William Hall

Governor William Hall was born in Surrey County, North Carolina, in February 1775, to Major William Hall and Elizabeth Thankful Doak Hall. The family moved to Tennessee in 1785 and lost seven family members during an Indian confrontation. Hall married Mary “Polly” Brandon Alexander and settled and farmed in the Bledsoe Lick area of Sumner County now known as Castalian Springs. The couple had seven children.

Hall was commissioned a second major in the Sumner County regiment of the Tennessee militia in 1796. He enlisted as a colonel in the Tennessee Volunteer Infantry in 1812 and became a brigadier general during the Creek Indian War.

Hall began his political life in 1797, when he won election to the Tennessee House of Representatives, where he served until 1805. He was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 1821, serving in the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth General Assemblies. With Governor Sam Houston's resignation in 1829, Hall, as Speaker of the Senate, assumed the governorship. During his brief term, Hall maintained many polices initiated by William Carroll, including revision of the penal code, establishment of the penitentiary, and strengthening of the educational system.

Hall did not run for reelection in the 1829 race, instead returning to his Sumner County farm, Locustland. A Jackson supporter, he was elected to Congress in 1831 and served one term. In his retirement, Hall recorded his frontier experiences for the June 1856 issue of the Southwestern Monthly. He hosted several pioneer reunions at Locustland ,where he died on October 7, 1856. He was buried in the family graveyard.

Citation Information

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  • Article Title William Hall
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date July 25, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018