Hawkins County, located in the northeast corner of Tennessee, holds a rich history full of interesting facts. From the earliest settlers to significant events, this county has contributed to Tennessee's story in unique ways. Here are seven intriguing facts about Hawkins County:
1. First permanent settlements in Tennessee
Hawkins County was home to some of the first permanent settlements in Tennessee. In 1772, William Bean settled on the Watauga River, followed by other frontiersmen like Isaac and Jacob Vanmeter. These early settlers helped shape Tennessee's establishment as a state.
2. Named after a Senator
Named after Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, a U.S. Senator from North Carolina who represented Tennessee during their statehood, Hawkins County played a significant role in Tennessee's history as a state.
3. Early Tennessee political meetings
Hawkins County's early settlers also held the first political meetings in Tennessee. They established the Watauga Association, which predated the state government and was a model for the state's first constitution.
4. The Overmountain Men
During the Revolutionary War, Hawkins County was home to a group of militia known as the Overmountain Men. They were instrumental in the pivotal American victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780.
5. Historic family homes
Hawkins County boasts several historic family homes, including the Amis House, built-in 1781 for Capt. Thomas Amis, and the Rogersville Inn, built-in 1784 and still operating as a hotel today.
6. Largest country courthouse
The Hawkins County Courthouse, built-in 1836 in Rogersville, is the largest country courthouse in Tennessee and one of the oldest buildings in the area.
7. Significant battles in the Civil War
Hawkins County played a significant role in the Civil War, with several battles taking place in the county. The Battle of Bulls Gap, fought in December 1864, was a significant Union victory in the region, while the Battle of Big Creek, fought in January 1864, saw Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's escape from Union pursuers.
In conclusion, Hawkins County's story runs deep with early settlers and visionaries who paved the way for Tennessee's statehood. Its rich cultural heritage and pivotal role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars make it an essential component of Tennessee history.
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