HAYWOOD, JOHN, PAPERS, 1768-1796

The papers of John Haywood were presented to the Tennessee Historical Society by Dr. and Mrs. Oscar Noel, Jr., on June 7, 1983. The collection is composed of the notes written by persons from whom Judge Haywood solicited information before he wrote the first history of Tennessee, The Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee, published in 1823. Not all of the testimony and narrative in these notes was used in Haywood’s published history; some of it was used in modified form. All of it, however, represents one of the earliest written compilations and eyewitness accounts of early Tennessee history, particularly of the settlement of Middle Tennessee. The accounts of key explorers and leaders such as Kaspar Mansker and Edward Swanson are invaluable in this regard. The John Haywood Papers, therefore, constitute an important manuscript cache of highly significant testimony regarding the exploration, Indian warfare, and settlement of early Tennessee. Nearly all of this material concerns events that occurred prior to Tennessee becoming a state in 1796.