Monday, August 22, 2011

#7 & #10- William Carroll

We'd driven past the sign for Black Jack Cove Restaurant and Marina at least a hundred times, but on this particular Saturday, and with no set plans for the day, we decided to take a right off of Old Hickory Blvd and check it out. The sign on the main road is really well marked, but once you get back into the neighborhood in which it is located, things become a little less obvious and require a bit of driving around. As we were driving, we noticed an historic landmark sign and, as I tend to do, slowed down to read it. The sign stated that this was the location of the final resting place of Thomas Overton, an early settler of Tennessee and close friend of Andrew Jackson. Naturally, I pulled over, lept out of the car and ran over to take some pictures. After returning home from our day out I did a little more research on Thomas Overton and found out that he was Andrew Jackson's 'second' in his infamous 1806 duel with Charles Dickinson.

Now for those of you who don't know, Andrew Jackson was notorious for his temper and on many occasions would be involved in dueling. What sets this duel apart from Jackon's other duels is that after being shot by Dickinson in the ribs and a misfire by Jackson's gun he would take the time to reload and carefully aim and shoot Dickinson dead. Being a bit (under-statement) of a gravehunter (obviously), I immediately started researching the final resting place of Charles Dickinson, which was an interesting story in and of itself. After his death Dickinson was laid to rest in front of his Nashville Residence, over time the area would grow up around this house and, after his funeral box (which was used instead of a tombstone) disappeared, his final resting place was thought to be lost to the ages. Until a few years ago, when an historian would locate the burial spot and ask the permission of the current owners of the land to escavate their front yard, an amazingly they locatedwhat little was left of the late Mr. Dickinson.  These remains were removed and reinterred at the Nashville City Cemetery.  I immediately decided that I must visit his grave and anyone else that was related to this duel (if anyone of you can figure out who Charles Dickinson's second in this duel was please let me know) and then visit the location where the duel took place.
Charles Dickinson
So the next Sunday after lunch I force Amber and Major to visit the Nashville City Cemetery with me. Upon entering the cemetery you drive past the grave of William Carroll, War of 1812 hero, friend of Andrew Jackson and former Tennesseee Governor, so, of course, I stop the car and take a few pictures and pay my respects. Finally, after spending an hour driving around the cemetery looking for Charle Dickinson's grave we locate it, based on Amber's brilliant powers of deduction.

As soon as I can find out who Dickinson's second was and the location of the Duel I will be doing a post on that as well as a review of Black Jacks if we ever actually make it there.

#7 & #10
Name: William Carroll
Birth: 3 March 1788
Death: 22 March 1844
Age at Death: 56 Years, 0 Months, 19 Days
Interment: Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, TN
Term in Office: October 1, 1821–October 1, 1827 & October 1, 1829 – October 12, 1835
Pollitical Party: Democrat

William Carroll was born on March 3, 1788 in Pittsburgh, PA.  By 1810, William had moved to Nashville and was running a successfull mercantile business.  When the War of 1812 broke out he enlisted in the Tennessee Militia, which had been organized by future U.S. President, Andrew Jackson. He would fight in the Battles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans. Returning to Nashville following the war he would successfully run for Governor in 1821 and would serve three two-year terms. During his administration he would establish a penal code and a state prison. He was unable to run for a fourth term because of the term limit laws of the day. However, in 1829 when Sam Houston stepped down as Governor, William was able to run again and was reelected, a feat only acheived by one other Tennessee Governor. He would serve another six-years and remains to this day the longest seated Governor with his two terms tallying twelve-years and twelve days. William Carroll died on March 22, 1844.


  1. The marker in Old Hickory is actually for Thomas Overton, not John Overton. John Overton was buried at his home south of Nashville, Travellers Rest, and was later moved to Mt. Olivet. His brother, Thomas, owned a large plantation where Old Hickory Village and the powder plant were, and is buried there. John and Thomas were both close friends of Andrew Jackson. Hope this helps!

  2. Oh, and I hope you made it to the Black Pearl Restaurant at Black Jack Cove. YUMMY!

  3. Thanks so much for catching that flub there and thanks for checking out my blog. Unfortunately, we've still not eaten at the Black day though, one day. :-)