Thursday, December 24, 2015

I have Joined a State Recognized Tribe; Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama

As with all my blog entries, this will need some editing. I have spend many years pondering what I should do, as pertains to our Indian blood. I have decided to become a member of a state recognized tribe. It has taken me twenty years of wavering back and forth on this issue. Finally jumping in . . .

One day, I decided I'd look into the origins of our Indian blood, and I started the research. I started our piecing together the family stories. The family stories took me back to both the Cherokee and the Catawba, via separate routes. There is a possibility of a Choctaw or Chickasaw link, but evidence of it is just too weak at present to take it seriously.

So I looked into the histories of both the Cherokee and Catawba. It was a quicker search for the Cherokee as their history is far better known than that of the Catawba. While looking into the history of the Cherokee, My online searches discovered there are 3 federally recognized Cherokee tribes. There were also several state recognized Cherokee tribes, and several dozen others not recognized by anyone but their members.

Being new to this, I wondered if it were possible to join any of these groups, starting at the top, the federally recognized tribes. The Cherokee required ones ancestors were on Dawes Rolls. There were several named “Josephine Brown”, great grandma's maiden name. But none were born the exact day she was born, although some were close. There was a rejected “Samuel Richey”. Josephine's husband was Jeffrey Richey. Jeff had an uncle Samuel, and we lose track of him. Is his uncle the same man on the rejected rolls? Still don't know . . . However, to be admitted we need to find a DIRECT ancestor, on Dawes. When I was researching all this, Dad had died, but my mother was still alive. She told me she recalled hearing dad's grandparents had once tried to sign up for Dawes, but something happened, they became upset, of felt insulted, or something, she didn't know what had happened. But she said because of this, they never signed up for Dawes. Therefore I realized I would not find us on the accepted or the rejected rolls. Not being on the rolls meant we would not and could not become tribal members.

That is when I first thought of the state recognized tribes. Was that a possibility? There were also dozens of groups calling themselves the Cherokee/Chickamauga/Tsalagi Tribe/Band/Nation of a state/county/river-creek/mountain range. Many of these had websites. I contacted several, and was actively recruited. I went to events sponsored by three of them. One was called “Cherokee Tribe of Old Louisiana Territory”, a second was called “Texas Cherokee” or “Tsalagi Nudagi”. A third was called “Southern Cherokee”. This is the link to the “Northern Cherokee nation of Old Louisiana Territory”. They broke up into several groups, and are found mostly in Missouri and Arkansas. There was a time when the first Cherokee settlers west of the Mississippi River lived near the 'boothill' of Missouri. A small settlement developed there to support the warriors of Dragging Canoe and Doublehead They went down the Tennessee River to its mouth. Then up other rivers to attack settlers in East Kentucky and Eastern Tennessee in the late 1770s, 80s, and early 90s. It is thought by members of this tribal organization some descendants of these people remain, and survive to this day as mixed bloods.

Another was Tsalagi Nvdagi. “Nvdagi” is said to be the Cherokee word for “Texas”. . This link tells something about them. The same Cherokee who were in the boothill of Missouri were said to migrate to Arkansas after a large earthquake hit the area in 1811. Some of these later migrated to Northeastern Texas. There was a large cherokee community in Texas until they were driven out in 1839, by Texans. Again, there is a report that a remnant remained in Texas, and this group claims to descend from them.

The Southern Cherokee Nation has the following website. On their website they say they are federally recognized based on the treaty after the Civil War, in 1866. Some Cherokee sided with the South during the American Civil War. At the end of the war, General Stand Waite, A Cherokee, was the last Confederate General of the war to surrender. He was not defeated in battle, but surrendered anyhow. The 1866 Treaty with the Cherokee was a treaty with these Confederate Cherokee. This group, the Southern Cherokee nation, claims to descend from them.

Now not many people believe there were ANY Cherokee still in Missouri today. Most researchers also think most if not all the Texas Cherokee returned to Oklahoma. The Confederate Cherokee did the same. I was always curious, but also was skeptical. 

I firmly believe many people probably have mixed-American Indian ancestry that is not documented. I am not as certain that those ancestors are Cherokee. Everyone must be able to trace an ancestor back to the Cherokee Nation, and I know this is a difficult task. It is easy to discover evidence, but a vast chasm can separate evidence from fact. A lawyer can say "an abundance of circumstantial evidence", but that is am ambiguous phrase, meaning different things to different people.

While visiting these “Southern Cherokee” I met Michael Johnson, and what he was saying hit a chord in me. Here is a link to something Michael Johnson was saying. Please know Mike knew former Principle Chief Chad Smith personally. I a honored that Mike was also a personal friend of mine, as well. Although I saw Principle Chief Chad Smith once, in fact he walked right past me, I am certain he had and has no idea who I was. :). Mike said these fake tribal organizations were unnecessary. He got into an argument with Tony McClure, author of “Cherokee Proud”. . Mike and I talked about these things as they were happening. I knew mike and he was my friend, so I sided with him at the time. The Cherokee Nation even wrote an article about Mike here – . I had tried to help Mike. I had hoped if an undocumented Cherokee was able to 'befriend' enrolled Cherokee, they might change their position, with respect to the undocumented. I looked up many of these organizations trying to achieve federal recognition. The more I read up on them, even tried to communicate with them, the more I realized many had no idea of achieving federal recognition.

But while looking into them, I also came across other, state recognized groups. State recognition gives a degree of credibility those other groups didn't have. About this time my friend, Michael Johnson passed away, a great loss. I was torn between honoring his friendship and these state recognized tribes. This was probably ten years ago. I had even contacted the Cherokee Nation about some of these fake tribes, keeping them informed about some of what was going on. I had personally separated these state recognized tribes from these fake tribes, and I was able to do this as I had researched them all online.

After a while, I gave up on all of that. It didn't seem that anyone cared for my approach. Most other unenrolled Cherokee I ran across literally hated the Cherokee Nation, and would have nothing to do with them. I simply wanted to find my own ancestry, and document them better. While doing this, I discovered my family had lived just South of the Tennessee River, in Alabama, on lands ceded from the Cherokee in 1816. I can document my family there in 1818. Also one of the State recognized Cherokee tribes of Alabama claimed to have descended from this group. Hmmm . . . they have more credibility being state recognized. Hmmm . . . But the Cherokee nation still lumped this group with the fake tribes . . . hmmm . . . – Cherokee Nation report on the “Southern Cherokee”.

Not long ago there was an easily accessed entry from a 2007 entry of the Cherokee Phoenix. Dr. Richard Allen wrote an very good article as to why to ignore many of rte groups calling themselves “Cherokee”. He and I had emailed back and forth a few years earlier, back when Michael Johnson, my friend, was still alive. I copied much of Dr. Allen's words, and placed much of it in my blog entry at the link above. I knew many of the groups calling themselves “Cherokee tribes” had no validity. However there are three federally recognized tribes. There are also several state recognized tribes.

My next research was to look into the state recognized tribes. How valid are they? Should I try to seek membership in one of them? The one worth mentioning is the one I sought – The Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama. All I could do was read what was online about them. First, I discovered an author who was also a member. Ricky “Butch” Walker has written several books on the Cherokee who remained along the Tennessee River, in Lawrence County, Alabama, after their lands were ceded. This, my family had done. We lived right there, where he said these Indians were living at the time.

So how rigorous were the requirements for state recognition? What I know is what I saw online, and what I saw was on their website – . This tells a great deal about how they came into existence. It looks like it was quite an achievement for them to achieve state recognition. . Here is a little more. Now the Cherokee nation says if you charge for tribal membership you are fraudulent. But the Cherokee nation gets thousands of dollars, probably millions, from the federal government. Without federal recognition, state recognized tribes get nothing., and so must generate revenue some other way. You might look at the membership fee as a sort of flat tax.

I slowly started to realize that I wanted something for all my efforts to find my ancestors. I wanted something to prove my efforts were worth while. I hope I don't lose my friends who are federally enrolled not only with the Cherokee, but other tribes as well. After reading the efforts the members of the Echota Cherokee went through to become state recognized, I realized I went through a similar effort, and for a similar reason. We were not eligible to be federally enrolled because of enrollment regulations. But perhaps we could be state recognized.

So, after 20 years of family research, 15 years of learning the history and movements of literally every tribe that is either indigenous to Oklahoma, or descend from the Emigrant tribes, I felt I was well versed on the topic. We also have Catawba blood, but there is no state recognized Catawba group I'd feel we'd be qualified to become members. Earlier in the year I sent paperwork into the offices of the state recognized “Echota Tribe of Alabama”. I am happy to state that per a letter post marked 09 Dec 2015, received the following notification. It starts by saying “Hello new member and welcome,” – I immediately smiled.

I did not do this solely for me, but for my family as well. I think other Richey's and Hawkins' are also eligible as well. I know a couple who are interested. I know we won't get those federal goodies like hospital care, or educational benefits, but we can claim our Cherokee blood without having to bear the ridicule of being called “wannabes”. Having lived in Oklahoma most of my life, I know how people who have a Cherokee heritage who can not claim it are often treated. I LOVE Oklahoma, and can trace some ancestors here back to 1832 at least and perhaps earlier. But we are not on Dawes, and therefore are not eligible. But we can trace other ancestors back to Northern Alabama, and it is through them we are eligible to obtain membership in the Echota Tribe of Alabama. I also home my Oklahoma family and friends (especially those who are federally enrolled) understand.

Wayland Connection to the Melungeon Gibson's

Wayland Connection to the Melungeon Gibson's

I have always pondered why the (1) clerk at the church, if he was Nevil Wayland, would write the words, 'harboring them Melungins' -- His mother who is almost positively Kezziah GIBSON and her mother Mary GIBSON (2), both likely from Meluneon Gibson families were members of this church...

This just never made sense to me -- but then after reviewing the minutes it dawned on me. Wayland probably didn't write it, William Brickey did.

Interestingly shortly after Brickey wrote 'harboring them Melungins' -- Nevil Wayland and his Melungeon Gibson mother left the area and moved to Arkansas. And who was William Brickey? A second generation French Huegenot. So the first use of the word was written by none other than a FRENCHMAN (1)

"After remaining there some time he married Elizabeth Cocke daughter of David Cocke and both him and his wife became members of the Baptist Church at Stony Creek from the time of its organization, which was organized in 1801. William Brickey **was Clerk and Deacon of the Church, most of the time up to his death. **"

As this is written the Minute Book of the Stony Creek Baptist Church lies on the desk before the writer. It is faded on account of age and much use. Some of its pages are missing, and some of those yet remaining are scarcely legible. The earliest legible date is August 26, 1815, but the church was organized in 1801. This date is shown in biographical sketches of two of its first members, William Brickey, Sr., and David L. Cocke. These sketches are to be found in the Minute Book of the Stony Creek Regular Baptist Association. According to this record William Brickey, Sr., was born in Botetourt County, Virginia, December 29, 1779, and became a member of this church at its organization in 1801. He was its first clerk, and one of its first deacons. He married Elizabeth Cox, a daughter of David Cox.

– end of quote

I wrote her back telling her about the Gibson neighbors to our Waylands in Arkansas. There was a Humphrey Gibson, a James and a John Gibson next to some of our Waylands in Arkansas. There were a john and James Gibson also living next to us in Southwestern Virginia. There was a Humphrey Gibson who also lived in South Carolina, perhaps the same time our Nevil Wayland served there during the Revolutionary War, as a part of what was called “The Spartan Regiment”, also called “Roebuck's Regiment”. I have reported Thomas Gibson's Will, where he mentioned a daughter named Kezziah. Joanne replied –

The Humphrey Gibson you have found in Arkansas is 'almost positively' NOT the Humphrey Gibson in South Carolina as that Humphrey Gibson in SC was found murdered on July 4, 1809.

The Humphrey Gibson with your Kezziah in Arkansas very likely Humphrey Jr., son of Humphrey Gibson Sr., found first in Surry Co., NC., [with Joel Gibson who was witness to will of Kezziah Gibson's father] then to Washington Co., Tenn/NC and was one of the first settlers in Plattin Twp., Mo., and descendants found in Strawberry Twp, Lawrence Co., Ark.

The connection of these Gibsons along with John and James as the Wayland neighbors in Russell County make Kezziah 'almost positively' the daughter of Thomas and Mary Gibson. And almost positively proves that Nevil Wayland DID NOT write someone was 'harboring them Malungens' -- that's where MY research has led me.” – end of quote.

Well, we know some of our Wayland's also settled in Strawberry Townshp, Lawrence County, Arkansas, too. So descendants of Humphrey Gibson are found in Lawrence County, Arkansas, and his father, Humphrey Sr, is mentioned with respect to Thomas Gibson, who had a daughter named Keziah that is mentioned in his will.It is believed that researchers of Meulngeon thta Nevil Wayland Sr's wife, Keziah, is Keziah Gibson, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Gibson, a known Melungeon family.

My comments – Humphrey Gibson is on the Tax list from Strawberry Township, Lawrence Co, Ar, from 1832-1838. I had thought I'd seen something about him being in Lawrence Cunty, Ar before Nevil arrived in 1815 -- maybe I am wrong about that.

1830 census has Humphrey Gibson in Cooper Co., Mo -- some neighbors surnames are Goodman, George and Bass. I don't now if these Goodman's, Bass's and Goerge's came from Eastern Sioouan communities such as the Melungeons. I haven't researched it further. Those three surnames however, are associated with the same Indian peoples.

(1) Our Wayland's attended Stoney Creek Primitive Baptist Church. In the minutes to that church, the church clerk is the first person who used “them Melungins” in any literature foud to date. (The word “Lungens” was used in Baxter County, Arkansas at an even earlier date.) “Melangeon” is first person plural of “melanger”, meaning “to mix” in French.
(2) Mary Gibson DID attend the same church.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Indian Slave Trade, Part I

The Indian Slave Trade, Part I
In the introduction (1) the author speaks that “ . . . we have [histories of the Spanish, French and English settlements]. . . and tribal histories of Apalachee, Timucua, Choctaw and Catawba, but no one has recently attempted to tie the entire South together.” That is how I feel about the Catawba and Associated bands. No one has tried to tie them together. History only makes sense when all these independent bands together.
There is still one more aspect of the history of the Catawba and Associated Bands that we have not covered, that speaks to the reasoning behind the destruction of these Eastern Siouan peoples. That is slavery. Together, warfare, disease, and slavery were simply too much to overcome. Most of these bands disappeared. I cover “The Indian Slave Trade” by Alan Gallay here.
Since most of the Indian slave trade originated from South Carolina, most of the book tells of the history of South Carolina. South Carolina struggled to survive during its early years, from 1670 into the early part of the 18th century. The author states that “From first settlements, South Carolina elites ruthlessly pursues the exploitation of fellow humans in ways that differed from other mainland colonies.”(2)
The author states that “The trade in Indian slaves was the important factor affecting the South in the period 1670 [the founding of the South Carolina colony] to 1715.” (3) Speaking of the Indian slave trade, Gallay states “It existed on such a vast scale that more Indians were exported through Charleston that Africans were imported during this period.” (4)
The author divides the Piedmont Indians from the Catawba. But they are all one people. Gallay states 'The Piedmont Indians in the early Colonial period lived somewhat isolated from the burgeoning English colonies in spite of their proximity to them. . . . many of the Piedmont Indians joined together in the 18th century as the Catawba Confederacy.” These called “Piedmont Indians” lived in both Carolina's and parts of Virginia.(5). There was another group of Indians living on the coast of the Carolina's called “settlement Indians”. Per Gallay, they had largely disappeared by the second half of the 18th century.
One hint as to the demise of the Eastern Siouan peoples is mentioned by Gallay where he states; “large waves of pandemic disease of the seventeenth century occurred after the collapse of the chiefdoms encountered the Spanish in the sixteenth century..” (6) The eastern Siouan tribes, Catawba and Associated Bands, first came across the Spanish when De Soto (1539-1543) passed through. Later Pardo (1556) stayed for a while. These early contacts with the Spanish probably caused much death amongst them, as some towns De Soto mentions don't exist by the time of Pardo. Small Pox might be the culprit as it was later.
As to slavery, American Indians already raided one another for captives. So when Europeans came, they didn't introduce slavery to the American people, but as galley says, they “were responsible for stimulting a vast trade in humans as comodities.” (7)

The English and the Beginnings of the Indian Slave Trade
The Jamestown Colony was the first colony, founded in 1607. And was also the first colony to establish a plantation society based on slave labor. (8) Please remember I am covering mostly, how the slave trade affected the Catawba and associated Bands. Gallay calls these 'bands' by the name of “Piedmont Indians”.
By 1670 there were two migrations down south. Charles Town was founded, and a tribe of Indians who were called the 'Westo' arrived in the Savanna River. Gallay claims these Westo were the sape people called in Virginia, the 'Richahecrian'. He also suggests they descend deom the Erie, a people who fled the great lakes region of Lake Erie after attacks from the Iroqua. (9) Many Iroquoa, when discussing other tribes, end that word with the suffix 'roron'. If we take the word “Erie” and do away with the initial “E” we have r----roron. We are 'missing' the middle of the word, 'chahec, and 'reron' has some simiarities to 'rian'.The Spanish called them Chichimeco. Now “mico” is of Musceegoan origin. Chi chi has similarities to chi hac, at least the first syllable, anyhow. So the Virginians might have heard what the Iroquaians called them, and the Spanish heard what the Muscogeeans called them. But where then, does “Westo” come from? That is what the people of South Carolina called them. Perhaps that is of Catawba or Piedmont Indian origin. Perhaps the origins of these words are lost to history. I am simply trying to determine why they are known by three different names in three different placs.
Galley's research states that before leaving Western Virginia, these Westo established trade relations with Virginia. He then states,”From their new homes along the Savannah [River], they agressively attacked the Southern Indians to the East, Southeast, and South. Smith claims that the Virginians arming of the Westo gave them an undue advantage . . . The Virginians offered trade goods to the Westo in exchange for captives.” (10) I suspect some of those Indian slaves the Westo captured were eastern Siouan, a.k.a. “Piedmont Indians”] and are the reason the Saura/Cheraw and others fled to the east at this time. They lived directly along this migration route of the Westo. It was said Indian slaves made poor slaves, because it easy for them to escape, and return home. So they were sold to ships heading for the Caribbean, and African slaves were imported. Thus Indian slaves had no way to escape the small Caribbean Islands, and Africans had no where to run to to escape the American Southeast.
South Carolina was not a royal colony as was Virginia. It was ruled by eight 'Lord Proprietors' who feared the King might take over the colony at any time. (11)
The author talks mostly about Indian slaves in South Carolina..This began in December 1675. In December 1675, Carolina's Grand Council explained to the Propietors that they had approved the sale of Indians into slavery. They said, “The Sewee . . . and other neighboring Indians, had offered to sell their Indian prisoners to the colonists. These captives lately taken, are enemies to the said Indians, who are in Amity with the English.” It did not matter that these Indians were not at war with the English., only that they were taken in war and their captors chose to sell them.” (12) The Sewee were Eastern Siouan peoples.
The Propietors ruled over Carolina, and they left elite settlers in Carolina in charge. Chaos reigned, as the local elites often disregarded the will of the Propietors. South Carolina became a haven of pirates.
One tribe, the Kusoe, refused to ally themselves with the English. They were accused withstealing 'a great deal' of corn. In October 1671, the colony declared war on the Kussoe. They lived about 30 miles form Charlestown. The English had probably settled on lands that the Kussoe claimed as their hunting grounds. For three years the colonists had searched for the Kussoe and simply couldn't find them. They remained in the area, were accused of killing a few English settlers, but they simply could not be found. In 1674 the Stono Indians were said to be be tying to find other Indians toconfederate with them, to remove the English from the land. Gallay says the end of these troubles is not really in the records, but that the Indian settlements in the area were allowed to remain, but they were to pay one deer skin a year to the English, as tribute. Before long, these and other Indians were simply called “Settlement Indians”. It is obvious these two 'tribes' were simply small bands of either Catawba or Creek origin. There is no way to know which of these two they paid their allegiance, although the name “Kussoe” does sound as though it might have been 'Creek' in origin.(13)
Another group that caused trouble to early Carolina settlers ere the Westo. As already mentioned, they arrived along the Savanna River about the same time the South carolinia colony was established. These Westo had ties to the Virginia Colony. They were probably simply to claim a plot of land for themselves, as they'd been driven from their own homes further north. Traders in Virginia and Carolina worked independent of one another. Gallay states the Westo attacked the costal Indians in 1673 allied to the English, and the English had difficulty with them. Now the Westo were hoping to sell Indian captives to Virginia. Carolina had to ask for Indian allies. Interestingly, Gallay says; “Carolina turned to the Esaw, a Piedmont people who, according to the Carolina Grand Council, 'are well accounted with the Westo habitiation, and have promised all the help they can afford.'” (14)
Now the 'Esaw' are a major band of the Catawba. One difficulty is studying the eastern Siouan groups in that different people spelled their names differently. The “Esaw' are the same people called 'Yesah' by others. There is an early map showing the Yesah were near the Saponi in Western Virginia. I have suggested that one reason the Saura moved east was slave raiding visits from the westo. Well, both the Saponi and Yesaw/Esaw had also lived in that region. The Saponi migrarted east and the Yesah/Esaw moved to the vicinity of the Catawba, the largest band of the Southeastern Siouan peoples. There might be a reason – revenge, that they volunteered to help fight the Westo. Gallay states “. . . they not only accepted Esaw assistance, but let the Esaw determine the best way to subdue the Westo. Gallay ays the war with the Westo endd in December 1674. The Westo town was on the western shore of the Savannah River, The Westo made it clear they wanted a cessation of hostility and trade relations with South Carolina. A prominent Carolinian, Dr. Henry Woodward, visited the Westo town. Gallay says, “Woodward was impressed to find the Westo well supplied with arms, ammunition, trading cloth, and other English goods they had obtained from the Northwards [Virginia], for which they exchanged dresses deerskins and young Indian slaves.” Apparently after this meeting, the Westo started trading with South Carolina, as it was much closer that Virginia.
Another group that moved to the Savannah River about this time was the Savannah, better known as 'Shawnee. They were also fleeing from stronger tribes to the north. These two refugee tribes formed a n uneasy alliance, as both were weak and needed each other. In fact the Savannah (known today as Shawnee) informed the Westo of an upcoming attack from the Cherokee, Cuseeta (a band of the Creek), and Chickasaw. From further west. Gallay does not mention what became of this attack, but it is the first mention of the Chickasaw in South Carolina. Eventually a band of the Chickasaw would move to the Savannah River.
Continuing with the story of the Westo, Gallay states, “Woodward's visit to the Westo was a success, and it resulted in a profitable trade in Indian slaves that lasted from 1675-1680 The Westo preyed on Spanish allied Indians in Guale and Mocama. They also continued to attack other groups, including settlement Indians.” (15) However the Westo refused to stop their attacks on the Coastal Indians. Since these were close neighbors of the Carolinian's, this presented them a delimma. They feared a reprisal from the coastal tribes (these were of course, were allies of the Catawba and the bands associated with them. The Westo made strong enemies of all their neighboring tribes. Many of these tribes were peple the carolinians wanted to make trade partners out of, so this they learned an alliance with the Westo had its limits. The Westo became expendable, as far as the Carolinians wee concerned.
In 1679, the Carolinian's went to war with the Westo. The Lord Proprietors demanded peace, not realizing the Carolinian's preferred war, as that is how they made profits in Indian slaves They wanted the Indians at war with one another, as which ever side won, would bring captives to the Charles Town markets and sell them. Quoting Gallay, “Only through warfare could Carolinian's obtain the slaves they desired to exchange for supplies to build their plantations. Peaceful coexistence with Indians might be fine for subsistence farmers . . . but not for Carolinian's hoping to amass capitol quickly.” (16) The colonists usually simply disregarded the Lord Proprietors wishes and did what they wanted. The colonist's were uninterested in making Indians dependent on trade [at this time]; the simply wanted to make money through the Indian' slave trade. Gallay is vague as to the exact date, but states the Westo became a “ruined” people. Gallay talks about the Lord Proprietors of South Carolina, in the early 1680s, asking the Governor why “when it was first founded and weak . . . the colony had no wars and then had warred with the Westo 'while they were in treaty with that government . . . and then put to death incold blood and the rest driven from the country?” (17)
With the Westo wasted, the South Carolinian government invited the Savannah to take their place along the Savannah River, which was named after them. The Waniah who livd upn the Winyah River. There was a claim mae that the Waniah 'had cut off a boat of runaways.' The Indian traders convinced the Savannah to go to war with the Waniah. Gallay states “Savannah's not affording the profitable trade to the Indian dealers that was expected in beavers . . . the carolinians turned them to enslaving Indians.” . . . The Savannah . . . captured the Waniah and sold them to an Indian trader who shipped them to Antigua.” Gallay adds that; “ The [Lord] Proprioters received testimony that a false alarm was contrived by the dealers in Indians that they might thereby have an opportunity of showing themselves at the Savanna Towne with foces and thereby frighten those people . . . (also 17).
“The [Lord] Proprietors also received word that the surviving Westo had wanted peace with Carolina and wished the Savannah to mediate, 'but their messengers were taken and sent away to be sold.' The same fate befell the messengers of the Wineah. Sarcastically, the [Lord] Proprietors rued, 'but if there be peace with the Westo and Waniah, where shall the Savannah's get Indians to sell the dealers in Indians?” The Proprietors, angry at the colonists, said, “You have repaid their kindness by setting them 'to do all these horid wicked things, to get slaves to sell the dealers in Indians [and then] call it humanity to buy them, and thereby keep them from being murdered.” (18)
Gallay does not state the years the Westo were 'ruined' or the Waniah enslaved. But he stars next with the year 1680. (p 62) In 1680, the Lord Proprietor's limited enslavement of American indians to those living further than 200 miles from Charles Towne. They left the door open, though, to a loophole, by adding that this applied only to friendly Indians. This 'loophole' would later have a great effect during the Tuscarora and Yamassee Wars. In laws passed 2 years later, 1682, it became illegal to ship Indians away from Carolina, and it extended the range for catching Indian slaves from 200 to 400 miles. Away from Charleston. (19)
The Lord Proprietors of the colony of South Carolina were in England, and the leaders in South Carolina's rarely listened to them.Galley states that “. . . officials in Europe turned their heads while colonists and local officials engaged in illegal trade, enslavement of free peoples, and instigating and conducting unapproved wars. . . . Laws were obeyed when convenient.” A newer law passed in 1683 said only Indians captured 'in a just and necessary war' could be transported outside of the colony.. Gallay wonders why the Lord Proprietors didn't simply bad the Indian slave trade. But the carolina traders argued that “Indians had to be sold into slavery to satisfy their Indian captors and to prevent them from being slaughtered.” (20)
In defense of the Carolinian's, Gallay says, “The Carolinian's were neither less than no more moral in their disregarding their own ethical values than English colonists living elsewhere. But they had the opportunity to enslave Indians on a scale not available elsewhere. . . . Nor can we ascribe religion as a differentiation in whether colonists would enslave, for High Anglicans as well as Puritans and other dissenters equally participated in the Indian slave trade.” One more interesting comment on this page concerns the French. Gallay said, speaking of French colonies, says, “ . . .the French even looked into incorporation of Indians in colonial society through intermarriage, as long as the Indians converted beforehand.” (21) I mention this because the French word “Melangeon” means 'we mix', Another Frenchman who lived in Virginia, who was a Huguenot, said virtually the same thing. Tere was a group of mixed race people who came to be known as “Melungeons”.
Gallay continues with the these that the local officials in South Carolina pretty much ignored the orders given by their Lord Proprietors in London, when ever they wanted to do so.He comments; “In November 1683, two of the [Lord] Proprietors' appointed officials, Maurice Matthews and James Moore,'most contemptuously disobeyed our orders about sending away of Indans in order to the getting of slaves and were contriving new wars for that purpose.” The Proprietors claimed that omly Indians taken in a 'just and necessary war' were to be enslaved and transported out f the colony. Even that restriction was later dropped. “We did not thereby mean that the parliament should license the transporting of Indians bought of other Indians by way of trade, nor are you to suffer it, for that would but occasion the dealers in Indians to contrive those poor people into wars upon one another that they might have slaves to buy. In 1685 the proprietors strictly warned . . . against the enslaving of Indians except that they were captured in a war that Carolina itself was involved in.” However “The Indian dealers were Hell-bent on the exploitation of human resources, African and Amerindian, to make their wealth.” The next Indian group recruited to capture other Indians for the slave trade we hear of is the Yamasee. (22)
Thus far we can imply English traders from Virginia traded weapons to the Westo. As they migrated from Virginia to Georgia along the Savannah River, the Westo created havoc upon the local Indians, who at that time would have been the Manahaoc, Monacan, Saponi, Yesah/Esaw, Saura and others. These were but bands of the greater Eastern Siouan peoples. The Westo made war with all of their neighbors, making powerful enemies. When they enslaved the 'Settlement Indians' living near Charleston, they made an enemy of the South Carolinians, for the colony depended upon these Indians for the ir first line of defense. A few years later the Savanna, known today as the Shawnee, followed the same path. Both groups settled upon the Savannah River.. Later the Esaw helped destroy the Westo, their survivors were turned into slaves. Another group, the Waniah, were rounded up and enslaved. All these Indians were exported out of South Carolina to the islands of the Caribbean. Negro slves wee brought to caroina in their place. Remnant Indian groups settled near Charleston and became known as 'Settlement Indians'. The tribal affiliations of these 'settlement Indians' was lost over time. Perhaps they were freed slaves. Perhaps some were of mixed race. Another new group of Indians is about to migrate up from Florida to the Savannah River to live near where the former Westo had been. They were known as the Yamassee. They held old grudges against the remaining Spanish Indians in Florida.This is the state of South Carolina a decade before the end of the 17th century.

The Next Series of Events Which Lead to Gather More Indian Slaves
Many Indians preferred to trade with the English over both the French and Spanish. The English offered many more goods; guns, metal tools, clothing, cooking utensils, liquor. They traded animal pelts and slaves, that the English desired. This section of Gallay's book covers the years 1684-1701. Gallay says “Large numbers of Yamassee . . . settled on the North side of the Savannah River, to the East of the Savannah Indians.” Gallay adds, “Other smaller groups of Indians soon followed, Apalachicola, Chickasaw, and Yuchi all planted towns on the Savannah.. The Carolina colonists welcomed the Indians as allies and trading partners.” (23)
Per Gallay, “traders settled in Savannah Town, at a spot formerly occupied by the Westo on the north bank of the river across from modern day Augusta, Georgia. The trading post led hundreds of Indians to settle in the area.” (24) These Indians were quick to establish trading relations with the Carolina settlers. They raided Spanish Indian settlements, who were part of the Spanish Missoin system, and sold them in Carolina. A Scottish settlement arose. And many of the Indians taded with them instead of the Charleston colony. The Yamassee became the main group of Indians upon the Savannah River.
To learn about the Indian slave trade, let me quote Gallay again. Speaking of the Lord Proprietors, we have; “They ceaselessly reminded apointees of the inhumanity of fomenting wars wars to obtain slaves . . .” (25). Ina word, South Carolina appointees were trying to get the Indians, especially on the Savannah River, to go on slave raiding raids, especially against the Florida Indians, who were part of the Spanish Mission System. This was the state of affairs in the 1790s.
Beside the Savannah River Indians, Gallay mentions the Iroquois, saying they were allies of the few remaining Westo, and that they made long trips to the South to go to war with the Southern Indians. Gayllay says, “Escaped slaves who lived outside government authority, knows as 'maroons', had the potential to incite free Indians and enslaved Indians and Africans to destroy the colony.” (26). In 1693, Gallay says the Indian population still outnumbered the Whites in Carolina. The African slave population was still growing. The colony was still not feeling secure.
The settlers started to worry about the Settlement Indians. Settlers began to think it was time for the settlement Indians to 'pull their own weight'. The settlement Indians were asked to bring in so many pelts for use or sale by the settlers. “Punishment for those who refused to labor voluntarily was a severe whipping on the bare back of the town's inhabitants. 'Nations' that refused. Compliance would be placed 'out of protection of the government;' which invariably meant they would be subject to enslavement.” (27) Many of thee settlement Indians would have been Eastern Siouan, or relations of the Catawba.
This brings us up to about 1698, and the Indian slave trade continued to about 1715-1720. The Indians are still strong enough to make Carolina afraid, but by the end of this era, that would no longer be the case. The Westo, Waneah, were no longer considered tribes, but rather just a handful of refugees, with others either killed or enslaved and shipped to the Caribbean. Some of the Florida Indians were disappearing as the slave trade had been rounding them up. The Catawba and their many bands, as well as the Tuscarora, were still strong players in the Carolina's, and a third group had migrated to the Savannah River near Augusta, lured by the Indian slave trade.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Finding John Brown

Dad used to tell a little story about a cousin of his named “Euness Hankins”, a daughter of Great Aunt Bea. They were always friends when they wereyoung. They had also both heard family stories of being Cherokee. Well Dad heard she had found out something new about our Indian heritage, and so he asked her what she found. Now dad told me this story, because I asked him about our Indian heritage at some point. He said Eunice replied to his query; “Oh, you just want that Indian money.” Well this so embarrassed Dad that he just let the topic go. I am not sure if Dad ever spoke to her after that. But that little story made me think there might be proof of our Indian heritage, somewhere, is some document, somewhere.
I have written quite a bit about our Gist/Guess ancestors in my blog, but haven't touched much upon my Brown's. Recently we have had a huge breakthrough, and I wanted to share it. I'd like to start with Aunt Lorena's letter. Most of Dad's brothers and sister's had passed on, but I remembered Aunt Lorena. I knew she and mom were best friends growing up, and they still talked all the time on the telephone. So I wrote her a letter asking her about our Indian ancestry. She wrote me a letter and here is a small section of it.:Dad told me about a story his grandmother had told him. Dad said she was thumbing through his Oklahoma history book. She had pointed to a picture of an Indian in the book, and dad said she told him, “Do you know you are related to him?” The whole family thought it was Sequoyah, because her mother's maiden name was “Guess”. Here is part of what Aunt Lorena wrote me.
I remember more about what our mother told us than grandmother Richey. We
had a wonderful grandmother and I suppose she talked more about Sequoyah to the
boys than to us girls. Alpha was almost 6 years older than I. She was a Brown before
she married grandfather Richey. Her mother was a Guess before she married great
grandfather Brown. I think mama said she was a niece of George Guess, “Sequoyah”.
Well, I've talked a great deal about searching our Guess/Gist ancestors. Today I will cover the “Brown” part. The person Aunt Lula called called “grandmother Richey” was my great grandma, and her maiden name was Josephine Brown. Her father, David B. Brown, appears in a tax list in 1847 in Walker County, Alabama with his father, John Brown. In 1848 David appears on a tax list in Lawrence County, Arkansas with the following family: Tracing them before 1820 when John Brown married Polly [Mary] Black has been difficult. Now family story says they were Cherokee but we can't prove it. And do you know how many Cherokees there were named “John Brown” who were alive during his lifetime? We have found three on the Reservation Rolls, alone! And I suspect there were others NOT on the Reservation Rolls. Also, while researching our family, I have found several other people, who are not federally enrolled, like us, who claim to descend from a Cherokee named “John Brown”, and NONE of them were OUR John Brown. So I really got discouraged. How can I determine which John Brown is which? I tried to get information from the NARA offices in Fort Worth but they refused to help me. They said I had to go down there myself. I became discouraged, and let it slide. I searched for our ancestors in Indian rolls, census records, county documents, and other historical papers.
Here is much of what we know, at present.
In Alabama. John Brown married Polly Black. Dec 23, 1820 in Lawrence County, Alabama.
This marriage is found in early Lawrence County, Alabama marriage records. John
Brown was married in Lawrence County, Alabama in 1820. 1830 census Lawrence County, Alabama
John Brown 111000001, 2112001. Three males fifteen or under, 2 females five or under, 2 females between 5 and 15 years of age, and 2 females between 15-20. Mary 40-50, and there is no male the age of OUR John Brown, but there is an elder male 60-70 years old. He would have been the head of household, and his name was John Brown. They live near the Emanuel McNutt household where John’s son, David’s future wife lives. There is also a William McNutt nearby. He appears to be Emanuel McNutt's father. Emanuel was Harriet Guess/Gist's step-father. Harriet married David B. Brown, and they are my great great grandparents. Both William McNutt's and John Brown's appear on documents mentioned pertaining to Rachel [Havens] Gist/Guess's father, James Havens. Rachel was Harriet's mothr. All these families knew each other, and are interconnected. There is also the head of a household named “William Black” living nearby as well. Perhaps this is the family of Polly (Mary) Black, wife to John Brown. By 1840 they are living in Walker County, Alabama’s, and are listed on the Alabama census records for that year (10120001,0110101). On this census there IS a John Brown, 50-60 years old. If the elder John Brown were still in the household he is not mentioned. He is probably deceased, and he would have been 70-80 years old, at least 20 years older than the John Brown presently named as the head of the household. On 1847 tax records John Brown is still alive. A second John Brown is already deceased and his wife Hannah is mentioned. David Brown is on the same tax records. So after marrying Harriet in Shelby County, Tn (the Memphis area) in 1841, he has returned to the place of his birth. Marriage problems? Did she go with him? They had no children during those years. Perhaps we will never know. By 1850 census, my John’s widow Mary, is head of household in Walker County, Alabama,so he seems to have died between 1847 and 1850. Nothing is known of him before his marriage to “Polly” [Mary] Black. There was a “Brown’s Ferry” on the Lawrence/Limestone county lines across the Tennessee River. Melton’s Bluff is nearby. We have Gist relations who knew Jason Cloud, who knew a Cherokee named John Brown of
the other Brown’s Ferry near what is today Chattanooga, Tennessee. But we have hit dead ends at this point. Maybe one day we will find more. Once we thought it was impossible to discover our branch of the Gist’s, but we have with the help of others. Maybe what is needed is for all the Brown’s to get together and compare notes. Perhaps something else. Maybe we’ll never know. (1).

Our Brown's, 1850 census, Lawrence Co., Arkansas
David B. Brown 29 farmer Ala
Harriet Brown 33 Ala
Nancy I. Brown 7 Tenn
Thomas McNutt 16 farmer Ala
Nancy A. Loony 6 Ala
Thomas Opdych 61 physician Ohio
Our “Josephine” (my great grandma) wasn't born until 1854. Harriet (Guess) Brown's last step father was Emanuel McNutt. Thomas McNutt was her half-brother. They had the same mother. Nancy I. Brown's 'real name' was Nancy I joiner. Another of Harriet's ha-f sinlings was Cynthia McNutt. Cynthia married Thomas S. E. Joiner. Nancy I. was their daughter.
In 1860 this family looked like this:
Thomas McNutt 26 laborer Ala
Orlena McNutt 25 Ala
James McNutt 21 Arkansas
Betsy A. McNutt 3/12 Ark
“ — next door is – “
David B. Brown 37 Al
Harriet Brown 43 Tn
Nancy I. Brown 17 Tn
Nancy A. Brown 15 Al
John Brown 8 Ar
Josephine Brown 6 Ar
Sarah A. Brown 3 Ar
Amanda Brown 1 Ar
Notice “Nancy A. Loony” on the 1850 census has become “Nancy A. Brown”. I cover these things in my book, “Finding Our Indian Blood”. Thomas McNutt (Harriet's half brother) had married a girl named “Orlena”. Just who is “Orlena”? This brings us to another family who had just moved to Lawrence County, Arkansas.

1860 census, Lawrence County, Arkansas
:Mary Brown 59 NC
Nancy J Brown 19 Ala
Martha L. Brown 16 Ala
(next door)
Malinda JOHNSON 34 AL Laborer
Nancy “ 13 AL
Levi “ 12 AL
David “ 10 AL
Thomas “ 1 AR
Now, who are these Brown's? Are they related to ours? Well, to answer that, we have to keep searching.
1850 Walker County, Alabama census
Mary Brown 49 NC
Linday Brown 25 Ala
Elizabeth Brown 16 Ala
Orleny Brown 15 Ala
Alfred Brown 13 Ala
Nancy Brown 10 Ala
Martha Brown 8 Ala
Syntha Brown 4 Ala
Nancy Brown (inmate) 5 Ala
Levy Brown (inmate) 3 Ala
David Brown (inmate) 1/12 Ala

How does this family compare to the 1840 census of the family of John Brown, just discussed?Keep consider that families are dynamic things, as older family membrs move out or the household or pass on, and younger family members are born. Sometimes family members get married and the spouse moves in with them. Knowing that, let us check.
1 – 0-5 Alfred Brown would have been 3
0 – 5-10 no mention
1 – 10-15 no mention. One researcher mentions a Nehemiah Brown who would have been 11 years.
2 – 15-20 Our David would have been one of these, abt. 17.
0 – 20-30
0 – 30-40
1 – 40-50 John Brown, would have been 70-80. He is not on the 1840 census, but another John Brown IS on the 1840 census, in the same household, who would have been 40-50 years old..This means his birth would have been between 1790-1800.
2 – 0-5 Nancy would have been a baby, Orlena about 5.
1 – 5-10 Elizabeth would have been 6.
1 – 10-15 Malinda would have been 15
2 – 15-20 – unknown. Ten years later they would have been 25-30 years old – perhaps married.
0 – 20-30
0 – 30-40
1 – 40-50 Our Mary (Polly) Brown would have been 39. However often there are census records that are a few years off,
The 1850 of Walker County, Alabama is the same family found in Arkansas in 1860! Notice “Orleny” and recall “Orlena” Notice “Malinda Johnson” and compare her to “Linday Brown”. Notice children named Nancy, Levi, and David. Nancy and martha are also daughters of Mary Brown, but about 10 years older in 1860. These things are NO coincidence – it is the same family. Was Malinda's son David named after Malinda's older brother, also named David, MY ancestor, David Brown? It sure seems that way, but we need proof.
Proof David B. Brown is the son of John Brown and Polly (Mary) Brown
One name missing from the 1860 census in Arkansas is Alfred Brown. Where is he? Well, it just so happens that we have found Alfred Brown in Hopkins County, Texas in the 1860 census, is 22 years old, and says he was born in Alabama. In 1870 we have the following family in Lawrence County, Arkansas;

1870 Census Lawrence County, Ar
Alfred Brown 33 laborer Al
Nancy I. Brown 25 keeping house Tn
Mary J Brown 5 Ar
Louisa Brown 3 Ark
Alice Brown 2/12 Ark
Look at his wife – Nancy I Brown. This is the same girl who was daughter to Harriet's half-sister! Her real name was Nancy I Joiner, but was known as Nancy I. Brown. This ties the two Brown families even closer. The final proof of the relationship between David and Alfred Brown can be found in the 1880 census. Per great uncle's Oscar Richey's interview for “Indian Pioneer Papers”, we find after Jeff Richey married Josephine Brown in 1872, they moved just inside Indian Territory borders near Fort Smith. However, by 1880, they had moved again to live in Denton County, Texas. Here is the census of 1880 Denton County, Tx;

1880 Census, Denton County, Texas
Jeffrey H. Richey, age 28, Ar, In, Ar
Josephine, 26, Ar, Al, Al.
Etta E., 2, Tx, Ar, Ar.
Swaney, 1, Tx, Ar, Ar.
Mandy Knight, 18, sister-in- law, Ar, Al, Al.
Mary J. Brown, 16, cousin, Ar, Al, Al.

Notice the “cousin” Mary J Brown, 16 years old and there is the census 10 years earlier of Alfred Brown with a daughter named Mary J Brown, 5 years old. Notice it says BOTH her parents were born in Alabama while she was born in Arkansas. She IS the daughter of Alfred Brown and Nancy [Joiner] Brown. Josephine is Mary's cousin if her father, David Brown, and Alfred Brown, are BROTHERS! We have not found Alfred Brown on any later census records. But with his daughter living with my family in Denton Co., Tx in 1880, I think we have made a pretty strong case that David Brown and Alfred Brown are brothers.
About John Brown, Cherokee
I was told the following by a CDIB card-carrying enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation:
John Brown, (Cherokee) in the U.S. House of Representative Private Claims, Vol. 1 Record Image Index-only record Report issue
Name: John Brown, (Cherokee) Nature of Claim: Compensation for improvement on lands relinquished
Congress: 23 Session: 1 Manner Brought:
Petition Journal Page: 50
Referred to Committee: Indian Affairs

This is the John Brown the records were connected to ........
John Brown Birth 1795 in Unknown Death 1855 in Walker County, Alabama, USA
Timeline Birth 1795 Unknown [1 Source]
Marriage to Mary Polly Black 1820 23 Dec Age: 25 Lawrence County, Alabama, USA
Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969 - Its repeated 3 Times for each. 2 Sources
Residence 1840 Age: 45 Lawrence, Alabama, United States
Death 1855 Age: 60 Walker County, Alabama, USA

Wife and Children
Mary Polly Black 1801 – 1885
David B. Brown 1822 – 1865
Malinda Amanda Brown 1828 – 1880
Nehemiah Brown 1829 –
Elizabeth A. Brown 1834 – 1922
Alfred L. Brown 1837 –
Nancy Y. Brown 1840 –
Martha L. Brown 1843 –
Orleny Brown 1845 – 1889
Cynthia Brown 1846 –

John Brown in the U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 Record Image View Add alternate information Report issue Name: John Brown Issue Date: 16 Oct 1835 Acres: 80.01 Meridian: Huntsville State: Alabama County:
Winston Township: 11-S Range: 7-W Section: 25 Accession Number: AL1300__.148 Metes and Bounds: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566) Document Number: 6954
John Brown, (Cherokee) in the U.S. House of Representative Private Claims, Vol. 1 Record Image Index-only record Report issue Name: John Brown, (Cherokee) Nature of Claim: Compensation for improvement on lands relinquished Congress: 21 Session: 1 Manner Brought: Petition Journal Page: 318 Referred to Committee: Indian A
John Brown Jr in the U.S., War of 1812 Service Records, 1812-1815 Record Image Index-only record Add alternate information Report issue Name: John Brown Jr Company: COL. MORGAN, JR.'S, REG'T CHEROKEE INDIANS. Rank - Induction: PRIVATE Rank - Discharge: PRIVATE Roll Box: 27
Prisoner Of War David was listed on a roll of prisoners from Corinth, Mississippi at Provost Marshal's Office October 14, 1862. He was at the battle of Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing Tennessee; the Battle of Iuka, Mississippi on 19 September 1862, the battle of Corinth on the 3rd & 4th; Hatchie on the 5th and 6th of October.
But still, I am trying to differentiate between my Brown's and others, to discover how they go back to the Cherokee, and if there are records that can prove it.

Searching for More Information Based on What I've Been Told
FOLKS – THAT IS US!! But HOW do they attach OUR John Brown to the one in those documents? If we can just do that, he have the connection we need. Apparently there is a record from the 21st and 23rd session of Congress of our John Brown asking to be compensated for improvements on lands he'd relinquished, and the names of his wife and children are apparently mentioned. Some things are still not clear about this, so more work is needed to be done. Each time we find something, it leaves more questions than it actually answered . . . back to the drawing board, to seek more answers. And I wonder if this is what dad's cousin Euness found? -- that elusive proof . . .
I was able to contact someone at Congressional Archives who sent me the following information:
Dear Mr. Hawkins:
In looking at an index, I saw that your John Brown began petitioning in the 21st Congress, and in the 24th Congress a private law was enacted on his behalf.
The Library of Congress through its American Memory Project has placed online various Congressional-related publications at
Through it you'd be able to see the one-sentence references to his submissions of petitions in the 21st, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Congresses.  Those entries are in the House Journal.  For the 21st Congress, 1st session on page 318; for the 21st Congress, 2nd session on page 163; for the 22nd Congress, 1st session on page 387; for the 22nd Congress, 2nd session on page 79; for the 23rd Congress, 1st session on page 50; and for the 24th Congress, 1st session on page 96.
You'd be able to see the law in Volume 6 of United States Statutes at Large on page 692.
I'll put in the mail to you a copy of the law as well as a printed copy of House Report 73 of the 22nd Congress, 2nd session, to accompany bill H.R. 717 (that you'd also be able to see from the same site) on behalf of James Brown and John Brown.
Typically the same petition is submitted over and over again, which would explain why I didn't see a copy when I looked in appropriate places for the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Congress.  From the 24th Congress I'll send you a photocopy of the letter on the back of which was written "James & John Brown - March 20 1837 - Papers sent as within requested"  The front of the letter from the 2nd Auditor's Office in the Treasury Department was the request:  "You will please send to the Department of the 2nd auditor all the papers relating to an act fro the relief of James & John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, passed the 3rd March 1837."
If you want to pursue a quest to locate the paperwork in question, send a new e-mail to  For the subject line put:  RG 217, 2nd Auditor request
In the body of the e-mail state that you're looking for the paperwork send from the House of Representatives to the Treasury Department's 2nd Auditor Office on March 9, 1837, in follow-up to a private law passed on March 3, 1837, "for the relief of James and John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee Nation of Indians."  Indicate that you're looking for the paperwork associated with John Brown.
Those particular records are extremely difficult to work with.  It could be that the archivist who responds will simply invite you or your designated research representative to come to the National Archives Building to attempt to locate the desired paperwork.  I don't know if that will be the case.  If it is, one option would be to contract with someone in the Washington area to undertake research on your behalf, with names on this list:
Rodney A. Ross
Center for Legislative Archives
So, someone assured me our family was the same John Brown mentioned in records found in Washington DC. I have found a Cherokee named John Brown about the same age as ours, but he at present, have no connection between that Cherokee family that ties them to our Brown's other than circumstance. I am hoping these Congressional records in Washington DC will fill up that void. I searched the web site she suggested and found a few things:
21st congress, 1st session, Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1829-1830
MONDAY, February 22, 1830.
Mr. Standifer presented a petition of John Brown, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Indians, praying to be paid for improvements made by him on lands, which were afterwards reserved by treaty between the United States and the Cherokee Indians, to a certain David Fields.
Ordered, That the said memorials and petitions be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
21st congress, 2nd session
On motion of Mr. Standefer,
Ordered, That the petition of John Brown, presented February 22, 1830, be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.

source 1.
Committee: Committee of the Whole House~Committee on Indian Affairs
January 28, 1833
Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Thompson, of Georgia, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of James Brown and John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee nation of Indians.
Ordered, That the petitions of John Brown, presented February 22, 1830, and James Brown, Cherokee Indians, presented March 2d, 1830, be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs.
Mr. Thompson, of Georgia, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, made a report on the petitions of James Brown and John Brown, half breeds of the Cherokee nation of Indians, accompanied by a bill (No. 717) for their relief; which bill was read the first and second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow.
Ordered, That the petition of John Brown, a Cherokee Indian, presented February 22, 1830, and the petition of James Brown, a Cherokee Indian, presented March 2, 1830, be referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs
The following Brown's are listed on the Reservation Rolls:; Reservation ID. 60, Alexander Brown, 61, James Brown, 62, John Brown, 63, John Brown Jr, 64, John Brown Sr, 65, Polly Brown, and 66, William Brown..David Fields was assigned the reservation #165.
James Brown
Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 22nd Congress, 1st Session, Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Bell, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of the legal representatives of James Brown.
Committee: Committee of the Whole House
February 17, 1832
Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Bell, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of the legal representatives of James Brown.

  1. Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1831-1832; FRIDAY, February 17, 1832.

Mr. Bell, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, made a report on the petition of Joseph Brown, accompanied by a bill (No. 391) for the relief of James Brown; which bill was read the first and second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow.
Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 24th Congress, 1st Session, Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Everett, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of James Brown and John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee nation of Indians.

Committee: Committee of the Whole House~Committee on Indian Affairs
February 5, 1836
Read twice, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House to-morrow. Mr. Everett, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of James Brown and John Brown, half breeds, of the Cherokee nation of Indians.
Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 22nd Congress, 1st Session, Read twice, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House to which is committed the bill (H.R. No. 391) for the relief of the legal representatives of Joseph Brown. Mr. Mason, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of John W. Flowers, Nicholas Miller, William Drew, and Joseph Rodgers.
Committee: Committee of the Whole House~Committee on Indian Affairs
May 10, 1832
Read twice, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House to which is committed the bill (H.R. No. 391) for the relief of the legal representatives of Joseph Brown. Mr. Mason, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported the following bill: A Bill For the relief of John W. Flowers, Nicholas Miller, William Drew, and Joseph Rodgers.
I found the above online as a result of the email I received concerning the Cherokee Brown's. Although I knew of these Brown's, I did not know if we were talking about the same John Brown. Having one person saying this was about my Brown's gave me the will to collect as much material as I could. I have gone down so many dead geological ends in the past, what is one more?Notice the mention of a Joseph brown. I have no idea who he was, but since he was a Brown, I have saved material about him.
More Material Sent by the Archivist
Mr. L. L. Ross of the National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D. C. 20408-0001, mailed me a few more pages. Know that although the final document declaring they were to be paid is dated March 3rd, 1837, they had first petitioned the government for relief in about 1829 or 1830. The document covers both James and John Brown. I have transcribed both parts. It reads as follows:
22d Congress, 2d Session [Rep. No. 73.] Ho. Of Reps.
James and John Brown
[To Accompany bill H. R. no. 717.]
Jan 28, 1833
Mr. Thompson of Georgia made the following report:
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of James Brown, and the petition of John Brown, makes the following report:
[section on James Brown]
Te petition of James Brown alleges that he is a citizen and a half breed of the Cherokee Nation of Indians and that in pursuance of the treaty of 1819, between the United States and said Indians, he abandoned two improvements, for which he asks compensation.
The evidence submitted to the committee shows, that the improvements claimed by said James Brown, the first, as appears from the evidence, consisting of fifty-five acres of cleared land, under fence and in cultivation, with one dwelling house, one and a half stories high, nineteen feed wide by twenty-two long,, well sealed above and below, two shed rooms in the rear, piaza in front, under shingle roof, a good stone chimney, with one fire place below and one above stairs; a kitchen, smoke house, corn crib, stables, &c; and the other, consisting of forty acres of improved land, with several ordinarily good cabins, was, at the time, or immediately after the surrender of them by said James Brown, worth the sum of six hundred and forty-seven dollars. That the first of said improvements was said by said James Brown for his own special use; and that the other improvement “was made for the use of a school which the said James Brown did maintain, mostly at his own expense.” And that said James Brown abandoned said improvements to his successors, without any consideration from the State of Tennessee or any individual.”
[section on John Brown]
The petitioner, John Brown, alleges in his petition, that he is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and that the General Government deprived him of an improvement made by himself, by including it in a reserve granted by the United States to David Fields, for which the petitioner claims compensation. The evidence submitted by the committee proves, that the improvements for which the petitioner, John Brown, claims compensation, consisting of, as appears from the evidence, forty acres of land, enclosed and in cultivation; one grist mill and two log cabins, was, at the time the said John Brown was dispossessed, worth the sum of three hundred and thirty dollars, and the said improvement was included in the reserve granted to the said David Fields.
The petitioners claim compensation for improvements of which they were deprived by the operation of the treaty of 1819, between the United States and the Cherokee Nation of Indians under the second article of said treaty by which “the United States agreed to pay according to the stipulation contained in the treaty of the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen, for all improvements on land lying within the country ceded by the Cherokees, which add real value to the land.” It is shown by the evidence submitted to the committee, that the improvements, for which confirmation is now claimed, was included in the country ceded by the treaty of 1819, and are now situated within the county of Hamilton, in the state of Tennessee. According to the officer in charge of the Indian Bureau, addressed to a member of this committee, in reply to a call for information on the subject, shows that the office affords no evidence that the improvements in question were appraised, or paid for according to the provisions of the treaty of 1819, according to the stipulations contained in the treaty of the eighth of July, eighteen hundred and seventeen.” While it is admitted that the treaty of 1817 provided an allowance for improvements surrendered in pursuance of that treaty,, to such Indians and Indian countrymen only who actually emigrated west of the Mississippi River, the committee are of opinion that the broad provision provided for the second article of the treaty of 1819, for the payment of the value of improvements surrendered with the country ceded by the last mentioned treaty, entitles the petitioners to a fair compensation for the improvements which they surrendered in pursuance of that treaty. The evidence shows that those improvements added a certain real value of the improvements of the ceded lands. By a surrender of those improvements, the petitioners were deprived of the benefits secured to the possessor of the land y such improvements. Common justice will therefore, award to the petitioners renumeration. The committee are of the opinion that the evidence presented to them bears satisfactory marks of credibility, and that valuation of the improvements described by the evidence, is not unreasonable. Believing that James Brown is entitled to the sum of six hundred and forty seven dollars,, and that John Brown is entitled to the further sum of three hundred and thirty dollars,the committee therefore report a bill for their relief.
This appears to be saying that they (John and James Brown) lost lands in Hamilton County, Tennessee, as a result of the treaties of 1817 and 1819. They were not compensated for these loses until 1833. Since James and John Brown are mentioned together, perhaps they are brothers. What is important is that both of these men lost their lands as a result of the treaties of 1817 and 1819, and therefore where did each go after that?
My John Brown married on December 23rd, 1820, in Lawrence County, Alabama, on lands that had just been ceded by the Cherokee Nation to the United States, as well.
Main Points
James Brown . . . in pursuance of the treaty of 1819 . . .That the first of said improvements was said by said James Brown for his own special use; and that the other improvement “was made for the use of a school which the said James Brown did maintain, mostly at his own expense.” And that said James Brown abandoned said improvements to his successors, without any consideration from the State of Tennessee or any individual.”
James Brown abandoned his home and a school. Neither the person that moved into his home nor the state of Tennessee compensated him for his loss. This suggests the lost lands were in Tennessee.
Davy Crockett, His Own Story
There is another source for Cherokees living in Northern Alabama at the time of the Creek Red Stick War whose surname was “Brown”. Whereas the story above speaks of a Cherokee Indian named John Brown having forty acres of land in Hamilton County, Tennessee at the time of the 1817 and 1819 treaties, Davy Crockette's account puts a Cherokee named “Old man Brown” south and east of Ditto's Landing, at the time of the Creek War, 1813-1814. Old Man Brown was the father of a Cherokee named Colonel “Dick” (Richard) Brown. It is known that his father was named John Brown. It is known that John Brown had a son named John Brown. And both Richard and his brother had sons named John Brown. With all of these Cherokees named John Brown, I have never been able to separate one John Brown from another.
From page 46 Crockett has joined Jackson's army against the Creek Red Stick Warriors. He says that while General Jackson was still in Nashville he states that Major Gibson asked for volunteers to go across the Tennessee River. He and others volunteered..He states; We went on, and crossed the Tennessee River at a place called Ditto's Landing; and then traveled about seven miles further, and took up camp for the night. . . . The next morning however, Major Gibson and myself concluded that we should separate and take different directions to see what discoveries we could make; so he took seven of the men, and I five. Making thirteen in all, including myself. He was to go by the house of a Cherokee Indian named Dick Brown, and I was to go by Dick's father's, getting all the information we could. We were to meet that evening where the roads came together,, fifteen miles the other side Brown's.
Several days later, near the end of this encounter, Crockette says; “We pushed on til we got again to Old Mr. Brown's,which was still about thirty miles from where we had left the main army.” This gives us a pretty good idea of where “Old Mr. Brown” lived. They had left the main army at Ditto's Landing. So he must have lived about 30 miles south of Ditto's landing. On page 55 Crockette mentions a Cherokee Colonel, Dick Brown. This has to be the same Dick Brown he mentioned a few days earlier. He is better known as Richard Brown. He was a well known figure, and it is known that his father was named John Brown. The elder John Brown also had a son named John Brown. Col. Richard Brown also had a son named John Brown. I mention these Cherokee Brown's because my Brown's lived nearby a decade later.
So “Old Mr. Brown” lived about 30 miles from Ditto's Landing, in 1813 or 14. Our John Brown lived in Lawrence County, Alabama 6 years after that, when he married Polly (Mary) Black.

1.] From my book, Finding Our Indian Blood, Chapter 5.
2.] Davy Crockett, His Own Story, p. 46-51.