An Overland Journey to the West
(October - December 1837)
by B. B. Cannon, Conductor
Note from transcriber. I have transcribed this exactly
as written.. Notice he uses Caps whenever he wishes (g).. Next Installment
will begin with Nov. 1st.. gets more interesting and more names are
mentioned.. more sickness starts setting in. I have read and been told, that
the bacon was actually more fat-back.. Indians were use to a more lean and
vegetable diet. And clean running water. Cherokees were very
accustomed to water many times a day, bathing, healing as well as drinking.
Most of the emigrants left with very little or no personal
belongings. Few clothes and some with no shoes. (his word and spelling is left intact)
Journal kept by B. B. Cannon, Conductor of a party of
Emigrating Cherokee Indians, put in his charge at the Cherokee Agency East,
by Gen. N. Smith, Superintendent of Cherokee Removals, on the 13th day of
Oct. 13, 1837
Sent waggons to the Indian encampment and commenced loading in the evening.
Oct. 14, 1837
Completed loading the waggons and crossed the Highwassie river at Calhoun,
encamped at 5:00 P.M.
Oct. 15, 1837
Marched the party at 8 O'C A.M. halted and encamped at Spring Creek at
11:O'C A.M. where Genl. Smith mustered the party, which consumed the
remainder of the day. 5 miles today.
Oct. 16, 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M., halted and encamped at Kelly's ferry on the Tennessee
river at 4 O'C P.M. Issued corn and fodder, corn meal & bacon. 14 miles
Oct. 17, 1837
Commenced ferrying the Tennessee river at 8 O'C A.M., after having been
detained until the sun dispelled the fog - every thing being in readiness to
commence at day light. completed ferrying at 4 O'C P.M. and reached
little Richland creek at 8 O'C P.M. where the party had been directed to
halt and encamp. Issued corn & fodder. 7 miles today.
Oct. 18, 1837
Marched at 71/2 O'C A.M. One of the provision waggons oversat, detained a
half hour. No damage done. Ascended Wallens ridge, (the ascent 2
miles) halted at Ragsdale's 1 1/2 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn and
fodder - corn meal & bacon. 10 miles further to water, all wearied
getting up the mountain. 5 miles today.
Oct. 19, 1837
Marched at 7 1/2 O'CA.M. descended from the mountain, halted at 2 O'C P.M.
at Sequachee river near Mr. Springs. Issued corn & fodder. 11
1/2 miles today.
Oct. 20, 1837
Marched at 6 O'C A.M. ascended the Cumberland Mountain, halted at M.
Flemings, 3/4 past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal &
Bacon. 14 1/2 miles today.
Oct. 21, 1837
Marched at 7 1/2 O'C A.M. descended the mountain, halted at Collins river, 4
1/4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder, the Indians appear fatigued
this evening. 13 miles today - road extremely rough.
Oct. 22, 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. passed through McMinnville, halted at Mr. Booths 1/2
past 12 O'C M encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal & Bacon, Sugar
and coffee to the Waggoners and Interpreters. No water for 12 miles
ahead. Procured a quantity of corn meal and bacon today. 7 1/2
miles today. ( I would like to remark here that all supplies, both of forage
and subsistance, were purchased contracted for on the way west by a
contracting agent, and paid for on my request by Doct. Reynolds, the
Disbursing Agent for the Party.)
Oct. 23rd 1837
Marched at 6 1/2 O'C A.M. Capt. Prigmore badly hurt by a waggon horse
attempting to run away. Halted at Stones river near Woodbury -
1/2 past 4 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn & fodder. 20 miles today.
Oct. 24th 1837
Marched at 7 1/2 O'C A.M. halted at Mr. Yearwoods 4 O'C P.M. rained last
night and today. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal and bacon. 15 miles
Oct. 25th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. buried Andrew's child at 1/2 past 9 O'C A.M. passed
through Murfreesborough, halted at Overall's creek, 4 O'C P.M. encamped and
issued corn and fodder. 14 miles today.
Oct. 26th 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. passed through tree turnpike Gates, halted at Mr.
Harris 3 O'C P.M. encamped ant issued corn and fodder, corn meal and bacon.
16 1/2 miles today.
Oct. 27th 1837
Marched at 7 1/2 O'C A.M. passed through two Turnpike gates, and crossed the
Cumberland river on the Nashville toll bridge at Nashville, halted at Mr.
Putnams 1/2 past 3 O'C P.M. encamped and issued corn and fodder. Isaac
Walker and emigrant belonging to the Party, over took us - Mr. L. A.
Kincannon, contracting agent, left us and returned home, having on the way,
near McMinnville, signified his intentions, verbally, to do so, assigning as
the reason the delicate situation of his health. - 13 miles today.
Oct. 28th 1837
Rested for the purpose of washing clothes, repairing waggons, and shoeing
horses - Reese, Starr and others of the emigrants visited Genl. Jackson who
was at Nashville. Issued corn & fodder, corn meal and bacon.
Assigned Mr. E. S. Curry to supply the place of Mr. Kincannon.
Oct. 29th 1837
Marched at 8 1/2 O'C A. M. halted at Long creek 1/2 past 2 O'C P.M. encamped
and issued corn and fodder - 13 1/2 miles today.
Oct. 30th 1837
Marched at 7 1/2 O'C A.M., halted at Little red river 1/2 past 5 O'C P.M.
encamped and issued corn & fodder, corn meal & Bacon. 18 1/2 miles
Oct. 31st 1837
Marched at 8 O'C A.M. halted at Graves, Ken (tucky) 3 O'C P.M. issued corn &
fodder. 16 miles today.
Thanks to Jackie Smith for transcribing this
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Source: National Archives, Office of Indian Affairs, "Cherokee Emigration"
C-553 - "Special File 249" Transcribed and edited by: E. Raymond Evans
Published in the Cherokee Journals " The Removal of the Cherokees".