Smyrna in Rutherford County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Sam Davis Home
Most Southern slave dwellings were small, often not bigger than 100 square feet, located near the fields, yet close enough to the main house and overseer’s quarters to maintain control. Slaves worked hard to transform their quarters into homes, keeping them in good repair and making them as comfortable as possible. Many cabins had adjacent gardens where slaves grew crops to supplement their allotment of food.
The original slave cabins on the Davis farm were sold in the late 1920s to raise money to keep the site open. Later, the Sam Davis Association, recognizing the importance of slave cabins to the history of the farm, acquired these cabins from Rattle & Snap near Columbia, Tennessee.
Large-scale cultivation of cotton began in Tennessee in the 1820s. Although the state’s agriculture was never devoted exclusively to cotton, it did remain an important cash crop for the region. The 1860 agriculture census shows that 100 bales of cotton (400 pounds each) were grown on the Davis farm.
Slave Quarters, Dickerson vicinity, Frederick County MD. Courtesy Library of Congress, HABS MD 11-6,4-6
Southern Cornfield, Nashville Tennessee (1862) by Thomas W. Wood. T.W. Wood Art Gallery, Montpelier Vermont
Land of cotton. Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-56499
Workers including children, picking cotton in Georgia. Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints & Photographs. The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenoix and Tilden Foundations.
Location. 35° 59.383′ N, 86° 30′ W. Marker is in Smyrna, Tennessee, in Rutherford County. Marker can be reached from Sam Davis Road 0.3 miles west of Brookhaven Trail, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker is located on the grounds of the Sam Davis Home. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1399 Sam Davis Road, Smyrna TN 37167, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sam Davis Home (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Outbuildings (about 300 feet away); Sam Davis Gravesite (about 500 feet away); The Sam Davis Boyhood Home (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Sam Davis Home (approx. 0.3 miles away); Wheeler's Raid around Rosecrans (approx. 0.6 miles away); Old Jefferson (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dewitt Smith Jobe (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Smyrna.
Also see . . . Sam Davis Home and Museum. (Submitted on October 8, 2013.)
Categories. • African Americans • Agriculture • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 7, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 581 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on April 21, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 7, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 8, 2013. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.