Monday, February 9, 2015

200 Years in the Making

2015 marks the 200th anniversary of many important moments for John Sevier and the United States.
February 18, 1815 was the official end of the War of 1812, when the Senate ratified the Treaty of Ghent (unanimously). Sevier remarks:
“Sat. [February] 18 attended the house. The City illuminated in consequence of peace — cold day and a little sleet. . . .”

Then in March came the news that he would be heading to the Alabama territory:
“Mon. [March] 13 Attended the War office & drew a draft on the Treasury for $1500 as a commissioner to run Creek line.”

This boundary line was a necessity following the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, when Andrew Jackson’s forces defeated the Creeks and ended the Creek War portion of the War of 1812.
In June, Sevier set out for the region by spending the night in Knoxville.
“Sat. 10 Set out for running the Creek boundary line, went to Knoxville & stayed all night at Colo. Seviers.”

Later in June, he set up a July meeting with Pathkiller, the Principle Chief of the Cherokee Nation and other Cherokees. His diary is then filled with information regarding distribution of presents and money and what is due to which person or people. The Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers (although the latter he spells differently from time to time) play an important role in his travels and the boundary line, so they are mentioned often.

As far as any notice of John Sevier becoming ill is concerned, he mentions pain in his back at the end of August, and in September, his last entry states:
“Sat. 9 Dicky Brown very sick — We started late & traveled . . miles. there is some tolerable land on Culluba (?) Creek & about Hawkins old place, but between that & other see (?) the land is sandy, poor, & the growth long leaf pine.”

As the editor of the diary notes, “In 1815 Sevier was appointed by President Madison as a commissioner to run the boundary line of the Creek nation in Alabama, as provided by the treaty made by General Jackson after his conquest of the Creeks in 1814. His service lasted from early in June, 1815, until his death, September 24, 1815. He was buried on the east bank of the Tallapoosa River at an Indian village called Tuckabotchee, near Fort Decatur, in Macon County. In 1889 his remains were removed to Knoxville, Tennessee, and re-interred in the court house yard. A beautiful monument stands over his remains, dedicated in a splendid oration by Col. W. A. Henderson.”

John Sevier was 70 years old (+ one day) when he passed away, still working for the government.
To commemorate this bicentennial, the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association is asking the Marble Springs supporters to consider giving to our new “$200 for 200” campaign. Donors who give $200 (or more) in 2015 will be listed on our website (unless they prefer to be left anonymous), and will receive membership benefits at the Sustaining level.

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