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Tennessee

The US50 - A guide to the fifty states.  The first white man known to have come to Tennessee was the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in 1540. Sometime after de Soto's explorations, the native population diminished and the area was largely used as a hunting ground by the Choctaw, Cherokee, Shawnee and Chickasaw. The first permanent white settler was William Bean, who in 1769, built a cabin on the Watauga River in northeast Tennessee. The first constitution ever written by white men in America was drafted in 1772 by the Watauga Association at Sycamore Shoals near Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Wildernet - Tennessee.  This southeastern state is comprised of vast woodlands, wide river valleys and Appalachian highlands. Nashville, the state capital, and Memphis are the two largest cities in the state.  Eastern Tennessee is best know for the nationally administered properties in the region. The Big South Fork National River and National Recreation Area lies along the border with Kentucky, encompassing nearly 125,000 acres of scenic river valleys. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park also lies on the northern Tennessee border with most of the park in Kentucky. The eastern border of the state is protected from north to south. The Cherokee National Forest encompasses 625,000 acres of this area with the lands of Great Smoky National Park comprising the remaining border lands with North Carolina.
State of Tennessee state information websites and start pages online.  
State of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.  Destinations, details, and maps at your fingertips.
The Tennessee Department of Conservation's Geology Division.  The Division of Geology is the lineal descendant of the first Tennessee Geological Survey, established in 1831, and thus one of the oldest geologic service and research organizations in the country. The Division advises other state agencies and federal and local organizations on matters relating to Tennessee geology.  Contains a map of the state of Tennessee.
homepage.  The 10,000-acre natural treasure, donated to the State of Tennessee by Bridgestone/Firestone and officially designated the Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness, includes over 12 miles of the Caney Fork River Gorge in White and Van Buren Counties.
The Geologic Story of the Ocoee River.  The Ocoee River has cut a steep, winding channel into a mountainside of hard rock.
TVA Home page.  TVA achieves excellence in public service for the good of the people of the Tennessee Valley by supporting sustainable economic development, supplying affordable, reliable power, and managing a thriving river system.  There are seven states in TVA's power service area.
TennesseeAnytime The Official Site Of The State Of Tennessee.  Welcome to Tennesse State Parks.
History of Tennessee Counties.
Tennessee Genealogy at its best -- TNGenWeb.  
TNGenNet Map Project. Maps Tennessee. Old time maps.
TNGenNet Inc. Indian Land Cessions Maps and Treaties in Tennessee. Indian Treaty Maps
TNGenNet Inc. The Intruders. Illegal settlers on Indian Lands in Tennessee. Squatters.
TNGenWeb The Land of Our Ancestors Tennessee land history.
TNGenNet Map Project. Maps Tennessee. Old time maps.
Tennessee Genealogy First People of Tennessee, Indian, Native American, Cherokee, Chickasaw.
State TopoView Tennessee from the National Geophysical Data Center.
National Forests By State from the USDA Forest Service web site.
Tennessee Online.  Tennessee's online history magazine.   The Virtual Museum contains the Rocky Mount Museum the site of the oldest original territorial capital in the United States;  the Tennessee State Museum, established in 1937, one of the finest state museums in the nation; Fort Loudon played a significant role in helping Great Britain secure the trans-Appalachian region from France during the Seven Years War, otherwise known as the French and Indian War. As the first planned British fort, Fort Loudoun helped ally the powerful Cherokee Nation to the English cause and block further French penetration of the area from the west; the Davy Crockett Birthplace, and the John Sevier home.
Tennessee State Symbols Information from 50states.com.
Southeast Archeological Center.  Saving the Future by Knowing the Past.
The World of the Vikings; the definitive guide to viking resources on the internet
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  The list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was originally compiled around the second century BC. The first reference to the idea is found in History of Herodotus as long ago as the 5th century BC. Decades later, Greek historians wrote about the greatest monuments at the time.  Also features a clickable map of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
Cultural Maps, the immediate goal is to build a digital American Historical Atlas,  from American Sturdies at the University of Virginia.  Contains U.S. Territorial Maps 1775-1920.
Irish History on the Web.  The source for information on Irish history.
Welcome to Colonial Williamsburg.  Experience life in the 18th Century and see what it meant to choose to be an American.
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.  Search for Web sites, list servs, and other electronic resources by keyword. Use the optional restrictions to limit your search to a particular discipline or resource type.

The Intruders. Illegal settlers on Indian Lands in Tennessee.   The Intruders were those white folk who illegally settled on Indian lands. The term squatters could also be applied to them. From the time of the first intruder who broke the King’s law, to last treaty of removal, the intruder was a bane to the authorities (and the Indians).
An ORDINANCE for the Regulation of INDIAN AFFAIRS. August 7 1786.
A Congressional Proclamation, December 12, 1788.
An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse With the Indian Tribes, July 22, 1790.
Indian Land Cessions Maps and Treaties in Tennessee. Indian Treaty Maps. Treaty with the Cherokee, Treaty of Holston 1791.
George Washington to Edmund Randolph, October 10, 1791. From George Washington’s Letter Book.
Thomas Jefferson to William Blount, 1792.
An Act to Regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes, and to Preserve Peace on the Frontiers, May 19, 1796.
Indian Land Cessions Maps and Treaties in Tennessee.  The maps are from the original book Indian Land Cessions in the United States, Compiled by Charles C. Royce. It was published in The 18th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology -- 1896-’97, Vol II, Smithsonian Institution, printed by the Government Printing Office, 1899. The cession (treaty) text is from Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Vol. II (Treaties), Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler, Washington : Government Printing Office, 1904. Both books are from the collection of Fred Smoot.
The Land of Our Ancestors Tennessee land history.  Trees of Middle Tennessee; Tennessee Land Terminology; Tennessee's Surveyors’ Districts; Tennessee's First Major 1806 Law; Tennessee 2nd Surveyor District Map; Tennessee 3rd Surveyor District Map; ca.1830 map of District South of the French Broad & Holston; 12th and 13th Surveyor District Map; North and South Boundaries of Tennessee; Metes and Bounds, Tennessee's Old Time Survey System; Military Bounty Land Warrants and the Glasgow Land Fraud;
Tennessee's Land Disputes With North Carolina; Colonial Period Indian Land Cessions In Tennessee; Cherokee Land Cessions; The Chickasaw and Their Cessions; Land Grants in Tennessee by North Carolina; Tennessee Counties Mentioned in North Carolina Land Grants; Title, Land Registration In Early Middle Tennessee Laws And Practice; Shelby's Fort and Squabble State.
The Junction of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Extracted from Henry Schenck Tanner’s U. S. Map.
Map of the Grants of the Georgia Western Territory. Territory of Mississippi. Mississippi Territory. Yazoo land fraud.
Natchez Trace Map, 1800 - 1830s.  The Natchez Road, later called the Natchez Trace, developed in the early 1800s. Originally, it was a series of linked game trails, latter used by America’s First People. The two major First Peoples that controlled the area through which the Natchez Road ran were the Choctaw and the Chickasaw.  In the early 1800s, many Tennessee and Kentucky farmers would take their farm goods to the lucrative New Orleans market. They built flatboats for their goods. They floated down the Cumberland, Duck and Tennessee Rivers to the Ohio River, then to the Mississippi River and southward to Natchez and New Orleans.  When is was time to return, the flatboats would be sold, or if necessary, abandoned. If they had made a good sale, they might buy a horse for their return trip. If the sale was bad, they might return on foot. In any case, in those early years, the route of choice was the Natchez Trace. When the Kentuckians arrived at Nashville, they would continue to central Kentucky via the “Wilderness Road.”  It is these return trips that have made the Natchez Trace famous (or perhaps infamous would be a better choice of words here). There are stories of murders along the Natchez Trace.
Goodspeed's History of Tennessee Counties.
The Tennessee Court System Prior To 1870.
East Tennessee Pre 1796.  At the time of entry of the first white men into what we now call East Tennessee, the area was Cherokee country. We can not be positive of the name of the first white explorer to see East Tennessee, but it most certainly was not Daniel Boone.
Middle Tennessee Pre 1796.  North Carolina owned her Western Lands beyond the Great Smoky Mountains. She ceded her rights to her Western Lands in 1790, and in the same year, the United States Congress created the Territory of the US South of the River Ohio, or as it was more commonly know, the Southwest Territory. In 1796, those lands became the State of Tennessee.
The Great Warrior Path lay the great route and thoroughfare between the northern and southern Indians, in their intercourse with distant tribes, in their hunting excursions, in their hostile expeditions and in their embassies of peace; this was the path of migration, the chase, the treaty and savage invasion. Besides its central position and its direct bearing, the great Apalachian [sic] chain could no where else be so easily ascended and crossed. Abundance of game, water and fuel, a healthful and moderate climate, an unoccupied territory, no impracticable swamps, or deep and wide streams to retard their journeyings, were all considerations that led to the selection of this path.
ROOTS-L Tennessee resources.
Tennesseans of the Revolutionary War.  When independence was declared on 4 Jul 1776, only East Tennessee was settled -- at that time a part of both Washington District, North Carolina, and Fincastle (later Washington County), Virginia , but Tennessee has been known as the Volunteer State since the 1780 Battle of King's Mountain when hundreds of Tennessee militiamen helped turn the tide of the Revolution in the South.
Tennesseans in the War of 1812.
Tennessee and the Civil War.  "There is a terrible war coming, and these young men who have never seen war cannot wait for it to happen, but I tell you, I wish that I owned every slave in the South, for I would free them all to avoid this war." - Robert E. Lee
Sickness and Death in the Old South contains:  Old Time Medical Terms; The Grave House; Christian Grave Symbols; Jewish Grave Symbols; Masonic Symbols; Finding Forgotten Graves; Facing East Burial Method; and Hilltop Churches and Cemeteries.
Tennessee Law, The Early Days.  Early Tennessee law found its roots in both older colonial laws and in some cases, newer federal laws.
Tennessee Genealogy at its best -- The Tennessee GenWeb's County Selection Page and a Clickable Map of the Three Grand Divisions of Tennessee.
Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection, part of the Knox Public Library System.
Eastern Part of the Territory of Mississippi, showing Counties 1809. Mississippi Territory.
Giles County Tennessee, Madsion County, Territory of Mississippi, 1805-1817.
Cherokee Country. East Tennessee. 1762 Map.
Headwaters of the Clinch and Holstein Rivers, 1774.  Southwest Virginia.
Early East and Middle Tennessee Maps.
TNGenNet Map Project. Maps Tennessee. Old time maps.
The Tennessee Civil War Home Page.  a virtual central repository for information about Tennessee in the American Civil War.
The mission of the National Medal of Honor Museum of Military History in Chattanooga Tennessee is: to share in the remembrance of, and serve as a memorial to those American Service Personnel who have answered their country’s call to arms, and answered by displaying the highest examples of military valor; and to publicly participate in the interpretation of American Military History.
Tennessee National Park Guide by State
TNGenWeb The Land of Our Ancestors Tennessee land history.
Old Business The Lost State of Franklin.  The Mystery of the lost state of Franklin which split away from North Carolina in 1784, but soon became history.
History of Western North Carolina - Chapter VI - The State of Franklin by John Preston Arthur.
The Gene Pool JTR's Colorful Family History.  Map and Timeline from Dave Foster's "Franklin: the Stillborn State and the Sevier/Tipton Political Feud"
TNGenWeb Project, Washington District, East Tennessee Pre 1796. Watauga Petition, 1776.  Petition of the Inhabitants of Washington District, INCLUDING THE RIVER WATAUGAH, NONACHUCKIE, &C., 1776.
XII. THE SOUTHWEST TERRITORY AND THE MCCORDS.  After independence, North Carolina and Virginia surrendered their claims to the lands now making up the states of Tennessee and Kentucky, which then became the federal Southwest Territory in 1790 under George Washington, America's first President. It was the counterpart of The Northwest Territory.
Tennessee, Genealogy -- Introduction to the History of TN Land Laws.  Whenever seasoned Tennessee attorneys are asked to discuss the history of the state's real property (land) laws and transactions, their first responses are usually grimaces. With the number of boundary and governmental changes, statutory revisions, treaties with Native American tribes, and fraudulent activities that have affected Tennessee lands, it is nearly impossible to give comprehensive treatment to the issues in a short treatise or speech.
GENEALOGICAL FACT SHEETS ABOUT TENNESSEE COUNTIES.

Bounty Land Warrants.  After the War of 1812, Congress enacted legislation to reward military service by entitling veterans to claim land in the northwest and western territories. This so-called "bounty land" was not granted outright to the veterans, but was instead awarded to them through a multi-step process beginning with a bounty land warrant.  Bounty land warrants weren't automatically issued to every veteran who served. The veteran first had to apply for a warrant, and then, if the warrant was granted, he could use the warrant to apply for a land patent. The land patent is the document which granted him ownership of the land.
RootsWeb Guide to Tracing Family Trees No. 14:  United States Military Records.Star Spangled Banner is an awe-inspiring testament to our nation's independence.
Land Records TerminologyExample of Indiscriminate Metes and Bounds.  "Metes" refers to the measurement of boundaries of a tract of land by direction (given in degrees, minutes, and seconds) and distance. "Bounds" refers to physical objects such as trees, creeks, and adjacent tracts of land.  State Land states include the 13 original colonies (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia), plus the five states formed from the territories of those colonies (Maine, Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia), and Texas and Hawaii. In these 20 state land states, the land is surveyed by metes and bounds. The descriptions of metes and bounds can be confusing at first when you try to plat them.  One such program, is "Deed Mapper" by Direct Line Software. This program allows you to do analysis of old deeds, leases, surveys, roads, claims, grants and patents and lets you plot the land description and work with it. One of the features is the ability to drag the plotted land description onto a map of the area being researched.
Acquiring Land. America was "new land", seemingly infinite in size, and it presented a new situation as far as land ownership was concerned. In order to get the Colonies to grow, inducements such as personal land ownership were made to settlers.  Who controlled the granting of all this land? The answer is a sequence of royal, colonial, state, and federal laws. In earliest times, the English, Dutch, and French crowns controlled the granting of land, normally through each colony's government, but sometimes through agents, proprietors, companies, or partnerships. Basically, the King claimed ownership of the colonial land, and distributed it according to a variety of laws subject to his approval. No matter that the land was already occupied by native tribes. What land could not be purchased could be taken by treaty or by force.  After the Revolution the new states continued to grant land, but there were problems because the boundaries of the old colonies extended westward towards the Mississippi. Thus, some land in present day Ohio was considered by Connecticut to belong to Connecticut, and other parts were governed by Virginia.
USGS GNIS (GNIS) name search for geographic places in the United States and it's territories.  
Shaking Your Family Tree Secrets in Old Deed Books.  There's more than just dull, dry land conveyances to be found in deed books. Sometimes family secrets are all spelled out in various records that were recorded in deed books.
Surveying Units and Terms
Surveying Units and Terms.  You can find definitions for most of these units, terms, and words in any good unabridged dictionary. There are also books dealing with units of measure and surveying.
U.S. Weights and Measures from the Learning Network.
'Where Two White Oaks Used to Grow', a case study in how to use a computer to solve the metes and bounds of your ancestor's land.
Cades Cove.  It records more than 2 million visits per year, more visits than are recorded by 44 of the nation's 54 national parks.  Preserved as a scenic and historic area, twice before the actual establishment of the park in the mid-1930s Cades Cove almost became a lake. Earlier timber interests who owned the land investigated the possibility of damming up the streams, flooding from one-half to two-thirds of the 6,853-acre cove, and generating power.  Even later those pushing for the establishment of the park sought to establish a man-made lake in Cades Cove. At that time there were no TVA lakes and water recreation opportunities in the area were scarce.  Fortunately that did not happen and the cove became world renowned for its scenery, wildlife, and preservation of history of the area
Cades Cove A Walk Through the Past.  The casual visitor to Cades Cove today will not find the full stories in the few scattered log cabins, the grazing beef cattle and the scores of whitetail deer. The cabins represent only the pioneer era, the cattle were added in the 1950s and the deer moved in only after the people moved out.  Today’s Cades Cove is a tourist exhibit that pleases the eye but does not accurately depict the lives of the human inhabitants who had to leave in order for the Cove to become part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  There are those who want to preserve the real stories of Cades Cove families. The Townsend Heritage Council and its Cades Cove committee are gathering oral histories, photographs, family documents and homeplace items of Cove families to be kept and displayed in a proposed museum near the entrance of the Smokies. The only things lacking — a building site, building and money for both. A target date of 2003 has been set for a building to be in place.
Exodus From Cades Cove.  The fate of Cades Cove families was sealed in April 1927 when the Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill appropriating $1.5 million for the purchase of land to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  With the appropriation came the power of eminent domain given to the newly created Park Commission. The commission could seize property through condemnation within the already established boundaries.  Throughout the years leading up the final plan, the park boundaries had been drawn and redrawn to include and exclude surrounding communities. When the ink dried, the settled community of Cades Cove was still within the park perimeter.
Welcome to The Smokies Traveler.  The Kermit Caughron house in Cades Cove was dismantled early Monday morning.   Great Smoky Mountains National Park Service personnel collapsed the house, the last private inhabited residence in Cades Cove.  
Cades Cove Places.  In the woods in every direction around the loop road in Cades Cove are barely noticeable roads, trails and homesites.  Occasionally, a few decaying logs can be found or the remnants of a rail fence and sometimes a spring with rocks still perfectly placed around the sides. However, the most tangible evidence of old homeplaces is the remains of chimneys.  The fireplace was the center of the home, the source of warmth and a place for cooking. At some places, only a pile of rock remains, while at others, the fireplace and hearth rock stand. In a few very special instances, the entire chimney stands alone after many decades of wind, rain, sleet, and snow
The Witt Shields House.  In 1966, I wrote a letter to the director of the National Park Service requesting that they consider the restoration of some of the finer buildings in Cades Cove.  The point I tried to make with the Park Service was that it was fine to restore the old log structures of the pioneers who settled the Cove. However, in fairness to these hardy people and to accurately portray the history of the Cove, some of the finer buildings should also be restored to show that as the years went by, the people made progress and changes for the better.  I received a short letter back from the Park Service informing me that those ideas did not fit with the Park Service idea of portraying a pioneer atmosphere. Shortly after that, my great-grandfather’s house was torn down, along with all the other better structures in the Cove.  The lesson here is that governmental entities are going to have their way come hell or high water regardless of whether there is any rhyme or reason to their actions.
Southeastern Genealogy Online's State of Tennessee contains Tennessee History; County Formation Maps; County Census Maps; and the Military History of Tennessee.
North Georgia Land - Yazoo Land Fraud.  In the early 1790’s lands "rich in hickory and oak with streams..." were sold to investors caught up in the intense land speculation fever sweeping the country. From the descriptions the land would be suitable for farming. Actually the land was a pine barren that covered 4 counties. The Pine Barren Scandal was quickly overshadowed in 1795 by the Yazoo speculative land fraud. The Yazoo Land Fraud and the Pine Barren Speculation are two episodes of Georgia history that are not only frequently misunderstood but often merged.
Yazoo land fraud, name given to the sale in 1795 by an act of the Georgia legislature of vast holdings in the Yazoo River country to four land companies following the wholesale bribery of the legislators; the territory comprised most of present Alabama and Mississippi.
Yazoo Land Fraud MS Local History Network
Yazoo land fraud.  After legislators were bribed to sell Georgia's western land claims around the Yazoo River to four land companies for $500,000, public anger forced a newly elected Georgia legislature to rescind the act (1796) and return the money.  Additional information can be found at Yazoo land fraud, Yazoo land fraud (U.S. History), Yazoo land fraud, Yazoo land fraud.
Judicial Activism, the Eleventh Amendment, and the Yazoo Land Fraud.  About the same time the states ratified the 11th Amendment, a U. S. Supreme Court Justice named James Wilson helped pull off the Yazoo Land Fraud. In 1795, the Georgia Legislature sold thirty-five million acres of state-owned land to four companies that had been formed by out-of-state hustlers. The sale price was about one-and-one-half cents per acre. The people of Georgia soon learned that James Wilson and his henchmen had secured this great deal by bribing all the legislators except one.
The Yazoo Land Fraud.  The Yazoo Land Fraud really began in 1785 with the organization of the Combined Society and the creation of Bourbon County, Georgia. The Combined Society was a secret society whose only purpose was "By means of certain influences brought to bear upon those in authority to obtain from the state (Georgia) large grants of land, either for immigration or sale, in either case for the end of making a large sum of money out of the transaction."
Georgia headright grants.  After the Revolution land speculation was rampant in the new states. Georgia's contribution was land scandal that that is mentioned by most history books to illustrate the practice, the Yazoo Land Fraud. Respected Georgia politicians decided to line their pockets with graft money, first in 1789 (this one fell through when the politicians realized that they were dealing with men who were shadier than themselves, including Patrick Henry) and again in 1795. Georgia passed a law granting land (20 million acres the first time, almost 40 million dollars the second time)
Constitutional Georgia.  Georgia governors after 1783 began to distribute land through a series of grants to friends and wealthy individuals. These grants fueled a land speculation known as Pine Barrens Scandal. In 1795 this scandal was overshadowed by a much more sinister plot known as the Yazoo Land Fraud. While the Pine Barren Scandal was created by speculators, the Yazoo Land Fraud compromised a large number of public officials, including both the present and some former governors. All officials who were still in office were forced from the government by reformer James Jackson.
Georgia governors after 1783 began to distribute land through a series of grants to friends and wealthy individuals. These grants fueled a land speculation known as Pine Barrens Scandal. In 1795 this scandal was overshadowed by a much more sinister plot known as the Yazoo Land Fraud. While the Pine Barren Scandal was created by speculators, the Yazoo Land Fraud compromised a large number of public officials, including both the present and some former governors. All officials who were still in office were forced from the government by reformer James Jackson.
The Pine Barren Speculation occurred during the years 1789 to 1796 when Governors Walton, Telfair, Irwin and Mathews, during their terms in office, made free gifts of three times as much land in Georgia's then twenty-four counties as the counties contained.
Fletcher v. Peck.  As a result of the 11th Amendment, the speculators could not sue Georgia in federal court. As a result of legislative action revoking jurisdiction, they were also barred from suing the state courts of Georgia. The only remaining option was to create what we now call a "test case." The Supreme Court’s jurisdiction extends to "cases and controversies," not to advisory opinions, and this lawsuit appeared to be collusive, as noted by Justice William Johnson in his concurrence.
Year 2000 The Series, Week 16.  In the 1790s Georgia claimed its western border stretched to the Mississippi River. Gov. George Matthews authorized the sale of 35 million acres of those western lands, an act now known as the Yazoo Land Fraud.
Chronology Of Georgia
How To Read A 200-Year-Old Document and Other FAQs.
AZILUM.  History and links.
Franklin County, Georgia, History, Resources, Links, and Events.  In 1789 the headright system passed from state to county government, making them even more corrupt, while the state began to grant hugh tracts of land to speculators. These policies ended with the Pine Barrens Scandal and Yazoo Land Fraud (1795-1796) and the headright system was replaced with a "land lottery" in 1803.
North Georgia Land - Yazoo Land Fraud.  Until 1803 Georgia distributed land based on the "headright" system. Each head of family had the "right" to 200 acres of land for himself and 50 acres of land for each member of his family, up to 1000 acres. After the Revolutionary War a number of governors signed land grants of significantly greater amounts than the law allowed.
Carl Vinson Institute of Government contains history and a Map of Yazoo Land Grants.
Yazoo Fraud Historical Marker.  The marker reads:  The notorious "Yazoo Fraud" act was passed and later repealed in the old State Capitol that stood here 1794-1807. The 1794 Georgia legislature sold 35,000,000 acres of land along the Yazoo River in what is now Alabama and Mississippi at 1 1/2 cents per acre. James Jackson resigned as U.S. Senator to run for the Georgia legislature and urge repeal of the Yazoo act. He succeeded in 1796. The act itself and all records of it were burned on the grounds here "with fire from heaven" aided by a sunglass. the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the land sales. Congress paid Georgia $1,250,000 for the Yazoo territory (1802), then paid the land buyers $4,000,000 (1810). The land went into the new states of Alabama and Mississippi.
fletcher.html.  The speculators (Peck as well as Fletcher) did not really want title. Rather, they hoped that a court ruling in their favor would put pressure on the national government to take over the Yazoo territory and compensate people who had bought land from Georgia. Victory in the Supreme Court was not seen as a way of gaining title to the land as much as an advantage in the battle to win compensation from Congress.
landlords taxes tax collector land owners private property.  The federal government had possession of the lands beyond the original 13 colonies. This was called the "public domain." Most of it was not homesteaded by farmers for their own use, but was granted in large tracts to politically-connected speculators to hold and rent out while the value increased. In fact, as noted by the historian Charles Beard, the U.S. Constitution itself was promoted by speculators who wanted a strong central government to clear out the Indians and use the federal government to grant them huge estates of land. The land grabbing started even before the U.S. Constitution was adopted, as the land in Kentucky, which was at first part of Virginia, was handed over to absentee speculators in the 1780s. Large land holdings there and later on in Alabama and Mississippi (where the Yazoo land companies took the land by fraud) enabled slavery to become extended and entrenched.
Intruders.  Letter from George Washington to Edmund Randolph, October 10, 1791. The Tennessee Company referred to  in the letter was one of three land companies in Georgia’s Yazoo land fraud. In 1789, the South Carolina Yazoo Company, the Virginia Yazoo Company, and the Tennessee Company were formed to buy land from the Georgia Assembly. For lack of good money the deal was not completed. In 1794, four new Yazoo companies, the Georgia Company, the Georgia-Mississippi Company, the Upper Mississippi Company, and the Tennessee Company managed to obtain through bribery, a vast amount of acreage, later this deal was voided.  Also containa a map of the Yazoo land.
Samuel Chase.  The Supreme Court, in an 1810 decision, upheld the sale of 25 million acres of Georgia land to speculators. The sale occurred after nearly the entire Georgia legislature was bribed. The Court held the act of sale by the Georgia legislature was constitutional under either principles of natural law or the contracts clause, Art. I, section 10, clause 1). The Republicans disaffected with Jefferson's efforts to settle the Yazoo land fraud scandal joined with the nine Federalists to block the 2/3 vote necessary to convict Chase. No more than 19 votes were garnered for any of the eight Articles of impeachment.