Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs Day Book Number 2

Col. Return Jonathan Meigs served as Indian Agent for the Cherokee Nation from 1801 to 1823 and resided at Ft. South West Point in Roane County.

This publication provides a daily account of his activities. Correspondence between 1801-1807 provides insight into relationships between the United States and the Cherokee Indians and 'policy-making' which prevailed for generations. "Financial Account Portions" provide a clear picture of daily life on the frontier of southeast Tennessee just after the American Revolution. Until this publication, original copies have been held in a private library and never been made available.

Once a photocopied version of the original was obtained, then six different readers were assigned to transcribe this important piece of material. Mountain Press wanted to obtain the most accurate transcription as possible. Since the original was not part of any public record group, we knew that the contents were far too important to leave to just one reader. When finished, we all got together and had to agree on any differences of opinion as to the reading of the hand written material.

The Number 2 has no meaning for us, it may have had a meaning for Col. Meigs. It was just the number "2" painted on the cover of the book. The contents were the most important part of the material. The volume contains letters and some accounts of his transactions with the Cherokee and those who were working with the Cherokee. Much history can be gleaned from the contents as well as names and dates. Col. Meigs' desire for schools for the Cherokee became obvious in the records and many entries tell about his dealing with The Reverend Gideon Blackburn from Maryville as Blackburn set up schools for the Cherokee. Then there was Meigs' desire to give the Cherokee more than just a hand out, he introduced to them weaving, black smithing, and other enterprises to help the Cherokee make a living while living in close proximity to the white culture. Col. Meigs served the Federal Government as the Agent to the Cherokee for about twenty-four years. Much of this volume covers the first couple of years from his appointment as that agent through the time of the Fort Southwest occupation.


James L. Douthat

1993, paper, 139 pp.

ISBN: 9780788477287