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Tennessee s First Governor TN Standard 4.5.09b John Sevier- His Early Life Sevier was born in Rockingham County, VA near the town of New Market, VA on September 23 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: John%20Sevier

John Sevier
  • Tennessees First Governor

TN Standard 4.5.09b
John Sevier- His Early Life
  • Sevier was born in Rockingham County, VA near the
    town of New Market, VA on September 23, 1745
  • He was the son of Valentine Sevier The
    Immigrant, a member of the French Hugenot branch
    of the Xavier Family in France , and Joanna Goad
    an American woman
  • John married Sarah Hawkins in 1761 at the age of
  • It was in 1773 Sevier took his family and with
    his brothers and their families and moved to the
    Holston River Area, North Carolina (now

John Sevier- In East Tennessee
  • The Holston River Valley appealed to Sevier
    likely due to the tales of all the good land-
  • In 1774, Sevier will serve as Captain of the
    Colonial Militia under Col. George Washington in
    Lord Dunmores War against the Native Americans-
    Sevier will earn a reputation as a valiant
    Indian Fighter during this time
  • Sevier will once again move his family in 1775 to
    the banks of the Watauga River and later the
    Nolichucky River where he earns the nickname
    Nolichucky Jack

John Sevier- Fort Watauga
  • Lt. Col. Sevier commanded the Washington militia
    at Fort Caswell (Ft. Watauga).
  • The Revolutionary War fort was built in 1775 as a
    means of protection to the Watauga Association
    from local Cherokee Indian attacks.
  • The fort was attacked and laid siege to from July
    20-August 2, 1776 by a group of Cherokee Indians
    led by Old Abram (Abram Creek and Abram Falls are
    named for this chief)
  • Legend says it was during this attack that
    Katherine Bonny Kate Sherrill was locked
    outside of the fort before she was helped over
    the wall by Lt. Col. Sevier
  • In the spring of 1780, his wife Sarah dies
    shortly after delivering their 10th child and
    Sevier and Sherrill were married in August of the
    same year

Fort Watauga
  • This is a recreation of Fort Watauga located at
    Sycamore Shoals in
  • Elizabethton, TN

John Sevier- The Revolutionary War
  • In 1780- the colonials of the area received a
    message from British Major Patrick Ferguson
    proclaiming that if they did not stop supporting
    the newly formed United States of America, that
    he would march over the mountain and attack
  • Newly promoted Col. John Sevier lead a group of
    1,000 men from Tennessee, North Carolina, and
    Virginia. September 25, 1780, they gathered at
    Sycamore Shoals (present day Elizabethton, TN)
    and marched over the mountain and engaged 1,000
    British regulars and North Carolina loyalists in
    the Battle of Kings Mountain

John Sevier- The Battle of Kings Mountain
  • The Overmountain Men arrived in South Carolina
    and engaged the British on October 7, 1780
  • Of the nine smaller groups organized at the
    battle, Sevier was one of two groups selected to
    attack Ferguson at the highest point of the
  • The Battle of Kings Mountain lasted only 65
    minutes and resulted in a decisive victory for
    the colonials as Ferguson was killed and the
    loyalists surrendered- it would serve as a
    turning point in the war for the colonials- Sadly
    one of the colonial casualties was one of his
    brothers, Capt. Robert Sevier, who died on the
    trek back to Sycamore Shoals from his battle


Strategic Battle Map of Kings Mountain
John Sevier- Tennessee
  • In 1783- Sevier makes the move to the banks of
    the Nolichucky River and by 1784 was heavily
    engaged in politics of the new nation
  • 1784- North Carolina gives the United States
    government all lands west of the Appalachian
    Mountains- Congress did not take immediate
    control over the land
  • Fearing that North Carolina would sell the land
    to Spain or France, they Wataugans met in
    Jonesborough (its first capitol) and on August
    23, 1784 and declared its independence from North

  • These counties (Washington, Greene, Sullivan, and
    Spencer- now Hawkins Co.) petitioned the
    government for admissions as a state on May 16,
  • Delegates from the newly proposed state gathered
    in their new capitol of Greeneville, TN where
    John Sevier was quickly elected the first
    governor of the State of Franklin- the state
    failed to garner the 2/3rds vote needed to enter
    the Union
  • North Carolina began trying to take back the
    region which resulted in one small battle between
    Sevier and Col. John Tipton at Tiptons Farm
    (located in present day Johnson City, TN)
  • Sevier was eventually arrested and released as
    North Carolina reassumed control of the area in

John Sevier- Governor
  • In 1790, the territory west of Appalachians was
    again given up by North Carolina and was
    organized as the Territory of the United States
    South of the River Ohio.
  • President George Washington appointed William
    Blount as the territorial governor and he and
    Sevier worked closely together during this
    organizational period
  • Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796 and John
    Sevier was elected its first governor where he
    served three 2-year terms (1796-1801)- He moved
    to Knoxville and his home Marble Springs
  • During his time in office, Sevier developed a
    fierce rivalry with future President Andrew
    Jackson- one incident almost resulted in a duel
    between the two men in Kingston, TN- no shots
    were fired
  • John Sevier s time as governor was not over as
    he defeated Archibald Roane, the current
    governor, in 1803 and Sevier began another three
    2-year term stint as governor of Tennessee.

John Sevier- Later Life
  • After serving as governor for a total of 12
    years, Sevier did not shy away from the political
  • He was elected to the Tennessee state Senate in
    1809 and then to the U.S. House of
    Representatives in 1811.
  • Sevier would serve in the 12th, 13th, and 14th
  • John Sevier continued to serve in politics as he
    was appointed commissioner overseeing a border
    dispute between Georgia and Creek Indian
    Territory in Alabama
  • On September 25, 1815, just 2 days after his 70th
    birthday, Sevier died of a fever near Fort
    Decatur, AL
  • He was buried there until 1889 when he was
    brought back to Tennessee and buried on the lawn
    of the Knoxville Courthouse where he and his
    wives are today

Sevier Grave Marker- Old Knoxville Courthouse