"The rebellion's rebellious little brother" : the martial, diplomatic, political, and personal struggles of John Sevier, first governor of Tennessee

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Meghan Nichole Essington (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
Honor Sachs

Abstract: In a special edition of the Knoxville Gazette, commemorating the memory of Tennessee’s first governor, a state historian stated that although John Sevier had faults, we should find them insignificant to his heroism. Since his reinterment, in 1889, historians have overwhelmingly favored Sevier’s military and political accomplishments and downplayed potentially disgraceful episodes of his life. They placed him on a pedestal with the founding generation. Moreover, Sevier’s biographical works reveal more about the eras in which biographers wrote than about Sevier’s lifetime. This study showcases the less favorable incidents in Sevier’s life, and examines them through a gendered lens. What I hope to reveal are aspects of Sevier’s life which have gone unnoticed by generations of historians. At times Sevier acted in ways which were self-serving and self-deprecating. His actions reveal his wants and desires, as well as those of his compatriots. Eighteenth-century men struggled to identify their role as men within the new nation. This gendered approach leads to a more holistic and complicated portrait of Tennessee’s founding father and a generation of men on the frontier.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Honor, John Sevier, King's Mountain, Masculinity, State of Franklin, Tennessee
Sevier, John, -- 1745-1815
Governors -- Tennessee -- Biography
Masculinity -- United States -- History -- 18th century -- Historiography
Masculinity -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Historiography

Email this document to