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This surveyor’s compass belonged to Daniel Smith, an American Revolutionary War veteran, and two term United States Senator from Tennessee. Following the Revolutionary War, Smith moved to what is now Sumner County to claim the land grant awarded for his military service. He surveyed what became the site of Nashville. Smith was prominent in local affairs and was appointed a brigadier general in the militia. He was a member of the North Carolina Convention of 1789, which voted to ratify the United States Constitution. In 1790, President George Washington named him Secretary (chief deputy) of the Southwest Territory. Smith was a member of the convention that wrote the Tennessee State Constitution of 1796, which went into effect concurrently with statehood on June 1, 1796. Smith subsequently prepared the first official map of Tennessee.
Gallery: Forging a Nation
Maker: Isaac Chandlee
Accession Number: 72.2