BLOUNT, William

1749–1800

Biography

BLOUNT, William, (father of William Grainger Blount and brother of Thomas Blount), a Delegate from North Carolina and a Senator from Tennessee; born near Windsor, Bertie County, N.C., March 26, 1749; pursued preparatory studies in New Bern, N.C.; paymaster of the Continental troops, North Carolina Line, in 1777; member, State house of commons 1780-1784; Member of the Continental Congress in 1782, 1783, 1786, and 1787; delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and one of the signers of the Constitution; member, State senate 1788-1790; appointed Governor of the Territory South of the Ohio river by President George Washington in 1790; Superintendent of Indian Affairs 1790-1796; chairman of the convention which framed the first State constitution of Tennessee 1796; upon the admission of Tennessee as a State into the Union was elected to the United States Senate and served from August 2, 1796, until he was found guilty "of a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public trust and duty as a Senator," because he had been active in a plan to incite the Creek and Cherokee Indians to aid the British in conquering the Spanish territory of West Florida; expelled from the Senate July 8, 1797; impeachment proceedings were instituted but dismissed; during the trial was elected to the State senate of Tennessee and chosen its president; died in Knoxville, Tenn., March 21, 1800; interment in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Cornell University Libraries
Rare Book and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: June 15, 1793. 1 item. Letter to General Smith urging that a general assembly be postponed.

Filson Club Historical Society

Louisville, KY
Papers: 1791-1795. 12 items.

Knox County Public Library
McClung Historical Collection

Knoxville, TN
Papers: 1785-1814. 96 items. Chiefly correspondence and business papers. Finding aid.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1783-1823. 1 container. Finding aid.

New Hampshire Historical Society

Concord, NH
Papers: Correspondence in U.S. Army Pay Department records, 1791-1870.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1 item (1787); and 1 letter (December 4, 1787) concerning a treaty with Indians and 1 document (July 16, 1795) in the Gilder Lehrman collection. Finding aid.

Rosenbach Library and Museum

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: February 19, 1787. 1 letter. From John Witherspoon.

Tennessee Historical Society

Nashville, TN
Papers: Miscellaneous letters in various collections and photographs of portraits.

Tennessee State Library and Archives

Nashville, TN
Papers: Miscellaneous papers in various collections and portraits.

Virginia State Library and Archives

Richmond, VA
Papers: Discussion of the impeachment of Blount in the Tazewell family papers, 1756-1931.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Eigelsbach, William B. "The Blount Conspiracy: Notes of Samuel Sitgreaves on the Questioning of Dr. Nicholas Romayne on July 13 and 14, 1797, Before the House Impeachment Committee. The Journal of East Tennessee History 66 (1994): 81-96.

Goodpasture, Albert V. "William Blount and the Old Southwest Territory." American Historical Magazine and Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly 8 (January 1903): 1-13.

Hamer, Philip M., ed. "Letters of Governor William Blount." East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 4 (January 1932): 122-37.

Keith, Alice B. "William Blount in North Carolina Politics, 1781-1789." In Studies in Southern History, edited by J. Carlyle Sitterson, pp. 47-61.James Sprunt Studies in History and Political Science, vol. 39. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1957.

___, and William H. Masterson, eds. The John Gray Blount Papers. 3 vols. Raleigh, N.C.: State Department of Archives and History, 1952-1965. Volume 3 includes correspondence of William Blount, his brothers and associates regarding Blount's expulsion from the Senate and subsequent impeachment trial.

Masterson, William H. William Blount. 1954. Reprint. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969.

McKellar, Kenneth. "William Blount," in Tennessee Senators as Seen by One of their Successors. Kingsport, Tenn.: Southern Publishers, Inc., 1942: 49-73.

Melton, Buckner F., Jr. "Federal Impeachment and Criminal Procedure: The Framers' Intent." Maryland Law Review 52 (1993): 437-57.

___. "The First Impeachment: The Constitution's Framers and the Case of Senator William Blount." Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 1990.

___. The First Impeachment: The Constitution's Framers and the Case of Senator William Blount. Macon, GA.: Mercer University Press, 1998.

Posey, Walter Brownlow. "The Blount Conspiracy." Birmingham-Southern College Bulletin 21 (December 1928): 11-21.

Thompson, Isabel. "The Blount Conspiracy." East Tennessee Historical Society's Publications 2 (1930): 3-21.

Turner, Frederick J. ed. "Documents on the Blount Conspiracy, 1795-1797." American Historical Review 10 (April 1905): 574-606.

Williams, Samuel C. "The Admission of Tennessee into the Union." Tennessee Historical Quarterly 4 (December 1945): 291-319.

Wright, Marcus Joseph. Some Account of the Life and Services of William Blount. Washington: E.J. Gray, 1884.

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