1818 - The Chickasaw Nation signs treaty ceding West Tennessee to the U.S.
1819 - John Overton, James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson found the city of Memphis on May 22. Shelby County formed.
1825 - Frances Wright organizes utopian community of Nashoba near present-day Germantown.
1826 - Memphis incorporated on December 19.
1827 - County seat moved from Memphis to Raleigh.
1840 - Memphis Appeal Newspaper is organized.
1845 - U.S. government establishes a navy yard in the city.
1850 - Memphis and South Memphis merge.
1857 - The Memphis & Charleston Railroad completed, linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River.
1862 - On June 6, Union fleet defeats Confederate naval forces in the Battle of Memphis. Federal troops occupy the city. Memphis serves as temporary state capital.
1863 - Grant names Memphis as hospital and supply base to support the attack on Vicksburg.
1865 - The Memphis Freedmen's Bureau established to provide services such as banking and education.
1867 - Memphis regains the county seat from Raleigh.
1878 - City's most devastating yellow fever epidemic claims 5,000 lives and forces another 25,000 to flee to other cities.
1879 - Memphis declares bankruptcy, loses its charter, and becomes a Taxing District of the state. The city loses its charter because so few people remain to maintain the city.
1887 - Artesian well water becomes available for the first time.
1892 - Great Bridge at Memphis opened. Later named Frisco Bridge.
1893 - Cossitt Library opens - the first public library in Memphis. Memphis regains its city charter. Black millionaire Robert Reed Church, Sr. buys first city bond.
1895 - The ten-story Porter Building, the city's first skyscraper, opens.
1899 - Church's Park & Auditorium, the city's first park and entertainment center for African Americans, opens.
Portions of this History Timeline come courtesy of the Memphis Shelby County Public Library.