« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
ably as a consequence of the North Carolina cession of 1784, the people of Clarksville held a "Convention," appointed a “Court," and asserted the right to make laws not repugnant to those of Congress; and this most minute of the Tennessee Republics, maintained its position for something like two years.?
There is nothing to be said of the social and political conditions of Cumberland, that has not been said, already, of Watauga. We find in the two communities the same race and class of men, the same leader, the same necessities and purposes, arising from similar environments; and the same honest, direct, fair and efficient administration of a temporary government, which was judiciously framed, and was indispensable and invaluable. It is not quite clear that the Cumberland government had either the vigor or the continuity of the Watauga Association. Moses Fiske, comparing it with the Watauga Association, says, “It proved equally salutary, and continued until their organization into a county.
But the records as reprinted in Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, contain the following under date of January 7, 1783:
“It appears highly necessary for the common weal of the whole, the securing of peace, the performance of contract between man and man, together with the suppression of vice, again to revive our former man
7American Historical Review, volume I, page 78. 8 American Historical Magazine, Volume II, page 26..
ner of proceedings pursuant to the plan agreed upon at our first settling here."9
It further appears that, shortly before the date of this record, an election of Judges had been ordered, and the following elected: Thomas Molloy, James Robertson, George Freeland, Isaac Lindsay, David Rounsevall, Heydon Wells, James Maulding, Ebenezer Titus, Samuel Barton and Andrew Ewin.
No record of a meeting of the Committee at any earlier date has been found, but it is well established that an organization was effected in 1780, which it seems, continued until unavoidably abandoned on account of hostilities with the Indians, so incessant and harassing that civil government became impossible.
In this bitter and cruel struggle the settlers displayed a fortitude and courage never surpassed.
With the return of peace, their love of law and order reasserted itself, and their home-made government was revived, and satisfactorily operated, until North Carolina, granting their prayer, took them under its wings, and Cumberland passed honorably into history.
9 Putnam's History of Middle Tennessee, pages 169-170. 1 Acts of North Carolina, 1784, April Session, chapter II.
On the second day of June, 1784, the Legislature of North Carolina ceded to the United States all the territory of that State, west of the Alleghany mountains, provided Congress should accept the same within two years."
By a later Act, passed at the same session, it was declared: “That the sovereignty and jurisdiction of this State in and over the territory aforesaid, and all and every the inhabitants thereof, shall be and remain the same in all respects, until the United States in Congress shall accept the cession, as if the act aforesaid had never passed.”2
The last Act also discontinued the land office for the ceded territory, and invalidated all entries made therein after the 25th of May, 1784, except certain ones provided for in pursuance of the State's policy of allotting lands to Continental soldiers, and to its agents and surveyors in making the allotments.
2 Acts of North Carolina, 1784, April Session, chapter new State.” The Committee was further of
The territory thus ceded was the present State of Tennessee, in which there had been organized at this. time the counties of Washington, Greene and Sullivan in East Tennessee, and Davidson in Middle Tennessee.
Soon after the passage of the cession Act, the people of the East Tennessee counties resolved to establish a government of their own, and elected as a committee for each county, two representatives from each captain's company therein. These representatives decided that there should be a Convention of deputies from all the counties, for the purpose of taking such action as the circumstances might require. Such a Convention met at Jonesboro, in Washington County, on the 23rd day of August, 1784. It was composed of thirty or more thoroughly representative and capable men, including John Sevier, the Reverend Samuel Houston, the Reverend Samuel Doak, Landon Carter, William Cocke, Stockley Donelson, Daniel Kennedy, Alexander Outlaw, Joseph Gist, Samuel Weir and David Campbell. John Sevier was elected President, and Landon Carter, Clerk, and a committee of which William Cocke was Chairman, having been appointed to consider the state of public affairs, reported that it was expedient for the Counties of Washington, Sullivan and Greene to combine in order to support the laws of North Carolina in so far as they were not "incompatible with the modes and forms of laying
opinion that the right of the Convention to petition Congress to accept the cession was undeniable, and that it was just for that body to countenance the formation of a separate government, either temporary or permanent, "agreeably to a resolve of Congress." 3
Thereupon, a temporary form of government was adopted, a second Convention was called to meet at Jonesboro, September 16, 1784, and the Convention adjourned after pledging a "reasonable support" to a proper person to “negotiate its business in Congress.
The second Convention did not meet on the 16th of September, but was delayed until November, when it adjourned without action.
During its October session, 1784, the Legislature of North Carolina repealed the cession Act.
The justice of the discontents of the Tennessee counties, because of the failure of the State to grant them a complete judicial and military organization, was recognized, and two important conciliatory measures were adopted by North Carolina sequences of this repeal. The judicial district of Morgan which then included, among others, the Counties
3Haywood's History of Tennessee, pages 150-151.
4 Haywood's History of Tennessee, pages 152-153; Ram. sey's Annals of Tennessee, page 287.
5 Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, page 290; Haywood's History of Tennessee, page 153.
6 Acts of North Carolina, 1784, October Session, chapter XVI.