originally called Nashborough, was established in 1779-80 on the
west banks of the Cumberland River.
groups of pioneer settlers, led by the founding fathers James
Robertson and Colonel John Donelson, came by land and by water
from Fort Patrick Henry in east Tennessee. James Robertson led
a party of men on foot and horseback, arriving on Christmas Day
1779. John Donelson led a flotilla of approximately thirty flatboats,
carrying the wives and children of the men who went with Robertson.
Traveling a thousand miles and surviving many hazards including
Indian attacks, the Donelson party arrived on April 24, 1780,
reuniting some 60 families.
the first twenty years, settlers lived in small groups along the
river and surrounding areas. They built forts or stations to protect
themselves from Indian attacks. The transition from pioneer settlement
to established town came with the defeat of the Indians, with
increased traffic on the roads and river, and with statehood in
1796.  By 1800, Nashville had a post office,
a newspaper, stores and taverns, an inn, and a population that
was achieving its goals of becoming merchants, lawyers, politicians,
and landowners. 
The arrival of the first steamboat in 1819 marked the end of frontier
isolation and the beginning of a new age for Nashville. 
And for whom was this steamboat from New Orleans named? None other
than Nashville's own General Jackson.
1. John Egerton, Nashville: The Faces of
Two Centuries: 1780-1980 (Nashville: Plusmedia Incorporated,
1979), p. 46
Ibid., pp. 44-47
3. Ibid., p. 56
Egerton, Nashville: The Faces of Two Centuries: 1780-1980 (Nashville:
Plusmedia Incorporated, 1979)