Person:Samuel Cowan (18)

Samuel Cowan, Merchant of Knoxville
d.Abt 1802 Tennessee
  • 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
m. 22 Apr 1794
  1. William Cowen
  2. Mary Purnell Cowen
Facts and Events
Name Samuel Cowan, Merchant of Knoxville
Alt Name Samuel Cowan, Merchant of Knoxville
Gender Male
Birth[1] Abt 1769 prob. Augusta County, Virginia
Marriage 22 Apr 1794 Washington, Tennessee, United Statesto Jane Glascow Montgomery
Death[1] Abt 1802 Tennessee


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:Nathaniel Cowan (1)
Person:James Cowan (35)
YDNA. Cowan Groups
YDNA. Knoxville Merchant Cowan Group

Records of Samuel Cowan

  • Nathaniel Cowan vs. David Campbell & wife Jean, widow of Saml. Cowan, and Wm. M. & Polly P. Cowan, heirs of Saml Cowan; final hearing to determine substance of complaintants bill; Nathl & Saml. were business partners & merchants; bought several lots in Knoxville with joint funds: Lots 1, 2, 16, & 44 in lst Div.; Lots 1 & 16 were improved with houses; Lots1, 2, & 16 conveyed to Saml; Lot 44 to Nathl; actually should be owned jointly. Prior to death of Saml. they dissolved partnership by mutual consent; in dissolving Lots 2 & 16 were assigned to Saml; 1 & 44 to Nathl. At that time, Knoxville hadn't been marked with precision, lines of division on 1 & 16 assigned as best suited buildings on each. Saml. took over 2 & 16; didn't interfere with 1 & 44; Nathl did same. No deeds of partition ever executed. Saml. died 1801; widow married David Campbell, who was guardian of children; he refused to execute deed for Lots 1 & 44; Complaintant asks that they be divested of all rights to Lots 1 & 44, which should be given to Nathl. The heirs were given the right to contest when they reached 21; 31 May 1819; reg. 26 Oct 1820. [source: Knox County Deed Book R, Vol. 1, p. 461].


From "Tennessee Cousins", by Worth S. Ray, pg. 247:

Judge David Campbell established his home on the North Balk of the Little Tennessee river near the present town of Lenoir, which he sold to William Ballard Lenoir of North Carolina, who permanently settled at that point, where his descendants continued to reside, & Judge Campbell moved to Rhead County. On the death of his first wife, Judge Campbell married Jane Montgomery, who was married to Samuel Cowan in Hawkins County & whose first husband moved to Knox County and Knoxville where he was a prominent merchant.

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.

From Wikipedia:Gay Street (Knoxville) April 2011:

The intersection of Gay and Main was the focal point of late 18th century Knoxville, with the courthouse initially located at its northwest corner and the jail located at its southeast corner. Knoxville's first store, established in 1792 by brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Cowan, was located on the northeast corner of this intersection, and the city's first major hotel (now part of the Bijou) was built on the southwest corner in 1817.
  1. 1.0 1.1 FamilySearch: Unidentified database - please replace source when identified.
  2.   Worth S. Ray. Tennessee Cousins: A History of Tennessee People. (Various - printed 1950, 1968, 1980 (Genealogical Pub. Co.))
    pg. 77.

    In the "Knoxville Gazette", May 8th 1794:
    Married in Hawkins County, lately:
    Samuel Cowan, a merchant of this County, to Miss Jane Montgomery, of Salisbury, North Carolina.