Capt. John "Hellfire Jack" Rogers

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Capt. John "Hellfire Jack" Rogers's Geni Profile

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John Rogers

Also Known As: "'Hell Fire Jack'"
Birthdate: (45)
Birthplace: Scotland
Death: between circa 1795 and 1826 (37-84)
Two conflicting dates and places need to be resolved:, 1795 in Cherokee Nation-Arkansas, near Ft. Smith, Arkansas Territory OR, 1826 at Big Mulberry Bend, Crawford County, Alabama, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin Rogers
Husband of Tiana Houston; Elizabeth Emory/Hembree and Jennie Rogers
Father of Charles Rogers, Sr.; Aky U-lv-s-qua-to-gu Vickery (Rogers); Capt. John Rogers, Jr., Principal Chief; James Rogers; Nannie "Nonnie" Rogers and 8 others

Occupation: Captain
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Capt. John "Hellfire Jack" Rogers


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

John started the Rogers surname which includes Chief William Charles Rogers, Diana Talihina Rogers Huston (Sam Houston's Cherokee wife), and Will Rogers. John's first wife was Elizabeth Due nee Emory and his second wife was his step-daughter Jennie Due.

Source: The Texas Cherokee

Page 70;....he [Samuel Houston] had married a Cherokee woman, Talihina ["Tina"] (also know as Diana) Rogers, daughter of John Jolly's brother, John Rogers. On June 30, 1806, [Moravian Diaries] John Rogers who lived on the Hiawassee River, Tennessee, came to Spring Place. He told the Moravians he wanted to put his 12 year old daughter [unnamed] into the school but her mother [unnamed] was the sister of John Fawling who had just been killed by James Vann in a duel. Rogers thought it unwise to rile Van by having a Fawling in his neighborhood. Thus the disputed story of Ailsy, sister of James Vann, who was the third wife of John Rogers [not listed in Starr] and had a daughter, Polly Ann, born about 1787. This story is very similar to the sister-in-law of James Vann who was the third wife of John Rogers [not listed in Starr] and the mother of a daughter born circa 1794. Thus Ailsey would be Ailsey Fawling and Polly Ann Rounnameduld be her unmaned daughter.

John Rogers was a very prominent figure among the Cherokee. He gave them much help and advice. You can find many letters, writter by him to the government. He once paid the ransome, demanded for a young boy named Jennings and returned him to his family. He was often a delegate to Washington, DC, a Council man of outstanding ability; and his influence was manifest.

Little is known about the life of John Rogers, Sr. before he came among the Cherokee during the Revolutionary War. 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, VA. William Rogers went to Pennsylvania, and Ben Rogers came to Tennessee. From this we can gather that our line of the Tennessee Rogers are descendants of Ben Rogers.

However, we do know more about our Captain John Rogers since the Revolution. As stated above, he was a Tory Captain in the British Army and fought in the Carolinas with Captain John Stuart. John 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 that Stuart is not known as there is no historical record regarding this matter.

Captain John Rogers was called "Hell-Fire Jack" by the Cherokee 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 life style among the "Uncivilized" Cherokee.

John lived about twelve miles south of Calhoun, Tennessee, on 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 guest 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 was 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 River. He and thirty-one members of his party settled a Big Mulberry Bent, about twenty miles south of present day Ft. Smith, AR. Captain John Rogers is buried there.

John's 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 woman of the Long Hair Clan. From this marriage comes three of the Cherokee Chiefs of Oklahoma: namely Chief John Rogers, Jr., born in 1779, Chief of the Western Cherokees and Grand Saline, Texas; Judge Charles Coody Rogers; and Chief William Charles Rogers, the last Chief of the Western Cherokees.

John's Third marriage was to Alsey Vann (also known as Anna Pruitt) and their only Child, Polly Ann, born 1787, married Samuel Dawson, a Scott-Irish man. They were the parents to the well-known Dawson Families of Oklahoma. F.M. or Bud Dawson was one of the leading men who established the rights of citizenship of a lafge family, who were placed on the Cherokee Rolls by the Dawes Commission. Based on the granting of Cherokee citizenship to Alsey's decendents this wife is Alsey Vann believed to ba a sister of the well known Chief James Van.

John's second marriage was to Jennie Due, the daughter of his first wife, Elizabeth Due, by her first husband Robert Due. Their daughter, Talahina or Tiana Rogers, born about 1798, married Sam Houston, Governor of Tennessee and General and President of the Republic of Texas.

John Rogers, Sr. 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 Oolooteskee (John Jolly Rogers). John, Jr. died at the home of Mrs. Eugenia Townsley, in Washington, DC, on 12 June 1846, while presenting his claims for possession or reimbursement for the salt works. He is burried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC. 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, and 91, Range 40. John's grave has no headstone.

Another son of John Rogers, Sr. was James Rogers, a minor Cherokee Chief according to some records.

The Rogers were supplanted by John Ross, leader of the anti-treaty party, who became Chief of the Cherokees after the general rRemoval in 1826. Captain John Rogers and Colonel A.P. Chouteau had established the salt works on the east side of Grand River, near the present town os Salina, in Mayes Co., OK. 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 dies in 1832, possession passing to Captain John 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 hew party if deemed expedient. Captain and Chief John Rogers.

CAPTAIN JOHN1 ROGERS was born Abt. 1755 in Scotland, and died in Arkansas Territory, (Oklahoma). He married (1) JENNIE DUE, daughter of ROBERT DUE and ELIZABETH EMORY. She was born Abt. 1766. He married (2) ALSEY VANN, daughter of JOHN VANN and WAI-LI OTTERLIFTER. She was born 1768. He married (3) ELIZABETH EMORY Abt. 1771 in Cherokee Nation East, TN, daughter of WILLIAM EMORY and MARY GRANT. She was born Abt. 1748 in Cherokee Nation East, TN.

Notes for CAPTAIN JOHN ROGERS: John started the Roger surname connected with the Cherokee, which includes Chief William Charles Rogers, Diana Rogers Houston (Sam Houston's wife) and Will Rogers (there is question whether there is a blood connection to Will Rogers). He was a Scottish trader. He was reported to be a Tory Captain during the Revolutionary War and fought with John Stuart in the Carolinas. He lived about 12 miles south of Calhoun TN, near the Hiwassee and TN Rivers. He plyed boats on both rivers. In 1817 he left his home near Lookout Mt. and traveled by keel boat with 31 other people.

They settled at Big Mulberry Bend, about 20 miles south of present day Ft. Smith, AR.

Some speculate that John was the son of Ben Rogers who was the brother of William. Beginning in Wythe County, Virginia, William went to Penn. and Ben to TN. In " History of the Cherokee Indians", by Emmet Starr, on page 305, John Rogers is listed as a spouse to Elizabeth Emory, 1'1, 1'2, 2'3. Jennie Due was John's stepdaughter from Elizabeth Emory.

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

Notes for JOHN HELLFIRE ROGERS, SR: 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.

The Texas Cherokee, p70; ...he [Samuel Houston] had married a Cherokee woman, Talihina (also known as Diana) Rogers, daughter of John Jolly's brother, John Rogers.

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Capt. John "Hellfire Jack" Rogers's Timeline

Age 24
TN, United States
Age 26
Age 29
Cherokee Nation, North Carolina (Present Tennessee), United States
Age 30
Overhills, Great Tellico, Tennessee, United States
Age 32
Age 38
Age 40