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History of Tennessee :: General John Sullivan, County :: Kingsport


SULLIVAN COUNTY : named for General John Sullivan

See Current Kingsport Tennessee County Clerk and Government Information

General John Sullivan : short

John Sullivan of 'Sullivan' County:

Paul Revere was a Patriot courier of information on unrest in Boston.
In 1774 when things got tight in Boston, Revere met with a group secretly.
"He rode to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in December 1774 upon rumors of an impending landing of British troops there, a journey known in history as the Portsmouth Alarm. Although the rumors were false, his ride sparked a rebel success by provoking locals to raid Fort William and Mary, defended by just six soldiers, for its gunpowder supply."
Four months later was the famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

After Revere's ride to Portsmouth, the Patriots rallied about 400 men and marched into Fort William and Mary to steal the gunpowder.
The next night, John Sullivan led a raid into the Fort. "On the following day, Thursday, December 15, 1774, a party of men came from Durham to Portsmouth. That night, together with other citizens, under the leadership of John Sullivan, they again took the fort and carried off the lighter cannon and all of the small arms."

John Sullivan's relatives like to put it this exaggerated way:
"Sullivan fired the first shot of the American Revolutionary War, during the Battle of Fort William and Mary in December 1774."

John Sullivan also was one of the key commanders of the battle that took place in Long Island New York.. which could also be another reason North Carolina named this area Sullivan County due to the Cherokees famous Long Island of the 'Holston'.

John Sullivan was also a 'scorcher' of the 'Indians' driving out and destroying all towns of the Iroquois in western New York.
So psychologically it is possible that the name 'Sullivan' let the Native Americans in this area know that 'they better line up, or else'.

So though controversial, as many rugged leaders were in that day, John Sullivan was considered a 'hero' back in New Hampshire and was voted into the Congressional Congress in 1780.

Sullivan County began October 1779 as part of North Carolina
February, 1780, the Sullivan County Court was organized.
1784-88 it was part of the State of Franklin
1790 it rejoined North Carolina
North Carolina ceded the area to the federal government in April 1790, after which it was organized into the Southwest Territory May 26, 1790, until June 1, 1796.

Tennessee : Tennessee, with Sullivan County, was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796 as the 16th state. The first state created from territory under the jurisdiction of the United States federal government.

Thus John Sullivan became a namesake of Tennessee.
1. A 'first person' player of the preRevolutionary War
2. General Sullivan a leader of the Battle of Long Island, New York.
3. General Sullivan a ruthless 'destroyer' of the 'Indians'.

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