Nashville, Tennessee

City: Nashville

County: Davidson

State: Tennessee

Lat/Long: 36.1500, -86.7833

Founded in the winter of 1779-80 as Fort Nashborough, Nashville sits on the Cumberland River in middle Tennessee. In 1784, the North Carolina General Assembly incorporated the settlement as a town, and in 1806, the Tennessee General Assembly chartered it as a town. The fertility of soil attracted many investors, settlers, and speculators, and the arrival of steamboats on the Cumberland in 1818 transformed Nashville into a commercial and manufacturing hub. From 1830 to 1860, its population increased from 7,000 to 17,000. In 1843, Nashville became the capital of Tennessee. Nicknamed the "Athens of the South," Nashville was more aristocratic and cosmopolitan than many other Southern cities. Whig in its political orientation and strongly pro-Union, Nashville citizens defeated efforts at secession at the Nashville Convention in 1850. During the Civil War, Union forces occupied Nashville without opposition in February 1862, and it remained occupied for the remainder of the war. Nashville's pro-Union stance allowed it to suffer less than other Southern cities during the war, and it quickly recovered its place of economic and cultural prominence after the conflict.

Gerald M. Capers, Jr., "Nashville," Dictionary of American History rev. ed. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1976), 4:452-53; W. W. Clayton, History of Davidson County, Tennessee (Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis, 1880), 193, 195, 198, 206.