Buchanan Family TIMELINE
The history of the James Buchanan family "is representative of the social, cultural, and political changes that occurred in Middle Tennessee from the time of frontier settlement through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The history of the Buchanan family, and the construction and expansion of the Buchanan Log House, is representative of the lives of many early settlers that struggled to establish homes for themselves and their families in the Cumberland settlement, Davidson County, and Middle Tennessee area. This family also shared in the hardships and struggles that many Nashvillians faced during the Union occupation of Nashville during the Civil War." (1)
James Buchanan (1763-1841) was one of these early settlers. James was born in Virginia on July 16, 1763, to Archibald Buchanan and his wife, Agnes Bowen Buchanan. James was the second child, and only son, born to Archibald and Agnes. By the age of seventeen, and still subject to militia duty, in 1780, James had journeyed to the Cumberland settlement area of Tennessee and was one of 256 settlers to sign the Cumberland Compact.
The Cumberland Compact (left) was signed by 256 men above the age of sixteen and established a temporary government in the Middle Tennessee area until 1783, when the Cumberland government petitioned the North Carolina legislature for official recognition, which resulted in the formation of Davidson County the same year.
Life was not easy for the early settlers that lived in the Cumberland settlement, and later, Davidson County, in the 1770s and 1780s. Although no Native American nation specifically lived on this land, the Cherokees, Creeks, and Chickasaws all used the land on which the pioneers settled. The threat of attacks was a persistent fear among the early settlers which were often justified, as the Chickasaws and Chickamaugans attacked several of the Cumberland settlements, resulting in loss of life, as well as settlers choosing to relocate, in the early-1780s.
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James Buchanan was largely acquiring land and constructing his home during the last years of the first decade of the nineteenth century, On April 24, 1810, James marries Lucinda East, with whom he would have sixteen children, ten daughters and six sons, over the next twenty-two years. (Left, Addison and another child are missing.)
Like many thousand Tennesseans, James Buchanan and his family were involved in the War of 1812. James was a member of Captain Thomas’s Davidson County Militia Company during the War of 1812 (while Andrew Jackson was leading Indian campaigns, and fighting the British in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.)
With a growing family, a one-and-a-half story, one-room addition to the west side of the residence was added in 1820. The hardwood logs used were carefully hewn in a similar size and manner as the earlier ones (but were not as thick).
The 1830s saw the birth of the two last children, both daughters.
James passed away in 1841. During his adult life, James Buchanan was active in both his community and the church. He was an active member of the Ephesus Church, which was located at The Hermitage. In the 1830s, James was elected and ordained an “elder” in the church.
The family matriarch, Lucinda East Buchanan, passes away at the age of 73 and buried in the family cemetery.
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(1)MTSU TCWNHA Assessment 2011