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Special Collections Online at UT

John Sevier Diary

Identifier: MS-1782

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of a transcript of a diary of John Sevier spanning from 1790-1815. It is not handwritten.


  • 1790-1815

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 small flat box)


This collection consists of a typescript of a diary of John Sevier, spanning from 1790-1815.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Sevier was an early American soldier and statesman. As a soldier he fought some thirty-five battles or skirmishes, including the controversial Battle of Kings Mountain. His political career started as a representative to the Provincial Congress during the Revolutionary War. He helped organize the State of Franklin, which collapsed after a battle between his faction and the opposing Tipton Family faction in February 1788. This battle tarnished his reputation and, after his arrest for taking part in a brawl in 1788, he fled to hide in the mountains. His way back to political respectability was by strongly supporting the ratification of the national Constitution. In 1789 he was pardoned upon election to the North Carolina Senate. Also, in 1789, Sevier was elected to Congress for the 1789-1791 term as the representative of North Carolina's Western district.

With the cession of western lands to the Federal government, Sevier became active in the politics of the new territory, serving in the Territory's legislative council. With statehood in 1796, Sevier became the first governor of Tennessee. For 1796-1801 he served three consecutive terms and returned to the position two years later for three more terms in office 1803-1809. In 1809 he was elected to the state Senate and in 1811 he was again elected to the U. S. House of Representatives. Here he served, until he died in 1815, while on a mission to survey the boundary of the Indian peace treaty.


This collection is in a single box.

Repository Details

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

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA