Friday, January 26, 2007

History of Tennessee

Hello Folks,
I'm back and I have changed the format of my Web site. I hope you enjoyed the Christmas and New Year holidays. I had no luck fishing, but I had a good time trying to catch them. I changed my Web site to make it easier for me to post my material on Friday of each week. Most of what I had previously reported is still there, just in a different location of the page. It is now so easy to post that even a caveman man can do it. This week I bring your attention to the history of Tennessee <> my birth state. Please visit my site every week and sign my Guest Book and let me know your thoughts. ~Noah

History of Tennessee
The Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville has been the site of much of the State's history.
Tennessee is an American state and a constitutent part of the United States of America. It was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796.

Ancient history
The area now known as Tennessee was first settled by Paleo-Indians nearly 11,000 years ago. The names of the cultural groups that inhabited the area between first settlement and the time of European contact are unknown, but several distinct cultural phases have been named by archaeologists, including Archaic, Woodland, and Mississippian whose chiefdoms were the cultural predecessors of the Muscogee people who inhabited the Tennessee River Valley prior to Cherokee migration into the river's headwaters.

European exploration and settlement
Discovery and interaction with native peoples
Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto was the first European explorer to visit Tennessee. When Spanish explorers first visited the area, led by Hernando de Soto in 1539–43, it was inhabited by tribes of Muscogee and Yuchi people. Possibly because of European diseases devastating the Native tribes, which would have left a population vacuum, and also from expanding European settlement in the north, the Cherokee moved south from the area now called Virginia. As European colonists spread into the area, the native populations were forcibly displaced to the south and west, including all Muscogee and Yuchi peoples, including the Chickasaw and Choctaw. From 1838 to 1839, nearly 17,000 Cherokees were forced to march from Eastern Tennessee to Indian Territory west of Arkansas. This came to be known as the Trail of Tears, as an estimated 4,000 Cherokees died along the way.

Government under North Carolina
In the days before statehood, Tennesseans struggled to gain a political voice and suffered for lack of the protection afforded by organized government. Six counties—Washington, Sullivan and Greene in East Tennessee and Davidson, Sumner, and Tennessee in Middle Tennessee—had been formed as western counties of North Carolina between 1777 and 1788. After the American Revolution, however, North Carolina did not want the trouble and expense of maintaining such distant settlements, embroiled as they were with hostile tribesmen and needing roads, forts and open waterways. Nor could the far-flung settlers look to the national government, for under the weak, loosely constituted Articles of Confederation, it was a government in name only.

State of Franklin
The westerners' two main demands—protection from the Indians and the right to navigate the Mississippi River—went mainly unheeded during the 1780s. North Carolina’s insensitivity led frustrated East Tennesseans in 1784 to form the breakaway State of Franklin. John Sevier was named governor, and the fledgling state began operating as an independent, though unrecognized, government. At the same time, leaders of the Cumberland settlements made overtures for an alliance with Spain, which controlled the lower Mississippi River and was held responsible for inciting the Indian raids. In drawing up the Watauga and Cumberland Compacts, early Tennesseans had already exercised some of the rights of self-government and were prepared to take political matters into their own hands. Such stirrings of independence caught the attention of North Carolina, which quietly began to reassert control over its western counties. These policies and internal divisions among East Tennesseans doomed the short-lived State of Franklin, which passed out of existence in 1788.

Southwest Territory
When North Carolina finally ratified the Constitution of the United States in 1789, it also ceded its western lands, the Tennessee country, to the Federal government. North Carolina had used these lands as a means of rewarding its Revolutionary soldiers, and in the Cession Act of 1789, it reserved the right to satisfy further land claims in Tennessee. Congress designated the area as the Territory of the United States, South of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Southwest Territory. The territory was divided into three districts—two for East Tennessee and one for the Mero District on the Cumberland—each with its own courts, militia and officeholders.
President George Washington appointed William Blount as territorial governor. He was a prominent North Carolina politician with extensive holdings in western lands.

Admission to the Union
In 1795, a territorial census revealed a sufficient population for statehood, and a referendum showed a three-to-one majority in favor of joining the Union. Governor Blount called for a constitutional convention to meet in Knoxville, where delegates from all the counties drew up a model state constitution and democratic bill of rights. The voters chose Sevier as governor, and the newly elected legislature voted for Blount and William Cocke as Senators, and Andrew Jackson as Representative. Tennessee leaders thereby converted the territory into a new state, with organized government and constitution, before applying to Congress for admission. Since the Southwest Territory was the first Federal territory to present itself for admission to the Union, there was some uncertainty about how to proceed, and Congress was divided on the issue. Nonetheless, in a close vote on June 1, 1796, Congress approved the admission of Tennessee as the sixteenth state of the Union. Its borders were drawn by extending the northern and southern borders of North Carolina, with a few deviations, to the Mississippi River, Tennessee's western boundary.

Civil War
The American Civil War, to a large extent, was fought in cities and farms of Tennessee—only Virginia had more battles.

Most Tennesseans initially showed little enthusiasm for breaking away from a nation whose struggles it had shared for so long. In 1860, they had voted by a slim margin for the Constitutional Unionist John Bell, a native son and moderate who continued to search for a way out of the crisis.
In February 1861, fifty-four percent of the state’s voters voted against sending delegates to a secession convention. With the attack on Fort Sumter in April, however, followed by President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers to coerce the seceded states back into line, public sentiment turned dramatically against the Union.
Thus historian Daniel Crofts reports:
Unionists of all descriptions, both those who became Confederates and those who did not, considered the proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand troops "disastrous." Having consulted personally with Lincoln in March, Congressman Horace Maynard, the unconditional Unionist and future Republican from East Tennessee, felt assured that the administration would pursue a peaceful policy. Soon after April 15, a dismayed Maynard reported that "the President's extraordinary proclamation" had unleashed "a tornado of excitement that seems likely to sweep us all away." Men who had "heretofore been cool, firm and Union loving" had become "perfectly wild" and were "aroused to a phrenzy of passion." For what purpose, they asked, could such an army be wanted "but to invade, overrun and subjugate the Southern states." The growing war spirit in the North further convinced southerners that they would have to "fight for our hearthstones and the security of home. Governor Isham Harris began military mobilization, submitted an ordinance of secession to the General Assembly, and made direct overtures to the Confederate government. In a June 8, 1861, referendum, East Tennessee held firm against separation, while West Tennessee returned an equally heavy majority in favor. The deciding vote came in Middle Tennessee, which went from 51 percent against secession in February to 88 percent in favor in June. Having ratified by popular vote its connection with the fledgling Confederacy, Tennessee became the last state to withdraw from the Union.

Many battles were fought in the state—most of them Union victories. Ulysses S. Grant and the United States Navy captured control of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers in February 1862 and held off the Confederate counterattack at Shiloh in April of the same year. Capture of Memphis and Nashville gave the Union control of the Western and Middle sections. Control was confirmed at the battle of Murfreesboro in early January 1863.
After Nashville was captured (the first Confederate state capital to fall) Andrew Johnson, an East Tennessean from Greeneville, was appointed military governor of the state by Lincoln. During this time, the military government abolished slavery. The Confederates continued to hold East Tennessee despite the strength of Unionist sentiment there, with the exception of pro-Confederate Sullivan County.
The Confederates besieged Chattanooga in early fall 1863 but were driven off by Grant in November. Many of the Confederate defeats can be attributed to the poor strategic vision of General Braxton Bragg, who led the Army of Tennessee from Shiloh to Confederate defeat at Chattanooga. The last major battles came when the Confederates invaded in November 1864 and were checked at Franklin, then totally destroyed by George Thomas at Nashville in December.

After the war, Tennessee adopted a new constitution that abolished slavery on February 22, 1865; ratified the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on July 18, 1866; and was the first state readmitted to the Union on July 24, 1866. Because it ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, Tennessee was the only state that seceded from the Union that did not have a military governor during Reconstruction. The Nashville Republican Bannerb on January 4, 1868, published an editorial calling for a revolutionary movement of white Southerners to unseat the one-party state rule of the Republican Party and restore the racial subjugation of the region's blacks. "In this State," the paper argued, "reconstruction has perfected itself and done its worst. It has organized a government which is as complete a closed corporation as may be found; it has placed the black man over the white as the agent and prime-move of domination; it has constructed a system of machinery by which all free guarantees, privileges and opportunities are removed from the people.... The impossibility of casting a free vote in Tennessee short of a revolutionary movement ... is an undoubted fact." The Banner urged readers to ignore the presidential election and instead put energies into building "a local movement here at home" that would end Republican rule. [cited in Harcourt 2005]

In 1897, the state celebrated its centennial of statehood (albeit one year late) with a great exposition in Nashville. The Tennessee Centennial Exposition was the ultimate expression of the Gilded Age in the Upper South—a showcase of industrial technology and exotic papier-mвchй versions of the world’s wonders. During its six-month run at Centennial Park, the Exposition drew nearly two million visitors to see its dazzling monuments to the South’s recovery. Governor Robert Taylor observed, “Some of them who saw our ruined country thirty years ago will certainly appreciate the fact that we have wrought miracles.”

Alvin C. York
Tennessee provided the most celebrated American soldier of the First World War: Alvin C. York of Fentress County, Tennessee. York was a former conscientious objector who, in October 1918, subdued an entire German machine gun regiment in the Argonne Forest. Besides receiving the Medal of Honor and assorted French decorations, York became a powerful symbol of patriotism in the press and Hollywood film.

Women's rights
Tennessee became the focus of national attention during the campaign for women’s voting rights. Women?s suffrage, like the temperance movement, was an issue with its roots in middle-class reform efforts of the late 1800s.
The organized movement came of age with the founding of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association in 1906. Despite a determined (and mostly female) opposition, Tennessee suffragists were moderate in their tactics and gained limited voting rights before the national question arose. In 1920, Governor Albert Roberts called a special session of the General Assembly to consider ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Leaders of the rival groups flooded into Nashville to lobby the General Assembly. In a close House vote, the suffrage amendment won passage when an East Tennessee legislator, Harry Burn, switched sides after receiving a telegram from his mother encouraging him to support ratification. Tennessee thereby became the pivotal state that in approving the Nineteenth Amendment. Women immediately made their presence felt by swinging Tennessee to Warren Harding in the 1920 presidential election—the first time the state had voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1868.

Monkey Trial
Further national attention came Tennessee’s way during the trial of John T. Scopes, the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial.”
In 1925, the General Assembly, as part of a general education bill, passed a law that forbade the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Some local boosters in Dayton, Tennessee concocted a scheme to have Scopes, a high school biology teacher, violate the law and stand trial as a way of drawing publicity and visitors to the town. Their plan worked all too well, as the Rhea County Courthouse was turned into a circus of national and even international media coverage. Thousands flocked to Dayton to witness the high-powered legal counsel (William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution, and Clarence Darrow for the defense, argue their case. Tennessee was ridiculed in the northeast and West Coast press as the “Monkey State,” even as a wave of revivals defending religious fundamentalism swept the state. The legal outcome of the trial was inconsequential: Scopes was convicted and fined $100, a penalty later rescinded by the state court of appeals (although the law itself remained on the books until 1967). More important was the law’s symbolic importance: it was an expression of the anxiety felt by Tennessee’s rural people over the threat to their traditional religious culture posed by modern science.

Country music birthplace
Ironically, at the very time that Tennessee’s rural culture was under attack by sophisticated, urban critics, its music found a national audience. In 1925, WSM, a powerful Nashville radio station, began broadcasting a weekly program of live music which soon was dubbed the “Grand Ole Opry.” Such music came in diverse forms: banjo-and-fiddle string bands of Appalachia, family gospel singing groups, and country vaudeville acts like that of Murfreesboro native Uncle Dave Macon. Still the longest-running radio program in American history, the Opry used the new technology of radio to tap into a huge market for “old time” or “hillbilly” music. Two years after the Opry’s opening, in a series of landmark sessions at Bristol, Tennessee, field scouts of the Victor Company recorded Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family to produce the first nationally popular rural records. Tennessee thus emerged as the heartland of traditional country music—home to many of the performers as well as the place from which it was broadcast to the nation.

The Great Depression and TVA
The need to create work for the unemployed during the Great Depression, the desire for rural electrification, and the desire to control the annual spring floods on the Tennessee River drove the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility, in 1933.
TVA had an impact on the lives of nearly all Tennesseans. The
agency was created mainly through the persistence of a Nebraska Senator George Norris. Headquartered in Knoxville, it was charged with the task of planning the total development of the Tennessee River Valley. TVA sought to do this primarily by building hydroelectric dams (twenty between 1933 and 1951) and coal-fired power plants to produce electricity. Inexpensive and abundant electrical power was the main benefit that TVA brought to Tennessee, particularly to rural areas that previously did not have electrical service. TVA brought electricity to about 60,000 farm households across the state. By 1945, TVA was the largest electrical utility in the nation, a supplier of vast amounts of power whose presence in Tennessee attracted large industries to relocate near one of its dams or steam plants.

World War II
World War II brought relief to Tennessee by employing ten percent of the state’s populace (308,199 men and women) in the armed services. Most of those who remained on farms and in cities worked on war-related production, since Tennessee received war orders amounting to $1.25 billion. Tennessee military personnel served with distinction from Pearl Harbor to the final, bloody assaults at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and 7,000 died in combat during the war. In 1942-43, Middle Tennessee residents played host to 28 Army divisions that swarmed over the countryside on maneuvers preparing for the D-Day invasion. Tennesseans participated in all phases of the war—from combat to civilian administration to military research. Cordell Hull served twelve years as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of State and became one of the chief architects of the United Nations, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Industrial expansion
War-based industries hummed with the labor of a greatly enlarged workforce. A giant shell-loading plant was built at Milan, as well as the Vultee Aircraft works in Nashville; TVA projects also expanded in East Tennessee. Approximately 33% of the state’s workers were female by the end of the war. Especially significant for the war effort was Tennessee’s role in the Manhattan Project, the military’s top secret project to build an atomic weapon. Research and production work for the first A-bombs were conducted at the huge scientific/industrial installation at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Oak Ridge community was entirely a creation of the war: it grew from empty woods in 1941 to a city of 70,000 (Tennessee’s fifth largest) four years later.

Happy New Year - 2007

Democrats control US Congress
(SPECIAL NOTE:) Adios Amigos! This will be my last update for awhile. As you've seen during the past year, the quality of my posts have been going down hill. I love my Web site and those that know me will agree that I try to be a professional in everything I do. I still have it within me to say what the public need to hear, but the failing of my eyesight prevents the weekly transfer of my words of wisdom to my Web site. I now will go fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains of my home state of Tennessee with my two Yorkshire terriers, Sir Winston of Churchill V, and his half brother, Baron von Dieter. I will not terminate my Web site and I will return after I catch a mess of fish. I will have my LAPTOP for those who would like to maintain contact with me via email I am not sure if my Web site is read. I never hear from you. Please sign my "guest book".

It is traditional in the United States of America for all citizens to join hands and attend parties on New Year's Eve to welcome the New Year. Times Square in New York City has a ball drop hosted by the television celebrity. This is broadcast all over the United States. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve people will kiss or honk car horns. Paper blowers and whistles are blown. A soul food of black-eyed peas and rice called Hoppin' John is eaten by some. Other foods that are
eaten at New Year are cake and champagne. In the United States some believe that black-eyed beans are lucky. On Time Square they watch for the moment when a giant bright colored apple is lowered to the ground at which time they start saying Happy New Year
Later in the day many watch the Championship football games in stadiums or on their televisions. It has always been my policy to have a few cocktails at the New Year party of my choice, but I do not drive home after the celebration. It is my SOP Standing Operation Procedure to make a room reservation near the party location. If the distance is greater than I can walk from the party location, I call a taxi. The year of 2006 was not a good year until Nov. 7, nor were the years since 2003. On election day of this year, the majority of the American people voted to give Congress back to the Democratic Party. George W. Bush and the Republican Congress have made America a Third World country and he has made the free nations of the world hate us. In the six years that Bush has squatted in the White House, he has managed to start a war in Iraq that he can't stop. Since he ordered the invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, about 3,000 young Americans have been killed. About 26,000 Americans have been wounded, many for life with no arms, legs and eyes. Iraq played no part in 9/11. What Bush did on 3/30/03 is what Japan did to us on 12/7/41 - the invasion of Pearl Harbor. So far, the Bush's Iraq War has cost the American taxpayers almost $400 billion. The American military is the worlds best, but at the present time Bush still has American troops fighting his Iraq War that was lost years ago. More young Americans have now been killed in Iraq then were killed on 9/11/01, and the mastermind of 9/11 is still running free. He has never been in Iraq and Bush says, "I don't think of him often." I will be disappointed if the Democratic controlled House of Representatives doesn't impeach George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and do it no later than July 4, 2007. They both have lied many times and they were aware of it at the time. As a Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, Bush is not. A caveman could do better.

Black-eyed peas
Ingredients:1 pound dried black-eyed peas2 quarts water,3 cups water1 medium onion -- finely chopped3 cloves garlic -- minced1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon pepper1/4 teaspoon baking soda1 dried or canned chipotle chile1/2 cup short-grain brown rice3 large tomatoes -- peeled & choppedsalt to taste Directions: Rinse and sort through peas. In a deep 3 1/2 to 4 quart pan, bring 2 quarts of the water to a boil over high heat. Add peas. Let water return to a boil; then boil, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rise peas, discarding cooking water. In a 3 1/2 quart or larger slow cooker, combine onion, garlic, green chiles, cumin, pepper, baking soda, and chipotle chile. Stir in peas; pour in remaining 3 cups water. Cover and cook at low setting until peas are tender and to bite (9 to 10 hours). Remove and discard chipotle chile; stir in rice and tomatoes. Increase cooker setting to high; cover and cook until rice is tender to bite (45 to 55 more minutes). Season to taste with salt. Serve in wide shallow bowls. Serves/makes 8