Person:Nathaniel Cowan (1)

Nathaniel Cowan, Merchant of Knoxville
b.est. 1762-1767
  • F.  Cowan (add)
  1. James Cowan1761 - 1801
  2. Nathaniel Cowan, Merchant of KnoxvilleEst 1762 to 1767 -
  3. Samuel Cowan, Merchant of KnoxvilleAbt 1769 - Abt 1802
Facts and Events
Name Nathaniel Cowan, Merchant of Knoxville
Unknown Nathaniel Cowan, Merchant of Knoxville
Gender Male
Birth? est. 1762-1767


Smoky Mountain Cowan Tapestry
Cowan Tapestry
Cowan Links

The Tapestry
Families Old Chester Old Augusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies


Person:Samuel Cowan (18)
Person:James Cowan (35)
YDNA. Cowan Groups
YDNA. Knoxville Merchant Cowan Group


From: Heiskell, 1919. Andrew Jackson and the early history of Tennessee, by SG Heiskell, citing

"Hugh Dunlap upon the founding of Knoxville, of which the following is a part, the letter being too long to quote in full:"

"Paris, Tenn., January 19, 1842....

At the treaty of Holston, in 1791, there were no houses except shantees put up for the occasion to hold Government stores. General James White lived in the neighborhood and had a blockhouse to guard his family. At the treaty of the Holston they used river water entirely, until Trooper Armstrong discovered the spring to the right of the street leading from the courthouse to what is now called 'Hardscrabble.' He at that time requested General White, in a jest, to let him have the lot including the spring when a town was laid off; and when the town was laid off the general preserved the lot and made him a deed to it — these facts were told me by General White himself, for I Was not present at the treaty. I left Philadelphia, with my goods, in December, 1791, and did not reach Knoxville until about the first of February, 1792. I deposited my goods and kept store in the house used by the Government at the treaty, although I believe that the treaty itself was made in the open air. At the time I reached Knoxville, Samuel and Nathaniel Cowan had goods there. John Chisholm kept a house of entertainment, and a man named McLemee was living there. These men, with their families, constituted the inhabitants of Knoxville, when I went there. Governor Blount lived on Barbary Hill, a knoll below College Hill, and between it and the river.

  1.   Rothrock, Mary Utopia, and East Tennessee Historical Society. Knox County History Committee. The French Broad Holston country, a history of Knox County, Tennessee. (Knoxville, Tennessee: East Tennessee Historical Society, 1946, c1972)
    pg. 113.

    Through the adversisements appearing in the Gazette, an idea may be had of the reading matter, in addition to the Gazette itself, which was available to early Knoxvillians. The first mention of books for sale is in the advertisement of Natahniel and Samuel Cowan on August 11, 1792. Their offerings include dress goods, knives, medicine, hair oil, groceries, Harvey's Meditations, Wilson's Works, Bibles, Testaments, spelling books, hymn books, primers, Philadelphia Harmony, Buchan's Family Physician, along "with a great variety of other articles, too tedious to enumerate - which they will sell on the most reasonable terms for Skins, Furs, Beeswax and Flax".