SOLD! for $3,776.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
- Low Estimate: $1,800.00
- High Estimate: $2,200.00
- Realized: $3,776.00
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Important land indenture signed by James Robertson, the explorer and co-founder of Nashville, concerning a transfer of property between himself and John Davis, a fellow early settler and surveyor of Nashville. The document, executed March 20, 1795, records Robertson selling 440 acres of land in Sumner County to his friend Davis (in fact, Davis's daughter Ciddy married Robertson's son Jonathan). According to this document, the land had been a tract of military land originally granted William Powell for his services in the Continental army in the Revolutionary War and then assigned to Col. Hardy Murfree (see related Murfree-Robertson lot in this auction). James Robertson's autograph (J.L. Robertson) is bold and clear, partially covered at the end by remnants of a seal, but nonetheless a very scarce example of the signature of one of Middle Tennessee's most important historical figures. 12" x 13 1/2". Biography (courtesy The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture): James Robertson, early leader of both the Watauga and Cumberland settlements, has been called the "Father of Middle Tennessee." Born in 1742 in Virginia, he later moved to North Carolina, where he grew increasingly frustrated with the provincial rule of Governor William Tryon. Encouraged by favorable descriptions of the land west of the Appalachian Mountains, Robertson and several of his neighbors set out for the new frontier. In May 1772, when the Watauga settlers met to establish a government, they selected Robertson as one of the five magistrates to lead the Watauga Association. He was also elected commander of the Watauga Fort. In 1777, Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Land Company acquired a large tract of land from the Cherokees, including most of what constitutes present-day Middle Tennessee; Robertson and eight other men were sent to scout it out in 1778. The following year, Robertson returned with a group of about 250 people to establish a permanent settlement, known today as Nashville. In 1791, President George Washington appointed him brigadier general of the U.S. Army of the region, and In 1804, he was commissioned US Indian Agent to the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations. A journey in 1814 to the Chickasaw Agency at Chickasaw Bluff resulted in his falling ill, and he died a short time later. He is buried in Nashville's City Cemetery. Provenance: the estate of John Davis descendant Sarah Hunter Hicks Green, formerly of Historic Devon Farm, Nashville, Tennessee. CONDITION: Seal remnants and fold across Robertson's name. Toning, particularly along fold lines. Fading to writing, reverse side.