成立于1784年，意图成为新美国的第十四州，富兰克林州位于现在的田纳西州东部。富兰克林的故事 – 以及它如何失败 – 突显了1783年美国革命的胜利结局如何让新的国家联盟处于脆弱状态。打击革命战争的代价使大陆国会面临着惊人的债务。 1784年4月，北卡罗来纳州立法机构投票给国会提供约2900万英亩的土地 – 大约是罗德岛的两倍 – 位于阿巴拉契亚山脉和密西西比河之间，以帮助支付其在战争债务中的份额。然而，北卡罗来纳州对这块土地的“礼物”带来了重大影响。割让文件给了联邦政府两年的时间来接受该地区的全部责任。这意味着，在两年的延迟期间，北卡罗来纳州的西部边境定居点几乎可以单独保护自己免受切诺基印第安人的影响，其中许多人仍与新国家保持战争。毋庸置疑，这对于割让地区的居民来说并不合适，他们担心现金匮乏和战争厌倦的国会甚至可能将该地区出售给法国或西班牙。北卡罗来纳州没有冒这个风险，而是将土地收回，并开始将其组织成州内的四个县。战争结束后，阿巴拉契亚山脉以西和密西西比河以东的边境定居点并未自动成为美国的一部分。历史学家Jason Farr在田纳西州历史季刊中写道，“从未假设过。”相反，国会给予社区三种选择：成为现有国家的一部分，组建新的工会国家，或成为他们自己的主权国家。四个被割让的州的居民投票选出了一个新的第十四州，而不是选择成为北卡罗来纳州的一部分，这个州将被称为富兰克林。历史学家认为，在某种程度上，他们可能与乔治·华盛顿达成了一致，乔治·华盛顿认为他们已经成为“一个独特的人”，其文化和政治差异与那些曾为美国独立而战的大西洋国家的文化和政治差异。 1784年12月，富兰克林正式宣布自己是一个独立国家，革命战争老兵约翰塞维尔不情愿地担任其第一任州长。然而，正如历史学家乔治·W·特罗克斯勒在北卡罗来纳州的百科全书中所指出的那样，富兰克林的组织者当时并不知道北卡罗来纳州已经决定将其收回。 “1784年12月的富兰克林宪法没有正式确定其界限，”特罗克斯勒写道。 “暗示，所有割让的领土都有管辖权，而且这个区域接近未来的田纳西州。”新联盟，其13个大西洋沿岸国家和西部边境地区之间的关系开始变得艰难，至少可以说。 “在联邦时代，尤其是东北精英阶层，西方的政治和经济利益几乎没有受到关注，”法尔写道。 “有些人甚至认为边境社区将留在工会之外。”事实上，富兰克林于1784年宣布建国，引起了开国元勋们的担忧，他们可能无法将这个新国家团结在一起。
Founded in 1784 with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state of the new United States, the State of Franklin was located in what is now Eastern Tennessee. The story of Franklin — and how it failed — highlights how the victorious end of the American Revolution in 1783 actually left the new Union of states in a fragile condition. The costs of fighting the Revolutionary War left the Continental Congress facing a staggering debt. In April 1784, the legislature of North Carolina voted to give Congress some 29 million acres of land — about twice the size of Rhode Island — located between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to help pay its share of the war debt. However, North Carolina’s “gift” of the land came with a major catch. The cession document gave the federal government two years to accept complete responsibility for the area. This meant that during the two-year delay, the western frontier settlements of North Carolina would be virtually alone in protecting themselves from the Cherokee Indians, many of whom remained at war with the new nation. Needless to say, this did not sit well with the residents of the ceded region who feared that the cash-starved and war-weary Congress might even sell the territory to France or Spain. Rather than risk this outcome, North Carolina took the land back and began to organize it as four counties within the state. After the war, the frontier settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi had not automatically become part of the United States. As historian Jason Farr wrote in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, “It was never assumed.” Instead, Congress gave the communities three options: become parts of existing states, form new states of the union, or become their own sovereign nations. Rather than choosing to become a part of North Carolina, the residents of the four ceded counties voted to form a new, fourteenth state, which would be called Franklin. Historians suggest that to some extent, they may have agreed with George Washington, who suggested that they had become “a distinct people” with cultural and political differences from those in the Atlantic states who had fought for American independence. In December 1784, Franklin officially declared itself to be an independent state, with Revolutionary War veteran John Sevier reluctantly serving as its first governor. However, as historian George W. Troxler notes in the Encyclopedia of North Carolina, Franklin’s organizers did not know at the time that North Carolina had decided to take it back. “The December 1784 constitution of Franklin did not formally define its boundaries,” Troxler wrote. “By implication, jurisdiction was assumed over all of the ceded territory, and area approximating the future state of Tennessee.” The relationship between the new Union, its 13 Atlantic Seaboard states, and the western frontier territories had gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least. “There was little concern for western political and economic interests during the Confederation era, especially among the northeastern elite,” Farr writes. “Some even assumed that frontier communities would remain outside the union.” Indeed, Franklin’s declaration of statehood in 1784 stirred fears among the Founding Fathers that they might not be able to keep the new nation together.