On January 16, 1794, the Davidson County Court agreed that “… a certain Negro called Bobb [sic] in the town of Nashville be permitted to sell Liquor and Victuals.” This was the origin of what came to be known as “Black Bob’s Tavern.” A 1797 record lists an assault occurring at the “house of Black Bob.” This establishment was probably located on what is now Third Avenue, south of the Public Square.
16 July 1802: Today’s Tennessee Gazette features commercial notices about runaway apprentices, the cotton trade and other matters, including this pairing:
RESPECTFULLY informs his friends and the public, that he has opened a
House of Entertainment,
In the house adjoining Mr. Joseph M’Keans store, Nashville, and having provided himself with the necessary accommodations for man and horse, he hopes from the attention which he is determined to shew those who may call on him, to merit a share of the public patronage, and give general satisfaction.
An act to emancipate and let free a negro man, named Bob.
WHEREAS Robert Searcy, esq. of Nashville, having made known to this general assembly, that he some time ago purchased said negro man, Bob, sold under an execution, and that the said negro hath since by his industry, reimbursed the purchase money, in consequence whereof, he prays that he may be emancipated and forever set free.
BE it enacted by the general assembly of the state of Tennessee, That the said negro man Bob, shall be, and he is hereby emancipated and forever set free, to all intents and purposes whatever, and shall in future be known by the name of Robert Renfro.