Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The State of Franklin

History of Western North Carolina
Chapter VI - The State of Franklin

By John Preston Arthur, 1914

THE ACT OF CESSION OF TENNESSEE. As Congress was heavily in debt at the close of the Revolutionary War, North Carolina, in 1784, "voted to give Congress the twenty-nine million acres lying between the Alleghany mountains and the Mississippi river." This did not please the Watauga settlers [For an explanation of the Watauga settlers: Click Here.], and a few months later the legislature of North Carolina withdrew its gift, and again took charge of its western land because it feared the land would not be used to pay the debts of Congress. These North Carolina law makers also "ordered judges to hold court in the western counties, arranged to enroll a brigade of soldiers, and appointed John Sevier to command it."

FRANKLIN. In August, 1784, a convention met at Jonesboro and formed a new State, with a constitution providing that lawyers, doctors and preachers should never be members of the legislature; but the people rejected it, and then adopted the constitution of North Carolina in November, 1785, at Greenville. They made a few changes in the North Carolina constitution, but called the State Franklin. John Sevier was elected governor and David Campbell judge of the Superior court. Greenville was made the capital. The first legislature met in 1785; Landon Carter was the Speaker of the Senate, and Thomas Talbot clerk. William Gage was Speaker of the House, and Thomas Chapman clerk. The Convention made treaties with the Indians, opened courts, organized new counties, and fixed taxes and officers salaries to be paid in money, corn, tobacco, whiskey, skins, etc., including everything in common use among the people.

To continue reading about Franklin: Click Here.

To see Franklin's statehood petition, with the names of all the signers: Click Here.

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