Admittedly, I didn't know much Tennessee history until my husband and I moved here in 2017. I often say I was like a sponge after we arrived, soaking up all the fascinating historical tidbits I could find. I've fallen so in love with the gorgeous state of Tennessee that my last three historical novels--as well as the next two!--are set here!
However, unbeknownst to me until recently, my roots go back to Tennessee. In fact, they go all the way back to one of the founders of Nashville! I'll tell you a little more about my 5th great grandfather in a bit, but first...a little Tennessee history.
I blogged about Nashville's history a few months after we moved here. You can check it out, as I won't cover all of that information today. But what I didn't mention in that post was the Cumberland Compact that was signed by approx. 250 (the numbers vary depending on the source) early settlers to the area that would eventually become Nashville.
As you can imagine, Tennessee in the late 1700s was a wild and rough place to live. Early settlers faced hardships of all kinds: weather, wild animals, untamed land, and Native people who were not pleased to have their territories overrun with white people.
But after the Revolutionary War ended, more and more people came seeking a new life in the frontier. By 1780 it was decided permanent law and order was necessary if they were to move forward with any semblance of civility.
Thus, the Cumberland Compact was created.
|My 5th Great Grandfather's signature is in
the first column, 9th signature.
He signed it in Dutch
With the compact in place, Tennessee went on to statehood, and the rest, as they say, is history. My connection to the Cumberland Compact is really cool but a little troubling too. Of the 250 signers, my 5th great grandfather, Frederick Stump, was one of the early settlers who took part in the creation of the compact. I was pretty amazed when I discovered this through Ancestry. I promptly did some research and found that Frederick and his family not only lived in Nashville, but that the house they lived in is still standing and is a registered historical site! Upon discovering this cool fact, hubby and I jumped in our truck and drove to see it despite the cold, wet weather.
|Frederick built this tavern/inn in 1789
Your turn: Do you have any notorious ancestors hidden away in the closet? Do tell!
Forever within the memories of my heart.
Always remember, you are perfectly loved.
Bertie Jenkins has spent forty years serving as a midwife for her community in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Out of all the mothers she’s tended, none affects her more than the young teenager who shows up on her doorstep, injured, afraid, and expecting, one warm June day in 1943. As Bertie and her four sisters tenderly nurture Songbird back to health, the bond between the childless midwife and the motherless teen grows strong. But soon Songbird is forced to make a heartbreaking decision that will tear this little family apart.
Thirty years later, the day after his father’s funeral, Walker Wylie is stunned to learn he was adopted as an infant. The famous country singer enlists the help of adoption advocate Reese Chandler in the hopes of learning why he was abandoned by his birth parents. With the only clue he has in hand, Walker and Reese head deep into the Appalachian Mountains to track down Bertie Jenkins, the midwife who holds the secrets to Walker’s past.