An American Family History


Carter Family

Smallpox is caused by of two viruses: Variola major and Variola minor. Symptoms include a rash and blisters. The mortality rate for V. major is 30–35% and for V. minor is about 1%. Long-term complications include scars, blindness, and limb deformities.

John Carter was born about 1728.

Landon Carter (1760),
John Carter (1762),
Emanuel Carter (1764),
Susan Carter (1765)

The Carter family moved from Virginia in the 1760's and John opened a trading post on the Holston River with William Parker.

By 1772 they moved into the Watauga River Valley where John built a mansion. He was elected as a commisioner of the Watauga Association.

In 1776 he signed the petition of Watauga settlers asking to become part of North Carolina.

At the 1778 Washington County Court "the last will and testament of John Cox, decd., was duly proved by the oaths of Colonel Carter and Emanuel Carter, and the same to be recorded."

John died of smallpox in 1781.

Aug. 27, 1781. Landon Carter, Esq. to have leave of administration on the Estate of Col. John Carter, deceased, and for that purpose have entered Valentine Sevier, Thomas Houghton and Charles Robertson, Esq. his sureties in the sim of Five Hundred thousand Pounds for his faithful administration, etc.

Carter County, Tennessee was organized from Washington County on April 9, 1796. Elizabethton is the county seat.


John Carter was in the 1792 tax list of Washington County, Virginia.

In October, 1810, John Carter divorced his wife, Catherine Blevins Carter. He said that "some time in the year 1792" he married Catherine and after about 10 years he began to suspect infidelity due to

the evil, loose, and idle practice of his said wife. [He] sought and found her in the bed and apparently in the embraces of another man, and also at different times with different persons.

He stated that he could

prove that she made her elopement with one Cullin Arp, to the the Moabbeal (Mobile) or Tombigbey (Tombigbee) settlement, sometime in the month of March last (1810), from which place she has never returned.

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser

The State of Franklin was an unrecognized, independent state in what is now eastern Tennessee. It was created in 1784 with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state. Its first capital was Jonesborough. It existed for about four and a half years and then North Carolina re-assumed control.

Landon Carter was born on Janary 29, 1760 in Virginia. Carter County, Tennessee was named for him and its county seat, Elizabethton, was named for his wife.

He married Elizabeth McLin on February 26, 1784. Elizabeth was born on July 9, 1765 in Virginia.

Alfred Moore Carter (1784),
John McLin Carter (1786),
Sarah Stuart Carter (1789),
William Blount Carter (1792),
George Washington Carter (1794),
Elizabeth Macklin Carter (1797) and 
Mary Polly Carter (1799).

Landon Carter was a captain in the American Revolution. He served under Colonel John Sevier and Colonel Arthur Campbell in 1780 and 1781. He was in the battle of Boyd's Creek and in an expedition against the Cherokee.

Landon was a strong supporter of the State of Franklin and was secretary of the first Franklin convention.

Landon Carter was on the 1792 and the 1794 Washington County, Virginia tax list in Captain Carriger's company.

On November 7, 1796, Isaac Lincoln bought 94 3/4 acres from Landon.

In 1800, Teter Nave bought 50 acres from Landon.

Landon died on June 5, 1800 at Carter County.

Elizabeth died in 1842 at Washington County, Tennessee.

The Cherokeewere indigenous people who lived in the southern Appalachian mountains. European Americans called their towns in eastern Tennessee, the Overhill Towns. The towns included Chota, Tellico and Tanasi.

In 1776, the Cherokee planned to drive settlers out of the Washington District. The settlers were warned and stopped the first attack at Heaton's Station. The second attack was stopped at Fort Watauga. In response to these attacks, the militia burned Tuskegee and Citico.

In 1780, while the militia was away at the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Cherokee raided the setttlements. When the militia returned, Colonel John Sevier's men defeated the Cherokee at Boyd's Creek and destroyed most of the remaining towns.

Teter Nave










from Kilgore, Jenny L., "The Carter Mansion Revisited." (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2149. http://dc.etsu.edu/etd/ 2149

As entry-taker, Carter was authorized to enter "lands which have accrued or shall accrue to the State by treaty or conquest," and he used this authority to ensure the settlers' patriotism. In 1780, Tory properties were declared "subject to interest" Carter and Sevier "entered a good deal of these lands" and the loyalists were prepared to take drastic action to keep their homes.

The loyalists planned to visit Carter's office and, if their properties had indeed been taken, the Tories planned to kill Carter and Sevier. The wife of one of the men, however, betrayed the plan to Sevier, who had "befriended her, and furnished her with the necessaries of life" while her husband was away.

Carter and Sevier decided that the best course of action would be to copy the record books, leaving the spaces beside the Tory properties blank, and hide the genuine records in the woods. The plan, however, hit an unexpected obstacle: Carter caught smallpox in late 1780 and died in early 1781. He was the only person who knew the location of the hidden books, and he took the secret to his grave.Carter's death was unexpected, but he had trained his son well. Landon would also become a leader in the new order which his father had established.


from Some Tennessee Heroes of the Revolution

Landon Carter's widow Elizabeth Carter, applied for revolutionary pension while residing in Carter County, Dec. 8, 1838. She was born July 9, 1765.

Landon Carter was a Captain in the Revolution. He served under Col. John Sevier and Col. Arthur Campbell in 1780 and 1781. He married Feb. 26, 1784 and died June 5, 1800.

Jeremiah Campbell testified that Landon Carter served as stated and that he, Jeremiah Campbell, was in Capt. Carter's company and was in the South Carolina Campaign. Isaac Taylor also testified that he was in Capt. Carter's Company. There were in the battle of Boyd's Creek and in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians.

Note: Capt. Landon Carter was the son of Col. John Carter and Elizabeth Taylor Carter and was born in Virginia Jan. 29, 1760. He was educated at Libery Hall, now Davidson College, N.C. He signed the Watauga Petition to have the settlement annexed to North Carolina and he was an active leader in all affairs of the upper East Tennessee country. Carter County, Tenn., was named for him and its County seat Elizabethton was named for his wife. He was a strong supporter of the State of Franklin and was Secretary of the first Franklin Convention.

He married Elizabeth McLin. Their children were:

Alfred Moore born 1784 died 1850;
John McLin born 1786 died young;
Sarah Stuart, born 1789, died 1789
William Blount born 1792;
George Washington born 1794;
Eliza M. born 1797;

Mary (Polly) C. born 1799.



Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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