Free Lecture: The Evolution of Tennessee's Borders in Maps

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's easy today to think of Tennessee's borders as set in stone, but that hasn't always been the case. Those borders changed repeatedly throughout the early years of the state's history due to land grant settlements, treaties with Native Americans and even changes in the course of the Mississippi River.

To help better understand how Tennessee's borders came to be where they are, map expert Murray Hudson will conduct a free lecture at the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) Aug. 15. Hudson, the owner and proprietor of Antiquarian Books, Maps, Prints & Globes in the West Tennessee community of Halls, will take lecture participants on a journey that begins along North Carolina's colonial borders, travels through the “Lost State of Franklin,” documents the annexation of Cherokee and Chickasaw territory, highlights western border changes brought about by shifts in the Mississippi River and describes Supreme Court decisions that seem to have finalized Tennessee's state boundaries.

The lecture will be held from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m. Aug. 15 at TSLA's auditorium in downtown Nashville. Although it is free and open to the public, reservations are required because seating in the auditorium is limited. To reserve a spot at the workshop, visit:

The lecture is being conducted to highlight "Find Your Path," a free exhibit of historical maps currently on display in TSLA's lobby. The exhibit will be available for inspection until September during TSLA's normal operating hours, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Hudson began collecting antique maps during a summer graduate course at Oxford University in England in 1964. After teaching college, trading stocks, manufacturing bicycle trailers and farming, he turned his map collecting passion into a book and map business in 1979. Hudson used worldwide connections to create what are now three galleries of antique books, maps, prints and globes in Halls. Major institutions around the nation and here in Tennessee have his rare books, maps and prints. His galleries house 30,000 antique books, maps and prints, as well as a huge selection of American-made globes and many foreign globes.

TSLA's building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol building in downtown Nashville. Parking is available in the front, on the side, and in back of the building.