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Sonny

This is a storefront in a section of Sheffield, Alabama that may have seen better days. It’s an old brick-and-mortar town near the Tennessee River, across the river from Florence and next to Tuscumbia, where the tourist attractions include the home of Helen Keller. The landscape was very different, of course, around 1818, when General Andrew Jackson began purchasing plantation land in this area he had recently obtained from Cherokees on behalf of the United States. The land went up for public auction, and Jackson, with his friends, bought strategically placed slices. Jacksonland documents the way that Jackson, his relatives and close friends obtained at least 45,000 acres of former Cherokee land in the Tennessee River Valley. One of his plantations was a square mile Jackson bought for the bargain price of $2 per acre, for no other man at the auction wished to bid against the national hero.  That plantation, bought in 1818, was within a few miles of the modern-day Sonny’s Pawn & Gun Shop.

 

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