Hugh Rogan and Early Settlement

       Hugh Rogan returned to the Cumberland Valley in 1780 with John Donelson and other settlers who completed the harrowing river journey from Fort Patrick Henry (in upper East Tennessee near the Virginia state line) to Fort Nashborough (Nashville) where they joined with a group led by James Robertson who had come overland to the same place. These men, women, and children were the vanguard of permanent settlement. Hugh Rogan's name is among the list of about 250 men who signed the Cumberland Compact, a temporary instrument of government for the new settlements in the valley of the Cumberland River. Rogan spent nearly two decades helping to establish and defend several of the eight forts or stations called for in the Cumberland Compact.

Sketch of Reconstructed Fort Nashborough
Courtesy Tennessee State Library and Archives
Reconstructed Fort Nashborough

      From legal documents and from accounts by Rogan's contemporaries, including Donelson, William Hall, later governor and Congressman, John Carr, and Joseph Brown, we learn about Hugh's life and his adventures. For example, he was granted around 300 acres in Sumner County, established in 1786 as part of North Carolina. He also received around 300 acres for being among the first to plant corn after arriving in 1780. Rogan traded that parcel, in Davidson County near where Vanderbilt University is today, for another 300 acres in Sumner County, giving him a holding of 640 acres.

       Rogan's property was along Bledsoe's Creek in an area called Greenfield. He shared a property line with Isaac Bledsoe and another neighbor was Nathaniel Parker, who married Mary Ramsey, the widow of Isaac’s brother, Anthony. Other settlers in this historic area, that includes Bledsoe's Lick in the Castalian Springs community, were Revolutionary War veterans William Hall, John Morgan, David Shelby, John Carr, and George and James Winchester and their families.

Nathaniel Parker Cabin at Bledoe's Lick Historical Park
The cabin of Nathaniel Parker was moved from its original site, near Rogana, to Bledsoe's Fort Historical Park.
Sumner County Map
Map of Sumner County that shows the location of Rogana and communities nearby. (Click on map to enlarge image.)
Page 1 of Rogana Deed
Page one of deed for Rogana that shows the transfer of land from Nathaniel Parker and his wife Mary to Hugh Rogan. (Click image of page 1 to see the full deed.)