The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin
Trace the creation and demise of the State of Franklin, a pivotal yet oft-forgotten post-Revolutionary War rebellion and attempted secession. When North Carolina ceded its western land to the U.S. government, some of the citizens of this ceded territory began their own government, calling themselves the State of Franklin. Even after North Carolina rescinded the cession, the State of Franklin continued to struggle for four chaotic years, finally ending in violence and a failed bid to become the country’s 14th state.
Two men would decide the fate of the State of Franklin. John Sevier, the Governor of Franklin, was a charismatic hero of the Revolution. He was also a ruthless land-speculator, obsessed with Westward expansion, who would see his dream realized at any cost. John Tipton, a wealthy land-owner himself, originally supported Franklin’s independence. But as the new government led to chaos, he vowed to bring an end to the fledgling state and rejoin North Carolina. Opposing Sevier at every turn, Tipton began a feud that would tear the region apart.
Filmed at several historic locations in East Tennessee, this story is told through scholarly interviews and re-enactments.
Tune in July 6 at 10:30 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS