|Dandridge Revolutionary War Cemetery|
Compiled by Roy M. Rankin, May, 1996. Used by permission.
Goodspeed's History of Tennessee reports that in 1793 the Jefferson County Court instructed five men to select a site for the county seat. Some meetings had been previously held at the home of Jeremiah Matthews four and one-half miles west of Dandridge. After checking two or three possible locations, they decided the town should be established in "the neighborhood of Robert Henderson's Lower Meeting-house."
There was already an established "burying ground" (the term "cemetery" was not often used in early times) and a log church on the north corner at this location. The church and burying ground were probably already a common meeting place for people of the area. The church organized in 1785 later became the Hopewell Presbyterian Church and continues by that name today. The burying ground has become the Revolutionary Cemetery, and this location has remained the heart of the town for more than two hundred years.
The restoration and beautification of the Revolutionary Cemetery was the first service project of the Martha Dandridge Garden Club, which was organized in 1927. The graveyard was overgrown with weeds and covered with scrub brush and trash at that time. The Garden Club planted trees and shrubs. Benches of native stone were built after the clean-up. In 1930, the present monument was erected as a memorial to some of the local Revolutionary soldiers buried in the graveyard. Miss Lurana Franklin, a long-time Maury High School teacher and well-known historian, did the necessary research to select the names for the marker.
The flagpole and flag were added at a later time. Care of the graveyard is still a project of the Martha Dandridge Garden Club.
The following is a little information about the five men listed on the monument.
JOHN BLACKBURN was born in Smith County, Virginia, 27 January 1741. He married Janet Mathes in 1765 and died in Jefferson County 23 April 1818.
ABEDNEGO INMAN was born in England 1 July 1752. He married Mary Ritchie and died in Jefferson County 2 February 1831.
SAMUEL LYLE was born 27 May 1747 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth L. White in 1784 and Margery Hadley in 1797 in Jefferson County. He died in Jefferson County 12 August 1834.
RICHARD RANKIN was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania 4 November 1756. He married Jane Steele, of Pennsylvania, and died in Jefferson County 5 May 1827.
SAMUEL RANKIN was born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in August, 1758. The birthdate on the cemetery monument is incorrect. He married Jane Isabelle ("Aunt Ibby") Petty and died in Jefferson County 13 December 1834.
The names of these Revolutionary Patriots honored here by the Garden Club Monument are not found in any cemetery list, but their burials here are attested by church and family records.
The book Stories in Stone: Jefferson County Cemeteries, by Templin and Henderson (Vol. II, 1988), lists about fifteen inscribed stones in the Revolutionary Cemetery found in 1987. The authors state, "In addition to the above, there are at least sixty burials marked with uninscribed fieldstones."
Apparently, the soldiers listed above are in this category, so we will probably not know their exact burial places within this cemetery.
If you plan to shop at Amazon, please consider starting here. A tiny rebate from your purchase is sent to us to offset our costs. Thank you! We earned $0.36 in October!
You may search for anything -- household items, appliances, clothes, and more -- but we gave you a headstart.