Historic Markers Across Tennessee


Marker ID:  
Location: 125 North Front Street, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.656    W 090° 3.562
  35.14426666    -90.05936666
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None


Although eastern Tennessee was settled in the 1770's, Western Tennessee was still wilderness when the state was admitted to the Union in 1796. Fort Pickering, a trading post of the Fourth Chickasaw bluff was located near present day Memphis. At the time, it was the only American settlement on this part of the Mississippi River. In 1794, John Overton, an attorney, had bought from the heirs of John Rice, a 5,000-acre tract on the bluff or $500. Returning to Nashville, Overton sold half of this property to his roommate Andrew Jackson, who in 1818, acting as U.S. Commissioner, negotiated a treaty with the Chickasaw tribe to purchase their claim to these lands. This treaty called the Jackson Purchase, open the region for settlement. In 1819, Andrew Jackson, John Overton, and James Winchester founded the town of Memphis, on the bluff, and within 40 years, it grew to become the commercial focus of the Lower Mississippi Valley's Central region.

Tennessee was a Pro-Union state until the beginning of the Civil War, and was the last state to secede from the Union 1861. It was a major battleground during the war, and became the first Confederate state to rejoin the Union at the war's end.

Memphis, which is Tennessee's largest city, is the regional center of a three state area, which includes western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and and eastern Arkansas. It is a cotton, lumber, manufacturing, and distribution center; as well as a major U.S. highway, rail, river, and air transportation hub.