Only Two Votes

Two votes in the Continental Congress prevented Franklin from being the fourteenth state in the Union. The State of Franklin existed from 1784-1789 in a parallel government with North Carolina. Those that favored breaking from North Carolina were called Franklinites. Those that didn’t were Anti’s, the issue divided westerners who had fought side-by-side during the revolution for independence.

The North Carolina Assembly voted in 1780 to cede western lands over the mountain to the federal government to settle the states war debt. The western settlers were left to fight hostile Indians on their own. They quickly formed the State of Franklin for protection, after being abandoned by North Carolina and the federal government. Only in desperation did they approach Spain for help. Many scholars have suggested Franklinites were treasonous by doing so. The Republic of Texas used a similar ploy many years later to become the twenty-eighth state in the union. Amazing how history repeats itself.

During a heavy snowfall, a rebellion broke out between the Franklinites, led by John Sevier, the Anti’s by John Tipton, two were killed, and several men were injured. The fighting was for naught as the North Carolina Assembly elected John Sevier as a delegate to reconsider ratification of the Federal Constitution. Western North Carolina became part of the Southwest Territory. Tennessee was annexed in 1796, becoming  the sixteenth state in the union.

The Franklin constitution signed at Jonesborough, Tennessee on December 17, 1784; Section 31 states no clergymen or preacher of the gospel could hold public office. The next, Section 32 went into great detail that no person that did not believe in God could hold public office. I found those sections interesting.

Read more about the Franklinites in Spring House, Book 2 and the Children of the Revolution, Book 3 of the Westward Sagas series.

Capitol of the State of Franklin

Capitol of the State of Franklin

 

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