Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter attends Grave Marking

On Saturday May 6 at 11:00 a.m., Karen McFarland and Elizabeth Finchum, members of the Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter, attended the Patriot Marker Dedication Ceremony for Moses Cavett. The ceremony took place at Mars Hill Cemetery at Cavett Station in West Hills Knoxville, TN. Participants included Cavett family descendants, Cherokee Indians, anthropologists from the University of Tennessee, and members of the Sons of the American Revolution, Overmountain Victory Trail Association, and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Sons of the American Revolution placed a wreath on a 1921 monument to 14 people buried there following a massacre in 1793. They were Alexander Cavett, his 11 family members, and two militiamen, all slain in a raid by Cherokee and Creek warriors. Their graves are unmarked but are believed to be located in the ground near the monument.

On the morning of Sept. 25, 1793, a band of about 1,000 Cherokee and Creek warriors attacked Cavett’s Station. Deeply angry following killings and broken treaties by white settlers, the warriors intended to destroy Knoxville. Drawn to Cavett’s Station by smoke from the chimney, they assaulted it and then sent in an English-speaking warrior named Benge. He told the people in the blockhouse to surrender, and they would be exchanged for Indian captives. When the settlers emerged from the blockhouse – 12 members of the Cavett family and two militiamen – Cherokee war Chief Doublehead and his followers attacked and killed them on the spot. Even Cavett’s 5-year-old son was later killed in a Creek village. Divided over the attack, the warriors disbanded after that and did not attack Knoxville. The cemetery and 12 acres around it have stayed in the Cavett family for 227 years. 

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