History is a fascinating subject that has kept the attention of many people for a lifetime. It doesn’t matter where you look in the world, you are going to see some type of history available but in some cases, that history is going to be extremely interesting. That is the case with Tennessee, and regardless of whether you are talking about ancient times or times within the past couple of centuries, you will find that it has much to learn and to offer.
It is thought that the lower Tennessee Valley was the first location to be occupied in the state. Of course, this is long before it ever became a state or before the United States was even conceived. It is thought that Hunter gatherers lived in the area thousands of years ago and those descendents were known as Palio-Indians. Other native cultures continued to take their place after they declined, including the Early Mississippians, Woodland Indians and the Archaic Indians.
Sometime early in the 16th century, Spanish explorers began to arrive in the area and at that time, Creek Indians were living in East Tennessee. It was 200 years later that the Cherokee was a powerful tribe in the South, and they were not only found in the area that would eventually become East Tennessee, they were found in other areas, including South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. They became the dominant tribe after driving the other tribes out of the area.
Eventually, the Cherokee were forced by the federal government to leave the area. This occurred in the 1830s. The Chickasaw Indians were also another Indian group that were using Tennessee, but they were using it as a hunting ground. They tended to live in northern Mississippi. The Shawnee were in middle Tennessee, but the Chickasaw and Cherokee drove them out of the area.
As traders and explorers began to arrive from the British Isles and Europe, they occupied the area temporarily but it wasn’t until the mid-1700s that permanent settlements were established. Many of the individuals who came to the area were explorers and trappers/traders who wanted furs and pelts and anything else that they could find that was valuable.
This is really just an overview of some of the older history that Tennessee has to offer. As you continue to look more at the state and the background behind it, you will find that it is a fascinating area to explore.