Hamilton County was created by an act of the Thirteenth Tennessee General Assembly meeting at Murfreesboro on October 25, 1819. The county then did not extend south of the Tennessee River. The section south of the river, including the site of Cherokee Chief John Ross’s landing in present-day Chattanooga did not become part of Hamilton County until the disputed Treaty of 1835 that led to the Indian Removal and the “Trail of Tears.”
The creation of the new county from the frontier of Southeast Tennessee was brought on by a treaty with the Cherokees in 1817 known as the Hiwassee Purchase. By its terms, the Indians yielded large sections of Alabama and Georgia as well as the Sequatchie Valley and the area that became Hamilton County.
The county was named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, who was Secretary of the Treasury in George Washington’s administration.
At the time of the 1820 census, Hamilton County reported 821 residents. Today, Hamilton County boasts an estimated 340,855 residents. Rich in history of the American South, blessed with scenic beauty that enhances every aesthetic experience, proud of its heritage and excited about its future, Hamilton County offers a bounty of cultural and recreational activities which enhances its reputation as a thriving business center.