History of the Lost State of Franklin

Formed shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War, the State of Franklin “was without doubt the most pronounced and significant manifestation of the spirit of separation which gave deep concern to the national leaders. No other movement for separate statehood reached, even approximately, the stage attained by Franklin, that of a de facto government, waging war, negotiating treaties and functioning for a term of years in the three great departments that mark an American State, the legislative, executive, and judicial.” Genealogical and biographical information is included here as well. The author has preserved the names of minor participants in the struggle, for or against separate statehood. Of the leaders, a fuller account is given. For some of these, even, this is a rescue of their names and deeds from near-oblivion.

This work examines 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 Tennesseans.


Samuel Cole Williams


(1933), 2010, paper, index, 396 pp.

ISBN: 9780788420665