The Wataugans

The Wataugans

"The Wataugans" is an outdoor historical drama that takes place in Elizabethton, Tennessee, at the Sycamore Shoals Historic Area. It is presented by the Watauga Historical Association every July on the last three Thursday-Friday-Saturday weekends of the month. Employing a mixed cast of volunteering professional and amateur local actors and re-enactors engaged through an open casting call, "The Wataugans" depicts the early history of the area that is now northeast Tennessee. Although some artistic license has been taken, the overall form of the drama is reasonably close to the historical facts.

Act I

The early settlers along the Holston and Watauga Rivers in modern East Tennessee find themselves outside the jurisdiction of North Carolina and Virginia, and, in 1772, form a government of their own, the Watauga Association, described by such historians as Theodore Roosevelt as the first free and independent government (at least by men of European descent) on the American continent. At the time, it was regarded by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, as an attempt to set up a 'Separate State,' which made it 'a dangerous example' to other disaffected colonists.

In 1775, Judge Richard Henderson's Transylvania Purchase, buying most of modern Kentucky and Middle Tennessee from the Cherokee Indians is opposed by the young warrior Dragging Canoe. He and his followers also oppose the purchase by the Watauga Association of the land they currently occupy. Although most of the older chiefs, including Dragging Canoe's father Atta-culla-culla, favour peace with the white settlers, the younger warriors attack the settlements in the area, bringing the act to a climax with the 1776 attack on the reproduction of Fort Watauga (more properly known as Fort Caswell) that has stood in the park since the 1970s. In the battle, John Sevier, who would later be the only governor of the State of Franklin and the first governor of the State of Tennessee, meets his second wife, the high-spirited and athletic Catherine Sherrill, pulling her over the wall of the fort after her running leap made while fleeing from the Cherokees.

Act I concludes with the breaking of the siege and news of the Declaration of Independence.

Act II

The 1780 wedding of John Sevier and 'Bonnie Kate' Sherrill is interrupted by a messenger with news of the war being fought against the British on the other side of the Appalachian Mountains. Major Patrick Ferguson, a British officer assigned to lead American Loyalist Militia in pacifying the rebellion in the west, has threatened to march over the mountains, hang the leaders, and lay waste to the country with fire and sword. Local leaders attending the wedding agree to muster the local militia on 25 September 1780, and march over the mountains to meet Fergusson before he can endanger their families. The ensuing march, culminating in the Battle of Kings Mountain, earned the participants the nickname "Overmountain Men," and their victory over the British is sometimes referred to as the turning point of the American Revolution in the South.

The drama depicts the battle in the distance on a small hill beside the fort that serves as a backdrop for the entire performance. The distant battle is accompanied by narration and exciting (yet loud) fireworks and gunfire.

During the absence of the militia, the women of the settlement and the few remaining men (one out of seven were drafted to stay behind) defend themselves from the Cherokee and British Indian agents.

The drama concludes with the return of the Overmountain Men and a brief narration of the later accomplishments of some of their more prominent members, like Landon Carter.

Unfortunately, due to legal problems, "The Wataugans" is in the process of being rewritten, and will be acquiring a new name. After the change, the drama may be performed in Nashville one weekend as the official outdoor drama of the state of Tennessee.

For it's twenty ninth Season, 2007, The title "The Wataugans" was changed to "Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals."

External links

* [ The Wataugans official website, complete with dates and pictures]
* [ Tennessee State Parks official page for Sycamore Shoals Historic Area]
* [ Tennessee Online's page for Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wataugans — may refer to:* The Wataugans Outdoor Drama *The Watauga Association *Watauga River *Watauga County, North Carolina …   Wikipedia

  • Overmountain Men — The Overmountain Man statue by Jon Mark Estep at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, Tennessee The Overmountain Men were American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains who took part in the American Revolutionary War …   Wikipedia

  • Watauga Association — The Watauga Association (sometimes referred to as the Republic of Watauga or the Watauga Settlement) was a semi autonomous government from 1772 to 1777 in what is now Northeast Tennessee. The settlers negotiated a ten year lease of the land from… …   Wikipedia

  • Elizabethton, Tennessee —   City   Downtown Elizabethton, July 4th parade (2008). Nickname(s) …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Kings Mountain — Infobox Military Conflict conflict= Battle of Kings Mountain partof=the American Revolutionary War caption= date=October 7 1780 |place=near Blacksburg, South Carolina Kings Mountain, North Carolina result=Decisive American victory [ The Magazine… …   Wikipedia

  • Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area (Tennessee) — Infobox nrhp name =Sycamore Shoals nrhp type = nhl caption = location = convert|2|mi|km|abbr=on. W of Elizabethton on the Watauga Rive nearest city = Elizabethton, Tennessee lat degrees = lat minutes = lat seconds = lat direction = long degrees …   Wikipedia

  • Roan Mountain, Tennessee — This article is about the community of Roan Mountain, Tennessee, a census designated place. For the nearby state park, see Roan Mountain State Park. Infobox Settlement official name = Roan Mountain, Tennessee settlement type = CDP nickname =… …   Wikipedia

  • Transylvania (colony) — Transylvania was a short lived colony primarily in what is now the U.S. state of Kentucky. The colony was founded in 1775 by Richard Henderson of North Carolina, who purchased the land from the Cherokees. The most famous resident of Transylvania… …   Wikipedia

  • Sycamore Shoals — Infobox nrhp | name =Sycamore Shoals nrhp type =nhl caption = nearest city= Elizabethton, Tennessee lat degrees = 36 lat minutes = 20 lat seconds = 33 lat direction = N long degrees = 82 long minutes = 15 long seconds = 21 long direction =W… …   Wikipedia

  • Batalla de Kings Mountain — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Batalla de Kings Mountain Parte de Guerra de la Independencia de los Estados Unidos Fecha 7 de octubre de 1780 …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”