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James W. Loewen (1942-2021)

We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague and remain committed to the work he began.

Tracy City


Basic Information

Type of Place
Independent City or Town
Metro Area
Politics c. 1860?
Don’t Know
Unions, Organized Labor?
Don’t Know

Sundown Town Status

Confirmed Sundown Town?
Was there an ordinance?
Don't Know
Don’t Know
Year of Greatest Interest
Still Sundown?

Census Information

The available census data from 1860 to the present
Total White Black Asian Native Hispanic Other BHshld
1950 1414 6
1960 1577 2
1990 1556 0
2000 1679 0

Method of Exclusion

  • Unknown

Main Ethnic Group(s)

  • Unknown

Group(s) Excluded

  • Black


“TN Coal, Iron, and Rail Road Company” achieved “a competitive advantage,” 1870-1890, via convict leasing. “The free miners at Tracy City immediately struck in protest; they demanded that the convicts be removed. The convicts feared attack from the miners and refused to work. Floggings changed the convicnts’ minds… Result: the miners capitulated. During these years, the number of convicts employed grew to 500 or more. Most of them were Negroes; of 315 working at Tracy City in 18080, all but 35 were black.”
“In 1891 the bitter miners in Anderson County [Oak Ridge] burned stockades, shipping convicts to Nashville or freeing them. The National Guard was called and local war broke out at Coal Creek, Briceville, and Oliver Springs %u2014 to the northeast of the Sequatchie area. In July 1892 the miners at Tracy City were told that their work time would be cut in half but that 360 convicts would continue as before…. On August 10 the miners took matters into their own hands: they overpowered the guards, burned the buildings, and placed the convicts on a train for Nashville. On their way to the state capital some of the convicts managed to disconnect one car, allowing 13 of them to escape.
“The miners then proceeded to Inman in the Sequatchie Valley. Here the guards were also overpowered, the stockades torn down, and the convicts shipped off to Nashville. These attacks encouraged other revolts throughout E TN; however, the National Guard proved too strong for the miners.” But the legislature did terminate convict leasing, January 1896, and established Brushy Mountain Prison.
[J. L. Raulston and J. W. Livingood, Sequatchie (Knoxville: U TN P, 1974), 192.]