1800s

1818 - The Chickasaw Nation signs treaty ceding West Tennessee to the U.S.

1819 - John Overton, James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson found the city of Memphis on May 22. Shelby County formed.

1825 - Frances Wright organizes utopian community of Nashoba near present-day Germantown.

1826 - Memphis incorporated on December 19.

1827 - County seat moved from Memphis to Raleigh.

1840 - Memphis Appeal Newspaper is organized.

1845 - U.S. government establishes a navy yard in the city.

1850 - Memphis and South Memphis merge.

1857 - The Memphis & Charleston Railroad completed, linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River.

1862 - On June 6, Union fleet defeats Confederate naval forces in the Battle of Memphis. Federal troops occupy the city. Memphis serves as temporary state capital.

1863 - Grant names Memphis as hospital and supply base to support the attack on Vicksburg.

1865 - The Memphis Freedmen's Bureau established to provide services such as banking and education.

1867 - Memphis regains the county seat from Raleigh.

1878 - City's most devastating yellow fever epidemic claims 5,000 lives and forces another 25,000 to flee to other cities.

1879 - Memphis declares bankruptcy, loses its charter, and becomes a Taxing District of the state. The city loses its charter because so few people remain to maintain the city.

1887 - Artesian well water becomes available for the first time.

1892 - Great Bridge at Memphis opened. Later named Frisco Bridge.

1893 - Cossitt Library opens - the first public library in Memphis. Memphis regains its city charter. Black millionaire Robert Reed Church, Sr. buys first city bond.

1895 - The ten-story Porter Building, the city's first skyscraper, opens.

1899 - Church's Park & Auditorium, the city's first park and entertainment center for African Americans, opens.

Portions of this History Timeline come courtesy of the Memphis Shelby County Public Library.

This table formats the Google Translate widget and its preceeding label
Translate page: 
WWW.MEMPHISTN.GOV