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Our History - 1800-1849

Timeline of Nashville / Davidson County

Prepared with information from the website of the Nashville Public Library and from research conducted at the Metropolitan Archives of Nashville and Davidson County.

Special thanks to members of the staff and management of the Metro Archives for their professionalism in helping to gather this information.

Year Events and Milestones
1800 Joseph Johnson is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1802 John Boyd is Sheriff of Davidson County. Boyd was one of the signers of 1780′s Cumberland Compact, and is believed to have fathered the first male child whose birth was recorded in Nashville.
1806 Cumberland College is chartered as the successor to the Davidson Academy.
1806 Nashville incorporates as a town in Davidson County, to be governed by six Aldermen and a Mayor.
1807 The Bank of Nashville is founded, becoming the first bank in Tennessee.
1807 Nashville’s first force of volunteer fire-fighters is created.
1808 Michael C. Dunn is Sheriff of Davidson County. He also served as a Justice in 1805.
1810 The first book in Davidson County is published.
1812 The first meeting of the legislature is held in Nashville.
1812 The War of 1812 begins.
1813 James Robertson, one of the founders of Nashville, dies near Memphis.
1815 The War of 1812 ends.
1816 Caleb C. Hewitt is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1816 The Nashville Female Academy is founded.
1818 Nashville celebrates the first arrival of a steamboat, the Andrew Jackson.
1818 Thomas Hickman is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1819 James Monroe visits Davidson County, becoming the first U.S. President to visit Nashville.
1820 Ann Rodgers Grundy begins the first Sunday School class in Nashville.
1821 The Nashville Medical Society is founded in the log courthouse on the public square, becoming the first medical association in Tennessee.
1822 Joseph W. Horton is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1822 The City Cemetery is established on 4th Avenue South.
1822 The first bridge is built across the Cumberland River. It is made of stone.
1824 Andrew Jackson is defeated in his campaign for President of the United States.
1824 Music publishing begins in Nashville with Western Harmony, a book of hymns and instructions for singing.
1824 Phillip Lindsley comes to Nashville to be the head of Cumberland College.
1826 The General Assembly passes an act establishing the University of Nashville.
1828 Andrew Jackson is elected seventh President of the United States.
1830 Willoughby Williams is Sheriff of Davidson County. In his retirement, he took pride in the fact that he “was never in a single instance called on to explain one of his many official acts [as Sheriff]“.
1833 Nashville’s first publicly owned waterworks is completed.
1833 The first insurance company in Davidson County, the Tennessee Marine and Fire Insurance Company, is founded.
1836 Philip Campbell is Sheriff of Davidson County. He also served as a Justice in 1822.
1838 Cherokee Indians pass through Davidson County on the now-infamous “Trail of Tears” march.
1838 Felix R. Rains is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1843 Nashville is declared the permanent capitol of Tennessee.
1844 Churchill Lanier is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1844 James K. Polk is elected President of the United States.
1845 Andrew Jackson dies at his home, “The Hermitage”, outside Nashville.
1845 Construction begins on the Tennessee State Capitol building.
1848 B. M. Barnes is Sheriff of Davidson County.
1848 The first telegraph message in Davidson County is received.
1849 James K. Polk dies in Nashville.