Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance

John P. Rogan

John Rogan was hired by his cousin Cyrus Thomas in 1883 as a temporary assistant for the Bureau. In 1884 he was promoted to a regular assistant.

He left the Bureau in November of 1886 to form his own mercantile business. However, based on the Bureaus 8th annual report, it appears he returned in 1886 and was reassigned through 1887. When he left in 1887 he did not return again until he worked for Emmert at the mound excavations on Bat Creek. There are no official records of him being with the Bureau in 1889 because he was just hired as help for John W. Emmert with no direct connection to the Smithsonian.

It is apparent through his letters to Thomas that he did not like Emmert because he was excavating mounds that Rogan had permits.

It is recorded that he had a connection with the Smithsonian from 1890 to 1891 through the official annual reports, but it only listed him as a former field assistant. That suggests that he was not actually with the Bureau at the time, but they were using his findings in the report.

Not a lot is known about Rogan since none of his finds were very significant.

His most popular find was in 1883. He unearthed copper eagle dancer plates while excavating in Georgia at the Etowah Indian Mounds with Thomas. The plates are now known as the Rogan Plates.

Section from Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance by Mandel Cook