An Overland Journey to the West
(October-December 1837)

By
B. B. Cannon
Oct.-Dec. 1837

(Original in National Archives
Office of Indian Affairs,
"Cherokee Emigration" C-553
"Special File 249.-)

Transcribed and edited by
E. Raymond Evans

A Journal of occurences in conformity with the Revised Regulation No. 5. Paragraph 8. kept by B. B. Cannon, Conductor of a party of Emigrating Cherokee Indians. put in his charge at the Cherokee Agency East, by Genl. N. Smith, Superintendent of Cherokee removals, on the 13th day of October 1837.

Oct. 13th, 1837
Sent the waggons to the Indian encampment and commenced loading in the evening.

Oct. 14th 1837
Completed loading the waggons and crossed the Highwassie river at Calhoun, encamped at 5:00 P.M.

Oct. 15th 18-37
Marched the party at S O'C A.M. halted and encamped at Spring Creek at 11: O'C A.M. where Genl. Smith mustered the party, which consumed the remainder of the day. 5 miles to day.

Oct. 16th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M., halted and encamped at Kelly's ferry on Tennessee river at 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal & bacon. 14 miles to day.

Oct. 17th 1837
Commenced ferrying the Tennessee river at 8'O, after having been detained until the sun dispelled the fog — every thing being in readiness to commence at dav light. Completed ferrying at 4 O'C P.M. and reached little Richland creek at 8 O'C P.M. where the party had been directed to halt and encamp. Issued corn & fodder. 7 miles to day.

Oct. 18th 1837
Marched at 7½ O'C A.M. One of the provision waggons oversat, detained a half hour. No damage done. Ascended Wallens ridge, (the ascent 2 miles) halted at Ragsdale's at 1½ O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, — corn-meal & bacon. 10 miles further to water, all wearied getting up the mountain. 5 miles to day.

Oct. 19th 1837
Marched at 7½ O'C A.M. descended the mountain, halted at 2 O'C P.M. at Sequachee river near Mr. Springs. Issued corn & fodder. 11½ miles to day.

Oct. 20th, 1837
Marched at 6½ O'C A.M. ascended the Cumberland Mountain, halted at Mr. Flemings, Ύ past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal & Bacon. 14½ miles to day.

Oct. 21st, 1837
Marched at 7½ O'C A.M. descended the mountain, halted at Collins river, 4Ό O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, the Indians appear fatigued this evening. 13 miles to day — road extremely rough.

Oct. 22nd 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. passed through McMinnville, halted at Mr. Booths ½ past 12 O'C M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal & Bacon, Sugar and coffee to the Waggoners and Interpreters. No water for 12 miles ahead. Procured a quantity of corn meal and bacon today.* 7½ miles to day.

Oct. 23rd 1837
Marched at 6½ O'C A.M. Capt. Prigmore badly hurt by a waggon horse attempting to run away. Halted at Stones river near Woodbury — To ½ past 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder. 20 miles to day.

Oct. 24th 1837
Marched at 7½ O'C A.M. halted at Mr. lea woods 4 O'C P.M. rained last night and to day. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal and bacon. 15 miles to day.

Oct. 25th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. buried Andrew's child at ½ past 9 O'C A.M. passed through Murfreesborough, halted at Overalls creek, 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn and fodder. 14 miles to day.

Oct. 26th, 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. passed through three turnpike Gates, halted at Mr. Harris 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal and bacon. 16½ miles to day.

Oct. 27th 1837
Marched at 7½ O'C A.M. passed through two Turnpike gates, and crossed the Cumberland river on the Nashville toll bridge at Nashville, halted at Mr. Putnams ½ past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder. Isaac Walker and emigrant belonging to the Party, over took us. — Mr. L. A. Kincannon, contracting agent, left us and returned home, having on the way, near McMinnville, signified his intention, verbally, to do so, assigning as the reason the delicate situation of his health. — 13 miles today.

------------------------

I would remark here that all supplies, both of forage and subsistance, were purchased contracted for on the way west by a contracting agent, and paid for on my request by Doct. Reynolds. the Disbursing Agent for the Pam.

 

Figure 1. General Andrew Jackson

Oct. 28th 1837
Rested for the purpose of washing clothes, repairing waggons, and shoeing horses —Reese, Starr and others of the emigrants visited Genl. Jackson who was at Nashville. (Fig. 1) Issued corn & fodder corn-meal and bacon. Assigned Mr. E. S. Curry to supply the place of Mr. Kincannon.

Oct. 29th 1837
Marched at 8½ O'C A.M. halted at Long creek ½ past 2 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder — 13½ miles to day.

Oct 30th 1837
Marched at 7½ O'C A.M.. halted at Little red river ½ past 5 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder corn-meal & Bacon. 18½ miles to day.

Oct. 31st 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at Graves, Ken[tucky] 3 O'C P.M. Issued corn &- fodder. 16 miles to day.

Nov. 1st 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. burned Ducks child, passed through Hopkinsville Ken. halted at Mr. Northerns ½ past 5:00 P.M. Encamped & Issued corn & fodder, Flour and bacon. 19 miles today.

Nov. 2nd, 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. and halted one mile in advance of Mr. Mitchelersons. 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn and fodder.

Nov. 3rd 1837
David Simpson and Pheasant, emigrants belonging to the party, came up last night in the stage, having been heretofore enrolled, and mustered. Marched at 8 O'C A.M. passed throu' Princeton, Ken. halted and encamped near Mr. Barnetts, at ½ past 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, Flour & bacon. 17 miles to day.

Nov 4th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted and encamped at Threlkelds branch, 4 O'C A.M. Issued corn & fodder — 15 miles to day.

Nov. 5th 1837
March at 8 O'C A.M. passed thro' Salem, Ken. Halted and encamped at another Mr. Threlkelds branch 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal, a small quantity of flour, and bacon. 13½ miles to day.

Nov. 6th 1837
Marched at 7 O'C A.M. Arrived at Berrv's ferry (Golconda opposite on the Ohio river) 9 O'C A.M. every thing in readiness to commence ferrying, but prevented on account of the extreme high winds and consequent roughness of the river, which continued the remainder of the day. encamped in the evening. Issued corn & fodder. 5½ miles to day.

Nov. 7th 1837
Commenced ferrying at ½ past 5 O'C A.M. Moved the party as it crossed one mile out and encamped completed crossing 4 O'C P.M. All safely. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal & bacon. 1 mile to day.

Nov. 8th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. Mr. Reese and myself remained behind and buried a child of Seabolt's. Overtook the Partv, halted and encamped at Big Bay creek, 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder. (James Starr & wife, left this morning with two carry-alls to take care of and bring on three of their children, who were too sick to travel — with instructions to overtake the Party as soon as possible without endangering the lives of their children.) —15 miles to day.

Nov. 9th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted and encamped at Cash Creek, ½ past 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder corn meal & Bacon. 15 miles to day.

Nov 10th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. were detained 2 hours on the way making a bridge across a small creek, halted at Cypress creek. 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder & salt. 14 miles to day.

Nov 11, 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. passed thro' Jonesboro, Ill. Halted and encamped at Clear Creek in the Mississippi river bottom ½ past 3 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal & bacon — 13 miles to day. issued sugar & coffee to the waggoners and interpreters.

Nov. 12th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. arrived at Mississippi river 10 O'C A.M. Commenced ferrying at 11 O'C A.M. directed the Party to move a short distance as they crossed the river, and encamped. Issued corn & fodder. Starr came up, the health of his children but little better. Richard Timberlake and George Ross overtook us and enrolled, attached themselves to Starrs family.

Nov. 13th, 1837
Continued ferrying from 7 O'C until 10 O'C A.M. when the wind arose and checked our progress. 3 O'C P.M. resumed and made our trip. Suspended at 5 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal & bacon, burned another of Duck's children to day.

Nov 14th 1837
Crossed the residue of the Party. Marched at 10 O'C A.M. halted and encamped at Mr. Williams. Issued corn and fodder. Sickness prevailing. 5 miles to day.

Nov. 15th 1837
Rested for the purpose of washing, &etc. Issued corn and fodder, corn meal and bacon.

Nov. 16th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. left reese, Starr and families on account of sickness in their families, also James Taylor (Reese's son' in-law) and family. Taylor himself being very sick, with instructions to overtake the Party. Passed thro' Jackson, Mo. halted & encamped at Widow Roberts on the road via Farmington & Issued corn only no fodder to be had. 17 miles to day.

Nov 17th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at White Water creek 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal and beef. 13 miles to day.

Nov 18th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted and encamped at Mr. Morand's 5 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, flour & bacon. 16 miles to day.

Nov 19th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted and encamped ½ past 4 O'C P.M. at Wolf Creek. Issued corn & fodder. 14 miles to day.

Nov 20th 1837
Marched at 8 O.0 A.M. passed thro' Farmington, Mo. halted at St. Francis river, 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, Flour & beef. 15 miles to day.

Nov 21st 1837
A considerable number drunk last night — obtained the liquor at Farmington yesterday, had to get out of bed about midnight to quell the disorder. A refusal by several to march this morning. alledging that they would wait for Starr & Reese to come up at that place. Marched at 8 O'C A.M. in defiance of threats and attempts to intimidate, none remained behind. passed through Caledonia halted at Mr. Jackson's. encamped and issued corn & fodder, beef and Bacon mostly bacon. 14 miles to day.

Nov 22nd 1837
Marched 8½ O'C A.M. pass through the lead mines (or Courtois diggings) halted at Scott's, 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder and corn meal. 13 miles to day. 

Nov 23rd 1837
Rested for the purpose of repairing waggons shoeing horses, washing &etc. Starr Reese and Taylor came up the health of their families in some degree improved. Issued corn & fodder, and beef. Weather very cold.

Nov 24th 1837
Marched at 8½ O'C A.M. Considerable sickness prevailing. halted at Huzza Creek, 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder. 12 miles to day.

Nov 25th 1837
Doct. Townsend, officially, adivsed a suspension of our march, in consequence of the severe indisposition of several families, for a time sufficient for the employment of such remedial agent as their respective cases might require. I accordingly directed the Party to remain in camp and make the best possible arrangement for the sick. In the evening issued corn & fodder, flour and beef.

Nov 26th 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness continuing and increasing. Issued corn & fodder, beef & corn meal.

Nov 27th 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness continuing to increase. Issued corn & fodder, Bacon & corn meal.

Nov 28th 1837
Moved the Detachment two miles further to a Spring and Schoolhouse. Obtained permission for as many of the sick to occupy the school house as could do so. A much better situation for an encampment than on the Creek. Sickmess increasing. Issued corn & fodder.

Nov. 29th 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness still increasing. Buried Corn Tassel's child to day. Issued corn & fodder.

Nov 30th 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness continuing. Issued corn and fodder.

December 1st 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness abating. Issued corn and fodder, Bacon & corn meal. Buried Oolanheta's child to day.

Dec. 2nd 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness abating. Issued corn and fodder, Beef & corn meal.

Dec. 3rd 1837
Remained in camp. Sickness abating. Issued corn & fodder.

Dec. 4th 1837
Marched at 9 O'C A.M. Buried George Killion, and left Mr. Wells to bury, a waggoner (black boy) who died this morning. Scarcely room in the waggons for the sick. halted at Mr. Davis. ½ past 4 O'C P.M. had to move down the creek a mile off the road, to get wood. Issued corn & fodder and corn meal. — 11 miles to day.

Dec. 5th 1837
Marched 9 O'C A.M. left two waggoners (black boys at Mr. Davis sick, this morning. halted at the Merrimack river, ½ past 3 O'C P.M. Encamped and issued corn and fodder, corn meal and beef. 10 miles to day.

Dec. 6th 1837
Marched at 9 O'C A.M. passed Masseys Iron Works. Halted at Mr. Jones' ½ past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn and fodder. 12 miles to day.

Dec. 7th 1837
Marched at 8½ O'C A.M. Reese's team ran away, broke his waggon and Starr's carry-all. left him and family to get his waggon mended, at 17 miles — and to overtake if possible. halted at Mr. Baterson (?), 5 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn and fodder corn-meal & bacon. 2.0 miles to day.

Dec. 8th 1837
Buried Nancy Big bear's Grand child. Marched at 9 O'C A.M. halted at Piney, a small river, ½ past 3 O'C P.M. Rained all day, encamped and issued corn only no fodder to be had. Several drunk. 11 miles to day.

December the 9th 1837
Marched at 9 O'C A.M. Mayfield's waggon broke down at about a mile —left him to get it mended and overtake, halted at Waynesville, Mo. 4 O'C P.M., encamped and issued corn & fodder, beef & corn meal. Weather extremely cold. 12½ miles to day.

Dec 10th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at the Gasconade river 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder. 14 miles to day.

Dec. 11th 1837
Marched at ½ past 8 O'C A.M. halted at Summer's 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder. 15 miles to day.

Dec 12th 1837
Marched at 9 O'C A.M. halted one mile in advance of Mr. Parke's at a branch, 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal beef and a small quantity of bacon. 14 miles to day.

Dec. 13th 1837
Marched at 8½ O'C A.M. halted at a branch near Mr. Eddington's, 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder. Reese & Mayfield came up. 13½ miles to day.

Dec. 14th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at James fork of White river, near the road but which does not cross the road, 3 O'C P.M. Mr. Wells taken sick. Issued corn meal, corn & fodder. 15½ miles to day.

Dec. 15th 1837
Joseph Starr's wife had a child last night. Marched at 8½ O'C A.M. halted at Mr. Danforth's 2 O'C P.M. Waggoners haying horses shod until late at night. encamped & issued corn & fodder & beef. 10½ miles to day.

Dec. 16th 1837
Issued sugar & coffee to the Waggoners & Interpreters this morning. Marched at 9 O'C A.M. passed through Springfield, Mo. halted at Mr. Click's 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder and corn-meal. 12 miles to day. (left Mr. Wells)

Dec. 17th 1837
Snowed last night. Buried Ellege's wife and Chas Timberlake's son (Smoker). Marched at 9 O'C A.M. halted at Mr. Dye's 3 O'C P.M. extremely cold weather, sickness prevailing to a considerable extent. All very much fatigued. encamped and issued corn & fodder & beef. 10 miles to day.

Dec 18th 1837
Detained on account of sickness. Doct Townsend sent back to Springfield for medicines —buried Dreadful Waters this evening. Issued corn and fodder & corn meal.

Dec 19th 1837
Detained to day also on account of sickness, cold intense. Issued corn & fodder, and beef.

Dec. 20th 1837
Marched at 8½ O'C A.M. halted at Mr. Allen's ½ past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder & corn meal. 15 miles to clay.

Dec. 21st 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at Lockes on Flat Creek. 4' past 3 O'C P.M. encamped
and issued corn & fodder & beef. 15 miles to day.

Dec 22nd 1837
Burried Goddard's Grand child. Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at McMurtee's, 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder and corn-meal. 15 miles to day.

Dec 23rd 1837
Buried Rainfrog's daughter (Lucy Redstick's child). Marched at 8 O'C A.M., halted at Reddix, 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder & beef. 10 miles to day.

Dec 24th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at the X hollows, had to leave the road 3/4 of a mile to get water, 3 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder, Pork and corn meal. 15 miles to day.

Dec 25th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. took the right hand road to Cane Hill, at Fitzgeralds halted a half mile in advance of Mr. Cunningham's at a branch, 3 O'C P.M. Issued corn & fodder and salt Pork. 15½ miles today.

Dec 26th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at James Coulter's on Cane Hill, Ark. ½ past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn meal corn & fodder. 16½ miles to day.

Dec 27th 1837
Buried Alsey Timberlake Daughter of Chas Timberlake. Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at Mr. Beans, in the Cherokee Nation West, at ½ past 2 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, Fresh Pork & some beef. 12 miles to day.

Dec 28th 1837
The Party refused to go further, but at the same time pledged themselves to remain together until the re-muster was made by the proper officer for whom I immediately sent an express to Fort Gibson. They alledged at the same time that the refusal was in consequence of the sickness now prevailing — and that only. Doct. Reynolds, Disbursing agent for the Party, dismissed the waggons from further service. Buried another child of Chas Timberlake, and one which was born (untimely) yesterday of which no other account than this is taken. Jesse Half Breed's wife had a child last night. Issued Pork corn meal and flour. corn & fodder for to day.

Lieut. Van Horne arrived late this evening — having missed the express on the way.

Dec 29th 1837
Re-mustered the Party. Issued a small quanty of corn meal & Pork yet on hand.

Dec 30th 1837
Completed the Rolls of Remuster, turned over the Party to Lieut. Van Horne, and dismissed my assistant.

Respectfully submitted
B. B. Cannon,
Conductor

et 9-2006


-- -- -- -- -- --
This page last updated: 12/01/2010
© 2017

    Report broken links - include this URL