In a search for the "real" John Joseph Vann, father of "Chief" James Clement Vann I have made a chronological list of records involving a John Vann or a Joseph Vann. The following is what I have now. I will continue to work on this and hope others who have documented information of either John Vann or Joseph Vann will share it with me. I am now sharing it with you.
In June 1746 the Commons House of Assembly debate "An account of John Vann of Expenses for the Cherokees and Traders by Mr. Maxwell’s directions L97:12:06." (Note: From now on this John Vann will be identified as John (The Trader) Vann.) Source: The Colonial Records of South Carolina, The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly
May 4, 1751 James Maxwell made a Deposition in Granville Co. SC that on Apr 27, 1751 "At a place, called Little River (SC), one James Portershell and William Veal came to us and told us they had made their escape from Kewohee....John Vann, who had fled with his wife and family from Ninety Six, told us that one John Watt’s and others were come that way and said they narrowly escaped with life." (Note: This must be John (The Trader) Vann.) Source: The Colonial Records of South Carolina, The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly
May 11, 1751 Herman Geiger gives an account to the Commons House of Assembly about trouble in the Indian lands. He states that he and John Davis travel from Mr. James Francis house to the "house of John Vann" in Ninety-Six. (Note: This must be John (The Trader) Vann.) Source: The Colonial Records of South Carolina, The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly
July 4, 1755 John Vann (5 persons in family) granted 250 acres between Broad and Saludy Rivers. (Note: If this is John (aka: John Joseph) Vann then he would be about 22 yoa if born abt 1735. This John has a wife and 3 children. I believe this to be John (The Trader) Vann. For reasons stated later I do not think John (aka: John Joseph) Vann and John (The Trader) Vann are the same person. SC Deed Abstracts, 1719-1772, Vol. II
Apr 4, 1758 I have laid out unto Edw’d Vann a track of land containing 200 acres situate in Granville County bound by Savannah River on the SW of John Vann’s plantation on the SE .....(Note: I belief this is John (The Trader) Vann. Did John (The Trader) Vann move from Saluda River & 96 Creek to Savannah River? I believe so. Both are still in the Ninety-Six District, SC) Source: SC Records reproduced from Microfilm in Dept of Archives & History, Columbia, SC
Oct 23, 1758 John Vann is sued in Court of Common Pleas in Berkley County by Robert Gouedy who it appears won his case. The suit was for money John Vann owed Robert Gouedy. Robert Gouedy was a documented Indian Trader and had documented white and Indian children at the same time. (Note: This must be John (The Trader) Vann. Both Berkley and Granville Counties were part of Ninety-Six District. Gouedy’s will provides for his white and Indian children.) Source: SC Records reproduced from Microfilm in Dept of Archives & History, Columbia, SC
January 1760 When John Downing, Bernard Hughes, and other fleeing Middle Settlements traders, bypassing the Lower Town, arrived at John Vann’s on Georgia’s Broad River. On the thirtieth Aaron Price, who had stolen from Fort Prince George, warned Ninety-Six. .... On the Georgia frontier the Cherokee assault failed when John Vann escaped the attack upon his home and roused the militia. (Note: Is this the John (Trader) Vann from Ninety-Six District or John (aka: John Joseph) from Buncombe County, NC? I believe it is John (Trader) Vann.) Source: The Cherokee Frontier: Conflict and Survival, 1740-62, by David H. Corkran
1763 Keziah Vann born in Yancey County, NC (formed out of Old Buncombe Co.) to John (aka: John Joseph) Vann and Agnes Weatherford. (Note: if DOB and Place of birth are correct. And if John (Trader) Vann was operating out of Ninety-Six District as records show then John (aka: John Joseph) Vann and John (Trader) Vann probably are not the same person.) Source: Vann Generations with Cherokee Origin by William H. Vann, II
Dec 1764 Joseph Vann, wife and 3 children given 150 acres below Keg Creek on Savannah River at mouth of Little River on lower side. (Note: It appears that William Vann in "Vann Generations with Cherokee Origins" assumes this is John (aka: John Joseph) Vann. I do not. John (aka: John Joseph) Vann was fathering children in Yancey County, NC and Georgia at the same time this Joseph Vann "with wife and 3 children" was moving from SC) Georgia Pioneers, Vol. 6 page 119
1766 - 1768 "Chief" James Clement Vann born near Spring Place, Georgia to John (aka: John Joseph) Vann and WahLi’. (Note: This is reasonably well documented) Source: Vann Generations with Cherokee Origins by William H. Vann, II
1771-1772 Colonial Plats Vol 19, page 60. Shows 1000 acre plantation laid out to James Parson, Esq. On the plat it shows the 1000 acre plat bordering "Joseph Vann" land. (Note: This land is on Cedar Creek near the present day Clarks’s Hill, SC and within 5 miles of the Savannah River. I do not believe we can assume this person was the same as John (The Trader) Vann Unless he changed name) Source: SC Records reproduced from Microfilm in Dept of Archives & History, Columbia, SC
Nov 1773 Joseph Vann from SC received 500 acres in Wilkes County, Georgia listing a wife, three sons and four daughters ages 7-16. (Note: Can we assume this is the same Joseph Vann that was given 150 acres below Keg Creek on the Savannah River (Dec 1764). It is 9 years later and there are 4 more children. I believe it is the same person.) Source: Vann Generations with Cherokee Origins by William H. Vann, II
1774 400 acre plantation situate in Berkly (Berkley) County on a branch of Santee River called 96 about 20 chains NE of a plantation "lately" in the possession of Mr. John Vann. (Note: It appears this is John (The Trader) Vann as he was from the Ninety-Six District of SC. Use of the word "Lately" indicates to me he no longer was in possession of the plantation.) Source: SC Records reproduced from Microfilm in Dept of Archives & History, Columbia, SC
March 1775 Richard Henderson and his right hand man, Daniel Boone meet with the Cherokee Council at Sycamore Shoals. On the second day Daniel Boone explained to the Indians the boundaries desired. The interpreter, Joseph Vann, explained words to the Cherokees. ... The treaty was read aloud and translated, sentence by sentence, by the interpreter Joseph Vann. (Note: Is this John (aka: John Joseph) Vann or is this another Joseph Vann?) Source: Old Frontiers: The Story of the Cherokee Indians from Earliest Times to the Date of Their Removal to the West, 1838, by John P. Brown, 1938: Southern Publisher, Inc
April 9, 1779 Robert Dews sends a letter to Alexander Cameron. In that letter he reports about an expedition of men (I assume British Military) and Indians going out "against the Rebels." (I assume he means the "colonialist" who had declared their independence, i.e. the U.S.) In that report Mr. Dews clearly states Joseph Vann is traveling with the group under Mr. MacDonald’s charge and that John Vann is traveling with a different group under Mr. Scott’s charge. Both John Vann and Joseph Vann are identified as white men. (Note: From this record we can conclude there was both a John Vann and a Joseph Vann, both white, in the Cherokee Nation. Is one of these John (aka: John Joseph Vann?) Source: Colonial Office Records, Vol. 80, Public Records Office, London, U.K. Microfilm Copy in Library of Congress, Washington, DC, copied by Jerry L Clark
May 4, 1788 Vann, a half-breed chief, met Colonel Brown at Nickajack. He was accompanied by forty warriors in canoes, with a flag of truce. (Note: This can not be John (aka: John Joseph) Vann, because he was white. Could this be the beginning of "Chief" James Joseph Vann’s career? He would have been 18 to 20 years old.) Source: Old Frontiers: The Story of the Cherokee Indians from Earliest Times to the Date of Their Removal to the West, 1838, by John P. Brown, 1938: Southern Publisher, Inc.
March 11, 1797 Silas Dinsmoor sends a report to Secretary of War that "names of all persons residing in the Cherokee Country not natives of the land." There is an Eve Vann and a Clement Vann in that report. (Note: There is no mention of John (aka: John Joseph) Vann. Does this mean he was deceased, had left the Indian Territory, was overlooked or was he now accepted as a Cherokee since his wife and children were Indian.) Source: Passports of SE Pioneers 1770-1823, Tennessee Passports, page 329
1803 The United States sent commissioners to the Cherokees to ask permission to buy the Wafford tract, and to build a road through the Cherokee county from Tellico Blockhouse to Athens, Georgia. Joseph Vann, near whose home the proposed road would run, was given $300.00. Other chiefs were similarly bribed....(Note: This Joseph has to be "Chief" Joseph David Vann.) Source:: Old Frontiers: The Story of the Cherokee Indians from Earliest Times to the Date of Their Removal to the West, 1838, by John P. Brown, 1938: Southern Publisher, Inc.
October 8, 1805 John Vann, Along with Sourer-Mush, Katchee, Chulia, Doublehead, Turtle at Home, Tolontiskee, John Lowry, William Morey, John Jolly, Redbird, Hauta, Young wolfe, John McLamore, Sequickee and John Walker, Chiefs of the Cherokee Nation with their interpreter was issued a passport to go to the seat of Government without molestation. (Note: Which John Vann is this? It cannot be John (aka: John Joseph Vann). If this is a son of John (aka: John Joseph) Vann he would surely have been a Chief, as were Joseph David Vann and James Clement Vann, both sons of John (aka: John Joseph) Vann and both Chiefs of the Cherokee.) Source: Passports of SE Pioneers 1770-1823, War Department Passports, page 65
August 8, 1809 Ten subscribers petition the Cherokee Indian Agency that a passport into Indian Territory be issued to Bailey C. Brooks of Randolph County. One of the subscribers was named: Sandress Vann. (Note: I would like to see the original records to see if the spelling could be Sanders Vann rather than Sandress Vann.) Source: Passports of SE Pioneers 1770-1823, Georgia Passports, pages 241-242
So what do we have now?
1. John (aka: John Joseph) Vann, alleged to be "Interpreter" for the Crown. had both white and Indian children. This was common among early Indian Traders.
2. John (Trader) Vann, documented to be a "Trader" and "Interpreter" for the Colonial Governor, SC. Probably had both white and Indian Children as was the custom with the other "Traders".
3. Joseph Vann with wife and 3 children in 1764 Granted 150 acres in Georgia on Savannah River at mouth of Little River. Don’t know if he was an Indian Trader or not, but appears to come from the area where trading was common.
4. Joseph Vann, wife, 3 sons and 4 daughters in 1773 Granted 500 acres in Wilkes County, Georgia. This is probably the same Joseph Vann as #3 only 9 years later and 4 more children.
5. John Vann and Joseph Vann, both white men, traveling with different groups of British Military and Indians "against the rebels" in 1779
6. James Clement Vann, known brother to John (aka: Joseph) Vann, a white man living in Indian Territory in 1797
7. John Vann, a Chief of the Cherokee, going to Philadelphia in 1805.
The only conclusion I can drawn at this time is that we may be dealing with two different "John" Vann’s and two different "Joseph" Vann’s all who end up in Georgia with the Cherokee Indians during the same 16 year period from 1763 to 1779. (i.e. John (aka: John Joseph) Vann’s son, Joseph David Vann was born 1763; Joseph Vann (wife, 3 sons and 4 daughters) receive land in Wilkes County, Georgia in 1773; and there is a John Vann and a Joseph Vann (white men) traveling with British Military and Indians.)
There is nothing to suggest to me that John (aka: John Joseph) Vann and John (The Trader) Vann are the same person. In fact the opposite is suggested by the facts. Yet both appear to have been doing the same thing, i.e. trading and living among the Cherokee at the same time. They may be related to each other in some way, but I do not believe they are the same person.
The search goes on...............
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