Tennessee Records Repository, Giles County, TNGenNet Inc.

A Brief Sketch of the
Settlement and Early History of
Giles County Tennessee

by James McCallum, 1876

Published by the Pulaski Citizen, 1928

[Un-numbered pages]

By W. B. Romine

On assuming the duties incident to editing and publishing the Pulaski Citizen in 1894, I soon realized the need for more information about the people among whom I had come to live and work.
By inquiry I learned that no history of the county had ever been published. But learned of the Centennial Address of Mr. McCallum, with additions which he had made to it, and that the manuscript had been filed with the State Historical Society at Nashville.
I engaged Lem A. Dever one of the first young men in town who had learned to operate a typewriter, paid him wages and expenses, to go to Nashville and make a copy of the manuscript for me.
Some twenty-five years later, a gentleman in Nashville, who wished to see the manuscript, was referred to the Historical Society, when he found that the original had been lost or misplaced. It is fortunate for the County that I had a copy, for this manuscript contains much valuable information about the early settlers which could not now be replaced.
I have long cherished the hope that I may some day add to the History of the County as prepared by Mr. McCallum and have accumulated memoranda, including incidents of the Civil War, and since that time. But as the years go by I find no more leisure. And feeling that the valuable work of Mr. McCallum should be made accessible to the people, in the form in which he prepared it, and that he should have credit as its author, with the assistance and co-operation of Mike D. Sullivan, this little book is published in the hope that it may promote patriotic interest in those who have gone before, and who by their sacrifices, have prepared a better place for posterity.
In addition to the honors referred to by Col. Rose, I may add that Mr. McCallum served as Grand Master of Tennessee Masons. To those who understand, that will help to indicate the character of man he was.

By Col. Solon E. Rose

To the President and Directors of the Tennessee Historical Society:

Hon. James McCallum, author of the "Early Settlement and History of Giles County," owing to his feeble state of health cannot present in person his MSS, and has requested that I shall deliver it to the Tennessee Historical Society.
Mr. McCallum is more familiar with the past history of Giles, than any other man now living, and although past seventy years of age, was eminently qualified to perform the task. He is a thorough scholar, a ready and terse writer, and a "History of the Early Settlement of Giles County," is as complete as the lapse of time would permit.
Mr. McCallum was long Clerk and Master in Chancery at Pulaski, a member of the Legislature in 1861, a member of the Confederate Congress, a citizen for more than seventy years of Giles County; and long an active, practicing attorney in the several courts of the State. These several positions, together with his peculiar adaptation, affords him facilities few possessed to write this history. I should fail to discharge the obligations of my mission if I did not testify on behalf of our people to the social worth of James McCallum, -- a Christian gentleman, a model in all the relations of life, who has now the ardent admiration of all who have known him. His broad sympathies, active charities, and social virtues are attested by the warm friendship and admiration of his many life-long friends; and now to a life of usefulness he has added this additional service of transmitting this history to posterity.
Giles may have had more illustrious men, but none more honored and beloved.

By James McCallum

To the President and Directors of the Tennessee Historical Society:

I have the honor of presenting to the Historical Society of Tennessee, the following duplicate copy of a "Brief Sketch of the Settlement and Early History of Giles County," with the privilege of using the same or any part thereof in any publication by the Society, reserving to myself the same right.
In the Summer of 1875, at the request of the Pulaski Lyceum, I collected a considerable amount of information, in relation to the early settlement of the County, and, instead of presenting it in the shape of a popular lecture, I read to the Society such portions of it as I thought would be interesting.
In the Spring of 1876, at the request of the Committee on the National Centennial, I collected further information on the subject, and again only read such portions as I thought would be appropriate to the occasion.
Believing that my information was too imperfect, and, in some respect unreliable, to make History, I declined at the time to publish it; I have since availed myself of all the means in my power to add to the information and correct errors.
Part First of the following transcript embraces substantially the information presented at the National Centennial, with some slight corrections and additions.
Part Second embraces a description of the County, a history of our Courts, with the names and succession of our civil and judicial officers, together with the names of our Senators and Representatives both in the State and the National Legis. lature, intended to supply information, not otherwise accessible, from the loss of the Records of our Clerk's offices.
This has required no ordinary time, labor and expense to accomplish. Altogether my transcript furnishes the material to write a history, more than having claims to being a history itself.
With the ardent wish that the Historical Society may Persevere in the laudable effort to rescue from oblivion the unwritten history of our State, and transmit to posterity the names, the adventures, and the noble deeds of the early settlers.


End Notes
See the biography of James M. McCallum

Transcription of this page by
Fred Smoot
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