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The only bridge into town is the old stone-pillared toll bridge.

In five years, when the Cherokee are forced across this bridge, sick, starving, afraid, Nashvillians will claim they were so moved by the suffering that they tried to help the refugees, but were rebuked by the soldiers escorting them. Almost everyone in Nashville has known Isaac Franklin since he was born.

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“I’ll give you $350 for the tall one over there,” he says.

“Gentlemen,” Franklin snorts, “that’s a buying price, not a selling price.” The man will bring eight to nine hundred dollars in Mississippi.

This was land that would need hundreds of men to clear. Franklin realized he could make a fortune selling black men to the white men who wanted to put cotton in Mississippi, and black women to the white men who would leave their wives back in civilization.

He and his nephew, John Armfield, headquartered their operation in Alexandria, Virginia, and they began to trade.

In portraits from the period, his black hair is fine and perpetually messy.

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