J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III
J. R. “Pitt” Hyde III started the operation that became AutoZone in 1979 as part of Malone & Hyde, a company founded by his grandfather. In 2004, Hyde was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame—an achievement that the institution describes on its website as “the single greatest honor in the motor vehicle industry”—for his innovations in auto parts sales and service. He was the “first aftermarket retailer” so honored.
Hyde’s early career is summarized in an article on AutoZone by Kevin Cason that also appears in the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. After taking over for his ailing father in 1968 at the age of twenty-six, Hyde steered Malone & Hyde through a period of rapid growth and tripled sales volume. During his tenure, the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Hyde then used company stock to acquire several of his competitors. The acquisitions turned Malone & Hyde into the third largest wholesale food distributor in the United States. In 1979, after intervention by the Federal Trade Commission thwarted some of its attempts to acquire competitors and forced the company to look elsewhere for growth potential, Hyde created an auto parts company that became known as AutoZone. Hyde took Malone & Hyde private and sold it in 1988, but not before he had spun off the highly successful AutoZone into a separate entity.
Hyde started AutoZone as “Auto Shack” in 1979 in Forrest City, Arkansas. The store was renamed “AutoZone” after attracting attention (and an infringement suit) from Radio Shack. AutoZone’s history is one of innovation, exploration, and experimentation: the company was at the forefront of the retail technology revolution, and in 1999 the AutoZone Corporation made its first appearance in the Fortune 500.
Hyde brought his unique experience as a grocery store wholesaler into what he perceived as a retail sector that had little competition. Hyde saw opportunity: he perceived that a more customer-focused operation had the potential to be more profitable. His company focused on well-trained employees and placed emphasis on customer service. Hyde notes that the company has “made a religion out of putting the customer first,” and indeed customer service saturates AutoZone’s corporate culture: AutoZone’s company cheer–a move Hyde likely borrowed from his time on Wal-Mart’s Board of Directors–includes the phrase “AutoZoners always put customers first.”
Hyde remains an active philanthropist and a widely honored member of the Memphis community. Citing AutoZone’s downtown headquarters, his role in bringing the former Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis, and the Hyde Family Foundation’s support for various community institutions and initiatives, the Memphis chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced that Hyde was the recipient of the 2007 Francis Gassner Award for his contributions as patron to the city’s built environment. Hyde was the 2002 recipient of the AXA Liberty Bowl Distinguished Citizen Award, and he is well known in the Mid-South region for his work to promote education and the arts. The Society of Entrepreneurs cites his work with the National Civil Rights Museum, Ballet Memphis, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and other community organizations among their reasons for inducting him into its Hall of Honor.
Griffin was born in Okinawa, Japan, where his parents, Robert Griffin Jr. and Jacqueline, both U.S. Army sergeants, were stationed. The family later lived at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Washington,  and then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. They finally settled in Copperas Cove, Texas in 1997 after retiring from the military. 
Griffin's paternal grandfather, Robert Griffin Sr., was a foreman for a New Orleans construction company. He suffered from glaucoma for several years, and died in 1984 at age 43 from a brain aneurysm.   Financial hardship caused the family to move to the Desire Projects neighborhood. Griffin's father was a basketball player at Kennedy High School and enlisted in the Army before he graduated.  He met his wife Jacqueline (née Ross) while stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado. 
High school career Edit
Griffin attended Copperas Cove High School, where he was a three-sport star in basketball, football, and track for the Bulldawgs.  He started at quarterback for two seasons. During his junior season, he passed for 2,001 yards and 25 touchdowns with 2 interceptions, while compiling 876 rushing yards for 8 touchdowns. He received first-team All-District 16-4A honors after the season. As a senior, he recorded 1,285 rushing yards, posting 24 touchdowns, and passed for 1,356 yards for 16 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. In his senior season Copperas Cove finished with a record of 13–2, but lost in the championship game of the 2007 Class 4A Division I state playoffs. Over the two seasons, he rushed for a total of 2,161 yards and 32 touchdowns while passing for 3,357 yards and 41 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. He went to and lost 2 state championships 
In track, Griffin broke state records for the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles. He ran the 110-meter hurdles in 13.55 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in 35.33 seconds. The 300 hurdles time was 1/100th of a second short of tying the national high school record at the time. He was also a gold medalist in the 110- and 400-meter hurdles on the AAU track and field circuit. In 2007, as a junior, he was rated the No. 1 high school 400-meter intermediate hurdler in the country, and was tied at No. 1 for the 110-meter sprint hurdler in the nation. His personal best in the 110-meter hurdles, 13.46 sec, ranked fifth in the world among junior athletes in 2007 (behind Noga, Brathwaite, Dutch, and Vladimir Zhukov),  while his best 2007 time in the 400-meter hurdles, 49.56 sec—his personal best until 2008—led all juniors worldwide for that year.  Also as a junior, Griffin received the Gatorade Texas Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year award,  and was named to USA Today′s 2007 All-USA Track and Field team.  His personal best in the 400-meter hurdles was achieved on May 18, 2008, with a time of 49.22 seconds. 
|110-meter hurdles||13.46||Knoxville, Tennessee||August 2, 2007 |
|300-meter hurdles||35.33||Austin, Texas||May 11, 2007 |
|400-meter hurdles||49.22||Boulder, Colorado||May 18, 2008 |
College recruitment Edit
Rivals.com, a college football recruiting service, ranked Griffin the fourth-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation and the 42nd-best player in Texas in the high school prospect class of 2008.  During the college recruiting period, Griffin was pursued by Stanford, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska, Houston, Tulsa, Illinois, Washington State, and Oregon. Griffin initially committed to play for Houston under head coach Art Briles. When Briles left Houston to take the head coaching position at Baylor, Griffin switched his commitment and eventually signed a letter of intent to play for Baylor,  in part because the university also had a top track and field program. 
- Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
- In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.
- "Baylor Football Commitments". Rivals.com . Retrieved December 14, 2011 .
- "2008 Baylor Football Commits". Scout.com . Retrieved December 14, 2011 .
- "ESPN". ESPN.com . Retrieved December 14, 2011 .
- "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com . Retrieved December 14, 2011 .
- "2008 Team Ranking". Rivals.com . Retrieved December 14, 2011 .
Griffin graduated from high school a semester early, after serving as class president and ranking seventh in his class.  He began attending Baylor University during the spring 2008 semester when he was 17 years old. As a member of Baylor's track and field team, Griffin finished in first place in the 400-meter hurdles at both the Big 12 Conference Championship and the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meets he also broke the NCAA Midwest Regional 400-meter hurdles record. He placed third in the NCAA meet and also participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials, in which he advanced to the semifinals. Griffin graduated in three years with a bachelor's degree in political science and a 3.67 GPA, while appearing on the dean's list twice.  During his final year of college sports eligibility, he was studying for a master's degree in communications. 
2008 season Edit
As a true freshman playing for the Bears, Griffin earned Big 12 Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year honors.  He started 11 of 12 games his freshman season. He made his collegiate debut in a loss to Wake Forest, where he was 11 of 19 for 125 passing yards and had 29 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.  In the upset 41–21 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies, he recorded 13 of 23 passes for 241 yards, 2 touchdowns, no interceptions, and no sacks.   Griffin garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors from the league's coaches (who are not allowed to vote for their own players) as well as the media.
The team finished the season with a 4–8 record (2–6 Big 12).  
2009 season Edit
Griffin sat out for the remainder of the 2009 season after sustaining an isolated tear to his ACL in the first half of the third game, his third start of his sophomore year. The Bears picked up a 68–13 victory over Northwestern State.  
Baylor finished the season with a 4–8 record (1–7 Big 12). 
2010 season Edit
Griffin was granted redshirt status so he entered the 2010 season as a sophomore. According to the bylaws, players who are injured after playing less than 30 percent of the season may be eligible (Griffin was injured during the third game of the 2009 season, with 25 percent of the season completed).  Overall, he finished the season with 3,501 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions, and had 149 rushes for 635 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. 
Baylor finished the season with a 7–6 record (4–4 Big 12). 
2011 season Edit
Coming into the 2011 season, the Baylor Bears were not expected to do well, being picked 6th in the Big 12 preseason poll.  The Bears opened the season against 15th-ranked TCU. The Bears took a 47–23 lead into the 4th quarter, and were able to fight off a comeback after the Horned Frogs gained the lead 48–47 briefly, only for Baylor to kick the game-winning field goal and win 50–48. They pulled off the upset in large part due to Griffin's performance he passed for 359 yards, with 5 touchdowns and a 77.8% completion percentage. On the game-winning drive, Griffin also caught a key pass.  Following the win, Baylor entered the AP Poll rankings for only the third time in the previous 15 seasons, at 20th,   and Griffin was considered by many to be a Heisman Trophy candidate.  After a bye week, Baylor shut out Stephen F. Austin State University 48–0, and Griffin went 20 of 22 (90.9%) for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns and ran for 78 yards.   In week 4, Griffin ushered Baylor to their third win, beating Rice University 56–31 Griffin completed 29 of 33 passes (87.9%) for 338 yards with 51 yards rushing and a touchdown.   In week five against Kansas State, Griffin almost brought the Bears to their fourth win, going 23 out of 31 (74.2%) for 346 yards and 5 touchdowns with only 1 interception, but they lost 36–35 to the Wildcats.  In week six against Iowa State, Griffin took Baylor to Iowa for their fourth win, completing 22 out of 30 (73.3%) for 212 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions.  He won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first player from Baylor to win it.  Griffin also led Baylor to a 10–3 record, including a 67–56 win over the Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl.   With a combined 123 points, it stands as the highest-scoring regulation bowl game in NCAA history. Due to the Alamo Bowl, Griffin became the first player since Tim Tebow in 2007 to win the Heisman and not appear in the National Championship (#1 LSU faced #2 Alabama). Overall, he finished the 2011 season with 4,293 passing yards, 37 passing touchdowns, and six interceptions to go along with 179 rushes for 699 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns. 
Griffin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a 3.67 grade point average in December 2010, began pursuing a Master's in communications in 2011.   On January 11, 2012, Griffin officially announced his intention to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. 
College awards and honors Edit
- 2011 Heisman Trophy winner
- 2011 Associated Press College Football Player of the Year winner
- 2011 Davey O'Brien Award winner
- 2011 Manning Award winner Consensus All-American
- 2011 First Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2011 Finalist for Walter Campbell Player of the Year
- 2011 Finalist for Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award
- 2011 Finalist for Wuerffel Trophy
- 2011 Semifinalist for Maxwell Award
- 2010 First Team Academic All-Big 12
- 2010 Semifinalist for Maxwell Award
- 2010 Semifinalist for Walter Campbell Player of the Year
- 2010 Baylor's Kyle Woods Inspirational Leader
- 2008 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year (as selected by the league's coaches  and the media  )
- 2008 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week (received honor for the week of September 7–14, 2008 Griffin led the Bears to a 45–17 victory over Washington State on September 12, breaking various school records in the process  )
- 2008 Sporting News and Rivals.com freshman first team All-American
- 2008 Big 12 gold medalist (400 m hurdles)
- 2008 Track & Field All-American (400 m hurdles)
- 2008 Baylor Offensive MVP
School records Edit
Griffin set or tied 8 single-game, 26 single-season, and 20 career Baylor records. 
- 2008 Rushing yards by a freshman: 843
- 2008 Rushing yards by a QB: 843
- 2008 Rushing yards (Game): 217 
- 2008 Rushing yards Per attempt (Game): 19.7  vs. Washington State, (11 for 217 yards also a conference record)
- 2008 Rushing TDs (Season): 13 (tied)
- 2008 Rushing TDs by a QB (Season): 13
- 2011 Most passing yards (Season): 4,293
- 2011 Most touchdown passes (Season): 37
- 2011 Highest passing efficiency rating (Season): 189.5
- 2011 Highest completion percentage (Season): 72.4
- 2011 Most total offense (Season): 4,992
- Most passing yards (Career): 10,366
- Most touchdown passes (Career): 78
- Highest passing efficiency rating (Career): 158.9
- Highest completion percentage (Career): 67.1
- Most total offense (Career): 12,620
- Rushing TDs by a QB (Career): 23
- 100-yard Rushing games by QB (Season): 4
- 100-yard Rushing games by QB (Career): 5
Griffin was not perceived as a first-round draft pick prior to his junior season.    By midseason, however, he had drawn the attention of NFL scouts and analysts, and some started projecting he would be an early first round selection.   Towards the end of his junior season, Griffin had established himself as the No. 2 quarterback prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft, behind the unanimous first pick projection Andrew Luck.  
Griffin was widely projected to be the No. 2 pick of the draft, but the St. Louis Rams—the team originally holding the pick—had already selected Sam Bradford to be their long-term starting quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Wanting to stick with Bradford, the Rams decided to deal the pick prior to the draft, with the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins perceived as the most interested bidders. After a brief bidding process, the Redskins acquired the pick by giving the Rams four high-value draft picks over three years: their first-round picks in 2012 (No.6 overall), 2013 (No.22 overall), and 2014 (No.2 overall), as well as their second-round pick (No.39 overall) in 2012. 
Washington Redskins Edit
2012 season Edit
As expected, the Redskins selected Griffin with the second overall pick,  making him the second Baylor Bear to be drafted that high in four years (after Jason Smith in 2009), but the first Baylor quarterback to be chosen second overall since Adrian Burk in 1950.   
Griffin wore number 10 for the Redskins, with "Griffin III" on the back of his jersey. This made him the first player in the history of the "Big Four" professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA) to have a Roman numeral on the back of his jersey, as the NFL changed the rule in 2012 to allow players to include generational titles in their names. Griffin previously had "Griffin III" on the back of his jersey while in college, which was actually necessary in order to distinguish him from the other Robert Griffin on the Baylor team.  On July 18, 2012, the Redskins officially signed him to a four-year, $21.1 million contract with a $13.8 million signing bonus. 
On September 9, 2012, Griffin officially became the NFL's first starting quarterback who was born in the 1990s.  In his official debut as a starting quarterback in the NFL, Griffin opened the Redskins' season by completing 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns while adding 10 carries for 42 rushing yards in a 40–32 victory over the New Orleans Saints.  He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance  – the first time in NFL history that a rookie quarterback has been given that honor for his debut game.  Griffin's debut performance was further rewarded after he was named NFL Rookie of the Week,  and he was given that honor once again after the Redskins' win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4.  On October 4, he was named September's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month.  The next week against the Atlanta Falcons, he left the game late in the third quarter after suffering a mild concussion after receiving a blow to the head by Sean Weatherspoon.  He was cleared to play in the next game against the Minnesota Vikings, where he had another impressive performance that included a 76-yard rushing touchdown. The Redskins ended their home-game losing streak and Griffin was named NFL Rookie of the Week for a third time.  
On November 14 during the Redskins' bye week, the team voted Griffin an offensive co-captain.  Following the Redskins' 31–6 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, he was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for a second time. Griffin's performance – passing for 200 yards with 4 touchdowns, rushing for an additional 84 yards, and finishing with a perfect 158.3 passer rating – made him the first rookie in NFL history to pass for 200 yards, pass for 4 touchdowns and rush for more than 75 yards in a single game.   Along with that achievement, his performance against the Eagles made him the youngest player in NFL history, at 22 years and 284 days old, to achieve a perfect passer rating in a game.  This record stood until 2015, when Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for a perfect passer rating at 21 years and 318 days old in his debut. 
In the Week 14 game against the Baltimore Ravens on December 9, the Redskins would suffer another injury scare when defensive end Haloti Ngata hit Griffin directly at his right knee, twisting it in the process.   On the final drive of the fourth quarter, Griffin was tackled after rushing for 13 yards and hopped on one leg for several plays before leaving the game.  Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins would come in the game and lead the Redskins to a 31–28, overtime victory.  The next day it was confirmed that Griffin had sustained a Grade 1 LCL sprain.  It was decided that Griffin would sit out the next game against the Cleveland Browns to give him more time to heal and avoid the chance of further injuries.  He returned the next game and led the Redskins to another victory over the Eagles in Week 16. The knee injury emerged as a controversy on January 6, the day the Redskins faced the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC wild card game, when USA Today reported that – contrary to a previous statement made by head coach Mike Shanahan – Dr. James Andrews had not cleared Griffin to return for the post-injury plays in the December 9 game.  Griffin then re-injured his knee in the wild card loss to the Seahawks.  Griffin underwent surgery on January 9 and both his LCL and ACL were repaired. 
For the season, Griffin set records for highest passer rating by a rookie quarterback (102.4) and highest touchdown to interception ratio (4:1) (both since broken by Dak Prescott). Aside from the week 15 game against the Cleveland Browns where he did not play, Griffin played a vital role in helping the Redskins finish the regular season on a 7-game winning streak after starting the season 3–6, leading the team to its first playoff appearance since the 2007 season.  
On December 26, Griffin was named to enter the 2013 Pro Bowl in recognition of his successful rookie season.  Due to injuries on his ACL and LCL ligaments in his right knee, he was negated from the Pro Bowl roster and replaced by Drew Brees.  Griffin also won the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.  He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team, becoming the second Redskins quarterback to receive this award, joining Heath Shuler in 1994.
2013 season Edit
After some controversy over whether Griffin would be ready for the season opener (he did not play a single preseason game), he debuted in the loss to Philadelphia Eagles.  Griffin failed to replicate his 2012 success during the first half of the 2013 season and remained statistically below expectations until Washington's Week 7 game against the Chicago Bears. Leading the Redskins to a 45–41 victory, Griffin recorded 298 passing yards and two touchdowns,  including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson.  The Redskins' 27–6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12 was the first game in Griffin's collegiate and professional career where he failed to score a single offensive touchdown.  On December 11, head coach Mike Shanahan announced that Griffin would be inactive for last three games of the season and that Kirk Cousins would finish the season as the starter. He claimed that it was done in order to eliminate risk of further injury to Griffin.  He finished the 2013 season with 3,203 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions to go along with 86 carries for 489 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. 
2014 season Edit
On September 14, 2014, in Week 2, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Griffin was carted off the field after suffering a dislocated left ankle.  X-rays and MRIs revealed no fractures in the ankle. On October 29, it was reported that Griffin was set to return against the Minnesota Vikings in week 9.  The Redskins then dropped their next three games, falling to the Vikings, Buccaneers, and 49ers.  On November 25, it was reported that Griffin would be benched for Colt McCoy, heading into Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. After McCoy went down with a neck injury against the New York Giants, Griffin came in and looked impressive in a loss to the Giants, throwing for 236 yards and 1 touchdown passing.  Griffin was named the starter for the rest of the year when the Redskins put Colt McCoy on injured reserve. Griffin responded to that with a winning performance in a 27–24 victory over the Eagles. He threw for 220 yards and had one interception.  In the final game of the year against the Cowboys, Griffin showed strides of his rookie year. He threw for a season-high 336 yards and had 2 touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) in a 44–17 loss.  Griffin was 2–5 as a starter in 2014 and the Redskins finished 4–12 and last place in the NFC East.  
2015 season Edit
During Week 2 of preseason in a win over the Detroit Lions, Griffin fumbled the ball and recovered it but had a defensive lineman fall on top of him. Griffin suffered a concussion in the process and was questionable for the next game against the Ravens. Griffin was medically cleared for the game by a physician, but a few days later the same physician declared Griffin not ready for the game, thus giving backup Kirk Cousins the start. After the win over the Ravens, Cousins was named the starter for the regular-season opener and onward. 
On September 13, 2015, it was reported that Griffin was practicing as a safety with the scout team.  He ended up third on the quarterback depth chart, behind Cousins and Colt McCoy, and remained inactive for the entire regular season. 
On March 7, 2016, Griffin was released by the Redskins.  
Cleveland Browns Edit
On March 24, 2016, Griffin signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.   On August 8, 2016, Browns head coach Hue Jackson named Griffin the team's starting quarterback for the 2016 season.  Griffin was placed on injured reserve on September 12, after suffering a shoulder injury in the Browns' season opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.  He was activated off injured reserve on December 9, 2016, prior to Week 14 against the Bengals.  Griffin played in five games, all starts, in 2016, completing 87-of-147 passes for 886 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns. 
On March 10, 2017, Griffin was released by the Browns. 
Baltimore Ravens Edit
After remaining a free agent for all of 2017, Griffin signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens on April 4, 2018.  On September 2, 2018, Griffin was named the team's backup quarterback.  Backing up Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson, Griffin appeared in three games in the 2018 season. 
2019 season Edit
On March 21, 2019, Griffin re-signed with the Ravens on a two-year contract.  On July 28, 2019, Griffin suffered a fractured thumb and was expected to miss 4–8 weeks.  Griffin returned in time for the September 8, 2019, regular-season opener against the Miami Dolphins, where Griffin came into the game in relief of Lamar Jackson toward the end of the 59–10 victory. He completed all six pass attempts for 55 yards and one touchdown.  In the Week 10 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Griffin entered the game as a running back alongside Mark Ingram Jr. and Jackson in the backfield, marking what was likely the first time in NFL history three former Heisman Trophy winners lined up together in a backfield.  In Week 17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Griffin made his first start since the 2016 season because the Ravens secured the top seed in the AFC playoffs and sat their starters as a result. During the game, Griffin threw for 96 yards and an interception and rushed for 50 yards during the 28–10 win. 
2020 season Edit
Griffin was named the starter for the Ravens Week 12 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers due to Lamar Jackson testing positive for COVID-19.  He injured his left hamstring late in the second quarter of the game, but remained in until the fourth quarter, when he was sidelined and replaced by Trace McSorley. He finished the game 7-12 for 33 yards and an interception (which was returned for a touchdown by former Browns teammate Joe Haden) along with seven rushes for 68 yards during the 19–14 loss.   He was placed on injured reserve on December 4, 2020.  Griffin was waived by the Ravens on January 18, 2021. 
Regular season Edit
|2015||WAS||0||0||Did not play due to injury|
Griffin began dating fellow Baylor student Rebecca Liddicoat in 2009, and the two were married on July 6, 2013.   Rebecca gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter in 2015.  On August 16, 2016, it was reported that Griffin and his wife were separated and in the process of filing for divorce. 
In August 2016, Griffin and Estonian heptathlete Grete Šadeiko became romantically linked.  They were engaged on May 13, 2017.  In 2017, Griffin announced via Instagram the birth of his second daughter.   The couple married on March 10, 2018.  His third daughter was born in September 2019.
Griffin grew up a fan of the Denver Broncos and Mike Shanahan, whom he played under for his first two seasons with the Redskins.  Griffin is a Protestant Christian, and has said his relationship with God is his "most important influence."  
Before the start of his rookie season with the Redskins, Griffin had signed a number of endorsement deals from companies such as Adidas, Castrol Motor Oil, EA Sports, EvoShield, Gatorade, Nissan, and Subway. According to ESPN's Dollars blog, Griffin had "earned more than any other rookie in NFL history before throwing his first regular-season pass," largely as a result of endorsements. 
Thomas Lanier Williams III was born in Columbus, Mississippi, of English, Welsh, and Huguenot ancestry, the second child of Edwina Dakin (August 9, 1884 – June 1, 1980) and Cornelius Coffin "C. C." Williams (August 21, 1879 – March 27, 1957).  His father was a traveling shoe salesman who became an alcoholic and was frequently away from home. His mother, Edwina, was the daughter of Rose O. Dakin, a music teacher, and the Reverend Walter Dakin, an Episcopal priest from Illinois who was assigned to a parish in Clarksdale, Mississippi, shortly after Williams' birth. Williams lived in his parsonage with his family for much of his early childhood and was close to his grandparents.
He had two siblings, older sister Rose Isabel Williams (1909–1996)  and younger brother Walter Dakin Williams  (1919  –2008). 
As a young child Williams nearly died from a case of diphtheria that left him weak and virtually confined to his house during a period of recuperation that lasted a year. At least in part as a result of his illness, he was less robust as a child than his father wished. Cornelius Williams, a descendant of hardy East Tennessee pioneer stock, had a violent temper and was a man prone to use his fists. He regarded what he thought was his son's effeminacy with disdain. Edwina, locked in an unhappy marriage, focused her attention almost entirely on her frail young son.  Many critics and historians note that Williams drew from his own dysfunctional family in much of his writing. 
When Williams was eight years old, his father was promoted to a job at the home office of the International Shoe Company in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother's continual search for what she considered to be an appropriate address, as well as his father's heavy drinking and loudly turbulent behavior, caused them to move numerous times around St. Louis. Williams attended Soldan High School, a setting he referred to in his play The Glass Menagerie.  Later he studied at University City High School.   At age 16, Williams won third prize for an essay published in Smart Set, titled "Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?" A year later, his short story "The Vengeance of Nitocris" was published (as by "Thomas Lanier Williams") in the August 1928 issue of the magazine Weird Tales.  These early publications did not lead to any significant recognition or appreciation of Williams' talent, and he would struggle for more than a decade afterwards to establish his writing career. Later in 1928, Williams first visited Europe with his maternal grandfather Dakin.
From 1929 to 1931, Williams attended the University of Missouri in Columbia where he enrolled in journalism classes.  He was bored by his classes and distracted by unrequited love for a girl. Soon he began entering his poetry, essays, stories, and plays in writing contests, hoping to earn extra income. His first submitted play was Beauty Is the Word (1930), followed by Hot Milk at Three in the Morning (1932).  As recognition for Beauty, a play about rebellion against religious upbringing, he became the first freshman to receive honorable mention in a writing competition. 
At University of Missouri, Williams joined the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, but he did not fit in well with his fraternity brothers. After he failed a military training course in his junior year, his father pulled him out of school and put him to work at the International Shoe Company factory. Although Williams hated the monotony, the job forced him out of the gentility of his upbringing.  His dislike of his new 9-to-5 routine drove Williams to write prodigiously. He set a goal of writing one story a week. Williams often worked on weekends and late into the night. His mother recalled his intensity:
Tom would go to his room with black coffee and cigarettes and I would hear the typewriter clicking away at night in the silent house. Some mornings when I walked in to wake him for work, I would find him sprawled fully dressed across the bed, too tired to remove his clothes. 
Overworked, unhappy, and lacking further success with his writing, by his 24th birthday Williams had suffered a nervous breakdown and left his job. He drew from memories of this period, and a particular factory co-worker, to create the character Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire.  By the mid-1930s his mother separated from his father due to his worsening alcoholism and abusive temper. They never divorced.
In 1936, Williams enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis where he wrote the play Me, Vashya (1937). In the autumn of 1937, he transferred to the University of Iowa, where he graduated with a B.A. in English in August 1938.  He later studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York City. Speaking of his early days as a playwright and an early collaborative play called Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay!, Williams wrote, "The laughter . enchanted me. Then and there the theatre and I found each other for better and for worse. I know it's the only thing that saved my life."  Around 1939, he adopted "Tennessee Williams" as his professional name. [ citation needed ]
Literary influences Edit
As Williams was struggling to gain production and an audience for his work in the late 1930s, he worked at a string of menial jobs that included a stint as caretaker on a chicken ranch in Laguna Beach, California. In 1939, with the help of his agent Audrey Wood, Williams was awarded a $1,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in recognition of his play Battle of Angels. It was produced in Boston in 1940 and was poorly received.
Using some of the Rockefeller funds, Williams moved to New Orleans in 1939 to write for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federally funded program begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to put people to work. Williams lived for a time in New Orleans' French Quarter, including 722 Toulouse Street, the setting of his 1977 play Vieux Carré. The building is now part of The Historic New Orleans Collection.  The Rockefeller grant brought him to the attention of the Hollywood film industry and Williams received a six-month contract as a writer from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio, earning $250 weekly.
During the winter of 1944–45, his memory play The Glass Menagerie developed from his 1943 short story "Portrait of a Girl in Glass", was produced in Chicago and garnered good reviews. It moved to New York where it became an instant hit and enjoyed a long Broadway run. Elia Kazan (who directed many of Williams' greatest successes) said of Williams: "Everything in his life is in his plays, and everything in his plays is in his life."  The Glass Menagerie won the award for the best play of the season, the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.
The huge success of his next play, A Streetcar Named Desire, secured his reputation as a great playwright in 1947. During the late 1940s and 1950s, Williams began to travel widely with his partner Frank Merlo (1922 – September 21, 1963), often spending summers in Europe. He moved often to stimulate his writing, living in New York, New Orleans, Key West, Rome, Barcelona, and London. Williams wrote, "Only some radical change can divert the downward course of my spirit, some startling new place or people to arrest the drift, the drag." 
Between 1948 and 1959 Williams had seven of his plays produced on Broadway: Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Garden District (1958), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959). By 1959, he had earned two Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, three Donaldson Awards, and a Tony Award.
Williams' work reached wide audiences in the early 1950s when The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire were adapted as motion pictures. Later plays also adapted for the screen included Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tattoo, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth, and Summer and Smoke.
After the extraordinary successes of the 1940s and 1950s, he had more personal turmoil and theatrical failures in the 1960s and 1970s. Although he continued to write every day, the quality of his work suffered from his increasing alcohol and drug consumption, as well as occasional poor choices of collaborators.  In 1963, his partner Frank Merlo died.
Consumed by depression over the loss, and in and out of treatment facilities while under the control of his mother and brother Dakin, Williams spiraled downward. His plays Kingdom of Earth (1967), In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel (1969), Small Craft Warnings (1973), The Two Character Play (also called Out Cry, 1973), The Red Devil Battery Sign (1976), Vieux Carré (1978), Clothes for a Summer Hotel (1980), and others were all box office failures. Negative press notices wore down his spirit. His last play, A House Not Meant to Stand, was produced in Chicago in 1982. Despite largely positive reviews, it ran for only 40 performances.
Critics and audiences alike failed to appreciate Williams' new style and the approach to theater he developed during the 1970s.
In 1974, Williams received the St. Louis Literary Award from the Saint Louis University Library Associates.   In 1979, four years before his death, he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. 
Throughout his life Williams remained close to his sister, Rose, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a young woman. In 1943, as her behavior became increasingly disturbing, she was subjected to a lobotomy, requiring her to be institutionalized for the rest of her life. As soon as he was financially able, Williams moved Rose to a private institution just north of New York City, where he often visited her. He gave her a percentage interest in several of his most successful plays, the royalties from which were applied toward her care.   The devastating effects of Rose's treatment may have contributed to Williams' alcoholism and his dependence on various combinations of amphetamines and barbiturates. 
After some early attempts at relationships with women, by the late 1930s, Williams began exploring his homosexuality. In New York City, he joined a gay social circle that included fellow writer and close friend Donald Windham (1920–2010) and Windham's then-boyfriend Fred Melton. In the summer of 1940, Williams initiated a relationship with Kip Kiernan (1918–1944), a young dancer he met in Provincetown, Massachusetts. When Kiernan left him to marry a woman, Williams was distraught. Kiernan's death four years later at age 26 was another heavy blow.
On a 1945 visit to Taos, New Mexico, Williams met Pancho Rodríguez y González, a hotel clerk of Mexican heritage. Rodríguez was prone to jealous rages and excessive drinking, and their relationship was tempestuous. In February 1946 Rodríguez left New Mexico to join Williams in his New Orleans apartment. They lived and traveled together until late 1947, when Williams ended the relationship. Rodríguez and Williams remained friends, however, and were in contact as late as the 1970s.
Williams spent the spring and summer of 1948 in Rome in the company of an Italian teenager, called "Rafaello" in Williams' Memoirs. He provided financial assistance to the younger man for several years afterward. Williams drew from this for his first novel, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
In 1817, Crockett became public commissioner of Lawrence County. Later that year, he was elected justice of the peace and then became a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee militia. After resigning those posts, he won a seat in the Tennessee General Assembly representing Lawrence and Hickman counties, where he fought for the tax and land rights of poor settlers and refined his speaking skills.
After losing his businesses to flooding, Davy moved to Carroll County and was again elected to the General Assembly in 1823. He lost a bid for Congress in 1825 and returned to the private sector.
He ran for Congress again in 1827 and 1829 and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, lost in 1830, won again in 1833 and lost his final bid in 1834. He often opposed President Andrew Jackson’s political platform, although at first, he supported him.
While in Congress, Crockett made a name for himself as a gifted storyteller and the “gentleman from the cane,” a snobbish reference to his rural upbringing. He also became the subject of a play and a series of books and almanacs which included tall tales about his exploits as a bear-hunting frontiersman.
Hoping to set the record straight about the reality of his life and change his folk hero reputation, Crockett wrote an autobiography and went on tour promoting it. When he returned and lost his seat in Congress, he famously said, “I told the people of my district that I would serve them faithfully as I had done but if not, they might go to hell, and I will go to Texas.” And he did.
Tennessee III - History
LAND REGISTRATION IN EARLY MIDDLE TENNESSEE
LAWS AND PRACTICE
By Daniel Byron Dovenbarger, ©
THE TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT
Congress, by accepting North Carolina's cession, caused the metamorphosis of Tennessee land from the western part of a seaboard state to the main portion of a frontier territory. It must be surprising, therefore, to discover there was actually little alteration of the land law system established by the General Assembly of North Carolina. This inactivity of the territorial government is significant since the rationale for public sale of the land was different for the two governments.
In North Carolina, the purpose for encouraging land sales was of a double nature. First, the state was interested in obtaining income from the sale of the lands. The funds obtained from land sales were a valuable addition to a state treasury that had suffered the effects of the Revolutionary War and its economic aftermath. Additionally, the state saw its best interest to lie in providing a regulated system of encouragement for the new settlers entering the lands. Another aspect of North Carolina's land policy was that the state used the lands to eliminate its obligation to its soldiers. The land of the western territory had been a valuable commodity in the state's economy. Accordingly, one would suspect that the laws passed affecting the disposal of that land were geared to benefit the state and, perhaps, those who found themselves in positions where they could write those laws to benefit themselves.
In the Territory South of the River Ohio, different circumstances prevailed. Since all inhabitants (white settlers and their slaves) migrated into the territory from the eastern states, there were none of the obligations that affected state policy for governments in existence during the Revolutionary War. At least this is how it should have been in theory. The territorial government as a new creation should have had a free hand in regulating the land under its control to the benefit of the settlers already there and the newcomers streaming over the mountains.
Actually, North Carolina maintained certain rights to some Tennessee lands. These rights were enumerated in the clauses of the Act of Cession of 1789. Such clauses stipulated that military warrants either issued or in the process of being issued would be allowed to be completed and validated. This stipulation was to have long-lasting effects on the land policies and politics of the territory and later the State of Tennessee. Further difficulties were created for the territorial government by the decision of Congress to use the land in the area to relieve the Federal government of its obligations to soldiers. The results of this decision created in Tennessee a system where three different governments all had some input into decisions made about the registration and validation of land claims. The resulting confusion has done much to obscure a great deal of Tennessee's past, both in how the state was settled and how the politics of the young state developed.
Troubles emerged once Congress accepted the Act of Cession from North Carolina. This Act of Cession was presented to Congress in February, 1790 by Benjamin Hawkins, the Senator from North Carolina. By April 16, 1790, actions taken upon the acceptance of the cession resulted in George Washington signing the final documents necessary to the legal transaction.(1) There was then a small lapse of time before the actual creation of the territorial government.
The bill that finally emerged creating the Territory South of the River Ohio was a small piece of legislation. It created the territory, in one district, into a governmental unit with a system identical to that established in the Northwest Territory. This plan of government had been detailed in 1787. Congress provided for certain exceptions to this pattern for the new territory. Chiefly, the exceptions allowed the reservations made by North Carolina but also permitted loopholes through which a different pattern of land regulation than provided by the Land Ordinance of 1785 could continue in the territory.
Officers in the newly created territorial government were to be nominated by the President and appointed with the consent of the Senate. The officers were to receive the same salaries and have the same authority as officers in the Northwest Territory. The bill creating the new territory was finished and signed by John Adams, President of the Senate, and Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Speaker of the House, on May 26, 1790.(2)
Although it was the intention of Congress to provide a land system in the territory similar to the one previously created in the Northwest Territory, there were great differences in the two regions' land systems. Never in the history of land surveying in Tennessee was there an energetic attempt to provide the systematic township pattern prescribed for the Northwest Territory. Since portions of the Land Ordinance of 1785 regulated the appropriation of public land for the benefit of schools, the absence of that system in Tennessee caused complications for school funding in Tennessee.(3)
After the bill creating the new territory had passed, there remained the difficult task of finding who would best fill the positions created. A governor, a secretary to the governor, and a judge were to be appointed. Recommendations for these positions began coming to President Washington early in the summer of 1790. On June 5, 1790, Timothy Bloodworth wrote to Washington encouraging the appointment of William Blount as governor. This was followed with a recommendation that Robert Hays, the son-in-law of John Donelson, be given the position of secretary. The same day other recommendations were written. John B. Ashe, the governor of North Carolina, also recommended William Blount as a good candidate for governor. This suggestion was supported by Senator Hawkins of North Carolina.(4) Other nominees for the positions were Howell Tatom and Daniel Smith for secretary and David Campbell and Edward Jones for judge.
Finally, a memorandum was sent from Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to George Washington expressing Jefferson's conclusions as to who would serve best in the new territorial government. Jefferson wrote that he had heard only good spoken of William Blount. Apparently no other candidate for governor had as many supporters as Blount. Jefferson went on to recommend Daniel Smith as secretary and David Campbell as judge.(5)
It is not know what other information Washington might have collected on these men, but he acted rapidly, accepting completely the suggestions of Thomas Jefferson. The commission to William Blount as governor was issued on June 8, 1790. This was approved by the Senate, creating his office for a period of three years or during good behavior. During the summer the commission was relayed to William Blount, and on September 20, 1790, he took his oath of office in Knoxville.(6) Issued the same day in June, Daniel Smith's commission provided a four-year term or during good behavior. He received his commission on September 6, 1790. Judge David Campbell was appointed during good behavior or for the duration of the government.(7)
Although there had been little or no alternative to the appointment of William Blount, there are some interesting reasons given for his interest in and accreditation for the job. In a letter of May 28, 1790, Hugh Williamson, a representative to the House from North Carolina, and later to become deeply involved with the Blounts in speculation, wrote Washington and suggested that the reason Blount would make a good governor was his intense interest in the peace and prosperity of the area. This interest stemmed largely from Blount's immense holdings of land within the territory. One authority states that Blount's sole reason for seeking the governorship was to enhance the value of his large holdings in Tennessee.(8)
Once the officers of the territory had been appointed, there was little direct involvement of the national government with the policies of the territory. What contact there was flowed through the Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson. Much of the effort of William Blount and his associates was spent in establishing a system of courts, maintaining peace and making treaties with the Indians, and generally establishing a comprehensive government. Clearly, the regulation of surveying and registration of land was merely one of many important tasks facing the new government.
Nevertheless, Congress retained an avid interest in the disposal of lands in the territory. An attempt to open a land office in the territory met with difficulties. A bill authorizing such an office was first passed February 16, 1791 by the House. The bill became delayed in the Senate, which felt it did not have enough information on the territorial lands. By a resolution of March 3, 1791, Congress agreed to put off the land office bill until the next session.(9) In the meantime, they hoped to find some more information on the lands available in the Territory South of the River Ohio. The resolution, passed by both the House and the Senate, requested the President to discover how much unclaimed land existed in the Territory. This information was to be prepared as a preliminary guide for discussion of the bill for the opening of a land office at the next session of Congress.(10)
The official responsible for collecting this information was Washington's secretary of state. Thomas Jefferson began at once to collect information about the lands already granted. In his correspondence with North Carolina he asked for copies of the returns from John Armstrong's office, a list of claims of officers of North Carolina, and information on General Greene's grant. This information was received by Jefferson as he was completing his report.(11)
The report was to have problems not of Jefferson's making and not under his control. Chief among these was the fact that the claims stemming from John Armstrong's office would not be final until the last legal date for filing had passed. That day was then established as December 20, 1792 by an extension law of North Carolina. Since that was in the future, when Jefferson was preparing his report, little could be done but accept guesses as to what would be the final extent of the land claimed under the warrants issued by Armstrong.(12) Also, it would be almost impossible to gauge the extent to which claims that had been filed would later be discovered to be invalid through either fraud or error. Likewise, even though Jefferson did not know it at the time, before December 20, 1792 arrived, North Carolina would again extend the deadline for registering claims. This practice would continue until 1800.(13)
Of the information Jefferson collected, it appeared that warrants for 3,736,493 acres had been issued. At the time Jefferson requested the information, only about 1,762,660 acres of this amount had been granted.(14) Based on these estimates, Jefferson supposed that all non-Indian land within the Territory worth cultivating had been claimed.(15) In a letter to Jefferson, Daniel Smith reported that the entry-taker of Davidson County had recorded the claims of the commissioners, guards, surveyors, packhorsemen, markers, and guides. Also recorded were the lands claimed under pre-emption rights. At the time Smith wrote, some 407,780 acres had been claimed in the manner he described. It was assumed that such claims would eventually reach at least 410,000.(16) A partial breakdown of the total he presented shows 30,203 acres granted as surveyor's fees, 65,932 acres granted to Shelby and others of the Commission to establish state boundaries, and 309,760 acres granted to pre-emptors in Davidson County.(17)
The report Thomas Jefferson tendered to George Washington was prepared by November 8, 1791. As he submitted it to the President, Jefferson remarked, without explaining why, that he had carefully refrained from trying to evaluate the validity of the estimates he had received.(18) It might be wished that he had judged those estimates, because at this distance in time it is more difficult to assess the validity of those claims. Had Jefferson left his judgment to supplement our own, it would be easier to establish the degree of error and fraud being carried on in the Territory. Jefferson's words alone imply that some skepticism on the validity of these figures is justified.
The report Thomas Jefferson submitted is best displayed in tabular form. Table 2 summarizes the major categories and amounts of claims.(19) According to this report, there remained at least 1,775,000 acres in the Territory for the government to sell.
In the spring of 1792, the problem of land fraud first came to the attention of Jefferson. Rumor in and around Congress indicated that grants had recently been given by North Carolina in the area south of the French Broad and Holston Rivers. Jefferson wrote to Blount then asking where those grants had originated.(20) Late in August of that year, the matter was apparently resolved. Alexander Martin, of North Carolina, wrote to inform Jefferson that grants had been issued by North Carolina for the lands in question. These grants, he claimed, were only issued < Page 54 >
< Page 55 >for lands granted and then vacated prior to the cession.(21) In other words, North Carolina was presuming to continue granting lands in the Territory simply because earlier North Carolina grants had been vacated. Supposedly, North Carolina felt such grants were still lands at the disposal of the General Assembly. Instructions from Jefferson asked Blount to prevent new settlements from being established south of the French Broad and Holston Rivers. A list was to be made of all the old settlers who had legitimate pre-emption rights.(22)
Soon the true source of the land problem was revealed. A proclamation of Alexander Martin, governor of North Carolina, disclosed a land fraud in the form of supernumerary claims, on the lands south of the French Broad and Holston Rivers. By calling their claims lost, certain men had been able to get duplicate grants from the Armstrong office. This duplication of grants was illegal. The governor's proclamation notified the public that such practices would be subject to prosecution.(23)
This problem concerned the Territory because settlers in the area were having problems getting their land claims validated. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Blount, instructed Blount that when a grantee in the questioned area south of the French Broad and Holston Rivers was not in possession of the land, the governor should warn him against taking possession. The rights of the United States were to be secured in such cases by keeping the land under Federal title until the illegal, duplicate entries were discovered. This instruction applied only in cases where the grantee had not yet taken possession.(24)
Other important land difficulties had to do with the new Territory's attempts to distribute land and the relationship of the government to the Indians in the region. The lands under the difficulty mentioned above lay south of the French Broad and Holston and had been reserved for the Cherokee by a treaty with North Carolina in 1783. Nevertheless, the lands had been entered and even granted by the state. The pre-empting settlers were clearly on the wrong side of the treaty line, but were allowed to perfect their titles.(25) A new treaty, the Holston Treaty of 1791, extinguished the Cherokee rights to this tract of land.(26) Later, the first Tennessee Constitution of February 6, 1796 guaranteed settlers in the area occupancy and pre-emption rights.(27)
Likewise, the grant of two hundred thousand acres given to Richard Henderson in partial compensation for the losses of the Transylvania Company was discovered to lie largely in Indian Territory along the Powell and Clinch Rivers. Grants to Alexander Martin, David Wilson, and Nathaniel Greene were also found to be in Indian Territory.(28) These discoveries tended to exacerbate an already difficult land-granting situation. The state of North Carolina clearly had no right to grant such land however, that state was no longer responsible for the validation of grants. Increasingly, the Territorial government was faced with validating claims of dubious legality.
The military bounty area, pictured in the last chapter, had been defined by the General Assembly of North Carolina as a rectangle. The Indian treaty lines, however, followed major rivers and streams. The result was that even in the defined military bounty area, there were large triangles of land in the southeastern and southwestern which by treaty belong to the Indians.(29) The pressure to acquire or appropriate these areas was immediate and important to the developing policies of the Territorial government: having these difficulties clouded land titles in the areas affected for a long time to come.
Additional events uncovered more irregularities from John Armstrong's office. A petition in 1794 for justice from the general Assembly of North Carolina was signed for the benefit of grantees of land under Armstrong's office.(30) It is not known exactly what this petition contained, but apparently the grantees had discovered great errors in their grants. Other misdeeds of Armstrong's office were discovered later and will be discussed later and will be discussed in the proper place.
It should be noted that at this time the University of North Carolina was petitioning the General Assembly for a share of the western lands for the establishment of a fund to operate the school. The history of the University of North Carolina and the land question is extensive and tied directly to the designation of public lands for the support of schools in Tennessee. The history of this aspect of land disposal in Tennessee is adequately discussed in a number of different theses written at George Peabody College for Teachers.(31)
An additional problem faced the Territorial government during the summer of 1792. This situation was due to the fact that Kentucky had just been admitted as the first state west of the Allegheny mountains. Jefferson wrote to William Blount on June 6, 1792 asking Blount to postpone the settlement of the boundary with Kentucky so that the two governments would not break into conflict over the state boundary right away. It was suggested the Territory would do better to wait until the novelty of statehood had passed before settling the issue.(32)
Although the determination of the boundary with Kentucky had been postponed, the Territorial government had other boundary problems. The action of North Carolina and Virginia created this problem. In establishing their mutual boundary, North Carolina, on December 11, 1790, designated the Walker line as the northern boundary while a year later, Virginia's Assembly concurred and established by law the Walker line as the southern boundary of that state.(33) In the meantime however, William Blount, as governor of the southwest Territory, had explicitly denied the right of either of those states to determine the northern boundary of the Territory.(34) Blount was acting correctly in defending the interests of the Territory and the Federal government. Since Virginia's southern border shared some of the Territory's northern border, a designation of Virginia affected the Territory. In protesting Virginia's action of 1791, Blount wrote to Henry Lee, Governor of Virginia, on September 2, 1792. Blount proclaimed in this letter the northern boundary of the Territory to be the Henderson line.(35) This was the northernmost line established by the troubled commission of 1779-1780. In 1791, trouble erupted in the area of territory between the two lines, with citizens claiming to be in the jurisdiction of the government which required them to pay the lesser amount of taxes.(36) This problem was not resolved by the Territorial government. It was passed on to the state government of Tennessee to settle over a long period of time.
A brief examination of the controversy Tennessee inherited indicates the longevity of the problem. The Constitution of Tennessee, created in 1796, defined the boundaries using the Henderson line as the northern border.(37) Subsequently Virginia asked Tennessee to establish a new commission to mark the border in 1800.(38) After that the line was re-run in 1856, 1858, and 1871. The argument was re-broached in a court case of 1889. It was not until 1903 that the border issue was finally settled.(39)
In terms of concrete acts, the legislative council of the Territory under William Blount did little relating to the survey or registry of land. The first action on August 25, 1794 merely was an extension of the time allowed for the registry of lands, deeds, and other conveyances. Other action provided for the authorization of funds to construct a road from Knoxville to the Mero District.(40) This action did not alter the laws inherited from North Carolina. On June 29, 1795, the legislative council for the Territory passed a second act relating to land. This act established a source of income for the construction of the road into the Mero District. The money was to come from the sale of salt licks within the Territory. A group of commissioners empowered to build the road received the funds.(41) This group contained James White, James Winchester, Stockley Donelson, David Campbell, and Robert Hays. Campbell was still judge of the Territory, while Hays had been a candidate for the office of secretary.
With these two enactments the Territorial government completed its action regarding lands. The absence of other land laws, including action altering the system established by North Carolina, is puzzling. One possible explanation is that pressures which created the trends seen in North Carolina's land laws were not operating in the Territory. Until 1794, there was no Assembly in the Territory. The governor was free of the popular pressure which served to formulate North Carolina's increasingly stringent land laws. Also, North Carolina had needed the money from the sale of lands. Its land system was continually updated to insure the proper collection of funds and to detect fraud. As this study progresses, the land transactions of the Blounts are examined. What is learned there gives indications of why the only land laws passed while William Blount was in office consisted of an extension law and a sale of salt licks to finance a road. Both of these bills were favorable to speculators.
Additional reasons for few land bills being passed in the Territory are found by realizing Governor Blount had been influential in North Carolina and probably felt the land laws in effect were both usable and beneficial after all, he had monitored their passage in North Carolina. Also, as long as there was no crisis in the public use of the laws, there was probably little energy left over from other aspects of governing a new territory to focus on the land registration laws. What is more, most men dealing with the land issues of the day were familiar with the system in operation. It would have been more confusing to add additional laws to the already overloaded system in operation.
As the time drew near for the Territory to become a state, changes were necessary. First of all, Tennessee county was divided into Montgomery and Robertson counties. The name of the old county was appropriated by the new state.(42) Problems created by the confused picture of land surveying and registry did not disappear with the creation of a new state, however. The Territorial government had not made any beneficial changes in the land system. Instead, the Territory passed along to the new state the mess of legislation inherited from North Carolina. The story of Tennessee land laws is a long and complicated one in its own right. Some evidence of the troubles encountered in the new state is found in the fact that a new breed of surveyors had to develop to handle the situation. In rural Tennessee, men who could trace out the original grants and boundaries from prior knowledge and intuition came to be known as "Red Brush" surveyors. Gradually, this "Red Brush" method died out too, as land titles became more secure and well documented.(43)
Tennessee at least managed to obtain some sort of control over the lands within its borders. First of all, however, it was recognized as North Carolina's agent in the distribution and validation of Revolutionary War claims. This persisted well into the state's early history. Additionally, Tennessee lands were sometimes under the control of Congress. Repeatedly Tennessee asked Congress to release the lands south and west of the Congressional Reserve line. It was not until 1846 that this was accomplished.(44) Even then, certain categories of congressional lands in the area remained under the jurisdiction of Congress until 1906.(45)
Thus, it can be seen that the land history of Tennessee was to be long and complicated. Tennessee has always had to contend with the basic system created by the laws of North Carolina and passed on by the Territory South of the River Ohio. These laws in turn were affected by the character of the period in which the Tennessee valleys were explored and settled.
Looking at the territorial acts shows that the trends of land legislation in North Carolina were reversed after the Act of Cession. Updating efforts of North Carolina's assemblies, seeking to control surveyors and speculators, were stopped and not resumed by the Territory South of the River Ohio. The inaction of the territorial government does not prove that it was more favorable to speculators, but it seems odd that North Carolina during this period continued to unveil and prosecute fraudulent practices while the Territory did not. Much of the fraud uncovered dealt with Tennessee lands, but the territorial government apparently did not seek to prosecute any fraud. Later, the State of Tennessee became uncooperative when North Carolina attempted to prosecute some of the Blount family.(46)
The territorial government was no doubt busy in its early days. It had to contend with early illegalities discovered in lands encroaching on Indian territory. The new government also had to safeguard its interests along the northern border. As to land law, however, the territorial government did not follow North Carolina's trend but waited passively for a state to be created. Whether that passive waiting was beneficial to speculators and the result of William Blount's own speculation can be estimated by examining the records left to determine the extent of illegal speculation. This process is done in the next chapter. Just looking at the trend of laws passed in North Carolina and the abrupt halt of that trend after cession creates a suspicion that the territorial days were idyllic for speculators.
*Page 57 is missing from the two original copies that are available to us. One copy is located at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. The other copy is located at the Tennessee State Library and Archives , also in Nashville.
Endnotes, Chapter III
(1) Clarence Edwin Carter, ed., Territorial Papers of the United States , 6 vols. (Washington, D. C.: United States General Printing Office, 1936), vol. 4: The Territory South of the River Ohio 1790-1796 , p. 17.
Andrew Johnson’s Challenging Presidency
Once in office, Johnson focused on quickly restoring the Southern states to the Union. He granted amnesty to most former Confederates and allowed the rebel states to elect new governments. These governments, which often included ex-Confederate officials, soon enacted black codes, measures designed to control and repress the recently freed slave population. When the U.S. Congress convened in December 1865, it refused to seat the newly elected Southern members, and Johnson found himself at odds with the legislature, particularly the Radical Republicans, who viewed the president’s approach to Reconstruction as too lenient.
In 1866, Johnson vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill and the Civil Rights bill, legislation aimed at protecting blacks. That same year, when Congress passed the 14th Amendment granting citizenship to blacks, the president urged Southern states not to ratify it (the amendment nevertheless was ratified in July 1868). During the 1866 congressional elections, Johnson launched a multiple-city speaking campaign, dubbed 𠇊 swing around the circle,” in which he attempted to win support for his Reconstruction policies. The tour proved to be a failure, and the Republicans won majorities in both houses of Congress and set about enacting their own Reconstruction measures.
Hostilities between the president and Congress continued to mount, and in February 1868, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Johnson. Among the 11 charges, he was accused of violating the Tenure of Office Act by suspending Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (1814-1869), who opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction policies. That May, the Senate acquitted Johnson of the charges by one vote.
Johnson did not run for reelection in 1868. He had hoped the Democrats would choose him as their presidential nominee, but they opted instead for Horatio Seymour (1810-1886), a former governor of New York. Civil War hero Ulysses Grant, the Republican candidate, won the election and became the 18th U.S. president.
Tennessee III - History
The City of Lebanon, named for the biblical land of cedars, was laid out as a town in 1802 and chartered as a body politic in 1819. Lebanon is the county's largest city and serves as the county seat.
Two other incorporated areas--Watertown and Mt. Juliet--are located in Wilson County. Watertown was so named in 1845 after Wilson L. Waters. The town was incorporated in 1905. Mt. Juliet was settled in 1835 and named in honor of "Aunt Julie" . (see added comments ) . It has the distinction of being the only town in the world to bear the name of Mt. Juliet. The town was incorporated in 1973.
The City of Lebanon, named for the biblical land of cedars, was surrounded by beautiful green cedar trees perfuming the air with their clean, fresh aroma. Today the reforestation work of the Federal Government has provided the 10,000 acre Cedars of Lebanon State Park, the largest forest of virgin red cedar in the United States.
The General Assembly of Tennessee in 1801 empowered and appointed commissioners to purchase land for the purpose of laying out the county seat of Wilson County. A site was to be chosen which would be centrally located and convenient choice of location was also contingent upon reliable water resources. (see added comments )
Lebanon traces its founding to 1802, its official birthdate, but pioneers came to the area earlier.
The chosen site was six miles north of the geographical center of the county, six miles south of the Cumberland River and at the fork of two creeks. The county seat thus was accessible to all parts of the county for trading.
Lebanon (see added comments ) soon found itself on a great overland stagecoach road, linking Nashville and the East. Over the road rode President Andrew Jackson to the White House, Sam Houston, who practiced law in Lebanon and other notable personages of the day.
used with permission
Southern Historical News, Inc.
 This naming of Mt. Juliet is legendary only. Researchers point out that Julia was not living in the community when it was formed. Another legend persists that the town was named after the Mint Julep, which was allegedly served at nearby Eagle Tavern. However, serious researchers and historians contend that the roots of the naming go back to Ireland where a similarly named place is located.
 The choice of location near water has, in the last decade, been a source of woe. The Lebanon square has been flooded twice, due to today's penchant to cover all bare ground with either concrete or asphalt. At least one creek runs underneath the asphalted county square.
 Mt. Juliet was also on or near the stagecoach road, which was the original Nashville to Lebanon route. This road today is called the Old Lebanon Dirt Road.
- 1874 - "Introduction to the Resources of Tennessee", J. B. Killebrew, pp 1004-1013.
Tennessee III - History
[Source: Goodspeed's History of Tennessee, pub. 1887]
Hawkins County lies in upper east Tennessee, and extends somewhat in the shape of a parallelogram from the Virginia line to the northern boundaries of Grainger and Hamblen Counties. It is divided into two almost equal parts by the Holston River, which traverses its entire length. It is one of the largest counties in the State, having an area of 570 square miles. The surface is much of it broken, but the uplands are more fertile than in many counties. Iron ore is found in some localities, but is not now worked. In marble Hawkins county surpasses any other county in the South. It is found in all tints from a pale pink to a dark, richly variegated chocolate color, and in inexhaustible quantities.
The first permanent settlements within the limits of Hawkins County were made in 1772, very soon after the settlements on the Watauga were begun. They were made in Carter's Valley, a short distance west of New Canton.
Among these pioneers were Mr. Kincaid, Mr. Love, Mr. Long and Rev. Mr. Mulkey. At about the same time Messrs. Carter & Parker established a store in the neighborhood. Soon after this store was robbed by a party of Cherokees, & when Henderson Co.'s treaty was held with the Indians the proprietors of the store demanded as compensation all the lands in Carter's Valley, extending from Cloud Creek to Chimney Top Mountain of Beech Creek. This was granted upon the payment of a small amount advanced by Robert Lucas, who then became a partner of Messrs. Parker & Carter. the firm leased their lands to the settlers much after the manner of the Patrons, in the early history of New York. This continued for a time, but when it because known that the lands lay in North Carolina instead of Virginia, the settlers refused to recognize the ownership of the firm, and the right and title to the territory acquired was denied by the former State. They were afterward included with the members of the Henderson Company, to whom a grant of 200,000 acres was given by the government of North Carolina as a compensation for the trouble they had been to in obtaining these lands.
The deeds obtained by Henderson & Co. from the Cherokees is recorded in the registers office of Hawkins county. It was given by "Oconistoto, the chief warrior and representative of the Cherokee Nation, and Attakullakulla and Savanocka, otherwise Coronoh, appointed by the warriors and other head men to convey for the whole nation." to Richard Henderson, Thomas and Nathaniel Hart, John Williams, John Luttrell, William Johnston, James Hogg, David Hart and Thomas H. Bullock.
The settlement in Hawkins County was confined chiefly to Carter's Valley until about 1780. Several stations or forts were built, and it is said that a Presbyterian Church was organized there as early as that date. At about the same time a fort was built at Big Creek. Not from this fort, about three and one-half miles above Rogersville, Thomas Amis in 1780 or 1781 erected a stone house, around which he built a palisade for protection against the Indians. The next year he opened a store, and erected a blacksmith shop and a distillery. Very soon after he also put into operation a saw and grist-mill, and from the first he kept a house of entertainment. A Baptist Church was organized, and a school established very soon after the settlement was made. The church was probably organized by Thomas Murrell, who located on the farm now owned by John A. Chestnut on the Holston River, some time prior to 1782. Among the school masters, who taught in the school at this place, were John Long in 1783 William Evans, 1784 James King, 1786 Robert Johnston---. and Samuel B. Hawkins in 1796.
Thomas Amis was twice married, and was the father of fourteen children. The stone house, in which he lived, is now occupied by his grandson, Thomas Amis, and is in a remarkable good state of preservation. In 1780 he represented Hawkins County in the Legislature of North Carolina, and took an active part in restoring Gen. Sevier to the rights of citizenship. He owned two or three large tracts of land, one of which included the site of Rogersville he died in 1798. In 1784 Joseph Rodgers, an Irishman, arrived at Amis', and for a short time was engaged in keeping store, but in 1785 or 1786, probably the latter year, he married Mary Amis. Mr. Amis then gave the newly married pair a tract of land, upon which, inn 1787, was established the seat of justice for Hawkins County. There they continued to reside until their death in November, 1833. Rachel, another daughter of Thomas Amis, married James Hagan, a countryman of Rodgers, with whom he was in partnership in merchandising for a time. He afterward removed to a farm above town. Of other early settlers of the county, only a few of the most prominent, will be located. Perhaps no Tennessean of his time ranked higher than William Cocke, who settled at what was known as Mullberry Grove about 1780. He was a lawyer by profession, and his name appears upon the records of all the older counties of East Tennessee, as a practicing attorney, but during the greater portion of his life was engaged in filling some official position. In 1783 he was elected attorney-general for Greene County, and the next year was sent to the convention, which met at Jonesboro. In 1785 he was made a member of the Council of State of the Franklin Government, was chosen brigadier-general of militia, and was sent as a delegate to the United States Congress. In 1786 he represented Spencer County in the Franklin Assembly. From the fall of the State of Franklin until 1794 he was actively engaged in his profession. In that year he was chosen a member of the Territorial Assembly, and in 1796 was a member of the Constitutional Convention. The first Legislature elected him as one of the members of the United States Senate, where he remained for twelve years. In 1810 he was elected judge of the First Judicial Circuit, but after serving one year he was impeached.**** Stung by the ingratitude of his countrymen, whom he had served so long and faithfully, he at once left for Mississippi, where he remained until his death.
Joseph McMinn located in the extreme upper end of Hawkins county about 1787, and soon took an active interest in the affairs of the county. In 1794 he was elected with William Cocke, to represent it in the Territorial Assembly, and two years later was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He then served two terms in the Upper House of the General Assembly. In 1815 he was elected governor of the State, a position he continued to hold until 1821. Soon after he was appointed Indian Agent at Calhoun, now in Bradley County, and was filling that position at the time of his death. The above named men were the most illustrious of the first settlers of the county. Among others who had settled prior to 1783 were Mordecai Haygood, who lived on the Holston, about eight miles above Rogersville Peter Cocke, who lived in the same neighborhood, and Rodham Kenner, who located about one mile above Spear's Mill. He was prominently connected with the affairs of the county, and was a member of the Legislature one or more terms. Capt. Thomas Caldwell lived ten miles above Rogersville on the north side of the river. John Saunders lived on the river opposite Kenner's. William Cox, Sr., Charles and William Payne, Obadiah and Elijah Chissom also lived south of the Holston, and the last named kept a ferry across that stream. Thomas Lee, Cornelius and John Carmack and Thomas Gibbons lived in Carter's Valley. William Armstrong settled at Stony Point. Among others who had located in the county prior to 1783 may be mentioned John Cox, Col. John Smith, William McGee, Peter Harris, James McCarty, Hutson Johnston, John Evans, George Ridley, James Blair, Thomas Brooks, Elisha Walling, William W. Brown, Capt. Thomas Hutchings, James Short, Abraham Rice, William Ingram, William Lawson, Reese Jones, Capt. Thomas English, James Berry, Benjamin Murrell, George and Littleton Brooks, Thomas Henderson, Thomas Caldwell, Robert King and Martin Shaner. Among those who came in during the next two or three years were Robert Gray, Richard Mitchell, Samuel Wilson, William Bell, John Horton, Robert Stephenson and John Gordon.
Some time about 1795 one of the most extensive iron works of those days was erected near the present town of Rotherwood, by Daniel Ross & Co., and a considerable business was done there for a number of years.
Hawkins county suffered much less from Indian depredations than some other sections of the State. A few instances of massacres and robberies are mention by Haywood, but most of these occurred in what is now Hancock County. the comparative immunity of this section from Indian attacks was due partly to the position of the county and partly to the vigilance of the settlers, who had taken every precaution for the protection of themselves and families. The Indians made several incursions into Carter's Valley, but finding the people in the forts and prepared for them they retreated without doing serious damage. On one occasion the families that had gathered into the fort at Big Creek, because greatly in need of salt, and a young man, Joab Mitchell, volunteered to go and procure a supply. While upon his return he was attacked by a part of Cherokees and mortally wounded. He succeeded, however, in reaching the fort, and his remains were interred in that depression which has since borne the name of Mitchell's Hollow. In December, 1787, William English was killed by the Indians, and two of his children carried into captivity. The county court records of 1790 contained the following entry: "Whereas it has been represented to the court by Thomas King, that Matthew English and Elizabeth English, orphan children of William English, who was taken and killed by the Indians in December, 1787, at which time the aforesaid children were carried into captivity by the Indians, supposed to be of the Wyandotte nation, and are yet in captivity. Thomas King therefore represents that the said orphans might be recovered if there was property sufficient for that purpose. Ordered by the court that James Blair and William Patterson do receive from the said Thomas King or from any other person the property belonging to the estate of the said William English, and the same apply as they shall think best for the redemption of the said orphans, and Thomas King was discharged thereupon of said property.
It is related that a boy, on one occasion, came suddenly upon a party of Indians not far from one of the forts. He turned and fled, with the savages in close pursuit. Before reaching the fort he was compelled to cross a small stream, and just as he reached the bank the foremost Indian caught him by the back of his loose hunting shirt. But the lad was not a captive. Straightening out his arms behind him he sped on to the fort in safety, leaving his pursuer holding the shirt.*****
In 1785 the State of Franklin organized Spencer County, including, besides other territory, the present Hawkins County. Thomas Henderson was chosen county court clerk and colonel of militia, and William Cocke and Thomas King representative to the Assembly. The remaining officers are unknown. In November, 1786, the Legislature of North Carolina passed an act creating Hawkins County. It included within its limits all the territory between Bays Mountain and the Holston and Tennessee Rivers on the east to the Cumberland Mountains on the west. the county court was organized at the house of Thomas Gibbons, but as the early records were all destroyed during the late civil war nothing is known of its transactions. The circuit court for Hawkins county was organized on the first Monday in October, 1810, by William Cocke, judge of the first Judicial Circuit, who appointed Thomas Cocke, clerk. The first grand jury enpaneled was as follows: Joseph McMinn, foreman John Johnston, Hezekiah Hamblen, George Hale, John Critz, John Hamblen, Robert McMinn, John Remes, Jacob Miller, James Haygood, Joes Gillenwater, Gabriel McCraw, Samuel Smith, Rodham Kenner and David Bagler. Michael Rork, constable, was appointed to wait upon them. The first criminal case tried at this term was that of the State vs. Obediah Gents for horse stealing. A change of venue was applied for, but denied. He was found guilty and sentenced to receive thirty lashes, to stand in the pillory two hours per day for three successive days, to be branded upon the right hand with the letter H and on the left hand with the letter T, and to be imprisoned in the county jail for six months. during the first years of the court few criminals cases of importance were tried. A vigorously contested case, and one which created a general interest throughout this section of the State was begun in 1820. It was the trial upon a change of venue from Campbell County, of Robert Delap, indicted with being accessory to the murder of Eve Martin. The principal, Mitchell Marcum alias Marcom, was not tried in Hawkins County. Delap was convicted. He appealed to the supreme court, and the case was remanded for a second hearing. this was had in April, 1822, after an application for another change of venue had been denied. The defendant was again found guilty, and again took an appeal to the supreme court the decision of the lower court was confirmed and Delap was executed.
Another case which caused intense excitement was tried in May, 1861. Two slaves, John and Ned, the property of a Mr. Haynes, on the night of May 1, brutally murdered George R. Kite, Richard Kite, Mary Haynes and Louisa Haynes, and set fire to the house. When the deed was discovered excitement ran very high, as a general insurrection of the slaves was feared, and the lynching of the murderers was prevented with difficulty. a special term of the circuit court was called to meet on May 9, 1861, at which time Judge D. T. Patterosn presided. They were promptly convicted, and were hanged on the 12th of June following.
Since the close of the war two executions have taken place. The first was that of w. N. Berry, hanged in August, 1875, for the murder of his wife. The second that of Joseph Harris, of Hancock county, executed in November, 1881. He was convicted of the murder of two men in Rogersville for the purpose of robbery.
The first chancery courts were held in 1825. the division consisted of Sullivan, Hawkins, Grainger and Claiborne Counties. The judges of the supreme court alternated in presiding over the chancery court from that time until several years later.
The first lawyer of prominence in Hawkins County was William Cocke, who is mentioned elsewhere. He had two or three sons, who also became lawyers. One of them, John Cocke, located in Grainger county another, Sterling Cocke, remained in Hawkins County. He was admitted to practice in 1812, and six years later was made attorney-general, in which position he continued for many years. He was not looked upon as a lawyer of great ability, but was a man of strict integrity and of pleasing manners. Peter Parsons, a somewhat prominent lawyer of his time, was a resident of Rogersville for a few years, but subsequently went to Alabama. Orville Bradley, who was licensed to practice in 1817, was a bachelor of large wealth, and never gave that close attention to his profession necessary to secure success. One of the ablest of the early members of the Rogersville bar was John A. McKinney, uncle of the late Judge Robert J. McKinney, and father of Judge John E. McKenney. He began practice about 1807, and very soon took a leading position at the bar. He was appointed United States district attorney by John Quincy Adams, and was chosen to represent the county in the Constitutional Convention of 1834. He died in 1845. His great success was due to his thorough knowledge of the law, his untiring perseverance and his incorruptible integrity. He was associated during the latter years of his life with his son-in-law, John Netherland, who had formerly resided in Sullivan County. The latter is still living, but for some time has been retired from the active prosecution of his profession. He was an eloquent speaker, and because distinguished as a great criminal lawyer. He has always taken an active interest in politics, has served several terms in the Legislature, was an elector for the State at large on the Whig ticket in 1848, and in 1860 was the Whig candidate for governor.
Two other men of eminence in the profession, in the early history of the State, resided in the county. They were Pleasant M. Miller***** and Judge Samuel Powell. The latter resided on a large farm near Rogersville. He began the practice of law in Tennessee early in the century, and soon became favorably known for his ability and legal attainments. In 1807 he was elected a judge of the superior court, and so continued until that court was abolished. In 1814 he was chosen to represent his district in the XIV Congress, and while in that position he was tendered a seat upon the supreme bench, which he refused. In 1821 he was elected judge of the First Judicial Circuit, and from that time was upon the bench for twenty consecutive years. He was the preceptor of several men who afterward obtained eminence, among whom were Robert L. and Abraham Caruthers.
Among other resident attorneys of the county prior to 1860 were Michael McCann, admitted to practice in 1823 Dicks Alexander, for many years clerk of the chancery court William O. Winston and George R. Powell.
The present members of the Rogersville bar are F. M. Faulkerson, A. D. Huffmaster, Hugh G. Kyle, Thomas McDemmott, W. P. Gillenwaters, W. N. Clarkson, T. C. Sensabaugh, H. C. Jarvis and Ellis Cocke.
Rogersville was founded by Joseph Rogers, who settled upon the site in 1786. At the June term of the county court in 1787 the commissioners appointed "for fixing on a place for building the courthouse, prison and stocks" reported "that it be fixed at Joseph Rogers', on Crockett Creek." Joseph Rogers then relinquished the right and title of two acres of land for the use of the public buildings, and Thomas Hutchings, Hutson Johnston, Francis Doherty, Joseph Cloud and Thomas Gibbons were appointed commissioners to lay off the town, which was done on June 15, 1787. At about this time, or very soon after, Mr. Rogers entered into a partnership with his brother-in-law, James Hagan, and in 1789 they applied to the Legislative to establish a town at Hawkins Courthouse, where a number of lots had already been laid off. It was accordingly enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, on December 22, 1789, "that Thomas King, Thomas Hutchings, Joseph McCulloch, Thomas Jackson and Elijah Chissom be, and they are appointed, commissioners and trustees for designing, building and carrying on a town at Hawkins Courthouse by the name of Rogersville, and they, or a majority of them, are hereby empowered and required to lay off thirty acres of land, including the public buildings at the said courthouse, in half-acre lots, with convenient streets and alleys."
Previous to this time a store had been opened by Rogers & Hargan, and a courthouse and jail had been erected. The character of these county buildings is not known, but they were probably very temporary structures, since in 1794 the Territorial Assembly granted the county permission to levy a tax for a jail and courthouse. The oldest courthouse now remembered was a one-story hewed-log building, weather-boarded. It stood in front of the Bank Building, with its side to Market Street, now the main street of the town. It was occupied until 1836 or 1837, when the present substantial brick building was erected. In 1807 the old jail and lot were sold, and a new brick jail erected upon the site of the present one, which was built a short time prior to the war.
As before stated, the first store was opened by Rogers & Hogan. Among the other firms in business from 1790 to 1800 were Joseph Parks, Hugh & Campbell, North & Nelson, and Sherman & King. They were succeeded early in the present century by Samuel Neil and William Simpson, who did business in a small frame house immediately opposite where the hotel now is Francis Dolzell, whose store was on the adjoining lot west, and Nicholas Fain, who was located where the postoffice now is. The first hotel was kept by Joseph Rogers, who continued in the business until his death.
In 1817 a branch of the old State Bank was incorporated under the title of the Rogersville Tennessee Bank. Its capital stock was $4,000. The directors were Richard Mitchell, John A. Rogers, Francis Dolzell, William Hord, Jacob Miller, Dr. Joseph W. Carden, Hugh G. Moore, William Lyons, William Simpson and Nicholas Fain. This institution did business in the house now occupied by Mr. Caldwell, situated a short distance west of the public square. About 1828 this bank began to wind up its affairs. Ten years later the last Bank of Tennessee was incorporated, and one of the two branches allotted to East Tennessee was located at Rogersville, thereby causing great indignation among the citizens of Knoxville and Jonesboro. The new bank was organized with C. H. Coffin as president, and S. D. Mitchell, cashier. For the first two or three years it occupied the building formerly used by the old bank. The large and imposing brick building, which is still standing, was then erected. This bank continued in business until the war, but with a frequent change of officers.
The business of Rogersville in 1835 was conducted by the following individuals and firms: Charles H. Coffin and John A. McKinney, James K. Neil and P. S. Hale, Nicholas Fain & Son, R. G. Fain, Neil & Simpson, and Armstrong & De Wolf, merchants Jacob Wax, coppersmith and tinner F. B. Evans and George C. Speck, tailors Joseph Huffmaster, carpenter John Aston, cabinet-maker George C. Bradley, hatter Michael Baugh, silversmith, and Robert Carden, blacksmith. Richard Humphreys kept the present Hale Spring Hotel, which was built by John A. McKinney. Richard Smith also had a hotel where the postoffice is.
Among the business men of the fifties were Sevier & Simpson, McKinney & Rogan, Mitchell, Caldwell & C., James K. Neil, M. S. & R. D. Wells, Johnston & Thompson, William White and Mitchell & Kyle.
To Rogersville belongs the honor of being the place at which was issued the first newspaper published in Tennessee. It was known as the Knoxville Gazette, and the first number appeared on November 5, 1791, bearing the names of G. Roulstone and R. Ferguson as publishers. Where the building stood in which the paper was printed is not known, but as the lot on the northeast corner of the public square was purchased by Mr. Roulstone it is probable that was the site of his printing office. The publication was continued at Rogersville for about one year, when he removed to Knoxville, which had been established during that year. The next paper established in the town was the Rogersville Gazette, the first number of which was issued in July, 1814, by Carey & Early. It was a five-column folio, with the couplet, "The Star Spangles Banner, etc.," as its motto. A few years later the Western Pilot was established by John B. Hood, who afterward removed to Rhea County, and there published the first paper in East Tennessee below Knoxville. In 1827 Rev. James Gallagher, F. A. Ross and David Nelson established the Calvinistic Magazine, devoted mainly to the theological discussions of the times. It was published for about five years. On July 4, 1831, the first number of the Railroad Advocate was issued by an association of gentlemen, for the purpose of encouraging and advocating the building of railroads in Tennessee. It continued for little less than a year, and was probably the first journal of the kind ever published. In August, 1838, a prospectus was issued stating that a number of gentlemen had formed an association for the publication of a Whig paper to be known as the Holston Watchman, the first number of which was to appear about November 1. For some cause the publication did not begin until the following March, and then it was known as the East Tennessean. The editor was William Wales. It had but a brief existence, and in other papers was established until 1850, when the Rogersville Times appeared, bearing the name of L. L. Potts as editor, and LaFayette Jones as publisher. It continued for six or eight years, and was then succeeded by the Independent, under the editorial management of Rev. M. H. B. Burkett. In 1860 the State Sentinel was published by Capt. R. D. Powell. The papers established since the close of the war have been mainly published for campaign purposes, and have been short lived. Among them have been the Spectator and the Telephone. In 1885 Will T. Robertson established the Holston Review, a well edited and newsy Democratic paper. The Rogersville Herald, a Republican paper, was established in 1856.
The first schools in Rogersville, are said to have been taught in a small house, which stood near Union Spring. In 1806 trustees were appointed for McMinn Academy as follows: George Maxwell, William Armstrong, Richard Mitchell, Andrew Galbraith and Thomas Jackson, to whom were added in 1817, Peter Parsons, Orville Bradley and s. D. Mitchell. In 1813 or 1814 a brick building was erected, by money obtained, as was common in those days, from a lottery. The institution was also aided by a bequest from Gen. McMinn. Among the first teachers were John Scruggs and Rufus Kennedy. A few years prior to the war the present brick building was erected upon the site of the old one.
In July, 1840, the Odd Fellows laid the corner-stone of a large brick building in which, in September, 1850, was opened the Rogersville Female Institute. Since that time the school has undergone various changes, and has been under the control of many different organizations. Finally the property and franchise of the institution were purchased by Joseph R. Anderson and Samuel N. Fain and transferred by them to the Synod of Tennessee. Since then it has been under the care of C. C. Ross, and now ranks as one of the best Female Colleges in Tennessee.
The early religious history of Rogersville is not well known. It is probable that religious services were held there from the establishment of the town. The first regular preaching was said to have been done by Rev. Charles Coffin, who, for a while previous to 1815, had given the people of Rogersville one-sixth of his time. In 1815 Rev. James Gallaher located at Rogersville and began preaching in the academy building, where the next year a Presbyterian Church was organized. The elders chosen were George Mooney, Edward Mooney, Samuel Neill, William Alexander, William Armstrong and John Armstrong. Mr. Gallaher continued to preach to this congregation until 1830. During the next three years the church was without a stated supply. In 1833 Rev. Phillip Wood assumed pastoral charge, and continued until about the time the schism in the Presbyterian Church occurred. The congregation then divided. The property was sold at auction, and was purchased by the old school party, of which James A. Lyons became pastor. He continued for some time. Among his successors were Rev's. Carter, McBridge, Park, Jones, Page and Campbell. the retiring division chose James McLim as its first pastor, and soon after erected the Second Presbyterian Church. Among the ministers who served this church from that time until the war were John McCampbell, Rev. Mr. Mathes S. Sawyers, J. M. Huffmaster and J. W. Elliott. Since the close of the war the two congregations have again united and attached themselves to the Southern General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. Services are held in the Second Presbyterian Church.
A Methodist Church was organized early in the history of the town and the congregation erected a house of worship at about the same time as the Presbyterians. The Baptists had no house of worship until about 1850, when, in connection with the Masonic fraternity, they erected a two-story frame building, and occupied the lower story. The building was destroyed during the war, and they have since had no church in the town. The members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, however, formed an organization, and have erected a neat house.
One of the first Masonic lodges in Tennessee was organized in Rogersville under a dispensation granted by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee on December 14, 1805. It was known as Overton Lodge. The officers were Samuel Powell, Worshipful Master Jonathan Spryker, Senior Warden, and John Johnston, Junior Warden. In 1820 a new charter was issued by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, designating this lodge as Overton Lodge, No.5. Among the members at that time were Jacob Peck, R. L. Caruthers, Absalom Looney, S.J.W. Lucky, S. M. Howry, Orville Rice, Peter Parsons, H. Rutledge, Dr. P. McCarty, William Young and John A. Rogers.
Rogersville at the present time contains a population of about 1,000. It is one of the handsomest towns in the State, and has a large trade. During the construction of the East Tennessee & Virginia Railroad a branch to Rogersville was begun, and in 1860 it had been completed from Bull's Gap to the Holston River. After the close of the war it was purchased by H. M. Aikin, and completed to Rogersville. The business interests of the town are represented as follows: A.D.Simpson & Co., Hale & Rogan, H. C. Shanks, C. S. Mitchell, and Smith & Fudge, general merchandise H. J. Nelson & Co. and J. M. Pierce, drugs A. B. Rogan & Co., groceries and hardware Hale & Riley, agricultural implements Joseph Wright & Co., boots, shoes, saddles, etc., and V. Bagler, clothing. There are also three banking institutions as follows: Rogersville Bank, S. Neill, president, and W. D. Kenner, cashier Citizens Bank of Rogersville, J. C. Stamps, president, G. A. Smith, vice-president, and J. M. Gray, cashier and the Exchange and Deposit Bank, H. M. Aiken, president, and James Cooper, cashier.
The principal villages of Hawkins County are Mooresburg, Bull's Gap or Rogersville Junction, Surgeonville, Rotherwood, New Canton, Stony Point, War Gap, Austin's Mills and Persia, some of which are quite old. Surgoinsville was established by an act of the Legislature passed in October, 1815. It was laid out upon land owned by James Surgoin and Arthur G. Armstrong, Joseph Klepper, John Long Miller, James Surgoin and Edward Erwin, were appointed commissioners for its regulation. At this time Arthur G. Armstrong had a store, and John A. Rogers subsequently build a mill there. Mooresburg was founded by Hugh G. Moore who opened a store at that point. It is now a pleasant village of about 200 people.
Bull's Gap postoffice took its name from the Gap in the ridge one mile to the east. This in turn was named for John Bull, the first settler in the vicinity. Since the completion of the railroad to Rogersville a thriving village has grown up, at its junction with the East Tennessee, Virginia& Georgia Railroad. It has two churches, a good school, four stores and a hotel. The merchants are W. S. Myers & Co., Mooney Bros. and J. W. Brown, dealers in general merchandise, and John McFerrin, druggist.
The following partial list of the officers of Hawkins County is as complete as could be made in the absence of records:
Clerks of the county court --- Richard Mitchell, 1787-1812 S. D. Mitchell, 1812-36 William O. Winston, 1836-37 John Blevins, 1837-38 James M. Hord, 1838-43 C. Smith, 1843-44 R. Johnson, 1844-46 James H. Ellis, 1846-50 J. H._____, 1850-62 James R. Pace, 1862-65 James Lackey, 1865-70 Jo. R. Armstrong, 1870-86, and James Nugent, 1886 ---.
Clerks of the circuit court --- Thomas Cocke, 1810-21 Willie B. Mitchell, 1821-40 George R. Powell, 1840-52 L. H. Rogan, 1852-56 James M. Hord, 1856-65 William M. Piper, 1865-70 John J. Wolfe, 1870-78 C. C. Spears, 1878-86, and A. Davis, 1886---.
Clerks and masters --- Dicks Alexander, 1825-55 George R. Powell, 1855-58 Richard G. Fain, 1858-65 James R. Pace, 1865-70 C. M. Bales, 1870-73 D. M. Gray, 1873-85, and W. H. Watterson, 1885 ---
Sheriffs --- Thomas Berry, 1787-90 Joel Gillenwaters, 1796-98 Benoni Caldwell, 1793-1800 Alexander Nelson, 1800-02 Joseph Parks, 1802-05 Alexander Nelson, 1805-07 Absalom Looney, 1807-12 Thomas Gillenwaters, 1812-15 Gabriel McCraw, 1815-25 James P. McCarty, 1825-33 James Bradley, 1833-36 James P. McCarty, 1836-42 Benjamin Thurman, 1842-44 Jacob Miller, 1844-46 James P. McCarty, 1846-48 Samuel Smith, 1848-50 Henry Tartar, 1850-52 Harvey Hamilton, 1852-58 Elias Beal, 1858-78 C. M. Bales, 1868-70 C. C. Spears, 1870-76 R. L. Blevins, 1876-82 W. R. Sanders, 1882-84 M. H. Kenner, 1884-86, and H. C. Armstrong, 1886 ---.
Registers --- William Alexander, ----1840 Adolphus Hutcheson, 1840-44 R. C. Crawford, 1844-52 R. M. Senabaugh, 1852-56 W. B. Mitchell, 1856-65 A. Lee, 1865-70 John Walker 1870-72, and L. L. Potts, 1872.
Trustees --- Joel Gillenwater, ----1826 John Johnston, 1826--- H. Watterson, 1836-40 James Y. Campbell, 1840-42 A. P. McCarty, 1842-44 Thomas Marshall, 1844-46 David Lauderbach, 1846-50 William Hutcheson, 1850-52 Martin Phillips, 1852-56 Robert Johnston, 1856 --- Thomas chestnut, 1860-64 Frank Self, 1866-70 Joshua Smith, 1870-72 James Nugent, 1872-76 George Webb, 1876-82 I. S. Gillenwaters, 1882-86, and T. J. Parrott, 1886.
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