The National Road, Interstate 75, and Bartow County

                   The role of Visionary Leadership and the Art of Collaboration

By Dr. Lance Barry

Since the founding of the United States, our leaders have recognized the connection between the ease of travel and the incremental improvement of commerce, wealth, and security.  The first federally funded road, the National Road, was conceived by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to reach the western settlements.  As president, Jefferson signed the National Road Act into law on March 29th, 1806. This act allowed federal funds to be applied to the construction costs of the National Road.  He believed that connecting the country from east to west starting in Cumberland, Maryland and ending in Vandalia, Illinois would allow ease of travel and delivery of goods, and thereby elevate this country’s economy.  The 620 miles of “National Road” became a linchpin in the growth of the United States and the touchstone for collaboration for future road projects. The National Road incorporated and supplemented the highest standards of road design at that time. Large scale bridge building and a broken stone upper layer to prevent wagon wheel ruts are two examples of major advancements in the road construction techniques utilized.  The construction process was completed by 1839.  Later known as Route 40, the first federally funded highway quickly became the “Mainstreet of America” as travel and commerce along its route expanded. It was the topic of song, paintings, and poetry.  The towns and villages distant from the National Road suffered as new towns and businesses sprang up along the route, but the utilization of the National Road diminished when travel patterns shifted to trains in the mid 1850’s.  However, the 1900’s saw the rise of the automobile and the National Road was popular again.  Soon, many wealthy residents desired to locate their homes along the National Road. Its winding path is credited with the creation of many “Millionaire Rows” across America. 

Shortly after the end of World War II, the Federal Interstate Highway System was conceived. In the early 1950’s, construction began on a massive project spanning 1,575 miles of highway from Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Michigan to Tampa Bay. Roughly 25 years later, Interstate 75 was completed at a cost of more than 3 billion dollars. I-75 became a vital portion of the 42,500 miles of Interstate Highway in the United States at that time. 

The Georgia portion of I-75 is 355.1 miles in length.  At a public hearing in the auditorium of Cartersville High School on June 11th, 1965, the Georgia Highway Department shared possible routes of I-75 through Bartow County with a crowd of nearly 1,000 people.   Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff reporter Richard B. Matthews wrote, “Of course, the ‘Bird watchers’ and ‘outdoor nuts’ were there, too, talking about how the road would ruin the environment, but no one paid much attention to them”.  Everything changed when Dr. Phillip Greear stepped in. He was the head of Biology and Earth Sciences at Shorter College from 1962-1985 and served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Nature Conservancy. Dr. Greear was a World War II veteran who was passionate about conservation after witnessing the devastation of war. He took the reins to lead the fight against the proposed lake route. He proposed to stop the progress of I-75 over Lake Allatoona, noting that the Etowah Darter Fish was only found in the Etowah River and two of its tributaries.

He hypothesized that the construction of I-75 near Lake Allatoona could, and eventually would, destroy this endangered species’ habitat.  Following the hearing, the proposed lake route never gained traction. 

Other routes through Bartow County were considered at the time with respect to cost and environmental impact.   Several obstacles were considered and solved in the effort to expedite the completion of I-75 in Georgia. 

Key challenges included environmental disruption to Lake Allatoona, land rights issues, project funding, and the endangered species impacted by road construction.  The previous Georgia DOT Commissioner, Bert Lance, removed the environmental concerns by placing the final route decision in the hands of Dr. Eugene Odum who was a nationally known environmentalist at the University of Georgia.  The final route chosen for Bartow County was termed “Line T” and was heavily influenced by the efforts of the immediate past president of the Cartersville Chamber of Commerce, Herschel Wisebram and Former Georgia DOT Commissioner Bert Lance.

In 1973, in the case of ‘Finish Allatoona’s Interstate Right v. Volpe’, the court’s determination was in favor of progressing with the “Line T” route.

Financing concerns contributed to the delay in completion of I-75 in Georgia.  Governor Busbee won budget approval by getting congress and the general assembly to approve pre-financing of the remaining general obligation bonds and repaying the principal with funds from the Federal Highway Trust Fund as they became available. 

The final segment of this momentous undertaking was completed on December 21st, 1977, near Lake Allatoona in Emerson, Georgia. The son of Rev. O.L. and Julia Stiles, recently retired U.S. Army Col. Fred O. Stiles was the first motorist to use the left lane of the northbound section of I-75.  He was driving a Toyota. The history of roads traversing Georgia from north to south included the western routing of the Dixie Highway, Highway 41, and then finally Interstate 75. The “Ballad of Interstate 75” was written in 1977 by Jon P. Shulenberger and recorded by Terry Dearmore to commemorate the opening of the highway. As with the National Road, commerce and wealth grew along the route of I-75.

The leadership of Governor George Busbee, Chairman of the Committee for Interstate 75, Harold S. Willingham, Former Georgia DOT Commissioner Bert Lance, and the Georgia Director of the DOT Thomas Moreland were invaluable to the completion of the project.  These men were supplemented by strong leadership in Bartow County that recognized the importance of I-75 and sought to provide maximum benefit to citizens.  Chief among the many forces that shaped the Bartow County section of I-75 was Georgia Representative Joe Frank Harris, Chairman of the Georgia House Appropriations Committee, who would later become the 78th Governor of Georgia from 1983-1991.  He and other local leaders recognized that a Cartersville I-75 access connector was the key to the future of Bartow County’s prosperity.   His ability to collaborate with local, state, and federal leaders for Bartow County resulted in growth and prosperity for all the citizens of Bartow County, which we continue to enjoy today.

Rep. Harris worked closely with Cartersville Mayor John Dent, Bartow County Commissioner Olin Tatum, past Bartow County Commissioner Wayne Self, Georgia State Senator Nathan Dean, Cartersville Chamber of Commerce President Herschel Wisebram, as well as Future Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham.   The completion of I-75 moved Georgia from the 37th best highway system in America to the 14th best spot in 3 years.  The population of Bartow County in 1977 was 39,074 and in 2023 it has grown to 112,800. The official listing of all property owners, the assessed value of the property they own, and the taxes levied (Tax Digest) was just shy of 500 million dollars in 1978.  In 2023 the Bartow County Tax Digest has surpassed 15 billion dollars.  This represents a 30-fold increase in the tax digest since the completion of I-75.    

Bartow County is now attracting billion-dollar projects that are under construction in 2023, and these are anticipated to further elevate the prosperity of our county, and our state.

Rev. Don Harp of Sam Jones Memorial First United Methodist Church gave the invocation at the I-75 opening day ceremonies.  Rep. Joe Frank Harris was the keynote speaker.  The musical entertainment was provided by the Cass and Cartersville high school bands.  Other persons of note on the stage that day included Mayor John Dent, Bartow County Commissioner Olin Tatum, Georgia Senator Nathan Dean, and Georgia Representative Ernest Raulston. 

Today, citizens continue to benefit from the leadership of so many who carried Bartow County in their hearts and helped I-75 become a thriving reality.

Stand Watie

Cherokee General Hails from old Cass County


By Terry Sloope


Stand Watie: The Hard Life of a Cherokee Survivor


Many Americans have heard of the horrors of the “Trail of Tears” – the inhumane removal of the most of the Cherokee tribe from its homeland in the southeastern United States in the late 1830s.[1]  Thousands of Cherokees died on the forced march to the new Cherokee territory west of the Mississippi, most of which was located in what is now northeast Oklahoma. Modern sensibilities view with contempt the policies and actions of the federal government, as well as those of the state of Georgia, that led to this tragedy. Many people do not realize, however, that the question of the tribe’s removal to the west led to a dramatic split within the Cherokee tribe itself in the years leading up their relocation; that split ultimately led to an internal civil war punctuated with acts of despicable violence that would plague the Cherokee nation for years after their relocation to the west. Stand Watie, along with several close family members, played a critical role in these events; and put his life in grave danger, not from the white population seeking to push the Cherokees out of northwest Georgia, but from members of his own tribe who blamed him and other members of his family for the loss of their homeland. Watie was lucky; he survived the internecine violence that plagued the Cherokee Nation in the 1830s and 1840s. Many of his relatives did not. Watie would become a venerated leader of the Cherokees who supported his actions during these troubled times, and he would distinguish himself further as a skilled military tactician in his role as a commander of Cherokee troops in the Southern army during the Civil War.

Stand Watie was born on December 12, 1806[2] in the small Cherokee Nation village of Oothcalooga, in what would later be the northern extremes of the original footprint of Cass County,[3] Georgia. His father was Oo-wa-tie (“the ancient one”) while his mother, Susanna Reese, was a half-blooded Cherokee. Stand was originally given the tribal name Degadoga[4] (“he stands”). He had one older brother, Kilakeena (“Buck”), three younger brothers and four younger sisters. Stand’s brother Buck, their uncle Major Ridge and their cousin, John Ridge, would become influential leaders of a segment of the Cherokee population that later stood in opposition to the tribe’s principal Chief John Ross.[5]

When Degadoga was a young child, his parents joined the Moravian Church at Springplace, an area about 60 miles north of Oothcalooga and just south of the Tennesee state line. They adopted Christianity as a result of this experience; Stand’s father took the name David. He also dropped the “Oo” from his tribal name and combined the other two parts into “Watie,” adopting that surname for himself and his children. Although Degadoga was given the name Isaac, at some early point he took the name “Stand,” derived from the interpretation of his tribal name.

Stand and Buck were both educated at the Moravian Mission School in Springplace. The school emphasized traditional subjects such as writing and arithmetic along with a healthy dose of instruction in matters of spiritual and moral values. Among members of the Cherokee tribe, Stand was considered to be well educated. His brother Buck would further his education at the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions School in Cornwall, Connecticut. While there, he adopted the name of his sponsor, Elias Boudinot, as his own. Upon his return the Cherokee Nation, Elias would become the publisher/editor of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper.

Meanwhile, Stand Watie’s reputation among his tribe was growing as the 1820s progressed. He helped out on his father’s farm and other business ventures while quietly pursuing other opportunities of his own as well. His rising reputation among his tribe allowed to secure an appointment as Clerk of the Cherokee Supreme Court in 1828, and his experience in that post eventually allowed him to receive a license to practice law in the Cherokee Nation.

By the late 1820s, however, the living conditions in the Cherokee Nation were becoming more bleak for many Cherokees. The most serious threat to their well-being was the increasing encroachment upon their lands by white settlers moving into the region. White Georgians looked at the development of the Cherokee culture in in north Georgia over the years and believed “…(those) efforts to establish a government and constitution on par with the American federal government and recognized by federal authorities signaled the permanent presence of the Cherokee Nation in Georgia and its attempts to entrench itself legally within the state…”[6] which was quite unacceptable to Georgia’s white leaders and citizens. The invaders often used threatening tactics to scare the Cherokee population and dispossess them of their land and businesses, often with the explicit approval of Georgia state officials. The Watie family was not immune from these violations. Beginning in 1825, David Watie operated a very lucrative ferry on the Hightower River under an exclusive license granted by the Cherokee Nation. In 1831, however, the state of Georgia issued a permit to a white Georgian, John Miller, to operate a ferry across this same river, despite objections from the Watie family and the Cherokee Nation that the state had no authority to issue a license for such an operation within their territory. Miller established his ferry just upriver from the Watie ferry and made improvements to the roads connecting to the main travel arteries between southeast Tennessee, northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama, thus drawing business away from the Watie operation and eventually putting it out of business.

There was little hope for an end to these types of violations; in 1829 the Jackson administration announced its intention to relocate members of the numerous Native American tribes in the southeast United States to other unsettled lands west of the Mississippi. It was only a matter of time before the Cherokees would lose all control over their tribal homelands. Most Cherokees continued to resent and resist such a fate. Around this time, Watie’s brother Elias Boudinot wrote to his wife’s sister and her husband “…Trouble upon trouble, vexation upon vexation. I allude to the Georgia affair. The war is becoming hotter and hotter every day….Why do our friends at the north appear to be so careless? Do they not know that a piece of great wickedness is in a course of perpetration? The last right and some respects, the most important right of the Cherokees, is to be fought and contended for – their right to the land. It is true we have been abused persecuted and oppressed beyond measure – our rights have been outrageously wrested from us, yet we are on our lands – we have possession. Our enemies cannot complete their designs until they get the land – they intend to get it by force….Now will the people of the U. States permit such an outrage upon the property of the defenceless?…the Georgians propose in the next Legislature to survey and draw for our lands….One thing is for certain there is a crisis approaching both in the history of the Cherokees & the United States.”[7]

 The Cherokees held a number of public meetings in 1831, with Stand Watie serving as secretary, the result of which was a petition to be the submitted the Jackson administration protesting the treatment of the Cherokees. The resolution noted that previous treaties with the U.S., certain legislative acts and Supreme Court decisions had created an understanding that the Cherokee Nation was to be treated as a separate, sovereign entity with the right of self-government, just like Georgia or any other state in the Union. They asked the Jackson administration to protect the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation from violations by the state of Georgia and the renegade white settlers. Jackson summarily refused to accept the claims contained in the resolution and took no action. Soon afterwards, in the fall of 1832, the Georgia Land Lottery was held to formally distribute Cherokee lands among white Georgia citizens desiring to relocate to the area. Later compensation claims associated with the removal of the Cherokees indicated that Stand Watie lost an extensive homestead located near the confluence of the Coosawatie and Conausauga Rivers[8] to four different white settlers.

By this time, a significant schism was occurring within the Cherokee tribe. A faction of the Cherokees (often referred to as the “treaty party”) led by Stand’s brother Elias Boudinot, their uncle, Major Ridge and cousin John Ridge had come to the conclusion that removal of the Cherokees was inevitable, a view which Stand Watie shared. They knew the government had already begun relocating the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole tribes to new homes in the west. The treaty party leaders rejected any remaining hope that the Cherokees could somehow co-exist peacefully in their homeland with the invading whites and still preserve Cherokee sovereignty and culture. In their opinion, relocation to a new homeland in the west was the only way to accomplish these goals. Their beliefs put them in direct opposition to Chief John Ross and a sizeable majority of the Cherokee Nation. The schism between the two sides would become increasingly bitter as the federal government began the process of trying to reach a formal agreement with the Cherokees for their relocation. The ill feelings between the two groups would smolder for more than a decade and ultimately lead to a wave of violence that cost many of the treaty party leaders their lives.

Major Ridge and Elias Boudinot issued a call for a meeting of the Cherokees at Running Waters in November 1834, which was attended by a relatively small group of treaty sympathizers. Chief Ross’s loyalists refused to participate in the meeting. The result of the meeting was another petition outlining the poor treatment of the Cherokees and concluding that the only course of action that would preserve their culture was to accede to the relocation of the tribe to the west. Presenting a false claim that a majority of Cherokees favored relocation, the petition asked for an agreement that would recognized Cherokee sovereignty in their new lands; annual annuity payments to the tribe (similar to those being paid to other tribes that had been relocated); payments to individual Cherokees for properties, including capital improvements, that had been wrongfully confiscated and distributed to white settlers; and payments to individual Cherokees for expenses related to relocation to the west. Stand Watie was among the leaders who signed the petition;  Elias Boudinot and John Ridge led a delegation to Washington to present their desires to the government.

These efforts were vehemently opposed by Chief Ross and his followers; at this point, Chief Ross became concerned about the opposition faction entering into talks with representatives of the Jackson administration. Chief Ross made his own proposal to the government – which he may have known would be a non-starter – in which he said he would accept 20 million dollars for the Cherokee homeland and removal to suitable lands in the West. The administration rejected Ross’s proposal and let it be known that they would pay no more than $4.5 million dollars for the Cherokee’s land. While the Boudinot-Ridge delegation was in Washington during the winter of 1835 outlining their proposal, and at Elias Boudinot’s urging, Stand Watie was able to take possession of the printing press (which had been seized by Chief Ross’s sympathizers) used to print the Cherokee Phoenix and printed flyers encouraging the Cherokees to reject Chief Ross’s proposal and support the proposal of the treaty party.

The pro-treaty delegation returned home in the spring of 1835, and the Jackson administration appointed Commissioners who were authorized to travel to the Cherokee Nation to negotiate a formal treaty. Back home, the Ridge-Boudinot faction attempted to hold more meetings in order to explain the differences between the two proposals, but few people attended these meetings. The acrimony between the two sides was becoming more pronounced, and the pro-treaty party became quite fearful of violent reactions from the Ross faction.

The two sides finally agreed to a meeting at Running Waters in August 1835. Some 4,000 tribal members attended the meeting. Discussions outlining the positions of the two sides were held; ultimately Chief Ross’s loyalists easily carried the day, winning a formal vote in favor of defying removal by an overwhelming margin. No formal action was taken as a result of the meeting, however.

The leaders of the treaty party engaged in discussions with the federal commissioner, but Chief Ross refused to recognize his authority to enter into treaty negotiations. Instead, the Chief called for another meeting of the tribe to be held at Red Clay, Tennessee in October 1835. Chief Ross pushed through a resolution rejecting the Jackson administration’s proposals for relocation and appointed a delegation to travel to Washington to negotiate a new deal directly with members of the Jackson administration. Eliot Boudinot and John Ridge were included as members of the delegation; Boudinot, wanting to keep an eye on further developments at home, bowed out and Stand Watie was appointed to take his place. This move thrust Watie into the upper echelons of the pro-treaty leadership.

As Watie and the Red Clay delegation travelled to Washington in late December 1835, the federal Commissioner, John Schermerhorn, was determined to complete the job he had been sent to do. The fact that the pro-treaty party enjoyed the support of a relatively small minority of Cherokees was probably irrelevant to him at this point. Schermerhorn encouraged Boudinot and other pro-treaty leaders to call for another meeting. They agreed to do so; that meeting was held at New Echota, the Cherokee capital, on December 21, just after the Red Clay delegation left for Washington. The meeting was boycotted by the Ross faction; the small crowd that assembled there was overwhelmingly pro-treaty. Terms of a treaty were quickly agreed to and ratified by a vote of the attendees at the meeting. A delegation was then appointed to travel to Washington and obtain the support of the members of the Red Clay delegation and conclude the treaty negotiations with the Jackson administration and Congress.

Meanwhile, the Red Clay delegation met with Secretary of State Lewis Cass in early January 1836. They were informed that the federal government would pay them no more than $5 million for their lands; individual Cherokees would not be allowed to take personal ownership of plots of land in the new territories, and all monies would be paid to individual members of the tribe and not to the general tribal treasury.

The Red Clay delegation had no idea of what had transpired at New Echota shortly after they left home for Washington until just a few days before the New Echota delegation arrived. In their confused state, members of the Red Clay delegation registered their disapproval of the new treaty proposal without full knowledge of its contents. Once the New Echota delegation arrived, however, and explained what had happened and what the treaty included, the pro-treaty members of the Red Clay delegation, including Watie, fell in line in support of the new proposals. The New Echota delegation, including Watie and Ridge, immediately set out to paint Chief Ross as an ineffective leader who only had his own interests in mind. He had done nothing to prevent the encroachment of whites settlers into Cherokee lands, and they argued that should the federal government deposit payments associated with the treaty directly into the Cherokee treasury, Chief Ross would use those funds to his own benefit and reward his most loyal supporters at the expense of most members of the tribe, and certainly he would use those funds as a weapon against the treaty party.

There arguments were effective enough to secure ratification of the treaty by the U.S. Senate by just one vote on May 23, 1836, over the strong objections of Chief Ross, who protested to Congress “…an instrument purporting to be a treaty with the Cherokee people, recently made public by the President of the United States, is fraudulent and false, and made by unauthorized individuals, against the wishes of a great body of the Cherokee people.”[9]


Among other things, the treaty provided that the Cherokees would surrender their lands for a payment of 5 million dollars; they would be relocated to an area west of the Mississippi covering some 7 million acres west of the states of Arkansas and Missouri; individual members of the tribe would be able to submit claims for individual compensation for properties lost as a result of the removal, pending Senate approval. If the Senate refused to provide for such claims, a lump sum of $350,000 would be set aside for apportionment among the population based on those claims. Most importantly to the Cherokees, the new lands provided for them would not fall under the future jurisdictions of any state or territory, seemingly promising them the sovereignty they had been longing for. The U.S. government pledged to protect the Cherokees from attack by foreign entities, and would ensure domestic tranquility (a pledge that was almost immediately ignored.)  The U.S. would provide transportation to their new homeland and compensate individuals for relocation expenses. In addition, the federal government would provide subsistence for the Cherokees during the first year of their habitation in their new lands. Finally, the Cherokees were given two years to move to their new homes.


Upon his return the Cherokee Nation, Watie learned that his wife, Elizabeth,[10] had died during childbirth in late April and, sadly, the child died as well. Meanwhile, the members of the pro-treaty party were vociferously attacked by Ross supporters as traitors, just as they knew they would be. They had warned federal officials that they would be the targets of violent retribution by Chief Ross’s followers. These fears led them to begin preparations to relocate that summer. Word went out among pro-treaty supporters to begin disposing of any property they had. Records indicate that Watie received slightly over $5,000 in payments arising out of various provisions in the treaty, and his other family members, including his new wife Isabella, received considerable sums as well. Meanwhile, Chief Ross instructed his followers to ignore the provisions of the treaty and to remain in their homelands. The vast majority of his followers did just that.

The relocation of the treaty party and their followers began on March 3, 1837. Most of the journey was by boat, although high water during heavy rains required a brief jaunt by train early in their travels. The boats were overcrowded and most of the travelers were exposed to the elements while on the boats. There were periods of cold wind and heavy rain; severe colds and congestion were quite common among the Cherokees, including Stand Watie. There was an outbreak of measles along the way as well, among other maladies. They traveled down the Tennessee to the Ohio River near Paducah, then down the Mississippi past Memphis and then up the Arkansas River. They proceeded up the Arkansas River until they reached Fort Smith, on Arkansas’ western border with the new Cherokee Territory, on March 27. Watie and his family proceeded northward to the area of Honey Creek on the east bank of the Grand River in the northeast corner of the territory (the northeast corner of the state of Oklahoma today), just west of the joint border with Arkansas and Missouri. He was joined in that area by the families of Elias Boudinot and John Ridge.

By the spring of 1838, federal authorities were losing their patience with the far larger contingent of Cherokees loyal to Chief John Ross who remained in lands of the Cherokee Nation in the southeast U.S.[11]  The 1836 Treaty of New Echota required all of the Cherokees – including those who opposed the treaty from the beginning – to leave the area within two years. By the spring of 1938, the Cherokees under the domain of Chief Ross had made little, if any effort, to prepare for their relocation to the Cherokee Territory in the west. Federal troops began detaining the members of Ross’s faction throughout the spring and summer of that year until they could organize their relocation. Finally, in the fall of 1838 federal troops began the forced march of their Cherokee detainees to the west. The conditions on this march were horrendous and cruel. It is estimated that some 4,000 Cherokees died along the way[12]. Over time, the forced diaspora became more commonly known as the infamous “Trail of Tears.”  Ross’s followers blamed the members of the treaty party who, they felt, had sold out the tribal homelands to their oppressors. The arrival of Chief Ross and his followers in the Cherokee Territory in the spring of 1939 exacerbated the ill feelings between the factions and would lead to years of bloody violence.

The members of the Treaty party were not the first Cherokees to settle in the new western homelands. Twice in the twenty years prior to the Treat of New Echota, smaller groups of Cherokees from other parts of the Cherokee Nation had migrated to the territory west of the Mississippi. These earlier Cherokees became known as the “Old Settlers” and they adopted their own leadership structure that encouraged inclusiveness in their governance. The treaty party arrivals readily accepted the Old Settlers form of government upon their arrival in the territory. When Chief Ross arrived in 1939, however, he moved to replace the Old Settlers governing structure with the same system that existed in the original Cherokee Nation, a system that he and his supporters were able to dominate. The factions quickly clashed over the Chief’s plans. A meeting was called in June 1839 to try to unify the various factions, but the threats towards the treaty party faction from the Ross followers were so intense that the treaty party attendees had to flee the meeting for their own safety. Chief Ross called for another meeting to be held in July, but events before then made that proposition moot.

After the failed meeting in June, a group of Ross’s followers met in secret, supposedly without the knowledge of Chief Ross, and swore vengeance on the treaty party leaders. On June 22, Major Ridge, his son John, and Elias Boudinot were all murdered by Ross’s followers. A witness to Boudinot’s murder warned Watie about what had happened to his relatives, and he was able to escape. The killings set off a civil war in the new Cherokee territory.

Watie and a band of his followers fled to Fort Gibson (near present-day Muskogee in the southern part of the Cherokee Territory) and sought the intervention of federal authorities to assure the safety of the remaining treaty party settlers and serve justice against the killers of the Ridges and Boudinot. The military authorities at Fort Gibson spent the rest of 1839 trying to convince the two factions to meet and work out their differences to prevent further bloodshed;  neither party would agree to the other party’s conditions for those meetings. Ross and his followers held their own convention at which they took control of the Cherokee General Council and refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Old Settlers’ government. Watie and other members of his party travelled to Washington to confer with federal authorities and to try and convince them that Chief Ross was intent on destroying the members of their faction, pleading for federal protection. Later that fall, federal authorities made it known that they would not allow the Ross faction to run roughshod over members of the treaty party. Ross, anxious to keep the federal authorities out of tribal matters, led his own delegation to Washington and told the authorities that the conflict was an issue of internal governance among tribal members and thus was not subject to federal intervention. Late in the year, another meeting of the tribe was called by Chief Ross; the Old Settlers and the treaty party faction did not participate in the meeting an any meaningful way. The pro-Ross attendees re-affirmed the actions of the previous meeting adopting their preferred from of government, and federal authorities now recognized this new leadership structure as the legitimate governing body of the Cherokees.

These developments only heightened the fears of Watie and his followers. They now focused on trying to convince the federal authorities that because Ross would never treat their faction fairly and their lives would be in constant danger, the new Cherokee territory should be divided among the factions, with each faction having the right to govern themselves within their own areas. Apparently, the authorities gave this idea some degree of serious thought; Chief Ross feared the loss of control over a significant portion of the territory that would result from such an action and ultimately made some concessions that would allow for the participation of the opposing faction in the governance of the tribe and provide for the security of all members of the tribe. The factions signed an Act of Union on January 26, 1840. The agreement did not go very far in relieving the tensions between the two sides.

Over the course of the next few years, the violence and killings continued, if at a somewhat diminished level. Stand Watie became directly involved in the inter-faction violence in May 1842. While travelling in Arkansas, Stand was involved in an altercation with one James Foreman, a Ross follower who was believed to have been involved in the murder of Major Ridge. Foreman confronted Watie in a store where Watie was having a drink (evidently general stores served several purposes back then); words were exchanged and a fight broke out. The fight continued outside and Watie stabbed Foreman. When Foreman moved on Watie again after being stabbed, Watie pulled a pistol and shot him. Foreman staggered away but died a few minutes later. Watie fled to Van Buren, Arkansas to hide from a posse of Ross’s followers who were looking for him. Watie did not want to be arrested by Cherokee authorities because he feared for his own life. Besides, the killing had occurred in Arkansas, so that state had jurisdiction over the crime. He turned himself in to Arkansas authorities a week later. His trial was delayed until the spring of 1843, and Watie was released pending trial. In the interim, he married Sarah Bell on September 18, 1842. They would have five children together. Later that year, Watie’s father, David, died.

Watie’s trial began on May 15, 1843. The defense argued that Watie had lived in a state of extreme fear for his life during the three years that had elapsed since his family members were killed. His defense did a credible job of painting Foreman as the aggressor in the fight, and established the fact that Foreman was part of a posse that was actively looking for Watie. Watie was acquitted of the murder on the basis of self-defense.

Watie travelled to Washington again in late 1843 as part of a treaty party delegation to present more claims against Chief Ross. They protested Chief Ross’s autocratic control over Cherokee affairs and accused him of misappropriating the annuity monies being paid to the tribe by the federal government. Again they asked the federal authorities to consider a partition of the Cheorkee territory. The government took took no direct action on this request, although it did send investigators to the Cherokee territory to investigate the charges of misappropriation. Chief Ross once again was able to deflect any attempts to partition the territory, however. Meanwhile, the killings continued. Watie’s brother, Thomas was killed by Ross’ men on November 14, 1845, just one of several treaty party members murdered around that time.

Stand Watie was in Washington again in the spring of 1846 when the Mexican War broke out. He offered to raise a regiment of Cherokee calvary, but his offer was declined. Some headway was being made that spring, however, in the efforts to bring the waring factions together. The result was the Cherokee Treaty of 1846, signed on August 17 by President Polk.. A number of treaty party’s concerns were addressed; most importantly, the federal authorities would provide payments directly to individual Cherokees, including Watie’s supporters who were suffering under the biased governance under Chief Ross. A level of peace came to the Cherokees that had not been seen for many years. Watie was appointed to the pro-treaty commission that was to decide on the claims made by his followers. That work was finished by February 1847.

Watie returned to his home at Honey Creek after the Treaty of 1846. After serving on the claims commission, he served as an interpreter for federal authorities who had ordered a census of the Cherokees in the territory. He began to withdraw from the forefront of Cherokee politics and focused instead on his businesses and homelife. The period between 1847-1861 was one of the few extended tranquil periods of his entire adult life. He continued to serve as Clerk of the Cherokee Supreme Court and he eventually received a license to practice law in the Cherokee courts, a profession in which he prospered. He also continued to operate a general store in Millwood, and had significant farming interests. He entered into a partnership to purchase a sawmill in the mid-1850s, and by 1860 had become sole owner of that operation. By 1860 he had amassed significant wealth from these various activities.

He did not completely remove himself from tribal politics, however. He was elected to the Cherokee National Council in 1853, and was re-elected in 1855, serving as Speaker. He continued in that office until the outbreak of the Civil War, although his duties took up only a small amount of his time. While in office, the most critical issue Watie and the Cherokees had to address was the movement to bring an end to slavery. Political, economic, and cultural issues coming to the forefront at that time were leading to a growing sense of sectionalism across the United States. The country was moving inextricably towards civil war, and the issue of abolition was becoming an increasingly divisive, hot-button topic. The Cherokees, including Stand Watie, were slaveholders. The National Council issued a strongly worded resolution condemning the abolitionist movement; abolitionist sympathizers were banned from teaching in Cherokee schools, and anyone encouraging slaves in the Cherokee territory to take actions detrimental to their owners were subject to fines and expulsion from the territory.

The Cherokees were not united as a group on the practical issues surrounding abolition and the impending Civil War. Although the Cherokees shared several common values with white southerners, particularly their reliance on an agricultural economic base and slave ownership[13], Chief Ross and most of his followers preferred to take a neutral stance on the issue of abolition and the impending war. Ross was approached by representatives of the Confederate government early in 1861 in an attempt to bring the Cherokees into the Southern fold. Ross refused their advances at that time, however. Stand Watie and his followers were ardent anti-abolitionists, however, and were more receptive to approaches from the government in Richmond asking for their help. On July 12, 1861, Watie was commissioned as Colonel in the Confederate army and was authorized to raise a force to protect the Indian Territory from federal encroachment. He put together a force of approximately 300 calvary to help in this endeavor. Meanwhile, the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole tribes reached agreements that summer to support the Confederacy. Confederate victories at First Bull Run in August and, closer to home, at Wilson’s Creek near Springfield, Missouri encouraged more Cherokees to align with the Southern cause. Some of Watie’s sympathizers had fought at Wilson’s Creek, and even though he wasn’t present at the battle, Watie received much praise from the southern press, significantly boosting his reputation among the Cherokees. Chief Ross, alarmed at Watie’s growing influence, reached an agreement with the Southern government on October 17 to provide armed support in the Cherokee territory. The Cherokees would provide ten companies of mounted calvary, while the Confederate government was given permission to construct military establishments on Cherokee lands. Slavery was protected; Cherokee troops would not be used outside of the Cherokee territory without permission; and monetary awards were to be provided to Watie’s supporters. Chief Ross raised an army of 1,200 calvary and placed them under the command of John Drew. These troops became the 1st Regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles. Watie’s forces were named the Cherokee Mounted Volunteers.

During the course of the war, troops under Watie engaged in a number of smaller engagements designed to stop federal troops, and Cherokee Indians that remained loyal to the north, from encroaching into Cherokee territory. These efforts met with varying levels of success, although Watie’s troops and his leadership received generally high marks for their performance. His forces engaged a somewhat larger force of federal Indians near the Kansas border in December 1861 and routed their opponents without incurring any casualties. Watie’s forces faced several impediments these endeavors, however. One of which was the often confused and ineffective leadership of Confederate officers serving in the west; Watie’s troops often engaged the enemy with little or no support from the main Confederate armies in the region. Another problem was the growing defection of Cherokee forces under John Drew to the northern side. Many of Chief Ross’s followers were never fully committed to the Southern cause; individual members from Drew’s command started defecting to the other side almost as soon as they entered the war. These defections continued and increased over time, making it hard for Watie’s troops to secure their areas of operation. Luckily, the Confederacy and Watie’s troops benefited from the fact that the federal armies operating in the region early in the war often failed to take advantage of the Cherokee’s weakened condition and limited resources.

Watie’s troops did participate in the Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), in northwest Arkansas, in early March 1862. Watie’s troops joined Southern troops under the command of Major General Earl Van Dorn and halted the advance of northern troops under Brigadier General Samuel Curtis on March 7,  capturing several northern artillery pieces. Curtis counterattacked the next day, and the southern armies were forced to retreat, partly due to a lack of supplies. Watie took his troops back into the Cherokee Territory, where they engaged in more skirmishes with federal troops over the next several months. In early June 1862, federal troops began a campaign into Cherokee territory from Kansas and surprised Watie’s troops south of the Grand River. Watie escaped and moved his troops south to Fort Smith. Instead of advancing, the federals retreated back into Kansas, and then staged another campaign, led by Colonel William Weer, into the territory in late June. Watie’s troops attacked the advance units of the federal army at Spavinaw Creek but were forced to retreat. A contingent of southern troops, under the command of Colonel James Clarkson, were encamped at Locust Grove, north of Tahlequah. Clarkson was surprised by Weer’s troops on July 3 and forced to retreat to Tahlequah.

At this point, many of the remaining Cherokees under John Drew defected to the north. Chief Ross was given the opportunity to switch allegiances, but he declined for unknown reasons. Ross was soon detained by northern troops, and moved north with them when they retreated back into Kansas in late July. Ross then travelled to Washington, stopping over to confer with President Lincoln and his advisors, and then continued on to Philadelphia, where he lived for the rest of the war. His defection only exacerbated the split between the remaining forces under John Drew and Watie’s troops. As a result of the defections of Ross’s supporters, the Cherokee troops were reorganized under Watie and renamed the First Cherokee Regiment.

With Chief Ross gone, southern Cherokees met at Tahlequah on August 21, 1862 and elected Stand Watie as Principal Chief. With the retreat of the northern troops and their sympathetic Cherokees back into Kansas, pro-Watie Cherokees who had fled the hostilities early in the war were encouraged to move back into the Cherokee territory and reclaim their homes. This effort was short-lived, however, as federal troops moved to attack their southern counterparts near Old Fort Wayne on October 22. Watie’s calvary was covering the southern troops’ flank, and were the first to encounter the federal invaders. Discovering that they were greatly outnumbered, Watie and the southern troops retreated south and were attacked repeatedly along the way. The result was a significant northern victory; the southern troops were forced south of the Arkansas River, leaving most of the Cherokee territory to northern forces and their Cherokee allies. Watie would move his troops east to Fort Smith where they spent the rest of the year engaging in minor skirmishes and raids on supply trains in northwestern Arkansas. In late December, Watie withdrew his troops back to Webber Falls, south of the Arkansas River, some forty miles west of Fort Smith.

Watie and the Confederate forces were unable to launch any major offensive activity as 1863 unfolded. The weather that winter was harsh, and Watie’s troops suffered severe shortages of basic supplies including food, clothing and military necessities. There was some dissatisfaction among the troops, but they remained loyal to their leader. Watie’s troops were not the only ones suffering from a lack of supplies; a broader catastrophe was unfolding as pro-Southern Cherokee non-combatants fled the tribal territories and relocated to the southern part of the Indian territory and northern Texas. There was little food, housing and clothing available for the refugees; starvation and exposure to the elements became everyday concerns. Watie’s own family -with the exception of his oldest son Saladin, who was serving as an aide to his father while still a teenager – moved to the southern border and then to Burk, Texas where they lived with Sarah’s sister. This didn’t mean they lived in luxury; Sarah’s sister was very sick and there was little money available to provide basic necessities. To make matters worse, Watie’s third son, Cumisky, died that spring. The family’s hardships were a constant theme in the many letters Sarah would send Stand over the next two years.

Meanwhile in February 1863 the northern Cherokees who had repopulated most of the Cherokee territory formally renounced their affiliation with the Confederacy and abolished slavery in the territory.

Watie moved his forces back to Fort Smith in April and then to Webber Falls. On the morning of April 25, northern forces surprised Watie’s troops and forced them to withdraw south. In early June, Watie led a sortie near Tahlequah and Grand River. Federal forces soon took up the pursuit. The two sides met at Greenleaf Prairie on June 16. A series of attacks and counterattacks proved of little benefit to either side; the federals could claim at least a nominal victory as Watie left the field that evening and retreated southward back across the Arkansas River. Returning to northern part of the Cherokee territory later that summer, Watie’s forces attempted to intercept a federal wagon train being sent to resupply Union troops at Fort Gibson. In a two-day engagement at Cabin Creek July 1-2, Watie’s forces were forced to flee after federal artillery came to the support of the northern troops on the second day, resulting in a chaotic retreat by the southern Cherokees. In the biggest engagement of the war in Indian territory, federal troops under Major General James Blunt decisively defeated southern troops at Honey Springs on July 17. While some of Watie’s troops were engaged in that battle, Stand himself was not present, being away on a scouting assignment at the time.

The federals attacked Watie’s forces at Perryville in the Choctaw Nation, pushing the southern Cherokees out of that area. The federal troops then moved on to capture Scullyville before taking Fort Smith on September 1.

Watie led raids near Tahlequah again in October 1863. During those raids, Watie troops went to Park Hill, just south of Tahlequah, and burned Rose Hill, the abandoned home of their nemesis Chief John Ross. Later in the year, Watie’s troops participated in a coordinated movement on Fort Smith but that effort was abandoned after they ran into early resistance. They then tried to attack Fort Gibson in mid-December, but again were forced to retreat without inflicting any meaningful damage. A few days later, Watie was attacked by the North Indian Home Guard under the command of Captain Alexander Spilman. The southern troops were routed and forced to retreat. Watie’s last action in 1863 took place on December 20 when he attacked federal forces at Cane Hill, Arkansas. The attack was repelled.

By late 1863, Watie was becoming disillusioned at the apparent lack of commitment on the part of the Confederate government to driving federal troops and the northern Cherokees out of the Cherokee territory, believing the south could rid the territory of the federals if the southern government would make a good-faith effort along those lines. He also expressed his frustration at the failure of the Richmond government to adequately supply not only his own troops but the Cherokee civilian refugees spread out across the southern territories and Texas. In response, the Confederate government tried to help, but several practical problems exacerbated the supply problems. One problem had plagued Watie’s army throughout the war: many of the supplies earmarked for Watie’s troops never made it to his army; they were pinched by other Southern commanders for their own use before making it to the Cherokees. More immediately, with the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson in July 1863 the North took complete control of the Mississippi River, effectively splitting the South into two separate regions. Moving supplies from the eastern theater to the trans-Mississippi theater became next to impossible. Finally, the financial assistance proffered by the Confederate Congress was virtually worthless due to the astronomically high levels of inflation that had hit the southern states over the course of the war. Watie concluded that the South would never provide the military force necessary to drive their opponents out. Watie called on members of each of the Five Nations to band together and organize a sizeable army of their own to drive the federals out. Although efforts were made to recruit more troops from within the Five Nations in the upcoming year, the outcome was insufficient to meet Watie’s needs.

Although there was some talk by southern commanders about launching larger coordinated attacks in the Cherokee territory in 1864, few efforts were made to bring such attacks to fruition. Watie was, for all practical purposes, left on his own to deal with his enemies in the territory. The supply shortages that had been plaguing Watie’s troops all throughout the war were particularly troublesome in the winter of 1863-1864. He would not be able to take any actions until late spring of 1864. On May 10, 1864 the Confederate Congress ratified Watie’s promotion to Brigadier General; he thus became the only Native American in the southern army to attain the rank of general, and one of only three Confederate Generals from Bartow County.[14]  The southern Cherokee troops were reorganized and Watie was given the command of the First Indian Brigades, which now included several units organized by other tribes. The rigors of four years of war were wearing on Watie’s health, and as the year went by he was deluged by increasingly despondent letters from his wife describing the family’s hardships and begging him to leave the army and return to her and his children.

Watie’s activities in 1964 included a number of small raids into Cherokee territory, but the year was highlighted by two significant engagements that illustrated Watie’s impressive tactical skills. On June 15, Watie’s troops ambushed a federal supply boat on the Arkansas River near Webber Falls. Bound for Fort Gibson from Fort Smith, the boat was carrying a vast quantity of supplies. Watie’s artillery was able to disable the vessel, which was a feat in and of itself. They confiscated the badly needed supplies, but from that point on Watie was unable to capitalize on his victory. Watie did not have sufficient wagons on hand to carry the supplies away. A number of his troops helped themselves to whatever they could carry and then scattered into the countryside. The rest of the supplies were stacked on the bank of the river while Watie waited for the arrival of the needed transportation. Before the wagons arrived, however, high waters carried most of the supplies downriver, and Watie could only burn what supplies were left and skedaddle before federal forces arrived from Fort Smith.

Later that summer, Watie engaged in an operation with troops under Brigadier General Richard Gano in the northern reaches of the Cherokee territory. Once again he engaged federal forces near Cabin Creek in an effort to intercept another federal supply train. Launching a night attack on September 15 that carried over into the next day, the southern forces were able to scatter the northern armies and capture the wagon train and a huge store of supplies. One of his biggest victories, Watie was widely hailed among his own people and across the south. Even his enemies in the north had to admit that he was a most worthy opponent.

While 1864 was generally a good year for Watie’s forces, the overall impact of their efforts was minimal at best. At the end of the year, the federals still occupied virtually all of the Cherokee territory, and there was no hope that the situation would change. It was becoming more and more obvious that the southern cause was collapsing.

On February 14, 1865, Stand Watie was appointed Commander of the Indian Division of Indian Territory. Although the appointment represented the extremely high level of respect Watie enjoyed among southern officials, it had no meaningful impact on military activities in the territories. Watie was in no position to launch any offensives due to the continued lack of supplies. That March, he was told to prepare for a federal attack that seemed to be imminent; that attack never came, presumably as a result of events unfolding in the eastern theater. In May, members of the Five Nations met to discuss plans for normalizing relations with the United States. On May 26, General Kirby Smith, Commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department for the southern government, surrendered his command to northern authorities. Finally, on June 25, 1865 near Doaksville in the Indian Territory, almost three months after Lee surrendered at Appommatox, Stand Watie surrendered his troops. He was the last southern general in the war to do so.

Immediately upon their surrender, the southern Cherokees were told they could return to their homes. Both factions still harbored great hostilities toward each other, however. The northern Cherokees who controlled the territory offered amnesty to those who had fought against them, although Watie and other southern Cherokee leaders evidently were not included in that offer. The federal government convened a meeting at Fort Smith in mid-September where an outline of the terms of reunification was provided to delegates from each of the Five Nations. A unified governmental structure encompassing all of the tribes would be created; slavery was abolished; and the tribes would have to cede some of their lands to the federal government. Delegates from all of the tribes had their misgivings, but eventually signed the document.

In early 1866, Watie travelled to Washington as a Cherokee delegate in negotiations to work out specific details of the new treaty agreement. Many of the same old issues were discussed; the southern Cherokees were still worried about their safety in the territory; they quibbled over the nature of future annuity payments, again displaying great distrust of the pro-Ross faction, and made a last attempt to convince the federal government that the Cherokee territory should be divided between the two groups so that the Watie faction would feel safe. Watie left for home in May before the treaty was finalized later that August. He was returning home to concentrate on his family and restore his wealth, which had been completely destroyed as a result of the war.

Waite’s family moved first to Brushy Depot on the Red River in the Choctaw Nation (near present day town of Atoka). In late 1867 they would move back to the area of Webber Falls on the Arkansas River. Sometime later, Watie would return to the area of Honey Creek on the Grand River and begin building a new home on the land where he and his family first settled in 1837.

Waite became involved in a number of business ventures after the war and was able to restore some level of economic security, although there were setbacks. He started with a farming operation, and in 1868 he and his nephew, Elias C. Boudinot, established the Boudinot and Watie Tobacco Company near Webber Falls. That venture prospered in a relatively short period of time and provided some income, although after Boudinot took over the company a couple of years later it was confiscated by the government because of unpaid taxes. Watie bought a barge operation on the Arkansas River which was profitable, and apparently he was able to take possession of his old sawmill near his old homestead, although it was eventually shut down when he couldn’t find a competent manager. He also entered into a partnership in a flour mill in early 1870. He also farmed cotton, which was another decent source of income.

Watie’s family life after the war was initially quite happy, although great tragedy struck before long. Sarah Watie’s health improved significantly after the war, although Stand was beginning to show the effects of a trying life. He concentrated on providing his younger children a good education, sending them to boarding schools, which ate into his savings. Sadly, their oldest son, Saladin, who had served as an aide-de-camp for his father during the war while still a teenager, died unexpectedly in February 1868. Saladin had provided great assistance and support to his parents after the war, and his death was a severe blow. Their hopes for the future then turned to their lone surviving son, Watica, who was still in school and eager to help his parents once his education was completed. He tragically died from pneumonia in April 1869, however, leaving the Watie’s with only their two youngest daughters to care for them.

Stand Watie’s health continued to deteriorate as the decade closed. He died on September 8, 1871 at Honey Creek. He was buried in the Old Ridge Cemetery[15] in Delaware County near his original homestead in Honey Creek. His family never got to relocate to the new home he was working on at the time of his death. Both of his daughters died in 1875; daughter Ninnie may have had a child who died in infancy around the same time in 1875 as Ninnie. Thus, Stand Watie was left with no known direct descendants.[16] Sarah Watie died in 1883.

Fifty years after his death, the United Daughters of the Confederacy unveiled monuments dedicated to Stand Watie in the Cherokee capital of Tahlequah and at his gravesite, and the Oklahoma Historical Society erected a larger marker to the Cherokee leader at the entrance to Polson Cemetery in 1971. Prior to the ceremonies in 1921, James Keys, who served under Watie during the Civil War, paid homage to his former commander:  “Stand Watie was one of the most remarkable men I have ever known….He was well educated, a lawyer of ability, a man of strong will, undaunted courage, and a born leader of men.”[17]


[1] Many people associate the Trail of Tears with the removal of the Cherokees to the west, but the Creek, Choctaw, Chicasaw and Seminole tribes had all been removed from their homes in the southeast under similarly harsh conditions prior to the Cherokees. The removal of the Cherokees should be thought of as the denouement of the Trail of Tears.

[2] “Interesting History of General Stand Watie,” Democratic Leader, Tahlequah, OK., June 2, 1921, p1.

[3] Cass County’s northern border would eventually move farther south in order to create Gordon County. Cass County’s name was changed to Bartow County in 1861.

[4] Sources differ on the spelling of his first name. Kenny Franks’ Stand Watie and the Agony of the Cherokee Nation presents his name as “Degadoga,” while Frank Cunningham in General Stand Watie’s Cherokee Indians uses “De-gata-ga.” Other variations have been seen as well. Variations on this father’s name are common as well, most notable “Oo-wa-tee”.

[5] Much of the discussion of Watie’s early life is adapted from Frank Cunningham’s Stand Watie’s Confederate Indians and Kenny Franks’  Stand Watie and the Agony of the Cherokee Nation.

[6] Fay Yarbrough, Race and the Cherokee Nation, pp15-17.

[7] Theresa Gaul,, To Marry an Indian: The Marriage of Harriet Gold and Elias Boudinot in Letters, 1823-1839, pp175-176  Letter dated July 1, 1831. Spelling and punctation reflect that in the original document.

[8] This location is southeast of present-day Resaca, Georgia, in the general vicinity of the current day New Echota State Historic site.

[9] Weekly Chronicle and Farmers’ Register, Salem NC, Sept. 10, 1836 p2.


[10] Franks (1979) claims that Watie married three times while living in the eastern Cherokee Nation. According to him, in addition to Elizabeth (Fields), Watie was married at some point to one Elanor Looney and, at the time of his departure for the west, one Isabel Hicks, who had a son of her own at the time of the marriage. Cunningham (1959) does not acknowledge a marriage to Looney, and claims that Watie and Isabell separated shortly after their relocation west. Whether he was married two or three times while living in the east, he apparently had no surviving children with any of these women.

[11] Estimates of the number of Cherokees included in the two factions varies depending on the source. The best estimate is that approximately 2,000 Cherokees relocated to the west prior to the forced march in the fall of 1938. Somewhere between 15,000 – 20,000 Cherokees were removed to the west during the forced march.

[12] Russell Thornton places the death toll at more than 10,00 when taking into account the long-term consequences of the forced march and the difficult living conditions in the new territory immediately after the relocation.

[13] See Fay Yarbrough’s Race and the Cherokee Nation: Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century, p23.

[14] William H. Wofford and Pierce Young were the other two; Young was not born in Cass/Bartow County, however; his family moved to Cass County when he was a very young child.

[15] Later renamed the Polson Cemetery, which is located near Grove, Oklahoma. See Feen “Stand Watie Was Man of Courage and Action: Not Everyone Agrees on Final Resting Place,” Miami Daily News-Record, Miami (OK), June 3, 1956, p24.

[16] Individuals posting to a Facebook page belonging to ‘Stand Watie Descendants” claim to be directly descended from Stand Watie through a relationship he had with a slave. While this is not at all implausible, at least one of these people claims that DNA evidence has proved she is a great-great granddaughter of Watie. It is unclear how DNA testing could determine this when his acknowledged children had no surviving descendants of their own; thus there could be no DNA samples available for a comparison test. No specific evidence is offered, and no one has posted on this page in several years.

[17] “Interesting History of General Stand Watie,” Democratic Leader, Tahlequah, OK., June 2, 1921, p1

Historic Newspapers of Bartow County

By Joe F. Head

Historic Newspapers of Bartow County

An Annotated List of Historic Newspapers Published in Bartow County

Recently Tom Hanks starred in a 2021 movie entitled, News of the World. It was the story of a well-educated, former Civil War soldier who earned his living as an itinerant reader of the news at public gatherings. For the admission price of 10 cents, he read sensational excerpts from various state, regional and national tabloids to news hungry audiences.

News of Bartow County

While the practice of reading news to Bartow citizens by an itinerant reporter likely did not occur in our communities, a plethora of newspapers were available and there was a market demand for them as well. The golden age of tabloids thrived in Bartow County, and as a result our history has been well preserved. One only need to do a little research using modern research tools such as to find rich returns for his/her efforts.

Few people realize that Bartow County has been home to over three dozen newspapers that have printed our history for almost 200 years. Even today these tabloid pages live in the form of brittle hardcopies, microfilm and digital files that serve as a window to our past. Here we can find creditable first and secondhand documentation in the pages of dozens of papers that validate our history. These pages are the historic archives of our past.

We have come a long way from the days of Horace Greeley, paper boys and itinerant readers to a communications explosion of an on demand, 24/7, digital news culture. Today the public gets its news instantaneously via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text, internet, cable and satellite platforms. Now newspapers take a back seat to mobile options. However, the news of Bartow’s yesteryears still speak from vintage paper and ink that ruled those days.

Sam P. Jones was the son of Rev Sam P. Jones

It is no secret that newspapers are suffering from these technological advancements as the public prefers instant and interactive social media options. Even our local community newspaper curbed its editions from 6 issues per week to three in September 2020, reduced page size and opted to deliver the paper by the U.S. Postal Service. Gone are the days when one could enjoy their cup of morning coffee while reading hot off the press news.

The following research mustered an impressive list of forgotten or faded newspapers that once operated in Bartow County. Some of these papers only survived for a year or two while others merged with competitors, spun off sister papers or went out of business only to surface again under the same or similar name. Research often uncovered early newspapers aligned and deliberately sided with a political party or candidate to gain readership.

A quick survey of other surrounding counties reveal that Bartow County has a vastly greater history and number of newspapers than any other surrounding county with the exception of Clark County with 47. According to the Digital Library of Georgia archive most counties averaged less than ten historic newspapers with Bartow exceeding three dozen. Tabloids thrived in Bartow suggesting that Bartow may have been a hotspot for political, religious, industrial, and commercial activity.

Newspaper                                                                                                   Established

1. Cassville Gazette                                                                                  1835

Established in the 1830’s as a weekly publication, advocated for the preservation of the Union and published in Cassville, Georgia. Publisher/owner possibly John B. Hood


2. The Georgia Pioneer and retrenchment banner                           1835

Established in 1835 by S. M. Hood & Co. (Title shortened in 1840’s to Georgia Pioneer) Publisher/owner S. M. Hood,


3. The Cassville Pioneer                                                                          1849

Established 1849 by John B. Hood, but removed to Rome, GA.

Source: The Historical News, July 2021, pages 20-21

4. The Cassville Standard                                                                       1849

Established in the 1840’s as a weekly publication. It was burned during the Civil War.

Publisher/owner Thomas Burke,


5. The Standard                                                                                          1849

Established in 1849 as a weekly and operated until 1864 as a democratic newspaper. It printed primarily democratic news and was not in favor of secession from the Union. Multiple proprietors: John Burke, Leeke & Benjamín Bennet, William Wofford, Sam Smith, and John Rice. (John Rice founded the Cherokee Baptist College in Cassville)


6. Cassville Pioneer                                                                                  1849

Established 1849, Published by Hood

Source: Historical News, July 2021

7. Etowah Valley Star                                                                                1853

Established in 1854 as a politically neutral newspaper and published weekly. Publisher/owner Henry D. Wray, Source: Augusta Chronicle, March 10, 1854

8. The Cartersville Express                                                                     1858

Established in the 1850’s as a democratic publication and favored secession. Publisher/owner W. T. Goldsmith (Not to be confused with the 1875 Express)


9. The Cartersville Weekly Express                                                      1865

Established 1870 as a weekly (aka The Cartersville Weekly Express) Publisher/owner

Samuel Smith


10. The Cartersville Standard                                                                 1870

Established in 1870 under the proprietorship of Wikle and Word.


11. The Cartersville Semi Weekly                                                          1871

Established in 1871 as a Democratic publication. Publisher/owner S. H. Smith


12. The Standard and Express                                                               1871

Established in 1871 when the Cartersville Express and Cartersville Standard consolidated. Publisher/owner Samuel H. Smith


13. The Semi Weekly Standard and Express                                     1871

Established 1871, printed semi weekly, The Cartersville Standard eventually consolidated with the Standard and Express. Publisher/owner Smith & Wikle


14. The Weekly Standard & Express                                                    1871

Established 1871, printed weekly, Publisher/owner Smith & Wikle.


15. The (Cartersville) Sentinel                                                                1874

Established 1874 as a weekly Democratic paper often supporting Dr. William Felton. The paper fell into conflict with another local paper and it struggled to survive.


16. The Cartersville Express                                                                  1875

Established 1875 as a weekly. The Cartersville Express and Cartersville Standard would consolidate as the Standard and Express (See Cunyus) Publisher/owner C. H. C Willingham (Not to be confused with the 1858 Express)


17. The Planters Advocate                                                                      1875

Established in 1875 by W. A. and A. Marschalk

Source: Hawkinsville Dispatch November 4, 1875, Fighting a Cotton Ring

18. The Free Express                                                                                1878

Established 1878 as a weekly and became a fierce supporter of Dr. William Felton and opposed conservative bourbon Democrats. Other papers rallied against the Free Express and its political position. Publisher/owner C. H. C. Willingham (& sons)


19. The Cartersville- American                                                               1882

Established 1882 as a weekly but consolidated with the Courant American in 1887. Publisher/owner Douglas Wikle


20. The Cartersville Courant                                                                   1885

Established 1885 as a weekly, no other information


21. The Courant American                                                                      1887

Established 1889 as a weekly and eventually merged with the Cartersville News. Publisher/owner Freeman and Willingham


22. The Adairsville Ledger                                                                      1890

Established 1890 as a weekly and supported the Democratic Reform candidate Dr. William Felton. It ceased operations in 1891 as a result of stronger newspapers in Cartersville.


23. North Georgia News

Established 1890, Represented by Charles Johnson, fiercely against Dr. William Felton, lasted four weeks

Source: Courant-American November 20, 1890, Turned its Toes to the Daisies

24. The Voice of the People                                                                    1892

Established in 1892 as a weekly and supported the Peoples Party. It ceased publication after one month of operation. Publisher/owner Robert Goodman.


25. The Signal                                                                                             1894

Established 1894, as a weekly and published by I. W. and J. M. Neaton

Source: Savannah Morning News, September 29, 1894, Signal

26. The Cartersville News (and Courant)                                            1896

Established Courant in 1887 and merged with Cartersville Courant, then becoming the Cartersville News in 1896, Publisher/owner Wikle and Smith


27. The Emerson News                                                                            1897

Established in the 1890’s as a weekly edition. The publication was intended to promote and attract people to the Emerson community. Publisher/owner Emerson Publishing Co,


28. The Adairsville Banner                                                                      1898

Established 1898 as a Saturday weekly. It struggled because of the stronger papers in Cartersville. Publisher/owner Thomas Johnson


29. The News and Courant                                                                      1901

Established 1901 as a weekly. In 1904 it became the Cartersville News and then merged with the Bartow Tribune in 1917. Publisher/owner D. B. Freeman & H. A. Chapman


30. The News                                                                                               1901

Established in 1901 as a weekly and became the Cartersville News and then merging with the Cartersville Courant. Publisher/owner NA


31. The Georgian                                                                                       1907

Established 1907. Published in Atlanta for distribution in Bartow County. Owner Sam P. Jones (son of Rev. Sam Jones)

Source: Atlanta Georgian and News, Apr. 06, 1907 — page 7, Paper carriers

32. The Kingston Times                                                                           1908

Established 1908 by a group of local citizens. It never declared a political party and discontinued operations in 1912. Publisher/owner W. H. Griffin


33. The Bartow Tribune                                                                            1910

Established 1910 as a weekly and sold in 1917. It was supported by the Democratic party and merged later with the Cartersville Courant. Publisher/owner Perry & Callahan


34. The Cartersville News (aka Tribune)                                               1917

Established 1904 as a weekly and operated until 1917 when it merged with the Bartow Tribune. Publisher/owner Jim A. Hall


35. The Tribune News                                                                               1918

Established 1918, in 1920 M. L. Fleetwood became sole owner of the Tribune News becoming the Daily Tribune News in 1946.

Source: Google, Library of Congress

36. The Bartow Herald                                                                              1929

Established 1929 under W. R. Frier (also established WBHF radio in the 1940’s )

Source: Google, Library of Congress, The Historical News, July 2021, pages 20, 21

37. The Daily Tribune News                                                                    1946

Established 1946, Fleetwood, Currently operating. Publisher/owner Cartersville Newspapers

Source: Google, Library of Congress

38. The Herald Tribune                                                                             1969

Established 1969, Currently operating. Publisher/owner Tribune Publications

Source: Google, Library of Congress


It became apparent that the lineage, ownership, mergers, name changes and consolidations were confusing and entangled as proprietors angled to survive in a highly competitive field. A number of entrepreneurs appeared multiple times in a variety of newspapers and by sheer frequency surfaced as local giants in the tabloid industry.

A scattering of other tabloids existed in the history of Bartow County papers such as the Methodist Way of Life first published in 1832. It was not uncommon for existing newspapers to criticize new upstart papers and declare the field too crowded. One such article appeared in the December 4, 1890 North Georgia Citizen located in Dalton, Georgia. It condemned Cartersville’s North Georgia News as being “one horse journalism.” Not all such papers are reported in this research. Currently there are specialty papers in operation such as the Cartersville Patch, North Bartow News, Bartow Trader and Bartow Neighbor.

To learn more history about newspaper owners, publishers and mergers listed in this article visit the Georgia Digital Library web site printed below.


A tip of the hat to Mr. Sam Graham for his keen research skills to ferret out miniscule details and uncover remote information that escapes most individuals.


History of Bartow County, Cunyus, Lucy, 1933, pp 155 – 159

Digital Library of Georgia, Historic Newspapers

Georgia Historic Newspapers

Library of Congress

Roadside Thoughts, Newspapers Published in Bartow County

The Way of Life, 1882, W. A. Dodge publisher, Cartersville,  Methodist Episcopal Conference

The Historical News, July 2021, Newspapers of Bartow County

The Atlanta Georgian & News, April 6, 1907, Cartersville Carriers are Young Hustlers

The Georgia Constitutionalist, Cassville Gazette, May 13, 1834

Augusta Chronical, March 10, 1854, Etowah Valley Star

The Standard and Express, April 1, 1874, Sentinel  

Savannah Morning News, September 29 1894, Signal

The Free Press, August 22, 1878, The Free Press

The Hawkinsville Dispatch, November 4, 1875, Fighting a Cotton Ring

North Georgia Citizen, December 4, 1890, Too Many Newspapers

The News and Courant, July 25, 1901, Some Things Said About the Press

The Daily Tribune News, August 23, 2020, DTN to Reduce Print Frequency

Break It till You Make It

Learning Flintknapping

Darrell Ross

Practicum in Anthropology, Dr. Terry Powis


“If I would study any old, lost art, I must make myself an artisan of it.”

F. H. Cushing (1895)

I have very fond memories of looking for arrowheads and fossils as a boy. My friends and I would walk dry North Texas creek beds and look for these treasures. Fossil ammonites were almost as common as the river stones themselves, and petrified wood nearly so. The real treasure was finding an arrowhead. These were our prized possessions, and I still have an old cardboard box somewhere with a few of these in it. As I reflect on it some 40 years later, I’m fairly certain that the excitement and wonder that I felt as a boy contributed to my desire to study archaeology.

Figure 1. Lanceolate Point Courtesy of Carl Etheridge

While pursuing my degree, I quickly focused on lithics. I find these artifacts particularly compelling because these are the things that last the longest. For example, the Oldowan tool industry is dated via potassium-argon methods back to 1.9 million years BP (Bordes 1968, 39-48). Lithics are often the only tangible remnants of a culture that survive to the present. They and the artifacts of their production in the form of debitage are certainly the most numerous artifacts of the past. For me, there is also something incredible about holding these artifacts in my hands. I constantly appreciate that I am literally touching something that another human made – in some cases – thousands of years ago. It is a tangible and personal connection to the past.

I had seen demonstrations of flintknapping done several times and admired the resulting tools (Figure 1). In a natural progression, I wanted to learn to work chert myself. It is my opinion that having a practical knowledge of how these tools are produced and the effort it takes to produce them informs our understanding of the original culture. If we understand how the tools may have been made, then we can begin to understand the resources required and the manufacturing process. Of course, we have very little in the way of a written record on how these lithic artifacts were produced. We, as experimental archaeologists, are reproducing the tools based on the evidence we find in the debitage and the finished artifact. Of course, we cannot be certain that the methods we use today are identical to those used by the original craftsperson, but we can gain insight into their culture by examining and approximating the manufacturing process.

I began trying to learn to work chert in 2019 after I attended a Kennesaw State University archaeological field school located at the Cummings site near Cartersville in Bartow County. I was encouraged by my professor, Dr. Terry Powis, to pursue the skill and explore its value as it pertains to archaeology. As a good 21st century scientist, I began my research with a simple Google search – “flintknapping videos”. I don’t recall how many results I returned on my first searches, but as of this writing you will receive approximately 73,200 results. I watched multiple of these and combined what I learned there with the knowledge I had gained during formal classroom instruction. I also read several articles and books, particularly by the deans of modern flintknapping, Francois Bordes and Don Crabtree. I also studied the case of Ishi, in particular his tools and their construction. When I felt I had a good understanding of the basics, I began to try to work pieces myself.

I quickly learned several hard lessons. First, do not wear shorts and flip-flops while trying to work a piece. Razor sharp pieces of debitage do not feel good in between your toes or in your knee. Second, no matter how hard I tried and how many videos I watched, I could not duplicate the nice flakes that I saw other people making. I would either produce short stubby flakes that ended in what knappers refer to as a hinge fracture, or I would shatter the piece completely. I spent a great deal of time over a period of months attempting simply to make a nice preform with no success.

I had reached a point where I felt I had exhausted the books and online resources, and I was not making any progress. During my archaeology field school, I was fortunate enough to meet a master knapper, Carl Etheridge, who was willing to donate his time to teach me flintknapping. Specifically, Carl would watch what I had learned online and tell me where I was making mistakes. With support from Dr. Powis, we agreed to meet weekly in Bartow County, once again at the Cummings site. We would have multiple training sessions at the Cummings site near Cartersville. During our first session together, Carl was able to point out several key mistakes that I was making. It was quickly made apparent to me that there are “tricks of the trade” that aren’t adequately relayed in online resources or books. I made more progress in that single session than I had in almost a year of my own study. Appendix A contains a pictorial sequence of the lithics I produced over the course of the research and demonstrates the rapid progression I made under direct instruction.

In this paper, I will discuss my applied research learning the lithic reduction sequence and manufacturing process. A brief overview of key figures in lithic experimental archaeology is provided for context. A comparison of the various learning methodologies follows, and the paper concludes with a critical analysis of my own progress as a novice knapper.

Research Methods

This research attempted to evaluate the efficacy of various learning modalities as they apply to teaching a novice the lithic manufacturing process. Sources evaluated included books, academic journal articles, web sites, and online multimedia resources such as YouTube videos. I had previously received formal training in archaeology including a field school and laboratory courses. I reflected on my prior training to filter sources to those relevant to the research.

 H. Bernard Russell tells us “People will know it if you don’t” (2006, 96). With the research goal of actually learning the lithic reduction sequence and replicating it in mind, I began my research by searching specifically for books that dealt with the subject from a practical application approach. In this research, I was not particularly interested in typologies or classification methods, but rather the manufacturing process required to produce lithic tools and the resources required for that process. I also needed resources that approached the subject at a beginner level. I quickly settled on John C. Whittaker’s Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools (1994) as a primary literary resource.

Whittaker is very readable for a beginner and explains important basic concepts including conchoidal fracture and Hertzian cone theory early on in the book (1994, 12-13). The book contains a brief history of flintknapping, as well as chapters dedicated to each of the major knapping techniques including both hard and soft percussion techniques as well as pressure flaking. Whittaker also provides important information on procuring raw materials and the necessary tools. Most importantly, the book emphasizes safety with a short, but detailed chapter on the obvious dangers of flintknapping like getting cut and the not-so-obvious such as silicosis (Whittaker 1994, 79-83).

I traced additional sources from Whittaker including Francois Bordes’ The Old Stone Age (1968) and Don E. Crabtree’s Introduction to Flintworking (1972). Both are considered classics in the field of flintknapping. The Old Stone Age is an exhaustive typology that covers the period from the Lower Paleolithic to the Upper Paleolithic and includes geographic maps of finds as well as excellent illustrations of lithic artifacts. Crabtree’s monograph is a much more practical explanation of the process of flintknapping and is mainly concerned with practical mechanics of working stone.

At this stage, I systematically moved on to scholarly journals and articles. I consulted articles on the history of flintknapping experimentation (Johnson et al. 1978), the life and times of Ishi (Torres 1984), and heat treatment of chert (Mandeville 1973, Mercies and Hiscock 2008). I familiarized myself with the geology of chert from an archaeologist’s perspective (Luedtke 1992), and with Georgia’s chert geology from a geologist’s point of view (Goad 1979).

I also viewed over 40 hours of YouTube videos of varying quality and usefulness. My goal here was to be able to observe the movements of knappers and variations in their technique. I quickly found that the quality of the material is directly related to the search terms used. If, for example, the search term “make an arrowhead” is used, a large number of results will be returned, but the majority are useless in an archaeological context. Experience quickly showed that searching for the terms “primitive technology” and “flintknapping” yielded the best results for my research. However, it was still necessary to be discriminating while watching the video.

My First Tool Set

Having a firm intellectual background and grasp of the basic skills and techniques required, I began my research in earnest by entering stage one of the manufacturing process – acquisition of raw materials (Collins 1974). I began by collecting glass bottles to use as raw material as recommended by Whittaker (1996, 67). In addition, I made my own flintknapping tools (Figure 2). I constructed a percussion tool, or billet, from a wooden dowel and a copper pipe end. I cut the dowel down and sanded it to make a serviceable handle. I melted lead fishing weights, outdoors of course, and poured the molten lead into the pipe end. I then attached that heavy weighted portion to the handle with epoxy. In an ill-advised attempt to replicate Ishi’s tools, I inverted the handle of the tool and attached a pressure flaker made from a copper nail to the end opposite the weighted billet (Torres 1984). Later experimentation showed that this was not an efficient tool configuration for the techniques that I eventually adopted. Finally, I constructed a leg pad from an old pair of denim jeans and a hand pad for pressure flaking from the same denim material. A couple of oven pads sewn in as a lining provided sufficient padding and protection for my flintknapping experiments.

With unbridled enthusiasm, I moved on to stage two of the lithic reduction sequence – core preparation and initial reduction (Collins 1974). I began experimenting with knapping in my back yard using the bottoms of glass bottles as raw material. In short order, I got very good at knocking the bottoms of those bottles out in whole or nearly whole pieces and cleaning up the rough edges with the billet. At that point, my accumulated knowledge failed me. I had an academic understanding of what was required, but I could not produce an adequate preform.

Figure 3 Practice, Practice, Practice

In May of 2021, I began to attend in-person instruction with Carl Etheridge in Bartow County at the Cummings site. Under Mr. Etheridge’s direction, I was quickly able to understand where I was making mistakes in my technique. I gained a deeper comprehension of selecting the proper material, having the correct tool configuration, and using different techniques to accomplish specific tasks such as removing a hinge fracture. I also learned the importance of “practice, practice, practice…” (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, June 12, 2021) (Figure 3). There is no substitute for simply picking up tools, grabbing raw material, and practicing. With Mr. Etheridge’s vast knowledge and patient assistance, I was eventually able to progress through primary trimming of the preform, considered stage three in the manufacturing process, and finally stage four or secondary trimming. In my case, a complex technique was used in stages three and four that involved both percussion and pressure flaking.

The final experiment was to reproduce one or more points previously excavated in Bartow County from the Cummings site. I was provided twenty points as a catalogue to choose from. The experiment required that I use the techniques and knowledge I had acquired to reproduce the point as closely as possible in terms of length, width, and thickness, as well as type. The raw material used would be as close to the original material as was readily available to me. I was not required to spall my own cobbles and was allowed to use previously created spalls as a starting point. The reproduction point I produced was then compared against the original for accuracy.

A Brief History of Flintknapping in Archaeology

Flintknapping has a long history in the field of archaeology. The study of worked lithic artifacts and their manufacture has been ongoing for over 150 years. The first published scientific work on the topic of flintknapping and its importance in the study of human history dates back to 1868. L. Lewis Johnson et al. (1978, 337) quote the following passage from Sven Nilsson’s The Primitive Inhabitants of Scandinavia:

“When, more than forty years ago, I first began to collect, I found here and there stones which had evidently been fashioned by the hand of man for some special purpose, and which showed distinct traces of strokes or knocks against some other equally hard, but more brittle stone. Having from my earliest youth made a practice of chipping flint-stones, and giving them any shape which I desired, I was able to recognize in these stone hammers the instruments by means of which the flint weapons had in ancient times been made.”

Although Nilsson did not attempt to duplicate the artifacts he found, the publication of his work is credited with beginning the scientific analysis of lithic tool manufacture via flintknapping (Johnson et al. 1978).

The recognition of the importance of flintknapping as it pertains to ancient cultures continued through the 20th and continues today. Interest in the study of flintknapping ebbs and wanes, but it never becomes obsolete. Below, I summarize the main figures in the history of the field with a focus on those that I attempted to emulate during the course of my research.


Figure 4. Ishi

Ishi was the last surviving member of the Yahi, a small tribe of indigenous people located in the Sacramento Valley (Figure 4). The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill and the settlement of the nearby valleys for agriculture resulted in a wave of slaughter that eventually eliminated the native cultures in the area. The Yahi managed to hold out longer than most of the local tribes. However, by 1908 we know that only four members of the Yahi tribe survived – an unknown man and woman, an old woman that was likely Ishi’s mother, and Ishi himself. A group of surveyors stumbled upon their encampment on November 10, 1908. The man and woman died while trying to escape across a creek, and the old woman died a few weeks later. Ishi lived alone in the wilderness until he was caught at a slaughterhouse near Oroville, California in August of 1911 (Torres 1984). Originally jailed, Ishi eventually came under the care of Dr. T.T. Waterman at the University of California Museum of Anthropology. Ishi demonstrated a number of Yahi traditional skills while at the museum, including his remarkable flintknapping ability. Ishi remained at the Museum demonstrating his skills until his death from tuberculosis in 1916 (Whittaker 1994).

Ishi was an expert pressure flaker and had mastered the expanded notch technique. Points made in his style are generally referred to today as Ishi points. During the period he lived alone, Ishi supplemented his native supplies by collecting other materials from the outskirts of settler’s camps. He used glass bottles for a blank just as readily as stone. Ishi likely used antler as his primary tool material early on during his evasion and survival, but when iron nails and rods became available, he quickly switched to iron tools because they required less sharpening. Today, a long pressure tool with a nail embedded in the distal end is called an Ishi stick amongst flintknappers. A surviving set of Ishi’s tools is curated at The Lowie Museum of Anthropology, University of California at Berkley (Torres 1984).

François Bordes

Born in 1919 in Southwestern France, François Bordes is an interesting and eccentric figure in European archaeology. He interests in geology and archeology began as a boy near his home in the Perigord. Bordes would tour the area on his bicycle and became intimately familiar with the geology and archaeology of the region. His enthusiasm and intellect allowed him to, at the age of fifteen-years old, be granted a permit to excavate a rock shelter at Le Roc de Givaudan. In 1936, Bordes enrolled at the University of Bordeaux majoring in geology and biology. At the outbreak of World War II, Bordes joined the French Resistance and eventually joined the French military until he received a serious wound from a grenade. After the war, Bordes pursued and received his doctorate in 1951 at the Sorbonne. In 1956, he returned to teach at the University of Bordeaux and would remain the titular overseer of Paleolithic archaeology in Southwest France until his death from heart failure in 1981 (Sackett 2014).

Within the field of archaeology, Bordes is primarily acknowledged for his revision of the approach to lithic typology. Traditionally, lithic specialists had approached typology rather rigidly. The focus of typology was on the systematics or quantifying the typological variation among assemblages. Little or no attention was paid to paleoethnological interpretation of these assemblages. Bordes reformulated this approach. His excavations focused primarily on increasing the quantity and quality of the data collected. All lithic materials including debitage were carefully collected and documented. Samples of related data in terms of stratigraphy, faunal, and palynological data were recorded along with the lithic artifact. The overall result was a more holistic view of the prehistoric archaeological record (Sackett 2014).

With regards to flintknapping specifically, Bordes is recognized as a pioneer in replicating Paleolithic tool assemblages. Bordes collaborated frequently with Don Crabtree during their careers. Their experiments and demonstrations in the 1960s and 1970s proved the value of experimental flintknapping as archaeological research (Whittaker 1994, 59).

Don Crabtree

Don Crabtree was born in Heyburn, Idaho in 1912. Crabtree began experimenting with flintknapping as a young man (Whittaker 1994, 59). Upon graduating high school, he moved to California and enrolled at Long Beach Junior College intending to study geology and paleontology. After one semester, he dropped out of school and continued his studies on his own. He remained self-conscious about his lack of formal education throughout his life and disliked public speaking. Crabtree worked at several California universities as a lab technician in both paleontology and archaeology. In 1939, he was diagnosed with cancer. He survived, and while recovering, he used flintknapping as an exercise to improve his coordination and muscular strength. In the spring of 1941, fully recovered, he demonstrated flintknapping at the American Association of Museums annual meeting. His performance resulted in several universities and museums requesting his talents as an advisor. With the outbreak of World War II, Crabtree returned to California and joined the war effort. After the war concluded, he became a country supervisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service from 1952 until 1962. He reentered the academic world in 1958 and remained at the University of Idaho until his death in 1980 (“Crabtree Lithic Technology Collection”).

Don Crabtree is widely considered the “dean of American flintknappers”. His skill and his collaborations with François Bordes are legendary amongst modern knappers. The majority of his written work is available only in articles in the journal Tebiwa, but it is possible to find copies of An Introduction to Flint Working which I personally consider a true treasure of information. The main thing that is impressive about his work is the level of detail. Crabtree exhaustively explores and describes artifacts to include the potential techniques used to manufacture them.

Carl Etheridge

As related to me in personal communication, Carl Etheridge began flintknapping in the 1970s through an interest in collecting points (Figure 5). As Etheridge relates in his own words:

“I guess you say the impetus behind all this was – after collecting points for quite a few years – picking up a point and looking at it. I thought to myself that it wasn’t that finely made. It was one of your rougher points, but it was an original. Just holding it my hand, I looked at it and thought – that guy, hundreds or maybe a thousand years ago, made that. He was not educated, but he knew how to work this rock. Why can’t I learn how to do it?”

Figure 5. Carl Edtheridge (left) and Author (right)

During the 1970s, there were very few books on flintknapping available. Etheridge started flintknapping by experimenting on his own. He eventually became skilled enough to be able to do demonstrations at the Etowah Indian Mounds. During a demonstration, while knapping a point, two men came up and watched him for a while. One of the men asked, “That’s not bad, but would you like to do it better?” That man was Ron Cloud. Cloud was a close friend of Don Crabtree and had learned flint working directly from Crabtree. At this point, Etheridge began to study under Cloud and learned how to heat treat stone, notch, and other advanced flint working techniques.

Over the ensuing years, Etheridge has continued to refine his technique and acquire new ones. He currently does demonstrations for the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University and participates in regional “knap-ins”. Etheridge also sells reproductions of points, knives, lances, arrows, and other primitive technologies for the enjoyment of his customers (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, July 2, 2021).

Carl Etheridge is a master knapper. He has encyclopedic knowledge of various flint working techniques including both direct and indirect percussion, pressure flaking, notching, and hafting. He is also intimately familiar with lithic typology and can often type a point from memory. In addition, he has a firm grasp of the chert geology of North Georgia and Bartow County and can readily identify local areas with good sources of raw material.


The results of this research are presented below in two sections. The first section is a subjective evaluation of learning methodologies available to beginning knappers based on my own experience. The second section is a critical review of my own progress as a knapper. This appraisal took the form of a practical experiment to reproduce a projectile point excavated from the Cummings site in Bartow County. The Cummings site is a prehistoric Native American village that dates from the Middle Woodlands period to the Mississippian period (100 AD -1400 AD).

Evaluation of Learning Methodologies

Figure 6. Some of the books in my flintknapping library

I utilized three main resources to begin learning to work stone. The first method that I pursued was basic research in the form of books, both in print and online. I read multiple books by various authors with the intent of gaining a broad understanding of the manufacturing process and basic flintknapping techniques (Figure 6). Books and print media in general are an excellent way to gain a foothold and familiarization with the subject matter. In particular, books as a learning tool teach the beginner the proper jargon to communicate effectively within this highly specialized skill. It is vital for a novice to differentiate between a preform and blade, or understand the difference between a cobble and a spall. Books will also teach a beginner specialized vocabulary specific to flintknapping that are not in use in common language, with such terms as bulb of percussion and eraillure scar.

Second to vocabulary, the most important information that is effectively presented in print material is guidance regarding safety. When working with stone, there are important safety precautions that should be taken. It should be obvious that working with and around very sharp pieces of flaked stone requires caution. Hand and eye protection should be self-evident, but there are other hazards that aren’t so readily apparent. The dust produced during flint working can lead to a medical condition called silicosis. Silicosis is caused by inhaling dust generated during knapping. As such, a flintknapper should always work either outdoors or in a well-ventilated area (Whittaker 1994, 83).

Notwithstanding their value as a learning tool, books fall short in teaching actual technique. It is very difficult to effectively explain, in print, how to properly strike a platform or to describe a correct method of pressure flaking. Even books with extensive illustrations such as Crabtree’s Introduction to Flintworking fail to adequately demonstrate technique. Carl Etheridge has validated my own assessment and explained to me during a conversation that he had a similar experience with books. He had originally purchased a book when he first began flint working, but felt that it was not useful because the concepts were laid out in a fashion that made it difficult to comprehend (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, July 16, 2021).

After reading several books on the topic, I moved on to reviewing some of the available multimedia resources online. Specifically, I dove into YouTube. There are literally thousands of videos freely available on YouTube that show demonstrations of flintknapping. Most often, these videos are demonstrations of “how to make an arrow head” or something similar. It is important to be discriminating as to which videos are used as resources. It is equally important to view the video with a critical eye and evaluate the techniques demonstrated analytically or even skeptically. It is also imperative to have a grounded knowledge in basic technique and vocabulary prior to using online videos as a resource. Having that know-how allows the viewer to understand the presenter’s language and properly comprehend the context of the video.

The beauty of modern technology is that it is ubiquitous. YouTube videos are easily accessible on multiple devices including smart phones, personal computers, and smart televisions. This makes this particular learning resource portable and easily referenced even while working a piece. The other advantage is the sheer number of techniques demonstrated. Examples of working with modern materials as compared to original materials, referred to as “aboriginal knapping” in the flintknapping community, are common. In addition, lessons on both direct and indirect percussion, pressure flaking, and notching are all presented on various YouTube channels.

Similar to books, videos fall short in relating actual technique in a manner such that a beginner can translate the demonstrated procedure and replicate it. The main fault is that presenters on YouTube commonly leave out vital steps in the lithic reduction sequence in the interest of making a video that is of the appropriate length for the average viewer.  This may lead a novice knapper to become frustrated when failing to replicate the resulting piece. There are very few videos that actually cover all the steps in the lithic reduction sequence from start to finish, and these are generally the same running time as a feature film.

As a caution, many videos that purport to teach knapping contain incorrect techniques. Once a beginner gains a certain level of skill, it is a fun and interesting exercise to revisit videos previously viewed. Mistakes and incorrect technique become glaringly obvious. In some cases, the presenter is even demonstrating a technique that is potentially dangerous. I have personally seen a video by a self-proclaimed survivalist in which the individual claimed to teach a person how to make a point from a glass bottle. I was shocked to see the presenter hold the glass bottle bottom up and even with his eye to pressure flake it. There is already a risk of a flake getting in a knapper’s eye, but to hold the raw material even closer to your face and then proceed to pressure flake without eye protection is foolhardy.

The final learning method that I had available to me was personal instruction from a master knapper. This is a traditional learning mode that has been used since antiquity to pass the craft of flintknapping from one craftsman to the next. There is a reason this learning methodology was and is favored by knappers. It is by far the most effective way to learn the skill.

The benefits of having a hands-on instructor fall into two categories. Unlike books and videos, there is no opportunity for gaps in the lithic reduction sequence. Working with an instructor, the pupil will necessarily be required to perform each step in the manufacturing process and become familiar with the technique required to perform each. The hidden “tricks of the trade” such as frequent abrading, planning piece layout, and the importance of choosing the correct raw material all go along with the basic instruction.

The other important benefit of being taught to work stone in a master-apprentice fashion is that the instructor provides an instant feedback loop to the student. The instructor can and should be providing constant direction to the student to correct both gross and fine mistakes in technique (Figure 7). Flint working leaves little room for mistakes when attempting to produce a final piece. It is not possible to put a flake back onto a core once it has been struck. The guidance of an in-person teacher can prevent miscalculations and errors on the part of the student. As a result, the beginner gains skill and experience at an exponential rate which in turn produces confidence.

In summary, all of the learning methods evaluated during the course of this research proved valuable in one manner or another. Books and other print materials are excellent primarily for grounding a novice in the vocabulary,

Figure 7. Carl Etheridge teaching my son Devin Ross, the basics of flintknapping

the academics of flint working technique, and, most importantly, safety. Online multimedia resources are ubiquitous and freely available. These video resources are also beneficial in that they demonstrate a wide variety of both tools and skills. As revealed during the course of the research, the most efficient learning modality is in-person instruction led by an experienced knapper. This learning method is unique in that the unseen skills either obfuscated or ignored by the other learning resources are expressly taught during the lithic reduction sequence out of simple necessity. In addition, the instructor provides an instantaneous assessment and correction of the student’s technique. Neither books nor videos are a substitute for the traditional modality of the master-apprentice relationship.

Practical Evaluation

The final experiment for the research took place on July 16, 2021 in Bartow County. During a flint working session, I attempted to reproduce a point that had been previously excavated at the Cummings site near Cartersville, Georgia. As previously mentioned, the Cummings site is a Native American village that date to the Middle Woodland and Mississippian periods (100 AD – 1400 AD). I attempted the reproduction entirely on my own from a raw chert spall without any assistance. The objective of the experiment was to practically evaluate my own personal skill in flint working following eight weeks of in-person instruction by Carl Etheridge.

The point that I chose to reproduce was a leaf-style corner-notched projectile point. Prior to the experiment, I did a typology analysis on the point and identified it as a Jack’s Reef Corner-notched point (Jack’s Reef Corner-notched n.d.). Appendix B details the typology of the target point. The typology’s dimensions, style, and Middle Woodland cultural period are consistent with this artifact, and its location at the Cummings site in Bartow County.

I chose this point to replicate for several reasons. The point itself is of the best workmanship of all of the Cummings site points from which I was given as potential targets to reproduce. I had previously reproduced some of the less refined points provided, but the quality of this point demonstrated that it had been made by a craftsman of more than beginner skill. Gross visual analysis of the point shows that it had been made using a complex technique combining both percussion and pressure flaking (Crabtree 1972).

Other features that I was excited to attempt were the actual shape of the point and its style of notching. The point is leaf-like in shape and exhibits corner notches. My working sessions during training had focused on making Ishi-style points that are more acutely triangular shaped. I had done side notches and stemmed points prior to the experiment, but I had not previously attempted corner notches in any of my instructor-led or solo sessions.

In short, I chose a point that would tax my current level of skill to the limit. The point was of an unfamiliar shape and new style. It had also been created using a corner notching method that I had never attempted.

The result of the experiment was that I failed to accurately reproduce the point I had selected on the first attempt (Figure 8). I was accurate in reproducing the distinctive shape of the point. I was also relatively accurate in producing a point of the same length and width dimensions. Table 1 below illustrates the dimensions of the reproduction as compared to the dimensions of the original artifact. All measurements are taken with sliding calipers and recorded in millimeters.

Table 1. Comparison of dimensions

DimensionReproductionOriginal% Difference vs Original

The additional length of the reproduction is attributable to my plan to conserve some material in anticipation of length loss during the notching process. The slight reduction in width is due to the realization during pressure flaking that the point was too thick. I lost width in the preform while attempting to thin the point further using pressure.

Figure 8. Comparison photo of the original artifact (a) and my first attempt at reproduction (b)

The key error during manufacture was that I did not succeed in thinning the preform enough during the initial percussion of the raw spall in stage three of the manufacturing process. Once pressure flaking is begun, additional thinning becomes much harder because of the difficulty associated with creating a conchoidal fracture through the preform mass with pressure techniques. It is not possible to generate enough force via pressure to remove the required stone to further thin the piece without consuming additional material. At this stage, I could only thin the reproduction further through pressure flaking which would continue to reduce the overall length and width of the finished piece. While only two millimeters, the added thickness has follow-on consequences to the overall appearance of the finished reproduction. It should be immediately noticeable that the required corner notches are not observable on the reproduction. The additional thickness makes corner notching extremely difficult if not impossible. This additional thickness and its consequent impacts on the reproduction are the primary reasons I deem this reproduction a failure.

The additional thickness in the piece is a common mistake made by novice knappers (Carl Etheridge, personal communication, July 16, 2021). Nevertheless, I have gained enough knowledge and skill in flintknapping to recognize the problem and its follow-on effects in the overall piece. I also know what to correct and how to correct it. As a result, I do not consider the experiment itself a failure, but rather a reflection of the knowledge I have accumulated during my research. I will, of course, continue to attempt to reproduce the point until I have a viable replica of the original artifact.


From my perspective, future research in the field of lithic analysis in Georgia falls broadly into two categories. First, the geology of chert in Georgia is sparsely documented. There is a paucity of reference material available to geologists and even less from the perspective of an archaeologist. There is an immediate need for a collaborative study between archaeologists and geologists that documents the available chert resources in Georgia, catalogues the identifying characteristics of the raw material, and maps sites as prehistoric sources of raw material for lithic tool manufacture. Archaeologists and laypersons with experience in flintknapping are crucial to this study. They are uniquely qualified to evaluate the quality and workability of the raw material in terms of its value in the lithic manufacturing process and therefore its desirability.

Second, using the results of the study mentioned above, lithics recovered at various sites could potentially be traced to the origin sources of raw material. This would help establish trade and procurement patterns. As applied to the Cummings site, this information would aid in identifying the relationship between Cummings and other nearby contemporary archaeological sites.

In this research, I have explored flintknapping and how novice archaeologists can pursue this ancient and honorable craft. Flintknapping has a long and well-deserved history in academia. Practical application of the techniques required to properly manufacture stone tools informs our understanding of the manufacturing process. This is a relevant and applicable tool for archaeologists. In the process of learning to work stone, archaeologists also learn to recognize and analyze the distinctive tool marks left during the lithic reduction sequence – i.e. how the artifact was made. Being able to identify these tool marks as well as accurately evaluate the level of skill required to produce an artifact based on personal experience in turn advises our overall understanding of the culture that made the artifact originally and helps to answer why the artifact was made.


I would like to thank Ann Cummings, for whom the Cummings site is named, for allowing both myself and other students to excavate sites on her private property as well as study the artifacts that are recovered there. I don’t believe the number of students that have been positively affected by the field schools held at the Cummings site can be overestimated.

I would also like to thank Dr. Terry Powis who has acted graciously as my research sponsor and mentor. I am in his debt for sharing his knowledge, time, and research materials. Without his guidance and direction, this research would not have been possible.

I want to acknowledge my other professors within the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University as well. Each course I’ve taken has been both educational and entertaining. I applaud your efforts at introducing students to this fascinating field of study.

I suppose I must also thank my family and my parents. They have been subjected to hours of documentaries with only the occasional sigh and rolling of eyes. They have had to suffer with chert flakes in their clothes and shoes. They have been my forced audience while I opined on the difference between a “good” knapping rock and a “bad” knapping rock. In particular, I need to thank my son, Devin, whom I have hauled to excavations, knapping sessions, and museums – often with no more reward than a chicken biscuit.

Finally, I must thank Mr. Carl Etheridge. Carl selflessly volunteered his time and energy to teach me flintknapping. He has been a sometimes tolerant and sometimes cantankerous mentor who has generously shared his knowledge, tools, materials, and time with a very slow learner. I hope I can do him justice some day and pass this craft on to a new generation.


Bernard, H Russell. 2017. Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Lenham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Bordes, Francois. 1968. The Old Stone Age. World University Library. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Collins, Michael Bruce. 1974. “A Functional Analysis of Lithic Technology among Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers of Southwestern France and Western Texas.” PhD diss. University of Arizona, 1974.

Crabtree, Don E. 1966. “A Stoneworker’s Approach to Analyzing and Replicating the Lindenmeier Folsom,” Ariel 129, vol. 129, pp. 92-114.

Crabtree, Don E. 1972. “An Introduction to Flintworking,” Occasional Papers of the Museum, Idaho State University 28, vol. 28, pp. 1–98.

“Crabtree Lithic Technology Collection.” n.d.

Cushing, Frank Hamilton. 1895. “The Arrow,” American Anthropologist 8, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 307–49.

Glock, Waldo S. 1920. “The Use of the Terms Flint and Chert.” Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 167-173.

Goad, Sharon I. 1979. Chert Resources in Georgia: Archaeological and Geological Perspectives. University of Georgia.

“Jack’s Reef Corner-notch Projectile Point.” n.d. www.Projectilepoints.Net. University of West Florida. Accessed July 5, 2021.

Johnson, L. L., Jeffery A. Behm, François Bordes, Daniel Cahen, Don E. Crabtree, Dena F. Dincauze, Conran A. Hay, et al. 1978. “A History of Flint-Knapping Experimentation, 1838-1976 [and Comments and Reply],” Current Anthropology 19, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 337–72.

Luedtke, Barbara E. 1992. An Archaeologist’s Guide to Chert and Flint. University of California, Los Angeles.

Mandeville, Margaret D. 1973. “A Consideration of the Thermal Pretreatment of Chert,” The Plains Anthropologist, pp. 177–202.

Mercieca, Alison, and Peter Hiscock. 2008. “Experimental Insights into Alternative Strategies of Lithic Heat Treatment,” Journal of Archaeological Science 35, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 2634–39.

Sackett, J. 2014. “François Bordes and the Old Stone Age,” Bulletin of the History of Archaeology 24, 24 (January): Art. 3.

Torres, Dennis. 1984. “Ishi,” Central States Archaeological Journal 31, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 175–79.

Whittaker, John C. 1994. Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools. University of Texas Press.

Appendix A – Pictorial Sequence

Appendix A is a pictorial sequence of the points made during the research period from May 21, 2021 to July 9, 2021.

Appendix B – Target Point Typology

Point Typology Analysis


Site:                 Cummings

Date of Find:   23 Oct 2020

Excavated By: J. McFarlane

            H. Redman

Unit:                4

Level:              1

Depth:             18cm


Length:            46mm

Width:             28mm

Thickness:       4mm

Stem Length: 8mm

Stem Width:    20mm


Type:               Jack’s Reef Corner-notched

Period:            Woodland

Date:               1,500 – 1,000 B.P.

Reference Artifacts

Tenant Farming in Bartow County, Josh Reed

Understanding Early 20th Century Tenant Farming in Bartow County, Georgia

Practicum in Anthropology, Kennesaw State University, Dr. Terry Powis

The Adams family house is a historic building situated in Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia located only a few miles northwest of the Etowah Indian Mounds. The house was constructed on the Walnut Grove Plantation, owned by the Young family since the early 1830s. Abandoned for nearly six decades, my research focuses on rediscovering what we know about the daily life of the Adams family through archaeological investigation, archival study, and oral history. Uncovering the lifestyle and mode of production of this specific tenant farming family adds to the understanding of tenant farming in general. I was interested in studying this family and historic site in particular to document the information before it was lost forever.

Tenant farming is an agricultural production system in which farmers cultivate crops or raise livestock on rented land. In order to work the rented land, tenant farmers generally provided their own tools and plow animals and were allowed to retain half of the harvested crops. Landowners provided shelter, food, and other necessities that were to be repaid from the tenants share of the crop. So, although they were allowed to keep half of the crops they sowed and reaped, the money earned from their personal bounty ultimately went back to the landowner (Boundless 2018). Tenant farming became prominent directly following the American Civil War due to the bad economy former slaves and poor whites faced. Following Reconstruction, tenancy became the way of life in the Cotton Belt (Conrad 2007).


            The Walnut Grove Plantation is located in Cartersville, Georgia, neighboring the Etowah River and Pettit Creek. For this, its original landowners Dr. Robert Maxwell Young and his wife Elizabeth Caroline Jones Young regarded the property as “the beautiful rolling land in the horseshoe bend of the Etowah River” (Cummings 2009, 5). Native to Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Young’s began their search for property in 1832, specifically looking to speculate in Native American land (Billingsley 2020). They searched for land throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana before finally applying for a land grant in Georgia for Walnut Grove.

            It was only due to the forced relocation of Native American people in 1832 that the Young family was able to obtain this property. Prior to this, Cherokee government heavily resisted the push for white settlers inhabiting their land. However, once Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828, he immediately declared the removal of eastern tribes to be a national focus (Davis 1973, 312-17). Several factors accelerated the push for Cherokee removal, most notably the demand for arable land during the rampant increase of cotton agriculture. Cherokee land plots were then divided out to white Georgians in what is known as the Georgia land lottery (Garrison 2004).

            Bartow County, formerly known as Cass County, was thriving at this point, producing iron, tobacco, corn, wheat, and of course cotton. It wasn’t until the end of the Civil War in 1865 that the American South in its entirety was left in devastation. Over four million slaves were emancipated as a result of the Civil War, much to the dissatisfaction of slaveholders in Bartow County (Hebert 2017). Economic reconstruction had to happen quickly, as the problems the south faced were more severe than just damaged equipment and neglected fields. This social revolution reorganized the labor force, creating a free-labor social system in which neither blacks nor whites were familiar with. As the south still heavily relied on agricultural production, the transformation from a slave society to a society based on free labor began (Woodman 1975, 319-20).


Figure 1. Before and after site clean-up. The top photo shows the overgrown Adam’s family house. The bottom photo is after I removed foliage.  

            Data collection for this study included a combination of field and lab work along with oral history and archival research. The first step on site was to clean up overgrown foliage that prevented a clear view of the surviving architecture. Utilizing loppers and a hand saw, I devoted four weeks to the removal of trees, branches, vines, and other dense shrubbery that veiled the site (Figure 1). Once the structure was clearly visible from all cardinal directions, I was accompanied

by Dr. Terry Powis and Kong Cheong in creating a site grid in order to map the house. The five-meter grid was coordinated using a transit level to position stakes exactly five meters apart extending north-south and east-west. Due to the precision of the transit level, we knew that the grid was positioned to true north with exact 90-degree angels in relation to the other directions. A 50-meter open reel tape measure was then spread along the grid lines to begin mapping. Arbitrary

points were selected on the house every one to two meters, where the distance from the

grid line to the structure was measured. Figure 2 shows a digital rendition of the completed map.

While this method created a two-dimensional map of the houses orientation, it doesn’t provide any information on the height range of the structure. In order to map height differences throughout the structure, I created a profile running a leveled line running north-south directly through the center of the house. Similar to the previous mapping method, A 50-meter open reel tape was positioned on the line and points on the house were measured vertically from the fixed line. After spanning the entirety of the house, I then fixed a line running east-west through the house and measured vertically once again. This approach allowed for the mapping of actual features of the house like the front stairs, porch, floor, chimney, and root cellar. I then composed a third map measuring the distance of the house to other major elements surrounding the site including the cotton field and a well. Creating a map with the surrounding features provides more context to the house in relation to the landscape.

Due to the house’s close proximity to a prehistoric Native American village (dating from AD 1200-1300) known as the Cummings Site, all of the artifacts collected through dirt screening were combined with prehistoric artifacts including pottery sherds and chert flakes. Therefore, the first phase in the lab was to discern historic artifacts from prehistoric. There were around 50 two-gallon zip lock bags containing artifacts that needed to be sorted. First, I poured out the contents of the bag onto a tray and carefully examined every piece to determine its placement whether historic, prehistoric, or rock. Once the entire bag was sorted, I put the historic artifacts in their own bag with the parent bags provenience information as well as the prehistoric artifacts in their own bag with the provenience information. After completely sorting through all parent bags, I was left solely with historic artifacts.

In order to accurately view and date the artifacts, they first needed to be washed. Using a tub of water and a toothbrush, I scrubbed every individual artifact clean and left them out to dry, always making sure to keep them with their corresponding bag. Once all the artifacts were cleaned, I began sorting them into like groups using Stanley South’s 1978 Artifacts Classification System. Stanley South is regarded as the “Father of American Historical Archaeology” as he pioneered the process of pattern recognition to group artifacts from historical sites (South 1978, 223). The classification system is based on the original intended function of the artifact. South deliberately fashioned this model to historic sites in order to allow intersite comparisons using group regularities. The concept of combining artifacts into functional groups for investigation remains a fundamental in historical archaeology (Sewell 2004, 23). While the lab work is based off of South’s classification scheme, I modified the groups in order to properly fit my assemblage of artifacts. I organized all the artifacts into the following groups:  Kitchen, Architecture, Furniture, Clothing, Tools, Arms, Personal, Activities, Utilities, and Miscellaneous. Ensuring that each artifact retained connection with its appropriate provenience data, I put the separated artifacts in their own bags and placed them into their designated group. Once all the artifacts from every bag had been organized and placed into their categories, I began to date them utilizing online resources and reference books. I then compiled an excel spreadsheet detailing the category, artifact, quantity, date range, material type, and color (Appendix 1).

Although analyzing the archaeology of the house was the primary focus, oral history and archival research were pivotal in supplementing what the archaeological data communicated. Due to the fact that only three people still alive today have any association to this house and its inhabitants, the information was limited yet revealing. I conducted three informal in-person interviews with an informant that resides about 50 meters east of the Adams family house on the Walnut Grove Plantation. Some questions of interest were:

  • What year was the house constructed?
  • What were they farming? Did they farm the same crop year-round?
  • What was their mode of transportation?
  • Did they have electricity?
  • What year was the home abandoned and for what reason?

The other two informants were contacted via email to fill in any potential gaps or add additional information. Archival information was also narrow, however Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources GIS web-based registry (GNAHRGIS) was utilized to find any cataloged information on this historic site.


Figure 3. Elements of the Adam’s Family House. Photo (a) shows the firebox portion of the brick chimney. Photo (b) is the root cellar. Photo (c) is a supporting brick wall in the root cellar. Photo (d) shows the central stairs leading to the front porch.  

Results from the field work illustrate that this is a 1,020 square foot home with a cinderblock foundation, cement porch with central stairs, brick chimney, and a root cellar (Figure 3). The house also features a back porch with cinderblock stairs on the north west side. There is evidence of a gravel drive extending from the southwest side of the house northward. The house is situated about 17 meters north of a cotton field. There is also a well located around 30 meters

west of the structure. Similarly, there is a parking area about 75 meters from the structure to the west.

A total of 1,969 artifacts were collected and dated, generating a time frame spanning from the 18th century to the present. The artifacts were categorized into ten groups: Kitchen, Architecture, Furniture, Clothing, Tools, Arms, Personal, Activities, Utilities, and Miscellaneous. In the Kitchen Group, a total of 1,360 artifacts were collected, in which 780 were bottle glass, 411 were ceramics, and seven were bottle caps. In the Architecture Group, a total of 445 artifacts were collected, in which 91 were square nails, 161 were window glass, and three were barbed wire. In the Furniture Group, a total of six artifacts were collected, in which one was a door knocker and two were latches. In the Clothing Group, a total of seven artifacts were collected, in which two were belt buckles and two were buttons. In the Tools Group, a total of four artifacts were collected, in which one was a combination wrench and one was a horseshoe. In the Arms Group, a total of 21 artifacts were collected, in which six were shotgun casings and 10 were cartridges. In the Personal Group, a total of seven artifacts were collected, in which six were pennies and one was a pen knife. In the Activities Group, a total of 31 artifacts were collected, in which 28 were flowerpot pieces and two composed a child’s toy. In the Utilities Group, a total of 15 artifacts were collected, in which two were coal, three were insulators, and seven were light bulbs. In the Miscellaneous Group, a total of 73 artifacts were collected, in which one was a spark plug and one was a Purex bleach bottle cap.

The information gathered from oral history further clarifies that this house was in fact inhabited by a tenant farming family. The local resident I spoke to grew up on the property and has resided there for decades. “Informant O,” as he wishes to remain nameless, explained that this house was occupied by a tenant farmer by the name of Charles Adams and his mother, Eleanor Adams. He recalls that Eleanor was a nurse by trade and would oftentimes visit people when they were sick. When asked about children being present in the home, Informant O claimed that there were never any children, although artifactual evidence conflicts with this statement. According to Informant O, Charles Adams was responsible for farming several sections of cotton fields, in which each field was composed of 20 acres. He stated that they farmed cotton exclusively and removed burrs in the off season. He recalls them operating John Deere tractors but didn’t know where they were stored when not in use. He was unsure what year the house was built and also unaware of the year or reason of its abandonment.

Informant O describes the dwelling as originally having wood paneling and plank floors, but sometime after its construction updating to sheetrock walls. He explains that there was a garden adjacent to the home on the east side as well as a space for the chickens they kept for eggs. When questioned about a vehicle, Informant O recalls that they had either a 1950 or 1951 Ford truck. While he was aware of the existence of a barn, he did not know what was kept inside or what it was used for. Finally, when asked about their bathroom situation he didn’t recall there being an outhouse, but really wasn’t aware on how they handled their waste as it “wasn’t any of his business.”

Landowner Ann Cummings, as well as Andy Dabbs who grew up on a piece of land bordering the Cummings Site, were contacted via email for any additional information they could add. Dabbs explained that to his best memory the house was empty around 1964-65. He remembered a farmer by the name of Buddy Tatum who farmed the Cummings and Dabbs farms. According to Dabbs, Tatum and a crew put a new tin roof on the house in the mid 1960’s while the house was vacant. He went on to say that no one ended up inhabiting the house and a tree limb fell on the roof letting water in and accelerating its deterioration. In terms of Ann’s memories of the house and its occupants, she recalls when she first married her husband Skip in 1957, she would come to the Walnut Grove Plantation house to visit and Skip’s mother would be visiting with Eleanor in their kitchen.

According to Georgia’s Natural, Archaeological, and Historic Resources GIS web-based registry, the Adams family house was constructed in 1910. It was a single-story, L-shaped gabled wing cottage with two rooms. The archival document provides a black and white photo of the house from some meters away, but it is virtually impossible to make any details out due to lack of clarity. This type of home structure is consistent with the house Informant O still resides in today that was built in 1920.


            The field and lab work combined suggest that the Adams’ were a typical tenant farming family that lived to work and worked to live. However, they may have been a little wealthier than average, due to Eleanor Adams working as a nurse and supplementing their income. Similarly, physical evidence and oral history solidifying that they had a vehicle could further indicate excess money. Tenant farmers generally didn’t produce extra capital as the harvest they retained was minimal following deductions from landowners for living expenses. This begs the question, was it actually out of the ordinary for tenant farmers to have a vehicle? Could a vehicle possibly have been considered a living expense that was purchased by landowners and then repaid by tenants? Through oral history I discovered that the Adams’ had either a 1950 or 1951 Ford truck. That is to say that the soonest they possibly could have had a vehicle was 1950. It is known from archival resources that this house was constructed in 1910. Therefore, Charles Adams and his mother Eleanor lived here for 40 years without a vehicle. So, it would be plausible to say that any left-over income they had after paying living expenses could accumulate over 40 years to be able to afford a vehicle themselves. It could also be discussed, however, that a vehicle was simply provided to them by the Cummings family.

            Artifactual evidence and oral history suggest the Adams family house had electricity, although there are still questions surrounding its introduction to the house. The house was designed and built with a root cellar, known to be utilized for cold storage. Although if the house had electricity at the date of construction, a root cellar for cold storage wouldn’t have been necessary. The typical Georgia farm family had no electricity, no running water, and no indoor bathrooms (Zainaldin 2007). However, legislature introduced by Roosevelts New Deal brought electricity to rural residents by 1936. Rural electrification was crucial in Georgia where in 1930 almost 70 percent of the population lived in rural areas (Dobbs 2016). While electricity wasn’t readily available to rural areas at the date of construction, the Adams family house could have had electricity as early as 1936.

            While the artifacts collected from this site supply a time frame spanning from the 18th century to the present, the majority of artifacts date between 1830 to 1940. So why would there be so many artifacts that drastically pre-date the 1910 construction? One reasoning could be that since these tenants were extremely poor and only given what the landowner at the time provided, their house was furnished with dated leftovers the landowner had readily available. Another theory is that this is the location of a log cabin the Young family lived in from 1835-1837 while their house was being built. It is a fact that the Young family lived in a log cabin while their house was being built, however its exact location is still a mystery. The close proximity of the Adams house to Walnut Grove Plantation could have proven beneficial to Dr. Robert Maxwell Young as it is said he required all the building materials were to be made from resources found on the property (Billingsley 2020). Young could have easily supervised his hired help by residing only a mere 200 meters from the construction site.

            Additional evidence to support the notion that the Young family’s log cabin was positioned in the same spot as the Adams family house is the presence of square nails collected from the site. Square nails were produced by hand and utilized from 1820 until 1890. It wasn’t until the introduction of machine-made round nails in 1890 that square nails became antiquated. At that point, houses started to be built using round nails rather than square nails. However, 91 square nails and 96 round nails were recovered on site. By 1910, the year of this house’s construction, it can be anticipated that round nails would have been used exclusively. Although that isn’t the case, whereas there is almost as many square nails as there are round. This could be due to left over materials the Young family had on hand after the construction of their house was built, or it could imply the location of their log cabin.

            Several other artifacts equally support the idea of a preexisting structure in the same location. Heavy duty nuts and bolts were recovered that could have been required materials to hold together and support logs. Likewise, most of the dinnerware ceramic dates to around 1820-1830, which lines up with when the Young family would have been residing in a log cabin. It is a fact that tenant’s houses were furnished by landowners, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that when the Young family provided the farmers this house in 1910, they simply supplied it with their outdated dinnerware. It’s probable that after years of the same dishes they would have been ready for an updated set anyways.

The presence of a well 30 meters from the house further insinuates they did not have indoor plumbing and rather got their water from the well. Likewise, the parking area not too far

from the well provides more evidence to the addition of a vehicle (Figure 4).

Parking area and well in relation to Adams family house. Illustration courtesy of George Micheletti

 The barn is another associated feature of this site that not a lot of information could be collected on. When asked about the barn, Informant O told me that he did not know what was kept in the barn. However, he did inform me that somebody by the name of Charlie Dabbs hanged himself in the barn. This is interesting because Andy Dabbs, the other local that was interviewed, revealed that Buddy Tatum, as previously mentioned, committed suicide years after putting the new roof on the house. I searched several Cartersville and Bartow County obituaries for a “Charlie Dabbs” or “Buddy Tatum” to no avail. It’s possible they could be referring to the same person or there is misremembering on someone’s part.

            Animal bone, pig teeth, and horseshoe artifacts imply that the tenants had access to animals. Informant O mentioned they kept chicken for eggs but did not recall the presence of any other animals. The pig teeth can be explained by the creation of Pettit Creek Farms in 1945, a family-owned farm with pigs, cows, llamas, and other farm animals. As Pettit Creek Farms is only five miles from Walnut Grove Plantation, it’s likely a pig could get loose and wander to the site. A horseshoe however implies they may or may not have had plow animals in addition to the John Deere tractors. These animals and equipment would have needed to be stored somewhere. It has been established that the people living here were definitely farmers, but there are not many artifacts found that relate to farming in terms of equipment or paraphernalia. Would it have been normal for tenants to have separate lodgings for their equipment? The two-story barn was big enough to have housed animals as well as all the farming gear.

            Another interesting aspect of this tenant farming family was their relationship with the landowners. As Ann Cummings remembers, Eleanor Adams would visit with Skip’s mother in her kitchen. This sort of interaction implies a relationship beyond solely employer and employee. Perhaps they were friendly with each other due to close proximity in age, or that there was simply no one else around to converse with and entertain. It’s unclear whether this would have been a normal landlord-tenant relationship, as by 1925 popular sentiment of the relationship mirrored that of master and slave. Although it is said that this mindset changed throughout the years due to many viewing tenant farmers as having a fundamental place in the economic order (Buechel 1925, 336).

            While oral history explained that the house was vacant in the mid 1960’s, it did not elaborate on why that would have been. None of the three informants knew exactly why the house was abandoned in the first place. In the 1960’s, mechanized farming became cheaper and more reliable (Church 2009), which could have been a possible reason for the displacement of the Adams family. The timeline of machinery taking over for human farmers lines up with when the house was abandoned.

            Future directions for this study could be continued archival research. As archival research was not my main focus on this project, there might be more information available, such as a deed to the house. Similarly, if there is any way to get ahold of the negative roll number 29 from the Georgia Historic Resources offices for a clearly picture of the Adams house. There could be archival information on Eleanor Adams if she was in fact a registered nurse. Any additional information on her could certainly enhance what we already know about her story. How did the family end up at Walnut Grove Plantation, was there ever a Mr. Adams, are they still alive, and if not, where are they buried?  It would also be interesting to further investigate if there are any actual studies that have been done on landowner and tenant relationship. Would it be safe to say that visitation was a one-way street, meaning Eleanor only visited the landowner’s home but the landowner did not visit the tenant house? Additional investigations to address questions relating to electricity and transportation would also be valuable.


            The Adams family house was a residence for tenant farmers Charles Adams and his mother Eleanor Adams. It was occupied from its construction in 1910 until the mid 1960’s. The Adams were extremely poor, only retaining a small portion of their harvested crops after living expenses were deducted from their share. They were a hardworking family that had to adapt and navigate through post-Civil War reconstruction, the great depression, and several other political and economic revolutions throughout the decades. Considering what we now know about how the Adams’ lived could reshape what is known about tenancy in general. Was a vehicle common for tenant farmers to have? Was the relationship between landowner and tenant friendlier than previously assumed? Only three individuals alive today knew anything about this house and the people who inhabited it, so without their contributions in oral history, all that information would have been lost indefinitely. I’m lucky to have been able to speak to locals, work in the field and lab, and browse archives to preserve the history of this tenant farming family forever.


Thank you so much to Dr. Terry Powis for all of his knowledge, assistance, and resources in conducting this research! It truly wouldn’t have been possible without his efforts and expertise. Thank you to the Cummings Family for allowing me to do research on their property. Thank you to Kong Cheong and all the other student researchers that assisted me in the field. Thank you to George Micheletti for digitally rendering the map.


Billingsley, Jennifer. “Walnut Grove and the Young Family.” Etowah Valley Historical Society, May 21, 2020. 

Boundless. “Tenant Farmer.” Definition of tenant farmer in U.S. History., 2018.

Buechel, F. A. “Relationships of Landlords to Farm Tenants.” The Journal of Land & Public Utility Economics 1, no. 3 1925: 336-42. doi:10.2307/3138901.

Church, Jason. “NCPTT | Documentation Of Tenant Farming Houses.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, October 29, 2019.

Conrad, David E. “Tenant Farming and Sharecropping: The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture 2007

Cummings, Skip. “Etowah Valley Historical Society.” History of Walnut Grove Plantation 70 January 2009: 5–5. 

Davis, Kenneth Penn. “The Cherokee Removal, 1835-1838.” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 32, no. 4 1973: 311-31.

Dobbs, Chris. “Rural Electrification Act.” New Georgia Encyclopedia, January 29, 2016.

Garrison, Tim Allan. “Cherokee Removal.” New Georgia Encyclopedia, November 19, 2004.


Hebert, Dr. Keith. “Reconstruction Bartow County Following the Civil War, Article 6 – Dr. Keith Hebert.” Etowah Valley Historical Society, April 26, 2017.

Sewell, Andrew R. “Chapter 5 Phase III Archaeological Data Recovery at the Historic Brickworks Component of 36AL480 in Leetsdale, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania,” September 30, 2004, 23.

South, Stanley. “Pattern Recognition in Historical Archaeology.” American Antiquity 43, no. 2 1978: 223–30. 

Woodman, Harold D. “Post-Civil War Southern Agriculture and the Law.” Agricultural History 53, no. 1 1979: 319-37.

Zainaldin, Jamil S. “Great Depression.” New Georgia Encyclopedia, November 5, 2007. 

Mounds_B_and_C,_Etowah_Mound_Site_(April_2011).jpg (4896×1280)

Bartow County’s Mound Legacy

Bartow County’s Mound Legacy

An Inventory of American Indian Mound Sites Located in Bartow County

By Scot Keith and Joe F. Head

Mounds_B_and_C,_Etowah_Mound_Site_(April_2011).jpg (4896×1280)

Etowah Indian Mounds, formerly Tumlin Mounds

It is the intention of this research to promote an educational understanding and awareness of American Indian mounds within Bartow County. Readers are alerted to be aware of state laws pertaining to the disturbance or removal of American Indian sites, burials and artifacts.  Policies about American Indian Sites and Objects in Georgia are listed under The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 44-12-260 and (OCGA) 12-3-621 and specifically address protocol and violation consequences. Specific mound locations are omitted to protect sites from unauthorized and illegal plundering. As many of these locations have already been negatively impacted, please join the advocacy to protect and preserve these significant American Indian sites from further damage.

This work offers a fresh perspective of the presence of American Indian mounds and earthworks within Bartow County based on a review of archaeological survey data from the late 1800s and middle 1900s. A reexamination of this data highlights the fact that the area within Bartow County was a hub of mound building activity in the state for well over a millennium. While many people are aware that Bartow County is home to the Etowah Mounds, many may not know that the county once contained over two dozen individual mounds and earthworks. In fact, Bartow County contains more documented mound sites than any other surrounding county. These mounds were constructed during the Woodland and Mississippian periods, roughly from 200 B.C until the era of European arrival in the 1500s.

Why were mounds and earthworks constructed? The construction of mounds and other earthworks in the Eastern Woodlands of the US began as early as 5,400 years ago during the Middle Archaic period in the area of northern Louisiana.  American Indians relate that mound sites are sacred places. Mound sites are an expression of the cosmological and ideological beliefs of the people who built them, and often served as places of aggregation for those who shared similar beliefs. Similar to a church community, people congregated to pool their time, labor, and other resources to create these places. Mounds were built in various forms, from conical to flat-topped, circular to elliptical, and these forms likely had specific connotations now known only to those who constructed them and their descendants.  Mounds were often constructed in successive stages, with a new stage corresponding to the end of an era and beginning of a new one. They often buried people in or around mounds. Archaeologists have found evidence that they were places where both local and non-local peoples gathered and lived, places of pilgrimage, trade, ceremony, and cultural interaction.

In Bartow County, construction of the earliest known mound was begun during the Woodland period at the Leake site circa 2,100 years ago, while two additional mounds and a ditch enclosure similar to the one at Etowah were built at the site over the next 600 years. Across the river from Leake during this same period, people enclosed the summit of Ladd’s Mountain with a stone wall, buried a person in a log tomb and covered this tomb with stones, and used the large cave in the end of the mountain. Mound construction continued in the valley through much of the Mississippian period (1050-1541 AD), as exemplified by the well-preserved Etowah Mounds.  Thus, mound building was practiced in the county for at least 1,500 years prior to Euroamerican settlement, and perhaps longer. This is a remarkable span of time when one compares that to the timeline of the United States, officially established just less than 250 years ago.

The primary concentration of mounds is in lower southeast Bartow County along the Etowah River.  Mounds dotted both sides of the river westerly from the area of the Allatoona Dam continuing to Cartersville, Old Alabama Road, Pumpkinvine Creek, Highway 113, Ladd’s Mountain, and Raccoon Creek to Kingston. A smaller number of mounds have been documented as far north as Pine Log. While the Etowah Mounds offer a significant view of these stunning earthen constructions, many of the mounds in Bartow County (and other counties) have largely disappeared due to historic era land modifications and activities, including land clearing, farming, road construction, commercial and residential development, along with erosion that is often spurred by such activities.  However, to the trained eye there remain telltale signs of ancient mounds that simply appear as humps, hills and outcroppings camouflaged in plain sight among trees, weeds, and fields. In other cases, level ground conceals the subsurface remnants of mounds.

Mound Inventory

The earliest known systematic documentation of mounds in Bartow County was conducted by researchers working for the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology Division on Mound Exploration under the supervision of Cyrus Thomas (1891, 1894). The goal was to survey and document mound sites throughout the United States in the late 1800s. In sum, the Smithsonian documented 17 mound and earthwork sites, which consists of 26 earthen mounds, two stone enclosures, a stone mound, and a “vault”.

Anonymous , 1917  Indian Mound on Leake Property, 4 Mi. S.W. of Cartersville. Hu-52, Nov. 1917. Photograph mmg01-0052, State Geologist Photographs and Negative Files, Department of Mines, Mining, and Geology, RG 50-2-33, Georgia Archives, Morrow.

The following mound and earthwork sites in the county were documented during the Smithsonian’s effort:

Table 1. Mound and Earthwork sites documented by Cyrus Thomas (1891, 1894)

Site Name/Reference# of Mounds/ EarthworksGeneral Location
Etowah Group6Tumlin property
Parrott Mound13.5 miles west of Cartersville on north bank of river
Edwards Mound1Opposite Tumlin Farm and Etowah Group on south bank
Ben Akerman Mound17 miles west of Cartersville on east bank of Etowah River
Indian Fort1Summit of Ladd’s Mountain
Conyers Mound1Southeastern part of county on Euharlee Creek
Rowland Mounds*3 or 4South bank of river 4 miles west of Cartersville
Leap Mounds*33 miles west of Cartersville next to Cherokee RR
McGinnis Mound1Community/town of McGinnis
Adairsville Mound & Enclosure1Adairsville
Shellman Mound12 miles east of Stilesborough
Vault12 miles from Stilesborough on William Burgess’s farm
Rock Mound**1Near RR crossing at Pettit’s Creek
One Mound1Northern part of the county on Sim Mumford’s property
Two Mounds2North of Cartersville, site location not reported
Sam’s Mounds3Lewis Sam’s property across from Tumlin

* “Rowland Mounds” currently known as Leake Mounds. “Leap Mounds” likely the same as Rowland Mounds.

**Likely the Shaw Mound

In the late 1930s prior to World War II, Robert Wauchope, an archaeologist then with the University of Georgia, conducted a survey of mounds and other significant American Indian sites in the northern portion of Georgia. Due to the war and his career afterward, his fieldwork was delayed until he returned to complete it in the late 1950s. The results of his work were not published until well after WWII by the Smithsonian Institution in 1966. Wauchope was able to relocate many of the mound sites recorded by the Smithsonian, but not all of them. The following is a list of existing and previously existing American Indian Mississippian Mounds found in Bartow County.

Table 2. Mound and Earthwork sites documented by Wauchope (1966).

Site# of Mounds/ EarthworksNotes
Two Run Creek1between Cass Station and Kingston
Ben Akerman Mound1Smithsonian site near Akerman Ferry on river not relocated
Conyers Mound1Smithsonian site on Euharlee Creek not relocated
Conyers Farm1across from Etowah Mounds, not to be confused with Conyers Mound; may equate to Smithsonian Edwards Mound
Raccoon Creek1On Shellman Farm near Raccoon Creek, likely equates to Thomas’ Shellman Mound
Leak Mounds3South bank of river on Hwy 113 near Ladds Mt
Free Bridge1South bank of river west of Free Bridge, opposite Lewis Mound
Lewis Mound1North bank of river near, opposite Free Bridge Mound
Parrot Mound1Not relocated – corresponds to Thomas’ location for Lewis Mound but mound description differs
Etowah Mounds6North bank of river
Rowland Mounds3Erringly reported as southeast of Cartersville, did not realize it is the same as Leake Mounds
Sam’s Farm3Not relocated, may equate to Smithsonian Lewis Mound
Br-24 (Shaw Mound)1Stone mound at base of Ladds Mountain near quarry
Br-17 (Indian Fort)1Stone wall enclosing summit of Ladds Mountain

Interestingly, Wauchope (1966:xvii) describes how the landscape had changed in the 20 years between his initial fieldwork (1938) and his terminal fieldwork (1958):

I had expected that in twenty years a few old things might have changed, a footpath here or a fence there, perhaps a new highway cutting across my old familiar roads. But I was unprepared for the wholesale changes that had taken place; archaeologically speaking, we were lost most of the time. The old roads were almost all gone, or so improved as to be unrecognizable. New bridges spanned the rivers and creeks, with new approaches from different routes…our survey of the ‘thirties served another purpose: it located sites that might never again have been discovered”.

Even during their survey, the Smithsonian researchers occasionally noted the effects of years of plowing had on reducing the size of the mounds (e.g, Thomas 1884:312). Unfortunately, many of the mounds and earthworks built and used by American Indians in the county unfortunately have been largely erased by historic era activities. For example, the mounds at the Leake site were used for road fill of Highway 113 when it was rerouted to its current location, running directly over one of the mounds. The stone burial mound at the base of Ladd’s Mountain was dismantled, with the stones run through a rock crusher to generate gravel for road building. While the preserved Etowah Mounds are a highly visible reminder of the long history of people in the valley, there are remnants of other mounds across the county that are not visible above ground but rather are still present under the ground surface.

Currently, the repository for the state’s archaeological sites – the Georgia Archaeological Site Files housed at the University of Georgia – lists 19 American Indian mound and earthwork sites in Bartow County. Excluding the 10 mound sites recorded by the Smithsonian that archaeologists have since not been able to relocate on the ground, there are nine mound sites in the county with a known location. We know that the preservation and protection of these places is an important component of honoring an area’s heritage and history, of passing knowledge of the past to the younger generations, of keeping history alive. New technologies, such as ground penetrating radar and magnetometer, now provide archaeologists with powerful tools that can help detect subsurface deposits such as mound and earthworks, and one can only imagine what yet-to-be-developed technology will allow us to identify and learn about these places in the future.  This is all the more reason to preserve and protect the remaining portions of mound and earthwork sites in Bartow County, and to be proactive in conducting archaeological studies prior to land development, for one never knows what bit of history may be hidden beneath our feet.


Although nearly 30 mounds and earthworks once defined the landscape now known as Bartow County, very few of the mounds documented within the county are still visible today. While they may not be visible on the surface, some portions of them may remain below the ground surface, which archaeological investigation can help determine. Far after their active life, these mounds stood as testament to a center of cultural development and interaction, a pilgrimage destination for over 1500 years for American Indians from near and far as they created and built these extraordinary sites.  Due to their historical significance at local, regional, and even national levels, these American Indian sites not only deserve attention, but deserve additional documentation, preservation, and protection.  As more land gets developed within the county, Bartow should promote this American Indian heritage and preserve what remains of these sites to help keep this unique legacy alive so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.

References Cited:

Thomas, Cyrus
 1891   Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains. Bureau of Ethnology Bulletin 12:1-246. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, D.C.

 1894   Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology. Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1890-1891. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington, D.C.

Wauchope, Robert L.
 1966   Archaeological Survey of Northern Georgia. Society for American Archaeology, Memoir 21. University of Utah Printing Service, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Thanks to David Archer, Sam Graham and Jim Langford for their in put.

About the authors:

Scot Keith is a Senior Archaeologist with Southern Research, Historic Preservation Consultants. He is a respected and innovative scientist specializing in Woodland period peoples of the Southeast and Midwestern regions of the United States and collaborates frequently with the Etowah Valley Historical Society.

Joe Head is Vice President of the Etowah Valley Historical Society and retired Dean of Enrollment Services at Kennesaw State University. He lectures, researches and writes frequently about Bartow County history.


In the interest of learning more about the various mounds that were constructed in Bartow County, the EVHS would like to ask if you may have any old family photos that show mounds, or perhaps artifact collections from mound sites that could be used to determine the age and affiliation of mound sites.

4 Way Lunch Memories

Fond high school memories of a local diner enjoyed by generations

By Philip D. Bridges

Located on East Main and Gilmer Street

To wit, 

I can remember eating at the 4-Way after Cartersville High School football games probably around 1968 or so. If I was lucky enough to find an unattended stool, I would sit down and take in the surroundings. My eyes would always drift to the hamburger meat stacked in pyramid fashion in round balls on a platter over the grill. Each round ball of hamburger was soon to be grabbed from the stack and thrown on the grill by the cook to be flattened out by a spatula for the next hamburger order. The hamburger meat would sit out on that platter perhaps for hours in the open air until all orders were filled. Sometimes, I might order a chili dog. Mr Garrison would place several naked hotdogs in the bun onto his arm/wrist and would then scoop up a ladle of chili while holding his arm over the large pot of chili so that the excess chili would return to the pot for use on the next order! Someone once asked Mr Garrison if he could add lettuce and tomato to his hamburger order to which Mr Garrison replied ‘this ain’t no salad bar’! Those patrons that finished eating learned very quickly that no loitering was allowed and were asked to pay and hit the road. One of my friends once requested a bowl of beef stew. When the order was ready, the cook delivered the stew with one hand filled to the brim with the cook’s thumb hanging over the bowl in the stew! There was nothing better than thumb-flavored stew! I don’t recall anyone ever getting sick after a meal at 4-Way. While sitting on a stool at 4-Way with a friend one day, I wondered how many coats of paint might be on the inside wall at the 4-Way. My friend suggested that each coat of paint helped to hold the building up and preserve a landmark! After a fire at the 4-Way caused extensive damage back in the 1990s, the owner decided to repair the damage and add a new coat of paint so that the crooked roof line could be maintained and in order to avoid compliance with the existing building code requirements. 

Jessica Hopkins Daves

Jessica Daves – Cartersville’s Historic Fashionista

Jessica Hopkins Daves
Jessica Daves, editor of Vogue Magazine, 1946-1962

Miss Jessica Hopkins Daves Parker (1894-1974) established an outstanding career as Editor-in-chief of the well-respected international publication Vogue Magazine. Miss Daves taught school in Cartersville (with 1 year in Hawkinsville) from 1911-1920. Then in 1921 at age 27 she made a bold move to New York City to start her career as a copywriter in the fashion industry. 

After several years as advertising and marketing editor in a number of different New York department stores, she gained recognition among the fashion publications society. The then editor enticed Jessica to join the Vogue staff in the marketing department. She served in increasingly responsible positions until she became editor of Vogue (U.S.) from 1946-62 .  Her contributions to the magazine introduced the readers to more content on fashion, home, and entertaining.  Her unique abilities to spot talented photographers and writers are often cited as important improvements in the publication.  After she retired, she continued to work publishing three books with Conde Nest Publications.  

Miss Daves was born and educated in Cartersville, graduating from the West School in 1910 with “First Honor” (now known as valedictorian). She attended Agnes Scott College on a scholarship for just one year, then returned to Cartersville and began her 9-year teaching career.  Some of her descendants continue to live in Cartersville. She and her husband Robert Allerton Parker are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. For more information read the full article.

Jessica Daves: Bartow’s Historic Fashionista

Editor-in-Chief, Vogue Magazine, 1952-62.

By Debbie Head, March 2021

(The inspiration for this article came while looking through the EVHS website for Women’s History Month ideas. There was a one-sentence description containing the name Jessica Daves indicating her position as editor of Vogue. I wanted to know more. In April 1997 EVHS, Professor DeDe Yow from Kennesaw State University presented a program on Miss Daves to the EVHS Membership. The focus here is to provide a deeper, more intimate look at the Cartersville roots of Miss Jessica Daves.)

Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine from 1952-1962. (The World of Vogue, 1963)

Jessica Hopkins Daves (1894-1974) ventured from Cartersville, GA to New York City and thrived through some of the most difficult times in US history.  Her intellect, her skill, her strength, and determinedness must have made her career possible. 

Jessica Daves grew up in Cartersville, taught school, and ultimately chased her dream. She spent her well-respected career and life in New York City where she socialized with the rich and famous of the times. She still has family in Cartersville who remember visiting her in New York.

Her Background

Having spent her childhood in Cartersville, Georgia, living on Market Street (now Cherokee Ave) and Erwin Street among her educated family with 6 siblings, Jessica was an exceptional student and perhaps a popular socialite in town. 

She was most definitely an accelerated student, graduating from the West School in Cartersville (sometimes known as Westside School in the old Sam Jones Female Academy) at age 16. 

With graduation exercises at the Sam Jones Tabernacle on May 25, 1910, Jessica graduated, along with her older sister Emily, in a class of only 11 students. The graduating class consisted of 9 young women and 2 young men. Quoting from a local paper, “Miss Jessie Daves, the First Honor of her class, delivered the valedictory bidding her class and school mates a fond and impressive farewell adieu.  Miss Daves is one of the youngest members of her class and deserved much credit for taking the highest honor of her class.”  (Cartersville News, “Graduating Exercises Were Interesting,” June 2, 1910.)

After high school graduation, she enrolled at Agnes Scott College in Dekalb County, GA on a one-year Federation scholarship for the academic year 1910-11. In a short personal interest article from a news clipping the author stated that she was “one of Cartersville’s brightest young ladies and we predict for her future honors.” (Cartersville News, Sept. 15, 1910). 

Her Career Start

After her Agnes Scott studies, Miss Daves returned to Cartersville in 1911 where she taught briefly at the West School, but primarily she taught the lower grades at the East school during her teaching career (1911-1920).  Resources indicate she taught first, second and third grades during her teaching profession. 

In the summer of 1913, Jessica attended the Summer Normal School in Euharlee.  Euharlee provided the classrooms as well as dormitories for the students at forty cents per day.  To help teachers get to the school, Euharlee school administrators arranged for pick up from the train depot in Stilesboro. Even back then, the Cartersville and Bartow education systems were focused on making better teachers.  The Normal School lasted for 4 weeks and instructors were brought in to help teachers learn to teach better and become current with the newest curriculum.  Miss Daves may have taken courses that included domestic classes taught by representatives from the State College of Agriculture. Ms. Daves was commended in the Cartersville News for attending. (By definition: Normal Schools are classes provided to improve teacher and prospective teacher skills.) (Cartersville News, “Summer Normal School at Euharlee,” May 8, 1913; May 28, 1913)

It appears that continuing education was an expectation in Jessica’s profession. Once again, she and another teacher traveled to Knoxville, TN to attend a summer training institute in 1915. Perhaps her aptitude for learning served her well in her career as a copywriter and editor.

She also served as an assistant at the Emerson school and even taught in Hawkinsville, GA for just a couple of months in 1918 until their schools were suspended. (perhaps due to the Spanish Flu?) (Bartow Tribune, October 17, 1918) Newspaper articles suggest that she must have returned to Hawkinsville to finish the school year. (Bartow Tribune, June 26, 1919)

From the newspaper articles that list the faculty for each school year, it appears she continued to teach until 1920, giving her a total of 9 years as a teacher in Cartersville.  In 1921, as an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary, Jessie Daves is recognized as one of the members “coming to the rescue of the High School and securing the necessary books for its library to keep the school on the accredited list.” (Bartow Tribune,“Supt. Evans Very Grateful for Response,” January 13, 1921)

But teaching was not her professional goal.  In July 1920, Jessica made a 3-month visit to Detroit where she stayed with her uncle J.P. Daves.  According to one news report, she accepted a position in Detroit, Michigan as a copywriter for a short time, but then in February 1921 she visited her Aunt Jessie in NYC and while there she found her niche.  (Pou, 1970)

In February 1921 (just after World War I and at age 27), she moved to New York where she enrolled in an advertising/copywriting course. After completing her course, she began work at the Best & Company where she remained for 3 years.  She continued to develop her skill and joined the Kurzman Shop as an advertising writer and director of fashion. In her next career move she was a fashion promoter at Saks Fifth Avenue.  She was beginning to receive recognition as something of a fashion expert in the very competitive and close group of fashion reporters and designers.(Tuite, 2019.)

Introduction to Vogue

In 1928, Edna Woolman Chase, a widely celebrated Vogue editor-in- chief, convened a group of well-known women inviting Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Arden, Edith Head, Helena Rubinstein and others including Jessica for a tea. And in 1930 that group of powerful women would eventually evolve into the Fashion Group International that served to keep current on trends and generate ideas for upcoming fashion shows, publications, writing and art. (

Even as her career was moving quickly, Miss Daves married Robert Allerton Parker on December 20, 1930 and they lived on Park Avenue in New York.  Mr. Parker was also an accomplished writer and authored 3 books, along with being secretary of the Pulitzer Prize board. (

Jessica’s move to Vogue came when Ms. Chase requested her to join the magazine as a shoe merchandise editor in 1933. Within 3 years, she was promoted to managing editor where she served for 10 years before once again being tapped as editor in 1943. (

Her accomplishments as Editor-in-Chief

Even though Mrs. Chase officially remained editor-in-chief of Vogue US, France and Italy, Jessica was the managing editor of Vogue U.S. on a daily basis.  In 1952 (at age 58) Jessica was appointed as Editor-in-chief, making her only the second female editor in the history of the magazine. (Tuite) Jessica continued her conservative and business-minded leadership of the popular magazine.  One example of her conservatism is she continued the Vogue campaigns started under editor Chase condemning open-toe shoes for women in the 1950s, even if the Queen of England was wearing them. (Pou, 1970.)

Jessica focused not only on publishing the latest fashion trends, but also in bringing intellectual information to her readers.  She continued displays of fashion that were deemed high designer fashion and priced as such, but she provided the “low” end so her readers could find similar looks at much more affordable prices.  (Pou, 1970.)

She sought to open the western USA market with the California sportswear style and expanded the fashion arena for a more casual look. In a way, her attention and promotion (as well as that of others, of course) of the ready-to-wear market facilitated the use of sewing machines across the country creating new jobs and accessible clothes.  Fabric was ordered in huge quantities creating another economic impact. For example, Jessica stated “one company would buy ‘as a starter’, 20,000 yards of one fabric – eleven and one-third miles, or about a quarter of a mile shorter than Manhattan Island.” (Pou, 1970.)

Her creation of a store guide educated readers on the available sources for the clothes presented in the magazine.  Eventually she answered the readers’ desire for home and interior fashion along with the “ready-to-wear” accessibility.  

Jessica exemplified a keen sense for recognizing photographers, writers and artists.  Her Vogue tenure ventured into a myriad of topics including celebrity photos (including Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe).  She was professionally recognized by being awarded The French Legion of Honor in 1959, the Italian Order of Merit, Who’s Who in America and was the only woman in Esquire’s Decisive Dozen in 1960. (Pou, 1970.)

Her career gave her access to highly influential designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves St. Laurent, and Christian Dior with whom she was friends and colleagues. (Pou, 1970.) 

“Chanel says she loves Jessica Daves. “I put off my vacation to have lunch with her, because that was the only day she was free.” Mark Shaw, Fashion Photography, on Liz O’Brien site.

Not so retiring

After almost 30 years at Vouge, she did not walk away from her love of fashion and writing.  In her retirement years, she worked at Conde Nest, authored “Ready-Made Miracle: The Story of American Fashion for the ‘Millions” as well as co-authoring 2 additional books: “The Vogue Book of Menus and Recipes”, and “The World in Vogue.”

Additionally, she started and co-authored with Candance A. VanAlen a newspaper column called “The Sophisticated Slant,” in the Chicago Tribune. She continued her work and speaking at the Fashion Group International. She served as president of the fashion-focused organization from 1964-65. (

Influential Through the Times

So, from Cartersville to New York City, Jessica Daves influenced national, even international, fashion lovers, readers and associates with her leadership, decision making, style and taste in fashion and publications.  The background for her illustrious career included World War I, the Spanish Flu pandemic, the Great Depression, World War l l, the Korean War, the free-styling 60s and the Vietnam War  It may be noted that the 1950s are especially exemplary and enviable for style and these were the years that Jessica was at the helm of the very popular and respected Vogue magazine. Many of her accomplishments and creations are still in use in the fashion iconic magazine.

Cartersville is Proud

The Cartersville local papers reflected in many articles just how proud the citizens were of Jessica.  In The Bartow Tribune on February 1921, a brief paragraph relays the fact the she was bound for New York to stay with her aunt Jessie Hopkins, a librarian, as she prepared to learn advertising copy. Then in April of 1921, another article in The Bartow Tribune expresses how pleased all of Jessica’s friends are to learn that she was a member of the Best & Co advertising department.  In December 1921, Miss Jessie Daves’ promotion was touted in The Bartow Tribune.  One of her advertising copies was printed in The New York Times according to the Bartow Tribune “occupying six full columns, this space costing not less than one thousand dollars for the one insertion. The type is hand-lettered, while the drawings are exceptionally attractive, all of it being the work of this Cartersville girl, who has made good with a rush.” (The Bartow Tribune, December 1, 1921) And in 1923, while employed with Best & Company, Jessica sailed to Paris and other European cities to learn more about her fashion passion The Bartow Tribune reported.

There are articles too numerous to include that relayed the social and professional activities and energy of Miss Daves.

Her Family and Cartersville Connections

If family environment is influential in the outcomes of children, then Jessica came from an outstanding family, and she did not disappoint them in her achievements.  Her maternal grandfather, Isaac Stiles Hopkins (1841-1914), was not only a Methodist minister and physics professor, but served as president of Emory University from which he graduated and then, as first president of Georgia Tech (1888-1896).  The entrance gate at Emory University still honors Rev. Hopkins with one of the pillars named in his honor.

Her father Walter Weaks Daves (1864-1945) was an educator originally from Louisiana who was recruited from his teaching position in Texas to be the professor at East Cartersville Institute in 1886.  A short time later, he was enticed to become Superintendent of the Cartersville Schools from 1891 to 1906. He also patented in 1903 a type of door or gate latch that was superior to spring latches.(

An interesting occurrence in local newspapers of the day was the reporting of who was moving where within the city.  There are several mentions of the Daves family moving from one location to another due to their home being sold by its owner or someone else was moving so they moved to another location.  (Courant American, “Moving Time, November 12, 1896; Cartersville News, March 11, 1915)

Her grandmother Mary Hinton Hopkins (1881) and mother Annie Hopkins Daves (1868) both graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. (A side note: it seems Annie Hopkins met her future husband- Jessica’s father- while Dr. Hopkins was president of Emory at Oxford and where Mr. Daves graduated with First Honor.) 

One of Jessica’s brothers, Francis Daves, graduated from Georgia Tech as an architect and designed the Atlanta Westminster schools as well as the current (1953) Cartersville High School. The design by Francis Daves is now covered by the additions made to the high school, but his work is still there.  (Dede Yow presentation, EVHS Members Meeting, 1997.)  

Woman at the Well Stained Glass Jessica and her siblings donated $100 each to Sam Jones Church to purchase a stained-glass window in memory of Walter and Annie Hopkins Daves. The window is the Woman at the Well. The windows were purchased around 1945.

Her sister Emily Daves Pittman has family who continue to thrive in Cartersville and are members of Sam Jones Church. 

A Bartow Favorite Daughter

While the Jessica Daves name may not yet be familiar, she is a product of Bartow County of whom Bartow can and should be proud.  She carried her religious upbringing, her intellect, her education and her skills of leadership, business and writing that she learned as a young lady in Cartersville with her to New York and beyond. 

One of her great, great nieces, Ryann Ferguson, in her blogpost sums up her aunt quite well with “In fact, I feel certain Annee never hid behind anything in her life. She was the one who always said, “Don’t worry about what the dress code for an event is. If you wear a hat, a hat is the dress code. If you are casual, the dress code is casual. What you’re wearing is what everyone else should be wearing.”

Another family story from Ms. Burgess is that Miss Daves wore hats day and night because her hair was unruly.  Hats were normally only worn during the day.

Jessica passed away in 1974 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Cartersville along with her husband who died in 1970.  Her funeral was at Methodist Christ Church, Park Avenue and 60th Street in New York.  (Gravesites may be found in Oak Hill Cemetery, Section 12, Row 5, 188)

Jessica Daves Parker Gravestone Robert Allerton Parker Gravestone

For further reading, there is a newly published book (2019) by Rebecca C. Tuite that provides detailed information about the Jessica Daves Years at Vogue: 1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years, 1952-62.


In any situation, it takes a team to make something happen.  As with this paper, many helped research, edit, correct, find photos, make copies among other activities. Thank you to each one of you.

  • A very special thank you to Mr. Sam Graham for his research in locating and providing the newspaper articles used.
  • A gracious thank you and hug to Margaret Mathison, an accomplice, researcher and collaborator on sleuthing out many family connections, historic pieces and walking the city in search of homesites for this article.
  • Joe Head, not only VP of EVHS, is a premier researcher/writer and encourager who helped ferret out details on Jessica Daves that had not been found before.
  • Thank you to Patty Worley, genealogical researcher, who dug out census records, death records and grave sites along with some family history. 

Works Cited

Bartow Tribune, “School Teachers Assigned to Duty,” August 27, 1914

Bartow Tribune, “Children Respond to call to “Books.”, September 7, 1916.

Bartow Tribune, Personals, August 22, 1918.

Bartow Tribune, Locals and Personals, October 17, 1918.

Bartow Tribune, “Teachers Chosen for Next Year,” June 6, 1919.

Bartow Tribune, Personals, June 26, 1919.

Bartow Tribune, “City Schools Open Monday Morning at 8:30,” September 4, 1919.

Bartow Tribune, “Supt. Evans is Very Grateful for Response,” January 13, 1921.

Bartow Tribune, Untitled, February 17, 1921.

Bartow Tribune, “Miss Daves Making Good in New York,” April 14, 1921.

Bartow Tribune, “Miss Jessie Daves Wins Promotion,” December 1, 1921.

Bartow Tribune, “Miss Daves Goes to Paris,” May 10, 1923.

Cartersville News, “West School Building” photo. October 28, 1909

Cartersville News, “Closing Exercises of the Public Schools’, May 26, 1910.

Cartersville News, “Graduating Exercises were Interesting,” June 2, 1910.

Cartersville News, “Woman and Society,” June 29, 1911.

Cartersville News, Personals, January 4, 1912.

Cartersville News, “Teachers for Public Schools for Ensuing Years are Elected,” June 12, 1913.

Cartersville News, “Summer Normal School at Euharlee”, May 8, 1913.

Cartersville News, untitled, May 29, 1913.

Cartersville News, “Teachers for the City’s Public Schools,” July 10, 1913.

Cartersville News, Personals, March 11, 1915.

Cartersville News, untitled, June 24, 1915.

Courant American, “Moving Time,” November 12, 1896

Daves, Jessica, Ready-Made Miracle: The Story of American Fashion for the ‘Millions, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1967.

Daves, Jessica, et al, The Word In Vogue, The Viking Press, 1963.

Daves, Jessica et al, The Vogue Book of Menus and Recipes for Entertaining at Home. Conde Nest Publications, 1964.

Daves, Walter Weaks. “Latch” Patent 745,042, November 24, 1903.

“Dressed: The History of Fashion”. Podcast. Interview with Rebecca C. Tuite, July 21,2020

Etowah Valley Historical Society, Newsletter, Volume 25, 1997, pg. 6 “Dede Yow Presentation”’t-even-get-free-subscription.html?m=1

Felner, Jeffrey, “1950s in Vogue: The Jessica Daves Years, 1952-62”  (a book review)

Hedge, Laurel, “Before Anna “,, Anonymous reply June 1, 2010.

Herald Tribune Obituary, “Parker,” September 26, 1974.

Pou, Genevieve, “Her World of Fashion,” Atlanta Constitution, September 13, 1970.

Tuite, Rebecca C., The Jessica Daves Years, 1952-62 (London: Thames & Hudson, 2019)

U.S. Census, 1900, 1910, 1920. 

Whitman, Alden, “Jessica Daves of Vogue is Dead; Favored Ready to Wear Trend” The New York Times. September 24, 1974


Please enjoy these family stories as shared by nieces of Miss Jessica Hopkins Daves Parker.

Phone Interview/Conversation with Mrs. Lelia Pittman Crowe Johnson. March 7, 2021

She knew her Aunt Jessica as Annee at Jessica’s request.

When Lelia was a young married woman, she visited Jessica in New York. Jessica introduced her to the Vogue staff, gave her tours around New York City and of course Lelia stayed in the Park Avenue apartment.  Lelia recalls that Jessica sent a beautiful red velvet dress for Christmas one year, but it was about “4 sizes too small.”  Mrs. Johnson thinks Jessica’s secretary picked it out with no idea of what size would fit!

Mrs. Johnson remembers her as a strong woman. 

Phone Conversation with Emily Ferguson Burgess (great niece of Jessica).  March 7, 2021

  • Emily recalls many visits to New York to visit with her Annee.  Jessica took Emily to the Cosmopolitan Club for dinner with Ann Ford (Ford Modeling Agency). Although Emily knew her manners, she had not experienced a fork and a spoon at the top of her place setting until that time.  
  • There is a family story that Miss Daves was born Jessie Hopkins Daves, but later changed her name to Jessica after her niece Mary Jessica Pittman was born in 1926.
  • During the World Fair 1960-61, Jessica let Emily’s family stay in the 1040 Park Avenue Apartment while she went to the Country (The Hamptons.)
  • Emily recalls a gallon size of Channel #5 on Jessica’s dresser, a gift from Coco Chanel.

From a brief meeting (March 10, 2021) with Ms Emily Burgess where she graciously shared the books, letters and stories of her aunt Annee.

  • In a cute story shared by great niece Emily Burgess, Jessica sent a car to meet her at the airport with a driver who took her to the apartment building. The driver asked Emily if she were there to visit the Roosevelts.
  • A beautiful picture frame on Jessica’s wall had a piece missing and Emily’s father Jim Ferguson offered to fix it for Jessica. With a little glue, he was able to restore the frame. It turns out it was a gift from Helena Rubinstein to Jessica.

See photo below of the inside cover of Jessica’s book, The World In Vogue, that she autographed and sent to her niece Mary Jessica Pittman Ferguson (mother of Emily Burgess) in 1963.

Partial Copy of patent awarded W.W. Daves in 1903. W.W.Daves Patent

Entradas and Exchange

Entradas and Exchange: De Soto, Etowah, and Patterns of Early European-Mississippian Trade


Matthew Gramling


Hernando DeSoto

The importance of exchange to the survival of Hernando De Soto’s entrada into the US southern interior cannot be understated.[1] As De Soto’s army marched through the diverse and dynamic world of the late Mississippian South, they depended heavily upon the network of Native chiefdoms they encountered for supplies and labor. De Soto and his men often had to engage in the complex rituals of diplomacy and exchange that characterized Mississippian political life in order to obtain such provisions. Through accommodating to Mississippian norms and occasionally interblending their own European traditions of exchange, the Spaniards were effectively able to engage, and if need be outmaneuver, their Native counterparts in order to procure the necessities for their continued expedition. De Soto would often enter into the principal town of a local chiefdom and exchange verbal promises and gifts for food, tamemes, and enslaved female captives.[2] Diplomacy was not the only form of exchange by which relations were established and Native goods and services were procured. Occasionally, trade would take precedence. The Spaniards would sometimes barter European goods for Indian chattel. These kinds of exchange represent the first strands of a great tie which would bind Natives and Europeans to one another as major actors in their respective histories and bind each society in the ever-shifting dynamics of sovereignty and empire that characterized the colonial Southeast.[3] One of the encounters between De Soto and the Mississippian Indians which best foreshadows these later developments occurred during De Soto’s encampment at the town of Itaba –located at the present day Etowah Indian Mounds–for more than a week in the summer of 1540. The Spaniards engaged in trade negotiations with the local populace of Itaba, bartering mirrors and knives for enslaved Indian women. As such, the Spanish-Mississippian exchange at Itaba represents the seeds of a pattern of European-Indian exchange that would develop into a vast trade economy which would transform the Mississippian world. The exchange of Spanish goods for Indian slaves at Itaba demonstrates the profound significance of exchange to Late Mississippian political culture and how European goods would enhance and transform Native perceptions of power. The Itaba exchange also exhibits the nature and role of slavery in Mississippian society, as well as acts as a prelude in miniature for the Indian slave trade of late seventeenth century. Thus, the trade negotiation at Itaba heralds many of the patterns of exchange that would create the Mississippian Shatter Zone of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

On August 20, 1540, after spending almost a month at the paramount town of Coosa, De Soto descended with his army out of the Coosawattee basin of the Blue Ridge Mountain and headed southwest in search of  the chiefdom of Tazcaluza.[4] They travelled for three days, passing through the abandoned Indian town of Talimuchisi near present-day Pine Log before arriving at night and amidst heavy rains at the town of Itaba .[5]  These rains had caused the section of the Etowah River near the town to run hard and swell its banks, thus making it unfordable. With no easy or ready means to bypass this obstacle, De Soto had his men bivouac at Itaba and wait until the floods of the river subsided. Itaba was described by the Spanish as a large town subject to the paramount chiefdom of Coosa.[6] Yet, a century earlier Itaba (or Etowah) was the power center of the Lower Ridge and Valley. Throughout much of the Middle Mississippian Period (900-1350 A.D.), Etowah had been the paramount chiefdom of the region, dominating much of Etowah Valley into Eastern Alabama.[7] Possessing one of the largest platform mounds in North America, Etowah has produced some of the most extraordinary Mississippian artifacts.[8] Etowah reached its zenith of complexity and influence between 1250 and 1375.[9] Subsequently, the Etowah was attacked and its palisade and temples were razed to the ground.[10] The site then lay abandoned for nearly a century.[11] By the time De Soto arrived there, Etowah had only been reoccupied for about 75 years and was a minor mound center under the hegemony of Coosa.[12]

Artist’s conception of the Mississippian Village of Itaba (Etowah)

De Soto’s army spent nine days at Itaba waiting for the floodwaters of the Etowah to subside. While encamped there, the Spaniards engaged in trade with some of the local Natives, bartering European-made knives and mirrors for enslaved Indian women. While at first glance appearing to be a minor moment in De Soto’s entrada through the Native Southeast, the Itaba exchange provides profound insight into the importance of exchange to Mississippian political life and its foundational role in European-Indian interaction throughout the history of the colonial Southeast. The late Mississippian world which Itaba inhabited was marked by intense competition between highly stratified chiefdoms in which power was rooted in a sacred cosmology which undergirded and legitimized Mississippian political order.[13] Mississippian cosmology perceived reality through the lens of a three-tiered cosmos and was characterized by rituals centered on world renewal through the exercise of spiritual and ceremonial power.[14] Associated with this cosmology was a sacred iconography which imbued images and objects which possessed symbolic connections to this three-tiered cosmos with sacred power.[15]

 This three-tiered cosmos was composed of three worlds, each possessing its own distinctive character: the Upper World, This World, and the Lower World.[16] The Upper World was the home of spiritually potent beings such as the Sun, Moon, Thunderers, and legendary creatures such as sacred birds like raptors.[17] It was also marked by purity and perfect order. The Lower World was the realm of fish, amphibians, and reptiles and was characterized by infertility and disorder. It was also the dwelling place of fearsome monsters such as the Underwater Panther and Great Serpent.[18] Between these worlds was This World–the home of animals, plants, and humans.[19] Upper and Lower Worlds were inaccessible to humans, especially ordinary people who lacked the ritual and spiritual power to intervene in the Upper and Lower Worlds.[20] Mississippian chiefs, however, asserted they possessed the ability to transcend the bounds of This World and maintain order in the cosmos.  The central locus where chiefs exercised this cosmic power was the town, the basic political and social unit of Mississippian chiefdoms.[21] 

Accordingly, the greater access a chief had to sacred objects the greater prestige, security, and autonomy he and his community possessed.[22] The principal means by which these prestige goods were obtained was through the complex dynamics of exchange. Diplomatic gifts were among the most prominent and powerful forms of exchange used by Mississippian communities. Gift between chiefs established, renewed, and reinforced bonds of amity, reciprocity, and mutual obligation between communities.[23] Purpose of gifts is to foster interpersonal relationships, one in which the recipient often becomes indebted to the giver.[24] As such, gifts could function as a means of conferring or reinforcing the power of the giver and the recipient.[25] The gifts exchanged between chiefs were sacred prestige goods whose rarity often signified the power of the giver and recipient. [26] In return for continued fealty and tribute, paramount chiefs would often present sub-chiefs with items which would reinforce their power over their respective communities.

 Such gifts demonstrate how the power of the foreign provided legitimacy and support to authority and political status of chiefs and their communities.[27] Chiefs would sometimes enter into multiple exchange relationships with rival chiefdoms in order to leverage one against the other and cause them to compete for friendship and influence.[28] Occasionally, chiefs capitalized on this competition and were able to advance the power, status, and autonomy of their communities at the expense of their exchange partners. The arrival of Europeans provided new opportunities for exchange and enabled ambitious chiefs to obtain greater independence from, if not authority over, their old chiefly overlords. Natives would often enlist these newcomers in aiding them in advancing their local ambitions especially against old political rivals.

 Europeans like De Soto not only brought their force of arms into Mississippian exchange dynamics, they also carried European goods with them which their Native exchange partners would use as prestige goods to enhance their status and influence. The introduction of European goods into Mississippian dynamics of exchange also planted the seeds of profound change in Native society. Exchange in European goods, especially trade, democratized access to prestige goods and would gradually erode the chiefly monopoly on spiritual power, thus leading to a slow reorganization of Mississippian society. The Itaba exchange provides a glimpse into early European-Indian patterns of exchange as well as foreshadows the influence that trade in European goods would have upon Mississippian culture and society. The Spaniards’ bartering of knives and mirrors at Etowah and the Native interest in them as prestige goods heralds the inception of what would become a vast network of exchange in which European and Indian communities would increasingly be bound in a web of mutual influence and interest.

The Itaba exchange also possesses considerable import for European-Indian patterns of exchange in demonstrating the nature and role of slavery in Mississippian society and presaging the dynamics of exchange which would typify the Indian slave trade during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Native slavery had existed for millennia by the time De Soto had arrived at Itaba. Native slavery was intricately bound up in the patterns of warfare and violence in Indian society.  Slaves in Native society were almost exclusively war captives. During the Mississippian Period, the presence of highly centralized and competitive chiefdoms meant warfare and violent death rate increased dramatically. Mississippian warfare was an essential element in securing a community’s political and material needs.[29] Chief engaged hegemonic warfare in order to gain power over the resources and labor of rival chiefdom.[30] Warriors would often steal or destroy an enemy’s food supply and seize prestige goods which often included captives.[31] As noted above, prestige goods were integral to chiefly spiritual power by providing tangible proofs of his relationship to sacred distance.[32] As such, captives served as spiritually potent prestige goods because as foreigners they were living objects which represented a chief’s mastery of the outside world.[33]As with other prestige goods, captives demonstrated a chief’s knowledge of the world beyond his chiefdom and ritual power to harness the supernatural and thus ensure success in diplomacy, war, and agriculture.[34] Thus, captives were an integral component in preserving Mississippian social order. In accords with their status as living prestige goods, captive slaves were valuable objects of exchanges especially if they were women. The gifting of captive women between old or new exchange partners was full of symbolism representing peace, fertility, and the giving of life in an otherwise violent world.[35]

On several occasions during De Soto’s entrada, the Spaniards exchanged diplomatic promises with Native chiefs for enslaved Indian women as sex slaves and laborers.[36] While possessing several similarities, the Itaba exchange distinguishes itself as an act of trade over diplomacy. Spaniards and their Native counterparts at Itaba bartered and haggled their respective prestige goods. Each sought an equal exchange of the commodities they possessed. The Indians desired Spanish mirrors and knives, which potentially possessed considerable spiritual power and consequent enhancement of social status. The Spanish sought female captives to satisfy their carnal inclinations and need for Native labor. As such, the Itaba exchange foreshadows the dynamics of exchange which characterize Indian slave trade of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century. The arrival of the English in the colonial Southeast in the late eighteenth century brought yet another European exchange partner to the political table as well as provoked considerable change in the dynamics of European-Indian interaction. The burgeoning plantation society of English South Carolina were desperate for deerskins and Indian labor and Native communities were glad to supply them in exchange for an ever-increasing list of European, cloth, tools, and weapons.[37]

Exchange was foundational to all early European-Indian contacts in North America.[38] De Soto’s entrada brought Europeans and Southeastern Indian into sustained contact for the first time and planted the seeds of a pattern and network of exchange which would bind Indian town and colonial settlement into the political and commercial region known as the colonial Southeast. Exchanges such as those which took place at Etowah demonstrate the ways in which Europeans and Indians asserted and accommodate their traditions of exchange and foreshadowed considerable transformation in Native society in the face of European colonization and trade. The European presence would bring with it conquest, disease, and commerce which would disrupt the hierarchical world of Mississippian chiefdoms and transform Native society into a more egalitarian realm of council houses, elders, and powerful confederations of Indian towns. In turn, this new Native world was far more adapted to both resisting and shaping the course of European empire in the colonial South.

[1]An entrada, or entry, was a Spanish expedition of military reconnaissance and conquest into the interior of a region.

[2] Tamemes were Native porters or laborers.

[3]  Joseph M. Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts: Indian-European Exchange in the Colonial Southeast (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 10.

[4] Gentleman of Elvas, ‘‘True Relation of the Hardships Suffered by Governor Don Hernando de Soto and Certain Portuguese Gentlemen in the Discovery of the Province of Florida,’’ trans. and ed. James Alexander Robertson with footnotes and updates by John H. Hann in The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539–1543, ed. Lawrence A. Clayton, Vernon James Knight Jr., and Edward C. Moore, 2 vols. (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1993), 1: 94.

[5]Rodrigo Rangel, ‘‘Account of the Northern Conquest and Discovery of Hernando de Soto,’’ trans. and ed. John E. Worth, in The De Soto Chronicles: The Expedition of Hernando de Soto to North America in 1539–1543, ed. Lawrence A. Clayton, Vernon James Knight Jr., and Edward C. Moore, 2 vols. (Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1993), 1:284.

 Elvas refers to Itaba as Ytau.

[6] Rangel, ‘‘Account,” 1: 284.

[7]Eric Everett Bowne, Mound Sites of the Ancient South: a Guide to the Mississippian Chiefdoms (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2013), 155-156.

[8]Bowne, Mound Sites, 147.

[9]Bowne, Mound Sites, 155.

[10]Bowne, Mound Sites, 156.

[11]Bowne, Mound Sites, 156.

[12]Bowne, Mound Sites, 157. 

[13] Christina Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country: the Changing Face of Captivity in Early America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 2012), 15-16.

[14]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[15]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2. Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[16] Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[17]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[18]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[19]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[20]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 16.

[21]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.

[22]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.

[23]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.

[24]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 7.

[25]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.

[26]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 7.

[27]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.

[28]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.

[29]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 29.

[30]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 30.

[31]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 30.

[32]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 27.

[33]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 26.

[34]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 27.

[35]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 37.

[36]Snyder, Slavery in Indian Country, 37.

[37]Hall, Zamumo’s Gifts, 2.