Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Historic Blue Grass Line - Chapters

The Historic Blue Grass Line

A Review Of The History Of Davidson And Sumner Counties,
Together With Sketches of Places and Events
Along the Route Of The

By James Douglas Anderson
Nashville, Tennessee. 1913




Chapter IV. INCIDENTS BY THE WAY. - Continued

Chapter V. INCIDENTS BY THE WAY. - Continued

Content on this page was transcribed and published by Debie Cox. This book is in the public domain. The transcription and formatting of this page and all chapters of The Historic Blue Grass Line as published on are the property of Debie Cox.
Copyright © 2006, Debie Cox.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Historic Blue Grass Line 5

The Historic Blue Grass Line

A Review Of The History Of Davidson And Sumner Counties,
Together With Sketches of Places and Events
Along the Route Of The

By James Douglas Anderson
Nashville, Tennessee. 1913

V.Incidents By The Way - Continued.
From Mansker's Creek to Gallatin

The Roberts Home, of ante-bellum days, still stands on the east side of Mansker's Creek, in Sumner County. Here three attaches of the Union and American and of the American grew to manhood. Eugene Roberts was secretary and treasurer of the company, Robert Roberts was business manager and Albert Roberts was chief editorial writer. As "John Happy" Albert Roberts obtained quite a reputation as a humorist. Mr. Roberts work in the political field was recognized by President Cleveland, who appointed him Consul to Hamilton, Ontario.

Hendersonville, in 1830, consisted of a store and stage office and the man that conducted them. The brick building in which this "department" was carried on still stands on the north side of the pike, east of Drake's Creek, and in front of "Hazel Path," home of Mrs. Nannie Smith Berry. From that one store a thriving village has sprung in this rich and populous section.

"Rock Castle," a short distance south of Hendersonville, furnished several events that show that the dangers, privations and hardships of the pioneers. On account of continual hostilities with the Indians it took seven years to build the house, 1784-1791. It was built by stone masons brought from Lexington, Ky., for that purpose. Two men engaged in building the house, while fishing on Drake's Creek, were killed by Indians.

In 1794 two boys named Anthony Bledsoe , cousins, one a son of Isaac Bledsoe, both of whom had then been killed by the Indians, were living at Gen. Smith's while attending school near by. After returning from school one afternoon in March they went to the quarry with a Negro waggoner and there all were attacked by Indians. The Negro surrendered and his life was spared; the boys had not been born to surrender and were killed, scalped and partially stripped of their clothing. The place where they were killed is known, but their graves are now unmarked. Gen. Smith himself was wounded by Indians while traveling the Buffalo trail between Mansker's and Bledsoe's.

Gen. Smith rendered distinguished services to his county before he came to this section in 1783 and located the "Rock Castle" tract of 4,000 acres and built his home. He was a learned man, a surveyor of great name, made the first map of Tennessee, was territorial secretary by appointment of Washington, member of the Constitutional Convention in 1796, and United States Senator for about eleven years. His last years were spent in developing his plantation, now owned by Mrs. Nannie Smith Berry. He died in 1818 is buried at Rock Castle.

A Rock Castle Romance .- The early history of Rock Castle, clouded with tragedy, is brightened by the tradition of a romance in which Fate seems to have given compensation, as far as possible, to all parties concerned. Mary (called Polly) Smith, the only daughter of Gen. Smith, and Samuel Donelson, son of Col. John Donelson, wished to marry. There were parental objection at Rock Castle with the usual result. One afternoon in 1797 Polly, then in her sixteenth year, sat in her room at Rock Castle listening to the sounds of axe and hammer in the forest, not far away. She understood and was ready that night when Donelson and Andrew Jackson came with a sapling ladder and placed it beneath her window. Polly got up behind Jackson on horseback and the party crossed the river below Rock Castle and went to the Hunter's Hill neighborhood, where the ceremony was performed. The mutual compensation: Samuel Donelson brought Jackson a wife from Kentucky; Jackson helped Donelson get a wife from Rock Castle, and the master of Rock Castle, in the following year, succeeded Jackson (resigned) in the United States Senate.

Gen. Smith never invited Polly to come home until after she was left a widow with three young children: John, who served in the creek war and died son afterward; Andrew Jackson and Daniel Smith. Under the circumstances of the marriage - in the absence of other considerations - it was fitting that Jackson should adopt Andrew J. Donelson, which he did, and sent him up the political ladder as he helped his mother down the sapling ladder.

Daniel S. Donelson built and lived in the brick house now the home of Mrs. Berry. The house on the knoll opposite the Presbyterian Church at Hendersonville was built by Dr. William Williams, who married a daughter of Daniel S. Donelson. This property was first owned by Col. Henderson, of Revolutionary fame, for whom Hendersonville was named. His remains are buried on the place.

Polly Smith Donelson married James ("Jimmy Dry") Saunders and two of her children by this marriage were Mrs. Meredith P. Gentry and Mrs. Robert L. Caruthers.

The Franklin Families And Farms .- Within a distance of three miles, beginning with J. W. Russwurm's Brookhaven Berkshire Farm, and ending with Fairview, there are ten farms touching the pike that are now or have been the homes of Franklins - all descendants of one man, James Franklin. Besides there is one farm, half a mile south of the pike at Avondale depot, and four a short distance north of Pilot Knob that come under this head.

James Franklin's ancestors were Huguenots and settled in Virginia. His father moved from Virginia to North Carolina, and here James Franklin was born and reared. When James was about grown his father died in North Carolina and his mother married again. This was against, the wishes of his two sisters and himself and the three, taking several slaves, started for the West, but were overtaken by their step-father, who went back with the girls and the slaves but one. With this servant James Franklin continued his westward journey. It is family tradition that he was a member of the Long Hunters that lived in this section several months in 1772 (camping on land that afterward was the home place of his granddaughter, Mrs. Dr. Horace F. Anderson), and that this visit influenced him to settle in this locality after coming to Nashborough. Be that as it may, James Robertson has put James Franklin's name on record in an Act of the North Carolina Legislature as one of the immortal seventy, who staid through the darkest days of the settlement, and who, for that reason, were entitled to pre-emptions of 640 acres without any expense to themselves. It is also of record that James Franklin assisted Mansker in building his first fort, near Goodlettsville, late in 1779, or early in 1780; and that in 1783 James Franklin, James McKain, Elmore Douglass and Charles Carter went eight miles east of Mansker's along the Buffalo trail leading to Bledsoe's and built a fort on the west side of Station Camp Creek three-fourths of a mile north of Pilot Knob, on land now owned by a Mr. Cunningham.

Young Franklin lived awhile with the Lauderdale family, near Bledsoe's Lick, married one of the Lauderdale girls, settled on his 640 acres pre-emption north of Pilot Knob, lived there, died there and is buried there, in a marked grave.

His five sons were: Isaac, James, John, William and Albert, each of whom seems to have been remarkably successful in acquiring ownership of fine lands and good homes close to the old roof tree.

John owned the present T. B. Wilson place east of Avondale. Isaac owned "Fairview," and Albert lived at the present "Kennesaw." A daughter, Mrs. John Armfield, built the "Brookhaven" residence of J. W. Russwurm. Of the third generation, Dr. James Franklin lived adjoining "Brookhaven," and his children still own the place and live there. Dr. Josh Franklin lived near Avondale depot (house burned); Mrs. Dr. Horace F. Anderson lived at the mouth of Cage's Bend road (place now owned by H. R. Vaughn); A. C. Franklin lives north of the creek from this point; Walter Franklin lived between there and "Kennesaw," which was the home of Captain James Franklin, and is now owned by his son Harry. Opposite "Kennesaw" is "Oakley," for half a century the home of the late Dr. John W. Franklin, a grandson of the original James.

The Man That Killed an Indian Chief - James McKain, a fourteen year old boy, was a member of Donelson's party and signed the Compact of May, 1780. The County Court in 1783 elected him constable at Mansker's Station, and in that same year he went with Franklin, Carter and Douglass and helped them to build the fort on Station Camp Creek.

Charles Morgan, a brother-in-law of Gov. William Hall, was wounded and scalped alive near Bledsoe's Lick in 1788. Before he died he said the Indian that shot and scalped him had a hair-lip. This was Ne-ussee (signifying moon), a celebrated warrior and chief and the only hair-lipped man in the Nation.

In 1789 James McKain, while a member of a scouting party, led by Col. George Winchester, near Smith's Fork, a tributary of Caney Fork, killed a hair-lipped Indian, and after peace had been established the Indians said Moon had been killed. James McKain located a 640 acre tract on Drake's Creek. He married a daughter of Amos Eaton, of Eaton's Station, and his daughter married James Franklin, Jr. One of the children of this marriage was Dr. James Franklin, with whom McKain spent his last years, and at whose home, half a mile west of Saundersville, McKain died in 1857 at the age of ninety-one years.

Another grandson, Mr. Benjamin Franklin, now (1912) eighty-three years of age, told the writer: "I never heard my grandfather say he killed "Moon." He always said he had two bullets in his rifle, that he aimed at "Moon" and fired; that "Moon" fell pierced by two bullets, but that somebody else might have shot him, too."

James McKain's chair, powder horn, hunting knife and family Bible are in possession of Dr. Jim Franklin's children, who still reside in the house where their great grandfather died. (Note - James McKain appears in several histories and official records under the erroneous name "Cain," "McCain" and "McCann.")

A Pioneer Preacher, A Murderer and a Detective - In 1767 one Isaac Lindsay and four other South Carolinians came across the mountains to the Cumberland River and down that stream to the mouth of Stones River on a hunting and exploring expedition. Presumably this was the same Isaac Lindsay who came with a great many other hunters and explorers in 1780 to take advantage of their explorations. Isaac Lindsay's name it affixed to the compact. He settled first at Eaton's Station and was a member of the first Davidson County Court. Later he was granted 800 acres on the north side of the Cumberland River, in Sumner County, and going there settled on a river bluff, about a mile south of the present site of Saundersville. Mr. Lindsay was a member of the first County Court (1786) of Sumner County.

The bluff where he settled and the island nearby have ever since borne his name.

Mr. Lindsay later became a Methodist preacher, died at the bluff and is buried there.

His son, Isaac Lindsay, was a Methodist preacher for eight years, retiring in 1816 and settling near his old home at the Bluff. In this same neighborhood also resided a young man named Carroll, a worthless character, but with nothing particular against him. Mr. Lindsay had known him from infancy and suspected no evil design when Carroll told him he had discovered a very rich silver mine in Missouri, had some of the ore then hid in the river bottom and wanted Mr. Lindsay to be his partner and go with him, get the ore, proceed with him to Nashville and have it tested.

Lindsay and Carroll were seen together going toward the river bottom on December 14, 1840. Three days later Lindsay's horse was found grazing in the woods. His body was found floating in the river. Carroll was not to be found.

At that time W. R. Saunders, an intelligent, cultivated and unassuming young man, lived with his father, Rev. Hubbard Saunders, a Methodist preacher, who, in 1798, had settled on a tract of land north of the pike (still the family homestead), half a mile west of the present site of Saundersville. Soon after this murder young Saunders left home. In a short while he was going from place to place in Arkansas and then in the Indian nation, asking questions about the prices of lands, newest immigrants, etc. He located Carroll, then revealed his purpose to Carroll's employer, who helped along the ruse to get Carroll in irons. Carroll was tried in Gallatin, was defended by Jo. C. Guild and was hanged in South Nashville along with two other murderers, Payne of Franklin County, and Kirby of White. The hanging of Kirby and Carroll together was in good taste, for there was a remarkable similarity in their crimes. Kirby lured old man Elrod into Pine Mountains to show him a saltpeter mine in a cave. In both cases the admissibility of certain declarations by deceased as to his intentions, etc. in starting on a journey were passed on by the Supreme Court and are frequently quoted in the criminal courts now. (Note- Kirby vs. State, 9 Yerg. 383; Carroll vs. State, 3 Hump. 315; Payne vs. State, 3 Hump. 375.)

Saundersville got its name from W. R. Saunders, who was the first merchant and the first postmaster there. The first tavern was the Read Hotel. In the latter days of the stage coach Thomas S. Watson conducted a public tavern (still standing) where the stage passengers and other travelers always made it convenient to stop. At this time and for years after the war Saundersville was a flourishing village.

Avondale, the home of E. S. Gardner, was so named when purchased by his father, E. S. Gardner, about twenty-five years ago to be used in breeding race horses. He had at the head of his stud King Hanover, Imp. Quicklime and Himyar. In one year Himyar's get won more money than the get of any other sire. Avondale produced Ida Pickwick, Soufle, Adalia, Fraulein, Bracelet and others.

The Long Hunters - The hunting party of 1769, composed of twenty men or more, among them being John Rains, Casper Mansker, Abraham Bledsoe, Joseph Drake, Uriah Stone and Ned Carvin, had been away from home only eight months. The party, afterward called "Long Hunters," did not finally abandon their hunt and go back home until a year after they had left. Casper Mansker organized and led this party - the Long Hunters - in the fall of 1771. Among its members were Isaac Bledsoe and Joseph Drake. After camping elsewhere, with varied experiences, the party, in May, 1772, made their "station camp" - (their tents being made of Buffalo skins) - on the land later owned by Mrs. Dr. Horace F. Anderson, and near the branch that flows down the Cage's Bend Road. Tradition in the Gillespie, Cage and Franklin families for several generations marked the site of the camps by a large over-cup acorn tree, which stood about 200 feet south of the pike and 200 feet west of the branch. (Note. - The Federals burned this tree during the Civil War). Here they were stationed until they broke camp in the fall and returned home.

From this camp Station Camp Creek got its name, and Pilot Knob, on the north, was so called because it guided the hunters through the wilderness to and from their main headquarters, or station camp. (Note. - Pilot Knob is mentioned in a road making order on the minutes of the Davidson County Court, 1786, p. 109.)

Mansker and Isaac Bledsoe went from this station camp on their respective trips of discovery, which gave each of their names to a creek, a lick and a pond, all near Hendersonville. What a joyful time there must have been here at the mouth of Cage's Bend Road when Drake reported the number of deer at his pond; when Casper Mansker produced nineteen hides of as many deer killed between his two licks, only a few hundred yards apart, the day he discovered them; when Bledsoe told that the buffalos were so numerous at his lick the day he first saw it that he was fearful of being run over and trampled to death, although he was on horseback.

"One day," says Haywood, "twenty-five of the Cherokees came to the camp and plundered it in the absence of the hunters. Some of the party discovered the Indians, but before the whole company could be collected the Indians were gone. They made a visible trail where they came in, but were careful not to make one in their departure. They either went singly or up Station Camp Creek in the water. They took all the ammunition they could find and all the pots and kettles that belonged to the company. They carried off also and destroyed about 500 deer skins and a good deal of clothing, and, in short, they broke up the hunting expedition for the present. However, the hunters continued where they were until they had consumed the remainder of their ammunition, which was but small. They then broke up the camp and moved toward the settlements. They went as far as Big Barren River, in Kentucky, where they met with another corps of hunters, upon which Mansco and four or five others returned and hunted to the end of the season. They then returned to the settlements on New River."

Norris Chapel (Methodist) - The first church built in Sumner County was situated on Station Camp Creek, just north of the railroad at Pilot Knob. No vestige of it remains.

Gillespie and Cage - The residence south of the pike and east of the Cage's Bend Road, was built (the log "ell") soon after the land was purchased by William Gillespie, about 1793, and the brick front by his son-in-law, Jesse Cage, about 1836. Gillespie came here from the Watauga Settlement with Maj. William Cage, Jesse Cage's father, purchased two grants, aggregating 1,280 acres, the northern and eastern boundaries being Pilot Knob and Station Camp Creek, from which they extended south about two miles. After the death of Jesse Cage the farm came in the possession of his son, Dr. John F. Cage. After the war it was owned by Temple O. Harris, and then by Burrell Bender. Here the late Capt. Jesse Cage, of Nashville, Clerk of Sumner County Court for many years, was born and reared.

Cage's Chapel - Dr. John F. Cage was the leading spirit in building Station Camp, or Cage's Chapel, the land for which he gave off the east end of his farm near the creek.

Prof. Moses, uncle of Hon. Frank Moses, of Knoxville, was conducting a school there when the outbreak of the Civil War robbed him of his largest pupils.

The church site is now occupied by a residence. On the bank of the creek, near the church, stood Hunt's Mill, latter known as Baber's and then as Peyton's Mill. It was once a flourishing "custom" grinder. Its demise, about 1885, marked the first stage in the subsequent development of centralization in business.

But the worse feature about the going of the old mill was, the mill-pond went with it, with its "going-in-a-washing" privileges and its "lusty trout."

The publication of the number of black perch caught in this pond by Maj. D. C. Douglass and Dr. John F. Cage in one day, provoked a denial by a "Yankee" of that period who "proved" that the feat was impossible-much to the amusement of the neighborhood.

Bellemont - The brick residence on the creek bluff, south of the pike, at Number One, was built in 1836 by Thomas Baber. It was later owned by Dr. Robert Farquarharson, who sold it to John D. Goss in 1862.

Goss's father was a wealthy sugar planter in San Domingo. A map of his plantation, seven miles square, is still in possession of the family.

At the time of the famous Negro uprising in 1797 a friendly slave notified Goss of the coming trouble. He and his wife were two of the very few who escaped. They went to Maryland, where John D. Goss was born. In 1824 John D. Goss rode on horse-back from Baltimore to Nashville and started a furniture business. Later he married Elizabeth Bowie, whose father established a factory in Robertson County to make guns for Jackson in the second war with England. Elizabeth Bowie was a first cousin of James and Reason P. Bowie and was born in 1808 at the home of their father, Reason Bowie, which stood on the bank of Station Camp Creek, about fifty yards north of the present residence of W. A. Hewgley, one mile west of Gallatin.

Five years after retiring from a successful business career John D. Goss died, but his family retained possession of the place until a few years ago. The house was furnished with handsome mahogany furniture, much of which had been taken to San Domingo from France and brought to "Bellemont" via Baltimore and Nashville. The house stands to-day as sound as when first built.

Kennesaw - Albert Franklin, son of the original James, had three sons, Albert C., Walter, and James. In the seventies, and later, their lands extended from Station Camp Creek, near Pilot Knob, eastwardly to the Balie Peyton farm. Albert Franklin bought his first race horse in 1868, and his two sons, Albert and James, naturally turned to the turf. As proprietor of Kennesaw, on the north side of the pike, east of Number One, Capt. James Franklin displayed a talent in horse breeding that amounted almost to genius. In Capt. Franklin's lifetime Glengary was at the head of Kennesaw Stud and the leading brood mares were Kathleen, Arizona, a great four-miler; and Nevada, all purchased with other brood mares in Kentucky. The three mares named and other Kennesaw brood were by Lexington, one of the greatest horses known to the turf. He sired more high class brood mares than any horse of this day. Under Capt. Franklin's mating and management Kennesaw produced: George Kinney (dam Kathleen), best horse of this day; Aranza (dam Arizona), winner in England; Amerique(dam of Armament); Stuyvesant, first horse that ever ran a mile in 1:40; Kingman, winner of Kentucky and Latonia Derbies and Clark stakes; Kennesaw, for whom the farm was named; Greenland, Gladstone, Lollie Eastin, Lillian Beatrice and Luke Blackburn, foaled in 1877.

Captain Franklin sold Luke Blackburn to Dwyer Bros. Ridden by McLaughlin, as a three year old, he won twenty straight races, beating every good three year old of his year. He is said to have been the best three year old ever foaled.

Kennesaw Farm was the first to sell a yearling for as much as $7,500- Joe Blackburn, full brother to Luke. Under management of its present owner, Harry Franklin, son of "Capt. Jim," Kennesaw has produced: Percita, dam of Prince Albert; Sierra Gorda; Ben MacDhui, winner of Canadian Derby and sold for $6 - 500.00; Benvolio, winner by one-fourth mile of Dixie Stakes, last four mile race run in Tennessee. Time 7:17 2-5. Von Rouse, sold for $15,000.00; Prince Ahmed, holds world's record of three-quarter mile in 1:11.

Fairview and Its Owners - Isaac Franklin, son of James Franklin, was born at the family homestead on Station Camp Creek, north of Pilot Knob, May 26, 1789. His father was neither poor nor rich. By the time Isaac Franklin was forty years old he had accumulated a considerable sum of money and had become very much a citizen of the world, spending each summer in Washington City and each winter in New Orleans or Natchez.

In the first decade of the last century the population of the eight cotton States, from Carolina to Texas, increased fifty percent; in the second decade, beginning the year Franklin became of age, the increase was fifty-five per cent. In the latter decade, though cotton prices had dropped and ranged around fifteen and sixteen cents, cotton planting amounted almost to madness. Immigrants flocked in by the thousands from Northern States and invested in cotton lands. Business and professional men labored the harder that they might have a sufficiency to buy and develop cotton plantations, upon which to retire. Franklin caught the spirit of the age. First, in 1831, he purchased ten or twelve tracts of land, aggregating about two thousand acres, four miles west of Gallatin, and a year or two later built thereon what was proven by sworn testimony to have been, at that time, the finest country residence in Tennessee.

"The grounds around were planted with choice trees and laid out in the best manner; here he had green houses, flower gardens, sumptuous furniture, several fine carriages, choice wines of all kinds, a stable of race horses, a large quantity of blooded stock and a number of picked servants, more than sufficient even for such an establishment." (Note- La. Sup. Ct. opinion in case of Acklen vs Franklin, June 1852).

But with all this splendor Fairview lacked the finishing touch of feminine presence and Franklin was there on only a few days a year until 1839. (La. Sup. Ct.)

Impressed with the immense possibilities of operating plantations in Louisiana, in connection with Fairview, Franklin, "in May, 1835, purchased the undivided half of near eight thousand acres of land in West Feliciana, upwards of two hundred slaves and all the stock necessary for the immense plantation, and immediately formed a partnership with a resident of the parish for the purpose of carrying on, as it was expressed, the business of planting upon several plantations in the parish." (Note - La. Supreme Court). A few years later he became "the undivided proprietor of the vast plantations in which he was before interested - had accumulated together more than five-sixths of his colossal fortune in immovable property." (La. Supreme Court.)

In 1839 wonderful change took place in the appearance of Fairview; a splendid macadamized road was completed along its front and the perfecting touch was given in the selection of a wife to preside over "the finest country home in Tennessee." On July 2 Franklin married Miss Adelicia Hayes, of Nashville, daughter of Oliver B. Hayes, an able lawyer, a leading citizen and Grand Master Mason of the Masonic fraternity in Tennessee. Franklin was then fifty years old. His bride was twenty-two, an honor graduate of the Nashville Female Academy and eminently qualified by birth, education and association to preside as mistress of such an establishment as the master of Fairview had provided.

Before the building of the turnpike the country now traversed by the Interurban was one community. A thirty-mile ride for a visit, on horseback or by private conveyance, was no more thought of than is a ride to Gallatin now, by steam, electricity or gasoline. The completion of the turnpike increased this intercourse and Fairview was an "open house" from May to October. The winters were spent at Belleview plantation in West Feliciana and at New Orleans.

By 1841 Franklin has developed three plantations in West Feliciana - Belleview, Killarney and Loch Lomond. Fairview, on the Cumberland, was run to supply mules, corn, bacon and other products necessary to carry on his plantation on the Mississippi. Transportation from Fairview was had by barge, flatboat or steamer.

The management of these four plantations, aggregating several thousand of acres, worked by many hundred slaves, called for the highest order of business sagacity, unerring judgment in the choice of subordinates and great executive ability. That Franklin had all these qualities is shown by the fact that in the last five years of his life he opened and developed four more Louisiana plantations - Angora, Loango, Panola and Monrovia, and at his death, on April 27th, 1846, in his fifty-sixth year, left an estate worth very nearly one million dollars.

Fairview's 2,000 acres were valued at $40,000 its 138 slaves at $51,931 and its other personal property at $62,819. This was probably the taxable values, less than the real. Franklin also owned an undivided interest in fifty thousand acres of Texas lands, valued at $25,000. He owned choses in action in Mississippi. The bulk of his fortune, consisting of lands, slaves and farm stock - was in West Feliciana, La., his slaves there numbering between 600 and 700. Placing his wealth at seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, Franklin saved more than twenty thousand dollars for every year of his life after his twenty-first birthday, which was very good for a Pilot Knob boy between 1810 and 1846.

But his wealth did not free him of trouble. In January 1846, he wrote from New Orleans to his father-in-law: "I will be compelled to break up that (Fairview) whole establishment if I do not change my mind. I will take the greater part of the hands off next fall and put them on some of my lands in Louisiana; they give me more trouble then all my other property."

In recognizing the educational needs in the South Franklin, who began life about the same time Cornelius Vanderbilt did, was twenty five years in advance of the Commodore, and his philanthropy was greater, for he set aside a greater proportion of his estate for the establishment and maintenance of an institute for the descendants of his father and for deserving poor children of Sumner County. This provision of his will was attacked, but held valid by the Supreme Court of Tennessee (Note - 2 Sneed, 304) in December, 1854, after a contest in which Jo C. Guild and Edwin H. Ewing appeared for the trustees of the school; W. F. Cooper, for Emma Franklin, a minor daughter; John J. White and Return J. Meigs for the executors, O. B. Hayes and John Armfield; and Francis B. Fogg for Acklen and wife. John Marshall, of Franklin, special judge, delivered the opinion of the court.

But in June, 1852, the Supreme Court of Louisiana had held this clause void on the ground that it set up a perpetuity. In delivering a dissenting opinion Judge Preston spoke in most complimentary terms of Franklin's philanthropy. In part, he said:

"Having acquired great wealth by his own exertions, by industry, economy and good fortune, when by will he undertook to make the best disposition of it, in prospect of death, after providing most magnificently for his own immediate household he turned his thoughts to those connected with him by blood and to his native country, remembered its poor and provided an establishment in which they could receive the greatest blessings of life, a good and substantial English education. This must be, in the language of our code, an establishment of public utility, and forbidden by no law, human or divine * * * That this object was legal and highly laudable cannot be disputed * * * Upon the whole case I think every clause of the testament of Isaac Franklin can legally, and ought to be, carried into full effect. And especially that the great monument of wisdom and benevolence which he attempted to erect should be left to perpetuate his memory, since, in my opinion, neither our laws nor any motives of public policy exist for crumbling it to the dust."

But it was not left to "perpetuate his memory," nor has he any descendants to keep him name alive. (Note - Two young daughters died in June following his death in April and his other child, Emma, died unmarried). Still he deserves to be remembered as the first native Tennessean (Note- So far as the writer knows) who provided out of his fortune for the establishment and maintenance of an educational institution.

After the death of her husband and two of her children Mrs. Franklin returned to Nashville. In 1849 she married Col. J. A. S. Acklen, a lawyer of Huntsville, built Belmont, where Belmont College now is, and made that her home.

In 1882 Mrs. Acklen and her son, Col. J. H. Acklen, sold Fairview to Charles Reed, of New York, for fifty thousand dollars cash.

At great expense Reed converted it into a race horse nursery. His most noted studs were Mr. Pickwick, Highlander, Fechter, Rossifer, III Used and Muscovy, all of which he purchased. St. Blaise, for whom he paid $100,000, proved a failure in the stud. Under Reed's management Fairview produced The Bard, purchased by A. J. Cassett, the railroad president: Dobbins, purchased by Richard Croker; Thora, a great cup mare and the most celebrated mare of the age. Three of Thora's foals - Yorkville Belle, Dobbins, and Sir Joseph, sold at auction for $76,000.

The most noted horse owned (not bred) by Charles Reed was a steeple chaser called Trouble, ridden in this country by Pat Maney, celebrated for his skill in this particular form of horsemanship. Maney, brought from Europe, won for Reed $1000,000. When Trouble became too old to jump he took to the stage and was the chief figure in a racing scene until his death.

Several years after Reed sold all the horses he continued to reside at Fairview, but about four years ago sold the whole estate to a syndicate which subdivided the land and sold it off into small farms, as when Franklin, the first master of Fairview, found the land in 1831.

The Peyton Family and Home - The first farm on the north side of the pike after passing the entrance to Fairview is forever connected with pioneer and political history in Tennessee.

John, Ephraim, and Thomas Peyton were among the first who came and among the few more than seventy who stayed. John and Ephraim Peyton were twin brothers and has served together in the Revolutionary War.

Peyton's Creek, in Robertson County, indelibly associates their name with a fight near Kilgore's Station in 1782, in which several settlers were killed.

Defeated Creek, near the line of Smith and Jackson Counties and Peyton's Creek in the same section indelibly associate their name with an attack led by Fool Warrior and sixty followers on the camps of John, Ephraim and Thomas Peyton and several companions one night in February, 1786, when the ground was covered with a deep snow. The camp was on an island in Defeated Creek. All the members of the party were wounded except Ephraim Peyton and he sprained his ankle running through the creek. "In this naked and mangled condition they had to grope their way in crusted snow through a pitiless wilderness of cane-clad mountains alone (for no tow ever came together) for four days, bare-headed, bare-footed, without food, fire or any garments, except a shirt and pantaloons, marking all the desert with their blood." But they all arrived safely at Bledsoe's Lick, a distance of about seventy miles by the circuitous route they came, recovered of their wounds and fought many more Indian battles. (Note - Tennessee Gazetteer, 1834; account given by John Peyton to the Gazetteer Writer.)

The name of Peyton is also indelibly associated with the guerrilla warfare waged by the Indians around Bledsoe's Lick, as the following incident, vouchsafed by a member of the Peyton family, will attest:

"After the death of his wife in Virginia Robert Peyton came to Tennessee to live with his son John Peyton, whose home is now called "Peytona" but always called "Station Camp" while the Peyton family owned it, being situated between the two creeks by that name. Robert Peyton owned a great many cattle and told his son that he was going to "Bledsoe's Lick" next day to look for them. His son urged him to remain at home, saying it was dangerous to go, that the war had not ended and that the Indians were just waiting to surprise them, but the old man could not be dissuaded from his purpose. The next morning, June 7, 1795, Robert Peyton went to the fort on the hill east of Bledsoe's Lick, left his horse and was counting the cattle at the spring when the Indians rushed upon him. He ran towards the fort; the men at the fort saw him, got their guns, attempted to rescue him, but were too late. He was found dead with a knife sticking in his neck - the last man killed by Indians in Sumner County.":

John Peyton died in 1833. His two sons, Balie and Joseph H., represented this district in Congress - Balie as a Democrat in 1833, 1835 and Joseph H. as a Whig in 1843, re-elected in 1845 and died that year.:

Balie Peyton purposely opened his campaign for Congress in the Defeated Creek section and made such use of his opportunity and talents that his opponent, although a popular and able veteran of the hustings went down. Peyton removed to New Orleans, became a Whig - too much Jackson; campaigned many States; was U. S. District Attorney; declined appointment as Secretary of War; rendered distinguished service in the Mexican War as Chief of Gen. Worth's Staff; Minister to Chile; in California five years; returned to Station Camp in 1859; was Bell and Everett elector; spoke against secession at Gallatin, 1861, and was State Senator 1869-70. He died August 18, 1878.:

Station Camp was well known in its day and time among the lovers of the thoroughbred. It produced (among others) Fanny McAlister, Muggins, Satterlite, who ran successfully in England; Chickamaunga, Rosseau and Richelieu. :

Dr. Redmond Dillon Barry, Surgeon, Lawyer, Horse Breeder, and Farmer, Friend of Packenham and Jackson - On the bluff, south of the pike where it crosses upper Station Camp Creek, Dr. Redmond D. Barry once lived. This residence, a two story brick, was recently torn down and a brick cottage built on its site. Dr. Barry was a native of Ireland, a descendant of the nobility, and a schoolmate and friend of Gen. Packenham at Dublin University. Through the influence of Charles James Fox he secured a position as surgeon in the British navy, but his sympathies being with the colonies, he resigned, settled in North Carolina, practice medicine and made a fortune. He then studied law in the office of John Breckenridge (Attorney-General in Jefferson's Cabinet) in Louisville, removed to Gallatin, married Jane Alexander of the Mecklenburg (N. C.) Alexanders, and became a successful lawyer. But he is first known to local fame as the man who brought the first thoroughbred stallion, Gray Medley, and the first blue-grass seed into the country west of the Cumberland Mountains. So "The Blue-grass Line," running by the first home of the blue-grass in Tennessee, and in a blue-grass section, is not inappropriately named.:

Gray Medley was purchased from the famous stables of Gov. Williams, of Virginia, and was brought to the Barry farm about 1799 by a Negro hostler, Altamont by name, purchased from the Mt. Vernon estate to have charge of the horse here.:

The horse was kept in a log stable east of the residence. He was a vicious animal and only Altamont could handle him. He was a great success in the stud and was the great grandsire of "the Four Tennessee Brothers" of the Tonson family, which defeated the best horses of their time in races of all distances.:

Racing was inaugurated at Gallatin in the fall of 1804, the grand stand being where the L. & N. Depot now is and the track between the Blythe and Water Streets, running north from the depot. A large crowd was present from Sumner and adjacent counties. The chief event of the first day was a contest between Major-General Andrew Jackson's Indian Queen and Dr. Barry's "Polly" Medley, so named from Mrs. William Hall, a sister of Mrs. Barry. Polly Medley won. That evening at Dr. Barry's residence Gen. Jackson and Mrs. Hall, then a bride, opened the ball given in celebration of the occasion.:

"Could these old walls speak," and a descendant of Dr. Barry, in writing of the house that stood here, "they could tell of many a mid-night revel when the wit of Grundy, Houston, Jackson, Hamilton, and others was as sparkling as the wine they sipped. It was at this place the first court in the county was held, the judge presiding in a long robe, and the lawyers were required to were cockade hats.":

While standing at his front yard gate one day in 1815 Dr. Barry saw a horseman galloping down the road and through the creek and heard him shouting, "Peace, peace has been made." He was a courier on his way to Gallatin, and in passing handed Dr. Barry a letter. His face beamed with joy as he read of Jackson's victory at New Orleans, but when farther along he read that the friend of his school days had been killed his eyes filled with tears. Knowing Packenham as he did he had no patience with those who believed the "beauty and booty" reports.":

His reputation as a farmer, race horse breeder and lawyer firmly established Dr. Barry was not without opportunity to show his skill as a surgeon in this section. Going to Nashville in response to a message brought by a rider whose horse fell dead of exhaustion at his gate, Dr. Barry trepanned the skill of a prominent citizen - the first time this operation had been preformed in Tennessee. None of the Nashville doctors would attempt it. The patient lived for thirty years.:

In the old stone stable which stood until recently north of the pike Dr. Barry kept Polly Medley and other racers. A small detachment of Morgan's men, concealed in this stable, put to rout a Federal regiment stationed at the railroad bridge to the north. But not before the old barn had been pierced by a Federal cannon ball.:

Judge Thomas Barry, son of Dr. Barry, also lived at this place. Judge Barry, early in life, fell under the magnetic influence of Jackson, which was manifest in his devotion to the turf and in his political views throughout his career, even in his Unionism long after Jackson's death. Among the writer's earliest recollections of Gallatin (in the 70's) is an old man sitting in the shade on West Main Street talking Jackson to a group about him. The Judge had always been prominent in State politics, knew intimately all the big men of the State in ante-bellum days, and entertained his listeners by the hour. Opie Reid pictured the Barry home in "The Tennessee Judge.":

Greenberry Williams and Hanie's Maria - Greenberry Williams lived in a brick house torn down to make room for the present fair grounds in the western suburbs of Gallatin.:

The mention of Greenberry Williams brings back to life the days, previously referred to, when Gallatin rivaled Nashville as a turf center.:

The following table shows the white population of Davidson and Sumner, respectively, for the years named:

- 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840

The race horse craze then gripped the country as football and baseball hold it now. While Gallatin and this entire section were in this feverish condition Greenberry Williams came, in 1806, to identify himself with the history of the new State as the trainer of Hanie's Maria. This chestnut filly was purchased by James Hanie in 1809. She was then one year old and cost him $100. In 1811 he sent her to Greenberry Williams to be trained. In her first three seasons she easily won every contest and roused Gen. Jackson's ire, which was also easily done. Jackson canvassed Virginia for a horse to beat Maria and paid a fabulous price to Wm. R. Johnson for Pacolet only to have her beaten by Maria under the saddle of "Monkey Simon" a dissipated and impudent African hunchback, then noted for his performances as were Barnes and Tod Sloan a few years ago. A little later, at Clover Bottom, Maria and "Monkey Simon" took all the purses that were up. She beat everything sent to her to run against her and then she went to Kentucky and conquered the hitherto unbeaten Robin Grey, the great grandsire of Lexington, "the racer without a peer, the sire without a rival."

Gen. Jackson had seen only a few of Maria's performances before he was offering to stake $50,000 that Maria could beat any horse in the world. In his old age Jackson was asked if he had ever undertaken anything heartily that he did not accomplish. After a moment's reflection he replied: "Nothing that I remember except Hanie's Maria - I could not beat her." (Note - Some other counties in Middle Tennessee, as well adapted to the breeding of the race horse as are Davidson and Sumner, have never taken to that industry, while Davidson and Sumner, and especially Sumner, have become famous as a nursery for thoroughbreds. What caused this industry to take root in these two counties and not in others? To the writer the answer it plain: The influence of Jackson, Barry, Harding, Williams, Guild and Peyton. Dr. Barry got his love for the race horse from is father, David Barry, who maintained extensive stables in Ireland and England.)

A Monument to Mexican War Soldiers - Sumner County furnished three companies for the war with Mexico - the Tenth Legion, Capt. William Blackmore; the Polk Guards, Capt. Robert A. Bennett; Legion Second, Capt. William Hatton - about three hundred young men in all. The first two of these companies were in Campbell's Regiment; the third belonged to Cheatham's (the Third Tennessee) Regiment.

At the battle of Monterey Campbell's regiment won distinction and the soubriquet, the "Bloody First," by which it has ever since been know. Of the one hundred and twenty Americans killed in this battle eight were Sumner Countians. Forty-five Sumner Countians died of disease. In the cemetery in the western suburbs of Gallatin stands a monument erected by citizens in 1848 in memory of these forty-seven soldiers who died in the service of their country in this war. The monument contains the names and dates of birth and death of each of the men. The visitor will be impressed with the fact that most of them were under twenty-five years of age when they voluntarily put themselves in Death's way and won for Sumner County the name of the "Volunteer County of the Volunteer State."

The Trousdale Place - On the south side of West Main Street, half way between Town Bridge and the Public Square, is a small tract of land that is closely associated with every war in which this country has been engaged, down to the war with Spain. North Carolina gave this land to James Trousdale as part of a 640 acre tract for services in the Revolutionary War. It was next the home to James Trousdale's son, William, who was a soldier in the Nickajack expedition, in the Creek Campaign and at New Orleans; a private in the first Seminole War and with Jackson at Pensacola; a colonel in the Seminole War of 1836 and a colonel in the Mexican War. It was next the house of the last and greatly beloved Julius A. Trousdale, a Confederate soldier, and is now the site of a Confederate monument. No more fitting use could have been made of this property than to set it aside for the preservation of historic records and to keep fresh in the minds of coming generations the story of the valor and patriotism of Sumner County in times of public stress. Through the generosity of Mrs. Julius A. Trousdale, Clark Chapter, U. D. C. , now owns the old Trousdale homestead.

First House in Gallatin. - The entire tract of forty acres set aside for the Gallatin town site, under an Act of 1801, was, in fact, a part of the Trousdale grant. Trousdale reserved one acre on the south side of the square and upon this acre lot built the first house erected in Gallatin.

"For God's Sake, Colonel, Surrender!" - An incident on the square on the early morning of July 12, 1862, is historic because it shows warfare reduced to a science, or how to capture a regiment of six hundred with only ten men.

Thomas R. Love, a Gallatin boy at home to recuperate, piloted ten of Morgan's men, under Capt. Jo Desha, to the square, put the provost under arrest while he was asleep and proceeded to the old Johnny Bell hotel on Main Street. Placing nine men about the outside Desha and Love went to the room of Co. W. P. Boone, of Kentucky, who got out of bed half asleep and opened the door, looked down the barrels of two pistols and then - woke up almost speechless. Morgan and five hundred men were encamped a mile east of town on the Hartsville pike, but Desha and Love told Col. Boone that Morgan and his men then surrounded his (Boone's) regiment at the Fair Grounds and that he could avoid attack only by surrendering. Then the Colonel's wife, throwing her arms about his neck, exclaimed, "For God's sake, Colonel, surrender," and the Colonel surrendered for her sake as well as his own.

Morgan to the Rescue. - About daylight of July 21, 1862, while encamped two miles out the Hartsville pike from Gallatin, Morgan learned that all the male citizens too young or too old to serve in the Confederate army - all the others were in the service - had been started to Nashville at 9 o'clock the night before. "Also that the Federal commander had left for Nashville on the hand-car, after giving orders that if attacked by Morgan or Forrest, the citizens were to be killed and the Federals were to cut their way through to Nashville. Morgan, when he heard this, took his men down the Nashville pike and had a running fight with Pilot Knob to Edgefield Junction, about sixteen miles. He killed or captured nearly the entire Federal force and returned to Gallatin about 11 o'clock that night with his prisoners and a big part of the citizens." (T. R. Love, Gallatin)

The Federal commander referred to above was General Payne, who terrorized Gallatin for several years. Among his captives started toward Nashville afoot was Mr. John J. White, an eminent lawyer, then 70 years old; John L. Bugg, a brother-in-law of Gov. Trousdale and County Court Clerk for thirty or forty years; Samuel Blythe, Henry Bugg, and Robert Hallum.

Gallatin's Most Exciting Day - Election day, 1866, is credited with being the most exciting day, not only in the history of Gallatin but in the history of all Sumner County men who had fought in the Confederate army, who took part in the events of the day.

The Brownlow administration had sent a man to Gallatin to register the "loyal" men so that McKinley, a carpet bagger, would be returned to the Legislature from Sumner County. In three days the registrar has registered a sufficient number of the loyalists to return to McKinley, and started back to Nashville with his books on the 7 p.m. train. He was accompanied on the train by two strangers - the Klan had not been asleep - and when the train stopped at Saundersville the registrar accepted the very urgent invitation of his two companions to alight, get into a carry-all held in waiting by two more of the Klan, and ride back to Gallatin. Here, by persuasion, he reopened his books, registered all the Johnny Rebs and let for Nashville that night.

A few days before the election the carpet bagger captain of a Negro military company stationed on the first "rise" north of the L. & N. depot got orders to attend the polls and prevent the rebels from voting. The captain announced that he would carry out his instructions. The Klan got Mayor William Wright, a Union man, to issue an order that the militia would not be allowed to come to the polls armed and in a body, and if they did he would see that they were ejected. James J. Turner, Colonel of the 30th Tennessee, was appointed Chief of Police, with carte blanche in the naming of deputies. The word went down the line; there was no end of volunteer deputies; squads and companies were posted in houses along every possible route of the Negro militia to the square. Instructions were given that no shots should be fired without orders. Spies and scouts were sent out to report the movements of the enemy. The tension, high all morning, rose to a dangerous degree about noon as the guns of the Negro company flashed in the sunlight upon leaving their camp. They took a round about way of reaching the square from the south. On the first street south of West Main they marched toward Water Street, which would lead them to the square. When they got to Water Street they were confronted with Chief Turner and his 200 men, all with guns presented, eager for the order to fire. The carper bagger captain threw up his arms; the Negroes broke for the livery stable nearby; the Chief, with great difficulty, restrained his deputies; the Captain put up a white flag and asked for a parley. The Mayor was called and it was agreed that the militia should march back to camp as they had come; leave their arms in camp, go to the polls two at a time, vote and go straight back to camp. McKinley was defeated and then seated. (Note - Capt. Geo. B. Guild, in American Historical Magazine.)

A Gallatin Cock-fight. - "Just back of the Examiner office was, until it fell down through age, a long brick stable where Jackson had a fight with the game cock of Col. Edward Ward," wrote the American correspondent after Judge Barry's death in 1891. "The chickens were gaffed and the prize was $500 in gold. Jackson's chickens stuck his gaff in the hard ground and the question whether it should be pulled out was submitted to the judges. They decided that it could not and Jackson lost his $500. Judge Barry did not say whether he saw the "main," but vouches for its truth."

Howard Female College, on the East Main Street, is the only college in the State owned and controlled by the Independent Order of Old Fellows. It was chartered in 1837. United States Senator Fowler was at one time President of this institution.

Where Maj. Winchester Was Killed. - Eastwardly from the college, at the junction of the Scottsville and the Hartsville pikes, at 9 A.M. August 9, 1794, Maj. George Winchester, brother of Gen. James Winchester, was killed by Indians while riding along the Buffalo trail that ran from present site of Gallatin to Bledsoe's Lick. He was a member of the County Court and was on his way to attend a meeting of that body.

Spencer's Choice. - Among the hunters who came to this section prior to the first settlement were Thomas Sharp Spencer and John Holliday. They, in company with others, stopped at Bledsoe's Lick in 1778 and there raised the first crop of corn grown west of the Cumberland Mountains by an American. All left but Holliday and Spencer, and finally Holliday decided to go. Spencer went with him as far as the Barrens in Kentucky, broke his knife into halves, gave Holliday one half, returned to Bledsoe's Lick and set up housekeeping in a hollow tree twelve feet in diameter. The shell stump of this tree was still visible as late as 1823, near the present post office of Castalian Springs.

While living in this hollow tree, or later, Spencer located several tracts of land which he desired to possess for himself, but upon learning that he was entitled to only one under the law, he decided to keep the 800 acre tract adjoining the present Gallatin corporation limits on the south. From that time this tract has been known as "Spencer's Choice."

After Spencer's death David Shelby acquired about 640 of the 800 acres and in 1798 built a residence which is still occupied.

One of Spencer's peculiarities was his habit of wandering through the forest alone, lest a companion's talk might make him a mark for an Indian's bullet. He was a man of enormous size and huge strength. A Frenchman, helping at Demonbreun's trading post, is said to have fled to Illinois after seeing Spencer's tracks near Eaton's Station.

On one or two occasions the Indians, awed by his powers, or, perhaps, thinking he had a charmed life, let him get away when they could easily have killed him. A log that required the strength of three ordinary men to lift Spencer could handle without apparent effort. He "was the stoutest man I ever saw," says John Carr; and Gov. William Hall pays him a still higher compliment: "With all his extraordinary strength and courage there was no bluster about him, but he was one of the most kindly disposed men I ever knew. He has a fine face, as well as a gigantic form, and the broadest shoulders I ever saw."

Spencer was killed in 1794 while returning from Virginia, whither he had gone to get some money due him from an estate. The place where he met his death is called Spencer's Hill, in Van Buren County. The county site is named for him, also Spencer's Creek and Spencer's Lick.

There must of been some room for doubt as to whether Spencer was killed by Indians or white men, for James McKain, conversant with the circumstances, always contended that he was killed by white men. The Indians, McKain said, never took paper money; Spencer's money was in paper and was taken by those who killed him. The murder of Spencer was similar to that of Col. John Donelson.

The end.
Content on this page was transcribed and published by Debie Cox. This book is in the public domain. The transcription and formatting of this page and all chapters of The Historic Blue Grass Line as published on are the property of Debie Cox. Copyright © 2006, Debie Cox.

Historic Blue Grass Line 4

The Historic Blue Grass Line

A Review Of The History Of Davidson And Sumner Counties,
Together With Sketches of Places and Events
Along the Route Of The

By James Douglas Anderson
Nashville, Tennessee. 1913

IV. INCIDENTS BY THE WAY - Continued. From Cumberland River to Mansker's Creek.
The 16th Illinois Regiment arrived in Nashville September 15, 1863, and was stationed north of the railroad bridge to protect that and rolling stock from destruction by the Confederates. Gen. Morgan, while marching from Hopkinsville to Gallatin to destroy the L & N railroad bridge in that vicinity, received an order from Gen. John C. Breckinridge, then at Murfreesboro, to co-operate with Gen. Forrest in destroying the rolling stock in East Nashville. While Forrest made a demonstration south of the city to attract the garrison, Morgan was to dash into Edgefield and burn the cars, several hundred in number. Leaving Gallatin on the night of November 4, Morgan entered Edgefield at daybreak, drove the Illinois regiment back and got possession of the cars. At this time, as agreed upon, Morgan heard Forrest's artillery on the south. But Nashville was too well fortified and Forrest's force was too small to make danger apparent at that point, and before Morgan could destroy the cars a long column of infantry filed double-quick across the pontoon bridge and Morgan withdrew, his expedition being a failure.
South Edgefield and Dr. John Shelby. - The greater part of South Edgefield through which the Interurban passes is built on a 640 acre tract pre-empted by James Shaw, one of the leading men in the little colony of 1780. The northern boundary started at a point opposite the mouth of Lick Branch and ran in an easterly or southwesterly direction a mile or more. The river was the southern and western boundary.
In 1789 Shaw sold the tract to David Shelby, a King's Mountain soldier and, at the time of purchase, County Court Clerk of Sumner County. Three hundred pounds was the price paid. It was later owned by Dr. John Shelby, son of David Shelby and grandson of Anthony Bledsoe. John Shelby was the first child born in Sumner County, and was a surgeon in Jackson's campaign.
Dr. Shelby's residence stood in what is now the center of Woodland Street between Second and Third. For each of his daughters he built a fine residence - "Boscobel," now Boscobel college, and "Fatherland," now owned by H. L. Sperry. These homes gave names to two Edgefield Streets.
Shelby's first addition, on the north side of Gallatin pike, was the first plan of lots (1849) laid off in East Nashville. According to the late Judge Barry, of Gallatin, Shelby owed the Planters Bank $20,000 and tried to get the bank to take the 640 acres for the debt. Failing in this he adopted the suggestion of a subdivision into lots the sale more than paid the debt.
The L. & N. Celebrates. - In September, 1859, the coming of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad was celebrated by a great gathering and speech making in Ramsey's Grove, north of Main Street and by a ball at the courthouse that night .
Rev. T. O. Summers, one of the most learned men in Southern Methodism lived for many years at 225 Woodland, and Bishop H. N. McTyeire in the house now on the southwest corner of Woodland and Sixth. Judge Jo. C. Guild lived nearby on Russell Street.
Bate Residence. - The residence owned and occupied by Gen. Wm. B. Bate when he was Governor is on Russell Street (north side, third door west of Eighth.
Neil S. Brown Home. - Looking north from Ninth Street may be seen what is left of the former beautiful home and grounds of Neil S. Brown, a sergeant-major in the Florida wars; several times elector; a party leader; Governor at 37, in 1847; Minister to Russia at 40, in 1850; legislator, lawyer and scholar.
Woodlawn. - A quarter mile north of the Brown residence on a hill above a rock spring-house , is a cottage where stood for many years before the war "Woodlawn," the home of Rev. J. B. McFerrin. .
Hobson's Chapel. - On the northeast corner of Woodland and Tenth Streets, Hobson Chapel, a Methodist Church, was erected about 1850, in the center of a wealthy and well-populated community.
On Sunday morning, February 16, 1862, while Rev. J. B. McFerrin was preaching at Hobson's Chapel, news was sent to the congregation that Fort Donelson had fallen, that all women and children must be taken out of Nashville and vicinity. The benediction was then pronounced for the last time in Hobson's Chapel. During the war the church was used as a slaughter house, after the war as a school house. James Anderson conducted a flourishing school here for several years, and after his removal to Sumner County in 1870, its successful career was continued by A. L. Mims and George Hughes.
F. E. Pitts Home - About 200 feet east of the [Gallatin] pike, and about 100 feet north of the present home of Joseph Edwards, stood the home of Fountain E. Pitts, a popular preacher in his day. This 38-acre tract was purchased from John D. Goss by Nicholas Hobson and presented to Mr. Pitts, as trustee, for his wife, in recognition of his great devotion and self-sacrificing labors for Methodism.
Hinton's Tavern - North of Greenwood Avenue, and on the east side of the pike, stands the residence of B. R. McKennie, a well-known newspaper publisher, of the ante-bellum period. Before the house was built, the land was owned by Jeremiah Hinton, who had a tavern stable where the McKennie front yard now is. Hinton's two story log tavern was on the west side of the pike, a few feet north of the present residence of his grandson, Dr. J. B. Talbot, a descendant of Clayton Talbot.
In the spring of 1821, when Judge Guild was "footing it" to Nashville to study law, he says: After stopping to see Judge Trimble, I continued my walk towards Nashville, and stopped overnight at Hinton's tavern, three miles from the city. Mr. Hinton was a kind old man, and learning the object of my visit to Nashville did not charge me anything." .
New Hope - A Methodist Church called New Hope was built in 1820, about thirty or forty feet from the southeastern intersection of the present Straightway Street and the Gallatin pike, two blocks north of Hinton's tavern. It was a small frame, about twenty feet square. "Here the Weakleys, the Vaughns, the Maxeys, and others, had their memberships." (Note - McFerrin's "Methodism in Tennessee.") New Hope gave way to Hobson's Chapel. James Anderson conducted a school there before the war, drawing his patronage from the same people who supported his school at Hobson's Chapel after the war. The house was torn down about twenty years ago.
Peacock Feathers Saved Mrs. Stull - The homes of Percy Warner and W. B. Franklin, on the west side of the pike, and the land opposite was acquired by Zachariah Stull in 1788. The first Stull house stood a few feet south of the present Franklin residence, remnants still being visible.
On one occasion Mrs. Stull was warned to hasten to Fort Nashborough, but before she could get away an Indian was in her house. Her life was probably saved by a bunch of peacock feathers; upon seeing these the Indian took them and went his way. Mrs. Stull's son, George, built the present residence, but he could never persuade his mother to leave her log house and live in the brick.
This part, about 60 acres of the original Stull grant, is still owned by one of his descendants.
Where Asbury and McKendree Stopped. - "Mr. William Maxey, the father of the late John Maxey and P. W. Maxey, Esq., long lived in the vicinity of New Hope." (McFerrin's Methodism in Tennessee.) "His house was the home of the ministers of Christ, and was a favorite stopping place with Bishop Asbury and Bishop McKendree."
This house, built in 1801, still stands on the south side of Maxey Lane, a few hundred yards from the Interurban. It has two rooms down stairs, and two half rooms up stairs. It is the oldest house in this section, and when first built sheltered about the usual number of children for that time - thirteen. Ten of them were born in Virginia.
As both these distinguished churchmen, Asbury and McKendree, when traveling to and from Conferences, were compelled to spend most of their nights sleeping on the ground, their only shelter being a blanket hung over a low limb, they doubtless found in Brother Maxey's story and a half frame mansion - in spite of the trundle beds - a restful change from their nightly experiences.
Thus lived two humble Methodist preachers, who, with Bishop Whatcoat, held a congregation of 1,000 at the Stone Church in Nashville, October 19, 1800 when Nashville had less that 400 population.
Mrs. Wm. Maxey claimed descent from Pocahontas, hence the name of her son, Powhatan.
The Carvin Grant - North of the Maxey lane, fronting the pike, is the large frame house built about 1850 by Powhaten W. Maxey, once Mayor of Nashville.
In May, 1780, Ned Carvin was killed by the Indians at or near the river bluff in the rear of the Wm. Williams' lands. His wife and two children escaped to Nashborough. Later in that year Mrs. Carvin and Edward Swanson made one of the four couples that were married at the same time by James Shaw at the Nashborough Fort.
At the Battle of the Bluffs, April 2, 1781, Mrs. Swanson came very near being left a widow again. Her husband, while retreating to the Fort, has been clubbed to his all-fours by an Indian, when John Buchanan rushed from the Fort to his relief.
Under the pre-emption laws, William Carvin, as heir of Edward Carvin, was entitled to a "640" which he laid off in 1784. He died in 1808, leaving the land to Edward Swanson, Polly Swanson, his mother and Nancy Rutherford, his sister.
Kenmore is part of this 640 acre tract, being purchased by Powhatan Maxey about 1848.
Williams and Baxter - William Williams, a graduate of Harvard in 1799, came to Nashville in 1804, purchased the John Evans grant, and built the house next north of Inglewood. Mr. Williams was a lawyer. He and Joseph Story, the youngest man ever appointed to the Supreme Bench of the United States, were life-long correspondents after their friendship at Harvard. Most of the original Evans grant is still owned by the Williams heirs.
Josiah Williams, a son of William Williams, owned Maplewood (or part of it), before the civil war. Maplewood first came into the public eye when the late Jere Baxter bought it about 1884, and engaged in fancy farming.
Haysboro - On the river bluff, a short distance east of Spring Hill Cemetery, David Hays established Fort Union in 1780. Haysboro is said to have been a rival of Nashborough at one time, but there is no record of its population, except in 1834, when it was "on the Lexington road, containing about half a dozen families." The change in the turnpike route in 1839 merely hastened the end of the little city, doomed from the first. There are few marks of its former glory, but they are worth the short walk necessary to see them. Col. Hays, founder of Haysboro, was a colleague of Robertson in the North Carolina Legislature of 1787, and was well worthy of a more permanent memorial as a public spirited citizen.
First Church and First School - In 1785 Rev. Thomas (Note. - Not Thomas B.) Craighead came to this section, "preached at Nashville and some of the stations, or forts, and neighborhoods," and, "at the earnest request of the citizens, he fixed his residence near Haysboro, or rather at Spring Hill." (Note. - Buntin)
A church was built for him at "once" - 1785, or possibly 1786. It stood on the knoll a few feet north of the southern entrance to Spring Hill Cemetery, and within a few feet of the concrete wall. This was the first church erected west of the Cumberland Mountains. It was made of rough stone and was about 24x30 feet.
Davidson Academy was chartered by an Act of the North Carolina Legislature December 29, 1785. Representative James Robertson, of Davidson, procured the passage of this Act, and at his request Craighead consented that his name be included in the Act as one of the trustees. Another trustee was Anthony Bledsoe.
At the first meeting of the Board of Trustees, held on August 19, 1786, Craighead was elected president. At the next meeting, September 25, 1786, the trustees ordered that the school, Davidson Academy, be taught at "Spring Hill Meeting House, and Craighead taught its first class." (Buntin). This was the first school in Tennessee west of the Cumberland Mountains.
Davidson Academy later became Cumberland College, then the University of Nashville, then Peabody College for Teachers; so the little stone church at Spring Hill was the birthplace of the Peabody College to be continued near Vanderbilt University.
For some time while Craighead had charge of the little stone church Andrew Jackson boarded about four miles to the north and tradition says Jackson attended services here and that here was formed the strong ties of friendship manifest in after years between Craighead and Jackson. Jackson was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Academy while Craighead taught it, and in after years was credited with having brought as abrupt close to the long existing differences between Craighead and the Presbyterian Church.
The members of Davidson Academy were transferred to Cumberland College in September, 1806 or 1807. Craighead was President of Cumberland College two years and three months, retiring in 1809. He then resumed teaching at the church. Judge Guild shows that he went to school at Craighead's Academy about 1818. The late David T. Stratton attended school there in 1845, twenty years after Craighead's death.
In its first days pupils from Nashville made daily trips over a slow ferry and a dirt road-high water and deep mud. There is no record of the attendance.
A road from the stone church going east connected school and church with the public road at Haysboro and made both church and school a part of the Haysboro settlement.
The Old Craighead Home. - Craighead owned several tracts of land at Spring Hill. On one of these tracts - 640 acres-purchased from John Buchanan, grantee, in 1794, Craighead in that year, built the residence which was burned in 1910 and since duplicated, the old walls being used in the new house. Madison Stratton, who owned this 640-acres tract in 1845, set out the trees seen in the yard. In 1871 it was purchased by Capt. William B. Walton, who organized and commanded a company in the Mexican War, and is now the home of his widow.
Spring Hill Cemetery. - Mr. Craighead gave ten acres east of his church to the community to be used as a burial ground. His and his wife's remains are buried here, as are the remains of many old settlers.
The National Cemetery is part of the 640-acre Buchanan-Craighead tract previously referred to. Here are buried about 17,000 Federal soldiers, who met death in this section during the war between the North and the South.
Neely's Lick and Neely's Bend. - The road leading to the east from the pike at City Road Chapel (Madison) is the route to Neely's Bend ferry, six miles away, and to Neely's Lick (now Larkin's Springs), three miles away. Both Bend and Lick take their name from William Neely.
In the spring of 1780, when the attempt to make salt at Mansker's Lick had failed, it was determined to make the experiment at Neely's Lick in Neely's Bend." (Note.-Putnam.)
Neely had helped to build Mansker's fort and had been living with his family at Mansker's. He and one daughter accompanied the men from Mansker's to watch the experiment and help - he by killing game and she by cooking for the party.
Their camps were near the spring. Late one afternoon while all the workmen and the dogs were away from the camp, Neely came in from a hunt with a deer on his shoulder, put it aside and lay down and went to sleep. His daughter was busily engaged about supper. Several gun shots; Neely raised himself half up, groaned and fell back dead. The Indians rushed in and scalped him and grabbed the terrified girl and kept her going on a dead run all night until a Creek encampment was reached, thence to the Creek nation. When the salt makers got to the camp they knew not which way to go in search of the Indians, but they knew the way to Mansker's and they were there at daylight. A party, after following the trail far enough to learn, in their pioneer way, that the girl was not hurt, took Mansker's advice and abandoned the pursuit lest she be killed. She was released a few years later, married and lived in Kentucky. In 1788 William Neely's widow was killed by the Indians near Neely's Lick, and Robert Edmondson's arm was broken, but he escaped by hiding.
About twenty years ago when Mr. Larkin bought this spring tract he sunk a shaft twenty feet or more into the side of the river bank, about forty or fifty feet from low water mark, and struck a cedar basin, probably the work of some earlier settler.
Hall Lane gets its name from the Hall family, descendants of William Neely. The brick house on Hall Lane, built by William Neely, Jr., about 1808, stood until the spring of 1912.
Skirmish at Madison. - A skirmish between Col. George Dibrell's Regiment, C. S. A., and a squad of Federals took place northeast of the corner of Neely's Bend Road and the pike. Dibrell formed his lines between the present Reavis residence and the pike and withdrew toward Neely's Lick. Most of the firing was done near where the Confederates had camped for the night, northeast of the Reavis residence. A Confederate named Goosetree was killed.
The Bishop Soule Residence. - The old house west of the pike and north of Hall Lane was once the home of "Jimmie" Thomas, who had a saddle shop in his yard, and made all the saddles used in this section. John W. Thomas, Sr., President of the N., C. & St. L., Ry., was then young and lived here with his father. Later Harry Hill, the merchant prince of Nashville and New Orleans, gave the place to Bishop Soule. Bishop Soule was "a profound preacher," says McFerrin's "Methodism in Tennessee," "a sound theologian, a wise legislator and was thoroughly versed in Methodist law and usage. Now that he has gone to his reward, it is the deliberate opinion of the author that the American Church never produced his superior. He was as firm as he was wise, and would have sacrificed his life rather than compromise the principals of truth and righteousness."
While living here Bishop Soule was called upon for the loan of a plow by a young farmer living nearby. When told that he could get the plow the young man started away, saying he would send a servant for it. Shortly after the young farmer reached his premises the aged and gray-haired Bishop, with the plow on his shoulder, walked in, and in the kindest and most pleasant manner, out down the plow. (Note. - Christian Advocate editorial when Bishop McTyeire was editor.)
The first City Road Chapel stood east of the pike, about opposite the Soule residence.
P. Gee's Tavern. - Across the pike from the Charles T. Williams residence (the boyhood home of Judge Matt W. Allen) stood Peter Gee's Tavern.
Jack Gee's Tavern. - On the west side of the pike at Amqui where Philip Rutherford now lives, stood the old Jack Gee Tavern, a famous establishment in state coach times. One day in November, 1862, Rosecrans' Army came down the pike with a torch and neither of these Taverns has been seen since.
Where Andrew Jackson Was Introduced to Mrs. Robards. - After the attack by the Indians on the party headed by Capt. John Donelson, Jr., on Stones River, in the autumn of 1780, Col. John Donelson carried out his previously formed plan of taking his family from Mansker's Station (whither they had gone from Clover Bottom) to Kentucky. Here, in the spring of 1784, Rachel Donelson, aged 17, married Lewis Robards.
In 1785 Mrs. Donelson and her family returned to Mansker's Station and Col. Donelson was on his way from Kentucky to join them when he was assassinated.
In 1788, and for several years thereafter, Mrs. Donelson and family were located at the place since known as the William Donelson home, where the Goodlettsville road intersects with the Gallatin pike. To this place Samuel Donelson brought his sister, Mrs. Robards, in the summer or fall of 1788, after Mrs. Donelson had received a letter from Robards requesting that she take her daughter home.
Young John Overton, while studying law in Kentucky, boarded at the home of Lewis Robards; mother, where Lewis and his wife lived. About the time he finished his studies, in the winder of 1788-9, Overton announced his intention of coming to this section, whereupon Lewis Robards' mother urged young Overton to try and effect a reconciliation between her son and his wife. To this Lewis himself agreed, stating that his former jealousy had been without foundation.
In February or March 1789, Overton applied at Mrs. Donelson's home for board and was taken in.
Andrew Jackson had only recently arrived in Nashville and Overton, after forming his acquaintance, introduced him into the Donelson family at this place. "So it was, " says Overton, "we commenced boarding thereabout the same time, Jackson and myself, our friends and clients occupying on cabin and the family another, two steps from it."
Mrs. Robards agreed to rejoin her husband and ir was arranged for them to stay at Mrs. Donelson's until a cessation of Indian hostilities should make it safe to make their home on a pre-emption previously purchased by Robards, five miles away, south of the Cumberland, and now owned by Millard Turner. In pursuance of this plan Robards rejoined his wife at Mrs. Donelson's sometime in 1789. Jackson and Mrs. Robards were then twenty-two years of age, Jackson being only four months her senior.
A few months after Robards arrived he became jealous of Jackson, as he had been of Short, in Kentucky. Overton, feeling that his agency in the reconciliation gave him a right to make it permanent, remonstrated with Robards, but to no purpose. Jackson assented to Overton's proposition that they go elsewhere, but there was no where else to go. Then Jackson, meeting Robards by a orchard fence, near the house, very foolishly tried to pacify Robards, which, of course, made Robards more firmly fixed in his convictions, and Jackson got roundly abused for his kindness. Robards threatened to whip him and wanted to have it out then and there. Jackson declined, for lack of physical strength, but offered to give him gentlemanly satisfaction. Jackson then went into his cabin and when he came out again Robards was there with another round of abuse for Jackson and Mrs. Robards. The next day Jackson left and went to Mansker's Station. Robards continued to live with his wife several months longer, then went back to Kentucky. Mrs. Robards went to live with her sister, Mrs. Robert Hayes - possibly at Haysboro. Overton returned to the Donelson home. This was in 1790. Soon the report spread that Robards was coming for his wife. To avoid him Mrs. Robards went to Natchez in the winter of 1791, and at the request of Col. Stark, Jackson went with them - so Overton said - to keep off the Indians. Jackson returned to Nashville in May, 1791. Being reliably informed that Robards had procured a divorce he went back to Natchez and married Mrs. Jackson. Two years later the divorce was actually granted on the ground that Mrs. Robards "had been living with Andrew Jackson in adultery since their alleged or pretended marriage in November, 1791. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson were married a second time in 1794.
The scenes and incidents which took place here led to much war-like correspondence and to two personal encounters between Andrew Jackson and John Sevier. They led to the duel in which Dickinson was killed and in which Jackson received a wound from which he never fully recovered.
In the presidential campaign of 1828 Jackson's ante-nuptial conduct and marriage was considered equal to the need of something to offset his victories at Horseshoe and New Orleans. Then it was that Judge Overton, Jackson's friend, made a statement, the substance of which is given above.
The cabin office is which the two boys, Jackson and Overton, slept together stood near the pike in the southeast corner of the H. T. Wood yard. The road of that period was west of the cabin, as may be seen by the depression in the earth. The last surface marks of the cabin loose stones, etc. - were removed by Mr. J. W. Harris, who sold the place to Dr. Wood.
"Best Road to Louisville." - On the east of the pike, at its intersection with the road to Goodlettsville, may still be seen a stone bearing an inscription, now almost effaced but enough of it can be made out to show that it is one of the very few relics of earliest stage coach days when there was quite a settlement at this point. From the present location of the stone it might be owners of the line that went by Gallatin, though it may have been beside the Goodlettsville road and the Gallatin pike later constructed by it.
Edenwold was, in old times, the home of Reuben Payne. The late M. Burns owned the property at one time. It was purchased about ten years ago and greatly improved by W. G. Parmer, who uses it as a race horse nursery.
Casper Mansker first appears upon the page of Tennessee history as an organizer and leader of hunting and exploring parties from Reedy Creek and New River in Virginia to the region north of the Cumberland in Tennessee. On his first trip, which began, June 1, 1769, he and several companions ended their hunt in April, 1779 and took several canoes laden with furs from Roaring River to Natchez. Detained at Natchez until November by sickness Mansker did not get back to New River until he was almost ready to start on another journey to his section. This second trip will come later.
On his third, November, 1775, his party pitched tents at a sulphur spring, near the present site of Goodlettsville. Soon all but three of his party left him, but this did not discourage Casper. He began hunting on Sulphur Fork and Red River. On the banks of Red River he killed, so far as known, the first Indian killed by any of the early settlers of this section. Then, believing it was best to leave, he left.
He and all the other hunters who had been coming here for years has long desired to settle here, and Mansker led a party that arrived soon after Robertson's party came to plant corn in the spring of 1779.
"Mansco returned to the settlements, " says Haywood, "and in the fall conducted a number of families to this country, who settled at Bledsoe's Lick, Masco's Lick and at other places."
It seems from Haywood, though he does not distinctly say so, that Mansker had reached his Lick when Robertson, Rains and others came by there in December on their way to the Bluff. (Note -Haywood, 96, 97.)
It was to Mansker's Station, on land now owned by heirs of Peyton Roscoe, that Col. Donelson came with his family after abandoning his own station on Stones River. It was to this station also that Col. Donelson's Negro servant came, after swimming the river on a cold November day, with the news of the attack made on Capt. John Donelson and his party while gathering at Stones River, the first cotton crop grown in Middle Tennessee.
In 1782 or 1783, his fort having been destroyed, Mansker went up the creek a mile from his first venture and built a fort on the east side of the creek. To this station Col. Donelson's family returned from Kentucky in 1785; to this station Col. Donelson himself was hurrying in September, 1785, when assassinated, and it was here the family received the news of his death from two young men who were with him at the time.
"It was here, " says Putnam, "he (Mansker) had his experimental mill. He always insisted that "it was a coot mill-seat, only it hadn't much water."
In 1783 Mansker was elected "First Captain" by the Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions. In 1788 he and Maj. Kirkpatrick commanded a guard of 100 men from Davidson and Sumner Counties, who escorted twenty-two families by way of Knoxville and the Clinch Road into Sumner County. In 1790 Gov. Blount appointed Mansker Lieutenant-Colonel. "He commanded several expeditions against or in pursuit of the Indians, but he never marched by the side of his men. * * * By a motion of his hand he would caution his troops to 'follow him softly and at a little distance.' He never allowed anyone in the woods to go in advance, or, as he said, 'take away the scent from him''" (Note. - Putnam)
"He was a great woodsman and a mighty hunter, " says John Carr in his "Early Times," "one of the best marksmen I ever say shoulder a rifle. * * * No man among us knew better than he how to fight Indians.
"He possessed a handsome property, was fond of raising stock, and loved his gun as long as he was able to hunt. In his old age he would attend shooting matches and frequently took prizes when they shot for beef. He died where he built his second fort, on the east side of Mansker's Creek in Sumner County."
The land office records show that Mansker owned tow 640-acres grants on or near "Kasper' s Creek " and a 320-acre grant on Red River.
The First Brick House in Middle Tennessee was built by William Bowen in 1787, one mile from the pike up Mansker's Creek. Brick masons were brought from Lexington, Ky., to build it. The Bowen house still stands on the lands of the Roscoe heirs. Paul Dismukes, the head of the Dismukes family in this section, settled on the west bank of Mansker's Creek in 1809 and then built a part of the house still standing.

Chapter V. INCIDENTS BY THE WAY. - Continued

Content on this page was transcribed and published by Debie Cox. This book is in the public domain. The transcription and formatting of this page and all chapters of The Historic Blue Grass Line as published on are the property of Debie Cox. Copyright © 2006, Debie Cox.

Historic Blue Grass Line 3

The Historic Blue Grass Line

A Review Of The History Of Davidson And Sumner Counties,
Together With Sketches of Places and Events
Along the Route Of The

By James Douglas Anderson
Nashville, Tennessee. 1913


The Public Square in the Robertson Period.

Timothy Demonbreun and his Lick Creek Trading Post. - From the Square entrance to the bridge may be seen the spot east of the baseball park and north of the railroad bridge, where Lick "Creek" of Timothy Demonbreun's day joined the Cumberland. On the north side of this creek, about half way between the river and the Sulphur Spring, Demonbreun and his several assistants had a fort or trading post, on a mound which had been used of the same purpose as early as 1710 by an old Frenchman, name unknown and his young assistant, Charles Charleville, who succeeded him in business. No trace of this mound is now to be found. While buying furs here in this neutral hunting ground of the Indians, Demonbreun lived in a cave in the (south) river bank near the present city pumping station, and here a child was born to him - William Demonbreun, later of Williamson County. Demonbreun was here as early as 1775 (Note - Judge Guild says 1760), was here when the first settlement was formed in 1780 and remained here until his death in 1826, at the age of 96 years.

Robertson Party Crosses on Ice at Mouth of Lick Creek. - At the mouth of Lick Creek Robertson and his party of men, Rains and his party of men, women and children, interspersed with horses, dogs and cattle - a motly group indeed - crossed on the ice near Christmas, 1779, passed the site of their first crop of corn grown the previous season and ended their journey near the square.

At the Mouth of Lick Creek Donelson and the remaining members- about 125 or 130 - of his original party of 50 men and 130 women and children, anchored their 35 or more boats on April 24, 1780, while all the nearby settlers that were then around the bluff rushed down to greet them and claim their own. Miss Rachel Donelson was among the passengers who disembarked from her father's "good boat, Adventure," after a four months' voyage, which James R. Gilmore says: "has no parallel in history."

Among many other fatalities, twenty-eight of the party, in one boat, were cut off from their companions below Chattanooga. Their dying screams were plainly heard by those in advance, but assistance was impossible. All were either killed or taken captive.

The Fort at Nashborough - South of the square the fort and stockade were erected so as to include within their limits (Note - Putnam) a spring that gushed from the river bluff below the present intersection of Third Avenue (College Street) and Church (then Spring) Street. (Note - Morton B. Howell.) Haywood says: That the settlers built cabins in lines and stockaded the intervals; two lines were parallel to each other, and so were the other two lines, the whole forming a square within."

"This place of defense," say Putnam, "like all the forts erected at other stations, was a log building two stories high, with port holes and lookout station; other log houses were near it and the whole were enclosed with palisades or pickets, firmly set in the earth, having upper ends sharpened. There was one large entrance or gateway with a lookout station thereon for the guard. The top of the fort afforded an elevated view of the country around," though this view to the South was obstructed by a dense growth of privet bushes.

By common consent, Ft. Nashborough was selected as the capitol of the settlement. Here the "notables" made and signed their compact of government, in May, 1780.

Here, in the summer of 1780, was performed the (first) marriage ceremony, uniting Capt. James Leiper and Miss Susan Drake. In defense of this fort, on April 2, 1781, Capt. Leiper was killed by Indians. At a critical juncture in the fight Mrs. James Robertson turned the dogs out of the stockade. By diverting the attention of the Indians, the dogs enabled the whites to get back to the fort from which they had been cut off by Indian strategy.

The Council of 1782 was held at Fort Nashborough.

Commissioners and Guards. - And here in 1783 the three Commissioners with their 100 guards - stopped on their way to survey lands for ex-soldiers, and pre-emptor.

Court House, Jail and Stocks. - How long this fort stood is not known, but its governmental importance passed away with the completion of the court house, jail and stocks, which the Inferior Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions, October term, 1783, ordered erected on the four acre tract later reserved for public buildings by the Act of 1784, creating Nashville. It was provided that the houses "be built at the public expense, of hewed logs. The court house to be eighteen feet square, with a lean-to (or shed) of twelve feet on one side of the house, with benches, bar, and table, for the use of the court. The prison to be of square hewed logs, a foot square: both with loft floor, except the same shall be built on a rock."

In 1792 it was ord'd by the Court that David Hays repair the court house by making two doors, well fixed and hung, with three window shutters, well hung, and the house well chinked.

Andrew Jackson Sworn In. - In this dingy hut Andrew Jackson was sworn in as attorney at law on January 12, 1789.

Chickasaws Entertained. - In 1795 the 100 friendly Chickasaws, who came uninvited and undesired, to visit Gen. Robertson, were entertained here with a "grand dinner party," given by the citizens playing a diplomatic "make-believe." On the Sunday of their stay there were two sermons in the court house, one by Rev. Thomas Craighead and one by a Methodist circuit rider, name unknown. The congregation more than filled the edifice and the "lean-to."

First Church. - Besides this court house in 1796 the Methodist built the first church erected in Nashville.

Improvements. - In the same year the court house, jail and stocks were improved by the construction of posts and horse racks. A rail fence near by was used for stocks before the stocks were built.

New Court House. - On October 15, 1802, the Davidson County Court "adjourns for five minutes to meet in the new court house."
(Note - Minutes 1799-1804, page 367.) Three French Exiles. - Going back three years, an event in May, 1797, of passing interest to the crowd under the "lean-to," if not to gentlemen sobering in the stocks, was the visit of three young exiled sons of the Duke of Orleans, one of who was later known as Louis Philippe, King of France. They "put up" at a tavern situated on the north side of square, and on the second lot east of Market street. They met Gen. Robertson and other men of note, among the number being the highly elated Timothy Demonbreun, a veteran of the Plains of Abraham. After seeing the court house, the future king and his brothers left on a well provisioned flat boat for other shores.

Thomas Bailey, later President of the Royal Astronomical Society of England, in making a horseback journey from New Orleans to New York, spent the night of July 31, 1797, at the "Maj. Lewis" tavern (referred to above), which he says was the principal tavern of the three or four then here. "There we met with good fare," writes Bailey, "but poor accommodations for lodgings; three or four beds of the roughest construction in one room, which was open at all hours of the night for the reception of any rude rabble that had a mind to put up at the house."

Talbot's Tavern. - It seems that the "Maj. Lewis" tavern came under the ownership or management of Clayton Talbot in 1797 or 1798, for the minutes of the Board of Trustees of Davidson Academy show that the Board met at Talbot's tavern December 24, 1798.

The Public Square in the Jackson Period.

In 1804 Andrew Jackson resigned his position as Supreme Judge, which he had filled for six years; held on to his commission as Major-General of the State Militia, voted him two years previous; built a two-story, three-room log house (to which one ground room was later added), named it "The Hermitage," and made it his home till a more commodious structure was erected in 1819.

Jackson was 37 years old when he resigned from the bench, and during the nine years previous to becoming Judge at 31, he had served as District Attorney, member of the Constitutional Convention, Congressman, and United States Senator. None of these offices then out-ranked that of Major-General in popular esteem.

In addition to his political and military distinction he occupied the high and exalted position of a country gentleman of ample means, fond of a horse race and not averse to a cock fight. His personality was attractive, his courage known. The combination of likable qualities in the man and his fortunate circumstances and environments always drew around him at his home, at the race track, in town, a crown of congenial spirits.

Subsequently, his military successes made Nashville the war center of the great Southwest and his political career made it the Democratic headquarters of the United States. Distinguished men came from afar to drink at the fountain of his wisdom, and lay plans to continue his dynasty. But the autocracy of his Democracy contributed greatly to the birth and life of the Whig party, and Nashville, the home of Jackson, became the storm center of the opposition to him. Men who had paid due homage to the hero of Horseshoe Bend and of New Orleans, resented party rule with drawn sword.

And this is how it came about that the men and events of half a century, long since gone, cast sunlight and shadow on the Public Square, and invested the Nashville Inn, City Hotel and Court House with a panorama of historic associations.

The Genesis of the Nashville Inn. - The "Major Lewis" tavern of 1797 had been built for a private residence by either William T. Lewis or his son-in-law, Wm. B. Lewis.

In 1797 or 1798, as stated, it came under the management of Clayton Talbot, and was known as Talbot's Tavern for many years.

In 1825 it was called the Jackson Hotel with William Brooks, proprietor. William's rates throw a flash on the cost of living in the city in that day. "Board and lodging, $12.50 per month; Board without lodging, $12; Single meal, 37 and 1/2 c; Lodging, 12 and 1/2; Man and horse per day, $1.50; horse per week, $2.00."

Between 1825 and 1832 this old tavern passed into the Nashville Inn of a new generation and as such it continued to the end.

The wings at either side, as shown in the picture, were doubtless added to accommodate the stage lines and incidentally draw trade to the Inn. In 1830, and possibly before, stages of twenty-four different lines were dashing across the square toward the Inn at all hours of the day and night from all sections of Tennessee, direct connection being had, even with Warm Springs, N.C., Shawneetown, Ill., and various points in Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky; and almost as often, buses were arriving with passengers from the many boats that plied the waters of the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. They were great days in the hotel life of Nashville.

Jackson's early and long continued preference for Talbot's and its successors made this tavern a popular gathering place and later Democratic headquarters. "After his return from the battle of New Orleans," says Col. A. W. Johnson, who was here at that period, "Jackson frequently spent weeks at the Inn, always surrounded by a cotorie of his friends. . . . . It was nothing to see the crowd gather in the vacant lot and witness a cock fight, or even a set-to between some of the lookers-on."
(Note - Interview in the Nashville American, June 26, 1887.)

The City Hotel. - The Inn being Democratic headquarters, the Whigs at a later day selected as their rallying place the new and enlarged City Hotel, built on the same site occupied by the first City Hotel, which had been built on the same site occupied by the first City Hotel, which had been built prior to 1813. This site was on the sat side of the square, north of and adjoining the narrow alley which runs about half way the block.

An enumeration of military or political events around the square, court house and these tow hotels, together with other incidents that reflect the manners and customs of the times, are here noted in chronological order.

Aaron Burr. - A dinner - most likely at Talbot's Tavern - was given in honor of Aaron Burr, who first arrived in Nashville May 29, 1805. Gen. Jackson, who had known Burr at the National Capitol, rode in with a servant leading milk white horse which Burr rode 12 miles to the Hermitage after the dinner - a remarkable after dinner "effort." At this banquet Jackson responded to the toast: "Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute." Burr left on June 3, in a boar provided by Jackson. He returned August 8, and was here eight days.

"Col. Aaron Burr, the steady and firm friend of Tennessee, arrived at this place on Friday, 28, ult," says the Impartial Review of October 31, 1806, "and on the next day a dinner was given him at Talbot's hotel at which were convened many of the most respectable citizens of Nashville and its vicinity. There appeared an union of sentiment on this occasion. Many appropriate toasts were drank, and a few of the most suitable songs given, when the company retired quite gratified."

While here on one of these visits, Burr appeared in court in a prominent divorce suit. His client was Mrs. Yates, a daughter of Dr. Henning, a prominent man of that day.

Burr went away, but appeared again at the Hermitage about December 17. Jackson was absent and he saw from Mrs. Jackson's manner that he would not be a welcome guest. He went to the Clover Bottom Tavern, where John Coffee was building him some boats. Jackson and Overton called on him there and informed him of their suspicions. Burr protested his innocence.

On December 22, Burr, en route to New Orleans, passed by the square with "two long flat boats which did not appear to be loaded."
(Note - Impartial Review, December 27, 1806.)

In a few days the President's proclamation reached Nashville denouncing Burr as a traitor. On December 27th, Burr was burned in effigy as a traitor on the Public Square. Later Jackson became convinced of Burr's innocence and went all the way to Richmond to help him in his trial.

A Cotton Combine. - At Talbot's Tavern a dozen or two Nashville merchants, whose names are known, met on October 12, 1807, and fixed the price of cotton at "$12 loose and $14 baled," perhaps the first trust or combine in this section. On account of the lack of transportation facilities and the small quantity grown by the respective planters, all were at the mercy of the combine. One protest, if not more, found its way into print.

The Famous Ride of Bill Phillips - On the same day that war was declared with England, June 12, 1812, Bill Phillips, a Government express rider, who, as one of Gen. Jackson's jockeys had ridden Truxton in his greatest race, left Washington on horseback, via Salisbury, North Carolina, for Knoxville, with a message to Gov. Blount. The Governor being in Nashville, Bill continued his journey and on June 21, just before sundown, after traveling 860 miles - ninety-five miles every twenty-four hours - dashed into the Public Square, announcing the news as he went along. This was Bill's old home and he took a night off.

The next day he continued his journey to New Orleans and was never heard of by this generation, brought up on "Paul Revere," till a Northern writer (Note - See Buell's Life of Jackson), rescued his ride from oblivion.

War Preparations in 1812-13. - on December 10, 1812, when the Cumberland River was frozen, 2,000 young Tennesseans, in response to an address by Gen. Jackson and a call by Gov. Willie Blount, appeared in Nashville, a town of about 1200 or 1500 population, to be mustered into service against the British. The recruits had to make the best of it in camps with great fires from wood provided by Wm. B. Lewis. For a month the Public Square was dressed in the habiliments of war. William Carroll, Tom Benton, John Coffee, William Hall, and many others later known to fame, doubtless met about the wood fires in the Court House,. Talbot's Tavern and City Hotel and discussed their prospective journey to New Orleans, which was to begin January 7. Coffee left with the cavalry by land, and Jackson with the infantry by boats.

For reasons well known they all came back from Natchez to Nashville.

Troops Dismissed. - On May 22, 1813, the last volunteers were drawn up on the Public Square and dismissed. This was Jackson's first experience as an officer in command of troops.

Jackson-Benton Fight. - In the spring or summer of 1813, Jesse Benton and William Carroll got into a personal difficulty on Market Street, just south of the Square. This trouble led to a laughable duel fought north of old Freeland's station, then David McGavock's home. Circumstances forced Jackson to act as Carroll's second, though he had at first declined because of disparity on ages and because of his friendly relations with Thomas H. Benton, Jesse's elder brother. When Tom Benton, then in Washington, heard of Jackson's part in this affair, he was very, very wroth and swore what he would do to Jackson. Jackson, forbearing at first, finally became enraged, and swore what he would do to Benton. Neither party swore in secret. So, after Tom Benton's arrival from Washington, when the populace saw Jackson and Coffee ride up Market Street, and across the Square to Talbot's, late in the afternoon of September 3, they knew what to expect.

The next morning about 9 o'clock, Jackson and Coffee cut across the Square, from Talbot's to the Postoffice, south of the alley on the east side of the Square.

"I can remember distinctly how Jackson looked as he strode across the Square," says Col. A. W. Johnson. "The General wore a small sword and, as was his custom, carried his riding whip in his hand. As they, Jackson and Coffee, passed in front of the City Hotel, Benton was observed standing in the front door looking at them."

After getting his mail, Jackson read his letters and then started north down the sidewalk by the City Hotel. "Jesse Benton, who was just recovering from his wound, was observed near his brother," says Col. Johnson, "and those around the hotel knew a crisis was at hand."

When in front of Col. Benton, Jackson turned and raising his whip, said - with more emphasis than here indicated: "Now, you rascal, I am going to punish you; defend yourself." Benton tried to get his pistol, but Jackson got his out first, and pointing it at Benton's heart, backed him to the rear of the house. Jesse Benton rushed in, and seeing his brother's predicament, raised his pistol, loaded with a slug and two bullets, and put Jackson out of the fight with a shattered shoulder and broken arm. Then Coffee rushed in, and seeing Jackson lying prostrate at Thomas Benton's feet, fired at Tom Benton, missed him, and then attacked him with the butt end of his pistol. Benton stepped into an open stairway and fell to the piazza below and lay there.

In the meantime, Jesse Benton and Stockley Hays, a nephew of Mrs. Jackson, engaged in a hand to hand contest with sword and dirk, and just as Hays, after a long struggle, had freed his hand from the vice-like grip of Benton and had raised his arm to bury his dirk in Benton's heart, a by-stander caught the upraised arm, other rushed in and the fight was over.

Jackson was carried to The Inn. Two mattresses were saturated with his blood, the flow of which, all the doctors in town could not stop with their up-to-date slippery elm poultices. He was so exhausted from loss of blood each gasp, it seemed, would be his last.

Twenty years later, when Tom Benton was leading the fight for Jackson in the United States Senate, Jackson called a surgeon and had Jesse Benton's slug "expunged from the record."

A Message From the South. - On September 18, 1813, another overland express message threw the Public Square into consternation. This message was from Gov. Claiborne, was brought by two horsemen, and told of the massacre of Ft. Mims on August 30. A public meeting, and address by Rev. Thomas Craighead, a legislative appropriation, a gathering of troops - and Jackson had to be lifted into his saddle when he left the Hermitage for Fayetteville.

Jackson Returns From the Creek Campaign. - According to the Nashville Whig of May 16, 1814, Gen. Jackson arrived home from the Creek war "on Monday evening last." Four miles from town several hundred citizens met him, escorted him to the court house, where Felix Grundy delivered and address of welcome. For some reason not explained by history or tradition Jackson was not taken to Talbot's for his banquet, but to Bell's Tavern, west of the Market Street on the north side of the Square. Thomas Childress was proprietor of Bell's about this time.

Jackson Returns From New Orleans. - "A banquet and reception was given at 'Clayton Talbot's Inn' on Friday evening, May 22, 1815, to celebrate the return of Gen. Andrew Jackson to Tennessee." And a great return it was. Citizens and students from Cumberland College went out to meet him and escort him into town. In welcoming the hero at the court house, Felix Grundy delivered one of his greatest speeches. At the banquet at Talbot's Gov. Willie Blount presided and, at an opportune moment, arose and presented Gen. Jackson with a sword voted by the Legislature of Mississippi for his services in the Creek war. Hundreds were in the hotel and witnessed the presentation.

Jackson Returns From Florida. - On Gen. Jackson's return from the Seminole war, April 6, 1819, a large assemblage of citizens met him several miles from town and escorted him to the Public Square, where John Overton delivered as address of welcome and Gen. Jackson a response. The feature of the reception was a dinner at Talbot's Hotel, at which 22 toasts were drunk. Among the guests were John Haywood and Thomas Emmerson, of the Supreme Bench. Ephraim H. Foster acted as President and John Somerville as Vice-President of the banquet.

James Monroe and Edmund P. Gaines. - President James Monroe and Edmund P. Gaines, a Tennessean, of Ft. Erie fame were in Nashville in June, 1819, visiting Gen, Jackson a the Hermitage, and on the 9th were escorted to town with much pomp and ceremony, to partake of a 4 o'clock dinner at Talbot's. One hundred guests were present. Major Ephraim H. Foster presided. Jackson and Gaines divided honors with Monroe in the toasts and speech making. The next night a ball was given at Talbot's in honor of the President.

A Scene in the Seat of Justice. - Young Jo C. Guild "bulged" into Nashville in the spring of 1821, to read law with somebody, sauntered into the court house to pick up a little legal knowledge, in passing, and was just in time to see Ephraim H. Foster, in an effort to clinch an argument, throw a book at the Judge, Robert Weakly, who, in turn, drew his "arms," left the bench and was confronted with the drawn pistol of Foster. Bystanders also drew their "arms," including ammunition, and made ready for the game, but peace was soon restored.

Reception to LaFayette. - About May 1, 1825, more than 20,000 visitors were encamped about Nashville - which then had a population of 4,000 - all waiting for the arrival of Marquis de LaFayette. When LaFayette got here on the 4th, the river banks were lined with people to greet him. Cannons were brought into play and every conceivable form of demonstration was adopted to express the pleasure of the populace. After getting off his boat near the residence of William B. Lewis, addresses were made by Gen. Jackson, Gov. Carroll and others. Amid flying flags and beneath triumphal arches LaFayette was escorted up Market Street by a great military and civic procession to the Square, where the river crowd had already gathered and filled this open area, except the space reserved by the militia for the arrival of the procession. All the windows and tops of houses were filled with people. LaFayette rode with Gen. Jackson, Gov. Carroll and Dr. Philip Lindsley, in an open carriage drawn by six blooded grays. Thirteen young ladies in the procession represented the thirteen colonies, whose independence LaFayette had helped to achieve. Stopping in an open area, Maj. Robt. B. Currey welcomed LaFayette in behalf of Nashville. After visiting the Female Academy, the reception committee returned with LaFayette to the Square in front of the Inn, where the militia formed two open columns. Between these lines Jackson escorted LaFayette, who shook hands with the citizens and soldiers.

The reception was continued at Talbot's. At 4 P.M. a dinner was given in laFayette's honor. Gen. Jackson presided and Geo. W. Campbell, Henry M. Rutledge, John Somerville, and Felix Grundy acted as Vice-Presidents. The toasts that were drunk are yet preserved in the papers of that time. Timothy Demonbreun, aged 95, dressed in knee breeches with buckles, and with a head filled with sound teeth, attended this banquet. In his honor Col. Hynes proposed and all drank this toast: "Timothy Demonbreun, the patriarch of Tennessee, our fellow citizen who is now present and the first white man that settled in the country."

Justice Without Mercy. - On May 25, 1825, John A Murrell, tried here on a charge of venue, was convicted of stealing a horse from a Williamson County widow. The verdict and judgment was that Murrell should serve twelve months imprisonment; be given thirty lashes on his bare back at the public whipping post; that he should sit two hours in the pillory on each of three successive days; be branded on the left thumb with the letters "H.T.," in the presence of the Court, and be rendered infamous.

The branding was not only done in the presence of the court - Judge Wm. E. Kennedy - but in the presence of a crowded courtroom. Murrell, in custody of Sheriff Joseph W. Horton, appeared handsomely dressed, and was by far the most unconcerned man there.
(Note - C. W. Nance, an eye witness, in Nashville Banner, many years ago.)

At the direction of the Sheriff Murrell placed his hand on the railing around the Judge's bench. With a piece of rope Horton then bound Murrell's hand to the railing. A Negro brought a tinner's stove and placed it beside the Sheriff. Horton took from the stove the branding iron, glanced at it, found it red hot, and put it on Murrell's thumb. "The skin fried like meat." Horton held the iron on Murrell's hand until the smoke rose two feet. Then the iron was removed. Murrell stood the ordeal without flinching. When his hand was released he calmly tied a handkerchief around it and went back to the jail, south of the Square. Here he was to receive the lashes and go into the pillory. But the whipping was too much for his powers of endurance. Several times in compliance with Murrell's request, Sheriff Horton held his whip to give Murrell time to get his breath and collect his nerve for the blood-fetching lashes to follow. If Sheriff Horton ever rode through West Tennessee or Mississippi after that, history fails to record it.

Houston-White Duel. - Sam Houston came to Nashville in 1818, after distinguishing himself in the Creek campaign. In 1826, while a member of Congress, he preferred charges against Postmaster Irwin, who very promptly made known his intentions with respect to Mr. Houston when that gentleman should return to Nashville. About the time Houston got here from Washington a mighty bad man, named John T. Smith, came in "from Missouri."

Smith was a noted duelist, had slain seven men in a single handed combat and had well earned the title of "Colonel."

It became generally known that Smith, as Irwin's second, would take to Col. McGregor, Houston's second, a challenge, and that its acceptance would be declined because Smith was seen walking in the direction of the Inn, where Houston was stopping, friends of both parties rushed to the Inn. Among the number were Maj. Philip Campbell, of Creek war fame, and ten or fifteen other friends of Houston, just as loyal and well-armed. Upon McGregor's declining to receive the challenge, Smith walked away.

Inside the Inn Gen. Wm. White, of White's Creek, remarked in Houston's presence that he did not think Smith had been treated with proper courtesy.

"If you have any grievances," said Houston, " I will give you any satisfaction you may demand." Next day wagging tongues spread the news that Houston had made White back down. White then challenged Houston. Accepted. Robert C. Foster swore out warrants for the arrest of both belligerents. Before Sheriff Joseph W. Horton got to Houston, he had left via the Hermitage for the plantation of "Jimmy Dry" Saunders, near the present site of Hendersonville.

The duel was fought a day or two later beneath a blood red Kentucky sunrise. That evening a large crowd - including Gen. Jackson, Houston's admirer - assembled at the Inn to get tidings of the gladsome affair.

A bridge had recently been erected across the Cumberland at the northeast corner of the square; standing in front of the Inn and looking along the bridge, the evening of the duel, the expectant throng saw an ardent Houston man running toward them at full speed. They soon learned that Houston was safe and were told that White was "mortally" wounded. (Note - White got well.) There was great rejoicing among the Jacksonians at the Inn over Houston's victory.

A Shift in the Scenes. - Three years later, April 16, 1829, in a room at that same Inn, sat Houston, vanquished without a foe. Over the protest of his friends Dr. John Shelby and Willoughby Williams, he was writing his resignation as Governor, which Williams later delivered to the Secretary of State. The next morning (Note - According to Williams. The True Whig of April 28, 1829, places his departure on the "Red Rover," a week later), he disguised himself, and, accompanied by Shelby and Williams, went from the Inn to the steamboat and left to join the Indian friend of his boyhood, then residing in the Cherokee nation. Some time after this (Note - Mr. Williams does not give the date), Houston returned to Nashville. Dressed in the full garb of a Cherokee, and accompanying a delegation of that tribe to Washington, he passed through the capital of the State, concealing his identity from men whose plaudits he had often sought and who had honored him to their fullest power.

Room for the Supreme Court. - When the "new" market house was built in 1829, the principal room in it was reserved for the use of the Supreme Court.

Legislature, Federal Court and Court House. - In 1834, when Nashville had a population of 5,566, of which 1,108 were slaves and 204 free Negroes, the court house built in 1802 was described in the Tennessee Gazetteer, which, among other facts, stated: "the two fronts are ornamented with four white pilasters each. The dome contains a good town clock, and is supported by eight columns of Ionic order. The Marshal's office ison the second floor and the Secretary of State's on the third. All the State Courts are held in the north room of the second story, and the Federal Court occupies the south room in the same. The two large rooms in the third story are handsomely fitted up for the use of the Legislature until a State house shall be built."

John Tipton, whose long and implacable hatred of John Sevier has been much exploited by historians, died at the Nashville Inn, October 8, 1831.

In spite of Sevier's opposition, Tipton seems to have stood well at home, and at this death, though not a member of the Legislature then in session, his remains lay in state at the Capitol and a suitable monument was erected by the State to mark his resting place in the City Cemetery, Nashville.

Tipton represented Washington County in the North Carolina Legislature, as a Senator, in 1786 and as a Representative in 1787. He represented Washington County in the Tennessee Constitutional Convention in 1796, and in the State Senate of 1797. He enjoys the unique distinction of having lived in three States and on Territory while living in one county, and of having served two of these governments in a representative capacity while living in this one county. Even while living in the State of Franklin, Tipton served in the Legislature of North Carolina.

He represented Sullivan County, Tenn., in the lower house in 1803, 1805, 1807 (when he was Speaker), 1809 and 1812, and was Senator from Sullivan and Hawkins in 1817.

Amos Dresser Flogged. Between the drum beats of the Seminole and Mexican wars, the low rumblings of the Great War was heard in the distance. On Saturday evening, August 8, 1835, a vigilance committee, assembled at the court house, in the presence of a large crowd, heard evidence upon which they found a young man, named Amos Dresser, of Ohio, guilty of disseminating anti-slavery literature in Davidson and Sumner Counties. He was given twenty lashes and twenty-four hours to get out of town - and he got out of town. But for this judgment and its execution, he would have been hanged our of effigy by the large crown of infuriated citizens who heard the evidence.

The Man From Mexico. - Another distinguished foreigner, Gen. Santa Ana, was in Nashville in 1836, enroute to Washington City, though the trip was somewhat against his will. In the absence of the register to disprove it, the statement is here ventured that the General supped at the Inn purely out of respect to a former patron whose acquaintance he had recently formed at San Jacinto.

Troops Return From Second Seminole War. - Gen. Robert Armstrong and some of the troops from the Florida wars arrived Sunday afternoon, January 2, 1837, on the steamer Shoalwater. On account of bad weather, arrangements made for the reception of the troops could not be carried out until Saturday, February 4. On that day a procession formed on the Public Square and marching through town, went to the Spring Street (McKendree) Methodist Church, where Ephraim H. Foster made an address of welcome, responded to by Gen. Armstrong.

Last Reception to Jackson. - At the close of his second term as President, Gen. Jackson arrived in Nashville March 24, 1837. Before going to the Hermitage he stopped in Nashville - probably at the Inn - and was given a formal reception by the citizens.

Ex-President Martin Van Buren arrived in Nashville on April 27, 1842, on the steamer Nashville, and stopped at the Nashville Inn. The next day he went to the Hermitage. Two days later a large procession, including the Nashville Blues, escorted Mr. Van Buren, Ex-President Jackson, Ex-Secretary of the Navy James K. Paulding and Ex-Governor James K. Polk from the Hermitage to the Nashville Inn, where a reception was held. Many Whigs were among the callers.

Marshal Bertrand, Napoleon's aide-de-camp and famous for his loyalty to his chief, registered at the City Hotel, September 29, 1843. A large number of citizens called to pay their respects. He visited Gen. Jackson at the Hermitage, and on his return tot eh city, he was a guest of Gen. Carroll, Gov. Jones, and others.

The Great Whig Convention of 1840. - The most noted political gatherings in the history of the Square were the Great Whig Convention of August 17, 1840, and the Greater Whig Convention of August 21, 1844.

The first meeting, which had been got up to boost Harrison and Tyler, was attended by delegates from fourteen states, carrying hundreds of appropriate designs. Log cabins, canoes and coon skin caps, hunting shirts, and other reminder of pioneer days were much in evidence. The Kentucky giant, Porter, eight feet tall, was in the procession, rolling an enormous ball, bearing among other mottoes the Whig battle cry" "Keep the ball rolling."

The procession was due to form on Market Street, at 7 A. M. and march to Walnut Grove in a 250-acre tract owned by D. T. McGavock, and lying north and northwest of what this generation knows as "Cheatham's Corner," in North Nashville. A race course and other amusement resorts were located in this tract.

Mr. Clay "arrived the afternoon before the celebration, and was kept concealed on the east side of the river," said the late Judge James T. Bell in an interview several years ago. "It was feared that if his presence and whereabouts became known the crowd going across the river would break down the old bridge.

"A great many, knowing that he would arrive from that side of the river, went across and concealed themselves in the bushes over night by the side of the pike to get a sight of him. Early the next morning he came over the bridge and was met by 25,000 men in line. The sight can never be forgotten by me. Old men and boys cried at the sight of their greatest leader. He was the hero of Ashland, the Mill Boy of the Slashes, the Harry of the West, but most of all, he was their leader, the man in whom was centered all their hopes for Whig supremacy. . . . . No living man can, in my estimation, equal his Nashville speech in 1840."

When Mr. Clay arose to speak at Walnut Grove, says Phelan: "The audience, as if electrified, arose with him. The applause rose and swelled like the roar of the waters at Niagra. Hats were thrown in the air. Men acted as if possessed, some of them embracing each other as if in transports of rapture, other with tears in their eyes, choking with emotion. In those days the fever of political frenzy had spread even to the women and many were present.
(Note - The wife of a man who was probably the ablest statesman in the Whig party of Tennessee, walked in this procession with a live 'coon on her shoulder. This information, and the name of the worthy woman, is given the writer by and eyewitness still residing in Nashville. The mutations of time make ordinary customs of the past seem freakish now, so the name of the enthusiastic Whig lady is withheld.)

"They were as ungovernable in their emotions as the sterner sex, and several fainted, overcome by an excess of zeal and enthusiasm. Clay stood for a moment and gazed with kindling eye upon the frantic spectacle. Then he lifted one hand and in a little while the silence was so deep that the crying of a child on the outskirts of the crowd could be heard by all who were present."

The speaking continued that night on the Square, and for several day, John J. Crittendon and Balie Payton being among the speakers.

The Greater Whig Convention of 1844. when Clay and Polk were rival candidates, surpassed anything of its kind ever held in the Southwest. The banners, costumes, etc., were arranged on a magnificent scale, the whole resembling, says Phelan, a tournament of the Middle Ages. The procession, 6,000 strong, formed on the Public Square and marched to Walnut Grove, where 40,000 people assembled. Nearly every Southwestern State had a delegation present. Among the orators present were Gen. Albert Pike and S. S. Prentiss. Prentiss, after speaking several hours in the day, was forced against his will to speak again that night on the Square. At the court house he delivered the most wonderful speech ever heard in the Southwest. It was while making this speech that Prentiss fell back into the arms of Gov. Jones, who, overcome with emotion, exclaimed: "Die, Prentiss, die; you will never have a more glorious opportunity."

Judge Bell, in the interview previously quoted, says: "The event of the convention was the presence of that matchless orator, Sargent S. Prentiss, who was then in the zenith of his splendor and popularity. His speech I heard. It has been mentioned ever since as one of the grandest oratorical efforts of the greatest orator this country has ever produced. So powerful was the effort that it is told of a then prominent citizen that, at the opening of Prentiss' speech, he pulled out his watch to time the orator and was so spellbound that he forgot to put it up until four hours later when the speech was ended."

Troops Bound for Mexico. - In 1846, when Gov. Aaron V. Brown called for 2800 volunteers, 30,000 responded, and Tennessee became the "Volunteer State." Twelve companies assembled at Nashville to embark for New Orleans. It was a busy day on the Square. The river banks for miles below the wharf were crowded with people to witness the departure. On that day many parents saw their sons for the last time.

Chapter IV.
Content on this page was transcribed and published by Debie Cox. This book is in the public domain. The transcription and formatting of this page and all chapters of The Historic Blue Grass Line as published on are the property of Debie Cox.
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