Methodists Among the Cherokee

Jeremiah Horn was a Methodist or should I write, “a methodist”.  In the beginning he was not a Methodist by denomination, but by conversion.  He was a methodist by personal experience.  Those who followed the Wesley brothers methods of holiness and devotion, and who brought the gospel into the American wilds, made an impact on his life.  Some of these men were part of other groups but all were “methodists” in their practices.  He named one of his sons Charles Wesley Horn after the famous preacher. He named another son after the influential Methodist minister mentioned below, James J. Trott.  Jeremiah became driven by his own call to preach Christ and did so vigorously.  To our knowledge he had little formal education.  He worked with his hands to provide for himself and family and preached when he wasn’t working (and sometimes when he was!)

Jeremiah Horn ministered in Cherokee Nation East as early as 1818.  He voluntarily moved to Indian Territory in the west  in 1834 as part of the early removal of the Cherokee.  He would be named in that year by the Methodist Conference (now you can read “denomination”) as their missionary to the Cherokee.  By 1846 he was in Collin County, Texas as part of the Peters Colony.  He went on to establish churches and “ride the circuit” while running a farm, blacksmithing and hauling freight with his sons.  He died in 1867.

Below is a quote concerning Methodist missions among the Cherokee people in the early days.

Methodist Missions

With their uneducated but caring circuit riders and their “four-day” or protracted camp meetings that resembled Cherokee all-night dances and extended camping, Methodists converted more Cherokees than all the other denominations combined. Their Arminian approach minimized atonement and the recognition of saints. Salvation was an open door, and sinners had free wills. In 1823 the first circuit riders were appointed in Tennessee near the site of John Ross‘s home, south of Chattanooga. Their emphasis was not on model farms and boarding schools but rather on itinerant and emotional ministry.
However, the Methodists, yielding to Cherokee wishes, did open six-month day schools at Oothcaloga and Pinelog, along with semipermanent churches: barely literate but enthusiastic, the main ministers were Richard Neely, Nicholas D. Scales, Dickson C. McLeod, and James J. Trott, all of whom married Cherokee women. Within four years Methodists accepted Cherokees as licensed preachers and traveling exhorters, among whom were Young Wolf, Turtle Fields, John Spears, William McIntosh, and John Fletcher Boot. In 1829 Methodism achieved a milestone when the church admitted the Ross brothers, John and Lewis, as members; the former had a home at New Echota. By 1830 Methodists had claimed more than 1,000 members.

(From New Georgia Encyclopedia Online)

Jeremiah Horn would have known all of the men mentioned in this article.  He may have been related by marriage to more than one of them.  Keep following the clues…

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Today’s Document: 1818 Cherokee Agency Payment Record

1818 Horn, Jeremiah Cherokee Agency record from May 24

What:  A partial record of payments paid out by the Cherokee Indian Agency.

When:  May 26, 1818.  This was a Tuesday.  Other historical records (Cherokee Council Records) inform us there is a council meeting of the Cherokee chiefs and warriors at the Agency on this day.  This Council began on the 20th of May and would conclude on the 28th.  Governor McMinn revealed to the Cherokee leaders the U.S. government’s’ intent to move all Cherokees west.

Who:  Jeremiah Horn receives a payment from the Agency.

Where:  Agency Creek on the Hiwassee River, Cherokee Nation.  This is the second location of the agency and was located here from 1816 – 1821.  This would be in present day Meigs County, Tennessee named after the agent Return Jonathan Meigs.

Transcription:

” ” 26   The United States ___ To Cash pd Jeremiah Horn for attending on a man who was hurt in the public service.     5.00″

Significance

  1. Confirms Jeremiah Horn’s presence in Cherokee Nation no later than the 26th of May 1818.
  2. Informs how early he may have been aware of the U.S. government’s intent concerning the Cherokee people.
  3. May reveal something about the person Jeremiah Horn.

Questions:

  • Can you fill in the blank in the transcription?
  • What do you believe this document says “about” Jeremiah Horn?

Source:

Citation Information

Detail

Page 27 – Cherokee Indian Agency (TN)

Web Address

https://www.fold3.com/image/205282655/

Source Information

Title

Cherokee Indian Agency (TN) at Fold3

Repository Information

http://www.fold3.com