SOUTHWEST TERRITORY, the title applied to the region established in 1790 and officially named the "Territory of the United States, South of the River Ohio." Although in theory it embraced the future state of Tennessee, the twelve-mile strip that South Carolina had ceded, and, possibly, the Georgia western lands, actual federal governance was applied only to Tennessee. The government of this territory was similar to that of the Northwest Territory, except that it was bound by certain conditions set by North Carolina in its cession of 1789. William Blount was appointed governor and superintendent of Indian affairs, and he served in this capacity for the entire life of the territory, until 1796.
Durham, Walter T. Before Tennessee: The Southwest Territory, 1790–1796. Piney Flats, Tenn.: Rocky Mount Historical Association, 1990.
E. MertonCoulter/f. b.