Capital Cities
The Murfreesboro State Capital Monument.

Capital Cities

Four Tennessee towns have served as the State Capital. Knoxville was the first capital city, from the drafting of the state constitution and the first meeting of the Tennessee General Assembly in 1796 to 1812, when the general assembly moved to Nashville for the next five years. Kingston served as capital for one day, when the general assembly met there in 1807 in order to fulfill a treaty obligation made with the Cherokee Indians. In 1817 the capital again returned to Knoxville, but in 1818, the general assembly moved to Murfreesboro, the geographic center of the state. There it met at the local Presbyterian Church until 1826, when it moved to Nashville for a second time.

The 1834 state constitution mandated that the legislature of 1843 choose a permanent state capital. After much debate, with the Whig Party generally favoring Nashville and the Democratic Party generally in support of Murfreesboro's claims, the general assembly chose Nashville as the permanent capital of Tennessee in 1843.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Capital Cities
  • Author
  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
  • URL
  • Access Date June 17, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 6, 2018