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Title:[Letter] 1802 Jun. 11, Nashville, Tennessee [to] Archibald Roane / John Overton : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author: Overton, John

This work is the property of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37243-0312. (615) 741-2764.

Date: June 11, 1802
Extent: 8p
Summary:This document is a letter dated June 11, 1802 from John Overton to governor Archibald Roane of Tennessee. The subject of the letter is the cutting, and clearing of roads in the state, and addresses issues such as militaristic need, interaction with Indian territory and the transportation needs of citizens.
Collection:Governor Archibald Roane Papers
Document: sl714

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June 11th 1802 Sir,

Since the setting, of Davidson Court I received your letter relative to the opening of the Natchez road agreeably__ thereto, the subject was brought before last Williamson County Court.

An order was then and there made for a jury to view a road the nearest and best way from Franklin to the Davidson County line in the direction to Nashville and also an order for a jury to view a road the nearest and best way from Franklin, to the Natchez road cut by the troops of the United States , where the Indian Boundary line interacts the same or to the north [added: of that] point. A motion was made at the same court to procure an order for a view of a road from where the Natchez road intersects the Indian boundary line, the nearest and best way towards Nashville to the Davidson County line, but the court unanimously opposed it, Because they said there was now a reduction of the army, and they had received information that the troops were ordered to cease cutting the Natchez road any further; and then said that road would be an intolerable burthen [burden] on the citizens of said County without any benefit, for it would pass through a Country very thinly

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settled and that said road would not pass thro [through] Franklin, and would be against the interest of said Town and its vicinity which they thought they ought to promote; and this last reason appeared to be the only actuating one; the others were ostensible: It had such weight that it was mentioned by by several and not denied by any that even if the United States troops were to cut said road they ought not to permit them If said order had been obtained in Williamson there would I believe have been no difficulty in obtaining an order from the County Court of Davidson for a road from Nashville the nearest way and best way to the Davidson County line in the direction to the intersection of the Natchez road and the Indian boundary And then by said viewers viewing said road and marking it in concert with Col [Colonel]. Butler, the object of the secretary at war might be obtained to wit the having a road opened the nearest and best way from Nashville to Natchez. But now Col. Butler

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declines to open the road from Nashville agreeably to the order of view of Williamson court alledging [alleging] that it does not accord with the letter spirit nor interest of the order of the secretary at war for he says the road the nearest and best way from Nashville to Natchez road now opened at the Indian boundary would be four miles nearer than any road which could be cut passing through Franklin to the same place Said road will be of much importance to the citizens of Mero generally and to travelers to and from Natchez but unless exertions are used, we shall be deprived of the benifit [benefit] of it by the local policy of the County of Williamson ; the town of Franklin and its vicinity, and the narrow interested views of a few individuals.__

Suffer me to suggest to the consideration of your excellency__ whether there would not be a propriety, in writing to the county court of Williamson and Davidson, to make such order as would enable Col. Butler to cut out said road agreeably to the orders of the secretary at war

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Or to write to the secretary at war to permit Col. Butler to cut said road according to his discretion from Nashville to where it is already open at the Indian boundary, having first obtained permission of the owners of the lands through which it may pass and permission of your excellency.__

Or that the secretary will permit Col [Colonel]. Butler to open such road from Nashville to the intersection of the Natchez road and the Indian boundary line as the county Court of Davidson and Williamson may respectively direct.__

I have not a Copy by me of the above mentioned order of Williamson County Court [added: it] is merely recited from memory and possibly may not be altogether correct.__

It is the earnest desire of most of the respectable characters in this district that said road should be opened, and I am confident if it could

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be obtained through the intervention of your excellency with the secretary at war, or with the County courts of Davidson and Williamson your regard for the interest of this District would be greatfully [gratefully] remembered.

Possibly the most eligible way of effecting it might be by your giving permission immediately to the Troops to open a way agreeably to the order of secretary at war with the consent of the County Courts of Davidson & Williamson, and with the consent of respective owner of the lands, through, which it may pass.__

And at the same time to provide against the possibility of the courts and individuals not giving said consent, to write to the secretary to permit the said way to be opened as the County courts of Davidson and__ Williamson may respectfully order 1st Gov [Governor]. to write to County courts of Davidson & Williamson to permit the U.S [United States].

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[U.S.] to open the road according to order 2d [second] to write to secretary at war to permit troops to cut the road according to wish of Davidson & Williamson, and if they are unwilling to make order 3d [third] Then, to permit the troops to cut the road with permission of the owners of the lands through which it passes.__

4th Then to permit the troops to cut the road with the permission of the County Courts [added: and] of the same lands owners of the lands

I have got a young man who lives with me to throw there ideas together__ I have been sick nearly three weeks and am not now able to sit up long__ The ideas are not [unclear: commanded by I ] could wish__ The road is of great consequence; and unless an order is obtained from the Secretary of war to open it by Franklin The troops

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will be withdrawn, and the road lost for it would be difficult to get the consent of the owners of land not in the Country__ Col Butler says an order must be got from the Secretary of War, or we can't act__ As an individual let me in [unclear: intrust ] you to endeavour to get the order of the Secretary of War to open by Franklin, by immediate representation

I believe Colo [Colonel] Butler expects such an appreciation will be made

[added: I am yr [your] most ]
John Overton
[added: Gov Roane]

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[added: Sup Office Ten [Tennessee]. John Overton
Governor Roane Knoxville]

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