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Lawson D. Franklin Estate Administration Book

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0397

This large, leather-bound ledger records the settlement of Lawson D. Franklin's estate, in the absence of a will. It begins with ten pages setting out the 29 articles of agreement between Franklin's heirs - I.W.R. Franklin of Jefferson County, Tennessee; W.A. and Caroline E. Montgomery of Washington County, Texas; R.H. and S.A.L. Armstrong of Knox County, Tennessee; and John M. and J. June Boyd of Knox County, Tennessee; and the two administrators, F.M. Taylor and Robert M. Barton, hired to fulfill that agreement. One of these articles requires Taylor and Barton to keep a book, available to all heirs, recording every step of closing Franklin's estate. To that end, this book provides over 450 pages of documentation that includes inventories of assets, records of actions and disbursements, bills of sale, arbitration agreements, and twenty semiannual reports. These are all written out in a clear hand, with occasional cross-references noted.

Dates

  • 1861 May 25-1880 May 11

Language

The material in this collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Abstract

This large, leather-bound ledger records the settlement of Lawson D. Franklin's estate, in the absence of a will. It begins with ten pages setting out the 29 articles of agreement between Franklin's heirs and the two administrators hired to fulfill that agreement and then goes on to provide over 450 pages of documentation covering every step taken by those administrators over the seventeen years required to finish.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lawson D. Franklin was born on January 19, 1801 in Rutledge, Virginia to Owen and Betsy (Roper) Franklin. In 1825, Franklin married Elizabeth Rogers. Their six children were Isaac W. Rodgers, Elizabeth Caroline, Jane June, Louisa, Robert O., and Lawson D. The elder Lawson Franklin married again in 1850, this time to Catherine Smith, divorcing her in 1851.

Lawson D. Franklin was a businessman from Jefferson County, Tennessee. Franklin's many business interests - including plantations and merchandising stores throughout the Southeast, a railroad company to Leadvale, and the Rogersville Bank - eventually made him East Tennessee's first millionaire. With his money, Franklin built three large mansions. One stands near Leadvale on the arm of Douglas Lake, where Franklin lived with Elizabeth. The second was built near White Pine, Tennessee for Isaac W. R. Franklin, Sr. and his wife, Dorcas. Franklin built the third, called Bleak House, on Kingston Pike in Knoxville, Tennessee for Louisa Franklin and her husband, Robert H. Armstrong. This mansion was used as headquarters for General Longstreet during the Battle of Knoxville, and now houses the Confederate Memorial Hall.

Lawson D. Franklin died on April 8, 1861 and is buried in Jefferson County, Tennessee.

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections by Herb S. Walters.

Related Archival Materials

Interested researchers may wish to consult MS.0780, Lawson D. Franklin Papers, or the Administration Book of L.D. Franklin Estates, cataloged in Rare Books.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480