Sullivan County, North Carolina Genealogy
See Sullivan County, Tennessee for further information about Sullivan County, North Carolina.
From 1784 to 1788 Sullivan County was claimed by the abortive, short-lived State of Franklin.
From "The State Records of North Carolina"
An Act for Dividing the County of Sullivan.
Whereas the extent of Sullivan county being one hundred and fifty miles in length, the settlements thereof and different water courses in the same, render it inconvenient and troublesome to many of the inhabitants thereof, to attend the courts and general elections, and other public meetings appointed therein:
I. Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby Enacted by the authority of the same, That from and after the passing of this Act, the said county of Sullivan be divided in the following manner, beginning where the boundary line between the commonwealth of Virginia and the State of North Carolina crosses the north fork of Holston's river, thence down said fork to its junction with the main Holston's river, thence cross said river due south to the top of Bayes mountain, thence along the top of the said mountain and the top of the dividing ridge between the waters of Holston's river and French Broad river to its junction with Holston's river, thence down said river Holston to its junction with the Tenasee river, thence down the same to the Suck where the said rivers run through Cumberland mountain, thence along the top of said mountain to the aforesaid boundary line, and thence along said line to the beginning: And that all that part of Sullivan county on the east side of the north fork of Holston's river, shall continue and remain a distinct county by the name of Sullivan; and all that other part which lies west of said north fork of Hoiston shall thenceforth be erected into a new and distinct county by the name of Hawkins: And for due administration of justice,
II. Be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a court for said county of Hawkins shall be held constantly by the justices thereof on the first Mondays of March, June, September and December, and the justices for the said county of Hawkins are hereby authorised and empowered to hold the first court in the same at the house of Thomas Gibbins; all subsequent courts for said county on the days appointed for holding courts therein, at any place to which the said justices shall from court to court adjourn themselves, until a court house, prison and stocks shall be built for said county of Hawkins; and then all causes, matters and things depending in said court, and all manner of processes returnable to the same, shall be adjourned to such court house; and all courts held in and for said county of Hawkins shall be held by commission to the justices in the same manner, and under the same rules and restrictions, and shall have and exercise the same power and jurisdiction, as are, or shall be prescribed for other courts held for the several counties in this State.
III. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to debar the former sheriff and collectors of said county of Sullivan as the same stood undivided, to make distress for any levies, fees or other dues now actually due and owing from the inhabitants of said county as it formerly stood undivided, in the same manner as by law the said sheriff or collectors could or might have done, if the same had remained undivided; and the said levies, fees and other dues shall be collected and accounted for in the same manner, as if this Act had never been made; any thing to the contrary notwithstanding.
IV. Be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That after the passing of this Act, the said county of Hawkins shall be continued and remain part of the district of the superior court of law and equity usually held for the district of Washington: And the said county treasurer of the said county of Hawkins shall from time to time account for, and pay to the public treasurer of this State for the time being, all public levies by him collected or wherewith he shall stand chargeable, in the same manner, and under the like pains and penalties as other county treasurers.
V. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Lewis Widener, John Miller, Hutson Johnston, Francis Doherty, Joseph Cloud, William Reid and John Carnes, be appointed commissioners, and they are hereby empowered, or a majority of them, to fix upon the most convenient or centrical place for building and erecting a court house, prison and stocks for said county of Hawkins.
VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all manner of suits, causes and pleas, whether civil or criminal, now commenced and depending in the county court of Sullivan, shall continue and may be prosecuted to a final end and determination, any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.
VII. And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That a tax not exceeding one shilling and sixpence per poll, and sixpence per hundred acres of land, shall and may be levied upon the Inhabitants of the county of Hawkins, for building and erecting a court house, prison and stocks in said county: And the sheriff or collector of .said county shall have full power and authority to collect and distrain for the same in like manner as in other public taxes provided, and shall be accountable In like manner, after deducting the usual per cents, for collecting the same and shall pay said money so collected into the hands of Lewis Wldener, Nathaniel Henderson and Thomas Gibblns or their survivors, who shall erect, build, or let the building or erecting said court house, prison and stocks to the lowest bidder, who shall give bond and security for the due performance thereof.
VIII. Be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said county of Hawkins, shall send three jurors to the superior court of the district of Washington. (Passed Jan. 6, 1787.)
In 1789 North Carolina ratified the Constitution, was admitted the union, and ceded her westernmost counties to the United States. The United States used these counties to create the Southwest Territory. This territory became the State of Tennessee in 1796.Sullivan County was part of these western counties now in Tennessee.