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1820’s Haywood County Petition

From Crockett Times, Thursday, July 7, 1977
A Petition From 1820’s by Maxine Mayo (A historian for Crockett County)

The original copy of this petition is in the State Library and Archives at Nashville; a Xerox copy of it was brought by this writer for the Historical Society files. There is no date on the petition, and the staff at the Library and Archives has assigned the date 1825 to it. I think however, that it should be dated sometime between 1828 and 1834 for this reason: one of the signers, John Nunn, first bought land in this area in 1828 and died in 1834. If anyone has any information that would enable the Society to date this document more precisely, please let us know.

Those who signed this petition were living in the portion of Haywood County that became Crockett County district numbers 5, 6, 8, 10 and 14.

These counties of Tennessee were not divided into civil districts until 1836; prior to that, they were divided according to the military districts, with the captains of the various militia companies performing duties similar to those performed by the magistrates of the districts today. (Note: I found a Captain McMillan listed in 1834 but had no first name for Haywood County.)

Every male resident from 16 to 45 years of age who was in good health was required to serve in the militia and to provide his own firearms. There were regularly scheduled muster days for the militia to assemble and be drilled in military maneuvers.


“To the Honourable Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Tennessee Your petitioners humbly represent that they reside on the north side of the south fork of the Forked Deer River in Haywood Co., that the people on that side of the river have had a battalion ever since the organization of the County and they compose the second Battalion of the Eighty-Sixth Regiment, that they have heretofore had to cross the swamp of the aforesaid river to attend all regimental musters, that the swamp is something like three miles wide and that it is often times wholly impassable. They therefore pray your honorable body to relieve them in the premises by dividing the regiment, giving to them a separate regiment on the north side of said river.”


Thank you to Sister Mary Francis Cates, who transcribed this article, and contributed it for use on this website.