CHAPTER 6

Entrepreneurs in the Age of Upheaval: 1850–1880

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David Kennedy arrived in Fink, Tennessee, in 1842 to start a dry goods store. Within a few years, his reputation for solid business practices led to his election to the board of directors of the Fink branch of the powerful Bank of Tennessee, and he eventually resigned to form his own bank, the Bank of Northern Tennessee. He continued to run a prosperous but uneventful business until April 11, 1861. On that day, the South Carolina “fire-eater” Edmund Ruffin touched off a cannon fuse that opened bombardment on Fort Sumter, igniting at the same time the bloodiest conflict in American history. ...

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