General Joseph Martin Chapter

Cumberland Gap, TN


Cumberland Gap Patriot

Thomas Goin


Thomas Goin, one of the first citizens of Claiborne county to build a road connecting South Claiborne county to the city of Tazewell TN in 1803 making transportation easier in Claiborne county.

Goin was born in Brunswick county Virginia in 1755. In 1776, Goin married Rebecca Clark and had 5 children from this union.

In 1781, Goin joined Captain Turner Bynum militia as a private in Greensville county VA. He spent the next several months fighting Indians and Tories. Several citizens of Brunswick County VA participated in the battle of Lindley mill fought in NC in September 1781. Goin may have participated in this battle as well.

    By 1784, Goin moved to Washington county TN. He received a land grant joining the farm of John Tipton which today is part of Tipton State Park in Elizabethton TN. Goin was appointed constable in Washington County in 1784. He was in the court the day Andrew Jackson was admitted to the bar.

 In 1788, Goin moved to Claiborne County with his wife and 3 of his children. He had traveled most of the way by wagon along Boone path to Bean Station TN and then to the Clinch River valley of Claiborne county.

In 1803, Goin built and founded the Big Barren Primitive Baptist Church. He also built the first road connecting Southern Claiborne County with the city of Tazewell TN. Goin served on many Jury panels between 1803 and 1838 when he died. Goin was buried in the Big Barren Church cemetery which is now under water at Norris Lake. The Goin Community in Claiborne County and the former Goin Post Office were named after Thomas Goin.

 The most famous lawsuit ever heard in Claiborne County involved one of the descendents of Thomas Goin. On September 15, 1853, Elijah Goin filed a Slander lawsuit against Sterling Mayes. Mayes had called Goin a Mulatto and had spread ru mors al around town that Elijah was really a mulatto due to his dark skin. The dark skin which is prevalent among Goin family members was due to their being descended from Melungeons (Half Portuguese and Half Indian).

 The reason this was such a serious slander in those days was due to a clause in the Territory Act of Tennessee (1794) and the Tennessee State Constitution (1796), that stated Mulattos could not own land in Tennessee.

 Elijah owned land with a taxable value of $1000.00 which was a lot of money in those days. Elijah won the lawsuit, but the decision was later appealed and won by Mayes. This forced Elijah to leave Claiborne County and move to Missouri.

 During the Civil war, descendents of Goin fought on both sides during the war. In 1863, Christopher Kit Goin fought for the Confederacy and was soon captured and sent to Camp Chase Illinois, a Federal Prison camp for Confederate soldiers’ right outside Chicago. Goin would die there with 2000 other Confederate Soldiers.

 Hugh Goin fought for the Union army and was sent to Andersonville Prison in 1864, a Confederate Prison camp for Union Soldiers.  Goin would die along 13000 other Union Troops at Andersonville.

 Fielding Goin fought for the Union army, and was soon captured and sent to Libby Prison, a Confederate Prison camp for Union Soldiers in 1864. Goin would die there along with over 10000 Union troops. During the war over 26000 Confederates would die in Union prison Camps and over 24000 Union Troops would die in Confederate Prison Camps.

 Today Goin descendents have ties to almost every family in Claiborne county with Thousands of descendents living in Claiborne county and all over America.

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