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.