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From: "Joyce Reece" <>
Subject: [CherokeeGeneCommunity] The Hiwassee Purchase
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2002 19:44:09 -0400
References: <>

Organization of Cherokee Lands, 1820
On February 27, 1819, chiefs of the Cherokee Nation signed a treaty ceding a
portion of their remaining eastern lands. The new North Carolina territory
stretched from the former treaty line (the old Meigs-Freeman line) to the
ridge of the Nantahala Mountains, and from the Georgia & South Carolina
borders on the south to the Tennessee line on the north.

The State of North Carolina appointed James Meabin and Jesse Franklin as
Commissioners in charge of organizing the large territory. They hired
Captain Robert Love of Waynesville to head the survey party.

Chief of the Surveyors
Captain Robert Love of Waynesville is said to have been a hero of the War of
1812. His father, Gen. Thomas Love, was a vigorous frontiersman who served
20 years in the North Carolina legislature.

The Love family played a colorful and controversial role in the settling of
the frontier. They also figured prominently in the first N.C. novel,
Eoneguski, or the Cherokee Chief, set partly in Macon County.

Work of the Love Survey Party
The work began with the division of the huge area into 18 districts. Each
was assigned to one of five or six survey crews for mapping. The districts
were further divided into tracts or sections, which were offered to the
public through land grants.

Each section offered for sale contained 50 to 300 acres. Each included some
good farm land and timber land.

The survey party produced a huge map, one copy of which was posted in the
Haywood County courthouse prior to the first land sale. The sale began Sept.
20, 1820 and continued for several weeks. Other sales were held in Franklin
in 1822 and 1823.

The survey party chose the site of Franklin, which was destined to become
the county seat. The town site occupied 400 acres in sections 24 and 32 of
district 16. It was named for Commissioner Jesse Franklin, a prominent
statesman who became governor of North Carolina in 1820.

Because of high demand for land, prices were set to bring in a good profit.
No land could be sold for less than 50 cents per acre. Grade 1, the best,
sold for $4 per acre; grade 2 for $2 and grade 3 for $1. Buyers could pay
one-eighth down and the rest in four annual payments, with a discount
offered for early payment. Grants were to be issued after the state received
the full purchase price

DAILY POST ATHENIAN/Sesqui-Centennial Edition, June 10, 1969, p. 10-D.

Starr Mtn. once western boundary of country.

In 1817 the U. S. Federal Government bought from the Cherokee Indians all
the land between Hiwassee, Little Tennessee and Big Tennessee Rivers lying
west of Starr Mountain and the foothills of the Smokies; and that part of
Polk County lying north of the Hiwassee River. The old Cherokee capital,
Echota, was on Tellico River below the Plains. The Cherokee towns on Valley
River in North Carolina were called the Overhills Towns. This purchase of
1817 was called the Hiwassee Purchase. So Hiwassee River and Starr Mountain
were the boundaries of the United States from 1817 to 1836.

Sometime after the purchase, the land was laid out in Townships and Sections
which, according to history, was the first place ever be done so.

John Ross was Cherokee Chief for 40 years and lived in the vicinity of
Chattanooga. Chattanooga was first called Ross' Landing, and the present
town of Rossville was named for him. The Old Ross Home at Rossville it still
standing. (Can be toured.)

Soon after the sale of the Hiwassee District the Federal Government began
trying to buy the remainder of the Cherokee lands, but Ross persistently
refused to consider a sale.

The Cherokees were divided into two parties. A large majority of them
followers of Ross and the minority party led by John Ridge.

Failing to deal with Ross, a government representative held a meeting with
the Ridge Party at Red Clay in Bradley County in December 1835 and
contracted with that Party to buy all the remainder of the Cherokee Lands
which extended from Hiwassee River to Chatahooche River in Georgia for the
sum of five million dollars. Another meeting was held in June 1836 and the
treaty was amended and another million dollars given for a school fund.

The treaty with the Ridge Party provided that the Indians vacate the land
and move west to what was afterwards known as the Indian Territory. The
Ridge Party complied with the treaty and moved west, but the Ross Party
refused to move. The Federal Government finally sent troops into the
territory and gathered them together, except in the mountains of North
Carolina where there are still a goodly number of them."

Note: See The Trail of Tears articles elsewhere on web page.

Transcribed by: Bill Bigham

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