Topography and Migration, Bledsoe County, Tenn.

The Land

Bledsoe is divided into three distinct areas by nature...the Cumberland Plateau, Walden's Ridge and the Sequatchie Valley.

The Cumberland plateau was named for the Duke of Cumberland by Dr. Thomas Walker, a Virginian. Sequatchie/Sequachee is of Cherokee origin and means "hog trough" or possibly opossum. There are two stories of the naming of Walden's Ridge. One story supposes it is named for a hunter, John Walling who died there; the other suggests it was named for Elisha Walden.

Many early settlers were farmers. The rich fertile land around the Sequatchie River provided the perfect environment for the corn crops which were the mainstay of the settlers.


Most early settlers in Bledsoe county came from eastern seaboard states (North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina ) or the counties of upper east Tennessee namely, Roane, Grainger, Anderson and Knox. Expansion was rapid in the early days of the county. More than 3000 people immigrated in the 5 year period between 1805 and 1810.




The significance of this petition is that it is the first document we have found that proves Benjamin Grayson, sr. in Bledsoe county, Tenn. with his sons.  See the biography of Benjamin for other details....RRG 

2-25-1809; Petition of citizens of Bledsoe County who settled in the Indian Boundary Line before it was run and who left their improvements asking that some provision be made to restore their property when the Indian title is extinguished.

John Anderson Joseph Grayson Eli Thurman Saml Terry
Peter Looney James Standefer Thomas Allred John Portman
John Thomas Wm Lee Jesse Roberts John Smith
Benj Grayson John Walker T.Coulter Issac Stephens
Robert Long/Lang JameGooden William Roberson John Rogers
James Roberson Geo Skillern Daniel Wood John Julien
Stephen Bishop Michael Rawlings George C. Cozby John Dwiggins
Alexr Coulter John Hutson Timothy Hixson Mills Robinson
Archibald Beard Jos/Jas Hoge Joel Hillerd Charles Copland
J. Narramore Ephraim Hixson
(name written in German)
Forgason Jackson Jesse (or Josep) Grayson
Wren Grayson Stephen Chelton Adam Lamb John Scofy?
Steven Sutton Sr. Richard Moon Wm Holland Benj Grayson Snr
John Stanfill James Hoose? Jonathan Basham

With thanks to Dr. George E. Fox for the transcription as well as the digital reproduction of the document.