Category: Legislative Petitions & Acts

An Account of the Compilations of the Statute Laws of Tennessee (as of 1902)

By , March 6, 2016

by A.V. Goodpasture, A.M., B.L.

[Transcriber’s note: Original punctuation has been retained.]

Roulstone’s Laws.

1803 Roulstone's Laws

1803 Roulstone’s Laws

The first compilation of the laws of Tennessee was printed and published by George Roulstone, at Knoxville, in 1803.

Roulstone was a printer by trade. He came here from New England, and in 1791, began the publication, at Rogersville, of the Knoxville Gazette, the first and, for sometime, the only newspaper published in the Southwest Territory. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence. As public printer, he had published the Session Acts, both of the Territory and State.

In his compilation, he did no more than to reprint the Session Acts, and bind them together in a single volume. The work is a literal reproduction, even to clerical errors, of the Acts and Ordinances of the Governor and Judges of the Territory of the United States of America, south of the River Ohio; of the Acts of the Territorial Assembly; and of the Acts of the First, Second, Third and Fourth General Assemblies of the State of Tennessee, thus bringing into one volume the statute laws from 1792 to 1801, without other editorial work than the arrangement of an index. It was, however, a manifestation of considerable enterprise, since the stock for carrying it on, had to be transported many hundreds of miles, at great expense. But complete sets of the Session Acts were, even then, so scarce as to invite the undertaking, and at this day, hardly a library in the country could supply itself with a complete set of the Session Acts of the State, without utilizing this Roulstone reprint.

“Possibly it is the first bound book printed in the state. The fact that it was issued bound (increasing the possibility of survival) and the knowledge that Roulstone printed the book as a personal venture should render this book somewhat more likely to be found. Nonetheless, it is virtually never offered for sale today” (Allen). [Quoted by Donald Heald, bookseller, who had a copy of the book listed for sale in early 2016 for $12,000.]

Fisk’s Compilation.

In 1803, the Legislature appointed Willie Blount (1769-1835) and Moses Fisk (1759-1843) commissioners to revise, select and compile the acts and ordinances of the Governor and Judges of the later Territorial Government; the acts of the late Territorial Assembly; and the acts of the General Assembly of this State, which were then in force and use; and also to make and add thereto a careful selection of the statute laws of North Carolina, passed previous to the passage and acceptance of the act of cession; and directing that they insert in said volume the charter from the Crown of Great Britain, the lords proprietors’ great grant, the ordinance of Congress for the government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio, the Constitution of this State, the Constitution of the United States as amended since ratification, the Act of Congress admitting this State into the Union, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation of the United States, together with the treaty of peace between the United States of America and Great Britain.

Willie Blount was learned in the law, had already received and declined an appointment to the supreme bench of the State, and had written and published a “Catechetical Exposition of the Constitution of the State of Tennessee,” and his fitness for a place on the commission could not have been questioned, but for some reason he never acted under his appointment.

Moses Fisk was a native of New England. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and had been for seven years a tutor in that institution. He had declined the presidency of the University of North Carolina, tendered through Governor William Blount, and at his solicitation, took up the law, but never devoted himself to it.

He prepared his work alone, and submitted it to the Legislature in 1805, but it appearing that it was incomplete, he was paid a compensation of $300 for the services he had performed and expenses incurred, and was allowed to withdraw his compilation for the purpose of completing the same according to the act of 1803, and was directed to lay it before the next session of the General Assembly for their revision or any regulation they might make relating to it. He did not have it completed and ready to be submitted to the Legislature before its session of 1809, and Haywood’s Revisal appearing in the meantime it was never submitted to the Legislature nor published.

Haywood’s Revisal.

Haywood’s Revisal was published in 1809, and embraced the public acts of the General Assembly of North Carolina and Tennessee, enacted from 1715 to 1807, then in force in Tennessee.

John Haywood (1762-1826) came to Tennessee from North Carolina in 1807, and that his Revisal appeared in 1809, is sufficient evidence, both of his familiarity with his subject, and his immense capacity for work. It is peculiarly fortunate for the State that the work was taken up by Judge Haywood at that time. He was a native of North Carolina, whence we obtained the body of our laws. He had been Attorney General of the State from 1791 till 1794, when he was elected to the bench of the Superior Court of that State, which position he held until his resignation in 1800; and had published a “Manual of the Laws of North Carolina,” “Haywood’s Justice” and “Haywood’s Reports” of the opinions of the Superior Court of North Carolina, from 1789 to 1798. He was an untiring worker, and in the estimation of Chief Justice Henderson, of that State, an abler man never appeared at the bar or sat on the bench of North Carolina.

Haywood’s Revisal differs from Roulstone’s Laws, in that it embraces the Constitution of the State of Tennessee (1796), and the laws of North Carolina in force in this State, by sessions and chapters. It omits the acts and ordinances of the governor and judges, and brings the acts of the General Assembly down through the first session of the seventh General Assembly, in 1807, by sessions and chapters, but omits all reference to chapters containing laws of a private nature, and such as were not then in force.

Judge Haywood’s biographers seem to omit this Revisal from the list of his works, but it is not certain that, in its results, it is not his very greatest publication. Its chief value to the State consists in the accuracy and discrimination with which he culled the statute laws, of North Carolina, for a period of seventy-five years, from 1715 to 1789, and brought into his compilation only such as were in force in Tennessee. A less learned and accurate lawyer, or one not so thoroughly grounded in the laws of North Carolina, could hardly have succeeded so well. It was immensely popular at the time, going through three editions in six years. The third edition, published in 1815, brings the compilation down to 1813, adds the Constitution of the United States, gives numerous marginal notes, indicating the subjects of the sections, and carries the general subject matter treated, at the top of the page, through the book. It is rarely, if ever, referred to in our reports, for the reason that it is in no sense a digest, but sets out the acts chronologically, by sessions and chapters, making reference to the original acts easy and natural.

Scott’s Revisal.

Haywood’s Revisal was followed and superseded in 1821, by the “Laws of the State of Tennessee, including those of North Carolina, now in force in this State, from the year 1715 to the year 1820, inclusive,” by Edward Scott, of Knoxville, who was for thirty years, one of the judges of the Circuit Court of Law and Equity, of this State. The work, which is very comprehensive, was published in two large volumes. It had the sanction of the Legislature, upon the approval of its plan and execution, by the judges of the Supreme Court, which it received, Judge Haywood then being upon the bench of that court. Indeed it was a valuable work. It contains more matter than Haywood’s Revisal, and is provided with marginal notes and references to subsequent alterations and amendments, the first effort in this direction that had yet been made.

In addition to the matter contained in the compilations of Roulstone and Haywood, Scott’s Revisal embraced the second charter granted by King Charles II, to the proprietors of Carolina; the great deed of grant; the act of Congress accepting cession of certain lands from North Carolina: an ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States, northwest of the river Ohio; the act of Congress providing for the government of the territory northwest of the river Ohio; the act of Congress receiving Tennessee into the Union; an appendix, containing the articles of Confederation; treaties made by the United States with France, England, Spain, and with the Indian tribes; the act of Congress respecting the authentication of records from other states, naturalization, and the removal of causes from State to Federal Courts; rules of practice in the Supreme Court, and the District Federal Courts; and precedents for Justices of the Peace. It differs also from Haywood’s Revisal, in giving the captions of such chapters, in the acts of Tennessee, as were not inserted, in their proper order.

All subsequent revisers have relied on this work almost exclusively for the statute laws of the State prior to 1821.

Haywood & Cobbs’ Revisal.

Valuable as Judge Scott’s compilation undoubtedly was, it failed to meet a demand which was being felt for a digest of the statute law of the State. To satisfy this growing want, the Legislature, in 1825, passed an act for the appointment of two persons, learned in the law, by joint ballot of the General Assembly, to digest and revise the statute laws of this State and of the State of North Carolina, then in force and of a public nature, in such a manner, that when there were several statutes on the same subject, the whole might be reduced into one, in which should be comprehended the provisions contained in each, with marginal notes, showing the date of the passage of the several acts, and stating the substance of each section.

In pursuance of this act, the General Assembly elected Judge Haywood who had now added to his six years on the Supreme bench of North Carolina nearly ten on that of Tennessee; to his two volumes of North Carolina Reports, three volumes of Tennessee Reports, and to his Manual of the Laws of North Carolina, three editions of his Revision of the Laws of Tennessee. They associated with him Robert L. Cobbs, a native of Virginia, who had commenced his career as a physician, and acted as a surgeon in Jackson’s army at New Orleans, but had afterwards studied law, and at this time, was esteemed the most eminent lawyer at the Columbia bar. He was elected Solicitor General of the ninth district, in 1819, but resigned the position to undertake this work, in 1825.

In 1826, the Legislature passed a resolution providing that where said persons in revising the laws, may ultimately not be able to agree as to what head any part of the law shall be placed under, or whether any law, or part of a law, be obsolete or suspended, expired or repealed, that such differences should be decided by Wm. L. Brown, who was required to act in such case or cases; and he did so act in at least one case. They disagreed as to the act of 1715, ch. 31, sec. 7, the point of disagreement being as to whether that part of the act of 21 James I, ch. 16, sec. 3, which provides that “all actions of debt grounded upon any lending or contract without specialty Shall be commenced and sued within Six years after the cause of such action and not after,” was in force by virtue of the act of 1715. Judge Haywood thought it was not. Gen. Cobbs was of the contrary opinion, and Judge Brown concurred with him, and it was so held by the Supreme Court, in Tisdale vs. Munroe, 3 Yer., 320, Ch. J. Catron delivering the opinion of the court.

Judge Haywood died December 22, 1826, before the work was finished, and it was completed by Gen. Cobbs, and submitted to the Legislature in 1827. He was directed to include the acts of 1827, and to avail himself of the assistance of Judge Brown. After an examination by a joint select committee, of which Judge Nathan Green (1792-1866) was chairman, the work was ordered printed. The publication was delayed, however, until the session of 1829, when it was again ordered to be printed, and to include the public acts of that session, which James A. Whiteside was directed to prepare. It was contemplated that this addition should be completed before the close of the session, but that being found impracticable, the whole matter of its publication was committed to Mr. Whiteside, who brought it out in 1831, in two volumes.

The first volume, including all the statutes of Tennessee and North Carolina passed from 1715 to 1729, inclusive, which were in force, except what was denominated the “Land Law,” was made on the plan prescribed by the Legislature, and had appended to it, the Articles of Confederation, Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Tennessee (1796), and precedents for Justices of the Peace.

The second volume was devoted entirely to the “Land Law,” which it treated under numerous divisions, indicating for the most part the district in which the land lay, the services for which it was granted, or the purpose to which the proceeds of its sale was devoted. The appendix to the second volume contained the treaties made by the United States with Indian tribes in relation to land in the State of Tennessee; acts of Congress relative to the authentication of records, the naturalization of foreigners, and the removal of suits from the State to the Federal Courts.

This publication marks two important departures in the compilations of the statutes – it was the first digest of the statute laws of the State, and was also the first compilation issued by the State itself.

Caruthers & Nicholson’s Statutes.

Although Haywood & Cobbs’ compilation was in the direction of a more perfect revision of the statute laws of the State, it did not give entire satisfaction to the profession. It was not intended wholly to supersede Scott’s Revisal, and on that account increased rather than diminished, the books of statute law necessary to the profession. Moreover, the State had adopted a new Constitution since its publication. It was not long, therefore, before a new compilation was undertaken by Robert L. Caruthers and A. O. P. Nicholson, two of the most illustrious names in the annals of Tennessee.

Robert L. Caruthers (1800-1882), the greatest advocate this State has ever produced, was also one of its soundest judges. He occupied a seat upon the Supreme bench from 1853 to 1861, and closed his long, upright, distinguished and useful career, at the head of the law department of Cumberland University, in the establishment and success of which institution, he was, more than any other man, instrumental.

His associate, Alfred O. P. Nicholson (1808-1876), then a young man, lived to achieve the highest distinction as an advocate, journalist, statesman and jurist. At the time of his death, he was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State.

Their work, commonly known as Caruthers and Nicholson’s statutes, was issued in 1836, and was done ably and accurately. It was received with great favor by the profession, with whom it was the standard until the adoption of the Code in 1858. Taking the statutes brought into Scott’s Revisal, up to 1820, and the session acts subsequent to that date they undertook to arrange them under their title in alphabetical order, so dividing and subdividing them, that every distinct subject could be found under its appropriate title. And in arranging them under the several titles, they placed them in the order in which they were passed, in this way combining a chronological with an alphabetical order. A new feature of this compilation, is the notes, containing references to judicial decisions on constitutional questions, and on statutes, when deemed necessary for a correct understanding of them. It contains the Declaration of Independence; Constitutions of the United States and the State of Tennessee (1834); Acts of Congress on Naturalization, on the authentication of record, on the removal of causes from the State to the Federal Courts, accepting certain lands from the State of North Carolina, and receiving the State of Tennessee into the Union; and in the appendix, forms, notes of explanation and remarks, arranged under the different titles of the compilation, which is especially notable for their departure from the old system, in conveyancing and other forms, in the direction of brevity and perspicuity, which was afterwards followed in the code.

Nicholson’s Supplement.

In 1846, Judge Nicholson published a volume of “Statute Laws of the State of Tennessee, of a general character; passed since the compilation of the statutes by Caruthers and Nicholson, in 1836, and being a supplement to that work.” The plan of the work is simple and inartificial. The several acts are published in full, under their respective titles, arranged in alphabetical order.

Code of Tennessee.

The State of Tennessee had a claim against Smith Criddle which was litigated in the Chancery Court at Franklin. The Legislature seems to have set apart the fund arising from that suit, to procure a new revision and digest of the laws of the State. In January, 1844, it passed a resolution providing that two persons of sufficient learning and ability be appointed by the judges of the Supreme Court, whose duty it should be to revise and digest the general statutes of the State, and the reports of the Supreme Court, with a proviso, that the person so appointed should receive in full compensation therefor, the balance due the State from Smith Criddle, then pending in a suit in the Chancery Court at Franklin, and no more and not otherwise. This proviso defeated the main object of the resolution, but there was another that bore rich fruit for the profession and the State. It provided “that the persons appointed to digest the decisions, shall be the owners of the book, and may proceed to publish the same as soon as it is prepared; but the same shall be done on their own responsibility.”

In pursuance of the resolution, the judges of the Supreme Court, on the 5th day of February, 1844, appointed Francis B. Fogg (1795-1880) and Return J. Meigs, who, the late W. B. Reese, says, was for fifty years Mr. Fogg’s only rival in knowledge and general scholarship. The inadequacy of the Smith Criddle fund prevented the revisers from undertaking a revision of the statute law, but under the second proviso, Mr. Meigs did undertake, and in 1848, published, a Digest of the Decisions of the Supreme Court, which has no superior in any State of the Union.

The matter rested here until 1852, when by resolution of the General Assembly, Return Meigs and Wm. F. Cooper were appointed to revise and digest the general statutes of the State, with power to suggest any amendments or alterations which they might deem advisable. The resolution also provided that they should receive as their compensation, the balance remaining unexpended of the amount recovered by the State against Smith Criddle. But remembering, doubtless, the fate of their former resolution, it was further resolved, “that if said gentlemen are not willing to undertake the revisal of the statutes upon the terms aforesaid, that the governor is hereby authorized to contract with them or others for the work, upon such terms as he may deem proper.”

Return J. Meigs (1801-1891) was a man of wide learning and ripe scholarship, as well as of high legal attainments. If he had needed any other recommendation, his admirable Digest of the Decisions of the Supreme Court, that had just lately appeared, demonstrated his fitness for this work.

William F. Cooper, who was born in 1820, still survives, “full of years and full of honors.” Like one of our former revisers, he was educated for the medical profession, but abandoned it for the law, in which he attained the very highest eminence, both as a jurist and a law writer. He was successively chancellor of Nashville division, and judge of the Supreme Court of the State.

Shortly after their appointment, the revisers met to consult upon a plan of work and a division of labor, with a view of completing the digest before the meeting of the next Legislature. Owing to Mr. Meigs’ professional labors and his duties as State librarian and in other public capacities, he was not able to spare the time Mr. Cooper was willing to devote to the work entrusted to them. It was first agreed between them, that Mr. Meigs should reduce into manuscript the laws of a general nature in Scott’s Revisal, and that Mr. Cooper should rewrite the laws from 1820 down, putting them in their own language and in alphabetical order, with a view of afterwards throwing the material thus prepared into some suitable order of arrangement. Mr. Meigs’ engagements being such as to prevent him from accomplishing his task in the time allowed, a session of the Legislature passed, without a report, and they then agreed to adopt a division of the laws into four parts, viz: Public Rights, Private Rights, Redress of Civil Injuries, and Crimes, the first two parts to be prepared by Mr. Meigs, and the last two by Mr. Cooper. Mr. Meigs was still not ready to report at the session of 1855-6, and informed Mr. Cooper that he felt it his duty to go over the whole of the statutes in the manner suggested in their first agreement, and that view the latter accepted as applicable to himself also, and the work proceeded on two independent lines, so that they were never able to submit to the General Assembly a digest produced by their joint labors.

Mr. Meigs reported that he had revised and digested, in conformity with his arrangement with Mr. Cooper, the laws falling under the general divisions of Public Rights and Private Rights; while Mr. Cooper submitted with his report a complete digest of the laws of the State, with such alterations as he deemed advisable, analytically and systematically arranged, which he stated to be the exclusive work of his own hands, unaided by the gentleman who was expected by the General Assembly to co-operate with him in the production of a joint digest.

Both reports were submitted to the General Assembly at its session of 1857-8, and were referred to a joint select committee of that body, composed of Senators Joseph B. Heiskell, W. P. Davis and W. C. Whitthorne, and Representatives W. C. Dunlap, C. W. Rowles, H. B. Bate, Michael Vaughn, S. T. Bicknell and M. Bullock, and by them referred to a sub-committee, composed of Joseph B. Heiskell, Chairman, and Micajah Bullock and Samuel T. Bicknell. This sub-committee, with the advice and assistance of Messrs. Meigs and Cooper, revised their work, reporting the code in sections from day to day to the General Assembly, where it passed three readings, and was thus enacted by the State, under the name of the “Code of Tennessee,” a work that has justly taken a place in the front rank of American codes.

It is due the State to add, that in addition to the $1,000 realized from the Smith Criddle claim, it paid each of the revisers the sum of $4,000 for his services.

The arrangement of the code, which is that of Judge Cooper, was made after a careful examination and comparison of the various State codes, as well as the Code Napoleon and Sergeant Stephens’ analysis of the laws of England. It is divided into four parts, and combines systematic grouping, under appropriate titles, of laws having a natural connection, with suitable sub-divisions into chapters and articles to ensure ease of reference. Each part is divided into several titles, in the most natural order; each title into Chapters arranged systematically; the chapters being again sub-divided, when necessary from the nature of the subject or extent of material, into articles methodically arranged. It also carries system into the sequence of sections, instead of throwing them together without method just as the law happened to be read, making each chapter read as nearly like a treatise on that branch of the law as the nature of a digest will permit. In like manner the arrangement of chapters under a given title, is such as to follow the natural order in every case where the subject would permit.

Shankland’s Supplement.

In 1871, James H. Shankland, of the Nashville bar, published the public statutes of the State, passed since 1858, as a supplement to the code. It was designed to exhibit in one view the public laws of the State, enacted since the code, and at a distance of thirteen years of such great changes as those from 1858 to 1871, was absolutely necessary to the profession, in the absence of a better work. It went through a second edition in 1872.

Thompson & Steger’s Code.

Shankland’s supplement was entirely superseded by the appearance, in 1873, of “A Compilation of the Statute Laws of the State of Tennessee, Including Acts of Session of 1870-1,” by Seymour D. Thompson, of Memphis, and Thomas M. Steger, of Nashville. This work is commonly known as Thompson & Steger’s Code. It gives the sections of the code, in force, in their proper order of sequence, prefixed by their proper sectional numbers, while the laws passed since the code, are inserted under the sections relating to the same subject, and are designated by the number of the preceding section, with a letter added. It also gives notes of the judicial decisions of this State and the United States, involving a construction or an important application of the statutes embraced in the compilation. The work had gone through two editions, when the General Assembly agreed to supply it to Justices of the Peace, provided, it should include all acts down to, and including the acts of 1873. Three sessions of the Legislature had been held since the appearance of the first edition, and the acts of these sessions were included in a supplement to the third edition, and was also bound separately to supply purchasers of the first and second editions. The first edition was published in three volumes, and the second and third in two.

Milliken & Vertrees’ Code.

By a resolution of the General Assembly, in 1883, Vertrees and W. A. Milliken were authorized, directed and empowered to revise, digest and codify all the general laws of the State, and to have the same published in one volume, if practicable, under the title of “Code of Tennessee.” They were directed to prepare and arrange it on the plan of the present code, with notes to each section, containing citations of statutes from which same were taken, and all decisions of the Supreme Court construing the same. In pursuance of this authority, they published in 1884, “The Code of Tennessee, being a compilation of the statute laws of the State of Tennessee, of a general nature, in force June 1, 1884,” in one volume. This compilation brought the acts down through the session of 1883, and the notes of decisions through 11th Lea, and a few cases that were to appear in 12th Lea. The sections of the code were renumbered, but the original numbers were retained, in brackets. in the margin. This compilation is usually designated as Milliken & Vertrees’ Code.

While the compilations of Thompson & Steger and that of Milliken & Vertrees are each commonly given the title of “Code,” and sometimes “Revised Code,” our Supreme Court has held, in the case of Burnett vs. Turner, 3 Pickle, 124, that there is no “Revised Code” of Tennessee, the Legislature not having adopted or enacted any compilation of our statutes as such, since the enactment of the code in 1858, which being the first code is not itself a revision, but is the original and only Code of Tennessee.

Shannon’s Code Supplement.

To bring Milliken & Vertrees’ Code up to date, R. T. Shannon, of the Nashville bar, published, in 1893, under the title of “Code Supplement” the public and permanent statutes, passed from 1885 to 1893, inclusive. The work is intended as a supplement to the Milliken & Vertrees’ Code, and is properly and consecutively arranged with reference to its sectional numbers. It brings the statute laws of the State down to this date, and is better arranged than the supplements to either the former compilations.

This ends the list of compilations of Tennessee statute laws. The formation of the system was complete with the enactment of the code of 1858. All subsequent compilations have looked only to the incorporation, under the same plan and arrangement, of the acts passed subsequent to its adoption. It is an admirable system, and peculiarly adapted to the wants of the people for whose government it was intended. The State owes much to the circumstance, that during the whole of its formative period, her ablest lawyers were induced to devote their great learning and ability to building and binding her statute laws into the splendid structure it has assumed. No list of the most eminent lawyers of the State would be complete, that did not contain the names of Haywood, Caruthers, Nicholson, Meigs and Cooper, and so long as our present system is maintained, it will be a monument to their just conception of the genius of our laws, and the intelligent labor with which they reduced them into a system, and in an especial manner, to the analytic and systematic mind and untiring labor of Judge Cooper.

NOTE. This article was prepared before the publication of Shannon’s Code, which is the one now in use.

Source: The American Historical Magazine and Tennessee Historical Quarterly, A. V. Goodpasture, Ed. Volume VII, 1902. Nashville. Pgs. 69-79. See Google Books for free download.

1799 Petition Disputing County Formation

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 24-1-1799 to the Tennessee General Assembly
See also Petition No. 17-1-1799, transcribed separately on this Web site.

Undated

Inhabitants of Grainger County dispute making three counties instead of two from the area bound between the Cocke County line at French Broad and Chuckey Rivers to the foot of Cumberland Mountains, or the Indian boundary. They recommend putting that part of Grainger lying next to Jefferson County as far as the top of Clinch Mountains to it and make a Superior Court District between that of Washington and Hamilton.

Signers were:

Given Name (as transcribed)Surname (as transcribed)      
EzekielCraft
Feeldning [sic]Lewis
JamesKirkpatrick
AndwEvins
ThomasHodges
AlexanderHamlton
WmHamlton
JohnBlack
JamesReed
JnoErwine
JnoBraden
DavidFloid
JosuaWambles
WilliamHankins
EdwartBreaden
WilliamDale
WilliamFloid
JohnKirkpatrick
JnoDavis
WmYork
WmSavage
Jos JrYork
Jos SrYourk
JamesTempleton
IsomVance
MossesKirkland
JohnCarwiles
JohnBullard
SamuelSmith
ThomasHuddleston
EzekealSmith
ThomasMcBroom
TaylorYork
GeorgeMorras
IsaacDavis
JnoHarrelson
BenjaminCondry
JamesBrown
JosephRian
PeterKelley
FrancisHinter
DennisCondry
AlexderDale
ArchableHopper
BejeminAllen
ThomasGambell
JesseeCoats
JeremiahSelvage
BenjaminCoates
PaulHutcheson
SamlMcFarran
SollomanBaker
PhillopParker
HenryClark
StephenStaford
RobertMonrow
WilliamLane
IsaacMcBee
WmSweeting
JosDennas
JohnBrockous
JamesBrown
ThosHuddlestone
DavidWilson
JulasWilhite
WmCade
PresleyBuckner
NimrodSiae [?]
IsaacStandley
JohnNash
JohnHutton
ThomasPersefield
MathewBaker
JesseeJames
LarkinNalls
JacobPew
JohnMulkey
MichalSavage
HenryWidener
AbelDale
CharlesHutcheson
RobertTurner
JnoHaley
WmHarmon
JamesTutle
ThosBrown
Saml SrMcBee
WmHarrelson
JamesMoss
JohnSalley
WmPoiter / Porter
JnoRhey
RobertAlles
JesseTerrey
HardyClifton
WmTuttle
JasCrum
NathanJackson
ThosNash
JohnHiemon
JoushuaPeters
AdamBradford
ChristopherBaker
LuisStephens
HarbertSmith
JnoMaregraves
JacobVandigrift
GarretVandigrift
WmKelley
WmWaters
YoungLamar / Camar
AndrewMcFeeters
JohnNaIl
JamesRobertson
WmMcFetrege
Isom SrTradeaway
CharlesArher [sic]
JnoBats
WmClifton
JohnBoyd
JohnGilberts
HenryEvins / Wins
EzekelHutson
JasHutson
WmBrakes
MosesBrock
JohnBrock
ArchebaldSavage
JamesDavis
AronBrocas
JnoKetchen
RobertMore
DavidMore
JacobCaps
DavidCollens
ElijahCollens
WmCaps
AndrewBlackwod
HardyHughes
AronCook
JosNation
JosiahBots
WillisCaps
ThomasThornbourgh
WilliamSweton
MosesSmith
RichardSmith
JohnBruster
ThomasMarlow
IsaacNation
AbrahamEisuhard [? - Germanic script]
DanielPevehouse
JacobPevehouse
MikelShaully
JohnCassey
SamuelCasey
WilliamBlackwood
AndrewBlackwood
RobartWhittle
ThomasPeascefield
AdamPetrey
JohnBaldrage
JohnArwine
Samuiel [sic]Petry
WilliamWest
HancePetry
JohnPetry
SamlPercifield
SilasWilliams
William JrCook
William SrCook
JerrimeYork
WilliamParker
DanielKelms
Gilbert SrKelms
GeoCalms
John JrBelow
JohnMiers
HenryCabbage
AdamKabbage
GeoPetrey
DanlMcBride
PeterHammock
John SrBelow
PeterBelah
JosephBelah
Adam SrPetry
ThosDun
JedCirka / Cirkle
JasArwine
JasCasey
JnoBuller
Jno SrArwine
DavidDerryberry
JohnBirdsong
MathewCapps
JamesFloyd
MichaelDerryberry
JamesStarr / Harr
JohnJohnson
RichdHinson
ThomasDyche
WilliamMason / Eason
WilliamTinker / Tucker
WilliamJones
IsaacJones
Moses JrSmith
JohnSmith
WilliamSmith
EzekielSmith
FelpsRead
ElishaWalleng
MalHowell-
Wiliam [sic]Hodge
MosesHodge
HattHowet / Howel
Oen [sic]Loyd
WmHowel
John__hitheart
CasperWeston
HenryMorgain
LaneSweetner
SharodMize / Maze / Muze / M_ze
Aothur [sic]Carhey
DavidMilliken
IsaacGrant
ZardemanJoy
JamesEllis
WilliamMilliken
BenjaminBell
JosephWhight
ElyMilliken
MordicaMendenhall
WilliamCooper
FranciesDanniel
HermonCox
WilliamMoyes
JohnMcCarty
JamesMcCarty
JnoBarton
JohnRusel
OlliverCornuer
Mar. [sic]Cooke
HenrySolomon
JohnBarsford
JamesGowan
JosephDaniel
BenBradfor [sic]
JohnGowin
JamesMathews
Baaxter [sic]Ivie
ElishaIvie
GorgIvy
DenesScot
AmesEvans
Ambeose [sic]Hodges
RichardShelton
WilliamGosit
JamesBridges
NathalMcKee
HenrySander
SamuelMoor
JohnMalloch
PhilipCounts
JnoReasns / Reaens
ReubanMason
HenryIvey
WilliamCupps
JnoKelly
JamesHanes
JamesMoor
SamuelSuirlock [?]
Jer / Jm [?]Chamberlin
JosephEeater / Ecater
DavidDavis
GeorgeGennens
SamuelWest

 


Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin’” News, Fall, 1991, page 117-118.

1799 Petition Objecting to Adding Part of Grainger to Jefferson County

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 19-1-1799 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Undated

Citizens of Grainger County were concerned “that it will not be to the advantage of the Publick at Large to add any part of Grainger County to Jefferson…”

The table below is searchable and sortable by either given name or surname.  Be creative in your searching, as the names were often written phonetically.

Signers were:

Given Name (as transcribed)Surname (as transcribed)
JamesMoor
WmArnold [struck through]
ThomasDodson
JohnBrock
MartinBunch
WilliamBunch
DavidBunch
HarmonMiller
JohnAccuff [1 of 2]
JohnAccuff [1 of 2]
KainAcuff
BenjnAcuff
Jam__[erased]
_____ C[erased]
EdwardClark
SamuelClark
JohnSpencer
JohnRector
RichdMcPherson
MackRector
GeorgeRamsey
RichdShockley
WmShockley
RobertPateson
EdwdMcGinnes
RobertMcGinnes
JohnMcGinnes
JamesBoddIe
DavidJackson
DosenCheeks
NicholasGilliston
RichardTerry
StephenBean
JohnBean
HoganBean
JoelBean
Jasniah [sic]Collins
GabrielFrog
EdmundHolt
BenjamenShaw
SamuelDodson
WilsonShockley
RoyalJennings
EasyShelton
JohnBull
RichardBull
RichardHarris
Jasmiah [sic]Smith
JohnRose
FrancisCrabb
JohnCrabb
Wm SrWindam
JacobLeabow
IsaacGibson
JosephBryant
HenryLeabow
JohnLeabow
MatthiasHipshiers
WmManos
WmHill
JohnReynolds
AlxrBlair
WmBlair [torn]
RobertBlair
WmWindam
JosephCobb
HenryHypshier
AquilaJones
WmJones
JohnJones
RoyalPace
AlxrMcDonnel
IsaacMcDonnel
LewisMcDonnel
George [struck through]B_____
GeorgeGorden
John [struck through]Jacobs [struck through]
ThosColbert
RobertGorden
SamuelRail
JoshuaConnway
JohnKing
WillisSenter
JohnWard
John [? - blur]Smith [? - blur]
GeorgeSmith
Thos SrHall
Thos JrHall
PleasantDuke
JohnDuke
DavidCampbell
John SrHall
John JrHall
Wm SrDyer
Wm JrDyer
JohnDyer
RobertWhitehead
JesseeJennings
ThosJennings
WmJennings
PleasantForgeson
ElizarClay
WmClay
GarretGibson
DanielClayton
WmRussell
FredrickMoirs
John (Capt)Horner
BartinScrogin
GeorgeRussell
SamuelPerry
JohnMarten
JosephLong
NoahJenning
ChestleyJenning
EnoughWindes
ThosCox
MagorLee
JohnWilliams
JacobCluck
ThosGorden
JohnGorden
CharlesBunch [?]
VolentineMorgan
EdwdThacker
BattSmith
WmStone
WmWilliams
NicholasCounts
GeorgeCounts
Robert SrMcHeny
MosesMcHeny
Robert JrMcHeny
Henry SrBowen
Henry Jr [struck through]Bowen [struck through]
JamesBowen
John [struck through]McHeny [struck through]
WmBlair
WmCox
JamesHarmon
PatrickCormick
EdwdCormick
WmMcGinnes
Mickel JrCaren
FeltyCarns
[torn]Bowen
HughRobinson
DanilRobinson
SamuelBenit
ThosBunch
IsaacCupper
PeterNoah
JesseeBean
RobertBean
John SrSharp
GeorgeSharp
John JrSharp
JosephBentir
ThosPannel
LewisRussell
NelsonShelton
JohnBunch
JamesMoore
BarnardClaunch
AblumMoore
JohnCabbage
AdamCabbage
GeorgePettry
AdamPettry
DanielPettry
JohnPettry
GeorgeCercle
WmWest
WmHoweth
JamesErrowine
JohnErrowine
JohnBealor
JosephBealor
WmWalters
ThosDun
JohnMoirs
PeterHammock
AllanBrock
DanielMcBride
StephenStafford
DavidAshar
GeorgeVandegrif
WmVandegrif
GeorgeClark
DanielMcBride
ThosJones
WmNavel / Nawl
JohnNawl
JohnHunter
FrancisHunter
SamuelMcFerren
MathwMcFettrage
WmMcFettrage
JohnMcPetters
Wm SrJames
Wm JrJames
ThosJames
JesseeJames
WmDickins
YoungLemare
JohnBeaty
JosephBroyde
JohnDent
CharlsCoats
ChristopharAcoff
DanielSuthertin
GeorgeSuthertin
JesseSuthertin
WilliamHoward
CharlsHoward
RobertsonAshar
David SrAshar
JohnBurton
WilliamBurton
JamesCampbell
ClasanderCampbell
MathewCampbell
HughWoollard
RobertBoyd

Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Fall, 1991, pages 114-115.

1806 Petition To Change the Road to Kentucky

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 19-1-1806 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Undated

Citizens of Grainger and Claiborne Counties wished to change the road to Kentucky.  This is apparently a second version of another petition bearing the same title, but this one has different signatures attached.

Signers were:

Pleasant Duke
george [sic] willey [sic]
Thomas Turley
John McCartey
Moses Hodge
Dudley Mayes
henry [sic] Ivey
James hodges [sic]
Philip Ivy
Monoah Dyer
Joseph Dania / Davis
Walcem / Wallum hodge [sic]
William Johnston
John Ivy
John howel [sic]
Thomas Ivey
Jesse hodges [sic]
Benjamin Ivey
Robert Willis
Samuel Webster
Peter Harris
Robert Metheny
William Bryan
Alexandreus Callidge
William Iredel / Tredel
William Bunch
Josier [sic] Bryan
William Jones
John Clonch
Archd MacDonald
William Lay
Mary / Meery Littel [?]
Stephen McBroom
Saml Peery
Benjamin acof [sic] [Acuff]
John Lay
Jacob hunbard [sic]
Rheubin Cofee
Richd Walker
John Arwine
David Gentry
John Arnold
Alexander Donelson [?]
Henry Baker
John Bullard
Jason Cloud
Dudley Cox
Stephen Smith
James Eaton
Henry Medlock
Dannil [sic] Beelar
Thomas McBroom
John Shropshire
Robt Huddlestone
John Huddlestone
Martain Thornberry
Charles Matlock
Enouch Winds
Thomas James
John ___trad [?]
Ambose Goff
Thos. Grissom
David Collin
James Hines [?]
John McBroom
James Arwine
Levi Collins
Aaron Collins
Warham Easley
David Bunch

Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Fall, 1986, page 106.

1801 Petition to Remove Joseph Powell as a Commissioner

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 21-2-1801 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Undated

Citizens of Grainger County express their “disaprobation of Continnuing [sic Joseph Pwell, Esq., in the Commission of Peace …”  In addition to his being “a man of But few letters, an Exceeding bad Clerk,” he was given to fighting, profanity, and intoxication.  They asked the Assembly to “displace him” and appoint Joseph Nations, “a man of upright Carractor and possesed of a Tollerable Share of law Knowledge…”

Signers were:

James McBroom
David [X] Davison
Thomas HudleStone [sic]
John Huddleston
Solomon Jones
Wm Baker
John Hutton
Wm Evans
Isaac McBee
Wm Hamilton
Heran__s [?] Hamilton
Saml. McBee
James Brown
Isaac Davis
Wm Wales / Willis
Joshua Oaks
David Willson
Jese [sic] James
Isaac Standley
Thomas Cooper
Jeremiah Selvidge
Fielding Lewis
David Floid
Elnathan Davis
John [X] Rice
Thos. Bridges
George Campbell
Jorg / Gorg Genins
John Evins
Isaac Jinings
John Miller
Chisham May
John Gross
David Hodsun
John Miller
John Neel
Nathaniel M__tin [?]
Joshua Galis__pe [?]
Joseph Crabb [?]
Jacob [?] Shults
Peter Hurken [?]
Nelson Sheaton
James H__smith
John Gorsuch
William May
Jas. May
Frederick Miller
Jno. Morgan [?]
Samual Finley [?]
Thomas Duldalm [?] [struck through]
Thomas Giliam
John Hurst
Peter Dunkin
John Chisum
John Gorsuch Jr
John Gorsuch Sr
Daniel Martin
Ezekiel Craft
William Savage

The petition is followed by depositions from Luke Bowyer, John Bullard, William Savage, Jacob Capps, William Hamilton, and Ezekiel Craft. Their statements reveal that Nathaniel Davis was convicted of breaking and entering the house of James Floyd, and there was some impropriety in the release of Davis.

However, the major charge against Powell came from a fight at Thomas McBroom‘s house, one quarter of a mile from the Grainger Court House, during the February Court of 1801. Powell was blamed for starting the fight and was charged with assault and battery, profanity and blasphemy by his opponent Elijah Craft.

Another Charge states that in May, 1800, Joseph Powell and Fielden Lewis had a fight, again quoting Powell‘s profanity.

In another instance, in August, 1800, Powell “did enter into a judgement against Thomas Gowin on a Note of hand three months before the said Note was due…”

Notation:  “House of Representatives — Read and refered to Messrs Campbell, Haynes, Lillard and Walton as a Special Committee on part of this House [struck through on original]  Ed Scott, Clk  30 Sep 1801″


Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Summer, 1993, page 75.

1806 Petition to Modify an Act Governing Registers and Rangers

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 9-2-1806 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Undated

Inhabitants of Grainger County wish to modify an act passed to compel the Registers and Rangers of various counties to hold court at their Court Houses. “The said office is one of high importance to the public, yet the fees of office are so inconsiderable as not to authorize a person comfortably settled on a farm in the country to remove to town to attend to the duties of said office.” Petitioners ask permission for the Register and Ranger of Grainger County “to hold his office at any place in the county.”

Signers were:

Philip Sigler
Jarimiah Mince
Noah Ashly
William Asher
Peter Hammick
William Webster
Jonathen Branson
Charles Drake
William Waggoner
John Blackburn
Isaac Long
Thomas James
Archibald Greer
Samuel Waggoner
Thomas Morris
Thomas Boullon
Morten Morris
Samuel Hammick
Elijah Lang
John Bolton
Marten Thornbury
Richard Thornbury
William Capts
John Mapels
Isaac Davis
Charles Hutcheson
William Patton
Walker Allen
John Baker
Benjamin moor [sic]
Andrew seabolt [sic]
John Nall
John Parker
Thos Brown
David Watson
William Lane
James Lane, Junr
John Selvidge
James Lane, Senr
William Pasley
Jeremiah Lovell
David Elkins
Gorge Lovell
Philip Parker
Abraham Elliot
Samuel Bunch
Wm Sims
Obadiah Walters
Joel Witt
N. Jarnagin
Robert Caton
William Garrett
John Ray
Chessley Jarnagin
Enouch Winds
Jeremiah Jarnagin

Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Winter, 1985, page 159.

1799 Petition Objecting to Erecting a New County

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 21-1-1799 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Dated 26 Sep 1799

Some citizens of Grainger County object to attaching the part of Grainger County lying south of Clinch Mountain to part of Jefferson County.  They state the citizens petitioning to do so follow a “party design” and are not petitioning for the public good; therefore, they want an investigation.

Signers were:

George Bean
Soloman Blair
James Bowen
Josiah Smith
Henry Bowen
John McElkeny
Huse ? Robson
Edward Tharker ? / Edward T Parker ?
Thomas McBroom
Charles Bunch
Volintin Morgon
John Smith
Sml Yancey
Isaiah Midkiff
Wm Henderson
Thos Henderson
David Haley
John Bowen
Aron Gast / Gist
Michel Careny
James Blair Sr
James Blair Jr
Martin Ashburn
John Danel
William Arnold

Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Fall, 1991, page 116.

1799 Petition To Erect New County

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 18-1-1799 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Undated

Inhabitants of part of Knox and Grainger Counties asked to “erect a new and distinct county [torn page] south side of Clinch where the old Cumberland road passes [torn] the up said river … opposite Jacob Wormac‘s in Powels Valley and down Cumberland Mt. with the Indian boundary … the bounds at forty miles in length and averaging eighteen miles in breadth.”

No signatures


Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Fall, 1991, page 114.

1799 Petition To Form Counties and Establish Court

By , February 5, 2014

Petition 17-1-1799 to the Tennessee General Assembly
See also Petition No. 24-1-1799, transcribed on this Web site.

Undated

Inhabitants of Grainger Co.  ask that no new county be formed … the “bounds between Cock [sic] County and Cumberland Mountains or the Indian boundary line is by No means sufficient for three counties … Nature has formed it for two and No more…” Also “laying a superior Court District Between that of Washington and Hambelton … ”

Signers were:

Jacob Capps
David Collens
Elijah Collens
William Capps
Andrw Blackwood
John Bots
William Clifton
Hardy Hughes
Aron Cook
Joseph Nation
Joshua Bots
Willis Caps
Edward Thornbrough
John Bayer
John Gilbert
Henry Evins
William [illegible]
Moses Smith
Richard Smith
John Bruston
Jessee James
Elnathen Davis
John Hutten
Js Kirkpatrick
Wm Savage
Ezekiel Craft
Andw Evins
Wm Hankins
Henry Sharpe
Edward Braden
Wm York
Jesse James

Source: Tennessee Genealogical Society, “Ansearchin'” News, Fall, 1991, page 114.

Petition of Isaiah Medkiff to Impeach Ambrose Yancey

By , January 24, 2014

Petition 22-2-1801 to the Tennessee General Assembly

Undated

From:  Isaiah Medkiff of Grainger County

Re:  Impeachment of Ambrose Yancey, Clerk of Grainger County

Medkiff charges that Yancey is guilty of altering the records, issuing false transcripts in cases where it is interested [sic], losing papers belonging to his office, not entering Judgement of Court when his brother was a party, “and finally his office is in a horrid situation.”

Medkiff requests that the following men be called on for depositions:  William Cocke, William Garret, John Cocke, Edward Scott, James Grant, Hugh L. White Esq., and Capt. George Bean.

The petition was sent to the TN House of Representatives on 7 October 1801, after which it was “read and referred to the committee who have the petition for the removal of Joseph Powell from the office of Justice of the Peace under consideration.”

The depositions mention the individual names William Yancey, Col. Ore, John Menefee J. P.; a case between William Moffett and John Bird; Robert Yancey, Sheriff of Grainger County; the case of State vs. David McEnelly and John Ray; the Bail of Thomas Colbert; and a copy by Stephen Heard.

Source:  Abstract of the petition, published in the TN Genealogical Society‘s “Ansearchin'” News, Vol. 2, 1993, pp. 75-76.

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