Samuel Carrick

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Painting by Lloyd Branson showing Carrick (middle) shearing a sheep while meeting with his future son-in-law, Hugh Lawson White, and daughter, Elizabeth

Samuel Czar Carrick (July 17, 1760 – August 17, 1809)[1] was an American Presbyterian minister who was the first president of Blount College, the educational institution to which the University of Tennessee traces its origin.[2]

Carrick was born in Pennsylvania in 1760, received his education in Virginia, and was ordained as a minister when he was 22 years old. He married Elizabeth Moore in Rockbridge County, Virginia, in 1779.[1] In 1790, he helped establish the Lebanon-in-the-Fork Presbyterian Church at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers.[1] On October 3, 1791, Carrick took part in the initial drawing of lots for Knoxville,[3] which had been platted as a capital for the Southwest Territory. He and his family moved to the new city shortly afterward.

In December 1792, Carrick began advertising a "seminary" that operated out of his home, where he offered a classical education.[1] During the same period, he established the First Presbyterian Church on a State Street lot set aside by Knoxville founder James White, although no building was constructed for the church until after Carrick's death.[1][4] On January 12, 1796, Carrick delivered the opening prayer and sermon for the Tennessee Constitutional Convention.[1]

In 1794 he expanded his educational efforts when the territorial legislature chartered Blount College, named for territorial governor William Blount.[5] The school initially met in a building on the lot now bounded by Gay Street, State Street, Church Avenue, and Clinch Avenue, which had been donated by James White.[1] Carrick was the college's president and only faculty member. The tuition fee was $8.00 per semester. The school was rechartered as East Tennessee College in 1807[5] or 1808[2] and closed after Carrick's death in August 1809.[2] Only one student ever graduated from Blount College.[5]

Carrick is interred in First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Knoxville.[4] East Tennessee College reopened in 1820, 11 years after Carrick's death, under the leadership of David A. Sherman.[2][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g East Tennessee Historical Society, Mary Rothrock (ed.), The French Broad-Holston Country: A History of Knox County, Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.: The Society, 1972), pp. 33, 392-393.
  2. ^ a b c d Milton M. Klein, UT's First Presidents, The University Archives, Hoskins Library, University of Tennessee. Accessed September 11, 2010.
  3. ^ Stanley Folmsbee and Lucile Deaderick, "The Founding of Knoxville," East Tennessee Historical Society Publications, No. 13 (1941), p. 3-20.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ a b c d Milton M. Klein, University of Tennessee, Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture