The town of Nashville was founded by James Robertson, John
Donelson, and a party of Overmountain Men in 1779, near the
original Cumberland settlement of Fort Nashborough. It was named
for Francis Nash, the American Revolutionary War hero. Nashville
quickly grew because of its strategic location, accessibility as a
river port, and its later status as a major railroad center. In
1806, Nashville was incorporated as a city and became the county
seat of Davidson County, Tennessee. In 1843, the city was named the
permanent capital of the state of Tennessee.
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By 1860, when the first rumblings of secession began to be heard
across the South, antebellum Nashville was a very prosperous city.
The city's significance as a shipping port made it a