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The Lost State of FranklinAmerica's First Secession$
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Kevin T. Barksdale

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125213

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125213.001.0001

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Strange Spectacle of Two Empires

Strange Spectacle of Two Empires

Statesmanship, Speculation, and the Dimming Fortunes of Separatism

(p.72) Chapter 4 Strange Spectacle of Two Empires
The Lost State of Franklin

Kevin T. Barksdale

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses the competition between the two ruling backcountry factions which polarized the trans-Appalachian North Carolina. It observes that the contentious interregional debates over the constitutionality of the Franklin statehood movement and the Franklin Constitution exasperated antagonisms between supporters and opponents of statehood and political democratization. The chapter further observes that the debilitating failure of William Cocke's congressional lobbying effort, the escalation of opposition to statehood from a swelling minority faction within the Tennessee Valley, and North Carolina's increasingly deft political leadership ensured an uncertain and perilous future for the Franklinites. It notes that Franklin's leadership attempted to divert political ruin by launching an intense public relations campaign to attract support from influential state and national political figures while opponents of Tennessee Valley separatism redoubled their campaign to derail the statehood movement and secure control over the region's political and judicial offices.

Keywords:   North Carolina, interregional debates, statehood movement, Franklin constitution, William Cocke, public relations

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