History of the Lost State of Franklin


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Genealogical Publishing Company


This scarce work should be of interest to all researchers with early Tennessee ancestors inasmuch as it covers the controversial period prior to statehood when the settlement in eastern Tennessee was under quasi-independent rule. One such controversy involved the creation in 1784 by John Sevier and others of a separate, self-governing territorial unit from lands in western North Carolina known as the State of Franklin. Samuel Williams’ History of the Lost State of Franklin portrays the figures on both sides and their motivations, chronicles the various meetings of the various legislative assemblies concerned with the movement for a separate government in the west, clarifies the role of the Spanish government in fostering the separatist cause, and discusses the way of life and people of Franklin and the survival of the “spirit of Franklin” among eastern Tennesseeans. A full sixty pages of the work, moreover, are devoted to biographical sketches of John Sevier (who would become the first governor of Tennessee), Arthur Campbell, and scores of other personalities who took part in the Franklin episode.


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