Entries

Blackburn, Gideon
Gideon Blackburn, Presbyterian minister, college president, and missionary to the Cherokees, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, on August 27, 1772. Orphaned in his youth, Blackburn moved to what is... Continue Reading »
Blanton, Leonard Ray
Ray Blanton, three-term congressman and one-term governor, was born in April 1930, in Hardin County and grew up on a farm close to the small town of Adamsville in McNairy County. His "dirt-poor" upbri... Continue Reading »
Bledsoe, Anthony
Anthony Bledsoe, pioneer, surveyor, and early settler of the Cumberland region, was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and became a product of the rolling frontier of his day. He was a justice of ... Continue Reading »
Bledsoe, Isaac
Isaac Bledsoe was born in Culpepper County, Virginia, but as a young man settled with his brother Anthony on the Holston River a few miles west of Bristol. After serving with British colonial troops i... Continue Reading »
Blount, William
Territorial Governor and U.S. Senator William Blount was born on Easter Sunday (March 26) 1749, the eldest child of Jacob and Barbara Gray Blount of Bertie County, North Carolina. As a lad, Blount rec... Continue Reading »
Blount, Willie
Governor Willie Blount was born in Bertie County, North Carolina, to Jacob Blount and his second wife, Hannah (Salter) Baker Blount. He was half-brother to Tennessee's territorial governor Willia... Continue Reading »
Bomar Jr., James Lafayette
James Lafayette Bomar Jr., a lawyer from Bedford County, Tennessee, served his state as a congressman, senator, and lieutenant governor; he then extended his commitment to service to the global comm... Continue Reading »
Bond, James
James Bond, one of the wealthiest slaveholding planters in Tennessee, if not in the entire South, came to the state during the late 1820s or early 1830s. Bond and two brothers moved from Bertie County... Continue Reading »
Bond, Samuel
Samuel Bond, cotton planter, physician, and Tennessee legislator, was born in Knox County on December 10, 1804. Bond's family moved to northern Alabama before locating in Shelby County in 1831. A... Continue Reading »
Bontemps, Arnaud W.
Harlem Renaissance writer and Fisk University librarian Arnaud W. Bontemps was born in Louisiana in 1902 but grew up in Los Angeles after his family moved to California when he was three. In 1923 Bont... Continue Reading »
Boone, Daniel
Daniel Boone is perhaps the best known of the early "long hunters" who ventured across the Appalachian Mountains to hunt and explore in the area of present-day Tennessee and Kentucky. Born on November... Continue Reading »
Boston, Ralph
Former Tennessee State University track star and medalist in the 1960, 1964, and 1968 Olympic games, Ralph Boston was born in Laurel, Mississippi, on May 9, 1939. Boston attended Tennessee State Unive... Continue Reading »
Boudinot, Elias
Elias Boudinot, Cherokee publisher and signer of the removal treaty, was born around 1802 in what is now North Georgia and given the name Buck Oo-watie Galagina, or Stag. In 1818 he went to mission sc... Continue Reading »
Bowen George, Thomas
George T. Bowen was the first prominent scientist recruited to teach in a Tennessee college. A Rhode Island native, he was admitted to Yale in 1819 with sophomore standing. He graduated in 1822, then ... Continue Reading »
Bowen, William
Cumberland pioneer William Bowen was born in 1742 in Fincastle County, Virginia, and migrated to the Cumberland Valley in 1784. He and his family first lived at Mansker's Station, and next they l... Continue Reading »
Bowers, Duke C.
Duke C. Bowers was a Memphis businessman, philanthropist, and fervent opponent of the death penalty. Bowers was born in 1874 in Mobile, Alabama; his family moved to Kentucky when he was a young chil... Continue Reading »
Bowman, Eva Lowery
African American business leader in cosmetology and civil rights activist Eva Lowery Bowman was born to William and Alice Lowery in Nashville on April 25, 1899. She attended Pearl High School, Walden ... Continue Reading »
Boyd, Henry Allen
Henry Allen Boyd, founder of the Nashville Globe, was the son of Richard Henry Boyd, founder and manager of the National Baptist Publishing Board. As the son of one of Nashville's most prominent ... Continue Reading »
Boyd, John W.
John W. Boyd was one of the first African Americans to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly. Born in Georgia to Jackson and Martha Boyd around 1841, John Boyd grew up probably in both Georgia and T... Continue Reading »
Boyd, Richard Henry
Richard Henry Boyd, a founder of both the National Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Publishing Board, was born in Texas late in the antebellum era. After receiving an education at Bishop Co... Continue Reading »