This house was built by Thomas Amis in 1781 on Big Creek In Hawkins County. The estate consisted of: the home (which also served as an Inn for travelers), tavern, store, school, distillery, post office and a fort. The house is still standing and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo Courtesy of Tennessee Books & Autographs, Rowan Archives.
Click here to go to Thomas Amis Will
Thomas Amis,(in Ramsey's Annals is pronounced Amy and of French origin), son of John and Mary (Dillard) Amis, was born January 1, 1744 in Northampton CO., North Carolina. He married, first, Alice Gale, 1744-1784, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Marshall) Gale, on January 27, 1763. Thomas and Alice came to what is now Hawkins CO.,TN. in 1781, then Sullivan CO., N.C. after the Revolutionary War. At the mouth of Big Creek River, he built a stone house on a thousand acres granted him by the government. A store, blacksmith shop, distillery, saw and grist mill, and a palisade to guard against Cherokee assaults were constructed. A post office,school and church to be added later. Amis opened an Inn and operated a tavern which became a public stage stop-over for many notables such as Andrew Jackson, Governor John Sevier, the elder Michaux, and Bishop Francis Asbury. The good Bishop noted in his journal that he spent the night at Amis' tavern...was well entertained for his money, but that he rebuked Amis for bragging about how much money he made off of his brew. Evidently the two engaged in some heated debates, for Asbury commented that "it was out of necessity and not choice that he was there." According to the writings of Dr. George E. Mellon of the University of Tennessee, "In his day, Thomas Amis was a man both of substance and official distinction." During the Revolutionary War, on December 22, 1776, he was commissioned Commissary for the Third Regiment, North Carolina Continental Troops, under Colonel Jethro Sumners, and given the rank of Captain. In Volume 2, page 586, North Carolina Colonial Records, by Saunders, Amis wrote to his Excellency, "I have been the only acting commissioner and have supplied all the troops since the departure of our Army northward. Have already mortgaged my own property for the loan of a few hundred pounds." Amis represented Bladen CO.,North Carolina in the Provincial Congress in 1776, and in 1788-89, he represented Hawkins CO., N.C./TN where his votes were in favor of separation. In 1786, while trading in the west (Natchez,MS.) his boat was confiscated on the river by the Spanish Commandant, and despite a letter of strong opposition from Amis, evidently never returned to it's rightful owner. In 1787 Thomas married, second, Lucy Haynes, daughter of Francis and Anna Haynes. Thomas Amis' Will was the first one recorded in Hawkins CO.,TN. He and both wives are buried in Amis Cemetery near the stone house in which they resided, three miles above Rogersville,TN. Children of Thomas and Alice(Gale)Amis: 1. Tabitha, 1864-1832, m Capt John Cox, descendant, Wendy Jacobs. 2. Frances, 1766-, m Richard Grantham, descendant, Millard Miles. 3. Mary, 1768-, m Joseph Rodgers, descendant, Elizabeth S. Owings. 4. Elizabeth, 1770-1776 5. John, 1773-1807,m Catherine Bowlin 6. Rachel, 1774-, m James Hagan 7. Willis, 1777- 8. Lincoln, 1778-1868,m Ann Nicholson 9. Alice Gale, 1780-1864 ,m John Gordon Jr. 10.Thomas Gale, 1782-1803 11.Penelope, 1784-85
Children of Thomas and Lucy(Haynes)Amis: 1. Haynes, 1788-1848,m Mary Howell 2. William, 1789-1809 3. James, 1790-1871,m Mary Armstrong 4. Nancy, 1793-1834,m English Jesse Howell
This information contributed and copyright © 1998 by descendant Wendy Pickering Jacobs.
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