Documenting the Demand for Democratic Government in Tennessee

Tennessee is called the Volunteer State because Tennesseans have been the first to volunteer for military service in time of war.  Tennesseans have also been among the very first to establish local democratic governments from the beginning of settlement.  Here is a preliminary list of the sources for this democratic activity.  Here you can find ancestors who were willing to put their names, and many times their lives, on the line for freedom.

  1. Watauga Association Articles of Agreement, 1772–101 signers.  1776–110 signers.  See Appalachian Quarterly (Sep 1996): 39-40.
  2. Tryon County (NC) Declaration of Rights and Independence from British Tyranny, 1775–49 names on official monument.  See Robert L. Williams.  Gaston County NC:  A Pictorial History.  Norfolk VA:  Donning Company, 1981.
  3. Cumberland Compact Articles of Agreement, 1 May 1780–256 signers.  See A.W. Putnam. History of Middle Tennessee.   Nashville TN:  for the author, 1859 and Archibald Henderson, “Richard Henderson:  Authorship of the Cumberland Compact and the Founding of Nashville,” Tennessee Historical Magazine 2 (Sep 1916).  You might also review Doug Drake, etal.  Founding of the Cumberland Settlements:  The First Atlas, 1779-1804–Showing Who Came, How They Came, and Where They Put Their Roots.  Gallatin TN:  Warioto Press, 2009.  Includes a useful timeline for the Chickamuga War, 1777-1795.  Two supplements reproduce the North Carolina land warrants, surveys, and surveyor plats.  Well indexed.
  4. Battle of King’s Mountain:  Participants by State of Residence, 7 Oct 1780.  See J. Allen Neal and John Allen Neal, III.  Bicentennial History of Washington County Virginia, 1776-1976.  Dallas TX:  Taylor Publishing, 1977.  Men from Ga, KY, NC, PA (one man), SC, TN, and VA fought.  There is some evidence that names assigned to TN and VA were actually from SC.
  5. State of Franklin, 1784.  486 signers/voters.  Original Franklinites, 38; Antis, 9.  See Samuel Cole Williams.  History of the Lost State of Franklin.  New York:  Press of the Pioneer, 1933.  Reprinted, Baltimore MD:  Clearfield Company, 1996.
  6. Clarksville Compact Resolves, 27 Jan 1785.  12 signers on Red River.  See Samuel Cole Williams, “Clarksville Compact,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 3 (Sep 1944): 236-45.
  7. Washington County NC, Petition of Inhabitants, Dec 1787. 463 signers.  See JGM Ramsey. The Annals of Tennessee.  Charleston:  John Russell, 1853.  Reprinted, New York:  Arno Press, 1971.
  8. Company Lists for Troops Stationed at Fort Southwest Point, 1799-1811.  See Roane Ramblings 11 (Winter 1995): 99-119 and subsequent issues.  Publication of muster rolls and pay lists from the US National Archives.

Your favorite Tennessee genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Welcome to our newly updated blog.  Stay tuned for resources to by-pass the county record loss in Tennessee.  You will be amazed at the large number of lists for early Tennessee–including petitions to form new county and local government.

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