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||Sevier Family Origin: (St.) Francis of noble parentage
was born, 7 April 1506, in the castle of Xavier, in Navarre, in
the French Pyrenees. Educated at the College of St. Barbe, Paris,
Francis was one of founders of the Order of the Jesuits and Missionary
to the East (Japan and many of the Islands). He baptized ten thousand
natives in a single month in the little kingdom of Travancore
(Turner, Francis Marion, Life of General John Sevier).
||(St.) Francis (Xavier) died on way to undertake
a mission to China (Turner).
||St. Francis (generally known as the "Apostle of
the Indies") canonized by the Roman Church (Turner).
||Some of the family of St. Francis Xavier, living
at Xavier, and bearing the name of the town as a family name,
had embraced the Protestant religion, and one of them, a devout
young Huguenot, Don Jaun Xavier, left France after the revocation
of the Edict of Nantes (1685) by Louis XIV. He settled in London,
gradually changed the family name to Sevier, pronounced like the
English adjective "severe," and his first name to John. He married
a London girl named Smith. This was the grandfather of General
John Sevier (Folmsbee, Stanley J. John Sevier Empire Builder).
||Valentine Sevier the Immigrant, father of General
John Sevier, was born in London. The date of his birth was estimated
by his grandsons as about 1702 (Sevier, Cora Bales and Nancy S.
Madden, Sevier Family History), making him 101 years
old at the time of his death in 1803. Records show that a John
Xavier married a Mary Smith on August 6th, 1708 at Hoxton Chapel
in Cripplegate, London. If these were Valentine's parents, it
is probable that Valentine was born sometime after 1708.
||Valentine Sevier the Immigrant, with his brother
William ran away to America (from England) arriving in Baltimore.
He pushed on west into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where
he married Joanna Goade and became a tavern keeper, Indian trader,
and land speculator.
||General John Sevier was born near Harrisonburg,
Rockingham County, Virginia, September 23, 1745, near the current
site of Newmarket, Virginia. He was the first son of Valentine
Sevier, the immigrant and Joanna Goade. There would eventually
be seven children, five boys and two girls.
||General John Sevier was a student for some time
in the academy at Staunton, Virginia. Acquired a good knowledge
of English, as his subsequent correspondence shows. During this
time at Staunton, he fell into a mill race one day and would have
been drowned had he not been rescued by two ladies, sisters, one
of whom was later the wife of Governor Matthews of Georgia. As
long as he lived, whenever opportunity offered, he showed his
gratitude to these ladies for their rescue of him in his youth
||(General) John Sevier Married, at the early age
of sixteen, Sarah Hawkins, a girl of a good family. One of her
sisters married John Crocket the father of David Crockett. They
had a farm in Shenandoah County, Virginia (Folmsbee).
||(General) John Sevier, "Lured to the Holston Valley
by tales of the good land brought back by traders. He probably
visited the settlements on the Watauga River in 1771 and 1772
soon after they had been made by William Bean and his companions
from Virginia and James Robertson and his fellow "Regulators"
from the Piedmont region of North Carolina, and at about the time
Jacob Brown led his group of settlers to the banks of the Nolichucky.
These settlers had to negotiate a lease of their lands from the
Cherokee Indians who claimed this country although their towns
were some distance away along the Little Tennessee River" (Folmsbee).
||John served as a Captain of the Colonial Militia
under then Col. George Washington in Governor Dunmore's war against
the indians, 1773 (and also in 1774) (Folmsbee).
In December he moved with his family, his parents, and his brothers
and their families to settle on the Holston River in Tennessee
country. He and his wife Sarah Hawkins had seven children, Valentine
the youngest was born in 1773 and just a few month old at the
time of the move. They settled north of the Holston near their
friends, the Shelbys. This northern settlement was governed as
a part of Virginia until 1779 (Sevier and Madden).
||(General) John Sevier moved to the Watauga River
probably in 1775 and a few years later to the south bank of the
Nolichucky (River) within the bounds of the present Greene County,
thus acquiring the nickname "Chucky Jack". He became the clerk
of the Watauga Association, and rose quickly to leadership not
only in governmental affairs but also in military defense. April
1775, the Revolutionary War began. June 1775, General George Washington
takes command of the Continental armies. The Watauga Association
changed its name to the Washington District and replaced its court
of five with a Committee of Safety of thirteen members, of which
(General John) Sevier was one of the most prominent.
||Served as county clerk and district judge, 1777-1780
||Sarah Hawkins Sevier died shortly after the birth
of their 10th child, Spring 1780. John married Catherine "Bonny
Kate" Sherrill, August 14, 1780.
September 25, 1780, John Sevier, two of his sons, his younger
brothers Robert and Valentine, and more than 300 of his neighbors
gathered at Sycamore Shoals in what is now Tennessee. These Overmountain
men mustered there with patriots and soldiers from Virginia and
North Carolina, about a thousand in all.
They intended to fight for the newly formed United States, and
to answer a message sent by British Major Patrick Ferguson, "that
if they did not desist from their opposition to the British arms,
and take protection under his standard, he would march his army
over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country
waste with fire and sword." On October 7th, they met Ferguson
and his loyalist forces at King's Mountain South Carolina, where
the patriots won an overwhelming victory. It was a turning point
in the Revolutionary War.
||Moved to the South bank of the Nolichucky River
a place he called "Mount Pleasant," Fall 1783. The Nolichucky
River is within the bounds of present day Greene County. It's
from this river that John Sevier acquired the nickname "Chucky
||Many of the North Carolina citizens living on the
western side of the Smoky Mountains and south of the Ohio river
(Tennessee Valley) gathered to organize this territory as the
State of Franklin and petitioned Congress for admittance to the
United States of America. John Sevier was elected Governor of
"the proclaimed" State of Franklin in March 1785. The Franklin
Legislature held their final meeting in Sevier County in 1788.
||John Sevier was elected as a Democrat from North
Carolina to the First Congress. During this year, George Washington
began his two term tenure as President of the United States, serving
until March of 1797.
||Appointed as Brigadier General of militia for the
Washington District of the Territory South of the Ohio, February,
||First Governor of Tennessee, 1796-1801.
||Appointed Brigadier General of the Provisional
||Governor of Tennessee (again) from 1803-1809.
||General John Sevier was elected to the House of
Representatives, from Tennessee, serving from March 4, 1811 until
his death. He served in the 12th, 13th and 14th congresses. Records
of his participation in early US politics can be found in the
of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Journal
of the House of Representatives of the United States, 1789-1873,
and the Journal
of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States
of America, 1789-1873.
The Library of Congress has these collections and many others
available online, and searchable, through it's A
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: US Congressional Documents
and Debates, 1774-1873 home page.
||General John Sevier dies near Fort Decatur, Alabama
while fulfilling a presidential appointment as commissioner to
determine the boundary between Georgia and the Creek territory
in Alabama. He is buried at Fort Decatur (Sevier and Madden).
||The body of General John Sevier is brought from
Fort Decatur, Alabama to the courthouse lawn, at Knoxville, Tennessee
and reinterred beneath a monument erected in his honor, June 15,
1889. A special train carrying the body, was escorted by the governors
of Alabama and Tennessee. An estimated 30,000 people attended
the ceremony (Turner).