Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789


Portrait of William Blount.
enlarge image icon William Blount (1749-1800).
Artist unknown.
Engraving, undated.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-6096A.

William Blount (1749-1800)

North Carolinian William Blount fought in the Revolutionary War, and remained in public service for the rest of his career. A delegate in both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, he was described by a fellow delegate as "no speaker, nor does he possess any of those talents that make Men shine; - he is plain, honest, and sincere."

After actively seeking the position of Governor of the western territory south of the Ohio River, Blount was awarded the position by President George Washington in 1790; the position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Southern Department automatically accompanied the position of Governor. By 1796, the southern territories' population had grown to the point that a new state -- Tennessee -- requested admission to the union, and Blount served as the first United States Senator from the state (1796). However, he was eventually expelled from the Senate for plotting with the British to attack Spanish Florida and Louisiana, in the hope of gaining new land for Tennessee.