Monday, May 28, 2012

Beaver Dam or Beaver Pond Of The Cherokee Nation

1832 Surveyer's Field Book Notice the word Stand.
Indian Improvements in Cave Spring

This is the reason I think Cave Spring is  Beaver Dam or Beaver Pond Of The Cherokee Nation  and the Cabin is Avery Vann's
The article below was research and written by Jeff Bishop

In spite of all this apocalyptic fervor, the Cherokee leadership ultimately
sided with the United States and served under General Andrew Jackson in 1814
against their rebellious “Red Stick” Creek neighbors. Lying unprotected on the
Creek / Cherokee border, on the south side of the Coosa River, Vann’s Valley was
an inviting and vulnerable target for the Red Sticks. By that time a Cherokee
named Avery Vann -- brother of the infamous James Vann of Spring Place, GA – had
settled in the area, which had become generally known as “Beaver Dam” or “Beaver
Pond.” A Jan. 24, 1822 entry in the Brainerd missionary journal located “Beaver
Dam” on “the south side of the Coosa river, opposite to Turnip town,”(50) a
Cherokee town on the northern bank of the Coosa, at the southern base of Turnip
Mountain, near today’s Plant Hammond. Rev. Daniel Butrick noted in February,
1823 that “Beaver-dam,” was located 10 or 12 miles from Turnip Mountain, south
of the Coosa river.” He also said that “Cedar Creek town,” a town that lay “near
a settlement of Creek Indians,” likely at or near today’s Cedartown, was “12
miles south of Beaver dam.”(51) This would place Beaver Dam in the heart of
Vann’s Valley, probably very near today’s town of Cave Spring, or between there
and the former county seat of Livingston. (As more Cherokees – and especially
prosperous Cherokees such as Avery Vann -- began to adopt more of a plantation
lifestyle, the nature of what constituted a Cherokee “town” changed. During the
eighteenth century Cherokee towns tended to be traditional and compact, centered
on a town council house, but by the early nineteenth century the “towns” tended
to be spread out for miles along the river bottoms and associated tributaries.)
Vann, at the time of the Creek War / Red Stick Rebellion, was living at the
northern end of the Beaver Dam area, operating a ferry on the Coosa River. In
1826 Richard A. Blount, who was surveying the Georgia / Alabama state line, said
that Vann, who he described as an “old man,” lived on the Coosa “in the late
war, and took an active part against the hostile Creeks, and while he was down
about the Horse Shoe, some of them came up and burnt his houses.”(52) Records
from the Cherokee Agency report that on March, 1814, the Old Broom sent a “very
urgent express” through Santooly of Brooms Town to the Cherokees living near
Avery Vann’s place, which was located by the agency as “sixteen miles above Fort
Armstrong.” The Agency was informed that Vann’s place had been “burnt By the
hostile Creeks” and that his family had only barely escaped the raid “a day or
two before this happened.” Old Broom said that Cherokee warriors needed to be
“stationed at Avery Vann’s” and wanted to know if they would be considered “as a
part of Genl Jacksons army.”(53)

Vann’s wife, Margaret McSwain Vann, gives a considerably more detailed account
in an 1842 claim to the federal government for the loss of the property:

The claimant … states (on oath) that at the time of the Creek War she resided
with her family on the South side of the Coosa river in the Cherokee Nation
East; where she was exposed to the inroads of the lawless Creeks owning to the
contiguity of her abode to that tribe. That her husband was at the time of the
loss of the above property in the service of the U.S. in the company commanded
by Capt. David McNair, all under command of Genl. Andrew Jackson. That will in
this defenceless condition a friend by the name of Broom sent her word that
she was in great danger of an attack by the Creeks, and advised her to remove
her little family across to the north side of the Coosa river, which advice
she took to save the lives of her family; -- and about the next day after
leaving her residents, the Creeks set fire to & consumed all that is charged
in this account except the Negro Boy. The next day … after the burning of her
property by the Creeks, the Boy was at play with her own children, where she
had constructed a camp to shelter in, and at night on inquiry the Boy could
not be found, and there was no way to account for his absence, but by charging
some outlaw with forcing him off. Suspicion rested … upon some bad white men…
in the neighborhood to Genl. White’s detachment of East Tennessee Militia from
the fact that fresh horse tracks were to be found about the place where the
boy was at play, which were pursued a short distance in the direction of
Tennessee … And now as it must be obvious to every candid mind that this loss
was brought about by the absence of her husband & protector in the ranks of
the citizens of the U.S. in defence of their rights, against the enemy of the
U.S., she thinks it nothing but justice that she should be remunerated for her

The Indian Removal Act
Although Vann, like most able-bodied Cherokee men, chose to serve with the white
soldiers under General Jackson, that would not save his home and property. In
fact, it would be Jackson -- riding his victories all the way to the U.S.
presidency -- who ultimately would push for removal of the Southeastern Indians,
including his former Cherokee allies, west of the Mississippi River. Vann’s
loyalty to the United States, even to the point of losing his home to
conflagration, wouldn’t spare him or his family from removal. “The consequences
of a speedy removal will be important to the United States, to individual
States, and to the Indians themselves,” Jackson announced to the U.S. Congress.
He characterized the Cherokee Nation and their fellow Indian nations, in spite
of all aspirations to become thoroughly acculturated, as being “now occupied by
a few savage hunters.”(55) In fact, the Cherokees had long since ceded the vast
majority of their once vast hunting grounds to the United States, and had been
living a plantation and subsistence farming lifestyle virtually
indistinguishable from that practiced by their white neighbors. But no matter.
Removal of the Indians from the Southern states would “enable those States to
advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power,” Jackson said. “What good man
would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages
to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms
embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry
execute…?” Jackson concluded:

And is it supposed that the wandering savage has a stronger attachment to his
home than the settled, civilized Christian? Is it more afflicting to him to
leave the graves of his fathers than it is to our brothers and children?
Rightly considered, the policy of the General Government toward the red man is
not only liberal, but generous. He is unwilling to submit to the laws of the
States and mingle with their population. To save him from this alternative, or
perhaps utter annihilation, the General Government kindly offers him a new
home… (56)
Seeing the writing clearly on the wall, Vann enrolled for emigration to the West
in 1829, abandoning all his improvements in Beaver Pond. Just 11 days after
Jackson’s announcement, the state of Georgia extended its legal jurisdiction
over the Cherokee Nation, abolishing Cherokee government, courts, and police
powers in its own territory. Since Cherokees could not testify against whites in
Georgia courts, this action practically invited whites to invade Cherokee
territory and take what they wanted. This is exactly what happened, and the
people living in Vann’s Valley again found themselves on the front lines of

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