When the State of Franklin Tried To Become America’s 14th State
August 23, 2010

United States Map 1783-1803 includes inset that features State of Franklin

On This Date In History: In Colonial times, the Crown made the rules and in 1763, England decreed that no settlements be made west of the Appalachian mountains.   This decree was known as the Proclamation of 1763 and the intent was to prevent an escalation of fighting between English settlers and Native Americans. 

Note that Extreme Western NC and East Tennessee Are Beyond The Boundary of the 1763 Proclamation

After the French and Indian War, English settlers poured over the mountains into the region formerly inhabited by the French.  The Indians of the region formed an alliance under the Ottawa chieftain Pontiac in an effort to push back the intrusion.  The proclamation was designed to give London control over westward expansion rather than provincial governments.   The Native Americans really weren’t too keen on the proclamation because one of the provisions was that they had to cede more land for European settlement.  But, they went along as they felt it was probably the best deal that they could get.  The Cherokee worked hard to quickly draw the boundaries so as to preclude further White settlement.  Nevertheless, frontiersman refused to abandon their outposts…remember Daniel Boone was running around what is now Kentucky in the 1760s.

Painting of Franklin in 1785 Looks As if Ben Were Asked About His Feelings Toward Having a State Named For Him

Several of the original coastal colonies stretched westward deep into the continent and colonial governments had a difficult time maintaining control of their western territories.  In the 1670′s, revolt in western parts of Virginia led to Bacon’s Rebellion.  In the case of the North Carolina Colony, the western boundary was the Mississippi River.  The vast majority of inhabitants lived on the coastal plain, east of the Appalachian Mountains and they enjoyed the most services for their taxes and they also controlled the political system.   Much as the folks in western Virginia in the 1670′s, people living in the western portion of North Carolina felt as if they had no representation in any political system and that they were forced to pay taxes in support of the regions along the coast.  In 1772, hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in the mountains of what is now eastern Tennessee formed the Watauga Association.  The effort was mainly for defense against the Indians but it also gave them a unified political voice.   When the American Revolution came about, the Wataugans used their expert aim with their long rifles to defeat the British at King’s Mountain, South Carolina under the leadership of John ” Nolichucky Jack” Sevier.   After the Revolution, the state of North Carolina wasn’t any nicer to the region than the king had been as they taxed the Wataugans “grievously….without enjoying the blessings of it.”

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

In 1784, it was apparent that it was politically impossible to effectively control the vast region of  North Carolina  and the state legislature offered to cede the Tennessee lands to the federal government.  In response, the Wataugans held  a convention and on this date in 1784 representatives of the people who lived in what is now eastern Tennessee voted to found the 14th state of Franklin.  Even though the new “state” was named for him, Ben Franklin declined an invitation to visit but Thomas Jefferson approved of the move. They even elected John Sevier as Governor. But, they got a little ahead of themselves as only 7 of the 13 states agreed with Jefferson and the Constitution said that they needed 9 to gain statehood. Meanwhile, back in the North Carolina capitol of Raleigh, the state rescinded their offer of secession of its western lands to the federal government  and arrested Sevier as a traitor!   Undeterred, the state of Franklin continued to operate on its own until 1789.   This was an illustration of the difficulty of the time as Raleigh making laws and decrees was one thing but being able to enforce the law in the west was another story.  Eventually, in  North Carolina gave in, pardoned Sevier and forgave the settlers back taxes and once again ceded the western lands to the Tennessee territory of which Franklin became part.  When the territory was admitted to the Union in 1796, Sevier was elected its first Governor.

James Alex Baggett Wrote About the Union Cavalry From Tennessee

 In truth, East Tennessee is a legal distinction as is Middle Tennessee and Western Tennessee.  According to the Tennessee Constitution, no more than two state supreme court justices can come from any of the regions, thus insuring that each part of the state is represented on the state’s highest court.  But, the regions also were, and to some degree still are, differentiated by their socioeconomic level.  In the 1860′s, the eastern part of the state was the poorest of the three regions and had, by far, the fewest number of slaves.  Yeoman farmers had little in common with wealthy slave owners.  At the 1861 state secession convention, 29 counties in East Tennessee and 1 in Middle Tennessee spoke out against secession and threatened to once again form an independent state aligned with the Union.   While they did not rejuvenate the state of Franklin, the folks in East Tennessee maintained their independence.  During the Civil War, most of the mountain folks of East Tennessee remained loyal to the Union and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Confederacy, much as they had to the King and to North Carolina. 

Kevin T Barksdale Wrote About the Lost State of Franklin

If the US was ever invaded, I have thought there were parts of the country that would never be conquered and East Tennessee is near the top of my list.  Today, one can find State of Franklin Blvd east Elizabethton, TN; I’ve driven by it before it may even be in North Carolina but I can’t find it on a map.  Just north of that Elizabethton is the town of Watauga.  Not far to the east in North Carolina is Watauga County.  Curiously, the town of Franklin, TN is nowhere near the region as it can be found south of Nashville.

Weather Bottom  Line:  As it turns out, the storms on Saturday morning robbed the atmosphere of so much energy when the front came through on Saturday night, it had nothing to work with.  I should not have been so wishy washy.  Declaring “If” and “Maybe” is not really making a forecast.  My bad.  We will be dominated by high pressure with relatively dry air in the region so for the week ahead, highs in the upper 80′s will feel quite refreshing.  I really do think we’ve turned the corner on excessive heat for this year.

Some Rich Becoming Poor-A Good Thing? Remember the State of Franklin?
August 22, 2009

Good Times Over?

Good Times Over?

Bernie Madoff Might Like This

Bernie Madoff Might Like This

With the economy as it has been, there have been stories of woe from people losing their jobs and 401K plans shrinking. Pension plans have been in peril and investments for non-profit organizations have put a strain on those charities. If you think about it, if you have a lot of money, you have to put it somewhere. Most people don’t have a mattress big enough to stuff millions of dollars under. Even if its in the bank, then you probably would have several banks because there is a limit on the insurance. So, people will invest in real estate, stocks, bonds and such. Well, stocks and real estate really took a hit so people with the most money have lost the most, in some cases on paper, but in others its real losses because they are forced to sell assets at deflated prices to cover other needs. This article from the New York Times claims that the “Super-Rich” are shrinking in numbers. Do you think its a good thing to have the wealthy lose their money? Is it better to have a society in which everyone has a little money or with a stratified class structure?

On This Date In History: In Colonial times, the Crown made the rules and in 1763, England decreed that no settlements be made west of the Appalachian mountains. Nevertheless, frontiersman refused to abandon their outposts…remember Daniel Boone was running around what is now Kentucky in the 1760s. In 1772, hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in the mountains of what is now eastern Tennessee formed the Watauga Association, mainly for defense against the Indians. When the Revolution came about, the used their expert aim with their long rifles to defeat the British at King’s Mountain, South Carolina. Their leader was John ” Nolichucky Jack” Sevier. After the Revolution, the state of North Carolina wasn’t any nicer to the region than the king had been as they taxed the Wataugans “grievously….without enjoying the blessings of it.”

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

Sevier-A "Statesman"?

In 1784, North Carolina offered to cede the Tennessee lands to the federal government but the Wataugans prepared for a convention on this date in 1784 which led to a vote to found the 14th state of Franklin. Even though the new “state” was named for him, Ben Franklin declined an invitation to visit but Thomas Jefferson approved of the move. They even elected John Sevier as Governor. But, they got a little ahead of themselves as only 7 of the 13 states agreed with Jefferson and the Constitution said that they needed 9 to gain statehood. Meanwhile, back in Raleigh, the state of North Carolina took their western lands back and arrested Sevier as a traitor! The state of Franklin continued to operate on its own until North Carolina gave in, pardoned Sevier and forgave the settlers back taxes. Franklin became part of the Tennessee territory and when the territory was admitted to the Union in 1796, Sevier was elected its first Governor.

The folks in Eastern Tennessee maintained their independence though. During the Civil War, the mountain folks of East Tennesee remained loyal to the Union and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Confederacy, much as they had to the King and to North Carolina. If the US was ever invaded, I have thought there were parts of the country that would never be conquered and Eastern Tennessee is near the top of my list.

Weather Bottom Line:  This is a very odd pattern.  Remember the month of July and Louisville not getting to 90 degrees for the first time ever?  It was a weird thing in that the pattern was not typical summer.  Then for half of August, we’ve had a typical pattern but this big trof digging down and the behavior of Hurricane Bill look more like an Ocotober pattern, not August.  This trof is deep as it digs all the way down into the Dixie states and it features a deep low rotating vort lobes around, much as we would see in the winter.  Typically, that would bring snow showers or flurries.  In this case, the clouds and cooler air will hold us in the 70′s for highs over the weekend with an occasional passing sprinkle or light shower.  Look for a cool start for church Sunday morning with temps in the 50′s for many.  Could be the same on Monday.  I’m thinking I won’t need the air conditioner for at least the first half of the work week ahead.  No significant rain chances appear on the horizon.

Florida Wants Tropical Storm Fay To Get Lost; Find the Lost State of Franklin
August 22, 2008

To Track Fay via radar imagery, you can click on this Interactive Radar (Click Here) and zoom in, loop and navigate anywhere in the state of Florida or the entire nation.

NHC Tropical Storm Fay Forecast Track 5PM 0821

NHC Tropical Storm Fay Forecast Track 5PM 0821

Tropical Storm Fay is pretty much following the script after several days of improvising on its own
Unfortunately, the storyline is for the storm to mainly move slowly around a big fat

Fay Spaghetti Model 0812 18Z

Fay Spaghetti Model 0812 18Z

ridge of high pressure in the Northeast and that means a slow trek along I-10. From Jacksonville to Pensacola, the storm will crawl at 5 (maybe 10 mph) for the next several days. Rain totals will be extreme as the satellite imagery is quite impressive, indicating that it still has a good structure in that its outflow pattern remains generally intact. Already, the slow-poke Fay brought over 2 feet of rain to east-central Florida and now it will do the same for North Florida. If you click on the image to the left, you will find the 5 Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF) from the Hydrological Prediction Center. You will find a couple of areas that stand out….over 16 inches in

5 Day QPF Florida

5 Day QPF Florida

North Florida and South Georgia while the Panhandle faces the prospects of up to 20 inches. For added measure, its possible that at least part of the large circulation of the storm may wander offshore in the Gulf for a time and that will help to at least maintain some energy to the point that it may regain Tropical Storm status after it weakens a bit.

For Louisville, we had hoped that the moisture from Fay would merge with a trof in the Mississippi Valley and get drawn around the high as a trof comes in from the Northwest and weakens the ridge, allowing for the moisture to come to the Ohio Valley. But, as had been mentioned before, there is the very real possibility that it gets stuck in northern Mississippi and rains itself out there, bringing no relief here.  The official forecast track and the spaghetti models are coming into alignment for this scenario. We are still hoping for some moisture to come around by midweek.   But, I suspect that the Dixie states will not hog all of the rain and they will share some with us eventually.

On This Date In History: In Colonial times, the Crown made the rules and in 1763, England decreed that no settlements be made west of the Appalachian mountains. Nevertheless, frontiersman refused to abandon their outposts…remember Daniel Boone was running around what is now Kentucky in the 1760s. In 1772, hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in the mountains of what is now eastern Tennessee formed the Watauga Association, mainly for defense against the Indians. When the Revolution came about, the used their expert aim with their long rifles to defeat the British at King’s Mountain, South Carolina. Their leader was John ” Nolichucky Jack” Sevier. After the Revolution, the state of North Carolina wasn’t any nicer to the region than the king had been as they taxed the Wataugans “grievously….without enjoying the blessings of it.”

In 1784, North Carolina offered to cede the Tennessee lands to the federal government but the Wataugans prepared for a convention on this date in 1784 which led to a vote to found the 14th state of Franklin. Even though the new “state” was named for him, Ben Franklin declined an invitation to visit but Thomas Jefferson approved of the move. They even elected John Sevier as Governor. But, they got a little ahead of themselves as only 7 of the 13 states agreed with Jefferson and the Constitution said that they needed 9 to gain statehood. Meanwhile, back in Raleigh, the state of North Carolina took their western lands back and arrested Sevier as a traitor! The state of Franklin continued to operate on its own until North Carolina gave in, pardoned Sevier and forgave the settlers back taxes. Franklin became part of the Tennessee territory and when the territory was admitted to the Union in 1796, Sevier was elected its first Governor.

The folks in Eastern Tennessee maintained their independence though. During the Civil War, the mountain folks of East Tennesee remained loyal to the Union and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Confederacy, much as they had to the King and to North Carolina. If the US was ever invaded, I have thought there were parts of the country that would never be conquered and Eastern Tennessee is near the top of my list.

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