Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Knox County, TN

Burial place of First Territorial Governor of Tennessee, William Blount.
Founded 1792, with James White, John Adair and George McNutt founding elders. White, who gave the ground for the Church, is buried here, as are Samuel Carrick, first pastor and president of Blount College, now the University of Tennessee, William Blount, Governor of the Southwest Territory, and many other prominent pioneers.
(from historical marker)
William Blount, 1749-1800. Served as Territorial Governor from 1790 to 1796. He was a member of the Continental Congress and signed the US Constitution in 1787(as a representative of North Carolina). He also served as a Senator from the state of Tennessee from 1796-1997. He named the town of Knoxville for Secretary of War, Henry Knox. His home, built in 1792 in downtown Knoxville, still stands. There was an attempt to impeach him from the US Senate, but it failed. The people of Tennessee loved him however, and he was elected to the State Senate and served as Speaker until his death in 1800.
"In Memoriam JAMES WHITE
Founder of Knoxville, Born Iredell County, NC 1747, Died Knoxville, Tennessee Aug 14, 1821
Captain and Colonel in Revolutionary War, Brigadier General State Troops
Elder First Presbyterian Church, Donor of land for this church and graveyard"
It was part of James White's turnip field that became the churchyard in 1792. He had come to the area and set up home and fort near the forks of the Tennessee River and First Creek in 1786. When the town was to be established, White gave the land between First and Second Creek for it.

The church and graveyard sit on State Street, between Clinch Avenue and Church Avenue. The view in the first photo is from Clinch Ave, the street you see below is State. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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