Pandemic vs PURC Plan

The plan was to present this research:

GOAL: To demonstrate that, although his survey map “MAY” have been lost, there are other survey maps that survived that can help us to find the location of the reserve of one particular Cherokee Chief named EightKiller, who was given a 640 acre reserve in what is now known as Tracy City, TN but has always been known as the “Fiery Gizzard”.

But- I also wanted to present this at the PURC and unfortunately, could not so I am sharing my experience with that process this year. For more on PURC- check this out:

Eight Killer starts showing in documents as early as the beginning of the 1800’s and the last reference I have found of him was in 1842.

If 2020- 2021 had a “motto” it might be

“The best laid plans…”

Robert burns quotes courage Robert burns quote “the best laid plans of mice  and men often go |
Please- Right Click every link to open in New Tab until I can figure out what’s wrong with WP and why it isn’t letting me set it to automatically do that for you.

A well planned event (PURC) has become another casualty to the pandemic

Here are the states that have shut down nonessential businesses - ABC News
April 3, 2020

This affected not only the plans for symposiums and conferences but also for schools and libraries.

And despite very well laid plans and wonderful people- the C19 got in the way.

Delays abounded and we are still working on alternatives for work, study, and socializing.

Our Pandemic Year—A COVID-19 Timeline > News > Yale Medicine
COVID-19 US Travel Restrictions: State-By-State Guide for January 2021 |  TravelPulse
Travel Restrictions accessed May 1, 2021

“while many states have already relaxed or dropped their domestic travel restrictions, the more cautious ones still have COVID-19 regulations or requirements for out-of-state travelers.” (Travel Pulse website)

So- PURC didn’t work out

Well, that didn't work. - Post by CatTrick on Boldomatic

Time for a PLAN B on how to present this.

What was I hoping to present in front of real folks?

This is what I have been working on for a long time. What was the plan?

GOAL: To demonstrate that, although his survey map “MAY” have been lost, there are other survey maps that survived that can help us to find the location of the reserve of one particular Cherokee Chief named EightKiller.

NOTE: I say “MAY” because the Tenn. archivist assured me that this survey map (although not yet digitized) may possibly be in their boxed files but no one can go look until after the Pandemic is over but she felt certain that the description of the land is still kept there as well and matches the facts as documented on Fold3.

Survey Equipment Header
“A land survey is a process that is used to determine the features and boundaries of a property. It can also be used to determine easements, encroachments, to find out how to develop or build on land, as well as to maintain local codes and regulations. There are different types of land surveys that can be performed depending on the need...

"There are 3 major types of land surveys Construction or Engineering, Geodetic & Boundary or Land...

"Boundary or Land: determines where properly lines are located."


The process of using an initial starting point to find where another line is can be similar to that good ol’ high school trig formula you may remember memorizing once upon a time:

Image of a triangulation network, diagram placed over an image of a town to make an example.

I spoke to three different surveyors about this project of locating the land for Eight Killer.

They told me that using an actual plot map that is accurately described is the best way but if the original is lost, a map of a neighboring surveyors map could be used to determine where the other is as long as that is accurately described in the records somewhere.

I found the records of the original survey maps on Fold3.

(Fold3  (was formerly known as–

I also found maps of actual plots on the Tennessee website:

To make sure that the descriptions were accurate, I reviewed 23 different plot maps from the original treaty to the surveyor’s notes in Fold3 and then compared these to plot maps on file in Marion County, Tennessee at their online website:

This took a lot of time but because I was able to find old plot maps not only online but in the records of the historical association members (contact was Author Nonie Webb, who graciously consented to an interview for me on a former project and whose books I referred to again for this one).

I started with a plot that is famous and compared that first then looked for less famous plots:

Elizabeth Lowery Pack (daughter of John Lowery, and wife of William Shory Pack) – Cherokee

Composite of photos from here Wikitree genealogy page

Her plot and description was easy to locate because she has such notoriety.

Eight killer has been largely forgotten except by some claiming to be his descendants.

However, his reserve or plot lay next to Betsy’s relative Susannah and therefore was easy to triangulate based on not only her well known plot but also the plots of other neighboring Cherokee found at the in their digital collection which matched up to the records on fold3.

CHEROKEE NATION RESIDENTS Marion County, Tennessee - PDF Free Download
Shared with me via email from Author Nonie Webb
CHEROKEE NATION RESIDENTS Marion County, Tennessee - PDF Free Download
Shared with me via email from Author Nonie Webb

I then overlaid these maps onto a topographical map I purchased at the store in Tracy City, Tennessee that raises funds for Grundy Forest State Natural Area at South Cumberland State Park and that is next to the Fiery Gizzard described in the surveyor’s notes for Eight Killer.

You can view your own topo map of that at this website

I suggest you go to the site and explore the map. You can easily find the “Gizzard” on the map.

That led to this preliminary outline of the subject that I blogged about earlier this year:

Once I had this information, I was able to compare the maps and find enough information in the surveyor’s notes on Fold3 to be reasonably confident that the location described matches the one that is nowadays called the “Fiery Gizzard Gorge”.

How I did this?

I read a LOT of microfilm!

I pulled files from the TN Archives and from the Indian Affairs.

I interviewed land surveyors.

See, land is surveyed by starting at one known agreed upon starting point and then measuring from that point to the next description and so on.

Doing this, you can literally go from one known and well documented location on to another, as the website I referenced above tells us.

It is like putting together a puzzle.

You start with a few pieces that interlock and you match those to the next piece and so on.

Puzzle from my house- thank you to my family!
almost there!
another piece!
just match the KNOWN elements to the UNKNOWN elements!
and then your puzzle is complete!

This puzzle was one a family member put together recently and the back was alphabetized but the other side is a beautiful picture!

And all we had to do was find and match the KNOWN elements to the UNKNOWN elements!

This is what I did with the maps to determine the location of Eight Killer’s Reserve.

This is what the other side looks like:

Tektalk Paddling at Leisure 1000 Piece Puzzle Jigsaw Puzzle from

Here is the finished puzzle for those who are curious if it got completed:

Completed! The puzzle workers told me they had done the other side so they knew the “pattern” and they sorted the pieces by the alphabet then were able to complete this puzzle in hours as opposed to the days it took to do the other side. Knowing what you are starting with can help you find something you don’t know!

Thank you for letting me share this incredible journey.

Now, all we need to do is mount an expedition to the “Gizzard” and use archeological tools to find his cabin based on the description in the original survey notes.

Cherokee Daybook, Feb 22, 1823-Apr 26, 1834 – Page 37 and following from FOLD3

Leif Erikson Day – October 9

Yes, today is April- but I want to talk about October 😉

Every year on October 9, more and more people are celebrating the discovery of what is now known as North America on Leif Erickson Day. (


For hundreds of years people had shared stories that were thought to be myths that Leif Erickson had discovered America but finally “In 1960, Modern Day Explorers Helge and Anne Instad” found the proof that the stories were true!

From Youtube video – linked below

Where they found it

File:L'Anse aux Meadows map.png - Wikimedia Commons

Here is another view:

From Youtube Video, Linked below

I’m going to share ONE video next

but before I do, we know more now than the Instad’s did.

We know that it was not a brief settlement. It lasted almost 200 years!

We know that the Vikings traded with the original inhabitants that they met here (despite early, deadly encounters!)

We know that this was not the only settlement by Vikings in North America.

After you watch the video, (don’t worry, its really short at just 3 minutes and 32 seconds!)

You will know more about the true story of Europeans landing in America.

You may also have a lot more questions, so I am providing links below this section so you can explore further.


DID YOU KNOW?? Christopher Columbus wrote a letter in his own handwriting that shows us that he himself spent TWELVE YEARS living among the very people who were still celebrating the discovery of Vinland and Leif’s accomplishments!?!

Davidson, Miles H. (1997). Columbus then and now: a life reexamined. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.ISBN 978-0-8061-2934-1.

The questions are still being asked.

Questions like,

“What does this mean when it comes to our theories about DNA migration patterns of Europeans that we have discovered in North America”

“How does this affect DNA we have though appeared in Europe after this encounter that might have come from North America via the Viking route?”

After all, this was a TWO HUNDRED YEAR long settlement!

Yep, they would have had a bicentennial too!

There was probably some admixture!

Why don’t we know more about it yet?

I don’t claim to have those answers but I can tell you that the UNESCO has recognized L’Anse Aux Meadows as a world heritage site.

L’Anse aux Meadows Marker

Now that we have an introduction to all this- here is the information in a handy, short, youtube video that someone else produced.

I am only posting one short video even though there are hundreds out there you can find and letting you make up your own mind.

Here is the 3:32 video I hope you will enjoy watching:

From the YouTube video

Now that you have watched that, I hope you understand the importance of this archeological site.

I also know you probably have more questions now than when you started reading this blog.

How to deliver a powerful closing to a speech on any topic - PR Daily


and don’t forget what National Geographic says:

So now you know about the wonder that is the site at L’anse Aux Meadows.

But if you want to explore more about the possibility of Vikings at other sites in America, I have continued beyond that subject into other directions and if you want, you can explore that as well below.

Everything I have looked at has made me question more and more.

One of the videos (below) that spoke of how the military has bombarded a site that seems to have had more relics (but is now too dangerous to explore due to the unexploded ordinance) made me wonder, “What have we lost?” Bombing that site likely destroyed artifacts and it certainly disrupted whatever might remain which could cause us to be unable to properly interpret anything even if we do miraculously find a way to clean up the islands and excavate it properly.

What we do know now is that

“Nearly half a millennia before Christopher Columbus pillaged the islands of the discovery found (a lot further South) in this part of the globe, “Lucky” Leif Erickson, blown off course by a storm, landed in North America and named it “Vineland.” (aka Vinland)

NPR has a good site full of information that you might wish to explore also.


Another question (this came from a young relative of mine)

…” if Columbus wasn’t first, why does he get all of the credit?

Indeed! Why do we give him that credit when he obviously didn’t!

Here is one answer I found that makes sense (From NPR)

He opened up America to Europe, which was the expansionist power at the time. He was the one who made it possible for them to conquer the Western Hemisphere — and to bring with them the diseases that apparently wiped out 90 percent of the population. He wasn’t the first (and neither were the Vikings) — that is a very Euro-centric view. There were millions of people here already, and so their ancestors must have been the first.”

(if you watch the History video below, you will see other compelling reasons to recognize the Vikings instead of Columbus… but I digress)

How long did these people stay in Newfoundland? About 200 years!

This map came from a site about a very different story but the map was helpful to me in looking at this story so I thought I would share it despite it coming from an unrelated story.

source of image

Some may wonder why the feat of Erikson and others was not celebrated or well known.

Here is an example of a record of the events:

Erik The Red's Saga

It was known at one point but the news didn’t spread well. It might be interesting to explore why it didn’t become more common knowledge.

Another answer may be that, at first, some folks thought maybe Columbus still deserved credit because we imagined that the Viking settlements in North America were brief.

But we have since learned that was an error!

Occupation From about 900 AD to about 11 AD

“L’Anse aux Meadows may have been first occupied in the 10th century with an occupation continuing into the 12th-century A.D. The radiocarbon samples do present considerable ranges of error making it difficult to come away with a specific period of occupation, but at the same time they also imply a notably longer period of occupation.”


Want to Explore more??

Below are a variety of resources that you may enjoy if the fun facts above have whetted your appetite!

First, a book (that I borrowed but it is available to purchase on Amazon)

Book Resource: Gateway to the Vikings: L’Anse aux Meadows Kindle Edition

by Randall Morris (Author)  Format: Kindle Edition

L’Anse aux Meadows

Now, if you like to look at maps, I have a few for you.

First, look where L’Anse aux Meadows is on this map:

L'Anse aux Meadows | site, Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada  | Britannica

Now, here is a close in view:

Newfoundland – Day 4: L'anse aux Meadows – kbarlow design

Some of the most compelling evidence is obvious like these artifacts pictured in the local tourist attraction in L’anse aux Meadows:


cloak pin, L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland - Notable Travels | Notable  Travels

Here is a handy chart of what has been found in the area:

OK, if you are tired of maps and you have time,

here are some great videos (But these are not SHORT!)

These explore BEYOND the story of L’anse aux Meadows.

Watching these, you are likely to conclude “The history you have been taught all your life is WRONG.” (Like it states)

It goes farther than L’Anse Aux Meadows and starts to show evidence of a vast trade route that a 200 year occupation at L’anse Aux Meadows seems to imply.

It also shows that these intrepid explorers probably were not only in L’Anse Aux Meadows either!

24:43 starts the segment I am interested in today


That video (above)

Here is a helpful blog


Try this video also found on Youtube:


Yes, information overload! I hope you found this informative and I hope I did NOT answer all your questions because you will have so much more fun watching as these answers are being discovered in our own time!

Oh, one more pic:

leif erickson
one of the first Christian presences in the Americas: Chapel built by Leif Erickson in honor of his mother

Prevarication of Poverty Point

 Pointe de Pauvreté aka “Poverty Point”.

Poverty Point UNESCO World Heritage Site - Getting Lost in Louisiana
Louisiana Marker

The Truth was HIDDEN! But it is finally trickling out!

Racist invaders did not want to allow the indigenous people they came across living on the land to have a secure claim to the land. They wanted to take the land and they invented stories that would bolster their right to steal it. (SOURCES resources available from the Reclaiming Native Truth Project and interviews with Dr. Randy Woodley, PhD., teacher, speaker, and author and UKB recognized descendant in my personal conversations and correspondences from 1994-2021)

If they didn’t re-write the oral histories of the people living here, then the invaders could not justify taking the land. (quote from Sheila S. Stover, genealogist and activist, personal interview notes, 1998)

Spanish, French, English- they all made up all kinds of theories in order to lay claim and most every theory included the idea that the people living there before the invasion didn’t have any right to the land because they too were invaders from an earlier time period.

Any evidence that contradicted these myths of the invaders was swept aside with theories of Jewish diaspora and other equally absurd ideas that one can still find scattered across the internet and in books listed for sale on Amazon.

That narrative all began to (slightly) change with the “discovery” of the Pointe de Pauvrete aka Poverty Point. I hesitate to say “discovery” because it was well known in the 17-1800’s but the area was not recognized for what it was until just 70 years ago.

This is summarized by the New World Encyclopeida: “It was not until the discovery of Poverty Point that proof was provided of the capability of ancient American societies to create works that could rival those of the great Eastern civilizations of the same era.”

Get this!

They even tried to claim it was a “natural formation” despite it obviously being a human endeavor.


How “natural” does this look to you?

Image of Mound A at Poverty Point.

So, if you think that looks natural, how about this view?

Poverty Point World Heritage Site A Treasure For Louisiana | Red River Radio

Still think it might be “natural formations”?

Poverty Point Earthworks Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site


Sarcasm Alert, 3D Rendering, Street Signs Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty  Free Image. Image 58294093.

Obviously, not a product of planning:

Obvious Evidence of humans:

Collection if spears found at Poverty Point.
over 8000 whole spear points; Also, farmers in the area were “collecting” artifacts by the boxful over the years;

More Obvious Evidence:

Poverty Point: Preservation of a Prehistoric World Heritage Site | The  National Endowment for the Humanities

1350 BC occupation

Artists reconstruction of the central ridged enclosure at the Poverty Point site as it may have appeared in 1350 B.C. Drawing by Jon Gibson

“Poverty Point culture is an archaeological picture of how certain Lower Mississippi Valley peoples lived ….” starting as early as “1350 B.C.”

The New World Encyclopedia mentions that none of this was acknowledged until 1950!

We know that a photograph taken from the air helped to change the weird ideas that history had harbored.

Map of Surrounding Sites
Poverty Point 1500 BC How the Lower Mississippi Valley might have looked in 1500 B.C., showing courses of major rivers and locations of Poverty Point territories. Drawing by Jon Gibson


Lest you think this was some small mistake that somehow was easily overlooked, consider this image based on archaeological investigations

This was in Louisiana.


To find a better idea check out these maps:

Various items used in Poverty Point construction came more than 1,400 miles away!
Poverty Point Expeditions

This map is clearer:

Poverty Point – Louisiana State Exhibit Museum

Materials can be identified somewhat from this image:

PDF] Poverty Point as Structure, Event, Process | Semantic Scholar

Sadly, this is still not completely accepted but the world has recognized it.

“In 2014, Poverty Point was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

I heartily recommend a visit!

I went here when I was about 7 years old and my dad was trying to explain it to me and that the “white folks” had it all wrong (at the time it was still not a recognized world heritage site). It has changed quite a bit!

I want to re-visit it!

Advocates for Poverty Point

For further information and some Research and Journals

The works of James A Ford who worked at Poverty Point with C.H. Webb and R. Stuart Neitzel (5 February -. 28 March; invited by the Louisiana State Park Service); archaeological work. at

Finds and other info

Click to access CHAPTER4.pdf

Louisiana has some good teaching resources available online as well
(Copied below from


  • Rack cards and flyers created for the Clarence H. and Dorthy Dodd Webb Native American Gallery: LSEM- Webb Gallery Rackcards and LSEM Poverty Point Flyer 2014
  • Explore the Poverty Point Mounds in detail using the official Division of Archeology website.
  • For more information on Poverty Point, check out the Louisiana’s Division of Archeology webpage. In particular, notice their downloadable books and lesson plans relating to Poverty Point.
  • This driving map outlines all the publically accessible Mounds East of Monroe, including the Poverty Point earthworks.

Book on Amazon (no, I don’t get paid for this mention) Poverty Point: Revealing the Forgotten City (9780807160213):  Ellerbe, Jenny, Greenlee, Diana M.: Books

Eight Killer & the Fiery Gizzard


The property given by reserve to Cherokee notables in 1817-1819 was heavily surveyed and described in detailed instructions.

Some records have been preserved. Others have been lost to vagaries of time and arson.

This research posits that one can take several known and well defined properties of this bestowment by treaty and thereby determine from the remaining detailed written descriptions what the lost survey maps would have shown.

How this can be proven:

1 Review the transcribed, detailed description of boundary lines of the property.

2 Find the deed book in Marion County that shows the actual property line of the neighboring property

3 Locate that neighboring property on a modern map

4 use those descriptions to measure out his property as described in step 1 (above)

Summary Of the Research Below can be viewed at

Right Click to open in a new tab

BlackCanyon GrundyForest Fall 768x511
one of the many “drops” along the Fiery Gizzard

Original survey maps were stored in the county that existed at the time. When new counties were formed later on, these records were not always relocated to the new name of the county at it’s county seat.

Additionally, a number of arsons/fires occurred that destroyed many records and of course, the Civil War disrupted some storage.

Files -both the originals and some that were copied and take to the state archives were later discovered discarded in a long forgotten and mold infested storage area. Very little could be recovered of those originals or copies.

Another obstacle has been the pandemic. I was only able to make one in person trip to the archives and was not allowed full access to what I needed. Historical museums purported to have copies are also closed to the general public and their limited staff did not have time to fulfill requests to access these files that are not available online yet.

Fold3 has some of the files available online but I had to personally transcribe many of these myself as they have only been scanned and not sorted and not indexed.


There is a stretch of stream in middle Tennessee that has the Scots definition of a rapids stream that empties out a gulf and is either extremely difficult to navigate or requires that you portage.

This stream was given that English name by Scots traders who were living among the Cherokee when the area was mapped by them in the late 1700’s.

The Indian agency was several miles away, but it records the stream with that English name.

Not too far away, The Scots families of the Lowry’s and the Packs were intermarried among the Cherokee. (Origin name story told to me by my dad, who said his mother told him; Surnames verified using Fold3 03/08/2021)

We are not who exactly gave it that name and while some locals remember a name ascribed to use prior to the arrival of the Scots traders, that has not been (officially) documented.

It is sometimes difficult to determine the identities of the persons from that era because these people were was sometimes recorded but oftentimes not and the Cherokees had both names and titles.

Eight killer had a title. It was used in place of his name by the records in the Cherokee Indian Agency. We know that titles like “Six killer” and “Two Killer” and “Eight killer” were ranks of warriors that were earned by the one bearing that title. (Information on use of these as titles acquired from the Timberlake Seminar, Cherokee Museum, 2003).

Very little was recorded when it came to Eight killer or ᏣᏁᎳᏗᎯ as he might have written it using Sequoyah’s script. We only see “his mark” on the documents signed by him and other notables of that time period in the microfilm at the Tennessee Archives in Nashville, TN (visited by me and collected originally in 2011 and reviewed using Fold3 on 03/08/2021).,eight

The land was kept in the control of Cherokee up through

Charles Royce's 1884 Cherokee Cessions Map

Cherokee Land Cessions
Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology
to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute


Zooming in on the map and comparing it to the modern map of Tennessee and looking at the legend of the map for #19 and for #27 (which is where the reserve of Eight Killer and Betsy Pack are both located) we discover the dates of cession are January 7, 1806 and February 27, 1819.,0.587,0.173,0.097,0

Fiery Gizzard Trail Map, Grundy Co, TN Done 10-27-12 and 10-28-12 | Hiking  usa, Virginia travel, Camping trips

Records for Eight Killer in Fold3 show he remained in that area during that time period.

The Power Point for Presentation Purposes can be viewed at this link

Be sure to watch that Power Point all the way through.

Thank you!

Now- This research establishes the location of the 640 Acre Reservation of 1817 that was allocated to Eight Killer does indeed fit the location on the maps above and the description of the treaty that shows where it was.

The Marion county courthouse still had records of the reserve of Elizabeth Lowry aka Betsy Pack.

These records were preserved in books published by Nonie Webb and she graciously consented to an interview with me as she is a family friend.

Nonie Webb author of “Keepsake Memories” of Marion County, which is Volume II of her historical publications, in which the Marion County author and historian talks about the first settlers and showcases old photographs, maps and old post cards in a chronological story of how Marion County grew from a Cherokee Nation into an incorporated city.

Her book is difficult to find but you can read an excerpt at

Per those records and the description from the 1817 reservation treaty (which you can look up on Fold3) we learn that the town of Jasper is the center of the Elizabeth Lowry reserve.

Legend of above map, same website

Measuring from her borders that are also described there and in the Marion County records, we find that the edge of Eight Killer’s land does indeed touch the end of the Fiery Gizzard and using that description, we can see the boundary of his 640 acres is firmly within the current boundaries of Grundy County Tennessee.

Looking into Grundy County records, we should expect to discover the paper trail of what happened to the land bestowed to Eight Killer.

Unfortunately, Grundy County records are not so forthcoming.

The courthouse and its records have been burned several times making what survived each encounter with fire, flame, smoke and water to dwindle at each incineration.

Here is the rebuilt courthouse

Altamont, Built 1885, Arch- Committee to draft plan-J. H. Gunn, M. L. Nearn, R. Smartt, E. H. Reeves & W. J. Thomas, Contr- McRhea & Patton, Fire-1990
image by

Tracy City, Former Satellite courthouse site. Functioned from 1913 to 1957
Tracy City, Former Satellite courthouse site. Functioned from 1913 to 1957  image by

In 1990 it burned again

Altamont, Built 1885, Fire-1990
1990 fire from Grundy County Herald (newspaper) photo image by

Headlines in 1990

Courthouse Latest Target in County’s Tradition of Arson

DAN GEORGEMay 14, 1990

Here it was in 1994

There were other fires- at least 6 by what I discovered.

Some records on file in the Nashville courthouse tell us that the area was sold to the Partin family which became a farm. This coincides with family oral traditions.

The son of Eight Killer (allegedly) purchased land in what became known as “Meeks Town” and also known as “Payne’s Cove”.

Today, the land is a mosaic of owners.

Who owns Eight Killer’s Land now? Shows that some of the land is under Tennessee’s control but some is still private land.

Despite the dearth of records, using the overlay of maps we can state confidently that we have indeed located the land of Eight Killer as described in the 1817 Treaty filed with the Indian Agency in Tennessee and located in the archives of the state of Tennessee in Nashville, TN that are also available to view using a Fold3 subscription.

Fold3 is available to view in most public libraries or you can get a subscription through or independently through

I hope that you have enjoyed exploring this long forgotten and nearly lost record from history.

The identity of Eight Killer is known only through the local oral traditions and even the CNO, UKB, and EBCI when contacted responded that they had no further information on his life.

He is believed to have become deceased in the 1830’s or 1840’s.

The End Is Nigh For Mylan, But How Different Will The New Company Be? ::  Scrip
Image selected from an unrelated site; only included to indicate source of image
This code takes you to this web blog

Per Oral history of families living in the area, The Eight Killer is the title given to David Meeks.

Fold3,meeks affidavit showing his mark

In an effort to confirm this, DNA studies completed validated the local oral history that this David Meeks is NOT a descendant of the MEEKS in North Carolina as some outsiders and books had previously claimed

” There is no other known ancestor in Group C named Meek who could have been David’s father or grandfather. This family is often confused with the Pitt Co., NC Meeks family which is in DNA Group B3. DNA proves that they were not related. ( )

The purpose of today’s blog is NOT to prove that David Meeks is actually Eight Killer (That will need to be done through genealogy and other records) but to show that the land currently known in modern records as “Meeks Town” and “The Pigeon” do indeed correspond to the reservations described in the treaty.

References have been made to the 1817 Treaty that gave this reserve.

“On 8 July 1817, the Treaty of the Cherokee Agency Treaty was signed by 31 Cherokee leaders from North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, and by 15 Arkansas Cherokee chiefs, as well as by Major General Andrew Jackson—he did not become President until 1829—and by Governor McMinn of Tennessee.  It is often somewhat erroneously called the Turkeytown Treaty.  Including the Arkansas chiefs constituted the first formal recognition of the Western Cherokee.  Most of the Cherokee bitterly opposed this treaty and that of 1819.” source

You can review a transcription of signatories at this link

and you can find the Title of Eight Killer on page 5 here

Here is a site for some scholarly info:

Below is the draft of the original Proposal I sketched out for this Project and slightly edited for posting today:

A Cherokee Native named “The Eight Killer” received a 640-acre reserve of land on the Fiery Gizzard that was bordered by Susannah Lowry’s reserve and The Pidgeon’s reserve.

I intend to use these descriptions to chart out where his reserve was and to show who might be the current owners today.

Describe the topic/problem/issue.

The boundary reserves seem well documented but have not been compared to present day maps or deeds. 

Some records, such as those of Marion county, Tennessee are not online but I have researched a few of these while researching some genealogy from the area.  Other records that were held in Altamont, Tennessee were lost in a fire at the courthouse.  These records could, theoretically, be reconstructed using the descriptions available at the state archives and in archives in Marion county because the county of Grundy was formed from that county. 

I could use this as an excuse to go home to research this and visit with relatives, who live half a block from the Grundy County Historical association and within walking distance to the Fiery Gizzard.

Why are you interested?

I became interested in this reserve when I was researching something else and always wanted to pursue it.

I am interested because this is where my family resides.  I have waded and fished in the waters of the Fiery Gizzard.  I passed it daily in going to the store, church, school.

I own land near to the Fiery Gizzard that I inherited from my father.

One of my ancestors was an enrolled by blood member of the state recognized tribe of the CTNEAL. 

My ancestor in my that person’s line is David Meeks, of Elk River and he is recorded in the Tennessee Indian Agency records in the archives of the state of Tennessee.  My ancestor told me that his Cherokee title was “Eight Killer” that he earned while fighting in the war of 1812-1815.

I discovered the record of the reserve on the Fiery Gizzard held by “The Eight Killer” while I was reading the records for more information about my family.  Some of the relatives of this Cherokee still reside in the area.  The Fiery Gizzard has been included into a nature center and yet the information about The Eight Killer was not included.  I am wanting to document more on this and submit it to the historical association and to the center.

How is the topic important in Geography of North America?

The history of how the land was allotted and taken from the Cherokee is important and must be remembered.  The land used and enjoyed by tourists today should also give acknowledgement to those who, like The Eight Killer, lost their lands.

Are you conducting a data analysis, or is your an educational project.

I will need to analyze old deeds and records and family oral histories to determine who currently owns the land that was allotted to The Eight Killer.  I also wish to educate folks on what his name actually meant.

Describe any special methods you will use, especially if you are using a mapping program, collecting and/or analyzing data.

I will be researching old deeds and maps of Cherokee cessions.

State what kind of maps or other figures you expect to show.

I will use a map of the land of that part of Tennessee that was recorded at the time of the cessions and compare it to current maps of today.

Important: A bibliography of potential references to be cited in the final presentation is required. At least one reference should be from a refereed journal.

The Journal of Cherokee Studies

Editorial Review Board will include Duane King, Director of the new Helmerich Center for American Research; Andrew Denson, Western Carolina University; Alice Taylor-Colbert, University of South Carolina Union; Jace Weaver, Cherokee Nation, Director of the Institute for Native American Studies at the University of Georgia; and Sarah Hill, independent scholar in Georgia.

-Fold3 (which has the records of the Tennessee Indian Agency on microfilm, housed in the Nashville, TN archives)

Deeds online at



another helpful map that moves!

This lists the deed registered to Susannah Lowry, whose property borders directly to that of The Eight Killer in the next county

Cash & Crashes: The Devil & Monteagle

The native tribes called it “Eagle Mountain” for the crowded nesting sites along it craggy edges were filled with golden Eagles.

The golden eagles and most of the native people are gone now. Officially, the Indian’s official presence ended by treaty but some descendants in the area still claim ties.

There’s a legend among the locals that the valley and plateau land that was stolen through those treaties was cursed so that those traveling across it would incur risk to do so and that settlers relaxed into feeling safe from the warriors that once defended their homeland would fall prey to the wrath of the land itself. (from childhood stories told by my grandpa)

It is an explanation that seeks to make sense of how a stretch of road that has only slight steepness grade has been so deadly over the years.

(view stats in detail

Overturned TT going down Monteagle.jpg

Originally designated as US 41 in 1923, the road is infamously known among truckers today as I-24.

It is in North America in the state of Tennessee and nearly smack dab in the middle of the state.

Despite a massive overhaul of the road by engineers in the mid 1980’s, it is still quite dangerous.

Here is how it looked before the road construction:

In 1979, this was a familiar site:

Tennessee U. S. highway 41 sign.
1948 specification highway marker. Photo by Michael Summa, 1979.
US 41 in the Cumberlands Near Monteagle TN Tennessee Real Photo Postcard -  Front Photograph by Cody Cookston
US 41 in the Cumberlands Near Monteagle TN Tennessee Real Photo Postcard – Front is a photograph by Cody Cookston which was uploaded on October 1st, 2019.

It was and remains “twisty”.

1950s US 41 Near Monteagle Tn Tennessee Horseshoe Curve Dangerous Curve  Tenn Motel AAA Sign - Front Photograph by Cody Cookston

The explanation of the Indian curse was set aside by another explanation in a song written by Thomas Richard McGibony and sung by the man in black, Johnny Cash.

Not as famous as Cash, you can read about Thomas R. McGibony at the website

Found a song on youtube that takes a leisurely speed to go down the I-24 stretch of Monteagle Mountain. (it is not a moutain; it is a plateau, but it looms large in the video at 1:19 and you might see why folks do call it a “mountain”)

He starts filming in Nashville. You can see the “Batman” tower in the skyline! (0:34 in video)

Then he kinda skips some miles and heads to the target of the song: Monteagle Mountain.

This video will show you how deceptively safe the road seems. Below the video, I posted the lyrics if you want to read them.

This song memorializes the roadway there for its difficult navigation.

It is worth noting, this song was written after the roads were improved.

Trucker’s agree the song is still meaningful because the road is still deadly.

The clever editing helps keep the video in line with the song but it is a much longer trip.

The song is sung by the legend Johnny Cash.

Here are the

There’s a stretch of Highway on Interstate 24 between Nashville and Chattanooga
That’s claimed many trucker’s life
And your life is in your hands when you start down that long steep grade
On Monteagle Mountain

I just rolled out of Nashville in my big rig headin’ south
My eyes are on fire feels like cotton in my mouth
My whole body’s achin’ but I got to make them big wheels roll
I got to be in Florida by tomorrow morning with a full heavy load

I got to get passed Atlanta as soon as I can tonight
I got to try to dodge the scales and stay out of Smoky’s sight
But there’s one big thing standin’ like a nightmare in my way
I got to top Monteagle Mountain a little bit later today

Goin’ down Monteagle Mountain on I-24
It’s hell for a trucker when the devil’s at your door
He’ll tempt you and tell you come on let her roll
Cause the mountain wants your rig and trucker I want your soul

When I started down Monteagle the brakes just wouldn’t hold
I knew I was in trouble and bout to lose control
The runaway ramp was waitin’ I saw the warnin’ sign (you can see the runaway ramp in the video at 2:35)
I said Lord help me make it have mercy on this soul of mine

Well I ploughed into that runaway ramp and I could feel that big truck groan
My life flashed right before my eyes and for a minute I thought I was gone
But when the smoke cleared I thanked God that I was still alive
Cause when there’s a runaway on Monteagle some truckers don’t survive

Goin’ down Monteagle Mountain on I-24
It’s hell for a trucker when the devil’s at your door
He’ll tempt you and tell you come on let her roll
Cause the mountain wants your rig and trucker I want your soul

Yeah many a good man had lost his life on Monteagle Mountain it’s a long steep grade
Many a good hard workin’ boy gone over the side watch out for Monteagle

(Lyrics )

People forget that although cars think they have the right of way everywhere, the interstate highway system was actually created for trucking so deliveries could be faster and safer.


Truckers depend on the roads for their livelihood. The interstate highway system was supposed to make this possible. Roads were intended for truckers This song brings that point of view into focus.

The song tosses out any concept of historic or imagined curses and lays all the blame on the Devil’s greed and hints at some kind of cooperation between him and the mountain to destroy trucks and truckers.

The song writer personified the mountain and pits the trucker against it in the struggle to travel over it.

The descriptions of “good man” and “good hard workin’ boy” tell us that the writer sides squarely with the truckers as the victims in the ballad.

This is a sentiment shared by more than just the song writer.

Headlines announced


“Truckers and state officials recall several deaths due to mountain accidents. Gwen Hopkins, communications director for the state Department of Transportation, said there were 54 total accidents in eastbound lanes in 1983, but only three accidents last year.”


Despite these changes, the road still makes the list of infamy among both truckers AND accident attorneys:

“The road averages 36.5 deaths per 100 miles, which makes it the 12th most dangerous highway in the country. Interstate-24 poses a distinct challenge for truck drivers, due to the highway’s Monteagle Mountain stretch, which requires a steep climb and subsequent decent at a perilous angle with multiple blind spots.”

Videos fill the internet of fatal accidents along the stretch that crosses Monteagle. I don’t want to post pictures of fatal scenes but if you look, you will find them by searching for Marion County and Grundy County news related to I-24.

The song immortalizes the brave folks who risked their lives in just doing their jobs.

It romanticizes the struggle and produces a hero. Phrases like

” My eyes are on fire feels like cotton in my mouth
My whole body’s achin’ but I got to make them big wheels roll
I got to be in Florida by tomorrow morning with a full heavy load”

help us to identify with the drivers because we know what it is like to feel pressure of deadlines but it also makes us grateful that we don’t have his job.

Personally, this mountain road has been the site of the deaths of many of my own family and friends.

My own harrowing adventure driving a 1978 Dodge pickup over it when the brakes went out is proof that you can survive it safely, but don’t take it for granted.

If you ever find yourself needing to travel over it, please heed the advice to take it slow and steady and don’t get lulled into complacency when you start down either side of it.