PETITION index

Petition of Sundry Citizens for Appropriation to build a
bridge across Big Poplar Creek, 1851
Compiled by Paul W. Lemasters

Note: This petition can be found on the microfilm, "Legislative Petitions," Roll 19, Petition
No. 22-1851-1, 2, 3, 4, 5. On the outside of the petition was written: "Reported and
discharged Jan. 20th," and "Refd. to Com. on Internal Imp[rovements] Dec. 23rd 1851


Welckers Mills Roane County Tennessee
Decr 5th 1851

We the undersigned Citizens of this Vicinity and those of us who live at a distance from here
are acquainted with the facts herein set forth & would respectfully petition the Honourable
the Legislature of the State of Tennessee for an appropriation out of the funds of the state
sufficient to build a permanent & durable bridge across Big Poplar Creek at this place we are
encouraged to make this request of your Honourable Body from the following considerations.

1st That such an improvement is much needed both for the local convenience of the
surrounding country and also for the traveling publick as it is a point at which several roads
intersect and cross each other and on the main Valley or Emery road which runs on the east
side of and parralel to the Cumberland Mountains serving as the principal rout at some
seasons of the Year ariving stock upon for many miles up and down the Country there is als
recently and certanly more neighbourhood crossing than at any point in our knowledge
including at times small boys going to mill.

2nd That this is a water course which is subject to very great and at some seasons frequent
rises & falls both from the Mountain streams which practically feed it and also from it being
frequently backed up by the Clinch River even many miles above for days & even weeks
together whilst others have been deceived by the sudden rise and dreding delay have ventured
to cross and the consequence has been the lost of several lives besides considerable property.

The enquiry may arise why not under those circumstances erect a ferry & keep boats to cross
in the season upon reflection is obvious from what has already been said the sudden & very
great rises renders it impracticable to keep a boat in safety the current is so swift when up
and not checked by the river that is unsafe to cross in a boat In fact we believe that a good
bridge is the only efficient & practicable means of crossing this stream and meeting the
urgent demands of the publick.

The enquiry may also arise why we do not then build the bridge our answer is that there has
already been two bridges built across this Creek at a point not far from here but owing to the
banks not being high enough for the rise of water and the rapidity of the current they have
both been swept away these bridges were built by private subscription aided by the County
court besides we have a very good bridge just completed and covered over a cross the East
fork of Poplar Creek at this place which was built entirely by private enterprise and if we
now had a similar one across the Main Creek it would enable the traveler and the Citizen to
pass in every direction through the country where his business might call him at all times &
in safety and by which a larger section of country would be benefited, As to getting
assistance from the County we know her to be at this time laboring under difficulty and a
heavy tax on account of donations to bridges and the poor & infirm we would therefore think
if application were made such assistance could not be expected from that quarter.

Being poor ourselves and the two bridges heretofore built having both failed we feel that our
only chance for getting the bridges is through the action of your Honourable Body we
therefore come as petitioners believing that our petition ought to be granted on the grounds of
the publick utility of the work on the grounds that it has been the custom of the state to do
this and similar work at her own expence as a proof of this we need only travel up this Creek
some fifteen or 20 miles to a bridge there built by the state making some two or three bridges
in Anderson a similar number in Knox besides a considerable amount of money expended in
working the roads of some of the adjoining Counties while our County has had nothing of the
kind done for it & Indexed a very small proportion of money has been expended in improving
her Navigable streams and such is our location that in this particular part of the Country we
have never received a dollar from the state for any internal improvement whatever until the
last Legislature Made a small appropriation for the cleaning out of our Creek.

Under these circumstances, uder the rules of Equity in making an equaly distribution of
improvements over the state and especially under the fostering care of the state we believe
ourselves entitled to the Turn necessary for the erection of said bridge & which we suppose
cannot fall short of a thousand dollars.

Feeling satisfyed that all the Members of your Hon[or]able Body who are acquainted with the
location of this country the Circumstances under which we present this petition will favour
our prayr we hope others may be influenced by them to do the same & thereby place us
under renewd obligations ever to pray &c&c.

Jas. R. ROBINSON
Levi MAYS
Andrew DAVIS
Umphree THACKER
G. JONES
William NELSON
Samuel HENDERSON
Robert N. CROW
Benjamin STONECIPHER
Isaac STONECIPHER
Eli EMORY
Lewis BURNS
Jacob LOWER
Martin WATSON
James F. TAYLOR
Michael ARNOLD
William G. SMITH
Eli? KETCHUM
Daniel FULTON
Columbus C. SMITH
Edward HAWKINS
John SMITH
Jonas R. ARNOLD
Samuel W. DIERLES?
John BRASHERS
John McCORMAC
William ADKISON
James ADKISON
Elias CRUTHER
A.L. GALBRAITH
Wm. GALBRAITH
Alexander GALBREATH
George GALBREATH
Robert GALBREATH
P.W. BUTLER
Moses F. BUTLER
Robert HOOPER
Thomas H. DAVIS
Hugh R. DAVIS
William C. DAVIS
John HIX
Samuel SILVY
James ROBERTS
Adam CRASS
Jas. WRATHER
William M. ROBERTS
Joseph BRASHEARS
John MOOR
William SILVY
Abner HESTER
William H. GOODMAN
C.F. WELCKER
Willis HENDRIXSON
H.J. WELCKER
B.F. WELCKER
Geo. W. TOASTE

and others who have autherised their names to be signed verbally

R.M. ALLISON
R.D. DUNCAN
W.C. FYFEE
H.W. JAMES
J.N. HARVY
Henry LIGGETT
Wm. CHILDRESS
Henry LIGGETT, Jr.
Wm. BARNETT
Wm. ELLIS
Samuel DUGGER
W.S. CENTER
William HYTER?
James WELLS
James A. BENGE
Wm. A. HENLEY
J.W. ROBINSON
Lewis BURRUS
G.G. SMITH
M.F. BURRIS
H.S. BURRUS
Stephen BURRIS
Goge COPELAND
Samuel COX
B.L. COPELAND
Philip ROBERTS
A.G. GARDENHIRE
John H. WRIGHT
Benj. CHANDLER
Asa HOWARD
G.W. HOWARD
Wm. SCOTT
H.M. WRIGHT
B.W. HOWARD
Berry HUTSON
Elias ROBERDS
Anderson SILVY
Miller FREELS
Alexander HUDSON
J.P. TAILOR
T.J. BURRIS
James COPELAND
Henry LILES
Willy GAMMON
A.W. MONEY?
G.W. HERALD?
Thomas K. POTTER
Thos. POTTER, Sr.
Westley SILVY
Peter SILVEY
A.J. STUBBS
Linsey PHILLIPS
John SILVEY
Absolum POTTER
Hiram K. FORISTER
Mattew POTTER
Robert J. CLOUGH
Wm. FARMER
Merret POTTER
J.S. McCARREL
James FARMER
F.J. GRUBB
R.E. FOX
Tho. GALLHER
Henry BOYD
Eli BRANSON
John A. BRANSON
A. THACKER
Reason RIGHT
Israel ARNOLD