The Heritage of Daniel Haston


State vs David & Joseph Haston

1798 Knox Co, TN "Cow Tails" Case

State vs David Haston & Joseph Haston
County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: 796/65

Note:  This document transcribed by Wayne Haston from a copy of the original, which is available at the Knox County, TN Archives in Knoxville.

1798 (April 11, 1798) is the date on the file.  [case began in December, 1797]

From the Warrant:

State of Tennessee
Knox County
Personally appeared Nathaniel Hays before me James White a Justice of the Peace for Knox County and complained on oath that he has good cause to suspect and doth suspect David Haston and Joseph Haston plantifs for the maiming and cutting the tales off of two of his horned cattle and abusing his property

Then and therefore in the name of the State to command and require __ to apprehend the said David Haston and Joseph Haston and bring them before me or some other Justice of the peace for said County to answer the ____ and be dealt with as the law directs herein fail not given under my hand and seal this 18th day of December 1797.

James White

Summons Moses Roddy and Elloner Roddy and Mary Ann Roddy to give testimony in behalf of the state.

William Haslet
William Haslet Juner
Richard Cahell

For the State also 
James White

To any sworn officer to execute and return  

Back of this document:

Daniel Haston enters him, says he wishes that David Haston and Joseph Haston his sons to apeare Satturday (?) before Joseph Greer, __ in ____
To answer the within ____
Abner Witt

? _anains Linnaiw (?)

The State against Hastin
Executed by me
Abner Witt Constable  

From the Note to Arrest David Haston:

State of Tennessee

To the Sheriff of Knox County Greeting
Take the body of David Haston and bring him
into court to enter into Recognizance.

              (Signed by) Chas. McClung clk

Reverse Side of the Arrest Note:

State vs David Haston
Is 11th Apl 1798

Wbreazeale _?

From the Recognizance Document:

State of Tennessee
Knox County

Be it remembered that on the twentieth day of January (? month unclear) 1798 came before me a Joseph Greer one of the Justices of the Peace for said county, aforesaid David Hasting and Daniel Hasting & John Miller. Of the same county Hastons who acknowledged being themselves indebted to the State in the sum of one hundred dollars to wit David Haston in the sum of fifty dollars and the said Daniel Hasting an John Miller in the sum of twenty five dollars each to be ___ out of their respective goods and chattels lands and tenements to the use of the State.

     The condition of the above recognizance is such that if the above named David Hasting is and shall make his personal appearance before the Justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session to ___ for the County of Knox in the second Monday of April next then and there to answer to the State for and concerning the maiming and wounding of two cows the property of Nath’ Hays and to do and suffer what shall be then and there __ enjoining him and shall not depart without leaves of the said court then the above recognizance to be void otherwise to remain in ___ and ___.

Acknowledged before me
Joseph Greer

Moses Roddy and Wm Haslet, Sr and Wm Haslet Jr acknowledged themselves bound in the sum of fifty dollars each to vow that they make their appearance before the Court and give testimony on behalf of the state against David Hasting for the crime on which he ___ bound in the above recognizance.

Acknowledged before me
Joseph Greer  

From the Court Narration:

State of Tennessee
Knox County
___ 1798

The Grand Juror for the State of Tennessee and the County of Knox on their oath do present and say that David Haston and Joseph Haston late of the said County of Knox  Laboreres – on the Eighteenth day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninty seven at Knox in the County aforesaid with force and arms a trespass did commit and then and there did cut of the tails of two of the horned cattle of the property of a certain Nathaniel Hays then and there being and in committing the said trespass did otherwise injure and hurt the said two horned cattle the property of the said Nathaniel Hays and to they the said David Haston and Joseph Haston did commit the said trespass as aforesaid in manner as aforesaid to the great injury of him the said Nathaniel Hays as ill example to all such ___ and against the peace and dignity of the State of Tennessee.

John Rhea

Solicitor for Knox County

Reverse side of this document:

State vs David Haston

Joseph Haston

Trespass with force and arms
Nathaniel Hays
Moses Roddy
William Haslet Sr
William Haslet Jr

Sworn and seal
Chas. McClung
Rhea Solicitor

We find that David Haston is guilty as charged in this bill of indictment

Joseph Haston is not guilty

Wm Lea, forman

Record of the Witnesses:

Eleanor Roddy sworn say knows nothing nor heard anything said about it, saw no cattle nor heard any noise,

Mary Ann Roddy, knows nothing, says the same as her sister

Say Moses Roddey was there, on day said a Joseph were there that day;

Wm. Haslet Jr sworn see the cattle with their tails cut of, rode in to the Island, following the blood and the tracts of foot (?) people to the, __ ___, and one horse, fence not good nor sufficient to keep cattle out, not two feet high at one place,

Richard (?) Cahell same as Wm Haslet Jr

Wm Haslet Sen sworn says 17th Dec 1797 he went to N. Hays to see the damages…

Moses Roddy sworn says that he wasn’t with David Haston over into the field and the cattle was in the field when for went them, and that their tails were cut of when they drove them out of the field and they cattle were bleeding then, saw no other person there to do it but David Haston say they fence was down when __ drove the cattle out and heard D Haston say that the were Mr. Hays cattle, say,,,,,

Note 1:  Moses Roddy married Sarah Hays on August 16, 1800 in Green County, TN.  Did Moses Roddy later marry a daughter of this Nathaniel Hays?

Note 2: This is the Nathaniel Hays who sold his Middle Tennessee land to Andrew Jackson - the land that became Jackson's Hermitage Plantation. 

"Located twelve miles east of downtown Nashville, the land on which The Hermitage sits was originally a 640-acre cotton plantation owned by Nathaniel Hays, a close friend of Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel. Hays sold the property to Jackson for $3,400 in July of 1804, and the Jacksons moved into the original two-story log farmhouse that August."

From Paper Listing Court Costs:

  • William Haslet & William Haslet, Jr. were paid for being court witnesses for three days.

  • David Haston was fined $5.00.

Source:  State vs David Haston & Joseph Haston; Knox Co, TN County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions; Docket # 796/65 (1798).