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A Brown Bag Lecture: Massacre at Cavett’s Station

In a lecture on September 11 based on his new book, Massacre at Cavett’s Station: Frontier Tennessee during the Cherokee Wars, Dr. Charles Faulkner will explore the truth behind what really happened during a 1793 attack on the small settlement in what is now West Knoxville.

In the late 1700s, as white settlers spilled across the Appalachian Mountains, claiming Cherokee and Creek lands for their own, tensions between Native Americans and pioneers reached a boiling point. Land disputes stemming from the 1791 Treaty of Holston went unresolved, and Knoxville settlers attacked a Cherokee negotiating party led by Chief Hanging Maw resulting in the wounding of the chief and his wife and the death of several Indians. In retaliation, on September 25, 1793, nearly one thousand Cherokee and Creek warriors descended undetected on Knoxville to destroy this frontier town. However, feeling they had been discovered, the Indians focused their rage on Cavett’s Station, a fortified farmstead of Alexander Cavett and his family located in what is now west Knox County. Violating a truce, the war party murdered thirteen men, women, and children, ensuring the story’s status in Tennessee lore. Dr. Faulkner will reveal the truth behind the massacre and its aftermath, as well as explore the Cavett genealogy and whether any family members survived the attack.

Charles H. Faulkner, professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at The University of Tennessee, has written extensively on the history and archaeology of Tennessee.

The program is sponsored by 21st Mortgage, and free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Published September 8, 2013

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