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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

John Sevier Collection

Identifier: MS-1941

The material in this collection covers the time period starting in 1782 and ending in 1839 with a letter on Sevier from Lyman Draper to Sevier's son George Washington Sevier. Many of the items are documents, but there are an important series of letters on the War of 1812 written by Sevier to George Washington Sevier. Other correspondents of note are John Overton, William Blount, David Henley, and Return J. Meigs.


  • 1782-1839

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.


1.5 Linear Feet


The material, covering 1782-1839, contains letters and documents related to the War of 1812. Important correspondents include Lyman Draper, John Overton, William Blount, David Henley, and Return J. Meigs.

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 terms 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.


Collection consists of eighteen folders.

Acquisition Note

This collection is property of the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections.

Repository Details

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

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA