Reeves, Charlotte (1751 NC - 1843 TN)
SummaryFather: Reeves, George
Mother: Mary Jordan
Birth: January 2, 1751 Northhampton Co. N.C.
Birth Source: Charlotte Reeves and James Robertson Bible Record
Death: 11 June 1843, Nashville, Davidson, TN
Death Source: Grave stone inscription and others
Spouse1: James Randolph Robertson b 1742 Virginia
NarrativePioneer woman extraordinaire and future heroine of Fort Nashborough, Charlotte Reeves was born in Northampton, North Carolina in 1751 and moved with her family to Johnston (now Wake) County North Carolina by about 1763. There, she married James Robertson in 1768. In 1771, Charlotte and James along with several other families left Wake County for the Watauga Settlements in what is now eastern Tennessee. It is believed that Charlotte's parents and siblings and some of James Robertson's siblings and his uncle Charles Robertson either accompanied them or followed them very quickly.
The Watauga villages where James and Charlotte Robertson settled rested on lands leased from the Cherokee. A truce with the Cherokee was short-lived and land agreements were revoked. Life was difficult and dangerous. By 1779, James Robertson was ready to move west. While James Robertson led some of the men to the Cumberland settlements, where Nashville is now located, John Donelson led the so-called Donelson flotilla to the same location via the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. The women and children (including Charlotte and four of her children) and some of the men were aboard the flatboats that made the nearly 1000 mile journey in winter. During the perilous voyage Charlotte Reeves distinguished herself by fighting off Indian attackers and working the oars with the men.
Once in the Cumberland settlements, Charlotte, James, and their children lived in Fort Nashborough, which was one of several forts housing settlers for protection from Indian attacks.
Charlotte Robertson is celebrated as the heroine of the Battle of the Bluffs which was fought at Fort Nashborough in 1781. When Indians attacked the fort, she realized that they were positioned between the fort's men, who were out in the woods, and the fort. She unleashed the hounds, creating great confusion among the Indian attackers. This diversion allowed time for the men to return safely to the fort. One of Charlotte's sons was killed by Indians during this battle. In all, two of her sons were killed by Indians while another was scalped but recovered.
The city of Charlotte, Tennessee, and Charlotte Pike in Nashville are named for Charlotte Robertson, who lived in Middle Tennessee until her death in 1843 at the age of ninety-two. She is buried in Nashville's City Cemetery.
For more information see TN Encyclopedia and other sources.
1. Jonathan Friar Robertson b: 13 JUN 1769 in North Carolina
2. James Randolph Robertson b: 11 DEC 1771 in North Carolina
3. Delilah Robertson b: 30 NOV 1773 in North Carolina
4. William Blount Robertson b: 13 JUN 1775 in Davidson, Tennessee
5. Peyton Henderson Robertson b: 22 NOV 1775 in North Carolina
6. Charlotte Robertson b: 11 JUL 1778 in North Carolina
7. Felix Randolph Robertson b: 11 JAN 1781 in Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee
8. Charlotte Washington Robertson b: 11 MAR 1783 in Davidson, Tennessee
9. Peyton Robertson b: 08 DEC 1787 in Nashville, Davidson Co., TN
10. Lavinia Robertson b: 23 FEB 1790 in Davidson, Tennessee
11. John McNairy Robertson b: 26 APR 1792 in Davidson, Tennessee