Chronology of Hamilton County 1540 - 1838

Chronology of Hamilton County 1540 - 1838

1540, July: Hernando De Soto visited the present site of Hamilton County.

1761: The Old French Store was established at the present site of Chattanooga.

1770: Capt. John McDonald made his home on Chickamauga Creek.

1775: Chief Dragging Canoe seceded from the Cherokee Indian tribe and
established himself and his followers at the Chickamauga Towns on Chickamauga Creek.

1776: The Chickamauga Towns became British headquarters in the Southwest.

1779: Chickamauga was chosen by Henry Hamilton, British Governor at
Detroit, for a great conclave of all the hostile Indian tribes and the British agents.

1779, April 13.: The "Chickamauga Expedition" against the Chickamaugas
and other hostile Indians and the British Agents was successfully undertaken by
Col. Evan Shelby and Col. John Montgomery. The power of Great Britain and it's allies was broken.

1780, March 7-11,: Col. John Donelson's party passed down the Tennessee
River en route from Fort Patrick Henry to French Lick.

1780, March 7,: The first white child, born in what is now Hamilton County, was born to Mrs. Ephraim Peyton, a member of Col. Donelson's party. The child was born on the bank of the Chickamauga Creek.

1782, September,: The last Expedition of the Revolution  took place, Col. John
Sevier being ordered to attack the Chickamaugas in the Hamilton County
country. Early historians say that he fought a battle on Lookout Mountain.

1786: Daniel Ross married Molly McDonald, daughter of  Capt. John McDonald and Anna Shorey McDonald.

1788, May 7,: Col. James Brown and his party passed down the Tennessee
River. His boat was seized by the Indians. Col. Brown was killed and his family,
including young Joseph Brown, was captured.

1788, January or February: Boats containing forty people who were moving
to the Cumberland Settlement were attacked by the Chickamaugas at the mouth of the Chickamauga. Thirty-seven of the forty  people were killed.

1788, August: Gen. Joseph Martin fought a battle with Indians on Lookout Mountain on the War Path,the present site of the highway leading to the top. This was the second battle of Lookout Mountain. The Indians were victorious.

1792: Mrs. Crockett and her eight children were killed by Indians close to
the Georgia border.

1792, March 1,: Chief Dragging Canoe died at Running Water Town.

1794: President George Washington recommended that a military post be
established on the Tennessee River at the mouth of Lookout Creek (at Chattanooga) if the Cherokees would give permission.  They refused.

1794, September 13,: Major James Ore's battles with the Chickamaugas at
Nickajack and Running Water destroyed the power of the Chickamauga tribe and ended the Indian Wars. The Chickamauga tribe returned to the
Cherokee Council and sued for peace.

1806, August 1,: Dr. Gideon Blackburn established at Sale Creek the first
mission school for the Indians in the Hamilton County country. In the same year
he had a similar school in Hiawassee. He taught spinning, weaving and domestic arts as well as religion.

1807: Robert Patterson established his residence on Opossum Creek and built
a mill for the benefit of the Indians by the authority of the United States
Government and the Cherokee Nation. He also established a small school for his children and the children of the pioneers, who began to settle in the country later on.

1810 (approximate date): John Ross and Timothy Meigs entered into partnership as "Meigs and Ross" and established a store on the Tennessee River at the present site of Chattanooga. The store soon had a large patronage.

1812: The lake, now called Montlake, on Walden's Ridge was formed by the
earthquake which at the same time formed Reelfoot Lake in Obion County.

1812, April 3,: Return Jonathan Meigs, son of Timothy Meigs and grandson of
Col. Return Jonathan Meigs, was born near the Meigs and Ross store. He was the first child of full white blood born at the present site of Chattanooga who lived.

1815: Timothy Meigs died.

1815: Ross Landing began to be so called. John Ross took his brother, Lewis
Ross, into partnership.

1817, Jan.17: The "Mission on Chickamauga" was established.

1817, September (the last Sunday): A Presbyterian church at the "Mission
on Chickamauga" was organized.

1818: The name of the "Mission on Chickamauga" was changed to the
Brainerd Mission. The name of the church was changed to Brainerd Church.

1819: President James Monroe and Gen. and Mrs. Edmund Pendleton Gaines
visited Brainerd Mission and Brainerd Church.

1819, Oct.25,: Hamilton County was erected by Act of the General Assembly
of Tennessee.

1819, November: The site which was afterwards Dallas was selected as the
county seat.

1820, March: An election was held on the first Thursday and Friday of the month
to choose officers of the Hamilton County militia which was to be a part of the 64th Regiment, Seventh Brigade, Tennessee Militia.

1828, December 28,: The Presbyterian Church at Soddy was organized.

1835, Nov.7,: John Howard Payne was arrested by Georgia troops while he was
in the home of Chief John Ross.

1835, Dec.29,: The treaty of New Echota was procured.

1836, May 23,: The treaty of New Echota was proclaimed.

1836: A military post was established at Ross's Landing.

1836, Oct.18,: The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee passed an act
establishing Ocoee District from the territory which had been the Cherokee Nation. That part of Hamilton County which is south of the Tennessee River
was in this district.

1836: The settler's in Ross's Landing built a log cabin schoolhouse which also
served as a community hall.

1837, March 22,: Ross's Landing became a United States Post Office. Capt. John P. Long was postmaster.

1837, June: The settler's of Ross's Landing met at the met in the log cabin
schoolhouse to choose commissioners to represent them, when the state should open the land to entry. The commissioners elected were Allen Kennedy, Albert S. Lenoir, John P. Long, Reynolds A. Ramsey, Aaron M. Rawlings and George W. Williams.

1837, Nov.18,: The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee passed an act
providing for the entry and sale of lands in the Ocoee District for the benefit of
the school fund of the state. The act granted the heads of families residing on the lands priority of entry.

1837: The commissioners entered the the land for the heads of families in Ross's Landing at 7.50 an acre. There were 240 acres in two tracts or sections.

1838, June 1,: The Hamilton County Gazette was established.

1838: Sometime between June 1 and August 11 the citizens of Ross's Landing
met with the commissioners in the log schoolhouse, having determined that the
name should be changed. It is said that everyone, even the children, attended the meeting. Capt. John P. Long suggested the name Chattanooga.

Submitted by Karen Chastain






Back to History

Copyright 2009 - Hamilton County Tennessee Genealogical Society