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John Rogers was a Scottish trader who lived among the Cherokee. He is most noted for being the father of the part Cherokee Tiana Rogers, consort to Sam Houston, governor of Tennessee and General and President of the Republic of Texas.

John Rogers is reported to have been a Tory Captain in the British Army who fought in the Carolinas with Captain John Stuart. [Anyone with proof, please contact me.]

Captain John ROGERS is sometimes referred to as Hell-Fire Jack. Some say this name was given by the Cherokee because of his hot temper. Others say that the name was given by the whites because of John’s cohabitation with heathen Cherokee. Others say that this is just a term invented by genealogists and historians to designate him from another John Rogers, who is called Nolichucky Jack. Hell Fire Jack is sometimes called John Rogers, The Trader.

John Rogers is reported to have lived about twelve miles south of Calhoun, Tennessee, on the Hiwassee River and had boats plying on both the Hiwassee and Tennessee Rivers. He may have been a man of wealth.

John Rogers appears to have married three part Cherokee women (+++ See note below.) One marriage was to Elizabeth Emory, daughter of William Emory and Mary Grant. Mary Grant was the daughter of Ludovoc Grant, who married a Cherokee of the Long Hair Clan. She had two sisters, Mary and Susanna.

John also married Jennie Due, a daughter of Elizabeth Emory by a previous marriage to Robert Due. By this marriage, Tiana Rogers was born about 1800 and she lived with Sam Houston at Wilson Creek, Indian Territory, where Sam kept a crude store. Tiana is buried in the National Cemetery at Fort Gibson on the West side of the Officers Circle, Grave #2467. The tombstone says: "Talahina Wife of Sam Houston". Some say that Talahina is the Creek name for Tiana.

(+++ See note below.)The third marriage is less well known. Based on the granting of Cherokee citizenship to one of her descendents, this wife is reported to be Alsey Vann believed to be a sister of the well known Chief James Vann.

John Rogers is often confused with his son John Rogers Jr., who was born about 1776. John Jr. is also known as Captain John Rogers for his service with the Cherokee troops of General Andrew Jackson in the Creek Wars. He was elected Chief after the death of his uncle, Chief OO-LOO-TES KEE or John Jolly. John Jr. died at the home of Mrs. Eugenia Townsley, in Washington, D.C., June 12, 1846, while presenting his claims for possession or reimbursement for the salt works. The Rogers were supplanted by John Ross, leader of the anti-treaty party, who became chief of the Cherokees after the general Removal in 1826. Captain John Rogers and Colonel A. P. Chouteau had established the salt works on the east side of the Grand River, near the present town of Salina, in Mayes County, Oklahoma. They manufactured large quantities of salt which was sold to the garrison at Fort Gibson as well as the Cherokees and other Indian tribes. Chouteau died in 1832 - possession passing to Rogers. Then John Ross, Principal Chief, in the name of the Cherokees, took over the salt works and gave the concession to his brother, Lewis Ross. Ross asserted the springs were the property of the national domain of the Cherokee tribe and might be leased to a new party if deemed expedient. Captain and Chief John Rogers, Jr., is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. There were three Cherokees buried about the same time; John Rogers, Jr., Thomas W. Starr and W. B. West. Their grave sites are #89-90-91, Range 40. His grave has no head stone.

Another son of John Rogers SR was James Rogers, a minor Cherokee Chief.

Ancestry: We know very little about the life of this man before he came among the Cherokee during the Revolution. One researcher has stated that the Rogers family first came into Wythe County, Virginia. From there William Rogers went to Pennsylvania and his brother Ben came to Tennessee and that Ben may have been the father of John. I have seen no data to substantiate these claims.

References: (1) OLD CHEROKEE FAMILIES by Starr.

John Rogers’ first wife was Elizabeth Due nee Emory and his second wife was his step-daughter Jennie Due.

Captain John Rogers [Jr.] settled at Dardanelle, Arkansas in 1821. He was the last chief of the “Old Settler” Cherokees. he died at Washington in 1846 and is buried in the National Cemetery. The wives of John and James Rogers were sisters.

(2) WHITES AMONG THE CHEROKEES, GEORGIA 1828-1838, collected by Mary B. Warren and Eve B. Weeks.

“Whilst I was stationed among the Indians, in 1814, in command of a detachment of United States troops, I became acquainted with a white man by the name of Rogers, whose wife was a half-breed Cherokee woman. He was an active, sensible, thriving man, and his sons promising young men..” [George R. Gilmer]

A long letter from Gilmer (Executive Department, Milledgeville, March 10th, 1831) to John Rogers is included in the text. One paragraph reads, “I believe you to be an excellent citizen. I have heard the most favorable accounts of your two oldest sons, for whom I have an affectionate remembrance. Yet, my advice to you, and to them, is to accompany the Cherokee people in their move [from Georgia to Indian Territory]. You can be more useful, and consequently happier, with them than with us. You will find that many of those who have been most active in effecting your removal, will be your surest friends in securing to you an independent Government, and every other advantage tending to the improvement and happiness of your people.”


“The Western Cherokees had been as completely Europeanized as their eastern brothers. John Rogers, a Scotchman, had been one of the first ‘squaw men’ of the American Southwest. he had taken Oolooteka’s sister as his bride and got several children by her.”

“Our information about Diana Rogers Gentry is maddeningly skimpy. Not even her name is known, though she was probably about ten years younger than Houston. The only portrait of her is admittedly a product of pure imagination ... She was the widow of David Gentry, a half-breed blacksmith who had come to Arkansas as early as 1817 and died in a skirmish with the Osages. .... After Diana’s death in 1836, she was buried near Cantonment Gibson. Later, her body was removed to the military cemetery. A headstone was set up over the grave, bearing the inscription” “Talahina, Indian wife of General Sam Houston.’ In death, the whites attributed an Indian name to her she had never had.”

+++ Cherokee Biographies:
This web site indicates that John Rogers who married Alsey Vann was not the same John Vann who married Jennie Due.

FGS Captain John Rogers

Born: Scotland	
Died: Arkansas Territory (Oklahoma)

Wife (1):  Elizabeth Emory  
Father: William Emory
Mother: Mary Grant

John Rogers Jr. (2)   B: 1779   D: 12 Jun 1846 Washington,
D.C.   M: Elizabeth Coody

Charles Rogers    M: 1. Nancy Dowling   2. Rachel Hughes

Arky Rogers   M: George Hicks   2. Dan Vickery

James Rogers   M:   Nancy Coody

Nancy Rogers   M: 1. Looney Price   2. Nelson Grub

Wife (2): ALSEY VANN 
Father: John Vann 
Mother: Wawli

Polly Ann Rogers   B: c 1787 Tennessee   D: 1857 Texas   M:
Samuel Dawson

Wife (3):  JENNIE DUE (3)
Father: Robert Due
Mother: Elizabeth Emory

Anna Rogers   M: 1. John W. Flowers   2. Thomas Irons

Joseph Rogers 

William Rogers   M: Nellie May

Tiana Rogers   B: c 1800   D: c 1838   M: 1. David Gentry   2.
Sam Houston   3. Sam McGrady

Susanna Rogers   M: Niclos Miller

Notes:  1. John Rogers Sr. was a Scottish trader who lived most
of his life with the Cherokee.   He was reportedly a Tory Captan
during the Revolutionary War.   He is know in the literature
variously as Captain John Rogers and Hellfire Jack Rogers.

2. John Rogers Jr. was the last chief of the “Old Settler”
Cherokee.   He was a Captain of Cherokee troops of Andrew
Jackson in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend during the Creek Wars. 
Like his father, he is known as Captain John Rogers.

3. Jennie Due was the wife of John Rogers and the daughter of
Elizabeth Emory, another of John Rogers’ Cherokee wives.

1. J.D. Blackwell’s “Families of Samuel Dawson and Polly Ann
2. C.E. Moore’s “Genealogy of Patrick Magee and Rosanna
3. D. Braider’s “Solitary Star, A Biography of Sam Houston”
4. C. Garner’s “Sam Houston: Texas Giant”
5. M. James’ “The Raven - A Biographby of Sam Houston”
6. Starr’s “Old Cherokee Families”
7. Gregory’s “Sam Houston with the Cherokees”

Dick D. Fox
1512 Parkview Drive
Lockhart, TX 78644
United States


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