40 Facts About William Blount


William Blount was an American Founding Father, statesman, farmer, and land speculator who signed the United States Constitution.


William Blount was a member of the North Carolina delegation at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and led the efforts for North Carolina to ratify the Constitution in 1789 at the Fayetteville Convention.


William Blount then served as the only governor of the Southwest Territory and played a leading role in helping the territory gain admission to the union as the state of Tennessee.


William Blount was selected as one of Tennessee's initial United States Senators in 1796, serving until he was expelled for treason in 1797.


William Blount was elected to the North Carolina legislature in 1781, where he remained in one role or another for most of the decade, except for two terms in the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1786.


William Blount pushed efforts in the legislature to open the lands west of the Appalachians to settlement.


An aggressive land speculator, William Blount gradually acquired millions of acres in Tennessee and the Trans-Appalachian West.


However, William Blount remained popular in Tennessee and served in the state senate during the last years of his life.


William Blount was born on Easter Sunday at Rosefield, the home of his maternal grandfather, John Gray, near Windsor in Bertie County, North Carolina.


William Blount was the eldest child of Jacob Blount and Barbara Gray Blount.


Jacob William Blount raised livestock, cotton, and tobacco, produced turpentine, and operated a mill and horse racing track for the local community.


William Blount helped organize regiments for the defense of Charleston, which fell to the British in 1780 as a result of the Siege of Charleston.


In early 1780, William Blount was appointed official commissary to General Horatio Gates, who had arrived in North Carolina to command southern colonial forces.


At the Congress's 1782 session, William Blount helped defeat a poll tax and a liquor tax and opposed a reduction of the army.


William Blount agreed to consider a land cession act to satisfy North Carolina's massive tax debt owed to the Confederation.


In 1784, William Blount sponsored a bill establishing the city of Nashville in what was then the Cumberland settlements.


William Blount arrived too late and the Hopewell Treaty negotiated by the commissioners returned a sizeable portion of western lands claimed by North Carolina speculators to the Indians.


William Blount was present for the Congress's debate and passage of the Northwest Ordinance and heard Henry Knox's report recommending a North Carolina land cession.


Confident that North Carolina would gain more than it would lose with the new Constitution, William Blount returned home to campaign for its ratification.


The western frontiersmen were initially skeptical of William Blount, who came across as an aristocratic Easterner.


William Blount managed to gain their trust by recommending John Sevier and James Robertson as brigadier generals of the territorial militia, and appointing Landon Carter, Stockley Donelson and Gilbert Christian as colonels.


William Blount hired his half-brother, Willie William Blount, as a personal secretary and recruited Fayetteville, North Carolina, publisher George Roulstone to establish a newspaper for the new territory, known as the Gazette.


William Blount named the capital "Knoxville" after his superior, the United States Secretary of War Henry Knox.


William Blount responded with a series of articles rejecting Cocke and calling for patience.


William Blount finally negotiated a truce with the Chickamauga at the Tellico Blockhouse in 1794.


Toward the middle of his term, William Blount began implementing the steps stipulated in the Northwest Ordinance for a territory to gain statehood.


One of these steps was to call for the election of a legislature and submit nominees for appointments to a territorial council, which William Blount did in 1794.


William Blount realized he had little chance of defeating Sevier in a race for governor of the new state, so he instead sought one of the state's two United States Senate seats.


Elated at the opportunity to crush William Blount, Pickering turned the letter over to President John Adams.


When William Blount returned, the clerk read the contents of the letter aloud as William Blount stood in stunned silence.


William Blount gave an evasive answer and asked that the matter be postponed until the following day, which was granted.


Rather than await trial, William Blount posted bail and fled to Tennessee.


William Blount spent his first few days in office pushing for Judge Campbell's impeachment.


In March 1800, an epidemic swept through Knoxville, and several members of the William Blount family fell ill.


William Blount was buried at the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery a few blocks from his home in Knoxville.


Thomas William Blount represented North Carolina in the US House of Representatives in the 1790s and 1800s.


Willie William Blount was governor of Tennessee from 1809 to 1815.


William Blount married Mary Grainger in 1778, and they had six children; Ann, Mary Louisa, William Grainger, Richard Blackledge, Barbara and Eliza.


William Grainger Blount represented Tennessee in the US House of Representatives from 1815 to 1819.


Mary Louisa Blount was married to Congressman Pleasant Miller, and Barbara Blount was married to General Edmund P Gaines.