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Col Edward Douglass









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Research notes


The Douglass family took a prominent part in the early day affairs of Sumner County. Edward Douglass, Sr. was a man of education and said to have been a lawyer, though he never practiced law. He was one of the first magistrates of Sumner County. Prior to July, 1796, the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions were held in different places, at Edward Douglass' place in 1788 and 1790, and at the Ezekial Douglass place in 1793-1796. The first term of court held under the organization of the State of Tennessee was in July, 1796, and Edward Douglass, (Jr.) and James Douglass were among those commissioned as justices by John Sevier, the first Governor of the State. Both James and Edward (Jr.) served terms as Sheriff of Sumner County. Edward (Jr.) also served a term as a State Senator. Edward Douglass, Sr. died 2 Feb. 1795, Cage's Bend, Sumner Co., TN.

Peggy Bone Colella writes: History books say Edward Douglass was a Colonel during the Revolution. Some researchers, however, say he was not a Colonel but only a Private. The confusion may come from the fact that there was an Edward Douglass in Northampton Co., VA, referred to in the will of Ann Southey Harmar Littleton, in 1656, as Lt. Col. Edward Douglass. This Edward and his wife Isabella had a son Edward who is believed to have be either the father or grandfather of the Edward Douglass b. 1713. There is also a conflict of information on where Edward (b.1713) was born. Most likely correct is that he was born 10 Mar. 1713 in Virginia. In a "SKETCH OF THE DOUGLASS FAMILY", written in 1839 by James Douglass, son of Edward and Sarah (George) Douglass, James says that his father had said "he had but one own brother, John Douglass" and that their father died when they were young. Nothing has been found on this John Douglass, but he is said to have had 8 sons.


Edward Douglass married Sarah George, probably in 1740 or 1741. There is another conflict here. That Sarah was a George appears definite since the sketch by her son James, says she was a George, that she was born in 1711 and that he believed she had 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Researchers have had that she was the daughter of John George, b. 1704 VA d. 1784 VA, and his wife Mary/Millicent Jordan. This is definitely not correct for a couple of reasons, the main one being John could not have had a child at the age of 7 years. Also John George's family is well documented and he had 5 daughters and 3 sons. It is possible Sarah was the daughter of an earlier John George, but which one?!. (I'm working on this and would appreciate any input.)

Thomas Claybourne Douglass, a grandson of Edward, relates in his biography of the Douglass family that, "Shortly after my papa and mother moved, Grandpa Douglass and Grandma, with all their children, followed ... and settled the place that we all knew as the Uncle Reuben Douglass place on West Station Camp Creek." The same biography says, "that father (James Douglass) and mother moved to Tennessee in the year 1788 or '89." Thus, we see that, at least the sons Reuben and James preceded their father and mother to Sumner County, which was then a part of the territory of North Carolina, later to become the county of the State of Tennessee.

William Blount was Territorial Governor of the United States of America south of the River Ohio. He called a Constitutional Convention to be held in Knoxville, Tennessee, on 11 Jan. 1796. It is recorded that among other delegates present, there was Andrew Jackson from Davidson Co. and Edward Douglass, Jr. and W. Douglass from Sumner Co.

Colonel Edward Douglass and Sarah (George) Douglass.
Had children:
John Douglass, killed by Indians while on a mission to them from Colonel Anthony Bledsoe.
William Douglass, married Peggy Stroud.
Elizabeth Douglass, married William Cage.
Elmore Douglass, married Betsey Blakemore.
Ezekiel Douglass, married May Gibson.
Sally Douglass, married Thomas Blakemore.
Edward Douglass, Jr., married Elizabeth Howard.
Reuben Douglass, married Elizabeth Edwards.
James Douglass, married Catherine Collier.

A possible grandson is Dr James Douglass, whose wife Martha was murdered by his slave, Peter Douglas in 1848.


See also:

  • Col Edward Douglas

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