The Lost State of Franklin

Map and Timeline from Dave Foster's "Franklin: the
Stillborn State and the Sevier/Tipton Political Feud"

TIME LINE OF FRANKLIN EVENTS
1780 James Robertson leads settlers to Cumberland River Valley and Nashville area.

Revolutionary War King's Mountain victory led by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier.
1781 Virginia cedes Continental Congress its vast territory northwest of Ohio River.
1782 John Tipton moves from Shenandoah Valley to Watauga frontier.

John Sevier appointed Clerk of Washington County, North Carolina.

Cornwallis Surrenders to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia.
1783 Greene County founded by dividing Washington County.
1784 North Carolina conditionally cedes its western territory to Continental Congress.

Representatives gather for first Franklin organization meeting.

North Carolina revokes the act that gives up its western territory.
1785 Franklin legislature organizes and appoints John Sevier governor.

Sevier - Tipton argument about a militia call up ends in a fist fight.

Continental Congress refuses to admit Franklin to United States.

Hopewell (Federal) Treaty gives southern Franklin land to Cherokees.
1786 North Carolina Governor Claswell offers pardon to all Franklin rebels who recant.

Hawkins County, N.C. established.

William Cocke unsuccessfully pleads Franklin's case before N.C. Assembly.
1787 Governor Caswell appoints Evan Shelby Washington District Militia Commander.

U.S. Constitution Convention ends, Gen. Shelby meets with Sevier in effort to avoid war.

N.C. Court orders Sheriff Pugh to seize Sevier's property. Sevier with Franklin militia attacks Tipton's farm. Gov. Samuel Johnson orders Sevier's arrest for treason following the Kirk affair Franklin Legislature holds final meeting in Sevier County.

United States becomes a nation.
1789 George Washington inaugurated first President of the United States of merica.

N.C. ratifies Federal Constitution and cedes its western lands for the second time.
1790 United States Territory South of the Ohio River formed, Wm. Blount appointed Governor.
1791 Governor Blount signs U. S. Holston Treaty with Cherokee Nation.
1793 Sevier and Tipton elected to Southwest Territory's first legislature.
1795 Territory legislature asks John Tipton to help write a constitution for a new state.
1796 Tennessee becomes 16th State, Tipton elected Senator and Sevier appointed Governor.

More photos at LaRue's Place: a photo tour of places and things that relate
to Greeneville and Greene County Tennessee and Surrounding Area.


Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 00:36:49 -0800
From: Cheska Wheatley
To: JTR
Subject: Re: Lost State of Franklin

Don't know about the records of Franklin State but back in 1993-4 there was an attempt to document the residents:

"As of September, 1993, all 3000 persons holding First Families of Franklin certificates were made lifetime members of LSHS. To obtain a list of the 400 documented ancestors, please

send $1 and a SASE to
Mrs. Ray Stahl, Organizer,
Lost State Historical Society,
2007-D Sherwood Dr.,
Johnson City, TN 37601.

Another message from my archives:

"Vontrece, I don't remember who the author of "The Lost State of Franklin". We have it here in our public Lib. I'll try to remember to call the lib tomorrow & get the author & copyright date. Most of these books were published in the 1930-50's. Briefly, & I will try to be brief. Originally what is now Tenn started out as part of Va Colony. When N.C. was formed it became N.C. Because of it being so isolated, the settlers found it difficult to keep in touch with N.C. and did their own thing. Thats where the "overmountain men" came from.

After the Rev. War. N.C. tried to give this land back to the Fed. Govt, but they didn't want them either so in 1784 the people of Watauga decided to form their own state. It existed for 4 years and in 1788 became a part of Tennessee. It consisted mainly of Washington, Greene, Sullivan & Hawkins I think. These are the old boundary lines not the present. Washington Co, the biggest, was also part of Va. & N.C. so in looking at records, you have to look in those states also. In order to understand how & where your ancestors lived, you need to understand the geography. I don't know if you have watched the new T.V. show "Christy", but I just imagine that is how our ancestors lived. Jonesboro was the capitol of Franklin & I understand they have great records there. I am dying to go down there soon. Bye Tissus"

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