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General William Trousdale - Thirteenth Governor of Tennessee
Written by Jay Guy Cisco From Historic Sumner County, Tennessee 1909

William TROUSDALE was born in Orange County, North Carolina, September 23, 1790. In 1796 his father, Capt. James TROUSDALE, moved to Tennessee, and settled on a grant of 650 acres of land on which the town of Gallatin was afterwards located. He was educated in the common schools of the county. In 1813 he volunteered for the Creek war, and was elected Third Lieutenant. Took part in the battles of Talladega and Tallahatchie.   Re-enlisted in 1814, and was at the capture of Pensacola, and in the battle of New Orleans, under JACKSON. After the close of the war he returned home and resumed his studies. Admitted to the bar in 1820. In 1827 married Miss Mary Ann BUGG. In 1835 he was elected to the State Senate. In 1836 he was made Major General of the Militia. He was Colonel of the Second Regiment of Mounted Volunteers in the Seminole War in 1836. After the close of the war he declined to accept the appointment as Brigadier General in the Regular Army, tendered by President JACKSON. He was a Democratic elector in 1840. In 1847 he was appointed by President POLK, Colonel of the Fourteenth United States Infantry, and as such participated in the battles of Contreras, Cherebusco, Molina del Rey and Chepultepee, in the war with Mexico. In this last battle he commanded a brigade. He was twice wounded, but refused to leave the field. On August 23, 1848, he was made Brigadier General by brevet. In 1849 he was elected Governor of Tennessee, and served two terms. In May, 1853, President PIERCE appointed him Minister to Brazil, which office he held four years. Died in Gallatin, March 27, 1872, leaving many descendants. [Note: William Trousdale was the 1st cousin of my Alexander Trousdale]


Alexander Trousdale (son of John Trousdale, Jr. & Elizabeth) was thought to be born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1766.  He married (1st) Fannie Clendennin about 1790 in Orange Co., North Carolina, and married (2nd) Edah Pearce.  In 1820, Alexander Trousdale was listed in the census taken in White County, Illinois:

1820 IL CENSUS - White County              

White males (21 & up) / All other White
#400   Alexander Trousdell            1 / 11
#401   James Trousdell                   1 / 2
#423   James Trousdell                   1 / 8
#457   John C. Trousdell                 1 / 4

Alexander Trousdale died in White Co., Illinois, on September 7, 1834.  


Mary (Fannie) Clendennin , wife of Alexander Trousdale, was first the widow of John Clendennin, a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War.....

From:  Gen. Abstracts in Rev. War Pension Files by Virgil White 

 Clendennan, John, BLW #1803-200, NC Line, soldier died in 1787 at "Big Harpeth" in Sumner Cty, TN leaving a widow (not named); sol's daughters & only heirs were: Ann, wife of Lewis Martin of Gallatin Cty, IL in 1831 & Rose Brisby who was living in West TN, an Alexander and James Trousdale were witnesses on 25 Oct 1831 in Gallatin Cty, IL.


22 May 1801 - John Clendening of N.C. bound unto Thomas Kennedy of Va. for 500 lbs. Va. currency...16 Jan. 1786 to make a deed for 400 acres of first rate land within 20 miles of Nashville on Cumberland in the State of N.C.

Lewis H. Arnold deputy clerk of Bourbon Co., Ky., certifies bond by oath of Andrew Kinkead.

Feb. 1802 - Thomas Kennedy complains of William Wilson, Admr. of  John Clendening, dec' the time of his death a plea of covenant the town of Franklin on 16 Jan. 1786 made and executed writing agreeing to make a deed to said Kennedy...deed was never made.  [Miscellaneous Records, Williamson Co., TN, Vol. 6, by Louise Gillespie Lynch]

 CLENDENING, John - Died before 6 Apr 1786 when Mary Clendening was appointed administratrix. (Dav TN, Co Ct Min, A/119) 14 Oct 1794 Alexander Trowsdell, administrator in right of his wife, made a settlement. (Ibid B/214) *

TROWSDELL, Alexander - Married before 14 Oct 1794 to Mary Clendening, widow of John Clendening, deceased. (Dav TN, Co Ct Min, B/214)*

*[Tennessee Tidbits, 1778-1914, Vol. I, compiled by Marjorie Hood Fischer, Southern History Press]


John Clendenin, ca 1730-ca 1786, was a first settler on the Haw River.  He is said to serve in the Revolutionary War (Ensign to Captain) being captured at Eutaw Springs 8 September 1781. [Roster NC Soldiers]  [History of Alamance County, North Carolina, by Stockard]

Alexander and wife Fannie (who died in Tennessee in 1796) were the parents of John Cornelius Trousdale, b. 1791 in Orange Co., NC; Polly (Mary) Trousdale, b. July 6, 1793, and James T. Trousdale, b. October 7, 1795, in Montgomery Co., TN.  [Note: Alexander Trousdale married 2nd Edah Pearce with whom he had several more children.]


Polly Trousdale, daughter of Alexander and Fannie, first married James Sullenger. The book Early Pioneer Gravestones of Pope County, Illinois, states: "In 1812 Peter's son James [Sullenger], at age about 20, married Mary (Polly) Trousdale in Livingston County [KY]."   The book further states that around 1812 or 1813 James and Polly moved to Gallatin County, Illinois. James Sullenger died in 1815 and in 1816 Polly married John S. Patillo.

Alexander T. Sullenger, the son of James and Polly (Trousdale) Sullenger, was born in 1814.  He participated in the Black Hawk war in 1832.  Alexander moved to Hamilton Co., Il, where he married Eliza Anderson. 



"Alexander T. Sullenger, coroner, of Hamilton County, Ill., was born in Gallatin County, January 15, 1814, son of James and Mary (Trousdale) Sullenger, natives, respectively, of Guilford County, N.C., and Montgomery County, Tenn.  The parents married, in 1812, in Kentucky, and soon went to near Shawneetown, where the father farmed until his death, about 1816.  He was a soldier of the Revolution, and some coins he received--a 3 shilling scrip of March 25, 1776, saying the penalty for counterfeiting is death, and a $5 piece of January 14, 1779--are held as relics by our subject.  Alexander T. was reared in his native county on the farm with his mother and step-father, J.S. Patillo, and secured but a limited education.  December 10, 1835, he married in this county.  His first wife, Eliza, daughter of John Anderson, an early settler of the county, died in 1880, leaving twelve children, seven of whom are living.  In November, 1882, he married Mary Jones, a native of Herefordshire, England.  He is a Democrat, and first voted for Jackson, one of the few now living who cast their first vote for Old Hickory.  He was made coroner of Hamilton County in 1837, and has held the office half a century.  He was justice over twenty years.  He was a soldier of the Black Hawk War, under Capt. Joel Holliday, of Gallatin County, in First Regiment of the First Brigade, commanded by Gen. Posey, and is now one of the four survivors of this war in the county.  He has been a Mason thirty-eight years, and has been in the marble business thirty-five years.  He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and a most respected pioneer.  He tells the following well-vouched story: Robert Page, Alfred Moore and Moses Shirley were to survey a road from Old Frankfort to McLeansboro, when Moore suggested probably the cheapest and most novel method ever used.  Each of these gentlemen had a mare and cold, the former of which each rode to Frankfort, leaving the colt at home.  The mares were turned loose when they arrived, and the bee lines they made for their respective offspring is said to have answered every purpose."  Bio of Alexander T. Sullenger in the Hamilton County [Illinois] book, page 742-743


(Also see Davidson County, Tennessee)




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