Name: James P. Tatum
Given Name: James P.
RIN: MH:IF29 1755 in Petersburg, Dinwiddie Co., Va.
RIN: MH:IF30 1830 in Riverside, Ashe Co., Nc.
Name Suffix: Capt.
Change Date: 16 Nov 2002
THE TATUM CABIN: This description of the Tatum Cabin compliments of Carolyn Joy
The Tatum Cabin, restored by the Southern Appalachian Historical Society on the grounds of HORN IN THE WEST in Boone, N.C. dates from about 1775. Five generations of the Tatum family of Watauga County lived in the cabin, originally located near Todd at what was known as the Elk Crossroads.
The Tatum interest in the North Carolina mountains preceded their settling here permanently. Britisher William Tatum settled in this area when it was one of the Lost Provinces, belonging to no state. He was eager for the area to be under the jurisdiction of one of the colonies and wrote to North Carolina, making such a request. William returned to England before this happened, though, and went on to Spain where he became involved in politics.
The first Tatum to live in Watauga was Captain James Tatum. He was a descendant of settlers who came from England to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1620. Putting all of his possessions in two dug-out canoes, James and his family left Jamestown in the 1760s and followed the river south until he found level land and lots of game. He thought he was still in Virginia but was, in fact, ten miles northeast of Boone on the New River. He lived there several years before he knew he had left Virginia.
James came to Watauga sometime between 1760 and 1765. Notes he left on the Revolutionary War indicate that he came ten years before it was fought; the Tatums were definitely in the cabin in 1785. Records left by James indicated that they rented the land from the Indians for ten years, at the end of which time they bought it. James recorded, "A Cherokee Chief came to the cabin and got pay. We had no sooner done this than we heard of the unhappy news of the United States and Britain." James fought in the Revolutionary War. An old deed for part of the land still exists. This deed is particularly interesting because of two features: the dates on the deed are written in Roman numerals and the round seal is beeswax melted in a black string, the string worked up into the paper.
All of James Tatums family lived in the cabin until grown. They made their living farming, hunting, and fishing. James lived there until he died. His will reveals that he left the property to Buckner Tatum. His will also states that he left to Buckner his "best pewter plates," showing the British Crown on the back.
Four of Buckner Tatums children were born in the cabin before he moved to Northwest Georgia, selling the property to Elijah Tatum. Elijah started living in the cabin in 1830, five of his children living there until they were married. One of the papers left in the cabin is a pardon granted Elijah for his part in the Civil War. The document was signed by President Andrew Johnson and the Secretary of State
John Tatum occupied the cabin in 1890, continuing to live off the land as his ancestors had done. The cabin was abandoned as a home in 1935. In 1958 the late L. T. Tatum, son of John Tatum, gave the cabin to the Southern Appalachian Historical Society, and it was moved to HORN IN THE WEST grounds.
The modest-sized log cabin typifies the living conditions of the early settlers. One outstanding feature of the cabin is the gun slots. Pieces of logs were set in loose for easy removal, enabling the occupants to shoot from inside. The sleeping loft was reached by climbing pegs driven in logs in the wall. Pots from limestone rock were found about one mile away from the cabin, possible indicating an Indian camp nearby on the river. Furnishings left in the cabin include grease lamps, a long-handled waffle iron for cooking over the fire, a foot warmer to put a hot rock in, a bed warmer to put hot coals in to move over the bed to warm it, cord beds put together with ropes, a cradle with one rocker longer than the other so Ma could rock the baby while working, dishes of English ironstone, a flax coverlet, handmade wool blankets
Father: George Tatum b: ABT 1720 in Petersburg, Dinwiddie Co., Va.
Amy Sharpe b: ABT 1761 in Petersburg, Dinwiddie Co., Va.
in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Sarah Tatum b: 10 JAN 1780 in Va. c: in From Carolyn S. Joy Curlyhorses@juno.Com
- Lizey Tatum b: 17 MAR 1782 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Elizabeth Tatum b: 10 FEB 1783 in Brunswick Co., Va.
- George Tatum b: 27 NOV 1786 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Matthew Tatum b: 18 FEB 1789 in Rowen Co., Nc.
- James Tatum b: 6 FEB 1791 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Tabitha Tatum b: 17 MAR 1792 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Patsey Tatum b: 10 APR 1794 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Joseph Tatum b: 6 AUG 1796 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Mary Elizabeth Tatum b: 6 FEB 1799 in Rowan Co., Nc.
- Buckner Tatum b: 15 OCT 1803 in Rowan Co., Nc. c: in Info From Julie Tatum Julietatum@aol.Com