Franklin, State of

Franklin, State of, government (1784–88) formed by the inhabitants of Washington, Sullivan, and Greene counties in present-day E Tennessee after North Carolina ceded (June, 1784) its western lands to the United States. Following preliminary conventions at Jonesboro (Aug. and Dec., 1784), the first assembly, meeting at Greeneville early in 1785, elected John Sevier governor for a three-year term, established courts, appointed magistrates, levied taxes, and enacted laws. A permanent constitution was adopted in Nov., 1785. Unable to secure congressional recognition and pressed by North Carolina in its attempt to reestablish jurisdiction (in Dec., 1784, North Carolina repealed the act ceding the lands), Sevier's government passed out of existence when the terms of its officers expired. The region reverted temporarily to North Carolina.

See S. C. Williams, History of the Lost State of Franklin (rev. ed. 1933).

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