John Montgomery (pioneer)

Obi-Wan Finale - The Loop


Colonel John Montgomery (c. 1750–1794) was an early American soldier, settler, and explorer. He is credited with founding the city of Clarksville, Tennessee. Montgomery County, Tennessee is named for him.

His family was of Scottish descent and immigrated to Virginia in the 17th century.

On November 28, 1753, he married Anne Agnes Crockett (born November 28, 1736), daughter of Samuel Crocket II and Esther Thompson.[1]

In 1771, Montgomery first entered the area of the Cumberland River. Much was learned in the expedition, but Indians forced the explorers back to Virginia.

In 1775, Montgomery was one of the signers of the Fincastle Resolutions, the earliest statement of armed resistance to the British Crown in the American Colonies. During the American Revolutionary War, Montgomery served under George Rogers Clark during his Illinois campaign. Under Clark's orders, Montgomery led an expedition against several Indian tribes to prevent the British from gathering them to attack Kentucky. For the remainder of war, he ran supplies between New Orleans and Clark's army in the north.

Montgomery explored the area of the county that bears his name in 1775 while on a hunting expedition with Kasper Mansker. In 1784, Montgomery purchased the land at the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers from the North Carolina for 100 British pounds and founded Clarksville. In 1789, he and surveyor Martin Armstrong persuaded lawmakers to establish Clarksville as a tobacco inspection point. Montgomery became the first sheriff of the district.

In 1780 he signed the Cumberland Compact and in 1793 commanded territorial troops in the Nickajack Expedition against Creek Indians.

Montgomery was killed near Eddy Creek, Kentucky on November 27, 1794, by an Indian ambush while hunting.

He is memorialized as a statue near Clarksville's Public Square.

John Montgomery and Anne Agnes Crockett Montgomery had thirteen children:[2]

  1. Rev. John Montgomery (January 21, 1758). Married unknown Finley.
  2. Esther Montgomery (February 8, 1775)
  3. James Montgomery (January 28, 1759)
  4. Samuel Montgomery (January 18, 1760) Married Polly Bishop.
  5. Joseph Montgomery (April 25, 1762) Married Elizabeth 'Betsey' Draper.
  6. Catherine Montgomery (January 20, 1772) Married Major Joseph Crockett, son of Major Samuel and Jean Armstrong Crockett
  7. Silas Montgomery (May 27, 1773)
  8. Stephen Montgomery (January 20, 1775)
  9. William Montgomery (September 22, 1776) Married Letitia Fowland.
  10. Rachel Montgomery (October 2, 1779) Married Major Samuel Graham, son of Robert and Mary Craig Graham.
  11. Nancy Montgomery (January 10, 1782) Married James Graham, brother of the above Major Samuel Graham.
  12. Elizabeth Montgomery (1784) Married Manassa Friel.
  13. Ann Montgomery (1786) Married Capt. James Craig, son of John Craig


  1. The Crockett family and connecting lines, Chap. II: Emigrant I, Samuel Crockett, pgs. 40-41
  2. The Crockett family and connecting lines, Chap. II: Emigrant I, Samuel Crockett, pgs. 40-41
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