Jerry Bryan's Web Pages

Signers of the Tennessee Constitution of 1796

My primary interest in the signers of the Tennessee Constitution of 1796 is that my fifth great grandfather Peter Bryan was one of the signers from Sevier County.  The Constitution of 1796 was the first Tennessee Constitution.  A second version was adopted in 1835 and a third version was adopted in 1870.  The 1870 version plus amendments is still in effect today.

I have found a few references that suggest that Peter Bryan might have been the primary author of the Tennessee Constitution in the same sense that James Madison was the primary author of the U.S. Constitution.  But I have not found adequate documentation to substantiate this suggestion.

These photographs of the Tennessee Constitution were taken from a facsimile on display at Blount Mansion in Knoxville.  Most of the work in writing the Tennessee Constitution took place at Blount Mansion.  But the signing ceremony took place at the Knox County courthouse about a block west of Blount Mansion.  The original Tennessee Constitution is located at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville.

We the People of the territory of the United States south of the river Ohio, having the right of admission into the General Government as a member State thereof, consistent with the Constitution of the United States and the act of cession of the State of North Carolina, recognizing the ordinance for the government of the territory of the United States northwest of the river Ohio, do ordain and establish the following constitution or form of government, and do mutually agree with each other to form ourselves into a free and independent State by the name of the State of Tennessee.

Blount County. { David Craig, James Greenaway, Jos Black, James Houston, Samuel Glass.
Davidson County. { John M'Nairy, Andrew Jackson, Jas Robertson, Thomas Hardiman, Joel Lewis.
Greene County. { Samuel Frazier, Stephen Brooks, William Rankin, Elisha Baker, John Galbreath.
Hawkins County. { James Berry, Joseph M'Minn, Thomas Henderson, Wm Cocke, Rich. Mitchell.
Jefferson County. { A. Outlaw, Jos. Anderson, Geo Doherty, James Roddye, Archibald Roane.
Knox County. { James White, Charles Mc Clung, John Crawford, John Adair.
Sullivan County. { George Rutledge, William Charles Cole Claiborne, Richd Gammon, John Shelby, Jr., John Rhea.
Sumner County. { David Shelby, Isaac Walton, W. Douglass, Edward Douglass, Dan Smith.
Sevier County. { Peter Bryan, Samuel Wier, Spencer Clack, John Clack, Thomas Buckenham.
Tennessee County. { Thos Johnston, James Ford, Wm Fort, Wm Prince, Robt Prince.
Washington County. { John Tipton, Samuel Handly, Leeroy Taylor, Landon Carter, James Stuart.
Attest William Maclin, Secretary.

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This page last edited on 25 Apr 2017.