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Col. John Carter of Watauga
Posted by: Dick Zieman (ID *****1423) Date: February 17, 2013 at 14:45:18
In Reply to: Col CARTER -- d abt 1777/1778 Washington Co NC (later,TN) by Winnie Gilreath Westbury of 22754

John of Watauga has distinct DNA - he is not a descendant of King Carter, yet behaved in every way and manner as if he were. Current thinking is that he has a MATERNAL link back to the King. In any case, he and his son Landon founded today's Carter County TN. Landon was an elected Lt. at the Battle of Kings Mountain and went on to become General of the Tennessee Militia.

"Mrs. J. Frank Seiler, a Carter descendant whose lifelong research on the Carters appears in the
Sycamore Shoals collection, believed that John of Watauga was this son. 83. She might have
found confirmation of her belief in at least one Carter genealogist, who identified a John, son of
John II, as a son by a first wife who died before John II married Elizabeth Hill of Shirley". 84.

"In this case, a major hindrance to historical knowledge is the over-eagerness of
Tennesseans to establish a connection to the wealthy elites of Virginia: such a connection adds
legitimacy and prestige to Tennessee's rather unsavory formative years. This eagerness is also
manifested on a personal level: although she undertook an extraordinary amount of research, as a
descendant of John Carter, Mrs. J. Frank Seiler had a vested interest in establishing a link to the
"King" Carter clan. 87. [See *** below] John of Watauga might have been a remarkable man; he was
certainly shrewd in his political affairs and a demonstrated leader, but that is not necessarily the
result of a prestigious ancestry".

Skipping ahead to the age of our enigmatic John Carter:

"The attacks finally came in July of 1776. John Carter, who had been appointed Colonel
by the Committee of Safety, had command of Fort Watauga. This was apparently the only action
Carter saw during the Revolution. The Draper Manuscripts, collected during the mid-nineteenth
century, refer to Carter as a "Rather old man" who, "being also the entry-taker for the county,
never went out on campaign." 59. Creekmore and Spoden, 826.

We get proof of the death of John instant two pages later - this is the basis for his "untimely death":

"In 1780, Tory properties were declared "subject to interest." Carter and Sevier "entered a good
deal of these lands," 68 and the loyalists were prepared to take drastic action to keep their homes.
The loyalists planned to visit Carter's office and, if their properties had indeed been taken, the
Tories planned to kill Carter and Sevier. The wife of one of the men, however, betrayed the plan
to Sevier, who had "befriended her, and furnished her with the necessaries of life" while her
husband was away. Carter and Sevier decided that the best course of action would be to copy the
record books, leaving the spaces beside the Tory properties blank, and hide the genuine records
in the woods. The plan, however, hit an unexpected obstacle: Carter caught smallpox in late
1780 and died in early 1781. 69. Creekmore and Spoden, 826-7; Williams, Tennessee During the
Revolutionary War, 193: "On the 3rd of February, 1781, Sevier was commissioned by Abner Nash
as full colonel of Washington County, in place of John Carter, deceased". "


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