KINGSPORT TIMES
August 23, 1923






HANCOCK SETTLED BY PEOPLE
FROM VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA

By the Associated Press



Nashville, 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.” 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. 1


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