GEORGE WASHINGTON COMES TO JONESBOROUGH
Well, not literally. However, a portrait of our first president and the namesake of our county was recently installed in the archives’ Reading Room. The work is a reproduction of the original painting done by American artist Gilbert Stuart and was purchased by the Friends of the Archives for the archives from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where the original resides. If you look at a one dollar bill, you will see the image that we now have in reverse.
The Washington District that became Washington County was established by North Carolina to govern its western territories in 1776. This was one of the earliest political units to be named for George Washington. The following year, the district was renamed Washington County, the first county of what became Tennessee. Today 31 states have a Washington County.
President Washington never visited the county named for him, but there are some local connections with him. Before becoming one of Tennessee’s early pioneer leaders, Evan Shelby served as a captain with Washington during the French and Indian War, where Captain Christopher Taylor may also have known him. John Tipton knew him in the Virginia legislature. And a young soldier named Hugh Harris was in the encampment at Valley Forge under Washington’s command, where he would have seen him on a daily basis. Harris moved to the county after the war and is buried in its soil.
Come by and view the picture sometime.
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EARLY TAX LISTS ARE NOW DIGITAL
In the first digital collection available on the archives’ website, the surviving 18th Century tax lists for Washington County can now be viewed online at the following url: https://wctnarchives.org/early-tax-lists/.
As part of North Carolina and continuing with the establishment of Tennessee in 1796, Washington County was divided into specific political sub-divisions known as Captain’s Companies based on the militia units in the county, each of which was named for the unit’s commanding militia captain. This way of organizing the county remained in place until 1835 when the county was divided into Civil Districts.
These tax lists are invaluable for researchers, as the lists often provide the only record on an individual’s habitation in the county prior to surviving census records. The records also provide a record of the wealth of the county at the time the taxes were collected. The tax lists vary from year to year as to the information provided, as this changed with changes in the law. Generally, the records list the individual’s name, the number of white polls, the number of black polls, acreage owned, and the tax. For some years additional information may include type and number of livestock (horses, cattle, etc.); cash held; etc.
A total of 96 individual tax lists of various Captain’s Companies are uploaded. For some years no lists were found, while in other cases, not every Captain’s Company record survived.
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June 4, 2018 2018 Friends of the Archives – Annual Meeting 4 Jun
May 23, 2018 Dower Records Now Available for Research
April 26, 2018 Property Assessor Records Are Now Available
April 16, 2018 First Anniversary of County Archives
March 23, 2018 Guide to the Wills Now Available Online
March 13, 2018 Archives Website Celebrates First Anniversary
February 27, 2018 Archive Annex Renovation Approved
February 15, 2018 Chancery Court Case Files Added
January 26, 2018 Major Gift Memorializes Kozsuch