- Robert E. Corlew
Sevier, John (23 September 1745–24 September 1815), soldier, governor, and congressman, was born near the present town of New Market, Virginia, the son of Valentine Sevier, a farmer, trader, and merchant, and Joanna Goade. He attended school briefly when the family lived in Fredericksburg and in Staunton and at the age of sixteen was married to fifteen-year-old Sarah Hawkins; the couple had ten children. Very shortly after her death in 1780, he married Catherine Sherrill, with whom he had eight children. For a decade after his first marriage, Sevier moved about in the Shenandoah Valley, operating a tavern and store, and farming, trading, and speculating in land. In 1773, joined by his parents and several brothers, he moved to the southwest and settled on the Holston River. Why Sevier and family members would leave the rich lands of the valley is unknown, except perhaps that the valley lands rapidly were filling and the Holston area offered cheap land certain soon to become more valuable....