Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction
During the Union occupation of Nashville, President Abraham Lincoln appointed United States Senator and former Tennessee Governor Andrew Johnson as Military Governor of the state.
Panel 1 combines portraits of President Lincoln and Andrew Johnson with the Presidential Seal. Lincoln is shown in front of the United States Capitol dome and portrayed with a gun to signify his death by assassination, just six weeks after the inauguration in 1865. Upon Lincoln's death, Johnson became the 17th President of the United States. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Union General Clinton B. Fisk was the senior officer in charge of Federal assistance to Kentucky and Tennessee. Working through the Freedmen's Bureau and the American Missionary Society, Fisk helped establish the first free schools in the South for African Americans. Fisk University, to which he left a large endowment, bears his name today.
Panel 2 shows the Fisk Jubilee Singers (first director, George White, is in circle) a coeducational vocal ensemble that raised money for the university by performing Negro spirituals in the United States and abroad during the 1870s. Jubilee Hall (1876) was erected entirely with funds raised by the singers.
Panel 3 displays early houses of worship. Left to right: Christ Church Episcopal, the Vine Street Temple, Saint Mary's Catholic Church, and McKendree Methodist. A portrait of Rabbi Isadore Lewinthal and an image of a dove signifying the Holy Spirit are included in the composition.
Panel 4 is dedicated to Vanderbilt University, with an image of administration building Kirkland Hall at left and the Old Gymnasium, now the fine arts building, at right. Originally chartered as Central University in 1872 by the Methodist Church, the school was named after its major donor, the shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (pictured in center roundel) a northerner who recognized the importance of high quality educational institutions for rebuilding the South.
Panel 5 illustrates a cattle sale on the Belle Meade Plantation, signaling the resumption of Nashville's agricultural economy.
Alcove 9: The Rise of Nashville