Person:John Sevier (1)

m. 1744
  1. Gen. John Sevier1745 - 1815
  2. Col. Valentine Sevier1747 - 1800
  3. Capt. Robert Sevier1749 - 1780
  4. Elizabeth SevierBet 1750 & 1759 -
  5. Bethenia SevierBet 1750 & 1759 -
  6. Sophia SevierBet 1750 & 1759 -
  7. Catherine SevierBet 1750 & 1759 -
  8. Mary 'Polly' SevierAbt 1752/53 - Bef 1804
  9. Abraham Sevier1760 - 1841
  10. Joseph Sevier, I1764 - 1826
m. 1761
  1. Joseph Sevier, II1763 -
  2. Maj. James Sevier1764 - 1847
  3. Maj. John Sevier, Jr.1766 - 1845
  4. Elizabeth Sevier1768 - 1790
  5. Sarah Hawkins Sevier1770 - Abt 1839
  6. Mary Ann Sevier1772 - 1853
  7. Valentine Sevier1773 - Bet 1839 & 1855
  8. Richard Sevier1775 - 1793
  9. Rebecca Sevier1777 - 1799
  10. Nancy Sevier1780 - 1825
m. 14 Aug 1780
  1. Catherine Sherrill Sevier1781 - 1827
  2. Col. George Washington Sevier1782 - 1849
  3. Ruth Sevier1783 - 1824
  4. Joanna Goad Sevier1784 - 1823
  5. Dr. Samuel Sevier1785 - 1849
  6. Polly Preston Sevier1786 - 1850
  7. Eliza Conway Sevier1790 - 1860
  8. Robert Sevier1794 -
Facts and Events
Name[3] Gen. John Sevier
Baptismal Name[1] Jean Xavier
Gender Male
Birth[1] 23 Sep 1745 Harrisonburg, Augusta (later Rockingham) County, Virginia
Alt Birth? 23 Sep 1745 Toll House Farm, Augusta County, Virginia
Alt Birth[3] 23 Sep 1745 New Market, Va.
Marriage 1761 Shenandoah County, Virginiato Sarah Hawkins
Military? 10 Oct 1774 Battle of Point Pleasant
Other 21 Jul 1776 Fort Caswell, Watauga Association (Washington District)Gen. John Sevier and Catherine Sherrill first met
with Catherine Sherrill
Marriage 14 Aug 1780 Washington, Tennessee, United Statesto Catherine Sherrill
Occupation[2] Tennessee, United StatesGovernor
Death? 24 Sep 1815 Fort Decatur (historic), Macon, Alabama, United States
Burial? Knoxville, Knox, Tennessee, United States


Personal Data

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

John Sevier (September 23, 1745 September 24, 1815) was an American soldier, frontiersman, and politician, and one of the founding fathers of the State of Tennessee. A member of the Democratic-Republican Party, he played a leading role in Tennessee's pre-statehood period, both militarily and politically, and he was elected the state's first governor in 1796. He served as a colonel of the Washington District Regiment in the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780, and he commanded the frontier militia in dozens of battles against the Cherokee in the 1780s and 1790s.

Sevier settled in the Tennessee Valley frontier in the 1770s. In 1776, he was elected one of five magistrates of the Watauga Association and helped defend Fort Watauga against an assault by the Cherokee. At the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he was chosen as a member of the Committee of Safety for the association's successor, the Washington District. Following the Battle of Kings Mountain, he led an invasion that destroyed several Cherokee towns in northern Georgia. In the 1780s, he served as the only governor of the State of Franklin, an early attempt at statehood by the trans-Appalachian settlers. He was brigadier general of the Southwest Territory militia during the early 1790s.

Sevier served six two-year terms as Tennessee's governor: from 1796 until 1801, and from 1803 to 1809. Term limits prevented a fourth consecutive term in both instances. His political career was marked by a growing rivalry with rising politician Andrew Jackson, which nearly culminated in a duel in 1803. After his last term as governor, Sevier was elected to three terms in the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee, serving from 1811 until his death in 1815.[1]

The Story of John Sevier

In Washington, D.C., there is a lone statue that stands alongside those of the men America honors as its Founding Fathers. You will find little mention of Sevier in history textbooks, but his accomplishments place him in a select group of men that dominated early American colonial life.

His life was a subject in many early newspapers that gained him national attention as America's first frontier statesman. While they often painted him as a colorful celebrity on the flanks of the American colonies, he would become regarded in the backwoods of Virginia and Tennessee as one of the best frontier leaders in American history--one that would change the course of the young nation and unknowingly help lead it to the Pacific coast.

As Youthful Adventurer: 1745-1775

Jean Xavier was born near the site of New Market in Rockingham County, Virginia on September 23, 1745 to French immigrant pilgrims. His grandfather had been a French émigré to London. Although John's father was of good birth and education, they were Protestants known as Huguenots who escaped persecution and escaped to America for its religious freedoms. His father Valentine had moved from London to Baltimore and then to the Shenandoah Valley.

Jean possessed a keen mind and his parents saw he was given a proper education, and he attended school in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He had a love for the frontier and the countless opportunities for advancement in the young nation that was forming around him. His ventures into the backwoods of Southern Appalachia turned him into a prolific woodsman and soon Xavier knew the country around him better than most of his day. John, as he was known among Virginian settlers, was described as one of the state's most handsome and cultured gentleman. He briefly attended the present-day Washington and Lee University, but after a while, lost interest in college and decided to take his chances on real estate opportunities in the frontier. He had stints in farming, trading, surveying which included laying off what would become New Market and serving as a militia officer.

In 1761, at the age of 17, Sevier married Sarah Hawkins, started a family, and began his rise towards prominence. Sevier helped found the City of Newmarket in Shenandoah County, Virginia and started picking up a reputation as an explorer and Indian fighter. On one of his journeys, John Sevier wandered into the Tennessee Valley and saw the growing backwoods settlements with its rich natural resources as a keystone to American expansion west of the Appalachians.

In 1772, Sevier and his family moved with his brothers to the Holston River to the Watauga settlement in present day upper East Tennessee and settled on the Nolichucky River. Sevier and neighbor John Robertson, who later helped found Nashville, became the village's most prominent settlers. John Sevier and his backwoods adventures soon earned him the nickname "Nolichucky Jack" among the hardened Tennessee frontiersmen, who took an instant liking to his no nonsense mannerisms. Along with his wife and children, he started making a life for himself in the new territory.

Since the British Proclamation of 1758 gave the Cherokee sovereignty from the crest of the Southern Appalachians westward, the Crown had never officially recognized British citizenry west of the boundary, but things were beginning to change in the region and the historic hostilities between natives and settler began to erupt. In 1774, border hostilities broke out between the colonies of Virginia and Pennsylvania over border claims and how to deal with the native tribes. The argument was further agitated by the actions of the Cherokee, Mingos, Wyandots, Shawnees, and Delawares who were divided over settlement of the region by the European colonists.

John Sevier, who was still highly regarded in Virginia was called back to his state and he served as a Captain in the Virginia militia under George Washington in what became known as "Lord Dunmore's War" against the Indians in 1774, named after the then-Royal Governor of Virginia. Although remembered as a minor conflict in history, the Battle of Point Pleasant defeated the Northwestern Indians efforts to stop European expansion and settlement. British militia Captain John Sevier distinguished himself in combat against the tribal forces and was duly noted for his service. From that point through the early years of the American Revolution, the battle was the key event that allowed settlement of the Kentucky territory and subsequently East Tennessee.

As Colonial Military Officer: 1776-1781

In July 1776, John Sevier a petition that requested North Carolina extend its authority to over the Watauga and Holston settlements. These settlements were actually on land granted to the Indians in treaties with the British. When the petition was granted, he became a representative to the Provincial Congress and then a Lt. Colonel of militia. He was at the siege of Fort Watauga. In 1777, he was promoted to Colonel, although he did not participate in the Revolutionary War until 1780. Sometime during these years his wife Sarah died. The marriage had produced ten children. It wasn't long afterwards that he met and soon married Catherine "Bonny Kate" Sherrill, who would also bear ten children.

Sevier continued his work in frontier settlement of the region and earning a name for himself. Although deficient in formal education by the standards of the day, he often corresponded with colonial leaders James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and others who sought his opinion.

In September 1780, he gathered 240 Over Mountain Men in response to threats made by Major Patrick Ferguson. Along with other militia bands, Sevier pursued Ferguson until they caught and defeated him and his Tory force at King's Mountain. Following King's Mountain, Sevier returned to Holston and became active in fighting against the Cherokee Indians who were allied with the British. In 1781, he again went east with men to support Maj. General Nathanael Greene and Francis Marion, but whether he ever rendered the help before returning home is debatable.

During the Revolution, Sevier petitioned North Carolina to officially extend its border and recognize the region. North Carolina agreed and formed it into the Washington County district. Sevier served as the Watauga representative in the North Carolina legislature and was later appointed district judge of Watauga. In addition, he was appointed Colonel of the trans-Allegheny forces. His past service in the British militia and in the Indian campaigns forged his reputation as one of the best frontier commanders on American soil, and, in that capacity, he soon met his nemesis in a Cherokee warrior chief named Dragging Canoe.

Dragging Canoe, or Tsiyu-gunsi'ni in Cherokee, was the son of Chief Attakullakulla, who had befriended the British at Fort Loudoun. Dragging Canoe, however, possessed none of his father's admiration for the white settlers and furiously resisted the Watauga settlement in Tennessee. While Attakullakulla promised colonists that he had 500 hundred warriors to help in the Revolution should it be necessary, his son quickly rose to prominence among the Lower and Upper Cherokee tribal families wanting an end to frontier settlement. His leadership on the battlefield was as legendary as Sevier's among the Cherokee and he constantly waged war against the man they called "Tsan-usdi" "Little John" in Cherokee.

Although the battles they fought against each other would gain national prominence, John Sevier's forces pushed Dragging Canoe south towards the Georgia border, where the Cherokee faction finally settled and made peace with the settlers.

Sevier's prominence in Tennessee as a military commander didn't escape the attention of British command in the colonies waging war against the Revolutionary Army. The allegiance of people west of Appalachia was a question mark and the British needed to try and contain their western flank, while they dealt with "rebel forces."

While collecting Tories for his army's ranks, British Major Patrick Ferguson issued his infamous proclamation demanding allegiance from the Appalachian colonies. With Sevier commanding the Sycamore Shoals forces, he joined the effort that defeated the British Major at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. Three years later, he led a relief mission to aid patriots under "Swamp Fox" Francis Marion being assaulted by British forces. During this time, a British-backed plot to assassinate the frontier commander was revealed by the wife of one of the conspirators allowing Sevier time to deal with the incident and "resolve it."

As Political Statesman: 1781-1815

Following the war, Sevier became involved in starting a colony at Muscle Shoals. James Robertson had tried to form one with the Cumberland Compact in Middle Tennessee, but was also unsuccessful. North Carolina ceded the Washington County district to the Federal government. Sevier, who was by now one of America's top celebrities continued his fight for gaining statehood for the region. Back in his former home, the Hoston and its neighboring Watauga settlements were pursuing seperate statehood. With the City of Asheville, NC on its eastern border and the growing village of Knoxville on its western border, Sevier and the settlers voted to incorporate the region into the State of Franklin, named after America's most popular citizen Benjamin Franklin. It was also a political move that was hoped would enlist him to their cause. In March 1785, John Sevier was elected governor of "the proclaimed" State of Franklin, and he used the post to promote his Muscle Shoals project.

Immediately there was a split in opinions among settlers over statehood in the region. One favored remaining in North Carolina and the others wanting statehood. For four years, however, the State of Franklin existed and conducted business under the leadership of John Sevier. Since there was no groundwork or laws that said they could not form a state out of federal lands, elections were held and appointments were made to offices. The other faction, however, did the same thing on behalf of North Carolina and Washington County. With governments operating under different laws, constant trouble brewed between the parties. The laws made by one government were counteracted by the other one. In 1788, North Carolina Governor Caswall soon grew tired of the controversy and eventually declared the State of Franklin null and void, and the efforts behind it were declared illegal and Sevier's reputation became that of a political meddler and fugitive, rather than an Indian fighting hero. The Governor's decision resulted in a small battle where the state was recapitulated back to North Carolina and John Sevier was arrested and prosecuted for treason. During his trial, however, a man described in court records as a "Franklinite" burst into the courtroom praising Sevier and his work. With the commotion grabbing all of the attention of those present, John Sevier managed to walk out of the courtroom unseen. No one followed or tried to recapture him. Sevier returned to his home.

When North Carolina decided to cede the territory back to the federal government to avoid post Revolutionary War taxation, the Continental Congress took immediate charge of the region declaring it organized as the Territory South of the Ohio River. Under that title, the region was governed from the Knoxville settlement by appointed territorial Governor William Blount. John Sevier was made a brigadier-general of forces in the territory and went on to become the first Congressman elected to office from the territory.

Although a new territorial constitution and oath were required, those holding office designated by North Carolina kept their posts. John Sevier continued to play a prominent role and eventually moved his family to a farm he named Marble Springs located south of the city of Knoxville. In those days, Knoxville was a wide-open frontier town with brothels and saloons on every corner. It was the gateway city to the west and interior south. Its national influence expanded greatly in the territorial days prior to statehood.

In 1789 as the United States Constitution was being ratified, Sevier now emerged as a Federalist and was elected to the state senate. He was then pardoned and elected to the First Congress where he served from March 4, 1789 to March 3, 1791. As settlement continued to grow in the region, Tennessee began pushing again for statehood. This time Sevier would not be denied and, in 1796, President George Washington signed the official proclamation making Tennessee the first state formed out of federal property. As was expected, Sevier was elected Tennessee's first Governor and would go on to serve six successive terms, serving from 1796 until 1801. He was again elected governor in 1803.

When he left office in 1811, Sevier was elected to Congress and served two complete terms from 1811 to 1815. Following his election to a third term, he took an assignment as a boundary commissioner for the Creeks at Tukabatchee, Alabama. While negotiating with the Creek Indians in Alabama, the battle-hardened frontiersman came down with a sudden fever and on September 24, 1815 the 71-year-old founding father of Tennessee passed away in a tent. His body was buried near the village where he died. News of his death was reported in newspapers across the nation. Tennesseans returned to the Alabama village and exhumed the body of their beloved leader. He was returned to Knoxville and his body interred on the lawn of the Old Knoxville Courthouse.


There is unfortunately little information on John Sevier's personal life. No one definitive book has ever been written on his life, but his professional life was recorded in numerous government documents and through the writings of other pioneers who worked with him. History textbooks rarely mention his efforts, Governor John Sevier was, however, honored in numerous ways throughout the state he fought so hard to found.

While much has been made through the years regarding John Sevier's attacks against the Cherokee and other Native American tribes, there was always a love-hate relationship between the tribal warriors and men like John Sevier. The warrior castes of the Native American tribes were still politically powerful in tribal governments and often overruled other Councils. It was as much a profession in their world as it was in the European governments. In colonial campaigns, there were no quarters given by either the Indians or the settlers. Numerous journals and diaries of the day as well as recollections from the ancient legends of the Cherokee and other southeastern tribes note how each burned the other's villages and homes on a regular basis. While it is sometimes a bloody study of the past, both sides were capable of great destruction and often proved it. On record, Sevier is credited with commanding every major Indian campaign in the Tennessee territory that aided America in keeping the British influence from igniting Native American sentiments during the Revolution. Officially he is recognized as winning 35 battles against Native American forces. Although finally defeated by Sevier, the Cherokee warrior-chief Dragging Canoe went on to rise to prominence among his people and is still regarded as one of the Cherokee's greatest warriors. His work in helping to establish the Chickamauga settlement is well noted as Chickamauga would later come to be known as the City of Chattanooga.

Sevier's actions and those of his men at the Revolutionary Battle of Kings Mountain would go on to be recognized as a brilliant victory that marked the turning point of the American Revolution in the South. In his company of militia were battle-hardened frontiersmen who would go on to become the Who's Who of early frontier America. Their campaigns against the Native American tribes had been an excellent teacher and that experience honed them into a fighting force capable of beating the best army in the world at the time.

Sevier was also an able politician of his day and a player on the national stage. His greatest accomplishment was unknowingly the ill-fated attempt to create the State of Franklin. What appears to be Sevier's greatest failure as a leader would become America's most thought-provoking success. The battles, controversies, and court battles that ensued led to action in the Continental Congress. They decided that the only way to avoid another such battle was to create laws and population standards that would permit other regions to apply for statehood in the nation, which allowed a young America to expand its borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.

In 1996 during Tennessee's Bicentennial year, a special ceremony was held at the John Sevier statue in the United States Capitol building to commemorate Tennessee’s founding father. A bust of him also sits in Nashville and Sevier County was named in honor of the first Tennessean.

The State's official proclamation of statehood signed by President George Washington is now under glass in the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville as are numerous artifacts from Sevier's life and service to America and Tennessee. In Greeneville, a state historical marker and the original log capitol of the State of Franklin mark the period in Tennessee history long romanticized by historians where the region formed into an American state. Although Tennessee was the first federal territory outside of the colonies to enter America, It wasn't until years later that its star was included on the American flag and Tennessee officially declared the 16th state.

"There are a lot of myths and legends about Sevier," said one state historian. "He is often portrayed as an illiterate backwoods frontiersmen, but he was remarkably intelligent and a first rate military field commander. He often discussed issues of the day with people who would go on to become icons of American history. While he is put down a lot of times for his engagements against hostile Indians, the Native American tribes Sevier often fought were not helpless. Britain had supplied their warriors with firearms, powder, and ammunition. In many cases, they were better shots than Sevier's own men. Sevier's experience as a woodsman and his natural ability to lead was what aided him in a crisis. In order to be good in those days, you had to crawl alongside your men and lead them just as much by example as you did by barking orders."

Sevier's second wife is also reported to have had an impact on early settlement in Tennessee. She was said to be as colorful as her husband and as courageous under fire. In the rough-and-tumble backwoods of a wide-open town like Knoxville was in those days, she managed to carve out a respectable social culture in the city among its families who would eventually become leading members of the community. In fact, the Knoxville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is named the Bonny Kate Sevier Chapter in honor of Tennessee's first First Lady and her contributions to early life in Knoxville.

The Marble Springs Plantation owned by John Sevier is now a state historic site on Chapman Highway in Knoxville. It is open from 8 a.m. to sunset and features numerous activities throughout the year for families and reenactors. Its living history exhibits are considered some of the best in Tennessee and attracts thousands of tourists to the site each year. The facility also features an on-site interpretive center and includes the home and outbuildings common to the era.


Image Gallery
  1. 1.0 1.1 John Sevier, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

    John Sevier was born in Rockingham County, Virginia near the town of New Market to the Huguenot branch of the French Xavier family that included as a distant relative Saint Francis Xavier.

  2. John Perry Alderman. Carroll 1765-1815: The Settlements. (Alderman Books, Second Printing, Copyrighted 1985)

    General John Sevier of Kings Mountain, first Governor of the State of Tennessee

  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Brøderbund Software, Inc. World Family Tree Vol. 17, Ed. 1. (Release date: December 11, 1997)
    Tree #0898.

    Date of Import: Aug 23, 1998

  4.   Governor John Sevier, in Thomas M. Owen's Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama at the Alabama Department of Archives and History.

    SEVIER, GOVERNOR JOHN. "This hero of the Revolution, whose life was a romance, was not one of the pioneer settlers of Alabama. He died in this State and his remains lay buried here for seventy-three years 'without a stone to mark the place of their repose or an enclosure to protect them from unhallowed intrusion.' In 1888 his body was removed by the State of Tennessee and laid to rest beneath the sod of the State he had loved and served so faithfully. He is now buried in Knoxville, and the State has erected a stately monument as a memorial of her everlasting though tardy gratitude to her honored son.

    "Valentine Xavier, the father of John Sevier, was a descendant from an ancient Huguenot family in Navarre; he was born in London and emigrated to America about 1740; settled on the Shenandoah, Virginia; removed to Watauga, N.C., and finally settled on the Nolachucka, at Plum Grove. —See Pioneer Women of the West.

    "John Sevier was born in Rockingham Co., Va., 23rd of September, 1745, and was educated at the academy in Fredericksburg. He was married at the early age of seventeen to Sarah Hawkins; soon afterwards he founded Newmarket, in the valley of the Shenandoah; he became at once celebrated as an Indian fighter, and was made captain of the Virginia line in 1772. That spring (1772) he removed to Watauga, now Tennessee, served in Lord Dunmore's war and was in the battle of Point Pleasant, 1774. 'His work began at the dawn of the Revolution and lasted to the end.' It is said he was in thirty battles. His wife's health was delicate and she never removed from Virginia, but died in 1779, leaving him ten children. In 1780, he married Catharine Sherrill, daughter of Samuel Sherrill of North Carolina, who was one of the pioneers in the valley of the Watauga. She was beautiful, tall, strong and courageous as became the wife of John Sevier. She always boasted that the first work she did after she was married was to spin and weave and make the suits of clothes which her husband and his three sons wore in the memorable battle of King's Mountain. She became the mother of eight children, three sons and five daughters. After the battle of King's Mountain, John Sevier received a vote of thanks and a present of a sword and pistol from the North Carolina legislature. A fellow soldier said of his appearance during the battle: 'His eyes were flames of fire, and his words were electric bolts crashing down the ranks of the enemy.'

    "He was elected governor of the State of Franklin in 1784; but, as this State was not long allowed existence, Sevier was captured and imprisoned because of alleged disloyalty. However, he was rescued and soon made his escape. That section of country was then given the name by the United States government of 'Territory south of the river Ohio,' and he was made brigadier-general of this section in 1789. He was the first delegate sent to represent the Territory in Congress in 1790. During all this time he was incessantly and successfully engaged in defending the settlements from the Indians until their spirit was broken and peace was fully established. No man was ever more feared or respected by them, and as for the white people of the settlements, they loved him as a father, friend and protector. When the State of Tennessee was established, he was elected the first governor in 1796, and served three terms. In 1815, in spite of his age and infirmities, he was appointed by President Monroe to act as United States commissioner to settle the boundary line between Georgia and the Creek territory in Alabama. He died while engaged in this work, September 24th, 1815. He was attended during his illness by only a few soldiers and Indians. He was buried near Fort Decatur, Alabama, on the east side of the Tallapoosa River, at an Indian village called Tuckabatchee, with the honors of war by the troops under command of Capt. Walker, United States Army. He was in the active service of his country from a boy of eighteen until he died at the age of seventy." Mrs. P. H. Mell in Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society, vol. iv, pp. 565-566.

  5.   John Sevier (1745-1815), in "Dead Politicians Whose Graves Were Moved" hosted by The Political Graveyard.

    The following data is from "Dead Politicians Whose Graves Were Moved" hosted by The Political Graveyard, a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries, and is claimed to be the Internet's most comprehensive source for American political biography, listing 192,291 politicians, living and dead.

    John Sevier (1745-1815): Granduncle of Ambrose Hundley Sevier. Born near Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Va., September 23, 1745. Democrat. State court judge, 1777; U.S. Representative from North Carolina at-large, 1790-91; Governor of Tennessee, 1796-1801, 1803-09; member of Tennessee state senate, 1810; U.S. Representative from Tennessee at-large, 1811-15; died in office 1815. Died September 24, 1815. Original interment in unknown location; reinterment in 1889 at Knox County Courthouse Grounds, Knoxville, Tenn.

  6.   John Sevier, appointment, in Tennessee the Volunteer State 1769—1923: Volume 1, ORGANIZATION OF THE SOUTHWEST TERRITORY.

    Under this ordinance President Washington, on June 8, 1790, appointed William Blount,1 governor and superintendent of Indian affairs; Daniel Smith, secretary of the territory; David Campbell, Joseph Anderson, and John McNairy,2 judges; John Sevier, brigadier-general for Washington District; and James Robertson, brigadier-general for Mero District. The governor was authorized to appoint all officers below the grade of brigadier general.

  7.   John Sevier, Governor, in Messages of the Governors of Tennessee, 1796--1821. Volume One. Robert H. White, Ph.D. 1952 The Tennessee Historical Commission, Nashville
    pp. 88-90, 18 December 1798.

    December 18, 1798 address to the Tennessee Legislature

    Mr. Speaker & Gentlemen of the Senate and Mr. Speaker & Gent of the House of Representatives

    Information various ways, have come forward to the Executive, that a number of persons, citizens of the State hath been lately arrested, and is now held in custody under military guard, & it is said are to be conveyed to Nashville, in order that they may undergo an examination before the district judge.

    What these unfortunate men have been guilty of, to deserve so much fatigue, trouble & expense (to say nothing of punishment) deserves mature and deliberate enquiry, and well worth the attention of the Legislature I am informed they are charged with the crime of hunting on lands claimed by the Cherokees, and how just the claim of that nation may be to the lands lying within our charter limits I leave you to judge of, taking a view of the statement lately made by our agents, who attended the late treaty.

    If every poor man, who from mere want and necessity (the first law of nature) that happens to kill a deer or bear on the land falsely claimed by the Cherokees, & which land is lying in the very centre of our State boundary, is to be punished by fine, imprisonment, &c. unhappy & critical must be the situation of the unfortunate people who are settled on the verge of the land claimed by those Indians & not them alone, but the peaceable travellers going into the district of Mero, travelling thro' the wilderness, who often lose their horses, & are authorized to go armed in pursuit of their property, which is often stolen by those Indians, and it is also necessary for their own safety & protection at all times to be armed in a country haunted by a set of faithless savages, & further a wilderness that affords no sustenance, but the wild game of the woods, and many poor families moving thro' the same, by means of high waters, the badness of the weather, and other unforeseen accidents, become destitute, & run out of provisions, are compelled from the very calls of nature to relieve themselves, the mother of infants, to have recourse, as a last resource, to hunting, in order to procure a subsistence necessary to the preservation of their lives; this last description tho' entirely innocent, may likely be construed to be invaders of Indian territory. Many of the frontier inhabitants, in the hour of our greatest distress, in the revolutionary war, paid their money to the State of North Carolina, whose right was not then questioned (except by the enemies of America) for the lands now said to belong to this banditti of Indians, and have long since obtained their grants in that legal & solemn form, that every other citizen has done, throughout both the States of North Carolina & Tennessee.

    I beg leave to call your attention to the premises, & in behalf of the citizens of the State request, you will, in your wisdom, either by remonstrance, or such other mode, as you may think proper to adopt, state & lay before the general government the evils that highly threaten the quiet of a great number of the citizens of the State; and also, if you should deem it necessary, take measures to prevent the encroachments of the Indians, & prevent their hunting on lands not their own, and perhaps, by laying a similar prohibition on their hunters, will in some measure serve to prevent unpleasant disputes that will inevitably otherways take place.

    It is time for this government to assert her just rights & claim of domain of country included in her chartered limits, & and make no doubt that the general government will, if the matter be fairly & justly stated, render ample and complete redress.

    I have the honor to be

    Your obedt servt

    John Sevier


    * Senate Journal, 1798, 313-315

  8.   John Sevier, in Toomey, Michael. John Sevier (1745-1815). North Carolina History Project Encyclopedia. (John Locke Foundation, 2010).
  9.   John Sevier, in Heidler, David S. (David Stephen), and Jeanne T. Heidler. Encyclopedia of the War of 1812. (Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 1997)
    467-469, 1997.
    Sources used in the John Sevier article in the Encyclopedia of the War of 1812
  10.   General John Sevier, in Biographical Directory of the American Congress.

    "JOHN SEVIER, a Representative from North Carolina and from Tennessee; born near Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Virginia, September 23, 1745; attended the common schools and the academy at Fredericksburg, Virginia; moved with his brothers in 1773 and settled on the Holston River, North Carolina (now Tennessee); captain of Colonial Militia under Washington in Governor Dunmore's war against the Indians in 1773 and 1774; county clerk and district judge 1777-1789; received the thanks fo the North Carolina Legislature for meritorious services at the Battle of King's Mountain October 7, 1780; elected Governor of "the proclaimed" State of Franklin in March 1785 and served for three years; elected as a Democrat from North Carolina to the First Congress (March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791); appointed in 1791 as brigadier general of militia for the Washington District of the Territory South of the Ohio; upon the admission of Tennessee as a State into the Union was chosen Governor and served from 1796 to 1801; and again from 1803 to 1809; appointed in 1798 as brigadier general of the Provisional Army; elected from Tennessee to the Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Congresses and served from March 4, 1811, until his death; appointed in 1815 asw one of the commissioners to determine the boundary between Georgia and the Creek territory in Alabama and served until his death, near Fort Decatur, Alabama, September 24, 1815; interment at Fort Decatur, Alabama; reinterment in 1889 in the courtyard at Knoxville, Tennessee, beneath a monument erected in his honor."

    General John Sevier
    Born, September 23, 1745
    Died September 24, 1815

  11.   Descendancy Claims

    Miss Elsie Alden Mcelrath.
    *DAR ID Number: 19039
    *Born in Oakland, California.
    *Descendant of Brig. Gen. John Sevier, Maj. John McDowell, Lieut. Elisha Alden and David McElrath.
    *Daughter of John Edgar McElrath and Elsie Ann Alden, his wife.
    *Granddaughter of Hugh McDowell McElrath and Elizabeth Lowry Morgan, his wife; Solomon Ellsworth Alden and Ann Edwards Cornwall, his wife.
    *Gr.-granddaughter of John McElrath and Eliza McDowell (1792-1846), his wife; Col. Gideon Morgan and Margaret Sevier, his wife; Darius Alden and Marilda Ellsworth, his wife.
    *Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of David McElrath and —Averhart, his wife; John McDowell and Hannah Keller, his wife (m. 1775; d. 1832); Joseph Sevier and Elizabeth Lowry, his wife; Elisha Alden and Irene Markham, his wife (1742-1830).
    *Gr.-gr.-gr.-granddaughter of John Sevier and Catharine Sherrill, his and wife.
    *John Sevier, (1745-1815), the hero of many battles, was presented with a sword by the legislature of North Carolina for gallantry at King's Mountain. A monument is erected in his honor in Nashville and a county is named for him in Tennessee.
    *Also Nos. 85, 914, 2212, 3285, 5148, 6654, 8276, 9378, 12569, 13952, 18966.
    *John McDowell, (1751-1822), served at King's Mountain with his brothers, Joseph and Charles. He is buried on the home place in Burke Co., N. C.
    *Elisha Alden, (1745-1826), served in 1777 under Capt. Amos Ellis and Col. Benjamin Hawes in the Massachusetts militia. He was born in Stafford county, Mass.
    *Also No. 18312.

    The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 35 DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. page 166

    Mrs. Bertha Mcelrath Bakewell.
    *DAR ID Number: 34470
    *Born in Oakland, California.
    *Wife of Benjamin Bakewell, M. D.
    *Descendant of Brig. Gen. John Sevier.
    *Daughter of John Edgar McElrath and Elsie Ann Alden, his wife.
    *Granddaughter of Hugh McDowell McElrath and Elizabeth Lowry Morgan, his wife.
    *Gr.-granddaughter of Col. Gideon Morgan and Margaret Sevier, his wife.
    *Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Joseph Sevier and Elizabeth Lowry, his wife.
    *Gr.-gr.-gr.-granddaughter of John Sevier and Catherine Sherrill (1755-1836), his second wife.
    *John Sevier, (1745-1815), was a leader in the border warfare and the hero of thirty battles.
    *Also Nos. 914, 2212, 3285, 5148, 6654, 8276, 9378, 12569, 13952, 18966, 19039, 20225, 23317, 25149, 30564, 31901, 33955.

    The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 90 DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION page 44
    Mrs. Ellen Mcelrath Morris.
    *DAR ID Number: 89140
    *Born in Monroe County, Tenn.
    *Wife of James C. Morris.
    *Descendant of Brig.-Gen. John Sevier, and of Maj. John McDowell, as follows:
    *1. Hugh McDowell McElrath (1815-63) m. 1841 Elizabeth Lowry (Morgan) (1821-1902).
    *2. John McElrath m. Elizabeth McDowell; Gideon Morgan m. Margaret Sevier.
    *3. John McDowell m. 1775 Hannah Keller (d. 1832); John Sevier m. 2nd Catharine Sherrill.
    *John Sevier (1745-1815) served as colonel and as brigadier-general in the border warfare with the Indians during the Revolution. He was born in Augusta County, Va.; died in Georgia.
    *Also Nos. 74064, 78277.
    *John McDowell (1751-1822) was major in North Carolina Line and served at the battle of Kings Mountain, 1780. He was born in Winchester County, Va.; died in Burke County, N. C.

    Mrs. Sarah Swope Wyly Billing.
    *DAR ID Number: 23317
    *Born in Jacksonville, Alabama.
    *Wife of Fay McCulloch Billing.
    *Descendant of Capt. Peter Forney, Gov. John Sevier and Col. Benjamin Cleaveland.
    *[p.112] Daughter of John McGehee Wyly and Catherine Amelia Forney, his wife.
    *Granddaughter of Benjamin C. Wyly and Anne McGehee, his wife; Jacob Forney and Sarah Hohe, his wife.
    *Gr.-granddaughter of James Rutherford Wyly and Sarah Hawkins Clark, his wife; Peter Forney and Nancy Abernathy, his wife, m. 1783.
    *Gr.-gr.-granddaughter of James Wyly and Jemima Cleaveland, his wife; William Clark and Elizabeth Sevier, his wife.
    *Gr.-gr.-gr.-granddaughter of Benjamin Cleaveland and Mary Graves, his wife; John Sevier and Sarah Hawkins, his wife.
    *Peter Forney, (1756-1839), served as lieutenant of volunteers, 1777, as captain at Charleston, and 1781, commanded a company of dragoons that marched to the relief of Wilmington. He was born near Lincoln, N. C., where he died.
    *Also Nos. 6437, 7659.
    *John Sevier, (1745-1815), was a leader in the border warfare and the hero of thirty-five battles. He was born in Shenandoah, Va., died in Decatur, Ala., and a monument has been erected in his memory at Nashville, Tenn.
    *Benjamin Cleaveland, (1738-1806), served in the militia and the House of Commons, of North Carolina. He won distinction at Kings Mountain and served to the close of the war.
    *Also Nos. 914, 2212, 3285, 5148, 6654, 8276, 9378, 12569, 13952, 18966, 19039, 20225.

    Mrs. Nannie Belle Dunbar Kanning.
    *DAR ID Number: 94045
    *Born in Port Gibson, Miss.
    *Wife of Charles F. Kanning.
    *Descendant of Col. John Sevier, as follows:
    *1. Robert J. Dunbar (b. 1866) m. 1860 Mary Kate Sevier (1836-87).
    *2. Dr. George W. Sevier (1812-75) m. 1835 Sarah Knox (1809-96).
    *3. George W. Sevier m. Catherine Chambers.
    *4. John Sevier m. 2nd 1780 Catherine Sherrill (1758-1840).
    *John Sevier (1745-1815) was colonel in the North Carolina Line and served at the battle of Kings Mountain, 1780. He was born in Winchester County; died in Burke County, N. C.
    *Also No. 91002.

    Mrs. Sadie Knox Harris Sager.
    *DAR ID Number: 105278
    *Born in Fulton, Mo.
    *Wife of G. H. Sager.
    *Descendant of Col. John Sevier, as follows:
    *1. Adolphus W. Harris (1842-1907) m. 1879 Jennie V. Sevier (1841-1909).
    *2. George Washington Sevier (1812-75) m. 1835 Sarah Knox (1809-91).
    *3. George W. Sevier (1782-1846) m. 1807 Catharine Chamber (1787-1840).
    *4. John Sevier m. 2nd 1780 Catharine Sherrill (1754-1836).
    *John Sevier (1745-1815) was a leader in the border warfare and the hero of thirty battles. He died on duty in Alabama. In 1890, his remains were taken to Knoxville and a monument was erected [p.91] to his memory by an appreciative people. He was born in Rockingham County, Va.
    *Also No. 103086.