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Rutledge-Baxter House (1820), v.08, 101 Lea Ave, Nashville, TN, USA

Rutledge-Baxter House (1820), v.08, 101 Lea Ave, Nashville, TN, USA
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Nashville, Tennessee (est. 1806, pop. 1.8MM)

• 19th c. home of Septima Sexta Middleton Rutledge & Henry Middleton Rutledge, then known as Rose Hill [1970s photo]

• Septima Sexta Middleton (1783-1865) was born at Middleton Place plantation, outside Charleston, SC • her name, derived from Latin, is believed to represent her being the family's sixth daughter & seventh child • some biographies speculate that "Septima (seven) Sexta (six)" was chosen to honor the 1776 U.S. Declaration of Independence, signed by her father, Arthur Middleton (1742-1787) seven years before her birth

• on 15 Oct. 1799 Septima, aged 16, married lawyer Henry Middleton Rutledge (1775-1844) • like Septima, Henry's father, Edward Rutledge (1749-1800) was a South Carolina signer of the Declaration • bride & groom were first cousins — at the time marriages were often arranged; marriage to a first cousin was a way to keep wealth within the family

• the couple's granddaughter & namesake "Seppie," — Septima Sexta Middleton Rutledge Forney (1836-1920) [photo] — was the wife of John H. Forney (1829-1902) [photo], a Confederate Maj. Gen. memorialized by a statue at Vicksburg Battlefield • a son, West Point grad Maj. Arthur Middleton Rutledge (1817-1876), also fought for the Confederacy as commander of Rutledge's Battery • daughter Mary Middleton Rutledge Fogg (1801-1972) was a Nashville civic leader & writer, with 7 books published

• in 1816 Sexta & Henry [photo], choosing to forego the inherent advantages & celebrity enjoyed by members of elite Charleston families, headed west to Tennessee, site of a 73,000 acre Revolutionary War grant they had inherited

• led a caravan that included their 5 children (ages 4-15), 30 slaves, an elegant carriage, a dozen cows, teamsters & 20 wagons carrying food, clothing, furniture & books • traveled a circuitous route through Georgia to elude the perils of an Appalachian Mountain transit • after a 6-week journey they arrived at the Elk River in Franklin County, TN • built their new home & business, the ~50,000 acre Chilhowee Plantation (Place of the Running Deer) —The Tennessean, 04 Jul 1976

• c. 1820 Henry & Septima purchased a 7 yr. old Nashville town house — with about 20 acres of surrounding property— from Joseph Coleman (1795–1848), the city's 1st mayor (1806-09) • the 1-story brick, Federal style structure was located atop what was then College Hill (now Rutledge Hill), overlooking Nashville & the Cumberland River

• the Rutleges expanded the structure with Federal style additions & Septima created a terraced garden with a trellised, rose covered walkway that descended 300' to the river • named the property Rose Hill • for many years the couple split their time between their Nashville home & Chilhowee —Chosen Exile: The Life and Times of Septima Sexta Middleton Rutledge, American Cultural Pioneer

• Septima established a house rule mandating that only French be spoken on Fridays • on musical evenings Septima played an Italian harp, backing her daughter Mary's vocals • entertainment at Rose Hill also included Sunday afternoon musicales

• the Rutledges hosted notable friends at their city house, including Sam Houston, Rachel & Andrew Jackson and Sarah & James K. Polk • in 1825, a Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, visited Nashville for two days • though he is said to have been lodged by the Rutledges, his two nights in town were actually spent elsewhere —New Study Recounts Life of Rutledge, The Tennessean, 29 Jun, 1980

• the house was nearly destroyed by fire near the end of the Civil War • the rear (oldest) portion of the structure — thought to be the kitchen — survived • purchased by Nashville attorney Edmund Baxter (1838-1910), graduate of nearby University of Nashville • during the Civil War Baxter rose to to the rank of Captain in the Confederate States Army • commanded an artillery battery that fought in major engagements such as Chickamauga, Shiloh & Atlanta

• in the 1880s he restored & expanded the surviving structure & reoriented the entrance — which originally faced Rutledge St. [photo]— toward Lea Ave, creating the present Victorian style mansion • surviving remnants of the original house are at the rear facing Rutledge St —Nashville Scene

• now houses Foundations Recovery Network

• Rutledge family gravesite • Septima Sexta Middleton Rutledge inscription

• Rutledge Hill Historic District National Register # 80003793, 1980
Date: 2018-04-15 00:19:12

nashville davidson county tennessee tn southeast middle south middle tennessee united states of america usa north america architecture building residential house home victorian federal declaration of independence 1820s 19th century

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