Eliza Jane Kirk

Alyce Gazette of the State of GA Oct.16, 1788

From: mona everett <cowpost@msn.com>
GA-OLD-NEWS-L@rootsweb.com>
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2002 10:05 AM
Subject: [GA-Old-News] Gazette of the State of GA Oct.16, 1788


Quite possibly! I am actually just a  family member doing some legwork on
this--there are 2 others who are much more organized and knowledgeable about
the Kirks. If you say it is ok, I will pass your letter to them, too. If
not, I'll do my best to be a go-between. Either way is fine--I am excited to
have a response so fast.

As to "my list," I just subscribed today to the Old News list and posted my
info that you got. You must be subscribed as well?

Here is what I know about my Kirks in a nutshell:

My great-great grandmother was Eliza Jane Kirk, born in TN in 1826 or 27.
Her father was John Kirk.

Now there were 2 John Kirks in the area at the time and we always thought we
knew which one Eliza belonged to, but we uncovered some info in a Hartley
family will (we thought her mother was Mary (Polly) Hartley) that lists
"most" of the children and Eliza is not on the list. In fact, we find no
mention of Eliza until she gets married in 1847.

Now, one of the folks I was going to connect you up with KNOWS which John
Kirk she belongs to (John W. Kirk) and it is this line of Kirks that was
involved in the Kirk Family Massacre in 1788, just south of what is
currently Maryville, Blount County, TN. (Her husband is descended from
Joseph Kirk, son of John, Sr., in the massacre story below.) I was just
there last week and saw the site.

If you don't know about the massacre, there are several write ups about it
and it goes like this:

It's 1788. John Kirk, Sr., and his son John, Jr. (about 18), and a younger
son Joseph, had gone to the mill. Some Cherokees appeared at the home and
killed the wife and 5 or 6 kids. One daughter was still barely alive when
the men returned and identified the Indians (the family had often fed them
and they had been friendly in the past, evidently). Then the girl died.

John, Jr. went out for revenge with some other men, including John Sevier.
The found the Indians in question (and probably some not involved). I'd have
to look to get it all correct, but John Sevier left the men and went off
somewhere, knowing the state of mind they were in and aware of what would
likely happen. The Indians showed the white flag, the men crossed the river.
The Indians, several old and famous chiefs among them, were in a hut. After
Sevier left, someone gave John, Jr.(or he picked up) a hatchet and told him
to go get his revenge. He went in the hut and killed 6-7 Indians.

A hue and cry went up (on both sides) and John Sevier ended up getting a lot
of the blame. Sometime after this, John, Jr., wrote a letter to one of the
Indians that is supposed to have been published in the GA Gazette. It is
that letter I am looking for. We have a transcription, but want to see the
original newspaper. In the letter, John, Jr., accepts responsibility for his
actions to spare John Sevier.

The 2 letters I copied from the Gazette are about the massacre--one lists
the killed and wounded (altho' I think this is a separate fight after the
original massacre) and one condemns the men who retaliated following the
original Kirk massacre (altho' does not name names).

All this happened when Sevier was trying to get the State of Franklin
organized and boundaries were changing. The Cherokees were signing treaties
with NC, the US, and Franklin. The Kirks thought they were in NC, but were
actually settled on Indian land.

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