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William Tatham

(1752—1819) geographer and engineer


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Tatham was born at Hutton-in-the-Forest, Cumberland, some time in 1752. He died in Richmond Virginia on 22 February 1819, committing suicide by stepping in front of a cannon as it was fired. He was educated at home by his grandmother, and in 1769 at the age of seventeen went to America. He first worked for a firm of merchants in Virginia, but around 1775 moved to Tennessee, then a sparsely settled frontier district; among his acquaintances here was the legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone. Despite assurances given by the British government that no white settlement would take Place on Native American lands, settlers were encroaching upon lands held by the Cherokee nation, and when the American Revolution commenced, the Cherokee took up arms on the British side. Tatham became an adjutant in the local militia, sometimes known as the ‘Over the Mountain Boys’, and fought with distinction, defending the post of Fort Caswell on the Watsuga River against the Cherokee in 1776.

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From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.


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