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Great stuff, Jack! I went to the unveiling of the new Farragut statue but didn't notice that one of the inscriptions said Jorge/George Farragut moved to the Knoxville area in 1792-- I think he actually arrived a couple of years before that. He was commissioned a Major of Cavalry by Governor William Blount on November 3, 1790. I found some really interesting information about his pre-Knoxville years in this volume: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/3...
This is the most amazing bit: In June, 1786, Jorge Farragut was living in Edisto, South Carolina, and was visited by a friend named Thomas Powell..."Farragut revealed the conspiracy in which he was already associated. A number of gentlemen of property and military talent in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia had subscribed a hundred thousand pounds sterling to purchase uniforms and ammunition in Europe for equipping five thousand men. They were to infiltrate the Spanish settlements under the pretext of colonizing and ultimately combine with a force from Kentucky to overthrow Spanish rule. This whole process might take several years to accomplish, of course."
Jorge Farragut was quite a significant person in his own right, but I have to wonder if his "foreign-ness" is the reason he doesn't appear more often in the history books alongside Sevier, Blount, McClung, and Ramsey.
The more I read about Jorge Farragut, the more it becomes obvious he was a trusted friend to this area's earliest leaders and was considered highly valuable partly because he was bilingual. This is from the James Winchester papers (http://www.state.tn.us/tsla/history/m...):"The other aspect of the War well represented is that of intelligence activities on the Gulf Coast by agents James L. Armstrong, George Farragut, Capt. S.H. Garrard, Lt. P.H. Hobart, Maj. I.P. Kennedy, Benjamin Lanier, Capt. M. McKinsey, Thomas Powell, John Pritchard, and Maj. Russell. The reports of these men concern British troop and naval movements in the vicinities of Mobile, New Orleans, Pascagoula, Pensacola, and Savannah."
Most accounts say Farragut left Knox County to take a position as a sailing master in the New Orleans area because he "longed for the sea." I doubt that was his real motive. He was appointed to the sailing position by Governor Claiborn of the Louisiana Territory, and he remained in close contact with Claiborn during the time when the U.S. took possession of Spanish land on the northern gulf coast.
"1811, January 25, George Farragut was appointed Justice of the Peace for the area at the mouth of the Pascagoula River." Quote from Dr. Wm. Flood’s letter to Gov. Claiborne: “Finding no persons able to read or write, in and around Pascagoula, and the inhabitants expressing great confidence in, and attachment for Geo. Farragut,**** (sailing master U.S. N.) I prevailed on him to accept for the time being, the commission of Justice for the parish of Pascagoula."
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