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

Tobacco Trade and the Rivers

Tobacco Trade and the Rivers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
1. Tobacco Trade and the Rivers Marker
Inscription. In the 1780s, the first land grant of 640 acres was made for this area north of the Red River. The stretch of the Cumberland River from Red River Landing to Trice's Landing played a crucial role in the region's economic development. Local farmers brought tobacco and other produce to the landings for storage in warehouses and then shipment downriver. Initially large flatboats made the voyages, but by the late 1820s, steamboats carried the bulk of the cargo. Other businesses and small communities appeared inland near the landings to serve the farmers, merchants, shippers, and boatmen who frequented the landings. By the 1840s, the small communities evolved into New Providence, which was officially incorporated into the City of Clarksville during the 1960s.

Photo captions:
Bottom left: Former slaves who were now paid laborers continued to be the backbone of most of the domestic and agricultural labor force. Whole families—grandparents, parents, young adults and children—worked at getting the tobacco crop planted, cultivated, harvested, and loaded for the market. Many families also raised tobacco for themselves as well.

Middle top: Beginning in January of 1880, tobacco sales were conducted in a new $30,000 Tobacco Exchange erected on a steep bank near Public Square. The
Marker is part of the Fort Defiance Pedestrian Trail. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 31, 2015
2. Marker is part of the Fort Defiance Pedestrian Trail.
Exchange spanned seven stories on two levels, with 19 offices and salesrooms featuring lighting, gas, and water. A telephone and speaking tubes furnished communication. Two bank rooms had fire- and burglar-proof vaults. Elegantly appointed for entertainment, the spacious upper floor was the site of many cotillions and balls. When tobacco practices changed, the need for the Exchange ceased and it was demolished in 1930.

Middle bottom: Shallow draft packets designed for use in local river trade transported products including coal, hay, corn/salty and lumber. The packet Margaret is shown here at Clarksville Wharf. The Tobacco Exchange building sits on the hill to the left of the historic Poston Building.

Right bottom: Above: After cutting and curing tobacco leaves were pressed in a hogshead barrel for transport to market. Almost 18,000 hogshead barrels were shipped from Clarksville Landing and Trice's Landing in 1858.
Right: Dark-fired tobacco from Montgomery County was popular in England, Germany, France and Italy in the mid-1800s. Clarksville's Type 22 Dark Fired tobacco was called the "strongest tobacco in the world."

Erected 2008 by the City of Clarksville.
Location. 36° 32.412′ N, 87° 22.375′ W. Marker is in Clarksville, Tennessee, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Duncan Street 0.2 miles south of Walker Street. Touch for map. Located at the Fort Defiance Interpretive Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 Duncan Street, Clarksville TN 37042, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Town of Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker); Freedmen's Camp and the USCT (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Life as a Garrisoned Union Soldier (about 300 feet away); Building Fort Sevier (Defiance) (about 400 feet away); Bringing the War to Clarksville (about 400 feet away); Forts Versus Ironclads (about 400 feet away); Fort Defiance Interpretive Center (about 500 feet away); Fort Defiance (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksville.
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 4, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 140 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 4, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings along the trail. • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the book’s title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.