The War of 1812 represents a pivotal period in Tennessee’s history. Congressional leaders like Felix Grundy made the nation aware of “western” interests and concerns. Andrew Jackson provided overwhelming victories in the Creek War, and the astonishing triumph at New Orleans propelled him to national acclaim and the presidency. The legacy of the War of 1812 remains strong within the state — nearly one-third of the counties are named for men who were connected to the war. The nickname, “Volunteer State,” had its roots in the volunteer spirit displayed by the thousands of Tennesseans who participated in the war.
Military campaigns of this war led directly to treaties with southern Native American tribes that ceded native territory, including the rich lands of West Tennessee. The war catapulted Tennessee and its leaders to a position of unprecedented influence on the national stage. The legacy of the War of 1812 in Tennessee is mixed with pride and controversy, providing lessons for future generations in understanding the state’s rich history.
A new free exhibit, “Answering the Call: Tennesseans in the War of 1812,” opened January 6 at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. With 16 panels full of images and information on this fascinating period in our history, the exhibit explores the political and military actions of Tennesseans in the War of 1812. The public is invited to come explore the role Tennessee played in the War of 1812. The exhibit will remain open until mid-April.
The State Library and Archives is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, just west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. The exhibit, free and open to all visitors, is located in the building’s lobby directly behind the main entrance.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with the exception of state holidays. Parking is available in front, behind and beside the building.