• Downtown Memphis by James Blucher

History of Memphis

Written by Ysmay.

Memphis 1743Memphis 1743

Memphis, Tennessee was founded in the year of 1819 by John Overton, James Winchester and Andrew Jackson. The name Memphis was derived from the capital of Egypt, which was located near the longest river in the world, reaching approximately 4,184 miles, the Nile River. The Mississippi River, which was significantly lower in elevation than the city of Memphis, was used as a transportation center for goods and for traveling.

The freight being transported from Memphis was cotton. In 1859, 400,000 bales of cotton were transported from Memphis, Tennessee. This urban area then acquired the reputation of one of the biggest slave markets in the 1850’s, because of the cotton that was being grown and traded in the south at that time.

The trade market grew on the eve of the Civil War, and so did slavery. The population of Memphis grew to 22,000 people, with a soaring reliance on slaves. The Mississippi River became one of the busiest trade routes in the south. During the year of 1857, the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was created. It was the first railroad in America that ran East-West across the southern states.

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