Knoxville is one of the cities that played a significant role in the development of the state of Tennessee and the United States as a whole. Today, it is still continuing to contribute to the southern Tennessee charm.
It is located in the eastern part of the state. Knoxville was the first capital city of the state until it was replaced by Nashville in 1843.
Native American and Early Exploration
The Cherokee Indians were among the first settlers in Knoxville, when their tribe found the area and claimed it as their hunting ground.
However, not long after they were settled, British explorer James White founded a fort in the area during the 1700’s. He called it White’s Fort but later renamed the area to Knoxville, in honor of Secretary of War Henry Knox. It was where original settlers and foreigners came together to work for the common good and as a result, there were a lot of developments that took place after the establishment of the community.
One of these developments was the construction of the first academic institute in the community. It was first named Blount College and was renamed to University of Tennessee in the early 1800s.
The population also increased dramatically with the migration of more foreigners. More houses and stores were built to accommodate everyone.
New sources of livelihood were tried, churches were made, mills were assembled, hotels were built, and a government was established. In the year 1815, Knoxville was officially recognized as a city.
Knoxville citizens and city officials decided to create a visual representation of their identity and show the world what their community can offer through a flag. A contest was launched for its design. The winner was a man named Lloyd Branson, and his design was a flag bearing the colors red, white, blue, black and gold, each representing what the city has to offer and who its people are. In the course of the century, a few alterations were made, but the original design was maintained.
Knoxville had an economy that was progressive. They became an active economic hub and was the leading distributing center in the southern area. They took advantage of their strategic geographic position, which is near a river, and built good railroad connections. They exported a variety of crops, and the number of agricultural wholesalers grew. They also became home to manufacturing plants of steam engines, railroad cars, furniture, tin, and liquor.
American Civil War
During the American Civil War, most of the crucial battles were fought near or in Knoxville, because they were so easy to reach through river transportation. The settlers saw a lot of massacres.
The Battle of Fort Sanders was one of the crucial engagements of the Knoxville Campaign. It was fought on the state land on November 29, 1863. It was a series of military encounters in the winters of 1863-1864 that was considered to be poorly planned and executed. The Confederates’ attack has been described as “cruel and gruesome” by the 19th century standards.
With the hopes of reviving the city back to its original glory after the war, Knoxville tried to strengthen its commerce and industry by utilizing its natural resources. These include marble, lumber, and coal. They also utilized the naturally generated power from the river which aided the city in its restoration. The World’s Fair in 1982 entitled “Energy Turns the World” was hosted in Knoxville and was attended by almost 11 million visitors.
The arrival of more modern railroads in 1855 sparked hope for the rise of the city. Investors were enticed to do business here because the transportation of goods was no longer a challenge. The natural resources they had also proved to be an added asset to any business.
In the western part of the City, shoe and hat entrepreneurs flourished in their business. Unfortunately, this part also became known for its gambling, prostitution, alcohol and drugs. Rev. Robert Bateman started projects and rescue missions in the said town to help people let go of these vices. Unfortunately, he died in the Titanic tragedy in 1912. Despite the fact that he was never really successful in driving out these influences, the prostitutes moved their trade to another area where brothels were larger and more modern. When they left, the vices that were eating away at the city was dramatically reduced and Knoxville was still able to maintain its economic standing. Later, they continued on with their economic growth.
The student population grew. As a result, more people were hired to be part of the faculty, and the unemployment rate declined. These educated minds led to more growth for the city, and as proof, more infrastructures were built, more informed voters voted in the elections, and more technological advancements took place. Soon enough, the city was transformed into the Knoxville, Tennessee that is known today.
Nowadays Knoxville is known as one of the most livable cities in the United States. The government offers affordable health care and housing for its citizens, and the prices are well below the national average cost. The city also has a very low crime rate, which allows everyone to enjoy each day without fearing any threat for their security. Better educational opportunities await the present and incoming generation. And with a population of about 185,291 there are many activities to enjoy.
No matter how far Knoxville has come from just being a hunting ground of the Cherokees, the people in the city still value and preserve the history of their city. Knoxville is home to 20 museums and art venues that showcase their culture, traditions, and history. There is also a well-preserved neighborhood in the city that pulses the city’s history to this date.
Knoxville continues to be a thriving hub for businesses like our SEO agency, keeping true to the legacy that their ancestors started. But even with the modern technologies that they have started adapting to, they still manage to keep their community identity intact and keep the peaceful southern lifestyle that has always been unique to Knoxville, TN.