County Formation in Acts of Tennessee > Sullivan County


"An Act for securing the rights of such persons in the county of Washington as lie between the river Holstein and the line lately run by the commissioners of this state and the state of Virginia, as the dividing line between said states; and for dividing the said county of Washington into two different counties, an for other purposes."

I.  WHEREAS the boundary line between this state and the state of Virginia hath never, until lately, been extended by actual survey further than to that part of Holstein [sic] River that lies directly due west from a place well known by the name of Steep-Rock, and all the lands westward of the said place, lying on the north or northwest side of the said River Holstein, hath, by mistake of the settlers in that part of the county, been held and deemed to be in the state of Virginia, owing to which mistake, the said settlers have failed to repair to the proper offices to enter and secure their respective lands and improvements by the time required by law, in order to their having the preference of entry;  And whereas by the line lately run by the said commissioners of Virginia and this state, it appears that great numbers of good subjects have fallen into this state, who were before reputed to be in Virginia, and it is suggested that sundry persons have thereupon suddenly entered the lands and improvements of said settlers: For remedy whereof,

II.  BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF NORTH-CAROLINA, AND IT IS HEREBY ENACTED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE SAME,  That the said settlers and inhabitants, lying between the river Holstein [sic] and the boundary line lately run between Virginia and this state, shall have a further time of preference to all others allowed for entering their respective lands, plantations and improvements, until the first day of May next ensuing;  and that all entries made, or which shall be made, by any person or person whatsoever, for the improvements, plantations, or claims of others, where they have any time before the said first day of May been actually settled, and all proceedings thereon shall be null and void, and law to the contrary notwithstanding.

III.  AND whereas by the great extend of the said county of Washington, and the great number of inhabitants therein, it becomes highly necessary that the said county should be divided into two distinct and separate counties, by a line beginning at the Steep-Rock; thence running along the dividing ridge that divides the waters of the Great Canawee and Tennessee, to the head of Indian Creek; thence along the ridge that divides the waters of Holstein[sic] and Wataga [sic], to the mouth of Wataga [sic];  thence a direct line to the highest part of the Chimney-Top Mountain at the Indian boundary;  And that all the part of said county of Washington which lies northwardly of said dividing line, shall be erected into a new and distinct county by the name of Sullivan County;  and that all that other part of said county which lies southwardly of said dividing line, shall continue and remain a distinct county by the name of Washington.

[The reminder, except the eleventh section, unnecessary to be inserted.]

XI.  AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That where any inhabitant of Sullivan County, hereby erected, already hath or shall make an entry for lands with the Entry-Taker of Washington County, for which warrant of survey shall be executed by the first day of January next, the Entry-Taker for said county is hereby required to make out and direct the warrants for such surveys to the proper surveyor of Sullivan County.



Taken from The First Laws of the State of North Carolina (Cushing, 1984)