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Signature of Edward B. Walker Genealogy of Edward B. Walker
1756-1838, Duplin County, North Carolina - Sullivan, Claiborne, Hancock Counties, Tennessee

 

Military and Genealogical Records of the Famous Indian Woman; Nancy Ward


Author: Annie Walker Burns (1894-1966)
Date: 1957
Publisher: Self-published
City: Washington, DC
Online: HeritageQuest, excerpts here
On file: Yes
Scanned: Yes
Repository: DAR
Statue story: D. Ray Smith: Nancy Ward
New York Times article
Google maps: Arnwine Cemetery
Horse Creek
Long Island
Wikipedia: Nancy Ward

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 death.

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 Times.

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 herself.

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.

Letter from

Mrs. Grant Foreman (Carolyn Thomas Foreman)
1419 West Okmulgee Avenue
Muskogee, Oklahoma

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 you publish.

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.

Sincerly Yours,
(s) Carolyn Thomas Foreman

 

Another Mention of Statue Photo in Foreman's Book (page 7)

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 (page 20)

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."

 

Claiborne Progress Article Regarding Statue (pages 21-22)

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) Monument.

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 county.

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 that monument.

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
Washington, D.C.

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
Washington, D.C.

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 it.

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 work.

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 Historical Society

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
Benton Tennessee

 

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 25, 1957:

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 marriage.

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 130]

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

 

 

Census Mentions

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, page 39)

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, not Georgia.

[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 Ward Records.)

[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.

All original material © 2007-9 by Phillip A. Walker or by cited authors. Submissions are welcome. Reuse allowed under limited conditions. Page last modified Saturday, 26-Jun-2010 17:45:47 MDT .