Greetings to All!
I hope everyone had a good Holiday Season and your Winter was mild.
Wonderful news for “We Tiptons”.
Following the death of Colonel John Tipton on 18 August 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter of condolences to Colonel John’s son, John Tipton II, dated September 14th, 1813. It was a great honor for the author of the Declaration of Independence and former President to recognize Colonel John’s passing.
“Col. John Tipton was a man of strong conviction and loyal determination. He was endowed with a high order of intellect. He possessed a high sense of honor. He was a personification of loyalty to State and Country.”
For decades, this story and the quote have been part of family lore and took on the aura of a Tipton Family legend. There was not documentation to substantiate the letter plausible as it was. It was recorded in We Tipton and Our Kin that the letter was copied into a family Bible in the possession of H. Hord Tipton in 1948.
In 2011, an anonymous donor gifted the Abraham Butler Tipton family Bible to the Sullivan County Department of Archives and History in Blountville, Tennessee. It took some months for the Archives to catalogue and conserve the Bible which is about 200 years old. Abraham Butler Tipton was the son of John Tipton, II and grandson of Colonel John Tipton.
On the 15th day of July, 1823, Margaret Snapp Weaks Tipton copied Jefferson’s words in the Bible to preserve the text and honor afforded Colonel John by this great founding father. Margaret was the wife of Abraham Butler Tipton.
Thus, after all these years, documentation to substantiate one of the most famous and laudatory of Tipton family stories has come to light. I want to thank our “cousin” Doug Holaday for discovering the donation had been made and informing the TFAA. Subsequently, I obtained eight pages of the Bible from the Sullivan Archives; these pages include Jefferson’s quote and other pages of family notes.
In 2008, I corresponded with Anna Berkes, Research Librarian, at the Jefferson Library in Charlottesville, Virginia. I gave her all the information I had regarding Jefferson’s letter to the Tipton family. Unfortunately, at that time the Jefferson Library could not confirm the letter’s existence. With this documentation, I will re-contact the Library in hopes they can track down the letter; it would be significant for the Tipton family and for scholarly research into the life of Colonel John Tipton if the Library could confirm the letter was written by Thomas Jefferson.
When Colonel John Tipton was in the Virginia House of Delegates, Thomas Jefferson was representing the fledgling United States in France so he did not serve in the legislature with Jefferson. However, Governor Thomas Jefferson appointed John Tipton as Commissioner of the Provision Law in May, 1780 so Jefferson knew Colonel John well and delegated this important Revolutionary War responsibility to Tipton.
Colonel John served in the Virginia House of Delegates with Patrick Henry, James Madison, Light Horse Harry Lee, George Mason and all the Virginia notables of the day.
John Tipton, II (1769-1831) was a famous Tennessean in his own right. He served in both the House of Representatives and Senate of the State. Upon his death on 8 Oct 1831, he was honored with the largest funeral procession in the history of Nashville. He was the Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives and was afforded a state burial in the Nashville City Cemetery where an impressive monument to his memory still stands.
Thanks to All our TFAA Member Donors.
It is encouraging to me that membership donations are being received to fund the TFAA agenda. The website is under construction. I gave a Tipton Family history program in Johnson City and showed the new film, The Lost State of Franklin, on March 13th. Of course, planning for our 2012 meeting at Maryville on October 6th is taking place. Our TFAA newsletter is very well received and has the benefit of informing Tiptons, Tipton descendants and interested persons plus providing the bond we all share in our common heritage and history.
Speaking of descendants, I have been asked frequently about my own lineage as a descendant of Colonel John Tipton (1730-1813). I am descended through his son Captain Jacob Tipton who died at St. Clair’s Defeat. Following through his son General Jacob Tipton, his daughter Lavinia Tipton Farrington, her daughter Ann C. Farrington Stone, her daughter Mary Patton Stone Gift, her daughter Annie Laurie Gift Hunt and her daughter Mary Frances Hunt Parrish, my mother.
Of note, General Jacob Tipton married Lorina Taylor, daughter of General Nathaniel Taylor.
In regards to the graves of William “Fightin’ Billy” Tipton and his son, Jonathan; I received the following email I want to share. Wonderful that Doug would take the time to honor these men and the Tipton family. The graves are on private property overlooking the Little River at the border of the present-day Knox and Blount county line south of Knoxville, Tennessee.
I was dumbfounded when I came across these markers today and the men’s service inscriptions. I am serving as a machine operator for a contractor for the TVA. I happened into the woods on top of the hill across from Green Acres on Alcoa Hwy. There stood the markers of these two men. After googling their names and Tennessee I was met by your family research results.
I am very impressed. You come from an undoubtedly passionate, honorable bloodline. I feel honored to have come across the memorials of these men. Just figured you would like to know that they were recognized today.
Best regards, Doug Arnold
Research resources available from the TFAA
Dale Reed’s book John Tipton, John Sevier, and The State of Franklin $ 17.00
John Parrish’s book The Life of Colonel John Tipton (1730-1813) $ 10.00
Teter Nave, Pioneer of East Tennessee by Robert Tipton Nave $ 30.00
Copy of Spoden Map, reprint courtesy Sycamore Shoals State Park $ 1.00
Copy of Keesee Map $ 2.00
Add $ 6.00 shipping and handling to the above prices.
Other research resources are available as follows:
The Watauga Land Purchases by Troy R. Keesee is available from the Sycamore Shoals State Park Bookstore.
History of East Tennessee 1740-1800 by George and Juanita Fox can be ordered from the authors at firstname.lastname@example.org. Very informative
There is a new book on the State of Franklin, the Lost State of Franklin by Kevin T. Barksdale which is available through bookstores.
Tiptons: The First Five Generations by Charles D. Tipton can be purchased on CD from the Tipton-Haynes Historic Site Bookstore.
The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin film can be ordered from Amazon.com
The embroidered Tipton family crest shown in the pictures above and modeled by John Parrish is available to all if you wish to have something embroidered. The set up fee has been paid so your cost would be the article you have embroidered and the charges from:
Doe Valley Printing, 1282 Riverview Drive, Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643. You can place orders by mail or contact Anita Remme at email@example.com. or call (423) 542-4616
Please share this newsletter with everyone you know that could be interested in our family’s history and association. If you are receiving this newsletter by snail mail, please let me know your email address so you can get the newsletter electronically and in color. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous newsletters are archived on the TFAA website.
The TFAA and President thank the many TFAA members and friends who support our Association financially. That support makes our family’s association prosper and achieve its goal to preserve Tipton family history in the present!
Please support the Tipton Family Association by making your membership donation to the Tipton Family Association of America on the TFAA website: www.tiptonfamilyassociationofamerica.com
Many Thanks to All Who Make Their Membership Donations to
The Tipton Family Association of America
Tipton Family Membership donations make the TFAA able to accomplish the goals of the membership. In recent years, the TFAA has re-established meetings and newsletters, made the book We Tipton and Our Kin available on CD, provided a plaque in honor of William “Fightin’ Billy” Tipton in Savannah, assisted research in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on the farmland of Colonel John Tipton and the successful quest to find the burial place of Major Jonathan Tipton. With your financial support, we can continue to succeed and do more!