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James Herrell Hubbert

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James Herrell Hubbert was a British-American Frontiersman, soldier and Tennessee pioneer. He was born on July 18th, 1741 in England. He was to married Partecea "Patty" George in November 1767. They had no children. He immigrated with his wife and parents to the colonies around 1768-9. He married Elizabeth Anderson on December 20th, 1770 in Virginia. She died October 8, 1821 in Tennessee. Their children were Robert, James II, Elizabeth "Betty", Matthew, Margaret "Peggy", Phoebe, Polly, and Benjamin. Through his daughter Phoebe, he is the ancestor of the McClung family of northern Oklahoma.

He served in the American Revolutionary War first as a Private at the Battle of Boyd's Creek, soon reaching the rank of Captain. He again fought at the Battle of Kings Mountain and reached the rank of Colonel by the wars end. He was a prominent figure in his friend and former commanding officer John Sevier's campaign against the Indians during the Cherokee Wars. James was said to be an expert in firearms and the best marksman in Tennessee, and to have slain more Indians than any man of his time. He was later a Representative to Tennessee Legislature. Hubbert was famous for his enmity against the Natives as his parents, wife, and siblings were massacred by Shawnees on Dumplin Creek in Virginia. James was said to have witnessed the brutal murder of his family. Another account states that his family was slaughtered while he was away from the home. The trauma and agony of this event caused him to become a sworn enemy of all Indians throughout his life. From 1783 until 1796 he became a substantial land owner, possessing a total of 5,350 acres. He settled and built his homestead on an Island in the French Broad River. The call of the frontier and his feelings towards the Indians caused him to venture forth, leading a party of sixteen men into the wilderness. In the winter of 1783 he joined Cherokee Chief John Watts for a common meal. Hubbard brought out venison and other game and offered to share it. Watts is said to have brought out of his larder a "mess" of "frozen dumplings." During the course of the meal hot words were exchanged. Watts "sprang to his feet, drew a frozen dumpling, and hit Hubbard on the upper lip cutting it badly." As Watts fled, Hubbard shot him. His men were soon confronted by sixty warriors after trying to settle on land by the Tennessee River. They were initially run off the land as they out numbered. Colonel James Hubbert was charged with the murder of Untoola of Settiquo, a chief of the Cherokees. Charges were later dropped. In 1783 a number of settlers, who had recently located in the vicinity of Sevier County, assembled at Maj. Henry's house near the mouth of Dumplin Creek, where they had built a fort. Around this time Hubbert then a Major attended a friendly conference with the Indians at the house of a Mr. Gist. Whilst there he attempted to provoke the Cherokee's into violating the subsequent truce in order to incite further conflict, however this was prevented by Captain James White and a truce was secured.

While visiting his sons James Jr. and Robert in Rhea, Warren County, Tennessee, he fell ill and went to the local general store for medicine. In the doctor's absence, the wife accidentally gave Hubbert arsenic instead of Calomel. He died on February 7th, 1824 at the age of 82 in his own bed and not by Indians. Colonel James Hubbert is buried in an unmarked grave in Warren County.


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