“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Franklin Town Square

Courthouse and Markethouse

Franklin Town Square Marker image. Click for full size.
May 10, 2020
1. Franklin Town Square Marker
Inscription.  A two-story brick courthouse was constructed where you are standing in about 1809. The "market house,” where farmers and vendors sold their produce and wares, stood "in close proximity” to the courthouse. For half a century human beings were also sold and traded within the market house's walls, as well as on the courthouse steps and elsewhere in the square. The Franklin Western Weekly Review often advertised the "Sale of Slaves,” and men, women, and children were sometimes sold to pay the debts of deceased owners. Families were often ripped apart. In 1854, for example, a 25-year-old woman named Mary and her children Daniel, Pryor, Ann, and an infant child were sold here.

James F. Carter purchased slaves in the town square early in 1854. Carter, the son of Fountain Branch Carter, bought John and Patsy and took them to Mississippi where he lived for several years. He moved back to Franklin and died in 1859. John and Patsy were probably sent to Carter's father's farm just outside town that the Battle of Franklin enveloped on November 30, 1864. John and Patsy took the Carter surname. They and their children were
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residing in Franklin as free people in 1870.

The courthouse was demolished early in December 1855 to make way for the new courthouse, which stands today on the south side of the square. Soon, the market house was likewise torn down. The buying and selling of people, however continued on the new courthouse steps and in the square through the outbreak of the Civil War.

Advertisement, sale of land and slaves, Sept.15, 1843
Slave sale, 1856 - Courtesy Library of Congress
Notice of courthouse and market house demolition, Dec, 21, 1855
Slave sale advertisement, Jan. 7, 1853
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArchitectureWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1809.
Location. 35° 55.51′ N, 86° 52.144′ W. Marker is in Franklin, Tennessee, in Williamson County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Avenue North and Public Square, on the left when traveling south on 3rd Avenue North. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 106 3rd Ave N, Franklin TN 37064, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Our Confederate Soldiers (a few steps from this marker); The Battle of Franklin (a few steps from this marker); Franklin Downtown Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker);
Franklin Town Square Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Masler, February 29, 2020
2. Franklin Town Square Marker
March To Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); 320 Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Franklin’s Civil War Sites (within shouting distance of this marker); The Franklin Riot of 1867 (within shouting distance of this marker); Reconstruction (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Franklin.
Slave sale, Charleston, S.C. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Eyre Crowe, 1856
3. Slave sale, Charleston, S.C.
Illus. in: The Illustrated London News, 1856 Nov. 29. Library of Congress [LC-USZ62-49867]
Credits. This page was last revised on May 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 2, 2020, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 270 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 10, 2020.   2. submitted on March 2, 2020, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.   3. submitted on March 2, 2020. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024