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Kennedy, Daniel, Accomplishments by Williams

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Williams, Samuel Cole, "The Franklinites," in History of the Lost State of Franklin (Revised Edition published by The Press of the Pioneers, New York, 1933) 307-308. (Public Domain, Available on-line: University of Chicago [1]).

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Daniel Kennedy

Daniel Kennedy was born in Virginia about the year 1750. Family tradition is to the effect that he served in Lord Dunmore's War (1774) as a private in the company of Captain Evan Shelby. In 1776 he aided in the defense of the Watauga Fort when it was attacked by the Cherokee Indians. Sometime after July, 1777, he settled at Milburnton, then Washington but now Greene county, and the next year he served as a grand-juror in the Washington county court. In 1770 he removed to a large tract of land he had entered, near the mouth of Camp Creek, south of Greeneville. This homestead remained in the family over one hundred years, passing to others in 1898.

Kennedy marched with John Sevier to the battle of King's Mountain (1780) as a lieutenant, to be promoted to a captaincy for gallantry in action. On his return he was honored with a seat on the bench of Washington county court, in 1781.

He represented Washington county in the North Carolina General Assembly of 1783, and was influential in the passage of an act to establish Greene county. On the organization of that county he was elected clerk of its court, an office he held for the remainder of his life under the several changes in the forms of government.

In the State of Franklin he served as a member of the council of p308 state and as brigadier-general. With John Sevier and Alexander Outlaw he served as commissioner of that State in negotiating the Dumplin Creek treaty with the Cherokee Indians.

Elected by the friends of Franklin, he at a late day of the session took a seat in the Carolina senate of 1787. Both the Tipton and the Sevier forces were second lieutenant for the support of General Kennedy, because of his great popularity in Greene county. His heart was with Sevier as his speech in the Franklin convention of 1787 evidences. That speech also demonstrates the ability of Kennedy, and that he could have risen high in the affairs of State and Nation had he not preferred to retain in comfort the clerkship of his county.

When the Franklin government was virtually doomed by the action of the Federal constitution convention, General Kennedy acted under a colonel's commission from North Carolina on General Martin's campaign against the Cherokees, on the failure of which Kennedy joined Sevier under whom he had often campaigned.

General Kennedy was a friend of education. As early as 1783, he was named as an incorporator of Martin's Academy (Washington College) and he was also a trustee of Greeneville College.

General Kennedy died in consequence of a bruise on the hand from a forge hammer, and was buried at Mount Zion church, •six miles from Greeneville. Above his grave there was recently erected a monument — a large native rock embedded in which is a bronze tablet bearing this inscription:d

To the Memory


Col. Daniel Kennedy


Soldier, Patriot, Statesman,

Revolutionary Soldier,

Pioneer of Tennessee

First Clerk of Court

Greene County

Served Under Four Forms of Government


Supported State of Franklin

Made Peace With Indians


Greeneville and Washington Colleges

Erected by Descendants


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  • "The Author and the Work" [2]

"Samuel Cole Williams (1864‑1947) was a distinguished jurist and scholar who rose to become a Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, and the first dean of the Lamar School of Law, Emory University. Although born in West Tennessee, he moved to Johnson City when he was in his late twenties, and is best known in connection with East Tennessee — the area of the State of Franklin. He founded the East Tennessee Historical Society and wrote many articles and books on Tennessee; the book transcribed here is his best-known work. A fuller and sympathetic biographical sketch of Judge Williams is given in The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture."

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