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TENNESSEE- Chickamauga 

Tennessee's Indian Peoples,

From White contact to removal covering the period of 1540 to 1840 there were several tribes that laid claim to portions of Tennessee.  The two main ethno-typed cultures of Tennessee were the Mississippian and Woodland cultures.  Eventually, all natives of Tennessee blended these two cultures together.

The names of the Mississippian tribes weren't as prominently known to historians as are the familiar names recorded- the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creeks, and Shawnee (2).  Tennessee was also the home to remnant bands of Natchez, Yuchi (6), and the Chickamauga*(anglicized spelling) Indians. 

Exactly when the "Chikamaka*" Indians first wandered into the Tennessee Valley is unknown.  Their forbears the "Chitimaucas" lived in the lower Mississippi Valley (5).  After 1776, additional tribes make Tennessee their residence as they align with the Chikamaka (1) under the leadership of the former Cherokee Draggingcanoe.  These delegations from their respective nations include the Mohawk, the Ottawa, the Delaware, the Mingo (3), the Saponi, the Choctaw, and the Catawba. This is the hostile confederacy that gained notoriety in Tennessee history.

These were the primary tribes who claimed residence in Tennessee prior to 1800. A less significant tribe once in Tennessee was the Koasati (4).  Smaller and less known tribes were either assimilated or annihilated. In addition, out of state tribes, such as the Iroquois (2), occasionally used Tennessee as hunting grounds or for warfare. 





* Correctly said "Chikamaka."  The spelling is documented in the works of the Moravian missionaries and is found in the book, (1) "Cherokees of the Old South a People in Transition" by Henry Thompson Malone, The University of Georgia Press Athens;

Sources of information: (2) Tennessee's Indian Peoples by Ronald N. Satz copyright 1979 by the University of Tennessee Press with cooperation from the Tennessee Historical Commission; (3) Heart of the Eagle by Brent Yanusdi Cox Chenanee Publishers, Milan, Tennessee 1999; (4) The Cultures of Native North Americans Copyright 2000 from the original title: Kulturen der Nordamerikanischen Indianer printed in Germany ISBN 3-8290-2985-3; (5) The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga Tennessee Volume I by Zella Armstrong, the Lookout Publishing Company Chattanooga Tennessee; (6) Tennessee County History Series: GRUNDY; Oral history of the Chikamaka.

Chikamaka timeline

1776 March 1 Dragging Canoe went to Mobile AL to escort 2 British Commissioners,
Cameron (Dragging Canoe's adopted brother), to bring a pack train to the
Cherokee back to Chota & give the British line regarding the upcoming American
Revolution. Dragging Canoe was in full agreement.

April Back at Chota. Alexander Cameron advises Indian neutrality because there
were Loyalists among whites - Indians wouldn't know the difference. Cameron &
Stuart sent letters to whites in the area. Text was altered to promote
anti-Indian sentiment (fear of attack).
Delegation of northern Indians, predominantly (but not totally) Shawnee
(Cornstalk?), came to Chota requesting a Cherokee alliance against the American.

Raven of Chota led an attack against the Carter Valley sentiments - burned
houses, but Americans had withdrawn. Nancy Ward, a "Beloved Woman of the
Cherokee, having been a warrior in her day, forewarned the Americans.
Abram of Chilhowee led the attack against Fort Watauga where Sevier was at the
time. Laid siege, nothing happened, so the Cherokee withdrew.

Dragging Canoe went against the Holston River settlements, including the Eton
Station fort, but the Americans, forewarned by Nancy Ward, were prepared and
successfully defended themselves. The Cherokee attacked, Dragging Canoe got shot
through both legs; his brother, Little Owl, also got hit. The Cherokee withdrew
for lack of numbers.
**Elders, including Oconostota, wanted to capitulate and offered a reward of 100
pounds on the heads of Dragging Canoe and Alexander Cameron. No record of known
attempts on their lives. The Cherokee Council sent a message that Dragging
canoe's faction were no longer citizens of the Cherokee Nation.**
Dragging Canoe responded by saying the peaceful Cherokee were nothing more than
"Virginians and Rogues," withdrawing from the area and moved with his people
closer to the Chattanooga area. Joined by survivors of the Lower Towns of South
Carolina. ****This is where he joined forces with the Chikamaka. It is not known
for sure when they wandered into the Tennessee Valley, but after this union they
become the Powerful tribe known today by the anglicized name "Chickamauga."****

1776 July 700 Chikamaka attacked two American forts in North Carolina: Eaton's
Station and Fort Watauga. Both assaults failed, but the raids set off a series
of attacks by other Cherokee and the Upper Creek on frontier settlements in
Tennessee and Alabama.
The Wataugans, led by their popular and soon-to-be-famous Indian fighter John
Sevier, repulsed the onslaught and swiftly counter-attacked. With the help of
militia from North Carolina and Virginia, they invaded the heartland of the
Cherokee and put their towns to the torch. John Sevier's son later married into
the Cherokee Nation.

1776 At the outbreak of the American Revolution, lives father up north Knoxville
way, moves families down river to Chickamauga & Chattanooga & Running Water with
the Creeks ... Upper & Lower Towns.
[At the beginning of the year Dragging Canoe wanted to attack the American
whites, and vice versa. However, most of the Cherokee were opposed to war.
British didn't want Indians involved. A Letter was copied and faked, with
derisive comments about Indians added. Copies were circulated to stir up
anti-British hate among Indians. Dragging Canoe was very militant. He led an
attack against whites. Rather than capitulate with the older men, he and other
warriors (1000 warriors and families,) moved south to Chattanooga with the
Chikamaka Creeks and became the war some Chikamaka waging war against the
settlers for the next twenty years. A Confederacy involving numerous tribes and
Tory allies is formed.]

1776 September Americans destroyed more than 36 Cherokee towns killing every
man, woman and child they could find. [Rather than killing all the Indians,
impromptu slave auctions on site were held to raise money for the White militia
by selling Native women & children. ]

1777 Unable to continue resistance, the Cherokee in the area asked for peace.
The Treaties of DeWitt's Corner (May) and Long Island (or Holston) (July) were
signed at gunpoint and forced the Cherokee to cede almost all of their remaining
land in the Carolinas.

1777 Summer Dragging Canoe led raids against American settlers as far up as
southern Virginia - killing whites whenever they could find them & burning
houses.

1778-79 Most Cherokee fighters (made up of many half-bloods & mixed-bloods,
predominantly a white mix - French, English, Irish, Spanish & American-born
whites, Cherokee, Shawnee, Creek, and free Blacks) went to Georgia to join the
British forces in the Georgia campaign

1776-82 Cherokee under Dragging Canoe joined the side of Great Britain in the
American Revolution against encroaching white settlement.
Cui Canacina or Tsiyugunsini (Dragging Canoe) and the Chikamaka refused the
Overhill Cherokee Treaty and kept raiding the new settlements. At the outbreak
of the Revolution, the Cherokee received requests from the Mohawk, Shawnee, and
Ottawa to join them against the Americans, but the majority of the Cherokee
decided to remain neutral in the white man's war. The Chikamaka, however,
remained at war with the Americans and formed an alliance with the Shawnee and
numerous other Northern Indian Nations.

1779 Evan Shelby attacks & burns 11 Chikamaka towns between the Knoxville and
the Chattanooga area while Dragging Canoe was in Georgia. Upon learning of this,
Dragging Canoe & men come back, Cameron with British arms also.
At this time a Shawnee delegation came down to see if the burning of the towns
had broken the Cherokee resistance. Dragging Canoe assured them that he would
keep fighting. Alexander Cameron recorded Dragging Canoe's speech, "We are not
yet conquered."
A group of Cherokee went to the Shawnee to fight with them and to assure
consolidation of will. Likewise, a group of Shawnee, including Tecumseh's
widowed mother, her son, Tecumseh, a boy, and his triplet brothers, including
the later White Prophet, came down. Their older brother fought with distinction,
but was killed a few years later in the raid on Nashville.
Dragging Canoe again moves Chikamaka this time to the region between Chattanooga
and The South Cumberland Plateau. He resides in Lower Town of Running Water;
Breath established Nickajack by Nickajack Cave - across the river from Little
Cedar Mountain. THERE WERE SEVERAL TOWNS, CAMPS AND VILLAGES. SOME WERE KNOWN
AND DOCUMENTED AND OTHERS WERE NOT. SOME OF THESE NOT DOCUMENTED ARE NOW KNOWN
TO US AND SADLY SOME ARE FORGOTTEN BECAUSE OF OUR NEED TO ASSIMILATE IN ORDER
TO ACCOMPLISH OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: LAND PRESERVATION

1780 Dragging Canoe rescued the British Col. Brown in the American Siege of
Augusta. Returned home.
The Chikamaka remained hostile and renewed their attacks against western
settlements in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. Continued his resistance,
attacks Nashville against Cumberland settlements.

1781 July After more fighting, the forced second Treaty of Long Island of
Holston confirmed the 1777 forced cessions and then took more Cherokee land.

1782 The English give up the war effort and sued for peace. Dragging Canoe
established contact with the Spanish in Florida and British in Canada and
Detroit.

1785/6 Treaty of Hopewell (SC) - The Cherokee thought this would be the end of
the settlers' invasion of Cherokee land. Within 3 years bitter fighting had
erupted as settlers continued to move into the Cherokee Nation. This treaty is
the basis for the term "Talking Leaves," the name of the tribe's written
language. The Cherokee felt that written words were like leaves, when they were
no longer of use they withered and died.

1790 Chikamakas continued action with the Shawnee in the Ohio Valley: the Ohio
Chikamaka

1790-94 "Little Turtle's War" of the Miami in the Ohio Valley with the Wyandot,
Delaware, Hurons, Mohawks and Dakota. After their initial victories, from here they had the unofficial encouragement of the Spanish governments of Florida and
Louisiana and continued attacking American settlements. One of these incidents
almost killed a young Nashville attorney/land speculator named Andrew Jackson,
which may explain his later attitude regarding the Cherokee.

1791 January Chikamaka Chief Glass/"Catawba Killer" captured James Hubbard and
16 men building a blockhouse at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and released them with a
warning not to return.

1791 November 4 Combined force of Chikamaka, Creek, Asshinnabe (Chippewa),
Shawnee, Delaware, Iroquois, Miami, Wyandot and Dakota totally annihilated the
forces of American Gen. Arthur St. Clair at the Wabash River in Indiana. "St.
Clair's Defeat" - the biggest (number of whites killed) united Native triumph in
history. (Bigger than Little Big Horn...Custer's demise.)
1791 - Treaty of Holston signed. Includes a call for the U.S. to advance
civilization of the Cherokees by giving them farm tools and technical advice.

1792 February 17 Chikamaka Chief Glass and Dragging Canoe's brother, Turtle At
Home, waylaid the John Collingsworth family near Nashville, killing the father,
mother, and a daughter, and capturing an eight-year-old girl. Returning to
Lookout Town (near Trenton, Georgia), they held a scalp dance, grinding one of
the scalps in his teeth as he performed. Dragging canoe, recently returned from
Mississippi after meeting with Choctaws, celebrated the occasion so strenuously
that he died the following morning, age 54. John Watts of Will's Town (near
Fort Payne, Alabama), became the new Chikamaka leader of the united war effort.
Chikamaka resistance continues - led a big campaign against settlements in
Nashville (Buchanan Station 1793) and in upper east Tennessee led the combined
Cherokee-Creek attack at Cavett's Station in 1793 in which there were no white
survivors.

1794 American victory at Fallen Timbers in the north Ohio Valley. British failed
to support Native allies. American General orders Chikamaka to leave Northern
region. They comply.
After two years of fighting against the Tennessee militia, the support from
other Cherokee declined, and the Chikamaka's resolve began to weaken.

1794 Skirmish near Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

1794 Battle at Nickajack & Runningwater. White attack on Nickajack, &
Runningwater burned town. Breath, long-time headman of Nickajack, killed.
Unofficial militia raid ordered by Robertson, led by Maj. James Ore of (*see
year 1800*) Nashville area took Nickajack by surprise and killed mostly women
and children, took a few captives (apx. 19 women and children) back to
Nashville. Most men were attending a social function down in Turkeytown,
Alabama. Men wanted pursuit, but were talked out of it by the families of
captives who feared their family members' death. Survivors fled into the
mountains that are now Marion and Grundy Counties. Nickajack rebuilt. ...
Spanish withdrew their support, suggesting some accommodation with the Americans
rather than continue fighting. THE LAST TWO TOWNS MENTIONED, NICKAJACK AND
RUNNING WATER WERE BOTH DESTROYED IN September OF 1794 BY MAJOR JAMES ORE. THE
SURVIVORS AND FORMER INHABITANTS OF THESE TWO TOWNS FLED TO THE AREA NOW LOCATED
ON TOP OF THE SOUTH CUMBERLAND PLATEAU AND SETTLED IN THE AREAS NOW KNOWN AS
GREEN TOWN, HOBBS HILL, AND TRACY CITY. THEY WERE NOTHING MORE THAN VILLAGES AND
CAMP SITES HID OUT OF THE WAY IN HOLLOWS AND SLOUGHS ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN.THE
TOWN WHERE TRACY CITY IS NOW, WAS THE HOMEPLACE OF CHIEF SHOOK WHO REMOVED TO
OKLAHOMA WITH HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, LEAVING THOSE WHO WISHED TO STAY
BEHIND.OTHER CHIKAMAKA-CHEROKEE REESTABLISHED IN PLACES LIKE THE "POCKET" IN
PRESENT DAY MARION COUNTY, IN JASPER-TOWN, THE CURRENT SITE OF JASPER,
TENNESSEE, IN SEQUATCHIE COUNTY, AND OTHERS CONNECTED UP WITH THE CAMPS AND
CHEROKEE SETTLEMENTS LOCATED IN THE VALLEYS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SOUTH
CUMBERLAND PLATEAU IN WHAT IS NOW WARREN COUNTY AT THE INTERSECTION OF BARREN
FORK CREEK AND THE COLLINS RIVER. ANOTHER SUCH CAMP WAS LOCATED AT THE HEAD OF
THE ELK RIVER OR THE CHUWALEE RIVER IN PELHAM VALLEY. THIS WAS A HUNTERS CAMP
FOR CHUWALEE TOWN NAMED FOR THE CHIEF CHUWALEE WHO SETTLED NEAR THE CURRENT SITE
OF BEERSHEBA SPRINGS IN GRUNDY COUNTY. ONE CERTAIN CHIKAMAKA-CHEROKEE CHOSE
UNDER THE 1817 RESERVATION TREATY HIS 640 ACRES ON TOP OF THE SOUTH CUMBERLAND
PLATEAU IN WHAT IS NOW BOTH MARION AND GRUNDY COUNTIES AND IS KNOWN STILL TODAY
BY HIS NAME, "PIGEON," OR PIGEON SPRINGS. THIS IS ACCESSIBLE FROM THE TOP BY WAY
OF PARTIN'S FARM ROAD OFF HWY. 41 ON THE LEFT GOING FROM TRACY CITY TO
MONTEAGLE. IN CURRENT FRANKLIN COUNTY THE TOWN WHERE THE PRESENT DAY SEWANEE IS
NOW LOCATED WAS THE SITE OF SUWANEE OLD TOWN. OTHERS MOVED ON TO THE AREA KNOWN
AS GOOSEPOND IN COFFEE COUNTY. THIS WAS ALSO A SITE WHERE MANY RETURNING
CHEROKEE SETTLED ON THEIR WAY BACK FROM OKLAHOMA. AN EXAMPLE OF THIS IS THE
DUNCAN FAMILY WHOSE NAMES APPEAR ON THE 1852 DRENNON ROLL IN THE DELAWARE
DISTRICT. ANOTHER LADY WAS "RESCUED" FROM THE PARTY THAT LEFT THE STOCKADES IN
RATTLESNAKE SPRINGS IN PRESENT DAY BRADLEY COUNTY. SHE WAS THE GRANDMOTHER OF
JAMES TURNER OF LAKE ROAD IN TRACY CITY. THIS GROUP OF CHEROKEE CAME UP WHAT IS
NOW HWY. 41 FROM JASPER INTO PRESENT DAY TRACY CITY ARRIVING THERE IN EARLY
1840. THEY WERE FOLLOWING THE NICKAJACK TRAIL (WHICH PASSES BY THE HEAD OF
HICKORY CREEK IN GRUNDY COUNTY) ON THEIR WAY TO OKLAHOMA. THIS GROUP (MINUS
THOSE WHO ESCAPED) WENT OFF THE MOUNTAIN ON WHAT IS NOW CLOUSE HILL ROAD THAT
GOES FROM THE SPRING AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN IN PAYNES COVE AND CONTINUED
FOLLOWING THE NICKAJACK TRAIL TILL IT INTERSECTED WITH THE INALI, (BLACKFOX
TRAIL.) AS MORE AND MORE WHITE SETTLERS CHOSE TO MOVE INTO THE AREA, THESE
CAMPS AND VILLAGES DISPERSED INTO THE MORE REMOTE AREAS SUCH AS DYKES HOLLOW,
CLOUSE HILL, SANDERS CROSSING, COALMONT, DOG TOWN, CHIGGER TOWN, DUCK TOWN,
ALTAMONT, AND BEERSHEBA. OTHERS CHOSE TO MOVE FURTHER NORTH TO Daus and Ross
MOUNTAINS LOCATED NEAR PRESENT DAY TATESVILLE. OTHERS STILL CHOSE TO MOVE ON
NORTHWARD TO PRESENT DAY CAGLE IN SEQUATCHIE COUNTY. ALL OF THESE PRESENT DAY
SETTLEMENTS WERE MADE UP OF THE CHIKAMAKAS AND THEIR MIXED BLOOD AND WHITE
RELATIVES. AS THAT WAS PRETTY MUCH ALL THAT COMPRISED THE AREA, THOSE WHO WANTED
TO REMAIN BEHIND AFTER THE REMOVAL DID SO. THOSE WHO SHOWED A LOT OF THE
CHARACTERISTICS EITHER REMAINED IN THE DESOLATE AREAS OR MOVED AROUND IN THE
SOUTHEAST GOING FROM ONE CHIKAMAKA COMMUNITY TO ANOTHER. SOME EVEN MOVED BACK
AND FORTH FROM THESE (6) SIX REGIONS TO OKLAHOMA, NORTHEAST ALABAMA WHERE THE
PRESENT DAY DESCENDANTS OF THE ECHOTA CHEROKEE REMAIN, AND BACK TO NORTH
CAROLINA AND TO NORTH GEORGIA WHERE THERE WERE POCKETS OF CHEROKEE LIVING. THIS
IS AN OLD HABIT CARRIED OVER FROM THE EARLIER CHEROKEE WHO MOVED ABOUT BECAUSE
OF CLAN LAWS RELATING TO MARRIAGES AND DIVORCE WHICH CARRIED OVER TO THE EARLY
1900's IN THIS REGION.

1796 Tellico Treaty* ended hostilities between USA, Cherokee, and the Chikamaka,
signed by the Chikamaka and leader of the Chikamaka John Watts, a half-blood,
Old Tassel's nephew. Warfare generally ended between Cherokee and Chikamaka,
although armed resistance by Will Webber "Red-Haired Will", half-blood who
founded Will's Town, and full-blood Bowl, and others continued. Webber later
went west of the Mississippi, Bowl later went to Texas. Others stayed in the
region. Some integrated back into the Cherokee Nation. (*not all Chikamaka
agreed with this treaty.)

1800 *James Ore, who led the 1794 expedition that burned Nickajack, lived in the
Knoxville area, went bankrupt, failed in White society. He went to live among
the Indians, ironically, selected Nickajack, (near what is now Jasper, TN) and
was accepted, especially after he explored Nickajack Cave and began mining the
cave, producing gunpowder for the Chikamaka. He also operated a tavern
there.

1809 Following Blood laws...Death of Doublehead at the hands of Ridge, James
Vann and Alexander Saunders for taking bribes to sell land as well as
mistreating his wife. Saunders was once a resident of Suwane Oldtown.

1810 During the period from about 1810 to 1840, settlers poured into the
wilderness which was to become Grundy County. The records of Warren County
detail the Collins River valley settlement during this period, while the Elk
River valley was part of Franklin County. Death of James Vann

1812 Shawnee warrior Tecumseh agitates American Indians on the frontier to rise
up and destroy the settlers. A faction of the Creek* Indians the "Red Sticks,"
revolt, attacking Fort Mims, Alabama and massacre 250 men, women and children.
(*this era is where the saying, "Good Lord willin' and the Creek's don't rise"
came from*)

1813-14 Cherokee warriors fight alongside future president Andrew Jackson
during two campaigns (5 major battles) against the Red Sticks, saving both his
army and his life in separate battles. Some of these warriors were Chikamaka who
in addition to fighting in the Cherokee regiments, also fought under Captain
Cherry's company formed in Franklin County, TN.


1813 September Chikamaka David Meeks signs affidavit sent to Return J. Meigs
regarding a stolen horse. This was done in Franklin County, Tn that later
becomes Grundy County.

1814 Jackson demands cessions of 2.2 million acres from the Cherokee.

1817 - Treaty makes exchange for land in Arkansas. Old settlers begin voluntary
migration and establish a government there. In 1828, they are forced to move
into Indian Territory


1819 Chief Shook signs Emigration roll but doesn't relocate until 1838. He was
Chief of the Chikamaka town located where Tracy City now stands.

1818-19 Calhoun Treaty ceding land north of the Hiwassee River and North and
West of the Tennessee signed by Secretary of War John Calhoun and Cherokee in
Washington and ratified by the U.S. Senate. New Eastern Cherokee immigration to
Western Cherokee. Numbers now 6,000. The Glass, John Walker, Path Killer, Going
Snake and more signed. Treaty signer John Boggs may have lived at Little Cedar
Mountain. His wife was Turtle At Home's daughter.
Treaty established boundaries of Cherokee lands in Arkansas Territory

1820 Elizabeth Pack who is listed on the Reservation Roll of 1819 and the
Henderson Roll of 1835. She is also on the Chikamaka Roll. The City of Jasper,
TN has put up a Historical Marker to Elizabeth Pack for her donation of 40 acres
of her Reservation land to the City: "Betsy Pack Historic Sign." She was born
Elizabeth Lowery. She was daughter of Chief Lowery. She lived in a house about
60 yards southeast of the Marion County courthouse. She donated 40 acres on
condition the county seat would be moved to Jasper instead of Cheekville, in
1820 the County seat moved to Jasper from Cheekville-located near Whitwell

1831 Chief Justice John Marshall rules that the Cherokee have no standing to
file suit in the United States in Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia. He then instructs
attorney William Wirt on how to correctly file; Samuel Worcester and others
arrested for violation of Georgia law requiring whites to get permits to work in
the Cherokee territory.

1832 The Supreme Court of the United States declares the Cherokee Nation to be
sovereign (Worcester v. Georgia). This has constitutional implications,
disallowing the state of Georgia from passing any law governing the Cherokee;
Elias Boudinot resigns as publisher of the Cherokee Phoenix under pressure from
John Ross because of his editorial support for removal.


1835 Treaty of New Echota in north Georgia. The "Treaty Party" sign away all
land of the Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi. This did not have the
approval or support of the majority of the Cherokee Nation. Following Blood
Laws, later, upon arrival in Oklahoma, three principle signers: Major Ridge,
John Ridge and Elias Boudinot "Buck Watti", were assassinated for their signing
& for supporting the 1819 "Old Settlers" in opposition to John Ross' late
arrivals. Period of intense civil war between the Cherokee in Oklahoma. Sequoyah
withdrew from the area and moved to Mexico, others immigrated to California.

1838 One Hundred Full bloods move from Burroughs Cove Pelham Valley up onto the
Mountain to avoid Forced Removal. Mixed-blood Chikamaka and their White
neighbors assisted many Cherokee in escaping the Forced Removal. The "Red
Council" cedes governing power back to the "White Council," or Clan Mothers.

1838 May 23 Deadline for voluntary removal. Georgia Guard had begun round-up 5
days earlier. U. S. forces under command of Winfield Scott begin roundup in
Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina. Cherokee are herded into
"forts" gradually making their way north to the Cherokee Agency (Rattlesnake
Springs) or Ross's Landing in southeastern Tennessee. This is generally
recognized as the beginning of The Cherokee Trail of Tears

1839 The Rev. Bushyhead preached in Warren County Collins River Valley at the Baptist Church near the Indian camp at Barren Fork and Collins River. Some
chose to stay behind while others left their children behind by white and
mixed-blood neighbors to raise to become the "Keepers of the land." His route
followed the North prong of the Nickajack Trail* which passes the head waters of
Hickory Creek now located in Grundy County. (*see Indian Trails Of the Southeast
at <www.Chikamaka.org>)

1843 In 1843 more than 300 residents of the area petitioned the state
legislature asking that a new county be formed. On January 29, 1844, the
legislature honored their request, and created the new county of Grundy. They
named it for Felix Grundy <http://www.tngenweb.org/bios/g/grundy.html>, one of
their number who had risen to national prominence, and who had died just three
years earlier.


1844 Grundy County was formed. Alexander Nunley was one of the founding
officials. He was also a Chikamaka. From then to Present, numerous Chikamaka
have held Public Office in Grundy County.
The first election of officials in Grundy County was held July 6, 1844, the
results of which were canvassed at Jesse Wooten's the following Monday. Emerging
as the county's first "high sheriff" was Phillip Roberts. Other officers were
Reuben Webb, county court clerk; Abraham Jones, registrar of deeds; and John
Burrows, trustee. The first constables were Solomon P.Goodman, John C. Lockhart,
Alexander Nunley, John Tipton, and Elijah Walker. Now Grundy County, Tennessee,
not only was a bounded place on earth, it was also a functioning government.


1850's In the 1850s a prestigious community developed at Beersheba Springs, on
top of the mountain in the northeastern part of the county. Under the leadership
of the wealthy John Armfield, Beersheba Springs became a popular health resort.
A fine hotel, many impressive summer "cottages" for prominent southern families,
and the businesses needed to support such a community sprang up on the mountain
top. It was at Beersheba Springs that the plan to develop an Episcopal
university at Sewanee was hatched and brought to fruition.

1860's Mrs. Hawkins, sister to Henry Sewell remembers seeing Indians during this
time shortly before the Civil War. She was present at the laying of the
Cornerstone in 1860 but says she was too small to remember much about it.
Because of the Indians and wild animals her father would worry about his cattle
because they used to run wild with the deer. This was in Sewanee Tennessee near
what used to be know as "Rattlesnake Springs" and now known as Rowe's Spring

1860's During the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression) both Union and
Confederate units were raised in the county. The first of these was Alexander
Patton's company of infantry, which became part of the First Tennessee Infantry
under Franklin County's Col. Peter Turney. Patton owned many slaves and a large
plantation near Pelham, and was the county's wealthiest man before the war. Much
hard feeling existed between neighbors with differing views on the conflict.
Grundy saw some fighting, particularly skirmishes in the area around Tracy City,
but no serious battles. Probably the greatest damage was done by bushwhackers
and outlaws who took advantage of the lack of legal authority and
disorganization of the war to prey on innocent civilians. After the war, men
like Patton and Armfield were in financial ruin, and the entire county suffered
the effects of a long Reconstruction-era depression.

1861 October 9, Request for ratification of the treaty between the Cherokee
Nation and the Confederate States of America -- from Cherokee Chief John Ross to
the Cherokee National Committee and National Council
October 28, 1861 Declaration of the Alliance of the Cherokee Nation with the
Confederate States of America by the Cherokee National Committee, National
Council, and Chief John Ross.

1862 River ferry, first established by Dragging Canoe's brother, Turtle At Home,
operated at Little Cedar Mountain (Shell mound) by mixed-bloods, and subsequently
by a white man named Love.
Union General Negley drove Confederates out of the north side area at Battle
Creek, through Jasper, to Little Cedar Mountain.

1862-63 Confederates mined saltpeter from Nickajack Cave (south side of river).
Rebel soldiers abandoned it, the largest Confederate saltpeter mine, (Saltpeter
was also mined in "Saltpeter's cave just above Martin's Springs,) escaping over
the Sand Mountain to Chattanooga.

1863 August. A Major encampment and river-crossing site for the Union Army's
approach to Chattanooga. Numerous Chikamaka fought on both sides. Some were
"pressed" into service With The Vedette Calvary.

1864-65 Jasper area under US military control to protect area and ferry against
Rebel insurgency.

1869 In 1869 a group of Swiss emigrants arrived in Grundy County. Shrewd
promoters had persuaded them to purchase lands they had never seen atop the
Cumberland Mountain. Upon arrival, they were dismayed to find the "paradise"
that had been promised them to be a rough, unpromising country. They established
the village of Gruetli, however, and through hard work and innovative methods
many of the Swiss became successful farmers and merchants. Some intermarried
with the Chikamaka.

1875 Railroad and mining interests on the mountain led to the development of
Tracy City after the Civil War. This growth was prompted mainly by the Tennessee
Coal and Railroad Company. The coke ovens at Tracy City, supplying railroad and
industrial fuel, brought an influx of workers and their families during the
period from about 1875 to 1900. By 1910, problems with labor unions and convict
labor had taken their toll on the mining business, and it gradually faded out.

1879 Federal court ruled that an Indian was a person.

1881 Silas Lankford had a land grant of 1164 acres. Some of the land was on the
side of the mountain, and at the head of Collins River. He died in 1881.the
land was confiscated and sold "for back taxes;" The truth of the matter was
because this family was Chikamaka. Legally Indians couldn't own land in
Tennessee, or marry, for that matter. His wife was "Me-li" Seitz Lankford. Her
mother was Elendar Shoat*, of the Longhair Clan. (*see Chikamaka Rolls)

1897 Wonder Cave Discovered by three Vanderbilt University students in Pelham
Valley. R M Payne purchased property in early 1900's early visitors entered
cave in flat bottom boats. A large entrance hole was blasted in rock face in
early 1900's

1900's * * WPA Workers during the Great Depression in the early 1900s, many
Americans were given a "job" by the United States Government to support their
family.
Local Chikamakas and white neighbors work the coal mines ranging from Harlan KY
down to Coal City GA. This kept them out of the sun so their features would
diminish.

1909 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Building erected is one of oldest standing Mormon Churches in the SE U.S.

1913 Hales Bar Dam built one mile upstream from Dragging Canoe's old home at
Running Water.

1917 Boat trips into Wonder Cave were abandoned.

1924 Citizenship Act passed making all Indians US Citizens. Grundy County
doesn't hear about this law for another 50+ years. Prior to this time we
legally couldn't own land, vote, marry, or be in Tennessee. To get around this
you were either "Black Irish" or "Black Dutch," or you claimed "white" and a lot
of times joined the KKK. Many thought, "What better way to hide who you are
than in an organization like the Klan." Others joined the Improved order of
Redman so nothing would be thought about their practicing Indian ceremonies.

1933 US government created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a
Depression-era social plan to make fertilizer down in Mussel Shoals, Alabama,
and later expanded their role to control flooding in Tennessee River valley and
provide for rural electrification. Also in the 1930's the CCC employed thousands
in local projects.

1934 James H. "Pony" Meeks AniTsiskwa born to Marvin Meeks and Agnes Sanders at
home in Brushy Ridge, Grundy County delivered by "Aint Sarry" Sarah Anderson
Meeks.

1939 TVA purchased Hales Bar Dam, displacing the town of Guild.

1941 Norvell, Ernest Campbell (1870-1941) Born in Bedford County Tenn., December
16 1870 Republican. He was a Member of Tennessee State House of Representatives
1917-25. Episcopalian Member, Junior Order Odd Fellows; Woodmen; Died, of a
cerebral hemorrhage in Tracy City, Grundy County Tenn., December 28 1941
Interment at Tracy City Cemetery Tracy City, Tenn.

1950s TVA determined Hales Bar Dam inadequate, plans drawn up for site six miles
downstream and 1 mile below the old town of Nickajack.

1952 February 13, 1952, a tornado hit the Grundy County area of Monteagle,
Summerfield and Tracy City. It was about 10:30pm when limbs, trees, sheet metal,
and property began to be destroyed. No one was seriously hurt and no one was
killed in the storm but everyone was thankful that their lives were spared. The
communities came together to help with the re-building.

1955 Last public Indian festival held until 2000 in Grundy County. Private
ceremonies continued among families with several Fire keepers, who until
recently kept the sacred fires burning by themselves, for 80+ years in some
cases, before passing on the knowledge. Government Surveyors attempt to
complete questionnaires about who is Indian on the mountain.

1960s TVA acquired property from all surrounding property owners by eminent
domain.
Archaeologists worked to determine the Native American "cultural resources" in
the future reservoir that would be forever lost.

1962 Tennessee Consolidated Coal Wars bring much violence to the region.
Numerous attacks with dynamite in Palmer. Effigy of a "SCAB" hung from the
traffic light. Local boys turn back Federal Troops on the Tennessee River who
are escorting Coal Barges.

1964 Construction of TVA Nickajack Dam begun. Cedar Mountain Corporation formed
to install a marina, 44 house lots, and hotel. Plan later given up.

1964 President Johnson signs Civil Rights Act barring discrimination in public
places based upon race or color.

1967 TVA Nickajack Reservoir filled. Dragging Canoe's lower town lands flooded.

1967 TVA urged State of Tennessee to develop a state resort park on a 701-acre
tract of TVA land known as Tract 3, the land currently in jeopardy.

1968 TVA developed the Shell mound Recreation Area on 81 acres on the down river
portion of the Tract 3 land in an attempt to boost the State's interest in
expanding the facilities into a resort.

1969 Local Shriners create Annual Fall Color Cruise celebration begun at the
Shell mound Recreation Area.

1972 This was the first time I heard someone call James H. "Pony" Meeks a "Dirty
old Indian." and, "My mama tried to warn me about you." I heard this numerous
times through life when she started in on him. He Suffered with this for many
years.(examples of prejudices)
Also this same year the signs located at the county line came down. These were
"Welcome" signs that advised "Niggers" they were not welcome. This had also
deterred "prying strangers" from "sticking around." It was a common site on
weekends to see Klansmen in robes taking donations at the major intersections.
(Previous years and for several more years to come.)

1973 State of Tennessee completed a Master Plan for a large-scale resort park on
Tract 3 and subsequently rejected plans. Savage Gulf/Stone Door State Park a 55
mile trail system was obtained by State of Tennessee in 1973. It protects one
of the last known stands of virgin timber in Eastern U.S. & has approximately 55
miles of trails

1974 U.S Government sends "survey team" to Grundy County to question people
attempting to locate Indians. It is not known if anyone would admit as they are
scared of being relocated to Oklahoma.

1975 "Massage Parlor" located just off I-24 at exit # 134 is first burned
(attempted) and then Dynamited after attempts to shut it down failed.

1976 Bi-Centennial Celebrations held.

1983 Tennessee Legislation creates "Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs"
(TCIA)

1984 Legislative Amendment to TCIA.

1987 Mandated by federal regulations, TVA initiated the Nickajack Reservoir
Lands Planning project, and as a part of this, solicited archaeological survey
proposals of the entire reservoir. University of Alabama Office of
Archaeological Research conducted a "Cultural Resources Survey" of Little Cedar
Mountain.

1990 TVA Board of Directors approved the Nickajack Reservoir Land Management
Plan which identified 638 acres of Tract 1 (below the dam) for Industrial Use,
701 acres of Tract 3 for Public Recreation Development, and 39 acres of Tract 4
(the mountain itself) for Public Recreation Development. Management Plan states
that private sector proposals for development of public recreation facilities on
Tract 3 (the land in question) would be considered with evidence of financial
feasibility. The plan also stated that private residential or non-recreational
commercial development would not be allowed.

1990/91 Wilma Mankiller elected Chief of the Cherokee Nation Oklahoma. She
writes letters and gives speeches that the only real Cherokee are registered
members of the CNO.
Also this year Iraq invades Kuwait. Hundreds of "Local boys" called up to
liberate the Kuwaiti Peoples. Grundy and surrounding counties are known for
their eager spirits and willingness to serve with distinction in America's Armed
Forces in almost every conflict since 1812.

1991- Grundy County and Local American Legion Post 74 holds celebration and
unveiling of monument honoring all Grundy Countians returning home from
"Operations Desert Shield and Storm."

1994 Tornado hits North end of the county, Billy Gene Reid loses Sheriff's
election to Robert Meeks. In September Tracy City shuts down Police Department
and contracts it out to the County at the urges of Sheriff Meeks.

1995 The person who called James H. Meeks "The dirty old Indian" found out
through her children's research and her brother's research "She was also a Dirty
Old Indian."
This is also the same year methamphetamines and "crank labs" started taking
hold. Many people will die because of this illegal drug. Tracy City re-opens
the Police Department after a year of "lawlessness." It was not safe to ride
through town after dark. Tim Meeks is made Lieutenant and "Acting Chief." One
Saturday night all (5) five members of the Force work over. Apx. 31 charges
filed and over 60 citations issued. Town settles back down to "normal." Mike
Luzadder is Palmer's Chief of Police and Farrell Hicks is Gruetli-Laager's.

1996 Tracy City demotes Tim Meeks from Acting Chief to patrolman for "trying to
run things, and making too many trips to the county jail in Altamont." Lonnie
Cleek returns as Captain. He is later promoted to Chief of Police.

1998 Chikamaka Elders (White Council) decide after 204 years of silence it is time to publicly
"re-organize." Even though we all know who is Chikamaka, the family trees need
researched, and descendants documented.

1999 Monthly Public meetings began & were held in the old Grundy High school
cafeteria for "All those of Indian Heritage." A Pot-luck dinner was held.
Terry"Standingbear" Weatherby was guest speaker at the first pot-luck.

2000 Chief James H. "Pony" Meeks (AniTsiskwa or Bird Clan Chief) dies in January, his son Tim "Gvnidigardi" Meeks elected Principle Chief of the Chikamaka (Red Council).
June: First Public Festival since 1955 "James H."Pony" Meeks memoriam. Grundy's
Population 2000: 14,332 Population Change 1990-2000: 7.3% Percent Urban 2000:
0.0% Percent Nonwhite: 1.7%; Source: U.S. Census 2000. People are still scared
to admit true heritage. Education Level: Adults with a high school/GED diploma
or above: 5,207 Adults with nine or more years of education but no diploma:
1,914 Adults with less than nine years of education: 2,320 Source: Adults 25 and
older, U.S. Census 2000 Per
Per Capita Income of Grundy County: $12,039; was$7,227 in 1990
Source: U.S. Census 2000
percent of Adults 25 and Over with a High School or
GED Diploma in 2000
2001 2nd Pony Meeks Memoriam in October. Gov. Sundquist "Sunsets" Tn. Commission
of Indian Affairs.
{Was told by Russ Buchan that the businessmen's club did an informal survey in
Grundy County about who was Indian and of those questioned, over 4200 (out of an
estimated 14,000) people admitted to being American Indian, but out of fear or
other reasons they still listed themselves "white"}

2002 May 18th Chikamaka incorporate with the State of Tennessee. Dispute among
initial incorporators about organization settled by resignations of John O'Neal,
Gail King, and Ollie Speakman. 3rd Annual Pony Meeks Memoriam held in August.
One guest speaker, Randy Woodley; a Baptist preacher, a Member of the United
Keetowah Band of Cherokee and founder of "Eagle's Wings Ministries, has
ancestral ties to Warren County TN. Also this year:
Alan Winkler is a "victim" of hate crime. Alan, a North Carolina resident, had
purchased a 75-acre track of property in Gruetli-Laager, a community in a remote
section of Grundy County. Since August he had been busy preparing the property
to open as a gay and lesbian camping resort under the name of Blue Fox Retreat.
Winkler reports he invested $30,000 for the property down payment, utilities,
construction and improvements including the driveway. The office building had
been pulled down and ran over with tractors. The padlock on the property's water
main was cut off, the meter was turned on and then the main waterline was broken
off to allow the water to run. The septic tank lid was unearthed and busted.
Finally and sadly, several dogs were butchered and left scattered around the
property. Not only are public displays of "alternative lifestyles" abhorred,
they still will not be tolerated in Grundy County.*see the year 1975*


2003 501(c) 3 approved by the IRS. Chikamaka Chief meets with Walker Calhoun at
his home in Big Cove, NC. 4th Annual Pony Meeks Memoriam. Chikamaka sign
mutual agreement with local governments. Gov. Bredesen Appoints new Commission
of Indian Affairs, but.with no funding. Oct. 19th Chikamaka are active
participants at the "Great Outdoor Weekend Festival" in Gruetli-Laager
demonstrating various exhibits of culture. Confederate Marker & Memorial Service takes place in Tracy City.

2004 Uncle Jeff Meeks dies.  He was a WWII Veteran and member of the AniWodi.  Uncle Jeff was an enrolled member by blood Chikamaka.  5th Annual Pony Meeks Memoriam and ChikamakaT Cultural Days is held August 21st and 22nd.  Many new babies are listed as "Chikamaka" on their birth certificates.  Chikamaka attend Green Corn Ceremonies with the Piqua Sept Shawnee in Kentucky.





WE THE CHIKAMAKA RECOGNIZE THAT THE FOLLOWING FAMILY SURNAMES from the South
Cumberland Plateau Region ARE ASSOCIATED as descended from the Chikamaka Roll,
BUT not necessarily ALL-INCLUSIVE AS THOSE OF THE CHIKAMAKA-CHEROKEES OR OF
CHIKAMAKA-CHEROKEE BLOOD AS THE NAMES ARE COMMON. THESE NAMES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

Alexander, Anderson, Baker, Bean, Berry, Bible, Bivens, Blackhawk, Blevins,
Bolin, Brewer, Brock, Bryant, Campbell, Choate (Shote, Shoat), Chance, Cheek,
Childers, Clark, Cleek, Cluck, Cooper, Cope, Copeland, Corn, Cox, Crisp, Dye,
Dykes, Duncan, Foster, Fults, Geary, Green, Griffith, Griffin, Haney, Handy,
Hatfield, Hawk, Hawkins, Headrix, Hendrix, Henderson, Hice, Hicks, Hobbs, Holt,
Hornbuckle, Hughes, Ivey, Johnson, Jones, Kilgore, King, Ladd, Lankford, Lawson,
Layne, Lingo, Lovelace, Lowrey (Lowry, Lowrie), Mainord, Mayes, McBee, McDaniel,
McWain, Meeks, Morgan, Myers, Nunley, Newsome, Norris, Northcutt, Orange, Pack,
Parmley, Parson, Patterson, Patrick, Payne, Phipps, Powell, Price, Raper,
Richardson, Roberts, Ross, Salyer, Sanders, Seagroves, Seitz (Sitz),

Shadrick, Shelton, Shook, Shorey, Smartt, Saylor, Smith, Tate (Tait), Thomas,
Thompson, Turner, Walker, Walter(s), Woodley(lee)

*This Is in no way to be considered a complete list of our Chikamaka family
surnames, nor can it automatically be assumed that one is a Chikamaka because of a connection to these surnames.*

Sources for Timeline
Raymond Evans, archaeologist & Cherokee historian, Chattanooga TN
(a past editor of the Journal of Cherokee Studies
<http://www.cherokeemuseum.org/HTML/join_journal.html>. see his essay, "Dragging
Canoe" 1977 2(1): 176-189)
"Keetoowah History and Prophecy," Chief John Ross, United Keetoowah Band of
Cherokee, first Annual Native American Symposium, University of Arkansas.
<http://www.uark.edu/depts/comminfo/UKB/khp.html>
Daniel Boone, <http://ac.acusd.edu/history/classes/civ/boone.html>
Frederick W. Turner III, The Portable North American Indian Reader: Dragging
Canoe, p. 244
Carter County, Tennessee, Genealogy, "Sycamore Shoals"
http://www.usit.net/tngenweb/carter/index.html#HISTORY
<http://www.usit.net/tngenweb/carter/index.html>
Lee Sultzman, "Cherokee History, Parts 1 & 2"
<http://www.dickshovel.com/Cherokee1.html>, /Cherokee2.html
<http://www.dickshovel.com/Cherokee2.html>
Tennessee History "Struggle for the Frontier"
<http://www.state.tn.us/sos/struggle.htm><http://www.state.tn.us/sos/struggle.ht\
m>
<http://travel.nostalgiaville.com/Tennessee/tennesseehistory.htm>
Tennessee Valley Authority, "Nickajack" brochure on the Nickajack Dam &
Reservoir, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 1996
Tennessee Valley Authority, "Final Environmental Assessment: Recreation
Development Alternatives for the Little Cedar Mountain Tracts, Nickajack
Reservoir, Marion County, Tennessee", Michael R. Crowson, Lenoir City,
Tennessee, December 1996
Dragging Canoe's speech, The Indigenous Peoples: "Indians" in North America
before the European Invasion through the 19th century.
Readings: Frederick W. Turner III, The Portable North American Indian Reader:
Dragging Canoe, p. 244
Cherokee Agency Records of Tennessee 1801-1835; David Meeks Affidavit
The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga Volume I by Zella Armstrong
The Chattanooga Country 1540-1951 "From Tomahawks to TVA" by Govan & Livingood
The Warren County Story by Eugene Wiseman
Mountain Voices: The Centennial History of Monteagle Sandy school Assembly
"Sewanee" published 1932
Sequatchie Families by James L. Douthat page 12
Oral history as passed down by word of mouth from elder to children of the
Chikamaka in Grundy County, Tennessee (Tanase)
http://www.mountainpress.com/books/tn/details/Grundy-CM.html
www.tngenweb.org/grundy/grundyli.htm
http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/TN/Grundy/vacant.hml
travel.nostalgiaville.com/Tennessee/ Grundy/grundy/grundy.htm
http://cls.coe.utk.edu/counties/grundy.html
Grundy County Herald (Lakeway Publishers)
Tullahoma News
http://www.equalitytennessee.org/news%20archives/Blue%20Fox%20Resort%20Update%20\
10-14-02.html
http://politicalgraveyard.com/geo/TN/GU.html
http://cherokeehistory.com/confed.html
Cumberland View News July 2003
http://www.ngeorgia.com/history/cherokeetimeline.html


"W.W.D.D?"
Ayv Gvnidigardi dagwado?v Meeks Dagwado hagsterdv?i Ayv  AniTsikamaka
<www.Chikamaka.org>


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