The Tennessee River in Meigs County

County Seat: Decatur

Much of MeigsCounty’s history is linked to the river. For instance: In 1809 a teenage boy ran away from home to live with Cherokee Indians on Hiwassee Island, located in Meigs County. He stayed there for about three years and was given the name “The Raven” by a Cherokee chief. The boy later came back to white society and grew up to become an important military officer and politician.

Sam Houston
PHOTO: Library of Congress

His name was Sam Houston, and he eventually became governor of Tennessee and then governor of Texas.

For more on Sam Houston, click

Groundbreaking of the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park
PHOTO: Office of U.S. Representative Zach Wamp
Meigs County is also the former site of Blythe Ferry, where about 9,000 Cherokees and Creeks camped in the fall of 1838 while waiting to cross the Tennessee River. Today this journey is often called the Trail of Tears, which is why a memorial park is now under construction on the former site of Blythe Ferry.

Here's a photo of the Meigs County Courthouse.