Their home still stands at the corner of Saundersville Road and Lower Station Camp Road, about halfway between Gallatin and Hendersonville — now suburbs linked to Nashville by sprawl and interstates, then villages quite a way from town.
They hired Isaac to travel with the goods, through all those uncivilized places — the woods, the river, Indian territory.
Franklin passed vast fertile lands on his trips, lands with easy access to the port of New Orleans.
Log cabins are finally giving way to wood-framed buildings and, for the rich, brick.
For the past seven years, it has been the state capitol, but it still has the feel of a frontier village.
If white men had some way to change these forests into fields, this land could make them wealthy.
But this was not land you just set loose a hog or two on the year before you came down to build your cabin.Isaac Franklin was born in Sumner County, just north of Nashville, in 1789.His parents had survived Indian attacks on Mansker’s Station north of town in 1781 — a station was a privately owned fort — and fought at the Battle of the Bluffs when American Indians attacked Nashville in April of that same year.Yet the people in Franklin’s coffle are also sick and afraid. C., and they’ll keep walking all the way to Natchez, Mississippi. They all know about the women he keeps trapped on his farm outside of town.From historical accounts of such marches, notably George William Featherstonhaugh’s “Excursion Through the Slave States” and Edward Baptist’s “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” the picture comes into focus. The haunted-looking women try to keep the spirits of the children up, but every night brings new horror. Franklin and the three other white men traveling with him take women off into the brush. And they all know that, when Franklin’s captives get to Natchez, whatever hell they’ve faced on the road — the beatings, the rapes, the forced marches — will seem like the good old days.Franklin’s victims pass briefly among the villagers and then disappear down the Natchez Trace. Nashville cherishes the stories of complicated men like Judge John Overton and Andrew Jackson, and protects them the same as it does the Victorian Ryman Auditorium or the mid-century modern Cordell Hull Building — now, anyway.