Historic Markers Across Tennessee



North Carolina



Marker ID:  
Location: 126 North Front Street, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.659    W 090° 3.561
  35.14431666    -90.05935
Style: Mounted **
Waymark: None
 



Text:

In the 1700s, the western boundary of the British Crown Colony of North Carolina extended, in theory, to the Mississippi River. Much of this was academic, however, and the western Tennessee territory which bordered the river was in fact the property of the Chickasaw Indians. In the Revolutionary War, Mountain Men from the Tennessee frontier fought in North Carolina militia units at the battle of King's Mountain, but at the end of the war, the new State of North Carolina and its citizens were left in serious financial trouble, and the Chickasaw

lands were looked upon as a source of economic gain. In 1783, North Carolina opened a land office to sell entry claims to the property between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, despite the Chickasaws' rights. This official land grab prompted a rush of claim filing, and about 2 million acres of the Chickasaw lands were sold, largely to the politicians and leading citizens of North Carolina who had promoted the venture. John Rice, one of those speculators, bought the claim to 5,000 acres on the Fourth Chickasaw Bluff on October 23, 1783. Two day later, John Ramsey filed a claim for the 5,000 acres to the south. Rice had come to the bluff in 1783 and surveyed this property, marking a corner of his claim by hacking his initials on a tree. He was later killed by Native Americans, leaving to his heirs the land which was to become the site of Memphis. In 1789, North Carolina ceded the West Tennessee territory to the United States, and it remained a part of the Southwest Territory until Tennessee was admitted to the United States in 1796.

Erected by Mud Island River Park.