Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Letters from Blythe's Ferry

Marker ID:  
Location: at the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park on Shadden Rd., Birchwood, TN
County: Meigs
Coordinates: N 35° 24.423    W 085° 0.383
  35.40705    -85.00638333
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


The several detachments of Emigrating Cherokees under the charge of Messrs. Hair Conrad, Elijah Hicks, John Benge, Jesse Bushyhead, Sitewakee, James D. Wofford, Stephen Foreman, & Moses Daniel having signified their readiness for the road will take up the line of march as soon as their business at the office of the U.S. Commrs. shall be closed. In consequence of continued bad state of Mr. Conrad's health, Capt. David Colston has been appointed in his stead and will without delay conduct the detachment on. Mr. E. Hicks has taken the lead in the Emigration and has moved on with his party. From the great anxiety manifested by the people in the several detachments (notwithstanding the many embarrassments arising from sickness and intermeddling influences) I am fully persuaded we shall be able to have the entire Emigration in motion, as soon as every reasonable consideration will permit. To carry out our engagement in these respects I have deemed it necessary to make this my requisition for Two hundred and Sixty four thousand, nine hundred & Sixty dollars to meet the expenses of four detachments and which amount you please, order to be paid to me. I have the honor to be, Sir, very respectfully, yr. obt. Hble. Servt.

John Ross
Oct. 2nd, 1838

I embrace the opportunity to say to you that we arrived at this place early in the day on yesterday, and up to this time, 10 o'clock AM, we have only succeeded in getting some twenty wagons across the (Tennessee) River. In fact I am constrained to the conclusion that the proprietors of the Ferry, influenced by the surrounding citizens (for lucrative purposes) are determined to retard all exertions on the part of the conductors to proceed with their detachments. Hence I would respectfully suggest the propriety, if practicable to {farm?} the use of the Ferry until you people have all crossed. Judging by the past, I believe that will consume a part of tomorrow in getting all our detachment upon the opposite bank.

J. Powell
Blythe's Ferry {Tennessee}
Oct. 16th, 1838


There were some sick persons with their friends of Wofford's party left near Blythe's Ferry, tow of them have died and the others recovered, they will now proceed in Mr. Hilderbrand's detachment - the number is stated to be eighty-five.

To Winfield Scott, Cherokee Agency
Nov. 12th, 1838


To Winfield Scott
Athens, Ten. Nov 9th, 1838

Requisition for funds to meet the issues of Provisions, soap, and forage made by Lewis Ross under his Contract with the Cherokee Nation, of the several detachments of Emigrating Cherokees during the time they were delayed and stopped by the drought and other unavoidable causes, up to the time said parties took up the line of march for the west, as pr. Abstract viz.

For 272,145 Complete rations of provisions at 16 cents per ration $43,543.20
For 8,164 11/16 lbs. Soap at 15 cents per lb. 1,224.70
For 120,034 rations of forage at 40 cents per rations 48,013.60