Sampson Williams Letter
In this letter to Andrew Jackson (then serving as a Senator from Tennessee), Sampson Williams asks his friend to use his influence to prevent Congress from converting Fort Blount into a trading post. Although Williams acknowledges that the "Establishment of a trading post at Fort Blount ... will be of great advantage and convenience to the Indians" (not to mention himself), he feels that it cannot be done under the present establishment because both parties have been violating the treaty. According to Williams' information, approximately 500 white families settled on Cherokee land and so provoked Cherokee retaliation, thus necessitating the Militia's continued presence at the Fort. Williams hopes, however, that the current Congress will take measures to improve the situation so that the proposed post can be established.
Interested researchers may also wish to consult MS.1957: Sampson Williams Letter, 1798 December and MS.2338: Sampson Williams Letter to Colonel David Henley, 1794 December 24 for more information about Williams.
- circa 1795
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In this letter to Andrew Jackson (then serving as a Senator from Tennessee), Sampson Williams asks his friend to use his influence to prevent Congress from converting Fort Blount into an unarmed trading post.
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.
Collection consists of a single folder.
The University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections purchased this collection.