Before coming to the Senate, William Blount established a distinguished record of public service in the Revolutionary army, the North Carolina legislature, the Continental Congress, and the Constitutional Convention. Appointed in 1790 by President George Washington to be governor of the Territory South of the Ohio, Blount helped secure statehood for Tennessee. In 1796 he became one of the state's first U.S. senators. His time in the Senate was short-lived, however, due to his involvement in a plan to secure Spanish territory west of the Mississippi for the British, in an apparent effort to improve the value of his own land holdings. Blount became the first person to be expelled from the Senate, and the only senator ever impeached by the House of Representatives.