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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesTennessee

John RHEA

(1753-1832)

RHEA, John, a Representative from Tennessee; born in the parish of Langhorn, County Londonderry, Ireland, in 1753; immigrated to the United States in 1769 with his parents, who settled in Philadelphia, Pa.; moved to Piney Creek, Md., in 1771 and to eastern Tennessee in 1778; completed preparatory studies and was graduated from Princeton College in 1780; member of the Patriot force in the Battle of King’s Mountain in October 1780; clerk of the Sullivan County Court in the proposed State of Franklin and subsequently in North Carolina 1785-1790; member of the house of commons of North Carolina; was a delegate to the State convention that ratified the Federal Constitution in 1789; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1789; delegate to the constitutional convention of Tennessee in 1796; attorney general of Greene County, Tenn., in 1796; member of the State house of representatives in 1796 and 1797; elected as a Republican to the Eighth and to the five succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1803-March 3, 1815); chairman, Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads (Tenth through Thirteenth Congresses), Committee on Pensions and Revolutionary Claims (Fifteenth through Seventeenth Congresses); appointed United States commissioner to treat with the Choctaw Nation in 1816; elected to the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Congresses (March 4, 1817-March 3, 1823); actively connected with higher education in Tennessee; retired from active pursuits and resided on the Rhea plantation near Blountville, Sullivan County, Tenn., where he died May 27, 1832; interment in the Blountville Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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