Blount, William

Blount, William,

1749–1800, American political leader, b. near Windsor, N.C. He served in the American Revolution and later became a legislator in North Carolina, a member of the Continental Congress (1782–83, 1786–87), and a delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention (1787). Washington appointed (1790) him governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio (present-day Tennessee), and there he also had charge (1790–96) of Native American affairs. Blount handled this dual position successfully until financial difficulties forced him into a plan whereby frontiersmen and Native Americans were to help the British conquer Spanish Florida and Louisiana. Before the plan was discovered he presided over the Tennessee constitutional convention (1796) and became one of the state's first U.S. Senators. When the Florida plot was discovered he was expelled (1797) from the Senate. While impeachment proceedings (later dropped) were being instituted, Blount was elected (1798) to the Tennessee senate and was chosen its speaker.

Bibliography

See biography by W. H. Masterson (1954, repr. 1969).

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Blount, William

(1749–1800) governor, U.S. senator; born in Bertie County, N.C. After fighting in the American Revolution, he served in the North Carolina legislature and then represented North Carolina in the Continental Congress (1782–87). Appointed governor of Tennessee territory in 1790, he became one of the new state of Tennessee's first U.S. senators (1796–97). He was expelled from office when he became implicated in a conspiracy with the British to attack Louisiana and Florida, which then belonged to Spain. After his impeachment was dismissed, he was elected to the Tennessee senate.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.