Gen. James Robertson, of Nashville

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James Randolph Robertson

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Brunswick, VA, USA
Death: Died in Memphis, Shelby, Tennessee, USA
Place of Burial: Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Randolph Robertson and Mary Robertson
Husband of Charlotte Reeves Robertson
Father of Delilah Bosley; Dr. Felix R. Robertson; Henderson Robertson; Peyton Henderson Robertson; Lavinia Beck / Craighead and 6 others
Brother of Colonel Elijah Robertson; John Randolph Robertson; Captain Mark Robertson; NN Robertson; Col. Charles Robertson and 6 others

Occupation: Explorer, Founder of Nashville
Managed by: <private> Ray
Last Updated:

About James Randolph Robertson

Founder of Nashville, "Father of Tennessee." Robertson, leading a group of settlers from North Carolina to Tennessee, founded Fort Nashborough on Christmas Day of 1779. Named for Revolutionary War General Francis Nash, the name was changed in 1784 to Nashville. Robertson became well respected by the Indian tribes of Tennessee and worked to create many peace treaties with them. He is called by many historians "The Father of Tennessee."

Biography

Godspeed's History of Carter County (1887) says James Robertson came to Watauga in 1770, and the next year settled beyond the bluff opposite the mouth of Doe River. He remained there until 1779, when he removed to the Cumberland. His brother Charles Robertson lived on Sinking Creek on the farm now (1887) owned by Robert Miller.

The settlers at Watauga thought they were settling in Virginia, but a survey showed the settlement to be in North Carolina. They petitioned North Carolina for a government on 5 July 1776. They had settled their lands under a treaty with the Cherokee, then discovered that the area was not within the "Virginia line." North Carolina created the Washington District, which later became Washington County, Tennessee. Among the signers of the Watauga Settlement were Charles Robertson, James Robertson, Elijah Robertson, Wm. Roberson, Mark Robertson, John Robinson and Julius Robertson. According to the petition, the settlers had organized a militia company under the command of Capt. James Robertson.

James Robertson and Charles Robertson were among the first magistrates appointed in Washington County, Tennessee in 1777. In 1795 Carter County was created from Washington County. John Robertson was one of the men elected as constables in 1795.

Godspeed also relates the story of an Indian attack: "One of the first forts built in this section was the Watauga Fort, erected upon land owned by John S. Thomas, about half a mile northeast of the mouth of Gap Creek. In 1776 this fort was attacked by a large body of Cherokees. At that time it contained 150 settlers, including the entire garrison from Gillespie Station on the Nolachucky below Jonesboro. The attack was made on the 21st of July at daybreak. The women had gone outside to milk the cows and were fired upon, but made good their escape to the fort. The Indians were twice repulsed, but remained before the fort for six days, at the end of which time the approach of re enforcements from the Hoiston put them to flight. The fort was defended by Capt. James Robertson and Lieut. Sevier, with about forty men. Near this fort was built a rude courthouse and jail, erected by the Watauga Association."

"Treaty of Long Island, July 20, 1777: Hostilities due to Encroachments of white settlers, and the usual land greed, led to this treaty. A definite boundary was needed or as the Raven said "a wall to the skies." Negotiations began on the 20th of June and ended on July 20th, 1777 with the signing of this treaty. The Middle and Upper Cherokee ceded all lands east of the Blue Ridge and the disputed lands on the Watauga, Nolichucky, upper Holston and New Rivers. Captain James Robertson was appointed agent for the Cherokee with his residence at Echota. He was to watch their movements, recover captured property, and prevent their correspondence with persons unfriendly to the American cause. The whites were very uneasy as Dragging Canoe, Young Tassel, The Raven of Chota, Judge Friend and Lying Fish weren't in attendance and opposed to the treaty."

Sources

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Robertson_%28explorer%29

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8010613&ref=wvr

view all 15

Gen. James Robertson, of Nashville's Timeline

1742
June 28, 1742
Brunswick, VA, USA
1768
January 21, 1768
Age 25
Wake, North Carolina, United States
1769
June 13, 1769
Age 26
Wake, North Carolina, USA
1771
December 11, 1771
Age 29
1773
November 30, 1773
Age 31
North Carolina, USA
1775
February 11, 1775
Age 32
Davidson, Tennessee, USA
1778
1778
Age 35
1781
January 11, 1781
Age 38
Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA
1783
March 11, 1783
Age 40
Davidson, Tennessee, USA
1785
January 15, 1785
Age 42
Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA