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The county seat of Haywood County, Tennessee is Brownsville, which is located at the southeastern end of the New Madrid Fault. It was established for the specific purpose of being the seat government and was laid out on 50 acres which the county bought at the end of 1824. The county courthouse, a log cabin, was situated in the geographical center of the town. During the Civil War, virtually all of the local merchants closed their businesses down, suspending them until the war was over due to fear of roving bands of marauders looting their inventories. Although there was plenty of business being carried out behind the scenes, the stores were all closed. After the war, the stores were back in business, and the town rushed into prosperity, due in large part to the high price of cotton.

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