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William Blount

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William Blount, born on March 26, 1749, is one of the Framers of the United States Constitution. By analyzing his life and, thus, the time period from 1749 to 1800, one can get a more through understanding of the late eighteenth century.

Blount was born near Windsor, North Carolina in Bertie County. He lived in a prosperous family of distinguished merchants and planters who all owned land and other extensive properties along the banks of the Pamlico River. He was educated by private tutors, and with his brothers he moved with ease into a career managing some of his father's mercantile interests. William Blount was influenced by the Whig planter class, which would later create an alliance against the British with the Regulators, a loose organization of western populists who sought greater economic and political parity with the eastern planters.

When the Revolutionary War started, Blount became regimental paymaster for the 3rd North Carolina Regiment. He marched north in 1777 and joined Washington's army in defense of Philadelphia against Sir William Howe's Royal forces. Blount has thus participated in one of the key battles of the war. The battle convinced France to join the Americans against the British “red coats.”

After the battle, Blount returned home. He became chief paymaster of the state forces and later deputy paymaster general for the State of North Carolina. For the upcoming years of the war, Blount actively recruited for and supplied the Army of the Potomac in the north and for separate militias that defended the Southern States.

The fall of Charleston to British forces under Sir Henry Clinton in 1780 exposed North Carolina to invasion. The state again had to quickly raise units to defend it against the engaging British troops. Blount not only helped organize these citizen-soldiers but even went with them to the field. His unit served under General Horatio Gates, who hastily engaged Cornwallis вЂ" a British commander вЂ" in a bloody battle at Camden. The American soldiers, however, were exhausted from weeks of marching and insufficient rations. Furthermore, the militias had only recently joined the military and disciplined teamwork between the ones with experience and the fresh troops proved futile. This was especially necessary because in the 18th century, the intricate infantry maneuvers were especially crucial to victory. Cornwallis shifted all his forces against the Continental army after the militias were virtually defeated. In less than an hour, Gates' army had been vanquished. The defeat in the South marked the end of Blount's military career.

William Blount had a profound political career, however, both on state and federal level. He, for example, represented his state at the Continental Congress. Most importantly, he was one of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. As a delegate from North Carolina, he attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He, apparently, was not quite popular among the other delegates, for a fellow delegate described him as "neither a speaker, nor does he possess any of those talents that make Men shine; - he is plain, honest, and sincere." Although he did not actively participate in the debates, Blount signed the Constitution because, as he explained, in a democracy, the will of the people, expressed through their elected delegates, should be heard. He actively supported ratification of the Constitution when North Carolina debated the issue in 1789.

In 1790, President Washington chose Blount to serve as territorial governor of the trans-Allegheny lands that was ceded



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