Spanish Explorers Hernando de Soto, in 1540, and Juan Pardo, in 1567, traveled inland from North America’s eastern coast and passed through a Native American village named “Tanasqui.”
A century and a half later, British traders encountered a Cherokee town named Tanasi.
After the Revolutionary War, attempts were made to name it the “State of Franklin,” in honor of Ben Franklin.
At the State’s Constitutional Convention, it is said General Andrew Jackson suggested name “Tennessee.”
In 1796, President George Washington signed Congress’ bill accepting Tennessee as the 16th State.
The wording approved in Tennessee’s Constitution included:
“Article XI, Section III…All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences.”
Though Article XI, Section IV, of Tennessee’s Constitution stated:
“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this State,”
it also stated in Article VIII, Section II:
“No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State.”
Tennessee was birthplace of:
Congressman Davy Crockett, who died at the Alamo;
Sam Houston, who helped Texas gain its independence;
Admiral David Farragut, who won the Battle of Mobile Bay;
Matthew Fontaine Maury, U.S. Navy oceanographer; and
Sequoyah, creator of the Cherokee written language.
General Andrew Jackson was a Congressman and Senator from Tennessee, as well as a State Supreme Court Judge.
Elected the 7th U.S. President, Jackson was the founder of the Democrat Party and only President to completely pay off the national debt.
Jackson warned December 5, 1836:
“The experience of other nations admonished us to hasten the extinguishment of the public debt…
An improvident expenditure of money is the parent of profligacy,
and that no people can hope to perpetuate their liberties who long acquiesce in a policy which taxes them for objects not necessary to the legitimate and real wants of their Government…”
Andrew Jackson continued:
“To require the people to pay taxes to the Government merely that they may be paid back again…
Nothing could be gained by it even if each individual who contributed a portion of the tax could receive back promptly the same portion…”
“Congress is only authorized to levy taxes ‘to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.’
There is no such provision as would authorize Congress to collect together the property of the country, under the name of revenue, for the purpose of dividing it equally or unequally among the States or the people.
Indeed, it is not probable that such an idea ever occurred to the States when they adopted the Constitution…”
President Jackson cautioned:
“There would soon be but one taxing power, and that vested in a body of men far removed from the people, in which the farming and mechanic interests would scarcely be represented.
The States would gradually lose their purity as well as their independence; they would not dare to murmur at the proceedings of the General Government, lest they should lose their supplies;
all would be merged in a practical consolidation, cemented by widespread corruption, which could only be eradicated by one of those bloody revolutions which occasionally overthrow the despotic systems of the Old World.”
After the Civil War, Tennessee was the first State readmitted to the Union, JULY 24, 1866.
President Johnson issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon to former Confederates on September 7, 1867:
“Every person who shall seek to avail himself of this proclamation shall take the following oath…
‘I do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support…the Constitution of the United States…So help me God.’”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s bookshere.