
door neighbor, with a few fellows from the surrounding towns, 
killed two unarmed young men named Clements, as they left 
their father's house in search of cattle. 

These Indians claimed to be taking satisfaction for the 
death of the Black Fish and the Forked-Horn Buck, 317 who had 
been killed on the 12th of the preceding November, while at- 
tempting the perpetration of a horrible crime. The Black 
Fish, of Chota, who had long lived in habits of intimate friend- 
ship with the whites, and the Forked-Horn Buck, of Citico, 
with a small party of warriors, mostly from the Chiekamauga 
towns, attacked the house of Ebenezer Byron, in the Grassy 
Valley, near Knoxville, in which were two men and their fami- 
lies. The Indians surrounded the house before they were dis- 
covered and, forcing open a window, pointed their guns 
through it, when a well-directed fire from the two white men 
killed the Black Fish and the Buck. The others fled without 
firing a gun. 318 

Notwithstanding the fact that their bad young men some- 
times joined such marauding parties, the Upper towns were 
for peace, and refused to take up the hatchet even after Cap- 
tain Beard's attack on the Hanging Maw's town in June, 1793. 
But it was not so with the Chickamaugas and Creeks; after 
Watts' visit to Governor O'Neal in 1792, they dug up the 
hatchet with great ceremony, and cannot be said to have buried 
it again until after General Wayne's decisive victory over the 
northwestern Indians in 1794. While Watts was marching 
his formidable army against the Cumberland, Lesley, a young 
half-breed Creek, whose father was a Scotchman, with a few 
other young fellows from his nation, opened up the war on the 
Holston. On September the 12th they attacked the house of 
Mr. Gallespie, who lived on the border, killed one of his sons, 
and carried another prisoner into the nation. The latter was 
afterwards purchased by James Carey, an agent of Governor 
Blount's, with the assistance of Chunelah and other chiefs of 
the Upper Cherokees, for two hundred and fifty pounds of 
leather and a horse, equal to $98.30, and returned to his fam- 
ily. 319 

November 5th Lesley's party stole eight horses on Little 
River. They were traced towards Chilhowee, and the neigh - 

317 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 436, 437, 440. 
31s Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 279, 280. 
319 Haywood's History of Tennessee, p. 277. 


boring people, thinking the mischief proceeded from that town, 
assembled for the purpose of destroying both Chilhowee and 
Tallassee, an adjoining town, when they were stopped by Gen- 
eral Sevier. 320 

Again in April, 1793, Lesley and his party burned the 
house of James Gallaher, on the south side of Holston. As 
they returned from the frontiers, they called on the Hanging 
Maw and asked for provisions, which he refused, whereupon 
they shot his dog and departed. They were pursued by a de- 
tachment of mounted infantry, who followed their trail across 
the Tennessee River. The waters having risen suddenly, the 
scouts had to swim the river on their return, and in doing so 
John McCullough was drowned. A few days later Lieutenant 
Tedford's rangers took up the pursuit of Lesley, and in the 
dusk of the evening fell in with two Indians on horseback, on 
whom) they fired, killing one, who proved to be John Watts' 
old friend, Noonday, of Toquo. 321 

Governor Blount apologized to Hanging Maw and Watts 
for the death of Noonday, who, he said, was killed by mistake 
for a Creek. Watts 7 reply illustrated the Indian idea of satis- 
faction : "I sent your people word of the Creeks being at the 
Hanging Maw's, and as they returned from the pursuit of 
them, one of the men got drowned. I suppose that was the 
reason of Noonday's being killed; and as I wish peace, let 
both go together Noonday for the man that was drowned." 322 

These raids of the Creeks so imperiled the Upper Chero- 
kees, by drawing the white people upon them, that the Hanging 
Maw abandoned his town for a time, but when they mistreated 
him at Willstown, he returned, and joined the white people in 
the pursuit and punishment of the Creek marauders. July 
24, 1794, a party of Creeks killed and scalped John Ash, while 
plowing in his field, a short distance from his blockhouse. 
Hanging Maw sent his son, W r illioe, John Boggs, and nine 
other Cherokees to join Major King and Lieutenant Cunning- 
ham in the pursuit of the murderers. They struck the trail 
in the path leading from Coyatee to Hiwassee, and followed on 
through Hiwassee to Wococee, without overtaking the offen- 
ders, when a runner from Hiwassee informled them that Obong- 
pohego, of Toocaucaugee, on Oakfusgee, one of the party, had 
stopped at a little village two miles from Hiwassee. Upon 
receipt of this information they returned to the house where 
Obongpohego was stopping. After some consultation as to 
who should take him, the honor fell to Willioe and three of 

320 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 326. 

321 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pp. 294-5. 

322 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 450. 


his companions, who seized and tied him, and delivered him in 
bonds to the United States agent, John McKee, at Tellico 
Blockhouse, on the evening of July 28th. 

The Governor at once issued a commission of oyer and 
terminer for the trial of Obongpohego. Judge Joseph Ander- 
son opened court, and an indictment was found against him 
by the grand jury. He confessed the fact, and pleaded in jus- 
tification that his people had thrown away the peace talks of 
the United States, and taken up the hatchet. Afterwards the 
court permitted him to withdraw this plea, and a plea of not 
guilty was entered. Upon the trial the jury found him guilty 
as charged in the indictmjent. Being asked what he had to 
say why the sentence of the law should not be pronounced 
against him, he replied that he had nothing to say; he had 
come out with the intention of killing and stealing, or being 
killed ; he had killed John Ish, and it had been his misfortune 
to fall into the hands of the whites; he should have escaped 
from them had it not been for the Cherokees; and should he 
now be killed, there was enough of his nation remaining to 
avenge his death. He was sentenced and executed on the 4th 
of August. 323 

The Creeks demanded satisfaction of the Cherokees for the 
death of Obongpohego, but their support by the whites enabled 
them successfully to defend themselves. At the conference at 
Tellico Blockhouse, November 7-8, 1794, Governor Blount de- 
clared it was the duty of the Chickamaugas to serve the Creeks 
as the Upper Cherokees had; but John Watts, who was al- 
ways ready with an intelligent answer, replied: "The Upper 
Cherokees were right in seizing one last summer and deliver- 
ing him up to you, and in killing two others. They live far from 
the Creek country, and have the white people to support them, 
but the Lower towns are but few, live near the Creeks, and too 
distant from the white people to be supported by them." 324 

Though the Upper Cherokees and Creeks did some mis- 
chief on the frontiers of Holston, the Chickamaugas were re- 
sponsible for much the greater part of it. They had never 
buried the hatchet from the beginning of the revolution till 
the death of Dragging Canoe. The peace Watts then con- 
cluded did not last six months. Some of their chiefs, how- 
ever, like the Breath, or Mckajack, the Glass and Captain 
Charley, of Running Water, and Dick Justice, of Lookout 
Mountain, did not join in Watts' war of 1792, 325 but they were 
wholly unable to control the young men, even of their own 

32r Haywoo<Ts History of Tennessee, pp. 222-3. 

32 * American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, pp. 371-2. 

"'-'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 278. 


families. A nephew of the Breath, called the Little Nephew, 
Towaka, and four or five other young fellows from Nicka- 
jack, 326 made repeated raids on the Holston settlements. De- 
cember 22, 1792, they went to the house of Mr. Richardson, in 
Jefferson County, laid in ambush many hours on a hill over- 
looking his door, until he left the house; and in his absence 
of half an hour massacred his family, consisting of Mrs. Rich- 
ardson, Mrs. Foster, Miss Schull, and two children. They 
robbed the house and went off, leaving a war club to signify 
that their nation had again taken up the hatchet. A few days 
later they drove eighteen horses from the Big Pigeon, and 
wantonly killed several cattle and hogs. 32T The following 
spring they returned to the same neighborhood. On the 9th 
of March they formed an ambuscade on a path near Mr. Nel- 
son's house, on the Little Pigeon River, and when his sons, 
James and Thomas, came out, they shot and scalped them both. 
This time they got fourteen horses from the Flat Creek set- 
tlement. 328 

The most daring and crafty of these Chickamauga bush- 
wackers was Bob Benge, the son of an Indian trader named 
John Benge, who married a niece of the old Tassel, and spent 
his life in the nation. The Tassel complained to the commis- 
sioners at the treaty of Hopewell, in 1785, that, in passing 
through Georgia, Benge had been robbed of leather to the 
value of 150 sterling. John McKee saw him, and was be- 
friended by him, near Chattanooga, as late as 1793. 329 His In- 
dian wife had two sons, Bob Benge and the Tail. Only the 
former of these bore his name; and, through the inaccuracy 
of the pioneer ear, that has been almost lost, as he appears 
generally in our Tennessee histories and public documents un- 
der the more dignified name of the Bench, by which I shall 
still call him, though he is celebrated in Virginia tradition as 
Captain Benge. 

The Bench was red-headed, 330 a circumstance which cost 
him his scalp, which Colonel Campbell, at the request of Lieu- 
tenant Hobbs, sent to the Governor of Virginia, as a proof that 
he was no more ; seeing that, with the exception of Red-Headed 
Will, the founder of Willstown, whose dust reposes on its 
ancient site, there was not probably another red-headed Indian 
in the whole nation. He was remarkable for his strength, ac- 
tivity, endurance, and fleetness, and was a man of courage as 

326 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 438. 
'-Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 281. 
328 Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 293. 
239 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 444. 
^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 438. 


well as intelligence and cunning. More than once he traversed 
the white settlements with such celerity and stealth that he 
fell upon the pioneers without an intimation of his approach, 
and retired to his wigwam beyond the Lookout Mountain, 
without leaving a trace of the route he had traveled, though 
the rangers were constantly on the lookout for his trail. 331 

He does not appear in history until after the death of his 
great uncle, the Tassel, when he drifted down to Running 
Water, and attached himself to a band of about thirty Shaw- 
nees who lived there, under the leadership of the Shawnees 
Warrior, afterwards killed in the assault on Buchanan's Sta- 
tion. In accordance with the customs of their nation, he, 
Watts, Talotiskee, Unacata, and the Tail, each in his own way, 
dug up the hatchet to take satisfaction for the death of their 
kinsman. How much mischief the Bench committed can never 
be known, but after his death Governor Blount charged that 
he had killed at different times forty or fifty people. 

The favorite field of his exploits was in southwestern Vir- 
ginia. He so terrorized the people of that section that he has 
received a prominent place in the traditions of their descend- 
ants. They have made a kind of hero of him, crediting him with 
wonderful feats of daring and cruelty. On account of his 
having lived with the Shawnees at Running Water they call 
him a Shawnee chief, which appellation has lead them errone- 
ously to ascribe to him some of the most daring exploits of 
the Shawnees of the northwest; notably with the capture of 
Mrs. Nancy Scott, whose escape and extraordinary wander- 
ings are famous. 332 

His first enterprise in this quarter was undertaken in the 
summer of 1791. Notwithstanding the treaty of July 2nd. on 
August 23rd he startled the settlements in the neighborhood 
of Moccasin Gap, or Clinch Mountain, by a sudden and unex- 
pected assault on the house of the McDowells and Pendletons. 
Mrs. William McDowell and Frances Pendleton, the seventeen- 
year-old daughter of Benjamin Pendleton, were killed and 
scalped; Reuben Pendleton was wounded, and Mrs. Pendleton 
and a boy eight years of age were carried into captivity. 
Three days later, in the same neighborhood, his party appeared 
at the house of Elisha Farris, about eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing, killed and scalped his wife, and Mrs. Livingston and her 
three-year-old child, and mortally wounded Mr. Harris. His 
daughter, Nancy Farris, a girl about nineteen years of age, 

331 Coale's Wilburn Waters, quoted in Summer's Southwest Vir- 
ginia, p. 433. 

^'Summer's Southwest Virginia, p. 327, quoting Charles B. Coale. 


they carried off a prisoner. 333 After this bloody raid they 
made good their escape, without discovery and without pun- 

In the spring of 1792 the Bench again visited the settle- 
ments on the upper Holston. April 6th he surprised the house 
of Harper Ratcliff, in Stanley Valley, about twelve miles from 
Hawkins courthouse, and not far from the scene of his mas- 
sacres of the preceding year, killed his wife and three children, 
and then made off to the mountains. He left behind him three 
war clubs, a bow, and sheaf of arrows, as a proclamation of 
war. Captain James Cooper's company had been ordered out 
for service in Mero District, but when the murder of the Rat- 
cliff family became known they were directed to range on the 
borders of Hawkins County; and while they never came up 
with the Bench, they forced him to retire from that quarter, 334 
and his subsequent movements were comparatively harmless, 
though he was reported to have been in many parts of East- 

In September the Bench and his brother, the Tail, who 
lived at Willstown, passed through Hiwassee, declaring that 
they were going to kill John Sevier. 335 October 2nd, about an 
hour and a half in the night, they surprised and attacked 
Black's blockhouse, at the head of Crooked Creek, a branch of 
Little River, at which a sergeant's command from Captain 
Crawford's Company was stationed. Part of the garrison were 
sitting out of doors by a fire, all unconscious of danger, when 
they were fired upon, two of their number, George Moss and 
Robert Sharpe, being killed and John Shankland wounded. 
James Paul was killed in the house. The Indians also killed 
three horses and carried away seven. 336 After this feat they 
seem to have abandoned the idea of killing General Sevier, and 
returned to their towns. 

The Bench entered upon his next campaign in the very be- 
ginning of 1793. His point of destination was his old stamping 
grounds in southwestern Virginia, but this time he reached it 
by way of Kentucky; proceeding so far with Doublehead, be- 
yond question the most crued and bloodthirsty Indian in the 
Cherokee nation. January 22nd they fell in with a party of 
traders, at Dripping Spring, on the trace from Cumberland 
to Kentucky, killed Captain William Overall and Mr. Bur- 
nett, took nine horses loaded with goods and whiskey, and 

333 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 331 ; Haywood's 
Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 270. 

SM Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 274. 
""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 293. 
336 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 294. 


made their escape, though pursued as far as Cumberland River. 
It was reported that they cut and carried off the flesh from 
Captain Overall's bones' 137 a cruel lesson Doublehead imparted 
to all too apt a pupil 

After the affair at Dripping Spring the Bench took his 
leave of Doublehead and turned up next on Powell's Moun- 
tain, March 31, 1793, where, if we may credit the Virginia 
writers, he fell in with an old acquaintance. Moses Cockrell 
was a border ranger on the frontiers of Holston, in Virginia. 
Famous for his size, activity and handsome person, he was 
proud of his manhood, and was ambitious to meet the famous 
Captain Benge, as he called him, in single combat. Perhaps 
he boastfully predicted the result of such a contest so loudly 
that it reached the ear of the Bench. At any rate, they met 
this early spring day on top of Powell's Mountain, in what is 
now Lee County, Virginia. Cockrell and two companions were 
wending their way -to the settlements, with a number of pack 
horses loaded with merchandise. The Bench discovered their 
approach and awaited them in ambush. He instructed his fol- 
lowers not to kill Cockrell, as he desired to prove his personal 
prowess by taking him captive. At the first crack of the In- 
dian rifles the two companions of Cockrell fell, seeing which 
their leader dashed down the mountainside, like a deer, with 
the Bench in close pursuit. 

Two miles away, in the valley of Wallen's Creek, was the 
cabin of a pioneer, in reaching which Cockrell felt lay his only 
chance of escape. To this cabin he made at the utmost limit of 
his speed. He was handicapped by the weight of two hundred 
dollars, specie, in his belt, but by a desperate effort he reached 
the clearing and leaped the fence surrounding the cabin; but 
before he had touched the ground the Bench's tomahawk was 
buried in the top rail of the fence. Seeing that Cockrell had 
reached the cabin, and not knowing how it might be guarded, 
the Bench disappeared and rejoined his companions on the 
mountain. 338 

He remained in the settlement most of the summer, making 
reconnoisances with the especial view of discovering where 
negroes might be had; a species of property of which he was 
uncommonly fond. On the 17th of July he traversed the 
north fork of Holston for above twenty miles, fired on a man 
named Williams, and captured a negro woman, the property 

337 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 436, 438. 

"'"Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 7, p. 108; Sum 
Southwest Virginia, pp. 433-4, quoting Coale's Wilburn Waters. 


of Paul Livingston. The latter made her escape after two 
days' captivity, and returned to her home. 339 

But the Bench was not wholly bad; he had some idea of 
the obligations of plighted faith, especially of the sanctity of 
a flag of truce. After the assault of Captain Beard on the town 
of Hanging Maw the Bench joined the great army raised by 
his uncle, John Watts, for the invasion of Knoxville. At the 
investment of Cavett's Station, September 25, 1793, being ac- 
quainted with the English language, he was selected to offer 
terms of surrender to the garrison. These were, that their 
lives sjiould be spared, and that they should be exchanged for 
as many Indian prisoners then among the whites. After the 
surrender the Bench strove earnestly, but to no purpose, to 
prevent the treacherous butchery of the captives by Double- 
head and his followers. 3 * 

In the spring of 1704, the Bench made his last expedition 
to the frontiers of Virginia. At that time Peter Livingston 
lived near the present town of Mendota, in Washington County. 
His aged mother, the widow of William Todd Livingston; his 
brother, Henry, and his wife, Susanna, were living with him. 
His own family consisted of his wife, Elizabeth, and their five 
children ; besides, they had a negro woman, with a young child, 
and a negro boy about eight years of age. 

On the morning of April 6th, the family were about their 
usual occupations, not having a suspicion that there was an 
Indian on the frontiers ; Peter and Henry had gone to a barn 
some distance in the field; the old grandmother was in the 
garden busying herself about planting the spring vegetables; 
Susanna Sukey, they called her with two of the children 
was in an outhouse on some errand or other; and Elizabeth, 
with her nursing infant, a child of two, and one of ten years 
of age, was in the house engaged with her usual cares. Present- 
ly she was alarmed by the furious barking of the dogs. Look- 
ing out she saw seven Indians, armed and frightfully painted, 
approaching the house. Slam! the door is closed and barred. 
The Indians rush furiously up, try to burst the door, and fail- 
ing, demand to be admitted. They discharge two guns, one 
ball piercing the door, but doing no damage. Mrs. Livingston 
gets down her husband's rifle, puzzles with its double triggers, 
and finally returns a ball crushing through the door. The 
Indians retire, surprised at the unexpected defense. 

But what is the frightful odor that reaches now the brave 
mother? Smoke! It fills the room; becomes suffocating. The 

^Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 7, p. 108. 
^Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 330. 



Indians have fired the house. She throws open the door, 
preferring the tomahawk to the flames. But she was spared 
the horrors of a savage massacre. The Indians took her and 
her three little children and added them to a group of pris- 
oners, which she found, to her inexpressible delight, contained 
her other two children and their aunt Sukey, the negro woman 
and her child, the negro boy, and a negro man belonging to 
Edward Callihan. Mrs. Elizabeth Livingston, in her state- 
ment, makes no further mention of her husband's mother; but 
Hay wood intimates 341 and Benjamin Sharpe 342 , a neighbor, ex- 
pressly states that she was killed. The Indians were afraid to 
plunder the house, fearing it had been a man who discharged 
the rifle, and the whole of its contents were consumed by the 

Now there was a hurried retirement to a more secluded 
spot; a division of spoils; and a packing of bundles by the 
Indians. This gave time for a most pathetic scene. The cap- 
tives were some distance in the rear, in charge of two Indians. 
The quick instinct of the mother discovered that their captors 
were rather careless about the security of the children. She 
calls in a soft voice to her oldest daughter the little girl of 
ten gives her the baby, and whispers to her to take them all 
and run to their neighbor, John Russell's. They leave her 
with reluctance, the five little tots; they look back over their 
shoulders; they halt, how can they tear themselves from their 
mother! She frantically beckons them to go on, though it 
almost breaks her heart to see them leave her, in their perilous, 
helpless condition. The Indians wink at their escape, and they 

That evening they passed the Clinch Mountain, and 
bivouacked at Copper Creek. The next day they crossed Clinch 
Iliver at McLean's fish dam, steered northwardly, and camped 
on the head of Stoney Creek. They did not put out spies 
or sentries, considering themselves out of danger. The next 
day they broke camp late, traveled slowly, and halted at the 
foot of Powell's Mountain. The Bench now felt easy; his 
manner softened, and his tongue loosened. He communicated 
freely with his prisoners. He was carrying them to the Chick- 
amauga towns. His brother, the Tail, was hunting in the Wil- 
derness on the way. He had white prisoners there, with horses 
and saddles, taken in Kentucky. He was coming 'back next 
summer and pay old General Shelby a visit, and take his 
negroes; in fact, he was going to take all the negroes off the 

M1 Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 327. 
""American Pioneer, Vol. 2, p. 466. 


north branch of Holston. He sent two hunters ahead to kill 
game for their sustenance by the way. This was April the 8th. 

In the meantime news of the disaster to the Livingstons 
swept across the frontiers. When it reached Lee Courthouse, 
court being in session, immediately adjourned. Lieutenant 
Vincent Hobbs called upon the bystanders for volunteers to 
make instant pursuit. Thirteen men responded. Do they 
find the trail and trust to the speed of their horses to overtake 
the marauders? Not Lieutenant Vincent Hobbs! He is a 
backwoodsman as well as a soldier. He knows every pass iu 
the mountains. With the unerring judgment of a hunter he 
dashes forward to Stone's Gap, where the Indians will cross 
Cumberland Mountain. He reaches the Gap. The Indians 
have already passed. He takes the fresh trail, comes upon 
two hunters the two sent out by the Bench on the 8th 
and kills them. The main party has not yet passed. Back 
to the Gap! Fortunately they are in time. They secrete 
themselves in ambush, and wait. 

The Bench broke camp on the morning of the 9th, crossed 
Powell's Mountain, and is at this very moment approaching 
Stone's Gap. He comes within the ambuscade. Bang! Bang! 
at the first fire the Bench and three of his warriors fall dead. 
Mrs. Elizabeth Livingston and her guard are some distance 
in the rear. He orders her to run, which she performs slowly. 
He attempts to kill her; she breaks the force of the blow with 
her arm, and, seeing her friends approaching, grapples him. 
He throws her back over a log, at the same time aiming a blow 
at her head, which renders her senseless; in which condition 
she lies for an hour, but finally recovers. 343 

Lieutenant Vincent Hobbs sent the Bench's scalp to the 
governor of Virginia, and the legislature voted him a silver- 
mounted rifle for his gallantry. 

^'Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 7, pp. Ill, 112; Summer's 
Southwest Virginia, pp. 441-443. 



Doublehead, the terror of the frontiers; he kills 
the sons of Colonel Valentine Sevier; adventures of 
Thomas Sharp Spencer, the old pioneer; he is killed 
~by Doublehead, at Crab Orchard; Doublehead bribed 
at the treaty of Tellico; his frightful execution by 
Major Ridge. 1791-1807. 

The operations of Doublehead, though simultaneous with 
the Chickamauga incursions of 17924, had no organic connec- 
tion with them. Self-willed and obstinate, he could not bear 
the restraint even of a concert of action with the head men 
of his tribe. Strong and athletic in person, he was famous 
for his feats of personal prowess. He was a stranger to all 
the softer and more gentle passions. If he had ever heard a 
love song in his nation he was unable to repeat it. 344 But by 
his proud and haughty bearing, his bold, fearless and master- 
ful spirit, and his ready and terrible vengeance, he forced him- 
self to the front rank among the councilors of his nation, 
though he lived in an outlying town, and in a country to 
which the Cherokees had no just claim. 

We first meet with him in July, 1791, at the treaty of 
Holston, which, it will be remembered, the Chickamaugas re- 
fused to attend. After he had signed the treaty, he begged 
and obtained the written permission of Governor Blount to 
hunt on the waters of Cumberland. 345 He seems, however, 
to have had little use for this permit, as we find him making 
his fall hunt low down on the Tennessee. He had settled 
with a party of some forty Cherokees, Northwards, and Creeks, 
on the south side of the Tennessee River, at the Mussel Shoals, 
about the year 1790. Colonel Meigs thought this settlement 
was projected by the Cherokees in order to try their title to 
that portion of the Chickasaw hunting ground, 346 but Double- 
head's son-in-law, Colonel George Colbert, the Chickasaw chief, 
assured General Robertson that he settled at the Mussel Shoals 
by his permission. 347 At the Chickasaw conference in June, 
1792, Governor Blount drew their attention to Doublehead's 
settlement on their land, and asked them to drive him off, or to 
authorize the United States to destroy his town. 348 But imme- 

?44 Transactions of the American Antiquarian Society, Vol. 1 (1820), 
p. 317. 

"'American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 257. 
346 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 5, p. 73. 
'"American Historical Magazine, Vol. 5, p. 81. 
348 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 285. 


diately after the Chickasaw conference Watts formerly de- 
clared war against the United States, invaded Cumberland 
with a formidable force, and made his unsuccessful attack on 
Buchanan's Station, and for the time, Doublehead was entirely 

Doublehead's hunting party in the fall of 1791, consisted 
of twenty-eight men, besides women and children. While on 
this expedition, without any known cause, and in open viola- 
tion of the treaty of Holston, which he had signed only six 
months previously, he took seven men of his party and made 
a memorable scalping excursion up the Cumberland. 349 Near 
the mouth of the river he fell in with Conrad's salt boat, which 
he took after killing one man. He then proceeded up the river 
as far as Clarksville. It so happened that while he was 
skulking in the neighborhood, January 17, 1792, General Rob- 
ertson called for volunteers to act as spies and rangers, and 
John Rice, notable as the grantee and original proprietor of 
the tract of land on which the city of Memphis now stands, 
Robert, William and Valentine Sevier, the only grown sons 
of Colonel Valentine Sevier, and nephews of General John 
Sevier, John Curtis, and two or three other young men from 
Clarksville and Sevier's Station, set ouf to join him at Nash- 

There being a scarcity of horses in the settlement they de- 
termined to go up the Cumberland in a canoe. Doublehead, 
who was watching for just such an opportunity, discovered 
their movement, and hastily crossing one of the numerous 
horseshoe bends in the Cumberland River, secreted his party 
on the bank, at a place now known as Seven Mile Ferry. When 
the boat came round to where they were concealed, they fired 
a volley into it, killing the three Seviers, Curtis, and Rice. 
Before the Indians could reload, the other members of the 
party pushed their canoe across the river, and commenced its 
descent back towards Clarksville, hugging the opposite shore. 
Doublehead then recrossed the isthmus, intending to intercept 
them on their return, but this movement being anticipated, 
the canoe was hastily abandoned and turned adrift. The In- 
dians found and boarded the derelict, scalped the five young 
men, and carried away their goods and provisions, even to 
their clothing; the hat, coat, and boots of Curtis being sub- 
sequently identified by a trader. 350 A week later three of his 
warriors killed a man named Boyd in Clarksville, after which 

349 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 274-5. 
330 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, p. 372; Haywood's His- 
tory of Tennessee, p. 341. 


he returned to his camp, and was in the neighborhood of New 
Madrid, March 11, 1792. 

On the very day that Doublehead killed the young men on 
the Cumberland, a delegation of Cherokee chiefs headed by 
Bloody Fellow, concluded a treaty with Secretary Knox, at 
Philadelphia, by which their annuity under the treaty of Hol- 
ston was increased from $1,000 to $1,500. 351 In May the first 
annual distribution of goods under these treaties was made at 
Coyatee. The principal chiefs of the Chickamauga town were 
present, and for the first time in their history, unanimously 
declared for peace. Doublehead was absent, and his town was 
not mentioned; but in the following August Governor Blount 
expressed the belief that he was the only chief of his nation 
that still held out for war. 352 How much mischief he did dur- 
ing this period is not known, for it is rarely possible to iden- 
tify the leader of a scalping party on the frontiers; but he is 
probably responsible for many atrocities charged in a general 
way to Indians. Haywood says he shed with his own hands 
as much human blood as any man of his age in America. 353 
He was with the party that killed Captain William Overall, at 
Dripping Springs, dishonored his body by cutting the flesh 
from his bones, and carried his scalp and that of his companion 
to the nation, and had war dances over them at Lookout Moun- 
tain, Willstown, and Turnip Mountain, his party having been 
enlisted from all of these settlements. 354 

Doublehead was ambitious, and though he was not then 
considered one of the principal chiefs of the nation, he at- 
tended the conference at Henry's Station, February 6, 1793; 
and when informed by Governor Blount that the President 
desired a representative delegation of the real chiefs of the 
Cherokees to visit him at Philadelphia, he repaired with others 
to the Hanging Maw's, and was present when Captain Beard 
made his dastardly assault upon the Hanging Maw's town. 
.This event gave Doublehead an opportunity to assert his lead- 
ership. He had been reported killed, but he wrote Secretary 
Smith that he was still among his people, "living in gores of 
blood." Nine of his people, some of them first and principal 
head men, had been killed. He demanded immediate satisfac- 
tion for them, without waiting to hear from the President. 
"This," he said, "is the third time we have been served so when 
we were talking peace, that they fell on us and killed us." 355 

851 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 203. 
352 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 276. 
353 History of Tennessee, p. 318. 
354 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 438. 


American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 460. 


In the war that followed he disputed the leadership with 
Colonel John Watts. When Cavet's Station capitulated, it 
was he and his party who, in violation of the terms of surren- 
der, massacred the prisoners, men, women, and children. Only 
one escaped; Colonel Watts made Alexander Cavet, Jr., his 
prisoner, and to save him from the fury of Doublehead's young 
fellows, gave him to the Creeks, only to be tomahawked and 
killed by one of their chiefs three days after his arrival in the 
nation. 356 In this campaign, as we have seen, chief John Vanri 
had a captive boy riding behind him. Doublehead, picking a 
quarrel with him, stabbed and killed his little boy. For this 
Vann dubbed him "Kill-baby," and subsequently so taunted 
him with it, that Doublehead would have killed him had he 
not saved himself by flight. 357 

After Colonel Watts' forces had been dispersed by General 
Sevier, and the Upper towns of the Cherokees had declared 
themselves for peace, Doublehead recruited a party of about 
one hundred warriors and again moved to his favorite field 
on the frontiers of Cumberland and Kentucky, and was re- 
sponsible for all the mischief done in those quarters during 
the spring of 1794. 358 On the 12th of March he formed an 
ambuscade near Middleton's Station, on the road from Ken- 
tucky to Hawkins' Courthouse, and firing upon the post rider 
and twelve travelers who were in his company, killed four 
men, two of them Elders Haggard and Shelton being Bap- 
tist preachers. 359 And for some years after peace was perma- 
nently established the Methodist circuit rider crossed the Wil- 
derness with fear and trembling, rumors still being current 
that Doublehead was under a curse to be avenged on the white 
people. 360 In the same month he killed the Wilson family, con- 
sisting of eight women and children, except one boy whom he 
took into his own possession. 861 

The first day of April, 1794, found him near Crab Orchard, 
on the road from Knoxville to Nashville, at a point since* 
called Spencer's Hill, where he secreted his party and laid in 
wait for the unhappy traveler who might find it necessary to 
venture across the Wilderness. 

At this point let us pause long enough to notice a few inci- 

356 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 634. 

35I Stephen Foster, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 331. 

358 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, p. 297; Haywood, p. 317. 

^Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 318. 

""Thomas Wilkinson, McFerrin's History of Methodism in Tennes- 
see, Vol. 1, p. 258. 

301 House Journal, Southwest Territory, Aug. 1794, p. 29. (Reprint, 


dents in the career of the earliest and most picturesque pioneer 
of the Cumberland, Thomas Sharpe Spencer. He was a man 
of giant proportions and herculean strength. A hunter left 
by Timothy Demonbreun in charge of his camp on Cumberland, 
in the fall of 1777, discovered Spencer's tracks, and was so 
alarmed by their uncommon size, that he fled and did not 
rest until he had joined Demonbreun at Vincennes on the 
banks of the Wabash. 362 A few years later, at a general muster 
two boys became involved in a fight. Old Bob Shaw, who con- 
sidered himself a mighty man, insisted on letting them fight 
it out. Spencer, however, was of a different opinion, and part- 
ing the crowd right and left, he seized one of the belligerents 
in either hand, pulled them apart with scarcely an effort, and 
bid them clear themselves. This Shaw took as a fighting 
offense, and struck Spencer in the faec with his fist. Spencer 
instantly caught him by the collar and waistband of his trous- 
ers, and running -a few steps to a ten-rail fence, tossed him 
over it. This much is on the authority of General William 
Hall. 363 There is a tradition that when Shaw arose and 
brushed the dust from his clothes, he called out: "Mr. Spen- 
cer, if you will be kind enough to pitch my horse over, I will 
be riding. 7 ' 

But Spencer was not more distinguished by his colossal 
frame and his marvelous feats of strength, than by his heroic 
self-sacrifice and knightly bearing. He was a Virginian of 
cavalier stock, and came to Cumberland with a party of ad- 
venturers in 1776. All of them except Spencer and John Holli- 
day soon afterwards returned. Two years later Holliday also 
determined to go back to the settlements, and insisted on Spen- 
cer going with him, but he steadfastly refused. When Holliday 
departed Spencer accompanied him to the barrens of Ken- 
tucky, and put him on the path he was to travel; and when 
Holliday complained that he had no knife, Spencer promptly 
broke his own, and gave him half of it. 364 So the two friends 
parted company, Holliday to make the long and perilous jour- 
ney to the east, and Spencer to return to his solitary home in 
a large sycamore tree near what is now Castalian Springs. 
R. E. W. Earle, the artist, measured the stump of this old 
sycamore, which was still visible at the surface of the ground, 
about the year 1823, and found it to be twelve feet in diam- 

^Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 96. 
'"Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, pp. 15-16. 

3 **Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 94-5; 
Narrative of General Hall, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 15. 


eter, 365 quite a commodious residence, even for a man of Spen- 
cer's proportions. 

Once while hunting with a companion on the waters of 
Duck Kiver, having killed a deer, as evening approached they 
found a secluded spot, and kindled a fire to cook their supper. 
Just as they had put their meat on the fire to roast, a party 
of Indians who had discovered their camp, crept up within 
range, fired upon them, and shot his companion dead. Spen- 
cer, who was lying on his blanket by the fire, sprang to his 
feet, caught up the two guns, but did not flee until he had 
placed the dead body of his friend on his powerful shoulders, 
when he dashed off through the cane, and so escaped and gave 
his friend Christian burial. 366 

On another occasion he gallantly saved the life of Mrs. 
Parker, who had formerly been the wife of Colonel Anthony 
Bledsoe. They were riding from Greenfield to Station Camp, 
the residence of her son-in-law, David Shelby, in company with 
Kobert Jones and William Penny. Spencer and Jones were in 
front, followed by Mrs. Parker, with Penny in the rear. About 
two and a half miles east of Gallatin a party of Indians fired 
upon them, killing Jones and wounding Mrs. Parker's horse. 
Penny instantly wheeled his horse and bolted. Spencer jumped 
off his horse, passed his arm through the bridle rein, and break- 
ing a switch, handed it to Mrs. Parker, who gave her horse the 
lash, and got out of range before the Indians could reload. 
In the meantime Spencer stood behind a tree between the In- 
dians and Mrs. Parker, until he saw her out of danger, when 
he remounted his horse and made good his escape through a 
fusillade of bullets, for by this time the Indians had reloaded 
their guns. 36T 

Spencer did not appear to have any fear of Indians, such as 
other men had, though he was often attacked by them. In the 
fall of 1780 he encountered an Indian scalping party in the 
woods, as he was returning to the Bluff with a. load of meat. 
They fired upon him without effect, but got his horses, which 
were afterwards recovered. 368 Again in May, 1782, he was 
fired upon and wounded. He, George Espey, Andrew Lucas, 
and a man named Johnson were out hunting on the headwaters 
of Drake's Creek. As they stopped to let their horses drink, 
the Indians made their attack. Lucas was shot through the 

385 HaywoocTs Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, pp. 
cer's proportions. 

368 Narrative of Gen. Hall, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 16. 

36T Narrative of John Shelby, Indian Battles, Murders, Sieges, and 
Forays in the Southwest, p. 88; Narrative of General Hall, South- 
western Monthly, Vol. 2, p. 16. 

M8 Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 126. 


neck and mouth. He dismounted, however, with the rest, but 
in attempting to fire, the blood gushed out of his mouth and 
wet his priming. Perceiving this he desisted and crawled into 
a bunch of briers. Espey, as he alighted, received a shot 
which broke his thigh, but still he fought heroically. Johnson 
and Spencer acquitted themselves with incomparable gal- 
lantry. Spencer received a shot, but the ball split on the bone 
of his arm and saved his life. They were finally obliged to 
give way, and leave Espey, whom the Indians scalped; but 
they did not find Lucas, who shortly afterwards reached the 
fort, and recovered from his wound. 369 

In the fall of 1793, Spencer made a journey to Virginia to 
settle an estate, and receive a legacy that had fallen to him. 
Having completed his business, in the following spring, he 
started back to the west, having in his saddle bags $1,000 in 
gold, besides other valuables. His route carried him by way 
of Knoxville and Southwest Point. He left the latter place, in 
company with four other travelers, and started across the Wil- 
derness, April 1, 1794. Spencer and James Walker were rid- 
ing together in advance, and when they reached the point at 
which Doublehead had formed his ambuscade, they received 
a volley which brought Spencer dead from his horse, and 
wounded Walker. When Spencer fell his horse fled, and made 
his escape with the travelers in the rear, but his saddlebags 
coming off, his money and other valuables fell into the hands 
of the enemy. 370 

This was the last act of open hostility committed by Double- 
head. He then hastened to Philadelphia, whither he went 
with a delegation of Cherokee chiefs, who concluded a treaty 
with Secretary Knox, June 26, 1794, by which their annuity 
was still further increased from $1,500 to $5,000. He was 
treated with the utmost attention during his stay, and loaded 
with presents on his departure. 371 He returned by way of 
Charleston, and did not reach home until the latter part of 
October. 372 Before his return Wayne had won his great victory 
over the northwestern Indians, August 20th, and Major Ore 
had penetrated to the Chickamauga towns and destroyed 
Nickajack and Kunning Water, September 13th, which practi- 
cally ended the Cherokee wars in the Old Southwest. 

Let us now notice the conclusion of Doublehead's tempest- 

368 Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 136, 223. 

370 House Journal, Southwest Territory, Aug., 1794, p. 29; Hay- 
wood's History of Tennessee, p. 318; Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, 
p. 16. 

371 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, p. 356. 

""American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 523. 


uous career. He had now reached a commanding position in 
the councils of his nation. He was present and signed the 
treaty of Tellico in 1798. He met the commissioners of the 
United States at Southwest Point in 1801, and refused to 
allow them to make a road through his nation from Nashville 
to Natchez. 373 Afterwards the people of Tennessee became 
clamorous, not only for roads through the Indian territory, 
but for the acquisition of large bodies of the Cherokee land. 
September 13, 1806, the General Assembly removed the seat 
of government from Knoxville to Kingston, appointed commis- 
sioners for the purpose of acquiring land at or near Southwest 
Point, to accommodate the permanent seat of government, and 
adjourned to meet at that place in 1S07. 374 This was done in 
order to give color to the claim made at the treaty of Tellico, 
that the State might want to fix its capital at that point. The 
next session of the legislature did meet at Kingston, organized, 
and adjourned the same day to Knoxville, and Southwest Point 
was no longer considered available for the seat of government. 

The treaty of Tellico was held in October, 1805. Previously 
to that time Doublehead had declared himself as unalterably 
opposed to selling one foot of ground. 375 But when the con- 
ference met two treaties were concluded, with his consent, 
one on the 25th, and the other on the 27th of October, 1805. 
By the terms of the treaty of October 25th, there were reserved 
three square miles of land, ostensibly for the purpose of re- 
moving thereto the garrison at Southwest Point, and the 
United States factory at Tellico, but really for the benefit 
of Doublehead, his friend and adviser, John D. Chisholm, and 
John Riley, as the price of their influence in securing from the 
Cherokees the extensive cession of land granted by that treaty. 
This was accomplished by means of a secret article attached 
to the treaty, but not submitted to the senate. This secret 
article also applied to a small tract at and below the mouth 
of Clinch River, likewise intended for the benefit of Double- 
head ; to one mile square at the foot of Cumberland Mountain ; 
and to one mile square on the north bank of the Tennessee 
River, where Talotiskee lived. 376 

The treaty of October 25th ceded all the Cherokee laud 
north of Duck River, and also the Cumberland Mountain reser- 
vation known as the Wilderness. A large part of the nation 
bitterly resented this sale, but did not at once take any steps 

373 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 656. 
37t Tennessee Senate Journal, 1806, p. 104. 
375 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 5, p. 76. 
376 Royce's Cherokee Nation of Indians, 5th Report of the Bureau 
of American Ethnology (1883-4), pp. 191-193. 


to punish Doublehead, who was chiefly responsible for it. 
Perhaps this was due to the fact that almost immediately after 
signing these treaties, Doublehead and a party of Cherokee 
chiefs accompanied Return J. Meigs and Daniel Smith, the 
commissioners who negotiated them, to Washington, and sigix- 
still another treaty with the United States, January 7, 1806, 
by which they ceded the Cherokee claim to what was really 
Chickasaw territory, lying between the Duck and Tennessee 

In the summer of 1807 377 the Cherokees had a great ball 
play on the Hiwassee River. This was their national sport, 
and attracted immense crowds. On this occasion there were 
more than a thousand Indians present, besides the officers 
from Hiwassee Fort, and numerous traders attracted by the 
prospect of selling their merchandise. The central figure 
among the Cherokees was the famous chief Doublehead. Gen- 
eral Sam Dale, of Mississippi, then a Georgia Indian trader, 
who is authority for the following account of his death, 378 
knew Doublehead and called upon him. "Sam, you are a 
mighty liar," was his greeting. When Dale demanded why he 
thus insulted him in public, a smile illuminated his grim face 
as he replied, "You have never kept your promise to come and 
see me. You know you have lied." He then produced a bottle 
of whiskey, and invited Dale and the officers present to drink 
with him. When they had emptied the bottle, he rejected 
Dale's offer to replenish it, saying, "When I am in the white 
man's country, I will drink your liquor, but here you must 
drink with Doublehead." 

After the game was over a chief named Bone-polisher ap- 
proached Doublehead and denounced him as a traitor for sell- 
ing the land of his people. The stolid chief remaining tranquil 
and silent, Bone-polisher became still more angry, accom- 
panying his abuse with menacing gestures. Then Doublehead 
spoke, quietly and without agitation: "Go away. You have 
said enough. Leave me, or I shall kill you." Bone-polisher 
rushed at him with his tomahawk, which Doublehead received 
on his left arm, and drawing his pistol, shot him through 
the heart. 

Sometime after night, Doublehead, who had been drinking, 
came in to Hiwassee Ferry, and entered Mclntosh's tavern. 
Among those whom he encountered there was a chief named 
Ridge, afterwards Major Ridge, a half-breed called Alex. Saun- 

"'Return J. Meigs, American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, 
p. 754. 

378 Life and Times of General Sam Dale, the Mississippi Partisan. 
By J. F. H. Claiborne, pp. 45-49. 


ders, and John Rodgers, an old white man who had long re- 
sided in the nation. Kodgers began to revile him, mnch after 
the manner of Bone-polisher. Doublehead proudly rebuked 
him : u You live by sufferance among us. I have never seen you 
in council nor on the warpath. You have no place among the 
chiefs. Be silent and interfere no more with me." The old 
man still persisted, and Doublehead attempted to shoot him, 
but his pistol, not having been charged, missed fire. The light 
was then extinguished, and at the same instant a pistol shot 
was fired. When the light was rekindled, Ridge, Saunders, 
and Kodgers had all disappeared, and Doublehead lay mo- 
tionless on his face. The ball had shattered his lower jaw and 
lodged in the nape of his neck. 

His friends now set out with him for the garrison, but 
fearing they would be overtaken, turned aside, and concealed 
him in the loft of Schoolmaster Black's house. Two warriors 
of the Bone-polisher clan traced Doublehead by his blood to his 
hiding place. At the same time Kidge and Saunders came 
galloping up, shouting the war whoop. Same Dale and Colonel 
James Brown, of Georgia, followed them. The wounded chief 
was lying on the floor, his jaw and arm terribly lacerated. 
Kidge and Saunders each leveled his pistol, but both missed 
tire. Doublehead sprang upon Ridge and would have over- 
powered him had not Saunders. discharged his pistol and shot 
him through the hips. Saunders then made a rush on Double- 
head with his tomahawk, but the dying chief wrenched it from 
him, and again leaped upon Ridge. Saunders seized another 
tomahawk and drove it into his brain. When he fell another 
Indian crushed his head with a spade. 

It is interesting to note that, after the tribe had been re- 
moved to the west, Major Ridge was himself executed in the 
same manner, for a like offence. 



It had long been apparent that the Chickamauga towns 
would have to be destroyed. The strength of their position 
had attracted to them a party of daring young warriors, most- 
ly Cherokees, who wished a stronghold from which they could 
make sorties upon the frontiers. Moreover, they were situated 
at the Creek crossing place, on the Tennessee River, and their 
people fraternized with the Creek war parties, who used them 
as a base for their operations against the settlers on the Cum- 
berland and in Kentucky. As early as August 13, 1792, Presi- 
dent Washington wrote the Secretary of War: "If the ban- 
ditti, which made the successful stroke on the station at Nash- 
ville [Zeigler's], could be come at without involving disagree- 
able consequences with the tribes to which they respectively 
belong, an attempt to cut them off ought by all means to be en- 
couraged. An enterprise judiciously concerted and spiritedly 
executed, would be less expensive to the government than keep- 
ing up guards of militia, which will always be eluded in the 
attack, and never be overtaken in pursuit." 379 . 

Again, soon after the battle of Etowah, General Robertson, 
in a letter to General Sevier, asked when the Lower towns 
would get their deserts. He said the Governor had hinted 
that it might be next spring, but he feared that would be too 
late to save the Cumberland settlements, considering their ex- 
posed situation, and the little protection they had. He, there- 
fore, urged General Sevier to carry an expedition of fifteen 
hundred men into the Cherokee country before the ensuing 
spring. 380 

Nothing came of General Robertson's request, and in the 
meantime the Indian depredations were renewed and prose- 
cuted with great malignancy. The Territorial Assembly 
which met at Knoxville in August, 1794, adopted a second me- 
morial to Congress on the subject, and appended to it a list 
of Indian depredations, which showed that they had killed 
sixty-seven people, wounded ten, captured twenty-five, and had 
stolen three hundred and seventy-four horses, between Feb- 
ruary 26. and September 6, 1794. 381 

379 Sparks' Writings of Washington, Vol. 10, pp. 262-3. 

3SO Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 387. 

3st Journal of the Legislative Council of the Territory of the United 
States of America, South of the River Ohio, 1794 (Reprint, 1852), 
pp. 22-25. 


Many of> these depredations were notable. The murder of 
the Casteel family, near Kuoxville, was shocking. About day- 
break, April 22, 1794, William Casteel was in his cabin, dressed, 
and waiting for Anthony Ragan, with whom he was going on 
a hunt. When Ragan arrived, a few minutes later, he found 
CasteePs dead body near the fire, where he had fallen from 
the stroke of a war club, evidently taken by surprise. His wife, 
aroused by the attack on her husband, seems to have made 
a desperate resistance. A bloody axe found by her side, a 
broken arm, and a mutilated hand, all testified to her cour- 
ageous defence. She was finally despatched with a butcher 
knife. Four small children were killed and scalped, one of 
them, a little girl, receiving a stab which pierced through her 
body and into the bedclothes beneath her. The oldest daugh- 
ter, Elizabeth, ten years of age, was found weltering in the 
blood that flowed from six wounds inflicted by a tomahawk. 
She afterwards showed signs of life, and under Dr. Crosby's 
treatment finally recovered. 382 

Among the killed on the Cumberland were the two young 
Anthony Bledsoes, sons, respectively, of Colonels Anthony and 
Isaac Bledsoe. They were killed near Kock Castle, the home 
of Secretary Daniel Smith, where they were boarding and going 
to school. The death of the old pioneer, Thomas Sharpe Spen- 
cer, has already been noticed. James E. Robertson, a son of 
Colonel James Robertson, was killed near his father's house 
on Cumberland River. Major George Winchester, a brother of 
General James Winchester, and a gallant militia officer, was 
killed on his way to the County Court, of which he was a 

The committee of Congress to which the first memorial of 
the Southwest Territory, adopted February, 1794, was referred, 
reported to the House of Representatives, April 8, 1794. that 
the situation of the southwestern frontiers in general, and 
Mero district in particular, called for the most energetic meas- 
ures on the part of the government, and recommended that 
the President be authorized to carry on offensive operations 
against any nation or tribe of Indians that might continue 
hostile. 383 This report, however, was not acted upon, and the 
Secretary of War wrote Governor Blount, July 29, 1794, that, 
"With respect to destroying the Lower towns, however vigorous 
such a measure might be, or whatever good consequences might 
result from it, I am instructed specially, by the President, 
to say that he does not consider himself authorized to direct 
any such measure, more especially as the whole subject was 

382 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 592-3. 

383 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 476. 


before the last session of Congress, who did not think proper 
to authorize or direct offensive operations. 38 * But the mild 
tone of the Secretary's letter, the well-known attitude of Presi- 
dent Washington, and the great anxiety of Governor Blount 
for the relief of the frontiers, made it manifest that an un- 
authorized expedition against the Chickamauga towns, if judi- 
ciously concerted and spiritedly executed, would not seriously 
offend either the government of the United States or of the 
Southwest Territory. 

Earl} 7 in August, General Robertson received two dispatches 
from the Chickasaws, one by Thomas Brown, a man of ve- 
racity, and the other by a common runner, bringing informa- 
tion that the Creeks and Chickamaugas were "embodying" in 
large numbers for the purpose of invading Mero District about 
the 20th of the month. Afterwards, he received from some 
confidential Chickasaws and from Dr. E. J. Waters, of New 
Madrid, the further intelligence that two attacks would be 
made simultaneously, one by a party of one hundred Creeks, 
who would drop down the Tennessee Eiver in canoes and fall 
upon the lower settlements, while a larger force, consisting 
of three or four hundred Creeks, were to pass through the 
Chickamauga towns, receive reinforcements from them, and 
march against Nashville. 

The Creek campaign was launched in accordance with the 
plan outlined. A small party proceeded by river to Mero Dis- 
trict, and invaded the lower settlements around Clarksville. 
The main body also marched, near the time appointed; but the 
action of Hanging Maw and the friendly Cherokees of the 
Upper towns, in killing two Creeks, and delivering a third over 
to the Territorial authorities, who tried and executed him, 
August 4, 1794, caused such confusion in the Creek and Chick- 
amauga ranks, that this branch of their expedition was aban- 
doned, only a few small war parties reaching the Cumberland. 
There were at least three such parties operating in the district 
about the middle of September, one in Tennessee, one in Sum- 
ner, and one in Davidson County. 385 

As soon as General Robertson heard of the purposed Creek- 
Chickamauga invasion, he began active preparations for an 
offensive campaign, of which every one seemed to be aware, 
but no one took official cognizance. After despatching Samp- 
son Williams, the old scout, to Colonel William Whitley, at 
Crab Orchard, in Lincoln County, Kentucky, who was ex- 

384 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 609. 

385 Robertson's correspondence, American Historical Magazine, Vol. 
3, pp. 360-362; Vol. 4, pp. 75-77. 


pected to take part in the expedition, he proceeded to organize 
and equip the local militia. Colonel James Ford raised a com- 
pany around Port Royal, which he put under command of 
Captain William Miles; Colonel John Montgomery raised 
another in the neighborhood of Clarksville, which he com- 
manded in person; and General Robertson himself enlisted 
volunteers in the country adjacent to Nashville. They ren- 
dezvoused at Brown's Blockhouse, September 6, 1794, and num- 
bered about three hundred and eighty men. 

Governor Blount may have received intelligence of the Creek 
invasion at the same time it was communicated to General 
Robertson, which induced him to order Major James Ore, with 
his command of about seventy men, to Mero District. 386 Major 
Ore's orders, which were received August 19, 1794, directed 
him to range the Cumberland Mountains in search of hostile 
Indians, but somehow he marched direct to the place of ren- 
dezvous at Nashville, and although Governor Blount had rea- 
son to anticipate Colonel Whitley's movements, and to appre- 
hend their effect on the border people, he "forgot," Haywood 
says, 387 to give Major Ore any directions on the* subject. In the 
meantime Colonel Whitley, with about one hundred men, 
arrived from Kentucky. He set out August 20, 1794, a day 
made memorable by the victory of General Wayne over the 
Indians of the northwest; and if he followed a party of In- 
dians who had been committing depredations on the frontiers 
of Lincoln County, as reported to General Robertson, 388 it was 
an opportune coincidence. It happened; therefore, that Major 
Ore's United States troops, General Robertson's Mero militia, 
and Colonel Whitley's Kentucky volunteers, all met at Brown's 
Blockhouse, forming an army of resolute backwoodsmen five 
hundred and fifty strong. 

The chief command was entrusted to Major James Ore, 
who commanded the only troops in the expedition levied by 
public authority; thus giving color to the claim of the troops 
for pay, which was subsequently allowed by the Federal gov- 
ernment. The Territorial troops had been strictly forbidden 
to carry on offensive operations against the Indians, but evad- 
ing this prohibition, on the ground that it could not be con- 
sidered otherwise than defensive to strike the first blow, Gen- 
eral Robertson ordered Major Ore to march against the Creeks 
and Chickamaugas who were threatening Mero District, and, 
if he should not meet with them before he arrived at the Ten- 
nessee River, to pass it and destroy the Lower Cherokee towns. 

386 American; Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, p. 76. 
^History of Tennessee, pp. 409-410. 
3S8 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, p. 618. 


Colonel John Montgomery was given command of the Terri- 
torial forces, Colonel William Whitley commanded the Ken- 
tucky contingent, and Richard Findleston, the friendly half- 
breed who warned General Robertson of Watts' invasion in 
1792, who acted as guide for General Sevier at Etowah in 1793, 
was engaged to pilot the expedition. 

Marching from Brown's Blackhouse, September 8, 1794, 
the army proceeded along Taylor's trace, by way of the present 
towns of Murfreesboro and Manchester, to the Cumberland 
Mountain, crossing which, they reached the Tennessee River 
about three miles below the mouth of Sequatchie, after dark on 
the evening of September 12th. Here Findleston volunteered 
to swim the river, which was about three-quarters of a mile 
wide, and build a fire on the southern bank to guide the men 
in crossing. Daniel G. Brown, the brother of Colonel Joseph 
Brown, and William Topp, joined him, and the trio safely 
made the landing.- Then the soldiers began swimming the 
river, the least expert availing themselves of whatever assist- 
ance they could contrive, such as bundles of dry cane and 
small pieces of wood, and in this way about two hundred and 
sixty-five men crossed over, without an accident. The others 
remained on the north side of the river in charge of the horses 
and impedimenta of the camp. For the purpose of transport- 
ing their arms and clothing, they had provided two boats 
made of green ox-hides, to which were added some light rafts, 
which the men, in their impatience, improvised to expedite 
their passage. The boats were kept plying back and forth all 
night, and it was after sunrise on the morning of September 
13, 1794, before the troops could again be got in motion. 

Having crossed the river, they found themselves between 
the small village of Long Island, on the west, and Nickajack, 
on the east. Nick a jack was situated on the east bank of Mck- 
ajack Creek, a short distance above its mouth, and contained 
about two hundred houses, mostly built of round logs, and 
covered with boards and bark. Protected on the south by 
picturesque and rugged mountains, it was surrounded by fields 
of potatoes and corn, peach orchards, and melon patches 
and back of these was a thick growth of cane. Five miles east 
of Nickajack, nestled in a beautiful little valley, encompassed 
by friendly heights, lay the town of Running Water, the most 
important of the Chickamauga towns. It had been their capi- 
tal in the time of Dragging Canoe, and contained a council 
house, sixty or seventy feet in diameter, with a conical roof, 
covered with bark. The road from Mckajack to Running 
Water passed a point called the narrows, between the Tennes- 


see Kiver and the overhanging cliffs that jutted down from the 
mountain, and formed a defile of great strategic strength. 

The army having been formed on the south bank of the 
river, inarched southward up the mountain, intending to get in 
behind the town of Mckajack, and strike it from the rear. 
When they reached the field back of the town, the men were 
formed into line of battle among the cane, Colonel Whitley 
commanding the right wing and Colonel Montgomery the left. 
The two wings were ordered to march so as to strike the river 
above and below the town. Joseph Brown, one time prisoner 
in the town, being entirely familiar with -the surroundings, 
was sent with twenty men to guard the mouth of Nick a jack 
Creek below the town, and cut off the retreat of any Indians 
who might seek to escape in that direction. 

Colonel Montgomery's division first sighted the enemy. He 
discovered two houses standing out in the field, about two hun- 
dred and fifty yards from the town. He left a detachment of 
fifteen men to watch these houses until the firing should begin 
in the town; and lest the Indians in them should discover the 
approach of the troops and give the alarm, he ordered his 
main force to push on with all speed. The corn was growing 
close around the houses, and concealed their movement from 
the enemy. Firing commenced near a house on the left of 
the town, and was returned by the Indians, one of whom was 
killed. The troops then dashed into the town, but found the 
houses all vacant and their doors open. 

While these movements were taking place, the guard left 
to watch the houses in the field saw a lithe and graceful Indian 
maiden pounding hominy in a mortar outside the cabin. In a 
few moments she was joined by a young warrior who passed 
his arms around her waist, playfully swung her about, and 
then assisted her with the pestle. While engaged in this de- 
lightful dalliance the firing began in the town, then the crack 
of a rifle was heard in the cornfield, and the young girl's lover 
fell dead at her feet. The doors were instantly closed, port- 
holes opened, and the men in the houses prepared to make a 
desperate defence. The girl undertook to make her escape by 
flight, but was pursued and captured by the guard, who, deem- 
ing it unwise to continue the contest, retired with their pris- 
oner, and rejoined the main force in the town. The girl was 
put into a canoe with the other prisoners, and while she was 
being rowed down the river towards the crossing place, she 
sprang head foremost into the river, disengaging herself art- 
fully from her clothing, which were left floating on the water. 
She swam superbly, and was fast making her escape. Someone 
shouted shoot her shoot her. But the more gallant spirits. 


admiring her agility, beauty and boldness, intervened, and al- 
lowed the young heroine to escape. 

The Indians in the town were taken completely by sur- 
prise. Years of security having given them faith in their fast- 
ness, they believed their town inaccessible, and when the 
whites suddenly appeared among them they wondered whether 
they had fallen down from the clouds, or sprung up out of the 
earth. As soon as the alarm was given they gathered up such 
of their effects as they could carry, and fled to the river, hop- 
ing to escape in their canoes. When Colonel Montgomery's 
men, who pressed closely upon them, reached the scene they 
discovered five or six large canoes in the river, filled with 
Indians and their goods, while twenty-five or thirty warriors 
still stood upon the shore. They at once opened fire upon 
them. By this time Colonel Whitley's division had swept down 
from the east, cutting off retreat in that direction. Having 
the Indians now surrounded, the engagement became little 
better than a slaughter, and hardly a soul on shore escaped. 
A few of the Indians in the canoes succeeded in getting 
away, but many of them fell victims to the deadly aim of the 
rifle, some of them in their canoes, and others in the waters 
of their beloved river. Several men tried to kill an Indian 
who was lying nearly flat in his canoe, only his arms show- 
ing as he paddled for his life. Having failed to hit him, 
Colonel Whitley, who came up at the moment, asked them to 
let him try. He took deliberate aim, and when he pulled the 
trigger, the blood was seen to spout from the Indian's shoulder. 
Joseph Brown, who had been left with twenty men to guard 
the mouth of Nickajack Creek, heard the firing commence, 
rushed forward, and, after some fighting in the canebrake, 
rejoined the main body of the troops. Seeing a canoe floating 
down the river, he swam out to it, and finding in it the Indian 
Colonel Whitley had shot, turned him over to ascertain 
whether he was yet alive, when the Indian seized him and tried 
to throw him overbroard. After a hard struggle, in which 
the Indian was nearly scalped, he cried, "Enough !" but Brown, 
in his "wrath," declared it was not enough, and throwing 
him into the river, one of the men shot him from the shore. 389 

The carnage was awful. No quarter was given to the men, 
who were killed wherever found. The Breath, whom we have 
already noticed as the kindly chief of the town, and somewhere 
between fifty and seventy of his people some of them, unfortu- 
nately, women and children perished, either on the river 

"James Collier, Howe's Historical Collections of the Great West, 
Vol. 1, p. 176, note; Joseph Brown, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 1, p. 



bank, in the water, or at their cabins. Nineteen women and 
children were taken prisoners, among whom was the wife and 
child of Richard Findleston, the guide. A search of the town 
disclosed two fresh scalps lately taken on the Cumberland, one 
by a nephew of the Fool Warrior and the other by a Creek, 
and a number of old ones, which-hung as trophies in the homes 
of the warriors who had taken them. They also found a quan- 
tity of powder and lead, lately arrived from the Spanish gov- 
ernment, and a commission for the Breath. In making the 
search a Kentucky soldier witnessed a pathetic scene. Enter- 
ing one of the cabins, he saw an infant, ten or twelve months 
old, with its bowels protruding from a wound in its abdomen, 
crawling over the body of its mother, who lay dead upon the 
floor. He was horrified at the sight, and as an act of mercy, 
put his rifle to its head and blew out its brains. 390 

Having burned the town of Nickajack, Major Ore imme- 
diately set out with his forces for Running Water, but news 
of their presence preceded them, and the warriors of that 
town made a stand at the narrows, already mentioned. They 
were advantageously posted behind rocks on the mountain 
side, but demoralized by the panic-stricken fugitives that fled 
from Nickajack, they gave way after the exchange of a few 
rounds, abandoned their town to its fate, and fled to the woods 
with their wives and children. At the narrows the whites 
had three men wounded, Luke Anderson and Severn Donelson, 
slightly, and Joshua Thomas, mortally. These were the only 
casualties of the campaign. Major Ore continued on to Run- 
ning Water, which, with all the effects found in it, was burned, 
and the troops returned to the river, which they recrossed 
the same day, and joined their comrades on the opposite shore. 
Having completed their work in a single day, on the following 
morning they took up the line of march for Nashville, which 
they reached on the 17th, and were disbanded. 391 

' j80 James Collier, Howe's Historical Collections of the Great West, 
Vol. 1, p. 176, note. 

391 Compare Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 
406-414; Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, pp. 608-618; Southwestern 
Monthly, Vol. 1, pp. 76-77; Howe's Historical Collections of the Great 
West, Vol. 1, pp. 175-177, note. 



End of the Cherokee wars; further Creek hostili- 
ties; the Chickasaws to the rescue; end of the Creek 
ivars. 1794-1795. 

At the conclusion of the Ghickamauga campaign General 
Robertson liberated a prisoner for the purpose of conveying 
to Colonel Watts a letter, in which he demanded the return 
of Miss Collins, a white prisoner, and four negroes that be- 
longed to General Logan, in exchange for the prisoners taken 
by Maojr Ore: promised to desist from further hostilities until 
they had time to come in with a flag of truce, but plainly inti- 
mated that, should they not restore the prisoners and bring 
good assurances of peace, he would soon return and destroy 
all of their towns. 392 The easy penetration of their fastnesses 
and the complete destruction of Mckajack and Running Water 
by Major Ore, and the overwhelming defeat of the northwestern 
Indians by General Wayne, in which action some of their war- 
riors took part, 393 had broken the spirit of the Chickamaugas, 
and they were at last sincerely disposed to peace. When Col- 
onel Watts received General Robertson's letter, deeming it un- 
safe to go to Nashville, on account of the unsusual excite- 
ment of the settlers, he sought a conference with Governor 
Blount, which was held at Tellico Blockhouse, November 7-8, 
1794. There were present at the conference, besides Colonel 
Watts, the Hanging Maw, who, as head man of the nation, had 
been asked to intercede for his refractory children, some minor 
chiefs, and about four hundred warriors. The issue had al- 
ready been settled in favor of the whites, and it only remained 
to bury the bloody hatchet. The conference was conducted in 
a friendly spirit, and a peace concluded that has never since 
been broken, and may now be expected to last, in their own 
picturesque language, as long as grass grows and water runs. 

The Creeks, whose only punishment had come from the 
direction of Georgia, had little fear of an invasion from the 
Southwest Territory, and were not so easily pacified. In the 
latter part of September, William Colbert and other Chicka- 
saws informed General Robertson that they still threatened 
Mero District, not in such large numbers, but in small detached 
parties, which were even more dangerous. 394 Their first victim 
was Thomas Bledsoe, who was killed near Bledsoe's Station, 
October 2, 1794. The killing of his father, brother, uncle and 

392 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 531, 537. 
'"American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 533. 
: ' M American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, p. 362. 


cousin, have already been noticed in this history. Several war- 
parties appearing in different parts of the district at the same 
time, gave unusual alarm to the inhabitants. Many of them 
shut themselves up in the stations, while some, like Colonel 
Isaac Tittsworth, determined to remove their families to safer 

Colonel Tittsworth came to Cumberland in 1783, and set- 
tled on Persons Creek, near Port Royal. His place was known 
throughout the neighboring settlements. When Tennessee 
County was erected in 1788, the court of pleas and quarter 
sessions was organized at his house. Afterwards he rose to 
the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the county militia. He had 
passed safely through the trying decade from 1784 to 1794, 
suffering no worse misfortune than the burning of his house 
by the Creeks in 1791. He and his brother, John Tittsworth, 
now determined to remove their families to Double Licks, in 
Logan County, Kentucky. 

On Wednesday, November 5, 1794, they commenced their 
journey. The caravan contained the wives and children of 
the Tittsworth brothers, but neither one of them is known to 
have been with the train. Their route lay through a rich 
country covered by a magnificent forest. They traveled all 
day through the wild woods, and as evening drew on, had 
passed the uttermost limit of the settlement. Nightfall found 
them, weary from their day's journey, four miles further in 
the forest. Here they were glad to make their encampment 
for the night. Before morning their camp was attacked by a 
party of Creeks from the Hickory Ground, on the Coosa River. 
Seven or eight white persons were killed and scalped on the 
spot; a negro woman was -wounded; and three small children, 
a girl, the daughter of Colonel Tittsworth, and a negro man, 
were taken prisoners. 395 

Pursuit was promptly made by the neighboring militia. The 
Indians avoided an engagement, but the militia pressed them 
so hard that they abandoned all the property taken from the 
Tittsworths, as well as some of their own. The eagerness of 
the pursuit, however, was most disastrous for the captives. 
The little children, being unable to keep up with their captors, 
were scalped, the Indians holding them by the hair and drag- 
ging them along until their heads were entirely skinned. One 
of them died the following day, and the others were not ex- 
pected to live, though their fate is not now known. 

The Creeks had a camp in the woods near the mouth of 
the Tennessee River. They carried Miss Tittsworth and the 
negro man to this place, where they kept them until their n>- 

385 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 539. 


turn to the Creek nation, about six months later. During her 
captivity Miss Tittsworth was required to do menial service, 
such as making fires, bringing water, and pounding meal ; was 
subjected to corporal punishment, and in all respects treated 
as a slave. The Spanish agent resident in the Creek nation 
offered a ransom of four hundred dollars for her, with a view, 
he said, of sending her to New Orleans and putting her in 
school, but the offer was declined. After peace was concluded 
in 1795, she was restored to her father, after a captivity of 
ten months. 396 

A party of Creeks from Tuskegee was also doing much 
mischief in the district. They were familiar with the country, 
having made many excursions to it, in one of which they had 
killed Major Evan Shelby. They began their depredations in 
the vicinity of Colonel Tittsworth's place, on Bed Kiver, where 
they killed Miss Betsy Roberts, on the twelfth, and Thomas 
Reason and wife, .on the 14th of September, 1794. Soon after- 
wards they moved their operations down to the mouth of the 
river, where they hoped to break up Sevier's Station. 

Colonel Valentine Sevier was one of the early settlers of 
Tennessee County. His father was a Virginian of French ex- 
traction, from whom he inherited something of the cavalier 
spirit, so prominent in the character of his brother, Governor 
John Sevier. Spare of flesh, with an erect, commanding, sol- 
dierly presence, a bright blue eye, and a quick ear, he was at 
once ardent, brave, generous, and affectionate. He had served 
his country faithfully, both in the Indian wars, and the War 
of Independence; had been prominent in the civil affairs of 
Washington County; took an active interest in the establish- 
ment of the State of Franklin, soon after the fall of which in 
1788, he emigrated to Cumberland, and erected a station on the 
north side of Red River, near its mouth, and about a mile from 
Clarksville. In 1792 Doublehead and his party killed three 
of his sous, Robert, William, and Valentine, while on their way 
to Nashville to join General Robertson in the defence of the 
settlements. He now had a still more severe trial to endure. 

About eleven o'clock on the morning of November 11, 1794* 
when the men were all away from the station except Colonel 
Sevier JIIK! his son-in-law, Charles Snyder, the Indians sur- 
prised and made a furious assault on Sevier's Station. The 
scene was wild and tragic. The screams of the women and the 
crying of the children were mingled with the roaring of the 
guns and the yelling of the Indians, while they killed and 
scalped, robbed and plundered, in frantic confusion. Colonel 

:t96 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, p. 383. 


Sevier, assisted by his wife, successfully defended their own 
house, but the Indians were in nearly every other building 
before they were discovered. Snyder, his wife, Betsy ; their son, 
John, and Colonel Sevier's son, Joseph, were all killed in 
Snyder's house, but the Colonel prevented the Indians from 
getting Snyder's scalp. Mrs. Ann King and her son, James, 
were also killed, and Colonel Sevier's daughter, Rebecca, was 
scalped and left for dead, but revived and finally recovered. 
The people of Clarksville heard the firing of the guns, and John 
Easten, Anthony Crutcher, and two or three other men, who 
happened to be in the town, ran over to the relief of Colonel 
Sevier, when the Indians hastily disappeared, having looted 
the houses and killed the stock. 397 Colonel Sevier abandoned 
his station and moved over to Clarksville, which place was 
itself upon the eve of being evacuated, when General Robert- 
son ordered Captain Evans, with a part of his command, to 
scout on the frontiers of Tennessee County. 

After the massacre of Sevier's Station, the Indians retired 
to the country around Eddyville, Kentucky, where they way- 
laid a hunting party, and killed Colonel John Montgomery, 
who has appeared more than once in this history. He was a 
bold, resolute, and adventurous pioneer. In company with 
Mansker, Drake, Bledsoe, and others, he explored the Cumber- 
land country as early as 1771. A colonel in the western army 
under General George Rogers Clark, he went to southwest Vir- 
ginia to enlist recruits for his army, and while there joined 
Colonel Evan Shelby in the destruction of the Chick amauga 
towns in 1779. He was a signer of the Cumberland compact, 
and was the first sheriff elected for the district. In 1784 he 
founded the city of Clarksville, and in 1794 commanded the 
Territorial troops in the Mckajack expedition. 

After his return from Mckajack he led a hunting excur- 
sion to Eddyville, where his camp was surprised and attacked 
by the Indians, November 27, 1794. The whites, taken at a dis- 
advantage, retreated, when Colonel Hugh Tinnon, one of the 
party, who was impeded by a wound, asked Colonel Mont- 
gomery not to leave him. With the courage and devotion so 
often found among the prisoners, he kept himself between 
Colonel Tinnon and the Indians until a bullet from one of 
their guns took effect in his knee, when, finding him disabled, 
the Indians rushed upon him and killed him with their knives. 
John Rains, on his return from Fort Massac, reached Eddy- 

a7 Anthony Crutcher to William Crutcher, and John Easten to 
James Robertson, American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, p. 
542; Valentine Sevier to John Sevier, Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, 
p. 619. 


ville the day of the tragedy and met Julius Sanders, one of 
the party, who had escaped, though shot in four places. San- 
ders said the last he saw of Colonel Montgomery an Indian was 
stabbing him repeatedly with a huge knife. Next day Bains 
went with a party, including a son of Colonel Montgomery, 
and found his body, which they buried where a tree had been 
uprooted by the storm. 398 Two years later, when Tennessee 
County gave up its beautiful name to the State tradition says 
at the suggestion of Andrew Jackson it was called Montgom- 
ery, in honor of Colonel John Montgomery. 

At this juncture the Chickasaws made a diversion greatly 
to the interest of the Cumberland settlers. President Wash- 
ington, admiring the courage of the Chickasaws, and appre- 
ciating the constancy of their friendship for the United States, 
in the spring of 1794 authorized Governor Blount to invite their 
great chief Piomingo, to visit him at the seat of government. 
The invitation -was readily accepted, and Piomingo, with some 
other Chickasaw chiefs, proceeded to Philadelphia, where they 
were cordially received, and had an audience with the Presi- 
dent, July 11, 1794. He gave some of the chiefs commissions 
as officers of militia, William Colbert heading the list, with 
the title of Major-General; and presented Piomingo with a 
parchment document setting forth the boundaries of the Chick- 
asaw territory, as described in the Nashville conference of 
1792. He also gave them many valuable presents, promised 
them goods to the amount of $3,000 annually, and with many 
flattering speeches, sent them off in great good humor. 399 

Having been invited by General Kobertson and Governor 
Blount to make common cause with the Americans, and being 
honored by President Washington with military commissions, 
for their services in the army of the northwest, the Chickasaws 
regarded themselves as allies, offensive and defensive, of the 
United States. Now, the Chickasaws, though a small tribe, had 
never been controlled by prudential considerations in their in- 
tercourse with their neighbors, but boldly revenged every in- 
jury received, without regarding the consequences that night 

Early in January, 1795, General Kobertson was informed 
by runners that General William Colbert, Captain James Un- 
derwood, Captain Muckishapoy, and the Old Counsellor, chiefs 
of the Chickasaws, with seventy warriors and some women 
and children, were on their way to Nashville, with five Creek 
scalps which they had taken near Duck Kiver, from Shotlatoke 

""Narrative of John Rains, Southwestern Monthly, Vol. 2, pp. 266-7. 
^Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 424-5. 

286 A. v. <;OODPASTURE. 

and four other Creek warriors, who were on their way to kill 
and plunder the people of Cumberland, as they had often done 
before. They had surrounded the whole party by night, and 
killed them in the morning;. They said they were the people 
of the United States, bearing commissions from the President 
himself, and, therefore, felt themselves bound to retaliate on 
his enemies. They were received with great applause by the 
people of Nashville, who gave a public entertainment in their 
honor, escorting them from General Robertson's house with a 
company of cavalry in uniform. On their part, the Chickasaws 
held a war dance that night around the scalps of their Creek 
victims. 400 

By the 5th of March, 1795, they had killed and scalped ten 
more Creeks. Acts of hostility committed by other Indians 
seemed to disturb the Creeks more than similar acts of the 
white people; the killing of two or three Creeks by Hanging 
Maw created great excitement in the nation ; and now the hos- 
tile attitude of the Chickasaws produced the greatest commo- 
tion among them. They prepared for a vigorous campaign. 
Their first acts of vengeance were as cruel as they were un- 
natural. Some of their warriors had Chickasaw wives; these 
were now killed, and, as the children of the marriage, under 
their customs, belonged to the wife, they were regarded as 
Chickasaws, and shared the fate of their mothers. In this 
respect the Chickasaws showed their superior civilization and 
humanity; their Creek wives were not only spared, but some 
of them, like Jessie Moniac, the wife of General William Col- 
bert, were held in great honor and esteem. 401 

The Creeks, being occupied with their preparations for the 
invasion of the Chickasaw towns, few depredations were com- 
mitted in Mero District. The Cherokees and Choctaws tried 
to preserve peace by urging the Creeks not to make war on the 
Chickasaws, at least, until they had made friends with the 
United States. The Chickasaws applied to President Wash- 
ington for assistance against the Creeks, and General Colbert 
came to Nashville to await his answer. General Robertson 
knew that he was not authorized by the government to enlist 
troops to aid the Chickasaws in their war against the Creeks, 
but recognizing the merits of the demand, and appreciating 
the value of their friendship, he was unwilling to see them 
extirpated, and determined to encourage by his personal in- 
fluence the enlistment of volunteers for the defence of their 
towns. In his loyalty to his old friends, General Robertson 

^American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. 1, pp. 556-7. 
*"HaywoocTs Civil and Political History of Tennessee, p. 447. 


was supported by General Daniel Smith, Secretary of the 
Territory, and all the leading men of the district. With their 
approbation, he requested Captain David Smith to enlist as 
many volunteers as he could, and set out immediately with 
General Colbert for the Chickasaw nation. Captain Smith col- 
lected such men as he could at once enlist, despatched some 
of them by water, with provisions for the campaign, and with 
fifteen men escorted General Colbert through by land to Log 
Town, where Colbert lived. After their departure General 
Robertson induced Colonel Kasper Mansker and Captain John 
Gwin to join in the same enterprise. They accordingly raised 
thirty-one or thirty-two men, and following Captain Smith, 
reached the Chickasaw towns May 10, 1705. 402 

The Creeks who had massacred Colonel Tittsworth's fam- 
ily and were still encamped at the mouth of the Tennessee 
River, attacked and captured one of Captain Smith's boats, as 
it made its way down the Cumberland River. The other was 
saved by one white man and some Chickasaws, who carried 
it to Fort Massac, where they disposed of its contents, and 
continued on to the nation; all the other volunteers who were 
with the boats returned to Nashville. 

On the 28th of May, 1795, a very large body of Creeks ap- 
peared in view of Log Town. Meeting with two women who 
had gone out for wood, they killed and scalped them. Cap- 
tain Smith proposed a sortie, but General Colbert, thinking 
the Creeks wished to draw the men out of the fort, so they 
could get in and kill the women and children, declined to 
leave his post. A party of the women's kinsmen, however, 
rushed out upon the Creeks. In the melee that followed one 
of the Chickasaws was killed, whereupon Smith and Colbert 
with n small detachment, flew to the relief of the sallying 
party. On their approach the Creeks retired precipitately. 
There was much blood on their trail, and many of their arms 
were left upon the ground, from which it was believed they 
suffered severely. The Creeks continued in the vicinity un- 
til the first of -June, killing cattle and taking horses, when 
they quietly disappeared. The Chickasaws thought they 
would not soon return, and were content that Colonel Mans- 
ker's troops should go home, which they did about June 7th. 
General Robertson, who had been sent by Governor Bloiint 
on a peace mission to the Chickasaws, was .present at this 
action. 403 

The Creek-Chickasaw war now became the leading question 
in the south and southwest. The Creeks, in addition to the 

W2 Haywood's Civil and Political History of Tennessee, pp. 448-9. 
40 Haywood, pp. 449-50, 453. 


large army they were preparing to raise in their own nation, 
sent emissaries to ask assistance from the Shawnees, against 
whom the Chickasaws had fought in the armies of St. Clair 
and Wayne. The Chickasaws, on their part, renewed their 
solicitations to President Washington, who replied that, to 
grant them the aid they asked would involve a general war be- 
tween the whole Creek nation and the United States, which 
only Congress had power to declare. He told them the com- 
missioners at the Nashville conference had no authority to 
promise to interfere in the disputes of the Indian nations, 
except as friends of both parties, in order to make peace be- 
tween them; that General Kobertson had done wrong to tell 
them he expected the United States would send an army 
against the Creeks next summer; and that the commissions 
he had given to the Chickasaw chiefs were expressly confined 
to operations against the Indians of the northw r est. 404 The 
Chickasaws were greatly disappointed, but never lost their 
courage. "As what I expected of your assistance is not in 
your power," Piomingo writes to General Robertson, "I hope 
I have made good times for you, if I have made bad for my- 
self; if so, you shall hear that I die like a man." 405 

Governor Blount, meanwhile, was exerting all his diplo- 
matic skill to restore peace between the contending tribes. A 
suggestion of Superintendent Seagrove, after a peace con- 
ference with the Creeks, at Beard's Bluff, on the Altamaha, 
in which he advised Alexander Cornell, a son-in-law of the 
late General McGillivray, and deputy agent for Indian affairs, 
that he ought to take some of the Creek chiefs and visit Gov- 
ernor Blount at his home, gave Governor Blount the cue he 
wished. Replying to a letter of Cornell's containing the above 
information, he acted upon his suggestion, and appointed a 
conference to be held at Tellico Blockhouse, October 10, 
1795.* 06 At this conference, which was attended by Cherokees, 
Creeks, and Chickasaws, plans were concerted under which 
peace was re-established between the Creeks and Chickasaws 
before the end of the year. 

Not long after the conference at Tellico Blockhouse, an 
event of supreme importance to the west happened in interna- 
tional affairs. The long, irritating, and humilitating, negotia- 
tions with Spain, respecting the navigation of the Mississippi 
lliver, which were commenced in 1785, and dragged on for 
ten years, were finally concluded, and a treaty signed, Oc- 

m American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, p. 393. 

105 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 4, p. 69. 

106 American Historical Magazine, Vol. 3, pp. 379-390. 


tober 27, 1795. By this treaty the southern boundary of the 
United States was fixed at the thirty-first degree of north 
latitude, and the navigation of the Mississippi River, from its 
source to its niouth, was declared to be free to the citizens of 
the United States. From this time Spain lost interest in 
American affairs, ceased her intrigues on our western frontiers, 
and withdrew her support from the Creeks, whose aggressions 
she had hitherto countenanced, if not actually instigated. 
Peeling the loss of this support, the Creeks now expressed a 
desire for peace with the United States, hostilities were at 
once suspended, and a treaty was concluded with them June 
29, 1796. This brought to an end the sanguinary Indian wars, 
begun in the first days of the Revolution in 1776, which had 
for twenty years distressed and decimated the people of the 
Old Southwest. 


Readers will note that the valuable contribution of Hon. A. V. 
Goodpasture on the history of southern Indians is concluded in this 
number. It is very much to be desired that this interesting and de- 
tailed study should appear in book form; possibly at some future 
date we may have the pleasure of announcing same. 

Proper notice of such a noted contribution as has been rendered 
in the field of archaeology by a former Tennessean, Mr. James Chris- 
tian, is well worthy of a place in this magazine.* A letter- from the 
author of the article says that the fine collection has been divided 
and sold to various museums. Possibly if our society had an appro- 
priate place for the care and display of such valuable collections it 
might share in such dispositions. It is known that a most valuable 
collection was lost to it a few years ago because of this lack. 

The Sewanee Review Quarterly for October, 1918, has a brilliant 
write-up of Dr. Archibald Henderson, of the University of North 
Carolina, by the celebrated poet, essayist and lecturer, Edward Mark- 

The Quarterly Publication of the Historical Society of Ohio, July- 
September, 1918, publishes a compilation of military papers, list of 
soldiers, etc., containing valuable detail data of the Anthony Wayne 
campaign of 1796. It is interesting to note the then subordinate titles 
of some afterward very famous men, viz.: "Capt." Zebulun Pike, 
"Lieut." Ferdinand Claiborjie, "Ensign" Meriwether Lewis, "Lieut." 
William Henry Harrison. 

Joseph Habersham Chapter, D. A. R., of Atlanta, Ga., desire to 
announce that they have a limited number of copies of their valuable 
publications yet to dispose of. Application is to be made to the Chair- 
man of the Book Committee, 1339 Peachtree Street. Vols. I and II, 
published in 1901 and 1902, contain unpublished lists of soldiers, emi- 
grants, marriage bonds, death notices, etc., and Vol. Ill contains all 
marriages, wills and deeds in eighteen Georgia counties organized 
before 1796, also the unpublished Volume II of Logan's Upper South 
Carolina, etc. 

The wide circle of friends of Dr. St. George Sioussat of Brown 
University, whom we delight to honor as our former editor, will be 
pleased to read the article that introduces this number of the Mag- 
azine. Due obligations for its republication from the Mississippi Val- 
ley Historical Review are noted. 

Meeting of November 12, 1918. 

Mr. J. Tyree Fain was elected Recording Secretary to take the 
place of Mr. Irby R. Hudson, who had entered war service. 

The special feature of the meeting was the presentation of a por- 

*See p. 248. 


trait, drawn by the noted artist George Dury, of General Robert Arm- 
strong, the intimate friend of President Andrew Jackson. This val- 
uable addition to the gallery of the society came from Miss Catherine 
Vaulx, a granddaughter of General Armstrong, and was presented 
in an appropriate address by Judge Robert Ewing, a life-time friend 
of the family. A number of interesting facts were given concerning 
the intimate relationship existing between President Jackson and Gen- 
eral Armstrong, special mention being made of the item in the will 
of President Jackson bequeathing the sword he wore at the Battle 
of New Orleans to General Armstrong, who later presented it to 
Congress through Hon. Lewis Cass. 

The following were elected members of the society: Hon. Finley 
M. Dorris, J. Vaulx Crockett, Waldo E. Coudrey and Prof. James H. 

Gifts and loans were reported as follows: 

Files of the "Southern Bivouac" and of the "South Atlantic Quar- 
terly," by J. H. DeWitt. 

Valuable mss. scrap books and miscellaneous volumes, by Maj. 
J. G. Cisco. 

One army pistol, two pairs of spurs and a belt Confederate relics 
together with a bound volume of the "Lincoln Journal," 1858-1860, 
by R. H. Gray, Fayetteville, Tenn. 

A valuable manuscript relating to the locating of the State Capitol 
building at Nashville, by Hon. Park Marshall. 


A most interesting address on the History and Purpose of the 
Watkins Institute Foundation of Nashville was made by Judge Robert 
Ewing, in which many facts were set forth detailing the worthy pur- 
pose of the late philanthropist, Samuel Watkins, and the large prac- 
tical results coming from this magnificent benefactor to Nashville. 

The society adopted resolutions appointing a committee to formu- 
late and submit suggestions looking to awakening the interest of the 
shortly-convening Legislature of Tennessee in the subject of proper 
housing the Historical Society and kindred organizations. 

Gifts were recorded as follows: 

Army pistol found on the battlefield of Shiloh, from Mr. E. H. 
Steinman, of Collinwood, Tenn., and a Civil War scrap-book compiled 
by a Confederate, from Mrs. Francis W. Ring, presented by J. H. 




Tennessee historical magazine