John Sevier, Pioneer of the Old Southwest

John Sevier, Pioneer of the Old Southwest

John Sevier, Pioneer of the Old Southwest

John Sevier, Pioneer of the Old Southwest

Excerpt

This study of John Sevier is an attempt to explain the events in his colorful and checkered career and to examine older and romantic traditions in the light of more recent historical findings. He was frontiersman, Indian fighter, land speculator, state senator, congressman, only governor of the State of Franklin, and first governor of Tennessee. This powerful figure in the Old Southwest has lived in history as one of its heroes, but few attempts have been made to discover if the glamor and romance which surround his name have had a real or an idealized character as their source. The author has attempted to contribute something of reality to the estimate of a very real and human person.

Half forgetful of the early days, students for the most part have interpreted Tennessee history in the light of a dominating figure or an epic struggle--Andrew Jackson or the Civil War. Sevier has been looked upon as a leader of minor importance in the history of the state. Historians are now attempting to reconstruct the early history of the commonwealth which he helped to found and to protect. He furnished a vital energy and a determinative influence in the life and times of the Old Southwest and of Tennessee. His methods were no better and no worse than those of others in commanding positions during that era of individualism and expansion. He showed remarkable ability as a military leader of frontiersmen against the savages and the English, an ability which made possible his speculative ventures in the acquisition of land. When he is cast upon the background of the frontier and its restless pioneers, he assumes a position of some dignity and importance above others of his time and section. This study attempts to sketch his silhouette upon the shadowy canvas of that age of conquest.

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