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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Green Corn Dance

Chief Collard (Cedartown's Collard Valley named after him) and his two sons, all of Polk County. Collard was removed from the area in 1838 but apparently his family posed for this picture before re-location to Oklahoma. After the War Between the States, Collard's two sons returned to Cedartown and visited Martha Cordelia Whatley Whitehead, giving her this photograph. Many of our ancestors followed the direction of land grants and land lotteries, but when the Cherokees were removed in 1833, this opened up counties close to the Alabama border. One of the first settlers to Polk County wrote of the frontier days in 1875 and his article appeared in The Record, probably the first newspaper in Polk County on June 5th and 26th, July 24th and August 7th of 1875. He titled his article By One of the First Settlers. The unknown author described Captain Gravley's drunkenness as well the Cherokee's last Green Corn Dance (in Polk County). The articles embrace the areas of Cedartown and Cleantown (now Rockmart), dating back to the 1830s. Cleantown was named by the Indians as the most stinking and filthy name they could think of, in order, as they said, to suit the class and character of the people who lived around it. Even so, the white people called it Cleantown. A large majority of the settlers to Cleantown or Euharley Valley were members of the Pony Club, which seemed to be a secret club. The club consisted of a group of men who had fled from the law and banded themselves together for the express purpose of thieving. They had their own set of by-laws. This club ultimately caused the good people to form what was known as the Slick Company, to protect the property of those persons who did not have an equal chance with such characters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find their genealogy line to see if my family is related. Is there more information on the sons? Who did they marry?