Document. Andrew Cowan In:Biographical Dictionary of Tennessee General Assembly



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Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly, VOLUME I, 1796 - 1861, edited by ROBERT M. McBride and Dan M. Robinson (reprinted in 1975 by The Tennessee State Library And Archives and the Tennessee Historical Commission), p. 167.


Cowan, Andrew (1782 - 1840)

HOUSE, 14th and 15th General Assemblies, 1821-25; representing Blount and Monroe counties. Born in 1782, place and exact date not indicated; son of William and Jane (Walker) Cowan. Extent of schooling not determined. Twice married; nothing found to show name of first wife, date and place of their marriage or date of her death; the five children by this marriage were-

James Harry,
Margaret, and
Letitia Cowan;

second marriage in Blount County September 25, 1816, to Esther F. Houston, daughter of Samuel and Nancy (Gillespy) Houston; nine children by this marriage-

Samuel Houston,
Nancy Gillespy,
Jane W.,
William Baker,
Isabella Ann,
Matthew Leonidas,
Andrew F.[1] Gillespie, and
Martha Serena Cowan.

Subject described as early settler and farmer living on Nine Mile Creek, Blount County. Delegate, 1822, to anti-slavery convention in Blount County. In War of 1812; enlisted December 1, 1812, as private in Captain William Walker's Company, East Tennessee Mounted Volunteers, commanded by Colonel T. H. Benton, enlistment dates February 10, 1813, and October 12, 1813. Ruling elder and trustee in Pine Grove Cumberland Presbyterian Church, then in Blount County but later in Loudon County. Died in Blount County September 22, 1840; place of burial not named.


This biographical sketch differs in several respects from what is otherwise known/believed about Andrew Cowan. Details of marriages, child list, residence and dte of death differ, sometimes radically. This may indicate that his data has been confused with that of another Andrew Cowan. Confirming information is needed.

The following commentary is provided by Margie Cowan:

It is highly likely the source’s information "merged" two Andrew Cowans into one biographical entry. Both Andrew Cowans presumably lived in Blount Co. One Andrew Cowan may well have died in 1840 and been the father of the five children listed, but, the Andrew Cowan that married Ester F. "Hettie" Houston clearly died in 1872 in Bradley Co., TN As descendants of Andrew Cowan (m. Hettie Houston) have not referenced him being in the TN Gen. Assembly, this fact likely attributed to the “other” Andrew Cowan ... the "other" Andrew Cowan that allegedly died 1840?

Andrew's pension application indicates he was alive past 1840.
Andrew's tombstone at the Flint Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Flint Springs, Bradley Co., TN clearly shows he died in 1872.
Andrew's grave is beside his wife, Hetty (Houston) Cowan's grave.
Also buried near Andrew and Hetty at Flint Springs Cumberland Church Cemetery are:
Their daughter, Nancy Gillespy COWAN
Their grandson, Joseph Leonidas Cowan (son of William Baker Cowan and Melinda Eufamia Cobb.)
Their granddaughter, Martha Adeline "Addie" Norwood (daughter of Pulaski Wallace Norwood and Isabella Ann Norwood.
Their granddaughter, Artie A. Cowan (daughter of William Baker Cowan and Melinda Eufamia Cobb.)
Their greatgrandaughter, Lorena Morelock (daughter of Houston L Morelock and Artie A. Cowan)

In 1856, Andrew wrote Rosanna (Gillespie) Cowan a letter from Cleveland, Bradley Co., TN ... clearly, he was still alive at that point.

As to the children mentioned in the bio:

Carl Brown claims there was another child … Alfred Cowan … but I haven’t been able to prove it. As Andrew was 13 years older than Hetty, it is possible (but not proven) that Hetty could have been his second wife. If he was married prior to Hetty, he could have had one or more children by his "first wife" as claimed by Carl Brown. If Andrew was married prior to Hetty, then his marriage to Margaret Fisher would be his third marriage??

Carl Brown's website has Hetty Houston [incorrectly] as daughter of James Houston and Phoebe McClung. (Perhaps, therein lies the potential error. Need to check to see if James Houston and Phoebe McClung had a daughter named Hetty ... and whether she possibly married an Andrew Cowan, who might be the Andrew Cowan that died in 1840????) His website shows Alfred in the 1850 Census, Missouri, Dade, District 25 with wife Jane Cowen (45 TN), Houston (22 TN), Hetty (20 TN), Andrew (17 TN), James (13 TN), Alvina (10 TN), Nancy (8 MO), Mary (5 MO).

Per part of posting by [

Cindy Stamps]:

From: Cindy Stamps <> Subject: [COWAN-L] Blount Co. Cowans Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 09:43:30 -0500

10 Sep 1840 --Andrew Cowan of Blount County, 68 years of age, makes last will; Son Alfred gets land which father seized as a possessor, two Negroes; daughter Albina Hughes; grandsons Andrew Woods Cowan, Hutson Gillespie Cowan, Andrew McClung; son James Harry Cowan; daughters Margaret McClung, Letitia Grayham; witness: Andrew Cowan Jr., James McConnell.

  • Albina/Alvena Cowan m. _______ HUGHES
  • Margaret Cowan m. Patrick McCLUNG in _______, TN 30 May 1821
  • Letitia/Luticia/Lutia Cowan m. George GRAHAM in Blount Co., TN 11 Sep 1828
  • Alfred Cowan m. (i) Margaret Ann Cowan abt. 1824 in Franklin Co., Tenn., daughter of JAMES COWAN and MARY MONTGOMERY. He married (2) Jane Cook on March 02, 1826 in Blount Co., Tenn.