William Blount


William Blount\'s great-grandfather, Thomas Blount, came to the Americas

from England in 1660. He first resided in Virginia, then moved to North Carolina,

and started his family. William was the eldest in his family, and was born in 1749

while his mother was visiting her father-in-law\'s Rosefield estate. This was near

Palmico Sound, present day Windsor.

William was said to have received a good education although little is

known. He also apparently had intrest for government since he was little.

When the war started in 1776, Blount was appointed paymaster, who was in

charge of wages, in the army of North Carolina. Then in 1778 he married Mary

Grainier. They had six children, and one became active in Tennessee\'s govern-


He spent the rest of his life in public office. Blount represented North

Carolina in Congress. He sat in the lower house of the legislature for 4 years,

from 1780-1784. During those years, he was the speaker of the house, and was

a public speaker. He served in the upper house from 1788-1790, and spoke for

them as well. Blount also took part in national politics, including two

Continental Congress sessions in 1782-1783 and 1786-1787. Here he also

represented his state of North Carolina.

The next highlight in Blounts life, was being apppointed to be a delegate

at the Constitutional Convention. At this time, he was 38 years of age. Although

he already had a prior commitment to represent his state at the Continental

Congress, He attended the Constitutional Convention for all but one month.

He was a very quiet person who let other members take part in debates and

and arguements, and kept his opinions to himself, whether they were follow-

ing or opposing the crowd. He signed the Constitution with hesitation, and said

only to make it "the unanimous act of the States in the Convention". Although

when it reached his state for ratification, he signed it without reluctancy, and gave

his full support.

Later in 1789, wanted to be elected to the Senate. This was inportant

because it was the first United States Senate ever. After failing to achieve

this goal, he moved out west past the Appalachian Mountains. While out west,

William tried to get some of the Indians land, and claim it for America. This

area later became Tennessee, where he resided for the rest of his life.

In 1790, George Washington appointed Blount the first territorial

governor Tennessee, and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the South.

Then in 1796 Tennessee became a state, and he was appointed one of the

two United States Senators. During his term as Senator, Blount was struck by

a stream of bad luck. In 1797, his speculations out west led him to very

serious financial problems. After this he started to plot to help British

troops conquer Louisiana and Florida. He wrote a letter reffering to this

plan, which fell into the hands of President Adams. The President gave it

to the Senate who voted to dismiss Blount from office. This happened on

July 8th 1797.

After this episode, it was up for debate whether of not he should

be alowed to hold office again, but the charges were later dropped and he

resumed his position in the Tennessee Senate in 1798. He died in 1800 in

Knoxville, Tennessee at the age of 51.

I picked William Blount for two reasons; One because North

Carolina is my favorite state, and the other because I have a cousin in

California with the last name of Blount. When I first started researching

his name, he seemed like just an ordinary signer, nothing of interest to his

name. But then I was reading about the serious problems he encountered,

I give him credit for being strong. Even though he wasn\'t particularly a very

loudly outspoken man, he must have had some views and arguements that

got him to the places he got to go.