Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill
BornFebruary 10, 1757
DiedOctober 13, 1821
Resting placeNashville City Cemetery
Spouse(s)John Cockrill
Children8, including Mark R. Cockrill
RelativesJames Robertson (brother)
Felix Robertson (nephew)
Benjamin F. Cockrill Jr. (great-grandson)

Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill (February 10, 1757–October 13, 1821) was an American pioneer. She became the first woman to receive a land grant in Tennessee.

Early life[edit]

Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill was born on February 10, 1757 in Wake County, North Carolina.[1] Her brother, James Robertson (1742-1814), founded Fort Nashborough alongside John Donelson (1718–1785).

Adult life[edit]

She moved to Fort Watauga in North Carolina, and later moved to Fort Caswell.[1][2] When it was attacked by Native Americans, she led a group of women to throw boiling water at them to ward them off.[2]

Her first husband was a justice of the peace in the Washington District of East Tennessee and was killed in an accident.[1][2][3] After he died, Cockrill and her three small daughters joined Colonel John Donelson in the migration of the first pioneers on a flatboat to go down the Cumberland River to Tennessee to the Cumberland settlements.[2] The exhibition was intended to bring families of the men who settled Nashville there.[4] During the journey, she taught the children in the boat to make small wooden boxes, filling them with river sand, and drawing letters and numbers in the sand.[3] She was later honored as Middle Tennessee’s first teacher.[5]

In 1784, she received a land grant for 640-acre from the North Carolina legislature; she was the first woman in this position.[2][4] The land was then known as Cockrill Springs and was situated on what is now Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee, near the campus of Vanderbilt University.[2] There is now a monument in her memory there.[2]

Anne and John married in 1784 and had eight children.[1][2]


She died on October 13, 1821 in Tennessee. She was buried in the Nashville City Cemetery.[2]

Further reading[edit]

Lewis, Peyton Cockrill. A Perilous Journey: The Founding of Nashville, Tennessee, 1780-1781 (2005) Channing Press


  1. ^ a b c d Carole Stanford Bucy, Anne Robertson Johnson Cockrill, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, December 25, 2009
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nashville City Cemetery
  3. ^ a b "Ann Robertson Johnston Cockrill | Entries | Tennessee Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  4. ^ a b "Cockrill Mayhew" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  5. ^ "Leadership Giving". Archived from the original on 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2015-05-06.

External links[edit]