After the county was organized and for several years, the tax rates were fixed and the lists of taxables were ordered to be taken by the county court. The county courts were authorized to tax property by a legislative act passed October 25, 1797, in which the types of taxable property were listed and the method of taking the taxes was prescribed. White polls consisted of “all free males and male servants between the age of twenty one and fifty years”; slaves, “all slaves male and female, between the age of twelve and fifty years.” 1 The amount of tax to be levied was also specified. In order to provide for the poor the county courts were also empowered to levy a poor tax upon property. 2
On February 25, 1801, the Blount county court ordered the list of taxable property to be taken. 3 The tax rate for the year was the same as the preceding year, all that the law would allow. 4 Meanwhile, the poor tax had been fixed at six cents on every hundred acres of land, six cents on each black poll, and three cents on each white poll. 5
Tennessee Taxation Guide
Tax records tend to be one of the least used resources available to genealogists and historical researchers. Read the official guide on how to use these records in your Tennessee genealogy research.
By the provisions of the state law regarding the taxing of property the clerk of the county court was required to return “the bond given by the said sheriff for the collection of public taxes, and shall without delay transmit the same, together with a copy of the tax list of his county, to the treasurer of the district, and also a like copy to the next meeting of the general assembly.” 6
The following lists are transcribed from a microfilm copy of an original certified copy returned by James Houston, Blount County court clerk, to the Tennessee general assembly, now on file in the Tennessee Archives. They are not of record in Blount County. In the Archives there is a similar list for 1800, but two captains’ companies are lacking; also a supposedly complete list for 1805. All of these lists have been microfilmed by the compiler, through the courtesy of Robert T. Quarles, Tennessee Archives, Nashville, and are available in the McClung Collection, Lawson McGhee Library.
While these tax lists are for 1801, it should be pointed out that a great majority of the men listed as owning land did not obtain a clear title to their land until after 1806, when the compact of that year was entered into between the state of Tennessee, the United States, and North Carolina. By the provisions of Tennessee law the settlers south of French Broad River were given the opportunity of purchasing the lands which they claimed by right of pre-emption and occupancy which had been recognized in the Cession Act of 1789 and Article XI, section 31 of the Constitution of 1796. They were to be charged only $1.00 an acre instead of the minimum price of $2.00 an acre established for other unappropriated lands by the compact of 1806. These Tennessee grants are on file in the Land Office at Nashville, and very few of them are of record in the Blount County Courthouse at Maryville.
There is a total of 680 names on these lists, which is of interest in contrast of the total population of Blount County according to the territorial census of 1795 of 2,816 (of whom 183 were slaves), and of 5,516 according to the “Schedule of the whole number of Persons in the District of Tennessee,” 1801. In the latter year the population of Maryville was 71. 7
All of the names on these lists cannot be identified due to lack of space; therefore, the compiler has included notes only on a few representative ones. Of great assistance in the compiling of these notes have been the Papers of Will E. Parham in the McClung Collection.
1801 Blount County Tennessee Tax List
- Tax Rate of Captain Bogle’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain Montgomery’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain Alexander’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain McGinley’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain Cowan’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain Scott’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax Rate of Captain Gillaspie’s Company, Blount County, 1801
- Tax rate of Captain Kelley’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain Colville’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain James Aleson’s Company for the Year 1801
- Tax rate of Captain DeArmand’s Company for the Year 1801
Creekmore, Pollyanna, Early East Tennessee Taxpayers, II. Blount County, 1801; published in the East Tennessee Historical Society Publication, vol. 24, pp. 125-154, Knoxville, Tennessee : East Tennessee Historical Society, 1929-1989. Images are from the Early Tax Lists of Tennessee. Microfilm, 12 rolls. The Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.
- George Roulstone (comp.), Laws of the State of Tennessee (Knoxville, 1803), 114-20. Hereafter cited as Roulstone, Laws.
- Ibid., 121-23.
- Minutes, February 25, 1801.
- Ibid., February 28, 1801.
- Ibid., November 29, 1800.
- Roulstone, Laws, 118.
- Carter, Territorial Papers, TV, 404; Second Census; Return of the Whole Number of Persona within the Several Districts of the United States. .. (reprinted [Washington], 1802; photostatic copy in University of Tennessee Library, Knoxville), p. 2R.