Note before reading further: If planning
a trip to this area, there are Walker-related graves
in Arnwine Cemetery, but if you want to see the statue
itself, it was stolen from the cemetery in the early
1980s. See D. Ray Smith's site at right.
At one time, James Abraham Walker, father of Annie
Walker Burns, believed that Edward B. Walker's family
was connected to a Walker who married into Nancy Ward's
family. Annie never found any evidence to connect the
families, and a connection is very unlikely, but she
wrote a book on Nancy Ward in 1957, long after her father's
The book, like her others, is a collection of quotes
from other sources and contains no significant narrative
or analysis from her. There is little on Edward B. Walker's
family. She does talk about a statue that her father
carved of Nancy Ward sometime between 1906 and 1912,
pictured at right from the cover of the book.
That statue was the stuff of local legend for years,
but long after this book was written, it was stolen
in the early 1980s and became even more of a legend.
For more on that story, see D. Ray Smith's site at right,
whose efforts led to the rediscovery of the statue.
The statue itself has even appeared in the New York
The final chapter of the statue has not yet been determined.
On another note, this book appears to contain the first
complete mention of her theory
that Edward's father was John Walker of Hawkins
County; at least, it's the first time known that she
mentioned the will which makes clear exactly which John
she meant. She probably developed this theory more than
25 years before writing this book and easily may have
repeated it in some of her other 300+ books before this
one. The theory is false.
Annie's Nancy Ward book is available through HeritageQuest,
a service that most people can probably access through
their local libraries. The entire book is not reproduced
on this site; instead, excerpts are here which include
every mention of Walkers and the statue. Practically
everything in the book not quoted here were Annie's
transcriptions of books and articles written by other
people about Nancy Ward.
Annie's capitalization was somewhat random and has
not been maintained here. She also never in her books
used the square brackets convention for material that
she herself inserted into her own transcriptions. All
material below in square brackets was added by me. Most
if not all of the parenthetical material in this transcription
appears to be insertions that Annie made into the text
Title Page and Front Matter
Annie, in her introduction, wrote of the statue, stating
that her father relied on "historians" and
also what he heard from his ancestors, who were in Sullivan
County. More likely, Jim carved the statue according
to his own fancy; the Walker family never lived in the
Watauga settlement, and Edward B. Walker was far away,
in Duplin County, North Carolina, when Nancy Ward warned
the settlers at Watauga.
The stature carved by James Abraham Walker holds
a plate with engraving "Nancy Ward, 1776
Watauga, in one hand, and in the other a lamb...James
Abraham Walker died in Harlan County, Wallins
Creek, Kentucky 10/10/1934.
This book is written and compiled to honor Nancy
Ward, the famous Tennessee Indian Woman, and also
to honor my father James Abraham Walker, who carved
the statue of her, [sic] though a real sculputer
[sic] might call it crude, it was hi interpretation
of how she is supposed to have looked, according
to historians and also descriptions were derived
from hearing his ancestors tell of her saving
the early settlers of Tennessee, as they were
there on the ground, in Sullivan County Tennessee,
which fact is shown by the pension record of Edward
Walker Sr., a Revolutionary War Soldier.
Carolyn Thomas Foreman Letter
The photo at right was also used in another book, from
which Annie quoted liberally later in her own book.
Mrs. Grant Foreman (Carolyn Thomas Foreman)
1419 West Okmulgee Avenue
Dest Mrs. Burns;
I am happy that your are pleased with my book
"Indian Women Chiefs" with the frontispiece
of the status of your father's ["(James A
Walker)" inserted underneath] carving of
Chief Nancy Ward.
You are at liberty to use parts of my book if
you give me credit in a footnotte to anything
As you requested I have sent notices of my book
to your two brothers in Washington and to your
nephew Lawrence Walker in Athens, Georgia.
Fortunately, I have all of our family records
so I am returning the forms you sent.
(s) Carolyn Thomas Foreman
Another Mention of Statue Photo in Foreman's Book
Annie wrote more of the story of the statue.
Quotations From "Indian Women Chiefs["]
by Carolyn Thomas Foreman[;] illustrations for
sale of $1.50 by Mrs Foreman 1419 West Okmulgee
Avenue, Muskogee, Oklahoma.
One of the illustrations she spoke of is the
statue sculptured [sic] by James Abraham Walker
born 6-3-1860 and who died October 1934. He was
born in Claiborne Co. Tennessee and died in Harlan
County, Wallins Creek Kentucky.
First Burton Jones Mention - Chattanooga and the Statue
Apparently still quoting the Foreman book above, Annie
transcribed into the book a letter from Burton Jones
related to the statue. Annie knew the story to be false
and does provide more information in a few pages, but,
for the record, the statue did not fall off a flat boat,
the grave on which it was placed was from an early 20th-century
grave, and direct descendants are alive and well.
Mr. Burton Jones of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who
took the photograph to illustrate this article:
"Recently I have located a statue on the
Clinch River, Grainger County, Tennessee, to Nancy
Ward. The story is that this statue was being
sent down the Clinch River on a flat boat. The
flatboat sank and this statue was in the river
still rescued and placed in a acemetery at the
head of grave of a man's wife so far back that
none of the family now exists. The statue is of
granit and about 4 1/2 feet high.
It is in the Arnwine Cemetery which is very old
and is on land of the T.V.A. but was never moved.
It is our intention to get this statue and place
it on the grave of Nancy Ward at Benton, Tennessee.
I am of the opinion that it was originally intended
to be placed as a memorial to her. She befriended
the Bean family and some of them may have intended
sending it down to her section of the Nation and
place it there."
Bert Vincent, a long-time local history writer for
the Knoxville News Sentinel, apparently wrote an article
about local legends regarding the statue. Annie did
not transcribe his article but it should be easy enough
to obtain should someone be interested.
To straighten out the family relationships: the statue
was carved by James Abraham Walker, Annie's father,
but sold to Elbert Alexander Walker, brother to James.
Ebb, as he was called, had the statue placed on the
grave of his own daughter, Maggie (Walker) Farmer. Bill
Spence, quoted below, married one of Maggie's nieces,
a daughter of Maggie's sister Ollie.
(See letter next following this page which explains
something regarding the statue of Nancy Ward,
which was sculptured by James Abraham Walker in
Claiborne Co Tenn.[) - then break to page 22]
The following item appeared in "The Claiborne
Progress" newspaper dated "Tazewell
& New Tazwell, Tennessee Ocotber 15 1953 in
the county of Claiborne["]:
No "Mystery" to Indian Maiden (Statue)
Bill Spence, owner-manager of the City Plumbing
and Heating Company of New Tasewell, [sic] took
all of the mystery out of Bert Vincent's story,
which appeared in the Sentinel under the date
of Spetember 3, 1953 about the Maggie Farmer monument
(statue) in the old Arnwine Cemetery about six
miles from Liberty Hill, Tennessee, in Grainger
Bill Spence said, "There is no mystery about
that monument. It is made of Bear Creek Stone,
and was made by Jim Walker and erected on the
order of Elbert Walker, father of Maggie Farmer.
My mother-in-law, Ollie Arwine, age 73, is a sister
of Maggie Farmer, and a daughter of Elbert Walker,
Maggie Farmer's daughter is Mrs. Bertha Friedenmaker,
of 28 May Court, Ashland, Kentucky. The monument
(statue) was placed over the grave of Maggie Farmer
a little more than 45 years ago.
Severl times during these years there has been
an attempt to steal the (statue) monument for
it's [sic] historic value and it took court injunctions
and threated [sic] injunction to keep the (statue)
monument in place. Any time there is talk of mystery
about the monument, my mother-in-law things someone
is going to try to have it removed. So I hope
you set the records [sic] straight and tell your
friend Bert Vincent that there is no mystery about
Bert Vincent's article said in part:
"Visitors to the old Arnwine Cemetery country
graveyard near Liberty Hill, in Grainger count
[sic], look and wonder about the strange monument
(statue)[.] It is the sculptured figure of an
Indian maid. On a plaque [sic] the maid holds
in her hands it says: Nancy Ward, Watauga 1778"
Bill Spence hopes he has cleared up the mystery,
and hopes that no one will again try to remove
the old historic statue (monument) [sic] as it
has given them much trouble over the years.
First Burton Jones Letter and Response (pages 23-24)
The same person Annie quoted above wrote to her directly
about the statue after having corresponded with Bertha
Friedenmaker, the only child of Maggie (Walker) Farmer,
the woman on whose grave the statue stood at the time.
Copy of a letter from Burton Jones, 25 Tunnel
Boulevard, Chattanooga, Tennessee, March 24, 1950
Mrs. Annie Walker Burns
503-65 Midland Park
Dear Mrs. Burns:
I am writing you under rather difficult conditions
and will explain first: Sometime ago, I learned
of the Nancy Ward statue in the Arnwine Cemetery
in Grainger county, Tennessee. Previous to this
I have run across some of your genealogical work
in our library here in Chattanooga and in a letter
from Mrs. Friefenmaker she mentioned your name
as being familiar with this statue and it's [sic]
origin. It's [sic] origin is what has given me
some concern, as I am connected with the Chattanooga
Area Historical Association and we were making
investigation of this statue with the intention
of placing it at her grace at Benton, Tenn. (Polk
county). My information was that it was rescued
from a sunken flat boat in the Clinch River and
had been rescued and placed in the above cemetery.
I have searched every source I know of for information
regarding it and without much results. I also
want to explain that there developed some opposition
to this move and we have dropped the matter, as
our work was only for the purpose of getting all
available history of Nancy Ward for our association.
You know after you get into those things, that
you often feel discouraged with results and this
was my case. Now I am asking you about the origin
of the statue and if you think its history worth
making much of an effort to get. Will say that
it is very fine piece of work and worthy of more
publicity and credit than it has had, even if
it was never intended for Nancy Ward.
I had an idea that some of the Bean family after
their settlement at Bean's station might have
attempted to pay homage to Nancy Ward and was
sending it down the Clinch to some destination.
These were just dreams. Will appreciate hearing
from you regarding the statue. Will say that we
have a one year old historical association with
about 200 members and Cherokee History has been
our study the past year. I made some pictures
of the statue and am sending you some of them
for I doubt you have any.
With kindest regards and hoping to hear from
you, I am
Sincerely, Burton Jones.
--- I answered Mr. Jones, telling him that my
father James A. Walker did make the statue when
I was about age 16, and I well remember it, and
that when we moved to Harlan Kentucky 1912 that
he sold this statue to my Uncle Ebb Walker, for
a monument to his daughter who lies buried in
Arnwince Cemetery in Grainger county Tennessee.
He hated to sell the statue so much for he really
wanted to set at [sic] the grave of Nancy Ward,
but our finances were such that a small amount
of money looked good to him on the eave of our
move so he sold it to his brother for a monument,
promising him that he would return to the cemetery
and take the carving of "Nancy Ward - Wautauga
1776[sic]" and carve the name of his daughter
and her birth and death date thereon instead,
but this he never did, so the carving still [break
to page 24] remains on the statue. And I suggested
that since my uncle is also deceased as well as
my father, and the sister of my cousin who is
buried there, Mrs. Friedemaker [sic] of Ashland,
Ky, that whomever desires this status they could
only have a scupltor to reproduce a statue of
the same likeness, since Mrs. Friedenmaker does
not want to sell the same.
Second Burton Jones Letter
I received another letter from Mr. Jones as follows:
dated March 24, 1950 - Chattanooga, Tennessee.
25 Tunnell [sic] Blvd.
Mrs. Annie Walker Burns
Box 6183 Apex Station
Dear Mrs. Burns,
This is indeed an early reply to your nice long
letter just received[.] I not only read your letter
with interest but the heading about the Dr. Thomas
Walker Memorial Association for I had just been
talking with Mr. Robert Sparks Walker, our local
naturalist. I see my good friend Mr. Robert L.
Kincaid is one of your vice presidents. I feel
that I have almost run accidently with friends.
Mr. Walker is probably related to your family
[PAW: no] as they one time lived in Hawkins County,
Tenn. and I feel there is some relationship. Some
of my people came through Hawkins county. My grand
mother [sic] was a Howard and her mother was a
Moore. Two brothers Samuel Howard and William
Howard married two sisters, the Moore girls. My
great grand mother was named Peggy Moore and married
Samuel Howard who came from Baltimore.
Back to Nancy Ward. In a letter also received
today from Mrs. Grant Foreman of Oklahoma, she
is very much interesting in this Nancy Ward history,
if there is any history concerning her in this
statue. She is now writing some history of Cherokee
women and a great part of it is about Nancy Ward,
and she wants to use some of these pictures should
they be of any connection with the life of Nancy
Ward. You know there is not much written history
of Nancy Ward.
Right close to this statue is a nice modern tombstone
to "Farmer" but I did not pay much attention
to it. Wish I had now. If I did not, in my letter
explain all, will tell you that this is in the
Arnwine cemetery in Grainger county about 45 miles
above Knoxville just across the Climch Ricer which
divides this county from Claiborne. It is in the
T.V.A. Norria basin not very far from Tazewell
but across the river. Tazewell is probably about
45 miles from Barbourville and should you attend
this celebration, it would be but a short trip
down there and you can ma[k]e the investigation
yourself. Think I should tell you that there is
a walk aout 6/10ths of a mile from any road to
the marker over ridge path that is not so easy
to get over.
Since receiving your letter, and if this meeting
in Barboursville open to the publich, I am tempted
to make a trip up there sometime during the 3
day celebration. My route would be through Tazewell
and there I could do a little investigation of
the information you give me about your father's
tombstone making. I must say this is a piece of
art and should receive some recognition more than
it has. I doubt it's ever being intended to be
placed where it is now located. Think I dold [sic]
you the story as I had it, that the statue was
being floated down the Clinch when the flat boat
sank and it lay in the river for many years till
rescued and [break to page 25] placed in this
cemetery. In one letter there is a mention of
a man by the name of (James) Walker seems to have
brought it here. He had bought it from someone
but no one knows who. It also seems like on Jank
Farm had something to do with it, and I might
explain again that this marker I mentions being
to "Walker" might have been "Farmer"
instead of Walker. This I do not remember positively
now. -- it is Farmer. [apparently Annie's comment]
Mrs. Bertha Fridemaker [sic] lives in Ashland,
Ky 628 May Court. She says in her letter that
"her mother's uncle, Jim Walker made the
stone, sold it to his brother, Ebb Walker, who
was her mother's father, and he put it at my mother's
grave. Mother died in 1906[.] Uncle Jim Walker
has a daughter in Washington, D.C. Annie Walker
Burns. [sic] who wrote and wanted the stone, because
her father had made it. You see this agrees with
your letter and it must be true, and it [sic]
there is a lot of mystery. This may clear yp some
of the information you want.
The statue with pedastal is about 5 feet tall
and would probably weight about 400 pounts. The
work is extra good and it has' [presumably hasn't]
a blemish, it is of a gray granite or similar
stone and the weather has in now way affected
If you will go to the Congressional library and
ask to see T.V.A. maps "Norris Reservation
sheet 90 C["] also U.S. TVA Dutch Valley
Triangle, 154-SE, you will find a perfect survey
of the location of the Arnwine Cemetery. Both
in N.W. Section of Map. I am sure you will find
in Cong. Library[.]
As explained in previous letter, it was the intention
of the Chattanooga Area Historical Association
to bring this statue and place at her grave as
we never understood any reason for it's being
at the present location. Now we doubt it's being
intended for her grace and will let that angle
of it drop. However I will be very much pleased
if you in your searches will give me any unusual
information about Nancy Ward you may get. At times
there may be information you may want or pictures
which Il [sic] be glad to assist you.
I think your letter solves the question of the
statue's origin and it has probably put new ideas
in your mind of your past a[n]d I am hoping they
will prove to be pieces of artistic sculpture
that will be much to the credit to your father's
Inquite at Congressional Library for Diary of
Benj Eberfield Atkins, 1848-1909 pub in Gastonia,
N.C. and Springplace: Moravian Mission by Murial
Wright. This is on the Ward family and very interesting.
Roy G. Lillard Letter (pages 26-27)
One of the re[c]ent letters I have received regarding
the statue my father made is as follows:
Benton Tennessee June 7, 1957
From Roy G. Lillard, President of Polk County
Dear Mrs. Burns:
We want to thank you for the material which you
mailed to us recently (historical books) You will
realized that this is a small town, and that our
organization is small as well as new. We will
take the books to our next meeting or pass them
around among our members.
Since our last letter to you our association
held its first annual banquey with Miss Zella
Armstrong of Chattanooga as guest speaker, and
Dr. Dan Robinson of Nashville, (chairman of the
State Historical Commission) as our special guest.
Prior to our banquet a tour of several historic
spots in Polk County was made, including the grave
of Nancy Ward. A number of organizations from
Chattanooga placed wreaths on the tomb of Nancy
Ward. [break to page 27]
At your convenience, will you please drop me
a card or letter stating whether or not the "Nancy
Ward" monume[n]y which your father made is
at the grave of the daughter of your uncle Eb
Walker. I understood your letter to give that
meaning, however, I wanted to be sure about it.
We want to thank you again for your information.
'(s) Roy G. Lillard, President
Polk County Historical Association
Another Letter from Burton Jones (pages 129-130)
Burton Jones writes again with information about Nancy
Ward. No information relevant to the Walker family or
the statue is included, but the letter is included here
as it is original material to Annie's book not copied
from another book.
Here is a letter written by Burton Jones, 02
Belvoir Avenue, Chattanooga 11, Tennessee June
Dear Mrs. Burns: Your letter came a few days
ago and the information you want is about as follows:
My mother Marguerite Weatherly was the daughter
of Clementine Parks and Wilson H. Weatherly, was
originally marrie to Abraham Looney who died early
leaving one son Abe Looney. His descendants all
dead. The Parks family were part Cherokee Indian
and descendants of Nancy Ward through Susannah
Taylor. All of this parks family went to the Cherokee
National about 18&0? [sic] Not much hear from
them since. Mrs. Phillips is the same descendant
as I am as her mother was the last of the Weatherly-Parks
There is no chapter of DAR in Polk County but
they associate with the Ocoee chapter of Cleveland,
Tennessee. Think Miss Elizabeth Fillauer is regent.
Mr. J.P. Brown lives in Memphis, [break to page
Letter from Burton Jones continued:
Tennessee 1450 Monroe Street, Mr. Roy Lillard,
Benton, Tennessee is now writing a history of
Polk County. They have a new society there now.
I have often wondered what became of the Nancy
Ward statue in the old Arnwine Cemetery. That
was a mystery to me as it was true to history,
quite a perfect piece of work that would not have
been done with a good motive and then cast off
like it was. I have often wondered if the lady
in Ashland, Ky. would not be glad to see it placed
on the grave of Nancy Ward in Polk County. This
is probably where it was enroute when lost in
the Clinch River. Could you give me the name of
this lady? I am now nearing my 80th birthday,
October 7, and feeling good for my age.
My time is spent mostly in civic affairs as I
find this most interesting and probably useful.
Very frew of my people of original line are now
gone. My grandfather Weatherly was the father
of 19 children and only one living in Florida
and age 90.
If you have learned anything regarding the Nancy
Ward statue I would like to know about it so as
to complete the information.
Mrs. Grant Foreman wrote a histor of "Cherokee
Chiefs["] which included Nancy Ward and I
furnished pictures for it. Her address is Muskogee,
Oklahoma. There is a Tennessee Historical Marker
to the Nancy Ward grave on Highway 411 now. This
I helped to get. This is about all I can think
of now that you may be interested in. Sorry can't
send more of the Nancy Ward descendants for they
have checked out and left no forwarding address.
With kindest regards, I am
Yours very truly, Burton Jones
For a number of pages, Annie transcribed Census records
of Claiborne County including surnames of people linked
to Nancy Ward -- and quite a few linked to her and not
Nancy. There is no known connection of Nancy Ward to
the area. Her full transcription of those records is
not included here, but she occasionally added commentary
by some entries:
On the 1840 entry for Jonathan Walker (son of Edward
B.), page 195, she notes "The last name female
was his mother and my great grandmother Maria Jane
Horn Walker." While unprovable, she could well
be right; however, the origin of her claim of "Maria
Jane" is unknown.
On the 1850 entry for Isaac and Alzira Walker, page
197, she notes "I think this is May Walker's
grand parentage". She was incorrect; Bessie Mae
Walker's grandparents were Isaac and Mary (Haynes)
Walker, this Isaac being the son of Edward Jr. The
Isaac Walker who married Alzira (Rice) was son of
Edward Jr.'s brother Joseph.
On the same page, she mentions some of the Muncey
wives may be Walker people; she did not identify the
correct ones specifically.
On page 198, with the entry for her grandfather,
Henry Walker, she states "He was a Methodist
circuit rider preacher."
On page 201 beside the entry of a random Dougherty,
she stated that "grandmother of Annie Walker
Burns was Lucinda Daughtery of Claiborne Co. Tenn."
The Hawkins County John Walker Claim (pages 253 a&b,
Here, she possibly for the first time in one of her
books, makes the explicit claim connecting Edward to
John Walker and his 1818 will; the
claim is completely false. She also mentions that
Frederick Horn was from Sullivan County, a fact that
could well be true; however, the documentation she had,
namely Edward's pension, only pointed to Hawkins County.
The second volume of Nancy Ward records mentioned has
not been found and presumably was never written. In
addition, for the record, her history of the Long Island
area is wrong, the island is on the Holston River, and
is located not far from the Tennessee/Virginia line,
[pages 253 a&b] A picture in this book [Wild
Rose of Cherokee or Nancy Ward by Elisha Sterling
Kind] of Fort Patrick Henry at Kingsport and ruins
of the Old King's Mill station tavern, Old Kingsport.
See page 100. Page 112 Kings Meadows - Bristol,
Long Island Flats, where my ancestors were married,
their names were Edward Walker Sr and Maria Jane
Horn - he was the son of John Walker who made
his will in Hawkins Co Tenn 1818, and was formerly
from Duplin County NC and she was the daughter
of [break to page 253b] Frederick Horn of Sullivan
Co. Tenn. (Subscribe now for volume 2 of Nancy
[page 39] ... and Long Island where my Revolutionary
ancestor, Edward Walker married Maria Jane Horn
1790 May 1, on Horse Branch or creek, on the North
Fork of the Holston River. He was a son of John
Walker and she was a daughter of Frederick Horn.
This was a former Cherokee town at the long island
in Tennessee river on the Tennessee Georgia line.
It was settled in 1782 by Cherokee who espoused
the British cause in the Revolutionary war as
was known as one of the Chickamauga towns. It
was destroyed in the fall of 1794.