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General Thomas Love was an influential citizen of both western North Carolina and East Tennessee. He was a soldier, surveyor, frontiersman, statesman, but moreover he loved his family and his community.
In his twilight years, Love had already amassed and was preparing to bequeath some 6,163 acres, a land baron on any standard, besides other lands that he held in Tennessee, which were willed and to be sold by the executors of his vast estate. General Love, as many had known him, was buried in the Springhill Church cemetery between Paris and Puryear, Tennessee.
Because both birth and death dates for Love vary, often by month and sometimes by year, his birthday is loosely stated with November 16, 1766, but Thomas did create his will on May 9, 1844, and it was probated on September 18, 1844. For this sketch, only birth and death years are quoted as to not further the already conflicting dates now being widely circulated.



General Thomas Love, brother of Colonel Robert Love, was born in Augusta County, Va., in 1766 and would pass from this natural life in 1844. The date of his death is not accurately known, since he relocated to Maury County, Tenn., about 1833. Prof. W. C. Allen, in his "Centennial of Haywood County", states (p.55) that "he was a soldier of the Revolution, and served under George Washington," but this must have been towards the close of that struggle, as he could not have been quite eleven years of age on the 4th of July 1776.[1] At the close of the American Revolutionary War, however, "he went to East Tennessee and was in the Sevier-Tipton War when the abortive State of Franklin was attempted."[2]

Ramsey's "Annals of Tennessee" (p. 410) records the fact that on an occasion one of Tipton's men had captured two of Sevier's sons, and would have hanged them if Thomas Love had not argued him out of his purpose. He was one of Tipton's followers, but he "showed Tipton the unworthiness of such an act." He arrived in what is now Haywood County about the year 1790. When Buncombe was formed in 1791, "he became active in the affairs of the new county," continues Prof. Allen. In 1797 he was elected to the House of Commons from Buncombe, and was re-elected till 1808, when Haywood County was formed. His efforts had greatly contributed to the establishment of Haywood County. There is a tradition that in 1796 he had been candidate against Philip Hoodenpile who represented Buncombe in the commons that year, but was defeated.[3] For Hoodenpile could play the violin, and "all of Love's wiles were powerless to keep the political Eurydices from following after this fiddling Orpheus." But Love bided his time, and when the campaign of 1797 began he charged "Hoodenpile with showing contempt for the common herd by playing the violin before them with his left hand; whereas, when he played before the quality," Love declared, Hoodenpile always performed with his right hand. This charge was repeated at all the voting places of the county, which bore such significant names as Upper and Lower Hog Thief, Hardscrabble, Pinch Stomach, etc. Hoodenpile who, of course, could play only with his left hand, protested and denied; but the virus of class-feeling had been aroused, and Hoodenpile went down in defeat, never to rise again. While Love, however, remained in Buncombe. "From the new county of Haywood, General Love was one of the first representatives, the other having been Thomas Lenoir. Love was continuously re-elected from Haywood till 1829, with the exception of the year 1816." Who defeated him that year does not appear, though John Stevenson and Wm. Welch were elected to the house and Hodge Raborne to the senate. Hodge Raborne was a man of influence and standing in Haywood County, having been elected to the senate not only in 1816, but also from 1817 to 1823, inclusive, and again in 1838. Whether it was Raborne or John Stevenson who defeated Thomas Love, or whether he even ran that year, cannot now be determined.[4] By marriage, William Welch was a nephew of Thomas Love, and it is not likely that he opposed him. Gen. Love moved to Macon County in 1830, where his wife died and is buried in the Methodist church yard of the town of Franklin. He was one of the commissioners for North Carolina who established the border of North and South Carolina in 1814.[5] "He resided in Macon for several years, then relocated to the Western District of Tennessee, was elected to the legislature from that State, and was made presiding officer of the senate. He was a "man of very fine appearance, more than six feet high, very popular, and a fine electioneer." Many amusing stories are told of him, such as "carrying garden seeds in his pocket, and distributing them" with his wife's special regards to the voter's wife.[6] His service in the legislature for such an unprecedented length of time was due more to his genial manner and electioneering methods, perhaps, than to his statesmanship. Though unless he secured what the voters most desired, he would probably have retired from public life. Thomas Love, however, never retired. He is forever known as one of Western North Carolina's Founding Fathers.




1. Although but a boy, he was a private in the Continental Line. Col. Rec., Vol. XXII, 73.
2. Prof. Allen, Centennial of Haywood County, 58.
3. Statement of Capt. J. M. Gudger, Sr. 
4. Wheeler, 54, 208. There is no other record. Col. A. T. Davidson in Lyceum, January, 1891.
5. Rev. Stat. N.C., 1817, Vol.11, p.87.
6. "The Lyceum," p.9, January 1891.

(Related reading listed below.)

Recommended Reading: Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Hardcover) (1328 pages) (The University of North Carolina Press), Description: The first single-volume reference to the events, institutions, and cultural forces that have defined the state, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is a landmark publication that will serve those who love and live in North Carolina for generations to come. Editor William S. Powell, whom the Raleigh News & Observer described as a "living repository of information on all things North Carolinian," spent fifteen years developing this volume. With contributions by more than 550 volunteer writers—including scholars, librarians, journalists, and many others—it is a true "people's encyclopedia" of North Carolina. Continued below.

The volume includes more than 2,000 entries, presented alphabetically, consisting of longer essays on major subjects, briefer entries, and short summaries and definitions. Most entries include suggestions for further reading. Centered on history and the humanities, topics covered include agriculture; arts and architecture; business and industry; the Civil War; culture and customs; education; geography; geology, mining, and archaeology; government, politics, and law; media; medicine, science, and technology; military history; natural environment; organizations, clubs, and foundations; people, languages, and immigration; places and historic preservation; precolonial and colonial history; recreation and tourism; religion; and transportation. An informative and engaging compendium, the Encyclopedia of North Carolina is abundantly illustrated with 400 photographs and maps. It is both a celebration and a gift—from the citizens of North Carolina, to the citizens of North Carolina. "Truly an exhaustive and exciting view of every aspect of the Old North State!”

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Editor's Recommended Reading: Western North Carolina: A History from 1730 to 1913 (Hardcover: 679 pages). Description: From the introduction to the appendix, this volume is filled with interesting information. Covering seventeen counties—Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey—the author conducted about ten years searching and gathering materials. Continued below.

About the Author: John Preston Arthur was born in 1851 in Columbia, South Carolina. After relocating to Asheville, North Carolina, in 1887, he was appointed Secretary of the Street Railway Company, and subsequently the Manager and Superintendent until 1894. Later, after becoming a lawyer, he was encouraged by the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) to write a history of western North Carolina.


Related Reading: Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads (Touring the Backroads). Editorial Review: This guidebook, unlike most, is so encyclopedic in scope that I give it as a gift to newcomers to the area. It is also an invaluable reference for the visitor who wants to see more than the fabulous Biltmore Estate. Even though I am a native of the area, I learned nearly everything I know about Western North Carolina from this book alone and it is my primary reference. I am still amazed at how much fact, history and folklore [just enough to bring alive the curve of the road, the odd landmark, the abandoned building] is packed in its 300 pages. The author, who must have collapsed from exhaustion when she finished it, takes you on a detailed tour, laid out by the tenth of the mile, of carefully drawn sections of backroads that you can follow leisurely without getting lost. Continued below.

The author is completely absent from the text. The lucid style will please readers who want the facts, not editorial comment. This book, as well as the others in this publisher's backroads series, makes an excellent gift for anyone, especially the many seniors who have relocated, or are considering relocating to this fascinating region. It is also a valuable reference for natives, like me, who didn't know how much they didn't know.


Recommended Reading: The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina (Hardcover). Description: The Tar Heel State: A History of North Carolina constitutes the most comprehensive and inclusive single-volume chronicle of the state’s storied past to date, culminating with an attentive look at recent events that have transformed North Carolina into a southern megastate. Integrating tales of famous pioneers, statesmen, soldiers, farmers, captains of industry, activists, and community leaders with more marginalized voices, including those of Native Americans, African Americans, and women, Milton Ready gives readers a view of North Carolina that encompasses perspectives and personalities from the coast, "tobacco road," the Piedmont, and the mountains in this sweeping history of the Tar Heel State. The first such volume in more than two decades, Ready’s work offers a distinctive view of the state’s history built from myriad stories and episodes. The Tar Heel State is enhanced by one hundred and ninety illustrations and five maps. Continued below...

Ready begins with a study of the state’s geography and then invites readers to revisit dramatic struggles of the American Revolution and Civil War, the early history of Cherokees, the impact of slavery as an institution, the rise of industrial mills, and the changes wrought by modern information-based technologies since 1970. Mixing spirited anecdotes and illustrative statistics, Ready describes the rich Native American culture found by John White in 1585, the chartered chaos of North Carolina’s proprietary settlement, and the chronic distrust of government that grew out of settlement patterns and the colony’s early political economy. He challenges the perception of relaxed intellectualism attributed to the "Rip van Winkle" state, the notion that slavery was a relatively benign institution in North Carolina, and the commonly accepted interpretation of Reconstruction in the state. Ready also discusses how the woman suffrage movement pushed North Carolina into a hesitant twentieth-century progressivism. In perhaps his most significant contribution to North Carolina’s historical record, Ready continues his narrative past the benchmark of World War II and into the twenty-first century. From the civil rights struggle to the building of research triangles, triads, and parks, Ready recounts the events that have fueled North Carolina’s accelerated development in recent years and the many challenges that have accompanied such rapid growth, especially those of population change and environmental degradation.


Recommended Reading: A Family Affair: How to Plan and Direct the Best Family Reunion Ever (National Genealogical Society Guides) (National Genealogical Society Guides) Description: Stop looking for family reunion books - you have found it! This is the most comprehensive, easy to use, wonderful resource for planning family reunions - large and small. Ms. Clunies has done all the work for you - and made it a great read!!!

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