Frontier Swashbuckler: The Life and Legend of John Smith T by Dick Steward

By Dick Steward

Few frontiersmen within the overdue eighteenth century and early 19th century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for event as did John Smith T—pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, armed forces colonel, miner, pass judgement on, and people hero. during this interesting biography, Dick Steward lines the colourful Smith T's lifestyles from his early days in Virginia via his younger maturity. He then describes Smith T's impressive profession within the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to realize land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.

Born into the 5th new release of Virginia gentry, younger Smith first made his identify at the Tennessee frontier. It used to be there that he extra the "T" to his identify to differentiate his land titles and different organizations from these of the hosts of different John Smiths. via the overdue 1790s he owned or laid declare to greater than 1 / 4 million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.

In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to achieve keep an eye on of its lead-mining district via displacing the main strong American within the area, Moses Austin. He bought such public positions as pass judgement on of the courtroom of universal pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the defense force, which enabled him to mount a lively attack on Austin's digital monopoly of the lead mines. even though neither part emerged a winner from that ten-year-old clash, it was once in this interval that Smith T's status as a gunfighter and duelist unfold around the West. referred to as the main harmful guy in Missouri, he was once acknowledged to have killed fourteen males in duels.

Smith T used to be additionally famous via many for his solid works. He donated land for church buildings and faculties and used to be beneficiant to the terrible and downtrodden. He epitomized the outlet of the West, aiding to construct cities, roads, and canals and organizing buying and selling expeditions.

Even even though Smith T was once essentially the most infamous characters in Missouri background, by way of the overdue 19th century he had all yet disappeared from the annals of western heritage. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue either the guy and the legend from old obscurity. whilst, it offers worthwhile insights into the commercial, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.

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To the Western Frontier 29 belief that Spanish control over these lands, and especially the Mississippi River, “perpetually exposed” the United States to commercial danger. ” Smith T of course hoped to speed the day of delivery. Not surprisingly, there was considerable consternation in both Missouri and Washington when rumors began to circulate about the possible transfer of the Louisiana Territory to Napoleon. Historians are very familiar with Jefferson’s remark that on that date the United States must marry itself to the British fleet.

The latter was located approximately eight miles from the town of Potosi. It was here that Smith T set up his major mining operation and his place of residence. For Austin, Smith T’s presence at Shibboleth was uncomfortably close. In addition to these tracts, Smith T claimed that he had been granted 1,000 arpents of mineral land near Mine à Breton. This mine was the heart and soul of Austin’s enterprises and the place of his residence, Durham Hall. Smith T, however, had only begun to make his presence felt.

Courtesy of State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia. 30 Although he would soon move again, Kingston had become, at least for the time being, his most likely permanent residence. S. Army. The town, which he helped to found, was on the fringes of the old state of Franklin. 31 The original holder of the land had been Stockley Donelson, a brother-in-law of Andrew Jackson. Donelson was also related to the North Carolina secretary of state, James Glasgow, the processor of land grants in that region.

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