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Appendix I

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.

(John Sevier's Journal)

Vol. VI
Appendix II.

Some unpublished letters of John Sevier to his son,
George Washington Sevier

The following letters are in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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Washington 13 January 1812.

My Dear Son: Your favor of the 22d of last month come to hand yesterday which affords me great pleasure to hear you and your family is well — I am sorry to hear of your loss of your horses. I hope you have long ere this recovered them again — I received letter from Colo. John McClellan date 2d instant stating that Wm. McClellan & his family was there at his house, that Wm. was in pursuit of your horses and that they expected to get them the next day.

I am not by any means willing you should engage in an Indian agency. I have lost one son among the savages, and I am unwilling to trust another whom you know I much regard. — I should be very unwilling to see you and your beautiful young growing family Settled in the midst of a Savage nation — Your prospects in the Army is good, and you are entitled to promotion, and war being almost shure to commence immediately, it would be improper for you to resign — Colonel Alexander Smith has lodged with me since here I have been until a few days past he went to Baltimore. The Colo. will be I have no doubt promoted to a Brigadier in the course of this session, and of course you will be Lieutenant Colo. of the Rifle Regiment. Fuller will not be promoted, he is already a disgraced officer by the appointment of Smith, & he will not be raised — all your friends here, who all spoke with me last evening are opposed to your going among the Indians, but say they will do everything for your promotion in the Army. We are taking decided measures in Congress. We have passed the first law to fill up and complete the present peace establishment, and the second to raise an additional army of twenty five thousand Regular troops, to serve five years, at the end of which they are to receive three months extra pay and 160 acres of land — we shall also pass a law (the bill is now before the House) authorizing the President to accept the services of fifty thousand volunteers — The Canady's will be the object — Our Government have tried negociation until it is exhausted, and there is no doubt in my mind the Executive have observed the most perfect uprightness, and impartial neutrality. The British take every one of our vessels they come across that is bound into any other port besides one of their own — They lately condemned and sold at one time no less than 54 vessels and cargoes all richly laden, and so they have been going on for years. two well informed gentlemen was with me several days at our lodgings, one here yet, the son of the late General Morgan, who you may see in Knoxville in Company with Major McDonald about twelve years past. They were in France and England, the latter they left about the first of the last month & in which place they never heard America spoken of but with contempt; and themselves often treated with great contempt on account of their "Country.º In France every mark of attention was  p63  paid them by the officers of that Government. They were furnished with Carrages and drove in stile to every part of the Country they had a desire to see, and without expense. When Morgan set out for Europe he was a strong Federalist, but England has completely Republicanized him. I am sorry you have sold Sir Peter, he is a fine foal getter, but that breed are not in as high estimation here, as the Diomeds. You have sold him low.

I have procured for Thomas Chambers an appointment in the navy of sailing Master, worth about $50. pr month. I could have procured a Lieutenancy in the army but he wrote me he would rather be in the navy. He is now in Charleston S. C. I have written on to him to repair to this place as soon as possible. I believe I shall be lucky enough to gain appointments on all my recommendations which I mean to be very cautious about, for I will not recommend any but such as I think will fill the appointments with Credit. I have written you two letters before this, the last was on the 15th of last month, directed as you advised, to Fort Stoddart. I have received three from you since at this place — We seem very unanimous here, and a much greater unanimity than for some years past. I believe we shall convince Britain we are by no means disposed to pocket insults. It was a hard fought battle between Harrison and the Prophet — Harrison * . . . I am one of the committee to examine the report. Harrison is * . . . doubt, but not up to Indian warfare — His aid, Major Taylor lodged with us some time, a very gentlemanly person, he was in the action and have given me a true history of the whole campaign — Gaines have sent in commissions to take depositions — Your brother James is to act for me with Mr. Rheat — I am in hopes you will be at the tryal which will be the first Monday in March — I have written Wm. McClelland to try and send one set of the papers by some safe private hand.

The depo. are to be taken at Green last Monday in this month, and at Brownsbr'o the first Monday in next. My greatest and affectionate Respects to your family

John Sevier.

I was very unwell with bad cold the first two or three weeks after I came here, am now in very good health.

Capt. W. Sevier.

Address on back.

John Sevier — Free

Captain George Washington Sevier
Fort Hampton.

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Washington 21 March 1812.

Dear Sir Your letter of the third, and Kitty's of the first instant have come this moment to hand, which affords me much pleasure to hear of yours & families health, and also of your return from cuting the road, as it must have been a disagreeable jobb. I understand by letters from James Sevier and your mother, that your brother John have set out for the Moabile, with the depositions and papers relating to the suit against Randon — I wish he may get there in safety, and he will not only carry the papers, but will also be a good Witness as he recollects very much, on the subject, and I dont doubt would know the Wench. Inclosed is a letter to Captain Gaines directing him if I should recover from Randon, not to suffer any person to collect or receive any of the property unless through my order, unless it be yourself, and I wish you also to write Cap. Gaines to such an effect. I have left Gaines letter open that you may see the contents. Seal it and send it on — We are still going on with War Measures, and no doubt there will be one — an explosion of a  p64 British conspiracy has lately bursted, which effectually proves that Nation has had its Governor General of Canady's, and other officers, employed to bring about a severance of the union, by separating the Northern from the Southern States — Sir James Craig the British Governor employed a certain John Henry as his emissary, in order to act as his agent, and give him credentials for the purpose of enabling him to enter into any arrangements with the leading federalists about Boston, and in the northern States. A correspondence was carried on for some time til at length Henry was advised to England to see Lord Liverpool, who did not compensate Henry as he expected, which disaffected him to their cause, and as soon as he could return to America, came forward to the President a few days ago, and give up the whole of his papers on the subject, which exhibits a most abominable piece of corruption and Viliany. The discovery does not do the Federalists any credit, who appear very much disconcerted. The Original papers from Sir James Craig, and Lord Liverpool, and their Secretaries, & Governmental Seal, establishes the fact beyond a doubt. Several of the American Ministers here know their hand writing.

I think I wrote you that the Court Martial had acquited General Wilkinson and that the President had confirmed the decision, but at the same time expressed considerable disapprobation of both the conduct of the Court and the officer accused. The General I am told has not yet received any orders, and various conjectures are afloat on the occasion — General Dearborne is the Major General, and will command the army, no more General officers are as yet appointed — Colonel A. Smyth I expect will be appointed the inspector General, I expect the appointment will be made in the course of next week — The Colonel and myself occupy the same room — It appears to be the colonels opinion that General Wilkinson will not again, be directed to Command — he says the General is very considerably in arrearages, and have also taken the benefit of the insolvent act. My own opinion is to the same effect.

I am much obliged to Kitty for her affectionate and polite letter, and should be very happy to see my poor little C. Ann, Wm. and John. I hope the poor little darlings are well — Thomas Chambers have been here sometime, he has got leave to go to Staunton if he should so choose, and report himself from there, he says he will set out in a few days — If it should be necessary, and I have no doubt it will, I shall endeavor to procure the appulets and other articles, I dont believe such are in this place or georgetown — I shall be tolerable bare of funds I expect, as I have been paying off ever since here, but I expect I can command the articles you want — Very uncertain what time we shall adjourn, but am fearfull not much before the first of June —

Your affectionate father —

John Sevier

Cap. G. W. Sevier
Address on back.

John Sevier, — Free

Captain George Washington Sevier
Fort Hampton
Mail Mississippi Territory.

[decorative delimiter]

Washington 26th April 1812

My Dear Son, Your much esteemed letter of the 30th march ult. came to hand the other day, (Fryday last) I am proud to hear that yourself and family is in health, but I am very much concerned to find you do not receive my letters. their must be some Grand scoundrel  p65  somewhere in the Post office department, for there is a very great failure in same place — Their is an agent for the department now out, and I am hopes will discover where the abuses may be committed. — I am glad to hear that your brother have gone on to Fort Stoddart, and hope will arrive in time, and that the depositions may answer, I dont expect that not certifying in whose handwriting they were taken will be any obstacle, and if it should, the defect can be supplied, by your brother being able to prove the handwriting — I wrote on to you, also to Sparks and Gaines not to let any person accepting yourself, have any thing to do as to the disposition of the property if any should be recovered, unless through the special direction of you or myself. I have written to you several times, as to my expectations respecting your promotion, and I still think you will be promoted to Lieutenant Colo. Colo. Smyth have been doing the duties of Inspector General under an order for that purpose, for one month past — The secretary of War sined the order, and also told me that the President would nominate him for Brigadier, and the Senate will no doubt confirm the appointment. The Colonel and myself have lived together on the same floor all the winter, good part of the time on the same room, and on very friendly terms and no doubt will be friendly disposed towards you, at least he so professes, and I have no doubt of his sincerity. The War Department are taking measures to get Rid of Fuller, and I have Frequently signified that if they did not, they may expect that the Captains of the Rifle Regiment would all resign — General Wilkinson is siting out in a few days by way of Pitsburgh to take the command of the army at Orleans again. Dearborne late Secretary at War, is appointed the first Major General — Tho. Kinkny of So. Carolina the second — General Winchester is Brigadier — Colo. Polk, through the No. Carolinians, (tho I think he will be yet dropped) is another — and a Colonel Craig of Pennsylvania, the third — A Morgan Lewis of N. York late Governor of that State was appointed Quarter Master General, it is said will not accept. A Mr. North of the same State is appointed adjutant General. These are the principle appointments yet made — It is said Wilkinsons command will be confined to New Orleans, & of the troops now on the Mississippi. It was supposed he not being promoted, would occasion a resignation, but I think not. The Hornet is momently looked for, is supposed to be waiting for a treaty to be concluded between the F. Emperor, and Barlow the American Minister — I don't conceive there can be a shadow of doubt remaining of War; we have had news from England as late as the 20th of March, and no appearance of any relaxation of their measures towards America; therefore one of two things, either War or Submission. The Government have resorted to every measure for accommodation, but all in vain — We may look for hot times, for the British party are inevitably strong, and I fear stronger than at the beginning of the Revolution. —

There have lately been an attempt to adjourn for about forty days. It was carried in the Senate by a majority of one vote, but we give it a dash in the H. of Representatives. If it had taken place at this juncture of time, in the midst of our arrangements it would have operated very much against us, and disspirited the people very much. We have put our hands to the plow and must not look back.

The federal party here are a very artfull designing set, and are frequently trying to create divisions in the other side of the House, but I believe that the stand is so firmly taken, that all their efforts will be in vain — It is now very uncertain what time we shall adjourn, we may probably agree to a very short recess, perhaps for 15 or 20 days, but not longer — I am very desirous to be at home onst more, and the more so as I expect Colonel Sparks and Rutha will shortly  p66  be in Tennessee — Thomas Chambers was here some time after his appointment, but I expect he is now in H * . . . . . furlough, was a few days ago, but the furlough I be* . . . Quite run out. I never have heard whether you ever have recovered your horses or not. dont fail writing often; I would advise you to have a watchfull eye, towards the Creeks, & also the other tribes, for they are much attached to the British — North of the Ohio, the Indians are doing mischief daily — a large body of militia is ordered to detroit, Michigan, and other places in that quarter — Governor Hull isº appointed one of the brigadiers which I had like to have forgotten. Present my compliments to Kitty. and a kiss to my dear little C. Ann Wm. & my namesake —

Your affectionate Father —

John Sevier.

P. S. General Clinton Vice President of the United States died on the 20th instant and interred the next day, with all the honors and marks of respect unto a military chief and politician. I was one of 8 pall-bearers. He was a brave and worthy character, whose death at this time is to be much regretted.

Address on back.


John Sevier

Captain George Washington Sevier
Fort Hampton
Mail Mississippi Territory.

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Washington 18 June 1812

Dear Sir Your affectionate and much esteemed letter of the 12th ult. have come to hand and am happy to hear your family is well, but very sorry to learn you are so much afflicted with the Rheumatism. I wish you could spend a summer at Marble Springs, probably the Water would relieve you, as it has done me — I am very confident it was that water alone that gave me any relief.

It was Clark and others in Kingston that Recommended G. Hawkins and caused me to obtain a commission for him. I was mistaken in the fellow altogether and believed him to belong altogether to another family who had formerly lived in Greene County, as soon as I understood his character, I went immediately and had him struck from the Roll — As to Richards he was recommended by Col. Brown and others of Roane County, to the delegation — I know nothing of him — He was among the first recommended and of course obtained an appointment, if he is an honest character I shall not care, provided he behaves well in his appointment — We have in both Houses been in conclave for the greater part of 8 or 10 days past — A question of the utmost importance have been carried in the House of R, by a majority of thirty. It has for about ten days been before the Senate who have sat with closed doors, and that body very much divided as I am informed — I expect it will be finally decided in the course of this week in acquiesing with the House of Representatives, by a very small maority.º No doubt can remain but we shall have War, the Executive are making the utmost exertions and preparations to meet it and I have no doubt the enemy will find a much better defense than they have calculated upon — The Militia are turning out everywhere with great alacrity, and also the recruiting service is going on very briskly — The Indians are doing much damage on the frontiers everywhere — I hope you will prepare for the worst. Your station is much exposed, you cant be too cautious — I  p67 am sorry Lt. Hays could not come up with those rascally Creeks — I shall endeavor to have some Mountain Rangers stationed on our frontier — I am sorry to my soul to hear of the conduct of Jack at Huntsville, I never expect him to do better — from the information of Gains he performed the trip well and delivered the papers in good order — I have long since written to Gains to let no person have any disposition of my property but a special order either from me or yourself — I have almost written you every week for a long time past — not one fourth of my letters reach their destination, and I receive very few, and that few, Generally Violated. Some rascals are posted in the way no doubt for the purpose of intercepting — I have frequently forwarded to you packages of newspapers & documents of an interesting nature.

Congress will not adjourn before the beginning of next month — I am very uneasy on account of Col. Sparks and Rutha, and very much fear the consequence of their travel through the wilderness and shall be under great apprehension until I hear from them — In my last I wrote you I had got the colonel's draft settled with the Secretary of War — I don't wish you to be uneasy on account of your promotion, I expect with certainty it will be offered. —

May god bless and protect you all, is the earnest desire your

affectionate Father

John Sevier.

P. S. I am in great health. Tho. Chambers is at N. York where all the public vessels are repairing —

Cap. Sevier
Address on back.

Captain George Washington Sevier

John Sevier.


Fort Hampton


The following letters are in the custody of the Tennessee Historical Society, having been presented by the late Waldo P. McEwen, a great-great grandson of John Sevier:

[decorative delimiter]

Staunton 22 March 1813.

Dear Sir Your letter of the 9th instant with Mr. Rheas two inclosed I have received — I arrived here on Saturday after travelling in the stage from Fredericksburgh two days and nights without rest or sleep, and frequently had to walk in mud and water to the knees — I never experienced more feateague in the whole course of my life, and am so sore and bruised all over that it is with difficulty I can get up when down — I shall not be able to leave this place for a week — Your mair is much better but her legs is yet some swelled, and am afraid when rode will be more so. I am to have a saddle made by the last of this week, and will endeavor to sit out so soon as that is done, and will ride slow until I arrive home onst more, which I want much to do, otherways I should not attempt until after the next session, which is to meet the 24th May and expect will sit until first of August. I cant remain at home more than 15 or 20 days should I be reelected; the feateague will be very great but shall undertake it if I find the mair can travel — You may write me at this place, lest I may not get out — I can't be at the election at any rate, and must leave the event with my friends. should there be any opposition — The British are making up the different towns from Norfolk, and it is difficult to say what they intend — Men are  p68 collecting in every quarter of Virginia, and marching down — The Russian Emperor is offering his Mediation, and the Minister is very desirous about an accommodation between the U. States and the British Nation — I have no news from Harrisons Army, nor from Sackets Harbor. I wish things there may go well — I will be glad you will have an eye to the affairs of the plantations I have heard nothing from home for a long time — The suit with Polk did not come on, they pretended that the transcript was lost, but it was only a Trick in Polks lawyer in order to keep the suit off and from paying the costs, tho I did not wish it tried in the absence of Judge Todd —

The important suit between Patton & Irvin, and the occupants on Duck River have been decided, and the decision of the Circuit Court at Nashville confirmed — The occupants alleged and offered to prove, that the warrants on which Patton & Irvins Grant was founded on, had been previously ripened into Grants at least three or four times, but it would not do, it was the look out of the State, and not for innocent persons to suffer in consequence of the mismanagement of the State — I am as confident of my gaining my suit as tho it was already done — I hope ere this that Kitty and the children are with you — I received her letter with one inclosed to you, which I immediately enclosed again and forwarded to this place, if you should be here, if not to proceed to Knoxville (T.)

Your affectionate Father

John Sevier

Col. Sevier.

[decorative delimiter]

Washington 1 day January 1815

Dear Sir Your letter of 12th ult, have just been received and has relieved me from a world of anxiety, I hope all will be well — We have little or nothing hear — there is nothing since the last dispatches, and all seems to be conjecture as to peace & war —

We are traveling slowly on in Congress and much divided as to Measures, but still hope we shall adopt some of the most useful and important kind — I am sorry to hear that Kings Heirs have issued the Fr. Ta, expecting they would have waited some time longer, I shall try to have it settled if I can in Baltimore, if not, must try to send out the means, and scarcely know what will answer then, for the notes seem to be very doubtfull — particularly such as can be procured here — If ever I should set out for the North I would be glad to meet you here on your way if you are in time before we adjourn. I will be little or none out of your reach, and if I should not see you here, I shall not probably soon again — I have not trouble you with a long letter — Your affectionate father

John Sevier

I am in fine health, tho have had a cold for few days past

Colo. Sevier

P. S. Yesterday I made my releases to the government of my Yazoo lands. The Commissioners claim of ten thousand acres I have deposited conditionally, reserving to myself two years from date to either take the certificates of stock, or apply to the Government for the land agreeably to the Acts of Georgia. In the course of that time we shall see better how matters may turn out.

John H. DeWitt [Editor]

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