James Vann was a wealthy Scottish-Cherokee businessman who became an Indian leader in the 1790s. He established the largest and most prosperous plantation in the Cherokee Nation. In 1804, he built a beautiful brick mansion a few miles from New Echota, the Cherokee Nation capitol.
Chief Vann was murdered in 1809 and his son Joseph (11 at the time) inherited the estate. Joseph continued in his father’s footsteps as a Cherokee leader and became even wealthier than his father. In the 1830s, Joseph and the rest of the Cherokee Nation was forced west on the infamous Trail of Tears.
This site was a bit of a nightmare to visit with Trey because the mansion has original antique furniture and artifacts on display in the open. The dozens of little paper signs reading “Do Not Touch” didn’t mean much to Trey. I’m amazed any of my indoor photos turned out as they were taken with camera in one hand and squirmy Trey in the other.