Historic Markers Across Tennessee

Belle Meade Farm Freedom

Marker ID:  
Location: on the grounds of the Belle Meade Plantation, 5025 Harding Road (Entrance to the Plantation), Nashville TN
County: Davidson
Coordinates: N 36° 6.384    W 086° 51.864
  36.1064    -86.8644
Waymark: None


In 1865 one hundred thirty six (136) enslaved men, women, and children at Belle Meade Farm gained their freedom. With this freedom they gained the right to choose where they would live and work. Seventy-two (72) farm workers continued under the employ of General Will Giles Harding, with 4 families continuing to live on the grounds and many others commuting to work each day from various neighborhoods around Nashville.

(Inscription under the photo in the lower left)
The living quarters shown in this photograph were home to both enslaved families and later freedmen who continued to work on the Belle Meade farm. Many of these families occupied the structures until the mid-20th century. In the 1970s, the last remaining building was dismantled and moved to make way for new development.

(Inscription under the photo in the lower right)
Our mission is to preserve and interpret the historical value of Belle Meade Plantation and to educate the public about its significance in American History. Through generous donations, Belle Meade Plantation acquired this half (1/2) acre of land in October 2001, thus preserving part of history nearly lost to development. Continuing efforts and archeology will tell us more about the material culture and lives of the families who lived here in the 19th and early 20th Centuries