BLOUNT, WILLIAM - Knox County, Tennessee | WILLIAM BLOUNT - Tennessee Gravestone Photos

William BLOUNT

First Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Knox County,
Tennessee

March 26, 1749 - March 21, 1800

Territorial Governor of Tennessee, US Senator, Signer of US Constitution. Born in North Carolina, the son of Jacob Blount and Barbara Gray, he became instrumental in the establishment of Tennessee as a state. He was married on February 12, 1778 to Mary Grainger, the daughter of Caleb Grainger. They had seven children: Ann (wife of Henry I. Toole); Mary Eliza (wife of Joseph Lawrence and later Weeks Hadley); Mary Louisa (wife of Pleasant M. Miller); William Grainger; Richard Blackledge; Barbara (wife of Edmund Pendleton Gaines); and Eliza (wife of Edwin Wiatt). In 1778 he served in the Revolutionary War as a paymaster but resigned his position to serve in the North Carolina legislature and the Continental Congress. In 1787 he was selected to be a delegate at the Constitutional Convention. He missed a month of the proceedings because he felt it was more important to remain in Congress and while at the Convention contributed little to the drafting of the document before voting for it and working for its ratification back in North Carolina. In 1790 he was named territorial Governor of the "western territory south of the Ohio River". Additional duties included being the "Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Southern Department". His handling of the western expansion and his competent negotiations with the region's Native American tribes made him an increasingly popular figure with both the Indians and the frontiersmen. In 1795 he called for a convention to draft a constitution for the proposed state of Tennessee. The next year it was admitted to the Union and Blount was elected to represent the new state in the US Senate. In 1797 though his career as a US Senate ended abruptly when he was charged with a "high misdemeanor" for allegedly being part of a plot to team with Indians and British Naval forces to take control of the Spanish provinces of Florida and Louisiana. He was expelled from the Senate but returned to Tennessee with his popularity soaring and was immediately sent to the state senate where he was that body's speaker. He died two years later in Knoxville. (bio by: Bigwoo)

*Photograph courtesy of:
Mike Gourley

Contributed on 4/22/18 by ashaw444
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Record #: 153178

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Submitted: 4/22/18 • Approved: 4/24/18 • Last Updated: 4/27/18 • R153178-G0-S3

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