Tenn.—Discussing the early settlers in Hancock County, M.. E. Testerman
says, “The county was settled largely by immigrants from Virginia and
North Carolina, and many of these were of the very best blood of the
world, and no county in the state, population and area considered, has
in the same length of time produced more men of worth and note than
Hancock was one of the first counties in the state to establish a
system of public schools, for which its people have always responded
generously, says the early history of the county written by the
officials in the state division of history.
This is the county where the large majority of the Melungeons, a
mysterious and sinister race of dark-skinned people whose origin has
never been definitely determined, dwell.
Settlements began as early as 1795 these records show. Some of the
pioneers were; William McGee, John Ray, Enos Matthias, William McCully,
Daniel Slavins, John Givins, Alexander Trent, Solomon Mitchell, John
Amis, and Lincoln Amis. These commissioners were also authorized to
organize the county. Sneedville was selected as the county seat and was
named for John T. Sneed, “the eminent lawyer who successfully defended
the suit brought against the new county for running its line within
twelve miles of Rogersville, the county seat of Hawkins county,” says
the state history.
The first court was organized at the house of Alexander Campbell.