Maj. William Cage

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William Cage

Birthdate: (66)
Birthplace: Prince William, Virginia
Death: March 12, 1811 (66)
Cage's Bend, Gallatin, Tennessee, United States
Place of Burial: Sumner, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Cage and Anne (Nancy) Morgan Hall
Husband of Elizabeth Cage and Ann Thankful Cage
Father of Priscilla Hale; Wilson Cage, Sr.; Reuben Cage; John Cage; William Cage and 7 others
Half brother of Margaret Cage

Occupation: Politician, Farmer, Trader
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maj. William Cage

Major William Cage, born in Virginia, 1745, moved to Chatham County, N. C., before the Revolution. He was prominent and popular, and when the Revolution began he was appointed Major and was chiefly active in suppressing Tories under the notorious Col. David Fanning. (For reference to his service as Major, see North Carolina Colonial Records, Vol. 22, page 575.) It is said that he was taken prisoner at one time and remained for some time a prisoner of the British ... at the siege of Charleston.

After the Revolution he moved from Chatham County, N. C., to what was then Sullivan County, Virginia, or North Carolina, the boundary line being for a long time a matter of dispute, where as before he became a leading citizen.

For his war service he received land grants that included 200 acres in Greene County; 640 acres in Sumner County; 1800 acres in the Middle District; and 228 acres in Sumner County. The place he settled was later called Cage's Bend. In this area were the Douglas, Dillard, Crain, and Lindsay families, all Methodist converts, who began holding services in the Dillard home until a log cabin was built to meet the needs of the congregation. This log cabin was on the land of Lewis Crain and was called Crane's Meeting house. Francis Asbury and Leaner Blackmon preached at Crane's Meeting House. The name was later changed to Rehoboth Methodist Church.

He was a delegate to the North Carolina House of Commons from Sullivan County in 1783, his associate being Col. Abraham Bledsoe; he was elected to the next session when his associate was David Belsoe.

He voted against the first cession act; but became one of the moving spirits in organizing the new State of Franklin.

He was elected speaker of the lower house of the first assembly, and was the first treasurer of the State of Franklin. In l785 (corrected to late 1787) he removed to Sumner County, probably influenced to do so by the Bledsoes. When the territorial government was organized, he was appointed by Governor William Blount as sheriff of Sumner County in 1790 and by successive appointments he served until 1796 when he was succeeded by James Cage, his son. William Cage died at his home in Cage's Bend (of Cumberland River), March, 1811."

Major Cage, his son (William), and General James Winchester had a store on the banks of the Cumberland River at Cairo near Galatin, TN They imported goods from as far away as Baltimore & Philadelphia. They maintained an inventory of about $8000.00 in 1790. When the Major died his interest went to his son William.

The Cage home in Sumner County was a meeting place for area Methodists. Camp meetings were held regularly at Cage's Bend, near Galatin or Cairo on the Cumberland River. It is not known if Major Cage was active as a Methodist in the Watauga area. The uncle of his second wife was Samuel Doak, the famous Presbyterian minister and educator.


  1. DAR Ancestor #: A018111
  2. The Cambridge Companion to John Cage. Edited by David Nicholls (2002). Page 5.
  3. REF: Samuel C. Williams: "Lost State of Franklin" p 305-306. James G. Cisco "History of Sumner Co., Tennessee". Cul;pepper County, VA Deed Book F p271, 295, 297, and 299. " Colonial Records of NC" Vol. XIV p 247. Vol XVII p 585, Vol. XIX p 855, Vol XXII p 585. "Land Records of VA" p 298." The Annals of Tennessee" by J. G. M. Ramsey. Twenty two entries in Vol. 19 & Vol. 22 "State Records of North Carolina" concerning his votes while in the NC Legislatore and while serving in the military.


William Cage was married first to Elizabeth "Betsy" Douglass who was born August 1754, Culpepper County, VA., the daughter of Col. Edward Douglass Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth George. William and Elizabeth had 11 children: Priscilla, Wilson, Reuben, William, Sarah, James M., Edward Douglass, John, Loftain, Jesse, and Richard Cage.

Elizabeth died July 1792, and prior to 1795, William married Ann Hall Morgan, who was married first to Captain Charles Morgan. Anne and William had 5 children: Henry "Harry", Albert Gallitin, Elizabeth, Martha "Patsy", and Robert Cage.

William was a Major in the Revolutionary War, a deligate to the North Carolina House of Commons from Sullivan County NC/TN, an associate of Colonel Abraham Bledsoe who was one of the founders of Nashboro/Nashville. He was one of the leaders of the state of Franklin, which later collapsed, and was greatly involved with the affairs of Davidson and Sumner Counties. He was appointed Sheriff of Sumner County, 1790-1796. He died at the community of Cage's Bend, at Cage's Cemetery on his homeplace.

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Maj. William Cage's Timeline

Prince William, Virginia
September 22, 1768
Age 23
October 22, 1770
Age 25
January 22, 1772
Age 27
Culpeper, Virginia
June 29, 1774
Age 29
Chatham, North Carolina
December 3, 1780
Age 35
Sullivan, Tennessee, United States
Age 40
North Carolina, United States
Age 42
Sumner County, Tennessee, United States