|The "Lesser Franklin"|
by David H. Templin
The Territory South of the French Broad, or the "Lesser Franklin" as it has been called, holds a unique and interesting place in the history of the early Tennessee frontier. Because of the scarcity of original records from this period and the turmoil of the times, much of its early history has been lost to us, and much more can be only dimly perceived.
To fully appreciate and understand the story of the area's settlement and its role in the forming of the State of Franklin and early Tennessee, it is helpful to have a knowledge of its history and of its location and boundaries.
It was, roughly, comprised of the land between the French Broad River and what is now North Carolina. It was bounded on the north by the Big Pigeon River and its lower boundary was the Little Tennessee River. It encompassed parts of the present day counties of Sevier, Blount, Cocke, Jefferson and Knox.
A branch of the Great Indian War Path traversed the length of the territory. Coming down through Botetourt County, Virginia, the War Path passed within nine miles southwest of Rogersville; then the Nolichucky River to Long Creek in present day Jefferson County, then to the head of Dumplin Creek. It crossed the French Broad River near Buckingham Island (Sevier County), where it divided. One branch went up the West Fork of the Little Pigeon River and crossed by Piney Mountain to reach the Overhill towns of the Cherokees. The main fork followed Boyd's Creek to its source; descended the valley of Elijoy Creek; crossed Little River and went by the present day town of Maryville to the mouth of the Tellico River. It passed through the Indian towns of Tellico, Chota and Hiwassee to Coosa where it connected with the Great War Path of the Creeks.
Early white immigrants, many of them Virginians, followed this route into upper East Tennessee. From the settlements there, they gradually moved down to settle the French Broad area. Col. Christian and his men followed the War Path in their campaign against the Indian towns in 1776. John Sevier and his militiamen also followed this route to meet the Indians at the Battle of Boyd's Creek (Sevier County.) From here they continued their march to lay waste to the Indian towns on the Little Tennessee River and on into northern Georgia. As they made their way home, many of them caught their first glimpse of the fertile land located south of the French Broad River. Many of them later returned to claim choice land and home sites first viewed during these campaigns.
In the beginning, all of what is now Tennessee was known as Washington County, North Carolina. Sullivan County was created from Washington County in 1779. In 1783 Washington County was again divided and the area we refer to as the Territory South of the French Broad, fell into the new county of Greene.
The Avery Treaty with the Cherokees in 1777 placed the boundary line to Indian territory north of present day Greeneville, with the land below designated as Indian hunting grounds. By a 1783 North Carolina act, the land south of the Tennessee and Holston Rivers and south of the French Broad to the mouth of the Big Pigeon was reserved for the Cherokees. This act also declared settlement on these lands illegal and demanded a penalty to be paid by anyone surveying or entering these lands. In violation of her own laws, however, North Carolina took payment for and made grants for land located within the Indian hunting lands.
From the beginnings of the settlements in upper East Tennessee Indian attacks had been numerous and severe. Though a part of the State of North Carolina, the settlers found they could not rely on their government for protection. They were ultimately responsible for their own safety. Only by their own courage and the leadership of men such as John Sevier were they able to keep the Indians at bay.
In an attempt to lessen her share of the financial burden of the Revolutionary War debt, North Carolina voted in April, 1784 to cede her western lands to the federal government, which had the period of one year to either accept or refuse.
Isolated by the rugged mountains, their interests and problems ignored by the parent state, the settlers felt much like political orphans. They, whose very lives and fortunes were being affected, had little say in their own destiny. Having little in common with their fellow citizens across the rugged mountains, consideration had already been given to the possibility of forming a new state in the western area. The cession act trough all the dissatisfaction to a head.
Perhaps the settlers took seriously the sentiments expressed in the debate over the the cession act when it was declared in the North Carolina Assembly that, "The inhabitants of the western country are the off-scourings of the earth, fugitives from justice and we will be rid of them at any rate."
Elected representatives, two from each captain's company, met in Jonesboro. From this convention the State of Franklin was formed. One representative declared that the reasons and conditions prompting the State of Franklin to declare her independence from North Carolina were the same as those behind the Declaration of Independence.
John Sevier was elected as Governor, with a term to expire March 1, 1788. The March, 1785, Assembly made provisions for education, taxes, militia, courts, a state seal and the establishment of counties. The North Carolina county of. Sullivan and a part of Greene was made into Spencer County. Wayne County took in present day Carter and Johnson Counties. Greene County was further divided to form Greene County and Caswell County (present day Jefferson County and westward.) The new county of Sevier covered the area now occupied Sevier County and a part of Blount County. It is entirely my own opinion, but it is possible that Sevier County embraced the entire Territory South of the French Broad. If this was the case, the portion of present day Cocke County that lies below the Big Pigeon River would have been in Sevier County, State of Franklin. This is only speculation, but we do know that after the fall of Franklin, the inhabitants south of the French Broad, acting as a whole, formed their own emergency government and described the boundaries as "south of Holston, French Broad and Big Pigeon Rivers." Samuel Wear was appointed as the first clerk of court for Sevier County. The first county court was held at Newell's Station, near the head of Boyd's Creek.
In late 1784, North Carolina. voted to repeal the cession act. This induced a few people to return their allegiance to the parent state, but the die had been cast, and sentiment remained strong for the new state.
The Treaty of Dumplin was an attempt to correct the situation of the settlers living on Indian lands south of the French Broad River and to open the area for further settlement. This treaty between the State of Franklin and the Cherokees was held at the home of Major Hugh Henry on Dumplin Creek in Sevier County. Under the terms of the treaty, signed 10 June 1785, all lands south of the French Broad and Holston Rivers were ceded to the State of Franklin. The Indian boundary was moved as far down as the ridge dividing the waters of little River from those of the Tennessee River.
In late 1786 the State of Franklin opened an entry takers office for the Territory South of the French Broad, and proceeded to issue grants. The land was sold for 40 shillings per 100 acres, 10 to be paid at time of purchase, with two years to pay the remaining 30.
Some historians place 1783 as the earliest date of settlement south of the French Broad. Others say the land wasn't settled until after the Treaty of Dumplin. But there is a good deal of evidence to indicate that white men were living there at least as early as 1781. Many references to illegal settlements south of the French Broad can be found in the records of the time.
John Sevier, in a talk to the Cherokees 28 July 1781, said, "I understand some (?) of our people are making corn over where the line is supposed to run. I have to ask of you not to disturb them this year. In the winter the beloved men of North Carolina. will meet you here and talk to you about (?) lands .... and do what is right and just with you. Their making this crop will not injure the land. We will desire the people to make no more new settlements until the beloved men of North Carolina meet them next winter."
In February, 1782, Gov. Alexander Martin of Virginia, wrote to John Sevier, urging him to use his influence and that failing, force, to remove the settlers from beyond the Indian boundary. He wrote, "I am distressed with the repeated complaints of the Indians respecting the daily intrusions of our people on their lands beyond the French Broad River. I beg you, sir to prevent the injuries these savages justly complain of, who are constantly imploring the protection of the state and appealing to its justice in vain. By interposing your influence on these, our unruly citizens, I think will have sufficient weight, without going into extremities disgraceful to them and disagreeable to the state. You will, therefore, please to warn these intruders off the lands reserved for the Indians by the late act of the Assembly, that they remove immediately, at least by the middle of March, otherwise, they will be drove off. If you find them still refractory at the above time, you will draw forth a body of your militia on horseback, and pull down their cabins, and drive them off, laying aside every consideration of their entreaties to the contrary."
Though subsequent letters echo this order, there is no indication John Sevier ever complied with it. At Chota in September, 1782, Old Tassel, speaking to Indian agent Joseph Martin, said, "Your people from Nollichucky are daily pushing us out of our lands. We have no place to hunt-on. Your people have built houses within one day's walk of our towns."
The settlers continued their encroachments further into the Indian hunting lands, and poor Old Tassel continued to complain, for in September, 1785, he was asking "that all disorderly people should be moved off our lands; the longer we want to see it done, the farther it seems off. Your people have built houses in sight of our towns."
Who were these "disorderly people" whose desire for the land caused such controversy? In general, we can say most of them had Virginia roots, with a lesser number, North Carolinians. They had been active in the earlier settlements in what is now East Tennessee, and had defended their homes and families there against Indian attempts to drive them tack into Virginia. They were experienced in Indian warfare, having fought with Shelby, Christian and Sevier. They must have been a hardy, determined people to even consider settling on land that was not only a complete wilderness, but legally belonged to the Indians. They must have been possessed of extraordinary courage and fortitude to have remained on the land despite the best efforts of the Indians, the State of North Carolina and the United States government to force them off.
A Mr. Lenoir, speaking before the Assembly of North Carolina in 1789 asked relief for the settlers. He stated that when the 1783 North Carolina act was passed reserving the land, south of the French Broad as Indian hunting lands and declaring settlement there illegal, about 100 families were already living there.
Of those 100 families, only two can be identified -- Samuel Wear and a Wilson (possibly Joseph.) From the Revolutionary War pension application of John Wear, brother to Colonel Samuel Wear, we know that as early as January, 1782, Col. Wear and Mr. Wilson were living south of the French Broad in present day Sevier County. John Wear stated that he volunteered under Capt. Moses Moore (his brother-in-law) against the Cherokee Indians in January, 1782, and "rendezvoused where Greeneville now is. We had no Colonel. We marched to Wilson's Station on the east fork of Little Pigeon. He then marched to Wear's Fort on the west fork of Little Pigeon and Colonel Wear commanded them. "We made that our headquarters and scouted through the country in quest of Indians. One
company killed two Indians in Wear's Cove." He was discharged in March, 1782, and enlisted again in April of the same year. "The rendezvous was where Greenville now stands. We marched to said Wear's Fort on the west fork of Little Pigeon. Col. Samuel Wear commanded us after we got to the Fort. We made the fort our headquarters and scouted through the country after Indians. They fled from us."
For Wear's Fort to have been in use in January, 1782, it must have been built at least by late 1781. "Where Greenville now stands" holds special significance, for it implies that Greeneville had not yet been established at the time of the rendezvous in January, 1782. The fact that Greeneville was established one year later, in 1783, lends added weight to John Wear's statement and dates.
Settlement South of the French Broad increased after 1783, but it wasn't until after the 1785 Treaty of Dumplin that large numbers came into the area. For the period 1783-85, individuals are, again, hard to name, but among those believed to have been there are Samuel Newell, Andrew Creswell, William McGauhey, George Ewing and Nathaniel Evans. North of the French Broad during this period in the section that is today Sevier County, were Peter Bryant, James Hubbard, Joshua Gist and Hugh Henry. Family tradition places Isaac Thomas south of the French Broad in what is today Sevierville, soon after 1780. Duggan descendants say Hugh Duggan and his five sons were in Sevier County in 1783.
In November, 1785, a treaty was held under the authority of the Federal Government at Hopewell on the Keowee River in South Carolina. The Treaty of Hopewell ignored the Franklin Treaty of Dumplin and declared the Indian boundary to be so far up into the Franklin territory that their Capital, Greeneville, would have actually been on Indian land. Under the terms of the treaty, "Any settler who fails to remove within six months from the lands guaranteed to the Indians, shall forfeit the protection of the United States and the Cherokees may punish him or not as they please."
If the intent was to frighten the settlers off their lands, they misjudged the courage and tenacity of these people. The threats in the treaty were nothing new to them. They had been fighting the Cherokee for years and the only protection they had ever known was their own. They refused to acknowledge the treaty. Those already established stayed, and new families continued to move into the area.
In 1786 Alexander Outlaw, writing to North Carolina Governor Caswell, said that there were 400 - 500 families living south of the French Broad with the number expected to double that year.
In the summer of 1786, there was a series of Indian attacks. Colonel Alexander Outlaw and Col. James Cosby, with 250 men marched to Coyatee and forced the Cherokee chiefs, The Tassel and Hanging Maw to sign the Treaty of Coyatee in which they agreed to open the land to the north bank of the Tennessee to white settlement.
In 1786 in an effort to re-establish her power over the local governments of Franklin, North Carolina made appointments to the offices in her counties already being held by Franklinites. Thus began a struggle for jurisdiction of the offices and for possession of the local records. For a time two separate political organizations ruled simultaneously. The counties had two sheriffs, one appointed by North Carolina, one by the State of Franklin; two court clerks, etc. Haywood records, "At one time James Sevier, then having the records of the old court under North Carolina, Tipton, in behalf of the court of North Carolina, went to his house and took them away, by force, and delivered them to Gorly. Shortly afterwards the records were retaken by Sevier's party, and James Sevier, the clerk hid them in a cave. In these removals many valuable papers were lost, and at later periods, for want of them, some estates of great value have been lost." Similiar struggles took place throughout Franklin.
John Tipton was an early Franklin supporter, who after the repeal of the cession act, returned his allegiance to North Carolina. He was a force in the attempts of North Carolina to control the courts of the Franklin counties. North Carolina had issed a court order against the property of John Sevier. Tipton, a bitter enemy of
Sevier, confiscated Sevier's slaves and took them to his own farm for safe keeping. Sevier, incensed at what he considered an illegal act, issued a call for militia men to aid him in recapturing his property. He recognized the loyalty of the people south of the French Broad when he wrote to Capt. John Zahaun (Sehorn), "Caswell County, 15 February, 1788. I am informed that the Tipton party have got very insolent and have been guilty of several cruelties and barbarous actions. I have ordered fifteen men of each company, to turn out; and I am well satisfied that the men of Sevier county will turn out bravely." Colonel Wear was one of the loyal Sevier Countians to "turn out bravely" and participate in the siege of Tipton's home. With the arrival of reinforcements for the Tipton forces the siege ended, but not without bloodshed. Tipton's men captured two of John Sevier's sons and Tipton was determined to see them hang. But fortunately, more rational men in his camp persuaded him of the illegality and rashness of the act. Many of the supporters were well known to Sevier and to his men. Men from both sides had fought together against the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain. They had withstood Indian attacks on their forts and had. marched on many an Indian campaign together. Some hard been former Franklin supporters. Having to oppose friends and former comrades in arms must have been a very disheartening experience for John Sevier and for his men. Soon after the siege John Sevier wrote, "I never meaned to spill blood on any occasion to the latest period of my time in office, though unfortunately for some, it has been the case, but contrary to my orders, and their fate I do sincerely lament I have supported the authority of Franklin during my continuance in office; and if the people have not spirit enough to support it further I shall not concern myself more than to secure my person and friends from the hands of ruffians and assassinations. It is my wish that a peace and good order may take place in this country."
Support for the State of Franklin might have been on the wane in the upper settlements, but John Sevier found "spirit enough to support it" aplenty in the loyalty of the inhabitants in the Territory South of the French Broad. The upper, older settlements were now well established, and with the lower settlements south of the French Broad to act as a buffer between them and the Indians, their need for the State of Franklin had lessened. With the expiration of John Sevier's term as governor 1 March 1788, the State of Franklin for all practical purposes came to an end. With the fall of Franklin, these people south of the French Broad were placed in a perilous position. North Carolina did not recognize the Treaty of Dumplin, and they were considered as illegal settlers, encroachers on Indian lands. The State of Franklin had obtained the land from the Indians through the Treaty of Dumplin, and the settlers held their grants and claimed their land only through its authority. The cabins they had built, the forests they had felled, the fields they had plowed, were legally theirs only through the State of Franklin. The Indians had been given leave to "punish them or not as they please." In a last desperate attempt to save their lives and their lands, the French Broad people clung tenaciously to their admired leader, John Sevier, and to the State of Franklin. So great and enduring was their support in the last days that the Territory South of the French Broad has been referred to as "The Lesser Franklin."
Fear of reprisals by John Sevier and his militia had kept the Indians from waging open war against the settlers. But with the lessening influence of John Sevier, and with the divisions and quarrelling among the whites, the Indians saw an opportunity to avenge themselves against the encroachers on their lands.
There were on the frontier, two noted Indian haters, James Hubbard, known as the "Indian slayer," and John Kirk. Hubbard, who lived on the north bank of the French Broad, had lost his family in Virginia to Indian massacre. The Kirk family lived south of the French Broad about 12 miles south of Knoxville, in what is today Blount County. While John Kirk and his eldest son, John, were away from home, an Indian, Slim Tom, came to the Kirk home and asked for food. The family knew him well and gladly fed him. Taking advantage of the fact that the father was away, Slim Tom left, but only to return
with a party of Indians. When John Kirk returned, it was to find the bodies of his wife and children, all horribly massacred by the Indians. From that moment revenge was planted in the heart of the son John Kirk.
When word of the murders spread, Sevier gathered a force of his supporters to raid the Indian towns and to avenge the deaths. They marched down the Little Tennessee River and laid waste to an Indian town there. In Sevier's absence, Hubbard was left in charge. He coaxed Abraham, a friendly Cherokee chief and Old Tassel to come under a flag of truce for a talk with the whites. They came with a number of other Indians and were placed together, unarmed, in a house. Kirk and Hubbard made their way in and while Hubbard stood and watched, Kirk raised his tomahawk time and time again and drove it into the heads of the defenceless Indians. This atrocity was repugnant to all on the frontier, and gave fresh fuel to the enemies of John Sevier, who used the cruelty to smear his name and reputation. But those present, even Kirk and Hubbard, attested to Sevier's absence, and absolved him of all blame.
The deaths of these peaceful Indians was a loss to the whole frontier, white and red man alike. It brought the wrath of the Indians to bear on the settlers south of the French Broad and elsewhere. These people paid dearly for Kirk's rash and cruel act. The frontier became one broad battlefield. As the Indians made one raid after another, the settlers were driven. into forts. James Gilmore wrote, "The travelers today will scarcely come upon a spring, or a ford, or a wooded path among the hills in all that region, which had not, at the time whereof I am writing, been the scene of some savage atrocity, or some heroic exploit of the white settler battling for his home, and the lives of his wife and children. So long as the State of Franklin existed, the conflict had not been so very unequal; but that State was now dissolved, and these settlers --abandoned by North Carolina and outlawed by the General Government -- were left a mere handful of seven hundred to cope with twelve thousand infuriated savages, who now, in overpowering numbers, were said to be moving down upon them. But the settlers were not altogether abandoned, for Nolichucky Jack was hastening to their rescue." And hasten to their rescue he did! John Sevier, by this time, had no official office. He was a private citizen who voluntarily chose to defend the settlements South of the French Broad from Indian attack, just as those who rode with him were volunteers.
John Sevier had written, March, 1788, "What I mean by my friends is, those that have been active in behalf of Franklin. I am determined to share fate equally with those that have stood by me, and live and die together." When he heard that the French Broad settlements were in danger, he hastened to the frontier and made his headquarters there. Historian Samuel Cole Williams related a Sevier County tradition that says Sevier's headquarters for the six months he was on the frontier was the Robertson (Robinson?) farm one-half mile east of the Seymour Railway Station.
Gilmore wrote, "Now for five long months Sevier was every day in the saddle -- sometimes with 40 men, sometimes with four hundred, striking blow after blow, and with every blow totally discomfiting the enemy. Recorded in detail, his exploits in this campaign would fill a volume."
In the North Carolina records is found the following list for the State of Franklin: "1788 - Return of Field Officer for the County of Sevier. Cols. James Naubert, Sam'l. Wear; Majors - James White, Neal McGuire; Return of Justices for County of Sevier Joshua Gist, James White, Sam'l. Newell, Wm. Wallace, Sam'l. Wear, Josiah Leeth, Thomas Gilespy, George Wilcockson, Wm. Doherty, John Toole. Endorsement - Field Officers of Franklin."
Sevier County existed only under the State of Franklin. After its demise, Sevier County was left beyond the jurisdiction of any government. Its inhabitants were there illegally and North Carolina did not recognize its existence. Yet these people had a functioning county government -- courts, militia districts, and a representative in the legislature. Suddenly, they were in a no man's land, encroachers on Indian territory, with no protection from the North Carolina military. The citizens of the area organized into an emergency form of government. They formed a committee to govern the territory and operated under the rules of the Articles of Association. The Articles began, "We the subscribers, inhabiting south of Holston, French Broad and Big Pigeon Rivers, by means of the division and anarchy that has of late prevailed within the chartered limits of North Carolina, west of the Appalachian Mountains, being at present destitute of regular government and laws, and being fully sensible that the blessings of nature can only be obtained and rights secured by regular society and North Carolina not having extended her government to this quarter, it is rendered absolutely necessary, for the prservation of peace and good order, and the security of life, liberty and property to individuals, to enter into the following social compact, as a temporary expedient against greater evils." To summarize, the nine Articles agreed that the Constitution and laws of North Carolina should be adopted and followed. The officers appointed under the State of Franklin, both civil and military, should continue in office. The militia companies were considered as districts, with each district to choose a representative to the General Committee. Vacancies in the military department were to be filled by election. It was feared that, "whereas it is not improbable that many horse thieves and fugitives from justice may come from different parts, expecting an asylum amongst us, as we are destitute of a regular government and laws by which they may be punished, each and every one of us do oblige ourselves to aid and assist the officers of the different state of states, or of the United States, or any description of men sent by them,to apprehend such horse thief or fugitive from justice." Under the Articles, they were to apply to the next session of North Carolina to receive them into their protection and "bestow upon us the blessings of government." The Articles were to be a temporary form of government, operating only until North Carolina, would agree to receive them into her protection and "no longer." It is believed that Newell's Station continued to be the seat of government. North Carolina never took these people under her protection. In 1792, this area was included i.^. the newly formed Jefferson County, under the Territory South of the River Ohio.
In late 1789 North Carolina again voted to cede her western territory to the federal government. This time she did not renege. In 1790 Congress voted to accept and the Territory South of the River Ohio was created with William Blount as governor.
Some few settlers had been occupying the area South of the French Broad for ten years before the Indian claims were surrendered under the terms of the 1791 Treaty of Holston. Those ten years had been a constant struggle for survival with many suffering the loss of a loved one or a neighbor to Indian massacre. They were years of uncertainty as to whether they would be allowed to remain on the land, and if so, would they ever be granted legal title? As the sun had risen and fallen on the ill-fated State of Franklin, so had their hopes been raised and dashed.
The Treaty of Holston had removed the stigma of being encroachers on Indian lands, but it did little to bring any actual relief to the inhabitants. North Carolina had, in her 1789 cession act, included certain reservations as to the granting of land in the ceded territory. However, under-the urging of John Sevier, the cession act included a clause granting pre-emption rights to those settlers South of the French Broad should a lard office be opened there. This meant that these people already inhabiting the land would have the right to purchase it if the land office should ever be established.
The land office was not opened at that time, and these people were forced to live with uncertainty for the next several. years.
Indian warfare broke out once again in 1791 and continued unabated for the next three years. The entire frontier was was affected, but the area near the Indian towns, now known as Blount County, was especially hard hit. There is not space here to chronicle these horrors of massacre and destruction, but Inez Burns in her HISTORY OF BLOUNT COUNTY, TENNESSEE details these events. Victorious campaigns by John Sevier and James Robertson effectively served to knock out centers of Indian strength.
In 1794 Jefferson County was divided and a new county created. How fitting that it should once again be called Sevier, a memorial of John Sevier's loyalty to these people of "Lesser Franklin" and of their devotion and support for him.
The plight of his strongest adherents, those of the Territory South of the French Broad, the "Lesser Franklin," was never forgotten by John Sevier. Under his leadership the legislature of the Territory South of the River Ohio in 1794, presented to Congress a declaration that the pre-emption rights of these settlers should be confirmed. Congress was unresponsive, but Sevier had managed to make it a matter of national record.
Tennessee became a state in 1796 and Sevier, as the first governor, asked the Assembly to remind Congress of the "embarrassed situation" of these people. Undoubtedly at Sevier's insistance, the pre-emption rights of these settlers was preserved in the first Constitution of the State of Tennessee.
The question of who had authority to grant land under the terms of the North Ca.rolina cession act of 1789 was very complex, and it did not begin to be resolved until 1803 when the Tennessee Legislature sent a body to the General Assembly of North Carolina to attempt a solution. The result was that in 1806 the right of North Carolina involvement in lands in Tennessee was extinguished. At last Tennessee had full control of her land.
John Sevier, speaking to the Tennessee Legislature in 1806 said, "Among the very great objects you will have before you for legislative consideration will be the situation and circumstance of the people settled on the south side of the French Broad and Holston, and west of the Big Pigeon rivers. They are respectable and worthy inhabitants, who have suffered by Indian depredations too deplorable to relate. They are justly deserving of the patronage and indulgence of a liberal and patriotic legislature; and I entertain every hope that the paternal care of the Assembly will be tenderly exercised towards such a deserving and worthy class of citizens."
A land office was established, and for the first time the settlers in the Territory South of the French Broad were able to enter and obtain title to the lands they had settled upon twenty-five years before.
So many facts to relate, so many stories to be retold -- this short space cannot contain them all. If you would like to read more about our area during the State of Franklin era, the books listed here are excellent sources. Conversations with Beulah D. Linn, Sevier County Historian, Inez Burns, Blount County Historian, and Nancy L. O'Neil were helpful in researching this article.
HISTORY OF BLOUNT COUNTY, TENNESSEE 1795-1955, by Inez Burns, a Whipporwill Publication, 1957
HISTORY OF THE LOST STATE OF FRANKLIN, Samuel Cole Williams, Copyright 1933 by The Press of the Pioneers
THE ANNALS OF TENNESSEE by J. G. M. Ramsey, M. D., Reprinted 1967 by the East Tennessee Historical Society
JOHN SEVIER AS A COMMONWEALTH BUILDER, James R. Gilmore. Reprint Company, 1974