Days Gone By - stories from the pastGenealogy Information

Only neighbors were the Cherokees in early Jackson County, Alabama

(Excerpt from HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY, ALABAMA by John Robert Kennamer, Decatur, Al 1935:

Condensed by Josephine Lindsay Bass on July 26, 1996.

The earliest white trappers and hunters to visit this territory would often build a hut for shelter and after a short time return laden with his furs and skins to the markets on the eastern coast. His only neighbor was the Cherokee Indian with whom he exchanged knives, guns, and other articles for skins and furs.

Paint Rock Valley (Wikipedia)

None of these has left us a record who was first to visit this land. It is said David Crockett left his name on a tree in upper Paint Rock Valley, but he has left no record of his impression as he stood upon some lofty hill-top in the wilds that later became Jackson County.

Land was covered with dense cane-brakes

The valleys of the Tennessee, Paint Rock and the low-level lands lying along Crow, Mud and Sauta Creeks were covered with dense cane-brakes, brushwood and briers matted together with vines; and towering above all this were large oak, poplar, gum and other trees, with a lake or lagoon here and there. The ridges and coves which were bordered by the Cumberland, Sand and Gunter’s Mountain were fertile and had a luxuriant growth of cane and forest.

Mountain tops suited for homes

The mountain tops were better suited for the early settler to make his home, with no undergrowth except tall grass with trees far enough apart that one could drive a team and wagon for miles without a road. Deer were plentiful and turkeys as numerous as chickens are at the present time. Upon the waters, bevies of ducks, geese, and other wild fowls dived and circled in play. One has described these mountains as follows: “The mountain air sighed through the tree tops as pure and sweet as the breath of a maiden; squirrels gambled in the forest trees; turkeys gobbled and strutted on the mountains; eagles screamed from their lofty perch on towering cliffs; and doves cooed their story of love on every hill and in every dale.”

T. J. Campbell, in “The Upper Tennessee”, quoting Colonial Records, in which the statement of a British officer touring southern Indian tribes says, “that a white family emigrated in a flatboat from the Watauga settlements down the Tennessee, the Ohio, and the Mississippi to the Natches settlement in 1776.”

Early in 1779, Colonel Evan Shelby transported troops down the Tennessee River en route to join George Rogers Clark in Kentucky and Illinois. Shelby destroyed the towns and killed a number of the Chickamauga Indians, in the mountains west of the site of the present city of Chattanooga.

All on the rear boat killed by Indians

When on March 8, 1780, Colonel Donnelson’ss fleet of thirty boats, passed down the Tennessee River, led by the boat “Adventure”, the Indians retaliated killing all on the rear boat. This company of emigrants came from Virginia, NC, and E. Tennessee and were going to settle at Nashville, Natches, and in Illinois. This is the same trip wherein a diary was kept, and detailed the event of Rueben Harrison, a son of Mr. Harrison, who was left on the bank to search for him and was picked up later with the boy in tow.


ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS- Pioneers – A Collection of Lost and Forgotten Stories

Stories include:

  • The Yazoo land fraud;
  • Daily life as an Alabama pioneer;
  • The capture and arrest of Vice-president AaronBurr;
  • The early life of William Barrentt Travis in Alabama, hero of the Alamo;
  • Description of Native Americans of early Alabama including the visit by Tecumseh;
  • Treaties and building the first roads in Alabama.

History of Jackson County, Alabama (Paperback)

By (author):  Kennamer, John Robert

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Jackson Co is my home, in these mountains is where I live…….. read about “the walls of Jericho ” part of it is in paint rock valley. Thank you Jerry Harris

  2. That picture you have posted is of the scenic overlook in Grant, AL not Paint Rock Valley. It is the scenic overlook in front of the DAR School. I get that you have it sourced from Wikipedia but I am from Grant and have driven by it thousands of time.

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