Tiana Rogers (c. 1798-1838) was the Cherokee daughter of Captain John Rogers, and one of the wives of Sam Houston. She came from a prominent Cherokee family that produced several chiefs, including John Jolly, and her own brother, John Rogers, Jr. Her marriage to Houston, by all accounts, was not an easy one; Houston left their home less than a decade into their marriage and headed for Texas. She died on The Trail of Tears in 1838. She was helping her people.
Houston's Expedition to Washington
Tiana Rogers had been attracted to Sam Houston in her youth, and at the age of 13, announced that Houston would be her husband. She agreed to join her brothers, John and James and become part of Houston's expedition to Washington. The expedition was part of Houston's overall plan for a peaceful resolution to the on-going conflict between the continent's natives and expansion-minded Americans.
The expedition was dangerous from the beginning. Before the Rogers had even met Houston, they were attacked by Chickasaw warriiors. Only the timely arrival of Sequoyah, John Ross, and Nancy Ward kept them from being killed on the Tennessee River in June, 1814. After that scrape the whole group pressed on, the Chickasaws still in pursuit.
A running battle took place as the Chickasaws continued to paddle after them. On June 18, 1814, the final conflict took place, with the Cherokees finally dispatching their enemies. Tiana Rogers even killed one their pursuers.
The group met up with Houston at Oothcaloga on June 28, 1814. Houston was somewhat taken aback by Tiana's presence, although Ward convinced him to take her.
The whole group arrived in Washington on August 24, 1814, in the immediate aftermath of the American defeat at the Battle of Bladensburg. Houston and John Ross quickly resolved to help defend the city. However, Tiana was adamant that she and the other children present, including John & Nancy Ridge and Buck Watie, would stay with the adults. Indeed, Tiana was quite vocal about being a part of future combat. Beaten, Houston kept the group together.
At the Executive Mansion, Houston was able to secure two twelve-pound canons, and more manpower, when Lt. Patrick Driscol and a group of men under his command offered to help Houston. This was the first time Tiana saw her future husband.
The group moved to the Capitol Building.
Defense of the Capitol
At the Capitol, Houston pointedly ordered Tiana and the other children to a protected area of the building. Tiana was given de facto custody over the injured Commodore Joshua Barney, who'd been delivered by the British. Tiana was somewhat irritated with Barney's surprised that she and the other children could read and speak English. Barney did appreciate her ministrations, however.