History of the Early Settlers of Nacoochee Valley
Three Versions of the "List of 61."
by Rhodes, Bristol, Tharpe
These pages contain the infamous List of 61, an imaginative and spurious document drawn up by Victor Bristol in the 1870's. There are a number of falsehoods in this document.
These people were not the first settlers of White County. Others had been establishing homes here since 1815 or before. Seven family names have been recorded and others went unrecorded.
The people named in the document did not travel thorough the wilderness. The traveled the Unicoi Turnpike, the 1820's equivalent of today's Interstate Highway.
They did not travel in two wagon trains. Rather they came to White County in a number of small parties or as individual families over a longer period from 1823 to at least 1840. Only 29 of the 61named families (39 %) were recorded in the 1830 Census of Habersham County. The remainder were listed in other locations in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and North Carolina.
No one bought land from the Indians. This area was granted to the State of Georgia in 1819 and was divided into Land Lots. Those Land Lots were distributed by a Land Lottery and the "fortunate drawers" had clear title to land. Many sold to others including land speculators such as Benjamin Cleveland.
At least one named person, and likely more, were resident in this area before 1820. Benjamin Cleveland was raised on the Tugulo River near the SC border and was an active land speculator in old Franklin County by 1815. He founded the city of Clarksville and was the most active speculator in Habersham County. He sold Major Williams his land in 1825, the deed being recorded in 1828.
The earliest know member of the list of 61 to settle was Rev. Jesse Richardson who recorded his deed in 1823.
We do not know when Daniel Brown settled here as he did not record his deed. We do know that the land that he settled was bought by Alexander Mauldin in April, 1825.
The usefulness of the List of 61 is that it contains some, but not all, of the names of people settling northern White County during the period 1820-1850.
This site presents an edited version of the original History Paper that contained 3 separate "List of 61." Only one is included here.