KNOXVILLE, a city and the county-seat of Knox county, Tennessee, U.S.A., in the E. part of the state, 160 m. E. of Nashville, and about 190 m. S.E. of Louisville, Kentucky, on the right bank of the Tennessee river, 4 m. below the point where it is formed by the junction of the French Broad and Holston Rivers. Pop. (1880), 9693; (1890), 22,535; (1900), 32,637, of whom 7359 were negroes and 895 were foreign-born; (1910 census), 36,346. It is served by the main line and by branches of the Louisville & Nashville and the Southern railways, by the Knoxville & Bristol railway (Morristown to Knoxville, 58 m.), by the short Knoxville & Augusta railroad (Knoxville to Walland, 26 m.), and by passenger and freight steamboat lines on the Tennessee river, which is here navigable for the greater part of the year. A steel and concrete street-car bridge crosses the Tennessee at Knoxville. Knoxville is picturesquely situated at an elevation of from 850 to 1000 ft. in the valley between the Smoky Mountains and the Cumberland Mountains, and is one of the healthiest cities in the United States. There are several beautiful parks, of which Chilhowie and Fountain City are the largest, and among the public buildings are a city-hall, Federal building, court-house, the Knoxville general hospital, the Lincoln memorial hospital, the Margaret McClung industrial home, a Young Men's Christian Association building and the Lawson-McGhee public library. A monument to John Sevier stands on the site of the blockhouse first built there. Knoxville is the seat of Knoxville College (United Presbyterian, 1875) for negroes, East Tennessee institute, a secondary school for girls, the Baker-Himel school for boys, Tennessee Medical College (1889), two commercial schools and the university of Tennessee. The last, a state co-educational institution, was chartered as Blount College in 1794 and as East Tennessee College in 1807, but not opened until 1820 the present name was adopted in 1879. It had in 1907-1908 106 instructors, 755 students (536 in academic departments), and a library of 25,000 volumes With the university is combined the state college of agriculture and engineering; and a large summer school for teachers is maintained. At Knoxville are the Eastern State insane asylum, state asylums- for the deaf and dumb (for both white and negro), and a national cemetery in which more than 3200 soldiers are buried. Knoxville is an important commercial and industrial centre and does a large jobbing business. It is near hardwood forests and is an important market for hardwood mantels. Coal-mines in the vicinity produce more than 2,000,000 tons annually, and neighbouring quarries furnish the famous Tennessee marble, which is largely exported. Excellent building and pottery clays are found near Knoxville. Among the city's industrial establishments are flour and grist mills, cotton and woollen mills, furniture, desk, office supplies and sash, door, and blind factories, meat-packing establishments, clothing factories, iron, steel and boiler works, foundries and machine shops, stove works and brick and cement works. The value of the factory product increased from $6,201,840 in 1900 to $12,432,880 in 1905, or 100-5 % in IOO S the value of the flour and grist mill products alone being $2,048,509. Just outside the city the Southern railway maintains large car and repair shops. Knoxville was settled in 1786 by James White (1737-1815), a North Carolina pioneer, and was first known as "White's Fort'*; it was laid out as a town in 1791, and named in honour of General Henry Knox, then secretary of war in Washington's cabinet. In 1791 the' 'Knoxville Gazette, the first newspaper in Tennessee (the early issue, printed at Rogersville) began publication. From 1792 to 1796 Knoxville was the capital of the " Territory South of the Ohio," and until 1811 and again in 1817 it was the capital of the state. In 1796 the convention which framed the constitution of the new state of Tennessee met here, and here later in the same year the first state legislature was convened. Knoxville was chartered as a city in 1815. In its early years it was several times attacked by the Indians, but was never captured. During the Civil War there was considerable Union sentiment in East Tennessee, and in the summer of 1863 the Federal authorities determined to take possession of Knoxville as well as Chattanooga and to interrupt railway communications between the Confederates of the East and West through this region. As the Confederates had erected only slight defences for the protection of the city, Burnside, with about 12,000 men, easily gained possession on the 2nd of September 1863. Fortifications were immediately begun for its defence, and on the 4th of November, Bragg, thinking his position at Chattanooga impregnable against Grant, Sherman, Thomas and Hooker, despatched a force of 20,000 men under Longstreet to engage Burnside. Longstreet arrived in the vicinity on the 16th of November, and on the following day began a siege, which was continued with numerous assaults until the 28th, when a desperate but unsuccessful attack was made on Fort Sanders, and upon the approach of a relief force under Sherman, Longstreet withdrew on the night of the 4th of December. The Confederate losses during the siege were 182 killed, 768 wounded and 192 captured or missing; the Union losses were 92 killed, 394 wounded and 207 captured or missing. West Knoxville (incorporated in 1888) and North Knoxville (incorporated in 1889) were annexed to Knoxville in 1898.
See the sketch by Joshua W. Caldwell in Historic Towns of the Southern States, edited by L. P. Powell (New York, 1900) ; and W. Rule, G. F. Mellen and J. Wooldridge, Standard History of Knoxville (Chicago, 1900).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)