Historic marker to add context to Nathan Bedford Forrest site

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new historic marker will soon be unveiled to help add historical context to a piece of Memphis history.

The marker will be placed near the corner of Adams and B.B. King.  A nearby marker on Adams between Second and Third Street acknowledges the site served as the home of the Confederate general.

It reads, “In a house which stood here in antebellum days lived Nathan Bedford Forrest. Born in middle Tennessee, 1821, he spent his early life on a Mississippi plantation. Following marriage in 1845, he came to Memphis where his business enterprises made him wealthy. He was for several terms an alderman. He enlisted for the Confederacy, June 14, 1861.”

The marker was placed by the Tennessee Historical Commission in 1955.

However, as representatives of Rhodes College, Calvary Episcopal Church and the Tennessee Historical Commission point out, the marker fails to mention it’s adjacent to the site of the local slave mart which was owned and operated by Forrest from 1854 to 1860.

“As a slave trader, Forrest sold thousands of enslaved men, women, and children at the site. It is believed that most ended up on plantations in the Mississippi Delta region,” the organizations said in a released statement on Monday.

The marker will be unveiled and dedicated during a ceremony on April 4.

The dedication of the marker is supported by grants from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and the National Park Service.

There are currently at least seven historic markers across the city which mention the Confederate general.

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