Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
March 12, 1953
* Cal's Column *
We resume the publication of the old records of the Quarterly Court and Court of Pleas of Smith County. If any of our readers do not like the publication of the old records, please remember that on the other hand, many do like to read them. In fact the editor has had more favorable comment on his "Colyum" than on any other one feature of the paper. We wish we could please all the people all the time in getting out a paper, but this is impossible.
The items directly from the old records are enclosed in quotation marks, so that the readers may know the exact wording of the records which are on file in Carthage, and a copy of which may be found in the State Library at Nashville.
"At a Court began and held at the house of William Walton, Esq., on the 20th day of September, 1802. Present: Peter Turney, Arthur Hogan, John Lancaster, Lee Sullivan, John Looney, William Kavanaugh and Charles Kavanaugh, Esquires."
The word, "Gegan," underscored in the paragraph above is incorrectly used an should have been "begun." We have already offered quite a lot of comment on Peter Turney, who resided on the same stream on which the writer was born, the Young Branch, or east Fork of Dixon's Creek. Bud Garrett, of Route one, Dixon Springs, now owns part of the old Peter Turney farm, including the spring and home site. This Peter Turney was the grandfather of the Governor, Peter Turney, in the later history of Tennessee. We find the following Turney heads of families listed in Smith County in 1820: Henry Turney, above 45 years of age and so was his wife, whose name is not given; George Turney, above 45 years of age and with three males from ten downward, three females under ten, three females from ten to 16 years of age, one female between 26 and 45, and one Negro slave; Isaac Turney, one male under ten, four males from ten to 16, one male 16 to 18 years old, one male from 18 to 26, and one male between 26 and 45, evidently Isaac himself; three females under 10, and one female between 26 and 45, evidently his wife. Just what relation, if any, they were to Peter Turney, we do not know.
Arthur Hogan, the second member of the Court of 150 years ago, is listed in the 1820 census as follows: Arthur S. Hogan, two males under ten, two males 10 to 16, one male 45 and upwards, (evidently himself); two females under ten, one female 10 to 16, one female 26 to 45, his wife, we suppose; and 48 Negro slaves. This would indicate that he was a man of great wealth for his day and time. In fact he had the second largest number of slaves in Smith County in 1820, William Sullivan having 333 Negro slaves at the time. But we are inclined to believe there has been a mistake in the copying of the old records of the census of 133 years ago. We rather think William Sullivan had 33 slaves instead of the almost unheard of number of 333. Just where Arthur Hogan lived we do not know, although there is a stream running into the Cumberland from the south side just below Carthage known as Hogan's Creek. Perhaps some reader can give us the location of his home. I find no member of the Hogan family listed in Smith County in the census of 1830 and only two families of Hogans listed in 1850. There two were: Elizabeth Hogan, apparently a widow of 45 years, born in Tennessee; and her family consisting of : Martha Hogan, 20; James Hogan, 18; Peyton Hogan, 16; Thomas Hogan, 14; and Rollin Hogan, 12. The other was William C. Hogan, 29, and born in Tennessee. He had no wife nor child, so far as we can find, but did have living with said William C. Hogan, a 23 year old man, named Anthony Cowan, 23, and born in Tennessee.
We find the following in Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee concerning early members of the Hogan family: "In 1769 or 1770, Mr. Mansco, Uriah Stone, John Baker, Thomas Gordon, Humphrey Hogan, Cash Brooks, and others, ten in all, built two boats and two trapping canoes, loaded them with the results of their hunting, and descended the Cumberland -- the first navigation, and the first commerce probably ever carried on upon that stream by Anglo-Americans. Where Nashville now stands they discovered the French Lick, and found around it immense numbers of buffalo and other wild game. The country was crowded with them. Their bellowings sounded from the hill and forest. On the mound near the Lick the voyageurs found a stock fort, built, as they conjectured, by the Cherokees, on their retreat from the battle at Chickasaw Old Fields. Descending to the Ohio, they met with John Brown, the Mountain-leader, and 25 other warriors, marching against the Senecas. The Indians offered them no personal injury but robbed them of two guns, some ammunition, salt and tobacco." This would indicate that the Hogan's Creek just across the river from Carthage was most probably named for Humphrey Hogan, of the above group of ten traders who were supposed to have been the first white men to navigate the Cumberland, about 182 years ago.
Ramsey also mentions another early Hogan in the following: "The Lower Cumberland continued to be visited and explored further. Richard Hogan, Spencer Holliday and others came this year (1778) from Kentucky in search of good lands; and with the intention of securing some for themselves as permanent settlements, planted a small field of corn in the spring of 1778. This first plantation in Middle Tennessee, was near Bledsoe's Lick (now Castalian Springs). A large hollow tree stood near the Lick. In this Spencer lived. He was pleased with the prospects for further settlement which the situation afforded, and could not be induced to relinquish them and return home, as Holliday in vain persuaded him to do. The former, however, determined to leave the wilderness; but having lost his hunting knife, was unwilling to undertake his long travel without one with which to skin his venison and cut his meat. With backwoods generosity and kindness, Spencer accompanied his comrade to the Barrens of Kentucky, put him on the right path, broke his knife and gave him half of it, and returned to his hollow tree at the Lick, where he passed the winter. Spencer was a man of gigantic stature, and passing one morning the temporary cabin erected at a place since called Eaton's Station, and occupied by one of Captain DeMunbreun's hunters, his huge tracks left plainly impressed in the rich alluval. These were seen by the hunter on his return to the camp, who, alarmed at this size, immediately swam across the riveer, and wandered through the woods until he reached the French settlements on the Wabash."
Ramsey also mentions a third Hogan in the year 1887, in the following: "When the troops started on the campaign to Coldwater, David Hay, of Nashville, had the command of a company there, and determined to carry them, simultaneously, against the enemy, by water; not only to assist their countrymen in the assault upon the Indian village, but to carry to them provisions and supplies which, it was apprehended, they might need on their arrival at the Tennessee River, and, particularly, in case of the detention of the horsemen in that neighborhood, for a longer time than was anticipated. Captain Hay and his men descended the river in three boats; and passing around into the Tennessee, had proceeded unmolested up that stream to the mouth of Duck River.When they reached that stream, the boat commanded by Moses Shelby, entered into it a short distance, for the purpose of examining a canoe, which he observed there, fastened to the trees. A party of Indians had concealed themselves in the cane and behind trees, no more than ten of twelve feet from the canoe; and from the boat itself, and poured a most exacting fire into the boat. John Top and Hugh Roquering were shot through the body; Edward Hogan, through the arm, the ball fracturing the bone; Josiah Renfroe was shot through the head, and killed on the spot. The survivors made great haste to get the boat off; but, having to row up the small river, and several of the crew being wholly disabled, and some of them greatly dismayed by the sudden fire and destruction which had come upon them, acted in disorder; and with great difficulty, got the boat again into the Tennessee, beyond the reach of the Indians guns, before they could reload and fire a second time."
Whether these three men were related to Arthur Hogan, member of the Court of 150 years ago, we have no way of knowing at this time. The Court whose record we are trying to set forth in some detail, was held in the home of William Walton, on the present site of Carthage.
John Lancaster is the next Magistrate in the old records. We have no idea as to where this man lived, although there are several heads of families mentioned in the Smith County Census Record for 1820, eighteen years after the meeting of the Court in September, 1802. They are: Lancaster (no given name mentioned), two males under 10, one male from 10 to 16 years of age, and one above 45 years of age; and one female from 10 to 16, and one from 45 upward. We do not know how it happened that the given name of the head of this family was left out completely. Readers will perhaps be surprised to learn that in the census records prior to 1850 on the names of the heads of families are listed and the remainder are set up in age groups. But from 1850 through the lateer censuses, the names of all the members of the families are listed, with their ages and sex.
Another Lancaster named in the 1820 census was William Lancaster. He had two males from 10 downward, two from 10 to 16 years of age, one from 18 to 26, one from 26 to 45, one from 45 upward, and eight Negro slaves.
Another Lancaster named in the census for 1820 in Smith County was Thomas A. Lancaster, with three males under 10, two from 10 to 16, and one male between 26 and 45; and one female under 10, and one female between 26 and 45. Robert Lancaster, Jr., in 1820 had three males under 10, one male between 18 and 26, and one male (perhaps himself) between 26 and 45; and one female between 10 and 16, two females between 26 and 45; and one female above 45. Robert A. Lancaster had four males under 10, two males from 10 to 16; and one male between 26 and 45; one female above 45, and three slaves.
Thomas Lancaster, in 1820, had three females under 10, and one in each of the other age groups except, there was none in the 45 years and upward class. He had also three females under 10, one female 26 to 45 years of age, and five slaves.
William A. Lancaster had three males under 10, two from 10 to 16, one 16 to 18, one 18 to 26, and one above 45; and one female under 10, one from 10 to 16, and one between 26 and 45. No other members of the family are listed in the old census records. So John Lancaster had evidently died or moved away in the 18 years between the meeting of the Court in 1802 and the taking of the census in 1820.
Lee Sullivan is the next Magistrate mentioned in the list who attended Court that September Monday in 1820. We do not know who he was, although we know that the family was quite numerous in the early history of Smith County. The following Sullivan heads of families are listed in Smith County in 1820; Tabitha Sullivan, Daniel Sullivan, and we believe he lived in that early day and time just west of the Gap of the Ridge in the present Macon County; Willie Sullivan, Lee Sullivan, William Sullivan, already mentioned above as having 333 slaves,and Tabitha Sullivan mentioned again; but we believe this to have been an error in the copying of the old records. Just what relation these were to each other we do not know. We learn that the 1802 Magistrate was above 45 years of age when the 1820 census record was made, that he had one son under 10; one female between 26 and 45, and 11 slaves. This would indicate that he was a man of means for that early day.
The next Squire mentioned was John Looney, but he had perhaps died or moved away from Smith County by 1820, as Elisha Looney is the only Looney head of a family in the year 1820 in the county. Just where John lived, we do not know at this time.
We stated some time ago that William and Charles Kavanaugh were believed by the writer to have been brothers and that they lived somewhere in the general vicinity of the present New Middleton.
Next week, we propose to take up the various items of business transacted by the Court 150 years ago, after giving this week some information as to the various families represented in the Court.