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The Tennessee 1st Congressional District is the congressional district of northeast Tennesseemarker, including all of Cartermarker, Cockemarker, Greenemarker, Hamblenmarker, Hancockmarker, Hawkinsmarker, Johnsonmarker, Sullivanmarker, Unicoimarker, and Washingtonmarker counties and parts of Jefferson Countymarker and Sevier Countymarker. Cities and towns represented within the district include Blountvillemarker, Bristolmarker, Elizabethtonmarker, Erwinmarker, Greenevillemarker, Johnson Citymarker, Jonesboroughmarker, Jefferson Citymarker, Kingsportmarker, Morristownmarker, Mountain Citymarker, Roan Mountainmarker, Rogersvillemarker, and Seviervillemarker. The 1st District's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has been held by Republican since 1881.

The district was created in 1823 when the was divided among multiple districts.

David Davis, Republican, elected in 2006, failed to win renomination in the August 2008 Republican primary election, losing to Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe, who currently represents the district.

Political characteristics

The 1st has generally been a very secure voting district for the Republican Party since the American Civil War, and is one of only two ancestrally Republican districts in the state (the other being the neighboring 2nd district).

Representatives Andrew Jackson (1796-1797, at large) and Andrew Johnson (1843-1853, 1st) represented this area and later served as President of the United States
Republicans (or their antecedents) have held the seat continuously since 1881 and for all but four years since 1859, while Democrats (or their antecedents) have held the congressional seat for all but eight years from when Andrew Jackson was first elected to the U.S.
House of Representatives in 1796 (as the state's single at large representative) up to the term of Albert Galiton Watkins ending in 1859.

Andrew Johnson later ascended to the office of President of the United States.

The 1st was one of four districts in Tennessee whose congressmen did not resign when Tennessee seceded from the Union in 1861. Thomas Amos Rogers Nelson was reelected as a Unionist (the name used by a coalition of Republicans, northern Democrats and anti-Confederate Southern Democrats) to the Thirty-seventh Congress, but he was arrested by Confederate troops while en route to Washington, D.C.marker and taken to Richmond. Nelson was paroled and returned home to Jonesboro, where he kept a low profile for the length of his term.

Like the rest of East Tennessee, slavery was not as common in this area as the rest of the state due to its mountain terrain, which was dominated by small farms instead of plantations. The district was also the home of the first abolitionist periodicals in the nation, The Manumission Intelligencer and The Emancipator, founded in Jonesborough by Elihu Embree in 1819.

Due to these factors, this area supported the Union over the Confederacy in the Civil War, and identified with the Republican Party after Tennessee was readmitted to the Union in 1867, electing candidates representing the Republican-related Unionist Party both before and after the war. This allegiance continues to this day, with Republicans dominating every level of government. While a few Democratic pockets exist in the district's urban areas, they are not enough to sway the district.

List of representatives

Representative Party Years District Residence Notes

District created March 4, 1805
John Rhea Democratic-Republican March 4, 1805 - March 3, 1815 Redistricted from the At-large district
Samuel Powell Democratic-Republican March 4, 1815 - March 3, 1817
John Rhea Democratic-Republican March 4, 1817 - March 3, 1823
John Blair Jacksonian D-R March 4, 1823 - March 3, 1825 Jonesboroughmarker
Jacksonian March 4, 1825 - March 3, 1835
William B. Carter Anti-Jacksonian March 4, 1835 - March 3, 1837 Elizabethtonmarker
Whig March 4, 1837 - March 3, 1841
Thomas D. Arnold Whig March 4, 1841 - March 3, 1843 Greenevillemarker Retired
Andrew Johnson Democratic March 4, 1843 - March 3, 1853 Greenevillemarker Elected Governor of Tennessee
Brookins Campbell Democratic March 4, 1853 - December 25, 1853 Greenevillemarker Died
Vacant December 25, 1853 - March 30, 1854
Nathaniel G. Taylor Whig March 30, 1854 - March 3, 1855 Carter Countymarker Lost reelection
Albert G. Watkins Democratic March 4, 1855 - March 3, 1859 Jefferson Citymarker Redistricted from the 2nd district

Thomas A. R. Nelson Opposition March 4, 1859 - March 3, 1861 Washington Countymarker reelected in 1860, captured en route to Congress and failed to take his seat in 1861
Civil War and Reconstruction
Nathaniel G. Taylor Unionist July 24, 1866 – March 3, 1867 Carter Countymarker Retired
Roderick R. Butler Republican March 4, 1867 - March 3, 1875 Mountain Citymarker Lost reelection
William McFarland Democratic March 4, 1875 - March 3, 1877 Morristownmarker
James H. Randolph Republican March 4, 1877 - March 3, 1879 Newportmarker
Robert L. Taylor Democratic March 4, 1879 - March 3, 1881 Carter Countymarker Son of Nathaniel G. Taylor
Augustus H. Pettibone Republican March 4, 1881 - March 3, 1887 Greenevillemarker
Roderick R. Butler Republican March 4, 1887 - March 3, 1889 Mountain Citymarker
Alfred A. Taylor Republican March 4, 1889 - March 3, 1895 Johnson Citymarker Son of Nathaniel G. Taylor and brother of Robert L. Taylor
William C. Anderson Republican March 4, 1895 - March 3, 1897 Newportmarker
Walter P. Brownlow Republican March 4, 1897 - July 8, 1910 Johnson Citymarker Died

Vacant July 9, 1910 – November 7, 1910
Zachary D. Massey Republican November 8, 1910 - March 3, 1911 Seviervillemarker Retired

Sam R. Sells Republican March 4, 1911 - March 3, 1921 Johnson Citymarker
B. Carroll Reece Republican March 4, 1921 - March 3, 1931 Johnson Citymarker Lost renomination to Oscar Lovette
Oscar B. Lovette Republican March 4, 1931 - March 3, 1933 Greenevillemarker Lost renomination

B. Carroll Reece Republican March 3, 1933 - January 3, 1947 Johnson Citymarker Retired to serve as chairman of the Republican National Committee

Dayton E. Phillips Republican January 3, 1947 - January 3, 1951 Elizabethtonmarker Lost renomination

B. Carroll Reece Republican January 3, 1951 - March 19, 1961 Johnson Citymarker Died

Vacant March 20, 1961 - May 15, 1961
Louise G. Reece Republican May 16, 1961 - January 3, 1963 Johnson Citymarker Wife of B. Carroll Reece


Jimmy Quillen Republican January 3, 1963 - January 3, 1997 Kingsportmarker Retired

William L. Jenkins Republican January 3, 1997 - January 3, 2007 Rogersvillemarker Retired

David Davis Republican January 3, 2007 - January 3, 2009 Johnson Citymarker Lost renomination

Phil Roe Republican January 3, 2009 - present Johnson Citymarker



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