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This webpage reproduces a chapter of History of the
Lost State of Franklin

Samuel Cole Williams

published by the
Press of the Pioneers,
New York, 1933

The text is in the public domain.

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and I believe it to be free of errors.
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The Antis
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p289  The Franklinites

John Sevier

The grandfather of John Sevier, or Xavier, was a native of France, a Huguenot, and is said to have been related to Saint Francis Xavier, and to have lived in the village of Xavier in the French Pyrenees. On the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes the grandfather and a brother fled to London where the former became a prosperous merchant.​a His son, Valentine, emigrated to America, and about the year 1740 settled in the Valley of Virginia where he acquired several tracts of land. Valentine Sevier was enrolled as a member of Peter Scholl's military company in 1742. He married Joanna Goode.

John Sevier, their son, was born September 23, 1745,​b1 in Augusta county (that part now in Rockingham county) in the Long Meadows district. After a short schooling in Fredericksburg and Staunton young John served as a clerk in his father's store. About this time he went out on short excursions against the Indians.

In 1761, at the age of sixteen, he married Sarah Hawkins. After farming for a short while, he, about 1764, bought a tract of land and laid out and established the village of New Market. Here he kept a store and an inn, and donated three acres of land as a church site to the Baptists. In 1770, he removed to Millerstown (supposedly Woodstock).

On invitation of Evan Shelby, who as merchant at Sapling Grove passed occasionally on his way to the markets up the Valley of Virginia, John Sevier visited the Holston country in 1771 and 1772 and decided to locate there. His brother, Valentine, Jr., was there as early as February 2, 1773, as is shown by a charge entry on the books of Shelby of that date "Valentine Savayer to Evan Shelby, Dr." The Seviers, the father and sons, first located at Keywood's, about six miles from Shelby's, but soon removed to a farm on the east bank of Watauga river, between the present cities of Elizabethton and Johnson City.

Before his removal from Virginia he had been commissioned a captain of militia by Governor Dunmore. Sevier was one of the  p290 thirteen who composed the "committee of safety" west of the Alleghanies in Salisbury District of North Carolina about the beginning of the Revolution. The year 1776 was a full one for the young Virginian. He commanded as captain a company of mounted militia on the Christian expedition of that year. He also aided as an officer under Colonel John Carter in the defense of Fort Caswell (Watauga Fort) against the Cherokees, July 1, 1776; and in the preparation of the memorial to the legislature of North Carolina asking to be brought under the government of that State (July 5, 1776). He was, in the same year, one of the first representatives of Washington District in the Provincial Congress of North Carolina. By that body, he was elected lieutenant-colonel of Washington District. He also served in the State's first constitutional convention in the same year.

Sevier lived for a few years on Little Limestone creek, about five miles below Jonesborough, where he farmed and ran a water-mill. Thence he removed to a large plantation on the Nolachucky, "Mount Pleasant," Washington County, (1779). In 1779, he served under Colonel Evan Shelby on a campaign against the Chickamauga Indians; and the next spring commanded an expedition against the Cherokees. The signal service of Colonel Sevier at King's Mountain in October, 1780, and his subsequent career are too well known to be even outlined in this sketch. He was engaged in thirty-five skirmishes or battles with the Indian tribes, and never suffered a defeat. Roosevelt ranks him as first of all the Indian fighters of the West.

Sevier was the idol of the people of his day. In person he was tall, handsome and graceful. A charm of manner made him irresistible with soldiers or with civilians. No man ever succeeded in efforts of rivalry, and few tried. He was most fortunate in his matrimonial connections. After the death of his first wife, he married Catherine Sherrill, "Bonny Kate," the heroine of Fort Caswell-on‑Watauga who was ever thereafter to her husband a true and capable helpmate and counselor.

Strange as it may seem to non‑residents of Tennessee, Sevier has continued through succeeding generations to hold the first place in the hearts of the people of the Commonwealth. He and Andrew Jackson came into collision before 1800; and a few years later Jackson defeated him, by one vote, for the major-generalship of militia, only to have the result rebuked by Sevier's election for the  p291 fourth, fifth, and sixth times as governor, despite all the influence that Jackson could command.

No other American has served his people in the capacity of chief executive of a State as long as Sevier. Adding his tenure as governor of the State of Franklin to the terms as governor of Tennessee, above noted, he was in such service for approximately sixteen years. Too, Sevier was the choice of the Westerners for governor of the Southwest Territory, expressed in convention at Greeneville, May 5, 1790.

The legislature of Tennessee has chosen the two men, Sevier and Jackson, as the State's representatives in the group of statues in the Hall of Fame in the Capitol at Washington. Having regard to the bitter enmity that marked their careers, the sculptor may achieve a master-stroke by causing the two marble effigies to look in opposite directions.

General Sevier died near Fort Decatur, Alabama, where, while a member of Congress, he had gone as a commissioner appointed by President Madison to fix the Creek Indian boundary according to treaty. His death was on September 24, 1815 — one day past his birthday — and the burial was at Fort Decatur. In June, 1889, the remains were removed and re‑interred in the grounds of the courthouse at Knoxville. A graceful marble shaft was erected above the grave, in 1892, upon which appears this inscription:​b2

"Pioneer, soldier, statesman, and one of the founders of the Republic; governor of the State of Franklin; six times governor of Tennessee; four times elected to Congress; the typical pioneer who conquered the wilderness and fashioned the State; a projector and hero of King's Mountain; thirty-five battles, thirty-five victories; his Indian war‑cry, 'Here they are! Come on, boys, come on!' "

Arthur Campbell

Arthur Campbell, the son of David Campbell, was born in 1742 in Augusta county, Virginia. When a boy of about fifteen years, he volunteered as a militiaman to aid in protecting the frontier from the Indians. Stationed at a fort where the road from Staunton to Warm Springs crosses Cowpasture river he with his companions wandered in search of wild fruit. While in a plum thicket the party was fired upon by Indians lying in ambush and young Campbell was slightly wounded and captured. He was taken  p292 to the region of the great lakes and held a prisoner for three years. During that period Arthur Campbell traversed much of the country which now constitutes the States of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

He was subjected to great hardships until he fortunately came under the protection of an aged chief who took him to the French fort at Detroit. The Jesuit fathers had at the time a mission at that fort. The bright English boy attracted attention and so pleased the fathers that they gave him instruction. Young Campbell's captivity, therefore, gave him an intimate knowledge of the western country, and he received a better education than the average boy of his day on the western frontier of Virginia. A glimpse of the boy among the Indians is given by James Smith, of Pennsylvania, who was in captivity at the same time:

Wyandott Indian warriors had divided into different parties, and all struck at different places in Augusta county. They brought in with them a considerable number of scalps, prisoners, horses and other plunder. One of the parties brought in with them one Arthur Campbell, that is, Colonel Campbell who lives on Holston river, near the Royal Oak. As the Wyandotts at Sunyendeand and those at Detroit were connected, Mr. Campbell was taken to Detroit, but he remained some time in this town (Sunyendeand). His company was very agreeable and I was sorry when he left me. During his stay at Sunyendeand, he borrowed my bible and made some very pertinent remarks on what he had read. One passage was where it is said, 'It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.' He said that we ought to be resigned to the will of Providence, as we were now bearing the yoke in our youth. Mr. Campbell appeared then to be about sixteen or seventeen years of age."

Campbell escaped from the Indians and made his way through a wilderness of two hundred miles to a detachment of the British army that was then on a march into the country of the western Indians. He was at once engaged as a guide, for which service he was later rewarded with a grant of one thousand acres of land near the present city of Louisville, Ky.

On his return to his parents, who had mourned him as dead, he applied himself to study with a capacity enlarged by his experiences, and made marked progress.

About six years before the Revolution, he removed to the Holston country, settling on a fine tract of land known as Royal Oaks,  p293 his father and family soon following. In 1776, he was chosen to represent the county of Fincastle in the General Assembly, in which his attention was drawn to the region of Kentucky and Tennessee by the petition of Richard Henderson and associates in behalf of the Transylvania Company. On July 4, 1776, Campbell was named as one of the commissioners on behalf of Virginia to take evidence touching the validity of the claims of the promoters of Transylvania, and he aided in the taking of many depositions. It was at this session that the Assembly dissolved the relations of Virginia to the British crown and instructed the delegation in Congress to bring a similar measure before that body.

Campbell had prior to this served as a member of the committee that drafted the Address of the Freeholders of Fincastle, in January, 1775. He was a member of the first house of delegates under the Constitution, and threw his influence in favor of the liberal ideas in respect to religious freedom championed by Thomas Jefferson.

On the organization of Washington county, Virginia, in January, 1777, Campbell was appointed county lieutenant and commander in chief of the militia. He served for many years as the presiding judge of the court of that county. He was also the commanding colonel of the 70th Regiment of militia.

He joined Sevier (1780) in an expedition against the Cherokees following the former's victory at Boyd's Creek, and carried war into the Indian towns as far south as Coosa river, Georgia.

Colonel Campbell aided in formulating plans and raising troops for the King's Mountain expedition. General Nathanael Greene appointed (February 26, 1781) Campbell, along with Evan Shelby, John Sevier and others, commissioners on the part of the United States to negotiate treaties with the Cherokee and Chickasaw Indians.

For thirty-five years Arthur Campbell resided on the Royal Oaks estate, eight miles east of the home of his first cousin, General William Campbell, Aspindale. He devoted himself to the cultivation of his farms, and, after the death of General Campbell, to the management of the extensive saltworks at Saltville, he serving as the guardian of General Campbell's daughter and heir. Residing on the main highway between the Southwest and the East, Colonel Campbell entertained on a liberal scale. From his visitors he gathered information respecting their home communities. He was  p294 also an extensive reader. Thus he became the best informed of all men concerning affairs in the Kentucky and Tennessee regions. He also conducted a wide correspondence. Indeed there would be no extravagance in the statement that he made his home the clearing-house for information regarding Indian and civil affairs throughout a wide area of country. His correspondence with officials and leading politicians has served to preserve much of historical interest that would otherwise have been lost. He was fluent in conversation and capable of entertaining the most intelligent.

In temperament Colonel Campbell was unfortunate. He was irascible, jealous, litigious and over-bearing, and was often at breach with other leaders. He was not popular with them or with the people. His kinsman, David Campbell, governor of Virginia, writing in appreciation of his good qualities, was forced to say: "He had more bitter enemies than any man I ever knew in my life."

He twice offered for preferment without success; once to be appointed southern superintendent of Indian affairs, and, late in life, to be elected to Congress. Strongly imbued with the spirit of independence, Campbell could not resist dipping into movements that looked to separate statehood, both in the Tennessee and the Kentucky regions. He was, in a true sense, a self-constituted adviser of the frontier people, and for the most part a capable one. A few years before his death he removed to Kentucky, settling on Yellow creek (the present city of Middlesborough) where he had a very considerable landed estate. He died of cancer at the age of seventy-three.

Arthur Campbell married a sister of General William Campbell. Two of his sons lost their lives in the war of 1812. Captain James Campbell died at Mobile, Alabama, and Colonel John B. Campbell fell at the battle of Chippewa where he commanded the right wing under General Scott.

Campbell county, Tennessee, lying just across the Kentucky-Tennessee line from his last home, was named in his honor.

William Cocke

William Cocke was a remarkable man with a career quite as remarkable. He was born in 1748 in Amelia county, Virginia, the youngest son of Abraham Cocke, who was a descendant of Richard Cocke, the earliest of the name to settle in Virginia, about 1630.  p295 The Cocke family emigrated from Devonshire, England, and from about the time of his arrival in Virginia Richard Cocke was lieutenant-colonel commandant of Henrico county, and member of the house of burgesses for the years 1632‑1644. Stephen Cocke, the grandfather, inherited Malvern Hill, famed in the Civil War.

William Cocke married Sarah Maclin and, about 1773, removed to the West, first settling on Renfro's creek, in Washington county, Virginia, and later lower down, in North Carolina in the present county of Sullivan as a subsequent projection of the state line demonstrated.

William Cocke in the spring of 1774 was captain of a company of irregular militia raised for the defense of the Holston settlers. A formal commission was issued to him (August 1774) by Colonel William Preston, he succeeding Captain Anthony Bledsoe resigned. The next month Captain Cocke made a journey into North Carolina for the purpose of soliciting military aid for the frontiersmen who were then hard pressed by the hostile Indian tribes. His company was active in defending the border, as was also one under Daniel Boone.

In the spring of 1775 Cocke was employed by Colonel Richard Henderson to accompany the latter in his march through the wilderness into the Kentucky country there to found the Transylvania government.

Cocke's first legislative experience was in the house of delegates of the Colony of Transylvania, May, 1775. Cocke in later years brought a suit in equity against Henderson and his associates to have decreed a specific performance of a contract for a large boundary of land, promised as compensation for his services.

On his return to the Holston-Watauga settlement Cocke led his company in the battle of Eaton's Fort (1776). A charge that he was guilty of cowardice in the action was denied by Cocke; and it turned up to embarrass him several times in his after-career. He was, by order (December 9, 1776) of the Privy Council of Virginia suspended until a court of inquiry should pass on his conduct. Cocke found almost immediate vindication at the hands of his neighbors who elected him, along with Anthony Bledsoe, a delegate to the Virginia legislature of 1777, against Arthur Campbell and William Edmiston. The defeated candidates filed a contest in the house of delegates, in which they contended that Cocke and Bledsoe were ineligible. The report of the committee was to the effect  p296 that Long Island of Holston was situated in Virginia and in favor of the contestees. Thus two North Carolinians (later Tennesseans) furnished Washington county, Virginia, her first representatives in the General Assembly of Virginia. Two years later, 1779, it suited Cocke's purpose to shift, and he contended that taxes could not be legally collected in the strip where he resided on the north side of Holston river in Carter's Valley. Cocke resisted the sheriff who was undertaking to collect taxes in behalf of Virginia, "as it was in Carolina and never was in Virginia." Cocke had already acknowledged allegiance to North Carolina and entered the public service of that State. He had, in August 1777, been elected clerk and then made an unsuccessful race against John Sevier for the clerkship of the Washington County Court in 1778. In the same year he had been elected to represent his district in the Assembly at Newbern. After taking his seat he was deprived of it on the ground that he occupied the office of clerk.

As a captain, Cocke was on the campaign to relieve the South Carolinians in the earlier part of 1780. At Thicketty Fort he was deemed the fittest officer to send forward to demand of Colonel Patrick Moore the surrender of the fort. Cocke was not on the King's Mountain expedition.

On February 26, 1782, Cocke was admitted to the bar at Jonesborough, and in the same month to the bar of Sullivan county. In April of the same year he was a member of the General Assembly. Cocke's connection with the State of Franklin is shown in preceding chapters. As a member of the Council of State and of the several conventions he was second only to Sevier in influence.

He was in June, 1784, elected judge of the court of oyer and terminer of Davidson county, but, owing to his connection with the Franklin movement, did not qualify.

Cocke held a seat in the Carolina Assembly of 1788, by which body he was elected State's attorney for Washington District.

Under the territorial form of government, Cocke was a member of the first legislature, 1794; he was by that body made attorney of Washington District and the trustee of Blount College, for the establishment of which he introduced the bill.

In the constitutional convention of 1796, he was a delegate from Hawkins county. By the first legislature he was elected to represent Tennessee in the United States senate, and served until July, 1797. He was elected a second time, serving 1799‑1805.

 p297  In 1797 a new county was created and named Cocke in his honor.

In 1807 Cocke announced his candidacy for the governor­ship of Tennessee, but soon saw that he could make no headway against John Sevier, in whose favor he withdrew.

In 1809 he was appointed judge of the first circuit — a position he was not adapted to temperamentally. He was essentially an orator and advocate. He was impeached in 1812, and on trial found guilty of misconduct in office, though his offending appears to have been a refusal as judge to grant a writ of certiorari, on an unsworn petition.

Cocke found a measure of vindication in an election by the people of his county to the legislature of 1813.

Smarting from what he conceived to be, and what today appears to have been, an unjust impeachment, Cocke despite advanced age volunteered to serve as a private in Colonel John Williams' Regiment of Volunteers and went to Florida on a campaign against the Seminole Indians, and the next year served as a private in the Creek War. A deep gratification must have come to him with the following note of commendation from his commanding general, Andrew Jackson:

"January 28th, 1814.

"Sir: The patriotism that you brought into the field at your advanced age which prompted you on with me to face the enemy in the late excursion to the Tallapoosie river; the example of order, your strict admonition throughout the lines; and, lastly the bravery you displayed in the battle of Enotochopco by recrossing the creek, entering the pursuit and exposing your person and thereby saving the life of Lieutenant Moss, and killing the Indian, entitle you to the thanks of your general and the approbation of your country."

He was in 1814, perhaps through the instrumentality of General Jackson, appointed by President Madison agent to the Chickasaw Indians. He made his home at Columbus, Missouri. Cocke served a term in the Mississippi legislature.

William Cocke died August 22, 1828, and is buried under a monument erected by the state of Mississippi, on which appears this inscription:

"Here lie the remains of William Cocke, who died in Columbus, Miss., on the 22nd of August, 1828. The deceased passed an eventful and active life. Was Captain in command during the war of 1776. Was distinguished for his brave daring and intrepidity. Was  p298 one of the pioneers who first crossed the Alleghany mountains with Daniel Boone into the wilderness of Kentucky. Took an active part in the formation of the Franklin Government, afterward the State of Tennessee. Was the delegate from that free limit to the Congress of the United States. Was a member of the convention which framed the first Constitution of Tennessee, and was one of the first Senators from that State to the Congress of the United States, for a period of twelve years, and afterwards one of the Circuit Judges. He served in the Legislatures of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and at the age of 65, was a volunteer in the war of 1812, and again distinguished himself for personal bravery and courage. He departed this life in the 81st year of his age, universally lamented."​c

When there is added Cocke's further legislative service in Transylvania, the Territory South of the Ohio, and Franklin, it may safely be stated that his record is unique among American legislators.

The best estimate of Cocke's powers is that of Caldwell in his Bench and Bar of that: "He is remembered as the great orator of his time, and, by consent of his contemporaries, he had no equal as a popular speaker. A remarkable readiness and brilliancy of speech has been characteristic of his family in all succeeding generations."

His son, John Cocke, was major-general in command of the East Tennessee troops in the Creek War and distinguished himself as a gallant soldier. He served in Congress from the second district of Tennessee four successive terms, from 1819.

William Michael Cocke, a grandson, was a member of Congress two terms, 1845‑1849; and his son, Sterling, was chancellor of Mississippi.

Judge David Campbell

David Campbell, the chief judicial officer of the State of Franklin, was born in Virginia in 1750. He was a younger brother of Colonel Arthur Campbell. In 1776 he joined the Continental army and rose to the rank of major.

Campbell was elected clerk of the Washington county court (Virginia) in January, 1777, and, studying law the while, served until August, 1780, when he resigned to begin the practice of law under a license issued to him by Governor Thomas Jefferson. While yet a  p299 young man he removed across the State line into the Tennessee country, settling in Greene county prior to 1783. He was elected by the Carolina Assembly of 1784 assistant judge of Washington District, but declined to qualify as he had joined in the State of Franklin movement; and he was made chief judge of the new State, and also a member of the Council of State. He attended the Carolina Assembly of 1787, as a representative from Greene county, and being elected by that body assistant judge again, he accepted the place, thereby giving umbrage to his former Franklin associates.

He was appointed by the President one of the judges of the Territory South of the Ohio River. In 1792 he was one of the commissioners on the part of the national government to run and mark the line between the whites and the Cherokee Indians.

Judge Campbell was nominated for senator in Congress in the first legislature of Tennessee, but was defeated by William Cocke. He was continued as a judge of the Superior Court — not Supreme Court, as has been stated by others. In 1803 an attempt was made to impeach him for misconduct in office, but it proved unsuccessful. Campbell, however, was (1809) defeated for reëlection by James Trimble. He was nominated to a federal judgeship in the Mississippi Territory, March 3, 1811, but falling into bad health he did not live to serve.

Judge Campbell resided in the later years of his life on a fine estate opposite the junction of the Little Tennessee and the Tennessee rivers (the site of the present Lenoir City). He died in 1812.

Judge Campbell was of the noted Campbell family of Southwest Virginia. Practically his entire adult life was devoted to judicial service. But for lack of decision of character he would have been a greater favorite of the people and a more outstanding figure in the history of his State.

A son of Judge Campbell, Thomas J. Campbell, was elected a member of Congress from Tennessee (1841‑1843), and later was a clerk of the National House of Representatives in the Thirtieth and Thirty-first Congresses, serving until his death, April 13, 1850.

Landon Carter

Landon Carter, the son of Colonel John Carter, chairman of the Watauga Association, was born in Virginia, and removed with his father, first to Carter's Valley and then to Watauga. He was  p300 educated at Liberty Hall, Mecklenburg county, North Carolina (now Davidson College). He was more adequately equipped than any of his contemporaries for a diversified public career to which he was later called.

He was one of the petitioners to have the Watauga Settlement annexed to North Carolina. In 1780 he served as a captain under Sevier on the Boyd's Creek campaign, and was in the same year with Major Charles Robertson's command in South Carolina. In the same year he succeeded his father in the office of entry-taker for Washington county — an office of great responsibility, the immense extent of that county considered. On the death of his father in 1781, he was appointed administrator of the estate which was the largest then in existence in North Carolina west of the Alleghany mountains. This tended to develop the business capacity of young Carter. In 1782 he was appointed by the North Carolina legislature auditor for Washington District; and the following year he was named one of the incorporators of Martin's Academy (later Washington College). For years he served that institution as an active trustee.

Carter was in command of a company under John Sevier in the South Carolina campaign of 1781, and he and his company remained there with Sevier after the expiration of their term of service, and after a majority of the western troops had returned home. He fought under Marion until January, 1782. On the march back home his company was ambushed by the Indians at the eastern part of Yellow Mountain.

In 1784 he represented Washington county in the house of commons of the Carolina General Assembly.

Landon Carter was a thorough-going supporter of the State of Franklin. He was secretary of the first convention at Jonesborough; speaker of the first senate; member of the first council of state, and later secretary of state, and entry-taker.

He was in the Carolina senate of 1789, and supported the cession bill and Sevier's reinstatement as brigadier-general of Washington District over Joseph Martin.

One of the first steps (1790) of Wm. Blunt as governor of the Territory South of the Ohio was the appointment of Carter as lieutenant-colonel commandant of the Washington District militia. He was also commissioned a justice of the peace of Washington county. Carter was later elected treasurer of Washington and  p301 Hamilton Districts of the Territory, and continued to serve until the Territory became the State of Tennessee.

He served as colonel on the campaign of 1792; and was made a member of the first board of trustees of Greeneville College.

Colonel Carter represented Washington county in the first constitutional convention of the State of Tennessee. His son, William B. Carter, was president of the second (1834) constitutional convention; and his grandson, William B. Carter, Jr., was a member of the convention of 1870. The name of Carter is therefore connected with the molding of the fundamental law of the Commonwealth, from the Articles of the Watauga Association and the Constitution of the State of Franklin to the latest constitutional convention.

The first legislature of Tennessee (1796) created Carter county, and named it in honor of Landon Carter. The name of his wife, Elizabeth, is borne by its county site, Elizabethton. Both he and his father were partners of John Sevier in land speculations.

Landon Carter died June 5, 1800.

James White

James White, the son of Moses White, was born in Rowan (that part which is Iredell) county, North Carolina, about the year 1747. He joined the Continental army and gained the rank of captain of militia (1779‑81). For his military service he was entitled to locate a land warrant under N. C. Act of 1783; and in August of that year he made a tour of exploration for desirable lands in company with Robert Love and Francis A. Ramsey, the latter a surveyor. On the way westward to the frontier they crossed the French Broad at Rutherford's War Ford, and followed that stream to the mouth of Dumplin creek, where they recrossed the French Broad and traveled as far south as the mouth of Holston (Lenoir City). It was then that White and Ramsey first saw the lands upon which they afterward laid grants and upon some of which the present city of Knoxville stands.

Captain White returned to his home in Carolina, and made preparations to move his family to the West. In 1784 he made his way to Fort Chiswell in Virginia, where he made a crop and left his family for one year. In the following year he was a member of the Franklin Convention. His first residence was at a point four miles above the junction of French Broad and Holston rivers; but he  p302 remained there only one year. White and an old Carolina neighbor, James Conner, had begun to clear for a settlement on the present site of Knoxville, to which they removed in 1786. White's cabin stood on the west side of First creek, near its junction with the Holston; and, it is said, constituted one of the corners of White's Fort. This fort became a rendezvous for immigrants and rangers, since it was easy of access by water and by trails down the rivers. White's Fort settlement was destined to become the first capital of the State of Tennessee. It occupied a strategic position between the settlements on the upper reaches of the Holston and those on the Cumberland. The first hint of its future destiny was in the North Carolina Act, 1789, chapter I, which fixed "the house of James White, in Hawkins county" as the place where election returns from the districts of Washington and Mero should be canvassed to ascertain who was entitled to be commissioned representative in the Federal Congress from the trans-Alleghany region. James White was a representative in the Carolina Assembly in 1789, and doubtless aided in molding this legislation.

Shortly after the organization of the Territory South of the Ohio Governor Blount fixed upon White's Fort as the site of government, giving it the name of Knoxville, in honor of General Knox, then secretary of war. On November 3, 1780, Blount commissioned James White first major and a justice of the peace of Hawkins county; and later when Knox county was created White was given the highest military rank — lieutenant-colonel commandant of the county. His was the first name among those commissioned justices of the peace, and he was the presiding justice of Knox county.

White was a member of the constitutional convention of 1796, and of the first legislature held under the Constitution. He was senator in the second General Assembly of Tennessee, and speaker of the next, which position he resigned in order that Wm. Blount, recently expelled from the senate of the United States, might be elected to the vacancy. White sympathized with Blount and opened the way for the attempted vindication of the latter by the people of the State. White also served as speaker of the senate of Tennessee in 1801 and 1803.

He, in later life, was elected brigadier-general of the militia of Hamilton District and as such led his troops in the Creek War of 1813. In 1798, he was agent of the State of Tennessee to attend on the negotiation of a treaty with the Cherokee Indians.

 p303  In the State of Franklin he was one of the earliest speakers of the senate, and remained throughout a firm friend of Sevier and the new Commonwealth.

General White, while a man of great firmness, was philanthropic. He owned two grist mills, and in times of scarcity would give of their product to those of his neighbors who were in need. He donated the land on which the first Presbyterian church in Knoxville was built; and a city block to Blount College, upon which a two‑story wooden building was erected to serve that institution, of which he was a trustee.

Living to see the city of his founding well started on its career, and his son, Hugh Lawson White, rising to eminence, General White died in Knoxville, August 14, 1821. Of him Ramsey, the historian, says: "to extreme old age, he retained the esteem and affection of his fellow-citizens, and never had a stain on his unsullied good name."

Gilbert Christian

Gilbert Christian was a descendant of Gilbert Christian who emigrated from the Ulster district of Ireland in 1726, settling near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and removing thence to the Valley of Virginia in 1732.

Gilbert Christian, the son of Robert Christian, was born in Augusta county, Virginia, about 1734. As early as 1774 he was as a lieutenant in command of King's Mill Station in Sullivan county.

He had participated in the border wars of 1755‑63. He settled on the Holston near the above station, and the place, now known as Kingsport, was called Christiansville. He commanded a company in the Cherokee campaign of 1776, under Colonel William Christian, his uncle; also in the campaigns against the Chickamauga Indians in 1779 and 1788, and was at King's Mountain. He served as a major on Colonel Arthur Campbell's expedition against the Cherokees in 1780‑1; and was colonel of Sullivan county in 1782‑3. A warm friend of Sevier, he joined in the new‑state movement. He was the speaker of the Franklin senate of 1786. Sevier turned to him for aid and comfort in the trying days of the Commonwealth's dissolution, and never in vain.

Governor Blount chose him in 1790 for the highest honor in his county of Sullivan — lieutenant-colonel commandant of territorial militia, and also for justice of the peace.

 p304  In 1793, despite his age, Colonel Christian took the active command of his regiment on the Hightower (Etowah) campaign. He contracted a fever and died at Knoxville on the return journey. Fittingly he was with Sevier until the last battle the latter ever fought had ended in success.

Gilbert Christian married in June, 1763, Margaret, daughter of George Anderson, of Middle river, Augusta county, Virginia. One of his sisters married William Anderson.

Christian and William Anderson in 1761 were among the troops of Colonel William Byrd at the fort at Long Island. About this time, these two young men, along with John Sawyers, explored the valley of the Holston south of Long Island as low down as Big creek, in Hawkins county where they met a party of Indians and turned back.

Of the many stout-hearted men who have passed in review before the mind of the writer, the most consistently admirable is Gilbert Christian. His memory deserves to be perpetuated by a suitable monument, erected by the county of Sullivan and the thriving city of Kingsport. His is a record worthy of commemoration.

Joseph Hardin

Joseph Hardin was born near Richmond, Virginia, April 18, 1734. When the Revolutionary War broke out he was residing in Tryon county, North Carolina. In August, 1775, he participated in the organization of a Committee of Safety in that county, and signed the document known as the Tryon Association, in which it was declared that the signers faithfully united themselves to resist force by force and defend their natural freedom and constitutional rights, and take up arms and risk lives and fortunes in maintaining the freedom of their country.

He represented Tryon county in the Provincial Congress of North Carolina, held in 1775 and 1776. In September, 1775, he was appointed by that Congress major of the regiment of Salisbury District. When in the following year troops were raised and sent to aid the hard-pressed South Carolinians, Hardin was a captain in the Second (Locke's) Battalion of General Allen Jones' Brigade. He was captain of a company of Light Horse in service under General Griffith Rutherford on the Cherokee expedition. He represented Tryon county in the Assemblies of North Carolina in 1778  p305 and 1779. When his section was overrun by the British and Tories, he fled across the mountains and settled at first on the waters of Lick creek in Washington (now Greene) county. He was soon afterward sent as Washington county's delegate to the Assembly of 1782. On the organization of Greene county he was commissioned one of the first justices of the peace, and his son, Joseph, Jr., was appointed entry-taker.

In the Franklin Assembly he was honored by election to the speaker­ship. He was an active and faithful new‑state adherent. He represented Greene county, as a friend of separation, in the Carolina Assembly of in 1788, and was one of the last to take the oath of allegiance to North Carolina in the Greene county court. When the second cession act was passed, and before acceptance by Congress, Hardin showed his consistency. Being a magistrate, at the next succeeding term of court an entry of record shows that "Colonel Joseph Hardin withdraws himself from the bench, being convinced in his own mind that the jurisdiction of North Carolina has ceased in this territory ceded to the Congress of the United States."

Hardin was chairman of a convention of the inhabitants of the ceded territory held at Greeneville, May 5, 1790, which chose John Sevier as their preference as governor of the Territory recently erected by Congress. "No other man on the Continent can give as general satisfaction in that office," the convention resolved.

Governor William Blount in organizing the government of the Territory South of the Ohio, appointed Hardin a justice of Greene county; and in 1791, under the direction of Governor Blount, he partially ran one of the Indian boundary lines, fixed by the treaty of Hopewell. It was run southeasterly from Camp creek, a distance of about fifty miles to Rutherford's War Trace.

Hardin represented his county in the lower house of the first Territorial Assembly, held at Knoxville in 1794. He was among the most influential members of the body. He was speaker of the house of representatives of the second Territorial Assembly.

In 1795, he purchased two thousand acres of land in Knox county, in what is known as Hardin's Valley, and he shortly removed and spent the remainder of his days there.

He located his military claim to two thousand acres on the lower Tennessee river, along with grants of one thousand acres to each of his sons. In the year 1816, his son James conducted a party  p306 of twenty‑six — four families — by boat down the Tennessee river and settled these lands, which lie in what is called, in honor of Colonel Joseph Hardin, Hardin county, Tennessee.

Joseph Hardin was a staunch Presbyterian, and one of the first elders in the Mount Bethel church at Greeneville. He was one of the original trustees of Greeneville (now Tusculum) College; and always a leader in his community. His son, Robert Hardin, D. D., attained eminence as a minister of the Presbyterian church. His son, John, was killed while on the Lookout Mountain campaign of 1788. Another son was captured and held a prisoner by the Chickamauga Indians in the campaign of 1782.

Charles Robertson

Charles Robertson, of Washington county, was one of the leaders of the Watauga Association. He acted as trustee for the early settlers, taking the title to the lands purchased of the Cherokee Indians in March, 1775; and the records of Washington county show that he faithfully executed the trust by conveying tens of thousands of acres of land to the various settlers. By an ordinance of the constitutional convention of North Carolina of 1776 he was named as one of the justices of "Washington District." Robertson was one of the four delegates from Washington District admitted to member­ship in the Provincial Congress of 1776. By that body he was appointed first major of the district militia. On the establishment of Washington county he was continued in that office; and by an act of Assembly the court was to be held at his house then on Sinking creek, near the present Johnson City, until a court house should be built. In 1777 he marched a body of troops to Long Island of Holston to act as a guard while a treaty was being there negotiated with the Cherokee Indians.

He was in the Carolina senate of 1778 and 1779. The Assembly of 1778, in an effort to keep the Cherokee Indians quiet, appointed Robertson to go to the Overhill Cherokees with a friendly talk from the governor. By the Assembly of 1780 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel in command of two hundred men of Washington county to coöperate with Colonel Evan Shelby's forces on an expedition against the Cherokee Indians. Washington county sent him to the house of commons in 1784, where he voted in favor of the first cession act.

Charles Robertson, having had previous experience in legislative  p307 bodies was honored with the speaker­ship of the senate of the State of Franklin. To him was awarded also the colonelcy of Washington county. He continued to serve as a magistrate under the new State government. His daughter had married Robert, the brother of John Sevier, and Colonel Robertson stood by the fortunes of the governor of Franklin until the last; he participated in the Sevier-Tipton engagement of 1788.

On the organization of the county of Washington, as a part of the Territory south of the Ohio river, Colonel Robertson was commissioned a justice of the peace.

Robertson had an honorable military record in the Revolution. He was sent in command of a part of John Sevier's regiment in July, 1780, to the relief of the Carolinians. His troops aided in the capture of Thicketty Fort where ninety-three loyalists surrendered; and in the battle of Musgrove's Mill.

In his later years Colonel Robertson lived south of Jonesborough, on Cherokee Creek. He died about 1800.

Daniel Kennedy

Daniel Kennedy was born in Virginia about the year 1750. Family tradition is to the effect that he served in Lord Dunmore's War (1774) as a private in the company of Captain Evan Shelby. In 1776 he aided in the defense of the Watauga Fort when it was attacked by the Cherokee Indians. Sometime after July, 1777, he settled at Milburnton, then Washington but now Greene county, and the next year he served as a grand-juror in the Washington county court. In 1770 he removed to a large tract of land he had entered, near the mouth of Camp Creek, south of Greeneville. This homestead remained in the family over one hundred years, passing to others in 1898.

Kennedy marched with John Sevier to the battle of King's Mountain (1780) as a lieutenant, to be promoted to a captaincy for gallantry in action. On his return he was honored with a seat on the bench of Washington county court, in 1781.

He represented Washington county in the North Carolina General Assembly of 1783, and was influential in the passage of an act to establish Greene county. On the organization of that county he was elected clerk of its court, an office he held for the remainder of his life under the several changes in the forms of government.

In the State of Franklin he served as a member of the council of  p308 state and as brigadier-general. With John Sevier and Alexander Outlaw he served as commissioner of that State in negotiating the Dumplin Creek treaty with the Cherokee Indians.

Elected by the friends of Franklin, he at a late day of the session took a seat in the Carolina senate of 1787. Both the Tipton and the Sevier forces were second lieutenant for the support of General Kennedy, because of his great popularity in Greene county. His heart was with Sevier as his speech in the Franklin convention of 1787 evidences. That speech also demonstrates the ability of Kennedy, and that he could have risen high in the affairs of State and Nation had he not preferred to retain in comfort the clerkship of his county.

When the Franklin government was virtually doomed by the action of the Federal constitution convention, General Kennedy acted under a colonel's commission from North Carolina on General Martin's campaign against the Cherokees, on the failure of which Kennedy joined Sevier under whom he had often campaigned.

General Kennedy was a friend of education. As early as 1783, he was named as an incorporator of Martin's Academy (Washington College) and he was also a trustee of Greeneville College.

General Kennedy died in consequence of a bruise on the hand from a forge hammer, and was buried at Mount Zion church, six miles from Greeneville. Above his grave there was recently erected a monument — a large native rock embedded in which is a bronze tablet bearing this inscription:​d

To the Memory


Col. Daniel Kennedy


Soldier, Patriot, Statesman,

Revolutionary Soldier,

Pioneer of Tennessee

First Clerk of Court

Greene County

Served Under Four Forms of Government


Supported State of Franklin

Made Peace With Indians


Greeneville and Washington Colleges

Erected by Descendants


 p309  Augustus Christian George Elholm

George Elholm was a native of Duchy of Holstein, which at the date of his birth was under the dominion of Denmark. He came to America early in the Revolutionary War and received a captain's commission in Count Pulaski's corps. In September, 1779, General Lincoln and Count d'Estaing made an attempt to retake the city of Savannah by siege. Learning of the purpose of the allied forces, the British general hurriedly ordered in all outposts. A portion of Colonel Cruger's command under Captain French attempted to comply with the order by passing in armed vessels through the inland channels. Intercepted in their course up the Ogechee river, the British troops were compelled to land and entrench. Colonel John White, of the Fourth Georgia Battalion, in consultation with his officers concerted a plan for their capture. On the night of October 1, Colonel White and Captain Elholm, with five others of the American troops, reconnoitered and kindled many fires to give the impression of a large encampment. Another bit of strategy was resorted to — the giving of commands in a loud tone as if directing the body of a considerable body of soldiers, the hurry and bustle of staff officers being imitated. Colonel White, unattended, dashed up to the British troops and demand a conference with the commander. Just at this time Captain Elholm rode up and urgently inquired of his colonel where he should place his artillery. Captain French, convinced that a large force had surrounded his camp, surrendered his detachment of one hundred and eleven, and five vessels with their crews, arms and munitions.

Elholm was later attached to the command of Colonel Horry under General Francis Marion, and behaved with great gallantry in the operations against the British in South Carolina, 1780‑1781. For a time he was a captain in the legion of Colonel "Lighthorse Harry" Lee. It is probable that Sevier and Elholm first met while campaigning under General Marion; and the friendship then formed may have led Elholm to go to Franklin when he learned of Sevier's effort to found a new State. It seems that, for a time, Elholm was adjutant-general of Georgia, and his going to Franklin, more than likely, was with the consent, if not by the procurement, of Georgia's then governor, Telfair, the purpose being to effect some sort of military alliance with the new government.

Besides acting as Franklin's commissioner to Georgia, Major Elholm served quite effectively as adjutant and drill-master of the  p310 Franklin militia. His buoyant nature and his ebullience cheered Sevier and his followers when the trend of events was against their cause. He stood for heroic measure in times of crises, and had his advice been heeded Franklin might have had a different fate. As it was, he was an influential factor. This is shown by the hatred of him manifested by the opponents of Franklin in letters written at the time. An unknown writer, in August, 1788, refers to Elholm's great influence in Franklin affairs, and declares "he is cordially despised," by those in opposition.

The gallant Major by his imperturbable good humor and his talent as a musician won to himself the young people and was given a welcome in the homes of the border. He had a warm place in the regard of Sevier, and in later years when Sevier was governor of Tennessee, Major Elholm came from his home in Georgia to visit his old friend and leader.

He remained in service with Sevier until the last of Lesser Franklin, and on returning to Georgia served as adjutant-general under Governor George Mathews. A disagreement between Mathews and Elholm led to the court martialling and cashiering of the latter.

Major Elholm then entered on the practice of law at Augusta. He left a journal "valuable for the amount of information it contained, and curious on account of the grandiloquent style in which he was in the habit of expressing himself." A search for this journal was made by the author in hope that it might be found, to shed additional light on the affairs of Franklin. It was according to White in his Historical Collections of Georgia in the State Library at Milledgeville when White wrote. It was perhaps taken away or destroyed by troops during the occupancy of Milledgeville by the Federal army in December, 1864. A large number of the most valuable records in that library were then lost.

The Augusta Herald, of Wednesday, November 27, 1799, gave two lines to the passing of this man of heroic mold, who had in days of stress and need given valuable service to the State and Nation:

"Died, on Saturday night last, Augustus Christian George Elholm, Esq., attorney at law."

Henry Conway

Henry Conway was born in Virginia, and removed to the lower part of the Nolachucky settlement before 1783, in August of which year he was appointed one of the tax‑assessors of Greene county, and at the November term of court was on the grand jury.

 p311  He served as treasurer of the State of Franklin (1787); as one of the commissioners who signed the treaty of Coytoy (1786) and as speaker of the senate of 1786.

Two of the sons of Governor Sevier married his daughters. James Sevier's wife was Nancy Conway; Major John Sevier's first wife was Elizabeth Conway. A third daughter married John Sevier, son of Colonel Valentine Sevier, II, and became the mother of Senator Ambrose Hundley Sevier, of Arkansas. The wife of Henry Conway was Sarah Hundley of Virginia.

Through his son, Thomas, Henry Conway was progenitor of other grandsons who rose to eminence in the State of Arkansas. Henry W. Conway served with distinction under General Jackson in the War of 1812, and was member of Congress from Arkansas, from 1823 to 1827, when he was killed in a duel with Robert Crittenden. James Sevier Conway was founder of the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, and first governor of that State, 1836‑1840. Elias Nelson Conway was the fifth governor of Arkansas.

George Conway, a brother of Henry Conway, was of the commission that laid out the town of Greeneville. He served as colonel on the Cherokee expedition of 1793, and was first major-general of the State of Tennessee. Joseph Conway, another brother, served the State of Franklin.

Without doubt, the Conway family produced more men of ability than any other Greene county family.

Henry Conway remained throughout all vicissitudes firmly attached to the State of Franklin. Not until the February term, 1789, of the Greene county court did he take the oath of allegiance to the State of North Carolina.

There is more than a hint of record that Henry Conway was a man of full habits. He lived well, and extended a gracious hospitality. Bishop Asbury was his guest on one of his visits to Tennessee, and Governor Sevier made the Conway home a stopping-place in his frequent journeying between Washington county and Knoxville.

Francis A. Ramsey

Francis Alexander Ramsey, son of Reynolds and Naomi (Alexander) Ramsey, was born near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, May 31, 1764. An uncle, John Alexander, had located on Big Limestone Creek near the present village of Limestone, in Washington county, North Carolina, where other Pennsylvanians had  p312 formed the nucleus of a Presbyterian congregation. At the invitation of his uncle, Francis A. Ramsey left his home in Pennsylvania in his nineteenth year, and journeyed five hundred miles to make his home in the Tennessee country, arriving at his destination in 1783. Young Ramsey was fairly well educated and had mastered surveying. He brought compass and chain with him, and was soon employed in surveying entries for the settlers. In November, 1783, he "qualified as surveyor" in the Washington county court.

The skill of Ramsey as a penman and scholar was availed of by the conventions held for the adoption of a constitution for the State of Franklin; he served as secretary. The same qualifications doubtless led to his being made one of the councillors for the new State, and clerk of the superior court of its Washington District. In 1787, he was appointed a commissioner of Franklin to wait on the Carolina Assembly.

In February, 1788, he was elected by the Carolina Assembly second major of the Washington District. In passing from the West to the seat of the government of North Carolina on official duties, he met and later married (April 7, 1789) Peggy, the oldest daughter of John McKnitt Alexander, of Mecklenburg county, North Carolina. The young couple first made their home on Little Limestone creek, in Washington county, at or near Jonesborough.

On the organization of the territory in 1790, Ramsey continued in the clerkship of the court and he was raised to the rank of first major of cavalry of Washington District, next after him, as second major, coming George Farragut, the father of the famous admiral of the navy of the United States. On the organization of Hamilton District Governor Blount appointed Ramsey clerk of its superior court, and in 1792 he removed to Knox county.

As early as August, 1783, Ramsey had accompanied James White and Robert Young on a tour of exploration into what is now Knox county, and Ramsey built a home for his family on lands he then and later on entered for grant. Here were born his sons, James McGready Ramsey, the historian, and William B. A. Ramsey, who became secretary of state of Tennessee.

Ramsey was one of the first trustees of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee.

In 1819 Governor McMinn appointed him a commissioner to examine the offices of the surveyors and registrars of lands in the East Tennessee districts, in order to the prevention of frauds in the  p313 granting of lands in West Tennessee purchased from the Chickasaw Indians in that year. In the following year he was made president of the State Bank of Knoxville, but served only for a short time. He died November 13, 1820.

William Cage

William Cage was born in Virginia in 1745. He removed to Chatham county, North Carolina, and served for a time as major in the Revolutionary army. His chief service was against the Tories under the noted Colonel David Fanning. He seems to have been a prisoner of the Tories for a short time. He removed after the war to Sullivan county, North Carolina. That county sent him as one of its delegates to the house of commons of the North Carolina legislature of 1783, his associate being Colonel Abraham Bledsoe. He was returned the succeeding session, along with David Looney. He voted against the first cession act; but became one of the moving spirits in organizing the new State of Franklin. He was elected speaker of the lower house of the first assembly, and was the first treasurer of the State.

In 1785, he removed to Sumner county, probably influenced to do so by the Bledsoes. When the territorial government was organized, he was appointed by Governor Blount sheriff of Sumner county, and by successive appointments he served until 1796, when he was succeeded by James Cage. Another son, Harry Cage, removed to Mississippi where he became supreme judge and congressman. Two of his grandsons were noted men: Harry T. Hays, Major-General, C. S. A., and his brother John Coffee Hays, major of the celebrated Texas Rangers and surveyor-general of California. William Cage died at his home in Cage's Bend (of Cumberland river), March, 1811.

Stockley Donelson

Stockley Donelson, born in Virginia, was the son of Colonel John Donelson, the surveyor who in 1771 ran the "Donelson line" between that part of Virginia under civil government and the domain of the Cherokee Indians.

The son followed his father in the profession of surveyor, and like his father was one of the largest and most persistent land speculators in the Western Country. Many of his operations were in partner­ship with others. In 1783 he engaged with Governor Caswell  p314 and James Glasgow to explore the country on the French Broad for proper locations of land warrants, Donelson to receive a one‑fourth interest for his services. He was at that time surveyor of Sullivan county; and in 1784, probably because of the influence of Caswell and Glasgow, he was elected by the legislature surveyor for the western lands in the eastern district — a new office of importance since the passage of the act of 1783, opening the West to the entry and grant of lands.

He joined in the Franklin movement and was made surveyor-general of the State. He also was speaker of the house of commons for one term. He represented Hawkins county in the Carolina Convention in 1788, and opposed the ratification of the Federal Constitution.

Governor Blount appointed him to the post of lieutenant-colonel commandant of the forces of Hawkins county at the formation of the territorial government; and he was a member of the first council of state in 1794.

Donelson, it seems, did not figure in the formation of the State of Tennessee. Politics was evidently subordinated to business and the acquisition of a landed estate, estimated to amount to one‑half million acres.

Joshua Gist

Joshua Gist, who was elected an assistant (lay) judge on the organization of the State of Franklin, and who was a member of one of the conventions, was from North Carolina, where he had been a captain in the Revolutionary War, Brown's Battalion of Ashe's Brigade, and served in the General Assembly.

In 1784 he lived on French Broad and represented Greene county in the Carolina Assembly. He voted in favor of the first cession bill. On the creation of the Franklin county of Sevier he was made a justice of the peace. He was present at the making of the treaty of Dumplin creek.

He was chairman of the convention of January 12, 1789. Under the territorial government he was appointed a justice of the peace for Jefferson county when it was established in 1782; and of Sevier county on its formation in 1794.

He was a son of Benjamin Gist, one of the first justices of Washington county, and also a Franklinite. Joshua Gist appears to have been colonel of Greene county in December, 1784, and as such was ordered to arrest the noted Major Hubbard.

 p315  John Anderson

John Anderson, named as the second assistant-judge under Judge David Campbell, was of Sullivan county, which he represented in one of the conventions called to consider the Constitution of Franklin. A son of Colonel Gilbert Christian, in writing to Draper, mentioned him as having been one of the leading and consistent supporters of the new State in his county. He was "second colonel" of the militia in Sullivan.

Anderson was made a justice of the peace in Sullivan county by Governor Blount (1790) and he was also one of the magistrates elected by the first legislature of the State of Tennessee. He does not appear to have had aspirations toward a political career.

Presumably he was of the Anderson family of Augusta county, son of Andrew, related by marriage to Colonel Gilbert Christian, and referred to in a letter from Major Arthur Campbell to Colonel William Preston, August 10, 1774: "Capt. Wm. Campbell desires me to recommend one John Anderson to you for ensign to Capt. Looney. I believe you are acquired with the young gent and I think he may be a proper person." Anderson was so far a proper person as to earn the rank of captain of a company in the War of the Revolution. In 1782 he led the forces of Sullivan county, under Colonel John Sevier, against the Chickamauga Indians. He died October 17, 1817.

John Menefee

John Menefee, who was speaker of the house of representative of Franklin Assembly of 1787, first settled in Sullivan county, which he represented in the first convention at Jonesborough in 1784. In 1790, he was residing in Hawkins (now Knox) county, where he was commissioned a captain of militia by Governor Blount; and on the creation of Knox county, in June, 1792, he was made a justice of the peace and continued in his captaincy. Menefee was Knox county's delegate in the house of representatives of the first, and several later General Assemblies of Tennessee; and was appointed one of the first justices of the peace under the Constitution of 1796. Menefee's Station is named for him. The name is sometimes written "Manifee".​e

Thomas Amis, son of John and Mary (Dillard) Amis, was of Huguenot family (Amie) which left France on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes for the Barbadoes, in the West Indies, going thence  p316 to Virginia. A branch of the family settled in North Carolina. Thomas Amis was in the Provincial Congress of Carolina in 1776, from Bladen county; and in the Third Regiment of the Continental Army. He served quite a time in the commissionaryº department.

After the war he, having married Mary Gale (or Gayle), removed west of the Alleghanies and settled in Hawkins county where he erected a stone house in which he resided and operated a tavern. He also erected a grist mill and a distillery. It appears that in 1786 Amis was trading in the farther West and that his boats and goods were seized and confiscated by the Spanish commandant at the Natchez, complaint of which was made to Congress.

The good Bishop Asbury, journeying through Tennessee, noted in his journal that at Amis' tavern "we were well entertained for our money" and that Amis was rebuked when he boasted of gaining three hundred pounds per annum "by the brewing of his poison. We talked very plainly; and I told him that it was of necessity, not of choice, we were there — that I feared the face of no man." Amis also entertained the elder Michaux, Andrew Jackson and John Sevier.

Amis was in the Carolina senate of 1788 and 1789, where his votes were in favor of separation.

Mary, a daughter of Amis, married Joseph Rogers, the founder of Rogersville.

David Campbell, Captain, was a supporter of separation and a member of the Assembly of Franklin. He was born in Augusta county, Virginia, August, 1753, and on becoming of age removed to Washington county of the same State. He participated in the battle of Point Pleasant in Lord Dunmore's War; in the battle of Long Island Flats, in 1776; and in the battle of King's Mountain, with eight others of the name, brothers and cousins. About the year 1782 Campbell having married his cousin, the sister of Colonel Arthur and Judge David Campbell, removed to Washington county, North Carolina; later to Strawberry Plain, and then to Campbell's Station. He served for a time in the Tennessee General Assembly, and as presidential elector. He was the ancestor of Governor William B. Campbell of Tennessee, and of Rev. Dr. David Campbell Kelley, who was known as "the fighting parson," on the staff of General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Captain Campbell's last home was in Wilson county, where he died, August 18, 1832.

 p317  Ramsey says of him: "He left the savor of a good name wherever he was known."

Samuel Doak, the father of education in Tennessee, was born in August, 1749. His parents were Samuel and Jane (Mitchell) Doak, who emigrated from northern Ireland and first settled in Chester county, Pennsylvania, whence they removed to Augusta county, Virginia, where their son, Samuel was born. Young Doak at the age of sixteen was studying the classics under Reverend Archibald Alexander. In 1773 he entered Princeton College from which he was graduated in 1775, during the presidency of Dr. Witherspoon. He was for two years a tutor at an academy in Virginia which later became Hampden Sidney College, and at the same time studied theology under Reverend John Blair Smith, and later under Reverend William Graham in his native county. About this time he married Esther H., the daughter of Reverend John Montgomery; and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Hanover. He soon turned southward for a location. After preaching for a time in Sullivan county, then thought to be a part of Washington county, Virginia, he was for about two years at the forks of the Holston and Watauga rivers. He later removed to a settlement on the Little Limestone (below Jonesborough) at the request of the inhabitants. According to the tradition in riding through the forest in that neighborhood he unexpectedly came upon a group of settlers who were felling trees. Learning that he was a minister, they requested him to preach, and this he did, using his horse as a pulpit. He there (1780) organized Salem church, and a school which was later called Martin's Academy and which became Washington College.

In 1818 Dr. Doak resigned the presidency of Washington College to join his son in establishing a classical school in Greene county, Tusculum Academy — now Tusculum College. A volume of "Lectures on the Philosophy of Human Nature" of which he was the author was published by his son, Reverend John W. Doak.

Dr. Samuel Doak was of powerful frame, medium stature, with a short thick neck. His hair was sandy, his complexion ruddy, and his eyes blue. His demeanor was dignified; his countenance grave. His was a stentorian voice, and he was withal a striking individuality.

George Doherty, perhaps the son of George Doherty who was major in the North Carolina troops in the War of the Revolution,  p318 settled in the Western Country at an early day. In 1779 he was engaged in the wars against the Cherokee Indians. He served under Sevier as a captain on the King's Mountain expedition. On the establishment of Greene county he was appointed one of the justices of the peace. Early in the life of the State of Franklin he was appointed lieutenant-colonel and later colonel of Caswell county militia. He was on the Hiwassee and Martin campaigns in 1788, and the year following was a member of the North Carolina convention which ratified the Federal Constitution.

When Governor Blount was organizing the government of the Territory in Jefferson county Doherty was made a justice of the peace and lieutenant-colonel commandant.

Continental Congress Doherty was a representative from Jefferson county in the first Territorial Assembly; and was of that county's delegation in the first constitutional convention of Tennessee. He was in the first senate of that State, and in subsequent years served in sessions of its legislature.

In 1783 he, along with Colonel McFarland, headed a volunteer expedition of two hundred mounted men of the border against the middle towns of the Cherokees in North Carolina, destroying six towns. In the fall of the same year he was on Sevier's Hightower campaign.

Colonel Doherty served on another expedition that has been ignored, seemingly, by the historians of the State. After the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory, in 1803, for a time it appeared to be necessary to compel, by force of arms, the surrender by the Spanish authorities of New Orleans, and the dependent district. The war department (October, 1803) made a re­quisition on Governor Sevier for a force of mounted infantry to march to Natchez with all possible dispatch. Doherty who was colonel of the militia of the Washington and Hamilton districts embodied a command, described by Governor Sevier as "eight companies of as brave militia as ever went into the field," which reached Natchez in December, 1803, in good health and fine order, though great hardships had been experienced in marching through the wilderness where there was suffering for want of provisions for the troops and their horses. While they were on the march the President learned that New Orleans had been surrendered to the agents of the national government. Colonel Doherty returned with his command, after reaching Natchez, assured of the President's "great pleasure and satisfaction  p319 at the prompt manner in which the mounted infantry had turned out."

In the Creek War, Doherty as brigadier-general led an East Tennessee command and his conduct at the battle of the Horseshoe was marked by great gallantry.

Colonel and General Doherty resided on the north bank of the French Broad river. He is described as tall, well-formed and of dark features and as a man of remarkable common sense. Plain and unaffected, he was a natural leader of the border people both in war and in civil life.

Nathaniel Evans was a native of Virginia. It seems he first settled near Jonesborough, later near Bean's Station, and subsequently removed to the country south of the French Broad. He had little inclination to participate in civil affairs. He was a soldier and was justly pronounced by his contemporaries "a good soldier," noted for bravery and daring exploits. He was loyal to Sevier to the last and one of his favorites. A brother, Joseph, settled in Sevier county. In the war of 1792 the two brothers had their horses stolen by the Indians. They disguised themselves by dressing like Indians, stole into the Indian camp, recovered their horses and reached home, one of them having received a slight wound. On the campaign that followed the attack on Houston Station, Evans was in command of a company, and as a reward for his gallantry, it was proposed that he be raised to a colonelcy. He declined the promotion, saying that he could do better service as a captain.

In 1793 Governor Blount made him a captain of the Knox county cavalry, and as such he led a large detachment of mounted troops to aid in the protection of the Cumberland Settlements; and, on his return, was on the Hightower and Etowah campaigns. He was advanced to the rank of first major of the cavalry of Hamilton District, in 1795.

Evans is described as being six feet high and weighing about two hundred pounds.

Samuel Handley, born in Virginia, was as a youth a member of Captain Evan Shelby's company at the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War, and took part in the engagement at King's Mountain. According to a son of John Sevier, he was one of the captains most active under John Sevier in the earlier expeditions against the Indians. He was,  p320 among many expeditions, on the Boyd's Creek campaign. The Cherokees came to dread and admire him and to look upon him as a brave and fearless fighter.

Handley was of Sevier's party in the Sevier-Tipton engagement of February, 1788. He represented Washington county in the constitutional convention of 1796. Captain Handley later resided in the vicinity of the Tellico blockhouse, near the present town of Loudon.

Toward the close of the year 1792, while leading a party of men to reinforce the hard-pressed settlers on the Cumberland, his command was attacked by Indians, near the Crab Orchard, on the Cumberland plateau. Becoming separated from his men he was set upon by a brave who had lifted his hatchet to strike, when Handley seized the weapon, crying out "Canaly" (for higinalii) "friend." The Cherokee responded the same word and lowered his arm. Captain Handley was taken a captive to Willstown, in Alabama, where he suffered many indignities and hardships until the next spring. The Cherokees, desirous for peace, made use of his service in causing him to write for them a letter to Governor Blount, and sent him escorted by eight warriors without any demand for hostage or ransom.

Captain Handley was several times sent by his people as a delegate to the Tennessee General Assembly; and in March, 1798, Governor Sevier honored him by commissioning him to visit the headmen of the Cherokee nation in an effort to prevail on them to sell a portion of their domain that bordered on the white settlements.

He died in Franklin county, aged eighty-two, an honored member of the Society of Cincinnati.

Samuel Houston was born on Hay's creek, in Rockbridge county, Virginia, January 1, 1758, the son of John and Sarah (Todd) Houston. He attended schools in his immediate neighborhood; and November 22, 1776, entered Liberty Academy (now Washington and Lee University) then presided over by the celebrated Wm. Graham. He graduated, with the degree of A. B., in 1780. He at once began the study of theology under Graham, but decided to enter the revolutionary struggle, volunteered as a private in 1781, and as such participated in the battle of Guilford's Court House, in North Carolina. He kept a journal of his experiences as a soldier. In this he recorded the fact that, marching on foot, he  p321 discharged his rifle fourteen times, or once for each ten minutes the battle lasted. Houston was in the command of General Stevens. Returning home, the young soldier was received as a candidate for the ministry by the Hanover Presbytery in November, 1781, and licensed to preach the next year. In 1783 he accepted a call to the Providence congregation in Washington county, North Carolina, now Tennessee, and was ordained in August of the same year. Providence church is near the Greene county line. In 1785, Houston was one of the ministers who formed the Presbytery of Abingdon, which he several times represented at the meetings of the Synod. He was a member of the first committee to which was referred the proposal for the formation of a General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church.

In 1789 Houston returned to Virginia to serve the churches at Falling Bridge and Highbridge in his native county. He served these churches many years, and at the same time conducted a classical school. He was elected a trustee of his alma mater, then Washington College, October 7, 1791, in place of his father, and served until 1826. He was secretary of the Board of Trustees from 1791 till 1807. He became totally blind before his death, which occurred January 20, 1839.

In personal appearance Houston was tall, erect and square-shouldered, dignified in deportment, but peculiar in his dress. He is described as an earnest preacher and a model pastor. He was a frequent contributor to Niles' Weekly and other publications of the day.

It is believed that he began to make contributions to the press while he was living in Franklin State, and that a number of the newspaper articles referred to in the text of his volume were from his pen.

A monument at his grave has this inscription:​f


To the memory

of the

Rev. Samuel Houston,

who in early life was a soldier of the


And for fifty-five years a faithful

minister of the

Lord Jesus Christ.

He died on the 20th day of January, 1839

Aged 81 years.

 p322  The father of Houston removed from Virginia to make his home in Blount county. Among the delegates in the constitutional convention of 1796, and in the first Tennessee Assembly from that county was James Houston, a first cousin of Reverend Samuel Houston, and the father of Sam Houston, the great Tennessean and Texan.

Moses and David Looney were from Virginia, where Moses had been a captain of militia as early as 1774. They perhaps resided at that time in the western part of what is now Sullivan county, Tennessee. A pass through the Clinch mountains was known as Looney's Gap at an early date. May 3, 1774, the court of Fincastle county ordered Anthony Bledsoe to make the list of tithables in Captain Looney's company. The organization of the first court of Sullivan county was at the house of Moses Looney in the month of February, 1780. David Looney was one of the first justices and major of the militia of the new county. He was advanced to the lieutenant-colonelcy, which office he resigned in 1781. He was a member of the lower house of the Carolina Assembly of 1784. Moses Looney was captured and carried into captivity by the Indians in 1781. Both of the Looneys were in the Franklin movement and sat in the Assembly; and David Looney was one of the first justices of the peace under the new State government.

David Looney was a delegate from Sullivan county to the convention of 1788 which was called to consider the ratification of the National Constitution. He was in 1790 commissioned by Governor Blount a justice of the peace of his county, under the territorial form of government. In the first legislature of the State of Tennessee he represented Sullivan county. In 1796 a Looney was the leading inn‑keeper of Knoxville.

Descendants of the Looneys settled in Shelby and Maury counties where they were prominent in the affairs of the State of Tennessee.

Moses Looney was killed while engaged in the arrest of Thomas Faulin, who for a time, held the posse at bay. A parley was proposed on which Faulin came out of his house rifle in hand. While he and Looney were conversing, "a certain red‑mouthed Irishman, named Ingram, slipped around and shot Faulin from behind." Before Faulin fell, he raised his gun and shot, the bullet hitting and killing Looney. The two fell dead together.

 p323  William Murphey, born March 12, 1759, was reared near Bedford, Va. He volunteered for Revolutionary service August, 1776, and did his first duty as a guard for the lead mines near Fort Chiswell and later was on Col. Christian's campaign, and did guard duty at the Cherokee treaty of 1777 at Long Island. In the next year he was drafted for five months' service in Capt. Robert Sevier's company of Washington County, N. C., and was in the South Carolina campaign. In March, 1779, Captain Sevier resigned and Murphey was promoted to an ensigncy. He was in a battle on Savannah river and in skirmishes in Georgia. He volunteered to serve three months if necessary as a sergeant in Colonel John Sevier's expedition against the Cherokees in 1780; and again in 1781‑82 was on two other Indian expeditions. Murphey was a Baptist minister, a favorite of the Seviers, and a supporter of Franklin State. He served in her Assembly. He died in St. Francis County, Mo., November 2, 1833.

Samuel Newell was born on the Atlantic ocean, November 4, 1754, and his father, first settling in Frederick county, Virginia, soon afterward was one of the early settlers on Beaver Creek of Holston river.

He engaged in service against the Tories in April, 1776, and in the summer of that year was in the battle of Island Flats of Holston. In the same year he was appointed a sergeant in Captain Colvill's company; was promoted to a lieutenancy the following year in which capacity he was for a year or two actively engaged in the protection of the frontier against the Indians. In 1780 he took part in an expedition against the Tories on New river, and was under Colonel Campbell in the battle of King's Mountain, where he received a severe wound early in the action, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. Procuring a horse, after receiving the wound, he managed to continue the combat until the close of the action. He was, notwithstanding, in December following in service on the campaign of Colonel Arthur Campbell against the Cherokees. In 1781 he was advanced to a captaincy, and again was active in protecting the frontier against the depredations of the Indians.

He was one of the early settlers in the French Broad country, and took active part in launching the State of Franklin, as a member of the constitutional convention, and in the legislature. He was  p324 one of the first assemblymen from the Franklin county of Sevier.

Under the territorial government Newell was appointed a magistrate of Knox county, and when the county of Sevier was re‑created he was appointed to serve there in the same capacity. He was the first chairman of the Sevier county court; and also received Governor Blount's commission as lieutenant-colonel of militia. He was a delegate in the lower house of the first Tennessee General Assembly. In 1797, he removed to Kentucky and later to Indiana where he died September 21, 1841. He is described by Draper as a man of fine presence, six feet one inch in height, and of superior ability.

Alexander Outlaw was born in Duplin county, North Carolina, in 1738. He served for a time (1777) as a captain of militia in the revolutionary conflict. He married Penelope Smith, of his native county and emigrated to the West, first to Washington county, Virginia, where he was on November 24, 1782, commissioned a justice of the peace. He was enrolled in the militia of that county. Attracted by the fine and cheap lands on the lower frontier, he removed to the Nolachucky Settlements in 1783, and located lands in Greene, (now Jefferson) county.

Outlaw was a delegate to the first Franklin convention at Jonesborough, in August, 1784, and served on the committee which had under consideration the situation produced by the cession act of that year. It is difficult to understand his attitude; he alone from the western counties appeared to claim a seat in the Carolina Assembly of 1784 after that body had been in session for some time. He was granted a seat on a certificate of the sheriff of Greene county attesting his election, although the cession act had not then been repealed. Outlaw, strangely enough, voted in favor of the repeal of that act, he having previously, four days after being sworn in, introduced a bill to empower the inhabitants of the Western Country, by and with the consent of the State of North Carolina, to form themselves into a separate State to be known by the name of West Carolina. In 1785, he was in the service of the State of Franklin on a commission to treat with the Cherokee Indians, but the next year he served as paymaster of troops under North Carolina. He also was in the Franklin Assembly of the same year, again acted as a treaty commissioner of the new State, and was a justice of the peace and colonel of the militia in the new county carved out by the Franklin Assembly and named in honor of Governor Caswell.

 p325  Outlaw served in General Martin's campaign and in the North Carolina legislature in 1788, and was a delegate in the convention of 1789 which ratified the Federal Constitution. In January, 1789, he was active in the convention held on the border and was by it named as alternate delegate to wait on the Federal Congress to petition for relief.

By Governor Blount he was (1790) commissioned a justice of the peace for Greene county; in 1792 he was admitted to the bar of Knox county; in 1796 he served in the Tennessee constitutional convention, and moved that in the event the State of Tennessee should not be admitted to the Union, the State should continue in existence as an independent State.

Outlaw was a representative from Jefferson county in the first legislature held under the constitution; and in 1799 and 1801 was in the senate and was honored both terms by elections to the speaker­ship.

He developed considerable ability as a lawyer, and was a shrewd and foresighted man of affairs. From his home in the bend of the Nolachucky, he reached out and became the owner of large tracts of the most fertile lands on the Nolachucky, French Broad and Tennessee rivers. Judge David Campbell, Judge Joseph Anderson and Joseph Hamilton married daughters of Colonel Outlaw and his descendants have been influential in the life of the Commonwealth of Tennessee.

Outlaw is depicted as a man of large frame, six feet high, blue eyes, sandy hair and red moustache. He died in 1826, and was buried at Cahauba, Alabama, where he was at the time of his death looking after land purchases in that region.

James Reese, from Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, settled in the western country about 1784. He was a member of the Franklin Assembly; and served as secretary of the Greeneville convention (May 5, 1790) which recommended Sevier for appointment to the governor­ship of the Territory South of the River Ohio. He resided in Jefferson county, and devoted himself to the practice of law. He does not appear to have aspired to military or political honors. He was the father of Judge William B. Reese, a justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and president of East Tennessee University, now University of Tennessee.

Charles Robertson (sometimes spelled "Robinson") resided in Greene county. He is not to be confused with Colonel Charles  p326 Robertson of Sinking Creek, who was a leader of the Watauga Association. The name of each is at times, spelled "Robinson" and it is difficult to distinguish the two when mentioned in records and even in histories.

Robertson appeared in Greene county prior to 1783. His name "Robertson" is on the tax‑list of that year in that county. He lived on Meadow creek of Nolachucky river. He, as well as the other Charles Robertson, was in the first Jonesborough convention of Franklin, but this appears to have been his only legislative service.

In 1796‑7 the State of South Carolina projected a scheme for the cutting of a highway from Tennessee to Charleston, and proposed to build the road southward provided the State of Tennessee would open and construct the same from Warm Springs on French Broad through the mountains to Sherrill's Cove. Charles Robertson was superintendent of construction of Tennessee's portion of this highway. Governor Sevier in his message (October, 1797) announced that the road was open to traffic by wagons, and spoke in complimentary terms of Robertson.

James Roddy first settled on Roan's creek, of the upper Watauga valley prior to 1778; later he removed to Greene county, and on the organization of Jefferson, he fell in that county. He was on the Boyd's Creek campaign; in the first Franklin convention; a delegate to the North Carolina Convention of 1788; a magistrate and register of Jefferson county under the territorial government; a member of the constitutional convention of 1796 and a senator in the Second General Assembly of Tennessee. From early manhood he was esteemed of sound judgment and trustworthy in all relations of life. Sevier while governor of Tennessee, often made his home a stopping place.

Valentine Sevier, II, was born in the Valley of Virginia in 1747, the son of Valentine Sevier and the brother of Governor John Sevier. His record as a soldier is noteworthy. He was a sergeant in Captain Evan Shelby's company at the battle of Point Pleasant and as spy and combatant was "distinguished for vigilance, activity and bravery." In the act creating Washington county, the Carolina Assembly named him as one of the justices of the peace; and he was elected the first sheriff of the county. As a captain, he was in command of a company in the Revolutionary battles at Thicketty Fort, Cedar Springs, Musgrove's Mill and King's Mountain. He also  p327 was active in John Sevier's Indian campaigns. He took part in the attempt to settle the Great Bend of the Tennessee, and was chosen to be major of the militia of that region (January, 1784). When the State of Franklin was established, he served in the legislature and as second colonel of the militia of Washington county. In 1787 the Carolina Assembly named him as lieutenant-colonel of cavalry commandant for Washington District, but he declined to be weaned away from the support of Franklin. The Assembly of the next year declined to reappoint him, "it not appearing that he has availed himself of the act of pardon of the last session." Valentine Sevier emigrated to the Cumberland in 1788, and erected a station near the mouth of Red river, in the county of Montgomery. He endured many and severe hardships on that frontier in the following years. He died February 23, 1800.

Andrew Taylor, of Rockbridge county, Virginia, was the son of Isaac Taylor, of Mill Creek settlement a fine valley in Rockbridge county. He came from county Armagh, North or Protestant Ireland. Unlike many immigrants of that day, they had means, which were invested in lands and slaves. From another branch of this family descended Bishop William Taylor, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, according to the family tradition, President Zachary Taylor.

Andrew Taylor married in Virginia, first Elizabeth Wilson, and second her sister, Ann Wilson, and with his young family removed to the Watauga country in 1778, settling in Happy Valley. He was the progenitor of a long line of distinguished men: Brigadier-General Nathaniel Taylor; Nathaniel G. Taylor, Congressman and Commissioner of Indian Affairs; Alfred A. Taylor, Congressman and Governor; Robert L. Taylor, Congressman, Governor and United States Senator.

Andrew Taylor was a member of the Franklin Assembly, and a justice of the peace of his county under the government of the Lost State. Isaac, one of his sons by his first wife, fought in the Revolution under Colonel John Sevier, to whom all of the Taylors were ardently attached. Andrew, Jr., fought in the Indian wars under Sevier.

Peter Turney was an immigrant of French and German extraction, probably from Alsace. He settled in Virginia, and was a  p328 private in the company of Captain Evan Shelby at the battle of Point Pleasant, in Lord Dunmore's War. Removing into the Holston country, he became sheriff of Spencer county of Franklin State and, it seems, a captain. In 1796 he had removed west of the Cumberland mountains and lived on the wilderness road, in the present county of Smith of which he was a justice of the peace on its organization in 1799. It appears from Sevier's diary​g that he did not hesitate to ask official favors of Sevier when the latter was governor of Tennessee, and that they were granted without delay.

Peter Turney was the father of Hopkins Lacy Turney, congressman and United States senator from Tennessee, and grandfather of Peter Turney, chief justice of the Supreme Court and governor of Tennessee.

George Vincent was of North Carolina lineage and probably the son of Thomas Vincent. He was a justice of the peace and a member of the General Assembly of Franklin, and Thomas a captain of a company in Colonel Robert Love's command on General Martin's campaign against the Chickamaugas in 1788; he was badly wounded but brought back on a horse-litter to recover. In the same year he was chosen by the legislature of North Carolina to serve on commissions to run the boundary between Washington and Sullivan counties and to build a court house for the latter county. Both Thomas and George Vincent were petitioners in favor of a separation from North Carolina (1787‑88). They lived in the lower end of Sullivan county.

Samuel Wear (sometimes written Weir) was born 1753 in Augusta county, Virginia, the son of Robert and Rebecca Wear. In 1778 he married Mary Thompson in Augusta county, and in 1780 they removed to the French Broad country, where they took up land on the west prong of Little Pigeon river, at the mouth of Walden's creek, five miles south of from the present town of Sevierville. He led a company as captain under Sevier at the battle of King's Mountain. The Franklin movement enlisted his support; he participated in the Jonesborough convention; was a member of the Assembly of that State, and was a commissioner to treat with the Indians. He was lieutenant-colonel commandant of Sevier county under the territorial government, and was a representative in the first territorial legislature. On the formation of the State of Tennessee he was a member of the constitutional convention.

 p329  In 1793 he led a party on the Tallassee campaign against the Cherokees.

He amassed a considerable body of very choice land; a good portion of which was involved in the case of Danforth v. Wear, 1 Wheaton Rep., 155, in the Supreme Court of the United States. His name is borne by Wear's Cove, in Sevier county.

Samuel Wear was a man of much force of character, "brave in battle and wise in council." The Tennessee Society of the Sons of the Revolution has formulated plans for the erection of a monument at his grave on the estate where he died April 3, 1817.​h

Thayer's Notes:

a This capsule of John Sevier's ancestry is abridged from Turner's Life of General John Sevier, pp11‑12, and is at the very least inaccurate, if not a complete fabrication.

The little town of Xavier (modern spelling, Javier) is not now in France, nor has it ever been: it is, and was, well within Spain. No one left the place therefore as a consequence of the 1685 Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. If there is truth to this story, it has to be that on turning Protestant — and it is true that Navarre, straddling Spain and France, was one of the rare centers of Protestantism in Mediterranean Europe — Sevier's ancestor left Spain for France, and when that country revoked its religious tolerance, it was some other town that he fled.

The saint was born in Javier; but the connection of the Sevier family with the saint's, so many times repeated, appears never to be sourced, and must be no more than an unsubstantiated conjecture. The firmest statement that can be made is that John Sevier's father, Valentine Sevier, was born in London in the early 1700's, probably to a John Sevier recorded as having been married at Hoxton Chapel in Cripplegate on August 6, 1708.

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b1 b2 A photograph of one side of his grave monument can be found at Find-a‑Grave. It gives his birthdate as Sept. 23, 1744 — and since so prominent a tombstone must surely have been carved with the greatest care for accuracy, the burden is on our author (and other authors) to justify the 1745 date almost universally seen.

Although the full inscription cannot really be read on the photos there, armed with the transcription given above, we can make out Pioneer, soldier, statesman, and one of the founders of the Republic; the rest of the inscription must be continued around the other three sides.

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c A photograph of his grave, including a readable photo of the inscription, can be found at Find-a‑Grave. The present inscription looks very much like a recarving, and is slightly different from our author's version. Since it is not transcribed at Find-a‑Grave, I supply it here for anyone who might be searching for the text:

Here lie the remains of

William Cocke,

who died in Columbus, Miss., on the 22nd day of August A.D. 1828. The deceased passed an active and eventful life; was Captain in command during the revolutionary struggle of 1776:

and was distinguished for his bravery, daring and intrepidity. Was one of the pioneers who first crossed the Alleghany mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky with Daniel Boone. Took an active part in the formation of the Frankland Government, afterward the State of Tennessee; was the delegate from that free land to the Congress of the United States; was a member of the convention which formed the first Constitution of Tennessee, and one of the first Senators from that State; to the Congress of the United States for a period of twelve years, and afterwards one of her Circuit Judges. He served in the Legislatures of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi.

At the advanced age of sixty five years was a volunteer in the war of 1812‑13, and again distinguished himself for his personal courage.

He departed this life in the eighty first year, universally lamented.

Entombed with him is his second wife Kissiah, widow of Parish Sims: she was a kind mother, a devoted wife and an affectionate friend; she departed this life at Columbus Missi. [image ALT: an underscored blank]day of [image ALT: an underscored blank]A.D. 1820, in her 52nd year, universally esteemed.

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d A photograph of his grave, including a more or less readable photo of the inscription, can be found at Find-a‑Grave. Since the inscription is not correctly transcribed above, nor is it transcribed at that site, I supply it here, to the extent I could read it myself, for anyone who might be searching for the text:

To the Memory


Col. Daniel Kennedy


Soldier Patriot Statesman

Honored Citizen

Revolutionary Soldier

Pioneer of Tennessee

First Clerk of Court

Greene County

Served Under Four Forms

of Government



State of Franklin

Made Peace With Indians


Greeneville and

Washington Colleges

Erected by Descendants


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e He is mentioned once by Williams in the body of the book, on p189, where his name is spelled Menifee.

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f A readable photo of the inscription on his tombstone can be found at Find-a‑Grave. Since there's a bit more to the inscription than what is given above, and it isn't fully transcribed at that site, I supply it here for anyone who might be searching for the text:


to the memory

of the

Rev. Samuel Houston,

who in early life was a soldier of the


And for 55 years a faithful minister of the

Lord Jesus Christ.

He died on the 20th day of Jany, 1839;

aged 81 years.

in the mature & blessed hope of a

glorious resurrection,

and of immortal life in the Kingdom of

his Father and his God.

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g Just once in the diary as printed in Tennessee Historical Magazine (Nov. 27, 1796); but there is ample evidence that the diary has been heavily redacted: see my orientation page to the diary.

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h A photograph of his simple but monumental grave, including a readable photo of the inscription, can be found at Find-a‑Grave. Since the inscription is not fully transcribed at that site, I supply it here:

Colonel Samuel Wear

Born 1753 Died April 3, 1817


Soldier of Four Wars

Colonial, Revolution, Indian, 1812

One of the Heroes of

Kings Mountain and a

Founder of the State of Franklin

This monument is erected by

his decendentsº

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Page updated: 19 Jan 15