Historic Markers Across Tennessee



The Hermitage Landscape



Marker ID:  
Location: on the path between the Visitors Center and The Hermitage Mansion at the Hermitage historical site, 4580 Rachels Lane, Hermitage, TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 12.832    W 086° 36.795
  36.21386666    -86.61325
Waymark: None
 



Text:

The Hermitage Landscape
Frontier Farm to Cotton Plantation to Shrine


At first glance, The Hermitage Landscape may seem largely untouched by time. Look more closely, however, and discover the changes brought by over 200 years of labor...living...and a changing America.

White Americans and their slave first settled this property around 1798—attracted, as were generations of Indians before them, by two natural springs that still provide water today. The Indians farmed and hunted this land for thousands of years. With the coming of white settlers, a rapid transformation began. A richly forested Indian hunting ground became a frontier farm of rough fields and patches of woodland. As the years rolled by, hard labor transformed that early farm into a busy plantation with enslaved workers toiling in Jackson's fields. Cotton was the vital “cash crop” that supported the Jackson's lifestyle, while the farm produced nearly everything needed for a community of almost 200 people. More change followed the Civil War, and continues; some from within, some from the city around us.

As you tour today, imagine yourself one of the people of The Hermitage—a Jackson family member, a slave working in the fields or house, the overseer, or a visitor on this large plantation humming with dawn-to-dusk purpose and activity—just a four-hour carriage ride from downtown Nashville. Imagine that it is 1837.

(sidebar)
Plantation of Farm?
A plantation is a large farm devoted to growing primarily one crop for profit. In the pre-Civil War United States, enslaved workers performed the grueling labor on plantations. By this definition, The Hermitage was a plantation during Andrew Jackson's life. Jackson, however, nearly always called it a farm.

Erected by The Hermitage


Notes:

More information:
The Hermitage, The Home of President Andrew Jackson
Wikipedia: Andrew Jackson
The White House: Andrew Jackson
Wikipedia: Slavery