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Home » McPhail Cliffe Office (Early’s Honey Stand)

McPhail Cliffe Office (Early’s Honey Stand)


Dr. Daniel McPhail arrived from Scotland in the early 19th century and set up his medical practice in this tiny building; one of the earliest structures still standing in Franklin built circa 1815. Dr. McPhail was the first doctor in Tennessee to successfully administer anesthesia to a patient, a risky proposition, and was also one of the original Tennessee Volunteers. When President James K. Polk called for 2,600 volunteers from each state to fight the War against Mexico, 30,000 Tennesseans enlisted—and Tennessee has been known as the Volunteer State ever since. After Dr. McPhail died serving in Mexico, his nephew Dr. Daniel Cliffe, took over the practice. Dr. Cliffe joined the Confederate Army as a surgeon. About a year later, he was captured by the Union Army and offered his freedom, provided he signed a loyalty oath to the United States. Not only did he sign the oath, he actually meant it. When he returned to Franklin, he was a full-fledged Union supporter. By this time, Union occupation had come to Franklin, and an uneasy peace prevailed. Dr. Cliffe, having earned the respect of both sides, acted as a mediator between the occupying Union Army and the people of Franklin. The building has also housed lawyers, the Heritage Foundation and now serves as retail space. 


209 East Main Street
Franklin, 37064