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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.

John Sevier's Journal

Vol. VI
April, 1802.​157

Mon. 3 Sit out for Capt Thompsons in Virginia to meet commissioners of that State to run and extend a line.​158 Lodged that night at Jno Keewoods. . . .

Tues. 4 Went to Capt. Thompsons met the Commissioners from Tennessee, those from Virginia did not attend. Retd to Greenaways & lodged there all night. . . .

Thurs. 6 Retd. home. . . .

September, 1802.

Thur. 30 . . . Self & Mr. Fisk​159 started for Abingdon, Va., to meet the Commissioners to extend the division lines between the States Virginia and Tennessee. . . .

October, 1802.

Fry. 1 day of October We arrived at Abingdon — Gen. Martin​160 one of the Virginia Commissioners arrived. . . .

Sat. 2 Mr. Taylor & Mr. Johnson. arrived in eveng F. day.

Sun. 3 Still stayed at Mr. Carmacks.

Mon. 4. We all met at Cap Craigs & agreed to meet Tuesday morning on the line near Cap. Duncans on Holston.

 p33  Tues 5 We met, made a Tryal to find the latitude on Hendersons line. It was thought the observation was imperfect. It being some miles so. of 36 d 30 m the true latitude — We then agreed to meet next day on Walker (?) (?)

Wed. 6?º We met on Walkers line made observations — Mr. Fisk on the part of Tennessee & Mr. Laws on the part of Virginia. By M. Fisk we appeared to be in latitude 36 d 16 m. By Mr. Laws 36 d 12 m. . . .

Thurs. 7. We proceeded to Hendersons line Made observations — by Mr. Fisk we found it to be in latitude 36 14 by Mr. Law 36 1 . . .

Fry. 8 We made observations on our side at same place. Mr. Fisk the Lat to be 36 21 . . . Mr. Law who took it about one mile from us made it to be in Lat. 36 47, . . .

Sat. 9 we sent Mr. Markland off as express to Gov. Roane . . .

Memo. Paid expenses since I sit out from Home 13¼ dollars to this day. . . .

. . . . . .

Mon. 18 Set out for Mr. Keewoods to meet the Commissioners — left with Mr. Keewood 10 dollars for him to give unto my brother Jos. Sevier & for him to give the same unto Mr. David Deadrick. . . .

Tues. 19 set out from Mr. Kings and met the Virginia commissioners at Cap. Craigs Tarried all night. . . .

. . . . . .

Thurs. 21 We repaired to William Kings Tarried all night after taking some observations . . .

. . . . . .

Sat. 23 After some notes passing between the Virginia & Tennessee Commissioners we mutually agreed to run an intermediate line between Walkers and Hendersons — & sent the surveyors to measure the distance between the two lines — Rutledge​161 & Martin attend the runing . . .

Sun. 24 . . . Gen. Martin retd & the surveyors​162 who reported that the true distance between the two lines was found to be two miles ½ & 25 poles; which was begun on Walkers line & run 2½ degrees wt. of due north.

. . . . . .

Tues. 26 Set out from Cap. Craigs after break. Arrived at Cap. Kees at one o'clock, Rainy day . . .

Wed. 27 . . . Took up camp near McQueens 10 miles from Cap Sheesº

Pd. expenses at Cap. Craigs 36/. Stayed all night at Cap. Kees. Rained and thundered in the night cleared up and Frosted in the morng.

Thur. 28 Set out the surveyors to run the line to white topp. . . .

. . . . . .

Sat. 31 The surveyors retd, in evng. . . .

November, 1802.

. . . . . .

Tues. 2 Left Camp near McQueens . . . Arrived at Mr. William Kings on Holston The Surveyors set out to run the line from  p34 (?) fork to the main Holston near Cap. Duncans Tarried all night with Mr. King.

. . . . . .

Thur. 4 Left Mr. Kings — dined at Mr. Crockets​a Tarried all night at Mr. John Keewoods . . .

Fry. 5 . . . Went to Majr. Shelbys and stayed all night. . . .

Sat. 6 Retd. to Mr. Keewoods and taryed all night . . .

Sun. 7 . . . Retd. to Mr. Kings.

Mon 8 Surveyors began and run the line to Holston a little below Cap. Duncans. Dined with the Virgn. Commissrs. . . .

Tues. 9 Still at Mr. Kings. . . .

Wed. 10 The surveyors retd from rectifying the line which was run from the level fork too much north and set out again to extend west in the due course — Genl. Rutledge went with them. . . .

Thurs. 11 We all left William Kings esq. and went on after the surveyors. Arrived at Gen. Shelbys old place​163 in the evening. Found the line to pass through the plantation to the No. of the building.

. . . Campt. at this place.

Fryday 12 . . . My self and Majr. Taylor dined at Colo. James Kings continued camp at Shelby old place.

Sat. 13 We left the Camp and proceeded on with the line. I lodged this night with Genl. Rutledge . . .

Sun. 14 . . . Retd. to the surveyors. Lodged all night at William Willsons on Reedy creek where there is an emitting spring of every two hours. . . .

Mon. 15 I went to Walter Kings Met Mrs. Sevier and Sammy there. Lodged all night. . . .

. . . . . .

Thurs. 18 I retd to the surveyors and found them at Gronebargers near 4 miles below no. fork. Camped all night. . . .

Fry. 19 the surveyors went on myself Rutledge and Fisk contd in Camp.

. . . . . .

Sat. 20 stayed at same place. . . .

Sun. 21 Our commissers. set out, lay that night at Maj'r Loony's 14 miles. . . .

Mon. 22 . . . Mr. Fisk went to Hawkins C. H. Self and Genl. Rutledge crossed Clinch mountain at Lonys Gap, traveled down lower creek to Abs. Loonys came up with the surveyors at Daws Rogers plantation. The line crossing at Waddels ford on Clinch river near mouth of Shelbys creek one mile above — lay all night at this place.

Tues. 23 we set out overtook the surveyors at Lafaveurs place, past on to Wm. Roberts on main Clinch — lay here all night. Mr. Fisk retd. brought with him $50 Recd from Nelson sheriff of Hawkins out of which I received 18 dollars. . . .

Wed. 24 Lay here this day & night Genl. Martin & Majr. Taylor arrived.

 p35  Thurs 25 Rained Lay at Roberts.

Fry. 26 Clear day. We all sit out from Robert's crossed Newmans Ridge & lodged all night on black water creek at Gibsons. . . . Messrs. Fisk and Taylor left us.

Sat. 27 We set & Crossed Powells mountain and lodged at Sanders mill 7 miles . . . Left the surveyors coming on from Black water. On our route today passed Daniel Flanarys on No. side of mulbery Gap. Mulbery creek runs down into Powels river between Powels mountain and Waldens Ridge.

Sun. 28 We measured the Cross line and found our course one quarter too far to the So — Lodged at same place.

Mon. 29 We rectified our course & still remained at Sanders. . . .

. . . . . .

December, 1802.

Thurs. 2 Cleared up — We all sit out Crossed Waldens Ridge and powells river 3 miles above Martins Creek — Lodged my self and Genl. Rutledge at James Overton near James's salt lick.

Fry 3. We measured the cross line at James salt lick. Found ourselves with the line five poles too far So.

Sat. 4 rectified the line, and sit out run through the lick leaving the pitt a few poles in Virginia . . . Myself and Genl. Rutledge retd. to Overton Tarried all night, as we had on Fryday night. . . .

Sun. 5 . . . We sit out from Mr. Overtons after brakfirst. Lodged all night at Shadwilly (?) . . .

Mon. 6 We sit out for Cumberland Gap. Arrived about 8 o'clock at Colo. Charles Cocks. Stayed all night. . . .

Tues. 7 Sit out again found the commissioners and surveyors at William Robertsons near the gap. We took up Camp here and lodged all night. . . .

Wed. 8 Finished the line, which struck the Caintucky line about one quarter So of the Gap — This day we made out our reports & exchanged on each side — Snowy day and very cold Lodged at same place.º

Thirs.º 9. Myself & our Commissrs. and surveyors sit out for home. Verº cold. Lodged all night at Claibornes Court House.

Fry. 10 We traveled on to Gordon Beens old station.​164 . . .

Sat. 11 We again sit out early in the morning — lodged all night at Crosses (Bull Gap). . . .

Sun. 12 Set out early 18 miles to Babbs mill — 9 to Tho. Gillespy — 2 to Mr. Mcallisters & 4 home which we arrived at in the evening.

The Editor's Notes:

157 In this portion the journal is very fragmentary. Sevier retired from the governorship in September, 1801, being succeeded by Archibald Roane. He became governor again two years later, defeating Roane, who had the backing of Jackson.

[decorative delimiter]

158 See Appendix I. See page 61.

[decorative delimiter]

159 Moses Fisk (1759‑1843), born in Massachusetts; came to Tennessee in 1796, living first in Knoxville; resided successively in Davidson, Sumner and Smith counties. About the year 1805 he laid off the town of Hilham, in Overton County, where he established by legislative authority Fisk Female Academy. He was scholarly and he carried on an extensive correspondence with historical and antiquarian societies.

[decorative delimiter]

160 General Joseph Martin (1740‑1808), a native of Albemarle County, Virginia; was associated with Dr. Thomas Walker in his explorations; settled in Powell's Valley about 1769; a leader of scouts in the Indian wars; agent of the Transylvania Company in Powell's Valley; from 1777 to 1789, lived at Long Island as Indian agent appointed by Gov. Patrick Henry; aided in formulating treaty at Long Island, in 1783, and at Hopewell in 1785; was a brave and almost reckless Indian fighter; returned to Virginia in 1789 and thereafter resided in Henry County, where he was elected to the legislature and became a strong supporter of James Madison.

[decorative delimiter]

161 General George Rutledge, one of the early settlers in Sullivan County; commanded a company at King's Mountain.

[decorative delimiter]

162 The surveyors were Nat. B. Markland and Brice Martin, son of Gen. Martin.

[decorative delimiter]

163 Evan Shelby, father of General Isaac Shelby, settled at Sapling Grove, now Bristol, Tennessee, in 1771. Here he built a fort, called "Shelby's Station." His home was later called "Travelers' Rest." He died in 1794.

[decorative delimiter]

164 "Gordon Beene's old station," at foot of Clinch Mountain — now Tate Springs. D.

Thayer's Note:

a It's very tempting to make this the inn run by Davy Crockett's father starting in the 1790's at Morristown, TN, in Holston country.

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Page updated: 11 Jul 13