Lost State of Franklin





The following document is a petition signed by many inhabitants of Greene Co, TN, Washington Co, NC and other counties asking the United States to allow them to form a separate state called Franklin with Greenville as it's capital.  The  names of people who signed this petition are listed at the bottom in the order they appear on the document.  

NEW  View all petition names in alphabetical order!

"The Lost State of Franklin"

Petition of the Inhabitants of the Western Country


    The Honourable, The General Assembly of North Carolina now sitting:


    The Inhabitants of the Western Country humbly sheweth:


    That it is with sincere concern we lament the unhappy disputes that have long subsisted between us and our brethren on the Eastern side of the Mountains, respecting the erecting of a new Government.  We beg leave to represent to your Honourable body, that from Acts passed in June 1784, ceding to Congress your Western territory, with reservations and conditions therein contained; also from a clause in your wise and mild Constitution, setting forth that there might be a State or States, erected in the West whenever your Legislature should give consent for same; and from our local situation, there are numberless advantages, bountifully given to us by nature to propagate and promote a Government with us.  Being influenced by your Acts and Constitution and at the same time considering that it is our undeniable right to obtain for ourselves and posterity a proportionable and adequate share of the blessings, rights, privileges, and immunities allotted with the rest of mankind, have thought that the erecting of a new Government would greatly contribute to our welfare and convenience and that the same could not militate against your interest and future welfare as a Government.  Hoping that mutual and reciprocal advantages would attend each party, and that cordiality and unanimity would permanently subsist between us ever after, we earnestly request that an impartial view of our remoteness be taken into consideration; that great inconveniency attending your seat of Government, and also the great difficulty in ruling well and giving protection to so remote a people, to say nothing of the almost impassable mountains Nature has placed between, which renders it impracticable for us to furnish ourselves with a bare load of the necessaries of life, except we in the first instance travel from one to two hundred and more miles through another State ere we can reach your Government.


    Every tax paid you from this country would render us that sum the poorer, as it is impossible from the nature of our situation, that any part could return into circulation, having nothing that could bear the carriage, or encourage purchasers to come so great a distance; for which reasons were we to continue under your Government a few years, the people here must pay a greater sum than the whole of the medium now in circulation for the exigencies and support of your Government which would be a sum impossible for us to secure, would we be willing to give you our all; and or course we must be beholden to other States for any part we could raise; and by these means our property would gradually diminish, and we at last be reduced to mere poverty and want by not being able equally to participate with the benefits and advantages of your Government.   We hope that having settled West of the Appalachian mountains ought not to deprive us of the natural advantages designed by the bountiful Providence for the convenience and comfort of all those who have spirit and sagacity enough to seek after them.  When we reflect on our past and indefatigable struggles, both with savages and our other enemies during our late war, and the great difficulty we had to obtain and with-hold this Country from those enemies at the expense of the lives and fortunes of many of our dearest friends and relations; and the happy conclusion of peace having arrived, North Carolina has derived great advantages from our alertness in taking and securing a County, from which she has been able to draw into her Treasury, immense sums of money, and thereby become enabled to pay off, if not wholly, yet a great part, and sink her national debt.  We therefore humbly conceive you will liberally think that it will be nothing more than paying a debt in full to us for only to grant what God, Nature, and our locality entitles us to receive.  Trusting that your magnanimity will not consider it a crime in any people to pray their rights and privileges, we call the world to testify our conduct and exertion in behalf or American independence; and the same to judge whether we ask more than free people ought to claim, agreeable to Republican principles, the great foundation whereon our American fabric now stands.  Impressed with the hope of your great goodness and benevolent disposition that you will utterly abhor and disclaim all ideas of involving into innumerable, disagreeable and irksome contentions, a people who have so faithfully aided and supported in the time of imminent and perilous dangers; that you will be graciously pleased to consent to a separation; that from you paternal tenderness and greatness of mind, you will let your stipulations and conditions be consistent with honour, equity and reason, all of which will be cheerfully submitted to; and we, your petitioners, shall always feel an interest in whatsoever may concern your honour and prosperity.  Lastly, we hope to be enabled by the concurrence of your State to participate in the fruits of the Revolution; and to enjoy the essential benefits of Civil Society under a form of Government which ourselves alone can only calculate for such a purpose.  It will be a subject of regret that so much blood and treasure have been lavished away for no purpose to us; that so many sufferings have been encountered without compensation, we hope what hath been mentioned will be sufficient for our purpose, adding only that Congress hath, from time to time, explained their ideas so fully and with so much dignity and energy that if their arguments and requisitions will not produce conviction, we know of nothing that will have a greater influence, especially when we recollect that the system referred to is the result of the collected wisdom of the United States, and , should it not be considered as perfect, must be esteemed at the least objectionable.

John Cosson Joseph Garrison
James English William Gillehan
William Hannah Stephen Strorge
Peter McNamee Michael Rawlings
James Shanks Donnell Cremor
David Robinson Nath. McMeno
Robert Allison William La*** (?)
Isaac Davis (illegible) (?)
James Mitchell Wm. Morow
David Gemel Charles Ramsey
Thomas Bell (illegible) (?)
Thomas Rodgers John R. *** (?)
Anthony Kelly Peter Nowels
Thos. McMackin James Millikan
George Davies Daniel Leming
Nathaniel Davies John Williams
Samuel Davies Robert Miller   his X mark
John Lowe (illegible) (?)
Joseph Willson William Hust.   his X mark
David Brown Wm. Magill
William Brown Oton Clack
Jas. Henney John Gibson
Alexr Potter Reuben Gibson
William Reynolds William Adkins
David Reynolds Thos. Fryar
Aaron Been John Lyon
William Wilson Rich'd Wood
Thos. Thompson James Pickens
David Rankin Robert Bettey
John Lee Geo. Black
Sam'l Vance Reuben Riggs
Rd. Kerr George Hayes
Samuel McPherson William Hill
Matthew Rue Henry Richardson
Joseph Lusk Shiffell Goodlop
Andrew Jackson John Sham
Jos. Gest Miller Doget
Jos. Newberry Christy Miers
Jospeh Blair John Mears
Thomas Williams William Owins
Henry Styers Thomas Owins
Thomas Tadlock   his X mark John Jarrott
William McPick Thomas Pinckny
Botholmu Oderneal Thomas Millikan
Shadrack Hale Jr.   his X mark Thomas Dicson
Daniel Dunny Jr. Redman McDanel
John Wear Nathaniel Witt
Asahel Rawlings Rich'd Dunn
Henry Earnest Wm. Dunn
James Patterson Thomas Call
Francis Hughes H. Call
Robert Hood Joseph N. Newport
Wm. Francis   his X mark Wm. W. Newport
Patrick Kirkpatrick   his X mark John Greer
John Tadlock Absolom Greer
James Davis Thomas Springer
Benn Brumbly Levy Springer
James W. Begses (?) Thomas Wolf
Dalton Ridgs Conrad Wolf
James Jack Phillip Squibb
John Adkins Henry Easter
Adword Adword William Eats
Henry Brumly Simeon Crains
Simon Ridgs Harmon Nowel
Joseph Dunn James Patton
Allen Bellew Robert Patton
Rows Potter John Fout
John Norton Peter Fout
Aaron Norton Harman Kenedy
Aaron Rider Moses Long
John Jameson Coonnas Miller
Dan'l Rawlings Thomas McKee
William Jinkins And. Wray
Robert Smith Wm. Wood
Wm. Howard Gordon Potter
Joshua Tadlock Wm. Peck
Robert Hayes Thomas Mosely
Thomas Johnson Henry Mosely
Francis Johnson Phillip Rudolf
Js. Huston   his X mark Wm. Stublefield
John Huston   his X mark Thomas Baits
Lanry Armstrong John Keller
William Hennidge Moses Keller
John Armstrong William Fergoson
Andrew English Adam Fergoson
Nathaniel Hayes Ralph Hogan
Mary Webster (?) William Hogan
George Kirkpatrick Richard Webb
Thomas Jones Josiah Epperson
William Jones Humph'y Montgomery
Reuben Simmon Carmach George
Archibel Alexander Charles Wilson
Moses Kelsay John Johnston
Robert McCall Samuel Gilbertson
Joseph Alexander Samuel McMinn
Wm. Cocke Auborn Mon*** (?)
Archibald Roan Anson Rit
Elias Witt Nuness Potter
Thomas Witt John Noman (?)
Alex. Lowry Peter Nuless
Jno. McClelland James Stump
Solomon Reed Leonard Hopkins
Uriah McClellennon Martha Gahee
James Stinson Patrick Gahee
Alexander Street Jeremiah Smith
James McPherson Robert Sample
John Prim Anthony Moore
Jacob Smelser James McCammis
Joshua Kidwell Thomas McCammis
Samuel Jameson William McCammis
John Brumley Adam McCammis
William Davidson Henry H. Hammer
Wm. Boyd Franses Castel
Benja. Gist Jacob Meek
Thos. Bromley Thomas Miller
Hugh Beard Robert Pain
Samuel Beard Joseph Hamilton
James Millikin Robert Kerr
Robert Orr John Sellars
Searling Bowman Benj. Wray
Rich'd Woods Wm. Moore
Robert McCall Joseph Ray
John Galbreath Thomas Bailey   his X mark
(illegible) (?) Moses Moore
James Watson Joseph Lachlen, Sen.
(illegible) (?) Joseph Lachlen, Jur.
Wm. Goings Edward Crunt (?)
James Hays James Crunt
David Carr
The back of this petition:
Nicholas Hayes Phl. Grafford Pearce
Sam'l Hayes William Gewil
Jno. Mitchel Charles Parker
James Ranner Antony Agee
Henry Hokimer John Sawyer
Geo. Martin Joseph Moor
David Moore John Yancey
Henry Winterberger Richard Shipley
Jos. Winterberger W. Cage
Sam'l Winterberger Timothy Heuff
Joseph Lusk George Christian
Thos. Wood Deness Murfee
Joseph Geest Isaac Thomas
William Gest William Masengill
Joshua Kidwell John Tulley
Thomas Davie Thos. Easterlin
John Kidwell William Copeland
Charles Kidwell Ric'd Garnon
Whaley Newby John Spurgin
Henry W. Newby Thos. King
Craven Dunear Roger Gibson
Alexr. Lowrey James Adam
James Stinson Geo. Gabriel (black)
Adam Guthery John Yokley
Wm. Craige John Woolsey
Benjamin Henslee James Arbutton (?)
Abel Morgan Martin Roller, Jr.
Thomas Vincent Joseph Blair
George Vincent David Arwin
Henry Heckey William *** (?)
Owen Atkin Thos. Taylor
Nicholas Mercer Adam Stoaks
Richard Mercer, Sr. Joseph Waldrap
Arch'd McHaughan Mattw. Carithers
Edward Mercer Gilbert Christian
John Black Joseph Huson
John Hunt, Jr. Mikill Borders
Baset Hunt Alx. Pethrow
Reuben Hunt Oystan Hewtower
Thomas Tinton Wm. Daves
Jonathan Hunt John Noris
James Cooper Robert Hays
Isaiah Waldrew James Hays
Lewis Hunt Wm. Sippard
James Smart Allexander Cavitt
James Smith Moses Cavitt
Joseph Smith Jacob Jobe
John Duncan Nathan Jobe
Wm. Berry Joseph Birdwell
Isaac White Geo. Birdwell
Samuel Cox Jas. Smith
James Wheeler Moses Russel
John Cottrell Conrad Shelply
Hugh Gentry John Comin
Vallentine Rose Walker Barren
Eli Shipley John Bell
Thomis Shipley William Carson
William Childress Robert Christian
Joshway Hameton Abraham Titsworth
Christurpher Cross Benjamin Walb *** (?)
Benjamen Aze Green Chote
Reuben Hunt John Goad Jun.
Ellecander More John Prior
Martin Roller Moses Looney
John A. Caft Macajah Adams
D. Wright James McLean
Adam Stake Alexander Carith
Wm. Shewmaker Benj. Burdwell
Gabriel Goad John Dean
Peter Easley William Holland
Jacob Cox William Morroson
Jno. Chester John Morroson
Patrick Morrison James Morroson
Stephen Easley Samuel Bofman
Jackal Light David Merryon
Robert Easley Richard Morell
Henry Sullivan Dudly Rutherford
John Light John Bradford
Moses Robinson Peter Fin
William Light John Hunt
William Light Sen. William Baily
Thomas Easley George Smith
William Gode Jacob Joab
Jesey Holland William Cooper
James Walb??? Wm. Jackson
William Wilson Ephraim Joab
Moses Kennedy William Mehallm
Hermon King Charles Bacon
Joseph Screat John French
Lewis Tadlock John Bilensy
Thomas Tadlock William Combs
Joshuaway Padfield William Combs, Jr.
Thomas Benet   X his mark Henery Combs
Moses Kelsay William Stacey
John Anderson Adam Coumb
James Richardson Daniel Agee
David Taylor John Comay
Benja. Gist James Peterson
William Bucknell Jeremiah Taylor
Haley Bucknell Joseph Taylor
Preley Bucknell Stephen Taylor
Shadrach Haile Isaac Taylor
Forrester Mercer John Chisolm
Bryce Russell, Sr. Edward Tule
Bryce Russell, Jr. Nathaniel Tule
James Pickens
Petition of the inhabitants of the Western Country, December 1787
In Senate, December 1787. Read and referred to Court on Public Bills


From the joint balloting for a commissioner to present the resolves of the Assembly of this State to the Assembly of the State of North Carolina, Mr. Thomas Stuart, was duly elected for that purpose.
  James White, S.S.
R. Mitchel, C.S.  
Test: Stockley Donelson, S.C.
T.A. Ramsey, C.C.  

Related Links

 The Mystery of the Lost State of Franklin (PDF File)

 History of the State of Franklin

 Bright Hope Furnace Ledger online copy of this antique book containing many descendants of the signers of this petition.  Excellent site!