ID # 281100
Nineteen Penitentiary inmates died of Cholera during the June 1833 Epidemic in Nashville. They were buried at Nashville City Cemetery. In 2016 wooden markers were placed at the cemetery for these Cholera victims.
Fred Zahn of the Metropolitan Historical Commission was responsible for the carving of the inscriptions on the 19 wooden markers and locating where to place them at the Nashville City Cemetery. To read about his work on the project, click here.
To read the account of John Hill, a contemporary of these men and survivor of his time in the penitentiary, click here.
For more information, and to see a listing of the inmates' names & counties of residence prior to incarceration, please see the following newspaper article in the Nashville Republican and State Gazette, Friday, July 5, 1833.
Charles A. Sherill has given permission to quote from Tennessee Convicts: Records of the State Penitentiary, Vol. I. 1831-1850, by Charles & Tomye M. Sherrill, published 1997:
"Samuel Kerr was received into the Penitentiary 13 June 1832. He is 54 years old, 5' 9 1/2" high, weight 143 lbs. Born and brought up in Sullivan Co., East Tennessee. Has one sister married to a man by the name of Alexander, living in Hawkins Co., East Tennessee on the waters of the Holston. He has a wife and five sons living at Bledsoes Lick, Sumner County, and two sons grown living 100 miles above Natchez. Has a large scar on the left arm, between the shoulder and elbow. Dark gray hair, gray eyes, and dark skin. Found guilty of having and concealing counterfeit bank notes at the Circuit Court of Davidson County and sentenced to five years confinement in the Jail and Penitentiary House of the State of Tennessee. Samuel Kerr died of cholera on the 18th day of June 1833. [Ledger 45, p. 85]"
Research Report August 2017