- [S47] Sevier County, Tennessee and its Heritage, Sevier County Heritage Book Committee, (1994, Don Mills, Inc.), 165, 190.
- [S94] Sevier County, Tennessee Census, 5-Dist, Series: T625 Roll: 1762 Page: 133, 23 Jan 1920.
- [S106] The Mountain Press, 8 Oct 2012.
Upland Chronicles: Stewart Burden noted house mover in Sevier County area
- [S106] The Mountain Press, 4 Sep 2013.
Burden families celebrate 37th reunion
On Aug. 2, 2013, families and friends of John and Mollie Dockery Burden gathered at the Mainstay Motel in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., for twoplus days of family history and fun.
Everyone had an exciting weekend of family togetherness, shopping and sightseeing in the area. Families traveled from Champaign and Chicago, Ill., Jacksonville, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., Maryland, Minnesota, Texas, New Orleans and many areas in Tennessee.
The theme of this year’s celebration was the Civil War years as they related to the families, Isaac Dockery, George McMahan and John Pate; and the Emancipation Proclamation as it related to Charlotte Dockery and ? ve out of 15 children born into slavery. This included Mollie Dockery Burden. On display was documentation of the Burden-Dockery history, and family stories were retold.
Family scrapbooks and family artifacts were displayed all weekend. These included a Bible belonging to John W. Burden dated August 1892. This treasure was given to him by Rev. E.P. Harris, one of the early black ministers serving at New Salem Baptist Church. Stories were also told of Rev. C. Etters, a pastor from Martha Davis Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tenn., who was New Salem Church’s ? rst black minister to serve in that capacity after years of circuit ministers.
Other family artifacts included a collection of notes and Christmas cards sent to Mollie Dockery Burden from her sisters, Nancy Dockery Coleman, Mattie Dockery Garrett and Louisa Dockery McMahan. The postage on the cards and letters was one cent.
There was also a draft notice for World War I for Stell and James Richard Burton (Col.). The notice was dated 1918. Also displayed were bank drafts, receipts and grocery tickets from Ketners’ grocery store dated 1920. Tobacco was 20 cents a plug, and snuff was twenty cents a can. In 1931, the letters to John and Mollie were stamped with twocent stamps.
A small bag of cotton taken from one of Mollie’s quilts that was given to one of her granddaughters was on display. Mollie always planted a row of broom corn in her garden to make her brooms. She also grew a row or two of cotton, which she used for making warm winter socks, scarves and sweaters. She also used the cotton for making her quilts.
Other displays included old and new magazines of special issues. To name a few: The 1963 issue of the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation; The Secrets of the Civil War; A historical issue about Fredrick Douglas — “The father of the protest movement”; The stories of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and stories of Gettysburg. Several family members spent time reading during the reunion. These magazines helped to validate the family stories and displays historically.
Jennifer Simon told the history of our great grandmother, Charlotte Dockery, and her children before and shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation. The highlight of the Friday evening program was the Family Feud game. The categories were taken from our family history and black history with two teams competing. The fundraiser for the evening was a raf? e of several gift items including a family-made quilt.
The traditional cake bake-off using family recipes passed down several generations provided desserts for the weekend. Gwendolyn Chandler of Chandler’s Deli was the ? rst-place winner, Raphael Chandler Feamster won second place and Jennifer Simon won third.
The Saturday-evening program was started with awards and entertainment. Sidney Matlock, great-great-great-granddaughter of Stewart Burden Sr., entertained the family with a violin selection. Morgan Kate Burden, a great-great-greatgranddaughter of Stewart Burden Sr. delighted the crowd with a piano selection and songs that she had written herself.
Morgan Kate is a senior at Sevier County High School. There was also an impromptu dance performance by 6-year old Maia Lula Campbell, greatgreat-great-granddaughter of George Burden Sr.
Martha Burden Bowden read the Burden reunion families’ expression of gratitude and appreciation to Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters, Sevierville Mayor Bryan Atchley and State Representative Richard Montgomery for proclaiming May 19 each year as Isaac Dockery Day. This was recognition of Isaac Dockery’s courage, loyalty and strength of character when captured by Confederate soldiers looking for his friend Col. M.P. Thomas during the Civil War. Isaac Dockery would not tell them where Thomas was hiding, despite being tied and dragged behind a horse in an attempt to gain information by force. Isaac endured unbearable pain and injury.
Expressions of appreciation were entered into the minutes of the 37th Burden Reunion. It was also noted that the sons and grandsons of Isaac Dockery have carried his legacy all across the country with the building of brick churches, colleges, public schools, theaters, a hotel, hospitals and homes.
- [S34] In the Shadow of the Smokies, Smoky Mountain Historical Society, (1993), 319.