Originally Tennessee was the land of the
First People, mainly the Cherokee and Chickasaw
Nations. Then in the mid 1700s, colonials spilled into northeast East
Tennessee while it was still part of North Carolina. With these new settlers came North
Carolinas colonial laws. Soon to follow was the Cumberland settlements in
northern Middle Tennessee.
Back then, Tennessee was generally called, North Carolinas
In 1783, after our Revolutionary War, North
Carolina established its Military
Reservation encompassing the Cumberland settlements. Finally, North Carolina
relinquished its claims to its western lands and on 26 May 1790, what we now call
Tennessee became the Territory of the United States South of the River
Ohio. On 1 June 1796 Tennessee became a state, officially taking the name from a
preexisting county. Here is where we find the formation of the Tennessee State
Assembly and the many true Tennessee laws that followed.
Early Tennessee law found its roots in both older
colonial laws and in some cases,
newer federal laws. Attitudes towards women were often very restrictive and some
might even say, downright unfriendly. The First People were slowly and methodically
pushed from their homes to land beyond the Mississippi. That peculiar
institution, slavery, was certain unfriendly and much more to African
Americans. It was the North Carolina cession of her western lands that forced
Tennessee to be a slave state.
Over the course of years the Assembly had to
deal with many changes, and surely there
must have been serious soul searching as that esteemed body confronted the great
social and moral issues that swept across the land.
Times change and so do laws; here we will deal
with the early laws.
Table of Contents
U. S. Statues, &c.
General Laws & Customs
From American State Papers
Claim of the
United States to Lands in Tennessee
(Posted 13 Oct 2003)
U.S. Law, the Compact of 1806
The Land Compact between the
United States, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Covers the Creation of the Congressional Reservation and More
(Posted Nov 6 2007)
U.S. Law, United States Cession of Title of its Tennessee lands, south and west
of the Congressional Reservation Line, 1846.
Cession of Congressional Reservation
(Posted Jan 21 2009)
Tennessees First Major Land
Laws ~ 1806, 1807
Early School Laws
Tennessees Land History
We invite you to our
visit our The Land of Our
Ancestors page where you will find many articles on Tennessees
convoluted land laws, including North Carolina Military Warrants, the Glasgow Land
Fraud, the Surveyorss Districts, Land Registration in Early Middle
Tennessee and much more.
We invite you to our visit our
Tennessees Three Grand Divisions page, part of our
The Maps Our Ancestors Followed project.