Volume 12, No. 2
THE JOURNAL OF JOHN LOWERY BROWN, OF THE CHEROKEE NATION EN ROUTE TO CALIFORNIA IN 1850 Transcribed from the Original and annotated
By Muriel H. Wright
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http://digital.library.okstate.edu/chronicles/v012/v012p177.html Page 177 Foreword Yellowed and crumbling with the passing of eighty-four years, the pages of a small, leather bound notebook reveal the story of the overland journey of a party of Cherokees who set out from the Grand Saline, Cherokee Nation, for California in 1850. This journal was kept by a young Cherokee, John Lowery Brown, who recorded the progress of the emigrants day by day. It tells the difficulties encountered along a wilderness trail through the Rocky Mountains; the perils of travel over vast stretches of desert without water and food; the danger of attack by hostile Indians living in those regions; and the terrible epidemic of cholera that swept the West, causing the deaths of thousands of emigrants along all the thoroughfares to the Pacific coast in 1850. Something in the flourish of the faded words "Off for California" at the top of the first page of this old journal still imparts the enthusiasm and high courage that fired the spirits of the adventurers to leave their nation in view of such hazards. Lured by the discovery of gold in California, several parties of Cherokees, other than Brown's, set out about the same time. Many of them were young men who never returned home. The journal was written in ink, an entry being made every day from the time Brown left a point near present Stillwell, Adair County, Oklahoma, on April 20, until reaching the gold fields in California on September 28, a total of 161 days. Intermittent entries were set down in the journal up to December 11, 1850. The writing, spelling and punctuation compare well with other early records, kept in the midst of the excitement and the hardships attending life on an overland trail. The pages are not numbered, all entries having been set down consecutively on the right hand page up to and including page forty-four, after which regular
http://digital.library.okstate.edu/chronicles/v012/v012p177.html 1John Lowery Brown was the son of David and Rachel (Lowery) Orr Brown. Rachel Brown was the fifth child and youngest daughter of George and Lucy Benge Lowery. George Lowery born about 1770, was one half Cherokee and Scotch. He was town chief of Willstown in the Cherokee Nation East and also a leading citizen after the immigration to the West. He died in 1852. David Brown was three-fourths Cherokee, the son of John and Sarah Webber Brown. David's sister, Catherine Brown, noted for her beautiful character and personality, was the first Christian convert among the Cherokees, at Brainerd Mission, Tennessee, in 1818. After her death, a book "Memoir of Catherine Brown" was published in her memory by the American Board at Boston in 1824. David attended both Cornwall Mission School, in Connecticut, and Andover Theological Seminary, in Massachusetts. After his return to the Cherokee Nation East, he was prominent in religious and educational work among his people. For a time he lived among the Western Cherokees in Arkansas and clerked in the store of his half brother, Walter Webber, who later moved up the Arkansas River and settled what is now known as Webber Falls, in Muskogee County. Just before Sequoyah made known his invention of the Cherokee alphabet, David Brown and his father-in-law, George Lowery, completed a Cherokee spelling book in English characters. In 1826, they were both appointed by the General Council of the Cherokee Nation to make the first translation of the Cherokee laws and the New Testament in the Cherokee language using Sequoyah's alphabet. After John Lowery Brown returned to the Cherokee Nation from California, he and his wife. Ann E. (Schrimsher) Brown, made their home at Fort Gibson. Their second son, Martin R. Brown, was born in 1858. In 1887, Martin R. Brown married Miss Nannie Adair. He was a successful business man and prominent in educational circles in his nation, elected clerk of Illinois District in 1881, member of the National Board of Education in 1886, and superintendent of the Male Seminary in 1894. Mr. and Mrs. Brown were the parents of Mrs. Gist who is the namesake of her great-aunt, Catherine Brown. She was married to Mr. Emmet W. Gist, of Oklahoma City, in 1915. They are the parents of one daughter, Dorothy, who graduates from Classen Highschool, Oklahoma City, this year (1934).
April 20, 2013 — Jasper, Tennessee
Betsy Pack Descendants to place flowers in her honor at Jasper Courthouse
The forming Association for the Descendants of Betsy Pack have planned a memorial service to be held at the heritage sign beside the Jasper, TN courthouse to take place Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 2:00 p.m. CST till 3:00 p.m. CST.
Everyone is invited to attend this ceremony.
Participants and guests are requested to wear red and white at the event to show solidarity. Red represents LIFE [and its struggle] and white represents PEACE [and happiness]. Descendants and Cherokees are also asked to wear appropriate regalia if they prefer.
Family & Friends of Betsy Lowery Pack, a Cherokee Woman, will gather to honor the memory of Betsy Pack and to celebrate the survival of her descendants and of the Cherokee People.
The flowers will be placed at the marker beside the courthouse. The marker is on U.S. Hwy 72, on the right when traveling west.
Who is Betsy Pack?
"Born Elizabeth Lowery, a daughter of prominent Chief John Lowery of the Cherokee, she lived in a house about 60 yards southeast of the present day Jasper Courthouse after her marriage. She donated the ground on which the town of Jasper was laid out in 1820, when the county seat was moved here from Cheekville, near Whitwell about 12 miles northeast.
"Betsy Lowery Pack established a ferry on the Tennessee River," said TN TOTA secretary Vicki Rozema in her book, Footsteps of the Cherokees (pp. 90-91). "It is believed to have been located four or five miles west of Bogg's Ferry at Runningwater Town and approximately seven miles east of her father's ferry at Battle Creek. In 1815, she and her mother ran a public house on Battle Creek called Lowrey's Place."
Betsy's land dwindled to 640 acres of land under the treaty of 1819, where the town of Jasper (Marion Co.) TN. now stands; She sectioned off the land with her home and the burial sites of her children to about 40 acres of which she deeded/leased to the commission of the town for $1 to remain IN TRUST for her and her heirs "FOREVER".
Betsy then sold the other 600 acres & moved to Wills Valley in Alabama where many other Cherokee had gathered for safety reasons. Wills Town was under the Red haired "CHIEF WILL". It was located in NORTHEASTERN ALABAMA.
There she is said to have lived in great style until she and many other Cherokee were forced to emigrate west in 1838.
Two of her children also emigrated while a third remained behind in the east.
Many of her descendants still remain in the areas of
and north Alabama and North Georgia.
The group has a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BETSYPACK/