Skip to main content

SCOUT

Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

Yazoo Land Deed

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3680

This 1797 land deed concerns the land purchase of 20,000 acres of land surrounding a portion of the Tennessee River. The land indenture between the sellers, Zachariah Cox and Matthias Maher, and the buyer, John Sevier, details the portion of land that Sevier purchased.

Dates

  • 1797 September 2

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

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This 1797 land deed concerns the land purchase of 20,000 acres of land surrounding a portion of the Tennessee River. The land indenture between the sellers, Zachariah Cox and Matthias Maher, and the buyer, John Sevier, details the portion of land that Sevier purchased.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sevier was involved, to some degree, in the Yazoo Land schemes. He and William Blount purchased the Cherokee claim to the Tennessee Valley area of Muscle Shoals in 1783. In 1789, they, along with Zachariah Cox, organized the Tennessee Yazoo Company and purchased four million acres from Georgia. A small settlement was established in 1791; but when President George Washington appointed Sevier Militia General and Blount Governor of the newly organized Southwest Territory, they were required to enforce prohibitions, pursuant to the 1790 treaty with the Creek Nation, on settling Indian lands. Sevier and Blount ordered Cox to disband the settlement. When Cox refused, Blount gave his approval to the Cherokees to remove the settlers.

In 1794, Cox formed the Tennessee Company with Matthias Maher. The Tennessee Company was one of four companies to take advantage of a second Georgia Yazoo land grant in 1795. Cox and Matthias sold off hundreds of thousands of acres of land; however, in early 1796, the new Georgia legislature declared the Yazoo sales null and void. The deed in this collection is dated after the nullification of the earlier Yazoo sales.

John Sevier, soldier, congressman, and first Governor of Tennessee was born in Virginia in 1745. In 1773 he moved to North Carolina and settled near the Holston River, which would later become part of Tennessee. Sevier played a key role in the south western campaign against the British during the Revolutionary War. His victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780) propelled him to new political heights, launching a successful career as a statesman. He went on to become the first and only governor (1784-1788) of the short lived extra-legal State of Franklin. In 1887 Sevier’s body was reinterred on the courthouse lawn in Knoxville, and a monument was erected commemorating his service to Tennessee, seventy-two years after his death in 1815.

Acquisition Note

This collection is was purchased in 2013.

Repository Details

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

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