One of the United States, lies between 36° and 37°42' north latitude, and 81°30' and 90°10' west longitude from Greenwich; and is bounded north by Kentucky and Virginia, southeast by North Carolina, from which it is separated by the Iron and Unaka mountains, south by Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and west by Arkansas and Missouri, from which it is separated by the Mississippi river. Its superficial area is 45,600 square miles.
Physical Aspect-- This state is widely diversified in surface, soil and climate. The eastern portion abounds in mountains and hills, some of them lofty, and presenting scenery peculiarly grand and picturesque. The middle section is less bold in its features, though hilly, and gradually becomes undulating, and even level, as we approach the Ohio. The geological formation is wholly secondary, except a small portion of the eastern part, which is transition, and numerous spots of alluvion on the banks of the streams. The soil of the western division is black and rich; in the middle there are large quantities of excellent land; and in the eastern or mountainous parts the soil is generally thin, except in the valleys, where it is exuberantly fertile.
Mountains-- Of these, the Cumberland, or Great Laurel ridge, is the most remarkable. Stone, Yellow-Iron, Smoky, and Unaka mountains, join each other, and form (in a direction nearly northeast and southwest) the boundary between North Carolina and this state. Northwesterly of these, and separated from each other by valleys from five to fifteen miles wide, are Bays's, Clinch, and Powell's mountains, and Copper and Welling's ridges.
Rivers-- The principal rivers are, the Mississippi, Cumberland, Tennessee, Clinch, Holston, Duck, French, Broad, Hiwasse, Nolichucky, Reelfoot, Tellico, Obion, Elk, Forked Deer, and Wolf.
Climate-- The climate is comparatively mild, and generally healthy. On some low grounds, however, in the western part of the state, bilious attacks and agues prevail more or less during the summer and autumn months. In the eastern division, the temperature is so modified by the mountain air on one side, and the breezes from the Mexican gulf on the other, that its climate, perhaps is as desirable as any in the Union. The winters are by no means severe, and snow seldom falls to a greater depth than ten inches, or lies upon the ground longer than ten days.
Productive Resources-- The chief products are, horses, mules, neat cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, sugar, wax, silk, wool, cotton, hemp, flax, hay, pitch, tar, tobacco, rice, wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, oats, potatoes, and Indian corn. Of the mineral and fossil resources, iron, gold, bituminous coal, salt, marl, buhr-stone, and saltpetre, are the principal. Nitrous earth is obtained from the caverns, of which there are several in the state.
Manufactures-- In 1850, there were in Tennessee 2,789 manufacturing establishments, that produced goods to the value of $500 and upward each annually. The principal manufactures are cotton and woolen goods, leather, pottery, machinery, carriages, cordage, &c.
Railroads-- The principal roads in Tennessee now in operation are, the Charleston and Memphis, and one from the Georgia state ;ine to Chattanooga; but there are several other roads in rapid process of construction, and still others projected.
Commerce-- Tennessee has no direct foreign commerce, but its internal and river trade is large.
Education-- There are in Tennessee two universities, and six colleges, namely: East Tennessee college, founded in 1792; Greenville and Washington colleges, in 1794; Nashville University, in 1806; Jackson college, in 1833; Cumberland university, in 1844; Franklin college, in 1845; and Union college, in 1848. There are also two theological seminaries, a law and a medical school, about 200 academies and high schools, and 1,500 common schools in the state
Population-- In 1790 was 30,791; in 1800 was 105,602; in 1810 was 261,727; in 1820 was 422,813; in 1830 was 681,904; in 1840 was 829,210 and in 1850 was 1,002,625. Number of slaves in 1790 was 3,417; in 1800 was 13,584; in 1810 was 44,535; in 1820 was 80,107; in 1830 was 141,603; in 1840 was 183,059 and in 1850 was 239,461.
Government-- The legislative power is vested in a general assembly, consisting of a senate of 25 members, and house of representatives, of 75 members, and the executive power in a governor (eligible six years out of eight); all chosen biennially (the odd year), the first Monday in October. The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, of three judges, elected by the legislature for twelve years, and inferior courts, whose judges are elected by the legislature for eight years. Every free white citizen of the United States, of the age of 21 years, and a citizen of the county wherein be may offer his vote six months next preceding the day of election, is entitled to vote for civil offers. Ministers of the gospel are not eligible to a seat in the legislature. No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards and punishments can hold any civil office. Lotteries are prohibited; and persons who may be concerned in duels are disqualified for holding office in the state.
History-- Tennessee was originally a part of the province of Louisiana, as settled and claimed by the French, prior to the year 1763; or a part of Carolina, as granted by Charles II of England, to Lord Clarendon and others, in 1663. The first settlement was made by Bienville, in 1740, who built Fort Assumption, on the site where Memphis now stands. The first permanent settlements, however, were not made before 1768-69, and these were by emigrants from North Carolina and Virginia. The country was included within the jurisdiction of North Carolina from 1729 to 1790, when it was placed under a separate territorial government, by the name of the "Territory South of the River Ohio." In 1784, North Carolina ceded this territory to the United States on condition that they should accept of it within two years from the passage of the act, retaining jurisdiction over it herself, until Congress should make provision for a territorial government. Upon this, the same year, the inhabitants resolved to organize a territorial government on their own responsibility; and according a convention of deputies formed a constitution for a new state, to be denominated "Frankland" and announced to North Carolina, that they considered themselves independent of her. A portion of the people adhering to North Carolina, two conflicting legislatures, with their subordinate courts were exercising authority in the territory. In 1789, the legislature of North Carolina authorized and instructed its members in Congress to execute deeds of conveyance for the territory of Tennessee, which they did the following year. In 1796 the inhabitants, by a convention at Nashville, formed a constitution, and Tennessee was, the same year, admitted into the Union as an independent state. The original constitution of Tennessee continued in force until 1835, when the present constitution was adopted by the people. Motto of the seal, "Agriculture, Commerce."