Retyped for the page by Diane Payne
The origin of the Bledsoe family is lost in obscurity. There is a tradition that it came originally from the northern part of Italy during the time of the Crusades, and settled in Kent, England; but of this, we can find no proof. It is believed that the name was originally Bletsoe, and that the family belonged to the old nobility of England. But this is not claimed as a fact. John Beauchamp, Lord of Bletsoe, died in the early part of the fifteenth century, leaving no issue. His estate, in County Northumberland, passed to his sister, Margaret, who married Sir Oliver St. John, who, by this marriage, acquired the Lordship of Bletsoe during the reign of Henry VI. Sir Oliver died in 1437, and sometime thereafter Margaret married John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, by whom she had a daughter, Margaret, who married Edward Tudor, Earl of Richmond, and by him was the mother of Henry VII. From the elder son of Sir Oliver St. John and Margaret, descended the Lords of St. John of Bletsoe.
When the Bledsoes came to the American colonies we do not know, but they evidently came at a very early date, and were people of consequence, owning a large estate in Northumberland County, Virginia, where we find the will of George Bledsoe recorded on July 23, 1704. He mentions, in the will, his daughter, Elizabeth, and his sons, John, William, Abraham and Thomas. Later these sons, or some of them, moved to Spottsylvania: county, and some to Culpeper county. Abraham, son of George Bledsoe, settled in Spottsylvania. There is a record of a suit, in 1722, John Richardson vs. Abraham Bledsoe. In the same county, in August 1727, Elizabeth, wife of William Bledsoe, and formerly widow of Charles Stevens, executed a bond. William Bledsoe was Sheriff of Spottsylvania in 1723. There was recorded a deed from William Bledsoe, in 1759, to his sons, Moses and Joseph. It is probable that this was the same William Bledsoe whose will was probated in Culpeper County on April 19, 1770. He names his wife, Elizabeth, his sons George and Aaron, daughter, Hannah Cave (she was the wife of Benjamine Cave, Burgess for Orange County, 1756, and ancestor of Vice-President Richard M. Johnson), the children of his deceased son, Moses, Mills Wetherell (wife of George Wetherell) and Mumford. Joseph, who was not named in the will, was probably Rev. Joseph Bledsoe, father of Jesse Bledsoe, United States Senator, from Kentucky.
Abraham Bledsoe, son of the George Bledsoe, mentioned above, was the father of Colonels Anthony and Isaac, and of Abraham Bledsoe, who played important parts in the early history of Southwestern Virginia and the Cumberland country in Tennessee.
The will of Abraham Bledsoe was dated March 15, 1753, in Granville County, and was probated on May 29 of the same year. He names his wife, Sarah, his sons Isaac, Abraham, Thomas, Jacob, Moses and Aaron, and refers to "the rest of my children." The executors were his wife, Sarah, and his son-in-law, Henry Thornton.
Aaron Bledsoe was given a Captain's commission in Spottsylvania county in 1756.
Anthony Bledsoe, who was not named in the above mentioned will, was commissioned a Captain in the colonial troops about 1774.
Isaac Bledsoe served as a private in Dunmores War, and in the subsequent Indian wars.
Abraham Bledsoe was an Ensign in Captain David Long's company in 1774.
Isaac and Abraham Bledsoe were famous as hunters and explorers in Kentucky and what is now Tennessee.
Of the other brothers we can find no trace. But doubtless each of them preformed his part well.
Of the sisters, we can find no account.
Abraham, Anthony, William and George Bledsoe, noted Indian fighters, who removed from Augusta to Washington county, Virginia, at an early date, were probably cousins of Anthony, Isaac and Abraham Bledsoe, who settled in Tennessee. One of the four brothers, Abraham, had sons, Thomas, Loven, Anthony, William and Isaac. The last named, Isaac, has a son, Austin Bledsoe, now living at Blackwater, Virginia.
Hon. Jesse Bledsoe, United States Senator from Kentucky, was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, on the 6th of April, 1776. His father, Joseph Bledsoe, was a Baptist preacher. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth Miller. He received a classical education in Transylvania University, then studied law, and soon won fame at the bar. He was repeatedly elected to the Legislature of Kentucky, serving in both houses. He was Secretary of State under Gov. Scott, and during the second war with Great Britain, was elected to Congress as a Senator. In 1822, he was appointed by Governor Adair, a Circuit Judge: Later he was appointed professor of law in Transylvania University. In 1833, he removed to Mississippi, and in 1835 to Texas, and commenced gathering materials for a history of that young republic. In 1836, he died at Nacodoches.
In early life he married a daughter of Colonel Nathaniel Gist, who survived him.
Judge Bledsoe was a cousin of Colonel Anthony Bledsoe.
Probably the most distinguished man of the Bledsoe name was Albert Taylor Bledsoe, editor, author, preacher and lecturer. He was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1809, and died in 1877. He was a Colonel in the Confederate Army, and was for a time chief of the War Bureau and Acting Assistant Secretary of War. He was professor of mathematics in the Universities of Mississippi and Virginia; later editor of the Southern Review. He was the author of "Examination of Edwards on the Will," "Theodley," "Liberty and Slavery," "Was Jeff Davis a Traitor?" and "Philosophy of Mathematics:" He was eminent as a Methodist preacher.
One of the most noted of the Bledsoes in the Civil War was Captain Hiram M. Bledsoe, who was a member of the Missouri branch of the family. He was born in Kentucky, and left there when he was 17 years of age and went West; crossed the plains with General Donovan's brigade and went to the Mexican War, then returned and tried to lead a settled life in Missouri, but was attracted by the Kansas trouble in 1856. For four years, he fought in the Border war, and when the Civil war commenced, he entered the service of the Confederacy as Captain of a Missouri battery. He was a favorite with Generals Price and Joe Shelby, and, in fact, with all the officers and men. No braver man ever followed the "Bonny Blue Flag" than captain Hiram Bledsoe. He crossed the river with his battery with Price in 1862, and was in all the battles at Corinth and Shiloh, and between Chickamauga and Jonesboro. After the war, he returned to his home in Missouri, where he continued to reside until a few years ago, when he passed to his reward.
The only monument erected by the Confederates at Chickamauga was the Missouri monument. The Legislature of his State, recognizing the splendid record made by Bledsoe's battery, complimented Captain Bledsoe by putting his name on the monument.
Captain Bledsoe had a brother, Joseph, who commanded a battery under gallant Joe Shelby, in Missouri. He died at his home in Texas, in October, 1898.
Colonel Anthony Bledsoe was born in that part of Orange county which is now embraced in Culpeper county, Virginia, in 1733. He received a liberal education for the time, and became a surveyor. In early 1ife he removed to the frontier, and settled in Augusta county, in that section which was afterwards embraced in Botetourt county, the new county being formed in 1770. Col. Bledsoe had his home at Fincastle, the seat of justice of the new county, where he was a merchant, trader and surveyor. He was one of the justices of the peace for the new county and held that position for several years. In 1772 a number of the citizens of Botetourt county petitioned the Legislature to divide the county, and out of the western half, form a new county, to be called Fincastle, which was accordingly done. In May 1770, Anthony Bledsoe was appointed to take "the tithables from Stalnackers to the lowest inhabitants," on the South Fork of Holston. The settlers on the Holston, below Bledsoe's Fort, at that time, believed that they were in Virginia, but in 1771 Anthony Bledsoe made a survey, which showed that they were in the territory of North Carolina.
On May 5, 1773, Anthony Bledsoe was appointed to "take the list of the tithables from Captain Campbells down to the county line, on north, south and middle fork of the Holston river. On May 4, 1774, he was directed by the County Court to take a list of the tithables in Captain Looney's, Captain Shelby's and Captain Cocke's companies.
As early as 1774 Anthony Bledsoe was a Captain in the colonial troops. Among the papers borrowed by Dr. Draper from the Tennessee Historical Society, and which he later gave to the Wisconsin Historical Society, were a number of letters written by Captain Bledsoe, and others referring to him. In Haywood's "Civil and Political History of Tennessee," and in Ramsey's "Annals of Tennessee," we find published an affidavit of Jarrett Williams on the conduct of the Indians, made before him on July 8, 1776. Gilmore says of Anthony Bledsoe: "He was one of those who rushed to the rescue of Watauga in 1776." In that year he served in the expedition commanded by Colonel William Christain, against the Indians. In September of that year, that portion of the troops under Colonel William Russell began their march to the Great Island of the Holston, at which time Bledsoe entered two wagons in the public service, to convey the baggage and provisions of the troops. This was the first time that a wagon was taken as low down as Long Island. The expedition was out three months, and but a single white man was killed; his name was Duncan, who left a widow and five small children, to whom, the Legislature of Virginia, in June, 1777, "allowed the sum of £20 for their present relief, and the further sum of £5 per annum for a period of five years," with directions to Anthony Bledsoe and William Cocke to "layout and expend the same for the support of Mrs. Duncan and her children."
Upon the return 0£ the army to Long Island, Colonel Christain reorganized the same, and for the protection of the frontiers left 600 men at the island under command of Major Anthony Bledsoe, who continued in command until April 1777, when Colonel Christain returned and resumed the command.
About this date the General Assembly of Virginia passed an act dividing the County of Fincastle and forming Washington county. At an election held in the spring of 1777 to elect members of the Legislature from Washington county, Arthur Campbell and William Edmiston were opposed by Anthony Bledsoe and William Cocke. The election was hotly contested, and resulted as follows: Bledsoe received 297 votes. Cocke received 294 votes. Campbell and Edmiston received, respectively, 211 and 144 votes.
The defeated candidates contested the election on the grounds that citizens of North Carolina had voted for their opponents, and that Bledsoe held a military command, and was, therefore, incapable of sitting as a member of the legislature. Bledsoe and Cocke were declared elected, whereupon Major Bledsoe resigned his Major's commission in the militia.
At the next election, in the spring of 1778, Major Bledsoe and Arthur Campbell were elected members of the Legislature. On August 19, 1779, Anthony Bledsoe, Daniel Smith, Joseph Black and John Blackamore were appointed examiners of the bills of credit of the State of Virginia and other states, to guard against counterfeiting. While a member of the Legislature Major Bledsoe presented a bill for the extension of the line between Virginia and North Carolina, which was passed. In this year he was in the "Battle of the Flats."
In 1760 Anthony Bledsoe married Mary Ramsey, of Augusta county, and soon afterwards removed to his new home on the frontier. The exact location of his settlement is in doubt. He located 700 acres of land on the waters of the Holston river, where he built his fort, about thirty miles east from Long Island, on the Fort Chiswell road, near the line of Virginia. During the pioneer period all the settlers located contiguous to the larger water courses, and it is probable that Anthony Bledsoe was not an exception to that rule. In 1776, when the Legislature of Virginia passed a law with reference to the distribution of salt among the settlements of the southwestern frontier, commissioners were appointed to take a list of the tithables. Among others we find William Edmiston was appointed to do this work from Stalnacker's to Black's Fort, which was located where Abingdon now is, on the south fork of Wolf Creek. James Montgomery was appointed to the work from Black's Fort to Major Bledsoe's. John Anderson's duties extended from Major Bledsoe's as low down as there were settlers. It is not probable that the duties of any of these assessors required them to cross the mountain ridges, but, instead, that they followed the courses of the streams where the settlements were. Thus Edmiston's territory extended from Abingdon down Wolf Creek to Black's Fort, probably the place where that stream empties its waters into South Fork of Holston. From there James Montgomery was assigned to do the work down the Holston to Major Bledsoes, which was on the Virginia line, about the mouth of Spring creek, some ten miles east from the present town of Bristol, Haywood says that Colonel Bledsoe extended the line of the State as far west as Beaver Creek, (at Bristol).
In the fall of 1781 Colonel Anthony Bledsoe removed with his family to what is now Sumner county, Tennessee, and there, two miles north from Bledsoe's Lick, located 6,280 acres of land, giving to the place the name "Greenfield." The tract has been divided into a number of splendid farms, owned for the most part by members of the Chenault family. Not one acre of it belongs to any member of the family of the original owner.
Next to James Robertson, Colonel Bledsoe was the most valuable member of the Cumberland settlement. He was a man of education, of cool courage, sound judgment and of wide experience in public affairs, having held various civil and military positions in the older settlements. His relations with John Sevier, Governor Caswell and other prominent men, were of an intimate character. For many years he was the bosom friend and trusted counselor of James Robertson, who after Bledsoe's arrival in the Cumberland country, acted in no affair of importance without his advice and cooperation. In the event of Robertson's death, he was probably the only man who could have brought the settlements safely out of the ordeal through which they were passing.
On October 6, 1783, the County Court of Davidson county, was instituted. Anthony Bledsoe, Daniel Smith, James Robertson, Isaac Bledsoe, Samuel Barton, Thomas Mulloy, Francis Prince and Isaac Lindsey constituted the court. Anthony Bledsoe was elected Colonel of the Davidson County Militia. In 1782 Anthony Bledsoe, Isaac Shelby and Absalom Tatum were appointed commissioners to select and layoff a tract or tracts of land sufficient to meet the grants which North Carolina had made to the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary War. Early in 1783 these commissioners met at Nashborough, and entered upon their duties. The line which they ran was styled the "Commissioners line." It began at a point near where Elk river crosses the southern boundary, and which has since been called "Latitude Hill." The commission laid off, near Columbia, a tract of 25,000 acres, for General Nathanie1 Greene, which had been granted by North Carolina, as a mark of the high sense of his extraordinary services in the war 0£ the revolution. The commission was accompanied by a guard of one hundred men, each of whom received grants of land for his services.
Colonel Bledsoe was one of the first trustees of Davidson Academy, 1785, now the University of Nashville. In the same year he was elected a member of the General Assembly of North Carolina, and serverd in that capacity until his death, three years later.
Colonel Putnam, in his "History of Middle Tennessee," says: "In the severe winter of 1781-82, was much dissatisfaction in the Cumberland Settlements. The weaker began to loose heart, and was there was much talk of abandoning the settlements and returning to a safer country. Bledsoe, the stout-hearted surveyor, the shadow of whose destiny was already lengthening towards him, pointed to the future: "If we perish here, others will be sure to come, either to avenge our deaths, or to accomplish what we begun. If they find not our graves, or our scattered bones, they may revere our memories and publish to the ages to come that we deserved a better fate."
Col. Bledsoe opposed the formation of the State of Franklin, and wrote to Governor Caswell, of North Carolina, advising moderation, and suggesting that the Governor address a letter to the disaffected people, advising them to return to their duty to the mother State. In compliance with this suggestion, Governor, Caswell wrote a conciliatory letter to the people of Franklin, which letter had the effect of allaying the intense feeling which prevailed against the parent State. On June 1, 1787, Colonel Bledsoe addressed a letter to Governor Caswell, asking permission to carry an expedition against the Chickamaugas. On the 12th of the same month he and Colonel James Robertson addressed the Governor jointly, advising him of the deplorable state of affairs on the Cumberland. On August 5, Colonel Bledsoe wrote the following letter:
"Dear Sir: When I last had the pleasure of seeing Your Excellency, I think you was kind enough to propose that in case the perfidious Chickamaugas should infest this country, to notify Your Excellency, and you would send a campaign against them without delay. The period has arrived that they, as I have good reason to believe, in combination with the Creeks, have done this country very great spoil by murdering numbers of our peaceful inhabitants, stealing our horses, killing our cattle and hogs, and burning our buildings though wantonness, cutting down our corn, etc.
"I am well assured that the distress of the Chickamauga tribe is the only way this defenseless
country will have quiet. The militia being very few, and the whole, as it were, a frontier, its
inhabitants all shut up in stations, and they, in general, so weakly manned that in case of invasion,
one is scarcely able to aid the other, and the enemy daily in our country committing ravages of
one kind or another, and that of the most savage kind. Poor Major Hall and his eldest son fell a
sacrifice to this savage cruelty, a few days ago, near Bledsoe's Lick. They have killed about
twenty-four persons in this county in a few months, besides numbers of others in the settlements
near to it. Our dependence is much that Your Excellency will revenge the blood thus wantonly
"To John Sevier, Governor of the State of Franklin, to be forwarded to Governor Caswell, of North Carolina."
Had this appeal been complied with it would have saved many valuable lives, among them, possibly, that of the writer of the letter.
Early in the year 1788, Colonels Robertson and Bledsoe addressed a joint letter to McGillevray, the Indian chief, with reference to the repeated attacks of the Indians. To this communication the chief replied from Little Tallassee, promising that he would use his best endeavors to put a stop to the depredations. But soon afterwards hostilities were again renewed and Colonel Bledsoe was one of the first victims.
In 1788, for greater security, Colonel Bledsoe moved his family to the fort of his brother, Isaac, at Bledsoe's Lick, where on the night of July 20, he was killed by the Indians. At the time of his death he was the first Colonel of militia, a Justice of the Peace and a member of the Legislature.
Following is an account of the killing of Colonel Anthony Bledsoe, given by General William Hall, who was present with his mother, brothers and sisters in the fort:
"Of those killed at B1edsoe's Fort and in the neighborhood, about this time, an account may be interesting. The fort was an oblong square, and built all around in a regular stockade except at one place where stood a large double cabin. This was occupied by the two brothers, Colonel Anthony and Colonel Isaac Bledsoe. This cabin stood in the front line of the fort, the whole being built, it will be understood around an open square. Excepting the open passage between the two cabins, the whole was completely enclosed. Here Colonel Anthony Bledsoe was killed with a servant of his, by the Indians. The circumstances were these:
"A lane came down at right angles to the fort thus described, the mouth of it being about thirty yards distant, whilst the Nashville road ran along in front. The Indians, it appears, had been reconnoitering the place in their prowlings through the day, and the night being a bright, moonlight one, the savages posted themselves in the fence corners fronting the passage referred to as between the two cabins. Then they got a party to mount on horseback and gallop past, in order to attract persons into the passage through which the moonlight poured in full splendor. The plot succeeded. At the sound of the horses' feet, Colonel Anthony Bledsoe and Campbell, the servant, both jumped up and stepped into the passage, when the Indians shot them both down. The Colonel died next morning, the servant the morning afterwards. I was in the fort at the time. The occurrence took place about midnight. This was on the 20th of July, 1788."
Gilmore, in his "Advance Guard' of Civilization," says: "Bledsoe was taken up, carried into the house and laid upon a bed, while Hall, Rogan and Clendenning maned the port holes in expectation of an attack from the savages. No attack followed, but it was soon discovered that Colonel Bledsoe was mortally wounded and could live but a few hours. Then occurred one of those instances of heroism which were so common among the settlers. Bledsoe had two sons and seven daughters, and by the North Carolina law of that period only male heirs inherited the real estate of an intestate. He desired to make a will to protect his daughters, but it was discovered that there was no fire nor any means of striking a light on the premise. Then Hugh Rogan volunteered to go for a light to a neighboring station. This he did, and returned safely with a burning brand in his hand, though he had to run the gauntlet of not less than fifty savages."
The suggestion that a will be made came from the wife of Colonel Bledsoe's brother, Isaac. (Gilmore is in error as to the number of children.)
"In the name of God. Amen.
"Being near to death, I make my will as follows: I desire my lands at Kentucky to be sold;
likewise my lands on Holston, at the discretion of my executors; my children to be educated in the
best manner my estate will permit; my estate to be equally divided between my children; to each
of my daughters a small tract of land; my wife to keep possession of the four oldest negroes for
the maintenance of the family; my lands and slaves to be equally divided between my children. I
appoint my brother, Isaac Bledsoe, and Colonel Daniel Smith executors, with my wife, Mary J
Bledsoe, executrix. At the decease of my wife, the four above negroes to be equally divided
among my children.
ANTHONY BLEDSOE (Seal).
"Signed, sealed and delivered. in presence of us, this 20th day of July, 1788.
Colonel Putnam, in his "History of Middle Tennessee," in speaking of the death of Colonel Bledsoe, says "The heart of Colonel Robertson had been pierced, again and again. This death was an almost crushing blow to him. With the Bledsoes he had long been intimate; they had taken counsel together; they had toiled and traveled together; they were steadfast friends, and by their offices as Representatives to the Legislature (of North Carolina), and in the recent measure to discover, and if possible, abate or remove the cause of enmity on the part of the Creeks, they fervently hoped to render lasting service.
"But now this earliest of pioneers, this upright man reliable friend and valuable citizen, is suddenly cut down, savagely murdered in his own house, and in the presence of his own family. There were lamentation throughout the settlements, and had there been any intermission to the duty of watchfulness and defense, public demonstrations of sad respect would attended his funeral. Armed men came to bury him; hardy woodsmen were there; every man came and marched in the solemn procession with his rifle upon his shoulder and deep grief within his heart; and there they buried him."
Any descendant of Colonel Anthony Bledsoe desiring to become a member of the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution can do so by tracing their descent in the genealogy, and referring to the following authorities for his services in the war for independence:
Virginia Magazine of History, July, 1899, pages 2 and 11.
Same, October, 1899, page 123.
"Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee," pages 170 and 190.
"Phelan's History of Tennessee," pages 32, 130, 134, 140, 144 and 157.
"Dunmore's War," by Thwait and Kellogg, page 106.
"Sumner's History of Southwest Virginia," pages, 221; 242, 245, 263, 264, 270, 287, 292, 625 and 748.
"Ellet's "Pioneer Women of the West," page 19.
Mary Ramsey was born in Augusta county, Virginia, in 1734. She was a daughter of Thomas Ramsey, who removed from the eastern section of the State at an early date and settled on the extreme frontier, where he became prominent. Several members of her family are mentioned in the early annals of Virginia, and during the Revolutionary war. In 1760, Mary Ramsey married Anthony Bledsoe, and became the mother of his five sons and six daughters, (see Eleventh Howard, U. S. Reports) one of whom was born four months after the death of her husband. The first chapter of "Pioneer Women of the West" is devoted to Mrs. Bledsoe, but it gives only small space to her personal history. It says: "She was a woman of remarkable energy, and was noted for her independence of thought and action. She never hesitated to expose herself to danger whenever she thought it her duty to brave it; she was foremost in urging her husband and friends to go forth and meet the foe, instead of striving to detain them for the protection own household. Mary Bledsoe was almost the only instructor of her children, the family being left to her sole charge while her husband was engaged in his toilsome duties, or harassed with the cares incident to an uninterrupted border warfare.
"In person she was attractive, being neither large nor tall until advanced in life. Her hair was brown, her eyes gray, and her complexion fair. Her useful life was closed in the autumn of 1808. The record of her worth, and what she did and suffered may win little attention from the careless many, who regard not the memory of our pilgrim mothers; but the recollection of her gentle virtues has not yet faded from the hearts of her descendants; and those to whom they tell the story of her life will acknowledge her the worthy companion of those noble men to whom belongs the praise of having originated a new colony and built up a goodly state in the bosom of the forest."
Mrs. Bledsoe's brother, Josiah Ramsey, was captured by the Indians when a child, being returned to the settlements after Boquet's treaty in 1764. He was in battle of Point Pleasant. He was a scout in the Cherokee campaign of 1776; and in 1780 removed to Kentucky, the next year coming to the Cumberland settlement, where he was a major of militia. He died at an advanced age, at the home of his son in Missouri. Other brothers of Mrs. Bledsoe, who came to Sumner county, were Henry Ramsey, the bravest of the brave, and William, both of whom were killed by Indians.
Mrs. Bledsoe was fifty-four years of age when her husband was killed. Five years thereafter, when she was in her sixtieth year, she married Nathan Parker, an old man, a pioneer, and the father of several children, some of whose descendants are prominent citizens of this and other states. Among them are ex-Mayor James M. Head, of Nashville, and Hon. John H. DeWitt, a Nashville lawyer.
From the Nashville Banner, October 21,1908:
MONUMENT TO BLEDSOE'S AT BLEDSOE'S LICK IN SUMNER
BY A. V. GOODPASTURE
The attention of the public cannot be too often drawn to the fact that the landmarks which connect us with out pioneer ancestors-their noted buildings, the scenes of their herotic deeds, the graves that contain their sacred ashes-are fast disappearing; many of them are already difficult to identify and some of them are lost forever. In 1889 the Legislature removed the remains of Governor John Sevier from an unmarked grave in Alabama to his old home in Knoxville, and erected a handsome monument over them. Recently the active and patriotic Historical Society of Maury county has identified the grave of General Richard Winn, and caused it to be suitably marked. But General Griffith Rutherford, famous for his campaign, against the Cherokee Indians; President of the Legislative Council of the Southwest Territory; for whom both North Carolina and Tennessee have named counties, still sleeps in an unknown grave. Judge John T. Haywood, the father of Tennessee history, sleeps the quiet garden of his old home, but at a place that can no longer be determined. The individual or society that hunts out and marks such sacred spots does a patriotic service, and deserves the thanks of the public for there is no stronger tie that binds the affections of a people to their country than the graves of their honored ancestors.
For almost a century and a quarter two brothers Colonels Anthony and Isaac Bledsoe, have slept in unmarked and neglected graves near Bledsoe's Lick, in Sumner County, where they were killed by the Indians in the first settlement of the county. Their descendants have long wished to see a monument erected to their memory, but until recently they have taken no definite action in the matter. A few years ago Judge D. D. Shelby, of Huntsville, Ala., and Judge Eli Shelby Hammond, of Memphis, Tenn., and later Colonel Oscar F. Bledsoe, of Grenada, Mississippi, visited their graves for the purpose of devising some means of having them properly marked. While these several visits did much to stimulate sentiment favorable to the movement, nothing further resulted from them for want of an active and intelligently agent who was willing to take the burden of the work on his shoulders and make himself personally responsible for its success.
In the month of June, 1906, Major J. G. Cisco of Nashville, who deceased wife was a great great granddaughter of Colonel Anthony Bledsoe, visited the Bledsoe graves for the first time, and seeing their neglected condition determined to have a monument erected over them. He took up the work actively, intelligently and disinterestedly. During the next year he wrote letters to many of the descendants of the Bledsoes, and saw others in person, urging the organization of a monument association. Being unable to get a sufficient number of them together to effect such an organization, after consulting with Colonel O. F. Bledsoe, Judge D. D. Shelby, and some others who took an active interest in the matter, he requested the following gentlemen to act as officers and committee men for the Bledsoe Monument Association, namely, Colonel O. F. Bledsoe, Grenada, Mississippi, President; Mr. C. B. Rogan, Gallatin, Tennessee, Vice-President; D. Shelby Williams, Nashville, Tennessee, Treasurer; J. G. Cisco, Nashville, Tennessee, Secretary. Monument Committee: Judge David D. Shelby, Huntsville, Alabama; R. C. K. Martin, Nashville, Tennessee; Colonel O. F. Bledsoe, Grenada, Mississippi; D. Shelby Williams, Nashville, Tennessee; Mr. C. Rogan, Gallatin, Tennessee; Mrs. W. H. B. Satterwhite, Castalian Springs, Tennessee; J. G. Cisco, Nashville, Tennessee.