Excerpts from The Tennessee Gazetteer
By Eastin Morris, 1834

Contributed by Diane Payne and Jackie Robinson

BLEDSOE'S CREEK, a beautiful and bold running stream, which rises in the north part of Sumner county and flowing south, empties into the Cumberland, above the town of Cairo. It is the largest creek in the county, and waters a great body of rich land under a high state of cultivation, and it has many excellent mills erected on it. Its principle branch is Desha's creek.

BLEDSOE'S LICK a very noted sulphur spring, situated eight miles east from Gallatin, in the county of Sumner; on the road leading to Carthage. It is noted as being one of the first places settled in the state, west of the mountains. Experience has proved that its waters are highly medicinal, and that they are equal if not superior to any in the state. Judge Haywood, in his history of Tennessee, gives the following description of this place, which is substantially correct.
      "About 200 yards from the lick, in a circular enclosure between Bledsoe's lick creek and Bledsoe's spring branch, upon level ground, is a wall fifteen or eighteen inches in height, with projecting angular elevations, of the same height as the wall: and within it are about sixteen acres of land. In the interior is a raised platform, from 13 to 15 feet above the common surface, about 200 yards from the wall to the south, and about fifty from the northern part of it. The platform is sixty yards in breadth, and is level on top, and is to the east of the mound to which it joins, of seven or eight feet higher elevation, or eighteen feet from the common surface, about twenty feet square. On the eastern side of the latter mound is a small cavity, indicating that steps were once there, for the purpose of ascending from the platform to the top of the mound. In the year 1785, there grew on the top of the mound a black oak, three feet through. There is no water in the circular enclosure, or court. Upon the top of the mound was ploughed up, some years ago, an image, made of sand stone. On one cheek was a mark resembling a wrinkle, passing perpendicularly up and down the cheek. On the other cheek were two similar marks. The breast was that of a female, and prominent. The face was turned obliquely up, towards the heavens. The palms of the hands were turned upwards before the face, and at some distance from it, in the same direction that the face was. The knees were drawn near together and the feet with the toes towards the ground, were separated wide enough to admit of the body being seated; between them. The attitude seemed to be that of adoration. The head and upper part of the forehead, were represented as covered with a cap or mitre or bonnet, from the lower part of which came horizontally a brim, from the extremities of which the cap extended upwards conically."
     "Near to this mound is a cave, which contained at the time of the first settlements by the whites, a great number of human skulls, without any other appearance of human bones near them." Mr. Earle has lately made another and more scrutinizing examination of this mound, by which have been brought to light several particulars of great consequence-His report follows. "This mound is situated in a plane, and is surrounded by hills which enclose from seventy-five to eighty acres of flat land with three fine sulphur springs; and at the junction of four roads leading to different parts of the state and considerably traveled; and about two miles from Cragfont, the residence of General Winchester. This is the place where Spencer and his friend Mr. Drake, spent the winter of 1779 and 1780. The trunk of the tree which they inhabited during this hard winter is just visible above the ground. The diameter is twelve feet. The mound measures, beginning at the northeast corner running east, four and a half poles, to the northeast corner; then the horizontal projection from the principal mound, with one pole, then east eleven poles to the south-east corner; then west eleven poles to the original mound; thence north four and a half poles to the north west corner, before mentioned. The elevation to the top of the chief mound is two and half poles; its diameter two poles in the center and from three to four feet. The declivity of the mound is an angle of about forty-five degrees. A tree of considerable size is yet growing on the mound; and a decayed stump two and a half feet in diameter, but too much decayed to count the annual rings or circles in it. An intrenchment and circumvallation enclosing forty acres, encircles this mound and others of lesser size There is a circumvallatory parapet five feet high. On the parapet are small tumuli, like water towers, about ninety-five feet distant from one to the other. In the line of circumvallation and from each fifth tumulus, there is an average distance of forty five or from thence 180 feet to the next one. It thus continues around the whole breast work."
      "Mr. Earle dug into the parapet in several places from two to three feet in depth and found ashes, pottery ware, flint, muscle shells, coal etc. on the out side of the intrenchment, and a number of graves. In several different places flat stones are set up edge-wise, enclosing skeletons buried from twelve to eighteen inches under the surface. Three hundred yards from the great mound on the south-east side of the intrenchment, is a mound of fifty yards in circumference, and six in height. In the opposite direction from this to the north-east, stands another smaller mound, and of the same dimensions of the one last mentioned. So that the three stand upon a line from northeast to southeast.
      "The next principal mound in size within the entrenchment, is in a south east course from the great mound, and about 170 yards distant; circumference, 90 yards; elevation, 10 feet. Thirty five yards distant in a south west course, is a small tumulus two thirds as large as the one just mentioned. At the same distance, on the north east corner of the great mound, is another of the same size of the last mentioned. Each of these tumuli hath a small one of about half its size in the center between them and the great mound."
      The earth with which this mound was constructed, appears to have been taken not from one place, leaving a cavity in the earth, but evenly from all the surface around the mound. In about 200 yards distant, extending from the mound, the soil hath been taken off to a considerable depth. Mr. Earle made an excavation in the principal mound twenty two feet, commencing ten feet from the common surface.-At two feet from the summit was found a stratum of ashes fourteen inches through, to a stratum of earth.-The layers of ashes were counted, and amounted to twenty eight. At eight feet, the diggers came to the skeleton of a child, lying on three cedar piles, five feet and a half in length, and considerably decayed, but sound at the head. The head of the child lay towards the east facing the west, with a jug made of sand stone lying at its feet. At nineteen feet they dug up part of a corn cob. Various other bones were found, amongst which was the jaw-bone with the tusk attached to it, of some unknown animal. From these facts, it is evident that this lick has been a great place of resort as well by the various animals as the aborigines of the country.-In digging into the earth to sink a gum for the collection of water, the workmen came to the tusk of some huge animal, between two and three feet in length.-Also, grinders eight or nine inches wide. The tusk was bent like that of a hog, but not so much so in proportion to its size." It is thirty three miles N. of E. from Nashville, and 674 miles S. W. from Washington City in lat. 36 degrees 20', N. lon 9 degrees 12' W. The name of this place has been changed to Castalian Springs, which see.

CAIRO, a post town, in Sumner, situated on the north bank of Cumberland river, about three quarters of a mile below the mouth of Bledsoe's creek. It was incorporated in 1815, and contains thirty families, two physicians, an academy and church, one tavern, one cabinet maker, one machine maker, one cotton and wool factory, one rope walk, two tailors, two blacksmiths, one gunsmith, and two shoemakers. It is five miles E. from Gallatin, 30 from Nashville and 12 from Lebanon.

CASTALIAN SPRINGS, these springs are situated at a place heretofore known as Bledsoe's Lick, eight miles from Gallatin in the county of Sumner, on the road leading to Carthage, and thirty miles from Nashville. The fountains are numerous and the waters are uncommonly cold, clear and palatable: their constituent qualities are somewhat variant, but they all contain portions of sulphur, soda, salts and magnesia. The virtues of these waters have been fairly tested, and there is no doubt of their medicinal efficacy. The proprietors have erected spacious and comfortable buildings for the accommodation of visitors. The landscape is peculiarly picturesque and beautiful, and it will undoubtedly be a place of fashionable resort during the summer months. See Bledsoe's Lick.

CROSS PLAINS, a post office in Robertson County, twelve miles east from Springfield, where the road from Gallatin to Springfield crosses the road from Nashville to Franklin, Kentucky. At this place there is a store, tavern, etc.

CUMBERLAND RIVER, this noble stream rises on the western slopes of the Cumberland mountain, and flows westwardly through Harlan, Knox, Whitly, Wayne, Pulaski, Cumberland and Monroe counties, Kentucky; then turns south to the south-west, and enters this state, through which it runs by a general western course, though curving considerably to the south. After having traversed or bounded the counties of Overton, Jackson, Smith, Sumner, Wilson, Davidson, Dickson, Robertson, Montgomery and Stewart, it turns nearly north, and re-enters Kentucky, passing through the counties of Trigg, Christian, Caldwell, and Livingston, and finally enters the Ohio River, eleven miles above the mouth of Tennessee. The Cumberland, by a comparative course, flows in upper Kentucky 220 miles, in this state 170, and in lower Kentucky fifty. Having an entire comparative course of 440 miles, upwards of 350 of which are navigable at all seasons. The principal towns on this river are Smithland, Eddyville, Dover, Palmyra, Clarksville, Nashville, Haysboro, Cairo, Carthage, Williamsburg, Tenn., Burkesville, Williamsburg, KY., Barboursville, and Mount Pleasant. Steamboats may ascend as high as Burkesville, Ky., in a good stage of water, but they do not often venture higher than Carthage, at the north of the Caney Fork.

DAMASCUS, a small town near the mouth of Goose creek, in Sumner County, adjoining the village of Hartsville.

DAVIDSON, a county in Middle Tennessee, bounded on the north by Robertson, on the north east by Sumner, on the east by Wilson and Rutherford, south by Williamson and west by Dickson; length 26 mean width 24, area about 630 square miles. The surface is rather uneven, but the soil is generally excellent and under a high state of cultivation. This county was erected as early as 1783 by the state of North Carolina, and then included "all that part of this state lying west of Cumberland mountains and south of the Virginia line, beginning on the top of Cumberland mountains, where the Virginia line crosses, extending westward along said line, to the Tennessee River, thence up said river to the mouth of Duck river, thence up Duck river to where the line of marked trees run by the commissioners for laying off land, granted the Continental Line of this state intersects said river, (which said line is suppose to be in 35 degree 50' north latitude), thence east along said line to the top of Cumberland Mountain, thence northwardly along said mountain to the beginning.
     In 1786 the county of Sumner was erected from it, and sundry alterations of the boundaries were afterwards made. In 1796, John M'Nairy, Andrew Jackson, James Robertson, Thomas Hardeman and Joel Lewis, represented this county in the convention which formed the constitution of the state. In 1820, Davidson contained a population of 20,154, of which 7,899 were slaves and 189 free person of color. Population in 1830, 15,988 whites, 11,629 slaves, and 472 free blacks total 28,089.
     Cumberland River flows east to west through this county, past the city of Nashville, the seat of justice for the county, and capitol of the state. The other principal streams are White's, Mansker's, Poplar and Sycamore creeks on the north, and Stone's river, Mill creek and Harpeth on the south.

DEFEATED CREEK, a north branch of Cumberland river, near the line of Smith and Jackson counties, between Carthage and Williamsburg. This creek took its name from a defeat of John Peyton and his party, consisting of his brothers, Ephraim and Thomas Peyton, John Frazer and Squire Grant, in the year 1786. The Indians, about sixty in number, led on by the Fool Warrior, a distinguished Cherokee chief attacked the camp, (situated on the little island just above the mouth a spring branch, a short distance below where the old Fort Blount road crosses said creek) in the night, during a deep snow, shot a ball through and broke the arm and shoulder of John Peyton. Thomas Peyton was shot through the thigh, Frazier through the leg, and Grant through the knee. Ephraim Peyton escaped without a wound from the Indians, but sprained his ankle in running through the creek. In this naked and mangled condition, these five hardly veterans had to grope their way in crusted snow through a pathless wilderness of cane clad mountains alone, (for no two ever came together) for four days, before they reached the habitation of civilized man - bare-headed, bare-footed, without food, fire or any garment except a shirt and pantaloons, marking the desert with their blood. Notwithstanding their situation, they all arrived safety at Bledsoe's Lick, a distance of about 70 miles by the circuitous route they came, recovered of their wounds and fought many Indian battles in defence of the women and children of the frontier. John Peyton, from whom the compiler obtained the above facts, died at his residence on Station Camp, in Sumner County, in 1833, in the 78th year of his age.

DESHA'S CREEK, a west branch of Bledsoe's Creek, N. E. of Gallatin, in Sumner County, on which are some excellent mills. The land along this creek is of the first quality, and under a high state of improvement.

DIXON'S SPRINGS, a noted place in Smith county, on the road from Gallatin to Carthage, at which there is a post office and two or three stores. It is fifty miles N. of E. from Nashville.

DRAKE'S CREEK, a north branch of Cumberland, in Sumner county, between Station Camp and Mansker's Creeks, ten miles west of Gallatin. It rises near the Kentucky line and flows south, past the town of Hendersonville, and through a body of rich land.

DRY CREEK, a west branch of Cumberland, in Davidson county, which crosses the Gallatin road.

ELLIOTT'S BRANCH, a small steam which empties into the Cumberland, three miles south of Gallatin, in Sumner County. Above the mouth of this creek is Wood's Ferry, Boyer's warehouse and tobacco inspection, being the steamboat landing and port of shipment for the town of Gallatin.

FOUNTAIN HEAD, a post office in Sumner County near the Kentucky line, thirty-four miles N. E. from Nashville.

GALLATIN, a flourishing post town and seat of justice of Sumner County; it is situated on a small branch of Station Camp creek, three miles north of Cumberland river. It was established by an act of the Legislature, Nov 6, 1801, and incorporated Nov 7, 1815. It contains a good court house, jail and public offices, a large brick church (free for all denominations of christians, a Cumberland Presbyterian church, a Masonic hall, a printing office, twelve stores, two taverns, eleven lawyers, four physicians, one cabinet-shop, one chair-factor, three tailor's-shops, two shoemaker's-shops, two saddler-shops, one wagon-maker, one tanyard, one tinner and copper-smith, three blacksmith's-shops, one hatter, one male and two female academies, 666 inhabitants of which 234 were blacks; thirty-five log, thirty-eight frame and twenty-seven brick houses, on the first day of June, 1830. It is 680 miles S. W. from Washington city, twenty-five N. E. From Nashville, twenty-eight E. from Springfield, and thirty-five W. from Carthage, in lat. 36 degrees 16' N., long 9 degrees 18' from Washington city. The mail stages between Lexington and Nashville pass and repass three times a week, and the eastern stage to Carthage arrives and departs semi-weekly. The Steam boat landing is at the mouth of Elliott's branch, or Boyer's Warehouse, three miles south of town.

GILLUM'S, a post office in Sumner county, established in 1833.

GOOSE CREEK, a large creek in Sumner and Smith counties, which joins the Cumberland on the north; at Hartsville, in the S. E. cornor of Sumner. The lands bordering this creek are generally good, and are under a high state of cultivation. In some situations the milks sickness abounds.

GREEN GARDEN, a post office in Sumner county, three miles east from the Castalian Springs, thirty-six miles from Nashville.

HANNA'S, a post office in Sumner county, established in 1833.

HARTSVILLE, a flourishing post town in the south east cornor of Sumner county, near the junction of Goose creek with the Cumberland river, on the road from Gallatin to Carthage. It was established in 1817, on the land of James Hart. It contains twenty of thirty families, four stores, two taverns, and sundry mechanics. It is eighteen miles east from Gallatin, ten from the Castalian springs, and forty-three from Nashville. Lat. 36 degrees, 16' N., long 9 degrees 2' W. (Note: Hartsville is now located in Trousdale County, TN).

HENDERSONVILLE, a post town in Sumner county, on the west bank of Drake's creek, 10 miles from Gallatin, on the road to Nashville. It contains one store and stage office.

LONG CREEK, a branch of Barren river in Sumner and Smith counties.

MANSKER'S CREEK, a north branch of Cumberland river, and the dividing line between Sumner and Davidson county. This creek took its name from Casper Mansker, who discovered Mansker's Lick about the year 1772. The Gallatin road crosses it at the Dismuke's Ferry, 12 miles from Nashville.

MONTGOMERY'S, a post office in Sumner county, on Drake's creek, established on the upper Nashville road, nine miles west W. from Gallatin, and 18 miles north east from Nashville.

ROBERTSON, a county in Middle Tennessee, erected in 1796. It is bounded on the north by the State of Kentucky, on the east by Sumner county, on the south by Davidson, on the west by Montgomery. It is about 40 miles long from N. E. To S. W., with a mean width of 16. It is watered by Red River on the north west, and by the Cumberland on the south, and Sulphur Fork in the middle, which flows past Springfield, the seat of justice.

ROBERTSON'S SPRINGS, very noted sulphur springs in Robertson county, on the head waters of Sulphur Fork, 14 miles from Springfield, 16 from Gallatin and 24 from Nashville, near the road leading to Franklin, Ken. - See Tyree's Springs.

ROCKY CREEK, a branch of Cumberland, in Sumner county.

SIMPSON'S, a post office in Sumner county, in the N. E. corner, forty-five miles N. E. from Nashville.

SMITH, a county in Middle Tennessee, erected in 1799. It is bounded on the north by Kentucky, on the east by Jackson county, on the south east by White and Warren, on the south west by Wilson, and on the west by Sumner. It is about forty-five miles long, north and south, and twenty wide. This county is well watered by the Cumberland rive and branches: the principal of which are, Defeated creek, Peyton's creek, Dixon's creek and Goose creek on the north and Caney Fork on the south, which joins the river at Carthage. The principal branches of the Caney Fork, are, Smith's Fork, Hickman and Mulherrin. The towns in Smith, are Carthage, the seat of justice, Alexandria, Lancaster, Liberty and Rome, and there are post offices at Dixon's Springs, Round Lick and Bratton's. Population in 1820, 17,580; in 1830, 21,492, Cen. lat. 36 degrees 23' N. lon. 8 degrees 50' W.

STATION CAMP CREEK, a north branch of Cumberland, in Sumner county; the east branch of which is two and the main branch is five miles west of Gallatin, on the road leading to Nashville. The lands on these creeks are first rate generally, and afford as many good farms as any part of the county.

SUMNER, a county in Middle Tennessee, erected in 1786 and reduced to its constitutional limits, 525 square miles, in 1799. It is bounded on the north by Kentucky, on the east by Smith county, on the south by Wilson, the south bank of the Cumberland river, and on the west by Robertson and Davidson. About one half of Sumner county is equal in point of fertility to any part of Middle Tennessee. There is a rich body of land extending from Mansker's to Goose creek, the extreme west and east lines, about 34 miles long and eight wide, between the ridge and the river, which is settled by wealthy and enterprising farmers. Cotton and corn are the staples south of the ridge, and tobacco on the north. Sumner is celebrated for the raising of fine horses. Goose, Bledsoe's, Station Camp, Drake's and Mansker's creeks are the principal streams. In contains the towns of Gallatin, Hartsville, Cairo and Hendersonville, and two celebrated watering places, Castalian and Tyree's Springs. Population in 1820, 19,211; in 1830, 209,606. Seat of justice, Gallatin; cent. lat. 36 degrees 22' N., lon 9 degrees 15' West from Washington City.

TYREE'S SPRINGS, the most celebrated watering place in the state. The house of entertainment is situated on the right side of the road leading from Nashville to Franklin, Kentucky, twenty miles from the former place. The establishment formerly belonging to Richmond C. Tyree, now deceased, and was for some years kept by Mr. Hagan. It is now kept by Mr. Cheatham, and extensive improvements both ornamental and convenient have been made. This delightful situation presents many allurements, the situation is high, dry, and commanding, where the purest of air never fails to circulate. There is a spring of pure cold water issuing from the hill; and the shades and pleasure grounds are tastefully exhibited. The Robertson's springs, distant about one mile and a half, a pleasant ride for excursion and exercise, have been attached to the establishment, which adds to its value. Tyree's Springs are in Sumner, and Robertson's Springs in Robertson county. A post office is kept here, and the mail stages pass and repass every day and it is alternately a regular breakfasting and dining place. The waters contain sulphur, and small portions of neutral salts, which are known to be serviceable in obstructions of the liver, and other abdominal viscera. These springs are fourteen miles west from Gallatin, and fourteen east from Springfield.

WILSON, a county in Middle Tennessee, bounded on the north by the Cumberland river or Sumner county, on the north east by Smith, on the south east by Warren, on the south by Rutherford and on the west by Davidson. Wilson was erected in 1799, in 1801 its bounds were extended south; and in 1815, a part was attached to Rutherford, and its bounds circumscribed to about its constitutional area, 625 square miles. It is drained by branches of Caney Fork and Cumberland; the principal of which are Smith's Fork, Hickman, Mulherin, Round Lick, Cedar Springs, Barton's and Cedar Lick creeks. It contains the towns of Lebanon, the seat of justice, Statesville and Cainsville. Wilson is a populous county, and contains a great deal of good farming land. It is remarkable for its extensive cedar groves. There is scarcely a farmer in the county who has not more or less cedar growing on or contiguous to his lands Population in 1820 was 18,730; in 1830, 25,477; making an increase in ten years of 6,747.

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