Entries

Acklen, Adelicia
One of the wealthiest women of the antebellum South, Adelicia Acklen was born March 15, 1817, the daughter of Oliver Bliss Hayes, a prominent Nashville lawyer, judge, Presbyterian minister, land specu... Continue Reading »
Acuff, Roy C.
Roy Acuff, known as the "King of Country Music" due to his long association with the Grand Ole Opry, was born in Maynardville, Union County, on September 15, 1903. At age sixteen, he moved with his fa... Continue Reading »
Adams, Jesse F.
Jesse F. Adams, rural Middle Tennessee medical pioneer and entrepreneur, was born in Cannon County on October 19, 1881. He married Laura Elizabeth Hudson, a Texas native, in 1907, and they had nine ch... Continue Reading »
Agee, James R.
James R. Agee was born in Knoxville on November 27, 1909. His father, Hugh James Agee, was of southern Appalachian yeoman background; his mother, Laura Tyler, came from a family of means and education... Continue Reading »
Agrarians
The Agrarians were a group of social critics centered around Vanderbilt University in the 1930s. They drew their name from their frankly reactionary resistance to industrial capitalism and their insis... Continue Reading »
Alderson, William Thomas
Historian and editor William T. Alderson was born and raised in Schenectady, New York. After service in the navy during World War II, he graduated from Colgate University in 1947. He then entered the ... Continue Reading »
Alexander, Lamar
Lamar Alexander, governor, university president, and U.S. secretary of education, was born on July 3, 1940, in Blount County. His parents were teachers in Maryville, and Alexander attended public scho... Continue Reading »
Allison, David
David Allison, backcountry lawyer, political operative, and land speculator, was an agent for the Blount brothers, especially William Blount, Tennessee's first territorial governor. Allison'... Continue Reading »
Anderson, William Robert
William R. Anderson, U.S. Navy captain and congressman, is best known as the commander of the submarine USS Nautilus during the first underwater crossing of the North Pole in 1958. Anderson was born o... Continue Reading »
Archaic Period
The Archaic in Tennessee is the longest defined prehistoric cultural period, spanning approximately seven thousand years. The beginning of the Archaic Period roughly coincides with the Pleistocene/Hol... Continue Reading »
Armfield, John
John Armfield, slave trader and businessman, descended from North Carolina Quakers who were Loyalists during the American Revolution. While still a boy, Armfield ran away from home, vowing not to retu... Continue Reading »
Arnell, Samuel Mayes
Reconstruction legislator and congressman Samuel M. Arnell was born at Zion Settlement in Maury County on May 3, 1833. After attending Amherst College, Arnell returned to Tennessee, studied law, and p... Continue Reading »
Arnold, Eddy
The most successful commercial artist in country music for the years immediately after World War II was Eddy Arnold. Arnold's success in country music sales centered on two eras: the period from ... Continue Reading »
Asbury, Francis
Francis Asbury, bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, was born near Birmingham, England, to Joseph and Elizabeth (Rogers) Asbury and apprenticed as a blacksmith. At an early age Asbury ... Continue Reading »
Atkins, Chester Burton 'Chet'
Chet Atkins, one of country music's greatest instrumentalists, producers, and promoters of the Nashville Sound, was born the son of a fiddler in Luttrell, Union County in 1924. He took up guitar ... Continue Reading »
Attakullakulla
Attakullakulla was a powerful eighteenth-century Overhill Cherokee leader who played a critical and decisive role in shaping diplomatic, trade, and military relationships with the British Colonial gov... Continue Reading »
Auerbach, Stanley Irving
A founder of the science of radiation ecology and staff leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Auerbach was born in Chicago in 1921. He studied at the University of Illinois and Northwestern ... Continue Reading »
Awiakta, Marilou
Marilou Awiakta, Cherokee and Appalachian poet, storyteller, and essayist, was born in Knoxville in 1936 and reared in Oak Ridge. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee in 1958... Continue Reading »
Baggenstoss, Herman
Herman Baggenstoss, conservationist, was a native of Grundy County, the son of Swiss settlers who founded the Dutch-Maid Bakery in Tracy City in 1903. An alumnus of the University of the South, Baggen... Continue Reading »
Bailey, Deford
DeFord Bailey, a virtuoso harmonica player who won fame on the early Grand Ole Opry, has a more significant place in history as the first African American to win fame in the field of country music as ... Continue Reading »