John Sevier’s Diary

24 May 2009

The “large and relatively significant item” is now online: Gov. Sevier’s Journal (or Diary, same difference); nominally complete — although I may have unearthed some hanky-panky: the gory details are on that orientation page. Other related material as well.

The homepage of my American history site (24 books, 11,000 pages of print, 600 images in 700+ webpages) is here.

Bedford’s Tour

20 May 2009

More Tennessee, all from the Tennessee Historical Magazine: one small item — Why the First Settlers of Tennessee were from Virginia (as opposed to North Carolina, which after all has a much longer border with what is now Tennessee, and is due east rather than kitty-corner like Virginia): a question that is weird only when you don’t think of it, so to speak, and with an interesting answer — but mostly Bedford’s Tour down the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the 1807 diary of a man who traveled from Nashville to New Orleans in a very small boat, and in winter: we all know that “free navigation of the Mississippi” was for decades the buzzword that justified much of early United States diplomacy, but this gives us an extraordinarily clear view of what it was actually like in practical terms.

And no, this isn’t the “large and relatively significant item” I mentioned in my last entry as in prep. I shouldn’t tease people that long; I need to finish it.

The homepage of my American history site (24 books, 11,000 pages of print, 600 images in 700+ webpages) is here.

History of Tennessee

11 May 2009

New items yesterday, all from the journal of the Tennessee Historical Society — not elsewhere online so I’ve collected them, and the ones to come (a large and relatively significant item is in prep, another original document not to be found on the Web right now) on their own index pageManagement of Negroes upon Southern Estates in which two 19c plantation owners offer advice on how to manage slaves since after all their welfare insures greater profits to their owners; The North Carolina-Tennessee Boundary Line Survey of 1799, the centerpiece of which is a complete transcription of Strother’s Diary, the personal record kept by one of surveyors in the party, introduced by several pages of background material; and Henderson and Company’s Purchase within the Limits of Tennessee, in which we see just what a harsh business environment it was on the frontier: Richard Henderson is cheated by the States of Virginia and North Carolina, but he in turn seems to have cheated others pretty badly.

The homepage of my American history site (24 books, 11,000 pages of print, 600 images in 500+ webpages) is here.