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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Journal

John Sevier

published in Vols. V and VI
of the Tennessee Historical Magazine,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!


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This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p159  Journal of Governor John Sevier (1790‑1815).

May, 1790.

Left home1 Wednesday, 19th May, 1790, at 10 o'clock. Rained on us in the evening. Lodged that night at my father's.2 25 m.

20. Sent my horses to Z. Abdis & got them shod, cost 10–––.

2 o'clock set out, & lodge all night at Mr. John Keewoods.3 20 mls.

Left this place 10 o'clock, received of Mr. John Keewood 9500 Dollars Virginia paper money called the forty for one money,4 which I am to endeavor to exchange for Hard money.

21. Lodged at Col. Wm. Edmistons5 in Washington County, Virginia. Called on Saml. Edmiston, Esqr., and dined on our way to the Cols. 28 mls.[image ALT: A blank space]eº

22. Set out at 12 o'clock, fed at Genl. Campble's6 plantation, pd.  p160 8d for some Greene wheate, proceeded from thence to Col. Arth. Campbles.7 Lodged there all night. 18 ms.

23. Set out in the morn. Sat. 10 o'clock. Fed our horses & dined at Engledoon,8 paid 2‑6. From thence to Capt. Robt. Sawyers on Reed Creek. Lodged there all night. 33 miles.

(Monday, 24th). Set out from Capt. Sawyers at 8 o'clock in the morning. Fed Horses at Mr. Carters, pd. 1—. Crossed the Ferry at Englishes, pd. 1‑3. Lodged all night at Mr. Harrises. Choacked (?) my horse (?) in the morning, paid for expenses 3‑8. 34 miles.

(T., 25th). Set out at 10 o'clock. Dined at McCraigs (Hans Meadows,9 pd. 4—. Fed at Mrs. Kemps, pd. 4d. Lodged at Col. I. Robertsons, P. O., 21 miles, Wednesday, 26th.

Set out at 7 o'clock. Breakfast at Mrs. Aierly (?), pd. 2‑6. Lodged all night at Mrs. Brackenridges,10 pd. 2‑6. 25 miles.

Set out on the 27th, Thursday morning. Breakfasted at Mr. Leatherdales. Called on D. Wood & got white vitrolº for my eyes. Fed at Andersons Ferry, pd. 1‑3. Lodged at Mr. Berkleys, pd. 4‑8. 30 miles.

Fryday, 28th. Set out 9 o'clock. Arrived at Lexington 1 o'clock. Tarried all night. 12 miles.

Saturday, 29th. It rained. Lay by till Sunday morning, the 30th. At 9 o'clock set out for Staunton,11 arrived there 8 o'clock. Lodged all night (rained, went in the morning to visit Mr. McClanahan (?), Colonel Alexr. McClanahan, Mrs. Reed & some other acquains. Bought of Col. Gamble a pr. Boots, price 40—, paid Mr. Herschal with whom I lodged for Epensesº 15‑9. 35 miles.

 p161  Monday, 31st. I left Staunton about 3 o'clock. Arrived at Rockingham at 8 o'clock (evening). Lodged all night at Mr. Rutherfords, being 25 miles. pd. for Oats 1‑.

June, 1790.

Tuesday, June 1st day. Set out at 11 o'clock fed and dined at Reuben Harrison, pd 1‑. From thence to New Market,12 there fed, pd. for Wine & Oats 4‑6. From thence to Mr. H. Goarn. Lodged all night. 20 miles.

2d day. Wednesday, 10 o'clock, set out for Mrs. Hawkingses, 12 o'clock Lodged that night at Mrs. Hawkins.13

3d. Thursday 2 o'clock went to Woodstock. Lodged at Col. O. Browns. 17 miles. Tarried there till Saturday, the 15th. Had made by the tailor a Jacket & britches, cost 9‑, paid for trimingsº 5‑. Paid for Wine and Expenses 10‑. Paid Col. Brown a dollar he lent Mrs. Sevier in Jones (?). 10 17 miles.º

Saturday, 5th day. Set out from Woodstock a(t) 2 o'clock in company with Mrs. Pugh, dined and fed at Stovers town with Mr. Huffmann pd for Expenses 2‑6. Lodged that night at New town paid for Expenses 7‑6. 22 miles.

Sunday, 6th day, 7 o'clock. Brakfirsted at Edmonses in Winchester14 paid for Expenses 6‑, dined & fed at Slaughters old place15 pd. 3‑6. rained on us, Lodged at Myers pd. 8‑1 41 miles

Monday, 7th day. Set out at half after six o'clock in the morning very cloudy Crossed at Wadkins Ferry16 paid 2‑. Brakfirsted at Mr. Porters in the town at this place (fed our Horses, pd. 3-10. Set out from this place half after 9— Fed in Greene Castle town17 pd. 3‑6 Fed in Chambersburgh18 pd. 2‑6. had the stallions shoes removed, pd 8d. Expenses gifts & 8‑6. Lodged all night with Joseph Campble Shippensburgh 42 mls.

Tuesday, 8th day. Tarried in town, bought five yds callico, got a Gound made cost 20 shillings. paid for Wine Expenses &c 4‑.

Wednesday, 9th day. Set out at 11 o'clock from Shippensburgh fed at McClarys pd. 2‑9 Dined and fed at Carlyle19 pd. 4‑3 lodged at Betts tavern pd. 8-11 Gave a byer (?) 2‑ 26 miles —

Thursday morning. Set out at 12 o'clock (Some what wearid (?) Fed at Harrises Ferry20 (Fergs. Expenses &c 5‑. Lodged all night at Eliz Town paid Expenses 13‑. 30 miles.

 p162  Fryday morning. Set out 8 o'clock. Fed & Brakfirsted at Dazeys 3‑4. Dined in Lancaster21 at Turkshead22 paid Expenses 6‑6 Set out at 4 o'clock Towards Philladelphia Lodged at Capt. Crawfords. that night rained till 2 o'clock pd. for Expenses 15‑. 29 miles.

Saturday morning, 12 days. Set out at 3 o'clock lodged that night at Mr. Millers. (Foggy in the morning pd for Expenses 7‑8 19 miles.

Sunday morning, 13th day. Set out 6 o'clock. Fed at Brahpd at Fouchan pd for Expenses 3‑7 left there half after 9 o'clock at Sign of Eagle Dined &c pd. 3‑6 Lodged at Millers Sculkill23 Ferry.

Monday, 14th day. I went into Philadelphia. bought a beaver hat 7 dollars price. 3 Hand & pair of cotton stockings cost 16‑. . .

. Two N.papers 3d. paid to Mr. Jacob Miller for Expenses 5‑8. Went to philadelphia this evening Left our Horses with Mr. Miller to pasture and be fed till I return from Congress — paid for washing 2‑. pd. for fare in stage 6 dollars Expenses Philladelphia 11‑3. Tuesday morng 15th day set out in stage 3 o'clock Brakfirsted at Teasitors (?) pd. 4-. 30 miles. Set out from thence 9 o'clock dined at Brunswick pd. 4-. Wine &c on the road 8‑. Crossed the ferry & Arrived in New York 9 o'clock. Lodged all night at Stair Ferry pd Expenses 10‑4.

Wednesday morning, 16th day. Took a seat, in the House, and that day took up lodgings at Mrs. . . . . . . . . at 6 dollars pr week.

Thursday morning, 17th day.

Fryday, 18th. Josiah Parker24 Dr To cash won at whist 1 guinea

Mrs Burns Dr To cash at sundry times ten Dollars.—

1 July Col. Josiah Parker Dr. To cash lent 20 silver Dollars.

 p163  Memo. that John Hartwell Lives on Walkers Creek Montgomery County Virginia.º

Editorial Notes:

1 Mt. Pleasant on the Nolichucky River. Sevier moved there from Wataugaº in 1778. His father, Valentine Sevier, lived at the first Watauga settlement. He died at Carter's City, December 30, 1803, at the age of one hundred years. He was born of Huguenot parents in England. The name was originally Xavier. John Sevier's mother was Joanna Goode. Valentine Sevier, with his wife, his four sons, Robert, Joseph, Abraham and John and their families, and his daughters, Polly and Catherine, arrived at the Watauga settlement from the Shenandoah Valley on December 25, 1773.

Sevier's trip here outlined was from his home to New York to take his seat in the first Congress elected after the adoption of the Constitution. He had been elected to represent the westernmost district of North Carolina, which included all of what is now Tennessee. There is no record that he had any opponent.

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2 His father, at this date, resided on the south side of the Holston River, probably two or three miles below the present Kingsport, near old Fort Patrick HenryA.

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3 "Keewoods." Keywood, in Sullivan County, near Bristol. A.

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4 "Forty for one money." Curiously, Confederate currency reached forty-for‑one in 1864‑5, at Richmond, gold basis. D.

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5 "Edmiston's." Near Abingdon, Va., probably Edmondson, a prominent Virginia family, largely represented later in Tennessee. D. In early political records I found Edmonson, Edmondson and Edmiston. A.

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6 "Campbles." The well known Campbells, many of whom were in the Revolution. D.

It is worthy of note that Sevier paid 8d at General William Campbell's "for some green wheat." General Campbell was at King's Mountain along with Sevier. Generals Charles and Joseph McDowell and many others "lodged" and were entertained without charge at Sevier's home for some time preceding the King's Mountain expedition. It seems that no charges were made for "lodging"º at Col. Arthur Campbell's. A.

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7 The Campbells here mentioned are General William Campbell, of King's Mountain fame, and his cousin and brother-in‑law, Col. Arthur Campbell, who was impeached as judge of the Washington County, Virginia, court for an attempt to have all that part of Virginia west of the Blue Ridge joined to the State of Franklin. He was never tried on these charges. These kinsmen lived near Abingdon, the county seat of Washington County, in earlier times known as "Wolf Hills." A.

Note that Sevier says, "fed at Gen. Campbell's plantation." William Campbell had died nine years before this time, just before the siege of Yorktown. He held the chief command at King's Mountain and possessed much military genius. He and Col. Arthur Campbell composed their rivalries by agreeing to alternate with each other in command on military expeditions. This is why Col. Arthur Campbell was not at King's Mountain. It was Col. William Campbell's time. Col. Arthur Campbell was a kindred spirit to Sevier. They were associated in many Indian fights, notably the Chota expedition soon after the King's Mountain battle. Col. Campbell aided Sevier and his Watauga riflemen in destroying the settlements of the Cherokees even as far as Lookout Mountain. Col. Arthur Campbell was a farmer and was prominent in all the political and military movements of the time. At the age of sixteen, while fighting Indians in Augusta County, Virginia, he was captured and kept a prisoner near the Great Lakes for several years until he escaped. He died in 1811 on Yellow Creek, Kentucky, where he had removed a few years before.

General William Campbell's home was near the seven-mile ford of Holston, at "Aspenvale," twenty-two miles east of Abingdon.

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8 "Engledoon." Engle's Ferry, or ford, on New River, in Wythe County, Virginia, on the main road between the Southwest and the East. A.

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9 "Hans Meadows," should be "Max Meadows," as that is the name by which it has always been called. A.

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10 "Mrs. Brackenridges," should be "Breckenridges," as records at Abingdon and in other parts of southwest Virginia have it. A.

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11 Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, whence came Rev. Samuel Doak, D.D., after referred to by Sevier. From Augusta and the adjoining county of Rockbridge came to Tennessee the Doaks, Cowans, Alexanders, Montgomerys, Paxtons, Houstons, Tates, Walkers, Caruthers, Lilys, Mitchells and many others, mostly Scotch or Scotch from northern Ireland. D. The route was down the Shenandoah Valley.

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12 Sevier had founded the town of Newmarket before he removed from Virginia. He lived there for some time prior to 1770.

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13 Sevier's first wife was Sarah Hawkins. She died in 1780, leaving ten children, Joseph, James, John, Elizabeth (m. W. H. Clark), Sarah (m. Benjamin Brown), Mary Annº (m. Joshua Corlin), Valentine, Richard, Rebecca (m. Waddell), Nancy (m. Walter King).

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14 Winchester, the county seat of Frederick County, Virginia.

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15 "Slaughter's old place" was near Harper's Ferry. A.

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16 "Wadkins Ferry," above Harper's Ferry on the Potomac River. A.

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17 "Greene Castle town," in Pennsylvania.

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18 Chambersburg, Pa., of fame as being (so alleged) burned by Confederates on Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania. A.

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19 "Carlyle," Carlisle, Pa., originally "Bett's Tavern." My grandparents, Joseph and Mary Greer Chester, came from Carlisle, Pa., to Jonesboro in 1796. A.

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20 "Harrises Ferry," now Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, on the Susquehanna. A.

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21 From the region of Lancaster, Pa., came many of the Scotch Irish to Virginia and North Carolina.

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22 "Turkshead," a tavern. Evidently named for the celebrated meeting place of Burke, Garrick, Reynolds, Johnson, Goldsmith and others in London.

I have read somewhere that there is a room in this old town which was occupied by General Washington in which remain the old bedstead and bureau which were there when he occupied it. A.

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23 "Sculkill Ferry," on the Schuylkill River which flows by Philadelphia into Chesapeake Bay. A.

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24 Col. Josiah Parker, of "Macclesfield," Isle of Wight County, Virginia, member of the Virginia conventions of 1775 and 1776; colonel in Continental line, participated in important battles under Washington; member of House of Delegates, 1780‑1784; member of Congress, 1789‑1801; married Mary Bridger; died 1810. His kinsman, Nathaniel Parker, went from Hampshire County to Tennessee about 1785 and became one of the first settlers of Sumner County. His second wife was the widow of Anthony Bledsoe.

It is very disappointing that Sevier's journal gives no account of this memorable first Congress.

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Page updated: 11 Nov 13