Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jeremiah Jack and a Canoe

Jeremiah Jack Sr., born 261 years ago on 13 November 1750, seems to be a semi-famous person in American history, or at least he was around other people who were famous. I need to do some more digging, but based on what others have written Jeremiah Jack was under Gov. Sevier at the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina. His 1st cousin once removed was Captain James Jack of Charlotte, NC who carried the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence to Philadelphia in 1775. On July 16, 1792 Jeremiah was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Knox County. Jeremiah Jack's wife was Martha Gillespie. Martha was the daughter of Col. George Gillespie who had one of the 1st stone houses built in TN, located in Limestone, TN near the log cabin birthplace of Davy Crockett. Davy Crockett's father helped Col. Gillespie clear his land when he settled in Limestone, TN.

As I was researching Jeremiah Jack and looking up some of those facts, I came across this account is from the year 1782 or 3.

The Annals of Tennessee to the end of the eighteenth century
by James Gettys McGready Ramsey

During the infancy of the settlements on Nollichucky, corn had become scarce, and availing themselves of a short suspension of hostilities, Jeremiah Jack and William Rankin, of Greene county, descended the river in a canoe, for the purpose of bartering with the Indians for corn. They reached Coiatee without interruption. The warriors of that place refused to exchange or sell the corn, and manifested other signs of suspicion, if not of open enmity. They entered the canoe and lifted up some wearing apparel lying in it, and which covered their rifles. This discovery increased the unwillingness of the Indians to trade, and they began to show a disposition to offer violence to their white visitants. The beloved woman, Nancy Ward, was happily present, and was able by her commanding influence to appease their wrath, and to bring about friendly feelings between the parties. The little Indians were soon clad in the home made vestments brought by the traders--the canoe was filled with corn, and the white men started on their return voyage well pleased with the exchange they had made, and especially with the kind offices of the beloved woman.

On their return, the white men landed and camped one night, a mile above the mouth of French Broad, on the north bank of the little sluice of that river. Mr. Jack was so well pleased with the place, that he afterwards selected it as his future residence, and actually settled and improved it on his emigration to the present Knox county, in 1787.

Nancy Ward (Nanyehi) was a Cherokee. She was the daughter of Francis Ward, a white man living in the Cherokee nation, and a Cherokee woman called Tame Doe. She later became Ghigau, a title which means Beloved Woman. She was given final say on any prisoners taken by the Cherokee, and she was known for believing in peace between whites and the Cherokee. There are a number of books and other sources that talk about her. I guess she was pretty famous. I think it's pretty cool that my 6 Great Grandfather is mentioned in history with her. If you want to read more on her, check out her page on Wikipedia. This drawing of her I got off of Wikipedia, and was done by George Catlin, an American painter who lived from 1796-1872.

There is also a short bio of Jeremiah Jack in the book History Of Lebanon Presbyterian Church 1791 "In The Fork". He was a member of that church and you can find his grave, now with a new marker it looks like, in Lebanon.

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