History and Genealogy

Library and Archives Workshop: Unfolding History in the Tennessee Supreme Court Case Files

September 24, 2016 - Tennessee is famous for many things, but some people may not realize the state once was a hotbed for the marble industry. Tennessee marble, known for its pinkish-gray coloring and ease of polishing, has been used in many buildings across the country. Dr. Susan Knowles, a digital humanities fellow at Middle Tennessee State University's Center for Historic Preservation, will discuss how Supreme Court case records helped her research the marble industry.


The papers of Jacob McGavock Dickinson, numbering approximately 40,200 items and 67 volumes, contain correspondence, speeches, diary material, briefs, sketches, reports, records of his Arkansas plantation, biographical and genealogical data, scrapbooks, photographs, clippings, and personal memorabilia dating from 1812 to 1946. The bulk of the material falls in the period 1909 to 1911 when he served as Secretary of War in William Howard Taft’s Cabinet. The date 1812 of a letter of Judge Dickinson’s grandfather, Jacob McGavock, to his father, Hugh McGavock, is the earliest found in the collection. There are 18 letterbooks of Judge Dickinson for the years 1904-1911. Seven volumes contain diary material kept for the Secretary of War while on his trip around the world in 1910. The genealogical and biographical data contain deeds, wills, early letters, sketches, and accounts of the Carr, Claiborne, Dickinson, Grundy, Maxwell, Overton, Waller, and kindred families.


The records of the Inquirers’ Club, a literary club primarily dealing with religious subjects, containing approximately 300 items and 15 volumes, are composed of minutes, 1911-1961; treasurer’s books, 1911-1920, 1939-1961; a scrapbook of the Rev. J. W. Cherry’s sermonettes; resolutions; programs; constitution and bylaws; a history of the Inquirers from 1911-1953; quotations from Mr. Cherry’s lectures; membership lists; and forty-eight yearbooks, 1913-1961.


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