Flowering of the Cumberland
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Michigan State University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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List of Maps
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Writer Harriette Simpson Arnow knew from both her gardening and her research that volunteers, hybrids, grafts, and transplants can flower in unpredictable ways. Flowering of the Cumberland is an exploration of pioneer transplanting, innovative transitions, and surprising stories that sprouted on the limestone...
Author’s Introduction and Acknowledgments
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FLOWERING OF THE CUMBERLAND has in it even less of great events and famous men than had Seedtime on the Cumberland, published in 1960. The first was the story of how men, chiefly from the southern colonies, learned to live away from the sea and look to the woods if need be for most of their necessities from log...
1. The Siege of Buchanan’s
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Sunday, September 30, 1792, was a date so important in the history of what was to be Middle Tennessee that long ago the Tennessee Historical Commission set up a marker bearing the date and other information. The bronze plaque may be seen in Davidson County, Tennessee, near where the Elm Hill Road crosses...
2. The Underpinning
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Sally Buchanan’s first- born came eleven days after the Siege of Buchanan’s, and it was followed through the years by eight brothers and four sisters.1 The Buchanan family was larger than most, but there was nothing unusual about the mother’s activities during an Indian battle. There are from all borders many...
3. The Most Important Crop
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The newly wed young couple usually moved at once into their own home, for the Southerner, like the Englishman behind him, insisted on one home for each family, no matter how poor. The new home might be one in a row of little cabins enclosed by fort pickets, and only a few steps from that of a parent...
4. The Makeup of Society
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It was november, 1795. Sally Buchanan’s first- born was getting on toward three years old, and Felix Robertson, born shortly before instead of after an Indian attack, was close to fifteen. The special census of the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio, taken as a first step toward statehood...
5. The Sounds of Humankind
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The pioneer baby might from time to time be weighed on the family steelyards, and he might not be. He would by the time he could talk have heard all manner of human sounds from scalp cry to the calling of the hogs, but one thing he would never hear as they weighed him or on any other occasion...
6. Intellectual Background and Education
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Sometimes when studying early will books in the back of the long reading room of the Tennessee State Library at Nashville, the pioneers would vanish, and in their stead came half remembered things, rummagings as it were among the odds and ends my head has at random gathered. Who wrote Ossian’s...
7. The Horse
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Horses were more universally owned than household goods or farming tools, for a man— or a woman— had to be neither farmer nor householder to need a horse; even the bound boy got one at the end of his servitude and sometimes the bound girl. Thus, the horse, more so than any other one thing...
8. Cows and Other Farm Animals
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Any forted farm such as that of Edwin Hickman was a world of animal sounds— squealing, gobbling, nickering, bawling, bleating, grunting, howling, barking, neighing, meowing (cats were scarce but I found mention of a cat hole even in a temporary camp), whining, cackling, crowing, potracking...
9. The Farmer and His Crops
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Literature is filled with such phrases as “the simple farmer” and “the rustic farm lad,” but any boy who would farm on the pioneer Cumberland somehow had to learn a vast amount of not mere skills— these he could often buy— but wisdom. He had to learn many of the unteachable things known to the...
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There were ten of the young Masons when they settled down on Richland Creek in late 1790,1 and we can be certain that at least eight of them helped in the building of the new home— even a toddler could carry the chunks of heartwood that went between the hewed logs of the walls before plastering...
11. The Professions
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The two great professions of the Old World and common in the United States today— the professional soldier and the professional religionist— had little appeal for the sons of first settlers on the Cumberland. The sword and the cross were in the early years not much in evidence. Swords in time became...
12. The Business World
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There was among the first and early settlers in the old West no man today remembered primarily because he amassed a large fortune or was a great businessman. Yet, most settlers on the Cumberland from Daniel Smith in the land business to Martha Turner advertising “18 or 20 barrels prime...
13. River, Road, and Town
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Winding through most life already discussed— agriculture, business, industry, exploration, settlement— was the Cumberland River. A soldier rushing in 1813 with Jackson and his troops by flatboat down the river could in spite of freezing rain and scanty food exclaim, “The Cumberland should be the pride...
14. Social Life and Diversions
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Most life in the Cumberland Country during pioneer days was somewhat like the river— unpredictable, often cruel, eternally changing, filled with upsets, surprises, disappointments, now and then an unexpected pleasure, yet loved as many loved the contrary river, and like the river always interesting...
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Now, after the long searching, the miles traveled, the manuscripts read, the librarians bothered, the authentications of handed- down tales searched out, I should have a bundle of gleanings, some pattern of life for the old dead on the Cumberland; something I can wrap in adjectives and label truth. The trouble is that many...
Explanation of Bibliographical References
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Publication Year: 2013