William Blount

On July 11th 1795,
Blount County was
created from portions
of Knox and Jefferson
Counties with the city
of Maryville as the
county seat. This was
almost 1 year before
Tennessee was accepted

into the Union on
June 1st,  1796.
The county was named
after the governor of
Tennessee, William
Blount, who served from
August 7th, 1790 to 1796.
Governor Blount later
became a U. S. Senator
from the State of Tennessee

North Carolinian William Blount fought in the Revolutionary War, and remained in public service for the rest of his career. A delegate in both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, he was described by a fellow delegate as "no speaker, nor does he possess any of those talents that make Men shine; - he is plain, honest, and sincere."

After actively seeking the position of Governor of the western territory south of the Ohio River, Blount was awarded the position by President George Washington in 1790; the position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Department automatically accompanied the position of Governor. By 1796, the southern territories' population had grown to the point that a new state -- Tennessee -- requested admission to the union, and Blount served as the first United States Senator from the state (1796). However, he was eventually expelled from the Senate for plotting with the British to attack Spanish Florida and Louisiana, in the hope of gaining new land for Tennessee.

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William Blount, 1790-1795, Democrat (territorial governor). Born in North Carolina in 1749,
Blount served in the Continental Congress 1783-1784 and 1786-1787. In 1790, President Washington
appointed him governor of the newly formed Territory South of the River Ohio, formerly part of
North Carolina. While governor, Blount was also Indian affairs superintendent and negotiated,
among others, the Treaty of the Holston with the Cherokees. His new government faced formidable
problems, intensified by conflicts created by European/Indian contact. In 1795, Blount called a
constitutional convention to organize the state, and Tennessee entered the Union the next year.
Blount represented the new state in the U.S. Senate, and after expulsion from that body on a conspiracy
charge, served in the state senate. He died in 1800.