In 1567 when Captain Juan Pardo and his men came across a Native American town called Tanasquis. Later, European settlers moving inward came across a Cherokee town called Tanasi on the banks of the river. It is not quite certain whether both the towns (that Pardo and the European settlers found) were the same. Though the connotation of the word is not clear, some people say that it is derived from a Cherokee word meaning ‘winding river.’ The name Tennessee is attributed to Governor James Glen who used it officially in his correspondence.
Tennessee was first inhabited by Paleo Indians 11,000 years ago. When the Spanish travelers first came, it was inhabited by the Muskogee and Yuchi tribes, but probably due to the European settlement in the area, the natives were forced to relocate to the west and the south. Tennessee was admitted to the union in 1796 as the 16th state, and it was the last state to break free from the Confederates in 1861. It also adopted a new constitution abolishing slavery after the Civil War and was readmitted into the union.
The state of Tennessee flanks eight other states with Kentucky and Virginia in the north and Georgia in the south. It is divided by the people of the state itself, ethnically, into three distinctive regions – East, Middle and West Tennessee. The Governor of the State of Tennessee holds his office for a term of four years and can serve a maximum of two terms. According to the U.S. census of 2005, Tennessee has a population of 5,962,959 which is a boost of 1.2 % from the previous year. The population of Tennessee is made up of 80.2% white, 16.4% lack, 2.2% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% Asian and 1.1% others.
Though the capital of Tennessee is Nashville, Memphis is famous for being the birthplace of rock and roll and the assassination site of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is considered a major attraction, along with Chattanooga, popular for its Ruby Falls as well as being the railway and finance hub of Tennessee.
Talking about Tennessee would be incomplete without the mention of its hero, Andrew Jackson, who was influenced by the stories his mother told him about the oppression of the laborers by the aristocracy. After his relocation to Tennessee, his love for the land intensified as he realized that there was no other possession as cherished as land. His contribution as a lawyer, military leader and politician was remarkable. When Jackson became president he realized that land was not only a prized possession for settlement but also a great motivator for trade..
Tennessee derived its strength in troubled times from music. Blues found its place in the world with W.C. Handy singing Memphis Blues, which captivated America. With the advent of the radio, Nashville country music erupted from the hearts of the Tennessee people and went out to the rest of the world. Some of the legendary singers, like Elvis Presley, have been the gift of a state abundant in talent.