The first European explorer to visit the area of present-day Memphis was Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto in 1541. The high Chickasaw Bluffs protecting the location from the waters of the Mississippi was then contested by the Spanish, French, and the English as Memphis took shape. Modern Memphis was founded in 1819 by John Overton, James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson. Memphis grew into one of the largest cities of the Antebellum South. After the American Civil War and the end of slavery, the city experienced continued growth into the 20th century as it became among the largest world markets for cotton and lumber.
Memphis At A Glance
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