1799 Petition for HART
Sumner County, Tennessee
Present Day Trousdale County, Tennessee

Contributed by Vernon Roddy
Hartsville, Tennessee

          Trousdale County,  Tennessee was formed in 1870 from Sumner, Smith, Macon and Wilson counties of Tennessee.  Hartsville, which was situated in the extreme eastern corner of Sumner County from late 1799 until 1870, began in 1797 as Donoho's Mill.  Hart's Ferry of the Cumberland River began shortly thereafter.  Horse racing with Andy (Jackson) and others started about the same time or even before at the Goose Creek Track.  The Hartsville post office was officially opened in 1807.  In 1817, the state legislature declared Hartsville an "established' Tennessee town.

          Donoho's Mill was standing on West Fork of Goose Creek (now Little Goose), at the present Hartsville, present Trousdale County, Tennessee, by the time of 1797.  Charles, Patrick and Edward Donoho were around, and maybe Thomas, for a while, too.  (Major Thomas Donoho died in 1825 in Caswell County, North Carolina.)

          Charles, Patrick and Edward Donoho, when exactly did you fellows settle (or, rather, unsettle) here?  And Thomas?  Thomas, did you build that mill?  Or, Charles, I bet you did it?  (Most probably.)  Charles, you transferred the mill to James Hart in 1800, we see.  Patrick and Edward, it appears you settled on the East Fork of Goose Creek.  (Edward deceased in 1803.)

          James Hart, exactly when did you occupy the land you purchased in 1797 of Thomas Donoho?  1797, I bet.  You opened your ferry in 1798, it seems, on the Cumberland River, of course, just south of the later Hartsville.

          James, you must have been a rather popular fellow right from the beginning.  Now, confess.  For in August, 1799, when the company of Capt. Thomas Bradley desired another Justice of the Peace, you appear as the first choice of a number of your neighbors.  Or, at least, the following legislative petition of the time would seem to say as much.

Augst 23rd  1799
To the Honorable, the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee.

We, your petitioners, whose names are Under Signed in the bounds of Capt. Bradley's Company, and in Sumner County, thinking it necessary to have a Justice of the Peace, Appointed, there being only one in Sd company, And that one has in Contemplation Soon to Remove, etc.  We therefore Humbly pray that you would Appoint Capt. James Hart to Serve in that place, and your petitioners as in duty Bound Shall Ever pray.

Thos Bradley
Champness Mading
Edward Bradley
Charles Donoho
Cormond Boaas (?)
Saml Rorex (?)
John Stubblefield
Richard Grossage (?)
James Sanders
Cloudsburey Grenhaw
Daniel Sanders
Ricky Sanders
William Sanders
Isaac Coopper (?)
John McConnel
Thomas Parker
John Binnion
___ Graham
John Wood Sr (?)
Wm Wood Jr
Daniel McConnell
Mtg. McConnell
Francis Patterson
Henry Weakfield
E.P. Chambers
William Hargis
John Wright
James Ellis
Benage Hardison
Wm Irwin
John Morris (?)
William Story
Alexander Cathey, Senr
Aaron Lambert
Thomas Walker
Joseph Markes
Benjamin Markes
Wm Roper
Thos Roper
David Ventuers
William Roper
John Sanderson
James McKinnes
Griffith Cathey
James Petty
John Cathey
Patrick Hamilton
John JOnes
Every Lambert
Frederick Erick
James Graham
And__ Hamilton
Wm Cathey
Bruckner Russel

          And, indeed, on October 26, 1766, John Seiver, Governor of the State of Tennessee, signed a commission appointing James Hart a Justice of the Peace for Sumner County.  On Monday, April 7, 1800, recorded the Sumner County Court clerk, 

          "James Hart, Esq., appears in court and takes the 
          oaths necessary for his qualification of office and 
          also the oath of office of the Justice of the Peace 
          and takes his seat."

          But let us always remember that James was not first, either in settlement or office, on lower Goose.  In settlement, who can we say?  In office, well, Charles Donoho served as Justice of the Peace in the Donoho Mill area from early 1798.  You stayed put, too, now didn't you, Charles?

          Note:  The early James Hart of Hartsville, Tennessee, was born in 1756 and died in 1819, at Hartsville.  He married Sarah Hamilton in 1788 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.  Sarah was born circa 1769 and died in 1822, at Hartsville.  She was the daughter of one Patrick Hamilton who died at Hartsville in 1809 or shortly thereafter.  James and Sarah Hamilton Hart had a number of children.


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