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© Copyright 1998 by George Parris, All Rights Reserved

Part 24: An Interlude of Peace 1795-1812

24.1 Building A Cherokee Nation in North Georgia (1804-1820)

The Agricultural Base

Although George Washington and others had referred to the Cherokee as a “nation” for many years, the term was only a convenient way to address the collection of towns and settlements that shared the Cherokee language. There was no unified government or governing process consistent throughout the tribe. The Euro-Americans took advantage of this to bribe and extort individuals and groups of village head-men to obtain concessions of the Cherokee lands. Several events would need to occur before the Cherokee could truly become a nation.

The first step was the re-introduction of an agricultural base. The Cherokee had become accustomed to having exportable commodities (e.g., pelts, slaves from other tribes, or land). The biggest step would be to provide the nation not merely subsistence agriculture (e.g., Indian corn) but a way to earn an exportable profit. Washington had laid some of the foundations of this with Henry Dearborn who was directed by Washington to begin introducing cotton seed, spinning wheels and carding machines to the Cherokee as early as 1792.

The Cherokee women quietly planted the crop, and soon were carding and spinning cotton into thread and weaving it into cloth and making clothing. Few Cherokee males took much notice, but within a couple of years the value of the cotton goods produced by the women out weighed the value of the pelts hunted by the males. One of the Cherokee males who recognized the importance of this phenomenon was Ridge of Pine Log, Georgia. Soon, the enlightened Ridge and two of his open-minded neighbors in Pine Log (Charles Hicks and James Vann) were thinking in terms of creating a Cherokee nation that assimilated the Euro-American technology and culture. Their timing was good. Dragging Canoe died and the Chickamaga were defeated in 1794. The Indian Agent Dinsmoor encouraged the Cherokee to establish governmental procedures, and over the next 12 years, they standardized some basic laws and established a “Lighthorse Patrol” mounted police force.

Internal Political Realignment of the Cherokee

In 1805, the Treaty of Tellico was signed by some of the “Old Chiefs” including Doublehead. Among other things, the treaty allowed the United States to build a road (the Federal Highway) from Savannah to Nashville following the old Cherokee-Creek trading path. The treaty was (as usual) obtained by bribery and benefited the “Old Chiefs” and their cronies. Vann, Hicks, and Ridge were apparently among the first to recognize and complain about the systematic graft through which the “Old Chiefs” used Cherokee tribal assets for personal gain. Moreover, it was obvious that the “Old Chiefs” had no real basis for their authority. There was little to stop Vann, Hicks, and Ridge from becoming “Young Chiefs;” basically all they had to do was to assert their influence. This provoked what became known as the “Revolt of the Young Chiefs,” which was a period from 1806 - 1804 during which a reformation of Cherokee politics occurred.

The geographic Overhill-Upper-Lower Cherokee organization of head-men was replaced by a political structure more determined by the willingness of the Cherokee to assimilate with the Europeans. In the process, there was political intrigue and assassination of Doublehead and Vann.

The new government organization was modeled after the United States. Eight districts were created (Hickory Log, Chattoogee, Etowah, Aquohee, Chickamaugee, Amoah, Tahquohee, and Coosewatee). Each district elected four delegates to the National Council and the national Council elected 12 members to the National Committee. The National Committee then selected the executive officers (i.e., the Principal Chief, Assistant Principal Chief, and Treasurer). In 1819, this government began meeting at Newtown at the junction of the Coosawattee and Conasauga rivers (present-day Gordon County, Georgia). It was renamed New Echota in 1825.

It is important to note that the Euro-Americans in the Federal government, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Georgia were insensitive to the restructuring of power within the Cherokee Nation. In particular, just as the United States was not bound by treaties made by the British; the new political structure in the Cherokees were not necessarily willing to make the concessions that had been made before. But, in the short-run, the two political groups (old chiefs and new chiefs) had parallel power structures.

James Vann (1768 - 1809)

James Vann was one of the many mixed-blood Cherokees who would lead the nation into the modern era. He was born at Spring Place, Georgia in 1768. His father was Clement Vann. One of the factors that brought Vann to political importance early in his career was his ability to read and write English. This put him in the picture whenever important correspondence between the European and the Cherokee transpired.

In the 1790s, James Vann Joined the Lower Cherokee Towns in a raid on Knoxville led by John Watts. At Cavett’s Station, the Cavett family surrendered to Bob Benge in exchange for safe conduct to an area that the Cherokee would allow. Old Chief Doublehead was not so forgiving and demanded that Watts’s group turnover the settlers to his tender mercies. Watts, Benge and Vann resisted but Doublehead killed a young boy while he rode with Vann. As a parody to the honorable Cherokee title “mankiller,” Vann displayed his scorn for Doublehead by calling him “babykiller.”

Three years later, Vann supported Major Ridge of Pine Log at the Cherokee councils. Vann Ridge and Charles Hicks became known as the Young Chiefs. Over the next 15 years, they facilitated the very successful adoption of European culture by the Cherokee while retaining autonomy. Vann personally became a very wealthy plantation owner with numerous slaves and substantial power.

As fitted his power, Vann was a well-traveled man and in 1800 visited Washington, DC during a tour of the East Coast. There he met some Moravian missionaries from North Carolina who asked for permission to establish missions in the Cherokee territory. Before allowing the Moravians in, however, he had to obtain permission form the Council, and Old Chief Doublehead attempted to delay action on the school. Vann and Hicks insisted that the schools would begin with or without Council support and from this point on, the Council began to show a split between the Young (progressive) Chiefs and the Old (traditional) Chiefs. One irony was that whereas the Young Chiefs realized early that the wealth of the Cherokees was in owning the land and complied with the prohibitions established by the Council against land sales to the Euro-Americans. But, Doublehead and other could be bribed to sell lands. Hicks discovered this when he translated papers for J. Meigs the Cherokee Agent.

In 1803, Vann led the Cherokee negotiators in discussions for right-of-way (easement) to build the Federal Highway (roughly from Chattanooga to Atlanta, U.S. route 41). It was typical of the style of the Young Chiefs that he, Hicks and Riggs were able to enrich themselves by ensuring that they owned businesses on the new trade route, rather than by losing control of the land.

While self-enrichment was not a crime, selling land to the Euro-Americans was punishable by death among the Cherokee. James Vann, Alexander Saunders and Ridge were appointed to kill Doublehead. At the time, the concept of “due process” was not well established anywhere on the frontier much less in the Cherokee Nation. The Young Chiefs were apparently not fully up to the job of cold-blooded execution/murder and botched the job. But, Ridge finally killed Doublehead on a subsequent occasion. This killing, while technically enforcement of Cherokee law by the Lighthorse Patrol, had most of the trappings of a political rebellion and the collection of events is known as the Revolt of the Young Chiefs, which brought them to power once and for all (at least until Andrew Jackson destroyed the nation).

James Vann was one of the Cherokee who was becoming a wealthy and influential. He was the agent for the sale of the Wafford Tract of Cherokee land in northeast Georgia in 1804.

James Vann married several mixed-blood women including Jennie Foster, Elizabeth Thornton and Margaret Scott. He was a drunken and violent husband. He refused help from friends and banished Alexander Scott when he tried to help. Interestingly, Vann was shot dead at the age of 41 (according to legend with a bottle in one hand and a glass in the other) in a tavern he owned in February 1809.

Vann, breaking with matrilineal Cherokee customs, had willed most of his substantial estate to his son Joseph (“Rich Joe”) rather than to his wife . The will was made in 1808 and named George Parris (son of Richard Pearis) and Richard Rowe as his executors. At this point, George Parris was apparently living near Edgefield, South Carolina. When he left to execute the Vann will, George Parris gave his power of attorney to Charles Goodwin of Edgefield (in Edgefield County, formerly Ninety-Six District) stating that he was moving to Georgia. He settled in Forsyth County, GA.

John Ross (1790 - 1866)

John Ross was born 3 October 1790 in Turkeytown (near Center), Alabama. In his early life, the Native Americans (Creeks) in the Coosa River Valley and the European settlers (John Sevier’s east Tennessee militia) raided one another by way of this area.

Ross (a.k.a., Little John) was only one-eight Cherokee and he had the benefits of private tutors who provided a good basic education. In his later life, he spoke Cherokee so poorly that he avoided public speaking in that language. One of his first jobs was postmaster of Rossville, Georgia. Rossville Landing on the Tennessee River grew into Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Ross fought in the Creek War with Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston at Horseshoe Bend. He also was an aid to Return J. Miegs the Indian Agent. When the Federal highway was built (Chattanooga to Atlanta), the Moravians built a mission near present-day Brainerd, TN and Ross worked as an interpreter.

John Ross joined Charles Hicks after the death of James Vann (1809) and with Major Ridge, they formed the Cherokee Triumvirate, which led the Cherokee through a period of rapid national and social growth. Hicks, Ridge and Vann negotiated the Treaty of 1819 in Washington, D.C. This brought him more political visibility to add to his growing wealth. By 1838, he had amassed a large plantation with numerous slaves.

Realizing that the law was the only protection that the Cherokee would have against progressive encroachment and forced removal, Ross took steps to strengthen the Cherokee’s legal position. In particular, the Cherokee’s claim of national sovereignty was being questioned and infringed by Georgia and other states. The way to reaffirm Cherokee sovereignty was to add all the trappings that the Euro-Americans associated with national sovereignty. The obvious step was to hold a Cherokee Constitutional Convention and ratify a Cherokee constitution, which was done in 1827. Ross was elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee in 1828 and held this position until his death in 1866.

Ross used the press (both the Cherokee Phoenix and eastern newspapers) to reaffirm Cherokee sovereignty. However, this effort may have encouraged a backlash and urgency among Georgians and other states to extinguish the Cherokee nation and its land claims before it became too powerful. In 1832, Georgia held a Land Lottery essentially giving away to its citizens the land that was claimed by the Cherokee nation.

A political split developed among the Cherokee with Major Ridge and his Treaty Party favoring voluntary removal of the nation to land west of the Mississippi (Oklahoma) and Ross’s party who tried to oppose the Georgia land grab. Ridge and his colleagues negotiated a treaty with the U.S. Government in 1835. Ross countered with 16,000 signatures of Cherokee rejecting the treaty. However, the U.S. chose to accept the treaty as valid and began forcibly removing the Cherokee.

Hunting Grounds to Cotton Plantations

Jefferson had envisioned the Cherokee giving up their hunting lands and becoming small farmers raising corn and cattle:

Address by Thomas Jefferson
To the Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation

Washington, January 10, 1806

MY FRIENDS AND CHILDREN, CHIEFLY OF THE CHEROKEE NATION, -- Having now finished our business an to mutual satisfaction, I cannot take leave of you without expressing the satisfaction I have received from your visit. I see with my own eyes that the endeavors we have been making to encourage and lead you in the way of improving your situation have not been unsuccessful; it has been like grain sown in good ground, producing abundantly. You are becoming farmers, learning the use of the plough and the hoe, enclosing your grounds and employing that labor in their cultivation which you formerly employed in hunting and in war; and I see handsome specimens of cotton cloth raised, spun and wove by yourselves. You are also raising cattle and hogs for your food, and horses to assist your labors. Go on, my children, in the same way and be assured the further you advance in it the happier and more respectable you will be.

Our brethren, whom you have happened to meet here from the West and Northwest, have enabled you to compare your situation now with what it was formerly. They also make the comparison, and they see how far you are ahead of them, and seeing what you are they are encouraged to do as you have done. You will find your next want to be mills to grind your corn, which by relieving your women from the loss of time in beating it into meal, will enable them to spin and weave more. When a man has enclosed and improved his farm, builds a good house on it and raised plentiful stocks of animals, he will wish when he dies that these things shall go to his wife and children, whom he loves more than he does his other relations, and for whom he will work with pleasure during his life. You will, therefore, find it necessary to establish laws for this. When a man has property, earned by his own labor, he will not like to see another come and take it from him because he happens to be stronger, or else to defend it by spilling blood. You will find it necessary then to appoint good men, as judges, to decide contests between man and man, according to reason and to the rules you shall establish. If you wish to be aided by our counsel and experience in these things we shall always be ready to assist you with our advice. [Jefferson sees the key to settling the Cherokee as establishing inheritable real estate rights.]

My children, it is unnecessary for me to advise you against spending all your time and labor in warring with and destroying your fellow-men, and wasting your own members. You already see the folly and iniquity of it. Your young men, however, are not yet sufficiently sensible of it. Some of them cross the Mississippi to go and destroy people who have never done them an injury. My children, this is wrong and must not be; if we permit them to cross the Mississippi to war with the Indians on the other side of that river, we must let those Indians cross the river to take revenge on you. I say again, this must not be. The Mississippi now belongs to us. It must not be a river of blood. It is now the water-path along which all our people of Natchez, St. Louis, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and the western parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia are constantly passing with their property, to and from New Orleans. Young men going to war are not easily restrained. Finding our people on the river they will rob them, perhaps kill them. This would bring on a war between us and you. It is better to stop this in time by forbidding your young men to go across the river to make war. If they go to visit or to live with the Cherokees on the other side of the river we shall not object to that. That country is ours. We will permit them to live in it. [This is about all that Jefferson said in 1806 related to removal or settlement west of the Mississippi River.]

My children, this is what I wished to say to you. To go on in learning to cultivate the earth and to avoid war. If any of your neighbors injure you, our beloved men whom we place with you will endeavor to obtain justice for you and we will support them in it. If any of your bad people injure your neighbors, be ready to acknowledge it and to do them justice. It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it. Tell all your chiefs, your men, women and children, that I take them by the hand and hold it fast. That I am their father, wish their happiness and well-being, and am always ready to promote their good.

My children, I thank you for your visit and pray to the Great Spirit who made us all and planted us all in this land to live together like brothers that He will conduct you safely to your homes, and grant you to find your families and your friends in good health.

After adopting the Euro-American technology for cultivating cotton, the wealthy Cherokee also took up the practice of slavery. This created a situation that Washington and Jefferson had not envisioned. Now that the Cherokee were becoming wealthy landowners raising cotton with slaves, they would need land. Encrochment by Europeans would not be tolerable. Cherokee property in north Georgia in 1826 included 1,560 black slaves, 2,942 plows, and 8 cotton gins. Other major assets included 18 schools, 10 sawmills, 31 gristmills, 62 blacksmith shops and 18 ferries (many along the Federal Highway).

Thus, at least in Georgia and Alabama, conflict between the Cherokee and the Europeans over land took a new turn. The Cherokee Nation, as it began to evolve, was focused on the flatlands of north Georgia. The mountains of the Carolinas and Tennessee were not so prosperous and would follow a path of assimilation with the Europeans.

The Georgians claimed the Cherokee cotton land. But, perhaps the factor that finally induced Georgia to act on its claim was the discovery of gold at Dahlonega in 1828. In 1832, Georgia held a land lottery to parcel out Cherokee lands to its citizens.

24.2 Assimilation of the Cherokee in the Carolinas (1782-1820)

Spartanburg County and Up-State South Carolina (1783-1850)

At the end of the War of Independence, the uplands of western South Carolina were administer by the Ninety-Six District (modern counties west of and including Cherokee, Union, Newberry, Saulda, and Edgefield). The Cherokee still held land in north Georgia and North Carolina, which included a small strip in modern South Carolina. In 1785, six counties were created within Ninety-Six District (including “Spartan County” named for John Thomas’s Spartan Legion).

In 1795, Pinckney District was created including modern Union, York and Cherokee Counties. Also in 1795, Edgefield, Laurens, Abbeville, Newberry and Spartanburg Districts were created from Ninety-Six District. This left, the extreme western counties (modern Anderson, Pickens, Oconnee, Greenville) re-organized as Washington District (the name Ninety-Six District was abandoned). In 1798, Washington was dissolved into Pendleton and Greenville Districts. Pendleton was dissolved into Pickens and Anderson Districts in 1826. Cherokee and Oconee Counties were formed in the late 1800s.

Population of Spartanburg County (1790-1850)

Year Population
1790 8,800
1800 12,122
1810 14,259
1820 16,989
1830 21,150
1840 23,069
1850 26,400

Henry Paris/Parris of Greenville County, SC

The original homestead of Richard Pearis was on the Reedy River in what became Greenville County, South Carolina. Examination of the records for early Greenville County reveals two names that are worth tracking: Henry Paris/Parris and Robert Morrow.

According to data from Don McHugh provided by Ben Parris (Forsyth County, GA, 1999), Henry Paris/Parris was born about 1750 and died 27 September 1847. This is consistent with the census records of 1790 of Greenville County. It is not clear where Henry Paris/Parris came from. If he was born in upstate South Carolina in 1750, he must have been part Cherokee because there were no European women there then. He may be the same Henry Parris listed in the 1779 Orange County, North Carolina tax rolls, but there was also a Henry Parris, Jr. on these rolls. Moreover, there was still a Henry Parris in Orange County, NC in 1820 . If I had to guess, I would think Henry Paris/Parris was a child of Richard or his brother George Pearis (most likely George since Richard did not claim him). This would require that George Pearis accompany Richard Pearis to South Carolina on trading expeditions in the 1750s, which is quite possible and consistent with George Pearis later movements.

Regardless, in 1790, there were 954 heads of households in Greenville County and one of these was Henry Paris who was 40 years old at the time. Henry Paris appears in the 1800, 1810, and 1820 census for Greenville County as Henry Parris. No other Paris or Parris households appear in the Greenville census in 1790 or 1800. Henry Paris/Parris had four daughters and three sons by 1800 (one born before 1774, one born between 1774 and 1790, and two born between 1790 and 1800; all were with Henry in 1800). According to the data from Don McHugh, his wife was Telitha Morgan (he may have had more than one wife). Ben Parris reports 9 children for Henry Paris/Parris with the names as follows: Moses, Thomas, Ellender, Lurany, Mary, Nancy, Elizabeth and John M. (b. 1790, died 1853, married to Margaret Harrison) and William Henry Paris (b. 30 September 1818, in Greenville County, SC, died after 1850 in Georgia, married Martha Webb Dec. 23, 1847 in Greenville). Ben Parris also reports that Henry Paris/Parris may have married Margaret B. Cunningham. Importantly, David Parris does not appear among the children of Henry Paris/Parris.

Also from the census record of Greenville County, SC, we find Robert Morrow (also born about 1750). By 1800, Robert Morrow had been joined by David Morrow and Samuel Morrow. Mary Morrow (b. 1783) will be introduced later as the wife of David Parris (b. 1778). She may be related to the Morrows of Greenville County. According to Bible records for the Berry Nelson (1875-1956) family posted on the Inernet by B. Parker in February 2000, Mary Morrow was the daughter of William Morrow (b.1747) and Ruth Parham (b. 1751) who were married 10 June 1771.

Old Buncombe County, NC (1791)

In 1790, the French Broad River (a line between Hendersonville and Asheville and then through the Mountains towards Knoxville, Tennessee) marked the western boundary of Rutherford (old Tryon) and Burke Counties. The commercial routes provided, in part, by the French Broad River between the Watauga Settlement and Charleston, South Carolina became increasingly important. European settlers began to fill up the French Broad River Valley on both sides (west and east) of the river. The valley was particularly attractive at the point that the Swannanoa River joins the French Broad. About 1784, Samuel W. Davidson settled on Christian Creek in Swannanoa Valley. He was soon followed by a small settlement on the Swannanoa. This population warranted the establishment of a new county, partly from Cherokee lands and partly from Burke and Rutherford Counties. The new county was called Buncombe and was founded in 1791. By 1794, John Burton had a land grant in the area and began selling city lots called Morristown. This town grew into the city now known as Asheville.

There were actually some 1790 census records for areas that became Buncombe County. No Paris, Parris or Pearis families were noted in the available data (www.main.nc.us/OBCGS/ffob.htm). The first Buncombe County census of 1800 also does not report any families named Paris, Parris, or Pearis.

1800 Buncombe County Population
(http://www.main.nc.us/OBCGS/1800.html)

White males
1099 under the age of ten years
416 between the ages of ten and sixteen years old
479 between sixteen and twenty-six years old
489 between the ages of twenty-six and forty-five years
289 age forty-five and over

White Females
1137 under the age of ten years
368 between the ages of ten and sixteen years
507 between sixteen and twenty-six years old
422 between the ages of twenty-six and forty-five years
225 age forty-five years and older

Others 34

Slaves 347

But, the western boundary of Buncombe was far from the French Broad commercial route. It extended to the Balsam Mountain (Maggie Valley). These western extremes were slowly settled and in 1808 Haywood County was formed from a part of Buncombe County. The Cherokee still controlled the area west of Balsam Mountain.

Felix Walker

Felix Walker played a role in several interesting stories about the American frontier. He first came to historical notice as a member of Daniel Boone’s expedition in March and April 1775 to open a road into Kentucky. Mr. Clyde Bunch (Jessamine County, Kentucky) has compiled noted on this expedition involving Walker (see the discussion of Daniel Boone in previous sections). From Walker’s own journal it is reported that he and several friends (including James Bridges, Captain William Twetty) left Rutherford County, North Carolina (the western part of old Tryon County) to explore a trail into Kentucky. They stopped by Long Island (Kingsport, Tennessee) and joined Daniel Boone’s party. Boone and Twetty led 29 men from Long Island for Kentucky on 10 March 1775. [Coincidentally, Richard Pearis was at Sycamore Shoals about 15 miles from Long Island on 20 March 1775 to sign the treaty of Sycamore Shoals with the Cherokee.] On 25 March 1775, Shawnee attacked the Boone party just before dawn. Capt. Twetty was shot through both knees and died three days later. His Negro servant was killed outright. Felix Walker was severely wounded. Boone’s party broke-up and went various ways. Boone reported these events to Col. Henderson (who had returned to Louisa County, Virginia from Sycamore Shoals) on 1 April. Boone also noted that the Shawnee had similarly attacked another party on 27 March and had killed and scalped two men. As described elsewhere, Boone’s party succeeded in cutting the Transylvania Trail and Felix walker is duly noted on the historical marker.

But, Mr. Walker returned to the frontier of North Carolina and settled near Waynesville (Haywood County) after the War of Independence was won. He was elected to Congress and ran a successful mercantile business trading with the Cherokee. This leads to the interesting story of Lucy Hanks. Ms. Hanks was an unmarried woman who wandered drifted from job to job (mostly spinning) in Rutherford County in the period 1775-1800. Ms. Hanks did not fully occupy her time with spinning as she bore two fatherless daughters named Nancy and Amanda (Mandy).

Amanda was informally adopted by the Pratt family and Nancy was likewise handed over to the Abraham Enloe family. Both families were in Bostic, NC. Mr. Enloe sired at least 16 children and held a large parcel of land on Puzzle Creek. Nonetheless, when Nancy was in her early teens, he moved to the Soco Valley on the Ocono Luftee River about 1805. This was near a store that Felix Walker had established. Nancy Hanks turned up pregnant and Mrs. Enloe claimed that her husband was the father. With the aid of Felix Walker, Enloe sent Nancy Hanks back to Bostic where she gave birth to a son that she named Abraham. Naturally, gossip followed Hanks and Enloe. Thus, it was arranged to have Nancy returned to Ocono Luftee. There a sawmill worker named Tom Lincoln was induced to marry Ms. Hanks and migrate to Kentucky in 1806. The gossips of Rutherford County, North Carolina are still talking about Abraham Lincoln .

Robert Love and The Formation of Haywood County North Carolina

Robert Love was born in old Augusta County, Virginia 11 May 1760, and the child of Samuel Love and Dorcas Bell . He joined the army in Montgomery County (now Wythe County, Virginia) in 1776 and most information about Robert Love comes from his pension application (5 April 1833). His military record included participation in the 1776 expedition against the Cherokee under the command of Col. Christie. He was then station in western forts (Long Island 1777 and Fort Robertson 1778-1780) to protect against the Shawnee. There were also excursions against the Tories including participation in the Battle of Shallow Ford under Col. William Campbell. He was in the 1781 battle at Guilford Court House. By then, he was an officer and was again stationed at Fort Robertson in 1782.

After the war, he moved to Greasy Cove (Erwin) in Washington County, North Carolina (now Tennessee). There he married Mary Ann Dillard (11 September 1783). In 1784, he made the acquaintance of Andrew Jackson. Robert Love was then a delegate to the Greenville convention (December 1784) of the State of Franklin. He became a justice of the peace for Washington County, North Carolina (State of Franklin) in 1788.

He moved to Buncombe County, NC when it was formed from Burke County in 1792 and was a state senator 1793-1795. Robert Love was instrumental in the establishment of Haywood County (1808) from parts of Burke and Buncombe and was elected county clerk over Felix Walker. At this time, Haywood County had about 2,500 residents. Thomas D. Love conducted the first census in 1810 and reported a total of 2,780 persons. The following is a “spelling-corrected” version based on the direct transcription by Betsy C. Farlow (1991) for the Haywood Co. Historical Society:

[6 November 1810]

Having completed the duties assigned to me, as an Assistant Marshall in taking [the] third Census of the United States, in the county of Haywood, which consist of 384 families, and of inhabitants of every description 2780: And although the number is small, yet they are extended over a large scope of territory:

The county of Haywood comprehends the western part of the state of North Carolina west of Rutherford and Buncombe counties, that is to say from the Georgia line to the the state of Tennessee. Beginning on the Georgia line if that state extends across the Appalachian Mountains east & south of the present Indian boundary, and from thence running along the ridge of mountains between the rivers French Broad and Pigeon to the Tennessee line a distance of about 80 or 90 miles, then with that line to the beginning: within which limits sundry settlements are formed, which lie detached from the principal settlements of said county: from twelve to fifteen & as far as eighteen miles, owing to the huge piles of mountains, which are interspersed throughout the whole of this county; for instance the settlements on the Caney Fork of [the] Tuckasegee River lies from fifteen to eighteen miles from any other inhabitants and consist of 8 or 10 families; the settlement on Oconaluftee lies nearly the same distance from any other inhabitants and [consist of] 12 or 15 families. The settlements on Fines Creek and the East Fork of [the] Pigeon [River] also lie very remote from the body of the county.

And under those circumstances, I claim such additional allowance as may be covered by the Act of Congress, and for the truth of what I have here stated I refer you to the gentlemen members of the general assembly from this county.

With respect Thomas D. Love

Beverly Daniel Esq. Mar. N.C.

There were no Parris or Paris families mentioned in 1810, but James Morrow and his son (believed to be James Junior) were in the county.

After the Cherokee session of 1819, much new land was added to Haywood County. North Carolina offered citizenship to any Cherokee who wished to stay in the county. Cherokee territory (Cherokee citizenship) was pushed west to the Tuckasegee River. There were still no Parris or Paris families in 1820, but the Morrows included Henry, James, John, Joseph and Robert . The David Parris family appeared in 1830 .

Robert Love was also a presidential elector from Haywood County through the time of Andrew Jackson’s election. He was much respected and carried the vote to Washington, DC. He also founded Waynesville, North Carolina (1809) named in honor of “Mad Anthony” Wayne who Robert Love served with on the frontier (Long Island) during the War of Independence. Robert Love died in Waynesville 17 July 1845.

The War between Georgia and North Carolina (1811)

A curious conflict called “The Walton War” developed out of the 1802 Act of Cession (the agreement between Georgia and the United States to resolve the Yazoo Land Fraud liabilities). In the agreement made on 26 April 1802, the United States agreed to take over the disputed lands and relieve Georgia from further liabilities for a payment of $1.25 million from Georgia. One of the responsibilities acquired by the United States was the removal of Cherokees from land that their tribe/nation had sold to others. If compensation of other inducements (or force) were required to get the Cherokees to move, the United States had to provide it.

Article II of the 1802 Act of Cession was very complex; but what it basically said was that Georgia took responsibility for what was known as the “Orphan Strip” of rugged mountainous land that had been left unclaimed when South Carolina closed its western boundary with North Carolina; but it did not make an official allocation of the land to either Georgia or North Carolina. It later became clear that North Carolina viewed this land as part of its territory. This land (the upper French Broad River Valley) was part of the old Cherokee Middle and Lower Towns region, which had been bypassed by government or settlement since the Americans had won their independence. It was generally “lawless” in every sense of the word and had become a refuge for outlaws as well a home to woodland Cherokee; thus, North Carolina did not have much desire to govern the area from 1802 through 1810.

In 1803, Georgia attempted to exercise control over the area by establishing Walton County with a government led by John Nicholson as the representative to the state legislature (then located at Milledgeville, Georgia). Although North Carolina knew that Georgia was governing the Orphan Strip, it is likely that they assumed that when the time came, Georgia would acknowledge the surveyed boundaries as, indeed, North Carolina had done in ceding old Tryon County to South Carolina. Parts of the Georgia-North Carolina boundary were not surveyed until 1820. The effectiveness of the Georgia government is a matter of debated. In all likelihood, the North Carolinians were not impressed and eventually expressed their own claims for the area.

In December 1810, North Carolina sent a military unit to the upper French Broad River valley to replace the government from Georgia. When the Georgians refused to be displaced, the situation soon got out of hand. In January 1811, a battle of sorts occurred between Georgia and North Carolina forces at McGaha Branch (near present-day Brevard) and North Carolina took about 25 persons claiming to be Georgians into custody. A second firefight broke out at Selica Hill with the same result. In all likelihood, the “Georgians” were little more than outlaws taken into custody by the North Carolinians who then established North Carolina civil authority over the area.

Little Will Thomas, The Early Years

At the same time that the Cherokee in North Georgia were moving towards nationhood, the Cherokee of western North and South Carolina were headed towards assimilation with the Europeans and citizenship in the respective states. As a matter of fact, by the time of the Chapman Roll and the Siler Roll in 1851, very few Parris families even acknowledged being Cherokee. This story can, in part, be told through the life of “Little Will Thomas.”

Will Thomas was born in 1805 on Raccoon Creek near modern Waynesville, North Carolina. Waynesville and Haywood County were not founded until 1809. This area is now known as Maggie Valley . There he found employment as a youth in the mercantile store of Felix Walker as related by Michael Fome (Strangers in High Places, 1966, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, NY). Walker was one of the most powerful men in western North Carolina (Haywood County). After the War of Independence, he was elected to Congress and built a business primarily trading with the Cherokee in what was left of the middle towns. This is about as far west as Europeans now ventured. Incidentally, David Parris (b. 1778) was one of the first residents of Haywood County; and his son James Parris was also born in 1805.

Walker opened a new store west of Soco Mountain in the Soco Valley in 1817 and Will Thomas was sent across the mountain to help tend it.

Part 25: The Rise of Andrew Jackson (1800 - 1820)

25.1 Prelude to the War of 1812

Andrew Jackson Arrives in Tennessee

We have already met Andrew Jackson (1767 - 1845) as a young boy from the Waxhaws who was abused by the British during the American War of Independence. In 1784, he began his political career with the study of law in Salisbury, North Carolina. After being admitted to the bar in North Carolina, he moved to frontier in Tennessee where he became a prosecutor in the Nashville District Court. Concurrently, he engaged in land speculation. His timing was good as Tennessee became a state in June 1796 and he was elected as the state’s congressman. In the next election, he became a senator, but soon resigned to accept a judgeship in the state supreme court. This lasted until 1802. At that point he was elected to become a major general in the Tennessee militia.

For practical purposes, Jackson was an outsider backed by the political machine of the east (i.e., North Carolina). He was not an Over-Mountain Man from the War of Independence and he soon had John Sevier as his chief rival. Their feuds and near-duel led to Jackson being the champion of the western part of the state (Cumberland) and Sevier being the champion of the eastern counties.

The Louisiana Purchase (1803) and Burr’s Conspiracy

The French had ceded the territory west of the Mississippi to the Spanish but Napoleon Bonaparte retrieved it from Spain in a secret treaty about 1800. However, his hopes of a new French Empire in North America was soon in ruins and he needed cash to support possible conflicts with the British. Enter Thomas Jefferson. For the reasonable sum of $15 million, the United States was able to double its size without international conflict. This presented Jackson with a unique opportunity.

It was also a unique opportunity for Aaron Burr who had lost the election of 1800 to Jefferson and was looking for an alternative route to leading a nation. He traveled to Nashville in 1805 and befriended Jackson. He also campaigned for the hearts of westerners along the Mississippi. In Burr’s mind a general scheme of slicing out a new nation along the Mississippi (probably established on New Orleans) and including Jackson’s political base in western Tennessee was likely taking shape. Jackson would be Burr’s military strength necessary to overthrow the governments in western Tennessee and Louisiana. Jackson, however, was led to believe that he was supporting Burr in an attempt to displace the Spanish for Texas and Mexico for the United States. The plot unraveled and Burr was charged with treason. In his trial, it proved to be impossible to prove whether Burr was planning treason against the United States or merely aggressively trying to expand the United States at the expense of the Spanish. In the absence of clear evidence, Burr was eventually acquitted to Jefferson’s annoyance and Jackson’s relief. If Burr had been convicted, Jackson’s career (if not freedom) might have been at an end.

Prelude to The War of 1812

The last time we saw Richard Pearis was in 1794. He and another Loyalist ex-patriot and from Georgia (Colonel Browne) were trying to establish a peace treaty with the Creek Indians in West Florida for the British. The fever or a bullet may have eventually caught up with Richard (who was well past his prime at the age of 69 when most men would have been content to rock their grand children) because we never heard from him again. Nonetheless, William August Bowles (Loyalists from Maryland) brought forward the State of Muskogee in West Florida in 1799 forming a civil union of the Seminole and Creek Nations. The capital was the village of Mikasuke (near present-day Tallahassee). The Spanish were not amused; and Bowles was captured in 1803 and ended his days in a Spanish prison in Havana, Cuba.

The British were disturbed by the Louisiana Purchase because they though the Spanish had agreed to sell or trade the territory to them rather than the French. It passed through the French hands before the British could do anything about it. In the meantime, the French, the Spanish and the British seemed to think nothing of taking American merchant ships on the high seas for their cargoes and their crews. Animosity was growing on many sides, but the main reason for the war was that the British were headed for a showdown with Napoleon (it happened at Waterloo in 1815) and the Americans simply got in the way as a neutral country.

Most of the fighting during the war occurred in the north and east, but the British attempted to distract the Americans with a guerrilla war by the Native Americans (specifically the Creeks) in the south and west. The politics of the American southwest (i.e., Mississippi Territory) was becoming very complex. The Spanish occupied East and West Florida, Louisiana and Texas (i.e., the entire Gulf Coast). But the Louisiana Purchase gave the Americans the vital waterway into the American interior and New Orleans. The British still held Detroit and the Great Lakes; and the British were loosely allied with the Spanish against the French. Moreover, the Creek Nation was about to split into a domestic feud at the same time western Tennessee became a focus of American empire-building.

Tecumseh (1768 - 1813)

The Shawnee had had the misfortune to occupy the lands, which the Euro-Americans first penetrated in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Perhaps it is fitting that among them was born an articulate man who came close to organizing a unified resistance to the Euro-Americans. Tecumseh was born in 1768 near present-day Dayton, Ohio to a Cherokee (i.e., Tsalagi) woman named Methotase who had been captured by the Shawnee. His father was a well known Shawnee warrior named Puckesinwa. He was one of six children including his brother Laulewasika ("Makes a loud Noise" because he cried loudly as an infant; later known as Tenskwatawa, or "The Prophet") who was to play a key part in his later life.

Tecumseh’s family and he personally were involved with the various wars with the Europeans from 1768 - 1800. His father was killed at the Battle of Point Pleasant. Shortly thereafter, his mentor (Cornplanter) was killed in Lord Dunmore’s War. He also lost a brother in the fighting at Fallen Timbers, which led to the repressive Greenville Treaty. About 1800, he developed a friendship with a white woman named Rebecca Galloway from Ohio. She taught him to read and write and importantly he was exposed to world and American history. This gave him a perspective that most native Americans never had. The idea of uniting the Native Americans to resist the encroachment of the Europeans came to him; and about 1805, he took the position that no tribe could sell land to the Euro-Americans without the approval of the other tribes.

There were several strange twist to Tecumseh’s story. One of them occurred when his younger brother Laulewasika, who was fond of whisky, fell into a drunken stupor and awoke believing that he was a prophet of Native American victory over the Europeans. He changed his name to Tenskwatawa, "The Prophet," and by 1808 established what can be described as a religious commune on the Wabash River near the confluence of the Tippecanoe River. This community (Prophetstown) proselytized a pan-Indian unity and brotherhood; and may be the root of a lot of the myth of the virtue of the Native American unity with nature and the environment; a call for the return to their native roots and culture.

Tecumseh began receiving notice for his preaching of the doctrine of Native American Unity and ran directly into two Euro-Americans who were not going to sit by and allow this force to materialize. The first white man to react was William Henry Harrison who received Tecumseh at his headquarters at Vincennes, Indiana in August 1810. The meeting was an angry exchange of insults that convinced Harrison that trouble was on the way. Harrison looked for an excuse to take action against the prophets and found it in July 1811 when some settlers were killed in Illinois. Harrison demanded that the prophets had over the guilty parties. Tecumseh refused and set out on a six month journey to gather support from the southern tribes. As he left, he instructed his brother to avoid conflict with the army until he could bring in the southern tribes.

As it worked out, in the fall of 1811 while Tecumseh was away, Harrison responded to another incident by moving his soldiers up the Wabash towards Prophetstown. Tenskwatawa fired by his own delusions could not resist attacking. This he did about 4 AM on 7 November 1811. He attack was a surprise, but Harrison had prepared his men well and their sentries were alert. The battle continued into the daylight and was not fully ended until dark. Harrison lost 37 killed and 150 wounded at the Battle of Tippecanoe. On 8 November, Harrison destroyed Prophetstown and ended the dream of a union of all the tribes.

In 1858 T.S. Woodward discussed Tecumseh’s visit to the Creeks. Interestingly, Woodward does not mention the legendary prophecy concerning the earthquake:

Some time in April 1814, on the West bank of the Pinchong, now in Montgomery county, Ala., and by a camp fire, I heard Weatherford relate the following particulars about the Creek war:

He said that some few years before the war, a white man came from Pensacola to Tuckabatchy. He remained some time with the Big Warrior. The white man was a European, and he thought a Scotchman; that he never knew the man's business, nor did he ever learn; that all the talks between this man and the Big Warrior were carried on through a Negro interpreter that belonged to the Warrior; that he [Weatherford] had seen the man several times, and more than once the man asked how many warriors he thought the Creeks could raise. The man disappeared from the Nation, and in a short time Tuskenea, the oldest son of the Big Warrior, took a trip to the Wabash, and visited several tribes -- the Shawnees or Sowanakas. (This trip Tuskenea did make, for I have often heard him speak of it, and have seen some women of the Hopungiesas and Shawnees that he carried to the Creek Nation.) Weatherford said that not long after the return of Tuskenea to the Creek Nation, Tecumseh, with the Prophet, Seekaboo, and others, made their appearance at the Tuckabatchy town. A talk was put out by the [Big] Warrior. Moniac and Weatherford attended the talk. No white man was allowed to be present. Tecumseh stated the object of his mission; that if it could be effected, the Creeks could recover all the country that the whites had taken from them, and that the British would protect them in their right. Moniac was the first to oppose Tecumseh's talk, and said that the talk was a bad one, and that he [Tecumseh] had better leave the Nation. The Big Warrior seemed inclined to take the talk. The correspondence was carried on through Seekaboo, who spoke English. After Moniac had closed, Weatherford then said to Seekaboo to say to Tecumseh, that the whites and Indians were at peace, and had been for years; that the Creek Indians were doing well, and that it would be bad policy for the Creeks, at least, to take sides either with the Americans or English, in the event of a war -- (this was in 1811.) Besides, he said, that when the English held sway over the country, they were equally as oppressive as the Americans had been, if not more so; and in the American revolution the Americans were but few, and that they had got the better of the English; and that they were now very strong, and if interest was to be consulted, the Indians had better join the Americans.

After this talk Tecumseh left for home, and prevailed on Seekaboo and one or two others to remain among the Creeks.

Tecumseh returned and eventually joined forces with the British in the war that began on 18 June 1812. He was killed at the Battle of the Thames River in Canada (near present-day Chatham, Ontario) on 5 October l813. The American forces were led by Harrison.

Tecumseh’s Prophesy

Tecumseh’s prophesy was one of those lucky events that sometime take great men and make them seem to be gods (or it may have simply been fabricated after the fact). It is noteworthy because on the one hand, no man ever had a better “sign from god” to convince his followers and opponents of the justice of his cause; and on the other hand, in spite of it, Tecumseh’s efforts failed miserably.

One version of the story goes, that Tecumseh’s brother Tenskwatawa was losing credibility and clout because of his wild admonitions to take up arms against the Euro-Americans. Tecumseh directed his brother to go into the wilderness (like Moses) and create a series of red cedar slabs on which were carved a symbol. Tecumseh also directed that a number of red cedar sticks should be prepared. His plan was to deliver the slabs to the various chiefs in the southeast along with a bundle of sticks. The plan was to coordinate an uprising or at least an assembly of the many tribes. To do this, he would give each chief a bundle of red sticks with instructions to discard one stick at each full moon. When the last stick was discarded, the chief was to expect a sign from Tecumseh to rise up against the Euro-Americans and/or send a delegation to Prophetstown,. Obviously, Tecumseh had little confidence in the ability of the chiefs of the Southeast to tell time. In all likelihood, Tecumseh planned to initiate military action shortly after the sticks had all counted down and send worked to the tribes for help.

It must be noted that Tecumseh was recognized by whites and Indians alike as a great public speaker and compelling spiritual leader. Thus, it was not purely fantasy that he might receive some support. Tecumseh conducted his campaign for support from the southeastern tribes in August and September 1811. He appears to have targeted December 1811 as the time for his rally.

The key part of the legend is that upon reaching the Upper Creeks (see notes by Woodward above), Tecumseh was confronted by a local leader (Big Warrior) at Tuckabatchee on the Tallapoosa River. The Creeks were skeptical and Tecumseh make the pledge that when he reached Detroit, he would stamp his foot on the ground and shake down the houses in Tuckabatchee as a sign of his power. The legend continues that a final 30-day count down was to be provided by a comet or meteor, which came on 16 November 1811. (Since only the Upper Creeks had received the foot stomping part of the prophecy, this seems to have been added to the legend later.) In any event, on 16 December 1811, the New Madrid earthquake episode began. The earthquake could be felt into Canada, to the Gulf Coast and to the Atlantic seaboard. Near the epicenter on the Kentucky-Tennessee boarder a depression formed and was filled with water to create Reelfoot Lake. Other quakes occurred on 23 and 27 January 1812, and these all turned out to be foreshocks for the quake that occurred on 13 February 1812.

All of this failed to provoke a reversal of the defeat that Harrison had given the Shawnee on 8 November 1811. But among the Creek tribes, a civil war was contested at low intensity for over a year before it broke into the attention of the Euro-Americans.

25.2 The War of 1812 on the Frontier

Overview of the War of 1812

It is not our intention here go into much detail about the War of 1812. Suffice it to say that for the most part, the Americans were thrashed by the British up and down the East Coast. James Madison was the President and reluctantly declared war against the British on 18 June 1812. He was re-elected in the fall of that year and suffered the indignity of having the White House burned by the British on 24 August 1814. On 14 September 1814, during the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor, Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star Spangled Banner.” Later that year, the British prepared to invade the Gulf Coast concurrent with negotiations to end the war at Ghent. The Treaty of Ghent was in fact signed on 24 December 1814, but word was not received in time to head off the Battle of New Orleans, which was fought 8 January 1815.

Our interests are to watch the evolution of the career of Andrew Jackson from a general of militia in western Tennessee to a national hero between 1813 and 1815. Whereas the Americans were badly outclassed by the British in the East and in Canada, the westerners realized that they were being given a opportunity to win more territory from the weak British forces in the west and especially their Spanish allies who held Florida and Texas and the Creeks who held the Mississippi Territory.

Jackson had been a general of the militia for years and yearned for a major federal command. His abilities as a general were un-proven and he probably never would have made any contribution except for a sequence of events beginning with the call up of 1,500 men from Tennessee to reinforce New Orleans in October 1812. This led to an appointment for Jackson as a general in the U.S. volunteers. Unfortunately, assembly of the troops at Nashville December 1812 produced criticism of Jackson for some of the hardships caused by the weather. Nonetheless, the force moved to Natchez where he was first asked to delay by General Wilkinson commander of New Orleans and then on the 15th of March 1813, Jackson received a letter (dated 5 February) telling him that he and his forces were “dismissed” as they were no longer needed. The Madison Administration did not care for Jackson and was not interested in providing him a career steppingstone. Although he returned to Nashville, he had managed to win the appreciation of his troops.

Back in Nashville, Jackson managed to get into a real western gunfight with some of his political adversaries in the summer of 1813. He was severely wounded and slowly recovering when word came of a frightening episode at Fort Mims deep in Alabama.

Fort Mims, Alabama (30 August 1813)

The legend of his prophecy not withstanding, Tecumseh’s arrival in the Cheek Nation in the late summer of 1811 enlarged a split between Creeks who favored assimilation and those that rejected European customs. The Creeks (Upper, Middle and Lower) were a confederacy of many small tribes , but an enlightened Indian Agent, Benjamin Hawkins, had lived with them for many years and cultivated union and progress towards assimilation. Big Warrior, the principal leader of the confederacy, was generally in agreement with these objectives. The split apparently was started when the Americans built a road through Creek territory in 1810 to link New Orleans with Nashville, Tennessee . The political split among the Creeks was not necessarily along the traditional Upper/Lower geographic divide; it was more between old and educated Creeks (including many mixed-bloods) versus young and superstitious Creeks who followed the Shawnee prophets.

Tecumseh’s words and the apparent fulfillment of his prophecy inspired younger men to follow his advice and reject European ways. This faction began calling themselves the Red Sticks, perhaps after the counting sticks of Tecumseh. The other faction began calling themselves the White Sticks. Poles of the appropriate color were erected to signify political affiliation among the Creeks. William McIntosh was a leader of the White Sticks. It appears that the principal leaders of the Red Sticks were Peter McQueen, Josiah Francis, and High-Head Jim. Ironically, the man who is most remembered as a leader of the Red Sticks appears to have been fairly moderate and probably could be classified as a Lower Creek . His name was William (Billy) Weatherford (1765 - 1824) . These zealous adversaries undermined big Warrior’s authority and he was drawn into the Red Stick camp because he was an Upper Creek.

The Red Sticks were drawn to the Gulf Coast by the British and Spanish who encouraged them to resist the American settlers who were pushing into Mississippi Territory from Tennessee and Georgia. Along the way, they apparently coerced Weatherford to take up arms against the white settlers. Returning from Pensacola where they received arms from the British, the Red Stick band led by McQueen, Francis and High-Head Jim was attacked by territorial militia under Colonel James Caller on 27 July 1813 at a place called Burnt Corn Creek in present-day Baldwin County, Alabama. The Red Sticks won a close victory and Weatherford was urged to facilitate a raid on Fort Mims (beside Lake Tensaw, a.k.a. Boatyard Lake, about 35 miles north of Mobile, Alabama) where about 500 settlers had taken refuge along with the 7th and 4th Regiments of Mississippi Territorial Militia under the drunkard Major Daniel Beasley. Weatherford was drafted for this task because he lived nearby and knew the country and the fort. (His role was that of a involuntary guide, not the leader of the war party.)

Weatherford was not eager to facilitate and attack on people who were in many cases acquaintances and friends , but he believed the fort was strong enough to repel the Red Sticks and apparently assumed the raid would fail. The fort itself was only partially complete with a stockade of sharpened post and two massive gates. Unfortunately, the fort was in a wooded area and attackers could advance close to the fort without being detected. And that is what they did. When the Red Sticks broke from the woods about noon on 30 August 1813, a race was on to see how fast the gates could be closed. The settlers lost. The Red Sticks soon overpowered them. In one of the few instances in the history of the American frontier, aggressive natives found themselves in the midst of a large number of helpless defeated settlers. They showed no mercy. In part, the religious zeal of the local prophet Josiah Francis kept the Red Sticks killing in the most brutal ways . Weatherford says that the murder did not begin until after he had left. Although this may be a self-serving claim, there is nothing that indicates that Weatherford encouraged it and he probably did leave (if only to vomit).

A description of the events leading up to the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek and the destruction of Fort Mims as told by T.S. Woodward in 1858:

In 1812 the Indians killed Arthur Lott and Thomas Meridith, which I before mentioned, as well as Captain Isaacs' going with the Little Warrior to the mouth of Duck river. After this, matters calmed down until the opening of 1813. Moniac and Weatherford took a trip to the Chickasaw in Mississippi Territory, trading in beef cattle. On their return, they found that several chiefs had assembled at a place that was afterwards settled by one Townsend Robinson, from Anson county, N.C. They were taking the Ussa, or black drink, and had Moniac's and Weatherford's families at the square. They told Moniac and Weatherford that they should join or be put to death. Moniac boldly refused, and mounted his horse. Josiah Francis, his brother-in-law, seized his bridle; Moniac snatched a war-club from his hand, gave him a severe blow and put out, with a shower of rifle bullets following him. Weatherford consented to remain. He told them that he disapproved their course, and that it would be their ruin; but they were his people he was raised with them, and he would share their fate. He was no chief, but had much influence with the Indians. He was always called by the Indians Billy Larny, or Yellow Billy; that was his boy name. His other name was Hoponika Futsahia. Hoponika Futsahia, as nigh as I can give the English of it, is truthmaker -- and he was all of that .

He then proposed to the Indians to collect up all such as intended going to war with the whites; take their women and children into the swamps of Florida; leave the old men and lads to hunt for them, and the picked warriors to collect together and operate whenever it was thought best. He said that he had several reasons for making this proposition to the Alabama river Indians; one was, that he thought by the time they could take their women and children to Florida and return, that the upper towns, which were almost to a man hostile, except the Netches and Hillabys -- and were principally controlled by the: Ocfuske chief, Menauway, or Ogillis lneha, or Fat Englishman; -- (these were the names of the noted men who headed the Indians at Horse Shoe,) -- that they perhaps would come to terms, and by that means his people would be spared and not so badly broken up, and would be the means of saving the lives of many whites on the thinly settled frontiers; and if the worst came to the worst, that they could carry on the war with less trouble, less danger, and less expense, than to be troubled with their women and children.

But in all this he was overruled by the chiefs. Some of their names I will give you. The oldest and principal chief, the one looked upon as the General, was a Tuskegee, called Hopie Tustanugga, or Far-off-Warrior; he was killed at Fort Mims. The others were Peter McQueen, Jim Boy, or High-head Jim, Illes Harjo, or Josiah Francis, the new made Prophet, the Otisee chief, Nehemarthla-Micco, Paddy Welch, Hossa Yohola, and Seekaboo, the Shawnee Prophet, and many others I could name.

The first thing to be had was ammunition. Peter McQueen, with Jim Boy as his war chief, with a party of Indians, started for Pensacola -- (their numbers have been greatly overrated.) On their route, at Burnt Corn Springs, they took Betsy Coulter, the wife of Jim Cornells, -- (not Alexander Cornells, who was the Government interpreter;) they carried her to Pensacola, and sold her to a French lady, a Madame Barrone. At Pensacola they met up with Zach McGirth, and some of them wanted to kill him. Jim Boy interfered, and said that the man or men who harmed McGirth should die.

Now, recollect, I lived with these people long, and have heard these things over and over. Betsy Coulter lived with me for years, as well as others, who bore their parts on one side or the other. This is history -- it is as true as Gospel -- for I am now and was then a living witness to much of it, and have seen the others who witnessed the balance -- and the witnesses to the other have been dead a long time; and besides, what I have seen and write is nothing more than what is and has been common [knowledge].

But on the return of McQueen's party from Pensacola, the fight took place at Burnt Corn creek between the Indians and at least three times their number of white men; that is, if we take the statements of the two commanders, Col. Collier and Jim Boy. Jim Boy said the war had not fairly broke out, and that they never thought of being attacked; that he did not start with a hundred men, and all of those he did start with were not in the fight. I have heard Jim tell it often, that if the whites had not stopped to gather up pack horses and plunder their camp, and had pursued the Indians a little further, they [the Indians] would have quit and gone off. But the Indians discovered the very great disorder the whites were in, searching for plunder, and they fired a few guns from the creek swamp and a general stampede was the result. McGirth always corroborated Jim Boy's statement as to the number of Indians in the Burnt Corn fight.

I have seen many of those that were in the fight, and they were like the militia that were at Bladensburg -- they died off soon; you never could hear much talk about the battle, unless you met with such a man as Judge Lipscomb, who used to make a laughing matter of it.

Enough of the Burnt Corn battle now. A part of the Indians returned to Pensacola, and some went to the Nation. So soon as those who had gone back the second time to Pensacola returned, they commenced fitting out an expedition to Fort Mims. Weatherford said that he delayed them as much as possible on their march, in order that those in the Fort might be prepared. They took several Negroes on the route, and it was made convenient to let them escape; that he had understood that an officer with some troops had reached Fort Mims, and had quite a strong force, but had no expectation of taking it whatever, until the morning they got within view of the Fort; that he was close enough to the Fort to recognize Jim Cornells -- saw him as he rode up to the Fort and rode off. I have seen Cornells often since and heard him tell it; he rode to the Fort and told Maj. Beasley that he had seen some Indians, and that the Fort would be attacked that day. Maj. Beasley was drunk; he said to Cornells that he had only seen a gang of red cattle. Cornells told the Major that that gang of red cattle would give him a hell of a kick before night. As CornelIs rode off Zach McGirth followed him out, and went to the boat yard; they were looking for a provision boat up, and while McGirth was out the boat was attacked; that is the way he escaped. The Fort gate was open and could not be shut, and a number of the Indians followed a Shawnee (not Seekaboo) who pretended to be a Prophet; he was leathered from top to toe. Dixon Bailey ran up within a few yards of him and placed the Prophet where even the Witch of Endor could not reach him. Some of the Prophet's followers being served in the same way, the rest left the Fort. This I learned from McGirth, Sam Smith and others who were saved and escaped from the Fort, as well as from Jim Boy, Weatherford and others who were engaged in the assault.

The Indians then pretty well ceased operations, and Weatherford, as I have remarked before, left and went off to take charge of his brother's Negroes. After he left, the Shawnee, Seekaboo, and some of the McGillivray Negroes got behind some logs that were near the Fort, kindled a fire, and, by putting rags on their arrows and setting them on fire, would shoot them into the roof of Mims' smokehouse, which was an old building, and formed a part of one line of the Fort. It took fire and communicated it to the other buildings -- and that is the way Fort Mims was destroyed.

Jim Boy succeeded in saving Mrs. McGirth and her daughter, but her only son, James, was killed. Weatherford's taking charge of Tate's negroes gave rise to the report by some whites that there was an understanding between him and Tate that one was to remain with the whites, and the other with the Indians. The report was, no doubt, false, but it ever after caused Tate to be very reserved with most people. I knew Tate well. He, like Weatherford, was an honest man; but many have done him great injustice.

After the Fort fell, and Jim Boy saved Mrs. McGirth and tried to save others, the Indians ran him off, and it was some time before they would be reconciled to him. After plundering the Fort, they scattered in various directions and made their way back to the Nation, except a few.

Historians have elevated Weatherford to a mastermind and major leader of the Red Sticks. But all the evidence suggests that this was not the case. Below you will read of his next notable action, surrender to Andrew Jackson. Had Weatherford truly been the driving force behind the killing at Fort Mims, it is doubtful that he would have survived long in front of Jackson, much less survived to die of natural causes in Baldwin County, Alabama.

The First Expeditions Against the Creeks (October -December 1813)

When the news of the butchery at Fort Mims arrived in Nashville, Augusta, Charleston and New Orleans, the state, territorial and federal governments reacted swiftly. The Creek lands lay within both the 6th Military District (Charleston, under Major General Thomas Pinckney) and 7th Military District (New Orleans, under Brigadier General Thomas Flournoy). A plan was developed to raise four armies and drive into Creek territory from East and West Tennessee, Georgia and New Orleans with all the armies headed for the historic center of the region at the junction of the Coosa and the Tallapoosa. Thus, the Creek nation would be cut into quarters and ravaged along the way. The commanders optimistically believed that the job could be done within the normal three-month enlistment of militia and apparently made little effort to plan for logistical support.

The armies were hurriedly raised under Andrew Jackson (West Tennessee), John Cocke (East Tennessee), John Floyd (Georgia) and Ferdinand Claiborne (New Orleans). Each army was to be about 2,500 men. Jackson was able to respond fastest because of his recent expedition to Natchez, but he was personally drained because of his wounds. His army assembled at Fayetteville, Tennessee on 7 October 1813 and marched over thirty miles per day to Huntsville. Jackson then built a supply post (Fort Deposit) at the southern-most tip of the Tennessee River. The army from East Tennessee was expected to join him here, but Jackson badly wanted to be the first into battle and Cocke did not want to hand his command over to Jackson. Thus, the two men each had motives to avoid link up. Jackson, predictably, plunged ahead over the Raccoon and Lookout Mountains. For those of you not familiar with the terrain of northern Alabama, these mountains are similar to the Blue Ridge only rising about a thousand feet above broad flat river valleys. Moreover, they are synclinal (flat topped) because they are formed by being left behind when the rivers eroded the valleys. Thus, they are not really much of a barrier. Jackson advanced to the Coosa River and built Fort Strother not far from Ten Islands. This was his advanced depot and was within striking distance of the Creeks. He did this all within a month.

On 3 November 1813, Jackson sent a thousand men including David Crocket to encircle the Creek town of Tallushatchee. The force attacked and killed all the adult males in the village (186 men) and took 84 women and children captive. Crocket said “We shot them like dogs” and Lt. Richard Kieth Call described becoming sick to his stomach. It was blood thirsty revenge and nothing more handed out to a village, which had nothing to do with Fort Mims. The men from Tennessee seem to have suffered no casualties. On 9 November 1813, Jackson’s forces surrounded another group of Creeks at Talladega. The story is told that the small village of Talladage (154 people) was being besieged by a large force of Red Sticks and Jackson went to save them. (Why would the Red Sticks siege the village while Jackson was so nearby? How could a village of 154 people hold out against a force of Red Sticks alleged to be over 700 braves?) Nonetheless, there was a battle in which 300 Creeks were killed and the men from Tennessee lost 15 dead and 85 wounded.

Fortunately for the Creeks, Jackson ran out of supplies while waiting at Fort Strother. Jackson withdrew his forces on 17 November to Fort Deposit. There he faced mutiny by 10-12 December. On 12 December 1813, Cocke finally arrived with 1,500 men to relieve Jackson and on 22 December, Governor Blount directed Jackson to abandon Fort Strother and return to Tennessee. Jackson resisted.

Meanwhile, the Georgia army under John Floyd destroyed the Creek village of Auttose on the Tallapossa, but they were attacked by Creeks and sustained about 200 casualties and retired from the war. William Weatherford of the Creeks later described this to T. S. Woodward who was a member of Floyd’s army. Weatherford also described an encounter with the forces coming from New Orleans under Clairborne. The army from New Orleans also fell apart from “desertions” as enlistments ended.

T.S. Woodward described the actions of the Red Sticks from the Creek point of view after the attack on Fort Mims in 1858:

The Indians expected after this that the whites would pour into the Nation from all quarters, and most of them that were at Fort Mims returned to where Robinson had a plantation afterwards, and the place that Moniac had escaped from. The reason why they selected that place was, that there was on the North side of the river Nocoshatchy, or Bear creek, that which afforded the most impenetrable swamps in the whole country. But the movements of the whites were so slow that the Indians grew careless, and a few Indians, with Weatherford and the chief, Hossa Yoholo, and one or two others, made what has been known as the Holy Ground their headquarters. Sometime in December, Gen. Claiborne, piloted by Sam Moniac and an old McGillivray Negro, got near the place before the Indians discovered them. The Indians began to cross their wives and children over the river; they had scarcely time to do that before the army arrived -- a skirmish ensued, and the Indians, losing a few men, gave way in every direction. Weatherford was among the last to quit the place.

Weatherford said that after he escaped from the Holy Ground, he began to think over what was next to be done; the Indians were without ammunition, but little to eat, armies marching in from all quarters; the Spaniards at Pensacola seemed afraid to aid them, as they had done at the commencement -- everything seemed to forebode the destruction of him and his people. He fell in with Savannah or Sowanoka Jack, and they consulted together as to what was best. Jack proposed to get as many of their people as they could; that in a few years the whites would entirely surround them; the Spaniards in Florida would afford them no protection. They then agreed to watch the movements of the Georgia army, to see if there could be no chance to get
ammunition. They did so; and waited until Gen. Floyd camped near Calebee. They
had collected the largest number of warriors that had been collected during the war. They saw that Gen. Floyd intended crossing the creek, from his quitting the Tuckabatchy route. The night before the fight, which commenced before day, the Indians camped near what was called McGarth's still-house branch, on the west side of the branch, and held a council. He proposed to wait until the army started to cross the creek, and as the advanced guard reached the hill on the next side, the fire on the guard should be the signal for the attack; that the army was small, and could be attacked on all sides; and that they would at least stand a chance to get hold of the ammunition, if they did not defeat the whites. But to attack the whites in their camp, who were well supplied with ammunition and five pieces of cannon, would be folly, unless the Indians had more ammunition. The chiefs overruled him, and he, with a few Tuskegees, quit the camp and started back, and when he reached Pole Cat Springs he heard the firing commence. It is my belief that had Weatherford's advice been taken, the result of that affair would have been very different; for long before the fight closed, I could understand Indian enough to hear them asking each other to "give me some bullets -- give me powder." The friendly Indians with us did us no good, except Timpoochy Barnard and his Uchees. Jim Boy and Billy McDonald, or Billy McGillivray, as he was best known, said that they had between 1800 and 2000 men; but many of them were without guns, and only had war-clubs and bows and arrows.

The Second Expedition against the Creeks and the Battle of Horseshoe Bend

Driven by ambition more then anything else, Andrew Jackson held a small band of man together into early 1814 at Fort Strother. On 14 January, Jackson received 800 recruits to keep garrison the fort while Blount raised another 2,500 men to be available in March. But 800 men were enough for Jackson to attack the Creeks. Apparently, Jackson was smart enough to realize that the Creeks were not nearly as strong as he led the newspapers and politicians at home to believe. He almost immediately resumed offensive action and by 21 January his force was encamped at Emuckfaw Creek only a few miles north from the Creek redoubt at the Horse Shoe bend of the Tallapoosa River (Tohopeka). He met unexpected resistance and skirmishing during which he apparently lost few if any troops. However, during his withdrawal, he was ambushed at the crossing of Enotachopco Creek where he lost 20 killed and 75 wounded while claiming that 200 Creeks were killed (and counted). (It would be unusual for an ambushing force to allow itself to lose ten time as many troops as the force it ambushed. I would guess that Jackson’s troops may have killed five or ten of the attackers before the Creeks broke off the fight. The Creeks would not have sustained 200 casualties if they could have fled.)

On 6 February 1814, Jackson received the 39th Regiment of U.S. infantry at Fort Strother and by March he had received more men from Tennessee giving him a force of 5,000 men. He also had Cherokee and Chickasaw allies. The army worked to improve the road (Jackson’s Military Road) from Fort Deposit to Fort Strother. With a force of 5,000 men and supplies, Jackson was certainly not in a desperate mode and it was this strength (rather than material weakness) that led him to unnecessarily court martial and execute a young militiaman. Jackson would never have dared to do such a thing in October of 1813 because the army would have turned against him. In any event, on 14 March 1814 he set out again for the Horse Shoe bend; this time with 4,000 men. He moved down the Coosa River until he heard that until he heard that another expedition was headed towards the junction of the Coosa and the Tallapoosa from New Orleans. It was time to capture the prize and declare victory over the Creeks. He moved eastward to the Horse Shoe bend. This location was fairly unique because the Creeks had built a barricade about 8 feet tall with firing port across the neck of a loop in the Tallapoosa. It was a fair fort; unfortunately for the Creeks, without a large supply of guns and ammunition and a cleared field of fire, the wall meant nothing. The Creeks can be forgiven for their ignorance of defensive of fortifications, it was one of the few forts ever built or held by the Native Americans. But, without firepower, it was just a death trap.

Jackson arrived at the fort with over 2,000 men armed with rifles and cannon about 10 AM on 27 March 1813. Realizing that his real task was not to defeat the fort, but rather to prevent the escape of the Creeks, he had sent the Cherokee (led by a Chief Junaluska from western North Carolina and including a young man named George Gist) under his cavalry commander around the outside of the bend and they had swam across the river to capture the Creek’s canoes, which could have been used for escape. At 10:30 the frontal attack began and troops/Cherokee also used the Creek’s canoes to conduct an amphibious assault on the rear of the fort. Soon Jackson’s forces (including a young ensign named Sam Houston who was wounded by an arrow in the attack) was over the wall and destruction of the Creek’s began. All afternoon the attack and killing went on. According to Jackson’s account, offers of surrender were declined. The next day the results looked like this:

Creek dead: 557 by count on the ground, estimated 300 in the river (Jackson estimated that no more than 20 Creek males got away)

Creeks captured: 300 women and children

Jackson’s dead: 47 with 159 wounded (out of about 2000)

Cherokee dead: 23 with 47 wounded (out of a few hundred)

It is relevant that the Cherokee suffered more casualties relative to forces engaged than did Jackson’s main army. Chief Junaluska was credited with “saving Jackson’s life” in the battle. More accurately, the Cherokee ensured his victory.

Jackson savored his victory for a few days on the Coosa and then headed down to the junction with the Tallapoosa to complete his traverse of the Creek territory. The march took from 5 to 18 April and in the end he raised the American flag over the old French Fort Toulouse, which he refurbished and renamed Fort Jackson. The few Creek leaders in the area came in to surrender and William Weatherford learned that he was a wanted man.

The Surrender of “Red Eagle”

As best I can tell, 19th Century historians and local folklore vastly exaggerated the importance of one mister Billy Weatherford who was credited by various authors (1) as being the leader of the Red Stick rebellion, (2) being the mastermind behind the attack on Fort Mims, and (3) as being an exceptionally dynamic, bold and honest leader who valiantly surrendered to General Jackson and was graciously pardoned. To make the story complete, he was identified as “Red Eagle,” which is a name fitting such a important man. All of this appears to be a distortion of the truth. If you have followed the comments from T.S. Woodward, which have the ring of truth and which are likely as close to the events as we will ever get, you realize that the story of Billy Weatherford is barely worth mentioning. I considered totally ignoring it in this document, but I liked the style of General Woodward so much that I decided to tell the story for its insight into the Creeks and as an example of how history gets twisted especially to support the legend of great men like Andrew Jackson. Weatherford’s surrender as told by T.S. Woodward in 1858:

Though Weatherford was still at Moniac's Island when I reached Gen. Jackson's camp, Tom Carr, or Tuskegee Emarthla, came up and learned through Moniac that Billy Weatherford could come in with safety, as Col. Hawkins had taken it upon himself to let the General know who and what he, Weatherford, was… On our return to camp, Weatherford, Tom Carr, Otis Harjo, Catsa Harjo or Mad Tiger, a Coowersartda Chief, and a host of others had come in; so I missed hearing the great speech… There was a talk with the General and Weatherford and some Chiefs, and of course I did not hear it as I was not permitted to be at headquarters at that day, being looked upon as another Indian. But I think I know the purport of the talk as well as anyone living or dead, for I knew both the men well, long after that, and have heard both of them talk it over; and I will give you, as near as I can, what I understood passed at their first interview. Gen. Jackson said to Weatherford, that he was astonished at a man of his good sense, and almost a white man, to take sides with an ignorant set of savages, and being led astray by men who professed to be prophets and gifted with a supernatural influence. And more than all, he had led the Indians and was one of the prime movers of the massacre at Fort Mimms.

Weatherford listened attentively to the General until he was through. He then said to the General, that much had been charged to him that he was innocent of, and that he believed as little in Indian or white prophets as any man living, and that he regretted the unfortunate destruction of Fort Mimms and its inmates as much as he, the General, or anyone else. He said it was true he was at Fort Mimms when the attack was made, and it was but a little while after the attack was made before the hostile Indians seemed inclined to abandon their undertaking; that those in the Fort, and particularly the half breeds under Dixon Bailey, poured such a deadly fire into their ranks as caused them to back out for a short time; at this stage of the fight he, Weatherford, advised them to draw off entirely. He then left to go some few miles to where his half brother, Davy Tate, had some Negroes, to take charge of them, to keep the Indians from scattering them; after he left, the Indians succeeded in firing the Fort, and waited until it burnt so that they could enter it with but little danger. He also said to the General that if he had joined the whites it would have been attributed to cowardice and not thanked. And moreover, it was his object in joining the Indians, that he thought he would in many instances be able to prevent them from committing depredations upon defenseless persons; and but for the mismanagement of those that had charge of the Fort, he would have succeeded, and said, "Now, sir. I have told the truth, if you think I deserve death, do as you please; I shall only beg for the protection of a starving parcel of women and children, and those ignorant men who have been led into the war by their Chiefs." This is as much as I ever learned from the General, and I will proceed to give Weatherford's own statement, which I have often heard him make. …

After it was known that Gen. Jackson would punish anyone that was known to trouble an Indian coming to camp unarmed, and particularly Weatherford, the Indians were put to searching the country for something to eat, particularly those who had been lying out. Moniac was under the impression that he could find some cattle in the neighborhood of his cowpens, on the Pinchong creek. Several Indian countrymen and myself went with the Indians in search of the cattle, Weatherford went with the crowd, and had to get a horse from Barney Riley, having none of his own…At Moniac's cowpens we found no cattle, but killed plenty of deer and turkeys, and picked up the half brother of Jim Boy – George Goodwin.

…[see the story of the battle as described by Weatherford to Woodward above]

The surrender of Weatherford to Gen. Jackson you have had from various sources -- you must judge who you think most correct. I have heard Gen. Jackson say that if he was capable of forming anything like a correct judgment of a man on a short acquaintance, that he pronounced Weatherford to be as high-toned and fearless as any man he had met with -- one whose very nature scorned a mean action. And Gen. Jackson's treatment to Billy Weatherford proved that he believed what he said; for, had Weatherford proved any other than Jackson took him to be, he would have met the fate of Francis and Nehemarthla-Micco.

It appears that Jackson and his supporters (or at least those who supported the goals of removal the Native Americans) elevated the status of William Weatherford as THE leader of the Creeks in the Red Stick War for the purpose of justifying the Treaty of Fort Jackson (i.e., removal of the Creeks to the north and west of the Coosa, see below). Of course, those renegades who had originally given Jackson the excuse to savagely attack the Creeks managed to escape to Spanish Florida seeking aid from the British who were successfully waging war against the Americans in the east. Jackson reported the war west of the Flint River to be ended on 18 April 1813.

General Pinckney arrived at Fort Jackson on 20 April 1813 to assume command of the territory and negotiate the formal treaty. He and Benjamin Hawkins began negotiating/negotiated terms that were more consistent with the situation than Jackson or the land-hungry mob he represented considered acceptable.

Jackson was soon on his way back to Nashville where he continued to bask in the glory of his “heroic” victory. He said goodbye to his troops on the Coosa River at Fort Williams. Jackson became a Major General in the U.S. Army on 18 June 1813 overriding the fact that he was an enemy of the Madison Administration. Riding his wave of popularity in the West and taking advantage of difficulty in communications in that period, Jackson was soon headed back to Fort Jackson.

By 10 July 1813, he was back at Fort Jackson where (through Benjamin Hawkins the Creek Agent) he called a meeting of the Creeks for 1 August. Since the hostile Creeks were in Florida, only the loyal chief attended. Whatever agreements Pinckney had made, Jackson now threw them out. (It is not clear where Pinckney was while all this was happening.) He demanded not only reparations from the entire Creek Nation and he also demanded that they remove themselves from tens of millions of acres of the land. He assured compliance by threatening further destruction (of Creeks who had been peaceful and loyal). The chiefs including Big Warrior put up the best defense possible but signed the agreement on 9 August 1814. On of the first people Jackson wrote to was John Overton, one of his land speculation partners.

Jackson’s Intervention in West Florida (1814)

Jackson clearly wanted an excuse to attack the Spanish in East Florida. The Red Sticks again were invoked as the cause. He concluded the Treaty of Fort Jackson on 9 August and on 11 August 1814, Jackson began his march on Mobile. Although the U.S. was at war with Britain, the nation was not at war with Spain. Thus, Jackson (by any measure now fully out of control) wrote the Spanish Governor (Don Matteo Gonzalez Manrique) of West Florida in Pensacola and insulting and threatening letter concerning Red Sticks that might or might not be present in Spanish territory.

The British were also planning to violate Spanish neutrality by sending an expeditionary force to Mobile with the goal of traversing Creek territory (recently handed over to Tennessee land speculators) and cutting off New Orleans. But Jackson’s arrival at Mobile on 22 August closed the door on that. Thus, the British put a force ashore with Spanish blessing in Pensacola and prepared to attack New Orleans the hard way (up the river).

On 15 September, the British navy made similar mistakes that they made at the first attempt to capture Charles Town, South Carolina in 1776 by sending ships to try to force and entry to Mobile Bay. The attack failed. About this time the British fleet for the invasion of New Orleans sailed from Ireland. This fact was relayed to Madison by the American negotiators trying to negotiate a treaty with the British at Ghent to end the war.

Jackson, however, left Mobile on 25 October attacking to the east, as usual, without orders or coordination. On 6 November, he reached Pensacola. Jackson readily routed the Spanish civil government and two forts manned by the Spanish, but the British (commanded by Col. Nicholls) occupied Fort Barrancas and blew it up after retreating to their ships. The Americans lost 7 dead and the Spanish lost about 14 dead at Pensacola. With the occupation of Mobile and Pensacola, Jackson could claim that the British and Indian threat to the United States in the southeast was ended. He soon returned control of Pensacola to the Spanish civil government and returned to Mobile. This move and his subsequent stay in Mobile was largely prompted by the fact that he had comedown with a fever and was very ill for about 10 days and was then very weak. He sent some of his forces to Baton Rouge from where they could march to protect either Mobile of New Orleans. He also gave instructions to fortify Mobile and New Orleans. But because of his weakness, he decided to call his wife to New Orleans and he moved there where he could be nursed back to health.

However, the British were not finished in Florida. Col. Nicholls abandoned Pensacola and moved east to the mouth of the Apalachicola River that divided East and West Florida.

New Orleans (8 January 1815)

New Orleans was also the proper place for Jackson to be to administer the 7th Military District that he had been assigned as a major general in the U.S. Army. Jackson left Mobile on 22 November 1814 and arrived in New Orleans about 5 December. On 27-28 November, the British dispatched their invasion fleet from Cuba to New Orleans under Admiral Cochrane. Altogether the British had about 14,000 men. The British had decided to approach New Orleans by way of Lake Borgne from which they could enter Lake Pontchartrain. The British entered Lake Borgne on 13 December and soon cleared it of American gunboats by launching armed barges of their own. Jackson declared martial law in New Orleans on 16 December.

The British first occupied Pea Island at the point where Lake Borgne contacts Lake Pontchartrain. Perhaps they needed to do this to reduce the draft of their ships as they navigated into Lake Pontchartrain. This delay allowed Jackson to summons his reserves from Baton Rouge and Mobile. Many American troops began arriving on 20 December; just as the British finished transferring all their troops to Pea Island.

About this time, the British learned that there was a bayou (Bayou Bienvenue) leading from the west end of Lake Borgne directly towards New Orleans. It branched and the branch (Bayou Mazant) led to the Mississippi south of New Orleans. Thus, they changed their plans and sent 1,800 men under Col. Thornton into the bayous on 22 December. This force was accompanied by the overall invasions commander General Keane. They achieved complete surprise at the mouth of the bayou and advanced to within a thousand yards of the Mississippi where they captured the Villiere Plantation. Unfortunately for them, from here the alarm was sounded to New Orleans.

Had the British moved immediately, they might have ended the charmed military career of Andrew Jackson. There was at this time (23 December), little or no defense of New Orleans from the south and the British arrival would have spread panic. But General Keane cautiously dug his forces in on the banks of the Mississippi waiting for his main body to arrive. Jackson realized that this was only the van of a larger force, and to his great credit, in a very brief time managed to assemble and launch a surprise attack that blunted the British thrust on the evening of the 23rd.

Unknown to the combatants at New Orleans, the Americans and British signed the Treaty of Ghent on 14 December 1814. Jackson also wisely decided to fortify the Rodriguez Canal about a mile north of the British position. The British and the Americans faced each other and built up their positions for the next several weeks. On Christmas day, the British got a new commander Lt. General Sir Edward Michael Pakenham. His first order was to bring up artillery to remove the American gunboats on the Mississippi, which threatened his flank anytime he tried to move towards the American fortifications. Although he sank one, the other was merely moved and would be in position to anchor the American line when the British advanced on 26 December. The American firepower stopped the British advance before they closed with the infantry and the British withdrew to consider their next move.

Pakenham attempted to counter firepower with firepower and had several large naval cannon dragged into position from Lake Borgne. This was not completed until 31 December and Jackson used the time to totally mobilize and fortify his southern defenses. On New Years day, the British opened the cannonade, but it soon became clear that they had no advantages over the Americans. The terrain confined the two armies and any attack was going to be governed by the principle of mass: The offense would have to overwhelm the defense with numbers about three to one if they expected to be successful. British reinforcements were on their way, and arrived about 6 January. But the Americans could reinforce faster than the British with about 2,000 fresh American troops coming into the line on 6 January.

The one last hope of British victory was to cross the river and flank the main American line. This was the only tactical move (except for a direct assault, which the British sought to avoid), but it was a very undesirable move strategically because it would put the British on the wrong side of the River to attack New Orleans. Thus, the main British attack must come on the east side of the Mississippi where Jackson was massed. The British began crossing the river on 7 January. The plan was to capture the American positions (especially their artillery) on the west side and turn it on the Americans before and during a general assault of the positions on the east side. The British underestimated the time required to cross the river (among other things they were carried down stream by the current and had to march back up). On 8 January 1815, the general attack by the British on the east began before the British on the west could capture the American guns. It was a disaster. All the senior British officers were wounded and/or died bravely in the cannonade and rifle fire. On the west side of the Mississippi, the British easily (but belatedly) overcame the Americans. The British lost over 2,000 men while the Americans lost only about 13 dead and some of these may have been shot while trying to aid the British after the battle. Once again the British had attacked a strongly defended American position as they had done over and over again during the War of Independence in the South. Perhaps Wellington, took this experience to heart at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 when he let Napoleon expend the French forces as they unsuccessfully attacked the British infantry squares and fortified positions.

25.3 General Jackson and the Cherokee Nation (1803 - 1824)

Jackson and Hitler

Andrew Jackson retained the racial views of the majority of Euro-Americans of his time. Like Washington, Jefferson, Richard Pearis and wealthy (mixed-blood) Cherokee planters, Jackson was a slave-owner. But, was Jackson a Nazi? By entitling this section “Jackson and Hitler,” I want to draw attention to certain parallels and distinctions between Jackson’s approach to the Native Americans (especially the Cherokee) and Hitler’s approach to the Jews and non-Aryans. In both cases, the concept of Lebensraum (i.e., a manifest destiny to acquire land and resources for a superior race) played a central role in conceiving and justifying the actions of Jackson and Hitler. Jackson won, Hitler lost and history has been written to accommodate the victors:

COUNT ONE: THE COMMON PLAN OR CONSPIRACY

III. Statement of the Offense…

(B) COMMON OBJECTIVES AND METHODS OF CONSPIRACY

The aims and purposes of the Nazi Party and of the defendants and divers other persons from time to time associated as leaders, members, supporters, or adherents of the Nazi Party (hereinafter called collectively the "Nazi conspirators") were, or came to be, to accomplish the following by any means deemed opportune, including unlawful means, and contemplating ultimate resort to threat of force, force, and aggressive war: (i) to abrogate and overthrow the Treaty of Versailles and its restrictions upon the military armament and activity of Germany; (ii) to acquire the territories lost by Germany as the result of the World War of 1914-18 and other territories in Europe asserted by the Nazi conspirators to be occupied principally by so-called "racial Germans"; (iii) to acquire still further territories in continental Europe and elsewhere claimed by the Nazi conspirators to be required by the "racial Germans" as "Lebensraum," or living space, all at the expense of neighboring and other countries.

The aims and purposes of the Nazi conspirators were not fixed or static but-evolved and expanded as they acquired progressively greater power and became able to make more effective application of threats of force and threats of aggressive war. When their expanding aims and purposes became finally so great as to provoke such strength of resistance as could be overthrown only by armed force and aggressive war, and not simply by the opportunistic methods theretofore used, such as fraud, deceit, threats, intimidation, fifth column activities, and propaganda, the Nazi conspirators deliberately planned, determined upon, and launched their aggressive wars and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances by the phases and steps hereinafter more particularly described.

Is it really that simple and damning? I have looked for exculpating concepts to rationalize Jackson’s actions and find few:

(1) Jackson himself used the rationale that much of his aggression was conducted as an expedient need for self-defense exercised by preemptive military strikes. He would, of course, also invoke the memory of actions by the native Americans such as Fort Mims. But, can Fort Mims be held against the Cherokee or the main body of the Creeks for that matter? Unfortunately, if allowances are made for differences in timing and perhaps degree of harm, the Jacksonian era from 1813 - 1838 looks very much like the Nazi era from 1933 - 1942. I do not include 1943-1945 because this period was not replicated during the Jackson period. Specifically, we do not know what Jackson would have done had he been placed on the losing side of a great conflict. Suppose Jackson had been beaten at New Orleans and Hitler had won at Stalingrad? Thus, I find little comfort in the self-defense argument.

(2) However, the Nazis carried a racial hatred of the Jews and other non-Aryans that is not found in Jackson. Even in peace and prosperity, Hitler hated Jews and would not have socialized or befriended them. There is no evidence of this racial hatred in Jackson. He just wanted the Native Americans land, he did not specifically intend to do them harm. Perhaps I am saying that Jackson was a thief, but not a murderer.

I don’t expect that reader will much like this discussion and it will not resolve the debate about Jackson’s place in history. That is not really my purpose. What I want to accomplish here is to encourage my readers to think about (i) what they do and say and (ii) how it will be interpreted by future generations.

The Roots of Systematic Removal of the Cherokee (1813 - 1817)

The victory at New Orleans made Jackson into a national hero (not just a Tennessee hero) and it was virtually impossible for his superiors (the Secretary of War or the President) to control or discipline him. Over the next 10 years he would run the military and Indian affairs of the South the way he saw fit. And more and more Jackson’s style was to recant all agreements with the Native Americans and remove them to the west of the Mississippi. Importantly, Jackson’s earlier Treaty of Fort Jackson with the Creeks was an example of punishing the Native Americans without pretext. Being friendly, loyal and even progressing towards assimilation was no longer enough to ensure protection against American expansions and aggression. Why? Basically, by destroying the Creeks and the British and intimidating the Spanish between 1813 and 1815, Jackson had had proven that the western settlers had little or nothing to fear from any of these groups individually or collectively. The Native Americans no longer had any military leverage; it was clear that they could not defend their lands militarily and they could not even cause enough trouble to ensure that the many treaties and agreements, which had been solemnly promised to them by the United States and the individual states, would be enforced.

Perhaps the first manifestation of this came in September 1816. Under the treaty of Fort Jackson, the Creeks had ceded to the U.S. some land that they acknowledged was owned by the Cherokee. The new Secretary of War (William H. Crawford) had recognized the Cherokee claim to this land. On 22 March 1816, he returned this land to the Cherokee along with an agreement to compensate the Cherokee (who had played a large role in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend) for damages to their crops by the Tennessee militia who lived of their crops while passing through the area. Of course, the westerners in general and Jackson in particular we not interested in justice for the Cherokee; they only wanted land. Thus, a commission was appointed to reverse this agreement. On 6 September 1816, Cherokees arrived at the Chickasaw Council House to meet a commission form the U.S. government headed by Andrew Jackson (including General David Meriwether of Georgia and Jesse Franklin of North Carolina). By threatening, bribing and bullying, Jackson got the Cherokee to agree to turn over the land that the U.S. claimed to have won from the Creeks. This treaty was signed on 14 September 1816.

Although the British had made land claims from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the original 13 colonies, the British clearly respected the Native Americans as sovereign nations and reserved the right to negotiate treaties with them to the crown. The very fact that the British (and later the Americans) called the agreements “treaties” substantiates the point that the sovereignty of the Native Americans was recognized not withstanding the land claims of the governments or the states. Of course, at the time the land claims were made by the British and by the United States, they could not enforce them with military force nor could they possess the claimed lands by occupation and settlement. Jackson and the men from Tennessee changed all that. As a result, Jackson established his own doctrine concerning the Native Americans. The “Jackson Doctrine” (though it was never known by that name) was stated by Andrew Jackson in a letter to James Monroe 4 March 1817 (quoted from Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Empire 1767 - 1821, Harper & Row, 1977, New York, p. 326.):

“If they are viewed as an independent nation, possessing the right of sovereignty and domain, then negotiating with them and concluding treaties, would be right and proper. But this is not the fact, all Indians within the Territorial limits of the United States, are considered subject to its sovereignty, and have only a possessory right to the soil, for the purpose of hunting and not the right of domain, hence I conclude that Congress has full power, by law, to regulate all the concerns of the Indians.”

Clearly, Jackson was changing the rules to suit his intent. It is possible that he was ignorant of the long list of treaties with various Native American tribes and nations made by or on behalf of the United States government. It is true that the Cherokee and other tribes had accepted the authority of the United States as their exclusive agent in dealing with the Europeans, but most of the treaties were specifically about the ownership of the land. Even if the Native American Nations did not exist as governments, the individual natives had common ownership rights in the land. For example, a common form of land ownership in the United States in the late 1900s is through “homeowner associations.” Clearly, these associations are subject to all the laws of both the Federal government and the states in which they exist, but that does not mean that the common owners only have the right to , e.g., “hunt” on the property. In the homeowner association, a group of individuals with common interest own jointly and in common a parcel of land which may surround/adjoin other parcels owned fee simple by the individuals alone (not in common). The corporation that holds the common property typically requires architectural covenants on both the common and private property. Although the homeowner associations do not have the right of “eminent domain” or “police powers” over either the commonly owned or the adjoining privately owned property, the state and federal governments which hold these powers cannot arbitrarily dispossess the individuals from either their common or private property. Moreover, the homeowners association cannot make agreements with the government to abolish the private ownership of privately owned (fee simple) parcels that may adjoin or be embedded in the common property.

The mechanism that the United States through Jackson would use to accomplish the removal of the Cherokee would be to invoke and misconstrue obscure terms of an agreement allegedly reached in Washington in 1808 by the Cherokee. Under this treaty, there was a provision for individual Cherokee to voluntarily move to lands west of the Mississippi on the Arkansas River. Over the years, some Cherokee had made the move, which was beneficial to the U.S. government because they formed a buffer to the Spanish and other tribes. Although the U.S. government usually gave land on the frontier to its citizens without compensation and few conditions, in the case of the Cherokee a concession of the land they abandoned was implied although this was never enforced until 1817. The plan was to eliminate land title granted to Cherokee in 1806 by forcing the Cherokee remaining in the East to cede land to compensate the United States for the land granted in the West.

Jackson staged a conference with the Cherokee at Hiwassee on 20 June 1817. He headed a commission that included General Meriweather of Georgia and Governor Joseph McMinn of Tennessee. First, Jackson got the eastern headmen to cede the remaining Cherokee lands in North Carolina to the Federal government. About 30 June, he began the main part of the negotiations in which he insisted that the Cherokee east of the Mississippi should cede lands to the U.S. to compensate for the land occupied by about 3,700 Cherokee immigrants to Arkansas. The Cherokee headmen disputed the nature of the agreement made in 1808. Their position was that they had merely gone to Washington to say good-bye to Thomas Jefferson when he left office and were not empowered to make a treaty at the time (see what Jefferson had said in 1806 below). Jackson of course was happy to bully and bribe. One of the headmen who had gone to Washington in 1808 was Tuchelee. Jackson secured his testimony that the Washington agreement was in fact a binding treaty. In spite of a written denial signed by all the headmen, Jackson persisted and won the day by comparing the Cherokee to the Creeks, implying that the same thing would happen to the Cherokee that happened to the Creeks if they did not see things his way. On 8 July 1817 the Cherokee signed Jackson’s treaty ceding 2 million acres of land in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia to the U.S. in exchange for land in west of the Mississippi.

This was the beginning of the systematic Cherokee removal by the U.S. government. Over the next two years about 6,000 Cherokee moved west (the Old Settlers). The treaty provided them with a blanket and a rifle. Heads of families who remained east of the Mississippi received 640 acres to hold fee simple and accepted United States citizenship. The principle of “removal” was established and the eventual eradication of the Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi was in motion.

The Cherokee Removal Treaty of 1817

Articles of a treaty concluded, at the Cherokee Agency, within the Cherokee nation, between mayor general Andrew Jackson, Joseph M'Minn, governor of the state of Tennessee, and general David Meriwether, commissioners plenipotentiary of the United States of America, of the one part, and the chiefs, head men and warriors, of the Cherokee nation, east of the Mississippi river, and the chiefs, head men, and warriors, of the Cherokees on the Arkansas river, and their deputies, John D. Chisholm and James Rogers, duly authorized by the chiefs of the Cherokees on the Arkansas river, in open council, by written power of attorney, duly signed and executed, in presence of Joseph Sevier and William Ware.

WHEREAS in the autumn of the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, a deputation from the Upper and Lower Cherokee towns, duly authorized by their nation, went on to the city of
Washington, the first named to declare to the President of the United States their anxious desire to engage in the pursuits of agriculture and civilized life in the country they then occupied, and to make known to the President of the United States the impracticability of inducing the nation at large to do this, and to request the establishment of a division line between the upper and lower towns, so as to include all the waters of the Hiwassee river to the upper town, that, by thus contracting their society within narrow limits, they proposed to begin the establishment of fixed laws and a regular government: The deputies from the lower towns to make known their desire to continue the hunter life, and also the scarcity of game where they then lived, and, under those circumstances, their wish to remove across the Mississippi river, on some vacant lands of the United States. And whereas the President of the United States, after maturely considering the petitions of both parties, on the ninth day of January, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and nine, including other subjects, answered those petitions as follows: “The United States, my children, are the friends of both parties, and, as far as can be reasonably asked, they are willing to satisfy the wishes of both. Those who remain may be assured of our patronage, our aid and good neighborhood. Those who wish to remove, are permitted to send an exploring party to reconnoitre the country on the waters of the Arkansas and White rivers, and the higher up the better, as they will be the longer unapproached by our settlements, which will begin at the mouths of those rivers. The regular districts of the government of St. Louis are already laid off to the St. Francis. When this party shall have found a tract of country suiting the emigrants, and not claimed by other Indians, we will arrange with them and you the exchange of that for a just portion of the country they leave, and to a part of which, proportioned to their numbers, they have a right. Every aid towards their removal, and what will be necessary for them there, will then be freely administered to them; and when established in their new settlements, we shall still consider them as our children, give them the benefit of exchanging their pelts for what they will want at our factories, and always hold them firmly by the hand." And whereas the Cherokees, relying on the promises of the President of the United States, as above recited, did explore the country on the west side of the Mississippi, and made choice of the country on the Arkansas and White rivers, and settled themselves down upon United States lands, to which no other tribe of Indians have any just claim and have duly notified the President of the United States thereof, and of their anxious desire for the full and complete ratification of his promise, and, to that end, as notified by the President of the United States, have sent on their agents, with full powers to execute a treaty, relinquishing to the United States all the right, title, and interest, to all lands of right to them belonging, as part of the Cherokee nation, which they have left, and which they are about to leave, proportioned to their numbers, including, with those now on the Arkansas, those who are about to remove thither, and to a portion of which they have an equal right agreeably to their numbers.

Now, know ye that the contracting parties, to carry into full effect the before recited promises with good faith, and to promote a continuation of friendship with their brothers on the Arkansas river, and for that purpose to make an equal distribution of the annuities secured to be paid by the United States to the whole Cherokee nation, have agreed and concluded on the following articles, viz:

ART. 1. The chiefs, head men, and warriors, of the whole Cherokee nation, cede to the United States all the lands lying north and east of the following boundaries, viz: Beginning at the high shoals of the Appalachy river, and running thence, along the boundary line between the Creek and Cherokee nations westwardly to the Chatahouchy river; thence, up the Chatahouchy river, to the mouth of Souque creek; thence, continuing with the general course of the river until it reaches the Indian boundary line, and, should it strike the Turrurar river, thence, with its meanders, down said river to its mouth, in part of the proportion of land in the Cherokee nation east of the Mississippi, to which those now on the Arkansas and those about to remove there are justly entitled.

ART. 2. The chiefs head men, and warriors, of the whole Cherokee nation do also cede to the United States all the lands lying north and west of the following boundary lines, viz: Beginning at the Indian boundry line that runs from the north bank of the Tennessee river, opposite to the mouth of Hywassee river, at a point on the top of Walden's ridge, where it divides the waters of the Tennessee river from those of the Sequatchie river; thence, along the said ridge southwardly, to the bank of the Tennessee river, at a point near to a place called the Negro Sugar Camp, opposite to the upper end of the first island above Running Water town; thence, westwardly, a straight line to the mouth of Little Sequatchie river; thence, up said river, to its main fork, thence, up its northenmost fork, to its source; and thence, due west to the Indian boundary line.

ART. 3. It is also stipulated by the contracting parties, that a census shall be taken of the whole Cherokee nation, during the month of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, in the following manner, viz: That the census of those on the east side of the Mississippi river, who declare their intention of remaining, shall be taken by a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States, and a commissioner appointed by the Cherokees on the Arkansas river; and the census of the Cherokees on the Arkansas river, and those removing there, and who, at that time, declare their intention of removing there, shall be taken by a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States, and one appointed by the Cherokees east of the Mississippi river.

ART. 4. The contracting parties do also stipulate that the annuity due from the United States to the whole Cherokee nation for the year one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, is to be divided between the two parts of the nation in proportion to their numbers, agreeably to the stipulations contained in the third article of this treaty; and to be continued to be divided thereafter in proportion to their numbers; and the lands to be apportioned and surrendered to the United States agreeably to the aforesaid enumeration, as the proportionate part, agreeably to their numbers, to which those who have removed and who declare their intention to remove, have a just right including these with the lands ceded in the first and second articles of this treaty.

ART. 5. The United States bind themselves in exchange for the lands ceded in the first and second articles hereof, to give to that part of the Cherokee nation on the Arkansas as much land on said river and White river as they have or may hereafter receive from the Cherokee nation east of the Mississippi, acre for acre, as the just proportion due that part of the nation on the Arkansas agreeably to their numbers; which is to commence on the north side of the Arkansas river at the mouth of Point Remove or Budwell's Old Place; thence, by a straight line, northwardly, to strike Chataunga mountain, or the hill first above Shield's Ferry on White river, running up and between said rivers for complement, the banks of which rivers to be the lines; and to have the above line, from the point of beginning to the point on White river, run and marked, which shall be done soon after the ratification of this treaty; and all citizens of the United States, except. P. Lovely, who is to remain where she lives during life, removed from within the bounds as above named. And it is further stipulated, that the treaties heretofore between the Cherokee nation and the United States are to continue in full force with both parts of the nation, and both parts thereof entitled to all the immunities and privilege which the old nation enjoyed under the aforesaid treaties; the United States reserving the right of establishing factories, a military post, and roads within the boundaries above defined.

ART. 6. The United States do also bind themselves to give to all the poor warriors who may remove to the western side of the Mississippi river, one rifle gun and ammunition, one blanket, and one brass kettle, or, in lieu of the brass kettle, a beaver trap, which is to be considered as a full compensation for the improvements which they may leave; which articles are to be delivered at such point as the President of the United States may direct: and to aid in the removal of the emigrants, they further agree to furnish flat bottomed boats and provisions sufficient for that purpose: and to those emigrants whose improvements add real value to their lands, the United States agree to pay a full valuation for the same, which is to be ascertained by a commissioner appointed by the President of the United States for that purpose, and paid for as soon after the ratification of this treaty as practicable. The boats and provisions promised to the emigrants are to be furnished by the agent on the Tennessee river, at such time and place as the emigrants may notify him of; and it shall be his duty to furnish the same.

ART. 7. And for all improvements which add real value to the lands lying within the boundaries ceded to the United States, by the first and second articles of this treaty, the United States do agree to pay for at the time, and to be valued in the same manner, as stipulated-in the sixth article of this treaty; or, in lieu thereof, to give in exchange improvements of equal value which the migrants may leave, and for which they are to receive pay. And it is further stipulated that all these improvements, left by the emigrants within the bounds of the Cherokee nation east of the Mississippi river, which add real value to the lands, and for which the United States shall give a consideration, and not so exchanged shall be rented to the Indians by the agent, year after year, for the benefit of the poor and decrepit of that part of the nation east of the Mississippi river until surrendered by the nation, or to the nation. And it is further agreed, that the said Cherokee nation shall not be called upon for any part of the consideration paid for said improvements at any future period.

ART. 8. And to each and every head of any Indian family residing on the east side of the Mississippi river, on the lands that are now or may hereafter be surrendered to the United States, who may wish to become citizens of the United States, the United States do agree to give a reservation of six hundred and forty acres of land in a square to include their improvements which are to be as near the center thereof as practicable, in which they will have a life estate with a reversion in fee simple to their children reserving to the widow her dower, the register of whose names is to be filed in the office of the Cherokee agent, which shall be kept open until the census is taken as stipulated in the third article of this treaty. Provided, That if any of the heads of families, for whom reservations may be made, should remove therefrom, then, in that case the right to revert to the United States. And provided further, That the land which may be reserved under this article, be deducted from the amount which has been ceded under the first and second articles of this treaty.

ART. 9. It is also provided by the contracting parties, that nothing in the foregoing articles shall be construed so as to prevent any of the parties so contracting from the free navigation of all the waters mentioned therein.

ART. 10. The whole of the Cherokee nation do hereby cede to the United States all right, title, and claim, to all reservations made to Doublehead and others, which were reserved to them by a treaty made and entered into at the city of Washington, bearing date the seventh of January, one thousand eight hundred and six.

ART. 11. It is further agreed that the boundary lines of the lands ceded to the United States by the first and second articles of this treaty, and the boundary line of the lands ceded by the United States in the fifth article of this treaty, is to be run and marked by a commissioner or commissioners appointed by the President of the United States, who shall be accompanied by such commissioners as the Cherokees may appoint; due notice thereof to be given to the nation.

ART. 12. The United States do also bind themselves to prevent the intrusion of any of its citizens within the lands ceded by the first and second articles of this treaty, until the same shall be ratified by the President and Senate of the United States, and duly promulgated.

ART. 13. The contracting parties do also stipulate that this treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting parties so soon as the same shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States. In witness of all and every thing herein determined, by and between the before recited contracting parties, we have, in full and open council, at the Cherokee Agency, this eighth day of July, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, set our hands and seals.

Andrew Jackson, [L. S.]
Joseph McMinn, [L. S.]
D. Meriwether, [L. S.]
United States Commis'rs.
Richard Brown, his x mark, [L. S.]
Cabbin Smith, his x mark, [L. S.]
Sleeping Rabbit, his x mark, [L. S.]
George Saunders, his x mark, [L. S.]
Roman Nose, his x mark, [L. S.]
Currohe Dick, his x mark, [L. S.]
John Walker, his x mark, [L. S.]
George Lowry, [L. S.]
Richard Taylor, [L. S.]
Walter Adair, [L. S.]
James Brown, [L. S.]
Kelachule, his x mark, [L. S.]
Sour Mush, his x mark, [L. S.]
Chulioa, his x mark, [L. S.]
Chickasautchee, his x mark, [L. S.]
The Bark of Chota, his x mark, [L. S.]
The Bark of Hightower, his x mark, [L. S.]
Big Half Breed, his x mark, [L. S.]
Going Snake, his x mark, [L. S.]
Leyestisky, his x mark, [L. S.]
Ch. Hicks, [L. S.]
Young Davis, his x mark, [L. S.]
Souanooka, his x mark, [L. S.]
The Locust, his x mark, [L. S.]
Beaver Carrier, his x mark, [L. S.]
Dreadful Water, his x mark, [L. S.]
Chyula, his x mark, [L. S.]
Ja. Martin, [L. S.]
John McIntosh, his x mark, [L. S.]
Katchee of Cowee, his x mark, [L. S.]
White Man Killer, his x mark, [L. S.]
Arkansas chiefs:
Toochalar, his x mark, [L. S.]
The Glass, his x mark, [L. S.]
Wassosee, his x mark, [L. S.]
John Jolly, his x mark,[L. S.]
The Gourd, his x mark, [L. S.]
Spring Frog, his x mark, [L. S.]
John D. Chisholm, [L. S.]
James Rogers, [L. S.]
Wawhatchy, his x mark, [L. S.]
Attalona, his x mark, [L. S.]
Kulsuttchee, his x mark, [L. S.]
Tuskekeetchee, his x mark, [L. S.]
Chillawgatchee, his x mark, [L. S.]
John Smith, his x mark, [L. S.]
Toosawallata, his x mark, [L. S.]

In presence of--

J.M. Glassel, secretary to the commission,
Thomas Wilson, clerk to the commissioners,
Walter Adair, John Speirs, interpreter, his x mark,
A. McCoy, interpreter,
James C. Bronaugh, hospital surgeon, U. S. Army,
Isham Randolph, captain First Redoubtables, Wm. Meriwether,
Return J. Meigs, agent Cherokee Nation.

Produced by the Oklahoma State University Library, 1997.
URL: http://www.library.okstate.edu/kappler/

Part 26: The Parris Families from Ninety-Six District, South Carolina

26.1 George Parris (b. circa 1754 – d. after 1819)

It is time to catch up with the Parris family line again. Richard Pearis lived until 1794. At the time of his death, he was living in the Bahamas and still conducting business with the Native Americans (the Creeks) on behalf of the British Government. His Cherokee son George Parris was born in 1754 and lived with his mother until Richard moved his family to what is not Greenville, South Carolina between 1763 and 1768. At that point, there must have been an interesting conflict in the Pearis household because Richard clearly acknowledged his Cherokee son (and daughter Nelly ) and still had his European wife Rhoda with two daughters (Sara and Margaret). About 1765, Richard and Rhoda had a son named Richard, Junior. By all indications, Richard was loyal to all the relationships; but in the end, he was European and his will did not mention George or Nelly. However, he had ensured that George Parris had title to 50,000 acres of land in a deed registered in Charles Town (now Charleston).

Moreover, George Parris was possibly unique among the many mixed-blood children of the South Carolina-Georgia frontier in that he had been sent to England (if only very briefly) before the War of Independence to become a naturalized British citizen. During the war, George first became entangled with the Cunningham group and was captured in late 1775. Richard was taken prisoner (apparently while minding his own business attempting to remain neutral). Richard and George were likely imprisoned together in Charleston from January to August 1776.

Richard then tried to collect his family and after some difficulty moved them into Charleston from which he set out to organize Tories in Ninety-Six District. His plot was foiled and Richard set out for West Florida with a small group on foot. In all likelihood, George had returned into the Cherokee territory after his parole in August 1776 to find his mother and take part in the resistance to Euro-American invasions. When Richard fled South Carolina, it is likely that his first stop was to find George Parris . It is likely that George Parris accompanied his father to Florida and thence to Louisiana where Richard led a small force that captured a Spanish fort near present-day Baton Rouge. Regardless, by 1777, George Parris soon turned up in the service of the Georgia Loyalist Militia (King’s Rangers) under the leadership of Thomas Browne.

With the resurgence of British and Loyalists’ fortunes after the capture of Charleston, George and Richard were reunited at Augusta. Richard apparently realized the folly of Patrick Ferguson and George Parris avoided the fate of the Loyalists’ defeat at Kings Mountain (where this story might have ended). Instead, the Pearis/Parris boys were again captured with the fall of Augusta and Richard (and likely George) were paroled to Savannah. After the war (1782), Richard made his way to East Florida and then to the Bahamas.

The private life of George Parris from 1776-1793 is obscure. Obviously, during the War of Independence, he was in and out of north Georgia and South Carolina (Ninety-Six District). During this time, he made friends with some of the young men who would soon take over the Cherokee tribe and try to build it into a nation (e.g., Vann, Ross and Ridge). But, George Parris easily crossed the line between Cherokee and European society. This facility would allow him to become a successful trader between Georgia and South Carolina. I believe that from 1776 (22 years old) to 1793 (39 years old), he was “mainly single,” but fathered children primarily among the daughters of Loyalists Europeans (e.g., Cunninghams) and Cherokee in what became Spartanburg and Greenville counties, South Carolina. Obviously, the Patriots (who were now in political power) were no friends of George Parris. By about 1793, he had a wife in Cherokee territory near Vann’s Ferry on the Chattahoochee River (present Forsyth County, Georgia). Ironically, the Cherokee records seem to be better than those of upstate South Carolina. It is apparent that he never (successfully) asserted his claim to his rightful property (Great Plains). It appears that most of this land was held by the state of South Carolina and eventually became “Paris Mountain State Park. ” Part of the Pearis/Parris property was acquired by Col. Lemuel J. Alston in 1788. Mr. Alston was the brother of the South Carolina Governor (Joseph Alston). Alston laid out a village called Pleasantburg at the site of Richard Pearis’s mill in 1797. Pleasantburg eventually grew into Greenville.

George Parris finally broke all ties with South Carolina in 1809 when he was made a executor of Chief Vann’s will. He left what business he had in the hands of an attorney in Edgefield County, SC and focused on Georgia. He likely played no role in the War of 1812 (against the Creeks, 1814) although some of his sons in Georgia may have. In 1819, (at the age of 65) he received a private estate where he could maintain his Cherokee citizenship in Georgia as part of the Treaty of 1819.

26.2 The Legacy of George Parris in South Carolina

The story that I have told brings us to the period 1775-1800 in up-state South Carolina. From here I believe the Parris family went two ways. The earlier children of George Parris (1778-1793) I believe were born without record and probably out of wedlock in territory controlled (or recently controlled) by the Cherokee. For many years (1775-1805), it probably looked to George Parris and the mothers of his children as though the best option would be to assimilate into European society and lose the stigma of being a Loyalist supporter. Accordingly, I believe the early children of George Parris settled in up-state South Carolina on lands recently brought under control of the United States and when the Cherokee were displaced from western North Carolina (Haywood-Jackson-Swain counties) they were among the first to follow this tide of settlement.

However, in the early 1800s, the Young Chiefs (Vann, Ross and Ridge) looked as if they were going to bring the Cherokee Nation into fruition in north Georgia. The Federal Highway provided an effective trade route from Nashville to Charlestown and north Georgia was well suited for the cotton-based economy. The Cherokee leadership in north Georgia was in many way a privileged European class who enjoyed the tax-free Cherokee status although they were only fractionally Cherokee by blood or culture. Thus, by the early 1800s, George Parris more closely associated himself with his Cherokee roots and eventually moved into north Georgia.

This hypothesis is difficult or impossible to prove or disprove. In the absence of documentation through civil records, the approach that I have taken is to look at the current (1999) recent past (1900-1950) distribution of Parris families in the South and nationwide . Referring to the following tables, it soon becomes evident that (1) Parris is a fairly rare name; (2) it is not randomly distributed across the country, (3) it is represented at unusually high rates in up-state South Carolina, western North Carolina, north Georgia, and east-central Alabama and eastern Tennessee. There are currently over 300 Parris families in old Ninety-Six District of South Carolina compared to only about 200 Parris families in all of New England and up-state New York combined. For comparison, the Paris name is mainly found in Tennessee and Kentucky with a pocket located in the area between Hendersonville and Charlotte, North Carolina. These are facts. In addition, the following arguments seem plausible. We cannot rule out unrelated Parris families entering the area (i.e., up-state South Carolina), but in the absence of any other major concentration of Parris men, such events would be the exception, not the rule. Cities that grew up after 1800 (e.g., Columbia, SC; Charlotte, NC; Birmingham, AL and even Atlanta, GA) usually do not have many Parris families. In short, the distribution that is observed is what one would expect if the name “Parris” was spontaneously invented in Spartanburg, South Carolina about 1775. Moreover, it was invented among people who were on the fringe of Cherokee and European society.

I would guess that George Parris (and Henry Parris) fathered several boys (between 1777 and 1793) probably with several women. These women were likely mixed-blood or the daughters of other Carolina Loyalists . There is very little information about this period (1776-1793) in up-state South Carolina. My suspicion is that in the period 1776-1783 (while the war was in doubt), George Parris would have been considered to be a great catch by the ladies: He spoke Cherokee and English; he was a naturalized British citizen; he had title to a large tract of land that was recognized by both the Cherokee and the British; he was well connected via his father (Richard) and uncle (Robert). And, he was alive, which is more than can be said for many of the Cherokee youth that would have been between 18 and 30 years old in 1776. The “Cherokee War” had taken the lives of many young Cherokee men and quite a few Loyalists who followed Ferguson to Kings Mountain.

I believe that George Parris’s first son was David Parris (b. 1778, who first appears in the records in Haywood County, NC about 1830 ). There were undoubtedly brothers/half-brothers of David Parris in Spatanburg County and Old Ninety-Six District born between 1778 and 1793.

Distribution of Parris and Paris Households in the Southeastern States
1998
based on www.swithboard.com data base

Group
City
[population 1980
rounded]
State
Approximate Number of
Parris (Paris)
Households
 

Ducktown

Blueridge [1000]
Mineral Bluff
Epworth
Morganton
Ducktown
Copper Hill
GA
GA
GA
GA
TN
TN
11 (0)
4 (0)
1 (0)
1 (0)
1 (0)
2 (0)

Ellijay

Ellijay [2000]
GA
5 (0)

Chickamauga

Chattanooga
Ringgold [2000]
Oglethorpe [1000]
Conutta
Rossville
Chickamauga [2000]
Trenton [2000]

TN
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
20 (39)
7 (0)
1 (0)
2 (1)
2 (4)
2 (7)
2 (0)

Chatooga

Summerville [5000]
Trion [2000]
La Fayette [7000]

GA
GA
GA
5 (0)
5 (0)
4 (0)

Rome

Rome [33,000]
Mount Berry
Silver Creek

GA
GA
GA
15 (3)
1 (0)
2 (0)

Cedartown

Cedartown [9000]
Rockmart [4000]
Aragon
Taylorsville

GA
GA
GA
GA
10 (7)
3 (2)
2 (0)
3 (0)

Greater Forsyth

Buford [7000]
Cumming [2000]
Flower Branch [1000]
Gainesville [17,000]
Suwanee [1000]
Duluth [3000]
Norcross [3000]
Roswell [45,000]
Alpharette [1000]
Winder [7000]
Lawrenceville [18,000]
Snellville [9000]
Lilburn [4000]
Stone Mountain [5000]
Decatur [27,000]
Lithonia [3000]
Commerce [4000]

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA

7 (0)
6 (3)
4 (3)
1 (7)
2 (1)
4 (2)
5 (3)
0 (10)
5 (4)
1 (2)
3 (1)
4 (0)
4 (0)
5 (1)
5 (5)
3 (1)
2 (0)

Stockbridge

Stockbridge [2000]
Jonesboro [4000]
Riverdale [7000]
Forest Park [19,000]
Union City [6000]
Morrow [4000]
McDonough [3000]
Griffin [24,000]
Covington [11,000]
Zebulon [1000]
Peachtree City [6000]
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
11 (0)
1 (4)
1 (1)
1 (1)
2 (0)
2 (0)
3 (0)
5 (0)
3 (0)
2 (0)
1 (1)

Etowah
(Kennesaw)

Marietta [48,000]
Atlanta [450,000]
Acworth [4000]
Emerson [1000]
Smyrna [25,000]
Cartersville [11,000]
Kennesaw [5000]
Woodstock [3000]
Canton [4000]
Tate [1000]
Jasper [9000]
Powder Springs [3000]
Austel [4000]
Douglasville [8000]
Villa Rica [3000]
Carrolton [20,000]

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
23 (14)
21 (35)
12 (2)
0 (3)
5 (6)
4 (0)
3 (1)
3 (1)
0 (2)
0 (2)
0 (2)
4 (3)
3 (2)
3 (0)
2 (1)
2 (1)

The Dallas Paris Group

Dallas [3000]
Hiram [1000]
Powder Springs [3000]
Austell [4000]
Mableton [21,000]

GA
GA
GA
GA
GA
0 (20)
0 (8)
4 (3)
3 (2)
0 (1)

Chief Vann Estate

Eton
Chatsworth [2000]
Dalton [22,000]

GA
GA
GA
1 (0)
2 (0)
3 (1)

Hiawassee

Hiawassee
GA
0 (4)

New Echota

Damascus
Resaca
Calhoun [7000]

GA
GA
GA
-
3 (0)
3 (0)

Bainbridge
(South Georgia)

Bainbridge [11,000]
Climax
Cairo
Valdosta [38,000]

GA
GA
GA
GA
5 (1)
1 (0)
2 (0)
1 (0)

Augusta

Augusta [47,000]
Thompson [7000]
Martinez [16,000]
Greenwood [23,000]
Ninety-Six [2000]
Chappells

GA
GA
GA
SC
SC
SC

7 (0)
5 (0)
1 (0)
3
2
1

Lower Towns
Spartanburg [45,000]
Pacolet [2000]
Jonesville [1000]
Union [11,000]
Gaffney [13,000]
Blacksburg [2000]
Chesnee [1000]
Cowpens [2000]
Inman [2000]
Lyman
Greer [10,000]
Campabello
Tryon [2000]
Saulda [1000]
Hendersonville [9000]
(E.) Flat Rock [3000]
Penrose
Horse Shoe
Mountain Home
Fletcher [2000]
Arden
Shelby [15,000]
Cherryville [5000]
Dallas
Lowell [3000]
Forest City [8000]
Mooresboro
Bostic
Rutherfordton [3000]
Lincolnton [6000]
Monroe [19,000]
Waxhaws [1000]

SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
75 (5)
4
2
7
60 (0)
7
18 (0)
4
18 (0)
3
9
3
1
3
26
11
1
3
1
5
3
5
5
3
2
5
6
5
6
1
6
1

Great Plains


Greenville [60,000]
Pickens [3000]
Travelers Rest [3000]
Mauldin [8000]
Simpsonville [9000]
Fountain Inn [4000]
Enoree [1000]
Honea Path [4000]
Lauren [11,000]
Clinton [10,000]

SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
SC
12 (10)
7 (0)
3
2
4
1
1
4
3
2

Modern Towns Drawing from Western
North & South
Carolina

Columbia [96,000]
Rock Hill [45,000]
Charlotte [390,000]
Fort Bragg Area (military)
Seymour Johnson AFB (military)
Wilmington Area
(military)
Camp Lejeune-Jacksonville/Midway Park/Sneads Ferry
(military)

SC
SC
NC
NC

NC

NC

NC


18
6
14
8 (7)

2

4

7 (8)

Holston-Watauga-Western French Broad

(The
Over-Mountain Patriots)

And Expansion to Nashville, Louisville and Chattanooga
Lynchburg [68,000]
Roanoke [78,000]
Salem [24,000]
Radford [14,000]
Pearisburg [2000]
Bluefield [6000]
Bluefield [14,000]
Princeton [8000]
Beckley [20,000]
Tazewell [4000]
Chilhowie [1000]
Glade Spring [2000]
Meadowview [1000]
Abingdon [7000]
Lebenon [3000]
Kingsport [32,000]
Bristol [24,000]
Elizabethton [12,000]
Johnson City [45,000]
La Follette [8000]
Corbin [9000]
Somerset [13,000]
Lexington [220,000]
Paris [8000]
Louisville [280,000]
Covongton [46,000]
Cincinnati [380,000]
Morristown [22,000]
Knoxville [180,000]
Sevierville [6000]
Crossville [6000]
Rockwood [6000]
Chattanooga [166,000]
Bridgeport [3000]

VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
WV
WV
WV
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
VA
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
OH
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
AL

0 (14)
6 (1)
7
2
2
5 (1)
0 (2)
0 (1)
2
2
2
7
3
9
3
3
1 (1)
2
7
1
2
2
3 (5)
0 (1)
14 (37)
1 (3)
2 (13)
3
21 (9)
2
3
3
20 (39)
0 (2)

The Pearis/Paris Family
In
Southwestern
North Carolina
(from George Pearis, Richard’s brother)


Charlotte [390,000]
Rutherfordton [3000]
Cherryville [5000]
Crouse [1000]
Hendersonville [9000]
Horse Shoe
Flat Rock [3000]
Tryon [2000]
Franklin [3000]

NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
(16)
(2)
(2)
(3)
(9)
(1)
(1)
(1)
(2)

Overhill/
Hiawassee

Cleveland [29,000]
Ooltewah [1000]
Charleston [1000]
Athens [12,000]

TN
TN
TN
TN
21 (0)
4
5
3

Overhill/
Little Tennessee

Tellico Plains [1000]
Etowah [4000]
Maryville [19,000]
Lenoir City [6000]
Loudon [4000]
Alcoa [7000]
Sweetwater [5000]
Madisonville [3000]
Kingston [5000]
Spring City [2000]
TN
TH
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN
TN

1
4
4
9 (1)
1
1
4
3
2
2

Central Tennessee

Nashville [490,000]
Greenbrier
Murfreesboro [46,000]
Tullahoma [16,000]
TN
TN
TN
TN
14 (8)
1
1
3

Beyond Nashville
(Western Tennessee and Kentucky)
Memphis [670,000]
Savannah
Selmer [4000]
Paris [11,000]
Scottsville [4000]
Bowling Green [43,000]
Clarkson [1000]
Elizabethtown [17,000]
Hopkinville [30,000]
Madisonville [17,000]
Princeton [7000]
Sturgis [2000]
Marion [3000]
Smithland [1000]
Paducah [28,000]
Henderson [26,000]
Owensboro [57,000]
Jackson [130,000]

TN
TN
TN
TN
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
KY
MS
7 (5)
3
3
1
0 (6)
1 (6)
0 (5)
0 (3)
0 (3)
2 (0)
0 (5)
0 (8)
0 (5)
0 (6)
0 (4)
1 (2)
0 (11)
1 (5)

Modern Virginia Cities Drawing from Western Virginia

Alexanderia [110,000]
Fredericksburg [20,000]
Richmond [220,000]
Woodbridge [32,000]
Virginia Beach [360,000]

VA
VA
VA
VA
VA

7 (4)
6 (2)
7 (6)
5 (1)
8 (5)

Parris and Paris Families from Old Montgomery County Virginia Move into
East-Central
North Carolina
(circa 1780-1850)







Danville [45,000]
Eden [16,000]
Mount Airy [7000]
Winston-Salem [150,000]
High Point [69,000]
Greensboro [190,000]
Lexington [16,000]
Salisbury [26,000]
Burlington [38,000]
Graham [9000]
Asheboro [16,000]
Durham [125,000]
Hillsborough [3000]
Chaple Hill [39,000]
Raleigh-Garner-Cary [240,000]
Wilson [36,000]]
Stantonburg [1000]
Farmville [5000]
Kinston [25,000]

VA
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC

NC
NC
NC
NC

3
3
3
3 (3)
7
5 (9)
2
5 (3)
1 (1)
0 (9)
4 (0)
4 (6)
0 (1)
2 (4)
10 (13)

7 (0)
3
1 (0)
2

Upper
Catawba River

Morganton [16,000]
Catawba [120,000]
Hickory [28,000]
Mooresville [9000]
Valdese [3000]
Stoney Point [1000]
Conover [5000]

NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
1
2
2
4
2
1
3

Eastern Middle Towns

Asheville [65,000]
Swannanoa [2000]
Leicester
Alexander
Marshall [1000]
Candler
Canton [5000]
Clyde [1000]
Waynesville [7000]

NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
22 (0)
1
6
3
1
14
17
6
15

Western Middle
Towns

Cherokee
Sylva [2000]
Dillsboro
Cullowhee [1000]
Tuckasgee
Bryson City [2000]
Whittier

NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC
NC

3
53 (0)
2
6
2
10
1

Southern
Middle Towns

Bevard
Pisga Forest [2000]
Franklin [3000]

NC
NC
NC
8
4
5 (2)

The Georgia

Ex Patriots

(Left Georgia to Escape Deportation
to Oklahoma circa 1819 – 1838)

Jacksonville [10,000]
Piedmont [6000]
Anniston [31,000]
Cullman [13,000]
Birmingham [280,000]
Jasper [13,000]
Heflin [3000]
Albertville [13,000]
Gadsden [46,000]
Ashland [2000]
Weaver [3000]
Estaboga
Talladega [77,000]
Wellington
Riverside [1000]
Warrior [3000]
Boaz [7000]
Bessemer [32,000]
Vinemont [1000]
Hanceville [2000]
Oneonta [5000]
Rainbow City [7000]
Arab [6000]
Madison [4000]
Auburn [30,000]
Crane Hill
Huntsville [170,000]
Enterprise [20,000]
Centre [2000]
Arley
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
43 (3)
39 (1)
25 (7)
15 (7)
19 (6)
5 (0)
5 (0)
11 (0)
7 (0)
5 (0)
2 (2)
1 (2)
0 (3)
4 (0)
1 (0)
2 (0)
3 (0)
3 (0)
2 (0)
3 (0)
0 (1)
1 (0)
1 (1)
1 (1)
2 (2)
5 (1)
7 (2)
3 (2)
5 (0)
3 (0)

New England


All
All
All
All
All
All
Up-state


ME
MA
NH
VT
CT
RI
Up-State NY

NY City
2
59
31
8
31
15

est. 50

est. 1000

Trail of Tears

All
OK
106 (91)

Dust Bowl Migration
(1920-1940)


All
All
All
All
All
TX
CO
CA
OR
WA
223
34
253
23
84

NC/SC/GA/AL Migration to Florida
(1940-2000)

All
FL
20

Other and Background States


All
All
All
All

All
All
All
All

All
All
All
All
All
All

All
All
All
All

All
All
All
All

All
All

All
All
PA
MD
NJ
DE

AZ
NM
NV
UT

ID
MT
ND
SC
MN
WI

OH
IN
IL
MI

MO
KS
NE
AR

MS
LA

AK
HI
120
73
68
10

49
8
12
8

50
0
1
3
29
22

48
67
55
93

1
23
5
22

19
22

4
5


Parris
Distribution of Deceased
From Social Security Records (1999)

State
SSN
Issued

Total Number of People

Total Number of
Parris
Percentage of Total US
Parris
Percentage of State
Population

All US

About 60,000,000
2669
100%
Est. 0.0044

Alabama

60,293
185
6.93
0.307

California

191,113
100
3.75
0.052

Florida

62,841
45
1.69
0.072

Georgia

66,721
183
6.86
0.274

Illinois

178,541
53
1.99
0.030

Kentucky

51,837
58
2.17
0.112

Massachusetts

99,839
61
2.29
0.061

New York

322,177
238
8.92
0.074

North Carolina

82,481
294
11.01
0.356

Oklahoma

45,296
109
2.41
0.241

South Carolina

35,929
258
9.67
0.718

Tennessee

65,347
174
6.52
0.266

Texas

146,165
86
3.22
0.059

Virginia

58,731
68
2.55
0.116

West Virginia

37,493
22
0.82
0.059




Paris
Distribution of Deceased
From Social Security Records (1999)

State
SSN
Issued
Total Number of People

Total Number of
Paris
Percentage of Total US
Paris
Percentage of State
Population

All US

About
60,000,000
3976
100%
0.0066

Alabama

60,293
44
1.11
0.073

California

191,113
211
5.31
0.110

Florida

62,841
47
1.18
0.075

Georgia

66,721
146
3.67
0.219

Illinois

178,541
254
6.39
0.142

Kentucky

51,837
151
3.80
0.291

Massachusetts

99,839
157
3.95
0.157

New York

322,177
479
12.05
0.149

North Carolina

82,481
91
2.29
0.110

Oklahoma

45,296
102
2.57
0.225

South Carolina

35,929
38
0.96
0.106

Tennessee

65,347
148
3.72
0.226

Texas

146,165
176
4.42
0.120

Virginia

58,731
77
1.93
0.131

West Virginia

37,493
21
0.53
0.056

26.3 George Parris’s Family in Georgia

When James Vann was killed in 1809, Parris was identified as the executor of his will (which suggest that Vann trusted Parris as much as any man he knew) and moved to Georgia near James Vann’s Ferry on the Chattahoochee River. More correctly, he severed his ties with South Carolina. He designated Charles Goodwin (an attorney in Edgefield County, South Carolina) to take care of his business there.

The children of George Parris in South Carolina were then presented with two options, follow their father to Georgia or attempt to assimilate in the Carolinas. Since, most of these children were not raised as Cherokee, they had little choice but to stay in South Carolina at least temporarily.

George Parris was 58 years old by the time of the War of 1812 and the Cheek War. Thus, he likely played no role. Indeed, he became identified as one of the senior (leading) citizens among the Cherokee. When the Cherokee ceded most of north Georgia to the United States in 1819, George Parris was allowed to remain on a 640-acre homestead and retain his Cherokee status. This privilege was given to only 5 people in Georgia (2 in North Carolina, 4 in Alabama territory, and 20 in Tennessee). These people all seemed to be “senior citizens” and were likely regarded as harmless by the Europeans.

Cherokee Removal Treaty of 1819

Articles of a convention made between John C. Calhoun Secretary of War, being specially authorized therefor by the President of the United States, and the undersigned Chiefs and Head Men of the Cherokee nation of Indians, duly authorized and empowered by said nation, at the City of Washington, on the twenty-seventh day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nineteen.

WHEREAS a greater part of the Cherokee nation have expressed an earnest desire to remain on this side of the Mississippi, and being desirous, in order to commence those measures which they deem necessary to the civilization and preservation of their nation, that the treaty between the United States and them, signed the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen, might, without further delay, or the trouble or expense of taking the census, as stipulated in the said treaty, be finally adjusted, have offered to cede to the United States a tract of country at least as extensive as that which they probably are entitled to under its provisions, the contracting parties have agreed to and concluded the following articles.

ART. 1. The Cherokee nation cedes to the United States all of their lands lying north and east of the following line, viz: Beginning on the Tennessee river, at the point where the Cherokee boundary with Madison county, in the Alabama territory, joins the same; thence, along the main channel of said river, to the mouth of the Highwassee; thence, along its main channel, to the first hill which closes in on said river, about two miles above Highwassee Old Town; thence, along the ridge which divides the waters of the Highwassee and Little Tellico, to the Tennessee river, at Tallassee; thence, along the main channel, to the junction of the Cowee and Nanteyalee; thence, along the ridge in the fork of said river, to the top of the Blue Ridge; thence, along the Blue Ridge to the Unicoy Turnpike Road; thence, by a straight line, to the nearest main source of the Chestatee; thence, along its main channel, to the Chatahouchee; and thence to the Creek boundary; it being understood that all the islands in the Chestatee, and the parts of the Tennessee and Highwassee, (with the exception of Jolly's Island, in the Tennessee, near the mouth of the Highwassee,) which constitute a portion of the present boundary, belong to the Cherokee nation; and it is also understood, that the reservations contained in the second article of the treaty of Tellico, signed the twenty-fifth October, eighteen hundred and five, and a tract equal to twelve miles square, to be located by commencing at the point formed by the intersection of the boundary line of Madison county, already mentioned, and the north bank of the Tennessee river; thence, along the said line, and up the said river twelve miles, are ceded to the United States, in trust for the Cherokee nation as a school fund; to be sold by the United States, and the proceeds vested as is hereafter provided in the fourth article of this treaty; and, also, that the rights vested in the Unicoy Turnpike Company, by the Cherokee nation, according to certified copies of the instruments securing the rights, and herewith annexed, are not to be affected by this treaty; and it is further understood and agreed by the said parties, that the lands hereby ceded by the Cherokee nation, are in full satisfaction of all claims which the United States have on them, on account of the cession to a part of their nation who have or may hereafter emigrate to the Arkansas; and this treaty is a final adjustment of that of the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen.

ART. 2. The United States agree to pay, according to the stipulations contained in the treaty of the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen, for all improvements on land lying within the country ceded by the Cherokees, which add real value to the land, and do agree to allow a reservation of six hundred and forty acres to each head of any Indian family residing within the ceded territory, those enrolled for the Arkansas excepted, who choose to become citizens of the United States, in the manner stipulated in said treaty.

ART. 3. It is also understood and agreed by the contracting parties, that a reservation, in fee simple, of six hundred and forty acres square, with the exception of Major Walker's, which is to be located as is hereafter provided, to include their improvements, and which are to be as near the center thereof as possible, shall be made to each of the persons whose names are inscribed on the certified list annexed to this treaty, all of whom are believed to he persons of industry, and capable of managing their property with discretion, and have, with few exceptions, made considerable improvements on the tracts reserved. The reservations are made on the condition, that those for whom they are intended shall notify, in writing, to the agent for the Cherokee nation, within six months after the ratification of this treaty, that it is their intention to continue to reside permanently on the land reserved. The reservation for Lewis Ross, so to be laid off as to include his house, and out-buildings, and ferry adjoining the Cherokee agency, reserving to the United States all the public property there, and the continuance of the said agency where it now is, during the pleasure of the government; and Major Walker's, so as to include his dwelling house and ferry: for Major Walker an additional reservation is made of six hundred and forty acres square, to include his grist and saw mill; the land is poor, and principally valuable for its timber. In addition to the above reservations, the following are made, in fee simple; the persons for whom they are intended not residing on the same: To Cabbin Smith, six hundred and forty acres, to be laid off in equal parts, on both sides of his ferry on Tellico, commonly called Blair's ferry; to John Ross, six hundred and forty acres, to be laid off so as to include the Big Island in Tennessee river, being the first below Tellico-which tracts of land were given many years since, by the Cherokee nation, to them; to Mrs. Eliza Ross, step daughter of Major Walker, six hundred and forty acres square, to be located on the river below and adjoining Major Walker's; to Margaret Morgan, six hundred and forty acres square, to be located on the west of, and adjoining, James Riley's reservation; to George Harlin, six hundred and forty acres square, to be located west of, and adjoining, the reservation of Margaret Morgan; to James Lowry, six hundred and forty acres square, to be located at Crow Mocker's old place, at the foot of Cumberland mountain; to Susannah Lowry, six hundred and forty acres, to be located at the Toll Bridge on Battle Creek; to Nicholas Byers, six hundred and forty acres, including the Toqua Island, to be located on the north bank of the Tennessee, opposite to said Island.

ART. 4. The United States stipulate that the reservations, and the tract reserved for a school fund, in the first article of this treaty, shall be surveyed and sold in the same manner, and on the same terms, with the public lands of the United States, and the proceeds vested, under the direction of the President of the United States, in the stock of the United States, or such other stock as he may deem most advantageous to the Cherokee nation. The interest or dividend on said stock, shall be applied, under his direction, in the manner which he shall judge best calculated to diffuse the benefits of education among the Cherokee nation on this side of the Mississippi.

ART. 5. It is agreed that such boundary lines as may be necessary to designate the lands ceded by the first article of this treaty, may be run by a commissioner or commissioners to be appointed by the President of the United States, who shall be accompanied by such commissioners as the Cherokees may appoint, due notice thereof to be given to the nation, and that the leases which have been made under the treaty of the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen, of land lying within the portion of country reserved to the Cherokees, to be void; and that all white people who have intruded, or may hereafter intrude, on the lands reserved for the Cherokees, shall be removed by the United States, and proceeded against according to the provisions of the act passed thirtieth March, eighteen hundred and two, entitled “An act to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers."

ART. 6. The contracting parties agree that the annuity to the Cherokee nation shall be paid, two-thirds to the Cherokees east of the Mississippi, and one-third to the Cherokees west of that river, as it is estimated that those who have emigrated, and who nave enrolled for emigration, constitute one-third of the whole nation; but if the Cherokees west of the Mississippi object to this distribution, of which due notice shall be given them, before the expiration of one year after the ratification of this treaty, then the census, solely for distributing the annuity, shall be taken at such times, and in such manner, as the President of the United States may designate.

ART. 7. The United States, in order to afford the Cherokees who reside on the lands ceded by this treaty, time to cultivate their crop next summer, and for those who do not choose to take reservations, to remove, bind themselves to prevent the intrusion of their citizens on the ceded land before the first of January next.

ART. 8. This treaty to be binding on the contracting parties so soon as it is ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Done at the place, and on the day and year, above written.

J.C. Calhoun

Ch. Hicks, [L. S.] Gideon Morgan, jr. [L. S.]
Jno. Ross, [L. S.] Cabbin Smith, his x mark, [L. S.]
Lewis Ross, [L. S.] Sleeping Rabbit, his x mark, [L. S.]
John Martin, [L. S.] Small Wood, his x mark, [L. S.]
James Brown, [L. S.] John Walker, his x mark, [L. S.]
Geo. Lowry, [L. S.] Currohee Dick, his x mark, [L. S.]

Witnesses:
Return J. Meigs,
C. Vandeventer,
Elias Earle,
John Lowry

List of persons referred to in the 3d article of the annexed Treaty

North Carolina
Richard Walker
Yonah, alias Big Bear

Georgia
John Martin
Peter Linch
Daniel Davis
John Walker
George Parris
Walter S. Adair

Alabama
Thos. Wilson
Richard Riley
James Riley
Edward Gunter


Tennessee
Robert McLemore
John Baldridge
Lewis Ross
Fox Taylor
David Fields, (to include his mill,)
James Brown, (to include his field by
The long pond)
William Brown
John Brown
Elizabeth Lowry
George Lowry
John Benge
Mrs. Eliz. Peck
John Walker Jr. (unmarried,)
Richard Taylor
John McIntosh
Samuel Parks
James Starr
The Old Bark, (of Chota)
Rd Timberlake

I hereby certify, that I am, either personally, or by information on which I can rely, acquainted with the persons before named, all of whom I believe to be persons of industry, and capable of managing their property with discretion; and who have, with few exceptions, long resided on the tracts reserved, and made considerable improvements thereon.

RETURN J. MEIGS,
Agent in the Cherokee nation

George Parris’s Georgia homestead protected by the Treaty of 1819 was on Baldridge Creek west of the Chattahoochee River (later 14th District of Forsyth County). It is not clear when or where he married, but he had at least two wives in Georgia both with Cherokee blood. Some research indicates that Caty Baldridge (of Baldridge Creek, present-day Forsyth Co., GA) and her sister were his wives. Other information points towards mixed-blood daughters of Aaron Price. George Parris (Sr.) fathered at least these children in north Georgia:

Aaron
William
Moses (circa 1794 - 1868)
Robert (16 December 1794 - 12 February 1858)
Caty
George, Jr.
Jesse
Nelly

Most likely these would have been born between 1790 and 1800. Moses and Robert have documented descendants. No doubt, many others sprang from the other Parris children.

Robert Parris (1794 - 1858)

Focusing on Robert Parris (1794 - 1858), registered for a 640-acre life estate on 28 November 1818. The homestead was located below Vann’s Ferry on the Chattahoochee River. This claim was later presented to the First Board of Commissioners at New Echota.

Robert Parris (like his father) had at least two (mixed-blood?) wives:

His first was Penelope (Penny) Langley (probably a daughter of Noah Langley and Annie Self). They apparently lived on Baldridge Creek. In 1818, he had five members in his family when he applied for a life estate.

His second wife was Hester Blackwell (born about 1800). She and Robert apparently set up housekeeping on Noonday Creek. They enrolled to emigrate to the west on 17 February 1832 with nine family members. Hester ended up in the Goingsnake District of the western Cherokee Nation.

The following children seem to have been from Robert Parris’s first marriage (est. 1802 - 1820):

Malachi (Malorey) Parris (born circa 1813 - 4 October 1864) first emigrated to Oklahoma (Goingsnake District) in 1832, but he returned to Forsyth Co. Georgia in 1836. In Forsyth Co. Georgia, he married Mahala Morton (b. July 1812 in Pendleton District, SC - d. 25 December 1892 Adair Co., OK) on 23 March 1837. They apparently moved to Lumpkin Co. Georgia about 1842 after they lost their home to foreclosure. In Lumpkin Co., he was a weighmaster in the Cherokee Gold Mine; and in 1851-52, he was enrolled as an Eastern Cherokee by agents David Siler and Alfred Chapman. From there, he returned to Oklahoma just before or during the War Between the States. This proved to be a bad move as he was caught up in the Cherokee Civil War and lynched near Cane Hill, Arkansas. Malachi and Mahala left ten children: Henry (1837 -1839), Salina Emaline (1838 - 1892), Robert S. (Bob) (1840 - 1869), Mary Ann (1841 - 1928), Malachi (Wade) Jr. (1843 -), Moses Oliver (1845 -), Martha Luiza (1847 - 1933), Gatsey Louisa (1849 - 1928), Nancy Pauline (1851 - ), Letha Mae (1856 - before 1890).

George W. Parris (Sr., b. circa 1814 - 8 March 1895) married Annie McLaughlin and had twelve children: Letha, Andrew, Hester, Celia, James, George W. Jr. (Bud), Polly Ann, Nellie, Rachel, Sarah Jane, William, John. George W. Parris, Sr., George W. Parris, Jr. and perhaps other children joined the Cherokee Legion Georgia State Guards during the War between the States. Their names appear on the rosters as “Pearce” and/or “Pierce”. These are common phonetic misspellings of the name “Parris” depending upon pronunciation . From records compiled by C. Pat Cates (1997) on the Cherokee Legion, it appears that George W. Senior (who would have been about 49 years old at the time) joined the Legion as a sergeant under Captain Brewster in Canton, GA on 22 July 1863 , , . George W. Junior (who was probably in his early twenties) joined Company F, 2nd Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry (Cherokee Brown Riflemen) and was in the regimental band on 15 May 1861. He was wounded at Garnett’s Farm, Virginia 27 June 1862 and apparently returned home to recover. He was recalled to duty 15 September 1863.

Moses O. Parris. No data.

Henry Parris (b. 21 June 1821).

This is consistent with having a family of five in 1818. Robert Parris’s second family seems to have started about 1825 with his second wife:

Gatsey Ann Parris (1826 - 1879).

Eliza Parris ( - d. 1862). Numerous children.

Lethie Parris.

Robert Parris ( - d. circa 1865).

Peggy Parris.

Nancy (Nannie) Parris.

Moses Parris (circa 1794 - 1868)

Moses is the only other son of George Parris, Sr. in Georgia for whom much information is available. He married Annie Wicket and then married Mary Langley (b. 1810 - 13). If the records in Unhallowed Intrusion are correct, Moses Parris had a son named George W. Parris (1812 - 20 September 1869) who was about two years older than his first cousin by the same name (Robert’s son, see above). This George W. Parris also was in Forsyth Co. Georgia and married Matilda Hubbard on 8 January 1835. They had eight children including Zachariah Taylor Parris (1849 - 1891).

Obviously, the records of the children of George Parris, Sr. (son of Richard Pearis) are incomplete. The two sons who are best known were born and raised in present-day Forsyth County, Georgia. George Parris, Sr. must have had some tie to (Old Ninety-Six District) Edgefield Co., South Carolina up until 1809, but no records have been found of deeds etc.

26.4 Organization of North Georgia to 1838

East of the Oconee River:
Wilkes County (1777) and Frankin County (1784)

North Georgia was originally part of South Carolina, but the Charleston planters never had much interest in the lands infested with Cherokee and Creek south and west of the Savannah River and soon ceded it to Georgia. Not much happened until the Americans declared independence from Britain in 1776, and everything was tentative until the treaty was signed in 1783. Wilkes County was founded in 1777 from a cession from the Creeks and Cherokee (1 June 1773). The end of the war and Cherokee session of 31 May 1783 made way for Franklin County in 1784. Concurrently (1784), Washington County was formed to the south from a Creek cession.

These counties were subdivided to produce Greene County (1786), Elbert (1790), Hancock (1793), Montgomery (1793), Oglethorpe (1793), Lincoln (1796), Jackson (1796), Jefferson (1796) Clarke (1801), Tattnall (1801), and Madison (1811).

The Georgia Land Lotteries of 1805 and 1807 opened lands immediately to the west of the Oconee River and south of the Chattahoochee River for settlement. These lotteries set the tone foe bigger lotteries in 1820 and 1821.

Between the Oconee River and the Chattahoochee River:
Habersham , Hall and Gwinnett Counties (1818)

The Cherokee flourished in the from 1783 through 1817. The Federal Highway was an important route of commerce from Charleston, Savannah and Augusta to Tennessee (Nashville and the Tennessee River at Chattanooga). James Vann was one of the most successful businessmen along the road. He owned and operated inns and ferries that catered to the traveler as well as a cotton plantation. The Vann Ferry on the Chattahoochee River was the gateway to Cherokee territory. This was merely emphasized in 1817 with the cession of lands between the Oconee River and the Chattahoochee River. These lands were quickly organized by the Georgians into Hall, Habersham and Gwinnett Counties in 1818.

The 1820 and 1821 Land Lotteries

In 1820 Georgia establishes a land lottery to disperse lands in the recent Cherokee cession in the north and a large Cheek cession in the south to settlers. With these lotteries Europeans (U.S. citizens) moved onto 250 lots in the present-day counties of Raburn, Habersham, White, Hall, Gwinnett, Dekalb, etc.

Cherokee County (1830-1838)

As early as 1830, the Georgians were exerting administrative control over the territory north and west of the Chattahoochee River. The cession of 29 December 1835, opened the area for full settlement. But, even before then, Cherokee County was being subdivided.

The 1832 Land Lottery

The 1832 Georgia land lottery dispersed settlers onto lot of 100 to 160 acres in four sectional subdivisions of Cherokee County. These sections were soon organized as counties.

First section: Union, Lumpkin and Forsyth Counties;
Second Section: Gilmer, Cherokee and Cobb Counties;
Third Section: eastern Murray and Cass Counties;
Fourth Section: western Murray; Floyd; and Paulding Counties.

But, weren’t Cherokee already living on these lands? Of course, there were. Therein we find the seeds of the Treaty of New Echota (1836) and the removal of the Cherokee (1838).

Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia (1832)

Benjamin Parks was out hunting deer in the area northwest of Vann’s Ferry (present-day Lumpkin County, Georgia) in 1828 when he discovered a very pure vane of gold. By 1832, 10,000 people had rushed into the boomtown then-called Auraria. This prompted the Georgia legislature to organize Lumpkin County in 1832 with Dahlonega as the county seat. The court house was built in 1836 and as soon as the Cherokee were displaced in 1838, the Federal government opened a branch mint in Dahlonega. The California gold rush (1849) drew away many of the miners and speculators. The mint closed at the start of the War Between the States and never reopened. The major mining company closed down in 1906.

About the same time as the formation of Lumpkin County, Cass (later Bartow after 1861), Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Murray, Paulding and Union were formed (1832).

Northwest Georgia

Almost as soon as Murray County was formed from Cherokee County (1832), it was subdivided to produce Walker County (1833). Walker gave rise to Dade (1837).

Part 27: The Jackson Presidency (1829-1837)

27.1 Highlights of Jacksonian Politics

The Presidential Election of 1824

Predictably, Andrew Jackson’s ego and popular appeal drew him into the 1824 presidential election. Here is where two features of the American electoral process came into play. First although Jackson won the popular vote, the president is not elected by the popular vote. The President is elected by a majority of the electors (the “Electoral College”) that are parceled out by state. None of the candidates won a majority of the electors. Thus, the House of Representatives were charged with selecting the President through political deal-making. It turned out that neither of the other leading candidates (John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts and Henry Clay of Kentucky) were interested in throwing their weight in with the from runner (Jackson). Thus, J.Q. Adams became the President and Henry Clay was appointed his secretary of state.

The Jackson Presidency (1829 - 1837)

Jackson spent the next four years planning his revenge. He beat J.Q. Adams in 1828 and defended his office against Henry Clay in 1832. These were bitter and dirty elections.

Predictably Jackson was a strong President who did not hesitate to veto bills passed by Congress. Also, although he was a southerner and a westerner (certainly not a typical “Yankee”), he was a very strong supporter of the Federal government. Through his life he had fought to establish, preserve and ruthlessly expand the United States, and he now he was in a position to use all those resources (the fruits of his labor). Here we find the seeds of “state’s rights” conflict that would bring the next generation to war. The episode began around a high tariff passed by the Federal government in 1832 as a principal source of revenue. The tariff fell hardest on South Carolina, which was dependent on the export and import of goods with Europe for its economy. The South Carolina legislature defied the Federal government by passing Ordnance of Nullification, which essentially stated that South Carolina would not enforce the Federal law. This issue was eventually resolved by a compromise tariff, which South Carolina accepted, but the principle of “state’s rights” was not resolved.

Jackson refused to re-charter the Bank of the United States. This was a controversial issue, but essentially the Bank of the United States was used by wealthy persons to finance their interests with Federal tax money. Jackson removed this source of corruption by withdrawing most of the Federal money and letting its charter expire in 1836.

But, the Jackson presidency was also notable for his ruthlessness towards the Native Americans. This behavior can be attributed to Jackson viewing the Native Americans (particularly the Cherokee) as obstacles to his consolidation of Federal power. The Native Americans (especially the Cherokee) were showing every indication of becoming independent nations embedded in U.S. territory. Fortunately for Jackson, if any one hated the independence of the Cherokee more than he did, it was the Georgians. By allowing the Georgians to claim the Cherokee territory and apply Georgia law there, Jackson was able to eliminate the Cherokee as a viable nation and appease the state’s right interest of Georgia.

The Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830 over objections of Senators Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Land west of the Mississippi was traded for Native American lands in the east. But, this approach did not destroy the root of Cherokee independence and a corps of Cherokee showed every indication of holding on to substantial and valuable lands in the South. The issue eventually moved to the courts. The key case involved Georgia arresting a Cherokee for crimes committed in Cherokee territory jointly claimed by Georgia under its land grants. As will be discussed below, the issue that eventually went to the U.S. Supreme Court was whether or not states had jurisdiction over Native American lands. Although the Supreme Court correctly ruled based upon treaties and agreements that the states had no power over the tribal lands, Georgia ignored this ruling and Jackson (who otherwise demanded compliance with Federal law) turned his head. Apparently, Jackson saw the existence of the Cherokee nation as more objectionable than disobedience of Georgia to a Federal court ruling.

27.2 Legal Status of the Cherokee

Clans, Tribes, Nations and Sovereignty

Heretofore, the terms “nation” and “tribe” have been used without definition. I think it is worth thinking about this in a little more depth. I propose the following definitions:

Clan An inter-communicating extended family group related by blood, and hence,
language and custom. Government in a clan is typically by seniority or informally established pecking order. The domestic rules of the clan established by custom are typically enforced by the seniors with minimal “due process,” but with a good deal of sympathy. Rules from outside the clan are likely not to be enforced at all by the clan leaders.

Tribe Typically a collection of clans often brought together for trade and exchange of marital partners to prevent adverse inbreeding. Often a tribe becomes defined by the geographic
area in which it is established because of physical boundaries and external barriers (e.g., hostile neighbors). Government within a tribe is likely to be by an informal and irregular council of headmen of clans. Typically without written language, decision of the council are poorly transmitted, and distorted over time and distance. Each new cession of the council is free to reinvent and arbitrarily change the decisions of the proceeding councils. Each council may or may not fully represent the clans in either a democratic or republican form; there being no requirement for a quorum, a minority council may overturn decisions of a majority (representative council). There may or may not be a unique tribal leader; if so, he/she is selected by the council and holds an irregular term with unspecified powers.

Nation The prototypical nation may not require a written language, but must in some
way be able to provide continuity and consistency in its decisions throughout the nation and overtime. The government may take any rational form (e.g., democracy, hereditary monarchy, self-appointed tyrant, council) and the form may change. But, the important point is that the unified government makes rules/policies for the entire nation and can and will enforce these rules throughout the nation. (Neither the fairness, wisdom or reasonableness of the rules/policy nor due process is in question. Only their existence and enforcement by the nation within the nation matters.)

If we apply these definitions to the Cherokee, it is likely that they do not qualify as a “nation” until the Young Chiefs insisted that selling land to the Euro-Americans was an offence punishable by death and actually tried to enforce this (e.g., the assassination of Doublehead by the Young Chiefs in 1808). Before this point, the Cherokee were a tribe. Regardless what the Europeans called them and whether the Europeans intended to deal with them as national entities.

Thus, when the British, French, Dutch and Spanish made treaties with the “Indian Nations” in most cases they were projecting onto Native American tribes, the attributes that they (the Europeans) expected, not what was actually in place. For the Europeans to recognize them as nations and attempt to deal with them as nations does not change their real status. The confusion of the Europeans and the Euro-Americans concerning the status of the Native Americans led to Andrew Jackson and others assessing them to be “fickle” and “childlike.” The problem for the native Americans (tribes) was that no matter what their council or king decided and agreed with the Europeans, the Native Americans could not enforce it within their own tribe. They had no police and the clans would not submit to law of the tribe that was not founded in religion, custom and tradition.

What about sovereignty (i.e., independent political authority)? Through the 1800s, this was interpreted by the Europeans in terms of geographical regions. That is, a nation was sovereign with respect to all persons living in, traversing, or doing business in some geographic region. I believe that the concept of “sovereignty” required the concept of “nation.” Nothing less than a nation can be truly sovereign; even nation states such as the states of the United States have given up part of their sovereignty (at least that is what was proven by force of arms in the 1860s). If a tribe cannot enforce its laws on all its members, how can the tribe consider itself to be sovereign? Thus, most Native American tribes were not sovereign even before the Europeans arrived in the New World and arrival of the Europeans did not confer sovereignty (or nationhood) on the tribes. The Aztecs and Incas were, of course, exceptions. They were nations at the time the Europeans encountered them; once they were crushed, no other important nations of Native Americans emerged until the 1800s.

However, the absence of sovereignty does not mean that the Europeans could reasonably do as they pleased with the Native Americans and their tribes. “Legality,” of course, changes with the sovereign. So it is difficult to discuss right and wrong without projecting an implied world view on the situation. Let’s go back to basics. Might makes right. This is not quite true, every functional society that makes it as far as a tribe has some scruples (some internal self-control). The problem was that most tribes viewed themselves as the “only real people,” and every other tribe, nation or clan was populated with subhumans (who could be abused mercilessly at the whim of the real people). The Native Americans had as little respect for the rights of the Europeans as the Europeans had for the Native Americans (and the Natives were generally less squeamish about physical abuse and genocide (genetic extinction) is the of law of Nature according to Darwinism). Thus, Native Americans might be very gentle (civilized) within their tribe while being totally barbarous outside their tribe.

The above not withstanding, the Europeans did not need to infer any form of sovereignty on the clans, tribes or nations to recognize that they (the Europeans) were the intruders and had four choices: (1) Withdraw; (2) Accept domination by the individuals they encountered and beg for living space (not likely for an intruder) ; (3) Attempt to deal with the people who were encountered as equals and negotiate for living space; (4) Determine to dominate the people encountered and take living space. In the end, the Europeans were sovereign in the New World because they have superior strength and were willing to use it as necessary to negotiate with and dominate the Native Americans.

Samuel Austin Worcester (1798 - 1859)

Samuel Austin Worcester was a missionary who met and befriended the Cherokee Elias Boudinot (a.k.a., Buck Oowatie) in New England. He became very interested in the situation of the Cherokee and obtained a posting to a Cherokee village where he was very energetic in his efforts to improve the local standard of living and win souls for his church. The Cherokee were pleased and called him “the Messenger.”

Worcester played a pivotal role in Cherokee history. Sequoyah invented the Cherokee alphabet and it was soon discovered that many Cherokee could and would use it to communicate. But, the language received a major boost when Worcester obtained funds for a printing office in New Echota and had the Cherokee alphabet cast in type. His vision was a Cherokee language newspaper that would expand literacy and unify the tribe as it moved towards nationhood. The Cherokee Phoenix was first published in 1828.

When Georgia convicted a Cherokee George Tassel of murder in Hall County (north of Forsyth County near where the Federal Highway crossed the Chattahoochee River), it was clearly a challenge to Cherokee sovereignty. Worcester and his missionary board funded the Cherokee in hiring former U.S. Attorney General William Wirt to defend Tassel on the grounds that Georgia did not have jurisdiction. The first effort to have the Supreme Court hear the case failed, but Chief Justice recognized the importance of the principle that the case embodied and coached Wirt to recast the case in one that the Supreme Court could hear.

Meanwhile in 1832 the State of Georgia was conducting a Land Lottery to give away Cherokee lands to Europeans for settlement. Worcester and other missionaries protested and were arrested by the Georgia militia and imprisoned. The Supreme Court finally heard the case of William Wirth and ruled that the states (i.e., Georgia) did not have jurisdiction over Cherokee lands. The Cherokee should deal with the Federal government. Worcester was soon released from jail. However, by 1835, it was clear that the Federal government (i.e., Andrew Jackson) would not enforce the decision of the court.

Thus, Worcester turned his attention to practical matters and moved to Oklahoma in 1835 where he attempted to prepare the way for a new wave of Cherokee refugees to settle among those who were already there (i.e., the “Old Settlers”).

Native Americans and The U.S. Law

Over the last 200 years, the Americans have searched their souls and legal texts to guide and justify their behavior to toward the Native Americans. I need to delve into this a little, but remember that we are looking at the projection of an alien and somewhat arbitrary system of law onto the Native Americans. Historically, the Americans dealt with the tribes as Nations because that is what the British and French did. The Spanish were not quite so liberal-minded; their religious zeal justified murder and enslavement of anyone not Papist (Roman Catholic).

The defeat of the British won for the Americans most of the lands claimed by the British. A better way to say this is that one of the conditions in the treaty that ended the War of Independence was cession of British claims to certain lands in North American to the new United States. The states themselves were the former British colonies. The colonies had grown by establishing county governments as the land became populated. Obviously the land claims ceded by the British had not been fully settled and the Federal government soon secured cession of these unsettled lands on the western frontier from the States. These lands were first administered as territories and then upon acts of Congress, they became States.

Of course, the lands ceded by the British were occupied by Native American tribes who had communities and hunting grounds. The British had tried unsuccessfully to keep both the colonies and the individual settlers out of these lands (Proclamation of 1763). Now the American Congress intended to specifically settle these lands. The civilized solutions to this conflict in ownership were: (1) assimilation of the Native Americans or (2) displacement of the native Americans to lands not claimed by or likely to be settled by the United States. One technique used to buy time for these events to transpire and to facilitate them was “civilization” of the Natives. This meant a return of their cultures to an agricultural economy. In the process, the tribes would both reduce the necessary hunting grounds and reduce their nomadic migratory ranges. Both effects created land to be settled by the Europeans. It was also hoped that efforts to grow crops and build homes would create a pride of personal ownership and right of private inheritance (rather than tribal/communal ownership) among the Natives that would breakdown the tribes into homesteads that could be easily assimilated as citizens of the United States.

I point out that this was a return to the Native American’s roots. It was not a new idea. The Native American culture that is so popularly praised today in some circles did not exist could not exist) until the Europeans introduced (1) the horse, (2) metal tools, (3) the black-power firearms, and (4) and international trade that created a market for animal skins. Before the Europeans came (1492), the Native Americans walked where they went and scratched out a meager living. The Native Americans were not inherently environmentally conscience (as they are often portrayed today), they were weak and never able to make enough food surplus to reach the critical mass of civilization.

Nonetheless, soon after ratification of the Constitution, the American lawyers began analyzing the powers of the Federal and State governments and how power was spread and wielded among the three branches of government. Frankly, the authors of the Constitution had more pressing issues than the Native Americans and did not really say much about them. To the extent that British tradition was to prevail, the Federal government also demanded that it (and not the states or individuals) negotiate with the natives and the mode of agreement was the treaty. Implicitly, the tribes were being given the status of sovereign nations. It soon became obvious to any reasonable European that the Native Americans were not sovereign nations. It was not until 1831 when the Cherokee Nation attempted to sue the state of Georgia that the issue was truly brought into focus. Although Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall expressed his support for the rights of the Cherokee; he denied that they were a nation under the U.S. Constitution; hence he denied that the Supreme Court had jurisdiction over the facts (Cherokee Nation v. Georgia Supreme Court of the United States, 1831, 30 U.S. 1). He essentially told the plaintiff that he would only hear the case if it was filed as an individual. Marshall coined the phrase “dominated domestic dependent nation” to describe the status of the Cherokee. If there is a root to this, it is probably that the Cherokee and other tribes had acknowledged in early treaties that the president was “their father” and agreed by treaty to not deal with any other national entity (e.g., Article 3 of the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell).

Essentially the same facts were then presented in Worcester v. Georgia Supreme Court of the United States, 1832, 31 U.S. 515. Marshall not only heard the case, but agreed that

“The Cherokee nation, then, is a distinct community, occupying its own territory, with boundaries accurately described, in which the laws of Georgia can have no force, and which the citizens of Georgia have no right to enter, but with the assent of the Cherokees themselves, or in conformity with treaties, and with the acts of Congress. The whole intercourse between the United States and this nation, is, by our constitution and laws, vested in the government of the United States.”

Marshall, thus, recognized the treaty rights of the Cherokee (i.e., negotiated contracts between the United States and the Cherokee nation) without conferring to the Cherokee nation sovereignty.

27.3 The Cherokee Removal (1838)

The 1832 Georgia Land Lottery is Implemented

The ruling of Chief Justice Marshall in the Worcester versus Georgia case was likely well received by Andrew Jackson. It affirmed the power of the Federal government in areas where the states were forbidden jurisdiction. However, it was politically expedient for him to let the Georgians implement his greater design namely the elimination of the Cherokee from the East. All he had to do was standby and wait.

The land lotteries in Georgia, in some cases, gave land occupied by Cherokee to European settlers. Trouble was certain to erupt. From the Cherokee point of view it was a reign of terror as vigilante-style actions were instigated to remove them from their land holdings. John Ross was arrested and the Cherokee Phoenix was burned (1834). The estate of Joseph Vann was confiscated and taken over by the Georgia militia. Under these conditions, Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot (i.e., the Treaty Party or Rigites) were intimitated into signing the Treaty of New Echota (December 1835), which gave the Cherokee $5 million and two years to give up the land.

Only 350 of about 17,000 Cherokee actually agreed with the Treaty of New Echota. The Rigites were seen as Judas goats and quickly fled with about 2,000 members of their extended family to Oklahoma. Meanwhile about 16,000 Cherokee signed a petition denouncing the “treaty,” nonetheless, Jackson got the Senate to ratify the treaty by a margin of one vote (May 1836). The fate of the Cherokee was sealed. In May 1838, 7,000 soldiers under General Windfield Scott arrived to enforce the Treaty of New Echota and remove Cherokee from the land that Georgia had already handed out in the 1832 land lottery.

The Removal of the Georgia and Tennessee Cherokee

Windfield Scott and his soldiers build a number of stockades into which the Cherokee were herded. The soldiers (including Nathan Paris of Co. K, Buncombe Co Volunteers,. North Carolina) probably did not realize what was about to happen. Essentially they were sent to the homes of peaceful people with orders to order them out and physically remove them if necessary. Many if not most of these people had only traces of Cherokee blood and many of them were probably financially better off and more educated than the soldiers themselves.

The scene was undoubtedly heartbreaking. The Cherokee were not guilty of any crime; they were being evicted under the terms of a contract that they were not participatory in and had rebuked. The tactics for passively forcing the Cherokee to abandon their lands including burning their fields and farm buildings so that they could not make a living.

One of the collection points was a stockade at Rattlesnake Springs near Chattanooga, Tennessee. Infectious disease soon broke out and people began to die. The intent had been to move the Cherokee by boat, but by August when they were ready to move, the Tennessee River was very low because of drought. Thus, the government decided to wait until spring. This would have ensured more deaths in the “concentration camps” (my words). John Ross decided that the expedient thing would be for the Cherokee to manage their own migration to Oklahoma rather than wait. He did not receive permission to begin until October 1838 and this set up the next unfortunate chapter in the story.

The Cherokee set out on foot and wagon protected by a handful of soldiers from unsympathetic whites and miscellaneous outlaws along the way. About 4,000 Cherokee died on the trail (i.e., the Trail of Tears) from hunger and exposure that winter.

Little Will Thomas and the Cherokee in North Carolina

William Thomas was born in 1805 at Waynesville North Carolina and soon was working in Felix Walker’s store in Soco Valley. The Walker store failed, but with the Cherokee cession of 1819, land was available at very low costs. His mother acquired 50 acres just west of the Oconaluftee. Their neighbor was Chief Yonaguske (Drowning Bear) who held land at the confluence of the Oconaluftee and Tuckasegee (i.e., Governor’s Island). Chief Yonaguske had already befriended Will Tomas and taught him the Cherokee language. Thus, in 1821 Thomas opened his own trading store. From this store Thomas traded with the Cherokee who had now moved west (to present-day Graham and Cherokee Counties) and turned his profits into real estate and other business ventures. He erected new stores and ran wagons between them. He also built and operated toll roads. By the early 1930s he was recognized as a successful business man and me like James R. Love and William Welch were willing to invest money with Will Thomas. This was probably the root of Will Thomas’s eventual failure. His powerful creditors kept accurate books and expected a clear accounting for their money.

The Cherokee of North Carolina were isolated from the politics of the Georgia Cherokee. They were poor and generally had less knowledge of English or the U.S. law. John Ross, Worcester and the Ridges were not in a position to lead the North Carolina Cherokee and gave them little attention. In this situation, Chief Yonaguske asked Will Thomas to be their lawyer and agent. They depended upon Thomas (not Ross) to keep them informed of their rights and obligations. Although, Will Thomas has been glorified by many as the savior of the Eastern Cherokee, anything that he benefited the Eastern Cherokee was like incidental to his personal gain. He did act as a lobbyist for the Cherokee, but he also positioned himself to benefit from land speculation in Madison County when they were removed. He also saw the concentration of the Cherokee and the soldiers as a marketing opportunity and set up stores to service both groups at the removal forts. He also took the job of government agent to distribute some of the funds allowed by the treaty to the Cherokee. Basically, Will Thomas planned to make money off the removal no matter how it worked out.

The Army built a large stockade at Fort Butler in Murphy and collected the Cherokee at small forts in western North Carolina (Delaney in Andrews, Montgomery in Robbinsville, Hembree in Hayesville, Lindsay in Almond and Scott in Aquone). From this system of corrals, the Cherokee were passed to Tennessee. Several hundred Cherokee citizens of western North Carolina escaped into the mountains. This group was called the Oochella Band.

One of the escapees was named Tsali (a.k.a., Charlie) who lived near the mouth of the Nantahala River. When the soldiers caught him and his sons (Alonzo, Jake and George), a fight broke out and two or three soldiers were killed and others wounded. Tsali managed to join the Oochella Band in the mountains between Deep Creek and Oconaluftee. General Scott had by now realized the futility of trying to capture the Cherokee hiding in the mountains. His actions were progressively alienating all the mountain people. So, Will Thomas was asked to go to the Oochella band and ask that if Tsali and his sons who had killed the soldier would turn themselves in, General Scott would no longer peruse the Cherokee who had absconded into the mountains. For his part, Tsali realized that even his own people were not pleased that he had brought this unwanted attention to the Oochella Band. Tsali had little choice but to turn himself in for punishment. Thomas negotiated this process at Tsali’s hiding place on Deep Creek (now Swain County, Great Smokey Mountain National Park). Tsali surrendered at the home of Andrew Wiggins. He and his brother and his two oldest sons were executed by a Cherokee firing squad near the mouth of the Tuckasegee River where it joins the Little Tennessee (near Fort Lindsay at Almond, NC).

Soon after this episode, Chief Yonaguske died. But before he died, he admonished hid Cherokee (North Carolina citizens and individual land owners) to follow the advice of Will Thomas. Hence, Thomas became known as the white chief of the (eastern) Cherokee. At this point, Thomas was surrounded by a number of individual Cherokee land owners (North Carolina citizens) and landless Cherokee who had absconded mainly from western North Carolina (but perhaps including some from Georgia and Tennessee). He had also secured a pledge from General Scott to stop pursuing the Cherokee now that justice had been carried out. What Thomas obviously needed to do was to find land for the landless Cherokee and settle them among “his people.” Thomas had some personal lands and had control of lands owned by Felix walker and others. He identified the lands (which were/are not contiguous) as five different townships (i.e., Paint Town, Bird Town, Wolf Town, Yellow Hill, and Big Cove). This gerrymandered territory was called the Qualla Boundary totaling 56,572 acres.

Part 28: The Parris Families of Western North Carolina

28.1 Western North Carolina (1820-1850)

We have already mentioned the formation of Buncombe County (1791), North Carolina along the trading route from Watauga, NC (now Tennessee) to Charleston, SC. The following table briefly summarizes some of the other modern counties. Basically, Haywood County (1817-1828) extended Buncombe and then Macon County (1828) completed the western expansion of North Carolina. These counties were subsequently subdivided and reorganized as the population warranted.

County

First European Settler
(Date)

Date
County Formed

Notes

Buncombe

Samuel W. Davidson (1784)
Christian Creek
Swannanoa Valley

1791
The French Broad River provided a trading path from the Watauga Community to Charleston, South Carolina. The Buncombe Turnpike was established 1824-1828.

Haywood

David Parris et al. circa 1815

1817
From western Buncombe County and Cherokee session of 1815.

Macon


1828
From southwestern Haywood and Cherokees cession of 1815.

Cherokee

Col. A.R.S. Hunter established trading post in 1830 in western Macon Co. This eventually became Murphy.

1839
Fort Butler built in 1838 for Cherokee removal.

Clay


John C. Moore settled here in 1830.

1861 separated from Cherokee County.
Hayesville settled during the Cherokee removal 1838.

Graham

1872 cut from Cherokee County.

Not opened to Europeans until the Cherokee wee removed in 1838.

Henderson

William Mills
(1787)
Mills River
Mills Gap

Formed from Buncombe County in 1838.

Hendersonville was established in 1841 and chartered in 1847. First train arrived in 1879.

Jackson

See Haywood Co.
1851
From Haywood and Macon Counties.

Madison

This included the ancient Cherokee center known as “Nik-wa-si.” This was the cultural focus of the Middle Cherokee towns. Franklin, North Carolina now stands on this site. Jacob Siler and William Britton established trading post in the area.

1851 from parts of Buncombe and Yancy Counties.

Transylvania

Numerous mixed-blood settlers in late 1700s.
1861 from Henderson County.

Brevard incorporated in 1868 with 7 registered voters.

This was a lawless tract claimed by Georgia and North Carolina in 1800. Armed conflict followed in 1802-04 as North Carolina asserted control over the area. It was not clearly integrated into North Carolina until 1813.

Swain

After 1798 on Oconaluftee and Tuckasegee

After 1819 on Little Tennessee

1871
From northern Jackson County and Cherokee session. Note, now much of the county is in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park (circa 1940) and it included the Eastern Cherokee reservation.

28.2 David Parris and Other Parris Families (1830-1840)

David Parris (b. 1778) married Mary Morrow in 1799 according to genealogists (e.g., Diana Smith via Kindred Konnections on the Internet). Mary Morrow was born in Ninety-Six District (Spartan County was not created until 1785) on 27 October 1783. Her name also appears as "Marr," which has been pointed out to be a likely pronunciation of "tomorrow" or "(to)'morrow" among the mountain people. According to Bible records for the Berry Nelson (1875-1956) family posted by B. Parker in February 2000, Mary Morrow was the daughter of William Morrow (b.1747) and Ruth Parham (b. 1751) who were married 10 June 1771. Their children included James (b. 1782), Mary (b. 1783), Elizabeth (b. 1789), Nancy (b.1793), Sarah (b. 1797), and David (b. 1808). May's sister Elizabeth is said to have married Abraham Nelson (b. 1777) and ended up in Henderson Co., NC in 1850.

The following list summarizes the of children of David and Mary Parris born in South Carolina (or perhaps the orphan strip variously claimed by South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia):

Child Birth Death Married

Ruth 20 July 1800

William Coleman 26 May 1802 3 February 1847 Rhoda H.
Cunningham
(1803-1865)

Samuel 9 December 1803 17 October 1891 Matilda Shuler

James 16 August 1805 1847 Amy McIntire
(1808-1890)

Elizabeth B. 9 May 1807

Sarah 9 July 1809

Ellendier Nellie 17 August 1810

John 17 August 1812 Hannah Ensley

David A. 10 December 1814 1847 Elizabeth Gunter

Talitha (Tibetha) 21 February 1816

Alfred 28 June 1818 about 1847 Fanny Gibson

Mary 19 November 1819 16 March 1895 William B.
Monteith

Lucy 4 January 1821

Jane 7 July 1822

(Major) Wiley 20 November 1823 Sarah Hughes

Meanwhile, between 1808 and 1830, the Cherokee territory was pushed further west. North Carolina acquired the land north and east of the Little Tennessee as part of Haywood County. This land included present-day Sylva, Dillsboro, Cherokee, Bryson City and Smokemount. In 1815, Cherokee lands to the south and west of the Little Tennessee River (Nantahala) was added to North Carolina and then to Haywood County (1817). This territory included present-day Franklin. In 1819, the Cherokee made major territorial concessions in north Georgia and George Parris received a grant of 640 acres or a personal residence where he could live as a Cherokee citizen. David Parris had long since accepted the idea that he would assimilate as a citizen of the United States.

Various sources say that the first European settled western Haywood County (now Swain County and Macon County) about 1828. By this time, the three oldest children (Ruth/1800, William/1802, Samuel/1803) had moved out and started their own families. Thus, when David and Mary Parris moved to Haywood County, North Carolina they took five boys (James/1905, John/1812, David/1814, Alfred/1818, and Wiley/1823) and six girls (Elizabeth/1807, Nellie/1810, Talitha/1816, Mary/1819, Lucy/1821, and Jane/1822). The Haywood County census of 1830 confirms this situation as shown in the table:

Parris Families in Old Haywood County, North Carolina
(1830 and 1840)

Age

1830

David
#1
(b. 1778)

1840

1840


Sons of David #1


David
#1
(b. 1778)
James

(b. 1805)

David
#2
(b. 1814)

John

(b. 1812)

William

(b. 1802)
Samuel

(b. 1803)
M F M F M F M F M F M F M F

0-5

0
0
0
1
2
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
1

5-10
1

1

0
2
0
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1

10-15
1

3

1

1

0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

15-20
2
1

0
2

0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0

20-30
1
1
1

2

0
0
1
1
1
0
0
0

30-40

0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1

40-50
0
1

1
0

50-60

0
0
0

60-70
1

1

1

By 1840, William and Samuel and their families had also moved to Haywood County. Meanwhile, James , David and John had begun families in Haywood County. Elizabeth (b. 1807) had also moved out and likely was married to a man living in Haywood County. An unidentified “newcomer” man has joined David’s household and brought three young girls.

In 1830 (Macon County census), there were two “Perris” families in Macon County (southwest of Haywood). These families were headed by James and Lewis:

James “Perris” family was headed by James (between 20 and 30 years old, born between 1800 and 1810) and his wife who was of similar age. The family included three boys under 10 years old and an elderly female (50 to 60 years old).

Lewis “Perris” family was similar. Both Lewis and his wife were between 20 and 30 years old with a son less than 5 years old and three daughters less than 10 years old.

James and Lewis were probably brothers and the elderly woman was likely their mother. However, both of these families were absent from Macon County in the 1840 census. It is conceivable that they were removed in the Trail of Tears (1838) or that one of the families was somehow split and ended up with David Parris in 1840 (i.e., suppose that Lewis Perris lost his son and wife and moved in with David with his three daughters).

The 1850 Haywood County Census is also interesting (data provided by Ann Broadbent).

Parris Families in Old Haywood County, North Carolina

1850


Age
David
#1
(b. 1778)
James

(b. 1805)
David
#2
(b. 1814)
John

(b. 1812)


William

(b. 1802)
Samuel

(b. 1803)
M F M F M F M F M F M F

0-5

Lucinda
(4)
James
(5)

Will-iam (4)
Sarah
(1)


Rhoda (5)
Will-iam Frank-lin
(4)

Mary
(2)

5-10

Eliza-beth
Jeffer-son (6)
Mary (8)

Matil-da (10)
Nancy
( 9)

Sal-ina (9)

10-15

Alfred

James

Will-iam

Martha
Sarah (11)

Mary (14)

15-20

Jack-son
Will-iam
(13)

20-30

Telitha

Eliza-beth (27)
Hannah

30-40

John
Rhoda
Matilda

40-50

Amy
(Mc- Intyre)

Sam-uel

50-60

60-70
Mary (Marr)

In addition to all the Parris that moved with David to NC early on, there is a young man named Wiley Parris born in South Carolina (listed as being 25 in 1850 census) and his wife Sarah Hughes born in NC (age 22 in 1850). He was listed as a farmer ($400). Thus, oddly, the older children of David and Mary Marr are listed as being born in North Carolina and were certainly there early on while the younger children of David and Mary were listed as being born in South Carolina. I believe that this is consistent with the fact that the family was part Cherokee. The sudden disappearance of several of David’s sons (James, David, William and Alfred who father children in 1845-1846 and died in 1847-1848) when they were in the prime of their lives is also odd. They left their families intact: Fanny Gibson Parris (age 28, Alfred’s wife/widow) returned with her two children to her father (but kept her name Parris); and Amy (age 43, James’s wife); Rhoda (age 37, William’s wife); and Elizabeth (age 27, David #2’s wife) all continued to raise large families with small children apparently without remarrying. Since each of the Parris brothers had children 4 or 5 years old (and none younger), it implies that they all left home about 1846 as (Tennessee) volunteers for the Mexican War and never returned.

28.3 The Family of James Parris and Amy McIntire

Bernie Cooper, who traces his ansestry back to James Parris also, has provided the following research (May 2000):

Husband: James Parris #382
Born: Aug 16, 1805 in: Haywood Co., NC
Died: 1847 in: Haywood Co., NC
Father: David Marion Parris #389
Mother: Mary "Polly" Morrow #390

Wife: Amy McIntire #383
Married: in:
Born: Apr 8, 1808 in: Rutherford Co., NC
Died: Jul 20, 1890 in: Jackson Co., NC
Father: James McIntire #6130
Mother: Lucretia #6131

F Child 1 Drucilla Ellender Parris #599 died at age: 86
Born: 1826 in:
Died: 1912 in:

F Child 2 Mary Ann "Polly" Parris #144
Born: May 16, 1829 in: North Carolina
Died: Jul 17, 1906 in: Cope Creek, Jackson Co., NC
Buried: in: Ensley Cemetery, Cope Creek, Jackson NC

Spouse: Wilson Coleman Ensley #143 b. Mar 30, 1824 d. Feb 27, 1901
Married: Jul 20, 1845 in: Haywood Co., NC
** note these are Bernie Cooper's GG Grandparents

F Child 3 Lucretia Belle Parris #600
Born: Dec 11, 1830 in: North Carolina
Died: Feb 9, 1885 in: Jackson Co., NC
Spouse: William M. Ensley #419 b. Mar 10, 1828 d. Jan 2, 1910
Married: Nov 26, 1849 in: Haywood Co., NC

F Child 4 Sarah Parris #601 died at age: 89
Born: 1832 in:
Died: 1921 in:

F Child 5 Martha Parris #577 died at age: 80
Born: 1835 in:
Died: 1915 in: Union Co., GA
Spouse: Robert Ensley #423 b. Feb 25, 1837 d. Apr 3, 1915
Married: in:

M Child 6 William E. Parris #602
Born: 1837 in: Haywood Co., NC
Died: in:
Military: Pvt., CSA in: Thomas' Legion, Co. A
CSA, NC 16 Infantry, Wounded Seven Pines Va, May 31, 1862.
Wounded Hand and Leg Second Manassis, Aug 29, 1862.
NC 16 Inf., transferred to Thomas Legion, Co. A

M Child 7 James Merrion Parris #603 died at age: 74
Born: 1839 in:
Died: 1913 in:
Military: Pvt, CSA in: 25th NC Infantry, Co. B

M Child 8 Alfred Washington Parris #536 died at age: 95
Born: 1840 in:
Died: 1935 in:
Military: Pvt, USA in: 25th NC Infantry, Co. B

F Child 9 Elizabeth Jane Parris #604 died at age: 91
Born: 1842 in:
Died: 1933 in:

F Child 10 Lucinda Parris #605
Born: 1846 in:
Died: in:

Part 29: Texas and Mexico (1835-1850)

29.1 Texas and Mexico

The American Colony in Mexico

The Roman Catholic Spanish had, of course, controlled the southern part of North America since 1521. The new English-speaking, Protestant nation of United States was never particularly concerned about the Spanish Outside of Florida until the French were eliminated from the frontier by the Louisiana Purchase. The War of 1812 and the rise of Andrew Jackson drew the attention of English-speaking North Americans to that land just beyond control of the United States (west of the Sabine River and North of the Rio Grande). The land was fertile and sparsely populated. The Mexicans who had been periodically in revolt against the Spanish had little control over it. Moses Austin of Austinville, Virginia (about 30 miles south of Pearisburg, VA) visited Mexico in 1820 and received a grant to land just beyond the U.S. territory for the purpose of recruiting Jingoish-speaking settlers to a Mexican colony. The Mexicans expected these people would be loyal citizens of Mexico and gradually adopt Spanish and Catholicism. Moses Austin died in 1821, leaving his dreams and land grants to his heir and partner Stephen Fuller Austin (1793-1836).

By the 1830s, Austin had succeeded in attracting settlers from the United States into Mexico, but neither he nor the Mexican authorities could integrated the settlers into Spanish American culture. The Mexican government itself was not particularly stable and was slipping into the dictatorship of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Predictably, Austin who acted in good faith to the Mexicans, found himself caught in the internal power struggle. He was imprisoned in Mexico City and released in 1835. His initial persuasion was to support the Mexican Federalists in their struggle against Santa Anna, the Texans began the revolt at Gonzales on 2 October 1835 and Santa Anna personally led an expeditionary force against Austin’s disorganized militia by crossing the Rio Grande in February 1836. The legend of the Texan’s stubborn defense of the Spanish mission called The Alamo inspired their countrymen to declare independence on 2 March 1836.

By now Austin had been joined by a much abler soldier named Sam Houston. The path that brought Sam Houston to Texas explains why these events are relevant to the Parrises.

Samuel Houston, a.k.a. The Raven (1793-1863)

Like many historically significant figures in the story, Samuel Houston was born in the Shenandoah Valley (Timber Ridge, Rockbridge County, Virginia) 2 March 1793. His father was Major Sam Houston of the Virginia militia and Sam junior undoubtedly was raised on stories of the American War of Independence. However, his father died unexpectedly in 1806 and for reasons that are not well understood, Sam junior’s mother (Elizabeth Paxton Houston) moved the entire family of nine children virtually into Cherokee territory in 1807. In all likelihood, she was a Christian missionary to the Cherokee. History now credits Sam Houston with virtually every action that the family took, but remember that he was the fifth child of nine so there were four children older then him helping his mother during this period.

The Houston family settled 10 miles south of present-day Maryville, Tennessee (Blount County) near the Little Tennessee River on the western slopes of the mountains. Within two years, 16-year-old Sam Houston had left home and was living with the Overhill Cherokee on Hiwasee Island. About 1810, he was adopted by Oo-Loo-Te-ka and was given the Cherokee name “The Raven.” Consistent with the view that the goal of Mr. Houston was to spread the Gospel and improve the education of the Cherokee, the family opened a school a few miles north of Maryville in 1812. In all likelihood, Ms. Houston and her children traveled as missionaries up the Little Tennessee River into North Carolina.

Sam Houston’s career changed course when he enlisted in the army as a private in March of 1813. In all likelihood, he was well-educated and literate, thanks to his mother. Thus, he rose very quickly through the ranks and was a “third lieutenant” in the 39th Infantry Regiment by December of that year. He likely also spoke Cherokee and had a good understanding of their customs and inclinations. All of these factors brought his to the Battle of Horseshoe Bend among Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee troops. As noted above the Cherokee (probably a mixed contingent from Georgia and Tennessee) played an important role in this battle. Ironically, Sam Houston does not appear to have had any particular involvement with the Cherokee at this time. However, he suffered three wounds. One of which was potentially fatal. Apparently , he was promoted to second lieutenant and discharged or sent on leave to recover.

The period 1814-1818, Sam Houston spent back in Cherokee territory becoming even more integrated into the tribe. In 1816, he was official recognized by the U.S. as a sub-agent to the Cherokee. In 1818, he led a delegation of Cherokee to Washington, DC to present their concerns to John C. Calhoun and President James Monroe. The Treaty of 1819 was one of the products of these meetings. At this time, Will Thomas (b. 1805) was growing up in Soco Valley.

The next major turn in Sam Houston’s life occurred in March 1818 when he resigned from the army and took up the study of law with Judge James Trimble’s practice in Nashville, Tennessee. He soon was admitted to the bar and was appointed Adjutant General of the Tennessee Militia. The next year he was elected Attorney General of the Nashville District of Tennessee. This began his political career. By 1823, Houston had become a Jacksonian Democrat and was easily elected to the U.S. House of Representative. In 1827, he was elected governor of Tennessee.

There his story might have ended except for a poorly matched (politically inspired) marriage to the 18-year-old daughter of Colonel John Allen. In 1829, Houston was a mature man of 36 who undoubted had developed habits and taste in life and lovemaking more suited to houses of prostitution than refined social circles. He married Eliza Allen on 22 January 1829 and on 9 April she is said to have run from their house. I suspect that Houston realized that for all his accomplishments he had never acquired the social status that he expected. In many ways, he was a Cherokee and realized that he was being rejected by white society. On 16 April he resigned as governor of Tennessee.

A few days later, he was on a steamboat headed for a reunion with his Cherokee mentor Oo-loo-te-ka (a.k.a., John Jolly) who had moved to the Tahlequah reservation on the Arkansas River (Eastern Oklahoma). By October 1829, Sam Houston was officially a Cherokee citizen and in December he returned to Washington as an ambassador of the Cherokee nation to the U.S. government. In January 1830, Andrew Jackson formerly received him in this position. That summer he married Tiana Rogers (a Cherokee). In May of 1831, his Cherokee political career also fell apart.

All this time, he maintained contact with his mother and family in eastern Tennessee. His mother became ill in the late summer of 1831 and Sam Houston spent several months with her before her death in Tennessee. In 1832, Houston returned to Washington via steamboat through New Orleans. He soon has a confrontation with a Congressman that results in the famous caning incident on Pennsylvania Avenue. He seems to have been raising money for land speculation in the Texas colony about this time and he applied to Stephen Austin for head rights under Austin’s charter. The vehicle for this venture would be the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company established in New York City.

As a protege of Andrew Jackson, Houston was thinking clearly in terms of eventually annexing Texas to the United States. In !833, he set up a law practice in Nacogdoches, filed for divorce from his first wife (Eliza Allen) and joined the Roman Catholic Church to comply with Mexican law. During 1834, the political situation was growing darker with Austin in jail. Houston soon became involved with the Texas militia and provisional government.

War came in the early months of 1836. Houston was on the way to the Alamo when he learned that it has fallen at Gonzoles (11 March). He retreated with his small army eastward. The Mexican army under Santa Anna became overconfident and complacent as the Texans fell back with little fighting. However, at San Jacinto Santa Anna’s army of 1400 men was surprised by a determined attach by Houston’s 800 Texans. Had Santa Anna not foolishly placed himself personally in such a position, it would have been a minor reversal. However, Houston succeeded in capturing Santa Anna himself and this stroke of luck won the war for the Texans on 21 April 1836.

Houston was wounded in the battle and had to travel all the way to New Orleans for the attention of a surgeon. He was met with cheering crows, but news of political chaos in Texas soon reached him. Upon returning to Texas, he was elected as the first president of the Texas Republic on 22 October 1836. For the next ten years, Houston guided Texas to statehood. Texas was admitted to the Union on 29 December 1845, and Houston became a U.S. senator.

George Gist, a.k.a. Sequoyah in the West

John Jolly (Cherokee mentor of Sam Houston) and George Gist moved from east Tennessee western Arkansas (Skin Bayou) after the 1816 Treaty. It is obvious that Houston and Gist must have at least known each other through their contacts with Jolly. Jolly recruited more Cherokee from Alabama to Arkansas in 1818. It was during this time that Gist perfected his syllabary of the Cherokee language. Over the next ten years, many Cherokee became literate and Samuel Worcester had a printing press built in Boston and shipped to New Echota (via Savannah and Augusta, Georgia) where Elias Boudinot began publishing The Cherokee Phoenix. Although most attention is given to the 1838 removal of Cherokee to Oklahoma, there was a sporadic influx of Cherokee immigrants to Oklahoma and Texas (Mexico) from 1828 through 1850. In 1842, Gist (now an old man) led a party into Texas looking for Cherokee who he wanted to bring to Arkansas and Oklahoma. It was on this trip that George Gist died and was buried at an unknown spot on the trail.

29.2 The United States and Mexico

James K. Polk (1795-1849)

James Knox Polk was born in Mecklenburg Co., North Carolina (not far from the birthplace of Andrew Jackson) in 1795. His family soon moved into Tennessee and his life was not remarkable until he attended a Presbyterian school in Columbia (South Carolina) in 1813 and moved on to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1816. He graduated in 1818. He returned to Tennessee and was admitted to the bar in 1819 about the same time as Sam Houston. Polk married and served in the Tennessee House of Representatives 1823-1825. Like Houston, Polk supported Andrew Jackson in Tennessee and national politics. Polk served in the U.S. House of Representatives 1825-1839. Then he became governor of Tennessee (1839-1841).

Unexpectedly, Polk became the Democratic presidential candidate in 1844 and won the election on the slogan “fifty-four forty or fight” referring to the proposed boundary between U.S. claims in Oregon and British claims. He was equally eager to acquire territory from Mexico including Texas and California.

Prelude to the Mexican War (1845-1846)

While Sam Houston was turning Texas into a powerful addition to the United States and starting a family with his third wife (married Margaret Lea of Marion, Alabama 9 May 1840), Mexico sank into greater internal turmoil. California and other subdivisions of Mexico were obviously flirting with the idea of following the lead of Texas although their Spanish language and tradition did not incline them to join the United States. When Texas became a state its borders were manned by U.S. Troops. One of the details that had not been resolved during the period of Texas independence was exactly where the border with Mexico was. The result was predictable.

Concurrent with Texas statehood (December 1845), the U.S. (President Polk) sent John Slidell (1793-1871) to Mexico to resolve the border of Texas and purchase the other Mexican claims now known as New Mexico and California. The moderate Mexican government was overthrown on 4 January 1846 and the Centralists ordered Slidell out of Mexico, however, he stayed until August attempting to mediate peace. The Centralists, of course, were Santa Anna’s old party and still claimed all of Texas. General Zachary Taylor moved his army to the mouth of the Rio Grande by the end of March 1846.

Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)

Zachary Taylor was born into a well-known family in Orange County, Virginia in 1784, but he was raised on the Kentucky frontier with little formal education. He joined the army in 1808 and was promoted through the ranks for his successes primarily against Native Americans in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War (1832), and Seminole Wars (1837-38). He was at Fort Smith Arkansas (1841-1844) and was made commander of the South Western Military Department (Baton Rouge, LA). President Polk sent him to Texas in July 1845 and he established a camp with a small army on the banks of the Nueces River.

The Missing Parris Brothers

My grandfather was named George Taylor Parris. Many of his close friends and neighbors though it was George Washington Parris. Nobody had any reason to associate the name “Taylor” with the Parris family. When I examined the 1850 census records for Haywood Co., NC it soon became obvious that and unexpected number of the sons of David Parris and Mary Marr disappeared from the county about 1846 leaving their faithful wives to raise families. What epidemic swept away James (b. 1805), David (b. 1814), William (b. 1802), and Alfred (b. 1818) leaving their wives, children, and extended family intact? I suspect that these men were inspired by Sam Houston and James K. Polk to become Tennessee Volunteers in 1846 for the War with Mexico. The date of 2 February 1847 has been given for the death of William (b. 1802). The other brothers have been simply listed as dying in or about 1847.

The Mexican War Begins (1846)

Mariano Parades y Arrillaga assumed the presidency of Mexico on 4 January 1846 and immediately sent Slidell home. Polk the ordered Taylor to move his troops from the Nueces to the mouth of the Rio Grande across from Matamoros, Mexico. Taylor completed the move on 28March 1846. Mexico considered this an intolerable act of aggression and formerly declared war on 23 April. Mexico had an army of about 32,000 men who had experienced combat in the recent series of Mexican revolutions and coups. Taylor had only a few thousand men (est. 3,500) of the regular army. Parades expected to sweep the Americans aside and grandly anticipated not only reoccupying Texas, but also extending Mexican control along the Gulf coast as far as west Florida (as it had been 50 years earlier). In part, the Mexicans were counting on divisions within U.S. politics to ensure that northern states would not support the war. In this, Parades was generally correct, and that might have been a factor in a long war. However, the Mexicans attempted three hasty attacks on Taylor (25 April, 8 May (Palo Alto), 9 May (Resaca de la Palma)) which were repulsed, and the Southerners rallied to Taylor, individually and by state (i.e., especially Tennessee).

The (Tennessee) Volunteers

Through the War of 1812, the United States had clung to the concept of a small professional army augmented during times of need by state militia. However, the weaknesses of the militia were apparent even in the French and Indian War (1750s). The militia was composed of ordinary citizens who armed themselves and who were called together on short notice and for periods of short duration (e.g., 90 days) to meet some immediate threat. This is the militia described in the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The militia was viewed as essential to ensuring that what Jefferson called “The People” retained control of the government. I will note that there have been attempts to argue that the National Guard is the modern descendent of the colonial and revolutionary “militia.” This is not correct. The militia of the Second Amendment is still “The People.” The concept of the National Guard can be traced to the Mexican War.

There were only about 5,500 men in the entire national army in 1845 and many of the unit commanders were left over from the War of 1812 and thus too old to fight. Moreover, many of the privates that were enlisted were recent Irish Catholic immigrants. In a war with Catholic Mexico, these troops would prove to be unreliable (i.e., they were more Catholic than American). Congress realized that the militia was not suitable to fight an international war. Thus, Congress created a new type of unit called the “volunteers” who were not prohibited from fighting on foreign soil and who was not limited in service duration. Congress gave President Polk permission (13 May 1846) to raise 50,000 12-month volunteers organized by state to service along side the regular army. The volunteers (not the militia) are the precursor of the National Guard. In November 1846, a second call for volunteers was made. The regular army and the volunteers expanded quickly with 26,900 men serving as regulars during the war and 73,000 serving as volunteers. As many as 30,000 volunteered from Tennessee. Some of the “Tennessee volunteers” may have been from western North Carolina who were naturally attached to Tennessee by the Tennessee River and men like Sam Houston and James K. Polk. Many of these died during the war and some stayed in service as part of the army of occupation.

Whether the Parris brothers (sons of David Parris) left their homes in western North Carolina specifically to participate in the conflict as volunteers or whether they were simply drawn in as sympathetic militia is not known, but they seem likely to have become part of Taylor’s army that grew to 20,000 men (regulars, volunteers and militia) after he occupied Matamoros on 18 May 1846. Considering the complexity of the army, and the fact that the United States was actively negotiating with Santa Anna (Mexican leader in exile) to stop the fighting, it is quite understandable that Taylor did not move rapidly from Matamoros in June or July. It was not until August 1846 that he moved up the Rio Grande to Camargo and positioned himself for an attack on Monterrey.

29.3 The Mexican War (1846-1848) and its Aftermath

Monterrey (September 1846)

The unexpected defeats undermined the Parades (Centralists) government and he abandoned his office on 28 July 1846. His vice-president also abandoned office on 6 August. The Mexican Federalists attempted to restore the Constitution of 1824, but this government was short-lived. The U.S. had blockaded Mexico and Santa Anna (Centralists) was exiled in Cuba, but he was allowed to return (16 August) with American assistance on his promise to form a stable government and stop the war. Any assurances given to the Americans were not given a second though by Santa Anna who took control of the Mexican army and began a plan for resistance.

Concurrent with these political maneuvers by Polk and Slidell, Taylor had moved his army to attack Monterrey (the largest city in northern Mexico). When Santa Anna’s duplicity and aggressiveness were revealed, Taylor initiated the attack on Monterrey (21 September 1846). The Mexican garrison (with some American deserters) numbered about 10,000 men and Taylor surrounded then by cutting the road to Saltillo. In the fighting, the Americans lost about 120 killed and 368 wounded as the assaulted the town. The Mexican general (Ampudia) realized that his situation was hopeless and (no doubt with visions of the Alamo in mind) offer the Americans a truce. On his side, Taylor was willing to allow the Mexicans to abandon the town in tact with most of their equipment to avoid continued costly attacks on fortified positions and collateral destruction of the city with deaths to Mexican civilians. It was a reasonable military and political solution considering that the Americans were still trying to minimize the war in Mexico. The American objectives (Texas, New Mexico, California, Oregon) were already in hand.

Nonetheless, as the complexion of the conflict changed with the return of Santa Anna, Taylor was criticized for allowing the Mexicans to escape and giving them a lengthy truce. If a longer war had been anticipated, Taylor might have simply attempted to starve the Mexican out of Monterrey to obtain unconditional surrender; but remember it was the politicians who brought back Santa Anna. Thus, the truce was ended early and Taylor occupied Monterrey and Saltillo in November and December 1846.

Santa Anna (who was headquartered at San Luis Potosi) joined forces with Ampudia and resolved to attack the Americans in the vicinity of Monterrey. The Mexican army of 20,000 men now moved north in January of 1847. Taylor located good defensive ground at a location called Buena Vista (it literally had a good view from a commanding position).

The Parris brothers were likely together as members of a Tennessee Volunteer regiment that served with Taylor from Matamoros to Monterrey. However, as described below, the Tennessee Volunteers and most other units were split from Taylor in January 1847 and moved via Victoria to Tampico. Assuming these facts to be correct, William Parris (b. 1802) would have died most likely in or near Victoria on 2 February 1847. As the first of the brothers to die and to have died relatively close to home, his death (with exact date) was probably reported to the families back in Haywood County by letter. The remaining Parris brothers (James, Alfred, and David #2) continued with the army to Tampico.

California and New Mexico (Fall 1846)

Concurrent with Taylor’s move on Monterrey, other U.S. expeditions advanced west.

Americans in California led by John C. Fremont followed the example of Texas in June 1846 by declaring themselves to be an independent republic (the Bear Flag Republic). The U.S. navy landed at Monterey on 2 July 1846 and claimed California for the U.S. The Mexican commander fled in August. The real contest for California was between the Spanish Californians in the south and the Anglo-Californians in the north. This conflict was cast by historians as a revolt of Mexicans against the U.S., but it was really more of a civil war, which continued until January 1847. About this time, a group of Mormons arrived from Utah to support U.S./Anglo interests in California. The army (Kearny), the navy (Stockton) and the Anglo-Californians (Fremont) eventually set up a government and the navy went off raiding Pacific Mexican.

Brigadier General Stephen Watts Kearny left Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas (July 1846) with about 2,000 Missouri volunteers following the Santa Fe Trail into New Mexico. No one opposed him occupying Santa Fe on 18 August 1846. He set up a provisional government under Charles Brent with occupation troops under Sterling Price. He sent Alexander William Doniphan to capture Chihuahua while he took only 300 men to California. Doniphan followed the Rio Grande for six months and fought small engagements before resting in February 1847. Nonetheless, he captured Chihuahua at the end of February and moved on to Saltillo. Kearney arrived in California after it had been captured.

Buena Vista (February 1847)

It was becoming apparent to Polk and the Congress that the Mexicans (now under Santa Anna) would be a perpetual distraction unless they could be decisively beaten. While Santa Anna was obliged to wear out his army in long overland marches, the U.S. Navy opened the possibility that American troops could flank the Mexican armies by a sea-borne expedition into southern-central Mexico. Ideally, this would be launched while Santa Anna was drawn far to the north as he was preparing to attack Taylor. Thus, one of the first brilliant American military campaigns was hatched in late 1847. An army was formed under Winfield Scott (who had presided over the removal of the Cherokee from Georgia, Carolina and Tennessee in 1838). The army was assembled at Matamoros and Tampico from troops stationed along the border and withdrawn from Taylor’s forces around Monterrey (who moved to Tampico via Victoria). This was a calculated risk in which the Americans bet that Taylor could occupy and hold a good position against much superior forces while the remainder of the army was shipped to Vera Cruz. In the end, Taylor had a force of about 517 regulars and less than 5,000 volunteers (i.e., the Mississippi Rifles, the Arkansas Mounted, Brig. Gen. Joseph Lane's brigade of the 2nd and 3rd Indiana, the 1st and 2nd Illinois, the 1st Kentucky Mounted and the 2nd Kentucky Infantry). Units from other states (Tennessee the Carolinas and Virginia) joined Scott’s army.

Of course, surprise is essential to any calculated risk and surprise was totally lost when the Mexicans captured a dispatch describing the entire American plan. Santa Anna’s counter plan, thus, was to quickly march north and overwhelm the small army left with Taylor and then wheel quickly to the south to defend the beaches at Vera Cruz. Santa Anna began a punishing march from San Luis Potosi; and when he prepared to engage the Americans (22-23 February 1847), he could only muster about 15,000 men. This still gave him three-to-one odds, but three-to-one odds is not what most military commanders consider essential for an assured victory over troops in a good defensive position. Moreover, the Americans were armed with efficient new artillery and many units carried rifles rather than muskets while the Mexicans had cumbersome cannons, muskets and their cavalry carried lances. In the end, the armies that met at Buena Vista were well matched and motivated. The battle was fought bravely on both sides and was in doubt until the very end. The Americans suffered moderate casualties (about 10%), but the Mexicans faces with more lethal American arms lost about 20% of their force. In the end, Santa Anna not only had to leave the battlefield to regroup; he had to abandon the campaign against Taylor because the army of Winfield Scott was already landing in the south.

Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo and Puebla (Spring 1847)

The U.S. army including a large contingent of Tennessee Volunteers (and likely the remaining three Parris brothers James, Alfred and David) departed from Tampico in an armada of about a hundred U.S. ships. They anchored off Vera Cruz while Scott (accompanied by some of his younger leaders including Robert E. Lee) took a small boat near the shore to find a suitable landing spot out of range of the town’s defensive cannons. The landings took place on 10-11 March 1847 and were unopposed. The following is an eye-witness account written in 1894 by General Dabney Herndon Maury of Virginia as edited and re-published by Wm. Maury Morris II (wmm@Hopper.itc.Virginia.Edu) in 1994:

“Our army landed at Vera Cruz, 14,000 strong, in four divisions. The landing was made in whale-boats rowed by the sailors of the fleet. In each boat were from fifty to sixty soldiers, and it was a glorious sight to see the first division, under General Worth, move off at 2 P.M. at the signal from the flag-ship. The fifty great barges kept in line, until near the shore, when General Worth himself led the way to make the landing first of all, and being in a fine gig he accomplished this, and was the first man of the army to plant the American flag upon that shore of Mexico. The Mexicans made no resistance, and the boats rapidly returned for the second division, under Twiggs, which was as quietly transported to the shore. Then the volunteers came, and soon after dark Scott had his whole army in battle order about three miles from Vera Cruz.”

Vera Cruz was surrounded and subjected by bombardment from land and sea. It surrendered on 28 March just as Santa Anna was setting up a defensive position at Cerro Gordo on the road to Mexico City. Although Santa Anna had selected a natural pinch point, he did not carefully evaluate routes around his position. The Americans found ways to bypass and envelop the Mexican army and routed them on 18 April 1847 (American casualties were 64 dead and 353 wounded while the Mexicans lost 1,000 casualties and 3,000 prisoners).

The American advance ground to a halt with forces scattered from Vera Cruz to Jalapa with several thousand sick with various diseases and infections. The next leap to Puebla in mid-May was accompanied by even more men falling from disease. The American army suffered into mid-July with reinforcements barely able to keep pace with those dying of disease; about 20% of the men were bedridden at any one time. The enlistment of the first wave of 4,000 volunteers was up and these men were sent home while new volunteers arrived.

Stonewall Jackson Papers
VMI Archives
Letter TJJ to Laura Jackson Arnold

Jalapa Mexico
April 22d 1847

Dear Sister

I promised in my last that I would give you a more detailed account of Mexico in a subsequent letter. I will now endeavor to comply with that promise. In doing so I will first state in general terms that the portion of Northern Mexico which has fallen under my observation is mostly a vast barren waste cities excepted. There are but two seasons in Mexico wet & dry. In consequence of the drought there is but little vegetation in the north. A person in traveling through this sterile portion of country would not suppose that the country inhabitants were able to pay their taxes. But in the cities it is different. There wealth is frequently found one person residing in Saltillo is said to own a larger area of land than the state of New York. But passing to the south the aspect of things change. You frequently {see} elegant buildings in the country. Genl Santa Anna owns between this place & Vera Cruz 5 beautiful houses and a tract of land about fifty five miles in length. The country in the south is very similar to our own. Whilst I was in Monterey my quarters were in the outskirts of the city having a large back lot attached which contained beautiful orange orchard. Also in this lot was a fine bathing establishment the dimensions being about 25 by 30 ft. Monterey is the most beautiful city which I have seen in the North of this distracted country.

About 50 miles farther west is Saltillo the capital of Coahuila. Its [height] is about 2000 feet above the level of Monterey on an inclined plane at the edge of the table lands. The houses are generally built of sun dried brick as are most of the houses in that region. The church is the most highly ornamented on the interior of any edifice which has ever come under my observation. On entering this magnificent structure we are struck with the gaudy appearance on every side but most especially the opposite end which appears to be gilded with gold. At the bottom is a magnificent silver altar and on each side are statues which can not fail to attract the attention of the astonished beholder. The music is of the highest character. The priests are robed in the most gaudy of apparel. The inhabitants take off their hats on approaching the church and do not replace them until past it. One day whilst I was near the building I observed a senora (lady) gradually approaching the door on another occasion I saw a female looking at a statue and weeping like a child. Such is the superstition of this race.

After obtaining a [limited] transportation for General Twigg's division it set forward for Jalapa on the road leading to the city of Mexico. But on arriving near Cerro Gordo we learned that General Santa Anna held the pass in force consequently we waited for reinforcements which finally arrived and on the 17 Inst we attacked the Mexicans but did not succeed in routing them completely until the 18th when we took some thousand prisoners and completely routed the remainder. We followed close on the retreating column until night and came near enough to give the retreating enemy a few shots from the battery. But they succeeded in effecting their escape for want of our dragoons. General Scott after disarming the prisoners allowed them to retire the officers on [parole]. But General La Vega who is again our prisoner refused to except of his and I presume that he will be sent back to the U.S. Our loss has been considerable but not known neither is the Mexican. General Santa Anna escaped but in his haste left us his carriage & together with some thousand dollars in specie.

General Twiggs' division has fought the battle. General Worth has again got a division but he did not get it into action owing to its being used as a reserve and General Twiggs' as the advance. Capt Taylor in his report to General Twiggs has spoken of me in very flattering terms. I am now in Jalapa which is situated about 60 miles from Vera Cruz and 195 from the city of Mexico. General Worth is now in advance and if there is any fighting at Perote he will be apt to distinguish himself. He will probably be in the vicinity of Perote tomorrow at farthest and possibly today. It is rumored here that the Mexicans are fortifying their capital if so then we may have the grand battle there. A Mexican officer came here last evening from the city of Mexico and stated that his father had written to him from San [Louis] stating that General Taylor was there & had met with no opposition.

I can say no more as I have just learned that the escort by which I wish to send this has started because I must mount my horse & over take it or miss a good opportunity. I am in better health than usual.

{unsigned}

On 7 August 1847, Scott had a new set of volunteers and was confident enough to begin the final march to the outskirts of Mexico City. Statistics suggest that one or two of the Parris brothers would have died during this period of disease.

Mexico City (Summer 1847)

Scott’s army engaged the Mexican screening forces on 19-20 August at Contreras. A more stubborn fight followed on 20 August at Churubusco with about 1,000 U.S. casualties and 4,000 Mexican casualties. A truce was called until 7-8 September when another hard-fought advance at Molino del Rey costs the Americans another 800 soldiers. Chapultepec Hill was captured on 13 September and the Americans were then able to enter Mexico City. Santa Anna withdrew and in October went into exile. The U.S. army then entered a period of occupation well into 1848. The final Parris brother(s) likely died between Jalapa and Mexico City in 1847 or during the period of occupation. Their exact dates of death were apparently never recorded or transmitted to their wives.

The Morality of the War

Probably no American war except Vietnam (1965-1975) has drawn as much criticism and soul searching about the war with Mexico. At the time of the war, the influential New England newspapers and intellectuals primarily opposed any action that would add slave states to the Union. Texas would necessarily enter the Union as a slave state, thus, they were against it. The anti-slavery activists thus became anti-expansionists and made all sorts of exaggerated moral arguments and distorted facts to make the annexation of Texas (as well as Mexico, California and Oregon) seem morally wrong. At lower levels in society, recent immigrants (predominantly Catholic Irish escaping famine) were sympathetic to Catholic Mexico in general and faced hostility by largely Protestant America. Ironically, recent immigrants joined the regular army as privates in disproportionate numbers for economic reasons and many of these then deserted in battle to fight for Mexico (the San Patricio’s).

Contrary to contemporary opinion by abolitionists, Catholics and miscellaneous do-gooders, President Polk showed remarkable restraint. Texas was an independent republic (and had been for a decade) when it joined the union; California was not governed by Mexico and was in danger of being occupied by the British; and New Mexico and the areas immediately north of the Rio Grande were practically waste lands. In spite of having a numerically superior army fighting on its own territory, the Mexican government could not muster the morale of its people to resist the American expeditionary force. Ironically, American deserters played an important role in the Mexican military. The Americans not only captured every major objective in Mexico, they did it with very light casualties (on both sides; compare the American War Between the States a few years later). Reasonably, we can conclude the Mexico had a government in name only. There were calls to annex all of Mexico, which Polk rebuffed. Over the last 150 years, the Mexican (in spite of the implicit protection they have received from international conflict by the U.S.) have failed to produce a government free of corruption, able to manage its business and resources, and representative of all the people.

Unknown Soldiers

In all, nearly 115,000 men served in the Mexican War with 1.5% killed in combat, 10% died from disease and 12% discharged for wounds or disease. Neither the United States nor the individual states made any attempt to return the remains of war dead from Mexico. Soldiers that died from disease or in the fighting were haphazardly buried and lost to memory. In Mexico City a small American graveyard contains 750 unknown soldiers and eight known soldiers. It is relevant to list the known soldiers as they give some indications of the units that are represented here:

Santiago Wright
Nathaniel S. Reneau
John E. Frey
William Jacobs Brown
George Smith
George Heyser
James G. Holleman
James E. Slaughter Veteran of Mexican War
Private Company G, 1st Tennessee Mounted Volunteers
Corporal, Company F, 3rd US Infantry
Pennsylvania Regiment
Veteran of Mexican War
Pennsylvania Regiment
Private Company L, 1st Tennessee Mounted Volunteers
1st Lieutenant, Artillery

At least two of these eight are from Tennessee.

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (4 July 1848)

The treaty that ended the Mexican War was negotiated and ratified between February and July 1848. Its main provisions codified the situation that the Americans had established on the ground, with the exception that the U.S. army was withdrawn from territory south of the Rio Grande. The boundary was extended to the west in straight-line segments to a point just south of San Diego. Mexicans living in the new territory annexed by the U.S. were promised citizenship and religious freedom, but land titles granted by Spain or Mexico were abolished. In addition the U.S. paid $15 million to Mexico (they had been prepared to pay $30 million before the war) and accepted all the claims by U.S. citizens against Mexico.

Post-War Politics 1848-1850

Zachary Taylor was a real war hero after the battle of Buena Vista. He was a strong nationalist with southern roots and a slaveholder. He was nominated for president by the Whig party, but never would have won the 1848 election had the abolitionists not formed a third party (Free Soil Party), which drew voted from the Democrats. Slavery and the rights of states to determine their own position on slavery (and other issues) became the central focus of political conflict in the first two years of is Presidency. The status of the vast new territories in the west made these issues the over-arching political focus for the next ten years. Southern leaders threatened succession in February of 1850, but Taylor was a respected military man and made it very clear that he would defend the Union with armed intervention. He would deal with secessionists as though they were deserters from the army. Unexpectedly, Taylor took ill on 4 July 1850 and died on 9 July. He was followed in office by Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchannan; all northerners. The inter-state dispute grew progressively more violent with virtual civil war between southern and northern settlers in Kansas territory.

The gold shrike in California in 1849 led to a rush of settlers from the east into that territory. Plans for a transcontinental railroad in the early 1850s to link California to the east tended to crystallize the slavery issue by driving the path of central territories towards statehood.

29.4 Alfred Washington Parris and Laura Louisa Connor

The following data is provided by Michael Clontz (2000) who gives the following dates for Alfred Washington Parris (born Jackson Co. November 1839- died 6 February 1935, Morrow Cemetery) and Louisa Connor (born 21 February 1841- died 26 August 1918, Indian Creek Bapt. Cemetry), married 1 February 1859 (Jackson County, NC):

children:

1. James R. Parris Jul 11,1860 sp: Arminta Kimsey
Mar 25,1935

2. John Alfred Parris Jan 18,1864 sp: Emma Seay

3. Mary Lucinda Parris Feb 18,1866 sp: John Sheppard

4. Celinda Jane Parris Sept 12, 1868 sp: Columbus J. Kitchens

5. Nicey Amy Emmaline Parris Apr 12,1871
sp:John B. Miller
Dec 4, 1924

6. Sarah Lucretia Parris Jun 18, 1873
sp: John A. Davis [This appears to be John Elander Davis, see below]

7. Lydia Parris Mar 17, 1878
sp: James Wesley Vick
July 5, 1970

8. Laura Elizabeth Nov 15, 1880
sp: Dillard Wines

9. Theodocia Parris May 27, 1883
sp: James Baxter Laney
July 14, 1978

Part 30: The War Between the States

30.1 Background to the Conflict

The Unfinished Revolution

Although conventional American history (presented from a New England point of view, most of the time) likes to call the American War of Independence “The Revolution,” it was not. The ideas that carried the nation after the war were very much the same that carried the nation before the war. However, through the efforts of Thomas Jefferson some principles were incorporated in American founding documents that have carried the Americans for the last two centuries. These principles included the idea that “The People” are the source of the government’s power is probably the fundamental notion and is a basic element of democracy. However, with the introduction of democracy in the United States, there was clearly a limit to the extension of democracy to social groups. White Europeans were subject to the principle of democracy, Black Africans and Native Americans were not part of “The People.”

Between 1783 and 1861, the United States functioned largely without a social conscience. It had a revolutionary fervor that was captured in the concept of “manifest destiny.” The (white/northern European) Americans were destined to rule North America. Andrew Jackson was the epitome of this concept and I have focused a good deal of attention on Jackson in preceding chapters. It was not until the 1850s that the social conscience became strong enough to undo the institution of slavery, but displacement of Native Americans continued into the early 1900s. Women’s rights and suffrage became an issue in the 1900s along with Civil Rights. All of these steps have been part of a prolonged “revolution” in American culture. The most important thing about the War of Independence is that the government that resulted was flexible and able to accommodate change.

However, the government was still a compromise between states and a central government.

Slavery and Fuel

Slavery has existed since the earliest times of civilization until the 1800s in even the most liberal societies and nations. Why was it so persistent? Why did it end?

As discussed earlier, slavery is a method in which a meta-stable "advanced "society can be created in the absence of a major fuel source (other than charcoal from wood). This discussion appears many chapters ago in this book (see). Basically, for advanced society to exist, per-capita fuel consumption of some fraction of society must exceed the norm. This can only be achieved by unequal distribution of fuel enforced by institutionalized slavery. Thus, in order to maintain an advancing society in the absence of a concentrated fuel source (as we saw from 1000 BC through 1800 AD), slavery must persist regardless of your moral persuasion. The slaves are fueled by grain and this is cheaper and more technological feasible than mining coal.

Once it is possible to mine coal and run pumps to drain progressively deeper coal mines for continuous and expanding coal recovery (i.e., the conditions did not occur until the 1700), it becomes technically feasible to abandon slavery. The areas of concentrated industry (e.g., Europe followed by New England) were the first to reach this state. The American South was lagging because of the nature of the agricultural industry. Actually, the introduction of steam powered plants in the North (New England) and Europe temporarily increased the demand for agricultural labor in the agricultural South without providing a feasible replacement for the salves.

In the end, coal mine and coal miners assisted with steam pumps and engines freed the slaves by making it feasible to abandon slave labor. Once it was technologically feasible to free the slaves, social institutions that had been built up over centuries had to be undone. That process is still happening in the United States.

Federal versus State Power

The authority of the Federal government of the United States is actually quite limited (frustratingly limited in many cases) relative to the states. Most of the domestic control of the Federal government has been exercised under the “Commerce clause” of the Constitution, which has been interpreted in ways that were probably never intended in order to facilitate a trans-state government. Under this clause, the Federal government typically sets minimal Federal standards and states that want to engage in inter-state commerce (as they all must) must meet these minimum standards (although they may exceed these standards at their on judgement). The Federal government also bribes/coerces the states to comply with Federal regulations by addicting the states to a constant stream of federal financial grants (e.g., funds for road construction and maintenance). Thus, when the Federal government wants the states to go along with some federal rule, the federal government threatens to cut off grants to states that do not comply with the Federal standards. For example, States are free to set their own speed limits on roads, but if these limits are not in keeping with policies of the federal government, the federal government may cut off highway fund grants. Thus, in principle, States can exercise substantial independence; but in practice they generally comply with Federal policies to participate in inter-state commerce and to receive their share of Federal tax grants.

In the early 1800s, the State governments had still not so fully accepted the power of the Federal government. The concept of Nullification of Federal laws by States was realistically entertained. The crisis that had arisen in South Carolina had not been resolve, it had been avoided. Moreover, the States still had the notion that they had voluntarily joined the Union and they could voluntarily leave the Union. This concept was about to be tested.

What developed in the early 1860 was a War Between the States (not a civil war). The notion of “Civil War” again displays the influence of New England educators and publishers on American historical perspective. The slaves in the South were certainly the biggest issue in the war, but the form of the conflict was clearly based upon states’ rights to choose (among other things) whether or not to allow slavery. The idea that the war was fought solely over slavery stems from the fact that in the 1850s, new states were being added to the Union and southern states wanted the right of the states to choose (whether or not to allow slavery) to be confirmed, while many in the north simply condemned slavery (to their great credit) and were willing to impose the Federal position on the states undermining the rights of all states (on all issues). Overall, the southern politicians can be soundly criticized for picking such a dreadful issue to base states' rights on.

On the slavery issue, the North (Union) clearly had the moral high ground and the propaganda of the Union worked successfully to characterize the struggle as pro-freedom versus pro-slavery. The abolition of slavery was a very desirable byproduct of the war and the strengthening of the union was a desirable feature. Unfortunately, it laid the groundwork for almost boundless expansion of the Federal government (for better or worse).

30.2 Overview of the Combat

The Grand Strategy

The War Between the States has been analyzed and recounted many times. I can add nothing to that debate. It became obvious that with the two national capitols (Washington and Richmond) barely 100 miles apart that the war quickly consolidated into a stalemate with many troops bogged down between these two key cities. Lincoln recognized that he could never mass enough troops to push through to Richmond; but he also recognized that the Confederates could not mass enough troops to overpower his own defenses. Thus, he intentionally weakened his effort in the east so that he could move troops into the west where a more fluid war could be fought. This war eventually brought Sherman into Georgia and the Confederates were rolled up from behind. (i.e., from the south). This was the grand strategy that won the war. In some ways, it was modeled after the strategy of the Mexican War .

The Western Cherokee in the War

The War Between the States brought out basic conflicts among the western Cherokee. The Old Settlers (1800-1820) were generally tribal and traditional in their views. They were generally poor and had no interest in defending the institution of slavery. The New Settlers (1832-1839) were often rich, some came with slaves, many were mixed blood (e.g., 1/8th Cherokee) and they brought with them the organization of government. The New Settlers controlled the face of the Cherokee to the outside world. Early in the conflict the western Cherokee remained neutral, but when the Union forces withdrew, the Cherokee Nation led by John Ross voted to succeed in August 1861. However, after a Confederate defeat at Pea Ridge (1862), Ross allowed himself to be captured and sat out the rest of the war in Philadelphia. Some Cherokee units went over to the Union. In the end, Stand Watie was the most loyal Cherokee to the cause of the Confederacy.

spent the rest of the war in Philadelphia. John Drew's Mounted Rifle regiment also deserted and
was reorganized as a regiment in the Union army, but other Cherokee units under Stand Watie
remained loyal to the Confederacy. Watie and Ross had been on opposite side of Cherokee politics (Watie was in the Treaty Party) and the war expanded their hatred. Watie became a Confederate general and did not surrender until 23 June 1865.

Many Cherokee fled the Nation into Kansas and Texas to escape the fighting at home. When the war was over, the Federal government used the Cherokee decisions to join the Confederacy as an excuse to invalidate all Cherokee claims.

30.3 The 25th Regiment of North Carolina

Formation of Confederate Units from Western North Carolina

Thomas Lanier Clingman (1812-1897) was descendent from a line of German immigrants who arrived in Pennsylvania in the 1700s and moved into the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina after the War of Independence. Thomas Clingman was well educated at the University of North Carolina and was elected to the state legislature in 1835 as a Whig. He soon moved to Asheville and his political reputation grew. In 1843, he was elected to Congress. He became a U.S. Senator in 1858. During the 1850s, he explored the mountains and measured the altitude of “Clingman’s Dome” in 1855. He also identified mineral and gem deposits in western North Carolina. He withdrew from the U.S. Congress in January 1861 and in May he carried assurances from North Carolina to the Confederate Congress.

With hostilities beginning, Clingman volunteered for military service and was made a Colonel in the Confederate Army. His first assignment was to raise a regiment from western North Carolina. The 15th Regiment of Volunteers was organized to have ten companies (A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I, and K; but no J) commanded by captains. Captains were sent to communities to recruit their men personally. For example, Company I was recruited in Buncombe County by Captain George Howell. Captain Thaddeus D. Bryson recruited Company B from Jackson County and Captain Samuel C. Bryson recruited Company C in Haywood County . William Thomas was also recruiting for his Thomas Legion of Cherokee in Jackson County. Parris men joined both units.

Parris Men from Jackson County

15th (later 25th) Regiment, Company B (T.D. Bryson)

A.W. Parris (Alfred Washington Parris joined on 20 May 1861 and mustered in on 8 June 1861 at Webster, NC for a 12-month tour of duty as a private. His age was given as 20 years. He was actually 26. He was present at Wilmington on 22 October 1861. He was present through June 1862 and he participated in the Peninsula Campaign where he was severely wounded at Malvern Hill on 1 July 1862. He was furloughed and carried on the rolls as absent through the rest of the war.)

J.M. Parris

M.W. Parris

Thomas Legion

Rufus M. Parris ,

William E. Parris (Originally Co. A 16th Regiment, from Jackson Co. Wounded at Seven Pines, VA, 31 May 1862. Wounded in the leg and hand at Second Manassas, VA 29 August 1862. Transferred to the Legion.)

The men joining the 15th Regiment were sent east to Asheville where they assembled at Camp Patton. About 1,100 men were enlisted. Here their first introduction to military organization was provided during the summer of 1861. However, they were soon needed for action. On 5 September 1861, orders came down from Governor H.T. Clark. Clingman began the difficult process of moving his men to positions in eastern North Carolina near Wilmington (Camp Davis). Wilmington was one of the most important ports of the Confederacy and it was important that it be defended from Union attack early in the war. They first marched to Icard Station (near Morganton) beginning on 18 September. This 70-mile march through the foothills brought them to the first railroad most of the men had ever seen. Once loaded the trains moved the 15th Regiment eastward and stopped at Raleigh where uniforms were issued. The regiment finally arrived at Camp Davis on Mitchell’s Sound on 29 September 1861. Here the men were armed with muskets and other small arms.

The Union Navy was soon threatening Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. The North Carolina troops were sent to Port Royal (near Parris Island) in October 1861 to defend that collection of swamps from which blockade-runners could slip past the Union fleet. From Port Royal, the troops could also maneuver to support either Charleston of Savannah. The Confederacy changed the designation of the regiment to the 25th North Carolina Infantry on 14 November 1861.

The Union attacked Hilton Head Island (Fort Walker) and made some headway. Thus, by order of Robert E. Lee, Clingman’s regiment was moved to Grahamville, SC on 17 November 1861. This position blocked the possible route of advance of Union forces inland north of the Savannah River. The Union did not push its efforts and the position remained quiet for the next several months. During this time, the soldiers of the 25th Regiment were employed to build coastal defenses and railroads.

The next threat came in the New Burn area of North Carolina in March 1862. The 25th Regiment was ordered back to North Carolina, but New Burn was overrun by the time the unit arrived in Kinston. Here troops recently driven from New Bern and the 25th were placed under the command of Brigadier General Robert Ransom, Jr. The unit settled in around Gum Swamp.

Col. Clingman was promoted to Brigadier General (May 1862) and assigned the defense of Goldsboro, NC . The 25th Regiment was made part of General Bushrod Rust Johnson’s Division. Bushrod Johnson (1817-1880) was born in Ohio, but served most of his live in Tennessee. He had served in the Mexican War with the U.S. Army and was a Colonel in the Tennessee militia at the outbreak of hostilities.

The Peninsula Campaign (March-June 1862)

Meanwhile, U.S. General George McClellan initiated the Peninsula Campaign in March 1862 in an attempt to capture Richmond. In mid-June 1862, the 25th Regiment was sent north to Petersburg, Virginia where they became part of General T. H. Holme’s Division. On 24 June, the unit traveled from Petersburg to Richmond and was immediately thrown into the battle by General Huger along the Williamsburg Road. The 25th Regiment, thus, was moved in a few short days from a quiet rear position and found itself meeting the Union forces head-on on the first day of what became known as the Seven-day Battle. Their first engagement was “The Battle of Oak Grove” (a.k.a., “The Battle of King’s School House”). The 25th Regiment repulsed three Union attacks between 11 AM and 6 PM. They charged with a “rebel yell” and drove about 3,000 Union troops from the field in the rear of Shearn’s burnt house. Then, they fell under heavy artillery fire in the twilight. General Ransom later commented “that the 25th North Carolina Regiment, engaged in battle for the first time, behaved admirably and with unwavering gallantry.”

Over the next two days, the Confederates gained the initiative and began pushing the Union forces back. The key battle was at Gaines’ Mill (First Cold Harbor) on 27 June. On 29 June, after further attacks, the Union Army began a general retreat leaving supplies and a field hospital with 2,500 wounded as they retreated across White Oak Swamp. Lee was trying to cut the Union Army off from their line of retreat to the James River on 30 June. This prompted the Union forces to establish a strong defensive position on Malvern Hill, which was attacked by the Confederates on 1 July 1862. The 25th North Carolina Regiment moved from their position on Quaker Road into the line of battle around 2 PM. There, the Union artillery shelled them until 5 PM. At this point they were called to assist the 35th North Carolina Regiment, however sever fire forced them halt after a brief advance. Col. Rutledge (immediate Commander of the 25th) was stunned by explosion of a shell and Lt. Col. Pettway was killed. The North Carolina regiments reformed within 200 yards of the Union batteries. From here, they charged the Union gunners at dusk with a rebel yell. Unfortunately, after advancing within 20 yards of the guns, they were forced to fall back. General Ransom’s Brigade of 5 North Carolina Regiments suffered 499 casualties including 69 killed and 354 wounded . There were also 76 missing. The 25th Regiment itself lost 93 killed and wounded (about 10%). This was a bloody and futile effort by the South. The Union Army was able to disengage and find shelter under the guns of the Union Navy on the James River.

The 25th North Carolina went into camp at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia. Sanitation was poor and epidemic diseases ran through the regiment. Over the next two months, 81 men died of disease.

The Maryland Campaign (September- October 1862)

On 4 September 1862, Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River into Maryland. They moved behind (west of) the protection of the Blue Ridge. Harper’s Ferry was overrun 12-14 September 1862 and the 25th NC Regiment was placed on Loudon Heights overlooking the junction of the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers. Meanwhile, the Confederates attempted to seal off the Union defenders at a series of mountain gaps (Crampton, Turner Fox) on South Mountain (near Frederick, Maryland). The Union Army successfully forced these gaps after substantial losses on each side on 14 September 1862. This set the stage for some of the bloodiest fighting of the war.

Sharpsburg is a tiny town in Washington County, Maryland just north of the Potomac River. Lee’s Army needed to hold Sharpsburg to ensure its line of retreat into Virginia.

Having a substantial numerical superiority (roughly 2-to-1), Maj. General George McClellan gave his Union Army the tasks of cutting Lee off from Virginia. The Union Army reached Antietam Creek a few miles south of Sharpsburg on 16 September 1862. General Hooker was given the task of driving a wedge between Lee and the river and led his troops into battle at dawn on 16 September. The battle ranged back and forth across open fields (Miller’s cornfield) with the Confederates holding a strong position in a Sunken Road at the center of their line. Union forces eventually gained control the Sunken Road, but were to tired and disorganized to follow up. General Burnside’s Union troops finally came into action across the stone bridge on Antietam Creek and was in a position to roll up the Confederates.

On the Confederate side, General A.P. Hill had moved his Corps from Harper’s Ferry and got them into line at the crucial moment. These troops included the 25th NC Regiment commanded by Col. Samuel Bryson, which went into the line at 3 AM on 17 September. The unit moved a half-mile northwest of Sharpsburg at 9 AM from where they charged and displaced the Union troops from West Woods. The Union troops repeatedly counterattacked, but the 25th NC held them at bay. On 18 September, Lee was able to make an orderly retreat across the Potomac River behind the action of skirmishers. The retreat was completed under cover of darkness on the evening of 18-19 September. A total of over 23,000 casualties were suffered by the combined armies. The Union wounded were evacuated to Frederick, Maryland.

By 23 September the 25th NC Regiment was near Martinsburg, Virginia attempting to ward off the chilly nights without their gear that had been left near Richmond or lost on the battlefield. Finally, they received resupply of winter clothing and blankets at Madison Court House (about 40 miles north of Charlottesville) and hoped to winter there.

Marye’s Heights-Fredericksburg (December 1862)

On the Union side, General McClellan was removed by Lincoln for letting Lee slip away; and he was replaced by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. Burnside viewed Fredericksburg, Virginia as a place for potential breakout to Richmond. Thus, he moved a corps into the area in November 1862. Lee responded by moving veteran troops to the high ground overlooking Fredericksburg. Lt. Samuel Bryson was still commanding the 25th NC Regiment as it took up positions on Marye’s Heights on 11 December 1862.

The Confederates dug in as the Federals built pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River. The Union troops crossed the river on 12 December under fire. On the next day, Burnside threw away the lives of his troops in a series of frontal assaults up Prospect Hill and Marye’s Heights. The 25th NC Regiment figured in the Confederate victory. However, it was not without cost. The 25th NC at one point broke up a Union charge by staging a counter charge down the slope from Marye’s house to the “sunken road.” In this charge that covered about 200 yards and lasted about two minutes, the 25th NC lost 120 men killed or wounded. General Robert Ransom, Jr. described the 25th NC as “most outstanding for their coolness and courage.”

The fighting concluded on 15 December and Lincoln removed Burnside in January 1863.

Eastern North Carolina (1863)

The 25th NC Regiment was no doubt pleased to return to the Wilmington-Kinston area in the late winter and spring of 1863. There was little activity until 22 May 1863 when the 58th Pennsylvania Regiment skirmished with the 25th NC near Gum Swamp (Kinston). The Pennsylvanians managed to capture 125 of the North Carolinians. The unit was likely in a state of poor morale.

Far to the north, Lee led his army to make the same mistake that Burnside had made at Fredericksburg. Lee sent wave after wave of Confederate infantry against the Union troops holding the high ground south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (1-3 July 1863). The south would never recover, but the war would not end.

Closer to the homes of the men of the 25th NC Regiment, the Confederates held the field at Chickamauga on 19 September halting the advance of the Union Army into north Georgia.

The Union troops captured Kinston, NC on 14 December 1863. For six months, 25th NC Regiment was inactive and was on detached duty at Weldon (near Roanoke Rapids), NC.

Petersburg and the Crater (1864-1865)

The orders came down and on 8 June 1864, the 25th NC Regiment departed by train to defend Petersburg, VA. The Petersburg Militia was about all that was in the way of the union troops by the time the regiment was in the line on 16 June 1864. The next evening, the regiment successfully pushed the Union troops back.

The fighting was stalled for a month around Petersburg. By this point, the 25th NC Regiment was down to only about 250 men. The Union troops resorted to mining to dig a tunnel under the Confederate lines to the key defensive batter (Pegram’s SC Battery). They packed the tunnel with 8,000 pounds of powder and detonated it as the first action in a general assault at dawn on 30 July 1864. The explosion killed 278 Confederate soldiers and left a crater 135’ x 97’ and 30’ deep. The 25th NC Regiment was dug in only about 100 yards away.

The Union soldiers (many Black units) poured through the broken lines as the dust settled. However, the front was very narrow and the defenders on the flanks were not disabled. Thus, the Confederates poured fire into the crater and the Union troops bled for eight hours before the 25th and other units captured a number of them in the crater. Overall, the battle cost the Union 3,000 dead.

A few days later, (21 August 1864) the 25th was involved in the capture of Union field fortifications at Reams Station on the Weldon Railroad line. The siege of Petersburg continued into 1865. In March the 25th NC occupied Fort Steadman.

The Last March (1865)

The Confederacy was in chaos by the beginning of 1865. Apparently, Lee was either waiting for the Union to offer honorable terms, or he was contemplating establishing a state in the mountains of Virginia (which also would have had to surrender at sometime). In any event, he moved the survivors of the war west from Richmond, starting in April 1865. The few men still identified as the 25th NC Regiment was part of his army when it surrendered on 9 April 1865.

The total impact of the war on the 25th NC Regiment included 220 men killed in action, with 280 men dead from disease. That accounts for almost half the unit. There were also 470 wounded.

30.4 Thomas’s Legion (69th North Carolina)

About a year after the first companies were raised in western North Carolina, Will Thomas asked to establish a Cherokee unit. He was granted the rank of captain and authorized to raise a company primarily for home defense. Their main job would be to keep Union forces from infiltrating into western North Carolina through the rugged mountains. Thomas raised his unit on 9 April 1862 at Qualla Town, NC. Although he was only authorized to raise a company, he had almost enough men for two companies. He was immediately ordered to take his troops into east Tennessee (Knoxville).

Once in Tennessee, Thomas divided his unit into two companies and called it the North Carolina Cherokee Battalion. This command warranted the rank of a major. He petitioned to raise even more men with the hope of becoming a “full battalion.” Apparently, he stopped short of claiming to found a regiment. Nonetheless, he raised three white companies and two Cherokee companies and Thomas was made a colonel 27 September 1862. Capt. James R. Love (formerly of the 16th NC Regiment) was his second in command. His unit picked up the name “Highland Rangers,” but they were officially the “1st Regiment, Thomas Legion..” This unit grew to about 1,100 men arranged in 8 white companies and 2 Cherokee companies . In addition the Thomas Legion included a battalion of 700 whites raised by William C. Walker (1 October 1862). Walker’s battalion was organized in 3 companies of cavalry and 2 companies of infantry. In April 1863, Walker’s battalion added another company of infantry, a company of engineers (sappers) and a battery of light artillery (i.e., Levi’s Light Battery). Thus, Col. William H Thomas found himself commanding a formidable force of about 2,000 men through Love and Walker.

The reader will note that the unit had no systematic military training. Will Thomas was a politician, not a soldier. Individual units and soldiers may have had military training, but the Cherokee companies seem to have been pretty much on their own. The result was predictable. In September 1862, Thomas dispatched his two Cherokee companies to the Powell River Valley in extreme southwestern Virginia. The area was the home of many Union sympathizers. The company commanded by Lt. John Astooga Stoga (full-blooded Cherokee) was bushwhacked near Baptist Gap in the Cumberland Mountains and the respected young Cherokee leader was killed (15 September 1862). The company captured/wounded/killed and scalped several Union sympathizers. Naturally, the newspapers exploited this incident and eventually the scalps were returned for burial with the dead men. But, the image of the Cherokee was badly blemished.

Thomas’s Legion was given the mundane of guarding the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad (Bristol to Chattanooga) for the next year. Late in 1862, the Confederate Army stripped out Walker’s Calvary units. Thomas’s Cherokee were sent into Madison County (north of Asheville) to provide police protection and the rest of the men were sent to round up deserters.

Thomas was essentially sacked when his troops were made part of Brigadier General Alfred E. Jackson’s command and in fact was the only unit in Jackson’s command. Jackson eventually had Thomas arrested in June of 1863 for insubordination. Thomas was to be tried in Knoxville, TN, but the Union attacks in East Tennessee created a more urgent problem for the Confederate generals. Thus, Thomas and his Cherokee were placed directly under General Simone B. Buckner. Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Love commanded the balance of the unit.

Buckner and Jackson ended up in Bristol, TN under attack from the Union army. Walker’s Battalion reinforced by part of the 1st Regiment commanded by Major Stringfield was sent to counter attack at Telford’s Station. There they were fortunate enough to isolate about 300 men of the 100th Ohio Regiment of Union troops. The Union soldiers took shelter in a blockhouse at Limestone Station and soon were forced to surrender on 8 October 1863.

General John S. Williams from Virginia then took Walker’s units into his command and moved to Blue Springs, TN. On 10 October, the Union forces attacked and enveloped Walkers men who successfully fought their way out. When the action turned to Chattanooga, the bulk of the Legion settled in at Carter’s Station for the remainder of the year. Thomas and his Cherokee companies were, meanwhile, still in Madison County. Thomas commanded a force of about 300 Cherokee through the end of the war. He built earthworks on the Tennessee side of the mountains at the present-day Chimneys Campground and called it Fort Harry. From here he attempted to improve a road into North Carolina for use in mining saltpeter (nitrate from guano) from Alum Cave on Mount Le Conte. Preparing to winter in December 1863 near Gatlinburg, Thomas forces were attacked by Union cavalry (15th Pennsylvania) under Col. William J. Palmer. Thomas was taken completely by surprise but escaped with most of his men into the hills.

General Vance brought new troops to Asheville and then took charge personally. In what could have been a remarkable episode, Vance moved a significant force over the mountains into Tennessee under difficult winter conditions. He then attacked north towards Watauga with initial success. Col. Thomas and Lt. Col. James L. Henry, unfortunately, lagged behind near Gatlinburg. Vance was quickly out maneuvered by the union forces and captured. When this news reached higher commanders, Thomas and Henry were directed to Asheville to stand court-martial on 23 February 1864, but again the Union army came to his rescue. The 14th Illinois Cavalry under Maj. Francis M. Davidson advanced from Tuckaleechee Cove in Tennessee up the Little Tennessee River and overran some of Thomas’s troops at the forks of the Little Tennessee and Tuckaseegee on 2 February. The Union forces advances upstream as far as the mouth of Deep Creek. Accounts of the skirmish differ as expected. The Union claimed as many as 200 of Thomas’s men killed (obviously an inflated number, as that was almost his entire force). The main result was the capture of about twenty confederates. Remember, Alfred Washington Parris was recovering from wounds at this time, most likely in the Deep Creek Valley. The Confederate captives were taken to Knoxville and encouraged to join North Carolina Union partisans who were operating out of Tennessee. Apparently, they all agreed and were paroled to that unit (3rd North Carolina Volunteer Mounted Infantry). Soon, most of these deserted back to the Confederacy. Those that remained with the Union were despised by their neighbors after the war.

With his dreams of glory pretty well crushed, Thomas begged to get his troops back as a local defense force. This request was approved on 22 April 1864, but delayed for six months when Walker’s troops were needed in Virginia. (This force was badly mauled at Piedmont, Virginia on 5 June 1864. Nonetheless, some of Walker’s men were able to join with Major General Jubal A. Early’s army as it retook the Shenandoah and progressed to the Bethesda, Maryland.) Governor Vance of North Carolina (whose brother was now sitting out the war in a Union prison thanks to Thomas) wrote as follows in May 1864 (source Michael Frome, 1966, Strangers in High Places, pp. 127-128):

“There are troops enough there [in Thomas’s area of operation] to afford ample protection both against the enemies and the Tories and deserters, who throng the mountains murdering and robbing the citizens, if under proper control and management. Col. Thomas is worse than useless; he is a positive injury to that country. His command is a favorite resort for deserters, numbers of them I learn are on his rolls, who do no service, he is disobedient of orders and invariably avoids the enemy when he advances.”

In fact, Thomas was mentally unstable.

Only about 100 of Love’s men came back to North Carolina in the fall of 1864. They had fought honorably in the drive into Maryland. By the spring of 1865, the Confederacy was so desperate that they asked Love to raise two more companies including Cherokee. In early March 1865, Col. George W. Kirk led about 600 East Tennessee partisans into North Carolina from Newport. The managed to get as far as Waynesville where they burned homes and the jail after freeing the prisoners. The then advanced via the Maggie Valley road into Soco Valley where they skirmished with elements of Thomas’s Legion near the Macedonia Baptist Church before retreating into Tennessee. By 1 April 1865, Love had 12,00 men; but Lee surrendered a few days later. On 9 May 1865, Col. W.C. Bartlett (2nd NC Federal Mounted Infantry) accepted the surrender of General James G. Martin, Col. Love and Thomas at Waynesville.

Part 31: The Mountaineers (1870-1920)

31.1 After the War

Southern Reconstruction (1865-1877)

The War Between the States (or as all the textbooks written in the North after the war called it “the Civil War”) ended with the South in ruins and broke. Many of the men had been killed or wounded. Alfred W. Parris carried a lead ball in his hip. The slaves had been freed. Although this was the only moral option, they had not been educated to the position of full citizens and once freed by the Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 in the middle of the desperate conflict, the Southern establishment certainly was not in a position or in a mood to facilitate an orderly transition from slave to citizen. Lincoln’s untimely death also left the Federal government, which was also drained by war (though not in the destitute condition of the South), unprepared to facilitate any sort of orderly transition.

The South was an occupied country and the states had to adopt new constitutions and laws to gain readmission to the United States. Martial law prevailed. In this environment political control and economic power often went to those with extreme philosophies and financial resources. If you were a victorious Northerners with any money, the South was a new frontier in which to seek even more money. The “carpetbaggers” as the Southerners called them were Northerners of modest means (usually single men) who came into the South to acquire land, natural resources (trees, minerals) and/or business, which could be exploited through cheap labor (poor whites, i.e., formerly middle-class whites, and recently freed salves). These effects were felt mainly in the flatlands. The mountains had few freed blacks and transportation was so poor into the hills that the mountaineers in the heart of the Smokey Mountains were allowed to scratch out a living in peace.

The End of Little Will Thomas

Col. Will Thomas had, unfortunately, brought ridicule and scorn to the Cherokee during the war. It was all a matter of leadership and training. Those men, who were trained and led well, preformed well; Thomas’s troops were poorly trained and misled. He reportedly encouraged the Cherokee under his command to prepare themselves for battle with war dances, paint and feathers rather than any sort of tactical planning. Even at his final surrender, he was accompanied by Cherokee soldiers dressed as their grandfathers might have dressed to parley with the British. It was a pitiful retrograde experience.

Soon after the war, small pox returned and took a hundred Cherokee lives. Thomas became progressively irrational or perhaps people progressively discovered how out of touch with reality he was. He was committed to a state mental institution in Raleigh in March 1867. Unfortunately, the Love family who might have been sympathetic also fell on hard times after the war . By 1869, his lands were taken by creditors, primarily William Johnston.

In 1868, the U.S. government recognized the Eastern Cherokee as a separate tribe and encouraged them to sue Thomas and his creditors for misappropriation of the lands that they lived on. These lands had been in theory purchased by the government for the Cherokee. In the context of the Reconstruction Era, the Federals were ensuring that their wartime antagonists paid a price. Thomas was in and out of mental institutions through about 1875 when most of the land issues were settled. He then drifted more deeply into his own world but did not die until 1893.

He is generally credited today as the founder of the Eastern Cherokee and held in reverence in spite of his shortcomings. Although his catalytic effect cannot be denied, I cannot help wondering that if he had not appointed himself to this position, perhaps some one with more ability would have come forward to lead.

The Tuckasegee River Valley

As our story begins to converge on a single family line we can began to disregard the big picture and need to look at the local scene more closely. The Tuckasegee River Valley was in the heart of the traditional Cherokee homeland. It had first been visited by Europeans in 1540 by deSoto and Timberlake had produced the first map in about 1760. The Little Tennessee River branches to the east from the Tennessee River near present-day Oak Ridge Tennessee. The following table may help organize the river valleys that are so convoluted on the map:

Tennessee River
Northern Branch
Side Stream (Little River)
Northern Branch (Holston)
Eastern Branch (French Broad)
Northern Branch (Lick, Nolichucky)
Southern Branch (Pigeon, French Broad)
Eastern Branch (Little Tennessee)
Side streams (including Tellico and Santeetlah)
Northern Branch (Tuckasegee)
Side streams (including Forney, Noland, Deep Creek, Cooper)
Northern Branch (Oconaluftee)
Southern Branch (Caney Fork of the Tuckasegee)
Southern Branch (Nantahala, and Little Tennessee)

The three main branches of the Little Tennessee (Nantahala, Little Tennessee, Tuckasegee) all have their headwaters along the North Carolina border with Georgia and South Carolina. These rivers all converge towards a point just west of present-day Bryson City. From there they are channeled through a narrow pass in the mountains to the west. This pass has been dammed by the Tennessee Valley Authority to form a lake (Fontana Lake) that now fills the central river valley.

The Tuckasegee River valley includes primarily that land that was included in old Haywood County, but which became Jackson and later Swain Counties. Bryson City is at the lower end of the Tuckasegee just before its convergence with the Little Tennessee. Upstream, we come to Ela just before the Oconaluftee and Caney Fork split . In the following lists, the number of “Parris households” listed with telephones in the 1999 www.switchboard.com database are noted in brackets [].

Oconaluftee Towns: Cherokee (Reservation, Swain Co.) [3]

Caney Fork Towns: Whittier [1],
Dillsboro [2],
Sylva [51],
Webster [0],
Cullowhee [6],
East Laport [0],
Tuckasegee [2],
Glenville [0],
Cashiers [0].

Balsam [0],
Wolf Mountain [0],
Balsam Cove [0],
Lake Toxaway [0].

Further downstream on the main channel of the Tuckasegee River (Swain County):

Ela [0],
Bryson City [10],
Lauada [0].

In the Little Tennessee and Nantahala watersheds (Macon County) there are fewer Parris families:

Almond [0],
Lotla [0],
Franklin [5],
Otto [0],
Norton [0],
Dillard, GA [0].

Further down on the Little Tennessee (Robbinsville, etc., Graham County) there are no Parris families.

Considering that there are only 12,000 people in Swain County and only 30,000 people in Jackson County

Swain County and Bryson City, NC (1871)

On 10 March 1819 the U.S. Government signed a treaty with the Cherokee assuring them of their traditional heartland in western North Carolina. Under this treaty, Yonah (a.k.a., Big Bear) secured the legal ownership of a square mile (640 acres) of bottomland on the Tuckasegee River just west of the mouth of Deep Creek . This parcel was literally square and started at a corner about 300 yards (60 poles) north of the river was surveyed to the south for a distance of a mile (1760 yards, or 320 poles), then to the west 320 poles to the southern edge of the river; then north 320 poles back to the north side of the river and then east back to the starting point. The square was about 2/3rd on the north of the river and about 1/3rd on the south of the river. Soon thereafter, Yonah attempted to sell the land to a mister Darley Beck (1819), but Yonah apparently was never paid. So, in 1820 he sold it to John B. Love. There followed a legal dispute between Love and Beck (and ultimately Beck’s widow) that continued in the white courts until 1841 over the ownership of the land. In the meantime, the U.S. Government either killed or deported Yonah and his family to Oklahoma.

In 1841, John Shuler acquired the land and he held it into the 1860s . During this time he added to it and sold some of it off. Part of it was parceled out to some of his numerous children (eleven). Nonetheless, in 1865 a Mister Cline acquired the land and in 1870 he died apparently without an heir. The commissioners of Jackson County, North Carolina took over the land for the state, divided it into lots and sold it off at auction.

From this auction the village of Charleston, North Carolina was born. South of the Tuckasegee, Captain Everrett had the most prominent holding. Other owners of note included D.K. Collins and Milt Battle. All of this had little effect on the old timers who were still farming higher up in the mountains on Deep Creek and its tributary Indian Creek. These settlers included Alfred Parris who ran a gristmill on Indian Creek and a boy named John Elander Davis (married Sarah Lucretia Parris, Alfred's daughter) who was born in 1868 on Indian Creek. Col. Thaddeus Dillard Bryson was the most prominent landholder on the lower reaches of Deep Creek and he ran a gristmill near its mouth about a mile east of the northern section of Charleston. In the early 1870s, the only regular contact with the outside world was by the mail. It came from Asheville (in the eastern Blue Ridge) and Murphy (in the western Great Smokes). The mail rider had a three-and-one-half-day route between these two towns, which took him via the new village of Charleston.

The State of North Carolina decided to restructure several of its counties in 1871. Primarily the large old counties in the western tip of the state (Cherokee and Jackson) into a series of smaller counties (Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain and Jackson). Swain County (primarily carved from the northern half of the old Jackson County) was formed by a act in the State Legislature on 24 February 1871 and the first County Commissioners were appointed as W. M. Enloe, William A. Coleman, John DeHart, B. McHan, N.S. Garrett, with T. H. Parrish being identified as the Register of Deeds and Jack Beck as the Clerk of the County Court. These men met for the first time 18 June 1871 to consider the location of the new county seat.

Ultimately, Charleston community was selected as the county seat. It was re-named in honor of Col. Bryson in 1873, but it was not incorporated as a town until 1887. In the meantime, a county building was built and streets were laid out on the south side of the Tuckasegee River. The first county building burned down in 1879 and was rebuilt on the same spot in 1880. This building lasted until 1907 when it also burned. The railroad did not reach Bryson City until 1884. It ended up coming across the mouth of Deep Creek and the station was built west of Deep Creek and north of the Tuckasegee in 1886. The arrival of the railroad on the north side of the river, prompted the town fathers to build a bridge from the court house on the south side of the river to the railroad stop on the north side. The wooden bridge built in 1884 was lost in a flood in 1890 and replaced by a ferry until an iron bridge could be built in 1892. The iron bridge was functional until automobiles arrived about 1913. Then the town streets were paved for the first time and the iron bridge was replaced in 1918 with a concrete bridge which lasted until the interstate highway brought Bryson City within hours of major population centers about 1980.

In the meantime, Alfred Parris lived on Indian Creek until his death in 1935 at almost 100 years of age . About 1898, John Elander Davis (born 1868) obtained a fine parcel of land even further upstream that Alfred Parris and married a daughter of Alfred named "Creacy." (Sarah Lucretia Parris, Jun 18, 1873 sp: John A.(E.?) Davis; "Creacy" was a sister of James Robert Parris.) Creacy and John Davis built a fine cabin on Indian Creek and raised a daughter who married a Parris and had a son named John Parris (born 1914) who eventually became the editor of the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper and wrote several books that were compilations of articles from the paper (e.g., Roaming the Mountains with John Parris). When the Great Smoky Mountain National Park was established. John Elander Davis’s cabin was moved log-by-log to a spot near Smokemount where it became the center of a mountaineer exhibit. John Elander Davis moved to Sylva and lived there until his death about 1968. He and Alfred Parris were very long-lived individuals.

James Robert Parris (1860-1935)

Little is known about James Robert Parris. He was born just before the war and died about the same time as his father Alfred Washington Parris. Thus, he was overshadowed most of his life by his father. The timing of his birth and the War Between the States is interesting. In May 1861, Alfred enlisted in the Confederate Army at age 26. This is not something a happily married man would do. However, at age 26, one would expect that he had found opportunity to court, mate and generally carry on with some woman or other. Some genealogical sources report his first son as “J.R. Nations.” However, there was never any suggestion among my family that he was not a “blood” son of Alfred Washington Parris. You can devise several scenarios to fit these data. The name “Nations” may simply be a mistake or confusion . Possibly, Alfred first fathered James Robert with a Nations woman out of wedlock and later either accepted (acknowledged) him and took him into his household. Perhaps the Nations woman died during the war. Perhaps Louisa Conners was also Louisa Nations at some point. Regardless, considering that Alfred and Robert were both alive until 1935 and overlapped with George T. and Roy C. Parris who recorded James Robert as a Parris and never mentioned any confounding factors in thew family tree, I am inclined to believe that James Robert was the son of Alfred, but Louisa Conner (Alfred’s wife of record) may not have been his mother.

According to the memories of Roy C. Parris (his grandson), James Robert Parris worked in kaolin mines (near Franklin) most of his life until he was injured on the job. Then he “retired” to light farming and logging. He married Minty Kimsey (1862-1934) about 1890 and they had a son (George Taylor Parris) in 1891. Mintie Kimsey was known as “the German woman” in the family. This suggest that she may have been a fairly recent immigrant (e.g., post 1870) from Germany. Or, she may have come from a strongly German region of the U.S. (e.g., Pennsylvania). There was a surge of Northerners into the South after the War Between the States.

It seems that by 1916, James Robert and his son George Taylor Parris were living near one another south of the Tuckasegee River and a few miles east of Bryson City. In his 1979 Stories for My Grandson, Roy C. Parris (b. 1916) describes his grandparents as follows (this description must apply to the 1920s):

“…my grandpa, James [Robert] Parris, lived in a log house that had split oak shingles for a roof. Grandpa kept a horseshoe nailed over his front door (for good luck, he said) and in the hall he kept loaded guns hanging on deer horn racks. He claimed, as did my Dad, that fewer people got hurt with guns they knew were loaded than guns that were supposed to be empty. I am inclined to think he was right about that. My grandpa carried water to his house from a spring located under a big old American chestnut tree….A long handled gourd dipper hung from this tree so you could dip water from the spring. Over the spring drain, grandpa had built a little springhouse he used to keep his butter and milk in sitting in the cold water to keep if from spilling…. Located near the house was another small log house called a ‘smoke house’ where grandpa kept meat he had cured in salt over a smoky hickory wood fire.
”My grandma, Minty Kimsey Parris, had a big old kitchen that had a wood range, an oil stove and a fireplace in it for cooking and she sometimes used all three. I liked the corn bread she cooked in a cast iron pan called a ‘Dutch oven.’ She would cook this bread by sitting the oven on a mess of live coals raked onto the hearth from the fireplace [and] covered with more live coals. We sometimes roasted chestnuts and potatoes that way, too. Grandma had two spinning wheels, a big one and a little one that she sometimes used to spin thread from wool or cotton to be made into cloth later on a loom. This cloth was called ‘home spun.’ “My grandpa, James Parris, had apple trees, peach trees, plum trees and pear trees on his place and I guess he had a few grape vines, too. He kept chickens, hogs and cows and always had a mule or two to plow his ground to grow corn, beans, pumpkins, potatoes, potatoes, gourds, broom corn and sorghum cane. All these were crops commonly grown by mountain people.”

Roy Parris does not mention uncles or aunts (siblings of George T. Parris). Nor does he mention cousins on his father’s side.

Logging Trends in the 1800s

The forest products industry began as soon as the American colonies were founded. The Europeans brought large-scale agriculture and shipbuilding to the Atlantic coast. The land along the eastern seaboard was soon cleared for tobacco, corn, vegetables and pasture. Trees also provided fuel. All of this was mainly for local consumption until about 1800. The growth of large cities in the Northeast, North Central and Mid-Atlantic states in the early 1800s meant that forests were logged and the trees shipped to urban centers. New York and Pennsylvania had both urban population growth and substantial forest. Thus, they led forest harvest statistics.

The War Between the States consumed large amounts of timbers for fortifications, ships and fuel. The war also brought steam power to logging. The double-bitted ax came into use after 1860 and crosscut saws became popular after 1876.

By the 1870s, the economy of the United Starts was growing again. The expansion of the railroads both opened up new territories and created a demand for railroad ties, timbers and lumber. Steel making required charcoal (later replaced by coke). Printing and publishing boomed and paper was in demand. Sulfite pulping was introduced in 1882 and there were 12 sulfite pulp mills by 1890. Affluence meant crafted furniture and furniture required fine woods. Telegraphs spread across the West. Forest harvest moved into Michigan and Wisconsin as well as the Far West. In the latter part of the 1800s, the southern coastal states became the source of southern pine softwoods. In spite of the progressive interest in conservation through the 1800s, timber companies were still a step ahead of the lawmakers.

Logging had begun on the fringes of the Smokey Mountains when Richard Pearis brought his saw mill from Winchester to Reedy Creek in 1768. But, transportation was by far the biggest problem. The virgin hardwood trees (many well over 4 or 5 feet in diameter) were difficult to cut down and nearly impossible to saw into lumber with hand tools. If they could not be reduced in size, they were almost impossible to move by road and the rivers west of the Blue Ridge flowed into Tennessee where the need was minimal. Ironically, at the same time that conservation was coming to other areas, the Smokies were being opened up for a major assault.

The Vanderbilts Come to Asheville (1889)

We now need to back up a moment and catch-up on one of the wealthiest families in the United States. The Van der Bildts were Dutch colonists to American from Bildt, Holland who set up housekeeping on Staten Island about 1650 . Naturally their names were condensed to “Vanderbilt.” The Vanderbilts were not poor, but the real excitement started with Cornelius Vanderbilt born in 1794. By 1810, young Cornelius established a freight and passenger service between Staten Island and Manhattan Island. He wisely invested his profits and acquired a small fleet of schooners. Chance favors the prepared mind, and the War of 1812 proved to be very profitable for the New England coastal shipping business. In 1818, Cornelius was able to enter the steamer business. The first iron steamship was not built until 1822 in Britain. Vanderbilt was able to buy his first steamship in 1829.

From here, his company grew to dominate the market controlling the Hudson River trade with routes to other new England seaports (New York, Providence and Boston). He discovered the importance of finding ways to undercut the price of the competition while providing good service and making a reasonable profit. By now, he was known as the “Commodore” although his fleet had very little deep-water experience. This success positioned him for the next opportunity. When gold was discovered in California (1849), he provided a cheaper ticket by ferrying men to Nicaragua and crossing by land to the Pacific. From there, he ferried them to San Francisco. It was not until 1855 that he started a rout to Europe (New York - Le Havre).

Soon he realized that his local shipping was in competition with the railroads. He also realized that transcontinental travel would eventually be by train not by boat. In 1858 he sold his New York-California shipping for $20 million and used the capital to buy the Harlem Railroad and the Hudson River Railroad. This gave him control of both water and land transportation in the New York Area. With the coming of the War Between the States, he sold his steamboats at good prices and bought railroads, which carried with them grants to land. By 1867, he controlled the New York Central Railroad.

Cornelius (The Commodore) Vanderbilt had a son (William H. Vanderbilt born 1821, died 1885), but while The Commodore was living, his son was just part of the company and does not seem to have been able to make a distinguishing personal mark. In fact, he was apparently farming 70 acres on Staten Island in the 1740s. Thus, it was The Commodore’s grandson (also named Cornelius Vanderbilt, born about 1845 in New Dorp, Staten Island) who inherited the bulk of the family fortune and expanded his wealth as a railroad baron . However, William H Vanderbilt had a younger son, George Washington Vanderbilt born in 1862. The Commodore gave a million-dollar endowment for found Vanderbilt University in 1873 in Nashville, TN and he died in 1877.

George Washington Vanderbilt as not as wealthy as his older brother Cornelius, but he was free to travel around the globe. One place he stopped was Asheville, North Carolina where he acquired about 125,000 acres of land (including Pisgah Mountain) at the confluence of the Swannanoa and French Broad Rivers about in the late 1880s. About 1889, G.W. Vanderbilt hired architects to design and build a world-class mansion on his estate. He called it the Biltmore Estate (a word constructed as Bilt-Moor, meaning rolling hills of Bildt). The construction was largely complete about 1895 and in 1898 he brought his bride (Edith Stuyvesant Dresser) to live in the home. The estate quickly became nationally prominent. G.W. Vanderbilt died in Washington, DC in 1914. The Vanderbilt family still has interest in the estate, which has been opened to the public.

Southern Railroads (1850-1900)

By the middle of the 1800s, railway companies were being charted throughout the South to build and operate railroads between important cities. Bristol, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Augusta, Spartanburg, Raleigh, Petersburg, Richmond and Lynchburg formed a loop around the southern mountains with various companies building segments of the loop. The War Between the States, of course, prompted even more building: Atlanta, GA became a key link between Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA and Montgomery AL and Memphis and Vicksburg, TN. But, in the end, the Confederacy was ruined and the reconstruction period (e.g., 1870s) saw new companies formed. Gradually, these companies began to consolidate and fill in strategic gaps in the railway system. One group of companies that eventually consolidated joined links from Augusta, GA to Knoxville, TN. The key pieces included lines up through Clayton, GA then through the Raburn Gap and across North Carolina following the Little Tennessee and Tennessee Rivers.

The presence of the Vanderbilts in Asheville, North Carolina after 1889 certainly got the attention of the railroad community. Asheville became the focal point of rail lines running from Spartanburg, SC to Johnson City, TN via the French Broad Valley. Lines also connected Asheville to Richmond along the Blue Ridge. Lines were eventually run from Asheville to Bryson City and on west to Tennessee.

In 1894, the Southern Railway Company was formed with headquarters in Washington, DC. It was organized from the bankruptcy of the Richmond & Danville Railroad Co. Samuel Spencer was the first president (1891-1903). William W. Finley (1903-13) followed him. The Southern Railway Company progressively consolidated many of the important lines of the southeast by acquisition.

Mining in Macon County

About 6 miles north of Franklin, NC (on Rt. 28), the small town of Iotla stands on the banks of the Little Tennessee River. In this area, the Cherokee found and used fine white clay. The humble artifacts that they made came to the attention of European potters who had settled in the southern colonies. They recognized the quality of the clay and as early as 1760, Andrew Duch traveled from Savannah, Georgia into Cherokee territory in search of this white clay (called kaolin). He found the source and arranged with the Cherokee for mining of this mineral. Soon the news of the discovery spread to England and Josiah Wedgwood (b. 1730) and his partner Thomas Bentley arranged for a South Carolina planter named Thomas Griffith to negotiate a separate deal with the Cherokee. The excavation, hauling and shipping of the clay all the way to Burslem (Stoke-on-Trent) England was justified because it was as good as the clay used in China. The Wedgwood company converted kaolin into his famous Queen’s Ware china, which was circulated among the noble and wealthy classes of Europe. Catherine the Great of Russia is said to have had china made from this clay in her collection.

Miners and gold-hunters also discovered that the Little Tennessee valley contained a collection of minerals that included some precious and semi-precious stones rubies, sapphires, garnets, emeralds. Ruby mines opened in Macon County in 1870. The lower quality/size stones obtained in mixtures are called corundum (used as an industrial abrasive). Nonetheless, enough nice gems have turned up over the years for companies like Tiffany’s to show interest. The U.S. Ruby Mining Co. and the American Prospecting and Mining Co. worked the area in the period 1890 though 1910, but not enough commercial gems have been found to keep such companies in business. Now, the area is the home of gemstone mines where tourist can buy a bag of raw dirt and sift through it in a flume.

31.2 Turn of the Century

George Taylor Parris (1891-1967)

I knew George Taylor Parris (b. 8 March 1891, d. August 1967, SSAN 237-26-4855); he was my grandfather. He was a soft-spoken man quiet and almost shy. My memories of him come from the early 1960s when he was bald with a fringe of white hair around his ears. At that point, he stood about 5’8” with well-tanned skin and blue eyes. He had a barrel chest and must have been quite strong in his day. My Grandmother Stella Garrett (b. 15 December 1898, d. April 1987, SSAN 237-34-2404) was much more outspoken. She basically guided him through life and called him “daddy” or “father” as often as “George.” I never sensed passion in their relationship. Of course, they were active Baptists and I and not sure if Baptists were ever passionate with people they loved. I do not recall seeing them kiss or hug.

The story goes that George T. Parris was hired by Bud Garrett to do some plowing about the spring of 1913. This would have made George 24 and Stella 14, when she came across the field and caught his eye. Stella was one of the daughters of Bud Garrett and Mary Stallcup. Bud worked for the Southern Railway Company and had families with at least two wives. His second family moved to Charlotte to work in the cotton mills. But, Stella and her full sister Annie Garrett stayed behind in Swain County with their husbands. Stella and Annie were both strong-willed, but it is interesting to me that my father (Roy C. Parris) generally spoke in admiring terms of Annie’s ambition and drive, he saw Stella’s influence on her husband as simple “hen-pecking.” I believe the difference is that Annie made things happen, while Stella just complained about how things were.

Roy Clifton Parris was born 17 October 1916 (SSAN 238-10-5605) and he was followed by Ora Christine (b. 13 June 1918, d. 23 May 1988, SSAN 261-23-0755 issued in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1969 when her husband Melvin died). There were apparently a couple of stillbirths followed by the birth of Edward George Parris in 1923. Edward was the apple of his mother’s eye and joined the Navy in 1942. He was tragically killed in training (drowned in the Potomac River) soon after Thanksgiving in November 1943 .

Roy, fortunately, left a memoir describing his early memories. The following notes are excerpted from his manuscript written in 1979:

“We moved into the logging camps in the year 1921 when I was just about as old as you are now [text written in 1979 was directed to his first grandson, Edward Garret Parris, b. 1973].…

“At the time, Champion Paper and Fibre Company , who ran the largest paper mill in the world at Canton, North Carolina was logging trees from the Ocono Luftee River watershed up stream from the Indian Reservation at Cherokee, North Carolina.…

“The land being logged by the Champion Paper and Fibre Company had never been cut over before so there were large numbers of real big trees all over the area and this was known as “virgin timber.”…

“When the Champion Company began to cut the trees on this land, they built a narrow gauge railroad all through the area. They established a headquarters at Smokemont , North Carolina and built a band mill to saw the logs at Ravensford just above Cherokee, North Carolina on the watershed.…”

“The Company established about a dozen logging camps all along the railroad. All of these logging camps had numbers and were all built of rough-sawn lumber. They had houses for the loggers to live in and barns for the great draft horses used to pull the logs. Some of these camps also had a company-run store called a commissary where the loggers could buy things with regular money, with company-issued coins called “dougaloo,” with company-issued paper money called “script” or with what were called “due bills” that were just pieces of paper signed by officials in payment for work done for the company.”

“Some of these camps had schools. Camp # 3 where we moved in 1921 had a school. These schools were one-room-one-teacher affairs built of rough-sawn lumber, heated by a big pot-bellied wood-burning stove and provided with rough sawn lumber benches for pulils to sit on.”

“[The band] mill was located at Ravensford, just a couple of miles upstream from the Cherokee Indian Reservation. There are normally two kinds of saws used to lumber from logs; these are the circle saw and the band saw… The saws used at the Ravensford band mill were so mounted on the rollers that several saws could be run at once cutting several boards from a log at one time. Rollers backed up the trailing edge of the saw bands so that the log being moved into the saws would not force the saw bands off of their rollers."

“The man who ran the saws was called a sawyer and rode on what was called the carriage used to move the logs (secured to the carriage) forward into the saws. By pushing or pulling on levers, the sawyer could cause the logs to move into or back from the saws and could also cause the logs to move over relative to the saws and expose more wood to the saws for sawing off more boards. He could also cause the log to turn over on the carriage and expose another part of the log to the saws. The carriage movemen5 was controlled by cable-wound drums mounted under and secured to the carriage.”

“Now let’s follow a log through the mill. Logs were brought to the mill on railroad cars and dumped into a pond of water to wash off dirt and grit that might dull the saws. The mill was operated by steam and [big metal arms with teeth on them] grabbed the log and took it from the pond and forced it up a ramp and into the carriage where the waiting sawyer moved a lever causing spikes to drive into the log and secure it to the carriage. With the log secure to the carriage, the sawyer moved another lever to cause the log to move over on the carriage expose the right amount of wood to the saw, then still another lever was moved to cause the wood to move into the saws. When the log moved through the saws, several boards were cut off at one time and fell onto rollers where several men waited to load the boards onto carts that were moved by had along little steel tracks that led to the lumber yard where the boards were stacked to dry. The process was repeated over and over until al the log was cut into lumber. The men moving the boards from the saws wore leather gloves and aprons to protect them from splinters on the rough-sawn lumber.”

“Several men used sawdust and waste wood to fire the steam boilers and keep steam pressure up so the saws could keep going. Fires were kept very hot in the boilers and a close watch was kept to see that the water level in the boilers was kept at the right level because if the water was allowed to get too low, steam pressure could get too high and cause the boilers to explode and maybe hurt of kill some of the men.”

“Roof clearance to the carriage at this mill was eight feet, but once in a while, a log too big to pass under the rood to the saw carriage and too big for the saws to cut got dumped into the pond. When this happened, the log must be allowed to roll back down the ramp into the pond and then must be taken from the pond and split open with “powder wedges” to reduce its diameter so it could pass to the saws. Powder wedges were just iron we3ddges that were hollow so that once driven into the log, they could be filled with black powder. This black powder was much like gunpowder and when it was set off the resulting explosive force would rip open the log from end to end. “…

“[George Taylor Parris] was a log scaler. …{He measured] the length and diameter of the little end [of a log] with a special rule that …would tell you from a mess of figures on its side how many board feet of lumber could be sawn from the log. The board feet dad recorded in a book for each log then he hit the log on the end with a special hammer that had his identifying number on it. A board foot of lumber is one-foot square and one inch thick. The men who cut and go the logs to the railroad got paid by the number of board feet their logs would saw out so dad had to measure these logs before the men could get paid.”

“This job was not enough to keep my dad [George Taylor Parris] busy full time so he decided to do some logging himself. He bought two of those big logging horses and hired a teamster and some woodsmen to help him. The teamster was a real good teamster and did a good job looking out for the horses. He was a small Frenchman…. My dad did not know it at the time, but this teamster was wanted by the law for killing a man in Tennessee. When the sheriff came to arrest him, he had quit his job with dad and gone off somewhere to hide from the law. We never saw him again.”

‘When we lived in the logging camp , the store was about two or three city blocks from the house and mother sometimes ran short of something she needed in the house; at such times, she sent me to the store…. I liked to go to the store anyway because Mr. Tommy [Tremble], who ran the store, or some of the men almost always fixed me up with candy, soft drinks or something else I liked.”

“This one day, I was on my way to the store for mother and had not gotten to the trestle you had to go over to get to the store when up the creek I head a train whistle blowing---whoo—whoo—whoo and it just kept on blowing that way. This was a signal in the logging camps that something bad or something that could be bad had happened. I was on this bank above the railroad at the time getting ready to go down to the railroad to cross the trestle when I heard this rumbling and banging sound and saw coming into sight up the creek these railroad cars loaded with logs. They were coming much too fast and went by in a hurry. Some distance down the tracks there was a bend in the road and the cars were going too fast to make it around the bend so they jumped the track and piled up with loud banging and slamming noises between the track and the creek.”

“Many of the4 big logs going to the mill were so large that one car was required for one log. …”

“The land on which these trees grew was mostly very steep and so rough that tractors could not be used to pull the logs to the railroads. Huge draft horses and oxen were used to do the pulling. … The horses were mostly of three breeds: the shire a black, the percheon a dapple gray and the Clydesdale a reddish horse with cream colored mane and tail. …”

“When these horses pulled on heavy loads, the harness better be good and strong because you could see great muscles as big as a man’s body roll up under their sleek hides. They could break chains and big pieces of hickory wood used between their trace chains called “single trees.” These trace chains were fastened to the horse collar one on each side and ran back to the single tree behind the horse. In the center of the single tree was a big hook, and when more than one horse was used to pull a load this was fastened to the ends of what was called a” double tree” that looked like the single tree except that it was heavier and stronger. The double tree also had a hook at its center to fasten both horses to the load.”

[Roy Parris described how the hooks from the single or double tree were attached to a log using a “J-grab” and how the logs could be trained together using “trail grabs.” The J-grab was attached carefully to the front of the front log so that when the logs started sliding down the mountain faster than the teamster and the horses could run, they pulled to the side and the hook from the horses would disengage cleanly from the logs. You can imagine what would happen if a trail of logs began sliding rapidly down the mountain and the horses became entangled and fell.]

George T. Parris moved his family to Bryson City in 1923, in part so that Roy could attend regular school. They soon built a house on Bett’s Branch a tributary of Deep Creek. The house began as a single room and George T. Parris enlarged it progressively. Raymond Mitchell was born in the living room of that house (1925).

Duck Town, Tennessee

The Cherokee likely picked up native copper and may have inadvertently produced some copper-arsenic bronze nuggets in antiquity from mineral deposits on the Little Tennessee River watershed. But, the Cherokee do not seem to have ever systematically mined or roasted the metal from the ore even after the Spanish (deSoto) made it clear that it was a potentially valuable product in the 1500s. Serious mining of the copper and related mineral deposits did not begin until 1843 and the last works closed in 1987.

During the last decade of the 1800s, the mines and roasting/smelting operations were operated with no concern for their impacts on the environment. This precipitated on of the first environmental law suites, State of Georgia v. Tennessee Copper Company (1915):

U.S. Supreme Court

STATE OF GEORGIA v. TENNESSEE COPPER CO., 237 U.S. 474 (1915)

237 U.S. 474

STATE OF GEORGIA, Complainant,
v.
TENNESSEE COPPER COMPANY and the Ducktown Sulphur, Copper, & Iron Company,
Limited.

No. 1, Original.
Argued April 6 and 7, 1915.
Decided May 10, 1915.

Messrs. Warren Grice, J. A. Drake, Lamar Hill, and Mr. Thomas S. Felder, Attorney General of Georgia, for complainant. [237 U.S. 474, 475] Messrs. J. A. Fowler, W. B. Miller, and H. G. Fowler, for defendant the Ducktown Sulphur, Copper, & Iron Company.

Mr. Justice McReynolds delivered the opinion of the court:

Both defendants are smelting copper ores in Polk county, East Tennessee, near the Georgia line. The works of the Tennessee Company, much the larger of the two, are situated within half a mile of the line; those of the Ducktown Company are some 2 1/2 miles away. The ores contain a very large amount of sulphur,-around 20 per cent,-and in the process of smelting great quantities of sulphur dioxide are formed; if allowed to escape into the air this becomes sulphurous acid, a poisonous gas destructive of plant life.

In October, 1905, the state of Georgia began this original proceeding, alleging that defendants
permitted discharge from their works of noxious gases which, being carried by air currents, ultimately settled upon its territory and destroyed the vegetation, and asking for appropriate relief. The case was heard on the merits and the issues determined in complainant's favor, May, 1907. We then said: 'If the state of Georgia adheres to its determination, there is no alternative to issuing an injunction, after allowing a reasonable time to the defendants to complete the structures that they now are building, and the efforts that they are making, to stop the fumes. The plaintiff may submit a form of decree on the coming in of this court in October next.' 206 U.S. 230, 239, 51 S. L. ed. 1038, 1045, 27 Sup. Ct. Rep. 618, 11 Ann. Cas. 488.

Hope was entertained that some practical method of subduing the noxious fumes could be devised, and by consent the time for entering a final decree was enlarged. Both companies installed purifying devices. The Tennessee Company and the state finally entered into a stipulation [237 U.S. 474, 476] whereby the former undertook annually to supply a fund to compensate those injured by fumes from its works, to conduct its plant subject to inspection in specified ways, and between April 10th and October 1st not to 'operate more green ore furnaces than it finds necessary to permit of operating its sulphuric acid plant at its normal full capacity.' The state agreed to refrain from asking an injunction prior to October, 1916, if the stipulation was fully observed. The Ducktown Company and the state were unable to agree, and in February, 1914, the latter moved for a decree according a perpetual injunction. Consideration of the matter was postponed upon representation that conditions had materially changed since 1907, and leave was granted to present additional testimony 'to relate solely to the changed conditions, if any, which may have arisen since the case was here decided.' A mass of conflicting evidence has been submitted for our consideration.

The Ducktown Company has spent large sums-$600,000 and more-since the former opinion in
constructing purifying works (acid plant); and a much smaller proportion of the sulphur contained in the ores now escapes into the air as sulphur dioxide,-possibly only 41½ percent as against 85½ percent under former conditions. Similar improvements have been installed by the Tennessee Company at great expense, but we are without adequate information concerning the effect produced by them. As it asked and was granted opportunity to show material changes the burden is upon the Ducktown Company. A full and complete disclosure of the improvements installed by it and the results continuously obtained has not been presented.

Counsel maintain that escaping sulphur fumes now produce no substantial damage in Georgia, and further, that if any such damage is being done, the Tennessee Company alone is responsible therefor. We think the [237 U.S. 474, 477] proof fails to support either branch of the defense, and the state should have a decree adequate to diminish materially the present probability of damage to its citizens. The evidence does not disclose with accuracy the volume or true character of the fumes which are being given off daily from the works of either company. Averages may not be relied on with confidence, since improper operation for a single week or day might destroy vegetation over a large area, while the emission of great quantities of fumes during a short period would affect but slightly the average for a month or year.

It appears that in 1913 the total ores smelted by the Ducktown Company amounted to 152,249 tons, or 304,498,000 pounds,-20 per cent sulphur; total matte shipped was 12,537,000 pounds,-about 4 per cent of the ore; the total sulphur in the smelted ores not accounted for, and which escaped into the air in the form of sulphur dioxide, was 13,102 tons, or 26,204,000 pounds,-over 2 pounds of sulphur for each pound of matte, and an average of more than 35 tons per day.

During July, 1913, the total matte shipped (approximately the production) was 846,000 pounds-more was shipped in June and less in August. The July production was thus approximately 7 per cent of the year's total. The sulphur in the fumes generated in connection with the production for this month, not redeemed by the acid plant and emitted into the air, may be fairly estimated as not less than 7 per cent of 13,102, or 917 tons,- substantially 30 tons per day. This amount produced harmful results and must be diminished.

It is impossible from the record to ascertain with certainty the reduction in the sulphur content of emitted gases necessary to render the territory of Georgia immune from injury therefrom; but adequate relief, we are disposed to think, will follow a decree cree restraining the Duck- [237 U.S. 474,478] town Company from continuing to operate its plant otherwise than upon the terms and conditions following: (1) It shall keep daily records showing fully and in detail the course and result of the operations. (2) A competent inspector, to be appointed by this court, shall have access to all the books and records of the company, shall make frequent careful observations of the conditions-at least once each fortnight-during the next six months, and at the end of that time shall make full report with appropriate recommendations. An adequate sum to cover the necessary cost and expenses must be deposited with the clerk by the company. (3) It shall not permit the escape into the air of fumes carrying more than 45 per cent of the sulphur contained in the green ore subjected to smelting.(4) It shall not permit escape into the air of gases the total sulphur content of which shall exceed 20 tons during one day from April 10th to October 1st of each year, or exceed 40 tons in one day during any other season.

The cause will be retained for further action and either party may apply hereafter for appropriate
relief.

Within ten days either side may present a decree in conformity herewith, together with such
suggestions as seem desirable.

Mr. Justice Hughes, dissenting:

I do not think that the evidence justifies the decree limiting production as stated.

The Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Holmes join in this dissent.

The acid rain from Ducktown destroyed trees and left bare mountain tops for miles around the mines.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Mrs. Willis P. Davis is given credit for starting the movement to create the Great Smoky National Park after her visit to western parks in 1923. At the time the bulk of the mountains on the North Carolina-Tennessee boarder were owned by large lumber companies who were in the final stages of harvesting all the primeval trees. George T. Parris and his family (including Roy C. Parris, b. 1917) were living in a typical logging camp at Smokemount (Smokemont), North Carolina (i.e., Champion Paper & Fiber Camp Number 3). Smokemount was located about 5 miles north of Cherokee, NC (on the road to New Found Gap, U.S. 441). The politics were intense, but by 1926 Congress approved the Park without committing money to acquire the land. It soon became apparent that many local landholders would be asked to move from the park as the large tracts were secured from the timber companies. These old farmsteads are typically referred to as “The Bryson Place” or “The Jenkins Place” (i.e., on Deep Creek) or “The Parris Place” (i.e., on Indian Creek). Today, few people even know where they were located. The Park Service and nature have erased physical evidence . Altogether over 6,000 tracts of land were purchased for the park. Private donations and the states of North Carolina and Tennessee provided the first 5 million dollars. But, the Rockefeller Family made the park a reality with a donation of five million and the federal government finished the job with about $1.5.million in 1933. Congress officially accepted title to the land and established the park on 15 June 1934. Finally, on 2 September 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt officially dedicated the park.

The TVA and Fontana Lake

Navigation on the Tennessee River originally was stopped at Muscle Shoals (Alabama) where the river drops 140 feet in 30 miles. As early as 1916, the federal government acquired the area and was planning to build a dam for flood control, navigation and electricity. George W. Norris Senator for Nebraska was a long time advocate of this project, but it never got underway until Franklin D. Roosevelt was looking for public works projects to stimulate the economy during the Great Depression (1929-1939). In 1933, Roosevelt created the Tennessee Valley Authority, which was given great latitude to develop the entire Tennessee River watershed in seven states. Over the years, the TVA used the power of eminent domain to force relocation of farms and towns so that damns, locks, and powerhouses could be built. On the one hand, the TVA brought a source of cheap electricity to the most rural areas of the east and created many jobs both transient construction and long-term. On the other hand, people complained about being uprooted, loss of natural and cultural resources and excessive government power.

In the late 1800s, copper was mined on Eagle Creek and in 1890, the Montvale Lumber Co. started logging this area of the Little Tennessee watershed. By the early 1900, the big lumber companies (e.g., the Ritter Lumber Co.) owned much of the land west of Bryson City into Tennessee. Like the Champion Company at Smokemont, the Ridder Company built a major mill at Proctor, NC on Hazel Creek in 1907. There were other small communities along the Little Tennessee River in this area including Wayside, NC. The TVA planned the Fontana dam in the late 1930s and with the beginning of World War II (1939 in Europe), the dam was begun in 1942. In the meantime, the Ridder Company cleared the last trees from the planned lake area and sawed many of them into lumber for concrete forms used at the dam. The dam was complete (480 feet high, 376 feet wide at the base) and began to fill in 1944. The lake eventually cut off Hazel, Forney and Eagle Creeks and Proctor and Wayside were abandoned.

The construction of the dam was obviously coordinated with the establishment of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

31.3 Roy Clifton Parris (1916-1994)

The Physical Man

Roy Clifton Parris was, of course, my father. I heard his stories and anecdotes and met his sister (Ora Christine), boyhood friends (the Mitchells and the Randals), his parents and his aunt (Annie Mitchell) and uncle (Bill Mitchell). He knew his grandfather (James Robert) and even is great grandfather (Alfred Washington). But, he and I both made the same mistake. We did not sit down with our elders at a time when their minds were clear and ask them to provide a factual outline of their lives along with the interesting stories. Roy C. Parris knew that his great grandfather was a veteran of the War Between the States and should have understood that he was born before the Cherokee Removal, but he never though to ask his even the most elementary questions. About the only things that Roy Parris seemed to have known about the Parris family was that (1) the Parris family came from Ireland; (2) the family was “mixed up” with the Cherokee and (3) there were several lines of Parris families in western North Carolina (by the 1900s). Through his father’s Bible, he was able to trace one generation beyond Alfred Washington Parris to James Parris and Amy McIntyre (Often written MacEntire). Ms. McIntyre lived into the 1890s and was likely known by Roy’s grandparents. Somehow, Roy ignored the facts (i.e., that the Parris families must have been in the mountains of North Carolina in the early 1800s) and mentioned a theory that the Parris families came to the U.S. from Ireland in the 1840s.

Fortunately, Roy Parris had a penchant for writing. He left behind a memoir of his early life entitled Stories for My Grandson (1977) and a memoir of his wartime experiences (1993). After his death (1994), I became interested in writing his memoir and sorting out the context of his wartime adventures. This I did in an unpublished manuscript of about 600 pages called Memoirs of Foggia (1996-1998). In addition, he left behind boxes of letters that he had written to me and his wife (Polly Johnson). The wartime letters (1942-1945) were very interesting, but his weekly correspondence to me (1970-1990) was generally chitchat about his hobbies (gardening and bowling), that sounded the same every week.

Physically, Roy Parris stood about 5’11” and weighed about 175 pounds. He was never fat or had a middle-age “spare tire” around his middle. He may have reached about 190 pounds at his peak (fifties). In his old age, he lost weight to about 130 lbs. he also lost height to about 5’8” tall. His hair was dark brown and although his hairline receded the temples, he was never bald. However, he kept his hair cut short after his military service and never owned a comb. In his latter years, his hair grayed, but there was always some brown. His eyes were “piercing blue,” and his skin was smooth and medium color that tanned smoothly. His sister and brother were both redheaded with light skin and freckles.

He might have lived to quite old except for several inquires and smoking. He was a lifelong smoker (about 20 cigarettes per day, 1930-1992) except at the end. This more than any other activity shortened his life and reduced his capacity to work. Had he lived longer, he likely would have needed supplemental oxygen (as many smokers of his generation do) as he was beginning to show signs of respiratory distress while at rest. His important injuries included damage to his right eye in his boyhood (split retina), which essentially blinded him in that eye, and loss of a number of teeth in an accident felling trees (I believe) in the 1950s. About 1980, he also had an small intestinal blockage (tumor) which resulted in a operation to remove the blocked section (about a foot) without any follow up chemotherapy. The tumor seems to have been benign as he never had any more problems with it. He also had cataract surgery. I attribute his clouded lenses to welding and his days in the desert sun of North Africa during WWII.

His death in December 1994, resulted from the last of several episodes in which he was taken into intensive care. The first time occurred about a year earlier and when my mother called me in Maryland telling me it was “pretty bad.” I knew she meant that she expect him to die. (Note that I was generally told after the fact when dad was in the hospital. For example, I learned of his intestinal operation after it happened.) I drove in the middle of the night to Cary, NC and arrived about 4 AM. When I looked for Roy Parris in the intensive care unit (ICU) and could not find him, I was fairly certain that he had expired. However, I soon was referred to a room where he was recovering under normal supervision. These episodes, however, came more often and more intense. The last one kept him in the hospital for three days as he became progressively weaker. The ultimate cause seemed to have been kidney failure that led to problems with his blood electrolytes and swelling around the heart. This coupled with his irregular heartbeat, eventually caused heart failure. It was the decision of mother and me, based upon his own request, not to employ heroic measures. I believe that dialysis might have brought him back from this episode, but his days were numbered. He could have conceivably lived a few more years with intensive treatments and maintenance, but he could see little point. He probably would have been confined to a wheelchair, an oxygen tank, and a dialysis machine. It is perhaps noteworthy that he never had a heart attack or a stroke. He never had signs of lung cancer or skin cancer. He was clear of mind to the end. He never demonstrated any allergy. He never had kidney or gallstones. He did have his appendix removed in the 1940s. He never had high blood pressure, but he did have an irregular heartbeat that was controlled with drugs (never a pacemaker).

Ethics and Attitudes

Above all else, Roy Parris was an honest and practical man. He assigned little or no value to decoration or art; function was all that mattered. At one time, his wife asked for some pictures to hang in the living room. Rather than pay for them, he set out to paint several scenes that he liked. He, in fact, accomplished this about 1970. He painted a picture of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a scene of Yates Mill (near Raleigh) and a scene of a covered bridge . These have now hung in his/mom’s living room for almost 30 years.

He was free of petty fears and superstitions. He was totally uninterested in religion. He felt that religion did more harm than good. He truly rebelled against the fire-and-brimstone backwoods Baptist approach. I only recall him attending church a few times in my life, and he did not routinely pray (i.e., ask the blessing of God) at meals. He also did not read the Bible. I think he believed in God, I doubt he believe Jesus was any more than a man. I know he believed that any one who would presume to tell you what you should believe was to be ignored and avoided.

He was exceptionally conservative about money. He was positively adverse to debt. Owing any money to any one was very stressful to him (even when he had equity to cover it). He paid off his home loans as soon as possible and he then invested his money in a savings account (e.g., 5% interest) or certificate of deposit (e.g., 6% interest). And, he always had a certain amount of cash handy for emergencies (e.g., collapse of the banking system). He also kept tools and weapons as insurance against hard times. He was a product of the Great Depression and always planned and acted defensively in his financial dealings. As late as the mid-1960s he was only earning about $6,000 per year and in the late 1970s (at retirement) I believe he was only making about $18,000 per year. These were low even for mechanics some of whom were making in the high $20Ks by 1980. Roy Parris felt that these rates reflected unnecessary work and gouging of various sorts.

He is personal financial strategy paid off because of the great increase in real-estate prices and interest rates after 1973. As a matter of fact, Americans can be divided into people who owned real estate before 1973 and those who bought real estate after 1973. Of course, the luckiest groups were the ones who bought “more house than they could afford” between 1970 and 1973 with large outstanding mortgages. By, 1980, those mortgages looked tiny. (As in my Father’s case, the salaries of working class people tripled; real estate prices quadrupled; and interest rates on mortgages went from 6% to 13%.) On top of this, my parents’ generation fared well in the Social Security and Medicare programs. Contributions from my generation easily kept the funds solvent through the year 2000. It was a large inter-generation transfer of wealth, which many of my father’s generation squandered on a much better retirement lifestyle than they were able to afford while they were working! In my family’s case, the money from Social Security mainly went into simple savings, which grew at a modest rate. (Had a portion of this money been invested in the Stock Market (1975-1985, the DOW index was at about 1,000), my family would be really well off by now (2000, the DOW index is at about 10,000).

With regard to politics, he felt that voters should always vote; and made a point to do so. Beyond that he had no great interest in politics. He had seen enough of the government and military in WWII to be skeptical of their motives and propaganda. For a short time, he held out the possibility that the early space program was faked for public consumption. I recall him stating at the time of the first sub-orbital launch that we would never be allowed to see such a risky mission live on television; but he soon accepted the facts. He was not moved by or interested in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was skeptical of why we would every be interested in Vietnam and he was not a particular supporter of the war (1965-1973).

Surprisingly, he was never interested in or impressed with automobile racing. When he returned form WWII, he was an expert in high performance internal combustion engines and mechanics including turbosuperchargers and other high tech devices. One would assume that he would have been interested in participating in the stock car racing sport and even could have made some money at it. However, he saw no point in driving fast around a track and risking one’s life; it was not practical; and he, of course, was not about to speculate with his money or time. He also had no interest in flying or air shows. I doubt he ever saw a B-17 after he left Italy and he only flew once to my knowledge. He did not particularly like to drive an automobile either.

On the subject of race and civil rights (a big issue of the late 1900s), his position was that his family had always been poor and never owned slaves (he was almost right), so why should he give any breaks to Black people or any other race. He was respectful and not racists; but was not in favor of intermarriage between Blacks and Whites. He obviously had a lot of respect for the Cherokee and was disgust by their treatment by the Whites. But, he was not impressed and, in fact, disgusted with the individual Cherokee who essentially made their living by “living down” to the White’s low opinion of them (i.e., the people who dress up in war paint and feathers and try to sell things to tourist as they pass through the Eastern Cherokee Reservation).

He was a great advocate of education and encouraged and rewarded me for academic efforts. This story is worth telling. When I was about 12 years old (6th grade), I was direction-less and did not even think about my grades in school. I was only concerned with how hard I was asked to work. He came to me and asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I had not given it any though; but put on the spot, I said I guessed I would be a mechanic like him. He basically said that he would not recommend being a mechanic and that the key to a successful life was education. It was something you could own that could not be taken away from you and it was the only way I was every going to achieve financial comfort.

An Outline of His Early Life

I have quoted from Roy Parris’s writing several times in describing his ancestors. He was born 17 October 1916 in Bryson City, NC. His first and vivid memories came from the logging camps on the Oconaluftee River (1922-1923). The family (now including his younger sister Ora Christine and an infant brother Edward) moved onto Bett’s Branch (a tributary of Deep Creek) and remained there. His mother lived on the property until 1987 and Ora’s daughters and I still own the land.

Here his relationship with the Mitchells (William “Red” and Raymond) and the Randalls (Bob and William Riley “Sam”) began. He had great respect and friendship for all these men and their families. As boys, they hunted and fished and camped the mountains from Hazel Creek to Caney Fork. I recall him telling a story about walking from his home to Clingman’s Dome and back on one long summer day. (That’s about 30 miles over rough country climbing to over 6,600 feet from about 2,000 feet.) He particularly liked swimming in the pools of Deep Creek in the summer time.

He attended Swain County High School and there he was an average student interested in science and history. He read a lot and he came to value education as the one thing that cannot be taken from you by bad luck or hard times. He of course, lived through the Great Depression (1929-1939) and participated in World War II. I have written a six-hundred page history of Roy C. Parris’s experiences in World War II so I will only give the outline here. That manuscript (written in 1996-1998) is entitled Memoirs of Foggia.

Roy received the opportunity to study engineering, machine shop, and construction topics at North Carolina State College (now University) in Raleigh in the late 1930s as part of one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal social programs. It was during this period that he met Polly Anna Johnson (then of Cary, NC) and gained fundamental technical training that the rest of his life would be based upon. When the war started for Americans (December 1941), Roy enlisted in the Army and was sent to Love Field, Texas and then to the Boeing School in Seattle for training in aircraft mechanics. He did well in his classes and by the fall of 1942 he was assigned to the 99th Bomb Group armed with B-17 bombers. This airplane is legendary and If you do not read my book on it, at least read some of the more popular technical books and memoirs. The 99th BG was eventually sent to North Africa. In the spring of 1943 and Roy Parris arrived soon after the Germans had retreated to Sicily. First they flew with the 12th Air Force from a desert airfield (Navarine) and then they moved to Oudna Airfield near Tunis (summer of 1943). The unit was made part of the 15th AF in the fall of 1943 and in December 1943, Roy Parris was one of the first people in his unit to arrive in Foggia, Italy. By now, he was a crew chief for his airplane. His brother Edward was reported missing in late November 1943 and was confirmed dead in early January 1944. Roy became the line chief for his squadron and in the spring of 1944 he was the enlisted leader of the 99th BG Inspection Section. He continued in this position through the end of the war in Europe (May 1945) and beyond. The 15th AF participated in the reduction of the petroleum sources at Ploesti, Romania and the shuttle missions to the Soviet Union during 1944. By the autumn of 1944, their war became much easier.

After Germany was defeated, Roy stayed on in Italy until July 1945 when he was transferred to the 301st BG and shipped home. All this time he had been corresponding with Polly Johnson and they were married 8 August 1945 (almost at the same time the atom bombs were dropped on Japan). At that time, Roy expected to be retrained and shipped to the Pacific. As it worked out, he was discharged from the Army with a Bronze Star and other metals in September 1945.

Roy and Polly first lived in Raleigh while they built a small concrete block house on Cross Link Road southeast of Raleigh. There they owned about 5 acres of land that they had obtained with the aid of Polly’s father James Archie Johnson. Polly’s twin brother Tapply O. (Tap) Johnson and his family lived on an essentially identical parcel next door. About 1954, they built a small wood frame home on the same land and the concrete block home (which had been expanded) became a workshop.

Immediately after the war, Roy had attempted to begin college at NC State College under the GI Bill. But, he soon discovered that the stress of change from the military to civilian life was too great and he obtained a job (with the aid of Archie Johnson) at the Carolina Buick Company on Fayetteville Street in central Raleigh. At this point, his desire for job security seems to have overcome his ambition and he spent the next 32 years at the same company (1946-1978) even as it changed owners and locations within Raleigh. He retired in 1978 at 62. He was very good at his job, but never competitive and never ambitious to get ahead in the field. For example, he never showed the slightest interest in setting up his own shop or opening a gasoline station. Ironically, he absolutely no interest in racing cars or automobile races. With his knowledge of high performance (e.g., turbocharged engines) one might have though that he would have been interested in what has become a very popular sport (i.e., stock car racing).

His hobbies included woodworking and gardening. When Hurricane Hazel blew down numerous trees on his property on Cross Link Road in 1954, he engaged in a long-term land clearing activity. About two acres of land were then planted in blueberries with the intention of cultivating a commercial crop. The blueberries were producing well by 1965 when the family moved to Maynard Road in Cary, NC. (Incidentally, two families of Martins who lived across Cross Link Road from the Parris family moved to Maynard Road at the same time for the same reasons.) The events that precipitated this move were the development of the Cross Link Road from rural to suburban. In particular, the area was developed as an Afro-American area. The five acre lot owned by Roy and Polly Parris was originally surrounded by cow pasture, but was converted between 1965 and 1975 into a direct frontage with about 100 homes (the five acres was a long thin lot only 150 feet wide and about 1,500 feet long). Altogether, hundreds of new homes, predominantly (est. 95%) Afro-American, were soon built. Most of the White owners in the Cross Link Road community moved out when these plans became known (1964-1967). Most of the garden and the wood working shop were left behind.

Nonetheless, Maynard Road in Cary eventually proved to be a fortuitous move. The two acre lot there not only provided ample space for flowers, grapes, a few blueberries, and a garden; but also it was at the epicenter of upscale urban grown for the next 30 years. Land and housing values appreciated steadily into the 1990s and he could not have made a better investment than he made when he bought this land (i.e., in 30 years, the land values increased at least 100 fold by doubling every four years). Most of this can be credited to the Research Triangle Park and the proximity of NCS University.

Polly Anna Johnson and Her Family

Throughout this book, the P-R-S line has been followed without giving credit to the fact that in each generation, the wives and mothers represent half of the family. For this, I apologize. However, I have a significant amount of information about my mother’s family and have tried to provide a few connections along the way.

James Archie Johnson and Mary Gaston Atkins lives in eastern North Carolina (Wilmington to Lillington) on the Cape Fear River. Mary’s roots were Highland Scot (including some MacAllisters and McNeils that arrived in the late 1700s) and the Gaston family suggest French Huguenot roots in South Carolina. The Johnsons can be traced back at least to Tappley O. Johnson in the early 1800s. In any event, Polly was one of twelve children in the James Archie Johnson family and she was the twin of Tappley O. Johnson. This Presbyterian family was what I would call “educated lower middle-class”: Several of them taught in grade schools, high schools and colleges (including Georgia, Allene, Jim, Jack and Lillian). Several were small businessmen (Tap, Sam, Bill, and Ben). By in large, they married well and prospered in a good economy; I have 34 first cousins from my mother’s family.

Roy Parris was an outsider to this family, but they accepted him more than he accepted them.