John Harding (Southern planter)
Portrait of John Harding by Washington Bogart Cooper, 1846
|Born||November 2, 1777
Goochland County, Virginia
|Died||September 16, 1865
|Children||William Giles Harding|
John Harding was born in Goochland County, Virginia on November 2, 1777. His family moved to Davidson County, Tennessee in 1798. His grandfather had owned slaves in Virginia, and his father, Giles Harding, brought several with them to Tennessee.
In 1807, Harding purchased a 250-acre farm and log cabin from Daniel Dunham called Dunham Station at Richland Creek on the Natchez Trace, six miles west of Nashville. By 1820, he expanded the farm to 3800 acres and constructed a brick Federal style home. He invested in thoroughbreds, and turned it into the Belle Meade Plantation. In 1823, he registered with the Nashville Jockey Club. The plantation also included a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, and a saw mill.
Harding also owned four other plantations in the South: a sugar plantation in Louisiana, cotton plantations in Mississippi County, Arkansas, Alabama, and also in the Pennington bend between the Stones and Cumberland rivers in Nashville.
Harding invested in the Nashville Female Academy and sent his two daughters there. By 1839, he turned the Belle Meade Plantation over to his son William Giles Harding and moved to a townhouse at 85 Spring Street in Nashville.
Harding died on September 16, 1865 in Nashville.
- Tennessee Portrait Project
- Belle Meade Plantation: History
- Civil War Landscapes Association
- UNC Harding and Jackson Family Papers, 1819-1911.
- Ridley Wills, II, Belle Meade Plantation, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, December 25, 2009
- Belle Meade Plantation: The Hardings & Jacksons
- Perky Beisel, Rob DeHart, Middle Tennessee Horse Breeding, Arcadia Publishing, 2007, p. 14 
- Mark Zimmerman, Guide To Civil War Nashville Nashville, The Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, 2004, p. 68