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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Boiled Fresh Peanuts and Other Southern Recipes

http://www.wikihow.com/Boil-Green-Peanuts
One of my favorite snacks.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,FOOD_9936_6459_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html
Chow-Chow pickle relish -- I like to garnish my beans and field peas with it.
http://community.southernliving.com/showthread.php?3750-Looking-for-old-time-chow-chow-recipe
Southern Living magazine has some of the best recipes.
http://www.mtnlaurel.com/recipes/752-southern-sweet-chow-chow-relish.html
This recipe uses cabbage instead of tomatoes, but includes instructions for how to make the "pickling liquid".
http://pickyourown.org/SouthernChowChow.htm

CREAMED CORN

12 ears of fresh sweet corn
a few slices of salt pork bacon
cream or whole milk
butter
salt and pepper

Remove the kernals from the corn; slowly brown the bacon, then remove it from the pan to cool; pour off the fat and allow it to cool for use in other recipes (like, piecrust).  Add the corn to the hot pan, along with the butter; stir and cook for a few minutes (you might need to lower the heat a little bit, so as not to burn them).  Add enough cream or whole milk to just barely cover the corn and then reduce the liquid to about half as much -- by then, your corn should be tender enough to eat.  Add salt and pepper to taste (may be added along with the cream or milk, too).  Garnish with the crumbled, crisp salt pork bacon.

COLLARDS

Purchase or pick an armload of fresh green collards; wash them thoroughly in cold, clean water.  Remove the thickest, toughest parts of the stems (about half of each stem) and then stack your leaves.  Roll each stack of leaves tightly to form a cylinder, then shred them by slicing crosswise.  Slowly brown a few slices of salt pork bacon; set the meat aside to cool; pour off the fat to save for other recipes.  Add the leaves to the hot pan and slowly add about a cup of cold water to create steam.  Cover the pot and steam / simmer the leaves for about one hour, stirring and checking occasionally to make sure the pan doesn't dry out and the leaves don't burn.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  When the leaves are just tender enough, turn off the heat and add the juice from one jar of small peppers.  Let it sit for a few minutes to continue warming on the stove, then serve garnished with crumbled, crisp salt pork bacon.

This is the type of peppers to buy, for the juice (for the Collards recipe).  It's very hot, spicey, so be careful if you don't like that kind of flavor.
 
THE PROPER PROCEDURE FOR PREPARING CHEESE GRITS
 
The reason most people hate grits, is that they make the mistake of following the cooking instructions provided on the packages by the manufacturers.  If done that way, you will invariably wind up with a runny, gritty, flavorless mess.  And because they're so delicious when done correctly, I have chosen to share my own recipe here.  Grits are actually approximately the same thing as polenta, yet I find the usual directions for polenta equally lacking in common sense.
 
First choose some high-quality grits, preferably yellow and stone ground (if you can find them).  Whatever you do, never purchase "instant" grits!
 
In a large saucepan, mix 1 part dry grits to 3 parts COLD water.  (Most intructions call for only 2 parts water, and they suggest stirring the grits into boiling water -- that's wrong, because you need more water in order to allow the grits to simmer long enough to soften up just right; and when you stir dry grits into boiling water, you seriously risk ending up with lumpy grits.  Nobody likes lumpy grits.)
 
Then, add about 1 tsp good salt (I like natural sea salt) and bring the pot to a full boil on high heat, stirring constantly.  A wire whisk or long cooking spoon will work just fine for the job.
 
Once boiling, immediately reduce the cooking flame down to medium and keep stirring as the grits begin to thicken up.  As they thicken, continue reducing the heat until it is finally on low.  The idea is to keep them boiling, without burning them.  It will take about 5-10 minutes to thicken it up that much.  When it begins to splatter so much that you are in fear of getting burnt by it, cover the pot and turn the heat completely off.
 
Leave them to sit covered on the warm stove burner, for about 5-10 minutes.  This allows them to gradually and slowly absorb more of the water, which is essential for successfully making soft grits.
 
Now it is time to add your shredded cheese or a blend of cheeses (as you prefer).  I like extra-sharp cheddar or swiss cheese, but any kind is fine as long as they melt fairly easily.  When I cook 1 cup of dry grits, I usually add around 1-2 cups of shredded or chopped cheese at the end; but you may adjust the amounts to your own taste.
 
Stir the cheese(s) into the grits, and leave covered again, for about 5-10 more minutes on the warm stove burner.  By then your cheese should be well melted, and you can stir the pot one last time and serve them for breakfast with eggs and bacon -- or, for dinner with fried fish or shrimp. 
 
Some other favorites:
 
Chicken Perlieu or Chicken and Rice
Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy
Chicken and Dumplings
Lox (Smoked Salmon) and Bagels (I know, it isn't exactly "Southern" -- but I love it)
 
Too many to mention; if I'm not careful, I'll end up with an entire cookbook here, lol.

SPICY BUTTERED POPCORN, MY WAY

First melt 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of butter; then stir in 1 tablespoon of paprika and 1/2 tsp (more or less, to your own taste -- I like mine pretty hot) red or cayenne pepper (powdered).  Set aside while you pop up a batch of fresh popcorn.  I like mine done in an air popper, because with the butter topping I feel it doesn't need any more oil in the recipe.  The air popper can only pop a maximum of 1/2 cup of popcorn at a time, which is about the right amount for the topping.  I catch the popped corn in a large bowl, then immediately sprinkle it with some salt (preferably natural sea-salt for me); then stir the spicy melted butter again, and drizzle it all over the warm popcorn.  Quickly grab a couple of large long-handled spoons and 'toss' the butter with the popcorn, until it is fairly evenly coated.  Then sit down and enjoy.

This is one of my favorite salty snacks, better than chips in my opinion; but just one precaution:  always be prepared to floss your teeth after eating popcorn (even if you rarely do so at any other times)!  Flossing is important though, so most of us floss regularly anyway, right (I hope so)?


GRANDMA'S IRON SKILLET CORNBREAD

First, render the fat out of a few slices of salt pork bacon; then set the crisp, golden brown bacon slices aside for use in other recipes (also makes a yummy snack!).  Pour off the excess hot bacon fat (ie lard), and likewise save for use in other recipes (ie biscuits, piecrusts, pan-frying, etc).  After the oil cools down, store it covered in the fridge.  With a pastry brush, spread the remaining grease around your ~12-inch skillet (~2-inches deep).  Set the hot skillet aside to cool just a bit, and set the oven to 400 degrees (BAKE).  While the oven is preheating, mix your cornbread batter:

1 heaping cup of White cornmeal
1 heaping cup of unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar

Mix these dry ingredients first, then form a well in the center and add the liquid ingredients all at once, before stirring:

2 fresh eggs
2-3 cups fresh buttermilk

Begin with just 2 cups of buttermilk, and add more as needed to achieve a very moist, but not runny, batter.  For fluffier cornbread (and the same advice applies to pancakes), do not add any oils to the batter.  I never add oils to either cornbread or pancakes, and they turn out awesome that way.  (I figure there is enough oil in the pan, to make it good.)  One more suggestion: stir the batter only just enough to mix it up; do not over-beat the batter (makes the cornbread, biscuits, or pancakes for that matter, tough, if you do that).  The cornbread batter should resemble a slightly heavy cake batter, when mixed.

Poor (or scoop) the batter into the warm skillet; spread it out a little bit; then bake on the middle rack in the oven at 400 degrees for the first 10 minutes; then lower the heat to 350 degrees for about 20 additional minutes (times may vary due to altitudes, etc.).  When done, the cornbread should be light golden brown on top, golden brown on the bottom and around the edges, and the batter should be cooked through (but not dried out) in the center.

Test the center, by lightly pressing with your fingertips; it should bounce back up -- if it sinks at all, you need to bake it a little while longer.  After removing the pan from the oven, immediately spread some pure butter over the top of the hot cornbread, allowing it to absorb a little.  That will keep your cornbread nice and soft, so it won't become crunchy or dry.

 
 
HOW TO COOK BACON IN THE MICROWAVE OVEN
 
First, select a good quality, cured, sliced bacon.  I prefer mine thick-sliced and wood-cured (Maple or Hickory).  Prepare a heavy-duty paper plate lined with a couple of layers of paper toweling.  Then lay out approximately 6-8 slices, evenly spaced in two layers (criss-crossed) on top of the paper towels.  Next, lay another paper towel over the top of the raw bacon slices and then top it all off with another paper plate 'lid'.  Thus, you will not get any grease inside your electric appliance.  Cook the bacon for about 3 minutes at regular setting (or, High); take bacon out and open the lid to release the steam, checking for done-ness at the same time.  Usually, you will need to replace the lid and cook for another 1-3 minutes for crisp bacon.  Sometimes I prefer mine a little less than crisp... depends on my mood and how I plan to use the bacon in recipes, as a side-dish, or for a snack.
 
 
SWAMP CABBAGE
 
Swamp Cabbage is a delicacy made from scrub Sabal Palm (or Palmetto) trunks.  First, you have to find one just the right size: the trunk must be around two feet or less in length, when trimmed.  Then, you check for rattlesnakes before chopping the scrub Palm down.  This involves removing the fronds first, usually.  Then, you have to peel all of the tough bark away from the heart of the palm.  This is the same delicacy known to many as, "Hearts of Palm".
 
Once you have the tender palm heart free of all the casing, take it into the kitchen and rinse in cold, clear water.  Cut into pieces as you prefer, usually bite-sized.  You may use the Swamp Cabbage raw (in salads), or you may steam it lightly with a little bit of butter for a tasty side dish.  In Florida, on the Gulf Coast, the popular way to serve Swamp Cabbage added to a bed of lettuce, is with a small scoop of Peanut Butter ice cream right on top.  Trust me, it is heavenly...  Grandma always served hers cooked as a side dish, and that was fabulous, too.
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Music



A lovely old Wassail song.

Best version of my favorite Christmas song, The Little Drummer Boy.
 
Best version of Auld Lang Syne.
 
My entire Christmas playlist on YouTube.
 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

John Sevier, My Sixth Great-Grandpa

He was a dashing, daring, handsome man, in my humble opinion (not biased, of course, lol).

http://www.aoc.gov/capitol-hill/national-statuary-hall-collection/john-sevier
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sevier
http://www.johnsevier.com/
http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/govpapers/findingaids/gp2.pdf
http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/govpapers/findingaids/gp3.pdf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Franklin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina%27s_5th_congressional_district
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee%27s_2nd_congressional_district
He represented the mountain folk, in Congress.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Tennessee_Democratic-Republicans
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:North_Carolina_militiamen_in_the_American_Revolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_people_of_Huguenot_descent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:People_from_the_State_of_Franklin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:American_people_of_English_descent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1815_deaths
Thomas Denman was among the "deaths" of 1815; possible relationship to some of Sevier's descendants (like, me) and a very interesting person.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Denman_(physician)
His interest in helping women through childbirth is very much like that of Huguenot doctors of the time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:1745_births
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentine_Sevier
John's father (grandfather was also named Valentine, Sr.).
http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=1190
http://www.johnsevier.com/jstime.html
A timeline of his life.
http://www.newmarketvirginia.com/history.htm

Carl Driver, John Sevier: Pioneer of the Old Southwest (Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1932).

Samuel Cole Williams, Dawn of the Tennessee Valley and Tennessee History (Johnson City, Tenn.: Watauga Press, 1937), pp. 370-377

John Finger, Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 2001).

Samuel Cole Williams, Tennessee During the Revolutionary War (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1944).

Stanley Folmsbee, Robert Corlew, and Enoch Mitchell, Tennessee: A Short History (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1969), p. 86.

Kevin Barksdale, The Lost State of Franklin: America's First Secession (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2009).

Mary Rothrock (ed.), The French Broad-Holston Country: A History of Knox County, Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.: East Tennessee Historical Society, 1972), p. 487

Phillip Langsdon, Tennessee: A Political History (Franklin, Tenn.: Hillboro Press, 2000).

J.G.M. Ramsey, Annals of Tennessee, pp. 134, 712, e.g.

Mark Banker, Appalachians All: East Tennesseans and the Elusive History of an American Region (Knoxville, Tenn.: University of Tennessee Press, 2010), p. 61.

http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=1236

http://books.google.com/books?id=iYYxAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=oliver+perry+temple+sevier&source=bl&ots=sX4ppOBGNz&sig=A-qv1BxG00UnrqyrDpY6fFAKJmQ&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rxYQUMeiFYKS9QS7y4DwDw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=oliver%20perry%20temple%20sevier&f=false
(c1893)

http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/downloads/Marble%20Springs%20Final%20Report.pdf
He lived in a log cabin / house.
http://www.knowsouthernhistory.net/Biographies/John_Sevier/

http://books.google.com/books?id=UWq0CtvLn_4C&pg=PA311&lpg=PA311&dq=%22lost+state+of+franklin%22+%22henry+conway%22&source=bl&ots=tmuqRORmhu&sig=m6xWrw4tilIJN8GHsw6bSN1tqYc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ewUPULa0NImi8ASb54DACQ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22lost%20state%20of%20franklin%22%20%22henry%20conway%22&f=false

http://books.google.com/books?id=asYTAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+sevier&hl=en&sa=X&ei=D0Y-UbvINeXkygGr4YHICQ&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=john%20sevier&f=false
John Sevier, Commonwealth Builder.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lamadiso/articles/sevierfamily/sevierfamily.htm
A Louisiana branch of the family, I gather.
 




FAMILY (Wikipedia):  "Sevier is a distant relative of St. Francis Xavier, the name "Sevier" being an anglicized form of "Xavier."  In the 17th century, some members of the Xavier family became Protestants (Huguenots).  In 1685, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Sevier's grandfather, Don Juan Xavier, moved to London, and changed his name to John Sevier.  Sevier's father, Valentine "The Immigrant" Sevier (1712–1803), was born in London, and moved to America in 1740.

 

"Sevier married Sarah Hawkins (1746–1780) in 1761.  They had ten children:  Joseph, James, John, Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary Ann, Valentine, Rebecca, Richard, and Nancy.  Following her death, Sevier married Catherine Sherrill (1754–1836).  They had eight children:  Catherine, Ruthe, George Washington, Samuel, Polly, Eliza, Joanna, and Robert...

 

[NOTE: Our branch of the tree is descended from John and first wife, Sarah Hawkin's eldest daughter, Elizabeth, who married John Clark (a prominent Tennessee citizen, state Supreme Court judge and American revolutionary).  Their daughter, Elizabeth Clark, married John Elston; and my third great-grandmother was their daughter, Neaty Elston, who married Blake Denman.  Neaty and Blake are buried side-by-side at the county cemetery in Alabama (I will find the link for it, later)]

 

"Sevier's grandnephew, Ambrose Hundley Sevier (1801–1848), served as one of the first U.S. senators from Arkansas. Sevier County, Arkansas, is named for him. The Conway family, which dominated early Arkansas state politics, were cousins of the Seviers. Henry Conway, the grandfather of Ambrose Sevier and Arkansas's first governor, James Sevier Conway, was a friend of Sevier, and served as Treasurer of the State of Franklin. Two of Sevier's sons, James and John, married Conway's daughters, Nancy and Elizabeth, respectively...

[NOTE:  My father's full name is Leon Conway Denman.  Of course, I'm not sure if that's why the name was chosen for him.  My Denman grandfather died in 1943, at the young age of 38; and much of our family history went with that loss.]

 

"A large family of Seviers in Madison Parish, Louisiana, also claim descent from John Sevier, among them State Senator Andrew L. Sevier of Tallulah, who served in the upper house in Baton Rouge from 1932 until his death in 1962."

 


Apparently, Tennessee is a Cherokee word.




Chickamaugas are Cherokees.

He was a magistrate (judge) of the Watauga Association.
Defended Fort Watauga against the Cherokee.
The old fort at Watauga has been reconstructed.  Also known as Fort Caswell.
 
At the outbreak of the War, he was chosen as a member of the Committee of Safety for the Association's successor, the Washington District.
A remote area of frontier, West of the Appalachians.
The only Governor of the short-lived State of Franklin, which he created.  Also known as the Free Republic of Franklin, or the State of Frankland.

Accused of the capital crime of treason by the Governor of North Carolina, he was arrested and imprisoned there, awaiting trial.  However, his many friends and supporters quickly rallied to his rescue and successfully argued for his release.  Although the case never really made it to court, artist Howard Pyle nevertheless presented this illustration of the scene, depicting John Sevier on the witness stand listening as one of his friends argued for the charges to be dropped.
 
He was Brigadier General (appointed by George Washington) of the Southwest Territory.
 
"Sevier served six two-year terms as Tennessee's governor, from 1796 until 1801, and from 1803 to 1809, with term limits preventing a fourth consecutive term in both instances.  His political career was marked by a growing rivalry with rising politician Andrew Jackson, which nearly culminated in a duel in 1803.  After his last term as governor, Sevier served two terms in the United States House of Representatives, from 1811 until his death in 1815." (Wikipedia)
 
Born in Rockingham Co., Virginia, then part of Augusta Co., near the town of New Market (which he founded himself before going to Tennessee).
 
"He was the oldest of seven children of Valentine "The Immigrant" Sevier and Joanna Goad.  His father was descended from French Huguenots, and had migrated to Baltimore in 1740 and gradually made his way to the Shenandoah Valley.
 
"Sevier's father worked variously as a tavernkeeper, fur trader, and land speculator, and young John initially pursued a similar career path.  At a young age, he opened his own tavern, and helped plat the town of New Market, near his birthsite (the town claims Sevier as its founder).  In 1761, he married Sarah Hawkins, and gradually settled into a life of farming.  Some sources suggest Sevier served as a captain in the Colonial Militia under George Washington in Lord Dunmore's War in 1773 and 1774."
 
He and Sarah moved from Virginia to the Carter Valley settlements near the Holston River of Tennessee.
They later moved to Elizabethton, in Carter County.
 
The Watuaga Association is in reference to the nearby Watauga River.  The lands were leased from the Cherokee.
 
The British king made it illegal for Colonists to live on Indian lands, such as that leased from the Cherokee tribe.  So, in 1775 John Sevier witnessed the legal purchase of those lands from the Indians.
 
Meanwhile, the British crown refused to recognize the transaction, insisting that they leave anyway.  Also around the same time, Dragging Canoe, a Cherokee chief who disagreed with the sale of their land, began making threats against the settlers.
 
Shortly thereafter, the Americans declared war on Britain.  In reality, we Americans rightly accused Britain of waging an undeclared war upon American Colonists.  One of their chief complaints, was that Britain had very unfair laws of commerce, which allowed Britain to take most of our natural resources overseas to England, where they were used in manufacturing and then exported back to the Colonies.  Of course, goods produced in that fashion were very costly.  Americans were forbidden by Britain to engage in any major manufacturing businesses.
 
Site of Fort Lee.
 
Commonly referred to as a "beloved woman" of the Cherokee, she nevertheless was a sort of double-agent, I guess.  She warned the settlers of an impending attack by Dragging Canoe and another Cherokee war chief, Old Abraham.
 
The settlers continued fighting the Cherokee even during the simultaneous tensions with Britain.  In fact, Britain funded Dragging Canoe's campaigns against them.  Sevier helped fend off a two-week long siege by Old Abraham on Fort Caswell.  Then after a Colonial invasion by William Christian into the Overhill Cherokee territory, the Indians sued for peace with the settlers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Christian_(Virginia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overhill_Cherokee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loyalists_(American_Revolution)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Ferguson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Shelby
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overmountain_Men
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sycamore_Shoals
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Campbell_(general)

John Sevier joined with other Patriots to successfully fight General Ferguson of Britain and the Loyalists (ie Royalists).  Ferguson was killed in battle; but unfortunately John's brother, Robert, was also mortally wounded.  When word got to John's son, also a soldier in the battle, that a Sevier had been badly wounded, fearing that it was his father, he lost control of his emotions and continued firing on the enemy, despite the call by his superiors for a ceasefire.  He vowed to avenge his father's death, by killing every last one of them.  Of course he was restrained from doing so, and finally calmed down after his father appeared by his side.

Robert was advised by a physician to rest for around two weeks or so before travelling, in order to give his wound a chance to heal up some (the slug was lodged near his kidney, and couldn't be removed right away).  But Robert longed to be home then, and so travelled anyway; exactly nine days later, he passed away in his own bed.

According to Wikipedia, Sevier helped bankroll that military maneuver, which is now known as the Battle of King's Mountain:  "To provide funds for the march, Sevier obtained a loan from John Adair, putting up his own property as collateral."

I'd be interested in knowing whether or not George Washington ever mortgaged his vast real estate holdings for his men.

After that battle, Sevier resumed fighting the Cherokee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Congress
North Carolina then ceded the lands West of the Appalachians, to the Continental Congress; but Congress didn't immediately accept ownership of the property.  So then, Sevier helped create the State of Franklin, named for Ben Franklin.

North Carolina later rescinded the transfer of ownership, causing some conflicts which resulted in the warrant for John Sevier's arrest by the Governor of North Carolina, on charges of treason.

"As North Carolina and Franklin competed for the loyalties of the residents of the area, Sevier became involved in intrigues with Georgia to gain control of Cherokee lands in what is now northern Alabama, where Sevier had taken out claims on several thousand acres of land.  He even considered an alliance with Spain, whose Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró, attempted to sway Sevier, though Sevier eventually abandoned the idea."  (Wikipedia)

[I find his connection to Spain intriguing, in light of the fact that the de Xaviers were originally Spanish Basques, prior to their becoming Huguenots and moving away, to France.  Also interesting is his connections in North Georgia, since his g-granddaughter Neaty Elston married our Georgia ancestor, Blake Denman.]

"In February 1788, the rivalry between Sevier and [Colonel John] Tipton came to a head in what became known as the "Battle of Franklin."  While Sevier was away campaigning against the Cherokee, Tipton ordered some of his property seized for taxes supposedly owed to North Carolina.  In response, Sevier led 150 militia to Tipton's farm, which was defended by about 45 loyalists.  Both sides demanded the other surrender, and briefly exchanged gunfire.  On February 29, two days after the siege began, loyalist reinforcements from Sullivan County arrived on the scene and scattered the Franklinites.  Sevier retreated, though not before several were killed on both sides.  Two of Sevier's sons were captured, but subsequently released."  (Wikipedia)

"Following the Battle of Franklin, support for Sevier and the State of Franklin collapsed in areas north of the French Broad River, and Governor Samuel Johnston issued a warrant for his arrest in July 1788.  In October, after he attacked Jonesborough store owner David Deaderick for refusing to sell him liquor, the Tiptonites managed to apprehend Sevier.  He was sent to Morganton, North Carolina, to stand trial for treason, but was released by the Burke County sheriff, William Morrison (a Kings Mountain veteran), before the trial began."  (Wikipedia)

And during all of his battles with both Britain and North Carolina, Sevier also continued fighting the Indians.  Wow, that must have been a stressful time.  No doubt a shot of whiskey now and then, was good medicine.

"In February 1789, Sevier took the Oath of Allegiance to North Carolina.  He was elected to the North Carolina state senate, and was pardoned by North Carolina Governor Alexander Martin.  When the senate convened in November 1789, Sevier worked in support of the state's ratification of the U.S. Constitution.  After it was ratified on November 23, Sevier helped engineer a second cession act, which passed with little opposition in December, essentially handing over what is now the state of Tennessee to the federal government.

"To administer the new cession, Congress created the Southwest Territory in the Spring of 1790, which would be administered under the Northwest Ordinance.  Sevier was appointed brigadier general of the territorial militia, and fellow land speculator and North Carolina politician, William Blount, was appointed governor.  In June 1791, Blount negotiated the Treaty of Holston, which resolved the land disputes with the Cherokee created by the Treaty of Dumplin Creek.

http://www.scout.me/treaty-of-dumplin-creek--near--kodak-tn/e-4809007

"In the Fall of 1793, following the Cherokee attack on Cavet's Station west of Knoxville, Sevier led the territorial militia south into Georgia, where he defeated a Cherokee force at the Battle of Hightower and destroyed several villages.  The following year, he was appointed by President Washington to the territorial council, a body which had a function similar to that of a state senate.  That same year, he was appointed to the first Board of Trustees of Blount College, the forerunner of the University of Tennessee."  (Wikipedia)

"GOVERNOR OF TENNESSEE:

"In 1796, the Southwest Territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Tennessee.  Sevier missed the state's constitutional convention while serving on the territorial council in Washington, but was nevertheless elected the new state's first governor.  Sevier made the acquisition of Indian lands a priority, and consistently urged Congress and the Secretary of War to negotiate new treaties to that end.

"During his first term as governor, Sevier developed a rivalry with rising attorney Andrew Jackson.  In 1796, Jackson campaigned for the position of major-general of the state militia, but was thwarted when Sevier threw his support behind George Conway.  Jackson also learned that Sevier had referred to him as a "poor pitiful petty fogging lawyer" in private correspondence.  In 1797, Jackson became aware of massive fraud that had taken place at North Carolina's Nashville land office in the 1780s, and notified the governor of North Carolina.  When the governor demanded the office's documents, Sevier blocked their transfer, leading Jackson to conclude that Sevier was somehow involved in the scandal.

"After Sevier's third (two-year) term as governor, term limits prevented him from seeking a fourth consecutive term, and Archibald Roane was elected as his replacement.  Both Sevier and Jackson campaigned for major-general of the militia, and when the vote ended in a tie, Roane chose Jackson.  When Sevier announced his candidacy for governor in 1803, Roane and Jackson made documents from the Nashville land office scandal public, and accused Sevier of bribery.  Their efforts to smear Sevier were unsucessful, however, and Sevier easily defeated Roane in the election.

"Following his inauguration, Sevier encountered Jackson in Knoxville, and an argument ensued in which Sevier accused Jackson of adultery for his marriage to Rachel Donelson.  An enraged Jackson challenged Sevier to a duel, which Sevier accepted.  The duel was to take place at Southwest Point, but Sevier's wagon stalled at Campbell's Station en route to the duel.  As Jackson returned to Knoxville, he encounted Sevier's entourage.  The two loudly exchanged insults, and Sevier's horse ran away, carrying his pistols.  Jackson pointed his revolver at Sevier, who hid behind a tree.  Sevier's son pointed his revolver at Jackson, and Jackson's second pointed his revolver at Sevier's son.  Members of both parties managed to resolve the incident before bloodshed took place.

[Lol, that would make a good movie scene.]

"In 1804, Sevier helped William C. C. Claiborne get appointed governor of the newly-acquired Louisiana Territory, a position Jackson had sought.  Jackson again supported Roane in the state's gubernatorial election in 1805, but Sevier won with nearly two-thirds of the vote.  Sevier's last campaign for governor was in 1807, when he defeated William Cocke."  (Wikipedia)

"LATER LIFE:

"Term limits again preventing him from a fourth consecutive term, Sevier sought one of the state's U.S. Senate seats in 1809, but the legislature chose Joseph Anderson.  He then ran for the Knox County state senate seat, winning easily.  In 1811, Sevier was elected to the U.S. Congress for the state's 2nd district.  Sevier was a staunch supporter of the War of 1812, and President James Madison offered him a command in the army, but Sevier turned it down.

"In 1815, Sevier died in the Alabama Territory while conducting a survey of lands Jackson had recently acquired from the Creek tribe, and was buried along the Tallapoosa River near Fort Decatur.  In 1889, at the request of Governor Robert Love Taylor, his remains were re-interred on the Knox County Courthouse lawn in Knoxville.  A monument was placed on the grave in 1893, in a ceremony that included a speech by historian Oliver Perry Temple.  In 1922, the remains of his second wife, Catherine Sherill, were re-interred next to Sevier's.  A monument recognizing his first wife, Sarah Hawkins, was placed at the site in 1946."

Immediately following the birth of her tenth baby, my sixth great-grandmother, Sarah Hawkins Sevier, died shortly after or during the family's sudden flight from attacking Indians.  They were forced to flee by wagon and horseback from their log house to the Fort nearby, which Sevier had built for the community's safety.  In order to prevent the Indians from desecrating her grave, he hastily laid her to rest in an unmarked place in the woods somewhere; and because of all the associated stresses, he was never able to relocate her body later.  So, to this day her grave is lost and her body is unmarked.

"LEGACY:

"In his 2009 book, The Lost State of Franklin, Kevin Barksdale points out that while Sevier was driven, at least in part, by a desire to solidify his own land claims in the trans-Appalachian region, he nevertheless represents for many East Tennesseans, "rugged individualism, regional exceptionalism, and civic dignity."  For nearly a century after his death, historians such as J.G.M. Ramsey and Oliver Perry Temple heaped unconditional praise upon Sevier, and romanticized various events in his life.  These events were clarified by later authors such as Theodore Roosevelt (How the West Was Won) and Samuel Cole Williams (History of the Lost State of Franklin).

"Several historians argue that the rivalry between John Sevier and Andrew Jackson was the root of the factionalism that divided East Tennessee and the rest of the state in subsequent decades.  Pro-Sevier sentiment in East Tennessee gradually evolved into support for the Whig Party in the 1830s, and support for the Union during the Civil War.  Following the war, East Tennessee remained one of the South's few predominantly Republican regions into the 20th century."

Interesting, that pro-Sevier sentiment "evolved into support for the Union during the Civil War", in light of the fact that at least one of his gg-grandsons, William C. Denman (and I believe William's brother, Blake Jr.), fought for the South (Alabama regiment; their parents having lived and died in Alabama.

Then the Wikipedia article lists numerous monuments, etc., devoted to his memory.

http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2011/07/john-sevier-warts-and-all.html
Posted July 13, 2011
http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/search/label/Sevier%20Memory
This blogger, Gordon Belt, has made numerous posts about my sixth great-grandfather.  He claims to have an objective view of the historical facts.  Hmm.
http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2011/09/john-sevier-is-most-interesting-man-in.html
It's incomprehensible that this author got a fancy award for this.  I wouldn't be surprised if Belt is a descendant of Andrew Jackson, or just another "gentile"-bashing "Jew".  It's quite peculiar that this person who claims Tennessee as his home state, apparently hates the state's first Governor with such irrational passion.  All he really does here, is endlessly harp on Sevier with nothing substantial to support his criticisms.  He has seen fit to write roughly twenty blogs on the same subject: that in his opinion historical records (at least those surrounding the facts of John Sevier's life and career) are incredible, and for that reason John Sevier doesn't deserve the admiration he has long held both during his own lifetime and long since his death.  Even Belt himself expresses surprise on winning the John Thweatt award... and for good reason.

I'm astonished that the State pays this person and his "ordained minister" wife, to do nothing much more than talk trash.

http://sevier.historystreasure.com/

http://genforum.genealogy.com/sevier/messages/799.html
Found some interesting historical details about Elizabeth Hawkins Sevier, William H. Clark, and Elizabeth Clark.  It says Elizabeth Clark and husband John Elston (my gggg-grandparents) lived at Owl Swamp in Northern Georgia for some time, before moving to the Creek Nation, where they remained until their deaths.  They're supposed to be buried on the old homestead of one of their sons, Allen Elston (or Alston, sps).  We're descended from their daughter, Neaty Elston.  It says also that John Elston was the son of David Elston -- of Elizabeth, NJ.

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/CLARKE/2002-03/1015988254

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tncjones/goodspeed1.htm

http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2012/05/dna-study-sheds-new-light-on-my.html
Gordon Belt is descended from Melungeons, lol.  His yDNA is from sub-Saharan Africa, go figure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America
That's strange; Wikipedia stated that Tennessee was a Union state, lol... unless I read it wrong.


http://www.pagrandlodge.org/mlam/presidents/jackson.html
Andrew Jackson was a Freemason of the Tammany Lodge in Tennessee.  He waged political war on my ancestor, John Sevier; and now Tennessee has an official Historian (Gordon Belt) continuing the smear campaign against Sevier, who was Tennessee's first Governor and very popular with the citizenry of that state.  It begs the questions: 1) Was or was not John Sevier, a Freemason?  and 2) Is or is not Gordon Belt, a Freemason?

Because, it's fairly common knowledge these days, that Freemasonry has dominated US politics ever since around 1787, when they held the Federal Constitutional Congress in secrecy.  Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry, two of our most respectable founding fathers, spoke out in opposition to that legal maneuver, and I wonder now where Sevier stood on that controversy.  I would guess that he was not completely in favor of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overton_Lodge
This article on the Overton Lodge in Tennessee, mentions both John Sevier and Andrew Jackson by name; however, although it describes Jackson as a Freemason, it does not say the same about Sevier.  I would not be at all surprised to learn that my great-grand-daddy, John Sevier, a very fine gentleman (far better than Andrew Jackson, any day) -- was not a Freemason.

http://www.danielhaston.com/history/rev-war/glasgow-frauds.htm
Finding more history; it's very long and complicated and I haven't had the time to thoroughly read through it, but it seems that John Sevier as Governor of Tennessee was involved somehow in a case of land fraud (at least, according to his vengeful arch-foe, Andrew Jackson).  However, Andrew Jackson was himself by no means any model of righteous morality, certainly.  This seems to be touching on the rumors I keep hearing concerning Jackson's unsuccessful attempts to smear Sevier politically and personally.

Of further concern to me, is that John Sevier died rather suddenly, unexpectedly and under mysterious conditions (alone in his tent) -- while on a land surveying mission for Andrew Jackson.  I really wonder now, if Jackson wasn't somehow responsible for Sevier's death.  As ruthless as Jackson was, and as politically and materialistically ambitious he was, I wouldn't put anything past him.  After all, it was Andrew Jackson who went against Congress by removing the Cherokee from their lands.  Jackson caused the Trail of Tears for my maternal people.  And he was my paternal ancestors' enemy too.

http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/Essays/jdcarter.html
According to this source, a history of early American Freemasonry, John Sevier (who served under George Washington as a Congressional Representative for Tennessee) was a Freemason.  It is true that Washington promoted Sevier to the rank of Brigadier General, for what that's worth (considering that Sevier certainly earned that promotion).

Ok, I've discovered more evidence that John Sevier might have been a Freemason after all (links are provided in my article on Freemasonry, here on this same blogsite).  Nevertheless...

http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/biographies/andrew-jackson/jackson-as-judge-and-general;-more-east-west-feuding-(1798-1804).php
"In 1801, Jackson helped organize the Order of Freemasons in Tennessee. The Masons were a useful organization for a rising man.

"On April 1 1803, Justice Jackson campaigned again to be Major General of the Tennessee militia. John Sevier had just completed 3 terms as Governor, and could not serve again for 2 years, by the Tennessee law. He too wanted to be Major General, and thought it only fitting, as he was a Revolutionary War hero.  The two men represented the two political factions of Tennessee, and were on bad terms already."

Not sure what the names of the "two political factions of Tennessee" were, but there you have it:  they were constant political rivals.  And, it was Jackson (not Sevier, presumably), who helped organize Freemasonry in Tennessee.

http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2010/04/frontier-hero-or-backwoods-murderer.html
http://www.northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/127/entry

http://www.tn4me.org/article.cfm/a_id/265/minor_id/82/major_id/26/era_id/3
 
He's been compared to George Washington in looks, but I like Sevier's eyes much better.  They were described as having been "bright blue" or "dark blue" (depending on the source) in color.

Gordon Belt and his friends at the Tennessee Libraries and Archives have opened a new blog.

An apparent goldmine of pedigree information.  However, the link isn't working properly; I googled "john sevier chapter dar" and found it that way.  There's an abundance of family tree background there, which I'm now transferring to my own chart.  This enabled me to fill in a lot of Sarah Hawkins Sevier's background.  She was John's first wife, and my sixth great-grandmother.
 

Copy of a letter written by John Sevier concerning the murders of two Cherokees.

 
John Sevier's paternal lineage is Basque (de Xavier).
 
 
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
 

Don Juan de Xavier ~ Marie Maris

 
Valentine Xavier ~ Mary Smith
 
Valentine Sevier ~ Joannah Goade
 
Gov. / Gen. John Sevier (nee Jean Xavier?) ~ Sarah Jane Hawkins
 
Elizabeth Hawkins Sevier ~ Major William H. Clark
 
Elizabeth Sevier Clark ~ John Elston
 
Neaty (Fernita) Elston ~ Blake Denman
 
William C. Denman ~ Sarah J. ("Sallie") Crankfield
 
Isaiah ("Isaac") Cran[k]field Denman ~ Lillian Virginia Bassett
 
Vernon Winters Denman ~ Lillie Yarbrough
 
Leon Conway Denman ~ Betty Jo Thompson
 
\/
 
Debra Ann Denman (Me)
Odessa Lynn Denman
Barbara Alice Denman
 
WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW
 
 
So there is our lineage tracing back to first Governor of Tennessee, John Sevier, and even further back to St. Francis de Xavier and the Basques of Navarre, Spain.  Castle Navarre belonged to our family at one time (Francis inherited it and then donated it to the Jesuits, in whose possession it remains to this very day).  The village of Xavier, Navarre, France, was named after our family too.
 
Of course, John Sevier and William H. Clark were both magistrates and veterans of the American Revolution.  Sevier also fought in the Indian Wars.  Blake Denman was the son of an American Revolution veteran, and the father of a Civil War veteran (my gg-grandfather, William C. Denman, who was enlisted with two different Alabama companies).  I believe Isaiah Denman was somehow involved in WWI (perhaps on standby? not sure).  Vernon Denman died in 1943 under extremely spurious circumstances.  It smells of a cover-up and fraud on the part of the Florida State government, at least.  My father, Leon Denman, was a Korean War veteran of nearly ten years active duty in the Air Force (Itasuki AFB, Japan; and Eglin AFB, Florida, among other stations).  Like my grandfather he also died too young, a victim of medical neglect and malpractice.
 
And in light of the intense rivalry John Sevier endured from Andrew Jackson, I think that it is fair to seriously question the facts reported surrounding the circumstances of his own death, neary two hundred years ago.

I wish to go on record while on the subject, that I find the circumstances surrounding St. Francis de Xavier's untimely death highly suspicious as well.

"Although he was born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta in Navarre (present-day Spain), he came to be called Francisco Xavier because of his family castle named Xavier (or Javier, or Xabier). The name is derived from the Basque word etxaberri, which means “new house.” While studying in Paris, Francis met Ignatius de Loyola -- they and five others founded the Society of Jesus [Jesuits]."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Xavier
http://www.sspxasia.com/Newsletters/2002/Oct-Dec/Death_of_St_Francis_Xavier.htm
http://www.catholic-saints.info/patron-saints/saint-francis-xavier.htm
http://www.olrl.org/lives/xavier.shtml
http://www.biography.com/people/saint-francis-xavier-39911
http://www.nndb.com/people/275/000103963/
http://www.xavier.edu/mission-identity/heritage-tradition/Who-is-Francis-Xavier.cfm

Been looking through official lists of "famous Freemasons" and not finding John Sevier on any of them, so far.  Yet his arch-foe, Andrew Jackson is on all of them.  Sure, Sevier was never President, but I still think he rates a mention -- especially in light of the fact that there is a Lodge named for him (? I think, although I could be mistaken on that point)!  I guess it's safe to conclude that although he probably was a Mason, he was no doubt 'disowned' by the Brotherhood in favor of Andrew Jackson, for political or personal reasons.  If so, that makes me even more proud of my ancestor.

http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2011/07/john-sevier-warts-and-all.html
Ok, I got tired of wondering, and went straight to the self-proclaimed 'expert' on the life of John Sevier:  Gordon Belt.  I asked him point blank, whether or not Sevier was a Freemason; and also whether or not Sevier is on record regarding his personal opinions or attitudes toward the Constitution of 1787.  Belt answered that he knows of no evidence that Sevier was ever a Freemason; and knows of no documentation of Sevier's personal thoughts regarding the Constitution!  He was kind enough however, to suggest that the questions deserve further research, and he offered to do that research himself and eventually to publish his findings on his Blog, The Posterity Project.  As I told Mr. Belt, I look forward with anticipation to anything he should turn up on that subject.
 
But, that pretty much lays to rest my question regarding why John Sevier is not mentioned among "Famous Freemasons" of Tennessee.  He probably never was a Freemason, OR there's a slight chance that he was but later fell out of favor with that particular fraternity.  Hmm.  My ancestor was a very unusual man.  Most men of his caliber readily joined those types of organizations then, as now.  Most men enjoy the power and ego trips of belonging to such groups.  I'm actually quite relieved to know that he was not a Freemason, at least not one in good standing with the club.

http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2010/09/patriots-or-traitors-generational.html

http://www.metropulse.com/news/2010/sep/22/john-sevier-william-blount-and-their-unmentionable/
Andrew Jackson, the "Famous Freemason", slandered him; and his 'friends' are still at it.
http://pastinthepresent.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/early-tennessee-leaders-behaving-badly/
Another one riding on Neely's coat-tails; seems Belt rides on theirs (he refers to them often enough).

http://reevesmaps.com/Knox_olden/knoxville.htm
c1885; I actually prefer reading the thoughts and opinions of people who lived closer to the timeframes involved in the study of History.

"The Cherokee are Coming!", LOL, I'll never get over the sheer irony of it all.

"It was a patriarchal "reign," such as never before or since has been known in this country. Sevier's will was law; but it was law regulated by love, which every man, woman, and child recognized and accepted. For years there was no State prison, and the jail at Knoxville--sixteen feet square--never at one time had more than ten inmates. There were courts and judges and juries; but Sevier was the court of last resort, the supreme judge, the grand jury. Was any one aggrieved, he complained to the Governor; did two men differ, they submitted their controversy to his decision; were some of his old comrades in poverty or distress, they appealed to their old commander, and he always found some way--with only a meagre pittance of a thousand dollars a year--to give them relief and assistance. And so he lived, blessed by a love that was universal. In this age of greed among public men it is well to contemplate such a character."

It seems that most people during Sevier's time thought of him as a good, decent man; only Freemasons seem to differ in that opinion.


http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/exhibits/veterans/images/Revolutionary/Sevier1810a.jpg
http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/exhibits/veterans/images/Revolutionary/Sevier1810b.jpg

Now I'm really excited; found this letter written in Governor Sevier's own hand!  This one, dated 1810 is addressed to the late Governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby, and refers to an incident through which a Colonel Campbell was ceremoniously presented by Congress a particular sword and some pistols.  Shelby and Sevier both seem to be of the opinion that Campbell did not deserve the service award as much as did Shelby and Sevier.  He states here that the enemy (the British) surrendered to Sevier and Shelby at King's Mountain, while Colonel Campbell was not present at the scene.  I suppose Campbell was busy elsewhere, and probably was of value for the cause, but the point being that the enemy actually officially surrendered to Sevier and Shelby.

In this same letter, he makes reference to the future war of 1812 with the British, by alluding to contemporaneous problems they were having with them in 1810:

"... unless we [have?] mean[s?] to make resistance against British insult and depredations, it is high time that insolent and perfidious nation was chastised for its past aggressions; and no doubt should a rupture with that nation take place, we shall have to cope again with the old Tory party, and perhaps much more strengthened [by now]."

About the ceremonial sword and pistols he says, "As to the value of the swords and Pistols we need not care, but in justice to ourselves and our posterity we ought to have them."

Then to the retired Governor of Kentucky, whom he seems to view as an advisor, he signs off as his "sincere friend" and "Humble Servant", lol.  That's so darn cute!

http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/exhibits/veterans/revolution.htm

Obviously, there was some nasty politics going on in those days, just as now (in another letter to Governor Shelby):

"...I am no little astonished at their insolence, that they should have the effrontery, to say you were not in the Battle of King’s Mountain or that you were only a Lieutenant or Subaltern. It is well known you were in the heat of that action. I frequently saw you animating your men to victory during the engagement, and in every particular conducting in that gallant, brave manner that was truly characteristic of the Officer and the Soldier. At the surrender, you were the first field officer I spoke to, or that I recollect to have seen near the place where the British Commander, Ferguson, fell. I have no doubt you must recollect, that Col. Campbell was some considerable distance from that place at that time, and that you and myself spoke on that subject the same evening. I perfectly recollect on my seeing you towards the close of the action, that I observed your hair on one side of your head, I believe on the left, was very much burnt off, and that I swore by G_d they had burnt off your hair. In respect to your command, it is well known by some hundreds in the State of Tennessee that you were a Colonel, as I also was myself, and that we were the only persons who set foot on the expedition, and had considerable trouble to get Col. Campbell with his Virginia troops to join us. As to the plan of attacking the enemy, you were the only person who first named the mode to me, and the same was acceded to unanimously. No doubt you recollect we agreed on the manner of attack immediately after Ferguson’s spies were taken, while we were a little in the front of our army, and as we were returning back to see Campbell and the other officers...."

It's a terrible shame, and quite slanderous, to deny a man's real combat service to his country.  That sort of thing is totally hitting below the belt, back-stabbing.

To Andrew Jackson, the Famous Freemason, he had this to say (in 1803):

"I am again perplexed with your scurrilous and poltroon language. You now pretend you want an interview in this neighborhood, this evening, or tomorrow morning!! And all this great readiness after you have been so repeatedly informed that I would not attempt a thing of the kind within the State of Tennessee. I have constantly informed you I would cheerfully wait on you in any other Quarter and that you had nothing to do but name the place and you should be accommodated. I am now constrained to tell you, that your conduct, during the whole of your pretended bravery, shows you to be a pitiful poltroon and coward, for your propositions are such as you and every other person of common understanding so well know is out of my power to accede too [sic], especially you a Judge!! Therefore the whole tenor of your pretended readiness is intended for nothing more than a cowardly evasion. Now Sir, if you wish the interview accept the proposal I have made you, and let us prepare for the campaign. I have a friend to attend me. I shall not receive another letter from you, as I deem you a coward."

He is quite obviously PO'd at Jackson, judging by his signature, let alone the message here.
 
The youth, Andrew Jackson, at the Waxman Massacre.  Maybe that's when he developed a taste for blood; or maybe he was born that way.
 
A very old map of the Southeastern US.
 
This is somewhat irrelevant, but what a gorgeous antique historical print of Patriots fighting the Redcoats.

My ancestor stretches my own vocabulary, lol:

SQUALLY:  characterized by short periods of noisy commotion

PERFIDIOUS:  Deceitful and untrustworthy


http://our-royal-titled-noble-and-commoner-ancestors.com/surname_index.htm
No doubt, related to at least a few of these; at least distantly.

OK, was he or wasn't he?  YES, he was, lol... a Freemason, that is.  Finally, it comes to full light:

Debra,

Regarding part one of your two-part question, I conducted a cursory search of the book, "The History of Freemasonry in Tennessee, 1789-1943" by Charles Albert Snodgrass. In the index there are several mentions of John Sevier, including one on page 46 which reveals the following:

"(Polk) Tennessee Lodge No. 2 (N.C. 41) Knoxville was chartered at Knoxville by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina November 30, 1800, naming as its first Master one of the most distinguished characters in Tennessee history--His Excellency General John Sevier, Governor of Tennessee..."

There is also a Masonic biography of John Sevier on page 415 of this book.

As I said in an earlier comment, I think this little-known aspect of John Sevier's life deserves further inquiry. Hopefully there will be enough information to write a blog post about it, but in the meantime I wanted you to have this information.

You can find this book at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Although you cannot check out books from the collection, you can view them in the South Reading Room. I'd encourage you to visit the TSLA website to learn more about the collection. You can also check out the Visitors Guide for hours, location, and parking should you choose to visit TSLA in person.
Jan 30, 2013
 

Thank you Gordon; I doubt I could have uncovered that info by myself.  I was beginning to believe he never was a Mason at all, lol.  Seems a little strange to me, that he isn't mentioned on their main website along with other "Famous Freemasons".

Going off your lead, I found the following online source:

http://books.google.com/books?id=d08uAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA25&lpg=PA25&dq=polk+tennessee+lodge+number+2&source=bl&ots=MVRSxWxJM5&sig=MWcpVMV65wtElpznUik5uXfbyME&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dMoOUZeoGIPJyAG7p4GYDQ&ved=0CEcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=polk%20tennessee%20lodge%20number%202&f=false
[Page 25.]

"The Beginnings of Freemasonry in North Carolina and Tennessee" by Marshall De Lancey Haywood, c1906

"Tennessee Lodge, No. 41 of North Carolina, No. 2 of Tennessee, chartered November 30, 1800 by Grand Master William Polk.  This was called Polk Lodge while it was working under dispensation.  Possibly the latter title was not retained because the Grand Master felt a delicacy in creating by charter a Lodge named for himself.  The charter officers of this Lodge were:  Governor John Sevier, Worshipful Master; James Grant, Senior Warden, and George Washington Campbell, Junior Warden."
 
(Still looking forward to learning his thoughts regarding the Constitution, and wishing you success in finding something along those lines.)
 
Thanks always, Debra


http://archive.org/details/shortmethodstrea00snod
While researching author Charles Albert Snodgrass, I found this excellent book on tailoring men's clothing by him!

http://ncmason.net/glnc/nclor/ltc/C3.pdf
North Carolina Masonry and the American Revolution.

http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/f/Freemasons.Grand_Lodge_of_North_Carolina.html

Gordon Belt boasts that he "can't" wear "rose-colored glasses" when viewing history, but he sure doesn't seem very unbiased to me.  He completely disregards Sevier's characteristic fine points while taking every opportunity to smear him on the slightest suspicion, never backed by solid evidence.  Very weird and unprofessional behavior to be seen from a government paid "historian".  It actually appears he's on some sort of petty personal vendetta against Sevier.  He wasn't even aware that Sevier had been the Founding Master of Polk Lodge in Knoxville, until I brought the question to his attention.  He still hasn't made any report with regards to Sevier's thoughts, opinions on the Constitution of 1787; very strange indeed.

http://www.masterslodge244.com/History.html
Mentioned on this website.
http://books.google.com/books?id=vchMAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA244&lpg=RA1-PA244&dq=john+sevier+worshipful+master+lodge&source=bl&ots=HjtRdpSacC&sig=jfXEmCxCjX1MqQZpSQyWuyxBxEY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NO4OUeeUOYrWygHu3YHgCQ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=john%20sevier%20worshipful%20master%20lodge&f=false
Page 244.
http://union38.org/wordpress/?page_id=218
Mentioned in this Kingston, TN history.

From "Brief History of Tennessee Grand Lodge -- Masonic Education" (PDF, must google it to access online):

"Under dispensation from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, Tennessee Lodge #2 was formed in Love's Tavern on Front Street, near the end of the Gay Street Bridge in Knoxville.  The first recorded meeting was held March 4, 1800.  In attendance was Andrew Jackson, then Justice to the Superior Court and a member of Harmony Lodge #1, Nashville.  The charter was granted September 30, 1800, with John Sevier, then Governor of Tennessee, as Worshipful Master."


http://books.google.com/books?id=326dK2aam9UC&pg=PA242&lpg=PA242&dq=john+sevier+worshipful+master+lodge&source=bl&ots=ys6ET0Vw-B&sig=dc7Dsxd6y5g3I224vUU2GmeyDAE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NO4OUeeUOYrWygHu3YHgCQ&ved=0CEUQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=john%20sevier%20worshipful%20master%20lodge&f=false
Here's a gem; Tennessee, a Guide to the State, c1939 by the Federal Writers' Project.  Beginning around page 239-242, it covers the Blount Mansion and Chisholm's Tavern, which these authors claim was the location of the Lodge Sevier founded, instead of Love's Tavern (unless those two were one and the same entity, which is also a possibility).

http://books.google.com/books?id=rQkyAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=john+sevier+worshipful+master+lodge&source=bl&ots=UE016YIR96&sig=Q9VTozkjqHPvrPB8O4rVfnP_HKk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NO4OUeeUOYrWygHu3YHgCQ&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=john%20sevier%20worshipful%20master%20lodge&f=false
Page 31... Now, why the hell couldn't I find any of these sources before needing to approach Gordon Belt about it?  Honestly I tried and tried, googling in vain.

http://www.thedailytimes.com/Linda_Albert/story/Capsule-coin-hints-at-masonry-past-id-020080
Mentioned here.

http://www.grandlodge-tn.org/index.php?past_grand_officers=Y&record_key=001037&page=BL
Lodge number 638 in Tennessee is the one named for John Sevier.

http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/freemasonry/Freemasonry-Tenn.pdf
This online excerpt of the book referred to me by Gordon Belt is missing the pages that mention John Sevier.

http://ncmason.net/glnc/nclor/ltc/C9.pdf
Speaks of some of the historical rivalries and politics surrounding Freemasonry in North Carolina.  This account seems to be from the Masonic point of view, with its idealization of Glasgow and devaluation of John Sevier.  (Glasgow and others were convicted for land fraud, Sevier was not.)

http://www.danielhaston.com/history/rev-war/glasgow-frauds.htm
A c1995 investigation into the incident, which does not by any means serve to indict John Sevier or even to caste much suspicion on his activities.  It seems to me (so far, at least) that John Sevier was impeccable.

"john sevier worshipful master lodge" ... what I googled to get all this.

 








Another source which identifies Tennessee Lodge number 2's location being in Love's (not "Chisholm's") Tavern.  "On Front Street in Knoxville."




"Washington chose four Masons for his first Cabinet as follows: Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson; Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton; Secretary of War, General henry Knox; and Attorney General, Edmund Randolph, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1788. (73) There can be no doubt that these men were chosen because of their fitness for public office but in the minds of such men as Washington, Masonic membership was another evidence of a man s reliability and fitness for trust. (74) Washington wrote as follows: being persuaded that a just application of the principles on which the Masonic fraternity is founded must be promotive of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society and be considered by them a deserving Brother.

 

"One of Washington' s first duties was to appoint the first Chief Justice and four Associate Justices of the Supreme Court. Four of the five were Masons as follows: John Jay, Chief Justice, and Associate Justices William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, and John Blair. (76) There is a possibility that Associate Justice James Wilson may have been a Mason, but no evidence that he was has been discovered. "The first Congress elected under the Constitution had several Masons in its membership. In the Senate of the twenty-six members twelve are known to have been Masons: Oliver Ellsworth, James Gunn, William S. Johnson, Samuel Johnston, Rufus King, John Langdon, Richard Henry Lee, James Monroe, Robert Morris, William Paterson, George Read, Phillip Schuyler.  "John Langdon was elected as Presiodent of the Senate pro ternpore. Twenty of the sixty-six men who served in the House of Representatives are known to have been Masons as follows: Abraham Baldwin, Theodorick Bland, John Brown, Daniel Carroll, Elbridge Gerry, Frederick A. Muhlenberg, John Page, Josiah Parker, John Sevier, Nicholas Gilman, Thomas Hartly, James Jackson, John Lawence, James Madison, Roger Sherman, William Smith, John Steele, Thomas Sumter, Jeremiah Van Rensselaer."



So, John Sevier was one of the minority (20/66) of Congressmen who was a Freemason.  The first Congress convened in 1789; the Glasgow Land Fraud case came to light in 1797.



"In December 1797, the activities of the men came to the attention of North Carolina officials, and steps were quickly taken to stop the abuses and to ensure that they could not happen again.  Chiefly involved in the frauds was James Glasgow, North Carolina's Secretary of State from 1777 to 1798. Over the next two and one half years, North Carolina and Tennessee quarreled over the ownership of the records and the apprehension and return of some of the accused.

"To assist in the prosecution of the accused, the General Assembly passed a court law in December 1799 that created a special tribunal to try the men.  In June 1800, five of the twenty-one men originally accused of fraud came to trial.  Of those tried, only three, James Glasgow, Willoughby Williams, and John Bonds.  Having accomplished the goal for which it was created, the court continued in existence for the remainder of its original two year commission."

John Sevier was then made Worshipful Master of the Lodge in Knoxville (originally a NC, then later becoming a TN entity) in November, 1800.  Andrew Jackson, who had only recently started the whole Land Frauds scandal with evidence he allegedly uncovered, attended the first meeting of that Lodge, in March, 1800.  It seems that Lodge's first meeting preceded its charter, by a few months.  So, it's hard to say whether or not John Sevier was actually in attendance at the first meeting, along with Andrew Jackson; although I would expect he, as a Freemason, would have been there with the rest of the club.
 
"...public prosperity..."  I think this is the reason John Sevier is not revered by Freemasons as is Andrew Jackson; like George Washington and other US Presidents, he was not fabulously wealthy.  In fact, Sevier died penniless -- he's used all of his money to finance his country and its citizenry.  Instead of living in mansions, as US Presidents usually do, John Sevier lived in a simple, modest log house.
 
Andrew Jackson's mansion (large enough for plenty of servants, and I'm sure Jackson had slaves).
 
An old photographic postcard of Governor John Sevier's log house, his home in Tennessee, prior to its rehabilitation.


Post-preservation.
Around 1864, a grandson(?) of Sevier, Thomas Sevier, was made a Master Mason at this Lodge.
 
 
So far, I've yet to find any source (other than the word of Gordon Belt) which would suggest that John Sevier was in any way culpable with regard to the Land Frauds case(s).
 
I wonder if at any time anyone ever forged Sevier's name on any of those grants?  I suspect that would be quite probable.
 
 
http://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collateral/articles/s05.county.name.changes.pdf

http://www.tn4me.org/article.cfm/a_id/268/minor_id/83/major_id/26/era_id/3
Goes into some more detail about Tennessee and US politics, Land Speculation, and political rivalry between Jackson and Sevier.  Governor Blount is noted to have continued the business of land speculation while in office (something of which I do not approve: Moonlighting Politicians).  Sevier is noted to have continued to ally himself with land speculators, but not to have engaged in the business himself while in office.  This article makes absolutely no mention at all, as to whether or not Andrew Jackson was himself a land speculator (he was, in fact).

Also, this article points out the rivalry between Andrew Jackson and John Sevier over the appointment to office of General of the Tennessee Militia, something which Jackson dearly coveted but that Sevier (rightly) deemed him too inexperienced to handle.  Losing that political battle made Jackson extremely soreheaded, cranky and vengeful.  I'm sure he was quite nasty-tempered whenever he encountered Sevier (Jackson was notorious for being a truly mean and violent personality); and Sevier defended his own honor and pride as any normal man should:  he didn't put up with Jackson's verbal abuse, giving Jackson a taste of his own medicine.  As clever witted as Sevier was, that must have riled Jackson up even more.

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/Melungeon/2004-03/1078310468
Gordon Belt has recently admitted that he has Melungeon ancestry, and here is another attack by a Melungeon on John Sevier's character, dated 2004.  It would seem the Melungeons don't like John Sevier, despite the fact that some of them have also claimed to be descended from a "mistress" of Sevier (there's no way they could have been legitimate progeny, anyway).

I've also heard a rumor that John Sevier had a Cherokee mistress, too; but who knows?  It does seem very apparent to me, that John Sevier was far more compassionate toward the Indians whom he was forced to fight than was Andrew Jackson.  Jackson's abuses are well documented for the record, as are Sevier's gestures of goodwill (including many kind or at least fairminded statements on their behalf).  As Governor and military leader, Sevier often made orders which spared Indian lives, especially those of the elderly, women and children.

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/Melungeon/2004-03/1078360828
A Sevier descendant nobly (and with characteristic grace) answers the charges against my sixth great-grandfather.

http://www.geni.com/people/John-Nolichucky-Jack-Sevier-1st-Gov-of-Tennessee/6000000004018012446
Article on Geni, which gives Sevier's middle name as "Paul".  Also references the DAR here.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_great_great_great_great_grandparents_does_a_regular_person_have_by_blood
So, I have 256 sixth great-grandparents (128 male and 128 female), and John Sevier is just one of them.  Would love to know who all the rest were, lol.

Eight great-great grandparents; four female and four male.  Cely Bird was one of them.  I have to look up the rest, but I'm pretty sure a few of them are unknown to me.

One of John Seviers contemporaries, I think?  Anyway, I just included this painting of Davy Crockett, because I love how it looks!

http://posterityproject.blogspot.com/2013/02/john-sevier-and-slavery-on-frontier.html
Gordon Belt's latest smear of John Sevier.  I wonder how many slaves he had, compared to how many Andrew Jackson had?  And I wonder how he treated his "people", compared to how slaves were treated by Jackson?  Jackson was a mean-spirited, cranky sob; while Sevier was noted for his kindness toward all -- even toward his enemies, even toward Jackson.  John Sevier, descended from Basque nobility and European artistocracy, was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word.

On the bright side, Belt answered my question:  I'd wondered if Sevier had any servants or field hands at all.  I suspect he had very few though, in light of the facts that the Seviers had eighteen children of all ages and only thirty-five acres of land.

On the other hand, Jackson, born in one of the worst states for slavery, South Carolina, had the Hermitage with his wife (no children of their own, although they adopted several), an estate of over 1,000 acres.  It came with just nine slaves when he first purchased the Hermitage; but by the time of his death he had around 150 slaves, with separate slave quarters.

Wikipedia: "Jackson had three adopted sons: Theodore, an Indian about whom little is known, Andrew Jackson Jr., the son of Rachel's brother Severn Donelson, and Lyncoya, a Creek Indian orphan adopted by Jackson after the Creek War. Lyncoya died of tuberculosis in 1828, at the age of sixteen.

Tennessee Gentleman, portrait of Jackson, ca. 1831, from the collection of The Hermitage.
 
"The Jacksons also acted as guardians for eight other children. John Samuel Donelson, Daniel Smith Donelson and Andrew Jackson Donelson were the sons of Rachel's brother Samuel Donelson, who died in 1804.  Andrew Jackson Hutchings was Rachel's orphaned grand nephew.  Caroline Butler, Eliza Butler, Edward Butler, and Anthony Butler were the orphaned children of Edward Butler, a family friend.  They came to live with the Jacksons after the death of their father.

http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/jackson_hermitage.html
http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/sheppard-ella-1851-1915
A biracial slave born on Andrew Jackson's plantation, a "relative of the Jackson family".
http://www.thehermitage.com/mansion-grounds/farm/slavery
"Slavery was the source of Andrew Jackson's wealth."

I don't believe the same could be said for John Sevier.

And still no word on John Sevier's involvement with the 1787 Constitutional Congress.

http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/10,000_famous_freemasons/Volume_4_Q_to_Z.htm
"Finally the territory was ceded by N. Car., and Sevier then took an oath of allegiance to the U.S., was commissioned brigadier general in 1789, and the following year chosen to Congress as the first representative from the valley of the Mississippi."

He's not listed on masonicinfo.com.

http://cradleofliberty.blogspot.com/
Jenny (and the Reverend) have excellent insight, intelligence, reason.

Thankfully, I'm not the only intelligent person who recognizes Gordon Belt is a Governmentally backed "revisionist".


Life of General John Sevier, by Francis M. Turner, c1910
John Sevier as a Commonwealth Builder, James R. Gilmore, c1887
John Sevier, Citizen, Soldier, Legislator, Governor... by Oliver Perry Temple, c1910
Borrowable, but not available online, such a shame.
The Shields' family, of Tennessee.
Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, Volume I
Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, Volume II
Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, Volume II, second edition
Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, Volume III
Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History, Volume III
Red Belts, by Hugh Poindexter, c1919

"Why also, should we all be taught to revere the memory of Miles Standish, and pay but scant attention to that of John Sevier?"

I'm afraid I would never join such organizations, even if they would have me.

maria de azpilicueta (various spellings) xavier (royal blood, mother of St. Francis Xavier, etc.).  Husband was Don Juan de Jasse (various spellings).































According to Zella Armstrong, during the French Revolution when King Louis VI & Marie Antoinette were arrested, imprisoned, and eventually executed, Louis XVI's brothers, the Count of Provence and the Count of Artois (both of whom also eventually became Kings of both France and Navarre), visited America during their exiles. While here, George Washington sent them on a tour of the country which included Tennessee; and Governor John Sevier actually had them as guests and entertained them. Since Tennessee was considered very rural, rustic frontier in those days, I seriously doubt that was a coincidence. They must have known that there was some sort of family relationship there between those men. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I'd like to know. They were probably cousins to some degree.
 
That means that my own little family including myself are probably somehow related to the French Royalty (Bourbons, anyway), besides being related to the Navarra Basque Nobility.  Woo-hoo!! (Yet, they treat me like peasant crap, go figure).
 
Simplified Family Tree... they have some connections to the Habsburgs, I see.
Count de Provence (Louis XIII) was Louis Stanislas Xavier (oops, I said "Valentine").
 
 
We seem to be connected to the Ezpeletas, Peraltas, and Jassos.  These names have various spellings, of course.  And they are also known as the Xaviers, for the Castle which they owned in Navarre.  Really, I wish I could afford to have someone trustworthy to figure this all out for me; it's very difficult and confusing, especially since I'm not familiar with the languages (French, Spanish, and Basque -- especially the latter).  The Jasso family wasn't nobility, but were likely aristocracy.  I'm more certain of the Ezpeleta connection, than of the Peralta one; however, it wouldn't surprise me.
 
 
So, through the Denman branch of our Paternal lineage (which would be the one most directly paternal), a family which is supposed to have originated either in Normandy or Denmark (or perhaps even both, since those two are so closely associated) -- we seem to have somewhat vague relationship(s) to the Stuart dynasty.  If there is any relationship to the Danish monarchy, I simply don't know what it would be.  However, our family must have had some sort of ties to Nobility or Aristocracy anyway, for them to have been granted land by the king of  England following the Norman Invasions.  They may have been knights (warriors), I suppose.
 
And through the Sevier branch, Navarre and the Bourbons, I suppose.
 
 
 
 
This has letters to and from John Sevier and George Washington, Thomas Jefferson.
 
Neaty and Blake are shown on this pedigree.  My gg-grandfather, William C. Denman, was their son.
She was born in 1807 and would have been John Sevier's g-granddaughter (he was a teenager at his first marriage, and Neaty is descended from his oldest daughter, the fourth of his eighteen children).  She is buried by her spouse, Blake Denman, my ggg-grandfather.  The Elstons and my branch of the Denman family both moved to Georgia from New Jersey, and probably knew of each other in Jersey, too.
 
Neaty's mother must have been Elizabeth Sevier Clark [Mrs. John] Elston.  Her grandmother was John Sevier's daughter, Elizabeth Hawkins Sevier [wife of Major William H.] Clark.  She is our connection between the Denman and Sevier families.
 
This again shows Neaty as the daughter of Elizabeth Clark; and her father as John Elston of South Carolina.
This indicates that John Elston's parents were from New Jersey.  Blake Denman was born I believe in Georgia or Alabama.  The families in those days were very large, and they obtained land all over the South where the climate was conducive to growing crops.
Wow!! I was wondering how "Neaty" got such an unusual name... it derives from her grandmother's name:  Fernita!! :)  Fernita and David are buried on private property in Kentucky, apparently.  This says that David's parents were William Elston and Sarah Spencer.  David served in the NJ militia during the Revolution.  "He was a Blacksmith.  He was a Bondsman of Isaiah line..."  I'm not sure what that last part is supposed to mean.
 
William Elston's parents were presumably William Elston, Sr., and Elizabeth Cole.
 
William Elston, Sr., was the son of John Elston and Joan Clapp.
The Elston family seems to trace back to at least 1608, New Jersey (Woodbridge, Middlesex County).  There is some connection to Richmond, Staten Island, NY, too (via the Cole family).
 
Some Yarbrough marriages are listed here.  My father's mother was a Yarbrough.
 
Grandpa Johnny was always right on the cutting edge of the sword of Truth, God rest his soul.