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Massacre at Cavett's Station: Frontier Tennessee during the Cherokee Wars Paperback – August 15, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Book Description

In the late 1700s, as white settlers spilled across the Appalachian Mountains, claiming Cherokee and Creek lands for their own, tensions between Native Americans and pioneers reached a boiling point. Land disputes stemming from the 1791 Treaty of Holston went unresolved, and Knoxville settlers attacked a Cherokee negotiating party led by Chief Hanging Maw resulting in the wounding of the chief and his wife and the death of several Indians. In retaliation, on September 25, 1793, nearly one thousand Cherokee and Creek warriors descended undetected on Knoxville to destroy this frontier town. However, feeling they had been discovered, the Indians focused their rage on Cavett’s Station, a fortified farmstead of Alexander Cavett and his family located in what is now west Knox County. Violating a truce, the war party murdered thirteen men, women, and children, ensuring the story’s status in Tennessee lore.
            In Massacre at Cavett’s Station, noted archaeologist and Tennessee historian Charles Faulkner reveals the true story of the massacre and its aftermath, separating historical fact from pervasive legend. In doing so, Faulkner focuses on the interplay of such early Tennessee stalwarts as John Sevier, James White, and William Blount, and the role each played in the white settlement of east Tennessee while drawing the ire of the Cherokee who continued to lose their homeland in questionable treaties. That enmity produced some of history’s notable Cherokee war chiefs including Doublehead, Dragging Canoe, and the notorious Bob Benge, born to a European trader and Cherokee mother, whose red hair and command of English gave him a distinct double identity. But this conflict between the Cherokee and the settlers also produced peace-seeking chiefs such as Hanging Maw and Corn Tassel who helped broker peace on the Tennessee frontier by the end of the 18th century.  After only three decades of peaceful co-existence with their white neighbors, the now democratic Cherokee Nation was betrayed and lost the remainder of their homeland in the Trail of Tears.        
 
Faulkner combines careful historical research with meticulous archaeological excavations conducted in developed areas of the west Knoxville suburbs to illuminate what happened on that fateful day in 1793. As a result, he answers significant questions about the massacre and seeks to discover the genealogy of the Cavetts and if any family members survived the attack. This book is an important contribution to the study of frontier history and a long-overdue analysis of one of East Tennessee’s well-known legends.

About the Author

Charles H. Faulkner, professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee, has written extensively on the history and archaeology of Tennessee. His books include The Ramseys at Swan Pond: The Archaeology and History of an East Tennessee Farm, The Prehistoric Native American Art of Mud Glyph Cave, and The Old Stone Fort: Exploring an Archaeological Mystery.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (August 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572339632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572339637
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #692,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book! Not only is it a really well researched book, but it is an exciting, informative read. Dr. Faulkner is a true scholar, and this book is fascinating. This is the first detailed description of the conflicts between the Cherokee and the early settlers on the late 18th century Tennessee frontier. Presenting both points of view, a reader comes away with a better understanding for the political and social reasons behind this conflict.
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As a direct descendent of Francis Bowery who was massacred at Cavett's Sation I read Dr. Faulkner's account with great interest. He explains the complex relationship between the early settlers and the Indian nations with consumnate historical skill and fairness. That there were unfortunate evils on both sides gives us a good perspective on those dark and bloody days. I have tried to conceive of ways this narrative could have ended differently. But I see now that given our fallen human nature, this history had to play out the way it did. Only God on judgment day could ever sort all this out. The land had to be settled, I am sad that good people on both sides had to pay the ultimate sacrifice. In a way, I believe all this bloodshed was inevitable given the French and British infulence on the Indians in mid-eighteenth century. I am proud of Francis Bowery for his sacrifice, he and all the others (Indians as well) only played the cards they were dealt. If I were a descendent of First Nation blood I would also be proud of that as well. However, I am grieved that they named a street in the Cavett sub-division Doublehead, considering his role in the massacre.

-Don Bowery
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As a descendant of Moses Cavett, this well-done research is a welcome addition to our family history. Would like to see it in hardback!
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The story delalt with my family and I have always looked for stories that dealt with their early years.
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