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Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham

March 15, 1817 - May 4, 1887

 

— Owner of Belmont Mansion and Louisiana plantations —

 
Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, February 7, 2021
1. Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham Marker
Inscription.  Adelicia Hayes was the daughter of Oliver Bliss Hayes. At times Hayes was a lawyer, judge, Presbyterian minister and a land speculator. Adelicia married 50-year-old Isaac Franklin when she was 22. Franklin's home, Fairvue, still stands outside of Gallatin. It became their home at the centre of a 2,000-acre plantation. Franklin raised tobacco, cattle, and thoroughbred horses in Tennessee and also had six cotton plantations in Louisiana. Isaac and Adelicia had four children, one of whom died at birth. Franklin died after being married seven years.

Three years after Isaac Franklin's death, Adelicia married Col. Joseph Acklen, a lawyer from Huntsville, Alabama. Adelicia's net worth was about one million dollars, which led her to have Acklen sign a prenuptial contract. But Col. Acklen was a fine businessman, tripling Adelicia's wealth. They built Belmont Mansion in 1853 to serve as their summer house. Six years later Adolphus Heiman was hired to enlarge and remodel the house; Heiman is buried under the Confederate monument behind you. The couple had had six children when Col. Acklen died in 1863.

Adelicia's most extraordinary feat
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came in 1863; it was the negotiation of a million dollar cotton sale. When the war began the Confederate government halted cotton exports, hoping to leverage political benefits with European powers. Also, the U.S. Navy began a blockade of the Confederate coast, making exporting difficult. Cotton was being grown on Adelicia's Louisiana land, but the Confederates threatened to burn it. Miraculously arrangements were made with them not to burn it, and with the U.S. forces to allow it to pass through the blockade. After the war Adelicia traveled to England and retrieved the proceeds in gold.

Postbellum days found Adelicia one of the few Southerners whose wealth was not destroyed. Belmont was a centre of social activity. Adelicia even remarried in 1867, at age 50. Her final husband was 47-year old Dr. William Archer Cheatham, who also signed a prenuptial contract. When Tennessee constructed a lunatic asylum in 1852, Cheatham was selected as superintendent. It was known as one of the finest mental hospitals anywhere when the U.S. Military Governor, Andrew Johnson, arrested him. Cheatham had established a private medical practice when Adelicia married him. After 20 years of marriage they separated. Cheatham is the only one of her three husbands not buried in the mausoleum. Adelicia died on a shopping trip to New York City. She and nine of her ten children are in the mausoleum.
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Erected by Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 28.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesIndustry & CommerceWar, US CivilWomen. In addition, it is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans series list.
 
Location. 36° 8.896′ N, 86° 44.077′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Lebanon Pike. Marker is in Confederate Circle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 Lebanon Pike, Nashville TN 37210, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mary Kate Patterson Davis Hill Kyle (a few steps from this marker); James Edwards Rains (within shouting distance of this marker); Mary Elizabeth Bradford Johns (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Benton Smith (within shouting distance of this marker); Hylan Leitus Rosser (within shouting distance of this marker); Adolphus Heiman (within shouting distance of this marker); John Bell (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Hicks Jackson (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
 
More about this marker. Marker is part of Mt. Olivet Confederate Memorial Hall Trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on February 7, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Feb. 28, 2021