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American History
3.14 General James Robertson and Governor John Sevier

When Daniel Boone first went to Kentucky (1769) he had a friend named James Robertson, in North Carolina who was, like himself, a mighty hunter. The British governor of North Carolina at that time was William Tryon. He lived in a palace built with money which he had forced the people to give him. They hated him so for his greed and cruelty that they nicknamed him the "Great Wolf of North Carolina." At last many of the settlers vowed that they would not give the governor another penny. When he sent tax-collectors to get money, they drove them back, and they flogged one of the governor's friends with a rawhide till he had to run for his life. The governor then collected some soldiers and marched against the people in the west. A battle was fought near the Alamance River. The governor had the most men and had cannon besides, so he gained the day. He took seven of the people prisoners and hanged them. They all died bravely, as men do who die for liberty.

After the battle of Alamance James Robertson and his family made up their minds that they would not live any longer where Governor Tryon ruled. They resolved to go across the mountains into the western wilderness. Sixteen other families joined Robertson's and went with them. It was a long, hard journey; for they had to climb rocks and find their way through deep, tangled woods. The men went ahead with their axes and their guns; then the older children followed, driving the cows; last of all came the women with the little children, with beds, pots, and kettles packed on the backs of horses.

When the little party had crossed the mountains into what is now the state of Tennessee, they found a delightful valley. Through this valley there ran a stream of clear sparkling water called the Watauga River; the air of the valley was sweet with the smell of wild crab-apples. On the banks of that stream the emigrants built their new homes. Their houses were simply rough log huts, but they were clean and comfortable. When the settlers put up these cabins, they chopped down every tree near them which was big enough for an Indian to hide behind. They knew that they might have to fight the savages; but they had rather do that than be robbed by tax-collectors. In the wilderness Governor Tryon could not reach them—they were free; free as the deer and the squirrels were: that one thought made them contented and happy.

The year after this little settlement was made John Sevier went from Virginia to Watauga, as it was called. He and Robertson soon became fast friends—for one brave man can always see something to respect and like in another brave man. Robertson and Sevier hunted together and worked together. After a while they called a meeting of the settlers and agreed on some excellent laws, so that everything in the log village might be done decently and in order; for although these people lived in the woods, they had no notion of living like savages or wild beasts. In course of time President Washington made James Robertson General Robertson, in honor of what he had done for his country. Out of this settlement on the Watauga River grew the state of Tennessee. A monument in honor of John Sevier stands in Nashville, a city founded by his friend Robertson. Sevier became the first governor of the new state.

Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper:
  1. Why did James Robertson leave North Carolina
  2. Who was John Sevier and why did he come to Watauga

Q 1: Where is Sevier's monument?
On the banks of Watuga river
North Carolina

Q 2: How did Washington recognize the work of Robertson
President Washington made James Robertson General Robertson, in honor of what he had done for his co
President Washington gave him a large estate.
President Washington gave him a bag of gold

Q 3: What was the nickname given to the British Governor of North Carolina?
Great Wolf of North Carolina.
Great Fox of North Carolina.
Great Tiger of North Carolina.

Q 4: Why did they like the new settlement?
Because they were carefree.
Because they got everything very easily
Because they were free from the clutches of British Governor.

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