The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin
At the end of the American Revolution, frontier settlers beyond the Appalachian Mountains founded their own government. They named their new territory The State of Franklin. This controversial government lasted for four years between 1784 and 1788. The region’s citizens, once united against the British Crown, now found themselves divided against one another.
Two men would decide the fate of the State of Franklin. John Sevier, the Governor of Franklin, was a charismatic hero of the Revolution. He was also a ruthless land-speculator, obsessed with Westward expansion, who would see his dream realized at any cost. John Tipton, a wealthy land-owner himself, originally supported Franklin’s independence. But as the new government led to chaos, he vowed to bring an end to the fledgling state and rejoin North Carolina. Opposing Sevier at every turn, Tipton began a feud that would tear the region apart.
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Check out the transcripts from some of the interviews:
Dr. Kevin Barksdale, Marshall University
Dr. John Finger, University of Tennessee
Dr. Penny McLaughlin, Tipton-Hayes State Historic Area, Johnson City
Dr. Michael Toomey, Lincoln Memorial University