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Appendix B

This webpage reproduces part of an item in the
Tennessee Historical Magazine

published by the
Tennessee Historical Society

The text is in the public domain.

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Appendix D
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

Bedford's Tour (1807)

Vol. V
p65
Appendix C. — Location of Smithland.

Letter of John Sappington,1 Red River,2 Tennessee, September 20, 1791, to Major William Croghan.3 MS. in Wisc. Hist. So. Draper Collection, XX Vol. V, No. 24. Printed in American Industrial Society (Doc. Hist. of) Phillips, Vol. II, p262.

p66 Dr. Sr.: I, with pleasure, embrace this opportunity by Coln. James Ford,4 to inform you that I am well at present and have enjoyed a good state of health since I left the Falls of the Ohio.

I also have the pleasure to introduce to you Coln. James Ford, a person anxious to make a purchase near the mouth of Cumberland River. There are a number of families that would wish to (buy) any land adjacent to the town. Moses Shelby5 requests me to inform you he would give cash for five or six hundred acres of land near the Town five or six miles distant. He would wish to know by this opportunity what you would take per hundred of land in that distance from the Town. Also several others wish to know what you would take for Land near the Mouth of Little River,6 or Ramsey's Camp, particularly a Mr. Desha,7 he would wish to purchase two or three thousand acres. He can make you good pay in Beef Cattle, as he has a large Stock of Cattle. He is a very punctual man. I have not the least Doubt provided you would engage Land at a certain fixed price your Town would be established at the Mouth of Cumberland immediately. I have drew up an article for the settling of sd Town & p67find that if you would give an out Lott of about five acres with the two Lotts in Town the Settlement would be established this Fall. Indeed, provided you would fix a reasonable price on the Twenty acre Lotts at the expiration of the ten years, I have the promise of a Number of Adventurers sufficient to establish a permanent Settlement. I shall expect to hear from you fully and particularly on the above head — as I intend to become an Adventurer myself I conceive it must be a place of Trade at present and a future day a place of Consequence as it is the key of the Settlements on Cumberland & the Ohio above & as it lies near the mouths of several Capital Rivers also near the present Spanish Settlements. I conclude with presenting my compliments to Mrs. Croghan, Mr. Clark's family, Colln Andesonº & his Lady Doctr James Ofallon & his Lady & my Acquaintances in generall in the neighborhood of the Falls & with subscribing myself Yr. Mst. Obt. Servt &c.

Jno. Sappington.


The Editor's Notes:

1 One among a number of brothers of this name who settled in Kentucky and Tennessee. This letter to Maj. Croghan was written from "Red River," possibly at this time he was a citizen of Tennessee County (Montgomery). Afterward he removed to Missouri and settled in Saline County, where his family were very prominent in social and political circles.

(Mo. His. So. Collec's., Vol. II, No. 2, p2.)

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2 A branch of the Cumberland entering in from the north near Clarksville, the writer lived in Montgomery County, Tenn.

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3 Major William Croghan came to America from Ireland when quite young. He was a nephew of the noted George Croghan, who was long employed by the British as Indian agent under Sir William Johnson. Unlike his uncle, he gave his service to the colonies in the Revolution and at its close married Lucy, daughter of John and sister of George Rogers Clark. This family had in 1785 moved to Kentucky and settled near the Falls or Louisville. Here, at "Locust Grove," Major Croghan lived till his death at the age of seventy years, September, 1822. The close of the letter gives remembrance to different members of the Clark family, viz.: the father, John Clark, Col. Richard Clough Anderson, who married another sister of G. R. Clark; Dr. James O'Fallon, a finely educated Irishman who came to America after the Revolution and married Francisº Eleanor, another sister of G. R. Clark. This family afterwards moved to St. Louis. The "Falls of the Ohio" is the older name for the location of Louisville.

(History of Indiana, English. Vol. II, p1002.)

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4 "Perhaps the most striking figure of the country, in the pioneer days, was Colonel James Forde. He was about six feet tall, rather fleshy and of commanding appearance. He sat a horse perfectly, and in the saddle he was the admiration of all the settlements. Personally, he was kind and affable, as well as bold, outspoken and independent in his sentiments. He was thrifty and successful in business affairs. Fourth Captain in the Davidson County militia in 1784, he became a Colonel in the militia of Tennessee County and had a command in both the Coldwater Expedition of 1787 and the Nicojack campaign of 1794. He was the representative of Tennessee County in the Legislature of the Southwest Territory in 1793 to 1796; and represented Montgomery and Robertson counties in the Senate of the First and Second General Assemblies of the State of Tennessee. He died in May, 1808."

(Hon. A. V. Goodpasture, in Amer. Hist. Mag. Vol. VIII, p197.)

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5 General Evan Shelby of "Kings Meadows" had three very distinguished sons, Major Evan Shelby, killed by the Indians in Montgomery County, Tennessee; Governor Isaac Shelby of Kentucky and Col. Moses Shelby. These sons were all in the Battle of King's Mountain, and before this in numerous expeditions against the Indians. In 1782 Col. Moses Shelby, with other adventurers, came to the Cumberland settlement in central Tennessee, later followed the frontier settlers further down the Cumberland River to Montgomery County, where he was living when the above letter was written. Later he moved still further down the Cumberland to the new County of Livingstone in Western Kentucky, where, at the unanimous solicitation of the people, he was appointed Colonel of the County. After the acquisition of the Territory of Louisiana, he removed to the west bank of the Mississippi, settling a plantation two miles below New Madrid, where he lived till his death, September 17, 1828. His brother, Governor Shelby, wrote in a letter dated Danville, Ky., June, 1823:

"Covered with the scars of thirteen deep wounds, received in defense of his country, for which he is too proud to receive a pension, always disdaining to apply for one. In youth he was of a warm and ardent disposition, always ready to risk his life for a friend, and profuse of his property (of which he had a considerable inheritance), even to a fault. It would exceed the bounds of a letter to give you a statement of the many hair-breadth and eminent dangers through which he passed. Soon after his marriage, he became impressed with religious sentiments, joined the Methodist Church, liberated his slaves, and, so far as I know and believe, has always supported a good character." (Dr. Archibald Henderson's "Isaac Shelby," in North Carolina Booklet, July 1918, p28.)

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6 A tributary of the Cumberland from the north side, it flows through Trigg County, Ky., in a northwest course, emptying into the Cumberland at the northwest corner of the county. It has been declared a navigable stream up seventeen miles to the county town of Cadiz.

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7 This was probably Joseph Desha. His father, Robert Desha, of French descent, came from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in 1781, the next year he settled further south in Tennessee, four miles east of where the town of Gallatin, Sumner County, was afterwards located. Here he reared a noted family. His son, Joseph Desha, was born in Pennsylvania in 1768, but was reared in Sumner County, Tenn.; was a successful farmer and stock raiser. In 1792 he removed from Tennessee to Mason County, Ky. Served with General Wayne in 1794, represented his county in the Legislature for several terms from 1797‑1807. Made a Major-General in the War of 1812. In 1824 was elected Governor of Kentucky. His wife, Margaret Bledsoe, was the eldest daughter of Col. Isaac Bledsoe, of Sumner County, Tenn. He died at Georgetown, Ky., 1842.

("Historic Sumner County," J. G. Cisco, p170‑171.)


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