The Short Lived State (Nation) of Franklin

The Short Lived State Nation of Franklin

     If you are like most individuals you will have no issue naming the states that make up the United States of America. However, if you were asked to name a state (or Nation) within the Union, that no longer exists, could you? On August 23, 1784, in what is now Eastern Tennessee, the State Nation of Franklin declared its independence and statehood. Representatives gathered and petitioned Congress to declare them to be known as the state “Frankland” or “Franklin”, however, their hopes were dashed when they could not muster the needed two-thirds majority of Congress to approve the statehood measure.

In defiance of Congress, Franklin survived as an independent nation for four years with its own constitution, Indian treaties and legislated a system of barter in lieu of currency, though after only two years, North Carolina set up its own parallel government in the region. Finally, Franklin’s weak economy forced its governor, John Sevier, to approach the Spanish for aid. North Carolina, terrified of having a Spanish client state on its border, arrested Sevier. When Cherokee, Chickamauga, and Chickasaw began to attack settlements within Franklin’s borders in 1788, it quickly rejoined North Carolina to gain its militia’s protection from attack.1

The following is an excerpt from the book titled, “Western North Carolina; a history (1730-1913)” by Arthur, John Preston; National Society Daughters of the American Revolution of North Carolina. Edward Buncombe Chapter, Asheville. Publication date 1914, which gives a brief, yet detailed view, into the further political history into the lost State of Frankin.


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Want to learn more? PBS created an amazing documentary on the subject which can be purchased at by clicking here.

State of Franklin Declares Independence. Accessed July 18, 2017.

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