Blount, William

Blount, William, 1749–1800, American political leader, b. near Windsor, N.C. He served in the American Revolution and later became a legislator in North Carolina, a member of the Continental Congress (1782–83, 1786–87), and a delegate to the Federal Constitutional Convention (1787). Washington appointed (1790) him governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio (present-day Tennessee), and there he also had charge (1790–96) of Native American affairs. Blount handled this dual position successfully until financial difficulties forced him into a plan whereby frontiersmen and Native Americans were to help the British conquer Spanish Florida and Louisiana. Before the plan was discovered he presided over the Tennessee constitutional convention (1796) and became one of the state's first U.S. Senators. When the Florida plot was discovered he was expelled (1797) from the Senate. While impeachment proceedings (later dropped) were being instituted, Blount was elected (1798) to the Tennessee senate and was chosen its speaker.

See biography by W. H. Masterson (1954, repr. 1969).

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