Top Ten Tennessee History Reference Books

Your Webmistress has tried to create a list of her personal Top Ten Tennessee History Reference Books, meaning the ones she refers to over and over. The list is more than 10, but it was really hard to stop!

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Here they are, in no particular order ~~

TN Historical Society, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (1998) — you’ll get lost in this book, the full text of which is available for free on-line. Click here to start your browsing.

Samuel Cole Williams: Honestly, anything this man ever wrote on Tennessee history is awesome. You should read each book at least once. They are all scarce, even though they’ve been reprinted over the years.

Some Samuel Cole Williams books are available at Amazon for very reasonable prices. If you begin your shopping from the link below, a few cents from your purchase(s) will go to support the cost of maintaining the Knox, Jefferson, and Sevier County TNGenWeb sites.
Samuel Cole Williams’ books available for sale at

John Haywood, Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee (1823) — click here to read/download 2nd edition full-text for free at Google Books

John Haywood and Robert L. Cobbs, The Statute Laws of the State of Tennessee, of a Public and General Nature (1831) — click here to read/download Vol. I full-text for free at Google Books

Hale & Merritt, A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans: The Leaders and Representative Men – 8 volumes (1913) — click here to read/download some volumes full-text for free at Google Books

Albert Pruitt, Glasgow Land Fraud papers, 1783-1800, North Carolina Revolutionary War, Bounty Land in Tennessee (1988, 2 vols.) [all his works on NC & TN land are outstanding]

Henry Whitney, The Land Laws of Tennessee (1891) — click here to read/download 2nd edition full-text for free at Google Books

Irene Griffey, Earliest Tennessee Land Records & Earliest Tennessee Land History (reprints, currently 2003 edition) — click here for a limited preview on-line at Google Books or click here to purchase the book at Amazon.

James Phelan

Garrett & Goodpasture, History of Tennessee (1903) (written for school children) — click here to read/download full-text for free at Google Books

Wilma Dykeman: Everything she wrote is absolutely golden.

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Site last updated September 19, 2021 @ 5:41 pm; This content last updated January 20, 2014 @ 2:54 am