Entries

Birch, Adolpho A.
Adolpho A. Birch, a pioneering African American jurist, became the first black man to hold several judicial posts in Nashville and the first to assume the chief justice position of the Tennessee Supre... Continue Reading »
Black Bottom
Black Bottom was notable as a Negro neighborhood in downtown Nashville until the 1950s. The area was nicknamed “Black Bottom” because of periodic river floods that left muddy residue on ... Continue Reading »
Black Patch War
During the first decade of the twentieth century, violence erupted in the tobacco belt of western Kentucky and northern Middle Tennessee as farmers tried to ease their economic distress. Collectively,... Continue Reading »
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 County
The oldest and northernmost county in the Sequatchie Valley is Bledsoe County; it became Tennessee's thirty-third county by an act of the Tennessee legislature in November 1807. It was named for ... Continue Reading »
Bledsoe Creek State Park
This small state park contains 164 acres focused on the Bledsoe Creek embayment of Old Hickory Lake. Nearby the old Cumberland River port town of Cairo and close to such significant early settlement h... 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 County
Blount County is one of the oldest counties in Tennessee. Established in 1795 before statehood, it was named in honor of Territorial Governor William Blount. Prior to white settlement the area was hom... Continue Reading »
Blount Mansion
Knoxville's only National Historic Landmark, Blount Mansion was constructed between 1792 and 1830, with the first period of construction occurring between 1792 and 1796. As the home and office of... 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 »
Blythe Ferry
Located on the Tennessee River between Meigs and Rhea Counties, Blythe Ferry dates to about 1809 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Its original owner and operator was 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 »
Bon Aqua Springs Resort
Bon Aqua Springs Resort, once the largest health spa and summer retreat in Middle Tennessee, was known as the “Queen of the Southern Spas” during the late nineteenth and early twentieth ... 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 »
Bonnaroo
Derived from a 1974 phonograph album entitled Desitively Bonnaroo by the colorful and charismatic New Orleans performer Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.), the word Bonnaroo is Creole slang for &... 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 »
Booker T. Washington State Park
The Booker T. Washington State Park is located on Chickamauga Reservoir northeast of downtown Chattanooga. The park, established as a state recreation area in 1938, was the state's second African... 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 »
Bowen-Campbell House
Captain William Bowen brought his family to what is now Sumner County in 1784. He first built a double log cabin on the bank of Mansker's Creek before erecting a brick home in 1787. Now within th... 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 »
Boy Scouts of America, Tennessee
The Boy Scout program came to both the United States and Tennessee in 1910, only three years after General Robert Baden-Powell founded the program in Great Britain. In 1909 William Perry "Buck" Toms r... 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 »
Boyle, Virginia Frazer
Virginia Frazer Boyle, "Poet Laureate of the Confederacy," was born in Chattanooga on February 14, 1863, to Charles Wesley and Letitia Austin Frazer. After the Civil War, the family moved to Memphis, ... Continue Reading »
Brabson, Reese Bowen
Reese Bowen Brabson, attorney, state legislator, and U.S. congressman, was born at Brabson's Ferry, Knox County, on September 16, 1817. He graduated from Maryville College and studied law at Dand... Continue Reading »
Bradford, Roark
Roark Bradford, novelist, short story writer, and journalist, was born in Lauderdale County, where he was raised on a cotton plantation in the Nankipoo-Knob Creek area. The African Americans who worke... Continue Reading »
Bradley Academy
Bradley Academy is a historic African American school in Murfreesboro that now serves as a community heritage center. The name Bradley Academy was given to the first school in Murfreesboro and to subs... Continue Reading »
Bradley County
Located in southeast Tennessee, Bradley County was carved out of the Ocoee District, which had been part of the Cherokee Nation. Today, one of the top tourist sites in Tennessee is Red Clay State Hist... Continue Reading »
Bradley, Owen
Owen Bradley, musician and producer, was one of the pioneers of the Nashville recording industry and a developer of the Nashville Sound. Born in Westmoreland, Sumner County, Bradley began his musical ... Continue Reading »
Bragg, Braxton
Braxton Bragg, controversial commander of the Army of Tennessee from June 1862 to December 1863, was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, on March 21, 1817. He attended West Point and graduated fifth in... Continue Reading »
Brainerd Mission
Brainerd Mission was a multi-acre mission school situated on Chickamauga Creek near present-day Chattanooga. Named for eighteenth-century missionary David Brainerd, it was the largest institution of i... Continue Reading »
Branson, Lloyd
Artist Lloyd Branson was born in Union County in 1854 and spent his life in the Knoxville area. In 1871, at age seventeen, he exhibited at the East Tennessee Division Fair and received favorable notic... Continue Reading »
Brauch, Liane (1923- ) and Russell, William Lawson (1910- )
The Russells, husband and wife, were leaders of mammalian genetics studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Liane Brauch was born in Austria in 1923. She immigrated to the United States, enrolled in ... Continue Reading »
Bredesen, Philip Norman
Phil Bredesen, the forty-eighth governor of Tennessee, built a reputation for effective leadership in business and government as a private businessman and as mayor of Nashville/Davidson County from 19... Continue Reading »
Brentwood Academy v. Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association
Brentwood Academy v. TSSAA is a nationally significant court case that answers the question as to whether or not a high school athletic association can prohibit recruiting without violating a school... Continue Reading »
Brentwood, Battle of
The village of Brentwood, situated between Nashville and Franklin on the Nashville & Decatur (also called the Tennessee & Alabama) Railroad, was a strategic supply depot and source of food a... Continue Reading »
Brewer, Carson
Carson Brewer, journalist and conservationist, was born in Hancock County, the son of a rural postmaster. Brewer attended Maryville College (1939-41) before entering military service during World War ... Continue Reading »
Brewster Sr., William Herbert
Born July 2, 1897, on a farm near Somerville, William H. Brewster was the oldest of sharecroppers William and Callie Polk Brewster’s eight children. In 1915 Brewster entered Memphis’s Howe... Continue Reading »
Briley, Beverly
Beverly Briley, first mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (1963-75), was born in Nashville in 1914. Briley grew up in East Nashville, attended Vanderbilt University a... Continue Reading »
Bristol Motor Speedway
A favorite track of NASCAR fans across the nation is the Bristol Motor Speedway. Its two annual Winston Cup events (currently the Food City 500 in April and the Goody's 500 in August) attract the... Continue Reading »