Chronology of Hamilton County 1540 - 1838


1540, July: Hernando De Soto visited the
present site of Hamilton County.

1761: The Old French Store was
established at the present site of

1770: Capt. John McDonald made his
home on Chickamauga Creek.

1775: Chief Dragging Canoe seceded
from the Cherokee Indian tribe and
established himself and his followers
at the Chickamauga Towns on
Chickamauga Creek.

1776: The Chickamauga Towns became
British headquarters in the Southwest.

1779: Chickamauga was chosen by
Henry Hamilton, British Governor at
Detroit, for a great conclave of all the
hostile Indian tribes and the British
1779, April 13.: The "Chickamauga
Expedition" against the Chickamaugas
and other hostile Indians and the British
Agents was successfully undertaken by
Col. Evan Shelby and Col. John
Montgomery. The power of Great Britain
and it's allies was broken.

1780, March 7-11,: Col. John Donelson's
party passed down the Tennessee
River en route from Fort Patrick Henry to
French Lick.

1780, March 7,: The first white child, born
in what is now Hamilton County, was born
to Mrs. Ephraim Peyton, a member of
Col. Donelson's party. The child was born
on the bank of the Chickamauga Creek.

1782, September,: The last Expedition of
the Revolution  took place, Col. John
Sevier being ordered to attack the
Chickamaugas in the Hamilton County
country. Early historians say that he fought
a battle on Lookout Mountain.

1786: Daniel Ross married Molly
McDonald, daughter of  Capt. John
McDonald and Anna Shorey McDonald.

1788, May 7,: Col. James Brown and his
party passed down the Tennessee
River. His boat was seized by the Indians.
Col. Brown was killed and his family,
including young Joseph Brown, was

1788, January or February: Boats
containing forty people who were moving
to the Cumberland Settlement were
attacked by the Chickamaugas at the
mouth of the Chickamauga. Thirty-seven
of the forty  people were killed.

1788, August: Gen. Joseph Martin fought
a battle with Indians on Lookout Mountain
on the War Path,the present site of the
highway leading to the top. This was the
second battle of Lookout Mountain.
The Indians were victorious.

1792: Mrs. Crockett and her eight
children were killed by Indians close to
the Georgia border.

1792, March 1,: Chief Dragging Canoe
died at Running Water Town.

1794: President George Washington
recommended that a military post be
established on the Tennessee River at the
mouth of Lookout Creek (at Chattanooga)
if the Cherokees would give
permission.  They refused.

1794, September 13,: Major James Ore's
battles with the Chickamaugas at
Nickajack and Running Water destroyed
the power of the Chickamauga tribe and
ended the Indian Wars.
The Chickamauga tribe returned to the
Cherokee Council and sued for peace.

1806, August 1,: Dr. Gideon Blackburn
established at Sale Creek the first
mission school for the Indians in the
Hamilton County country. In the same year
he had a similar school in Hiawassee.
He taught spinning, weaving and domestic
arts as well as religion.

1807: Robert Patterson established his
residence on Opossum Creek and built
a mill for the benefit of the Indians
by the authority of the United States
Government and the Cherokee Nation.
He also established a small school for his
children and the children of the pioneers,
who began to settle in the country later

1810 (approximate date): John Ross and
Timothy Meigs entered into partnership
as "Meigs and Ross" and established a
store on the Tennessee River at the
present site of Chattanooga. The store
soon had a large patronage.

1812: The lake, now called Montlake, on
Walden's Ridge was formed by the
earthquake which at the same time
formed Reelfoot Lake in Obion County.

1812, April 3,: Return Jonathan Meigs,
son of Timothy Meigs and grandson of
Col. Return Jonathan Meigs, was born
near the Meigs and Ross store.
He was the first child of full white blood
born at the present site of Chattanooga
who lived.

1815: Timothy Meigs died.

1815: Ross Landing began to be so called. John Ross took his
brother, Lewis
Ross, into partnership.

1817, Jan.17: The "Mission on
Chickamauga" was established.

1817, September (the last Sunday):
A Presbyterian church at the "Mission
on Chickamauga" was organized.

1818: The name of the "Mission on
Chickamauga" was changed to the
Brainerd Mission. The name of the church
was changed to Brainerd Church.

1819: President James Monroe and Gen.
and Mrs. Edmund Pendleton Gaines
visited Brainerd Mission and Brainerd

1819, Oct.25,: Hamilton County was
erected by Act of the General Assembly
of Tennessee.

1819, November: The site which was
afterwards Dallas was selected as the
county seat.

1820, March: An election was held on the
first Thursday and Friday of the month
to choose officers of the Hamilton County
militia which was to be a part of the 64th
Regiment, Seventh Brigade, Tennessee

1828, December 28,: The Presbyterian
Church at Soddy was organized.

1835, Nov.7,: John Howard Payne was
arrested by Georgia troops while he was
in the home of Chief John Ross.

1835, Dec.29,: The treaty of New Echota
was procured.

1836, May 23,: The treaty of New Echota
was proclaimed.

1836: A military post was established at
Ross's Landing.

1836, Oct.18,: The General Assembly
of the State of Tennessee passed an act
establishing Ocoee District from the
territory which had been the Cherokee
Nation. That part of Hamilton County
which is south of the Tennessee River
was in this district.

1836: The settler's in Ross's Landing
built a log cabin schoolhouse which also
served as a community hall.

1837, March 22,: Ross's Landing became
a United States Post Office. Capt. John P.
Long was postmaster.

1837, June: The settler's of Ross's
Landing met at the met in the log cabin
schoolhouse to choose commissioners
to represent them, when the state should
open the land to entry. The commissioners
elected were Allen Kennedy, Albert S.
Lenoir, John P. Long, Reynolds A. Ramsey,
Aaron M. Rawlings and George W.

1837, Nov.18,: The General Assembly of
the State of Tennessee passed an act
providing for the entry and sale of lands
in the Ocoee District for the benefit of
the school fund of the state. The act
granted the heads of families residing
on the lands priority of entry.
1837: The commissioners entered the
the land for the heads of families in Ross's Landing at 7.50 an
acre. There were 240 acres in two tracts or sections.

1838, June 1,: The Hamilton County
Gazette was established.

1838: Sometime between June 1 and
August 11 the citizens of Ross's Landing
met with the commissioners in the log
schoolhouse, having determined that the
name should be changed. It is said that
everyone, even the children, attended the
meeting. Capt. John P. Long suggested the
name Chattanooga.

Submitted by Karen Chastain