Our Next "Posterity Project" - John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero

Today, I am thrilled to announce that The History Press has accepted a book proposal which I recently submitted. The tentative title is John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero. The book is scheduled to be released in March 2014.

The History Press
My wife Traci and I had a wonderful experience working with The History Press on our first book, Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War and we're honored to be associated with one of the fastest growing independent book publishers in the nation. We are looking forward to working with The History Press again on this latest title.

Traci was the author of Onward Southern Soldiers, while I served as co-researcher, editor, caption writer, and indexer. In John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero, those roles will be reversed, and Traci will serve as my editor, providing me with valuable assistance throughout the research and writing process. I can't begin to express how grateful I am for having a supportive spouse and partner in my life and my work.

In my book, I want to answer critical questions about how this pioneer, soldier, and statesman became “Tennessee’s First Hero.” This moniker was bestowed upon John Sevier over eighty years ago by Dr. Carl S. Driver, whose book, John Sevier: Pioneer of the Old Southwest, remains the last book-length, scholarly attempt to examine John Sevier’s life in full detail. The title of my book is a tribute to Dr. Driver's work, and an apt description of the story that I plan to tell.

John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero will touch on themes expressed on this blog, exploring John Sevier's life through the lens of history and memory -- separating fact from myth by examining the efforts of early Tennessee historians, antiquarians, novelists, genealogists, and amateur writers to chronicle John Sevier’s life and exploits.

During the next several months, blog posts on The Posterity Project will chronicle my progress on the book. Throughout the writing process, I plan to share anecdotes and information discovered during my research on this topic in a build-up to the release of the book. I hope you'll continue to follow me along this journey, and I look forward to sharing more news about this project in future posts.

Gordon Belt is the Director of Public Services for the Tennessee State Library & Archives, and past president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists. On The Posterity Project, Gordon blogs about archives, local history, genealogy, and social media advocacy for archives and cultural heritage organizations. His forthcoming book, John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero, examines the life of Tennessee's first governor, John Sevier, through the lens of history and memory.


Taneya said...

Excellent news! And, from checking their website I see they offer ebooks, so I hope you'll be able to have yours in ebook format too. :-)

Gordon Belt said...

Thanks for your interest, Taneya. The History Press offers a wide variety of ebooks, including an ebook version of our first book, "Onward Southern Soldiers." Hopefully they will offer the same for our next title. Time will tell.

Nancy Fitzpatrick said...

I am overjoyed to read of your project. Through the research I have done in tracing my heritage back to the Revolutionary patriot, John Sevier, I believe that he has been slighted his rightful place in Tennessee and national history. I will eagerly await the arrival of your book.

Gordon Belt said...


Many of the writers who I have researched would tend to agree with you. John Sevier has been largely overshadowed in Tennessee history books by his bitter rival, Andrew Jackson. It's a topic that I plan to explore in detail in the book, along with how groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution have sought to correct this historical oversight. I'm grateful for your interest in my forthcoming book, and hope you'll continue reading The Posterity Project for updates leading up to the book's publication early next year.

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