1801 Petition to Remove Joseph Powell as a Commissioner

Petition 21-2-1801 to the Tennessee General Assembly


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.

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