March 17, 1775 was not just another day. In a small place on the edge of the frontier at Sycamore Shoals, 1200 Cherokee led by Chief Attakullakulla met with Judge Richard Henderson and his partners in the Transylvania Company, Daniel Boone and Nathaniel Hart, and 600 settlers. After viewing the 6 wagonloads full of goods estimated to be 8000 pounds sterling and another 2000 pounds in cash, the largest single private land purchase was made.
March 27-28 marked the first time the Washington County Militia recreated the historic land purchase. Saturday was a glorious day and there were a goodly number of members participating. All hands were on deck, either as colonials or Natives, in the fort and down at the primitive encampment, recreating life on the frontier. Many of the members demonstrated skills that were needed for survival and goods that made life more comfortable.We were lucky to have with us again Shay Lelegren and wife, Kelly, who made period tin products on site (Hot Dip Tin is their company). Other members conducted tomahawk throws, demoed pine basket weaving, period camping, weaponry of the time and a host of other skills. All the cabins were also set up to authentically recreate the life of the settlers.
At 1 PM, approximately 80 people watched watched as Judge Henderson (Chad Bogart) met with Chief Attakullakulla (played by Mark Finchum who traveled clear from Jefferson City to participate) and in the signing of the agreement. Finchum , in his role, also gave a lecture about native culture and their presence in the area. Commander Bob McCroskey and others conducted a seminar at the Visitors Center for teachers and public. One member overheard comments by visitors saying this was t he best muster they’ve seen yet.
Sunday was a rainyish day and attendence was light. The regiment drilled, demonstrated shooting , and people came into the cabins and saw how life was in the early part of Tennessee history.
Check out the Johnson City Press’s report and video on the weekend. Also Retha will be sending pictures which I will be posting on Webshots soon.