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Posts tagged as “Tennessee history”

Uncovering the Past of Tennessee

Jean Barnes

The United States consists of 50 different states, and there’s only a bit of information that we know of each. Right now, we are going to explore how Tennessee became the state that it is today.

Have you ever heard of Nashville City? Or Memphis? These are two of the largest cities in Tennessee. But how did everything start? Together, let’s take a look at Tennessee’s history.

Native Americans

native Americans TennesseeWith a geographically diverse state, residents have come to agree to divide the state into three divisions; East, Middle, and West Tennessee.

Moreover, the first people to have lived in Tennessee is the Native American heritage, mainly from the Cherokee and Chickasaw tribes. Inhabiting the east land were the Cherokees wherein they built permanent houses while the Chickasaw lived on the western part and moved more often. But, it wasn’t long when Europeans visited.

Arrival of Europeans

Spanish explorer and conquistador Tennessee history

In 1540, a Spanish explorer named Hernando de Soto visited the said state and claimed the land for Spain, but it was not until 100 years later that Europeans began to move to the area. Also, it resulted in certain tribes moving in distinct regions of Tennessee.

In 1673, Europeans were continuing to explore the region. It was also at this time that English merchants such as James Needham and Gabriel Arthur crossed the Appalachian mountain to trade with the Cherokee. Similarly, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolet, both French traders, came down to the Mississippi River. Due to these, the English and French made arguments and then claimed the land of Tennessee.

In 1714, M. Charleville built the Fort Lick, which is a small fort in Tennessee. It was where he traded furs with the local Indian tribes for a long time running. This area is what we all know as Nashville.

Naming of Tennessee

Tennessee history

 It was the year of 1750, James Glen, the Governor of South Carolina, was believed to be the first person to use the word Tennessee with the right spelling. Also, it was thought that Andrew Jackson was the one who suggested the name when it joined the Union. However, the public records state that it was Daniel Smith, secretary of the old Southwest Territory, who proposed the first draft for the formation of the new state, which he called “the name of the New State of Tennessee.”

Becoming One of the States

Tennessee map in the united states

In the year 1784, right after the Revolutionary War ended, Eastern Tennessee became the State of Franklin. Although, this only lasted until 1788 when the region was sending representatives to the North Carolina legislature.

Tennessee became a United States territory in 1789. Then, Congress made it the 16th state of the union in 1796. Furthermore, senators of the state were named Blount and William Cocke, and the representative was Andrew Jackson.

Civil Wars

Tennessee Confederate Flag

Tennessee chose to withdraw its union formally when the Civil War between the Union and Confederacy broke out.  Although eventually, in June of 1861, Tennessee became the last southern state to join the Confederacy. More so, men from Tennessee went to war on both sides, including roughly 187,000 to the Confederacy and around 51,000 to the Union.

There have been quite a several major battles that were fought in Tennessee – Battle of Shiloh, the Battle of Nashville, and the Battle of Chattanooga. Right after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson from Tennessee became the 17th president of the United States.