The Heritage of Daniel Haston


The Caney Fork of the Cumberland
Explorers, Surveyors & Settlers - Pages 3 & 5
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Explorers, Surveyors and Settlers Prior to 1800

There are very few written references to the Caney Fork prior to 1800.  The following have been noted by the writer over the past forty years.

1692 The Frenchman Martin Chartier traveled from Nashville up the Cumberland to a point below the Cumberland Falls so he had to pass the mouth of the Caney Fork.
1766-67 The Cumberland Basin was explored by Smith, Mansker, Bledsoe and Stone.  They too must have learned of the Caney Fork.  This and the first note are from Byrd Douglas's book.
1767 Isaac Lindsay and a party of four passed down the Cumberland River to the mouth o Stones River and therefore saw the lower Caney Fork.  Haywood p. 87.
1769-70 A company of explorers explored southern Kentucky and then traveled southwest to Roaring River and came to the Caney Fork at a point far above the mouth and somewhere near the foot of the mountains.  The country was covered with tall grass.  No trace of human settlements were found.  The party did find many bones under rocks in the caves along the creeks and rivers.  A stock fort on a mound was discovered on the Caney Fork.  They thought the Cherokees had built it.  Haywood p. 216.
1780 Ramsey refers to a small party of Delaware Indians coming from the direction of the Caney Fork.  Haywood p. 109.
1780 Jan. Signs of Indians near Nashville.  On being interviewed they said they had been hunting on the Caney Fork.  Hales History of Tennessee p. 98.
1780-1781 A party of 20 men went up the Caney Fork as high as Flinn's Creek hunting. (from Nashville)  Game was very plentiful and the party killed 105 bears, 75 buffalo, more than 80 deer.  This furnished the families on the Bluff with meat for the winter.  Haywood p. 129.
1787 Colonel Winchester was sent out from Captain Hadley's command at Bledsoe's Lick to the Caney Fork.  This was part of the defense troops for the Cumberland Settlements.  He had numerous encounters with the Indians and ran across many trails.  Haywood p. 241.
1789 White County's first settler, John White, wife and 6 year old son built a cabin in Hickory Valley on a 7 acre tract.  It was still standing in the early 1900's.  There was also a 17 year old daughter.  The cabin was built in the Fall of the year.  History of White County by Rev. M. Seals.
1793 Battle of Rock Island at the Rock Island Ford of Caney Fork referred to by Ramsey.
1794 Ruben Roberts settled near Horseshoe Bend.  History of White Co. by Rev. M. Seals.  (Near present Walling, Tenn.)
1796 Grant 310 to Joe Rhea and Wm. Tyrell.  5,000 acres on Chicamauga Indian Path on the Caney Fork called by King and Company McClure's River.  March 7, 1796.  This was a N.C. grant registered in Sullivan.  King & Company apparently did a lot of surveying on early grants in White, Fentress, Overton and adjoining counties.  Both Robert and Thomas King are listed as surveyors.  They worked in the above area as early as 1788.
1796 Rock Martin arrived at Rock Island.  While crossing the Rock Island Ford an Indian on the island shot one of his companions.  Martin returned to his home in Mecklenburg Co. N.C. and with his family again made the trip to Rock Island where they established their home.  - Mrs. Jennie Hash Rucker.
1796 North Carolina to Eliza Williams assignee of James Perrymore heirs.  Land warrant 1523 dated Jan. 20, 1785 granted 640 acres on both sides of Caney Fork 7 1/4 miles from Roaring Spring.  The grant was surveyed by Jonathan Wood D.S. June 17, 1796.  From the description and later transfers it was located above and near Tosh Bridge or Ferry.  The Ross Family and later John B. Rodgers came into possession of a part of it.  The Roaring Spring must have been what is now know as Reno Mill Spring.

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