William Driver – Tombstone Inscription

Driver, Captain William
Section 20
ID # 200116 

A Master Mariner
Sailed twice around
The World, once around
Australia, Removed
The Pitcairn people
From sickness and
Death in Tahieta
To their own
Island home
Sept. 3, 1831.
The 69 in number
Now 1200 souls 

William Driver
Born in Salem Massachusetts
March 17, 1803
Died in Nashville, Tennessee
March 3, 1886 

Trust in the Lord and do good
So shalt thou dwell in the land
And verily thou shalt be fed
PS. 37.3
I have never wanted since

1908 Plat: William Driver
                Section 20 WP Lot 16
1909 List: Lot owner William Driver
Smith 1908 & Garrett: Same as Recorded 2005,
        except neither source listed the Epitaph

Biography for Captain William Driver

CLICK HEREfor more information on Captain William Driver from The Tennessee Encyclopedia

Old Glory 175th Anniversary Stamp Issue

Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Fall 2013,
“His Ship, His Country and His Flag”
William Driver and Old Glory. By Dan E. Pomeroy

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After 2009 Restoration

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William Driver
Written for Cemetery Mobile App
by Dan E. Pomeroy

“Old Glory” is a word commonly used today to identify the flag of the United States, but it is a term that originated with a Nashvillian named William Driver, and its popularity began with Nashville’s Civil War history.

Driver was a thirty-four year old widower and former merchant sea captain when he arrived in Nashville from Salem, Massachusetts, in December 1837. He brought with him his three young children and he also brought his cherished United States flag, which he had named “Old Glory.” It had been made by his mother and the “girls of Salem,” and presented to him on his twenty-first birthday.

In Nashville Driver planned to go into business with his brothers. He re-married, had nine additional children, and settled with his family at present-day 511 Fifth Avenue South. On special occasions, such as election days and the Fourth of July, he would display “Old Glory” from a rope which hung across the street. The flag became a familiar sight.

When Civil War came to America in 1861 Tennessee moved to join the Confederacy. But Driver remained loyal to the Union, and he hid “Old Glory” to protect it. Driver’s Nashville family did not share his Union allegiance, and one of his sons died for the Confederacy.

On February 25, 1862, the Union Army captured Nashville, which was the first Confederate state capital to be re-claimed. Driver brought “Old Glory” out of hiding, and it was raised over the Tennessee Capitol. News of the loyal Union man and his cherished flag spread throughout the North, and “Old Glory” eventually became an American icon.

Driver lived in Nashville until his death in 1886, but his flag lived on. He had given it to his daughter in 1873, and she donated it to President Warren G. Harding in 1922. Today it resides at the Smithsonian Institution. When Driver died he was buried in the Nashville City Cemetery, marked by a monument of his own design. The monument features a broken tree trunk and an anchor, along with the inscription, “His Ship, His Country, and his flag, Old Glory.”