Belle Meade Plantation

OVERVIEW

Location: Davidson County, Tennessee
Date Constructed/ Founded: 1807
Associated Surnames: Harding
Historical Notes: In 1807, John Harding of Virginia purchased 250 acres and a log cabin at Dunham Station, a trading post on the Natchez Trace. John Harding established what eventually became a prominent horse breeding farm. John Harding’s son, William Giles Harding, inherited the property in 1839. By 1840 he had 75 enslaved persons on the plantation. His grandfather Giles Harding and other relatives also owned several slaves, therefore it is possible that he quickly acquired this number via inheritance or transfer within the family. In 1853, W.G. Harding oversaw the completion of the Greek Revival mansion.
Associated Pages: Carnton Plantation (Williamson Co., TN)


ASSOCIATED ENSLAVED PERSONS

Ben – blacksmith, enslaved at Dunham’s Station by John Harding

Dicey – domestic servant, enslaved at Dunham’s Station by John Harding, purchased from Giles Harding (John Harding’s father)

Carter family: Isaac “Big Ike” Carter – enslaved at Belle Meade; Susanna McGavock Carter (b.1812) – wife of I. Carter, daughter of a Native-/African-American mother and English father, left in custody of Randall McGavock, given to Mrs. Elizabeth Irwin McGavock and William G. Harding of Belle Meade; Isaac “Little Ike” Carter – son of I. and S. Carter; Joe Carter – son of I. and S. Carter; Porter Cater – son of I. and S. Carter; Willie Carter – son of I. and S. Carter; Jo Anna – sister of Susanna, Martha – sister of Susanna; Fannie – sister of Susanna

1807: Ned, Isaac, Jenny, and Molly; purchased by John Harding

1810: Patrick – inherited from Giles Harding, ran away in 1818 and was never found; Ned – purchased by J. Harding, also escaped

1839Robert “Bob” Green (b.?-d.1906) – famous horse jockey of Belle Meade, purchased by W.G. Harding

1840: 75 slaves [1840 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Davidson Co., Tennessee, William G. Harding]

1850: 91 slaves [1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, Davidson Co., Tennessee, William G. Harding]

1860: 135 slaves, 28 slave houses [1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules, 11th District, Davidson, Tennessee, William Harding]

ASSOCIATED FREE PERSONS

Harding family: John Harding (b.1777-d.1865) – founder; Susannah Shute Harding (b.1785-d.?) – wife of J. Harding (m.1806)

Harding family: William Giles Harding (b.1808-d.1886) – son of J. and S.S. Harding, inherited Belle Meade in 1839; Mary Selina McNairy Harding (b.1812-d.?) – first wife of W.G. Harding (m.1829); Elizabeth Irwin McGavock Harding (b.1812-d.?) – second wife of W.G. Harding (m.1840), daughter of Randall and Sarah Dougherty Rodgers McGavock of Carnton PlantationSelene Harding (b.1841) – daughter of W.G. and E.I.M. Harding; Willie Harding – son of W.G. and E.I.M. Harding; Sarah Susan Harding (b.1847) – daughter of W.G. and E.I.M. Harding; Mary Elizabeth Harding (b.1850) – daughter of W.G. and E.I.M. Harding; William R. Harding (b.1854) – son of W.G. and E.I.M. Harding; M. Louise Harding (b.1856) – daughter of W.G. and E.I.M. Harding

McGavock familyFrancis “Frank” McGavock (b.1794-d.?); Amanda P. Harding McGavock (b.1807-d.1873) – wife of F. McGavock (m.1823), daughter of J. and S.S. Harding; John Harding McGavock (b.1824) – son of F. and A.P.H. McGavock; David Harding McGavock (b.1826) – son of F. and A.P.H. McGavock; Susannah Elizabeth McGavock (b.1829) – daughter of F. and A.P.H. McGavock; Amanda McGavock (b.1832) – daughter of F. and A.P.H. McGavock; Elizabeth Virginia McGavock (b.1836) – daughter of F. and A.P.H. McGavock; Francis McGavock (b.1838) – son of F. and A.P.H. McGavock

Clay family: Joseph W. Clay (b.1808-d.?); Elizabeth V. Harding Clay (b.1812-d.1836) – wife of J.W. Clay (m.1827), daughter of J. and S.S. Harding


RESEARCH LEADS AND RECORDS

None noted yet


MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

None noted yet


REFERENCES

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