Thomas Talbot was born in Virginia and when a young man, moved with his father and brothers to the Watauga Settlement in what would become Tennessee, the first self-governing community in the United States. Along with his father and several of his brothers, he volunteered for militia service under John Sevier and was present at the Battle of Kings Mountain where he was wounded in the head by a musket ball. He served as the Sheriff for Washington County, North Carolina, a county that would become part of the State of Tennessee. When the citizens of the Watauga Settlement organized to form their own state government, Thomas Talbot was elected as the Clerk of the Senate for the short-lived State of Franklin. He married Ruth Greer, the daughter of another distinguished frontiersman, Andrew Greer. Together in 1785, they moved to Fort Nashborough which would in time become the city of Nashville. He purchased a large acreage north of the Cumberland River adjoining Eaton's station and extending from the Dickerson Pike to the river. Here in 1791 he built a large house and operated a plantation that included many fruit trees from which he made brandy. In 1804, together with his brother Clayton, he opened a tavern on the east side of the square that for many years would be a center of Nashville society and politics. Talbot's new tavern became the leading hotel of the city and it was here that a public dinner in honor of Aaron Burr was given by Andrew Jackson. In 1813, the tavern was the scene of the famous brawl between Andrew Jackson and John Coffee on one side and Jesee and Thomas Hart Benton on the other. Jackson was seriously wounded during this fight. Thomas Talbot was for many years one of the leading citizens of Nashville and died at his plantation home on 28 January 1831. Sometime before his death, he married Elizabeth Paw. All of his children were by his first wife, Ruth Greer.
His will was written in Davidson County, Tennessee on 18 January 1831 and proved in court on 7 August 1833.
I Thomas Talbot of Davidson County and State of Tennesseee being of sound and disposing mind do make and publish this my last will and testament. 1st. It is my will and desire that my executors herein after named to sell either at public or private sale all my estate both real and personal of which I am possessed or to which I am either legally or equitably entitled and it is my will and desire that my said Executors do sell all the property both real and personal which was purchased by Joseph Greer at execution sales and upon which he retains a lein, and after paying the said Joseph Greer the amount due him, my said Executors are directed to dispose of the same in the manner herein after directed. 2d. After my executors shall have paid all my just debts and have sold and disposed of all my property, it is my will that they distribute the proceeds as follows. To my five children Polly Hogg, Caroline Talbot, Joseph H. Talbot, Thomas J. Talbot and Eliza Jane Talbot each the sum of three thousand dollars each of them accounting with my executors for the value of the property they may each have heretofore received from me, which value shall be determined and settled by my executors. And [illegible] the property received by each shall be deducted from his or her distributive share above named. And if there shall be any residuum of my estate after paying the sums above named, then I do direct that the same be equally divided between the children which my daughter Sally Fletcher has or may hereafter have during her marriage with Thomas H. Fletcher and the children of my son Eli Talbot which he now has or may hereafter have by his present wife - that is to say one half of said residuum to the children of said Sally and the other half to the children of the said Eli to be equally divided between them. 3rd. It is my will and desire that my wife Elizabeth shall have all the negroes which she possessed in her own right at the time of her marriage with me and also Sithe, Reuben and Hannah who were received from the estate of her Mother. And I do give and bequeth into my said wife my bed and furniture complete, one of my horses of her own choice and three milch cows. Also I do direct that my executors do make to my said wife a proper and suitable support for one year after my decease to be laid off to her out of the provisions of the farm on which I now live. 4th. Should Joseph Greer not consent to a sale of the property by him purchased or should he succeed in resisting the right of my Executors to sell under this will, then it is my will and desire that my said Executors do make sale of all my property real and personal wherever it may be situated, and after paying all my just debts distribute the residue equally between my son Thomas J. Talbot and my daughter Eliza Jane Talbot. 5th. It is my wish that my Executors pay to my daughter Eliza as soon as practicable the sum of one thousand dollars, which shall be considered as a part of her distributive share. It is my will and desire that my said daughter Eliza have all my silver plate one bed and furniture complete with curtains, one bureau of her own choice all to be valued by my Executors and to be deducted from her distributive share of my estate. 6th. I give to my grand daughter Sophiah W. Hall the Serpentine bureau formerly her mothers. 7th. It is my will that my Executors do deduct from my daughter Caroline Talbot's share of my estate, whatever sum She required or may require to be paid her, in order to induce her to execute a deed of quit-claim to the land sold by Joseph H. Talbot in the western district. 8th. I do appoint my friend Joseph Greer of Lincoln County and Doctor Samuel Hogg and my son Eli Talbot Executors of this my last will and testament. And it is my wish that they shall not be required to give security for the execution there of by the County Court of Davidson: but that at all times all of my said Executors shall be under the control and direction of a court of Chancery. In testimony whereof I do hereby subscribe my name and affix my seal, hereby revoking all former will or wills by me made - January 18th 1831. Acknowledged in the presence of Nelson Lowery, Will White.
In 1802 ... where the Nashville Inn stood was a frame house owned by William T. Leavis and kept as a Tavern by Isham A. Parker, and afterwards by Clayton Talbot and others. A frame house on the north side of the square, where the Ensley Block now is, was owned and kept by Thomas Talbot for many years. [History of Davidson County, Tennessee, 1880)
Thomas A. Talbot [probably his son, Thomas J. mentioned in the will], died 8 July 1831 of cholera in Nashville, Tennessee (Obits from Early TN Newspapers, p. 360)
Thomas Talbot received a grant of 200 acres by the State of North Carolina, lying on the Duck River, beginning at Thomas and Alexander Greer's north east corner, west with Thomas and Alexander Greer's line crossing a large branch, cross fork of Lick Creek, crossed Duck River twice.
One of the female defenders of the Watagua Fort against attacks by Indians. For her service during the American Revolution, she was granted 2625 acres on the south side of Elk river in what became Lincoln County, Tennessee. She and her daughter, Sophia Hall were among the 1st members of the First Presbyterian Church of Nashville when the church was organized on 14 Nov 1814 by Rev Thomas B. Craighead
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