World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

William Christian (Virginia)

Article Id: WHEBN0003366250
Reproduction Date:

Title: William Christian (Virginia)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Christian County, Kentucky, Manx American, Fincastle Resolutions, James John Floyd, William Fleming (governor)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

William Christian (Virginia)

William Christian (c. 1743 – April 9, 1786) was an Indian fighter, Continental soldier, militiaman and politician from the Colony of Virginia who served in the era of the American Revolution. He was a signatory to the Fincastle Resolutions and founder of Fort William (now Louisville, Kentucky). Christian helped to negotiate the Treaty of Long Island —making peace between the Overmountain Men and the majority of the Cherokee tribes in 1777.

Early life

Christian was born in Staunton, Virginia, a descendant of a Manx family which had previously migrated to Ireland. His parents, Israel Christian and Elizabeth Starke, had settled in Virginia in 1740, where they ran a general store.

Personal and civic life

In the mid-1760s, Christian worked in the law office of Patrick Henry, and married Henry's sister, Anne. Christian resided in Botetourt County, Virginia and then Fincastle County, Virginia. He represented Fincastle County in the Virginia House of Burgesses for three sessions, from 1773 to 1775. He was a signatory to the Fincastle Resolutions, the earliest statement of armed resistance to the British Crown in the American Colonies.

In 1775, with the approach of the American Revolutionary War, Christian served on the Fincastle Committee of Safety, and attended the March 20 and July 17 meetings of the Virginia Conventions.

Military duty

At about the age of 18, William served as a captain in the Anglo-Cherokee War under Colonel William Byrd. In 1774, he commanded a regiment of militia from Fincastle County in Dunmore's War, but he and his troops arrived too late to participate in the decisive Battle of Point Pleasant.

On February 13, 1776, he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 1st Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army, and was promoted to colonel in March. When the British-allied Cherokees under Dragging Canoe and Oconostota went to war with the colonies in 1776, Christian resigned his commission in July of that year, accepting a commission as colonel in the militia from the Virginia Council of Defense.

Christian led an expedition against the Overhill Cherokees, which saw little action but compelled some of the chiefs to agree to peace. He served in the commission which negotiated the "Treaty of Long Island of the Holston" with the Cherokees, signed on July 20, 1777. He was also a commissioner in a second treaty with the Cherokees —in 1781.

Fort William

Fort William dedication plaque honoring William Christian.

William Christian and his wife helped established Fort William, Kentucky, where he directed the defense of what is now Louisville from Native American attacks.[1]

Post-revolution

In 1785, Christian moved his family to the neighborhood of the Louisville settlement, where he executed claims to 9,000 acres (36 km²) of land. He was killed in the Illinois Country (in the area which is now southern Indiana) the next year during battle with the Wabash Indians. Christian is buried in Jefferson County, Kentucky in the Bullitt cemetery in Oxmoor, near his residence, a log house still standing.

Legacy

Several places are named after him:

Christiansburg, Virginia is named for his father.

Notes

  1. ^ Kentucky Historical Marker Number 974, Kentucky Historical Society, Jefferson County Kentucky at Eight Mile House
  2. ^ The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 1. Kentucky State Historical Society. 1903. p. 34. 

References

  • Perrin, William Henry (1884). Counties of Christian and Trigg, Kentucky : historical and biographical. F.A. Battey Publishing Company. pp. 48–49. 
  • McCormick, Thomas Denton. "William Christian" in the Dictionary of American Biography, vol. III, p. 96, edited by Dumas Malone. New York: Scribner's, 1936; revised 1964.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.