Lest We Forget

Nashville 1834

Eastin Morris' TENNESSEE GAZETTEER, 1834

Nashville, the metropolis of the State of Tennessee, and the seat of justice of the county of Davidson, is elegantly situated on the soutb bank of Cumberland river, in lat. 36' 9' 43" N., long . 9' 47' 15" west from Washington City, or 86' 4' 15" west from London. The site is undulating and rocky, with unequal elevations from fifty to one hundred and seventy-five feet above low water mark. The ground plat is interspersed with beautiful cedar groves, and the environs present the richest variety of landscape scenery; the river seems to meander where it should, and the evergreen hills have the proper elevation and position to give boldness and symmetry to the picture; in short it is altogether one of the most romantic, healthy and flourishing little cities in the Valley of the Mississippi.

The first settlement was made in the year 1779 by the late General James Robertson and company but it had for some time previous been the occasional rendezvous of the French traders, and was then called the French Lick. In 1783 the legislature of North Carolina established the county of Davidson, and the first county court was held here on the 6th day of October, by the commissioned justices of the peace. They appointed Andrew Ewing clerk, and Daniel Williams sheriff, and made an order for the erection of a temporary court house and jail by the first day of January ensuing, at Nashboro as they then called the seat of justice. In 1784 a town was established by law, by the name of Nashville, in honor of the brave and patriotic General Nash, who fell at the battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777. The commissioners, Thomas Mulloy, Samuel Barton, Daniel Smith, James Shaw and Isaac Lindsey, were authorized and required to cause to be laid off two hundred acres of land at the Bluff, near to, but not so as to include the French Lick, in lots of one acre each, with convenient streets, lanes and alleys, reserving four acres for the purpose of erecting public buildings. And provision was made to allot to citizen subscribers, such number as they should draw, for which they were to receive a deed, upon condition that within three years they would make certain specified improvements thereon. This year there were two licensed taverns in Nashville, and a few shops. In 1787 there were about a half a dozen frame and log houses and twenty or thirty cabins. In November 1788, the Hon. John McNairy held the first superior court of law and equity for the county of Davidson and Sumner. John Macay was appointed clerk and Andrew Jackson, state's attorney pro tem.

In 1796 the legislature of Tennessee appointed additional trustees, and made some slight alterations in the registered boundaries of the town. In 1801 it was placed under the government of an Intendent and six commissioners. In 1804 it had a population of about 400 and in 1806 it was incorporated with a mayor and six aldermen, and Joseph Coleman was elected the first mayor. In 1810 the population was about 1100 and in 1812 the legislature sat here for the first time. In the spring of 1818 the citizens of Nashville hailed the arrival of the first steam boat, she carried 110 tons: was called the General Jackson, and built in 1817 at Pittsburg for Governor Carroll, who sold her to Messrs. Fletcher, Young and Marr, for $33,000 cash. Freight was then five cents from New Orleans to this place.

In 1822 a fine bridge was built across the Cumberland opposite the public square, which cost about $85,000. In 1823 the population was 3,463, and in June 1830 there were 5566 of which 1108 were slaves, and 204 were free persons of color. At present (1834) the population is about 7000, and there are about three hundred brick and two hundred frame and log dwelling houses; eighty brick and fifteen frame stores, twenty brick warehouses, fifty brick and twenty-five frame offices, and one hundred work shops. The public buildings are a court house, jail, penitentiary, lunatic asylum, university, female academy, theatre, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and Catholic churches, several banks a masonic hall, two market houses, water works, &c. And there are also two steam saw mills, one steam rolling mill, two brass and iron foundries, three hardware stores, three iron stores, four auction stores, eighteen wholesale stores, fifty-five retail stores, four groceries, six taverns, and a number of refectories, confectioneries, coffee houses, fancy stores, &c. Here are likewise six merchant tailors, ten saddlers, twelve shoemakers, four boot and shoemakers, four shoestores, two tanyards, about a dozen blacksmiths, one gunsmith, six silversmiths and jewellers, three extensive apothecary and drug stores, one hatter, three cabinet makers, a number of carpenters, three carriage makers, three wagon makers, three tallow chandlers, four tobacconists, two coppersmiths, five tinners, one engraver, four portrait painters, four house and sign painters, six bricklayers, four stone cutters, one marble worker, and several plasterers, glaziers, &c. There are four extensive printing offices, four large bookstores, three book binderies, two classical schools, two female academies, ten common schools, an infant school, and a number of Sunday schools. There are about a dozen clergymen including the collegiate and the academical instructors, upwards of forty practising lawyers, and about twenty-five physicians.

The Court House which stands on the public square, is a spacious and commodious edifice. It presents a handsome front of 105 feet and is sixty-three feet deep. The basement story contains a number of rooms, designed for public offices, and on the second and third floors there are two rooms forty by sixty feet each, two others thirty-six by forty, and two others twenty-three by forty. The basement story is eleven feet high, and the two principal ones are eighteen feet each, and the height of the whole building to the top of the dome is ninety feet. The foundation and part of the lower story is of fine hewn stone, and the remainder of brick, and 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 Sheriff's office is on the first floor, the marshal's on the second, 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.

The Market House on the square, is one of the finest buildings of the kind, to be found in the west. At each end there are spacious rooms, one of which is occupied as a City Hall and recorder's office.

The Nashville University. This institution is located on a handsome elevation, at the upper end of College street. Its buildings are brick, and consist of a college edifice, three stories high, 200 feet long and 50 broad, containing a chapel, recitation rooms, and forty four rooms for students; a building of one story 100 feet by 40, containing a laboratory, apparatus, &c.; a house for the steward, refectory, &c., and a house for the President, which is in a beautiful grove east of Market street, a short distance from the college. The mineralogical cabinet contains upward of 10,000 specimens; the philosophical apparatus cost $6000; there is a good chemical apparatus, and also a museum of natural history. The library contains 2000 volumes, and there are libraries belonging to the students containing 1200 volumes.

The institution originated in the Davidson county academy, established by the state of North Carolina, Dec. 29, 1785. The academy was converted into Cumberland College by the legislature of Tennessee, Sept. 11th 1806. In 1826, the name was changed to the Nashville University. The value of its property in and near Nashville, exclusive of the college buildings, &c., is estimated at about $50,000; and it owns 25,000 acres of land in the Western District.


REV. PHILIP LINDSLEY, D. D., President and Professor, Mor.
Phil., Pol. Econ., &c.

Gerard Troost, M. D., Prof. of Chemistry, Mineralogy and Geology.

James Hamilton, A. M., Prof. Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.

N. S. Parmantier, Prof. French Language and Literature.

George Ely and Abednego Stephens, Tutors in the Greek and Latin.

Number of students in the four classes, from 70 to 100; whole number of alumni, 118, in 1833. Commencement is on the first Wednesday in October.-Vacations, 1st from commencement, five and a half weeks; second, from 1st Wednesday in April, five and a half weeks.

Annual Expenses:-Tuition, room rent, servants hire, &c., $50; for board, $1.75 per week; for the year $70.00-total $120. Candidates for the ministry of all denominations are admitted at half price.

The Episcopal Church is a fine stone building handsomely stuccoed, and in the Gothic style of architecture. It is fifty three feet deep in front, on Spring street, from the extremities of the buttresses, and extends back along high street nearly, eighty feet. It contains a basement story nine feet high, embracing a room forty by forty five feet, for lectures and Sunday schools, together with rooms for the vestry and clergy men, communicating with the body of the church by private stairs behind the pulpit. The body of the church is forty five feet wide, sixty nine long and twenty four high; containing sixty two spacious pews, with extensive galleries on three sides. The pulpit and desk are in good taste, and the front gallery is ornamented with a fine toned organ. The windows are five feet wide and twenty one high, having buttresses or projections of two feet square between them, terminating in points.. The whole is surmounted with a Gothic cupola, in which is a bell, weighing 544 lbs. The corner stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies on the 5th of July 1830, and it was consecrated by the name of Christ Church, in July, 1831. The whole cost was about $16,000. Rev. George Weller, Rector, and the number of communicants, thirty four.

The Baptist Church, also on Spring street is a neat brick building two stories high, forty five by sixty feet, with a tall steeple, and an excellent bell. The whole cost about $6000.

The Baptist association was formed in 1820, and in 1825, there was a division, and the Reformers as they are denominated, seceded from the regular Baptists, retained the church, and declined any further connexion with the Association, deeming it unwarranted by word of God. They reject all confessions of faith, and profess to be guided by the scriptures alone. They receive all persons professing faith in Jesus Christ by Immersion, for the remission of sins, and they meet every Lord's day, in order to engage in worship, by reading the scriptures, exhortation, prayer, praise, breaking of bread and contribution for the poor. The number of members in April, 1834, was 456, of which 280 were colored. The regular Baptists have about 100 members, and hold their meetings in the Masonic Hall.

The New Methodist Church, is situated on Spring between High and Summer streets, nearly opposite to Christ church; is a spacious and elegant building. Its form is that of a parallelogram, being sixty feet in front and extending ninety feet back. It has a basement story containing two rooms, thirty by sixty feet each, intended for Sunday schools and class meetings. The front approached by stone steps, is composed of three parts-an inverted portico, supported by two massive stone columns of the Doric order, and enclosed between rusticated stone piers flanked by antis, containing each a flight of stairs to the galleries, and lighted by well proportioned windows. The extent of the first story is marked by a handsome stone cornice extending the whole length of the front, and surmounted by a blocking course on which rest four pilasters that embellish the second story, the most striking feature of which is a large Grecian window in the centre, surmounted by a noble arch, and two others with square heads, immediately above and corresponding with those in the lower story. The second story is surmounted by a well proportioned ballustrade, that conceals the roof, and lends to the whole composition a light and pleasing effect. The main body of the building is lighted by two ranges of windows in good proportion. The interior of the building is finished in corresponding style. The pulpit is richly draperied, and fronted by a spacious altar. The pews are free, and well arranged, and will accommodate about 1500 persons.

It is contemplated during the present season, to surmount the whole structure with a turret, in uniformity of proportion with the other parts of the building, in which will be placed a bell weighing 1100 lbs., which has been presented to the church by a gentleman of New Orleans. The cost of the building when completed will be upwards of $12,000. It was solemnly dedicated to the worship of God on the last Sunday in October, 1833, by the venerable Bishop McKendree, assisted by the Rev. Messrs Douglass, McMahon and Maddin.

The Methodists have three other places of preaching the old church on Spring street, Gwinn's Chapel, on College side, and the African church. As early as 1796, they had a small society here, and had erected a meeting house on the public square. About the year 1809, they held their meetings in the jail, and in 1815, a small brick church was erected in South Field, and they had 20 or 30 members. In 1822, the society contained 90 members, and there has been a gradual increase ever since. The number in April 1834, was 780 whites, and 819 blacks in the city and vicinity.

The Presbyterian Church, also on Spring street, between the new Methodist church and the river. It is built on the site of the old church, which was burnt in 1832, and is ninety one feet long and sixty-nine wide, and when completed will be one of the handsomest buildings in the city. It has a basement story eleven feet high and sixty four feet square in the clear, which is comfortably fitted up for a lecture room and Sunday school. The main room is sixty-five feet square, contains 124 pews, and will accommodate eight hundred persons, The gallery is very spacious and will hold about 500. The vestibule is approached by a flight of stone steps, extending the whole width of the building and is supported by six massive brick columns cased and fluted. The whole building when completed will have cost about $16,000.

The Presbyterian church here had no regular pastor until the installation of the Rev. Aaron Campbell, in 1821; previous to that time it was occasionally supplied, and doctors Craig head and Blackburn, may be considered the fathers of this branch of the church. Dr. Blackburne organized a church in 1813, and when Dr. Campbell was called to the charge, there were about one hundred members. Dr. Campbell resigned in 1826, and there was a vacancy for about a year, when the Rev. Dr. Obadiah Jennings took charge; he died in January 1831, and there was a vacancy again until the call of the Rev. John T. Edgar, the present pastor. He was installed on the 25th December, 1833. Number of members in May 1834, two hundred.

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, is situated on Summer street. It is a plain but neat brick building fifty seven by seventy feet. It is two stories high exclusive of the basement story which is partly below the surface.. The front presents a parapet wall variegated with recessed arches, resting on pillars which forms an open vestibule; from whence on either side winding flights of stairs ascend to the galleries. Three doors open to the main room, which is a spacious sanctuary sixty by fifty-five feet. The pews below will accommodate about 600, and the galleries about 400 persons. The whole interior is light and comfortable, and fitted up in good taste. The cost, exclusive of the steeple which has not yet been erected, is seven thousand dollars. It was dedicated to the worship of God in May 1832. The clergymen of this denomination began to labor statedly in Nashville, in 1829, and the succeeding year a society was organized with about a dozen members. This year the Rev. A. M. Dowell, had the pastoral charge, and they held their meetings in the city hall and catholic church. In May 1831, the Rev. Messrs. Donnell, Smith and others, held a five day's meeting in the new market house; the novelty drew thousands to the scene, and about thirty were added to the church. Arrangements were soon made for the erection of a church, which was ready for the reception of the General Assembly in May 1832, shortly after wards Messrs. Lowry and Smith, editors of the Revivalist, located in the place and jointly exercised the pastoral charge for one year.-At present there is no regular pastor, but the church have the alternate labors of several gentlemen. Num ber of members, seventy-two.

The Catholic Church,stands upon the northern declivity of Campbell's hill, which gives it a handsome appearance. It is, however, in a state of dilapidation, and there is no organized body of members, or officiating priest.

The Nashville Female Academy, a flourishing institution, is situated in the western suburbs of the city, near Spring street, in a handsome bowling-green. It was instituted in 1816, and incorporated in 1817. Dr. Berry was the principal for a time, but he resigned and was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Hume, who presided 'till his death in 1833, when the present incumbent, the Rev. Robt. A. Lapsley was appointed. The school rooms will accommodate upwards of 200 pupils, and 70 or 80 may obtain boarding at the public boarding house. The greatest number of scholars at any one time was 239, but the number at present does not exceed 130.

The Bank of the State, is situated upon College street, immediately opposite Yeatman and Woods.-It was chartered in 1820 for twenty-three years, with a branch at Knoxville and agencies in every county in the state. The whole capital, which belonged to the state, has been appropriated for the promotion of internal improvement and common schools; and William M. Berryhill, Esq. has been appointed agent to close the concerns of the mother bank.

The bank of Yeatman Woods' & Co., a private institution, presents a stucco front, with arches, a recess and iron doors and windows. It is on the west side of College street, be tween the square and Union street. It is a very solvent institution. John P. Erwin, Esq. Cashier.

The Branch Bank of the United States, is a handsome brick building with plain columns, and is situated on the north corner of the public square. This branch which was established in 1827, has done an extensive business. The amount of specie reported in Jan. 1832, was $167,866.36. Thos. H. Fletcher, Esq. is president and John Sommerville, Esq. cashier.

The Union Bank of Tennessee, was chartered in 1832, with a capital not to exceed $3,000,000. It went into operation in 183,3 under very favourable auspices. The state owns half a million of stock, and individuals two millions. It is a bank of public deposite, both for the state and the United States, and the president is a pension agent. It has branches at Knoxville, Columbia and Jackson, and agencies at Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans. The present banking house, is at the comer of College and Union streets, but a splendid house on the style of the United States Bank at Philadelphia, has been commenced at the corner of Union and Cherry streets, and will be finished by January 1835. George W. Gibbs, Esq., president, A. Vanwyck, Esq., Cashier.

The Planters Bank of Tennessee was chartered in 1833, and organized in 1834. Capital $2,000,000.-The temporary bank ing house, is on the north side of the public square, one door west of the Nashville Inn. Edward B. Littlefield, Esq., Presi dent, and Nicholas Hobson, Esq., Cashier.

The Penitentiary, is a beautiful and substantial Prison, located in the western suburbs of the city, on the right of the road leading from spring or church street, about one mile from the court house. The building was commenced in 1830, and finished so far as to receive convicts by the first of January 1831. It presents a front of three hundred and ten feet, and is three hundred and fifty in depth. The two wings of the front building contain two hundred cells, and half of the center building is occupied by the Keeper, and the other half is used for a hospital, guard rooms, &c. The yard walls are four and a half feet thick at the bottom, and three at the top, and have an average height of twenty feet. The whole cost of the edifice up to the reception by the State was less than $50,000. It was built by David Morrison, an experienced architect under the direction of the Governor and Commissioners. By the report made to the legislature in September 1833, the income for the preceding year was $23,223, and after deducting $16,771 for expenses &c., left a balance in favor of the institution of $6,552. Inspectors, William Carroll, Samuel G. Smith, Robert C. Foster, Moses Ridley and Eastin Morris. Keeper, John McIntosh. In April 1834, there were eighty convicts engaged in shoemaking, hatting, tailoring, coopering, blacksmithing, wagonmaking, carding, &c.

The Lunatic Hospital, is pleasantly situated on an elevated spot south of Vauxhall Garden. The act for its establishment was passed October 19th, 1832, and ten thousand dollars appropriated to purchase the site and commence the building. In 1833 one half of the State tax of the years 1834 and 1835 for the county of Davidson, was appropriated in addition. With the exception of the penitentiary, it is the largest building in the State, and when completed will be an ornament to the city, as well as a monument of the humanity and charity of the State. It is three stories high including the basement story, with an additional tier of rooms in the centre building. The base and front walls are of stone, and the remainder of brick. When the whole is finished, upwards of one hundred unfortunate persons may be comfortably provided for, and secured in separate rooms.

Commissioners, Joseph Woods, H. R. W. Hill, Felix Robert son, John Shelby and Boyd McNairy.

The Water Works, for supplying the city with water, are located on the bank of the river above the city.

They were constructed by Albert Stein, an experienced engineer, at the expense of the corporation, and completed in November, 1833. The water is raised from the river by a high pressure steam engine. The engine house is built of stone and brick, thirty six by thirty feet, and fifty feet above low water mark. The reservoir stands on an elevation of one hundred and sixty-six feet above low water mark, and 45 above the level of the public square, near a fine cedar grove, which partially obstructs the view of the city, but it adds much to the comfort and beauty of the spot as a summer evening's retreat. It is distant from the public square, by the line of the main pipe, 5879 feet, and from the lower pump, by the ascending main, 472 feet, seventy feet six inches long, eighty feet six inches wide, and ten feet six inches deep. Both of them when filled to the depth of ten feet, will contain 695,520 gallons. The quantity of water which may be raised in twenty four hours, at twenty strokes per minute, is 950,000 gallons, and at sixteen strokes per minute, 750,000. The main pipe leading from the reservoir, is of six inch bore, and extends as follows: 1838 feet to the circular pipe in Market street, with a fall of fifty and a half feet, from thence to the branch pipe with stop cock on Market street, 1628 feet, with a descent of sixty one and a half feet, making a fall of 112 feet from the top of the reservoir; from thence to the square, 2413 feet with an ascent of sixty-seven feet. The whole cost of the works up to Nov. 1833, was $49,264.56, including $8,727.77, paid for the ground and for superintendency. Since which time, the city authorities have been actively engaged in extending the pipes, and will, in a short time, have an ample supply of good water in every part of the city. Strangers in the city during the summer months, will find it an agreeable excursion to visit the Water Works, Vauxhall Garden and the Sulphur spring.

Vauxhall Garden, is a place of fashionable resort, and is situated in the southern border of the city, near the Franklin turnpike. Here is an ingenious circular rail-way, two hundred and sixty two yards in circumference. The cars are so constructed that persons are enabled to propel themselves at a most rapid rate, simply by turning of a crank with the hands. There is also a large assembly room, handsomely decorated; and the promenade, walks and other places of amusement and recreation, are laid off and arranged in good taste. It is owned and kept by Mr. John Decker, a gentleman who spares no pains to render his parterre acceptable to visitors.

The Sulphur Spring, is situated in the lower suburbs, on French Lick creek, between Cherry and Summer streets. The water is a strong salt sulphur, but clear, cold and palatable, and is said to contain about the same properties of the celebrated Harrowgate waters.-Here are also cold and warm baths; and the curious observer can spend a leisure hour very satisfactorily, in examining the fragments of Indian pottery ware, ancient furnaces for making salt, and various aboriginal remains which exist here in great abundance.

The Post Office is situated on Cherry and Deaderick streets. It is a distributing office, and receives about fifty mails per week. The net revenue for the first quarter of 1834 was $1,431.50.

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