The State of Franklin, or the Free Republic of Franklin, was established in 1784 in the far northeastern corner of present-day Tennessee, an area which encompasses approximately twelve counties. Representatives of the region believed that by seceding from North Carolina, they could redirect tax dollars toward improvements to their own communities and expansion of their own economic future. Delegates from Franklin appealed to the federal government to allow for the creation of the 14th state, “Frankland”. The measure failed to pass by only one vote.
The delegates, fearing retribution from the North Carolina legislature, declared secession from the state and established a government by electing legislators, a governor and declaring Jonesboro the capitol. To increase their position against the North Carolina government, representatives from Franklin began to purchase large tracts of land from the Cherokee Indians, however this did not help the position of the Franklinites. North Carolina officials had received reports of increased violence between the Franklinites and Indians. When state of Franklin governor, John Sevier, amassed a militia to attack the home of pro-North Carolina political leader John Tipton, North Carolina militiamen were ordered to Franklin. Following a two day battle between militia troops, the Battle of Franklin, John Sevier was arrested and the State of Franklin was abolished.