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TENNESSEE

HISTORY OF EARLY TENNESSEE
HISTORIC TIMELINE OF TENNESSEE

 

15000 BC
to
5000 BC

  
Paleo Indians 
. Occupied area
 

 

6000   BC
to
1000 BC

Archaic Indians
. Occupied area
. They created mussel shell mounds along Cumberland River

1000   BC
to
1100 AD

Woodland Indians
. Occupied area
. They were mound builders

1100   AD to
1600 AD

Mississippian Indians 
. Occupied area

 

1541

Desoto
· Desoto, an early Spanish explorer, visited Tennessee area
· He penetrated as far north as Chattanooga
· Claimed area as Spanish possession
·Visited the Indian village of Chiaha
· Located near present day South Pittsburg

1600's

Cherokee, Chickasaw,  Creek and Shawnee Indians 
· Occupied area
· Used land as common hunting ground

1673

James Needham
· Sent by Virginia trader to scout trade with Cherokee Indians

1682

Cherokee Indians
. Drive out Shawnees
· Shawnees tried to permanently settle area
· Cherokee settlements were east of Tennessee River
LaSalle
· Established Mississippi Valley territory for France
· Named area Louisiana Territory
· Built Fort Prud'Homme near Memphis
· Became the first white man's building in Tennessee

1711

Eleazer Wiggin
· An English trader in area

1714

M Charleville
· A French Trader from New Orleans
· Built store on French Lick Creek

1721

Indian Treaty
· Nicholson's Treaty

1730

Indian Treaty
· Cumming's Treaty
James Adair
· Traveled with Indians
· Wrote book, "A History of the American Indians"
· Published in London 1775
Dr Thomas Wather
· Sent to explore by Loyal Land Co of Virginai
· Named Cumberland Mountains, Cumberland Gap, and Cumberland River
· Named in honor of the Duke of Cumberland, Prime Minister of England

1732

Indian Treaty
· Oglethorpe's Treaty

1755

Indian Treaty
· Glen's Treaty
· Signed November 24

 

1756

Indian Treaty
 · Waddell's Treaty
Fort Loudon
 · Built 1756
 · Destroyed by Indians, 1760

1757

Indian Treaty
· Captain Jack's Grant
· Signed March 1

1760

Indian Treaty
· Littleton's  Treaty

1761

Indian Treaty
· Grant's Treaty
Elisha Walden
· Lead party of long hunters in area
· Named Walden Ridge which forms eastern edge of Cumberland Plateau
Willaim Bean

· Established first white settlement in Tennessee
· Built cabin on Boone's Creek

1763

Indian Treaty
· Treaty of Augusta

1764

Daniel Boone
· Commissioned by Richard Henderson's Land Co, 1764
· Marked trail to Kentucky through Cumberland Gap
· Explored frontier
· Had a home on Yadkin River

1765

Henry Scoggins
· Explored frontier
· Worked for Henderson's Land Co
· Followed Boone's exploration
· Took boat down Cumberland River
· Settled at Mansker's Lick near Nashville

Late 1700's

Early explorers in Tennessee
· John Rains, Kasper Mansker, Abraham Bledsoe, Obediah (Obey) Terril,

. Uriah Stone, Henry Smith, Ned Cowan, Jospeh Holliday, Thomas Spencer

1768

Indian Treaties
 · Treaty of Hard Labor
 · Signed October 14
 · Treaty of Fort Stanwix
 · Signed November 5

1770

Indian Treaty
· Treaty of Lochabor
· Signed October 18

1771

Four settlements had been established
· South Fork of Holston
· Carter's Valley
· Watauga Valley
· Nolichucky River Valley

1772

Indian Treaty
· Leases of Watauga Settlers & Jacob Brown
· Signed March 19
· Land was transferred
Watuga Association
· Settlers founded Watuga Association
· Established law & order on frontier
· Wrote first constitution in America claiming freedom
· James Robertson became Watuga leader

1775

Indian Treaties
· Transylvania Purchase
· Signed March 17
· Purchase of Carter's Valley
· Signed March 17
· Purchase of Watauga Settlers & Jacob Brown
· Signed March 19
· Second purchase of Jacob Brown
· Signed March 19
· Land was transferred with these treaties
Judge Richard Henderson
· Traveled from North Carolina to Tennessee
· He represented a group called the Transylvania Company

. The company was a group of Carolina land speculators
· Henderson brought wagon loads of trade goods
· Goods estimated worth was 10,000 pounds sterling
· A meeting was held at Sycamore Shoals on the Watuga River
· A majority of Indians were present and most of the settlers of the area
· A scout named Daniel Boone attended meeting
· A purchase was made of approximately 20,000,000 acres of land
· The tract included all of Kentucky

. It also included the areas covered by tributaries of Cumberland River
· Land purchase referred to as the "Treaty of Sycamore Sholes"
· Daniel Boone cut a trail from Virginia to the Cumberland Gap
· The trail was later named the "Wilderness Road"
· Kentucky settlers did not want to be under Henderson's rule
· They negotiated with colony of Virginia to come under their control
· Virginia set up a county to include all of Kentucky
· County was known as Virginia County
· Henderson was given some compensation for his land loss
· The British claimed sovereign power over the land sold
· British Agent John Stuart told Indians they had no right to sell land
· Henderson counted on turmoil of the American Revolution to settle disputes
· Purchase made about a month before Lexington and Concord Battle
Chief Dragging Canoe
· Sale opposed by a young Cherokee Chief
· Dragging Canoe's followers grew in number
· They resisted continuous colonial settlements along Tennessee frontier
. North Carolina extends all the way to the Mississippi River

1776

North Carolina
· Watuga settlers chose to become a part of North Carolina
· North Carolina boundary line extended to Mississippi River
Cherokee War
· Indians attempted an offensive against settlers in upper East Tennessee
· The Indian uprising occurred at the start of the Revolutionary War
· The Indians were associated with the British in spying activities
· They were not under British military guidance
· The Cherokee's were defeated in the War of 1776
· John Sevier became a hero during the war's battles
· Chief Dragging Canoe and his followers seceded from Cherokee Nation
· They migrated southward  to the valley around Chickamauga Creek
· They became known as the Chickamauga Indians
John McDonald
· Established a trading post along South Chickamauga Creek
· He traded with the Indians
· His land was later sold to missionaries
· Land became property of the Brainerd Mission
Dragging Canoe

. Becomes leading chief
· The Creek Indians joined with the Chickamauge's  to drive out the new settlers
· Raids were conducted up and down the Tennessee and Virginia frontiers
· Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia joined with North Carolina to wage war with the Indians
· One purpose of war was to gain free access to the Tennessee River
· The war party burned 11 Chickmauga villages
· John McDonald's trading post was overrun
· His supplies, furs and deerskin were later auctioned to the soldiers
· The auction took place along a nearby stream which was latter named Sale Creek

1777

Indian Treaty
· Avery Treaty
· Signed July 20
· Land was transferred
Washington County
· Created by North Carolina Legislature
· Encompassed all the state of Tennessee

1779

Sullivan County
· Created in East Tennessee from portion of Washington County
· Now two counties in Tennessee
Settling Tennessee
· James Henderson commissioned an exploration of his new land purchase
· James Robertson made a trip to the Cumberland
· When he returned, plans were made to establish a settlement
· Robertson led a party that drove livestock overland through Kentucky
· They arrived at Nashborough around Christmas

1780

Colonel John Donelson
· Col John Donelson led a flotilla of flatboats from Kingsport
· The vessels were constructed as flatboats
· Women, children, and household goods were shipped on boats
· The boats after reaching the Ohio River had to be paddled upstream to their destination
· Indians attacked in the Chattanooga Gorge
· A trailing boat contained small pox victims
· Several of the passengers were killed, but the Indians caught the disease
· Donelson's daughter, Rachel, was on one of the boats
· Rachel later became wife of President Andrew Jackson

1783

Indian Treaty
· Treaty of Nashborough
· Signed in June
Davidson County
· Formed by act of North Carolina Legislature
· Created in Middle Tennessee from portion of Washington County
· Included Cumberland Mountains to Tennessee River
Greene County
· Created from Washington County
· Covers most of East Tennessee
· Washington County becomes small county in upper East Tennessee
· Now four counties in Tennessee


1784

North Carolina Legislature
· Ceded its claim to the area later to become Tennessee
· Almost immediately repealed their action
· The state decided to dispose of western lands

. Their alternative was to turn them over to the Federal Government
· Soldiers were given land grants of 640 to 12,000 acres
· A Land Grab Act was passed to sell land at about $5.00 per 100 acres
· Nearly four million acres was sold in seven months
Frankland
· Leaders met to discuss formation of new state in Jonesboro area
· After three meetings state of Frankland was formed
· Later called Franklin
· John Sevier elected governor of new state
· Franklin ended March 1788

1785

Indian Treaty
· First Franklin Treaty
· Signed May 31
· Treaty of Hopewell
· Signed November 18
· Made the federal government source of authority in all Indian affairs
· Land transferred

1786

Indian Treaty
 · Second Franklin Treaty
 · Signed August 3
Hawkins County
 · Created from Green County
 · Covers land in East Tennessee
Sumner County
 · Created from Davidson County
 · Covers large portion of Middle Tennessee
Wayne County
 · Created from Washington County
 · Covers extreme East Tennessee
 · Now seven counties in Tennessee
David Crockett
 · David Crockett born August 17, 1786
 · Crockett's grandfather, also David, first settled in Pennsylvania
 · Emigrated to Rogersville Tennessee
 · Was killed by a Cherokee Indian attack
 · John Crockett was David's father
 · He fought in Revolutionary War in Battle of Kings Mountain
 · Married Rebecca Hawkins
 · Lived near mouth of Limestone Creek in Greene County
 · The Crockett family moved about 10 miles to Cove Creek
 · Moved again to Jefferson County near Morristown
 · Operated a cabin tavern on the new Knoxville-Abingdon Road
 · When David was 12, he attended school for four days
 · A fight with a boy at school caused him to run away from home
 · He worked in Virginia for farmers, wagoneers, and a hat maker for about two and a half years
 · David returned home and became an expert marksman
 · He returned to school for six months
 · David married Polly Finley in Jefferson County on August 12, 1806
 · He farmed in the community for two or three years
 · A son John Wesley was born on July 10, 1807
 · A second son, William was born 1808
 · The family moved to near Lynchburg in Moore County in 1808 or 1809
 · Another move brought them to Franklin County, 1810
 · They located about 10 miles southwest of Winchester on Bean's Creek
 · A daughter, Margaret was born 1812
 · Crockett enlisted in war against Indian massacres in Southern Alabama
 · David's wife Polly died 1813
 · Crockett married to Elizabeth Patton, 1815
 · A son, Robert Patton was born in Franklin County, 1816
 · County land ceded by Chickasaw Indians to United States September, 1816
 · Crockett first located in county at the head of Shoal Creek in 1816
 · Became temporary magistrate in new government
 · Helped organize county 1817
 · Lived a few blocks south of the Lawrenceburg public square for short time
 · A daughter, Rebecca Elvira, was born on December 25, 1818
 · Served as one of the first Justices of the Peace
 · Was a member of commission appointed to select the county seat
 · Elected colonel of Lawrenceburg's regiment of the Tennessee's Militia
 · Became first representative in State Legislature, 1821-'22
 · A daughter, Matilda, was born on August 2, 1821
 · Crockett owned 614 acres of land in Lawrence County in 13 different tracts
 · He first located at the head of Shoal Creek
 · Over one and one-half million tons of iron ore was mined from "Crockett Mines on Shoal Creek
 · On another tract, he built a grist mill, powder-mill and distillery at cost of more than $3,000
 · Complex built on the middle fork of Shoal Creek
 · All of complex was washed away when Shoal Creek flooded
 · Crockett moved the family west to Gibson County, 1822
 · He represented 11 west Tennessee4 counties in Legislature, 1823-'24
 · Was elected to U S Congress 1827-'35
 · He was defeated in a Congressional election, 1834
 · David decided to go to the aid of Texas in land dispute against Mexico
 · He died at the Alamo on March 6, 1836
 · His wife Elizabeth moved family to Texas
 · She died on January 31, 1860 in what was Johnson County, TX
 · She is buried in what is now Hood County, TX
 ·  A "Davy's Day" celebration held in Lawrence County, 1890
 · "Davy Crockett Day" was celebrated at part of annual Strawberry Festival, 
. May 14, 1955

1788

Tennessee County
· Created from western part of Davidson County to Tennessee River
· County existed only until 1796
· Now eight counties in Tennessee

1789

North Carolina Legislature
· A second cession of land

. Land later to become Tennessee made to Federal Government
· Little unsold land remained in area relinquished
· Area called "Territory South of the Ohio River"
· William Blount named Governor

1791

Indian Treaty
· Blount' Treaty
· Signed July 2
· Blount negotiated Treaty of Holston with Indians

1792

Indian Treaty
· Knox's first Treaty
· Signed February 17
Jefferson County
· Created from Greene and Hawkins Counties
· Most of land taken from Greene County
Knox County
· Took most of Greene county land
· Became largest county in state
Indian County
· Created from Knox County
· Located in South East Tennessee near Chattanooga
Western District
· Created beyond western boundary of Davidson County to Mississippi River
· Now eleven counties in Tennessee

 

1794

Indian Treaty
· Knox's second Treaty
· Signed June 26
Sevier County
· Created from Jefferson County
· Now twelve counties in Tennessee
Major James Ore
· Leads battle against Chickamauga Indians
· Destroys towns of Nickajack and Running Water
· Chickamauga power base also destroyed

1795

Blount County
·  Created from Knox County

1796

Tennessee
· Admitted to Union after 60,000 people were counted in area as 16th state
· President Washington signed bill June 1
· John Sevier, a leader at Watauga, became first governor
· The capital was placed at Knoxville
Carter County
·  Created from Washington County
Granger County
· Created from Hawkins County
Montgomery County
· Created from Tennessee County
Robertson County
· Created from Tennessee and Sumner counties
Tennessee County
· County abolished
· Records included in those of Montgomery County

1797

Cocke County
· Created from Jefferson County

1798

Indian Treaty
· First Treaty of Tellico
· Signed October 2
· Land transferred

1799

Smith County
· Created from Sumner County and Indian lands
Williamson County
· Created from Davidson County
Wilson County
· Created from Sumner County
· Wilson and Williamson Counties extended south to the state line
· Both counties claimed land controlled by the Indians

1800

Thomas Jefferson
· Elected President of the United States
19 Counties existed in state boundaries

1801

Anderson County
· Created from Knox and Granger Counties
Jackson County
· Created from Smith County and Indian lands
Roane County
· Created from Knox County and Indian lands
Claiborne County
· Created from Granger and Hawkins Counties
· 23 counties existed in state

1803

Dixon County
· Created from Montgomery and Robertson Counties
Stewart County
· Created from Montgomery County
Rutherford County
· Created from Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson Counties

1804

Indian Treaty
· Second Treaty of Tellico
· Signed October 24
· Formal agreement to open first roads in area

1805

Indian Treaty
·  Chickasaw Cession
· Signed July 23
· Land transferred
· Creek Treaty
· Third Treaty of Tellico
· Signed October 25
· Concerned the opening of roads through Cherokee lands
· Fourth Treaty of Tellico
· Signed October 27
· Land transferred

1806

Indian Treaty
· Dearborn's Treaty
· Signed January 7
· Land transferred
Campbell County County
· Created from Anderson and Claiborne Counties
Overton County
· Created from Jackson County and Indian lands
White County
· Created from Jackson and Smith Counties

wpe62E.jpg (7461 bytes)

1807

Indian Treaty
· Robertson and Meigs Treaty
· Signed September 11
Bledsoe County
· Created from Roane County and Indian lands
Franklin County
· Created from Rutherford and Indian lands
Rhea County
· Created from Roane County
Warren County
· Created from White, Jackson, and Smith Counties, and Indian lands

1814

Indian Treaty
· Capitulation of the Creeks
· Signed August 9
Andrew Jackson
· Defeated the Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend

1815

Andrew Jackson
· Defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans

1816

Indian Treaty
 · Graham's two Treaties
 · Signed March 22
 · Jackson & Meriweather's Treaty
 · Signed September 14
 · Chickasaw Treaty
 · Signed September 20
wpe62F.jpg (7212 bytes)

1817

Indian Treaty
· Jackson & McMinn's Treaty
· Signed July 18
· Land transferred
· Included most of the southern portion of Sequatchee Valley
Marion County
· Created from Bledsoe and White Counties, and Indian lands

1818

Indian Treaty
· The Great Chickasaw Cession
· Signed October 19
· Land transferred

1819

Indian Treaty
· Calhoun's Treaty
· Signed February 27
· Land transferred
Hamilton County
· Created from Rhea County and Indian Lands

1823

Indian Treaty
· Overton's Treaty
· Land transferred

1828

Indian Treaty
· Barbour's Treaty
· Signed May 16

1833

Indian Treaty
· Stokes & Ellsworth's Treaty
· Signed February 14

1834

Indian Treaty
· Vashon's Treaty
· Signed February 10
· Voided by President Andrew Jackson

1835

Indian Treaty
· Treaty of Removal
· Resulted in the Trail of Tears
· Signed December 26

Below is an additional list of events that occurred in the State's history. Some of this includes events that have happened in our lifetime. If you know of other major events and there dates please let Sharon know. Put Timelines in the subject. Thanks

1800 Fever in Knoxville (yellow fever probably)
1800 Thomas Jefferson · Elected President of the United States 19 Counties existed in state boundaries
Library of Congress established
1801 Anderson County · Created from Knox and Granger Counties
Jackson County · Created from Smith County and Indian lands
Roane County · Created from Knox County and Indian lands
Claiborne County · Created from Granger and Hawkins Counties · 23 counties existed in state
1803 Dickson Co TN
Stewart County · Created from Montgomery County
Louisiana Purchase
Rutherford County · Created from Davidson, Williamson, and Wilson Counties 1804 Indian Treaty · Second Treaty of Tellico · Signed October 24 · Formal agreement to open first roads in area
1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition
1805 Indian Treaty · Chickasaw Cession · Signed July 23 · Land transferred · Creek Treaty ·
1806 Indian Treaty · Dearborn's Treaty · Signed January 7 · Land transferred Campbell County County · Created from Anderson and Claiborne Counties Overton County · Created from Jackson County and Indian lands White County · Created from Jackson and Smith Counties
May 24 1807 Tornadoes hit Roane, Knox, Sevier, Jefferson and Cocke counties
1807 Bledsoe County · Created from Roane County and Indian lands Franklin County · Created from Rutherford and Indian lands Rhea County · Created from Roane County Warren County · Created from White, Jackson, and Smith Counties, and Indian lands
1808 TN river floods-- Knoxville
December 1812 Severe Winter
1812-1814 War of 1812
1814 -1815 Andrew Jackson · Defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans
1816 "Cold Plague"
1816 Chickasaw Treaty · Signed September 20
Summer 1816 Unusually low temperatures state wide
1817Marion County · Created from Bledsoe and White Counties, and Indian lands
1819 Drought
1819 The first steamboat reached Nashville.
1819 / 1820 McMinn Co opened for settlement
1819/1820 Monroe Co opened for settlement
1819/1820 Polk Co opened for settlement
1819 Land transferred Hamilton County · Created from Rhea County and Indian Lands
February 1823 Severe Winter statewide
1823Monroe Doctrine
1824 Gold in Coker Creek Monroe Co TN
March 1826 TN river floods
May 1830 Drought
1832-1833 Cholera epidemic statewide
Nov 13-15? 1833 Meteor shower- heavy, general panic statewide
1834 Reaper invented by Cyrus Hall McCormick
Feb 1835 Severe Winter East Tennessee
1835 Indian Treaty · Treaty of Removal · Resulted in the Trail of Tears · Signed December 26
1835 Dahlonega GA Gold rush starts
1837 Panic of 1837
1838 Trail of Tears
1838 Cholera epidemic Knoxville
June-winter 1838 Malarial fever epidemic-Knoxville
May 1840 TN river floods
1840 Underground railroad
1842 TN river floods
Nov 28 1844 Earthquake- Knoxville
1846 Smithsonian Institute chartered
March 1847 TN river floods
Dec 19 1847 TN river Floods
1848 Gold Located at Sutter's mill in California
June-Aug 1849 Cholera epidemic
Mid April 1849 Severe cold and snow statewide
June 1850 Cholera epidemic
Apr 29 1852 Earthquake- VA, NC, and TN
Aug 28-30 1852 TN river flood
1854 Cholera Epidemic
July 17 1859 Tornado Decatur TN
1861-1865 American Civil War
Feb 1862 TN river flood
May 20 1862 Homestead act
1863 Emancipation Proclaimation freed the slaves
1864-1873 National Trade union Movement
Apr 27 1865 Sultana explodes on Mississippi river
September 1866 Cholera Epidemic
1866 Tennessee first state readmitted to the union
1867 Yellow Fever epidemic
Mar 1-7- 1867 TN river floods
Mar 6-14 1867 TN river floods Knoxville and Chattanooga
1869 Riverboat wreck on TN river near Dayton "RP Converse" and "Last Chance"
1869 First Transcontinental Railroad
1870 TN river near Chattanooga riverboat "Mary Byrd" wrecks
1871 Major fire in Chattanooga
Apr 20 1871 TN river floods
1873 Yellow Fever Epidemic
Jan 22 1873 Blizzard in Middle TN
May-Aug 1873 Cholera Epidemic
1875 TN river riverboat wreck near Chattanooga "Hugh Martin"
Mar 1875 TN river floods Knoxville
Mar 3 1875 TN river floods Harriman
November 2 1875 Earthquake N GA and SC
Mar 17 1876 TN River floods
Jun 17 1876TN River floods
Dec 1876-1877 Severe cold statewide
1877-1878 Drought
Aug-Oct 1878 Yellow Fever epidemic
Jan 1882 TN river floods
Winter 1882-1883 Smallpox epidemic- Chattanooga Cleveland and Morristown
1883 TN river floods
Feb 1884 TN river floods
Feb 9 1884 Tornadoes thruout TN
Mar 1885 TN river floods
Mar 1886 TN river floods
1887 Drought
Mar 11-14 1888 Great Blizzard (largest before March 1993)
Mar 1890 TN river floods
1893 Financial panic statewide
Jan 1893 TN river wreck near Chattanooga "JC Warner"
Jan 1893 severe cold statewide
Feb 18 1893 TN river floods
1894 earthquake Knoxville
1894-1896 drought
Dec 20 1895 Coalmine disaster Dayton Rhea Co
Apr 1896 TN river flood
1897 Niota fire
Feb 1897 TN river flood
Mar 1897 TN river flood
1897 Goldrush in the Klondykes
1898 Spanish American War
1898-1899 Cerebro-Spinal meningitis epidemic Knoxville
Oct 1900 TN river flood
Nov 26 1900 TN river flood
May 18-21-1901 TN river flood
Aug 14 1901 TN river flood
Dec 1901 TN river flood
Feb 28 1902 TN river flood
Mar 1902 TN river flood
Jul 5 1902 TN river flood
Feb 27 1903 TN river flood
Feb 3 1905 Severe cold statewide
1906 San Francisco Earthquake (Many McMinn Countians were there at the time)
Apr 30 1909 Tornadoes statewide
May 31 1909 TN river floods Knoxville
Mar 28 1913 Earthquake Knoxville
Apr 17 1913 Earthquake Ducktown
1913-1914 drought
1914 tornado
1916 polio epidemic statewide
1916 influenza epidemic
Jul 15-16-1916 TN river floods
Mar 1917 TN river floods
1917 America enters WWI ends Nov 1918
Winter 1917-1918 Winterstorm statewide
1914- Nov 1918 WWI (rest of World except America)
Jan 27-28 1918 TN river floods
Fall 1918 Influenza pandemic statewide
Mar 16-17 1919 TN river floods
Apr 3-4- 1920 TN river floods
April 12 1920 TN river floods
Dec 24 1921 severe storms statewide
1923 Measles statewide
1925-1926 drought
1925 Forest fires statewide
March 1925 "Scopes Monkey Trial" in Dayton Rhea Co
Oct 4 1926 Rockwood Roane co coalmine disaster
Nov 25-26 1926 Tornado
Dec 31 1926 TN river floods
Feb 3 1929 TN river flood
Mar 22 1929 Severe Storm east TN
May 2 1929 TN river flood
Oct 29 1929 Stock Market crash-- beginning of great depression
1930-1931 drought
Mar 19-1933 Flood TN river
1933 Measles epidemic statewide
Jan 21 1935 TN river floods
Mar 25 1935 TN river floods
Dec 1935 Forest fires statewide
1936 Meningitis statewide
Jan 1936 TN river floods
Summer-Fall 1936 Polio epidemic statewide
Winter 1936-1937 Influenza and pneumonia epidemic
1936-1937 Knoxville "Black death" prob yellow fever
Jul 21 1938 TN river floods
Jul 8-10-1939 TN river floods
1940 severe winter
1940-1942 drought
Jun 7 1940 TN river floods
Aug 1940 TN river floods
1941 Whooping cough statewide
Summer -fall 1941 Polio epidemic Hamilton co
Aug 1941 TN river floods
1941-1943 Measles epidemic statewide
Feb 5-6 1942 Tornado TN
Dec 1942 TN river floods
1943 whooping cough statewide
1943 meningitis statewide
1941-1945 WWII
1944 DDay Normandy
Sep 29 1944 TN river floods
1945 VE Day victory Europe VJ Day victory Japan
1945 United Nations formed
1945 Diptheria epidemic statewide
1945-1946 Polio epidemic statewide
1945 TN river flood
Jan 7 1946 TN river flood
Aug 1 1946 Battle of Athens
Feb 13 1948 TN river floods
Dec 31-Jan 1 1948-1949 Tornado TN
Jan 1949 TN river floods
1950-1951 Infectious hepatitis outbreak Knox co
Jan -Feb 1951 Severe winter
Sep 1 1951 TN river floods
Mar 1952 Tornado
1950-1953 Korea
Feb 29 1952 Tornado McMinn Co
Jun-Jul 1952 Heat wave Statewide
May 2 1953 Tornado McMinn and Meigs co
1954 drought
Apr 28 1954 TN river floods
Aug 9 1954 TN river floods
Mar 1955 TN river floods
1957 Influenza statewide
Jan 23-31 1957 Severe ice storm statewide
Jan 28 1957 TN river floods
Nov 18-19 1957 Flood Spring city Rhea co
Nov 18 1957 TN river floods
Mar 27 1959 TN river floods
1960-1961 Infectious hepatitis epidemic statewide
Mar 2 1960 Ice storm statewide
Dec 12-18 1961 TN river floods
March 19 1963 Tornadoes Bradley and McMinn Cos.
April 28 1964 TN river floods
Oct 5-6 1964 TN river floods
Oct 16 1964 TN river floods
Mar 16 1965 TN river floods
Apr 15 1965 Tornado Bradley co
1966-1967 drought
1969-1971 drought
Feb 21 1971 tornado
Jan 7-8 1973 ice storm SE TN
Feb 8-11 1973 winter storm
1973 Major Flood hits East Tennessee
Apr 3 1974 Tornado Knox, Polk, Bradley, McMinn co
Feb 4 1976 earthquake Conasauga
1977 winter storm
Apr 4 1977 TN river floods
1979 TN river floods
1980-1981 drought
May-Sep 1981 weather related deaths--lightning strikes across state
Dec6 1981 Chattanooga coal mine disaster
Apr 2-12 1983 TN river flood
May 27 1983 Explosion- Benton fireworks factory
1985-1986 drought
May-Sep 1986 Weather related deaths- lightning strikes across state
Fall 1987 Forest fires statewide
1991 Gulf War
March 1993 Greatest Blizzard in over 100 years
Feb 16 2003 Knoxville and East TN have several major waterway floods and mudslides.
March 19 2003 new war
April 30 2003 earthquake 4.9 centered in North east Alabama but felt all the way to KY
May 5-8 2003 Severe rainstorms and floods

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In case you ever wondered why a large number of your ancestors disappeared during a certain period in history, this might help. Epidemics have always had a great influence on people - and thus influencing, as well, the genealogists trying to trace them. Many cases of people disappearing from records can be traced to dying during an epidemic or moving away from the affected area. Some of the major epidemics in the United States are listed below:
YEAR                                LOCATION                                      EPIDEMIC
1657 Boston Measles
1687 Boston Measles
1690 New York Yellow Fever
1713 Boston Measles
1729 Boston Measles
1732-3 Worldwide Influenza
1738 South Carolina Smallpox
1739-40 Boston Measles
1747 CT,NY,PA,SC Measles
1759 North America [areas inhabited by white people]Measles
1761 N. Amer and West Indies Influenza
1772 North America Measles
1775 North America [especially hard in NE] Unknown epidemic
1775-6 Worldwide [one of the worst epidemics] Influenza
1783 DE["extremely fatal"] Bilious Disorder
1788 Philadelphia and New York Measles
1793 Vermont [a "putrid" fever] and Influenza
1793 VA [killed 500 in 5 counties in 4 weeks]Influenza
1793 Philadelphia one of the worst epidemics Yellow Fever
1793 Harrisburg, PA [many unexplained deaths] Unknown
1793 Middletown, PA [many mysterious deaths] Unknown
1794 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1796-7 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever
1798 Philadelphia, PA Yellow Fever [one of the worst]
1803 New York Yellow Fever
1813 Tennessee, Maury County Black Tongue epidemic killed several
1820-3 Nationwide
1831-2 Nationwide [brought by English emigrants]Asiatic Cholera
1832 NY City and other major cities Cholera
1833 Columbus, OH Cholera
1834 New York City Cholera
1834 Tennessee, Maury County,occurred southeast of Columbia Cholera
1837 Philadelphia Typhus
1840 Tennessee, Stewart County, Dover Hard times in the area attributed to the national depression of 1837. Malaria, cholera, smallpox frequent epidemics.
1841 Nationwide [especially severe in the south]Yellow Fever
1844 February and March Tennessee Maury County,killed several in Columbia Black Tongue epidemic
1847 New Orleans Yellow Fever
1847-8 Worldwide Influenza
1848-9 North America Cholera
1848 July Decatur County, Tennessee,area of Bear Creek Baptist Church Smallpox
1849 New York Cholera
1850 Nationwide Yellow Fever
1850 July 17 Gainesboro, TN Cholera
1850-1 North America Influenza
1851 Coles Co., IL, The Great Plains, and Missouri Cholera
1852 Nationwide [New Orleans-8,000 die in summer]Yellow Fever
1854 Tennessee, Giles County unknown epidemic
1855 Nationwide [many parts] Yellow Fever
1857-9 Worldwide [one of the greatest epidemics] Influenza
1860-1 Pennsylvania Smallpox
1862 Tennessee, Shelby County, Memphis Yellow-fever
1862 Illinois in the vicinity of Metropolis measles and pneumonia
1865-73 Philadelphia, NY, Boston, New Orleans Smallpox
1865-73 Baltimore, Memphis,Washington DC Cholera
1866 United States Cholera
1865-73 Baltimore, Memphis,Washington DC A series of recurring epidemics of Typhus Typhoid Scarlet Fever YellowFever
1873-5 North America and Europe Influenza
1873 Tennessee, Rutherford County Murfreesboro cholera
1878 Tennessee, Shelby County, Memphis yellow fever more than 5,000 fatalities 25,000 persons in crazed flight, and 5,000 more sheltered in concentration camps
1878 New Orleans [last great epidemic] Yellow Fever
1878 Tennessee, Hamilton County,Chattanooga Yellow Fever
1885 Plymouth, PA Typhoid
1886 Jacksonville, FL Yellow Fever
1918 Worldwide[high point yr] Influenza more people were hospitalized in WWI from Influenza epidemic than wounds. US Army training camps became death camps, with 80% death rate in some camps
1924 Tennessee, Stewart County, Dover Typhoid fever epidemic

The great Cholera epidemic was spread by immigrants from Europe. The major years were 1832, 1849, 1866, and 1873. By 1890, the disease was practically controlled. --Malaria was also of epidemic proportions in the late 1800's. The hottest summer on record was 1886, and later 1887. Mosquitoes were out of control in the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys, as well as tributaries. This went on for years. --TB was also of epidemic proportions at the time. Children ages 5-15 rarely died from the "adult" epidemics, as this is a period of "Natural Immunity."

European epidemics introduced into the southeastern United States in 1540 by the Desoto expedition are estimated to have killed at least 75% of the original native population. How much the Cherokee suffered from this disaster in unknown, but their population in 1674 was about 50,000. A series of smallpox epidemics (1729, 1738, and 1753) cut this in half, and it remained fairly stable at about 25,000 until their removal to Oklahoma during the 1830s.