Moses Renfroe

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Moses Renfroe was one of a group of settlers who arrived in middle Tennessee in 1780 along with James Robertson, the founder of Nashville, with the goal of starting a settlement. They departed from Robertson’s main group on the Cumberland River, moving up the Red River[1] towards Robertson County, Tennessee, in the area of Port Royal State Park.

The party consisted of Moses, Isaac, Joseph and James Renfroe; Nathan and Solomon Turpin; Isaac Mayfield; James Hollis; James Johns; and a widow named Jones, with their respective families.

Renfroe and his party were the first known European settlers to form a permanent homestead in Montgomery County, Tennessee. During the summer of 1780, the party were massacred by Indians,[2] thus ending the settlement temporarily. However, in 1782 the Legislature of North Carolina authorized rights of pre-emption upon settlers on the Cumberland. This action meant that settlers were authorized to take actions to defend themselves more aggressively, and resulted in a significant increase of immigration into the area.[3]


  1. ^ Putnam, A. W. History of Middle Tennessee. A. W. Putnam (1859), p. 75.
  2. ^ Ramsey, J.G.M. The Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century. John Russell (1853), pp. 448-49.
  3. ^ Putnam (1859), pp. 162-64.