William Blount

William Blount (* March 26, 1749 in Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina, † March 21, 1800 in Knoxville, Tennessee ) was an American politician. Between 1790 and 1796 he was governor of the Southwest Territory. He was a member of the Continental Congress and from 1796 to 1797 U.S. Senator for the state of Tennessee.

Early years

William Blount grew even during the British colonial period and attended schools in New Bern. During the Revolutionary War in 1777 he was paymaster of the Continental Army in North Carolina in the year. Blount was also involved in a major battle in defense of the city of Philadelphia. Between 1780 and 1784 he was a member of the House of Representatives from North Carolina; 1782 to 1787 he sat several times in the Continental Congress. In 1787 he was a member of the Commission, which drafted the Constitution of the United States. Later, he was also one of the signatories of this document. Between 1788 and 1790, Blount was a member of the Senate of North Carolina.

Governor in West Territory

In 1790, William Blount was appointed by President George Washington to the governor of the newly created Southwest Territory. For this territory became the state of Tennessee was created. Blount served in this office until the founding of the state of Tennessee in 1796. Governor Blount moved the capital of the territory to Knoxville. Simultaneously with his work as territorial governor officiated Blount as Indian Commissioner of the Federal Government in its territory. Prior to the founding of Tennessee Blount was 1796 Chairman of the Constituent Assembly of the future state of a year.

U.S. Senator

After his term as territorial governor William Blount was elected as the candidate of the Democratic-Republican Party for the first class 2- Tennessee state senator in Congress. This mandate he stepped on August 2, 1796. At the same time he fell due to incorrect speculation in land purchases in western Tennessee in financial difficulties. Then he was actively involved in a plan under which the Creek and Cherokee Indians should help the British to conquer the then Spanish West Florida. This plan was revealed and interpreted as treason against the United States. As a result, Blount was expelled from the Senate on July 7, 1797. This exclusion then one initiated impeachment proceedings was irrelevant.

Further CV

Despite this incident, Blount was elected in 1798 to the Senate of Tennessee and became its President. He died on March 21, 1800 in Knoxville. Named after him William Blount Mansion is now a monument in Knoxville. The Blount County in Tennessee was also named after him. In addition, some schools still bear his name.


William Blount was married to Mary Grainger Blount, after including the Grainger County was named in Tennessee. The son of William Grainger Blount represented 1815-1819 the State of Tennessee in Congress and was a member of the House of Representatives of the State. His half-brother Willie was 1809-1815 Governor of Tennessee, his brother Thomas was a veteran of the War of Independence and 1793-1812 several congressman of the State of North Carolina.