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Volunteer Landing Park History

Ever since the Revolutionary War, Tennesseans have been known to volunteer for military duty. The reputation was solidified during the Mexican War when Governor Aaron Brown issued a call in May 1846 requesting 2,800 volunteers for military service and 30,000 responded.

Following a Tennessee-Georgia Tech football game in 1902, the University of Tennessee athletic team was dubbed the Volunteers for the first time. After several years, the Knoxville press began to use the nickname as well. The name "Volunteers" is often shortened to "Vols" in describing the University of Tennessee's athletic teams.

The Treaty of Holston Statue sits in Volunteer Landing Park. The treaty was signed by representatives of the Cherokee Nation and William Blount, governor of the territory of the United States south of the Ohio River, and superintendent of Native American affairs for the southern district for the United States. The Treaty of Holston was signed on July 2, 1791 near the Holston River and proclaimed on February 7, 1792.

This treaty included:

  • Establishment of perpetual friendship and peace between the two nations.
  • Cherokees acknowledge protection of United States.
  • Prisoners of war to be restored.
  • Boundaries established between the Cherokee Nation and the United States.
  • Stipulation of a road by the United States.
  • United States to regulate trade.
  • Guarantees by the United States that the lands of the Cherokee Nation have not been ceded to the United States.
  • No U.S. citizens may settle within the Cherokee Nation.
  • No U.S. citizens may hunt within the Cherokee Nation.
  • Cherokees must deliver up criminals to the United States.
  • U.S. citizens committing crimes within the Cherokee Nation are to be punished.
  • Retaliation restrained by both nations.
  • Cherokees to give notice of pending attacks by other tribes against the United States.
  • United States to make presents to the Cherokees for the promotion of having the Cherokees take up an agrarian culture.
  • Both nations to cease any animosities held against each other.

Holston Treaty caused problems immediately. Blount believed that he had "purchased" much of what is now East Tennessee when the treaty was signed in 1791. However, the terms of the treaty came under dispute, culminating in continued violence on both sides. In 1792, 200 Cherokee lead by John Watts marched on Knoxville, and a second group of Cherokee attacked Covet's Station in 1793. Knoxville settlers repelled both attacks. Knoxville settlers attacked the Cherokee several times as well. When the government invited the Cherokee's chief Hanging Maw for negotiations in 1793, Knoxville settlers attacked the Cherokee against orders, killing the chief's wife. Peace was renegotiated in 1794.

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