(Media release from Chief Vann House Historic Site):

Guests who visit the Chief Vann House Historic Site through the end of April can view our collection of framed, unique 18th century maps featuring the southeastern states or early British Colonies, and the development of the charted Gulf and Atlantic shorelines.

These maps are replicas (copies) of rare collections that tell the early story of European settlers beginning to chart and immigrate into the shores of the “New World” in search of minerals, slaves, and in many cases, a new home. A study of these maps teaches us about the opinions and desires of those who published them. An example is “A New and Accurate Map of the Province of Georgia” published in 1779, when the greed and jealously of Georgia planter-politicians is revealed as they intentionally mis-label the Cherokee and Creek Nations as the Province of Georgia and stamp “Exceedingly Good Land” in the middle of the Cherokee Nation. On display are maps featuring the names of Native American chiefdoms once thriving in the eastern states, telling us the story of a long and violent removal of Native Americans from this side of the Mississippi.

Often maps included cultural judgments meant to taint and degrade the Native peoples in the eyes of their western neighbors, and thus justify their expulsion. One such map on exhibit is 1718 French crafted map “Carte de la Louisiane” which artfully describes the Indigenous peoples along the Louisiana coast “Indiens errans et Antropophages” or “Wandering Man-Eating Indians.” This map is not a mere tool for charting roads. The same map illustrates the route that 16th century Spanish Conqueror Hernando De Soto took with his army, showing a pride in a historical figure now known as a bloodthirsty killer.

A fabulous exhibit highlight is a 1795 Georgia map which shows “Vann’s Town” in modern day Tennessee, before the grand Vann House was built. In the Chambers Museum, guests can view maps of the original 1832 Land Lottery surveys printed from the Georgia Archives, as well as topographic maps from 20th century Murray County labeling the Vann House as “Goins Hill,” reflecting the many changes in ownership the house endured over two centuries.

Most of our maps were donated by Ivan Allen Jr. They are on display throughout the Vann House and Museum and are included in admission. Call in advance to ask our staff about site hours and social distancing/mask policies.

Visit us on Facebook at ‘Friends of the Chief Vann House,’ Instagram at ‘Vann_House_Park’ or online at .

Regular Admission: $6.50 – $5.50 plus tax, children five and under are free.

Regular hours: Thursday-Saturday 9-5, Sunday 1-5. December-March: closed

on Sunday. Last tour of the day always begins at 4 p.m.

Chief Vann House Historic Site is located at 82 Hwy. 225 N, Chatsworth, GA 30705 · 706-695-2598 · [email protected]

In 1804, Chief James Vann was the wealthiest Cherokee in the Nation and built a three-story brick house in the center of his eight hundred-acre plantation. You can tour his Federalist era brick mansion on a guided tour, held hourly during normal days of operation.

The mission of the Department of Natural Resources is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices.