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Transcript of Tennessee Statehood
Identify the leaders and events that led to Tennessee statehood.
The Southwest Territory
A settler named William Cobb built a home at Rocky Mount (near present-day Johnson City) in 1770.
After the failure of the
State of Franklin
, North Carolina eventually decided to cede its western lands to the U.S. government.
In early 1790, Congress designated this area as the Territory of the United States South of the Ohio River, more commonly known as the
President George Washington appointed
as the territory's first governor.
as the first capital of the Southwest Territory.
The population of the Southwest Territory continued to grow.
Following the 1795 U.S. census, a vote on statehood was taken and citizens overwhelmingy voted in favor of statehood.
In January of 1796 a convention was held in Knoxville to draft a state constitution. Tennessee's constitution would be closely modeled after the U.S. Constitution.
June 1, 1796
, the U.S. Congress approved a bill making Tennessee the 16th state.
, a hero of the Revolutionary War battle of King's Mountain, was elected as Tennessee's first governor.
The Southwest Territory
In 1791, the capital was moved to a location known as White's Fort at the junction of the French Broad and Holston Rivers.
Later that same year, William Blount renamed White's Fort Knoxville in honor of Secretary of War
. Blount moved to Knoxville in 1792 where be built a two-story frame house that still stands (the Blount Mansion in Downtown Knoxville).
Native Americans in the region were obviously concerned with the number of settlers moving into the region.
Also in 1791, to prevent any problems with Native Americans, Governor Blount met with the Cherokee and asked them to sell their lands to white settlers. Blount and the Cherokee signed the
Treaty of the Holston
where the Cherokee agreed to a perpetual and annual payment of $1,000 (this was later increased to $1,500). Boundaries for white settelements were established. White settlers also received right of passage on the Tennessee River and roadway access across the Cumberland Plateau.
The Cherokee were not satisfied with the treaty because they knew white settlers would continue to move onto Cherokee land.
The Territory Grows
Following the Revolutionary War, more and more people began moving west across the Appalachian Mountains.
The mountains were difficult to get over for settlers, but settlers had long ago discovered the
, a gap in the mountains where Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia meet.
Through the Cumberland Gap, trailblazers had made roads like the Wilderness Road on which settlers traveled to the Southwest Territory.
Tennessee's ample river systems
like the Mississippi River, Tennessee River, French Broad River, Holston River, and Cumberland River were essential for travel and trade in and out of the territory.
Settlers would take their goods to New Orleans on flatboats down the Mississippi River and then return to the territory on the
In 1818, Andrew Jackson negotiated a purchase from the Chickasaw Indians, known as the
Jackson Purchase or Chickasaw Cession
, that sold the land that would be West Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky.
Statue of the signing of the Treaty of the Holston
at Volunteer Landing in Downtown Knoxville
The Blount Mansion in Downtown Knoxville