The links below contain essays on historical figures and events associated with Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site. These essays were taken from the O Beautiful Land of the Mountains: A History of Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site. For purposes of consolidating certain sections, some of the essays have been modified and do not appear in their original format. The complete O Beautiful Land of the Mountains: A History of Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site, which expands upon the complete history of Tipton-Haynes, can be purchased at the site for $25 or by contacting the site via phone or email for a CD for $17 (which includes tax and shipping).
The French botanist André Michaux was a guest in the home of Colonel John Tipton during one of his expeditions in eastern North America. He recorded numerous spring wildflowers around the Tipton home and remarked that the nearby mountains were covered in bloodroot, spring beauty, and trout lily.
Born on August 15, 1730, Col. John Tipton resided in Baltimore County until 1747 when his family moved to the Shenandoah Valley near Winchester, Virginia. He moved his family to Washington Co. (TN) in 1783, which was then part of North Carolina. Col. Tipton served in the North Carolina legislature and led the opposition to the State of Franklin. A significant battle between John Sevier and Col. Tipton was fought in 1788 on his farm. He served as a member of the Territorial Assembly, U.S. Territory South of the Ohio River, and represented Washington Co. in the 1st General Assembly of Tennessee. Col. Tipton died in August of 1813 and is buried in the cemetery located on the site.
In the decades before the Civil War, David Haynes bought and sold tracts of land in Carter and Washington Counties. In 1837, the heirs of John Tipton, Jr. sold the 200-acre farm to David Haynes for $1,050. David never lived on the former Tipton farm, but in 1839, he gave the farm to his son, Landon Carter Haynes, as a wedding gift when he married Eleanor Powell that same year.
In 1820, Eleanor Powell was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee. Her parents were Dr. Joseph and Eleanor “Nellie” Wheeler Powell. Dr. Joseph Powell was born in Maryland before moving to live in East Tennessee. Sometime after having Eleanor, the Powell family moved to Carter County, Tennessee and Dr. Powell became a leading physician in Elizabethton, Tennessee.
In 1832, David Haynes shipped a piano from Baltimore for his daughter Emmaline Haynes (1822-1880). The piano was manufactured by Charles Albrecht & Co. of Philadelphia. An ox wagon was used to transport the piano, as there was no railroad in East Tennessee at the time. Emmaline, who married Rev. Nathaniel Greene Taylor (1819-1887), cherished her piano. In her portrait painted by Samuel Shaver, Emmaline is leaning on her piano while her two daughters – Mary Eva (left) and Rhoda Emma (right) – accompany her. In a handwritten ledger, Rhoda Emma Taylor recounts how her family and childhood were disrupted by the Civil War and how Emmaline defended her land and piano against some Confederate officers.
In 1860, nearly fifteen thousand people lived in Washington County, Tennessee, including about a thousand slaves. Three of those slaves belonged to Landon Carter Haynes: Charlotte, about 60 years old; George, about 35 years old; and Cornelia, about 9 years old.
A family tradition identifies the slave George Haynes as the half-brother of his owner – Landon Carter Haynes. Both Landon and George Haynes were sons of David Haynes. Landon’s mother was Rhoda Taylor Haynes, the wife of David, but George’s mother was a slave whose name is unknown.
The seventh of nine sons, John Tipton, Jr. was born on April 21, 1767 to Colonel John and Mary Butler Tipton. Born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, nothing is known of the early years of his life. Being the son of a prominent public figure, education would have been an important part of the life of Tipton, Jr., but unfortunately the level of education is unknown.
Landon Carter Haynes was born at Buffalo Creek on December 2, 1816. He graduated from Washington College in 1838 and read law with T.A.R. Nelson. He married Eleanor Margaretta Powell on March 26, 1839 and received the Tipton farm as a wedding gift from his father. He represented Washington Co. in the state legislature until 1861 when he was elected to the Confederate Senate. After the Civil War he moved with his family to Memphis, TN where he lived until his death in 1875.
Sarah L. Gifford was borin in 1847 to Lawson and Mary Haynes Gifford. Around 1867, Sarah married Samuel Simerly. In 1882, she acquired the former home of Landon C. Haynes. Samuel and Sarah had two sons, Samuel and Lawson Simerly. On November 10, 1935, Sarah Gifford Simerly died.
By 1788 the State of Franklin had existed for over three years with no major conflicts with the North Carolina loyalists. Tensions, however, between the Franklinites and the North Carolina loyalists (or also called Tiptonites) developed into open conflict in February of that year.
In early February of 1788, the North Carolina sheriff of Washington County, Jonathan Pugh, was ordered by the county court under Colonel John Tipton to seize property of John Sevier, the Franklin governor, for his owed taxes to the state. Sheriff Pugh obeyed the orders and seized some of Sevier’s property, including several slaves, from his home while he was absent in Greene County. Sevier’s property and slaves were brought to Colonel Tipton’s cabin for safekeeping by Sheriff Pugh. This action led to the Battle of the State of Franklin.