Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ft. Nashborough

On Christmas Eve, 1779, James Robertson led a group of 200 settlers from North Carolina to a bluff on the west bank of the Cumberland River near what is now downtown Nashville. Four months later, Robertson's friend, John Donelson, and another group of North Carolinians joined the original group at Ft. Nashborough. At the time, North Carolina owned the land on which Ft. Nashborough stood. When North Carolina incorporated the town in 1784 and changed the name to Nashville.

The original fort measured approximately 125 X 250 feet and enclosed two acres. In each corner stood two-story blockhouses that the settlers used for defense. The smaller, one-story cabins in the fort were home to the families living there. The replica of the fort (shown above), stands on the same ground as Ft. Nashborough. However, it is only 1/4 the size of the original.

A couple of interesting notes:

* The pioneers travelled approximately 500 miles over land and twice that by river to reach their destination.
* The settlers named the town for General Francis Nash who died in the American Revolution. Because of anti-British sentiments, they dropped the British "borough" and added "ville" with the town's incorporation in 1784.
* A number of the pioneers set up camp at the base of the hill where the state capitol building now stands. Because of repeated Indian attacks, most of them either moved to the fort or to Kentucky.
* North Carolina eventually ceded the land to the federal government, and Tennessee became a state in 1796. Nashville was chartered a city in 1806, but it did not become the permanent capital of the state until 1843.

1 comment:

Steve Buser said...

Interesting juxtapositioning of the building behind the old log building.
--steve buser
New Orleans Daily Photo