Echoes of the Creation of Jacksonland

This is the headquarters of Regions Bank, facing a central square in the lively city of Florence, Alabama. The bank was designed as a replica of the spectacular house at Forks of Cypress, a plantation a few miles outside town.

The original plantation house was built after 1818 by General Andrew Jackson’s close friend James Jackson. It was on land that General Jackson had obtained from Cherokees in order to bring it to market. Both men were involved in founding Florence, which stands by the Tennessee River at a location that had been on General Jackson’s mind for many years.

Jacksonland documents how, with a small group of other friends, Andrew Jackson colonized the area, leading the way for a flood of white farmers as well as enslaved laborers. Today Florence ranks among the loveliest towns in the region, alive in a way that many small cities are not, graced by fine restaurants, an excellent library, and the campus of the University of North Alabama. The ruins of Forks of Cypress still stand outside town: the plantation house burned decades ago, but the surrounding brick columns remain.