Nashville news: 1780-1789

Marketing Nashville to the North — The Connecticut Gazette carries a letter from a settler, dated 5 Sept. 1788:

I have travelled a very considerable part of the western country from fort Pitt to the Mississippi, and I have seen none which I think equal to this. The soil is as good as any, and the climate far preferable — if you go further northward it is too cold, if further southward it is certainly too hot; this then must be in the temperate zone. As to the country further northward, we far exceed them in many useful crops, we are at no expence to winter our stock — they are. We are much nigher trade than Muskingum, being 80 miles further down the river; which must be a great advantage, as our neighbours the Spaniards have of late given us very great indulgences — paid us ten hard dollars per hundred for our tobacco, and appear pleased with trading with us; they proffer to pay for a considerable part of the property which they have confiscated. From every circumstance I think there is very great encouragement here for emigrants from your country. One day’s labor in a week here, is as profitable as the labour of a week with you, in raising provisions….

From a family history authored by George Eleazer Bushnell of Nashville in 1945 and now available online (see pp. 227-28), we learn a little about the adventurous E. Bushnell who sent the missive back east:

*432. Eusebius, b. Norwich, Conn. 1 Feb. 1748, bapt. 12 Feb. 1749, d. in Florida about 1812, m. 13 Sept. 1772, Borodel Latimer, b. New London, Conn. 12 Apr. 1755, d. before 1792, dau. of Jonathan and Lucretia (Griswold) Latimer, m. 2nd, Opelousis, La. 23 Apr. 1792, Margerit (or Margaret) McCarty, dau. of Juan and Margaret (Maklein) Makarti, and widow of Baron Patricio (R-109).
Eusebius Bushnell, probably m. at Lyme, Conn. where his first two children were bapt. served as Capt. in Rev. War in Lt. Col. Experience Storr’s Regt. at New York in Fall of 1776, June 1777 appeared before the Norwich Court as Capt. Eusebius Bushnell of Lyme, Conn. and accepted office of Exec. of the est. of his brother Ezra, who had dec’d. He probably removed to Norwich as here his son Ezra was bapt. in the Christ Episcopal Church in 1778 and on 30 Sept. 1782, he brought his children Lucretia and Matthew to be bapt. in the church at Great Barrington, Mass. In 1786 he was in Nashville, Tenn. (then North Carolina), where he was a witness in a case, and signed some papers, and on 29 Dec. 1785 he was appointed as one of three Commissioners to examine into claims of soldiers and sailors residing in the district, and in 1787 the grand jury of Davidson County, presented to the court at Nashville, James Hickman, Thomas Bradford, and Joseph Brooks for disorderly conduct in throwing down Capt. Eusebius Bushnell and breaking open Squire Nichol’s door (R-110), between 15 Dec. 1786 and 20 Jan. 1789, he bought and traded land grants under the firm name of Dobbins and Bushnell (R-111), and of 28 Aug. 1789, he bought three negro slaves, perhaps to act as porters on his trek over the Natches Trace to New Orleans, La. He acquired lands in Florida under a Spanish land Grant, afterwards confirmed by the U.S. Government as shown in Reports of Land Grants, Claims in Florida, “Wusebius Bushnell vs. United States, memorial dated 13 Mar. 1799 for 600 acres, also decree of Gov. White for same dated 1799.” “It appears in evidence that the claimant was in possession of the land in the year 1803, that his son was killed in 1800 or 1801, and that the claimant died in the year 1812. The board ordered the claim of 600 acres be confirmed to the unknown heirs, and their heirs, as far as the U.S. have interest in the same.”

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