Primary Source Document, transcribed by Mike Slate.
Yesteryear’s folding booklets of postcards sometimes included a few paragraphs about the featured state or city. The text below, which reads as though it might have been prepared by the local Chamber of Commerce, came from a booklet of postcards published by S. H. Kress & Co. and is hand-dated September 15, 1924. Ephemera like this can often provide both interesting data and thought-provoking interpretive possibilities.
Nashville is the Capital City of Tennessee, and the County Seat of Davidson County.
Four railroads serve the city. Forty-four passenger and sixty-eight freight trains arrive in Nashville daily.
The Cumberland River is navigable 210 miles down the river practically the year round and 352 miles up the river for about six months, and the work of installing new locks and dams will increase this practically to ten months each year. Nashville has seven bridges across the Cumberland River.
There are 22 parks and playgrounds, containing 468 acres. Centennial Park has the only replica of the Parthenon in the world. Shelby Park has a nine-hole municipal golf course. The Vanderbilt Stadium seats 22,000 people, and is the largest athletic field in the South. Nashville’s water supply is pure and inexhaustible, with more than 50,000,000-gallon capacity daily. The Tennessee State Fair, one of the largest expositions in the South, is held in Nashville each year. The Public Auditorium has a seating capacity of 5,000 persons.
Vanderbilt University, with assets of $11,000,000, has entrance requirements and a curriculum equal to any university in the United States, and has drawn students from every state in the Union and from eight foreign countries. It has an endowment of $6,850,000. The medical department has an endowment of $3,500,000, and is erecting the most complete medical school in the South and one of the finest in America.
The only Y.M.C.A. College in the South is located in Nashville.
Three institutions for women, Ward-Belmont, St. Bernard Academy, and St. Cecilia, draw students from practically every state in the Union. Ward-Belmont alone has over 600 non-resident students.
The Southeastern School of Printing has $80,000 worth of equipment, and is the only school of its kind in the South.
The United States government recognizes as colleges only three institutions for the higher education of the Negro; two of them, Fisk University and Meharry College, are located here; also Walden University, Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial Normal School, Roger Williams, and two Negro Baptist Theological Seminaries.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers have sung in every Capital and at every court in Europe.
George Peabody College for Teachers, with an investment of $4,000,000 and 20 departments, is the only teachers’ college in the South, and the second largest in the United States. It has an endowment of $2,500,000, and in 1922-23 had an enrollment representing 36 states and 5 foreign countries.
It leads all other cities in the South in livestock, butter, poultry, grinding of wheat, eggs, and various agricultural products.
The mean annual temperature is 60 degrees; the average summer temperature is 78 degrees; and average winter temperature is 41 degrees.
The average annual rainfall is 47.2 inches, humidity moderate, and no sunstrokes are recorded.
Nashville has more than 500 manufacturing enterprises, makes more self-rising flour than any city in the world (“Goodness gracious, it’s good!”), and is one of the two largest hardwood flooring markets in the world. Its annual hardwood flooring output would pave an automobile boulevard 10 feet wide from Nashville to New York. Over 35,000,000 pounds of green coffee are roasted annually.
The Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson, is located near Nashville, and is one of the show grounds of America.
Three Presidents of the United States, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson, have lived in Nashville. Jackson is buried at the Hermitage and Polk on the grounds of the historic State Capitol.
The Battle of Nashville, one of the major engagements of the Civil War, was fought partially within the city limits on December 15 and 16, 1864.
William Walker, the “Grey-eyed Man of Destiny,” the most famous of all American filibusters, was born and reared in Nashville. Walker became president of Nicaragua and raised the blood-red five-point star of the United States of Central America, but he failed in his plans and was shot by a firing squad. (1997)