Name: John Hellfire Rogers
Birth: ABT. 1755
Fact Kept the ferry on the Clinch River in Tennessee
Ethnicity Scottish trader among Cherokee, Tory
John started the Roger surname which includes Chief William Charles Rogers, Diana Rogers Houston (Sam Houston's wife) and Will Rogers. John's first wife was Elizabeth Due nee Emory and his second wife was his step-daughter Jennie Due.
He was Scotch (English). We know very little about the life of this man before he came among the Cherokee during the Revolution. In an early history of America, it gives that there were two Rogers brothers who came to this country. They first came into Wythe County, Virginia. William went to Pennsylvania, and Ben came to Tennessee. From this we can gather that our line of the Tennessee Rogers are descendants of Ben.
However, we do know more about our Captain John Rogers since the Revolution. He was a Tory Captain in the British Army and fought in the Carolinas with Captain John Stuart. Stuart's son was known as Bushyhead. From this man comes the well-known Bushyhead families of Oklahoma. Reverend Jesse Bushyhead lead a group to Arkansas. Why the family name of Bushyhead was adopted, rather than Stuart, we have no historical record.
Captain John Rogers was called "Hell-Fire Jack" by the Cherokees because of his hot temper, and also to designate him from another John Rogers, who was called "Nolichucky Jack". Some sources say that the nickname of "Hell-Fire Jack" came from his decadent lifestyle among the "uncivilized" Cherokee.
John Rogers lived about twelve miles south of Calhoun, Tennessee, on the Hiwassee River. He had boats plying on both the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers. He was a man of wealth. Captain John must have loved to entertain, for in the minutes of the mission, this is mentioned. The Christmas of 1806 he gave such a large party - they tell what his guests consumed - not how many were present as we do today; saying, the guests consumed a number of beeves, two barrels of flour, and two barrels of rum, and their stock ate two stacks of hay and one hundred bushels of corn. At one time there were two hundred present. Nancy Vann, a guest, was reported as saying, "I never had such a good time in all of my life."
In 1818 Captain John Rogers came to western Arkansas from his home, Ross Landing, on the Tennessee River near Lookout Mountain. Leaving there in 1817. It is interesting to know how the government had provided the Indians transportation to the west. A boat was constructed to be sixty feet long and twelve feet wide, two thirds of it were to be covered, two side oars and a steering oar, they were called Keel Boats. Each was given a gun, a kettle, a beaver trap and some ammunition. Often these boats fell apart on the rocky shoals of the Tennessee. He and thirty-one members of his party settled at Big Mulberry Bend, about twenty miles south of the present Ft. Smith. Captain John Rogers Sr. is buried there.
John Rogers had three marriages:
His first marriage was to Elizabeth Emory Due - he being her third husband. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Emory and Mary Grant, granddaughter of Ludovoc Grant and a Cherokee of the Long Hair Clan. From this marriage comes three of the Cherokee Chiefs of Oklahoma; namely, Chief John Rogers, Jr. born 1779 Chief of the Western Cherokees and Grand Saline; Judge Charles Coody Rogers and Chief William Charles Rogers, last Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
John Rogers married his second wife, Alsey Vann (also known as Anna Pruitt) and their only child, Polly Ann, born 1787, married Samuel Dawson, a Scotch-Irish. They were the parents to the well-known Dawson families of Oklahoma. F. M. or Bud Dawson was one of the leading ones in establishing the rights of citizenship of a large family, who were placed on the Cherokee rolls by the Dawes Commission. Alsey was Cherokee.
John Rogers's third marriage was to Jennie Due, a daughter of his first wife, Elizabeth Due, by her first husband, Robert Due. Their daughter, Talahina or Tiana Rogers, born about 1800, married Sam Houston.
Narvel Lee Rogers (Address Unknown)
William Vann's genealogy "Vann Generations with Cherokee Origins"
Elizabeth Emory b: BEF. 1744
- Aky Rogers
- Chief John Rogers
- James Rogers
- Nannie Rogers
- Charles Rogers b: ABT. 1774
- Annie Rogers
- Joseph Rogers
- Susannah Rogers
- Chief William Charles Rogers b: 1794
- Talihina (Tiana , Diana) Rogers b: ABT. 1800
Alcie Mary Ann Vann b: ABT. 1765
- Polly Ann Rogers