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East Tennessee, Pre-1796

[State of Franklin, 1787]

From The State Records of North Carolina, Vol. XXII, pp. 705-714

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 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 the 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, numberless advantages, bountifully given to us by nature to propagate & 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 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 & reciprocal advantages would attend each party, & 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. The great inconveniency attending your seat of Government, and also the great difficulty in ruling well & giving protection to so remote a people. To say nothing of the almost impassable mountains, Nature has placed between us, 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 & more miles through some other State 'ere we can reach your government. Every tax paid you from this county 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 procure, would we be willing to give you our all, & of course, 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 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 conveniency & 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 withhold 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 have arrived, North Carolina has derived great advantages from our alertness in taking & securing a Country 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 & our locality entitles us to receive. Trusting that your magnanimity and justice 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 of American Independency, 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 & 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 & supported in the time of imminent and perilous Dangers; that you will be graciously pleased to consent to a Separation; that from your paternal tenderness and greatness of mind, you will let your stipulations & conditions be consistent with honour, equity & Reason, all 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 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, and that so many sacrifices have been made in vain. Many other considerations might be here adduced, but 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 & 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 as the least Objectionable.
John Cosson Joseph Blair
James English Thomas Williams
William Hannah Henry Styers
Peter McNamee             his
James Shanks Thomas X Tadlock
David Robinson             mark
Robert Callison William McPick
Isaac Davis Botholmu Odeneal
James Mitchell             his
David Gemel Shadrack X Hale Jr.
Thomas Bell             mark
Thomas Rodgers Daniel Dunny Jr.
Anthony Kelly John Wear
Thos. McMackin Asahel Rawlings
George Davies Henry Earnest
Nathaniel Davies James Patterson
Samuel Davies Francis Hughes
John Lowe Robert Hood
Joseph Willson          his
David Brown Wm. X Francis
William Brown          mark
Jas. Henney            his
Alexr Petter Patrick X Kirkpat-[rick]
William Reynolds            mark
David Reynolds John Tadlock
Aaron Been James Davis
William Wilson Benn Brumbly
Thos. Thompson Mary Webster (?)
David Rankin George Kirkpatrick
John Lee Thomas Jones
Sam'l Vance William Jones
Rd. Kerr Reuben Simmon
Archibel Alexander Moses Kelsay
Samuel McPherson Robert McCall
Matthew Rue Joseph Alexander
Joseph Lusk Wm. Cocke
Andrew Jackson Archibald Roan
Jos. Gest Elias Witt
Jos. Newberry Thomas Witt
Alex. Lowry Nathaniel Witt
Jno. McClelland Rich'd Dunn
Solomon Reed Wm. Dunn
Uriah McClellennon Thomas Call
James Stinson H. Call
Alexander Street Joseph N. Newport
James McPherson Wm. W. Newport
John Prim John Greer
Jacob Smelser Absolom Greer
Joshua Kidwell Thomas Springer
Samuel Jameson Levy Springer
John Brumley Thomas Wolf
William Davidson Conrad Wolf
Wm. Boyd Phillip Gnibb
Benja. Gist Henry Easter
Thos. Bromley William Eats
Hugh Beard Simeon Crains
Samuel Beard Harmon Nowel
James Millikin James Patton
Robert Orr Robert Patton
Searling Bowman John Fout
Rich'd Woods Peter Fout
Robert McCall Harman Kenedy
John Galbreath Moses Long
(illegible) (?) Coonnas Miller
James Watson Thomas McKee
(illegible) (?) Wm. Goings
James Hays Henry Brumly
David Carr And. Wray
Joseph Garrison Wm. Wood
William Gillehan Gordon Potter
Stephen Strorge Wm. Peck
Michael Rawlings Thomas Mosely
Donnell Cremor Henry Mosely
Nath. McMeno Phillip Rudolf
William La*** (?) Wm. Stublefield
(illegible) (?) Thomas Baits
Wm. Morow John Keller
Charles Ramsey Moses Keller
(illegible) (?) William Fergoson
John R. *** (?) Adam Fergoson
Peter Nowels Ralph Hogan
James Millikan William Hogan
Thomas Millikan Richard Wabb
Thomas Dicson Josiah Epperson
Redman McDanel Humph'y Montgomery
Samul MacDanel Carmach George
Samul Gilberts Charles Wilson
Joseph McMinty John Johnston
Auborn Mon*** (?) Wm. Magill
Anson Rit Oton Clack
Nuness Pottor John Gibson
John Noman (?) Reuben Gibson
Peter Nuless William Adkins
James W. Begses (?) Thos. Fryar
Dalton Ridgs John Lyon
James Jack William Brownin
John Adkins Rich'd Wood
Adword Adword James Pickens
Robert Bettey Reuben Riggs
Geo. Black George Hayes
Simon Ridgs William Hill
Joseph Donn Henry Richardson
Allen Bellew Shiffell Goodlop
Rows Potter John Sham
John Norton Miller Doget
Aaron Norton Christy Miers
Aaron Rider John Mears
John Jameson William Owins
Dan'l Rawlings Thomas Owins
William Jinkins John Jarrott
Robert Smith Thomas Pinckny
Wm. Howard James Stump
Joshua Tadlock Leonard Hopkins
Robert Hayes Martha Gahee
Thomas Johnson Patrick Gahee
Francis Johnson Jeremiah Smith
    his Robert Sample
Js. X Hust Anthony Moore
    mark James McCammis
        his Thomas McCammis
John X Huson William McCammis
        mark Adam McCammis
Lanty Armstrong Henry Hohammer
William Hennidge Franses Castel
John Armstrong Jacob Meek
Andrew English Thomas Miller
Nathaniel Hayes Robert Pain
Daniel Leming Joseph Hamilton
John Williams Robert Kerr
        his John Sellars
Robert X Miller Benj. Wray
        mark (Illegible) (?)
            his Moses Moore
William X Hust Wm. Moore
            mark Joseph Ray
            his Joseph Lachlen, Sen.
Thomas X Bailey Joseph Lachlen, Jur.
            mark Edward Crunt (?)
James Crunt

From the back of the petition:

Nicholas Hayes William Wilson
Sam'l Hayes Moses Kennedy
Jno. Mitchel Hermon King
James Ranner Joseph Screat
Henry Hokimer Lewis Tadlock
Geo. Martin Thomas Tadlock
David Moore Joshuaway Tadlock
Henry Winterberger William Padfield
Jos. Winterberger             his
Sam'l Winterberger Thomas X Benet
Joseph Lusk             mark
Thos. Wood Moses Kelsay
Joseph Geest John Anderson
William Gest James Richardson
Joshua Kidwell David Taylor
Thomas Davie Benja. Gist
John Kidwell Joseph Huson
Charles Kidwell Mikill Borders
Whaley Newby Alx. Pethrow
Henry W. Newby Oystan Hewtower
Craven Dunear Wm. Daves
Alexr. Lowrey John Noris
James Stitson Robert Hays
Adam Guthery James Hays
Wm. Craige Wm. Sippard
Benjamin Henslee Allexander Cavitt
Abel Morgan Moses Cavitt
Thomas Vincent Jacob Jobe
Jno. Chester Nathan Jobe
Patrick Morrison Joseph Birdwell
Stephen Easley Geo. Birdwell
Jackel Light Jas. Smith
Robert Easley Moses Russel
Henry Sullavan Conrad Shelply
John Light John Comin
Moses Robinson Walker Barren
William Light John Bell
William Light, Sr. William Carson
Thomas Easley Robert Christian
William Goad Abraham Titsworth
Jesey Holland Benjamin Walb *** (?)
James Walb *** (?) Green Chote
John Goard, Jr. Shadrach Haile
Geoge Vincent Forrester Mercer
Henry Heckey Bryce Russell, Sr.
Owen Atkin Bryce Russell, Jr.
Nicholas Mercer James Pickens
Richard Mercer, Sr. Phl. Grafford Pearce
Arch'd McHaughan William Gewil
Edward Mercer Charles Parker
John Black Antony Agee
John Hunt, Jr. John Sawyer
Baset Hunt JosephMoor
Reuben Hunt John Yancey
Thomas Tinton Richard Shipley
Jonathan Hunt W. Cage
James Cooper Timothy Heuff
Isaiah Waldrew George Christian
Lewis Hunt Deness Murfee
James Smart Isaac Thomas
James Smith William Nasengill
Gabriel Gode John Tulley
Joseph Smith Thos. Easterlin
John Duncan William Copeland
Wm. Berry Ric'd Garnon
Isaac White John Spurgin
Samuel Cox Thos. King
James Wheeler Roger Gibson
John Cottrell James Adam
Hugh Gentry Geo. Gabriel (black)
Vallentine Rose John Yokley
Eli Shipley John Woolsey
Thomis Shipley James Arbutton (?)
William Childress Martin Roller, Jr.
Joshway Hameton Joseph Blair
Christurpher Croff David Arwin
Benjamen Aze William *** (?)
Reuben Hunt Thos. Taylor
Ellecander More Adam Stoaks
Martin Roller Joseph Waldrap
John A. Caft Mattw. Carithers
D. Wright Gilbert Christian
Adam Stake John Prior
Wm. Shewmaker Moses Looney
Gabriel Goad Macajah Adams
Peter Easley James McLern
Jacob Cox Alexander Carith
William Bucknell Benj. Burdwell
Haley Bucknell John Dean
Preley Bucknell Charles Bacon
William Holland John French
William Morroson John Bilensy
John Morroson William Combs
James Morroson William Combs, Jr.
Samuel Bofman Henery Combs
David Merryon William Stacey
Richard Morell Addam Coumb
Dudly Betherford Daniel Agee
John Braford John Comay
Peter Fin James Peterson
John Hunt Jeremiah Taylor
William Baily Joseph Taylor
George Smith Stephen Taylor
Jacob Joab Isaac Taylor
William Cooper John Chisolm
Wm. Jaction Edward Tule
Ephraim Joab Nathaniel Tule
William Mehallm
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.  

Ed. Note: Because so many of the above names are abbreviated, spelled "old style" or mistranscribed, the following incomplete list of "search words" has been added to this page:

Corson, Allison, Stivers, Styvers, Bartholmew, Shadrach, Denny, Potter, Kirkpatrick, Benjamin, Eads, Starling, Strong, Moseley, Stubblefield, Rudolph, Ferguson, Hagan, Dickson, Dixon, McDaniel, Humphrey, Carmack, Johnson, Ridge, Norman, Clark, Biggs, Atwood, Shane, Owen, Pinkney, Huston, Payne, Bennett, Austin, Hightower, Petherow, Norris, Hensley, Vachel, Hale, Massingale, Massengill, Murphy, Spurgeon, Arbuthnot, Stokes, Waldrop, McLaren, Billingsley, Marion, Bozeman, Finn, Burwell, Murrell

State of Franklin

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