Meigs County

The Tennessee River in Meigs County

Sam Houston


Meigs County’s history is linked to the Tennessee River.

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.

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

Cherokee Removal Memorial Park at
Blythe Ferry
PHOTO: Cherokee Removal Memorial Park

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 on a march which was forced by the U.S. government. Today this journey is known as the Trail of Tears, and there is a historic park at the site commemorating the Trail of Tears.


Here (on the right) is the Meigs County Courthouse in Decatur.