John Sevier

John Sevier

Birth
Rockingham County, Virginia, USA
Death 24 Sep 1815 (aged 71)
Alabama, USA
Burial Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 6364660 · View Source
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1st Tennessee Governor, Governor of Franklin. Born to a prosperous Virginian farming family, not much was recorded of Sevier’s childhood. Despite limited education choices in rural 1700s Virginia, the education of John Sevier was thorough. When he married in 1761, the family settled in the village where Sevier was born. The family ran a tavern, continued farming, as well as fighting disruptive Indians. By the end of Sevier’s life, he was the father of 18 children. In 1773, Sevier was sent to the Provincial Congress of North Carolina as a representative for the Washington District of North Carolina. When the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, Sevier was called upon. By the following year, he had been promoted to the lieutenant colonel of the North Carolina militia. Sevier’s fame was spread following his encounter with the British in 1780 at the Battle of King’s Mountain. Just a few months previous the battle, his wife, Sarah, had passed away. He married Catherine Sherrell, a woman who he had supposedly saved during an Indian attack, the same year. Following the Revolutionary War, he, along with others, worked to earn statehood for residents of then Western North Carolina. Western leaders assembled in Jonesborough in 1784 to organize plans for statehood. At the meeting, Sevier was elected as a state governor. However, not all North Carolinians agreed with the growing territory of Franklin. Border warfare was occurring between Franklin and North Carolina, and by the time that his term as governor concluded in spring of 1788, the state was declining, and soon, ended. Sevier and others had soon bounded together again to apply for statehood. This time, the request was approved in 1796. A Tennessee State constitution was composed, stating guidelines for the length of term for governors and setting requirements for any candidates. At the time, Sevier was the only candidate that was seriously contemplated by the citizens. Before June of 1796, when the state was admitted, citizens had already held meetings, elections, and other acts of business as though they had already been approved for statehood. In February, the election for governor was held. By the end of March, votes were counted, and the results determined that Sevier had won. On March 30th, 1796, he took the Oath of Office in Knoxville. His brief inaugural address thanked everyone for the trust they had confided in him and proposed his loyalty to the position. Throughout his term, he formed and signed treaties with the natives, issued military commissions, and worked for internal improvements, such as improving wagon roads. The relationship between Sevier and Andrew Jackson, another rising politician, was vile, and often resulted in challenges to duels. In March of 1809, he ran for the U.S. Senate, but was not successful. His term as Tennessee governor concluded that year. However, voters in Knox County sent him to the State Senate. In 1811, he was elected to the United States Congress. However, due to old age and not being familiarized with federal procedures, he was thought to be ineffective at this position. In September 1815, he went on a mission with other troops to locate the Creek boundary. On the mission, he passed away at the age of 71. He was interred along the bank of the Tallapoosa River near Fort Decatur. In 1887, he was reinterred at the courthouse lawn in Knoxville. A monument was erected, declaring all his lifetime achievements, including six times Tennessee governor, Franklin governor, pioneer, and statesman.

Bio by: Jake


Gravesite Details Family history has always followed that he was born in 1745, and that is what is recorded here, but the stone clearly has 1744.

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Smardella
  • Added: 23 Apr 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6364660
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Sevier (23 Sep 1744–24 Sep 1815), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6364660, citing Old Knox County Courthouse Grounds, Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .