Rev. Joseph Brown

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Rev. Joseph Brown

Birthplace: Surry County, North Carolina, United States
Death: February 04, 1868 (95)
Giles County, Tennessee, United States
Place of Burial: Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of James Brown and Jane Brown
Husband of Sarah "Sally" Brown
Father of James Brown; David Franklin Brown; Joshua Thomas Brown; Jane Gillespie Hall; Joseph Porter Brown and 4 others
Brother of Colonel John Young Brown; Ann Brown; Patrick Brown; William Brown; George Brown and 3 others

Occupation: Tennessee pioneer, Indian fighter
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Rev. Joseph Brown

Prisoner of Kiachatalee “Kittakiska”, who became his “blood brother” at the doing of the “good old chief Breath.”



In 1788 on the way from North Carolina to the Cumberland Settlement, by flotilla, Joseph's father and 3 brothers were killed by Indians. Joseph, his mother, younger brothers and sisters were taken into captivity. All were released during an exchange months later. He became a famous Indian Fighter and during the Creek War of 1812 Joseph was an interpreter for General Andrew Jackson. In that year he joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Columbia, Maury CO., TN later becoming a Minster of that faith.
Married 19 Jun 1796, Davidson CO., TN to Sarah Thomas (b. 21 Jun 1774-d. 19 Jun 1840) daughter of John Thomas & Sarah


  • from–American_wars : “When he learned of the massacre the following day, The Breath (Unlita), Nickajack's headman, was seriously displeased. He later adopted into his own family the Browns' son Joseph as a son, who had been originally given to Kitegisky (Tsiagatali), who had first adopted him as a brother, treating him well, and of whom Joseph had fond memories in later years.”
  • History of Middle Tennessee: Or, Life and Times of Gen. James Robertson. By Albigence Waldo Putnam Page 306 link
  • The American Whig Review, Volume 9; Volume 15. “Historical Traditions of Tennessee: The captivity of Jane Brown and her family.” Page 239 link
  • The Tennessee Country: A Heritage of Natural Places By Kenneth Murray Page 42
  • Early History of Middle Tennessee By Edward Albright, 1908 Chapter 38 Events of 1794 (Continued) link With young BROWN as guide, the entire army, consisting of five hundred and fifty mounted men, began its march on the morning of September 7. ... Of the Indians, seventy were killed. Among the dead was the noted chief, Breath of Nickajack. About twenty were captured. Many of the latter remembered Joseph BROWN, whom they called "Co-tan-co-ney." They begged him to have their lives spared, which, thus obeying the biblical doctrine of returning good for evil, he graciously did. On the evening of the day on which the battle was fought the troops recrossed the Tennessee and began their homeward journey, none killed and only three of their number wounded. Thus ended the "Nickajack Expedition."
  • Chickamauga Cherokee Wars (1776-1794) - part 8 of 9 Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - by Chuck Hamilton“End of the Chickamauga Wars” link “ The Nickajack Expedition. Desiring to end the wars once and for all, Robertson sent a detachment of U.S. regular troops, Mero militia, and Kentucky volunteers to the Five Lower Towns under U.S. Army Major James Ore. Guided by those who knew the area, including former captive Joseph Brown, Ore's army travelled down the Cisca and St. Augustine Trail toward the Five Lower Towns. On 13 September [1794], the army attacked Nickajack without warning, slaughtering many of the inhabitants, including its pacifist chief The Breath, then after torching the houses proceeded upriver to burn Running Water, whose residents had long fled. Brown took an active part in the fighting but is known to have attempted to spare women and children.
  • Miller, C. (1973). The Joseph Brown Story: Pioneer and Indian in Tennessee History. Tennessee Historical Quarterly, 32(1), 22-41. Retrieved from
  • Residence: Southern Subdivision, Giles, Tennessee, United States - 1860
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Rev. Joseph Brown's Timeline

August 2, 1772
Surry County, North Carolina, United States
October 25, 1796
Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Tennessee, United States
March 17, 1801
Giles County, Tennessee, United States
October 8, 1803
Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
January 22, 1806
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
September 18, 1808
Tennessee, United States
July 7, 1811
November 15, 1813
Maury County, Tennessee, United States