March 28, 1957
Transcribed by Elsie Sampson
* CAL’S COLUMN *
In the book called Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee, page 264, there is mention made of Thomas GIST, another member of the same family. The history on this point reads as follows:
“This battle of Boyd’s Creek has always been considered one of the best fought battles in the border wars of Tennessee. Major Tipton was severely wounded. Besides the officers and men already mentioned as having participated in it, there were Capt. Landon Carter, James Sevier, the son, and Abraham Sevier, the brother, of John Sevier, Thomas GIST, Abel Pearson, James Hubbard, Major Benjamin Sharp, Captain Samuel Handley, Colonel Jacob Brown, Jeremiah Jack, Esquire Nathan Gann, Isaac Taylor and George Doherty.”
“On motion of Mr. Cocke, whether for or against forming ourselves into a separate and distinct state, independent of the State of North Carolina, at this time, it was carried in the affirmative.
“On motion of Mr. Kennedy, the yeas and nays were taken on the above question.
“Yeas--Mr. Trillil, Sams, North, Taylor, Anderson, Houston, Cox, Talbot, Joseph Wilson, Trimble, Reece, John Anderson, Manifee, Christian, Carnes, A. Taylor, Fitzgerald, Cavit, Looney, Cocke, B. GIST, Rawlings, Bullard, Joshua GIST, Valentine Sevier, Robinson, Evans and Maughan. (28)
“Nays--John Tipton, Joseph Tipton, Stuart, Maxfield D. Looney, Vincent, Provincer, Gammon, Davis, Kennedy, Newman, Wear, James Wilson and Campbell. (15)
“The manuscript from which the above is taken, was found among the papers of General Kennedy. It is without a date upon it. It is not known from the paper itself, which of the conventions had these proceedings. It was probably at the first convention at Jonesboro, in August, 1784.”
On page 286, same book, it is stated that “Joseph GIST was from Greene County. Other members of the convention from Greene County were: Daniel Kennedy, Alexander Outlaw, Samuel Weir, Asahel Rawlings, Joseph Ballard, John Maughan, John Murphey, David Campbell, Archibald Stone, Abraham Denton, Charles Robinson and Elisha Baker.”
On page 274, same book, is found the following statement: “At a Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Goal (Coal?) Delivery for the counties of Washington and Sullivan, began and held on the 15th of August, 1792. Present, the Honorable Spruce McCay, Esquire. Waightstill Avery was appointed Attorney for the State, and John Sevier, Clerk.”
“1782, February Term, William Cocke was admitted to practice law. 1783, November Court, F. A. Ramsey qualified as Surveyor.”
“The peace procured by the several campaigns already mentioned, was momentarily interrupted by the conduct of James Hubbard, and a comrade no less wicked and reckless. They were shooting at a mark with two Indians. During the shooting one of the warriors was killed--the other escaped and fled to the nation. It was believed that Hubbard had killed the Indian designedly, and that a border war would be the consequence. The settlers assembled together at Henry’s, near the mouth of Dumplin, and there built a station. A half breed, passing through the neighborhood, was requested to procure a friendly conference between his exasperated countrymen and the settlers. The conference was held at GIST’s. Now Underwood’s. Six or eight Cherokees there, having crossed the river at Henry’s. Soon after their arrival, Hubbard and a gang of mischievous associates came in. They had been way-laying the Indians on the other side of French Broad, and having missed them, followed on to Gist’s. For fear of further mischief, the Indians were kept in the center of the white men in attendance. Hubbard, desirous of another outbreak, slipped up to one of the Indians and whispered to him to run, as the white men intended to kill them. Captain James White told him to remain and they would be protected. Thus assured, the Indians remained--the conference was held--the difficulty was satisfactorily adjusted and peace prolonged.”
The following paragraph is found on page 293, same book: “The election was accordingly held, and members of the legislature chosen for the State of Franklin. These met at the appointed time, 1785, in Jonesboro. After the most diligent search, the writer (Dr. Ramsey) has been unable to procure the list of the members of the first legislative assembly in what is now Tennessee. It was, probably, for the most part composed of the same members, who had constituted the two conventions that preceded, and gave form and variety to it. This much is known, that Landon Carter was speaker, and Francis Talbot, Clerk of the Senate; and Thomas Chapman, Clerk of the House of Commons. Thus organized, the assembly proceded to the election of governor. To this office John Sevier was chosen. A judiciary system was established also at this first session. David Campbell was elected Judge of the Superior Court; with Joshua GIST and John Anderson Assistant Judges.
On page 300, same book, is the following: “Governor Martin, of North Carolina, under date of Dec. 18, 1784, had written to Col. John Caps, authorizing him to convene the witnesses before him, and if they prove the killing (of Butler, an Indian), you will issue your warrant to apprehend the said Hubbard (the accused), directed to the sheriff or such other officer as you judge proper, to be brought before you, and if he cannot show any exculpatory reason for this act, you will commit him under a strong guard to Burke County jail, and to be under the care of General McDowell, there to remain until Washington Superior Court.” It may be added that the editor of the Times has no knowledge as to the relationships that existed among the various members of the GIST families. It may also be added that Hubbard or Hubbartd, as his name was sometimes spelled, was not without some justification for his attitude toward the Indians who had previously killed both his parents and all their family except the man who later killed the Indian Butler.
It may also be added that Burke County was in the State of North Carolina. On page 305, same book, is the following paragraph: “I am informed a daring murder has been committed, on one Butler, a Cherokee Indian, by Major Hubbard, of Greene County, without any provocation. I have given directions for his being apprehended and conveyed to Burke Gaol, for security until the meeting of Washington Superior Court, when he will be remanded back. Col. Gist, of Greene county, is entrusted with this service. I have directed him to call on you for guards if the same is necessary.” We believe that Col. GIST was the Joshua GIST, above referred to.
There is another reference to Joshua GIST, it is found on page 637, same book, and reads as follows: “The Magistrates who held the first court (Sevier County), Nov. 8, 1794 were--”The worshipful Samuel Newell, Joseph Wilson, Joshua GIST, Peter Bryant, Joseph Wilson, Joshua GIST, Peter Bryant, Joseph Vance and Andrew Evans. Besides these, there were magistrates not present—M. Lewis and Robert Pollock. The county officers were--Samuel Newell, first chairman; Joshua GIST, 2nd; and Joseph Wilson, 3rd.”
The last reference to a GIST I find in Ramsey’s Annals of Tennessee is on page 669 and is as follows: “The first court held in Sevier County, under constitution of the State of Tennessee, was begun and held at the Court House in Sevierville, July 4th.
1796--The Justices were Samuel Newell, Joshua GIST, Joseph Wilson, Joseph Vance, Robert Pollock, Peter Bryant, Mordecai Lewis, John Clark, Robert Calvert, Andrew Cowan, Adam Wilson, James Riggan, Alexander Montgomery, Jesse Griffin and Isam (Isham?) Green.
“Samuel Wear was appointed clerk; Thomas Buckingham, Sheriff; James McMahon, Register; James D. Puckett, Coroner; Alexander Montgomery, Ranger.
“Tavern Rates--Rum, per half pint, 25 cents; wine, do or ditto, meaning the same; French Brandy and Gin, do; Peach Brandy, 12 1/2; whiskey, 8 1/3; beer per quart, 8 1/3; Cider, 12 1/2; Metheglin, 12 1/2. (Perhaps few of our readers know what this last drink was like. It was a fermented mixture of water and honey. The word is seldom used today, although it is found in the New International Dictionary).
“Diets--Breakfast, 16 2/3 cents; dinner, 21; supper, 16 2/3; lodging, 5 (cents); horse per night, fodder or hay, 12 1/4; oats or corn, per gallon, 8 1/3.” Perhaps these rates were a lot cheaper to the traveling man than they are today in almost any known part of the world.
“May, 1796--Governor Sevier commissioned justices (of the Peace) in Jefferson County, viz: George Doherty, James Roddy, Josiah Jackson, Thomas Snoddy, Garret Fitzgerald, Parmenas Taylor, John Blackburn, A. Henderson, Abnedgo Inman, John McNabb, Abraham McCay, Adam Peck, William Con, James Wilson, William Lillard, David Stuart, Ebenezer Lith, Joseph McCollah, Samuel Jacks, Adam Meek, James Lee, George Evans, Alexander Outlaw, John Gore, Jos Hamilton, Clerk; Robert McFarland, Sheriff; Samuel Lyle, Register.”
In another book the writer has, he finds that Phoebe GIST was born Oct. 6, 1824 and died Sept. 12, 1904, and is buried in the Old Walling Cemetery in White County, Tenn.
“On page 274 are found the following words General R. Cleburne, whose great fame as a dashing fighter must have projected his fate, raised his hat to the sacred tranquility of the scene and said: “If I am killed in the coming battle, I would like to be buried yonder.” The battle of Franklin followed, not only Strahl., Granberry and Adams, Cleburne, But Generals GIST, five of Hood’s greatest field officers, were killed. All except General Adams and General GIST were buried in the beautiful cemetery of St. Johns.”
In Greenwood Cemetery, somewhere in Tennessee, lies buried Elizabeth Guest, born in 1815, and died in 1848. In the same cemetery is also buried Elizabeth N. Pickens, daughter of Joshua and Mary Guest, Dec. 1823-Aug. 23, 1858. Also buried in the same cemetery were Sarah E. Guest, March 17, 1828-July 6, 1859; Joshua Guest, Jan. 12, 1789-Feb. 2, 1831; Mary Guest, born in North Carolina, July 11, 1814-Feb. 13, 1820; and Augustus Guest, son of J. L. and E. J. Guest, Nov. 10, 1841-Oct. 3, 1856.
I may be able to find some additional information on the GIST family. If this is found, we hope to have it published soon in this paper.