Clarksville Connections is an ongoing project to share the stories of historically significant people who have a Clarksville connection. We invite your input. Please email your information and ideas to email@example.com.
Literature and Journalism
Elizabeth Meriwether, more famously and internationally known as Dorothy Dix, a popular advice columnist, was born in 1861 near Clarksville. Having established herself as an exceptional voice among her peers at The Female Academy in Clarksville, Dix went on to pioneer the way for advice columns. She worked at The Picayune in New Orleans and for 17 years at the New York Journal.
On October 6, 1895, Caroline Gordon was born near the city of Clarksville at a farm called Merry Mont. After receiving a Bachelors degree in Greek at Bethany College in 1916, she worked as a teacher at Clarksville High School and then as a reporter for the Chattanooga News. Caroline published her first novel in 1931 and continued writing until she retired in 1979.
Evelyn Scott was born Elsie Dunn in Clarksville, TN in 1893. This would by no means tie the often-overlooked author to the traditional beliefs and values of typical Southerners of her time. Well-learned through self-teachings and private tutors and with access to many resources, she was greatly inspired by philosophers and scholars such as Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Bergson, and Marx. As a youth, she held very controversial beliefs. She had interest in writing, and used her writings to advocate fair treatment for blacks, poor people, and women.
Renowned poet Allen Tate was born in Winchester, Kentucky in 1899. At Vanderbilt University, he met and befriended roommate Robert Penn Warren, as well as a number of other fellow members of The Fugitives, a literary group that met weekly to discuss poetry and the defense of Southern literature. Tate lived in Clarksville from 1930-38 with his wife Author Caroline Gordon.
U.S. Poet Laureate
Born in Guthrie, Kentucky and the nation’s first officially titled Poet Laureate in 1986, Robert Penn Warren was an accomplished writer, the only one to receive a Pulitzer Prize in both poetry and fiction among numerous achievements. But many years before that, Warren came to Clarksville in 1920 with one goal in mind: to join the Naval Academy.