William Hall Edit Profile
Hall ascended to the office when Governor Sam Houston resigned amidst a scandal, and, as Speaker of the Tennessee Senate, he was the first in the line of succession. After finishing Houston's term, he did not seek reelection. Hall had previously served in the Tennessee state legislature, both in the House and Senate.
Following his brief term as governor, he served one term in the United States House of Representatives. In 1779, the family moved to the New River Valley of Virginia. In 1785, they moved again, this time to a tract of land that would eventually be known as "Locustland," near modern Castalian Springs, Tennessee.
Locustland would remain Hall's residence for much of the remainder of his life. The Cherokee–American wars were raging at this time, and the Sumner County area north of Nashville was particularly vulnerable. On June 3, 1787, William's brother, James, was killed as the two were ambushed as they walked through a field, though William managed to escape.
Two months later, as the family was moving its possessions into nearby Bledsoe's Station in anticipation of a Chickamauga Cherokee attack, they were again ambushed. William, along with his mother and two younger siblings, John and Prudence, managed to make it into the fort. During the early 1790s, Hall served as sheriff of Sumner County.
In 1796, he was promoted to the rank of major in the Sumner County militia. He served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1797 until 1805. In 1821, Hall was elected to the Tennessee Senate.
In 1827, he was chosen as speaker of the senate. In April 1829, Sam Houston resigned the governorship following a personal scandal. As Speaker of the Senate, Hall was the first in the line of succession, and thus became governor on April 16.
He did not seek reelection, however, and Houston's predecessor, William Carroll, was elected without opposition a few months later. During his brief time in office, Hall continued with the reform plans that Carroll and Houston had started. Hall died on his farm "Locustland" in Sumner County, a few weeks after giving an account of his frontier experiences for the June 1856 issue of Southwestern Monthly.
He is interred at Hall Cemetery, the family cemetery there.
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