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Sampson Williams Letter

 Collection
Identifier: MS-1957

In this letter to Colonel David Henley (then serving in Knoxville as the War Department's agent in charge of Indian Affairs), Sampson Williams reports a number of robberies that he believes were committed by Cherokee Indians. According to Williams, the Cherokee have stolen five horses from two of his neighbors (who he describes as good honest Citizens) and one cow from a traveler named Perkins. The theft of the horses has provoked outrage, and Williams asks Henley to send into the Nation to the Agent to enable him to get the horses for the owners, or otherways take Such measures as are provided by law to Secure the Value of the Horses. Williams is also concerned that the theft of the cow will cause angry locals to have the Cherokee arrested and taken to Nashville for what purpose I have not learnt.

Interested researchers may also wish to consult MS.1959: Sampson Williams Letter, circa 1795 and MS.2388: Sampson Williams Letter to Colonel David Henley, 1794 December 24 for more information about Williams and his work.

Dates

  • 1798 December

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

In this letter to Colonel David Henley (then serving in Knoxville as the War Department's agent in charge of Indian Affairs), Sampson Williams reports a number of robberies that he believes were committed by Cherokee Indians.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sampson Williams was born in South Carolina on December 2, 1763 (possibly 1762) to Daniel and Ann (Echols) Williams. The family migrated to Tennessee in 1786 and settled in the Mero District (now Davidson County). Sampson Williams began operating a ferry on the Cumberland River at the meeting of the Eastern and Mero Districts in 1791 and was authorized by Governor Blount to raise men to defend the crossing the next year. Blount obtained permission to establish a larger outpost in 1794, and both Sampson Williams and his brother Oliver served as captains of the militia at the resulting Fort Blount. Although the Fort was turned over to Federal troops when Tennessee joined the Union in 1796, Sampson Williams continued living in the area for some time. Williams was also involved in several campaigns against the Creek Indians in Middle Tennessee. He commanded Andrew Jackson during one of these expeditions, and the two became lifelong friends.

Sampson Williams and his family later moved to Jackson County, Tennessee. In 1806, the County's seat was named Williamsburg in honor of Sampson Williams. When the county seat moved to Gainesboro in 1817, Williams and his wife, Margaret (Young) Williams, bought the courthouse and used it as a private residence. Williams died on February 1, 1841 in Williamsburg and is buried near Fort Blount.

Arrangement

Collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections purchased this collection in June of 1999.

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