Set in the scenic Southern Appalachia Highlands, the
Samuel Doak Chapter is located in Morristown, Hamblen County, Tennessee.
Our chapter began on 11 January 1911, and was named after Samuel Doak,
an educator, abolitionist, minister, and ardent patriot.
The son of Irish immigrants, Samuel was born in Virginia in August 1749, and graduated from Princeton University in 1775. He then married Esther H. Montgomery in Augusta County in 1775, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. After Esther died in July 1807, he married Margaretta H. McEwen of Nashville, Tenn. The Julia Doak Chapter, Children of the Revolution, Morristown, was named for the oldest child of Samuel and Esther Doak.
Samuel migrated to the Holston Valley founding Salem Church in 1780, the school which was to become the first institution of higher learning west of the Alleghanies. He was active in the settlement and one of the delegates to the first general convention of representatives from Washington, Sullivan, and Greene counties of North Carolina to consider the formation of a separate state, known as the State of Franklin, later a part of Tennessee. He established Martin Academy in his own cabin in 1873, and by an act passed by the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1785, it was later known as Washington College, in east Tennessee. He traveled 500 miles with books which friends at Princeton gave him to establish his Academy library for the frontier students; where a student’s color, creed, nationality, race, or sex has never been a factor in obtaining an education and records exist that document female attendance as early as 1823. After resigning as the school's president in 1818, he moved to Bethel, Tennessee, opening Tusculum Academy. This is also the year in which he freed his slaves.
During the War of the Revolution, he resided in Virginia and what is now Tennessee, a prominent member of the Franklin Convention. It is relayed in Edmund Kirke's Rear Guard of the Revolution (New York, 1886) that he was with the body of men, where he gave a speech, at Sycamore Shoals before they started their perilous march on 26 September 1780 to meet the enemy at Kings Mountain, where they were victorious over the British under Patrick Ferguson. In 1980, President Carter recognized the historical significance of the Campaign to King's Mountain by signing a law designating the historical route; the first National Historic Trail in the eastern United States.
Samuel Doak died 12 December 1830, and is buried at Washington College; his grave marked by the NSDAR chapter which bears his name.