In 1788 North Carolina established a Superior Court district to serve the Cumberland frontier. The district was named in honor of the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Esteban Rodrigues Miro, who had served with Spanish troops assisting the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Tensions between the Spanish colonial government and the new nation were high at the time of the establishment of the Mero District. The naming of the new district is credited to James Robertson, who was scheming to establish a good relationship with Miro in order to gain the Spanish governor's assistance in halting attacks from Creeks and Chickamaugas on the Cumberland settlements, and to open the Mississippi River to Cumberland travelers. Robertson and his allies persuaded the North Carolina legislature to name the new district Mero, inadvertently misspelling the name.
The first judge of the Mero District Superior Court was John McNairy, and one of his first actions was the appointment of Andrew Jackson as district attorney. The court served Davidson and Sumner Counties, as well as the counties created out of them, until 1809, when the superior courts were abolished. The name Mero faded from use, and was virtually unknown in 1977, when Peter Taylor published his literary collection, In the Miro District and Other Stories. The title story is set in the twentieth century, but one character refers to the city of Nashville as the Miro District, "because he said only an antique Spanish name could do justice to the grandeur which Nashvillians claimed for themselves." (1)
Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » February 21, 2011