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tv   Nashville After the War of 1812  CSPAN  November 27, 2021 9:09pm-10:01pm EST

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>> it is received by the widow. mrs. kennedy ignites eternal flame at the head of her husband's grave. john fitzgerald kennedy reaches the end of his earthly journey, those who leave into the green hills of arlington cemetery. >> follow us on social media, c-span history, more of this date in history coverage. >> the new podcasts about books, we look at industry news and reporting on the latest nonfiction releases and bestseller lists. you can find about books and all our podcasts on the c-span now apps or wherever you get your podcasts. you can watch about books at 7:30 p.m. on c-span2 or online any time on
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c-span's american history tv continues. you can find the full schedule your program guide on >> on behalf of the andrew jackson foundation i want to welcome you to jackson's home, to inaugural history and court program. it is the first installment of the 3-part cities to celebrate the bicentennial of the first version of the hermitage mountain -- mention its completion in 1821. for the prior 17 years the jackson's lives in a 2-story farmhouse on this property. they moved into a newly completed dream home, the house is ridiculous, the manger we treasure today.
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history uncorked, we give the participant's view of the early nineteenth century social economic political and aesthetic context of the times. when the mention was constructed. we are honored to have doctor carole bucy as the first speaker in our series. doctor carole bucy is a professor of history at volunteer state community college. a phd in history from vanderbilt university, as well as history degrees from baylor university and george peabody college. doctor carole bucy was appointed davidson county, and karl dean. the author tennessee through
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time, the early years in tennessee through time the later years, these are the social study textbooks currently used out of fifth grade classrooms in numerous schools across tennessee and is also the author of history carved in stone, city, cemetery, the ywca of national. exercising the franchise exercising the body politic believe that women voters and public policy, 1945 to 1964 and several scholarly articles. she served as member of the board of directors of the presbyterian historical society philadelphia. and the tennessee historical society. as longtime advocate for local
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and state history she regularly conducts educator workshops on the incorporation of tennessee history into existing us history courses and is a frequent speaker across the state on a variety of historical subjects. history is boring, clearly they haven't heard carole bucy speak. she brings her subjects tremendous academic knowledge and deep and thorough research. a true passion for history and delightfully -- i'm excited to report that c-span heard about our series and doctor carole bucy's presentation in there filming tonight's episode that will be broadcast later this fall. at the conclusion of her comments you are invited to ask questions. to do so please step up to the microphone in the center of the
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room. please plan to join us for our next program on october 14th. i hope you uncorked some wine. that back and hear some delightful storytelling. please join with me in giving a warm hermitage welcome to doctor carole bucy. >> i'm delighted to be here and it is a pleasure to have an opportunity to talk about nashville's history. the interest of full disclosure, i will tell you right now, i am not a native. i grew up in texas, i came here to graduate school before some of you were born on sure and i like it so much i stayed ever since and this is a lovely place to be at the hermitage.
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in the family station wagon, we drove him bottom, texas, all the way to washington dc to tour for my parents to give my brother and me a tour of the nations capital and we stop here at the hermitage and i was mesmerized. i had never been a house museum up to that time and it was a great experience and i have enjoyed coming out here over the 47 years i've been married to a tennessean and coming to the hermitage in various programs. i to to tell you about nashville and get us up to 1820 when the beginning of the hermitage as you and i know it began. nashville began as a dream. land speculation was a major
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cause of people primarily scotch irish but not exclusively crossing the appalachian mountains before the revolutionary war. they crossed the appalachian mountains and came across where they weren't supposed to be. it was illegal to do that but they saw opportunity. people had come into that corner of our state, as things go people began to come in more numbers. that's not the case you will have a big plantation with lots of cotton. there will not be a lot of cotton raised on rocky top but they came not for that purpose but they came for the opportunity to only and and own a big plot of land even if they were going to take it from someone else. they came here for the
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opportunity to own land equals independence. you owe no one anything. the population of those settlements grew very very slowly. the evolutionary war that is the revolutionary war is beginning and half the population was going to take advantage of the war going on on the other side of the mountain all the way over here to the cumberland river. they were is going to have this normal progression of moving a little further west and a little further west and a little further west, they were going to do what theodore roosevelt and former state historian called the great leap westward. we are going to leap over the cumberland plateau and settle here.
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the reason they picked to this spot was james robertson who was a surveyor and long hunter had been here a time or two and he had seen the abundant amount of game because all of the salt licks where salt comes up out of the surface of the water, of the ground were attracting animals, animal trails all over middle tennessee, you see what the land look like and they were followed by hunters but native american hunters as well as long hunter is coming from virginia and north carolina so this great leap was made in the middle of the revolutionary war and it was a hotly contested effort to claim this land because the chickamauga and, a hostile group of cherokee, had tried to prevent these people from saying, tried to push them out and the casualty rate among
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the early settlers was very very high but things begin to settle down, north carolina will ultimately claim this pocket of settlements here. you have a pocket in east tennessee worth 300 miles in between the pockets of settlements and so you have people here in north carolina to create some counties so they create sumner county, tennessee county and davidson county and when these counties are created, you have to have a county judge and if you're going to have a court you are going to need a lawyer so and john mcnary to be the county judge and he brings with him his buddy and lawyer friend none other than andrew jackson and andrew jackson developed a successful legal practice on
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the frontier area on the edge of civilization. he did lots of contested land claims as part of his legal visit, you are saying it is my land, the boundary is not that tree. people were arguing about land. these were adventurous people and think about the women who had the fortitude to come on this madcap adventure. racial donaldson's parents were part of the leading effort, her father who was 51 years old, james robertson was in his 30s, the perfect frontiersman but he was more of a virginia gentleman but he saw opportunity and he was coming. he and his wife have children
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that are grown, one of his daughters to the ohio river on these flat boats, come all the way down the tennessee river than up the ohio and cumberland to hear. when they got to the ohio river they decided they could not go upstream and they headed for mississippi. and jackson was here and nashville grows but the city, the town itself does not grow very rapidly. it is a wild place. the scotch irish were highly literate, those who signed the cumberland compact, only a couple could not write their name, all-male of course but the cumberland compact, those were literate and those people were not interested in church, they were not here to found
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churches and they want to get their children educated so the first institutions they create is a school, davidson academy. they bring in a presbyterian minister who is to run the school and educate the children. davidson academy had a hard time going but there were two other important institutions here before and after. one was the masonic lodge which was what i would call secular christianity. a male organization, what some people might call networking. you were there with these other people. the masonic lodge started from school but it was one of the institutions and if you were a rising person with ambition you would join the masonic lodge, every male had no choice but to
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be in, the state militia. that was written before the state, written into the cumberland compact that every young man was going to be armed and ready. and and they would not allow the settlers to stay here. and the cotton gin, people living here start looking for more opportunities. may be south toward columbia, longer growing seasons cotton could be raised. down in alabama which was part of the mississippi territory into mississippi, west tennessee where the chickasaws
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had control of that land. treaty after treaty was signed with the various tribes reserving this piece of land or this piece of land for these tribes. again and again, land hungry settlers came and put themselves there and staked their claim in spite of the fact it was on land reserved for native americans. once the cotton gin gets introduced here you are suddenly going to see land hungry people coming. that intensifies when tennessee becomes a state in 1796 and people are still coming and so they are pushing all the way down to the tennessee alabama border by 1810. imagine this. if you go west from here you will get to the tennessee river but one of the tributaries over
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there a little itself of where waverley is, one of the tributaries over there is the duck river and a group of settlers had gone over there and planted themselves and were there within the creeks, decided to attack. the creeks attacked the settlement, kill a lot of people, take martha crowley is a hostage they go back down to southern alabama where they live. of course the word travels fast in nashville and people in nashville are ready to go. they want to go down there and avenge the attack on the duck river settlement. there's a lot of talk about this in nashville. our major general of our militia, tennessee is a state, is andrew jackson. and he has defeated john severe
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in the contest the militia elected his own officers. he had defeated john severe so the militia is ready to go. the older generation that has been in some way or other affected by the revolutionary war. they had experienced war and not ready to go. the younger whippersnappers that are here are ready to go avenge the deaths of duck river and the creeks again make an attack and this is in alabama almost to the coast toward the coast, a large group of settlers and the creeks attacked them and pretty much kill everybody, women and children. our governor is ready to call up the militia but gets
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permission from president madison to do this. we get our militia down there to avenge all of these killings of settlers. one small problem with our militia. it seems our major general has been in a little bit of a barroom ball with the benton brothers and he has a little affliction. he has taken a bullet somewhere in his chest or shoulder and he can't get on his horse with only one arm but have to wait until the major general is ready to ride before going into alabama and not so many years ago the militia reckoned later do with the militia coming from east tennessee in fayetteville tennessee which is south of nashville almost to the alabama border and reckoned later there, the people of fayetteville had something done for this occasion and it was
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some anniversary and jackson on his horse with his arm in a sling but he was ready to go and these young men were ready to go as well. what takes place, you've got some noticeable people at the end of the river, what takes place is a blood ban, creeks thought they had a defense of position in the skin of the river but here comes the tennessee militia. and the embankment the creeks put up, this breastwork and the creeks are really badly defeated. very few survived the battle. the tennessee militia is redeeming everything people set about the people who lived in
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the cumberland settlements was let me read was one writer wrote about the nashville settlements before 1812, the mail preserve. on probably hard drinking town on the surface at least, hardly even a community. there were taverns run by all sorts of people, the people who really were the residents mostly lived out in the country where the land was, living at the public square, market street on the riverfront and that was a hard drinking place. we have become heroes overnight so president madison will appoint andrew jackson to be the major general of the u.s. army and sends our boy down to new orleans. you know what will happen in new orleans.
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unfortunately - in the president's mentioned. produce and -- president madison decided to send negotiators to negotiate a peace treaty with great britain so the treaty ending this war was signed on december 20 fourth in belgium but word did not get to new orleans that this was happening in general jackson had his man in a good defense of position waiting for the british navy and the british soldiers to come, just down the river close to the mouth of the mississippi river in new orleans but the british
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do come and it is the thing that myths are made of. the battle of new orleans. i can hear the song about the battle of new orleans. the tennessee volunteers, it was a ragtag army, kentucky sharpshooters, some enslaved people, various folks from new orleans in the army but they held the day and now the war is over, we have defeated the british not once but twice and the first george washington defeated them in the revolutionary war, the second george washington is andrew jackson. people here are enthusiastic to know him. he is a national name all of the sudden and the winning of the war of 1812 and the timing
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simultaneously with the coming of the steamboat that is a major turning point in nashville and tennessee history before the civil war because here this frontier outpost, hardly a town and william carol who had been in the tennessee militia and fought with jackson, he now invests in a steamboat coming down the mississippi river from pittsburgh all the way to new orleans 1811-1812 so he invests in a steamboat that will come up the cumberland river. you think of a steamboat, what general jackson looks like today but these were low boats with a side panel and a steam engine on some that were very dangerous because the engines often exploded but he invests in this steamboat the general
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jackson comes to nashville. it is going to change nashville's future nashville center in the middle of what it is going to become this big center of commerce and nashville will have banks, the trade business is going to be absolutely phenomenal. when the war ends the creeks are pushed out of alabama. the chickasaws are pushed out of mississippi and west tennessee so guess what, land, land, land, get over here quickly and buy some. it is going to go fast. big investors such as james winchester from sumner county, john overton from davidson county, andrew jackson from davidson county, and john christmas macklin more from
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davidson county managed to invest in a great deal of acreage in west tennessee and they start selling it with the cotton gin and now this you are going to see people, land speculation frenzy and if you are going to write can't and you know what else it is going to bring to nashville and those areas. larger numbers of enslaved people that had ever been inspected, the market for slavery suddenly went up, a surplus of slaves in the virginia area, now there's a demand for slaves here and slaves will be brought through middle tennessee on their way west to be sold at a higher price. slavery was a business in nashville as well. we have all these people buying land and then we have our first national depression, the panic
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of 1893. the citizens who had invested in land but didn't have the money to, in other words they bought it from the banks, they go to the legislature, the general assembly and what we need you to do is get the banks to postpone and some landowners had more or less given personal financing and they were owed money as well. the legislature voted to do that and it was considered unconstitutional, the courts decided it was unconstitutional and recovered from the depression from that forward. the first rate educator, to come to nashville, to open a new college, university of
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nashville, and leading institution from the south. a medical school and engineering school had many courses. riverboats coming up and down the level with all sorts of people wanting to visit andrew jackson, and founding churches in nashville, they didn't have any churches for a while. a man who was ordained as a presbyterian, alexander campbell, the founder of this restoration movement, comes in quite a large and to the hermitage to have dinner with general jackson, a grantor of the united states, a beautiful
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ball, this puts nashville on the map and we are still on the map, the hard drinking town of drugs on the street, i know what you are thinking of that, the panel taverns, i'm not going to bring that. a cosmopolitan place and 200 years later, it is also a pleasure to see any historic house remaining upright, beautifully cared for as this one is, lost the bid of historical fabric, that they
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did not preserve. i am ready to take questions if you come to this microphone here. whether they are not remains to be seen but i would love to hear some questions from you. there are people who know a lot more about andrew jackson than i do. anybody have a question? please come to the mike. >> can you talk about what the infrastructure in nashville is like? what were the roadways like? how hard was travel at that time when jackson was here? >> travel was pretty hard. we were not much on spending money. we've always been low-tech,
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scotch irish who were the founders here but we had some roads. the state of north carolina send some soldiers over here before statehood and build roads to connect the east tennessee settlements with the cumberland settlements and it ran from knoxville to gallatin, north carolina build that road. there were not a lot of roads and it was not until this time the hermitage is being built that nashville decides it needs a waterworks, and they have a big sister downtown, placing the cumberland river. it is between, if you were going from here to downtown
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nashville, you see this part of things in the middle of the cumberland river which is where they took the water out and they had a system. can you imagine this? they had wooden pipes, water pipes, here and in knoxville. very sophisticated those wooden water pipes and had a way of getting them hollowed out. the tools that it took to get those hollowed out. nonetheless, volunteer fire departments, they did have a plat laid out, drawn by thomas malloy, 1784, the names of all -- the street running by the river was called front street or water street. it is first avenue if you know nashville, you have that street
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and the second one and had 10 blocks, the hill where the state capital is today, alexander campbell -- another campbell on the hill and it was given to the state in the 1840s when it took tennessee until 1843 to decide if there was going to be a permanent capital. if you lived in tennessee you know exactly why. memphis didn't want it, nashville, they didn't want to go to knoxville. knoxville, they didn't want it in nashville either. regional rivalries as one point believe it or not, west tennessee legislators suggested west tennessee would secede from tennessee and this is in
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the 1840s and create their own state called guess what, jacksoniana. there is another state rep from east tennessee who is young, his name is andrew johnson, he's going places, his future is i guess bright. if you are going to secede then we are going to secede and go back to that name of the state of franklin. what do legislators from nashville do? they start appropriating money to build roads in west tennessee and east tennessee. but in spite of this grid the strengths were pretty much nonexistent and you would have some boardwalks for sidewalks and you would have some transportation but overall living in the city was kind of
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a dirty place to live because you have chickens running loose, all manner, don't have a good sewage system so living in the city was in some ways kind of unhealthy. that is why people build these houses if they had any wealth and build the houses out like all these houses out in this area the donaldsons built and travelers rest like the overtons built, the thompson's house, the civil war when that house was built but as opposed to being in town. a lot of men kept townhouses in the city and worked in the city but they had a house in the countryside to keep kids
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healthy because epidemics, with colorado. we now know colorado was caused by contaminated drinking water. with no sewage system, in the spring when it would rain very hard the water table under the ground would rise and people would be drinking contaminated water. one of the people who died of cholera in 1841 in a big epidemic was president james paul who had just come home from his term, what cholera was a very deadly disease, it wasn't contagious, it was in drinking water. some doctors refused to believe it was bad water. them said it was diet, some said it was contagious. measles, diphtheria, yellow
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fever, those things were more contagious than cholera, got it from drinking the water. they didn't have many rooms bringing me to an interesting point about 1820. 1820 this place was on the map. they propose and initiate two major capital building projects. big capital projects. one is to build a bridge across the cumberland river. they get plans drawn for this group, they entice irish workers from the northeast to come to nashville to build a bridge to the cumberland river, where the memorial bridges
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today at the foot of the metro courthouse across the river. it wasn't very far off of the surface of the water so you can see steamboats coming. in the first steamboats were very low but as they get higher and higher, that bridge was going to be obsolete and would ultimately be destroyed. we get this bridge construction going, the board of alderman promised if these irish workers would come they will fund building a catholic church for these workers so the first st. mary's is on the hill where the capital is today and they built the proper st. mary's where it is today, and it is a lovely
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church. that's one thing we've got. then people in nashville decided we need a proper place to bury and honor our dead. up to this point there is a public graveyard downtown. the churches did not have graveyards, the churches were not that strong at this point but there was a public burial ground downtown and that what is was called, the public graveyard. cemetery movement, starting in cambridge, massachusetts, a parklike place, where we remember the dead and honor the dead, not just a graveyard, and they appropriate land for it
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four acres, the board of alderman minutes on the plane south of nashville, don't know if you've been to the city cemetery or not but it is not my idea of a plane but it was sort of land and that is what they were thinking about. the cemetery will get organized and running, brought from the public graveyard, the metro courthouse is today to the city cemetery and buried. if you've never been to the city cemetery you really ought to go. it is absolutely the easiest history lesson you will ever get. it is nashville history from the beginning, up to the civil war. the city cemetery was laid out and filled up very quickly,
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decide on a fundraiser and they will sell family plots so they sell family plots and it expands and expands. one of the very few before the civil war cemeteries in the south that was integrated not only for racial integration but religious integration. we don't really see religion that was segregated. in nashville before the civil war, the catholics did not associate with the protestants, catholics and jews, christians.associate with the jews, they restrict lines, catholics buried there, jews buried there, african-americans buried there as well, the city cemetery is a remarkable place and that's a sign that we are
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becoming civilized. we are not just a frontier outpost in the middle of nowhere. we are the gateway to the west. any other questions? >> elaborate a little more what the cotton business days from nashville? was it kept here, shipped north, south east, west, if you can elaborate? >> memphis would not have become a big city had it not been for cotton. they were raising a good bit in rutherford county in williamson county and the county saw the williamson county there was a
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lot of cotton and it was brought up here to nashville to be shipped out to market on the steamboats so cotton had an effect and we've got people coming in. we have a need for things to buy. you will see market street having all manner of implements and leather shops and tool shops and all sorts of things coming in. another important crop in -- over intensive requiring a good number enslaved people was the tobacco business particularly robertson county, sumner county, counties on the kentucky border began raising a lot, and the lexington foundation in robertson county
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where they owned 200 slaves. there is a lovely book about the plantation that enslaved people have lived there but one thing it brought to nashville, a market for enslaved people. a lot are advertising in the newspapers, there was a slave pen on the hill where the college is. there's a slave pen in the market where the bus transit building is, close to the state capital and slavery becomes a business and one of the most wealthy men in the united states is a man from sumner county named isaac franklin who became very wealthy buying slaves in alexandria, virginia and transporting them initially, he made them walk by
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land through here and they put them on boats later and took them around florida to new orleans and up the river but he became one of the wealthiest men in the country in the slave business and there's a new book called the ledger and the chain in which the historian is taken all the financial records, this would be such tedious work and really drew some conclusions about isaac franklin's lucrative business so cotton wasn't just cotton. cotton meant enslaved people and that made the population of west tennessee grow so rapidly. let's move forward fast to secession and the civil war. east tennessee, mom and pop
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farms, no need for enslaved people, they can't raise cotton, the land is not right. it is hard subsistence farming. west tennessee are grow cultural abundance, lots of cotton being raised over there and in middle tennessee, we are the pivot of the seesaw if you will. are we going to vote with west tennessee on issues or east tennessee on issues? they have different economic goals. so when talk of secession began after abraham lincoln was elected president, south carolina just to raise out of the union tennessee's legislature is going to convene to talk about whether or not tennessee should secede. you can understand who is going to be most pro secession, west tennessee legislators. east tennessee not so much.
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it is up to middle tennessee. the legislature did not want to take a vote and be responsible for this. what they did is we will have a referendum on the citizenry and again that means the men get to vote so we have a referendum of the people on whether or not they want the state of tennessee to call a convention for the purpose of discussing secession. east tennessee, are you going to vote? we don't want to secede. are you going to vote? yes, let's go let's go let's go. middle tennessee votes with east tennessee, not to have a convention to talk about secession. that's not the story you heard. you heard tennessee joined the confederacy, didn't you?
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that is what happens four months later. after the attack on fort sumter and president lincoln's calling for troops to put down the southern insurrection, this time the tennessee legislature, always unique, always individual are not going to just vote to secede but they are going to write a document called the tennessee declaration of independence, the only state that did that and the referendum of the people is going to be do you support the declaration of independence, east tennessee, no, west tennessee, yes. we told you that four months ago. middle tennessee tilts the other way and the issue in middle tennessee was defending the homeland. when it became apparent that abraham lincoln after the attack at fort sumter was going to go to war to save the union,
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these people in middle tennessee recognized that they were going to fight for the confederacy. i think we have time for one more question. anybody have a question? i would say we had a great conversation tonight. it is a pleasure to be at the hermitage. i hope for our viewers that you have the opportunity to come and toward this beautiful site. it is really magnificent for this time of year. the leaves will be turning and things will be glorious all over middle tennessee. thank you very much and have a good evening.
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