Dale Hollow Lake,
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The first road into Tennessee was known as the North Carolina Road or

"The Avery Trace"

In 1787, North Carolina ordered a road to be "cut" over a trail which was a war path much used by the Cherokees. It led from the mouth of the Little Tennessee River to the French Lick (Nashville). The trail passed over  the Cumberland Mountains, and came by the way of Flynn's Creek passing the town of Flynn's Lick to the Cumberland River, crossing the river at the site of Fort Blount.

In the early 1790's, the border between the Indian Lands and the United  States territory south of the Ohio (eastern Kentucky and Tennessee) was the site of many bloody skirmishes. "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a  tooth" was the order of the day; and retaliatory raids were common between the  white and Indian settlement. Innocent people were often killed in the raids.

At first the "road" was merely a trail that only pack horses could follow. The Avery Trace was officially opened on September 25, 1788. The Indians  disputed the right of the white people to travel through their territory and much blood was shed as a result. One hundred and two people were killed on the road in 1792.

By 1799 a truce had been established with the Indians and danger on the road no longer lurked behind every rock and in every cleft or laurel thicket.

 

First State-Directed Road in Tennessee Country

If the new country, now Tennessee, were to prove inviting to settlers, then roads had to be made in order to enable people to come into the new region. North  Carolina, the mother State, gave  encouragement in this matter in 1787 by p a road be "cut" from the south end of Clinch Mountain to Bean's "lick." Peter Every, a hunter in the Washington District, was selected  as guide to direct the blazing of the trail through "The Wilderness." This "trace" crossed Clinch River, and entered the Cumberland Mountains. It twisted up Crab Orchard Mountain, passed "Standing Stone" (now  Monterey), and followed a rambling course by way of Fort Blount on to Nashville. Over this trace came a number of immigrants to the Cumberland Settlements in 1788. In that company were such notable persons as General William Davidson, Judge John McNairy, and Andrew Jackson.

At first, the "road" was merely a trail that had been marked by blazing trees to guide the pioneers on their way to the Cumberland Settlements. For a number of years, only pack horses  could follow the trail. But by 1795, it began to be called a "wagon road." As rough and winding as the road was, it was the chief passage to the Cumberland Country until 1797. This road is generally known as the North Carolina Road, or "The Avery's Trace".

In 1794, the territorial Legislature ordered a road to be built from south West Point (now Kingston) to the "settlements" on the Cumberland River in the Mero District. These settlements later became  what is now Nashville.

Several famous people were known to have used Avery's Trace and crossed the river at Fort Blount to visit Williamsburg.

1 7 8 8

Andrew Jackson
General William Davidson
Judge John McNairy

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Hugh Dunlop
Governor Blount
Moses Fiske

1 7 9 6

Andrew Michaux
Thomas Dillon
Joseph Bishop
Judge Archibald Roane

1 7 9 7

The Duke of Orleans who later became the King of France

1 7 9 8

Francis Asbury (Bishop)

1 7 9 9

Governor John Sevier Steiner

1 8 0 2

Francois Andre Michaux, Jr.
Judge Willie Blount

 

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